Favorite Posts of the Week

This week I discovered wonderful blog posts for Christian women on topics that we are usually hesitant to talk about. These edifying posts are shared in hopes that if you are struggling with these topics, have struggled, or know someone who is, you can find hope and direction. Additionally, since these are favorites, I am linking up with the wonderfully sweet Rachel over at Finding Joy.

friday favorite things | finding joy

1. I  am constantly second guessing what I am wearing. Do you ever wonder if what you are wearing is appropriate? Truth hits the spot, so this might be helpful: Dressing to Attract via

2. The author of the post above also wrote The Hot Mom Syndrome which was so insightful and honest. With billboards, movies, and society telling women a message quite contrary to Christ’s this is an encouraging counter-post from:


 

 

 

 

3. Mary DeMuth’s blog is one that I read regularly. She posted A Story for Those Thinking About Leaving Their Marriage. Ron returned from a youth pastor’s conference this week and was challenged by Josh McDowell’s presentation about reaching and losing this present generation for Christ. Josh emphasized that this generation looks at pastors and deacons who leave their marriages and then surmise that God’s Truth isn’t any truth at all because it doesn’t work. I was so thankful for Mary’s story that encourages married couples to show that the Truth works. Perhaps you need this story as a personal encouragement today?

4. On quiet days, I need this…Give Yourself Grace via

Finding Joy

5. Where Do Introverts Fit Into the Church? This one is for both men and women via

holy experience
 

 

 

 

I hope that you find these as interesting and insightful as I did. Blessings on this Friday!

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What I Am Reading Wednesday

 So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall. ~ Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

My Shelf

In, Money, Possessions, and Eternity, Randy Alcorn ties in money, the Christian life, and money in light of heaven. According to Mr. Alcorn’s research, 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and 80% of divorced people indicate that financial issues played a primary role in the cessation of their marriages.  We must possess money as a tool rather than risk money possessing us.

My study of this subject has reinforced the reality that we were made for only one person and one place. Jesus is the person and heaven is the place. Our purpose should pervade our approach to money. IF it does, the door will be unlocked to exhilarating Christian discipleship, where “following Christ” is not merely a comforting but meaningless cliche; instead it is an electrifying, life-changing reality. ~Randy Alcorn

I am almost finished with this wonderful book for mothers. Due to the thoughtful, Christian world-view of Sally Clarkson, I have added many new practices to mothering which include: listening to classical music with the children, increasing the focus on teaching about creation, and the a renewed sense of teaching good manners to our children. This really is a must read for all moms of young children.

Ron’s Shelf

In this book, John MacArthur challenges the modern day use of the word servant.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. ~ Emilie Buchwald

Emily’s Shelf

We checked out the Winnie the Pooh DVD from the local library then were delighted to find a gently used copy at the local thrift store. We will be reading a chapter a day during lunch time as Pooh is now a favorite with both children… not to mention their mother!

Nana was in for a visit and read oodles of chapters to Emily from this classical story by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Joshua’s Shelf

 Dumpy the Dump Truck is a delightful tale from the very talented Julie Andrews Edwards and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton. Dumpy is an old dump truck that would have been discarded if it had not been for a sweet little boy, Charlie, and his obliging grandfather, Pop-Up. Joshua loves Dumpy and is learning to name character’s from this book.

Lightening McQueen’s fan club members take note! Joshua loves Racin’ From A to Z because he loves Cars the movie.

This familiar series is a favorite of both of our kids. The rhyme and wonderfully illustrated dinosaurs provide a cute way to teach responsibility and good behavior during everyday tasks our children encounter.

What are you reading today? We welcome your suggested reads!

 

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Classic Grass Is Greener

Cue the gasp and high pitched voice. “Look at the wood paneling on that…and it isn’t even a station wagon. Is that a Jeep?”

Enter, sideways glance and mocking voice, “You cannot be serious.”

Those were the words between my husband and I Sunday afternoon.

I have a confession…I like wood panelled station wagons.

I know it may sound strange, but I sincerely would like to drive a station wagon.

Truthfully, I am saying this before ever test driving a station wagon with its’ “baby got back” extended cab. Perhaps after actually driving a station wagon, it would lose its’ affinity.

This jeep certainly lost its’ affinity for me once I drove up to take a closer look.

Vintage is vintage for a reason.

The paint seemed to be wearing thin in certain areas. The leather cracking. The old car smell was probably profuse as well.

I decided this was a classic example of the old adage, “The grass is not always greener on the other side.”

Growing up, my youth pastor would say, “If the grass is greener then you can’t see the manure piles from here or it has to be AstroTurf.” Similarly a friend says, “If someone else’s grass looks greener then take the time to water yours.”

Let us put on our spiritual lenses and apply these snippets to our current mental thoughts.

Perhaps we have been “green with envy” in some personal areas be it car, house, job, clothes, body, spouse, kids, you name it. If we knew what it cost to have what someone else has, or the reality of what we supposedly see then we might too say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Instead, we might see the faded paint, ripped leather, and smell the old car smell as it really is.

What about you? Do you have a classic case of “the grass is greener?”

Also, am I the only one with station wagon love? I sincerely hope not.

 

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What I Am Reading Wednesday

Everyday in our home a page is turned. As we turn the page on the gift of today, we also turn the pages of wonderful books that we are blessed to own or have on loan from the local library.

My Shelf

I lead a homeschooling mama’s network group at our church. All of the experienced mom’s recommended this book. I wholeheartedly agree that it is worth the read. It is like a daily devotional for homeschooling parents.

I bought this Pulitzer Prize winning novel at a local thrift store. Marilynne Ronbinson beautifully writes from the perspective of a dying pastor to his son. The writing is rich, providing a resourceful read for aspiring writers and bloggers like myself.

Sally Clarkson has wholeheartedly won a place in my heart with her thoughtful and encouraging writing for moms. Her insight is profound and I soak up the wonderful view of motherhood contained within the pages of this book.

Emily’s Shelf

We began reading the Little House series in December. Emily has fallen in love with Mary and Laura and all the Ingalls family. We devour one book after the other during bedtime readings.

This beautifully illustrated and well written children’s book retells the Easter account with tenderness and care. It is such a thoughtful read. Emily requests, “Let’s read it again.” A great resource from our local library and one we may add to our shelf to celebrate Easter each year.

I was so excited when I found this book as our Nana will be here to help us plant sunflower seeds on Friday. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger is one of our all-time favorite Christmas books. The children were very happy when I bestowed this little surprise this morning. They love Mortimer almost as much as I do.

Joshua’s shelf

Joshua began potty training two weeks ago. By potty training I mean that he knows when he has to go and will go on the potty once or twice a day. We are still in regular diapers at this point with a pull-up thrown in here or there for good measure.

He absolutely loves this book and requests that I read and re-read it as many times as I will comply. He eagerly finishes the lines when I pause sounding puppy-dog-tails adorable every time he says “poop.”

We bought this book for Joshua’s first Valentine’s Day and it continues to be a treasured addition to our children’s library. He, requests this book by asking for, “Hallinan,” the author’s last name. He loves the parts where the little boy colors on the wall, falls and skins his knee, and is watching “TB,” TV.

This is one of my favorite children’s books. The rhythmic rhyming and alliteration is easily memorized and rich with synonyms. A wonderful book conveying love between a mama and her baby and the trials of getting little one’s to bed the first time.

Ron’s Shelf

 My student pastor husband is reading this book by Andy Stanley. It is one of those that I will be snatching whenever I get through my mommy homeschooling books…maybe by next summer.

Ron actually bought this book for me a few years ago. He knew that I wanted to read about Patton and surprised me with this wonderful resource. Patton is a very colorful war hero in our nation’s history. His views on religion and life greatly differ from my own. However, his love and knack for war is what stands out most in my memory. Excellent historical read.

What are you reading this Wednesday? We would love to hear your suggestions as well.

Keep the pages turning! 

*By clicking on the images above you can view these books for purchase on Amazon.com.  As an Amazon affiliate, our family will receive a portion of the sale. Thank you for visiting This Temporary Home. Blessings to you and yours.

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The Sermon on the Mount

I have  stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. ~Psalm 119:11

I have decided to join Ann in memorizing the Sermon on the Mount.

I need to sow the Word into the recesses of my mind and heart.

God’s word replacing my wayward thoughts.

Meditation on all that is good.

Following her lead, I have opted to document this with a simple video post.

While Ann’s videos have been in beautiful Canadian snow, I thought I might try the sunny, sandy beaches of Florida. Today however, the setting resembled the nursery rhyme,

One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather…

Visit here if you would like to download materials to memorize the mount with us.

Thank you for reading and visiting This Temporary Home! You are a welcome guest.

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A Look at the Lenten Season

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! ~John 1:29

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As we prepare our home for foster children I keep reminding myself that this will only be temporary. Yes, we hope that one of the children will become our forever child. However, going into this I need to remind myself that that may not happen soon, nor honestly, even at all.

Jesus too knew that his time on this earth was temporary. He reminded Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18-32-34). To his disciples, “a little while and you will see me no longer” (John 16:16).

Jesus came on a temporary basis so that he could prepare an eternal home for us in heaven.

He came to crush his heel on the serpent’s head. He came to redeem us by paying the death penalty for our sins.

What is Lent?

Lent-among Christians originally the period of prebaptismal preparation, later of public penance. Finally it became a forty-day devotional preparation for Easter traditionally based on Jesus’ wilderness fast:

And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. Mark 1:13

~Harper’s Bible Dictionary

Traditionally, the observance of Lent calls for a 40 day fast from some thing or food of your choosing. Yet the overriding message of Lent is repentance that leads us to the cross of Christ.

This is what the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your GOD, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before.  ~Joel 2:12-14

Today as we embark on the season of Lent that will lead us to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, may we spend some time in repentance. Confessing our sins before Jesus and asking Him to give us a heart of righteousness.

Perhaps you will choose a food to abstain from during this period leading to Easter Sunday. Each time the cravings overtake us we can use this to remind us that heaven is our real home, Christ is the giver and sustainer of life, and remind us of our utter dependence upon the Lord.

Lenten Resources:

Ways to Intentionally Celebrate Lent and Easter as a Family by Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking.

Uprooted for Good  by Danice at Beautifully Rooted.

How to Prepare a Family for Lent by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience.

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Fair Enough

 Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Today was a time for fun and family. I pray, Lord, we would show wisdom in discerning time for everything under the sun.~Amen.

The first family trip to the fair wins out as a Friday Favorite every time…linking with Rachel:

friday favorite things | finding joy

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My First Valentine

It is not a dozen red roses, heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates, nor balloons and pink and red cards that I remember as my first Valentine. Rather, a simple heart shaped stamp with an adorable dalmatian puppy affixed on top.

My daddy gave me this precious Valentine many years ago. Perhaps my mother should be credited with this purchase instead, but somehow I remember this being one of the gifts that my daddy purchased for his girls himself.

In the fall, Ron and I were reading Charolette’s Web to Emily and what do I find in the back of the book? My early elementary school signature beside my very favorite stamp from my first memorable valentine.

Phases and stages in the home come and go, but memories are forever stamped on our hearts.

Such a simple and sweet treasure.

I love you mom and dad and thank you for all the love you have given me.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my precious husband, children, and family… and of course, you readers too!

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 John 3:11

What do you remember as your first Valentine?

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Truth Hits the Spot

My choices reveal more of the inner woman than I usually care to decipher.

Meditating on the motive behind my desires or frustrations with self and in relationships may become a new practice. This is necessary because, don’t all troubles really start with some stronghold that needs to be overcome?

It was for me on Sunday morning. Emily was ready wearing the dress of her choice and with her hair combed in the most obedient fashion… or at least that is what I am presently recalling. As I was gathering all the necessities for church I noticed that Emily had chosen her worn play-clothes flip flops as the final accoutrement.

I did what any caught in the temporal mother would do,”Emily, are you sure you want to wear your play shoes instead of your nice flip flops to church?”

I had planted the seed of doubt and want without thinking of the consequences to my daughter’s view of how a woman should adorn herself.

Do not let your adorning be external– the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:3-4
I then reaped what I sowed, a beautiful little girl standing her ground in her choice. That is… until… it was time to buckle-up. Then, she wanted to wear her beautiful new Yellow Box flip flops!
Already hopelessly upset over such a trivial matter I gave way to the crying and whining and muttered unnecessary words while retrieving the more desirable flip flops.
It was the picture perfect start to Sunday worship of our Creator in packaging alone.
Amidst worship and soul-searching, I remembered a valuable nugget, it is not about the condition of our clothes, but the condition of our heart before God. I humbly expressed this truth to my daughter and prayed that I will choose more wisely the next time.
Sometimes a difficult and challenging experience ushers in the teachable point we so desperately need to grasp. Like a well timed refreshment to my soul, this truth hit the spot.
Another well-timed refreshment? So glad you asked. Our visit with Nana and “Do Daddy,” upon which we visited the local Yogurt Spot for a Sunday afternoon treat Yellow Box flip flops and all!
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For Emily, On Your Birthday

I Remember You

I remember you puddled in pink, taking your baths in the kitchen sink.

I remember you, flowers in your hair, waking up to your daddy’s loving stare.

I remember you with your eyes shut tight, balling fists and toes in the long dark night.

I remember you, Nana’s little shadow, following her and carrying horses’ red apples.

I remember you all words and whys, becoming more wise in this present world’s eyes.

I remember you pedaling tricycle in the warm morning sun, then pushing your baby carriage just like I had one.

I remember you covered in pink, pedaling your bicycle with a smile and a wink.

I remember you dancing and singing, putting all your dolls to bed like a good mommy in training.

I remember you holding brother at first meeting, gazing at the present and blessing counting all I was seeing.

I remember you reading books in your bed, replacing them under the mattress stead.

I remember you teasing you had no more kisses, and throwing them away in the waste basket like the tissues.

I remember you as the little girl you are for this present day as you turn four.

Happy Birthday Emily Elizabeth!

Love,
Mommy

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