Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lifting my eyes




I
have nothing profound to say...nothing inspiring or witty to share. To be honest my heart is heavy tonight. I am tired and weary. As I was trying to come up with something to post I opened a book and came to this scripture...



When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of You... Fix my eyes on God- soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God. Psalms 42:6, 11 MSG




Those
words were like music to my ears. Life can be exhausting. Trials come. It's hard to always have it together during those times. I can't find it in me to smile. I've excused myself from my family to let the tears fall. Some days are just hard. But I know if I turn my focus to Him the weight will lift. So that's my prayer.



"We need to let God be God, hour by hour, day by day, experience by experience, time after time...And we lie there, praying that the Lord won't let us waste what is going on in any way: 'Help me, Lord, to be what You want me to be in this, to learn what You want me to learn in this, to demonstrate what You want me to demonstrate in this...'" - Edith Schaeffer, Affliction




You
know what? There is beauty all around us. I encourage you to look for it. If you are struggling...take a walk, open your Bible, close your eyes and say a little prayer. His joy will find you. I can already feel the clouds lifting...



Have a blessed day.

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Murphy's Landing

I had the opportunity to go to Murphy's Landing yesterday with Big Chick on a field trip. It's was our first time, and since we both find history interesting it was a lot of fun.






They gave each child an identity. Then at the end you find out whether your person made it dead or alive. Whew to live back in those days.



I can't imagine living without a/c or heat, indoor plumbing, my camera...blackberry. Oh and a microwave and electric blanket in the winter. It would just be a stretch personally. I'm just sayin', I was meant to live in this century at this time.




Back in the mid 1800's settlers picked this plot of land near the Minnesota River to inhabit. Gorgeous views... I'm thinking another painting??






Here I am standing in the back snapping pictures of myself freezing! When I left the house this morning it was 48 degrees...brrr! This wouldn't be so bad if we weren't wearing shorts and flip flops just last week. I'm so not ready for cold.



Every time the clouds covered the sun's rays I seriously thought I was going to freeze to death.




The foundation on one of the houses:0 Can you imagine how cold the floors had to have been??






My NOT so favorite part of the day...when the kids were asked to build a log cabin together. You never heard such a ruckus in all your life. Everyone shouting out orders, tryin' to boss the others. It was complete chaos. I hate strife and it seriously drove me crazy. Finally after forever, the teacher stepped in and appointed someone to be the leader. It was only then that they finally made any progress. Goes to show there should always be a leader.











This was the general store. Apparently back in the day you paid for your mail when you picked it up. I guess if you couldn't pay sometimes they would read it to you. There were probably many who couldn't read, so this the way they did it.




Another barn...gotta love it. The best part of a field trip is leaving with a better appreciation of the teacher. I just don't know how they do it. I wanted to go home, curl up and take a nap! And there is always that one kid that I just want to smack, you know the loud one that doesn't listen and interrupts everything with bad behavior. There is always one! Why is that? All in all it was a fun day with my Chick:)


Just curious, if you could pick the era of your existence which would it be??


Have a blessed day.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Barns and more barns



This summer I had the opportunity to pick up some really beautiful reproductions of barn paintings. I absolutely LOVE barns and have always wanted to paint one. Aren't these gorgeous?? The artist is Billy Jacobs.





I found this beautiful photo online and decided as part of my 21 day challenge to just begin my own barn painting. On the left is the photo and on the right my version.





The canvas is really big at 24" X 36". I decided to hang it on the landing wall that leads to my upstairs. Love the pop of red. Definitely gives me my barn fix:)





Have a blessed day.






**Just
wanted to thank you all for your wonderful words of support yesterday. Many of you shared your own stories...thank you for being so honest and real. You are ALL awesome. I am so humbled to have you in my life!





Barn Photo Image: Fey Handmade
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Taboo Topic

You know sometimes a post comes to me and I really don't want to share it, but then I hear that little voice and I know it's not just about me. So just know this one was not easy...


When I was a little girl, maybe Little Chick's age, I had a mentally handicapped uncle who sexually molested me. He would have me sit on his lap (he was wheelchair bound) and then he would put his hands down my pants. You can imagine at that young age how confusing it was. I remember feeling scared, angry, shameful, dirty and then guilty because it was a new "feeling" I hadn't experienced before. I would hide from him and I remember once locking myself away upstairs where he couldn't get to me and no one could find me. When I did finally share what happened I felt like I wasn't taken too seriously. He couldn't help himself...he was handicapped.





I
really don't ever think about it, but I know subconsciously I do. I am a little paranoid when it comes to my own girls. We have talks all of the time about inappropriate touching and being able to come to us about anything, no matter how embarrassing or shameful.



As I share this I know many of you have experienced the same thing...some on a much more severe level. It's rare that we make it through life without some sort of abuse, whether it's sexual, physical or emotional. We live in a fallen world and sin is all around us. We carry these bruises with us into adulthood and they manifest themselves as masks to protect ourselves. Masks of perfectionism, hardened exteriors, depression, insecurities, trust issues or walls to keep people from knowing who we really are. We don't have to carry these things with us. Those deep secrets and hidden emotions need to be let go and the only way I believe real healing happens is if we lay them at the foot of the cross. So I just want to pray with you:


"Lord you placed this blog post on my heart for a reason.
Someone out there needs to know that the past is past.
That those chains that have been binding them all these years are falling to the ground right now.
We come against the enemy and the lies and deceit he has been telling us.
Lord we ask that you free us from any feelings of shame or wrongdoing.
Lord if there is sin in our lives forgive us and make us pure and holy in your sight.
Take these masks Father.
We lay them at your feet and we ask for a healing to come.
We know that by your stripes that you took for us, we are healed and we claim that today.
We are believing for a miracle Lord...
a renewing and we give you praise in advance for what you are going to do in our lives.
Thank you Jesus!"





Have a blessed day.





All images Flickr - search hiding or shame

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Refining Fire

Our pastor this Sunday taught us about God's will, specifically his permissive will. This perked my ears up, because as I've mentioned a lot lately we have been waiting and waiting for an answer to prayer and in the meantime have grown weary, frustrated, defeated and just plain tired!




Remember Job?? God allowed Satan to test him. Not sure why He allowed it, but he did. Job lost everything: his health, wealth, all of his children, his friends. I'm not comparing our testing to Job's in any way, I just find it interesting how God allows certain things to try us. I really believe that it is sort of a good thing when we are tested. First off, God must really love me and want to do a work in me if He's taking the time to refine my life. Testing and trials are like being burned to the core. You know how precious jewels have to be heated or chipped away to become pure, sparkly and beautiful. Well after this test my Honey and I are going to shine like the royal crown;)





Secondly when we are tested it definitely makes us grow closer to the Lord and what could He possibly want more than for us to seek His face. As my pastor so eloquently put it, "Do we seek his answers, direction and road signs for our lives, or do we seek to be more like Him?" I don't know about you, but I want to be like Him. He was the perfect example of how to lead a flawless and perfect life. Now if I could just learn my lesson already and be done with this boiling pot!




Have a blessed day.







Photo credit: Flicker #1 enggul, #2 gpn
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Motherhood & Guilt

As I mentioned last week, I'm taking a Beth Moore bible study on Esther. Well this week as Beth pulled out her red book of women surveys regarding challenges women face...she hit on motherhood and guilt. She talked a lot about how Esther was orphaned and how this one fact of not having parents had a huge impact on her destiny.





I think back to my journey becoming a mom and how much of a significance motherhood has had on my life. Honey and I had been married 7 years when we found out our lives were going to be turned upside down. So glad we had that time together, but the days of being able to do whatever we wanted were long gone. I remember the struggle of making my own "mom" decisions. For instance I didn't want anyone at the hospital when we had the girls...not even in the waiting room. I just felt this enormous pressure and I knew having people waiting on me would make it worse. Of course my mom didn't understand and it hurt her feelings, but I was coming into my own...charting out a new path. Making decisions that were in the best interest of my new family.






For probably a solid year after I had Big Chick I had to pinch myself to believe that I was a mom. I just couldn't wrap my brain around that fact. It was just too impossible that I was someone's EVERYTHING. It probably stemmed from the fact that my mom and I were super close. She is the epitome of what a mom should be. I know for a fact that she would do anything for me. She's proven her gigantic love for me time and time again throughout my life. I never questioned it and yet here it was...my turn to be that special someone to another little being. It was and is overwhelming.







Fast
forward to the present. I have a routine with Little Chick that we wait outside for the bus together. Well today after rushing around to get to and from my bible study, I decided to blog for a few minutes. Time got away from me and next thing I know I hear her little voice cry "Mommy" and then the door slam. I ran downstairs to see her standing outside the bus with tears streaming down her face. You see she didn't want to leave me without saying goodbye, but she didn't want to miss her bus either. I picked her up, wiped her tears and reassured her that I was there. It was okay. Even as she left I couldn't stop thinking about her sad little face and how I let her down.







We have so many chances in a day to feel like failures as moms. They look to us for everything. We are their everything. It is an amazing privilege and a huge responsibility to mold and shape a little person's life. But what if I had never had a wonderful motherly example in my own life? What if I was orphaned? Can't you just imagine how differently you would live...how differently you might mother. I'm interested to see how this one aspect of Esther's life will somehow shape her future.




Have a blessed day.






Photo Credit: #1 Flickr - amersil, #2 Flickr - Ivan M, #3 Flickr -Urnvious21, #4 Flickr - Fred Ligget
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Junk Market Bonanza


On Thursday, my friend Kristine and I took off for the third annual Junk Market Bonanza. I was soooo excited. The last two years yielded some great finds and I could hardly contain my enthusiasm. Poor Kristine:) Seriously I had to take some deep breaths and pray to calm down!






This painting was really interesting. The artist stepped out of the box with real jewelry and glitter giving the woman a 3-d look. Very inspiring.





Love the idea of painting pumpkins for display. If nothing else I got some really great inspirations.




Aren't
these chickens adorable?? I love chickens. I think the set was $185.00. It seems that a lot of things were just too expensive this year, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of money.





Loved these pillows! I've been seeing these around on various blogs and I just adore them. But I'm thinking I could make them myself. If anyone knows how to do this let me know:)





Me
taking pictures of everything. Kristine texting her husband to ask permission to buy something. Of course he said YES:) I thought it was so sweet that first of all she asked him, and secondly that he said yes. I usually don't ask...because I know what the answer will be;) I did this once and his text response was "Nice, but no." I have good judgement, so that should be enough right?? Big purchases are the exception.




Framing letters in those cheap, gold $1.00 store frames and then spelling out something. Love that idea.







I did buy this little glass jar filled with scrabble pieces for $5.00. I thought it was cute.







Love this colorful display of yellows and red. Great quilt and the mums...just getting me all excited for Fall.






Last
but not least, my treasure of the day. I bought three of these buckets. They are in my studio now. I'm thinking of changing the words to TRY, CREATE, BEGIN...Ha!! I need all the encouragement I can get. Overall it was a fun day. Can't wait for next year:)




Have a blessed day.


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