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Monday, October 31, 2011

Harvest Blessings

I am far from a crafty gal. Give me and apron, let me cook or bake and I'm in heaven. Expect me to cut, draw or paste and I shudder. But, this year I wanted our pumpkin to be displayed past Halloween and last longer than the usual week after being carved; so I decided to paint it with a harvest theme. I was really pleased with the outcome. Below is the how-to:

- Quote or picture that you want to apply
- Pumpkin poker (they are included in carving kits)
- Sharpie or paint
- Bow and matching ribbon
- Tacky glue
- Scissors

1. Tape your picture or saying to the pumpkin.
2. Use the pumpkin poker to outline the image. (just like you would if you were going to carve it)
3. Use a fine tip Sharpie or paint to fill in the picture. (I used a marker because of the small detail & decorative font.)

1. Attached the bow around the stem with the twist-tie. If your pumpkin doesn't have a stem, use the Tacky glue or a hot glue gun to attach the bow directly to the pumpkin.
2. Measure the ribbon to the length you want, cut them.
3. Glue the ribbon together.
4. Once dried, glue the ribbon to the pumpkin, being sure to hide the tops under the bow.
5. Bend the ribbons and fluff the bow to your linking.
6. Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

God at Work

How do I know God's really working and moving? Because I'm feeling spiritually attacked on all sides.
Although BBM hasn't been up and running for a long time, I know in my heart that God wants to use it for His glory. I have spent countless hours in prayer over the words that I type, the topics covered and the people who log on. And honestly, it would be a lot easier if He would have just said, "Yeah, maybe this is just a hobby. Let's try a different ministry." But just the opposite has happened. My passion for BBM has grown and my heart's desire to see it used to bring women into a closer relationship with Him has become my driving force.

So how am I being attacked? The enemy knows our weaknesses and loves to throw them in our face any chance he gets. I have felt insecure in my writing abilities. I have been stressed out trying to find time to write. I've been totally over-thinking every word I type and the design of my blog. These are all things that before I never worried about. When I wrote, I just wrote. Whatever was on my mind went on the page (kinda like right now). I guess this is a kind of vent of my soul.

Secondly, I have been awakened in the night with my biggest fears boldly in my mind. Fears that I normally don't ever think or worry about; fears that I know God has in full control.

I don't know what God's plan is for BBM. What I do know is that He has given me a strong desire to reach out to women. I know that, for now at least, He wants me to use the blogging world as my ministry. As with any ministry, the enemy will try everything he can to destroy it. But I believe that my God is mighty! He is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think! There is no weapon (fear, insecurities, NOTHING) that will prosper! Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world! God's got this. And where He wants to take it is up to Him! I'm just a vessel, humbled that he would choose to use me.

It's a Blog Party!

Courtney at is hosting a blog party. She's asked us to tell a little about ourselves. So here's a lil' about me.

Hi! My name is Torrie. For the past 11 years, I have been married to the love of my life. God has given us 2 beautiful kiddos, Logan (9) and Leah (3), which are my full-time joy. For the past 2 years, we have called Las Vegas home.

I love Jesus, Bible studies, good friends, cooking & baking, shopping, reading, music, coffee, tea, all things food, and of course...blogging! Although I've only been blogging seriously for about 6 months, I have loved writing since high school. Here you will find post about family life, parenting, marriage, lessons God is teaching me and my family, meal planning, and recipes. My "desk" is not exactly, well a desk. I write where ever I can find a quiet conner of the house, which usually is in our bedroom.

I blog because, after feeling God calling me to do so and A LOT of prayer, I believe that it is where He wants to use me. He has given me a passion for blogging and reaching out to women. It is the desire of my heart that God uses the simple words that are written here to the fullness of His glory.

"May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalms 19:14

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I ♥ Fall!

I LOVE fall!! It has become my favorite time of the year. For me, it's the beginning of the holiday season. I love the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove; the bueaty of the leaves as they change color, the crisp air that calls for sweatshirts & jeans. I love the food: chili, carmel apples, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin spiced latte. (Now you didn't think I could mention fall foods without our Starbucks favorite. I mean it's fall when you're holding a pumpkin spiced latte and it's Christmas when you're shopping with an eggnog latte in your hand.) I love the activities: jumping in the leaves, hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin carving, fall festivals and of course football!!

One of my most favorite fall activites is taking the kids to the pumpkin patch. For the past two years, I have had a specific one in mind; and each year something has happened, preventing us from making the 2 hour trip. So this year, my husband got tickets to a local patch. We didn't know anything about it. He just got an email with a coupon, so off we went. (Well, not exactly off...the kids and I drove by the day before to check it out. Needless to say, it was not exactly what we ( I mean "I") had in mind.) It was at a local ranch and was much smaller than I had anticipated. But trying to stay positive, I encouraged the kids to give it a chance, all the while trying to convience myself to do the same.

So the next day after school, the four of us piled in the SUV and off we went. We arrived just as it was opening. As we walked in, there were pumpkins EVERYWHERE. There were horses (not ponys) to ride, a hay pyramid to climb, hayrides,  a variety of farm animals to pet and feed. The kids were in heaven! They fed carrots and celery to the horses. They rode the horse. We all went for a hayride (which my allergies still haven't forgiven me for). They climbed to the top of the hay-ramid. And we all agreed on the biggest pumpkin we could find!! It was a great afternoon; full of fun, our favorite family traditions, and new memories. Sometimes the best days together are the ones that didn't start out just the way you planned. 

Logan and Leah petting a cute bunny.

They made it to the top! Not so sure she likes it much. :)

Ready for our hayride.

My hero! Daddy carrying our special pumpkin.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Best Mother in Law!

At our Bible study this week, we had a special treat. One of the girls brought her visiting mother-in-law (MIL) with her. For most of the time, she just sat quietly as she listened to us discuss our study. Then at the end, she began to share how God has worked in her life, her experiences, she gave advise to us young moms, and she shared the love she has for her daughter-in-law. She was an absolute delight! As I listened to her, my mind continued to reflect on my own MIL, and what a special gift she is to me.

From the time my husband and I began dating, my (now) MIL has always accepted me just the way I am. This was huge! Most of my life I had felt like an outsider. Her gracious acceptance of me was the beginning of what has become a beautiful, sweet relationship.

Over the years, our relationship has continued to blossom and grow. We are more than in-laws. We are more than family. We are friends. We genuinally enjoy each other's company-shopping together, talking together, hanging around the house together. We look forward to the time we get to spend together, especially since we live in different states. We talk often, even if it's just a quick "Hi. I was thinking of you. Love ya!" But what makes our relationship even more special is that we each have a deep love for Jesus. Over the past couple of years, we have grown even closer as we have shared what God is doing in our lives-watching him provide for all of our needs, giving us strength to go through some very challenging circumstances, extending an encouraging word to each other, trusting that God is ultimately in control and resting in that promise. It's one thing to have a friendship with someone. It's something so much more special when you are able to freely share your faith with them.

When I got married, I realized that I was not only marrying my husband. I was marrying into a family. It breaks my heart that so often, MILs are seen as meddling, troublesome, unwelcomed house guests that have to be put up with from time to time. I am so blessed that God has given me not only a wonderful husband, but also the best in-laws I could have ever prayed for.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Message from Dr. Phil

A few weeks ago, I happen to catch the end of an episode of Dr. Phil. I don't normally watch the show, but for some reason I sat down and began to listen to the exchange between a frustrated father and his "out-of-control" daughter. At the end of the discussion, Dr. Phil said to the father, "When it comes to being a father, you're doing a great job. But right now she doesn't need a father. She needs her daddy." The daughter just nodded, tears streaming down her face. She knew she was making poor choices and was headed in the wrong direction. But she didn't need another "I told you so!" She needed the unconditional love of her parent. The statement was so powerful to me. It's been on my mind ever since, probably because this is an area of my own life where I really struggle...knowing when to be a consistent, stick-to-the-rules, there-is-a-consequence-for-your-actions "mother" and when I need to exercise mercy and grace and be "mommy". It's such a fine line.

As I meditated on this, I was reminded of how our Heavenly Father "parents" his children. He is our Abba Father, our Daddy!! He is mercy and love. He is always ready to meet us right where we are, in the circumstances and messes of our own making. He extends his grace and mercy, in love. Regardless, if consequences need to be enforced or if a loving embrace is enough, both need to be done out of unconditional love-not frustration, not judgement, not anger.  Sounds so easy (especially since we do love our children unconditionally). So why is it so hard?

The father on Dr. Phil had been doing a great job of being aware of his daughter's actions and applying consequences to them. And although he loved his daughter deeply, her decisions were causing him so much pain. He had allowed that pain to transfer into anger and frustration. In fact, he admitted he could not remember the last time he told her, "I love you."; but she did. It had been over 6 months! Imagine going 6 months not being hugged, not being told your loved, not feeling valued!! It humbles me to think that this is truly what I deserve as a sinful human being. Yet, because of his great love and mercy for me (and you), God never withholds his love from us! No matter what we've done or how far we've strayed, he is always there, arms outstretched, waiting to love on us!!

The question still begs an answer, "When do I enforce punishment and when do I just wrap my arms around my child and not say a word?" Well, I'm sorry to say, I don't have that answer. (Trust me, I wish I did!). What I do know is that we have the best example of parenting when we look to our Heavenly Father. If we follow His truths and ask Him daily for wisdom and guidance, He promises to give it to us freely (James 5:1).

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