100 Ways I am Blessed {days 50-56}

Today ends week eight in the “100 Ways I am Blessed” photo challenge! I cannot believe that we are MORE than halfway finished with this series. It has been such fun so far. Looking forward to more wonderful blessings that God reveals to me AND seeing the pictures that Caroline over at Life as Caroline posts!

Alright, here we go…

Week eight…

 

50. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” -Psalm 23:2-3 #100waysiamblessed

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51. Children’s fiction. Yes, I believe you are never too old to enjoy a book written from someone half your age. Curling up on my bed with my little sister this morning reason some of my favorites to her. #100waysiamblessed

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52. “There is nothing so irresistibly contagious in the world as #laughter.” -Charles Dickens #100waysiamblessed

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53. #Christmas #cookies. Because even though it is July, I am a girl who longs for the cool months. When I can wear sweaters and boots, bake with cinnamon and nutmeg, and listen to Nat King Cole’s Christmas music. When I come home from church and jump into my football tee to watch the game that day, and when I get to crunch the fallen leaves beneath my feet. Oh, autumn and winter, this silly little girl is anxiously waiting for you! #100waysiamblessed

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54. When one of my littlest #piano students brings me a home grown, hand picked #flower. What tender thoughtfulness. #100waysiamblessed

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55. Spending the morning surrounded by wonderful friends and some tasty food. Finally got to snag a day with @banjogirl92! I cannot express how incredibly fun today has been! #wonderfulfriends #100waysiamblessed (Also, see the following picture for a shot of the whole clan!)

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56. Successful #homemade experiments! My sister and I made lip balm this week and it turned out beautifully! #100waysiamblessed

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**And, yes, there will be a blog post about the homemade lip balm coming soon!**

 

 

100 Ways I am Blessed {days 43-49}

Here is a look at week seven on my blog. Don’t forget to checkout Caroline’s blog, too!!

 

43. #friends. True, dear, caring friends. They make life brighter. They are a blessing; an encouragement; an inspiration; an essential part of a happy life. #100waysiamblessed

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44. Monday mornings in God’s Word. The most important way to start off any day. #100waysiamblessed

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45. All five of my brothers. Really, they should count as five individual blessings. However, I liked the collage idea. #100waysiamblessed

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46. Work out time! Struttin’ them sneakers. Time to get sore! Keeping our bodies healthy is a blessing as well as a responsibility.  #100waysiamblessed

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47. Where my morning was spent. The #beach at 7am is absolutely breathtaking. #100waysiamblessed

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48. #FlashbackFriday! Gone shooting – Exercising my Second Amendment right. #100waysiamblessed

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49. “Sailing, I am sailing Home again, ‘cross the sea I am sailing stormy waters To be near you, to be free” Beautiful morning running on the #water and watching the sail boats. #100waysiamblessed

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100 Ways I am Blessed {days 36-42}

Week six is over! It is hard to believe we are so far into this series/challenge!

First off, I would like to apologize for getting the up so late. I know I usually have this all taken care of by noon on Saturday, but I have had quite a busy week. I hope you all understand. This week should run a lot smoother. So thank you for bearing with me!

Anyways, here is my week…

 

36. Little sister. Such a fun goober! #100waysiamblessed

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37. Started VBS today! First day went well! Bring on the rest of the week! #100waysiamblessed

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38. Little siblings. I love these two with all my heart! Cannot wait to have little ones of my own someday. #100waysiamblessed

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39. Walkin’ my bare feet through the #grass. #100waysiamblessed

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40. Fresh baked #bread. So delicious! #100waysiamblessed

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41. This week’s VBS memory verse. Such a wonderful one to remember! #100waysiamblessed

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42. Last night my wonderful church closed it’s #VBS week with a beautiful ceremony! So blessed to be able to be a part of it all! Until next year…  #AgencyD3 #100waysiamblessed

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Make sure to check out Caroline’s blog and her week in photos!

Here are my previous weeks…

Days 1-7

Days 8-14

Days 15-21

Days 22-28

Days 29-35

Awaiting Motherhood…

I am no mother yet, still a daughter at home. But every single time I hear my baby brother playing is his bed, all sleepy-eyed with his giant blonde curls all messy from sleeping, waiting to be picked up and brought to his breakfast I can’t wait for that time when I will have my own little one to care for.

 

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To me, the best view in the world is that of my siblings playing in the yard, running around chasing each other and squealing. Racing one another from one end of the yard to the other and laughing all along.

The best sound is my mother’s voice as she reads aloud an adventure to a whole army of little children cuddled up together, and I think to myself, “I look forward to the day that I see my children surrounding me as I read to them.”

 

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Dirty toes and sticky fingers…

Sandy hair from a day at the beach…

Pile of sopping wet coats and gloves from a morning spent in the snow…

ABC’s and 1,2,3′s and “Jesus Loves Me”…

Watching Disney Princess movies with my little sisters…

Nerf wars with my little brothers…

Leaf piles in the autumn…

Dandelions in the spring…

Winters full of hot cocoa…

Summers full of ice cream sundaes…

These are the things that I love. I cannot wait to spend time doing all of these things with my own children someday when – Lord willing – God blesses me with those precious little lives.

 

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My Top 3 Essential Oils to Always Have on Hand

This week’s Mama’s Monday blog post is about my mom’s top three essential oils. Enjoy!!

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My family and I discovered Young Living essential oils recently and we are hooked! We have used them for everything from treating headaches and boosting immunity to creating our own homemade cleaning supplies. We are still pretty new at this but I am enjoying them so much, I thought I would share my three favorite oils thus far. It was a little hard to narrow it down, but these are the ones I find we use up the fastest!

 

 Thieves

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I LOVE how Thieves oil smells. It is an antimicrobial blend that contains clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary. I like to use it to boost immunity by either diffusing or rubbing on the bottoms of our feet. We have also used it to treat fungal infections and warts. It can be used in homemade cleaners, toothpaste, deodorant and more. Its spicy, homey scent would be a great addition to homemade candles – which I hope to try soon!

 

Lavender

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Lavender is gentle and safe to use even on little ones. Always dilute any oil at first though, especially on babies and children, until you and your family get used to essential oils and you learn how they/you react with each one. My favorite oil for diluting is coconut oil. I apply lavender oil neat (undiluted) on my face to treat acne and rosacea. The dry, scaly feeling is finally gone, my face has almost completely stopped peeling, and the redness is disappearing. Lavender is great to have in your first aid arsenal for cuts and bruises and is a nice addition to homemade laundry detergent. You could also use it to make a relaxing spray to scent your bed and pillow with.

 

Here is a recipe for Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray from Stacy, the Common Scents Mom.

 

Peppermint

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Peppermint is fast becoming our go-to for easing stomach and sinus complaints. When the stomach bug recently hit our home, we used peppermint oil to ease the nausea. I simply placed 1-2 drops of peppermint on the palm of “the patient” and had them rub their hands together and hold their hands near their nose to inhale the scent. We also alternated diffusing peppermint and thieves.

Peppermint can also help with a stuffy head cold – or even worse. Soon after starting our essential oils journey, I felt the awful symptoms of a sinus infection coming on. The left side of my face was quite painful! By the evening, I knew I would need to call the doctor in the morning. Rather than watch me suffer, Maiya searched our Essential Oils Pocket Reference to see if there was anything we had on hand to provide me with a little relief. She had me start inhaling the peppermint. I was in so much pain I actually applied some to my face as well – above and below my eye. (Never apply essential oils to the eye. In case of accidentally getting any oil in your eye, use MILK, NOT water to rinse out your eye.) I did this twice that evening and twice early the next morning. By the time the doctor’s office was open so I could call for an appointment, the pain was gone! By that afternoon, I was breathing through my nose again. I never made that phone call or visit.

 

There are a number of oils that I want to always have on hand, but these are my top three. To purchase these or any other oils or Young Living products, please visit my website.

 

If you wish to save money on your oils each month, consider signing up as a wholesale member.

 

On the registration form, use my sponsor ID# which is 1668471. To save even MORE money on your oils, you may want to sign up for Essential Rewards. If you sign up as a wholesale member using my sponsor ID and purchase the premium starter kit, I will send you a copy of the aforementioned book Essential Oils Pocket Reference by Life Science Publishing as a thank you gift. Please send me an email at v1hebrews11@aol.com with any questions you may have!

 

 

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other type of medical professional. I am a mom who loves natural remedies. I can only tell you how our family uses essential oils. I cannot diagnose or treat any ailment.**

 

 

100 Ways I am Blessed {days 29-35}

Week five is through! Caroline and I have really been enjoying this challenge, and what a wonderful one it has been! So exciting and fun! Be sure to check out Caroline’s blog to see her weekly photos.

And here we go! This weeks pictures:

 

29. Planting something and seeing it grow. Being able to enjoy not only the deliciousness from it, but also the beauty. Even in something as small as a #berry. #100waysiamblessed

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30. Beautiful #blue. Spending the day with wonderful friends and a #pool day was such a blessing. Enjoying #summer! #100waysiamblessed

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31. Watching my home #country on the biggest stage in #soccer this evening. Growing up in a sports loving family, sporting events like this are exciting! #ibelieve #worldcup #100waysiamblessed

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32. Working with my hands with my #crochet hook and #yarn. #100waysiamblessed

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33. Fresh #fruit. Is it silly that I like to organize it on a tray or in a bowl? Love arranging in, love eating it. #100waysiamblessed

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34. “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” -George Washington   Celebrating Independence Day here in America! #100waysiamblessed

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35. Breathtakingly beautiful #flowers. God knew precisely what He was doing when He created flowers. One of earth’s best “decorations”. #100waysiamblessed

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Previous posts:

100 Ways I am Blessed {announcement!}

100 Ways I am Blessed {days 1-7}

100 Ways I am Blessed {days 8-14}

100 Ways I am Blessed {days 15-21}

100 Ways I am Blessed {days 22-28}

The Truth about Love

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“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 13 (NKJV)

We all love to use the word, “love.” This world is in love with love. Really, love is a beautiful thing. But in this age of Hollywood influence, we have come up with a false sense of what love is. Yes, it is really nice to think about that warm and fuzzy idea of love that is portrayed in movies, but in reality, it’s not always like that. I’m no expert. But I have loved and been loved all my life by family and friends. Love is not to be taken lightly. Love is hard work.

We each probably have a characteristic that sticks out to us the most in this chapter about love. For me, it is this one: longsuffering. This is a tough one! And this is also what I want to talk about today.

Verse 4 starts off with the first characteristic of love, “Love suffers long…”

 

Longsuffering: adjective enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently”  

 

So, taking this definition and using it instead, we get… “Love endures injury long and patiently…”

Let’s just stop there. Love and suffering? Together? What?

This spoke to me. Sometimes love means letting someone walk over you. Sometimes it means letting them spit in your face. After all, isn’t that what Jesus had to endure? It is not pleasant to think about, but in order to love like Jesus loves, we will have to endure suffering in this lifetime from the ones we love if we are to love them the way 1 Corinthians 13 talks about. That doesn’t mean we will do nothing but suffer constantly, but there will be a lot of heartache and being taken advantage of, because we live in a fallen world full of sinners just like ourselves.

I wonder if this is the first characteristic of love mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13 because it just might be the hardest one? That’s my thought.

When someone gets on my nerves or causes me pain, naturally the first thought in my mind is NOT “I love you.” But according to the life of Jesus, it should be. Why should I forgive them? Why in the world should I love them when they did that to me? When they act toward me in that manner? Jesus did. He loves and forgives daily those who trust in Him and ask forgiveness. We fail Him; we walk all over Him; we abandon Him constantly. But when we come to repentance, He forgives us instantly! Because of His wonderful example, one I know I should learn from, I hope and pray that I can learn to live that out in my own life.

That’s only the first characteristic of love. Now, I am not going to expand on all of them. However, I did go through 1 Corinthians 13 and write down every characteristic I found, then looked up the definition for each one, even if I already knew what the word meant (like, “kind” for example). I want to share what I learned with you.

 

15 characteristics of love: (definitions are taken from dictionary.reference.com)

Longsuffering- Enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently.  

Kind- Of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person.  

Does not *envy*- A feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.  

Does not *vaunt*- To speak vaingloriously of; to speak boastfully; brag.  

Does not puff up {proud}- Having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.  

Is not *rude*- Discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way:  

Is not *selfish*- Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.  

Is not *provoked*- To anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex; to stir up, arouse, or call forth.  

Thinks no *evil*- Morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked:  

Does not rejoice in *iniquity*- Gross injustice or wickedness.  

Truthful- Telling the truth, especially habitually:  

Bears {does not give up}- To hold or remain firm under (a load)  

Believes- To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something.  

Hopes- To look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire, or trust:  

Endures- To bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate:

 

That’s a pretty lengthy list! My goal in writing this really was to think about and expand on that first characteristic because I think so often we forget – I know I do. It is so hard to do. It is so hard to even remember. But in every relationship it is necessary to develop in these characteristics in order to love others – especially those in your own family. My prayer is that I can slowly start to grow in these characteristics to truly love those in my life.