A Little Update

Hey everyone, it’s great to be back blogging! Last Sunday in church God asked me to lay down my blog for the week so I could hear him more clearly. It’s always tough giving up something you enjoy, or helps to clear your mind, but it was totally worth it. God spoke some exciting stuff to me about our family, my personal life and even my blog!

Some of what he’s been speaking tome you’ll hear this week through various posts. One thing I do want to update you on is my tag line or slogan for “my red & purple life” blog. You may have noticed the phrase “divinely joined, uniquely called, eternally inspired.” This has become our family purpose statement in a nutshell. There is more to it than just that, but that is the brief statement we’ve come up with. Basically it means that our family, starting with Andrew and I were divinely joined together by the Lord, and he is adding members to our family as he sees fit. Because of this we are committed to loving and serving each other and remaining faithful to one another first as a couple and then as a family. Our prayer is that our children will also recognize their divine place in our family and embrace their call to love and serve their family.

The second part is that we are uniquely called to relationship with Christ. We recognize that each of us will have different giftings and perhaps will be asked to do different things, while still functioning in the same family. Our personal relationships with Jesus must remain the priority. We desire to see each member of our family thriving in their unique relationship with Christ and walking our their unique call.

The final part is that we are eternally inspired. Since Jesus Christ lives in us, we are compelled by the Great Commission to tell others about his saving grace. Our mandate from the Lord is to share his love with others and rescue as many people as possible from the kingdom of darkness and bring them into the Kingdom of Light.

One other update I want to give you was that in case you didn’t hear, we aren’t selling our house. I still am talking to a lot of people to have not read that we aren’t selling our house anymore, and I just wanted to clarify that. I had blogged a while ago about how God has asked us to move, and in the end we really felt that it had been a test to see if we would be obedient. Sorry to have prolonged that if you were still praying for us that our house would sell.

I look forward to sharing many different things with you this week!



Taking A Week Off

To my subscribers and faithful readers that I truly treasure,

I will be taking a week off from blogging to focus on seeking the Lord in a few areas that need some extra time. I look forward to returning to blogging with new joy and exuberance next week.

If you think of us, you can pray for my husband, son and I as we ask the Lord “to give us complete knowledge of his will and to give us spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Colossians 1:9b).

May this week be filled with answers to this prayer in your own life as well.




Faith, Hope & Love

Failure to Drive

Failure to DriveIn high school your driver’s licence is one of the most sought after things. The first day of driving training class buzzes with excitement, we are actually getting close to freedom! It seems exciting, until everyone realizes it is still a class. Oh well, it’s worth staying after school, because at the end of it all…we’re going to drive.

I was extremely impatient for my ticket to freedom. My ability to run quickly wherever I wanted or escape my small town and head to the city was intensely desired. I had waited fifteen long, agonizing years, and I was now so close.

I passed all my written driving tests with flying colours. My driver instructor encouraged me that I was doing well. I practiced with any family and friends that would let me. Finally, I turned sixteen.

I can’t remember the exact date of my first road test, but I know it was in January after my birthday.  The day came, and I was extremely confident. I told my sisters that after school we’d go for a drive – all by ourselves. I could taste the freedom. My stomach was nearly exploding from butterflies.

Everyone at school knew that I was going for my road test. The guy who did the tests only came to town once a week, and since I had just turned sixteen, it was pretty obvious, and hard to conceal. Everyone wished me luck as I left school at lunch and my mom drove with me down to SGI. My mom was excited too, looking forward to the prospect of having someone to help her out with the shuffling of kids back and forth to various activities.

I don’t exactly remember what happened that day driving. I know I felt like I was so sick with nerves suddenly that I could hardly see straight. I made a couple little errors, but hoped I was still ok.

Then came parallel parking. I had been extremely confident in my parallel parking, but this time as we pulled outside of the local hotel and restaurant, I could feel everyone watching me.

I parked, and the guy got out and looked. I was about four feet from the curb!

I knew by now that there was probably no rescuing this test. My eyes started to cloud up with tears. He told me to try again, and I did, executing it more crooked and even further away from the curb than before.

I managed to drive back to SGI and park. I was so embarrassed. I had failed. I knew I had failed. Everyone would know that Monica Levey failed her driver’s test.

Everyone at school would laugh at me, my mom would be disappointed, my sisters would be heartbroken and…I had failed a test for the very first time.

I still had to come in and sit in the office and receive the evaluation and find out, yes I indeed did fail. I walked out of the room and saw my mom standing there holding some flowers. It felt like knives went through my heart.

She could tell instantly from the look in my eyes that it didn’t go well and she handed me the flowers and said “these we just to say I’m proud of you no matter what the outcome.” I nodded, swallowed and went and sat in the passenger seat of the van. I couldn’t drive now. I didn’t deserve it.

Going home, I went into my room and cried my eyes out. This failure dove so deep into the core of who I was. I didn’t know how I was going to face my friends and family, especially my friends who never failed. They wouldn’t understand, and I would seem stupid.

I went back to school that afternoon, got through the questions and eventually, within a couple of days got over the whole thing. I had a deeper resolve to work harder. I had failed once, but I wasn’t going to fail again. Or if I did fail, it certainly was not going to be for a lack of working on handling my nerves and mastering my parallel park.

When I graduated and came to take the Master’s Commission Program I learned about a concept called “failing forward”. John Maxwell has this amazing quote from his book called “Failing Forward – Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones For Success”. I hope it opens your eyes, as much as it opens mine.

“…[people] allow failure to get the better of them emotionally, and it stops them from achieving their dreams. Failure can be very painful–sometimes physically and more often emotionally.  Seeing part of your vision fall flat really hurts. And if people heap ridicule on top of your hurt feelings, you feel even worse.  The first important step in weathering failure is learning not to personalize it — making sure you know that your failure does not make you a failure. For many people the pain of failure leads to fear of failure. That’s when many people get stuck in the fear cycle.  And if fear overcomes you, it’s almost impossible to fail forward.”  

This story of me failing my driver’s licence test has become one of the most wonderful lessons for me to look back on. I would not change failing for the world! My determination to not let failure overtake me again, motivated me to work harder, and overcome my fear.

I knew when I was taking the test for the first time that I had allowed a fear of failure to hit me in the vehicle. This situation reflected more upon who I believed I was, and where my worth was found, than it reflected my driving.

Eventually I did get my licence. The next time I was booked to take it there was blizzard so it got cancelled. Finally on March eighth I took to the streets of my hometown again and owned my drivers test.

Oh the sweet taste of victory.

How do you cope with failure in your life? Thanks to this huge life lesson, and the phrase “fail forward” I feel like I’m on a journey of learning from my mistakes.

With the Lord at our side we can overcome all mountains. I leave you with this verse.

 For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. 

Proverbs 24:16


What's That Wednesday

Plugged In Entertainment Reviews

What’s That Wednesday | Plugged In Entertainment Reviews from Focus on the Family

Our world is full of different media influences. From movies to music to video games. How do you navigate through it all? First of all, I want to say that I firmly believe each person needs to ask God what his standard for media in their home. I think before we enter into the minefield of entertainment that can be so corruptive, we need to know what are limit is, what we will set before our eyes, what we will allow into our ears and what messages we will permit to be swirling around in our minds. If you doubt the power of media upon your person, think again. There are many scriptures that prove the Lord does not desire us to be naive in what we partake in.

Psalm 101:3

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

But test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.

Philippians 4:8

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

A great resource that we have found for aiding our media choices is Focus on the Family’s Plugged In Entertainment Reviews! They have all kinds of movie, tv show, music and game reviews on their website. They also have an app for your Iphone or Android.

One thing that I love about their movie reviews is that they break it down into the following categories:

  • Positive Elements
  • Spiritual Element
  • Violence
  • Sexual Content
  • Crude or Profane Language
  • Drug and Alcohol Content
  • Other Negative Content
  • Conclusion
Quite often we’ll skip over all the positive points, and the conclusion to ensure the storyline isn’t given away, but we review all of the other areas to make sure the movie fits within the boundaries that we have set for media consumption in our home.
Another fun feature on their website is “Movie Nights“. They pick their best options for families (they have two sections, one for kids and one for teens) and then provide discussion questions to help your family get the most out of viewing the movie. We’ve looked at the sheets, and it doesn’t make the movie watching time into another class at school, they keep everything fun! Parents can just have the ideas in their mind for after the movie, instead of just reading off a sheet!
Recently we were trying to choose a movie and we watched a trailer for a certain film online. It looked funny, light-hearted and perfect for our at home date night. We turned it on and instantly were overwhelmed with overtly sexual conversation and an unexpected bedroom scene. That movie didn’t stay on longer than about six minutes! Being a little bit shocked at how we had stumbled onto that, we decided to reference Plugged In Reviews to see if they warned about this, since the trailer made it look like a family film! Of course the review would have protected us from that if we had check it out first. That was the last time we would view an unknown movie without checking Plugged In first!
All of these reviews are from a Christian standpoint, and their heart is to protect families and strengthen them. I appreciate the work that Focus on the Family does to “help families thrive”, as their motto is. I look forward to featuring their various ministries more in the future.
Enjoy your next family movie night!
Try It Out Tuesday

Homemade Brown Sugar Scrub, Banana Oat Muffins

Today is Try It Out Tuesday! Let’s be honest, I’m not the most original person. But I sure do love trying out cool ideas I’ve seen. I keep having moments of creativity, so when I get an idea I definitely will share it, but for the most part this segment will be me mostly sharing with you cool things I’ve tried to make!

First off I tried making a Brown Sugar Body Scrub. When my sister-in-law and I went for manicures last week, one of the luxurious parts was the brown sugar scrub that they used on ours hands. It felt so good. My hands were so soft afterwards, I realized I must have looked hilarious touching them so much! Then I remembered that I had found a recipe on Pinterest for a Brown Sugar Scrub (original idea here).

I made about a third of the recipe since I had never tried it before and wanted to make sure if was actually nice! I had been saving some of my empty jars of Olay Cream for such a time as this, so I pulled one of them out.

I used:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (I has some dried older sugar that I can’t really use for baking that I used for this)
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. honey

I didn’t have any liquid honey, so I microwaved my creamed honey for 8 seconds. Then mixed everything together in a bowl.

I put it in my Olay and far and tried it out. It felt so good! Definitely had the same qualities as the Salon product, for a much more affordable price!

When I make this again, I am going to try putting a scent in it, like vanilla or citrus or something. I feel like the scrub feels wonderful, but is lacking the delicious smelling quality! I was reading some ideas and one person added a little vanilla extract and a little coconut extract.

This was a very simply and fun little project and is such a great gift idea for the future!

Try it out! 🙂

Ok I have one other thing for you to try this week. I found a recipe on allrecipes.com and tweaked it a bit. I can’t delay it because they were simply so delicious, and fairly healthy!

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins (original recipe here)

  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
  • Chocolate chips (optional)
  • walnuts (optional)
  1. Combine flour, oats, bran cereal, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, honey and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Add as many chocolate chips as desired. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, and divide the batter among them.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy trying out these fun little things. Here is a quick encouragement for you on this Tuesday. Last night my husband and I were reading in Psalm 32, and a reason for great joy stuck out to me. Verse one states,

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!

If you know Jesus, you have been forgiven and your sin and been put out of sight. What glorious joy we have in that fact that we have eternal life with our Maker! May nothing steal our joy today! Have a very blessed Tuesday!

Birth & Babies

Inviting Independence

Motherhood Monday (view full blog schedule here)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Caleb’s independence. Such a short time ago he was “helpless” and completely dependant on us. The truth is though, since the moment I gave birth to him, he was placed on a road of learning, growth and development. He is always advancing and discovering. Every minute he seems to become less dependant on me.

I feel like God may have given me an extra independent child. I will see that more as Caleb grows, but his lack of desire to cuddle and his urgency to move and explore has been great from the get go. I have had moments when I’ve grieved over my lack of snuggling with my baby when I see moms whose child will actually lay on them calmly! I think I had one or two weeks of that, and then he learned how to roll over!

One of the first times we gave Caleb solid foods he grabbed the spoon from my hand and put it in his mouth! He knew where that was supposed to go and figured he should be the one to put it there!

So I’ve been being challenged to celebrate all the little milestones that my baby is reaching. I’m sure every mom does, but I know it’s very common, and perfectly normal to want to keep you baby a baby, and dependant on you. The idea of a baby doing something for himself can be quite distressing to some moms. Sometimes this can come from a place of finding your worth in caring for your baby. It can creep up on you without you realizing it. I have to be on guard almost everyday. So many hours of our days go in to caring for these little people and their successes and failures become our own. There victories are shared and they naturally become our “pride and joy”.

Accepting the fact that babies grow up can be difficult. I am looking at Caleb playing on the floor right now, tossing his giant stuffed frog around telling him a story. He stops and inspects the frog to figure out just what it is. He’s learning this very moment. His little fingers that once could barely grasp my own finger, now touch, feel and cling to anything that comes close to him.

Not only do we as moms need to recognize that our worth is not found in being a mother, but we also need to receive a word from the Lord regarding our kids. If we know in our hearts that God has big plans for their lives, he wants to use them to do mighty things, we will invite independence. We will relinquish control on their existence and see ourselves instead to be the anointed servants who have been lent God’s mighty men and women to be loved, cared for and admonished.

The most amazing example of this in the bible is Mary, the mother of Jesus. There is no other woman in the world who was truly “lent” God’s only son. All of the wonderous and amazing things happened so fast for her and Luke 2:19 says

“but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.”

She loved her child deeply, held on to all her treasured memories, and fulfilled her duty to the Lord.

Mary received prophetic words about her child and knew he was destined for greatness (if you needed confirmation aside from the angel!)

Luke 2:33-35 shows how amazed Jesus’ parent were by the prospect of who he was.

Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Wow! Talk about motivation to be a great parents, to love that son and to encourage independence. As Jesus grew up Mary had to “let go” a lot in areas as he “grew in wisdom and stature”.

So my challenge to myself is to not try to hold Caleb back in any way (for the sake of keeping him dependant). If he wants to feed himself then I will be excited that he is growing. If he shares his faith with a friend, I won’t belittle him by letting him hear me tell someone it’s “cute”, but instead I will affirm his desire to reach out.

How do you handle letting your child have independence? I’d love to especially hear from some moms whose children are a little older now, but all comments are welcome!


For any comments or questions too personal for the comment board, feel free to email monica@myredandpurplelife.com


Thanks for stopping by!

Personal Challenges

Sunday Night Panic!

Have you ever experienced it? Friday evening comes and excitement is usually filling out household. It’s the weekend! We have a great time, make some family memories and try to just focus on growing closer. Then Sunday afternoon rolls around and I start getting this sinking feeling in my stomach. Tomorrow is…Monday.

Really, my weeks are not bad at all. I love staying home with my babe. I stay busy, sometimes with too many things on the go. I have nothing to complain about. Once the week gets going I find my rhythm again and thrive on accomplishing various things. I just really love having my husband at home, and I guess I like sharing some of my responsibilities it too!

We now make a joke about “Sunday Night Panic”. If one of us starts to get restless about the week starting, we just laugh about how Sunday Night Panic is striking, and we choose to focus on having fun or doing something together. It helps take the edge off the anxiety that could easily start to build.

Isaiah 41:13 offers this encouragement:

 For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’

Whatever each of us faces this week we have the promise that our God is here to help us. Our fears and burdens can be cast at his feet. Monday morning can come with a shout of joy for the opportunity to walk with the Lord for yet another week. Our lives are a gift. Not a day can be wasted.

May this week be filled with fun and adventure as you serve the Lord with all your heart doing whatever you do!