Monday, February 28, 2011

He is FOR us...

Without sharing too many details, I just have to brag about my God right now. I've been a bit downhearted the past couple of days and have felt like our family is once again under Satan's attack. While I know God is FOR us, sometimes it doesn't feel that way. After the latest incident, I told myself I would not allow my mind or feelings to go down that dangerous path. I allowed that to happen this past December and I know this is a tender area the enemy is trying to attack again and reopen old wounds (feelings of failure, doubt, insecurity, worrying about what others may think, that people have us figured out wrong, that I have God figured out all wrong, etc.) Well, those areas are covered now, by a very mighty Hand. This morning, I took on the warrior stance, ready to do battle...my prayerful heart told the Lord that I believed His Word to be true and that I am claiming it for myself...that He is indeed FOR us and although it didn't feel that way at times, I was choosing to believe it even now, and I was expecting for Him to show Himself true. Well, He did just that...in a very tangible and personal way. In a way that involved both Darcy and I...uniting us in our faith and in this journey even further. Feeling very much encouraged and heard. Thank you Father, for your investment in our lives. For fighting for those you claim as Your own. You are my Perfect Example. My Wonderful Counselor. My Marvelous Resource and Protector. Teach me how to be a warrior for You.
And as Daniel, I want You to say of me,
"She has an extraordinary spirit."
Increase my faith.
I am Yours for the taking.
Thank you for Your daily bread.
It has satisfied this hungry soul today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rainbow Rice!

The kids have mid-winter break this week and I have been itching to do some sort of fun craft at home with them. I was inspired after reading a friend's blog and decided we'd make our own RAINBOW RICE!
1.) Mix a little vinegar and food coloring
2.) Add rice
3.) Shake and shimmy vigorously
4.) Let it sit
5.) Let it sit some more
6.) Let it dry
7.) Get creative
8.) Greeting cards & homemade works of art
Ta-Da!
Easy. Quick. Cheap. Fun!

Monday, February 21, 2011

High hopes tonight...

Bound and determined,
with dental floss at work,
someone lost her 4th tooth tonight!
She is pretty optimistic that the tooth fairy will
deliver a "square paper dollar."
Last time, the tooth fairy was a bit frugal,
which left a tinge of disappointment in this 5 year old's little heart.
High hopes tonight!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring is in the Air!

I am in such a good mood today. I felt it as soon as I woke up and crawled out of bed.
This is a day to be glad in! Be glad!
My Uncle Bob is a professional photographer and he just recently took this photo of this bird that appeared right outside his window.
I asked if I could have a copy because it instantly stirred feelings of peace within me when I first saw it. Spring. New beginnings. Change. Beauty. Appreciation. Gratitude. Hope.
It is gorgeous outside today...and although it will dip back down to frigid, I am embracing the sunshine and the warmth of the day.
"Praise be to the name of God forever and ever.
All wisdom and power are His.
He changes times and seasons..."
~Daniel 2:20-21
The winds of change have blown across this spirit of mine.
Spring is in the air,
as well as in my heart.
Gladdened.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh yes, he did!

This past Valentines Day was quite different from any I've had in the past 10 years. Darcy was working all day and we hardly communicated. He didn't get home until almost 10:00pm. This is a season in life where we just don't have a lot of time for each other (as much as we try to carve it out and wish we did, it is still very minimal). His only evenings home are Saturdays and Sundays...you pair that with quality family time, friends, Home Group, birthday parties, commitments and life's demands and it doesn't give us a lot of wiggle room to make time exclusively for us. I'm thankful this is just a season. I've been needing to connect with my man and felt a little wounded that we weren't able to celebrate together, even in the small ways we usually do. I truly embraced God as my Valentine yesterday and He carried me through, filled me with joy, and allowed me to enjoy a great evening at home with my three little loves.

But when my husband finally did come home last night, he told me he was taking over, and that although God was my Valentine for the day, he would be my Valentine for the remainder of the night. He began by reading me a letter that he had written to me that day (this beats any Hallmark card). It's one thing to read the words coming from your husband's heart and another to hear them spoken aloud. The sound of his heart pouring out in honesty and humility was enough to heal any hurt I had been carrying and tore down any wall I had been trying to build. It was exactly what I needed. Connection.
Followed by a foot rub, and I was as good as gold.

Around 11:30 or so we headed up to bed, checked in on all the kiddos, and I walked into our bedroom and found this:
Oh yes he did! He bought me the pillow I had been obsessing over.
But I know he didn't buy it just because it was something I wanted.
He recognized and acknowledged that I am a woman with a deep need to create...that it makes me come alive when I do, and that for 18 months now I have been somewhat deprived in being able to create a home for our family. The pillow represents an outlet for me to do so and a husband who is allowing me to create and dream and validates this need within me.
It's so much more than just a pillow.
(excuse this no make-up photo...i was literally about to crawl into bed, but the look on my face had to be shared despite that.)
Before we fell asleep I reminded Darcy again how much I love him. I said, "It's not because you bought me the pillow," and before I could say another word, he finished my sentence and said, "it's because I understand you."
I had 2 Valentines yesterday.
Both know me by heart.
That will leave any girl to fall asleep with gladness in her soul.
(And I am pretty sure there was a smile on my face too.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

smooshed, pursued, found, made new...

Smooshed, pursued, found, made new...
Now that is LOVE.
Happy Valentines Day!

Perhaps it was the PMS talking, but I was overcome with emotion this past Sunday in church. Andy, our pastor, preached a bit about how God pursues us and wants to win us back to Himself. We went back to the very beginning, the book of Genesis, where he pointed out that even after Adam and Eve sinned, God's very first response wasn't one of condemnation and blame...His first words to the world's first sinners were, "Where are you?" God had been living in harmony with mankind and enjoyed it immensely. He delighted in us. His response was one that showed the heart of a God who was heartbroken because He had lost something. Something that He loved beyond measure...a right relationship with us. And ever since those moments in the garden of Eden, He has been trying to win us back through His relentless pursuit and love. When we look away, He doesn't. He looks for us and says, "Where are you?"
I could not get this concept out of my mind...it was as if I could hear Him speaking these very same words to me as I sat there in the front row of our church yesterday morning. "Where are you?" And flashbacks of my life before I knew Him came flooding over my mind, and the tears began to flood my eyes. How could a God so worthy and wonderful as He, care so much? He should have been yelling, "Child, what in the world are you doing with your life? Why are you doing this? Don't you know the consequences of this? Yes, there will be consequences to this life you are choosing to lead." But no, His perfect response was and is, "Where are you?" The fact that He could love me and be heartbroken over me, I simply cannot wrap my mind around as much as I try. I rejected and ignored Him time after time...but He did not give up. Just as a mother or father would never give up looking for their lost child, my Maker never gave up on me. As I sat in church that morning, my heart broke for His as I recalled my lost life and His desire to win me back to Himself. A relentless pursuit.

Bittersweet. Bitter, to look back at my life before Him. My empty, lost life. Sweet to embrace the truth that I've been found. That my old life is just that, old. And He took my smooshed battered self and has made me brand new. That I have a Savior who didn't give up on me, but who found a way to restore me to Himself...and continues to do so daily.

If you find yourself not in an intimate relationship with God, please know it's not because His eyes aren't on you. He's looking for you, pursuing you, ready to make you brand new. Listen to His whisper, listen to His cry. It may be the sweetest words you allow your heart to hear: "Where are you?"
For I am living proof that He can take what's smooshed and battered,
and turn it into good.
What we may think is broken, lost or useless,
He can make into art, into something beautiful.
You just may be the canvas He is waiting to use.
On this very day, I beg you...
allow Him to be your Valentine.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Daddy Daughter Dance

Friday, February 12, 2011 marked a very important date
in this little girl's life:
Her 1st Daddy Daughter Dance.
A few weeks ago Brooke and I went shopping for this special occasion,
looking for the "perfect" dress and just the right accessories to go along with it.
We had so much fun together
It all hung in her closet covered in plastic,
until the night of her big reveal.
(of course a girl must keep her prince in suspense)
And as any real princess would, this one slowly walked down the staircase
as her prince waited at the bottom of the stairs...
staring in awe and taking in the beauty of his lovely princess.



What a sight to behold.



Allowing innocent moments
such as these to permeate my heart,


and hoping they will richly mark hers.

For now, this is her love story.

A time where she finds security wrapped in her Daddy.
Some day,
a certain young man will have big shoes to fill,
but for now, all this little girl needs is the love of her Daddy.
A place where her worth and her beauty come alive...
(Even in her dreams.)
So much to take in for one little princess.
Wanting to keep the "little" in my girl forever.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Confession...













I have a confession to make...I WANT THIS PILLOW!
And not just an "oh-that-would-be-nice-to- have" kind of want; but rather an "I-WANT-it-right-now-kid-screaming-in-the-toy-store" kind of want. I've been eyeing it with admiration for a couple of months now. I've shown pictures of it to Darcy after flipping through the monthly catalog where it first won my affection.
(thinking, "Oh, he'll like this. It looks like a deer!)

We are in need of a new comforter/sheet set. I'm being patient waiting for just the right one, and for just the right timing (which isn't now). But when I saw this pillow, I immediately knew I wanted it on my bed! I want to base the whole design of our bed around this gazelle pillow. So, as I was laying in bed last night, a thought occurred to me that gazelles might be mentioned several times in the Song of Songs- the most romantic and intimate book of the Bible! So, I got out of bed, opened up my Bible and began reading...sure enough! They are referenced right there between the dialogue of two lovers. And me, being a sentimental soul, thought, "(Gasp & Gush) The pillow is PERFECT! It will be the focal point of our bedroom and will remind us to thank God for our marriage and ask Him to bless every aspect of it!" I was so excited and told Darcy, while also nonchalantly mentioning that the pillow was just a wee bit expensive (quickly dismiss) and went on to emphasize the meaning behind it and how wonderful this would be
AND how we should buy it!
And I probably fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Well, this afternoon Darcy calls, (I have been thinking about this pillow all morning long), and I tell him about my GREAT idea: We could buy this pillow for each other for Valentine's Day! (mind you, we don't traditionally give gifts on Valentine's Day). I retell the meaning, quickly throwing in the "it is pretty expensive" part, and how if we wait, I worry it will be gone or sold out (my birthday is not until the end of July)...but my plan didn't work. (Did I mention that the backside of the pillow is a bright marigold yellow? My favorite color.) Did I also mention that the pillow is actually really expensive? The wise thing to do is to say NO right now. Sometimes I hate that word...this is one of those cases. So, I am taking a few minutes to sulk,
like the kid in the toy store.
I love this gazelle pillow and I am pining over it more than I should be.
And that's my confession.



mean mommy

Sandra, this one's for you (or for anyone else who is not on facebook or missed this status update of mine last night)...too funny not to share! Read below about a "sweet" moment from our home last night:

A very sweet thing happened tonight: a very sassy & defiant moment landed a little 5 yr old girl straight up 2 bed. When I went upstairs 2 talk & tuck, I saw the back of this little girl, on her knees, in front of her bed praying. Melt my heart! So, 2 B sure, I watch & then ask her what she is doing. She tells me she is praying (sigh).I ask her why she is praying & she says, "because mommy is mean." Lord, help me!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What do you see in me?

Over the course of the past couple of days, the LORD has spoiled me with His love and sprinkled me with His encouragement.

After my quiet time this morning, I couldn't help but feel like that homely, average looking girl whose boyfriend is that incredibly stunning and handsome man.

I think to myself, "God, what is it that you see in me? Some days I don't know why You even bother. I'm undeserving and so 'wrong' to be next to You. Immeasurable."

Thankfully, His love is too. Thankfully He makes this heart beautiful and is trying to make it a mirror of His own. Thankfully I am chosen. Thankfully He doesn't give up.

"This is the day the Lord has made. We shall rejoice and be glad in it."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

lazy saturday morning

After the hustle and bustle of the week,
it's nice to wake up on Saturday mornings and play...
play...
play!
And this morning, that's exactly what the kids did.
I, on the otherhand, have spent the entire day in the kitchen baking,
cooking and preparing food for Super Bowl Sunday!
I started out baking a butterscotch cake.
By no means are these cakes pretty...
but they sure are delicious!
After second thought, I was having cake-decorating remorse.
My girly instincts initially thought a heart atop this cake would be lovely...
but in honor of all those die-hard football fans out there,
I nixed the heart and adorned this cake with one of the most "uniquely" shaped footballs I have ever seen. Not my best work...but once it's tasted, I'm hoping nobody will even care!
And as many Saturdays do...this lazy morning quickly blended into afternoon. Lunch time brought on giggles and full tummies which warranted the usual mid-day nap.
And here is a sneak prelude to just that!