Thursday, December 29, 2011

Relaxing Christmas?

Did you have a relaxing Christmas?  Were you able to focus on Christ?

I wish I could say that I did, but that is simply not the case.  My Christmas was highly stressful!  I stayed up till 6am Christmas morning and have been trying to catch up since then!

Yesterday, during my brief quiet time, I read that I need to depend on Christ's strength and trust him in every situation.  Living this way I will do less but accomplish more! 

That was just what I needed! 

His strength is made perfect in my weakness!  So, why do I constantly try to rely on myself? 

God forgive me for relying on me to rely on your strength to get through this day....Amen.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dining Room...All Ready for Christmas Dinner!

I finally got the dining room decorated for Christmas!

I went ahead and set up for dinner as well.  I am hosting my family this year...there will be 15 of us in all.

Here is my table all ready to go:

My epsom salt centerpiece I made:

...and the decorations on the piano

I really wanted to paint my walls red before Christmas, but I did not get to it.  Wouldn't that look good with all the white and silver decorations?  Maybe it will be done for next year!

Is Christmas coming fast for you?  Are you able to do everything you were hoping for?  Not me!  It is easy for me to get bogged down in everything that has to be done that I forget to take a moment to


and remember the Reason for this Busy Season!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baking Christmas Cookies!!!

I don't know where this Christmas season has gone...but it has gone way too fast. The kids reminded me earlier this week that we hadn't made Christmas cookies yet this year. So one night we decided to make a mess of the kitchen and bake and decorate sugar cookies - one of our favorites :)! You can see how messy this was! I still have plans for making more kinds, but since we are just a few days from Christmas, we will see. These are times when I wished I could be home with my kids, but I have to remember that God has something different for me!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Welcome to all my new readers from:


I appriciate Chrissy so much and her help in debuting my new and improved blog
 as well as the grand opening of my etsy store with my homemade bath and body products!

This is my official debut of my improved blog!

Let me introduce myself:

My name is Sarah.

I love Jesus!

           I love my husband of 13 1/2 years.

                                                        I work a full time job outside the home.

                          I work a full time job within the home.

I have four children (ages 6, 8, 11 and 12).

This is my crazy life, trying to make it beautiful within myself and my home, despite the business. 

    I love crafting and decorating...hopefully you'll see a lot of that on here!


Don't forget to check out my etsy store
Enter Coupon Code: grandopen
for 15% off entire order and over $10 in free product - till Dec 18
(free product will be randomly selected)


Friday, December 9, 2011

Fun Bags!

I don't sew!
I own a sewing machine, but have never done anything more than a straight line on a curtain.  That being said, I am super proud to share with you this project that I did earlier this year!

I lead a small group of 5th grade girls at my church.  I really wanted to give them something special to carry their Bible's and journal's in.  I also wanted to attempt to make them!

Look at all the fun material:

I actually did these without a pattern.  My first ones had to be taken apart a few times before I got the hang of what I was doing.

Here is how they turned out:                                     My youngest - K-Jo modeling :)


Here they all all - what do you think?

All the girls actually bring their Bibles and journals EVERY week!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

7th Grade Orchestra Performance

I thought I would quickly share a couple of pictures of my oldest after her orchestra concert tonight.  She sits first chair and did a wonderful job!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

More Pinspiration

More Holiday Inspiration from Pinterest!

Jingle Bell Napkin Rings

My Inspiration:

Pinned Image

Here's my project:

I couldn't find any cheap napkin rings to glue my bells on, so I just started gluing the bells to each other to make a circle.

Here's how it looks with my table placesetting:

If I had my choice, I would have all white dishes with my red chargers, but these dishes were given to me, so I will try to be content with them.  Once I get the rest of my dining room done I will show the entire table made up.

Gift tag ornaments

My inspiration:
Pinned Image

I am using them as gift tags, so I used names on the ornaments:

I used 1/2 of the plactic ornaments available at Hobby Lobby for $.99, foamboard and letter stickers.  I also already had the smaller ribbon, so I used that.  I like the look of the large ribbon so I may replace it, but I had the small, and I think it works well as the gift tag. 

I will be making more of these for the girls in my small group! 


(Please excuse my pictures - I have lost my camera and these were taken from my phone.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kindness and Patience and Yelling, Oh my!

I consider myself a very kind and patient person.  I have a lot of patience for crazy drivers on the road, incompetent customers, friends who disappoint me.  I actually react with kindness in the most difficult situations. 

SO, why is it that I have absolutely no patience and little kindness for the four most precious and lovable people in my life?

The other day I was reading about the fruits of the spirit, and in particularly, kindness and patience.  I felt convicted that I need to apply this mostly with my children.  I went to bed in prayer that God would help me in this area of my life.

---I woke up the next morning singing and smiling, in a perfect mood, and nothing but kind words were coming out of my mouth --


I woke up late and grumpy.  I began attempting to get the kids going (which is never an easy feat in my house - they love to sleep as long as possible in the mornings), after not responding for a while the yelling begins - "Get up now!"  "You're going to be late for school!"  "You better be dressed by the time I get done putting my makeup on!" - Definitely the worse of days I had in a while.

Was God trying to test me?  Was the devil getting a foothold?

As I drove them to school that morning, I began weeping.  I told them I was sorry.  I was mostly upset with myself. 
God, please help me to be kind and patient in all areas of my life - especially with my own children!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...
Galatians 5:22-23

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just attended a wonderful thanksgiving eve service at our church.  It was a testimony of all God has done in individuals lives and the life of our church!  Thank you Jesus!

This Thanksgiving I have so much to thank my Savior for...

I am thankful that He loves me no matter what.

I am thankful that He has given me a husband who loves me no matter what, who is incredibly giving both to his family and to others.

I am thankful that He has given me four beautiful children who have all chosen to have a relationship with Him.

I am thankful for the church family He has given me with people who love and accept me no matter what.

I am thankful for the family he allowed me to grow up in, who taught me to know and love Him.

I am thankful he gave me the family I married in to, who all have the same love for Jesus I do.

I am thankful that he gave me a grandma who prays for me daily.

I am thankful He knows what I need even when I don't.

But most of all, I am thankful that He gave His Life for me, so I could live with Him forever!

Thank you God for everything you have given me.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have had an obsession recently - Pinterest! 

I know it is a little early to be putting up my Christmas decorations, but I love to get a jump start (especially when Thanksgiving is not at my house)!

Here are a few of my pinterest projects!

My Inspiration:                                                                 My project:

I was able to do this all with materials I already have!  I had the large clear vase - spray painted it white, used spray adhesive to apply Epsom salt "snow"

The tray I purchased last year as a clearance item after Christmas - it was a beautiful red (and I loved it), but I decided for this look, it would be better in black.  A little black spray paint and wah-lah!

Add a few candles, ornaments and spray's in the vase!  I love it - What do you think?

Next project - this didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it.  I may have to make a few alterations, but here is what I have so far....

My inspiration:

My recreation:

Ok - first of all I absolutely love the tile they have around their fireplace!

When I went to Hobby Lobby to purchase letters, they were out of the letters I needed in the block style, so because I am impatient and wanted to start this right away, I purchased the curly letters.  I wasn't too sure about them, but I think they work, especially with a fireplace that hangs 6 stockings!  I painted the letters burgundy to match our jeweled toned stockings (which I hope to replace someday - but not this year).

The ribbons actually match the small print in the fabric (you can't see that in the picture).  I think I need to iron them and reposition my "y".

Once I figure out how to fix a few of my issues, I will post new pictures.

What about you, have you been inspired to craft lately?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sugar Scrub Tutorial

I thought I would share one of my favorite new products to make - it is so super easy and feels amazing on your skin! 

Here is what you need for this amazing brown sugar scrub:
Carrier Oil - My favorite is Sweet Almond Oil
(Olive Oil works well too)

Brown Sugar
Vanilla (Optional)

Vitamin E Oil (Optional)

You need 1/2 as much oil as brown sugar.  (ie - 1 cup of brown sugar - 1/2 cup of oil)
Mix well - add a few drops of vitamin e and vanilla if you would like.

That's it!  Super Simple - Here's what my final product looks like!

I love to use on my face and body in the shower to exfoliate!  Try it out, then make some as Christmas gifts!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's a Makeover!

I love makeovers of all kinds!  I love watching all the TV shows that reveal new and better things.  I love it all - home makeovers, beauty  makeovers, weight makeovers and even fashion makeovers!  I love seeing things "become beautiful".  So today, I am introducing my new blog - made over!


So why the makeover?

There is something about creating something with your own hands that makes you feel accomplished.  I love to attempt and try new things!  A year ago, I decided  to try my hand at soap making.  I was pretty easy and so much fun!
 (Warning:  There are dangers in working with lye in soap making, please read on all dangers before attempting yourself)
A couple of weeks ago, I was able to sell my products for the first time at an event our church hosted.  It was a blast, and I actually made money!  I recently decided to open my own etsy store!

So, here's my new blog to go along with my new etsy store!  Feel free to visit often!

(I am still going to post about my weight struggles, they will just be under the "my weight struggle" button at the top)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5/6 Missions Trip

I know it has been forever since I last posted.  The truth is I've written so many posts, but I never got them up.  Actually, this one has been written for a week and a half and I am just now getting it up :)

God has been doing incredible things in my life.  This past week I was able to spend time in downtown Grand Rapids with our 5th and 6th grade students from our church.  We spent our time helping some local ministries.  I thought I would share a little of what we did.

1.  Alpha Women's Center
The first stop (for the girls)was to the Alpha Women's Center
1.  Alpha Women's Center
The first stop (for the girls) was to Alpha Women's Center  This ministry definitely struck a chord with me.  I really pray that God will allow me many more opportunities to serve with them.  This is an incredible ministry that reaches out to young mothers.  One thing that I really liked about their ministry was that they allow women to earn credits through counciling and certain activites to "buy" donated items in their "store".

2.  Urban Family Ministries
The next ministry (that we spent a majority of our time with) was Urban Family Ministries.  UFM ministers to youth in the inner city.  On Tuesday night we were able to have a barbeque for the neighborhood.  We were able to provide a physical need (many in this community are lucky to receive one meal a day), and have the opportunity to pray with them and inform them of UFM.  This is one of my favorite pictures of my daughter, Ashley, and her friend Jenna.

On Wednesday, we were able to help UFM with things that their resources don't allow time or money to get done. It was a rewarding day to get so much accomplished.  We then assisted them with their Wild Wednesday program.  They bus approximately 100 kids every Wednesday night.  They teach tem about Jesus, feed them a meal and build relationships. 

3.  Take Hold Church
The last place we spent our time with was Take Hold Church.  They are a new church plant of our church, ministering in the heartland of Grand Rapids.  They have an unique ministry reaching out to those most of us woudl run from (they look a little scary) -  Rough guys with multiple peircings/tatoos, prositutes, and the homeless.  We spent the morning worshipping we them.  We then held a car wash in order to raise money for their ministry.  (I can't imagine they receive much in the offering plate each week).  We were able to raise $650 in just 2 hours!  Then we had an incredible afternoon doing a clothing drive at the church.

Overall, it was a very exciting and rewarding week.  our students walked away with a new purpose in life!  You can view more pictures at


Oh, by the way - The weigt has been coming off - slowly - but I am averaging about a pound a week - I passed losing 5% of my body weight a couple weeks ago, and I think I should hit 15 lbs lost this week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Self Discipline

2 Timothy 1:7  For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

I have an issue with self discipline.  It is not something that comes easy for me.  I see this in all areas of my life: managing my weight, exercise, spending daily time with my Father, doing the dishes, writing on my blog and so much more!  Looking at the very word itself, the very idea is unpleasant - SELF-DISCIPLINE - Hebrews 12:11 says "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness". 
It is not simple.  It is not easy.  It is sorrowful.  However, in order to live a godly life and to have the peaceful fruit of righteousness it is something we need. 

How do I do this?

Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

It's the grace of God that gives me salvation that allows me to live self controlled! 
I need my Savior daily helping to pursue a self-controlled life in every area!

Other notes:

I know it has been way too long since I have written a blog post.  I have found that trying to write on such a narrow topic is very difficult, so I may open up this blog to be a little more.  I may share things that are going on in my life or pictures of things I've done. 

Ok, on to my weight...when I started this journey, I did not want to focus on the number on the scale or my weight, just focus on becoming the woman God wanted me to be.  However, recently a friend from work asked me to join Weight Watchers with her.  Although I knew this would be a sacrifice of both time and money, and I would have to face the scale and the dreaded number every week, I decided this would be good for both of us.  (It's always better to have someone with you on a journey like this).  I was shocked at my first weigh in - I had gained 7 lbs in the past 2 months!  I guess it may be necessary to focus a little on the number. 

Attempting to look to Jesus,


Friday, February 25, 2011


Psalm 34:18 
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I am definitely not wanting to blog right now, but I feel that I need to...

I have been feeling very discouraged this week.  I have only done aerobics twice this week, and I have eaten horribly!!!  Anyway, since this blog is part of my weight loss journey, I really don't have anything else to share.  However, since it is also part of my journey on becoming a beautiful person on the inside.....I had some encouragement today.  I am very excited to attend a conference at my church this weekend, and being able to spend some time reflecting on my inward beauty!  We had the opportunity to purchase a book written by the speaker of the conference when we bought our tickets, however I didn't.  I was browsing amazon and came across her book.  I decided to go ahead and purchase it, because they had a great deal on it.  I figured after listening to her all weekend, I would probably want to read it.  When I added the book to my cart, amazon also suggested this book:
Do You Think I'm Beautiful?

After looking at it, I realized that this book is addressing the very issue I am blogging about!  So, I ordered it along with a Bible Study that goes along with it. 
Do You Think I'm Beautiful? Bible Study and Journal: A Guide to Answering the Question Every Woman Asks
I am thinking about doing the Bible Study this summer (after I complete the current Bible Study I am in)...Anyone want to join me?  I'm very excited about this, and I will probably blog about what I have stay tuned

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

God's Perfect Masterpiece

Philippians 1:6 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Ok, so I dropped the ball on week one!  I was so encouraged the the coments I received, and I was so excited how my first week begun....and then when I was actually going to sit and write, I felt very discouraged.  I was able to start strong for a few days.....then the rest of the past two weeks were up and down.  This morning as I was having my prayer time, God really encouraged me not to focus on what I didn't accomplish, but focus on what I did!  I know that God is working on me...I know He has begun a good work, and is working on perfecting it in me.  I am his masterpiece and he will continue to work on me till I reach perfection!  How encouraging!  So, since I am not focusing on what I didn't do, guess what I accomplished this week?
*** I walked/jogged 5 days the past two weeks!  (Yes, even in the snow!)***
*** I used me aerobic step for 20 minutes while watching TV 6 times the past two weeks!***
*** I used the wii fit 4 times the past two weeks!*** 
(The wii informed me that I have lost a couple pounds, but I don't know how much since I'm avoiding  looking at the numbers)

Ok - I know I have a long way to go...not where I would like to be...but it's a start!  Thank you for all the encouraging words!  It was such a blessing!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Accepted by Christ....Enabled by Christ

I really felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit this week to start a blog on my struggle with accepting who I am in Christ and becoming the woman he wants me to be. This is the last place I want to place my struggles, but I feel God calling me to be an open book, to share the things I would rather hide. I have a feeling this blog will take many turns along the way as I go along in this journey in becoming the woman Christ wants me to be.

So, who am I?  I am a girl who has always said and done the right thing, yet thinks impure thoughts.  I desire to please God, but struggle with a greater desire to please people. I have lots of friends, but yet I do not feel loved by anyone.  I feel like a failure as a person, a wife and a mother.  I struggle with wanting to feel beautiful and my biggest struggle is my weight.  Now, I know that as a Christian, I am not viewed by Christ in any of the ways I view myself.  So, who am I in Christ?  I am someone fully accepted and loved by the God of the Universe, my Father, my Savior.  I am his daughter who is in desperate need of His immense patience and abundant grace (1 Timothy 1:16).  Christ's desire for me is to become a beautiful person on the inside.  So, what is God's desire for me?  This is a tough question.  I know his ultimate goal for me is perfection (Matthew 5:48).  However, I will not ever be able to attain this on this earth, so where do I start?

The thing I hate talking about the most, and has caused me the most pain in my life is my weight.  The biggest reason I did not want to post this blog, was because I did not want people from my past to know what I had become.  I am ashamed.  But you see, I've always struggled in this area.  In high school I struggled with anorexia.  I hardly ate anything in order to maintain my 102-105 lb figure).  When I graduated I became a little more confident in the woman he was creating me to be.  I put on a healthy amount of weight.  I got married and became pregnant at 19.  We all know what pregnancy does to our bodies - its not pretty!  Anyways, 12 years and 4 kids later, I find myself in the position I am in.  I am obese and strongly desire to get out of this body.  I have been on every diet, attended the meetings, some with minimal results, but here I am today.  So, what is God's desire  for me in this area in my life?  I truly believe that he wants me to be a healthy temple.  He wants me to give him control of this area of my life.  He does not want me to obsess over a number on a scale or even the way I could look.  In any weight loss journey, it is very easy to obsess over these things, but I feel God calling me to something different.  So, what is my goal?  My goal is not a number on the scale, a clothing size, a certain look - but the energy and peace I need to aspire to the goal of perfection - to be a better daughter, wife and mother.

So, how do I start?  Creating this blog is huge for me, because it gives me accountability (even if no one reads this, which I am secretly hoping is what happens :)).  Knowing that I have committed to post each week on my progress, will give me some sort of accountability I hope will be beneficial.  I don't have much of a problem with food - I know nutritional information and what I should be eating.  Not that I always eat what I should, but for the most part, I think I have a handle on not over-eating.  My biggest obstacle is exercise.  I am not a morning person, and basically sit on my rear all day  at my desk in an office.  Then many days, I do not get home till after 9 because of kids activities/church activities/etc.  Ok, enough excuses - this is where I feel my focus needs to be, and I know I am empowered by God to follow through!

I am so ashamed of the way that I look, that I do not allow pictures of myself.  If you look at my facebook page, you will not find any recent pictures.  You may see a few of me about 50 lbs ago, but my page is covered with pictures of my beautiful children (as it should be :))  My son actually needed a family picture for a school project recently, and the only one I could find was 5 years old!  So as part of my accountability: here I am (attempting to be) content with who God has made me.  Knowing I am growing and improving; trying to be the woman he desires.....Becoming beautiful from the inside out, because I am accepted by Christ and enabled by Him to become the woman he wants me to be....