Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Encouragement {Day 3-Quotes}

I am a huge quote lover.  When I was younger I used to keep a notebook full of quotes.  When I would see or hear something really great I always wrote it down.  Apart from the Bible, quotes speak me to a lot.  So here are some of my many favorite quotes...

"Knowing what to say is not always necessary; just the presence of a caring friend can make a world of difference." -Sheri Curry

"Life is God's gift to you.  The way you live your life is your gift to God.  Make it a fantastic one." -Leo Buscaglia

"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Go to the effort.  Invest the time.  Write the letter.  Make the apology.  Take the trip.  Purchase the gift.  Do it.  The seized opportunity renders joy." -Max Lucado

"What really matters is what happens in us, not to us." -James Kennedy

"God speaks in the language you know best-not through your ears but through your circumstances." -Oswald Chambers

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." -Mother Teresa

"Joy comes from knowing God loves me and knows who I am and where I am going...that my future is secure as I rest in him." -Dr. James Dobson

"The most precious gift that one person can bestow upon another is gentle encouragement." -Phillip Keller

Encouragement {Day 2-Music}

I am sure you are like what, day 2?!  That was yesterday and you would be correct.  I could tell you every excuse in the book, but truly I was so exhausted last night that my body overcame me with sleep :)  So here is day 2 a little late, and I will post day 3 later today, promise.

Music plays a HUGE role in my life.  I love music, actually love might be an understatement.  I feel like I can always find a song that reflects, explains, and says everything I am thinking or feeling.  I pretty much listen to only Christian music.  I am not against secular music or anything, I just know for me I am very impressionable, so I need music that is positive, and doesn't give me bad thoughts.  So far Christian music is what I have found that keeps me encouraged.

Apart from KLove which I listen to almost always in the car, I like a lot of worship music.  So I will be sharing some of my favorite worship songs today and maybe a song or two that just has an encouraging message. 

Just click the links, it will take you to the YouTube page...

Jesus Culture "Your Love Never Fails"
Elevation Worship "Exalted One"
Elevation Worship "Give Me Faith"
For King and Country "Busted Heart"
Big Daddy Weave "Love Come To Life"
Hillsong United "Desert Song"

Trust me, I LOVE tons more!  These are just some of the ones that I usually go to seek comfort, encouragement, and reunion with God. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Encouragement {Day 1-Scripture}

There has been a running theme around the blogland, Facebook, and Twitter sphere lately...people in need of some serious encouragement.  Whether your situation seems daily where you long for a sign from God that you are doing the right thing, your kids are acting crazy {again!}, you just got in a fight with name it.  We have all been there, going there, or are there.  So the Lord has truly laid it on my heart to share some encouragement with you all this week.  I think no matter what season of life you are in, you always need some encouragement. 

Today I thought we would start off with encouragement straight from scripture.  The Bible is God breathed, it's alive, it's living, it's relevant, and it will speak to you.  So here are just some of the many scriptures that help me when I truly need some encouragement.

"The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results." James 5:16 NLT

"God has poured his love into our hearts." Romans 5:5 NIV

"You are precious and honored in my sight, and...I love you." Isaiah 43:4 NIV

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence." Psalm 16:11 NIV

"For I know the plans I have you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 NIV

"God's a safe house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times.  The moment you arrive, you relax; you're never sorry you knocked." Psalm 9:9-10 MSG

"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." Isaiah 40:31 NIV

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1 NIV

"Being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..." Philippians 1:6 NIV

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 NIV

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." Exodus 14:14 NIV

"Such things were written in the scriptures long ago to teach us.  And the scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled." Romans 15:4 NLT

I pray one of these verses gives you encouragement, or you can share and encourage someone else.  Take heart dear friend, God loves you, find encouragement in that alone.   

Friday, February 24, 2012

Birthday Recap

Sunday was my 28th birthday :)  Feeling a little bit old now!  Sunday was incredibly busy for us...we were up and out the door at 6:45am to stop and pick something up for church, got to church, set-up, did two services, tore down, went to Home Depot to get some stuff for the event later for church, ran thru Arby's for lunch {yumm!}came home, ate cake, opened presents, went back to church for our one year anniversary campaign event, came home, and sat down for the first real time at 9:15pm. 

What a crazy, sorta out of the ordinary day for us, but it was filled with lots of love, laughter, cute cards, beautiful presents, and wonderful memories.  I don't really have any actual birthday pictures, but I do have other pictures I am going to share that my mom took.  I was happy to have my mom and Phil here for my birthday, but also incredibly happy they were able to watch the girls on Sunday when it was a crazy Sunday.  Not having to stress about the girls and keeping them entertained made the stressful day a little less stress filled. 

I will have to take a picture, just don't have time right this second, but Molly made me a card, my heart was filled to the brim with joy.  Sher drew our family, which is always funny to see how little kids interpret what you look like, and on the inside she wrote "Happy Birthday, I love you Mom."  Definitely a keeper!  Molly picked out a necklace with matching earrings for me, and she got me a picture frame.  Eric got me a gold chain which I have been wanting.  For our first Christmas many moons ago Eric got me necklace with a diamond heart pendant on it, then later when we were in Kauai, he got me a plumeria flower pendant.  Well, my gold necklace broke after one too many tugs from kids.  So my neck has been bare for awhile.  Although I love wearing other fun necklaces, I missed wearing those charms.  So I now have a new, stronger gold chain to wear around my neck.  I was so excited and still get giddy putting on the necklace.  My parents printed my blog off into a book, it's a tradition now, I get the previous year printed for my birthday.  It was fun going back and looking at Lucy each month, she went from 1 month to 1 year old!  And I got some other awesome gifts, too.

It was a fun, memorable birthday.  I was surrounded by lots of love :)

Now, pictures from my mom's trip here this last visit...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thank you, thank you very much!

So this post is not to make any of you feel bad for not wishing me a happy birthday yesterday, not at all!  I am sure most of you are like "what?  I didn't know it was your birthday?!"  Yea, and that is totally okay.  As for those of you that did know and wished me a happy birthday I just want to say a HUGE thanks!

I felt so loved and really joyful all day!  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to post some pictures and recap the day for you.  We have family in visiting so lots of time catching up and just being in each other presence has been happening.  And I have not felt very well today at all!  I guess it's a birthday hangover from being incredibly busy yesterday.

Anyways, just wanted to say thanks!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Confessions...and obsession!

Well, this week has had it's ups and downs for this momma. 

On Sunday Molly was trying to fill out Valentine's for all the kids in her class.  We went simple this year, I bought cards last year at Target for cheap cheap thinking we would use them this year.  That's one thing I actually thought off before it was too late!  So while we were trying to write out each kids name {insert head banging on the wall here}, I realized something about Molly.  She may not be able to write out every single kids name perfectly, she may write so big it goes off the paper, but my kid sure loves all of those kids.  She knows so much about her friends, she feels for them if they are sick, hurt, or absent from school.  Molly empathizes so much with every person she meets.  So while I need to relax and be okay with her being 4, and not being able to write all the names, my kid can do something so much greater then that, she can love them.

We started off Monday with a random hearing test from the school nurse saying Molly failed...which Molly has been complaining off and on for months now that she can't hear us, so my heart started pounding a little bit faster when I learned of the news.  I immediately called our pediatrician to set up an appointment.

Tuesday was great, we had little gifts for the girls, little gifts for mommy and daddy, and a nice surprise of flowers for me.  I literally don't think I have gotten flowers in the almost 7 years we have been married.  So it was a very nice surprise.  Then we had our small group Tuesday night, so we made them dinner and dessert.  Molly helped decorate the cupcakes and she loved showing them off to every person.

Wednesday was the day of doctor's appointments for us...Molly went first, and turns out the child has above average, almost perfect hearing for a 4 year old.  I am sure our doctor thought I was terribly crazy or something, but I am not going to lie thoughts of learning sign language and buying hearing aids were swirling through my head all week.  There was not one trace of liquid or any ear wax in her ears that would have caused her trouble hearing.  She passed every level of the hearing test, and was able to identify which ear she heard the noises.  Thank the Lord.  I was pleased, yet puzzled why she failed two days earlier, then remembered she is 4! 

Next up was between Molly's appointment and my doctor's appointment we had an hour and a half to kill.  We ate at McDonald's...Molly's all time favorite place to go.  We lasted as long as we could with no play area to escape to.  The girls both did great, since I was a solo mommy at lunch.  I even bought them both cookies to make the time try and go by slower.  So when we couldn't handle McDonald's any longer we hopped back in the car, okay, half an hour to kill, so we did what any mom would do...go wash the car!  That lasted all of like 4 minutes!  Then we put gas in the car, another 3 minutes down.  So I just caved and drove to the doctor's.  After chasing Lucy all through the waiting room, trying to keep two little ones happy in the small, cramped little box they put you in, telling Lucy for the zillionth time "don't touch that!"  I have another severe sinus infection and double ear infection.  Two times in one month!  No wonder I have been feeling so terrible.  The doctor asked why I waited so long to come in, and I told her "do you see this?!"  I was pointing to my lovely children, one screaming on the floor because it was past nap time and the other dumping the diaper bag out because she was sure there was a snack in there...that's why I waited so long!  Ha!

But in the ups and downs this week I have found a new love...
I have heard so many people rave about this show and how wonderful it is!  I added my name to waiting list at the library back in December.  I just got the call last Saturday it was my turn!  I was so thrilled!  I watched the whole first season this week, it's only 3 discs, but it was so good!  I am now in love with Downton Abbey!!  It's like a British soap opera set in the early 1900's.  I love the time period, the way they lived, I basically LOVE everything about this show!  Season 2 is already half way through, but I am going to watch it online to catch up, I need to see what happens to Cousin Matthew, and does Thomas really go to the war, and Mr. Bates and Anna...oh I love it!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  My mom and step-dad are flying in this weekend for my birthday, well, really to see the girls, and maybe celebrate my birth :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday- Valentine Recap

 The night before...
 Happy Valentine's Day!

 It plays music when you open the book
 Looking anywhere...
 but at the camera!

 Pouring some sugar love on the cupcakes for small group
 ...and the best we could do, ha! <3
 Valentine garland above the fireplace
 Look at the that mullet!!
And a nice surprise from my Valentine!

Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Humbled by the snow

Our forecast today was to get a little dusting, this picture represents this morning around 10am...well now, late afternoon we have a couple inches!  For some reason this morning I decided to go running right when the snow started.  I have kind of been in a funk lately.  I have been snapping at people I don't normally snap at, and just feel down.  It's like I know it's happening but I can't stop it.  Especially when I am saying something not so kind or loving, it's like as the words are leaving my mouth, my brain and heart are like "WHAT?!  DON"T SAY THAT?!"  But it's too late, it has already left me.  Ever have days like that? 

Anyways, back to the snow...I love the snow, I really don't love bitter cold, but snow I can handle.  Leaving my house today it was so quiet.  The outdoors was so extremely peaceful, nothing seemed out of place, everything flowed.  I was so scared to move, or breathe, I didn't want to disrupt the peacefulness I was feeling.  I told God at the beginning of the run, please let me hear, let me see, let me feel the things you need to say to me.  I turned on my KLove Iphone app and ran.  I heard songs that spoke about peace, joy, being the lights of the world, and how Jesus will carry you.  Yea, I needed ALL of that! 

I just felt humbled by all the snow falling around me, and also falling into my eyes and eyelashes!  Not to sound cheesy and this is...but I really felt like God's love and joy was showering me as I was running.  Like a cleanse.  I needed that, too.  I need to no matter what always choose joy.  Choose to speak love when all I want to do is yell, choose to show love when all I want to do is be alone and isolated.  It's a tough choice, friends.  Choosing joy is hard. 

Yet you feel so peaceful when you do.  By choosing joy you are not saying everything is perfect, or that you are fine when you are not, you are saying I can't do it on my own.  You can't be joyful without Jesus, you just can't.  So here's to choosing joy, here's to choosing Jesus to help you feel and show love, His love.  Here's to God's love and peace cleansing you like a beautiful snowfall. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just So I Don't Forget...

This week Monday was crazy, we had a mixed up schedule with work and kids, Tuesday is always crazy with us both working, picking kids up from the sitter's house, doing the mad dash to get the house clean before a bunch of people come over for our small group and making dinner for said people.  So now it's Wednesday, life is a little calmer...well, I don't have a bunch of people coming over tonight, so that makes me calmer :)

So here's what's been happening...mainly so I don't forget...
-Lucy fell out of her crib yesterday, like looked over the side and toppled out...we woke up to a THUD!
-We moved her mattress all the way down, which it was two away from being all the way down, now it's totally down, and she can barely see over the side...I do not feel like she should be this big yet!
-I watched 39 people get baptized on Sunday during both services at church...I couldn't even sing along with the band because the lump in my throat was so big. 
-Lucy can now climb up in our bay window that has a big window seat.  I kept finding her up there and scolding Molly for putting her up there, and repeatedly ignored Molly when she would protest "I didn't put her up there!"  Only to walk in the living room to find Lucy lifting her chubby little legs up one at a time, to completely get up there all by herself.  Nice...
-I am more convinced now then ever that we will be at the hospital with Lucy getting stitches or a cast very soon
-Lucy also likes to climb on chairs, tables, couches, anything!  See point above...seriously...

-Today Molly turns 4 1/2...with every day closer to 5, the more sentimental I am getting.  They sent home paperwork for kindergarten...I do not feel old enough to have a kindergartner!  Although I must remember I am turning 28 in a couple weeks, so my irrational thought that I am still like 19 will come crashing down very soon!
-I have lost 5 pounds in the last 2 1/2 keeping it off, ha!
-I am very blessed that *most* of the time Molly and Lucy play really well together.  It makes my heart grow 5 sizes bigger when I see them playing nicely together, or just playing nicely by themselves!
-Lucy is talking up a storm, like not just babbles which she is really good at, but people actually understand what she is saying, and it's like Lucy knows how to carry a conversation on with people.  She nods yes and no 100% appropriately. 
-My kids crack me up, like seriously, I could just sit and laugh at them.  They are so funny together.
-Both girls are sleeping a little bit longer in the mornings {knock on wood}, it is nice to get up later, but then it makes the rush for school a little stressful, but seriously, 6am is way better then 5am!
-I was going to write a big old post about this, and I still may, but we gave Elwood back to the rescue center we adopted him from...with Lucy's eczema issues, our dermatologist that we have been seeing every 3 months finally told us to rid ourselves of the cat, and as sad as I was about it, trust me I cried for days and days...Lucy has not had one single red dot on her face since.  A little bittersweet, since I love cats, admittedly, so I hope she out grows this, or else I am going to need some friends with cats.
-Lucy is obsessed with a red cape that Eric's mom made Molly for Christmas a couple years ago.  Lucy loves the red cape, it's her go to thing!

I think that's it for now!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy 14 Months to Miss Lucy!

Yesterday was Miss Lucy's 14 month's all down hill from here!  She will be 2 before I know it!  Lucy is wildly funny, loves to imitate anything-people, cars, the TV, animals, anything!  She is in love with her big sister, Molly, she loves loves loves books!  This I am most excited about.  I have always wanted my kids to love books like my mom does, and like how I am learning to.  Lucy will bring you a book, turn around and back her little rear end into your lap.  Often times you can find her by herself in our play room just thumbing through the books.

Lucy loves to eat, like seriously, she consistently eats more food then Molly at meal times!  We haven't really found anything Lucy does not like to eat...she is a little texture shy, but once she gets used to things like eggs, she goes to town.  Lucy is still pretty attached to me, but she gets over the separation pretty quickly.  Now I think it's just for show, or to make me feel good about myself, like oh she really loves me, ha!

Lucy slept 12 hours straight this week for the first time ever in her entire life!  Now if we could Molly to do the same it would be peace on earth!  Lucy still takes 2 naps a day, and goes to bed between 7-7:30, and wakes up between 5-7:30am...tell me about it.

I can't wait for Spring and Summer to arrive, although we have had mild temps here, it's way too soggy to play outside, but anyways...when it is nice to play I think Lucy will love being outside like Molly does.  Lucy just loves being included in things, she always finds a way to get herself in there, especially when it comes to wrestling with her dad and sister, my word!

14 months have flown by and I am sure the next 14 will, too.  Lucy has quite the personality, she is happy, sweet, hot tempered, sassy, cute, ornery, and just plain old fun.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Lesson from Pinterest...

This post was going to be about this super cute Valentine's Day project I did from Pinterest...but seriously friends, the Lord has laid something else on my heart to share with you all.  Don't worry, it starts with Pinbterest, moves to Jesus, and then back to Pinterest. 

I love Pinterest as much as the next person, check that, I love it as much as the non-crafty people who think they are crafty love it.  I know my limits, sometimes when it comes to crafts.  Eric now just doesn't even ask questions, he sees me buy it, try and make it, and then he either finishes it, or it just sits with the rest of the unfinished but I had really good ambitions pile.

I found this cute little wooden heart craft, and it seriously looked easy.  Did I click the picture or anything to see the instructions, nope, I just figured I would figure it out as I went.  I bought all the stuff I needed which really wasn't that expensive, score one for me and the husband :)  I brought it home and so it has sat until yesterday.  I finally encouraged myself to get it out and get started because Valentine's Day is going to be here sooner rather then later!

I painted first, which I can totally handle, no problem.  Then when it came time to write on our names on the cute hearts, you know like how the conversation hearts have things on them...yea, I struggled.  I know this seems silly.  Like really silly, but I was terribly stressed.  So I pumped myself up to write our names and bam, it sucked.
I was so disappointed because I felt like I had done everything else correct so far, it was going to look so cute, people were going to be impressed, and now it was awful.  As I was saying all of this out loud, I began talking to God, asking him "why do I have nice handwriting on paper, but no I couldn't have nice writing when it came to paint, nope that would be too much to ask for, right God?!"  "How could the two not compute?!"  I gently heard him say, "that's not your gift."  My gift?  Writing in paint is a gift?!  Then it slowly hit me, I have been blessed with certain gifts and talents, when I use those gifts and talents to God's glory, things work out, when I try and stress myself out by pretending I have a certain gift when really I don't...well, the outcome sucks.  Plus, the stress, worry, anxiety, not worth it!

So moral of the story...when looking at Pinterest, or anything else that comes your way remember what God has gifted you with, is something cute, but you know you would be stressed out doing it, then leave it to those crafty nuts that love that, but when something you know you can do with ease pops up, do it!  Allow God to bask in his glory when he sees how happy you are with the finished product.  Since he gave you that talent you know!

And...instead of using paint for our names I used stickers, which let me say, also did not turn out how I envisioned.  I finally had to just be finished with the project and move on.  There's always next year, or not, either way, I am not stressed by it!