Lyrical Sparrow


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Crafting Through the Jesus Storybook Bible

jesus-story-book-bibleOur family is journeying through the Jesus Storybook Bible together. We have been trying to commit to reading it weekly and adding in a related craft or two for the kids.

The craft adds fun to the stories and I enjoy seeing, through their art work and conversation, how the kids relate to each Bible lesson.

So far we have completed crafts for Noah’s Ark and Tower of Babel.

Noah’s Ark

Rainbow Game

On the printable rainbow, each row of the rainbow has a coordinating number. Red = 1, Orange = 2, Yellow = 3 and so forth.  To make it fun, I used dice to turn it into a game. On their turn, each child would roll a die and color in the row that matched the number rolled. It was a race to see whose rainbow would get completed first. I also placed a Froot Loop on each row. It served as a visual as to what color the row should be. It also made a fun reward for completing the row.

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Once the rainbows were finished, we glued on a Bible verse, the ark and cotton ball clouds.

Also, the Froot Loops were such a hit, that we ended up creating Froot Loop necklaces as well.

Obedience Ark

Next I provided each kiddo with their own ark. We worked together to come up with ways in which they can obey God.They then wrote some of their ideas down on their ark. One of my children even took it a step further, and on the backside wrote out a sweet prayer on how he wants to obey God.

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Ideas and printables found here: Obedience Ark and Rainbow.

Tower of Babel

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of our Tower of Babel craft – Just picture a paper towel tube with a brown paper spiral around it.  Or you can just go to the lovely blog, Spark and All, to view her detailed post complete with many pictures.

 

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Welcome to the Party (With a Prize)

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

It’s that time again. I do love the Ultimate Blog Party. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and mingle for a bit. At my home, I like to make one of my favorite desserts for my guests, Irish Cream Brownies. Enjoy, but be forewarned, they are addicting!

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So, funny story – I actually used to work for 5 Minutes for Mom as their virtual assistant. It was such an incredible job. I have such respect for Janice and Susan and am so grateful for the time I got to spend working with them. I must say though, it is fun to go from a UBP party planner to a UBP party-goer. Sometimes, it’s nice to sit back, relax and just take in the fun. 🙂

This is one of my favorite pictures of the girls. When we hung out at conferences, there was always so much laughter. Those girls are the best.

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wedSo a little about me. I am a wife and mom, in the most amazing blended family. There are five kiddos altogether. Audrey is 9, Isaiah is almost 7, Devin is 6, Christian is 5 and Averi is 3. Yes, it is crazy at times, very loud at times, but ohhhh sooo much fun. I am truly, truly blessed. Here are a few more pictures of my family. You can also read more about me here.

You’ll notice my blog is a little bare in the post department. I used to run a blog called 3 Little Sparrows, and had blogged since 2006. I am still confused about how it happened, but one day, with a click of my mouse, I lost pretty much my entire blog. It was really heartbreaking.

After that happened, I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging. I guess I was a bit discouraged. But, I have missed it so very much. I have especially missed the community and the friendships. So I’m back. I plan on blogging a lot about my family, my faith and my desire to really start making a difference in the lives of others. I will be sharing about charitable causes and ideas on giving back. Also, with 5 kiddos in my home, 9 and under..it is definitely never a dull moment. They will be providing me with a lot of material. So, I do hope that you come back and visit again soon. I truly look forward to visiting each and every one of you.

Okay, I couldn’t resist. I had to put up a few more pictures. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂 My wedding was this past November, so you’ll have to put up with the wedding pics. They are the only good pictures I have of all of us as a family. With 5 kiddos, 3 of which are boys, it is quite hard to get decent family shots….well you know…where everyone is actually smiling and looking at the camera.

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I do have a prize to give away. I recently read and LOVED the book, Kisses from Katie. So, I’d like to give a copy to one of you. To enter,  just leave a comment below. I will pick one winner at random on Friday, April 12th. (U.S. residents only, please).

kisskate“What would cause an eighteen-year-old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disobey and disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because they think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person and didn’t even speak the language?

A passion to follow Jesus.

Katie Davis left over Christmas break of her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people of Uganda and the needs she saw that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting thirteen children in Uganda and has established a ministry, Amazima, that feeds and sends hundreds more to school while teaching them the Word of Jesus Christ.”

I hope you love the book as much as I did.

Thank you again for visiting. Feel free to follow me on Twitter. I will be stopping by to visit you soon.

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Give…..

Do you ever feel like you should be doing more in your life for others? Do you long to make an impact on those around you? Do you desire to do all that you can to make another’s life happier, easier?

I have found myself lately extremely  focused on wanting to help in a more profound way…wanting to make a difference…wanting to use all of my free time passing out meals, baking goodies to share, sewing blankets, mentoring to those that are struggling, giving to charitable causes, and finding other ways to give of my time, talents and resources.

While I do little things here and there, I find myself feeling as if it just isn’t enough.

If I were to have it my way, I would take in foster kids, pass out meals on a Saturday afternoon to the homeless, make quilts for children fighting cancer at the nearby Children’s Hospital and then jump on a plane to Africa on a mission trip – to teach the children there about the love of Jesus, to pray with them, sing with them and provide them with food and clothing.

I find myself sometimes so focused on all of the things that I wish that I was doing, that I seem to forget about the fact that I am already making a difference in the hearts of the five kiddos that I am raising. I am teaching them Bible stories, sharing with them the love of Jesus and showing them how to love and care for others. I am getting them involved in charitable projects (whether by donating their toys, sponsoring a child or baking goodies for the Ronald McDonald House).

Yet somehow it still doesn’t feel like enough to me. It is as if there is this strong, almost overpowering desire within me to do more.

So I am now on a quest to do more, to perhaps even find a way to make a difference every single day. What causes can I spread the word about? What little things can I do that can make a huge impact on another’s life? What ways can I bring a little sunshine into the lives of others every single day? God gave me such a servant’s heart. How can I best give?

I am also going to find ideas for other ways to get my kids involved in charitable projects.

I would also love your input. What things do you and your family do together to spread love, help others, give back?

I am going to share what I find, and some of the projects that I get involved in, here at Lyrical Sparrow. Not to boast, but to inspire and to help others who, like me, are looking for simple ways to make a difference.

And now for some inspiration:

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And Then His Blessings Flowed….

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
– Zephaniah 3:17

It is a strange thing when you take a break from blogging, come back to your blog months later and realize just how much your life has changed in such a short amount of time.

Last summer, I was a single mom. I was struggling with anxiety attacks. I was struggling with depression. I was trying so hard to be the best mom I could be to my 3 little ones, but knew that I could not do it anymore on my own strength.

I ran to God. I spent hours each day in the Word. I prayed continuously. I cried, I yelled, I stomped my feet at the situation….and then one day I fully surrendered.

And do you know what happened?

He did a new thing. He made a way in the wilderness. (Isaiah 43:19)

He led me to the man He had for me – in His divine way. It is a story that I may share here with you someday…it is an awesome, incredible story – the kind that gives you goosebumps. The kind that makes you shout for joy in awe of how He works in us through the Holy Spirit.

And now, here I am…blessed beyond measure. I am married to such an amazing man of God. He has two kids of his own…making us a family of 7.

Our days are filled with such peace and joy….with laughter….with reverence….with blessings.

God is so incredible.

Joy does come with the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

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We Can’t Always Sprint All of the Time

I can’t really define what has been going on in my life over the last few weeks. I know that God is working in me. I know that I have been healing in many areas. I know that I released stuff over to Him that is no longer a chain in my life…no longer holding me back. I have been freed in some areas of my life and it has been wonderful. I have repented, forgiven myself and others, found areas I was trying to control in my life…and have given much over to God. And I felt joy and peace and contentment and soooo much love. I thought that once I did all of that…I would be changed in a more profound way, that the new found joy, peace, contentment and love would overflow in me and out of me.

But some days, some days I am still a broken mess, on my knees, crying out to God. Other days I am joyfully dancing and singing around my apartment to worship music. Some days I feel like I am struggling…struggling to feel contentment. Other days I feel just so blessed to have what I have and so full of gratitude and thanks. It’s a constant back and forth…back and forth.

Evenings are my favorite time of day, that is when I spend at least a good 90 minutes, if not more, in the Word…being led to various verses or doing a study. I pray, I listen, I learn, I read. Mornings are the absolute worst. I would have to say that over the last few weeks, I have woken up at least more than half of the time instantly anxious…almost like an attack. I wake up that way, the second I open my eyes. My heart pounds, my stomach churns within me. I pray, I breathe, I pray, I breathe, I sing a worship song, or read a Bible verse..and I still stay anxious. Some mornings I wake up so nauseated from anxiety that it makes me ill. It only happens in the mornings and then I am fine. I am not sure why and I am not sure how to make it stop, but I can tell you that I don’t like it. I pray about it continually. If you are a friend of mine reading this and can add that to your prayers, I would be very grateful.

I am so blessed that God has led me to a church out here and I am attending a portion of the ladies retreat this weekend. The theme is surrender. Fitting for me, isn’t it?!?! I am thrilled to go. I am excited to form new friendships and to also feel God work within me during the retreat.

More than anything, I just want His peace and joy to consume me 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I don’t want to cry at the drop of a hat when a lyric on the radio comes on about loneliness. I don’t want to feel cheated at all in life, because if anything, I am more than blessed to have the life that I have..and I KNOW THAT!!! I just want to be so full of HIM that nothing else matters…that I radiate light and joy. That I radiate HIM. That is what I want and I know I am not there yet…but I am closer than I was this time last year, or even last month….that is for sure.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

As Christians, we are all running a race. Some days we can sprint easily..other days we have to walk, and focus on catching our breath. I think, right now, I am a mixture of walking and jogging…and you know what, that’s okay…as long as I am headed in the right direction.

This was read over the radio last night. I cried listening to it. I was having an evening where I felt more like I was walking..maybe crawling….I liked its message and it spoke to me. I have been wanting to share it. I especially liked this part:

“Without the downpour of rain, plants tend to wither and die. But who likes getting rained on? The same is true for our souls. If we are not subjecting ourselves to the hardship of life, we are missing out on some of its fullness. As a result, we stagnate. In order for us to find a meaningful life, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable, to be stretched into who we’re meant to be. We find our life’s purpose not in resolution, but through struggle. This is the stuff of epic stories and true heroes’ tales. There has be a narrow path, a hard way, in order for the journey to be worth the destination. Sometimes, the best we can do is play out the role we’ve been given. But something beautiful happens when we surrender to the larger story being told: we find joy in the most ordinary situations.”

So I will continue to run the race……whether sprinting, jogging, walking or crawling. I will not give up..or leave the race early..or get out of my lane and into another one that seems easier. I am on my course and I intend to finish!!!!

I will make it to the finish line…..strong…….excited……joyful…..in worship…..in awe…and I will run straight into HIS arms.


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It is Time to Focus on Blessings!

“It’s not a change in circumstances, but a change in attitude that brings contentment.” – Pastor Don, CCV.

This girl needs an attitude adjustment, stat! Let’s start with focusing on my blessings:

– I moved into a beautiful apartment this weekend.

– The lake with my prayer rock is a hop, skip and a jump away. In fact when I walk toward my front door, I have a view of the lake. It makes me smile each time. 🙂

– I found a boombox (yes, a 90’s boombox) at Goodwill for $5.00. So I can listen to Christian stations all day long in my apartment. It helps me to sleep too.

– I have amazing friends always ready to lend a helping hand, prayer or encouraging word.

– My friends and family are all safe and sound tonight and were not in the movie theater where a deadly shooting took place early Friday morning.

– I live in a country where I can read my Bible freely, worship God openly,  and even have others pray for me at work.

– I have hope for a future. I have a God who blesses me every moment, who has an amazing plan for my life and loves me unconditionally.

– As my mantel reminds me, I am blessed!

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I’m Letting Go

Today truly is a blessed day! I am moving into a new, beautiful place that God blessed me with, right next to still water that I need in my life.

It is incredible to see God’s hand at work and His little touches in my life.

If only I could learn that it truly is all I need and to let go of trying to control things in my life. God has it all under control, I should just leave it ALL up to Him. 🙂