Tuesday, January 31, 2012

relationship advice: honesty

As Christians, we make a relationship with God our life’s priority, which means it has to be a daily priority. In doing this, we give our hearts to God. This really is the heart of Christianity: knowing the Lord through a relationship with His son.

In John 17:3 Jesus says that eternal life is this: knowing the one true God and Jesus Christ, who He sent.

That’s the goal: to know God through a relationship with His Son.

IMG_5862

One incredibly important attribute of any relationship is honesty. In order for a relationship to be maintained, both parties must commit to being honest with one another. So I ask, are you honest with the Lord?

Antiquing in Cedar City UT May 2011 072

I think we all understand the importance of honesty in a relationship. We expect our husband and children to be honest with us and are in turn honest to them. With God, we have to be honest about our faults, our sins, and our worries but also about our hopes and our joys.

IMG_1816

And the thing about God is that He already knows everything about us. That means we can ask Him to reveal what we are not being honest about.

Psalm 139: 23-24 says “Search me O God, know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

With honesty, there also needs to be communication. No relationship works without an open line of communication. And not telling God what is on your heart can be the same as being dishonest.

Proverbs 28:13 says this: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Day 014 of 365 - Flames

When your relationship with God is your life’s priority, it will influence all other relationships in your life. When you spend time getting to know God’s heart, it changes yours and how you interact with others. If the Holy Spirit is present in your life, your heart can’t not change!!

But in order for that to be the case, we have to maintain an honest heart and an honest line a communication. While at times that may be very difficult, because of guilt and sin, remember that God is faithful to forgive us and change us!

Again I ask, are you honest with the Lord? What areas do you need to open up about? What sins do you need to confess? What do you need to tell God right now?

Monday, January 30, 2012

12 in 2012: project life

This year I have set a goal to complete 12 projects. That's one a month. And should be do-able.

One of those projects, which I will work on each week of the year, is Project Life. Haven't heard of it? Check it out! My husband calls it "the lazy woman's scrapbooking" but it really isn't. While it makes scrapbooking easier because it's more organized, you still have as much freedom as you want to be creative. Did I say already that I love it??

I'm not entirely caught up for January, but I have completed the first 2 weeks.

Intro Page:
IMG_1830IMG_1822IMG_1848
Most of the cards and paper on this page are from the Project Life Clementime Kit. The "be intentional. simplify." print is by me, from this post. I added number stickers to a tag so it reads 2012. Then I sewed the tag onto a card with red thread. I borrowed the "at the start" idea from Elise (who I adore).

Week 1:
IMG_1853IMG_1854IMG_1844IMG_1845IMG_1847
For week 1 I used the "a photo a day" technique. All of the cards are from the Clementine kit. I also added our receipt from Target along with the gift card we used. The page in between is my To Do List for the week. I just slipped it into an 8x11 page protector. I still haven't decided what to put on the other side of it.

Week 2:
IMG_1856IMG_1836IMG_1838IMG_1843IMG_1841
I had a little more fun with this week. I feel like I'm starting to get into my groove for the project. I had fun using stamps, stickers and other embellishments. I used the orange arrows from the Clementine Kit as bullets for the things I wanted to remember from this week. The floral print paper is from a thank you card I received in the mail. I wrote down what we were praying for as a family this week on that white card, folded it in half and paper clipped it to the blue card with a butterfly paperclip I had in my things. (I keep a stockpile of random clippings, embellishments and papers that I collect all the time).

IMG_1823
And, someone has already been enjoying looking through the album!!

Well, that is all for now. This week I'm working on weeks 3 and 4. I hope to have them both done by Tuesday. I have found that my biggest obstacle in the project has not been time, but keeping track of my photos and getting them printed each week. I think as time goes on, I'll get better at that.

So, have you done Project Life? Do you have another system of scrapbooking that you prefer? I've been terrible in the past at keeping my scrapbooks up to date. In fact, I think I'm still on 2008. Ugh. I don't even want to think about it!

note: A few of my favorite inspirations for this project are Elise, Ali and Erin.


The Mom Creative

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

one year old

A year ago today, I was in the hospital giving birth.

Gaaahh!! My baby boy turns one year old today.

I.can't.believe.it.

A year of Isaac:

DSCN1270DSCN0367DSCN13382011-05-02_22-27-46_456DSCN1750DSCN2175_MG_0228Trip to Dallas Aug 2011 014_MG_1208IMG_0126_MG_0012pushing his lawnmowerChristmas 2011 010_MG_1111Picture 502012-01-03_17-38-30_166

Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Mommy loves you more than you know.

Monday, January 23, 2012

to expose the darkness

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. ~Ephesians 5:11

Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. In church last night, our pastor referred to this verse and I knew I had to use it for this post.

Today is not only a day for reflection, but a day for action. And that is just what I'm doing. I'm taking action.

Paul writes in Ephesians that we are not only to not take part in works of darkness, but we are also called to expose them.

abor-tion noun \ə-ˈbȯr-shən\
1: the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus

Since the day that Roe v Wade was passed in this country, January 22, 1973, over 50 million abortions have taken place. Last year, over 1 million abortions were performed, around the corner from where you work, in your neighborhood, down the street from your child's school.

That means, over the past 40 years, over 50 million little boys and little girls were killed in their mother's womb. Destroyed. Murdered. Gone.

Photobucket
baby in the womb at 8 weeks source


They will never have life here on earth. They "will never laugh,
never sing,
never experience the joy of human love;
nor will they strive to heal the sick,
or feed the poor, or
make peace among nations"
source.

They will never grow up to be scientists,
engineers,
artists,
teachers,
mothers,
fathers,
brothers
and sisters.

50 million lives full of potential. Gone.

As Christians, we cannot stand idly by. We cannot sit on our hands. We cannot claim ignorance. We must expose the darkness.

*Know the facts and statistics about abortion.

*Know when life begins, according to both science and scripture.

*Know prenatal development

*Know the truth about the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood (324,008 abortions performed in 2010) and it's founder Margaret Sanger.

*Know how legalized abortion affects child abuse rates.

*Know what you can do about it:

You can pray.
You can give (you can also find your local pregnancy center to give in your community).
You can adopt.
You can volunteer.
You can tell people what you know.
You can start a student group on your campus to help pregnant students.
You can advocate.
You can open up your home to a pregnant woman who has nowhere else to go.
You can bake cupcakes.
There are a thousand ways to get involved. But you have to do something.

Proverbs 31:8 says this: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

baby feet
source

Who among us is more desitute and has a quieter voice than a babe in the womb? Who is weaker and more helpless than a baby who has no voice and cannot fight for herself? (destitute: lacking in resources)

If you have a free 30 minutes, I ask you to watch this video. It will change your view on this topic, no matter where you stand right now.



Please know: If abortion is a part of your past, there is always recovery, hope and reconciliation for you in Christ. "No one is cut off from Christ because of past sin - any past sin... For the repentant there is forgiveness and cleansing and hope." ~John Piper.

1 John 1:9 says:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Today and everyday, let us pray for our nation, pray for those who carry this sin and need healing, pray for those who are considering abortion, pray for the repentence of abortionists, pray for our President and legislators as they make decisions regarding abortion and let us stand up to expose this darkness and injustice.

linking up with Flaunt your Cause

Thursday, January 19, 2012

writing about writing

When I was in school, I loathed writing. My least favorite part of the semester was the last couple of weeks because I always waited until the absolute last minute to write my papers.

Writing
source

But now that I've been out of school for a while I've discovered that I actually love to write. Especially when I can write about what I want and not what's assigned to me.

And when I write,

I want what I write to mean something.
I want it to inspire.
I want it to document.
I want it to entertain.
I want it to encourage questions.
I want it to incite action.
I want it to spark conversation.
I want it to mean something.

But I want to write more often. I've been trying to be better about journaling in my personal life. I can't tell you how awesome it has been to look back and read what my family was going through at a particular time, what we were praying about and asking God for and now being able to see on the other side of the situation exactly how God answered those prayers. I want to keep doing that. I want my kids to be able to read over those things and see what I have seen.



I take thousands of pictures. But do I add context to those photos with writing?

Writing is so important. Documentation is so vital. God is constantly telling the Israelites in the Old Testament to "remember, remember, remember". Isn't it terrible how quickly we actually forget?

_MG_0746

I've come to realize that I need to write things down: simple things like to do lists or project ideas. And if I need to write those things down, how much more do I need to write down the big things?? The important things like Isaac's milestones or what I'm praying about.

How good have you been about documenting your family's life?: the day to day, the prayer requests, the milestones, the big events, the small happenings.

Photobucket

new skin care regimen: my 30 day challenge

first of all, I cannot believe I'm actually sharing this photo with you, but here it goes!

On January 9 I decided that I was tired of the way my skin looks. Over the course of the past year I've been really bad about taking care of it. I decided that this is an area where I can be intentional. Each day, for 30 days, I will be going through the same regimen, day and night. Here is my "before" photo:

IMG_1624

After 30 days, I will be sure to share my "after" photo with you (here's hoping there's a noticable difference!)

In case you were wondering, my skin care regimen consists of:

*3 in 1 Cleansing Bar
*Timewise Night Solution
*Even Complexion Essence
*Firming Eye Cream
*Age-fighting Moisturizer

note: all products are Mary Kay. I am using these products because they are what I have on hand.

What skin care products do you use and love??

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

what expecting moms should know: newborn screening tests

Let me begin by saying this: I do not believe that my way is the best way for you and your baby. Each mother and father needs to make the right decisions for their child. But, in order to make the right decisions, we all need to have the right information at our disposal. That is why I am writing about these topics. Note: I am not an expert and I am the mother of one child. I know I do not have all the answers. With that being said, please feel free to comment or email with any questions or concerns. I'd be happy to respond!

A few months ago I wrote this post. I will be posting on each topic in more detail over the next month.

Our first topic of discussion: Newborn Screening Tests

The Newborn Screening Test, you may know it as the heel prick test, is done on every infant born in a hospital in the United States. It's a test usually performed between 24-48 hours after birth (but can be done up to 7 days after birth). As the parent, you are not required to be notified of it and no signature or consent is needed from you for it to be administered.

What is it? It is a blood test to determine if the infant has any metabolic diseases or other disorders that are difficult to detect otherwise and can be treated. For a full list of the conditions tested for, click here.

note: Screening tests do not diagnose illnesses. They identify which babies need additional testing to confirm or rule out illnesses. Good screening tests have a low false-negative rate (if the test is normal, the child should be healthy), but may have a high false-positive rate (as many affected children as possible should test positive, even if this means many healthy children also test positive).
source

Battered
source

Why should I worry or care? It sounds like a good test When I stated above that the test is administered, what I meant by that is: your baby's blood (your personal property) is taken in order to perfom a test. Once the test is performed, in most states, the blood sample, to include your child's DNA, is stored by the state's health department. That means, the state/government maintains possession of it without your knowledge or consent.

For information on how long your state retains these blood samples, see this chart. Please note that some states, including California, hold blood samples indefinitely. That means for as long as they want to or decide to; most likely forever.

What are they doing with all of these samples? The simple answer is: probably nothing. But in many situations they are being used for experiments and further testing. You can read more here.

What are my options if I don't want the state to retain my child's blood? This answer depends on the state in which you reside. Some states, including Minnesota and Texas, allow you to sign a Directive to Destroy. In those cases, once the blood has been tested, the state health department then destroys the sample (usually within a year).

If your state does not offer such an option, you can opt to have your child's blood tested by a private company. You can discuss this option with your pediatrician before the baby is born (please interview pediatricians ahead of time, more on that later).

We used Baylor Health Care System here in Texas. You can order a Newborn Screening Kit here. They only store the blood samples for 1 year. We had Isaac's blood samples taken at the hospital. The forms were then signed and sent by our pediatrician. All of the information and instructions are in the packet that Baylor supplies. I couldn't find any other companies to perform the test, but I'm sure there are others. If you find one, please let me know! Note: if you decide to use this option, be sure that your pediatrician is on board before your baby is born.

Here's the bottom line on this one: While I may sound like a conspiracy theory nut; suggesting that the government is storing our DNA in warehouses to use as identity trackers, blah, blah, blah, that is not my intention. I am however, saying that the government does not have the right to take your personal, private property, i.e. your child's blood (which contains DNA) without your prior knowledge and consent. In other situations your blood cannot be taken without a warrant. How is this any different? As a parent, I feel that it is imperative that I protect my child in every way that I can. This is one of those ways in which I feel the need to do so.

0126111138a

For information on other newborn procedures done in the hospital such as eye ointment, vitamin k shot and the hepatitus B vaccine, check back later this month. I had originally planned to discuss those in this post, but there is just so much information to share!

Again, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them here or email me: ihaveapinkbag [at] yahoo.com [dot] com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

nostalgia

He turns one next week.
I've been reminiscing lately.
Here are some of my favorites:

0202110754a_MG_0144_MG_0046183DSCN0340DSCN1676IMG_0996IMG_0505_MG_0378