The Most Beautiful Moments

I’m not usually the photographer. I leave that for the real pro, my husband. I do everything else from talking to beautiful people who want to be photographed to thinking of poses, as well as editing the photos after they were taken. Whatever else there is, except take the photos.

BUT…I was inspired!

The sunset was beautiful, the grass was lush green (and freshly cut from the day before), my kids were giggling, and it was simply a wonderful, warm spring day! So I HAD to grab the camera and get some shots in before the awesome sun went down!

Life really is made up from simple, yet beautiful moments like these. Enjoy and cherish them all… Seriously! Totally cliche, but I’m being totally serious here.

And enjoy the bazillion of pictures I took that evening…

 

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Oh, how I LOVE sunsets!

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Someone needed to scratch their face apparently…

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Such a caring big brother. Trying to make her look at the camera.

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I must have said, “Roar like a lion.”

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Kids clap…for no reason.

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Or maybe they’re just happy.

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This is where my heart skipped a beat. Or two.

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I think he’s handsome.

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Probably because he’s mine.

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Dimples!!!
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Clapping…all…the…time!

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I even squeezed in a few selfies!

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Those eyes…

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Grass must be interesting. Oh, how I love the curiosity of a child!

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I managed to steal a few shots of this handsome man as well!

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That’s the ‘don’t bother me from my yardwork’ look. In case you were wondering.

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LOVE him!

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 Blessings to you all!

10 Family Traditions to Start Now

What makes a family a close family? God of course is the one and only that makes a family complete (hence the blog name: Him+Her+God). But also, I think it’s spending quality time together. Frankly, the more good memories you share, the better! 

A great way to do that is have family traditions! Yes, there are the Thanksgiving traditions, and Christmas, Easter, and other various holidays. Plus, that’s not to say you shouldn’t do something that doesn’t follow tradition or change it up once in awhile, but definitely have some fun ones where you can bond as a family.

Of course, you probably already have some traditions, but here are a few ideas to add to your collection!

Have a day of the week for a Family Walk

Choose one location or rotate between various locations, but have a place where you can take a liesurely walk. It’s a good way to exercise and also to have some conversation. If you have little ones, you can teach them what’s around you (ducks, trees, clouds, rocks, etc).

Have a Game Night

The possibilities are endless with this one from board games to card games to word games and strategy games. Have a variety to choose from, depending on age levels, time needed to play, what kind of games your family likes to play, and the like! And if you are comfortable with the idea, keep an ongoing score to make it more competitive and interesting.

Have a Special Treat Night

What’s your family’s favorite dessert? Make it a tradition to have it (weekly?). Whether it’s ice cream, doughnuts, chocolate cake, whatever. And of course there are healthy options like frozen yogurt, homemade fruit popsicles, smoothies….well, you would know.

Make cleaning a fun family event

If you’re like most people, you aren’t thrilled about chores. Maybe have the whole family pitch in where everyone does what they can do. It gets done faster (possibly) and together it doesn’t feel so chore-ish anymore. Reward the family after maybe for their hard work?

Have Family Trips

This of course depends on budgets, but do family trips monthly or every season maybe. They don’t really need to be expensive. Yet, it’s so nice to get away from home and see new places! A lake, a nice park, zoo, amusement park, museum, a hike somewhere, beach, a nearby town you haven’t explored yet, the list goes on.

Grocery Day Treat

When I was a girl, we went grocery shopping as a family. To this day I remember we would always get a treat to eat on the way back home. For us it was either ice cream cones or Doritos. Your family can choose the traditional treat together.

Go to a certain destination every year

For us, we like to go to Washington DC every year. There’s always so much to do, but of course it will vary for your family. Going back somewhere year after year can be quite fun and you can remember what you did every year from the past years.

Do pictures (and videos)

It’s one thing to remember something fun, but having photos (and videos) to look through is even more interesting! Grab your own camera or hire a photographer and capture moments in your family life, just because. Dress up fancy or something relaxed. It’s your family’s call.

Do Homemade Pizza Night

Feel free to substitute pizza with any other favorite meal, but something you can do together (or certain parts at least). With pizza, children almost any age are able to add toppings AND there is sooo many flavors and varieties of pizzas. The sky is the limit!

Hold an annual Field Day

Water balloons, water guns, frisbee, races, etc, etc. Google/Pinterest for more ideas. I’m sure the kids will never forget field day. It really is too much fun!

What are some traditions YOUR family has? Please do share with us!!

 

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Why Do We Have Hardships?

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

Joseph’s story is one of my favorites to read! It is filled with so much emotion. It is quite an intriguing plot line with various twists. 

My absolute favorite part is when Joseph tells his brothers who he actually is. What a shocker! What a crazy surprise since they assumed he was dead.

And you know what the best BEST part is? It ends well! It’s almost like a fairy tale…”and they lived happily ever after.” Well, something along those lines. 

For his brothers’ evil actions, Joseph chose forgiveness. It wasn’t easy for him, and we can see that through all the obstacles he throws at them.  Yet, Joseph realizes that everything that happened was for a reason. God used Joseph’s suffering to bring about good. His hardships eventually led to saving a myriad of people from starving to death. 

If you’re suffering right now, remember just like God used Joseph’s suffering for his own good and many others as well, God will do the same with your situation. Be open to lessons He is teaching you through your hardships. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. God promised never to leave us to go through the pain alone. 

“No pain…

Thats’s right… “No gain!”

Sadly, but that is how life works. Endure it with the biggest support you can possibly find…Jesus.

 

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Half Empty or Half Full?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I believe there are two kinds of attitudes in this world. You have your optimists on one side and pessimists on the other. There’s also a category that claims to be realists. In my opinion, reality can be so glum sometimes that pessimists and realists are actually sharing the same boat.

When looking at life realistically, it can be a lot more disappointing. That’s why I choose an optimistic attitude. For me, it makes life easier and happier to live.

As someone says to me, “You live in pink clouds.” And after a while I came up with a corny, yet true comeback, “I live in God’s clouds.”

Yes, stuff will happen in life that will hurt us, make us cringe, or even cry. But even Jesus had to go through hardships here on earth.

God, Himself, in human form suffered. How are we then not to suffer? There’s always something going on. Finances, sickness, relationships, etc, etc.

So either we look at those problems optimistically, relying on God’s strength to carry us through it all. Or, we can choose to be upset with all the toughies we have in life, feeling like all the problems are on our own two shoulders.

Paul reminds us to “rejoice always” in 1 Thessalonians. Either way, it’s our prerogative to choose.

Optimist or pessimist?

 

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Posted in Joy

Comfort for a Tired Mom

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Moms get tired…reeeallly tired sometimes. And some days I think and even say out loud, “I can’t wait until the kiddos grow up.”

Especially when teethings season starts. Or flu season. Or the terrible twos…or threes, or whatever terrible season it is.

But then I realize that I need to stop hurrying up life. They WILL grow up and these wonderful years of cuteness will never come back! Amidst all the hardships, there is a lot to appreciate and to enjoy!

Life is interwoven with hardships and joys and all of them are to work for our good. Because God is with us. As parents worry and pore over their children, God does even so much more for us than any human parent can do. It’s just awesome thinking about all that He does for us every single day!

Just like a child will never be able to repay the parent for all the parent has done, niether can we repay God. Yet, when a child loves us back and obeys us, God is seeking the exact same from His children.

So if you’re a tired mom, know you’re not alone. Other moms are in the same boat. But with God’s help, we can get through anything! Whether it’s the sleepless teething nights or the terrible twos.

As our pastor’s wife comforted us young moms, “One day, your house will be quiet. And you will miss the children. So enjoy these years while they last.”

Mom, may God give you strength today!

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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Biblical Definition of Marriage

*Disclaimer: this might offend you, since this is not the popular thought anymore. But Christians are different in that they do not think like the world. They are ought to think like Jesus and what the Bible says. Thus, I will be discussing this controversial topic from a Biblical point of view.

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The devil is destroying society. One marriage at a time.

One family at a time. In fact, many families.

On the 6th day God created something oh so beautiful! Remember learning about the 6th day in Sunday School? (We won’t go into theologies if it was a literal 24-hour day or not. Unimportant here.)

Yes, God created ONE man and when God saw that this man was lonely amongst the trillions of other species that He created, He creates A woman to complete the man and this world. A man can’t live without a woman. I’m serious. God said it himself, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'” Genesis 2:18

It’s super duper corny, I know, but the as the saying goes, “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22

“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Leviticus 20:13

Ok, so we started in the Old Testament. Let’s look at some verses from the New Testament since common sense of God created a man and a woman meant for each other still doesn’t make sense for some people. As well as those who say, “but we don’t live by the Old Testament,” nonsense.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” Romans 2:26-28

The Bible black on white condemns homosexuality here. So I really don’t understand how Christians can support gay marriage. Of course, just as God does not hate the sinner, but hates the sin, Christians should never hate someone for their sin either. But in love, point out, as to any other sinner that they need to repent and come to Jesus. 

Let’s keep reading…

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

You can be homosexual all you want (or the other sins mentioned as well). However, Scriptures tell us that those people do not go to the Kingdom of God a.k.a Heaven. Once again, to reiterate, only Jesus can cleanse us of our sins.

Well, we have two verses from the Bible talking about homosexuality being a sin. Let’s see what else we can dig up about marriage…

 “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:6-9

“But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2

Seems like the Bible supports a marriage between one man and one woman. That is how God sees marriage. And as a Christian woman married to a Christian man, I think it is such a beautiful gift.

God bless you all!

 

Does Your Child Control You?

No one likes a shrieking, crying, whining, tantrum-throwing child. It’s ear-piercing and highly annoying.

But more times than not I have given in.

I have given in to the shrieks, the cries, and the whines. It really does take a lot of patience and perserverance to act like an adult sometimes.

But that’s the key. Remembering that children are well, children. They will test your limits BEYOND your limits.

Thankfully, we moms are not alone! We have Jesus to help us out! Ask Him to give you the strength and patience you need for each day. Sometimes I try to do it on my own. Yet, I fail miserably!

Only Jesus can give me His love, patience, and wisdom to be the mom He wants me to be.

Because once a child starts controlling us with their loud voices…we are in deep, deep trouble. Teaching them to ask for things the correct way is so important. It takes a few million times, but eventually they get the hang of asking calmly versus making a scene.

Have tips for dealing with tantrums, cries, shrieks, and the like? Share with us in the comments!


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Wedding Tips from an Ex-Bride

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  Matthew 25:1-2

Wedding season is quickly approaching. In fact, it is already here! So I wanted to share a few years things I learned from being a bride, and now, a wife.

-Don’t stress about the little things. No one will remember if you had roses or lilies. If your shoes were silver or white. Details are important, but not as important as staying sane.

-The wedding is one day. Your life after is well, many days. Don’t let stress and little details ruin relationships in the planning and prep process. 
-Enjoy all the planning and prep. You want to remember it as a happy time in life, trust me.

-In other words, DON’T be a bridezilla!

-Delegate, delegate, delegate! Don’t do it all on your own. It’s too much.

-Let your photographer know exactly what kind of photos and poses you want. I hear too many brides say, “I wish we took THAT picture.”

-Have a Plan B if you’re having an outside wedding and it rains. We can’t control the weather, but we can control having a Plan B.

-The engagement days are perfect, therefore life together will be perfect. False. God will test your love in many ways. The devil will try to break up your family. Stand strong in the Lord.

Are you an ex-bride with tips to share! Share your wisdom in the comments!

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It’s the Little Things

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:8

“Some Italian sausages and candles, and we have ourselves a nice evening together with the family,” my mother-in-law stated matter of factly as we sat at the dinner table.

And I thought to myself that life is really about the little things, the tiny details, yet they are most amazing blessings  in life.

Humans are constantly seeking bigger and better.

We want bigger houses. Better health. More money. Fancier clothes. Faster cars. Etc, etc.

But what about the things we already have?

God has blessed us with so much undeservingly. It’s hard to even grasp completely with our minds.

Life will never be absolutely perfect or the way we want it, but appreciating what we have and thanking God for all our blessings at the given moment will indeed make you a much happier person.

What are the little things that make you happy? If you’re like me, you might make a list. Read over it once in awhile, especially on a bad day. Not a list-making kind of person? It’s ok! Ponder on all your favorite “little things” and thank God for them!

Marta’s Favorite Little Things in Life:

-My husband’s smile and green eyes

-My 4 year old son telling me “I love you”

-My baby girl’s sweet laugh

-Birds chirping, greeting me in the morning

-A hot shower at the end of a long day

-Sunny + warm day

-Sound of ocean waves

-Smell of fresh coffee brewing

-As well as fresh cut grass

-Baby toes…they are just too cute

-Clean laundry all folded

-Kids telling me “Can you always be our teacher, Mrs. Podgayskiy (I’m usually the substitute)

-Pink sunsets

This list can keep going and going. And I will probably find myself coming back to it toadd more. God truly is good to me and to us all.

 

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Confession of a Man

Husband made a confession.

“I hate how you don’t tell me what you want. Well, and other men hate that too.”

Guilty. I am so guilty of this mistake: thinking that he can read my mind and surprise me with exactly what I want. Alas, that’s not how it works.

I guess this is where good communication skills come into play. Stop expecting things from your husband and voice your wishes instead.

Want to go on a romantic weekend getaway? Don’t expect your husband to know that and plan it if he doesn’t know about this desire of yours.

Want a new [fill in the blank] for your birthday? Don’t think he already knows if you haven’t mentioned it yet.

Whatever it is. He doesn’t know if you haven’t  spoken it out loud. Maybe he knows. But more time than not, he needs to hear it first.

So speak up, and let the love of your life stop playing guessing games.

Don’t want to say it? Write it! A letter, a post-it note, a text, an email. But stop expecting him to read your mind.

That is of course, unless your husband is a psychic…

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