Friday, March 25, 2011


Look at this cute print I got for the boys that came in today! Here it is up close:
So cute and will be perfect for their room.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fun Day

Yesterday we met some friends at a new park in town. It has a lot of fun playground equipment but it is also super busy which makes me nervous by myself with these two wild boys. Luckily, Ben was just a few streets over and came to help me eventually.
The park also has a little creek next to the walking trail that was my favorite part. My boys love to throw rocks into water so I was able to contain them there for a small, peaceful moment.
Today we had playgroup and had the best time. I forgot my camera at home but just imagine a bunch of kids running around playing and all of their mothers in the kitchen eating and laughing and you'll get the right picture. Amanda made us dinner tonight and I did get a picture of that.
It was fantastic. And dangerous. I had to stop myself from eating 5 portions. We have the best friends. Hands down! Since Ben lost his job our Sunday School class has blessed us each week with dinner. It has all been soooo good and such a huge blessing to our family. That's something our church does really well (in addition to so many other things) is take meals to people. Sometimes it's because they had a baby, other times because they have been sick and sometimes just to say they're thinking of you. I love that. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


God has really been putting my focus on his 2 commandments lately: Love Him and Love others. You think these things are easy to do until you really try to apply them all of the time no.matter.what. Yeesh. That, my friends is tough! More recently I have been pressed by what Jesus said in his command to love one another as He did - a sacrificial love that knows no boundaries. I don't know about you but I'd much rather love those who love me back but that's just not what He did. He loved us all.

There are so many ways we can love and be love to others as Christ commands but the one that stands out the most to me tonight and the one that will be the focus of my week is Ephesians 3:29:

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

How can we love others if we are constantly bringing them down or causing them to either stumble or be downcast? It's impossible and if we are going to truly do as Christ so boldly commanded then we have to consider what we are saying before we say it. I know a lot of times I will just talk or complain about something before I even realize how my words may be affecting someone else who is listening -someone my original intention may have never had anything to do with. I don't know about you, but I want to be helpful to others. I want to be an encouragement, a joy - something positive in this world full of negativity and hate. Put simply, If I don't have anything nice to say then I won't say anything at all.

Further reinforcement for this goal is Matthew 12:36, 

"But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken."

Ouch. Raise your hand if you're excited about that one? Where was this verse 10 years ago?! I mean, doesn't it make you kinda not ever want to speak again? There is a reason God takes what we say so seriously - He knows how powerful words can be.

Clearly not speaking is impossible for me so I'm going to focus on Him. I'm going to think before I speak and hope that my faith and love for Jesus will literally speak for itself.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan Relief Effort and Prayer

I would love it if you joined me over on my Big Red Pot blog to aid the relief efforts over in Japan.

Please do not underestimate the power of your prayer - join us in not only praying for everyone affected by this tragedy but also the other prayer requests listed here.

Thank You.

"May the Lord repay you for what you have done." Ruth 2:12

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh How He Loves Us

Blogs are misleading. Most of the time, we only write about things that are good. Pictures that are cute, stories that are funny and recipes that are delicious. We rarely, if ever, tell what's really going on in our lives. I'm guilty of it with this blog. But not today.

One friday in late January, Ben came home with a look on his face that I'll never, ever forget. He walked into th kitchen, leaned against the counter and fought to hold back the tears. He managed to barely whisper out, "I lost my job today and I'm so, so sorry. I'll fix it. I promise." Clearly, he didn't do anything wrong, we live in a time of uncertainty and our economy is wavering. But still, my heart sank, I got angry (not at him) and went numb for a few minutes. Then, in the realization of what was happening I went to our bedroom and cried. Cried tears, cried out to God and my mind went a thousand different directions. "What will we do? We just moved here. How will we pay our bills? Will I have to go back to work? What will people say?" The last question is the worst for me. It stings. That should never have even crossed my mind. But, it did. You see, we've been here before. In September 2007, two weeks before we had Jackson, Ben was laid off from Acxiom along with a lot of other people. I still remember those long 9 months before he found another real job. And even more than the wait, I remember the looks and comments. Not uplifting, kind comments. Mean words, wondering where our resources were coming from and why Ben was taking so long finding a job. Oh it hurt. We are hard working people, why was this happening?

And now, why is this happening again?

I can look back on the 2007 job loss fondly now because I know where God took us. You see, in 2007 we were both working full time, with good income and the thought of saving money or using coupons were the last things on our minds. I remember one evening in January, watching a Fox News Special where the creator of the Grocery Game was featured and I was fascinated with what she was able to get with those coupons! I thought to myself, "Why did I not know about this? Why has nobody told me?" So I learned and saved and my knowledge grew and eventually I was able to use what little we had to more than provide for our family. That saving streak has not ended and because of the struggles that our family faced I started this blog - just one of many savings blogs out there but I get emails all the time from people telling me that they were able to provide for their family because they shopped sales and coupons that they heard about on my blog - not a testimony to me, but to God. I know exactly how they feel and so I'm thankful, so very thankful for how God blessed that time in our lives. It was a struggle, we had to lean on each other, Ben stocked shelves for Keebler at all hours of the day and night and we used our tax refund to go as far as we could make it go and we managed until Ben got a job at FedEx in May.

God was providing for us then and He is doing it now too. Fastforward 3 1/2 years to this January and we're back there again. Not sure why this is happening but trusting that God has a plan. Because He always does. And just as the scripture says,

"25I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds?"

I thought I was a humble person until Ben lost his job this time and God allowed me to become more humble. I'll never forget finding an envelope in my purse the Sunday after Ben lost his job, only 2 days after it happened with this note that I'll treasure as long as I live.
Just a simple, "God will take care of you." I wish I could say that I was thankful and excited about this at first but I wasn't. I was angry, I wanted to give that money back. I wanted to scream and yell and stomp my feet. "NO! This is NOT happening again!!!" You see, I want to be the one to give, I want to be the one to bless, not the one that needs it. And that envelope made the job loss real. But you know what? Shame on me. Shame on me for thinking so highly of myself. And shame on me for not recognizing a precious moment between me and my Savior when He loved on me. That envelope was just the beginning. I've gotten envelope after envelope after anonymous envelope filled with provision and scripture since this has happened. And do you know why? Not because I'm special, not because I'm worthy, but because He is good and He loves me. He loves you too.

Do you ever think about that? Truly think about it? The God of the Universe. The Creator of ALL things LOVES you. It blows my mind. I'm so wretched, so selfish, so unworthy and He freely gives, freely loves and I'm blown away. He is God Almighty and His promises are true.

I struggled with even sharing this because who wants everyone to know their struggles and insecurities? I worry about what people will say or think and how our family will be judged. But that makes it about me and it's not about me. If I don't tell you what we're going through then God doesn't get the Glory He deserves for everything He has done for us.

I get scared, I worry and I don't understand a lot of things. But, I've learned so much through this trial. One that is still going on. I've learned how much He loves me. That if it matters to me, it matters to God. I've learned the importance of the body of Christ. I love our church and the other Godly people in our lives. It is so encouraging to see people actually acting like Christians, actually loving on us not because we can do anything for them but because they love Jesus and want to be His hands and feet. It's overwhelming. And last, I've learned that no matter what we're given financially, whether through a paycheck or anonymous envelope it is from HIS hands. We don't earn anything, He gives it. That's humbling and I'm so thankful that He loves me enough to take the time to humble me so that I can become more like my Jesus.

"If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, tis now."