Thursday, June 30, 2011

springtime fling or everlasting love

This week at My Freshly Brewed Life, we are reading and studying Song of Solomon 2:8-17. Feel free to join in on this fabulous in-depth study with Barbie and share how God is speaking to you through these verses. This week Charis of at the gate called beautiful is leading us through the following verses.


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8 Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.
9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
10 My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.
11 See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”   
 14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.
 16 My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies.
17 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills.



As I pondered these verses this week, I was reminded of the newness of spring! A new beginning for many plants, flowers and trees. A freshness to our surroundings.

11 See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
 
By the time spring comes...many of use are just begging for it. We long for days filled with sun, where we can get out in the garden and hear the birds singing, see flowers in bloom and smell all the wonderful fragrances this new season is filled with. The dirt, salt and sand that accumulates over the winter is washed away with the rain. A fresh beauty of the world comes to life! We have been designed by Him to respond to this both emotionally and physically. But we are also designed to have this desire spiritually. Here God is calling us to come out of our dreariness and depressions. He desires to breathe into us a joy and beauty that only He can give. He calls to us with promises of everlasting love and unfailing kindness.

The LORD appeared to us from afar, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;  
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Jeremiah 31:3

God is in a constant pursuit of us, desiring to have an intimate, long lasting, satisfying relationship with us. He calls on us, where ever we are, with open arms, to be apart of every aspect of our lives, we only need to respond.

14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, 
in the hiding places on the mountainside, 
show me your face, let me hear your voice; 
for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

Once we are willing to meet Him and begin afresh, have our dirt washed away(sins forgiven), then we will be able to say;

16 My beloved is mine and I am his;
That my friend, is not just a springtime fling....but a love everlasting...oh to have such a relationship!





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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh! Canada...oh! crafty

With the long weekend coming up for both Canadians (July 1st) and Americans (July 4th), it just seems like a great time to share some fantastic crafty and foodie ideas to help celebrate. Although I will be away for most of the weekend this year, I will definitely be using some of these for inspiration next year....maybe even throw a Canada Day Party!! Enjoy!!

"Canadian Flag Cake" from Kraft Canada



"Beaver Cupcakes" from Canadian Living
"Canada Day Bird" from Canadian Living
"Canada Day Flag" from Kinderart
"Ribbon Wreath" from Home by Sunset
"Canada Day Pinwheels" from Today's Parent

 Enjoy the rest of your week and have a great long weekend!!


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Monday, June 27, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"big loser day": what i'm losing

Well, here we are....Saturday, again!! This is my first week documenting my journey here. I have titled this "big loser day" for a few reasons....let me explain:
  1. I am losing weight and inches
  2. I am lessening my chance of developing diabetes
  3. I am lessening my chance of heart disease/attack
  4. I am losing feeling fatigue all the time
  5. I am losing heart burn/indigestion
  6. I am losing my constant desire for junk food
This week was a little challenging with exercise. There were a few mornings where I didn't walk...rain, needed wanted to sleep in a bit. If I don't get up at 5:15am and walk before the family awakes, then I don't get a walk in and well lets face it, that's really early so I skipped it a couple of times!! I also boo boo'd by going to get ice cream with the family....which I must say, I don't do often, so it was a really nice treat!! I have been not only weighing in every Saturday but once a month or so, I measure myself in a few places...chest, waist, hips, thigh and arm. I am down a total of 10 inches...almost a foot....woot woot!!! I have noticed that even in the weeks I am "stuck" on the scale, my measurements are still going down. Today I am down another 2.2 pounds, 0.8 pounds away from my 10%. 
I really do love the weight watchers point plus plan, because I can still have a treat of ice cream and continue to lose weight. I also like this system because it keeps me accountable for the food I am eating, because for the plan to work properly I need to track everything I eat. I like the little saying "if you bite it, write it". That includes a taste of this or a nibble of that....it is amazing how much we lose track of these little things!! 
This week, my goal is to increase my water intake. I have never been really good at that. I love my coffee and my diet pop (soda). I have dropped the amounts that I am drinking of that, but now I need to up my water from 2-3 cups to 4-5 this week....every day and then maybe in the next few weeks I can get it up to the daily recommended 6-8 cups.
How have you been doing this week? Anything you will be working on changing? Any tips that have worked for you?
I am linking this to

 
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Friday, June 24, 2011

sharing happiness

just a little something from my garden...




"Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower"
~unknown

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

nearer to you

I found this weeks study of the Song of Solomon a little more challenging to interpret, but after reading through it....and the side notes in my Bible as well as the incite Barbie had revealed, I realized one thing to be true...I need to continue to draw nearer to Him!! Read with me the verses below from chapter 2.

Photobucket 1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
2 Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.
3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade,  and his fruit is sweet to my taste. 4 Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. 5 Strengthen me with raisins,  refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. 6 His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.  7 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
As I read these verses over and over, I was continually drawn to verse three and from it I drew my understanding of what God was truly revealing to me. 

"Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men."

The first thing that stands out to me here is that the "beloved" or God is unique from all the other trees of the forest. He is referred to as an apple tree in a forest of trees....not an apple orchard. He is not the same as anyone else, there is a quality that is matchless to the others surrounding Him. This quality is what draws me in....

"I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste."
 
....this quality is what keeps me coming back (although hard to admit, not as often as I should or need too). When I am surrounded by this love I feel joy and protection, contentment and peace. fulfillment and love. This is how I would describe my morning devotional time, as I sing/hum/listen to worship music, read scripture and/or a devotional and pray. I realize though that the more time I spend in the shade of this tree...the more I desire not only to start every day here, but visit quite often throughout the day because without the returning throughout the day, I feel  tired, stressed, weak, impatient,  sometimes angry and just plain fed-up! I think this is where I heard God speak, as I was pondering this verse, God was telling me that just because I start my day with Him, doesn't mean I should place Him on the back burner until the end of the day. I need to refresh/replenish myself continually throughout the day, just as I do physically, I need spiritually replenishing too!! So from now on, I will make more of an effort to sit in the shade of this perfect tree, enjoying His sweet, sweet fruit. I want to be nearer to You, Lord!




 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

summer "to do's"

With today being the first day of summer, it is only appropriate that my family begin doing some of the things on our summer "to do" list. As of yet we do not have it officially in print, (just a few things scribbled down in point form on a random piece of paper) although many things have been discussed as to what we should do over our summer months. Some of our ideas have been spurred on by daddy's Father's Day gift...a book called "Geek Dad" which is perfect for my somewhat "geeky" husband. I know both he and the children are looking forward to going through this book from cover to cover....and I will enjoy watching them spend quality time together and I may even get in on a few of the projects! I'm looking forward to the "slip & slide"!!

Some of these things include:
  • camping in the backyard
  • roasting marshmallows
  • flying a kite
  • making our own "slip & slide"
  • picnic
  • play in the sprinkler
  • have a sleepover
  • go for ice cream
and the list goes on. I would like to create a formal list...something fun and inspiring with the opportunity to check things off as we have completed them and with space to add more as we think of new things to do!! Spending time as a family is always important, but the summer months always seem to give a fresh opportunity to do so many things we love and aren't able to do in the colder and rainier months. I am looking forward to creating our finished list in the next week. Here are a few of my favorite "to do" lists that I find inspiring!! 

c/o Happiness Is...
c/o eighteen25

c/o TomKat Studio


What do you have planned for the summer months?? Care to share??

Happy Summer!!

I am linking this to:


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Monday, June 20, 2011

melodious monday:praise the Father, praise the Son

Praise the Father, Praise the Son




I will be linking up with Chrissy at Life's Not Always Fireflies and Hummingbirds for her "Tuesday Tunes" meme. Feel free to join her as well.


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Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy father's day

me and my daddy
"anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad!!"

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Friday, June 17, 2011

the struggle to be a big loser

What seems like forever ago, I could say I was a skinny girl, although my
low self esteem and poor perception of myself didn't allow for that very often.
I never really struggled with weight even though hereditary weight issues occur in my family.
I was lucky enough to be small and return to that size
within a maximum of a year after having a baby
...at least with my first three children.


At some point, whether it was my age or the loss of "little one" 
(some of this story can be found here
I developed hypothyroidism. 
I had past it off as postpartum depression, as many of the signs and symptoms are similar. 
After the birth of "boo" I was unable to get back down to pre-pregnancy weight 
and with blood tests done, I began taking medication to get my thyroid numbers back in order. 
Now after the birth of our last child....who is now three, 
I still take medication daily (and will for the rest of my life) 
and struggle to get back down to a healthy weight.
With many health conditions that are hereditary in my family 
(ie: diabetes, heart related problems etc.) 


I decided to join weight watchers to help me get back on track.
I have been a part of this new venture for 2 1/2 months and have lost about 15lbs so far.
I attend a meeting every Saturday morning and find that the support network of this has been extremely helpful and encouraging. Some weeks are tougher than others and I fall
back into some bad eating patterns but I have found the triggers of my eating and
am able to  spot them before I fall into a downward spiral.
It has become very important to me to lose some of this weight and to get
to a healthy size...not so I can be skinny again,  
however that would be an added bonus,
but more so, 
so I can enjoy and play my kids, 
I can lead them to healthy food choices and eating patterns, 
I can avoid the hereditary health related risks and the list goes on. 

I have decided that I am going to document this journey 
as a way of being held accountable.


My goal is 40lbs by age 40, which is this October
....I think that is attainable...
however I would be quite happy to just be in the 140's somewhere by that point. 
I keep a record of my good and bad food choices,
the reasons why I choose them,
how I am feeling at the times I choose to eat
as well as an activity journal 
and a weekly weigh in.
I will share some of these things on Saturdays.

Join me??!!?? 
Whether as a part of this healthy lifestyle or just to spur me on!!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

just as i am

I am joining in on the study of the Song of Songs with Barbie of My Freshly Brewed Life. This is the 3rd week that Barbie has given us "a place where we could come together and read this amazing book, and share with one another about what God is revealing to our hearts". We are reading this not as a love story between a man and women (as many do) but rather as the relationship between Christ and His church. Each week a verse or two is read and pondered in this perspective. Read with me this weeks verses....Song of Solomon 1:5&6


PhotobucketDark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon. Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect. 




As I read through these verses this morning, I was reminded of how we (particularly me!) as women are always so concerned of how we look and what we have accomplished. We tend to make excuses when things are not completed to perfection or we do not look at our best, as if we are expected to be nothing less than that. I have found myself many a time making excuses why I haven't been able to accomplish everything on my "to do" list or haven't even had a chance to jump into the shower before the end of the day. I have used the words "oh my goodness...I'm so sorry, I'm a mess," or "I'm so sorry, my house is a mess" to guests and even family that have popped in for a visit. But realistically, they aren't there to see what I look like or what my house looks like for that matter....they aren't interested in the reasons why, they just come to spend time with me....little ole me! and that is how God feels. He loves us just as we are....He loves me, just as I am. Whether I am looking not so great, or feeling not so great, whether I have accomplished everything on my "to do" or not....He just wants me to meet with Him....just the way I am. I am so glad I have a God that is so excepting of me and my short comings. I just need to remember to make time for Him. I have been working on getting up earlier in the morning and spending my first half hour with God, as I go for my morning walk....I pray, listen, sing, meditate. It is a wonderful start to my day....not only am I forgetting about the fact that I am "exercising" but I have started the day with guidance, reassurance and peace, so then I can go and take care of everything on my "to do" with Him along side of me!!


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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the unknown writing on the wall


Part of being a godly wife and mother is raising our children with respect...for others as well as for their own belongings. My daughter "boo" has put this...and us to the test with defining respect to her belongings. She has a very creative nature...she loves to draw, craft, decorate and redecorate...she even "journals" in her own 5 year old scribble. I have tried to keep up with this creative spirit she has by providing lots of paper, crayons, markers, scissors and glue, but she runs out very quickly. In the past week, she has managed to go beyond the use of her goodies and has proceeded to destroy decorate her bedside table and headboard of her bed, she has rearranged pictures and even removed photos from their frames. I know she gets this need of redesign from me, however we are trying to teach her the difference between "decorating" and destruction. It has been with much tough love, after the 3rd time of reminding and redirection, that we were given no choice but to remove all of her "extras" from her room. I remind her daily how important it is to take care of the things we have, how blessed we are to have so many things when others have very little. We talk about the purpose of her belongings being removed and I think maybe it is sinking in....last night as we said our bed time prayers together her words were..."Jesus, I pray that I will be better at taking care of my stuff, or I might get another time out or more stuff taken away. Help me be a good girl with my stuff and only colour on paper, not my bedside table or my bed or the wall...." I just love listening to the innocence of a child talking to her Heavenly Father!! Now I need to look for the writing on the wall....I was unaware of that one!!

I am linking up with Our Simple Country Life for Simple Homemaking today!

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Monday, June 13, 2011

melodious monday:while i'm waiting

I have always loved music! Although I can not play any instruments, I do love to sing and sometimes even dance!!!  I find music to be relaxing in times of stress, energizing in times of laziness, uplifting in times of feeling down, grounding in times of confusion and the list goes on....
Music has a certain way of allowing feelings and thoughts to be expressed and shared that can not be done in any other way!! So today I would like to share a song that has helped me through when I was waiting for answers to a good many questions....learning patience, trust and faith all at the same time!!!

Enjoy!!






I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord




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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

a fresh start

This is the beginning of a new journey...a new blog and a new look for the documenting of this Simple Princess!! I look forward to sharing much with all of you!!

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