Formula for Spiritual Healing

How do you come to a place of spiritual healing in the needed areas of your life?
Is there a Christian formula for this?

spiritual healing 300x225 Formula for Spiritual Healing
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There is someone important in my life that for years now I have felt wronged by. The reasons don’t matter. The fact is I held a grudge. I wanted to forgive because I knew I should, but down deep inside I wanted that person to understand how they had hurt me and be sorry for it. I didn’t tell them how I felt. I thought they should know. But I sure did show them. I showed it by being withdrawn from them. It was my way of punishing them and at the same time protecting myself from more hurt feelings.

I have heard of miraculous stories of forgiveness. Like someone forgiving their child’s murderer, or their own rapist. While I admire people who come to this degree of forgiveness, I’ve always doubted I could forgive that type of transgression. Would I feel guilty that I’d dishonor my loved one by forgiving their murderer? Would my forgiveness implicate that I was okay with what they had done wrong?

Another area where I have needed spiritual healing is with my sin of fear. Fear has been a life-long struggle for me. If fear is a struggle in your life, then I highly recommend the book Unafraid by Susie Davis. This book has truly helped me in my journey of overcoming fear. Being a “fear-er” is much like being an alcoholic. The tendency and desire may always be there, so you have to take steps to cope with it and stay away from the temptation.

One recent morning around 4:30 a.m., I awoke like I have many times before, with fears rushing through my mind. Utilizing coping mechanisms I learned from Unafraid , I immediately said “no” to my fearful thoughts and began praying to God. During my prayer, I asked God to reveal areas in my heart that needed healing. And boy did He ever!!! I suddenly began crying uncontrollably with an overwhelming humility. God revealed to me in that moment many sins I had committed in my life. He reminded me of sins I knew were wrong when I committed them, and He showed me sins that were ongoing that I didn’t even realize were sins. In this moment of revelation, I felt disgusting. I felt unworthy. I felt like a hypocrite. Then God reminded me that despite all these sins I have committed, he has forgiven me. He loves me despite them. He loves all his children despite their sins, and he asks that we forgive others as he forgave us!

” Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4: 31-32

In that moment of humility at 4:30 a.m., for the very first time in my life, I found true forgiveness in my heart. I forgave that important person in my life that I felt had done me wrong. I no longer felt the need for that person to understand my feelings. It didn’t matter. I forgave them. Truly forgave them. And I had the desire to extend forgiveness to anyone who hurts me in the future. To me, this was a miracle! I had never before imagined how I could come to that place.

Is there a formula for coming to a place of complete forgiveness or coming to any place of spiritual healing? I wish I could write a book that would lead people to that miraculous place. But it comes down to one thing only…humbling yourself and realizing the depth of God’s grace!

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

So, here is a formula for spiritual healing:
Ask God to reveal areas in your heart that need healing. Often we will discover ways we are spiritually “sick” and didn’t even realize it. Enter into this earnest and humble prayer for healing every day! God’s answer to your prayer may not be immediate, but don’t give up on your prayer. Trust God’s perfect timing for your healing. Through devoted and humble prayer, in His perfect timing, God will answer your prayer! He will guide you to true and unwavering forgiveness, or to learning to say “no” to fears, or to find healing for any other spiritual sickness you may have. Finally, once the answers come, trust God and be willing to take the steps needed to heal.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

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Inspirational Devotions

proverbs31pic 300x225 Inspirational Devotions
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Did you know there are thousands of talented, God-driven women out there writing beautiful messages daily? I am incredibly inspired so often by such women. We Christian women can learn so much from one another, and I am so thankful for those women who share their life experiences and their faith based revelations through written expression.

I’d love to share with you daily devotions written by a multitude of inspirational women through Proverbs 31 Ministries . I have these awesome devotions delivered daily to my email. They only take 5 minutes of your time each day to read, but each day I read them they make me crave more! On days when you have the time, each devotional can lead you to blogs of incredible Christian women with even more encouraging and moving messages to share. All you have to do is go to Proverbs 31 Ministries and enter your email address to subscribe. I can assure you, you will find inspiration!

What Christian writers, blogs, or devotions inspire you the most?

Scripture for Thought: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

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Carving Time with God

I recently expressed that I felt led to alter the direction of my blog in some way. I wasn’t sure what that would look like, and there is still so much unknown, but at this time, I feel that adding the category “Walking with God” is the first step to this change. This is my first little blog post in this new category.

When I chose to become a stay at home mom/housewife, one thing I looked the most forward to was uninterrupted time with God in the mornings. Morning time spent reading His word, as well as devotionals and other inspirational Christian writings, and most importantly, time spent in thankful prayer have catapulted my faith in recent years!

I love starting each day this way, and when I don’t, my day seems so much less peaceful. When I worked full time, the mornings and days were hectic and I pushed my time with God often until bedtime when I was so sleepy I was lucky to get in a 60 second prayer while nodding off into dreamland. I feel blessed beyond belief that God has now given me the gift of time, but I often wonder if I could have grown in my relationship with him as much if I was still a working mother. But the answer is without a doubt, “yes”!

God wants each of us to grow in our walk with him, regardless of our lifestyle. Somehow, someway, he can show us how to make time for him even with the busiest of lifestyles, we just have to ask Him and trust Him when he shows us how. I have truly learned that God will provide just what we need in His perfect timing. His answers may mean that we have to make sacrifices in other ways, like financially or with a hobby, but if you just trust Him, the reward will be far greater than what you are giving up!

Scripture for thought: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

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$.99 Laminate Floors that looks AWESOME!

It has been a while since I’ve posted. Long story short, it has been one of those seasons where I bit off more than I could chew. I’m working on that!

In the mean time, one job we conquered was putting new flooring in our home!

livingdining $.99 Laminate Floors that looks AWESOME!

It took me forever to decide on a flooring material. Price was of course a factor. We did not want to spend more than we felt we could recoup if we sell our home in the near future. I love hardwood, but we have a 70 pound dog, and I feared that her nails would scratch it. As an alternative, I like the look of the tile that mimics hardwood, but with kids constantly in the house, I felt it would be too hard of a surface. I didn’t want any cracked skulls.

Although durable, I was skeptical about the appearance of laminate. I didn’t want it to look like a cheap imitation. I’ve also had laminate flooring in the past that showed an imprint of every footstep, so I definitely wanted to avoid that. I looked at what seemed like a million different laminates at lots of different stores, from local flooring retailers to Lumber Liquidators to Lowes to Home Depot, ranging in price from .99 per square foot to 3.99 per square foot. I brought home lots of samples and left them on the floor for a period of about 2 weeks. I finally decided on Traffic Master Handscraped Saratoga Hickory from Home Depot, and I’m happy to report that I couldn’t be more thrilled with my choice! What made it even sweeter is that it was only .99 per square foot!!!

The handscraped look gives this flooring a very authentic and rich appearance. There are 10 different planks with different patterns in each box, and the detail is gorgeous. Most of my friends and family have commented that they thought it was real wood.

We have only had it down for about a month now, but there is not one single scratch from my dog’s nails or anything else for that matter, and I hate to admit, but the only cleaning I’ve done is vacuum debris, but it looks spotless! Exactly what I was hoping for!

If you choose this flooring or any other laminate, remember that you cannot use a wet mop on it. Only use products specifically made for laminate flooring.

Because I had bitten off more than I could chew, I don’t have pictures of the process of laying the floors. My husband did the work himself. It is a click lock flooring and for a perfectly square room like our dining room, the process was simple; however in hallways where there are angles and door jams, not so easy. It was his first time doing this, and he was certain that there were many lessons learned and that a second time around would be much simpler. I would recommend watching instructional videos beforehand if you are a newbie! Newbie or not, it is very attainable and I believe you’ll love the result, especially for the price!

On to the next project. We have several in the works. I’ll try to post sooner than later!

Scripture for thought:”And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:12

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Changing in 2015

change 300x300 <center>Changing in 2015</center>

If you have followed my blog over the past year, you probably have noticed that my posts are fewer and different from how they began, so I feel I should explain. First, why did I begin my blog in the first place? Well, I was a fairly new stay at home mom, and although my top priorities with that job are to take care of the household and be an available mom and wife, there are some down times during which I wanted a hobby and possibly a part time career.

I have always loved decorating and mostly from making use of items I already own, or from reinventing and reusing items in new ways. That love originated from not having money to buy new things but still desiring a beautiful environment, and although I now have better means of buying new things, it seems wasteful to me to not continue to decorate the way I always have. I wanted to share my ideas about that and encourage others to frugally decorate with meaning as well.

change 3 300x300 <center>Changing in 2015</center>

What I have found from this blogging experience is that while it is extremely fulfilling in lots of ways, in order to continue to grow as a blogger, it can completely consume your time. It is so much more that just writing 2 or 3 posts a week about something you enjoy or are knowledgeable about. It involves not only time to come up with new ideas and implement them, but also becoming an expert photographer (which I have totally slacked on!), hours of research and public relations, hours of making contacts and branding yourself, finding and working with advertisers, and the list goes on and on. A blogger’s time and efforts spent are directly correlated with their success, as well as a bit of luck thrown in there!

I am certainly not scared of hard work, but I am scared of getting my priorities out of whack. My top priorities in life are first and foremost, my relationship with God and glorifying him, being the best mom and wife I can be, and serving others in ways that I feel led by God.

bluechange <center>Changing in 2015</center>

So, what do all of these thoughts mean for my blog? Well, honestly, I’m not exactly sure yet. That is why I am praying about it and being patient. I don’t feel led to quit my blog as of now, but I do feel led to make some changes with it. I’m just not clear yet on exactly how those changes should look. So I am taking it moment by moment, tossing around multiple ideas, and patiently waiting on clear answers.

If you have enjoyed some of my posts, I ask that you stick with me, and see how I change! Stay on my mailing list, so I only bug you when I feel that I have something great to share with you! And don’t forget, I LOVE hearing from my readers!!! It is my favorite thing about blogging! Feel free to let me know what changes you would like to see! Tell me what YOU desire in a great blog!

change2 <center>Changing in 2015</center>

Scripture for Thought: ” Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4

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Acts of Kindness this Christmas

bluechristmas.jpg 1024x578 Acts of Kindness this Christmas

Last Christmas I was new to blogging, and I was so excited I think I must have written close to 20 Christmas blog posts! While it was lots of fun, I must apologize to my readers for not churning out Christmas posts again this year. I have been very reflective this holiday season, and I have tried to spend the bulk of my time truly living in the moments. It is imperative for me to teach my son the true meaning of Christmas and demonstrate the joy of giving and acts of kindness. While this is of course important year round, it is extra important during the season where we tend to spoil our children quite a bit with the latest and greatest items on their wish lists.

I have compiled a list of 10 simple acts of kindness we could choose from this holiday season to take the focus off of decorating, elaborate parties, and personal wish lists. I am not saying there is anything wrong with enjoying the traditions of the holidays, but I would like to teach my son to derive joy from helping to fill others with joy who can’t give back! I understand fully that money can be tight during the holidays, but this list includes ideas that require little or no money, plus ideas where kids can actively participate in the joy of giving and helping others!

1. Have a garage sale to get rid of used toys, clothes, or other items you no longer need, and then donate the money made to a worthy cause that you decide on as a family.

2. Pack a shoebox for a needy child with Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child . There is a list on their site of suggested items. This is an inexpensive yet very appreciated way to give. Your whole family can help choose what goes in the box.

3. Fill a stocking or zip lock bag with goodies to send to soldiers through Hugs for our Soldiers .

4. Sponsor an impoverished child through Compassion International . Make a commitment as a family for this much needed ongoing gift that will make an unbelievable difference in a child’s life!

5. Angel Trees, Secret Santas, Toys for Tots…you can find many opportunities in local stores and malls to buy a toy for a needy child for Christmas.

6. Volunteer building and delivering toys to the less fortunate. I live near Houston which has a program called Elves and More where you can volunteer to help build bicycles that will be given to impoverished children in the Houston area. I am sure many cities have similar programs. Ask around, read the newspaper and pay attention to the news because opportunities like this are everywhere!

7. Visit someone in a nursing home. Bring them some goodies (be sure to check dietary restrictions), or play a game, read to them, or watch a holiday movie with them.

8. Practice random acts of kindness, for example, bake goods together as a family and take them to a fire station.

9. Foster an animal from your local animal shelter. Animal shelters are overrun during the holidays with stray animals. If you can’t foster, volunteer to walk or play with animals, or find out needs such as dog food or heart worm treatments that you may be able to contribute.

10. Ask around your church, school, and community to find local needs. Maybe you could help someone elderly with yard work, shoveling snow, or transportation to the doctor.

There are SOOOO many ways to give and help others. This list barely even touches the surface. I pray that my readers will find and teach the joy of giving to those who can’t give back to you this holiday season! With so many needs in the world, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do to help, but just think what this world could be like if everyone chose just 1 way to give or help others this Christmas! Start with 1!

Scripture for Thought: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

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10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap

If you are anything like me, the holidays often sneak up on you amidst your busyness, and before you know it you are having family and friends over for a feast in a day and you haven’t even been grocery shopping or thought about decorating for the occasion!

Never fear, here are 10 great table decor ideas that you can throw together on the fly and on the cheap!

1. Bowls of pine cones
pinecones 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
The Thrifty Crafter

2. A vase with acorns and a candle or fall flowers
acorns 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap

3. Mini pumpkin votives
pumpkin votives 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
Christine’s Corner 23

4. Candy corn filled vase
candy corn 300x200 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
Lily Shop

5. Glass vase with popcorn kernels and candle
popcorn 200x300 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
Lily Shop

6. Colorful leaves tied onto candles
leaves 300x200 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
That’s What Che Said

7. Mini pumpkins in a glass vase with branches
branches 188x300 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
Hi Sugarplum

8. Indian corn in a glass vase
indian corn 300x199 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
33 Shades of Green

9. Wheat bundles
wheat 224x300 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
Wedding Bee

10. Votives with coffee beans
 10 Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas on the Fly and on the Cheap
Craft Gawker

Scripture for Thought: “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” Psalm 105:1

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Quick and Healthy, Make Ahead, Breakfast Idea

quiche.jpg Quick and Healthy, Make Ahead, Breakfast Idea

I grew up eating cereal for breakfast, except maybe on an occasional week-end morning, we might have an egg, bacon, and toast morning. Cereal is actually what I crave in the mornings, and not only that, but in my morning stupor I just don’t feel like cooking!

My husband, on the other hand, grew up eating eggs for breakfast every morning. He thinks that you simply must have eggs to start your day. He often leaves for work at 4:00 a.m., so needless to say, he is totally on his own for breakfast!!! But, although he’d never say it out loud because he’s not that dumb, ;o) it is disappointing to him when he finds out I fed our son cereal for breakfast.

I do actually feel a little guilty for my laziness on processed cereal mornings because I recognize the need for healthy protein, so I wanted to come up with a way to provide a protein rich breakfast without having to cook during my morning stupor, and without buying processed, frozen, calorie-rich breakfast items full of additives and preservatives. My solution has been a real hit with my husband and son, and I have to admit, I am even enjoying them…let’s call them pre-made mini breakfast quiche.

The ingredients you need are:

Muffin Pan
Optional frozen pie crust in a can (this is yummy, but you can opt to be healthier by omitting this ingredient)
Optional Ranch dressing…but I highly recommend! Read about this secret ingredient here.
Eggs (I like organic, and you can also make the healthy choice of just using whites)
Diced lean ham
Shredded Cheese (your choice)
Other optional ingredients: spinach, sauteed onions and peppers, mushrooms, or any other veggies your family likes with eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out your thawed pie crust and use a cup to cut circles. Just remember, you can omit the pie crust all together for a healthier option!
crust.jpg Quick and Healthy, Make Ahead, Breakfast Idea

Place the pastry circles in the muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray. Poke 3-4 holes in the bottom of each pastry.
muffinpan.jpg Quick and Healthy, Make Ahead, Breakfast Idea

Beat the eggs and ranch dressing (about a tablespoon per 6 eggs) and then pour into muffin pan with pastry. Sprinkle in your other desired ingredients such as ham and veggies, and then top with shredded cheese. I recommend adding the solid ingredients last, otherwise it would be hard to distribute the ingredients evenly.
eggmixture.jpg Quick and Healthy, Make Ahead, Breakfast Idea

Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. Freeze them when cooled and take out just the amount you desire to zap in the microwave for a few seconds each morning! I was afraid they might be soggy, but as long as you don’t heat them for too long, they are just perfect!
quicheplate.jpg Quick and Healthy, Make Ahead, Breakfast Idea

Scripture for Thought: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

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Halloween Bark Candy

Last year around the holidays, I posted a recipe for one of my favorite holiday candies. You can find the original post for my Addictive Saltine Cracker Candy by clicking here , but I decided to tweak this recipe just a tad this year for Halloween, and believe me, it is just as scrumptious as it is cute! However, it is very rich and goes straight to the hips, so beware!

halloweenbark.jpg Halloween Bark Candy

Here is the full recipe from my previous post:

Line the saltine crackers on a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
saltines Halloween Bark Candy

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bring two sticks of margarine and 1 cup of packed brown sugar to boil in a saucepan.
butter and sugar Halloween Bark Candy

Boil for 3 minutes.
boil Halloween Bark Candy

Pour brown sugar mixture evenly over the saltine crackers.
pour Halloween Bark Candy

Place in the oven for 5 minutes or until the crackers appear to be floating on the brown sugar mixture. Although the crackers float, the mixture will also be on top of the crackers.
floating Halloween Bark Candy

Gently spread white chocolate morsels on top of the crackers immediately with a spatula. Take it slow and easy not to mess up the lined crackers. It will take a couple of minutes for the morsels to melt, but be patient, because they will!
morsels Halloween Bark Candy
spatula Halloween Bark Candy

And Finally…
cracker candy Halloween Bark Candy

Now the fun part! Add whatever Halloween candies your heart desires to the top. Just gently sprinkle and press onto the melted white chocolate. Let it cool completely and harden before breaking into pieces and serving. I usually put mine in the refrigerator until I am ready to serve. I assure you that this candy will be a hit!

halloweenbark.jpg Halloween Bark Candy

The greatest thing about this recipe is that you could tweak it for any holiday. Add red and pink candies for Valentine’s, or green candies for St. Patty’s. The possibilities are endless!

Scripture for thought: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

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Don’t Miss Local Gift Markets this Holiday Season

Holiday Season is in the air! Shopping Centers will begin the hustle and bustle, and there will be just a general ambiance of excitement around towns and cities. One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to attend gift markets. Some of the best markets are held in the suburbs or rural areas. Local artists and creative vendors are abound featuring their latest and best creations. Local gift markets are great places to pick up unique gift items or DIY ideas to implement yourself! Plus, many of them donate proceeds to charity organizations!

Here were a few of my favorite local gift market items from last year.

joy sign Dont Miss Local Gift Markets this Holiday Season

softball Dont Miss Local Gift Markets this Holiday Season

spoon ornament Dont Miss Local Gift Markets this Holiday Season

snowman wreath Dont Miss Local Gift Markets this Holiday Season

fabric trees Dont Miss Local Gift Markets this Holiday Season

If you are in the Houston area, you do not want to miss a spectacular gift market coming up at Celebrations Gift Market in Katy, TX Oct. 24 & 25, 2014.

The fabulous assortment of Celebrations Vendors will now be at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center on Mason Road in Katy, TX. Christmas shopping won’t be the same without this stop for Santa! High quality, unique gifts are the focus of this Gift Market. Make a list and check it twice and see why this is a tradition that everyone will love.

gift market.jpg Dont Miss Local Gift Markets this Holiday Season

See you there!

Scripture for thought: “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

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

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