Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Heart Captured by God ~ "The Heart of the Matter"

What do your words reveal about your heart?

"As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person." Proverbs 27:19

Our heart (tangible) not only sustains our body. Our heart (intangible) also performes the fuctions of: feelings, desires or longing, relating to others, relating to God, choosing, sinning, showingnour character and thinkng. (Laura Wilcox, "Capture my Heart, Lord", p.5)

With that in mind, God has left us well equiped with His word (and the Holy Spirit) to understad the different attitudes a heart that is captured by Him should have...and the ones that should not. As you read these verses, think of what attitudes (functions) of the heart are implied. Meditate on that.

"But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul" Deuteronomy 9:4

"Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you "Because of my own righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess the Land," but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you." Deuteronomy 9:4

"Now, therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel" Joshua 24:23

"The fool has said in his heart, "there is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good." Psalmn14:1

"When you said, "Seek My face," my heart said to yoi, "Your face, O Lord, I shall seek." Psalm 27:8

"The wise of heart will receive commands, But the babbling fool will be ruined." Proverbs 10:8

"Who can say, 'I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from sin'?" Proverbs 20:9

"The heart is more deceitful above all else qnd is desperateky sick; Who can undstand it?"      Jeremiah 17:9

"(Jesus speaking) But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, slanders." Matthew 15:18-19

"Now flee from youthful lust and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." 2 Timothy 2:22

The more we seek the Lord, the more we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts. A heart that knows its creator is very much blessed...

"After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.'" Genesis 15:1

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. (...)" 2 Chronicles 16:9

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" Psalm 147:3

"(Jesus speaking) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

God wants to work in your heart. In order to do so, you need to give yourself fully to the Lord. 
How are you expressing your surrender to God's work in your heart? How are you avoiding it?

"Pursuing wholeness and healing of the heart begins when we comform to God's definition of the changed heart and follow His passion for our hearts." (Laura Wilcox, "Capture My Heart, Lord", p.13)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Capture my Heart, Lord (series)

Hello dear ones,

This last year I have had the priviledge to co-lead one of the small groups of our women's ministry at our local church. It has been a blessing. The ladies in my group are just a blessing beyond imagination.

However, our study is coming to an end. {tear}. This year we studied the book "Capture my Heart, Lord" by Laura Wilcox. It was great. She really helped us see (and understand) God's word from a deeper perspective.

So, since I have been so blessed by this study, I only find it fitting to share some of it with all of you. Tis will also help me not forget what I just studied!

What I will do is only share some of the Bible passages that she used to help us learn about a specific quality of the heart that is captured by God. Hopefully this way I will not inccur in copyright violations.

To start off then the series will be called "A heart captured by God". So look out for a new post on how to allow the Lord to completely capture your heart!

Have a blessed day!

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Unplanned project!

Does it hapen to you that, you think of a project. Go out and buy the materials. Get home, get started and...not enough! Not even close!

One solution is to go back out and get more or a different material. Sounds good to me. However, I was not in the mood to continue with that same project. But I did not want my money (just a dollar! Hehe) to be wasted. I needed a new idea for my clothes hanging rope. It was pretty enough to use it for other than hanging clothesm from it.

Well, yesterday and today I have been in the crafting mood. Out of the blue, it hit me and I have been working on small projects.

Then, we had beans for dinner. {say what? Where did that come from?!...just read on, will you?} I didn't have enough home made beans (I make big batches from scratch and freeze them :)) so I decided to add some of my back up canned beans.

{supposed to be the angels background sound}

I new I could find some use to the empty can, and I did!

Wrap the rope around it and...tah dah! New storage! :)
Pretty simple. All you need is the dollar store rope, empty (and clean!) can, some hot glue, and patience and time to wrap and wrap...and wrap.

Here are the pictures:

What pretty projects have you worked on lately? 
Happy crafting!


She keeps growing!

Hello dear ones!

It's been a while since you saw/heard from Amelia. I thought you would like a little update!

Time is really flying! My little bundle of joy is now 8 month and crawling her tiny legs away! She started by doing it "push-up" style and then moved on to the "normal" arms and legs. She learns quick! It only took her a week to figure it all out. Of course mommy's hands off most of the time helped!

Here is quick video:

So funny! And here is a week later:

After she got down the crawling, she started pulling herself up. That is all she wants to do now. She crawls to the couch, the chairs, coffee table or anyone close by and helps herself up. Needles to say, we are very happy and proud. However, not surprised. We are trying to have high (within a healthy range) expectations. Or better said, trying not to have too low expectations of our kids. Children are smart and learn quick, if only given the chance to show it. 

Anyways. We will be moving back to SP, closer to our family (an our and half from where we are now) in just 6 weeks! I am super excited. Amelia will have lots of friends to hang out with and a few cousins to bond with! :). I will too have the chance to deepen some relationships (I hope!). 

Back to Amelia, a recap of the last three months: 
She went on her first plane ride to Peru in January. It went well. I'd recommend traveling during their bed time if possible. That way they sleep all the way, just like she did on the way back to the U.S.A. 

She started babbling and giggling more. Her "words" sound like "dada" but she could be talking to the cats or her socks...we don't think it's meant for DH yet. (I hope she says mom first! But we'll see!...oh young mom! Don't know how things happen! Haha).

She was dedicated to the Lord the Sunday before Easter! We are so thankful to God for entrusting us with her precious life. However, we will need his guidance and strength, as well as wisdom to raise her! We will also need of our church family for support, advice, counsel, encouragement ...and babysitters!! :). All the family was able to come. That was real special!

Anyways, too much blah blah, here are some more pictures!!

She adapted so quickly to Peru and loved being held by all the Peruvian ladies!

Christmas pictures by Gale Schoenecke (our aunt) at my in-laws backyard.

Meeting great grandpa Matherly for the first time...and teaching him about computers...
I can't wait to have more of these wonderful little people!! I love you Amelia! never forget that! (and so does your papa!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Baby Wipes

I know there are tons of tutorials out there for baby wipes. I have no idea who the original author is but here is my share. I got the recipe from our cousin. It was part of her baby shower gift to me. I LOVE them! They are fairly easy to make. The only "hard" part is the cutting of the paper towel roll in half. But is totally worth it. You can get the paper towel from the dollar store, or (as I prefer) the giant Bounty which is surprisingly cheap. This one has 210 two-ply sheets as opposed to the 140 two-ply from the dollar store...which is way thinner and breaks easier than the Bounty. You can use that one for household shores better.

What I love about this homemade wipes is that they are multipurpose. Not only as baby booty wipes, but the formula is the same as for make up remover. You can also use them when you baby gets dirty hands or face. That is three things you don't need to buy anymore. You can make them yourself for cheaper!

Anyways, here is what you will need:

- A roll of paper towel (this will give you two batches)
- Baby oil
- Baby shampoo
- Water
- Plastic container


-First, cut the roll in half with a bread knife. This will be a little messy, but oh well. Make sure you take out the cardboard in the middle, otherwise it will absorb more of your liquid mix.
-Then, in your container mix 2 cups of water, 2 tbsp of the oil and 2 tbsp of the shampoo (3 of each if you use the huge Bounty). Mix well.
-Now place the half roll with the fluffy side up. Close the container and wait until the liquid is absorb half way up the roll.
-Open the container and take out the roll, carefully flip it with the nice side up. Close and let the paper absorb all the liquid. This should take no more than a minute or two.

Close well and store in dark area.(I place a big burp cloth on top and keep it out handy!)
It can last up to 6 months without opening at all. So if you are pregnant now at around 3 to 4 months, you can start making some now and they should be good to use when the baby comes! :)


Frugal Life

Ever since I married Jon I became more and more aware of how much money I spent. How much money I wasted I should say. If there is one thing I love about my husband is his great financial leadership. Especially during this time in our lives when disposable income is nowhere to be found!

We have come to the conclusion that "I want" is not the same as "I need". Most people mix those two. Because if we wouldn't have seen those cute shoes in the catalog we wouldn't need them! Am I right?
Well, I hope you caught the sarcasm.

Now, seriously, the truth is we do NOT need most things that we buy. We can either go without (long or short term) or we can come up with a cheaper way to get things done. For example: I can either go to the spa and have my nails done for $25-35, or I can have some friends over and do each others nails for free! Maybe not be perfect, but it will be pretty darn close! Plus we get to hang out with people we love and know! Another example: summer is coming and you "need" a new skirt for the beach. You can either buy one at Anthropology or re-purpose an old t-shirt by adding a thick elastic, just like the thousands of ideas show on Pinterest.

The point is, if you are complaining about "not having enough money", stop and think where it is that you are spending too much, or any at all. What I have found is that if I can go one more week without _______, usually I really don't NEED it. And if I do, I either save money for it (NEVER use credit cards) or try to figure out a way to get it in a cheaper way.

Anyways, so much blah blah blah. Here are a few things that work for us/we don't mind going without/I do:

1. Make your own baby wipes.
2. Use vinegar, dish soap and baking soda for most cleaning needs.
3. We do not have cable TV. We have internet and watch one show a day.
4. Eat a lot of left overs. {I hate to throw away food!}
5. We only eat out for Valentines and Anniversary. {unless it's a special occasion besides romantic ones}
6. Make your own baby food. It's easy, healthy and last a lot longer!
7. Set thermostat on 65 and bundle up! {only the baby's room is at 70. WI is cold!}
8. Go grocery shopping only once {or twice occasionally} a month. This will force you to be a smart shopper so you don't have to go out again.
9. Take the bus when possible. We only have one car and husband rides the bus to school.
10.Make the whole 12 cups of coffee that your coffee maker allows you to. Making small amounts may cause you to use more coffee grains than you would otherwise. You can always reheat the left over and have it later.
11.Freezer meals!! A lot of work in one day, but saves you time and money later on!
12.Really, you don't need more than two swimsuits...especially if you live in the northern part of the country where winter lasts almost 6 months or you do not swim very often. So stop buying them!
13.However, when you do buy one, buy quality! (This applies to most things). Break things down to cost per use and you will notice your real savings in the long run.
14.Learn to sew. Seriously. For basic stuff, it is not that complicated. And you get to design things the way you want them!
15.Buy at garage sells, consignment stores and be open to hand-me-downs! Quality can be found this way too! many people like to get rid of perfectly good stuff.
16. Do dishes by hand. But if you use the dishwasher, wait until it's a full load.
17. Learn to knit. You could make your own washcloths out of old tees or leftover yarn.
18. Grow your own garden (indoor and outdoors)
19. I do my nails. Always. Only time I go to a spa is when I receive a Christmas gift for it!

Seriously, I could go on and on. Many of the things listed will save you money in more than one way. Just click on the links for a more detailed explanation of how to's, tutorials, and other saving tips.

How do you live the frugal life?
Please share with us what you have found helpful!

Cleaning simplified

To create a home, we use furniture, appliances, accessories (like pictures), toys, blankets and such. In other words, we must invest time and effort to turn a building into a home. Personalize it.
I consider myself a very clean and organized person. I do not seek to have a sterile house, but just a very clean, organized and inviting one. A place to live and also relax. A house that can be a home.

One aspect of creating a home that many ignore is: cleaning. Wait, what?! How does cleaning fit in all this? Well, a messy and dirty place is usually called a dump. Not a home. So yes! Cleaning and organizing is to some extend needed to create a home sweet home.

But how many people simply dread cleaning their house? Many! I'm one of them. It takes time, it can be nasty, makes you sweat and...just the thought of mixed smells! I mean, all the different products that we use! They may smell good separately, but sometimes it is just too much when used all at once. 

The solution? Cut back on all the different products you use. 

Many of the products we buy are wonderful and very effective. However, when you are on a budget...or have a sensitive nose like I do, buying the best known brand out there is not a wise option.  One way to save is buying store brand as opposed to name brands. Another cheaper and easier solutions is the well known cooking products: vinegar and baking soda. These two combined with some dish soap can pretty much clean EVERYTHING in your home. 

Here are 50 ways to use vinegar taken from 

What I do is, I keep a spray bottle of vinegar and dish soap under the bathroom sink. I use it to clean the sink, counter space, and even around the toilet seat. (The inside of the toilet is the only place where I use some disinfectant store bought product, can't help but is the only place I need to use something strong for peace of mind!!). I also keep a piece of cloth that I only use for the sink/counter top/mirror and another one only for the toilet. It is something little ones can use to clean and you don't have to freak out about it being toxic.

I also keep a dish wand/scrubber in the shower. This way every time I shower I can clean the shower, and again don't be worried about all the chemicals soaking my feet!

Using vinegar to clean the house simplifies my life in many ways: I don't need to break the piggy bank. It saves on storage space being one big (or in my case two) one gallon containers as opposed to 5 different ones. I can store it in my pantry and have free space under the sink! And I use it for more than on chore, cleaning and cooking!

What are some ways in which you simplify cleaning (and living!)?
What other uses do you have for Vinegar?
Please share with us!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Ever since Pinterest came out I have been a faithful member and pinner. I love how I can share ideas and learn from others. It has been a life saver many times. Whether for cooking, last minute gifts, organizing, parenthood. You name it. It can be found on Pinterest.

Today I will share one of the many things I have tried.
Growing green onions. Indoors. As quick as in a week's time.
I know, crazy awesome. Forget about buying again. Well, maybe you will buy again, but this will cut the times you do in half maybe. SO, it will save you 50% of time and money spend in green onion shopping.

So what you do is the following:

Next time you need to use green onions save some buds. Somewhere between 2 and 3 inches long. Place them in a cup/container with some water. You can tie them with some elastic to keep them nice and straight. Finally, watch them grow.

Yes, that simple.

You may need to add some more water as days go by, but other than some light (and sun if possible, but not terribly necessary) that is all you will need to do with it. You can have them in your kitchen's window. Or wherever they will get natural light exposure. I grew them in the winter, so do not worry about direct sunlight. They will still grow if they don't get any.

Here are the pictures of before and after :)

this was just two to three days after I put them in water!

Sorry the picture is not the greatest. I think I deleted the good one by mistake! This was the final product after a week or so.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Coming Back!

Hello dear ones!

It's been forever since I last was here! Among the reasons are the fact that my computer died on me! It will simply not turn on anymore. No idea why and no money to repair! My wonderful father in law, therefor, gave me a mini Ipad for Christmas. I love it but it is not the easies thing to type on. At least not for me. Plus, I'm not techy at all and it takes me a while to figure it out.

Anyways, I will do my best to get back on blogging.

For the meantime, a little update.
Amelia is a little over 6 months now. Rolling over from tummy to back, sitting up straight (although she can sit up on her own yet), baby talking a lot more, and starting on solids. It's been so much fun to be a mom! I can't wait to have more! It is not easy by any means, but it's not that bad either! You adjust and learn. Definitely a new way to understand God's character as our heavenly Father. My goodness He is good to us!

Christmas at the in laws was great! As expected :). Lots of love, food and gifts. It was nice to be home and have people to hang out with and talk to! It was also nice to have my husband back and away from the books!

My family was not able to come to the US to visit, so God opened a door for me and Amelia to go there! We surprised my mom. She almost flipped out! We went with the mission team from our church in SP. it was crazy  busy and super tiring but totally worth it. The Lord moved in amazing ways and was very gracious to us. Specially to me! Amelia didn't get sick at all, she loved everyone (and everyone loved her!) my parents got to meet their first granddaughter, lots of Peruvians received medical help and Christ as their Savior, and God kept us all save the whole week! Oh, and she slept all the way back!!! :)

I am still part of the women's Bible study at our church here in Madison. Now I help co-lead it with my wonderful new friend Laura. She is the best! Our small group is awesome too. A mix of personalities, which makes it interesting, but everyone gets along pretty well.

We are enjoying our last few months in the area. We'll move back to Stevens Point in the middle of May. I'm really looking forward to that for a few reasons: we'll be closer to family and friends, I'm going back to school part time, we'll live in a house not an apartment, and it will be summer!!! :) the later is exciting because we will live in front of the WI river and I will be able to teach Amelia how to swim from a very early age! I can't wait!

Well, this is it for now. Feel free to leave a comment...or not! :)

Since I don't know yet how to post pictures in the entries, later tonight I will upload a few pictures of Amelia for you to enjoy from hubby's computer. :)

Now, here they are: