How To Teach Your Littles About Easter

I am so excited to share with you some of our Easter traditions! I have to give a special thank you to Kristin @ Lily & Light for asking me to share today. She is such a blessing to my life and I am honored to be guest-blogging today on her blog, too.

Easter Egg Fun 2

{If you love jelly beans, I highly recommend the Starburst ones…YUMM-O!}

One of the more silly/fun things we do with my daughter is filling Easter eggs for her preschool. They have a big Easter egg hunt each year and ask parents to bring in eggs filled with candy. My sweet one has a great time picking out the plastic eggs and candy, and then helping to fill them to share with her classmates.

Easter Egg Fun

{Someone was VERY proud of their work!}

Can I be honest? My husband and I are terrible at starting family traditions. We struggle every year to do these. One of the biggest struggles we have had is teaching our daughter about the true meaning of important holidays like Christmas and Easter.

Phil 3 10

Ultimately, we want our daughter to know Christ. We love the fun traditions that are more “commercial” in nature, but we strongly desire for her to be able to differentiate between what is truly important/impactful and what is for fun.

Thankfully, we were given a wonderful gift to help in this endeavor. My mother in law gave us the Jesus Storybook Bible for Christmas to help us teach our daughter about Jesus. If you have children who are younger, I HIGHLY recommend this Bible! This Bible has stories are extremely well written, are engaging, and build on each other. Every time we read one, my daughter asks to keep going! It really is THAT engaging.

One of the great additions you get when purchasing the Bible is that they include DVDs with cartoon videos that accompany each story. They are read by a narrator and the images match those in the Bible itself. It makes the stories come to life, and engage the kids in the story. Zondervan (the publisher) even put some of the videos online!

While my husband and I are still hashing this out, we do hope to use this Bible as a means to teach our sweet one about the reasons why we celebrate these holidays. While giving gifts and treats are certainly a fun part of these family holidays, I desperately want my daughter to find the true value behind Easter.

What types of Easter celebrations do you do with your families? What do you use to help teach your children about Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection?

Blessings (& Happy Easter!)

How To Make Your Own Laundry Soap

I am thrilled to be co-hosting the “Sweet Simplicity” link-up this week with Nicolle! The link-up will be for posts sharing simple, easy DIY, recipes, etc. See the link-up below to add your post!

I am an avid fan of Pinterest. When my husband and I were looking for ways to trim our budget to help pay off our debts, I stumbled upon a myriad of posts on homemade cleaning products. One of my favorite one on how to make your own laundry soap. You can find the original post here: Laundry Soap Recipe Original Post(I decided to share the copy-cat recipe below.)

For some reason, I think many ladies get overwhelmed with the idea of making their own laundry soap. However, it is incredibly simple to do. Not only that, but it has save us a tremendous amount of money. I only have to make this once every few months, and that saves us a big amount on our grocery budget each month!

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

Laundry Pic 1

Items You Need:

  • 1 bar of soap (any kind you like – I change mine all the time depend on what scent I like)
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • A cheese grater (the old-fashioned kind)
  • A funnel
  • A large liquid measuring cup (I use my 4 cup Pyrex one)
  • A large soup pot
  • 2 gallon containers
  • A large container to hold the soap (or, like me, you can collect old laundry soap holders and put the soap in there, hehe)

Launrdy Soap 2

Directions:

  1. Grate the bar of soap and then place into the pot.
  2. Fill a one gallon jug full of water and pour into the pot.
  3. Cook the grated soap and gallon of water until the water dissolves. I usually cook on medium heat.
  4. Once the bar soap is dissolved, put in the one cup of borax and one cup of washing soda into the pot.
  5. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil. DISCLAIMER: watch this carefully, if you walk away and it boils, it WILL SPILL OVER THE POT. (Ask me how I know….lol.)
  6. When it begins to boil and before it spills over, take off the heat.
  7. Add in an additional one gallon of COLD water and stir well.
  8. Using the funnel and measuring cup, begin pouring the laundry soap into your containers.
  9. Place the containers wherever you keep your laundry soap.

Additional Notes:

  • The laundry soap coagulates. Make sure you shake the containers well when you use it to do laundry!
  • You may not see suds. That is okay. Suds do not equal clean.
  • You can use 1/2 a cup for each load. Sometimes I use 1 cup if it is a larger load.
  • I use old laundry soap containers to store my soap. However, if you prefer, you can purchase a large, clear container like this one from Amazon.

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On Being a Working Momma

I had the great privilege of sharing this on Nathalie’s series “The Mamahood” today. I have often struggled with guilt about being a work outside the home momma. Here is part of my journey…

I have had the great privilege to be a momma for four years now. And for most of the time, I have been a work outside the home momma. I say it that way, because I truly feel all mommas are “working mommas.” I think the term “stay at home mom” has a tone of “you don’t do anything but sit all day.” I like to think we all work – some of us in the home, some of us outside the home.

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While working outside the home has its challenges, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since I am a high school teacher, I get the privilege of having extended at-home time with my daughter during summers and the holidays. I also get the benefit of being around my peers and gaining wisdom from other adults during my day. Is this life stressful? Yes. Is it beneficial to my overall life? Definitely!

One of the biggest lies of the enemy that comes from being a momma that works outside the home is this: “You’re not doing enough for your child. You’re being selfish and are not caring for them by being home with them.” As I have grown as a mother, I have come to recognize this as a tool of the devil. As mothers, we have to do what is best for our families. Sometimes, we simply cannot afford to be a “work at home” momma. Other times, it may be best for our personal mental, psychological and even spiritual health that we find work outside of our home.

Can I be honest? I am doing my child a disservice by staying home with her. I greatly admire all “work at home” mommas. However, I do not feel this is a calling for my family at this time. I get extremely fitful when I am at home for extended periods and find that my daughter craves the structure and socialization her preschool provides. In this season, we mutually benefit by spending time apart from each other, and we can truly enjoy the time we have together in the afternoons and on the weekends. In addition, our family needs the financial support my job provides, so we can pay off our debts and begin to transition into church planting.

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As Christians, whether we work inside or outside the home, may our goal in mothering be that our children come to know Christ. As Paul states in Philippians, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.”(Philippians 3:10) More than anything, I desperately want my daughter to know Christ. Whether that means I am teaching her during the day or in the evenings, it is my biggest goal and hope.

I sincerely hope that whether you feel called to be a work from home momma or a “work outside the home” momma, that you do so prayerfully and that you do not feel ashamed by your choice. Mothers should not feel that they have to separate into one of the two camps. We have a common denominator that binds us all together – we are mothers. As mothers, we should seek to encourage, to lift up and to offer prayer & support to our fellow mothers. If we focus our eyes on Jesus instead of others opinion, He will mold us into the mothers He created us to be and we will be able to lead our children to Jesus, in whatever way He has called us to do so.

Faces of Eden Collage Carrie 4

Are you a new mom or a seasoned mom who is struggling with this are or another area of mothering? I highly recommend the book “Desperate” by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson. As I have been struggling as a mom over these last few years, reading it renewed my spirit and gave me a sense of freedom to mother the way God called me to.

May you be blessed today, momma. You are loved.

Only Child Syndrome

Eden Bike

{My diva-licious daughter on Christmas with her new bike. She is a hoot.}

I have a confession to make.

I don’t want to have any more children.

(Please, don’t shoot me – especially all my wonderful friends who are mom’s to multiple kids or my lovely friends who are desperately trying to have children!)

And when I tell people this, I get the whole awkward moment conversation and the, “Oh……”  Or I get the, “Well, aren’t you thinking of your daughter? She NEEDS a sibling.” And it makes me frustrated. Since when does ANYONE else know what is best for my daughter? Or my family for that matter?

Why would I want to birth/add more children to my family just to have others/society/my own family approve of me? How does that benefit me, my child or my family in general??

I decided to write this because I feel it is important to share something with you all. God has used this frustration of the “only child issue” to reveal  revelations to me as I struggled with my own convictions/desires on the issue vs. what others wanted me to do.

Here is what I feel He is teaching me:

Motherhood is a calling and deciding to become a mother is a HUGE choice. It isn’t a passing fancy, something that we do for fun or to feel like we belong with the other friends in our age group/community. We choose this because we feel it is something God has called us to do. Whether someone chooses to have one child, multiple children or to adopt children, it should be a decision made prayerfully in coordination with God’s plan for her and her family’s life.

Not only that, but what I do as a mother is unto the Lord, and not other people.

God is slowly teaching me that I am to be hidden in HIS will for my life. He is showing me that He will reveal to me through His spirit if any of my desires or convictions are not right or not a part of His plan for me. I choose to live my life to glorify Him alone.

God has also used this issue to bring to light my intense desire to people-please. I have always wanted approval from others, even from a young age. For whatever reason, my self-worth seemed to be tied to achieving a good reputation amongst my family, friends and (now) co-workers. While these desires are not wrong in their entirety, putting too much emphasis on your reputation or how people perceive you can lead to anxiety/worry and to NOT focusing on the Lord.

I had no idea when I became a mother, that this issue would thrust me into a spot-light where people will comment on my parenting skills, my daughters behavior and personality, and my family’s decisions on whether to expand and have more children (or not). But today I choose to not get frustrated, people-please or become bitter; instead, I choose joy and will turn to Christ and His word to find my peace and self-worth.

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{I love my silly family. We are a perfect fit. Thank you LORD for my family!}

Are you struggling in an area of your life where you turn to people pleasing?

Do you feel like you need to make people in your family, peer group or workplace happy all of the time?

God did not intend for you to give your life over to others. He wants you to rest IN HIM and what HE HAS for your life. Get into His word. Pray. Seek Godly counsel. Ask God for help and seek Him in all areas of your life. He will reveal to you what decisions you should make in whatever area you are struggling in today.

Blessings, friends!

Some verses for encouragement….. 🙂

Galatians 1:10:

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”

Colossians 3:23:

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

Colossians 3:17:

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

“Desperate” Weekend Getaway

Desperate-3D

Ladies…

For those of you who are mothers, you know how desperate you can feel at times. I have read nothing but good reviews on this book, and plan on purchasing it soon.

Now the authors, Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson, are offering a WONDERFUL giveaway!

The winner of the giveaway will win an all-expense paid trip to Sally Clarkson’s home in Colorado, a stay at a wonderful spa/hotel, and 2 spa treatments! In addition, you will get to spend time with Sally & Sarah Mae, gleaning support, receiving prayer, and gaining  mentorship/support from these two wonderful women.

If you’re a mother (like me) who is exhausted, overwhelmed (at times) and desire a break, I implore you to enter this giveaway!!! See this link for more information: Desperate Mom Giveaway.

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