Monday, December 31, 2012

happy new year - 2013

from our home to yours, 
happy new year!
welcome 2013
may you fill our year will happiness, health and special memories.
but most of all it is my prayer that 2013 brings us all into a closer relationship
with our creator as we strive to be all He created us to be. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

jennie allen study continued - sad

source unknown (if you know do share so I can give credit) 

this week we have been studying chapter 6 in jennie allen's study, stuck.
our chapter was titled sad. 
after 2 tragic deaths in our circle of friends this past week, honestly it wasn't a chapter i was eager to jump into. we've had our share of "sad" and reality in these parts.
the past day or so i was really in quite the rut and emotionally just kinda wiped. 
the holidays and then the cold hard reality that we are never promised one more day was making me a little weary and cranky. have you been there? please say yes?

tonight with an ache in my spirit i sat down with my study materials, a candle and my tea and set out to conquer what jennie had to share... and my Heavenly Father had for me in his word. 
my heart still aches for the pains of this world but there is a new peace. 

we start with this promise from our Father
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the Glory that will be revealed in us"
romans 8:18

how's that for a promise? 
how's that for, "hey I got this, love God"

i read this over and over and over letting it be written across my heart and soul. 
i want to shout this promise, revel in it's goodness.
these sufferings, this "stuff", all this world has to throw at me and at you, 
it is not even worth comparing with the Glory that will be revealed in us!
that is such exciting news.
this is so exciting to me because my God, my Heavenly Father, when He creates He creates big and bold and beautiful ~ for goodness sakes we are told that when breathes stars were spoke
psalm 33:6 says "the Lord merely spoke and the heavens were created. 
He breathed the word and all the stars were born". 
that there my friends, that is my God. 
so if when he merely breathes a word our vast heavens with the sparkling stars in all their glory were created... can you even imagine, can you even consider, because I can't fathom it, what the Glory will be revealed in us when He intentionally creates that Glory? 
be still my heart.
in awe.

we are sad because we live in a fallen world. 
there is sin, and yuck and sadness.
when we focus on the things of this world, we come up sad and depressed every time. 
but what would happen if we focused on the things that were unseen? 

in 2 corinthians 4:18 we are charged "dont look at the troubles we can see now, 
rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. 
For the things we see now will soon be gone but the things we cannot see will last forever."

what if we did just that? 
what if you and i took our focus off what is seen and switched our view to the things we can't?
what would happen?

you know perspective is a powerful tool...
when i think about how awesome my God is, it is so often coupled with what a sinner i am and how awesome is He that he would even find favor me? how magnificent is it that He would call me His child?
my perspective is affected as i know i don't deserve the greatness and goodness that is all He is. 
my heart is overwhelmed time and time again that the God of the universe would call me unto Himself. 

what if i changed my perspective as i viewed the lens of my life?
would there still be sadness? yes i know there will be...
but what if i lived my life with the knowledge that no weapon formed against me will remain.
God is my victory, He is here and He is doing a great work in me.

this pursuit of happiness we're all on, i don't think it's bad.
it's wonderful!
our God made this planet with some of the most extraordinary creations my feeble mind can barely fathom.
we should experience all those things, we are created to feel love, enjoy relationships with others and community within our families and friends. those are some of lifes greatest blessings.

but what if in the midst of all of that we also focused on the things that were unseen? 
what would happen?

a few years ago i was faced with some tough mountains.
God got my attention in some pretty real ways.
what i learned is that happiness, true happiness, isn't in anything i can see.
what i learned is that what i desire is joy.

happiness we all experience, a baby playing peek a boo, a surprise party with friends.
those are happy times.
but joy, true joy, is choosing to be joyful even when the world around me may be falling down.
every day, every day i have found something to be grateful for.
there have been days, hours honestly when being grateful was reduced down to a single breath my son took.
each time his chest rose and fell in an hour, no matter what else was happening inside him made me grateful because it was one more hour i could behold his sweet little face, touch his tissue paper thin skin....

the best definition i have ever read is credited to the "gitzen girl" who sadly passed away in Sept of 2011.
but sara, the girl behind the blog was such an inspiration... and in her blog she defines what she believes is joy... and i have to share:
Joy: the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.
if you have never been to her site, please take some time, get to know her, and i promise in getting to know her, you will see Him. 

How do you define joy? 

simple sentiments

Friday, December 28, 2012

friday faves - pink edition

this week's friday faves is going to center around my favorite color, right now. ; ) 
pink. this color has forever been a fave... but right now i'm really drawn to it. 
here are a few of my favorite pink items from around the web.

isn't she a beauty?
since we remodeled about a year ago i have been on the hunt for a chandelier for my closet.
pink is and will be the color of choice.... but i may have to opt for clear... 
since i share this closet with a manly man.... 
however, this little gem is super cute isn't it? 
the trick is finding one that doesn't hang too low... 

this phone booth is just romantic.
i know we're well into the days of our own cell phones but goodness!
i would love to take a call in this little pretty... 
or be kissed by my handsome hubby inside.....

these gem stone necklaces are quickly filling up my jewelry stand.
they are such great statement pieces and add that touch of color and pop i love!

every girl deserves a great pair of shoes she feels fabulous in.
these little pink peep toe heels make me swoon! 
wouldn't you love to slide your foot in these and dance the night away? 

love trucks. 
love men in trucks.
but this pink truck, i would drive it all over.
not practical at this stage in my life but the hubby knows,
one day, when the car seats are done...
a vintage truck, wagoneer or jeep is in my future.
pink or aqua... either will do. 


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

holding our loved ones close and my word for 2013?

this holiday season we drew inwards, we celebrated with close family and friends 
and it was such a season of special memories... i hate to see it end. 
such a bittersweet time on christmas day. 
my heart is full for all the love and laughter and lives that filled my home the past 3 days.
my feet are aching and i am beyond tired but my mind it races with the memories made, still so fresh. 

one thing rang true for me over the past few days and it was to hold your loved ones close. 
life is so fragile as we all know and in an instant it can all change. 
one fell swoop and life as we know it is never the same. 

as i grow older and life teaches me more i am often pausing to revel in it's lessons.
the past few weeks especially i have really felt in my heart such a need to share my love for those around me.
ensure they know they are a treasure to me.
to hug someone just a bit longer, really listen to their laugh 
or feel their soft skin as we hold hands to pray at the family table.
being sure to tell them i love them when they leave my home not just tell them good bye.

i want to love these people in my life well. i want them to know i care, that they are special and loved.

this is the time of year i really try to reflect on the past year,
reflect on my word of meditation from the past year
and decide which virtue to move into the following year.

two years ago my word of action was, simplify.
i simplified my life down to bare bones so i could focus on what mattered most.
last year my word was, intentional.
being intentional in my decisions, my family and in my relationship with Christ.

this year there are a few ideas swirling around in my head.
prayers are offered to help lead me in my next word of the year.
i think it will have something to do with those around me this year....

do you have a word of the year?
if so how do you decide which one? 

Merry Christmas!

So grateful for this most precious gift of all.
The gift of a Savior. He didn't leave us on our own... but gave us the gift of life.
On bended knee, arms raised high, my heart sings "how great thou art".

Merry Christmas!!! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 21, 2012

friday faves - christmas edition

it seemed fitting this week's friday faves be centered around christmas! 
so here are a few of my favorite things ~ christmas!

bottle brush trees! 
vintage or new, it does not matter to me i adore these little guys.
all clustered together they are such adorable holiday decorations.
i am a newbie collector, 2 years ago, but i am always keeping an eye out for the ones in colors
other than green, they are tricky to find! cute aren't they?

vintage ornaments!
isn't this tree gorgeous? now i have no idea if these are vintage or reproduction, but they sure are pretty all dolled up on that white tree. i don't hang mine, i cluster them in a bowl or a vase.... 
their detail and color is always amazing

 nativity scene
we have a nativity scene at our home a friend gave me. 
it is special, and always will be, because it was a gift from the heart.
growing up my mom had (and still has) and gorgeous hand carved scene.
i've always wanted one for my own home but haven't been able to find one.
any one know a good place to look?

christmas eve service
this service is by far one of my most favorite all year.
my family is together and we are celebrating in worship the birth of our Savior.
the dark church, the candles, the music, it gives me chills just to think of it...

what is your favorite part of christmas? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

reflection and ramblings

this weekend we took things slow, we lingered a bit longer…
the tragedy in CT leaves us all in shambles.
for the families of those who went to heaven too soon, they especially.
for those in the newtown community there are pieces to pick up, healing to begin…
they too have a life that will never, ever be the same.
for all of us, life will never be the same.

Geographically we are not all as close to the scene but in our hearts we’re all connected.
connected as human beings pining for the pain of others, connected as fellow educators who can barely imagine what it was like in those classrooms, and as parents, hearts breaking for the momma’s and daddie’s who won’t tuck those precious babies in bed at night or read them a story before nodding off to sleep or see them accomplish all they had dreamed.

for me it has again, made me want to slow down.  I have referenced this in thepast. How a desire to slow down, experience life and live, really live, it shaped my word of the year, choices, and decisions as a parent. As an adult it has single handedly been one my best decisions, ever. These most recent events solidify the importance… the importance of spending precious time with these babies during the fleeting moments of childhood, ensuring over and over again how special, loved and treasured they are. Time spent knitting together the fabric of our family strength, teaching them the core values of our faith, not just in word but in deeds and in actions. Letting them see us live out our beliefs which can only be done by spending quality time together.

this past weekend I found myself hugging my loved ones tighter, running my fingers through their silky soft hair taking in the way it felt, nuzzling in close as they drifted off to sleep soaking in their scent of bubble bath and sweet skin, looking at their precious faces, studying every inch of their beauty, telling them over and over again they are precious, they are perfect, they are loved and they are a treasure to me, their daddy and God.

as we all move forward one thing i hope to take from this is that life is short, and these people on this journey of life with me are so precious and even if they get tired of hearing it, i’m going to share how special, precious and loved they are.

to the families most closely affected, I’m praying, praying for peace, the comfort of happy memories, and strength for them to face each day. Praying for the staff at the school who will go back after break, bravely, facing all that happened and above all caring for our future generation with love and dedication. Continue to join me in prayer …. 
He promises to bind up their wounds…

Friday, December 14, 2012


as many of you have already heard, this morning at an elementary school way too many innocent precious people lost their lives, too soon and too young. tragic doesn't even begin to describe it.
i read the stories and my eyes well up with tears.
my heart aches for the momma's who wont be tucking those sweet little children in their beds tonight, 
the spouses and parents who won't be coming home after work. 
and in it all He is still God. He still remains. 
His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out. 

please pray with me for the community in new england....
lift up these families....pray they sense His presence. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

friday faves - runner girl edition

Maybe because i have a run tomorrow night, or because it's just the time of year my sister and i are gearing up for our half marathon but it's running time. Get up and go girls!
Here are a few of my favorite pins from my pinterest board runner girl?
do you follow me yet? no? well come on over!!!!

how cute is this? it's on my santa wish list.... it's pink and monogrammed and it's for running. 
it's a need, right? 

love this, to me this statement sums it up.
i'm not out there to have the fastest time, lord knows i don't.... 
but it's about me, beating what i could do before, love that. 
it's me, the road and my thoughts. 

this half is my goal. so want to run this. so bad.
last year the timing wasn't right. 
but maybe in 2013? 
it's seaside, i have to do this one!

see these shoes? yes these lovely gems revolutionized my running.
my toes hate nike. or maybe nike just doesn't like my toes. 
it took medical intervention to fix those puppies, and then, these came along.
oh my word. bless the day. never going back girls. these babies are heaven.
and light, so super light.... adore.

what girl doesn't look adorable in one of these. add a monogram and perfection is created. 
hope it's warm enough in february to wear one to the half. cuteness all over!

sonya, girl you rock. watching her at the olympics with her God given talent that she put with hard work and determination and hours of training. yes, she is a hero of mine. i'd love to chat with her... 

so there's my friday faves for this week. 
do you run? 

Monday, December 3, 2012


as we continue through our study of “stuck” by jennie allen
we are talking about being scared this week.

There are so many things we can be scared of and for all of us, it is something different.
I’d venture to say the things I struggle with you may not even bat an eye lash at… and then flip it around and the reverse may be true. However, at the core of who we are, we worry, we struggle. Fear and anxiety are so real, crippling real for some. To be honest, for me it is something I struggle with in one area of my life right now and it is so real to me I could touch it. It has all but stopped something God has put on my heart. To write that I am saddened I have let that happen. A wise woman once told me that sometimes, we have to say yes in fear and press on. Believe me, I hear her in my head. : ) I also hear the Father saying, keeping going…. But that is where I am at right now and I want to keep things real.

In studying this topic I have found several things….
The most important one being, it is a universal problem.
The good news, there is a universal solution.

Reading Matthew 6:25-34 we’re reminded that we matter to God, He sees us, just like he takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers in the field He will care for us too. He reminds us that we are far more precious and who are we to think He won’t provide those needs?

It’s one of those simple concepts that as I write it it’s like, “well duh”. But how often, how often do I get caught up in my own little situation, my own little world and I can’t see beyond myself to even be reminded of this promise? Too often. Way too often, sad to say.
In preparation for my study Wednesday night I have pulled out some notes… and in the bible the phrase “fear not” is mentioned 446 times, the statement “do not fear” is mentioned 246 times. What does this mean for us? Yes, clearly God is addressing fear a lot. But why? Why did He say almost 700 times, 700 times girls, that we are not be afraid? Because He knows this is such a real problem. He knows we are going to struggle with fear, and worry and anxiety. He knows these emotions are going to consume many days and likely even more nights. He knows these emotions will be used as a tool to take our focus off Him, off what He has for our lives, what He has to say. 
Let me speak this into your life, into my own life, we can’t let this happen.
We can't let this be used as a tool to take our eyes off of Him. What He has for us is far too precious to miss it! It is far too valuable to not be able to savor the goodness He has for our lives if we just let Him guide us and focus on His message for our lives.

Jennie relates this fear and anxiety in a way I had never heard before but when I read it I could see myself. She says it is like a sit and spin…  oh my gosh, I can see it. How many times have I sat and spun. Round and round and round over and over until I am flat worn out. My hair looks like I took ride on a tilt a whirl and I am beat. There is nothing left and have gotten nowhere. I’ve expelled a great amount of energy and nothing happened.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who could relate to this?
So what do we do? Where do we go from here?
We have a problem and we know it’s real and it’s powerful?

We pray, we spend time in His word, we present our requests to God, we find peace in meditating on His promises. We seek whatever is pure, noble, trustworthy, just, honorable, lovely and commendable. We spend our energy and our time to the practice of those things. We let ourselves get worn out seeking His will and guidance for our lives instead of sitting on that emotional sit and spin. We seek community and fellowship with other Christians who can lift us up and encourage us along the way. We let ourselves be consumed by His greatness. It is a challenge and one I want to accept. You see, I have tried the other way. I have spent far too many sickening hours on that sit and spin and come up empty. I’ve also known what it is to trust Him and every time I’ve done that He has blessed me. Things don’t always turn out the way I hope, or the way I think they should… and sometimes years later I have been able to see why and His fingerprints are all over…. And what I come to see is that at the time I couldn’t see what He was doing but the hindsight gave light into His favor and protection, His ultimate care for His child. He cares for you in the same way. 
Will you take the challenge with me?

Sunday, December 2, 2012