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Preparing for what is ahead…Valentine’s the NEXT HOLIDAY! (Genesis 40, 35:82-29, 41)

I LOVE holidays. Love them. Of course if you’ve been around…you know Christmas is my favorite. And although many bark that most other holidays are commercialized and just to make a buck–I like to use them to love on my kids and create traditions with our family. I’m SO EXCITED about Valentine’s day that I’ve already got my materials for every February craft…and because we’ll start this one on the 1st of February—I just *HAD* to share today for those of you who just MIGHT want to do it too!

*Disclaimer in case I appear to be super mom: There are 4 loads of undone laundry upstairs. I BARELY made it through my day—and I have to live one day at a time…or my head would fall off. I also *have* to create schedules, crafts, goals and a daily plan for my kids—or else…well they’d be watching cartoons, jumping on furniture and I’d be pulling my hair out. Seriously. And because doing activities like this liven up the house, my time with the kids and help me feel not quiet SO crazy at home because we have a plan of action…I have to share them with YOU…so you can be inspired too…and hopefully FEEL like a better mom in the process and even share these ideas with other moms to inspire them also…and well, you’ll have to also explain that you, too, are just trying to stay focused and HAVE FUN as a mommy. Being a mom is the BEST job–but the hardest and we need all the inspiration we can get! So…here’s my inspiration for the month of February for ya…

“Valentine BLESSING Cookies”

Valentines Craft 023 copy
This is a set of 28 fortune cookies. 14 (red) for Parker. 14 (pink) for Laney. The “cookies” are made our of felt, wire and glue. And guess what is inside each one? There are 7 Bible verses proclaiming the Lord’s truth and LOVE to Parker and Laney AND THEN there are 7 statements of love and affirmation from me (& Rich too of course;). Beginning on February 1st, each day each child will get to choose one from our cookie jar to start off their day leading up to Valentine’s!

I’m so excited to do this with them each day…and for someone who used to ROLL their eyes at Valentine’s Day…I’m really excited about this activity and the other crafts ahead. This is the only “make ahead” craft if you, too, want to start this on February 1st–so I decided to share it early so you have plenty of time to get rolling! Here’s the steps to make it:

1. You will need approximately 5 pieces of 8×11 felt per child (each piece will make 3 4-inch circles and I also chose to do all of my son’s in red and my daugther’s in pink just to make sure the boy doesn’t get some of the more cheesy love notes from me), florist wire, hotglue (regular glue works too–but not as good) and printed “fortunes”. Also–use the SOFT felt. I tried everything from the thicker felt to foam–and the softer felt folds into cookies best.

2. Draw 4-inch circles on felt and cut out.
Valentines Craft 005Valentines Craft 007
3. Cut florist wire the diameter/length of your circle. Apply hot glue in a straight line down the center and carefully press wire in hot glue…Valentines Craft 010 copy(You can also use pipe cleaners and Elmer’s glue if you don’t have florist wire or hot glue BUT florist wire and hot glue work BEST)
4. Cut 4 x 1/2 inch strips of felt to hot glue OVER the wire…(this keeps the wire from showing when you fold your cookies as you will be able to slightly see the center)Valentines Craft 016 copy
5. Create your “fortunes” or use mine.
Valentines Craft 018 copyValentines Craft 019 copy
6. Fold the circle in half (wire in center) and carefully bend the wire sideways to create a fortune cookie! If you have older children then you can probably get away with displaying them on your coffee table in a really fun way…Valentines Craft 022 copy(AND you can use this year after year! How fun would this also be to do when you travel and you have to be away from your kiddos for them to get “love notes” from you each day while you are away!)
Unfortunately…that display would last 10 minutes in my house! So…until they are bigger—we’ll display our cookies appropriately in a cookie jar!
Valentines Craft 024 blog
FUN, fun, fun! Aren’t those ADORABLE!? Please let me know if you end up making these and how your children enjoy them! Also–I have some precious crafts I’ll share in February–so if you want to do those too…while you are picking up your felt buy these items also: wax paper, crayons, different shades of pink and red thin silk ribbons, red paint pen, white paint pen, plain plastic brown bandaids and construction paper (pink and red).

Do you HAVE to have these but you just don’t have the time or creative energy whip these up? Well…let ME do them FOR you! Haiti has been on my heart and they are who I would love to feel our love this Valentine’s day! So…if you would like to purchase a set of “28 blessing cookies” for $35-100% of the proceeds will go to Heartline Orphanage in Haiti to help rebuild their orphanage. If you would like an additional 14 added on–just add $15 to your donation per set of 14. If you would like to donate directly to the orphange you can do so here. Times are tight at the Young house saving for our Ethiopian adoption, so I have to get creative in how I can do SOMETHING to raise money and still help! FEEL FREE to “feel the love” with me and do your own fundraiser using my blessing cookies to raise money for the children of Haiti also!

I know some of my friends are going to think I’m crazy–but let’s just say I’m crazy for Jesus and get your…

“Cookies for a Cause” to benefit the children of Heartline Ministries in Haiti here:
$35 for a set of 28 – $15 per additional set of 14 (recommended 14 per child)



One Year Bible Study Reading – January 15 – Genesis 40, 35:28-29, 41
Today’s reading makes me want to shout, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!”. Don’t you always think those people are so funny that follow that statement with, “Just hope it’s not a train.” Nice. Thanks for the encouragement;). Times are getting better for Joseph–but let’s not forget to read between the lines and really think of the details of today’s reading.

Chapter 40 – Joseph is still hanging out in prison, and the Lord is still giving Joseph prophetic dreams…only now, he also has the gift to interpret them. I have heard believers talk about how the Lord has spoken to them in dreams–and I have also heard people say “let’s not over spiritualize things”, but I really do believe the Lord is a consistent Father and He moves today in the same ways He moved in His Word—it’s just a matter of us knowing our Shephard’s voice and listening.

Pharoah’s chief cup-bearer and chief baker offended him and were put in prison with Joseph. Verse 4 says they were with Joseph for QUITE SOME TIME…we’re talking YEARS before they had their dreams. Then one day, they asked Jospeh to interpret their dreams–and Joseph prophesies that one will be released and the other killed. He asks the cup-bearer who will be released and returned to work for Pharoah to PLEAAAAAASE remember him and tell Pharoah so he might be released from this injustice. Just THREE DAYS later the cup-bearer is released. And in his excitement of his freedom HE FORGETS Joseph. I felt like poor Joseph was on an island pain-stakingly writing SOS in the sand and his only chance for rescue just whisks by overlooking him. How devestating for Joseph! But, he is a man of perserverance.

TWO YEARS go by before the cup-bearer remembers him as he hears Pharoah’s disturbance and confusion of his own dream. He remembers his failure (41:9) and tells Pharaoh about Joseph. Joseph interprets the dream…and I *LOVE* how he tells Pharoah in his dream that he should actually appoint a wise man to be over his land! From prison to given the king advice—to practically hiring himself. He has been remembered and rescued—and indeed it IS the light at the end of the tunnel (and not another train;). Today this made me think and identify more with the cup-bearer than any other character. I am afraid I get too busy to remember those my heart has longed to help. I often say “I’m going to be praying for you” and forget. I say in my heart “I’m going to do something to help that community that is hurting” and don’t. Reflect on those today who the Lord has put on your heart to HELP but the busyness of my lifestyle has caused me to forget…the excitement and blessing of my own life has caused me to quickly forget those in need. AND THEN ACT.
A CUPBEARER Cupbearer in Hebrew is pronounced mash-keh and it means “causing to drink”. English translates it to butler or cupbearer. In Biblical times, cupbearers not only acted as the king’s survivors but also as their protectors. A cupbearer would take the first sip of the king’s wine at feasts to make sure his glass was not poisoned–helping perserve and protect his life at the risk of his own. WOW. It was an honor, but it was also a risk and sacrifice! Lord, please help me to life unselfishly. To stand in the gap for those who have been forgotten and to be willing to take risks for them. By your power, help me to make my heart and life available to go anywhere and do anything for Your name’s sake and Your will.

Chapter 41 – Joseph made ruler of Eqypt

Pharoah makes Joseph the leader—and no one is more powerful than him other than Pharoah. He gave him a wife, and verse 46 says he was 30 when he came to Pharoah’s court. Don’t miss this! Remember how old Joseph was when he was sold? 17. How many years of trial after trial does Joseph have to go through before getting to say, “Finally! It makes sense!” ??? 13. THIRTEEN LONG YEARS. A handful were spent at Potipher’s, but the majority were spent in prison. We don’t know much about those long, hard years. But let’s not miss them or forget they happened–and THEY TOO WERE PART OF THE STORY!

Are you going through something today that you feel will never end? Are you, like Joseph in prison, feel confused, hurt and frustrated by injustice? Remember today that THE LORD WAS WITH HIM. THE LORD HAD A PLAN. Wouldn’t you rather have this than your way? And that Joseph’s time in jail ended up bringing more glory to God in the end as he was paired with Pharoah at the PERFECT time. We will never know what happened for those 10 some odd years while Joseph sat. I, personally, have never even thought about them. But remember today that the LORD WAS WITH HIM. Oh Father, will be–too–be with us today? Will you use us right where we are? Will you give us patience to perservere? And will you help us to remember those who desperately need our help today? Here I am Lord, use me.

My favorite illustration in today’s time of perserverance is Team Hoyt. They didn’t compete in their first race until he was much older, and the years before anyone knowing them were filled with constant caregiving…and I’m sure days of frustration. Although their son would never be healed, walk, or talk–they have used their hard stuff for His glory and to be a platform to encourage others. Help us Lord to do the same…

***Guess what?! I’m heading out of town–SOLO! Ok…not completely solo–but with 100 other women to spend a KID-FREE weekend seeking the Lord together and having some much needed quiet time at a Cup of Joy retreat ( We’ll be staying at a lodge that has NO TV and NO INTERNET. So…I’ll be MIA for the weekend! BUT–I’ll still be reading friends! So–let’s not give up and keep reading together!!! I’ll be back on Sunday to share some pics from the retreat and some insight into my time in the Word. Until then–please read the commentary and 2 cents of my friend Charisa who is also doing the reading and posting daily insights on her blog from the readings. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Christie - January 15, 2010 - 10:06 am


Being a super mom isn’t about doing laundry, it’s about loving us as much as you do! You are soooo creative and we are SUPER excited to have YOU as a SUPER Mom!!

Parker, Laney, Frank & Baby #4

april - January 15, 2010 - 10:25 am

wow…what a great valentines project and way to bring in scripture! love it!

Amy @ Filled With Praise - January 15, 2010 - 10:36 am

Love the craft and that you are helping Haiti. Check out my blog for an easy way to help too 🙂

Paul and I are really enjoying the Bible reading time each night. It is like a date 🙂

Have a great trip.

Courtney - January 15, 2010 - 12:10 pm

just wanted to say thanks…for being real, for sharing the hard stuff, and for sharing that great craft!!! i LOVE it and hope that i can find the time to do it – my kids would love it!

Melissa - January 15, 2010 - 12:24 pm

Love it! I loved the disclaimer! And I love the cookies! What a great and creative way to help Haiti! If you get lots of orders, let me know and I can help you! You are a super mom, don’t deny it! Just kidding! Love you!

Shannon - January 15, 2010 - 1:12 pm

oooh I love a good craft and these look like so much fun! Thanks for the craft supply list too! I must admit I used to roll my eyes at Valentines but now love making it about our kids and since our #3 was born on Valentines it’s an extra special holiday now! {We also have a 4th of July baby…we like the holidays I guess:)} Thank you so for such a beautiful post…oh the waiting! It’s so hard and I feel I often second guess His voice…is it my Father speaking to me or my own ideas? Am I being an Abraham and trying to manipulate? I know the only way to know is to be closer to Him, praying without ceasing! I am so thankful for your blog and I know He is doing amazing things through your heart and words! Have a great weekend Andrea! Sounds wonderful!!

Stacy - January 16, 2010 - 12:56 pm

Andrea, wow! what an inspiration you are, especially to moms who are just trying to make it through each day. One question though: DO you ever sleep? I love reading your blog! And I am praying for your family as you draw closer to your adoption. Such an inspiration! Love, Stacy

kristi johnson - January 16, 2010 - 8:27 pm

that is the cutest thing ever…love it!!!! Ok, so I opened back up last night LATE…I wonder how long I’ll get to stay OPEN this time?? LOL…have fun this weekend, kj

amy beyer - January 16, 2010 - 8:43 pm

andrea – this post sums up your heart – love!!!! love for jesus, love for your dear family and love for others. your love inspires me to stay on fire for jesus. thank you. hugs from reynolds plantation!

Amber - January 16, 2010 - 8:50 pm

Hey, Andrea! So…I hope you don’t mind making my “cookies” for me because I just ordered a set of 28!!! I could make them with your great instructions, but why not help those precious people in Haiti instead! So, thanks in advance. 🙂 And, I’ll be out to purchase my supplies for the rest of February!

Heather - January 17, 2010 - 2:39 pm

Just wanted to say, I’m still here & reading! I got a little bit behind, but I’m still gonna push through! This week was a little crazy for me, but thank you for the blog & your encouragement!

Megan - January 17, 2010 - 11:59 pm

The first time I felt God confirming our calling to adopt from Ethiopia was in a dream many years ago. I shared it with a few friends from church who said, “Wow, God must be calling you to adopt!” And to hear those words spoken out loud by people I admired meant sooo much!