Aliyah’s Aprons Summer Sale!

There is a sale going on right now at Aliyah’s Aprons … everything is 30% off with the code: SUMMERSALE2016!  The sale started today and ends next Thursday (August 25th), so be sure to pop over and check them out before then!

Aliyah's Aprons Summer Sale!

Here are a few of my favorite aprons that are in stock right now … Read more

A Denim Skirt, A Tunic And A Furry Friend – Modest Outfit Post

It’s that time again … another modest outfit post!

A Denim Skirt, A Tunic And A Furry Friend - Modest Outfit Post

Today I’m featuring a very important furry friend of mine – my black Labrador puppy Annabelle!  I’ve been working on photography for all our dogs so that we can update our very outdated dog website.  Since she needed her pictures, and Hannah’s been reminding me to get some outfit pictures for a long time, it just made sense to get my pics with her and then work with her afterwards!  Isn’t she a cutie???

A Denim Skirt, A Tunic And A Furry Friend - Modest Outfit Post

The colors I’m wearing in these pictures might not be what you’d expect to see someone wearing in late July but the truth is, the weather and seasons affect my clothing choices very little!  I have a habit of wearing bright colors in wintertime and duller ones during summer … I don’t plan it that way, but I always seem to be a little behind or ahead of the season! 🙂 Read more

Free Spirit Farm – Review And Giveaway!

Hey y’all!

I’m so excited to tell you about a brand new business my dear friends have just started up! It’s called Free Spirit Farm, which offers homemade lotions, soaps, lip balms and more!

Free Spirit Farm - Review And Giveaway!

About The Shop

Free Spirit Farm - Review And Giveaway!

I became friends with Heather and Rachel less than two years ago but it seems like it’s been much longer! They are two sisters living on a small farm in North Dakota with their parents and brother, and have goats, sheep, angora rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, kitties and dogs! They try to live a more natural and self-sufficient lifestyle than some, and enjoy gardening, raising animals and many other things:). We hit it off from the very beginning, and I am so thankful for their wonderful friendship! When they told me about their hopes of starting a small business I was so excited, and after trying out their products I really wanted to do a review for them!

The Products

Free Spirit Farm - Review And Giveaway!

Coming from someone who used to highly dislike “wet lotions,” it may sound funny to say that the lotion may be my favorite product, but it’s true! I’ve had such a time with lotions in the past that I almost gave the bottle to one of my sisters to enjoy without even trying it (I never told Heather and Rachel this part and feel bad for being so ungracious with their gift!) but I guess my manners got the better of me, so I puckered up in preparation for some nasty strong-smelling liquid (I am very sensitive to smells!) and squirted the stuff into my hands. To my surprise it smelled really really good, and made my hands so soft and moist! I soon got into the habit of using it nightly when I went to bed, and now it’s my favorite lotion! It sure is funny how things change over time! Lydia is also extremely fond of it, and may use it even more often than me:). I got it for a friend’s birthday, and she loves it too!

Free Spirit Farm - Review And Giveaway!

They also make such darling soaps that come in three different shapes and scents – bar soaps, flower soaps, and little heart shaped soaps (probably my favorite!). I’ve always liked soap and have even made a few batches before so I admire good soaping, and am very impressed with theirs! It is smooth and soft for more sensitive skin, but is sturdy and long-lasting (from my experience so far).

Their chocolate lip balm is very moisturizing and smells so delicious! They offer a peppermint flavor also, but I haven’t tried it.

Free Spirit Farm - Review And Giveaway!They gave me a pink lip tint to try, and at first I was a bit skeptical about it – I’ve never worn lipstick before – not because it has been outlawed in my family, but simply because we felt no need to change our natural color. I don’t have a problem with people who wear lipstick and don’t think of it as sinful … it’s just not what I prefer to do! But I was very pleasantly surprised with this tint … my lips often get chapped and blotchy, and this tint brings them back to look “normal,” with a little color. It enhances the natural coloring in your lips, so if you’re looking for “lip paint” you’ll be disappointed, but I am so pleased with this stuff, and we girls regularly use it! They also offer a red lip tint, although I haven’t tried it.

The Giveaway

There will be three winners … one will receive a Citrus Blast lotion (my favorite!), one will receive a pack of Peppermint Breeze flowers soaps, and one will receive the Chocolate lip balm! All you have to do is go down to the bottom of the page and enter into the giveaway!

Free Spirit Farm - Review And Giveaway!

I love supporting small businesses and try to do so whenever I can! It’s super easy and convenient to run to Walmart and buy mass-produced, perfectly packaged skincare goodies, isn’t it? But have you ever thought about all the junk and chemicals those seemingly innocent little things might have in them?

A couple months ago my mother suggested I take a shampoo that I’ve used and look up every single ingredient in it … it took a while and most of the words I still can’t pronounce, but to say the least I was very disappointed with the outcome and won’t be buying that again! Lotions, lip balms, soap and other products are like that. In order for them to last so long and sell at such a good price, many of them are chocked full of unhealthy and potentially harmful ingredients, so I try to buy natural products – even if it’s a little more trouble and a bit more expensive I consider it worthwhile! Not only am I happy with what I’m putting on my skin, but I’m often supporting little business who are working very hard to offer people healthy alternatives!

Over time my sisters and I have ordered many things from many different businesses and shops, and whenever we want to buy something the question comes up, “where to buy from.” Now I know where to buy buy my lotions, soaps and lip balm! Free Spirit Farms is a business that I will definitely be supporting, and I’d strongly encourage you to do so also! I know from experience that they do a wonderful job with their products, use very healthy natural ingredients, and are extremely affordable! Give their products a try and let me know what you think!

Free Spirit Farm - Review And Giveaway!

On a side note, we were finally able to meet each other face to face recently, which was such a treat! They are such sweet friends and I can hardly wait till the next time we can see each other! Blessings!

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Preparing Ourselves To Bless Our Future Husbands

Preparing Ourselves To Bless Our Future Husbands

Today I am sharing my third and final post on preparing for our future husbands!

In my last post I listed some practical suggestions for things we can be doing now to benefit our (potential) future marriages but today I am focusing on some of the more spiritual ways to prepare.

  • Pray for him

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;” – Colossians 4:2

Lets face it – unless our future husbands haven’t been born yet (somewhat unlikely), or have already overcome any kind of temptation, sin or struggle out there (even more unlikely … okay, impossible!), then our husbands are facing battles all the time and need our intercession more than we know.  Maybe he is trying to decide on his future career or struggling in some other area, but chances are he’s out there somewhere needing your prayers.

Prayer is SUCH a powerful weapon!  I am reading a book called Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer.  (On a side note, she was one of the main characters in the movie War Room)  One thing that she stresses is that the devil doesn’t do mass attacks on God’s people.  He studies us and knows our weaknesses and struggles, and then attacks those weak points.  And what do we do in return???  We whimper up to our Heavenly Father, begging Him for His help and wondering why He’d let things like this happen, instead of arming ourselves with His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and going to battle on our knees.

In all honesty, I never took prayer very seriously until more recently … I prayed of course and knew it was powerful, but had such a limited understanding of its importance and power.

  • Be a servant

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
– Mark 10:46
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24

One of the most beautiful things to me is a servant’s heart: those who are quick to see something that needs to be done and do it cheerfully without any thought of reward or recognition.

It’s easy to offer to do the dishes when friends are around, isn’t it???  But how about offering to do them when your sister is exhausted and has a long list of things that still need to be done?  A little different, eh? 🙂

One thing that I’ve been learning is that I have to have a servant’s heart in order to be a good servant.  Let me explain.  Some of us want to help out and be nice but if we aren’t truly sensitive to those around us and trying to find ways to serve, we will miss so many opportunities to do so.  I see that in myself so often.

If a little old lady in front of you at the store asked you to get a can of tomato sauce down from the top shelf for her, you wouldn’t hesitate to reach up and hand it to her, would you?  And she’d say “thank you!” and you’d go on feeling all warm and fuzzy inside for doing something nice.  But would you have noticed the little old lady struggling to reach it in the first place?  Would you have gone on past or stopped and offered to help before she had to ask you?

After observing many husbands and wives, I have learned that being a servant plays a big part in marriage (or at least it should!).  It is something I really need to work on!

  • Learn to let go

“When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” – Philippians 2:3

A fruitful marriage needs lots of self-sacrifice and denial.

As humans, we naturally want things our own way.  We want to be right.  Some of are more strong-willed and obstinate than others but I think it would be safe to say that most of us have struggled (or do still struggle) with instances of wanting our way at times.

I used to really struggle with micro-managing.  I was always trying to teach people how to do things the “right” way, but I didn’t get very far!  It is so hard to let go of “my way” and there are still plenty of times when I have to bite my tongue when I see something being done the “wrong” way, but it is so amazing how freeing it is to let go of things and just keep going!

Practice flexibility.  Learn humility.  Remind yourself to think of others before yourself.

  • Learn submission

“Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

Ohhh … this is such a touchy subject!  Submission is something with which I struggle a lot but I am really trying to work on it.  The Bible is very clear in saying that a wives should submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) and we should be practicing that now.

Nowadays submission is looked down upon as a weakness, something old-fashioned and inapplicable in our day and age.  But I see nowhere in the Bible where submission was only encouraged for a certain time period or era.

  • Learn to repent and forgive

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9

Confessing things and asking forgiveness can be extremely unpleasant, but it is a must if we are going to live a righteous and holy life!  And forgiveness is such an awesome thing!

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness is one of the things that I’m constantly having to work on.  There is not a one time fix, and sometimes we don’t even know when we’re unforgiving or bitter with somebody or something, so it is really important that we continually examine our hearts.

  • Be compassionate

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,  forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

In a world where we are taught to be strong, tough, independent and self-centered … compassion is such a beautiful thing!  Compassion is one of those things that seems to often be ignored these days, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  It is amazing how different things are when we pour a little love, a little care and a little kindness into the lives of those around us!

Preparing Ourselves To Bless Our Future Husbands

I hope you’ve been encouraged and challenged by this post!  With lots of love and blessings ~ Abigail Aliyah

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
– Hebrews 12:1-2 

Preparing For A Future Husband: Some Practical Suggestions

A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts on waiting for a future husband, and said that I would try to post the next week.

Preparing For A Future Husband: Some Practical Suggestions

Then life happened, and here I am, hardly believing that it’s been nearly a month ago!  Where in the world did the time go??!  Oh well – as they say, “better late than never!”

Since some of what I said in my last post seemed to be misunderstood by some, I want to clarify that yes; I am waiting for my potential future husband.  But not in a meaningless, discontented way.  The point that I have tried to make clear is that although we should live with the anticipation of marriage someday, we should not let the fact that we are not married yet hold us back from serving and ministering to those around us now.  It’s great to think about and hope for the future, but it is so easy to become so engrossed in our dreams that we miss out on the life that the Heavenly Father wants us to live now. Read more

I Am Not Waiting For My Prince Charming

“I’m waiting for my prince.”

We’ve all most likely heard this or said it ourselves.  What a beautiful thing it is to save ourselves for our husbands!  To remain pure, to not give in to this world’s evil pressure, to give myself completely to the love of my life is something I long for so much, but today I’m talking about a different kind of waiting … a kind of waiting that we shouldn’t be doing.  Please hear me out before you start throwing stones … hopefully you will agree with me by the end of this post, and if not, I’m really sorry!

I'm not waiting

There seem to be two common mindset extremes when it comes to the role of unmarried ladies: you either move out on your own, get a degree and become independent at “the age,” or you stay at home and live off of your parents, waiting for Prince Charming to show up, right? I have issues with both of those.

Although I strongly believe that an unmarried daughter should stay under her father’s protection and guidance until marriage, I also strongly believe that unmarried young ladies should take her time at home very seriously, and use it to reach out and bless those around her.

I am NOT saying that all young ladies are like this … I am privileged to know many sweet friends who would not fall under either of these categories.  But since this topic seems to be misunderstood and misrepresented at times, I wanted to share my thoughts on this subject.  I think this is something all of us have to deal with at some point or another in life, and it has been in the forefront of my thoughts a lot for the last couple of months.

A few years ago I was talking with a young lady I had met once or twice before, and when the topic of “what’s new” came up, I asked her what she was doing with herself.  She told me that she had been working at a store down the road for a while but had been laid off, so now she didn’t really do anything.

Although the years have passed, I still think of that little conversation and it’s so sad to know how many of us are sitting around waiting for something to happen in our lives – wasting precious moments that we could be hard at work building our Master’s kingdom.  There ARE times to wait for the our Creator’s instructions and leading – please don’t get me wrong!  But we should remember to ask ourselves, “am I waiting on Him to reveal His plans to me or am I just passing time without any ultimate motive or reason for what I’m doing right now?”

winter-1148989

I recently looked up the word “wait,” and was surprised by the definition.  It means “the action of staying where one is, or delaying action until a particular time, or until something else happens.”  That kind of waiting is something I don’t want my name attached to!

Life is short, gals, way too short to spend waiting and inactive, hoping for something to “just happen to us.”  No, you may not be married yet, but that doesn’t mean that life is on hold!  On the contrary, I would suggest that this is one of the most important seasons of your life!  It is an essential time of learning, perfecting, stretching, maturing and learning some more – a time that should be taken seriously.

I know I may be a little young to be writing such a post, and I’m sure there are plenty of ladies out there who could do a much better job at writing this than me.  But I feel like this something that was put on my heart to share specifically with you unwed ladies, and I really hope this will encourage you (and me too!) to stay focused on what is really important.

Although marriage and motherhood are two of the most honorable and important things a woman could ever do, not everybody’s knight in shining armor rides in to save the day on the damsel’s 18th birthday, and that’s okay!  We have to keep living regardless of what life gives us, and not just live … we need to bloom where we’re planted!  If we don’t learn patience and contentment now when it seems hardest, when will we ever learn it?

My knight may show up in 2 years or 22 years … or maybe never.  I’d preferably choose sooner than later, but our desires don’t always line up with our Master’s perfect plans and we need to rest in the knowledge that His ways are far above ours, and He’s working things out for the best!

A couple weeks ago some friends with babies came over and while holding one of them, a longing came over me to have a baby of my own in my arms.  You know that feeling … the precious baby is snuggled up in your arms and starts to drift off to sleep, and you’re left wishing that time would stand still for a little while 🙂

But I had a decision to make.  I could choose to let those thoughts grow, watering little seeds of discontentment, or I could stop it then and there and choose to be thankful for the place in which I am now.  I had to understand that these seemingly innocent thoughts were from none other than the enemy himself, trying to steal away my happiness. 

You see, he’s a lot smarter than we give him credit for being … he often uses good desires, hopes and dreams to mislead and rob us of our happiness, contentment and faith … you name it.  Is it wrong to want to be married and have a family of our own?  Of course not!  But it IS wrong to become so consumed with those thoughts that we aren’t content with where the Father has placed us at this time? Absolutely!

woman-1031508

There are two ways to look at this phase of life we’re in before marriage … we can either see it as a time of hanging out until he finally gets here, or an exciting time to learn skills that will help our families and better prepare us for our future.  It’s our choice.  In other words, you can spend your time watching movies, reading romance novels and daydreaming about your glorioushappily ever afterfuture, or you can get off the couch and get ready for it!

Which will you do?

Soooo … what do we do now???  Living at home means helping out with chores every now and then and being a couch potato right?  No!  We have to keep pressing on regardless of where we are, who’s in our life and what we’re going through.  Something we have to grasp is that “our” time isn’t really ours at all.  We were put here on earth to bring glory to the Father and do His will and as purchased daughters of the King of Kings, our lives are really not our own to dispense with.  We weren’t put here to chase our own dreams, plans, desires and agendas (even when those include marriage, motherhood and all the other great things that we long for.)

There are SO many ways we can and should be preparing for our husbands right now, so stay tuned for my next post on “preparing for him”, where we will be going over some simple ways that we can be preparing for our husbands right now!  It will most likely be posted next week.  Until then, please examine your heart and ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I living in a way that my Heavenly Father would be pleased with?
  • Am I making the most of my time here on earth?
  • Am I doing all I can to bless, encourage and build up other people?
  • Am I preparing myself to be a virtuous wife and mommy someday?
  • If my husband walked into my life tomorrow, would he be pleased or disappointed with the things I am doing and the choices I’m making?
  • Am I waiting for the life that I want to start at some point, or am I living life to its fullest now?

With lots of love until next time ~ Abigail Aliyah

Gracie and Me – A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

Who’s enjoying spring???  I sure am!  Although I do enjoy the wintertime, I was very excited when the weather started getting warmer and the world started coming alive again 🙂  One reason I love springtime is because I was born then, so of course I always look forward to being a year older 😀

Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

I don’t know about you but spring is a very busy time for us … there are so many projects to get done, especially this year since we are still working on remodeling our home!  And then there’s all the outside work that needs to be done … so much to catch up on after the long winter months!

Springtime always reminds me of our Savior’s love and mercy towards us in giving us yet another year to serve Him – when I look around and see all the new life, growth and blessings around me, I can’t help but be amazed again and again by what an awesome and gracious God He really is!  He is definitely a good Father 🙂

Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty HorseYesterday I spent the afternoon working with our horse Gracie, along with Sam and Lydia!  When we got her last May she was completely untrained … she knew to come to food and liked being rubbed, but didn’t know what a halter was and definitely didn’t want to consider obeying anybody!  At first she would pretty much only cooperate with me but Sam has really stepped up and done wonders with her!  He’s turning out to be such an amazing trainer, and now Lydia is getting into training our old horse Stone, who needs some work too!

And me???  Well, I’m the clumsy one … if I go to desensitize Gracie by whipping the ground around her, I’ll end up whipping myself in the face instead.  I seem to always be the one getting stepped on, kicked, bitten, etc. and I’m often the one to blame for it!  I’ll be the one to jump on an untrained horse’s back just to see how long I can stay on for, whereas Sam and Lydia are the more thoughtful ones always reminding me of the “right” way to do things!

So when I go out to train Gracie, I usually have more to learn than she does, and I’m afraid I’m gonna drive Sam crazy one of these days!  We did a certain exercise with her yesterday and I’m not too sure if Gracie or me was worse at it! :p

Anyway, since we already had her out, I decided to get my pictures with her!  It’s a lot more fun and less awkward standing beside a beautiful horse, than standing in front of a camera by myself!

Although she belongs to the whole family, she’s definitely my baby 🙂  Isn’t she beautiful? Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

I really like the colors in this outfit and how comfortable it is!  I also like that everything I’m wearing can easily be dressed up or down for the occasion!  I wanted to wear something somewhat casual, but dressed it up a bit with a necklace, bracelet and colorful scarf to tie the colors together a little more!Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

It’s so much fun having a funny photographer – Lydia and I were cracking up nearly the whole time!  At one point Gracie was unintentionally standing on top of my foot, but I couldn’t stop laughing enough to tell her to step back, so Lydia ran up and started pushing Gracie back, to the poor girlie’s confusion!Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

She told me to spin around but didn’t say I couldn’t give her a crazy face!  Poor Gracie didn’t know what to make of us goofballs :p  At one point Lydia said, “I sure am glad nobody’s watching us!” … that was right before we noticed Hannah across the field laughing at us!Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

I found this top at a thrift store the other day for $4.99 – I was really excited because I’ve been looking for a good navy blue top for a while!  The tee came from eBay for about $4.50, and I got the skirt from Goodwill for about $3.50.  My cowboy boots came from eBay for $25 and are definitely the best shoe choice I’ve ever made, as I’ve been wearing them everyday around the farm for a long time and they are so comfortable!  I actually got this scarf for Sarah as a gift, but I like to wear it sometimes 🙂  I bought it from Zulily for $8.Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

This necklace was a birthday present from a friend years ago, and I made the bracelet from some beads my grandma gave me.  I bought the ring at a little shop in Jerusalem – it says “Hear oh Israel, YHWH our God – YHWH is one” in Hebrew.Gracie and Me - A Pretty Outfit and A Pretty Horse

I hope you’ve enjoyed this outfit post, and a peek into our lives lately – I would love to hear your thoughts in a comment below! With lots of love ~ Abigail