Heather

29

The Gift

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fancy-heart
Have you ever been given a gift that has profoundly changed your life?

A gift so generous, appreciated, and unexpected that nothing will ever be the same as a result?

A gift that makes you wonder what you could have possibly done to deserve it?

A gift that you wish you could somehow repay but you know is impossible?

A gift of such value that there just aren’t words to express your gratitude? Continue reading →

22

The Gift of Time

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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. Continue reading →

18

A Letter To My Daddy On His Birthday

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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 →

26

The Heart Behind Our Words

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42

Simple {Two Ingredient} Coconut Chocolates

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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 →

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 →

30

Simple Baked Chicken Wontons

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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}

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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}

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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}

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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}

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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 →

32

One-Bowl {Healthier} Chocolate Cupcakes

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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

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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 →

62

17+ Things We Don’t Pay For

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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

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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 →

42

The Hardest Prayer To Pray

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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 →

19

Why We Kissed Costco Goodbye

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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}

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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 →

41

Must-Make Cracker Roca

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My life changed that night at Bible study. It was the study, for sure, but the Cracker Roca helped, too.

A friend of mine showed up with the most delicious version of Roca I had ever tasted. When she told me how simple it was to make, I couldn’t believe it. I had to go home and make it for myself. Continue reading →

46

A Day of Giveaways {& a B4AC Update}

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I love gifts!

I enjoy being the recipient of a gift and I really, really enjoy being the giver of gifts.

It must be one of my 5 love languages.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

And while the greatest gift the world has ever known has already been given...

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

…this is a season of giving. Continue reading →

35

Dear Thin-Skinned Blogger,

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letter

The life of a blogger is a delicate balance.

When we see our blogs as a ministry, we must have a level of transparency necessary to reach our readers.

If they don’t know our hearts, our struggles, our fears, and our faith, how can we encourage them in their walks?

If we don’t share our burdens, how can we demonstrate how God has worked in our lives?

If we don’t let them see who we are, how can they possibly relate to us?

So we walk a thin line between sharing our stories and guarding private information. Continue reading →

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