Saturday, December 26, 2015

Baby Hat & Booties

With a few Christmas "parties" in the books I can start to share a few more of my DiyDecember projects!


With baby Maggie joining the family this year I was excited to dig out my crochet hooks and yarn!  I had to "re-learn" a little bit so hopefully it won't be so long before I pick them up again!

Thankfully a baby hat is a pretty simple project.  I did a very basic round pattern of double crochets.

The flower is a five petal "daisy"...

-1- Chain 5, join with sl-st
-2- Ch 4, 3 Tc, Ch 4 all in first chain of foundation ring
-3- Repeat step 2 in each of the remaining 4 chains to form 5 petals.
-4- Tie off, add button if desired


The booties were a first for me, but I finally found a simple and quick pattern, modified it just a little, and they turned out pretty cute I think.  They can be tall or folded down!


 ch: chain, sl st: slip stitch, sc, single crochet, hdc: half double crochet, dc: double crochet, hdctog: half double crochet decrease, dctog: double crochet decrease, 

Foundation: Chain 9
Round 1:      2 hdc into 3rd chain from hook (skip 2 chains), 1 hdc in each of next 5 chain, 6 hdc into last chain,  (working down other side of chain): 1 hdc into each of next 5, 3 hdc in last chain, sl st into chain 2 (the 2 you skipped)

Round 2:   ch 3, 1 dc into first stitch, 2 dc each into next 2 stitches, 1 dc into each of the next 5, 2 dc each into the next 6, 1 dc each into the next 5, 2 dc each into the last 3 stitches. sl st into chain 3.

Round 3:   ch 2, 1 hdc in each stitch back-loop only (34-including ch 2)

Round 4:   ch 2, 1 hdc each into next 8 stitches, 8 hdctog, 1 hdc each next 9 stitches, sl st into chain 2

Round 5:   ch 2, 8 hdc each into next 8 stitches, 4 dctog, 1 hdc each next 9 stitches, sl st into chain 2

Round 6:   ch 1, 1 sc into each stitch all the way around. sl st into 1st sc (22)

Round 7:   ch 1, 1 hdc into each stitch all the way around.  sl st into 1st hdc (22)

Round 8:   ch 1, 1 dc into each stitch all the way around. sl st into 1st hdc (22)

 --- Repeat rounds 7 & 8 until desired cuff height--- 


There is more to come!!!   Merry Christmas

PS : I'll try to improve my photography effort

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Homemade Eggnog

My husband loves eggs and custards,

I don't do custards,
...don't even like the word,
Custard , doesn't sound edible to me!

Anyways, he also loves eggnog, which I can stand a little of! I still remember the first time I ever tried it, I was in a mall with my mom and grandma where one of the vendors was handing out samples. Grandma insisted that I try it.  Funny thing is I don't remember what my original reaction to it was!     

This year I thought I would try making some after he finished off the 2 - 1/2 gallons I had bought.


There were soooo many different versions, using all different ingredients...in addition to the main milk, eggs, vanilla! 


Here is one that I found and slightly adapted...
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Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe

3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teas vanilla
nutmeg

1. Whisk together milk, cream, sugar, and eggs in medium-sized nonreactive saucepan.

2. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
(be sure not to cook too hot **see below**, and when whisking be sure to keep from sticking to bottom)

3. Mix in nutmeg to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (If it gets too thick with refrigeration, thin with milk)
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This is a super simple recipe for excellent homemade eggnog.  I do have a suggestion that might keep you from thinking you failed and dumping it all out...

Control your gag reflex before you read on...

After we refrigerated it and decided it was time to give it a try, there was some, well...
There were small chunks in it...

Totally gross I know.  

Although I did not let it boil, I assumed I did probably over cook it or get it too hot and caused the eggs to begin to set.  

So instead of dumping it down the drain, I just poured it through some cheese cloth, and...






What!? Did you think you would see a festive, perfectly garnished class of nog!? Sorry!!! It didn't last that long!!!

Hope you enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fun & Eternal; What to pack in your shoe-box and why



As I mentioned before, November was crazy and exciting.

Sometimes I look at our calendar and think, "we over did it," "we should have said no," or "when will things slow down?"

But when I am passionate about something, I want to be involved in it.

Last year while packing our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, I was so surprised to discover how many people from our church and community didn't know anything about this amazing ministry.  So the last week before collection week we scrambled to tell people about it and were so greatful that our little church packed over 40 boxes!

Over the last year Brett and I felt God calling us deeper into the ministry, so we signed up as year-round volunteers and became a new relay center, or drop-off location!  We had no idea what this year would be like since there are still so many people in our little community that aren't aware of the difference Samaritan's Purse is making around the world, but mostly that THEY (YOU) can be apart of it!

This November I am thrilled to say that our church more than doubled the number of boxes they packed and we had 250 boxes dropped off, mostly from first time packers.  Now I know that if we are comparing, this doesn't sound like a lot, but y'all, we were ecstatic and can't wait to see what God does next year!!!

And take a look at some of the help I had...

Also we will be attending the processing center in Dallas again this year, it was a huge blessing last year and I cannot wait!!!

Soooo, maybe you aren't familiar with the difference you can make with just a shoe box!!!

Here are some ideas to put in your shoe-box, but I am also going to tell you Why they are important, you might notice this list is a little different than a typical kids "wish list!"


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School Supplies: notebooks, pens, pencils (don't forget sharpener & erasers), crayons, calculators, safety scissors (yes you can send them), glue sticks (NOT bottled liquid)

For many kids, having school supplies is a requirement to go to school.  If the family does not have money to purchase school supplies, often that means the kids are not allowed to go to school.  Receiving school supplies gives a lot of children the opportunity to attend school that they might not otherwise have!



Hygiene Items: washcloth, bar soap (no liquid), toothbrush, toothpaste, combs/hairbrush, plastic mirror*, chapstick

Many of the shoe-box recipients live in orphanages, where EVERYTHING is shared.  Simply having their own washcloth can mean everything to a child!  Most people in poverty still appreciate cleanliness, they likely just lack the necessary tools. 

*Don't send breakable glass. Although we see a mirror in multiple rooms of every building, a lot of other countries do not have mirrors so prevalent; and having a camera or getting your picture taken cost money.  It is not unlikely that someone in poverty has never seen themselves or know what they look like! 

Trade Tools: (10-14 age) hammer, nails, (no knives) duct tape, compass, flashlight, sewing kit, fat-quarters, crochet hooks/knitting needles, yarn

In many circumstances, some of the financial responsibility falls to the children of the family.  Giving them the tools to learn safe, ethical trades, will help prevent them from falling into slavery traps, & set them up to earn a living for a lifetime!

Clothing: hats/gloves, shoes**, socks, simple outfit 

Something we so easily take for granted! For impoverished children, the clothes they do have are usually already worn out and have been thrown out by someone else.  They won't have many and what they do have will be hand-washed, which wears them out much faster.  Having shoes can prevent foot injuries that would likely become infected.

**a pair of tennis shoes or boots would obviously take up an entire shoe-box, think of other options such as flip-flops, crocs, water-shoes, canvas slip-ons etc.

Other: water bottle, lifestraw 

Clean water is hard to come by in many areas around the world, having a water bottle can allow the child to take more than a single drink, hydration is very important to health! 

Fun stuff: small knick-nack toys, hard candy (no chocolate), hair accessories, coloring book

Every kid needs to feel like a kid!!!



WOW item: stuffed animal, soccer ball, ball cap, doll, musical instrument, 

Any larger item that will immediately catch the child's attention when the box is opened!



Personal Notes: pictures of yourself, letters, about me coloring page, name and address

A personal note to a child is the heart of the box, tell them they are loved, show them someone on the other side of the world is thinking of them! In some cases the children may be able to write back.


DO NOT Send: liquid, weapons, war related items, nail polish, glass or breakable items, high value jewelry or other items, used items, food, medicine, aerosol cans.

Liquid or breakable items, as well as melted candy can damage other gifts in the box and other shoe-boxes, high value items can put the child in danger.

Pray

Pray while you are making selections for your box, somewhere, the child that will receive your shoe-box, is praying for a specific item.  Pray over your box and the child that will receive it.

I hope this has been helpful, it sure has got me excited all over again! If you like to plan ahead, Samaritan's Purse has a calendar for purchasing items year round!!!

Click Here for more ideas!!!
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Here are a few pictures from our family packing party...




Can you tell what the guys have been doing!?












Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Late December kickoff...

 It's that time of year...things are CRAZY busy!!!
Update: They are getting so big...


Here are a few of them during the last "photo shoot," Precious!!! 

In addition to a couple extra fur babies to take care of, November was consumed with Operation Christmas Child!  Brett and I were first time coordinators for a new drop-off relay center...I will fill you in in the details in a separate post! 

It's so hard to believe Christmas is just a few weeks away! If anyone knows me very well, you know my heart is made of ribbon, & fabric, & glue, & paint, and it's just basically Hobby Lobby all bottled up! I'm so full of ideas and projects, yet my schedule says "ain't got time for that!"  I LOVE giving gifts that I have created, I feel like there is a little piece of me in it! (If you have ever used a hot glue gun you know there probably, literally is!)

 Sooooo, I'm going to try and give you a little bit of #DiyDecember15 , the impending season honoring the greatest Gift of all has got me itching to gift my little heart out! The sink is full of dirty dishes but I'm on the couch with a hook in my hand and yarn in my lap! The clutter needs controlled, but my kitchen table is a sewing & cricut table.  So stick around and let me show you what I'll be tieing bows around in a few weeks (besides the balls of cuteness above)!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Holes made Whole: 2 become 3, or 4





If you would have asked us in May what November and December looked like for us we would have spoke briefly of turkey and Christmas parties, followed by an anxious, exciting, nervous conversation about "nesting" and preparing our lives for our family to become 3 around the 17th of December!

But just a month later it would have been a totally different conversation.

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Before we ever got married Brett and I talked of adopting and other ways to "care for the orphans."  Brett brought up fostering a couple times but selfishly my heart said no! I didn't think I could handle caring for a child that could at anytime be stripped away from us.  Loving a child as your own for a week or up to year and at any unexpected moment they be removed from our lives.  I wasn't prepared to test my heart in that way.

After we got married and understood the possibility of infertility, my heart was content with that, broken, but content. I knew adopting was an option. 

During a conversation with a particular friend about her health and ability to safely carry a baby, I had even made statements like, "as heart breaking as infertility is, I can't imagine how much more challenging it would be to get pregnant and loose the baby."

So months later when I found myself in the midst of that exact trial, I questioned God, "why would He take a heart content with absence, and tear it with loss?"

Eventually, He would answer that question for me...

My heart was also selfishly content with disobeying a very important commandment... to care for orphans

I was only willing to do this on my own terms, within my own comfort-zone.

My number one reason for not wanting to foster was because those children could be taken from me at anytime.  Through miscarriage, God showed me that even "my own" children, are not my own, and can still be taken from us at anytime.  Children are a blessing, despite how they come to us, and every child deserves a loving home that points them in the direction of our perfect Heavenly Father.  We can not let fear, or loss of control keep us from God's will for our lives.  It was not God's plan for us to miscarry, He did not cause the death of our child.  But, He did allow it, and He used it to bring us to a place of huge blessing!!!

So in May, when we told you how anxious, nervous, and excited we would be with preparation, we were right, it just looks a little different than we thought...

The process has begun for Brett and I to be foster parents! The first couple rounds of paper work & our first walk-through have been done! Our Christmas list has been made, and we are preparing to love on kids who may not know what that looks like, and hopefully point them in the direction of the One perfect Love we all need a little bit more of!!!

So pray for us as we prepare our hearts and home! 








Saturday, November 7, 2015

Puppies! ...& other living creatures...

Look what happened this week...
How precious is this...

Despite being a very active dog (that's her, the blurrrr) Aggie is a wonderful momma!

These are always some of my favorite moments on the farm!  Getting a chance to witness new life, no matter the species, is always a blessing and an opportunity to soak in the goodness of A wonderful Creator.  

The three "steeds" of the hillside looked so pretty in front of the setting sun, I couldn't pass up the candid moment, unfortunately this pic doesn't accurately capture it!



Keep an eye out for more pics of these precious babies, I'm sure they will steal the spotlight often!!!


God created ...every living creature that moveth, ...and God saw that it was good! Genesis 1:21

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Waiting on the holes to be filled...

Lately I have struggled with something.  I haven't been able to give it words, so I'm not really sure how this is going to go.

I have been through most (if not all) of the emotions one would expect after a miscarriage.  But ultimately I knew I didn't want to be the girl who no one can say "baby" around.
Or invite to baby showers.  
Or talk about pregnancy.

I had to choose between joy of all the new life I am surrounded by, or letting the circumstances steal the delight in celebration with my friends and family.

I absolutely still have days of sadness.
Days of questioning.
Times of heart ache.
I still have moments of weakness when I see others experiencing things that have been taken from us.

One would expect pain with the reminders that we will not be bringing home baby in just a few short months.  But I have been caught off guard by how often I have to remind myself that wont take place.

I still catch myself shopping racks of baby clothes, reading cloth diaper how-to's,  making plans that are no longer necessary... I am a mom with-out a child.  Worse than being reminded by the world that we lost a child, Is having to remind myself that I lost a child.

We as women have been designed this way, it is woven into are existence.  I have witnessed this my whole life growing up on a farm.  So many times I have watched an animal loose their offspring and immediately start to "mother" something else.  A couple years ago a doe lost her fawn during hay season.  She started to think that a small dog was her baby and she hung around for months, often times even acting as if she thought she was just one of the dogs.
As I was navigating these feelings I have been dealing with, I began to consider something that is happening in our yard right now.  We have a guinea hen who had disappeared for awhile and we knew she had probably nested down somewhere she had been laying eggs.  Since she is the only one we have we knew that the eggs would never hatch.  She soon reappeared, we don't know if she just sat until she knew her time was up, or if something disrupted the nest, but either way she had been preparing for a flock of littles, and yet, she had none.

A couple weeks later we got some newly hatched chickens and guineas.  Our guinea hen would circle there pen and talk to them all day.  She would protect them from anything that came close to their pen.  When we began letting them free range she keeps them close.  

Her desire and design to be a mother is at work.

I am sorry to drag on with this critter talk, but I have no words of my own to describe this feeling of "loss" or "emptiness," and these examples put life to these feelings.  Something I took away from the flock in the yard...
They needed a mother as much as she wanted to be one.

Unfortunately, our own "species" if you must, is not without orphans.  
Children who need love and care.

It is said that every hole we have within us is God shaped, and only He can complete us.  
He does not leave the orphans fatherless (or motherless), and His plan is perfect.
Empty "holes" will always be "whole" with God's perfect plan...in His Perfect Timing


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October is Pregnancy & Infant loss month and through this vulnerability I hope to bring awareness to the struggles of loss... and the Hope of fulfillment through God's perfect plan.  I don't know His plan for us yet, but I do hope that through following along, you will also find hope.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Remember, Revive, & Rejoice


This past week we have met every night to gather in one name to lift up our voices in prayer to the One we know can bring us revival.

two or more... and Him.

Each night many voices from one body would petition requests to our God.

So many hearts in one room, sharing testimonies of one thing...Suffering...


hearts hurting for loved ones so dear
young ones gone too soon
suffering of exhaustion, hearts worn thin
souls in need of outpouring
suffering of loss

Our souls long for revival, but what for? To take away all our suffering?
Or to remind us of it?

Jesus constantly left us the commandment to "Remember"

We are not meant to heap happiness over our pain until others can no longer see, it is still a fire burning so deep inside.

Rather, what if we remembered or sufferings as a reminder of the Hope we have in Jesus's name!

 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18

This past year for us has been a special kind of trial, but it would be a shame for us to not see the Glory that was revealed through every painful step.  This verse became a lifeline for me, in it a powerful reminder that as hard as the here and now seems to be, the peace of God is an unfathomable comparison.

So what is revival? A time to remember the Glory that has come and is to come from the sufferings.

"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:19-25

Let your heart cry out to God, remembering all He has brought you through, most of all, setting your mind on the Glory to come.

I am so thankful for the blessing of community. So thankful for a time of Revival.  A time to remember and celebrate the Glory that is our eternity.


Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Psalm 85:6





Thursday, October 22, 2015

A weekend of messed up plans

So, it's been awhile...

My fault, I know! 
I have been exhaustingly busy.
However, this last weekend I had a chance to get away for a conference I do my best to attend annually.  And oh boy, it was just what I needed!!! Every person I crossed paths with shared something  that seemed to pertain directly to me, and while I can't give you details (it would give something away that is saved for a later date) lets just say it was clearly a divine appointment!!! 

The eWomen conference comes at the best time every year and is ALWAYS a blessing!  This year I got to share it with these three amazing women...

I was super excited to see/hear Angie Smith.  Her story and testimony have been a source of hope for me during some trials we faced earlier in the year. Every year we volunteer at the conference and I had even signed up to work at Angie's product table.  So I was a little bummed to find out that she was unable to make the conference.  But God always has something in store for us doesn't He...

Angie's stand in for the weekend was Lisa Harper, and she and her daughter were such a blessing...He knew just what I needed!!! Lisa's testimony of adoption and some of the amazing stories of Grace she has witnessed captivated my heart! I also picked up this book...


I thought it sounded perfect for this season of life! Hopefully I can find time to dive into it!!! 

Although I still look forward to one day hearing Angie Smith speak, Lisa's story was exactly what I needed!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Another year older (not me)...

With the end of September also came a special day...

This guy...


...got older!!!

Happy Birthday Brett!!! 

I'm glad God saw it fit for us to do life together and look forward to what crazy will come our way next!




"I can't let the day end without saying Happy Fathers Day to this man right here...some may dare to say He is not a dad, but he has made a life long impact on so many kids! He loves every kid he knows as if they are his own.  Maybe one day he will change diapers, play catch in the yard, braid pigtails, and be called "daddy"; but until then we have the faith in knowing ours is in the arms of the greatest Father, and will only know a Perfect love!"



I posted this picture/post back on father's day.  He is so sweetly reading a good night story to a friend's little girl who we love so much!  


Love you Brett


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to save the most on everyday shopping!




Save even MORE for everyday purchases!!!


I used to be coupon superwoman!!! I lost my way for awhile and every time I bought certain items I would be sick because I just knew there where coupons available I wasn't using.  Money I was letting slip through my fingers.  

Recently I have been more conscious of my spending/saving and have been taking advantage of coupons.

BUT, this isn't about coupons, it's about all the other ways you could be saving and earning money that you are letting slip by, more than likely because you didn't know about them, but that is changing today...

Here are resources that you can use as stand alone, or in addition to clipped or digital coupons for even more savings!!!

#8 - Survey Mini
 Survey Mini is gives you occasional surveys that you can participate in and at the end of the survey you get coupons to local retailers, free items, or points.  Points can be redeemed for gift cards, with hundreds of retailers to choose from!  Surveys are quick, easy and don't require any purchases.  The ap uses your location and provides surveys for recent stores and restaurants you have visited!!!                                                                                       
Click Here for information and download!





#7 - Shrink
 Shrink will not be useful to everybody.  It only offers deals and rebates for specific brands.  The brands are mostly specialty brands for health foods.  In my area where we only have retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, and local grocers, most these brands are not available to purchase anyways.  But if they are brands you use there are several deals and rebates available!

Click Here for download

referral code: BTWQKG



#6 - Snap
 These next few are all pretty similar aps.  Look through the available rebates and select ones that match items you normally purchase or plan to purchase. Even if you are purchasing an item with a coupon you can redeem an available rebate.  Then "snap" a picture(s) of your receipt.  Once you reach $20, request a check be mailed to you! How easy does that sound!!! Earn money back on items you are already buying!!!

Click Here to get signed up and start earning TODAY!




#5 - Checkout 51
 Checkout 51 is pretty much the same thing as Snap.  Double the money and use both!!!



Click Here for more info and download!!!







#4 - Mobisave
 Mobisave is similar to use as Checkout 51 and Snap.  Make sure you put your rebates in your cart BEFORE you checkout!!! Then scan your receipt.  With Mobisave it will transfer your rebates straight to your paypal, there is no waiting til you reach a minimun limit!








#3 - Shopkick


 With Shopkick, you earn points just for shopping,you dont have to buy anything, you just have to shop, you get points for walking in and more if you scan a few items around the store!  Points ad up quick adn can be redeemed for gift cards.

Click Here to start earning now.







#2 - Find&Save
 If you are familiar with Ebates for online shopping (Sign up here for a free $10 gift card of your choice) this is very similar but for in-store shopping.  Just scan you receipts for cash back, either a specific amount or percentage.  The ap also provides weekly ads for local stores.                                                                                                                                                                                                        Click Here to start earning!




#1 - ibotta 
 This is my favorite!  Most of the rebates available on ibotta are also coupons that are available to clip or print, so you can double up the savings!!!  You just have to unlock the rebates and then scan the item and scan your receipt!  The earnings dont start there! The more people you are connected with you earn extra rewards.  Some of these are several dollars and ad up quick!!!  Dont pass this one up!!!

Get started NOW, Click Here






Also checkout these other money saving Aps!!!

  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Importance of Each Other - Guest Post

Today I am so happy to introduce you (again) to one of my good great friends Katie from Walking in Unity.  Katie's love and passion and desire to know more about the Word of God brings me so much joy!  When she asked what I wanted her to write about it didn't take me long!  This last year I have become so aware of the importance of community and fellowship in our lives.  Having a community of  God loving women has been the wind beneath my wings (cheezy but true) that brings me back up closer to our Father!  And who better to encourage you in this than one of those women in my life...




Are we assembling? Are we uniting?


              You are my “one another”

                         

  You sister, daughter of the one true King…

                                  You!


Hebrews 10: 23-25
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
 
  As we hold fast & faithful to His promises, we are to hold “one another” up in love and encouragement
WE are to Assemble together
 
  Rather it be at church, in a living room bible study or in the deepest underground church- we are to assemble

Why is this important you may ask?
1st Because our Father said so!
2nd together we share our faith and our prayers together, that we strengthen “one another”- and tell me who can’t use some strengthening in this world today?

He tells us in....

Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

How can we do this sisters?
     if we are not assembled together
                if we are not united
                        if we are not there for “one another”

Ephesians 4:11-13
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

     That “body of Christ” mention in vs. 12 is the church.
      It is us- “one anther” united to do His works through Love and Fellowship with “one another”

How do you sisters assemble together with “one another”?
Do you encourage one another?
Do you pray with one another?
Do you study His word with one another?
Do you rejoice with one another?
Do you weep with one another?

Remember…………

                Matthew 18:20 says….

                            “For where two or three are gathered together in My name,
                                       I am there in the midst of them.”



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Thank you so much for joining me again for the Blog-tember link up!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Who is She (online me)!?

Wednesday, Sept. 16: The real you vs. the online you. Are they the same or different?


To answer this question I had to start thinking about the "online me," who she is, what she does, where she is at...


Instagram (@kyleecm) is because  I LOVE a good picture, I don't like being in them, but I appreciate beautiful photography.  Through Instagram I follow several ministries around the world; and what better way to see what God is doing than to SEE His work!  My presence on Instagram is not planned out, I don't stage beautiful photos, I don't "post 1 and only 1 a day"  or follow any specific "gram-ing" rules, but if a moment that says "capture this" flies by, it likely ends up in my photo stream!  So what does all that mean?... what you see is all real. However, I don't think anyone would "know all about me" if all they had was my spot on my list of followers; I like it that way.  It leaves room for the intimate everyday relationships.  And lets face it, some of life's moments need not to be "captured!"

This blog (RecklesslyChosen) only exists because I desired a way to document what God is doing in my life and the seasons He has carried me through.  Pen to paper still happens sometimes, but this crazy life includes so many testimonies that I think others could find hope in!  I personally have found so much encouragement in reading post after post of how God has been faithful in lives around the world.  So I hope that as I share the stories of a living Jesus in my life, you know that they are Real, and Raw, but also there may be some details spared for the special relationships that exist in everyday life.


Bottom line,  I value the people close to me, and those relationships help make me who I am.  If there were not moments and experiences exclusive to those relationships, they simply wouldn't exist in their true form.


 "She" is me!  The same me! -maybe less than the whole "me", but still me!

"She" (the online me) exists in most forms to bring glory to Him (Jesus)

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This is another post in the Blog-tember link up.  I hope you have been enjoying getting to know a little bit more about me!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

back-2-school Around the World




So, my favorite part about back-2-school was the shopping of course. But, it wasn't about the clothes, it was about the SCHOOL SUPPLIES!!!  To this day, 10 years post any back-2-school excitement for me, I still get excited when I see the school supplies piling up in the stores! 

I think there are mixed emotions when the Back-2-school season rolls around.  At least it is for students who for them, the school year is just part of life for 13 years.  But there are kids around the world who don't know what "bakc-2-school" is all about.  Because for them, school isn't an option.  School is either too expensive, too far away, not available at all, or frankly, may just not be as important as working a job to help provide for their family!

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Worldwide, nearly 80 percent of primary-school-age children attend school. In least developed countries, this figure is around 66 percent.

The largest out-of-school population is in sub-Saharan Africa, where around 45.5 million children of primary school age are out of school.

Of the 67 million primary-school-age children who do not attend school, 53 percent are girls.

Worldwide, only 49 percent of children of secondary school age actually attend secondary school.

Of the 49 percent of secondary age students who do not attend school, 52 percent are girls.

The world’s functional illiterates include more than 130 million children who do not attend school, 73 million of them girls.



These are some heartbreaking statistics.  Something that we take for granted so often.  Around the world kids are dreaming of an education. 

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Here is a chance for us to help!

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First and Foremost...PRAY!

Do you sponsor a child!? Your sponsorship helps provide an education to your child, and you get to write back and forth about what they are doing in school!  We love hearing about Brenda & Alvaro's experiences in school!

Provide textbooks and learning materials to kids through Compassion's learning centers.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Blog-Tember Catch Up

Friday, Sept. 11: It's a Friday night and you decide to stay in. What do you do?

A night in? Any night of the week for that matter, has been virtually unheard of in a couple months!  If I'm not working, we are gone on a youth trip, or at a meeting, or fundraiser, or conference, or concert, or visiting with friends.  Honestly, I think if you gave me any night at home with nothing to do, would fall asleep sacked out on the couch!  
But honestly, lets say we had a planned "night in" we would probably rent a movie and that's it! We're exciting people I know!
Saturday, Sept. 12: What are you up to currently? 

Reading... Not enough!
Playing... catch up, 4 posts in one! 
Watching... Finishing up America's Got Talent, We don't really get to watch until we go to bed, so I only catch the beginning of each episode!
Trying... To make SOME kind of routine despite a non-routine job!
Cooking... Anything quick
Eating... Whatever is available 
Drinking...water. Always water.
Calling... Mom: baby shower plans.
Texting... Jessica & Katie...it's just what we do!
Pinning... Baby gifts and baby shower ideas
Tweeting... Nothing
Going... 1000 directions 
Loving... Fall weather
Hating... Allergies
Discovering... I'm a very busy person
Thinking... I need some "me" time
Feeling... Exhausted 
Hoping... Things will slow down soon
Listening... Can't get enough Crowder these days
Celebrating... Babies. LOTS of babies
Smelling... Nothing...(see "hating"...)
Thanking... God for great friends
Considering... Best way to plan ahead meals!?!?
Starting... Getting the word out about packing shoeboxes! 
Finishing...all the summer festivities.

Basically, I have been super busy! I would like to think things might start to slow down, but we shall see! 

Sunday, Sept. 13: Create a collage or inspiration/mood board for this season in your life.



Monday, Sept. 14: The 5 books that have impacted your life the most.


First and foremost, nothing has impacted my life more than the message of God's Word! The hope laced through the words of the bible saved my life.  Had it not been for the message of Jesus, these other books wouldn't have meant what they did to me! 

The message and testimonies from Kathy and Dee were just what I needed to hear as a young Christian and truly guided my heart as I set out in pursuit of Jesus!

I can't imagine this book NOT being on someone's list! Francine River is truly a phenomenal writer and makes me crave the word of God! No other fictional work has ever come close to bringing Gods grace to life the way Rivers does. And this book was only the beginning to falling in love with EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. that she has written! See also Mark of the Lion Series


4. Kisses from Katie:
Wow! If your looking for a testimony that will make you jump into action, this is what you need. Katie's love for the Lord and dedication the the Kingdom will leave you wanting and doing more!!!

5. The Power of a Praying Wife:
The first time I read this book was actually when Brett and I were just dating!  The message behind the book is really quite simple but this has become a go to book for me.  It remains on my night stand and is just the encouragement and guidance I need sometimes to seek God's face on Brett's behalf! 

Well, I hope I didn't overwhelm you, but I didn't want to miss out on anything from Blog-tember!!!  Weekends leave no time for a computer stare-down!!! 

Glad you made it!