Friday, September 28, 2012

This Moment ~ A Dream Realized

{this moment} - A single photo -  capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Linking with Amanda and with Amy

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Soft Scrub Giveway Winners

*Jessica and *BeachMomma send me an email with your mailing address and I'll drop your coupons into the mail!

byquietwaters at gmail dot com
 

Thoughts from Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

There is a longing, a craving in each of us.  For many of us it looks like chocolate or high calorie, sugary carb loaded tastiness.  But in her book "Made to Crave" Lysa TerKeurst suggests that our cravings really point to a deeper longing for intimacy, with the One who made us.

It does seems to me that the cravings for chocolate, sugary bubbles (soda), and any number of other things, are distractions for the deepest longings each of us experience.  And if one choose to deny the cravings, that place of longing may lead to a slight desparation, Lysa suggests.  In this place of desperation we are empty enough to glimpse the holiness that we are made for.

In other words, filled up with other things we are distracted from our deepest longing, and a spiritual battle is fought is keep us cloaked in that fog.  If one steps back from the pursuit of temporary filling, the emptiness reveals the possibility of a nobler craving for holiness and intimacy with our Creator.

When we find ourselves in this place of emptiness, we have a choice.  Will we choose to excerise and become disiciplined?  Or will our doubts and past failures sabatoge us again?

Lysa says, "The gap between our frail discipline and God's available strength is bridged with nothing but a simple choice on our part to pursue holiness."

I can choose holiness, to be set apart for God's purpose.  At each craving for what gives only momentary satisfaction, a nobler choice can be made tapping into the strenth of God, who is wooing me into a place of greater intimacy with Him.

 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goal Update

Posting this goals on my blog is helping me to keeping me keep track myself.  Life gets so busy during the weeks that I loose sight of what is being accomplished. 

Last week's goals
Read:
False Intimacy, Made to Crave and Relentless Pursuit
Swallows and Amazons (family read aloud)
I've made progress in each of these books.  Hopefully they will be completed by the end of the month.
Personal Goals:
Increase full pushups to 15, decrease girly pushups to 10 (for 25 pushups daily), in process
Ab routine, continue100 crunches, in process
Swim 500 3 days weekly ~ YES
wash face, lavendar steam
read to kids
pray and bless each child
read a few pages before sleep

Homemaking
Process the boxes of apples & make applesauce, apple pie filling and apple butter


Business & Ministry
Bottle our first batch of Home Brewed Vanilla extract
3 Blog Posts week, if fits
Add new pictures to GBC's Sponsored Children display

This Week
Read ~ Finish "Made to Crave, False Intimacy and Relentless Pursuit
Contine reading Amazons and Swallows aloud

Personal ~ continue the ab routine and pushups
swim 500 twice this week
keep pursuing the bed time routine

Homemaking
shred and freeze the squash harvest
make waffle mix for freezer

Business & Ministry
Bottle Vanilla
Book Reviews as books are finished
Decide on classes to be taught next semester and complete the inital paperwork

Monday, September 24, 2012

thanksgiving for what is hard

Most of the time the letters we receive are exciting and encouraging.  Hearing about the children we sponsor, about their dreams, their families help to build a connection between them and us.

We were notified in June that one of our sponsored children, Bryan Marcello, had left the Compassion program.  This week we recieved a "final letter", not from Bryan, but from the director of his child development center.

"Dear sponsors, Benjamin and Michelle:

We greet you in he name of Jesus.  We wish you blessing and good health.  We inform you that the boy Bryan Marcello didn't attend to the activities of the student center anymore and due to his absences we proceeded to his departure.  The boy is healthy, he studies and is stable economically.  The benefits he received through your sponsorship were medical checkups, gifts, correspondence, camps, spiritual retreats, excursions, school supplies, snacks, shoes beirthday celebrations, Family's Day, Child's Day.

As personnel of the student center we thank you for all your support;  and we encourage to continue giving your support and love to other children.

Sincerely,
Director.

This letter left me sad, as I've been concerned and praying since that June phone call.  Guatemala City has some rough areas, places where young men can be lead astray.  So we continue to pray for Bryan, knowing that he may have left the Compassion program, but God knows right where he is.

and that is gift #1230, giving thanks even when it is hard because God always knows where to find us when we think we've actually ran from Him or hid from Him.

and still always counting #1216-1230

Sleepy girls on the sofas
Black princess cat close by
  The quiet morning hours
  Children laughing
Cool evening, dinner on the patio
God is so Good coming from a girl’s guitar
Sweet love words
Morning hugs
God interrupts my plans, giving a day for what’s really important in my daughters’ education, and in mine.
Fellowship in the foyer
Encouragement along the way
Duck eggs
The opportunity to love and be loved
“momma, can I sleep with you tonight?”  bad dreams are still chased away by snuggles
God always knows where to find us when we think we've actually ran from Him or hid from Him.


 giving thanks with the community of thanks givers, Ann and Laura and Michelle



Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

 

Friday, September 21, 2012

These Moments

a mini golf celebrating a dear friend

Purple Belt!

A family one day get away

this sweet girl and the deer in the back ground watching us

my beloved and me
fine and wonderful moments I don't want to forget
 
linking with Amanda and Amy

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Household Cleaner Review & Giveaway


I tried a new household cleaner from Soft Scrub. 

 Soft Scrub Total AllPurpose Cleaner with Bleach was sent to me as a review product.  This product is packaged in a foam spray bottle that works UPSIDE down.  Now this was something I really was interested in…

Could I turn this bottle upside down, to clean under the rim of the toilet and spray it without gettinghousehold cleaner on my hand?

 

No drips, no cleaner smearing on my fingers and hand as I sprayed the foam.  Great.  I decided to just let that  sit and deep clean while I scrubbed the shower stall with the Soft Scrub Total All Purpose Cleaner… And that is where my only complaint is.  Once I had turned the bottle right side up, the product would not spray out of the bottle.  I waited a little while.  And a while longer.

 The bottle sat until the next morning before I was able to spray the product again.  So, if you decide to try out this handy new bottle of all purpose household cleaner, do your upside down spraying last!
Would you like to have a coupon for free Soft Scrub Total All Purpose Cleaner?
 
I have 3 free product coupons to give away. 
 
Leave me a comment for one entry.
Take a look at this ministry that is close to my heart for 2 more entries (leave me a 2nd comment telling me you did)
LIKE Soft Scrub on Facebook

Tell me in the comments that you've liked Soft Scrub or visited the ministry site.

This contest ends Thursday September 27 at 10:00 AM
We will post the winners here on the blog Thursday evening.  Please check back for instructions to recieve your coupon if you win.
 
 
Soft Scrub sent a free sample of this product so that I could try them out and tell you about it.  These words are all my own.
 

Ants Invading Your Summer??


 Are Ants Invading Your Summer?
Recently we were sent the Combat Source Kill Max Ant Bait and Ant Gel kit to use and review.  I was pretty excited about this opportunity, as every summer we have had unwelcome visitors in 3 areas of our kitchen and mud room.
While I was excited to try this product, I had no idea just how effective it would be.  The package arrived in the mail and a couple of days later I had the time to open it and read through the material.   Upon checking the key areas where we usually have ant problems, I did not find any insects.  That was surprising, but I thought we must have been pretty diligent in keeping the dog food picked up in the pantry and the floor around the trash can swept and mopped.   Next I walked over to the other troublesome spot, the kitchen laundry basket.  While we do try to make sure that basket is emptied and washed every other day, it is not uncommon to find ants there.  Again, no ants.
So I waited and checked from time to time.  No ants all late summer.  No ants while we were making jelly, jam and apple sauce…not even around the late evening splatters that didn’t get cleaned up before morning.
Where did the ants go?  Not that I am complaining, I am thrilled to not have those pesky little visitors.
What then, do we do with this Combat Ant Bait and Ant Gel kit that we are supposed to try out and review?
Then it came to me.  This product is so intimidating and effective…


 
The ants left.

Thank you Combat for a job well done!

 

 Combat provided free samples of their Ant Bait and Gel for my use in exchange for an honest opinion.  All I've written here is my own.

Unsponsored Child Ministry Opportunity

Do you ever wonder about the unsponsored children in your sponsored child's development center?  How they must feel when letters and cards arrive, but there isn't any mail for them?
 
This fall you can minister to unsponsored children in the Compassion Child Development Centers!


Send CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR UNSPONSORED CHILDREN
ChristmasCard
You may write Christmas cards for unsponsored children this year. Unsponsored children will receive a Christmas gift, and Christmas cards are a great way to send a personal blessing to children without sponsors. Cards need to be received at the Global Ministry Center by Nov. 5. An individual may send up to 25 cards, and they should be sent to Compassion, Attn: Suzanne Hall.
 
Just another way you can change the world, one life at a time!
 
if you are interested in sponsoring one of these children, please click here.

UPDATE **  Mae and I stopped by Family Christian Bookstore today.  We plan to purchase boxed cards on clearance after Christmas this year, but needed to buy some now for this opportunity.  I expected to pay $9 a box at best.

We found these boxes of 16 for just $3.99.  While we did buy many boxes, we also left some for you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

"Millions around the world recognize the smiling face and inspirational message of Nick Vujicic. Despite being born without arms or legs, Nick’s challenges have not kept him from enjoying great adventures, a fulfilling and meaningful career, and loving relationships. Nick credits his success in life to the power that is unleashed when faith takes action. Through stories from his own life and the experiences of many others, Nick explains how anyone wanting a “ridiculously good life” can respond to adversity and difficult circumstances to become Unstoppable."

Nick Vujicic has written a new book, Unstoppable:  The Incredible Power of Faith in Action.  You can view the book trailer below.



And click here to read an excerpt from the first chapter.

The book will be available in 2 weeks!

 

Monday, September 17, 2012

September Goals

Reaching my September goals is off to a good start.  With Builder home last week there are things I didn't even try to add in...we were too busy processing produce and enjoying family time.


Read:
God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew
False Intimacy
The Red Badge of Courage, I'm removing this one for now.  I started it, and have no interest at this time.
Swallows and Amazons, our family read aloud

Personal Goals:
Increase full pushups to 15, decrease girly pushups to 10 (for 25 pushups daily), in process
Ab routine, continue100 crunches, in process
Swim 500 3 days weekly
Complete my evening "must dos" each night before bed
wash face, lavendar steam
read to kids
pray and bless each child
read a few pages before sleep

Homemaking:
grape jelly
jalapeno jelly, we have grown an abundance and our youngest likes most things spicy...so we're going to try it.
Salsa

Reorganize kitchen cupboards. Our gluten & dairy intolerant daughter has moved back home. She needs room for her "food."

Business & Ministry
Bottle our first batch of Home Brewed Vanilla extract
3 Blog Posts week, if fits
Write to each of our Compassion sponsor kiddos

Next week I plan to

Read:
False Intimacy, Made to Crave and Relentless Pursuit
Swallows and Amazons (family read aloud)

Personal Goals:
Increase full pushups to 15, decrease girly pushups to 10 (for 25 pushups daily), in process
Ab routine, continue100 crunches, in process
Swim 500 3 days weekly
wash face, lavendar steam
read to kids
pray and bless each child
read a few pages before sleep

Homemaking
Process the boxes of apples & make applesauce, apple pie filling and apple butter


Business & Ministry
Bottle our first batch of Home Brewed Vanilla extract
3 Blog Posts week, if fits
Add new pictures to GBC's Sponsored Children display
 

the grace of provision

We have been given so much.  And then there is more given.  Fruit for the picking, boxes of fruit for eating, freezing, jelly making & apple buttering.  Jars of purple sweetness and peachey goodness for the sharing and spreading.  All this at the end of a summer of highest heat, fire and smoke, dry dry winter that came before.

counting, always counting, to #1209

Snuggling on the sofa
Lids popping in the next room

Hurrahs when the pop sounds
Beloved playing geography games with his daughters
Extra set of hands in the home
Generous neighbors
Free apples in the fridge
Bowl full of neighborhood peaches
The anticipation of a family drive tomorrow

The beauty of nature’s gold


The job God has provided, which provides for so much



Glimpses of the forest dwellers
a funny sister

this opportunity, to join the community singing the song of amazing, rich, millions of grace ~ Ann and Laura

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Letter of Gratitude



Father God,

Two years ago you laid 2 precious children on the heart of our family.  Lesbia and Bryan.   Builder and I didn't know at all the work you would do in us, in our 3 daughters when we made the decision to sponsor these children.

As we wrote letters to them, and prayed for them, our family ministry grew.  We began to see how each one of us can be involved in the life of a child far away, how we can be a blessing and an encouragement to the child's family and become a partner with the ministry leaders in their communities.

Father, this changed the way we look at so many things.  It has adjusted our dreams and goals, helping us to see where we are building our own kingdom and strengthing our resolve to seek Your kingdom.

Thank you for bringing this opportunity to us, the opportunity to change the world, one child at a time, the opportunity to see beyond ourselves and build into something eternal.

with gratitude,
Michelle



are you interested in investing in the life of a child living poverty?  please click here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Week In Review ~ many This Moments

sliding on the skateboard thingy

once a year


back to school pictures for Mae

all of my daughters and Grandad

my handsome harvest gatherer

this little cutie tested for her purple belt

a week with Beloved home on rotation has been full of very fine moments.  Linking with Amanda and with Amy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Giving Thanks

Three weeks into "back to school" season I realized I really needed to get a handle on the kitchen.  After taking a week to plan, I spent a whole weekend in the kitchen with helpers coming and going.  One freezer we stuffed full of casseroles and gallon bag crock pot meals.  In another freezer we stashed snacks and breakfast foods.

The next week...a hot meal each day.  So my gratitude list has a lot of practical items this week.

through 1203

The heater in the van!
Morning glories on a crisp chilly morning
Freezer full of meals
Dual crock pots working
Kitchen helpers
Hot meals after busy days
Jars of purple goodness cooling on the counter
More to harvest
Bowls of tomato red
Family fellowship
All 5 around the table
Quiet drives
Practice dreaming

linking with Ann and Laura

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Goals TuneUp

Summer came along and many things took a back seat.  Looking over my goals and updating each month was something that happened most casually.  It is very encouraging to me as I set my September goals to see that "habits" kept things from coming a complete stop!

In September I plan to:

Read:
God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew
False Intimacy and The Red Badge of Courage
 Swallows and Amazons, our family read aloud

Personal Goals:
Increase full pushups to 15, decrease girly pushups to 10 (for 25 pushups daily)
Ab routine,  continue100 crunches
Swim 500 3 days weekly
Complete my evening "must dos" each night before bed
     wash face, lavendar steam
     read to kids
     pray and bless each child
     read a few pages before sleep

Homemaking:
grape jelly
jalapeno jelly, we have grown an abundance and our youngest likes most things spicy...so we're going to try it.
Salsa

Reorganize kitchen cupboards.  Our gluten & dairy intolerant daughter has moved back home.  She needs room for her "food."

Business & Ministry
Bottle our first batch of Home Brewed Vanilla extract
3 Blog Posts week, if fits
Write to each of our Compassion sponsor kiddos

Friday, September 7, 2012

This Moment, Hope for the Future

 
This, Petal Rose's 11th year of learning, working, playing and living this life, has been one of tremendous growth.  It is pure delight to catch glimpses of the dreams and ponderings deep inside this mostly quiet girl.  And it tickles me to see my quiet girl boisterouly laughing and playing with kindred spirits in the sunshine.
 
Taking these "back to school" pictures was a perfect oppotunity to see the beautiful young woman emerging in the sweet pretty girl.
 
This picture captured a moment where my eyes saw little bits of future hopes realized in this precious daughter of mine!

 savoring a  fine moment from the week

 
Linking with Amanda and with Amy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

choosing joy

gifts through #1190

Dinner made by 13 yo hands that gathered from the garden, chopped the veggies and added them to the dishes
Peaches from the tree
Sunflowers bobbing in the breeze
Smiling moon
Heavenly blue morning glories lift my eyes
Easy lunches
1st week back ended with hope
Spur of the moment fellowship
The blue moon, 2nd full moon this month
Excited ballerinas, Clara & Party Girl friends
Another letter!  2 in 1 week!
The knowledge that God is in all the spaces, bumps and turns
Blessing words from a friend

choosing joy and linking up with the gratitude community,
michelle