Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

Oh mommies...what a wonderful day it has been celebrating our Risen Lord, going to church, cooking a feast, and enjoy our family and friends. I had hoped to write this morning, but I was up and running with my sweet family earlier than expected :-) I pray that this was a beautiful day for you and your family! He has risen! He has risen, indeed!

If you would like to create your Easter devotional box, see below for the final piece to your craft! For the instructions on creating your devotional box, visit my post at Palm Sunday.

Easter Sunday - Jesus' Resurrection and Appearance
Jesus was crucified, His body laid in the tomb for three days, and He then arose from the dead on the third day! We do not know the hour that He was resurrected, but we do know that an earthquake occurred, and an angel of the Lord appeared. The angel rolled the stone away from the portal of the tomb in the early dawn of the third day to reveal the empty tomb! Jesus not only possessed the power to physically move through barriers, but He also had the power of making Himself visible or invisible to humans.

Appearances of Christ between the Resurrection and the Ascension:
 -Mary Magdalene, near the sepulcher (Mark 16:9-10, John 20:14)
-Other women, somewhere between the tomb and Jerusalem (Matthew 28:9)
-Two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:14, John 20:26)
-Peter, in or near Jerusalem (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5)
-Ten of the apostles, and others, at Jerusalem--Thomas was not there at this time, and he could not believe what the others told him (Luke 24:36, John 20:19)
-Eleven apostles at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14)
-Apostles at the Sea of Tiberias, Galilee (John 21)
-Eleven apostles on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16)
-500 brethren at once, probably in Galilee (1 Corinthians 15:6)
-James (1 Corinthians 15:7)
-Eleven apostles at the time of the Ascension, the Mount of Olives, near Bethany (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-51)

Prophecy (scripture from the Old Testament that accurately foretold the happenings of Jesus): "He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken." Isaiah 25:8

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21
I do hope that this activity has been helpful to you as a daughter of Christ, and that it has provided you some ideas to highlight the importance of this week with your families. Take all of it or some of it, and use it to your liking. My friend, Gayle, was gracious to allow me to share her creation with all of you.

As we wake up on Monday morning and continue with the busyness that is our lives, let's attempt to not forget this year's Easter season. For me, I have a new-found hunger for learning all that Jesus has to reveal to me about Himself. I'm starting the following study:
I bought this year's ago, started it, and never finished. I now feel the need to finish! I'm looking forward to what He has to teach me, and I look forward to learning how to share the truths of Jesus with our son, as he continues to grow and mature, and with all of you!

Whatever the Lord has spoken to your heart throughout this Easter season, I encourage you to press forward and discover what is underneath the surface. He will go as deep as we desire to go. We must simply ask! I am excited for all of us to continue our spiritual journeys. Think of Easter as the Christian's new year! It's time to make some spiritual resolutions, and pray to God for the strength to keep them. So...what's it going to be for you? I'd love to hear about it in your comments below!

I will be sporadic in my postings for the next week. My mom is here for a visit, and I really need to treasure her time. Have a great week, my friends! Happy Easter, mommies!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Week - Saturday

Hi mommies! Speaking of mommies, my momma just arrived last night for a week-long visit! We're glad to have her here, and Caleb was really happy to see his Deedah. Isn't it funny what kids will call grandparents? I have always called her Grandma to him, but he has chosen to go with Deedah. Super cute :-) I am going to write quickly while Caleb and Deedah are still asleep!

I hope that this Easter week has been memorable for you and your families. Know that the best is yet to come! You don't ever hear a lot about this particular day. Good Friday is marked as the day of Christ's death, and Easter Sunday is marked as the day of His resurrection. So...what about Saturday? Read below for some neat insight from my friend, Gayle. To make an Easter devotional box, see my post of Palm Sunday.

Easter Week - The Jewish Sabbath
It was on the Sabbath that the chief priests and Pharisees came to Pilate and asked for a guard to be placed at the tomb. Even this act was against all that they were supposed to believe, because Sabbath observance was very strict for the Jewish people. The Jews of this time were overzealous in living the man-made rules, but easily forgot the Lord of the Sabbath. However, when lived with the true spirit of the law, the Sabbath helped the Jews commemorate and celebrate their relationship with God. The Sabbath was a day of joy and celebration, of laughter of song, of rest, and worship of the sacred. Tradition actually prohibits sadness on this day. Imagine how difficult it was for those who loved Jesus to appropriately observe this particular Sabbath. He was dead in the tomb, yet they were commanded by God to be joyful and grateful. Talk of war and politics, problems and pain, were meant for other days of the week. Family members prepared for the Sabbath by taking ritual baths and dressing in their best clothing. With everything in place on Friday evening, Jewish mothers lit candles and prayed a sacred prayer, signaling a transition from the secular to the sacred. Dinner was served on their best dishes and was often shared with strangers and the less fortunate. Part of that dinner always included two loaves of bread twisted together as one. The loaves are an important symbol of God's Sabbath, and signified the time when the children of Israel were commanded every Friday morning to collect a double portion of their manna...this way, they would have a double portion of food because no manna was sent on the Sabbath (see Exodus 16).
Application: What might I do to better prepare for a Sabbath experience? What might this teach us about trusting in the Lord for patience? Is a weekly Sabbath time something that our family might like to do? Let's talk about it!

Prophecy (this prophecy is from Jesus' before He was crucified): "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy." John 16:20

Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42

Ideas for dyeing eggs!

First, don't mess with boiling eggs anymore. I don't know about you, but mine never turn out right...I think it has something to do with the altitude of Colorado, but whatever the case, it was frustrating! Try this! Put an egg in each opening of a muffin tin. Bake them for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. They will have a little brown spot where the egg was touching the pan, but you can gently pick that off. The eggs will be cooked perfectly, and they will be super easy to peel!

Genius! Check out more egg-dyeing tricks at Outnumbered 3 to 1
I stocked up on Kool-aid packs when they were free with a coupon at the store. Needless to say, we have about 30! I'm not a big fan of the sugary drink, but I thought we could use them for crafts. This website has a great idea for using Kool-aid to dye eggs! Check it out at Hands On As We Grow
Enjoy your sweet families today! I will post tomorrow morning on Resurrection Day!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Week - Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. It is on this day that Christians acknowledge the death of Christ on the cross, where He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Because Christ allowed Himself to be crucified, out of obedience to His Father, those who believe in Him will have eternal life in heaven. There are no words to express the magnitude of this gift to humanity. While Good Friday is a somber day, as we remember His death, it should also mark the beginning of our anticipation of His resurrection. I pray that you will take time to reflect with your children on the importance of this day. Use your mommy discretion when offering details, but I encourage you to discuss the true meaning of Good Friday with your little ones. After all, it's what our faith is founded on...

To see the instructions for making an Easter Week devotional box, click on the following link: Palm Sunday

Easter Week - Jesus' Trial and Crucifixtion
Jesus' trial was illegal for many reasons. It was illegal because it occurred at night, without public notification. It was held the day before the Sabbath and was concluded in one day. No investigations were made, and there were avowed enemies of Jesus sitting in judgement. There was no unanimous vote. Crucifixion was the most horrible form of death in the Roman empire. Pure humiliation was a big part of the practice. It is believed that Jesus actually died of a broken or ruptured heart (Psalm 69:20-21). The blood and water that spilled out of His side when He was pierced with the sword were medical indications of a ruptured heart. The burial was made in haste before the Sabbath. Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Christ, but he hesitated to confess it because he was afraid of the Jews. He did want to make sure that Jesus wasn't buried in a mass grave with the other executed criminals, and so he went to Pilate to beg for His body. He was assisted by Nicodemus, who brought the costly embalming ointments reserved only for the wealthy. Both men belonged to the Sanhedrin, but both truly believed in Jesus, the Son of God.

Application: How do you feel about what Christ has done for you?

Family Discussion: In the middle of his pain, the criminal on the cross beside Jesus realized his need for forgiveness. What a joy that must have been to know that he would be with Christ after death! (Luke 23:43) How do you think Jesus felt when the man realized his need for forgiveness? What did the man have to do to have eternal life? What must we do to have eternal life? These verses remind us that it is not the things we do that earn us eternal life. Only accepting Jesus on the cross for us, as a gift, gives us eternal life in heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Family Activity: On Friday afternoon, close all of the curtains and blinds in your home. Talk about this being the time that Jesus died on the cross and that His disciples were afraid and sad. Keep the house dark all day on Saturday (Luke 23:44). After the kids are in bed on Saturday night, open up all of the windows and blinds! On Sunday morning, the sunlight will stream into the windows making your home light again. This tradition is one that will help your children identify with the grief and sorrow of the disciples, and it will help them understand that we need to grieve on our own for the death of Jesus. Show them how grief turns into joy as He is raised from the dead on Easter morning.

Prophecy (scripture from the Old Testament that accurately foretold the happenings of Jesus): "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open his mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7

"Dogs surround Me; a pack of villains encircles Me; they pierce My hands and My feet." Psalm 22:16

"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from saving Me, so far from My cries of anguish?" Psalm 22:1

Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:47-27:61, Mark 14:43-15:41, Luke 22:47-23:49, John 18:1-19:37

I found this wooden cross at Walmart for just under $3. I found paint that we had in my craft supplies and let Caleb finger-paint last night. We talked about the fact that this was a cross, and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He is only 1, but it's never too early to start teaching! He made this to give to Grandma in her Easter basket on Sunday morning :-)

Spend some moments in quiet reflection today as you remember the greatest Gift ever given.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Week - Thursday

Hi mommies! So, I broke down. We're potty training! Caleb kept asking to go to the potty, so I figured it was time to allow my child the freedom to move through this natural stage of toddlerhood! Currently, he's sitting on the potty when he gets up, before and after nap, and before bed time. He has actually gone in the potty one time, thereby earning an M&M and a Thomas sticker! He loved it :-) Truthfully, I haven't done a lot of research in the methods of potty-training. I'm not big into books right now (other things just take priority), so my knowledge on the topic is limited. So...I'd love to hear your thoughts! What methods have worked for you? Rewards or no rewards? Insist on scheduled potty times, or let the toddler tell you when he/she needs to go? Straight into pull-ups and underwear, or continue with diapers throughout training? Truly, I need your input! Feel free to leave a comment or email me :-)

Easter Week - The Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane
The Last Supper was the Passover meal, which was celebrated by the Jewish people since the time of Moses. Remember that Moses was God's chosen man to free the Israelites from the harsh rule of the Egyptian people. At this Passover celebration, Jesus washed the disciples' feet. This symbolizes His humility and His servanthood. It was done to teach the disciples humility and love in serving. The sacrament, or Lord's Supper, was also given during the Passover meal with Christ's disciples. It was at this time that He instituted the Lord's Supper, also called Holy Communion. It is a reminder that just as physical food and drink nourish our human bodies, Jesus' death and resurrection give eternal life to our spirits. After the Passover meal, Jesus and His disciples left the room and went on to the garden of Gethsemane, which means "oil press." This was a place frequented by Jesus when He wanted to be alone for prayer or thought. Here, He pleaded with God for help in His upcoming torture and crucifixtion. He suffered such agony that "His sweat was as if it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Here, He suffered for each of us individually, and for all of our sins and heartache.

Application: As you pray today, ask, "What can I do to be ready to receive the sacrament this Sunday?"

Prophecy (scripture from the Old Testament that accurately foretold the happenings of Jesus): "Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against Me." Psalm 41:9

"Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4

Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:17-30, 36:46, Mark 14:12-26, 32-42, Luke 22:7-38, John 13:1-17, 14:1-17:26

Need more ways to celebrate this week?
The original site for this is down, so I can't give credit where it is due! But, isn't this a great idea for toddler Easter baskets?!
So, so cute! Find a bunny cookie cutter (Bed, Bath, & Beyond has a boxed set of 100+ cookie cutters for less that $10), and cut out little bunny sandwiches for your sweet ones. The blog where this idea came from has lots of other bunny ideas. Check it out at Bunny Decor Ideas

I hope my posts are giving you creative ideas for celebrating Easter...both in the true meaning of the crucifixtion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, and also in the silly, kid-friendly way of bunnies and chocolate. Enjoy this beautiful season with your family! See you tomorrow, and don't forget to send me those potty-training tips!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Week - Wednesday

Good morning! I'm in a time crunch today, but I wanted to be sure and share Wednesday's Easter devotional! I pray that these have been a blessing to you and your family, and that you are making memories with one another as you intentionally reflect on the week of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection! If you are just joining us, be sure to read Palm Sunday for an explanation of what we're doing!

Easter Week - Rest in Bethany
It is believed that Christ spent this time with His friends in Bethany. It was at this time that Mary anointed Christ with the very costly and highly prized oriental ointment, Spikenard. There were many imitations of Spikenard, but because it was described in the Word as costly and very precious, we can assume that she used the very best. In contrast, Jesus' enemies--the scribes, chief priests, and elders of the people counseled together about the best way to arrest and capture Jesus, not wanting it to be in a public place during the day. Eventually, Judas bargained for Jesus' betrayal--thirty pieces of silver (about $17), which was the price usually paid for the life of a male slave.

Application: What will we choose to offer Christ? Priceless ointment of obedience and sacrifice, or the betrayal of our commitment to Him for earthly treasure?

Prophecy (scripture from the Old Testament that accurately foretold the happenings of Jesus): I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." So they paid me thirty pieces of silver." Zechariah 11:12

Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:1-16, Mark 14:1-11, Luke 22:1-6, John 12:1-11

Here are two really cute ideas for Easter rolls! The first option (Resurrection rolls) is a great way to include older kiddos. The second option (bunny rolls) will be served at my home on Sunday!

Directions to make and the story may be found at Resurrection Rolls!

Directions to make may be found at Easter Bunny Rolls!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Week - Tuesday

Welcome back! Little man woke up extra early today, so I'm hoping Dinosaur Train will keep him occupied while I post! I know...T.V. babysitting at its finest!

To continue our Easter box tradition that I introduced on Sunday (Palm Sunday), here is Tuesday's devotional:

Easter Week - Parables and Teachings
Day three was spent again in the temple, teaching the people and answering the challenges of the Pharisees and Sadduccees. The Savior's last teaching in the temple was the parable of the widow's mite. Later, He taught His disciples more about being watchful and ready for His second coming as they journeyed and reached the Mount of Olives. Included in that teaching was the parable of ten virgins, the parable of the talents, and the parable of the final judgement. 

Application: What can we learn from the parables that Jesus taught? How do they apply to us today? Are we giving our most and developing our best selves? Are we preparing to meet Christ when He comes again?

Prophecy (scripture from the Old Testament that accurately foretold the happenings of Jesus): "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old..." Psalm 78:2

Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:18 - 25:46, Mark 11:20 - 13:37, Luke 20:1 - 21:38, John 12:20 - 17:26

Recently, there has been a big buzz about the History Channel's new mini-series, The Bible. Liberal news media sources have gaffed at the fact that the series' portrayal of Satan bears a striking resemblance to President Obama! I don't know if I agree with that, but I will say that any publicity about a show that accurately portrays God's Word is a good thing! Regardless of the reason, people are watching. Lots of people are watching. We started the five-part series yesterday. I have to say, mommies...I was deeply moved. It is a beautiful portrayal of the stories of the Bible from start to finish, Old Testament through New Testament. We're planning to watch the whole series by Easter Sunday, and I highly recommend you taking the time to watch. Use your discretion with young eyes. There is quite a bit of violence.

Check out these fun Easter ideas! See you tomorrow!

This isn't terribly spiritual, but I kind of love it! Check out the idea at Jelly Bean/Lollipop Garden

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Week - Monday

Morning! In continuation of yesterday's post, Palm Sunday, here is today's devotional to do with your family in honor of Easter week!

Easter Week - Cleansing the Temple
This is the second time that Christ has cleared the temple. The first time, He declared it to be "My Father's house," but this time, He called it, "My house." The offensive activity was occurring in the outside courts where people of all races could come and worship. After clearing the court, blind, lame, and honest people came to Jesus to be healed and taught. Children saw His ministry and burst forth into praise and worship in a hymn that was heard by the angels: "Hosanna to the Son of David!"

Prophecy (scripture from the Old Testament that accurately foretold the happenings of Jesus): "...these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." Isaiah 56:7

Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:12-19, Luke 19:45-48

Easter craft #2:
Click the following link for a tutorial on making these very cool decorations! I will be putting mine in our Easter baskets and display them throughout the house, until Easter morning. You can also make Easter egg garland, or use them to decorate your Easter dinner table! Homemade Easter Eggs
Check back tomorrow for Tuesday's devotional, and for another Easter craft! Enjoy the day with your little lovelies!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

Happy Easter week! Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday is a precious time for Christ-followers to reflect, remember, refresh, and rejoice. Each day this week, I will share spiritual Easter facts that you can share with your family, a super spiritual or super cute (or both!) craft for celebrating this beautiful holiday, and other tidbits of things that come to mind. I hope you'll join me each day on this journey to Resurrection Day!

Gayle, a mentor mom in a weekly Bible study that I attend, recently led our group in creating Easter boxes (see below for instructions). She gave me full permission to share this craft, and her words, with all of you! In the box, you will have a "scroll" for each day that contains historical, Biblical facts to discuss with your family, and scripture suggestions that you may read with one another. While our little man is still a bit young for this activity, we did read through Sunday's scroll this evening at the table. Caleb folded his hands and leaned his chin on them while he listened intently...for about one minute. Pretty good for a toddler! For families with older children, you might want to to allow each child a turn of opening the scroll and reading the information aloud. I really encourage you to intentionally create time this week to acknowledge Christ's priceless gift to each of us. It can only be a blessing to you!

Find a small box that you (or your kiddos) can decorate with symbols that remind you of Easter.
Find "old-looking" paper (or sponge-paint for an authentic aged look!) and type up the information that I will share with you each day--Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. Scrapbook scissors can be used for a neat design at the top and bottom of each paper. Use yarn or string to secure each scroll. Place them in the box, and keep the Easter box in a special place for you to enjoy each evening of the week. This is a really special activity that can be done year after year!

Palm Sunday - Jesus' Triumphal Entry
The symbolism of the Palm: Palm branches were used to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, not just because they were available, but also because of what they represented. The palm was so important that when countries were at war, the first thing they did was cut away the palm branches of the enemy country--causing their enemies to suffer the loss of food and livelihood. There were almost no wasted parts to the trees. They could be used for food, tools, boats, utensils, medicine, decorative beads, perfume, and many other purposes. Strewing the branches at Jesus' feet was a symbol of sacrificing worldly goods, both necessities and luxuries.
Meaning of "Hosanna": The Greek form of the Hebrew expression for "Save us now!" or "Save, we pray!" It is taken from Psalm 118:25. It occurs nowhere in the English Bible except in the exclamations of the people at Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and in the joyous shouts of children in the temple.

Prophecy (scripture from the Old Testament that accurately foretold the happenings of Jesus): "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19

Easter Craft #1:
Click on the following link for directions on how to create your own Grace Garden...Making a Grace Garden
I hope these ideas can be a blessing to you and your family! Check back tomorrow morning for Monday's Easter devotional!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gardening - McNamee Style!

Today's post is a MMSM, Organizational Tip, and kid-friendly activity, all in one! Aren't you excited?! :-)

My husband would love to have a full garden that we grow, tend, and harvest every year for all of our produce. However, he travels a lot with work, so garden-tending falls on my shoulders. Even when we lived in Virginia, the gardening mecca of the country, I was unable to grow much more than a few green peppers and a ton of peas (just a note...I planted way more than peppers and peas!). But, I won't give up. While Colorado isn't ideal for a moist, flourishing garden, I've still decided to give it a shot. Check out this very cool website:
It can help you personalize a garden for your likes and your region! An important step that I seem to miss every year is planting your seeds indoors, then transplanting them to your outside garden once the potential frost season has passed. The plants you should start in the early Spring depend on where you live. For Colorado, they are tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. So, we ventured to Walmart to purchase our supplies. My friend recommended this very cool item to help with our garden-starting:
I bought three of them, and they cost $1.98 each. It comes with little dirt pellets that expand to fill the container when wet. Caleb enjoyed helping me pour the water and watching them grow. We planted a few seeds, and then he was bored :-) I imagine this would be a fantastic kid-friendly activity if your darlings were a bit older!

We bought organic tomato (cherry and regular), eggplant, and green pepper seeds which were also $1.98 each. For a total of $14.99 (tax included), we made a great start on our 2013 garden! Be sure to label your seed kits and mark the date you planted. Here are the babies basking in the front window...

Read the back of your seed packets carefully for planting instructions, transplant instructions, and days to maturity. This is an ongoing process, obviously, so I'll keep you updated! In the mean time, I just hope to keep the toddler and dog away from our budding food.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Purposeful Pauses

Good morning! Guess who is still sleeping, thereby allowing me some coffee-sipping and writing time?! I better be careful not to type too loud :-) Today, I have a few more thoughts to share on the yearning for more children, then I'm taking a break. I need an emotional and mental break from the subject, and I am sensitive to the fact that not every reader is in the TTC stage. I don't want to go overboard with my thoughts on the subject. I also received some amazing insight and assurance from Him this week, and I feel like it's time to start focusing on other subjects and not allow the desire for another baby to become an idol in my life. Who knows what I could be missing while pining after a dream that will not happen until He says it should.

I would now love for someone to ask me if we're hoping for another baby. My new response? "We are happily anticipating her arrival in His timing!" I have chosen to give up the negative and defeated attitude when it comes to getting pregnant. It isn't helpful for me, and it sure isn't an accurate portrayal of the trust we are supposed to have in Him as followers of Christ. I know a baby girl is coming to my family, and I have agreed with the Lord to put aside my idea of perfect timing and, instead, completely and wholeheartedly agree to allow His perfect timing to work in this area. Yes, it could be months. Yes, it could be years. But, He is faithful. This I know to be true :-)

Earlier this week, I was led to the story of Lazarus in John 11. I want to highlight the importance of a few verses below:

So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." When He heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory that God's son may be glorified through it." Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days. John 11:3-6

Spoiler alert! :-) The story ends with Lazarus succumbing to his illness, but Jesus eventually returns to His friends, and He raises Lazarus from the dead. This passage is powerful and applicable to us for three reasons. First of all, Jesus knew the outcome of the situation but chose not to share it with Mary and Martha. He knew that Lazarus would die and would be brought back to life, but though our God is all-knowing, His children are not. Second, God felt it necessary to include the sweet sentence above--"Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus." Amongst a story of death and sadness, right smack in the middle, we are reminded of the love that Jesus has for all of us. Finally, while Jesus could have gone immediately to Lazarus and prevented his death from occurring in the first place by healing his sickness, He chose to stay and minister where He was for two more days. Lazarus did die. Mary and Martha did have to go through the pain of losing their brother.

There are times when God could supernaturally step in and remedy a difficult situation. But, because He is the omniscient God of the universe, He knows that waiting will produce more spiritual sanctification for each of His children whom He dearly loves. He doesn't pause His action in a situation out of meanness. Quite the opposite. He allows a delay in order to grow our trust in Him and His perfect timing. If Jesus had gone immediately to heal His friend, they would have missed the miracle of His awesome power...bringing the dead back to life! I imagine that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus' faith grew by leaps and bounds the day that Lazarus emerged from the tomb in which he had laid for four days. Yes, there was deep pain felt by all who loved him, but imagine the joy, the celebration, and the evidence of Jesus' power when He was raised from the dead! 

I write this today to encourage your waiting, your longing, and your seemingly unanswered prayers. Yes, God could have given us a baby in the past few months, and I could be joyously designing the nursery while planning this little one's arrival right now. But, He has chosen to purposely allow a delay. Why? The testament to His goodness and glory will be stronger and more powerful if this delay happens. Because He is my all-knowing God who loves me more than I could ever possibly imagine, I'm just fine with waiting. Yes, delays are painful, but the perfection of His ending to the situation will far exceed any plans that I had made. Be encouraged, mommies. He knows the whole story!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

He Loves To Help!

Hello! I want to start by apologizing for my lack of posts lately. My little cherub has decided to rise with my alarm clock, so my morning coffee-sipping and blog-writing have gone out the window. Nap time is reserved for cleaning and taking a breather, so that just leaves the evening. Truly, I'm a morning person so I typically feel zapped at the end of the day and lacking in sweet insight for my blog. I have tried to write while he is toddling around in his play room, but his "mom's on the computer" sense goes off, and he insists on watching Choo Choo Soul on YouTube. By the way, if you haven't seen that, it's super cute and educational :-) I'll figure out a new writing time, but in the mean time, thank you for continuing to read!

So, you know those days when you feel extra tired? Those ones when the new toddler talents of high-pitched screaming, intentional spitting, crayon marks on the wood floor, high chair tantrums, more than a few poopoo diapers, playing in the toilet, bedtime refusal, and general clingyness (yes, I made up that word) overshadow the preciousness of your toddler? Can you tell that today was one of those days?! And, don't those days typically happen when your husband is out of town? Well, I have a verse that will give each of us hope on the worst of days! Put your little lovelies in bed (they will fall asleep eventually!), pray over them, and go meditate on this verse:

"God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day." Psalm 46:5

His mercies are new every morning, sweet mommies! Yes, tomorrow may be very similar to today, but you can confidently look forward to His help as you navigate through tomorrow's challenges! Praise God for His willingness to help!

Speaking of challenges, my darling husband will not agree to wear a matching bow tie with our son on Easter. Has my husband ever donned a bow tie? No....but, I believe that Jesus delights in seeing young families wear coordinating outfits on this glorious holiday :-) Okay, that's a stretch, but it does make my heart sing to create matching ensembles for this special day! I may have to settle for an adult neck tie that coordinates with a toddler bow tie. After all, Caleb doesn't have a say :-) Do any of you have cute ideas for coordinating family outfits? I'd love to hear them, much to my husband's dismay!

Amongst the sillyness of this post, I do pray that the above verse encourages you. Check back tomorrow, as I have a plan for an intriguing post, and new MMSM and OT's! Goodnight!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hold On To His Promises

Welcome back! Well, our little man did exceptionally well on our super fast road trip! "Thomas the Train" on the iPad worked wonders, and plenty of snacks kept him full and happy. We had a lovely time with my family, and had lots of fun dodging tumble weeds throughout the drive :-) My big man left for another business trip this morning, so I'm spending this evening relaxing and gearing up for the week ahead!

Speaking of relaxing, I'm basking in the bittersweet enjoyment of a glass of wine. In the TTC community, we all know what that means. A second mini-McNamee is not yet on their way :-( Truly, my heart and mind are in a better place this month than in previous months of sadness. I am disappointed, but I have a new-found reassurance in a word I received from Him over a month ago. He has purposely placed this verse in front of my face multiple times this past week. He needs me to hear it, and He needs me to cherish it in my spirit. I can feel it. This was an intimate message between me and the Lord, but I feel led to share this tonight...

"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord will fulfill His promises to her!" Luke 1:45

I know that a little girl is coming to our family. I don't know when, and I don't even know if I will be her biological mother, but I know she is coming. We even know her name. I'm not quite ready to share that, but I do say this to encourage all of you to hold on to the promises which He has made. He always keeps His promises. He must deliver on what He says; it's simply His true nature. Maybe He has promised you another child, or children. Maybe He has promised you a faithful man to love and protect you and your children. Maybe He has promised you financial freedom. Hold on to those spiritual commitments, mommies! They will be fulfilled by Him, in His perfect timing. Let's join together to practice our patience! I love you!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'll Be Back!

Hi, sweet mommas! My family and I are headed to Amarillo, TX to visit family for a long weekend. I will be back to write on Monday :-) Until then, have a beautiful weekend with your children, and pray for us as we drive with a very busy toddler!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You Need To Eat?!?

Welcome back! Last Friday, I wrote a Facebook status that generated more "I can soooo relate!" responses than I had anticipated. It went something like...

"You know you need a mommy break when your child's desire for breakfast annoys you."

Sounds pretty awful, doesn't it?! But, that's how I was feeling! My precious child had woken up sweetly, calmly played with his trains, and then had the audacity to interrupt my zen coffee moment with his need for food. Normally, I enjoy feeding him breakfast, and we then go about our day. On this particular morning, my mood was far from deserving of the MOTY (Mom Of The Year) award...I just thought I would share that here, since so many of my friends enjoyed it on Facebook. And, don't worry. We did make it through the day, and I promise that he did not starve :-) Thankfully, Daddy came home from his week-long trip and encouraged me to run, not walk, out the door to our neighborhood coffee shop. It was de-light-ful!

I say this to insure that no one has the wrong impression of my home. Do I enjoy my role as a SAHM and wife? Absolutely! Would I trade it for anything? No way. Do I skip around the house blissfully cooking and cleaning, while enjoying being the perfect mom and looking like the hottest wife on the block? Ha! Not on your life :-) The truth is, we all try our best. Some days are exceptionally harder than others, and some weeks make us want to go screaming down the street. If we're being honest here, my husband hasn't seen me in jeans once this week (i.e. yoga pants all the way), and I may have played one too many episodes of "Thomas the Train" via Netflix. I have multiple loads of laundry (albeit clean!) to be folded, and I have not picked up Caleb's toys since the weekend. When all else fails, sweet mommies, appreciate the grace we receive in abundant amounts from our heavenly Father, and pray for our husbands and children to have a shred of the same grace as they interact with us.

One funny picture before I sign off for the night. Someone was extremely excited to receive a package from the U.P.S. man today!

Is it normal that my child is more into potty-training than I am? And, if he wasn't before, he sure is now! You would have thought this was the best Christmas present ever. His new "toy" went with him wherever he played this evening, and he couldn't stop admiring (and naming!) the many trains on the seat. It cracked me up! But, did I let him use it tonight? Of course not! That, my friends, can wait until tomorrow...or the next day...or the next.

Until then, thank you so much for reading :-) I'm off to nap on the couch!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Don't Care!

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall...But as for me, I trust in You." Psalm 55:22-23

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

A few weeks ago, I received prayer at the altar after church. I needed someone to agree with me, in prayer, that God's timing for our next child is perfect. I was struggling with deep disappointment after two months of negative pregnancy tests. I know, I know...two months is nothing! But for me, for whatever reason, it wasn't nothing. It was devastating. So, a woman on the prayer team sweetly took the time to pray over me, my husband, our son, and our future children. It was an emotional and powerful time for both of us, for several reasons that I won't elaborate on today, and several things that she mentioned in her prayer have continued to come to mind since that day. I want to share a very special lesson that I learned on that precious Sunday morning...

During her prayer, she said, "Lord, make it so that it seems Kindra doesn't care when the next child will arrive because she has cast all of her cares on to You." At first, I thought that it was a strange thing to say. I didn't want it to seem like I didn't care if we had another baby, or like I wouldn't care if it took years for us to get pregnant again. I did care...deeply. But, that's not what she, or the Lord, meant with that statement. Look at the verses above. Imagine if we were able to so completely trust the Lord with His plan for our lives that we truly didn't care what happened. I'm not talking about being apathetic. I mean having such a deep understanding and trust that His way is always right, that we need not worry about what will happen next and at what time. He knows my heart. He knows my deep longing to continue my calling of motherhood with more children. But, ultimately, He has asked me to trust Him with His timing. To put His sovereign decisions ahead of my own desires. The Lord knows when our next baby will be conceived. He already knows the name, what the baby will look like, the baby's talents and gifts, and the calling on the baby's life. Who am I to say that February is the month we must get pregnant, because I feel ready! It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?!

Whenever someone asks when the next one is coming along (and, may I just say...why do people see you falling all over yourself with your crazy toddler and then feel the need to ask when the next one is coming!?!), I need to simply say...whenever God decides its time. Isn't that better than, "Well, we've been trying for a few months with no luck, and we hope nothing's wrong, and it's been really disappointing, and I hope I'm not getting too old, and I hope I healed nicely from my c-section, and, and, and..." We need to get in the habit of speaking words of peace over ourselves, instead of speaking the fears and anxieties that are wrongly bouncing around inside our heads. And just think, you never know who you may be ministering to when you convey the truth of God in your words, instead of the lies of the enemy.

For those of you hoping to conceive, I pray that this post will be especially meaningful. For those of you who have your hands full with your current brood, maybe there is another subject you can decide to "not care" about. After all, how could we care when we have done what His word commands...

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you..."


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Grab Your Calling!

Happy weekend! Well, Colorado is in for another March blizzard today. For my local readers, I hope you get to stay home and snuggle with your honeys :-) I read a neat verse in my quiet time this morning, and I wanted to share it with each of you:

"Therefore, my sisters, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:10-11

When God reveals our gifts and talents to us, when He speaks to our hearts about how He needs us to impact His kingdom, and when He clearly solidifies our sole purpose (or purposes!) for being on this planet, it is our obligation to live out those callings to the best of our ability. He doesn't give gifts, talents, and callings without reason. He doesn't flippantly assign skills to whomever was closest at the time. He thoughtfully and meticulously chose your purpose during your human life that would bring the most glory to Him, and that would draw others into His eternal love.

In my very first post back in April 2012, I spoke about my frustrations with not having a Godly calling from childhood. Through the years, I've learned that God will call us to different jobs, life situations, and circumstances as we journey through our time on Earth. I do believe that many people are ordained with one anointed purpose to bring Him honor, but I also believe that people can have several callings throughout their lives. The experiences we have, the people we meet, and the lessons we learn all prepare us for the next job we are asked to do in the Kingdom. He is the one who allows those experiences, people, and lessons to occur so that we may be ready to serve Him. Right now, my calling is to be a devoted wife, and Godly mother, and an encourager to women. I doubt this calling will change, but I do believe that He will add more to my plate as He sees fit.

I say all of this and reference the verse above to remind us to actively develop and pursue what He has called us to do. Being unintentional about our purpose in His grand design will leave us feeling empty, lost, and confused. Grabbing on to our purpose, on the contrary, will allow us to feel alive, motivated, and basking in the sweet spot of His intention. Every job that is worth doing, espeically those done for Him, will have its challenges. But, persevering through the hard activities that bring Him glory will only bring blessings about on the other side.

Part of my motivation for writing this blog was a link that my best friend sent to me. Take a minute to read the following:
God has placed the idea of writing a devotional book on my heart. I have been neglectful in pursuing this lately, and this bit of encouragement from my sweet friend has prompted me to actively ponder this idea again. If it isn't His will, I'm fully confident that He will sweetly put a stop to it. If it is His will, He will bless it all the way.

Wherever you are in your journey towards, or through, your calling, I pray that He will clearly show you your next steps. Let's not be apathetic about what He has called us to do, even if today's calling is beginning potty-training with your toddler. He always has a purpose, and He loves to see us smile about it on the way. 

Go after it, mommies! I love you!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We Can All Relate!

You know what happens when the fifth ear infection of the season appears in your toddler? You kind of start to lose it. A high fever and a gunky nose means that we hang out at home a lot so as not to infect/gross out our playmates and their parents. Truly, the grocery store was a delightful outing for us yesterday! I have been told that ear infections aren't contagious, but you never know what bug brought them on in the first place. This time, we're already on day three, and Daddy is traveling. Ear infections at our house are magical. They lie in wait until Daddy boards a plane, and then wreak their havoc on Baby, thereby wreaking havoc on Mommy. Solid sleep is few and far between, and naps are almost non-existant. So, my less-than-awesome motherly advice is the following: When dealing with one of these nasty things, pump the kiddo full of Tylenol and Ibuprofen (you can do both, but just stagger them every 3 hours), and remember to:

My little man went down at 7:30 tonight, but now at 8:46, I hear him rustling around. Sigh........

I am not prone to ear issues, but I can only imagine that it does not feel pleasant for your ears to be on fire! We're having an honest discussion with his doctor about tubes tomorrow, and I'm talking with other moms about homeopathic treatments for him. We'll get to the bottom of this! I am grateful that in spite of these infections, he seems to have good balance for his age, and he seems to hear well and is talking very well. I'll keep you posted :-)

In addition to the latest round of ear goo this week, Caleb has decided he wants to learn to use the potty. Like, every time. Now, I understand  that most mothers would jump for joy at the thought of no longer purchasing diapers. I'm not most mothers. I like our bathrooms to smell fresh and be free of pee on the floor, and I truly don't mind changing a diaper every now and then. It's better than frantically searching for the bathroom in a Walmart like a mad woman. Alas, my mother has reminded me that this is obviously a necessary skill for Caleb to learn, and if he wants to go use the potty like a big boy, I should not be the one to hinder him. Okay, okay. I get it! I ordered a Thomas the Train potty seat tonight, so that's a good first step. As we really get in to this phase, I will probably be asking for suggestions on how to make it easier, and sharing tidbits of what I learn to do, and what not to do. Again, I'll keep you posted :-)

Every once in awhile, I do a post like this to remind my readers that we can all relate to one another because we are all mothers. No matter where each of us is in our spiritual walk, I'm sure you've had a day, a week, or a month like this, and some that are much worse. Nevertheless, allowing the frustrations of our situations overwhelm us will only hinder us from being the best mothers that He has designed us to be. Especially in those times of sickness in your homes, remember this scripture.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

Let's choose to be cheerful together. And, let's choose to go to bed early when God allows it. The rustling has stopped :-) Goodnight, sweet mommies! 

CLICK HERE for a new Organizational Tip! 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Peaceful Thoughts

Hi there! I have a new favorite worship song. Lately, I've been completely obsessed with Pandora, so I'm making note of new songs that really speak to my heart. If you haven't heard this, be prepared to get your socks knocked off! It's called "One Thing Remains" featuring Kristian Stanfill:

Isn't that song great?! Love it! 

I'm going to make this post short and sweet today. If you haven't noticed, Staying at Home and Making it Work received an update over the weekend. Look at my previous post if you are interested in contact information for the designer! I love what she did, and I hope it makes for an efficient and more enjoyable site to follow! Be sure to check out the three links above my self photo on the right side. They are a brand new part of the blog. Finally, the links on the left side will allow you to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram. After all, many of my crafty ideas come from other people and places. No need to reinvent the wheel!

Finally, I saw a lovely picture on Facebook that I wanted to share. It was posted anonymously, so if you are the author, please let me know!

Many times, I have wondered whose voice/thoughts I am hearing...mine, Satan's, or God's? After seeing this chart, I've tried to make a conscious effort to ask myself how I'm feeling after a thought enters my mind. I've used this today for myself, my husband, my friend, and my son. Tonight, for instance, our little man is running a fever. As I was putting him to bed, I immediately thought of another friend whose child just suffered a seizure due to a high fever. I was filled with fear and considered moving Caleb into our room just so I could stare at him until I fall asleep in a few hours. According to the words above, that thought wasn't put there by God, it was placed there by the Enemy. I know that Caleb will sleep much more peacefully and soundly in his own bed, I know that I gave him a full dose of ibuprofen, and I can set my alarm a few times tonight to check on him. God has Caleb in the palm of His hand, and God gives every mommy an extra sense when her child is in imminent danger. In fact, that extra sense can encourage and lead us to go to our children when they are in need. He will never frighten, worry, or make me obsess as a mother. It isn't His nature, and He loves me too much to treat me that way. 

As followers of Christ, we are commanded to not let our imaginations run wild with impulsiveness, fear, confusion, discouragement, worry, obsession, and condemnation. Instead, His Word says this:

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5 (emphasis added)

Dear mommies, when we get thoughts in our heads, let's be sure to ask ourselves, "Where is this coming from, and who is saying it to me?" By our decision to take our thoughts captive, we can be a blessing to ourselves and to our families. Now go, and have peaceful thoughts!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fancy New Site!

Well, look who got a makeover!  I want to sincerely thank Whitney of Sippy Cups and Pearls for a beautiful blog design and installation. Are you a fellow blogger? Contact Whitney via her website for pricing and services that she offers! She was a pleasure to work with and did a speedy job updating my site!

Be sure to check out the new sections above my picture and bio...About, Family, and Contact. Also, the "First Steps" page will be coming soon. It will include practical steps towards becoming a SAHM. As always, thanks for reading!