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I Have Moved!

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE FOLLOWING ME I HAVE MOVED TO MESSTOBEAUTIFUL.COM PLEASE HOP ON OVER AND FOLLOW ME! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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Book Review-The Adventures of Joe Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill 3: The Case of the Missing Arch (Paperback)

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The Adventures of Joe Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill 3: The Case of the Missing Arch (Paperback)
I recently read Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Adventures: Book 3 The Secret of the Missing Arch and this is my first time reading any of the series. In this particular book you are not introduced to the lead characters until chapter 3 which is when things begin to interesting. Although I didn’t enjoy some of the chapters transitions that left me feeling a bit lost but I do love how educational it is and all the wonderful pictures that are included as well. I think I may give this another try but read it out loud with different voices, I may just have puppets too (you know for the kids).
*Disclaimer- I received this product for free in exchange for my unbiased review.

 

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Giving Tuesday

Today is giving Tuesday so I thought I would share this info-graphic with you on how to pick the best one for you to donate to.

Giving to Charity

 

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Compassion

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The little girl we are sponsoring!

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The letter she sent us, which is now hanging on the fridge.

A few days ago I mentioned one of the organizations my family are involved in and you can read about it here. Today I wanted to share another great organizations we recently became apart of Compassion. If you haven’t heard about Compassion before it is a Child Sponsorship Program, Child Survival Program, Leadership Development Program, and so much more! My husband and I decided to a sponsor a little girl less than a year ago and so far we love it! We love the fact that because we choose to go through Compassion that she will be learning of Christ’s love for her. My favorite is writing little letters on behalf of my 3 year old and sending them to her. My daughter was so excited when she got a letter back.  There are so many child sponsorship programs out there but I just wanted to say that the reason we choose Compassion is because of their Commitment to Christ, Children, and to Church. So when you’re looking into helping children out in some way please consider Compassion.

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Operation Christmas Child

Every year around the holidays you notice a rise in non-profit organizations advertising and it can get overwhelming on a person who wants to help in some way to choose who to support. So I thought I would take a moment to share with you one of the organizations my family support every year, Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is part of Samaritan’s Purse where Franklin Graham has been the President since the 1980’s. OCC collects shoe boxes filled with much needed items for children and are sent all over the world. Most of all each child who receives a shoe box will also hear the Gospel and a chance to start a relationship with Jesus Christ.

My husband and I have been packing shoe boxes for years now and here are a few reasons why we do it:

  • We love picking out the items that go in each box really thinking about what the children could use and would enjoy.
  • We always choose to track our box because we just think it’s the coolest to know where our gift went. Once we know we end up looking up the country to find out more information about it. (We’re kinda nerdy like that.)
  • Most importantly why we do this is the fact that we know that these wonderful children will be receiving the greatest gift of all, THE GOSPEL! (we also include a Bible in every box)
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We were able to pack 10 boxes this year and hope to double that next year.

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My youngest helping short threw all the donations that were given to go in the boxes.

This year we decided to host a shoe box packing party at my house and it was so much fun I can’t wait to do it again next year!

 

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My mom trying to figure out how to fold the boxes.

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My mom hard at work coloring the worksheets to go in the boxes.

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People signing-up to track their boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So when considering where you want to give to this year I hope Operation Christmas Child will be on your list and you’re just in time because this week is National Collection Week.

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Fear Series | Taming the Nightmares

Defying Shadows

The following is the first installment of the Fear Series written by a lovely lady named Heather. Be sure to share your thoughts below!

My very first memory of experiencing fear was around 6 or 7 give or take, and I’m not talking about your everyday fear your normal kid has like being afraid of the dark (which I was). No the fear I had were nightmares that were so real to me that while having them I would arch my back and becoming soaked from stress sweating.

I had a variety of nightmares from your normal monsters in your closet to aliens abducting me (living in Arizona this was a common theme among people). But there were two nightmares that I had over and over again that were the worst of them all. The first one dream was about wolves breaking into my bedroom window and they ate my…

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Finding Your Fulfilling Purpose- Nichole Howson

photo 5aAn Interview with Nichole Howson, author and creator of defyingshadows.wordpress.com.  Nichole is a Business student who grew up in a town outside of Windsor, Ontario, on a dairy and cash crop farm where she learned what it means to work hard, and what is involved to be successful. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good action film or a chick flick, depending on the day, and enjoys reading both non-fiction and fiction books in her spare time. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and participating in social media. She has a passion for volunteerism, but more specifically helping those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally. Nichole hopes that her future career will embrace these passions, and allow her to help others in a larger capacity.

Q: For God has “called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which as given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9) When and how did you know what God’s plan was for you?

A: I knew that God had great plans for me when I was in High School. I knew I would be involved in a ministry but I was unsure as to what ministry it might be. I thought maybe I was meant to be a pastor, so when I started college I began attending Bible College.

I soon learned that God had a different plan for me. It wasn’t to be a pastor. I learned that my Ministry may not be as big as I thought, but it is most important to God.

Q: Once the Lord spoke to you about your purpose did you obey right away or did you struggle?

A: When I finally head the purpose that God had for me, I waited. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to open up about my deepest and darkest moments and bare my soul to world. I spent time in prayer and God showed me that although I felt I might not be ready, that I was in fact more than ready and should be excited to share my passions with others.

Q: What obstacles did you have to overcome and/or still run into?

A: Having a ministry that includes writing about Mental illness is purposehard. It is hard to hear the stories of others who are struggling. The first email I received sharing their heart breaking story, I cried. But I knew that I needed to pray. I prayed for that person. I prayed for me. I prayed and I asked God what wisdom He wanted to share with that person. I let God lead my words and when I did that, it suddenly became easier. Sure, it is still hard, but I have a peace that comes from my faith in Christ.

Q: Is what you are doing currently fulfilling? In what ways?

A: When I first started my Blog, I told my friends and family that this made me happy. It really did. It is so fulfilling knowing that you are doing what God wants for you. Knowing that you are fulfilling God’s purpose for you life.

Q: Do you recall a time when you lacked peace about a job or situation and how God delivered you out of it?

A: Ever since I started my blog, the Devil has been attacking me. I struggle with mental illness just as my followers do. The Devil attacked me and slowly slid anxiety, fear, and depression back into my life. Writing blog posts on being happy, or trusting God suddenly became so much harder. When I realized that I was under the attack of the Devil I prayed. I asked God to heal me and show me what He wants me to do next. When I put my trust in God, my peace was restored.

listen to his voiceQ: What advice to you have for women who are still searching to fulfill their purpose?

A: If you are still searching to fulfill your purpose, please keep praying! Even if you have found your purpose, keep praying. God will show you what He wants you to do. It might not be right away. He might only show you the first step in His plan, but follow Him and your purpose will be made clear.


I would like to thank Nichole for taking the time to be interviewed and sharing a piece of herself with all of you.

Connect with Nichole!

Website: http://defyingshadows.wordpress.com/
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acebook: https://www.facebook.com/defyingshadows
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witter: https://twitter.com/NicholeHowson
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interest: http://www.pinterest.com/nicholehowson/
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umbler: http://nicholehowson.tumblr.com/
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inkedIn: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/nicholehowson

 

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There Was This Girl…

There once was a little girl; skinny, long stringy hair, and wore glasses who smiled just like the rest of them. But there were a few things different about her, she didn’t like to go home because she never knew what she would come home to. You could catch her wearing long sleeves in the middle of summer to hide the bruises, all the while telling herself if someone only asked why I would tell them. It was the late 70’s people didn’t get involved or ask questions.

Growing up in this environment had her seeking safety any where she could find it. She would stay with friends and family as often as she could anything but home. One day she noticed a church bus that would come around the neighborhood picking up kids to take them to Sunday School, so she started going as often as she could again anything but home! While going there she learned of Jesus’s love for her and that she had value something she never really felt before.

As she got older she still attended church once in awhile but the pressures of teenage life began to sat in and in walks this boy. He was funny, charming, and a football player and most of all he made her feel loved and worth something. Finally she had found someone to love her the way her parents neglected to do and one thing led to another she got pregnant at age 18.

The boy begins to disappear from the picture and quickly starts a relationship with another girl, so much for prince charming. She tells her mom who after calling her all kinds of horrible names instructs her to have an abortion. But because she knew in her heart that this baby was a person, who had value and deserved to be loved all things she was taught while attending Sunday School she refused to get an abortion.

Nine months later a beautiful baby girl was born, she looks down at the baby looking up at her and it was the first time she felt true love. She vowed to love her the way she was never loved…Soon after she finally had the courage to move out of her parents home to protect her daughter from them. With a police escort and time limit to grab what she could she was finally away from the home she never wanted to go to.

The parents of friend took her and the baby in and adopted them into the family. She now was loved by her daughter, her new adopted parents, adopted siblings, and in less than a year her future husband.

This little girl had a very tragic childhood that many of us would struggle to overcome but as you can see God was with her the whole time by placing people in her life when she needed them the most.


 

35b6a862b273ae9a3d433095290819e1I want to thank that bus driver for picking kids up and taking them to church. I want to thank the teachers that took time to love on this little girl and teach her God’s word. I want to thank all the friends and family who took her in their homes. I want to thank the cops who watched over her as she left and kept her safe. I want to thank the family that adopted her and now are closer than any blood relatives a person may have. I want to thank the man who chose to love not only her but also her daughter unconditionally.

If you are a follower of Christ and serve in some way don’t ever think that you’re not making a difference! That bus driver had no idea that every-time he picked this little girl up that was one less beating he just saved her from. Those Sunday School teachers had no idea that the words they taught her would help her to choose life over what the world wanted her to do. As servants you never know how God is going to use you but know that it will always be for HIS GOOD and HIS GLORY.

Thank you for all of you who serve the kingdom of God and I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart because this little girl is my mom and the baby she didn’t abort is me! 

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My Fiance Never Was My ‘Boyfriend’

I just read this most beautiful love story and no it doesn’t begin with Once Upon A Time…This one begins with the foundation of the Lord! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

There's a Fire Starter In You

Ever since the engagement, many people have asked me questions about my relationship and the most prevalent one is “how long did you guys date?” The truth is we never did. He never asked me to be his girlfriend. He never asked me out on a solo date. We never even kissed. For as long as I’ve known him we were just friends… Friends that valued each other, prayed for one another, and wanted to see each other succeed in every area of life.

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Now within this friendship, I admit, there were times when I looked at him like “Dang, he’s cute” or “I really admire this about him” or “I would love for my mate to have some of his qualities” but honestly there were A LOT of guys that I would say the very same thing about! Soon enough, I learned how to categorize the guys in my life by placing…

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