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Dear Mushka,

A Reminder That You Are Tucked In The Lord's Loving Care

I’m so happy to share with you our new handmade necklace launched at Dear Mushka which makes a perfect gift for any season!

The dainty New Valley Necklace is paired with Psalm 23:4: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." 

I know Psalm 23 is a comfort to so many of us. I loved the idea of creating a piece representing a valley to remind us that we are never in the valley alone. God is with us every step of the way. Like Hinds Feet on High Places, He even leads us into the valley! We’re constantly surrounded by Him and He is with us always. 

As the design of this necklace depicts, his rod and staff are like the walls that make up the valley; as we're in the middle, we're actually tucked inside His loving care.

The Valley Necklace reminds us that even when we're walking through the lowest moments of our lives, God is with us. As the design of this necklace depicts, his rod and staff are like the walls that make up the valley; as we're in the middle, we're actually tucked inside His loving care. 

This piece makes a beautiful gift for a friend walking through a hard season and provides words where we can’t on our own.

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Remember Your Words with the Salt Necklace

This sweetest everyday necklace has been around for over 5 years. It’s outlasted so many other pieces because we all love it and I keep it in my bathroom to wear on the regular!

The necklace has a white druzy stone with just a tiny bit of sparkle and it’s inspired by Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

The context behind the verse is so rich. We find it towards the end of Colossians where Paul is talking about evangelism, about sharing the gospel to lead other people to Christ.

Paul says that evangelism is a work of prayer (4:2), it’s a work of clear communication (4:4), we need to use wisdom to make the most of every opportunity we’re given (4:5), and in Colossians 4:6 we see that it’s part of gracious speech.

He uses the imagery of salt to explain what our speech should be like. Salt is good for two things - it’s a preserving agent and it adds flavor. Through our speech we’re here to preserve the words of Christ and give them flavor. They should taste better than the world!

The Salt Necklace is a reminder of the power of our words, not just powerful because they can brighten someone’s day, but because they bring with them the truth of the gospel and ultimately that’s why we’re here. It’s the very best thing we can offer anyone - Christ’s truth.

I hope that you wear this dainty necklace and think about this verse; that we will all have gracious salt filled words as we communicate with everyone around us.

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The Parable of the Seeds & How It Applies To Us Today

This morning I was reading Luke 8 - the Parable of the Seeds - and felt called to give encouragement from the Word today. This well-known story hit me in a different way as I was studying the passage. I thought about the gardener scattering seed to grow and how it landed all over the place - on the path, the rock, the thorns and the soil. It led me to thinking about how we as believers share the Word with others.

It made me want to be extra intentional about where I’m throwing my seeds and how I’m planting them. Am I content to occasionally toss out a Bible verse on a pretty Instagram post? Perhaps I’m just throwing seed on the path. We’re told that the devil takes the Word from hearts to prevent salvation, just like the birds came and ate the seeds that lay exposed.

Sometimes we share the Gospel, but don’t follow through with teaching about discipleship and sharing how truly good the Word is. People hear it, they love it and accept it with joy, but they don’t know what to do when they’re tested and so they fall away from the faith.

The parable goes on to say that sometimes the thorns capture us and we are swept away by the cares of the world. 

Then there is this small group where the seed actually lands on good soil - those people with “a noble and good heart who hear the Word, retain it and by persevering prepare a good crop.”

I’d love to just encourage us all today that as we’re scattering seeds (to our children, coworkers, neighbours), we’re intentional and prayerful! Not flippant or not even scattering. 

This all tied in with an old John Piper sermon about 1 John 2 where it talks about loving God and not loving the world. Timothy 2 tells us that people will be lovers of self and money, appearing to be religious, but not truly loving God. 

For those of you questioning your faith and if you’re truly saved, if you feel like your “seed” has landed in these other places that are not soil, press into God - draw near to the Lord (James 4:8) and He will draw near to you.

If you’re chasing the world (spouse, children, money, etc.), pause and dig into the Word. It’s active and living and will change us. Cry out to Jesus, ask Him to reveal the Father to you. Then we’ll be able to throw off the sin that entangles us.

If you’re a believer, but God feels far away right now or you feel you’re indifferent, do what you did when you wanted to become a Christian. The same spirit that saved you continues to sanctify. It’s only by His power that we’re grown - what a promise! Dive into His Word! And continue to remove your sins and idols. Pray for the Holy Spirit to change you! Ask Jesus to continue to reveal the Father to you; over and over again.

Praise Him for using us to scatter seeds and for growing the fruit within us. We can’t do any of it without His power and plan.

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Q&A on Adoption, Christian Marriage & Walking Through Grief

Every month or so we answer some of your questions! I don’t feel wise or deserving enough to share with you, but we’re honored to have you share these insights into our lives. And always remembering, we’re imperfect and completely in need of Jesus. 

This weekend, my Dad got remarried, 10 years after my mother’s death (you can watch the highlight called “My Mamma” here). The wedding was a little weird due to Covid, but the Lord truly brought beauty from ashes and we’re so grateful. The boys did great too.

Have we experienced any adoption hardships or unexpected difficulties?

The short answer is absolutely. You just can’t know until you’re in it. 

In fact, one moment happened at the wedding this weekend. As we were getting our boys ready, an older couple I grew up knowing saw us in the parking lot. This couple loudly asked “Are your boys real brothers?” (If you haven’t adopted, I know how easy these questions are to ask. It’s another example of not knowing until you know.) 

Family friends who heard answered “no” (meaning not biological brothers) and then corrected to “yes” (understanding that adoption makes them 100% “real” brothers).

Then the couple continued, asking where we “got them” and how long we’ve “had them” - a lot of questions that aren’t appropriate in a non-intimate conversation. This isn’t small talk - this is heavy and personal.

Please don’t ask these kinds of questions in front of children. It can be really harmful and shows a lack of understanding of the gospel of adoption! We are 100% God’s children through adoption. Praise God! 

Our kids have heard these questions often and it sparks good and necessary conversation, but it’s still hard!

I wish I’d said, “They are as much brothers as we are children of God.” I always have a great answer after the fact, but the Holy Spirit leads and we can rest in that. It’s never graceful or easy. We’re learning as we go.

The point is, this is something that was unexpectedly hard. It’s harder outside the home (for us) than inside. Inside our walls, conversations are beautiful and hearts are receptive. Outside our home, we have a lot to explain (especially as we adopted trans-racially). We get a lot of stares. It’s lonely, but God is always present.

Do We Do Bible Studies Together?

I get this question all the time. We don’t. 

I wonder where this pressure comes from. Why do we as women feel we should be sitting together with our husband every morning opening the same Bible passage together, reading the same devotion? There is nothing wrong with studying God’s Word together in a formal setting, but it isn’t mandated in Scripture. It also isn’t more holy than studying God’s Word apart from your spouse.

We study and read separately and freely share with one another. I don’t think we’ve ever done the same study. We learn and process differently. And truthfully I think we’re also too competitive for this - I think I’d turn it into a debate about who made the best point.

I’d encourage you to take the pressure off! If you want to do Bible studies together, bring the idea to your spouse and go for it, but it’s not a necessity.

Thoughts on Matthew 22 and No Marriage In Heaven?

Robert used to feel really sad at this concept. He says he had an underdeveloped theology of union with Christ. He felt like he’d be alone in Heaven. 

It’s really hard to understand what we’ll have in Christ when we’re face to face with Him! Everything you love about your spouse (being loved and seen and cared for) will be the ever present reality in Heaven. Marriage will find its fulfilment in Christ. We gain what an earthly marriage was created to point us towards. 

When Robert’s in his “abandonment issues” headspace, it feels scary and sad. He doesn’t want to do anything without me (other than Bible studies)!

But that’s when he’s thinking about Heaven as a loss to earthly things rather than a gain of Godly things. My encouragement would be looking toward that union with Christ and what oneness with Christ will mean in Heaven, and in that you’ll have such joy.

I think the concept goes into parenthood, too. The idea of not being a family unit with my children is weird. It will be SO MUCH better, whatever happens, but it’s hard to imagine. Our greatest longing will be satisfied in Christ, the righteous and pure versions of those longings. 

How to trust God in the waiting (for a spouse, children, job, health, etc.)?

Trusting God always comes back to knowing his attributes well enough, meditating on God’s character as the foundation and Him being bigger than our circumstances.

We have a product coming soon for this because it’s so important. I want God to become greater and greater in my own heart and mind. I want the things of Earth to grow dim in the light of His glory and grace. We study who He is in the Bible and see how He has shown His faithfulness time and time again. 

The Old Testament is full of examples of the Israelites marking God’s faithfulness (via an alter, feast, etc) with the purpose of even their children knowing and remembering who He is. We can claim His character in our own life. We’re grafted into Israel and all God’s promises find their yes and amen in Jesus. 

We have an all knowing and all powerful God. Tim Keller says that if we knew what God knew, we’d ask for exactly what He’s given us. 

Romans 8:28 reminds us that He’s going to work it all together for good. He can’t do anything else. The waiting is less about “having the wrong thing” and more about wondering “why it’s the right thing for this moment”.

What are we most excited about for the future of our family?

We’re praying about the idea of a fourth child. We’re often asked how we’ll know when our family is done growing. I think we just pray and ask for guidance. 

I feel like I’m at max capacity right now, and also that someone is missing. I’m not sure what will happen, but I know God will provide exactly what we need. 

I’m trying to just enjoy these moments. I”ve been thinking about what Phylicia Masonheimer says: “Don’t plan for seasons you aren’t in.”

How do we handle holiday decisions with our family (Like Santa and Halloween)?

We looked at examples around us, grateful for older and wiser friends! Santa felt like a “no” for both of us right away. We didn’t think he would draw our children’s (or our own) hearts to Jesus. We both remember feeling disappointed on Christmas morning because it was about gifts. Satan/sin is sneaky!

We aren’t "anti-Santa” - our boys know the story and not to ruin it for others, but we want the holiday to stay about Jesus without competition.

We’ve been on the same page about most holidays, which I’m grateful for. The Holy Spirit has led us similarly.

For Halloween, we celebrate the celebratable parts of it. We talk about the history of Halloween. We enjoy being with friends and candy and the fall weather. 

Not everyone agrees with us here and that’s okay! I think the Spirit leads us differently. We  talk about lightness and darkness and what the world may believe versus what Christians believe. We have a hands open approach. Every year I bring it to God and ask for guidance as I grow and mature.

We trust that He will redeem all the zillion ways we fail as parents. And we watch the reactions of our kids - they’re built differently and may need different responses to holidays. 

What was the most helpful to me from Robert as he helped me walk through the death of my mom?

I didn’t grieve, really, until this year. I shoved a lot down. I celebrated her Heavenly healing instead of also experiencing sadness. I’m working on it. What he did really well was help me grieve when I was ready - even 10 years later - to cry, talk it out, go to counselling, whatever I needed.

How do you walk through grief together?

Everyone grieves so differently. Communicate as best you can. Be compassionate, love each other, be attentive and listen. Don’t treat emotional wounds like they’re radically different to physical wounds. 

Robert would feed and bathe me if necessary for a physical wound or illness. For emotional wounds, be washed and fed by the Word - help one another experience God’s words if they can’t on their own due to sorrow. Pray scripture over them, read scripture to them, and play worshipful music. 

Thoughts on loving opposite-sex friends?

View the person as someone made in the image of God instead of means to an end. The more immature and younger you are, the more difficult this can be. With wisdom, this view can definitely be achieved.

Opposite-sex friends can also be brothers and sisters in Christ. Seeing people in that light really helps us love one another appropriately. Handle with Care by Lori Ferguson handles this issue really well.

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Remember the Sabbath Day

All over the world there are Christian who Sabbath on Sundays. We come together at church or spend time with our families to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and to worship and praise God. 

This printed t-shirt was created for you to put on and remember the verse it was created from: Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." - Mark 2:27

I hope that when you wear this shirt you’re able to rest in who God says He is, that you’re able to lay down your hustle and instead remember that we are finite! We can’t do it all, but He can. He loves us enough to give us a day of rest every week.

Wear the On Sundays tee with a skirt, nice shoes, a hat and maybe a jacket if it’s cold. It’s perfect for those of you who have a more casual church, to praise God for a worshipful Sabbath day, and enjoy being around your community.

A soft & cozy tee, able to be dressed up for Sunday church and then tossed on over leggings for Sunday afternoon. However you wear her, spend time praising God for giving us a day of rest and use the day to put your security in Him alone.

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Christian Apparel for a Cozy Fall Season

Cooler weather calls for us to bring out cozy sweaters, tees and accessories as we appreciate beautiful Autumn days and prepare for the coming winter.  However you wear these Scripture-inspired pieces, spend time praising God for giving us His Word, and for His love that remains faithful in the midst of incredibly joyful seasons (marriage, children, travel) and incredibly hard seasons (death of a loved one, suffering, illness). His love endures forever.

The Warrior Tee

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them · Psalm 127: 4-5

Meet our first men's tee! A reminder that we are to mold and shape our children to then shoot them out into the world, for God's Kingdom!

The Dwelling Tee

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God · Revelation 21:3

This is the coziest tee you'll ever own. I guarantee, you won't want to take it off! Wear it alone or adorably layered under a warm cardigan or flannel. 

A beautiful promise to wrap yourself in all cold-weather long. 

On Earth Raglan Tee

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven · Matthew 6:10

A crazy soft raglan tee that boasts words from Jesus as He taught His disciples to pray. May we put it on and remember that as image bearers of God, we are to work with Him to bring His holy and just Kingdom to Earth. Let's pray & then act, together.  This heather grey and dark charcoal raglan tee with black writing is printed locally in Nashville, TN.

The Abide Tee

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me · John 15:4

A happy, pink tee with the sweetest reminder to abide in Christ daily. Need I say more? Bonus: It's extra long, perfect for layering over yoga pants! This soft heathered light pink tee has a relaxed fit for easy and comfy style.

The Better Days Hat

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." -Revelation 21:4

This year is proof that our world is broken. May we fix our eyes on eternity and praise God for the better days He has promised us! Click to shop this navy cotton hat with mesh backing.

The Thicket Tee

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing · John 15:5

When our to-do lists are calling and we find ourselves striving to do it all on our own, The Thicket Tee is a much-needed reminder that we are only branches. For sweet growth & productivity, we must first tether ourselves to the true vine. It's only with Him that we can accomplish anything. 

On Sundays Tee

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." - Mark 2:27

A soft & cozy tee, able to be dressed up for Sunday church and then tossed on over leggings for Sunday afternoon. However you wear her, spend time praising God for giving us a day of rest and use the day to put your security in Him alone.

Love One Another Hoodie

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:34-25 

A forest green hoodie you're going to want to snuggle up in daily, with a message we all need to hear. Let's praise Jesus for His example, and show the world what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Love.  

The Adorn Hairtie

"Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." - 1 Peter 3:4

These sweet hair ties are easy to wear, and come with a precious reminder to adorn yourself with a gentle and quiet spirit before anything else.

They'll add the perfect amount of style to your everyday outfit! This versatile 3 in 1 design means you can tie the scarf into a bow or remove the scarf all together to have a scrunchie and ribbon. Available in five colors.

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September Q&A with Robert and Katie

Welcome to our September Q&A where we try to answer some of your questions about marriage, family and walking with the Lord.  We clearly aren’t experts on any of these topics, mostly we’re just real people who love relating to you! You can watch the Instagram highlight here!

How did you prepare your relationship for children?

We did a marriage counselling tune up specifically about children. We wanted to address a few things in our marriage and we just did about three sessions. Other than that, we read some books and said, “I love you - we’re in this together!”

What are your favorite practices for setting the tone in your home?

Robert has decided to be the “chief repenter” in our home. He sets the example for everyone. When we make mistakes, we apologize and we try to make it right. 

Also, we have some sayings or phrases that we frequently say. Robert likes to ask in teachable moments, “What is everyone worthy of?” and the boys have been taught that it’s “dignity, honor and respect.” We also use the catechism answers along with scripture to guide and teach. We frequently remind our boy of how and why we love them.

I like to use the phrase “Telling the truth makes it better, telling a lie makes it worse” for dealing with little moments where one of the kids may not be telling the truth. 

Every family settles into phrases that naturally come out. We’ve never had a “what is our family about” meeting; we’ve just tried things out and course-corrected along the way. We’ll add to this as our kids get older. Certain principles and ideas that matter to you will set the tone for what matters to your family.

What is something about marriage you’ve changed your mind on after getting hitched?

I theoretically knew marriage wasn’t about me, but 10 years in, I feel that in my bones. Marriage is a chief way I’m being sanctified. It’s a regular opportunity to serve someone else and display the beauty of Christ and the church.

Robert’s view of male headship has changed a little during our marriage. If we can’t agree on something, it’s an indicator that we shouldn't do anything yet. This approach has really helped us! He values my opinion and wants to arrive at a decision we both agree on, being led by the Holy Spirit. 

If you were going to have a different business (not jewelry), what would it be?

Robert would like to be a landscape architect! (I didn’t know this about him!) I’d have a cut flower business. Looks like we’re a match in a dream world too! 

For real, he’d have a business assistant company, helping new business owners get their business off the ground. He’s such a champion of other people’s ideas.

I think I’d be a life coach or an author. 

How did you take time to talk and learn about each during the busy time of engagement and working?

You just have to do it! Life doesn’t slow down. You have to prioritize.

I recently heard this analogy about juggling glass and plastic balls. Balls will always have to fall, but you have to keep the glass ones in the air. A marriage is a glass ball. You might have to drop a plastic work ball to hold the glass. 

The Bible story of Martha and Mary is a helpful story. Entering into a covenant relationship with someone else is more important than your job. We can all only pour out what has been poured into us. We’ll experience burnout if we don’t have other people pouring into us. In a marriage relationship, your spouse should be one of those people.

Advice for when your life gets hard and your faith is shaken?

The Puritans had a phrase that said, “Pray until you pray.”

We would advise the same: worship until you worship, believe until you believe. You just make a decision to stick to your faith and ride out the valley of shadow.

Try this illustration: Someone was setting off on a plane. They went through a storm full of clouds and rain and then got above it all to the glorious sun. Of course, the sun was always there, but they needed to get through the storm to see it.

You need community for this. Make sure you’re a part of a local church or body of believers. I re-read books of the Bible until the message sinks in. We just trust that God is not going to leave us, that He uses suffering and sorrow in a beautiful way. 

There are also times when we’re working for future fruit. Right now at home, we’re working in my literal flower garden. There’s nothing in my garden beds, but we’re working the soil for the fruit that will be coming in a few months time. We still do the work now! Even when you don’t feel like the Lord is near, stay in the Word, memorize the verses - the fruit will come.

What would be your advice for someone struggling with assurance of salvation?

Robert lived this for many years. He re-dedicated his life so many times as a child. Assurance comes from the Holy Spirit as you feel the kindness of the Lord calling you to repentance. 

There are times when you don’t feel it! In those seasons, call the Lord up on His promises - to never leave you or forsake you - to honor His promise that whoever has been placed in His hand, no one will take them out. Rely and count on these promises. Ask the Holy Spirit to make Himself known to you. 

We have to trust the Lord to do the work He said He did. 

I think that using the word ‘feel’ can be misleading. Salvation isn’t always an experience and we can put too much weight on needing to ‘feel’ it. 

I wish I could sit down with you to hear your why. Do you feel like you’re not good enough to earn salvation? Are you falling back into a sin pattern?  My encouragement for you is to meet with someone you trust to walk this out together. 

Tips for baby proofing your home?

Put locks on all the dangerous cupboards! We try to keep our home kid-friendly. We don’t have a ton of breakable items. We also set boundaries on what’s okay to touch and not touch. We let our kids touch the shiny new thing and then their interest wanes. Sometimes we say “no touch” and enforce that. Our kids don’t need allowance for all areas. There’s no need for them to play in the fireplace, the litter box, the stove or Robert’s office. The children need boundaries, but don’t make your house unlivable. It’s made to be lived in.

How do you show respect to your spouse?

We had an example today: I could have handled a situation myself in a way that Robert wouldn’t love OR I could ask for prayer to help respect him here even if his way was different to what I’d do. 

Robert is aware of how he treats me in front of our boys. We don’t mind having an argument in front of our kids, but we try to demonstrate patience, respect, kindness and repentance.  Our body language also demonstrates respect. We treat others the way we want to be treated and we love one another. Respect is a natural outcome of seeing someone else made in God’s image. 

Thoughts on date night!

Robert thinks people put too much pressure on date nights - like it’s the thing that makes or breaks your marriage. If you’re living your week in such a way that date night is the only time to connect, your week is the problem, not your date night. Admittedly, he works from home and we connect daily - we’re privileged! Ultimately, we’d recommend you to figure out a way to make your week more enjoyable. 

Also, Robert doesn’t need a lot as far as needing to try out the newest restaurant or the latest adventure. He isn’t longing for that on a date night. We get takeout every Tuesday and eat it after our kids go to bed. We’re intentional with our few hours in the evening together. We try to schedule a date night out once a month alone and once a month with another couple (this is my date night of choice). We do dinner, errands, and then home before it’s too late so we can enjoy some relaxation time at home. 

Maybe this just sets the bar a little lower. The point is to love one another. Find time for one another at home on a daily basis. And we try to teach our kids to respect the times when mommy and daddy need to talk.

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Christian Jewelry Pieces to Celebrate Fall

In honor of the Dear Mushka Fall Line, here’s a real glimpse into how I use these new Fall pieces on an average day. Each piece is created with the intention that they act as an encouragement and inspiration for you to live from God’s word and share His message with those around you. 

Watch my Instagram highlight here to see how I’ve styled these Fall accessories!

The Nearness Earrings

"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8

I couldn’t love the Nearness Earrings more! They’re lightweight and breezy even though they’re a little bigger than our normal style. The ‘U’ shape reminds us that meeting with God requires an effort on both sides. We have to go to Him. The beauty is that we can only do this by God’s power. He equips us to draw near to Him!

The Adorn Hair Tie

Today I put my hair up into an easy bun and fastened it with an Adorn Hair Tie. They come in black, red, green and navy. Take the tie part off, leave the tie long, or tie into a bow. I took the ribbon part off and added it to my purse for a little something extra - I’ll leave it there all season! This versatile hair tie is a truly happy pop of Fall.

This Christian inspired accessory comes with a verse from 1 Peter 3:4, "Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."

The Rooted Necklace

"Blessed is the one ...whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

Psalm 1 roots all the others Psalms, and this is what I think about when I spend time with God each morning. We need to plant our roots deep!

My prayer for you and all these pieces is that you meditate on God’s words as you put each jewelry piece on. Hang the verse card up and learn it! Take God’s words with you during your day. Let them encourage your own soul and others as they flow off your tongue.  

As I put these pieces on today, I said the verses and prayed that God would use these truths. Let’s go out feeling equipped to tackle this day in Jesus’ name through His words.

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A Day in the Life of Katie

Today on IG stories, I shared a day in my life as a Christian mother of three boys! You can find the highlight here.

6:00am: I wake up around now and spend 45-60 minutes with the Lord. I have an Instagram highlight saved here on how I use this time: how I use my verse memorization box, how I use my prayer journal and how I read my Bible.

If I have some extra time, I spend it in prayer, read a chapter of a Christian book or dig into a passage of Scripture.

For the record, I built up to 45-60 minutes each morning (and didn’t do it with a newborn). It takes discipline to go to bed on time and to get out of bed when your alarm goes off. But God always shows me it’s worth it!

7:10am: We’ve taught our boys (6,3, and 1) to stay in their rooms until I get them. Our chaotic mornings were a pain point in my days, so I’ve learned to get a few things done before they get up. 

In answer to a question I often get about how we get our kids to stay in their rooms until we get them in the morning, I see it this way: We are the parents and set the tone for our household. Just because they want to come out doesn’t mean it’s best. (It may be! Every home for themselves!)

This is what we said to our kids (of course, you could change the rules): “Mommy will open your door when it’s time to wake up. You can turn on your light, look at these books, play with these toys".

They’re allowed to say one time, “Mommy I’m awake,” and then play. Sometimes they come out and I have to correct them, “Remember, this is how we do things in the morning.” 

I get the dishwasher unloaded, breakfast started, etc. I want to welcome them with joy and excitement instead of stress.

The boys will eat a smoothie for breakfast. They like the Orgain Organic Protein Powder and it helps fill their bellies. I add flax seed, banana, milk, frozen berries, lots of spinach or kale and frozen riced cauliflower! They really enjoy it and it’s packed with nutrients. 

Over breakfast, we use the Child Pack and Scripture Memorization Tabs to learn verses. Our mornings are not perfect and there’s often lots of noise, but that's the point! We need Jesus in the broken!

If you’re curious as to how young you can start Scripture memory, I always say that if they can learn words to songs (like Twinkle Twinkle) then they can learn verses. Put them to a tune if you want!

8:00am: I do a workout almost every weekday around 8am. I’m about to finish this Barre Blend in the  Beach Body App and have loved it. Sometimes it’s chaotic around me while I exercise and sometimes the boys play perfectly. Sometimes I have to stop to hold my littlest, but something is better than nothing!

9:00am: I’m showered and dressed! Some of you have asked how I manage to shower in the day with a little one. I keep my one year old in the bathroom with me while I shower. He makes a mess and that’s okay!

I don’t wash my hair everyday. I’ll often just use dry shampoo and my cool Hair Curler Comb which refreshes my hair really well. It even takes away the ponytail line. 

Finally, I’ll put on some WUNDERBROW Waterproof Eyebrow Gel and choose a pair of earrings or a necklace. Today I’m going with the Progress Earrings after I read Phillipians this morning: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6

9:20am: Time to fill these little one’s love tanks. We read together on the couch for about twenty minutes. We’re reading Tiny Perfect Things today. 

10:00am: Our eldest started kindergarten this year and we’re homeschooling! My husband takes 20min a day to do maths with him.

While they work on that, I’m taking my middle son to his first gymnastics class! This is our first time doing any kind of sport activity, but he isn’t getting to do preschool this year so I wanted him to experience something special.

I listened to the Alisa Childers Podcast on the way to gymnastics. Alisa is a great resource as we learn to think critically about progressive Christianity.

12:00pm: It’s lunchtime. I’m drinking my smoothie to break my fast. I do intermittent fasting so I eat for the first time at 12 (not counting the celery juice I had this morning because it’s under 50 calories). My delicious smoothie is made of chocolate protein powder with peanut butter. I love it!

The boys are eating lunch while I quickly scan my eldest’s reading curriculum. There is basically zero prep time required, but I like to skim it quickly. 

We have only one child in kindergarten, but I love the flexibility and freedom of homeschooling. This is typical for me and the reason I started my own business! For the program we use, there’s only 40-60 minutes of scheduled curriculum a day. We plug that in wherever and pause if needed.

My three year old likes to learn with us too, but my one year old toddles all over the place. Robert works from home and if I really need him to help for a moment, he does.

1:00pm: Nap time! I’m ready for a break! This is our quiet time / work time around here.

My six and three year old play quietly in their rooms from 1-3pm. My one year old naps from 1-4pm.

As my eldest two got older, I taught them that they didn’t have to sleep, but they did have to play quietly. They have age appropriate toys and an audio book of sorts.  They do LEGOs or blocks and just use their imaginations. They really enjoy this time!

Their nap time is my work time! I work from 1-3pm. After almost 7 years of business at home, I’m learning to set good boundaries. We have a studio space with three employees who make/package everything now. My husband runs Dear Mushka full time, too, but I limit my capacity to a few hours.

Today I’m uploading new product listings. This is also when I record IG stories, write emails, create new products, etc.

3:00pm: Time for me to get my big boys up. They usually eat a snack and watch one 20min show while I meal prep. We’re having nachos tonight! After that we’ll play outside. Robert is usually done working and we can just enjoy one another.

A side note on intermittent fasting: 

I talked about the FASTer Way in this highlight. Basically I limit eating to eight hours a day. I eat between 10am and 6pm. I drink mostly black coffee and celery juice before noon. I feel great doing it! It took about one week to adjust and I almost never get headaches. If I’m hungry though, I eat! I’m not strict.

5:20pm: Dinner is in the oven! My eldest is my cooking buddy! To be honest, I’d love to cook alone while I listen to podcasts, but this time is just so valuable. He’s learning and so chatty during this time!

This mealtime, we’re asking each other what our highs and lows were from the day and then we go over our catechism. I didn’t learn catechism growing up, but they’ve already been such an encouragement to my heart!

Kids are little sponges; they love to memorize and do it so well. My three year old memorized some of these questions in a day or two! The beautiful thing about catechisms is that they begin great conversations and learning together. 

A note on our dinner table chats:
1. We haven’t done this forever - it’s just too chaotic in some seasons. We also acknowledge that sometimes our children are too little! But...

2. The dinner table time is valuable! Be intentional - even if the only thing you can accomplish is being present and keeping your kids from choking.

3. It’s OK to know your own strength in your marriage! Robert had the idea to do the catechisms, but I’m the one who moves things to action. I put it into a plan and encouraged him to do it. My encouragement to you is to work together. And don’t forget to pray for God to grow the gift of leadership in your spouse, whatever that may look like for your family.

06:30pm: We’ll play outside for a little while before baths and bedtime.

7:40pm: The boys are in bed and we’re watching an episode of the West Wing while I work on a puzzle. 

8:54pm: Heading to bed to read for about 45 min and then sleep. I believe that you can set yourself up for success tomorrow by how and when you end your day. Hopefully, we’re learning to turn to Jesus in increasing measure every day, no matter what it holds!

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Dear Mushka's 2020 Fall Line

I’ve been planning our fall line for months, getting feedback and praying like crazy over each of these pieces. Today, meet four of our new Christian jewelry and apparel pieces!

The Reflection Necklace

I took a poll and many of you were unsure of if you would wear a face necklace, but the trend got the best of me and so I decided to try it! When one of my followers sent me this verse, I couldn’t get it out of my head - the perfect verse for the Reflection Necklace.

"As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart." Proverbs 27:19

As we wear this precious face, let us consider our days and how they accurately reflect our hearts. Do they show our love for God and His people? 

The Nearness Earrings

This design came before the verse which God later gave me Jame 4:8 to pair with. These everyday earrings were our models favorites - everyone who has seen these wants them! 

James 4:8 is one of the first verses I memorized and I remember meditating on it as a child. "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8

The Nearness Earrings are shaped like a ‘U’ to remind us that as we draw near to God, He too draws near to us. We meet in the middle and it is there we'll be able to rest in His care. Let's purify our hearts and minds so that we're able to see His ever-present nature.

As an adult, I've gained so much wisdom from the rest of the verse: “Cleanse your hands and purify your heart…” Anyone else experience times when God doesn’t feel near, but as it turns out, we’re the ones who haven’t made room for Him? He never leaves us - we leave Him! Let’s ask ourselves, “Are we too busy to hear Him and experience His presence?

The Rooted Necklace

The Rooted Necklace holds a tiny branch-stamped pendant that comes in gold, rose gold and sterling silver. We continue to use this size disk because it’s the perfect everyday necklace size.

“Rooted” reminds me of many Bible verses, but I wanted to have a Psalm 1 piece as I feel it really encapsulates the Psalms so well. Root yourself in Scripture, in who God is, in His character and His law. There and only there will we bear fruit and prosper and be fed and nourished.

"Blessed is the one ...whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

The Love One Another Hoodie

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35 

I love how this verse reminds us that we have the example of Jesus to lead and guide us! And importantly, let’s remember that we have a goal - to show people that we are Christ’s disciples.

Snuggle up in this warm, heavy hoodie and meditate on this message. Let's praise Jesus for His example, and show the world what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

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