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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mother's Love For Free!

I have to do it!
This is so beautiful and there is some Mommy out there that 
would really love this but just can't afford to buy it!
This lovely flexi has a Mommy intertwined with a child in the scrollwork of the heart! 
 So.....I'm going to give away 2 for free!!!! 

After the contest..I will draw 2 names-using and each winner will receive a Mother's Love flexi clip for free!!! 
The winners can choose which size they would prefer.
Use the rafflecopter entry form below.
Mother's Love...there's nothing like it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Greater Joy

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4

This morning I am stuck in the middle of emotions.

I spent some time crying-with compassion-for a dear friend who is going to need to investigate some things and have a really tough talk with her son.

I spent some time rejoicing. Feeling so beyond blessed I don't know what to do with myself. 
 Unfortunately the reason I am stuck between the two is because the cause of my rejoicing is also the cause of 
my sweet friend's pain.

I can not boast that my 14 year old son always walks in the truth. 
I can not promise that he always will-not even tomorrow.
But today..this very day..
I have no greater joy than to hear him tell me, in his own words, that he is making choices to walk in the truth.

He had to make a really hard decision to come to me and reveal what this friend's son shared with him. 
He made a hard choice to admit he doesn't want to "hang out" with him anymore because he feels the pressure to be involved in bad things is getting worse and worse. He explained in his own words that a little yeast works through the whole dough. 
(Galatians 5:9)
He told me he is concerned that this boy is involved in things he shouldn't be and hiding it from his parents. 
He tried to tell this friend these things were wrong in a friendly (boy kinda love) way. 
He admitted that he knows I'm going to have to tell the Mom and that the friend will be really mad-but he took that step anyway and I could tell he was doing it for his friend's good.

Making the phone call to my friend was horrible. I didn't want to be the one to reveal the information but I knew if it were my son I would want to know. 
 And so today I am stuck between emotions.
I hurt for her, will pray for her and her son, and am so thankful she accepted the conversation gracefully.

And I will continue to rejoice! 
God is doing something amazing in my 14 year old son. Something I think is unusual and yet wonderful! The Holy Spirit is working in His maturing heart and helping him resist temptation. He is taking steps to shelter himself now-and protect his own ears and eyes from what he thinks he shouldn't be exposed to .

Praise be to God! 
I have found no greater joy!  
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I hope and pray that this post encourages you to
"not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9 
Linked up at:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Intertwined for Life!

Look closely at this flexi clip! It's more than just a gorgeous piece of hair jewerly!

On the left you'll see a Mommy....then the rose in the center...and on the right....her child!

Such a beautiful picture of our lives with our children. Flowing...connected...intertwined for life!!

This has to be my favorite flexi of all time-and that's saying a lot-I love them all!!!

Just released in time for Mother's Day and only available while supplies last.

To order yours-and receive FREE SHIPPING on all orders $20 or more, visit my web site at:

Forwarding this lovely to your husband with a little wink, wink, hint, hint 
would be completely acceptable!

PS...with your order you will also receive a free download of Justine Dorsey's new song.."Mama's Song" It is sweet and tender and goes so well with this new flexi!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Treasuring our Mothers

As a mother myself, there is no more tender a moment than when one of my 5 children expresses
their love for me!

When my 3 year old snuggles up in bed and still curls her body to fit with her toes against my belly.
When my 6 year old son tells me he's going to marry me when he's a grown up.
When my 8 year old daughter grabs my hand at night when I pray and won't let go!
When my 12 year old sits close on the couch and is too shy to say a word but I know she wants to spend time with me.
When my 14 year old son spends entire days with me at craft shows and helps me in every way he can.

Expressions of love come in all different ways. Our words...our actions...our body language.

Sometimes, like on special holidays, we try to find just the right gift to show someone how much we love them.

Mother's Day is fast approaching and I'd like to share some blessing bracelets with you! Perhaps one is just the right look-or has just the right verses to bless your Mom/Mother in Law/Grandmother and tell her in a special way how much you love and appreciate her!

To the one who loves me with all of her heart (hearts),
Who sticks by me through the good and the bad (light and dark beads),
and who showed me how to keep Jesus (the rock) the center of my life!
Mom's Are Forever Love!  

Fingerprint:There is no one like you! God created only one you-with only you having your own original ways and looks and fingerprints! I am so thankful he chose you to be my Mom! 

The fingerprint bead is just one of many on this bracelet with special meaning for your Mom!

A delicate, lovely, reminder that she has been a Proverbs 31 woman in your life!
Titus 2...your Mom...sharing with you..the younger to love your family!
These beautiful blessing bracelets are all available to purchase and ship to you in time to bless your Mom! 
Visit our etsy shop at:
to purchase a special, meaningful gift to show your Mom, this Mother's Day, how very much she means to you!
(cause, I'm just guessing..that she might find it a bit weird if you tried to snuggle up with your toes in her belly like my 3 year old!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Schedules: My Love/Hate Relationship


Love: Scheduling meals (and writing them down so kids can see) means no one bugs me twenty times a day with "What is for lunch" "Mom-what's for dinner?" and the complaints that are bound to come from some when they receive my answer. It means dinner gets cooked every day.

Love: Scheduling school (and explaining those expectations to the kiddos) results in school actually getting started. Not always finished....but at least started!

Love: Scheduling cleaning leads to me getting up off this chair in front of the computer and making progress-even if little by little!

Love:  Scheduling time to work on the blog...facebook...It's A Blessing....Lilla Rose....means I am focusing on my kids when I should be and focusing on all the rest at an appropriate time. Priorities.

Love:  Scheduling chores for the children frees me up for all the other hats I wear each day and continues their learning how to care for a home and be an important part of the family.

Love: Scheduling time for my husband. Whether it is time to do an errand he needs me to for something of his...or do something special for him. It reminds him that he is MY MAN!
 and..I care. 

Love:  Scheduling time for me. To be in the take a bath..paint my a book....even sleep enough! You know the rule-put the oxygen mask on yourself first-then the kids? Never been good at that one..but scheduling helps!

Hate: Schedules mean I have to get up on time. 
Hate: Schedules mean I have to follow rules-even though they are my own!
Hate: Schedules require me to be consistent-something I am not good at.
Hate: Schedules appear to take away my sense of spontaneity. Mind you-that spontaneity never helps anything-but I fool myself into thinking I like it.
Hate: Schedules mean I can not be lazy-nor allow my children to be. Sometimes I like being lazy.

I think I see a pattern here.....
Schedules work for me. Except that I wish they didn't.
Schedules help me. Except that I somehow resent them.
Schedules are good. But I hate them.

My sinful..selfish flesh would like to just do things when I want, how I want, or not at all if I want. is the day.
Today is the day that I am ALL DONE with being ALL DONE!!!
(Did I just hear a great big cheer?????)'s been a long..long...7 months. I have been on the edge of the cliff..just about to fall into depression most every day. Hanging on some days with just my fingernails...but hanging on nevertheless. Resisting the depression but succumbing to the selfishness and the pity and the lack of taking care of things the way I should because of it. 
I felt ALL DONE. 
The pain is not gone. 
But I need to just make a choice. 

Reaching up....grabbing the oxygen mask...putting it on myself first. 
Deep breaths....deep breaths....

And for everyone else????

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Chat with God. Is it Enough?

Is it enough to just be a regular mom? 
(as opposed to adopting)
Is it enough to just be a wife? 
(and not a ministry leader, bible study teacher, writer, etc. etc.)
Is it enough to just be a homemaker?
 (and not be serving outside my own home?)
Is it enough to just be a "regular" christian?
(instead of the missionaries we thought You wanted us to be?) 
There was a time when my faith could not be held back. When I was humbled beyond measure that You might choose me...might use me...might call me. We were the last people anyone would have thought You would call to be missionaries-and yet we were so confident You were leading. 
We followed.

There was a time when my heart's desire to adopt seemed to be coming true. When I was bursting with joy at the idea of caring for orphans...pleasing You with what You say is true religion. We already had 5 of our own children and we were the last family others would have thought You would call to adopt. 
Yet, we were so confident You were leading. 
We followed.

There was a time when I was not afraid to put myself "out there". To jump in with both feet. To stay up late to get the job done. To sacrifice what might have been "me time". When I would offer to help before being asked and my plate was FULL. But it was SO GOOD!!!! I loved every minute of that fullness and business and felt my time with You was increasing despite it. Others commented that I was taking on too much. 
Yet, I was confident I was serving in love-with the right motives.  I thought You were leading. 
I followed.

I know....there is a time and a season for everything. 
 A season of great pain and disappointments came. 
A season of questions and doubts and fears visited..
A season of loneliness followed. 

And now...I wonder every day.
Was I really following You? Or was I just following me?
 Is it Enough?
I am no longer a missionary.
I am no longer an adopting Mommy.
I am no longer busy leading and serving.

Am I enough?

I'm just me.
Just one wife and one mommy in one house.
I still want to do more.
I keep getting ideas. Wondering. "Should I?" "Could I?" 
I still desire to please You and serve You.
I long to go where You want me to go and do what You want me to do. I read and hear stories of the amazing things other women are doing. Disabled children being adopted, encouraging books being written, the lost being saved.
And I am.

It's quiet in this place. 
Some days it's really lonely.
Most days I feel like I'm not doing enough for You. 
That I should find ways to do more. 
Get involved in something else-something bigger-something more important.

And then I hear you whisper......

"I am enough."
"I am all you need."
"Be still and know I am God."
 Be still?
I don't like being still. I would much rather be busy. 
I think I am much happier when I am doing lots of things. 

Then I hear you ask....
"For who's glory do you do these things...yours or Mine?"
"I will not share My glory with anyone."
"Until you learn to Be still and know Me....and believe that I am enough for won't be able to do more and give Me the glory."
 And I am. 
It's quiet in this place. 
Some days it's really lonely.
Hear my cry O Lord and fill me with Your presence. Help me to be still and really know You that I might serve You and give You all the glory and shine Your light into my home and maybe one day....
....I'll make it as far as the front porch!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's All About Forgiveness

Some families are making Easter gardens....

Some are creating Easter wreaths...
Some are reading about each day of Christ's journey to the cross...
Others are playing with scripture eggs filled with toys that tell about Easter.....
Great Easter books are being read...
Worship music is being played....
Family is coming...good food is cooking...dresses are hung ready to be worn.

Leading up to Easters past I led my children in some of the above. Baskets were filled 
with wonderful books and gifts and toys to remind them of what Jesus has done for us all!

One year, when they awoke..they followed a trail of empty eggs down the steps, into another room to find pet hamsters for each! 

This children are entertaining themselves-watching WAY too much television-
and sadly, might not even realize Easter is this Sunday.

I have no craft kits ready for them to make...
No Easter clothes have been purchased...
There are no baskets ready to be filled-and nothing purchased to put in them anyway.
I can't find any of the pieces that tell the story in the scripture eggs
 -which have been played with in their kitchen
set since last year anyway.
The idea of shopping to buy soil and things needed for the Easter gardens overwhelmed me.
I have a headache and just don't want any music on.
 I could have read the Bible to them each night-sharing the journey. That would have been easy. But I didn't.

Today is Friday. As I read more and more face book and blog posts about all the wonderful and amazing ways families all over are celebrating Easter I started to get sadder and sadder. 

I started to feel guilty that I didn't make the more organized...go shopping....etc. etc. etc. 

I told myself that if I stopped feeling so sorry for myself I could get back to the way things used to be! 
What a horrible Mom I am being!

Then I went for a walk. I saw the beautiful buds and flowers blooming on every tree and garden. I felt the warm sunshine on my face. Heard the birds singing their praises to God. Smelled the new grass growing.

And..forgave myself.

Easter can be made super fun and super special and filled with wonderful traditions by all of the above and many more. But Christ's life-death-and resurrection does not change or go away if this year I just can't muster up any extra umph to plan special things. Christ lived and died and rose again to heal the very kind of hurts me and my family have been suffering from and to forgive the very kind of sins we all struggle with every day. 
Even the sins of:
Selfishness-as some days I just feel too sorry for myself to stop crying and thinking and wondering and actually get up and DO something!
Worry-as I beat myself up for not being as good as I was and worry that my children will suffer for my lack of doing all these amazing things others are doing.
Pride-as I fool myself into thinking that ANYTHING I could do or plan or prepare or shop for could in any way compare with what Christ has already done!

Our family has been on our own kind of journey this past year. Especially me. It's been a brutal, dark and lonely trip and I wish I was at the end-but I don't think I am. 

So....on Easter morning..while other families are getting all fancied up and worshiping with their church families and later eating and celebrating with their birth families...while children are opening gifts, hunting for eggs, running around with cousins and friends...

We will be in the car...on a 10 hour our sloppy but comfy "car clothes". We will be on our way to a campground where just us-just Mom-Dad and kids will take a break from the daily stresses and try to just kick back and relax and enjoy some time with each other. We'll lie on the grass in the warm sun-make dandelion necklaces-

play tag and I'll show them I can still out beat them all in a Hoola Hoop contest! 
We'll laugh-eat s'mores-sleep in.

And all the while I'll try to remind myself and them that 
"Every good and perfect gift is from a above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1: 17
In the quiet times we'll talk about all our family has been through this year and how even though it has been hard Jesus hasn't left us and is helping us through it all. 
We'll remember that the new life we see all around us is a reminder of the new life we have in Christ and that-praise God-He's still growing and changing us and isn't done with us yet!
They might ask about presents and baskets and pretty dresses and church and a big dinner. 

If they do...I'll remind them that even though those things are fun they don't change what Jesus has done or make it any more special. 
We can celebrate in our hearts and maybe next year-Mommy will be more like my old self and we'll get back to some of those fun traditions.
For now: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1

If me...just couldn't muster up the extras this year....forgive yourself! 
Easter is ALL about forgiveness!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Towel Trouble

Do you find wet towels thrown on your bathroom floor?
Shoved in your hampers making other clothes wet and mildewy?
Lying around your children's (or horror of horrors...your) bedroom?
When company comes are you searching in desperation to find one towel and washcloth
that are in good enough condition for them to use?
Do you ever step out of the shower, reach for your towel where you left it, and suddenly realize someone has used it to clean up the cat's water that spilled? (ok..maybe that one really has only happened to me!)
Have you ever dried your hands on a kitchen towel and then wondered why your hands don't smell 
"oh so fresh!"?
 If you answered yes to even a few of the above...then you too may have suffered from...
 Managing laundry in a large family was constantly a struggle for me. 
Some time ago I posted our new laundry system and you can read about it

It has been by far my most commonly read blog post!
 This technique has done wonders to help our laundry mess-I hope it may have helped some of you as well!

But...Ho wasn't complete. There were still two leftover laundry lapses in our plan!

Socks and towels. The sock situation will have to wait until another day but..
 I am happy to share our success with solving our towel trouble!

Step 1:  Search the mail each day and anxiously await the Kohl's flyer announcing one of their regular sales and scratch off included sticker for more discounts!!!
Step 2:  Cut up, into rag size, every single old towel, stinky towel, stained towel in your home!!! (These will be used...don't worry). The only ones I did not cut were our pool towels 
(which before this system were just mixed in with all the others anyway.)
Step 3:  Go shopping and buy new towels!!! But don't just buy a pile of matching pretty ones! Here's the list:
            1. Buy one towel, each a different color or pattern, for each person in your home. 

            2. Buy one matching washcloth for each of the above.
            3. Buy two completely separate (and I chose to buy a nicer quality) towels and matching washcloths  
                for company.
            4. Buy a stack of new dish cloths.

            5. Bonus buy: because the sale was SO good, I even treated our bathrooms to new towels to hang  
                for hand drying, etc.

Step 4: With a great big smile...ask your hubby (or do it yourself if you are handier than me) to hang a hook on the back of each person's bedroom door. One hook for each person in each room.

Step 5: Each person is shown their towel and washcloth and told that is the only one they can use!!! Their towel hangs on the back of their door. No exceptions. Can not be dropped anywhere else! If it is, you will know for sure who the culprit is!!! After a bath/ hangs back on their hook.

Step 6: When you clean that rooms laundry-grab the towels on the back of the door!
Step 7: Hide guests towels where only you know where they are!!!
Step 8: Stack and place pool towels in a completely separate location so no one uses them except when they are supposed to!
Step 9: Enjoy all the new rags as washable or disposable cleaning cloths!!

Now....doesn't that feel better???? 

Dry your hands and enjoy the freshness....
Walk on the bathroom floor without tripping over towels...
Grab the laundry without finding it all stinky from someone's damp towel....
Bless your company with a little special treatment....

And enjoy one less laundry problem in your large family! 
I know I am!!! 
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Wise Woman

Raising Mighty Arrows

Like A Little Child

I think 8 years old might be the perfect age. 

Young enough to still be more sweet than sassy.
Old enough to really "get" the message of salvation.
Young enough to not fear persecution.
Old enough to be able to clearly verbalize the truth.
Young enough to care more about being with people than the computer.
Old enough to show real compassion.

From the school room my 8 year old, Reilly,  asks, " this statement true or false? 
"When you are a Christian, everything is happy and good." 

I answer the question and then my 6 year old pipes in with: "I'm a Christian now too!"

"You are?" I ask in surprise-having not heard a word of this before and knowing 
I haven't talked to him about it lately.

"Yeah." Simple as that. Done deal. Nothing complicated. 

I inquire: "Since when?"

With a cheeky smile he says, "Since the other day when Reilly told me how to do it."

"How to do it?" I say. "Well. what exactly did you have to do to become a Christian?"

"You know. She told me about Jesus dying for me and helped me pray to Him."

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
 Matthew 18:3

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Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Here!

The April Flexi if the month is here and it is stunning!!! Don't wait too long to place your order-they are available only for the month of April and only while supplies last!

Visit my website to order yours today: