Into The Word Wednesday {What it means to be free}

It’s the freedom of our country, the freedom of our people, freedom to be anything we want to be, to own a business if we so choose, to live where we’d like, raise our children as we wish…

I went searching through the word this week looking for verses about freedom.  This verse really stood out to me.

You will soon see that the title of this isn’t even really what this ends up being at all.  Freedom and Independence Day is what I wanted to post about yet I was led in a very, very different direction.

We are called to be free.  It is our right to be free.

Now I don’t know the bible by heart.  I know some verses of course but I’m no biblical scholar.  I’m working my way through learning more right now as I’m a work in progress. I didn’t know the next verse would change my entire post.  I didn’t know that the next verse would be blog post changing.

I hadn’t planned on talking about this at all but here we go….

Love your neighbor as yourself, love your neighbor as yourself, love your neighbor as yourself.  These words keep resonating in my mind.  Have I been loving my neighbors?  Have I taken the time to get to know people, help others, show my compassion?

I really haven’t.  I’ve been so wrapped up in my own despair, my own worries the past year or so I haven’t done much for anyone else.  Of course I’m still a wife and mom but there are many more ‘neighbors’ in my life.

However He has opened my eyes to see that in all this I was already loving my neighbors and they were loving me back.  I just found this verse only just last night yet in the past eight weeks I’ve been changing.  Looking outside myself.  Really seeing how I can be a blessing for another.  I didn’t realize I was doing it.  I’m not mentioning it here to brag about it.  I want to share so you too can see how you may in fact be changing even when you don’t see it!

I’m mentioning it because in the past eight weeks a TON has happened yet I was too worried about other things to see it happening!

  • I met an extraordinary group of ladies through my Good Morning Girls bible study group. Praying for them has been really eye-opening. They do not live in close proximity to me at all but I feel as we’re growing as close as neighbors.  I’m loving them from afar.
  • I made several new friends that do live near me and I’m slowly becoming close with them.  What I find interesting is that even though I’m struggling with my own issues each of these ladies is battling something much more dire in their lives.  I believe they were brought into my life to show me that things could be much worse.  It doesn’t belittle anything my family is battling but it is showing me that if I can muster up half of the strength these ladies have then I’ll be okay!!
  • I’ve started this blog, learned a lot about myself, grown by leaps and bounds.  Made a ton of new blogger friends that have shown me that there is no reason to be afraid of making friends, online or in real life.  Each one has been helpful and sweet in their own way.

So on this Independence Day in 2012…how have you loved your neighbor today?  Have you been doing it all along but were too overwhelmed to see it?  I would absolutely love to hear about it.  It’s amazing what we see when we free our eyes and heart to really ‘see’.


–Join my co-hostesses and I this week for Into The Word Wednesday!

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes

Sarah at Fontenot Four

Falen at Upward Not Inward

Kelly at Exceptionalistic (looks like you found me!)

Into the Word Wednesday blog hop rules (if you wouldn’t mind!):

1. Link up about something you are learning this week.

2. Follow all hostesses via GFC.

3. Grab a button to put on your blog – the more the merrier!  Check out our sweet new button…

Tales of Beauty for Ashes

4. Check out (and comment) other people’s blogs to bless them today!

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Decadent patriotism: white chocolate strawberries

Do you like fresh, juicy strawberries?

And white chocolate?!?

These patriotic strawberries were delicious!!  We took them to a 4th party and they were loved.


Fresh strawberries

White chocolate chips

Blue sprinkles or blue sugar (we used both)

*Wash and dry the strawberries. Make sure they are totally dry. Chocolate won’t stick if they are wet.

*Melt the chocolate chips in a bowl. I microwaved on 50% power for 2 minutes.  Then again for 30 seconds (at 50% power) until they were completely melted, stirring each time.

*Dip strawberries into chocolate about 2/3 of the way to the top (leave some red showing).

*Add blue sprinkles or sugar about 1/3 of the way up the chocolate. I found it was easier to spoon them on rather than dipping.

*Place on wax paper in the fridge uncovered until hardened.

*Eat within one or two days.

Recipe inspiration from Itsy Bitsy Foodies July 2010 & The Sisters Cafe June 2011.  Found on Pinterest!!!

Linking up with Red, White & You!

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Totally worth the work.

In case you were grossed out by this… I had to come back to show you the drastic difference.

I complained for the few days it took to clean up all that nastiness from the cover breaking but it was totally worth it!

Look at the payoff!!  Beautiful!  So inviting….and in this 102 degree heat we’ve been having I am SO thankful we’ve been able to use it!!

I’ve really been working on being thankful even in the things I do not like to do.  I’d love to hear what your least favorite chore is and how you feel when it’s done!

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Dance {5 Minute Friday}

In my mind you can’t have dance without music.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly or macaroni & cheese with sugar!  Of course I could dance to the music in my head but it’s just not the same!

I love to dance. I used to love going to clubs with my friends just to dance! My husband does not.  To him even with music there is no reason to dance!  At weddings he will slow dance but that’s it. No fast-dancing, line-dancing or club dancing for him!

I’ll never forget the most special dance I had with him.  Believe it or not it wasn’t our wedding dance although that ranks up there.  We had just started dating after being best friends for over six years.  We were college students with really no money to do more than go to the movies.

One night as he was dropping me off he asked me to get out of the car. He popped open his trunk, put in a CD and played our song.  We danced in the moonlight, on my parents driveway at 2am.  It still is one of the sweetest, most amazing moments in our lives.

In case you want to hear…here is our song. Believe it or not he’s not a country music fan either yet this has always been our song…this guy amazes me!!

(music video courtesy of YouTube)


I’m linking up with the Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday.

Want to join our favorite free writing exercise of the week? It’s easy peasy.
Five Minute Friday
1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Dance” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Past 5 Minute Friday posts



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Getting the house in order + giveaway!

Confession time.

It’s possible that you are like me and the minute (and I mean the exact minute) you had kids the house may have started getting a little unorganized. No? Okay well then maybe it’s just me ;)

Speaking from experience it’s been a little rough keeping up with all that it takes to care for a house + kids + hubs! I really needed something to help me stay organized.

I found it!  Check this out!!

Could it be that everything you need right here over at Finding Hope’s Etsy Shop?

Wow! It’s true.  Everything I needed to get myself (or my house) in order really is right there for sale in her shop. I’m working on putting together my home organizer.  I couldn’t wait until it was finished to bring you this awesome giveaway.  One of the best parts about this kit is that you can also follow along here for a tutorial on how to put your notebook together!

Just in case you haven’t heard – Kayse over at Finding Hope is currently writing a book proposal.  She’s headed to the SheSpeaks conference in just a few short weeks!

She’s currently running a special through the month of July on everything in her Etsy shop.  With the coupon code SHESPEAKS2012 you can purchase the Complete Home Management Notebook Kit for 50% off!!  This amazing deal will be great for the new budget you’ll create with your expense tracker.

Here is what is included:

Personalized Cover
Account Tracker
Address Book {Contacts}
Auto Maintenance Log
Baby Journal
Babysitter Info
Blog Planning Calendar
Book Inventory
Children’s Info Document
Cleaning Schedule (Daily and Weekly)
Daily Plan
DVD Inventory
Emergency Info
Exercise Log
Family Budget
Financial Goals Worksheet
Food Journal
Freezer Inventory
Immunization Record
Inspiration Space
Master Household Project List
Meal Planning Calendar
Online Password Tracker
Pantry Inventory
Perpetual Calendars (Birthdays and Anniversaries)
Spending Tracker

Did you spend the time counting those?  No?  I’ll tell you…there are 27 printables in this set.

Now…make sure you enter to win below so you can write $0 on your budget worksheet for this purchase!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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