Friday, April 26, 2013

Update on "Making Deodorant" post

Here is my update on how my homemade deodorant is working out:

It's been over a month, and I am STILL smelling fresh!  I am really impressed because usually my deodorants all work the first while I use it, but then stop.  Not this stuff though!  Coconut oil is seriously a secret weapon for making all sorts of things!  (I just found another recipe I want to try for non-toxic bug spray.  Stay tuned for all the details) :-)

Two thumbs up for this Deodorant recipe!  A HUGE thanks to!

My only heads-up for you, if you are going to try this, would be sure to have a short jar to store it in (like Katie suggests)!  I didn't have one, so I used an old honey jar.  Since it hardens, I have to scrape it out each day to apply with my finger tips.  In a short jar, you could probably just use your finger tips to loosen it up in order to apply.  I'm not sure how it would work in a reused deodorant container since it hardens, but if you try it, leave comments and let me know!

Also, since it needs to be applied with finger tips, sometimes you'll just need to give yourself a little more time to apply.  The nice thing is that you don't have to let it dry!


August 2013 (that's right, I didn't need to make more for 5 MONTHS!)
For my second round of deodorant-making, I used what Katie Riddle suggested, an old, cleaned out deodorant container.  The kind that I think works best is from a hard deodorant stick because it has the twisty wheel at the bottom to push up the deodorant stick. Here is what is looks like-

Home made deodorant in an old deodorant container

It was quite messy when I was putting the deodorant mixture into this container.  Once it was in, or at least most of it, I put the container in the fridge because we don't run our air conditioning constantly at our house.  The fridge helps it apply a little easier.  Whenever you need to raise the level on the top, just leave it out of the fridge over night and push it up in the morning, then apply, and put back in the fridge.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

My Mom just left my house today (March 4th) and before she left, she anointed me with oil.  This is the thought that came to mind---My own Mom sees me as a daughter of the Most High and treats me as such.  What humility it takes to own the fact that you're own kid is not actually yours, but God's first.  She does not take credit for my intimate relationship with Christ...which she has absolutely had an influence over.

Having a parent look at me and treat me as a Child of God, and not just their own child, is something that blesses me the older I get.  Maybe it's because I am feeling less like a kid, or maybe it's because I am feeling more like a kid with age.  Whatever the case may be, that is something I am realizing is rare...when Mom and Dad see you as God's kid and not just their own kid.

I have learned so much from my Mom through my life.  It was from my Mom I learned about how the Bible can be used to be relevant in our everyday lives.  One memory that always comes to mind is when I was in high school in California.  It was the furlough that we stayed for 2 years so that I could finish my last two years and so that my Mom could finish her Masters Degree.  In this time I was having a hard time with some of the students on my bus; they were so different from my friends in Ireland who respected me and my life (being a Christian).  I told my Mom about it all, and the next day she came back with a little piece of paper with scriptures on it...and a note reminding me that being naive towards evil and behaving in a wise manner towards those outside the Christian circle was what we as Believers were called to do.  This lesson I still hold on to and live by even all these years later.

I still have that little piece of paper.  It reminds me that my Mom is one of my biggest fans.  That's the kind of Mom I want to be.  For my kids to always know that I am cheering them on; in good times and hard times.  And as most of you know, we've had both.

Today is my Mom's birthday and I wanted to take this time to honour her.  Something that I have often thought about since my Dad died is how grateful I am that I didn't lose both of my parents that day.  Since Dad died, I have reminded myself to be intentional about being grateful for my Mom as well.  I don't want to lose sight of the fact that I still have her even through the loss experienced of losing my Dad was and is so great.

As I have grown older, my Mom has become one of my best friends.  We went through a few years when I was younger when my Mom was the LAST person I ever wanted to see or talk too.  It all changed, literally in a moment.  And ever since that moment, my heart towards my Mom has been different.  God did a work in my life and I chose to embrace His softening of my heart and allow my Mom to be a part of my life.  It hasn't been easy.  I was the one that changed and took steps towards building our relationship.  Mom was gracious enough to wait for me.  We have had to really fight for our relationship.  After everything we have experienced in these last almost 2 years, I know God was forging our relationship to be able to withstand the pain we've gone through recently. 

I am blessed to have a Mom that wants the best for me...and that she is willing to let me go and grown and have adventures of my own when I'm sure there were times she didn't want to.  She has taught me how to be a beautiful woman.  Not just on the outside, which let's all admit, she's GORGEOUS! :-)  But she has taught me how to embrace Christ's love as a woman of God and to not be ashamed to walk in that beauty.  I am honoured to have a Mom like Ann Dimond.  I know I am blessed and never want to take that for granted.

My prayer is that I love and treat my daughter how my Mom has loved and treated me.

Lastly, I'll leave you with some stunning pictures of some special memories of my Mom and me.

A few of my favourite pics of mostly Mom and me :-)

Dear Mom,

Thanks for being my best friend.  Thank you for being my Mom too.  I know we have been through a lot that has helped mold our relationship and I am just so overwhelmed at times of how you have embraced all that through the years.  Thank you for showing me what a beautiful Daughter of the Most High looks and acts like.  Thank you for being honourable.  Thank you for showing me what an incredible wife looks like and mother.  I know you think you didn't get it "right" all the time...but I had and have the privilege of seeing you as you walk that journey.  Thanks for showing me what a strong and humble woman looks like.  That is very rare to see strength and humility, so thank you for that.  I love you.  I'm excited for the years to come that we get to share together :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

2 Kings 15-17

What catches me is this week's reading is an accumulation of what we have been reading the last several weeks--Israel's sin again God.

Time and time again, Israel didn't turn away from ALL their sin.  Whether it was worshiping at high places, participating in rituals of other nations that God had driven out before them, or secretly doing things against God, they kept on sinning.  They continued to do just as they did before God saved them and continued to do things that God continued to tell them to stop doing.  I see over and over again in these chapters how the people didn't fully turn back to God.  The people may have thought "but I've stopped doing the really bad things against God, I'm sure these small things aren't a big deal."  We see that God wanted all of them, not just parts of them; He wanted their hearts along with their actions.  Because they did not give Him all of themselves, or turn from their wickedness, the scripture tells us God was very angry with them and removed them from his presence (17:18)...they were then taken into exile.  Even when they were in exile, they tried to do what God had commanded, but still, they worshiped other Gods as well.

That's the same today.  God wants all of us...not just some of us.  He wants us to tear down all our high places, not just some of them, or the "really" bad ones.  And this could look different for all of us.  Our high places all look different from one another, but God still wants all of them destroyed in our lives so He can have all of us, not just parts.  We see that when God gave them His commandments, it was to keep the people safe, not just to be a stickler for the rules.

Ask the Lord what high places you may be preserving in your life.  Ask Him to help you tear them down.  He wants all of you, and loves ALL of you enough to give you the strength, encouragement and the gusto to tear them all down.  He wants all of you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2 Kings 11-14

Chapter 13

I have another short Thought for this week. What struck me in this section of our reading was the Mercy of God. The author tells us that Jehoahaz did evil in the eyes of Yahweh... "So Yahweh's anger burned against Israerl, and for a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad his son. Then Jehoahaz sought Yahweh's favour and Yahweh listened to him, for he saw how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Isreal" (vs 3-4). The author goes on to tell us how God provided a deliverer for Israel and freed them from Aram's oppression. They were able to live in their own cities.

Even though Jehoahaz did evil in God's eyes, God had mercy and delivered him and his people when he sought the Lord. How encouraging is it to know, that God's love for us is so deep that He will come to our rescue when we call...even if we've been doing evil in His sight. Now that is not to say we can do whatever we want and then just apologize or ask for God to help us later. No, it means that whenever we truly seek Him...we find Him. I love that He is the God we serve!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

2 Kings 8-10

I want to discuss obedience again as the opening section of chapter 8 highlights a great example. We read of the Woman in chapter 8 previously in chapter 4 where Elisha had healed her son. Elisha gives her a word from the Lord telling her to leave:

1Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” 2The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years.

So the Woman spent 7 years in a foreign land and returned. The Lord was faithful to her as all her property was returned to her that she had abandoned 7 years earlier:

6The king asked the woman about it, and she told him.
Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”

This woman chose to obey the voice of the Lord and left to a foreign place. Famine was widespread in her homeland and she left for an unknown land. Her story has some similarities to a lot of our own stories. We may not have left our home because of famine but most of us left for somewhere foreign because our family obeyed the voice of the Lord. What's great about this story is what the Lord restored to the woman. Not only did she receive the land she left behind but also all the money/income she would have made from her crops.

Obedience is so important in our relationship with God. Often our obedience means we sacrifice something. The woman sacrificed her home and her livelihood. We often have sacrificed friendships or material things when we've followed the voice of the Lord. More importantly was that we chose to listen and act on what the Lord spoke to us. By putting God first the woman sacrificed but the Lord restored what was lost more abundantly. If you're concerned about things you've missed out on don't dwell on whats gone before but focus on the opportunities that are ahead in the knowledge that the Lord is with you. 

Written by Philip Day

Monday, April 8, 2013

Farther Along...

I was introduced to this Artist a few months ago by my Mom.  His name is Josh Garrels.  My Mom shared this song with me regarding everything we've gone through in losing my Dad.  Somehow this song crossed my path again this week and I am so blessed every time I listen to it.  I hope it touches you and reminds you that presently, we only see through the glass day, all will be clear.  I'm looking forward to that day.  But for now, I know that God is faithful and always in control.

I like this version the best because it has lyrics and gorgeous pictures from nature;  
I always feel closer to God and my Dad when I'm outside.


Farther Along

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home

So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
And wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright


Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levee and my bluff
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of god is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon



from Love & War & The Sea In Between, released 15 June 2011
Vocals, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Dobro, Electric Guitar, and Drum Sequencing by Josh Garrels
BGV by Annalisa Nutt
Accordion and Bass by Jay Kirkpatrick
Electric Guitar 2 by Scott Frantz

Monday, April 1, 2013

2 Kings 5-7

It's fun reading these chapters because Dan & Louie tell so many stories from these pages.  Dan and Louie tell Bible stories to kids.  I've been listening to them since I was about 5 years old...and STILL love them (and listen to them, lol)!

Anyway, I want to focus on how strategic God is.  We really get to see this in chapters 6 and 7.  I want to mainly talk about Chapter 6.  Starting in vs 8 we read about the King of Aram's contempt towards the Kind of Israel and the Prophet Elisha.  The King of Aram sends a portion of his army to capture Elisha.  What does God do?  He sends a portion of His fiery army to protect Elisha!  I get so excited reading vs 16-19 because after the Arameans tried capturing Elisha, they were struck with blindness and Elisha led them right into the middle of Samaria where the King of Israel and his army were!  But instead of killing them all, God told the King to feed them.

Because the King obeyed and fed the Arameans, it says the army of Aram stopped raiding Israel's territory (vs 23.).

How cool!  This reminds me of what Jesus instructed in the New Testament--to love your enemies and do good to those that curse you (Luke 6:27).  The King wanted to kill the Arameans, but God knew it would be better to show this mercy to them instead.  As a result of this mercy, the raiding stopped for a time.  God knows the best strategy for living our lives, even if it seems like His way doesn't make sense...which I'm sure for the King of Israel, feasting with his enemies didn't make sense. But the outcome from this was far better I'm sure than if he were to have killed them all...which would have made more sense.  Having a strategy means also that God is intentional about being involved in our lives.

God has a strategy, a plan, for your life.  Sometimes it doesn't make sense but trust that He always knows best and knows what will happen.  He is intentionally investing into your life.  Hold on to His word and direction even if you, or others, don't understand or see the point of it.  He will bring you through and it will be the best outcome because He has your back and desires good things for you (Psalm 84:11)!