Confession of a Busy Mom

Well I’ve let it happen to myself again. There has been so much going on in the past month! Its the end of the school year and we’ve just been GOING, GOING, GOING… DOING, DOING, DOING… We’re so Busy. I’ve gotten to a point where I think I need to re-evaluate everything we are “doing”. What are we “busy” with? Does God call us to these things? Is it time to let go of some things? I have always struggled with being busy. In High School I played tennis, was on the cheer squad, was in the High School Musical each year, sang in the choir, was involved in church, (of course there was ALWAYS a boyfriend to spend time with) and somehow I managed to be an average student at a College Prep School. None of these things were “bad”, but I think I was so busy that I didn’t give the necessary attention to the things that should have been priorities. Sometimes I wish I could go back and shake my teen self and tell her to focus on what really matters!

  • “Cheerleading is great but don’t make it a priority because you’re going to end up hurting yourself so many times that you can’t even Cheer on the College level.”
  • “Don’t worry about that silly boy because he’s just going to break your heart in a few months after he meets another girl while he’s away for a few weeks over the summer.”

Or maybe I should look in the mirror right now and say it to my adult self…

  • “Don’t join another committee that will take up more of your time. Your daughters are starved for your attention.”
  • “Think and pray more before you agree to go as a chaperone on that next Youth trip. Your husband is tired and you need to spend some one on one time together. He needs you.”
  • “It’s time to step away from that commitment. Your season there is over. It’s time to open yourself up to whatever God is calling you to next.”

It’s tough stuff to think about, let alone pray about. “God, show me what you want me to be doing… and what you DON’T want me to be doing.”, because the thing is I need to follow through & obey. Yikes! I may actually have to STOP doing something! I may have to say “No”! I might have to disappoint someone because God is calling me to something else. So for now, I will pray for strength in this season of busyness. I will pray for God’s discernment, that He will show me what He wants me to be doing. I will pray that He will guide me as I weed out those things that I am not supposed to be spending my time on. I will ask Him to set my priorities straight.

Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me the right path, O Lord;     point out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me,     for you are the God who saves me.     All day long I put my hope in you.”

Have you ever found yourself in a season of busyness like me? Has God called you to let go of some activities? I would love to hear what God has done & is doing in your life! Until Next Time, signature.fw

I shared this on the Grace & Truth Linkup, Christian Mommy Blogger, Faith & Fellowship Blog HopFaith Filled Fridays. If you’re a Faith Blogger check them out!

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Free Scripture Printable Round-Up!

I have been so busy the past month, but it’s been a good busy. I have LOTS of blog posts in the works, but it’s been hard to find the time to finish them! So in the meantime I’ve decided to do a fun Free Scripture Printable Round-Up! I don’t know about you but I LOVE free art printables! I love to print them off and place them in cute frames around the house. Lately I’ve really loved scripture printables. They are beautiful to look at and are a great encouragement each day. I’ve included some of my new favorite printables below from some awesome sites. Please click the links below each image to go to each site, download & print the images.

josh24blueJoshua 24 Printable by The Flourishing Abode

Ps119 home life magazine scripture word art

Psalm 119 by Lifeway’s Home Life Magazine

everlasting love 20 20 001

Jeremiah 13 by Art by Erin Leigh

floralquote

Isaiah 40 by Laurie at Fresh Picked

April-Memory-Verse

Matthew 28 by Jeran at Oleander and Palm

I hope you enjoy & are encouraged by these printables as much as I have been! Check back soon because I have a series of my own printables that I’m working on as well.

Until Next Time!

signature.fw

Encouragement Received, Encouragement Given!

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but there’s been a lot going on over here!

Last Friday my post “Let’s Be Friends” was a weekly featured blog post on the Grace & Truth Linkup! I woke up Friday morning with a notification on my phone… Let me tell you, that was the BEST way to wake up on Friday!

The beginning of last week I found myself having lots of doubts. I was doubting whether I should continue with this blog & with the book I’ve been working on. I was feeling a little discouraged & tired. Working full time, trying to take care of our home, my kids, & my husband, let a lone going to & serving at church… I was beginning to question whether God wanted me to do it all.

I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself in that position, questioning. Doubting. “What am I doing?” “Is this what God truly wants of me?” “Did I make a mistake?”

That’s where I was last week. I didn’t feel like writing any more. I was doubtful that what I was doing was any good for anyone. I wondered if I was being selfish by even having a blog. Was I doing it to further myself in some way?

So I told God that I was going to hold off until I heard from Him what I was supposed to do. I was to afraid that by continuing to write or pursue this blog I could do a disservice to His word.

Then Friday came. First, I woke up to the notification on my phone about my featured post on Grace & Truth. I was so excited! I reached over, hit my husband (a little too hard… lol!), and told him that I’d been featured. I was in a slight state of shock throughout the morning.

When I got to work & opened up my email, I was blown away again! I had received an email from Heather Caudill over at “Mess to Beautiful” about a Guest Devotion Post I had submitted a few weeks before. She liked it! Not only that but it was going to be posted on her Monday Minute Devotional series on Monday! (Today FYI!)

I wanted to dance around my office! God had CLEARLY shown me that I wasn’t doing His word a disservice. In fact over this past weekend God has kept encouraging me through my friends, family, and even online followers.

So I want to take a minute not only to thank The Lord for reaffirming me this weekend, but also to all of you for reading, sharing, commenting, & encouraging me. I treasure every visitor that comes across this page.

As a thank you, I’ve made some encouragement downloads for you! Feel free to print or save them & use for your own personal use. Click the link underneath each picture to download each image.

1 peter 5 7 printable

1 peter 5:7 Printable

romans 5 8 printable

Romans 5:8 Printable

Today I’ve Linked Up with Titus 2 Tuesdays over at Cornerstone Confessions & #RaRaLinkup over at Purposeful Faith!

“The Best Laid Plans…” Five Minute Friday

I’m joining up with the #FMFPARTY Five Minute Friday group again this week! If you haven’t heard of Five Minute Friday go check out Kate Motaung’s page about it over at katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday. Blogging for Five Minutes on Friday about a specified “Prompt Topic” I have to say that only typing about a topic for 5 minutes is a HUGE stretch for me, but I’m really enjoying it.

This week the prompt is “Plan”. I’m excited to get started! So here we go…


If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The best laid plans of mice & men often go awry.” You know the basis of my life.

I am a planner. I love lists & preparing for upcoming events. I used to be a wedding planner (that’s another post entirely in and of itself!) & I loved the entire planning process from beginning to end.

The thing is, my plans for my life & the lives of my family DO often go awry. I’m not a foolish person. I don’t just jump at every opportunity that comes up. I’m a detailed planner. When I graduated High School I “planned” to get a business degree then own my own bakery, definitely NOT what ended up happening. So why do some of my “plans” come up short?

They don’t work out when they are MY plans & not God’s.

James 4:12-15

” Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

When I get an idea or start to make a plan of action I need to step back and really evaluate WHOSE plan it is. Am I coming up with this all on my own or have I truly been guided by The Lord?

This blog is a great example of that. I felt God calling me to write. Now, he originally called me to write a book (and I am), but when I got stuck in the process and was about to give up on it He pointed me toward blogging. I questioned & doubted whether it was me or God that came up with that, but after lots of prayer & searching for His answer, He has begun to open my eyes to His plan for it all.

Well, my five minutes are up! This five minute thing is CRAZY! I could probably go on forever… Hmmm… I think I’m already coming up with my next post! I’ve been inspired!

How have the “plans” you’ve made on your own changed? I would love to hear how God has moved in your life!

Let’s Be Friends.

I’ve never been good at friendships.

I’m not saying that I’m not a good friend. I’m kind, I try to listen, when I’m out with friends I have fun. I’m just not good at starting or continuing a friendship. Sometimes I don’t neglect to contact a friend and say “Hey! Let’s get together!”. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, there’s just something that stops me.

So what hinders me? I worry about what others will think about me. A real friendship means that you have to open yourself up. “Surface” friendships, where you don’t get very deep and can just exchange pleasantries, are easy. Deep, meaningful friendships happen when you open yourself up to one another. You have to let that person in. That scares me.

I worry about people judging me. I worry that they will find out things about me that will turn them off. I worry that they will find out that my entire bedroom floor is currently covered with clothes. I worry that they will find out that sometimes I am rude. Sometimes when others are talking I’m not listening very well because I am distracted.

I worry that people will find out these things and will no longer think highly of me.

I would say my best friend is definitely my husband. Obviously, it is a good thing for him to be a best friend. Other than Jesus Christ, my relationship with my husband should be the next closest relationship that I have on this earth. It’s good for our marriage and good for our family. My husband sees me in my best and worst moments and still loves me in spite of it all. I think that is one of the reasons that he is my best friend. If I snap at him in a moment of frustration or bawl my head off because I’ve had a hard day, I know he’ll still be there and love me just the same.

Will a friend do that? That’s the heart of my personal struggle.

Lately God has been speaking to me about my problem with connecting with people. I have a lot of surface friendships but I am very weary of opening myself up to something deeper.

Eccelsiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

To me, this is one of the reasons we are not supposed to live life alone. We CAN do things alone, but that doesn’t mean that is the best way to do it. I mean, having two arms DOES make most tasks more manageable. There are so many things in life that we can’t physically do alone.

When I read the first part of Ecclesiastes 4:10, it says that if either fall down the other can help him up. How many times do we “fall down” in our Christian walk? Every day! Every day I make mistakes, I sin. WE are sinners, and so we are going to “fall down” at some point. Having a friend, doesn’t just keep us accountable, but it also reminds us that we are not alone when we do fall. A close friend can be there to help support you in Christian Fellowship.

The second section of verse 10 says, “But pity anyone who falls and has no one to ehlp them up.”

Why should we pity them? Because, unfortunately, they have chosen to not surround themselves with people who would help. This is where I am.

God has been working on me that I need to be in closer fellowship with other women. As women, we need to be better about creating & working on close friendships.


So what does that mean? Am i going to pick up the phone tomorrow and suddenly have a new best friend? No, but there are some things that God has placed upon my heart to focus on. God wants me to work on making some of my “surface” friendships, true friendships.

First, God is calling me to step out in faith.

Yes, I am scared to open myself up to others, but my fear is not an excuse to disobey what God has called me to do. My emotions cannot determine whether or not I follow through. I have to trust that He is guiding me toward women who will care about me in spite of my faults.

Now, just because I step out in faith & obey what God has asked me to do does not mean that He has promised it will be smooth sailing. Relationships require people. People have baggage. Baggage causes problems. Even though there may be some bumps, I need to continue following God in the direction that He wants me to go.

Secondly, God has opened my eyes to the receiving end of friendship.

Friendships require us to open up and share our struggles with one another, but when a friend is opening up and sharing we must remember to listen without judgment.

One of the reasons that I struggle with connecting is because I worry about what others are going to think of me. What do we see on tv and social media? Cat fights & gossip. We see women tearing each other down & being applauded for their actions. Why are many of us weary of opening ourselves up to other women? This is why.

Matthew 7:3

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

If we want close relationships we have to take it upon ourselves to stop silently (or for some, publicly) judging each other. Opening ourselves up is only the first step. We then have to listen & support each other without judgment or condemnation.


I am going to be working on developing closer Christian friendships, and I challenge you to do the same. I actually have someone that God has brought into my life hat I am going to call this week to get together and have lunch. I’m nervous, but excited to see what God has for this new friendship.

If you don’t have any issues with developing genuine, close Christian friendships with other women, look around you. Is there somewhat in your social circle that doesn’t seem to make connections easily? Ask God to show you someone that He wants you to connect & fellowship with.

I would love to hear what God is saying to you. Please let me know in the comments or follow me on facebook or twitter and let me know!

This was posted in the Grace & Truth Linkup & the Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop

Surprise! Free Printable!

So I’ve been stuck at home the past couple of days due to the snow storm that came through Friday Night & all day Saturday. Crazy! I was SO NOT expecting that!

I’ve organized the towel closet, published my 2nd post in the Ruth Study Series (Check out “Loss”), had a dance party with my girls in the kitchen, and done UMPTEEN loads of laundry. I decided I needed to get a little creative this afternoon. So…

Since the weather has snow bounded me… You get something FREE!

That’s right! I created an 8×10 printable from a verse I used in my latest post on Ruth and I’m making it available for you!

Psalm 9  8by10 printable

I love Psalm 9:9! Feel free to Pin, Save, Share, & Print! It’s created to fit in an 8×10 frame so enjoy!

Do you have a favorite verse that you would like to see as a free printable on Made To Bloom? Comment below & let me know! I love this kind of stuff!

“Famine” Ruth 1:1-2

Over the next few posts I’m going to go through one of my favorite books, Ruth.

I have always loved the Book of Ruth. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it. I’ve read commentary after commentary on it. I’ve taught it to the girls in my Sunday School class more than once. In fact, every time I go through it God shows me something new that I had never considered before. 

Ruth 1:1-2 (NIV)

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.”

So, here we have Elimelek, Naomi, Mahlon & Kilion. They are living in the land that God promised to His people, when suddenly famine comes. Things were bad, it looked bleak. So what did they do? Elimelek decided to leave and move his family to the country of Moab.

So, why is this a big deal?

Well, for starters you should know that this was The Promised Land that they were leaving. When Moses freed God’s people from Egypt and they wandered the dessert for 40 years, this is the land that God said would be theirs (eventually).

Famine has come and instead of trusting that God would take care of them, just like He had with their ancestors, Elimelek decides to take matters into his own hands. He decides that he knows what is best for his family and they move to Moab.

Not only are they leaving Judah, they’re leaving Judah for Moab. Moab was a country that worshiped other gods. The Moabites didn’t worship the one true God.


When I read these first two verses I’m reminded of all of the times that I didn’t trust that God would take care of something for me.

I can think of so many times in my life that “famine” has come and I instantly react. I always want to fix it as soon as possible, so I decide on my own the best way to make everything better again and do it. I just go off of my own understanding and don’t turn to God for the solution.

Have you ever tried to fix something yourself without turning to God first? How did that turn out for you?

“Famine” in our lives can be all kinds of things. Family problems, friend problems, boyfriend/girlfriend problems, school, work, money… the list goes on and on.

The problem isn’t that we have problems, the problem is that we don’t turn to God for the solution.

We think we know best, and we put God aside for a while & we “fix” the problem.

 Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

In other words, don’t assume that you know the best way. Trust that God is God & that He knows the best way to handle it. Ask Him to help you, listen to Him, and do what he says to do. He will help to make it all ok.

Maybe you’re dealing with a “famine” situation right now in your life. Life is stressful & the bible says that we will have problems. Whatever you are dealing with God wants to guide you, you just have to turn to Him.


In my next post we’ll continue with Ruth 1:3-5

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Welcome To The New Made To Bloom Site!

I am so excited to be here at WordPress!

After some careful consideration, discussion, & prayer I decided to move the blog. I love the new setup & possibilities and I hope you do to!

I moved all of my previous posts over with me so once you’re here there’s no need to go back to the old Weebly site.

I want to give a big shout out to the awesome ladies at Faithful Bloggers! Kelly & Tishia have been very helpful to be as I embark on this blogging journey. So I’m going to use this first post on the new site to brag on them a little.

I had the opportunity to join a new Christian Blogging Tribe with Faithful Bloggers. This is a new BETA Tribe Group that has just begun. I stepped out in faith and joined & I’m so glad I did. I’ve already learned a lot about blogging, social media, & (now) WordPress. I’ve also begun to connect with some amazing & sweet Christian bloggers. I am so excited for the future of the Faithful Bloggers Tribe!

Are you a Christian Blogger? Would you like to get in on an awesome opportunity for fellowship, learning, & support? Go to Faithful Blogger Tribe and check out the details! I would love for you to join me over in the Faithful Blogger Forum!

Shout Aloud & Sing For Joy!

This past Saturday was an incredibly warm & beautiful February day!
Usually at this point in February we’re hunkered down in our home keeping warm. I’ll admit it. After the festivities of Christmas & New Years are over, I’m basically ready for Spring. So I was thanking God for a nice warm day so that I could recharge on sunshine and make it a few more months until Spring arrives.

I opened all of the windows in the house, turned on my Gungor Pandora station & cleaned my poor neglected kitchen. Sun streaming in, fresh air rejuvenating the house (and me), I stood at the kitchen sink & watched my daughters and husband playing in our backyard. I couldn’t help but smile.

It was then that I really started listening to the song that was playing. I became completely overwhelmed with love & thankfulness. Everything that I have, our home, our daughters, my husband, even my job have all been desires that I have prayed for, sometimes even pleaded God for.

All at once I remembered

  • Being told that my then boyfriend & I would never last because no one finds their future husband their first semester of college.
  • Crying & confiding to a close group of women at church on our anniversary because another pregnancy test had come up negative.
  • Crying & praying with my husband after our 2nd appointment when we found out that although I was pregnant I also was in a very early stage of cervical cancer.
  • Receiving a clean bill of health from my surprised doctor as I held my infant daughter in my arms.
  • Celebrating with my husband after he was offered his first (and current) teaching position.
  • Finally purchasing our home that was NOT a fixer upper.
  • Informing my surprised husband that I was indeed pregnant again.

As I stood there, my eyes welling up with thankful tears, I raised my hands high and praised the Lord for everything He has done for me. It continued to build up inside of me until I finally had to fully give in and kneel on my kitchen floor, crying & praising God.

Now I must interrupt this awesome picture with what happened next because it’s pretty common for things in our life to have an “and then…” turn in the story.

AND THEN…My husband came in the house, walked in the kitchen and immediately assumed that I had injured myself somehow while cleaning. This serious, heartfelt moment of worship ended in tears & laughter after he calmed down and I explained that I was just fine… MORE than fine.

After I got up and cleaned my face off I started to think again about all of the awesome things God has done. Not just in my life but in the lives of others, of everyone. We are told to count our blessings and be thankful, but how often are we truly overwhelmed by all that he has done & is doing in our lives. I know that sometimes my prayers of thanksgiving, although genuine, are maybe not a deeply set as they should be. I feel that he deserves more than a prayer list of the items & people that I am thankful for. He DESERVES to be honored. He DESERVES to be praised for the Awesome and Holy God that He is.

“Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
                                        -Isaiah 12:6

I came across this verse and I absolutely love it! I feel like it completely describes the feeling of being overwhelmed with who God is & what he has done for us.

Through all of the storms and trials of my life He has been there. He has shown up in doctors offices, living rooms, classrooms, & parking lots. He has answered prayers, comforted me, & healed me. Most of all, through his son Jesus Christ, He has forgiven me and is helping me grow one day at a time. He is awesome & He deserves all of my praise.

I would love to hear what God has done for you!
Leave a comment below, or email me your story!

9 Tips For a More Intentional Prayer Life

Prayer has been a major struggle for me in my walk with Christ.

Some weeks I am so good about remembering to turn to Him. I am in a constant prayerful conversation with God and it makes day to day life easier.

Other weeks, I slack. I forget to turn to God in times of need and instead I turn to my own understanding. I tell others I will pray for them and then soon forget to follow through. Those weeks are very difficult.

For the past year I’ve been trying to figure out how I can be more intentional with my conversations with God. I have come up with some ways to not only set aside time for Intentional Prayer, but also some times that I can just take advantage of time that could otherwise be wasted. I have combined all of these little “tips” here. Read through and take what you can, or what you need. I don’t do ALL of these everyday, but I’ve found ways to remind myself to continue my ongoing “conversation” with God.

1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
I am putting this as #1 because although this is the hardest thing for me to apply (I am NOT a morning person), it has been the best. I am not a morning devotion person because, as I said, I am NOT a morning person.  I DO like praying in the morning though. I wake up, get out of bed, go sit at my makeup table & pray. I pray for myself, my family, the people I will come in contact with, & the day in general. That’s it. I feel so much more confident about the day when I start it this way.

2. Post an up to date prayer list on your bathroom mirror.
The next thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth, which doesn’t take much brain power, so I go through a couple of specific prayer requests while brushing. Personally, I reserve this time for some specific people in my life. My mirror prayer list doesn’t change much.

3. Laminate a prayer list to put up in your shower.
This works for me because I only share my shower with my husband and we share all of our prayer concerns with each other. If you share your shower with your siblings or parents you may or may not like this option. You could make this specific prayer (like mine) or more general. This list could just say, “Parents, Siblings, Friends, Teachers…”. Something that general may not be as odd to put up in a shared space but could still prompt you to remember to pray for them.

4. Pray for people you Text or Call.
Have you ever just said a quick little prayer for someone you were texting? Prayer can be quick & still meaningful. Lately when I have to text or call someone I say a quick prayer for them as I hit “send” or “call”. It usually goes something like this, “Lord, I pray that you continue to watch over ______. Give her strength for whatever she is doing today. Amen”

5. Prayer Apps
Since we’re talking about your cell phone. Do you have an app for that? Now, this is actually one thing that I don’t have yet. I’m about to get a smart phone (I’ve been a hold out because I am a cell phone abuser… I break things) and I am definitely going to put a prayer app on my phone so I can be reminded to stop and pray for specific things. If a friend is having surgery I want to have a reminder to pray for her before it happens, not after I see on facebook that she is in the recovery room… ooops!

6. Remember to write down & save prayer requests.
This has been the hardest for me to do. I am HORRIBLE at remembering prayer requests. Again, this is why I will be getting a prayer app when I get a smart phone. The app isn’t going to instantly solve my problem though, I have to remember to type it into the app. For now I’ve been keeping a cute little notebook in my purse so I can jot down who & what to pray for. Once I started writing them down I actually realized that I was leaving out a lot of people! Between Sunday Morning Church, my Junior High girls class, my adult small group, Youth Group on Wednesday Nights, and working in the church office full time I have accumulated quite a list. I’m so glad I started writing it all down!

7. Keep a prayer journal.

This is something I have done for quite a while. I have seen prayers answered through my prayer journal. I can track my personal growth as I turn the pages. I love it. It is more than a diary. It is my heart on paper. It is my love song to God. I write down everything from frustrations, anger, worries, concerns, praise, & thanksgiving. I write down the verses I am reading for future reference, I doodle, & I write. Find a notebook that you really like. If you like it, you’ll use it. Find a great pen, one that feels good in your hand and writes easily. There are no guidelines for a prayer journal, just like there are no guidelines to personal prayer. Just do it.

8. Pray every time you wash your hands.
I know this may sound silly, but I send up a prayer of thanks to God every time I wash my hands. I like short prayers because they work with my ADD short attention span. I find something to give thanks to God for each time. Sometimes it’s for huge things, sometimes it’s little things. It doesn’t matter. I believe that prayer is a conversation & a relationship building between you and God. It can’t all be “Gimme, Gimme”, you need to thank him for the things He does for you.

9. Find a Prayer Partner.
One of the best ways to stay intentional about your prayer life is to have an accountability partner. This prayer partner can help in many ways. This can be a person that you exchange personal prayer requests with, that you pray with, or even send each other little reminders throughout the day seeing if you have each taken some time to pray. I love the idea of accountability partners, especially in prayer. There is something so wonderful about believers coming together to lift each other up to The Lord.

So, there you go! 9 tips help you be more intentional with your prayer life. Take them & figure out what works for you.

Let me know what works. Do you have anything to add? Have you found something that you would like to recommend to others? Comment below and let me know!