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Leaving A Legacy

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Leaving A Legacy – Who I Am

 AM-I-STRONG-BLANCA-2

To My 3 Lovlies:

Oh yes, say it loud, you are so more than enough.

You are strong

Beautiful

You are good enough

You belong

After all

‘Cause of what He’s done

This is real

What He feels

No one made it up

YOU ARE LOVED

There is nothing that can separate you from God’s love. Nothing.

Not height, nor depth, nor any Created thing shall be able to separate you from His love. {Romans 8:38,39}

He cannot love you more, right here, right now.

You are everything because He gave His everything for you.

THIS  is your identity.

OH SO beautiful, you are.

TEAGAN-PROFILE-PROM

{a picture of my lovely Teagan on prom day}

 

Who I Am by Blanca

Another voice, another choice
To listen to words somebody said
Another day 
I replay
One too many doubts inside my head

Am I strong 
Beautiful
Am I good enough
Do I belong
After all
That I’ve said and done
Is it real
When I feel
I don’t measure up
Am I loved

CHORUS
I’m running to the One who knows me
Who made every part of me in His hands
I’m holding to the One who holds me
‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours

Turning down 
Tuning out
Every single word
That caused me pain
Unashamed
And unafraid
‘Cause I believe You mean it when You say 

I am strong
Beautiful
I am good enough
I belong
After all
‘Cause of what You’ve done
This is real
What I feel
No one made it up
I am loved

CHORUS

I am sure I am Yours
I know who I am
I am sure I am Yours

Fearfully
Wonderfully
Perfectly
You have made me

I’m running to the One who knows me
I’m holding to the One who holds me

CHORUS

I am sure I am Yours
And I know who I am

FAMILY/ FUN/DIY/ Holidays/Parties/ Kids/Family/ Leaving A Legacy/ RECIPES/ Sweets

My Avery Turns 12 + Cakepops!

IMG_3718

Oh if the whole world could know my Avery Rose!  I cannot believe she is 12 years old.  My baby…a year away from being a teenager.

She has been a joy her whole life, even during her 2’s & 3’s when the stubborn streak in her could turn a simple grocery shopping trip into the best lesson in humbleness for me as her Mom.

Now that she is 12, I rarely see that stubbornness used in negative ways, but boy do I see a strength in my girl that is going to take her far.  There is a resoluteness about her, a grounded-ness that shows the world that she is more concerned for others than herself. She has not gotten caught up in trying to impress those around her with artificial-ness, but instead shows her love through deeds and  gifts…most of which are homemade, whether through the arts or through her amazing ability to bake.

She lives for a celebration, whether a holiday or a birthday, because that is where her gifts thrive.  She goes around this house, usually in a sneaky manner so to ‘surprise’ those she loves, and will go all out in her creations to signify that what we are celebrating at the time is important.  She will spend hours on Pinterest coming up with ideas of what would be the best way to love on her family, and will come to me, perch on the end of my bed in the evenings when she has the most of my attention, and whisper her best laid plans. She shares with me as I am the one who has the car keys to get the supplies she would need, and she knows I too, love to love others in this way.  There is always a carefully drawn-up list of all that will be needed, and discussion led by her of how to make it the most frugal.

My girl had to take the reins in planning her own birthday this year, as I have been down and out the past 2 weeks with medication side effects that I won’t bore you with in this post. I will say it was severe and knocked me down harder than I have been knocked down physically since my chemo days.

Because I was not well, Avery was extra independent in her birthday planning, but still would come and sit at the end of my bed to fill me in on updates, as that had become just about the only place she could find me the last 2 weeks.  She was so sweet in reassuring me that she didn’t mind making her own birthday treats and plans.

We celebrated her birthday this past Sunday, and the day could not have been better.  The day before, my symptoms had let up in the early evening enough for me to get my girl out with her list and to buy her birthday supplies.  It was sweet time with her, the day was warm and it felt so good to get out. I was slower than usual, and honestly, the forced slow pace made the time even sweeter.

IMG_3695

She had her list in her hand and was on a mission at Target, and I followed with my heart just bursting with pride for my girl. She chose some fun chevron napkins that had a color in them that matched some leftover party balloons we already had at home.  She chose some Starburst candies to sprinkle on the table, careful to get the kind that had wrappers to match the napkins.

Her birthday plan was to come home from church, eat one of her favorite meals with lots of treats, then go with the family and a friend to a place in town called Defy Gravity.  It is an indoor trampoline park that is fairly new in town.  I loved the plan.  It was simple and doable.  I prayed that my stomach would feel well enough to watch my lovlies and their friends bounce up and down.

With her list in hand, we bought all the groceries we would need to make her favorite sandwiches.

Here was her menu plan:

Baked Ham & Cheese Party Sandwiches

Potato Chips

Strawberries

Mini Cans of Sprite

Cakepops

I saw her eyeing some fun easter mini-cupcakes, and she had been so sweet about being frugal that I told her to grab them.  They came a dozen and would be perfect to stick 12 candles in.  Her eyes and face lit up at my suggestion, and that alone was worth the artificial color and ingredients, plus the $2.99 they cost.

She scoured the dollar section for some treats to make treat bags for her friend and sisters.  She looked over some super cute treat bags, then said she didn’t need the fancy bags that cost over 3 dollars.  She came home and made her own adorable treat bags out of brown paper sacks and washi tape. Again, my heart almost burst. What a sweet, creative, frugal girl.

When we got home, Avery got busy making the table festive & blowing up her balloons, then got to work on the cake pops.  I thought she would be in the kitchen for hours making those cake pops.  Well, she wasn’t.  She made the cake part and we watched a family tv show as it baked.  When the cake cooled and it was time to make the pops, I left her alone in the kitchen and hoped she would have good luck.  It was not even 30 minutes later that she brought the finished cake pops up to me.  They were perfect and so cute.  She told me she had read up on how to make the perfect cake pop and how all the tricks that she learned really helped make it easy.

Here is the recipe she used, with tips from my Avery to follow:

Cake Pops

Ingredients:

1 cake mix + ingredients listed on box

1/3 cup prepared frosting

candy melts (available at most craft stores)

6 inch lollipop sticks (available at most craft stores)

sprinkles (optional)

food coloring (optional, to tint candy melt if desired)

styrofoam (to hold the pops upright to dry)

 

Instructions:

Prepare a boxed cake mix as directed on the box.  (Avery used a chocolate cake mix.)  Let the cake cool, then crumble the cake into fine crumbs with your hands in a large bowl.  Mix in about 1/3 cup of icing (Avery used store bought milk chocolate frosting) using your hands.  The mixture should be dense but not gooey.  Using a cookie scoop (Avery used a 1 T scoop) scoop out mixture.  Roll the mixture into your hand and pack it tightly into a ball.  Continue until mixture is gone.  It should make about 18 cake balls.

 

Coating:

Add about 5 candy melt morsels into a small jar and melt them in the microwave.  This will be used sort of as ‘glue’ to hold the cake onto the stick.  Dip your stick into the melted candy melt and quickly stick it into a cake ball at least half way down.  Repeat with remaining cake balls.  Set the balls onto a cookie sheet and freeze for about 10 minutes.

Put the rest of your candy melts into a microwavable jar and melt according to the package instructions.  If you are wanting to color your candy melt different colors, used several different jars and add desired color after the candy is melted.

Dip the cake pop into the jar, evenly coating it.  Let the coating drip off.  If using sprinkles, add immediately before coating sets. Place the cake pop right side up onto styrofoam.  Repeat for remaining pops.

 

Tips From Avery:

~using the candy melts as ‘glue’ is key.  Don’t skip this part!

~smaller balls are easier to work with…don’t make them too big!

~when dipping, just tip the stick in several directions instead of swirling.  This is a more gentle motion that will keep that cake ball on the stick.

~using candy melt coating is key! It easily covered dark chocolate and has the perfect consistency.

 

Avery 12th Bday

Her birthday morning came around and I woke up quite sick, still from side effects of medications.  I sent the family on to the early service at church, and knew I had a couple hours to get myself together as much as possible.  The kitchen was a mess from late night cake pop making, and I still needed to put together the sandwiches.  We had a 12:30 appointment at Defy Gravity and would spend about an hour and 1/2 there, so eating needed to take place between church and jumping.

I prayed the nausea would subside, and got to work.  I did fine until dealing with the slimy slices of ham.  Not the best texture or scent when one feels sick!   I just buckled down and did what I had to do. I took a bit of anti-nausea medication, had a few friends praying that I would feel well enough for the party, and prayers were answered.  I started to feel better just as everyone was eating their sandwiches, and I got to go watch my sweet girl jump and jump and jump! She even let her sisters bring a friend, so it was a lot of fun for everyone.  I am so thankful it all worked out, that I got to go, and that I am here to see my sweet girls grow up and celebrate these milestones with them.

……………

Avery Rose – I am so proud to be your Mom.  You make me smile every single day.  Keep being you and remember how very much you are loved!

5 Minute Fridays/ FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Leaving A Legacy/ Parenting

Oh She Glows


Teagan-Glows

 

Participating in Lisa-Jo’s 5 Minute Fridays. 5 minutes to write about one word. Unedited.

Word: BLOOM

GO:

Her face had lost its usual bloom.  My words had cut.

Radiance, luster, sheen, glow.  This is her default face.

How easy it is to spew words in frustration and irritation.  Teenage years can bring out the worst in us Mama’s.

Oh to remember the true Gardener & how He cares.  Patient, gentle, always tending.  Aware.

She is resilient & responds well to apologies.  Her forgiveness quick, light returns.

Her essence goes out to all around, eyes slant and twinkle like her Daddy’s

She complains that they disappear when she smiles.

It is my favorite.

BLOOM

If only she could see how she glows, how light shines bright, even through cracks.

Her beauty mesmerizes me at times; cheeks pink, lashes long, that beautiful smile.

Her inner beauty blooming, taking shape, opening to all she was created to be.

This creation, I created with the help of the Creator.

I think of her and I too, glow.

STOP.

FAMILY/ Leaving A Legacy/ Parenting/ Spiritual

My 3 Girls Minus Their Curls & True Beauty

{2009}
I love #throwbackthursdays.  It is so great to reminisce and look back at what a beautiful life I have been blessed with and just how precious every moment has been.
This photo was taken in the late summer of 2009, right after I gave my girls their back-to-school haircuts and took the time to straighten out their curls.  We even put fun chunky low-lights in Teagan’s hair that day, which was a big, fun deal to her at age 10!
Little did we know that their Mommy would also be ‘minus her curls’  and would get quite the haircut exactly a year later, in late summer 2010.  Chemotherapy is not so kind in giving the best of haircuts, but it did teach me that hair is just hair, change is ok, and outward beauty is shown in so many different ways, and comes from the inside.
My 3 lovelies are now 11, 13 & 14.
They are key ages, building their identity and embracing who God made them to be. I watch their beautiful lives and their struggle to resist the message this world gives them that beauty is all-important. It bombards them, in their face everywhere they turn.  This society they are growing up in is so messed up, unfair, and full of lies in defining true beauty.  Let us speak truth just as loud!

To my 3 sweet lovelies:

I swoon every time I look at you. You are all 3 so very beautiful inside and out.
Oh how I want you to see this!

If only I could hold up mirror that only allowed you to see yourself how God sees you. He sees you through the filter of His Son’s sacrifice.  No flaws, pure, washed, lovely, made in His image.  His amazing creation, one that He smiles at & rejoices over!

In the above verse, Proverbs 31:30, it talks about the woman who fears the Lord is the woman who is to be praised for her true beauty.

This fear is not:

“dreadful anxiety in which someone is frightened by the clear and present danger that is represented by another person. It’s not the kind of fear that a slave would have at the hands of a malicious master who would come with the whip and torment the slave. Servile refers to a posture of servitude toward a malevolent owner.”

Rather, it is a fear that:

refers to the fear that a child has for his father… a child who has tremendous respect and love for his father or mother and who dearly wants to please them. He has a fear or an anxiety of offending the one he loves, not because he’s afraid of torture or even of punishment, but rather because he’s afraid of displeasing the one who is, in that child’s world, the source of security and love. {source}

God is your security.  He is pure and true love.  He only wants what is best for you and has a plan for you that is beyond what you can imagine!  He wants to smother you with gifts & moments of pure delight, and give you a peace that is hard to comprehend until you experience it.

This is what I want you to fear…fear missing out on your Creator’s best for you!  Draw close to Him and get to know Him so well that you will KNOW how beautiful and lovely He is, and how beautiful and lovely YOU are.

We are girls and it is a delight to straighten curls or make them bounce.  It is much fun to polish nails and make a skirt float as we twirl.  There is freedom in these things and so much girly fun!

But…when those fun things are used to cover up pain or dislike for ourselves, there is no longer fun freedom.

When you look at your own physical blemishes and scars, may it remind you of how Jesus has scars, and those scars are what frees us from any shame and guilt that we place on ourselves.  When you see your imperfections, remember who made you and Who delights in you, exactly how you are, no matter what.

Run from shame.  Shut down the negative and condemning thoughts. Run from accusation, for we know who the Accuser is.  Flee and don’t listen.

Turn your ear to only truth.  Listen close.  Replace lies with truth. Believe.  Choose to fear God –a healthy fear. Not one that looks for approval, but one who knows the most Famous One fully approves!  Allow this knowledge to gently and continuously push you toward true beauty.

Run.
Flee.
Look Up.
Healthy Fear.
Listen.
Find Freedom.
Straighten or Bounce a Curl.
Do a Twirl.
I Love You More’n,
Mom
—————
Leaving a Legacy
FAMILY/ Leaving A Legacy/ Spiritual

I Am A Scribe and it is Changing My Life

pen and journal

I have found a way of studying the Scriptures that has been changing me in profound ways.  I’m not sure how I stumbled upon it while searching through Amazon, but I did, and I believe God’s own hand led me right to this profound way of studying His words. 

I stumbled upon the 17:18 series.  I was intrigued the minute I saw the words “Journible” & “Scribe.”

 I know that I am not alone when it comes to learning much more deeply and retaining more knowledge when I write something out– kinesthetically–so the idea that there was a such a simple way to study Scripture that utilized this way of learning really excited me.

collage of journible 17:18 series

The Purpose of Journible –(taken from my book journible I Timothy-Hebrews)
Engagement:The Journible is a profoundly simple attempt to aid a person’s ability to engage the Word of God by slowing down the process of simply reading the test.  The book is organized so that the “scribe” can slowly and thoughtfully engage the text while leaving plenty of room to write comments and question about the text.
Legacy: Journibles provide a legacy to pass on from one generation to the next. The journible creates an opportunity for one generation to communicate in writing to the next generation their insights and personal application of the test.
How To Use:This book is organized so that the scribe (you) will hand write your very own copy of I Timothy-Hebrews. You will be writing the text of the Bible only on the right hand page of the book.  This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page of your open text to write your own notes and comments.  From time to time, a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aide in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments.  This means that you are encouraged to not only write your own “copy” of the Bible, but to also write your own notes concerning the text.

journal 17:18 series

 I ordered the specific journal of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus Philemon & Hebrews.  I am just finishing 1 Timothy and can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed this process.  It is simply writing out 3-5 verses a day, and I love it.  My “chemo brain” {grin} is retaining it and I know it is changing me, my heart and my thought processes.

 I especially love the “legacy” idea.  You all know as a 2 time cancer survivor I am keenly aware that life on this earth is short and can be cut short at anytime.  What better legacy can I leave then the written Word of God and what it taught my heart as I read it?  Gives me chills to think about what a simple way the 17:18 series has given me to do just that.
writing in a journal

I was not paid to write this, but if you are interested in becoming a scribe and getting your own 17:18 series Journible,  use this link to order and I will receive a small compensation for sharing the link.  Let me know in the comments if you did!  I’m excited to see how many people this appeals to.

From the Journible 17:18 Series:
I Timothy-Hebrews
Romans
Proverbs
Acts
John
Galations-2 Thessalonians

FAMILY/ Leaving A Legacy/ Parenting

Leaving A Legacy For My 3 Girls – Find The Gifts

Leaving a Legacy

 

As a 2-time cancer survivor, I look at life with tangible knowledge that life could end at any given moment.  None of us know how long we have here on this earth.  This legacy series to my 3 girls…my lovelies… is my way of attempting to leave a legacy for them.  To speak of what is most important for them to know from me, their forever Mom.
………………..

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

{25.00 printable from Breazy Tulip}

Hello Lovlies,
It is June 2013 and you are all three home for the summer.  I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed having you all home.  Honestly, in past summers I had to adjust to a house full, but not this summer.  This summer I am reveling in the moments, and I love watching all three of you just be who you are throughout the day.  I am so proud to be your Mom…and so thankful for you.

I wanted to share with you how I have discovered how to live this verse.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I remember reading this verse when I was younger and thinking…how?  HOW IN THE WORLD does one rejoice evermore, pray always, & give thanks for everything?

But I have learned.

I have learned that rejoice evermore is so not a fake smile and a pretending to be happy at all times. It is a deep joy, that even in life’s hardest moments we have hope of heaven & the knowledge that God loves us, more than we can even fathom.

I have learned how to pray without ceasing.  It is just an ongoing conversation, a relationship with God and an acknowledgement of Him in your day.  You don’t always have to be on your hands and knees, although there are times for that.  Most of the time it is just heart whispers between me and my Creator. Sometimes just one word.  Like, “Help.”  If you are in relationship with someone, you are aware of their presence.  Become aware that He is with you always, ready to listen, totally understands it all, and loves you, loves you, loves you.

I have learned what it looks like to give thanks for everything.  Does that mean I do it all the time?  No. But I get what it means and have experienced the freedom and peace that it brings, which is so very beautiful.  I get why God tells us to do this.  And…I believe it is the key to living this entire verse.

I read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, and it changed me.  She encourages you to count gifts throughout your day. From the big–like health & home; to the seemingly small–like a smile from a stranger. She asks you to start making a list.  I did just that on this blog in my One Thousand Gifts series, and even made it to 1,000.

Here is what I learned:

~When you start to list gifts, your eyes are opened to the many, many gifts you would have missed otherwise.  I found myself rejoicing in awe at a seed that becomes a plant, or the specks of green in your eyes that match mine, or a curl resting on your cheek.  Noticing the things I usually would not notice brought great joy.  This is how I am learning to “rejoice evermore.”

~When you list gifts, it starts to become part of your thinking, and you find yourself giving thanks in everything, even the hard moments.  You remember how God was faithful in previous hard moments, as you looked for what to be thankful for within them. You know He is faithful and will do it again. He shows us the most precious parts of Himself and our need for Him in those hard moments.  Without them, we would not need Him.  This is how to be thankful for the hard. This is how to “give thanks in everything.”

~When you list the gifts, you form a heart of thanksgiving, and when you are offering up thanksgiving, you are praying.  This is often how I find myself “praying without ceasing.”

………

It is not always easy to have a thankful heart, God understands that.  But strive for one. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me in life, and I know it will help you too.

I Love You Mor’n,
Mom

FAMILY/ Leaving A Legacy/ Music Renews/ Parenting/ Spiritual

Leaving A Legacy For My 3 Girls – A Plea & A Prayer

Leaving a Legacy
As a 2-time cancer survivor, I look at life with tangible knowledge that life could end at any given moment.  None of us know how long we have here on this earth.  This legacy series to my 3 girls…my lovelies… is my way of attempting to leave a legacy for them.  To speak of what is most important for them to know from me, their forever Mom.
………………..

Todd Bowman and three daughters

 

 
Dear Lovelies,
 
I don’t have many words of my own for you today, just a verse which is also a plea, and a prayer.  I may even go find a song for you if your lucky.  🙂  
 
My Plea for you, my 3 lovelies:
 
Ephesians 4:1 I…beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling.  For you have been called by God.
 
How I pray for you:
 
Every time I pray I think of you and thank God for you!  I ask Him to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians.  Oh the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust him– endless, boundless strength!
 
Inspiring quote
 

 

Be assured from day one I have not stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds & spirits attuned to his will and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.  I pray that you live well for the Master, making Him proud of you as you work hard in His orchard.  As you learn how God works you will learn how to do your work.  


Inspiring verse
 


I pray you will have the strength to stick it out over the long haul, not a grim strength of gritting your teeth, but glory-strength that God gives.  It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful He has for us!
 
By giving Himself completely at the cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side & put your lives together, whole & holy in His presence.  Don’t walk away from a gift like that!  Stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned into the message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.
 
 
I Love you More’n,
MOM

……………….
 
The above are Paul’s prayers, so wonderful to pray over your children.  They are taken from:
Colossians 1:9
Ephesians 1:15-23
Ephesians 3:14-19




 
……………….
 
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