Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fall Pie Crust Cutouts

This week I am posting a family tradition that I have been enjoying since I was a kid...

Every Thanksgiving we would all travel to Minnesota to see family friends and enjoy the season together. Our friend Carla is a great pie baker, and I will never forget walking through her door, and the wonderful aromas that would welcome us as we stepped in. Roasting turkey, amazing sides, and 3 pie options to choose from every time. We have lots of funny memories from those years, like the time Carla's youngest son scorched his eyebrows from trying to light the fireplace. One thing I looked forward to, and something my Mom and I often made at home on our own, was pie crust pin wheels.

We would roll up the rest of the pie crust that wasn't used and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar all over them. Mmm...they are so yummy served fresh out of the oven. 

This year, I decided to make some using my favorite gluten free crust, as I have had to eat gluten free since those few ;-) years ago. Instead of rolling them out, I used fall themed cookie cutters. It sounds easy enough, but since I used a gluten free crust (which is harder to use) I decided to share how I did it...

Here is my FAVORITE gluten free prepard pie crust. I have not found it at many stores around here, so I am going to have to start ordering it online. It is the only prepared gf crust I have ever seen in the freezer section.

The crust gets sticky when it is room temp (like most gf crust), so I rolled it between two pieces of parchment paper, and then cut it out. I got these shapes at Hobby Lobby earlier this season.

I then had to take the parchment full of cutouts, and flip it upside down on the cookie sheet, and gently peel the paper away. It was too sticky to do it any other way.

I sprinkled cinnamon, and sugar on top, and put them in a 350 degree oven for 10 mins.

And, here is the finished product. They make the whole house smell like fall, while they are baking, and they taste just like I remember when I was a kid. They are a fun, and easy way to celebrate the season! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate the changing seasons?

This week I am linking up with Life of Faith #MommyMoments ,andHolley Gerth #CoffeeForYourHeart

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Seeing Life Through Childlike Eyes

My husband and I took our son to his first zoo experience last week. We went to a local small, zoo, and he loved it. We were not too impressed, but our son's eyes lit up with every animal he saw.

It made us laugh to watch him make animal sounds, and run around all excited over monkeys and zebras. It made me remember my childhood. It made us both appreciate the experiences we had growing up. But most of all it reminded me of the childlike heart that Jesus adores so much. He adores it so much, that He wants us as adults to still come to Him with that heart in us.

It all made me think about what that means to have a childlike heart...not childish, but childlike. A child's eyes, and a child's mind takes in every experience they have like a sponge. Everything is new. Everything is full of wonder. But as we get older, things are not new anymore. Life becomes the same...routine. And yet, our Heavenly Father asks that we don't lose the heart of a child.

I think sometimes I forget what being a child is like. I get overwhelmed in being a Mom, and  a housewife, and it all feels like pressure sometimes because I am always needed, and don't have enough time in a day to do it all. 

But there is something in the heart of the Father that doesn't grow old. He doesn't get tired as we do. His mercies are NEW every morning. And, in His grace He must want to share that heart of His with us, or these words would not be in His Book...

I wonder how my days would change if I woke up in the morning asking the Father for childlike eyes instead of my adult (sometimes "childish" eyes). It gives me joy that Jesus wants us to still experience the newness of life throughout the changing seasons. Maybe it's because it's a little bit of Heaven that He offers us while we are still on this earth.

Today I am linking up with:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Oh how He loves creating Life!

A new addition to the family was added over the weekend. My brother and sis-in-law had a baby! As I am excited for this new nephew, I can't help but think of how the Lord loves to create life. God loves life, and he loves us...His creation.

A few years ago, I had a miscarriage before I got pregnant with my son. When I think back to that time and the awful bit of grieving I went through, my heart aches, but then I think of the miracle that came from it all. God has His hand on everything. He is so soveriegn. Not only do I have a beautiful child waiting for me in eternity someday, but exactly 9 months after I lost that baby, my son was concieved. I am in awe. At the very time my lost child would have been born, God was creating my son. It wasn't until after my son was born that I put the timeline of that all together!  Everything happens for a reason. Everything has been set in place by a loving, merciful God.  

I am also in awe of the way in which God creates life. I remember right after my miscarriage, the doctor telling me that because it was such an early loss, "the baby would have been nothing more than a blob anyway." Not only was that very careless on her part to say, this goes against everything I believe. Psalm 139 completely disagrees with this, and in fact says the complete opposite. My Mom was with me the day the doctor told me that, and she and I decided to look deeper into the matter. What we found astounded us. 

Did you know, that before an embryo even begins to take shape  that little "blob" is a tiny ball of cells, with DNA hardwired into it already? Our skin color, eye color, sex, and personality are already predetermined at conception. All we are to become is right there in that so-called "blob." Life begins instantly. Our God, and creator does not take life lightly! 
No matter who you are, or what you have been through, you are so vitally important to God, that before you even existed, He knew you. The Psalms declare it, therefore God Himself declares it! Be blessed today my friends. 

I know not everyone believes as I do, and that's okay. I am glad however, that I have this faith. I am glad that more than just this faith, I truly believe this with all my heart. There is hope in God, and the life He creates. I pray that you too, whoever you are, discover that same hope. I imagine you today reader, having a cup of coffee, or tea, or sitting at your desk at work, and I pray that you are blessed and overwhelmed with life, and Heavenly surprises today. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We carry His heart

Have you ever had a moment where the Lord just comes over you with joy and love when you least expect it? It takes you off guard, and you know it was an appointed time by Him alone...This happened to me yesterday and my mind is still in awe, and my heart is still pondering.

I wanted to take my son for a morning treat. Our morning had gone a little "wonky" as I like to say. My son had managed to pull off his poopy diaper and spread it around his room while I was getting myself ready for the day. I was less than thrilled when I came into his room and saw this. At the same time my dog had pooped overnight in her crate, and so I spent the start to my day cleaning up poop. To top it off, we had friends from out of town coming in later, and I hoped that I got all the stink out before they came, but my nose was still plugged up from a cold, and I could not smell a thing! After all of this I ran out of the house, buckled my son into his carseat, and headed to the nearest Starbucks first, and then to Mcdonalds. I was tired. I was slightly crabby. I was stressed about getting my house in order before our guests arrived, but God still broke into my chaotic emotions to bless my heart with His heart.

As I drove up to Mcdonalds with my flat white coffee from Starbucks, I was feeling a bit more at ease. The caffiene, was beginning to kick in, and the warmth of the coffee was like the warm hug I so needed right then. I pulled up to find that this particular Mcdonald's was under construction, and they had their workers outside taking payments, and handing out orders, as the windows were blocked by ladders and huge equipment. I made my payment, and then headed up to recieve my order, and within the 1 minute it took for me to recieve it, the Lord flooded my mind with these thoughts for that person giving me my food. "I made this person!" As I heard the Lord say this, I felt His pride and I just smiled and couldn't stop smiling. I then felt graditude for this random person's life, though I had never met them before. Everything inside me wanted to say something of God's love for them, but the words wouldn't come. As I was handed my food I was still smiling, and prayed a blessing over that person as I drove off. My eyes filled with tears as I felt the compassion of Jesus for that one soul I knew nothing about...but Jesus knew very well.

I still don't know why I did not get to say anything in words. Sometimes that's the way it goes. Sometimes the Holy Spirit wants to be the only One speaking. Either way, I was honored that God would let me feel that as a reminder that I am always His hands and His feet. As a housewife, as a stay-at-home Mom it is so easy to feel isolated, and insignificant to the rest of the world. Am I right Mom's and housewives? It's easy to forget that God values us so incredibly much! Everytime we leave the house, whether to take a walk, and see a neighbor, or go to a grocery store, or wherever we go, we carry the heart of Jesus with us. God is not held back by our limitations, or what we think our limitations are. He is always speaking, always moving, in spite of us.

I want to be the person that is aware of that daily. I want to be the person that is open to the Holy Spirit at all times, so that I am always ready to share Him in whatever way He wants...even if it is just to say a private prayer for a random person. When we are open to Jesus, I believe He takes the little we offer, and turns it into gold in the Heavenly realms.

Remember how valuable you are today to the Father. He sees you. He knows you. He sees you as worthy to bear His Name.
Today I am linking up with Life of Faith #MommyMoments and #TeaAndWordTuesday

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Fall Home Decor

As promised I am putting up pictures of the fall decor I have set out around my home. I am definitely not a pinterest worthy decorator, so don't expect extravagance! Heehee. I am just an honest decorator at heart that makes do with what I already have, and with the few fun items I have collected. I grew up with my Mom making a big deal about the changing seasons, and decorating for them. She made it fun for us kids, and I hope to be doing that for my son as well. I really enjoy watching youtube, or seeing other blogs, and seeing what others have done to decorate their places. I hope you enjoy mine! Have a good week and be blessed. Welcome to my Fall home!

Our living room: The picture quality is not the best, and I apologize for that. I find my living room to be very relaxing with the large picture windows on both sides of the house. This one is looking out to our backyard. I just added a small fall pillow that I found at a local CVS.

Here is where I hung the cute sign I bought at Dollar Tree back in August. On the shelves I have some pumpkins I had from years ago, and a cute light up acorn from Big Lots last year. I also found a cute apple sign from an apple orchard we went to a couple weeks ago. I really am loving the window pane that I found on Amazon this year. Please excuse the few holes in the wall left from the previous owners. We still have not decided how we want to paint this new house of ours ;)!

This little desk sitting in our dining room came from my Grandma years ago, and I try to decorate it according to the seasons to remember her by. She wrote many letters to her loved ones at that desk. The adorable towel I have draped over the basket is a gift, and then I had to put some pumpkins inside because, well, pumpkins are the best :)!

 This is more of the dining room, and no we are not keeping this wall color. Ha! Eventually we plan to paint this whole room as well, but for now, I am just having fun with it! My favorite part of the dining room is the mirror with the cute wreath draped over it. I found both at Big Lots, and I am in love.
 Here is a glimpse of the kitchen. I know it might be a bit much, but I love leaves, and so I had to adorn the other love of my life (this coffee and tea bar), with them. I saw someone else put out cute drinking straws at their kitchen coffee bar. I am now on the hunt for some myself :)!
 This is the other side of our bright and sunny living room. I had to show it, because I am proud of this chair! I found it at an estate sale over the summer for $10 people!! It was a steal. I cleaned it up and put this slip cover from WalMart over it. This is where I spend lots of my devo time, and blog writing moments! I am so thankful for the way God blesses His people! He is so present in even the smallest details of our lives!
 Another corner of my kitchen counter. I love candy corn, and it is always on my counter as soon as Fall shows up! The adorable candle holder is from my Mom, and the cute fall plaque that says "bless our family" is from Hobby Lobby.
 This is in our kitchen as well. I found this desk at a garage sale over the summer for $20, and I enjoy it as extra work space, and of course extra decor space ;)! The adorable pumpkin wall art is a gift from my brother and sis-in-law, and the candle holder pumkin also had belonged to them years ago. I freaking love chalkboards! I would put them all over my house if I could find a place! This one is usually used for my weekly menu, but not this time! Ha.
 I found this beautiful little shelf at Goodwill for $2.50. I don't shop there often, but when I remember too, I usually find something cute like this. Goodwill has lots of hidden gems worth hunting for!
 Lastly, this is my mantle. I found the cute owl, and pumpkins at the Dollar Tree, as well as the floral pieces, and the sign behind the candle. My son enjoys playing with the pumpkins. I hide them, and he goes around finding them and putting them in a little basket.
Like I said, nothing extravagant...just simple easy touches here and there. Most of my decor is put up high out of reach these days, and I am finding that shelves are a must! I think it only fair to add one more picture to the mix, since I am a Mommy, and I gotta be honest. Messes are a part of everyday. Here is what my house really looks like in every room of the house ;D...
 And of course, here is the reality of my adorable chair. My adorable son and dog love jumping on it very much as you can see ;) ;)! Mommy-hood is about enjoying life! I am embracing the messes, because the laughter usually is a part of the mess. I mean really, this last picture melts my heart. This is a true typical day for me, and I am thankful for every moment of it! Be blessed and happy Fall ya'll!!!
This week I am linking up with #IntentionalTuesdayLinkup

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

He is Still Good

I have had to take a bit of a break for the last week and a half from blogging. My heart is still here in it, but life happens sometimes. My husband threw his back out at work a week ago, and I had to step up and take care of him for a coulpe of days. Then, it was my turn. I have been dealing with some health issues for the last couple of weeks, and now we are just waiting on blood test results. I have been very ill, and weak feeling, and my anxiety has started to creep up on me again. I find it so interesting how God keeps shifting my blogging around to focus more on this subject. I know I still have to take pics of my fall decor in my home, and I have more "mommy related," fun topics to share. I wish I could just share those things instead of this topic, but once again God is changing my topics around. Soon enough I will share the fun things, but for today, I feel God is wringing out these words from my heart.

During the last couple of weeks as I have been battling whatever this health issue is, I have felt like such a hypocrite! I wrote the last two posts about anixiety, and how I deal with it, but let me tell you my friends, I failed miserably to follow through with these techniques this week, or so I feel. God in His grace, and compassion, has helped me see yet another perspective of the trial of anxiety. 

There are times where our health is the cause of our anxiety. It's in these times when making a choice to "think on these things" (Philippians 4:8), is next to impossible seeming. How can I just choose to think on better things when my anxiety is a side affect of my health issue, and comes out of nowhere?! How can I focus on God's Word when I can't focus on anything, because I am so ill and weak? As I was contemplating all of these thoughts this week, I felt so much more compassion on the true warriors of our faith who struggle daily with disease or other forms of suffering, and yet somehow learn to rest in God's peace. It was my heart's desire to find that for myself, and honestly still is. 

As a child I grew up in the Assemblies of God, during the movement of "revival" that was huge in Brownsville, and just about every church near me was hungry for this revival in their own walls. I remember witnessing different people getting healed as people would pray over them, and I also witnessed many who did not. It was the ones who did not get healed that brought frustration, and confusion into my little heart, as I heard pastor after pastor pray, "Lord if it is your will, heal this person." How is it not God's will to heal? Does that mean that He Himself wants this sickness for this person? As I grew up that mentality stuck with me without my even knowing it. 

Last evening, I felt so ill, and not knowing the results of my blood test yet, sent my mind reeling, and my anxiety rushing. I was gone in another anxiety attack, and I didn't know how to get back to "reality." My sweet husband came beside me, and in the midst of my anxiety attack that had me on the floor feeling faint, he put his hand on my head and prayed for me. As He prayed, my mind began to clear, and I felt as though God Himself lifted blinders from my eyes that had been there for years. I saw Him for who He is. I didn't see the finger of God pressing this sickness into me, I saw Him kneeling beside me as my husband was and ministering to me. I felt loved. I felt peace, even though I did not feel good. I began to breath normal, my heart started to calm, and I knew that once again, I had been believing a lie for too long, and Jesus wanted to take the lie away. 

God is not the author of sickness, or death, or pain. Because of this, He does not will upon any of us the trials we face. Instead, God in His mercy promises to be with us, and to help us manage our weaknesses the way only His Spirit can. God Himself has compassion on us, because He understands what we face in this sinful, fallen world. Maybe in some ways, I have been ignorant to this obvious truth, or maybe I just needed to understand this feeling, so I could have compassion on others who deal with sickness. 

It is easy to blame God for our problems, because He is in fact the One in control over all things is he not? But God is not the problem. Sin is. God uses our trials to bring redemption, to bring life, and to bring beauty from ashes. When God does not heal us, He is still on the throne. When we don't have answers, He is still loving us, and ministering to us, and giving us what we need to get through the moment. Why He chooses to heal some, and not others is not for me to know or to answer. But whether we are healthy and free of ill feelings, or if we struggle daily in sickness, and pain, Jesus promises to never leave or forsake us. We will always have something to worry about on this earth, whether sickness or not. We are not in Heaven yet. But the mercy of God is Himself...every day, for the rest of our lives, whenever we need Him. We face none of this alone. He is always here waiting for us to come climb in His lap and lay our head on his chest, and rest. 

It's better to leave the unkowns to Him. We were never meant to worry about them. It is better to let Him go before us. We were never meant to go without Him. It is better to trust Him, because He is in control, and He will never leave us. It's better to trust Him, because in the middle of an anxiety attack that comes from nowhere, He is our only peace, and He is still Good.

This week I am linking up with #IntentionalTuesdayLinkup