Faith: I am One with the Force, and the Force is with Me

Have y’all run across Heather Bock from the Glimpses of Jesus blog? I started following her a number of months ago and so appreciate her humor and faith. This post of Heather’s, about ROGUE ONE and my favorite character from the movie, Jedi Knight Chirrut, has stuck with me ever since I read it the first time. Finally, I’m reblogging it to share with you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you, Heather, and enjoy, dear readers!
–Wren

Glimpses of Jesus

i-am-with-jesus-and-jesus-is-with-me

by Heather Bock

“for we walk by faith, not by sight”
II Corinthians 5:7

I didn’t grow up watching the Star Wars movies like my husband and many others did. The first time I watched them was in the theater, but it was when they were rereleased in the late 1990s. Therefore, I don’t have as much emotional attachment as others might, but I do enjoy watching the movies and following the story (sometimes semi-following: my eight year old son, Mr. C, was a big help during the last film, as he often leaned over to whisper explanations about new characters). So when Rogue One came out,

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A Quick Note from Wren….

 

Dearest Readers—

Well, we’ve had several weeks of highly unexpected things happening around here.  You might have noticed that things have been VERY quiet at the FINCHNWREN blog!

  1.  I had surgery (expected) to remove a cyst from my abdominal area that was—I kid you not—the size of a baseball.
  2. Spent a week in the hospital.  (Also expected.)
  3. Went home on day #7.
  4. Got up the next day with a fever, tons of pain, and what turned out to be an infected incision.  (Unexpected!)

Now, everything else has fallen into that “Unexpected!” list:

  1. 4 more days in the hospital, May 8-11.
  2. Infected incision area and an introduction to this odd yet miraculous little machine called a “wound vac.”  Yes, it does just what it sounds like it might do; it is attached to my abdominal area via tubes, sponges, sticky clear tapey stuff, and it sucks out the bad stuff, stimulates cells to do good work and get healthy.  It runs via electrical cord/battery and I haul it around everywhere I go.
  3. The unexpected blessing of home health care.  I have nurses who come to my home every two days to clean the wound and change the dressings.

We don’t know how long this process will take.  It is at times, absolutely exhausting, painful, sleep-inducing.  Yet it really is miraculous, and healing is occurring.

I also want to send hugs and blessings to our dear friends and family–here in person, and via the Internet all across the world.  We’ve been blessed with meals, gift cards, prayers, cards, kind words, thoughts; so much care extended by so many.  Thank you!

I’ll do my best to stay in touch with you all.  Finch and I have some fun giveaways to bring to you this summer.  But at the moment, my focus is to heal; to love my family; to rest; and to hear God.  Here’s a sweet verse that I read just in the last hour; the perfect thing to close on, I think!

“Because of the LORD’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.””        —Lamentations 3:22-24

Isn’t that lovely?  Just the thoughts I’d like to have on my heart as I get ready to go to bed.

Bless you all, friends.  I’m looking forward to being more in touch with you.  –Wren

Traceables for Bible Journaling…from Kelly O’Dell Stanley

Y’all might remember that I am a fan of both the creativity of Bible journaling and Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s fabulous Designed to Pray prayer journal.  (You can see my review of Designed to Pray by clicking on the book title.)

 

 

I do love Bible journaling.  In fact, as you can see in the image above, I actually even have a Bible journal with extra-wide margins made just for drawing, painting, and journaling.

Sometimes, though, I have a hard time coming up with what to do with those journals.  Sometimes the creativity is brimming over and sometimes the well is dry.

However, my favorite author on prayer, Kelly O’Dell Stanley (see my Designed to Pray review *smiley face*), published a really neat printable on her blog to jump-start Bible journaling creativity.  And it’s free for anyone to download at Kelly O’Dell Stanley.

Here’s just a sampling of three cool pages you can get:

With these, you just place the rectangle underneath your page in your journaling Bible, trace, and then you color or paint!  So fun–and they’re all Bible truths straight from God’s Word.  Paired with lovely images!

You can get these free from Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s blog.  Just click on Free Bible Journal Traceables to print or download your own.

Enjoy!  –Wren

O is for Outside: Blogging Through The Alphabet

Well….as y’all might have noticed, I totally fell off my Blogging Through the Alphabet plan!  (I do have a really, really good excuse, though.  More on that in the next week or so.)

But…I have a lovely word for the letter “O.”  It’s “Outside,” just in time for us to roll into May and some beautiful weather!

 

 

I am so happy that it is almost May!

Where we live, we still get snow at the end of April and the beginning of May.  (And the weather report is predicting some this weekend, as a matter of fact.)

But, the daffodils are beginning to blossom.  The fruit trees have greened up and some flowers (and some lovely scents) are budding.  We’re getting some rain…and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do some gardening soon.

Here are some things I’m looking forward to doing Outside….this May!

  • Taking a walk around the neighborhood
  • Visiting our local xeriscape garden and seeing what they’ve got blooming
  • Doing some plein air sketches
  • Sitting on the front porch
  • Driving with the window down

I’d love to say doing some Pokemon Go! with my husband and son…or doing a hike on one of the cool nearby trails in our city.  (There’s a nice river nearby…as well as some incredible red rocks that are so fun to climb on.)   Later in the month, I hope.

In the meanwhile, we’re focusing on finishing our homeschool year well.  I sure don’t know where the school year went.  But we’re looking forward to getting Outside…now that the weather is moving into gorgeousness!

Hop on over to Annette’s A Net In Time blog and Amanda’s at Hopkins Homeschool blog, and check out what lots of other bloggers have to share about the letter “O!”

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Make One Freeze One Challenge! Starts Monday 4/24!

**Affiliate links are included in this post.**

 

Have you discovered the amazingness of freezer cooking yet?

We were incredibly blessed to get to review MyFreezEasy.com in the fall.  And it has been a beloved family favorite and menu plan ever since!

Now, you have the opportunity…

to try out MyFreezEasy.com absolutely free, with their latest Make One Freeze One Challenge!

 

What is MyFreezEasy.com?

MyFreezEasy.com is this wonderful plan for freezer cooking.  Freezer cooking is the best way I’ve ever found to have delicious, healthy meals waiting in the freezer every day of the week.  All you do is set aside an afternoon and collect your recipes (mine are from MyFreezEasy.com‘s monthly meal plans) and ingredients.  Then, you assemble the ingredients for each meal and place them in freezer zipper bags.  Then, pop them in the freezer.  All you have to do from that point on is to pull them out in the morning or afternoon, place them in the crockpot or oven, and dinner is done!

I love MyFreezEasy.com for so many reasons, like….

  • the meals are delicious
  • they’re organized on the website according to meal type (beef, gluten-free, clean eats, chicken, and more)
  • they make it easy–indeed, possible–for me to serve healthy meals to my family
  • all the preparation is completed by me over the weekend
  • I don’t have to try and figure out at dinner time what I’m going to cook for my family

 

 

 

 

What is the Make One, Freeze One Challenge?

It’s your chance, courtesy of MyFreezEasy.com, to try out their freezer meals absolutely free of charge!  Just click on Make One Freeze One Challenge and enter your email address.  Then, you’ll be able to choose from three different summer meal plans:

  • Skillet & Grilled Meals
  • Slow Cooker Summer Meals
  • Summer Clean Eats

Each of these has 5 different meals in it.  You’ll be able to download the meal plan of your choice.  Then all you have to do is to assemble the ingredients and prepare them!  The Make One Freeze One Challenge is set up so that you prepare two of each meal; one to eat immediately and one to put in the freezer for later.

How I plan to use the Make One, Freeze One Challenge

I’m still trying to decide which of the three meals I’d like to make and freeze.  They’re all so delectable-sounding.  How would you like New Mexico Chicken Lettuce Wraps?  Or Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Chops?  Or maybe Grilled Citrus Salmon Packs?  There are 12 more amazing recipes to choose from, divided into the three meal plan categories.

Why would you want to try this out?

Are you someone who’s exhausted at the thought of cooking dinner after a busy day?  Or someone who’s interested in trying out freezer cooking?  What about someone who’s looking for new meals?  Or, are you a mom who just needs a little help in cooking for your family?

Whatever the reason, I wholeheartedly recommend MyFreezEasy.com to you.  It has been such a blessing to us…not only for me, but for my family as well.  And with the Make One Freeze One Challenge, you can try it out absolutely free!

Give it a try.

Just click on Make One Freeze One Challenge, select your meal plan, and jump in.  I really think you will love it!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure: 

n accordance with FTC regulations, we are providing this Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in our posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, which will never cost you anything. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

Kwik Stix now at Toys “R” Us ~ And You Can Win a Set! (Giveaway ends 4/30/17)

Guess what??  Kwik Stix, our family’s favorite tempera paint sticks, are now available at Toys “R” Us!  And the lovely folks at The Pencil Grip, Inc. are providing a set of Kwik Stix for one giveaway winner here at the FINCHNWREN blog!

 

 

What are Kwik Stix?

Kwik Stix are wonderful solid tempera paint sticks that are perfect for children (ages 3 and up), families, and adults who love to create beautiful art!  They work like glue sticks, in that they’re encased in a plastic container with a cap.  To use, you simply remove the cap, roll the paint stick up, and you’re ready to color.  There is virtually no scent (like you’d find with most tempera paints), and you get the rich texture and color of liquid paint without the mess.  All you need are Kwik Stix and whatever medium you’d like to draw on, which could be anything from paper (of all kinds), canvas, wood, and more!

Kwik Stix come in two size types, the Kwik Stix Classic and Kwik Stix Thin Stix.  The Classic version sticks are 3 1/2″ long, with a chubby paint stick width of almost 3/4″.  This width is perfect for little hands, but also is great for coloring large areas quickly and easily.  The Kwik Stix Thin Stix are longer and thinner than the Classic ones, measuring in length at 5 1/2″ with a paint tip of 1/2″ wide.  These are wonderful for coloring in small areas, without getting outside the lines.  Personally, our family loves working with both types at once!

And what about colors?  There are so many to choose from, such as:

  • Kwik Stix Classics and Thin Stix come in 6-packs or 24-packs
  • Both the Thin Stix and Classics come in white, yellow, orange, red, pink, lime green, green, light blue, blue, purple, brown, and black.
  • The Kwik Stix Metalix packs include gold, silver, fuchsia, deep green, deep blue, and deep purple, all of which feature metallic or glittery accents
  • The Kwik Stix Neons packs are filled with bright orange, vivid purple, lime green, light blue, yellow, and bright pink…in brilliant neon hues.

How we’ve used Kwik Stix

We have loved allowing our imaginations to run wild with our Kwik Stix, not only in the surface we’ve drawn on but in the art movements we were studying in our art lessons.  Here are some ways we used them as we learned about Vincent van Gogh, Pop Art, and still life paintings:

 

 

We also love using them for creating art in our art journals.  They’re also wonderful for Bible journaling!

 

And now…the giveaway!

The Pencil Grip, Inc. is providing one set of Kwik Stix (size, style, and colors to be selected by The Pencil Grip, Inc.) for one FINCHNWREN blog reader!  Just click on the pink “Enter here!” link below, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Giveaway closes on April 30, 2017 at 11:59PM.

And don’t forget to check out Kwik Stix at Toys “R” Us!

Enter here!

Best wishes, and enjoy!  –Wren

From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Enter to Win Gorgeous Lip Goodies! (Ends 4/17/17)

Hello, friends!

 

 

Finch and I have some gorgeous lip goodies for one reader to win this week!  It is such a beautiful spring day–and it’s April!–both of these make us smile, so we’re going to host this giveaway for someone to beautify her smile!

One winner will receive:

  • City Lips Advance Formula HA Plumping Spheres + Collagen Peptides Collagen Enhancing Lip Treatment
  • Model Co’s Shine Ultra Lip Gloss in Berry Pink
  • Make Up Forever’s Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner Pencil in 10C (it’s sort of a plummy color)

And, we’ll throw in some fun samples and a black drawstring Sephora bag to keep it all in!

Just click on the pink link below to head to the Giveaway Tools form to enter, and follow the directions!  Giveaway ends on April 17, 2017.

Enter here!

Enjoy, and best wishes!  –Wren