Quiet Time | Sisters

We know our sisters are a tremendous gift from the Lord, but where do we go from there?!

This might surprise you – but what’s helped me most in my relationship with my sisters is making top priority my own relationship with the Lord. Getting in my personal quiet time every morning helps me to be less likely to say something I shouldn’t and more likely to serve, more likely to smile, and more likely to be a good example!! :)

So this week, be encouraged! Your choice to spend time with the Lord in your quiet time can be a huge blessing not just to yourself, but your sisters too!

Trivia: Above is a picture of quiet time journals that are being used in our house by a certain three sisters. Can you guess whose is whose?! Share your guess in the comments and I’ll let you know if you’re right!! :)

Bonus: Sharing quiet time thoughts with sisters while riding in the car or walking in the park or talking around the table is a great way to strengthen your walks with Christ and build your relationships with each other!

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;”

Matthew 6:33a

A Gift | Sisters

As we start this new series on our relationships with our sisters, I want to begin with a foundational truth:

Our sisters are a gift from God. 

Growing up, my parents celebrated each of us girls (they still do :). They were tremendously careful not to play favorites. There was no doubt in my mind that they considered each of us as a precious gift from the Lord. That attitude rolled over into my perspective towards my sisters. Groaning about my little sisters being a nuisance was never an option – never really a thought. They were gifts from God – some girls didn’t have sisters. I had two.

So this weekend, I’m thanking the Lord for the gift of sisters. They are priceless treasures I never want to take for granted! And this perspective, with thankfulness, lays a tremendous foundation for positive sister relationships.

Let’s thank the Lord for our sisters/brothers today!!

Trivia: The three dollies pictured above – officially Mrs. Toddies – are some of my sisters’ and my earliest dolls. Can you guess whose is whose?! :) (I’ll answer in the comments and no, they are not in age order! :)

A Bonus for Moms: One of quiet ways my parents communicated to my sisters and I that we were each unique and prized gifts from God was that each of us had our own baby photo album that Mom was holding for us (she also had a nearly duplicate one for her and Dad – so we had six baby photo albums at our house!). Once we were old enough we could pull ours off the shelf and look at it on our own time. A picture can be worth a thousand words!

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3

Delight

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers  of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:2-3

Announcing…

So excited to share with you today a new series of posts coming to Lifestyle!! Are you ready?!? Drumroll please….our new series is going to be on the topic of our relationships with our…

Sisters! 

This fall my sisters and I celebrate 25 years as ‘sisters-three’. Those of you who know us well, know that we may look a tad like triplets, but we are decidedly different and imperfect people! And decidedly different and imperfect people find life together can at times be rather…interesting?! :)

I’m so excited to share things the Lord has used and is using to build and strengthen our relationship as sisters, including, believe it or not, the Five Decisions. We girls are truly best friends today and I count myself one of the most blessed women on earth to have Kristen and Melissa for ‘little’ sisters!

So do join us here in Lifestyle this fall for little tips and meaningful insights on sisters! I’d love to hear your insights on sibling relationships as well. Please feel free to comment in! I look forward to hearing what you’ve learned!

Love in Him,

Melanie

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16

Am I Ready?

‘SOLD OUT’

‘No Longer Available’

“…we no longer have this item…”

Words like these kept popping up before my eyes. I clicked and called and started to panic. It was a photographer’s nightmare. I was three days away from leaving for the nature photo op of the year…and I had just discovered that I didn’t have all the gear.

Yeah.

2017 Lunar Solar Eclipse was going to happen and I wasn’t ready. Nor were the two people I was planning to take with me.

My schedule had been a bit crazy and I figured the week before the trip I could do some research, sidle down to my local camera shop and get the filter needed, if I needed one at all.

It wasn’t turning out to be quite that simple! I hadn’t bargained on this being a national event…and items being sold out. I had been thinking about traffic and had made sure I had the clothes necessary…but somehow I missed the essential camera gear?!

But as I realized my trip was hanging in the balance, the Lord brought home a powerful lesson I never wanted to forget.

I was dealing with the reality of: “I have three days to master basic solar photography and acquire my gear since I didn’t realize the need and spent time on things not as essential.”

What if someday I’m facing a far greater question: “I have two months to live and invest in what matters since so far I’ve spent all my time on myself and trivial pursuits.”

That would be a far greater disaster and the perspective helped me grow a bit calmer. I knew in terms of my eternal destination I was safe in Christ, but when the time of my home going approached, would I be ready otherwise?

Just like camera gear doesn’t blossom off a computer screen, relationships don’t either. Am I investing in my relationship with God now? How about my family? Or will I be building at ground zero with the clock ticking down to final seconds?

The glimpse of eternity stuck with me as the photographic saga continued to unfold.

By a sheer miracle I was able to locate eclipse glasses for myself and the two going with me. By another I was able to order the last available piece of a sheet of special solar filter paper, thought I wasn’t sure if it would arrive in time. It did – on Friday!

Last minute gear was the Lord’s gift in this scenario. But I’d honestly much rather not have to ask Him for last minute relationships.

Due to coming down with a cold last minute, I ended up shooting the eclipse at home instead of in North Carolina. Fortunately my system had recovered enough by Monday afternoon that I didn’t have to tote a tissue box outside as well as my camera! :) I put together my gear, aimed my shots and enjoyed the experience with my family, making special memories! It was extra fun because I had the tools necessary – barely! – to really enjoy it.

(Photographer’s note: see how the shadows turned spots of light into moon shapes?! Neat-O!)

But what about my life? My relationships? Am I making the investments and preparations now to be able to actually enjoy those last moments on earth as I anticipate seeing Christ face-to-face? Will comforting Scriptures come to mind and prayer be second-nature? Will I be laughing with family over happy memories and leaving them a legacy of loving faithfulness?

Well, the eclipse is finished for this year and this is one photographer already far more mentally prepared for the 2024 eclipse…maybe I should order those supplies six months in advance? How about a phone notification? :)

The question for me now to consider is: Am I ready for the Lord to call me home? Am I loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? Do I love my neighbor as myself?”

BIG questions. Well, first and foremost I’m ultimately ready because Christ is my personal Savior. And then secondly, the ‘Five Decisions’ are helping me to get ready life-wise. It is my prayer, that by God’s grace, when He calls me home, my answer will be:

“Yes, Lord. I’m ready!”

How about you, friend?

Love in Christ,

Melanie

P.S. This is a fantastic lead-in to our next post series coming here on the blog!! So excited to announce it soon!! Stay tuned!

“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27

Travel Report! :)

It was such a treat to be in Texas last month for the THSC Woodlands homeschool convention and then in Kentucky this past weekend for the Noah conference! It was wonderful to meet new friends and reconnect with others.

And a sweet highlight was getting to see a few Lifestyle members in person!! Thanks so much to all who stopped by and shared their smiles with us!! :)

“I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.” Psalm 108:3-4

 

Bright Lights Conferences

Good evening, friends! This is a happy note to let you know about some conferences for young ladies that are coming to MI and OH! The conferences are taught by Sarah Mally (a good friend of ours!) and will be happening this month! If you’re looking to be inspired in your walk with the Lord, mark your calendar and register! If it weren’t for scheduling conflicts, I’d be planning to attend at least one myself! :)

For more information click here!  To register online, click here!

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37

Miss Muzzie :)

Does anyone remember Miss Muzzie?! Our happy Miss Muzzies were a craft project at the 2016 retreat to remind us to not let our Scripture Memory verses get fuzzy! :) They can clip onto the verses we need to review next or even sit on our dresser to remind us to review our verses!

How is your Miss Muzzie?! Where is she crawling this summer? I’d love to hear!

“I remembered thy judgements of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.” Psalm 119:52

Psalm 121:8

“The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121:8