Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The BarnPrincess is Moving

I know that I have just recently started obtaining followers, but I am praying that you will follow me to my new site.

Thanks to Blogelina I have free hosting for a year. All I had to do was sign up for her class "Profitable Blogging for Beginners."

If you are following me on Bloglovin' you will have to follow again under the new blog.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Limitless by Nick Vujicic

Review: Limitless by Nick Vujicic

I don’t know how many of you know the story of Nick Vujicic. Nick says that he is living proof that God can use anyone. You see, Nick was born without extremities. He has no arms or legs. Just one little foot, but he travels the world sharing God’s love with others and encouraging and empowering people.  I have read both of Nick’s first two books and they are wonderful so when I saw that he had a third book coming out I was eager to read it.

Limitless is a devotional and Nick draws on materials and stories from his previous two books. The devotionals are quick reads and are inspirational in the reading. He uses stories from his life and stories from people around the world to inspire and empower others to live the life God has planned for them.

I was a bit disappointed when I realized that this was a devotional. I am not big on devotionals in general. I have a few favorites like My Utmost for His Highest, but in general I find them a little shallow.

With that being said, I have to say that I am enjoying reading Limitless because it is full of stories meant to inspire. He gives practical advice along with Biblical encouragement. He points out that it is not what we can do ourselves, but what God does through us that is important. He encourages us that whatever we are going through God can use it to His glory. While not a book I would recommend for in-depth study, it is a great book when you need encouragement and inspiration.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Made to Crave—week 1

Last week I visited the blog Caravan Sonnet and saw that she and a couple of other bloggers were starting an online study using Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. I have owned this book for a while and I have been struggling with my weight for even longer. I have started and stopped reading this book more than once. I am praying that by following their blogs and with your support I can finally stick with my journey to lose the weight.

Reading the Intro to Made to Crave, three things really stood out to me.

1.     “In my case, the number itself was not the issue. The issue was how I felt mentally, spiritually, and physically.”—Lysa Terkeurst

This stands out to me because I can relate to it so easily. For me the number on the scale is not the reason I want to lose the weight. It is just an indicator. How I have been feeling lately is the real reason why I need to lose the weight.

2.    The story that she used from Matthew 19 about the rich man.

For the past year, this story has come up in several different ways and in relation to several different areas of my life. Each area it has come up in it has been in relation to something that I have been making an idol of and putting ahead of my relationship with Christ.

3.    “God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone.”

This statement struck me because it was like a sudden awakening. I have noticed in the past that when a person is addicted to something, it is because there is a hole, a craving for something…something more, something that gives them satisfaction and a feeling of completion…but that is a hole or a craving that can only be satisfied with God. When I read that statement, it was like blinders had been lifted…I had never applied that idea to my own life and I can see how I have substituted my craving for God with things from this world. None of which have brought me satisfaction.

So I am excited about this journey because I believe that the Lord is going to bring great things through this.

My Stats:

Weight today: 219 lbs
BMI: 42
Waist: 43 in
Hips: 53 in


Friday, July 5, 2013


One of the things that I have always struggled with is my self-esteem. As a child I was usually the last one chosen for teams at school. In junior high, I was the one who sat over at a desk alone when everyone else was sitting in groups. In high school, I was the loner who sat alone at lunch and was everybody’s friend yet nobody’s friend. I was the one everyone considered sweet and helpful, but not the one who was invited to parties or who my peers wanted to hang out with on the weekends. As an adult, I am still pretty much a loner.

A bit shy and awkward around others I have trouble knowing what to say when I am talking to people so I usually end up talking about myself…which isn’t a good way to build friendships.

I have never felt like I was part of the group or like I fit in anywhere…even at church.

I have never felt like I was special or like I was chosen…but the good news is that those thoughts and feelings were lies and…


I am chosen by the One who sees beyond my awkwardness.

I am chosen by the One who died for my sins.

I am chosen by the King of kings.

I am chosen to be His child.

I am chosen to do His works.

I am chosen to do good things.

I may never be chosen by other people, but I was chosen by God.

And you are too! You are chosen by God to be His child and to do His works. You are chosen to do good things. You are His, and He CHOSE you.

Isn’t it great to know that even when we don’t feel loved and chosen by others that we are loved and chosen by Christ?

But you are a chosen woman, a royal priestess, a holy daughter, God’s own special possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

--1 Peter 2:9 (paraphrased)

“All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
In many-colored robes she is led to the king…”
--Psalms 45:13-14a

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review: Trouble in Store by Carol Cox

Melanie Ross is alone in the world and working as a governess for a wealthy family in Ohio. When she loses her job as a governess, she is at a loss of what to do until she remembers a letter from her deceased cousin’s business partner informing her that she was her cousin’s heir and that she was welcome to come anytime she could to work with him. What she didn’t count on was him dying before she got there.

Enter: Caleb Nelson and his son. When his uncle Alvin invited him to Arizona to help him run his store, the last thing Caleb was expecting was to be saddled with a partner. When Melanie arrives in Arizona claiming half of the store, Caleb is at a loss. He was already having trouble with someone threatening him. Now he had Melanie to worry about too.

I thought that this book was well written and a good book. The story got off to a slow start though and was predictable. The first half of the book seemed to mainly be build up and fill in to the actual story line. But about half way through the book it picked up the pace and turned into an enjoyable story that was funny and adventurous. While it is not a book that I would rush out to purchase, it is a good book for a lazy afternoon read.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fun 4th of July T-Shirts

Every year I like to buy a new patriotic t-shirt for the 4th. This year since money is very tight I can't afford to buy one, but I can make one. I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest and found these great shirts. Most of them only take a little fabric paint.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Saying "Yes" to God When It is Hard

Have you ever had one of those moments where you know that you were created for such a time?

The story of Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. When Mordecai says to Esther, "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" I get a sense of excitement and destiny, but what the Lord was asking her to do wasn't easy. She was laying her life on the line, but when she said "Yes" to the Lord, He made a new way for her and her people.

Last year I had one of those moments when I knew that I was fulfilling part of my destiny and receiving a call to help those who are brokenhearted, but for the last 1 1/2 years I have been fighting the Lord on this calling. and now I want to share with you the story of how I know what my calling is.

This is the story of a young girl whose life touched mine in a great way. I am going to call her Alyssa (although that is not her real name) and this is the story of how my struggle to help her has broken me and led me to my true calling.

Alyssa was a very troubled little girl. In many ways, she had been forced to grow up before her time. She was a huge bundle of pain and grief and she was only 5 years old. A 5 year old shouldn't be a bundle of pain, grief and anger. A 5 year old should be happy and mischievous.

Her behavior was out of control, and as her teacher, I was at my wit's end. I had even reached the point where I had gone to my supervisor & said that I couldn't help this little girl. I recognized that she had been through some type of trauma in her life, but I didn't know what it was. I just know that she was hurting the other children, she was hurting herself, and she was destroying my classroom.

But I also knew that this one little girl was loving and funny and adventurous. She just needed help that I didn't think I could give her...

About a week after telling my director that I didn't feel like I could help her, things changed with Alyssa and they changed for the better and all it took was holding her and praying over her as she cried.

It was nap time at the center and because of Alyssa's behavior and the behavior of some of the other children, I had 6 adults in my classroom.

To say that nap time in my classroom was chaotic was an understatement, but this day changed least for a little while.

This day Alyssa was at her worst. She wouldn't lay down, and since I was the only one who get her settled, she was running around the room while I tucked in some of the other children for nap time. After I helped get everyone else settled I went and sat down next to Alyssa's cot. She was crying and screaming  and the adult who was trying to help her was not getting anywhere.

When I finally sat down with her, I gave her a choice. She could lay quietly on her cot, or she could sit quietly in my lap. She chose my lap, but after a while she decided to lay on her. Instead of getting on her cot though she tried to run through the classroom and so I blocked her and gave her the choice again. She told me, "NO!" and tried to run again, but I blocked her and then sat down with her on my lap.

She started crying and screaming. We sat like that for an hour...Eventually she stopped screaming and was just crying, and the entire time I just held her and told her she was safe and prayed for her. I was also crying with her. Not loudly. Just silent tears streaming down my face. She cried like her heart was broken, deep sobs, and I just held on to her.

The other adults in the room would come over occasionally and ask if I wanted them to switch with me, and while I admit that i would have loved for someone else to take over, I knew that at that moment switching places was the worst thing that I could do to Alyssa so I just sat there and continued to hold her.

And at that moment I knew that I was called to help children like Alyssa, and in the months that followed that calling was confirmed in many ways and at first I was happy about it, but as the months passed and I started suffering from compassion fatigue I started fighting the calling.

But now I recognize that I have been going through a stage of growth. I know that God has a plan for me. He has given me a dream, and even though He seems silent I am finding that I have to depend on Him in ways I never dreamed. I also know that I can't make this dream happen on my own and that He has to make it happen. I have discovered that this is what I was created for. It is a part of my destiny.

So I covet your prayers and pray that He opens the doors and provides me with what is needed. I know that I need more training and that takes money that I don't have, but He will provide a way.

What dream has God given you that you are fighting? Are you ready to say "Yes" and let Him make the way?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fighting with the Lord

Photo courtesy of  HeartLight

Have you ever had one of those “God moments” where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are called by the Lord to do something? Did you obey that calling or did you fight with the Lord?

I realized recently that for the past 1 ½ years I have been fighting with the Lord about my calling in life. I had one of those “God moments” and knew what I should do, but as time went by I started letting doubt and fear creep in and I started fighting what I was called to do.

Every time I heard God’s voice in this matter, I would say, “But…

·         I’m not qualified.
·         I don’t want to go back to school.
·         I’m tired of this.
·         How can I help others when I can’t even help myself?
·         The list of excuses could go on and on.

Or I would say…

·         Lord, I would much rather do _____.
·         Hey, Lord, wouldn’t this be a much better option for me?
·         Oh! I think it would so much more exciting to _______.

And the truth of the matter is

1.     I am not qualified, but He is.
·         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” –John 15:4-5
·         “For with God nothing will be impossible.” –Luke 1:37
·         “I can of myself do nothing,”—John 5:30a

2.    If I love Him, I have to be obedient to the calling that He has placed on my life.
·         “If you love Me, keep my commandmants.” –John 14:15
·         “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”—John 15:10

3.    Even when I am tired, weak and worn, He will give me the strength to keep on moving forward.
·         “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”—Philippians 4:13
·         “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles; They shall run and not be weary; They shall walk and not faint.”—Isaiah 40:28-31

4.   I’m not supposed to help myself…My healing comes from Him. There is nothing I can do to make it better.
·         The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…”—Isaiah 61:1a

5.    Yes, there might be things that look better on paper…but NOTHING is better for my life than the plans that He has for me.
·         “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.”—John 15:16
·         “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11
·         “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”—Ephesians 2:10

So do I keep fighting or do I surrender to the call that He has placed on my life?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Jennifer by Dee Henderson

Jennifer O’Malley is the youngest of the O’Malleys (a group of children who adopted each other and changed their last names to O’Malley when they turned 18). She is a pediatric general practitioner who works with children who are critically ill. Tom Peterson is a surgeon at the hospital where Jennifer works. They meet and fall in love.

Tom introduces Jennifer to Jesus too. And she falls in love with Him also. But her faith is quickly tested in an unexpected way. Will she still cling to the One who gave His life for her? What will happen to her relationship with Tom? And how will she ever explain to her family all that has changed in her life?

I have to admit that while I have heard of Dee Henderson, I had never read any of her books until now. I fell in love with Jennifer and Tom to the point that I was disappointed with the end of the story, and immediately went and downloaded The Negotiator (which has been free on Amazon Kindle lately). Dee Henderson is a gripping writer, and Jennifer is not your typical love story and leaves you longing for more. I recommend adding it to your summer reading list.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

25 Christian Pick Up Lines to Make You Smile

I have found these pick up lines around the web, on, on, and on a couple of blogs like I hope that you get at least a smile out of them.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Worry: The Thief of Trust

About a year and a half ago, I was having a lot of health issues. I wasn’t sleeping at night. I wasn’t eating. I lost about 20 lbs in 6 weeks. I was working 50+ hours a week at my place of employment. I was working an additional 30+ hours a week at home to finish what I couldn’t get done at work. When I was at work I was busy from the moment that I walked in the door until the moment I left. The only down time I had was when I was driving to and from work. I was stressed out and worried.

I was worried about my job, and I was worried about my health. I was so stressed out and worried that I went to the doctor afraid that I had something horrible and was dying. All of the tests came back clear.

About 6 months later, I started taking a series of training workshops on working with children who have been traumatized.  In the first session, they described the symptoms of compassion fatigue (also called secondary post traumatic stress disorder). I had every single one of the symptoms that they listed. 

The reason why I have compassion fatigue?

I was so busy trying to control everything that I wasn’t trusting anybody, and most importantly I wasn’t trusting God.

Worry and stress comes when we try to control everything and trying to do everything for ourselves.

So how do you stop worrying? How do you learn to trust?

1)     Pray: Ask the Lord to help you relax and let go. Ask Him to teach you to trust. Next time something happens that you can’t control pray. Give to Him right then. Don’t hang on to it.

2)   Opposite action: I learned about this in the workshops. In opposite action, you do the opposite of what your initial reaction is. For example, if you are like me and you are a people pleaser, when someone asks you to do something you usually say yes even if you don’t have time or don’t want to do it. Well, next time, say “no”.

3)   Let go. I know that it is easier said than done, but you are not God. You can’t control everybody and everything.

4)   Take time for you.  Spend time each day doing something you love. Exercise, Eat right. Read a book. Take care of YOU because if you don’t you won’t be able to take care of others.

5)   Turn your focus to Christ. This last one is probably the most important. If you are focused on Christ, then you know that He can handle it and that He will give you what you need.

“Therefore I tell you, don not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on, is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
~Matthew 6:25

God Bless You


Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Secrets to a Happy Life

Do you long to be happy? Not just a temporary feeling of happiness, but a deep down feeling of joy that never leaves?

In Secrets to a Happy Life, Bill Giovannetti takes us on a journey through the life of Joseph to teach the secrets that made Joseph a happy and resilient person. Mr. Giovannetti is honest in his book about what he believes and about the fact that while he can teach you the secrets to happiness it is up to you to take the journey.
He teaches 11 secrets to happiness and practical ways to apply them to your life. Hopefully as you read the book you will learn to see how God is working for your joy, learn to let go of what is holding you back, and how to find your own happiness.

My copy of the book has highlights and notes on every page. Mr. Giovanetti packs a lot of information into less than 200 pages which I think is great. I now look at Joseph’s life in a way that I hadn’t before and I am starting to look at my own life in a way that I haven’t before.  His writing is direct and to the point with examples from Joseph’s life and other Biblical examples.  I strongly recommend reading this book if you are ready to begin your journey to happiness

Friday, June 21, 2013

The BarnPrincess

The BarnPrincess

The BarnPrincess by thebarnprincess on Polyvore

This week I have been taking a course called the Creative Courage Workshop. The class is an online class taught by Amanda Aitken. It is a 5 day course designed to help you build a brand or learn the basics about graphic design. Through the class I learned how to choose fonts, color palettes, and put together simple designs using Pixlr and Polyvore.

I created the vision board above as part of the class.

Interested in the class? Visit The Creative Courage Campaign

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Have an Abundant Life

I have always thought that the way to have an abundant life was to live the American dream…

To get married, have a couple of children, a good career, and a nice house…

But lately I have decided that I was wrong.

I have been thinking, “What if having an abundant life isn’t about having more but about giving more?”

This morning I was reading Ann Voskamp’s blog ( that thought came back to me this morning…especially when I read:

“Be concerned for the poor.”


“We’re all hungry for uncomfortable because we are hungry for God—and He is outside our comfort zone.”

What if having an abundant life isn’t about having more but about giving more?

What if having an abundant life isn’t about having more for ourselves but about helping others to have more?

What if having an abundant life is about being so grateful for what we have that we long to give it away to others?

What if having an abundant life is about being hungry for God?

What if having an abundant life is about getting out of comfort zones and serving others?

To truly have an abundant life we have to give more, love more, and serve more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Greed, The Thief of Generosity

Last year I was dating someone, and one day when we were at my house he said something about disliking the clutter in my living room.

The funny thing to me was when he talked about clutter he wasn’t talking about the pile of papers sitting on my desk, he was talking about my collection of horse figurines and the pictures on my walls.

But he really got my attention when he told me that he thought I was too attached to my decorative things and that he didn’t think that I wouldn’t be able to sell them.

What he said has really stayed with me. God has been using it powerfully in my life. It has made me start noticing things about myself that I didn’t really like. I started noticing that I have can be materialistic and greedy, that there are times in my life when I think I need more…more yarn, more books, more clothes, more shoes, more bags…more, more, more.

As this year has passed, God has been opening my eyes to other things such as when I want more I give less. The more I have, the more I think I have to have, the less I give to others.

I have started looking around now, and I have begun to notice those who have less than I do. As I notice them, I start looking for what I can do to help them. What can I give up?

In the past year, I have sold a lot of my things…I’m not perfect. I still have a ways to go on cleaning out and paring down to the necessities, but I am getting better.  I also still have moments where I think I need something that I really don’t, but I am learning to ask myself why I want something. I am also learning to look at my things with new eyes…

I have asking myself how I would feel if lost everything…

or if a friend saw something and really liked it would I be able to offer it to them.

Having more is necessarily wrong, but as Christians, we are sojourners. This world is not our home, and when our attachment to things becomes greater than our attachment to God or to others, we need to check ourselves. That is what the past year has taught me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

All Joanna Robbins wants for her birthday is…a preacher. She has been praying that the Lord would send her a preacher to help her win her unsaved father for Christ. She never dreamed that when she told her father that a preacher is what she wanted for her birthday that he would go and get her one.

Crockett Archer was on his way to his future as a preacher in Brenham, TX when an unexpected detour happens. He is KIDNAPPED! What happens next is not what he is expecting, but with the Lord taking the lead he has to follow.

I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t sleep until I finished it. Karen Witemeyer has written a delightful romance about what can happen when we let the Lord lead and direct us in His path, not our own.  The character of Crockett is a rough and tumble cowboy and not what you typically think of when you think of a preacher. The character of Joanna Robbins is a shy and awkward young woman but one who has strength of character and love for her father and her Lord that shines through. Both are written in a way that makes you feel as if you know them. Witemeyer writes in such a way that you feel like you are there. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fishing with Dad

When I was little, my dad would take me fishing. We had this big pond in our backyard, and he placed some big flat rocks (sandstone, I believe) along one edge of the pond. We would go down to the pond and fish, and we almost always fished with worms.

We would go out to the garden and dig up a can of worms and throw some dirt on top of them. Then we would head down to the pond. At the pond, Dad would set down his fishing gear, next to the stool he had made and kept down at the pond. Then he would walk with me over to one of the big rocks, far enough away that our lines wouldn’t tangle but close enough that he could get there quickly if something happened. Then he would help me put the bobber on my line and a worm on my hook before he would go back to his stool.

As the years passed, he taught me to place the worm on my hook, and how to get a fish off of the hook on my own.

He was patient and I know that for a few years he probably spent more time helping  me untangle lines, and put worms on hooks, and getting fish off of the hooks than he did actually fishing himself.

I also know that there were times when I was done fishing that he would send me back up to the house and continue fishing in peace.

Fishing with my dad is one of my most treasured memories. My dad used fishing to teach me patience and a can-do attitude. (Sometimes I don’t think either one of those lessons have stuck well, but he did try. J) think either one of those lessons have stuck well, but he did try. :-)shing to teach me patience and a can-do attitude. (Somet

Fishing with my dad taught me to appreciate the beauty that God has blessed us with. Even the parts we don’t like (such as snakes) have a reason and a purpose.

I thank God for being able to fish with my dad. Many children don’t have fathers who can take them fishing. Many children don’t have fathers who spend any time with them.

Fathers are an important part of children’s lives.

Fathers, make the time to spend with your children. Make memories with your children. You are not promised tomorrow so take the time today.