Sunday, December 25, 2011


It's hard to imagine it.

Jesus Christ, in human flesh--a small, helpless baby, no less!

One who cried, needed changing, and became sleepy.
A baby who clung to his mommy for comfort and nourishment.

But then He grew.

He grew "in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52)

He grew so He could die.
He died so He could rise.
He rose...

So we could live.

My King, You are wonderful and matchless!!
Thank You for giving Yourself.

Thank You for Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Free E-Book!!

Ladies, I am so excited to share a free e-book offer with you!

Written by Courtney Joseph, from, The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue at a Time, is a priceless tool for women. I read it in one sitting--it's short and to the point. But the author packs a punch with loads of encouragement, wisdom, inspiration and exhortation.

I cannot recommend this enough! What a blessing it was to me, especially considering my struggles with discouragement this year. I've been so down--I've magnified my shortcomings and compared myself with women who seem to have it all together--"I always come up short" is what I've uttered a million times. But you know what? God. Still. LOVES. Me.

Yes, I have a lot of work to do.
Yes, it will be challenging to become more disciplined.
Yes, I'll still have to battle the enemy and fight the feelings of inadequacy.

But... "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me"! (Phil 4:13) emphasis mine

And, oh, how I want to model the Proverbs 31 woman!

*I want to please the Lord with this calling He's graciously given to me.
*I want my children to one day "arise" and call me "blessed"!
*I want my husband to feel secure and confident in my role as wife and mom!

This book will encourage you to find that end! And this E-book is completely free!  All you have to do is "like" Women Living Well on Facebook. When you do, there will be a green/white/orange box under the author's profile picture labeled "Free Ebook". Just click on that and read, save or print!

Ladies, ultimately we should strive to imitate our Savior.
To follow hard after Him.

But since He wrote the entire Bible, through men inspired by the Holy Spirit, then the Proverbs 31 Woman is certainly someone we can be excited to model ourselves after!

Happy reading!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Invitation Not For Me, But For Me

Last night, our little family enjoyed "Family Movie Night" with our church. The place was packed.
We watched Polar Express, munched on popcorn, and downed some Christmas cookies. Yes, downed them. We love our sugar much more than we should.

I'm hoping to rid ourselves of that vice after the New Year.

 Oh, how easy it was to type that. It's a shame that's not all it takes to say goodbye to sugar. A crying shame.


Halfway through the movie, during intermission, our Pastor came up and spoke. He somehow managed to weave the Gospel into a story centered around Santa Claus, children and a train. Pastors just have that special gift of seeing the spiritual in everything.

As he shared the Gospel, and went through the "pray this prayer" speech, I started to tune him out. After all, I accepted Jesus 18 years ago. I figured it was a prayer that no longer applied to me.

But as I was holding my little girl, staying still in hopes that she would, too, I paused. And I began to listen.
Eyes closed, heart focused.

 The recent reminder from Jessica @ Muthering Heights, came to memory. The reminder to receive words in fresh amazement. Words that had been dulled through the years by familiarity.

 The words I'd grown numb to were as new as they had been the night I spoke them as a 9 year old girl.
And the words touched my heart. They stirred something in me that had been asleep for far too long.

An invitation not for me, but for me.

An invitation not to receive salvation, for I'd already received it.
But an invitation to worship the King of Glory. To remember the extravagant grace poured upon me. To marvel in wonder at the babe who came to die.

A priceless gift--the person of Jesus Christ.

Oh, the depths He had to stoop!

 From glory to gloom.
 From splendor to squalor.
 Wickedness, hatred, apathy and unbelief is what He came to.

For you.

For me.

To give us an eternity.
With Him.

"This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ."  ~Frank McKibben

Have you responded to the invitation?
 Have you received the gift of Christ? 

[photo credit]

Sunday, December 18, 2011

He sees.

I've struggled with discouragement a lot this year.
Which is why I'm so thankful for the Word of God. Such comfort it brings on those days I feel worthless.

I'm also thankful for the many blogs on the internet written by godly women.

The other day, I read a lovely and reassuring post from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. I read through misty eyes as I soaked up the encouragement that flowed from her words. Here's an excerpt that greatly resonated with me:

But God sees all. 
He sees every hot meal you make, then eat cold. He sees every tear you cry when you are exhausted. He sees every diaper you change and every slow reader you refuse to give up on. He sees you draw close to that unlovable child. He sees you go the extra mile in cleaning that bathroom as you do it as unto Him. He sees you share the gospel daily with your family by the choices you make, the lines in the sand you draw, the life you have chosen.
You are serving Him. 
And He will reward you. Maybe in this life, as your children may one day rise up and call you blessed. But certainly in the one to come. 

Here's the full article.

If you're struggling in the trenches of motherhood, let this article buoy your heart with hope. You are not alone. Mothers all across this world are struggling in one way or another. Remember that God sees. And He cares. And He's rooting you on.

Afterall, you're the one He handpicked to be "mommy" to your children.

Be encouraged. Take heart. Fight the good fight.

You're doing a great job.

"But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head."
Psalm 3:3

Friday, December 16, 2011

Across the Miles...

Friendships are truly priceless.
Even if they've only ever been from across the miles.

With today's technology, we can feel like we're right there with one another, even if we're really hundreds of miles away. It's a neat time we're living in.

I have one of those long-distance friends. Alicia.

We actually met through the blogland a few years ago.
Our firstborns are one day apart, so that, I think is what drew us together--the common ground we shared.

And almost three years later, our friendship remains.

She's a prayer partner.
Gifted with encouragement.
Very creative (I go to her when my mommy brain is foggy and can't for the life of me come up with anything crafty to do with Ethan)
A godly example of what a woman, wife and mother should strive to be.

We chat on Facebook, through texts and sometimes on the phone. But we've never actually met in person.
We keep telling each other that we WILL meet one day! What a blast that would be!

I told you all how great of a gal my friend Alicia is because she started her blog back up after almost a two year break. I'm so excited for her to be back! She's going to have all kinds of great tips to share, and godly encouragement to extend.

So please go check her blog out when you have the chance! Marker Stains and Memory Lanes

Thank God for your friends today!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cold-Rainy-Day Thoughts

It's cold, dark and rainy here in my Oklahoma town.

And my bed is calling for me.

The warm blankets and sheets. The cool breeze of the fan. It's a perfect recipe for snuggling back into oblivion.

But I've got things to do.

Dishes to unload.
A baby girl to feed.
A growing boy to awaken.
Meals to prepare...
You wives and mothers know the routine.

It's another day to be thankful for; another opportunity to do something for the Kingdom.

It could be something as simple as singing joyfully with my children about our Savior and His upcoming birthday celebration!

Or it could be visiting a neighbor and sharing the news proclaimed long ago to some scared shepherds in a field.

"A Savior has been born! He is Christ the Lord!"

This Season is His. This day is His.
How would He have me to live it?
Who would He have me to meet?
What would He have me to say?

Whatever His plans, may I obey them.

And when the day is done, I can crawl back into the bed that beckoned me earlier this morning. And I will sleep sweetly, knowing that the Lord can use the weakest vessels around. The failures, the flaws. The victories. The mundane daily tasks. The simplest moments in life. For His Kingdom purposes.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Is there something in your life that you are passionate about? A cause of some sort?

Mine would be the unborn--those who are legally killed in the womb under the banner of "Choice".

And let me tell you, this passion of mine gets me into controversy and debate pretty often.

Pinterest, of all places, has been a recent place of debate. I have a board called, "Passionately Pro-Life" where I posted a picture of people holding a banner which read, "Pray to end abortion". Two women recently decided to make some comments that I felt needed a response.

It's a full blown debate now.
And I'm discouraged.

I'm discouraged that, though they think they are brilliant and have it all correct, they are wrong.
I'm not saying I'm always right. Not saying that. Because many times in discussions, I'm completely uninformed about the topic and should probably just keep my mouth shut.

But I've researched this due to my heart for the unborn. I want to know the truth so that I can share it with others. So many women have believed the lies spread by those like Planned Parenthood and our culture in general. Did you realize some women honestly do not know that they are carrying a child? It's shocking, the ignorance that still abounds.

These women need that truth.
They deserve that truth.
Their unborn babies deserve for their mommies to know that truth.

I'm not posting this so a debate will explode in my comment section. That's about the last thing on earth that I want to happen from this post. I'm tired of the debates. Of feeling like what I do is pointless.

"Why fight it anymore? They aren't going to change their mind."

"This is a waste of time. The enemy has deceived them for too long."

My thoughts, all too often.

Oh, but GOD is bigger than that.
HE is more powerful.
And when we pray and obey, HE ACTS.

I may not immediately see the fruit of trying to be salt and light. Of trying to be a voice for those tiny babies who do not yet have one.

But I cannot become discouraged, although the temptation is always at my doorstep.

My heart hurts for these women, just as it does for their unborn babies.
They need facts, yes.
But I've come to realize that more than anything, many of these women need Jesus.

I know my efforts are not in vain, although it feels that way at times.

As much as I would love to have un-controversial passions, I don't.
As much as I would love to turn a blind eye and pretend the world is doing o.k., I can't.

And I don't think that's the kind of life we've been called to as Christians.

I think God has purposely put this passion in my heart.
And as much as I don't want to at times, I need to follow through.
Maybe my approach could change. And I could better pick my battles.

But I will not be silent.

"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?"

-Proverbs 24:10-12
(emphasis mine)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Rather Needless Explanation of a Giveaway.

Ever since the earthquakes here in Oklahoma, I took down the heavy framed art that was over our bed.

Paranoid? Yep.
But hey, better safe than sorry.

So....I've been trying to find something else to go above our bed that, God forbid we have another earthquake, won't come crashing down on our head.

I get this paranoia from my mom. I think.
I'll go ahead and blame it on her.

I love you, Mommy =)

Anyway, I was blog browsing and came across a giveaway for some vinyl lettering. It's hosted by Artful Homemaking.

Aha! This could be my solution, because I can never find what I'm looking for in the stores. They're kind of on the cheesy side or totally wrong for a master bedroom...or more than I'm willing to pay because I'm kind of cheap like that.

As much as I would love to win, and your entering the giveaway will decrease my chances of winning, I will go ahead and tell you about it.

Aren't I nice?
(I also need another entry and blogging about it will give me just that!)
I'm still nice, though. I promise.

Unless of course you beat me in the giveaway.

Totally kidding. I'm in a spunky mood today.
Ok, I'll cut to the chase!

Here's the link to the giveaway! Have fun and good luck!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Parental Rights

Have you noticed a trend here in America lately?

It seems parents are having to fight harder every day just to maintain the right to parent their own children without interference.

And this case is no different. You can also read a longer, more detailed version here.

If you can contact Michigan's elected officials on this family's behalf, it would be greatly appreciated. The article will provide you with the links to do so.

Let us continue to be in prayer for our Nation.
I'm rather fond of the freedoms we've been given under the Constitution.
Especially now that I'm a parent.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Future Spouses.

I know it's a long way off (or at least I hope it will be. It seems time is flying by way too fast.) but one day, if the Lord tarries, Ethan and Emma will probably get married.

Not to each other of course. That would be gross.

But Ethan to his wife and Emma to her husband. Whomever they may be.

And what a humongous decision marriage is. Momentous. Life-changing. Challenging. Hard.

But amazing.

My parents were very intentional in their prayers for mine and my siblings' spouses. I remember from a very early age hearing their voices lifted up to our Heavenly Father for His direction in our lives; for His hand on our future spouses. As I got older, I realized how special those prayers were. They made me look forward with great anticipation to who my love would be. What he would look like. What his voice would sound like. How great he would be as a daddy.

So I began praying for him as well. Although at the time, I had no idea who he was.

What's really cool is that shortly after Bob and I were married, I told him I had been praying for him for several years. And that the August before we met (we met in September of 2004), I felt a really strong need to pray for my future husband.

His eyes widened and he said, "Really?".

"Yes, why?", I responded curiously.

"Because that was during a particularly challenging time in my life."

Gives me goose bumps when I think about it.
God is so good.
His Providence is perfect.

I'm so incredibly grateful for those years of praying on my parents' part.
I want to continue that heritage. Of parents praying for their children. Praying for all those important decisions they will make in the far off future. It's never too early to begin. They're worth it. And God isn't restrained by time.

So we will pray.

We will pray that Ethan and Emma will find the love of their lives. That they will each find a spouse who loves the Lord FIRST and ABOVE themselves, for that will produce the fruit of a great marriage.

We pray that they and their spouses will remain pure: spiritually, mentally and physically.

We pray that divorce will never be an option. That they will persevere when things get tough.

We pray that their marriages will be a glorious picture of Christ and the church. That they will serve Him together. Always. United.

But we also pray that they will genuinely enjoy each other. That in their home there will be laughter, friendship, loyalty and love.

And we pray this verse over their union, that it will be their goal as a couple:

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34:3

Because a spouse who is not first a believer and one who is not fully committed to Christ, could very well lead our children from the God who created them.

As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 1 Kings 11:4


Let us pray fervently for our children. For their current needs as well as for their future needs, decisions, desires.

God is a great Father who loves us and hears us.

He is in the future. And already knows the answer.
So let us give Him the request in full trust and faith.


"What higher motive could there be for the husband to love his wife? By loving her as Christ loved the church, he honors Christ in the most direct and graphic way. He becomes the embodiment of Christ's love to his own wife, a living example to the rest of his family, a channel of blessing to his entire household, and a powerful testimony to a watching world."
-John MacArthur

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

**Urgent Prayer Request**

I received news last night from a friend of mine, that she's currently trying to counsel a woman out of an abortion. This 24 year old woman is 5 weeks pregnant and went to a local Planned Parenthood on Friday to get a medical abortion (Mifepristone, formerly known as RU-486--VERY dangerous) but thank God, the clinic was closed!
I do not know this woman's name, but PLEASE be in prayer for her and her unborn child. She seems pretty set on the abortion. But God is mightier than our enemy who wants nothing more than to kill, steal and destroy.
Will you please pray with me?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hard Core Rockers

My husband, the rocker.

He LOVES music, namely....80's hair metal (barf). How can we be so different? I'm all about the 90's boy bands.

"But it ain't no lie, baby bye, bye, bye..."

Ahem. Where was I?

Oh yeah...

Not too long ago, my hubby had some friends over and inevitably, the Rock Band came out and 80's music filled the air. My husband is actually a very talented musician. He plays in our church's praise band and can play at least three instruments, that I'm aware of.

So, he takes his Rock Band playing pretty seriously (hence the headphones on his head, ha!)

I think Ethan my be headed in that same direction. I do
hope so. I'd love for him to be musically gifted like his daddy is. I also hope he loves sports like his mommy does. The best of both worlds, ya know?

An athletic musician. I can see the swooning girls now.

Ok, scratch that idea.
Maybe he should just be a hermit.

Anyway, I think it's pretty adorable how Ethan wants to do everything his daddy does. He was desperate to be a part of the Rock Band session held in our den that night.

It's also helpful that Bob's friends are dads. They completely understand little kiddos intertwined into the mix. They were totally cool with Ethan's off beat drumming...on a drum that sings the ABC's when it's drummed on, no less.

Will Ethan be a hard core rocker like his daddy? Maybe.
But maybe I'll pull out my old N*Sync or Backstreet Boys CDs and give him some of the good stuff.

On second thought, I think I'll be content to hear the ABCs a little while longer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Recipients of the Choicest Bounties...

"We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven.

We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity.

We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown;

but we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace,

and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us;

and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."

~Abraham Lincoln, from a proclamation issued March 30, 1863


As we approach Thanksgiving, let us remember that all the blessings we have been given have come from the hand of God. It is not from our own hard work and creative minds, but from the Almighty Himself. So let's give Him the thanks and credit due!

What a great God we serve!

Now I'm off to the kitchen to prep some dishes, and then to finish getting our house ready for Thanksgiving company!

Enjoy your time with family, friends and food!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons.

And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes,

Even if it's just in your own eyes."

~Walter M. Schirra Sr.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Tea-Off

Our city's little Main Street holds an annual Holiday Tea-Off where local shops open up their doors and invite the townspeople to kick-off the holiday season with them.

Most of the shops hold a drawing of some kind and also share a multitude of Christmas goodies to hungry customers.

My mom, myself, my sister and sister-in-law finally joined in on the festivities this year!

Looking South down Main Street.
Trolley rides added to the excitement of the upcoming Christmas season.


An adorable Christmas store front.
I almost squealed with delight when I saw this!

A Chocolatier. I want to be his best friend.

This store was crammed full of all the holiday treasures a girl could want!
The building itself is well over 100 years old. So neat.

Deco poly mesh Christmas trees
This seems to be the "in" thing this Christmas season.
There were several wreaths made from this material, too.

And then we came across this...thing.
I was nauseated a solid 20 minutes after smelling it.
I was expecting the smell to be pretty bad but in no way was I prepared for the reality of the stench.
Sorry for the very unlady-like discussion.
Moving right along...

"Giggles and snuggles & pudgy little toes make it all worthwhile"
And all the moms said, "Awww!!"

Ok. Let me be honest here. I don't like spending a lot on my merchandise. Call me frugal. You can even call me cheap. But this price right hear caused my jaw to drop. It's cute...but not $70.50 cute. That's just me.

This tree was magnificent!


After all the shopping, and taste-testing our tummies could handle, we headed to the square where the Farmer's Market is usually held. There we found out who the winners of the drawings were (None of us won. Booo..)

We were also able to go into the city's museum. I'm a history lover so this was one of the highlights of the night for me! Nerd, I know.

However, the best part of the Tea-Off was definitely being able to spend some girl-time with my female family!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm a Mess

Ok, y'all. I'm a mess.

I was looking through some old blog posts and when I came across this one, I just about lost it.

It seems I blinked and Ethan went from baby to boy.
And it hurts my heart a bit.

I know he's supposed to grow. That's how childhood works. But it still hurts.

One day my baby boy will grow up and move on to start a life of his own. Without his mommy.
I think about that often, scared of how fast it might come. My mom has told me over and over how fast our childhood went for her.

Sometimes at night, I peek in on Ethan while he sleeps, and will him to stay a boy--still a baby, really--just awhile longer.

If I could freeze time, I would do it now.

But since I can't, I'll tuck these bittersweet thoughts away and focus on treasuring the moments I have with him while he's still "Mommy's little boy".

I'll hold his little hand awhile longer...
And linger at his bedside when he asks for me to rub his head, awhile longer...
Watch him race his cars over and over, awhile longer...
And even deal with tantrums...awhile longer.

Because one day he'll be someones husband. And daddy.
And I'll be a grandma. And...

Oh my. Stop it, Kari . Just stop it right now.

A tall glass of milk and a cookie (or two...ok, three) are officially in order.

I'm a mess.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I never realized I had so much hair as a baby.

Ethan was pretty much bald for the first year of life, so we were completely shocked when Emma was born with a full head of dark hair.

When I found out I was expecting again, my mom jokingly told my husband that because Ethan was the spitting image of Bob as a baby, #2 better look like me!

So here's some proof that that's exactly what happened!

Me. 1984. Emma. 2011.

Thanks, Mom. hehe.

Do you have a look-alike picture of you and a parent?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gratituesday: My Career

I tried to hold back the tears as I snuggled up to my husband and thanked him for working so hard for his family. And for believing in my calling to stay home with our children.

I hate that I take my career as a Homemaker for granted at times.
I hate that I get discouraged, lose my temper, fail, and become frustrated. After all, this is the career of my dreams.

But those issues come with the territory of any career.

The Lord has gently reminded me lately of the greatness of my calling. He's reminded me that He's made a way for me to stay home, when really, it sometimes seems impossible. But God has never failed to provide for our needs.

I know some women cannot stay home with their children. Some do not want to and some just aren't able to. This isn't a post to make women who have a career outside the home feel inferior. Because that would be wrong. And it's between God and the woman and her husband. Not me.

But this is a post giving glory to God for His provisions that allow me to be a Homemaker.

He knew my heart's cry even as a young, single gal. He even knew when I was a baby that I would one day want babies of my own with a husband of my own. He heard my prayers and He answered them marvelously.

With all the ups and downs, joys and triumphs, I'm blessed to be a Homemaker.

I'm blessed...

To watch my children reach developmental milestones.
To infuse Biblical truths into everyday situations.
To feel my heart soar as they learn new things.
To dry their tears when they are hurting or afraid.
To "Watch this, Mommy!" a hundred times over.

To help out a friend who needs a babysitter during the day.
To share a simple conversation with an elderly neighbor.
To visit my grandma when she's feeling lonely.
To load the kids up for a lunch date with daddy.

To welcome my husband home with a hug and a kiss.
To spend time throughout the day in the kitchen, cooking and baking.
To decorate my home for each changing season.
And yes, even to clean dirty bathrooms and fold mountains of laundry.

I'm undeserving.
And at times feel completely incapable.

But my God is bigger.
And He's seen fit to grant me my heart's desire.

And for that I'm eternally grateful.

What are you grateful for today?

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Have you ever received a financial blessing?

A couple of months ago, we did.

A check. Out of the blue.
And it was almost two hundred dollars more than we were praying and hoping for.

I'm in awe just thinking about God's generous heart and His miraculous ways.

Or maybe you and your family are well established financially and don't need one of those "money miracle" stories. If so, that's awesome!

But let me ask a question:
When God gives financial blessings, do you ever wonder why?


Is it so we can live comfortably, enjoying the American Dream?
Is it so we can have a kitchen FULL of food and closets full of clothes?
Is it so we have enough money to take the family on grand vacations?

It could be.

Afterall, He's our Father and He loves to give good gifts (Matthew 7:11). And as a parent, I know how fun it is to give my children things that delight them.

But what if there's a greater purpose for the resources that God gives us?

We live in such a consumer-based society where most of us have way more than we need.
I was driving through my parents neighborhood last week and noticed several garages that were packed full of all kinds of different things.
The nice cars were in the driveway because stuff had taken over.

I'm not against having stuff.
I'm against stuff having us. And I admit, stuff has had me more times than I care to tell.

Consider this promise from God:

"Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. 'For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.' And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (emphasis mine)

Promise #1 - God gives us everything we need.
When we give generously and cheerfully, God says He gives to us generously every need we have. He will always take care of us!

I love that, after the tithe (10% of our earnings), we are given such freedom in what we give to God. He basically just wants us to give from a cheerful heart. Not out of pressure. Not with a hesitant heart. Not a certain dollar amount because "Sister Sally" gave that much. Just cheerfully.

Promise #2 - Not only will God give us everything we need, when we give generously, He will make sure we have plenty of resources left over to share with others!

He gives us blessings to bless us, yes, but I think the most important lesson from our blessings is to cultivate a generous heart from our natural hearts of stone.

But it gets even better:

"As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!" 2 Corinthians 9:13-15 (emphasis mine)

So let's gather these truths:

--God will give us our every need
--He will also leave us plenty of extra resources to share with others
--Our generosity will bring glory to God
--Our generosity will prove that we are obedient to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Do you see how generosity can be one of the greatest tools we have for bringing light into this very dark world?

We say "It is more blessed to give than to receive", but do we really believe it?

I am determined to break out of my consumer mindset and start viewing my blessings--be they home, car, money, health, time--as God's incredible tools for furthering His Kingdom and bringing glory to His name.

If I can trust Him with my eternal salvation, I know I can trust Him with all the earthly blessings He's given me!

And what better time of year than the upcoming Christmas season to generously share those blessings?

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.
2 Corinthians 9:11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

I stumbled across one of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes several months back and I've just gotta share it.

I was craving something sweet one night (as usual) but I didn't quite have enough of the ingredients I needed to make the standard Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe.

So I went to my buddy,, and found "Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies"

These glorious morsels of sweet, chocolatey goodness take less butter, sugar, flour, eggs and chocolate chips than the recipe I'd always used before. AND the recipe calls for oats and peanut butter which means a little extra protein and fiber (anything to make me feel less guilty about consuming hoards of cookies)

**For those non-oat/peanut butter cookie people, you've gotta give these a chance. I'm pretty sure you'll be outrageously surprised.

My family LOVES this recipe and asks for me to bake them often.

The dough hardly spreads so I'm always able to fit several cookies on one sheet. I'm very impatient, so that fact makes me very happy. I also use a cookie dough scoop to achieve uniformity.

I've messed up a lot of cookie recipes but this one has been perfection every time!

If you try these cookies, I'd love to know what you think!

  • Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I sometimes switch the sugar measurements. I adore brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to lightly greased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Happy Baking!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Sibling Bond

"To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters.
We know each other as we always were.

(Ethan looking at Emma through
the hall window of the NICU Nursery)

We know each other's hearts.
We share private family jokes.

We remember family feuds and secrets,

family griefs and joys.

We live outside the touch of time."
~Clara Ortega

I treasure these early days in Ethan and Emma's sibling relationship. I'm looking forward to the years ahead; the ups and downs, the inevitable fights, the tears, the cheers, and the deepening of that special bond called Brother and Sister.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

That Name

If you grew up in a good ol' fashioned Baptist church like I did, you were definitely exposed to this song at least 57,543 times....

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know
Fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go!

I joke about the number, but we sang the song a lot. And I'm glad we did. It's a cheery song about the God-Man behind the name that evokes peace and comfort. It's permanently seared into my heart.

That song came to mind Tuesday morning when I had to pull out all my mommy arsenal in hopes of soothing a screaming, panicky, on-the-verge-of-throwing-up-from-sobbing-so-hard 2 1/2 year old-boy.

It wasn't my son, though. It was his little buddy, Nate.

His parents both had full schedules that day and needed someone to watch him so I happily volunteered. Ethan loves his buddy, and honestly it's a nice break when the two get together. They keep each other busy for hours.

However, Tuesday morning Nate arrived a lot earlier than our normal playdate time. Ethan was still asleep (I think I technically was, too) so he wasn't there to welcome Nate with toy-filled arms when he arrived.

Oh boy. What a catastrophe the next 20 minutes were.

Screams. Flails. Tears. Snot. Tiny hands banging on the front door.

How my son slept through that noise, I have no idea. But he did.

I was worried the neighbors would think something horrifying was happening in our home.

(Insert wild imagination here) I go outside and all neighbors are standing in their yards with hands on hips, shaking heads, pointing fingers, yelling "child abuser!!" while I'm being whisked away in handcuffs to the local jail.

Yes, I can be pretty dramatic like that.

Finally, a breakthrough occurred. Which is a good thing, because I almost started to join in with the poor little guy.

I talked about Jesus.

And I began singing "Jesus loves me" and he started to calm. I could see his body relax. The tears stopped. And he just laid on his stomach listening to my early-morning voice crack through the song until he was completely soothed and ready to play with the Wolverine figurine I had waiting for him on a little four-wheeler. And away Wolverine went...

I'm telling you, the name of Jesus is a balm. It has soothed many of my fears along the way and it did the same thing for a sad little boy who was dealing with some separation anxiety.

I love that name.
It's the sweetest one I know.

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