Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring in your mouth!!

Fresh basil is AMAZING!! It's like spring in your mouth! And since its snowing or raining somewhere today.. I think I will share my absolute favorite snack ....that I could live on..... if needed!! So here goes..
Fresh, grape tomatoes, cut in half..

Fresh basil...

Fresh mozzarella..

and cracked pepper Triscuits crackers..

So.... I take a cracker, layer a sliver of fresh mozzarella on top and gingerly add a beautiful piece of fresh basil across it and top off with a grape tomato sliced in half and take a deep breath people.... spring it here!!! At least for today.... Happy Monday!!
Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie
images flickr

Friday, February 25, 2011

If I could and caramel popcorn..

When I asked "If you could"..I actually had to think for a few days before I could really answer that question myself..I still don't know if I have an answer! There are so many things that I would want to give them and when I think about it.. I would give them each something different.. mainly, I would give them discernment...the world is a scary place and it can be really hard to live above the influence of the world surrounding them ..I know it is a battlefield for me at times and I am a young, healthy 30 something! lol Thank you for sharing your "if I could's" I love each of the answers as they spoke to me too..what a mom wouldn't give to their children..and we can!! Being's the best gift you can give! Caramel popcorn recipe
for the weekend!!

3 (3.5 ounce) packages microwave popcorn, popped
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup butter
1 (5 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Place the popcorn in a large bowl. Shake and toss the bowl to make the unpopped kernels go to the bottom; discard.

In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, cook the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter, stirring constantly. Heat to 270 to 290 degrees F (132 to 143 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard but pliable threads. Remove from the heat, and carefully pour in the can of condensed milk; stir until smooth.

Pour 1/4 of the caramel at a time over the popcorn, stirring until all of the popcorn is covered. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving..
Have a great weekend everyone!!! love ya mean it! Stephanie

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If you could....

If you could give your child one thing nonmaterial what would it be?
image southern living

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's all about the B..

Today is all about "b" for break..
chicken soup on the stove
all my chicks at home
poor sick hubby who needs t.l.c
did my bible studies
snuggled in bed
loving the day off...
Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie
image bell note

Saturday, February 19, 2011

wise words.. to good to tuck away..

I wanted to share a comment that I received from Julie.. Stephanie,Just checking in to say a BIG thank you for all of the work and effort and time you have taken to post EVERY day for us to participate in this wonderful exercise on Love and Marriage and Commitment. Sure can make a girl think...and I for one am grateful. It was hard sometimes because of my current circumstances, but hubby is flying back in for a whole week, so all the ones I could not do because he wasn't here...well...they will be accomplished this week. Looking forward to it. I shall continue to do this Dare for my marriage. I told Dianna that I was going to make my own personalized LOVE DARE booklet/journal to match my marriage specifically, and try to just keep the effort going. Selfishness to Selflessness..sounds like the formula for a Happily Ever After...And of course Releasing Expectations of any returns back to me...doing it simply because I know it is a GOOD thing. It is GOD thing. God will take care of me where any gaps occur on my husband's part unintentionally. After all, he's a man....different...NOT wrong.**The one thing that has left a large impression in my heart is that whatever little things my man does that rub me the wrong way...are rubbing on me for a CHANGE me. God wants me to change from the RUB. When I change, I think I will see a change in my man. God always works upside down from the way we do. :-) And I can certainly motivate, inspire, encourage, model and "helpmeet" him along the way. Whatever is CAUGHT by my example of love, will be extremely more profitable than what is poorly or wrongfully TAUGHT by my words or verbal pressure or nagging... yes?! Thanks so much again Stephanie. (had comp. technical problems lately and haven't left comments.) Hugs to you!! Joy and Happiness on your Marriage Journey.

Is this not the reason for sharing out loud? The blessings keep coming every day as I read comments and see friends that have "dared to be dared" in their marriages..I love that Julie was inspired to be a the "help meet" her husband deserves and I quote "Whatever is caught by my example of love, will be extremely more profitable than what is poorly or wrongfully taught by my words or verbal pressure or nagging"..WOW..good stuff! Thanks Julie for sharing and I hope your not embarrassed by my sharing your comment..but I felt it was to good to be tucked away in the comment section! Hugs to each and everyone of you and thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

A huge thank you to Lisa, Dianna and Karen and Connie Lou who were consistent commenter's ladies are the best!!
Visit my friends blogs that are highlighted in blue! enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

love dare. day 40. love is a covenant..

It is finally here..the very last dare..looking back I can really see the benefits of being brave, willing and teachable..I have learned things about myself and Danny that I may not have gotten to for from a place of love can be so rewarding..we have enjoyed each other at a different level and it is soooo good!! A big thanks to all of you for following along even if you didn't comment, I appreciate that you came and visited my means, take a deep breath and be glad.. I hope you have been as blessed as I have.. Day 40
Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. -Ruth 1:16
Love is a covenant
Today's dare
Write out a renewal of your vows and
place the in your home. Perhaps, if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God's eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

Questions for you:

  • What has God revealed to you during this Love Dare?
  • How have your views of your marriage changed?
  • How committed are you to God and to your spouse?
  • Who can you share this with as a testimony?
I hope you will share all that you have recieved from doing the love dare..and thanks for stopping by! Love ya! Mean it! Stephanie
image stephanie fay photography/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

love dare. day endures...

Day 39
love never fails.-1 Corinthians 13:8
Love endures
Today's dare
Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what. Leave it in a place that your mate will find it.
Questions for you:
  • What were some of the hesitations you had in writing this letter?
  • How do you expect you spouse to respond to it?
  • How did God help you in writing it, and what did the process teach you about yourself?

Tomorrow is the last day of our love dare..hard to believe, but true..the last two dares are so beautiful..I think you will enjoy this and will feel very happy that you stuck it out..I know at times it became very is worth it..thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it Stephanie

image southern living/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

love dare. day 38. love fulfills dreams..

Two posts in one day..whew! can you handle it? I think so!!! Day 38
Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.-Psalms 37:4
Love fulfills dreams
Today's dare
Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some(if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.
Questions for you:
  • What has made you resistant to fulfilling your mate's desires in the past?
  • How would it change your relationship if they knew their dreams were a priority to you?
  • What desires are you attempting to meet?

2 days left!!!! I cant believe it!!! thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown/book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

love dare. day 37. love agrees in prayer..

Wow..I had such a busy busy day yesterday..I hope you can forgive me as I didn't get the chance to post last as today is a new day..lets begin fresh.... Day 37
If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father.-Matthew 18:19
Love agrees in prayer
Today's dare
Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this, whether it's in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don't forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.
Questions for you:
  • What can you do to help your mate be willing for the two of you to begin praying together?
  • If you agreed to pray together what was it like?
  • What did you learn from it?

I love this dare..Tell me if you pray together how that came about..did you always pray together? I have several times asked my sweet man to pray with me..but he becomes so uncomfortable, to do it out loud is hard for him..I respect him, I know that he is a praying man and it is enough for me..I am so thankful for a praying husband and knowing that we pray whispers for each other all day, I would say we love and agree in prayer..I hope you all had a beautiful valentines day! Did you tell your loved one about this dare yet? What was the response? thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image country living/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Sunday, February 13, 2011

love dare. day 36. Love is God's Word..

Day 36
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.-Psalm 119:105
Love is God's Word
Today's dare
Commit to reading the bible every day. Find a devotional book or other resource that will give you some guidance. If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to daily bible reading with you. Begin submitting each area of your life to it's guidance and start building on the rock.
Questions for you:
  • What parts of your life are in the greatest need of God's counsel?
  • Where do you feel that most susceptible to failure?
  • What are you asking God to show you through His Word?

Well, it looks like our dare will be done this week..a little after Valentines day..I have been so blessed by your thoughts and hearing about your marriages..truly its been an honor..Lets make this week count! I hope you will take the opportunity to share with your spouse that you have been doing this dare and that you can finish it together..God bless you and thanks for being a part of this with me...Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image southern living/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Saturday, February 12, 2011

love dare. day35. Love is accountable..

Day 35
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.-Proverbs 15:22 NIV
Love is accountable
Today's dare
Find a marriage mentor-someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step up an appointment. During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.
Questions for you:
  • Who did you choose?
  • Why did you select this person?
  • What do you hope to learn from them?

Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown/book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Friday, February 11, 2011

love dare. day 34. Love Celebrates Godliness..

(love) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.- 1Corinthians 13:6
Love celebrates godliness
Today's dare
Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way. Verbally commend them for this point today.

Questions for you:

  • What examples did you choose to recognize?
  • How many other ways could you celebrate their growth in godliness?
  • How could you encourage them to preserver in it?

This is such a neat dare..thinking about Danny demonstrating Christian godliness and character is comes so natural to him..I love that man for it! I am thanking God for a closer look at the man he gave me! Wow! I'm impressed Lord!

Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image Stephanie Fay photography/ book excerpts from Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Thursday, February 10, 2011

love 33. love completes each other..

Day 33
If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can be warm alone?-Ecclesiastes 4:11
Love completes each other
Today's dare
Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit you oversight and ask them to forgive you.

Questions for you?

  • What are some upcoming decisions you can make together?
  • What did you learn today about the role of your mate?

I can hardly believe we are here at dare #3!! WOW!! Well done!! We can do this!!! Thanks for stopping by! Love ya mean it! Stephanie

image garden party/book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

love dare. day 32. love meets ...

yikes..dare 32..blushing..blushing..blushing**** Day 32
The husbands must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.-1 Corinthians 7: 3
Love meets sexual needs
Today's dare
If at all possible, oh help me..the book says this..ok here it is..If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your husband or wife today...there i said it..ohmylanta..Do this in a way that honors what you spouse has told you(or implied to you) about what they need sexually. Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy....oh mylanta..why didn't i just say the 39 day dare? lol
No questions ..
Thanks for stopping by..
Love ya mean it..Stephanie *blush*
image country living/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

love dare. day 31. love and marriage..

Yikes! I almost didn't get time to post! I cant have that! We are on a roll!!! day 31
A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.-Genesis2:24
Love and marriage
Today's dare
Is there a "leaving" issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.
Questions for you:
  • Has this been a hard thing for you to deal with?
  • How has it affected your relationship?
  • If the worse offender in this area is your spouse(with your in- laws), how can you lovingly move toward a better situation?

I love my in laws! They have been so good to me! I'm very fortunate! Can you believe we are almost done with the love dare? wow! What a trip! Your all doing great job! I love reading about inspire me!! thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown but lovely!/ book excerpts by the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Monday, February 7, 2011

love dare. day 30. love brings unity..

Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have forgiven Me, that they may be one even as We are.-John 17:11
Love brings unity
Today's dare
Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same for them. And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

Questions for you:

  • Did the Lord open your eyes to anything new that might be giving fuel to this point of disagreement?
  • How do you intend to respond?
  • What do you hope to see God do in your spouse as well?

I'm sorry.. I don't have alot of time..its late and I'm really tired..we are almost there! Keep going no matter what tries encouraged you will be rewarded with blessings beyond measure! Thanks for stopping by love ya mean it! Stephanie

image stylemepretty/book excerpts from the love dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Sunday, February 6, 2011

love dare. day 29. love's motivation..

I am so moved by you ladies and how serious you have been taking this dare..sharing what you are going through is very inspiring..thank you! I am honored to be a small part of your walk..stay strong in the Lord! day 29
Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord not to men.
Love's motivation
Today's dare
Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, say "I love you," then express love to them in some tangible way. Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this special person-unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.
Questions for you:
  • How will this change of motivation affect your relationship and reactions?
  • What does this inspire you to do?
  • What does it inspire you to stop doing?

Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image joyfolie/book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Saturday, February 5, 2011

love dare. day 28. love makes sacrifices...

He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.- 1 John 3:16
Love makes sacrifices
I just want to point out something a little funny to the book it asks...Is he hungry? (sexually) Is she thirsty? (needing time and attention) Do people die from thirst or hunger first? just wondering..hehee.. Sorry... does he feel like a stranger? (insecure in his work needing home to be a refuge?) Is she naked? (frightened or ashamed needing covering of your loving affirmation?) is he sick? (physically tired?) does she feel in prison?(needing safety and intervention?)
Today's dare
What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now? Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part? Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.
Questions for you:
  • How much of your mates stress is caused by your lack of concern or initiative?
  • When you express a desire to help, how did they receive it?
  • Are there other needs you could meet?

Congratulations on your efforts this far! Keep your chin up! Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Friday, February 4, 2011

love dare. day 27. love encourages...

I am loving this! Ladies, thank you for sharing your experiences with us! have very wise words that are really true..we are being changed for the better! Day 27
Guard me soul and deliver me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in you.-Psalm 25:20
Love encourages
Today's dare
Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you your expecting to much, and tell them your sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you'll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.
WOW! WOW! WOW! Great stuff right?
Questions for you:
  • When you place high expectations on your spouse that they don't feel internally motivated to attain, what does that tell you about your self?
  • What are better ways to deal with these disconnects?

Thank you all so much for coming every day and doing this dare! I wait all day to see how your doing..and feel like everyday I'm learning something new about myself too. thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image Stephanie fay photography/ book excerpt from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Thursday, February 3, 2011

love dare. day 26. love is responsible..

Day 26
When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.-Romans 2:1
Love is responsible
Today's dare
Take time to pray through your area of wrong doing. Ask for God's forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.
Questions for you:
  • What does your mate need to see in order to believe that your confession was more than just words?
  • Hey, has your husband made any comments about wondering what has been different about you yet?

I have been hanging in there..learning new things about myself that are hard to look at..but praying for change in heart to give my best to the Lord and to my husband..the dares can be personal and hard..that's ok..we are being molded..and that hurts but it is good! Thanks for sharing and for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

love dare. day 25. love forgives..

Day 25
What I have forgiven, if I have anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ.-2 Corinthians 2:10
Love forgives
Today's dare
Whatever you haven't forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to "forgive us our debts" each day, we must ask Him to help us "forgive our debtors" Each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, "I choose to forgive."
Questions for you:
  • What did you forgive your spouse for today?
  • How long have you been carrying the weight of it?
  • What are the possibilities now that you've released this matter from God?

I have a question too. Has your spouses been wondering whats up with you lately? Have they noticed the changes? Would love to hear! I just want to say your all so faithful..God be with you again today.Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image Stephanie Fay photography/ book excerpt from the"love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

love dare. day 24. love vs. lust

Day 24
The world is passing away, and also it's lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.-John 2:17
Love vs. Lust
Today's dare
End it now. Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed-today- and replace with the sure promise of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.
Questions for you:
  • What did you identify as an area of lust?
  • What has the pursuit cost you over time?
  • How has it led you away from the person you want to be?

God be with you all my friends! Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image country living/ book excerpt from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick