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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Continue to Stand Firm {American Idol - Colton Dixon}

Just caught up on this week's American Idol. Colton brings me to tears each time with his humility and faith. Last week he let America know that he was not going to apologize for his faith and God was free to shine brightly through him. This week he shared his favorite worship song, Everything by Lifehouse. Each week, he is taking another leap of faith, not knowing if the stand he is taking will cost him the competition of a lifetime or not.

Here is Colton's performance from AI this week.



Spoiler Alert: On the result show, Jimmy (who coaches the contestants each week) said that he believed Colton had not done a great job because he became a little emotional while the other contestants maintained their composure. Yet again the critics got it wrong! Colton not only made it through to another week, but he wasn't even in the bottom three!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Until He Tells Me To

It's been one of those weeks. As much as I try, I haven't been able to get ahead of my schedule. My heart and motivation are in the right place, but my brain seems to have taken an early spring break! The lack of focus has been driving me crazy!!! It's affected everything this week - housework, dinner planning, writing...and everything in between!
 
Those who have been following BBM may notice that I try to post at least twice a week (Mondays and Thursday). This week it didn't happen...and it really bothered me! It wasn't because I was too busy or forgot. In fact, the opposite was true. As much as I racked my brain, I couldn't come up with anything to say. I keep a notebook full of ideas and posts that I can pull from in times like these. Nothing seemed to jump out and scream, "Pick me!" So anxiously, I waited and prayed that God would show me what He wanted me to say.

Last night as I tried to fall asleep, I began to cry out to my Father for clarity, focus & direction. That's when He reminded me that HE is in control! He has given me the opportunity to write and has blessed this ministry with many faithful followers. His timing is perfect in all things, including posting. I understand the importance of keeping a schedule in regards to the ministry He has entrusted to me and strive to the best of my ability to keep that commitment.
However, I never want anything to be written that God hasn't directly laid on my heart to share.
When God called me to begin BBM, I committed to Him that I would write because He called me to and for no other reason! From the start, I've felt that God has great plans for BBM. If those plans included a few readers or many, the numbers and stats were not going to be my focus - writing the message that God has placed on my heart and called me to share is the ONLY reason I do this! 

The fact that people have chosen to visit BBM and walk with me on this straight and narrow way is an honor I do not take lightly. It truly humbles me when I see new friends being added each day to this community. I am so thankful for each day that He allows the words I write to impact, encourage and challenge hearts and minds.

So, if that means that there are weeks like this one, with just a short note, then that's o.k. ♥ 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Piano Man for God {American Idol's Colton Dixon}

Last week, American Idol contestant, Colton Dixon, made headlines, and not because of his song choice. Reports stated that producers of the show asked him to "tone down" his faith references on his social media posts. He was warned that his statements could cost him the competition in terms of voters. His response,

"Being a Christian is who I am. I am not going to hide it, and I am not going to stray away from it just because I am on a TV show. I wake up and I do devotional every morning," he added. "It reminds me why I am here, which is to share the love of God." *

Tonight, he did just that...shared the love of God! After singing and playing an amazing arrangement of Billy Joel's Piano Man, Colton was center stage, ready for the judges critiques. Fans waved signs of support. At closer look, you can see John 3:16 on the signs. (Sound familiar Tim Tebow fans?) Then came the single best moment of the night, better than any power ballad, better than any touching melody, better than any of the arragements. Host, Ryan Seacrest, asked him what he was doing right before he started to play. Colton replied,

"I've been praying before this whole thing. Tonight was a big moment for me. I was just collecting myself and saying, 'God use me.' I want Him to shine through, first and foremost."
What a leap of faith! Against the advise of producers and critics, against the tide of the media and with the possibility of losing thousands of votes and costing himself the competition, Colton chose to stand firm to the Rock of his salvation in front of millions on national television!! To many his decision may seem foolish. However, to those who love Jesus the same way Colton does, it makes perfect sense! It is obvious that this young man fully trust the ONE who holds the future in HIS hands.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

American Idol, Colton Dixon singing Billy Joe's Piano Man ~ March 21, 2012


*Quote source: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/03/16/american-idol-producers-told-contestant-tone-down-christian-reference#.T2PF8pxtUSA.facebook

My Favorite Makeup, Skincare & Cosmetics Products


I love to go shopping! When my mother-in-law comes to town, that's one of our favorite ways to spend time together. Neither of us are big spenders, more like professional window-shoppers :). But we both have a weakness for makeup & cosmetics. Sephora & Ulta are a MUST on the shopping circuit!! So I thought I would share a few of my favorite skincare/makeup/cosmetic products.

Napoleon Perdis China Doll Foundation - Look B1
Foundation - Napoleon Perdis China Doll - I've tried everything from drugstore discount makeup to high-end, expensive brands. I have dry skin, and this foundation is hydrating and oil-free. It can stay on all day without drying out, and becoming flaky. So for me, this is well worth the money! It covers so well!! You do not need a separate concealer (even for those dark circles or acne blemishes). A little goes a long way so the tube lasts a long time.



Mascara - Maybelline Falsies Waterproof Mascara - Tried and true...Maybelline has mastered the mascara industry (in my humble opinion...lol). I used to love the original pink and green tube of "very black" mascara. That was until I tried the new line of Falsies. My lashes are average and this mascara gives them both length and volume. Best of all it's very affordable!





Eyeliner - Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner - Not only does Maybelline make an amazing mascara, but their eyeliner is also amazing! It's the only one I will use! Unstoppable lasts all day without smudging and I don't have any problems wearing it with my contacts. It's a must!!



I never thought much about my skincare until my early 30s when I began to experience adult acne. Again, after trying products ranging from the common name brands to the expensive cosmetic lines, I finally found a cleanser, moisturizer and makeup remover that work (at least for me they are wonderful ;) ).


Dermadoctor - Wrinkle Revenge 2 - Dermadoctor products were created by a dermatologist. Wrinkle Revenge comes in three stages 1, 2 & 3. I started with 1 which tingled the first few times I used it. It cleans deep into your pours. I have noticed fewer breakouts, and my skin looks brighter. This anti-aging cleanser has glycolic acid in it which helps with fine lines too.


Dermadoctor - Litmus Test pH Correcting & Renewing Glycolic Acid Facial Moisturizer  - Can you tell I LOVE this line of products?? Litmus Test, which also has glycolic acid in it to help with the onset of fine lines and wrinkles, is by far the best moisturizer I've ever used!! Since part of my face is very dry, I have always used heavy creams to moisturize, which in turned contributed to my acne as I got older. After moving to the desert, I had to find something that would hydrate my skin all day without making it oily. This product is so great, it was endorsed on The Doctors as a great Valentine's Day gift a couple years ago! It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny!


Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes - Night Calming - 25 Count
Neutrogena - Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, Night Calming - Before I lay my head down on my fluffy pillow, I have to take my makeup off. (This is new for me because until this whole acne thing, I never bothered t
aking my makeup off at night. Now my skin doesn't give me that option.) These towelettes are great. They are easy to use, and remove all my makeup, including my waterproof Falsies mascara.Twenty-five come in a pack and they stay moist all month (which surprised me because I didn't think the resealable package would really work, but it does!). They leave my face so soft and hydrated that I don't even have to use any other moisturizer at night! (That makes Litmus Test last longer :) ). The light lavender scent is so calming and relaxing that I look forward to using them right before bed each night. Oh, and they are at any Target, Walmart, Ulta or drugstore for under $7.00!!

So these are a few of my favorites, I'd love to hear what yours are. Leave a comment or let's continue chatting on our Facebook page. I look forward to talking with you! :-)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Weekly Favorites {Posts from Around the Blogging World}

Today I was catching up on some reading. As always, there are some amazing articles out there. Here are a few that spoke to my heart...


Rapunzel Braid Hair Clip ~ DIY Tutorial at Lovin' Our Chaos: This is so adorable! If you have a little princess (or know one) this is a must for the dress-up box. She gives a full "how-to" with great pictures. Pssst, if you're like me and are not as crafty as you'd like to be, you can buy them at Missy Prissy Bow Boutique.




50 Ways to Inspire Your Husband at MomLife Today: As a "suitable helpmate" we should always be looking for ways to encourage and support our husbands. This post has 50...yes, 50...easy ideas to let your man know that you love him, you're proud of him and that you believe in him. 
 



It Takes A Village at The Better Mom: I have a friend who jokingly calls our social circle "Our Village". This post explains how right she is!! Here you will find tips on how to cultivate a community if you're longing for one, or how to deepen the relationships God's already given you. Great post!!

 



I Don't Want to Raise a Good Child at Proverbs 31 Ministries: So I saved the best for last! This post speaks to my very soul as a mother. God has really been stretching me in this area lately, nudging me to give up control yet again and rely on His perfect plan. This is a MUST read for all you mommas out there. 

So these are a few of my favorites this week. Praying they encourage, challenge and bless your soul today!

Be Blessed My Friend,

Friday, March 16, 2012

You're Love Never Fails & Savior's Here

Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite songs this week. There were some really great ones. It was so hard to choose just one. SO this week I chose two because their messages were so similar: God's love NEVER fails!! I don't know about you, but I find so much peace, hope and security in that promise.

The first song was submitted by Lori, You're Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture.


The second song was submitted by Glynna, Savior's Here by Kari Jobe. This was a new song for me and I loved it!! (I always love finding a new song/artist!)



So turn it up!! Worship and praise our God who loved us enough to send His son for us!!

Each week we share some of the music that God is using to touch our souls. We want to hear from YOU!!! Comment here or on our Facebook page with the name and artist of your favorite song. Next week we might feature you!

Be Blessed,

Monday, March 12, 2012

You're Already Amazing {Book Review & Giveaway!!}

She looks in the mirror and smiles, happy with the woman staring back at her. Her hair isn't perfect and neither is her complexion. Her body isn't like it was when they were married several years ago. Her house isn't fancy; it's a home, where friends are always welcome and toys carpet the floor. It's a home built with love, sacrifice, hard work and most of all...the grace of God!

God's grace -it's what fills me with joy today and gives me the freedom to smile back at the reflection in the mirror that for so many years I viewed with sad eyes. These eyes saw only what man sees: curly hair when others had straight, a forever-tan when everyone else I knew was as fair as snow, a need to be perfect at everything even if only to gain my own approval, a desire to be accepted just the way I was, when all the while I was loved and accepted more than I could ever imagine...I just needed the freedom to see it with my eyes. 

I needed to see me the way HE sees me!

Did you know that you are created in the very image of God? He knit you together perfectly! You are His one-of-a-kind, priceless work of art; a masterpiece, designed by the Creator of the universe!

Genesis 1:27 "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."

Psalms 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

 As women, we are especially hard on our selves. We want (and society tells us) that we can have and be anything we want. We grasp at success in every area of our lives while attempting to maintain the status quo. Fear, Discouragement, Failure, Discontentment, Disappointment and Low Self Esteem are eager to join us on our journey. These companions travel life's road with us, continuing to feed our minds with lies and unrealistic expectations, reminding us that we will never measure up to the standard set either for us or by us.



But you don't have to travel that road any more!! Holly Gerth, has written an incredible new book, "You're Already Amazing - Embracing who you are, Becoming all God created you to be!" Here she exposes the lies that the world feeds us and gently points out God's truth. Each chapter is woven together with Biblical wisdom, encouragement and thought-provoking questions that nudge the reader to dig deep to the source of their insecurities. Holly then gives the reader truths from God's Word to fill their heart, soul and mind. She invites you to embrace the idea that God created you (Genesis 1:27), He loves you (Jeremiah 31:3) and He has bigger plans for you than you could ever image (Jeremiah 29:11)!

Holley Gerth - You're Already Amazing image

"Even if we've never met, I know this about you: you're a daughter of God, a holy princess, a woman created with strengths that you've yet to fully grasp and a story that's still being written by the divine Author himself. And if you really take hold of who you are and what you're called to do, there will be no stopping you. That's because there 's no stopping him in you-and he's got bigger plans for your life than you've ever imagined." ~ pg 11-12.  

Amen!! God desperately desires that you come to a knowledge in (1) Him as your Savior and (2) the amazing creation YOU are, gifted with talents, abilities and a calling just for YOU! Regardless of where you've come from or the lies you've been told , YOU ARE ALREADY AMAZING!! 

Dayspring has also launched a line of coordinating products to accompany You're Already Amazing. They were generous enough to send some of the encouragement cards for review as well. The entire line of items make a great gift for Mother's Day, a friend's birthday or "just because". The book is also a great choice for your small group, Bible study or book club. This month, Dayspring is featuring all these items and many more at 25% off! PLUS: Don't miss your chance to enter our giveaway below for your chance to win a $20 coupon to Dayspring online. Click on the image below to see all the entire Holly collection.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Honoring My Husband with My Bangs



A couple weeks ago I cut my hair. Since I can't decide if I want to grow it out or not, I kept the length and style the same and just had my ends trimmed. Nothing too drastic...unless to count my bangs!!

Now I know for some people their hair is a source of individuality and experimentation; their playground to try different styles, cuts colors and more. Others know a good thing and stick with it...for years! I guess I'm a little of both. It's been long, short, naturally curly, chemically straighten and highlighted but that's about it; nothing too crazy...unless you count my bangs.

Let me tell you a little story about my bangs. My husband and I had just started dating in the fall of 1999 when he left with his family for vacation. I offered to watch their home and help take care of his ailing grandma. While sharing stories and photos with her, we came across one of me with bangs that had been taken a few years prior. She loved my hair and told me how much Tony would too. (Now this is where I should have smiled, nodded and kept my looks just the way they were. Oh, but hindsight is always 20/20!) Instead, I made a bee-line to the salon and had those bangs revived! Unfortunately, neither I nor my stylist had the common sense to cut them in a current style. I left the salon looking like I had just stepped out the pages of a senior year book circa 1988! Imagine my new boyfriend's surprise as he walked off the airplane and was greeted by his girlfriend...bangs and all!!! He didn't even speak to me. At dinner all he did was stare at them, try to push them down and continue to ask why I would take his grandma's advise on hairstyles! Thankfully, he saw past my bangs and married me anyways (the following year, after they grew out)!

The bangs I wanted.
Actress Catherine Zeta Jones. 
This time, I was thrilled when I left the salon! They were nothing like "the great bang explosion of 1999", so I really didn't think he would mind. As I walked into the house, he didn't say much, but I knew in my heart he didn't like them. Over the next couple of days, he suggested that I try styling them straight across my forehead. I tried it - once - didn't like it and went back to sweeping them off to the side. Then while working on my Bible study, "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace, I was reminded that I am to be submissive to my husband, in ALL things. If I am to strive to be the wife that God has called me to be, then I need to submit to my husband in the big and small, even the seemingly trivial like bangs; because,

when it comes down to it, it's not about bangs - it's about having a heart of obedience to (1) God and (2) the wishes of my husband whom God has placed as the head over me and our family. 

For twelve years, I have made sure to keep my locks bang-free. When I left for the salon, I knew how my husband felt about cutting bangs into my hair, yet I did it anyways. It wasn't intended as an act of defiance, but rather as a way to hide some adult acne scares. Regardless of the reason, it was against his wishes. 

The next morning, as I got ready for the day, I purposely styled those bangs I just had to have the way my husband wanted. Honestly, I hated them!!! They drove me crazy all day!!! They were in my eyes; they tickled my forehead; and I couldn't stand the way they looked! I keep thinking, "Why am I taking hair advise from a bald man! Really God? I have to listen to him on this one too!?!? But it's my hair! I know better! Can't I just keep doing it my way?" Although my heart wasn't in it, I did them the same way again the next day. By evening, they had started to grow on me. Maybe he wasn't so off on this one after all! :-)
Before
After

Guess what...today I really like them! It's something different and I'm enjoying the change. Most importantly though, I know that I have been obedient to God by honoring my husband, even with my bangs.

Photo credits:
salonontheave.blogspot.com - Catherine Zeta Jones
http://fashionkings.net/what-are-some-nice-haircuts-with-bangs.html - Jessica Alba
http://sbtb2001.tripod.com/saved.html - Tiffany Amber Thiessen
http://www.lhj.com/style/hair/most-popular-hairstyles/celebrity-bangs/ - Halle Berry
http://theglamourouslife.com/articles/pin-up-girl-hairstyles-3-bettie-page-short-bangs.html - Bettie Page

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Great I AM - New Life Worship


Image Detail

Last Sunday, our worship team introduced a new song, Great I Am. I loved it so much I continued playing it all afternoon!! (So of course, I had to share it with all of you! ;-)

Lately, God has been using songs full of bold, powerful statements to speak to my heart. Last week's feature, Courageous, calls men (and women) to rise up and live a life of boldness and courage as we take our families, morals and values back! Great I Am reminds me of the AWESOME power and majesty that is the God we serve. My favorite line is,
The mountains shake before you, the demons run and flee,
at the mention of your name, King of Majesty;
There is no pow'r in hell or any who can stand
before the power and the Presence of the
Great I AM
Can I get an AMEN!!!! I could listen to just that part of the song over and over and over! So as you listen, I pray that this song speaks to you, stirs your heart and calls you draw even nearer to HIM today!



What song is God using to minister to you? We want to know!! Click the link below and leave us a comment on our Facebook Page. I look forward to hearing how God is moving in YOUR life!!

Welcome Little Mommy Big Appetite!!



Blessed Beyond Measure is so excited to announce our newest contributor, Little Mommy Big Appetite!!! Kim's love of cooking for her family shines through each recipe she shares, from breakfast to dinner and everything in between!


















"Preparing meals for my family is my way of providing for them."


Honey Soy Chicken with Mango Rice
















Kim's heart for cooking is a direct reflection of her heart for her family. She loves knowing where ingredients come from and how they are prepared. She has made a large majority of their daughter's baby food and finds joy in giving her family the best ingredients she can while still maintaining a budget.

Each Sunday, she she will share her menu for the week, along with links to her recipes. She always has something new to share! Stop over and say 'hi'; get to know her site and learn more about her heart for cooking.

Just click on the button to head over for a little visit full of "big appetites and tasty dreams"! Oh, and don't forget to "like" her on Facebook too. 

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