High Five For Friday!

Who’s excited for Friday? Today holds so much fun for me, and the start of the weekend with my family. We’re going to knock down our creaky garage after the fire, and begin the process of cleaning up our yard and getting it back to normal, or to the new normal!

I’m linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog. Check out all the High Five For Friday posts, or link up yourself if you have a blog!

Here is my top five things from the week!

This Wednesday I put out my neck the morning I was to lead worship at an event. My husband got me into a Chiropractor, and I got an adjustment and was able to at least move the lower half of my body again. That night they prayed for me before I led worship, and I felt the healing power of God flow through my body. I had full movement while leading worship. Then yesterday I went back to my Chiropractor and he was astonished at how much better my neck was. He did one more adjustment and told me I didn’t have to come back the next day. I told him it was the combination of a great Chiropractor and the power of prayer! I’m so thankful that I serve a very real and alive God of hope, love and healing!

Monday we were having a rough day. Caleb seemed to be falling on everything and the tears were flowing in abundance! I called my husband up and he met us for lunch at McDonald’s in Wal-Mart after got our groceries. It was so much fun. Caleb was safely seated laughing in a high chair and I got to talk with an adult. Caleb then fell asleep on the way home and I got some work done for a couple of hours. A rough start to a day turned around to a great finish! I also pulled out a new toy that I had put away that kept him very entertained! 
Have you read The Power of a Praying Wife? I have started going through this book and praying the prayers over my marriage and my husband. I can’t tell you if it’s working already, but I believe that prayer works and I will see great things come from it. The prayers are so powerful and align fully with the Word of God. I can hardly get through them without crying. God has us in a season where we are really working through some things he’s brought up in our first couple years of marriage, and it is so exciting to see His power at work! 
Last week one of my points was my husband’s birthday, but it was just what we were going to do be doing. So here’s an update. It was wonderful! My surprise trip to the spa turned out awesome. We were hanging out at home and all of a sudden there was a knock at the door, Andrew opened it and there was my mom and sister! He was so confused. I told him they were here to watch Caleb and that I had a surprise. We left and he figured it out by the time we got on the highway. He was so excited! The rest of the day was nice too, but the highlight for me was definitely the mineral pool and alone time with my husband. Maybe it was more a gift for me then my husband? In this picture we had just finished running around playing laser tag, so I look a little sweaty! ha! The cake is a Oreo Buttercream Cake you can find here.
On Tuesday I wasn’t feeling well, so I had some alone time in my room after Caleb went to bed and Andrew taught our leadership class by himself. That wasn’t the high point. But during that time I got to listen to another episode of Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. I LOVE this! They have so many classics; Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Garden, Ben Hur, Les Miserables, etc. They also have some original pieces, including one of my new favourite radio dramas The Father Gilbert Mysteries. You can listen to them online for free when you click here. Past episodes can be found in player that pops up to play  the currently featured episode. 

I am also excited to be selling sponsorship spots on my website (an opportunity to get you business or blog more known). Please email monica@myredandpurplelife.com for more information and pricing. This will include a button linking to your website and Sponsor Spotlight every couple of months.

Have a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend with your family and friends! I can’t wait for mine to begin 🙂

Blessings,

What’s Holding Me Back?

Last night my husband and I led worship at an Aglow meeting here in our city. I hadn’t led worship since being pregnant with Caleb, and that was early in my pregnancy before it got too difficult. The whole experience showed me that my worship leading has nothing to do with me. I was so out of practice and my voice not used to singing that much, yet the Lord showed up and His presence was there. My prayer going into it was that in my weakness His strength would be made perfect, and it certainly was. I had thrown my neck out badly yesterday morning, and between all the prayers I received throughout the day, a visit to my chiropractor, and the prayer warrior women laying hands on me in the pre-service prayer time, I was back to nearly full mobility.

The speaker was a powerhouse woman. She came in absolutely humility, telling of her beginning steps as a young mom just desiring to be a “radical Christian”. As she shared her story, she also told us the things that she became aware of that were holding her back from being a “radical Christian”. Her mother in law was saved late in life and always told people about Jesus with great boldness, saying, what have I got to lose? I am spending eternity with Jesus, and if you don’t receive his love you will spend eternity in separation from God.

Her message to us was:

What have you got to lose?

What are you afraid of that stops you from being a radical Christian?

We took time to pray about it, and the Lord showed me the answer to those two questions.  He showed me that what I have to lose are friends, popularity, and “respectability”.

He showed me I have a fear of failure and a fear of my immediate and extended family. It’s a cycle for me. I want to step out or being who I am fully created to be, and then I get afraid that I’ll fail, and that if I fail my family will say they aren’t surprised, or question why I tried to be different anyway.

These things aren’t true about my family. I have loving and supportive family members on my side, and my husband’s side, and of course an incredibly supportive, empowering and loving husband.

After we identified our fears, the speaker said that what we fear, if it holds us back, is what we are actually worshiping. So if I fear failure and it stops me, than I worship not failing more that I worship God. If my fear of what my family members will think of me stops me from pursuing God with every ounce of my being, then I’m worshiping my desire for my family to affirm me, more that I am worshipping God.What we fear what we worship

Here is an example. On this past Sunday I was having an extremely emotional morning. I was feeling terrible about myself, how I look, myself as a wife and as a mom. I ended up stomping around getting ready for church, and burst into tears the moment we got in the car. Here was my fear: I had messed up this morning and now all I wanted to do was worship Jesus and receive healing and peace, however my husband knew who I really was, so how could I worship in front of him.

Ok, so obviously that is a lie. I know. And I am glad the Lord gave me courage to tell Andrew how I felt on the way to church. He told me that he didn’t judge me and that what I needed most was freedom to worship, and he extended that to me.

This is still the morning after this revelation, so I’m still not sure what it entirely means for my life. I know the Lord has asked me to be a voice, and I’ll be honest, I am scared of what he is going to ask me to speak out. I don’t want to humble myself by sharing my insecurities, my struggles as a wife, my fears as a mom or my failings as a child of God. I want to only say things that will make me look good. However, I know the Lord is preparing me to shout out messages that might be difficult for me, and that will require courage and boldness, and might make my friends, family, and even ME a little uncomfortable. They required me to look my fears in the face and ask the Holy Spirit to blast them to pieces with his truth.

Jesus, help me face my fears today, worship you above all of them and become a RADICAL lover of you.

What’s holding you back? What are you afraid of?

 

Family Photo Contest Winner!

Back in February I held a contest called the “Celebrating Family Photo Contest”. I asked readers to send in their favourite photo of their family with an explanation of why you love it!

The winner was chosen by a random draw. Lyndsie Bachtold submitted this photo and explanation:

“This is my favourite picture of my family. For starters, I love it because I think we all look just fabulous 😛 And secondly, I love hugs and this picture looks like we’re all having one big group hug. I LOVE my family!!!” – Lyndsie

From left to right: Marni, Lyndsie, Shelby, Kendall, Karen (mom), Chris (dad)

This family is incredibly special to me. I spent most of my teen years in their house hanging out with the girls, talking with their parents and being loved on by such a close family. I am so blessed to have them in my life still!

I talked to Lyndsie about why her family is so close, how they maintain their relationships and how the Lord plays a part in their family.

1. How do you and your family stay close though you’re spread out? We try to get together as often as we can. We love getting together and having nice meals where we are able to catch up, tell stories, laugh and enjoy one another’s company. We also love to text, send emails and call one another when we are apart.

2. What was one thing your parents did to promote family time growing up? Same as question one. We’d have nice meals and enjoy one another’s company around the dinner table. I loved our family times around the dinner table growing up. I’m glad that was a part of our lives; something that I think a lot of busy families miss out on.

3. What is one thing that makes your family so special? I love that as we get older we grow closer and closer together instead of further apart…I think that’s special.

4. How do you know your parents show you they are committed to each other? They pray together, have date nights, etc.

5. What’s it like have three sisters? Growing up, deep down I loved it, but didn’t always realize it. Now I fully realize how blessed I am to have three amazing sisters. I LOVE having three sisters who are all my best friends.

6. How does faith play a part in your family life? Our faith in God ultimately strengthens our relationships with one another. As we learn to more fully love God we can more fully love one another. We are able to share our journeys with Christ together, pray for one another, encourage one another, share wisdom and advice, etc.

There are many wonderful things about the Bachtold family. One thing I personally love is that Chris & Karen always sends each of their daughters flowers on Valentines Day. Three of the girls live together, and Lyndsie Instagramed all their bouquets that were around the house that special day.

It is extremely important that girls feel cherished by their dads, and I’ve always thought Chris has done a great job of this! Karen offers great wisdom, and her daughters know they can turn to them.

The sisters are each different in their own way, but if you get to hang out with them, be ready for lots of fun! As we have got older and the times in their basement are no more, I always look forward to them stopping by the house on their way through my city back to our hometown. We laugh a lot, filling my husband in on all the fun times we had, and relive great memories together.

My best conversations with each of these girls always took place over a different kind of drink; coffee with Kendall, Pepsi with Lyndsie, hot chocolate with Marni, and a slushie with Shelby! I am so happy to have gotten to know them each individually!

I think there are some great suggestions that we can pull out of what Lyndsie shared.

  1. Take advantage of the everyday moments to enjoy with your family. Supper can be the best time of the day to talk! Research indicates that one of the greatest antidotes for risky behavior in teens is consistently eating supper as a family. You can read more about that in Finding Home – By Jim Daly of Focus on the Family.
  2. Communicate lovingly! We have so many wonderful resources at our finger tips in this day and age. You can say “I love you” over Facebook, email, Twitter, text, phone call, writing a note, etc.
  3. Parents who take time for their marriage do not hurt their children. Even if they have to cut out an activity that their kids might be disappointed in, it doesn’t take long for grown children (and often younger) to realize it was worth the sacrifice to have a family that is together and parents that are committed to each other.
  4. As you love Jesus more, you can love you family more. If you are having issues with your family, choosing to take time to pray will give God the opportunity to give you eyes to see them the way He sees them.

Do you know this special family? Share a word of encouragement, or something you appreciate about them below. If you don’t know them, tell me what struck you while you were reading Lyndsie’s answers.

 

Now I’m going to go make sure my baby boy knows that I love him, starting with a lot of kisses!
Treasure your loved ones today!

 

 

Some Little Touches

With spring just arriving, we are getting the itch to clean up the house, redecorate a bit, and take on some projects we have been wanting to do. From touch ups around the house, to cherry blossom paintings to re-upholstering an older chair, we have lots of vision!

Around the House

This past weekend we continued with painting our doors and our trim. Our doors are going from white to espresso, and our trim from white to a somewhat latte colour. Then eventually I will have cream cupboards! We decided that a nice little touch would be to change out all our light switches and electrical plugs from their white coverings, to black. They hardly pop at all now, and seem to make our walls look more elegant!

This picture is what the combination was before. Basically white with brown. White trim, white doors, white light switches.

Here is the new colour combination. The glare is from the flash. (I’m praying for a new camera, so hopefully if I get one you’ll see a better picture of the colour!)

One other thing that I LOVE about my new black light switches and outlets is that I have a black counter tops, and I also felt like the only thing you noticed in the kitchen was that. Now they fade right in to the counter.

Again these aren’t the big things, they are the little touches that make the difference. I look forward to one day posting pictures of our finished touch ups!

In the Kitchen

Sometimes a plain and ordinary dish needs a little variation to keep it exciting! Growing up I didn’t like oatmeal, in fact, I dreaded the days that I woke up to oatmeal! But every now and then I would like how it turned out. It always seemed like a mystery. When I got a little bit older I realize I hated “quick oats” and love those creamy “old-fashioned oats” that take a little longer to make. I have an even creamier and more delicious way to enjoy in your bowl of oatmeal.

Creamy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup water

1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 apple, peeled and chopped

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 -2 tbsp. honey

Combine the milk, water and oats on the stove at medium temperature and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add apples and cinnamon. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, covered. Stir in desired amount of honey. Top with additional cinnamon and milk before serving!

Serves 2 huge helpings, or 4 normal sized ones!

We enjoyed this oatmeal before my husband left for work this morning (thanks to my son’s extra early arising), and it was perfect for this cool and rainy day!

 

Blessings,

 

Romance: Ready to Receive?

This is my first time linking up with Marriage Monday, at Chrysalis Cafe, (“a weblog for thinking Christian moms”). I’m excited to joining up with this, as I am very passionate about marriage and purposefully learning from my everyday life. I can’t believe how much I have changed as a person since June 5, 2010 (our anniversary).

Today’s topic is: Romance.

There are many different directions to take this post, but as I have been praying about writing this post, the Lord showed me something about myself, that is in scripture that has really got me thinking. You will be able to read many other perspectives and thoughts on Romance when you visit the Chrysalis Cafe link up.

Jesus shared a parable about the farmer who went out and scattered seed. He talked about four different surfaces that the seed landed on.

1. The Footpath

2. The Rocky Soil

3. The Thorns

4. Good Soil

The footpath was the people who heard the word of God but don’t understand it and the evil one quickly steals the seed. The Rocky Soil is those who hear the word of God, receive it with joy but then when there are problems their roots don’t go deep, and they fall away. The Thorny Soil hears the word of God but all to quick the worries of life and pressures of this world choke the budding fruit.

The good soil, is ultimately the best. They receive the word of God with joy and go on to produce great fruit.

What does all of this have to do with romance in marriage?

We often talk a lot about what we can DO to create romance in marriage, which is very important. But what this passage showed me is we also have to BE in order to receive in marriage. You can’t have one without the other.

If your spouse offers you every action that reflects your top love languages; affirms you, gives you gifts, etc., but your heart isn’t in the place to receive it, their actions will be falling on soil that will not produce a fruit.

In my own life I relate to the thorny soil, where the worries and cares of life can choke out the seed. The hardest time of the day for me is right when my husband is coming home. My son is always over tired by that point, I’m trying to make supper and have the house prepared for either a small group that is coming over, a meeting or simply clean enough that we don’t waste our evening tidying up.

It seems that no matter what my husband is to do or say in that moment when he walks through the door, unless I am very purposeful, the worries and cares of life will steal the good things that my husband will try to invest in me.

For some of you, you might be able to receive love well when things are going great for you both, but when there is confrontation, difficulties or even sin that needs to be confessed, you give up. All the good seed that was planted is uprooted and destroyed because of the few bad rocks in the garden.

And still others of you simply don’t understand each other, or the enemy has been given room to come in and cause confusion and misunderstanding and you are frustrated because it seems that whatever you do, your seed lands on the footpath, with not even a chance of growth.

So how do you turn the garden of your heart from full of thorns and rocks into rich, fertile soil? A good gardener can pick rocks and pull weeds all morning, and have the garden transformed by afternoon. Jesus is the ultimate gardener and the lover of our souls. He can perform miracles in our lives in an instant if we ask if.

While you work on yourself, simply being aware of how you are prone to be can help. I shared my example about how right around when Andrew is coming home is when I’m at my worst. While the Lord works on me in dealing with life’s pressures, I can be proactive to protect our relationship. I have been trying to implement these few things and they’ve been helping:

    1. I give my son an extra snack around that time so he isn’t just waiting for supper, and over tired.
    2. I start supper earlier or at least plan it out ahead of time.
    3. I try to keep up with my daily/weekly chores so that I only have to do a few things a day to maintain a generally clean house.
    4. I have been singing to worship music and really inviting the Lord’s presence into our house and I’ve seen a huge difference in my attitude when my husband gets home.

Like I said at the beginning there are so many different ways you can take this topic, and I hope to write about it more. This is what I felt the Lord put on my heart.

To keep feelings and romance in your relationship, you can’t just “do” you need to receive, and that can sometimes be just as much work as trying to be creative in showing love. Commitment to loving Jesus will transfer in every way over to loving your spouse.

Here are a couple other posts of mine that you may like if you enjoy reading about marriage.

Is it harder for you to receive from your spouse or to give to your spouse? Feel free to share in the comment box below!

Blessings,

High Five For Friday

This is a special Friday! March 23rd, my husband’s birthday! I can’t believe what the last year has held for us. Here is a picture from his birthday last year. I was seven months pregnant with Caleb. Wow, how different things are! I can’t wait to see where we are in another year, and I’m so happy I get to enjoy all the changes with Andrew. 

I’m linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog.

We have had a crazy week and that is the perfect transition into my number one moment of the week!

1. Someone started our garage on fire on Wednesday morning around 2:00 a.m. and we were miraculously saved, and our house too! You can read about it in my blog post Fire! 

2. On Sunday my husband and I went out for supper before our marriage class. We went to Boston Pizza and I ate Thai Chicken Bites for the first time since having my son (I couldn’t handle that much spice while being pregnant). They were so delicious, and it was nice to go out with Andrew.

3. Like I said today is my husband’s birthday. I am surprising with him a day at the mineral pool spa forty-five minutes from here. (We’re leaving right after I post it, and he promised not to read this!). We’ve been wanting to go there for the day for a while, and after this week, I can’t wait!

4. I got some sweet deals at Value Village this week! You can read about them here. I love the thrill of finding great deals! Thrift store shopping is like a treasure hunt!

5. I’ve been really into English Breakfast Tea this week. I ran out of Irish BReakfast Tea so I’ve been drinking my other stuff, and it is also really yummy! 

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend! Don’t take a minute with your loved ones for granted, we’re here for a purpose and each time I receive some new perspective, I am so challenged to love deeper.

 

Fire!

Around 2:45 a.m last night I heard the loudest warning alarm go off. My ears were ringing. I instantly opened my eyes. I could not believe what I saw. Our entire garage, yard and part of the tree were completely engulfed in flames! At that moment there was a loud burst of shattering glass, as the window in the garage popped from the heat. My husband and I sprung from bed, calling out orders to each other of “GET CALEB” and “call 9-1-1”!

I grabbed the phone and realized the line was dead since the flames had already devoured the power and phone lines. I opened our front door and screamed out into the night asking if anyone had a phone. We didn’t want to go back to our bedroom since that was the closest room to the flames, and we weren’t sure how fast the fire was spreading. A man was standing there already on the phone with the respondent.

He was shouting to get out of the house because the tree was catching fire and all I could scream back was “my baby!” and he realized there was more people inside.

When we got outside and were safely waiting in our vehicle we gazed up at the billowing smoke, mesmerized by the enormous flames that we’re about to consume our house. I had never seen a fire rage with such fury.

Our house. Not our home. Our home is the three of us, and thank the Lord, we were all safe.

We sat there praying, but with nearly no hope we’d ever walk into our house again. The flames were reaching extremely high as the fire trucks screeched and screamed in. I told my husband I didn’t know if I could sit there and watch my house go up in flames, it seemed like too much to take in.
The firefighters were amazing. They were able to put out the blaze quickly. The fire stopped just before our house. Not even our stucco was singed. Our garage was barely standing, everything inside destroyed, our grass burnt but our house, miraculously remained untouched.
In the picture above you can see that the garage door melted away almost completely. From the outside it looks like the building is standing, but it’s basically all stucco. A big gust of wind could knock it over.That alarm I mentioned at the beginning that pulled me from my sleep, ended up not being real. There had been no alarm. No one else heard it but me. Jesus in his grace and mercy sounded it for my ears to awaken us to action.

Everyday we pray protection over us, and we plead the blood of Jesus around our house. Last night before going to bed we read Psalm 91. We had no idea the extent of protection we were asking for.

Today my heart rejoices with absolute elation. We are safe. I am standing in my house that I didn’t think I would ever walk back into. I can’t convey the thankfulness in my heart.“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.” Psalm 4:8

We don’t need to fear the terror of night, nor the disaster that might strike. He has proven his faithfulness to us yet again. He is so good to us.
 
Unfortunately there was a string of other fires last night. They are being investigated since they at all suspiciously similar. I wonder if the person or people who thought this was a funny prank would have realized the trauma that it can cause. If they saw the beautiful face of my son, and heard the dreams in our hearts, would they have reconsider putting us at risk?I don’t know the answer to this, but I do cry out for the Lord to intervene in their lives before they do something worse and end up hurting themselves and someone else.

We are so blessed to have a God who protects us, and brave men and women who risk their lives helping others. I thank each person who serves as a firefighter or another type of emergency respondent.

I now know the answer to that ridiculous question “if you could grab one thing if your house was on fire what would it be?”
The answer is nothing. Not even shoes. I stood barefoot in the street with my baby wrapped I my arms and my husband standing next to me. There was nothing else from the house I wanted in that moment.

Grocery List Tip & White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

After a somewhat eventful night, Caleb and I slept in an hour later than usual. So at eight we got up and I still had hopes of getting myself ready, him fed and ready, my grocery list completed and us out the door to the story well before snack time. We didn’t even come close to that. I just decided to give up on my ambitious grocery run for this morning and try again this afternoon or tomorrow. It’s funny the stress we can sometimes put on ourselves, and our kids for no real reason. Caleb sensed the rush to get out the door, so he was being an extra little turkey, scooting to spots far away when I grabbed the car seat, and creating messes he’s never made before with his new found standing ability (nothing is safe in my house anymore)!
In the moment I felt like I just conceded defeat, but actually I was a flexible mom who put the needs of my son ahead of my plans.
Phew.
I knew there must be something good coming from the last couple hours.
Perspective.
For today’s Try it Out Tuesday, I want to show you a great resource for grocery lists. It’s called GroceryLists.org
The original project came about because a man started to look at the various grocery lists he found in the store while he was shopping and began noticing many hilarious things. For example, how not many people can spell mayonaise mayonnaise, everyone has their own short hand, and the interesting notes that wives wrote for their husbands about actually completing the shopping list this time!
Out of the humour, came a book, and now beyond the book you can download a copy of “The Ultimate Grocery List”. This is a list that I go through every month, and I hardly have to think of anything, I just go through it and see what on that list we need. They think of basically everything!
The first time I looked at the list I laughed at the section called “carcinogens” (which literally means a substance capable of causing cancer) and saw cigarettes down there. The writers definitely have a sense of humor.
Thankfully this list can be edited and personalized once you download it, so you can remove anything from it that you want to.
Click HERE to go download your free copy of the Ultimate Grocery List!
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
After last week’s High Five For Friday, I promised my white chocolate cranberry cookies recipe (which really isn’t mine at all, but in my little circle of people I’m the only one who makes them).
You can visit the website called “Lovin’ From The Oven” that I took the recipe off of HERE, and check out more of her beautiful cookie photos (the one displayed here is hers as well).
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

These are truly delicious! Try them out, and explore that cute cooking blog that this recipe is from!

Blessings,

A Trip To Value Village

Most people, especially women love to shop and love to wear new clothes! I am definitely no exception. I was challenged in our Marriage Class when they were talking about how one of the roles of women is to be an administrator, and that especially for those of us who currently live off one income, we need to be good stewards of the finances our husbands bring home. So thrift store shopping has definitely become our style.

This is no problem for me. I LOVE thrift store shopping, It feels like a treasure hunt. I get a huge thrill off finding something I love, is in perfect condition and paying hardly anything for it.

So yesterday afternoon when the weather didn’t turn quite as warm and sunny as we had expected, we took a little trip down to our local Value Village.

In the picture above, I tried to create a mannequin from my tall lamp! I included this picture more for a laugh, since it didn’t really work! The shirt and the belt were bought at Value Village and the cardigan, which is older (as you can see by the safety-pin holding the one seam together) is from Superstore originally.

I found some new white skinny jeans, and already spilt some coffee on them! Don’t worry, I’ve gotten coffee our of whites clothes MANY times!

So in the above picture I bought the white jeans, brown ruffle cardigan, the pattern shirt and that little belt.

In the below picture was a pink pattern shirt I also bought.

Everything was in brand new condition. Here’s what each would approximately be brand new (some I looked up, some I knew from previous shopping experience. The Aldo belt is still online).

Suzy Shier Pink Dress Shirt – $30

White Skinny Jeans – $40

Evidence Pattern Shirt – $25

Aldo Belt – $20

Red Cardigan – $32

Total: $147

I paid at Value Village: $38

I just love a good deal! That’s a savings of $109!

Ok now here is a cute story of while we were there. Andrew took Caleb and showed him a rack of clothes to see which thing he would be drawn to. He pulled out these green, yellow and white basketball shorts. Andrew then picked out some other things and held them up to him and he chose the shorts again! Here he is in Value Village gripping those shorts.

So we bought them for him and brought them home and he loved playing with them. Then today, after I washed them, he tried them on. Was he ever cute!

The only person who didn’t find anything was my husband, because he spent all his time watching me try on clothes or helping Caleb. Next trip will be all about him!

Share your best deal stories below! I’m thankful for many ways to stretch our finances and free more of our money up for the things that matter, like creating family memories and helping others!

 

 

It’s The Weekend, Where Are You Going To Church?

It’s the weekend, where are you going to church?

Last night we went to our church’s Saturday night service. My husband and I used to go to it every week. It’s kind of the younger, more kicked up service. However, I don’t like saying that because our Sunday worship is absolutely phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to imply that it isn’t!

Anyway, we were back with our babe last night (thanks to an unexpected late afternoon nap) and it was so wonderful to be in the presence of the Lord. We missed Sunday service at church last week, and let me tell you, we missed coming together with our church family to worship. I don’t think we place an unhealthy emphasis on corporate worship, and as a family we value worship and prayer in our home daily, but there is power in coming together and declaring the greatness of God.

Last night as I was at the front of the church, one of the pastors came over and completely read my mail. He started praying over me, and the Lord showed him basically every single thought that was on my mind this week concerning my purpose. The content of the word that was spoken to me isn’t what is important. The take away point is that the Lord is with you all the time, and He wants to speak to you. He can speak directly to you, but my faith was again increased as I was reminded of the reality of the Lord’s power.

So when are you going to church? Did you go last night? Are you going this morning? I hope you take the time out of your weekends to go to church .Do not underestimate the importance of meeting together, the power of corporate worship, and the impact of hearing someone speak to the congregation who has spent time seeking God for what he should talk about.

Let’s just say, if you don’t go to church, you are missing out!

If you don’t have a church family where you live, email monica@myredandpurplelife.com and I would be happy to help you look into some great churches in your area!

I know some of you have been hurt deeply by churches, and this won’t be a post where I go deeper into why that happens, but please don’t confuse that with being hurt by God. Churches are made up of people, and people are human. They make mistakes. Even the ones that look like they have it all together usually have some deep seeded things that the Lord is working on.

God’s love is perfect, and as his child, if you ask him for bread he won’t give you a stone. My prayer for you is that you can allow the love of Jesus flood your heart and give church another try. Pray for a good, bible believing church with leadership whose focus is on preaching the Word, welcoming the presence of God and empowering the church. If you ask for a good thing, let’s believe the Lord will point you in the right direction!

 

May you have wonderful encounters with God’s presence as you worship with your local church family!

 

 

 

High Five For Friday

Another week has finished, so another High Five For Friday is upon us! I’m linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog.

1. It’s spring! It’s beautiful and warm. The sun is shining as little birdies are chirping. I love it. We went for a walk around the lake in our city and Caleb took his first ride in a swing. He laughed at it. It was so cute. I will post the video on My Red & Purple Life Facebook page. I am also looking for ways to make my house feel like it’s spring and truly welcome in the warmer days.  Send your suggestions my way! Here is the park day as told by my husband’s Instagram.

2. We took a drive down to Kipling and visited my mom for the day. She had homemade buns and cinnamon buns waiting for us. It was definitely worth the drive! 

3. I have been loving this FC5 Arbonne cooling foot cream. I received it as a gift at Caleb’s shower, and then didn’t think of it again. Then I was cleaning out some of our baskets full of products and make up and I found. Wow, it feels so good on your feet. My feet actually feel energized after using it!

4. We were sitting in the living room and I looked over at Caleb and he was standing up all by himself! It shocked me at first, but then I managed to grab the camera before he tumbled down. He’s quickly gone from standing for a few moments, to starting to walk along furniture. Life has changed, again, in a matter of 48 hours!

5. I made White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies this week. Normally I would consider this a winter cookie, but they seemed to work for spring too! Our student leadership group ate them up quickly! Stay tuned for a recipe on Tuesday!

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!