Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Warning Signs

Just as we put our jet skis into the clear water, it started to rain. 

Not just any rain but rather, big fat droplets falling in a rapid down pour. I was freezing, circling my jet ski, waiting for my sister who was having troubles starting the one that she was on. My little sister held on tightly to my life jacket, all the while, we all were wondering who in the world thought that this was a fun idea. Finally my older sister was able to start her jet ski, and we took off, with hopes that the rain and storm would blow over soon. 

We were trying out a new lake that had really pretty scenery, that is, if we were able to see it through the pelting rain. I squinted through the hail-like water droplets, goosebumps on my arms and legs. We were trying to find the beach where we could wait out the storm, but we didn’t know where exactly where it was located. We had a ways to go. 

We stopped out in the middle of the lake. We were all not having fun. That’s when my sister noticed my hair, and I saw her hair. Even though our hair was in braids, both of our wispy’s and loose strands were standing strait up! Like if you were to have rubbed a ballon on our heads, and the static makes the hair stand strait up. We all knew what that meant. We were out in the middle of water, in a storm. We didn’t see any visible lightning, but knew we were in serious danger of getting struck by it. 

So, what do we do now?!? 

First of all, we didn’t have many options. We had to get to the beach and get off the water! We could barely see what we thought was the beach, so we headed for it as fast as we could. The rain stung, but the urgency to get off the water was the only thing that mattered. I prayed, and I prayed hard. 

We made it to the beach, and pulled our jet skis up far enough onto the sand so that they wouldn’t float away. We safely made it to the RV where we told our scary adventure to our parents. It was one of those moments when we knew our angels were with us and watching out for us!

You know, I can’t help but think what would have happened if we hadn’t payed close attention to the warning signs we were given. If we would have stayed out on the water and waited for the storm to pass.

There are warning labels and caution signs everywhere. Whether it be driving on the road, or on a child’s play toy. And we must take these signs seriously for our own good. 

Do you think God has given us warning signs? How about when He told or more like warned, Adam and Eve NOT to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:16,17 
“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Every warning sign comes with a consequence. If we wouldn’t have listened to our warning sign of our hair standing strait up, our consequence could have been getting struck by lightning. For a driver who didn’t heed the speed limit sign around a tight curve, that consequences might result in rolling the car. For a parent who did not heed the sticker on a small toy, the consequence might be for their child to choke on it. For Adam and Eve, since they did not heed the warning of God, their consequence resulted in death. 

Don’t be fooled by the looks of things. We didn't see the lighting, but that doesn't mean it wasn’t there. A driver might think that the turn wasn’t very sharp, but he wouldn’t have known until he was right upon it. A parent might read the warning label as a silly suggestion, but that doesn’t mean their child will not want to stick it in their mouth. Adam and Eve saw that the fruit looked good, and were tricked by Satan to not listen to God’s warning. 

There are lots of warnings in the bible that we should NOT ignore. One big one for me is, to get ready for Jesus to come again. He is coming quickly! And we need to be ready when he comes. We don’t want to fall asleep (Matthew 25:1-13). 

We need to share this good news, because we have been chosen to be his hands and feet. Even if we are a very small part, even if we are his fingers and toes, if we are doing all that we know how, if we are striving to be His light, then we have done our part. 

And aren’t fingers and toes very important?! We might feel like we are so small and feel as if we don’t make an impact, but as long as we are following God’s direction, we ARE making a impact. Even the smallest of sparks, can still light a forest fire! 

So, summing up. Listen to the warnings around you. And most of all, take heed to God’s instructions and warnings in the Bible. 

Jesus is coming again! Lets do our part and shine our light! 

We were able to go back out on the water when the storm blew over. It turned out to be a very fun day! Here are some pictures I took...!

Have you ever been in a scary situation that you knew your angels helped you out of? Do you think warning labels are important? Have you ever gone jet skiing? What is one thing that you are thankful for today, right this second? 
Lets talk about it in the comments below! ;D

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I Survived... Again!

Instead of posing a poem or devotional like I normally would, I thought I would share with ya'll something that was TOTALLY FUN we did on Monday... *Shoots off fireworks* *Throws confetti* *And mud in this case, or whatever else you throw when your excited*... We did a mud gauntlet! 

If you are thinking to yourself that this introduction sounded very familiar, your right! This post is going to be very similar to my triathlon post... if you are new around Showers of Blessings, then feel free to go check out my first "I Survived" post HERE!!!

So, I survived... again! Well, it was more EPIC fun than a survival, but I can still say that I have successfully completed a mud gauntlet! 

What is a mud gauntlet? It's a super fun obstacle course in the MUD! It was as long as a 5k with over 35 obstacles to work together as a team.

On September 3rd (funny how the triathlon was on June 3rd too) my family and I woke up super duper duper early (5am) and after our animal chores were done, we drove out. It took us a VERY long time to get there but we listened to music and ate/drank our breakfast, which was FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE DRINKS! (<-- I had no idea I liked them so much, but I think by now, the whole blogosphere knows how much I like them!)

And guess what, my stomach hurt! Advil was only making me dizzy, but you know, the moment we started, I felt completely fine! God made it possible for me to do this mud gauntlet, and I am so glad He did, because I made some great memories with my family! 

Before pictures...

When we arrived, we waited for awhile and collected our packets. During this time, my cousin drew on us with a sharpie maker our team name "Dirty Dozen." 

Fireworks burst in the air as we crossed the starting line. The first obstacle was to climb over a "mountain" of stacked canoes. Very fun, but slippery. We jumped round bales and and 4' walls. We slipped and slid into mud pits, and crawled through tunnels. We jogged part of it, but mostly just had fun with it. There was a hiking stretch that was mostly up hill with rope to climb up the steeper hills. Our team was very encouraging throughout! Lots of "Dirty! Dozen!" shouting, "Dig! Deeper!" calling, and counting to 12. We helped each other over walls and the rope swing (only a few people actually made it over, I was one of the ones to land in the muddy water below...) 

We crossed the creek twice, and then there was more obstacles!

We all agreed that our favorite obstacle was the water/mud slide in the woods. Two black culverts cut in half to make the "Slide" and a water/mud pit at the end! Super fun! (Although the muddy water did not taste very good... just take my word for it!)
Towards the end, we got tired, but kept going. Mud was EVERYWHERE! Well, I guess we did kind of help each other get just a little bit more muddy! ;P
After we crossed the finish line, they had hoses to wash off and food (food was just ok, since I couldn't eat most of it because it was meat) and music. 

10 things we all can learn from a mud gauntlet:
1. Its ok to get messy, that's the point!
2. Have fun with it! 
3. HELP EACH OTHER! Work as a team!
4. Bring shoes to change into. (Unfortunately we learned this the hard way...)
5. Be encouraging. People need encouragement.
6. Stay hydrated!
7. Keep moving forward!
8. Try the obstacles even if they are intimidating...
9. It's OK to need help with it.
10. God will bring you through!

Here's some more pictures...!

After Picture! You might not be able to tell, but we are covered in mud!

My Dad and I!

My Mom and I!


 The weather was perfect!

Little Petey is not so little anymore! 

Poor baby was scared of the fireworks!

Feeling accomplished on the way home and ready for a nap! 

Actually, later that day we were driving and saw a rainbow. Rainbows are so comforting to me because it's like a refresher on God's promises. And I'm just now realizing that the day of the triathlon we saw a rainbow too! Isn't God amazing how He places His sign for us to see at just the right times?? 

Has anyone ever done a mud gauntlet before? Do you like getting muddy? Did you like hearing about how it went? Ya'll, It's September! What are you up to this month? Have you started school? How's your WIP's going? Any thing exciting happening this September? Lets talk about it! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

August 2018 Unique Wrap-Up Post!

I thought I would try my hand at a wrap-up post since it is the end of August and summer is almost over… but not completely over yet! If you notice in the title, it says unique wrap-up post, that's because this is going to be a little bit different than what I see going around the blogosphere. And since this is my first time writing a end of the month wrap-up post, please excuse the randomness and be sure to let me know if you want to read more wrap-up posts like this in the future! *crosses fingers that it turns out ok!*

Ok! Lets dive right on in then! 

➳➳➳Windows down ➳ Diesel smoke ➳ Cornfields ➳  Hay bales ➳ Pasta ➳ Reading the Bible ➳ Driving home ➳ Looking for a horse for sale ➳ Finding the right horse ➳ Shadowing ➳ Room remodel planning ➳ Making soap plans ➳ Mowing the lawn ➳ Gardening ➳ Canning Pickles ➳ Shopping at a flea market ➳ Getting a great deal on LOTS of books! ➳ Going to a gun range ➳ Waking up in the middle of the night to let my dog out ➳ Driving ➳ Going in and out of eating healthier ➳ Got sick ➳ Riding Rosie ➳ Stepping out of comfort zone ➳ Ice cream! ➳ Feeling awkward ➳ Eating corn on the cob, but taking it off the cob ➳ Set a record for reading 3 full novels in two days! ➳ Feeling tired ➳ Morning walk ➳ Smoothies ➳ Listening to music ➳ Movies ➳ Us girls loudly singing our favorite country songs in the car for 6 hours ➳ Taking lots of pictures ➳ Getting braces ➳ Watching Studio C videos ➳ Getting addicted to Studio C videos ➳ FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE DRINKS! ➳ Deciding that I love cornfields ➳ Panera two days in a row! ➳ Buying room decor ➳ Playing Volleyball ➳ Veggie sushi ➳ More shadowing ➳ Library ➳ Feeling overwhelmed ➳ Started my own Pinterest account ➳ Hiking ➳ More frozen hot chocolate drinks! ➳ Writing ➳ Reading ➳ Designing a bulletin for our youth church service ➳ Trying to notice the little things ➳ Collecting my favorite books for a new book case that I have yet to build ➳ Writing inspiration late at night ➳ Four wheeler driving ➳ Living ➳ Loving ➳ Laughing ➳ And learning ➳➳➳

➳➳➳My awesome family ➳ All of our crazy animals ➳ Time together ➳ Watching sunsets on Winds of Faith ➳➳➳

➳➳➳About song lyrics that we misunderstood ➳ Funny pictures with memes ➳ At old videos on phone involving a rope swing ;) ➳ At photo albums ➳ At Tucker, our little chihuahua ➳ With sisters ➳ With cousins ➳ Just because ➳➳➳

➳➳➳To trust God in the unknown ➳ That todo lists are helpful but extremely overwhelming ➳ That finding Joy is possible ➳ To NOT throw the baby out with the bath water ➳ To persevere ➳ That it's up to me to trust Him ➳ To notice the little things ➳ That life is fragile ➳ That making a difference it possible ➳ That eating healthy is hard ➳ That sometimes you have to do hard things ➳ To think positive ➳ To see the good ➳➳➳

Psalms 118:1 
"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." 

What did you think of this wrap-up post? Was it too unique? What is one of your goals for September 2018? What did you laugh about this month? What is God teaching you this August? Lets talk about it! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Dirty Dishes and Dog Bowls

I live in a very small house of five people and six dogs. I love my family and our dogs very much, but sometimes life happens and— Dishes get piled high, overflowing the sink. Dog bowls seem to disappear into thin air. It’s not like they have sprouted legs and walked off! Well, here is a simple solution to these occurrences… 

1. Wash your dishes as soon as your done using them. 
2. Have a designated spot for all your dog bowls and put them back when you are done  feeding the dogs.   

It’s as simple as that! But honestly, is it really that easy? Not sometimes. These chores seem so easy yet they usually build. One day of leaving dishes in the sink, and you will have a mountain of dirty dishes the next day. One day of leaving the dog bowls where you fed the dogs, and the next day you will have forgotten where they are! 

Dirty dishes and dog bowls aren’t the only things that seem small but build bigger problems. I could make a very long list! 

Does it get overwhelming? Yes. 
Are these chores always fun or easy to do? No. 

But they are necessary. People and dogs have to eat! So, how do we go about our day and not drag our feet on the jobs that we don’t enjoy? How do we become less busy so that things, big or small, don’t get pushed back? 

To answer the first question, lets look to see what the Bible has to say.

1 Corinthians 10:31
“…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

We are to glorify God in WHATEVER we do! Even in the small tasks like cleaning dishes or feeding the dogs. We are to praise, exalt, honor, and magnify God our Father. God has given us so much to be thankful for! Take washing dishes, for instance. Instead of looking at the mess, look at the blessing. Are you thankful for the food you ate off those dishes? Are you thankful for the help of your dad, mom, or siblings that help you wash the dishes? Are you thankful for a dishwasher? etc…

Also, in Philipians 2:14 with very clear instructions it says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing.” 

Notice it didn’t say do SOME things without complaining, it said do ALL things. This is hard! But, it is really important to stay positive. Complaining just wears us down.

Another verse that goes hand in hand with this is Philipians 4:11 “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:”

Paul says to the believers of Philippi that he has learned to be content. Having contentment means to be in a state of peaceful happiness. To be satisfied. I’m still learning this, myself.

So, how do we go about our day and not drag our feet on the jobs we don’t enjoy? We have to learn to be content where we are at. Complaining gets us nowhere. If we focus on giving thanks to God for His many blessings, then we might not even notice the things that used to make us drag our feet.

The last question was, how do we become less busy so that things, big or small, don’t get pushed back? Everyone struggles with being busy. Sometimes having a busy schedule is a good thing, but not when it takes away from your goals, your chores, your family time, and most importantly your time spent with God. 

How do we keep this from happening? This answer is different for everyone. Ask yourself these questions. What do I choose to spend my time doing? Does it strengthen or weaken my relationship with God? What comes first in my life? What can I say “No” to, so I can have more time for the things that are important to me? 

Time management is important! There is only 24 hours in a day, so we need to be spending that time on the things that really matter.

Colossians 3:23
 “And Whatever you do, do it heartily, as unto the LORD and not to men,”

To sum up, dirty dishes and dog bowls, though small tasks, may grow to be giants. But hang in there, God defeats giants! Don’t complain about your mundane tasks, choose to be in a state of peaceful happiness. Think through your time management. And throughout it all, praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Have you ever felt like small everyday tasks can easily become overwhelming? How do you manage your time? How can we find peaceful happiness, or joy even when doing the jobs we don't like? 
What was your favorite bible verse from this post? 
How do you like the graphic for this post?? Would y'all like reading a wrap-up/highlights/end of summer/end of August/etc. post next Wednesday?
Lets chat in the comments! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Happiness vs. Joy

Written by Brooklyne 

A feeling
That makes you
Hold in your breath
A feeling
That makes you
Feel butterflies 
A feeling
That makes you
Smile, non-stop 
A feeling 
That makes you
Sing like crazy
A feeling
That makes you 
Dance, just because
A feeling
That only lasts
But a moment 

Written by Brooklyne 

A mindset 
That keeps you
Thankful for life
A mindset 
That keeps your
Heart, filled with love
A mindset
That keeps your 
Smile, joyful
A mindset 
That keeps you 
Singing throughout
A mindset 
That keeps you
Dancing in rain
A mindset
That only One
Can bestow it 
A mindset
That only you 
Can choose to keep
A mindset
That will last you 
A whole lifetime! 

The feeling of happiness can last for a season
The mindset of joy can last for years to come

Happiness depends on your circumstance 
Joy is seen no matter you circumstances

Choose joy! 

Philippians 4:4
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" 

How have you been joyful this August? What is the difference between happiness and joy to you? Lets talk in the comments! :D 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Weed Battle

It's that time of year when our gardens have grown and are starting to produce! It's a bountiful time, but things can get overwhelming, because good planted plants aren't the only things growing in our gardens, weeds have overgrown as well...

So, if you don’t “keep up” your garden, the inevitable is that the weeds WILL take over! They will crowd out any good seeds you have painstakingly planted and choke out the brave plants that have come up already. It’s up to us gardeners to prevent such bad things from happening to our gardens. After all, we put a lot of hard work into planting, planning, watering, weeding, harvesting and processing. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears. If you are a gardener, then you know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, let me give you an idea. And don’t get me wrong, even though gardening is not always easy, I still LOVE it! 

After carefully planning where you will plant, you have to get the soil ready. That takes a lot of time, and wait—time? What time? Like seriously, gardening is something that we have to MAKE time for. *winks* Yes, even amongst the busiest of schedules.

I’m getting ahead of myself here. Before you do anything, you have to wait for the last frost. And where I live, you never know when that is. It’s a gamble. But really, the weather always is. For gardening, for haying, and for the horses! 

Anyway, once the ground is ready, then you have to plant your precious seeds, or transplant your precious plants that you have started inside the house to keep them safe from the cold. You dig the trenches for potatoes, you hill the ground (which in our case is clay) for squash, you make a trellis for cucumbers, and you get tomato cages for tomatoes, etc. All the while battling the heat and bugs!

As you step back after a long days work, you admire your handiwork. You can already see the fresh fruits of your labor being enjoyed at your family’s table. You take pride in your young garden. 

That is, until the enemy comes in the night. 

Yes, if you let only a small amount of time slip away. If you are unable to tend to your garden for but a short week, only a few days, some hours here and there, a minute, a split second, then the weeds WILL shoot up. They overtake and destroy your picture perfect garden! *cues scary music*

Ya, so, I think you get the picture! We all can relate in the fact that nobody likes weeds in their gardens. WEEDS ARE A PROBLEM! 

It's so hard not to get overwhelmed at the amount of weeds that grow in a short amount of time. 

When I arm myself with gloves, some water, and gardening tools, I'll look down the row of onions, preparing myself for the battle of the weeds. Kneeling down on my knees, I know that I will have too pull each weed, one weed at a time. It will be slow progress, but it it will be progress, nonetheless. Even though the weeding processes is hard, it IS necessary to get the harvest that we want. 

We have weeds in our life. Our enemy, Satan, puts those weeds in our lives to crowd out and chock our good seeds and plants. Looking at our weeds (different for all of us) we often get discouraged by their number. It is so easy to want to give up and go inside to the cool air conditioner, but in the end we have to stay out in the heat, deal with the bugs, and weed the rows in order to get a harvest. We have to endure through the battles we face each day. 

We have to kneel down on our knees. God will help you pull each weed one at a time. Things might be slow, but don’t give up, slow progress is still progress. Weeding our lives is not going to be easy, it might hurt, but it IS necessary. You are not alone in your weeding process. Whatever you are going through, God is with you always. And then, as you tend and care for the good plants in your life, they will grow strong, giving you fruit of the harvest. 

Never give up, keep on fighting the battle of the weeds! 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

2 Timothy 4:7 
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Do you like to garden? What is your favorite plant to grow? Have you ever battled with weeds in your garden? How about in your life? What has God been teaching you this week? Lets chat in the comments below!