Monday, December 17, 2012

Oahu Spots: Hanks Haute Dogs & Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

    I know it has been way too long since I've posted. Life has been kind of crazy getting ready for our move. I am sad (and happy) to say this is probably my last Oahu spot post! I only have two days left on Oahu and they will be spent mostly cleaning and taking care of my babies. After a month with my family and some time getting settled in our new place I'll share with you all the things I love about Northern Virginia. I have high hopes that we will find a lot to share.

   The last few weeks we went to a couple of our favorite places one last time before we leave. These are definitely places to put on your MUST VISIT list if you ever make it to Oahu.

Hanks Haute Dogs - Hank's has been featured on both Diners, Drive ins, and Dives, and Man Vs. Food Nation. It is awesome. I definitely recommend the chicken dog and you mustmustmust get the duck fat fries. They are a little pricey for hot dogs.. just to warn you. They are SO worth it though. My mouth is watering.. I may have to convince James to take me just one more time tomorrow afternoon.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck - There are a lot of shrimp trucks on Oahu but we heard from everyone when we came here that THIS was the best. It really is everything we hoped it would be. You definitely have to go to the location in Kahuku and NOT Haleiwa because there is a huge difference. We've tried all three kinds of shrimp and they are all worth trying. I personally don't prefer the "Hot & Spicy" because it is really spicy. The flavor is really good, and James gets a half order sometimes because he loves it, but it is a little too much for me. The girls really love the Jumbo Garlic Hot Dog with rice.

Delilah enjoying a Garlic Hot Dog - 2012
James with our lunch - 2012

James on my 22nd Birthday at Giovanni's - 2010
Baby Josie at Giovanni's - 2010
My birthday at Giovanni's - 2010

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a really lovely thanksgiving yesterday. We definitely did. We relaxed all morning. We called Mimi (my mom) to say Happy Thanksgiving and Grandma (his mom) to say Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday (I hope you had a great birthday, Mom!). Grandma wanted a picture so we took one while James and I still weren't looking super awesome.

Josie is making that face because she's trying to see her cute little piggie tails.
She loved them and kept asking me to fix them every time they got messed up.

Me and my cute little kitchen helper started prepping and cooking around 10am.
Elbow deep under the skin. I slathered it in a rosemary garlic compound butter that Josie helped me make.

It was my first time making a full sized turkey. I was pretty worried but it was one of the most juicy turkeys I've ever had.
We had stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, warm rolls & butter.

It was well worth the hours in the kitchen and the extra few pounds!
We had a great day together as a family, and a great meal with our good friend Derek. Nothing is more adorable than listening to two grown men watching football, talking about Josie "pee-peeing in the potty".  We missed our family & friends that couldn't be here, but it was still a really great day. Hope everyone had a very happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love is Christmas

This is a song worth listening to.

"Love Is Christmas"
Sara Bareilles

I don’t care if the house is packed,
Or the strings of light are broken.
I don’t care if the gifts are wrapped,
Or there’s nothing here to open.

Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it.

Love is simply joy that I’m home.

I don’t care if the carpet's stained; we've got food upon our table.

I don’t care if it’s gonna rain, our little room is warm and stable.

Love is who we are, and no season can contain it.

Love would never fall for that.

We sing oooooooooooooooo


Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Why so scared that you’ll mess it up? When perfection keeps you haunted.

All we need is your best my love, that’s all anyone ever wanted.

Love is how we do, let no judgment overrule it.

Love I look to you, and I sing.



Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oahu Spot: The Counter

The Counter burgers are delicious and fresh. Totally worth the money.
Mini Burgers were perfectly sized for little hands.
The "Fifty-Fifty" with Fries and Sweet Potato Fries. Both fries were awesome. We all ate our fill and had some left over.

James got a custom built burger with Jalapeno Jack, Bacon, Sauteed Mushrooms, Organic Green Chilis, and Garlic Aioli. He was really pleased to find out the green chilis were the real deal. My New Mexico man was a happy one :)

I got a Backyard Barbeque Burger in a Bowl. It was really tasty but I enjoyed James burger more. I would custom make my own next time.

 All four of us were very happy with our lunch at The Counter and would definitely come here again. I think there is a location near where we are moving in Virginia! I wish we had found this place a few years ago. It was a sit down place that was still on the louder side - perfect for families with small children. If there is a location near you, go try it out! It's worth it :)

*I wasn't paid or compensated for this review. They're just yummy burgers I wanted to share with you.*

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Christmas Playlist

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Target has decked their halls, the mall has up decorations, and as is tradition we decorated this past Wednesday on my birthday. In honor of the start of the holiday season, whether it starts now or after Thanksgiving, here are my top 20 favorite Christmas songs this year. What are your favorites?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gearing up for the Holidays

Trying to find where I can buy this.. anyone know?

Well the Christmas season starts early in this house. I have been watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, planning out all the presents and decorations. 

I don't care that it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. Who decided you can't celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving anyways? I say its all part of the holiday season.

Anyways my pinterest boards are all aflutter with Christmas and gift ideas. I found >this webpage< full of homemade gifts that had lots of great ideas I wanted to share with you. Here's a little of what you could find there.

1. Rosette Necklace - Super cute for any woman or teen on your gift list.
 2. DIY: Monogram Mugs - This one is great for anyone teen and up on your list. Fill them with hot cocoa packets and marsmallows or special tea bags or coffee. 

 3. Socks Owl - Super super cute for any kids in your life. Whooooo wouldnt want one of these? (see what I did there.. :) )
 4. Chalkboard Coasters - Great for writing love notes or initials so you can remember where you left your cup.
5. Solid perfume pocket watch locket - Such a unique and special gift. It looks really easy to make too!

Those are just a few of the 101 Simple Handmade Gift Tutorials you can check out. Will you make any homemade gifts this year? What's on your gift list this year?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ooey Gooey Popcorn: Halloween Edition

Beware! Warning! Caution! Look out, mate! DO NOT MAKE THIS POPCORN IF YOU HAVE NO ONE TO SHARE IT WITH. You will eat the whole bowl. You might not even feel bad about it. It's really that good. Its also a great way to be creative with some of that leftover Halloween candy.

True story: I was sitting on the couch a few days ago watching a movie with Delilah. I had a sudden desperate need for this popcorn. A you-don't-even-understand-how-much-I-need-this-popcorn-right-now kind of craving. I made the popcorn. I ate almost the whole thing by myself.. but I saved a little bowl for Josie. I am a good mom after-all. Did I mention I made a batch a few days before it and we annihilated it? James loves it too.

 ...I said it was a true story not a good story.

Are you convinced yet? Make this popcorn!

Ooey Gooey Popcorn: Halloween Edition

{Adapted from Sweet Treats and More: Gooey Vanilla Bean Popcorn}

1 Bag of Microwavable Popcorn
(I used movie theater butter but you can use whatever floats your boat.)
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Stick of Butter
2TBSP Light Corn Syrup
1TSP Vanilla Extract

Your Choice of Halloween Candy (I used 1/4 cup candy corn and 10 Butterfinger covered pretzels, roughly chopped)

Pop popcorn according to instructions. Pour into bowl carefully avoiding the unpopped kernels.

Stir in your choice of candy.
In small saucepan heat sugar, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla, over medium heat, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Stir constantly.
Pour sugar mixture over popcorn slowly and stir together. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to be sure all candy gets mixed thoroughly.
Let cool slightly & enjoy :)

I have also kept this in a tupperware on the counter and it was still awesome the next day. It's never lasted longer than that.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wrapping it Up ~ Day 31

 *click here for the other 31 days*
Wow, today is day 31. This month has been challenging and rewarding. I want to thank those of you that have followed along through the last 31 days (and stuck with me even on the days my writing wasn't so great.) Thank you for your sweet comments & words of encouragement. There were days when I wanted to give up and it was always those days that you would comment and I would pray and between you and God, I could write another day.

I'm really so glad I took this 31 day challenge. It taught me a lot about dedication, about the kind of blogger I want to be, about prioritizing blogging into my daily life, and most importantly about keeping God the center of it all.
I hope you've been inspired to draw closer to God yourself and I hope that those who started following me through this series will continue to now that it's over. I still have a lot to share with you. There are many new adventures ahead.

{If you aren't subscribed but you would like to be, look over to your right. You can follow by email or blogger and also follow my pinterest and facebook page.}

I'm off to paint pumpkins, watch Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, spend time with friends and take pictures of the girls in their costumes. Come back tomorrow for a great way to use up some of that halloween candy! 
Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Embracing the Season ~ Day 30

 *click here for the other 31 days*

I talked a little about embracing the season back when I was sharing our family mission statement. I hadn't planned on talking about it anymore but I can't shake the feeling that there's still someone out there that needs to hear more of my heart on the subject.

I mentioned before that living in Hawaii has been a real season of loneliness for me. I grew up in Virginia Beach, I went to the same church for 13+ years, I had the same wonderful friends all my life, I spent every holiday with my loved ones. When I was 20 I married my best friend. I was happy and comfortable, surrounded by the familiar. Surrounded by hugs and reassurance in every aspect of my life.

Then I moved to "paradise".

Note: Please don't hear this as complaining. I feel very blessed in every aspect of my life. I just want to be transparent with you. Blessed does not mean perfect.

I came to paradise with just my husband and a belly that looked like I was smuggling a basketball. (at least that's what all the stewardesses kept telling me) I was 32 weeks pregnant, we had no home, and I had left behind the people that gave me my sense of security. James and I had been married less than a year. Even though I loved and trusted him we lacked the deep security and intimacy only time together can bring. I was insecure and afraid.

But God provided. What I was told could take weeks took days. We had a house! Not only that, but because we only had (almost) one baby, we were only eligible for a two bedroom. God apparently pulled some strings because we ended up with three bedrooms. A beautiful home that I love. Space for us and guests, for toddlers to run and room to store the outgrown baby items. He also provided an opportunity for my mom to come stay with us when Josie was born. My mother was there the day I became a mother. Most importantly though, with no one else to lean on, my husband and I became a team. We learned to parent, for the most part, on our own. While advice was only a phone call away unfortunately babysitters were not. We didn't have much opportunity for escape when parenting got tough. Being away from family took our crutches away and made us stand on our own feet. I am so thankful for that now. 

God took a season of fear and turned it into a season of knowing I could count on him. He took my season of insecurity and showed me that in Him and my husband, I can rest and feel secure. He took a season of being away from family and taught us how to raise our own.

Over the next few years some things got easier, others did not. I felt confident that God provides, I felt confident in my husband. However, I didn't have friends. Growing up in the same area my whole life I never had to find friends. I made friends all the time, they just found me. Making friends for an introvert is incredibly hard. Joining clubs, taking a class.. those things make me incredibly anxious.

On top of that, it was really hard to go out. There isn't a ton to do here in "paradise". The beaches are beautiful, but I don't like to take my pale little babies out in the sun and heat for very long. Taking Josie to the movies ended in disaster. Eating out was more stress than it was worth. We shopped too much and spent too much money the first year we were here. Even crafting is hard to do with little hands around. I felt bored and lonely.

But God provided. First of all, because of my loneliness, my relationship with my husband has grown leaps and bounds. He is truly my very best friend. Then when Josie was two months old I met my BFF, Lydia. Her son is just a year older than Josie. About 4 months after I found out I was pregnant with Delilah, she found out she was pregnant with her second son. She loves crafting and shopping and one of her favorite foods are chimichangas. We are a friend match made in heaven. He also brought me great neighbors and friends to spend the holidays with. God knew exactly what I needed. He also used my loneliness and boredom to draw me closer to himself. I've read through my bible, read books, & read blogs. I've cried out to God in my loneliness. I've praised God for my blessings. I have a better friendship with my Savior now than I ever did before.

God took a season of loneliness and turned it into a season of creating forever relationships. He took a season of boredom and gave me the time to devote to Him. 
If I had tons of friends, would I have been able to focus my energy on the people that he most wanted me to?
Everything in life is a season. It all ends. The good ends, the bad ends.. then it all begins again.
Lydia and her boys are staying with us for a couple of months. It's a season of loud and a season of lots of snuggles. It's a season of way too many tantrums and so many giggles. It's a season of the dishes always being dirty and its a season of baking cookies and learning to make new meals. Its a season where introverts never get a chance to be alone and having slumber parties with your best friend every night.

Whatever you're going through, know that nothing lasts forever. Whatever season of life you're in, embrace it.

*linking up with Women Living Well*

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Quiet Time Isn't Quiet ~ Day 29

 *click here for the other 31 days*

Sometimes my time with God looks like this..

...and sometimes it looks like this.

Whatever your "quiet time" looks like, embrace it! Enjoy it! May it bring glory to our God and draw you ever closer to Him.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Having "Church" at Home ~ Day 28

 *click here for the other 31 days*
I have a confession to make.. I haven't been going to church
What's that? You couldn't hear me? I said I haven't been going to church.

Why are you looking at me like that? You still can't hear me? *Sigh* I haven't been going to church! There! I said it!

I know, I know. I was the ultimate church girl in high school. Never missed a Sunday, Wednesday night, special event, work day... What happened? I have 1,001 reasons why, don't we all? We need church though. Need it. It feeds the soul.

We have a couple churches that we are going to try out after we transfer early next year to Northern Virginia. For now though, we found something that works for us. Sunday morning we..
  •  Come downstairs, get the girls settled, and grab a cup of coffee.
  •  Find a sermon to watch from our laptop. We have been watching the sermons from New Life in Chantilly, VA. We chose them because we are thinking about attending there next year and we wanted to get a feel for the services and atmosphere. We really like it so far.
  • After the sermon we read a chapter from the bible. We've been reading through Ecclesiastes, one of my favorite books.
  • Then we read one chapter from our couples devotional. We have been working our way through the Love Dare and we both really enjoy and recommend it.
  • And to bring everything to a close, we pray together as a couple.

    And that's our home "church". It's really no replacement for the christian socialization, uplifting atmosphere, and accountability that a real church family gives. However, we can go in our pajamas, I can nurse without leaving the room, and when meltdowns happen we just hit pause. It's what works for us this season in our lives. I hope you're not in a season of missing out on church, but if you are - go find one! And if you can't, I encourage you to find something that works for you.

This is My Prayer ~ Day 27

~ This is My Prayer ~

Bless me, heavenly Father,
forgive my erring ways,
Grant me strength to serve Thee,
put purpose in my days ...
Give me understanding,
enough to make me kind
So I may judge all people
with my heart and not my mind ...
And teach me to be patient
in everything I do,
Content to trust Your Wisdom
and to follow after You ...
And help me when I falter
and hear me when I pray
And receive me in Thy Kingdom
to dwell with Thee some day. 

-Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, October 26, 2012

10 Scripture Memorizing Techniques ~ Day 26

*click here for the other 31 days*

Well I started this post yesterday but never got a chance to finish it. Delilah is sick and just wants to watch the Lorax and be held all day. Some things just take priority over blogging, ya know? Today Delilah is feeling a little better, but if you could keep us all in your prayers I'd so appreciate it.

Scripture memorization is important for a few reasons..
  •  It helps us understand who God is and who we are through him. (Colossians 1:16)
  • It helps keep us from sin (Psalm 119:11)
  • Like worship, we can use scripture as a weapon.(Ephesians 6:17)
  • We can use it for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Can you think of more reasons memorizing scripture is important? 
I searched around and came up with 10 methods for memorizing scripture. Hopefully this will help everyone find a way that works for them.

1. Make a Scripture Memory Box.
     Searching pinterest this was the most commonly pinned method. This one I'm really interested in trying out myself. You can find the main tutorial here, or you could also look here and here.
Scripture Memory Box {source}

2. Write it on your Mirror.
      Use a dry erase marker or an old eyeliner to write out the verse you'd like to memorize. Read it while you get dressed in the morning. Read it while you brush your teeth before bed.

3. Post It On The Refrigerator.
     Write out or print your favorite verse and hang it on the fridge. Let's face it, we all spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

4. Make Scripture Art.
     There are so many ways to do this. You really don't have to be artistic. You could make scripture art on your computer, paint it, doodle it out. It could be just for you or you could share it with the world. Create it and review it, or better yet, put it on display and read it everyday. Check out some more examples of scripture art here and here.
Scripture Art {source}

5.  Write it Down.
      Everyday! As a visual learner this is a really great method for me to remember something. Watching myself write something down really helps it stay in my brain.

6. There's an App for That!
    I have an app on my iPhone called "Bible Memory Verses" and another for kids called "Adventure Bible Memory Game" both were free. These are great for memorizing verses both at home and on the go.

7. Make a Memory Book.
   This one is for kids, but it could easily be adapted for adults. This would be a great way to learn together as a family.
Memory Book {source}

8. Make Memorizing Scripture a Game.
    This website has lots of great game ideas for memorizing scriptures.

9. Make a Verse your Background.
    On your computer, phone, or iPad. Take the time to read it every time you turn your electronics on.

10. Make Hand Motions to Go Along with your Verse.
     Like these cute kids did.

Well, I'm certainly inspired to memorize more scripture. I hope you are too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Facing Fears ~ Day 24

The following post I shared with some of you last year on my other blog.. I wanted to share it here too. I still struggle so much with anxiety especially when it comes to driving. I need a reminder of why it's so important for me to face the things that frighten me instead of hiding from them. This is where I need to learn to trust in  the  my almighty God.


Anxiety is something I've dealt with my entire life. I remember it the earliest in first grade.. I would come home from school with stress headaches. In the first grade. It's not something that's ever gone away but sometimes it will leave a certain area of my life and reappear somewhere else. Every time I would over come one thing something new would become a major source of anxiety. In March 2009 when I met James I was working a job that stressed me out so much that I lost 20 pounds, I was always sick, I was miserable.. Thank God James told me to quit and that he has enough money to support us both. I was finally free of anxiety. Until..

Late 2009 James and I were driving to my parents house for Sunday night family dinner. The same way we've been a thousand times. We pulled up to a red light and were chit chatting about something. Two boys.. about 14 or so.. rode their bikes across half the street to the median in front of us. The turning lane was stopped so it blocked their view of the cars still going straight. As 14 year old boys do.. they were impatient. The first boy spend across the road and James and I both remarked how dumb that was.. before we could even finish our thoughts our words got stuck in our mouth as we watched the second boy start.. then hesitate.. then shoot out into the road.

Right in front of a car..

A car that couldn't see him coming. A car that was going the speed limit. A car that was probably just on his way home.. or to pick up the groceries. They boy flew up atleast 6 feet and then crashed onto the mans windshield and rolled of the car onto the concrete.. He was face down on the road knocked unconscious. Many people got out of their cars to help him and we waited to make sure someone called 911 but we couldn't stay parked where we were because we were blocking traffic. The boy moved a few times before we left but I still don't know if he lived or died.

After I saw that something snapped in me. Something that James and I later decided was some sort of post traumatic stress disorder. I stopped being able to drive. I tried a few times after that but I would shake so bad I could barely put my foot on the brake.. I would get ill.. I would have intense panic attacks. I think it was from knowing that the man that hit that boy wasn't doing anything wrong. It could have easily been me driving that car..

So two years have gone by and I think I've only driven 2 or 3 times.. only once since I moved to Hawaii in April 2010 and it was just for a few blocks..

Until today. :)

I drove to Josie's dr appointment today. It was a small drive but a big step. I realize now that I have been so overwhelmed trying to keep everyone safe and out of harms way to such an extreme that I have stopped living. What is it teaching my daughter if I have to tell her "oh mommy doesnt drive because she's too scared". It tells her that I don't have faith in God to work all things out for the best and that it's ok to let your fears control you. I don't want her to learn that.. I want her to be brave and have faith in God in all things. So today I faced my fear.. and tomorrow I will too.. and I will keep doing it until it goes away. One step at a time.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Through the Bible in 90 Days ~ Day 23

*click here for the other 31 days*

      Earlier this year I did something I'm really proud of. I set my mind to reading through my bible in 90 days; It ended up taking about 100. It took me 1-3 hours (including interruptions) a day depending on how good the girls were being.
      I think everyone should try this at least once. It really gave me a feel for the bible as a whole, It forced me to get through some of the harder to read books (Leviticus? yuck), and setting my mind to something so worthwhile and following through really gave me a sense of accomplishment. 
      I suggest reading as much as you can first thing in the morning. Break up your reading throughout the day if you need to. Give yourself limits and rewards. Things like, I'll have my first cup of coffee after I make it through the first 4 chapters, or I won't check my email or facebook until I've done my bible reading. Also, read with a notebook next to you. If you suddenly remember you need to take the meat out to thaw for dinner, write it down so you don't forget and keep reading. If you come across a chapter or verse that really speaks to you, write it down so you remember to go back and study it more in depth later on.
       If you want more information on reading through the bible in 90 days check out this website. For those that are interested, I'll share with you my bible reading plan. Give it a try - I promise it's worth it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Passion for Scriptures ~ Day 22

Today I have scheduled to introduce the next few days of talking about the word of God. But I really feel like it's something that needs no introduction.So I'm going to keep today simple. I have a passion for scriptures. I love the way they spring to mind right when you need them. I love the way they speak to your soul when you read them. Is there any better way to draw close to God than just picking up your bible?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reading Christian Blogs & Books ~ Day 21

*click here for the other 31 days*

"What's your preferred method of learning?"

"Uhh, excuse me?"

"*Loud sigh* Reading, Listening.... (I don't remember the rest..)"

"Uhh, reading?"

As you can see I am a deep, profound thinker when put on the spot.
But that is a weird question to be asked at a doctors appointment. Don't you think? I may have just answered reading at first because I don't mind reading and I wanted to get the whole doctors appointment thing over with. Thinking about it now though, I know that instinctual answer was right. I am definitely a visual learner. I absorb much more from my sermon notes than I do from an actual sermon. I need you to show me how you want me to do something before I can do it right. That's why I love reading so much. Today I thought I'd share with you my favorite Christian blogs and books. Would you share your favorites with me?

Good Morning Girls - I know I've mentioned GMG several times. The bible studies, scriptural wisdom, paired with a support group has been so awesome for me.
Always, Amanda - I found her through the 31 days link-up. She's awesome, instantly likeable, and her blog is full of wisdom from God. In her blog I found an online treasure.
A Life Surrendered - A real woman of God. I cried at her salvation story. I don't often cry.
Proverbs 31 Ministries - Their daily devotion has so often spoken to exactly what I'm going through that day. Sometimes I feel as though God planned that days devotion just for me.
Above Rubies - "Encouragement for wives, mothers, and homemakers." Perfectly sums it up.
Women Living Well - She's such a beautiful, cheerful mama. So encouraging and so in love with God.
Chatting at the Sky -  Emily is the one who encouraged me to write that letter to my teenage self. She also wrote my favorite, life changing book Grace for the Good Girl.
The Book Diaries & Parethetic (Rhetoric) - Both written by Shelley who I have come to adore. Her blogs arent "christian" blogs but she says this about herself "I am in love with the light of the world, and am hanging tight to his faithfulness to all generations." Her blogs certainly reflect that. Check out both her 31 Days to Inspire a Child & 31 Days of Children's Book Crushes.
The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking - The blog that inspired me to blog. Kelly is also passionate about Jesus and her blog reflects that. She's doing a series on Savoring the Season that is full of Pumpkin Pie Spice and Apple Crisps and everything else that is amazing about Autumn.

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freedman. - I've said it before, I'll say it again. Life-changer. I was not in a great place when I first read this book. Her words helped me heal. Her words showed me what grace really means.
A Life that says Welcome by Karen Ehman - I said it in this post, this book really helped me realize the importance of hospitality and ways that I can make guests feel more welcome.
You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth - Sometimes a girl just needs to hear shes awesome. Right now. Just the way you are. This book was amazingly uplifting. Exactly what my soul needed to hear.
I'll add more to this list as I think of more.

What kind of learner are you? How do you apply that to learning more about God?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

50 Reasons Why I'm Thankful ~ Day 20

 I have to admit that lately life has been very challenging for me. I'll spare you all the details but I'll just say we have a lot going on. I'm praying for God's peace, patience and wisdom daily. Until things calm down I am hanging on to the gifts God has given me. I recognize them and embrace them. These are the things I will focus on. These are the things that matter.
1. The relationship I have with my Savior. - The knowledge I'll spend eternity with Him in heaven.
2.  My handsome husband - the one my soul loves. (Song of Solomon 3:4)
3. My Josie - her dimpled smile and endless energy.
4. My Delilah - her adorable laugh and deep emotions.
5.  Hope for a brilliant future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
6.  My parents - the loving foundation they gave me.
7.  My brother - his companionship and the way he challenges me.
8.  My Grandparents - Who taught me to love unconditionally, mind my manners, fish, be passionate about reading, enjoy cooking, and love cats.
9.  My BFF, Lydia. - You came when I needed you most. God knew just what I needed in a friend.
11.  My In-laws - I couldn't have married into a better family.
12.  Our health. Thank you for everyday they're in my life.
13.  My hunter cat, Jasper.
14. My loyal pup, Lola.
15. That we've never had to go hungry.
16. My creativity.
17. My peacemaker spirit. (Matthew 5:9)
18. My passion for cooking - that my husband is always happy with what I make.
19. The wisdom you give us through scripture.
20. The ability to read that scripture whenever I want.
21. Our last 3 years in Hawaii - the growth and adventure it's brought us.
22. Orders to Chantilly - prayers answered.
23. Money - thank you for blessing us, help us to bless others.
24. A life full of color. (especially coral and aquamarine)
25. Seasons. Seasons of life, seasons of the year. Always a fresh start around the corner.
26. New notebooks, new pens.
27. Getting lost in another world. - A good book, good movie, good television.
28. Snow.
29. Crunchy leaves.
30. Splashing in puddles.
31. The night that brings the moon and stars.
32. The day that brings the sun.
33. Sun warming my skin.
34. Freckles, dimples, & half grown in teeth.
35. The sound of laughter.
36. Seeing the mountains meet the sky.
37. Birthdays - a celebration of life.
38. Weddings - a celebration of love.
39. Christmas - a celebration of the birth of our King.
40. Coffee, coffee, & more coffee.
41. Road trips.
42. Baked goods. Warm bread, fresh baked cookies, gooey brownies.
43. Christmas music, Christmas decorations (that James always lets me put up on my birthday - November 7th), Christmas movies.
44. Hands to hold, tummies to tickle, lips to kiss.
45. Dance parties in the kitchen.
46. God's endless grace - learning to give myself the same grace he gives. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
47. Peaceful sleeping babies.
48. My online support groups - To my Lovely Mommas and Good Morning Girls, thank you for always being there when I need you. Your support, advice, and love is so important to me.
49. The friends that I grew up with. - You helped shape me and support me until I became the woman I am today. Thank you for being part of who I am.
50. My blog & those who read. - It's not easy for me to be so transparent. Thank you for being so supportive. I pray God uses me in big ways.

*Linking up with Women Living Well*

Friday, October 19, 2012

Prayers for my Husband ~ Day 19

*click here for the other 31 days*

I read a book last year called Uniquely Woman: A Study on Proverbs 31:10-31 by Cathy McBride. I didn't agree with everything she wrote about but I really loved what she shared about the importance of praying for your husband (or wife). God placed us with our spouse for a reason. We know, above everyone else, their strengths and weaknesses. We know all the areas in which they need prayer, even the most private ones. It would be neglectful of us to ignore our responsibility to lift them up in prayer daily. I often fall short in remembering to pray for my husband daily, though I usually do pray with him daily. I know that by making this a priority in my life it will draw both of us closer to God and in turn draw us closer to each other as well. In Uniquely Woman, Cathy shares a series of prayers I love that I'd like to share with you today.
A Prayer for my Husband 

Dear Father, I pray for my husband today...

That You would surround him with favor as a shield (Psalm 5:12). May You open his ears to hear Your voice; may You open his eyes to see Your guidance; and may You open his heart to receive Your wisdom. May You give him a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of You, and may the eyes of his heart be enlightened, so that he may know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the riches of the glory of your inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of your power toward us who believe. (Ephesians 1:17-19) I bind the spirits of rebellion, stubborness, and doublemindedness for from him in the name of Jesus, that he may be free to walk in Your ways, and he would be stable in all his ways. (James 1:8)


 That You would give him fresh insight and inspiration to do his work; and that You will renew his strength like the eagle's (Isaiah 40:31) May You surround him with angelic protection in every place he goes. (Psalm 91:11) and may You bring victory to him in every place the soul of his foot treads. (Joshua 1:3) May You prosper him in every task he puts his hand to, and may he be fruitful in all he undertakes, as he seeks the counsel of wise men and meditates in Your word. (Psalm 1:1-3) As he delights in You, may You give him the desires of his heart. (Psalm 37:4)

I bind the spirits of pride, spiritual blindness, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness from him in the name of Jesus, in order that he may be quick to give you all the glory for what You are doing in his life. I bind the spirits of philosophy, deception, and religious tradition far from him in the name of Jesus, so that he will not be deluded or pulled off the path You have chosen for him. (Colossians 2:8) and so that he may attain to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3) May wisdom enter his heart, and may knowledge be pleasant to his soul; may discretion guard him, and understanding watch over him, to deliver him from the way of evil. (Proverbs 2:10-12) May he trust in You with all his heart, and not lean on his own understanding; may he acknowledge You in all his ways, and may You make his paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In the naame of Jesus, I also bind the spirits of procrastination, laziness, complacency, and foolishness far from him, so that he will not be delayed or diverted from moving ahead with you in the works that You have already created for him to accomplish. (Ephesians 2:10) May he not be carnally minded, which is death, but may he be spiritually minded, which is life and peace. (Romans 8:6) May he be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that he may walk in a manner worthy of You, to please You in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You; strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to You, who have qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:9-12)


May you give him a deep thirst for Your word, and may You give him a strong hunger to move in the power of the Holy Spirit. Father, I know that you will lead him into all truth by your spirit (John 16:13) so I can thank You and praise You and have confidence that since You have begun a good work in him, You will complete it. (Philippians 1:6) You will cause him to exel in all that he puts his hand to, as I trust You to guide him, since it is not by might, nor by power, but by your spirit (Zechariah 4:6) Help him to sharpen his awareness of spiritual things, so that he will be effective in his role as the spiritual head of our household. (Ephesians 5:23) Help me to submit to his leadership in a way that is pleasing to you. (Colossians 3:18) May our love abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, and may we be filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)


May the words of his mouth and the meditations of his heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord. (Psalm 19:14) May he be slow to anger, and not be quick tempered, (Proverbs 14:29) and may he have a soothing tongue (Proverbs 15:4) May you give him his hearts desire, and not withhold the request of his lips. (Psalm 21:2) May you make him to know your ways, O Lord, may you teach him Your paths, and may You make him to know your covenant. (Psalm 25:14) May you hide him in the secret place of your presence from the conspiracies of man, and may you keep him secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. (Psalm 31:20) When he is tempted, I thank You that You will always provide a way of escape, that he may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Thank God for your husband by praying the entire prayer. Better, yet, pray the entire prayer every day. 
In the name of Jesus,

Lord, I mean every word of this prayer. Please bring it to my mind daily.

Meditate on this, write it in your prayer journals, ask God what else he would have you pray for.
Is this prayer missing anything? What else should we be praying daily for our spouses? 

On a personal note, I ask that you please keep my husband and his family in your prayers. He lost his last living grandparent this morning. We know she is happily in heaven holding hands with her husband, swapping stories with Jesus. She really told the best stories.