The Week in Review and The Aprons & Pearls Linkup

Rather frustrating week.
After wrangling the (four) children for a 5.5 hour sales pitch (that was supposed to be 90 minutes) at a time share place for a few vouchers for stays at their facilities, we found out that, while they knew since phone call #1 that we are a family of 6, the vouchers are only good for 4 people. No one told us during the first phone call. No one told us during check in. No one told us during the 5 hour sales pitch. No one told us when we checked out. Honestly, if it had been up to me I would have passed from the beginning, but hubby agreed to it. If anyone from Vacation Village Resorts and Affiliates offers you anything, just pass. It is not worth it.
Nothing much has gotten done around the house either. I am feeling motivated, but littlest man is nursing a lot, which is normal. It is a season that will pass. So this week has been filled with much cuddling, nursing, and Netflix. Chipping away at laundry one load at a time. Everything bottle necks at the dryer, and it has been raining since Saturday (and has a good chance of rain all week).
We are also pretty far behind on our summer reading challenge. The goal has been 20 minutes a day and 100 books over the summer. I am trying to be okay with it, there is only so much that we can do. We have read daily, but I have not paid attention to the clock when we do.
We did get to check out the Lego Americana Tour. The White House, Supreme Court Building, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, Old North Church, Washington Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial in Legos-in pretty amazing detail. And a fun snow scene with a lot of the children’s favorite characters.
I am very grateful for all of the guests posts that have allowed me to not worry about the blog on top of everything else going on. This week the guest posts have been Biblical Encouragement For The Weary Mom, Slayed Yet Vindicated, and Don’t Judge Someone Based On One Piece of Their Puzzle.
There is an amazing sale going on over at Flirty Apron (check out the link in the sidebar). Up to 70% off, and one of my all-time favorite aprons-the Lindy- is included in the sale!
On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

    • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
    • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
    • While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
    • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
    • Leave as many as you like.
    • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
    • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!
    • I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.

    The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back through Sunday and check out some of the posts!
    I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
    As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
    Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
    fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
    Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game!


Don't Judge Someone Based on One Piece of Their Puzzle {Guest Post}

A big thank you to the contributors that have helped to make this summer break possible!

Don’t Judge Someone Based on One Piece of Their Puzzle

We do not always see the big picture. #grace #bible #jesus #scripture #bigpicture @godschicki @herarms_strong
Someone just told my husband they’re worried about me because it seems like my child is my whole life, and my two-year-old child is so attached to me.

My automatic response was to defend myself. “Nuh uh! I go out with my friends for girls night. There’s date night. I have my own hobbies…blah blah blah.” The defensiveness came from a place of hurt and anger that I was being judged by only one piece of my puzzle this person sees.

Here’s the thing about judgment: We all do it. Judgement is simply looking at an incomplete picture of a person and their life and filling in the blank spaces with our own ideas and assumptions. It’s not fair. Chances are the assumptions we make are largely clouded by our own baggage, and that means those pieces of the puzzle we’re filling in are probably wrong. Even if we get a piece of the puzzle right, we’re still missing twenty other pieces that fit together and impact every other piece to create a full picture.

This person’s judgment is fueled by concern, so I understand why she said something. And she’s partially right. I do spend every day with my kiddo. We’re pretty inseparable, even down to the fact that my son needs to nap in my arms, he still breastfeeds, I post about our adventures together online all the time, and we plan to homeschool.

But this person is missing a lot of pieces. Like the fact that it brings me deep joy to spend time with my son since a struggle with infertility left me doubting I’d ever get to have a child. She’s missing how much peace breastfeeding brings us both because it’s a nifty comforting tool in the tumultuous toddler years full of wild emotions. She doesn’t see that sleeping in my arms brings him the best sleep, which means I get quality me-time to write, read, or watch Netflix. She doesn’t see that I catalog our adventures online because it’s the easiest way for me to keep track of precious pictures. She doesn’t know that my motivation for homeschooling is to give my son the most freedom to follow his own interests and passions. And she doesn’t see me going out with my friends, out to date nights, or working on passion projects that are just for me.

After I got past my defensiveness, I realized a few things.

1. I’m not ashamed that my child is “my whole world” or that he’s so attached to me. Family is big in our family. We’re tight-knit, always there for each other. I want to raise my son to appreciate and love family too. I can’t imagine withholding affection, comfort, love, time…and for what? Societal expectations? Nah, I’m good. We follow a unique path.

2. It’s not my job to defend myself or our lifestyle. Every family is different. Clearly, this person does “family” a little differently, or she wouldn’t feel this concern and make these judgments. And that’s okay! Her family culture is hers, and my family culture is mine. God is my defender, so I don’t have to defend myself. We can just live our lives and appreciate differences.

3. I judge other people too. Like I said earlier, we all do. Storytelling is a passion of mine, so it’s in my writerly nature to fill in the blanks when it comes to character thoughts, backgrounds, and motives. But I carry those tendencies into real life and fill in the blank pieces of real people’s puzzles. That’s not fair of me. It doesn’t bring peace. Judging like this actually causes me a lot of anxiety because I bring my own insecurities into their picture and assume they’re thinking the worst of me.

It all needs to stop. I need to stop judging you. And I hope you will stop judging me. Instead, let’s celebrate and appreciate the pieces of the puzzle we do see. Let’s take everyone at face value–trust a little more. If we wonder about something, instead of filling in the blank ourselves, we can ask! Ask that person what they mean. Ask why they do things this way. Or if we’re not comfortable asking, it’s okay to be comfortable with mystery. We don’t need to know every puzzle piece to see the beauty in a person’s picture.

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’

“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

-Romans 14:1-13

My note:  We are called to help keep our brothers and sisters accountable, but it needs to be a matter of prayer, and founded in Scripture. This is not judging, God does that. When the Spirit leads, we should follow in a gentle reminder.
This is about giving grace to people, because we do not always see this big picture.



JessieMullins

Jessie Mullins blogs about gentle parenting, crunchy living, and faith on Her Arms Are Strong. She’s married to her middle/highschool sweetheart, and together they have a son. This trio loves to spend time with family, thrift shop, and explore nature.
You can also connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
 
 

Slayed Yet Vindicated {Guest Post}

Thank you so very much to those that contributed to make this summer break possible!
Slayed Yet Vindicated
This morning as I was doing my devotion I was reading the daily My Utmost for
His Highest and what Oswald Chambers had written really penetrated my heart.
Encouragement for when your are going through the refiner's fire. #encouragement #bible #job #refining #toughtimes #hardtimes @godschicki
I mean, I still find myself drowning in amazement at how what he wrote can so perfectly fit into our everyday lives. He had used Job as an example in his writing this morning and to be honest, it made me want to read the book of Job from beginning to end. (I don’t even know if I have done that before.)
I am just so quick to complain when things may get hard or when life brings me to a crossroad and I am left to decide one thing or another.
Poor me, having to make tough decisions and poor me when the wi-fi is down
or I have no phone service.
And God knows it is a tragedy when my blonde is attributing those brassy penny colored hues.
But seriously, who has been there before?
When not only the day or week but the whole month, maybe half the year seems to not
be going our way!
The first thing I know I don’t do is praise the Lord. That’s for certain.
Because why would I?!
My life is literally falling apart!! Right?
Haha. So, so wrong, my beautiful friend. Our lives are simply falling into place.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

Job 13:15

Though it may feel like the Lord has a chisel on our lives and is constantly pounding at
that chisel, will you choose to trust Him still?
Is He the same God you learned about as a child that would never leave you, never let anything “bad” happen to you, the God who loves you this big? (Opening your arms as wide as they can go.) Yes, yes He is and He will always be.
I will be the first to admit that this is something I struggle with every single day.
Whether it’s because my life seems like it will never come intact, I will never
lose that weight, I won’t succeed, I am not a good mother or simply because I see
another mom who looks like they have it all together even though she has 10 kids. Ha.
Because we all know those are fiery darts straight from hell that the enemy endlessly
shoots our way.
Whatever it is that may be slaying you at the moment, let God have His way.
Trust in the stretching and uncomfortable straining you might feel right now
because soon, He is going to release you just like an arrow in an archers’ bow.
God sees the ultimate target and He is doing what is necessary to get us there.
So please, whoever you are, wherever you may be, whatever you may be feeling:
DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT WAVER. PERSEVERE.
Trust in the God you could never even doubt when you were a child. Trust….in the God who is bigger than the universe. He’s got you. He’s got me. He even has those who you may be praying for.

“See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated.”

Job 13:18

Bianca WIlliamsBianca Williams is a mother of 2 handsome boys and wife to an amazing husband, Chance. “If you were to describe to me the life I have now when I was in high school I would have literally died from laughing so hard. But that is what makes this life worth living. The fact that God can take who we were and turn us into who He has created us to be. I started writing as a form of venting and it was not until recently that I began to Blog and share what God was placing on my heart with others. I am nowhere near where I believe God can take me but that is what my Blog is about. Simply being Beautifully Unfinished. I hope that you remember that when you feel like throwing in the towel or when you just don’t think you can take one more ounce of pain. Christ is right beside you ready to endure all that you go through. Step by Step. Love you all and hope you have a blessed day.”
You can connect with her through her blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
 

Biblical Encouragement For Weary Moms

A big thank you to all of the contributors that made this summer break possible!

How to Find Encouragement in the Bible, Weary Mom

How to find encouragement in the Word when you are weary #bible #mom #encouragement #weary @godschicki @juliealoos
Parenting kids is hard.
When I was newly married, older and wiser adults told me numerous times to enjoy the time alone with my spouse for as long as I could. Their comments were met with rolled eyes or the tuning out of words.
But now as a parent, I’ve come to the realization that they were right.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, and I love being a mom, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
Honestly, it’s the hardest and most challenging job I have ever had. It requires nights, weekends and little to no time off.
Momma, are you weary like I am? Do you pour out into the lives of littles and then wonder if you’re doing anything right?
Maybe a child acts in a way that makes you shudder or says something that breaks your heart, and you collapse into tears. Surely, you feel like you’re the worst mom ever.
Sometimes our kids like to play into our guilt and shame us by reminding us how “So and So’s parents” never make mistakes or aren’t mean. Our kids can really pack a punch on the days when we are already feeling low.
Momma, I’ve been there on numerous occasions. You are not alone, and succumbing to those feelings is normal, but moms, you need to rise up and put your faith in the Lord.

God Never Grows Weary So Ask Him For Strength

God has had every reason to give up on us. Can you imagine how hard His job is?
He tells us how to live and what rules to follow, and we mess it up every day (I mean every few minutes).
However, we know that God never grows weary and that His love isn’t based on conditions.
So on those really hard days when you want to give your pink slip, let’s remember what God does for us.
When we blow up at our husbands, God nudges us to show love and ask forgiveness.
On the days we grump at God and ask Him why our lives turned out this way, He sends extra measures of His love.
When we tarnish His reputation, God extends His mercy to us.
God never grows weary with us and has promised to supply us with new grace, mercy, energy, and love when we are struggling as moms.

5 Bible Verses to Center Our Prayers on When We’re Weary

 I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.

Psalm 62:1, NLT

 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalm 4:8, NLT

 

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

Psalm 46:1, NLT

 For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”

Jeremiah 31:25, NLT

 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Isaiah 40:29, NLT

How to Pray Using these Scriptures on Days When We’re Weary

When our child acts out, we can ask God to give us the power and wisdom to understand how to discipline and ask Him to grant us the strength to persevere in the discipline.
When our child makes a mistake after being warned, we can ask God to be our refuge and to help us both in this time of trouble.
If our child does something that tarnishes our title as mom, we can confidently know that God will give us victory in some aspect. (Maybe growing in our faith and trusting more in Him as we parent).
Here’s the truth, we aren’t alone in parenting. It doesn’t all depend on us especially when we are Christian. We have the Lord of the Universe on our side, He is hoping that we ask Him for wisdom, help, protection and every need that He can supply us.
Because we know He is on our side, we can seek Him in greater ways on those days when we weary knowing in full confidence, He will uplift us and give us the provisions to parent our kids.
“We must never despair; our situation has been compromising before, and it has changed for the better; so I trust it will again. If difficulties arise, we must put forth new exertion and proportion our efforts to the exigencies of the times.”- George Washington
JulieLoos
 
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 18 years. She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. You can connect with her on her blog, FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
 
 
You can also check out my series on Scriptures for Weary and Overwhelmed moms in these posts:
Renewing Your Mind | Scriptures for Weary & Overwhelmed Moms | Verses For When Trials Come
 

Guest Posts and the Aprons and Pearls Linkup

This might be a short post this week since I am writing it on my phone on the car ride home from a long day out.

We have been going hard since Friday with various activities, and I am hoping to take it a bit easier today. Hopefully catch up on some laundry, dishes, and sleep. Not really holding my breath on the sleep.

This past week we knocked out a few things on our bucket list. Checked out a local modern art museum. Had a water balloon fight. Still have not cooked veggies from the garden… mainly because the kids eat them while we are outside. I am sure that I am forgetting something, but my brain is fried.

I am so thankful for the ladies that have contributed to Timeless Mama this summer. If you missed the posts this week, they were When Anxiety Threatens Your Personal Peace, Joy & Sorrow and Viewing People As God Does.

There are some more guest posts scheduled for Wednesday (tomorrow), Friday, and Monday, so please come back to check it out!

On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki

This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.

Leave links to posts that are:

Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.

This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

    • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
    • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
    • While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
    • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
    • Leave as many as you like.
    • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
    • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!
    • I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.

    The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back through Sunday and check out some of the posts!

    I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.

    As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.

    Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.

    fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409

    Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game!

Viewing People As God Does {Guest Post}

A big thanks to all of the lovely contributors that helped make this summer break possible!

Viewing People As God Does

One evening, while standing on top of a parking deck, I was prompted to look all around at the bustling people of downtown Greensboro. Office buildings, cars driving by, people waiting for the bus. There are people everywhere. I don’t know them, they don’t know me. But there they are, going about their business.
I began to wonder at the thought of how many people there were – and potentially could be – within my limited line of vision.
I was asked, “How do we view people?”
How do we view those around us? Especially the lost? #evangelism #Christian #Bible #jesus #jesustotheworld #saltandlight @godschicki
This thought struck a chord.
Oftentimes we view people (especially those with whom we aren’t familiar) through a lens of physical judgment. We base our opinions of people – and, therefore, our levels of appreciation and respect – on what they look, dress, sound, or act like. We narrow-minded humans can only seem to value others based on our view of them. We are quick to judge and to label.
This particular evening, I was inspired to view people in a much deeper sense.
I viewed each person I could see (and those in office buildings, I imagined) through God-lenses. I wondered what thoughts were going through their mind, what emotions they were feeling, and if they had joyful or broken hearts. What they were dealing with and what they were working towards. Heartbreakingly so, the question of the destination of their souls arose.
“Every name has a soul, every soul has a name.” –Dr. Jim Stagg
When we view people through our sinful lenses, they become worth what we feel they are worth. We often feel this way ourselves. We find our worth in what other people see in us – not who God created us to be.
So, how do we view ourselves?
Feeling valued plays an extensive role in our lives. People have started to find their value, worth, purpose, and identity in what they have accomplished in life, and what people say about them. We tend to find our worth in our title and job description. Those who attend college identify as students. Those who are parents identify as parents. Those who work in the corporate world identify with their job position – secretary, CEO, etc.
We find our worth in how good we are. Straight A student vs. a student who scrapes by on C’s. Those of us with a larger paycheck vs those who work a number of part-time jobs. How many followers we have on social media or the number of likes we get on our content.
This logic that we use to define our worth is flawed and misguided, a tool used by the enemy, Satan.
The Bible has a lot to say about our worth in Christ! Maybe you feel like you’re a mistake, or you know someone who does. But, my friends, if you feel you are a mistake, then you are saying that God has made a mistake – which is impossible!

“For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.  Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.”

-Psalm 139:13, 14

If you’re afraid that this is outdated because it’s in the Old Testament, I must caution you against that dangerous kind of thinking.
However, your worth is talked about in the New Testament, as well.

“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

-Luke 12:6, 7

Everyone has been made uniquely and with purpose in God’s eyes. Everyone has a soul. Everyone matters. You don’t matter because of the words I am telling you, you matter because of the sacrifice that was made for you by Jesus Christ on the Cross. I do not have all the answers about for what purpose God created you, aside from for His glory.
Imagine, we have been created in the image of God, the One who is perfect! He made you, every curve, dimple, and mole. Embrace who you are in Christ!
You may think you are worthless because of your past. But, take heart!

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

–Romans 3:23

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

-2 Corinthians 5:17

 
But if no one tells the lost and lonely about the Good News, then how will they find their true worth? They will remain searching, hopelessly, among the dead-ends of this world. A relationship that is abusive, where they remain because they feel no one else could “love” them. Addicted to alcohol or drugs, because they think it will take them outside of their tormented minds – but only temporarily. Working themselves into the ground, for their mind is set on promotions and their income determines their value as a human being.
Maybe they feel worthless because they are different from other people around them. What they see in the media as being “ideal”, they strive for. A worldly interpretation of perfection that is wildly in and of itself, imperfect.
Who knows, they could have come in contact with Christians who made them feel as if they were not good enough for church, or even Jesus. There was a church who turned their back on someone in their time of need. There was someone who proclaimed loudly that they were a Christian, yet they didn’t treat others with love and respect. Or they didn’t tell someone about the Good News and the love of Jesus because they were different from them.
How can the lost and lonely find their true worth in Jesus, if we treat them so differently? If we treat them like they aren’t good enough for Christ?
Jesus is for everyone. He is for you, He is for me. He is for every color, every age, every background. He has the power to change hearts, we do not. So why do we try to change people before they meet Jesus? If it is such a turnoff to the Gospel, why do we persist so aggressively?
Changing people is not our job.
Showing them the Good News through our words, lifestyles, and attitudes, is.
How do you view people?

Acts 10:34 – “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism.”

The context of this verse is extremely important in our understanding this issue of God favoring one person over the other.
This verse is a quote from Peter, a Jew and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. During this time period, the Jews still held onto the mindset of being God’s chosen people – which they were – but that God was only for them. When Jesus walked the earth as 100% God and 100% man, He paved the way for the new mindset: God, and therefore the Gospel, is for everyone. Jew or Gentile. Peter was learning this lesson on a day filled with visions from the Lord, an officer in the Roman Army named Cornelius, and God breaking down the barriers of nationality. It was not only natural for a Jew to dislike a Roman officer, but even against traditional Jewish custom!
Cornelius was a leader, a God-fearing man, and a Gentile. He had an obvious respect and fear of God, but he didn’t have the Gospel – the Good News. God used Cornelius in Peter’s life, to break down the aforementioned barriers, and He used Peter in Cornelius’ life to tell him the Good News.
The whole story can be found in Acts chapter 10!
I challenge you today to view people differently. To view them as individuals who are different, fearfully and wonderfully made, and in need of Jesus.
SarahRichardsonBorn and raised in a small, southern town, Sarah loves calling North Carolina home. Saved by Grace, and passionate about helping others find boldness. Though she is often at home working on her blog, she enjoys exploring new places – England is next on the list! Flannels, coffee, mountains, and deep conversations are essentials.
You can connect with her through her blog, FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.
 
My note:
Ephesians 2:10 is also a great verse on our worth in Christ:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

Joy & Sorrow {Guest Post}

Thank you very much to each of the contributors that have helped give me a bit of a break this summer!

Joy & Sorrow

Joy & Sorrow {Guest Post} #joy #sorrow #mourning #gladness #hope @godschicki
Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash
It was September 18, 2008 – my freshman year of Bible college – and I was driving two hours to Syracuse, NY to say my last goodbyes to the man who would become my father-in-law (though he did not live long enough for me to call him that in person). I don’t remember the trip to the hospital but I do remember walking into the room. I remember seeing this man I loved so much in the last moments of his life. I remember how loud the hospital seemed. I thought the whole world ought to be weeping. Didn’t they know who they were losing?! I remember the quiet sight of my mother-in-law as she told her beloved he could go, they would be ok, he didn’t have to fight anymore. I remember feeling like he waited for me to get there. I remember the doctor coming in and shutting off the machines. I remember the surreal feeling of stepping onto the elevator. It all seemed wrong. He should be with us. I learned a lot about sorrow in those days.
 
Sometimes sorrow settles for a while deep in the crevices of our hearts. It finds a home and makes itself comfortable. People hurt us, our own sin threatens to undo us, financial struggles fill us with anxiety, sickness and death come knocking at the door of a loved one’s life, and sadness creeps over us and remains. Life moves forward but the sorrow hangs in the air like a curtain separating us from the rest of the world.
 
On the other hand, sometimes joy is unexplainably beautiful. It comes in waves filled with gratefulness. Friendships are made or restored, babies are born, our income exceeds our need, health is revitalized and enjoyed, people are saved from their sin, and the joy feels tangible. It seems as though the whole world should jump for joy with us.
 
Two and half years after that awful day in the hospital, I married that man’s son and the joy hung thick in the air so that we could almost slice it. A snowstorm swirled outside but we were safe and warm, surrounded by dear ones, and making the most joy-filled covenant of my life.
 
Most of us have experienced both utter joy and sorrow. I have felt the amazing joy of answered prayer, real soul-deep friendship, a snowy white wedding day, and the birth of my two children. I have also felt the very tangible sorrow of grief, chronic illness, a broken heart, and a familial betrayal.
 
When sorrow and sadness take over my life, my temptation is to dwell on the pain and challenge of my circumstances and allow my heart to grow bitter and angry. When joy and happiness swoop in, my temptation is to find contentment in the circumstances I feel I have acquired for myself and allow pride to gain a foothold in my heart. Both are wrong.
 
Both sorrow and joy are supposed to make me long for home with Christ where everything will be restored. Pain will be taken away, death will no longer reign, friendships won’t face an uphill battle against miscommunication and misunderstanding, and familial ties will be written in the blood of Christ which is stronger than any bond on Earth. Heaven will be glorious.
 
Sorrow, like the sour taste of a beautiful lemon, reveals the utter inadequacy of everything that is beautiful here. It is all stained by sin and groaning to be made new. Joy, like a commercial for ice cream, is supposed to make me long for the lasting peace that can only come when I am home in Heaven with Christ.
 
Nothing here can fully satisfy. Sorrow reminds us of that. But a day is coming when our hearts will be resting fully for eternity and joy reminds us of that.
 
Sorrow and joy mingle together in this life, with the ultimate purpose of making me love, worship, and long for the presence of Christ eternally. It is my challenge now to not to be satisfied in the joy and not dismayed by the sorrow but to look to Christ with anxious expectation for a day that is coming when my joy will be eternal and my sorrow a distant memory.
 
And, won’t that be a glorious day? When all the saints from history will join together in one song, proclaiming the excellency of Christ. And our praise will be all the more amazing because we have experienced those heartbreaking sorrows that drew our hearts on Earth. And we will think how gracious it was for God to give us a tiny foretaste of this beauty through the joys He bestowed on us.
 
May we never think that this world is all there is. When we face joy, may our pride never cut us off from reality. When we face sorrow, may we look with longing for the day that will be so far greater than our earthly realities. And may we proclaim with the apostle John, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
KatieDeckert
Katie is a wife, homeschooling mom to littles, and writer from New York. She spends her days perpetually picking up toys and opening the door to her home. She blogs at Hospitable Homemaker where she discusses the joys and stresses of hospitality, homemaking, adoption, and the Christian life.
You can connect with her through Facebook and Pinterest as well.

When Anxiety Threatens Your Personal Peace {Guest Post}

A big thank you to all of the contributors this summer!

When Anxiety Threatens Your Personal Peace

{Guest post} How I deal with anxiety from a Christian perspective. #anxiety #help #peace @godschicki @tammykennington

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

It waits in the shadow of thoughts; sitting real and large on my chest like a rock pressing sharp edges into earth’s soft soil. Settling into tender places until the pressure builds and the corners of my heart fracture enough to allow tears to seep through and thin shocks of electricity shoot down my arms into the tips of each finger–seeking release.
I’ve been managing anxiety well for years, but its risen from dormancy the last several weeks. I’m not terribly surprised. For a short time, my husband was hospitalized. A colleague threatened suicide. A dear one is battling against the stronghold of depression. And the only evidence now of a long-time canine companion is a small pink collar and unused dog dish.
Unwelcome, apprehension greets me in the morning and whispers in my ear as I lay my head on the pillow at night.
You should have done something for her today. Why didn’t you call him? What if he doesn’t know how important he is to you? To God?
I gather the thoughts and then release them in prayers.
This sort of battle resides in the mind, but is as real as any visible enemy. For some, its roots may have sprung from a biological bent toward mental illness. A lack of feel-good chemical production. Others may have suffered trauma or loss. Perhaps a loss so overwhelming that is seems to grow uncontrolled and ever-larger–like a nightmarish beanstalk in a child’s fairy tale.
Friend, when we feel impossibly small as we hack away at anxiety–burdened by the hard of circumstance or overwhelmed by worry, remember that Christ conquered every power. Every principality. Every plot to separate us from Him. In His name we can stand against the lies of the enemy, denying satan the right to shift worship from Christ to concern.
Pray against worry. Pronounce Christ’s truth over yourself. And, cling to His promises.

Action Steps to Help When You are Anxious

P-When assaulted by an anxious thought, immediately pray against it. Renounce it as powerless in the name of Christ. (John 14:13)
R–Remind yourself of God’s promises. Memorize scriptures you can pray back to Him when you’re struggling. (James 4:8)
A–Ask others to pray with and for you. (James 5:16)
I-Develop intentional habits to help ward off anxiety. These might include daily Bible reading and meditation, regular exercise, and eating well. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
S-If anxiety becomes part of your day-to-day struggle,seek help from a counselor or doctor. (Proverbs 12:15)
E-Press into God, enduring with patience and hope for He will bless you. (James 1:12)
Blessings,
Tammy
TammyK
Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, education workshop presenter, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.
You can connect with Tammy through her blog, Facebook,  or Twitter.
 
 
 
 

Guest Posts, Bucket List, and the Aprons & Pearls Linkup

A bit late today, sorry about that!
It has been a busy week. Yesterday was my first day on my own with all four children. It went well, though we ended up back at urgent care for nursemaids elbow with Danny, and we had a chiropractor appointment.
Our bucket list is going well. Wednesday we went to our local fireworks display. We also knocked rolling down a hill off the list. We kind of did our scavenger hunt. I ordered some liquid water colors to do bubble and water gun painting. We went to our first dollar movie. If you have a local Regal Cinema, you should check to see if they are participating in the Summer Movie Express. I am going to brave taking the four out to another movie on my own today. We will see how it goes.
Today is Cow Appreciation day, so if you have a Chick-fil-a, check it out (and get a free entrée).
The next couple of weeks is all about guest posts here. Yesterday’s was Biblical Encouragement for the Lonely Wife. Friday was Learning to Make the Changes You Need to Live Intentionally. Again, a big thank you to the contributors!
On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

    • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
    • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
    • While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
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    • Leave as many as you like.
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    • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!
    • I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.

    The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back through Sunday and check out some of the posts!
    I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
    As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
    Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
    fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
    Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game!


Biblical Encouragement For The Lonely Wife {Guest Post}

A big thanks to all of the contributors this summer!

Biblical Encouragement For The Lonely Wife

There are times when most of us feel lonely as a wife or mother, here is some Biblical encouragement for those tough times. #encouragement #biblical #christian #wife #mother #lonely #toughtimes @godschicki @marriagemomlife
I don’t think it’s completely off base to say that a lot of wives go through some period of loneliness. Whether you have been married 10 years or 10 minutes, that feeling can come creeping in!
Maybe you’ve moved away from family and friends to somewhere new, had kids, a job change, or life has been just plain old overwhelming lately.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I’ve been there too; right after my husband and I got married, we moved 3 hours away from my family and started ministering as youth leaders in a new church. I didn’t know anyone. I was far away from my mom (we all need our mamas, no matter how old we are right??) and best friends.
Then we had our first child. I love my daughter with all my heart but nobody told me how lonely the “4th” trimester could be!
All it takes is for that one thought to enter in. That whisper from the enemy that says, “no one knows what you’re going through,” “you’ll always feel this way,” and the worst one, “no one cares.”
But God’s Word says something different.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:1

God cares, and He never leaves us.
So, as wives and moms, what do we do when we are feeling this way? Here are three ways to combat loneliness with holiness.

Remember that God is ALWAYS faithful.

He never leaves our side. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says:

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”

He is always there, no matter where we go or how far we feel we have drifted. He is there when the water is abundantly flowing, and when we’re in the desert. The Bible says that He has established us. Not only is He faithful but He also guards us against the evil one! Loneliness is from Satan, not from the Lord. We can always turn to God for comfort.

Examine your hearts for hidden idols.

1 Corinthians 3:11 reads:

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Anyone else ever have times where they place their identity in worldly things? Our spouses, kids, church, books, our jobs… all of these are gifts that have been given to us! However, when they become more important than the ONE who gave, we lose our focus and seek fulfillment outside of Christ.

Pray for the Lord to bring people into your life.

In James 4:2, he writes:

“you do not have because you do not ask God!”

God is not too big or too little for our prayers. The prayers that go unanswered are the ones that we don’t lay at his feet!
Do you desire godly friends in your life? Ask! We are created for relationship. We are meant to share our struggles and pray for each other, encourage and uplift each other. He wants to give us close community because we were never meant to go through this life alone.
Who else is thankful that God gives us ways to conquer these feelings of loneliness? When we stop believing the lies from the enemy, and start listening to the Truth, that is where transformation happens! We have each other and His Word to lean on, and I pray you take encouragement in these words.
Remember, sister, you are not alone!
MindySueJones
Mindy is the creator of Marriage & Mommyhood. She is a Christ follower, loving wife and mama to a sweet little girl, with a passion for seeing marriages thrive, and sharing mom-tips. Her hope is to offer you encouragement in your marriages and as mothers. Let’s figure out life together!
You can connect with her on her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram.