Celebrate Freedom

fireworks

Happy 4th of July!

If you are like me, you have lots to do today. Therefore, I am going to make this short and sweet. The 4th of July holds so many memories for me, both as a child and with my own. But instead of sharing my memories with you today, I would like you to leave a memory in the comment section or a picture on my author page on facebook. Each memory or picture will get you an entry in the give away for FREE books. I will announce the winners on Monday morning, so you have until Sunday at midnight to enter. Don’t miss out! Now, go make some memories.

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Are you Anchored?

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I didn’t use to like being on the water. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to swim and be at the beach, but the thought of being in deep water on a boat was not my idea of fun. However, as I have gotten older I have found being out on the water is very soothing.

Last fall, on a family trip to Missouri, we rented a boat for the afternoon. My husband, the avid fisherman, was eager to take the kids fishing. It was a crisp October afternoon. We loaded up and headed for the water. After a few (okay, actually several) pictures of the kids on the boat and fishing, I was content to sit back and take in the warmth of the sun and movement of the boat.

When Mitch found a “good spot”, he suggested that maybe he should set the anchor before the kids started casting. I didn’t think that extra step was necessary. The wind wasn’t blowing that much and we were back in a cove. Well, it wasn’t long before I noticed what he was talking about, the boat was drifting towards the rocks.

Dear friend, you and I are a lot like the fishing boat. Even in seemingly ideal circumstances, we can drift if we are not anchored.

The enemy wants nothing more than to pull us away from God and our beliefs. He is tricky and won’t do it all at once. No, it is very slow and subtle, just like the wind on the lake. It pulls us away unless we are grounded or anchored in Christ.

You and I must make the choice each and every day as to whether to use the anchor or not. Don’t be careless – cling to God. He is our rock. We can count on to hold us firm even when the storm winds blow.

Are you anchored to God or bobbing along on your own? Turn to God for safety and security.

If there is something heavy on your heart today, I would love to pray for you. Simply leave your request in the comment section.

Summer Fun Ideas

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June brings sunny days and kids out of school. This is a time many moms wonder how they can avoid the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored!” I have put together a few ideas that my kids love. Feel free to take these ideas and cater it to your own family or yourself. I would love to hear your creative ideas for conquering boredom.

    Summer Fun Ideas    
Make soap crayons Go bike riding Make a card for someone Jump rope Make s’mores
Watch a video Scavenger hunt  Ice Cream Night Play HORSE Silly string war Have a funathlon
Cool off and read a book together Make your own game  Try a new snack today Play dress-up  Play with dominoes Build a fort
Bring the beach home Water balloon fun      Play with clay Enjoy a puzzle Build an obstacle course  

Fun Friday

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So many things to share with you, but I will keep that until next week. Right now, my focus is on my oldest, Taylor. It is hard to believe that little bundle of joy came into my life almost 18 years ago and is graduating from the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities this weekend. I graduated in the third class from the Academy. Taylor has the distinction of being the first legacy student (child of an alumni). I couldn’t be prouder. She is such an amazing, young woman. I know that God has big plans in store for her life. She will be double majoring at Cedarville University in the fall in Chemistry and Biology. Watch out research world!

In honor of my daughter and all the other graduates, I would like to leave you with this video.

 

 In the comment section, I would love to hear how you are living life big.

Fun Friday – Tribute to Moms

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Turning the calendar to May this morning, I thought it was only fitting to focus on mothers. As I have been pouring over revisions for my fiction manuscript the past several weeks, I realize how truly blessed I am. Let me try to explain what I mean. You see throughout this novel I am integrating memories and stories from my childhood and the precious women of God that I have grown up with: my great-grandma, Thompie, my sweet grandmas, Lucy and Mary, and my dear mom, Kay. These women helped to form and mold me into the woman I am today. I know that I am blessed to have grown up around such incredible women of God. Each one impressed different aspects into my life and taught me countless things, but above all their faith and love for God shone brightly. Continue reading

Are you living in or out of the packet?

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In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share a story with you about the little seed.

There once was a little seed that was comfortable and content to live within the confines of the seed packet. It was safe, warm and others surrounded him. The little seed couldn’t imagine anything better. This has to be the perfect way to live, the little seed thought to himself.

All was well until the fateful day when the gardener came into the shed and took that seed out of the packet. The seed didn’t know what was going on or why the gardener would choose to take him out of the familiar and place him into the unknown. Things went from bad to worse for the little seed. You see, the gardener didn’t just take the seed out of the packet; he placed that seed down in a hole and covered it up with soil.

The little seed cried out. He was now cold, alone and scared. Why would the gardener be so cruel? What good could possibly come from this situation?

The seed stayed in this hole for quite some time. Occasionally, the hole would become wet, which made the seed shiver, but the sun seemed to continue to warm the soil even if the seed couldn’t see it. Over time the little seed started to change, it began to sprout and push its way through the ground to reach for the warmth of the sun.

The little seed was no more; it was now a beautiful plant standing strong in the master’s garden. The winds of life would blow, but its roots where firmly planted. With continual care from the gardener, that plant produced fruit for all to see.

If the seed would have stayed within the safety of the seed packet and not placed into the cold, dark hole it never would have brought forth such fruit.

The very same thing is true in our lives as well. We may be completely content and comfortable where we are, however, God has other plans for us. If we are going to produce fruit for Him we have to go through some dark times and struggles. But those will only serve to make our roots in Him stronger.

So the next time God is nudging you in a different direction, don’t fear the change. Think of the little seed and embrace it. You never know what all God has in store for you until you are willing to be used.

When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  – Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

While I was growing up I had formed in my head what my life was going to look like. I had everything planned out to create the ultimate picture.

I would graduate from college and get married. We would enjoy our time as newlyweds before having two children. The four of us would live in a quaint house with the white picket fence. Ah, I could sit back and just enjoy my family. It was picture perfect.

However, in my picture I did not account for reality. In my life this included; divorce, a miscarriage and cancer. That is only one side of the coin on the other I was also blessed with an amazing husband who loves the Lord, five incredible children and a writing career.

A certainty of life is that no one can plan out or predict how it will play out. There will be twists and turns as well as peaks and valleys. The only way to successfully navigate through life is by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you every step of the way. It may mean going through some struggles, but God knows what is best. He is the only one who sees the big picture. The experiences you go through can not only strengthen you, but also enable you to reach out to others. God will not waste one thing. He uses everything ultimately for good. We simply need to surrender to His leading. Don’t let your plans hold you back from God’s best for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for the truth found in Your Word. May I allow You to guide me down the correct path. Help me to cling to You even when the struggles in life come. I know that You have a perfect plan for me. May I completely surrender to You. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

So, what about you? Did you ever have a plan that failed? If so, could you see God’s hand in what happened next? What sort of “new beginnings” have you experienced in your life? Let’s talk about that today.

Spring Cleaning

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With Easter in the rearview mirror and warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to begin the dreaded — Spring Cleaning. I remember as I was growing up helping my grandmother thoroughly clean everything, including wiping down the walls. It was a time to open the windows and breathe in the smell of spring. Although it requires a great deal of work, it is necessary and rewarding. Continue reading