Through the Cracks

I have been putting this entry off because it is so personal but after various times of prayer and different sermons and devotionals I have been reading I have felt led to post it now. So here it goes:

A few weeks ago my husband and I took an 8-day cruise to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. It was a wonderful time. I have to be honest that prior to leaving I went through a very hard time. The two months before our trip I went through a tremendous amount of guilt that weighed heavy on my heart. I was feeling guilty for leaving my kids for that long and for asking someone else to look after them for an entire week. After all it is my job as their mom at this point in their lives to take care of their every need.

I was feeling guilty about being away, relaxing and “having a good time” when someone else was taking care of my two little ones.  I allowed Satan to reign in my thoughts and I let him feed my guilt so that it became all consuming.  At one point we even discussed canceling our trip.

I mean at this point in our family’s life we are living with my in-laws while we are in search of purchasing a house.  The thought of asking them to do even more than what they already have been doing became unthinkable.  And, asking my parents to stop what they are doing to take off work and watch my kids was crazy.  All of this so that I can go relax, sleep in, eat dinner without interruptions, read a book, spend quiet time with the Lord and enjoy so many moments with my husband was beyond what I could handle.  Honestly…it kept me up at night!

The big problem was that I allowed Satan to reign. The week before we left I was getting various lists together and writing down schedules for the kids, I stopped and broke down.  I actually had a few breakdowns, including one in front of my dear friends. During those times I expressed my feelings and as my friends and husband tried to reassure me that “it was OK” and that “we needed this”…it still didn’t help.

Three days before leaving, I got down on my knees alone in the bathroom and cried out to God. I should have done this the first time these feelings started to set in. I asked God to meet me, to take away these feelings and to help me to embrace this time with my husband.  I asked Him to help me see the special moments my parents were going to have with them and to help me understand that my in laws were only going to have them for a short while and that I needed to let go and ban Satan from my thoughts. And you know what...He met me. He met me!!!

Yes the feeling was overwhelming and He answered.  He always does. I felt a fullness that all was going to be fine and that it was OK to relax. My mother told me that the kids were going to be fine and that she was nervous but excited to spend this time with them. Suddenly I realized that someone else wanted to take care of my kids with a willing heart and love on them just like I try to do daily.

God is always with me and He never forsakes me.  He takes care of my every need. Sometimes I just need to ask.  He is so patient, gracious, merciful and He knows my every move.  He is for me, and He will never forsake me in my weaknesses.  

Satan is the master of deception and he loves to find the openings to slip through so that he can spread the doubt, guilt, sadness and undeserving feelings. He feeds on that and when we let the cracks appear he loves it. We need to be free of those cracks and filled with the Holy Spirit so that we are living for Christ, dwelling in Christ and filling up with His word.

In retrospect, this trip was absolutely amazing.  I definitely missed my kids, but I knew that they were fine, that all would go well and that they would quickly forget how long we were gone. 

This experience has confirmed one important thing for me.  That God is so much bigger than I sometimes think He is and that He cares for us more than we could ever imagine.  Even in the small things.  We need to avoid filling our minds and hearts with things that lead us away from Him and instead, commune with Him. In our weakness we allow negative feelings to overtake what is important and it keeps our focus away from Christ and what fulfillment He has for us.

I am so far from perfect and I make mistakes all the time. And yet He loves me. He works on me and He challenges me to be what I am created to be for Him…to worship Him, seek Him and live for Him! I don't always get this right but the moments that I do I am reminded of this truth and I continue to strive for what makes life worth living.

The cruise was time for renewal, refreshment and quality time with my husband. We love spending time together and during the trip we spent very little time apart.  I am so blessed to be with a man that sees me for all that I am and continues to love me.  I see glimpses of Christ through him!  And yet, Christ loves even more and wants even more of me (and for me).

So yes, the trip was important and much needed. Taking that time to be away and invest in your marriage (and yourself, in my opinon) is crucial for your relationship and I strongly recommend it. If not for a week, take two days to find that renewed strength to keep going for yourself, your husband and your children.  You will be a better wife, mom, friend, daughter, woman.  I’m sure of it.

Above all, find moments to be with Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in you so that you, me, all of us may experience the richness and fullness of Christ because Christ can break any barrier!

Romans 8:2, 5-6
"2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." 

Picture Courtesy of: You can purchase this beautiful photo through the below link.

Recycled Crafts

With Earth Day quickly approaching I thought I would share a craft that my daughter and I did.

I have been saving baby food jars for awhile and have found various crafts to do with them that can be useful, decorative or just plain fun. After all it is Earth month and this is a great Recycled Craft!

We have used the baby food jars to create cute pencil holders. We used scraps of construction paper to create a princess and prince around the jar. I use them to hold scissors and crayons or paintbrushes.

Another way we used a jar was to paint it with special glass paint and then turn it into a cute little vase. We made tissue paper flowers and I used small pipe cleaners left over from another craft to make the stems. (I didnt need long pipe cleaners because the jars are small.)

I save scraps all the time because you never know when they will come in handy!!
Happy Crafting!!!

Easter Reflections: He Lives

I was thinking about this Easter weekend and how it is one of my favorite holidays. This holiday, above all, reminds us what Christ did for each of us when He died on the cross. I was thinking about all the songs that we sing on this particular Sunday and the old Hymn He Lives was one that came to mind.  While growing up, I always loved hearing the choir in my church sing this song. I looked up this beautiful hymn to read the words.  Just stop and consider them for a moment:

I serve a risen Saviour,
He's in the world today;
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him
He's always near.


He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And tho my heart grows weary
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading
Thro' all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him,
The help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

Lyrics & Music ~ Alfred H. Ackley, 1887 - 1960

The second verse is so meaningful and the hope in Christ that He knows all and His plan for our lives is perfect. Do not grow weary or be in despair for He is leading us. Amen!  The third verse states, “the hope for all who seek him” and His love is like no other. Christ Jesus lives and He loves us.

When I was reading the words from the hymnbook there was a reflection by Raymond Lindquist on what Easter meant to him and I thought it said it so beautifully:

Some years ago a newspaper editor telephoned and asked me to tell in a few words what Easter means to me. My testimony was this: Easter means Christ to me. It means Christ in His Kingly Splendor, Christ in His serene glory, Christ in His gracious condescension. This is because Easter is the return of Christ from inflicted violence, from induced death, from imprisonment in a tomb. Easter is Christ triumphant over all that sin and death and man could do to Him. Easter means Christ.
And where Christ goes, drama goes. For it is impossible to look anywhere in the Gospels and fail to find something powerful happening. This is because Christ is Himself the Gospel and He is life, abundant life, and His life means action, pilgrimage, arrival.
         Easter means Life. Christ defeated death in order that life in Him might always live. And it is life that we want, life in Christ. Whether we put it in words or not, our constant thought is “ Life, more life, always more and more Life.” We want life in ourselves, in our loved ones, in our friends, the kind of life that cannot be diminished, the kind of life that always expands. Easter is Christ’s victory over all that would restrict, deny and strangle life. “For to me to live is Christ.” That is Easter.

            For all who read this, my prayer is that you know that Christ Jesus died for you.  But more than that, He is no longer dead, He is alive and loves you dearly. I pray that you feel His tug on your heart to accept His love and accept Him into your life that you may live with Him for eternity.

Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”

Good Friday: Some Events of the Day

John 18:12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him.

Mark 14:63-65 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need?  You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.  And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

John 18:38-39 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

Luke 23:27-31 And there followed him [Jesus] a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him.  But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’  For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Matthew 27:3-5 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

John 19:31-33 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

Sunday is Coming and we Celebrate Christ Jesus Resurrection! May we remember His Sacrifice today!

Coloring Easter Eggs

I remember when I was younger coloring Easter eggs with my brother and mom. It was fun picking the colors and decorating them with crayons and stickers. That was such a good memory!

This year was the first year that I colored eggs with my daughter. I decided to make it simple because 1) I had never done it before, and 2) she is only 3 years old.   I saw a bunch of really cool ideas on Pinterest and the Web that seemed pretty involved, but in the end I thought, “keep it simple Holly and fun!”

So I took my own advice and bought a PAAS DEGGORATING Party Box that came with everything we needed to decorate some Easter eggs. The dye tablets, stickers, glitter, glue, sequins, paint, and foam stamps all came with the kit. I could just set it up and go, so it was great! I also bought the PAAS coloring cups (which I found to be better than my bowls) so I was glad I bought them and I can reuse them each year.

LT had a lot of fun dipping the eggs and decorating them. She was very proud of her eggs when they were finished. We made little baskets for a few of them to sit in. I had found a cute basket to make on Disney Family Fun (Link: It came out cute but it was definitely a project geared for older kids!

I would recommend the kit if you need something quick and inexpensive!! There was plenty of dye color to make more than enough eggs (we only did 10). I highly recommend it.  (Tip: if you want brighter colors use vinegar instead of water.)

Happy Crafting!