Friday, November 29, 2013

"The Pursuit of Motherhood" eBook Launch & $100 Giveway!!!

This post contains affiliate links. I, however, make no money from this e-book.
Mothers, have you ever wished you were given a manual for Motherhood? You know, one that fit the needs of each individual type of Mother and child? We all have probably wished there was such a thing at some point in our lives. And while I can't offer you that particular manual, I would like to introduce you to a brand new eBook titled "The Pursuit of Motherhood."

 Pursuit of Motherhood eBook Launch & Giveaway 

While the market is scouring with parenting books & how-to manuals, I hope you'll consider "The Pursuit of Motherhood" as your next source of encouragement in your role as a Mother. We all need HOPE! We all need to know there's someone out there facing the same struggles we're facing. 

"The Pursuit of Motherhood" was written by 15 Mommy bloggers in the Christian community that most of you have already come to know, love, and respect. You're already familiar with the writings of these bloggers and you know that they're real women, not superheroes, that chug along each day with the demands of caring for husbands, children, homeschool, housework, and managing businesses. Each contributing writer has written on a chapter that she is familiar with in an effort to provide you with hope and encouragement in your day to day walk. 
Motherhood is the beautiful unfolding of a woman's life as the Lord refines her and places her in a position of a humble servant, her life a daily sacrifice. A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Table of Contents:

  1. The Wise Mother
  2. The Praying Mother
  3. Mothering Through The Little Years
  4. The Working Mom
  5. The Healthy Mom
  6. The Work at Home Mom
  7. Part I: Primary and Secondary Infertility
  8. Part II: The Empty Womb and Adoption
  9. The Modest Mom
  10. Breastfeeding & Child Attachment
  11. The Weary Mom, Part I
  12. The Weary Mom, Part II
  13. The Homeschooling Mother
  14. Mothering a Child with Special Needs
  15. Raising Real Men
  16. Raising Homemakers
  17. Be Fruitful and Multiply
  18. Biblical Motherhood
  19. Leaving a Legacy
I know that I personally fall into many of these categories and you may too. Perhaps you thought of friends or family that would be interested in "The Pursuit of Motherhood." This eBook would make a great gift for a new or struggling Mom, or as a Christmas gift. 

Today through Monday, December 2nd, you can purchase the eBook at just $3.99; after that we'll resume regular pricing of $7.99. The eBook will be emailed to you in a downloadable PDF file. The book is packed full of wisdom and experience in 153 pages.  

Since we all love giveaways, I thought it would be fun to offer a copy of the eBook along with $100 Paypal cash to one winner. {And who couldn't use an extra $100 right now?} ;) If you're selected as the winner and you've already purchased your copy, your money will be refunded. So, go ahead and grab your copy below and then come back to enter the giveaway. The giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, December 2nd. 

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904812798_n_zps162ecd5d.jpg Buy Now  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: 4th & Final Week + an Announcement

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and welcome to the final week of Thankful Thursdays. I'm joining Gabby of Mama Gab and Caroline of Anchored in His Grace to share how the Lord has blessed us each week. It's about being conscious of the gifts our Heavenly Father gives us and thanking Him for His goodness and love. Feel free to share in the comments how God has blessed you lately.

7 {More} Things I'm Thankful for This Week

Let's keep counting . . .  

After our 10K in October
Sweet friendships. While I have a lot of friends, I do not have many close friends--the kind where you don't worry about the mess in your house because you know your friend isn't judging you. My friend Sarah is that type of friend. She inspires me to be a more patient mom as I watch how gentle she is with her little ones. Her homemaking binder totally motivated me to create my own. Her little boys play so well with my little girls, and we both have toddlers named Anna Elizabeth {born before we even knew each other :)}. I'm so thankful for our friendship.

Breakfast at IHOP. When Daddy suggests breakfast (lunch, dinner, lupper, linner, even a snack) out, Mama is happy to oblige :) Thankful that we have the means to eat out every now and then as a family.

Our church family. I think I list this blessing every week, but what is more wonderful than worshiping our God with other people with the same faith and hope. I am encouraged every week to put my trust in Him, even when fears assail me on all sides. The precious people at our church dote on our girls and never make us feel like their boisterousness is a nuisance, although I know it must be.

A wonderful doctor's report! Two years ago my endocrinologist wanted to remove my thyroid because of a nodule he thought was cancerous. After an inconclusive biopsy, my gut instinct, and a second opinion I declined surgery, and praise the Lord I did! This week I found out there are NO nodules on my thyroid and NO risk of cancer! I'm still taking Syntheroid daily, but I'm so grateful for that peace of mind.

Membership to our local children's museum. That was the best $75 we ever spent! Thank you, Lord, that we had the money to cover it. The Discovery Center offers preschool classes three days a week plus afternoon exhibits and activities that are free for members. Plus, the museum is filled with fun, educational things to do. My kids LOVE going here, and it certainly helps that our dear friends, the Swaffords, also have a membership.

Answered prayers. I went today to see the surgeon about the growth on my breast. The doctor thinks the place is almost definitely benign. I can't tell you what a relief that news was. I will have a biopsy in December just to make sure.
Family & Friends. Last night we had dinner with my husband's mom's family and some of their friends. Today, we're having lunch with my husband's dad's family, and Friday, we're headed to my parents' for dinner with my mom's family. Time with loved ones is so rare these days, but I'm thankful for what little time we have together.  

What about you? How has the Lord blessed YOU this week?

Feel free to share a link or comment in the comment section below.  

An Announcement!

Beginning next Thursday and for the duration of December, I will be starting a series on "Unique Christmas Gifts for Children."  

I'll be sharing some fun, inexpensive, and memorable gift ideas that will, I hope, expand your search for the elusive "perfect gift" beyond the hottest toys at Toys-R-Us. I hope you'll join me!

 Blessings to you,

Linking up to these lovely parties.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Truth in the Tinsel: The BEST Advent Experience for Young Children + Discount Code

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my site!

I know Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet, but I am so excited to share with you a Christmas experience that my family and I are gearing up for and it starts this Sunday, December 1st! It's called Truth in the Tinsel.

Book Cover photo cover-230x300.jpg

Our family used Truth in the Tinsel for the first time last year, and it was the highlight of the morning for us!
1 of the Truth in the Tinsel ornaments we made last year

What is Truth in the Tinsel?  
Truth in the Tinsel is a 24-day Advent celebration aimed to
focus our children's minds on the real reason for Christmas. Through daily Bible readings centered on the story of Jesus' birth and making crafts focused on the main theme of that passage, you provide perfect opportunities for your child to know God more fully and draw closer to Him.

Image photo TinT-300-x-250.png  

How does Truth in the Tinsel work?
1. Beginning December 1, there are 24 days of activities, scripture readings, ornaments, and discussion questions.
2. Read the selected scripture together each day.
3. Make an ornament based on the primary theme
4. Dig deeper with discussion prompts.
5. Do additional activities if you want to do them.

To view a sample page of the eBook, click here

Who is Truth in the Tinsel for?
Truth in the Tinsel activities are geared for preschool through early elementary-aged children. My oldest daughter, who was 4 last year, loved it. Making ornaments makes her smile. This year our 3-year-old will be joining us in the fun!

What if I'm too busy to make 24 ornaments or my kids are too little? 
You are in luck, my friend! Truth in the Tinsel offers a separate PDF document of 24 downloadable ornaments for only $3.99. Even your toddler can participate! The beauty of the downloadable ornaments is that you can print off as many as you need. Plus, on days when dragging out the craft box is just not happening, your children still have an activity to color, decorate, and adorn the tree with. 

Ornaments photo ScreenShot2013-11-27at62338AM.png
Sample of Ornaments

I bought the ornaments this year for that very reason. Last year we were too busy to get through all of the ornaments, but I really wanted our daughter to have something to reinforce what we read. Now Mama has a back-up plan!

The goal of Truth in the Tinsel is to provide focus to your holiday season, not additional stress. You want your children to understand that Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa and presents. Truth in the Tinsel helps you put Jesus at the center of your holiday, where He belongs.

Printable Ornament Cover photo Truth-in-the-Tinsel-Ornaments-250-1024x1024.jpg  

How much does Truth in the Tinsel cost?  
The 49-page e-book -- complete with instructions, craft daily supply lists, 24 devotions & activities, craft templates, and Advent paper chain templates costs only $7.99. {Note: This price does NOT include the downloadable ornaments, which are sold separately.}

Plus, right now, if you use my coupon code GROWING20, you can take 20% off the total price of the e-book. That makes Truth in the Tinsel only $6.40!

For only $3.99, you can get a PDF of all 24 ornaments for simple and convenient craft projects that you can use this year and every year hereafter! {Note: The 20% off code does not apply to the ornaments.}

Next Tuesday, December 3, I will be giving away 1 COPY of Truth in the Tinsel to one lucky reader! Come back on Tuesday to enter the giveaway, but order Truth in the Tinsel and the ornaments now so you're ready to start with us on Sunday, December 1. {If you purchase Truth in the Tinsel and win the giveaway, you will be reimbursed.} 

Don't forget to use the coupon code GROWING20 for your 20% off discount!

Come back Tuesday, December 3rd, for the giveaway! Plus, I will also be sharing how our family uses Truth in the Tinsel.

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Praying God's richest blessings on you this holiday season,

Linking up to these lovely parties.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When There Doesn't Seem Like Much to be Thankful For

When I was in my twenties, I had what I like to call my first midlife crisis. Having recently graduated from college with no real marriage prospects, I felt lost. The natural progression of events in my mind was: college - marriage - children. But the Lord had other plans for me. Those plans, however, did not mesh with mine.

So, I rebelled. 

Instead of trusting in God's providential plan for my life, I took it upon myself to forge my own future, one that involved love, happiness, and pursuit of me. I started looking for love in all the wrong places, seeking my place in the world--because everyone else seemed to fit in but me, and searching for contentment with myself in this life. I did not understand God, and I surely did not see anything to be thankful for in this pitiful life.

Slowly I began to sink deeper into the muck of this world. 

I rebelled against the word of God and despised His counsel (Psalm 107:11). So, the Lord subjected me to "bitter labor" (verse 12) in the form of loneliness, depression, and emptiness. It seemed like "there was no one to help" (verse 12). Even my boyfriend gave up on me. There didn't seem like there was anything to be thankful for anymore.

I was broken.

That is when I gave my life back to the Lord. It was a night I'll never forget. Humiliated, I lay face down on the floor of my rented house and cried out to God in distress, seeking His forgiveness. Repenting of my sins, He saved me from my distress (verse 13). He brought me "out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away [my] chains" (verse 14). He showed me that I could depend on Him, and my life has never been the same since.

Six years of marriage and three children later, I still struggle with contentment. My physical body -- even at age 34 -- is weak and prone to illness and disease. My faith wavers -- just like Israel's did -- and I wonder if He is reminding me once again of His great love for me as I grapple with the issue of my own mortality.

But I am grateful because the Lord is faithful and good. Even though He may choose to give hard trials, He is still sovereign. Only He is able to deliver us from darkness. Only He can free us from the chains of sin and death. 

Even though the world is swirling hurly-burly around me today and even though I don't know what the outcome of my life will be, I am grateful because the Lord has saved me, and He is in control of it all. He has not abandoned me to myself but, time and time again, has shown me unconditional love in spite of myself.

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love
and His wonderful deeds for men, 
for He satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things."

Psalm 107:8-9

No one else -- no thing else-- can satisfy like the Lord.

There is something to be thankful for today, even if you feel hopeless. Remember today how God has saved you in your most desperate times. Give Him thanks for His eternal love.

If you have rebelled against God and feel forever lost from Him, you're not. He loves you. He wants to bring you out of darkness and into the light. Cry out to the Lord in your trouble. He will still the storm in your soul. 

If I can pray for you today, please let me know. You can leave a message in the comments below or email me at 

I'm praying God's richest blessings on you today,

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Gobble, Gobble!: 10 Tips to Eat Healthy this Thanksgiving

Pumpkin pie, turkey & dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, mashed potatoes, pecan pie, and I could go on. If that list of Thanksgiving delectables doesn’t make your mouth water, then I don’t know what will.

The holidays can be a daunting time for eating healthy with so many tantalizing foods around, but it doesn’t have to be. You want to enjoy Thanksgiving, not feel guilty for all the food you've eaten.

So, in David Letterman form, here are my top 10 tips for enjoying Thanksgiving dinner without sabotaging your health:

10. Make traditional Thanksgiving foods, but healthier.

Thanksgiving meal
  • Use less sugar, butter, and oil wherever you can. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup is usually sufficient.
  • Don't use "cream-of-anything" soups; they're loaded with sodium and preservatives. Instead, make your own, or even better, serve steamed or roasted veggies like broccoli, green beans, and squash. 
  •  Serve salads, fruits, and raw veggies. If you aren't hosting, offer to bring one of these healthier dishes.
  • Sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving staple for many, but it's also loaded with butter, cream, and sugar. For a healthier alternative, roast sweet potatoes with a few tablespoons of maple syrup. 

9. Don't starve yourself.  
Often when you know you’ll be having a big meal later in the day, you'll skip breakfast and/or lunch. Then, when it's time to feast, you’re starving. That’s when you overeat. The key to eating in moderation is to eat throughout the day, so you don’t overcompensate later.

8. Make time to exercise.

There are numerous turkey trots on Thanksgiving Day. Take advantage of the family time and participate together. Or just go for a stroll in your neighborhood. You'll feel good, and if you overindulge later, at least you’ve burned some calories to cover them! {Find a turkey trot near you!}

7. Use the smallest plate. 

When it's meal time, leave the platter for the turkey, and pick up a salad plate instead. This strategy will help you keep your portions under control. Just make sure you heed tip #6.

6. Say “no” to seconds. 

Unless you’re going back for fruits & veggies, don’t even entertain the thought of seconds, especially if you intend to have dessert. Eat slowly, enjoy your plate of food, and put your fork down and sip water between bites.

5. But . . . say “yes” to favorite foods -- in moderation. 

You do want to enjoy Thanksgiving, don’t you? You can still eat a small portion of the foods you love. Just skip those dishes that aren't your favorite. By saying "no" to calorie-laden mashed potatoes, you can say "yes" to your mom's delicious oyster dressing.

4. Go for the rainbow!

Garden rainbow
As you survey your food options, try to select at least one food from each color of the rainbow, or at least, make a conscious effort not to wind up with a plate full of yellows and browns. If you see a monochromatic theme, ward it off with roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, & fruit.

3. Choose turkey over ham.

If you have a choice, go for the turkey. Ham is full of saturated fat. Stick with a 4-ounce portion of turkey (about the size of a deck of cards). Be sure to remove the skin, which is loaded with fat and sodium. 

2. Stay hydrated.  

Sometimes when you think you’re hungry you’re really just thirsty. Forgo the soft drinks and tea, and drink water with a slice of lemon instead. It will fill you up, so you won't keep picking up your fork.

And my #1 tip for eating healthy this Thanksgiving . . .

Enjoy the time with family & loved ones. 

Remember the reason for this holiday season, and celebrate the blessings of family, friends, health, and home. If you overindulge, you can start fresh tomorrow. Today, make Thanksgiving about people, not food. Slow down & count your blessings.

What’s YOUR #1 tip for eating healthy during the holidays?

Do you do a turkey trot on Thanksgiving?
What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Turkey or ham?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Weekly Wrap-up: Some Good Reads (including my own) & a Few Goals

(This post contains affiliate links.)

I thought it might be time to re-introduce the Weekly Wrap-Up, albeit slightly different. I really enjoy reading people's weekly goals, so I'm posting my own goals to hold myself a little more accountable for actually doing them :)

Good Reads:

Very random, I admit, but these posts really resonated with me this week. 

10 Real Foods Women Should Eat More of For Good Health
Kitchen Stewardship
Since finding out this week that I will probably need to have a breast biopsy, I pinned this post for future reference. I probably will not eat liver regardless it's health components, but I do need to make a conscious effort to consume more of the others.

When You're a Little Too Practical
Olive Plants & Cornerstones 
Because I tend to be a "dream squasher" and children need to have the opportunity to try, even if it means failure.

If You Shop on Thanksgiving, You Are Part of the Problem
Matt Walsh for Huffington Post
Love this quote: 
"How appropriate, then, that a holiday created by our ancestors as an occasion to give thanks for what they had, now morphs into a frenzied consumerist ritual where we descend upon shopping malls to accumulate more things we don't need. Our great grandparents enjoyed a meal and praised the Lord for the food on the table and the friends and family gathered around it. We, having slightly altered the tradition, instead elect to bum-rush elderly women and trample over children to get our hands on cheap TVs."
The Real Truth about 'Boring Men' & the Women Who Live with Them: Redefining Boring
Ann Voskamp @ A Holy Experience
Because . . .
"The real romantics are the boring ones — they let another heart bore a hole deep into theirs."
Just beautiful.

My Posts this Week:

7 Natural Remedies for Fighting the Winter Blues

Gift Ideas for Christian Homemakers at Phenomenal Prices 

Are You Teaching Your Child Self-Denial?


Thankful Thursdays in November: Week 3

  • Granted it's Thanksgiving week, we will still be doing school; however, my aim is to focus on the story of the first Thanksgiving.
  • Continue reading Talking Back to God: Speaking Your Heart to God through the Psalms by Lynn Anderson and praying through the Psalms.
  • Run at least 2 days this week.
  • Pack up Fall decor; pull out Christmas.
  • Start working on our Family Yearbook & making calendars for Christmas presents. 
  • Start my decluttering project. Decide where to begin 
Do you have any big goals for next week? 
Homeschool Mamas, will you still be doing school?
What are your thoughts about shopping on Thanksgiving?
Got a great book I need to read?

Have a blessed weekend!
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursdays in November: Week 3

This is our third week of Thankful Thursdays, hosted by Gabby at Mama Gab. Caroline from Anchored in His Grace and I are joining in, and we hope you will too. Leave a link or share what you're thankful for this week in the comment section below.

7 {More} Things I'm Thankful for This Week

Let's keep counting . . .  

My dad and his generosity in taking my husband pheasant hunting in South Dakota. It's a great time of male bonding, and Daniel needs the time away from work. 
Good news from the doctor. The place under my arm was nothing serious.

All the senior citizens at my church. We are blessed with a lot of older people at our church, several of whom my girls are close to. On Saturday, we had a banquet celebrating those seniors, and some of the youth -- including my eldest daughter Kate -- performed in a Winter Wonderland skit for these sweet seniors who always have a kind word to say about our children.

My husband's safe return. Sunday was a stormy, dreary day here in Tennessee. After Daniel called from the South Dakota airport with news that flights into and out of the Chicago airport were delayed, I was fearful that he would be stuck there or flying in bad conditions. But thanks be to God, he made it home safely at 10:00 that night!
My middle girl's sweet concern for their Mama. I had to go for a thyroid ultrasound on Monday {I have hypothyroidism.}, and since they are usually very quick, I took all three girls. I explained what would happen and told them not to worry; nothing hurts me. But still my three-year-old {this one} stood by me and rubbed my arm and stroked my hand through it all. Melt my heart, ya'll.

Finding out a sweet friend who's had numerous miscarriages is 32 weeks pregnant! Oh, how I have been heartbroken for her, and now to find out she is having a baby boy very soon! We serve an awesome God!

Missing Bible study. At first, I was devastated to miss because my eldest wasn't feeling well, but the time we spent at home together was so precious and sweet that I knew that only the Lord could have planned it so perfectly. He knew we needed that time together, and I'm so grateful for it. 
Encouragement & prayers from family & friends. My doctor called this morning to tell me a fibroid adenoma (usually benign) on my right breast has grown and that she wants me to have it biopsied, possibly even removed. Nervous, scared, and fearful, I called my husband and mom who only offered positive words and emailed my CBS leadership team, many of which replied with emails that brought tears to my eyes. I'm so grateful for the love and support of Christian friends and loved ones. 

What about you? How has the Lord blessed YOU this week?

Feel free to share a link or comment in the comment section below.  

 Blessings to you,

Linking up to these lovely parties.

If you would like to have posts delivered to your inbox, click: Growing in His Glory. Or join us on Google Friend ConnectFacebookTwitter, & Pinterest.

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