Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Vehicle for Our Journey

I used to joke around that I was NEVER going to be the soccer mom with the van full of kids. :-)  Life changes and I am PROUD to be the owner of a new-to-us van.  BUT, WAIT, don't go anywhere, I have an INCREDIBLE story to tell you.

As a pastor's family, we tend to have teens and children in our van that aren't always ours. We get calls every week for rides to church. We are happy to take anyone to church but don't always have the room for everyone. This became very evident about 5 months ago.  I was in my last trimester and I realized that with both car seats and Jer and I, we would only be able to fit one skinny little person in our car. This really puts a crunch on things. 

Shortly after this I remember talking to my grandma and asking her to pray for us. I prayed specifically for a free van. (WOW, that's bold!) Knowing that we didn't have the money in our budget, I felt this would be the best way. Then Hubby and I got talking and we decided to put his SUV on Craigslist and try to sell it.  Once we sold it, we would buy a van. This seemed like a great idea.

So, in my last couple weeks of pregnancy we put our vehicle up for sale. Jer placed in on the road with a sign and did all he could do to try to sell it. It didn't work and, once I had the baby, it all got put on the back burner. We still had the vehicle for sale but never got any bites.

I kept praying for my free van. :-)  My mom would tease me about it but I know she was praying as well.  Last week, we were at a friend's house and Jer got a text from a family from church; they had got a van and offered to give us theirs FOR FREE!  I don't even believe that they knew that we were looking. 

I had been on Jer's phone when the text came in. Yes, I said it, "FOR FREE!"  I read it, handed it to him and said "Yep, my God answers my prayers." It was soooooo powerful.  I mean sometimes, I feel like I'm his favorite. (ok, I know I'm not.) ...but He makes me feel that way. He REALLY cares and loves me. I'm so spoiled by Him. He answered our request to a "t". WOW, He is sooooooooooooooooo awesome. 

Thank you, Father! May we use this vehicle to bring others to church and to Christ. May it be used for His glory and honor. - REJOICING IN THE PRESENT

 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.: - Psalms 30:12

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hold Me!

Dear A, I will hold you baby forever not only physically but always in my heart! I love you A.

Hold me, Momma, hold me! I hear these words throughout the day, nearly everyday. I LOVE these words. In fact, this is probably my favorite phrase my 2-year old says. Most of the times that he says it, he just wants to be cuddled. When he's in my arms it's ok for him. He knows he is safe and feels happy and content. 

As I was snuggling with him the other day, I thought about my life and the world. Friends, IT'S SCARY! Oh my, it seems like the world is on the edge of one big explosion. Everyone is tense and it's just frightening. These are the times, when I cry out to God. Father, HOLD ME! HOLD ME! 

I know that He has me wrapped up in his hand and nothing can penetrate that. John 10:28-30 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one."

It's like we are wrapped up in Jesus' hand and then the Father takes his hand and puts it over that one. What security!  What peace!  I'm in His arms and I'm OK. Hold me, sweet Jesus! - Rejoicing in the Present

Picture from cccfsb.com

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Peacock Shower - Decor and Food

The last thing I wanted to share with you was the decorations and food. The shower was a lot of fun to decorate for and it turned out beautifully. Plus I was still able to keep it within my budget.

For the food we had…
1.   Turkey wraps
2.   A fruit platter
3.   Chips and Dip
4.   Cheese and Crackers
5.   Meatballs
6.   Adorable looking ,yet delicious cupcakes (her mom made)

For the drinks we had…
1.   Coffee
2.   Punch
a.   The punch was 7up, Hawaiian Punch and raspberry sherbet mixed together.
3.   Water

1.   I found green, blue and purple paper-ware that matched the peacock theme
2.   I wrapped the napkins and a small silver appetizer fork with ribbon, so that the guests could just easily grab one and go.
3.   I made the centerpiece out of tulle, crystals, a vase and a peacock. (Super easy and cute!)

Party Favors: I tied a packet of tissues with some hand sanitizers and made a small note that said “To have and to hold and to prevent a cold”

I hope you get some ideas for your next shower. - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Peacock Shower - Toilet Paper Cake

I saw the "toilet paper cake" ideas on Pinterest and had to make one! Since, we were already doing cleaning supplies, it was easy to incorporate the cake into the shower. 

What you need...

  1. Individually wrapped toilet paper rolls
  2. Individually wrapped paper towel rolls
  3. Extras (I used a bottle brush, a lighter, dish soap, and so on)
  4. Ribbon 
  5. Scissors
  6. Paper
  7. Tape
Here is what you do...
  1. First, I used 5 or 6 paper towel rolls and gathered them into a tight circle. 
  2. Then I wrapped them in white paper to hide most of the loud labels.
  3. Next, I did the same with the toilet paper rolls. I gathered 6, placing 3 on the bottom and 3 on the top. Then I wrapped them in paper as well.
  4. I did this as well with the last paper towel roll.
  5. Finally I wrapped all three tiers with ribbon and placed the extras inside the ribbon.
I added, took away, and redid it multiple times until I liked it. I finally went with a more simplistic cake. Have fun with it! - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Peacock Shower - Activities

Bridal Shower Games

We played 2 games at the shower. The first game was the purse scavenger hunt. The ladies had to hunt through their purses. Who ever had the most items asked for won the game. 

Here are the items...
Purse Scavenger Hunt
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pen
  • Keys
  • Receipt to Macy’s
  • Nail File
  • Flashlight
  • Tissues
  • Hair Brush
  • 5 coupons
  • Menu
  • $100 Bill
  • USB Drive
  • Shower Invitation
  • Photo of Sara

Then we played a game with Sara. We asked Ricky some questions and then we asked Sara to answer them. These were the questions and answers. If she got them right. Ricky would either give her a :*- kiss , $- money or a O<] - a ring (She either got a hershey kiss, 100grand or a ring pop.)

Where was your first date to? and what did you do? Fuji sushi. Dinner date/ate sushi $
When was the first time R said I love you?She had me from hello O<]
What is R favorite food/snack? Lobster $
What was R first pet? Name? Chance Nance- dog $
What is R’s pet name for you? Honey bear :*
What is R favorite thing about your personality? kind hearted :*
What part of the wedding is R looking forward to? being pronounced "husband and wife" O<]
What part of the wedding would he like to skip? planning O<]
What is the first thing R wants to do once your married?  consummate O<]
What is R favorite thing about your relationship so far? the affection and love we have for each other :*
What is R looking forward to in your future together? starting a family/ becoming parents :*
What is R dream job? rockstar $

It was A LOT of fun...lots of laughs and giggles. :-)  

At the very end, while we were enjoying the coffee and dessert, we had all the married women give Sara advice. They were to give her 3 things: something never to do, something to do and something funny. This was really neat and it gave Sara different perspectives on marriage. I hope this gives you some ideas. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Peacock Shower - Drawing

I wanted to do something a little extra special to help Sara build up some cleaning supplies. So I offered everyone a chance to enter a drawing if they brought their favorite housekeeping cleaner to share with Sara. 

Here was the wording...
Bring your favorite household cleaning products to share with Sara and you will be entered into a drawing!!! Wrapping is not necessary 

It was neat idea and it went along with the gift that we gave her. Our gift to Sara was a laundry basket full of cleaners, detergent and other common household items. 

I also made a paper-supplies cake which I will share with you tomorrow. 

How did I come up with this idea?
When I was given my first baby shower, the lady who gave it did a drawing for the ladies who brought me diapers. This WAS awesome. I received SOOOOO many diapers.

I would encourage you to think up some ideas for people to bring an extra item to enter a drawing. It's fun for the guests to get to enter and win something and it's great for the guest-of-honor to be stocked up on something important. 

Below are some ideas of things you can encourage people to bring...

Wedding Shower

  1. Food Staples (ex. flour, sugar, canned goods...)
  2. Cleaning Products
  3. Paper Products
  4. Plastic Products (Trash bags, Plastic Containers, sandwich bags...)

Baby Shower

  1. Diapers
  2. Wipes
  3. Hygiene products
(If you were throwing a party for a teacher)
  1. School Supplies
  2. Coffee (If she drinks it)
    1. You could buy a new coffee maker and have everyone bring a bag of their favorite coffee to share with her. 
    2. You could also do this with a co-worker

  3. Paper Products

Monday, September 22, 2014

Peacock Bridal Shower

My husband's cousin is getting married THIS WEEK and a while back I gave his future bride a shower to welcome her to our side of the family. Sara is a BIG sweetheart and fun to be around. I've only met her a few times, but it's not hard to fall in love with her. So when they announced their engagement, I didn't have to think twice about doing this.

Sara loves peacocks so I decided to do a peacock-themed shower. Over this next week, I'm going to share with you what we did, what we ate, the invites and our fun cake. :-) Feel free to use any ideas that I share and if you do, I would love for you to comment on how it worked for you. :-)

First of all, to have a party you must have invitations. I made my own.  Here they are. Feel free to copy them or use any part of them. 

Tomorrow we will talk about the drawing I did. That information was included in the invitation as well. - Rejoicing

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Courtship, Dating, Going Steady...

You may have seen this article, Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed, going around in social media. I wanted to share some of what was written that I thought you might be able to chew on. Always remember, that other then the Bible, there is no article or book that is perfect. It's written by flawed humans, thus sinners, and so you have to eat the meat and spit out the bones. 

I like Thomas' idea on "Traditional Dating".  He used the example of his Christian grandmother and how she dated. 

When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had only one rule for her.

The One Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row.
So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday.
That sounded crazy to me. So, I asked her the rationale behind it. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. “The guys wouldn’t even want to kiss you!” She said.
The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?
She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys. This meant that by the time she was 17 years old she knew which Bob she wanted to marry. They got married and stayed married till my grandfather passed away half a century later.

The Difference Between “Dating” and “Going Steady”

She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”. “Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row. It often had symbols like the girl wearing the guy’s letter jacket. This telegraphed to everyone at school that she was “off the market” and that she had a “steady beau”.
It seems that my great grandparents’ rule forbidding my grandmother from going out with the same guy twice in a row was a common rule in those days.
The Greatest Generation was encouraged to date and discouraged from going steady while in middle school  (I would personally change that to HIGH School)
With Traditional Dating, asking a girl out on a date is no big deal. All the guy is asking to do is to get to know the girl better. Maybe this leads to a deeper relationship, maybe it doesn’t. Either way, the interaction is easier and more fun when it is not so intense.
I remember when my sister was dating in college and a young man called my dad about her. This guy wanted "rights" to her.  So he asked my dad if he could date her.  My dad said "Yes, and she can also date whoever else she wants to at the same time". The guy was not too happy to hear that statement but my dad was making the point that my sister didn't have to be tied down. She could and should go on dates with different men so that she could meet "her right one". 
I like the idea of "going on dates with different people." It helps you build friendships and doesn't make things serious too fast. 
I personally think that parents make the mistake when they forbid their children to "go on dates" until they're out of school. I attended a Christian college and met some girls who had never been allowed to date.  They went "nuts" and were the ones who usually got themselves into trouble.
I am also a BIG believer in chaperons, yes EVEN FOR ADULTS!   *GASP*   Let's all be real here.  I think you have to know your kids and yourself (if you're single). HOWEVER, for the physical safety of yourself I really do believe in them. 
Isn't it funny when we hear about someone on the news that we grew up with and we are like "OH MY, I just never saw that coming." *Nodding*  That happens in dating, as well. 
I had a friend I worked with in VA who went on a date with a guy she had met and got double raped by him and his friend. 
I know this doesn't happen to everyone that goes on dates, BUT it does happen and thus I think we need to protect ourselves. Chaperones help to calm the heat down. When you have others around, there is less opportunity for things to get too serious. 
Ok, so maybe you need to have a serious conversation, then have them sit at a different table or go to a very popular, public place to eat. It's better to be safe then sorry. I just don't think ANYONE needs to be at an apartment or house or private location by themselves. If you like each other, which usually is the case, :-) it puts unneeded temptations there. No one is above it.

More from Thomas...

Now Let’s Talk Some Specifics

Suggestions For Single Women
  • If a Christian guy asks you out for dinner, say “yes”. You don’t need to love him to say yes to a first date.
  • Be friendly. Give the guy hope that he has a chance with you. Coyness is not as attractive as the media makes it out to be.
  • Don’t make him run a gauntlet before he can get to know you. Realize he is not asking to marry you when he asks if he can buy you dinner.
  • Some guys are hidden gems and are more than meets the eye. Give him a chance to win your attention and to earn that second date
  • Let the guy pay for dinner.

Suggestions For Single men

  • Start asking girls out. Most girls would love to be asked out and will say “yes” if you would just ask them.
  • Realize that asking a girl out for dinner is not the same as proposing marriage.
  • Get a job. Pay for dinner.

Suggestions for Both Single Men and Single Women

  • Do what your grandparents did and go out on dates with lots of different people before going steady with any of them.
  • Don’t marry the first person you have feelings for.
  • Keep an eye out for public places where you can have private conversations.
  • Find a church with lots of single people. There are still churches out there with a healthy culture of traditional dating. If no one in your church got married last year, don’t expect to break that trend. You can always move back to your parent’s church after you find your sweetheart.
  • Fear God.

Suggestions For Parents

  • Try to make marriage attractive to your children by loving and respecting your spouse the best you can. One reason that your children may not be getting married is because they don’t want what you have in your marriage.
  • Start dating your spouse again. Do whatever you can to make your marriage a happy one.
  • Encourage your sons to ask girls out on dates.
  • As your children become adults, give advice instead of commands. 
  • Pray earnestly and persistently for your child. Pray and trust God to guide your child directly.
  • Encourage your children to find their way to places where they can meet other single people. 
  • Remember that gentleness and kindness are fruits of the Spirit.
  • Treat the person interested in your child as a fellow brother or sister in Christ.

All in all, it was an interesting read. There is so much good meat there. I hope you can get something out of it. Don't forget you may have to spit out some bones.  If you have more questions about his article, there is a follow-up -> Q&A Follow-up. - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why I Am Sooooooo Tired

I always have to laugh about the statement "You look tired." It usually means, I haven't done my hair or my makeup or I'm just having an ugly day. Cause, moms, we all know that we are tired EVERY day. :-) You need a laugh from real life.  Well here it is. This was written by  with lifetimemoms.  

“You look tired” is one of the rudest sentences in the English language. Unless it’s followed up by, “Lie down on this deck chair while I mind your children and straighten up your house,” there is no need to point out the obvious.

Of course I look tired-- I’m a mom! Here are just some of the reasons:

1. No matter how beat I am, falling asleep takes two hours because of this ticker in my head: “Did I turn off the oven? Lock the door? Drain the bath? Is dry drowning a real thing? Did her head feel warm when I kissed her goodnight? Are we out of milk?” It’s endless.

2. When I do fall asleep, there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll be awakened by an eerily silent child five inches from my face, just staring at me.

HAHAHAHA - Seriously :-) I have a friend who's daughter does this to her consistently. It's like right out of a horror movie. 

3. God taught us in the Bible that we should have a day of rest. What happened to it, moms?

4. Until they invent a single cosmetic product that can cover dark circles, brighten eyes, define cheekbones and extend lashes, my beauty routine is getting my hair (most of it) into a ponytail. It’s a look. 

5. I’ll cover my kid in 50 SPF head to toe for a trip to the supermarket but go weeks without dabbing a little moisturizer on my crow’s feet. Haven’t really nailed that whole “self-care” thing yet.

6. Every question I answer starts with “Why?” “Can I?” or “Give me.” They could use this technique at Guantanamo—more effective than water boarding! And exhausting.

7. Disney movies: they seem like a great idea until somebody has an Ursula the Sea Witch nightmare and climbs into bed and plants herself on top of you.

...Yep then they come into your bed and wet the bed. YAY! :-)

8. My toddler’s favorite way to play is to dump every toy she owns into a huge pile on the floor. The second I’ve tidied up, she does it again. Sometimes I think I’ll pass out under the toy pile and not be found until someone needs a snack…so, like, five minutes later.

Great exercise! They should sell a aerobics video of a mom picking up toys. You would get GREAT abs. 

9. Carrying a flailing, tantruming, 30-pound-toddler plus a giant bag of sand toys is not just exhausting--it should be an event in the Decathlon.


10. Being responsible for a little person’s health, safety, well-being, nutrition, education and self esteem weighs on me heavily, and really makes me Zzzzzzzzz…What? Sorry. What was I saying? Oh yeah, it’s tiring.  

Oh, and add to that, a baby who wakes up to feed every night. When I had my first baby, I was so afraid of rolling over my baby. I would get up and sit in a rocker to feed the baby and then when the baby was done I would lay him down and go back to sleep for 2 hours. HAHAHAHA. WOW! Anyway, I'm a light sleeper and wake up if my baby moves at ALL. So I've changed that now and let me tell you. Baby #2 and Momma are so much happier and healthier! If you're not a light sleeper or your afraid to co-sleep then DON'T, but you're the Momma. You do what you feel is best for your baby and you. Ask God to give you direction and He will. - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Health from Hannah -> PanAway!

Many of you enjoyed Hannah's guest blog post last month. Well, she was good enough to share with us again. This time she is sharing about about another essential oil, PanAway!
I’m so excited to be back with you again to share some more about essential oils. Last time, I shared about some oils I used on my little guys. Today, I'd like to share about another oil included in the Premium Starter Kit (the best value to get started with 11 oils and a diffuser!).

PanAway! Think Pain-Away….because that's what it does! Gary Young (founder of Young Living Oils) created this blend to help himself heal after he injured his leg and tore several ligaments in it.

PanAway is a blend of several oils including Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint. It's a very powerful anti-inflammatory blend of oils and promotes faster healing by helping oxygen get to the cells. 

This oil is great for people of all ages! Alleviate growing pains by diluting and rubbing on your child's legs. For the older generations, PanAway helps with arthritis, rheumatism, tendinitis, and various inflammations of bones, muscles, and joints; not to mention headaches and aches and pains of all shapes and sizes!

My grandma has been awaiting hip replacement surgery and was on various pain meds. I shared the oils with her, and she agreed to try them. She called me when the oils arrived, and I explained how to use the oils. Her voice was strained; you could tell she was in a ton of pain just by talking to her. TWO DAYS later, she called me to tell me how amazed and grateful she was that I shared the oils with her! She hadn't taken any pain meds and was feeling so much better!

I love helping people, and when it's family, it makes it even better! I cannot tell you how awesome it was to hear life back in her voice, and to know that I was helping her with something natural – not only was she not in pain, but she wasn't taking medications that have unpleasant and harmful side effects!

We recently traveled to a family wedding. My husband's aunt tripped on a step the day before the wedding and was using a cane to help her walk, as her knee was in a lot of pain. I had my oils with me, and she agreed to let me share them with her. We put some PanAway on her knee. A little while later, she was up walking around and couldn't believe how quickly the pain had gone! She didn't even need the cane for support anymore! Seriously! These oils are a God-given blessing, and I absolutely love seeing all the ways they can help people!

I'd love to help you enrich your quality of life, and help your friends and loved ones live healthy lives without pain too! I'm not a doctor, just a wife and mom sharing what I've researched and used for my own family.

If you're interested in learning more about essential oils and the company I chose, please contact me! 

I'd love to share how they have helped my family and me. I’m on Facebook at All Oil'd Up; or you can email me at hannah.sawyer@yahoo.com. 
You can view Young Living products here: http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products 
And I'd love for you to use my referral/enroller number of 1452038. I'm excited to be building a team of people to help in their oil journey, so please reach out to me with any questions, or feel free to forward this information on to a friend who could benefit too! Prices listed on the website are retail; there is a wholesale option where you can get a kit of 11 oils plus a diffuser, and then qualify for 24% off any future purchases! You can choose your Premium Starter Kit here! https://www.youngliving.com/signup/?site=US&sponsorid=1801809&enrollerid=1452038

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's OK to Disagree

I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!  One of my closest friends, Brandy, is somewhat opposite of me.  She is a momma who does hospital births, bottle-feeding, public school, and so on. I am a home-birth, breast-feeding, home-school momma and so on. We, however, embrace each other's methods. I learn from her and she learns from me. We love each other and our methods don't get in the way of our relationship. She has been a boatload of wisdom to me and I don't think I could do without her in my life. 

You don't have to be the same to be friends. If what people are doing goes against God and His Word, then, yeah, you might want to take a step back and embrace them, but not the sin. However, most of these mommy-methods are not in the Bible, so do what works for you.  Give and take a little and agree to disagree. Thanks to thebettermom.com

"Eleven years ago I brought my firstborn son home from the hospital. At the time, I had decided to do a scheduled nursing cycle. I had read books about this type of nursing and had discussed it with my husband and we had decided we would give it a try. It wasn’t long before I explained my schedule to other moms and I realized that some of them felt I was out of my mind! I remember becoming defensive. I didn’t really know what I was doing – I was a first time mom – but my method had my baby sleeping through the night which made me happy. I was zealous about my method and wanted to share it with other new moms and again received some resistance. I didn’t understand why?

Since those newborn days, I have learned an important parenting lesson within the church.

Do not squabble with your sister’s in Christ over methods!

Many parenting methods are not moral issues –whether to nurse or bottle feed, whether to let a baby cry it out or not, when to potty train, what time bedtime should be, homeschool, christian school or public school choices … these are all matters of opinion. We must not judge other mom’s choices.

If we begin to criticize each other over methods eventually pride, self-righteousness and superiority enters in and that can give the enemy a foothold real quick!

Yes, friends, we may have wisdom to share, but thinking that we always know better is pride. It might not be better for them. 

Let me advise young women, consult your husband on what method you would like to use. As long as he is in agreement, do not worry what other moms think of you.


Do not be discouraged when you feel judged.

Hang in there! Don't feel bad, if you know that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE a person with a different opinion.

And to those with strong opinions on these things, we must beware of criticizing other’s behind their backs (the Bible calls that back-biting)your friend may be cheerfully submitting to her husband and you may discourage her, or worse, cause her to be disobedient to God by following your advice rather than her husband’s.

It is important that we learn to be less opinionated for the sake of unity on matters that are not spelled out in the Bible.


This is why Titus 2 women are SO vital!

A Titus 2 woman can offer wisdom from experience and general principles from scripture rather than the ever changing trends of the world. She will remind us of how things have changed. I remember my mom explaining to me that at one time, most moms slept their babies on their bellies. Now, most first time moms put their babies on their backs. Sometimes we need the input of older women to help us realize, there is more than one way to raise a godly child and our goal is not to do this perfectly but to honor God in all we do, including how we treat moms who think differently.

Why? Because the winds of change are coming and today’s methods will not be tomorrows,but God’s word stands. We want to stand on principles not methods.


Proverbs 17:27 & 28 says He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

So use restraint when you disagree with another’s methods. Take time to encourage your sisters in Christ today and consider asking an older wiser woman for advice the next time you are wondering what to do with your toddler or teen.

And if you feel judged – stay the course and remember you and your family are unique." - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Pure Eyes"

While looking through some of the books on my husband's Kindle, I came across this book, Pure Eyes. He hasn't read it yet, so neither of us can give a recommendation but it seemed to be a good title for my blog today. Let me tell you why.

I used to be a big fiction reader, especially Christian romance novels, but after getting married I realized how off they were. Romance novels make you think that marriage is this perfect place where everyone says the right thing, and the passion is perfect and the guy always gets the perfect gift and even when the characters are angry it all just works out perfectly and they live happily ever after. YEAH NO! 

Marriage is hard. 

It's a sacrifice. 

Can it be amazing and wonderful? 


In fact, my husband does a great job of giving those books a run for their money but he's still a human and he still makes mistakes and he's married to me. (...and we all know how difficult that can be.)

I personally believe many of these books make wives and brides discontent with good marriages and makes them wish for a relationship they could never have anyway. 

I know this because...
I read them before I got married and held my husband to a standard NO ONE could meet. I disappointed myself too many times by expecting something that was not normal

I've talked to other woman as well who have read and done the same thing. There are also other blog articles about this very thing. So that is the first reason I would say that they are unhealthy. 

I want to take another step forward and say that many (not all) cross boundaries into what is not pure, lovely, or true. In fact, many of these books are plainly pornographic. Christian Romance Novels. YES! I have had to put more then a  few books down because of this issue.

Wikipedia says "Pornography (often abbreviated as "porn" or "porno" in informal usage) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal." Even though you can not see the couple doing intimate things, many of these books give you a mental picture that can be far more dangerous

So let me tell you what happened the other day. I have not read a romance book in a LONG time for the above reasons, but I was bored the other day while feeding T.  So I browsed through the Kindle and found a "Christian Romance." and I started reading it. 

Let me just say WOW! 

The story line was so typical that it made me want to roll my eyes. His wife died and he had sons and needed a wife and they met through an ad in the newspaper. She thought he was so handsome and said all the right things. He didn't want just a mother for his kids but a wife and I mean I started flying through the book just waiting for something exciting to happen. IT WAS SO LAME! 

Then they got married and this is were it went bad. The author decided to DETAIL everything. I got a few sentences into it, thinking they would kiss and then we would go to the next chapter, but oh no, I was horrified. There were quite a few pages before the end of the chapter and I skimmed and confirmed that this was NOT pure! It was plain and simple porn. 

The Bible says in Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

What is the point of the books you are reading? 

Do they have a story line that is interesting, yet pure? 

Are they self-help to encourage a better marriage or to help you mother your children? 

Do they encourage you to know and pursue God?

Do you find your husband lacking after reading your book?
What is the point? 

Check your books, check your heart. Ask God to show you today whether you have pure eyes. - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, September 12, 2014

DIY Kitchen Pictures

I got a new cupboard and needed to change some of my frames around so that they would all fit. I wanted them all to match so with the help of a little spray paint, I gave them all a fresh new look. 

Here is what I used...

  1. Paper
  2. Painters Tape
  3. Primer Spray Paint
  4. .99 Walmart White Spray Paint

Here is how I did it...

  1. I popped out the inside of the frame and for the bulletin board and chalk board I placed paper over the inside and taped off the edges.
  2. Then I sprayed a coat of ultra-cover white primer over all the sides
  3. After letting them dry I sprayed them with my $.99 white glossy spray paint. 
  4. I did this a couple times to give them the perfect look
  5. When all was said and done, I put the picture back together and hung them up.
A new day, a new look - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

People Matter

"Well done"

"People truly were his mission"

"C. S. Lewis said, 'True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.' Pastor Tom Craig was the best living example of that definition that I have ever known."

"... a great man, who loved His Savior dearly and as a result loved people dearly"

"what a great legacy you left..Always pointing those around you to Jesus, giving of your time, and always making us laugh"


I shared about Pastor Tom and his cancer about a month ago. I know this didn't do justice. This picture to the right is from our wedding, where he was sharing the gospel.

Pastor Tom went to be with the Savior he loved so much, Wednesday night, September 3, around 6pm. 

 Since then, stories keep popping up. I keep remembering how his wife and he really reached out and spoke into our lives. Honestly, it wasn't from his sermon. It was his life. It was how he reached into yours, without you even noticing it and spoke into it. It was the way that he was there. It was the way that he made you feel important and encouraged you

One thing that hit me these last couple weeks was that I wasn't "it". Pastor Tom and Kim had this way of making you feel important like you were their only ministry.  

I mentioned that, recently, I had visited the church, and even though there were a ton of visitors to see them, Kim saw me and called out and spoke to me. She asked how I was doing. She genuinely cared. They were just selfless.

I remember visiting in town over the last 5 years since we moved. They would talk and chat with us and ask us how we were doing. We mattered to them. Why? Because we were people and people were their ministry. They loved people. They breathed into the lives of people. People MATTERED! 

BUT I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE! This is what hit me.

When we would go visit TN, Pastor Tom and hubby (a pastor) would usually meet up for a coffee or lunch. PT mentored and poured into him as well as many people.  My husband was so impacted by Pastor Tom that he insisted on going to TN to be apart of the celebration service. 

My sister and I were talking as well. Her husband and her have been at the church for nearly 10 years and were the ones to introduce the rest of us to it. She mentioned several stories of how he poured into them. Once time after they ran a vacation Bible School for the church, he brought them into his office and after teasing them, presented them with Auburn gifts for Joe and a Charming Charlie's gift card for Faith. He loved to tease but yet he made you feel loved through the teasing.  

So you see, I wasn't their only ministry. They touched hundreds and maybe thousands of lives over the years. If you read his memorials and comments, on Facebook and elsewhere, you realize how many people he really affected. It's shocking. He made so many people feel like they mattered. He loved God. He loved people. 

Pastor Tom wasn't perfect. He was human. He made mistakes but, in the end, he touched people with his life. He touched people with this death. He left a legacy because he made people feel like they matter.

Are people important to you? Do they matter to you? You know, they matter to God. He loved them so much He gave up His Son for them (John 3:16) -- Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Over the last couple weeks, we were pouring ice water over our heads and challenging each other to top it. This was all done to bring awareness regarding the disease ALS and it did bring awareness! In fact, I didn’t even know about it until all this craziness started to happen around me. It hurt my heart to see the people that were suffering with it. These were friends and friends of friends that I didn’t realize were dealing with such pain. I hope that the challenge woke you up as well. J

This week another challenge has been started. This challenge is to proclaim your awareness and necessity of God, to be unashamed of the gospel of God. I LOVE that our teens are jumping on this and posting themselves in videos proclaiming that they are unashamed. I pray that God will get glory and that souls will be won.

As I took the challenge a bit farther 2 weeks ago “by not screaming when the ice was poured on me,” I want to take this challenge a bit farther. This time I want you to scream.

No, I don’t want you to scream in the video, I want your LIFE to scream that you are not ashamed.

If a friend got on your FB wall, would they see that you are in love with Jesus?

Would they know how to find him?

What if your friend came to your house?

Would they see your craziness over Jesus?

When your friend and you are hanging out, does your mouth show that you are unashamed?

Do the movies you watch show that you love God?

Friends, teens, loved ones, it’s EASY to post a video online in our country where there is free religion. It’s a quick 30 seconds of your time.

What’s not easy is getting up before you go to school to have your walk with Jesus.

What’s not easy is bowing your head in a public place to thank God for your food.

What’s not easy is listening to God-honoring music and watching ONLY God-honoring movies,

What’s not easy is having love towards the unlovely.

What’s not easy is proclaiming Christ when all your friends think that’s not cool

…but God said “If you love me, keep my commandments”

God is SOOOOO AWESOME. He loved us so much that He gave his only son, Jesus to restore our relationship so that we can have a RELATIONSHIP with Him. There is nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to God. He is so incredible--we are so worthless but He gives us worth. Thank you, dear Father! Thank you! I hope you are not ashamed and I pray that your friends can see it, not just on your video. but in your life. Unashamed and trying to live it,  ARE YOU? 

-Rejoicing in the Present