Around the Colvin Cottage: Lavender is Amazing!

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What a fun week!  I worked Monday and Tuesday, but the rest was pure summer fun!

As a teacher I love my summers, but I miss my friends.  I got to see some of my favorite girls from work on Wednesday.  Our conversation dwelled upon the political nature of church. We all find it sad when differing interpretations of the Bible split churches and causes some Christians to avoid church.

Thursday was all about family!  Big Daddy was off from work.  We took the kids out for lunch and played all day.

Friday, the kids and I joined a friend to explore a lavender farm.  Yeah, I know.  It sounds odd and bit boring.  Actually, we had a great time.  The kids loved the farm animals, except the very ugly turkeys.  It smelled amazing from all of the blooms.  I bought some great products.  We even cut our own bouquets to bring home to dry.  My house looks like a wreck right now, but it smells great!  The farm is called White Oak Lavender.

The lavender was awesome!

The lavender was awesome!

When we got home, we started baking.  I signed up to bring cookies to a fundraising event for our church.  We had to bake 72 cookies, plus a few for us to eat at home.  Of course, Super Hero Son helped with the icing. Then he fell asleep on the couch, full of cookies and enjoying the aromatherapy of lavender.

Iced Cookies Ready for Sale

Iced Cookies Ready for Sale

Fast asleep!  Yep, that is icing on his face.

Fast asleep! Yep, that is icing on his face.

I hope your week was as much fun as ours!

Blessings!

Don’t be the “Average” Christian

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Amazing! I hope I can put into practice the words I read in my Bible!  Anna wrote this beautifully over at Journey of Faith.

talk the talkSometimes I wonder what Christians would look like if they stopped reciting the scriptures they have memorized in their head and start living by them, literally.

If instead of spouting out words when they seem to fit the occasion, we turn those words into action.

Because often times I see so many discouraged, purposeless, fearful, hopeless, faithless people and I wonder why.

It makes me wonder if we actually believe what we read in our Bible’s every day.

It makes me wonder how we would live if we lived by God’s Word, instead of read it for our morning devotion only to forget to follow it a few hours later.

If you believed that God cares about you more than you can imagine (1 Peter 5:7), that you have nothing to worry about because He will provide for you (Matthew 6:25-30), and that He has a…

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Inspiring Women: Lisa Jacobson

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I have decided to add a new section to my blog.  This section, entitled Inspiring Women, will highlight women who inspire others.

Our first candidate is Lisa Jacobson.  Lisa is a blogger at Club 31 Women.  She often has guest blogs at places such as Time-Warp Wife.  Lisa’s husband works from home as a literary agent and writer.  Together they raise their 8, yep 8!, children and a host of animals.  She homeschools her kids and devotes her time to being a Proverbs 31 woman.

I encourage you to check her out.  She may inspire you as much as she inspires me!

Who inspires you?

Blessings!

The Gift of Grace: Easily Received, Not Easily Given

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ballerina

When I was a kid, I thought grace applied to ballerinas only.  When I heard about God’s grace, I thought it meant His beauty.  I didn’t understand that grace is a gift He gives to us. I don’t remember the moment when I understood that grace had more to do with attitude than beauty, but I know that this is an area in which God is still working in my life.

I tend to be a believer in “you reap what you sow.”  I want those who work the hardest to gain the most.  I want those who follow the rules to come out ahead.  However, I am starting to understand God’s grace.

My pastor has said that the difference in mercy and grace is simple.  Mercy is not getting the punishment we do deserve; grace is getting the good things we don’t deserve.

I am aware of the many blessings I have because of God’s grace.  I wasn’t the perfect child, but I was given awesome parents and a great brother.  I am not the perfect wife, but I was given an amazing husband.  I am not the perfect mother, but my children are among the greatest blessings I could ever imagine.  I didn’t work hard or follow the rules to gain these people in my life. Their presence can only be explained by God’s grace.

Having accepted the fact that God has shown unrelentless grace in my life, I have to give grace to others.  Here is where God is working on me!  I am quick to yell at my kids, quick to fuss at my husband, and way too quick to judge others.  I pray that God helps me daily to remember to offer grace to others.

How has God shown his amazing grace in your life?

Blessings!

What is a Devotional?

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV)

Superhero Son asked me what “devotional” means.  He asked because he heard me talking about the upcoming book, With Unveiled Face, which is a daily devotional.  I tried to explain and found that my explanation was crazy complicated.  I decided my explanation better fit my adult audience rather than a four year old.

We learn from the Bible, Psalm 1 for example, that reading scripture allows a life source into our daily routine.  This life source is like a tree growing near a river.  The constant flow of information sustains us throughout our lives.

Devote means to concentrate upon or dedicate to something.  It comes from a Latin word from which we get the word “vow.”  I always thought of a vow as being a promise.  Therefore, if we are devoting our lives to living for God, we are promising to follow Him.  He explicitly tells us over and over to dive into scripture.  The New Testament tells us that scripture is “God-breathed.”  Whether you believe that God guided the hands that wrote the Bible or guided the decisions of which books to include in the Bible, does not matter. What matters is whether or not you devote your time to reading His Word.

A daily devotional assists us in that promise.  I don’t always use a daily devotional.  Sometimes I work my way through a Bible study or simply read through certain books of the Bible.  I bet you could have guessed this, but Proverbs is among my favorite books.  I am currently working through a study from my Bible app on my tablet.  I love technology!

My revised explanation for Superhero Son was that a devotional is a book we read everyday that helps us understand the Bible.  He proceeded to tell me that I wouldn’t need it if my Bible had pictures like his does.  If only it were that simple!

Do you study the Bible daily?  How has it impacted your life?

Around the Colvin Cottage: Two Weeks of Family Time!

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The past two weeks have FLOWN by!  I suppose the entire summer will follow just as quickly.

We began our summer break with the mad rush to finish the book.  IT IS FINISHED!  The book shipped to the publisher a little more than a week ago.  With Unveiled Face will be released this fall, probably around October.

Finished manuscript!

Finished manuscript!

Trying to compile the pages manually before I arranged them on the computer.

Trying to compile the pages manually before I arranged them on the computer.

To celebrate the book, the end of school, and my husbands hard work recently, we headed to the lake for a long weekend!  Our kids love water, pools, boats, and all things related to vacation!

Darling Daughter's first boat ride.  Yes, her vest is inside out!

Darling Daughter’s first boat ride. Yes, her vest is inside out!

Superhero Son is quite the pirate.  His paper towel roll was a perfect accessory.

Superhero Son is quite the pirate. His paper towel roll was a perfect accessory.

Having fun in the pool with the kids.

Having fun in the pool with the kids.

On our way back home, we stopped at the Safari Park at Natural Bridge.  This drive thru zoo allowed us to feed the animals as they approached the car.  Some were friendlier than others.

Big Daddy poses with an elk cow.

Big Daddy poses with an elk cow.

After our day with tigers, cheetahs, kangaroos, and giraffes, we headed back to our home, sweet home.

Each day, Superhero Son does his “work.”  Basically, this is preschool activities to prepare him for kindergarten.

Superhero Son loves his fingerpaints.

Superhero Son loves his fingerpaints.

We also spent a couple days visiting family.  One of my uncles has been ill with a series of strokes.  Thankfully, he is now home and resting.  The remainder of our summer has promise of more fun for our family.

What has your family been up to this week?

Blessings!

The Beliefs and Explorations of a Child

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I am amazed daily by my children.  Two of the greatest lessons they have taught me is how to explore this world and how to believe.

This past weekend, my family of four traveled to the lake.  The condos where we stay have a private beach where I took the kids in the mornings before my husband was awake enough to make plans for the day.  This was the first time Darling Daughter really played in sand.  She was so funny trying to figure out what all she could do with it.  She tried her best to clean up all of the sand by filling up all of our buckets.

I just sat back and watched her try new things with sand.  I realized that we should all explore our world this way.  Sometimes we are too afraid of getting dirty.  We won’t just dig in and see what life has to offer us.

Superhero Son is my instructor on believing in what I thought to be impossible.  He thinks Jesus is the greatest superhero in the world.  He is probably right!  When I feel frustrated or powerless toward a situation, he will tell me to just get Jesus to help me.  He demonstrates total submission and faith in God.

We were reading a library book last night.  Superhero Son asked me to read all of the words on the first page, the title page.  I told him about the author.  He asked what “author” meant.  I tried to explain that the author was the person who wrote the book, but a publisher made lots of copies of it.  He immediately told me that I was an author because I wrote a book, and maybe a publisher would make lots of copies so kids all over earth could read it.  I told him that would be nice, but unlikely.  He told me that Jesus could probably take it all around earth for me if I asked Him for help.

I just sat and stared at him for his complete faith that Jesus would do such a thing.  I realized that I need to listen to my kids and believe a little more in the power of God.

What lessons do your children teach you?

Blessings!