Over 1500 Delicious Real Food Recipes ~ 24 Hours and Counting….

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved looking through cookbooks and trying new recipes.  I get inspired and giddy when I see new ideas to try in the kitchen.  Is it just me?  I look through cookbooks when I’m visiting friends and family, I check out cookbooks from the library, and I drool over recipe ideas when I see them in magazines.  I might be addicted. My family appreciates this problem of mine.  :)

While all of the eBooks and eCourses in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle are all super helpful, as you can imagine, I really get excited when I’m looking through all the recipes included.


Would you believe there are over 1,500 recipes in there??!?  That doesn’t even include all the non-food recipes like facial scrubs and homemade shampoos!  There’s also an entire section of recipes for special diets like gluten free, dairy free, paleo, etc.

What I love most:  I don’t have to adapt any of these recipes.  While in so many regular cookbooks I see “margarine” listed as an ingredient, then I gag and switch it out to real butter – the recipes in this package are already real food and wholesome.  (My apologies for using the word “margarine” on my blog. blech, phlebt, chvolbleglegh)

My current favorite recipe book in the bundle is called Simply Salads by Season.  Winter can be a tough one when it comes to creating exciting salads.  (I live in Nebraska, remember? It’s the land of freezing cold everything is brown and dreary for months.)  But this book has been so inspiring – giving me dozens of fun new veggie ideas.

bundle food dec 1

I devoured a huge serving (would that be three servings?!) of this Broccoli Salad one day for lunch.  Then, since we have oodles of clementines right now, I followed the next recipe for Clementines in Whipped Cream.  Oh my goodness, why have I not thought of that before?

bundle food dec 2

Next on my list to try from Simply Salads by Season are: Tex Mex Bean Salad and Tangy Salmon Salad.  There are also many homemade salad dressing recipes in that book that seem to be a really fun diversion from my normal Homemade Ranch Dressing.  So inspiring!  I am giddy, giddy, giddy (like my 10 year old looking at his collection).

There’s also a great book in the bundle I’m working my way through called, Smoothie Secrets Revealed.  Beyond all the great recipes in that book, it also contains some very good information on health and nourishment.

And, because life is about balance, and because while salads and smoothies are awesome, so are cookies (made with butter!) – the boys and I made a batch of Mexican Orange Cookies from the Nourishing Cookies eBook.  Wow.  Light, fluffy, and no one can tell they are made with whole wheat and honey.  Mmmmmmm…

bundle food dec 3
Malachi just walked in and seeing this picture said, “Oh, I just ate 4 of those!  They were realllly good.”

From money-saving recipes, to healthy breakfast recipes, to freezer cooking, to salads, to smoothies, to cookies, to granola, to beans, to kale, to condiments – I continue to have so much fun with all the great recipes to look through and try.  1500 tried and true recipes to use in my real food kitchen?  Be still my heart.

These are the last few hours the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2014 will be available.  With this package you will be loaded and equipped with so many great ways to feed your family!  After midnight, this set of eBooks and eCourses, along with the $140 worth of freebies is gone forever.

Please don’t miss this!  I wouldn’t be going on and on about it if I didn’t love it and feel like your investment in this will blow you away.  Small amount of money – huge amount of information, guidance, encouragement, and goodies!  (MadeOn Hard Lotion – for FREE.  Yes!!)  Click here for more info or to buy now.

You will love these resources for kick starting your 2015 toward your healthiest year yet!

 

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

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Equipping You to Make {Easy} Healthy Changes in the New Year

Equipping you

You know what I’ve heard over and over from the older generation of ladies who read this blog?  It’s this:  ”I sure wish I would have had something like this when I was younger and raising my kids.”

YES!  We all have so much to learn from each other – and here we are now, at the end of 2014, in the age of the internet where tools and resources and support and FUN can all be found in a group of people who may have never met face to face, but who can certainly share love and encouragement within this forum.  Praise God for the world of blogging and all the information that comes with it.

Today I’m grateful to share a remarkable package of tools brought together by dozens of healthy living experts.  It’s called the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle.  It was so popular when it was available during September that it’s back now for just two more days!  This bundle of resources I want you to have includes 74 eBooks and 6 eCourses organized into perfect files for us to pick through.  See, here’s what it looks like on my computer (I got this last September):

bundle files 2
See how great this is?  Each time I want to access any of the 80+ resources in this package, I simply go locate it within its folder.  It’s super easy, and these resources are mine forever!

Taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle is so doable with this package.  Some of you bought this back in September – so pull it out again and let’s hit it!  (I’m currently loving the books on Natural Beauty and Skin Care and Fitness and of course all the great recipes.)

Why am I making such a big deal about this bundle package?  Beyond the fact that it is loaded with incredibly helpful information, it is being offered for 97% off the regular price.  We get $1,140 worth of resources and products for less than $30!

You must act quickly as this is only available today and tomorrow - from 12 am EST on Monday, December 29 until 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday, December 30.

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 12 a.m. EST Monday, December 29 until 11:59 p.m. EST Tuesday, December 30

What? 74 eBooks and 6 audio & eCourses, PLUS over $145 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth $1140, and it’s selling for less than $30. Sweet deal, right?

For the super low price of just $29.97 (for the PDF version) or $39.97 (for the eReader version), you can get access to a carefully selected collection of eBooks and eCourses with a total combined value of $1,140.

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day guarantee: you have 30 days to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s health, you’ll get your money back in full.  A useful Getting Started Guide is included with your purchase, which will help you identify the most valuable resources for your specific health priorities.

Click here for more info or to buy now.

As if this great collection of eBooks and eCourses wasn’t enough, the Ultimate Bundles team has also partnered with 7 fantastic companies who have each agreed to give a special bonus to every buyer. The bonuses have a total value of over $145 – more than 4 times the price of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle itself.  (This is my favorite part of this bundle offer!!)

  • a starter culture from Cultures For Health (fresh, homemade yogurt – yes!)
  • a gift set from Made On Skin Care Products (my all-time favorite skin products – woot!)
  • a package from Homegrown Collective (this is a super fun set!)
  • a 4-month membership to StayAtHomeYoga.com (I am so loving this!)
  • a 3-month premium membership to meal planning service Tradishen (a real food planning service with over 500 real food recipes)
  • a $15 gift certificate for Strawesome.com (drinking from a glass straw, avoiding plastic taste, oooooh, it’s good)
  • a $15 gift certificate for Trilight Health (we love these herbal remedies, especially the Lymph Rub for colds and allergies)

There is a nominal shipping charge for many of the bonuses, based on each company’s standard shipping rates, and is usually $3-5.  These bonuses are the bomb.  I love every one of them.

We know you’re eager to see exactly what’s included in this bundle, so head on over to the website, where you can see the full list of eBooks, eCourses, and bonus offers.  Purchasing is fast and easy, and you’ll have your bundle sent to you via email within minutes.

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this flash encore bundle is available for 2 days only, from 12 a.m. (EST) on Monday, December 29 to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, December 30.

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

See, none of us has to know everything about everything.  But when we pool our knowledge and work together, we can all take those baby steps we’ve been talking about toward having the best year yet.  Can’t wait to work through this bundle content with you!

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My Resolution to Stop Making Resolutions – And How I Still Plan to Make Healthy Changes

Join Me in Making Healthy Changes

If I’ve learned nothing else in my 41 years, I’ve learned these two very important truths about myself:

1) Deciding to start a new diet on New Year’s Day typically means I act like December 15 – 31 is the end of the world as we know it and end up eating buckets full of chip dip (oh my beloved velveeta) and a bag full of chocolate covered potato chips (those are a real thing) in preparation for “having to be good.”  This makes January 1 and the salads that come with it very depressing.

2) Only God knows what the new year will bring.  Trying to plan ahead and be  amazing and full of will power and resolving to make this THE BEST YEAR EVER has always left me disappointed within two weeks when one of my kids starts puking or my printer gets jammed or my favorite mug breaks (all at the same time – don’t picture it).

Indeed, the only resoluting I do now is to be resolute about resolutions.   That sentence is either profound, or it barely makes sense.  But you have to admit, it sounds better than if I had tried making a profound sentence using the word “indeed.”  Indeed, the only indeeding I do is to be indeedy about indeedness.  Chew on that one a while (or not).

It’s too easy to put my goals on a pedestal, then to feel like a failure when life happens and I don’t achieve perfection.  It’s best if I leave my goals and planning at the Lord’s feet.  It’s also best if I only munch lightly on the chocolate covered chips and dip on New Year’s Eve, savoring each bite while smiling lovingly at my children while relishing in the moment and all that good stuff.

Now, with that said, I will share that there are so many areas in my life I long to improve.  I don’t have any specific plans (because that would be resoluting and I think I’ve been clear on how I feel about that), but you can be sure I will be very prayerful about how I can have a wonderful, kingdom focused, and healthier than ever 2015.

Ah, healthy living.  What if instead of resolving to do one BIG thing this new year, we all simply resolve to take many consistent and intentional baby steps toward a healthier lifestyle?  Doesn’t that sound much more doable?  Doesn’t that sound refreshing?  Doesn’t that sound indeedy?  (sorry, I had to bring it back just one time.)

What If

Perhaps you remember the Healthy Living Bundle we talked about in September.  Many of you grabbed this awesome package and have joined me in learning to take steps toward better health.  If you were one who picked up this super bundle a few months ago, go open it up and let’s start looking at it together as we look to begin baby stepping our way into a healthy new year.

If you didn’t get that bundle back in September, I am so excited to let you know that you will have exactly two more chances to grab these amazing tools:  December 29 and 30.  That’s only two days, and then it will be gone forever.

Here’s just a piece of what the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle will bless and equip you with:

  • How to make yourself more fit
  • How to make your children more nutritious meals
  • How to improve the condition of your skin and hair through natural products
  • How to use essential oils
  • How to do all that you can to prevent chronic diseases
  • And hundreds of more topics

Watch for more information about this package (worth over $1,100 but costs less than $30!) on Monday and Tuesday.

In the meantime, will you leave a comment and share ways you hope to improve your health and the health of your family during 2015?  As for me, I look forward to continuing my big fruit and veggie campaign for my family (and yours!), as well as continuing on a consistent personal work-out routine.  I feel so much better when I do these things!

Let’s be healthy together!

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More Gifts For You – Wrapped in Very Healthy Packages

Just because Christmas day is behind us doesn’t mean gift giving has to end.  I have two more presents for you!  (And if you you didn’t already get our $5 gift card, go get that present too!)

The beauty of these gifts is that they are going to bless your healthy living journey – and they are free!  Well duh.  That’s what gifts are, right?  Free.  I’m not sure why I felt the need to say that.  Free gifts=redundant.  Anyway…

Two Gifts For You

Last week I told you about the FREE 4-Day Healthy Living Challenge: 4 Simple Steps to a Healthier, Better You.  Today is the final day to sign up for this challenge.  Wherever we are on our Healthy Living Journey, we can all take the next step.  I’ve worked my way through this challenge and it is very easy.  Join me in this!

Next, I wanted to share about a FREE online convention which is coming up January 4-11.  It’s called “Unconventional Weight Loss” and after reading about each of the speakers, I think it is very worth mentioning.

My favorite session title?  “Butter makes your pants fall off.”  YES!!!!  Bring on the butter and the truth about how real butter is good for us!

I believe that whether or not weight loss is a need for you, this convention is worth signing up for and learning from.  It’s free, plus you get an additional free gift just for registering.  Take a look through all the speakers, sessions, and topics.  I thought this looked great!

unconventional weight loss2
Well, hooray for free resources to bless our healthy living efforts.  Now, it’s been a busy holiday season, and it’s not over yet.  We should all take care of ourselves by taking a NAP!

This post contains referral links.

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It’s Been Almost a Decade. Is It the Coffee, or Do I Just Feel Better Than Ever?

Healthy Living - Why Wait Until After Christmas

Tis the week before Christmas.  I know what we’re all thinking about right now:  The most natural way to clean a bathtub.  Obviously.

No?  Perhaps that’s because you’re more focused on making a plan for your garden this spring.  Maybe you’re distracted with all the excitement in the air over the joy of creating a balanced budget.  Oh, wait.  I’ve got it.  You are deep in thought about ways to incorporate more kale into your diet.

I know you all so well, don’t I?  Or maybe my crazy self forgot what day this is and that the countdown to Christmas is ON!  Wrap, decorate, bake, peace, joy, love, go, go, go!!!!!!!!!

It’s okay.  We are all very busy and also likely a tad more interested in frosting cookies than steaming brussels sprouts or cleaning bathtubs with vinegar.  This time of year is FUN!!!  There’s much to be said about taking time to enjoy this season with all its tinsel, peppermint, gift giving, and focus on Christ.

But I also wanted to take the time to share something really cool with you, even if “a healthy lifestyle” may not be at the forefront of your mind in these last few days before Christmas.

It’s been nine and a half years for our family.  That’s how long we’ve been on this healthy living journey – ever since our youngest was born with chronic eczema and turned our lives upside down (which totally spilled my Pepsi).  I get tired just thinking about all the hundreds of changes we’ve made during this “almost decade.”  From boxed cereal to homemade granola, from chemical-filled cleaners to non-toxic options, from conventional doctors to homeopathic doctors and herbal remedies – we’ve made huge strides.

We love this lifestyle, recognizing more and more that we still have much to learn, that balance is key, and that if Jesus isn’t in the center of it all – none of it really matters anyway.  There were times we felt better immediately after making a healthy change, and times we felt worse as our bodies had to get used to the good changes we were making (fun times).

Change can be very difficult, and I’m telling you – making transitions from poptarts and boxed cereal every day to learning to make wholesome food from scratch was hard at times.  I didn’t even know what wholesome food was (or where, pray tell, to buy it).  Ditching the comet, lysol, palmolive, and tide to find non-toxic cleaners?  Overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.  Finding doctors and home remedies that treated root causes instead of slapping a band-aid on symptoms was foreign to me.

But dear ones:  That was just the beginning of the journey.  It wasn’t the end of the story (though it was the end of my Pepsi drinking days).

The journey never ends.  We will all continue learning more and becoming healthier.  It’s exciting, really!  The changes we’ve made on our healthy living journey have been so very worth it – even (especially) the really difficult changes.  At 41, I feel more physically and emotionally stable than I ever have.  This is absolutely because of God’s work in my body and my heart.

Are you on a healthy living journey too?  I hope so.  No matter where you are in your journey, I want to offer you encouragement.  Stick with this!  Don’t be discouraged about the difficulty that comes with trying to do what’s right in a fallen world.  God’s grace covers all in a powerful way.  (Picture it!)

Do this with me, will you?

I’m taking the FREE 4-Day Healthy Living Challenge: 4 Simple Steps to a Healthier, Better You and I want you to join me.

Yes, right now.  Each step will take us no more than 5 minutes a day.  This is SO doable, even during this busy time of year, I promise.  The challenge is so easy, so simple, yet so effective. Most of all: it will change your life.  (Feeling good feels so good!)

Learn more and sign up for the challenge here.  The smallest changes can be the biggest blessings in your life.  Let’s do this together!  You have nothing to lose.  It’s FREE!!!

How’s you’re healthy living journey going? 

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When Thanksgiving and Christmas Collide ~ And It’s a Good Thing

give thanks

Today, my family is celebrating Thanksmas.  Hey, it’s a real thing.  It’s when Thanksgiving and Christmas collide because of travel plans and family circumstances.  We won’t be able to see my Kansas family on December 25.  Instead, we’re celebrating both holidays together – today, at the same time.

“Oh no!” one might think.  “We should never skip through Thanksgiving and jump into Christmas, forgetting to be thankful.”

I’ll agree with you completely on one point:  We should never forget to be thankful.  Never, ever.  But blending the two holidays?  I have decided that it’s perfect.  I’ve also decided that this same concept is perfect in the middle of February, early in April, and during summer break.  After all, if I only choose to consider “what I’m thankful for” during Thanksgiving season and “how wonderful it is that God sent Jesus to earth” during the Christmas season – I have completely missed some major Truths in the Bible about who I’m called to be, and where my heart should be focused.

Hooray for holidays that bring our attention back to these important areas of focus!  But not only do I disagree that we shouldn’t blend the holidays, I believe we’ve actually missed something very important if we don’t.

Our God is an amazing God - today, on December 25, and even on Black Friday, if you can possibly imagine.  But, ack!  What about all the commercialism?!  Marketing tools!  Flyers and ads and sales – they are everywhere this time of year!  That is a true fact.

Also a true fact:  There are gimmicks and commercials and marketing ploys 365 days of the year – all of which are insisting I need their product in order to have a full and happy life.  The only difference right now is that commercials slap the words “gift giving” on the reason they’re asking us to buy stuff.  At least it’s better than telling us to buy something for ourselves because “we’re worth it,” wouldn’t you say?

Are we losing Thanksgiving because of all the Christmas hype?  My thought is that it’s not up to what time the stores open their doors, or the fact that some are not closing theirs at all.  It’s not up to sale flyers or commercials.  It’s up to you and me.  It’s about our heart focus.  Nothing in our lives can be separated.  I don’t care when you shop, what you buy, how much you spend, or whether you ate turkey or ham.  Jesus and a thankful heart go hand in hand, every single day - no matter the holiday, season, or date on a calendar.

For the record, today, not only am I celebrating Thanksgiving (so much to be thankful for!) and Christmas (how exciting that God sent His Son!) - I’m also celebrating Easter (praise God, Jesus died and rose again!) and Valentine’s Day (Love you, Matt!!  XOXOXO).  I’ll celebrate it all over again tomorrow.  And since tomorrow just so happens to be Black Friday, I might also pick up a good deal or two.  Bonus!

Have a blessed holiday season!  May our hearts yearn for Truth, may our souls find peace, may we always be grateful.

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Lord, Get Me Off This Crazy Brain Train

All aboard!  Who’s with me?  We’re heading south toward Crazy, passing through Unproductive, Distracted, and Terribly Unpleasant along the way.

Lord! Get me off this Crazy Brain Train!

Do you know what’s great about women?  We are multi-taskers.  We can get things done like nobody’s business.  Our brains are wired to think about what to make for dinner – while we’re switching out laundry, while we’re on the phone setting up an appointment, while we’re watching the kids to make sure they are safe.  This is a gift!  God made us this way!

Satan though.  He’s a sly one.  He likes to take what God did and flip a switch – just a tiny one – to mess up what God created perfectly and turn it into something miserable. He makes it seem okay, or at the very least, he makes it easy for us to shift the blame to others so that we not only justify our actions and attitudes - we don’t even recognize them for what they are: sinful.

So hello, fellow multi-taskers.  Praise God with me for the gift He’s given us to be able to think of so many productive and meaningful thoughts at the same time.  But be on guard with me, too.  This unique and blessed gift often causes more anxt, worry, and fear than godly productivity.  I can make breakfast, plan dinner, be mad at my husband, be worried about my teenagers, and re-play a conversation with a friend that’s bothering me – all at the same time.  This is multi-tasking in a gruesome form.

The noise is deafening – turning my focus in eight different directions at the same time – none of them focused upward.  I hear the battles raging for my mental energy to dwell on what I can not change.  I groan inwardly at all I wish I would have said and what I hope she heard when we visited.  I look ahead four years and try to create the impossible.  It’s loud here.  It’s confusing.  It’s physically exhausting.

The Crazy Brain TrainWe have got to get off.  Don’t even wait for the next stop.  Just take a huge breath and jump.  You’ll be safe.  What?  Like it’s any better aboard the train?  What holds us here?  Do we enjoy the crazy?

Take Every Thought Captive

You know how we gain knowledge of God?  We read His Word.  Like we need food and water – we devour everything He has to say.  We feast on it with our very breath.  His Truth becomes our life.  Our sustenance.

You know how we demolish arguments and every idle thought that wants to make itself more important than the words the Father is trying to tell us?  We take the thought captive.  We stop the thought in its tracks.  We drop-kick it in the name of Jesus.  We listen to God’s voice - the voice we can only hear when we get rid of the other noise and listen to His – strong and clear.  We replace the ugly, unproductive thoughts with Truth.

His Truth silences the crazy.

“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”  Hebrews 12:1-2 (read the whole chapter!)

Hearing too much noise and not able to hear God?  Look up!!  Fix your eyes on Jesus.  Let the Lord take you off the Crazy Brain Train so that you can enjoy the Peaceful Heart He is waiting to give you.

Still multi-tasking?  You bet.  We’re killin’ it, knocking out everything on the to-do list God calls us to do.  But our hearts and minds are at peace.  We’re using this gift, and we’re doing it right – with our eyes fixed on Him.

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Raising Thoughtful, Hardworking, Servant-Hearted Kids

You know those kids who don’t think about others, who pout when they don’t get their way, and who sometimes are not even a little bit aware that the world does not revolve around them?

Yeah, those are my kids.

But kids nothin’.  That’s me too (all 41 years of me) when I forget what I know to be true.  Indeed, God made us in His image, then Satan swooped in and works to destroy all that is good.  We are, our kids are, all of us are in a battle.  Jesus already won the victory (shout hallelujah!) but Satan works all the harder to win anyway (ever heard the definition of crazy?).

malachi_apple_pie_344

You know those kids who speak politely when spoken to, who aren’t afraid to visit with the older folks at church, who run up ahead to get the door for the lady carrying a box, who happily join the leave-raking crew with the youth group, who sit by the one no one else seems to notice, who remember that their mama likes purple wild flowers and grabs a handful for her whenever possible?

Yeah, those are my kids.

Our boys don’t always get along (see first paragraph).  They are not always excited to clean out the dishwasher (see first paragraph).  They sometimes do things that make me wonder who in the world raised them and what in the world they could possibly be thinking when they did such a thing (Lord, help us).

crazy family

But after lunch today, as Asa left for his college class he hollered back, “Thanks for lunch, Mom!  It was really good.”  After church last week, Malachi ran up and hugged one of our ministers and told him he loved him.  While we picked apples recently, Justus grabbed the ladder and climbed up so his brothers and I could have the easier job.  When the compost bucket overflowed this morning, spilling tomato guts all over the floor, Matt asked Elias to please clean it up before starting school – and he did it…without a complaint, even though he hates tomatoes and their guts.

Oh my dear fellow parents.  Our jobs are not easy.  In fact, let us, in unison, throw ourselves down onto the carpet as we sprawl out in full surrender.  Raising kids is hard – harder than I ever thought, imagined, or read about in books.  But we are not alone.  We have each other, and more importantly, we serve a God who loves our children like none other.  God wants our kids’ hearts, and we can be sure that He is fighting for them.  Isn’t that the best parenting news you’ve heard…ever?  (Remember this truth the next time your child disobeys you for the 82nd time in one hour.  Keep on it, Mama.  God’s on your side.)

be still 2

I have something for you.

See, my kids are mostly big now.  Two out of four of them have man voices, and the third is working on his with an occasional crack.  Our car insurance rate is growing in scary ways as more drivers of the teen boy variety are being added to our policy.  This is where we are now.  Car insurance rates aside, I love this place.

It’s easy for me to reflect back on when our boys were little and have regrets about what I wish I would have done differently and better.  This is a wonderful way to waste time and be miserable, but do feel free to join me in this activity if you enjoy unproductive awfulness.

Take Every Thought Captive 2

I have not parented perfectly, mostly because I’m clueless most of the time and because of that Satan swooping in thing I mentioned above.  Welcome to being human, Laura (and everyone else).  God is ever gracious and my kids are very forgiving.  Here’s how I know this about my kids.  While I’ve been busy crying over all my parenting imperfections, here are some recent conversations my boys have started around our dinner table:

  • “Remember those charts we used to have on the fridge?  The ones with the stars or fruit?  That was a good idea, Mom.  I used to love those.”
  • “Oh I remember the girl you’re talking about.  We took a toy to her on ‘Tt Week‘ when I was little.  That was really fun.”
  • “I used to love it when we made Monkey Bread.  I always wanted to be the one to punch the dough.”
  • “My favorite Blue’s Clues episode was the one where they made the banana bread, and I don’t even like bananas.  I just like food.  Good thing you like cooking with us, Mom.”

boysbreaddough15sm.JPG

True story.  And here I thought they’d surely be offering statements like:

  • “Mom, remember those times you yelled at me and it wasn’t even my fault?”
  • “Mom, remember how busy you were those times I wanted you to sit down and play a game with me?”
  • “Mom, remember how many times you’ve failed me and why I’m going to need counseling and be bitter toward you forever??!!?”

God is so much bigger than you and I!!!  Not only that…our kids are amazing!  Remember these truths as you parent your babes.  You focus on loving them and being Christ-like.  The rest will all fall into place.  I wish I would have understood this earlier.

So here’s what I have for you.  Most of these resources have been available on my site for a very long time.  They’ve blessed our family so much – more than I ever realized based on our boys’ teenage hearts looking back at their little boy days.  (Thank you, God, for making those convos happen over the past few weeks.  You knew my heart needed to hear it.)

I’ve heard from many of you that our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve curriculum has been a blessing as you’re teaching your kids academic basics and more importantly, the heart of service.  I’ve heard how much you’ve enjoyed our Character Charts.  I’ve heard how much you’ve loved time in the kitchen with your kids as you teach them cooking skills.

I also know that for some of you, money is holding you back from enjoying these ready-made resources.  This week, we’re putting together a package we pray will be a great big blessing to your family – financially, spiritually, and parentingly (don’t forget, I make up words).  Check it out…

Bless Your Parenting Packet 2

$78.80
$49.00

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The “Bless Your Parenting” Packet includes:

~ Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve 183 page complete downloadable curriculum kit for early learners, $45.00 value
~ Teaching Your Kids to Cook 111 page downloadable guide and cookbook, $12.00 value
~ What to Do With the Kids in Your Kitchen recipe eBook, $5.95 value
~ Heavenly Homemakers Guide to Holiday Hospitality for Kids eBook, $6.95 value
~ Fill ‘em Up Bible Lessons and eCookbook, $5.95 value
~ “Be Imitators” Kid Character Chart, $2.95 value

Total value of this package:  $78.80
“Bless Your Parenting” Package Price:  $49.00
Time teaching and enjoying your kids:  priceless  :)

Here’s what we’ve done:  We took the price of our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve down to just $49, then we threw in five other products for just $5 more.

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May God bless each of us as we teach, train, and love these children He gave us!

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You Need Only to Be Still

The Israelites had finally escaped years of being enslaved and harshly treated by Pharaoh.  How excited were they?!  They weren’t.  Fear overwhelmed them as they turned and saw a great army of Egyptians ready to overtake them.  Somehow, I guess they forgot how God had just delivered them in a mighty and miraculous way.  Eh, I can relate.  I forget easily too.  (Forgive me, Lord!)

As the Israelites grumbled to Moses about how he had surely brought them out of Egypt just to die in the desert, I love the truth he shared with them:

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  Exodus 14:13-14

This is so powerful!  Let’s break it down:

  • Do not be afraid.
  • Stand firm.
  • You will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.
  • The Lord will fight for you.  (!!!!)
  • You need only to be still.

Yes, yes, yes!

We’re in a battle, no doubt.  But our job is easy.  We make it difficult by worrying, wallowing, and being afraid of the unknown.  This helps….nothing.

Let’s be reminded of the beautiful truth that God is fighting for us.  All we need to do is be still and trust.  No fear, just faith.  Thank you, Jesus!

Be Still, The Lord Will Fight For You!

We made a printable of this graphic.  Need the reminder of this truth like I do?  Download and print – share if you like!  The LORD is fighting for us.  Praise Him!

Download The Lord Will Fight For You!

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How the Story Ends

Ephesians 210

I am the mother of a high school senior.  Can you guess what the question of the year is from every family member, church friend, grocery store employee, neighbor, and person we just met five minutes ago?

“So Asa, what are you going to do next year?”

Mmmhmm.  It’s a fair question.  People are curious, and in fact, I appreciate that so many care enough to ask.

It would be nice if we had an answer. It would be great if there was plan in place.  But right now, the answer is a solid, “I don’t know yet.”

Not only does he not know, I mean – he does not know.  The options are pretty much without limit, which makes the decision both very exciting and occasionally very overwhelming.  The months building up to this school year as I was figuring out his senior year curriculum just about did me in.  What should we focus on?  How much should we work to improve his ACT?  How should we guide him?  What will be best for him?

All are valid questions.  But when I started losing sleep and noticing a shortage of oxygen at the very mention of Asa’s future, I recognized that I had taken this all upon myself and landed myself in a pool of worry.  I hate it when I do that.  I know better.

So I’m wrestling.  I’m walking a brand new path and learning as I (let) go.  I started to tell someone recently, “Hopefully, this time next year we’ll have a great story to tell about how God opened and closed doors to lead Asa to whatever he’s going to be doing.”  Then I stopped myself.  Hopefully?  Hopefully?!!?  Have I not experienced God at work before?  Do I not know the truth from Ephesians about God preparing works in advance for us?  How about we switch the word “hopefully” with “definitely”?  Definitely, this time next year we WILL have a great story to tell about how God opened and closed doors to lead Asa to whatever he’s going to be doing.

He will.  God will do it.  We will have a story.  Our job is to trust.  And maybe to cry a little here and there.  Hey, he’s my firstborn.  You want to try and tell me it’s easy to think of launching this fantastic kid out of the nest a year from now?  (I know.  11 months from now.  Hush.)

One particularly weepy day for me last week, God put a dear friend in my path whom I haven’t visited with in several months.  I didn’t tell her I was wrestling with this.  In fact, I didn’t use many words at all.  I didn’t need to.  Just sharing the words “senior year” was enough for her to read my mind and heart.  See, she’s done this before…four times.  Her youngest graduated last year.  She knows.  She knows.  God used her to bless me, encourage me, and to remind me of what I already know to be true:

God already has this figured out.  He will make it happen.  Our job is to listen and walk with Him.

She told me about a fun card someone had given her last year when she was going through a difficult time with her dad’s illness.  I loved what it said and decided to recreated it for you (and me).

I hate to spoil the ending...

Yes, yes, yes!  We know this.  We’ve experienced this.

The end of the story?  We already know how it’s going to turn out.  We might not know the specifics, but we know it’s going to be great, because God is in charge, not us.

Oh, God.  You’re so good.  You know what we need, and you bless us constantly with your truth.  Help us to hear it.  Help us to live it.  Help us to accept your continual gift of peace.  We trust you.

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If you’d like, feel free to download the images on this page to print and use.  Click the links below:

I Hate To Spoil the Ending ~ Create a Card

I Hate to Spoil the Ending ~ Full Size Wall Print

For We Are God’s Handiwork ~ Full Size Wall Print

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