How About That? God Really Does Work Everything Out.

gratituesday[2]

Remember this post? You know, that one post I wrote last September? The one where I shared this:

I hate to spoil the ending...

The one where I talked about how we had no idea how everything would work out for our oldest son at the end of the school year? How we didn’t have any idea what would be best for him? How if he chose college, which one would it be and how would we work that out financially? How there were so many unknowns and what ifs and major decisions to make?

And more importantly, the one where I shared that God was teaching me to trust – like for real.

Last school year was wonderful and exhausting in countless ways. In the midst of it, we knew God had a plan and would roll it out for us in His timing. But when I wrote this post, we had no idea how the story would end. I just knew that it would…end. And that the ending would be good because God was writing the story.

In the midst of the waiting (we all know what that’s like, right? no matter what it is we’re waiting for) – our minds can turn toward all kinds of doubt and worry. We can invent scenarios that may or may not happen and then create all sorts of responses to the made up scenarios.

Unless any of those thoughts are Spirit led, they are absolutely pointless and completely exhausting. When I look back on our school year and how we watched our son learn to listen to God as he made his decisions, I am…

1) Really glad it’s behind us because it was just hard. Good, but hard.
2) So excited to realize God’s absolute promises and His guidance in everything. Everything. All of it. Every single bit.

We should never doubt. Never, ever, ever.

Not sure about an employment situation looming in your future? God does. Wait for Him to show you. Listen to Him and trust.

Not sure about a decision you’re making about parenting? God does. Wait for Him to show you. Listen to Him and trust.

Not sure how you can possibly afford whatever that need is that there is no money for?  God knows. Wait for Him to show you. Listen to Him and trust.

Not sure what to do about forty different questions floating in your head about everything from little to big? God does. Wait for Him to show you. Listen to Him and trust.

God never asked us to get it all figured out. He only asked for our faith. If you don’t believe me, go read all the words of Jesus in the gospels. All of them. They will change your life.

And oh yeah – about this post. The one where I wrote about how we had no idea how the story would end, about what would be best, about how we would survive such a major change in our lives (yeah, I know, all the parents do it, but it’s hard and that’s just the truth). Go back and read this.

Then. Then read this one. Seven months after I wrote the “we have no idea” post – I was blessed to be able to write the “well look at that. now we know” post.

There is always an ending to the story. If we’re seeking God, the ending is beautiful. If we’re not, well, God can still work and God is always lovingly waiting for us to turn to Him.

I write this as a reminder. To you – to me. Trust God. Where there are question marks, trust God. There will always be question marks. But there will always be answers because God is God and He is faithful. And because of that, there can always be peace.

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Free Summer Blessings Printables ~ Use These Free Printables to Be a Blessing!

What can you and your family do to be a blessing to someone during the next few days? I encourage you to pray with your family about this. Can you take someone some food? Visit a neighbor? How can you be a light and bless someone?

To bless your efforts (blessings all around, right?!) – we’ve made some fun Summer Blessings printables for you. They are free. Help yourself! Print as many as you like.

Summer Blessings Printables

Download the Summer Blessings Printable
Cards and Gift Tags Here!

Suggestions for ways to use these printables:

  • Print a set of 6 or 8 of the Blessed and Hello note cards. Tie them up with a ribbon and give them as a gift. Be sure to include envelopes! (Like these.)
  • Print a few Blessed and Hello note cards. Spend some time writing encouraging notes in the cards to give or send.
  • Bake something yummy, package it up and attach one of the cards or gift tags. (Here are some baked good recipes to pick from.)

What else? Leave a comment to share ideas of ways we can use these fun new printables!

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See You After Easter!

Want to know a secret?

Since August I have been exploring, studying, and learning about what it means to take a weekly Sabbath rest.  It has been oh-my-goodness wonderful and also very hard.  How is a mom supposed to take a Sabbath rest every week when there is so much to be done???  This is what I’ve been exploring for the past seven months.  I’ve been journaling my way through this challenging yet blessed learning process.  You’ll get to read about it some day. :)

This morning the Spirit prompted me to take a different kind of rest.  I began this blog in November 2007 and have posted almost daily since.  That’s 4,006 posts of fun!  I love writing, I love you, I love interacting here.  I’ve taken breaks here and there during the past seven years, but that usually means that I’ve worked ahead of time to get posts ready to go up even if I’m gone.

This week, I’m going to have a time of quiet.  No writing, no picture taking, no thinking about what to post next.  Okay fine.  I actually might write.  It’s hard for me not to write because I love writing.  I’m just not going to post what I write – for seven entire days of quiet.

elias cross pic

This comes at a perfect time as we reflect more fully on the sacrifice Jesus made and the miracle of his resurrection.  Taking in the Word instead of kicking out words for daily posts sounds all kinds of refreshing.

To all my regular readers: thank you for showing up here every day.  This week, use the time you normally read my daily posts to read something from the Word instead.  Take some quiet time to listen to His message for your life.

If after that you still want a little Heavenly Homemaker encouragement, just search through the 4,006 posts in the archives.  The recipes, tips, and books are all there for your reading pleasure.  :)

Beyond a blogging break to find refreshment, I’m going to become re-acquainted with my scrub brush as there is much filth in my house that can no longer be ignored.  I’m actually looking forward to it. (Whoa, that’s crazy talk.)

My keyboard and I will miss you.  Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you after Easter!

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Feeling Weary?

Ugh, the weariness.  Even in the midst of good times, weariness can set in – in parenting, in marriage, in ministries, in the daily grind.

Today I tip my hat to you, in gratitude for all you do to keep life moving for those you love.  Thank you for packing lunches, changing diapers, rinsing dishes, tossing a salad, or paying the bills.  Thank you for sweeping the porch, writing a note, disciplining the child, wiping the snot, or driving to the appointment.  Thank you for countless hours of work you do – in all its forms – for the love of your family.

Your work is not in vain.  You serve a great purpose as you love those around you.  Be encouraged!  Be blessed!

Galatians69color

I posted this several months ago, but seeing as it is one of my favorite verses, I decided to pull it up again to share with you.  Know someone who is weary right now?  Pass this on to them for encouragement.  I love how scripture speaks and offers true peace for us all.

Download Galatians 6:9 in Blue and Black here.

Download Galatians 6:9 in Gray and Black here.

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You Will Never Please Everyone (And That’s Perfectly Perfect)

Some readers request that I share more recipes.  Some suggest that I share too many recipes.  Some don’t like that I post spiritual content.  Some wish I would post more spiritual content.  Some roll their eyes at the deals I share.  Some cheer and do flips for the deals I share. I always listen to what my readers have to say because I love offering content that will bless you in your homemaking efforts.  I also know that what one person really needs or desires isn’t necessarily what the next person needs or wants.  So it is with pretty much all of life, right?

You Will Never  Please Everyone
It happens around my dinner table every single live long day.  Someone is bound to not like what I served while others are gladly taking thirds.  It happens during a every Sunday worship service.  Some love the song selection and others find them to be too slow or too fast for their liking.  Some find the sermon to be super meaningful and others find it to be irrelevant.  I could think of other examples but some might prefer that I get on with my point.

Here’s the truth that we need to learn down to our very core:

1.  You can’t please ’em all

2.  You can’t be pleased by all

I’m not sure which is more important to know and which is the hardest to remember.  Both involve the need to surrender self.  It’s hard and it hurts but this is what I’m beginning to understand:  Trying to please all and expecting others to always rise to my occasion is harder and hurts worse than choosing to surrender self.  Selfish living is completely empty – not to mention absolutely exhausting. Trying to constantly please others leaves me feeling defeated and discouraged.  Thinking others must always please me leaves me frustrated and let down.  No thank you, no thank you, no thank you.  I surrender, Jesus.  What do you have for me that is better? What about this?  What if we understood these two simple truths:

1.  God is the only One we should seek to please.

2.  God is the only One who will sufficiently meet all of our needs.

I think that pretty much covers it.

When I seek to please God, letting go of others’ (real or imagined) expectations of me, I will likely still be pleasing others.  I won’t please them all, but God never asked me to and for real – if I was pleasing everyone why in the world would people ever recognize their need to seek Jesus?  Okay then.

When I recognize that God is the One who meets my needs, suddenly that which is petty becomes irrelevant and that which matters turns into a Christ-centered passion.  That’s how it works when one is listening to and letting the Holy Spirit work. So, my friend, remember this:  You will never please everyone.  Also, people will sometimes frustrate you, especially when they do things differently than you would do them.  This is life.

Instead of wallowing, I suggest we use our energy to seek Jesus and live as He calls each of us.  Doesn’t that just sound refreshing? If this is something you struggle with like I do, might I suggest that you read (your whole Bible and also) read Hebrews 12?  Being disciplined hurts, but it makes us more holy.  Yes, holiness!  Bring it.

 

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Free Scripture Encouragement Cards for Heavenly Homemaker’s Subscribers!

If you are a subscriber, you should have received the link to these free downloadable scripture encouragement cards in your inbox three days ago.  If not, let me know and I’ll send you the file.

Not a subscriber?  It’s free and it’s fun because not only do my posts come to your inbox each day, occasionally you get an exclusive freebie like this one.  :)  Subscribe here and you, too, will be able to download these pretty encouragement cards.  Once you confirm your subscription, you’ll be redirected to a page with the download links.

Free Scripture Encouragement Cards

These are some of my favorite Truths from scripture!  Hope you enjoy these as a blessing to you and as a way to bless others!

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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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