Thursday, July 26, 2012

sometimes we have relationships in our lives
and they come, fill so much of our hearts, our time, our world...
they can even bring happiness, memories we treasure
and then it seems in an instant they fade into the wind.
swept offshore into the waves of the ocean 
sinking way down deep into the dark sea
never to be seen again. 

what happened? how can something so real, so important, so tangible
just slip away, never to be felt again, only to be replaced with an empty hole. 
maybe this has happened to you.
it has happened to me. 
happened on more than one occasion. 
a family member, a friend, a trusted confidant....
someone who at one time was as close as a loved one could be. 

but why? 
that piece, it often lingers. for me it has lingered for years. 
at times it is a distant memory but other times it is all consuming. 

it is then that i have to offer up what i can't control,
what i can't do a thing about, and pray. 
pray to the one who is the healer of all things. 
give up the pain, the resentment, the anger, the loss.
turn it over and instead pick up:
His love, His grace, and let Him heal, let Him make all things new. 
relinquish the need to know, to control, to make it better myself. 
let it go. 

we've all been there, left by someone who once was once so much of our world.
forgotten by someone we cared about deeply. 
the pain is at times unbearable, i have been there. 
wallowing in the pit of misery, rejection, lies.
 but there is hope. 

because my God can restore, He does restore, He has a purpose. 
there are times where he has restored a broken relationship,
a friendship that was long past brought into being again, through grace & forgiveness.
but there are other times where that hasn't been a part of His plan.
it hurt. it wasn't what i desired. 
it isn't even what i thought to be best. 
but God knew better, He knew what i needed, what was best for me. 
time brought about reflection and a glimpse of life without that toxic impact,
and slowly it started to hurt less. 
time gave way to understanding that what was taken away was meant for my good
and brought about a freedom only He could have orchestrated. 
pure grace. 

if you are here today. 
with tear stained face, 
or a heart that is broken with loss.
know this my friend, 
there is hope. 
in Him there is love, there is joy, there is true peace. 

He doesn't always restore a relationship we desire. 
that family member, that friend, that loved one, 
He may have a greater plan for you. 
they may not be part of His plan for your life.
you may look back a year from now
and understand why or you may never know. 

but this one thing is for sure. 
He is love, He wants a relationship with you, He wants what's best for you. 
will you let Him orchestrate that? 
will you lay down the hurt, the pain, the feelings you hide way down deep?
pick up His love, His grace and His peace. 

i am scratching the surface of my story. 
more will come. 
but please know i come from a place of love and understanding. 
having been forgotten, rejected and left by my own flesh and blood, 
i understand the pain you feel. 
but i also stand here today a changed woman. 
a woman with a story of what he God did. 
how He changed my life. 
how He has bore my pain and left me with grace, love and peace unending. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

ann voskamo quote

ann voskamp, blogger, writer, author of 1,000 gifts. 
she's incredible. what a story, what a testimony. 

one thing i really like that she said is this
"only speak words that make souls stronger"

what wonderful advice for all of us.
if it isn't helpful, if it doesn't build someone up, why say share it?

it also encourages me, tell my story, 
by telling our stories, by sharing what we've been through,
souls become stronger.
ann told hers. 
her story made me stronger. 

what is your story? 
more to come on my story... 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

beth moore quote

(made by me using freebie from Free Pretty Things for You.)


simple sentiments

for the past 2 weeks i have been diving into 2 timothy.
it's a treasure trove. 
i have read through it before.
but this time there is more there.
our pastor has gone through it the past 2 sundays
but at home during the week i have watched some louie giglio podcasts on the chapter as well.
if you haven't really dug into this i encourage you to do so. 
so many pearls of wisdom and truths to cling to. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

ideas for a new header

made by me with a header from cutest blog on the block template. 
thinking about changing my header... hmmm 

here's the second one...i think i am liking the 2nd the best!
what about you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

joy's hope & a printable

source - joy's hope

do yourself a favor, hope on over to joy's hope. 
i've been a joy's hope blog reader for quite some time.
actually i think she's one of the first bloggers i ever read. 
it's good stuff.
real life, honest momma. 
she shares her heart. she shares her story and she shares printables.
best part, she loves Christ!
she's good people. 
you'll see.
she encourages us all to do more, be more, spread sunshine.

she made this printable above
it was on her post today.
it's awesome. 
it's awesome because i get that statement. 
i love dessert, candy, cokes, sweet tea, ice cream, all of it. 
so i run. 
well that's not the only reason i run but it's part of it. 
for real. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"grace moved the stone" thoughts

source unknown, if you know who designed this please let me know so i may give proper credit.

"grace moved the stone" is the latest podcast from louie giglio, pastor of passion city church.
if you click the link it will take you to his site and message link.
i believe it was his message from july 8th.

from time to time i like to watch his sermons and never ever am i disappointed.
there is so much truth, so much wisdom, there is just so much.
i first heard about louie when my pastor showed his clip on laminin.
astounding. especially during such a time of uncertainty, fear and tears.
but that clip, healing words.
then through the lovely paige knudsen who is lucky enough to hear this man preach in person.

grace moved the stone was awesome.
in it he explores john 20.
i had read john 20, even made a few notes the last few times i had been over it.
but louie takes another look, a deeper look.
one i had not considered.
in it we see God.
we see who he is by what he does.
in His human form.
love in action.
we learn about a promise.
do you know about the promise of john 20?
i didn't until today.
but it is wonderful and i am thrilled to know now.

louie points out the promise of john 20 is this:
He's already there, He's already done the work for us.
we just have to show up,
we have to be willing,
we have to trust,
but the battle, the hard work, it's done.

what do i mean?
if we look at john 20:1
the first sentence says it all.
"early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,
Mary Magdelene, went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed
from the entrance."

picture it, early sunday morning, before the sun had broken the horizon,
Mary went to the tomb to care for Jesus body.
even in His death, she was serving Him.
that strikes me.
but when she gets there, He is gone.
there is no body to care for. He has risen!
He had already taken care of it.

that's a great promise He makes through His actions.
she is willing, she trusts, she is "showing up" to do His work.
but He has already done it.
what a picture of grace.

what is going on in your life?
what is asking you to do?
i know what He is asking me to do.
He is showing me clearly.
there has been some kicking, some screaming, and buckets up on buckets of tears.
struggle, heartache, fear.
but you know what?
He is already there, the battle has been won,
i just need to show up.

later on in chapter 20
specifically vs 19-20.
we see another example of His love, His grace, in action. 
 "on the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together,
with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and
said "Peace be with you." After he said this, He showed them his hands and side. The disciples
were overjoyed, when they saw the Lord."

the disciples, locked in a room, in the midst of paralyzing fear, confusion, 
uncertainty for their futures.... 
and Jesus appears. 
you notice He didn't knock, He didn't ask to come in. 
"He came and stood among them."
and with that he says
"peace be with you"
He goes on to show them His hands and side.
He is connecting his wounds to the evidence that it truly is Him
and that it is through His wounds he imparts peace.

what a lovely picture of grace.

there is so much here.
there is so much that you just need to watch for yourself.
today i settled in with a cup of hot green tea, my bible and my notebook...
it was precious pearls of wisdom that encourages me
it assures me that this call He has been placing on my heart isn't too big.
for He has already been there. He has won the battle.
i just need to show up, i just need to trust.
what has He placed on your heart?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

pray more, worry less ~

found this print on etsy today... it's fitting. 
it's super cute too. 
it's kinda something i have been working on. 
trying to "pray more & worry less".
some days i am an epic fail. 
big fat fail. 
like when one of my friends or loved ones has a potential health issue...
just as a side note, health issues = super scary uncertainty for me. 
which in turn means, lots of worrying. 
i digress. 

praying more and worrying less isn't quite my nature. 
however, it's something God is working on with me. 
i say that because the last few months we've had a few health scares.
i can't help but think He's saying "trust me". 
as i lay in bed at night going to the worst of places in my head... 
there is an echo, "but do you trust Me?"
and my thought pattern changes....

yes, yes i do trust You. 
because despite the circumstances of the day,
He is still the same. God is still good.

it is a day by day change.
a shift in the way my mind wants to work. 
my flesh is weak and i fail miserably on my own.

but when i just stop worrying,
my mind goes to how great our God is.
how much bigger He is than what i face.
no matter what it is. 
health issue or not. 

this life is guaranteed to have difficulty. 
we know troubles will come.
it's what we do that makes the difference. 

so join me, pray more & worry less. 

simple sentiments

best part is, if you go to her blog, it's a free printable. 
who doesn't love that.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

simple sentiments - mid week

because i can, and because we can always use a reminder....
simple sentiment, mid week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

christmas in july ~ it's a celebration

christmas in july!
really? well i used to think this idea was insane...
maybe even too much of a jump on the pending holiday season.
i mean why get all excited about something that is 6 months away?

but you know what? 
it is something to be excited about.
it is something to anticipate.
well, for me, it's the celebration of the birth of my savior. 
now that's something to dance in the street about. 
the past 2 years in our home we have attempted to make some shifts.
shifts towards a more christ centered christmas.

 here are a few ideas I hope to incorporate this year...

these will absolutely be on my gifting list.
what a sweet gift for a friend, a hostess or teacher!
might even whip up a few for each family member!

one of these little beauties from this lovely etsy shop would be just perfect on our back door to the porch. 
check out this shop, simply adorable for all seasons, holidays, and celebrations!

 hoping to add to my bottle brush collection. 
a pink tree would be the ultimate find!

each year we make cookies for friends and family.
this year we will be adding a tag, maybe this one! 
just a simple way to share why we are really celebrating!

 i make a cake to eat on christmas eve after the service for jesus.
while it is not professionally done as this beauty,
the sentiment is the same.
we sing happy birthday jesus and say thank you! 

last year I didn't hear about this idea until a week before christmas. 
so we decided to wait until this year to start the tradition.
we read every night. i am a word nerd. so its just part of the routine around here.
but how fun is this! 
wrap 25 christmas books and unwrap and read one a night.
my goal is to collect as many christ centered books as i can.
they are already bombarded with the worlds idea of christmas. 
i want to flood them with the true meaning.
what a great opportunity. 
might have to hit up the local library early! 

what does your family do? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

fairytale fourth

today i am thankful for the freedoms our great nation has.
thankful for the people who make those freedoms possible. 
thankful for experiencing the hand of my God in the present 
and the precious gifts He gives. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

happy 4th of july

from our home to yours, from coast to coast, our family wishes you a wonderful holiday! 
our prayers are lifted up for the families of our military, our service men and women
 for protection and peace.
our hearts are grateful for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. 
god bless the USA!

Monday, July 2, 2012

fourth of july festivities

just a few things i found around the web to inspire my menu, our decor and of course fun! 

no holiday can start at our house without some bunting! 
we have it for every holiday and i love it! 
this one screams to me with the vintage style fabrics!

we made these last year.
they were a hit  as a pre dinner snack!

tablescape ideas from none other than the marvelous martha! 
no 4th of july celebration is complete without some daises.
they made a great hostess gift for that bbq!
just bring them in a decorated vase and hostess will kiss your cheek!

what are your plans for the 4th?