My Fitness

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Under the Sea Bible review + giveaway

This week we received a copy of Zondervan's Under the Sea Bible to review and giveaway! We are always so excited about reviewing things.

It has very beautiful cover that glistens with the textured and glittered fish and sea creatures. This will be beneficial in attracting youngster's attention. There isn't anything too special about the theme of "under the sea" throughout this Bible. There are only three pages with any additional content. Those pages include a "how to pray" guide, which I like! There's a list of the books of the Bible. There's a list of famous Bible children and where their stories can be found. The Ten Commandments made the colorful page debut in the form of "Ten Commandments for Kids" with a simplification and explanation of what "adultery" is, which is awesome. And then the ABCs of becoming a Christian which is beautifully simple and well explained here.

The version is NIrV which is the New International Reader's Version. NIrV is a descendant of NIV which is a descendant of KJV. What is particularly valuable in the NIrV is the shortened sentence structure and the replacement of longer words with simpler words. Does it stay true to the inspired Scripture? You can decide that for yourself. I personally prefer ESV and NASB, but I can't deny that the NIV is very easy to read. The NIrV is at a 3rd grade reading level. But it is in the "gender neutral controversy".

Read about the NIrV HERE

For the Giveaway simply make a comment below and I will select a winner at random on Friday!
(multiple entries does not give you multiple chances)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

good things happen when morgan shows up

Jessica MacNaughton showed up to Pima Community College one day with henna on her hand. I wanted to try it and finally did so almost 2 decades later. The result is AMAZING! Thanks, Morgan! Holly and Micah are itching for their turn, too!

candid shot

before shot smiles

Holly's henna tattoo

after shot of back

after shot of shoulder

Thursday, March 17, 2016

st. patty treasure hunt

The first treasure hunt I remember doing was when I was attending VBS at a Lutheran church. We split up into teams. Each team was assigned a color and our clues were in a different order and we had to return with all our clues to win. I was like 7. All my teammates were the same age ± a year or two. I was the only advance reader and while we were assigned an adult to help us she quickly quit because she had to help another group. Our assigned leader, the oldest kid, was not doing anything. He stood there with a blank expression like he hadn't even been listening to the instructions. So I took over. Now that I think of it that was my first memory of "taking charge". The entire program was disorganized. Our color was slightly off another group's color. We looked at the appropriate place for our clue and accidentally took another group's clue. Oops!

Anyway, I asked an older kid if we won once I corrected our mistake and she lied and told me we were last. I saw other groups still coming in and knew she was lying but I could also tell the whole thing was very disorganized and I was betting that since it was VBS we were all getting the prize. And we all got the prize.

For my kids this morning, I wrote their names on two clues each. Micah really liked that part! They had so much fun finding treasure!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

qixels from 5 below

My oldest has recently discovered Minecraft.
At 5 Below, our local dollar store where nothing is over $5, they have these type of fuse beads that stick when they get wet. There was a pattern for a sword, an ax, and a skull. Caleb wanted a bow and arrow so I came up with that on my own. You might be able to come up with a better pattern for any object your kids might like.
I let the boys do their own swords. They did a good job.

Friday, March 11, 2016

why I appear to be fine with my mom's cancer

Christmas Eve 2015 my family learned that my mother had breast cancer. When I heard, my heart sank for my mother. I imagined her losing all her hair and being queasy for the next year. I imagined that she'd be quite uncomfortable.

People started calling me and texting me to make sure I was okay. I would always think, "Why are you calling me?" The calls keep coming and I'd like to encourage you to focus your energy toward my mother. She could use your encouragement and calls and texts. I'm fine. She's sick and she'd love to hear from you. She is my opposite: where I tire of people easily, she is in constant want of more people. Introvert/extrovert.

How can I be fine while my mother is DYING? First, breast cancer is very treatable. She will likely only have memories of cancer in five years. Second, the worst that can happen is that she suffers and dies. My happiness and security is not placed on any person except that Person of Christ Jesus. If my mother dies, she gets to go to heaven. What a relief to finally be counted worthy of eternity with her Savior. Well, not "worthy" but I digress. 

Here's what I want you to take away from this post: We are all, each and everyone one of us, facing death every day that we live. Having a cancer scare of a terminal disease only reveals the illusion of control we have over our lives. I could choke to death this evening. You could fall down the stairs and break your neck. 

My mom called me once and was understandably sad and needed to be reminded where her hope rests. This might sound odd but I told her she shouldn't be scared of getting cancer and dying next year because she could be hit by a bus tonight. 

I appear to be okay because I have faith. I do not have faith that my mother will live. I do not have faith that everything will be better in the end. I have faith in God and that faith translates to an eternity spent with Him. I have faith that God allows no bad thing to happen that does not better conform us into the image of His Son if we allow it. 

It's easy to trust God. 

I was just in a Bible study where the women were saying how difficult it is to trust God. I disagree. I voiced my disagreement there and I say so again here. If you dwell on depressing thoughts, then you will find your trust waning, but if you take every thought captive and cast your worries to him because he cares for you then you will find your faith increasing too.

How is trusting God so easy for me? Because it wasn't always so easy. Every time I found that I didn't have faith in God, I would stop and pray and read Scripture that reassured and demonstrated that God was trust-worthy. I've been told this is a manifestation of the gift of faith. If this is a gift, then I think you have it too and perhaps it just needs to be exercised and trained. People have different demeanors and personalities and will react with anger, sadness, and confusion in varying degrees. I don't know if having faith takes that reaction away necessarily. I think perhaps having faith means that you trust God despite what your emotions say and despite your circumstances. 

I'm sad that my mom has to experience pain. I'm sad that my friend's child choked to death last week. I'm sad that ISIS is slaughtering everyone they hate. I'm sad for every child at St. Jude's Hospital. None of this sadness rocks my core because we were never promised an easy, pleasant life. I wish we were. I look at my wonderful life and know that at any moment it could all come crumbling down around me. That's okay. I pray that this won't be tested any more than it has been already (we've had some rough years). But it's okay. 

I appear to be fine because my God is bigger than this fleeting life that will end for all of us eventually anyway.

addendum: I want to emphasize that it's ok to not be ok. It's ok to cry. It's ok to be sad. It's ok to mourn. Americans are promised the right to pursue happiness but Christians are to pursue Christ.
Everyone dies. Be ready.