Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blessing Box

This week there was a good Shutterfly deal and, like always, I waited until the last minute to take advantage of it...and didn't finish in time.
{in my fantasy world I'd like to have a bunch of photo books ready and waiting for every deal- a girl can dream, right?}
So yesterday and today, I've been trying to put together Adalyn's Second First Year Book.
I know.
And while we're at it...
Yes, my header is from when she was 4 months old.
 Yes, my bio says I can't wait to be a mommy.
Yes, she's weeks away from turning 2.
I keep begging for time to slow down so I can catch up, but it's just not happening.
Rude, I know. 

As I was working on her book I was reminded of how grateful I am for facebook.
Although facebook is filled with some negatives, this week I'm focusing on the blessings of it. 

Anyone that is friends with me on facebook knows that I post a lot of pictures.
Like, a lot. 
But it's such a blessing to have a simple way keep family and friends connected and up to date with Adalyn.
Many of them have only met her a hand full of times, but I love that they feel like they know her because of the awesomeness of technology and Facebook.

Not only is it a blessing to those that aren't in our every day life,
it's also a blessing to me to be able to have everything organized and documented.

I'm so thankful that I have all the pictures with notes, stats and captions
 because Lord knows my memory is only getting worse. 
Mommy brain, anyone?
It's the pits, right?!

So even though I'm ridiculously behind and struggling to catch up I've been so thankful that I was consistent with Facebook and that it's been so helpful with getting me back on track!

How have you been blessed this week?
Grab the code,  link up and share!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why We Don't Celebrate Halloween.

I've been praying, researching and thinking about what I want this post to say.
 About how I want this post to be received. 
 It's a post that I knew I wanted to write. 
It's an issue that I'm passionate about. 
 It's a day that challenges me. 

 My parents became Christians when I was in elementary school and from that point on we no longer participated in Halloween activities.
 Overtime, especially now as a mom, my feelings towards this holiday have only been confirmed.

I know I'm in the minority.
I know this is not a popular stance.
I know I might offend.
But I want to share what's on my heart
and explain why we've made this decision. 

 I had originally planned and hoped that I could just find another blog post about this issue that would perfectly execute, better than I could, why we, as a Christian family, don't participate Halloween.

 I did find one article that I felt shared what's on my heart and what I believe and I will quote a few lines at the end. 
 But much to my surprise {I'm still in shock} there wasn't much out there. 
 How could this be?? 
How is this holiday accepted by so many Christians?

 I won't go on and on about the origin of this holiday
 {but if you don't know it, I'd encourage you to read it}.
 Instead I just want to state the facts. 
The facts that feed my strong conviction to not participate. 

 Halloween was created to not only celebrate the coming of winter, but celebrate and commune with the dead - it is a holiday filled with spirits, superstitions and fear. 

 Jack-o-laterns were intended to scare off evil spirits. 

 Costumes were worn to divert ghosts.

Treats were left out to calm unwelcome spirits.

I realize that due to the commercialization of the holiday, the origin and traditions tend to be forgotten and pushed to the side. 

 I get it. 

But as much as I've heard it said that it's just about cute costumes and candy, I can't ignore the fact that many still celebrate as the holiday was intended.

 Halloween is an opportunity, and one of the main days, for some to embrace the dark side of the spiritual world. 
As much as we may not like it to be, even with one search on google, this darkness is seen.

A drive down our street, darkness is seen.
A trip to the party store, darkness is seen. 

A family day at the pumpkin patch, darkness is seen. 
Last week on our weekend away, we went to a pumpkin patch.
Adalyn was walking behind me and I turned to hold her hand and I saw her look up in the tree and then look at me with a look of fear in her eyes. 
I looked in the tree and what do I see? 
I just don't see why, as a Christian, I want anything to do with a holiday that celebrates that. 
It broke my heart when I saw Adalyn's face after seeing that. 
And I know it was only a glimpse into our future of all the other things of this evil world that I wish I could hide her from that I can't. 

When I look at this.
When I look at the reality of Halloween.
When I look at how Halloween is typically celebrated- even with its origin and the rituals of witchcraft aside- I ask myself, is this a holiday that brings honor to God?
Is it glorifying God?

Here are some other facts. 

Halloween celebrates darkness, evil and death. 
I celebrate the God who gives life.
*Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” (Luke 20:38)
*The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

What the holiday represents is detestable to the Lord.
 And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. (Deut. 18:10-12)

I am called to abstain from the appearance of evil.
Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thess. 5:22) 

I am called to be set apart. 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.(Rom 12:2)

*But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet. 2:9)

*Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17)

*If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)

I am a child of light.
* You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness (1 Thes. 5:5)

*8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord.11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Eph. 5:8-11)

To me it's clear. 
God is of light.
Halloween is of darkness. 
Therefore, as a child of light, I want no part in this darkness.

There are some Christians who take a missional approach to participating in Halloween.
My personal belief is that there are other ways to reach the lost on this day without funding or participating in these events. 

It all boils down to personal conviction.
Do I think little kids in costumes are cute?
But for our family Halloween is the perfect opportunity to teach Adalyn that we are called to be different.
We are called to not be of the world. (1 Jn 2:15)
We are called to be as a city on a hill. (Matthew 5:14-16)
This is a biblical principle that, through this holiday, can easily be instilled at a young age and an opportunity that comes around every year. 
I find more value in that than any other Halloween festivity.
She can dress up any day.
She can have candy any day.
But on this day she will learn ways to be bold in her faith.
She will have an opportunity to explain why she doesn't go trick or treating.
Why she's not dressing up as her favorite character.
A day that she will be set apart.
Because she is called to be.
Because she is a child of light. 

I know we can't avoid the darkness in this world, but that doesn't mean I am going to
celebrate in this holiday of darkness. 

I'm all for alternatives that put the focus on Jesus.
I'm all for celebrating Reformation Day.
I'm all for a special family night.
I'm all for "treating" neighbors or families in need.

For us, we look forward to a fun family night on October 31st. 
We go out for dinner and play at a local play place.
Making memories, having fun and praising the Lord that He has overcome evil.
He has conquered death! 

I'll finish this post with a quote from one of the articles I read that I feel is spot on.

"Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of God. Our Lord Jesus would not go to a party to honor the feast of the Samhain. Moses did not come down from Mount Sinai and combine the Israelites Passover holiday with the idol worship that was going on. Allowing children to dress as witches and sorcerers or hanging evil decorations in our windows is imitating that which is evil.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
The verse says, “come out from among them, says the Lord.” Does that mean come out from among them–but don’t deprive your children from all that fun and candy — celebrate the same pagan ritual in your church building? The Bible is very clear about Christians being involved in such celebrations. "

At the end of the day I think it's important to ask 
"Does this holiday honor the Lord?"
I think the answer is pretty clear....absolutely not!
I think it's important to look beyond the cute costumes and candy, look beyond the feelings of being "left out" and focus on something of greater importance- something the Lord has entrusted us with as parents- to raise up a generation that is not of this world, that is not ashamed, that chooses to be different and that stands firm in their faith.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blessing Box

My post for today is short and sweet. 
Simple and profound. 
Hard and true. 

God is good. 

I encourage you to dwell on that today. 
To rest in His goodness.
To be blessed by His goodness. 

Life can be tiring.
Circumstances can be draining. 

Strength and renewal can be found in His goodness. 
In His Mercy.

He is good. 

I'm blessed. 
I'm thankful. 
It's what gets me through. 

It's one thing to think He is good, it's another to say He is good, but it's another thing to truly know and believe that He is good. 
It brings so much peace and comfort.

So just a friendly reminder to remember His goodness today.
It's so easy to take for granted.
It's so easy to be distracted.
It's so easy to become overwhelmed with situations.
It's so easy to be controlled by our flesh, by our feelings. 
But all that fades away when you 
rest in
and embrace how good He is. 


Grab the code, link up and share how God has blessed you this week!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blessing Box

This week I was blessed with a weekend away with my little fam!
I was hoping to post about that, but I'm too tired to edit all the pictures tonight so I'll {hopefully} post about it later this week. 
Which pretty much translates into never, but we will see what happens. 

So today I'm just going to post about the blessing of an impromptu night with my family. 
I am so blessed {and thankful and love} living close to my family! 
Last night we went outside for a little and ended up playing in the leaves.
Adalyn had a blast!
I love these sweet moments filled with fun and family. 
It doesn't get much better. 
We are so blessed! 
There's so much joy in the simple things. 

Grab the code, link up and share how God has blessed you this week! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blessing Box

Another week has come and gone. 
Just like that. 
Time goes by so fast and it's getting to be a bit ridiculous. 
And slightly annoying. 

Once again, I'm linking up with Natalie and some sweet friends for another week of the Blessing Box. 
The blessing box has become a blessing in and of itself- for keeping me accountable with blogging AND looking for the joy and good in my week. 
Everyone should join!

This week I was blessed by the fair. 
Sounds a little silly, but I'm blessed by events that are out of the ordinary and that give us an opportunity to make memories and cherish some special family time. 
We were torn about going to the fair this weekend- it's kind of far, semi-expensive, during naptime, during the football game, etc etc- but we did it and I'm so glad that we did! 

We enjoyed delicious food {duh}. 
{Insert yummy chicken tenders and fries that were devoured before getting a picture}

Watched a dog show. 

Met some farm animals. 

And enjoyed our time together.

At this age you really start to plan activities for them and their excitement and it's so fun to see. 

A sweet age where they want their independence, but still want you by their side. 
Just not right by their side. 
We've been hearing lots of  "Me. No, me" lately.
Okay, big girl. 

But there is one area where she does need us right her side 
and I was beyond blessed that Daddy was with us so mommy could "stay with the stroller."

 As we were leaving the fair {and sitting in traffic}, I was noticing that everyone had at least one person in the car with them.
I mentioned to Mr. B how awesome it is to have special things like this that bring people together. 
Whether it be friends or family-and Lord knows everyone and their mom attended the fair this weekend!- it's such a blessing to have these opportunities to have fun, make memories and enjoy the simple things!

How have you been blessed this week?? Grab the code and link up!