12

The Gift of Time

by

red-box-bow

When he takes the time to read your book because he’s your Pastor and he wants to encourage you in your ministry.

When he spends hours working on your blog even though he is trying to keep his business afloat because he’s your husband and he believes in your message and because he loves you.

When he flies across several states to visit you and your family even though it’s expensive and he has to take time off of work because he is your daddy and he loves you.

When he asks if you have time to play your favorite games with him because he is your teenage son and he still loves spending time with you because you’re his mom.

When he opens his heart to you and lets you in because he trusts in your relationship and because he’s your other teenage son and because you’re his mom.

When they love you like you’re their own even though you weren’t born into the family but married into it because that’s the kind of loving people that they are.

When he takes you to dinner and a movie and sits in the jacuzzi with you chatting about the things of life. When he takes you for a ride in his jeep to the local coffee shop for a chat because even though his time is very precious, he shares it with you because he is your uncle and he loves you.

When you’re staying in his home and your room has fresh flowers on the dresser and chocolates on the pillow and in the morning, you’re greeted with fresh fruit, hot coffee, and amazing breakfasts. When he makes your favorite meals and watches movies with you even when he doesn’t want to, not because you expect it, but because he’s your other uncle and he loves you, too.

When she’s really busy with charities and work and family but she takes time to sit on the phone with you to hear your voice, to catch up, and to give advice because she’s your aunt and she loves you.

When she takes you shopping, for a massage, and encourages you in the tough times because she’s your other aunt and she loves you, too.

When she has her own problems but loving listens to yours because she’s your friend and she cares about you. When she keeps you on the right path with her Godly wisdom rather than letting you stray in your hurt because she loves you and wants what is best for you.

When they clean their home and set the table and prepare a lovely dinner for your entire family because they enjoy your presence and they love blessing you.

When he left the perfect presence of the Father to dwell with sinful man on earth because He is Jesus and He loves you with a love far too great to fully comprehend.

The gift of time.

Is there anything more precious?

It’s often easier to hand over a check than it is an hour, an afternoon, a long weekend, or a lifetime.

Never underestimate the value of time invested in the life of another.

Never, ever underestimate the value of the hours Jesus spent in agony on the cross so that we might spend unending time in His presence.

Time.

Such a valuable, worthy gift.

Don’t take it for granted. (See How Everything Can Change in a Moment)

Don’t cling tightly to it, but give it freely.

Be a blessing.

Receive the blessing.

I would like to extend a very warm thank you to those of you who have lovingly given of your time to bless my life. I am forever changed because you have generously given of your time just so that I might know how loved I am. Know that you are appreciated beyond words. You know who you are!

Who can you bless today with your time? Who can you show appreciation to for the time they have given you? How can you thank the Savior of the world for the time He hung on the cross and died that you might spend all of time with Him?

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16

How To Develop Family Unity Under God

by

jaimebuckley1

Today, I am deeply honored to have Jaime Buckley of Wanted Hero sharing his heart for God and family with us. He requires no introduction as his words of wisdom speak to his character. Please give him a very warm welcome and spend some time on his site. I promise you’ll be blessed.  ~Heather

 

I’d like to do something different today.

With your permission, I’d like to step away from popular blogging practice, from some of its etiquette…and speak straight from the heart.

I know it’s important to have subjects which are “evergreen,” so as to be timeless for readers, and this subject certainly is timeless…but I’d like to refrain from using “you” as my focus.

The reasoning for this is simply that the subject of faith and religion is a personal one. My heart is beating furiously as I type these words, because I feel this is an honor and a burden to share ‘just enough’ or ‘just the right’ views. To make sure I stay true to my own beliefs, while having great respect and tender love for your own.

It’s a very real emotional balance for me, because you—even though I have not met you—matter to me. Continue reading →

14

A Letter To My Daddy On His Birthday

by

birthday-cupcake2

Dear Daddy,

This birthday marks a milestone for you.

I’m sure you’re looking back over the years and taking stock of the life you’ve lived.

I imagine you thinking forward to what lies ahead of you.

But I hope you’ll take a moment to look at where you are. Right now.

To think about who you have allowed God to help you become. Because I really, really love that man, and I thank God each and every day for the work He’s done in your life.

Continue reading →

16

The Heart Behind Our Words

by

words2

We all know that using our words with care is a very important aspect of communication in our relationships.

I talked about that in this post: 9 Ways to Speak (or not) Love Into Your Marriage.

In fact, Scripture teaches us that they have the power of life and death.

We must use them with great care.

In my marriage, I have learned that we must also perceive the words of others cautiously. Continue reading →

34

Simple {Two Ingredient} Coconut Chocolates

by

coconut-chocolates

Most of us are trying to watch our weight by eating a little healthier. But let’s be honest, we all need a little chocolate now and then. Tell me I’m not alone here.

I have found that it usually takes just a bite or two (or three or four!) to satisfy my sweet tooth and my chocolate craving. So when I found myself in my kitchen with a package of dark chocolate chips and a bag of sweetened coconut, you know I was thinking of a Mound’s bar.

I did an online search and sure enough, there are many recipes for making the homemade candy yourself. They all called for ingredients that I didn’t have on hand, though. I knew there needed to be an easier way.

I thought an experiment was in order. I mean, how can you go wrong with chocolate chips and coconut? Continue reading →

4

Heart Don’t Fail Me!

by

Bible-and-cup

“Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16

My first assignment as a first sergeant was on Johnson Atoll, a small strip of “rock” located about half way between the Marshall Islands and the Hawaiian Islands. It is about two and half miles long and about three-quarters of a mile wide. At the time, the Army had a unit of about three hundred personnel assigned there to safeguard and maintain a stockpile of toxic chemical munitions.

The day I arrived, the company commander was off-island and wouldn’t be back for a week or so. I learned that it was his custom to take the entire unit on an “island run” upon his return. Continue reading →

26

A Letter To The Lonely On Valentine’s Day

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snow-heartDear Lonely Heart,

I know this is the loneliest day of the year for you.

Your co-workers’ desks are littered with chocolate wrappers and every time a flower delivery comes through the door, your heart hurts just a little because you know that bouquet isn’t for you.

You know that you will spend the evening eating take-out with your only company being the latest sitcom and your lazy cat.

You dread going to work on Monday knowing that you will be regaled with tales of how the lovebirds in the office spent their romantic evenings.

While the rest of the world celebrates the loves of their lives, you feel so utterly alone. Continue reading →

28

Simple Baked Chicken Wontons

by

wontons

Every year on their birthdays, I ask my family what their requested meals are for their special day.

My oldest son always puts this one on his birthday menu.

This is a delicious, inexpensive, and simple appetizer, snack, or lunch. He and I both hope you’ll give these a try.

This recipe lends itself well to using leftover meat or veggies. I’ll tell you how I make them, but feel free to experiment with what you have on hand. Continue reading →

4

From Walking to Standing {The Walking Series – Part 4}

by

red-shoes4

I hope that you have been able to read the first 3 installments of this series. If not, you can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

We have been discussing themes such as walking worthy of our calling, how a new life demands a new lifestyle, and Biblical traits such as unity, love, wisdom, and godly submission.

As we conclude this series with Ephesians Chapter 6, we move from an action of walking to that of standing. (To read Ephesians Chapter 6 in its entirety, click here.)

I almost ended this series with the conclusion of Ephesians Chapter 5 because Chapter 6 doesn’t even use the word walk. Instead, the message is that of standing. I think this is important because how we stand in Christ will affect how we walk in Christ. Continue reading →

12

Walking In Love, Light, & Wisdom {The Walking Series – Part 3}

by

 

red-shoes3

Welcome to the 3rd installment of The Walking Series. If you’re just joining us, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

So far, we have discussed the idea that we need to walk worthy of our calling. If we are to be salt and light in this world, we need to know what that looks like in a practical sense.

We have looked at the truths of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ with respect to our position with God and how we can impact the world for Christ as a result. (Ephesians Chapters 1-3)

We have considered putting off the old man, putting on the new man, renewing our minds, and my Pastor’s thoughts that “a new life demands a new lifestyle”.

We have examined Biblical behaviors such as kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness for the growth and edification of the body of Christ. (Ephesians Chapter 4)

Today, we continue walking through the book of Ephesians in Chapter 5 which begins with a reminder that we should be imitators of Christ by walking in love in the same way that He has “loved us and given Himself for us”. Continue reading →

10

A New Lifestyle {The Walking Series – Part 2}

by

red-shoes2I recently posted an introduction to this The Walking Series. If you missed my post, How Then Should We Walk?, you can click here to read it. Go ahead, we’ll wait for ya.

Welcome back! Today, we are going to continue with Ephesians Chapter 4. (Click here to read it in its entirety.)

We left off last time with verses 1-3 where we looked at walking worthy of our calling “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

We were encouraged with the reminder that God is the one who does the work in us. We simply need to be a willing vessel for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. (Phil. 1:6) Continue reading →

28

How Then Should We Walk? {The Walking Series Intro}

by

red-shoes

Our Pastor recently finished preaching through the book of Ephesians. As I listened, the idea of our Christian walks was at the forefront, especially during Chapters 4-6. I felt compelled to do a series on walking because we so often hear about the need to “walk our talk.”

Jesus said that we believers are light and salt to the world. (Matthew 5:13-16) How can we be a Christ-like example to the world if we do not know in what manner we are to walk?

That is what I would like us to look at during this series. Would you join me? Continue reading →

28

One-Bowl {Healthier} Chocolate Cupcakes

by

chocolate-cupcakes

As you probably already know, I love one-bowl baking recipes. Less mess means more time for eating cupcakes!

I also love a healthier dessert. Again, more cupcakes!

I make these with pumpkin, squash, or applesauce, depending on what I have on hand. These additions add moisture and some health benefits like vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

In other words, they help me justify eating a chocolate cupcake! (or 3) Continue reading →

29

3 Things God Is Promising Us This Year

by

snowy-road

“Things work best in our lives when they start with God and then we follow” –Louie Giglio

Every December 31 or January 1, my family and I watch Louie Giglio’s New Year.

We love being reminded each January that while a fresh New Year of opportunities and possibilities lies ahead, it would behoove us to begin from a place where God and His will are paramount in our plans. Continue reading →

18

5 Steps to Being Diligent & More Organized {Guest Post}

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Please join me in a warm welcome for my personal friend and fellow blogger, Tobi from Simply Jesus Ministries. You may remember the post she shared with us, Can Somebody Stop This Ride? I Want Off. 

Today, Tobi shares some excellent advice for a successful New Year. Without any future ado, here she is…

5steps

So I just read this blog post and my favorite string of words is…

“Let’s share our words for the growth of those who read them and for the glory of the One who gives them!” -Heather Baker, My Overflowing Cup

The reason that they are my favorite is because above all, I desire to speak and write words that would come from the heart of God sent to touch the hearts of others.

I can live on this earth and be busy all day long, but if my words or actions don’t make a difference, what’s the point? Continue reading →

48

17+ Things We Don’t Pay For

by

cards-coins

Christmas is behind us and we’ve welcomed in the New Year.

Almost two weeks into it, conversations, both online and in real life, seem to revolve around our New Year’s Resolutions.

The most common seem to be getting healthier and saving money.

For a few healthy recipes, check out my white chicken chili, cinnamon skillet apples, & oatmeal cookies.

When it comes to saving money, we often underestimate how the little things can add up over the years. While each one of these may result in savings as small as a few pennies, many can be significantly more. Over time, they can really add up.

If you’re having trouble making ends meet, or need a little help reaching that financial goal, consider giving up one, a few, or all of these expenses. Continue reading →

20

One Word

by

One-Word

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.               -Psalm 90:12

Have you heard of One Word 365?

If you’re not immersed in the blogging world, you may not have.

Not to worry, though, non-bloggers are included, too.

The idea is that instead of compiling the same list of New Year’s Resolutions year after year that most of us have broken or forgotten about before the calendar flips to February, we choose a word of the year as our focus. Continue reading →

40

The Hardest Prayer To Pray

by

kneeling-prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would get the attention of (insert name/ names here) in whatever way is necessary. I love this person and wish them no harm. However, sometimes we need to come to the end of ourselves before we can come to You. Show them that You alone are God. Allow them to experience whatever it is that they need to experience that will make them realize that without You, nothing is possible. That life is empty and meaningless without the joy of the Lord. That our efforts are futile and in vain when they aren’t done in Your strength and power. Allow them just enough discomfort that they realize the need to release their grip on all things and place them into Your loving hands. Help them to realize that there is no salvation or provision aside from what You give. Bring on the pain if that is what is necessary to save their very lives. And, perhaps most importantly, allow me to be a light that shines over the darkness of their life so that they would want what I have in You, for their good and for Your glory. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. Continue reading →

8

Are You Listening?

by

Bible-and-cup

“…has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” ~Hebrews 1:2

I am in the throes of getting prepared to teach a study in the Book of Hebrews. As I was doing some research, my thoughts for this Morning Offering were guided to the entirety of the opening verses of this book: the whole notion that God spoke/speaks. In his book, William Newell quotes an old Puritan preacher who used to say that he desired to know two things: “First, Does God speak? Second, What Does He say?”

Many even question the existence of God, let alone does He speak. Continue reading →

19

Why We Kissed Costco Goodbye

by

Costco

This is not an anti-Costco post.

I really, really like Costco. I’ve been a member since it was called Price Club.

The thing is, though, times are tough. And things that we used to consider necessities are now viewed as luxuries.

When finances are tight, one of the best things we can do is honestly distinguishing between needs and wants. The needs stay while the wants become negotiable.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing this post at Growing Slower. Shannon’s blog is one that I have been reading for several years in an effort to live simply on a budget. I hope you’ll take a moment to hop on over to her blog where she offers tips and advice on saving money, simple living, and family life. 

To finish reading this post, click here.

Shared at Soul SurvivalSo Much At HomeFaith Filled FridayFaith Along the WayHave Fun & Live FrugallyTitus 2 TuesdaysTeach Me TuesdayI Choose Joy!, Serving JoyfullyThe Art of Homemaking MondaysGood Morning Mondays, & So Much at Home.

44

One Bowl Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {Healthier Version}

by

chocolate-cookies The only thing I love more than a delicious cookie is a healthier version of a delicious cookie.

Oh, and candy canes!

I love all things candy cane and peppermint, especially when they are paired with chocolate.

And since I don’t love to do dishes, one bowl recipes are very appealing to me.

These cookies encompass all of those features.

They are also very versatile.

During Christmas, I make this peppermint version, but during the rest of the year, I experiment with other flavors. I have used chocolate chips for a double chocolate version, creme de mint chips, white chocolate chips, and (my second favorite) peanut butter chips.

I’ve adapted these cookies to be healthier than most by cutting the sugar by half of what the average cookie recipes call for and by using whole wheat flour rather than all-purpose. Continue reading →

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