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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Company's comin'

One of the things about living away from family is that we don't get a lot of company. That's good and bad. I get completely out of practice.

I got a phone call the other night from my Uncle Gene wanting to come for a visit. He's in Minnesota for a few days and thought of us. What is it about company that freaks me out a little bit?? I go into panic mode, trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I have to have the whole house spotless. I want everything to be perfect. It's totally exhausting and I know this about myself, it wouldn't matter who it was. The thing is I'm sure he could totally care less. He's really nice, but it's my Uncle and for some reason I feel like I'm 10 years old again and he's going to be seeing my grown up house and tasting my food!!! What will we talk about? Will he ever want to come back? YIKES, am I stressing you out yet?:)

He came...ate my food,
played with my Chicks and had a great time. So see it's all good;)
I can be such a worry wart!

When you come over, and yes you are all invited... I promise not to spaz out too much. Visiting someone's house is like looking into their soul. It says so much. My house is such a peek into who I am. My art is all's just very much me. So of course I want you to like me:) Get it. Please tell me you get a little nervous too???

Have a blessed day.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rekindled love

Little Chick was home sick today...poor baby had the stomach flu. While she was laying around I was lazy too. I watched some TV, which I never do during the day, chatted with a friend and added some new items to my Etsy store:)

I really enjoyed talking to my girlfriend from back home. She shared with me a little miracle that's been going on in her life and it blessed me, so I asked her if I could share it with you. For the past several years I've noticed some sadness in her regarding her relationship with her husband. They've been married for 15 years, things had gotten routine and the everyday stresses of kids etc... had left them arguing more than connecting. She said she felt like they were more roommates than husband/wife. I think we can all identify with this somewhat.

Well about a month ago her husband started acting differently. He had a dream that she cheated on him and from that moment on he's been a completely different person. It's like a light bulb went off and he's realized how he was taking her for granted. He calls her several times a day and texts her just to tell her how much she means to him. He wants to cuddle with her at night when they watch TV. He's planned a trip for just the two of them as a get away and lined up child care and everything:) They've been having lunch together several times a week...holding hands etc. He even sent flowers and a love letter to her at work. She cried.

Now if you are like me your first thought is oh no...WHAT DID HE DO?? Why? But here's the thing...God got a hold of his heart and shook him up. It didn't take a conversation from my friend or an actual event for this to happen. He had a wake up call and he's taking it seriously. I am beyond happy for her. I haven't heard her this bubbly and excited in a long time. I told her to cherish it, because really outside of those first few dating or newlywed months those exciting "courting" moments are very few and far between. It's even changed her attitude, convicted her heart to do better...give more.

So on that note here are some more Love Dare cards. I hope that they are blessing your relationship and changes are happening:)

Have a blessed day.

Image 1 found, Love dare cards
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Boom Boom Pow

The sun is shining here today...praise God! It's been over a week, and seriously yesterday I went to Target and threw Vitamin D and St. John's Wart in my cart in a desperate attempt to feel better. When it's gray like that for days on end I have to "make myself" do everything; get out of bed, clean up the kitchen, fix meals for my family, go to the gym. I don't want to have to make myself do those things, I want to just do them. Does that make sense?

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Anyway as I was dragging myself to the gym yesterday I had thoughts of "why bother...this is going to be a horrible workout, you might as well not go" etc... you know nice positive thinking:) But what amazes me every time I go is that as soon as I plug into my music I become a different person. I am addicted to the song BOOM BOOM POW by the Black Eyed Peas. When I start my run I always begin with this song and I replay it like 4x's to keep me motivated. There is one part of the song that lasts about 45 seconds and in that 45 seconds I feel like I could fly or at least sprint at 9 miles an hour. It's incredible the power of music.

This one thought led me to another and it got me thinking about God's word. It works exactly the same way. When I stumble through my day, struggling with this thought or that task, if I just take a minute and crack open my always gives me the strength to push on. It completely clears my head and makes me think straight again. So why on earth don't I open it more often??? I really want to do better... I need to do better. Today I read:

Persecutions and afflictions will come, but endure them, for the Lord will deliver you out of them all (1). With God's love you can bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things (2)knowing that after you have endured temptation, and when you are tried, you shall receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to them that love Him (3) and happy shall you be (4).

Isn't that beautiful?
Do you have any music or scriptures that get you motivated??

Have a blessed day.

(1) II Timothy 3:11, (2) I Corinthians 13:7, (3) James 1:12, (4) James 5:11
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Golden girl

Just when you thought you'd seen it all...I take a picture of myself naked:o Well almost:) I decided this week that I just couldn't stand the white skin anymore. Seriously there is something about a tan that just makes you feel better about yourself. It's an illusion I know, but it made me even feel warmer:)

Remember that Friend's episode where Ross gets triple sprayed??
I always think of that:)

tan solution of choice is the spray tan. There are definite pros and cons. The pros being an almost instant bronzy glow, no UV skin damage and much less time and energy spent. The negatives...super cold mist sprayed all over your body!!! It only lasts a week and it can look really weird on your hands and feet.

My feet always get super dark and the bottoms are stained. It doesn't bother me in the winter, but in the summer I have to wear little booties. My hands look almost crackled. I haven't figured out how to avoid this. You have to put on a barrier cream and maybe I'm doing it wrong, I'm not sure.

Sorry about the no makeup, but this is the after. You really can't tell a lot from this photo. But for a few days I don't need any foundation and I love that. Have you ever tried spray tanning??

Have a blessed day.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Book of Eli

Honey and I just got home from seeing the highly controversial "The Book of Eli" with Denzel Washington. It wasn't a movie I really wanted to see, but there wasn't really anything else out and we love Denzel so we went. We have a pact with each other that if it's bad we will walk out and get our money back. We've done this a few times in the past, and at first I thought we were going to have to do it again.

one of those gray know no color whatsoever. I always hate those. It reminded me a little of Mad Max beyond Thunderdome. The main character, Denzel Washington, is on a mission to carry the last copy of the Bible across the country. This is after some horrible "flash" war that practically wipes everything out of existence. He comes in contact with a villain (Gary Oldman) who wants his "book" and goes to great lengths to get it. There are some great twists in the plot.

The movie is highly violent, complete with a few knife scenes that have limbs and heads flying. There is foul language and some sexuality. So I am by no means endorsing this as a good "Christian" film. But the positives in my opinion outweigh the bad. It had an interesting plot and Eli's love of the Bible and obvious devotion to the book made you want to go home and read it. In a world where most Christian films are usually sugar coated and a little too sweet, this movie could appeal to a mass audience, and actually encourage non-believers to take a second look at what we take for granted on a daily basis...our beloved Holy Bible. So decide for yourself, but I'm sorta glad I didn't walk out of the theater.

Have a blessed day.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heart Lessons

Yesterday was a bad day. I got in a horrible argument with someone close to me. I raised my voice, I cried, I said things I didn't mean. It was bad. I really hate discord. I am an innate peacemaker. I know this about myself. So when something like that happens, and it will at some point because that's just life, it eats me up inside. My stomach hurt, I couldn't sleep, I had dreams. It's just the way I'm wired.

It's so ironic to me that I'm doing this series on the Love Dare and what has come so easy for me in the past has become a real challenge in the face of recent events. I will spare you details. But just know I'm not proud of how I handled the situation. I wish I could tell you that after our disagreement I got down on my face and poured out my heart to the Lord. Praying for forgiveness for myself and for my heart to love the other. Instead I carried it with me all day long...fuming inside, calling any friend who would listen and just being plain bitter. Something tells me that Satan really enjoyed my yesterday and that makes me MAD.

So with that said I am going to try the other approach today and ask for help from the only one who can give it. I know He's been a little busy with all the other more important issues in the world as of late, but something tells me that He cares about this stuff just as much. If this is part of the refining process in me...than bring it on because it is my hearts desire to be exactly who God called me to be.

Thanks for listening.

Love Dare images found, Heart image photobucket Saucedoe
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New footing

It's been sober in blogland lately. Our hearts are all heavy with the devastation in Haiti, and then for some the news of a friend who's lost a husband, and then another family who has a lost a child...two things I can't even imagine. Life is full of the unexpected. We never know when it will be our turn to experience this kind of pain and the thought would be overwhelming if we didn't have the assurance of God's grace and mercy during those times.

When I hear of tragedy in other's lives, not only does it make me want to DO fix it, it makes me reevaluate my own blessings. I feel a little guilty talking about this when there are so many hurting, but can I just give a praise report? As many of you know I struggle with seasonal depression, and in the past it has really affected my life. There were many days where it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed, to put one foot forward, to do laundry etc... I had no energy and no internal compass for happiness.

I'm not sure how or why, but I feel the cloud lifting. I have felt sooo happy inside for the past few weeks. I know that many have been praying for me, so I know it's the Lord 100%. We have also been blessed with many sunny days here and that always makes a difference. I have completely changed my eating and in the process I'm finally seeing the pounds melt away:) I have two very exciting trips to look forward to this winter, and lastly I feel like I have gained control over my thoughts. I am taking them captive so to speak. It's so weird to feel joy in the Winter, this is almost unknown to me. So thank you for listening, for letting me spill over with joy. I am so grateful.

Have a blessed day.

All images by
Navylane, Love dare cards

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun without the sun!

We just got home from an exhausting, but fun day. We went to the Water Park of America with Big Chick's Girl Scout troop. It's the largest indoor water park in America. YIPPEE!!

It felt like it was 80 degrees in there and all the water noise made Honey and I more than a little tired. I came home feeling like I spent about 4 hours in a sauna, but it was good for the family.

The big family raft slide was 10 stories high, so needless to say we got a little workout in also:) As soon as we started going down the slide, the raft turned with me going backwards. I hate that!! So I couldn't see what was coming and I got a little motion sick:O

Gearing up for fun.

it was all said and done, I guess we don't have to have warm weather to have some good family fun:) What family fun stuff do you do to pass the cold months??

Have a blessed day.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Forgiveness 101

A few weeks ago I told you about my mother-in-law, and how she is getting married to a man that we don't know and it's really fast etc... There are more involved details, which I won't share, but it's been hard for us for many reasons. I have been fighting feelings of anger and hurt. When I think of her, or dream of her and him, which I have been's always negative. I relive the whole thing in my mind and rehash certain conversations and I feel bitter inside. To be honest I'm carrying around some junk.

Well for the past few days when she pops in my head, I've immediately shut down my initial feelings and went straight to praying for her. Lord be with Minnie and Jim. Bless their relationship. Provide protection of her heart and finances. I pray their relationship will be a gift to them both. Help Honey, Julie and all of us to accept the changes to come and Change our hearts to make room for him. It absolutely amazes me that as soon as I pray for them I don't feel angry or upset anymore. I've completely let go and placed it at His feet. Which is where it all belongs in the first place.

I think on the Love Dare challenge and how it applies to my relationship with my Honey, I think it also works well with other people in our lives. Is there a friend who gets under your skin; a family member that drives you crazy; a boss that makes your life miserable; a child that challenges you everyday?? If so, give it to the one that can help you forgive. Lay it down and pray for them instead. Ask for forgiveness and grace, and you will feel the burden lift. Let Him restore what is broken inside your heart.

Have a blessed day.

Image found on etsy and Dare cards
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The touch of her hand

Forgive me for going back awhile, but I wanted to share a little bit about my Grandma June. When we were home over Christmas we got a chance to go down to her little town and spend some precious alone time with her. It was Christmas day and the fact that she has eight kids, and they all have big families, and now their kids have kids etc...made the fact that she was alone a true miracle.

I'm painfully aware that times like that are very precious. She's in her mid-nineties and well, her days are numbered. I can't bear to think about when she'll be gone. Every holiday I can remember has been at her house. Many hours spent around her little kitchen table. So many memories. One of my favorite things in her house is the line of senior pictures of my aunts and uncles. She had eight kids. EIGHT! My dad is the second one from the left. He of course was the second oldest:)

I love to ask her about her life, because to be honest she's had a very hard one. It started for her as a child. Her brother Lyle was born severely handicapped. He was a twin and the other twin died in the womb and they didn't know it. So he lay there next to the decaying body of his sibling and it literally poisoned his little body. He never did walk, talk or feed himself. My Grandma pretty much was his caretaker and fed him and slept with him every single night. He passed when he was 19.

That's just the beginning of her care taking years. When she was in her late 40's my Grandpa, who was a milkman, died when a train hit his milk truck. When his life ended, she was left to fend for herself and take care of the 6 remaining kids left at home. She told me that she sat them all down and told them that she didn't know what she was doing, but that they would all figure it out together. She spent many years as a cook down at the elementary school.

She is just known for taking care of others. It's how she's passed her's what has given her purpose. There is not a person in her little town, who doesn't know who she is. She is just an amazing person.

One of the things they know about her is her ability to cook. My Grandma June is pretty much famous for her rolls and peanut brittle. It's THE BEST you will ever have. Every year she painstakingly pulls the piping hot, sugary mixture with her hands to get it super thin and crispy. I asked her why she still does this. She responded, because such and such said the only thing they wanted for Christmas was my peanut brittle and I can't let them down. Her peanut brittle is just one of the reasons I gained 5 pounds over Christmas:)

These are her sweet hands. Hands that have worked HARD her entire life. Tara gave me the idea to photograph them. So glad I did.

See some of the red spots on them...from the hot peanut brittle.

I just had to get these thoughts down. Someday she'll be gone and I want to remember all of these things. I am so proud to be her proud to be in her bloodline. It's just an honor to have come from such an amazing woman. May I remember all the lessons she's taught me...put others first, work hard, live the life you've been given to the best of your ability. We'd all be better off to follow those lessons right??

Have a blessed day.

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I Love Dare ya!

A while ago I wrote a post about the movie Fireproof. It's a low budget Christian film that has an incredible message. The couple in the movie was struggling and on the verge of divorce, so the main character's dad gave him a list of "dares" to try with his wife. It's a 40 day challenge and I think it's an excellent exercise, whether your marriage is in trouble or not.

I bought the cards a while back and I thought a few times a week, I could list 4 or so dares that you could try with your own spouse. By the time we finish up, it should be around Valentine's day. Let's just see what God can do if we dare to be different in our most sacred human relationship.

Have a blessed day.

Images are The Love Dare cards; heart image
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