I was reflecting on a verse that I claim as My life verse the other day: Romans 8:28. Through life we all go through many different trials. For me the question of “why” is often in my head and in my prayer life, I am human but then I go back to the verse:

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB: Lockman).

He promises that all will work out for the good. His plan is greater than ours. I read a commentary and I included it below:

By Raymond Ortlund
The hand of God is at the helm. He’s steering us through the storms of life toward home, toward a safe haven. And He takes care to order all the events of our lives right now to speed us on our way there. This is what we call Providence-- God’s overruling hand at work everywhere in a fallen world. The Providence of God is clearly taught from one end of the Bible to the other. And our confidence in the Providence of God is a faith so bold, so demanding, so unapologetic, that we cannot believe it without being transformed. Either all things work together for our good, or nothing makes sense. So let’s be bold about it. Let’s either be transformed Christians or bitter skeptics, because we cannot just sort of believe Romans 8:28. We either believe it or we doubt it. There is no middle ground. (Romans 8:28).

I like the visual of God at the helm and He is steering me through life. That is a reassurance and when I am weak and feel that question of “why” and worry sets in, I need to go back to the verse and remember what God’s Word promises.

Do you ever question why? Do you ever just get frustrated because you can’t see where this is going and how will it end up? If so you are not alone. I would love to hear how you deal with these questions and how you move through trials. Comment Below.

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Sharpie Marker Oh NO!

Have you ever had a moment where you are frozen because you just noticed that your child has used a Sharpie Marker (yes...the permanent one) on your tile floor and think how am I ever going to get that off? Well, I have a solution. It happened to me and I got it off the tile floor. I ran quickly and got my nail Polish remover and it wiped right off! Nail polish remover can be used for more than just to take off your nail polish.  I found the following article that has more useful tips from Reader's Digest titled:

How to Really Use Nail Polish Remover: This manicure essential has so many uses beyond taking off last week's hue.

This is what it suggests:
Remove stains from china Your bone china has assorted stains from years of use. Spruce up your set by rubbing soiled areas with nail polish remover. Clean spots with a cotton swab and then wash dishes as usual.

Eliminate ink stains If the ink stains on your skin won’t come off with soap and water, they are probably not water-soluble. Try using nail polish remover instead. Take a cotton ball and wipe the affected areas with the solution. Once the ink stains are gone, wash skin with soap and water. Nail polish remover can also eliminate ink stains on the drum of your clothes dryer.
Rub paint off windows Spare your nails the next time you want to remove paint on a window. Working in a well-ventilated area, dab on nail polish remover in small sections. Let the solution remain on the painted areas for a few minutes before rubbing it off with a cloth. Once finished, take a damp cloth and go over the areas again.
Remove stickers from glass Scraping price stickers from glass objects can be messy, and it often leaves behind a gummy adhesive that attracts dirt and is sticky to the touch. Remove the stickers and clean up the residual glue by wiping the area with acetone-based nail polish remover. The same method can be used for removing stickers and sticky residue from metal surfaces.
Dissolve melted plastic Ever get too close to a hot metal toaster with a plastic bag of bread or bagels? The resulting mess can be a real cleaning challenge. But don’t let a little melted plastic ruin a perfectly good appliance. Eliminate the sticky mess with nail polisher remover. First unplug the toaster and wait for it to cool. Then pour a little nail polish remover on a soft cloth and gently rub over the damaged areas. Once the melted plastic is removed, wipe with a damp cloth and dry with a paper towel. Your toaster is now ready for the next round of bagels. The same solution works for melted plastic on curling irons.
Unhinge superglue Superglue will stick tenaciously to just about anything, including your skin. And trying to peel it off your fingers can actually cause skin damage. Instead, soak a cotton ball with acetone-based nail polish remover and hold it on the skin until the glue dissolves.
Clean vinyl shoes Patent-leather shoes may not reflect up, but they do show off scuff marks, as will white or other light-colored vinyl shoes. To remove the marks, rub them lightly but briskly with a soft cloth or paper towel dipped in nail polish remover. Afterward, remove any residue with a damp cloth.
Keep watches clean Tired of looking at your watch and seeing unsightly scratches when you check the time? Get rid of them with nail polish remover. If the face of your watch is made from unbreakable plastic, rub the remover over the scratches until they diminish or disappear.
Clean computer keyboards You can keep computer keyboards clean with nail polish remover and an old toothbrush. Simply moisten the brush with remover and lightly rub the keys.
Dilute correction fluid To take the goop out of correction fluid or old nail polish, dilute it with nail polish remover. Pour just a few drops into the bottle and then shake. Add a little more polish remover to the solution, if needed, to attain the desired consistency.
Prep brass for re-lacquering Old or damaged lacquer coatings on brass can be safely removed with nail polish remover. Take a soft cloth and pour a small amount of remover on it. Rub the brass object until the old lacquer has been lifted. Your brass item is now ready to be polished or professionally re-lacquered.

Whole article can be found by the following link:

Guest Blogger: Susan Runnion

A Mom's Perspective on Equipping the Next Generation

Recently, I was struck by how easily my kids are influenced.  We were sitting at the breakfast table, and one of my sons started talking about “inner peace.”  Initially, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I kind of smugly patted myself on the back for doing a good job of teaching him that peace comes from Jesus.  But as I delved a little  deeper and started asking him some questions, he started telling me all about the “inner peace” he learned about while watching Kung Fu Panda.  Then he proceeded to get into a weird meditative pose!  It was a lighthearted moment and we all laughed.  But, as funny as this little scenario was, it also disturbed me a bit.  It made me realize how “sponge-like” my kids are...daily, they are processing and absorbing the influences of our culture.  It made me sit back and ask myself,

How am I, as a parent, influencing my kids with the truth of the Gospel?

God has given instructions to parents to be diligent about teaching His Word to our children.  Oftentimes, we leave this job up to our wonderful and committed Sunday School teachers, Awana, and Youth Group leaders.  But am I equipping my own children to know and love Jesus, and helping them to understand what He has to do with their everyday life?  I know how busy life can get, and oftentimes, in our house, this can get pushed to the back burner.  

Over the past few years, I have come across some great resources for teaching my kids about Jesus, God's Word, and the Gospel.  I know that there are so many other great tools out there, but these are just a few things we have used personally and that I feel passionate about!

1.   Bible Storybooks

The Jesus Storybook Bible
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Several years ago, I strolled into a bookstore and came across The Jesus Storybook Bible.  I knew nothing about it, but I bought the book based on the subtitle alone:  “Every Story Whispers His Name.”  I cannot recommend this book more highly!  I have learned so much myself, and have been brought to tears on numerous occasions reading this to my kids.  The Gospel is the main thing here:  it presents each story from Scripture as part of God's great redemption plan and teaches us how each story points directly to Jesus, as opposed to presenting the Bible as a book of rules and moralistic heroes.  The illustrations are beautiful and unique, and we recently started listening to the audio version, which is absolutely phenomenal.

2.  Devotionals

Long Story Short
by Marty Machowski
This is a wonderful devotional for the family that, once again, keeps Jesus at the center.  The focus is on the Old Testament, but always with an eye on the Gospel.  The author does a great job of teaching children that the whole Old Testament points to Christ and His plan of salvation through grace.  This devotional has influenced our family tremendously.  My husband now has a game he plays with our kids, to see who can make the “Jesus connection” first.  Of course, this sometimes ends in a fight as our children are highly competitive...which is always awesome when you are doing family devotions.  But the point is, it has given us all a deeper understanding of the fact that the whole Bible is about Jesus, and it has been so cool to see our kids learning that from such a young age.  Quite honestly, I didn't understand that until I was an adult.  I loved this quote from the book description on Amazon:  “Clever stories and good moral lessons may entertain and even help children, but the gospel will transform children.”  And adults too!

3.  Music

Seeds Family Worship

Basically, these albums are word for word Scripture set to really cool music.  I have been known to rock out to these albums in my myself.  Did I mention that even when there are no kids in my car, I still listen to them?  We absolutely love these albums and have learned so many Bible verses together as a family singing these songs.  Putting words to music is such a great and fun way to memorize Bible verses, and there is nothing cheesy or hokey about this music.  You can learn more about Seeds Family Worship at

4.  Conversation and Real-Life Situations

Teaching our kids about God and His Word doesn't have to be a formal thing.  Regular, every-day conversations, and the way I live my life in front of them, has a profound effect on my kids.  It shows them what I am really all about.  Kids are hypocrisy detectives...when the rubber meets the road, are the things I am teaching them, and the way I am actually living, jiving together?  Here are some thoughts:

  • What am I communicating to my kids about God when I'm disappointed?  Am I teaching them that God is disappointed in them because they don't measure up?  Or am I teaching them that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus?  Instead of teaching them to strive for approval, am I teaching them to rest in that truth?  (Matthew 11:28-30)

  • What am I communicating to my kids about God when things are going well?  Am I teaching them that I, or they, don't need God?  Who is being glorified?  God, or myself?  (1 Chronicles 16:8-9)

  • What am I communicating when things go wrong?  Am I living in such a way that shows them that we need to take matters into our own hands, or trust Him because we know He is in control?  Am I teaching them to blame God when things go wrong, or am I teaching them that our world is broken as a result of sin, that God is in the process of reconciling all things to Himself, and that one day everything will be as it should be?  (Colossians 1:20)

  • What am I communicating to my kids about God when we have succeeded, or when we have failed?  Am I teaching them that God accepts or rejects them based upon their performance?  Or that Jesus is a friend of sinners, and that He died for us when we were dead in our trespasses and sins?  (Romans 5:8)

  • Paul Tripp exhorts parents to be an “instrument of seeing” in the lives of our children.  Am I giving my kids a BIG view of who God is?  Is God even in the picture?  Or is He only meant for formal times of devotions, or bedtime, or Sunday?  What I mean is, am I linking the ups and down of life, the good, the bad, the successes, the failures, and all of creation, to the Gospel? 

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”  Psalm 19:1-4

The heavens are declaring the glory of God, but am I?  Am I teaching them that God hates sin, but loves sinners with a “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.”  (From The Jesus Storybook Bible).  That the law teaches us how life works best, but also is our tutor to lead us to Christ?  I think, for me, the bottom line is that I need to be convinced of these things, and living them out in my own life, before I can ever give them to my kids.  Honestly, God is convicting me as I write these words.  So often I fail to represent God as He should be represented.  It's all about LOVE:

Grasping the reality of God's love will provide every answer to every question we have about him and ourselves.  It will tell us who we are, why we're here, and how we're supposed to do what we're supposed to be doing.  Delighting in God's love will transform everything about us, including who we are, or our identity.

Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me

“The love of Christ compels us.”  And it is that same love that will compel our children to walk with Him.

About the Author:
Susan Runnion is a wife and mother of 5, residing in northwestern New Jersey.  
She loves cooking, baking, and spontaneous dance parties with her kids.

Cleaning Tip: Shower Curtains

Shower curtains can be renovated by being washed, on gentle cycle, with a pint (or less) of white vinegar.

*Use the vinegar only if it has a distinct smell ,otherwise just detergent on the gentle cycle. The gentle cycle for me seems to have the  best outcome.