10.31.2013

Giants That Expose and Reveal

Remember David and Goliath, in the Bible? Did you know the name Goliath meant "expose; reveal"? Neither did I, until I just read so. The giants in our lives, you know what yours are, expose and/or reveal who, what is on the inside of us. When giants show up and spew their ugly taunts, it is just like the game show where the host would say "Will the real ________ please stand up!"

The real Abundantly Blessed? Does she have to come to the party? Seriously? Doesn't anyone know how much more fun life is without her? OK, I'll be serious, now that I look back at seasons when giants threatened I can see that it is so. Giants do expose and/or reveal the real.  Oh how vitally important it is to be connected to the vine, God, and for Him to be real in and through me. Me transformed by Him is ever so much better than me, myself, and I. Like David, I want to come "in the name of the Living God."

Aiming for a God reveal,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House

P.S. - Yes, it is completely by accident that a post about revealing the "real me" was written and posted on halloween:)

10.30.2013

What Would I Do?

Vintage Dog Image ScruffyThis little sweetheart reminds me of one of my childhood loves, Cuddles. Not an exact likeness but close enough to make me smile and want to love on a furry friend, preferably one of the canine variety.

Idea after idea for the blog has been whirling around my thoughts. However none of those ideas have found their way onto the blog. Funny how that works out sometimes. Often it seems that when I have the time, there aren't any ideas; when the ideas are there, time is full. Oh well, everything will work out eventually.

Until the myriad of thoughts have formed into actual posts, little snippets will help tide us over. At least I hope they will. Today's little snippet is something for us to ponder as we go about our days.

"If I weren't afraid of (fill in the blank with your own answer), what would I do?" 

There are many ways to complete the above question. I personally could complete it several different ways. It is the answer to this question that we're going to ponder. What would I do, if I weren't afraid of..............? What would I do? What would you do?

We'll share our answers next week. That gives us six whole days to ponder on what we would do. If anyone wants to share their answer(s) before then, please feel free to leave a comment below or send an email to amothersrewards@gmail.com.

Talk to you soon!
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

10.28.2013

Significance

It’s here. That stage when baby is no longer an itty bitty baby. Victorious Man of God just saw the cat and slipped off of my lap to crawl to the window to see her. Of course he got distracted by some little something on the way there and is playing with that instead, but still, he’s at the age where he does that. He slides off of my lap to get to something else that looks better. Mama no longer holds his interest exclusively. Sort of kind of like a baby version of oldest brother leaving for town; the realization gently whispers across my mind.

Over 21 years of parenting has taught that no matter what their age or season in life children grow up and move on to another “stage”. Some of those changes find a parent cheering and rejoicing. Others leave a sting like a resounding slap across the heart. Makes a mama realize how important the minister’s message in church was this morning. The message was about significance, how everyone is significant. If a parent doesn’t know his/her significance, he or she might feel like shriveling up and shrinking back a little bit when children slide off of their lap or leave the proverbial nest. Mamas need to remember this truth, that they are significant.

Significance. We’re all pieces in a puzzle and therefore important. Sometimes it’s one person’s time to shine forth brightly. Other times the limelight belongs to another. No matter who is most noticeable, each and every person is significant and vitally important to the whole. Oh my, another many parts working together to form a whole situation. This theme is showing up all over the place.

Meaningful, vital, notable are all synonyms of significant. During times of transition, if one isn’t purposeful with their focus, he/she might lose sight of his/her meaning, his/her significance. This is especially true for individuals who may not know exactly what their significance is to start with. Whatever an individual’s significance is, everyone is important, meaningful, notable, and vital to everyone else. It matters not whether we have met or never will meet. Everyone is a piece of the puzzle of life. Everyone is significant.

Traveling through life’s seasons, in His Grace,

Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

10.25.2013

The Removal of Herself

There is a challenge that was recently issued. This is a personal challenge sent forth from one woman to herself. Can she write without using I, me, my, or mine? Hmmm. Could she? The author wonders if it is possible to write blog posts without those words. After all, a blog is a personal space. Personal spaces usually include references to one's self. Hmmm. Somehow, the woman knows she must try. There is a tiny little flutter of something deep inside that stirs up the depths in her being. Yes, the woman has to try.

Challenges must be met, but how? And why? Why must the I, me, my, and mine be removed from her words? The author wonders long yet gently begins removing herself from the story. More and more personal references are taken out of the writing equation; phrases are reworded to include all who might read them. How surprised the writer is to realize she focuses so much on herself. As time goes on, the author realizes that the less of herself she includes, the more pleasant and relaxed living is. Yet everything is inexplainably more intentional as well. How is this possible that relaxing increases the intentional?

Not wanting to lose the relaxed state of mind, the writer continues on gently. She knows that the One who stirred her to accept the challenge is the One who will give her understanding into all of the whys and hows. Striving for answers in her own strength produces nothing of value. It is as God, the One who knows all, has said in His Book. Trust in Me with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Me, and I shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6) God has also said in His book of James that He gives wisdom to all who ask. Not only does He give wisdom, He gives it liberally and without reproach.

Wanting to be complete and lacking nothing (James 1:4), the writer continues on with patience. She has served her Heavenly Father long enough to know He is Truth, so is His Word. Everything God has said in His Word, the Bible, will tell her everything she needs to know. She must remain faithful in the study of it, just as a miner faithfully mines the depths of the earth in search of hidden wealth. The wealth that the author is seeking possesses value far greater than that of the earth. True Truth must be not only discovered but lived. When lived fully, truth, not fact, will set free. It will also heal, reveal, expose, loose, bind, restore, renew, complete, finish, provide, encourage, fill, teach, lead, and guide. The Word doesn't merely contain the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Word is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 1:1) (John 14:6) (John 17:17) (2 Timothy 3:13 - 17)

Continuing on while persevering in faith. The road is narrow. Few travel it. The journey isn't complete. The challenge is but one of many. More will issued. All of this the woman knows. Seasons will change. People will come then go. Storms will arise then abate. Bare branches will produce green leaves that will revert to their true colors before falling to the ground. Snow will fall and cover that which lies fallen. What seems to be impenetrable cold will melt to water the earth that in turn soaks into the roots of the tree which again produce green leaves. Over and over cycles of life, living, dying, and living again testify of the One who made them. His wisdom is revealed in every cycle of life being lived on the earth.

A challenge was issued and accepted. It remains in the season of being met. A woman heard the great I AM and is following where His still small voice is leading. Can intentional living get any more intentional? Can it be more real? Listening, hearing, accepting, willingly doing, unknowingly becoming, listening still, hearing yet more, this too is one of life's cycles. Seasons of living full arrive then depart while a woman moves to the beat of love's pounding heart. Love begat life, and life lives love full. Little truths turn out to be what the big truths are made of. Little parts joined into the larger whole. It's a pattern oft repeated for sure.

A woman wonders. God answers. She wonders some more. His answers come still. Giving thanks to God who is life, love, and all good. Relinquishing her control to His loving way. The way to intentional realness stretches out in a forever love journey of challenges, rhythms, seasons, and grace. Always grace. A song runs through the woman's head. It isn't a song known as a God song, but it's words ring true just the same, "I don't know much, but I know I love You, and that may be all I need to know." Yes, knowing I love Him may definitely be all there is to know.

Dancing to the rhythm of Love's grace,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House






10.23.2013

Homemade Dulche de Leche

Free Vintage Dog Image

Isn't this guy just too cute? Those sweet eyes are irresistable the way they are begging for a luvin. Something warm, cozy, and fall like was the original idea, but one look at this fella, and all plans changed. Sweet Rascal dog had to have some extra loves too, just because this cute dog makes me think my very own sweet canine needs some huggin and luvin. Isn't that what sunshiny  Saturday afternoons are for? Well, that and making homemade dulche de leche in the crockpot. Right?

There is a cookie/bar recipe that calls for dulche de leche. Not wanting to stand at the stove stirring for hours on end, unopened can(s) of sweetened condensed milk were placed in the crockpot and covered completely with water. After placing lid on, it is now cooking on LOW for 8 hours. After which time the cans will be carefully removed to cool for 45 minutes on wire rack. The mixture will then be added to a new recipe we are experimenting with. Will share later, as in AFTER Christmas, if they are good. If they are good, and we know you, they might end up in a gift basket coming your way. If they aren't, we'll just eat them and know not to do that ever again.

Colonel Redeemed is home for the "weekend". Technically, he is home for Saturday. He gets home Friday evening and on Sunday he goes home after church. So, he is really only home for one day. That has proven to be not quite long enough for him to do his laundry and eat a couple meals worth of mom's cooking while squeezing in some hours of ranch work to try and help his dad. It is long enough, however, for him to share some of the stories from his week and us to try and fill him in on ours. This is only the second weekend though. Hopefully the process will become more streamlined as time goes on. Hopefully he keeps coming home, even if for only one full day. Hopefully, there will be some weekends of enjoying each other more and working less, at least for the weekend. Not holding my breath on that last hopefully, but hey, a person always needs hope.

The tang of woodsmoke is drifting on the crisp autumn breeze, and bright sunshine is whispering in my ear that it wants me to come outside and play in it. There are also three children upstairs that need some time exploring and running on this lovely day. At least their conversation sounds as if it needs refreshing. Even though this recipe won't arrive in your inbox until next week, the love and prayers it brings will be just as heartfelt then as they are today. When this message comes, it will be part of a Wednesday Blog Hop at http://joyousnotions.com/. Hope you are ready to hop on over and join in the fun!

Have a great week in Jesus!
from Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House Blog









10.21.2013

You Need to Wash the Floor When...

Oh my. I am laughing and laughing and well, I'm laughing still! Horsegirl was out in the utility room scrubbing the floor. This action was totally her own doing. I hadn't told her to. She was super excited to find something that worked at getting the dirt out of all of those indentions on our tile, the indentions that we love so much, until cleaning day.

Finally, I had to ask her why she was scrubbing the floor. Curiosity got the better of me. She said that there had been more than one sticky spot by the trash can that she stuck to everytime she went by. Oooooooh. She thought it was pretty sad when rubber boots stick to the floor. Rubber boots are kind of known for not sticking to our tile floor. Inward ooooh.

And the best part of this story is that I laughed. No guilt about those sticky spots. No inner voices condemning me for being a trashy housekeeper. Just laughter. And a blog post. After realizing the victory and freedom in laughing, I had to celebrate. Blog friends are the ones to celebrate with! Maybe laughter is the freedom gift we need more of today, and every day. Maybe instead of turning things into mountains of disaster and despair, laughing is what will bring release and relief most quickly. Maybe this is why God said "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22 and "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance." Proverbs 15:13.

Below is a free printable download for some refreshing Fall fun from Jones Design Co. Signing up for the archives is required, but that too is free of charge. The printables available for signing up more than make up for the few minutes required to sign up. Seriously. They do. Hanging out for a while at Jones Design Co. blog might be a fun little day trip to consider as well. A comment left thanking the blog's author for her delightful free gift would be even nicer. Don't worry about the trip being a time waster. It won't be. You will be glad you stopped in. It is like a delightful fresh breeze. It just might get those creative juices flowing.

Have a super blessed day in Jesus!
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House


http://jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/autumn-essentials-freebie-art-print/

10.18.2013

Love the Sacrifice

"Love can only be what communion is — a pouring out, a breaking open and a passing around, a sacrifice.
And if love is what makes itself into a roof around a heart to absorbs all the storms, love is the only real dwelling place, and communion with another is all we have to offer and it’s all we have to crawl up under. When I don’t live love, others live homeless. When I don’t love like Christ, I evict souls.
Christ is love embodied and no matter where we are, He and His body are Home."
 - Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience blog

Did that reach out and smite your heart as it did mine? Or am I the only one who needed a reminder of love?
"When I don't live love, others live homeless. When I don't love like Christ, I evict souls." Oh me, oh my. Dear Lord, please, may I never evict souls or leave any homeless.

10.17.2013

If the Acorn Had Been a Pumpkin

Man Thinks Himself Wise, till God Shows Him His Folly
"A philosopher, seating himself under an oak tree, and viewing its massiveness, could not understand why so large a tree should produce such small fruit. 'There,' said he, 'is the pumpkin, growing on a slender vine; how much better it would be, if that vine bore acorns, and the great tree the pumpkins; then there would be some harmony and fitness in nature.' As he was meditating on this subject, and examining some ancient theories on the works of creation, an acorn dropped on his head and broke up the train of his reflections. 'How foolish and short-sighted I am, to question the wisdom of Providence,' thought the philosopher, 'if the acorn had been a pumpkin, my head would have been broken.'"—Barber, 1857

10.15.2013

Place to Visit

J.M. Cremp's Adventure Store. Google it and go there. Seriously, if you have a boy, know a boy, old or young, this is a place to go. Thought I knew what I was getting my nephew and son for Christmas. After visiting their site, rethinking it all. Definitely worth a visit.

10.09.2013

Words for Wednesday

Reading Banner


Can't remember the last time a list went out of the books currently in the "to read" pile. Well, that pile has now become something akin to a small library of its own, and the majority of the books on the last list sent out are still on it waiting to be read. Somehow, the entrance of a new baby seven months ago cut down on reading time. Cuddling and snuggling babies are much more important.

Now that said wee one is getting older and crawling e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e, the books to read just keep growing. The time to read them, however, is also growing thanks to the shortening days of fall. Autumn evenings are lengthening just enough to provide a spare hour here and there perfect for sneaking in a brief read while baby enjoys playing with older brothers and sisters.

The start of school earlier this fall also provides read aloud times for Giggles, Mighty Man of God, and I. How we adore learning through literature. Learning the parts of speech while visiting the pages of Grammarland is much more enjoyable than through a boring lecture and memorization alone. We are also devouring the pages of the What You Want Your Kindergartener....1st grader....2nd grader....etc. series edited by Ed. Hirsch. These aren't the only sources of learning we read, just the ones we are using most often during this first quarter.

On a personal note, I have one recommendation today. You Are Not What You Weigh by Lisa Bevere. Written concerning weight, this book is not about weight alone but anything that takes the place of God in our lives. Biblical, short, concise, loving yet candid. I consider this book to be a must read for one and all, no matter what one weighs. If wanting more to read concerning weight issues, consider reading Weigh Down Workshop written by Gwen Shamblin or its follow up book Rise Above also written by Gwen Shamblin.

For the men and/or the women who care about them, Loose that Man and Let Him Go! by T.D. Jakes is a revelation of true freedom seldom addressed. I could barely put it back on the shelf to go fix supper. I think it might be screaming to me to finish it everytime I walk by the shelf too. Of course after I read that I will hear Healing the Wounds of the Past by T.D. Jakes calling my name. At least I imagine it will. The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane is one of the first I want to read this season.

And there are more, many, many more that have caught my interest as well. Those will provide a list for another visit, another time. It's time for me to be fixing supper. Keep reading and please feel free to share via comment or at amothersrewards@gmail.com.

10.07.2013

He's Leaving

He's Leaving. Colonel Redeemed is leaving the proverbial nest. While he isn't going far, he is still going. My oldest son has a new job and will be looking for a place to call his own, his own place of dominion.

The process of getting him out of the door has been "interesting". I don't know why, but I have found myself crying at odd times for no reason. It isn't like I haven't known he was going to go. His original departure was set for almost a year ago. I have complete peace about it. So, why the tears? I honestly don't know. Whatever their reason, they have come.

Will he be gone long? Yes and no. Yes, he is going out on his own. No, he is not leaving never to return. He will come back on weekends and for other visits. Perhaps, after a season, he will return to the ranch. Then again, perhaps not. This man loves his family. Younger brothers and sisters will guarantee visits. Mama's cooking might provide good reasons too.

Is he ready? Only God knows. I don't know. Colonel Redeemed says he doesn't know either. How is a young man who relies on his sisters helping him find necessary items on a regular basis going to take care of himself? None of us knows. He'll do it though. Mama has faith in the God who will keep and guide him.

Mama also has faith in her son, this man who loves his mama. When Colonel Redeemed was two-years-old telling me to "just pray for 'em, and let's go to bed" after being awoken by his siter's cries over sore legs, I knew this child possessed more faith than I had expected him to. This was the child to whom I would nightly remind he was created by God to fulfill a destiny noone else could fulfill, sometimes just to remind myself. This is the one who for so many years stood alone as the only manchild with his father in a home full of women.

My ability to rarely, if ever, get embarassed is a result of being the mother of this young man. As my oldest son grew, I never knew what words would escape from his lips. The only surety I had concerning Colonel Redeemed's speech was that it wouldn't be boring. Whatever he said, it wouldn't be the "norm". Outrageous? Probably. True? Hmmm, if a person looked at it from Colonel Redeemed's viewpoint, yes. New? Often. Fresh? Definitely. Until recently, this child alone held the record for phone calls made to grandmothers to tell what new thing had been said.

A natural born storyteller, Colonel Redeemed can take a mundane trip to the grocery store and turn it into a tale worthy of a stage and audience's applause. Know what? Jesus told stories. Jesus loved his mama. Jesus had passion for justice and right. Jesus lived every moment as fully as he could. Colonel Redeemed is a young man who desires to live full of Jesus.

Is Colonel Redeemed ready to be on his own? I don't know. It doesn't really matter since he won't ever truly be "on his own". As long as there is breath within him, this oldest son of mine will always be with Jesus, and with Jesus in him he is ready for everything God has for him. Mama's tears may fall some more, I may need to hug this sweet Victorious Man of God a little more tightly and often for a while, but Colonel Redeemed is ready. With Jesus, he is always ready.

 
A Mama's Prayer
 
Stay true, my son
Never quit the fight
The fight of faith
Will always turn out right
When to Him who died
Your eyes always turn
Stay true, my son
The battle's already won
 
When evil whispers
When temptation calls your name
Stay true, my son
Tis why Christ came
To rescue from wicked's deadly snare
Stay true, my son
Sin's path leads to nowhere
 
Remember His love
Remember the cross
Remember you are His
In Him you're never lost
Also, please don't forget
your parents love you so
and to Jesus, son
To Him may you always go
 
And God forbid, if ever you should roam
Return, my son
Return your heart to home
To Him Who loves you
To Him Who died
To Him Who has risen
To Him Who is alive
 
Stay true, my son
Your mama knows you will
My prayers ring out
Sweet blessing now for you
Stay true, my son
Through sunshine, wind, and rain
Stay true, my son
God is love; He will not change
 
 






10.05.2013

Weekend Reads to Share

Wild and wooly weather out there people! Snow is flying around while wind is whipping the grass and trees ferociously. Thanks are being offered up for the warm fire in the woodstove. Homemade pepperoni pizza and football on the TV put the finishing touches on a cozy homefront as winter storm Atlas blows through. Before I snuggle in for a short nap, there are a few links I would like to share. Each of the following articles caught my attention in a different way. The post entitled "She yelled and called me names" was a timely reminder of who I am in Jesus and that others around me need me to be different. We all need to be different.

Weekend blessings to you as each of us seeks to be Jesus' hands and feet reaching out to those who need us,
Blessed Mama

She Yelled At Me and Called Me Names
It's Blog Eat Blog World, Baby
Information on Production of Chocolate

10.03.2013

Honour Your Spouse; What Does God Say?

"Instead of asking the Bible to talk to us about what we’d like to hear — what we need is to be led to the Bible to hear what God has said. " - Scott McKnight - Northern Seminary

Honour your spouse? In a society that knows little of honour, honouring anyone is a foreign concept. Little is known of honour; less is experienced. The following scriptures are God's view of honour within a marriage. Since I am a wife, I am sharing those relating specifically to a wife. Husbands are instructed to honor their wives also. Some of the following verses are for followers of Christ in general. Because this would include wives and husbands who are believers in Christ, I have listed these verses too.

There is no room for personal opinions or interpretations when applying the Holy Scriptures. Either we believe what we read or we instead choose to read what we believe. A subtle shifting of word order instantly changes the entire meaning. I personally have made a commitment to believe what I read in God's Word and adjust my life to fit His way. Period. That's the end of the story for me. There isn't any debating or arguing needed. I believe what God says. If what He says differs from my own personal opinions or desires, I change mine to match His. Everyone will make their own decision as to how much of themselves they will devote to honouring God's Word. This is a working of the freewills we have been given by God Himself. It is also another aspect of honour.

For now, though, we'll focus specifically on wives honouring their husbands. However...if we were to really break this topic down, as followers of Christ we are being made into His Bride. This would make God the Son our husband. The book of John tells us that Jesus is the Word. Therefore, if Jesus is the Word, then honouring the Word of God is also honouring our future heavenly husband Jesus. I think we'll save this for another day though. Without further adieu, here is what God says about honouring our husbands:

Romans 12:10
Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
 
Ephesians 5:33
However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].
 
Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.
 
1 Peter 2:17
Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.
 
1 Peter 3:2
When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].