New Blog!!!! Please Follow Me Here…

Hi Friends!Find Me Here

I have some exciting news!  I am moving over to WordPress.org and I want you all to come with me!  It is a work in progress and looks completely different than it does over here, and in a couple months it will be even MORE different when I get my new theme!  I am so excited!  I will still be writing about my faith, family and our homeschooling adventures, so no worries there!

My new blog name will be “Grace For My Journey!”  I have listed all my new information in a graphic for you.  Please come on over and follow me on my new blog and social media!  I can’t wait to start sharing with you all the things God has put on my heart for you!

See you soon and God Bless!

 

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!

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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!

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Here is her first poem.

“Happy Anniversary Poem”

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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!”

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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.

STRONG… Like a Girl!

The video, #LikeAGirl, is excellent about the strength and uniqueness of being a girl!  We have all used “Like a Girl” in a negative way, time to change the way we use the words that we say because they can be damaging without us even knowing it. “Like A Girl” is a good thing!  Watch the video below!

Now the question is, are you Strong Like A Girl???

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Yes, this is my girl and she IS Strong… Like A GIRL!

Free Write Friday – Via Our Homeschooler

I love Free Write Friday (FWF) and have not done it in a while!  Kellie Elmore is an amazing writer and has a weekly writing tool for those that want to have as much fun as she does. Each week it is a different prompt and this week it is this…

This house has a story…what is it?

Image Credit: We Heart It

Our daughter saw the prompt this time and wanted to write something.  We are a homeschool family and love any new challenges she is willing to take.  So I told her if she did it, I would post it.  She wrote this in 20 minutes. So here is my 9 year old daughters take on this old house.  Thanks Kellie for inspiring even our daughter!  She hopes to have a book published soon (she has written several chapter books) and it makes this mom’s heart glad.

A  Magical Thing

Cloe and Justen jumped into the magic tree house and they sat down and waited for their next mission.  The tree house started to spin and it shook then everything went black!  Finally the black faded off and there was light.  The tree house stop spinning and shaking

Justen and Cloe climbed out.  The magic tree house disappeared.  Justen and Cloe looked around and there was a white house that was a little broken down.

“Does anybody live here?” Cloe asked.

“I don’t know but maybe that’s what we’re here for.  We are detectives you know?” Justen replied.  They climbed over the fence and hid behind a tree.  “Let’s sneak inside and find out if anyone lives here,” Justen said.  “Well,…ok.” Cloe replied.

They snuck up to the porch and Cloe looked in the window but it was too dark to see inside.  Justen creaked open the door, the wind blew and it was a little scary but Cloe and Justen kept going and went inside.  “It looks more beat down in here, “ Justen whispered. “Yeah,” Cloe replied.

They looked around and a sound came from upstairs, it sounded like a knock. “Knock, Knock!”   The sound came. “Hey, Cloe did you hear the knock.  Let’s go see what it is,” Justen said as he pulled out his flashlight and turned it on.  All that came from Cloe was a nod.  So they snuck upstairs.  There was  a long hallway and they walked down it.  At the end of the hall was door with a poster hanging on it.  The poster was so thick that it sounded like a rock banging up against the door in the wind.  Cloe and Justen walked up to it and held their flashlight to it.

It said, “Gold! Don’t come in! Gold!”  Cloe and Justen almost screamed at the same time, they opened the door.  There was a chest with a key laying on top of it.  Cloe and Justen grabbed it together and unlocked the chest.  The chest was full of gold.

Justen and Cloe’s eye’s were wide, they were speechless.  The room started to glow and a man walked in from the light and said, “I’m am awarding you with this gold.  You are one of my helpers, but I warn you.  Use it wisely,…”  He stopped for a minute then said, “I love you!”

The room glowed again and he was gone.  Cloe squealed.  They carried the chest outside, the magic tree house appeared.  They put the chest in and climbed in it.  And as the tree house started to leave, they saw the same man standing next to the house smiling.  They waved to him and he waved back.

~Muppin Schutter ©March 2014

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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?

Are You A Sledgehammer?

Life has been pretty hectic for me lately.  The time I have for writing has dwindled and when I do have time I am so tired I don’t want to write, I want to rest!  When I really start getting busy I tend to say no to the things that give me life and continue to say yes to everyone and everything else because heaven forbid I let someone else down.  That has to come to an end to some extent.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many times when we need to die to ourselves and continue to give to others, even when we are tired and overdone.  But when it happens on a continual basis something happens to us.  We empty out so completely that there is nothing left to give… not even a kind word to the ones you love the most.  You know what I am talking about don’t you?  Of course you do because it can happen to us all.

I was at church last night and I got to hear one of our pastors that doesn’t normally preach because our teaching pastor was home recuperating from surgery.  You know how you get used to hearing someone and then you realize someone else is preaching and the man (or woman) inside of you gets bummed.  Not because the other person isn’t great, but because you had set expectations there weren’t going to be met.  We can be so selfish sometimes.

Pastor Mike is a funny man, lively and outgoing!  My husband and I are introverts so sometimes people like him take us back a bit… mostly because we wish we could be so lively and happy to talk with everyone that we come in contact with!  He has a passion that is intoxicating and his passion for the Lord is something I will always aspire to.

In his message last night there were some wonderful points, many that should be shared… but in this season of my life the one that hit me the most had to do with being a sledgehammer.  He told a story about tearing down a wall with a sledgehammer and seeing the rubble all around him, likening that rubble to the people we leave in the wake of our unkind, angry or even hateful words. What I wrote in my notes was this… “Words are like sledgehammers… don’t leave a pile of broken people laying on the floor behind you when you are done with them.”

It cut me deep.  Not because I am a nasty person and talk horrible things over others.  The opposite is true most of the time.  I love to encourage others and make them feel wonderful about themselves.  But if I am honest, the people I love the most get the least of that side of me.

See I am tired from all that goes on my life as most people are today.  So when I am home with my family they get the brunt of that.  Example… My daughter comes running into the room, loud and laughing with the joy of the Lord because she has fully memorized her long Bible verse (something I struggle doing) and just wants to share it with me, what do I do?  I immediately tell her to quiet down and to quit running because I am tired and don’t want to hear it!  Now, I wasn’t overly loud or mean when I said it, but my words though they were true, took the wind out of her sail and left her feeling lifeless and unimportant.  My heart was crushed as soon as I saw what I had done.

How often do I crush part of her spirit with the quick words that just flow out of my mouth?  Am I bringing life to her or crushing her spirit and draining all the happiness and joy she has right out of her?  It is said that children laugh over 400 times a day and adults… only 17.  Are my words robbing her of those laughs?  I am not saying there are not times that she needs to be serious, but do we prefer serious at the expense of joy?

My new prayer is that I would see her and my husband for how the Lord created them… filled with great joy and love for HIM… filled with happiness that bubbles over in laughter and sometimes jumping, screaming and spinning craziness.  Those things can cause me a bit of anxiety but I can live with that anxiety because it is reminding me that I have lost my laughter and have become the sledgehammer and in the moment I can choose to be different.

Are you the sledgehammer or do you choose to be different as well?

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions Giveaway! – WINNER, WINNER!

Wooohooo!  We have a winner!  After a very scientific approach, well ok, maybe not so scientific… but definitely fair approach we have a winner to this drawing!  I put all the names on a piece of paper, crumbled them all up and put them in a basket and had my hubby pick one.  🙂

And the winner is……..  Michelle!

Congratulations Michelle.  I will be contacting you soon to find out your mailing information.

For everyone else who participated…. A Huge THANK YOU!  Please check out my current giveaway at http://wp.me/s2WVaA-imagine, I would love for one of you to win those books as well!

God Bless each of you!

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions Giveaway!

I have had the great pleasure of reviewing a couple books by Tricia Goyer.  I have fallen in love with her writing, both fiction and non-fiction and have now been given the opportunity to review a devotional for children that she has been able to work on.  The devotional is Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions by John Avery Whittaker with help from Tricia Goyer and Crystal Bowman.

Mealtimes in our day and age are very sadly a dying thing.  Many people are so over-booked, overworked and overwhelmed to sit down and take a meal together because there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.  But what a wonderful thing for the family it is.  There have been many studies that show that families who eat meals together regularly have less troubles within themselves and with their kids as they grow older.  The family grows into a tight knit unit and I ask this…  how wonderful is that!

This devotional is wonderful because it gives the family something fun to chew on during that mealtime.  It gives your mealtime more meaning that just the fact that is is centered around food.  They are short fun little devotionals.  And each one is a little different.  Sometimes they require getting out the Bible, other times it is just about asking and answering questions.  Regardless, they are so great and filling.  I highly recommend it for your family.  They will love it as much as I do!  But the best test was my daughter… she is head over heals in love with this devotional and ask, “Do we get to do the devotional again!!!”  She can’t wait!

Here is a copy of the first several pages if you would like to check it out for yourself!

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions!

Now after all that I have something exciting for you!  I have been given a free book to give away here on my site!  Yay! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  So, if you are interested in winning this book there are a few ways you can enter to win it.

1.  Leave a comment below with your favorite devotional that you do with your kids.  Also, if you have a special thing you do at mealtimes to make it more meaningful, please share with us so we can have some fun too!  Also leave a note if you followed my blog, Facebook page or Twitter page as well.. so I can be sure to count those entries as well!

2.  Follow my blog 🙂  Easy peasy!

3.  Follow my Facebook page!

4.  Follow my Twitter page!

5.  Post on Facebook about this giveaway!

6.  Tweet on Twitter about this giveaway!

7.  Pin this giveaway on Pinterest!

If you post, tweet or pin an this please leave a link for me in your post below!  🙂

That is it!  There are 7 easy ways to enter!  I will be picking the winner June 22th!  Good luck to you all!  God bless!

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!!!

Three Ways You Are A Leader in Everyday Life … and how to be a better one

Tricia Goyer is one of my favorite authors and I have the privilege to be able to have her here as a guest blogger!  Her most recent book, which you might have heard me talk about, is called “Lead Your Family Like Jesus.”  It is a book written by her, Phil Hodges and Ken Blanchard.  You can see the first of my three reviews here, “Lead Your Family Like Jesus.”

LeadYourFamily_1.99In her guest blog with us she is going to discuss what it means to be a leader and how to be a better one.  I hope you are truly blessed by her wisdom and for a limited time you can get her book on Kindle for only $1.99 which is an amazing deal.  Without further hesitation, here is Tricia.

Three Ways You Are A Leader in Everyday Life … and how to be a better one

Many people are confused about the term “family leader.” As I’ve blogged about moms being leaders I’ve had both men and women pipe up, “But wait, the man’s supposed to be the leader in the home, right?” Yes, but women are leaders, too, in many ways you may not realize.

1.  You are a Leader in Your Role As Spouse. Yes, friends, I believe in the “S” word … submission. I believe God has called men to be the spiritual head of the home, and the one to care for and provide for his wife and family and lead the family unit. I believe wives come under their headship in willing submission … yet women are leaders too.

Any time you strive to guide the thoughts, behavior or direction of another person we are a leader! Or as John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Go ahead, read that again. Mom, you are a leader! Wife, you are a leader! Your thoughts and attitudes guide your closest relationships. Family leadership can be as intimate as offering words of guidance and encouragement to a discouraged loved one, or it can be as directive as issuing specific instructions on how to drive the family car.

2.  You are a Leader in Your Community. A man or a woman’s position as a family leader also extends beyond the four walls of the home. Just think of your roles at your work, at your child’s school, and in your neighborhood. Influence can also be exhibited in your roles as church volunteers and community leaders. These are important roles in our every day life, especially since many couples today are often not well-connected with siblings and parents. Many families are spread out, living far from extended family members. This causes many couples to create their own “family units” with like-minded friends. These are the people they vacation with and spend free time with. Seeking God in roles is important because it’s then couples realize they can be a positive influence in their church and community outside of their own home.

3.  You are a Leader in Your Extended Family. Sometimes this is the hardest place to be a leader. We can’t choose our relatives, and sometimes the relationships with parents, siblings, aunts, uncle and cousins can be the hardest. Often people are put into “roles” within their family. Yet in your actions and reactions you are showing leadership—whether you like it or not.

In each of these areas … you make an impact!

As a leader you …

  • Build enduring relationships within the home that can have far-reaching impact beyond the home
  • Set the basic direction of life values, character development and relational behavior
  • Involve seasons of personal sacrifice to promote the spiritual and physical well-being of others
  • Sustain love, loyalty, trust, mercy, forbearance, forgiveness, and sacrifice
  • Mature and grow
  • Foster values of love, compassion, trust, commitment, honesty, and grace within its members.

Think your role as a leader doesn’t matter? Think again. The #1 way you can be a better leader in each of these areas is to pray.

Today take a few minutes to pray for your role as a leader.

Pray for your leadership in your family.
Pray for your leadership in your church.
Pray for your leadership in your neighborhood.
Pray for your leadership at work and school.
Pray that God will show you how to lead.
Pray you will submit to His leadership in your life.

The impact we can have in the lives of people around us can’t be underestimated … and only prayer prepares us for the work ahead!

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