Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Favorite Five # 7

Friday's Favorite Five #7
Happy Friday!!!!  This edition of Friday's Favorite Five, I am sad to admit, is super last minute and will be written entirely by me, Jessica. So, that may either make you want to finish reading or stop right here.. consider yourself warned! :D

1. Craft
This is more of a recipe than an actual craft, but how cute would these be at a tea party!! Check out the recipe at http://sandrakavital.blogspot.com/. If you can read French, that is. Otherwise you can probably just make simple butter cookies and dip them in chocolate!

2. Music

'You Lie' by The Band Perry is a super catchy song! My dad has always loved this band and my mom and I are just catching onto The Band Perry train! Their whole album is great!!

3. Blog/Other
As this has nothing to do with a blog, it would fall under the category of 'other'! I realllly love this seat, how cool is it?! You can find more information about it here!

4. Scripture

This is really reassuring to remember, as long as we trust in God, things will turn out A-Okay in the end!! This verse isn't saying that we'll land that perfect job or all of our debt will magically vanish, it's saying that we don't have to worry about all of the harms of the world, because we have our God and nobody can take that away from us!

5. Quote

This is really hard to remember sometimes, but oh so necessary!

Thanks for joining us and looking at our favorites for the week!
~Lorraine and Jessica

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Redeemer... (I heart U)

I'm happy to bring you the second installment of "I <3 U"! If you haven't read the first one, or simply want a reminder of what the series is based on check out The Start of a New Series. I'm going to ask you to go read Isaiah 49 before you continue reading (I'll be referencing NIV). If you don't have a bible or just don't have a bible around you, you can go to www.biblegateway.com. While reading, if you would like quiet music in the background, you can look at the video beneath... then skip to the next paragraph when you're done!

I know that Isaiah can be a very difficult book to understand and chapter 49 is no exception, but hopefully you perservered and finished the chapter. It is laced with awesome reassurances and promises from God. I'm going to start down at Isaiah 49:5 where God tells us that we are "honored in the eyes of the Lord and ... God has been [our] strength". God honors us. The definition of honor is as follows: "high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank". Let me say it again, God honors us. God has a high respect for us. He sees us as high in worth, we are valuable in his eyes. I don't know about you, but there are many times when I most definitely don't feel valuable. I break out for no reason, I feel bloated, or maybe I just feel guilty. But God STILL sees us worthy and honorable. Think of some people that you see as honorable: people who fight for our country, maybe a family member who dies to theirself everyday, that's how God sees us.

God, then, goes on to say that the job of being his servant and restoring his people is too small of a job. He needs us to be a light to the Gentiles. He needs us to bring his love to the sinners of the world. Now, I'm not saying that being a pastor or working with christians isn't fulfilling God's plan for us. I'm saying that even if you do work with christians on a daily basis, God still wants us to reach out to the non-christians. Our job doesn't end in the church, it starts there. If you jump to verse 7 you see this: "This is what the Lord says - the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel - to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: 'Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." In Jessica terms: Our redeemer is speaking to, not the goody-two-shoes or the people who look good, God is speaking to the criminals, the poor and needy, the people who look as if their life will never turn out right. God says that kings will take notice of us, and that princes will respect us. But, not because of anything we do, this will happen because of the Lord, the Redeemer, the one who has chosen us.

The rest of the chapter is dedicated to how God is going to restore us or how God is going to take the criminal, servant, and despised and turn them into someone that is worthy and someone who will be noticed. Not noticed in the sense of the popular kids at school, noticed as in looked up to. It may not be in this life, or it may, but it may not be by the people we think it will be by. Down in verse 9 God says that he will "say to the captives, 'Come out', and to those in darkness, 'Be free!" God is going to call us out of the dark places in our lives, and the only way God knows that we're in those dark places is because he's there with us. Our job at that point is to respond, no matter how many times God calls, it's up to us to get up and walk towards he who is the light. 

A couple of verses later God reassures us that he will never forget us. There are many people in our lives that will forget us, but not he. "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands" I <3 that verse soooo much! At the time that this book was written, Jesus had not been to the earth, it was written atleast 500 years before Christ was born. Back then, it had to be pretty cool reading that we are engraved on the palms of Jesus' hands. But now, it's AWESOME! Jesus was pierced onto the cross through his hands, we are reminded of Jesus' death through these scars. Christ doesn't see the scar, though, all he sees is us. He doesn't see the pain that we wince at when thinking of the crucifixion, he sees his love for us. Verses 22 and 23 talk of how the Gentiles, the people we're called to save, will turn around and save those around them. Those people will be saved and they will save.

I, personally, feel that this chapter shows God perfectly as our Redeemer. He is the one that will save us and enable us to save others. Without him, we would still be despised and looked down upon, but through his saving grace we can rise up in honor and worthiness to be fully His.

Lord, thank you for being our redeemer and for calling us out of the dark parts of our lives. We see that without you, we would have no purpose or hope. You are our only hope and you are our saving grace. It's still hard for us to grasp the honor that you see in us, Lord we mess up so many times. Please forgive us and teach us to forgive ourselves. Help us to strive towards your perfection and redemption in every aspect of our lives.

~ Jessica

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just call me Chicken Lady!!!

Hey friends, Happy Monday!!!  Is your day flying past you like mine is?  It's nuts, I wish my metabolism moved as quickly as the days move.....that would make so many things so much better!!!!  You know what I'm sayin' dontcha!!!!

So here's a monday tale for you, if your day hasn't brought you a hearty laugh or giggle, this just might!!!!  With hubby's new work schedule, he's up at 5 a.m. and out the door by 6:30 so that doesn't leave him the time to take care of the chickens and ducks before work.  So that means the responsibility has become mine, well actually not mine, but the boys, Joe and Jaysen.

Anyway, I went out this morning with our dog, Molly, so that she could do her thing.  I didn't grab shoes because I thought I'd just stand on the patio for a few moments and we'd be done.  Well I looked out towards the chicken coop and noticed that the gate was opened!!  Normally that would not be a problem, but since it's spring and we've already started planting our veggies (we already have asparagus and radishes up!!) I could not let those birds out of the coop!!!

All was fine, because they didn't even notice that the gate was open.  At least not until they saw me coming, to which they all ran to the gate to greet me!!! Nooooooooooooo!!!!!! Remember I'm bare footed and the grass is wet with dew and FREEZING COLD!!!  Those stinkin' little chickens, about 20 of them, took off out of the gate and I proceded to corral them all back into the gate, slipping in the mud and freezing my toes off!!!  What a sight I must have been!!!  At least I wasn't in my jammies, I was actually dressed!!! 

I am proud to say, that not one bird got a way or even got near the gardens!!! SUCCESSSSSS!!!!  It was a proud country mama moment for me!!!  Every once in a while I have one of those, usually followed by a "how in the world did I get here" thought!!  I never dreamed I'd be one day chasing chickens, my own chickens, whom I've named!!!  It's a crazy world friends!!!

So, how is your monday treating you?  Chase any fowl lately??  Yeah, I didn't think so : )

<3The Chicken Lady; Lorraine<3

p.s. the pictures were not taken today, as I don't usually plan on photodocumenting my morning routine, but perhaps I should!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday's Favorite Five #6: Hunger Games Edition

Friday's Favorite Five:
Hunger Games Edition
Happy Friday!!!!  We are super excited to be seeing the Hunger Games tonight and thought that in honor of the premier, we would have a Hunger Games Edition of Friday's Favorite Five!! Enjoy!

1. Craft

This website is awesome!! Check it out at everythingetsy.com! I especiall love #19 as I <3 printable anything!!

2. Music

This song is a little eery, but still catchy! Check it out and let me know whether you like it or not! I'm still on the fence...

3. Blog/Other

In case you haven't seen the movie trailer, if that is the case, I really don't know what you'll get out of this post, here is the trailer for The Hunger Games!!!!

4. Scripture

So, if you have read the Hunger Games, you may know that there is no scripture references in it at all. This is a really great article that discusses the relevance between The Hunger Games and The Bible/Christianity. Also, Ephesians 6:10-20 talks about putting on The Armor of God and how we need to protect ourselves against the evil in the world. Both are very interesting and help us to think about The Hunger Games on a more spiritual level!

5. Quote

I love this quote that comes directly from the 1st book! How often do we just want to stand apart and show someone that they don't own us, or maybe you would rather just blend in and not create any waves.

Thanks for joining us and looking at our favorites for the week!
~Lorraine and Jessica

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Where you go, I'll go"

Hey gatherers - I just wanted to give you guys a quick update! I am now officially going to Honduras in October! You can see my first post about Honduras Here! I am very excited to be going on this trip with Compassion International and being able to meet my sponsor kid, Samuel. Although this trip is an awesome opportunity to be able to meet Samuel, I am very excited about the overall trip and being able to go on my first of, hopefully, many short term trips there! I started fundraising a couple of weeks ago, when I officially signed up and I'm excited to share that I've already raised about 1/6 of my goal! This is a very scary, but exciting, opportunity I have. While I'm not scared about the trip in general, I am a little nervous because if this is God's plan, doors will continue to open up in this direction and it's kind of scary to follow God's plan. While it is frightening, I know that God has it all planned out and that I have nothing to fear. I will continue to strive towards following God's plan in all aspects of life!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's Favorite Five #5

Friday's Favorite Five
Happy Friday!!!!  We hope that this will help kick off your weekend activities.  Put a tune in your heart, a craft in your head and scripture on your lips to guide you through each day!!!

1. Craft

I am so excited about this one!!!  If you've read Ann Voskamp's "1000 Gifts - A dare to live fully right where you are" then you'll be excited about this too.  Not a straight up craft, but a beautiful assortment of items to craft a journal, to craft a smile, to craft joy in someone elses' life.

2. Music

I love this song from Switchfoot. Well, I really love the whole album! Check out 'Hello Hurricane' from Switchfoot if you have the chance. This specific song is great and speaks of the acceptance into God's loving arms. <3

3. Blog/Other

This is a fairly new blog that I love.  You get to hear from different bloggers each day that share anything from photography tips to parenting, faith to creativity. 

4. Scripture

You may start to see a theme running through our scripture and quotes.  If we keep Him in front of everything that we do and think and speak, we'll notice that the trials will start to seem much smaller.

5. Quote
(picture courtesy of: www.swtblessings.com)

Remember that, friends! No matter how big the hurdle, God's plans for you are bigger!!!!  Through Him, you can step over that hurdle and into His perfect peace <3

Thanks for joining us and looking at our favorites for the week!
~Lorraine and Jessica

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Life

Hi friends, just wanted to share our eggciting news!!!!  On Tuesday, March 13th we welcomed 9 little new lives into our family!!!!!!

This is the second spring that we have incubated some of our eggs and it was just as eggciting this time as it was the first time!!  There is something about waiting the 21 days that it takes for these babies to begin the hatching process.  Then waiting, for hours possibly, as they work so hard to break their way through the shells and into this world.

We all watch with anticipation, eager to see the first pip in the shell.  Right as they are getting ready to hatch, you can even hear them chirping inside!! 

It's an amazing picture of the process that we all go through in life, we struggle to fight our way through the hard times, only to come out and find our place and our strength.  Like I said, it can sometimes take one chick hours to finally break through.  It's such exhausting work and as a mom, it's hard for me not to reach in and give them a little help.  But I can't do that, it would ruin the process for them.  They must go through the hard times to gain their strength.

I'd like to reach in and help my children get through their struggles.  Eventhough I am here to love, support and encourage them, I cannot save them from their trials.  They must be allowed to fight and work through their hard stuff.  For only after the fight, do we find our peace.  I am thankful for my Heavenly Father, who is there with them and us through every struggle and storm.  We learn to rely heavily on Him to see us through.  What a gift of true life!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Start of a New Series

Last year, in lieu of Lent, a few people from our youth group committed to reading through the ENTIRE bible in 40 days. Yeah, I know. Anyway, I'm sad to confess that I didn't complete the challenge, I got stuck in the middle of Isaiah. Last year, my impression and take on Isaiah was that it was a boring book full of metaphors and prophecies.This year, not really in lieu of Lent, a single person (me) is trying to commit to finishing at some point this year. :) I am still in Isaiah but it is so much more to me this year. Although I didn't realize it until now, my spiritual growth has been exponential. I can't read through a chapter of Isaiah without underlining something. My updated take on the book of Isaiah is that it is a book full of promises from God to us, all of which demonstrate his love for us.  Now, I know that we just got over Valentine's day and the lovey-dovey stuff from that. But, I feel the need to share and stress some of the verses that I've encountered throughout Isaiah and continue to encounter throughout the rest of the bible.

Before I do that, however, I want to share something that I heard at a girl's retreat a few years back. In a very nonchalant way, one of my small group leaders shared how she marks in the margins of her bible a heart whenever she reads of a verse demonstrating God's love for us. Then, whenever you are feeling down and need that reassurance, you can flip through your bible and find all of those little hearts. This is something that I've been using a lot through the past couple of years, but mostly these past couple of weeks. So, I've decided to start a series on this blog, where I'll be writing about the multiple verses that I find and mark with a simple heart.

The first verse that I've found reassurance in is Isaiah 43:4. "Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life." (NIV) I love this verse, but I feel like the MSG version really breaks it down and allows us to feel what God was saying. "That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you." (MSG) Wow. It sounds like something from a Lifetime Movie or from a Disney fairytale. But, it's not. It's life and our creator is saying this. It's not theoretical. It's literal; the God of the universe has the world in his hands, he CAN sell the world for us and this verse says that He will! It's hard enough to think about Him giving His Son for us, but to think that he would sell the whole world or still give His Son even if I were the only one to be saved.

So, if you're ever feeling alone, or like nobody understands or loves you, remember this verse. God says that we mean so much to him that he would sell the world and trade creation for us to be with him. If that doesn't make you feel loved, I don't know what will. I encourage you to read Isaiah, or even just chapter 43 and look for all of the reassurance and love messages that God gives us through this book/chapter. Later on in the chapter he tells us not to be afraid, that he is doing new things in us, and that he remembers our sins no more. Share your favorite verses and thoughts from this chapter in the comments below! Tune back in next week for the next installment of I <3 You!
~ Jessica

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday's Favorite Five #4

Dare I say, Hey gatherers!!!!! I know this is your greeting Jessica, but it's just so cute - I can't resist!!!  Our apologies for leaving you hanging last Friday - but as you know last week ended in a very hectic and crazy manner.....we hope that you'll forgive us!!!  We threw around the idea of having a top ten this week to make up for the loss.  But we figured it may be overkill!!!!

Anyway, I don't want to stall you any longer, so without further delay I give you................................................


Number 1 CRAFT:

These spoke to me right away, since I have somewhat of an endless supply of eggs around here (thanks to my 50 some hens running around the backyard)  There are so many things that you can do with eggs, go HERE to check out this any many more ideas!!!

Number 2 MUSIC:

I have nothing against Matt Redman, but I am so sad that I couldn't find this recorded by Shane and Shane.  They shared this in worship this past weekend and it blew my socks off!  I felt that it spoke to me right where I am after coming through this past year "Standing on this mountaintop looking just how far we've come, knowing that with every step, you were with us"  I kid you not, I cried like a snotty three year old, except it wasn't a temper tantrum!!!

Number 3 BLOG/OTHER:
*a report on this post  I made the eye make up remover and I'm quite pleased with it!! 

This would fall under other: causes.  As you may or may not know I've been promoting this water for the past week.  Last Wednesday the voting started for the WalMart "Get on the Shelf" contest.  HK water is doing pretty well so far, but if you haven't stopped by their website to vote, please do so now www.humankindwater.org it will take you to the voting link, you can vote through the website and texting.  Please, encourage your friends to do the same <3


Jessica gave me this verse to share.  What a beautiful promise <3

Number 5 RECIPE (I know, I changed it from quote):

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
2 servings

*2/3 bananas sliced & forzen (they work better that way and when they start to go bad you can do a whole bunch of them and throw them in the freezer for when you're ready for your smoothies)
*1/4 cup oats
*1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup milk

**Put oats in blender and chop until powdery
**Add remaining ingredients and blend until there are no more chunks
**Optional garnish with banana slices


Thanks so much for sticking with us!!!  Can I encourage you to leave us a comment.  Not that we feel the need to feed our egos, but we are words of affirmation girls and your thoughts mean a ton to us <3  Thanks and God bless!!!

<3 Lorraine and Jessica

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Weekend Buzz.....Simply Youth, Simply Amazing!!!!!

So the hubs and I, along with 12 other youth leaders from our church just returned from a Simply Youth Conference in Louisville, Kentucky!  It was our (me and hubs) first experience with a youth ministry conference and it blew us away!  Okay, well, it blew me away, if you know Bill, you know that he isn't moved by things in the same way that I am.  We finished a praise and worship time and I had bawled my eyes out and was so completely captivated and he actually didn't care for it!!!!!!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME????   Oh well, sometimes I just don't get him, but I'm pretty sure he can say the same about me!!  And to his credit, he was extremely exhausted and not feeling well that night.

So, some highlights of the trip - well for starters we left at midnight on Thursday and drove 12 hours, straight through (potty and gas breaks only).  The hotel was amazing and the sessions were wonderful too!  We had tons of fun at the general sessions with DJ Promote, mixing it up like crazy, prasie and worship with Shane and Shane, and  Francis Chan was our speaker on the first night!!!  We were off to a great start!!!  We stayed up all hours of the night, talking and laughing, hitting some deep topics and spending a lot of time on the surface just being tired and goofy.

Our classes or tracks were wonderful as well.  We all split up and tried to cover as many different classes that we could and then we'd all be excited to share what information we had picked up.  We can see the work that God is doing throughout youth ministry and are super excited to be following His lead for our community of youth groupers.

The common theme that seemed to run through each track came back to two things, incorporating an aspect of family ministry into the youth program and mentoring.  Things that God had already laid on our hearts and were clarified and confirmed throughout the weekend.  A few other messages that we got were that "You are God's Masterpiece"!!  Simple, but not easily believed.  The other was realizing that in our strength alone, we will accomplish very little except burnout and frustration, but when we step back and focus on God and use what He gives us, everything works out.

God ministered to us on so many different levels it was unbelievable!!  A few of us even went to a class on marriage and intimacy late on Saturday night.   We laughed our butts off with the Skit Guys and pumped up the jam with DJ Promote.  Our hearts were broken as we walked through the Project Experience exhibit where we learned about the problems associated with not having clean water, not being able to produce your own foods, job shortages, sex trafficking and much more.  We were blessed as individuals and collectively as a group.

A year ago, I had no idea I would find myself on this path of Youth Ministry and although we are up against a large enemy and the job is scarey, I'm exhilerated at the thought of what God has in store for our team and youth!  He's already begun working things out and it's only Wednesday!!!

Here's a video from the weekend!!!  Enjoy!!!

Oh also, don't forget that the voting for Humankind Water, Get on the Shelf, started today!!!!  Go to www.humankindwater.org to vote!!  You get one vote per computer via facebook and you can text your vote as well!! Right now HK Water is in 6th place!!!!  Let's help spread this thing so that we can make a difference and bring clean water to our brothers and sisters around the world <3

God Bless <3 Lorraine

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sad, Little Blog

I'm sorry that I've left you guys hanging! The past couple of days have been crazy!
Thursday - My mother and father left for a youth leadership conference at midnight and my mommom and poppop came over here to stay with us for the weekend.
Friday - Last week I officially registered to go to Honduras in October and Friday was spent typing up, printing, and addressing 90+ support letters. After that, I went to a highschool play, which was awesome, with a friend.
Saturday - We left around 11 to go to a relative's 80th birthday party, where I only knew approximately 3 people. After that Joe went to a different birthday party and got a ride home. We watched Mr. Popper's Penguins, which is a surprisingly good movie!
Sunday - We went to church, helped out with children's church (graceland) and took the long way home. After which, I finished up support letter stuff and cleaned up around the house. Then, of course, I remembered that I haven't blogged since who knows when!
So, once again I apologize and leave you with this quick little recap of a blog. Quite sad, actually. But, despite that.... I blogged. Counts for something, right??????

Thursday, March 1, 2012

You and I can change the world.....

Hey friends,we have a very unique opportunity and we want to share it with you.  Some of you may have seen people post about Humankind Water on Facebook. We had the priviledge of meeting TJ, CEO and President of Humankind Water last night at youth group.  He came and did a 5 minute presentation for us and told us how we can help change the world. 

Have you ever dreamed of being a super hero, or of changing the world?  Well friends, it's not just a dream anymore, it's a reality.  Here's a quick video that helps explain the problem, the solution and this unique opportunity that we have.

Diarreah, no one should have to die from that.  We have a real, tangible way to help change the lives of thousands of people.  Imagine that you could save the lives of 10,000 children a day, and all you have to do is vote. 

 Vote like crazy, starting Wednesday, March 7th and continuing for four weeks.  Tell your friends, tell your family, tell strangers!!!  We are always looking for ways to make a difference, we always feel small and insignificant in the face of these epidemics.  They are too far for us to reach.  Not this time!!!

Bottled water, one website, one vote (multiplied), thousands of lives changed.  Please, go to www.humankindwater.org to register, you can enter your email for updates and reminders, your mobile number for the same.  Go to their youtube channel for a variety of videos on Humankind Water and share them on facebook.  Change your picture, your banner, change lives.

<3Lorraine and Jessica <3