Monday, December 5, 2011


I have missed you. It has been so long...
My life has been changing quite a bit recently and we are doing well adjusting. 
I couldn't wait any longer to share with you about Advent ( although I must admit: I'm a tad bit late). Advent has already begun and for the first time my sweet little family and I are having advent daily in our home! But don't let this confession deter you from observing it this year with your family-it is never to late to remember and reflect on the coming of our Lord and Savior!

Last year I read a book called 25 Days, 26 Ways to make this your best Christmas ever by Ace Collins you can download it straight to your kindle! I was inspired during the Christmas Season last year by reading it like a devotional. I began reading it again this year and loved being reminded of the beauty of this season! The first chapter in the book talks about Advent and it made me go searching for what it meant and how to incorporate it into our Christmas tradition. Here are some inspiring thoughts I discovered along with 3 different ways you can practice Advent this year. 
here is an excerpt from the above mentioned book: 
Advent is a Latin word meaning "the coming"...In the beginning Advent started on the Sunday closest to November 30 and ran until Christmas Eve. Essentially, the church leaders of the day set aside four weeks to consider what the coming of Jesus meant not only to the world but also to every individual's soul."

Collins also gives three reasons for Advent. Take some time this Christmas to reflect on these:
1. Reflect on what it means for God to come to earth in human form as a baby.
2.Consider how accepting Jesus as Savior changed your very existence.
3.Know that Jesus is coming back. 
Here are three different advent calendars to walk you through this Christmas Season!

Free Jesse Tree Advent Family Devotional
This is the one our family is following this year. I love how it guides us through the Bible from the very beginning reminding us that the Lord's plan of redemption began in Eden.

Many ways to keep an advent calendar
Maybe next year I can start ahead of time and make a cute calendar like these!

Last but definitely not least Collins suggests at the end of his advent calendar chapter (chapter 1) to use the gospel of Luke as a biblical Advent Calendar! What a great and simple idea. The book has 24 chapters just the right amount to help you focus on Jesus' birth and life! 
and an excerpt from the first chapter of Luke...
Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary   26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name wasMary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”[c]29 But when she saw him,[d] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.Mary Visits Elizabeth
   39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”The Song of Mary
   46 And Mary said: 

      “ My soul magnifies the Lord,        47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.        48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;       For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.        49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,       And holy is His name.        50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him       From generation to generation.        51 He has shown strength with His arm;       He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.        52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,       And exalted the lowly.        53 He has filled the hungry with good things,       And the rich He has sent away empty.        54 He has helped His servant Israel,       In remembrance of His mercy,        55 As He spoke to our fathers,       To Abraham and to his seed forever.” 
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

Let's Remember the real reason for the Season~Gracefully Daisy

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Owl Calendar!

They are here the new owl calendars for 2012
These are my favorite!
 I love this owl calendar you can download for free!
2012 Owl Calendar

Gracefully Daisy

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Photo Book

Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.
It was so much fun to create this book! What a beautiful Year we have shared with our little guy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

John 4

Picture found here
What a beautiful time of Bible Study Lauren and I shared today! We read together chapter 4 of the Book of John and just spent time discovering the truths of God's Grace in it. 
Here are some of the highlights!
  • Lauren: "Jesus is the living water" 
 Verse 14
  • But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.
2 points  that Lauren was able to take from this were

  • I must be willing to accept  the living water that he offers 
  • The water that God offers is good! 
    • it quenches thirst and satisfies that desire for God that lies deep within our hearts! 
    • She loves how he uses definitive! " will never thirst again"
    • I love spring water and reminds me waterfalls and springs in Hawaii-awesome! 
    • this is a challenge for her but when you accept-it is also full of hope!
Daisy: the Samaritan woman an example of the struggles we face and the change that can only happen when we meet Christ!

  • She Struggles and sins as we do
  • Seeking, searching and questioning
  • needs to be accepted and loved
    • Because she does not walk away from Jesus when he encounters her but instead converses with him and dialogues with him to have her questions answered- He meets her there! He reveals himself to her! 
    • 25The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us.
          26Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.
  • boundaries set by society do not matter to Jesus he will meet you right where you are
    • She was a woman
    •  a Samaritan (Jews and Samaritans did not get along)
    • A "married" woman
    • an outcast (a scarlet letter type character)
  • Jesus met her right where she was: after 5 failed marriages and living with a man that was now not her her husband-to the world standards her life was undesirable. To Jesus she was a child in need of a father and lost soul in need of a savior. When Jesus looked in to her eyes he saw a woman in need of Love- She depicts Jesus purpose for coming to this world-to save the lost. 
  • An encounter with Jesus changes your life and gives you boldness and courage to live a life worthy of Jesus!
  • verse 29:Come, see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be [is not this] the Christ? [Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?]
        30So the people left the town and set out to go to Him.
  • Verse 39Now numerous Samaritans from that town believed in and trusted in Him because of what the woman said when she declared and testified, He told me everything that I ever did.
    40So when the Samaritans arrived, they asked Him to remain with them, and He did stay there two days.
    41Then many more believed in and adhered to and relied on Him because of His personal message [what He Himself said].
    42And they told the woman, Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ. 

God's Grace is available to you! But you must be willing to accept it! Lord, I pray give us a hunger and thirst for you! I pray that you will help us to accept your grace and set it as the standard for our lives! teach us to be more and like you! 
Gracefully Daisy

Thursday, October 20, 2011

John 3

In John 3 we find the the reason for Jesus' coming to live among men. We discover that God had a plan of redemption so that we could have a way to spend eternity with Him. 
I will begin with Nicodemus:
The Message 
Born from Above 
 1-2 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it." 3Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom."
 4"How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"
in this passage I see myself- many times we approach Jesus when no one is watching or when we have the cover of darkness-meanwhile the people closest to us don't even know that we have approached Jesus. When we don't live in the light that Jesus is we often don't understand what he is teaching us. This is in fact what we read with Nicodemus he wanted to keep his status in society but his heart yearned for Jesus. He tried the easy approach if I just come to see him without anyone knowing I will be ok. But he was blow away by what Jesus revealed to him. He did not understand how anyone could be born again! 
What is Jesus Saying?
 5-6Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the 'wind-hovering-over-the-water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it's not possible to enter God's kingdom. When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.
 7-8"So don't be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be 'born from above'—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."
We are created by God! We must turn over our hearts to him voluntarily. We must die to the old way of life and "be born again" so that we can now live and be lead by the Spirit of God! But Jesus does not only tell Nicodemus what needs to happen; but he lets him know that Jesus will pay the price for this to transformation to occur. 
 13-15"No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
 16-18"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
 19-21"This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is."
In these verses Jesus describes our old state-when we were running from his light into darkness! But he also depicts his plan for redeeming us of our sins. How great is He! He always has a plan! In his infinite Love he was beginning to reveal his plan for our salvation right from the beginning! He chose from the greatest and most sacred part of his heart-his only son! I think about My little Sammy here and I am not jumping at opportunities to send him off into another place far away from me for the sake of others! Thank God that as his heart broke at the thought of what his Son was going to endure, he willingly gave Him away so that we could be brought back to Him through his sacrifice! 

I love how Paul describes the plan of redemption here in Colossians
2Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the [l]portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light.
    13[The Father] has delivered and [m]drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son [n]of His love,
    14In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.
    15[Now] He is the [o]exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.
    16For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.
    17And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).
    18He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent].
    19For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him [p]permanently.
    20And God purposed that through ([q]by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled [r]back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.
    21And although you at one time were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities,
    22Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father's] presence.
I am grateful for you all and pray this prayer also found in Colossians for us all. 
For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [[g]special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the [h]full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [[i]in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things--
    10That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and [j]desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight,[k]acquaintance, and recognition].
    11[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy,
    12Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the [l]portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light. Amen.
All my love,
Gracefully Daisy

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review: The Love and Respect Experience A husband friendly Devotional that wives truly love by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

A few years ago my dear Josh and I went through the bible study " Love and Respect" and we really enjoyed it. We really gleaned so much from it that we own the book. So when I saw this devotional from book sneeze I knew I had to get it. The book contains 52 Devotions that are  based on the three cycles that make up the base of Love and respect.
 These cycles are: the crazy cycle, the rewarded cycle, and the energizing cycle.

When I received it in the mail I was thoroughly surprised and impressed. It is beautifully leather bounded. The colors are rich and pages are smooth and inviting. I love the way the pages are set up, especially that at the end we have a time of prayer and an action to take on after reading that devotional. My husband and I have been reading it before we go to bed and we are able to recall the information we learned before; but for those who have not read the book there are many resources at the end of the book. Devotionals are not on the men's top picks for book to read, so when I saw that this one was especially geared for men I knew we had to give it try. My husband is very satisfied with it and the only thing he wished for was for a bookmark as part of the book to mark the place we left off at. We highly recommend this devotional. Warning: you might not only be able to read one at a time or one a week for that matter!

Gracefully Daisy and Josh

Friday, October 7, 2011

John 2

October 7,2011
John 2
The second book of John depicts the beginning of Jesus' ministry. We learn some things about Jesus that seem to be so "human"-so normal. Something I would do and later really ponder upon the reason why I did that. We know that Jesus is God incarnate on the earth walking among men. Before I dive into the character of Jesus let me talk a little bit about his mom. 
Mary has such wonderful insight into her son's life. She was told from the very beginning what his purpose was for coming into this world. As a mom now I have to think about the little life that he entrusted me. She knew that He was God. She knew that he could be approached at all time for anything. She trusted in his power and knew that he cared about the little things. Read these verses

John 2

The Message (MSG)

When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus' mother told him, "They're just about out of wine." 4Jesus said, "Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn't my time. Don't push me."
 5She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, "Whatever he tells you, do it."
in these verses you see that she is not afraid to approach him about something that to some would seem so insignificant and almost a bother. Although Jesus tells her " it is not yet my time" he is obedient and cares about his mother word as well as for the couple  who need something at this time. He cares remember that nothing is too small or insignificant for him-if it matters to you it matters to him!

This chapter reminds me of me- this is why-JESUS LOST HIS TEMPER! Do you know how many times I have to find my temper again!!! He is jealous and Passionate about what he believes. His boldness at this time took over and you see someone on a rampage as we would say! 
 15-17Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, "Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a shopping mall!" That's when his disciples remembered the Scripture, "Zeal for your house consumes me." 
He wants them to understand that the House of God is sacred and that they have strayed far away from that knowledge and have allowed things to take place and take home in the temple that belongs to God. When I read this I think about our bodies. Like this verse states 
1 Corinthians 6:19Amplified Bible (AMP)19Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,
if Jesus were to step into our temple what would he find? Would he have to clean up things that we have allowed to take shelter in it that takes us away from him? Remembering that we are not going to be perfect while we are here on earth-we are called to Holiness never the less. Remember through Christ we can do all things-if he has called us to pursue Holiness then we can do it! he has given us his word to guide! so doing this Bible study together will help us to learn more about what he desires of us!

I love the insight I gain about Christ in this chapter. He allows me to understand that he was just as human as I am. He wants me to see that he knows what I am going through and understands what I go through. He is not just up there in Heaven looking down at me and not understanding my life. No- he lived it and experienced it and it was because of that knowledge that he bore the Cross for my sins so that I could live with him for ever!

Lord,  I pray for my friends as we go through this Bible study together. I pray that you give us the strength to read your word. I pray that you will give us the wisdom to understand your word as we read it. Lord, help us to understand your character as we read this book so that we can be more and more like you. Lord, I pray that you will teach us how to pursue holiness the same way that you did. Lord, you were human when you lived her on earth so that you could go through the struggles we face and you leave us the example that through it all you trusted in your father God! Give us your strength, your boldness, and your passion for the things of the Lord! We ask for your favor and grace over our lives and that it would over flow to our home and those that we come in contact with! Thank you Lord because you always hear us and you care about all that happens to us! Thank you sweet Jesus for loving us!
Gracefully Daisy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our new Bed Covers

I love this new bed spread from Shabby Chic by Target! You know what I love the most about it? that it was on major sale from $110 to $27 what a great deal! Had a blast getting our sweet bed ready for the cool evenings that are upon us!

The cute little helper at the bottom did a great job fluffing the comforter after I took it out of the linen closet!

we had a blast today at home with the windows open and the sun shining! aired out the house and got the bed cozy and ready for sleep!

Gracefully Daisy
Posted by Picasa

developpé...graceful becoming: Bible Study

developpé...graceful becoming: Bible Study: September 22nd 2011 Today was our first time to meet for Bible study. We had a great turn out and we agreed to start studying the book ...

Gracefully Daisy

Monday, September 26, 2011

One a year ago today

We are so blessed to remember today that we dedicated Samuel Benjamin to the Lord one year ago! I can't believe a year has passed we are truly in awe of the miracle that has taken place right before our eyes!

1 Samuel 1

Amplified Bible (AMP)
"27For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to Him.
    28Therefore I have given him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is given to the Lord. And they worshiped the Lord there."

Gracefully Daisy
Posted by Picasa

Book Review: Doing Virtuous Business by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

Doing Virtuous business strives to explain the connection between a free economy and freedom of religion.
Through out the book he presents different virtues and how they have made a difference in specific businesses as they were practiced. He argues that doing virtuous business makes the world a better place as well as making the companies who practice it more profitable and successful.
   The tittle caught my attention. In our world we don't see virtuous business occurring often. So I wanted to explore what this author had to say about this. I think I was expecting a book that displayed biblical truths and principles to help make the argument of virtuous enterprise. What I discovered instead was a fragmented look at virtue. Fragmented because he used so many different ideas from different philosophers and religions. It was laced with too much new age thinking to my liking. In my opinion when you don't make a distinction between Christian principles and new age ideas you create confusion. I would not recommend this book.

Gracefully Daisy

Summer Fun I heart faces photo contest

I love this photo-embodies all that summer is about! I love little Ayden's serious face!
Sammy ( in the hat) had a blast play in the pool with everyone that day!

Check out the rest of the pics at i heart faces

Gracefully Daisy
Posted by Picasa

sweet summer breakfast

July 21st 

A sweet morning breakfast for Sam and me! Sweet Sam sized pumpkin zucchini muffins with whipped pumpkin butter.-for me- I'm also enjoying Greek yogurt and fruit with almonds.
Daddy left Sam half of a banana and he is having that in his mini kiwi, strawberry, and banana salad.

Gracefully Daisy
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 17, 2011

1/2 Marathon
via pinterest

Today, I am absolutely astounded at what my body is capable of doing when I set my mind to it. 
The day started out beautifully-perfect temperature for running! The breeze played across our faces and cooled us down! I enjoyed the beginning of the trail under the trees, next to a river, over bridges and open fields! 
I love that my darling running partner ( AKA the love of my life) and I were able to run our first half marathon together! we have done so many firsts in our 3years and 9 months of being married- glad this one is added to our list! 
By the end of the race I really wanted to just walk but we made such great time that we were going to be able to finish under 3 hours. I would have been happy with 3 but Josh always believed I could finish under three! so I ran my little heart out and my knees were screaming, my feet were protesting but the words of encouragement being spoken next to me were louder! I could not have done it without the Love of my life next to me! Thank you babe! you are the best! I am your number one fan! 

I leave you with this...

1 Corinthians 9:24

The Message (MSG)

 24-25You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.

1 Corinthians 9:24

English Standard Version (ESV)

 24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

~Gracefully Daisy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sammy's 1st birthday party

tutorial found here

What a blessing this year has been! Our little guy has filled our lives with so much joy! we had a beautiful afternoon full of friends, family and laughter! it was a joy to watch Sammy open up all of his presents and play with his new toys! I believe we left the party feeling like a little kid again! loved it!
Gracefully Daisy
Posted by Picasa