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Monday, February 27, 2012

"The Good Wife's Guide" {A Book Review & Giveaway}

Darlene Schacht is a perfect example of the Proverbs 31 woman who is "rare, her price is far above rubies (vs 10)."  Her passion for God's Word, traditional values, and Biblical womanhood permeates every word she writes. Her heart is for women to embrace their roles as wives, mothers and sisters in Christ. Now she has provided us all with an excellent resource to help us on this adventure.

The Good Wife's Guide is jammed packed with a mix of tips, advice and Biblical wisdom. Here are just a few of my favorite nuggets:
1. "You have the ability to get your surroundings under control, to manage your home well and find time to relax. (pg 38)" Wow!! Isn't this what every busy woman (single, married, with children or without) wants to know how to do! She had my attention!! I had to keep reading!

2. "Saying 'no' today isn't about closing a door; it's leaving a room empty enough for God's will to fill it with something better. (pg 44)" Saying "no" can be so hard. We want to be able to juggle it all - work, home, ministry, friends, hobbies. As it says in Ecclesiastics 3:1, "to everything there is a season". I love the perspective she gives here! Saying 'no' today isn't a negative thing. We need to be aware of our limitations and priorities. When we realize that by saying "no" we are allowing God the room He need to fill our lives with His will and purpose for us...well, saying the little word isn't quite so hard.

3. "Everything that I present to my family is a reflection of my heart. I can either show them that I value them by giving myself with joy, or I can do it begrudgingly because it's something that has to be done. (69)" Feeling convicted? Me too! I love being a SAHM. However, I know that there are times when my attitude and actions don't convey that to my family. If I want them to know the treasure they truly are to me, then it's MY responsibility to do everything (the fun and the mundane) with a heart of joy.

4. "Give away or throw away 25 things. (pg 111)" Are you running out of room? Does your car stay outside because there isn't room in the garage for it? Maybe it's time to scale down. Darlene gives guidelines for knowing what to throw away, give away and keep. Our 9 year old son used these tips to clean up his room! Within 20 minutes, he had over 30 items sorted!!

These are just four amazing pieces out of this incredible book! There are also housekeeping schedules, organizational tips, cleaning recipes and so much more!!!

Whether you've been married just a few months or for several years, The Good Wife's Guide is a must have resource!! It's the perfect bridal shower gift for the upcoming wedding season!

Darlene has been kind enough to provide a copy for me to giveaway. Use the form below to enter. I will announce the winner on Friday, March 2nd, 2012.

Darlene Schacht is a New-York Times Best Selling author, co-author of Reshaping It All with Candace Cameron Bure (DJ from Full House), author of Time-Warp Wife blog and contributing author at RooMag, Keepin' It Real and The Better Mom

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hooray for Hollywood?

Tonight is the Academy Awards, the biggest night in Hollywood; the one night that actors, actresses, producers, directors, composers, and countless other cinema professionals wait for all year. Tonight, fashions will be critiqued, careers will be made, hearts will be disappointed; trophies will be given, speeches will be read, red carpet will be walked...

After reading Courtney's post, My Reflections of the Academy Awards from her blog, Women Living Well, I was inspired to buy my own red carpet as a reminder that:

~ As I walk to my red carpet, I am thankful to have a husband and children to lovingly serve.
~ As I stand on my red carpet (with or without hair done or makeup on) I am beautiful in the eyes of my husband, the only earthly man's opinion I care about, and in the eyes of my Lord who created me in HIS image.
~ As I wash dishes at my red carpet, I am grateful for clean, running water that I daily take for granted.
~ As prepare countless meals and snacks at my red carpet, I am reminded that God provides all our needs.
~ As I clean my red carpet, I am reminded how God sent his Son, Jesus, to cleanse me of all my sins.

I may never walk the red carpet of Hollywood, wear a designer gown or give an acceptance speech; but, each day I walk up to my red carpet with confidence because of who I am in Christ, satisfaction in the contentment that is found in joyfully serving my family and thanksgiving for the many blessings God has so graciously given to me. It's more than can ever be found in a small, golden statue.

I love the way Courtney says it,
"There is no greater honor than the red carpet walk I do every morning in my kitchen. Join me, as you step up to your kitchen sink – in welcoming a joy that the world cannot understand."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Courageous - Casting Crowns

Thanks to everyone who commented and shared their current favorite song! I love listening to each of your songs (even if I already know them ☺). Family and marriage has been heavy on many hearts recently, including my own. Last week's feature, Lead Me, spoke to the desire by us as wives and children to be lead by our husbands. This week's feature comes from Kim. Courageous by Casting Crowns is a cry for men to step up as the warriors of our families. Although it doesn't specifically speak to women, I believe we are called to (1) pray and (2) "seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with you God."

"The only way we'll ever stand, is on our knees with lifted hands!"

Don't forget... We want to hear from YOU!!! Leave a comment with a song that God's using in your life. Next week, YOU could be our featured song!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

What's Holding You Back?

This morning as I was scrolling through the posts of so many wonderful blogs-blogs full of encouragement, tips, recipes and challenges-I was drawn to comment on a question posed,
"What is your dream?" 
For most of my life, my dream was to be a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and in 2006 God opened the door and my dream became my reality! I am grateful everyday for the privilege to be able to stay home with our children - caring for them, training them, helping them, loving them, laughing with them - being the mommy God has called me to be for them. To be honest, I really do LOVE being a mom so much that I hadn't given much thought to what my new dreams might be. Then just last night I was reminded of write a book.

Truth be told, there is a little birdie (aka The Holy Spirit), that has been nudging me in this area for several months. Every so often I can hear His still small voice say, "Remember that idea I gave you? When are you going to write about it?" I know full well that it's not speaking to a blog post, but to a book idea, three in fact.

So this morning, as I commented on that post, I heard the voice again, only this time it wasn't a was a question.
 "If I have called you to write and I have reminded you of that calling, then what is holding you back?"
What is holding me back from writing more?

  • Time-How will I find the time to write more than I do?
  • Fear-What if no one likes it?
  • Balance-How will I balance my family, ministry and writing?
 Sometimes I wonder how many times The Holy Spirit will speak to me on a subject before He chooses to close a door or opportunity; or before He chooses someone else to accomplish what He intended for me to do. I don't want to find out!!! I don't want Him to find someone else to fill in the gap I was suppose to fill. I don't want ANYTHING to hold me back from fulfilling what He has called me to do!  I know that if He has called me to it, then none of the things that are holding me back should stand in my way. He will give me wisdom to create a schedule where I have time to write and balance my family, ministry and writing responsibilities. His Word says, "Fear not, for I am with you." (Isaiah 41:10). If He has called me to it, then He will walk with me on this journey. 

It is the desire of my heart to follow God's will for my life, whatever that may be-even sitting down to write a book, or two or three! :)

What is God calling you to do? Where has He been gently nudging you to move, serve, grow, or follow? What's holding YOU back?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lead Me - Sanctus Real

It's makes my heart smile as I read your comments and see how God is using the gift of music to bless and encourage your souls!! This week's featured song comes from Esther at  Laugh With Us Blog.  This is what it means to her, in her own words...
I love “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real. I am so thankful to be able to be home raising my kids. I wouldn’t trade it to chase any other dream. It is, however, difficult at times to be home and feel sort of left behind or forgotten as I watch my husband pursue his dreams.
 For me, this song speaks to the deep desire of a family who longs to have their husband and daddy be the leader, spiritually, physically and emotionally, that God has called him to be. May it be a blessing to you as you listen.

Don't forget... We want to hear from YOU!!! Leave a comment with a song that God's using in your life. Next week, YOU could be our featured song!!


Kim said...
What a great song for a married couple and their family!

This past week I have had a similar song on my heart: Courageous, by Casting Crowns. It such a rallying cry from the heart for husbands to be courageous in their relationships, to love and to lead. I actually put it in a recent post on Prayer, which was offered as yet another resource for couples in the midst of stormy marriages.
Torrie said...
I LOVE Courageous, Kim!! It's my husband's ring tone when he calls me. Have you seen the film? So moving and challenging to both moms and dads. I love the line, "The only way we'll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands." WOW!!
Dayna Camp said...
How fun to have a song of the week! I enjoyed listening to Lead Me! We home schooled for many years and it was such a blessing to know I didn't have to work but just raise and teach my children. A song that has been very meaningful to me lately has been In Christ Alone sung by Owl City. I put it in my blog at

Monday, February 13, 2012

♥Dressing for Him ♥

The other day, my girl friend and I had an impromptu shopping trip. It was only a couple of hours, but for this SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), it was a welcome change to my usual routine. We ended up at a favorite little shop full of the cutest spring fashions. I just LOVE this store. It's one of those places that every time I visit, I find something many things that are just my style. And this day was no exception.

One Shoulder Satin...
After falling in love with various shirts, dresses and jeans, I found it - a beautiful, red and black satin, off-the-shoulder tunic. It's nothing I would normally pick and everything I'd love to try. I held it up to show my friend who immediately encouraged me to try it on.

"Where would I ever where something like this?" I asked (more as a statement than a question)
"Date night."
"Date night! I think this is a little overdressed for Outback." (We do have date night on a regular basis, but it's rarely a fancy occasion.)
"You're not dressing for Outback. You're dressing for him."

Her words stopped me in my tracks. She was exactly right!! Although I put some extra effort into my "date night" appearance, it had never crossed my mind to step it up for no other reason than my husband.

"You're not dressing for Outback. You're dressing for him!"

I did try this beautiful tunic on and am still in love with it. However, it didn't fit very well and so I didn't buy it. But my girl friend's words have stuck with me. Now whether I'm shopping or just getting ready at home, I will choose to put some "WOW!" into my choices because as she said...I'm dressing for him!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Your Great Name - Natalie Grant

Thanks everyone for your comments. I love hearing about how God is using music or a specific song in your life. And I LOVE listening to all these new songs!!! This week's song comes from Linda at Creekside Ministries.   I love the powerful message of the words as it reminds us exactly who our Father is, how worthy He is and how much power there is in His Great Name - JESUS!! Enjoy and be blessed!!

Don't forget...We want to hear from you!! Let us know what song God has been using to speak to your heart. We may pick you to be our feature song next week!!

laughwithusblog said...
I love “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real. I am so thankful to be able to be home raising my kids. I wouldn’t trade it to chase any other dream. It is, however, difficult at times to be home and feel sort of left behind or forgotten as I watch my husband pursue his dreams.
Thumb Updown said...
I love Natalie's songs. I just started turning KLOVE on for my kids to listen to during the day, its nice to have some positive happy music on during the day to help us stay in tuned to the Spirit and listen to our Savior.
Torrie said...
Our radio station has been playing that a lot lately. I really like that one too. I know that can be a challenge for us at times. Thanks for sharing.
Torrie said...
Thumb Updown, I totally agree!! I try to have SOS (our Christian radio station) on 99% of the time too. Definitely think it makes a difference. :)
Karen Dawkins said...
Here's my musical post:

God's Not Dead by the Newsboys. Or is it "by Newsboys"? You get the idea :)
Karen Dawkins said...
I understand how you feel. Stepping away from practicing law and teaching college students to raise our kids was hard sometimes, especially when they were your kids' ages. (young!)

Today, I got a text from the oldest one: "I just revealed our entire relationship to my AP lit class."

Me: "How?"

Him: "We were talking about how women give and give and give (in AP Lit as the read "The Giving Tree." The tree = women). Then the people they give to leave and that is hard for them to give so much and then let go. It was a strangely emotional moment. Everyone thinks you are awesome though."

Him again: "Know, rather. Not thinks."

There is nothing more rewarding I could do than to prepare my children to embrace adulthood with faith and confidence.

You reap what you sow, laughwithusblog, and you are sowing incredibly into the next generation. (I know you know that... sometimes it's nice to hear from someone outside your four walls. XO)
Shari Lynne @ said...
I love this song! I LOVE to worship!! it's my thing! Love your website Torrie!!

Torrie said...
Thanks for you Newsboy link Karen. Gonna give it a listen. Love your sweet words to Laughwithusblog. You hit the nail on the head! Although we all know we are where we are called to be, it's so nice to hear it from someone else sometimes. XOXO
Linda Stoll said...
Greetings from Creekside Ministries! Thanks for featuring YOUR GREAT NAME! So many more powerful tunes that have captured my heart and impacted my readers are here - impactare here -

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gift Tags {A Simple How-To}

I'm am the farthest thing from a crafty girl. I always say that my aspirations completely outweigh my skill level! LOL! Well, with the help of a VERY crafty girlfriend, I made a set of gift tags for our our goody bags for the first day of our ladies Bible study. We are studying "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace, so we made survival kits for each of the women in our group. I have to say, they turned out pretty cute (if I do say so myself) ;-)

Here's what you'll need:
- pencil
- 2 pages of scrapbook paper that compliment each other
- siccors
- ruler
- stamp pad
- tape runner
- label

First, make your "stencil" for the tags. I used an old cereal box and just measured out how big I wanted the base and the inside (which a made 1/8" smaller in order to see the layered effect). When you have the size you want, you're ready to trace. I did all the tracing on the opposite side of the paper so the lines won't show.

Carefully, cut the tags out.

Next, rub the edges of each tag along the stamp pad. This will give the tags a distressed appearance.

Use the tape runner to attache the smaller tag to the center of the larger one, achieving a layer look.

Center your tag label. Attach with the tape runner. Punch a hole in the top and tie the ribbon. And there you have it! Your gift tag is ready to attach to your gift or goody bag. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gentleness Challenge - Week 4

It's week four of the Gentleness Challenge. How are you doing? Have you found the encouragement, wisdom and tools helpful? Have you seen a change in your own behavior and reactions? What about your kids? Are they more obedient or less whiny?

Picture by Tom Curtis
Well, the challenge has been a tide of ebbs and flows at our home. The first two weeks went fairly well. I began speaking more encouragement over our kids, pointing out their gifts and talents, inspiring them to use them daily for God's glory and helping them see areas where this would be possible. We started memorizing a weekly Bible verse and finding ways to implement the verse as our day went along. The kids were adapting well to the positive changes and I was becoming a happier, more gentle mommy. Then life got busy again!

I had a couple added responsibilities for a few days, my time shorter and so became my temper. I found that the stress I was under trying manage it all was causing our positive changes to take a nose-dive. The kids fell back into their bad habits and so did their momma. I have tried so hard not to raise my voice. I don't want to be the angry yelling mom anymore. Then I read week 4 of The Gentleness Challenge from Women Living Well.

This week, Courtney shares some wisdom she has learned from Michelle Dugger, mother of 19 children! There were two main points:

  1. When you feel angry, lower your voice to a whisper instead of raising it to yell.
  2. Praise your children 10x mores than you correct them.

Ouch! Did that sting anyone else, or just me!! Unfortunately, raising my voice has become my go-to bad habit. It's my way of enforcing control and demanding respect. However, it's not working so well. Through this challenge, I've learned to speak in a more gentle tone, but a whisper? Michelle takes this advise from Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” How true is that! The more I yell, the worse the situation becomes. So I tried the "whisper method". IT WORKS!! I was in control, calm and quiet which brought their tone/tantrum to a more controlled state. I'm definitely keeping this one in mommy's little bag of tricks! :-)

Do you find yourself saying, "Don't do this! "Don't do that!" all day long. Guess what, you're tired of saying it and your children are tired of hearing it! The Duggers try not to use "don't" when speaking to their children. Instead, they try to refocus the child's attention to the expected behavior and compliment what they are doing well. For example, instead of saying "Don't hit your sister!" I have tried saying, "You were so kind to your classmate today. Let's try to be as kind to your sister." Courtney goes on to say that you can take the compliments even further by adding a Christ-like trait to them. (i.e. Thank you for your obedience in finishing your chores on time.)

As always, I have included the video link below in case you haven't seen this week's chat. You will want to watch. Angela & Courtney always have some extra words of wisdom they have gleaned from Sally Clarkson's book, The Ministry of Motherhood.

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