Prayer

Pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17)

I struggled with prayer for many years, or to be more honest, decades. I felt it a Christian obligation. I would try to find time alone while I was raising our boys to go through my laundry list of praise and then petition. It was less than heartfelt many days.

Sometime during my spiritual journey, I heard someone speak of a different interpretation of “pray without ceasing.” This person, spoke about praying throughout the day, just like you would communicate with a companion.

That idea resonated with me, and it seemed so natural to communicate throughout the day instead of unloading (what it felt like to me) at one specific time.

I think every good and perfect gift is from above. Each time I don’t experience a disaster when I should, no manner how minor, or feel a blessing, again no matter how small, I simply say “Thank you Lord” and truly mean it.

Prayer also does not have to be verbal. You may be reading your devotional or Bible and just be in agreement in your heart and nonverbally say Amen!

I am in no way trivializing those who are disciplined and pray each day at a certain time, i.e. have a more formal prayer time. I think of prayer as a phone call to our heavenly Father, and I don’t think it matters to Him if we call throughout the day or have one long phone call once daily.

I hope this encourages those like me who have struggled with more formal prayers. Perhaps once and for all, you can set aside the guilt that I struggled with for so long.

Have a blessed day!

Amazon Prime Membership

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

If you aren’t a current Amazon Prime member, you should seriously consider it. The cost is $99 a year or $10.99 a month. We love being able to purchase anything online (and I mean anything) at terrific prices and have it within two days!

If you have kids at home who are in college, you can sign up for an Amazon Student Prime membership for only $49 a year (you need a valid .edu email address to qualify).

Below are all the benefits of Amazon Prime courtesy of Consumer Reports (and the list of benefits keeps growing all the time):

Prime members now qualify for free same-day delivery on more than a million items in 27 metropolitan areas and one and two-hour delivery with Prime Now on tens of thousands of items available in more than 25 metro areas.

Among other key or recently enhanced Prime benefits:

Instant access to video streaming. Membership includes instant access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows, including Amazon original series like the Golden Globe-winning Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, the drama Bosch, and Doctor Thorne, from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. You can watch at home on your computer, Fire TV, or other compatible devices.

Music streaming. Prime Music offers unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and thousands of playlists and stations.

Prime Photos. Secure unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive.

Access to Lightning Deals. Members qualify for early (30 minutes before everyone else) access to short-term, deeply discounted Amazon Lightning Deals that often feature high-tech and fashion goods.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Access to more than 800,000 e-book titles. You can borrow one a month, with no due date, along with one pre-released book a month with Kindle First.

Prime Now. A mobile app that allows customers in most parts of the country to shop from early morning to late night, seven days a week, for groceries, gifts, and food from neighborhood restaurants. Delivery is within two hours for free, or within an hour for $7.99. For restaurant orders, delivery is free within an hour of ordering, and the service is available from Amazon-affiliated restaurants in Manhattan, Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, and Portland, Ore.

Amazon Family. The benefits include 20 percent off diapers through its service, Subscribe & Save, and a 15 discount off of eligible products from your baby registry.

Membership Sharing. Two adults living in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits.

Head over here if you are a first-time subscriber to Amazon Prime. I personally think it will be some of the best money you have ever spent.

Honey Chipotle Dressing

There are so many weird ingredients in store-bought salad dressings, so I decided to experiment with making my own. Not only is is easy to make your own, they taste so much better than what you can get from the supermarket. If you’ve never made your own salad dressing, give this Honey Chipotle a try!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 honey

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 clove garlic

2/3 cup canola oil

Directions:

Pour all ingredients into a  blender. Blend well to emulsify. The Honey Chipotle Dressing will seem thin, however, after refrigerating it, the texture will thicken.

Enjoy!

Idols

We all have idols, children (me), desire for security (me), praise from others, careers, sports, personal achievement and so on  . . .

Everything I listed above represents good things however when we heap too much attention and affection on those things, we lose perspective and make idols.

I think one of the reasons we create or make perfectly good things idols is the desire to trade a responsibility that we think may not have a high yield of personal pleasure for something that we assume will.

An example would be a spouse that makes their profession their idol. They work very hard but neglect their family. That person’s selfish and hedonistic thinking goes something like this – If I pour hard work into my relationships with my spouse and children am I really going to reap any personal pleasure from it?

They think if they instead pour themselves into their career it may give them wealth, status, along with the praise of others. They are not going to get that from their persistence in building a family. Many people may simply think good kids or a solid marriage was just luck and you may not receive any credit/praise for either. Are you beginning to see my point?

We make idols of what we think will yield us the most pleasure. But of course, we not only displease God when we do so, we hurt and shortchange others. We only have so much time and attention and idols always consume so much of both.

No one can compete with an idol. A husband cannot compete with children who are idolized by their mother just as a wife cannot compete with a husband’s job that has become his life.

We shouldn’t place the wonderful blessings in our lives, the things that if we lost them would devastate us, in competition with anything. The question then becomes, how do we avoid making idols?

I think it is imperative that we have people in our lives who have the courage, to tell the truth when we begin to lose perspective. Then, we must have the humility to listen to and trust them.

Once we realize what we have done, placing our attention and affection on the wrong thing, we have to fix it. Fixing it means to take the initiative to change course.

Have the faith to ask God for His strength and help. I truly believe if you want to do the right thing, your heart will change –  by the grace of God.

At least, that’s how I see it.

Have a blessed day!

Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks

I know some women love traditional lipsticks, I am not one of them. I feel like the work it takes to apply properly isn’t worth a look that only looks nice for a short amount of time.
I’ve always preferred lip balms, they are easy to apply and reapply when necessary. I think for that reason the Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks have resonated with me. They are so easy to apply and look more like a lipstick than a balm. I own Nude Beach and Naked Dolly (see above). They are gorgeous colors that I can wear every day. I plan on purchasing more.
Check out the Too Faced website because from time to time they offer these lipsticks on sale. Pick up one or a few, I think you will love them!
Shop through Ebates and receive 3% cash back. Please see “Affiliate Policy” on About Me page for more info about affiliate links.