Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who Shares Your Story?

I have been participating in a 21 day challenge through Dayspring and Heart to Heart with Holley. Today she is having a link party and asking us to share our favorite post from the week! I love this one from Wednesday January 27 called Who Shares Your Story? You can read it here:

Here is my comment in a nutshell:

"I love the way you describe the 3 types of relationships we have. Currently I feel like most of my relationships are at the Functioning Level because of my season in life. I have a newborn and I am the one merely functioning! I recently told a someone that I feel as though I am not fully present in any of my conversations. Have you ever felt that way? Mine is due to being extremely tired at the very core of my soul. Physically, mentally and spiritually just slap worn out! Heart level relationships take being purposeful, and a commitment to being known. I love these and need them in my life, but I do think I am in a season where I am just not capable of maintaining that too well. Thankfully, most of people in my life understand that about me."

So, how about you? Who shares your story? Who would you like to go deeper with? Are you challenged as you read this to pursue a friendship or let down your walls to let another person know you?

Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!
Looking Forward,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Design Girl Wannabe - Master Bedroom

I am so excited to finally have a plan for our master bedroom! I have searched high and low for design inspiration and a color scheme that captured the look and feel of what I wanted. After what seemed like years of looking , I found this beautiful room at Houzz:
Master Bedroom traditional bedroom

I think the key elements that I love are the clean white bedding, the pop of color in the pillows which can be easily changed for a new look, the photo above the bed and the cozy lounge area for reading or watching television. I also like the use of black in the room which really provides an anchor to all the white! I found some fabulous bedding at to begin to build upon. Now I am looking for slipcovers, bedside tables and just the right photograph compliments of my husband! I am not sure what accent color I am going to use. I am thinking about green or a linen color. Currently my bed is a red oak slatted sleigh design, and it will have to stay that way for now. But with a picture finally in mind I can move forward! And that feels awesome!

I love the fact as well that dreaming and planning doesn't cost a dime. Now on to frugal shopping!

Looking Forward,

P.S. I will post before and after pictures as I am able to begin to make these changes. Right now I feel like Bob, from "What About Bob" ---taking baby steps!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Multitude Monday

#13 Saturday breakfast dates with daddy, her first of many:

Looking Forward,

holy experience

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reading To Your Kids

Do you read to your children? Do they love books? Edith Schaeffer said:

"If children haven't been read to, they don't love books. They need to love books, for books are the basis of literature, composition, history, world events, vocabulary, and everything else."

I want my kids to love books and to be good writers. Writing experts encourage reading aloud to your kids at least 2 hours every day. Is it just me, or does that seem impossible to achieve? I love to read to my girls and our current book, The Railway Children by E. Nesbit is a great adventure. Still, I struggle to take 2 hours every day to read to them.

Another way to engage them in listening to the written word is through audio books. We have used them from time to time, but I am thinking about using them more regularly. When I mentioned this idea to my super techie husband, he said, "That's what I-Tunes is for!" So today I checked it out and I found some great resources. My favorite is by Kara Shallenberg. She uploads 1 chapter each week onto I-Tunes. Currently, she is sharing The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann R Wyss. And the best part is that it is free! Isn't that awesome? You can also visit her website: for other great books! And I thought I-Tunes was just for music and movies!

"Countless studies over the past several decades have confirmed over and over again the undeniable impact of reading aloud on a child. Apparently, God has designed the minds of children to grow when watered with words from good books, His words being the best. It is impossible to overstate the influence you can have on your children simply by reading aloud to them regularly. It stands alone as an educational tool that is nearly universal in its effectiveness. Beyond that though, there s also a bonding that takes place when a family shares the experience of reading aloud. It is a unifying experience. Some are apt to be suspicious that such an uncomplicated means can produce such complex ends, but sometimes God uses the simple to confound the wise. Reading aloud is just that." Sally Clarkson, Educationg the Wholehearted Child.

Now, if only math were that simple!
Looking forward,

P.S. This is not meant to stress you out and add one more thing to your already very full life! I have days when I want to toss everything out the today! But sometimes you just have to stop, grab a good book and read to your kids. It truly does simplify all the chaos!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Have This Idea...

I've been thinking about starting a new small group. About a year ago I completed a 3 year covenant I made with 12 other women. We read, we studied The Word, we prayed, and we cried. A lot. Mostly though, we shared our lives around the table. I loved it. And I miss it dearly! I knew that I needed a break when it finished, but today I am feeling like diving back into that pool. Desiring going deeper and having some company along the way.

My husband and were talking about integrating a small group and some sort of social media. I realize all the people who I would love to gather at the table can't physically be there. But we could gather a virtual table.

Just a thought. More to come as I figure it all out!

Looking Forward,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience

Can you count 1,000 gifts that you are thankful for? I saw this challenge at A Holy Experience by Anne Voskamp. I am joining her gratitude community because I think it is a fabulous idea. And by the way, she has a beautiful blog and a way with words that touches my soul! Each Monday I will post a picture of one thing I am thankful for from the previous week. And, I will be be singing with thankfulness in my heart to God! Care to join me?

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved God's Word so much! She read it every night before bed and it helped her be strong and courageous. Then she lost her favorite Bible for about 3 months. She was so sad she cried. Just when we thought all hope was lost....we found it at church last Wednesday night.

Looking Forward,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In A Word....Thankful

As 2009 came to a close and I began to think about 2010 I found myself at a loss as to what my new word for the year would be. Our pastor has challenged us for the past several years to ask God to give us a specific word that He would use over the course of the next year to frame our lives. My words for 2008 (word) and 2009 (dwell) both came out of Colossians 3:16:

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

In fact, this has truly become my favorite verse because it talks on my passions & strengths so perfectly. I love spending time in God's Word and digging into it. My gifts are teaching and encouragement and I love to sing as well! So naturally, I looked at this verse for my word from God for 2010. I looked at each word and asked God, "Is this the one?" But honestly, I felt no special leading from Him. I had no clue. He was silent on the subject.

Unsettling as it was, I did my best to wait patiently. It would be great to have richly be my means abundant. I like the sound of it, too. Or, how about singing? I love to sing my heart out for The Lord, and it has been awhile since I have sung due to my season in life. Oh, please let it be singing! Or wisdom? I'm really tired right now, but sure I could use more wisdom in my life.

On Monday January 11, I read this in a book called Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young:
When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart. Then thank me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results. When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep on stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and My Promises.

There it was - my word and it is in Colossians 3:16! Thankfulness. Not a spectacular or unique word, but a word that I knew was for me. Confirmation of this came on Tuesday January 12. I was packing my 10 year old daughter for the trip of a life time. She and her dad were to board a plane a mere 12 hours later for Port-au-Prince, Haiti. They would take a long bus drive to New Missions about an hours drive away and spend the next 3 days passing out Christmas shoe box gifts to thousands of children in need. They might even get to do ministry in a local high school. My daughter was over the moon with excitement to be a missionary for the first time.

If you are following the news you know that as I packed her bags to go, an earthquake measuring 7.0 hit this exact spot. Thousands have lost their lives, are homeless and hungry. I was overcome by the thought, "thank me for answers that I have set into motion." I did not even think to pray, "Keep them safe from earthquakes..." But God had thankfully already set that answer into motion.

I am not by any means a theologian. I have no answer to the question 'why was my family spared and so many others not?' But I am and will remain thankful for God's mercy in sparing them from this tragedy.

Looking forward thankfully,

P.S. If you would like to get involved in helping the people of Haiti, I highly recommend this wonderful ministry. You can follow the link below and give the gift of rice, medical equipment, rebuilding vital structures or sponsor a child.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Favorite Blog Post for 2009

How about A Warm Cup of Coffee and my favorite blog post of the year? I love the blog world, because when we see a great idea we share it! Sarah Mae at Like A Warm Cup of Coffee, got this idea from Heathalee. I am joining the party and having one of my own! My first official Mr. Linky Party! What is your favorite blog post from your blog this past year? Just click Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post. Add your title and the the direct URL to your actual favorite post. Do not just link back to your blog. Also, add a link back to my blog so readers can find their way back here! You can copy and paste the address from the URL Bar above! Whew! It sounds harder than it is! Here is mine from
August 27, 2009

Mediocracy Is So Much Easier....

This has been so true in my life over the past couple of weeks. Last week, I began a study with my girls called "Eight Days of Honor." We have been talking about what honor means, how to have a good attitude and to look for opportunities to demonstrate both in our home and in our relationships. Since we started this adventure it seems like bad attitudes and whining have only increased! I have found myself saying, "Is any of this making a difference?"

The second thing I started was a new Bible study on the book of Revelation. I have found my quiet times super charged with truth and encouragement. But as my study time has deepened, the light and momentary afflictions have escalated. Now don't get me wrong, none of these are major ordeals, but when you put them all together they have been draining and frustrating to me.

But then I realized that though mediocracy is easier, it is not what I am called to. I am not called to comfort - though I crave it. I am not called to an easy life - though it sounds great. I am called to do hard things and they are not always easy or fun. Rewarding? Absolutely. Do I always see it immediately? No. But I am holding on the the fact that when I am faithful, the Lord enters into the situation and He promises to "strengthen those hearts who are completely His." (2 Chronicles 16:9a).

Now, let me just finish this thought with my love for my profound and funny friend. She is an amazing woman of God. She has challenged me on many occaisions to do hard things and is the one who really set me on a course about 9 years ago to get serious and study God's Word. I pray that I can and will be that kind of woman for others!

Looking Forward,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Check This Out for the New Year!

Here are a few things I have found that are great resources as you start the new year!

This blog is packed with great ideas. Currently, Molly is focusing on great and easy ways to organize your life. She also has tons of free downloads as well!

I love these super cute elastic bookmarks. This is a fun and easy craft projects that you and your kids can do! My daughter made them for Christmas gifts. While over at Whimsy love, look at her other amazing craft ideas. She is a genius!

I love a good bowl of soup and have I found the best one to share with you! My dear friend Robin, made this Italian Sausage Cheese Tortellini Soup for me in October when she came to visit. We ate some, froze some, and enjoyed it again after our baby was born. You need to stop now, go to the store and pick up these ingredients...mmmmm it is so very good! I found the recipe at

Looking Forward,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dreams for 2010

I love to plan. A new day timer or journal makes me smile. I get excited about blank pages filled with lists of things I would love to do. I even like to make lists of daily tasks. Making a list, or setting a goal, is great . But if you write it down, then you somehow are committed to actually do it. And don't get me started on how good it makes me feel to actually cross it off the list. Pure joy!

But as I sit here today, I am tired. My southern friends call it being slap worn out. Several things have contributed to this bone tired exhaustion I feel. First of all, I have a 10 week old. She is amazing and doing all the things babies are supposed to do. She even sleeps a little at night. But my days are filled with constant activity. Gone are the days of "sleep when they sleep." You see, she has 3 older sisters and an amazing daddy. I move from one thing to the other and before I know it, the day is done and I'm begging God for her to sleep for more than 4 hours.

Second of all, it has been a tough year. Illness, loss of life, friends moving away, lack of opportunities to be refreshed ---all of these things have drained me. My cup feels very empty. A wise person once told me if your cup is empty you can't overflow to others. Yep, that is where I am precisely today. Larry Crabb calls it your red dot. Mine is just tired.

So the idea of setting goals , for the new year has really stressed me out. I am too tired to really think about adding a new practice, or task to my schedule. Oh I could probably come up with a few that are obvious:

  1. Exercise and lose baby weight,
  2. Date my husband more,
  3. Be a better more gentle mom
.....but the question is, are they really goals or just what I should already be doing?

So, I saw this article over at (In) Courage and the idea just felt like a fresh breeze. I can dream. A dream does not feel like a task. It does not hold you down or make you frustrated. A dream is out on the horizon of tomorrow. A dream will wait for you if you need it to. It will act as a light in the darkness of drudgery. It can and will inspire you to keep going. A dream is a friend who whispers what is possible.

So when I close my eyes and dream what do I see?

I see the woman I was designed to be.
I see joy in the morning as I eagerly sit in my big chair and meet with my Lord.
I see gratitude marking every day.
I see my husband living and working out of his strengths and me being his biggest cheerleader.
I see my children walking in Truth.
I see teaching and encouraging.
I see times of refreshment - daily, weekly, monthly.
I see music.
I see a mentor.
I see the chance to meet new friends.
I see coffee and cheesecake with old friends.
I see Jesus.

Looking Forward,

P.S. I'm linking to (In) Courage for this post. Please go over and check out this amazing blog! It is packed with inspiration and fun shopping!