Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Won't Forget

I remember vividly. 
How could I ever forget? 
It's been almost a year
Since we lost our baby Faith. 

We heard her heartbeat,
But never held her tiny body. 
She went straight into the arms of Jesus. 
Is there a better place? 

Still we cried.
We longed to hold her,
To smell her baby scent,
To know our daughter.
Did she look like our boys? 
Would she have curls like her mommy?
Piercing blue eyes like daddy's? 
Would her giggle be infectious?

I imagine her perfect and beautiful,
No flaw or failure. 
And she is perfect,
Completely whole in Heaven. 

One day I will see her face to face. 
I will hold her tight.
I will kiss her cheek
And look into her eyes.

Until then, He holds her safely, lovingly,
Better than I ever could. 
I feel secure in that. 
My heart peace-filled.
Our baby Faith taught us so much about faith. 
What faith is and how to apply it.
Not because we're good,
But because He is!

Oh, to remember,
To really remember.
To praise Him for His goodness.
To put faith into practice.

We will trust even when we don't understand,
Which is most the time.
And that's okay because He is faithful and trustworthy.
He has good plans for us.

All His promises hold true.
There is purpose in the pain.
He holds her (and the two others) in Heaven.
He holds us here too.

Do I believe it?
I do believe.  Do you?
That's faith.
It fills a soul with hope.

Praising God today for both Faith and faith!

You might also want to read: How to Help the Hurting

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Perfect Body

What is a perfect body?  In this modern day culture we have all kinds of images thrown at us.  From airbrushed magazine covers to plastic filled movie stars, we're told what "real" beauty looks like.  Young girls sense it from an early age.  We become increasingly aware as we mature.  We've been looking at these images (and more and more of them all the time) from the earliest we can remember.  It's easy to see where our culture places beauty on the importance scale.  It's also easy to see how our value is often linked to our image.

This year I've made a commitment to focus on my health, taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle.  I even started a second blog about my health journey.  As a result of greatly cutting out refined food, unnatural sugars and other things and adding in more "real" food as well as a little extra exercise, I've lost a few pounds.  That feels good.   But...a perfect body?   Is that possible?  What is a perfect body anyway?

Hey, I've under slept and overeaten most of my life.  I've had surgeries, and I proudly display various battle scars.  By golly, I've even carried and given birth to two 8 and a half pound babies.  This body ain't never going to be "perfect" again. Not that it really ever was, not according to the standards of the world.  I've never been the Hollywood type.  Reality, I never will be.  Perfect is an illusion when it comes to looks.   

The problem is, our culture changes the definition of perfect every time we turn around. Not only that, we tend to change our definition too.

So, I think the true question is how does God define a perfect body?  Because, really, He's the One we are here to glorify, not others or self.  Right?!

Before I go any further, I have to tell you, I believe God shows us clearly in His Word that He expects us to care for the "temple" He's given us.  It's obviously not right to abuse our bodies...and then expect them to work well for us.  We need to be good stewards of what God's given us.  That includes our body.  If we want a healthy body, one that's well and able to do the work He's called us to do, then we will need to take the time to care for it as we should.  Sooo...what I'm about to write is not an excuse to neglect the outside.  Rather, it's a reminder to focus first on what's on the inside, then work outward.  :)

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

So, I ask again, how does God define a perfect body?  I think He sees a perfect body as one indwelled by His Holy Spirit!  A soul empty of self, acceptable for His inhabitanance.  Now, that's a body He can use!
Turns out I can dress up the outside, workout 'til I'm blue in the face and eat every healthy vegetable I can find and still find myself with a hollow, ugly body in God's eyes.  Cellulite, decay and deficiency of the heart. 

Isn't that just like us humans, getting all caught up in the perishable things we can see while losing sight of the truly important, eternal things?  We need to focus!  God is looking for bodies He can use.  People who will die to self and walk in the Spirit.   God's Son, Jesus, came and gave His body so we could, not only have eternal life, but abundant life now.  We must give up our life to gain it.  Not that we're always going to get it right, we're not.  But we must choose to die to self, over and over again, so that Christ can live through us. 

Although I'm about 100% sure I'll never reach the world's "perfect body" definition, I now realize I can have a perfect body in God's eyes!  I can be a body He can indwell and use for His glory! 

What a joy to know when He looks at me, He doesn't see what everyone else sees.  He sees my heart, His templeMy body, His image.  I can love my body, so called flaws and all, because He does.  And His definition of perfection never changes. :)

But the LORD said....The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7

Friend, you can have a perfect body too!  :)

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Today I'm linking up with the Jill Savage's Hearts at Home Blog Hop.  Click the link below to read more of what others had to say on this subject.


Monday, March 18, 2013

DIY Personal Pain Pouch with Soothing Lavender and Peppermint GIFT Idea~ Fun Day Monday

Welcome to:
It's hard to believe how fast FUN DAY Monday rolls around!
Today I have a fun, easy DIY idea to share!
Make your own Personal Pain Pouch with Soothing Lavender and Peppermint!
A few weeks ago a very special friend of mine had surgery.  This friend has helped me a lot through some of my health ups and downs the last couple of years, so I really wanted to return the favor.  Among other things I looked for a unique gift idea.  When I ran across this idea on One Good Thing by Jillee for a Headache (or other aches) Pillow I thought it was just the thing!
I changed her method a bit and this is what I came up with.
I picked out a bundle of different bright colored basic dish clothes from Wal-Mart (red for this one...and other pretty colors for future gifts!).  I just think the bright color makes it more cheery for someone who's healing.  :) 
I filled two sandwich bags with rice (not too full!), maybe 2 cups or so in each.  I just eyeballed it and added 5 drops of each lavender and peppermint essential oils to each back.  These smell of these two oils together are very soothing.  I sealed the bag tightly and removed access air (important!).
I sewed (with my mother-in-law's sewing machine) around the edges of the cloth on each short side, slipped the two bags in and sewed up the long side.  Tied with a little pretty ribbon and added my own personalized tag.  I could have easily printed one on the computer, but I thought this added a nice, personal touch to it.
Lavender is calming and relaxing.  Peppermint is invigorating.  Both are linked to pain relief.
I told my friend she could put this on her forehead or across her chest, inhale the soothing scent and enjoy the relaxing effects.
Another option is to warm it in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds before use.  Just be sure not to overheat and melt your bags!
I will be making more of these!  I even want to make one for myself.
Interested in finding practical ways to help others when they are facing hard times?
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.  Psalm 103:3
Be thankful.  Be a servant.  Be blessed!
Interested in Health?  Want to learn more along with me?
Follow my other blog: Health In Beranville

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fun Things to Do and Something to Think About: Ice Cream In a Bag, Marshallow Shooters, Shoe Rack and Looking Fancy on the Outside

Hey, it's:

I have a mismatched variety of things to share today...from home to fun stuff I've down with my boys (with lots of pictures) to something a little deeper to think about (since I didn't find time to write it at the end of last week).  Variety is the spice of life right?!

Today I'm sharing 4 ideas:

1. Ice Cream in a Bag
2. Mini-Marshmallow Shooters
3. Shoe Rack...stop tripping over shoes on the floor!!
4. Something to think about: Being Fancy on the Outside

These first activities will give you (and/or your kids) something fun to do if you're still getting winter weather like we are here in Beranville.  This was the view from my front porch this morning.  A bit different than the one on the header of this blog, huh?!
This past week we made ice cream.  Perfect treat on a cold day, right?!  Hey, ice cream is good any time.  :)
Ice Cream in a Bag
My boys were so excited to make this simple, FUN recipe together.  Here we had almost everything we needed for our homemade ice cream.  Ice, milk, 1 quart Ziploc bag, an old coffee can (or you could use a gallon Ziploc bag) and sugar. You will also need vanilla and salt.
I put one cup of milk in the quart Ziploc bag.  I added two Tablespoons of sugar.
My littlest guy added 2 teaspoons of vanilla as big brother held the bag.
I made sure the bag was sealed tightly.
The boys enjoyed shaking the bag, mixing the ingredients!

I filled the coffee can 1/2 way with ice.  And added a 1/2 cup of salt.
I happened to have some old canning salt on hand so I used that.
You could use ice cream salt or just plan ol' table salt.
My littlest man got to put the bag in the coffee can.
As I said before, you could use a gallon Ziploc bag, but I was concerned the rigid ice might make a hold in the outside bag...resulting in a big mess.  Besides, we had an old coffee can handy. It worked well and didn't leak at all.
Look at that concentration! :)
Now it was time to shake, shake, shake. 
We had to shake for 5 minutes straight.

When we were done I cut off a corner of the bag and served it like soft serve.

Looks yummy, doesn't it?!

We added some sprinkles...and enjoyed the fruit of our labor! :)

Although it wasn't quite as good as the store bought stuff, the boys agreed they were proud of their accomplishment and had a blast making it.  We'll do this again.
I saw this idea for making a 
Mini-Marshmallow Shooter
What a fun idea!
I love this action shot!
A little harder for small hands, but he managed
Please don't mind their messy play clothes,
they're making good, sometimes messy, memories! :)
All it took for each boy was 2 plastic cups (because the ones we had were flimsy, we used 2) and a balloon.  Tie a deflated balloon, cut the round end off (about 1/2 way up).  Cut two plastic cups in half.  Slip the balloon over the lip of the cups.  Fill with mini-marshmallows and fire!  Easy, cheap and lots of fun.  Guaranteed giggles...even for Mom!
Want more fun ideas?  Follow me on Pinterest or sign up for e-mail updates in the right hand sidebar!
Want something to do that's a little more grown up?  Here's another little project for thos of you who are tired of tripping over your shoes.
I had seen a picture of something similar on Facebook.  I have no idea who's page it was on or where it came from.  It was just a picture, no directions. From that picture I got an imagine in my mind and decided my husband and I could easily make one...and that we needed it.  He thought the idea sounded silly...until he saw the finished product!  No he loves it as much as I do.
Shoe Rack
We happen to be remodelling our basement at the moment.  We had an extra trim board (yes the basement trim is much prettier in the basement than the trim upstairs, ie: in this hallway) left over.  It is about 6 1/2 feet long.
I bought 20 cheap hooks in the hardware section at Wal-Mart, enough to hang 10 pairs of shoes.  We mounted the trim board using screws and a level.  We then measured our board to figure out how many inches to place the hooks apart.  Measured the inches, marked it with a pencil, used a drill to attach the hooks. Wallah!  Simple really.
This gives us easy access to our most worn shoes as well as time for them to dry (on wet days) before being put in the closet.  So glad we're no longer tripping over shoes in this well travelled hallway!
Speaking of shoes...
Looking Fancy on the Outside
Last week my oldest little man (6) got a new pair of Sketchers.  Well, they're not exactly new.  They're a fabulous yard sale find that I'd stuffed away for the day he'd grow into them.  They're still a little on the big side, but he loves them so much that he wants to wear them regardless.
Anway, they're pretty cool Sketchers.  To make it even cooler little brother has a matching pair.
As my 6 year old inspected his newly beloved shoes he asked, "Mom, why is the S on the outside of my shoe sparkly silver and the one on the inside just plain gray?"  I said that was a good question, then explained (my assumption) that it's for show.  I told him other people more often see the outside of the shoe than the inside, so that's probably why the manufacturers chose to make them that way.  He figured they should make both the outside and inside "fancy".
I got to thinking about this.  Why do we work so hard at making the outside look fancy?
We do it all the time...
We gussy up our outside, hair, makeup and clothes, while neglecting our soul.
We show the world "out there" our good side and show those inside our own home (those we say we love and cherish the most) our ugly side.
We put up good appearances while we're falling apart inside...and our heart is crying for help.
We grin and bear it as we're bitterly fuming on the inside.
We exercise our bodies while starving our spirit of the time we need with God.
We can look so fancy on the outside, but the inside...Oh, the inside!  It's what matters most!
John 4:23-34 says, "...true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.  For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
P.S. There's nothing wrong with taking time to make your outside look good as long as your insides match!  :)
Want to learn about making All-Natural Homemade Lotion or 2 Ingredient Cookies?
Check out my other blog: Health In Beranville
If you like an idea on this post please share it with your friends using the bottons below.
Have questions?  Ideas?  What do you think?  Leave a comment.  I like hearing from friends both old and new.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fun Day Monday: Peppermint Play Dough PLUS Vinegar and Baking Soda Pies

Life In Beranville
 Well, it's another Fun Day Monday!
On Monday's from now on I hope to share about something fun that we've recently done here in Beranville.  Later in the week I hope to share other insights on what God's showing me in the everyday stuff of life.  Here's what I shared on Thursday last week, about a lesson I learned about my Father through my son.  "Be Still, My Child!"
God teaches me just as much through the fun stuff of our days, as He does the serious ones.  So I consider these times just as important.  :)
First let's talk about Homemade Play Dough. You know, there are ump-teen different play dough/playdoh recipes out there, foks!  You can google it.  Everyone's recipe is "the best".  If your kiddo has gluten issues, you can find flourless.  I've tried different ones.
I prefer the no cook method...just add hot water.
Here's the latest recipe I tried:
Play Dough
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Salt
4 Tbsp Cream of Tarter
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
2 Cups Boiling water
For Peppermint Play Dough I added:
A few drops of food coloring (we used red) and a
Few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
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My oldest stirring
Mix first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Pour in boiling water.  Add food coloring and peppermint oil.  Stir until mixed.  Let cool
PLAY! :) 
Note: Don't eat.  This play dough smells so good (just like a candy cane) that my littlest guy decided to take a big taste.  His reaction was priceless! 
"Yuck!" Spit. Spit. Spit.  :)
I gave the boys all kinds of "accessories" including wiggly eyes, nuts and washers, stones and pipe cleaners. Simple sensory fun!  :)
They made Monsters!
Life In Beranville
Life In Beranville
Life In Beranville
Life In Beranville
He told me I should "take a picture and put it online" so others can
learn how to create like he does.  Ha!  :)
"Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."
Isaiah 64:8
Don't forget to store your homemade Peppermint Play Dough in an airtight container (we use Gallon Ziploc bags). 
Another fun thing we did this week was this:
Life IN Beranville
Just look at the smiles on their faces!
I saw a similar idea and thought my boys would love it.  Sure enough, they did!
I switched it up a bit to fit our needs.  Such a simple thing really...but very neat.  It was fun and even educational as we learned what happens when baking soda and vinegar mix.  Note: This could double as a science lesson.
Vinegar and Baking Soda Pies
Here's what you need for 2 children
1 Box of Baking Soda (the cheapest stuff works just fine!)
2 Pie Pans
4 Small Cups filled with Vinegar
Food coloring
2 Medicine Droppers
I divided the box of baking soda between the two pie pans (one for each boy).  Filled 4 small cups (ramekins in our case) with vinegar and added food coloring to each one (in our case, red, yellow, green and blue).  Gave each of them a medicine dropper to suck up the colored vinegar and drop in the pans of baking soda.  This fizzes...E-V-E-R-Y single time.  Pretty cool!
Life In Beranville
After a while the baking soda started getting rather "gunking".  But it still fizzed every time they added vinegar to it.  And they still found it fascinating...and fun.
Life In Beranville
Life In Beranville
I just love their creativity and zest for trying new things!
Life In Beranville
At the end they thought it was fun to pour what was left in the cups into the pie pan. It fizzed like crazy. 
Yep, it was a little on the messy side.  But it cleaned up easily.
I watch my boys and the way they find joy in the simplest things. Oh, to be more like them!
I have everything in the world to celebrate!
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."  Psalm 16:11
What kind of activities do/did your kids love?  We're always looking for new ideas.