This Too Shall Pass // Five Minute Friday

Pass

In the process of raising littles and spending our days buried under piles of laundry and toys, we are often reminded that this too shall pass. Sometimes we long for the passing. Anyone in the midst of potty training want to shout out a big ol’ AMEN!? Sometimes we want the passing to take place NOW! This too shall pass, but when?

Then something strange starts to happen. In the midst of wanting it to pass, we realize we want it to slow down! We realize that that it is passing too quickly and when did they grow up and start doing things for themselves? There are days when  when wanting this time to pass and wanting it to slow down happen all at once. The happenings of your day are frustrating and tirersome, yet somehow sweet and adorable all at the same time.

So while God reminds us that the troubles of this day will pass, let’s remember to fix our eyes on His glory. To find joy in the moments that we have been granted and be present in a spirit of thanksgiving for His good, good gifts. Enjoy the moments of now and let your eyes see your days and the littles you are raising through the eyes of our dear Savior. This too shall pass.

 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Linking up here for Five Minute Friday! A new prompt is posted every Thursday. You get to free write for five minutes, link up, and encourage one another!

 

Wear {10} // Spring Neutrals + Pixie Cut

Spring is in the air…well technically rainy, still hot like summer season is here for me! Whether you’re in the U.S. or in Africa, this Spring neutrals look will work for either!

It’s always fun when someone comes and visits us and graciously brings a suitcase full of goodies! It’s like Christmas! A few of the items that were packed for us this time included this Everlane tank and a floppy hat. For me it’s all about keeping it comfy, yet still looking put together. Having lots of neutrals I can pair together helps this, and then accessories allow me to dress it up and add a little excitement to an outfit.

I recently got a pixie cut, so I’m having fun still figuring out how to style it. Apparently not washing your hair for three days helps your style stick! Don’t worry, day four brought a hair washing, but definitely a good hairstyle for Africa living! You can find inspiration for my pixie cut here!

Enjoy the pictures and let me know some of your favorite Spring neutrals capsule wardrobe pieces or accessories!

Spring Neutrals

Hat:Gift// Tank:Everlane// Pants:Kohls// Earrings:Smile Africa// Necklace:New Eve Jewelry

IMG_9120

IMG_9127

IMG_9130

IMG_9134

IMG_9131

IMG_9132

IMG_9140

Fruit of the Spirit // Love

Did you know I sell a fruit of the Spirit shirt? I may have come up with the idea to design this shirt, but not because I think I have the fruit of the Spirit thing down. I designed it because I love the physical reminder of wearing each fruit of the spirit in beautifully scripted, pineapple shaped words – hand drawn by my very own sis in law! Even though I wear the shirt with love and appreciation for the reminder it brings, that doesn’t mean I instantly start exuding the fruit of the Spirit…even though that would be nice, right?

lovespirit

Over the next few weeks I want to take a look at each fruit of the Spirit as wevgather in this space on Monday. To examine what God is teaching us with each of these fruits and how we are to invite His Spirit in to dwell among us and in us.

LOVE

God is love. While some may have been raised with a Hell and brimstone kind of preaching and portrayal of God, many of us know the true character of God as a gracious, merciful, and most loving God. Not the mushy, gushy, #allthehearteyes emoji kind of love. God loves with an agape love. Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. God loves us with an unconditional love and He calls us to love our brothers and sisters with this same spirit of love.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also OUGHT to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:11-13

He calls us to love with His love by abiding in Him. By knowing God and His love, by inviting His Spirit to dwell in us, we learn how to love others well.

Sometimes loving others is easy. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing, sunny days and blue skies. It’s easy to love those we like. It’s easy to love those that love us. But what about loving others when it’s hard? What about loving others when you’ve been hurt, betrayed, have experienced loss, bitterness, anxiety, fear, or maybe there’s a day where everyone was just plain hangry (translation reads, angry out of hungry) and some not nice things were said.

God loves us in our hot mess ways. He loves us enough to have sent Jesus to die on the cross so that we can someday live with Him forever in heaven. He is a good, good God whose love is steadfast. God loves us in our mess and call us to do the same for others.

We cannot produce fruit on our own. It is not the fruit of OUR spirit, but the fruit of HIS Spirit. He calls us to dwell with Him, bear fruit, and share it with others. We are loved through our faults, humanness, and hangry spells (I get hangry a lot, guys), and are meant to extend this same fruit of love to others.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19

I don’t always feel like I love well. I mess up, yell at my kids, snap at my husband, and hide away from people I should reach out to. Thank goodness for grace and agape love! We do not have to do anything to earn God’s love. We do not have to strive, for His love is not dependent on us. He plain and simple loves us. His Spirit is one of love and He invites us to taste and share.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Today let us go forth and love well. Let us invite His Spirit of love to live inside us and burst forth from us. Let us boldly seek His love as we read the Bible, pray, and humbly serve.

Let us invite God to plant the fruit of His seed in us, water it, and grow it to glorify The Creator.

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

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  


 

 

Unite // Five Minute Friday

Unite.

Are we a united front or a jumbled mess of contradictions?

Sometimes we’re both. Sometimes we do better. Sometimes we makes mistakes. Parenting is hard work. To parent alone is even harder. When we unite we are better for it. We are stable, and solid and are there for each other to lean on. We give our children a stronger and more meaningful foundation when we are united.

WP_20160322_10_18_14_Pro

When we ask God to unite us and for us to be united with Him, we can begin to see a more complete picture of the beauty of parenting. Not that it’s all of a sudden easy, but we are reminded of what we are working for. To draw our children closer to the very one that created them and knit them together.

When we are united as husband and wife in our parenting, it is good. When we are united as husband and wife with God in our parenting, it is great. Let us unite with you today, Lord, in all that we do.

Linking up here for Five Minute Friday! A new prompt is posted every Thursday. You get to free write for five minutes, link up, and encourage one another!

Earth Day Unit // Tot Home School

WP_20160418_10_21_32_Rich

Did you know that this Friday is Earth Day?

In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with groundbreaking ideas and by the power of our example. – earthday.org

This week we have been focusing on the world and how we should help take care of it.  So far we have talked about how God created the world and put man in charge of caring for it. How it is our job to do our part in keeping it clean and beautiful. God’s creation is breath taking, so let’s keep it that way!

The Earth Day activities that we have been doing are great because you can cover a lot of topics. Recycling, naming the continents and oceans, fun facts about the earth and so on. Just head on over to Pinterest to get an idea of the activities we’ll be doing this week, and some that you can do too!

Follow Oh Tiny Gifts’s board earth day unit/ tot home school on Pinterest.

Made to Create // Finding Beauty

Last week I posted encouragement on using the unique gifts and talents that God has place within you for a reason. Today, I want to encourage you to create and find beauty in whatever you do, big or small-whatever ways God calls you to uniquely express Him.

madetocreate

This world is full of breath taking, soul wrenching beauty. There are many times we see a beautiful sunrise, view a piece of art in awe, hear a touching music arrangement,  or read a gripping piece of literature and see obvious beauty. While I talked about embracing our passions and using our unique gifts and talents to bring glory to God, maybe you are still unsure where beauty comes into that picture. The thing is, that when we look through the eyes of God, we begin to see beauty all around and find the unique and creative ways that we ourselves are creating and living in and out beauty every single day.

Psalm 139:13-14 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.

God made us in a creative way and has made us to express that creativity. We are AMAZINGLY and MIRACULOUSLY made. Psalm 139 expresses that the writer’s soul is fully aware of the miraculous way that God has created him. His soul is aware and in extension pours out the beauty and creativity of God through his writing of the Psalm. God’s miraculous, beautiful, creative work made manifest in man and pointing right back to the One that first knit his inner being.

God made our souls to long for beauty. Long to create and share and revel in HIS beauty.Maybe you don’t feel that your talents, passions, or livelihood allow room to express the beauty and creativity of God handiwork.

I promise you, there’s room.

You may not think that clearing tables at a restaurant or trash pick up sound like jobs where you get to share a lot of your innate drive for beauty and creativity. But what if the way you smile at someone as you clear their table shows the beauty of your soul and brightens someone’s day? What if the way you hum a hymn close to your heart as you clear trash is over heard and touches someone’s soul?

We have a million different ways each second of each day we can create beauty and share the beauty that is within us because of Jesus! Whether it’s in the way we respond to our children when they are having a rough day, cook dinner for our families, play the piano, paint a picture, garden, or teach, He has knit us together in a beautifully creative way and each day we can express that beauty. 

Find the ways you are made to create and express beauty. Find the ways that fill you up and draw you close to His goodness and loveliness.

Don’t hide the beauty that you were made to create.

Find how His beauty has been knit into your life-unravel and share it. 

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  We are pinning some of the posts on this board.

Follow Keri @ Living In This Season’s board Mama Moments on Pinterest.


Unit Studies // Tot Home School

I’m a whole hodge podge of home school theories and activities as I’m sure you’ve figured out! If you read this post from a few months back, you’ll know that I started trying things more in the vein of the Charlotte Mason way. I wanted to read more living books with the girls and focus a curriculum around these books, while allowing a lot of time for exploration and outdoor activities. While we continue to read a lot of living books, I have gotten away from building a curriculum around the books. One key concept I am continuing to follow, is trying to allow for exploration and having the theme we are looking at focused around things Gracie is especially interested in or would be able to connect to real life events taking place. I have been able to accomplish this through implementing unit studies.

spring unit study

Invitation to Build a Flower

My planning oriented brain seems to do better when I have a theme to plan around for the week. You might remember the Spring unit that we did a few weeks back. We have recently done a Nile River unit after having the chance to vacation beside the Nile and sail down it, and are currently in a Building unit. This unit stemmed from Gracie’s interest in what the tallest building in the world was, and loving to build tall Lego towers.

nile rive unit study

Building a Dam

nile rive unit study

Nature Journaling

With each activity I try to allow for some time of exploration and ability for them to do things on their own (which can sometimes be soooo hard for me!). I also try to incorporate different concepts such as letter recognition, writing, reading, math, geography or science into different unit themed activities. For example, when we looked up the tallest building in the world, we also incorporated geography by looking at the map to see where each of these buildings were. When Gracie built a tall Lego tower, we incorporated some math concepts and pulled out the ruler and started  measuring it.

6tag_110416-180538

Water Bead Sensory Play with Lavender

6tag_130416-060934

Word Practice with Labels

Each picture in this post is a peek into some of the activities we have recently worked on. I like to create a new Pinterest board for each unit study, so follow me here to keep up! If you’d like to see our most recent unit studies, click on the boards below and follow!

Follow Oh Tiny Gifts’s board spring unit/ tot homeschool on Pinterest.

                           Follow Oh Tiny Gifts’s board nile river study/tot home school on Pinterest.

      Follow Oh Tiny Gifts’s board building unit / tot home school on Pinterest.

Uniquely Made //Encouragement on Using Your Gifts

You are uniquely made to glorify God.

Read it again.

You are uniquely made to glorify God!

It has been on my heart to truly work at encouraging and spurring others on towards the goodness of Christ through my writing. And though it may be on my heart, my mind often stops me.

6tag_100416-145620

6tag_270316-133443

6tag_210316-141720

My mind often plays the comparison game.

It says, “Some one has already done that, AND they’ve done it better. Why try when no one will really read it? It won’t make a difference. Forget about it. Move on.”

When I play the comparison game and let the devil’s thoughts stream into my own-well that’s when I’ve gotta immerse myself in God’s word alongside any other encouraging Christian literature I can get my hands on! (Check here for one I’m especially loving. Penduka is available now!) Then I remember that by giving up, by not writing anything, that thinking my gift is too small and insignificant to give, the devil’s wins.

6tag_100416-144952

6tag_020416-202046

6tag_230316-064516

When I make the choice to use the talents and unique gifts that God has placed inside me, I glorify Him. By shining brightly for Him I may encourage and bring other’s into His light. No matter how seemingly small the gift, no matter how seemingly unrelated to bringing others to Christ or glorifying Him, there is purpose and meaning behind our work.

Whether washing dishes, changing diapers, serving coffee, teaching, filing taxes, or creating art, each work may glorify Christ and draw others towards Him. If we do our work in a way that honors God and says“Yes! I know who I am because of Jesus and where I am headed because of Jesus.” others will take notice. It doesn’t mean that we have to have it all together. It doesn’t mean that we have to live perfectly styled lives that are captured on Instagram with white-light rays of sunshine, flowers, and swirly monogrammed coffee mugs. On the contrary. No way, no how. Not even close! Others need to know that we are not perfect. Others need to see that following Jesus doesn’t mean that from here on out our lives are full of rainbows, fluffy clouds, and flying unicorns. But in our imperfections, and mistakes, and weakness, we can still glorify Christ. That through His goodness He is offering us grace and restoring us to Him.

6tag_040416-204203

6tag_100416-184553 (1)

6tag_100416-184431

You are uniquely made to glorify God.

You have unique gifts, talents, and passions for a purpose.

You can be a light for Christ in both big and small ways.

I can bring glory to Jesus while making dinner for my family, or caring for orphans. I can bring glory to Jesus while scrubbing floors or preaching to the unreached. I can bring glory to God while waiting table or serving food to the homeless. Some of these may seem to be more obvious and noticeable actions that glorify God, but ALL we do can glorify God. When we serve with joy and love as Christ loves, they will know that we are different by our love.

So today I encourage you to remember that you are uniquely made to glorify God and God loves you no matter what. No matter what you do, do it in joy so that other’s may see the grace and the beckoning call of our dear, merciful, and steadfast loving Savior.

Let it sink in.

Share it.

Savor it and know it’s true.

You are uniquely made to glorify God.

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  We are pinning some of the posts on this board.

Follow Keri @ Living In This Season’s board Mama Moments on Pinterest.


Living Easter On Monday // 5 Ways to Live Easter Every Day

With Easter come and gone it can be easy to slide back into our usual routines and lose the excitement, expectancy, and unbridled joy that Easter holds. Celebrating our Savior’s gift of death on the cross to save us from our sins, and His triumphant resurrection exudes excitement and allows us to reflect. So as we go back into our normal schedules and every day after Easter kind of lives,  how do we keep that excitement and expectancy with us? How do we go about our Monday, but live like it’s Easter Sunday? How do we live fully awake in the truth of this great gift we have been given, while our lives can feel so ordinary, and sometimes, just plain hard? When we are raising littles, changing diapers, making dinner, running errands and doing our every day kind of lives, how do we stay awake (sometimes literally!) and joyful in His good news!?

I don’t have all the answers, but I have some ideas on how to stay awake to the truth of God’s grace and live joyfully in the fact that He is risen!

easter

Pray-Not just a quick and hurried, “I need this now” kind of prayer (though sometimes those are needed too) but really talk with God. Share your hopes, dreams, sorrows, requests, praises, and joys with Him. Don’t forget to talk about the little things that are on your mind, even if it seems trivial. He cares.

Read Your Bible Daily-I am certainly guilty of glossing over this one, or deciding to read a few verses and think that was good. I’m currently working my way through the Bible, and even when it’s hard and long and the list of names and laws go on and on, it’s helping me learn more about who God is. Through learning about who God is, I can draw closer to Him. In drawing closer to Him, I can praise Him for who He is and what He has done.

Reflect-I know that if you are a mom to littles, or just in a busy season of life, you might be wondering, “When do I have the time to just sit and reflect!?” For me, I try to get up early. I pray, read the Bible and my devotions, and workout. I take some me time and through the process, I get to reflect in the quiet. To let my mind wander a bit. To go to the places where I have seen God’s goodness and how He provides. To reflect on the passions and gifts He has given me and think about how I can use them for His glory.

Intentional Thanks– Over the last few years I have kept a gift list off and on. An, Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts, inspired list (which is actually how this blog got started in the first place!). When we intentionally give thanks to God, for the little and the big and the mundane and the seemingly not so great, we choose to live in His joy. We choose to see His goodness that is all around us, but that we often forget to acknowledge.

Share It-Whether you talk about Jesus’s gift on the cross and resurrection with your children, your friend, other family members, or strangers, when we share this good news we are living fully awake in it’s reality and goodness. For me, this means I talk about it with my girls. I let them know that Jesus loves them so much that He died for them on the cross. He died for Gracie, Lillian, and Hellen and every other person that day because He wants us to live in Heaven with Him some day. When we can talk about these things, even when it’s not Easter, we continue to spread the goodness that is Easter. I’m starting in my home, but I pray that I have the boldness needed when I am meant to share it further and in ways that may push me outside of my comfort zone.

Let’s hold onto the gift that Jesus has so graciously granted us and be ever thankful for His death and resurrection. Easter day may be over, but He is Risen, and the story isn’t over!

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  We are pinning some of the posts on this board.

Follow Keri @ Living In This Season’s board Mama Moments on Pinterest.