Following the Example of Jesus

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I have been struck lately and convicted with how self-centered I am and how Jesus' example to us was that of self-sacrifice.

I am continually fighting my flesh... my biggest battle is with me! I want to do what I want! Yes, I want God's will for my life because I know his way is the best but I have to keep reminding myself of it. My sinful heart has a hard time accepting the fact the my life is no longer my own.

I somehow think that I deserve to get what I want; that my happiness depends on doing and getting what I want.

When in truth it is only by giving up what I want that I get to experience a true, fulfilling relationship with Christ. He gives me what I don't deserve and what I could never ever sacrifice enough for: his grace, his love, his peace, his joy,  and his forgiveness(not to mention eternity with him.)
I  desire to know God and to know his word more every day, but most days I have a hard time really walking it out; following Jesus' example as he walked here on earth.

 Its one thing to know that we are supposed to love our enemies its another to really do it! He was falsely accused and treated wrongly, yet he did not retaliate.

I see Jesus bending down washing his disciples feet, serving the one who would betray him but I don't know if I can do that!

He was tempted yet resisted even when he was at his weakest and most vulnerable.

He loved the unlovely and showed compassion to the poor and the sick without always receiving praise or thanks.

He gave of his time and his heart to share the truth with those who were confused and lost.

He may have become frustrated and amazed at his disciples and others lack of faith but he continued to encourage them to believe and put their trust in him.

 Even though his time and ministry was in constant demand, he took time out of his day to get away and spend time in His father's presence.

He spoke the truth even when it was unpopular and unaccepted.

He didn't have to go to the cross...but he did.

Why? Why did he live the way he did?

Because he loved us!

I have been challenged to ask myself, " Do I love him enough to follow his example and live as he lived?

How close am I willing to walk with him?

I know there is no way I can humanly imitate him on my own( he was perfect) but I know that if I put my self in his hands and commit my life to him he will work in me what I can't, and walk with me on this journey of dying to myself. He will pick me up when I stumble and carry me when I fall.

He is still alive and living and walking here on earth with us and through us if we allow him!

"Whoever says " I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." 1 John 2: 4-6

Linking up with some of these amazing link parties

All In One Homemade Sunscreen and Diaper Cream

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I have been researching making my own  natural sunscreen and diaper cream and it dawned on me they contain most of the same ingredients...why not make some for both uses!

With the arrival of my new baby soon to be upon me and many baby showers to go, diaper cream will be great to have in my arsenal. I have made it many times  before but have added a few new ingredients this time.

My kids have been blessed somehow with very rash resistant bums but for the times they have gotten them its been great to have a diaper cream that I feel good about putting on their little hineys.

As for the is a necessity... we live in Florida; aka the sunshine state. Even though summer is almost over the sun here hasn't gotten the message.

We usually only put it on when we go to the beach or are going to be out in the sun all day, but I would much rather use a sunblock, knowing all the ingredients in it are helping to protect us instead of adding more harm to our skin. I know that some think its better not to put anything on your skin but believe me if I didn't put any protection on me and my children we would be burnt lobsters. When we go to the beach we stay for a couple of hours and the times we have forgotten sunscreen, their has been much pain and tears!

What you will need:
 1c. Coconut oil- speeds healing, fights infection and has an spf of 4
1/2c. Shea butter- has healing and antioxidant benefits and spf of 6- I use raw, organic
2 tbs. Beeswax-  adds waterproofing element, add more for thicker texture
1/4c. Arrow root - a natural root starch used to thicken also used to treat sunburn and heal skin and pain irrtitation( add more or less depending how thick you want the consistency to be)
2 tbs. Zinc Oxide powder-  one of the most effective and safest ingredients for healing  and protecting the skin, insoluble in water, has an spf of 20+ add more for higher spf
 2tbs.Vitamin E oil-promotes healing, protects skin
 1/4c. Calendula petals(optional) -speeds skins healing and also has antibacterial powers

You can buy most of these ingredients at, amazon or your local health or herb store. I usually buy my coconut oil  and shea butter in bulk since it is so versatile and cheaper in bulk.

You could always add any essential oil you like to the mix to add extra fragrance but I like the natural smell of the ingredients already. Stay away from citrus oils as they can attract the sun.

If you  want to make a basic lotion, just take out the zinc powder.

This also will work for you if you use cloth diapers.

When using as a sunscreen, you will need to reapply often, if you are out for a long period of time or in and out of the water.

I made a big batch, enough to fill about 6 baby jars, but you can cut the recipe in half. I always figure I might as well make enough to last me a while and to give away.

I love that I can use this recipe for versatile purposes! You can make this as simple or complicated as you want. I have made diaper cream before with only coconut oil, shea butter and arrowroot before and it has served its purpose. Its up to you how much protection  and healing properties you want. Get creative and find out what works for you!

What to do: 

Melt coconut oil in a bowl over a boiling pot of water(double boiler) Add Calendula petals now if you want to use them, let them steep in the coconut oil for about an hour and then strain. I just used a fork to fish them out. Make sure heat is on low so as not to evaporate all the water or boil over.

Add shea butter and beeswax to coconut oil. Heat until melted. Let sit until cooled and thickened.

Beeswax from our very own bees!

Next add your Zinc Oxide powder and arrowroot till you are happy with thickness. Add vitamin E oil. You can use a hand mixer or just mix by hand.

Pour into jars.

I love the consistency I got, its creamy and thick but goes on nice and smooth and disappears as you rub it in.

Now you will be prepared to go out in the sun or fight a sore baby bum!

Children are a Blessing

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

photo by hill productions

I was out with my four children and very obvious growing baby bump when  a woman called out to me, pointing to my children and belly " Enough is enough!" I kindly corrected her and said, " No, you can never have enough blessings!" She then conceded and said, "Well... children are blessings."

Yes, they are! I could get mad at this lady and think what nerve?! What business is it of hers to tell me how many kids to have?!  But to tell you the truth it was a good reminder to me of the blessings that they truly are. I willingly admit that I  do get overwhelmed and complain about my children and all the demands required of me. I can easily take them for granted and just see them as a burden to me if I look through the world's eyes and my own.

I am so thankful that God is continually humbling me, opening my eyes and showing me the true blessings that they are in my life.

Here are some of the ways that God is helping me to see how blessed my life is by them:

- They show me continuous love and affection even when I fail them
- I am never wanting for hugs, snuggles and kisses
-I am learning to be a servant and not just think of my needs
-I am being refined by this process of dying to myself and putting them first
-I am learning that I need to do what I want them to do not just say it
- I am learning how selfish I really am
-They hold me accountable to my word
-Just when I think I have it all together I am shown I don't
- I am learning to give things of myself I didn't know I had in me
-I get excited over the little accomplishments in life: swinging without being pushed, going potty all by themselves, making food for themselves, learning to read, coloring in the lines
- I appreciate the basic needs in life that are easily taken for granted: sleep,quiet, a clean bathroom, an empty sink, full tummies
- I am never lonely or bored
-Realizing how time is really going by so fast
-Sometimes it's more important to give of my time and attention then to do things or give things
-Finding out how impatient I really am
-I am learning not to cry over spilled milk or any other food or liquid
-Always laughing because of the funny and truthful things they say
- Being reminded everyday that you can not enter heaven unless you have faith like a child
- Yes, the bible tells us that Jesus loves us!.. loving how they just believe it

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from him...Blessed is the man whose quiver is full if them." Psalm 127:3,5

Are you struggling with seeing your children as blessings? Are you looking through the world's eyes or God's? He says they are blessings not curses! Do you believe him? Ask God to help you to see the blessings in your life because of them.

Saturday Randomness

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hunting season has started here in Florida and that means my husband will be gone a lot more on the weekends. Though I miss him, I am looking forward to some fresh venison in the crockpot soon!

Being 7 months pregnant I am limited as to what I can do with the kids and I don't like being cooped up with them all day long when we don't have to do school. I have always enjoyed yard saleing and have bribed the kids to like it also by giving them a little money to buy something.

My mom's neighborhood has a biyearly yard sale that the kids love going to mostly because they have like 6 bounce houses and slides set up. It was only $3 for an unlimited wrist band! Needless to say they got a lot of energy out!

My plan was for them to be pooped out but I think I was the one who was the most pooped! Just standing and watching them in the scorching heat did me in. Thank goodness my mom was there to help me keep an eye on them and give me a break to go look around.

Unfortunately I have come home from yard saleing with a lot of things that I have ended up donating to a thrift store, so I have determined to only buy things that I really need and like. Its just so tempting sometimes when I see a good deal to pass it up even if I don't need it. But I am learning. My son Israel is really into legos and they get very pricey so we were hoping to find some. We ran into some friends and told them we were looking for legos and they had just found some! We rushed to see if there were any more and to my son's delight there were!

Though it was a mixed bag of legos, he managed to make a pretty cool star wars ship.

There was free face painting also! Ellie made a very cute kitty cat!

I didn't come home with any great finds but was happy the kids had fun! It's always nice to come home after being tired out. We all took naps and then after dinner made this yummy chocolate mouse.
The kids wanted cookies  after dinner but I didn't feel like cleaning up a mess so this was a much quicker and cleaner option. I just whipped up some heavy cream, added some sugar, melted chocolate and ricotta.  It satisfied all our sweet tooths!

 After putting the kids to bed I am ready for a good mystery movie.

What do you like to do on Saturdays?

What do you do to keep the kids occupied when your hubby is gone?

No Sew Child's Apron

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I have been saving this shirt of Ellie's hoping to make it into something she can still use.

 The material is so cute!
She found it and asked me to tie it around her waist...voila... an apron. Why couldn't I have thought of that? She proceeded to make me some cake and pour me some tea; proclaiming that she was the mommy and I was the kid.

I love how she imitates what she sees me doing(at least the good things.) I don't have to teach her she just joins me in my daily rituals. I have to continually remember to allow her to help when she asks and not be fearful of her messing things up, but welcome her help while she is offering it.

I simply cut around the shirt separating it from the back side. Then cut across the top straightening it out. Yep, that's it.

I could have sewed the edges of the shirt to make it look better, but I was too lazy and she was happy just as it was...  who am I to make things more complicated for myself if it works?

Who knows what amazing creations she is going to concoct in this inspiring apron!

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