Heather

15

Why I Don’t Think Credit Cards Are All Bad

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Credit Card

Years ago, before my husband and I had children, we had debt. Lots of it.

We had the mentality that if we could afford the minimum monthly payment, then we could afford to purchase the items we wanted. We drove a very nice, brand new truck with a $400+ payment because, well, we could afford the payment.

Then we found out that we were expecting a baby. Continue reading →

6

What If It’s Not A Happy Father’s Day?

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A Father's Love

I feel incredibly blessed on Father’s Day more than most.

Not only is the father of my children my very best friend, but he is a wonderful, loving, and dedicated father to our two children.

Another one of my very best friends is my own father. I appreciate his presence in my life more than words can express.

I have also been blessed with a kind, generous, and loving father-in-law.

And if that weren’t enough, I have a Father in Heaven who loves me more than I can possibly imagine. We all do.

On this day, I have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate, but I can’t help but think about those who do not feel the same way.

You see, for some, this day conjures up feelings of anger, pain, hurt, resentment, loss, frustration, and a host of other feelings.

While we spend the day celebrating the wonderful fathers in our lives, others wish this day simply didn’t exist. Continue reading →

6

He Is Praying For You

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wheat

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” ~Luke 22:31-34 (NKJV)

As our family was reading this chapter, several thoughts came to mind. The first was, Has Satan asked to sift our family like wheat? Surely there are seasons in our lives where it seems like everything that can go wrong does, and we wonder if Godly testing might just be reason behind our circumstances.

My next thought was the overwhelming comfort I felt in Jesus’ words, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.” I cannot even begin to put into words the peace that this sentence gives me; as I know that my Jesus not only prayed this for Peter, but that He prays it for you and I as well. Continue reading →

15

23+ Ways I Use Vinegar

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bottle

Are you a fan of vinegar?  A few years ago, I would have never imagined I would buy gallon bottles by the case at Costco. A quick internet search will give you countless uses for the pungent-smelling, clear liquid. Today I want to share with you the ways I personally use it. It is much easier on our environment than many of the harsh chemicals we are purchasing from the store. It’s also a much more frugal option than many of those said chemicals. So grab a gallon, give a few of these a try, and then maybe branch out and try a few more.

Continue reading →

2

Fence Riders

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fence

“Am I foolishness to you?

And is it laughable the things I do?

Can I sing about my Maker
And have you not roll your eyes?
Can I weep about my Savior
And the way he died?

I know it don’t make sense
To those who ride the fence
But I’m sold out to Christ”

The lyrics above are part of a song called Fence Riders by Jimmy Needham. We are huge Christian music fans in our family.  We love the idea of feeding our faith through music. We enjoy cranking up the music on Saturday when we are doing chores around the house. I often use upbeat music to give me a boost of energy when I really don’t feel like making dinner. Sometimes I’m just having trouble dealing with the things of life and nothing lifts my spirit like singing praises to my Lord and Savior. Listening to Christian music is just one of the ways we work on building our faith. We are so blessed as there are some very talented artists in the Christian music scene. Jimmy Needham is one of them!

As a writer, the lyrics are the most important part of a song for me. When I am singing along with my favorite artists, I am using their lyrics to praise, to pray, to gather strength from the truths within them, and to draw closer to my God. I like to contemplate what is being sung about, which often prompts me to want to write.

Continue reading →

12

Easy, Healthy Corn & Black Bean Salad

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corn and black bean salad

I recently posted about baking during the summer without heating up the kitchen. If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Another well known trick is enjoying lots of salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. This Corn & Black Bean Salad is a favorite. It’s my usual fare at potlucks and it is always a hit.

I call it a salad because that’s the way I enjoy it. You could take this a step further by serving it over a bed of fresh lettuce with your favorite salad dressing. I’m dreaming of a spicy, Chipotle Ranch dressing. Add some chopped chicken, and you’ve got a complete meal!

Others call it a salsa because they enjoy it with chips, in fish tacos, or on top of a grilled steak. Any way you choose to serve it, it is easy, delicious, healthy, and it won’t heat up the kitchen.

But don’t take my word for it… Continue reading →

10

Grace, Not Perfection

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Grace
I so enjoy being a part of the online community.

I look forward to visiting my favorite blogs on a regular basis. I’m thrilled when I learn something new. I am moved when people share their hearts, their burdens, and their struggles. I appreciate being encouraged to grow in my faith with a wonderful devotion. Knowing how I feel about food, you can imagine how happy new recipes make me!

The thing is, we have to be very careful.

It is so easy for us to set standards based on the lives of others and set ourselves up for comparisons and competitions. This is dangerous, my friends, for it often leads to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, or discontentment. We must tread with caution. Continue reading →

10

I Have No Business Baking Anything

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oven-knobs

Neither do you.

As temperatures rise across the country, most of us are thinking about cold sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. The internet is full of homemade ice cream, fruit salsa, and other no-bake recipes. Turning on the oven is a huge no-no for many.

Even though we haven’t warmed up much yet, the time is coming. However, I bake all year long without ever worrying about heating up the kitchen. It’s true; I bake bread all summer long. You can, too!

My secret is this little baby.

Continue reading →

8

Blogging For A Cause

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hand-with-water

Today I am going to stray from my usual format because I have an announcement to make.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a blog called Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids. (Click on highlighted title to visit her blog!) She has a section called “Comments for a Cause”. Val donates a set amount for each comment she receives on her blog to a new charity each month.

After reading her story, I went out to water and weed the garden. When I am alone in the garden, I often spend my time there in prayer. I prayed about how I could implement this system into my own blog, not just for God’s glory, but so that others would benefit. Continue reading →

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God Is So Much Bigger

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god-is-bigger

Our God is so much bigger than…

Cancer, and car accidents, and babies who don’t make it.

He is so much bigger than…

Broken hearts, broken homes, and broken marriages.

He can heal the pain…

Of moms who die too young or dads that never cared.

He can conquer…

Every form of abuse, neglect, loneliness, and fear.

He will carry us through…

Storms, trials, pain, persecutions, and loss. Continue reading →

8

Wrestling with God

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wrestling-with-god

The 32nd chapter of Genesis, among other things, tells the story of Jacob wrestling with God. That story has always intrigued me. As with many Old Testament stories, I often ponder not only their significance in Scripture, but what application they may have in my own life.If you’ve read the story, you know that after their little wrestling match, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. 

We cannot meet God and remain unchanged.

Continue reading →

10

Frugal vs. Cheap

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calculator-basket

Frugality is definitely in vogue these days. The lessons our grandparents learned during The Great Depression are being resurrected as a result of the current economic times. I think that’s a good thing.

I remember having a conversation with my Grandmother in which we were discussing the financial challenges my family was facing. She asked me if it made me feel better knowing we weren’t alone. I answered with an unsure, “I guess so.” My immediate thought was that I didn’t wish this for anyone else; but as I reflected more on our conversation, I realize that’s not what she meant at all. With so many of us in the same boat, at least we have each other to teach and encourage. We can truly understand each other’s situations because many of us are facing them ourselves.

That is one of the reasons I am writing this blog. I want to share the things I have learned.

Continue reading →

4

Quotes to Live By…The Lessons Corrie Ten Boom Taught Us

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heart-door

Born on April 15, 1892, Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was a Dutch Christian, who along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocast during WWII. She was imprisoned for her acts of courage, self-sacrifice, and love. You can read her incredible story of hardships and forgiveness in her book, also made into a movie, The Hiding Place. Corrie passed away April 15, 1983, but she left behind a legacy. Here are some of my favorite quotes and the Scripture verses they bring to mind.

Continue reading →

2

Love

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heart

Should you ever doubt your value or your worth, consider that Love Himself died for YOU.

 

Perfect died for the imperfect

Love gave His life for the greedy

Whole died for the broken

Truth died for liars

Friend died for His enemies

Selfless died for the selfish

Love gave His life for the haters

Sinless died for the sinner

 

The world may tell you that you are unworthy, but Jesus Christ said something very different when He hung on that cross and died so that, in Him, you could live.

Continue reading →

4

Is This a Test?

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Pen & Paper

In the last few weeks, there have been several financial needs that have all seemed to occur one right after the other. You know the expression, “When it rains, it pours.”

I can hear my Pastor’s voice in my head. He says that when he finds himself in this type of situation, he asks God,Is this a test?”

My best girlfriend tells me that when people ask her what I am like, her reply is, “She’s just like me, except that she’s an overachiever.” I was surprised when she told me this because I don’t see myself as an overachiever at all. Over the years I have seen how I can have those tendencies at times, but when it comes to the thought that God may be testing me, I can tell you I want to obtain major overachiever status on that one! There are three reasons I feel this way. Continue reading →

4

Cast My Cares

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Boy Fishing

“…casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” ~1 Peter 5:7

I love this verse and the song, “Cast My Cares” by Tim Timmons. Let’s look at a few of his lyrics and then, together, we will dig into the implications these truths have in our lives.

In the middle of the night when worry finds me
In the middle of the fight when strength is gone
In the middle of a fire when fear is closing in
You are, You are my song
You’re my hope when hope is gone
I will cast my cares on You for You’re mighty
I will cast my cares on You cause You’re good
I will cast my cares on You cause You love me
God of glory, You are able, through your power, to be faithful
God of mercy, every moment, You are near to me

Continue reading →

8

The Key To Happiness

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“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” ~Denis Waitley

keys

My Grandmother has gone to be with Jesus, but her memory is cherished by those she has left behind. The lessons that she taught us continue to live on.

One of the most important things she said, in my opinion, is the statement, “happiness is not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.” (Rabbi Hyman Schachtel.)

So many people are discontent these days. We’re constantly striving for more, hungering for the latest and greatest, and trying, at all costs, to keep up with the Jones’. We covet what others have, we’re jealous when others find success, and we tend to believe that the grass is greener on the other side.

But…

Continue reading →

2

Be Still

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bench

One of my very favorite songs is Be Still by Kari Jobe. Here are some of the lyrics:

He is peace to the wounded and hope for the helpless one

He is here

Be still my soul, be still

Wait patiently upon the Lord

When the waves rise against me and the wind tries to draw me away

I will stand on the mountain, safe in Your arms, I will sing

Be still

I know He is God

I never get into trouble like I do when I try to get ahead of God. I worry before I take the time to pray. I give birth to every possible, horrible outcome before I have given the situation over to God. I worry, fear, fret, and stress so easily!

When the winds start to blow and the rain starts to fall, I listen to this song. It not only calms me, but helps me remember that, as they say, I am forgetting to tell my storm just how big my God is.

Kari’s lyrics remind me that I need to be still. I need to stop being about the business of panicking and get about the business of praying. I need forget about worrying and focus on waiting.

I need to remember that the God of the universe is with me. I can stand on the mountain knowing that His arms will hold me strong and keep me safe. There is nothing else in the world that helps calm my soul like the reminder of these truths: Continue reading →

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