Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finding Joy

What do a cow, a fish, and a house have in common?'s not the beginning of a bad's the introduction to Finding Joy....our newest Blessing Bracelet.

A good friend of mine is, as she put it, "coming un-glued". I can relate to that, though I usually use the term "drowning" or "melting" or any thing that depicts something that shouldn't be going down...going d-o-w-n. 

She, like me, is a homeschooling Mommy to six. Among other issues right now...she is struggling to find Joy in her daily duties as Mommy-Teacher-Wife-Homemaker-Taxi Driver-Chef, etc. etc. Add to that the guilt produced when she thinks being a Christian means she should automatically feel joyful-and if you don't-then are you really a Christian??? 

She inspired me to look into Joy a bit deeper-that inspired me to create our newest blessing bracelet. Finding Joy. I've decided I don't think that Joy is something we just "are" or something we automatically have. I think we have to really search for it-find it-clean it off-polish it often-and make a regular point of pulling it off the shelf to admire it again and again. 

In Habakkuk (3:18,-19):
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."  

Here's how I read that verse in my friend's (and many other mother's circumstances):
"Though the veggies aren't growing, and there is no food in the fridge, though the bank account is empty and I'm tired all day, though the kids aren't in their beds yet and the goats got loose again, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior." You could add in whatever trials you face daily: though the house is a big fat mess...though I'm feeling weak...though the kids are fighting...though I'm lonely...though I'm bored....too many bills in the mailbox...the list goes on and on. The bottom line is always the same!

The bracelet has an adorable dangling cow (cattle) to help her remember that no matter how bad things seem-or what her circumstances....we WILL rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in HIM!
The fish is a reminder of Jesus and this verse where he says:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:9-11

For our joy to be complete we must remain in Christ and obey his commands. This is not an easy task and requires daily time in prayer and in his word. However, this teaching comes with a promise that IF we obey his commands we WILL remain in his love. And therefore...we will FIND JOY!!!! This little fish charm is a daily reminder to get time alone with Jesus every day!

In 1Chroncicles 16:27 we read:
"Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place."
Well-I don't know about you-but I think this sounds like a great place to be! His dwelling place I mean. Home is usually seen as the best place on earth...but as a very busy Mommy-it's sadly sometimes the place we want to escape.  To find joy.....escape to HIS DWELLING PLACE!!! The dangling house is a reminder that there is no better place to be then where the Lord is-AND-where the Lord has you. Feeling content with all He has set before you is a great start to FINDING JOY!

Finding Joy is a jam packed-full of truth and beauty-blessing bracelet. In addition to the above there's also a bead/verse about singing, love, hope, eternity and light. 

Though I had some....none of the beads actually say the word "joy". You have to FIND the joy in the meanings of the other beads. 

I hope you had a joyful day in the Lord and in your dwelling place today. But..maybe it was a tough one. 

Maybe you are wiped out and feel like you are "coming unglued" or going d-o-w-n in a bad way....take a few minutes to search for that remember Jesus your Savior-to stop thinking about your earthly problems and focus instead on his dwelling place. FIND your JOY in HIM and I pray that you will break out into a smile as you realize that even if there are no cattle in the barn (or whatever you feel is lacking) you have everything you need in Christ and He will give you the strength to enable you to go to the heights!!!

Blessings, she inspired this creation...I gave the first Finding Joy bracelet to this special Mommy. I hope to have it listed for purchase by the end of the week.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting It Together

82 shoes
7 snow suits
16 snow boots
too many baseball hats to count
8 toothbrushes, hundreds of floss sticks, 8 tubes of a few spares
5 different types of Tylenol
cough meds, stomache meds, ear meds, throat meds, etc
The more children you have in your home....the more stuff you need to find a home for as well.
No matter how often I pair down...give away...try to stick to the basics..with 6 children...
we just have a lot of stuff!

I have found that the more organized I am, the smoother our daily routines run. In addition, I am less stressed and that makes everyone happy!!

I am still working on organizing parts of  our home, but we've come a long way in the past year. 
Over the next few posts I'm going to share with you my four favorties!

1. The Shoe Closet
2. The Snowy Wall
3. The Toothbrush Tower
4. Medicine Cabinet Miracle

Perhaps one or two of these techniques would give you a sigh of relief! 

If you have an amazing organizational idea for any of the following...please share!!  Even if you think it's a simple or obvious idea-if you works for you, it just might be something we haven't thought of. 
Us know-we need to help each other  
Get It Together!!

*  hair clips/bows/pretties
*  craft supplies
*  kids cups/lids/straws
*  toys
*  organizing your car stuff/trash/junk

Can't wait to read your ideas!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Freedom in Restriction

No one likes to be restricted. No one wants to be held back-pinned down-pushed away or in any way stopped from doing something they want to be doing.
The dictionary definition is:
2. The limitation or control of someone or something, or the state of being limited or restricted. 

My teenager lets me know he doesn't like restrictions by negotiating because he'd rather stay up late but still has a bedtime.
My 11 year old lets me know she doesn't like restrictions but pouting and crossing her arms when I cut her nails because they look like daggers.

My 8 year old lets me know she doesn't like restrictions by whining when she can't roam the neighborhood with other kids.
My 6  year old foster son lets me know he doesn't like ANY restrictions by peeing all over, but not in the toilet. His little way of gaining control over something in his life-due to his opinion of too many restrictions.
My 5 year old lets me know he doesn't like restrictions by lying on the floor and pretending he can't move because he didn't get his way in being the first one up the stairs.

My 2 year old lets me know she doesn't like restrictions by screaming, arching her back and doing whatever she can to resist being put in her car seat when she'd rather sit like a "big kid" in a regular seat belt.

As Mommy-I know that the restrictions we put on our children are for their good. For their protection. To teach them things, to help them grow, to show them the love of God and help them walk in his ways.

I frequently remind them that the rules we have established are good rules. Rules to keep them safe, help them be good friends to others, speak kind words to all, and please God by obeying his laws. I have told them, and truly believe, that it is only loving parents, who really care about their children's future, that invest time in developing and enforcing restrictions for their children's own good.

And yet...though I practice and believe these things...when the restrictions are on me...I sometimes 
have a little tantrum of my own!

"For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner mind I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7: 15, 21, 22, 24b, 25

It has been on my mind for quite some time that the computer is too much of a distraction for me. That I use it during the day to escape from the monotony of Mommyhood and that I am easily frustrated with my children if they interrupt me while I am working on it. And so, I tried to control this little problem myself. I would set times. 

"No going on the computer until after lunch" or "No turning on the computer until all the morning chores are done." or "No using the computer unless the baby is napping." etc. etc. These restrictions were always self-imposed and kept in my mind. Therefore-no accountability if I broke my own rules. So-guess what? I did. Every time.
Just like my kids. I bet they make up their own rules sometimes while trying to do what they know they should. But in the end, wind up doing what they know they shouldn't.  In order to really do what they know is right-I must limit their choices with restrictions.

I was not able to restrict my self and control my impulses to be on the computer more than I ought. So..I needed someone else to restrict me by taking away my options. My husband changed the passwords-like I asked him to. It does ruffle my feathers a bit that I have to "ask his permission" when he comes home to use the computer. I'll have to get over myself -because the truth is that yesterday and today-I enjoyed the feeling of
Freedom in Restriction!

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." Romans 6:22

My selfish impulses and distractions were a slavery of their own kind. Giving in to those desires and being distracted from being the best Mommy I can be, came with restrictions of a different sort. I was restricted from moments of joy with my children, from opportunities to teach them an important lesson, and more. when we are freed from sin and become a slave to Christ...I have a different type of restriction or slavery if you will.  But in this one-I found freedom. Freedom to stop thinking about...EMAILS-FACEBOOK-ETSY-BLOGS-etc. Freedom to not feel the need to run up the stairs and check those things way too many times per day. Freedom to just plop down on the floor with my little ones and spend my morning cup of tea time with them instead of this screen. 

It felt good. I liked it. It's a good restriction and I'm thankful that I stopped fighting with
myself about what I knew I needed to do. 

Soon, I'm going to sit down with my kids and share this example on their level. I want them to see that even adults have to follow rules and make wise choices-and not always to benefit just ourselves-but to do what's best for others.

In the meantime...I cut my daughter's nails against her foster son now has to clean both toilets under my supervision every day....we've started bribing the 2 year old with a gummy vitamin to coerce her into her car seat without having to pin her down...and I'm sure each new day will bring new ideas and fresh opportunities to share my new found love of freedom in restrictions!


PS...yeah-I the 2 year a gummy vitamin to avoid the tantrum doesn't really count as an example of a restriction...but for's at least a peaceful way to get 6 kids in the car in a timely manner without my neighbors thinking I'm killing her because she is screaming and fighting me so loudly!!! :)
PSS...This post is in NO WAY intended to produce any feelings of guilt or anything at all for those of you who are on the computer during the day. This is a testimony to my struggle and how God is working it out in me and I do not in any way propose that it is bad/wrong/sinful for Mommy's to use the computer during the day. Just for me...just for now...just because I wasn't using my time well enough. Hugs.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I admit...I do wish they had been available BEFORE the fourth of July...this would have looked stunning in my girls hair all decked out for the day! But.. this sparkly clip is only available this I'll just have to stock up and be ready for next year!

Visit My Lilla Rose to find this and many other beautiful hair clips!

Lilla Rose

Hope you are having a sparkly Sunday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

What Are You Harvesting?

"He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during 
harvest is a disgraceful man."
Proverbs 10:5
I love Proverbs. It is a place in the Bible I can go and each and every time I am hit smack in the face with a simple truth-a practical reality-a no-nonsense- get down to the bottom of it- face facts statement.  

Today while reading the verse above what jumped into my mind was not the question of what season it is...or am I a man-does this apply to me? or even what should I be gathering? What hit hard was this:

"Am I sleeping ? and If I am sleeping....what harvest am I missing?"

Obviously for a farmer-harvesting your food when it is ripe is critical. There is no other option. If you fail to do so, you and your family will starve. The end result could be death. It's that important.

So, again. What am I supposed to be harvesting and what is the end result if I sleep through it?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Inspire Me!!!!

It's A Blessing is ready to create some new designs!

Some of our designs are inspired by a sermon.
Like this one
Don't Lose Heart Blessing Bracelet

Some are inspired by a passage I was reading.
Like this one
Wait on The Lord

This one was inspired by a song!

Indescribable Blessing Bracelet
What inspires you???? If you are touched by a certain scripture passage-heard a sermon that you'd like to be reminded of...or have a special occasion that you think would make a great blessing bracelet...

It's A Blessing wants to be inspired by you! 

Please post a comment to share your ideas for what our next blessing bracelet should be. If I choose your idea-you will get a free one once they are ready!!!


I'm The Queen!

Of Multi-tasking! 

As a Wife to One and Mommy to Six...I am constantly amazed at the number of things I can do at the same time!! Here are just a few of the things I found myself multi-tasking lately:

*  While talking on the phone I...washed the dishes, wiped the counters, swept the floor, and folded some laundry.
*  While waiting outside because my baby was napping in the car I....pulled a bunch of weeds, picked up all the little bits of trash off the lawn and driveway, folded the pool towels hanging on the fence and while at it caught a few nice rays of sunshine!
*  While cooking dinner and waiting in between steps I....cleaned some old stuff out of the fridge, organized one drawer, wiped down the little grate thingies in the stove, and bleached the sink.
*  While walking through any room I can even pick things up with my toes if carrying a child!!! That one's my party trick! Ha!

Every chore or task can usually be combined with at least one other to help me maximize my time "working" so I have more time for fun things later. 

Here are a few of my favorites that I thought others might like to try!

*  While my two year old plays in the bath-I clean the bathroom. I do this almost every time! Scrub the sink, the toilet, straighten up, wipe the floor...all can be done while singing fun bathtime songs so I am not ignoring her-but accomplishing something at the same time!
*  Crochet on the Go! I love to crochet-and look for any opportunity to do so. Recently I have found making squares that can be later put together is the perfect size project for me. I keep a bag of yarn and hook handy and anytime we go for a drive I bring it along. I can finish one whole square on the way to and from church!
*  I have started cleaning the showers after my shower. I use a cloth and spray cleaner. It only takes a minute or two-no one misses me as they know I'm in the shower anyway, and when the walls and tub are already wet it is much easier to clean.

We only have so much time to accomplish all our Mommy tasks and let's face it-we'd all rather play and have fun but sometimes the jobs are so overwhelming we can't see past them to stop-sit down-and enjoy the blessings God has given us. Multi-tasking is one way to get some of those jobs done together- therefore leaving more time for the better things.

Of course...not every thing you do should be multi-tasked. When reading a attention is on just the children and the book. When having a conversation in person-I think our eyes should be listening along with our ears. When praying or reading the Word of God.....we should BE STILL and know that HE IS GOD. Some times-are just one at time times...enjoy them-they're a blessing!!

Linked up at:

Like A Bubbling Brook


Friday, July 1, 2011

No Name and Proud of It!

I have no name. At least no name recorded. I play a very small part in a very huge story. In fact, except for the mention of me being present…I’m not even discussed. I could have been offended. I could have raised my fist in the air and shouted out the injustice of not getting credit for all that I did! For my part!

I wasn’t offended. I was blessed. It was hard-don’t get me wrong! Some days, like the time I was shunned by my previous friends-really hurt. The smells-ugh! But, in the end it was all a blessing. Every tough day was an opportunity to show God’s grace to those around me. Every hurt feeling became an opportunity to lean more on the Lord. Every passer by’s mean comments became another chance to stand strong next to my man and let him know I wasn’t going to give up on him!

You might think you’ve got it tough. Perhaps your husband is trying something new? Taking a leap of faith that frightens you a bit? Maybe he’s stepping out and sharing his faith in a way that makes you uncomfortable? Is he doing something most think is crazy? Do you some days think you should step in and tell him why you KNOW he’s wrong and his plans are NOT going to work? I’ve been there. I’ve felt that. Ladies..if I can do can! Trust me!!! No one in this day and age has ever had to deal with their husband like I did.