Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions Giveaway!

12-Day Diverting Dinnertime Giveaway  

Do your kids clam up at dinner time? Are you tired of asking them how their school day went that being the extent of the conversation? John Avery Whitaker of Adventures in Odyssey’s Whit’s End has just the solution for you: Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions. Tricia Goyer and Crystal Bowman helped him come up with 90 ideas to help build your kids’ faith and your relationships.

To celebrate, Tricia is hosting a 12-day Diverting Dinnertime Giveaway! From April 20 to May 1, visit this page for a new giveaway each day. Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win. Oh, and don’t forget to come to her Facebook party on May 1 (RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/350106761758181); you might see a few familiar Adventures in Odyssey characters.

Head here to enter Tricia’s 12-Day Diverting Dinnertime Giveaway!

I have personally used this devotional with my daughter and she loves it!  Look for my review soon and a giveaway for that as well!

Thankful Thursday!

It is Thankful Thursday again and I love this day.  I do a lot of thinking on what I need to fix about myself and my surroundings and life in general and sometimes being thankful just isn’t in the mix.  And that can get depressing.  But you know, I have so much to be thankful for that I should be doing it on a daily regular basis.

Michelle over at Divas With A Purpose has decided to do just that for Thankful Thursdays!  She is going to list what she is thankful for one day at a time… one each day this week.  I think that is a wonderful idea so I will be doing the same thing.  I will add something I am thankful for each and every day this week so don’t forget to check back to see the rest of the list!

Day 1-  I am thankful for the beautiful sunshine that we have had all this week.  If you know anything about Western Washington, you know this time of year can be very rainy, grey and wet!  The sunshine has been love for my soul.

Day 2-  I am thankful that I can work out again and get back to being healthy.  God is good even through the pain 😉

Day 3-  I am thankful for my church and the leadership we have.  My pastor, Jon Cobler, is an amazing man of God and I am grateful to him for listening to God when preparing to teach us.  This week he had a plan and notes and on Saturday morning God said, “But I want to say this!”  And our pastor listened.  Because of that I am now paying attention to my belief in something very simple…. I believe God can… but do I believe God will?  It is important for us to believe God desires to and will do what He said He will do!  Just food for thought for you!

Day 4-  I am grateful for my mother and father-in-love.  They are truly great people and care for us very much.  I love seeing my daughters eyes light up when they are around.  It was wonderful spending time with them today.

Day 5-

Day 6-

Day 7-

Click the picture below and join us in Thankful Thursday!  Have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday

Free

A new Acapella song by my Muppin with all original lyrics and tune!  She is so talented and I just love her creative heart.   She wrote this song all by herself and came and asked me if I would listen to her sing.  She then sang it to me again later and it was exactly the same so I just had to record it.

She has said since she was very small (3 years old) that when she grows up she wants to sing and dance on stage to raise money for the poor so they can eat.  I pray that the Lord grows her each day and helps her realize her dreams.

Sorry for the poor quality, I do not have a smart phone yet 🙂

Lead Your Family Like Jesus

I have an 8 year old daughter and as her mother I love her dearly.  She is an only child and sometimes my husband and I are not sure what the best approach is to dealing with different things that we go through as parents when it comes to raising a Godly girl.  She is a great kid and we don’t have major issues, but as a parent I always want to do the very best that I can to raise her in the way she should go… in God’s ways 🙂

Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of FamiliesI love reviewing books and finding gems where I had not expected them.  I was very blessed to have been asked to review the book “Lead Your Family Like Jesus” by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer.  I love Tricia and her books but wasn’t quite sure about this one because I have never read anything by the other two co-authors of this book.

I have to say at the beginning that this book is amazing!

What I love the most about it is that it is written with three points of view, with both sexes represented.  I love this because dads and moms can see things differently sometimes and this approach covers the different perspectives and points of view very well!

Note: I will be writing multiple blogs about this book because it is so rich that I want to share with you all without creating such a long post that none of you get to the end 😉

While reading the first thing that really struck me was this comment in the introduction, “God has gifted you with your children.  Will you nurture them with a servants heart, as Mary and Joseph nurtured Jesus?”  How often do we feel like the all powerful parent that needs to be in charge, instead of… the servant parent that wants to help our children grow and become exactly what God intends them to be, not what we intend them to be?  I often only want my daughter to do what I want her to do, instead of taking the time to see her perspective and serving her the way I should.  That doesn’t mean she gets away with things, but it means I need to look at how and why she is doing what she is doing and why I act the way I do.

Am I seeking to serve God and the well-being of my family members, or am I seeking my own self-interest?”  Often, it is my own interests that I am protecting.

Another thing I loved was when Ken talked about things that are Important Forever or Temporary Stuff.  When going through your day trying to figure out what is most important ask this question, is this important forever or is it just temporary stuff?  It really opens your eyes to all the things we focus on that are not really important.  Do I want my daughter to remember all the house work I do, or the chores that got done if something happens to me, or do I want her to remember that no matter what was going on, she came before all the stuff and that I loved her deeply and unconditionally?

There are so many incredible nuggets in this book.  I will be sharing more with you soon.  I highly recommend getting this book and taking the time to create a plan on how to make an eternal  difference in your kids life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are honest and my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.

Thankful Thursday!

This week has been filled with tragedy.  Both Boston and West, TX have been hit with explosions that have claimed lives and have struck fear into the hearts of all those affected.  In times like these it is difficult to find anything to be thankful for, but I am blessed to have so many.

1.  My family is alive and safe at this very moment and if something happens I know God will be holding me and taking care of me.

2.  My God is strong, powerful and ever present and will never leave or forsake me.  Jesus’ blood has covered my sin and insures that I will live with Him in eternity and because He died I have been blessed with the ever-present and powerful Holy Spirit as He dwells within me guiding and comforting me all the days of my life.

3.  I have all the food I need, a place to live (though not large and glorious like many, it is perfect for us), access to health care and the freedom to love my family and my God how I choose.

4.  I can write what I think, what I believe and share those things with the world and not be persecuted in the same way that happens in many other countries.

5.  I get to love all of you, have compassion for you and pray for you all.  I am truly blessed.

Please know that no matter what happens, God loves you… and He always will.

What do you have to be thankful for today?

Thankful Thursday

This post is part of Divas With A Purpose, Thankful Thursdays. To be part of it just click the picture above and join in! You will never regret it!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month #SAAM

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and I want to encourage you to participate in Denim Day!

 SweetSouthernGirl

What is Denim Day?

In 1999 an Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a 45 year old driving instructor for the rape of his 18 year old student. The reason cited was the girl’s clothing. It was determined that because she wore blue jeans the instructor could not have removed them without assistance, therefore she must have consented. People everywhere were outraged and within hours prominent women within the legal community were walking the courthouse in blue jeans to protest the decision. Since that time Denim Day in LA and the USA was born. Peace Over Violence, the agency behind Denim Day, centers this campaign around the fact that a woman’s choice of clothing is no excuse for rape.

Sexual assault is one of those things that goes on the back burner.  No one wants to talk about it.  But it happens to our daughters and sons, brothers and sisters and our mothers and fathers.  It is happening regardless if we talk about it or not.

The Facts!

Here are some grim facts for you.  According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network:

  • 54% of sexual assaults are never reported and 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.  (How sad and how very wrong.)
  • Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States alone.
  • There is about 207,754 victims 12 years or older sexually assaulted each year.
  • 44% of victims are under the age of 18 and 80% are under the age of 30.
  • 1 out of every 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
  • 1 out of every 33 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.  (This isn’t something that just happens to women.)
  • 2/3rds of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim and 38% are friends or acquaintances.
  • Victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

We need to change things and bring awareness to everyone about this devastating act of violence.  Will you get involved?

How do I participate?

It is easy. Wear Blue Jeans on April 24th and talk to people about the spirit of Denim Day.  Post a picture of yourself wearing blue jeans and post about Sexual Assault Awareness on April 24th. Display the button in your post and link-up to show support! To link up go to Secrets of a Sweet Southern Girl’s website and follow her instructions.

Don’t forget to link up!

Boston Marathon Tragedy

4/15/13 – Another day to Never Forget…

Yesterday was my birthday.  I have trouble with my birthday each year due to sadness that fills the month of April in our home and the memories of things in my past that haunt me on a regular basis, thought not as much as they could if Christ wasn’t ministering to my heart on a continual basis.

Yesterday my family wanted to make the day special and all I wanted was to stay home and spend time alone in the quietness of them.  Not far into my day as I searched the web I was shocked and saddened to see the events unfolding at the Boston Marathon.  Sadness, anger and fear rose inside of me as I sat thinking about how I watched 9/11 unfold in the exact same way, watching live as the second plane flew into the tower, watching them fall and watching thousands die.  With disbelief I watched yesterday and thought “maybe it isn’t so.”  But it was.  Lives were ended, ripped apart and torn into pieces and not one person could change the fact that the horrid actions of a few changed the lives of so many forever.

I don’t know anyone that was hurt, but it affected me none-the-less.  When those that are loved by God (all of the human race) are hurt He cries, and so do I.  It isn’t His will for anyone to be hurt the way they were and are being hurt still today.  But He is with us giving us strength even when we don’t feel Him.  I have faced some terrible things and I didn’t always feel Him when I was going through those things, but I surely saw His hand when the time was right.  Seeing what He saved me from truly gives me a perspective of How incredibly loving and HOLY He is.  I don’t deserve to be saved, forgiven and I don’t deserve to receive any blessings at all… but He provides all those things anyway… freely.

I have been playing the song “Lamb of God” by Tenth Avenue North over and over again and what strikes me is that no matter what tragedy falls us, no matter who wills to destroy us He is still Holy, Worthy and Able and I will trust in Him for all my needs especially when I understand nothing… nothing at all.

This verse stands out to me more than any other…

“How do I dare approach this Holy One
The One who was and is, was and is to come
Robed in righteousness and mystery
We have only just begun, just begun to see
So I come broken through
The blood of Your Son and I kneel before You”

I pray for every single person hurt by this tragedy, that the Lord not only heals wounds of the body and of the heart but also of the spirit.  I pray the blood of Jesus over each person and pray that they would know His healing touch and His deep and forever free gift of salvation.  I pray that they would see that He is a God who is mightier than any foe out there and that all He wants to do is to be the one to fight for us.  All we need to do is ask and believe He will do it.  Even if it happens in a way we are not expecting.  God bless each of you in Boston and elsewhere affected by this tragedy.