Featured The Home

Quick DIY Wall Project

January 28, 2016

 

 

 DIY Quick Wall Project

This is FAR from perfect, but, it’s not terrible. I am not one of those super crafty super moms that make the cutest DIY Pinterest worthy projects! I am the want-to-be DIY mom who pins what those moms actually make. I heard a term that made me laugh and thought was so clever, it’s “perfection paralysis.” That’s not me either, demanding perfection is not what prevents me from creating beautiful things for our home. I’m more of the, if it turns out somewhat decent and fulfills it’s purpose, it works for me. My husband differs on this because he’s very creative and artistic. He’s a graphic designer so he can create beautiful things I could never dream of creating. He just works so hard to provide for our family that he doesn’t have much time for fun projects. So, I thought I’d take a stab at something for our bare bedroom wall. I even loaded up the kids and took a trip to Home Depot without him. Home Depot is a far cry from the comfort and joy I get from the all alluring Target. Oh how Target mesmerizes me! I know where everything is there and can navigate the aisles with ease. That smooth sailing comes to an immediate halt when I park at that huge store with all the orange. I look for the people wearing the orange aprons and see them as my saving grace to possibly check off all that’s on my list of non familiar items. Plywood has to be over somewhere in that lumber section, right? Where’s the sign for plywood? I left the store with delight knowing I got everything on my list in one trip. Alright, now I might get somewhere.

I pretty much followed the instructions from this site,   http://www.makinghomebase.com/diy-oversized-wall-art/. (Side note, I do hope to someday learn how to do those fancy back link or hyperlink(?) things where you just click on a word like “here,” and go directly to the link without me inserting a big, long link. Today isn’t that day.) I got the spray paint like she said to get even though her picture showed something different. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t end up with drip marks. I think the spray paint must be a good brand to get. I chose Rose Gold as my color of spray paint. I was worried that it might not be enough of a contrast, but, it worked. The stain she recommended was a nice color. I have plenty left to do several more projects. The friendly man at Home Depot cut the plywood in thirds for me, so, I have 2 more pieces waiting for me. I knew I wouldn’t need 3 for our wall. Having extra pieces in case the first turned out horrible was like having a (needed) security blanket for me. The first one came out decent enough for me to feel ok having it on the wall. It’s our bedroom, not the living room everyone sees all the time. My next one will have less angled and more straight lines to make the taping easier. Hopefully, it will be more symmetrical on round 2. Art isn’t supposed to be perfect, right? Actually even calling it “art,” is quite a stretch for me. It’s just my “little wall project.” The woman on the other blog can rightfully call it “wall art.” I like that it’s budget friendly and I was able to get it completely done during one nap. Have I ever told you that my kids are not those glorious sounding 2 hour nappers? I guess it’s not fair to say I got it 100% done. My husband put on the D Hangers and hung it on the wall. It’s kind of fun to learn a new term too, D Hangers. Who would have thought I’d know what that is? Not me. To complete the other 2 boards I have, I will just need to get more spray paint. Other than that I got everything for around $30. Three pieces for our walls for $30-40(with extra spray paint) sits well with me! Anybody else have any quick, inexpensive, novice level, DIY projects? My ears are wide open and waiting!

Featured Heart

Babyness

December 9, 2015

Isaiah 15 months

Our 15 month old still has a little bit of babyness about him. I am holding on tight to every inch I can get. I love little tiny humans and stand in sheer awe that they go from newborn to adult. Watching them grow is a mesmerizing gift, but watching them grow up can also be tough on the heartstrings. They change at what seems like warp speed and once they are on to the next stage, the last stage is forever finished. My babies have almost vanished before my eyes and morphed into a little girl and little boy. It’s something quite amazing how quickly they change and learn new things. There is something so special to me about the baby phase. I just love it. They are utterly dependent on you and you can tell just how secure they feel in your arms. The source of comfort we provide our children is pure joy to my soul. It’s like your heart getting the best hug of your life when they put their little head on your shoulder and snuggle in. Melt me like butter with that babyness! It gives me such a beautiful picture of our Heavenly Father. He is Comforter. He is our Rock and Refuge. He fulfills those roles much better than we, as sinful parents, do. So snuggle up and cuddle in, He’s always there!

Heart

Eternity Changers

November 11, 2015

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Parenthood is an eternity changer. Parents shape and teach their children in ways that literally change eternity. That
is a lofty thought. I heard that a few times before that truth began to sink in. We can raise children who are part
of eternity, or conversely, who are not. Our children, have children, who have children, who have children. They will
pass down what has resonated with and influenced them the most. Many traditions we impart will be passed down.
That creates multi-generational change into eternity. This is why one of my hearts passions is Titus 2. If we are not
modeling the commands of Titus 2, who will? Of course, it is not all in our hands. God does the ultimate work in
everyones lives and we are saved by His good grace. We certainly have a sobering responsibility to do our part in
teaching our children about Jesus(Ephesians 2:8-9).  For so long I had wrapped too much of my identity into my
former career. It’s quite easy to do considering the typical questions people ask upon meeting you. Asking what you do
is towards the very top of the list. Our culture places a lot of worth on our careers. I always longed to be a stay at home
mom. I fell, and sometimes still fall, into the place of feeling
like I wasn’t reaching some of my potential or ambition. I have felt like I wasn’t giving all that I could offer. Little did I
know that I just needed a shift in how I was
being used. I now have a better understanding of the high calling God has placed on my life in my “career.” What an
absolute privilege to work at a job with an eternal impact! I couldn’t ask for a better employer either. It’s a job that
while I fail daily, I should want to please my boss more than any other employer I could ever have. Unfortunately,
being a stay at home mom is not a job that is often glamorized by our culture.  I believe it should be. We can change
eternity. How much
more could we hope to attain?
Featured Heart Lifestyle

Marriage: You Above Me.

November 6, 2015
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I have a friend who was talking about his girlfriend. He’s one of those people who is a straight shooter. He tells it like it is. I’m fascinated by people like this and admire that freedom. Sometimes it can give you a little shock, but, it’s the kind of honesty that is refreshing. He’s not trying to please man. He is confident, yet, humble enough to receive feedback. When speaking of his girlfriend he said, “most of the time I pretty much hate making decisions based on her.”  That was enough to give me a little jolt. My first thought was, “oh my, do not get married and do not have children!” The more I pondered, the more I thought that I was likely being arrogant in my thinking.  He was confessing what was difficult, what goes against our flesh. He was recognizing something I don’t think I really would have, before getting married.
 It can be quite burdensome to put others above ourselves and our desires. Marriage has given me a bigger glimpse into the bold terms used like, “die to yourself.” Another, “take up your cross,” is one with a sting. The cross was an instrument of death. How pleasant does that sound? We count the cost as followers and the reward is much greater than our sacrifice could ever be. We are committed to Jesus and we are committed to our spouse. Considering others above ourselves is not always natural, it’s a command. Philippians 2  tells us to think of others before ourselves. Be imitators of Christ. Jesus is the example to follow.

 

 

Heart

Discovering a Deeper Level of Christs Love Through Motherhood: Part 2

November 4, 2015

As a mother, I’ve experienced the Scriptures speaking of joy coming from serving others, in the most tangible ways. Now, it is most certainly gratifying to fulfill your own desires. We have no shortage of wants. I know I don’t. Like  Scripture says, nobody ever hated themselves, we really think quite highly of ourselves. We think about what we want all the time and think we deserve a lot. I’m not saying that’s all bad or sinful. God has just called us to more than living a life completely for ourselves and we actually get to experience Him through that. He does that for our good. It seems counterintutive, and, that’s why it’s divine. Only God could create true joy from serving others. In motherhood, serving is on the daily agenda. When I don’t allow myself to get in the way of serving my children and I am attuned, I experience that true joy. There are countless moments throughout the day for this messy, beautiful, undeserving joy. I so often look at our children and think, “how did I ever become so blessed?” A look, a laugh, a smile, a coo, seeing your child enjoy life, learn something or love. Marriage has given me many opportunities to serve and put my husband above myself(not that I always take those opportunities or take them cheerfully) but, motherhood kicks it up exponentially. There’s something completely different with a child who actually needs you for everything. You don’t have as much of a choice as you might with a spouse.

Walking in the Spirit is where we receive the fullness that God gives. We think we know what will truly satisfy us by walking in our flesh, but, we are so wrong. I know that by experience and, somehow I still need constant reminders of this. I battle my flesh daily. Walking in our flesh often gives us a very temporal happiness but, not a true, lasting joy. It does not completely fulfill us, only God can do that. Psalm 16:11 says that in His presence there is fullness of joy. I feel like I have experienced more of Him through the children He created and has allowed me to mother. It’s amazing to see and spend so much time with little ones He created specifically for us. The whole way He designed children to come into the world, how they learn, grow and develop could only be done supernaturally. It shows Christ’s divinity in countless ways. He has shown me a deeper glimpse of His love through the love He gives me for our children. The moment our first was born, I knew, without a doubt, that I could die for her if ever needed. The very second I met her, I knew I could put myself aside for her. That is exactly what God did for us. He gave us the ultimate sacrifice. He gave us His son and that was for every single person He created. His love is a million times more pure than mine. He is love. He created love. The gift of experiencing more of Him in becoming a mother is nothing short of exceptional. Thinking of Him as Father, who loves me more than I love my own children is remarkable. I hope you know Him as Father and know that His love is incomprehensible.

 

Heart

Discovering a Deeper Level of Christ’s Love Through Motherhood

November 4, 2015

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I’m a mom so, I wanted to talk about how in becoming a mother that I’ve come to know and experience another layer of Christ’s love. It’s truly one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve received. I feel so honored and privileged that God has allowed me to be called mama. I know not all of you are mother’s. My hope is that each of you will still be able to know more of the love that Jesus has for you, and others, through my ramblings.  When I start to write or communicate my thoughts, they tend to go here, there and everywhere(My husband knows this all too well). You might want to, kindly, muster  up some patience for me. I’m hoping and trusting that God will do something through this blog.

Having children is a game changer. It literally changes almost every single thing you do. A teeny tiny newborn will absolutely rock your world. Sleep deprivation takes on a whole( I mean, a W-H-O-L-E) new meaning. You would have never thought you could survive on so little sleep for so many days/weeks/months. You’ll also be amazed at how incredible your multi-tasking skills become. You’ll do things with only one hand that you would’ve never thought possible. This efficiency could have come in handy before kids, if only I knew.

You have all these ideas of what having kids will be like. You’ll imagine the kind of parent you’ll be. In reality, you’ll do things you would have never thought. Priorities change drastically. They change so significantly because your priorities change so greatly. You and your desires no longer constantly comprise the top spots of your thoughts. Thank you Jesus! Anytime we truly put someone above ourselves, we can begin to change. When we do it more often than we don’t, this can make way for great sanctification. You have this tiny human who needs you for everything, every single thing. They need you to love them, clothe them, protect them, help them sleep, bathe them, feed them, change them, cuddle them, etc. This happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your priority of “me,” begins to melt. It’s as if you are muddy head to toe and the shower begins to bring back your color. The mud is you getting washed down the drain. This may sound sad and, at moments, it is, but, it’s really quite beautiful. It’s like Jesus is cleansing you of self to draw you closer to Him and to make you more like Him. He’s the one who said the last will be first and who showed us what a true servant is.

The rewards of having a child will also rock your world, in ways you never imagined. When Jesus talks about God giving the best gifts, that children are a blessing, that the Holy Spirit gives love & joy, all of these things become truth that you know deep in your soul. It seems so backwards that you can give every ounce of yourself(and then some, and then some more) to someone but, simultaneously receive the most inexplicable joy. It’s joy in its most pure form. It’s pure because babies can’t speak yet, they can’t tell you the things things that make you feel good, they don’t know how to love you in your love language, they can’t even hug or kiss you yet. They really can’t do much for you, and, they require everything of you. Romans talks about presenting your body as a living sacrifice. Mothers can surely relate to this, in ways that others might not fully. Housing a little human inside your own body for 9 months, delivering that child, the healing process your body goes through to recover, nursing your child, being awake at all hours of the day and night to take care of your child. Those are just a few ways you begin to see your body as a sacrifice and not own solely of your own. How can someone who completely strips you of yourself, give you joy in a capacity you didn’t know existed? This is exactly how God works! There is not much we can do for God. We have come at a great cost to Him. He had to give his only Son for us. We can easily grieve and hurt Him. We disobey Him. We can forget to include Him in many of our thoughts or plans. We don’t give Him all the praise He is worthy of. But, He loves us. He loves us so much that He chose us and formed our inner parts & knit us together in our mothers womb. He loves us with a love that we can not fathom. He loves each of us. We are what He created. He wants His best for us, not what we think is our best. He is faithful to us & to His promises.

Part 2 Coming soon . . .

Featured Heart

Wise Woman

November 3, 2015

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You don’t need to be doing something grandiose to bring glory to God. It can often be what we consider mundane. When we are walking in the spirit, even the most minuscule tasks can speak of Gods character. What are you doing today? Dishes, cleaning up toys, putting kids down for a nap, laundry? It’s another day to build our home. Will it be in vain? No. We can be wise women! Proverbs 14:1

Featured Heart Lifestyle

This is Life

November 3, 2015

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 This is it. This is life. Soaking in a beautiful moment where I was completely present. Awwww, it’s like Calgon took me away. Nobody else needed me at that very moment. Undivided attention, how I love thee! My husband was putting our daughter down for a nap and I was with our son, Isaiah. I was on the floor, on my knees right up against the bed. He was sitting on the edge of the bed resting against my torso, nestled right into me. He was happy as could be playing with the drawstring on my pants. He was so content, waving that drawstring around. He’d put it in his mouth, coo, smile, coo some more, thenrepeat. Lord, give me such contentment in the simple things! When we pay attention, we can learn so much from children, can’t we? No wonder Jesus says to be like a child.

If you’ve had a chunky baby, like ours, you know what their marshmallow arms feel like. It doesn’t feel like there could possibly be any muscle or bones in there. Those arms arefull of squishy goodness. I got to have those marshmallow arms hanging on me. About every 10 seconds Isaiah would take a break, sit totally still and rest his head on my chest. The kind of resting that if I moved, he’d topple off the bed. He would just melt right into me. Love the trust our children have with us. It’s so genuine, so pure. It reminds me of the trust that is available to us from our Heavenly Father. He is worthy of all trust. I know the days of Isaiah resting on my chest will be gone so much faster than I’m ready for. What a wonderful moment to be present and not do things like try to read emails, text anyone, be tempted to leave and sweep the floor or anything else. To relish in moments like this is to live life. What a gift to simply enjoy. That’s it. The good in life. Ordinary moments with extraordinary heart. I’ll take it! This mama is grateful. What moments have you savored lately?

Featured Heart Lifestyle

A Letter to Evan.

March 8, 2015

To our sweet baby girl, you are 9 months tomorrow. God has made His love more real through you. I’ve experienced Him through loving you. How can God love you more than I do? It’s almost impossible to fathom. Not only has He given us Jesus but, He gives this world His children everyday. If that is not the fullest testimony of love, I don’t know what is. He gave us you and we couldn’t be more grateful for Him giving you, His daughter, to us. Loving you has also illuminated the depth of which my parents love me. I always knew I was loved but, in loving you, I know how deep that love goes. I know that they gave and continue to give their best for me, as we do for you. Our hearts will weep and be  deeply wounded when we fail you. When our sin or selfishness gets in the way of His best, we will crumble. The love we have for you is so more pure than anything else on earth. I believe Him giving the gift of children to show more of Himself. I don’t know how people are able to deny Him after going through a pregnancy, childbirth and caring for a child. In my eyes, there could be no other way to receive the miracle of children than from God. The whole process is without a doubt, miraculous.

Everyone says that having a child is hard work. Everyone jokes about the lack of sleep you’ll be living in. You don’t know what being tired is until you have a newborn. You ate every 2 hours, 24 hours a day for many months. It took you & us quite awhile to get nursing mastered. We had no idea what we were doing at the beginning. We were overwhelmed and utterly exhausted.  We had never given so much of ourselves to anyone or anything. Here comes the best part. The return on that investment was better than any return we had ever received. I think they call that a high yield or something in stocks, well then you would be an infinite, unsurpassed yield. The amount of love and joy we have experienced through you cannot be matched. It floods my entire body, every time I look at you. I have read that when a mother gazes at her child that her brain changes physiologically and this makes sense to me. This is something supernatural and fabricated by the Creator. There is absolutely no other explanation. There can be true joy in serving others and I have seen this in serving and caring for you. I have struggled in other relationships with joyful love being circumstantial. My hope is that in loving you so purely that it will help me love others more purely.

Children are without question one of the best gifts God gives. Children are a manifestation of God. The bible says that children are a blessing.

The word “blessing,” has lost some of it’s meaning due to it’s overuse. I don’t think there is a word to accurately encompass the true meaning of how good children are. I pray that you one day receive the gift of children. Seeing you become a mother would be another one of life’s best gifts. God has given us an insight to His love that I do not believe we could internalize without being parents. You are not even 1 year of age and God has already used you tremendously.