Posted by: hugapoohlouise | April 26, 2015

Where have I been? Where am I going?

Where have I been?  You ask.  I apologize.  I took a short break from blogging to be with my family and to work on some health issues that popped up in my life.

Most of my readers know I started a journey in May 2014 to change my life according to God’s plan.  I looked in the mirror one day at Walmart no less and realized that I was very overweight and I was not being a good steward of my body for the glory of God.  That is why I am on this earth to bring God the glory, that is my ultimate goal and like everything else I try to do in my self or flesh I failed miserably.  If you know me, know me at all, you know I hate absolutely hate to sweat.  Yuck right?  Well, living in the sunshine state any outside time results in sweat.  So I bit the bulletin in May and got off the sofa.  I had grand plans about exercising, what I failed to take in account was how long I had been lazy and not moving.  Let’s just leave it as it wasn’t as easy as it sounds.  I think the first day I was able to do 10 minutes of walking.  10 minutes I kid you not.  I thought I was going to die.  But you know what?  I didn’t and I did it again the next day and the next day and so on.  Until I made it up to a mile.  Then came two miles, three miles and four.  I won’t lie to you it was not easy.  Someday’s I dreaded getting out of bed because I knew I had to exercise if I was going to take care of my body.

I am not a doctor, nurse or any kind of health care professional so what worked for me may not for you.  I did seek a doctor’s approval before I started.  The only thing that I actually gave up was soda or for my northern friends pop.  When I realized that each and every soda I drank throughout the day cost me 3 miles worth of walking to burn the calories, I gave it up cold turkey.  Which if you know me was not an easy thing.  I love Coke.  I love sweet tea.  I still do, but I want to put something in my stomach that is more substantial than just liquid if I am going to run my little butt off to get rid of it.

In December, me and my daughter walked/ran our first 5K and I have to say I am addicted to 5K’s.  I can’t get enough.  I search the internet daily for the next one.  We are considering a glow run in May for me and the three girls.

As of todays date, I’ve lost 32 pounds and six sizes.  I don’t take selfies so don’t even ask.  It is not about me, it is about Him who gave me the strength to put one foot in front of the other day in and day out.  I’ve had some setbacks, with illness and health problems, but I am still putting one foot in front of the other.  I’d love to hear your story, please share.

So that is where I’ve been for sometime, out walking, biking or running at least three times a week.

Until Next Time,

M

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | April 23, 2015

Happy Birthday – Madison! Showering you with love

Well, today my middle baby turns 12 years old.  Wow, where did the time go.  But honestly, I have to say I enjoyed every second, minute, hour and day with you.  Your my middle child, you are the one who reminds me of the injustice in the world, you are the one who keeps me towing the line, because if I slip your there with your huge blue eyes looking into mine.  You remind me that I hold a piece of your heart within me, but I only have a few years to hold your hand and then I have to let go.  Let go of this child of mine and let you out into this corrupt, evil world.  You remind me how important it is to lay a good foundation.  The foundation that begins and ends with Jesus Christ our Savior.  Without it, my child, I would have failed to point your to the cross and all that Jesus did for you before you were born.

I love you with all my heart, love so deep that sometimes it hurts, I know you understand what I mean as you have the tenderest heart of any child I’ve met in my vapor of a life.  I pray that you’ll look to the Lord and Jesus when your heart is hurt, I pray that you’ll look to His Word when the world has let you down or those you love have.  There was only one perfect that walked this earth and that is Jesus, so yes my child you will have pain, heartache, suffering and trials, but you are not alone.  He is with you at all times, sometimes mommie and daddie can’t be there, but Jesus is, one breath a way from you.  Call on His name, cry out to Him, He has promised to hear and answer you.

I hope you had the best birthday ever and we celebrated the day that God entrusted us with such a precious gift.  I’ve failed, your dad has failed and I am sure there are others who have failed you.  But, child of God, He will never fail you.  I pray that you remain faithful as your days turn into years and I pray that you draw closer to God each and every second.

Me and your dad love you to pieces, Happy Birthday, Madison

Until Next Time,

M

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | March 11, 2015

Mission Accomplished by Scott James

Mission Accomplished by Scott James

mission-192x300A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional

 What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Easter?  In my mind I think of the Ultimate Sacrifice by  Jesus Christ on the Cross, I think of Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, families gathering together in church and later for a meal at home.  If you are like me most Lent or Easter devotionals are too much for a family.

I am already running in 6 million directions, being a Child of God, Wife, Mother, Employee, HOW can I add one more thing to my life without it crumbling to the ground.  But, then the guilt sets in…. I should be teaching my children more about Easter, Christ, Lent, etc.  But how?

I have a solution for you.  Mission Accomplished by Scott James.  A devotional the whole family can do without added hours of study to your already busy schedule.  I recommend it to anyone.  A large family, a small family, and it works well with children of any ages.

The simplicity of the design of Mission Accomplished carries over into you life as you read.  Creating peace instead of chaos.  It is so simply that anyone can use it.  It is set to begin on Palm Sunday and carry through for two-weeks.  Each day is a separate devotional.  Another thing that I really liked about this book was the illustrations.  So powerful and simple at the same time.  They really cause you to see the message being conveyed.

Don’t let the simplicity or smallness of this book fool you.  It is power packed with the Good News.  The goal of these devotions is to help you lead your family on Jesus’ last days on earth understand the powerful news of his death, resurrection and ascension.  You’ll spend two-weeks walking with Jesus as he finishes the mission given to Him by God the Father.

For each of the fourteen devotions you can use your Bible and the book as a model for family worship.  Each devotion includes a Bible passage to read together, notes to help you dissect the passage with your children, think about it questions and answers to guide you in your discussion.  There are suggestions for prayer and each devotion could take you between ten and twenty minutes depending on how deep you want to go.  You can gauge this by your children’s reaction, are they bored?  Are they excited?  Feed My sheep.

 Don’t worry about whether you are doing it the right way the author shares in the introduction that worship looks different in each different house.  Focus on engaging your family in the most important truths from God’s own Word.

Until Next Time,

M

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL PROVIDED:  I received a copy of this promotion from New Growth Press for promotional purposes.  I was not compensated for this review, nor was I required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.  So please enjoy.  This post contains NO affiliate links. 

I pray that each of you were blessed by the review of Dance With Jesus From Grief to Grace by Susan B. Mead.  Especially if grief has touched your lives.  This is a once in a lifetime book, one that you will return to over and over again, so if you did not win, don’t be discouraged just stop by Amazon or Barnes and Nobles or wherever you buy your books and pick up your own copy.

I don’t know about you but I am Dancing with Jesus!

Now without further ado, the winner of their very own signed copy of Dance With Jesus From Grief to Grace is…

enthusiasticallydawn 

You have three days to contact me via email with your full name, mailing address.  IF you do not respond within 3 days, I will select another winner.

Until Next Time,

M

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | February 20, 2015

Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace! Review

MeadDance_JesusCVR
Have you ever experienced the loss of someone, someone close to you?  According to Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace author Susan B. Mead everyone experiences grief differently.   After all we were all created individually, separately and different by God.  Are you stuck in grief?  Have you come out on the other side?  If you need help whatever phase you’re in on the grief journey then this is a book you must read.  It is one you must buy extra copies and keep with you for just the right time to give to those we love.

Susan B. Mead has written a book I wish I had when I lost my mother in 2006.  My mother as you know committed suicide at the age of 75 years old.  I am a suicide survivor.  I honestly believe after reading this book that if this book was available when I was grieving that my grieving process would have been glorifying to the Lord, productive and I would have moved from brokenness to joy in a timely manner.  Instead of getting stuck for 6 months in the first step of grieving.  I am definitely holding on to this book.  Who knows what lies ahead and I know the Lord will use this book in a mighty way in the life of those it comes into contact with.

This book moved me in ways that are very hard to put into words.  First of all it is a quick read.  One or two pages for each chapter.  I absolutely loved the questions at the end of each chapter.  I am a journaler and I used the questions to journal with my three kids so we could remember their grandmother and my mother and all the memories I have swirling around of her in my heart and mind.  I also used the questions to journal things for my kids to read at a later date.  Little keepsakes, mementos if you will.  Things that I think I will always remember but find I am forgetting more and more of.  As someone who has experienced grief firsthand, I know how distracted you can be as you walk through the loss of someone in your life.  This book is perfect, fits into your bag and you can take it everywhere with you.  It is easy to read and light in tone.  I would have loved to have a copy when the grief overwhelmed me on some days and all I saw was darkness.

I also adored that this book was light and heavy at the same time.  It gets to the heart of the matter of losing someone.  Susan B. Mead, lost her son, so she has walked the path of loss, grief and healing.  It comes from someone who has moved from brokenness to blessedness and you experience this with each carefully penned word.  The main point that comes across in the book is that people matter, all people.  You can feel the love that Susan B. Mead in Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace has for each reader.  Susan has graciously sent me an extra copy of her book to give away to one of my readers.  So if you know someone who could use this book, either someone who has lost someone or is losing someone, I would be honored to bless this person with a book.  Leave a comment telling me the name of the person and as briefly as possible why they need this book.  I will randomly draw a name on March 7th, 2015 at midnight and notify the winner here on the blog.

I encourage you to visit the website for Dance With Jesus:  From Grief to Grace!  I know Susan B. Meade would love to hear your story and to hear how you are dancing with Jesus.

Until Next Time,

M

I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers, subscribers.  Valentine’s is not a real big event in our home.  The girls celebrate at school with a party, candy and the exchange of pre-approved cards, but otherwise it is just another day in the Water’s household.

Except… for the sugar crash they experience about 6:30pm.

I’ve been sick since last Saturday, not quite sure with what, I call it the flu, the doctor’s are just scratching their heads.  The worst part has been the constant headache.  It just won’t go away, and I don’t want to live on pain meds so I found a quick fix.  Powerade.  Yep, I drink it real fast the whole container and I am headache free for a few hours.  Not sure why, but at this point I’ll take any relief I can get.

An update regarding the get healthy lifestyle.  I am down 32 pounds, which is a bummer because I can’t get warm.  I have been so cold for the past month and as you know I live in the Sunshine state where we really don’t have a winter.  I have lost 8 pant sizes!  Yep, started the journey May 2014 and ran my first 5K in December and continuing on each day.  I haven’t really changed the way I eat, just eating until I am full and quitting.  I did give up soda or for my Northern readers Pop.  But I still drink my coffee.   Black no calories.  Yum.

So tomorrow we celebrate the 14th birthday of our oldest child.  See previous post.  I love her wishes for her birthday.  To ride her horse and to shoot her bow and arrow.  Doesn’t give a mom much to go on, but we’ve tried to raise them not to be materialistic.

So have a Happy Valentine’s Day and share you love with someone else who may not have someone this holiday.

Until Next Time,

M

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | February 11, 2015

Happy Birthday to my oldest child… Happy Birthday to You!

This weeks marks my oldest daughters birthday.  She is turning 14 years old this week and we are celebrating her life.  We are celebrating the blessing she has been to us straight from the Lord.  We are celebrating that she is a Child of God.

Happy 14th Birthday, dear Savannah.  I pray that you have a blessed day.  Your birthday this year falls on Sunday.  What an honor and privilege to be able to spend the day of your birth in God’s house with God’s people.  A true celebration.  I am so thankful for you.  You almost weren’t.  Your mother who was living in sin chose not to have children.  Why you may ask?  Because I was selfish and filled with the flesh.  I didn’t want to share, I didn’t want to take care of another person and I definitely didn’t want to be a mother.  I saw what motherhood looked like in my own mother and friends and it was not a desire I had.  Until…..I met your dad and because of the Lord of His life Jesus Christ, I was persuaded.  I became a believer.  I accepted that I was a sinner and selfish and I knew there was nothing I could do to save my life, so I met Jesus… Thank God, right?  After, I met Jesus, I realized that I God had created me with a deep-seated desire to be a mother.  So I surrendered to Jesus and you were conceived.  But before you were conceived in my womb, God molded you, shaped you and planned your life.  He blessed me and your dad with you.  And what a blessing you have been to us.

You were such a blessing that not long after your birth, I longed for more children.  I wanted a whole house full.  Yep, that’s why you have two sisters.  You would have had more but it wasn’t in God’s plan for my life.  You were wise beyond your years the minute you were born.  You’ve always had wise eyes my child.  You listen with your soul not just your ears and you are tender-hearted and it is my prayer that your heart never becomes hard against anything but sin.

So I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday today and I pray that all your hopes, dreams come true as you get one year older this week.  I pray that you will seek Him first for all your decisions and I pray that His Word will be the guide for your feet.

Love Mom

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | February 3, 2015

2015 Refreshing, Fulfilling Bible Study

For the past six years I have been reading through the Bible each year.  It is only by the grace of Christ that I am able to complete this each year.  For the first three years I used a different translation each year to keep the reading fresh.  To see things from a different perspective.  To allow the Word of God to infuse my spirit and flow freely in my life.

The next to years I read through the Word of God chronologically.  If you’ve never done a chronological plan, believe me when I say try it.  It will truly amaze you.  The Word of God is alive and when you read chronologically it will jump off the page to you and refresh you daily.  You’ll see things that you previously missed.  You’ll understand more especially in the Old Testament.

This year, 2015, I decided to read through the Bible using my ESV Daily Reading Bible.  Through the Bible in 365 Days based on the popular M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan.  Sounds official doesn’t it?  The M’Cheyne Bible reading plan is basically a chapter from the Old Testament starting in Genesis and then a chapter from the New Testament beginning in Matthew.  On the same day you then read another Old Testament text starting in Ezra and finish off the day with Acts in the New Testament.  The M’Cheyne plan will take readers through the entire Bible in one year and through the Psalms and the New Testament twice.  I am in love with this plan.

But, one thing that has really made the ESV Daily Reading Bible come alive to me this year is I began successfully for the first time to mark my Bible as I read.  I’ve attempted Bible marking before only to become discouraged and quit.  It was too much work and it was taking away from the Word in my own life.  I was too concerned with using the right marking system, highlighter or pen and choosing the right colors and symbols and I missed out on the Big Story contained within the pages of the Bible.  So I quit.

Not this year.  I am currently using the Women Living Well Bible study and Courtney Joseph shared the SOAK method with us for the first time.  Never heard of it?  Me, either until this year.  The SOAK Bible study method consists of:

S=Scripture

O=Observation

A=Application and

K=Kneeling in Prayer

 Kind of similar to the SOAP method that has been popular for Bible study for years.  But the thing that brings the SOAK method to the forefront of Bible study is the Printable Bible Coloring Chart.  As I’ve shared above, I’ve tried Bible marking before and failed miserably.  Not this year.  The Good Morning Girls or Women Living Well Bible Coloring Chart is simple, easy and user-friendly.  It truly helped me to read God’s Word slowly and to retain what I read.  Sort of like Lectio divina.  You meditate on God’s Word as you read.  For me I read from my ESV Daily Reading Bible. I read the first passage from the Old Testament through once.  Then I grab my Bible highlighters.  Currently, I am using a mixture of highlighters, pens, twistable crayons and twistable colored pencils.  You can find a copy of the Printable Bible Coloring Chart on the Women Living Well website by clicking anywhere within this post on their name.

Prepare to be amazed.  I know I am.  I am only on the second month of reading and coloring, but I have truly discovered that this system works for me.  I don’t know if it is the slowly reading through more than once and then marking the items, but I am discovering things that I never before seen in God’s Word.  I’ve read through the Bible six times previous and before that read different chapters over and over.  It is awesome.  I am also journaling as I read the new things that have astonished me, the things that have convicted me, the new things that have stood out to me.  And I am loving it.  The Word is speaking to my heart.  I hear the words of God and they become alive, personal and yet part of a huge picture.  The focus is not so much on self, but on His Word and what He has to say. I am learning so much about God’s character and about the people contained within the pages of the Bible.  I just had to share this with you.

So if you are feeling a little parched.  Your time in the Word is no longer alive but feeling more like an  obligation than a desire, I challenge you to stop by and check out the SOAK method and the Bible coloring method and see for yourself.

Until Next Time,

M

Originally posted on Heart Du Jour by Dawn  be sure to stop by her blog and give her some feedback.

 

Welcome back to week four. I almost had to skip again this week–it has been rough here lately! We got hit by blizzard Juno, dumping a gorgeous three feet of fresh white snow on us–took two days to get dug out, then another before school and work schedules resumed. So I had an unexpected houseful and a schedule tossed to the wind. Then I got the news that a dear friend’s husband had passed away, the wake and funeral would be Thursday and Friday. I’d gotten absolutely nothing accomplished that I’d hoped to achieve all week, and another slice of time was cut away. But, I’m so glad I attended the service–such beautiful words remembering and honoring a most loved father, husband, grandfather…and it was just good to be in the company of my rowing/church family for the occasion as well.

So I determined to set aside all mail, lettering, and planner pursuits for the afternoon until I got my post written–all those things can wait just a little bit longer…I should have some time to play over the weekend (I hope, at least!) And we carry on with Chapter Four: Undeserving, Yet Unconditionally Loved.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I struggle a LOT with the whole feeling of being undeserving of God’s lavish love and grace. I have made mess upon mess of my life and yet He’s done nothing but shower me with His unlimited love, forgiveness, and bounty of blessings. I live it–every day in awe of all that God has given me. I don’t even remember to thank Him most of the time. Yet every day, new grace, more gifts, unbounded love.

Chapter Four explores the stories of David and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 4), and that of Paul. How King David bestowed grace on Jonathon’s crippled son for the sheer love of his childhood friend. Paul, consumed zealot, condemner, murderer of Christians given grace by God, turned apostle who couldn’t stop himself from preaching God’s love-from the depths of prisons, bound in chains. He lived to preach God’s grace to the rest of us until his last dying breath.

This gift is given freely. God does what He does by His grace. Because of this, I am what I am by the grace of God. He gets every ounce of credit for whatever good I am able to achieve. And just as God shapes us in His grace, we need to allow Him to be the One to mold those around us in HIS way (not ours). And since He gives us grace, we need to extend it to others, rather than trying to turn them into what we think they should be.

Grace is not something simply to be claimed, it is meant to be demonstrated. It is to be shared, used as a basis for friendships and drawn upon for sustained relationships.

“Grace focuses on who God is and what He has done and takes the focus (and credit) off ourselves. Yet it’s so easy to think we need to do something to earn or deserve God’s favor, as though grace is too good to be true.” -Jackie Hudson

In what ways have you experienced God’s grace in your life and relationships?

Do you find it difficult to let people be who they are? Why do you think this is so?

Do you find yourself being harder on family members or coworkers than you mean to be? In which of your relationships is this an issue?

Click here to listen to the chapter podcast.

Thanks so much for your patience with last week’s delay, and thank you for joining me again this week. I hope you’re getting as much from this study as I am. Please leave a comment below–I’d love to hear what you think so far! Have a great week–see you next Saturday for Chapter Five!

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | January 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Odyssey Adventure Club!

Special Birthday deals enclosed for Odyssey Adventure Club!  So don’t forget to read the whole post to reap the rewards as we help Odyssey Adventure Club celebrate their birthday.

adventures ody birthdayOdyssey Adventure Club turns one!  Can you believe it?  I can’t.  Since my kids start using Odyssey Adventure Club when I reviewed the product for Litfuse they have been accessing it daily and I love to hear them retell the stories to others, but to me too!  I love that they have a safe place they can go to learn more about the Bible.  So I couldn’t wait to share with you some of the specials that Odyssey Adventure Club is giving away for their birthday.

 

Did you make any resolutions or goals this year?  Perhaps you made personal resolutions, or maybe your goals are family-focused.  If one of your goals is to find your kids or grandkids a safe place online to have fun and to learn more about biblical truth, consider that checked off your to-do list!  The Odyssey Adventure Club is celebrating their first birthday, and to celebrate, they’re offering a special promotion!  But hurry this offer ends January 31, 2015.

The Odyssey Adventure Club is a safe, fun environment where children can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith-the perfect platform for your kids to explore while they’re stuck inside this winter.

Anyone who signs up during January (promo code: BIRTHDAY) will not only

receive their first month for only $5, but they will also get three Last Chance Detective

audio dramas and an Odyssey Adventure Club post signed by cast and crew members.

Members of the Odyssey Adventure Club receive:
  • 24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
  • A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
  • A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month’s episode.
  • On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
  • Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.
In the coming months, members will also be able to look forward to:
  • An exclusive, downloadable, cut-and-fold Odyssey character craft.
  •  In February, members can sneak a peek at the second Candid Conversations with Connie book.
Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.
So don’t delay this offer is only good until the end of January!  You can click on any Odyssey Adventure Club words within this post to be taken to their site to sign up for this amazing offer.
Until Next Time,
M
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade
Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  There are NO affliate links within this post.  I do not profit from you visiting the reviewed site  in any way.

 DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL PROVIDED:  I received a copy of this promotion from Litfuse for promotional purposes.  I was not compensated for this review, nor was I required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.  So please enjoy.  This post contains NO affiliate links. 

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