The Kingdom of the Journey {Guest Post}

A big thank you to all of the contributors that have helped give me a bit of a break this summer!

The Kingdom of the Journey

Sharing the journey #testimony #journey #allergies #trust #jesus @gosdchicki
Just before my husband and I got engaged, we went to a Christian conference at the time (Soul Survivor UK) and there was a fantastic talk on “The kingdom of now and not yet” which we took great comfort in, especially as my father-in-law was very ill at the time.
 
The talk encouraged us that God’s will will be done. That when we seek and petition Him with our prayers He always answers, whether we hear and see a yes or a no, or a not yet. He is invested in our situation and His will will be done in our lives and our healing, even if that manifests as a “not yet” because His healing can come in death when we join Him. He always gives an answer, even if it’s not the one we want or expect.
 
We took comfort in this when we lost my father-in-law, we took comfort in this when we had our eldest son and then when I was hospitalised because my gallbladder ruptured. We have continued to take comfort in this with the trials and tribulations life has thrown at us.
 
When we had our second son his health was never quite right, from irregular stools from 4 days old, to eczema following his vaccinations which turned out to be symptomatic of an immune hypersensitivity triggered and exacerbated by them. This began a challenging voyage into identifying why his immune system was haywire, and how we could support his healing. Then came identifying the dozens upon dozens of food and environmental triggers that can causing anything from flushing to anaphylaxis.
 
There are few things in life as scary as holding your 18m old in your arms as their lips turn blue because of respiratory distress, triggered by a dust-mite allergy.
 
Before that reaction we had felt God speak to us as a family and assure us that this would not be to the death, but for the journey.
 
Though, when your child is being starved of oxygen before your eyes the fears slip in…
 
…what if I misunderstood God.
 
…what if our journey includes caring for a child that is neurological or otherwise damaged from oxygen deprivation?
 
We don’t know what our journey’s will hold. But we can trust in God.
 
For we know He works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
 
Which brings me back to the kingdom of the journey…
 
God has gifted us with free will, and the responsibility of stewardship of the dominion He has put us in. As a global scale we have neglected and abused this responsibility, now our collective health is suffering.
 
We live in a world plagued by illnesses, autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions and mental health disorders, cancers and so much more. Our bodies don’t function in the way they should because our environment, stressors, medications and nutrition have manipulated our genetic expression to make us more prone to being ill. We have entered the first generation that predict children won’t live as long as their parents.
 
This is not progress.
 
So, it’s our responsibility to bring the kingdom in our journeys.
 
People share testimonies all the time of salvation and healing, which – Hallelujah – is worth rejoicing over; BUT we need to bring our testimonies of the journey.
 
That salvation isn’t the end of our transformation, that miraculous healing isn’t the only kind worth talking about. We need to share our lives testimony. Through the ups and downs, battles with the normative practices that have played such a huge role in the condition of our world and health. We need to bring God’s glory back and rejoice in His kingdom where we are.
 
Be the change you want to see in the world, is a cliche for a reason. But we are called to lead by example, in our faith, which should include our stewardship of our health and our environment both close to us and on a global scale.
 
The Kingdom of the journey, to me, is trusting God’s will and plan for our lives, because even though miracles do happen, the bigger witness can be to bring glory and healing through the trials and stewardship of our lives.
LillieWHiteLillie blogs over at TED Mamas. One mums experience, discoveries and intrigues through a Total Elimination Diet, allergies, breastfeeding and parenting her little joys.
You can also connect with her on  Facebook.

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.
 
 

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
 

36 Songs For Tough Days

36 Songs for Tough Days @gosdchicki
One of those days. I’ve had a lot of them many times. Here are some songs that have each ministered to me in difficult times, and encouraged me to press on.
Music is such a powerful medium. We can learn a song as a child and remember it 20 years later. These songs all hold truths that are great to tuck away for hard days. I have shared a bit before about how songs have ministered to me in my posts His Grace Is Enough and Peace.
I would love to share the snippets of lyrics that have really spoken to me, but as a blogger I have to abide by copyright laws, and posting more than a song title is considered infringement.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that the price that you pay will not change, but I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links.

36 Songs For Tough Days

  1. Shackles by Mary Mary
  2. Held by Natalie Grant
  3. God is God by Steven Curtis Chapman
  4. This Is The Stuff by Francesca Battistelli
  5. Strong Enough by Matthew West
  6. Out of My Hands by Matthew West
  7. Trust In You by Lauren Daigle
  8. Walk By Faith by Jeremy Camp
  9. I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp
  10. Blessed Be Your Name by Tree 63
  11. Your Grace Is Enough by Matt Maher
  12. Lord Move Or Move Me by FFH
  13. You Are God Alone by Phillips, Craig, and Dean
  14. Let The Waters Rise by Mikeschair
  15. Hills And Valleys by Tauren Wells
  16. You Are Loved by Stars Go Dim
  17. Rescue by Michael Gungor
  18. Never Alone by BarlowGirl
  19. Praise You In The Storm by Casting Crowns
  20. One Thing Remains by Passion Conference
  21. Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture
  22. It Is Well With My Soul by Jeremy Camp
  23. Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans
  24. He Is Our Peace by Maranatha
  25. The Voice Of Truth by Casting Crowns
  26. Corner Stone by Aaron Shust
  27. I Have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North
  28. Your Hands by JJ Heller
  29. Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin
  30. Need You Now (How Many Times) by Plumb
  31. Lift Me Up by The Afters
  32. Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe
  33. Cry Out To Jesus by ThirdDay
  34. At The Foot of The Cross by Kathryn Scott
  35. Desert Song by Shane and Shane
  36. Hungry (Falling On My Knees) by Kathryn Scott

Has music ministered to you? What songs do you like to listen to in hard times?
 

Christ Centered Christmas Activities

Christ Centered Christmas Activities @godschicki
This may contain affiliate links. This means that I earn a small commission if you purchase through my links, but it does not change the price that you pay.

The Christmas season is here. Are you looking for a Christ centered alternative to Elf on the Shelf? Ways to make Christmas more meaningful for your family? I have compiled a (short) list of some of the great alternatives out there, and in this post I am sharing them.
Faith at home is something that is very important to us. Living out Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Some people start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, others December 1st. I am more of a year round kind of girl. I can watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music year round.
One thing that we try to do is make the season about Christ, and not Santa or gifts. We are still working on our traditions.
We do not hold being naughty or nice over the children’s heads. God’s gift of grace is completely undeserved, and we should strive to live holy lives not because we might not get a treat if we are naughty, but because we love Jesus. Santa is not the all-seeing, all-knowing being that many make him out to be. Only God is. An Elf sent to spy on the kids does not quite fit with our goals for the Christmas season.
A lot of families do Elf on the Shelf, but I’ve been looking for more Christ centered Christmas/Advent activities. I found one that I really like, I think we will try to start it next year, but here are some ideas for you. Some are very much like Elf, others are printables, or other activities.
Christian Elf on the Shelf Alternatives @godschicki

The Heart of Christmas

Since the kids are little, I think we are going to do The Heart of Christmas Ideas from Premeditated Leftovers. It is simple enough and I can tailor it to fit my kid’s age levels.
I love this idea. Basically you take a baby Jesus (I will be using a Little People Nativity one), and hide Him around the house with special instructions for the day for various acts of kindness and ways to focus on Christ. The idea being that each morning, you seek Jesus and His instructions for the day.

The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger box set includes everything you’ll need to bring the spirit of service into your home. As your Christmas season unfolds your hearts and home will be filled with more joy and love than ever before. This tradition will become a family favorite year after year + it will create some of your most cherished Christmas memories.
We believe in this product and the way it can help shift the focus of Christmas to serving. To us this is more than a business. It’s a way to spread kindness + promote service.  Your support means the world to us!

The Shepherd’s Search

The Shepherd’s Search is very much like the Elf on the Shelf, only he is on the search for baby Jesus.

Truth in the Tinsel

A great way to refocus on Jesus this Christmas season. Each day of advent, Truth in the Tinsel will lead you through a passage of Scripture, a corresponding ornament craft, and talking points for you and your children.

What God Wants for Christmas

What God Wants for Christmas is an interactive learning experience. Seven gift boxes to open will bring your child on a journey to Bethlehem, learning from the Biblical characters the true meaning of Christmas. The only down side to this is that is only a week’s worth of activities, but especially if your kids are little, you can do it for a couple of weeks before Christmas. Children learn best through repetition. 

Star From Afar

Star From Afar is another Elf alternative. You set up your nativity and every night you hide the star. The next day the children seek out the star and move the wise men to its location and read the corresponding Scripture. Repeat each day until Christmas eve when you place it over the stable so that the wise men find Jesus on Christmas morning. I will quibble with the fact that the wise men are the ones finding Jesus on Christmas morning, as Scripture says that Jesus was a toddler, mostly likely between 1 and 2 by the time that they came, but it is a fun activity and you could easily explain that to children.

The Good Deeds Manger

The Good Deeds Manger is a Christian activity for the holidays highlighting the importance of doing a good deed daily and treating others with kindness. This family activity centers on an empty manger during the weeks before Christmas. If you do a good deed, you earn realistic looking pieces of hay to put inside the manger.
Since it’s not likely that the hay will stay put with small children in the house, this is probably better suited for older children.

The Shepherd’s Treasure

This is the one I want to get for next year. The Shepherd’s Treasure is very similar to the Elf, only your shepherd is searching for treasure. Your Shepherd shows up next to the book that he comes with. You read it as a family, name your shepherd, then the search is on. Each day your shepherd has adventures looking for the treasure. On Christmas Day, he finds Jesus, the ultimate Treasure. There website has a bunch of ideas for your shepherd’s search. If you watch their Facebook page closely, they do run some great Black Friday Specials, but they sell out quickly, so check early. Right now, all of the shepherds are of European descent, but they plan to add more next year.

The Twelve Names of Christmas

The Twelve Names of Christmas is a 12 day ornament base advent activity pack. There is an ornament and two page story for each day. You can hang all of the ornaments at once when you decorate the tree and then have kids find them, or hang one each day as you tell the story. The ornaments are pretty and brightly colored. A good alternative for any age.

A Jesse Tree

This is another one that I would love to incorporate in our home. Based on Isaiah 11:1, the Jesse Tree is an advent tradition the uses 25 ornaments to tell Bible stories leading up to the birth of Jesus. There are many, many vendors that sell ornaments (I personally love these), but one of the great things about this tradition is that you can also make your own, either to start with or each year. The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas is a great resource, as are Pinterest and Google.
 

I reached out to some fellow bloggers for their advent and Christ centered Christmas ideas, here is what they shared with me:

Lora over at Crafty Designs shared her beautiful DIY Advent Calendar with Scriptures, as well as her DIY Advent Wreath.
Kristen at Joyfully Thriving share her Reverse Advent Calendar.
Jessica at Cutesy Crafts shared her adorable felt Nativity Advent Calendar.
There is this awesome Random Acts of Christmas Kindness for Kids over at Wonder Mom Wanna Be.
Uncommon Designs has a whole collection of great Advent Ideas.
Angie over at the Country Chic Cottage has her some great Advent Ideas as well.
Randi over at Dukes and Duchesses has a lovely DIY Chalk Board Advent Calendar , a cute Daily Advent Reading for Children, and 24 Acts of Service Advent Calendar.
Sustain My Craft Habit’s Jane and Sonja share their Ribbon and Burlap Advent Calendar.
Katelyn at What’s Up Fagans has some great coloring pages for kids, as well as her take on the three gift tradition, and great nativity set ideas for children.
 

What are some of your special traditions?

Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

Getting Drunk

Getting Drunk @godschicki

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-20 (Emphasis mine)

Let’s think about this picture Paul gives us for a minute.
Getting drunk affects many aspects of one’s life.
It affects the way you see things, your vision.
It affects how you feel.
It affects your speech, how you talk.
It affects the way you walk.
It affects the way you think.
Here Paul tells us not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
The word used for fill here is plēroō, which means “to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim”.
We, as followers of Christ, should be so full of the Spirit that it affects every part of our life. How we walk, talk, think and see things.
Over and over in Scripture we are told that our lives should be different if we are following Christ. On our own this is impossible. We need to be filled with the Spirit who enables us.
Unless we are spending time with Him, in His Word, in prayer, allowing Him to point out the weeds of sin in our lives and changing what He calls us to, we will be no different.
Let me ask you this. Without anything that you say (because talk is cheap, and your walk is what speaks volumes to the world), would people see that your life is different? How?  What is different about your life? How does your faith affect those around you on a daily basis?
In other places Scripture talks about Gracefilled Speech, Being Peculiar, and Dressing for the Day.
 
Tweet: As followers of Christ should be so full of the Spirit that it affects every part of our life. How we walk, talk, think, how we see things.
I’ve linked this post up at:
Grace & Truth | The Loft

My Favorite Breastfeeding Products

August 1-7th is World Breastfeeding Week.
My Favorite Breastfeeding Products @godschicki
Please note, I know that not all moms are able to breastfeed, this post is in no way shaming them! Moms want what is best for their kids, sometimes due to health issues, that is not mother’s milk. This post is just to help breastfeeding moms along in their journey.
Breastfeeding has been proven to be best for baby’s development. While natural, it is not always easy.
I have been blessed to see it as I grew up, and have had few issues in our breastfeeding journey.
Our son is 3.5 year old and still nurses at night. I have tandem nursed for just over 2 years. I still need to figure out nursing 3 come November, but that’s a ways off yet.
There are a lot of products for breastfeeding out there, here are my favorites.

This list contains affiliate links. While it does not change the price of the item you click on, I do get a small commission if you purchase it through my link.

MyBrestfriend

Arm and back saver for real. Makes feeding a little one so much easier.

A Good Water Bottle

Hydration is key while breastfeeding, a good water bottle is your friend while nursing! It is recommended that women drink 8 ounces of water for every nursing session (on top of normal water consumption).
I like the Zulu bottles because you can open them one handed, and they are tough.
Updated:
I have not personally tried their glass bottles, but CamelBak bottles are great and their warranty is amazing. I have investing in this one. I love it. I found a glass straw for it from Strawsome. I like the fact that it does have a straw feature, so drinking while laying back to nurse is much easier. I was a bit worried about having a glass water bottle around kiddos, but it had been dropped out of our cars and down a few stairs without even a scratch. We’ve gotten the kids each one as well.
For more ideas on staying hydrated, you can check out my post, Ideas to Stay Hydrated Naturally.

Milkies Milk Saver

I wish I had known about this product with our first baby! When B would start nursing, no nursing pad would handle the let down on the other side. I ended up awkwardly holding a bottle under the side B wasn’t on at the time, and often got several ounces. With L, I had B to nurse on the other side, so I only used them a few times, but it was great.

Lilly Pads

I liked these much more than the other nursing pads out there. While they did not handle a heavy letdown well (when I would start nursing I would switch to holding a bottle under the other side or using the Milk Saver), there was no pad line to show, and they are reuseable.

Mother’s Milk Tea

Really helps boost milk production. I used it whenever I needed a slight boost in supply.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

My go-to source for info and troubleshooting. Great wealth of information that, unfortunately, you are not likely to find elsewhere-at least not in main stream medicine or mom circles. Knowledge is power, and this is a great source.

My Notes

I have never had trouble with latch issues or dry, cracked nipples, so I do not have info or suggestions for products to help with those issues.
I had mastitis once, but did not have info to treat it naturally so I ended up getting an antibiotic. Now, I am armed with the knowledge from these wonderful ladies:

 
Update:
I have dealt with thrush this time around. I am going to try to get a post about how we treated it naturally.
I plan to do a post on misinformation about breastfeeding and ways to boost milk production in the future.
Do you have a favorite nursing product that I missed? Have you tried any of these, if so, what did you think?

Aprons & Pearls Link~up

Little by little things are getting done. Painfully slow process, mainly because the kids are so young and need mama a lot, and mama is tired.
I wish things were like in the movies…mostly the Disney ones where all of the nice little animals come and help you clean or you can clean with a snap of your fingers. We have a family of bunnies and some ducks and cats in the neighborhood that could lend a hand! I suppose that would cause it’s own problems, but one can day dream, eh?
Things have been further complicated this week by Bobby figuring out our baby gates….thankfully he’s pretty good at listening and going back in the living room when told…most of the time.
I feel like I am making progress. I can see the changes in the house, little by little it is getting better.
I need to be more intentional with teaching the kids to clean up after themselves this week.
Anywho…enough real life! On to the link-up
 

Aprons & Pearls Link~up #

What are your biggest struggles in homemaking? Was it something you learned growing up?
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.

About the Aprons & Pearls Link-up

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 up to three 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, Oil Selling or the like).
  • Life happens and we all get behind sometimes, but for each link you leave, please comment on at least two posts (1 link=2 comments, 2 links=4 comments, 3 links=6 comments).
  • Comments should be meaningful (at least 10 words and relevant to the post) and use keywords from the post title.
  • Add the Aprons & Pearls Button below to either your post or your sidebar so others can join in.
  • Use the hashtag #aprons&pearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
 
fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409

<a href=”http://aboutachik.wordpress.com/category/aprons-pearls/”><img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/godschik/fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Aprons & Pearls Link~Up” /></a>

I have had some issues with the image not showing up, so please let me know if this fixed it or if it is still buggy. Thank you for your patience as I figure this out!
Now, to the link-up!



I have linked this post up at:

Introducing The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

I have been thinking about setting up a link up for quite some time, and I finally made a graphic that, while not quite what I envisioned, will work until I find that perfect image.

About the Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This will be a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave up to three 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, Oil Selling or the like).
  •  Life happens and we all get behind sometimes, but for each link you leave, please comment on at least two posts (1 link=2 comments, 2 links=4 comments, 3 links=6 comments).
  • Comments should be meaningful (at least 10 words and relevant to the post) and use keywords from the post title.
  • Add the Aprons & Pearls Button below to either your post or your sidebar so others can join in.
  • Use the hashtag #aprons&pearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

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

<a href=”http://aboutachik.wordpress.com/category/aprons-pearls/”><img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/godschik/614b1d18-a4cb-414a-a454-13881598be0f.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”The Aprons & Pearls Link~Up”/></a>

Now, to the link-up!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth:THe Art of Homemaking Monday

Our Home of Many Blessings
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

What You Eat Matters

What You Eat Matters @godschicki
What do you eat daily? We are trying to eat healthier, to be better stewards of our bodies.
Out has gone a lot of junk and in it’s place you will now find healthier options.
If it is not in the house, it is less likely to be eaten. Eating healthier nourishes your body. Helps it to function as it should.
The typical American diet is chock full of processed junk with additives that hardly resembles real food anymore. Do not get me started on the pesticide residue on non organic food. Getting back to a healthier idea of food is not easy. That junk tastes good and it is easy.
It takes making up your mind to do what is right instead of what feels good.
Recently, a local church’s sign board had a great quote on it.
“You cultivate your appetite by what you eat”
I do not know where it came from other than that, I have search, but cannot find where it came from (if you know, please let me know!).
That is so true though.
When hubby and I first got married, we ate white bread. Butter bread to be exact. Neither of us had ever cared for wheat or whole grain breads, but when I became pregnant for the first time, we made the switch to whole grain. Now, we do not eat a lot of bread at all since it is essentially a filler, but it is strange to eat white bread. We miss the lack of texture, substance.
Some additives actually block nutrients from being properly used by your body. Pesticides and genetically modified foods have been linked to a multitude of health issues, hindering our bodies from working the way that God made them to.
While we are still working on it, our diets are around 90% real food and do what organics we can.
I have a few posts on some specific why and how we are changing what we eat, but I was thinking about how all of this can be applied to our spiritual lives.
When I was in high school, a popular phrase was “Garbage in, garbage out.” What we fill our bodies, hearts and minds with has a massive impact on our health, physically, spiritually and mentally.
If you put blueberries into your tea bag, you will get blueberry tea.
In her book, No Other Gods, Kelly Minter says:

“To think that we are unaffected by what we watch, read or listen to is deceptive thinking.”

I could not agree more.
Media is not lacking in the US. We have access to just about anything on our phones. There are hundreds of tv and radio stations. Too many books to count. We are bombarded with messages that are contrary to the Word all of the time.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23

When we hear things, over and over, we become desensitized to it. It becomes no big deal. When we are constantly faced with the world’s view of things instead of God’s, sin becomes no big deal. We get used to it.

When we do not guard, actively watch over what is put into, our hearts and minds against these messages, they become no big deal, normal.

We must actively guard our hearts and minds.

God’s Word clearly lays out how Christ followers should conduct themselves, not as citizens of this world, but as a people set apart. (Ephesians 4:17-5:21, Colossians 3:1-4:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, 1 Peter 1:13-2:12, to name a few references)

Is there a song that you have not heard in years, but you still remember the lyrics to? I know there are a few for me. Music is a powerful media. Set something to a tune and we are more likely to remember it.

What about Scripture? Can you pull the truths of the Word from your mind as easily as those lyrics? How you considered a Christian media fast? Listening only to Christian music for 40 days? TV? Books?

When we take time to nourish our souls, to cut out those additives and junk, they begin to grow and function the way they were meant to.

The junk of this world tastes good for a time and is easier to access, but what spiritual impact or consequences does it have?

They may not even be inherently bad, but if they are replacing God, if we make time for them, but not for Him in our lives, we must reexamine our hearts.

I have found that, like with the bread, when I am cultivating the appetite for the things of God, when I get a taste of worldly things, they lack substance and texture.

Philippians 4 gives us a good spring board for what we allow our hearts and minds to consume:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Are you working on cultivating an appetite for the Word of God? For His ways?

What additives are blocking us from absorbing and using the Word? From functioning properly?

Are you nourishing your soul?

Do you measure the media you consume by the Word of God-regularly?

GraceTruth-300x300