Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Thing About Boys - An Introduction to Raising "Boy-Men"

My son came home from football practice the other day and gave me a hug.
He's 8 and all boy.
I teased him and shoved him away and said, "Eww, you stink!" Almost instinctively, he came over and started rubbing his head and chest on me, laughing as I was shrieking and trying to get away.
Boys! Stinky boys!

He comes up to my chin.
He wears a size 3 in shoes. I don't know if that's big...I think it's average...but yet, his feet are huge!
They use to be so small.

He use to be so small.

I was remembering a time when we were sitting and playing and I went over to sit in the rocking chair and he came over and sat in my lap and held me. We rocked and I sang and he said, "Mommy I love this."
It was one of the most precious moments in my life.
They are so many moments...so many I hold dear...and so many I have forgotten.
But that moment...it was beautiful.

The thing about boys...is that they don't stay little.
They sort of evolve into men.
My boy is still "small," and comes up to my chin, but he considers himself a man.

My husband and I have raised him to be a "man."
A strong "boy-man."
My husband takes great purpose in teaching him the ways of a Godly man.
He many times will say to the boy man, "This is what men do," or "a real man is..." kind, protective, loving, gentle, brave.

The way of "man" has been somewhat instinctive. He looks at things differently then my girls do.
His favorite color is red. He likes to break dance. When he laughs, it's with full force and great pleasure.
In the homeschool world, we would call him a "Competent Carl," in other words, a know it all!
He thinks he knows it ALL.
And he is pretty smart.
He understands football!
He is competitive.
He likes to ride his bike, and kill snakes, and go on adventures.
He likes to look out for hawks and burn ants with a magnifying glass.
He loves animals and dinosaurs.

He is sensitive too.
A rule follower.
A loyal friend.
He loves his sisters. He is their protector and he takes that calling in total seriousness.

He is my 'boy-man.'

Our relationship has evolved as well.
And that has not been easy.

His father is his best friend and who he desires to be exactly like.
I thank God for that.

I, am mom. Sometimes mommy.
Who he likes to tease and play with and sometimes kiss.

But sometimes, he doesn't want to kiss me.
I get side hugs most of the time...unless I purposely grab and hug him. Which I do. A lot.
He doesn't come and sit in my lap anymore.
I can't carry all 60 pounds of him anymore.
When I sing to him, he chooses weird songs for me to sing, like the Power Rangers Theme song.

There are tender moments.
Moments when he sits close and I scratch his head.
Moments when he wants me to "soft scratch" his back.
Moments when we lay in bed and he tells me fears and secrets and dreams.

Those are the moments I live for.
Those are the moments that I treasure.
Those are the moments I have to remember when the boy is driving me crazy!

The thing about boys is that they don't stay little.
And one day, I'll come up to his chin.

Every Wednesday for the next 3 weeks I will be posting about Raising "Boy-Men." I will be giving resources on how to Love them, Train them and Protect them. Don't miss a Post!

You are His beloved, 

And the Winner is...

Making Perfume from A Sense of the Resurrection
Learning about Mary Anointing Jesus

The Winner to the Ebook, "A Sense of the Resurrection: An Easter Experience for Families," is
Jessica Martens!

Congratulations Jessica! Thanks for Commenting and Subscribing!

I will be contacting you via email and will deliver your prize!

Thank you to everyone who entered and subscribed!

If you want to buy this resources (which I highly suggest you do!) you click here and purchase this great resource for your Family right now for only 7.99.

Thanks again everyone and come back tomorrow for a post on raising a "Boy-Man."

Praying you all have a wonderful, intentional Easter!

You are His beloved,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This is What Passion Looks Like...

I'm up early on a Saturday Morning.
I'm sitting in a corner of Panera with a bagel and chai latte.
It's 6:30.
I woke up early with my notebook and laptop in hand, kissed my husband and snuck out before the children and the sun rose.

Driving here with only so many people on the road I thought...So this is what passion looks like.

I only ever wake up early for a few things.
A good garage sale or vacation!

I've always been somewhat jealous of those people who wake up early to work out!
I've tried to do so many times but I always find it so hard to commit to.
I never had a real passion for it.

But last night, when I thought "I am going to wake up early and escape to write"...for the first time in my life I was excited and driven.

This week is passion week and I can't help but wonder if Jesus woke up in a similar manner.
Not excited, but driven.

In fact, I wonder how much Jesus slept the last week on earth knowing what was waiting for him in the end.
I can't imagine the turmoil, the fear...the anguish.
I can imagine that he may have desired so much to call the angels down to rescue him; to take him away.
Yet, He kept walking towards the cross because of passion.

Webster defines passion "as suffering; a capacity of being acted on by extended agents or forces; emotion as distinguished from reason; intense drive or overmastering feeling or conviction; ardent affection."

In our minds when we hear the word passion, most of us probably convey a love for something. I dont think we necessarily think suffering.

Yet, thats the first definition, "as suffering."
To desire so much for something that you are willing to suffer despite all sense of reason.

Jesus was passionate for us.
Despite all reason.
Despite the fact that we sin, that we msee up, that we fall and flail and doubt and lose the faith daily.

He was so passionate for us that He walked toward the cross.
He was carried on a donkey and praised, only to walk into a den of iniquity.
He walked into a garden to be betrayed.
He walked into a courtroom to be accused.
He walked into a palace to be handed over.
He walked toward guards to be brutally beaten, as 39 lashes scourged his back.
He walked up the hill as He carried His cross to have His hands and feet nailed, hanging on a tree like a criminal. Mocked and shamed.

His passion is what led Him. It was the unreasonable driving force...His ardent love for us....His passion.

This week, remember how much He loves you. Remember what His love bought for us.
His heart beat so violently for you until it could no longer beat anymore.

We have purpose, hope and passion because He was so passionate for us. He gave us all these things, because He was passionate about delivering us from the hands of sin and death.

The gifts and callings He has given us, He paid for on the cross.
We are not worthy of such a love.

Think about that this week as you live out the passions given to you by your Savior.

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway! Click Here to enter or subscribe below!

You are His Beloved, 

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why We don't Go to Church on Easter Sunday and a Giveaway!!!

I love Easter.
I love Jesus.
I love everything that has to do with His loving me so much He gave His life so I could be saved, delivered and healed.
He died and rose again so I could have a hope and a future.

Easter is our reason for celebrating everything.

To know that He suffered for me.
That He lived and died for me.
That his hands...his feet were nailed...the thorns...the beating..
For me.
You and me.
Crazy, messed up me.

With all that said, my family and I do not go to church on Easter Sunday.


We don't go to church on Easter Sunday...we go on Saturday.

Last year was the first year we did so and we committed as a family to not go on Sunday ever again.
When we told people this and many were a little taken aback.

"But Easter is on Sunday."
"How can you not go to church on Easter Sunday?"
"Jesus rose on Sunday...not Saturday."

First of all...did you know that more non-church going people go to church on Easter Sunday that any other Sunday in the year. More go to church on Easter than on Christmas.

Churches around the country will be hosting more visitors on Easter Sunday and because of that, our church adds services to the weekend starting on Saturday night. They also ask that members choose a Saturday service in order to open up seats (and parking spaces) for all first time visitors.

Honestly, at first I did think..."But, Easter is on Sunday." (Incredibly obvious isn't it?)
But my Husband insisted we go and that we would make Sunday a family day, and that we intentionally share with our kids the beauty of the Resurrection.

And so we did. And it was awesome!!

And THAT is why if possible, we won't ever go to church on Easter Sunday again!

If you only go to Church on Easter Sunday because that's "what you do..." you are missing out on the depth of what Easter is about. If you dress your kids up in the new spring fashions, head to church, go hunt for Easter eggs and have a nice family dinner after and never once intentionally and passionately give your children and your family real Easter teachings and traditions that go deeper than dying eggs and pretty pastels, then you are missing out on the greatest celebration of this life.

I'm not saying don't buy new clothes or hunt eggs...yes, do all those things if that is part of what you
do as a family. What I am saying is do so much more. Be intentional and engage your children in
traditions and teachings that will pierce their heart, burden them with the sacrifice that Jesus gave for
them, enrapture their hearts for the Joy in the resurrection and give them a desire to chase after the Kingdom.

8 ways to Intentionally Celebrate the Resurrection.

1. Invite people to your church. 
THIS EASTER SUNDAY your neighbor, co worker, friend is probably thinking about going to church. They more than likely don't have a "home" church. INVITE them!! Pick up some extra invite cards or maybe your church sends out flyer's or maybe you can just make some on you computer and go around the neighborhood or when you take the kids to the park hand out a few. If your church is
doing an egg hunt, invite the moms at the school or work.

2. Celebrate and Feast!
Do you make a special meal for your kids, maybe on birthdays or other celebrations? Make it for Easter. Make a special meal that they love and light candles and spend time reflecting and talking about the resurrection. In our family I make my "Famous French Toast" for every morning celebration. So on Easter Sunday I will wake up and light some candles, put on beautiful worship music and make a yummy feast of French Toast and Bacon and berries! There isn't any greater reason to celebrate and feast!

3. Do the Fun Easter traditions! 
Do an egg hunt, give them Easter baskets, dye eggs. We have an egg dying/decorating competition at our house every year...and I never win...EVER! I am really not good at decorating eggs!  But this is gonna be my year!! Have fun with your family.

4. Resurrection Eggs. 
I LOVE Resurrection eggs! You can make them yourself, directions here or buy them at any
Christian book store. This is a perfect way to get your kids engaged and sharing the story of the
Crucifixion and Resurrection.

5. Make Resurrection Rolls.
So easy and so fun and yummy too! Your kids will love helping out and you can talk about and
explain how Jesus is no longer in the tomb, but He has Risen!  Here is a great recipe.

6. Set aside time for family worship. 
Whether you do it on Good Friday or Easter Sunday, be intentional about setting up a time to gather your family around you and worship together, read the bible and pray for your family and each other. Im not talking an hour friends, I'm talking 15 minutes! Let your kids be a part of this time. Let your son lead in prayer or worship; let you daughter read a passage from the bible. Pray together. You can read the Resurrection story or whatever...let the Spirit lead you as you lead your family in worship together. It's Beautiful!

7. Have communion together as a family.
Get some yummy bread (maybe you can even make some for this special celebration) and juice and share communion in your homes with you kids. Talk about the body that was broken and the blood that was shed. Serve them.

8. Do a special Easter craft.

This year I am going to do a few crafts from Amanda White's new ebook "A Sense of the Resurrection." If you haven't seen or heard of this book yet, let me just say it is awesome! She has 12 very intentional and meaningful crafts that are all about the events leading to the Resurrection. Not only does she share crafts, but she has scriptures and points to talk about with your kids to reinforce the beauty of all the events leading to the Resurrection. For example, the first activity is making a perfume like Mary used to prepare Jesus for his death. The idea is that each time you smell it, you will remember that He died for you! I LOVE IT!! And even better, most of the supplies you probably have on hand!  I can not wait to get started. We will not be able to do all 12, but we will definitely do a few leading up to Easter and then maybe one or two on Sunday.


My desire is that this Easter you will be so intentional with your children and family that they will be fired up by the passion you have for the Resurrection. So I am giving away one download of "A Sense for the Resurrection: An Easter Experience for Families" to one of my readers! This is my first giveaway and I am so excited!!!

Here's how to Enter-

1. Comment on this blog post and tell me how you plan to be intentional with your kids this Easter; or subscribe to Beautiful Craziness before Monday, April 14th at Midnight. Anyone can enter to win!

2. If you comment, that equals one entry. You can then subscribe to Beautiful Craziness and enter to win again. So you can enter a total of 2 entries per person. (If you comment 5 times you still only get 1 entry.)
If you are already a subscriber all you have to do is comment and you will be entered in twice.

3. All comments/subscribers after midnight on Monday, April 14th will not be entered in the giveaway.

4. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 15th on Tuesday's blog post and contacted via email. The ebook will be sent directly to the winners email after I have heard back from them. If I do not hear back from the winner, I will select another winner.

5. Share, comment and subscribe!!! 

So...How will you celebrate and be intentional with your family this Easter?

You are His Beloved,

Subscribe and Enter to win the giveaway! 

Mama Sit Down

"Mama sit down?"

I'm running.

Constantly going.
To ballet, to piano, to football, to small group, to science classes, to park days.
Going to the grocery store, to moms night out, to doctor appointments, to church.

"But mama, sit."

I'm working.

Slaying the laundry dragon daily. Cleaning one mess and then another.
Making another meal, washing another dish, walking up and down the stairs with a basket of toys, clean clothes to be put away, dirty clothes to be washed again, misplaced shoes that lost its pair.

"Mama, sit."

I'm planning.

Monthly meals, blog posts, vacations, summer, budgets, pinterest projects, garden plans, curriculum, lessons.
The planning never ends.

"Mama, sit down."

I'm listing.

Oh the lists. 
To do. To be. To have. To make. To go. To buy. To save.

"But mama, please sit."

I'm socializing.

A phone in hand, an ipad on my lap and a computer on the table.
I pin. I crush. I mail. I comment. I like. I share. I tweet. I search.

"But mama..."

I look down at the 2 year old.
The toddler.
The almost big girl.
The baby who just yesterday fit perfectly into my arms 
and today speaks almost clearly and directly.

"Mama sit!"
"Sit down Mama. Please."

And so I obey.
I sit.

Mama, sit down.

Stop running mama.
All the extras can wait.

But Mama, just sit.

Stop working mama.
The laundry will never end and the mess will return again.
They won't go hungry and the stairs will still stand.

Mama sit.

Stop planning mama.
The future can wait.
The present is now. She's asking for you.

Mama sit down.

Stop making the lists.
The only thing to do is hold the one who is calling you.

Mama please sit.

Stop socializing mama.
Shut off the screens and sit with the ones worth sharing this moment with.

Sit down mama.
Sit down mama.
Be still.
Tomorrow will be here too soon.

You are His Beloved,

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Monday, April 7, 2014

5 Reasons Why God Desires to Keep You Vulnerable

This life is so inconsistent; one moment we are living on accolades and admirations and the next we are hiding within our own insecurities and guilt.

Last week was a week of highs and lows for me.

Certain things were working out better than I imagined.
At the same time, I was a little overwhelmed and tired...and for me, sometimes when I get overwhelmed and tired my thoughts get fuzzy and that tiredness turns to weariness and the weariness turns to insecurity.

One day I found myself filled with uncertainty; the next I was recognized for my works. That same day I fall face first into sin and shame as I fail to be gentle and loving to my children. The next day we rejoice in the peaceful and sweet day of learning and loving and the following day, I dishonor my husband and humbly ask for forgiveness.

As I was praying over the crazy moments of the week that left me in both high and low places, I felt the Lord speak to me and say, "No matter where you are or what you are doing, I will keep you vulnerable."

I was somewhat uncomfortable with the message.
Vulnerability is not something I desire!
In fact, our culture despises the vulnerable.
To be vulnerable is to be weak.

In the bible one of the most vulnerable heroes was Samson. Samson was called to be a leader and to deliver the people from the hands of the Philistines. Samson was described as having "the spirit of the Lord" upon Him and was the strongest man ever, yet the Lord kept him vulnerable. He was to be faithful to the "rule that governs [his] life and work" (Judges 13:12), however, when Samson lost sight of the Lord's purpose and calling, he lost his strength, succombed to the lies of Delilah and fell into the hands of the Philistines.

God desired to keep Samson vulnerable and He desires the same for our lives as well.

5 Reasons Why God Desires to keep us Vulnerable?

1. Our vulnerability keeps us focused on our own weaknesses. 

We are weak. Our bodies get tired, weary, overwhelmed...our minds are constantly fighting fears, worry, stress, selfishness, guilt...and I can go on and on. Yet all the "weaknesses" we desire so much for Him to take away and banish from our minds and flesh forever are the things that bring us back to the cross daily.

In Judges 15, Samson is tied with ropes and it isn't until the "spirit of the Lord" comes upon him that the ropes drop from his hands. Without the spirit of the Lord, Samson would not have had the strength to break free from the ties that bound Him. Samson understood his weakness and knew his strengths relied on the spirit of the Lord.  

2. Our vulnerability keeps us dependent on God so that we will live a life of  faith and trust.

Our selfish, sinful nature will constantly turn away from God and look inward to who and what we can do for ourselves. He keeps us vulnerable so that we have to continually lay aside our selfish nature and obey His desire for our life, no matter our own reasonings.

To live a life of faith is to be vulnerable to the hope of His calling.

In Judges 15, Samson kills 1000 men with a donkey's jawbone and then cries out to God in desperation because he is thirsty. "God opens the hollow...and water came out of it" (v. 18). Samson, despite the power he had to slay 1000 men, still had to depend and trust God to open the spring and quench his thirst.

3. Our vulnerabilities keep us faithful and proclaim God's glory instead of our own.

God is faithful and it was God who provided Samson with the jawbone of the donkey.When we humbly look towards Him and obediently take that one small step of faithfulness, that small step can create a domino effect that advances the kingdom and extols His greatness. He keeps you vulnerable so He can use you for His greatness.

It was the spirit of the Lord who came upon Samson, but Samson says, " With a donkey's jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men" (Judges 15:15 NIV, emphasis mine).Unfortunately, When we try to take giant leaps for our own glory, the results go astray and we lose sight of His purpose for our lives.

4. Our vulnerabilities keep us ready to defend against assaults and temptations.

When we are vulnerable we are susceptible to sin and temptation; yet at the same time those vulnerabilities make us aware of the inevitable and oncoming assaults. When we depend on the Lord, He will help us fight and give us strength for the battles of this life. If we try to fight with only our own power, we will be subdued and tied to those sins.

In Judges chapter 16, Samson first sleeps with a prostitute and then later falls in love with Delilah. The interesting thing is that no where in that chapter does the "spirit of the Lord" come upon him. Though he is still able to break free from Delilah's snares a few times on his own, Samson becomes susceptible to sin because he grows weary of the "nagging...day after day" (v. 16) and he is no longer relying on the "Spirit of the Lord." He grows weary of the daily battles and assaults and loses the spirit and strength to keep fighting.

5. Our vulnerabilities keep us out of our comfort zone.

When we are too comfortable, we don't care to fulfill our callings and walk the path set before us. Instead, we would rather lay down all those purposes and satisfy ourselves with what we desire. When we are vulnerable, we remember who God is and that He has called us to live a life of servanthood. If we place our own comforts before our service to Him, we will not only lose our purpose in the kingdom, but we will lose the spirit that leads us to His glory.

Samson became too comfortable in Delilah's lap. She shaves his head, takes advantage of his vulnerabilities and traps Him. When the Philistines were on him, he "did not know that the Lord had left him" (20).

Samson lost his sight because he lost the vision and purpose for his life. He was given vulnerabilities so that He could remember and depend on the Lord who sustained and strengthened Him. It was only in his blindness that he could see his sinful, selfish ways. Because of God's faithfulness, Samson was remembered; and in his most vulnerable state, blind and chained, did God's spirit fill him once more in order for his enemies to be brought down and God's glory manifested.

When we depend on God's strength, we can see that our own frailties and vulnerable nature can be used for His greatness. He can use every failure, every weakness, every misstep, every suffering for His eternal purpose. If we allow Him to keep us vulnerable, His glory and light will shine through in our most sincere and frail lives; for the beauty of life can be found even in the frailties of our vulnerable selves.

In what ways does God keep you vulnerable and how can He use your frailties for His purpose? 

You are His beloved,

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Ultimate Blog Party! Welcome!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

Welcome friends!! So glad you are here!! I am participating at the Ultimate Blog party at 5 Minutes for Mom!! 

My Name is Andrea Portilla. I am a wife, momma of 3, home educator and Jesus follower.

I blog about living this life for Jesus daily. 
Working at your callings and passions with all your heart! 
And my goal is to encourage and equip women to daily surrender their lives to their Creator.

I just started blogging again and it has been so good! And I am so excited to connect with so many of you! 

Take a look around...find out more about me here and this Beautiful Crazy blog here and check out some of my posts too!!

Here are some that you may enjoy.

How it all Began and all it comes down to...

My Story

A little more to my story...

The greatest Revelation EVER!

How I lost who I was and how I figured it out! 

My most recent post...and what I wish I could tell my kids...

Please leave a comment and tell me where you are coming from so I can hop on over and say hi!! Can't wait to connect with you! 

My 3 little loves

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