The Hope of Easter

 Posted by on April 18, 2014
Apr 182014
 

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Today is Good Friday, a day for Christians that marks reflection and mourning but most of all hope. We know today marks an unbearable day for those who love Jesus, for those who went before us to spread the good news, and for those who had to watch their son, friend and teacher be nailed to the cross. It was all those many years ago when Jesus breathed his last breath and uttered the words, “It is finished.”

Yet we have hope because we know that on Sunday we celebrate Easter, Resurrection Day, a day where our King conquered death. We have the hope of Easter. Through the Scriptures and the faithful promises of God, we hold to the knowledge that…

We know what Jesus went through for us.

We know just how much He loved us because He died on the cross.

We know that on the third day He rose again.

We know… but most of all we believe.

We believe that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried.

We believe that He rose on the third day and is now in Heaven.

We believe that He died for our sins because He loves us.

We believe that Easter is about celebrating the hope and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I firmly believe that Easter is the single most important holiday and celebration in our Christian faith. It is the day that marks our hope and faith in new life. It is the day where all of God’s promises throughout history have come true. It is the day we can shout…

Hosanna! Hosanna! He is risen!

Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For He grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

Be we was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.       ~Isaiah 53:1-6

Let us all spend the next few days preparing our hearts for the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter

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Apr 162014
 

 

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of so many different emotions. Losing my dad has brought to surface feelings that I was expecting. Even though we knew my dad’s time on this earth was ending, I don’t think anyone can ever be prepared for the grief that comes when you finally have to say goodbye.

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I’ve been surprised how moments of grief creep up unexpectedly. I’ll remember a memory, my son will ask a question, I see a picture of my dad or I have a thought when sadness and tears wash over me. Almost like the waves coming in along the tide, they slowly creep up and then a large wave swallows the whole shore.

It is getting easier as the days number and the tears are starting to dry up a bit too, but still… there is a sadness that consumes me that I wasn’t expecting. I knew that I would miss my dad, but I didn’t realize how that would truly effect me.

I wanted to thank all of the kind and encouraging messages of support and prayer that so many of you have expressed to me over the past few weeks. Words can’t even express how grateful I am that so many people have been lifting my family and I up in prayer.

God’s Word has been a huge source of comfort for me during this time. I am constantly reminded of Romans 8:37-39:

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Such a great reminder of Christ’s love for us and that through every trial and hardship He is right there guiding and leading us.

Outside of God’s Words, I have found comfort in a beautiful, modern hymn by Sara Groves. I chose this song to be played during my father’s memorial service to serve as a reminder of God with us.

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.

I pray this lyrics in this hymn bless you today as they have me over the past few weeks.

Apr 152014
 

Make a Book About Your Favorite Person and You Could Win $2,500 from Blurb

Note: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. You can read my disclosure policy here

Did you know that Blurb might give you $2,500 to read about your favorite person? All you have to do is make a book about a loved one (Hint: Mother’s Day is just around the corner!) filled with all sorts of kind words, creativity and insight, and if selected, you could win the grand prize!

For every book you make (there are seven different categories, so seven different chances to win) you will receive a 30% discount on the printed product!

Go to Blurb to check out the details of the contest to see what the categories are and when the entries are due. The 30% discount on My Favorite books will be applied at checkout when you use the promo code: MYFAVORITE. (And, even if you don’t enter, you can still get 30% off on all My Favorite books or save 15% on all printed orders through April 30th!)

Not sure what to write about? Take a look at what some of the people at Blurb say about their favorite people. 


What I’m Reading #9

 Posted by on April 14, 2014
Apr 142014
 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here

Well I haven’t been reading as much as I would have liked over the past month. So many events, grief, exhaustion and other time suckers have kept me away from my usual reading goals, but I have managed to squeeze some it. Plus yesterday I had a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon where I was able to finish 2 eBooks! So that definitely counts for something!

As always you can read what I’ve been reading in the past hereor you can check out my Books Read in 2014 Pinterest page or GoodReads

What I’m Currently Reading

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When it rains, it pours! I had several books come up on my hold list at the library, and since they had holds too, I couldn’t renew them. Which meant some went back to the library unread or partially completed only to be re-added to my holds list. :(

For the record I loved Bread & Wine, had mixed feeling about War Brides (the ending was terrible in my opinion), have checked out The Diet Cure more times then I care to admit (it’s full of so much information about health and your body), and just couldn’t get into The Rosie Project despite it  being recommended to me my numerous people (it’s due tomorrow so maybe I’ll check it out at another time and try again).

On My Kindle

Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most by Brooke McGlothlin

This is still on my Kindle because it is such a great prayer resource, and honestly it probably will stay on my Kindle for quite a time. What I love about this book is that the first part is all about why we should be praying for our sons, and the last part is specific prayers to be praying over them. Plus this prayers are so versatile, you can pray them for your daughters, husbands, or any family members.

Self-Publish: Moving from Idea to Product by Erin Ulrich and Teri Lynne Underwood

One of my goals this year is to write and publish my very first eBook. I’ve got the writing thing down for the most part, it’s the self publishing part that needs some attention! This is one of the handful of books on writing that is on my to-read list and it’s filled with so much helpful information.

On My Night Stand
Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff

This was one of those books that I was reading but had to return before I could finish, thankfully I just got it back from the library this past week so I’m excited to finish reading it.

Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen

I’m thoroughly enjoying this, but it is one of those books that is taking me a while to get through because there is so much to stop and think on before I can continue reading. Similar to A Million Little Ways, Jennie Allen is thought provoking and giving me some serious meat to chew on.

What I’m Planning on Reading Soon

Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman

Yes, I’m still planning on reading this soon! Hopefully my library holds will momentarily pause for a moment so I can read this and a few books that I have saved on my Kindle too.

What I Have Read {That I Think You Should Too!}

How She Does It: An everywoman’s guide to breaking old rules, getting creative, and making time for work in your actual, everyday life.by Anne Bogel

I snagged this short eBook last week when Anne relaunched it and it was on sale and I’m so glad that I did! While I am a stay at home mom and my family is my first priority and my main ministry, I have been given a clear vision of how God wants me to use this little piece of the internet to reach out to others. Creative Home Keeper is growing and it is turning into a small business as well. I love how Anne highlights several women who have created different working schedules to accommodate family life with pursuing work. Gone are the stereotypes and the mommy guilt of  trying to structure my day to not only raise my family but also spend time working on growing this blog.

Blog Posts that I have Loved

From Where I Stand / The Tiny Twig

When You Feel Overwhelmed By Homemaking / Gospel Homemaking

When a Mom Goes Home, She Goes to the Mission Field / 29 Lincoln Avenue

For When You Miss a Date with God (And You Will) / Devoted SONriser

The True Schedule of a Stay-At-Home-Mom / Kayse Pratt

Know Thyself: 3 Challenges I Face When It Comes to Self-Care / Intentional by Grace

Where I Stand / Jen Hatmaker

So at about you, what have you been reading or are planning to read this month?

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Also don’t forget to check out Book Notes where I’m sharing how to organize your digital eBooks and invite you to link up your reading posts too!

 

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Easter Resources {a Round-Up}

 Posted by on April 12, 2014
Apr 122014
 

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With Easter quickly approaching I wanted to put together a list of my absolute FAVORITE Easter resources, children’s books, crafts and activities from around the web. Many of them are from my Easter Pinterest board where I have been pinning my favorite Easter ideas all year long.

Even though we are a week away from Easter doesn’t mean it’s not to late to complete some intentional activities with our kids. I know that it always seems like Easter creeps up on us (I still don’t understand why Easter can’t be on the same date every year) and there isn’t a specific countdown towards Easter like there is with Christmas. Just yesterday I finally pulled out my storage tub with my children’s Easter books and other decor items. I feel so behind!

So for the rest of you who are also feeling a little overwhelmed that Easter is next week, don’t fear… here is a great list of some fun, creative, intentional Easter resources that highlight both the fun, spring elements of the holiday as well as truly point to the REAL reason why Easter is such a significant even in our Christian faith,

Best Easter Books

It’s not secret that I love books and being a former elementary teacher I also love children’s books. Some of these books below are books that we own and others I have added to my wishlist as we’ve checked them out from the library to hopefully own someday. These are great books that gently teach young ones about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. There is also a vintage classic children’s book that I absolutely love. The following links are affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

The Easter Story by Patricia Pingry


An Easter Gift for Me by Crystal Bowman

God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren


Easter In The Garden by Pamela Kennedy

The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs


Benjamin’s Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggsby Melody Carlson


The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown

Easter Resources and Activities

sense of the resurrectionI’ve been enjoying this resource from Amanda White to help teach my kids about the story of Easter.

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I also love the idea of using Resurrection Eggs as another fun activity to help teach my kids the Easter story. Plus anything where they have to open up, touch and feel the manipulatives is a great activity for kids. Motherhood on a Dime shares a great Resurrection Eggs resource to build your own set.

 

Do you or your kids ever wonder where the tradition of Easter eggs came from? Or what about the Easter bunny? iMom has a fantastic resource explaining where those traditions came from, plus they connect the dots between those favorite traditions to the real story of Easter. This is a great resource to share with your kids when they ask WHY?

Easter Crafts

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I love this DIY Easter Tissue Paper Suncatchers from Creative K Kids

Silas would LOVE to watch the bubbling and fizzing of these Baking Soda Easter from Mess for Less

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I’m sort of in love with these beautiful centerpiece using classic Easter candy (I may or may not be a closet Peeps fan!) Totally Tulip Tastic Display Arrangement from Craft-O-Maniac

Easter Basket Ideas

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Yesterday I shared 34 Frugal and Intentional Easter Basket Gift Ideas 

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I love this cute way to give bunny money to older children in their Easter baskets from The Crafty Journal

Still need more Easter basket ideas? Check out this post from Modern Mrs. Darcy, she shares 37 more fun and useful gift ideas.

Be sure to check out my Easter Pinterst Board for even more ideas and inspiration!

Follow Victoria @ Creative Home Keeper’s board Easter on Pinterest.

 What are your favorite Easter resources to celebrate the holiday?