My 100th Post! (Starbucks Giveaway)

I want to take a post to say a huge THANK YOU to all my readers! You have no idea how much of an encouragement you have been to me. I started writing in September (see my first ever post here) as a way that God showed me to overcome my baby blues and hopefully encourage others through the things He was showing me. Since then I have tried to share my heart and life with my readers, and have had an overwhelmingly positive response.

I take this post to thank you because it is a special post. This is my 100th blog, and I want to show you my appreciation. I am giving away two $5 Starbucks cards. Here is how you can enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post in the comment box below telling me which post that I have written is your favourite. Please leave it in Wordpress, not Facebook, if you are having issues let me know. Make sure you include your email address so I can notify you if you win!
  2. BONUS entry #1: Like My Red & Purple Life | Blog on Facebook
  3. BONUS entry #2: Follow @myredpurplelife on Twitter

The winner will be chosen on Sunday, April 8th, and will be notified by email.

This draw is valid for residents of Canada, The United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. My apologies to my readers outside of these countries!

So thanks to you, my beloved friends. You each have a piece of my heart, and I don’t take for granted the fact that you take the time to read about my struggles, triumphs, tears and joys.

 

Much love to you all, and all the best in the draw!

 

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!

 

 

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.

 

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!

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!

Blessings,

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.

 

 

Blessings,