Big Mama

Elias calls me “big mama!”

I shared how I felt about that here. Well all of this “big mama” talk it is getting out of control. Lately, every time we are in the car Elias will lean over to Owen and say, “big mama!” This of course makes Owen laugh hysterically. Enjoy this little video, filmed by none other than “big mama.”

 

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Saturday Giveaway

Yesterday I had so much fun showing you my kitchen that today I want to give you a chance to win something for yours!  
 
 

{giveaway:}

Today Schroeder & Tremayne, Inc. is generously giving three lucky Pencilled Daydream readers a chance to win an Original Dish Drying Mat! I love my drying mat and think every kitchen could use one!
  

{how to enter:}

 Like my blog’s Facebook page (then leave a comment here on the blog telling me you did)
(mandatory entry)
 

{really, really want to win?}

additional entries – leave a comment for each entry 
 
Like the Original Dish Drying Mat on Facebook (1 entry)
– follow Pencilled Daydream via  Bloglovin (1 entry)
– follow me on Pinterest (1 entry)
– follow @pencilleddream via Twitter (1 entry)
– blog, tweet or facebook about this giveaway and include the link (1 entry)
 
Giveaway is open to US Pencilled Daydream readers thru June 15th .
Winner will be announced on June 16th.
 
 
 
 
 
*Photo was taken from The Original Dish Drying Mat’s facebook page.

I’m No Cake-Boss!

Welcome to the second week of our Fun Stuff Friday Summer Home Tour. I love letting you peek into my home, because it inspires me to clean and organize my house one room at  a time. Last week you saw my Family Room and today I’m going to show you my kitchen- the room where I am supposed to cook. I’m no Cake-Boss, but my last name is Baker so there may be hope yet.  

 I love this room because it is so spacious! 

Just in case you are nosey like me, I thought I’d open my pantry doors. When I was thirty weeks pregnant and feeling like a giant moose, I containerized and organized my food. Six months later and it is still organized. I can’t help but laugh at myself when I get in there though. Who organizes their food?

  

I love our high table and cafe feeling eating area.  

I hope you enjoyed this little look at my kitchen!

COME BACK tomorrow, because I will be doing a giveaway! You could win “something” that goes in your kitchen.

3 Ways To Overcome Writers Block

1. Keep a notebook close by: Write down ideas as they come. Fill your notebook with all of your ideas and sketches. Create a topics list. Write down blog post series ideas. Make a word list. Then when you need a topic for a post, you can go back and pull from your notebook.   

2. Take lots of pictures– Take your camera or phone with you everywhere. Take pictures of what you are doing. Snap a photo of something that is beautiful, that has color, that inspires you. Pictures are great for inspiring stories and posts.

3. Keep reading– A good writer will always be a good reader. Read good books. Read good blogs. Remember that what you read will inspire you. And know as you start to write that an easy read is always a hard write. Don’t be discouraged in that. Keep writing. Keep reading. Reading will add new words to your toolbox and give you new literary ways to communicate your point. Reading will help inspire new stories and posts.

Brothers Are For…

 

Brothers are for loving.

Brothers are for staring at.

Brothers are for sitting on.

Brothers are for high fiving.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! -Psalm 133:1

 

 

P.s. If you have a few extra minutes and want to win some awesome stuff head over to Casey Leigh’s blog. Pencilled Daydream is giving something away!!

21 Things To Do This Summer

  1. Go to the pool.
  2. Go on a picnic.
  3. Go to the park.
  4. Go to a library class.
  5. Play in the sprinklers.
  6. Read together. (Join the summer reading programs at your library.)
  7. Go out for ice-cream.
  8. Have popsicles.
  9. Have a water balloon fight.
  10. Go on a bike ride.
  11. Take a hike.
  12. Have a day at the lake.
  13. Go to the zoo.
  14. Go to a splash pad, or a water park.
  15. Look at the stars together at night.
  16. Go for a walk.
  17. Catch fireflies.
  18. Have a BBQ.
  19. Play in the rain.
  20. Play a game together. (basketball, football, foursquare, hopscotch, soccer, race)
  21. Make a lemonade stand.

25 Ways To Encourage A New Mom

So many of my friends are having babies! And there are even more coming. Today I thought it would be fun to share 25 ways to support and encourage new mommies. I remember how blessed I was when I had Elias and Owen, and would love for more people to feel the same kind of  encouragement.

25 Ways To Encourage A New Mom

  1. Take her a meal.  
  2. Listen to her.
  3. Don’t compare her kids to others.
  4. Fold her laundry.
  5. Tell her what a  great mom she is.
  6. Don’t act like she should have all of the answers. Remind her that where she is weak, Jesus is strong.
  7. Support her in following her husband’s leadership. Each man has different ways of leading his family.
  8. If you feel the need to ask about how much sleep she had last night… ask something like: “Did you get more than a minute of sleep last night?” This will make her feel better about the fact that she only got twenty minutes of sleep all night long.
  9. Babysit for her. Let her take a nap or have a few minutes to shower alone.
  10. Clean her house. Put the dishes away. Vacuum. etc..
  11. Bring her a fun little surprise. Coffee, cupcakes, cookies, candy…what does she like? Bring it to her.
  12. Promise her that she will be able to go to the movies again one day.
  13. Tell her how great she looks for having just had a baby.
  14. Leave when the baby goes down for a nap. She needs a nap too.
  15. Bring a gift for her and the baby.
  16. Promise her that she will get out of the house.
  17. Promise her that she will sleep again.
  18. Don’t tell your stories about how your baby was the perfect sleeper, never fussed, and always cuddled.
  19. Only visit when it is convenient for Momma and baby.
  20. Send her a little card of encouragement.
  21. Call and ask if she needs anything from the store.
  22. Pray for her.
  23. Don’t expect her to fulfil her normal social obligations. She needs a little time to adjust to her new life with a baby.
  24. Make yourself available for her to ask you questions.
  25. Tell her that she is the perfect mother for this baby! God has fully equipped her to care for this little one.  

Suffering And The Sovereignty Of God

Some of life’s biggest questions come up when we start talking about suffering. Questions like: Why do we suffer and what is the purpose of it?  Where is God when I’m suffering?  And is God good?

So much of my story and testimony of Jesus’ work in my life has come from wrestling with these questions. Today I want to start a little blog series that wrestles with some of these questions. I will not pretend to have all of the answers, but I would love to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Let’s start with the sovereignty of God…

God is sovereign over all things. He is even sovereign over suffering.

What I mean by sovereign is that God is the one who exercises supreme authority and power. He is above all others in character, importance, and excellence. He is the one who “works all things according to the counsel of his will.” (Eph 1:11 ESV)

Many people have mistakenly divorced God from suffering. But if we ignore God’s sovereignty and how it plays into our suffering, we will miss being rooted and grounded in the fact that God is with us in our suffering. Scripture clearly shows that God is with us even on the days when our hearts swell with emotions and pain.  

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

God is sovereign over suffering, but that doesn’t mean that suffering isn’t real.

The Bible says that we suffer. It says that we suffer in every way. It says we are perplexed. It says we are persecuted. It says we are struck down….But…. Read 2 Corinthians 4:7

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;

perplexed, but not driven to despair;

persecuted, but not forsaken;

struck down, but not destroyed;

always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Our suffering is real. It can be puzzling.  It can be physical or even emotional, yet we are not crushed. We are not meant to be destroyed by it. There is a purpose. We are meant to have the life of Jesus manifested in our bodies.

Be encouraged that “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2Co 4:17 ESV)

God is sovereign over suffering, but that doesn’t excuse evildoers.

God’s perfect love is both kind and severe. In the beautiful story of redemption, Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” He was crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. And God raised him up. (Act 2:23-24 ESV). This was the kindness of God making a way for people to be set free from sin.

God made a way for salvation. It is only by His kindness that any of us are set free. However if all we knew of God is His gracious side, we would be left with a flat- one-dimensional view. Jim Andrews in his book Polishing God’s Monuments says that, “The love of God, due to human wickedness, necessarily also has “severe” edges in the form of judgment and discipline (105).

 What he is saying is that God will deal with sin because it is impossible for God to do an injustice. Andrews continues by saying, “Divine justice is a crucial component of divine love. A God of love does not forgive, ignore, wink at, or pass over evil.” (Andrews 105). If God overlooked sin that would be an injustice. God cannot and will not let the guilty go unpunished. If we are suffering because of someone’s wrongdoing, we can heed Romans call to “note then the kindness and the severity of God” (11:22 ESV).

So if you are suffering, whether it be big or small, physical or emotional, know that God is sovereign.

He sees you.

Suffering is real.

God knows your situation.

He sees the evil-doer and will act justly.

Know His kindness toward you. He died for your salvation. He is acquainted with suffering. Turn to Him. Cry out to Him. And feel the embrace of His comfort.

Today we addressed the sovereignty of God and suffering. Stay tuned as we wrestle with the questions 1) Is God good? 2) What is the purpose of suffering?

I’m No Martha Stewart!

There is an elephant in the room. Instead of ignoring him I’ll just usher him out by telling you that I am no Martha Stewart. My home will never be nominated to be on the cover of  the Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

I’ll just confess that up front. Besides I don’t even have a garden. But I’m sure if I did have a garden it would look amazing. Really it would.

Just picture me out on my hands and knees with a big floppy hat, floral patterned gloves on, and a little shovel in my hand. I would spend hours out there talking to my little flowers, telling them to “grow.” I mean what else would I do out there for hours? After my little flower grew, I could get a professional photographer to come take a picture of it and then I would win the most beautiful home and garden of all eternity award. (Note to self: get a garden. This will solve all of your “beautiful home” problems). Ok…I’m getting carried away. Where was I? Oh, yes beautiful homes.  

To be honest, I consider myself lucky when Cheerios aren’t smashed on the floor and when mount laundry is not declaring war on my home and trying to advance through each room of my house. I am happy when the floors are cleared of toys long enough to vacuum. I am overjoyed when the dishes don’t sneak out of the sink and try to take over the countertops. When everything is in its place, my house feels like a beautiful place. 

In line with that thought, I’ve decided to do a home tour. My heart behind this fun little tour is to serve my family by cleaning and organizing our house one room at a time, and hopefully along the way you’ll feel inspired to clean, organize, and enjoy your home.

HOME TOUR: FAMILY ROOM

Lets start in the Family Room since that is where we spend most of our time.

When we were deciding to buy our house, this is the first room I fell in love with. I love how open it is. It’s perfect for little boys to run around in.

Because this is the family room, I love decorating it with family pictures.  

I love this fireplace in the winter!

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our home. Stay turned for the rest of our tour!