The Christmas Tree Gospel

Daily Truth: ” And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12


  Almost every home has some sort of Christmas tree in it this time of year.  Did you ever stop to think how the Christmas tree can be a vivid representation of the Gospel? The Christmas Tree has a LONG history behind it, but I won’t go into that.  Instead I want to show you how you can use your Christmas tree to teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas. 1.  The Christmas Tree is “ever”green.  God is everlasting.  (Psalms 90:2) His mercy is everlasting (Psalms 103:17).  One day He will set up an everlasting kingdom. (Micah 5:2) 2.  The Christmas Tree points to God – The top of the tree comes to point, directing our eyes to the Heavens.  God is the creator of all (Psalms 19:1) and is in Heaven preparing a place for all those who know Him as Savior (John 14:2). 3.  The Star – The star at the top of the tree reminds us of the star that shown over Bethlehem directing the wise men to the Christ child. (Matthew 2:1-3) 4.  The Angel – Some put an angel on the top of the tree reminding them of the angels that told the good news of the Saviors birth to the shepherds.  (Luke 2:8-17) 5.  The Christmas Tree lights. God is the light of the world. (John 8:12)  God’s Word is a light to those who are in the darkness of their sin. (II Corinthians 4:4) When we know Christ as our personal Savior, His Word lights our pathway. (Psalms 119:105)  We are then to be a light to those around us directing them to Christ by our lives (Philippians 2:15) 6.  The Red Ribbon – The red ribbon reminds us of Christ blood shed for our sins.  (Hebrews 9:22) 7.  The Grapevine Garland – On our Christmas tree, I put a grapevine garland down the center of the tree to remind us that Christ’s ultimate purpose of being born was to die for our sins.  The grapevine symbolizes the crown of the thorns that were placed on Christ when he was crucified.  (Matthew 27:29) 8.  The Gifts – The gifts remind us of the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus. (Matthew 2:11) They are also a reminder of the ultimate gift – God’s gift of salvation to all who will receive it.(John 3:16) 9.  The Ornaments – The ornaments remind us of the jewels in a kingly crown.  One day Christ will be crowned King of Kings (Revelation 17:14) for He alone is worthy. (Revelation 5:12).  One day every knee will bow, confessing that He is Lord of all. (Philippians 2:9-11) As we get closer to Christmas Day, let us take time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Until next week, Rebekah klink

Sweet Christmas Treats for Little Hands

Daily Truth:  “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalms 119:103

Sweets, sweets, and more sweets!  It’s that time of year! Thanksgiving has past, the Christmas trees are up (actually they have been since the beginning of November), and the outside lights are up.  The parties start up this weekend which meant some baking needed to be done last weekend. Baking is NOT my thing for three reasons: 1.  My cookies rarely come out like the pics. (Those are NOT my cookies pictured above!) 2.  The mess, mess, mess, mess ,mess! 3.  Sweets are almost more temptation than I can handle! However, I do it for the kids.  I am going to give you three recipes that we like and the kids REALLY enjoy making. Our favorite sweet treat recipe are homemade mints.  These get made by the dozens and are handed out to our neighbors, teachers, and brought to parties every year.

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Homemade Mints

1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese

10 cups of powdered sugar

1 bag of milk chocolate chips

1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips

coffee, mint, or whatever flavor you want.

Mix the cream cheese in a mixer.  Slowly add the sugar one cup at a time. By 8 cups the mixture should be able to form balls easily without crumbling.  If this is the case – don’t add anymore sugar.  Add the flavoring of your choice.  Mix.

Lay wax paper on a table.  Take the mixture and form into 1 inch balls.  (This is where the kids come in.  They think it’s like playing with play dough.) Place the balls on the wax paper.

In a double boiler melt the chocolate.  Pour the melted chocolate over the balls.  Let the chocolate harden.  Place in small cupcake holders, place in a freezer container, and freeze until ready to use.

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Side note:  We used white chocolate with coffee flavoring for one set of mints.  Andes mints are another option.  You can also sprinkle crushed candy cane on the balls AFTER you pour the chocolate.

This next recipe is a little more involved but well worth it!

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1 cake mix (your choice of flavor)

1 can of frosting

1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips

1 bag of milk chocolate chips.

Bake the cake according to the directions on the box.  Let it cool COMPLETELY.  Break the cake into pieces and throw in a mixer.  Add the can of frosting.  Mix until the cake and frosting are well incorporated.

Lay wax paper on a flat surface.  Take the mix and roll into 1 inch balls and place on wax paper. (Hint:  Have a bowl of water near by to dip your hands in.  Wet hands work better in making these balls.)

Once the balls are made, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.  Pour the melted chocolate over the balls.  Let the chocolate harden.  Place balls in mini cupcake holders, place in a freezer container, and freeze until ready to use.

Side Note:  We have used peanut butter chips with chocolate cake, red velvet cake with white chocolate chips, etc.  The flavors and varieties are as endless as the choices of batter and frostings!

Like so many families, we are starting to go gluten free due to one of my kiddos.  So, I found this gluten free sugar cookie mix.

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GF Cookie Dough

1/2 c powdered sugar

1/2 c granulated sugar

1 c butter cut into small pieces

3 oz of cream cheese

2 3/4 c of white rice flour

2 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla

1/4 c cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

1.  In a food processor add sugars, butter, cream cheese, and 1 c of flour.  Process until mixture is crumbly.

2.  Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined.

3.  Put in a bowl, cover, and chill for an hour.

Roll out and make cookies to your hearts content. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.

Frosting:  I made the butter cream frosting on the back of a Hershey’s cocoa container, melted it enough so that I could drizzle it on the cookies, and sprinkled crushed candy cane on the chocolate.

Side note: I added peppermint flavoring in the cookies.

Let us not forget, as we go into this Christmas season, to crave the sweet words of the Bible as much as we crave the sweet treats we make with our kiddos.

Until next week,




O Give Thanks Unto the Lord

Daily Truth: “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever”.  Psalms 136:1



Here are some verses to help us remember why we should give thanks not only on Thanksgiving Day but everyday.  

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.”   I Chronicles 16:34-35

“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.”  I Chronicles 16:8

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” Psalms 26:7

“Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.”  Psalms 30:4

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”  Psalms 30:12

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” Psalms 69:30

“Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.”  Pslams 75:1

“So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.”  Psalms 79:13

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High”  Psalms 92:1

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”  Psalms 100:4

“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”  Psalms 106:1

“And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing”  Psalms 107:22

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalms 116:17

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 15:57

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”  II Corinthians 2:14

“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”  II Corinthians 9:11

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”  II Corinthians 9:15

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,”  Colossians 1:3

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  Colossians 3:17

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  I Thessalonians 5:18

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”  Hebrews 13:15

“Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”  Revelations 11:17

May I encourage you to read Psalms 136 and just really soak in the power of our God to whom we give all thanks.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving,






Hanukkah on Thanksgiving

Daily Truth:  “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.”  John 10:22


Hanukkah on Thanksgiving?  I know,  a little bit of a different title.  I will explain but you will have to indulge me in some “factoid” information.

A rare occurrence is happening this Thanksgiving.   The second day of Hanukkah is on Thanksgiving for the first time in 125 years and it will be another roughly 77,800 years before this happens again.

(Another side note:  a comet is also supposed to be passing by earth on Thanksgiving morning and it is one of my dear friend’s birthday.  Exciting day!!!)

I love history and learning about different holidays.  So, when I found out that little tidbit of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving there was no way I was going to let this great opportunity pass without some sort of acknowledgement.

I am not Jewish and the most I knew about Hanukkah was from watching “Fiddler on the Roof“.  So, I did a little research and this what I discovered in a nutshell.

History of Hanukkah

About 160 years before the birth of Christ, King Antiochus IV destroyed the temple and was set on destroying the Jewish race.  A small band of Jewish soldiers fought the king’s army and against all odds defeated it.  The Jews reclaimed the temple.

The temple was in shambles.  So, the people restored the temple.  When they went to light the menorah, there was only enough pure oil to burn for one day.  However, according to Jewish tradition, the oil miraculously burned for 8 days.  This was long enough for more oil to be prepared.

Hanukkah is a celebration of the rededication of the temple and God’s protection of His people. Hanukkah is sometimes called “The Festival of Lights” or “The Feast of Dedication” (see John 10:22 above).

My hubs and I wanted to use this unique holiday combination to remind our children how God takes care of His children.  So, we are going to give them a little taste of Hanukkah starting on Thanksgiving Day and carry it over to the next day.

Here is what you are going to need.

1.  A Menorah (or you could use 9 candlesticks lined up in a row).

2.  A Dreidel

3.  Hannukah gelt

4.  Potatoes and oil

5.  Candles

The Menorah – There are 9 branches to the menorah.  The tallest branch is the servant photo 1 (7)candle.  This candle will light all the others.  The number of candles lit coincides with the day of Hanukkah.  Day 1 you light one candle, day 2 two candles, etc.  The candles are lit alternating right and left side and are lit 30 minutes after nightfall. A blessing is then said.




photo 3 (5)Dreidel – The Dreidel is a 4 sided top that is used in a children’s game.  This is done to remember the children who were forced to study the Torah “underground” during the time of Antiochus IV rule.  The children would study the Torah in the forest and when soldiers would come upon them, they would hide the Torah and pull out their dreidel’s and start playing.



The best way to see how to play the Dreidel is to google it on the website.  You will need the photo 2 (7)Hanukkah gelt which is the chocolate gold coins for this game.






Latkes – Latkes are basically potato pancakes fried in oil and served with applesauce.  Once again, there are a gazillion recipes on how to make Latkes for Hannukah.  Just google “Latkes” and you will have your fair share of choice recipes.

Sufganiyot (Doughnuts) – Now who does not like a good doughnut?  These are made for a dessert one night cooked in oil.

All the foods are cooked oil to remember how God provided the 8 days of oil for the menorah.

How are we going to incorporate Hanukkah?

So glad you asked.

Thanksgiving Day – We will light the first candle of Hanukkah, read The Story of Hanukkah to the children, and explain how God provides and protects His children.  Then we are going to go around the table and ask each member to tell a way that God has shown His provision and protection to us this past year.

Friday – Doughnuts for breakfast.  I am going to attempt to make them with the kiddos help.  Dinner will consist of fish and latkes.  During the day, I will show the kids how to play Dreidel and we will play a few rounds.

We will continue lighting the candles each night until all are lit.  This will then carry into our family tradition of lighting the advent candles.

There is so much more to Hanukkah.  What I have shared with you is just the scratching of the surface.

Thanksgiving is a time to thank God for His goodness to us.  His protection of the Jewish race brought us a Savior and His continue protection of the Jewish race will one day usher in our King.

Until next week,



Having A Heart Fixed on God

Daily Truth:  “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psalms 57:7


Do you ever get your mind so fixed on something that you think about it through out the day? I think we can all say that we have done that at some point in time in our lives.  Especially women/ moms!

It can be a good thing your mind is fixed on.  “Yeah, my son was polite to the lady.”

It can be a bad thing your mind is fixed on.  “I can’t believe she did such and such!”

Sometimes that good thing can turn into a bad thing.  “Yeah, my daughter did an outstanding job on her part in the program.”  Then that turns into pride.  Never mind you drive everybody nuts that you have to tell!

The word “fixed” in this case means “determined, established, set”.

My youngest son OFTEN gets this way!  We are constantly working on him with it.

The other day we were getting family pics done at a local park.  It wasn’t cold – chilly, yes – but not cold.  Well, he got it fixed  in his little brain that he was freezing.  About half way through the photo session, he started throwing a temper tantrum.

Now, before we had the photo session, all the children were told that they would not participate in the fun activity that night that they had been looking forward to all year if we had any tempers or bad attitudes.

Nope!  Didn’t work on our youngest.  He was so fixed on being “freezing” that he didn’t care that he would miss the activity that night.  Well, that is until he got home and all the other kids went with dad and he had to stay home and do jobs.  Suddenly, he wished he had obeyed.

BTW – our photographer did a fantastic job!  She was so patient with the kids and was able to get quite a few pics despite the melt down.  Probably because she was fixed on getting a good pic!

The Israelites are a perfect example of being fixed on something.  In fact so fixed on their circumstances and their situation that it consumed them.

There was the time they were fixed on the Egyptians closing in on them and the Red Sea ahead of them.  They forgot all about the plagues that God had delivered them from.  (Exodus 14)

Then there was the food situation.  They were so fixed on the fact that they were eating the same thing over and over again that they wanted to go back to Egypt and enjoy the foods they had there.  Ummmm…did they not remember they were slaves?  (Exodus 16)

Then there was the food situation – again.  Well, God had it with them this time and sent fiery snakes among the people.  But as God always does, He gave a way to escape the snakes.  All they had to do was look at the serpent on the pole and they would be saved from the fiery snakes.

I often wonder how many Israelites were so fixed on the snakes around them that they didn’t fix their gaze on the serpent that could save them.  (Numbers 21)

Ok.  Before we get a little prideful and speak against the Israelites, aren’t we ALOT like them.

How often do we have our gaze fixed on our circumstances or our situation and forget to fix our eyes and heart on the One who has put us into those circumstances or situations.

Once we think, “Hey, I got this ‘heart fixed on God thing’ down pretty good”,  that’s when we get ourselves into trouble and our eyes get fixed on things around us.

We can teach our children to keep their eyes fixed on God.  When someone doesn’t share, instead of saying, “Well, he was being naughty, ”  how about saying, “Mommy is more concerned how you act and what God says about sharing”.

Or when your child worries about a certain situation, remind them that God is in control and we are not to worry.  Thus, we are teaching them to keep their eyes and heart fixed on God.

Be careful!  Your words may come back to haunt you!

I have a dear friend who had been crying  over a particular situation.  Her 7 year old son saw her crying in the kitchen again and the following dialogue occurred.

Son: “Mom, are you crying because of (particular situation)?

Mom:  “Yes, buddy.  Mommy’s sorry for crying.”

Son: “Mom, haven’t you told me that worry is sin and that it adds nothing to your life? Mom, God had this.  So, no more worrying okay?!”

My friend had been teaching her son how to keep his eyes fixed on God.  Then when she needed that reminder, God used her son.

As we go into this holiday season, where it is so easy to get our eyes fixed on things around us, let us remember to keep our eyes fixed on the One that is the reason for this season.

Until next week,



Having A Thankful Heart

Daily Truth: “Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”  Psalms 100:4

It’s that time of year again in which we focus on having a thankful heart.  Obviously, it is something that we should be working on all year, but it is a good time to focus on being thankful for many reasons.

1.  We are getting closer to the Christmas season in which often our “wanters” get out of wack!

2.  It helps us to refocus on what is important.

3.  It helps us to realize how blessed we are.

4.  It helps us to see other people’s needs and get the focus off of ourselves.

As mom’s we really need to work on being thankful on a daily basis.  Especially on those days when we feel like we are drowning under the needs of our children!

The Bible commands us to be thankful.  I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Every thing is a BIG word that covers a lot of ground.  You can substitute any situation for the word “every thing” and the command still works.

“In doing 5 loads of laundry give thanks.”

“In changing another dirty diaper give thanks.”

“In hearing some undesirable news give thanks.”

It’s obviously not easy to be thankful in all things and it is something that I have to work on daily!

We also need to teach our children to be thankful and not to focus on themselves.

So, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I have a couple of ideas you can use that would be visible reminders to our children just how much they have to be thankful for.

A Thankfulness Chain

When I taught school, I sometimes did this with my students for answered prayer.  Here is how it works.

1.  Take 8 1/2 x 11 construction paper and cut it into 1 inch strips.  You will need ALOT of construction paper based on the size of your family.

2.  Have the children write, draw, or tell you something they are thankful for and put it on the strip of paper.

3.  Bring the ends of the strip together and staple the ends.

4.  Insert another strip through the first circle and staple the ends together.

5.  Keep repeating this process to make a chain

6.  Hang the chain from the ceiling

You can then use the chain to decorate your Christmas tree.

We have been using the following idea in our family.

Picture Frame

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1.  Take a large picture frame.  Nail small nails in the back of the frame.

2.  Use small gauge wire and string the wire between the nails.

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3.  Take 4×6 cards and cut them into thirds.  (I used colored ones)

4.  Have your child write, draw, or tell you something they are thankful for and put it on the paper.

5.  Take a clothes pin and hang the cards from the wire.

photo 1 (6)We do the “Thankful” cards each night during family devotions.  I put all the supplies in a jar and after we read the Bible the kids draw what they are thankful for.  Then we go around the table and tell what we are thankful for.  Only rule – no repeats!

My 3rd child drew what he wanted for Christmas on the card the first night.  We had to reteach the activity and then he got it.

There are many more ideas you can use.  These are just two.

As we go into the holiday season let us remember to have a thankful heart for EVERY THING!

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”                  I Chronicles 16:34

Until next week,



Angels: The Servants of God

Daily Truth:  “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”  Psalms 91:11



Angels are always an interesting topic.  Kids imagine them with white dresses, wings, and halos floating above their heads.

Did you know that they are mentioned over 108 times in the Old Testament and over 165 times in the New Testament and that 44 of the 66 books of the Bible mention angels. (Yes, I listened in church on Sunday.)

There are weeks that I come to Wednesday morning and I don’t know what to write about.  This week the Lord laid the topic of angels on my heart.

Last week, one of our family devotions dealt with the topic of angels.  It was very interesting to see the kids responses.  Here is what we learned.

1.  There are two angels – Michael and Gabriel.  Michael is the archangel and sometimes has to fight Satan (Jude 1:9).  The boys thought that was pretty cool. Gabriel is the messenger angel.  (Luke 1:19).

2.  The angels were made to serve God.(Psalms 104:4)

3.  Although the angels are God’s servants they do not have God’s powers.  They aren’t omniscient. (Matthew 24:36)

4.  We are each given a guardian angel assigned the task of watching over us.  (Matthew 4:6, Matthew 18:10) The kids were AMAZED by this.

“You mean that there are angels in the room right now watching us?”

“Why can’t we see them?”

“You mean their job is to take care of us?”

“If they don’t know everything, how do they know not to protect us?  For instance when it is time for us to go to Heaven, how do they know to stop doing their job?”  (Hate those hard questions.)

The last question we answered like this:  Angels are told to take care of us and protect us.  Yet, God is all knowing.  When it is time for us to go to Heaven, they are still protecting us, but God is telling those angels that their job is now to bring us to Heaven because God knows it is time for us to be with Him.

“Why can’t we see them?” We told the kids we can’t always see them but the Bible indicates that there are times that we see them and don’t know it. (Hebrews 13:2)

There are many incidents in the Bible where people saw angels.  We focused on two stories.

The first story was about Peter being in prison and how the angel walked him right out of prison. (Acts 12:5-17) The kids thought that was pretty amazing that Peter was able to just walk right past all the guards and they didn’t even see him!

Then there was the story of Elisha who was being chased by a king.  The king sent an army to the city where Elisha was to take him prisoner.  (Side note:  Why in the world did the king think he needed a whole army to capture Elisha?  Just a thought.)

Elisha’s servant turns to him in panic and asks what are they supposed to do.

Elisha prays and asks God to open his servant’s eyes.  When God does, the servant sees the hillside full of angels in chariots of fire surrounding the king’s army.  (II Kings 2:16-18)

“WOW!” was the kids response and somehow I think that might have been the servant’s response as well.

There are many other stories in the Bible that talk about angels (Genesis 28:11-13Daniel 6:16-22. Daniel 3:19-25).

Despite all the amazing things angels can do, we learned the most amazing thing yet.  Angels will never experience the joy of salvation. In fact, they rejoice when a soul is saved. (Luke 15:10)

The angels are servants of God, we can become the children of God.  How much better is it to be God’s child!!

I have always loved the words to this chorus:

“Holy, holy is what the angels sing, And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring: But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings, For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.”   Holy, Holy is What the Angels Sing by Rev. Johnson Oatman

So, as we teach our children about angels focus on the fact that we can become the children of God.

Until next week,




Motherhood: The Race of Endurance

Daily Truth:  “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  Hebrews 12:1


This past Saturday, 12 of us (11 ladies and 1 young man – such a sport) got up super early and ran a 3 team marathon relay race.  Did I mention it was pouring rain and that the temp was hovering around 45 degrees?

Not exactly the type of morning you would wake up and say, “I think today would be a great day to run a marathon relay race.”

When you run 5 miles by yourself (although you are surrounded by hundreds of other runners), your mind starts to wander and you get into a zone.

I try to keep someone in front of me who is running about my pace.  I read other peoples shirts, listen to other people’s conversations, and think.

This time I got to think about this race.  It had 3 hills – not what I was expecting.  They weren’t bad but they were hills.

The rain wasn’t even noticeable once I started my portion of the race.  Gloves came off at mile 2 and by the time I did the exchange to my friend at mile 5, I felt great.

Then the waiting occurred.  I waited at the next exchange point of the race with 3 other team mates and by the time the 2nd exchange occurred 70 minutes later (they had a 7.5 mile run), I couldn’t stop shivering.

Then you wait some more for the last 2 legs of the race to finish.

The waiting was worse by far than the running in the rain. The company was great, but the cold not so much!

I got to thinking this week.  That relay race somewhat resembles motherhood.

You all have those mornings when we wake up and we just know it is going to be “one of those days”.  None of us wake up on those mornings willingly saying, “Today is a great day to be a mom”.

Yet, we get up and face our day with our kiddos because that is what we committed to do the minute we knew we were going to be a mom.

Sometimes there are hills along the way.

Hills in running build your strength and endurance.  So do the hills in the race of motherhood.  Some are just harder than others.

The hills in motherhood are different for each mom.  Some hills that you had to overcome were easier for you than for other moms.  However, we encourage each other along the way.  Just as we runners encourage each other to get up those hills in the race.

Then comes the waiting.

In a relay race, while waiting for your other teammates to come in, you aren’t just standing there.  You are “actively” waiting – whether it is renourishing your body, warming up your muscles, getting your gear on, or just mentally getting ready for the next part of the race.

The same is true in motherhood.  There will be moments of waiting.  Waiting to for God to get a hold of a child’s heart or waiting for some encouraging news from a doctor.  Yet, as we wait, we are active.

We are praying to God for guidance.  We are searching the scriptures for truths that we can apply and promises that we can claim.

Once the waiting is done, the race will continue.

One of my favorite “run” verses in the Bible is Ecclesiastes 9:11,  “the race is not to the swift”. Thank goodness because I will NEVER be fast.

Motherhood is the same way.  We all have days that are harder than others, but this is not a “swift” race.  This is a race that we are in for the long haul.

Unlike a relay race, we can’t run a certain length of being a mom and then hand it over to someone else.  That is where the parallels stop.  We have to continue for the whole length of the race.

At the end, we will be rewarded for how faithful we were in our race called “motherhood”.

My two middle kiddos ran a total of 25 miles over a number of weeks so that they could run one more mile at this race and get a medal “just like mom’s”.

I ran with my daughter and my hubs ran with our son. When our son was told to go, he went.  I have never seen him run so fast.

My daughter ran at her own pace – much slower.


At the end, they received the exact same medal.

So mom’s, be faithful in running your race.

Until next week,



Appearance: The Lesson from a Pumpkin

Daily Truth: “For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

I love the appearance of the collage pumpkins and mums  make on a doorstep. Their appearance marks the beginning of fall.  To me, they are some of the most beautiful fruit.    I mean, really, how many other fruit do we decorate our doorsteps with? (Yes, it is technically a fruit.)

There is one thing that I despised about pumpkins when I was a little girl – the guts!  I hated it when my dad would pull out a handful a pumpkin guts and try to get us dirty with it.  To me the insides were ooey, gooey, and slimy.

Then, we would have to rinse the pumpkin seeds of the stringy goo so that we could roast the seeds. We all enjoyed the seeds but to get to the good part you had to go through all the gross part!

I was thinking about that the other day when I was cleaning out the insides of some freshly cooked pumpkins.

I had gone with my boys on their field trip to the pumpkin patch.  My youngest picked out a perfectly shaped pumpkin.  My older son picked out a pumpkin with some marks on it. I picked out one with some mud on it but I could tell it was a good one.P1070261

My middle son couldn’t believe that I would pick a dirty one until he started wiping the dirt off in the hay of the wagon.  Slowly, as the dirt was rubbed away, he saw what I had seen.  He took one look at his marked up pumpkin and decided he wanted mine.

When you looked at the outward appearance of our two pumpkins, my was definitely a 10.  However, when I cut them open, the insides were both consistent of that ooey, gooey mess.

It reminded me of Jesus talking to the pharisees. The pharisees were so concerned about their outward appearance that they didn’t bother to take care of what was inside.

In fact, the Savior used rather forceful language to describe them (Matthew 23:27).  He compares the pharisees to whited sepulchres – beautiful on the outside but full of dead bodies.

Fast forward to the 21st century.  Appearance is a big deal in our time.  Let’s face it – we are bombarded with magazines, commercials, billboards, etc on how to improve our appearances.  Yet, I don’t see too many magazines, commercials, or billboards on how to improve our inside – our heart.

Why is that?  Ummm – hello – nobody can see it!

Don’t get me wrong, your appearance does say a lot about you.  Remember, God told Samuel that man looks on the outward appearance.  We can’t help it, we’re human. However, that shouldn’t be our focus.

Our outward appearance is not the most important part of our appearance.  God doesn’t see how well we dress or if we have the latest fashion or if our house looks like something out of Pottery Barn.  Instead God looks at our heart.  He knows every thought, motive, concern that we have.  He sees our heart.

There are a myriad of examples in the Bible where God looked on the heart and not the outward appearance.  One last example is given to us in Luke 7.

Go back to those whited sepulchre pharisees.  One woman, the Bible calls her a sinner, heard that Jesus was eating at one of these pharisee’s homes.  She brings a bottle of ointment, about a years worth of wages, and walks right into this pharisee’s home.

She then does the unthinkable.  She washes Jesus feet with the ointment and her tears and then washes them with her hair.  Jesus looked past her outward appearance and looked right into her heart.

Moms, as we raise our children we need to be more concerned with their heart than their appearance.

So how do we use the pumpkin to teach our little ones about God looking on the heart.

1.  Believe that I am a sinner and that Jesus died for my sins. (Romans 3:23, John 3:16, Acts 16:31)

2.  God has to clean our hearts from sin.  (I John 1:9, Psalms 51:10)

3.  Sometimes it isn’t pleasant but God has to scoop out all the sin to help us make our hearts match our outward appearance. (Psalms 51:7)

So, as you clean out the inside of your pumpkins this year, take the time to teach your own little “pumpkins” the lesson you can learn from a pumpkin:  Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.

Until next Wednesday,



Pumpkin Delight: Yummy Pumpkin Recipes

Daily Truth: “To everything there is a season.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

As I promised last week, this week I am going to post some pumpkin recipes that are easy and you can do with your kiddos.

I am not a great cook, nor do I always enjoy it.  My sister – on the other- hand can make anything taste AMAZING!  Needless to say, the easier, the shorter, the quicker, the better and these recipes meet that criteria!

I have found that one of the ways to encourage my kids to eat dinner is to have them help prepare the meal.  Now, I don’t do this every time.  My sanity won’t allow it.  But every once in awhile, they do help and enjoy helping in the preparation of a meal.

This was the case with Pumpkin Chili.  My youngest son was so proud of the fact that he “made” dinner “all by himself”  that he ate 2 helpings of the chili.  Now you have to understand, he is my most difficult eater.  Under normal circumstances, Pumpkin Chili would have been a dinner time  – ummm – issue shall we say.

So here is the recipe,

Pumpkin Chili

1 cup chopped onion 

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1 clove minced garlic

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed ( You can also use 1 lb of turkey meat.  Just brown it before putting it in the crock pot.)

1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 1/2 TBLS chili powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream ( I used plain Fage Greek yogurt)

Throw everything into the crock pot except the cheese and sour cream.  Mix.  Cover and set on low.  Cook 4-5 hours.  Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.


I served this with a tortilla chips and corn. Another note, I like my soups a little thicker.  Just add about 2 cups of noodles the last hour of cooking. This is an easy recipe to double and freeze for another meal.

The other night we had homemade pizza.  I had gotten pumpkin pasta sauce from the Fresh Market and wanted to try it.  So, I made a small pizza for me with the pumpkin pasta sauce, topped it with shredded fresh spinach, chopped mushrooms, goat cheese, and basil.  Super yum!!


Since I was on this pumpkin kick I had to try this pumpkin bar recipe I found.  This is incredibly easy and much healthier for your family than the “normal” version.


OK. So, the picture doesn’t do it justice,  But believe me, you’ve GOT TO TRY THESE!!!

Grain-Free Pumpkin Bars

1/2 c pumpkin puree

1/2 c maple flavored almond butter (Regular almond butter works as well)

1/3 c honey

2 eggs

2 tsp pumpkin spice

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8×8 pan.  Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer into greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly brown and center is firm.  Cool.  Cut.

To add extra yumminess to this recipe, top with a maple glaze.

Maple Glaze

3/4 c almonds (pecans work too)

1/4 c maple syrup

2 TBLS coconut oil

1/4 c water

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth or creamy.

Verdict:  The kids inhaled these.  Their only complaint was that they were so small! (I cut them into 16 servings – call me stingy!)

To finish my pumpkin food yumminess I had to try this Pumpkin Granola recipe.  Another fantabulous (fantastic + fabulous) recipe.  This was super yummy on top of warm homemade apple sauce!


Pumpkin Granola

1/4 c uncooked Quinoa (find this near the rice section in your grocery store)

1 1/2 c rolled oats

1/4 c ground flaxseed

1/4 c sunflower seeds (or any type of seed)

1/4 c walnuts (pecans or almonds work too)

1/2 c dried cranberries (or raisins)

1/4 c REAL maple syrup (or honey)

1/4 c pumpkin puree

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp pumpkin spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spread quinoa and oats on parchment lined baking sheet.  Toast for 10 minutes, stirring once.  Remove oats from oven.  Pour in a bowl and add flaxseed, sunflower seed, walnuts, and cranberries.

Reduce oven to 300 F.

In another bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and stir until well mixed.  Pour over oats and combine well.  Spread back onto baking sheet and bake another 20 minutes.


These are just a few ideas to cook up with your kids.  As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season.”

Have you ever read through Ecclesiastes 3?  I encourage you to do so.  Solomon pretty much sums up every possible phase of life we go through.  When you take the time to ponder Ecclesiastes 3, you are reminded of the depth of life we live as well as it’s brevity.

So, enjoy this season with your little pumpkins.

Now I must brace myself before 8 hands “help” me with dinner!

Until next Wednesday,