Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where God Leads

My bff, Kat, texted me a few days ago letting me know that not only had Ann Voskamp commented on our One Thousand Gifts picture, but that we also were in the new slideshow on her posts at A Holy Experience and Bloom (in)courage. I was almost giddy when I saw that she had written on a picture I had loaded on Facebook. Still more so when I saw mine and Kat's faces drift by on the slideshow. And as I sit here still excited, I start to wonder...why?

Why did I get so excited that a woman, a mother like me who homeschools her children and loves her husband and worships her God, commented on a picture? Well, it's hard to get past the fact that it IS Ann Voskamp. Even before the book, her blog has blessed me so many times. I told her at Relevant '10 that I had stopped reading her blog because it brought me to tears each time I read it. Do you know what she did when I said that? She apologized. For making me cry. I'm telling you, this woman exudes grace.

Ann patiently listening to me

But looking past that, what she is is a woman who simply listened to what God told her to do. From beginning her beautiful blog, to writing the book, she listened to His nudging. Is still listening as the popularity of her book grows. If I were to do the same thing, where would God take me?

No, I don't expect to write a best selling book. Nor do I expect to be a speaker at a blog conference. I don't expect to sing concerts the world over, either. But what joy and happiness would be mine if I just listened to Him...and did what He asked?

I have to admit that I let my life be guided by fear more often than I let it be guided by God. Fear of the future, fear of people not liking me, fear of people not liking my child, fear of not parenting my child well, fear of getting bitten by a brown recluse (yes, I'm serious...I'm deathly afraid of spiders).

Why do I live like that? I haven't read One Thousand Gifts completely...since I'm reading the Bible in 90 days, I haven't had time to read it the way I really want to, but I've read far enough into it to know that if I let go of my fear and grab hold of Eucharisteo...giving thanks in EVERYTHING...that my life will be changed.

I can't wait to read it. To sit with it and hear Ann's voice as I read the words. In case you haven't purchased it yet, you can get it by clicking the link above. It's on sale for $12.99. You can also get a "DayBrightener" and the book in a set...what a beautiful gift that would be!

Ann Voskamp - DayBrightener and Book Set - God in the Moment and One Thousand Gifts

If you just gave the DayBrightener and kept the book for yourself I wouldn't tell! Right now is a GREAT time to purchase the set...it's on sale for $16.98, normally $26.98.

While I do get a small percentage from any sale generated from clicking my Dayspring ads (like the one above as well as the ones on my sidebar), I was not compensated in the least to talk about Ann's book. I just can't wait to read it.

And I can't wait to read it after I've finished THE ENTIRE BIBLE THIS THURSDAY!!! I'm just a little excited.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Hero - a Repost

See note at bottom : ) *

No, I'm not talking about my Sound Man. Although he does fit that description. No, I'm talking about a dish detergent. No, I haven't lost my mind. And no, I'm not even talking about doing dishes.

See, one lovely day last year my Kiddo forgot to tell me that he had placed crayons in his leg pockets. The pockets that I didn't check before putting the pair of pants in the washer and subsequently the dryer. Oh, what a mess. All over my dryer as well as my clothes, was red crayon. Melted, waxy, red crayon. I cried. I wailed. I Googled. Yes, I put in "How do I get red crayon out of clothes?" or something along those lines. It said anything from WD-40 to Borax, but the one thing I had on hand was Dawn dishwashing liquid. Enter my Hero.

I used Dawn on those awful red crayon spots, washed the clothes again, and you know what? It worked. Dawn dishwashing liquid got out dryer-melted red crayon from my clothes! So, I figured, hey, it might work on all my grease spots. Nothing I've ever used before has worked, so what do I have to lose? And guess what? (you probably know where this is going, don't you?) It has worked. Every. Single. Time. Even clothes that I had put in the dry cleaning bag that had sat for months came grease-spot clean. Here, let me show you.

Here's Kiddo's shirt with two greasy stains on it. It has already been washed AND dried. I used to think, "Well, this shirt's done for!" But now I know better. See the grease stain on the shoulder and the one on the tummy? Here's a closeup on the shoulder:

Now, all I do when I find one of these stains is pull out the old Dawn liquid. It can either be the original or ultra, they both work the same.

And here's the shirt after washing.

Now, because I believe in full disclosure, let me say that this was with two washings. It was movie butter popcorn that made those stains. I had some on my jeans that required two washings, too. Man, whatever they use for that popcorn is scary industrial grease. Makes me wonder if I will ever order butter popcorn anymore, for sure.I have wanted to write Dawn and tell them what a miracle product they have in the hope that they'd send me a lifetime supply of the stuff, but that's probably not going to happen. Oh, well, I'll just let this little blog post suffice.

So, if you've got some greasy stains you've been putting off trying to get clean, try putting some Dawn on it (regular dish liquid might work too, but I've only tried Dawn). I really scrub it in the spot, then I leave it on for a LONG time. Like overnight. If not, it might need another washing to get it out. If the first try isn't completely successful, keep trying. Dawn has given me back many of my shirts that I had forgotten about in the abyss of the dry-cleaning bag.

Yes, Dawn is truly my Hero. At least for my laundry, where I need all the heros I can get. Whatever that means.

*This is a repost from 2009, but since it was just featured at Mom's Toolbox the other day, it's been on my mind. I also wanted to link it to The Stories of A to Z's Tutorials & Tips Tuesday as well as Holly's Tuesdays Tips and Tricks.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Life to the Full

Last October, when I went to The Relevant Conference I was introduced to Dayspring's Life to the Full Collection. Honestly, I didn't pay that much attention to it, since it was smack in the middle of fall and Christmas was coming up. I wasn't in a springy frame of mind. But when I recently had the opportunity to review a Life to the Full place setting, I jumped at the chance!The cheery colors and floral design practically yell, "Spring!" And while I don't see me using a full set of these place settings for every day, they are truly beautiful plates. Each plate has something to do with "life" on it, whether it's just the word "life," the word "life" in over a dozen languages, or John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (NIV).

Included in the place setting is a dinner plate (which is HUGE), a breakfast plate, a dessert plate, and a bread plate. Now, if I was the kind of person who collected dish sets, I would be all over these. You wouldn't think the black and red design would fit well with the spring colors of the other plates, but it just works. It also means these dishes would go with just about every decor. The plates are so thick they are almost like serving dishes. They are also dishwasher and microwave safe. That is a MUST in my household.

Since I don't have it in my budget to buy any more place settings, I will use these plates in other areas of my home. I put the dinner plate on my wall with my white plates, and while the arrangement might not be exactly right (I'd have to redo my nail holes, so until I'm ready to do that, this is just for this post) I like it.Like my little ski bear? I got him on dirt cheap clearance at Hobby Lobby and just had to keep him out for the winter. He makes me smile. I will hate to put him away for spring.

Sorry for the distraction...back to the plates. I really do love the way the dinner plate looks against my wall. I might have to rearrange this wall to have a spot in the middle for seasonal plates.

As for the smaller plates, the bread plate would be the perfect size for a bathroom where it could hold jewelry or hair accessories. The other two plates would be really pretty in a plate stand on a shelf or mantel.

However you might use these plates, you can get them on sale right now!

Life to the Full Kitchen Collection by DaySpring

The 4 Piece Place Setting is on sale right now for $40, and you can use coupon code LIFE30 to get 30% off of that price, making the final price just $28! That is a GREAT price for a place setting with as many dishes as this comes with! If you order two sets you get free shipping (all orders of $50 get free shipping)! I love that! Click the link above to get to the collection (and to give me a few pennies if you purchase anything...I am a Dayspring affiliate).

While you're there, check out all the other gorgeous pieces that are in the Life to the Full collection. They are ALL 30% off with the coupon code!

And while you're in the checking out mode, go to (in)courage's (in)spired deals page, where you can read other reviews of Life to the Full pieces, and you might just find yourself a giveaway or two to enter.

Dayspring compensated me for this review with a free place setting, but the opinion shared was all mine. For further disclosure information, check out my disclosure page.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Featured at Mom's Toolbox!

I'm so excited! Amy at Mom's Toolbox is using my tip for getting grease stains out of clothes for her Super Quick Mom Tip today!

Amy is the one who took Ted Cooper's ministry, The Bible in 90 Days, and offered it as a ministry for bloggers. I'm so very thankful for what she does!

I would so appreciate you heading over there and leaving a comment after you read my post!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beautiful Jesus


I love the Bible. It's God's message to us, His children, after all. But now that I've read over half of it, I'm ready for some Jesus! As I read through Isaiah and came to chapter 53, it reminded me how beautiful my Savior is. The passage talks about His suffering, not how beautiful He is...but His suffering was for me.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace
was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

The Sunday before I read that the Praise Team had practiced "Beautiful Jesus" for the next week. As I read that chapter, that song kept running through my head. I wrote "Beautiful Jesus" out beside it in the margin.

Here is the song with the lyrics in the video. Take just a minute and listen to it...the lyrics are so beautiful!

The more I read the Old Testament and read between the lines about their (and our!) need for a Savior, I now realize just how beautiful Jesus really is to and for His people.