Monday, October 31, 2011

Multitudes On Mondays


57.  ice-cream cones to share
58.  boys in their beds
59.  hot tea for sore throats 
60.  full tummies
61.  warm blankets
62.  socked feet
63.  steaming soup made with love
64.  snuggles
65.  sticks
66.  a great new worship cd (New Life Worship)
67.  plain t-shirts turned into something prettier
68.  hot homemade berry cobbler
69.  checking things off my “to sew” list
70.  copy-cat little brothers
71.  tiny-tots who know the truth about halloween 
72.  adding new projects to my "to sew" list

And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid Name.

1 Chronicles 29:13

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scripture Sunday


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Paper Coterie Review and GIVEAWAY!


I LOVE photo books!  I have for a while.  Our wedding album is a photo book.  I have Christmas photo books, and church photo books.  I have a photo book with pictures from Grande’s first six months.  
So when I got the chance to review a product from Paper Coterie of course I choose a photo book!  I had been wanting to make a book of Chico’s first year.  While it took longer than I thought it would to make (we were in the middle of a move), I love the results.  
I was impressed right away with how easy the website was to manipulate and the beautiful modern layout options.  The hundreds of photos from Chico’s first year uploaded quickly.  And because everything on the Paper Coterie templates are 100% customizable I even uploaded pictures of the patterns on his baby blankets and clothes to use as backgrounds making it extra special.  
When Finished the book was over 100 pages.  I placed the order in the evening and got an email the next day saying it was completed and had already been shipped!  Talk about FAST.  It arrived a few days later with a cute little necklace as a welcome gift to the Paper Coterie community.
To say I am happy with the book and service is an understatement.  I’ve already ordered another book from them of one month worth of Project 365 pictures and I plan to order the rest of our 2011 books from them as I get them finished.
So here’s the exciting news for you!  You  can win one of TEN $40 gift certificates to Paper Coterie I’m giving away AND each one includes FREE shipping!  I can’t wait for you to experience Paper Coterie for yourself.
How To Enter: 
Complete as many entries as you like.  Each is worth 1 entry.  Make sure to include a valid email address in your comment if you do not have one available in your profile.  Please write a separate comment for each entry.  The contest will close on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Open to Continental US residents only.  Winners will be chosen by an online random number generator.  Winners must respond within one week.
  1. What will you use your coupon code for if you win?  Check out the Paper Coterie Website to see all they offer.
  2. Follow @papercoterie on Twitter
  3. Follow @devotionmama on Twitter
  4. Subscribe to Devotion Mama by email
  5.  Tweet this:  @devotionmama is giving away 10 $40 gift codes to @papercoterie! #giveaway 
  6. Share this post on Facebook
Disclaimer:  Paper Coterie generously provided me with an item of my choice for review and 10 coupon codes for worth $40 to use on their site and free shipping for the winners of this giveaway.  Thanks Paper Coterie!  All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Back Arched, Arms Stretched, Head Thrown Back


This is Chico reaching out for his Abuelita on her front porch.  I love the arch in his back, the stretch of his little arms, and his head thrown back in petition to be held.  
He doesn’t hold back when he asks.  He doesn’t try to hide his need for her.  He’s not embarrassed or ashamed.  He’s doing everything he can to let her know he wants her.
It’s easy to do when you’re asking something from someone you have complete confidence in.  When it’s someone you know consistently does everything possible to treat you with extreme generosity.
Can we be that way with God?  Unashamed?  Desperate?  Back arched, arms stretched, head thrown back?  
Not sure?  Read a little about His generous Spirit in 2 Corinthians and remember what He’s given, and cry out freely to the One who longs to answer.
God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.  As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.  This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
2 Corinthians 9:8-11

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's On Your Griddle?


My dad texted me a picture of some tortillas on his griddle.  It was obvious that they were store bought so I had to text him the picture above of what my mother-in-law was making from scratch.  
If it was a competition to see who’s griddle had something yummier on it, I won.  He called me back laughing and we joked about it.
Looking through my pictures what came to mind though was how easy it is to fall into competition.  Even when they really have no significance.  It’s easy to compare ourselves with others or feel like we’re in a competition, when what we should be doing is working together, celebrating each other’s accomplishments, and encouraging each other in our strengths.
Sounds good right?
Yeah, let’s do that instead.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others.
Galatians 6:4
That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Galatians 5:26

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Little Iron Man


Iron Man crawled into bed with me a few mornings ago.  Not the real Iron Man (obviously) but a miniature version.  A sweet little 2 year old we affectionately call Mediano who often seems to believe that he is a superhero.  He holds out his little hands makes a noise and imagines he’s shooting things like Iron Man.
He’s playing, using his imagination, but there really is power in those little hands of his.  When they are given over to be used by the Holy Spirit, they can become hands that heal, hands that feed, hands that comfort, and hands that pass on spiritual gifts.
. . . the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands . . . 
Acts 8:18
He doesn’t know that yet.  But I do.  And at times I sit back in wonder at what those hands will one day do.  
And eventually his true victory will be won when he, like Christ, gives himself completely into the hands of his Heavenly Father.  What incredible hands He has.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Luke 23:46

Monday, October 24, 2011

multitudes on mondays


20.  happy noise
21.  arroz con leche filling the house with it’s aroma
22.  my boys saying please and thank you to each other
23.  beautiful and affordable ways to keep the pictures that capture memories (photo books)
24.  little boy language only Mama understands
25.  quiero poquito chocomil, con poquito asucar, con poquito leche en un vasito de de cars. (grande)
26.  leche, toy story vaso, puro asucar, and leche  (mediano)
27.  te ta ta ta ta (chico)
28.  books read slowly taking in every word
29.  warm sun streaming through windows on chilly autumn  mornings
30.  little eyes gazing up at abuelito taking in his every move
31.  the grace that cost so much and yet was so freely given
32.  loving hands of a creator cradling the broken heart of his creation
33.  a God given place in the battle for my children’s souls
34.  never having to go it alone
35.  victory over temptation to the point where it’s no longer tempting
36.  His hand of protection over me as I follow His path
37.  friends to lean on and to support
38.  painful thanksgiving that brings transformation
39.  a place to rest both spiritual and physical
40.  the tender hearts of my boys entrusted to my care
41.  the love of a husband that reflects the love of Christ
42.  new starts
43.  freedom to honestly and openly come into God’s presence without fear
44.  Jesus.  who He is.  what He’s done.  that He is all I will ever need.
45.  wisdom shared
46.  time to reflect to gain the Lord’s perspective
47.  the ability to hold my children when they wake at night
48.  the power that resides in the name of Jesus
49.  freedom to love God passionately without the fear or risk of rejection and the joy that comes from that
50.  my voice being used by Him
51.  quiet moments
52.  a voice small and still but powerful enough to be heard through the noise
53.  walking in a path set before me, not having to blaze my own trail
54.  the peace that comes through letting go
55.  words well woven creating a blanket of encouragement that warms to the soul
56.  knowing where the journey will end

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Scripture Sunday


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apologia Live Vlog

Here's a short vlog about Apologia Live so far.  FYI I am sleepy and not eloquent in this video.  ;-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hold On Baby, Here We Go!


I took the boys to the park again this week.  For those of you who may be wondering no I did not torture Chico by pushing him in the swing again.  I did slide down the big twisty slide with him on my lap though, and he loved it.  
I have to say that I was a little nervous up at the top looking down with my sweet baby on my lap.  I couldn’t even see the end of the slide.  How could I be sure it was safe for me?  How could I be sure it was safe for him?
It’s incredible how much we change when we have children.  When I was younger I thought I knew what faith was.  I thought I had it.  The faith that no matter what happened or where His path would lead that everything would eventually turn out all right.  The faith that He would provide everything I need.  The faith that hears a still small voice and walks forward without asking Him to repeat Himself just to make sure I heard correctly.  It seemed simple.  It seemed natural.  
Add a husband and three small sons to the equation and it doesn’t seem as simple.  I may be easy not to worry about what I will eat or what I will wear (ok so sometimes I worry about what to wear), but not worrying about what my boys will eat or if they’ll have clothes to protect them from the cold is much harder.  
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
"And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the flowers of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34
But the Lord has proven Himself to be faithful.  And I am learning what I used to think I already know.  To trust Him.  Not only to provide for me, but to provide for my family.  Not only to lead me in His path of righteousness, but to do the same for my boys.  To get back to that place of hearing His voice and walking in it, without fear and without doubt.
And if that’s hard just check out what Jesus says in Mark 13:11.  
Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say.  Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Mark 13:11
To be arrested and not worry?
Lord grow my faith!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Messy Ruffles


I’ve been sewing lots of ruffles lately.  Ruffles for me, ruffles for friends, ruffles for books, and ruffles for babies.  The thing about ruffles is that their’s beauty in the imperfections.  It seems that the messier they are the more beautiful the final product is.  
It reminds me of some testimonies I’ve heard.  Testimonies that shock and impress their audiences.  The messier the person’s life was before Christ the more impressed we are.  And we can start to believe that it takes that kind of story for our testimonies to be useful.  We start to think that God’s work is like ruffles, the messier it starts out, the more beautiful the end result.
But the truth is that my story, your story is just as powerful and can be used by God to call others to Him.  After all in essence we have the same basic story.  
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
John 1:12
and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:24
Of course the details are widely varied and personal, but the work the Lord does in one is just as beautiful as the work He does in another.
 So let’s speak out.  Let OUR testimonies be heard.  

And let us wait in sweet anticipation to see how He uses them to overcome.

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 
Revelation 12:11

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Must See Video in English and Spanish

Monday, October 17, 2011

multitudes on mondays


  1. a home with family
  2. sounds of worship that fill the house
  3. a baby who wakes each morning singing praises in his own baby language
  4. my boys in diapers or undies by choice not because they lack clothing
  5. dirt - a free toy with endless possibilities
  6. warm water - to wash away said dirt along with tension and stress from the day
  7. an entire hand full of small fingers wrapped around my pinky 
  8. the stairstep effect created when my boys line up in birth order
  9. sunday morning worship courtesy of the birds in the backyard
  10. quiet moments
  11. mediano feeding chico
  12. chico feeding his little cousin
  13. grande’s amazing ability to memorize scripture
  14. the ability to see and speak to family regardless of distance
  15. extra arms for my boys to run to
  16. books and videos that teach the truth to my dino loving boys
  17. meeting women bloggers in real life who seek to honor God through their corner of the web
  18. tiny toes
  19. three generations of family together seeking the Lord sunday morning

. . . I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.  I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.  Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

Philippians 4:11-13

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scripture Sunday


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Big Book Of History Review


Are you ready for this month’s #teachthetruth twitter party?  There will be more opportunities to win great books from Master Books including The Big Book Of History.


This 15 foot timeline tracks 6,000 years of history.  All the way from the first day of creation to the presidency of Barack Obama.  This could easily be used alone or with the study guide as a history textbook, but would also be a great tool to use alongside any history curriculum year after year.  
While my children are still a bit young for this level of study, they love the format and colorful pictures of the book.  This is one I’ll store well for later and pull out as we discuss different events.  
What I found very interesting was a bit of United States church history at the end of the timeline.  Did you know that in 1947 President Harry Truman declared the U.S. as a Christian Nation and in 2010 President Barack Obama declares that the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation.  It grieves me to see the mark our generation is making on history and leads me to my knees.
The book ends with a great question.  How will you make history?

You can watch the book trailer here:

For a chance to win awesome prizes including this book, join us for a Twitter party on Tuesday, October 25 at 8pm Central.  
Use the Hashtags -  #TeachtheTruth  and   #tttrollcall 
Follow @masterbooks4u and the Moms of Masterbooks Reviewers – @mamahall@apichea@bowmania@momkaboodle@getalonghome@devotionmama@momsmustardseeds @thejohnsfamily 
Other non-authorized, not recommended uses for this book include using it as a racetrack for cars and a path to crawl on.


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Overflow


The water rushes as small hands grasp the garden hose.  The land parched by months of drought soaks up the cool stream as it passes over the plants, grass, and trees.  In times like these patches of green mix with brown as the grass struggles to survive through the scorching hot days of a Texas summer where rain is often prayed for, but rarely seen.  
And Grande’s favorite part of helping his Abuelita comes at the end.  He aims the spray of water at the birdbath and watches as it splashes and overflows.  And I watch his excitement.  It’s a beautiful sight the overflow of that cool, clear water.
But it’s not just the abundance that makes it beautiful.  It’s the water.  It’s the beauty of the water itself.  It’s purity.  It’s goodness.
Imagine the same scene with sticky black tar coming out of the hose.  The picture loses it’s beauty.  
When it comes to overflow and abundance we all have it.  Whether we have an overflow of goodness or evil depends on what we have stored in our hearts.  
Is our overflow beautiful?
Is it of living water?
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Luke 6:45
Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.
John 7:38

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Thought This Was Supposed To Be Fun.


1 year old boy 
plenty of sunshine
warm weather
baby swing
Gather all ingredients.  Insert boy into swing.  Push gently while smiling and exclaiming what fun it is to swing.  This should elicit giggles and happiness from boy.
I had all the ingredients.  I followed the recipe.  
Chico cried.
What went wrong?  It was supposed to be fun!  That’s what swings are made for, so that little boys can enjoy them on sunny days.  
Have you ever felt like Chico?  Following the world’s recipe for the good life and ending up in tears?  Following someone’s method for spiritual growth and feeling farther and farther away from the Lover of your soul?  Following the church’s strategy for prosperity and wondering why you don’t have what others do?
The more I get to know the Lord, the more I realize that his plan for me is different than his plan for you.  While the truth in his Word is the same for everyone, the way it plays out and the place it takes each person is different.  
When it comes to methods, procedures, recipes, etc., the focus is always on the end result.  Where we want to be.  What we want to have.  
When it comes to living life with Jesus the focus is on the process.  Our walk with Him.  Our relationship with Him.  
And I find that the work He does in me along the way is of much greater value than anything promised by the methods, recipes and strategies out there.
Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.  The way to life-to God!-is vigorous and requires total attention.
Matthew 7:13-14 (The Message)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)

Monday, October 10, 2011

High Places


Chico’s up high.  Sitting high on the wall.  But how did he get up there being so small?  Did he jump, did he climb, did he suddenly grow?  Does he have superpowers?  Could he have his own show?  Can he fly, can he run, does he swing from the trees?  No, most of his time is spent on hands and knees.
He’s small.  
But he has someone to lift him up.  Me.
I sat him on the wall to take some pictures.  He couldn’t get there on his own.  But he got there anyway.  In the end whether he get’s there after many of his own failed attempts or by accepting help right away he ends up in the same place.
Like Chico there are many places we just can’t reach on our own.  We can struggle and try all we want, but we just won’t make it until we ask the Lord to lift us up, to take us to the place He has prepared for us.  It’s when we come to accept that He is the one who makes us able that we can reach the heights.  
So let’s let Him take us, do with us what He wants, and we’ll find ourselves in places we never could have arrived on our own.

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.  He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Psalm 18:32-34

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Little Legs


We took a walk around the block today while my mother in-law made dinner.  About half way around Chico stopped and sat down.  
He was exhausted.  His tiny legs just couldn’t keep up with our big ones, and his few months of experience walking just doesn’t compare to the years his brothers and I have been walking.  So I stopped, turned around, scooped him up in my arms, and carried him the rest of the way.  
There’s no doubt that Chico would have been in danger if I had left him there alone.  If he’d been alone he may not have gotten up.  And if he did he might have headed for the street.  Even if he had stayed on the sidewalk at 1 year old the chances he would make it back to his Abuelita’s house would have been slim.
My question is why when we see a brother or sister in Christ sit down or fall is our reaction so different than my reaction with Chico?  
We criticize.  We gossip.  We comment on how it makes the rest of us Christians look.  We speculate about the undisclosed details.  We discuss how not to fall in the same way.
But could it be that the Lord has called us to stop, turn around, scoop them up and start to carry them?
if one falls down, the other helps, But if there's no one to help, tough!
Ecclesiastes 4:10
No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; Soon they're up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.
Proverbs 24:16
Could it be that God-loyal people don’t stay down long because they’ve understood the truth of Ecclesiastes?  Not because of their personal strength, but because they had people around them who in obedience to the Holy Spirit helped them up?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011



My father in-law has a lasso.  And he knows how to use it!  When the family gets together one of his grandchildren’s favorite games is to run around him and be lassoed.  It’s a game filled to the brim with laughter, smiles, and lots of “na na na na boo boo you can’t catch me’s.”  But here’s the clincher although they yell out “you can’t catch me,” they really do want to be caught.
Why?  Because they know who is catching them.  Their Abuelito.  He’s not going to hurt them.  He’s not catching them to punish them.  He catches them, hugs them, and releases them to continue the game.
We can at times feel “caught” by God.  When the consequences of our own sin, failure, or bad judgement appear in our lives.  But when we’re caught by God, it’s like my children being caught by their Abuelito.  
We’re not caught by His wrath, we’re caught by His grace.  Just like when Peter was “caught” in his lack of faith.  The hand that Jesus reached out was one of rescue, forgiveness, and love.
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Matthew 14:31

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scripture Sunday