Sunday, February 28, 2010

MUST SEE (this site) MONDAY!

Today I would like to share with you a very inspiring site I visit often.  Three women started this site.  These three women were connected at DaySpring, a Christian subsidiary of Hallmark.  Stephanie, Laine & Holley had a vision!  "This vision was to create a new home for the hearts of women."


"When we asked ourselves what kind of place we were building, we finally came to see it as a bit like a beach house. You can put your sandy, dirty feet on the coffee table, laugh late into the night with friends, and also hear God’s voice clearer than perhaps anywhere else. Life just feels more vibrant and real, as if you’ve stumbled upon a glimpse of heaven and it’s nothing like you ever imagined but everything you’d always hoped.


And we knew always this house didn’t belong to us—it was God’s house and we hostesses."


If you are followers of Angie's, Jessica's blogs.  Or, if you're a fan of Lisa Leonard, then you may know which site I'm sharing with you today.  


(in)courage.  







That sums it up right there.  


I (in)courage you to visit and I promise you won't be disappointed!!  I became a "follower" and I can't tell you how uplifting the posts are.  It's always just what I need to hear that day when I log on and open up my blogger dashboard.   You can read, shop, share, give and most of all grow on this site.  


I hope you enjoy this site as much as I do!  You can visit it by clicking the link below.



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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Words to live by this Wednesday.....

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger"
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Today I write to you about a man named Josh.  I don't know Josh personally.  I've never met Josh.  But, I'm pretty sure that Josh is doing ok these days.  Let me explain.  Josh turned something bad into a blessing.  I chose to write about turning our bad situations into blessings today because it's something that hits really close to home right now.  John Taylor and I are learning all about how what seems to be a very bad situation in our lives (and may very well be a "bad" situation at some point in time) can turn out to be the biggest of blessings.


Back to Josh....


Josh Opperman was hit with the harshest of news when he came home one day to find that his life was about to take a very different direction, in more ways than one!  His finance had left him.  His success story is about the events following the break-up.


{I just have to stop a second....
I mean, could you imagine this!  Imagine going to work one day feeling on top of the world, knowing you're about to marry your soul mate (or so you thought).  Then, imagine coming home to an empty house and your finance's engagement ring staring you in the face.  Ouch!}


Of course, this was hard for Josh.  Not only had he lost the love of his life (so he thought), he now had this huge financial investment sitting in front of him and the knowledge that his life would not be like he had planned.  He would not spend the rest of his days with this person, but now he would build a new life without them.  He knew he had to move on.  He first took the ring back to the retailer.  Guess what!  They would only give him a FRACTION of what he paid for the ring!  So, he decided to take his misfortune and turn it into something good, big and wonderful!  Something that could help him through this process, financially and emotionally, and something that would help others.  That's the best part --- it could help others just like him!  Josh started an online auction house to sell engagement rings, wedding dresses, etc. and named it I do Now I Don't.  How clever!  Josh took this very sad event in his life and turned into a very successful online business.  It was a blessing!  Josh has been featured on Good Morning America, Rachel Ray and CNN.  You can read Josh's full story HERE.


Josh's story is very inspiring to me.  John Taylor lost his job a few weeks before Christmas.  It was such a hard, bad time for us as a family in the weeks following.  I struggled with why it was all happening to us.  I even wrote a blog post about it on our family blog asking for prayers.  I titled it "Why bad things happen to Christians" and maybe I'll share it with you one day on iBlog.  But, in the next few weeks, I hope to share with you many things about our life that are great blessings.  Wonderful things are happening for us and we are so excited about all of them.  Some is just too much to comprehend.  I'm so used to going through the bad situations in life and asking why. Now we're sitting here seeing God work in our life so profoundly!  It's amazing!  I feel so greatly blessed and can't wait to share more details.


The Bible tells us that everything under the sun has a purpose and everything created has a purpose. (Ezra 16, Isaiah 43) If we try and accept the bad situations (after all, sometimes there's not much we can do to change the bad situation), then it will soon grow into something great.


I believe the Word when it says that if we continue to do what is right and good, we will bear fruit and reap blessings. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 - "And as for you, brothers, never grow tired of doing what is right") Sometimes this is hard.  Especially if the bad siutation (like Josh's) was created by someone you felt was doing you wrong.  But, Josh is happily married to someone else now and if he hadn't suffered that  heart break, then he would've never met his real soul mate!  1 Peter 4:19 says, "So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."  
So, it just wasn't meant to be - Josh and his first finance - and Josh continued to have faith, turned his situation around by using this life event to create blessings.  There was a great deal of suffering, but more celebrating at the end.  


I'm sure everyone out there has experienced a time in their life where they thought that bad situation would surely kill them.  I know I've been there, recently, and I know for a fact it's made me stronger.  I'm so excited to see what is in store in the upcoming months!  


Thanks for reading!


PS...I'm sorry if this post was a little all over the place.  I had good intentions.  I started this post this morning and just finished at 9:27 pm.  Been a looong day! :) Good night!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Must see the Simple Chaos I've found in my life!

Good morning and happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a blessed weekend.  Ok, so I know you've all just been dying to know what I had planned for Monday.  I decided I would feature a blog/website I find wonderful every Monday!  You know, to pass the goodness along.  And, double whammy, I even have a guest "poster" for you!!  I stumbled across this cute little blog written by a cute little girl.  Well, she's not little as in a 10 year old, but well...you get the picture.  Anyway, her name is Megan and I'm not telling you anymore because that would defeat the purpose in featuring her blog and telling you to GO CHECK IT OUT!  :)  It's called Simple Chaos.  You'll be glad you checked her out.  And now, I'm please to announce Megan!  Take it away girl!



Where do I start? First I would like to thank Cat for welcoming me as her first guest blogger, on iBlog. Then I would like to say that I am completely honored that she chose me.
Did you ever see the movie Selena? You know the part where she is having the press conference in Mexico, and she is trying to speak to everyone in Spanish (if you have not seen the movie, it is great and Selena did not speak Spanish). There is a point where she says “Estoy…estoy muy…EXCITED!” I will tell you I feel a little like that! Except that I do speak Spanish, and while I am excited, I feel like I can’t find the words to describe it all fully.
I got an email several days ago asking me to be a guest blogger. Honored only begins to describe how that made me feel. Since then my brain has been going non stop, what do I write, what if nobody likes it, what if Cat looses all her readers because I just plain stink? Well, I decided I should read a bit of Cat’s blog and see what she is all about. Let me just say that on more than one occasion, I felt like she took the words right out of my mouth. I look forward to reading her blog and seeing how she puts her thoughts (which also happen to be eerily similar to mine) out for all to know.
And that leaves me with my guest blogging post… I am a not a procrastinator by nature, but I have started this post over and over in my head, and each time it is different. SO I figured, once again, I will sit and type and I will quote my boys here “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit”. This by the way does rhyme if you are in the South!!
Sunday afternoon, we went to Target to pick up a few essentials, deodorant, milk, diapers, and laundry detergent. The boys were extremely well behaved, for the most part. Jay (he is my 6 YO) has to touch everything! While waiting in the check out like, he is touching every part of the buggy (that’s a shopping cart). In the process of all the touching he did not realize his hiney was stiking out and knocking down all the ding dongs on the display. Here is the conversation that followed:

Me: Jay I am going to need you to pick all of that up and pay attention to what is going on around you.
Jay: But mom (in a whiney 6 YO voice) I didn’t even do that.
Me: Son, your little hiney was sticking out and knocked it all down, please just pick it up.
Jay: honest mom, it was Casper, he was pushing my bottom like this, and this, and this. (He was saying this while half bent over and shaking his rump wildly from side to side)
Me: Ok, please ask Casper to pay more attention and not to push your bottom around like that.
Jay: (looking over his shoulder, in a very stern voice) Casper, you always get me into trouble, I can’t take you anywhere with out you causing a ruckus!”


At this point there were about twenty people staring at us, all cracking up! Which really only egged our little comedian on. The boy has a future I tell you, he is a funny boy, knows how to work is audience, and defiantly knows how to make people laugh!!
That’s all folks, I have enjoyed my virtual time here with you guys, feel free to hop on over and check us out.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Red Letter Friday

Book of Matthew
Jesus proclaims the new values of the kingdom.
(with the words of Jesus in RED)

Then he began his teaching by saying to them, "How happy are the humble-minded, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs! "How happy are those who know what sorrow means for they will be given courage and comfort! "Happy are those who claim nothing, for the whole earth will belong to them! "Happy are those who are hungry and thirsty for goodness, for they will be fully satisfied! "Happy are the merciful, for they will have mercy shown to them! "Happy are the utterly sincere, for they will see God! "Happy are those who make peace, for they will be sons of God! "Happy are those who have suffered persecution for the cause of goodness, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs! "And what happiness will be yours when people blame you and ill-treat you and say all kinds of slanderous things against you for my sake! Be glad then, yes, be tremendously glad - for your reward in Heaven is magnificent. They persecuted the prophets before your time in exactly the same way."

Mathew 5:2-12

Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Words to live by this Wednesday ~ "Men tracht und Gott lacht"

The first time I saw this saying, it was on a pillow at my in-laws house. My creative mother-in-law actually put this saying on a pillow - "Men tracht und Gott lacht" I  find it very ironic that so many times I saw this pillow, tried to read the words on this pillow, sat on this pillow, but never once asked what it meant.  Finally, one day John Taylor asked his mom what it meant and she told him - "Man plans and God laughs".

It was ironic that I never asked what this meant because I am surely one that does not want to face the fact that I am not the one in complete control of everything in my life at all times.  Ha!  I didn't even know what it meant that and I didn't want to face the fact that I'm not in control.  But, the older I get, the more I'm learning and seeing that I'm glad I'm not in control.  I mean, how wonderful is it that we can just give it all over to Him and not try and control.  Why did I not see this before?  The more I tried to control my life, the more my life spun out of control spiritually.  The closer I grow in my relationship with God, the more my life is under control.  Under control because it's under HIS guidance. 

I'm sure glad I don't have that burden on me to control my life and everything that does or does not happen within it.  

It's funny because I like things to be in order.  I like to have a plan.  I like to be ahead on projects, not behind.    If I have many things to get done, I like to allow plenty of time to ensure they will get done and I tend to want to start my list early on.  Hey, it's better to maybe get it done early then possibly not get done or be late.  But, I can sure tell a difference the older I get in how I feel about order and control.  Especially since having children.  I honestly think one thing children teach us is that it's not about our timing, but God's.  Moms out there, I know can relate.  My tiny children don't know (or care) about schedules.  All they know are their needs and depend on me for their needs being met.  It doesn't matter if I'm trying to cram all one hundred things I have going on in 1 hour and feed, dress, diaper, etc. etc. etc.  Sometimes, I feel God's does laugh, or at least has a big sense of humor, since my babies always seem to have a meltdown and "need" me just when LOST is about to start.  Or, just when I sit down to eat dinner.  I mean, my kids have what I call "meal radar".  I just mine as well accept the fact that having small babies = no sitting down to eat meals. 

How many of you out there are planners?  How many like to know where you're going and what's going to happen?  Like things to go according to YOUR plan?  ME.  I am.  I do.  All over the Bible there are verses that trying to tell us....

Proverbs 16:9
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

Psalm 33:10
"The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples."

It's sure hard sometimes, but I'm studying this to remember that God is in control and He has a plan for my life.  Just when I think things are crumbling, I'm shown in many ways that's just not so.  I love how God works that way.  Sometimes it stinks to go through the bad to get to that good He shows, but it turns out being worth it when I put my trust in Him.  

I'm really trying hard to remember this these days.  My husband and I have been faced with some hard times lately.  How we handle it can make us stronger and "make us" or break us.  So far, I've seen God really work wonders in our life since this has all come about.  I'm going to try to remember that when I plan, God finds humor in that.  When I sit back and let God lead me, I find gifts in that.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

It Snowed! [which is a big deal round these parts]

S is for Snow.  And snow is what we woke up to Friday morning.  It was so nice to have hot chocolate for breakfast and watch the snow fall all morning.  We don't get to see snow very often, so of course everyone was out of school, off work and going crazy!  We ended up getting about 5 inches and it was beautiful!  The snow is all melted now, but it was fun while it lasted.  Hope everyone is having a great Monday so far.  Just wanted to drop in and tell you about a little secret I have planned for every Monday from here on out here on iBlog!  I'm excited about it!  I'm working out the details for next Monday's post and hope to make it a weekly thing if everyone likes it.  Thanks again for all the support and for reading!  Have a great week!



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Ok, I'll just be honest here.  Wouldn't want to start off this week with a total sham of a picture!  :)  The above picture was staged.  There, I said it.  It's all out in the open.  It was snowing so hard when I saw how pretty the snow looked piled up on the wood of our shutter outside on our house.  But, I couldn't bring my camera outside for fear it may get too wet.  So, by the time it had stopped snowing, the little pile of snow on the shutter had melted.  :(  I wanted the shot so bad, I staged it.  If I wouldn't have told you, could you tell? 

Happy Monday!!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

First Post

Here it is.  The first post.  The first post is always the hardest.  (I speak like I've written many first posts)


I want to first say thank you to my friend Brandy.  It was Brandy that talked me into starting a blog a few years ago, so I kind-of feel like I owe it all to her.  She's one cool mama and has the cutest, smartest (almost too smart), funniest little girl!  I love the way Brandy writes and you should check her out HERE.


Next, I just have to mention (I feel like I'm standing up in front of a bunch of people making a speech!) my sister Beth.  She is truly the most amazing woman I know.  She's my bff, my soul sister, my mentor, my solid rock.  She is an awesome mother, daughter, sister in Christ, friend.  I say all this (it is all so true, but I have another motive...) because I want you to all know what an awesome writer Beth is.  She truly has a gift and her words are so touching, elegant and perfect.  SHE is the one that needs to have a blog!  I feel very strongly about this and about who she would reach out to and touch if she had one.  So, before I start this journey of a blog, I want to request that all of you join with me in encouraging Beth to start HER blog.  Oh, she's already got the site domain name established.  She's had that for quite some time!  I said she's "rock solid" and that's foreshadowing of her what her blog is to become.  :)  So, go ahead, email her.  She won't mind I gave out her email address.


bethdcarr@gmail.com


Now...


I'm so excited about this blog.  I've been blogging for a while and I'm sure all of the ten (ok, twenty) people reading this, you came from our personal blog.  I started iBlog to be a place where I could come and write about anything on my mind and share things I find inspiring, funny, interesting, creative or helpful.


I'm Catherine.  I'm a wife and a mother of two small children.  We live in the South.  It only snows where we live about every 25 years.  Today is one of those times --- 4.5 inches as of 9 o'clock this morning!  We are loving it even if the news is making it out to be like we should declare state of emergency!  I hope that you will enjoy reading and seeing pictures as much as I enjoy writing and taking them.   I have lots of great things in store.  I look forward to hearing from you, friends!


Whew!  The first post is finished.  It only took me 4.5 hours.  I had to stop a few times, you know for changing diapers, making snacks, playing games, doing puzzles, and wiping snotty noses.  Not to mention a fraction of this post was really written while feeding the baby.  But, that's my life these days and I'm blessed greater than I ever imagined and I wouldn't have it any other way!  


~Catherine Moore

PS --- For those of you that follow our personal blog, this will not replace it.  It is sill in business!  Just private now. :)  

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