Rescued & Redeemed by the Blood of Jesus

The Easter Story

The death of Jesus on the cross overwhelms me. There is nothing I have done or ever will do that makes me more deserving of His love than any other person on this planet. He died for me. He also died for you.

For He Rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have the redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:13-14

I can only imagine the despair and hopelessness that those following Jesus felt on that first Good Friday. I am sure they were experiencing the widest range of emotions possible over the next several days from seeing the death of Jesus on the cross, to hearing about and seeing the empty tomb, and physically seeing and speaking to the resurrected Jesus.

Can you even imagine? The worldview of death is so final. The thought of someone I love dying, being buried, and returning to life would be shocking and unbelievable. I would need to touch them, have a conversation, and make sure another person could see them also just to establish that I wasn’t dreaming.

The numerous eyewitness accounts of the resurrected Jesus gives us hope that there is more for us after this life on earth is over. Jesus doesn’t want us to keep our faith silent but to boldly proclaim where the hope we have comes from.

The logic of someone witnessing the death of Jesus on the cross and then continuing to tell others about Him is one of the greatest testimonies to the validity of this entire account. Think about it. If you had witnessed Jesus being crucified on the cross and watched Him die for saying He is the Son of God you would need to have the knowledge that He was actually God in order for you to continue spreading and teaching this belief.

After the resurrection continuing to tell others that you not only spoke to the resurrected Jesus but touched Him would not make you a very popular person. The likelihood of harm coming to yourself and others you cared about would be very high. To continue speaking about Jesus after His death, burial, and resurrection would be crazy. Unless it were true.

The evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus is told outside the account of what is written in the bible. This Easter my prayer for those searching for answers and feeling hopeless because of their circumstance would be that your eyes and heart are open to hearing and accepting the incredible gift of the death of Jesus on the cross for your sins. There is nothing that you can do or need to do to earn this gift or any sort of tradition or ritual you need to follow after you recognize you need the blood of Jesus to wash away your sins.

For those of you who know Jesus my prayer is that you don’t forgot what you have in Him and to remember you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

God loves you just the way you are, but he doesn’t want you to stay that way. He wants a life rich and full in love and hope for you. Forgiveness from our sins is the greatest gift of all time. Ask God to forgive you, own the fact that you are a sinner and that you need Him, repent of your sins, and thank Him for sending Jesus to the cross so that we have the hope of an eternity with Him.

And all God’s people said AMEN.

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F.I.T. Faith Inspired Transformation

I usually shy away from doing book reviews because my time is precious to me. If I am going to be reading I want to make sure that the book is of interest to me, inspires me, and informs me. There are so many healthy living/diet books on the market and the majority of them contain information that goes against my personal beliefs on exercise and nutrition.

FIT Faith Inspired Transformation

That being said, I recently had the opportunity to review Kim Dolan Leto’s book F.I.T. Faith Inspired Transformation. I wasn’t sure if I would even like the book or agree with what she wrote but I was intrigued by the title and description and decided to give it a read. I am so glad I did! I was also sent an extra copy for one of you. Continue reading and find out how you can win your own copy.

Kim is the director of family health and wellness for the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), holds a business degree, is a certified fitness trainer, a wife, and mom to three children. I found it very interesting when reading her bio that she learned gymnastics in her 30s. When I read this I had to go to her Youtube channel to see exactly what that meant and I was blown away by her strength! Check out this clip of her in a handstand walking across the gym.

Before I go on I want to clarify that this book does not contain workouts or meal plans/recipes. It is probably one of the main reasons I loved reading this book so much. The focus on this book is to encourage women to shift their focus from what the world says about health to what the Word of God says. This books is under 200 pages and is written in a conversational tone that makes for an easy read. However delving into the material and putting what you are reading into action and answering the thoughtful reflection questions at the end of each section should not be rushed.

FIT Reflection Questions

This book is packed full of scripture that supports the transformation that needs to happen in your mind so you can view yourself and others the way God does and not how the world does. Having just completed months of counseling this book was such a positive reinforcement. Steps 2 and 3 out of the 10 steps in the book were my favorites for this reason. These steps focused on identifying negative thoughts, negative patterns, how you can’t expect new results from an old mindset, and the importance of training yourself spiritually.

Step 8 is all about changing your perspective and realizing happiness is a choice. I really loved the following passage…

People are always looking for the secret to a happy life. The secret is there is no secret. It’s all our decision. We choose the life we want. Free will allows us to choose, but it can also be the foot that keeps tripping us. Bad attitudes and self justification take us to the same place, which is nowhere near the life we want. But we can make the right choices in the midst of our wrong feelings; it’s all about changing our perspectives from “have to” to “able to.”

This section of the book also references…

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. – Philippians 4:4

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes. – Charles Swindoll

The entire book is purposefully interwoven with scripture and quotes that will encourage you and strengthen you in your faith.

Step 5 guides you to write out your goals and to commit everything to God while Step 6 focuses on healthy eating and offers suggestions for meals, snacks, and dessert.

FIT BreakfastLunch Ideas

There is something for everyone in this book. If you are just starting on your journey to health this book will not overwhelm you with a strict program to follow or restrictive diet. It instead will offer you practical tools to live a healthy life that honors God from the inside out. Personally this book was a blessing to me. It reinforced making my spiritual, mental, and physical health a priority.

If you would like a copy of F.I.T you can purchase the book from Amazon or Kim’s website. I have one extra copy to giveaway! This giveaway will run until April 7 at noon. Good luck!

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Maisie: 9 Months

Maisie 9 Months

We are following the sleep method outlined in On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep. If you have never heard of Babywise you can read more about our experience in my post On Becoming Baby Wise where I break down how we used this method for our son Caden.

Here is a recap of Maisie’s feeding schedule over the past eight months:

Birth: Every 2-3 hours for the first two weeks until we were given the go ahead from her pediatrician to allow her to sleep during the night without needing to wake her to eat.

1 Month: 4:30am, 7am, 9:30am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm, and 12:30am. Bedtime at 7pm followed by the last two feedings.

Week 7: 5am, 7am, 9:30am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm followed by a dream feed.

2 Months: 6am,  9:30am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm followed by a dream feed.

3 Months: 6:30am, 9:45am, 12:30pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm followed by a dream feed.

4 Months: 5:30am*, 7am, 10am, 1pm, 3:30pm, and 6:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm. *I tried to drop the dream feed which didn’t work.

5 Months and 6 Months: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 3:30pm, and 6:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm followed by a dream feed.

7 Months and 8 Months: 7am, 10am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, and 6:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm.

Currently her 9 Month schedule looks like this…

  • 7am: Waketime & Eat
  • 9:30am: Nap
  • 11am: Eat
  • 1pm: Nap
  • 6:30pm: Eat
  • 7pm: Bedtime

If you have been following along for the past few months you will notice that we dropped a feeding. In order to drop a feeding we gradually delayed her naps by 10 minute increments which lengthened the time until her next feeding.  It took about two weeks to adjust to this new routine but it is working great and both kids are napping at the same time during the afternoon now.

After Maisie nurses in the morning, I change her diaper and we go and get Caden out of bed. Once both kids are up I set them in the living room which is directly off the kitchen so they can play while I prepare our breakfast. We are usually eating by 7:30am if not almost done eating by this point. After breakfast we read stories, the kids play, and I will clean up after breakfast. Sometimes I take them for a run/walk with the double jogging stroller if there is time before Maisie’s nap or we will head to the park.

Caden & Maisie 9 Months

Maisie goes down for her nap at 9:30am. While she is sleeping Caden and I will play outside in the backyard or do an activity like coloring, flashcards, or a craft. I put this awesome White Noise Machine on in her room. It has been worth every penny! Caden can get loud sometimes.

Nap time generally ends around 10:30am. After she wake up her diaper gets changed and we read a story until her next feeding. 11am she nurses and this feeding comes right before our lunch time. Depending on the day we may go to the park, museum, or run an errand before lunch.

Everyone sits down at the table for lunch and we eat together. For Maisie this could include a number of things: oatmeal, sweet potato, banana, avocado, apple, mango, pears, peas, greek yogurt, zucchini, or puffs.

After lunch I clean up the kitchen and the kids play. Around 12:30pm we start getting ready for nap time. Both Caden and Maisie are in their rooms at 1pm for naps. Caden sleeps until 4pm and usually has to be woken up. Maisie sleeps until 2-2:30pm. She nurses at 3pm and has a snack before Caden’s nap is over.

Before dinner we may run an errand or two if needed. Otherwise it is playtime again. Dinner is usually around 5:30pm. Maisie eats a small meal at the table with us. We have showers/baths after dinner. Maisie is nursing again at 6:30pm and is asleep by 7pm. Caden goes to bed at 7:30pm.

And that is how most of our days are structured.

Maisie enjoys watching Caden, bath/shower time, and sitting up. She really likes to chew on books. She has started to become more mobile and scoots herself around to reach different toys or to try and grab Caden’s sip cup.

Maisie has her two bottom teeth and also her two top teeth. She is cutting 1 tooth on the bottom and another on the top. Tummy time has turned into scooting backwards time and pushing herself up to seated. She won’t stay on her tummy much these days.

It is amazing to think that in just a short amount of time we will have a 1 year old and a 3 year old! This year has gone by so fast.

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