Devotional on the book of Esther

Have you read the book of Esther before? The whole thing, from beginning to end? Esther is one of my favourite books of the Bible. There’s so many things at play in this book. So I thought, how about doing a devotional on the book of Esther for you all?!?

I’ve never written devotionals before, but there is just so much in this book that jumps out and grabs you. I could’ve written for hours! But I chose to keep it to a 5 day devotional series so I’m not a nuisance in your inbox for the next 50 years 😊

The Book of Esther

I am so excited to release this to you in a few weeks! If you are already on my email list, you will be the first to receive it. If not, what are you waiting for?!? Sign up now so you don’t miss out!!

The overall theme to Esther (one of them at least) is the contrast between the lives of the guys with big egos vs the lives of guys who are humble. Through this 5 day study, we will look at things such as being an exile in a foreign land, what happens when our pride takes over, and looking at the question of does God need us for His purposes to be fulfilled. So much to cover!

Like I said I am thrilled to be able to share this with you all in the coming weeks. You do not want to miss out on this!

I hope and pray you can learn and glean as much from this book of the Bible as I did while praying through and writing this devotional.

Free devotional on the book of Esther

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list! You can be one of the FIRST to get your hands on a FREE copy of my devotional on the Book of Esther.

What are You Worth?

My kids are sick… both of them, but especially Lily. She’s got a chest infection and is on antibiotics and an inhaler. Last night as I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, listening to her cough, I was just overcome with how much I wanted to just take it away from her. I would take the cough and sniffles in a heart beat for her. That’s how much I love and value her, that’s how much she’s worth to me. What are you worth?

I was at church a few weeks ago, and the worship leader was talking about what our value is. Value is usually determined by how much someone is willing pay for an item. There are somethings I’ll spend a little more money on (I’m usually pretty frugal) because I value them more. Like I said, I highly value my daughter, my family in general. I would do anything for them. So, what are you worth?

Ultimate Sacrifice

You are worth so much, Christ paid His life for you!! His actual, physical life. And not just any death, a humiliating death on the cross. He literally took our place and gave his life for us. That’s how much you are worth to Him!

"But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

When Lily was born (check out her preemie story here) I was struck by just how big of a sacrifice this is. There I was, lying naked for all to see. I had my arms stretched out for IV’s and blood pressure cuffs. I was literally about to sacrifice my body for my daughter. In the next couple minutes they would start cutting me open to get my daughter out and save both of our lives. I know, it’s not an exact analogy, but that’s what was going on in my head as I was laying there. This was the biggest sacrifice I’ve ever made for someone.

And Christ’s sacrifice for us is so much more! I hope and pray you know how much He loves you and how much you are worth to Him. I pray that He is the one you look to when you are trying to figure out what your worth is. If you’re feeling down on yourself, feeling like you can’t keep up or live up to expectations, remember your worth! Remember what Christ paid for you and live in light of that! You are so loved and treasured.

Moving Forward

I wonder what our lives would look like if we really believed how much we are worth. We can have so much confidence and self worth in Christ. If we knew or understood how much Christ paid for us, I think we would all just live in so much more joy and happiness and thanksgiving! I want to live like that! And I can because of Christ’s sacrifice!

"Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living." Job 28:13

What are your thoughts on this? How do you think your life would look if you truly knew how much Christ thinks you are worth and valued? Would it look different?

What are You Worth?

4 Dangers of Being too Busy

Have you ever took on too much? Said yes to too many things or too many people? That’s what I did this month. Maybe I got a little too gung-ho about it being a New Year with a new start. I said I’d participate in 3 book clubs, made some big goals and plans for my blog including writing a devotional on the book of Esther (stay tuned to sign up for that in the next few weeks!!), took on a pretty difficult crochet project and decided to do a new wellness program. Oh yeah… and as if that’s not enough, we’re moving next month!! Busyness!! But there are many dangers of taking on too much! Here are my top 4 Dangers of being too busy.

4 Dangers of Being too Busy

1. Burnout

I’ve been there… I’ve reached the end of myself and burnt out. I know God wants us to reach the end of ourselves in order for Him to do His work, but there’s a difference to surrendering that and working ourselves dead to the bone. I’ve seen others go through burn out as well and it’s tough. Sometimes, we have to make really hard decisions to take care of ourselves and avoid burning out.

When we first decided it was time for my Dad to move into a nursing home (due to his Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease) my mom was nearing burn out. She was his full time care giver and he required 24/7 care. That’s a lot for one person to do. My siblings and I tried to help as much as we could, but she was with him the most, so most of it fell on her plate. It was time for him to go into a care home, but it was still a hard decision. It was the right decision, and I believe it helped my mom avoid burnout.

Girl with hands on face by computer- 4 Dangers of Being too Busy.

2. Exhaustion/Insomnia

Staying up late to finish up a project, getting up early to get a head start. Burning the candle at both ends. It’s a dangerous thing! Sleep is so important to our health. Our bodies need that time to rest and be restored. Here’s a WebMD article outlining 9 Surprising Benefits of Sleep. Hello decreased hunger! That alone is worth it for me (I can be a bit of a stress eater.) I know too, at least for me, when I have a lot to do, my mind races at night. Rather than getting a good nights sleep, I’m planning out my schedule for the next day, or thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong, or trying to remember what that guy on that TV shows name was. My mind will do anything but sleep when it’s overworked and overtired! It’s a never ending cycle of tiredness!

3. Short Temper

When I have too much to do, the people around me who mean the most to me get the worst of me. I’m either so tired (see #2 on the list) or so consumed by what I have to do, that heaven forbid you interrupt me! Even if you are my 3 year old daughter asking me to play with you. I get short tempered and I yell more than I like or want to. Not just my kids, but my husband doesn’t get the best of me either. I’m so busy trying to complete everything on my to-do list that I end up with no time for him. It’s not fair to anyone, and it just makes me feel guilty in the end (which is another thing I’ll be thinking about at night now!)

4. Paralysis

I don’t mean physically, although I’m sure with enough stress you probably could become paralyzed. I mean when you sit there looking at all the things you want to accomplish and you just don’t know where to start! It’s easy to get so overwhelmed by everything that you never really get anything done! Fear can also be our worst enemy in these situations. It can be so paralyzing. Fear that we won’t be good enough if we don’t accomplish what we set out to do, fear of what others think about us, fear of failure, even fear of success. These are all things that can paralyze us and leave us completely ineffective. So, instead of getting a few things crossed off your list, you get nothing done.

Scrabble letters spelling out Fear

So, I know I need to watch myself. I know I need to get my sleep and say no once in a while. I hate when I say yes to something only to realize I can’t actually do it. I’ve had to drop 2 of the book clubs I was reading with just to avoid burning out.

What are somethings you do to avoid the dangers of being too busy? What do you do when you reach a level of busyness that is too much for you?

4 Dangers of being too busy

The Liebster Award

I am so honoured to have been nominated for the Liebster award by Elizabeth Auwarter of the Recovering Perfectionist. I connected with her a few months ago when I wrote a guest post for her blog (you can read it here).

Basically, this award is for great bloggers to recognize other great bloggers. “Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

How the Liebster Award Works

-Thank the person who nominated you in your post.
-Answer the questions from your nominator.
-Pick your nominees.
-Display the Liebster Award on your blog.

My Answers:

  1. What inspires you to write? God and my kiddos
  2. What is your favorite part of blogging? The art of writing. Seeing a post come together is really cool. I have a rough idea in my head of what I want to say, but sometimes it goes in a completely different direction!
  3. Who are your three favorite authors and why? I don’t know if I could just pick 3! I just really love reading, doesn’t really matter to me who has written it!
  4. When was a time you failed, and how did you get back up? I fail daily! This has especially been evident to me since becoming a Mom. But, God is gracious and compassionate and I need to learn to be gracious and compassionate to myself as well.
  5. What is your life motto? I don’t know if I have a life motto, but my word of the year for 2019 is Joy. So this year at least, I’m choosing to find joy in all I do.
  6. What was a book that inspired you/changed your life and how? Is it cheesy if I say the Bible? I can’t say any other book I’ve read stands out to me as life changing.
  7. Who is a blogger that inspires you and why? Becky Thompson of ScissortailSilk. I’d tossed around the idea of starting a blog before, in fact, I think I’d even started this one before reading her book “Hope Unfolding.” Reading that book really inspired me to go forward with my blogging trusting God would lead me along the way.
  8. If you could pursue any writing career, besides blogger, what would it be and why? I think journalism would be neat. But I’d probably like to write personal interest type articles.
  9. What are your five top things you are thankful for? God, my husband, my daughters, my family and health
  10. If you could be a brand ambassador for any any brand what would it be and why? Probably some shoe company! I have a slight obsession with shoes! (Just ask my hubby!)

Nominations:

I’m excited to nominate the following blogs for the Liebster award! You have to answer the following 10 questions! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

https://www.thebigfamilyhome.com/

https://iamthemoodymom.com/

https://lullabylark.com/

  1. What is your favourite book and why?
  2. Who inspires you in life and in blogging?
  3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? (money is no object)
  4. Who was your childhood best friend and are you still in touch with them?
  5. What is one thing you do every day just for yourself?
  6. How to you balance blogging and motherhood?
  7. What is your absolute favourite meal?
  8. If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  9. Do you have a guilty pleasure? What is it?
  10. Who is an artist (or a song) that you could listen to on repeat all day long?

Finding Joy in Cleaning Up

Joy

This year, I chose the word “JOY” as my word of the year ( Word of the Year 2019.) Well, it’s only a week in and I feel like the word is jumping out all over the place! Seriously, I’m seeing it everywhere; books I’m reading, shows I’m watching, random Facebook posts. It’s EVERYWHERE!! It’s like God said “Ok, you chose to word Joy, now I’m going to show it to you all over the place!! But, finding joy in cleaning up was not something I expected!

My Top 2019 Resolution- Word of the Year is Joy

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Recently, I started watching the Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” What an eye opener! The very first episode the husband is more bothered by the clutter and mess than the wife. The thing that keeps coming up in the show is, when looking at items of clothing, or collectables, or books, to ask yourself “Does it spark Joy?”

My husband and I have different expectations when it comes to being clean and tidy. It’s opposite of the “typical” gender roles. Pete likes things much more clean and organized than I would do for myself. Believe me, we’ve had our fair share of fights over the state of the kitchen (he’s usually right, but don’t tell him that!!) I just honestly sometimes don’t notice how chaotic it’s gotten, I guess I got used to it living on my own before we got married. And sometimes at the end of the day running after 2 toddlers, dishes are the LAST thing I want to do! Pete has told me multiple times, that getting rid of clutter would help decrease some of my stress. I always just sort of brushed it off. Honestly, until I watched this Netflix show, I never really understood how much it stressed him out.

In that first episode, the husband says that his family is not getting the best of him because he’s always stressed out about the clutter. Wow. I feel like I’ve been putting Pete through the same thing.

Finding Joy in Cleaning Up

We are moving next month into a smaller place than we have now. Now is the PERFECT time to start de-cluttering and finding joy in it at the same time (seeing as Joy is my word of the year!) Yesterday, I went through the majority of my clothes. Each item I looked at and asked if it brought me joy. I have a garbage bag to bring to the thrift store. There were things I was just holding on to for no real reason! If the only items I have in my closet are things that bring me joy, I’ll be able to feel joyful in what I’m wearing every day rather than being overwhelmed by choices and not knowing what to wear. The next thing I want to tackle is books!

Finding Joy in Cleaning - mopping the kitchen

I never considered how keeping a tidy, uncluttered house would bring joy to our family. But, I can see it now. Sparking joy in my husband and having him less stressed will help me in finding joy in tidying up. Bringing him joy brings me joy! Not having as much “stuff” makes it easier to keep things clean. So, unless something brings me joy, why keep it? We have a coffee table downstairs that was my family’s when I was growing up, so I have a sentimental attachment. I asked myself last night, does it bring me joy? Not really.. I told Pete to sell it!

Marie Kondo

This lady is amazing! She even has her own YouTube channel with tons of tips including how to properly fold your laundry. I’ve been doing it wrong all along! the amount of room I saved in my drawers yesterday was amazing. And I can see everything without having to pull everything out. That brings me joy!

She also has a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I’ve downloaded it as an audio book and can’t wait to start listening to it!

I’d love for you to join me on this journey of finding joy in cleaning up. You can help keep me accountable! Does having a tidy house bring you joy? Are you less stressed out with a clean place to live?

Finding Joy in Cleaning Up - organized pantry

Word of the Year 2019

My Top 2019 Resolution- Word of the Year is Joy

New Years Resolutions

Do you set New Years Resolutions? I’m not a big resolution setting person, but I’m going to share my Word of the Year 2019 with you today!

I used to work in a few different gyms. January 1st was always the busiest day of the entire year. I would always laugh. What made January 1st different than any other day of the year? Why do we wait until a new year to set a resolution? By the 3rd week of January things would always die down and the majority of people started would quit coming in. So I’ve always found resolutions kind of silly because no one really keeps them!

Last year, I decided to make a bit of a resolution. I resolved to make God more prominent in my life and to actually believe in Him and what He says. 2018 was another rough year for us and I was really finding myself worrying and doubting too much and not believing God was who He said He was. So I started making conscious decisions to believe in Him and choose to trust Him.

I also really want to make sure my girls know who Christ is and how much He loves them. If I’m doubting and worrying so much, what does that show them? They can choose when they are older what they believe, but I at least want them to know Christ and be able to model my faith in Him to them.

What is a Word of the Year

So that brings me to this year! What is my top 2019 resolution? I have heard a lot of people lately talking about choosing a word for the year. The website My One Word describes choosing a word as “My One Word” is an experiment designed to move you beyond this cycle. The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD.” So this year, for my word of the year 2019, I have chosen JOY.

“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Choose Joy

I wrote about Joy as part of my Advent series. Week 2: The Secret to Joy this Christmas. Joy is something I feel has been lacking in my life recently. I find myself being grumpy a lot more than being joyful, yelling at my kids a lot more than I’d like to, not appreciating my husband as much as I should. I find myself focusing more on circumstances than on the One who walks through it all with me.

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

So, this year I am choosing joy. I am choosing Christ and the joy He brings. I already have the joy within me as a fruit of His spirit, now I just need to let that overflow into my life rather than looking elsewhere.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22 & 23

“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

So what is your word for 2019? What are you choosing this year? I’d love to hear from you and we can keep each other accountable!!

Word of the Year 2019

Happy New Year from my family to yours! Thank you for sharing so much of 2018 with me and I look forward to all 2019 has in store.

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