God Gave Me You

I interrupt our regularly scheduled Thrifty Love link party to celebrate my wedding anniversary. Yippee!!!  It's tomorrow, April 28th and it will be ll years! Thrifty Love will be back next week.

Here's a little something I made him. That song (God Gave Me You)  reminds me of him.
The back side. Perfect Love (Trisha Yearwood) is our song. He proposed at her concert during this song. We walked up the isle to this song after we said I DO!

I love you sweetie! Thank you for being wonderful you. I could not have asked for a better husband, than again I already knew that cause God gave me you. I prayed about you before we even became more than just friends, and God gave me the green light. You are my world, you mean everything to me. No matter what we may face in this tough, messed up world everything is better with you. You are my safe place. Happy anniversary! I love you.

{What Do I Know of Holy}: A Powerful Reminder

Today I simply want to remind you of one of the topics we have covered in our I HATE RELIGION discussion...that Church is NOT a Building, but the body...


This picture was taken after the Texas tornadoes a few weeks ago. This is St. Barnabas UMC in Arlington, my hometown.

What a powerful reminder.

My sister was in the building next door to the church, my high school where she works. A tornado flew over the school, hitting houses and buildings all around.

My friend was inside this church, huddled up with her preschool class singing "Jesus Loves Me" as the tornado destroyed the building all around them, leaving them untouched.

12 tornadoes ravaged through the Dallas/Fort Worth area of North Texas that day and we cried out to God for His mighty hand of protection.

A group of us were texting information, prayers, scriptures, songs, promises as those tornadoes danced all around.

I specifically asked the Lord to guide those tornadoes away from people, that all would be safe that day.

And protect them He did.

Every single one of my family members had to take cover at their school/place of work. Power was lost. Semi trucks were flying. The city was declared in a state of disaster after it was over. You can see some crazy pictures of it all here.

And yet not one single person in Texas lost their life as a result of those tornadoes, no one was seriously injured.

You can replace buildings, cars, materials, stuff...but praise God for lives saved!

The Lord your God is with you, 
The Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
In His love He will no longer rebuke you,
But will rejoice over you with singing.
{Zephaniah 3:17}

Can't you just picture Him rebuking those storms and singing His protection over His people that day?

Has there been a time in your life when you know without a doubt that God protected you?


 erins photo
About the Author: Erin Vick Franklin is the founder and director of Worthy of the Prize. Erin has a BBA in Marketing and Management from TCU and a Masters of Christian Education in Church Recreation from Southwestern Seminary. She has been a recreation intern at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas and the recreation ministry coordinator at Anderson Mill Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. Erin is the wife of A, a Worship Pastor, and a work-at-home-momma to 2 crazy little boys, a and e.

Class Project for Auction

This year at my kiddos school I signed up to be an art parent for his class. Art parents are to head up a few major art projects throughout the year. One of them being a class project that is to be auctioned off at an annual fundraiser.

After sorting through several ideas we decided on this one from Two Twenty One. The theme was An Evening in Napa.

Only problem was we needed a way to allow each child to participate in making them so here's what we came up with! Several of our corks were personalized by each child.

First up we have blank corks that each child wrote their name on and put a thumbprint on each end.

Next, they painted some corks and each came out different!

And  last, we drilled out the center of our corks and every child wrote their favorite Bible verse on a piece of paper. That paper was then rolled up and placed inside the corks.


What a great keepsake!
They were auctioned off in a set and went for $800!!! I was not at the auction but was told there was a slight bid war. I guess it was a hit!

Our blank corks were donated from Inventive Gears on etsy and all other corks were donated from several friends! Thanks guys!!!

Thrifty Love {link party #25}

Last week I asked for your thoughts on gifts from the thrift store. Those that answered seemed to not care if a gift was bought at a thrift store or not. That's great! Love it!

This week I ask, if you sell your thrifted goodies, ebay or etsy, which do you prefer? I am just getting started over at etsy for my thrifty things but am wondering if I should be doing ebay instead. I like how they do auction and you can list low and let it climb. I do not like the thought of things just sitting there in an online shop therefore also just sitting in my home taking up space. Yikes space, who has enough of that?

I want to share something with you before we get to more Thrifty Love. I know some of you are new around here and may not know that I have partnered with Worthy of the Prize (WOTP) in their effort to help adopting families raise money for their adoption. With the purchase of each Chosen necklace I donate $10. WOTP also donates the entire proceeds from their chosen fit band! I'm telling you this cause our current family's month is almost up. You can help them rescue their child by purchasing these products. If you don't have funds to make a purchase right now you can also help them without spending any money at all! Simply follow Worthy of the Prize's blog. If they reach 530 before the month is up they will double their funds that the family has earned this month! They are at 512 at time of writing this post. It's one simple way to help a child longing for a family!

Now for those Thrifty Love features!
Helen and her Daughters shares these lovely pieces
and many other vintage goodies too.

Life on the Rock shares this peculiar Sesame Street record
that looks a lot like It's a small world to me. She also shares some
thoughts on ebay vs etsy in the comments of that post.

Charming Zebra shares this beauty! Is it great or what?

Now here are some of my goodies which by the way are listed in my etsy vintage shop. And more items being added soon but I must say that shipping is a killer! UGH!

How fun is this vintage daisy tea set?

Vintage Hallmark cup for Mom. May be perfect for Mother's day!

And a vintage Peanuts Gang coffee cup with a baseball theme.

Show us whatcha got!

Linking up at:
S- Fleamarket Finds  M- Apron Thrift Girl  TuCoastal Charm, Frugal Treasures Tuesday T- Vintage Thingie Thursday, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Blue Eyed OwlThe Haps F- The Thrifty Groove, Vintage Inspiration Friday S- Penny Worthy Project, Happy Girl Collectibles

{What Do I Know of Holy}: 12 Activities to Keep Easter Alive all Year Long

Hi! I'm Erin from Worthy of the Prize and I am sad that another Easter has come and gone. My favorite holiday is over. Sigh.

All that remains is a house full of empty baskets, plastic eggs and sugar-crazed children.

But I don't want Easter to be over. I want these beautiful boys of mine {yes, I know I am biased but seriously...beautiful} to marvel in the resurrection all year long. It is not simply an event that took place 2000 years ago or even a once a year celebration. It is a way of life.


I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. {Philippians 3:10-12}


I want to keep Easter alive in our hearts and home all year round. Will you join me?


And yes, we Texans love our bluebonnets! ;)

As soon as Easter is over, make an Easter Egg Countdown using 12 of your leftover plastic eggs. Inside each egg write 1 of the following activities on a piece of paper. Open 1 egg together as a family at the beginning of the corresponding month and be sure to complete that activity together before the month is over. When you have completed all 12 activities it will be time for Easter again and you can go here for 12 Ways to Make Easter about Jesus!

{1} April: Read Five Ways to Celebrate Easter Every Day and make a list of how you can incorporate these suggestions into your everyday lives.

{2} May: Grow Monarch Butterflies or build a Butterfly Garden and discuss the fact that in Christ we have new life and are a new creation. {2 Corinthians 5:17}

{3} June: Do an Easter Egg Fitness Treasure Hunt, using your leftover plastic eggs, as a reminder that our bodies are living sacrifices. {Romans 12:1-2}

{4} July: Celebrate Independance Day, pointing out that we have freedom in Christ because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. {Galatians 5:1}

{5} August: Write a letter telling someone who has wronged you that you forgive them, in response to the grace that God lavished upon us through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

{6} September: Do a service project for someone in need, reminding everyone that it is important to make sacrifices for others in the same way that Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross.

{7} October: Go on a nature walk or take a trip to see the fall colors, discussing how God's creation reveals his glory - the same glory that was displayed through Christ's death and resurrection. {Psalm 19}

{8} November: Make a Thankful Tree and have everyone add things to it that God did for them this past year that they are thankful for, highlighting Jesus' death on the cross as the greatest thing he has ever done for us.

{9} December: Read through Max Lucado's One Incredible Moment, discussing why Jesus came to Earth and how his birth points the way to his death and resurrection.

{10} January: Choose One Word for your family to focus on in the new year - relate it to your desire to put Christ first. Make Family Art to hang in your home as a reminder. Have each family member choose a personal verse that they are going to memorize and meditate on that year. Make Scripture Hands to reinforce it.

{11} February: Make John 3:16 Valentines and pass them out to family and friends.

{12} March: Gather up all of your crosses or make Easter Crosses and display them in a prominent place in your home, along with this Free Easter Printable, to keep your focus on Christ's suffering during the approaching Easter season.

Most importantly, attend church together as a family all year long - not just at Christmas and Easter.

Do you have any ideas of your own, for keeping Easter alive year round? Feel free to leave comments with links!

Be sure to join us for our {Hope for the Home} series every Monday, where we share intentional ways to make God apart of our everyday lives and home.

And then stop back by next Wednesday as we continue our I HATE RELIGION discussion. Don't forget to invite your friends!

Free SpongeBob Party Printable

Here are just a couple of details from my kiddo's SpongeBob party. Stay tuned cause there is a free SpongeBob printable for you at the end!

We had a local baker make these cookies. They went in the favor bags.

These little SpongeBob wallets also went in the favor bags. Here is a bit of my handy work. lol! Yeah I definitely did not get in enough sewing last year. I started my "new hobby", did a few small projects and ugh where did the time go? Anyway these wallets were one of those small projects. I think they came out great!

Some favor hang tags! I punch a small hole, add some string and attach them to the favor bags. You can snag the free printable for them below.

Click on the image below to download these free SpongeBob printable tags. For best results print on card stock, punch out with a jumbo hole punch and enjoy!

Also want to mention that Le Chateau des Fleurs is hosting a giveaway for my jewelry. Winner gets a $30 Gift Certificate to Cap Creations!!!

Thrifty Love {link party #24}

Wow nothing like being late to your own party huh? Yesterday just got away from me! Welcome back for some thrifty love.

So a few things cause by now I'm sure you've figured out that there are always a few things ha! First off, what are your thoughts on gifts bought at the thrift store? Would you love a gift from the thrift store, would  family or friends be totally appalled by the idea? Do you think it just depends on the individual? I personally would love a gift from there. I know a few friends and family that actually would not care but some others, I'm not so sure. I mean sometimes you can find new items there and how would they even know right? Your thoughts please.

Next, how about those linky thumbnails? Did you like them, does it matter? Let me know, if you totally want them I will get them. I found they made me judgemental lol! Yeah I was judging the book by it's cover or shall I say thumbnail. To me it really does not matter I visit you all anyway but let me know! Cause I care about you!

Lets get on with it already!

Crazy for Flamingos has enlightened us to a product called Bakelite.
Like I commented over there I've probably seen it and didn't even know it.

A Living Space shares some wonderful things picked up from Grandpa.
Lots of treasures there, go see!

Shabby Cottage Collectibles shares this neat vintage iced tea set.
Does this bring back memories or what?
Ohhh I love my mama's sweet iced tea, it''s the best!

Here are a few of my goodies this week. Nothing big. This tiny jar is labeled orange marmalade and i love the pretty lid and shape of the jar. Not sure what I will do with it I may put in some of my pearls or other small jewelry making bits.

A sweet embroidered hankie.

A vintage address book which I did put in the etsy shop.


 
Show us what you found!
Linking up at:
S- Fleamarket Finds  M- Apron Thrift Girl  TuCoastal Charm, Frugal Treasures Tuesday T- Vintage Thingie Thursday, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Blue Eyed OwlThe Haps F- The Thrifty Groove, Vintage Inspiration Friday S- Penny Worthy Project, Happy Girl Collectibles

{What Do I Know of Holy}: Your Response is What Matters



Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen as he said! {Luke 24:5-6}


The angel rolled that stone away, not because Jesus needed help getting out, but because we needed to see that he was not there.

Which leads me to the question...how has the resurrection changed you?

It is not simply an event that took place 2000 years ago or just a once a year celebration. It is a way of life.

You cannot encounter an event of this magnitude, or the entire life of Jesus for that matter, and walk away the same. There is a choice to make.

If you missed our discussion last week, go here to read why I absolutely believe that Jesus is who he said he was and why I believe that the resurrection did happen.

And then make your own decision...

-was Jesus really the Son of God?
-did the resurrection really happen?
-what does it mean for my life?

If you agree with me that He IS Risen, go here for more information on how you can have new life in Christ.


Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this? {John 11:25-26}



Easter, Some Eggs & A Birthday


Just taking a moment to wish you all a really wonderful Easter! Here is a peek at some of our eggs. The boys had fun dying them yesterday. I had fun making some of them pretty too!
My Heart's Song shows us how she printed on tissue paper so that's exactly how I did these eggs. With art from The Graphics Fairy. So cool!

We also get to celebrate my little one's birthday today. He was actually born on Easter day and this is the first time Easter falls on his birthday since! He's so excited!!!

Thrifty Love {link party #23}

Welcome back for another Thrifty Love! So I am testing out the thumbnail links this week with my one and only free one lol! Enjoy. Let me know what you think.

Thanks to each and every single one of you that linked up last week! Now lets take a look at a few of your great finds.
These salad tossers from Tatter & Fray are very cool. I love the design.

And I'm always a sucker for vintage linens like these from Thoroughly Modern Me.

Pretty dishes with lovely green details anyone? Ummm yes please! Check em out at Abandoned Antlers.

Now for mine, I thought I'd take you back to an oldie but goody since it's Easter - ish. This was an Easter style thrifty makeover.

Before:
After:

See more more photos of this make over HERE.

I wish you all a wonderful Easter! I invite you to see yesterday's post about Easter and the great Resurrection Garden my boys and I made. I am so HAPPY that Jesus made the way!!!


Linking up at:
S- Fleamarket Finds  M- Apron Thrift Girl  TuCoastal Charm, Frugal Treasures Tuesday T- Vintage Thingie Thursday, Treasure Hunt Thursday F- The Thrifty Groove, Vintage Inspiration Friday S- Penny Worthy Project, Happy Girl Collectibles

John 3:16 The Story of Love

This video is so amazing that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share it here on the blog. Easter is just a few days away which makes it perfect timing to share it. It is truly beautiful and brought me to tears.

It's just over 18 minutes long but trust me it is worth it. Make sure you play it when you have time to sit through it's entirety. If that's not now then please come back later and watch. You will be glad you did.

Check out the Resurrection Garden my boys and I made. We cheated a bit by using ground cover instead of planting seed. We just did not have time for grass to grow.
When I saw this posted over at Worthy of the Prize I knew it was the perfect project to put a visual in my boys head of the price Christ paid and the gift He gave through His death. That Easter made the way!!!

I hope you all have a great Easter. While you are hunting eggs and eating choco bunnies take time to remember the true meaning.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

If you want to learn more about having a personal relationship with Christ and accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior please visit this post by Worthy of the Prize where they share everything you need to know.

Linking to:
S- The DIY Showoff, Under the Table and Dreaming, MThe Girl Creative, MM Party at BNOTP, Making the World Cuter, Skip to my Lou, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Keeping it SimpleT- Coastal Charm, Tip Junkie, All Thingz Related, Today's Creative Blog, Hope Studios W- Trendy Treehouse, Blue Cricket Design, Someday Crafts, My Backyard Eden, Room to Inspire, Creations by Kara, Just a Girl, T- Yesterday on Tuesday, The Shabby Chic Cottage, Somewhat SimpleTidy Mom, Fireflies and JellybeansF- It's FUN to Craft, The Shabby Nest, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk InteriorsS- Along for the Ride, I Heart Naptime

{What Do I Know of Holy}: He Is Risen

I love Easter!

It is my absolute favorite holiday, for many reasons....springtime...flowers...the colors...the candy....the new dresses....and of course, the resurrection! Without Easter, without the resurrection....there would be no love, no hope, no joy...no new life! How depressing that would be!

In 1 Corinthians 15: 12-22, Paul says:

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith...But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

I can honestly say that I agree with Paul and believe in the resurrection 100%, with all of my heart.

I actually wrote a paper in seminary on the very topic of the validity of the resurrection, so I could probably go on and on about why I believe that Christ did indeed rise from the dead, but I don't want you to fall asleep on me, ha!

So I will tell you the one thing I discovered that leads me to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ is alive today...the lives and deaths of his disciples....not just Paul, who wrote the above passage, but also Peter, James, John, Stephen, John the Baptist, the list goes on and on of men, who dedicated their entire lives to preaching Christ risen!

And as a result...they were beaten, tortured, imprisoned and eventually died horrible, humiliating deaths...all for a man who was the supposed Son of God, who supposedly rose from the dead after being brutally killed, without saving himself, and was then left in a forgotten tomb?

Why in the world would these men risk their lives for such a cause? Why would they give their lives for this crazy man? You see, you can't just say that Jesus Christ was a good man. I mean he claimed to be the Son of God for crying out loud?!!? You have to draw one of two conclusions...either he was crazy, or he actually is who he claimed to be. There is no in between here.

You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. {C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)}

You know one theory related to the empty tomb is that the disciples stole Jesus' body and disposed of it so that they would not be thought of as fools. This theory was spread by the Roman soldiers who were supposed to be guarding his dead body.

SOOOO...you are telling me that the same disciples who were running scared for their lives the night before the crucifixion when Jesus' was arrested...the very disciples who betrayed Jesus' and went into hiding while he was crucified and buried....then decided to steal his body and hide it so as not to appear foolish...are all of a sudden, 3 days later, preaching Christ risen and dying for a cause that they know is not true because they stole his dead body?!!?

Sorry, not buying it. Obviously, something drastic happened during those 3 days that gave the disciples overwhelming confidence and power for them to stop running scared and instead boldy proclaim, as Peter did, that Jesus is in fact "the Christ, the Son of the Living God!" And I can tell you that it wasn't the dead body of a crazy man.

It actually makes more sense to me that maybe, just maybe...the shady Roman government did in fact pay off the soldiers to spread the lie that the disciples hid the body, which was never found by the way...so that they, the government, the very leaders of the Roman Empire, would not appear to be fools...since they were the ones who had the Son of God crucified and then carelessly misplaced his body.

Think about it for yourself and while you are at it, ponder this passage from Romans 5:6-9:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

It still amazes me that God "sent his one and only son," JESUS, to die for an undeserving sinner like me. And all we have to do to be forgiven and have eternal life in Heaven with him, is to "confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead!"

I pray that the resurrection becomes real in your life, no matter your circumstances...all God asks is that we come to him, he has already worked out the details!

Happy Easter and Praise God for "He Is Risen!"

April's "Chosen" Family

We are changing up our chosen child adoption fundraiser just a bit. We will no longer have a list of families to select from, instead there will be one family featured each month. These families will have an entire month to earn money to help with the cost of their adoption.

For the entire month of April $10 from every Chosen necklace sold will go toward the Collins Family adoption. Worthy of the Prize will also donate the entire proceeds from the sales of their Chosen Child Fit Band and Half Loop. And they will even double the earnings this month if they reach 530 followers on their blog! How great is that? Go follow! You can help an orphan just by following them! How simple is that?

Now meet the Collins Family.
We are KC, Sandia, Caedmon, and Oliver. KC and I have been married for 6 years. We have 2 amazing, high energy boys: Caedmon is almost 5 and Oliver is 3. We are in the process of bringing our daughter home from Ethiopia. We do not know anything about her yet, but we find ourselves praying for her constantly. We officially started this "paper" journey in July of 2011. Though, it's something that has been in our hearts for a long while. God has been so faithful to us throughout this entire process. We are constantly amazed at His provisions and blessings. It makes this wait more bearable knowing that God is for us. Our entire family is so eager to have her home. Our boys talk about her all the time - always wondering when she'll get here. We are so thankful for the opportunity to take part in this fundraiser and we would like to thank you all for your help ahead of time. Again, thank you and may God bless you. Our blog: Selah: The Art of the Pause

You can learn more about this adopting fundraiser at Worthy of the Prize. And if you are interested in fundraising with us contact Julie for more info at  worthyoftheprize.julie@yahoo.com.