Saturday, June 27, 2015

Adding Scripture to our Homes

Last night, the girls in my small group had a baby shower/girl's night/craft night/potluck. Since our husbands were nice enough to keep the kids for the evening, we decided to cram as many activities in one night as possible.

I've said it before...and I will say it again...I love these families. I love that we do life together. We support each other in so many ways. Whether it's a baby shower, bringing meals, offering a hug or praying for each other's needs or hurts.

We had a great group last night...but we also missed those who weren't able to attend.

We all contributed to the taco supper and enjoyed yummy desserts.

We then showered the two expecting moms with diapers and baby gifts.

After praying over these two sweet ladies, their babies, and some other needs in our group, we dug into our craft time.

I remember Scripture being on the walls in my home while I was growing up. And that cross-stitch of the Proverb about making sure my words were "sweet like honey comb" convicted me many times. I wanted to incorporate Scripture into my own home as well.

In Jewish homes, you will find a Mezuzah (little box like item with a scrolled rolled up inside) on their doorposts. It serves as a reminder of God's law and presence and is a symbol of their Jewish identity.

Their scroll contains Deuteronomy 6:4-6,9. I was challenged by the entire passage (verse 4-9). And I love that my Bible titled this chapter "A Call for Wholehearted Commitment."

Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul,
and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these
commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your 
children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the 
road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 
Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 
Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 

Like the Mezuzah, Scripture in our homes can also serve as a reminder of God's law and presence and be a symbol of our Christian identity.

Plus, it's always going to produce good things.

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. 
It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. 
Isaiah 55:11, NLT

It helps me to memorize Scripture and encourages both my family and our guests. In Hudson's room I have Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 61:2 in Nora's room and Joshua 24:15 in my kitchen. Little 4x6 prints of Scripture are also sprinkled throughout our home. 

 The girl's all chose ahead of time which canvas they would paint. I brought along all of the supplies. 

My MawMaw's canning rack held all the supplies perfectly. 

We used the technique from this blog post to transfer the words to the canvas.  

Some chose a design that said "Count your Blessings."  (PDF for Count your Blessings)

Let all that I am praise the Lord, may I never forget the good things He does
for me. He forgives all my sings and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from 
death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things.
Psalm 103:2-5, NLT

Others painted "Walk by Faith." (PDF for Walk by Faith)

I will walk by faith, even if I cannot see.
2 Cor. 5:7

And the third option was "Choose Joy."  (PDF for Choose Joy)

...When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an 
opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is 
tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:2-3, NLT

Whatever they chose to paint, I am excited to see how they choose to incorporate Scripture into their homes.  These canvas boards can easily be framed, hung on the wall with command strips or set on a shelf or hutch. I think I might hang a large frame on the wall and then hang my canvas board with command strips onto the wall inside the frame (leaving the wall showing between the frame and the canvas). 

I wish I would have taken pictures of the finished projects last night. They looked fabulous. I am anxiously awaiting pictures of these verses hanging in their homes. And I love knowing that the Lord will use these Scriptures in mighty ways.

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. 
It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. 
Isaiah 55:11, NLT

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Read with Me

I lead Preschool worship at my church, and I am constantly on the lookout for updated children's music. I like to find classic children's Sunday School songs to sing that sound like they have been recorded recently. I had high hopes for this Sing-Along Bible. It promised 50 Easy-Read Stories and 50 fun Bible Songs.

The hardback book is beautifully illustrated. There is a short section to read before each song. I loved the pictures and the glossy pages.

The music, however, didn't sound updated. The children singing on the CD sounded like they were singing in a can. It reminded me of the old Brentwood music I had listened to as a child. It was nice to see some classic titles. I just wish they had been recorded in a format that sounded up-to-date.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

Infuse was a fun book that I wouldn't normally pick up. I like to cook but I stick to pretty common ingredients and classic recipes. This book challenged me to think about infusing my oils and drinking water. A section of the book is also dedicated to infusing alcoholic drinks, but I don't drink.

The directions are easy to follow and the photography throughout the book is fun and appetizing. I am looking forward to infusing different ingredients into the oil that I use to cook my popcorn. I appreciated the fact that this book also gave recipes where your infused concoctions can be used and enjoyed.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

I love a good mystery book. When the weather is warmer, there is nothing more relaxing that sitting on my deck in the sun with a good fiction book. I had never heard of Janice Cantore, but I am now a fan.

Her book Drawing Fire was filled with vibrant characters and descriptive scenes. I enjoyed the mystery and the romance. I also enjoyed the fact that Tyndale's books are clean and trustworthy. I always pick fiction books by Christian publishers for this reason.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Read with Me

Dee Henderson does it again! I fell in love with her novels when I was in high school. Her newest book, Taken, left me eagerly turning pages and reading way into the wee hours of the morning.

Her plots effortlessly mix suspense with a little romance.  Like all of her other novels, I enjoyed the characters and the progression of the story. Her writing is still unpredictable and entertaining. I also love that I know I don't have to watch out for language or inappropriate scenes. It's so refreshing to be able to trust an author.

Even though I loved this book, I did feel that there were a few questions unanswered at the end of the last chapter. I am hoping that means that the character's story will continue in Henderson's next work of fiction.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Believe Storybook (Think, Act, Be Like Jesus) is a large hardback book (8.5x11 size) filled with beautiful illustrations and glossy pages. The format makes it a great resource for family devotions, teaching kids the relationship between the Old and New Testament.

Using 30 different topics (such as Salvation, Prayer, Sharing my Faith, Joy, Hope, etc.) the reader begins with the "Think" section. Key questions are presented to engage the reader. An Old Testament story (reference is given) follows. There is a "Jump to Jesus" section sandwiched in middle, explaining the bridge between the Old and New Testament followed by a New Testament story.  "The Jesus Answer" finalizes the section, emphasizing key points to consider. The application or "Believe" box closes with a key idea and a key verse.

I could see this being used for family devotions. The family could study one topic for a week, reading a different section each day. As a child, I knew there was an Old and a New Testament but I didn't understand the timeline or the correlations until I was older.  This book might help bridge the gap for young minds.  I look forward to reading these topics in depth and using this book with my children.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

I'd love to say I have a green thumb. And I love the idea of plants all around my home. I figured that Rooted In Design might provide some ideas for me to implement more greenery in my life.

This hardback glossy paged book is filled with beautiful pictures and vivid descriptions of some indoor planting ideas. I found the style to be a little more contemporary than my own personal decorating preferences. However, I have enjoyed thinking outside the box about different items to use as planters.

There were some step by step projects included in the book as well. They seemed fun and moderately easy to implement. However, I still don't feel that I have the confidence or the know how to keep green things living in my own home. This book is better suited for those who already have a knack for plants (and keeping them alive). It does offer some creative ways to display plants inside the home.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mossy Letters

It's no secret that I love the Dollar Tree. I am forever finding amazing deals on, craft supplies, party decor, etc.  The other night, I spotted these moss covered "rocks." I didn't know what I would do with them yet, but I loved the idea of them. They were in the fake flower section right next to the fake fruit.

I enjoy plants around my house - bringing the outdoors in. I do not have a green thumb though. These mossy "rocks" seemed like a cute thing to stick in a white dish, and I didn't have to worry about them dying.

Today, I decided to try covering a wooden letters with the moss. Since they were made of foam, I just cut them in half.

This allowed the rocks to lay flat. It also made the two packs of four rocks each more than enough.

Hot glue held the foam on the wood.

Using a black sharpie, I colored in any white Styrofoam that was still visible.

I am working on a collage of items for my hallway. Several items have green in them. This should look great with the ensemble.

But for now, this C found a temporary home in my kitchen.

Since I had the letter on hand, this super simple project cost me $2. I love cheap yet satisfying crafts.
  And I loved finding a use for my latest Dollar Tree purchase.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Guest Post: Painting Plastic Toys

My sister's BFF shared this fun project with me. It really makes me want to start hunting free plastic play equipment for the kids!

I love free things. I especially love free things that with one simple change can give whatever it is a whole new look. 

A few weeks ago my dad snagged some free Little Tikes play equipment from the job site he was working at and brought it over. If you are familiar with Little Tikes you know they use basic colors for their products and not exactly what I would think of as “cute” colors. I don’t have before pictures but here is what they looked like

 So I went to our hardware store and picked out the colors I wanted. I bought 3 different colors of Rustoleoum spray paint because it sticks to plastic. I wasn’t sure how much I would need so I made sure to get plenty ( I ended up using 3 green, 2 blue, and 1 purple).

The tree house had a few pins that needed to be taken out in order to take it apart. The picnic table  had quite a few nuts and bolts.

I sprayed down all of the parts and let them dry.

I then figured out which parts I wanted to paint each color and painted in groups. After letting them dry according to the directions on the can I flipped everything over and painted the other side. Some pieces needed another coat but others did not. Make sure you let everything completely dry ( 24 hours) before putting them back together. Since it is plastic the paint does easily scratch off. You may have to do some touch ups once everything is together. In the end you have bright, fun, and brand new looking toys for your kiddos. A super easy way to make those ugly plastic toys look cute!

Thanks, Jess for sharing your fun project with us. Here is another guest post Jess did a few years ago.