My Beloved

my beloved 3I was recently part of organizing and creating an atmosphere of worship for a women’s retreat.  It was a retreat like non-other than I have ever been part of before.  The Lord was there in such a way that the blessings are still ringing out. About a month before the retreat the Lord gave me this letter, “My Beloved” to give to the ladies and I believe He would have me share it with you. 

At the retreat someone shared a riveting and powerful video by Graham Cooke called… “To My Beloved”.  It was only God who could of orchestrated the two to be shared on the same weekend to the same ladies… to me!  I am sharing both.  So when you are done reading the letter from Him to His Bride (YOU) please take the time to watch the video, it will richly bless you.  He is calling you…. will you go?

My Beloved

My dearest love, do you not know how deep my love runs for you?  Oh how I long to scoop you up in my arms, twirl you around as your hair blows in the breeze.  I long to catch a glimpse of that beautiful smile that Father God created.  How beautiful is the smile He made just for you.  It fits you perfectly my love.

I have been following, pursuing and loving you all the days of your life.  When you were in your mother’s womb and you felt her pain when she thought of you, I was there comforting you.  I was covering and protecting you.  My Spirit was in the water that surrounded your tiny little shape and My Spirit flowed through your lungs giving you life.  He nurtured you for Me because of  My great love for you from the beginning.  You may have not been planned by your family but you were most definitely planned by My Father… We have a purpose for you.

I knew your heart would yearn for me, that you would eventually turn to me and it brings me such joy to see it come to pass.  I also knew the pain that you would endure throughout your life, the struggles that pain would cause you and how much you would fear.  The enemy could see your worth and your love for me too, and he could also see your weaknesses and he formed a terrible plan against you and I sent angels to minister to you and protected you.  I bound the enemy so he could not end your life and I have made sure you have been and always will be under my protection.  You are my girl, you are hidden under my wings.

My sweet love, how I long for the day when you abandon all your fears and run to me.  I see you peeking out from time to time as you think you are sneaking a peak of me.  As soon as you think I am looking you dart back behind the wall you have built.  I love you so much and I have more patience than you could imagine. I will not give up, you will be able to love Me with an abandoned love. I have so much to give you and I am just waiting for you to ask.  Remember my covenant to you?  It is unbreakable and I will forever honor my part regardless of your ability to honor yours.  I know you will make mistakes, I have already taken care of that for you.  Just touch my hands and you will see.

I wait with you to hear your desires and your invitation to be part of your life. You are my girl, my beloved, my passion!  I will always pursue you, I am right beside you. Come Away With Me…                         Yeshua

Carri Schutter ©2015  

Kitten Madness!

On April 10th several kittens were born… We were blessed to receive 2 of them.  Now I have had well over a dozen cats throughout my life and know a lot about them, but one thing I had never experience that I remember are multiple kittens.  I am sure we had them growing up I just don’t remember them.  Had I remembered I might have said NO… and yet on the other hand I would have certainly said YESSSS!

Here is a picture of our bundles of joy at 7 weeks old.

chloe and lilly 2 aNow! Are they not the cutest things in the world!  They were spectacularly adorable!  Sisters and litter-mates they went everywhere together.  Which is evidence below!

chloe and lilly 3 aThe one on top, the tabby, is Chloe.  I totally and unconditionally fell in love with her.  She was my little snuggle bug.  The one on the bottom is Lilly and she and my daughter immediately bonded.  She is sweet and beautiful and definitely more grown up!  Chloe is a goof ball and silly and not real coordinated! lol  Lilly is beautiful, too grown up for some kitty games and extremely coordinated and catches flies mid air to eat them just so we are protected from those germy little creatures!

Fast forward to this week….

chloe and lilly aThey are certainly kittens at heart, but as you can see they have seriously grown!!!  I have to constantly remind myself that they are still kittens!  So their phycho raging through the house at 100 miles per hour between legs and over couch backs and up curtains will soon end!  Right??? lol

This is just a little snap shot of some of the joy that has been deposited into our lives because of these kittens and we are forever grateful!  What joys are in your life and why are you grateful? I would love to hear your stories.

Be blessed!

Happy Anniversary!

Well life has been busy in our home due to lots of homeschooling, horse riding, drama and other extra-curricular activities that come with being a homeschool family.  Not to mention church, serving in different ministries inside and outside of our church, my personal business (Thirty-One Gifts) which I love and regular family life!

My Muppin’s school work got more intense this year and she is doing amazing.  It isn’t without it’s bumps and bruises along the way though.  I am just thankful that our fall this year has been incredibly warm and wonderful because she loves doing her work outside!

Even with all her hard work it amazing me she finds time to do some amazing things for her family… for example, most recently my and my husband’s anniversary.  She is amazing!  Let me show you why!

19th anv 6 a

As you can see she went to a lot of work to draw and write poetry for us, but that wasn’t all!  She also performed a show for us!  Below is her show program, and inside it lists her poems she wrote for us and funny clips she performed.  She truly is an inspiration in our home.  And she was fabulous!

19th anv 7

Here is her first poem.

“Happy Anniversary Poem”

19th anv 5 a

Happy Anniversary, mom & dad.
I’m sure you’re very happy & glad,
Cause today’s a very special day,
for you & yours,
now you’re walking through another door.

So Happy Anniversary from yours truly,
C…. E…., now that’s pretty coolly!

She is pretty amazing isn’t she!  Here is another one she wrote and performed.

“I Love My Parents!”

19th anv 4 a

I love my mom,
she’s a loving mom,
a caring mom,
a beautiful mom,
a funny mom,
the best mom…. ever…. forever.
She is a blessing!

I love my dad,
he’s a great dad,
a cool dad,
a handsome dad,
a silly dad,
the best dad…. ever…. forever.
He is a blessing!

I…. Love…. My…. PARENTS!!!!!

And if that wasn’t enough!  You know, writing poetry, performing it, drawing pictures and stuff… she also created rings for us and gave them to us to wear as a reminder of our vows 19 years ago.  She is truly a blessing and I am honored to get to be her mom!  Her heart is so full of love that I can’t wait until she get’s to be a mom someday and share that love with her kids… I mean… I can wait… lol… I can wait a LONG time! lol

19th anv 1 aPoetry is copyrighted by this blog… please do not share without permission.

You Were Made For More…

“I know the second that I came into this earth
I was made for more than heels & rocking cute designer skirts
I got a voice and though I’m scared
I feel my words carry worth
In my darkest valleys
I could see the sun above my earth
Reaching down just to rescue me from my insecurity
All of the abuse my step-father did when I was weak
Way too young to know that I should open up my mouth to speak
Now I see, all the years I lost trying find some peace
And when my father died I swore it was the end of me
But Jesus gave me hope beyond the pain of what my eyes could see
Now I stand a daughter of a Father who won’t ever sleep
Truth has spoken and now that truth is here to set you free”

Above is an excerpt from “Darkest ValleyGroup 1 Crew

Thanks Group1 Crew for sharing such healing and honest words.

This is taken from one of my favorite groups to listen to when I need a pick me up.  This one happens to be more serious and the words above strike a painful spot in my heart.  I know the feelings that those words speak and I work tirelessly to make sure my girl has a different song to sing when she grows up.  Give your girls and boys another song to sing.

She was made for more! So were you!

Is your song different than it once was?  Is it a song filled with hope?  It can be.  You were made for so much more!  Blessings!

Love of a Father!

My beautiful Muppin waiting for her daddy to finish getting ready!

I am so happy to be back into the world of blogging!  I have missed writing so much that it just about drew all the joy out of my everyday life!  Not completely 😉  but sometimes it felt that way.

The last few months have been filled with family vacations, Thanksgiving, Christmas and lots of horse riding, horse shows, school, church and just plain old life!  There were so many wonderful and challenging things that I didn’t know where to start, until I saw my daughter dressed up for the annual Daddy Daughter dance and I knew that instant what I would write about.

My daughter is blessed to have an incredibly loving and amazing daddy.  Not all of us get the chance to grow up with a daddy that is truly committed to his wife and kids like my husband is.  He spends all his efforts on taking care of us and he never wants his little girl to grow up believing she isn’t important or worth the time.  He wants her to truly grow up knowing what a real man is and how he should take care of her.  He wants her to know that she is fully loved no matter what kinds of things she does.  You know, those things that make you think you deserve otherwise?  He wants her to know that regardless of the trials she goes through he isn’t going anywhere and she will never be alone.  What an amazing daddy!

Every girl wants to be beautiful and every girl wants to be wanted! Make your girls feel wanted daddy, so no else needs to!

This is the third year that my man has taken our beautiful Muppin to the Daddy Daughter Dance.  I loved seeing them get dressed up and the excitement in her knowing that her daddy was spending a special evening with just her.

When they got home I got to hear from her all the sweet memories they had made together and after she went to bed I got to hear from my man.  He was so happy to make her happy but he was also very sad.  When I asked why, he told me about the many daddies and daughters that went that night and how the majority of the daddies sat on the bleachers on their phones while the girls played.  Now girls will gravitate to their friends of course, but that is especially true if daddy didn’t really want to be there.

He spoke of the down cast faces of the dads and how they rarely even looked up from their phones to watch their girls.  You could tell many of them really did not want to be there. To the girls it was as if the dads were not even there and those girls… well they might as well be invisible.  It broke his heart and made him sad.  It broke mine too and made me realize how much we ignore our kids today and the phones of today are a major contributor of that.  Now I love technology along with the next girl, but do we use it at the expense of our kids?  Question: Will your daughter know she is loved if she never sees your eyes because you are too busy looking somewhere else?  Cast your eyes on her daddy (your boys too but that is another post), she needs you!

My beautiful Muppin and her handsome Daddy!

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a

Are you lavishing love on your girls?

The Ultimate Artist

Both of these pictures are taken from my back porch.  The top one taken only moments before the bottom one.  One with oranges and one with purples!  Each absolutely beautiful in their own way.  God is the true Master Creator!

Do you see Him that way?

sunset 1Fix your eyes on Him, because though there is so much in the world we do not understand, He has shown us through His creation that He is good and He is still working today.  He wants to work in your life just the same way He works in the beauty of His creation!

Do you believe He does?

sunset 2You are a creation more beautiful than all the beautiful sunsets you could imagine.  You were created in His image!  You were created for greatness… to be loved… to be cherished… to be fought for.  Jesus fought for you!  He died for you.  Finally, He rose from the dead for you… He did all this so that you could live with HIM forever, because He loved you more than all the other things he had created.  He wants to be with you every single day.

Will you hear Him?

Summer of Service A.C.T.S.

The summer is winding down as evidence by the crazy whirlwind that my life is right now!  I have been busier than ever and it isn’t going to slow down for a few more days.  In just hours I am off to our yearly women’s retreat at our church to serve and minister to other women and to hear what God has to say to me.   As I prepare to leave I am reminded of something wonderful that begins next week.  So before I leave I wanted to share A.C.T.S. (A Call To Service) with you!  It is not for us adults.  Us mom’s know how hard we serve already.   😉    This is a program to get our kids to serve!

Why serve?

Our culture puts an extravagant amount of energy into raising kids who will grow up to feel good about themselves. In schools, clubs, homes, and even at church, adults have made a decided effort to bolster children’s “self-esteem” –not by actually encouraging kids do something that’s worthwhile, but by simply telling them they are important and valuable.

At the turn of the century, researchers predicted that the next generation would respond to these efforts of raising self-esteem by being filled with optimism and civic duty. Unfortunately, recent research shows the opposite. Kids coming of age today are more self-centered, disrespectful of authority, and depressed than ever before.

In a very real way, then, the best path toward building selfless, confident children is to help and encourage them toward a growing and thriving faith in God. And that includes obedience to what God teaches—not because it makes kids feel good, although it often does—but because they’re following God’s instructions to love Him and serve others. That builds a faith they can count on and carry with them into adulthood—which is the greatest gift any parent can bestow on their child.

Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer to discover how fun it can be to serve others!

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=dcb1346767&view=att&th=13e8ec22ea82a46c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P873rJS1u4yrBsktQqV7xgG&sadet=1368747677139&sads=s6tVvE2OvIhx3WQIqkOJHfMLY3QAdventures in Odyssey, the beloved audio series from Focus on the Family, has encouraged kids toward a stronger faith for 25 years. Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the other loveable characters from Odyssey have shared countless adventures with kids across the world in the classic audio dramas, books, videos, and devotionals, fulfilling the AIO promise to help kids discover, imagine, and grow.

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is joining with Christian bookstores across the country, inviting kids to participate in a Summer of Service. They’re promoting the biblical message, “When you serve, everybody wins,” encouraging kids to serve their families, their communities, and their world. Whether it’s baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or putting together a care package for missionaries overseas, kids will discover that serving can be a blast!

How the A.C.T.S. (A Call to Service) challenge and contest works:

Kids who join A.C.T.S. can pick up a service log and collect fun character stickers for hours served at participating bookstores throughout the summer, or download a serving log online at whitsend.org.  At the end of the summer, kids can record and upload a short video telling how they serve and why they’d like to become an Adventures in Odyssey Ambassador.

A hundred winners will get the brand new AIO Album, and after online voting, two grand prize winners (one boy and one girl) will get to travel on an exciting Good-Goers Mission Based Adventure trip to another country with a parent!  The out-of-country destination will be announced on a live podcast May 22—hosted by AIO actors Katie Leigh (Connie) and Chris Anthony (Chris)—which you can watch at whitsend.org/acts. You don’t want to miss it!

Just to show you some love you can download a free mp3 file of the AIO Service episode, Business of Busyness as well as the free PDF download of summer service ideas for kids.   Enjoy!

What will you be doing with your kids this summer to serve?  I look forward to hearing some fun ideas!  God Bless!!!

Keepsakes

Kellie Elmore has a wonderful little thing she does each Friday called Free Write Friday and each week she comes up with amazing prompts.  This week her prompt is “Keepsakes”.  What is the one special item that we have and what does it mean to us?  Or maybe our keepsake is a memory or a special moment in time we will never forget.

~Monkey~

It was difficult for me to think of my special keepsake at first.  I have lots of things that mean something to me but nothing really that was coming to the front of my mind. Then I thought of my daughters little monkey.  We got Monkey (monkey’s official name) in September 2004, two months before my daughter was due.  We were on an early anniversary trip to the coast because my doc didn’t want me that far away from home so close to my due date.  It was an amazing trip and that is where we saw this little monkey in one of the toy stores and knew we had to have it.  It was so small and cuddly that it would be perfect for her to love on while she was little.

My pregnancy was not easy to say the least.  It took a long time to get pregnant and we thought maybe we would never have a child because of the problems.  Then once pregnant I seemed to have one difficulty after another, from severe nausea/vomiting throughout the whole pregnancy, nerve damage in my leg,  and gestational diabetes to name just a few.  The scariest parts of my pregnancy though, would come when we got home from our trip that brought us Monkey.  For the last almost month before my doctor insisted on taking her early my daughter had stopped moving and growing in my stomach.  This little monkey became so important to me and I remember thinking that I can’t lose my little girl, and I held that monkey many days when I was home alone just praying she would be ok.

charis 3 weeks

My silly little Muppin and Monkey at one month old.

My daughter was brought into this world only two weeks early yet she was so tiny.  What an amazing day it was to bring her into this world.  She was beautiful, full of life.  We ended up in the hospital all week because she was not thriving as well as they hoped, and I had some minor complications because of a reaction to the drugs, but we were ignorant to that because to us she was amazing!  We were only allowed to go home over the weekend if we brought her back on Saturday for more tests to make sure she was ok.  I remember the first couple weeks (maybe more) going to the doctor’s office every other day, yet thinking nothing of it, because that is what you do… right?

I am so glad I was not all with it in those short weeks!  If I had known how sick she was I might have fallen apart. Monkey though was with her through it all.  She was in her little bed at the hospital, next to her many nights and days at home, and while she was meant to bring my daughter comfort, it was me that she really soothed.  Monkey was a silly little gift from God that no one would really understand.  And to this day it holds a special place in my heart.  For me, it tells the whole story of the joy and trials of my daughters entry into this world.  And what a wonderful thing that is.

Charis 8 years

And my beautiful little Muppin today with silly Monkey! What a joy she is in our lives and what a joy Monkey still is in hers.

If you have not joined Kellie Elmore for her Free Write Friday prompts you are missing out.  Click the picture below to go to her site, you will be blessed!

REALITY Blog Award!!!

Maleko’s Art so graciously bestowed the REALITY Blog Award to Grace Unveiled on December 2, 2012.

Thanks!!!

Grace Unveiled graciously accepts this most coveted of blog awards, not to take anything away from the other awards.  But with every award there is the fine print so now let’s take a moment to examine the criteria for acceptance.

Grace Unveiled is. . .

Real: And the stories, the reviews, the writings, the photography and the devotionals are all from my real life…

Energizing: Is here to spread hope and show God’s love to all that pass this way and to show the world that being a stay-at-home, homeschooling wife has a lot more responsibility, fun and a much higher calling that sitting in front of a TV eating popcorn… 😉

Amazing: Sends you away knowing that God has your back, loves you and will never leave you behind…

Lovely: Is committed to sharing what is beautiful about God in our everyday lives…

Inspiring: What is more inspiring than grace?  That is what we live, life inside a grace-filled home…

Touching: Has been hurt too, and the Lord has been faithful throughout and because of that sometimes it can get deep…

Yippee: God is good, all the time…. all the time!!!

With every award comes RULES!

1.) Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post. DONE!
2.) Add the award logo to your blog. DONE!
3.) Share 7 things about yourself. SEE BELOW!
3.) Nominate 5 – 10 or more bloggers you admire. SEE BELOW!
4.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know. CHECK YOUR BLOG! WATCH FOR A TWEET!
5.) Optional questions. (I am not sure on this one, lucky you!)

7 “tidbits of trivia” about me:

  • Loyal – Never give up
  • Broken & Redeemed – God always makes what has been broken stronger when redeemed
  • Tender & loving – I feel things deeply, love deeply, hurt deeply, laugh deeply,
  • Adventurous – love the wilderness
  • Caring – People mean something and their pain is real, even if not to you
  • Honest – Even if it hurts, but always in love
  • Thankful – Without my God, I would be broken beyond repair, without my husband I would be lost in the dark, without my daughter I would have never found joy… thankful!

Grace Unveiled bestows the Reality Blog Award to:

Cheryl @ Burning Fire Shut Up In My Bones

Kellie @ Kellie Elmore

Kelly @ The Nourishing Home

The Chicks @ The Homeschool Chicks

Heather @ Sprittibee