All of our days are important but this week holds an awesome (first time) opportunity for Daniel. He will be traveling with a church to to lead worship for them on a retreat! We have met with some of the leaders from this church and are encouraged by the way they are approaching ministry. We were very honored when they asked Daniel to be a part of this retreat. It will be a small, intimate setting (sometimes by a campfire) which I firmly believe is one of Daniel's strongest points. I look forward to the ways that God will speak to people this weekend through Daniel's gift of music. It's my prayer that the music will be a blessing to them, enabling them to truly worship God in a personal way.

This leads me to another thought. You see this weekend wouldn't be possible if Daniel and I weren't completely certain and convicted of Daniel's giftedness. I want to encourage all of you to discover the ways God has gifted you. I think that as a Momma to young children it's often easy for me to forget that God has gifted me beyond being able to change a diaper and make dinner. However, the demands of being a wife and mother don't negate my command from God to use my gifts to His glory. 

If you haven't had a chance yet you should check out Daniel's website too!  His site by the way is a huge blessing from our friend at Steinruck Designs. As far as I'm concerned they make the hottest web designs out there!


Works For Me Wednesday

Here's a couple little secrets about me (and my linens) I'm going to let you in on...

I only have two sets of sheets for each bed in our house. I have set on the bed and one stored under the bed, this goes for all beds in our house.

I only have one set of white towels in each bathroom.

I only have white washcloths for cleaning.

I found that by having minimal linens and most of them being white it makes my life easier!

I can wash them all together, not worry about which ones get put back where, and use my linen closet upstairs for other goodies :)


How Have I Struggled?

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Corinthians 4:8-10

This morning my devotional included the fully loaded question of "How have I struggled?"

Honestly, I think I would rather have skipped this question. Seriously! This was a lot to process, nevermind at 6:30 in the morning! I would have preferred to answer with the obvious or vague responses like financially, to be a good mom, etc... But I persevered and came up with a rather lengthy, emotional list of struggles. Everything from medical/health issues in my family to being a good steward of my time.

Don't be discouraged as you think of your own struggles! And I do encourage you to actually write out your list. There was a point behind this potent question. 

"Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."

M. Scott Peck

My struggles are small compared to the God I serve who waits for me in glory. 
In the meantime He uses the struggles to shape and mold me into His image. The continual refining fire. 

God also uses these struggles to remind me how powerful He is. He blesses my family and me through our struggles. Many times He has blessed us in the midst of struggle. We then acknowledge how good He is to provide for our every need.

My struggles are also used to encourage others as I share my testimony with those I meet. 
Just recently I've met Mom's who are dealing with children who have the same health issues as my little B. I'm able to share research, doctor recommendations, and most of all encouragement with them.

If I had never endured the struggles I have, I wouldn't be the person I am. 
Now that is a reason to rejoice in struggles!



A Little Remodeling

For those of you who are worried that I've given up on blogging, don't lose heart quite yet. I'm currently in the process of learning Blogger and remodeling our blog! New and better ideas are headed this way! I'm excited about the changes. I'll be adding resource links and an RSS feed, I believe. 

In the meantime we've been remodeling around the house! Daniel scored us a great deal on two living room chairs. The chairs are an awesome addition to our living room. Not only did we honestly need more seating but I love the touch of retro they bring to the room. 
We've also added a fica tree and new throw pillows to the living room! Wow! The room's really starting to come together. I scored the tree (minus the pot) for $2o at a yard sale and Daniel found the pot on clearance at Target. I actually found the new pillows all on my own! They're probably one of my favorite finds for the house so far, and that's saying a lot. Daniel was jealous he didn't find them first! We need some "pops" of color and these definitely help out. 
Recently Daniel brought home a huge chandelier for our bedroom that one of his clients gave him! I've always wanted a chandelier in our bedroom because of our vaulted ceilings. The chandelier is ready for hanging (after a little paint job that is) but won't be hung until cooler weather comes our way. I'm anxiously awaiting some Fall temperatures so it will be an easier job for my Father-In-Law. 
So, there you have the McLaughlin's decorate on a very small budget! I love it! Decorating is one of our favorite things to do together because we both have the same style and vision for our home. We've been looking forward to decorating our house, which is one of our biggest blessings!