Tag Archives: Bible

Fruit of the Spirit: Love Your God and The Bloggers Brag Pinterest Party

Before we can love our husbands, our kids, our friends, our neighbors, or even our enemies we need to know God and love God. It is from Him that we  learn what love is to look like. It is from him we learn how love is to behave. It is from him that we learn to recognize love when it shown to us. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

Love Your God

It is through spending time in scripture that we get to know who God is. It is through the development of our relationship with him that we get know him. Once you commit your life to God have you continued to pursue Him? Or does your pursuit of God simply occur on a Sunday morning? Getting to know who God is, who he was, and who he will be, can not be fully achieved by hearing one man speak once a week for 15-30 minutes at a time. You need to fill your heart and your mind with His word. In the same way, we must nourish our bodies with good healthy food daily so we have energy to go complete our tasks, so must we nourish our souls daily. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

As we get to know God we learn that we are called first to love him with all our being. (Luke 10:27) The question so often when faced with this though is what does this look like? Well in part it is talking(praying) and listening (reading scripture) to Him. Another facet of loving God is acting on that love, and stepping up answering the call he has set forth to believers. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 13-16 In other words live in such a way that you are pointing others back to God in all that you do.

At the end of the day remember this: God loves you. God is the perfect example of unconditional love. No matter how much we love Him it will never be perfect. We will stumble. We will fall. At times we may even backslide in our walks with Him. God knows this. He is not surprised by our sinful and selfish nature. That is why he sent Jesus to die on the cross. So you wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus paid that penalty. All you need to do is accept Jesus. Have you? If not I would be more than happy to discuss this more with you. Just know that you do not need to earn God’s love. He loves us right where we are. That is not to say he doesn’t call us to live a life that would be honoring to him, because he does, instead I am saying as long as you are seeking him and putting him first in all you do then you are on the right path.

Join me next week as we take a look at things from the husband’s perspective, and reflect upon the verse, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5: 33 And if you missed last week’s post on love please go check out Fruit of the Spirit: Love -Introduction.

***Have you ever considered your walk with God to be a relationship of give and take? In what ways do you seek to develop your relationship with him?***

***If there is anything on your heart that you would like to share that I didn’t cover, please feel free to bring it up in the comments. I would love to be able to answer questions, even if only to say that is a good question I had never considered it and I don’t know. Either way know I am here for you and would love to hear your thoughts.***

Now I would also like to introduce The Bloggers Brag Pinterest Party. I have contributed to the Pinterest Party for a couple of weeks now. It has been a great opportunity for my blog to find new readers and for me to find helpful blogs on a variety of subjects. Last week my introduction post on love (for the fruit of the spirit) gathered the most clicks of any link shared. This gave me the opportunity this week to co-host. So with no further adieu I bring to you The Bloggers Brag Pinterest Party.



Bloggers Brags logo

My post for Fruit of the Spirit:  Love was the most clicked on the last Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party, and so that means that I am the


  and the co-host for the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party this week!    What that means for you is that you are able to link up this week here at [Sara] Under the Sun as well as at Creative K Kids and Denverista and A Life in Tune!  Link up and tell your friends!  The most clicked link will be the featured blogger next week as well as have the opportunity to be the co-host!  You can go here to see my post about Love (Fruit of the Spirit)!

Fruit of the Spirit

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Rules of the Bloggers Brags Weekly Pinterest Party

  • Be a follower of your hosts and co-hosts.

Pinterest Party Hosts Are...

Pictures of the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party hosts

{Misty @ Denverista (facebook) or twitter or Pinterest or google+}  

{Tammy @ Creative K Kids (facebook) or twitter or Pinterest or google+}

Follow this week’s Co-hosts:

sara & rachel

{Rachel @ A Life in Tune (facebook) or Pinterest}

{Sara@ [Sara] Under the Sun (facebook) or Pinterest}

  • Pin our Pinterest party button or a visible link onto your sidebar, post, or party page. This will help others to find our party and will bring more visibility to your links! 

Creative K Kids

  • Please make sure that you link directly to your post’s URL and not to your blog’s URL.
  • Pin the two links before yours! If EVERYONE pins, then everyone will get more Pinterest love!
  • Link up a maximum of 3 links. They can be old or new–they’re all new to us, and we want to see them!
  • OPTIONAL: Follow our Bloggers Brags Board on Pinterest. You don’t have to do this; but of course, you’ll want to! We will be pinning all of these links to that board which will also gain more exposure for you! You can find the Bloggers Brags board here.

Here are just a few more details!

  • Whoever receives the most clicks from Monday through Thursday will be featured in the next Bloggers Brags post! Not only will they be featured, but they will be offered the optional opportunity to be a co-host for the week in which they are featured. Everyone that links up will be required to follow the co-host as well as the hosts; and in return, the co-host would be required to add the linky to their blog on the day the linky goes live. So tell your friends and followers to come link up and to visit your blog through your link!
Creative K Kids

  • Disclosure: By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Creative K Kids and Denverista and any co-hosts to use your pictures and links in any future posts. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of Creative K Kids and Denverista as well as any future co-hosts.  We also may link your printables and other resources up to our permanent linkys to gain you more exposure.
  • If you include your e-mail in the linky form below you will be added to a weekly reminder e-mail when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out.
  • If you’ve been featured, please grab the featured button below to add some brag to your sidebar!
  • Please do not add any shops, reviews, giveaways or link-up parties.  Links that do not comply may be removed.

‘); // ]]>

Lessons From The Baby: Where To Find Comfort

At the end of a long day/ week/ month/ year, heck a long hour,  it is alright to long for the comfort of your mother’s arms. (And if your mother is not available you can seek comfort in the Lord.)

Lessons From The Baby: Where To Find Comfort

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13

***This post is part of an ongoing series, if you like this post or any of the others please share them so others may find them and be blessed.***


Fruit of the Spirit: Love- Introduction

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” Galatians 5:22

Fruit of the Spirit

Love is the first attribute of the fruit of the spirit mentioned. Because it is the first, I want to take time to carefully examine how we are letting God’s love work in us, and through us. In fact, love is such a large  subject, that when I started on it I found it so intimidating to write about. I was worried about trying to fit everything into just one post. After some time spent praying and thinking, and then more thinking and praying I concluded that I will be writing several posts on the topic of love. So sit back get comfortable and join me as I look at look love from different angles over the coming weeks. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

***If this is a series that you are excited to follow would you please consider sharing the link with your friends via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or even emailing it to someone. The point is the more people join us in this series the richer the discussions in the comment section can be. Who knows maybe a friend of yours will need this message today.***

Creative K Kids

Have A Happy Thanksgiving: You are Blessed

Alright, so I know I am a day early on this, but since I post a whole three days a week I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving today. I think the older I get the more it becomes my favorite holiday. It is a day set aside to remember our blessings. No matter how bad things get there are still things to be thankful for.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving: You are Blessed

This last Sunday in church the pastor told a story about a local man who had just lost his home in a storm. It was a horrible storm that had completely scattered his four walls and his belongings. One of his neighbors had come up to him and said, “Bob.” (Let’s call him Bob because I don’t remember his name. “Bob, you have lost everything.”

Bob replied, “No I have not. I still have my wife, my family, my friends, my health, the ability to work and the drive to go earn a living. And not least of all I have the assurance of my salvation through my faith in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross.”

Now while I may not have quoted the tale exactly I know I have captured it’s essence and that is what is important today. See Bob understood that there are things in life that are far more valuable than his stuff. It is those intangible things that we possess even in the trials that we should be remembering to give thanks for.

Sometimes though life might throw you a curve ball or two or ten, and you can’t claim to have your health, job, family, etc… It is then I would suggest that Christ is there for you more than anyone else. He has stepped into the gap, washed you clean, and provided you a chance at salvation. All you need do is believe in him. Believe that he was, who he said he was. Believe that he was persecuted for you, and that he died for you. Christ died for each of us, while we were still yet sinners. He did not wait till we got things right. So when things are a mess Jesus is not revolted. He is there, ready to welcome you with open arms. If you have turned from those arms, run back to him today and wait for his warm embrace. If you have never known the love of God, and want to accept him, I am here to pray with you.

Happy Thanksgiving

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

***What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?***

As always please feel free to share or any post if it has touched your heart in anyway. I appreciate the support that you show me by sharing my posts with others. Thank you.


Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Yesterday kicked off Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge. My first week did not go anything like I imagined it would when I started the week. I pictured being able to carve out 25 minutes a day 4 times a week easy peasy to do the routines suggested at Peak313. Instead I found myself getting creative and doing things that involved the kids and things they could get excited about.

My first day we went for a long walk. While a walk may not sound like much of a workout at first blush, I would say that it all depends on what you do to challenge yourself during the walk. I walked with the 16 lb baby strapped to my chest, while we trekked up and down hills. So with this walk I was really able to get my blood pumping. Also on the first day I spent a couple of hours in our garage lifting and moving  boxes. While the work in the garage was not a set routine it was still just one more way to be active.

On my second day of working out for the week the girls and I held a dance party. I set up some music and for 30 minutes we moved and we grooved. There was lots of fun and silliness to be had. 🙂

My third day of working out last week was on Saturday. Since Rusty was home I was able to find time alone (at least for part of it) to workout. Still instead of doing a prescribed routine I made up my own. I marched  (knees high) around the house for 20 minutes. When I was done there I did crunches, scissor kicks, and honestly I can’t remember all that I did. I know I did calisthenics and stretching though.

Sunday, my 4th day, I got to the end of the day and I realized I had not done a workout routine up to that point. I had a decision to make. Go to bed early, and give up on successfully completing the challenge before the first week was even up.  I decided it was only 25 minutes I was just going to go for it. My workout  was the same as the day before.

By the end of the week, I had got four workouts in. I was sore and exhausted. Not only had I done four workouts I had been busy in the yard most of the week.

The verse for this next week comes from Matthew chapter 6 verse 34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

*** How did your first week of  The Living and Active Challenge go? Did you complete all four workouts? Did you memorize the scripture verse?***

Living and Active


Previous posts in this series

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12  Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

I have decided to participate in Peak 313’s  Living and Active Challenge. I want  to invite you to join me in the challenge. It may have started yesterday but it is not too late to join. For the record, while I am naturally thin that does not mean I am in shape. So I am using this challenge as a spring-board to living healthier, getting in shape, and finding another avenue to getting into the word.

This week’s verse is: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

You my dear friends will be my accountability partners. If you decide to join me in this challenge I would be honored to be your accountability partner.

So if you want to join me in this challenge, I encourage you to click the link I provided, and learn a little bit more about it. I think you will find that it is manageable, and there will be much encouragement along the way.

At this point I plan on trying to go with the workout routines provided, but considering the issues with my left arm that may not be completely feasible. I will more than likely have to modify the routines to fit my ability. I will also be walking with the kids as another form of exercise and getting moving.

Another before photo.

Another before photo.

***So will you take the challenge and join me?***


Three Things You Can Do To Be More Like The Proverbs 31 Woman

I like to read. You will often find that I have 2-4 books going at any one time.  Recently I have been on a kick reading about being a Proverbs 31 woman. I have been soaking up the inspiration and the advise on becoming more like this famed woman in Proverbs. The Proverbs 31 woman is called blessed by her husband and family. She is also a blessing to her family. I know this is something that I seek after and want to encourage other women to seek after.

Proverbs 31 Woman

It occurred to me while I was doing the dishes, though while I seek to become more like the Proverbs 31 woman, I am doing it all wrong. I am looking to these authors to give me the answers. I am putting this woman at a higher place in my life than Jesus. Lastly I am not asking my husband’s input.

So I am here to offer you three ways you can become more like the Proverbs 31 woman.

1. Authors do not have all the answers.

We who write might do lots of research, or have lots of experience writing about our topics. That still does not mean we have all the answers. There are many wonderful books and blogs out there. These books and blogs can encourage you to seek to make your husband and your family a priority but they do not have all the answers. Pinterest can provide you with many links to inspirational: cleaning schedules, menu plans, work from home deals, ways to teach your kids, ways to get in shape, and more. No one item on there is going to be “it.”

So just remember to see these things for what they are: inspiration, a source of encouragement, or just the kick in the butt you needed to get moving in the right direction. If you want some blogs that provide excellent encouragement in this area I recommend Club 31 WomenWomen Living Well, and Time Warp Wife. For the military wives out there I recommend my friend Reta over at Steps of Faith. If there are others that you know of or that you love please feel free to share.

2.  “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

If we are placing all our effort on becoming more like the Proverbs 31 woman, we are placing our effort on the wrong thing. Yes this is a wonderful example that the Lord has called us as women to be more like, but we are still not to place this calling first in our lives. By placing her first, we are making an idol (or god) out of her. (See Exodus 20: 23 to see what God has to say about idol worship.)

Gods can be made of anyone or anything we place more value on than the Lord and our time with the Lord.  All too often I see God-loving women get side tracked on their walk with God, by shifting focus from God to the Proverbs 31 woman. When such a shift occurs, what we are failing to remember is how she was praised because she was a woman who feared the Lord (Proverbs 31:30.)

3. If you want your husband to rise and call you blessed, ask him what he values in his home. 

Proverbs 31 Woman

My husband and I both appreciate the time I spend making yummy goodies.

Maybe  a clean home is of high importance to your husband but you are not skilled in that area. See about hiring help. The Proverbs 31 woman didn’t go it alone, Proverbs 31:15 even mentions she had servants. So see, it is alright to ask for help. Maybe you can’t afford a housekeeper, but perhaps you have a friend who is gifted in organization. Maybe she would be willing to help you set up a system that would work for you and your family.

Ultimately this is probably the biggest suggestion I can give you. Find inspiration from your spouse and then from others on what will work for your family. If you are putting your effort into areas that your spouse doesn’t value and you are completely missing what he does value then you are setting yourself up for burnout and contention.

I am not saying that if he doesn’t see the value in cleaning then it shouldn’t be done, what I am saying is perhaps then it doesn’t have to be perfect. I am also want to remind you that you don’t have to do everything alone. Ask for help. Last and certainly not least, don’t forget who you are working for in your day. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)



Where the Focus of My Homeschool Belongs

If you were to take a peek into life at the Russell house, you might begin to realize that my children’s education does not look exactly the same from day-to-day.  One day we might be watching a little much TV for some people’s taste, but then on those days I try to balance it with outdoor play or anything else that involves being active. The next day we might be crafting and cleaning all day. Then again it might be a day full of errands and building blocks. One of my three-year old’s favorite kinds of days is spending time on ABCmouse.com, reading, cooking, playing outside, coloring, and playing with her trains.

On a superficial level you might assume that there is no consistency to their education, but that is where you might be mistaken. Daily we are talking about colors, numbers, letters, and the kind of behavior we want to develop.  We read bible stories daily, and stop to talk about what it is that we can learn from the stories.

As my girls grow, we will develop a more regular routine for school, but at 2 and 3 years old I want their education to happen naturally as part of their lives. We still have workbooks and educational software, but those don’t need to be where they get the bulk of their education. I want them to see that learning can happen in almost every situation, and I want to nurture their natural love of learning.

For now the consistency comes into play as we are learning daily in almost every situation. As I scoop flour they can help me count the scoops. Crafting helps them develop fine motor skills, learn colors, shapes, and more. I can print coloring sheets that have the ABC’s or numbers, and we talk about what we see on the sheet. Their Mobigo’s and ABCmouse.com are both educational software that they can learn with as they play. Reading together helps to expand their vocabulary.

So I offer you this encouragement while your children are young; don’t fret if they don’t like work sheets or anything that might resemble a formal education. Instead while they are young focus on developing your relationship with them. Your children are only this young once. Mother’s who are further along in this journey called life promise me that developing a relationship with your kids is foundational to almost every other aspect of parenting.


(Note: I am not being paid or compensated in any way for the links provided in this article. I just really believe that these items are working for my family and wanted to share them.)


How I am Teaching My Children to Rise Above

The bible is an excellent tool in teaching children to rise above temptation

Scrolling through my Facebook feed, this morning I noticed a friend was contemplating acting vindictively. I am actually not here to discuss that, while I don’t feel we should act in a vindictive manner, I think we all would agree we have  felt those urges. Some of us have acted upon them, and others  of us know how to rise above those feelings. What struck me really was in the comment section.

Hiding among the encouragement, for my friend, to walk away from the negativity and for her to set healthy boundaries, was the suggestion to simply give into that side of human nature. I don’t disagree it is human nature. What I disagree with is the idea that we should simply give into it if it is natural. There is a whole generation that believes if it is natural then it must be alright to do.

I would argue that emotions are just temporary, no matter how natural that it is that we have them, and our responses should not be based on the temporary. I understand the appeal; there is short-term gratification, some times it is just easier, and other times we know no other way. Instead I believe as a Christian I need to be seeking to live a life that brings me closer to my God. That life does not include room for the negativity.

I also believe that as a parent that it is my responsibility to be teaching my children how to rise above temptation, and that is one of the benefits for me in homeschooling. I can show them how I am living this out in my life everyday.

It is in the little things we build relationships.

It is in the little things we build relationships.

How I am teaching my children to rise above:

1. Drop to their knees

Prayer, prayer, and more prayer. We pray at every meal. We pray at bed time and nap time. They see me pray when I lose my temper, when I am hurting, and any time I am called to.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

2. Open the Good Book

We read bible stories together. We read from Psalms together. (I found at my children’s young age they handle the poetry better, than the long stories found in many of the other books.) We talk about what we read. They see me reading it on my own.  They know this is a book that is a part of our days, and not just decoration for our homes.

“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:12

3. Live transparently

In other words, I let them see me succeed and mess up. When I succeed I seek to show them how to do so humbly and graciously. When I have messed up and fallen short, which is often, I model apologizing, repenting, and simply trying again.

John 13:1-17 Is a beautiful example of Jesus modeling behavior.

4. Praise

When I see them displaying the character traits that I am hoping to instill upon them I praise them for their effort and hard work at it.

In Titus you will see where the Bible talks of encouraging one another in Godly behavior.

2013-06-26 10.59.56

Homeschooling allows my family the opportunity to do this each and everyday throughout the days. I know homeschooling is not the answer for every family, but it is for mine. I can best model this behavior when they see me consistently doing this.

Now if homeschooling is not the answer for you, great. Just don’t forget you can model the behavior you want to see when you spend time together as well. As I have read in multiple posts and heard in multiple venues recently, “More is caught, than taught.”

***What do you think? Is this something you can do? Is this something you are doing? Do you want to do this? Is there something more that you include in teaching your children to rise above?***