Life Update June 2013

Every once in a while I am going to write a life update post for my blog readers. It will be a "short" post giving you all a glimpse into my wonderful, chaotic life.

The last few months have been busy - not really a surprise, it seems to be how we roll around here. 

Here's what we've been up to:

Weddings - two so far this year and more to come! A lot of my cousins are at the "marrying age" so it is going to be a busy next couple of years. :)

House Renos - we are slowing getting some outside work done. I can't wait until the mud pit in our backyard turns back to grass. Right now my kids have a choice of playing on the concrete pad we poured last fall or the rock hard dirt. Needless to say its not that much fun in our backyard right now. No the inside isn't close to being done. We most definitely missed our June completion timeline - at the rate we are going we have MONTHS more work to do!

Special Days - we celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary last week and the next day we celebrated little Aus-man's 1st birthday. I can't believe my little guy is already 1. He has been walking for almost 2 months already and he acts so much older already. Kaylen's first year went quick - Austin's went lightning fast because we were so much busier! A blog post about the party we had yesterday is coming.

Sea-to-Sea - last week my dad left to begin an amazing journey cycling across North America. He is cycling approx. 110 kms per day, 6 days a week resting only on Sundays, for 9 weeks. He started today in Newport Beach, California and will finish August 24 in Staten Island, New York. This is a fundraising bike ride to raise funds for poverty. To find out more information check out their website at seatosea.org. I am super proud of my dad - he is not a cycler but has been training hard and we are so excited as he begins this amazing journey. We will get to see him in 7 weeks when he heads up to Canada - counting down the days (I've never been away from my dad this long!).


So those are the big items of what's been going on. I'm hoping for a more low-key, drama and stress free summer. We'll see how that goes!

Thanks for stopping by!
-Felicia

Quick Tip Mondays: Removing Crayon Scribbles



Today's quick tip is something I use often in our home - removing crayon scribbles from cabinets and painted walls, with a household item you have on hand.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a great tool to remove crayons and so many other stains. But what do you do if you don't have one? I faced this dilemma a few months back when my darling daughter scribbled red crayon all over my brand new cream kitchen cabinets, and I wanted to get it off before Daddy came home! I didn't have a magic eraser in the house, and I wanted to use something I had in the house.

So what household item removes crayon? Toothpaste! You get some toothpaste, put it on a paper towel or dishcloth and start wiping at the crayon. Using a little "elbow grease" the crayon comes right off. Then just wipe off any excess toothpaste and it looks brand new - no more crayon!


I have used this tip often as it seems my kids can never seem to draw on just the paper. Hope this helps you out with any little scribbles you have around the house! Thanks for stopping by!


First Birthday Party Ideas for a Boy


My little man is turning one in a couple of weeks! I can not believe how quickly this last year has gone by - so much faster than Kaylen's first year! So I have been searching Pinterest for some great ideas for a little boy's first birthday. Below are some inspiration pins I have found:

***please do not pin to my blog but to the original owner of the photo***


Source: blog.hwtm.com








Source: ontobaby.com









Source: blog.hwtm.com



Source: thecakeblog.com

Source: etsy.com

Source: etsy.com




Source: vanillajoy.com

Quick Tip Mondays: LOVE, DON'T JUDGE and FORGIVE

Happy Monday everyone!

Today's post is a little different than my regular Quick Tip Mondays posts. It's a simple tip that we are commanded in the Bible to follow, but seems to be very difficult to do. It's a long post but I hope you will stick with it to the end, with an open heart.

It's simple ... LOVE, DON'T JUDGE and FORGIVE.


Ok, let's back up a few steps. Where did this post come from? So far my blog has been mostly upbeat non-personal posts. But I also started it as an outlet to get my thoughts, highs, lows, struggles and faith out there. This post has been on my heart for the last month or so, and things that happened last week have just put it even stronger on my heart. So I felt it was time to sit down and share what's been on my heart lately.

Brokenness.... it's everywhere! I feel it the most in the broken families that surround me, and not just in the regular sense of the word. I mean in the hate and pride and dis-respect and hypocrisy that plague our families today. And I struggle with watching it happen. Sometimes I just want to "shake people" - wake up! Don't you see what you are doing - who you are hurting and how you are letting the devil win?!

So today I want to write about three simple commands the Bible tells us about, and I pray this post will open up some eyes and convict some hearts.

LOVE

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments."
(Matthew 22: 36-40 NIV)

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. ... We love because He first loved us."
(1 John 4:7-8, 19 ESV)

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
(John 13:34-35 ESV)

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful."
(Colossians 3: 12-15 ESV)

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,"
(Matthew 5:44 ESV)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
(John 3:16)

The above Bible verses are just a couple of verses that speak about the Lord's command to love. First and foremost we need to love the Lord, and then we need to love others. And if we love the Lord it is much easier to love others. If God loves me - just another human being, really nothing special - how can I NOT love others? 

And if God loves me, how can I not love... my family and those closest to me?! Have you ever met someone who is so kind and loving to complete strangers, but has completely disregarded and cut out family members? I find this absolutely mind-boggling, but it happens... a lot. And by people who call themselves Christians. 

God is love. If we proclaim to love Him, we must love everyone, even those who are difficult to love. I always say, I may not "like" this person, but I do have to "love" them. Is this a correct Christian statement? I'm not a theologian, so I don't know. But I do know this. We must love. The Lord commands us to love everyone, even our enemies, but does that mean you have to be their best friend? I don't think so. But does that mean we can treat them badly? No we can't, because then we aren't loving them. We must treat others as we would want to be treated.

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
(Matthew 7:12 NIV)

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."
(Luke 6:31 NIV)

So, back to our broken families. We are called to love our families - every single member. And we are called to treat them as we would have them treat us. Do you ignore someone and then get offended when they ignore you? Mean to someone and get mad when someone is mean to you? Have you written a family member "out of your life" and blame them for not being in contact with you? Are we loving them as Christ has loved us? Are we treating them as we would want to be treated?

It is so much easier to blame someone else for our actions. 
"I'm not talking to that person because they hurt me"
"I'm not inviting that person to this function because they are living in sin"
"I'm have no relationship with this person because they haven't made an effort to have a relationship with me"
... and on and on and on. We justify our actions because of what someone else has done, sometimes not even directly to us. Once again, are we following Christ's commands to love others as we love ourselves? Or is it okay to blame others for the reason why are aren't showing them love? 

The Lord loved us SO MUCH that He sent His ONE and ONLY SON to die on the cross for our sins; He sent him to hell so that we can experience eternal life in Heaven with Him.

Can't you love your father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparents, children? The Lord loved us, His children, this much, can't we love the family he blessed us with?

BUT, I do love my family. Do you really? Just because you SAY you love someone, doesn't mean it's actually true. Do your ACTIONS show your love? 


DO NOT JUDGE

This leads me to my next point - our amazing ability to judge others and forget all about our own sins and mistakes.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
(Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."
(Luke 6:37 NIV)

"Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbour?"
(James 4:11-12 ESV)

"If you really fulfill the royal law according to Scripture, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself," you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law."
(James 2:8-11 ESV)

The Bible talks a lot about judging and judgement. The number one point is that God is the ONLY judge and lawmaker, and we are NOT to judge one another. We are ALL sinners - equal sinners. So many people seem to think they are "better" than the next person because they haven't done ______ sin, and they think that gives them the ability to judge the other person. WRONG! What is so sad is that this happens again and again and again in our families.

Sin came into this world with Adam and Eve, and every day we sin again and again and again. Some people seem to believe that one sin is worse than another, and this then gives them the ability to "dismiss" this other person and judge them. They use someone's else's sins to justify their judgement, and in turn, their own sin. I love the above verse from Matthew 7 - we are so quick to judge others when we have sinned and sinned and sinned. I was at church a few years ago and our minister preached on this passage. He had a 3 foot piece of 2 x 4 wood that he lifted up and put in front of his eye. What a great "example" of this passage. We are ALL walking around with logs sticking out of our eyes, but seem to forget about them as we look at the spec of dust in everyone else's eyes.

Have you ever noticed that as Christians this behaviour seems to be even more common? When it comes to "certain sins" non-Christians will treat others with much more grace and forgiveness than Christians will. If someone commits an "un-forgivable" sin (we seem to have created a hierarchy of bad sins and really bad sins), we justify our actions of judgement by saying, "well what you are doing is unbiblical...."; and in turn what we are doing is also unbiblical. But we seem to think it's ok to use one Bible verse to condemn someone and completely disregard the rest of the Bible.

We see this in churches and families everywhere. And everytime is happens it Satan does his little happy dance! And then we wonder why people are always bashing Christians. Ever heard, "Why would I want to be a Christian when you can't even love your own family?" or "Why would I want to go to that church - all they do is judge each other?". 

Once again, back to our broken families. What makes you think that you are better than your family member? How is their sin worse than your own?

Here's an example I keep hearing over and over and over, and I'm tired of the hypocrisy of how Christians are treating this issue.

Well..... they are divorced and the Bible doesn't condone divorce.

The Bible also says: Honour your mother and father. Children obey your parents. Love one another. Husbands love your wives. Wives submit to your husbands. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. Don't judge. Train up your child in the way he should go. Don't love money. Don't be prideful. Don't covet. Be slow to speak and slow to anger. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths. And on, and on, and on.

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31b, ESV)

By choosing one Bible passage and one sin and forgetting about what the rest of the Bible says, you are committing a sin. You don't need to answer for someone else's sins and mistakes, so why does everyone feel the need to judge other for their sins and forget about their own? It is impossible to live a perfect life, impossible to obey every single command in the Bible because we are ALL sinners. We all make mistakes and we all need to answer for OUR actions. So stop judging and start loving. Start obeying God's commands to love one another, and stop listening to that little devil on your shoulder who convinces you that it's ok to judge and treat others badly. Stop being a hypocrite and start letting your actions show Christ's love. And what better place to start than your own family ....


FORGIVE

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
(Phillipians 3: 13b-14, ESV)

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
(Ephesians 4:32, ESV)

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
(Matthew 6: 14-15, ESV)

"Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin again me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.""
(Matthew 18: 21-22, ESV)

The Bible calls us to forgive and forgive and forgive. Seventy times seven. Over and over and over. Forgive your family for the mistakes they have made and move forward. Stop living in the past and start living for the future.

We have a limited number of days on this earth - we need to spend them loving one another, and living each day to the glory of God. Do you have a broken family relationship? Repair it. Are you holding a grudge against someone? Forgive them. Have you hurt someone with your words or actions? Ask for forgiveness. Have you judged someone harshly for a sin they have committed and hurt them with your actions? Ask for forgiveness. 

Christ forgave the murderer hanging beside him on the cross - with this example can't we forgive our family members? 

I recently read "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado, and it talks about the life of David. He makes a point near the end of the book about how important family is, and how David was alone when he died. A young woman he did not know came to keep him warm when he was dying. (see 1 Kings 1:1-5). Is this how you want to live your life? Do you want regrets at the end of your life? Do you want to make up for lost time with loved ones because pride got in your way most of your life? Why wait until something bad happens to repair relationships? Are you waiting for a funeral before you say "I'm sorry" or "I forgive you"?

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"
(Matthew 7:21-23, ESV)

I finish this post with the above verse. It's a scary verse when you think about the consequences, but one we all need to be mindful of. We can proclaim the name of Christ, but if we do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and have accepted him as our Lord and Saviour we face the fiery pits of hell. Do you want Jesus to say "I never knew you?". Accept him and start living as he has commanded you. Love, don't judge, and forgive. Especially when it comes to the family he has given you, even those who are hard to love.

Final thought: Are you going to stop judging and start loving, or are you going to continue prancing around on your high horse of pride and expect all those you have hurt to come running when you fall off  your horse? 


Note: I am in no way saying I am better than any other person. I am a sinner just like everyone else, struggling with the above sins and so many more. The Lord has laid it upon my heart to share my thoughts and has shown me the verses I have used. I pray this will help all our broken families to start healing and loving each other.