Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chanukkah Giveaway! {CLOSED}

The winner is..... Moriah M. congrats! 

I am so excited to be getting to offer you all a giveaway from the lovely Peaches and Cream Studio!

I met the owner, Victoria, this year during Pesach and got to spend time fellowshipping with her lovely family. So when she told me about this giveaway offer, I was thrilled! She has graciously offered to send one of you a set of 8 Chanukkah art prints! 

I wanted you to get to know Victoria a little so I asked her to share about her shop, and how she got started.

"For years my family and friends have told me that I needed to start an Etsy shop, and in 2013 it finally became a reality! Growing up, I was constantly drawing- whether it was at an easel next to my artist sister or doodling in my textbooks (oops!). My grandmother taught me how to use her sewing machine when I was 8, and whenever I wasn't drawing I would be sewing any textiles I could get my hands on! 
As a seamstress and artist, my designs for my Etsy shop are always derived from faith and family, but they are also influenced by my experience in Israel in 2014. Although I am not Jewish, I fell in love with the culture + traditions, as well as the rich and vibrant diversity. 
The story of my art prints came about one day as I was browsing Etsy for Messianic/Jewish artwork. I was disappointed by what I found- much of what I saw was rather chaotic, with unappealing color palates and steep price tags. I was looking for something clean but bold, chic but still in touch with tradition. I wanted something to hang on my walls that put a sparkle into an age-old way of life, something that would bring a new dimension to timeless heritage. 
I didn't find what I was looking for, so I decided that I would just have to create my own! I'm excited to share my work with the Etsy community, and I hope it fills a need that I saw was lacking. I keep my prices affordable for everyone, because I'm a bargain-hunter at heart myself. All my prints are printed on sturdy cardstock and ready to be put into frames as soon as they arrive in your mailbox!"
 These are the prints being offered, aren't they great!?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Then the phone rang...

It had been barely even 24 hours since I posted about having the faith to stay put, when your heart wants to go. I was giving the baby a bath and when I came out my husband was hanging up the phone. I was a little confused because the last little bit of the conversation I heard sounded like something was going on, and it was after 10pm.

He told me a very sweet friend we had met at Family Week was in need. Her husband and some other friends were at the airport and needed a place to stay for Shabbat. My husband had told her we couldn't help because we had no way to transport 8 people to our home. But I said oh no Hashem will provide a way, and called her back! (with his blessing of course)

After some back and forth we decided that they would stay one night in a hotel and if there were still issues they would come to us for Shabbat, bezrat Hashem.

That night we prayed that if it was His will that we would get to host these people in our home. We weren't sure what that would look like but we were willing to give it a try.

The next morning they called and decided that half of them would come to our home over night and half of them would try again to get on their flight. Money was tight but we just moved forward in faith. As my husband was getting ready to leave he went to check the mail. Lo and behold there was a check there that we weren't expecting to for at least a week! It was such a blessing, and it meant that we were now able to provide a better experience for our guests.

We don't have any extra bedrooms, so we moved our children into our room and prepared the children's room for our guests. It was kind of like camping, which thankfully our guests didn't mind.

We had a sweet time of fellowship and there was plenty of food and snacks to go around! When they left I felt edified and like we truly opened ourselves up to be used by Hashem to bless His people. I am so thankful for that. It was just like a little wink and nudge to let me know that He sees my heart and that if I just stay open to being used by Him, He will use me in His own way.

Staying put may not always be what we want to do, but it's not about us. It's about Him! Plus there are people all around you that are in need. Whether it be physical or spiritual, there are areas where you can serve and be used.

A week or so after our guests left we had another family over for dinner who was having a rough time. We wanted to be a blessing and we were. A few weeks after that my husband was able to go and help a family, who had been homeless, paint their new home so they could move in quickly.

We may be called to stay here, but I'm learning that we are still called to serve. It may not look how I thought it would, but it looks exactly how my Abba wants it.

Love and blessings,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Baruch Dayan Emet

...And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. -Bershith {Genesis} 4:10

Baruch dayan emet. I have no words to describe the horror that took place Tuesday morning in Israel. There are no words that can fully express the pain and the sorrow. As men stood to pray to the Most High and were attacked with bullets and axes. What kind of sick mind comes up with such a twisted act?

There are more than 20 children who will now grow up with no father. These children will never get to spend another moment with their fathers. No more birthdays, no more shabbats, no more bed time routines. And the wives. The wives who will never be held by their beloved again. Who have to live with the memory of their husbands being brutally attacked for nothing other than being Jewish. 

My heartaches for these families and for all Israel. 

Please pray for:

Avraham Shmuel ben Sheina
Eytan ben Sara
Chaim Yechiel ben Malka
Shmuel Yeruchem ben Baila

Adonai yishlakh la'hem refuah sheleimah, refuat ha'nefesh urefu'at ha'guf

Lord send to them complete healing, healing of the soul and healing of the body

and for the families of:

Rav Moshe Twersky
Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg 
Rabbi Kalman Ze’ev Levine 
Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky 

Zidan Sayif

Ha'makom yenahem etkhem betokh she'ar avelei Tziyon v'Yerushalayim

May the Almighty comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The faith to stay

I don't know if any of you are like me, but I have this overwhelming desire to be used mightily by Hashem. I want His blessings on my life. I want to serve Him with everything I have.

In my mind that looks so mighty. Like moving cross country on short notice because we're called to serve in some way. Or heading up a ministry of some sort. Or serving on a foreign missions field.

I totally have the faith to go. I'd go pretty much anywhere with out a second thought. Of course there are a few places that I'd ask "Abba are you sure?" but those places are few. My heart for doing the will of my Creator is so big that often my view of what He wants seems grandiose.

But what about when His will is for me to stay put? To serve Him where I am despite how un-grand it feels.

We had high hopes of moving to be in closer fellowship with others, and to devote our lives to full time ministry. We felt very strongly that it was Hashem's will. But then door after door was closed on our plans.

That was so hard. We felt very confused and severely overwhelmed. Many changes had to be made in order for us to go. So when it didn't go as planned we were hurt.

I was so frustrated.

But then the Almighty moved me to a realization that changed things for me. I need to be just as willing to stay, as I am to go.

Going somewhere seems glamorous. People know about it and they say "wow look at her faith". But when you stay put and you are doing the everyday things. The training of children, the cleaning of the home. No one cares. No one says wow your faith is so strong.

Instead they ask "what do you do all day?" They look at you and think all kinds of negative things. Encouraging your faith, is generally not on the list of comments to be made. So you're left feeling like the work you are doing is worthless.

But it takes just as much --if not more-- faith to stay, when everything inside of you wants to go. It's easy to feel like you're being sidelined. But that's not true. Abba doesn't want to punish your faith. He wants to continue to grow it.

He can't do that if you sulk and grow bitter. He needs your heart to stay joyfully focused on HIM as He gives you the grace to navigate your situation. When the time is right He will move.

For me personally I am spending this time at home working on the character qualities that I believe Hashem is trying to bring about in me, and my children, through this time.

It's not easy but with His help it is possible. So if you are like me and are struggling with having the faith to stay, I just want to encourage you today that the Lord has a plan for your life and where ever He has you He wants you to SHINE!

Love and blessings,

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Behind The Scenes God

I've heard countless stories about how things have come together for people and they could see how HaShem was at work "behind the scenes". We can see this very clearly also in the book of Esther. How things all come together by seeming coincidence. But to the believer there is no such thing as coincidence. My family was able to experience this recently as we walked through some health issues with one of our daughters.

Our 2nd born daughter, B, has been battling eczema for awhile now. Most people don't realize how serious of a condition this can be. It's not just dry skin. Especially not for her. Her whole entire body is covered in this itchy scaly rash. This is not a put some lotion on it kind of situation. We realize that her eczema is wrapped up in all her food allergies and sensitivities, so we had scheduled an appointment with a naturopathic allergist. But that appointment was months away.

A few weeks ago we noticed that she had some severely swollen lymph nodes in her legs. I know lymph nodes swell but these were like plum size! So we took her into the pediatrician who also was concerned. She sent us to get an ultrasound and from there to a hematologist. B is such a sweet little girl, while we were getting her ultrasound she looks at me and asks "am I having a baby?" lol. She was half joking and half concerned.

I didn't do a whole lot of googling during this time because I just wanted answers. I realize now that was a blessing because I would have been even more worried had I known what I needed to be worried about! In the time between the first initial doctors appointment and all the specialist appointments the allergist called and we were able to move her appointment up significantly. Which meant that we could get answers to her allergies while also dealing with what ever else was going on.

When we got to the hematologist we waited for a bit and as I waited I read some tehillim, in particular tehillim 34 stood out. So I just tucked it away in my heart and knew that it was a gift to me. When it was time for the blood draw I had to try to console B as well as hold her still. That was hard. But what was even harder was hearing the doctor say "ok I will run theses and then we will know in about 15 minutes if it's Leukemia."

Leukemia!? Cancer!? What!?

My head was spinning. I came in thinking the blood work was for something that.... was not as scary as leukemia. I began replaying tehillim 34 in my head and prayed silently. The angel of HaShem encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that HaShem is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. {Teh 34:7-8}

The doctor finally came back in and said there was no sign of infection and that B did not have leukemia. I let out a huge sigh of relief and then she said, "I'd like to get a chest x-ray so we can determine if we should move forward with a biopsy to check for lymphoma"

Lymphoma!? Didn't we just rule out cancer? I felt like I couldn't breathe again. The doctor assured me that it was just something they needed to check but that didn't ease my mind any. So off we went to get an x-ray. The next day after waiting all day for the results I finally got a call back telling me her x-ray was clear! BARUCH HASHEM!! 

So now we have ruled out cancer. But what's wrong with my baby?

The time had finally come to meet with the allergist. we told her everything that was going on and then she tested her for over a hundred things. Her allergies were even more severe than we thought. Turns out that the swollen lymph nodes are all part of her allergies. She is allergic to:


Bell Peppers
All beans and legumes 
Tree nuts 
All animal dairy 
Goji berries
Cacoa beans (chocolate)

Yes you read that list correctly. Yes it is A LOT. This means that we have been unknowingly giving her an allergic reaction at every meal. But we know, b'ezrat HaShem, that we will get through this and she will be healed. Since seeing the allergist we already are seeing some changes in her. She is taking probiotics twice a day, as well as some homeopathic medicines. We are also giving her fish bone broth, and will begin giving her aloe. 

This all came at a time when we really needed to know what as going on. We needed to get into the allergist early and we needed to have some second opinions. We were able to discuss everything and have her checked out by multiple doctors and really get some solid footing. To the average person this is all coincidental. But for us we know it is so much more than that. We thank our Elohim for His guiding hand in all of this, we thank Him for showing us the truth and walking with us through it. 

At the allergist there was a sign up that said: 

"We don't believe in miracles, we rely upon them"

I wholeheartedly agree! 

O magnify HaShem with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought HaShem, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. -Teh 34:3-4

(This all happened a few months ago and B is doing a lot better)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spiritual focus for 5575

Good Book via Laura Fatta

Wow. I don't know about you but the fall chagim seemed to go by in a whirl-wind! There was lots of planning and preparing going on, but it was all worth it. I feel like I really drew closer to Hashem and learned more about what He has called me to. Sometimes on this walk it's not that easy to navigate, but Baruch Hashem, I'm glad to have Yeshua to illuminate the path. 

I recently shared a brief overview of my goals for this year, and I was inspired by my friend and fellow blogger, Crysta from Shalom in the Home, to share a little more detail about my plans. 

So first thing I want to mention is my family's commitment to reading through the Torah portion each week. For those who don't know the Torah reading cycle was set up long ago during the time of the biblical Ezra and Nehemiah. The cycle was set up to ensure that people would study Torah, or at the very least encourage them to try. This cycle was used during the time of Yeshua and still used now! What an awesome was to stay connected to am Yisrael {the nation/people of Israel} and to our roots. 

The plan is for our family to read through at least a chapter of each portion during our weekly family Bible time. The cycle is just beginning anew so this week we have been reading Bereshith {Genesis} 1-6:8. My children are enjoying going through the creation story. It's amazing to me how they are picking out new things from the account each time. 

I also intend to try to read each portion in the chumash {Torah with commentary}. It would be much easier to do if I had a hard copy but for now I will be using this website which has the bible with Rashi's commentary. 

That plus sticking with my routine of daily bible reading, will definitely keep me spiritually fed. But even still there is more! I have signed up with to spend the next 13 weeks studying different middot {character traits}with a chevruta {study partner}via Riverton Mussar. I am really excited about this one and am looking forward to sharing what I'm learning. 

As for my Hebrew study I am going to go through the book Jot & Tittle, from FFOZ. A very dear friend of mine gave it to me years ago and I've gone through it very inconsistently. But I'm planning to complete the whole book this cycle. This will help to reinforce my knowledge of the alephbet and help build my vocabulary. I would like to do more but I think committing to this is huge step for me. I tend to pick things up and put them down very, VERY, frequently. 

I'm hoping that by planning it all out and sharing "the plan" will help keep me accountable. All I can do though is try :o)

What about you? Do you have any plans for 5775?

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men...
-Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

High Holy Days 5775

The High Holidays are upon us. Can you feel it?

I personally am really excited for a new year. A fresh start. I'm excited about taking on a few more mitzvot and tending to the mitzvot I already observe with extra attention. Some of my goals for 5775 are:

1.)  Better organize my days by using a checklist
2.)  Find a weekly learning program for learning Torah and Hebrew
3.)  Read my Bible and daven daily
4.)  Work on my "domestic arts" by creating a cleaning schedule and meal planning
5.)  Eat regularly (I tend to skip meals) and work out
6.)  Learn zemirot!
7.)  Reach out more to the community around me
8.)  Work on the mitzvot I already observe and slowly take on more as I learn with my rabbi or mentor
9.)  Read books more often
10.) Work on my photography for at least an hour a week

I feel like addressing these things will help me to be who Hashem created me to be and will help me to feel better all around.

So what about you? Do you have a plan for 5775?

L'shanah tovah tikatevu!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's in a name....

In keeping with the theme of Elul I want to share something with you....

A few years ago I went through a very trying time. I even stopped blogging for a bit. I spent a lot of time searching and crying out to Hashem. So much changed in me and yet everything around me stayed the same. During that time I was comforted by stories of those who had to "wrestle" with HaShem or who were called according to His purpose. 

Often times after going through something with HaShem the person became different. Their faith was changed, their lives were changed. But not only that, their names were changed as well. There was a complete dying of the "old man". This is what I experienced. My heart was knit to HaShem's in a whole new way.

During this time I took on a Hebrew name. I only shared it with some, though I toyed with the idea of changing it legally. I still may some day.

It's something deeply personal and yet something that if I want to use it I need to be open about. I've used my Hebrew name in certain settings and have come to the place where I would like to use it more frequently.

My Hebrew name is Chana Elisheva. Chana means compassionate or graceful, which I desperately needed from Hashem at the time. His compassion and grace is all that got me through that time, and still what gets me through every day. Elisheva is two things; Eli means my God and sheva/sheba means oath.

I serve an Elohim that is compassionate and full of grace, He is my oath.

This all comes full circle, sort of, with the birth of our son. We had a first name picked put for him long before he was conceived. Our children's names follow an abc pattern, which started out accidentally, so we knew his name would start with a C. His middle name we had decided would be Zephaniah. We were settled. Then one day I was reading in 1 Samuel and as I read I came to the name Shemuel {heard of God/asked of God}. I knew then that was to be our son's middle name. He was after all an answer to prayer.

A while after we had settled on his middle name being Shemuel, I realized the deeper significance in his name. As the biblical Channah prayed for a son and was given a Shemuel. I knew this when we picked it but it didn't deeply affect me until later on. After all the struggle, after all the searching, this was my gift. This was an answer to my prayers.

It's about more than a child though. So much changed with the birth of our son. Our family is different. Our goals are different. We are even more committed to serving Hashem, to learning His ways, to proclaiming His goodness. It is only because of Him that we are where we are.

Therefore if any man be in Messiah, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
-2 Cor 5:17

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


image via Holy Sparks

I am SO excited! Elul is upon us. Elul is the 6th month on the Hebrew calendar. Which to some that may seem like no big deal but if you know about Hashem's appointed times then you will notice that it's 1 month away from the fall feasts.

On the 1st of Tishrei (the 7th month) is Yom Teruah, more commonly known as Rosh Hashanah. Then on the 10th of Tishrei is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Then it all wraps up with Sukkot on the 15th. These three fall feasts are a time for deep connection with Hashem. They are a time for teshuva {repentance} and getting on the right track. 

The month prior to this, Elul, is used for introspection and drawing closer to Hashem. There is a teaching isn Judaism that says during Elul "the King is in the field". Meaning that Hashem is even more accessible to us during this time. The reason for this is that we are approaching HIS appointed times for renewal and atonement. 

There so much more to say about this and much work to be done to prepare for Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah. I'm planning on taking part in an online study group on Teshuva and Rosh Hashanah, as well doing some personal Torah study and reflection. A great portion of scripture to read during this time would be the book of Nehemia. Chapters 6-8 are really appropriate for this time as they deal with the months of Elul and Tishrei, and show the preparations that took place to prepare the Israelites for  the High Holy Days. 

Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. -Ecc 5:9

Are you doing any soul searching for Elul? What are some of the ways you will prepare for the High Holy Days?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't just sit there, do something.

I don't have an ipad. So when everyone was talking about the Red Alert App I wasn't able to get it. But then I found out about this website that does virtually the same thing.

The first time I heard the alarm go off it was surreal. It caught me totally off guard. In fact another went off just now. There is no way I could get my children out of bed and to a bomb shelter in the next 15 seconds. Not even 30.. there goes another.. In the last hour the alarm has gone off 3 times. And another.. that makes 4.

My heart aches for those in HaEretz. The rushing, the terror, the constant-ness of it all. Can you imagine daily being on guard. Feeling like at any moment you'll need to run for your life?

Right now, baruch HaShem, we are safe and comfortable in the US. But how long can it stay that way if we keep silent? You may feel like me and feel helpless, like there is nothing you can do. But that's not true. You can donate to different funds in Israel or you can take part in the BUYcott. So many at this time are abandoning Israel but you can choose something different.

You can sign up for the Lev HaOlam package project. Where each month you get goods that were produced in Judea and Samaria mailed directly to your doorstep.

Here is a website that lists products that are made in Israel that you can purchase and also where to find them in the US.

You can also donate to organizations like HaYovel, who are going to Israel and putting their hands and feet to work. Not only are they helping agriculturally, they are sending a message that Israel is not alone!

You can make tzedakah boxes with your children, then donate the money to charities that support victims of terror in Israel. I'm in the process of building a list of charities you can donate to....another alert, that makes 5....But in the mean time here is a start:

Magen David Adom

In the time is took for me to write this post there were 5 rockets launched at Israel....make that 6, 7, 8, 9..I kid you not...10, 11, 12, 13, 14.... If this were happening in your city how would you respond?

For Tziyon’s sake I will not be silent,

for Yerushalayim’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out brightly
and her salvation like a blazing torch.

- Isaiah 62:1


Our continued quest to keeping kosher

Oh my my my. As I've been digging around and researching hechsherim {kosher symbols} I've seen even more how not all hechsherim are equal! Some of the things I read shocked me, like certain unclean things being allowed based on the amount of it! But as I said in this last post I wanted to share with you what I found as I studied this out. 

Thankfully I was able to come up with a list to start out with. But I'm pretty sure this is going to be a life long endeavor. Something where I'll just have to stay up to date on any changes that are made, and make sure that the standards haven't been relaxed.

Here are some resources I found that can help you in determining what is right for your family.

Here are some videos in a teaching series from a "conservadox" Jewish shul that believes in Yeshua as Messiah.

And here is a printable card that has hechsherim that are deemed appropriate: kashrus card 

I hope these resources get you off to a good start, and if you hear anything about specific hechsherim let me know :o)

 Its purpose is to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten. 
-Leviticus 11:47


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life right now....

Shalom friends! These last few months have been a whirlwind of excitement and changes for us. There have been so many times I wanted to sit down and update you all but then something else tugs at me. I realized that in not sharing I was not proclaiming all the blessings that Hashem is bestowing on our family. So here I go....

I mentioned back in March that we had a great congregation that we were enjoying and that things were going well. Together we had an amazing Purim with lots of delicious food, fellowship, and the reading of the megillah Esther.

After the excitement of Purim we move into the season of Pesach! We were very excited about Pesach and had been hoping that we could go to HaYovel's Family Week. But it was looking impossible. Not only would my husband need to get a week off from work, but we also needed to be able to fund the trip. The closer it got the more disappointed I got, because it seemed impossible. Some friends suggested that we contact HaYovel and let them know our situation and see if they could help us get there. I figured it was a long shot but I contacted them anyway. Well guess what?!?! They said they could help! So a week before it was time to leave we started packing up with no clue where we were going to sleep, but being willing to just sleep in the car! We continued in prayer and packed up everything we thought we would need. Then dear friends of ours offered to buy us a tent! And not just any tent a really nice 10 person tent!!!! It was just so amazing! Baruch Hashem!!!

So after everything was packed we hit the road for our 15 hour drive to Hardin, Kentucky. 

It was a looooong trip but the time we spent there was so amazing. It would take me months to write about all the amazing things that happened and the MANY blessing we received. We made life long friends and got to finally meet friends that we've known for awhile via the internet! Like Stephanie Brumlow from Our Wholehearted Family, Andi from By The Eastern Gate, and Susan Brendemuhl from Quiverfull of Kids, just to name a few! It was a life changing event to say the least!

our lodging for the week
We were able to have our Pesach seder with the Waller family from Betrothed, as well as my very dear friend that I have known for 5 years, but never met in person! There were also several other families that were in attendance. 

Pesach seder

The whole week was full of sweet fellowship and Divine appointments. We came home and felt like we didn't belong here anymore. And thus began our prayers for the Father to move us closer to the amazing people that we met and love so very dearly. We're not 100% sure when or how, but we know where we are called to be and are looking forward to getting there in HIS timing and by His grace!

I have so much more I want to share with you all, so be on the look out for more frequent posting!

Taste, and see that Hashem is good. How blessed are those who take refuge in him!  -Psalm 34:8


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Obedience and Fear

Something I'm chewing on today...

 "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." James 2:19

Do we tremble in the face of the Almighty? Or are we flippant? Do we believe that we can do as we please despite the rules that He has in place? 

I think we can all agree the most flippant of all is hasatan himself. But even he knows to not go beyond the boundary that the Almighty set. Look at these verses in Job:

1: 12 And YHVH said unto satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So satan went forth from the presence of YHVH. 

2:6-7 And YHVH said unto satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his lifeSo went satan forth from the presence of YHVH , and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

The Almighty allowed the enemy to attack Job, but He gave clear boundaries. As we read we see that the enemy never once crossed those boundary lines. Are we that faithful to do as we are told or does hasatan obey better than we do?

YHVH gave many commands that are perpetual, or everlasting. Yet many today believe that those commands are done away with. Worse yet those that know and believe that the laws given by YHVH are still for us today are not diligent. We come to this truth but then still tow the line and say well its ok if I slip. When in reality we should be so far from the line there is no fear of slipping! 

I'm not pointing any fingers because Yah knows I am not perfect. But boy oh boy was I convicted by the obedience of hasatan. Isn't that crazy??? Our very own enemy that is in 100% opposition to YHVH obeys Him. But do we? 

We need to learn to tremble and to be exceedingly afraid of YHVH. While He is merciful and loving and long suffering that does not make Him soft on sin. Don't confuse His kindness for weakness. The same Elohim who destroyed Nadab and Abihu for offering strange fire, is the same Elohim that we call Abba, Father, and He will not be mocked. Be exceedingly afraid.... 

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear YHVH, and depart from evil. -Proverbs 3:7


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Beautiful Moments

I don't know if any of you are like me but I really struggle with wanting every moment to be picture perfect. I don't do well when life is hard, or messy, or even boring. I'm always longing for those moments in life where everything comes together and if it were caught on film it would awe and inspire the viewer. 

I tend to feel like every moment must be beautiful. When in reality most are not. I have this habit of running away or shutting down when things are not as I would like. But in reality life is hard and often times ugly, yet those are the moments that lead us to those beautiful places. Just like diamonds are formed in the deepest parts of the earth under extreme pressure, we too are perfected in our valleys when things seem to be the hardest. 

I read a blog post recently that reminded me of the importance of not running. It really spoke to my heart about relationships with people and being authentic. Being willing to share those hard times so that after I am pressed and tried I can shine all the brighter in hopes that my Abba may be glorified! {Matt 5:16}

For runners like me how do we make it through those rough times? It's easy to say you must press on, but doing it isn't so easy. For me the one thing that helps me keep going is clinging to Yeshua! I find I must be constantly washing myself in the Word. I find that it is true what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Messiah may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Messiah's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

So what's the lesson I've learned? In those times when you feel like you are in the deepest parts of the earth under extreme pressure RUN to the Word and seek the face of the Savior. Don't pull away and let the hard times ruin the perfect picture you'll have in the end. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Serving a Faithful Elohim

photo credit

It wasn't that long ago that I was on my knees begging Abba for fellowship and friends. When we left our church it was scary and hard, but we did it by faith. The same is true of our prayers for a son, our home, and a plethora of other things. By faith we made the necessary steps to prove that we trusted and would accept what ever came our way. 

Now our lives are in a place that I honestly never could have imagined. We've joined a great congregation and are able to dig into the Word, as well as fellowship with like-minded believers every Shabbat.  We are happily raising 3 children to love YHVH and to serve Him with their lives. I see my 2 oldest children thinking of others and trying to be helpful and loving. One of my biggest concerns has always been that my children would be close to each other and it's just so amazing for me to watch how they try to take care of each other. Not that they're perfect but they love each other, and really what more could I ask for?

This past month we've had so many answers to prayer it's been mind blowing. It's just kind of been one thing after another and it's times like this that strengthen us all the more for times when things are really hard. 

After the birth of our son we had to make some decisions about circumcision. Not whether to do it, but who to have do it and how to afford it. Since it had to be done on the 8th day that made things slightly more complicated. Thankfully our midwives recommend a wonderful mohelet to us. This whole process has given me a whole new understanding of Tzipporah's struggle with circumcision {Exodus 4:24-26}. 

Once we called the mohelet and got everything set up the realization of what was going to happen set it. I told my husband "my inner momma bear came out". Because that's truly the only way I could describe it. I did a lot of praying and seeking in those few days before the brit and then on the day of I felt at peace. I knew we were obeying and so Abba would take care of us, which He did! From everything down to the financials we were taken care of in a way that only a loving Abba could. It was amazing. 

our son after his brit milah
We are just so happy and blessed and I truly believe that it is the fully undeserved chesed {loving-kindness}that a merciful and loving Abba pours out on us. We do our best to reciprocate that love by obeying but in all honesty we fall short SOOOO many times. But nevertheless HE IS STILL FAITHFUL! He has never forsaken us, even though truly we have deserved it! 

So that is what is going on around here. We are so thankful for the way Abba manifests Himself to us and we are forever indebted to Him. He is our all in all! 

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of Elohim: I trust in the mercy of Elohim for ever and ever. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints. Psalm 52:8-9


Friday, February 7, 2014

He's Finally Here! (My Birth Story)

Colton Shemuel

This pregnancy was long. I was really at the end of my rope and being that I was 41.6 weeks along I knew that a medical induction was looming around the corner. My midwives were awesome and wanted to do everything they could to help me avoid it, there was even talk of acupuncture! But after getting my ultrasound on Monday afternoon we decided to move forward with a castor oil induction, because my fluids were low and hadn’t risen since my ultrasound on Friday. 

I took the castor oil around 5:30pm and just waited for something to happen. At first I felt fine but maybe a little crampy. So I decided to make dinner and get the family taken care of before I was in a place where I couldn’t. We ate dinner around 7:30pm and then I decided to try to get some rest just in case. I fell asleep around 8:30pm just feeling a little crampy. I finally woke up at around 11:45pm but only because my husband woke me up to talk. Then the castor oil side effects hit! I’ll save you the gory details but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I wasn’t running to the bathroom or anything like that, it was surprisingly very manageable. 

Around 12am I started having some contractions that were nice and deep (and painful!) but not very close together. So we just kind of kept hanging out then at around 1:30/2am I started having contractions that I couldn’t bear. Once they got to 5 minutes apart I called my midwife, that was around 3am and she listened to me through a contraction and decided to come over. Once she got here around 3:45am things started to move quickly. I labored in bed and just kept working through the contractions. Then all of a sudden my body just started pushing! I had never experienced this before because both of my previous births were medicated. After a few pushes my water broke, it wasn’t a gush but more of a trickle. With each contraction my body just naturally pushed and I went with it. Although at first I was a little confused lol. My midwife suggested that I get on all fours and see if that was more comfortable than my side. It was for awhile so I pushed like that until my arms got too tired. At some point the back up midwife and a student midwife arrived but I was in my birth zone so I have no idea when that happened. 

When I was too tired to hold myself up anymore I rolled onto my side and my husband was helping to hold one of my legs up. That was when the real fun began! With each push I could feel the baby coming down. When I got to the point of the “ring of fire” I was relieved that it was no where near as bad as I thought it would be! Not that it didn’t hurt, it just wasn’t what I expected. The hardest part was that while he was crowning I didn’t have a contraction. So he was just hanging out and stretching me for awhile. Which looking back was a good thing even though I was like “someone please help me!” My midwife suggested nipple stimulation to try to bring on a contraction which helped and then I was able to push some more. I delivered each part of him with a push! He didn’t just slide out like my other two, but I’m sure that’s because he was so much bigger than they were! 

Our baby boy was born at 5:44am January 28th weighing 9lbs! I 100% believe that this birth went as smoothly as it did because I was in constant prayer. With each contraction I prayed for my Abba to be with me and to help me through it. With each push I quietly called on His Name. It was exactly what I needed to do in order to stay focused. Everyone commented after the birth about how peaceful it was. It was my first time having a baby unmedicated and it was perfect!

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