Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Not much in my closet is super new or necessarily of the "latest fashion" (except some fabulous Christmas gifts I received!) but I am choosing to "shop my closet," so to speak. It's fun to put together pieces in a new way or just to see what "new" outfits I can come up with.

Hopefully, it won't be too boring to see the same things again and again.

 jeans - Lauren Conrad Kohl's
shirt - Kohl's
sweater - Winner's (Canada)
shoes - Target
necklace - ILY Couture (via a fabulous deal I learned from Passion For Savings)

(Sorry this one is a little blurry)
jeans - Kohl's
shirt - Kohl's
vest - Target
boots - Steve Madden

This is what I'm wearing today. The temperature is 70F/21C right now! So I pulled out a few of my warmer weather clothes. We'll be back to sweaters in a day or two, hopefully with more snow on Friday!
tunic - H & M
leggings - Target
shoes - Payless
necklace and matching bracelet - Aeropostale
earrings - T J Maxx

Happy Wednesday! xo

pleated poppy

The Utter Relief of Holiness {Review + Giveaway}

My Review:
When I received the offer to review John Eldredge's newest book The Utter Relief of Holiness: How God's Goodness Frees Us From Everything That Plagues Us, I responded immediately. I knew this was a book I did not want to pass up. John Eldredge has had a deep impact on my life through three of his other books, Wild At Heart, Waking The Dead and Walking with God. I knew this new book would add to what I've learned and I am so thankful I had this opportunity to read and review it.

John starts out the book with Ephesians 1:4... 

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, 
God had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, 
to be made whole and holy by his love. (TM)

God's heart for us is restoration, holiness, wholeness. I have been broken by sin, but there is a way to live the life God created me to live. There is a way to know goodness in my own life. And isn't that something we all crave? Don't we all want to know and live goodness? Don't we want to know what Jesus had in mind when He said "I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)" (John 10:10 AMP)?

In this book, John spells out why Christians living today do not know more of wholeness and holiness in our lives. And he spells out how we can. It's possible. And it's God's heart for us. Isn't that so very exciting?! It's starts, of course, with repentance and renouncing my sin, renouncing the agreements I have made with the enemy. And it continues with loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, making Him my treasure. Then loving everyone else as I love myself. 

I love the way John writes. He gives real life examples of how people have struggled, what they pray to break off the sin, agreements and strongholds and the words I can use to do so in my own life. It's so practical and absolutely applicable for right now.

The Utter Relief of Holiness is a profound book that I hope you will not miss.

Right now Ransomed Heart is offering a fabulous deal on this one, get one FREE. Buy one and get one to give to someone else! 

Giveaway Details:
And guess what?! I have one copy to giveaway!!! To enter for a chance to win a copy of The Utter Relief of Holiness, please leave one comment below telling me if you've read any of John's books and which one you enjoyed/learned from the most. And if you have never read any of his books, no worries, just say so. Also, please include your email address so that I have a way to contact you if you win. Giveaway is open to US and Canada and will close February 8, 2013 at 11:59pm ET.

About the Author: John Eldredge has written 12 books, including Beautiful Outlaw and New York Times bestsellers Wild at Heart and Captivating (written with his wife Stasi). His books have sold more than 8 million copies. He is the Director of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. It has become a grassroots phenomenon with millions of followers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Inaugural Prayer Breakfast

From my husband:


At 3:30 am this past Monday, Inauguration Day, I started meeting and gathering with hundreds of colleagues from across the country to pray for our nation and the inauguration specifically.  I have three brief highlights I want to share.

1.        Native Americans – In a humbling and profound act of repentance and forgiveness, the descendants of the tribes who owned and settled the land before it became Washington D.C., officially forgave our English ancestors for mistreating and displacing their forefathers and “welcomed” everyone else to their original native land.

2.        The Voyage of the St. Louis – In 1939 the United States refused 900+ Jewish refugees from Europe who sailed on this ship seeking asylum in our country and were waiting just off the Florida coast.  We publicly repented and asked forgiveness this week from our Jewish friends who were in attendance. 

3.       Keynote speaker was Jonathan Cahn, author of The Harbinger.  He gave a clarion call and urgent message of repentance for the church and the nation in light of the cloud of judgment that has already started.

As always, thanks for your partnership in helping us mobilize our country to prayer and repentance.  It is a privilege to be here in the nation’s capital.


Bob Royce
Mobilization Coordinator
Intercessors for America
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
540-317-2097 Direct

Weekly Menu Plan {28 January}

I'm a little late in posting this today. We've had a busy and enjoyable few days with my Mom and Uncle G visiting, although my Mom has not felt well the whole time. :( They are just here one more day and then fly back to Texas tomorrow.

We had quite a bit of flexibility in our plans this week, so the menu was changed around a little. The chili didn't get made at all last week, so I am adding it in to this week's plan.

Monday - Chili and cornbread

Tuesday - Mexican Chicken Soup (I have made this several times and it is requested now!)

Wednesday - Cheese tortellini and salad

Thursday - London Broil with Herb Butter (trying something new)

Friday - Homemade pizza

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Some type of 15 bean soup (haven't decided yet)

Have a fabulous week! xo

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Abel's Field {Review + Giveaway}

About Abel's Field
Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) faces enormous pressure as he strives to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. But fighting back only finds him singled out for punishment and assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of the reserved groundskeeper, Abel (SOUL SURFER’S Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that Abel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth toward desperate measures, the reluctant Abel may be the one person who can point him back toward the light.

My Review
Seth McArdle is a 17 year old boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders. His mother has died, his father has abandoned him and his 7 year old twin sisters. He is the target of abuse from the star football player and his cronies. Bills are piling up and Seth already works two jobs in addition to going to high school. Because Seth is blamed for the the fights with the football bullies, he is assigned the "job" of  putting in the new sprinkler system for the football field, alongside a mysterious janitor named Abel.

In Abel's Field, we see Seth struggle with whether or not he believes in God. He prayed for his mother to be healed. She died. In spite of a caring pastor who tries to reach out to Seth, the struggle continues. Abel seems to be the only one who understands Seth and they form a special bond.

I don't want to give away too many of  the details. There is heartache, laughter, tears, challenge and inspiration in this film. There were a few intense scenes in a couple of spots, due to the beating up of Seth, his temptation with committing a crime and the brief disappearance of his little sisters. But it is an inspiring story. One that has to work out those ugly kinks of pride and relying on oneself before the relief of becoming desperate and calling out for help comes. And it does come. Don't miss this film of redemption and hope.

Giveaway Details
Flyby Promotions has generously offered one copy for me to give away to one of my readers!  To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment telling me the name of your favourite movie and your email address. Winner will be chosen via Giveaway will close at 11:59pm ET February 1, 2013. Open to anyone in US and Canada. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tyndale Rewards = Free Books!

Have you heard of the Tyndale Rewards program? The Tyndale Rewards program is designed to provide you with opportunities to get books and Bibles for zero dollars. That’s right—F. R. E. E. As a member of the Tyndale Rewards program, you’ll have access to inspiring literature, Bibles, special promotional offers, and much more.

I have only been a member for a short time and have almost acquired enough points for a new Bible. I have my eye on one that I would like. I think this program would be fantastic for giving Bibles and books as gifts! You can choose from these reward categories: fiction, non-ficion, Bibles, parenting, children/youth or audio. There is no purchase necessary to redeem your points.

Use my promo code to sign up: Click HERE 

The Tyndale Rewards program is available for US residents only.

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy

I'm linking up with Lindsey and the girls for What I Wore Wednesday! I hope you've been inspired by some of their styling flare. I always enjoy seeing what outfits Lindsey puts together. And she has some very cute new products in her shop! I love this new raspberry scarf with the silver stripes.

As I have shared already, there has been quite a bit of sickness going on around here. Therefore, I really wasn't thinking too much about photographing my outfits in the past week. This one was taken by my 7 y/o. The shoes didn't make this shot, but I've included another shot (from November) of them below...

sweater - honestly cannot remember where it came from
black t-shirt - Winner's (Canada)
denim - Lauren Conrad Kohl's
shoes (below) - Target
silver hoops - T J Maxx

And one more...

shawl - Belk (a Christmas gift - thanks, Mom!)
sheer blouse - GAP, skinny jeans - Kohl's
boots- Steve Madden (another Christmas gift - thanks, Jacque & Joe!)
necklace and bracelet - Macy's

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan {21 January}

Beef with Snow Peas (or in this instance, Sugar Snap Peas, which we prefer)

We are excited to have my Mom and my Uncle Gerald coming this week from Texas!

Here is my plan for meals:

Monday - Turkey and Rice Soup (made with turkey I had in the freezer from the holidays)

Tuesday - Taco Salad

Wednesday - Creamy Italian Crock Pot Chicken, served with egg noodles, green beans and salad

Thursday - Beef with Snow Peas (This is a family favourite that shows up on the menu regularly!)

Friday - Chili

Saturday - Baked Potatoes, toppings to include butter, shredded cheese, sour cream, sautéed broccoli and probably Chipotle Tabasco, which has become a regular around here :)

Sunday - Leftover baked potatoes or chili (or potatoes topped with chili! Yum!)

What are you planning to cook?

I hope you have a fabulous week! xo

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday - Dance

I. Love. This. Song.


 Happy Sunday! Happy Dancing! xo

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bob's New Video

Bob is starting a series of video updates to communicate what is going on here in the D. C. area, around the country and the world.

Here is the first installment...

More words of hope and encouragement to come!

Enjoy your night. xo

Week In Review

Well, we've had the sickness here for the past two weeks. Different ones have had different versions of it, but it is generally a headache, sore throat, coughing, sneezing and tiredness. Bob and Austin have been spared, thank the Lord!

It hit me a few days ago and this is how I've been feeling... (read: slumped and very FUZZY!)

Emma even encouraged me to sleep late and stay in bed all day yesterday. It was extremely weird for me but hopefully it helped with the healing process. I was able to get up and taxi everyone who needed taxi-ing today, albeit with much sitting down in between. Thank you, dear girl, for holding down the fort while I rested!

In the midst of all the sickness and hot lemon/ginger/honey treatments,

we were still able to get a few things accomplished. The boys started this new science curriculum (review coming soon!)...

Ava started a new online math program (review also coming soon). Emma's new drama class began.

And both Ava and Maya have enjoyed our time with this week's Five In A Row book...

Austin just started Taekwondo this month and was awarded his white belt on Wednesday! Way to go!!!

And we've had lots of snuggle time...which includes Elliot the Cat, who always knows when one of us is feeling poorly and comes to nestle right up next to us.

I hope you have been spared the sickness at your house and if not, rest and get well soon! xo

{Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.  Thank you very much for supporting The Scarlett Thread.}

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Car for Onesmus

I learned of this story a few weeks ago, but our friend, Peb, is back in Kenya and learned the story first-hand. He relates it briefly here...

Many of you know that a man gave Onesmus a very nice car last November. It is a Subaru Forrester. The details of this gift are as follows. There is a man in Nairobi who worked 25 years as an engineer in Germany and he made much money. He contracted throat cancer and his wife got cervical cancer. They moved back to Kenya to die. However another woman who had been healed by the ministry in Machakos told this couple of Onemsus and they came. They were not believers. Both were terminal. The man could not talk and could only swallow small amount of liquids due to the mass. Onesmus prayed for both of them for hours. The lady had a fungating mass protruding from her body. As they prayed, a black mucous came out of the man's mouth and black masses of necrotic tissue came out of the lady. They both went unconscious and remained so for a time. Onesmus reminded the Lord that if they died, it would be a shame to the Gospel. They revived. They continued to anoint one another and pray for the next year. Within one year, both were cancer free. In gratitude, they gave Onesmus the car since he had never requested money for the ministry.

I don't know what Onesmus' new vehicle looks like exactly, but I had to look one up to see for myself, because I'm visual like that. :)

I am so happy for him!

Please pray for Peb as he is there ministering and also continuing lifting up Onesmus, Esther, their sweet family and all of the ministry team as they continue to lift up Jesus to the hurting, broken and enslaved in Kenya. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy

Have you seen The Pleated Poppy blog? Lindsey is so cute and has some adorable items in her shop. She has been doing What I Wore Wednesday for awhile but this is the first time I have ever linked up. I think it's a great idea to encourage moms to consider getting out of their sweats (or pj's???) and into something that is more attractive and stylish. I rarely have pictures taken of me because I am usually the one behind the camera photographing everyone and everything else. This past week, I asked Ben and Emma to snap a couple of shots of my outfits so that I could participate. :)

This is a well-loved sweater coat that I've had for awhile. I paired it with a striped t-shirt from Target, my also well-loved jeans from Winners (Canada) and animal print shoes from Target. Silver hoop earrings (a Christmas gift) are from T J Maxx.

 This entire outfit, except for the jewelry, came from Kohl's. The necklace and earrings are from Dress Barn and this very fun bracelet is from Charming Charlie.

Be sure go to the WIWW page and see all the other girls who have linked up and be inspired.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan {14 January}

(Spanish Rice)

Here's the plan for this week:

Monday - Simply Great Chicken, steamed rice and sautéed kale (The chicken is in the slow cooker right now and it smells so good. Thanks to Candace for sharing it on her January menu.)

Tuesday - Shrimp Tacos and Spanish Rice

Wednesday - Turkey Chili

Thursday - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Friday - Pioneer Woman's Spicy Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheddar Grits (I cannot wait to try this!)

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

We've had lots of sickness in the past week. I have a sinus infection and others are coughing and have had fever, sore throats, etc., but we are pressing on. I haven't been posting but I have lots coming soon. I pray you are healthy at your house.  

What's on your menu for this week?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Setting my love upon Him

(This is a Lego heart made for me last year for Mother's Day. :) )

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation. 
Psalm 91:14-16 AMP

I enjoy comparing several different versions...

Because he loves me, I will rescue him; 
because he knows my name, I will protect him.
He will call on me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble.
I will extricate him and bring him honor.
I will satisfy him with long life
and show him my salvation.
Psalm 91:14-16 CJB

If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!
Psalm 91:14-16 MSG

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.
Psalm 91:14-16 NLT

Those who love me, I will deliver;
    I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
    I will be with them in trouble,
    I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
    and show them my salvation.
Psalm 91:14-16 NRSV

I have been meditating on Psalm 91 for months now. I love these verses and the visual of "setting my love upon Him". The Hebrew for the phrase in verse 15 means to be attached to, long for, desire, set his affection, set his love. What does that look like exactly?

Sometimes I envision the Father on the throne and I am presenting to Him a beautiful, perfectly wrapped package. Other times I am at His feet, desperate for Him, barely able to stretch my arms up to Him, weighed down with life but still desiring to show Him how much I adore Him. And then there are times when I am just quietly sitting before Him singing a song of praise, over and over. There are so many ways I can "set my love upon Him". And I want to do so over and over again. I want to continue learning what this means. I am asking Him to show me more.

What does that look like to you? Or if you've never thought of "setting your love upon Him", what does the first commandment [Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38] look like for you?

It's something I am pondering. 

In the meantime, this is a perfect love song...

And another...

(There is a newer version of this one on Christy's Into the Glorious album, but strangely, I couldn't find it on YouTube.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Desperate Moms - Amazing Giveaway from Sally Clarkson

I have been hearing about Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae's new book Desperate: Hope For The Mom Who Needs To Breathe for a little while now. I have not read it yet, but you can bet that it is on my Amazon Wishlist! Sally has been a wonderful and godly influence on my parenting over the years. Her books are some of my very favourites and those of you younger moms who have ever asked any parenting advice from me have probably heard Sally's name more than once. She is full of wisdom and beauty.

And get this...she and Sarah Mae are hosting an amazing giveaway today for a year of FREE housecleaning! Wow! Is that brilliant or what?

 So, go, enter now, sweet moms:  I Take Joy

And when you read the book, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Saying Goodbye

To 2012, that is.

I've been reading back through the journals that we keep during our prayer and worship times. WOW. I am blown away at the memories of what the Father has done in our lives in 2012. It's probably been one of the hardest years of my life. Missing Canada has been hard. Starting a new life here has been very challenging. It's also been a year that has brought incredible change and growth in me and in our family, along with the pain and tears.

I am going to be reading more of the journals tomorrow and may have more thoughts to share or thanksgiving to offer for what we've experienced. We'll see. I did notice some interesting themes in our dreams, visions, prophetic words and prayers.

One thing I am thankful for is this beautiful home and the fact that the Father sent us TWENTY overnight guests (not to mention friends who just came for an hour or two or eight). What an honour it was to have each and every friend, old and new, or family member in our home. We have some beautiful memories with you guys. And we are looking forward to finding out who He will bring to us in this next year!

Tonight, as I wait on my oldest to get off work, I have been working on my brand new 2013 calendar!

{If you missed it back in October, I posted a review of the Polestar Family Calendar. You can read it HERE.} 

I so love having all these clean, white blocks that are just waiting for new, colourful ink to adorn them. I am praying through our few extracurricular commitments and asking for wisdom to know when to say "yes" and when to say "no" this year. I am praying for all of the yet-unknown names of individuals and families that we will have the honour of inviting for dinners or coffees or play dates. I am praying over the trips that we will take. The schoolwork we will accomplish. The birthdays we will celebrate. The time we will spend in worship and prayer. The overnight guests we will host. The moments we will take reading God's Word, being refreshed and strengthen and enlightened by it. The milestones we will mark. The games we will play. The books we will devour. The movies we will enjoy. The laughter. The tears. The joy. The adventure. 

There's a new day and a new year dawning. Happy 2013! May the Father bless you immensely and be your Hope! 

 May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.
Romans 15:13