Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My spiritual birthday!

As we were making our way home on Monday it dawned on me that it was my birthday...my spiritual birthday that is. When I was a little girl I asked my mom how to get to heaven. She took me by the hand and led me into our kitchen and proceeded to tell me about Jesus and how he came to save the world. She told me that the only way to heaven was through Jesus and that I just had to believe that he came, died for my sins and arose from the grave.






Right then and there at that old farmhouse table I asked Jesus to forgive me and to come into my heart. I remember like it was yesterday, my mom telling me that the angels in heaven were rejoicing over ME and writing MY name down in the Lamb's book of Life. My tender young heart felt forgiven and clean. We wrote it all down on a piece of paper...the scripture, my age and the date. That piece of paper is yellowed with age and has a million little pin hole marks in it, but it is a reminder to me of that special night...one I will never forget. The most important decision I ever made and at the age of 6! What about you...do you have a turning point in your faith walk that you'll never forget??




Have a blessed day.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our new tradition

We just got back home last night. It was an exhausting week, filled with lots of good and some stressful events. I can't wait to share it all with you. Feeling a little overwhelmed with laundry, unpacking and a dirty house right now, but I just had to get started with a little catch up first. My parents computer is really slow...no offense mom, but it is:) So while I was gone I did zippo blogging. So I'm feeling really behind. I missed all of you. I have no idea what you have been up to... I'm hoping great things:)




We celebrated our Christmas on the Saturday before. We decided to make a run to the store to get doughnuts first thing. So here are the Chicks...bright eyed and bushy tailed at the crack of dawn:) Here we are...




Not so bright eyed:) Lookin' a little rough!



In our jammies...going for a doughnut run!


We completely stole this fabulous idea from my friend Shannan. We love doughnuts and NEVER eat them...so from now on this is our new tradition.


Oh we had another box too...yummy!


Had to sing Happy Birthday to JESUS!!



Then we opened gifts and just enjoyed each other:)




The
girls and their Snugglies!



The
next morning we took off for Illinois. We had some snow to contend with, but nothing major. I was trying really hard to get a good picture of Honey and I, but taking pics while driving is not a good idea. I kept looking at the road worried we were going to crash the car. Never did get a good one:)



Now
I'm off to help Honey take down the Christmas tree! Can't stand Christmas decorations after it's over. How long do you keep your stuff up??



Have a blessed day.


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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Blog Anniversary!


I'm not home, but I scheduled this post because today is my one year blogging anniversary!! I just had to write a little somethin' somethin'! I set out a year ago, 281 posts ago...completely clueless:) I didn't know a thing about how to blog. I wasn't sure what I was going to talk about or if anyone would be able to find me to even read it. But for some reason, day after day it came...the words came, the inspiration came and finally the readers came. I can only attribute it to God. He has filled my heart with so much to share and through that whole process He has given me a lot of new friends. I can honestly say that blogging has changed my life:)


There are times though that I question why I do this. We all know it's really time consuming, but more than that sometimes blogging makes me feel "less than"... I compare myself to other bloggers and feel intimidated. They seem to have it all together with their gorgeous homes, wonderful recipes, amazing crafting ability, pictures etc... This is a little embarrassing to admit, but the green eyed monster comes out and I have to deal with those envious thoughts. I have to remind myself that it's not a competition! I am who I am and that is exactly who God made me to be. Please tell me you've experienced this!


With this New Year approaching my goals are to just listen to what God is trying to tell me, look for opportunities to share my life and art with the world, and to just be! He put these desires in my heart; to blog, to paint, to share...so I give it over. Please know you have all encouraged me so much this past year!! Your comments and letters have always come at the perfect time. They bless my heart day after day and fill me with the inspiration to continue. I love ya...I really do!




Have a blessed day.






Oh and stay tuned...
when I get back I'll have some kind of giveaway to celebrate proper!!
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Friday, December 18, 2009

So long...farewell

(Our Christmas card this year)


Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas at home with the girls and then we are off...off to Illinois for a celebration with loved ones. I can't wait to squeeze my mom and dad and to make the trek up the old creaky farmhouse steps to our room. My mom always makes a big fuss about us coming home. She spruces the house all up and it smells so good when we come in. She usually has gifts laid out for me and the girls. She's a spoiler. It's her nature.



We
haven't been back to Illinois for Christmas in 3 years. We like to spend that holiday all cozied up in our own home, but we made the exception this year. I'm going to try to take it all in. My grandma is really old, I think 98. Not sure if we'll get another Christmas with her. So I'm going to soak it up...pay attention to every sight, sound, smell. It seems like yesterday I was the little one running from one room to another, chasing my cousins. Now I'm the adult and my little ones will play. Time has a way of moving on...stops for no one.



I pray that all of you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy every minute that you have making memories, cherishing your loved ones, and basking in the greatest gift ever given...JESUS! Love you all...see you in a few weeks.






Have a blessed day.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I choose JOY

My Little Chick kept asking me today at lunch why I was making that face. I'm like... you can tell I'm making a face? Really... my little one is that perceptive that she can tell that I'm in a funk and thinking negatively just by my expression. That's amazing! Apparently I make a face when I'm sad or upset...who knew:o





Thank
heavens for friends because I've had some wonderful heart to hearts with some dear ones the last couple of days, and they have given me perspective. Perspective is a huge thing when you are PMSing and seasonally depressed. Seriously I shouldn't be allowed to operate heavy machinery right now:) I have been very emotional, angry and just plain irrational about some things and my friends are my life savers. Have you ever felt on the ledge? Well they've pulled me back and talked sense to me in a sweet non-judgemental way, and I just love them for that.


So
back to JOY. Even though I don't necessarily feel it lately I've been searching for it, and to tell you the truth if you look hard enough it's right under your nose.







This is probably my favorite little ornament. I keep it on a shelf in my front room. Every time I see it I smile inside. Isn't that weird?








Then I have these two lovely ornaments that were sent to me from some very special friends that I've made this year blogging. Every time I walk by them I think of that person and it truly makes me happy.





I bought this pillow at Target and I just love it. I've always been a fan of words...they speak to me;) So this one was a must have. I need that little reminder to be joyful:) What things in your home bring you joy when you pass by?




Have a blessed day.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advent




My friend Kristine's brother painted this beautiful Advent calendar for her family. I have to admit I didn't even know what Advent was. Apparently it was started by the German Lutheran's to start on the 4th Sunday before Christmas as preparation for the second coming and to commemorate the first coming of Christ. Windows hide a toy or chocolate for children until Christmas day. There are special readings etc... Do any of you participate in Advent?



Have a blessed day.


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Monday, December 14, 2009

Out of my box

Routine. I have a very similar routine day in and day out. I do laundry and grocery shop on Mondays. Tuesdays I have bible study. Wednesday I go to the gym etc...most weeks are pretty much the same. So when I got a surprise text from Melody Ross...aka original Brave Girl, to meet up with her in Minneapolis I was sooo excited. Yesterday I picked her up from the airport and we went back to her hotel and just talked and talked.




It is always such a treat for me to be able to get to know someone. I love it when people will actually talk to you and open up about their life. I am that way. I couldn't be a closed book if I tried. So our sharing time was really special to me. I got a little glimpse into her life and she learned about mine.





Another Brave Girl...Gayle showed up a little later and we all had a yummy dinner at the Split Rock Grille inside the hotel. I felt like I was in another city. I'd never been in that hotel or eaten at that restaurant. It was a little lesson to me to break free from the routine box and see what else is out there. There is a huge world outside my door...places right here that I've never seen. I just need to open my eyes a little.




Have a blessed day.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Face the Day

(Click here to see in Etsy)


I've had a painting on my heart. It's of a beautiful sunrise sky outside my window...with the phrase "Face the day". I got started on it yesterday while I periodically checked my messages. Yesterday was a good day. You were all so supportive and gave me some wonderful advice. I really felt your concern and prayers for me. Now if I could carry all of you around in my pocket:)

It's no surprise to learn that a lot of us suffer with seasonal depression. It really is very common, especially in the Midwest. I encourage all of you who suffer with it, to go back and read the comments from my last post. I got some really good tips for how to deal with it. Things I will definitely try. So thank you again.






Now if poor Fergie could "Face the day" with a little more cheer. Poor thing! It's was 2 degrees here today and she hates it. She just limps from one foot to another. Her paws freeze:o I watched her like a hawk and I don't think she peed once until 3:30 this afternoon. Thankfully we haven't had any indoor accidents yet. These booties cost me $40 and they don't even really help. Doesn't she look hilarious??






Have a blessed day.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The "D" word


Hmmm to post or not to post...that is the question. Do you ever hover over the publish button and think do I want to reveal this?? I don't want to be a Debbie Downer...no one wants to read depressing stuff, but it's what's on my heart...so I guess I should share. I've mentioned before that every winter I get depressed. I think it even started when I was a child. I had a "nervous stomach". I spent hours in the nurses station at school and was even admitted to the hospital for testing. They never found anything wrong with me and just attributed it to worry and nerves. But now as I think back I believe it was nerves, and depression.


Every year for as long as I can remember when the days grow short and the cold sets in I feel a blanket of despair wash over me. I just have this sadness in my spirit...there is no rhyme or reason to it. There is nothing for me to be sad about...it just comes and it sits on me, heavy and unmoving. In the past I've taken medicine and it helped a little, but for some reason it is "my thing" I have to work through every year.


I started my blog almost a year ago and one of the main reasons I pursued it was to distract me from winter and preoccupy my time, and it helped a lot. I didn't struggle much last year at all. Thinking of posts and commenting on other blogs gave me purpose and I think that is a key factor for me...purpose. There is a little guilt for me in feeling depressed. I think as a Christian I feel I should just be able to pray about it and cast my care at His feet and all should be well. It's just not that easy. When I'm blue I pull away from everything and everyone. I don't have anything clever or funny to say. The pain leaks out through whining, complaining, and lethargy.





My mom told me to blog more, to push through it...and I will, if I have something to say. I'm going to look for joy in the small things. That is my goal...to search out joy, peace, happiness and to share it with you. I think when we seek out those things they are sure to find us:) So that's my story.



Do any of you get the winter blues?
How do you combat your depression?




Have a blessed day.






Images from WebMD
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Monday, December 7, 2009

A time such as this!

I just finished the final pages of my Beth Moore bible study on Esther. As I wipe away the tears, my heart is full and overflowing. It's singing a new song. I started this study knowing that God was going to reveal some things to me and He did so beautifully. We are here for a reason. God has given each of us a purpose and He has a plan for our lives. Throughout the study she kept referring to "a time such as this" with Esther's walk and how He used her to deliver the Jews from destruction. It was such a powerful story. We all have a story...my life and yours will go down in history forever. We were each born in this time and hand picked for this journey we are on.





I don't know about you, but in this giant world I sometimes feel small, insignificant and forgotten. The days run together and I struggle with discontentment and boredom. It all feels old and mundane. The last few weeks have especially felt that way. I just feel asleep inside. I even switched sides of the bed with my husband to shake things up a little:)



I want to feel alive. I want a new fresh take on things. I want my life to matter and be more than just about me. Here's the deal though... no matter how I "feel" or what my mind is telling me...God is at work in my life. There are things that are hidden from me...there are times when He is silent. That doesn't mean that he is not working or that he doesn't have great things in store. I was touched by these words:


I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.

I believe in love, even when I do not feel it.

I believe in God, even when He is silent. (Author unknown)




My pages are not finished yet. I can't wait to see how my story will unfold. That realization makes me feel alive and worthy and full of anticipation. If I've learned anything in this study...it was that I was born for a time such as this. There is pure joy in that knowledge.






Have a blessed day.






Image fro
m Polyvore.com

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our New Moon

(Me and Missy)

Last week some friends and I went to the Twilight series movie, New Moon. I was mesmerized by Jacob's ripped ab muscles and glowing white teeth and thinking to myself "oh my he is fine"!!! Then it dawned on me that I was old enough to be the main character's mom! YUCK!! When did that happen?? As we all stood up to leave the theater my knees hurt from sitting, Michelle's knees hurt, Missy's hip hurt...it was hilarious:)


We are aging and that fact is really weird for me. I think it began when I was little. My mom always complained of getting older. I would get so frustrated with her because I didn't think she was old and it wasn't happening to me yet, so I didn't have much sympathy. But as I look in the mirror and see my own crow's feet, and my joints begin to stiffen I hear myself complaining. I really don't want to be like that because I know getting older is a privilege and these wrinkles are from years of living. But let's be honest, old age involves suffering. It's the "preview" that we see in our parents and grandparents faces and in their aging bodies that scares us. It's the loss of control. Our bodies have a shelf life and it feels like a betrayal when they decide to not look or feel the way they should.


All this would be extremely depressing if we didn't have the promise of a forever in heaven. Some day if we know him, we will have new bodies... This long and windy uphill path down here will lead to a blessed, unfathomable new beginning in His presence. Old age, aches, pains, suffering, and loss will all be forgotten. Now if that isn't something to look forward to as we get older I don't know what is. Kind of puts it into perspective a little.



How do you feel about getting older...
excited, scary, are you going to fight it tooth and nail?





Have a blessed day.


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Friday, December 4, 2009

Sweetness




The night I opened my store I had the most scrumptious dream. I was in my favorite bakery Sprinkles, sinking my teeth into my favorite cupcake...red velvet with cream cheese frosting of course:) It was the best dream. I seriously was in heaven. I believe with all my heart it was a special dream to me from the Lord. He was telling me... girl, sweet things are coming your way.



I have never dreamed of cupcakes before and I know it could have been my sweet tooth coming through in my dream, but I don't think so. When I woke up and read all my emails I was blessed beyond my wildest dreams. You supported me with such gracious praise and many of you purchased my art. It was wonderful... a pure sugar rush:) Thank you so much for encouraging me and cheering me on. I love you all so much!! I'm beyond excited about this new journey. I have lots of ideas and it's just God I tell ya, because I'm really not that creative on my own...ha:) Can't wait to share them all with you.




Have a blessed day.


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FINALLY...my Etsy store revealed!!

Almost a year ago when I first started this blog I had the long term goal of eventually starting my own online store. I would spend hours blog hopping from one to another looking at various Etsy stores and I was inspired, motivated and encouraged to try my own hand at it. Then fear got in the way and excuses and... oh you know how it is.






Well the time has finally come. I feel like God has prepared me for a time such as this. He has given me direction with my art and has lead me in this direction. Brave Girl Camp was a such a wonderful springboard for me, along with all the encouragement of my friends who have been pushing me along this path for some time. Thank you for believing in me.





My
first installment of originals were inspired by my time at Brave Girl Camp this past October. Every piece is a little message to myself to take a chance, realize my gifts...be brave. They are personal things I struggle with and need to see on a daily basis. I wanted to create something uplifting and inspirational. So seriously I hope they bless your socks off;) Oh and go check out my sweet friend Jeanne's blog today. She featured me:) Yippee!!!





Have a blessed day.


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Game ON!

Thank heavens the long holiday weekend is over. As much fun as it is to be lazy and relax, feast on wonderful food and take a breathier, for me getting back into a routine is where I do best. I ate pie...lots and lots of pie! I didn't cook one meal besides the big turkey dinner. We ate leftovers and snacked. Not the best plan for success when you have goals.



(a little frame I made for myself...with a very unflattering pic. honey took of me:O)


A light bulb moment clicked for me this past week. My honey said to me, "Are you taking care of yourself?" I can honestly say no. For some reason I have gotten pushed off to the side and have not focused a whole lot of energy on my well being. Part of the problem with my follow through, on this 21 day challenge has been the complete lack of a game plan. If I craved sugar I didn't really have a plan B to help me cope. I didn't really think any of it through. So here is my revised 21 day challenge. This is MY plan...not saying it's for you:)




My more specific goals:)


1.) No sugar in the form of sweets...candy, cake, ice cream, cookies etc...

If a temptation comes and it will...chew sugar free gum, jump on elliptical machine, pray:), drink a glass of water or skim milk, eat an apple etc... just don't give in! The cravings will pass.


2.) No diet soda! Drink tea, water, Crystal light, milk or coffee


3.) Exercise every day. Go to gym and do a long run 3x's a week with weights. Take one class. If you can't make it to the gym, do it at home!

4.) Read bible every day. Keep it by the bed and read for a few minutes before you turn out the lights. If you are too tired at night, do it first thing in the morning so you don't get too busy and forget.


I'm looking at this challenge like a wrestling match or championship football game. GAME ON! Today is December 1st. When we do this...it will be completed right before Christmas...perfect timing:) I know I can do it and so can you! Are you still with me?





Have a blessed day.

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