Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beautiful things for the new year

"If someone could see the inside of your soul, the pathways of your thoughts, the flow of your worship, the landscape of your thoughts and attitudes, what would it look like? Would it hold beauty or ugliness?
A beautiful soul is cultivated and crafted over time by the elements that surround it and that pour into its inner chamber. One lives and pours out words, behavior, attitudes, goodness or evil from what is dwelling inside it’s borders.
In the same way that if one fills a pitcher with lemonade, and lemonade pours forth, so one must be careful to fill one’s soul with all that is beautiful, true, lovely".

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Phil. 4:8

I love these thoughts!  This is taken from a devotional I've been reading called  If you get a chance, look at it.  The writer provides such wonderful insight.  I have gained so much from reading it. 

Lance and I briefly talked about New Year's resolutions last night.  I'm not big on them, as they usually don't change much of anything.  Instead, we want to take a different approach.  What is God putting on our hearts for the year?  What ways can we fill our hearts and souls with good things?  What do we need to stop doing?  And, not just each of us individually, but together, how can we bring goodness to our children?  What books will we read to them?  What ways can we specifically help their souls grow in beauty this year?  

There are things that God is already bringing to my mind and I can't wait to have some time alone to really think about how we will grow this year.  Have you taken time to think about it yet?  I encourage you to make time alone to think about how God is directing you.  A new year beginning could mean a wonderful change for you this year.   

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thank You Lord!

Wow!  What a day today has been.  It started off bright and early at 6:00, with two different alarms going off.  Had to get up and be ready for my appointment with the specialist.  If you've been following my blog, or know me, you know that this pregnancy has been a rough one.  Had a hemmorhage at 10 weeks pregnant, which left me with a big ugly blood clot behind the placenta. 

Baby didn't mind at all!  She just kicked and moved and kept on growing;  good news for us.  But, it bothered me bad;  bothered the doctor worse.  Every appointment he told me how bad it was, trying to prepare me for the worst.  At one appointment, he said, "Pray, do what you can, we'll do what we can.  That's all we can do."  I knew it was bad.   So, I just prayed.  And, I think more than that, many other people prayed.  I have been so humbled by so many prayers for us.  Did it mean it was gonna turn out like I wanted?  I didn't know the answer to that;  but I know that I prayed for God's will for this child.  I still do.  She is doing well.  I am rejoicing.  I have this day.  That's all I have.  I don't know about tomorrow.  I can't worry with that.  I know God answered me today. 

Today, I went in to the doctor and saw her sweet face.  She held her little hand to her face, trying to put it in her mouth.  She is a blessing.  The ultrasound technician looked and looked for the blood clot.  I knew it wasn't there anymore;  I just knew.  I honestly haven't even thought about it in weeks.  That's what God does, He takes our burdens.  And, even though maybe I should've worried about it, fretted somewhat, I didn't.  I have been at such peace and it's been good to be here.  It's good to be God's child.  I know bad things can happen and do.  I've seen the pains of this world.  I've experienced them, watched loved ones experience them.  But, if I choose to worry, what will it get me?  God says it won't add one day to my life, not one.  Even in the midst of this rejoicing day, the day I've waited for for 13 weeks, the enemy tries to steal my joy with worry.  The doctor says, even though the clot is gone, you're still at risk for premature labor.  There is a reminder that I don't have control.  I'm good with that.  I know that, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."  Romans 8:37

Are you tempted to worry about the future?  Are you like me?  I struggle with it daily.  Remember, "He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."  Psalm  130:5
Where will you put your hope today?  Write His words on your heart, put your hope in them.  He won't let you down.  "The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love."  Psalm 147:11

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A servant heart

“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14
Children can easily become the focus of well-intentioned mothers. Wanting to meet their needs, win their hearts, give affection, speak words of life, give the best input and instruction and lessons, and before the family knows it, the child is the center of life. Now, moms do need to return their hearts toward home. But, Christ, His kingdom and His work must always be the center of our lives.

Wow!  What a perspective!  I found this from "I take Joy", a blog that was introduced to me recently.  I love that God is changing my perspective.  How easy it is to get caught up in our children because we love them and want the best for them, but all of a sudden realize that we're not bringing out the best IN THEM! 

Throughout this pregnancy with #4, I have been in awe of the work of my Heavenly Father in our home.  I have seen His hand in my life and have just been in awe.  Tonight, as I thought of the hardship of not being able to lift my youngest daughter, Ella, I was also reminded of what a blessing this has been for my oldest, Luke.  Since I cannot lift Ella, Luke does.  And, he being big 5, feels even bigger and like Mommy's helper because he can lift her for me for her naps and even help her get in her carseat if we absolutely need to go somewhere.  I have seen such character develop in him through this.  Today, I noticed when a drink spilled, he ran, got napkins, and began cleaning the spill off the floor, without me even asking him to.  And, this has brought joy to Luke, (and me).  Instead of being totally focused on his own needs, he's more aware of the needs of his brother and sister, and mommy.  Today, he figured out he can get his own drink, but he decided to take it a little farther.  He decided that now he can get drinks for his brother too.  It makes him happy.  He lights up when he is serving others.  I have heard people say, "Poor Luke, he is having to help out so much right now."  But, I have a different perspective.  I know that Jesus said to serve and follow him in this way.  He served, we should too.  How easy it is to want to be served, but the joy comes in the serving others!  This, I want to teach my children!  And, oh, how I pray for a servant heart for me too!  Lord, let me serve them, but also teach them how to serve others, therefore pleasing You.   

Friday, October 28, 2011

"My Bridge Maker"

"Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks.  Remembering frames up gratitude.  Gratitude lays out the planks of trust.  I can walk the planks--from known to unknown--and know:  He holds."   Ann Voskamp  writer of One Thousand Gifts

Isn't it great that God doesn't just hand you this life, walk away, and say, "There you go kid, hope you make it."  No, that's not the God I know.  He is gently leading us, building our trust bit by bit.  And, most of the time, He builds it through pain.  We wish it didn't have to be that way, but do we really want the control?  I don't. 

About 7 weeks ago, God began adding another story to His glory for me.  I suffered a massive bleed during my pregnancy, thought it was all over, but God had another plan.  We saw that little heart still beating.  Like my previous pregnancy with Ella, our 17 month old, I had developed a subchorionic hematoma, or in other words a huge blood clot in my womb.  I knew it was going to be a long road.  And, I knew that along the way, God would have some things He wanted me to know, some things He wanted to reveal to me, during this painful experience. 

After that appointment revealing the dreaded, ugly bloodclot, I have experienced weeks of the unknown.  You see, I don't know from one day to the next, what will happen with this pregnancy.  And, even though I can research all the horror stories, listen to the doctor's preparing me for the worst, and give in to the feelings of depression, I am choosing joy.  Why?  Because I have so much to be thankful for and God commands it of me.  "Give thanks to the Lord of lords.  His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who alone does might miracles.  His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.  His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.  His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who made the heavely lights- His faithful love endures forever.  (Psalm 136: 3-7). 

I can also give thanks for that baby that I want so badly to live, is moving and kicking.  "She" is a miracle from God.  He made her.  Yes, the ugly bloodclot is still there.  Seven weeks have gone by and it's still there.  But, I can rejoice that it has diminished some.  At each apppointment, I have prayed that God will give me a well, just as He gave Hagar.  "Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her.  She said, "You are the God who sees me."  She also said, "Have I truly seen the One who sees me?'  so that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means "well of the Living One who sees me").  (Genesis 16: 13-14).  Even though Hagar had known God sees, she had forgotten.  Hagar was in a bad place.  She had been exiled and thought her son would die.  But, God saw her and had mercy on her.  I know God sees me.  God saw me when I was pregnant with Ella and had the same condition.  Yet, how easy it is to forget His goodness, to forget His healing.  The well is still there.  It's always there; there is always a well. 

Isn't it easy to give thanks during the good times?  That is our nature.  We want life to be comfortable and predictable.  But, I told God a long time ago that I wanted His will, not mine.  And, it's been a bumpy road.  There have been sick babies, times of strife, arguments, battles, and on and on.  But, there have also been really joyful, wonderful times.  You know, those moments that you wish you could just freeze.  They have been there too.  Life has been really full so far on this adventure with God.  And, even though I do not know the outcome of this pregnancy, I know the bridge maker.  I know I can follow Him over this bridge and He will hold.  And, I can give thanks;  I can be joyful for that. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Little Red School Desk

So, we were driving around running errands, and I happened to see one of my favorite junk spots.  I had to stop by!  I'd been on the search for two little school desks and spotted this one immediately.  It's rough around the edges, colorful,  and I love it just the way it is.  And, I bet you can't guess who chose it, Jacob!  Which, actually this little desk reminds me of him, rough around the edges and colorful, and I love him just the way he is!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Enjoyed taking pictures today of one of my favorite subjects. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy birthday sweet Ella Kate! "My beautiful blue-eyed girl"

       One year ago today, God gave us a special gift, our little Ella Kate.  She has added so much joy to our family.  We are thankful for her and look forward to the days and years ahead with Ella.  I pray that God would bless Ella.  I pray that she would continue to reflect His beauty and grace. 

Jesus...said to them,   "Let the little children come to me;  do not stop them;  for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs."  Mark 10:14

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My new thing:  Taking pictures!  
Today, I did some maternity/family pics for a great friend.  I think they turned out terrific! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

thankful for snow and much more...

It has definately been a "winter wonderland" around here, (that's what Lance keeps calling it).  I love snowy days.  They force us to slow down and enjoy what is close to us.  Today we did a whole lot of  just that.  We ate a big breakfast this morning, played the wii and hiho-cherry-o with Luke, sat and watched the snow, laughed at Jacob's funny sayings, smiled at Ella's new top teeth, and sat and watched the snow some more.  It was a good day.  Days like these make me thankful to be here and appreciate all the good things that God has done in my life. 
I always think, what was I doing this time last year, because the days, months, and years go by so fast.  This time last year I was awaiting our sweet baby Ella, who now happens to be one of the greatest joys of my life.  I had had a long, rough pregnancy, and I was ready for it to be over.  Early on in my pregnancy with Ella, I had a placental abruption that caused a severe hemorage, and ended with a  bloodclot that lasted for about 17 weeks.  During that time of weekly ultrasounds, and a lot of uncertainty, I was certain in one thing, that God would bring me through it.  And, He chose to not only bring me through it, but her too.  She is here, she is well, and she is so beautiful.  Now, don't get me wrong, I think my boys are handsome as ever, but she is the most beautiful thing to me.  Her eyes are sparkly blue and her cheeks are so cute!  God says that He'll bring us beauty out of ashes.  And He did.  I was in such a rough place last year, only able to look to God for peace, not knowing if Ella would survive.  And, now this year, seeing a sweet 8 month old happy baby girl, who laughs and plays with her big brothers, and watching the snow, is such a sweet dream.
(Ella's first experience of the snow this morning)...Apparently, princesses do not like the cold.  I don't know if you can tell, but she's really pouting in this picture.  I was really trying for a smile, but it wasn't happening. 
So we came in for a warm bath...

More snow pics...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Give, Save, and Spend...

Our family is on a big journey...learning to manage the money that God has given us.  And, not only just manage it, but do it well.  We've had our ups and downs, but we're not giving up!  We know that God wants us to be debt free and that is our goal for 2011.  But, we're not stopping there.  We feel deeply that it is our priority to teach our children to manage money as well.  And we don't want to wait until they're 18.  We want to begin now. 

These are our oldest son, Luke's, money jars.  The first one is the giving jar, second saving, and third, the spending jar.  We want Luke to know how important we feel it is to give first, save second, then spend out of what is left.  And, let me tell you, he is so excited about this!  He loves helping me around the house. And there are a few things that I pay him for helping me, such as making his own bed, picking up his toys, and mopping, (with the swiffer jet). 

Tonight, as we were talking about the importance of what we do with our money that God gives us, Luke said, "Momma, can we talk about God?"  (Well, of course!)  He said, "There's some good news and some bad news about Him.  (I wondered where this was going).  First, the bad can't see God.  But, the good news is, you can feel Him, and you can talk to Him."  How profound is that! How could I have known that a simple lesson about money would lead up to a "talk" about God.  We spent awhile talking about those three things, as we were lying in his bunk bed.  It was a good talk;   I'm glad we had it.  You just can't separate God and money, they're so connected.  Because, "where your treasure is, there your heart is also". 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

waiting for spring...

"For being the shortest month of the year, February can sure drag on and test our grit.  Instead of fighting winter to its bitter end, try embracing the subtle ways nature can sustain you.  Take a walk around your yard.  Listen for the first birdsong.  Turn your face to the warmth of longer sunlit days.  Spring is just around the corner."  Jane McKeon (senior associate editor of better homes and gardens). 

I was thinking tonight about enjoying the last days of winter, which seem to be the hardest for me.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I long for warm days and time to spend outside.  Instead of moaning and groaning, I hope to embrace the last days of winter, by looking for God's signs of spring.  Today in church, our pastor talked about how God clothes the flowers better than any girl will ever look on her wedding day.  I'm so excited to see the ones he dresses this spring. 

I found a canvas tonight and decided that since I can't look at all those pretty flowers yet, I'll just paint some.  This is an acrylic floral. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My newest crafting entertainment...bows!

So, I went into Hobby Lobby today...I know, big mistake!  I can never come out of there empty handed, and it's usually some sort of idea for a new craft or hobby,( I guess that would be the point).  But, nonetheless, I went in to pick up some scrapbook stuff and decided to try out this bow making thing.  If you haven't noticed, bows are the cutest thing ever for baby and little girls, besides flowers, (they're my true favorite)!  So, I decided to make some...and now I'm hooked!  And, for those of you who make them, ribbon is half off right now at Hobby Lobby!  Anyway, here's a few that I made.  I'll post more as I make more;  if you want me to make you one or some, shoot me an email.

I thought they would be fun stacked!  What's the most fun about this project is that I get to try them out on my best clients, Ella and Tenley!  Can't wait! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taking a break!...sort of... :)

So, I decided to take a break from facebook, about a month ago, not sure if I would reactivate it or not.  I was having these "I'm so overwhelmed!" days and since it's not an option to run off to the beach for a  break, I started thinking about how I could simplify my life.  I believe that God wants us to simplify and focus on Him;  although it's incredibly hard in a world full of stuff, technology, and choices.  Taking a break now and then from all the technology that's supposed to make life "easier",  is such a good thing.  It allowed me to get my focus back and not feel "tied" to a computer.  Isn't it funny how attached we get to our stuff!?  I also realized that if you're constantly on the computer and unable to focus on, say a face to face conversation with others, without messaging someone back, consider giving it a break.  You'll be glad you did.

Another way to de-stress is to practice being thankful.  There is always something to be thankful for;  on the other hand, there's always something to complain about.  What kind of person do you want to be remembered as?  I want to be thankful.  So, even though I do get caught up in complaining from time to time, I try to stop and make a habit of pausing during the day to  thank God for all that He has given me.  Like this morning, Jacob snuggled up to me and said, "Momma, you my es-fend.", (my best friend),...and it melted my heart.  I am so thankful for him...And, again, I've been praising the Lord that Jacob is finally potty-trained!  This has changed my moms out there know exactly what I mean.  Having one in diapers is okay, two is just plain hard.  But, nonetheless, he got it!  And, we are so thankful.

I haven't been doing much painting lately, which is another de-stressor for me, (so I need to get back to that)...but we have been working on a major project.  And, when I say "we", I mean Lance.  We decided to install a fireplace, hand-crafted by Lance.  And, again, when I say "we", well, you get the picture.  I'm not taking any credit!  ...He has all the major construction finished, now we're down to the ticky details.  I am so ready to see it in the house.  I love fireplaces; I think they add such a comforting feeling to your home. 

I'll post more pics later of the final product.  Remember, practice being thankful today, you can do it with me.  If you hear me complain, you can say, thankful remember.  Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week. 
"Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything."  Ephesians 5: 19-20