3 Reflections on the Life of Amy Carmichael

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Big J and I finished listening to Amy Carmichael the other day and I am still blown away by her life. Little D listens too but he can’t offer any input yet. 😉

Amy Carmichael was an Irish girl living in Belfast, Ireland in the late 1800’s. She was a spirited young lady and got herself into trouble one night after concocting the idea to stay up after curfew.

There was a comet traveling through the sky that night and she didn’t want to miss it. It turns out her teachers and principal didn’t want to miss it either so she and her roommates got caught.

She was a typical person, living life for herself, when there came a pivotal moment that would thrust her into living her life fully for God.

3 reflections on the life of Amy Carmichael

She was walking home from church one day and she saw a homeless woman struggling to walk in the snow. Her and her siblings went over to help her but she was embarrassed about it. But during the time helping the homeless woman, she heard a voice say “Gold and silver. Hay and stubble.” She knew this was a passage from the bible talking about how our works here on earth will be tested with fire in the end.

In that instant she wasn’t embarrassed anymore. She held her head high and was proud to be able to help the woman.

She went home after that and looked up the verse in the bible. She found the words she had heard in 1 Corinthians 3:13. …”each ones work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” She decided from that moment on she would do what God had called her to do regardless of what other people thought.

Her life from there lead her to England, China, Japan and finally India. Amy helped about 140 men, women and Indian children find refuge in her home in India. Most of whom she helped were little Indian girls. Little girls were brought to her instead of being offered to the gods to become temple prostitutes.

She died peacefully in her sleep at age 83 and was buried in the family cemetery called God’s garden. She had no head stone just a bird bath placed over where she was laid and the word “Amma” inscribed on it. The Indian word for mother.

These are some of the things I came away with after listening to her story…

Not all Christians are on the same path you are.

This one is kind of hard for me to grasp. If Christians are at the same place at the same time they should be doing to same work, right? This is wishful thinking on my part.  I also feel this was Amy’s thinking as well because she was confused by other Christians not wanting to do work for God. There would be a need and the groups of Christians that Amy was with would just shrug their shoulders when they couldn’t think of anyone to help those in need.

God can only do His work through me if I allow Him to. He can only use as much of me as I give Him. And when He is calling me to do His work and I can’t get upset or frustrated that He isn’t making others around me to do the same work.

Just like He doesn’t force me to do His bidding I can’t force others to do His work. I don’t know what God is teaching you, unless you tell me, so I can’t expect us to be doing the same work.

God will provide

I know this seems ridiculous to point out or even talk about but I feel we need to remind ourselves of this. God. Will. Provide. And miraculously.

If God has a work for you to do then He will make it happen. Against all odds. I was reminded of the verse in James that says, “You do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NKJV)

How many times have I asked God for something because it was just something I wanted? How many times do I ask for something that has nothing to do with the work that He is calling me to do?

Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can see what prayers God answers and which ones he doesn’t manifested in the lives of those who pray to Him.

When Amy asked God for something that would help take care of others, God provided. Amy wanted to build a building for the factory girls where she lived. She had been meeting with them at her church but the congregation began to complain to the pastor that the lowlifes were meeting in their church. When the pastor wouldn’t listen, annoyed congregants started complaining to Amy. So Amy began to ask God for money for a building for them to meet in instead of her church.

Amy trusted God to provide and He did. God provided the money and the land for the building. God provided in many other ways exactly what Amy needed because it was to help bring others to Him.

Lastly, her life is one I want to emulate

We have examples in the bible of great men and women of faith but I think I have fallen prey to the idea that that was then and this is now. That God somehow changed how He works just because we, as a society, have changed. But I am reminded through the example of Amy and other Christians in the more recent years that God still works in dramatic ways if we let Him. And maybe in some more subtle ways than we realize but that’s for another post.

Obviously, Jesus is our perfect example of the faith that we should have but I also take encouragement in the lives of other believers examples as well.

Amy Carmichael was a single woman all of her life because she cared more about serving God than finding a husband. How I wish I had listened, really listened, when I was single and wanting to be married so badly. I wondered how many opportunities I missed because all I cared about was looking for “the one”.

She also cared more about serving God than what anyone else thought. How much time do I waste thinking about what others are thinking about me or how they are treating me when I could be throwing myself into God’s work. What could I be accomplishing for Him?

I have several more audio books of the books, “Christians Heroes: Then & Now” and I can’t wait to hear their stories of how God worked in their lives. I want to live the kinds of lives that these believers did and I gladly call them my Heroes. I am excited to listen to what heroic things that God called them to do. And I pray that I am up for the same challenge.

Thanks for reading and I hope you look more into the life of Amy Carmichael for yourself!

Who has been really inspiring to you? Tell me in the comments below!

 

5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Comparing Your Kids to Others Kids

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I saw a very disturbing Pinterest description the other day that really made me stop in my track. The picture was of a cute little girl with a very stylish haircut. The description read, “50 cute haircuts for little girls to put you on center stage.”

After reading that I thought, “Are we really putting this undue pressure on our kids to make us look good?” Are we breeding an unhappy life in our children from the beginning because we compare them to others and judge by what they have and don’t have? I’m getting ahead of myself here so I’m gonna share a quick story that will segue into why we shouldn’t play the comparison game.

I also want to mention that I am in no way the perfect mom never comparing my kids to others but I do try to make a conscious effort not to and try to remind myself not to when others are speaking about their kids accomplishments or negative behaviors.

5 reasons why you need to stop comparing your kids

I was at Target the other day (funny how most things happen there) and I was in the toddler clothing section with another mom. I was perusing the discount section when I heard her child begin to cry. I thought nothing of it because that’s what kids do so I continued my shopping.

I don’t know what the mom was saying to her daughter because I was trying not to pay attention. But after one more correction, her daughter cries even louder as the mom proceeds to put her in the shopping cart. Then what I hear breaks my heart. The mom says to her toddler who is acting out, “Do you see anyone else acting like this?”. I thought to myself, “Honey, you caught on a good day because mine are usually the ones doing the crying.”

I wanted to go to the mom and say, “Don’t worry about it. Every kids does this.” but then I thought that would embarrass her more so I pretended not to hear her crying child. But I was saddened that she was comparing her crying child to mine.

Many times I’m not sure what to do when that happens because I want to be helpful and extend mercy. But what I don’t want to do is draw unnecessary attention to them either. In my head I have said what that mom said many times. “Why can’t my kid act like theirs?” Why do those kids get (insert whatever I’m coveting) and mine don’t.” “Why don’t my kids listen like theirs?”.

Here’s why we need to stop comparing…

1) It puts our kids on pedestals

When we compare our kids to someone else’s, our minds usually goes one of two ways. When we think, “Why can’t our kids be like them?” it shows that we have an expectation of what our child should be and it is not being met. This puts a harmful burden on our child that they are not good enough. They will begin to think that they can never do right by you. And, in doing this, you put someone else’s child on a pedestal.

Or we swing the other way and put our child on the pedestal. Thinking our child is better than everyone else’s setting them up for failure because they can “do no wrong”. This also puts a great deal of pressure on your child and they will become humiliated when they fail to meet with your approval. I feel this also encourages our children to be puffed up and that no one can do anything better than your child.

2) It creates an entitlement attitude

Our mentality is that we should always have the latest and greatest things. And when others have those things, we need them too. My child is just as good or better than yours (again comparing) therefore they need whatever that is to make your child great in the eyes of others. If their child has one, my child needs one too. (Whether or not you can afford one.)

The trouble with this mind-set is is that someone is always going to have something you want. Someone is always going to have a bigger house, more money, better clothes, better car or a “better life.” And if we are coveting and comparing ourselves to others you can bet that our kids will learn to do that as well.

Entitlement comes from a prideful attitude. Just like Eve in the Garden. She thought she should be entitled to know everything that God knows. Satan lies to us and tells us that if other children have it then so should then mine should too.

3) It teaches them to be ungrateful

It’s not enough to teach a child to parrot the word ‘thank you’ when they are given something. We need to really encourage gratefulness in our children.

We will never teach our kids to be thankful and grateful for what they have if we are always trying to keep up with what the world tells us we need. Are we purposefully thankful in front of our kids to help them learn to be thankful? Or do we nitpick and complain that we don’t have the newest iPhone or the lastest fashion?

If we do not make a conscious effort to be thankful in front of our kids, they will learn that they will always need something new and fantastic to make them happy. Madame Blueberry, anyone?

4) It fosters discontent among theirs peers

Children at a young age become aware that others have things that they don’t have. I remember being envious when I saw friends or relatives opening presents that I wish I had.

I am beginning to have the mind-set not to open gifts in front of other children because I don’t want to teach them to be envious of my child. Or to teach mine to be envious of other children.

How do you teach a 3-year-old to be happy with what some else has that they don’t? I admit I am not always quick to be happy when someone gets something that I have always wanted. I received many wonderful gifts from my family when I was younger so I wasn’t lacking in gifts but maybe those ideas of discontent stem from comparing my gifts to those around me?

5) It teaches them that their self-worth comes from others and things

When we teach our children to compare what they have with others it begins to shape their thinking that their self-worth comes from what they own and how they look. I do think it is important to look nice and presentable but we need to look at why our kids should be presentable.

Do we want them to have the best because we want people to admire us and how our kids look? Or should they be dressed decently in clean clothes because we are a reflection of Jesus Christ?

Look, I’m not down on moms who want to dress their kids in cute clothes. More power to ya. But when I see that your child HAS to have name brand clothes I feel like their attire is more about you then them simply being dressed.

And then when you get frustrated with them because they spilled food on the clothe you spent x amount of money on, you are telling them that their clothes are more important then their feelings getting hurt.

So what it really boils down to is this…

Are we trying to help them be more like Christ today than they were yesterday?

That’s the only comparison we should making of our children because He’s the only one worth emulating.

I am on this journey of Motherhood like all moms. I, again, am not perfect in this but who wants to join me in a pact of teaching humility and gratefulness to our children?

Think I am crazy or are you crazy with me? Let me know in the comments below!

 

5 Minute Vegetarian Snacks and Meals for Toddlers

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5 minute snacks for toddlers

Coming up easy little to no prep vegetarian snacks for my kids isn’t always easy when you’re running on very little sleep. Half of the time I open my fridge and just stare wondering what I can make my three-year-old and one-year-old that they can both eat. My one-year-old only has 6 teeth at the moment so finding foods that he can easily eat by himself is not always an easy task.

Meal time is so much eaiser than snacks because I get so tired that I can’t even remember to put the coffee I just ground up in my pour over before I pour the hot water into it. (Oops!).  And many times I give into something that I don’t want them to eat because the snack is easy instead of filling and healthy.

And sometimes I have all my ducks in a row but most of the time my ducks are scattered all over creation. So instead of beating myself for not being “the perfect mom” (if such a thing exists) I have this little list to help keep me sane.

So let’s simplify things, shall we?

What I love about this list is that the food listed here is soft and easy to chew. Obviously you never leave a child alone while they are eating but I like that most of the food on here probably won’t pose as a choking hazard.

This list is also nice if you are leaving your kids with a baby sitter. Just print it out and have it hanging on the refrigerator for a quick reference. Then you don’t have to sit there and explain which foods your child can or cannot have.

Another thing I like that about this list is that the simple foods encourage self feeding and helps them with fine motor skills. This then frees up my hands to read to both my kids during lunch time (or check Facebook).

So here is the free printable list that helps me prepare quick meals and snacks on the fly that will keep your toddler full and satisfied! 18 Vegetarian Snack Ideas!

Thanks for reading! Did I miss something? Comment below what you would add to the list!

P.S. If you’re wondering if Vegetarins get enough protien click here!

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Love Crunch Copy Cat Recipe

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I have been meaning to get around to making a Love Crunch recipe but life is full of more important things, like showering, which doesn’t always happen for moms. Can I get a witness?

Want to jump straight to the recipe? Just tap the magic.

I am a huge breakfast food lover but my one-year-old son is still waking up at night which means my breakfast is usually a 9 o’clock snack before lunch. Plus, he has been sick for the last week with a head cold and an eye infection. So that means waking up every few hours at night because he can’t breathe. And I think his head cold makes the eye infection worse because his eyes can’t get flushed out properly.

And we were so close (SO CLOSE) to him sleeping through the night and now this. Thankfully, it doesn’t last forever and pretty soon they will be leaving me and heading off to college. *realization* Excuse me while I go bawl my eyes out.

*Sniffles a bit* Okay, back to what I was saying. So for now my mornings are usually a cup of coffee and whatever food that I can grab that is easy.

That’s why I heart Love Crunch so much. The tart strawberries and the sweet granola and chocolate really hits the spot without having too much sugar or too much work. It also makes for a great snack when we are out and about somewhere.

Love Crunch Copy Cat Recipe

I feel like this comes pretty close to the original Love Crunch but it is not as sweet as the original, so if you want it sweeter, you go right ahead. I won’t judge. Also, I didn’t have dried raspberries but I didn’t even know they were in there in the first place. They taste just like the dried strawberries so I didn’t feel the need to hunt down dried raspberries.

Speaking of breakfasty things, another thing I make all the time is instant oatmeal. You grab some oats, blend half of them in a blender or food processor and then mix other dry ingredients like cinnamon and nuts. The instant oatmeal will last in a sealed container for about two weeks. Then when you are ready to make them scoop out half a cup and add hot water. Then let the oatmeal sit for a few minutes. Once it is ready to eat you can add your sweetener or milk or whatever it is that other people add to their oatmeal.

I’ve also been looking for an oatmeal apple crumble recipe so if you know of any killer recipes, share in the comments below!

Love crunch recipe thebeamingbrunette.com

Copy Cat Love Crunch (makes about 3 cups)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (My oven is on the hotter side so adjust accordingly)

Total cook time: 20 minutes. Yields a little over 3 cups

  •  2 cups of quick oats
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of dried strawberries (found mine at the $0.99 store)
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Place oats into a large mixing bowl. Add cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. Add maple syrup making sure that oats are completely coated.

Spread granola mixture evenly out onto a large baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 15 minutes turning the oats towards the end to toast them completely.

After your oats have cooled down then add your strawberries and chocolate chips. You can add other things like nuts or seeds to your granola too. Whatever butters your bread. And really, the possibilities are endless with granola that’s why I love it. It is quick, easy and customizable like a good wardrobe should be. Uh…oh right! We were talking about granola.

Hopefully your obession with Love Crunch can be appeased now that you have this recipe in hand. Go forth, give love and be crunchy!

Tell me what you think! When you make this recipe share it on Instagram and tag me in it! I’d love to see how you made it your own. My profile name is @thebeamingbrunette. Thanks!!

What are some easy make ahead breakfasts that you make? Please in the comments below!

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6 Ways to Decorate Your Home for Free.

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Every time I walk through Target I dream about all the ways I can decorate my home. But since I don’t have any unlimited budget (cue the sad music) I tried to find some ways I could decorate my home for free.

Many things come into our possession that could easily be made into something cute but we don’t have the vision to see what it could become. And thanks to Pinterest, others have shared their ideas to upcycle every day items into something new!

So here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing!

1) Wild flowers and other plants

Whenever I go for walks with my kids my oldest is always picking flowers “…from an obliging field.” (Name that movie!) This is the simplest, easiest and most frugal way to decorate your home. Keep an eye on the foliage around you and see what you can use to bring some life into your home decor.

2) Rocks

The next time you are out and about, either camping or going for a nature walk, take a little look around and find yourself some smooth stones. (No, we’re not going to slay any giants. Not today at least.) Then bring them home and wash them off. Grab a few of your kids paints and have at it! Pinterest has so many ideas for painting rocks.

Don’t have a green thumb? Just paint your plants!

Cactus-Rock-Garden-Tutorial-768x768

Or you can make these cute and simple rock photo holders!

rock-craft

3) Greeting Cards

Many people have quite an accumulation of greeting cards at their disposal for creativity but don’t think to use them. I don’t keep many cards but I do keep a few to decorate with. I came across this idea when one of my sister-in-law’s was pregnant and have been meaning to do something like this ever since.

It is butterfly hand punched through cards and placed inside a frame. It would look super cute in a girls nursery!

4) Plastic bags

I have been remembering to bring my reusable bags when I go grocery shopping but forget to take my old plastic bags back to the store to be recycled. So I found some ways to upcycle them and use them as free decor!

This Christmas Wreath from Popsugar looks like feathers!
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Or cut plastic bags into long strips and crochet a sturdy basket!

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5) Tissue Paper

Do save the tissue paper from gifts that you or your kids receive? If you don’t you are missing out on so many DIY home decor freebies!

There are so many things you can do with tissue paper that I am only putting one up this garland idea that I haven’t tried before. This one would be another great one for Christmas.

5steps

6) Plastic bottles

This kitty planter is really cute and will need to try soon! It will appease that cat lady in me since we can’t get a cat yet. Just ask people for their empty soda bottles and you’re in business. You cut the top half of a soda bottle off and then paint the kitty or another four-legged furry creature on it. You can even cut four small holes into the bottom of the bottle so your plant doesn’t get water-logged.

DIY-Kitty-Cat-Soda-Bottle-Planter-Salty-Canary-34-of-35-copy

What ways have you decorated your home for free? Please let me know in the comments! Like other DIY Projects? Check out these older posts!

Spring Decor. Hanging coffee cup sign.

Projects and photos are from:

  1. dreamsandcaffine.com
  2. onelittleproject.com
  3. bridal buzz.blogspot.com
  4. Popsugar.com
  5. Instructables.com
  6. lorrieeverittstudio.blogspot.com
  7. saltycanary.com

Happy crafting!!

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Why Don’t I Have Any Peace?

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I find myself being an angry mom far more often than I’d like to admit. Being able to find peace during my day seems like something that can only be achieved if I am by myself, in some pretty outdoor place, listening to some soul soothing music. Like this…

peace angry mom thebeamingbrunette.com

If only we could sit on a dock looking out over a glorious view for the rest of our lives but responsibilities call us back to real life.

I have really been trying to work on my anger, especially when my children frustrate me. I can manage to be kind in almost every other situation but when my kids push the right button so many times, I lose it. Continue reading

“I am n” by The Voice of the Martyrs

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When was the last time you thought about the persecuted church? I admit it was not always at the forefront of my mind. Not at least until recently that is.

After reading “I am ‘n'” put out by The voice of the martyrs, the persecuted believers are very much on my mind these days.

Some of you may recall that Islamic extremists placed the symbol “n”, which is pronounced “noon” which stands for the Arabic word for Nazarene on all of the houses and businesses that had Christians living there. And after Jeremy Courtney drew the symbol on his hand and posted the picture on his twitter account to bring awareness about what ISIS was doing, Christians around the world took notice. Continue reading