Recipes!!

Homemade Sports Drinks

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I don’t know about your family, but mine is ALWAYS thirsty.  We stopped buying soda a couple of years ago in an effort to 1.) encourage healthier beverage choices, and 2.) reign in our ridiculously high grocery budget. After the “soda strike” I found myself buying way too many sports drinks.  While these are a slightly healthier option than soda, they are not such a great choice for the budget.  My family can go through an 8-pack of sports drinks in one weekend and that stuff is expensive!  I knew there had to be a better way but I had no idea what the better way would be until I stumbled upon this post at “One Good Thing by Jillee”.

Enough about the “why’s” though – Let’s get to the doing.  I’ve made this sports drink several times for my family and they love it!  The ingredient list is short which makes me love it too.  🙂 Continue Reading

Growing in Faith

Could Your Giving be Disobedience?

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Could Your Giving be Disobedience?

 

Giving to those less fortunate seems almost “trendy” these days.  In the age of social media, we’re not hard pressed to find a feel-good story with thousands of shares or a crowd-sourcing site set up for someone who’s found themselves caught up in less than ideal circumstances.  I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with any of these things and I doubt that God would find a reason to frown upon them either. 

There was a viral story recently about a boy who asked a gentleman if he could help him carry his groceries in exchange for some donuts; and humanity came through for this boy and his disabled mother in a BIG way.  There are also great stories floating around about paying the tolls for the car behind you at the toll-booth, or paying for the coffee of the driver behind you at the drive-thru, and even buying lunch for law officers to say thank you (which I highly recommend).  Even Pinterest has countless ideas for “blessing bags” for the homeless. There are even free printable cards available to add to the bags.

All of these are wonderful ways to give and be blessed in the giving, and I have no doubt that each of these instances gives just a little bit of hope, or at least a little pick-me-up, to the recipients of these acts of kindness.

BUT …. Are you giving obediently?  Are Blessing Bags what God told you to do? Continue Reading

Growing in Faith

How to Be Happy in One Easy Step!

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There is something I have learned over the past few years and life is good because of it. Yes, it took me a while to understand in my heart, and I paid the price of depression, anxiety, and discontent.  I finally learned the secret of how to be happy!  What is it, you ask? 

My life changing revelation was this:  A thing is only offensive if you take offense to it!

Does that mean that all is right with the world? No. Does that mean that we shouldn’t be passionate about things? No. What it does mean is that if we see or hear something that sparks an emotion in us, we need to stop right there and evaluate that emotion.  Just; whatever you do, do not put on the armor of offense!  That’s it – one easy step to happiness! (Ok, I’ll admit, it might be easier said than done – but it CAN be done.)

How to be Happy in one easy step!

If it is anything negative, we have a choice. We can consciously choose to let it go from within ourselves and follow the advice Jesus gives in Philippians 4:8 [AMP] ~ “For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”  We must choose to direct our thoughts to things that are good! Continue Reading

Essential Oils

Enjoy Bug-Free Fun Outdoors Anytime!

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Well, it’s FINALLY here!  The grips of cold and wet weather have given way to the beauty of late Spring and Summer!  I’m excited, are you?  Sometime around February I had begun to fear that Spring would never come – haha – but, as seasons do, the weather has changed and Summer is knocking on our door.  Kids are starting their summer break from school and pools are opening across the country so it’s time to head outside.  Hooray!!

Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  Affiliate links provide a modest commission to support this blog with no additional cost to you.  You can read my full disclosure here.  My family and I appreciate your support.

I don’t know if the bugs are as big or as mean where you live as they are here in Southeast Texas, but regardless, I bet they are no less annoying when you’re trying to enjoy your time outside. Nobody wants to use chemical repellents that leave a stinky sticky mess on your skin, though.  Yuck!  Fortunately, my beloved Spark Naturals has a perfect solution that is all natural and safe enough for even young children.  I’d like to introduce you to Nature Outdoor Blend, Spark Naturals’ proprietary blend of essential oils, mixed with fractionated coconut oil for gentle, safe and effective use to repel pests when you head outside.

SN Nature Outdoor Blend

Nature Outdoor Blend has a lovely lemon-vanilla scent and dries quickly on the skin so you can actually enjoy your time outside.  You can apply it directly to your skin, as it is already diluted for gentleness with fractionated coconut oil; but my favorite way to use it is to add about 25 drops to a 1 oz. glass spray bottle and top it off with good quality witch hazel.  It makes a refreshing and cooling spritz that you can apply repeatedly throughout the day that effectively repels pests such as mosquitoes, chiggers, fleas, ticks, ants, flies, gnats, and more. (Please be careful not to spray it directly into eyes, nose, or mouth) Continue Reading

Growing in Faith

The Truth About April Fool’s Day.

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TheTruthAboutAprilFoolsI think it’s time we examine the truth about April Fool’s Day – if we can find any.  As you probably guessed from the title, I’m not a fan.  However; this article is not a rant against the world; rather, it is intended to be thought-provoking.  I feel quite certain that millions of people have participated in pranking and practical jokes without even a thought to the implications against themselves.  Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t automatically make it right and here’s why:

Pranks and practical jokes are elaborate lies.  There is no other way to define it.  I searched diligently for a gentler word than lie; but none really fit the bill.  After all, a rose by any other name is still a rose, right?  The very nature of pranking someone requires the prankster to first set a trap to ensnare their victim.  That trap is built entirely of lies!  How can you spend days, or even weeks, scheming up an elaborate lie to victimize someone, yet still expect to be considered trustworthy?  You’re not.  A person can either be trusted, or they can’t.  There is no gray area for the 24 hour period of April 1.  Children learn what they see, not what they hear.  Are you teaching your children to get some narcissistic satisfaction from hurting another; or are you teaching them to respect themselves, and each other?  You can’t do both. Continue Reading