Thankfulness Challenge : Summer Edition

Thankfulness

Hey everyone welcome to the new season of the THANKFULNESS CHALLENGE! I have been falling behind on the thankfulness challenge and as I have been praying and working I have come to the realization that the attitude of gratitude has fallen to the wayside and I am seeking to put this back into practice and I am seeking to refocus. so this is one way I am doing that.

The other way I am seeking to do that is by using the gratitude pages included in the LOVE THE WORD BIBLE STUDY BINDER giveaway I am hosting on this blog post..

Let’s be Honest….

Sometimes thankfulness falls to the wayside as busyness and other life concerns get in the way. AN sometimes we need to take a few moments and be grateful for all the small amazing blessings that are sprinkled throughout our days like glitter.

The Goal

The goal os for me to snap pictures of little things that bring joy (my word for the year) to my everyday life. Things that I pass by. Things that I take for granted. I want to slow down and see each of those things as they are …..BLESSINGS. Will you join me?

Flowers

thankfulness

This beauty is one of many circling our little heart shaped frog pond. That little gem was a hidden surprise. We owned our house for about a month before we discovered the frog pond was just off the main yard. So many fun and amazing things happen around that frog pond. It is full of my first love in the animal department ….FROGS!

A Great View

thankfulness

Some days I forget to open the windows so I can take in the view from ALL of our back windows. And sometimes I forget to take walks around the backyard so I can soak in the painting that changes every couple of hours.

Clouds

I have always loved clouds. From my early childhood laying in the grass deciding what each cloud formation looked like. This one in particular looks like a squid. I love checking out all of the unique cloud formations. Even now as I sit out n the front patio with book in hand I can find myself getting lost in the clouds.

Planting things

One upon a time we had a big garden. Gardening wasn’t y thing. I just didn’t have the time with all of our involvement in church and other various ministries. that’s who I was and I am not really a gardener. and that is ok. I do however really enjoying planting things and watching them grow and then using them in my food that I took. so this year I planted this little herb garden. It sits right out my from door and I can just take a few steps from my kitchen and grab some fresh herbs to add to my meals I prepare for my family.

The Picture I never took.

Earlier this week I was at church while a meeting was being held there. I was bustling about. I was helping hubby with something and I was helping other people with other things. I was doing LOTS of things. And one thing I can say about our church is if you are there at sunset time you are in for a real treat. I don’t know why but it always has an amazing view of every sunset.

I remember at one point coming out of hubby’s office walking down the hall to the Welcome area and catching a glimpse of this AMAZING sunset. It was one of the deepest plum purple sky gradually changing to a rainbow of colors as you move closer to the horizon. I remember thinking oh in a few minutes I will run and grab my phone BUT I forgot. Before long I was sitting at my hubby’s desk typing away and I glanced over to the window and it was hard to believe but it was an even deeper purple. I have never seen anything quite like it. I turned back to my sentence I would take the picture as. Soon. As. I. Typed. That. Last. Sentence. I sat back in my chair wrapped my phone and turned to the window……and it was dark!

And just like that it was gone….a fleeting moment. and I could have take a picture and kept it longer Now it’s just a faint memory. And this moment got me thinking ….how many other little moments have a missed?

WHEN COVID SHOWED UP

Life changed for everyone ! Most of our lives came to a screeching halt…..Some lives got busier and more stressful BUT everyone’s life was different. And every part looked different. We took the menial taks in life for granted. One of the things hubby and I have decided is that our lives were not going back to the way things were. we have learned to say no. And we have learned to say yes more to our kids.

We have made some really great memories and soaked up some amazing family time. We have conversations, and family meetings and generally the house os full of laughter…GENERALLY. The reason for this I believe is that we made a choice at the beginning of all of this not to miss the little things….this unique opportunity. How quickly I have forgotten as things are slowly coming back to normal. s

So I am taking the lesson from that miss picture and I am striving to make this a serious practice to see the little things. the amazing things God gives us to make our lives just a little sweeter. The simple things that bring a smile to our face without us even realizing it.

Will You Join me?

Not a blogger don’t worry. You can post your pics on Facebook or on Instagram and take me in them

The bLog facebook page is Here

And the Instagram handle us @walkingbyfaithmary

I want to challenge you to really take a hard look at all the little things that God uses to bring a smile you your face. Let me know in the comments what some of those things are.

Blessings Mary

Happy Homemaker Monday 7/7/20220

Happy

Hey all I know it has been a hot minute since I have showed my face here on Happy Homemaker Monday! And can I just tell you I am so excited to be back and I just wanted to let you all know I am hosting a giveaway until next Monday. Why You may ask. Well that is the coolest part of all Last week I posted my 1,000 blog post. it has taken me a little over 13 years BUT HEY I’m cool with that. A LOT has happened in the last 13 years. You can check it out by visiting HERE. Have a Happy Monday!

♥♥The Weather♥♥

we are in a “heatwave” of sorts here in NY and I love it. I am a lover of heat and humidity (weird I know. but I relish in the heat of summer since our winters are so LONG

Monday –
Tuesday – 94
Wednesday – 91
Thursday –  95
Friday – 93
Saturday –  84
Sunday – 83

♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥

Feeling pretty good. workouts are good but a tad exhausting. I’m almost two weeks in but I am REALLY enjoying it ! I have been able to get up and get 30 minutes in and then demos before the kids get up.     

♥♥On my mind♥♥

Oh I have lots of stuff going on I have a bunch of homeschooling prep I am working on on top of virtual VBS stuff. plus all my other normal things. We are settling back into a somewhat “normal” routine though I think for the most part we’ve all enjoyed a lot more time together

♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Coffee with sugar cookie creamer Egg Whites with a touch of a salt a bunch pepper and parmesan cheese

♥♥On my reading pile♥♥

  • Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott (kindle)
  • The WingFeather Saga: On the Sark Edge if the Dark Sea of Darkness (with the kids)Kindle)
  • Your Personality tree by Florence Littaur Hard Copy)
  • Choose Joy by Kay Warren (Hard Copy)
  • Coffe Shop Conversations (Kindle)
  • 2 PDF books (not sure what they will be but they will be hard copies as well)
  • My Bible Specifically the book f Philippians

♥♥On my tv♥♥
Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural
Homemaking vlogs
Gardening vlogs
The Chosen 

♥♥On the menu this week♥♥

Monday – Philly cheesesteak Pasta
Tuesday – Chicken Tacos
Wednesday – Chicken bacon Ranch Bake (in the Crockpot)
Thursday –
Friday –  Ham and split pea soup
Saturday – Sloppy Joes and Potato salad
Sunday –   Smoked Chicken and baked potatoes

♥♥From the cameral♥♥

Happy
Our super bright moon on the 4th of July

♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

It’s mostly clean. I have some work to do in our bedroom area        and my craft room is an utter disaster but outside of that we are in good shape  

♥♥Chore I’m not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥

My bedroom for sure.

♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥

BLOG!!!!!!

♥♥On my prayer list♥♥

  • hurting and sick friends and family
  • our country
  • our church
  • friends and family
  • fellow pastors families and missionaries

For more Happy Homemaker Monday posts check out Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

HUGE MILESTONE!!!! (And a Review and a Giveaway to celebrate!)

milestone

1,oooth Blog Post Milestone

Milestones…..I remember waiting for each kid in our house to meet certain milestones. first it’s to smile, then sleep through the night , then there are first teeth, rolling, sitting, crawling, standing walking, then there is riding a bike, first day of school, driving (GULP- a milestone not too far off for our oldest). The point is that life is FULL of milestones and for the most part milestone are fun and this milestone is no different.

Things happen and sometimes milestones are delayed. Delayed milestone when we are talking about small children aren’t good at all and we have had a fair share of those as well but in the growth and maturity of this blog I have had a few seasons of waiting. BUT THIS IS IT BABY!!!

January 8, 2007 (you can check it out here)

I had two kids ages 1.5 and 5 months old YEAH I KNOW! and I was just a few months shy of getting pregnant with number 3 (he was born in November of that year). Hubby was working full time, going to school full time and was associate pastor with his dad full time. I was about to turn 27 years old and I needed to do something to get the words out that wouldn’t be understood by my you g cohorts.

I don’t even remember what I called my first blog (hosted by blogger) but I remember that my first user name was Frog Princess!!! (yes I love frogs and I am God’s princess so there ya have it). then came Happy Mama and that was my next blog….a BIG GIRL real for real HOSTED blog . There was about a years time when the blogosphere (is that even a word anymore) didn’t hear from little old me and THAT’s ok. That Blog was called Walking the Walk- and I was off again.

Fast forward just a few short years and we faced something difficult. and because of that I struggled with some major fear in my life and took a major long healing process. and with that healing process came a new blog and a different person. I wish I could tell you that fear didn’t affect my blogging anymore but RGAR WOULD BE A BOLD FACED LIE! It is a struggle to write about hard things and in the coming months and years it’s not going to get easier. See the point of this blog is all about a journey, and this journey is NOT an easy one. This journey has seen my fait waiver and I have lost hope once or twice. But t I am thankful for a GOD who chases me down and doesn’t let me go!!!!!!

SO Let’s have a pasr-tay!!! Let me introduce you to AJ.

Arabah Joy

I was introduced to AJ back a few years ago when I purchased one of the first Ultimate Homeaking Bundles. I think t was a set of cards Called WORSHIP: Celebrating the names and Attributes of God. I LOVED this resource and I used it often and over the years I have bought more bundles Like a Bible study bundle and more homemaking bundles. . And it’s kinda funny when I started preparing for this post I began to realize just how many of AJ’s resources I have collected over the years. I also enjoy her Bible study Methods PDF as well.

You can purchase this PDF Here (Note I do not own the entire PDF file just the ebook and links for videos)

milestone

I have used quite a few of these and enjoy them.

Another Of AJ’s PDF’s that I have used on and off over the last few years came in another homemaking Bundle and we are currently using them in our “morning basket” (even though there is no BASKET to speak of)

You can purchase this PDF here

milestone
milestone

Over the last few years I have collected and used many of her scripture writing sheets as well. So as I prepared to make this blog post 3 1/2 months ago I was also compiling my PDF books and was reminded of just how many of AJ’s re sources I have used and enjoyed AND THEN I saw an ad on facebook. It was for AJ’s newest resource and I had an idea. AND I had to muster some courage.

I needed to take a step of faith and get some boldness. wrote to AJ. I had shared me milestone and she was so encouraging And she kindly granted me TWO copies one for me to review and one FOR ME TO GIVE AWAY! in honor of my 1,000 blog post so a huge shout out and thank you to ARABAH JOY.

So let’s get into this awesome new resource! It’s called “LOVE THE WORD BIBLE STUDY BINDER” and it comes with 66 printable pages and it’s got a bunch of AJ’s resources in it!

Here’s what you get!

  • 4 different covers to choose from
  • Spines in each of the cover patterns for 1, 1 ½, 2, and 3 inch binders
  • Tabs (both customized and blank)
  • Monthly divider sheets (January – December)
  • The Alone with God Quiet Time Journal
  • Bible Color Coding System with instructions and Bookmark
  • PROSPER Bible Study Method (workbook, templates, + 5 video tutorials)
  • Sermon Notes sheets
  • Prayer and Praise sheets
  • Gratitude sheets
  • Journaling Pages
  •  12 Monthly Write the Word Challenges (topics include Spiritual Friendship, Money Matters, Cultivating Joy, The Power of Prayer, and more)

These printable are amazing for a number of reasons……

first the are GORGEOUS!!! Love the style and the colors AND it comes with 4 different covers and end pieces for the binder. So since I put mine together during cCOVID Quarantine My resources were limited so I ended up using a binger and clear sleeves I already had

I choose the fun Plaid cover.

milestone
milestone

The there REALLY great thing about this binder is YU can make it fit YOU!!! Since I received my files I have changed and rearranged my binder to make it fit my needs. And sometimes my needs need to fit seasonally.

Here are some of my other images from my binder….

milestone
milestone

As you can see in some of these images I laminated the monthly tabs and I made the dividers for some sections and I added some tabs in the back to hold the extra printables I am currently not using. You can purchase this Binder printable pack for $27.00 HERE

THEN LIFE HAPPENED

No joke! At the beginning of quarantine 3 1/2 months ago here in NY I had 3 or 4 blog posts to write and at the rate I was going it would have been posted the next week. I literally wrote to AJ the weekend before life hot the fan. On Friday the NY governor said he wasn’t going to close schools BUT by Tuesday all NYS schools were closed indefinitely. first one month, then two months then til the end of the school year and we lost our spring break. . And even though just a week or two prior to the new normal we all found ourselves in Hubby and I had decided to homeschool 3 out of the 4 kiddos next school year we joked that “apparently we were going to get to test run the idea”. HA. 4 kids 3 schools all handling school differently. NOT A BLESSED thing like homeschooling and before long I realized that my goal of 1,000 blog posts was going to have to wait!

So here we are…..

3 /12 months later. we are currently in stage four of re-opening here is New York State. We had our first in person church service in 3 1/2 months. People are wearing masks and elbow bumping each other. I wish I could tell you that our family had walked away unscathed from this virus but we have friends who have lost loved ones and we waited and prayed for good news. and were saddened by the loss of their loved ones. And then for me specifically it weighed so heavily on my heart that so many of our friends who were losing friends and family all while watching people call the illness a hoax and whatever. They had zero regard for those who were going through so much. It broke me. I had no words. And I disappeared and threw myself headlong into my family

My review

At this point I have had ampersand’s time to use a good majority of my binder and It is extremely helpful to me. I am currently working through the PROSPER Study Method while I work thru the book of Philippians. Each time I use a new study method I am stretched and this is no different. I love it that you spend so much time in the same passage and that you examine it through many different angles. I printed off all the pages I needed to go though the book of Philippians and bound it along with a printed off copy of Philippians so I could make my notes and highlights all in one place and at the end of each section I take the color coding bookmark and mark up the printed off copy of Philippians as well.

I have also used the sermon notes pages…those of you who know me know I had to go back to a regular notebook just because of the amount of notes I take.

I have also used the gratitude journal pages and the scripture writing pages.

As you can see I love the binder and I will put it to good use for a very long time. I just want to make something clear though. JUST because You get this tool, doesn’t’t mean that you will automatically start growing You have to actually use it. You have to WANT to grow. So many times we put stock in people or tools to help us grow but then aren’t willing to put the work in and make the commitment to the one who saved our souls

This is a great way to organize your prayer life which as a pastors wife can m=be down right daunting and overwhelming sometime times (ok all the time). BUT THIS HELPS A LOT! Especially in the overwhelm.

Just one more Note about AJ and her website.

I have included a bunch of links in this blog post but NONE of them are affiliate links. I want to share these resources with you. They have helped me and they have encouraged my heart. And I want that for you as well. Another thing I NEVER EVER do is encourage you to sign up for an email subscription list. BUT if ever there was one that you should AJ’s is it.

It seems like when I am in the middle of something hard an email will come through and either she will have words of encouragement of a free tool that meets me RIGHT where I am at…..

So What’s Next?\

The long and the short of it is I don’t know I have a laundry list of blog posts to be written. I hope to have a design update and some tweaks that need to be done so stay on the lookout but also hope to start adding in more art and reviewing some products of the art nature and I also would love to bring back book reviews but so much has changed with the closing of BookLook Bloggers.

So here’s the deal (I mean giveaway)

I have one set of printables to give away. I will pick the winner on July 13th and all you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me two things

  1. What is one way God changed you through quarantine or showed you about yourself?
  2. What is an area you struggle with in spending time withGod?

AND THANK YOU……

I couldn’t have done this without you my readers!!! It’s been a journey of growth and excitement.I can’t believe I have hot this milestone WITH YOU!!! Thanks so much for sticking with me! I can’t WAIT for the NEXT 1,000 posts (and hopefully it won’t take almost 13 years LOL)

Blessings, Mary

2 comments

Let’s Talk: Anger

Anger

Anger is everywhere! I don’t watch the news. I don’t even have the ability to watch the news on TV. This is probably a very good thing…for MANY reasons. I do however have social media. I KNOW there is a lot of anger everywhere in this world right now. It’s everywhere we look. it’s everywhere we go. BUT….even though it is highly prevalent in our culture and world right now that’s NOT why I am writing this blog posts. It starts with a bible study Called ENOUGH bySharon Jaynes.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and as I sat early Sunday morning working though the questions of Chapter 12 entitled “I Can’t Forgive the Person Who Hurt Me” some thoughts started rolling around in my head, somethings started to make some sense. Let’s start of with some definitions.

What Is Anger? (and a few other definitions)

Ephesians 4:31(NIV) says:

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

That’s a lot of words (all definitions taken from lexicon.com)

  • bitterness-Anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.
  • rage- Violent, uncontrollable anger.
  • anger- A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
  • brawling-A rough or noisy fight or quarrel.
  • slander-The action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.
  • (with EVERY form of) malice-The intention or desire to do evil; ill will.

YIKES. do you feel convicted after that? I do. Not to mention there are some pretty strong commands in that verse as well.

Let’s start with the very first one…GET RID OF ALL…and then in goes into all those words! Not some of them…Not most of them…….ALL OF THEM..

OUCH!

How do we do that?

The answer to that question is found I the very next verse….matter of fact as a small child THIS verse was etched into my brain in a little song we learned in our church’sWednesday night kids club.

And be ye kind one to another tenderhearted forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (do-do-do-dodo) Ephesians 4:32. I know I know it’s King James language so let’s go to the NIV

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

It’s not easy . Not being or getting angry is HARD!!! Our lives are riddled with hurts. Some unthinkable. “But Mary” you say, “you don’t understand.” Don’t I? I know that betrayal, domestic violence, abuse (of all sorts) tragic unexpected deaths, babies lost, children lost, teenagers lost, young adults lost, sickness, cancer and other horrific maladies of all sorts. Drugs, alcohol, pornography, violence, divorce, cheating spouses, broken friendships. All of these things…….we have walked the paths with friends and family in the last 5 years. we have held hands, wiped tears, shared in great pain.

It’s incredibly hard, but it’s a necessary choice, the choice to forgive. Many times without ever being asked to. I know I know to us that seems to be an impossible situation but I can tell you that it can be done. Holding bitterness wrath and malice in your heart only hurt one person….You. By holding onto the pain of all that has hurt you, you are giving that person the ability to harm you.

When you choose to forgive that person you are set free. But it’s a process Many times a moment by moment process. And as we actively choose to give over our anger, bitterness wrath and malice to Jesus we are slowly being freed from the chains that those who have hurt us.

Holding onto something that eats at us keeps us from being effective followers of Jesus. Our of our embittered hearts come volatile speech by which we hurt other people.

HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE!

This journey is hard enough without holding onto all of this pain! Won’t you join me finding freedom from all the hurt deep in our hearts?

Blessings, Mary

Let’s Talk- Contentment

contentment

Contentment 101

Definition of contentment

1the quality or state of being contentedThere was a look of contentment on her fac

Hey all!! It’s been a hot minute since I have shown my face around here . The last time I published a post was March 16th. the first day of quarantine here is NY. Today marks 3 months. Tomorrow is our two youngest sons last day of distance learning. And today as I was finishing up a set of study questions for a book I have been working on struck a chord- The root of the questions was contentment and as I began to work through each question I saw contentment with new eyes.

So let’s start our by defining what Content meant is.

Definition of contentment

1: the quality or state of being contented

There was a look of contentment on her fac

Synonyms 

  • content, 
  • contentedness, 
  • delectation, 
  • delight, 
  • enjoyment, 
  • gladness, 
  • gratification, 
  • happiness, 
  • pleasure, 
  • relish, 
  • satisfaction

Do you see that list? Is’t that kinda crazy? CONTENTMENT=Gladness? satisfaction? Pleasure?

Now you might be saying Mary- that’s No BIG deal. You can be content. when the sun is shining and the birds are singing. When Your kiddos are laughing and hugging each other. When Your hubby is helping wash the dishes. Yep That EASY. BUT what does the Bible have to say about contentment?

Contentment in Philippians 4

The study questions took us through Philippians. And if you know anything about this book you should know the theme is joy. Sound familiar? No, visit that list of synonyms of the word contentment again.

Before we get to the verses there are 2 things you should know about the book of Philippians

  • It’s written by Paul
  • He is writing this book from Prison

Let’s check out verses 11-13

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (NIV)

He says it twice…Do you see it? Being content in whatever the circumstance….being content in any and every situation. You might scoff and say HA this Paul dude has NO IDEA what he is talking about. I beg to differ. The very next question In the study took us to 2 Corinthians 11:22-28 NIV

22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I.23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stonesthree times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jewsin danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

THATS a lot of bold print.

Perspective on Contentment

I really want you to let all that soak in….

  • Prison
  • flogged
  • exposed to death (not once but again and again)
  • 40 lashes (minus one) 5 times from the Jews
  • 3 times beaten with rods
  • stoned
  • shipwrecked 3 times
  • spent a night and a day in the open sea
  • constantly on the move
  • in danger in the river
  • in danger from bandits
  • a danger from my fellow Jews
  • in danger from Gentiles
  • in danger in the city
  • in danger in the country
  • in danger at sea
  • in danger from false believers
  • Often gone without sleep
  • knew hunger and thirst and often went without food
  • He had been cold AND NAKED (it’s one thing to be cold-it’s another thing entirely to be cold and naked That is a whole different animal.

On top of all of those horrible things he had to cary on with everyday life….he Labored and toiled….worked hard.

AND THEN on top of all of that he faced DAILY his concerns for the churchES. I emphasized the -ES in churches because the average pastor only has one church in their concern.

My life in View of Paul’s Contentment

I haven’t been flogged or stoned. I haven’t been in prison. I’m not in danger. Paul was in danger EVERYWHERE HE WENT. Can you imagine? And yet he LEARNED contentment in ALL circumstances. Not in some circumstances. ALL of them….the good, the bad, the UGLY. Yep the ugly. the cruel string of deaths within a year. Broken relationships. Hurt feelings. Broken appliances. Broken cars. Sickness. Quarantine. Social distancing. No electricity. No propane. No internet. Deaths of friends and family. Empt store shelves. Different ways of doing church. And everything else for that matter. World in turmoil. hurricanes, earthquakes riots, senseless death. And yet…my list seems so insignificant. It isn’t it’s just as important that I Learn to be content in ALL my circumstances

I can take the example of Paul and learn a couple of lessons.

Lessons Learned from Paul’s Contentment

  • Contentment MUST be learned. It doesn’t just happen It takes great work.
  • No matter what comes our way- no matter how dark and ugly can be faced with contentment.
  • The secret to having contentment in all things…in every circumstance….I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

What about you? Is there anything you have learned from our discussion on contentment? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Blessings, Mary

NOTE: Bible references from NIV and can be found on Bible Gateway