Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Mary said.

Now that the holidays are quickly approaching, you know you can't turn on the radio without hearing the most wonderful tunes of all. 
A little "Jingle Bell Rock", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "O Holy Night". 
Christmas music.  
I do love Christmas music, 
though I will share with you two songs that I CANNOT STAND:
Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time"
&
"Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses
{totally had to look that up because I really had no idea who it was}
 Worst.Christmas.Songs.EVER.


 Well, the other day I was in the car heading over to Lowe's to get paint & singing along to the tunes playing in the car when one song just hit me over the head.  
Did you ever have a moment like that when you hear something or even read something 1000 times & for some reason in that 1001 time, it just strikes you as something you've never heard of or thought about before?
Ok, well this was like that.

The song was "A Baby Changes Everything" by Faith Hill.
I've definitely heard this song countless times at Christmas, but for some reason, hearing it the other day really hit me & I was fighting the tears back.
{only because my dad was in the car with me & I just didn't feel like having to explain why heading to Lowe's was causing such an outpouring of emotion.}
I know I heard this song last year & Eli was 3 months old, but I think I was still too much in that "new baby" fog to really think about this song.
But on this day I started thinking about Mary & the implications of her pregnancy.
The thoughts that must have been running through her head. 
Humbled, honored, confused, scared, joyful, maybe even embarrassed. 
But she had to have known that this baby would be The One. 
This would be the Messiah they had been waiting for & she would've known what the Old Testament prophesied:

Jesus Christ would be hated without reason.
Jesus Christ would be rejected by the Jewish people.
Jesus Christ would be plotted against by Jewish people and the Gentiles together.
Jesus Christ would be betrayed by a friend.
Jesus Christ would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
Jesus Christ would be forsaken by His flock.
Jesus Christ the shepherd would be struck.
Jesus Christ would be spat on.
Jesus Christ would be mocked.
Jesus Christ would be beaten.
Jesus Christ would be executed by Crucifixion, having His hands and feet pierced.

 If you're a parent, if you're a mom, can you imagine?
Knowing you will be bringing a child into the world to face this.
As parents, it's our job to protect our kids, not lead them into the face of danger. 

But Mary, do you know what she said? 

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” 
{Luke 1:38}

and

“My soul glorifies the Lord 
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 
 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant."
{Luke 1:47-48} 

I think my favorite part of this last statement is 
"for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant".   
She completely, 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, trusted His Sovereignty.
She knew she was just a nobody in the grand scheme of things, but trusted Him to do whatever He wanted with her because she loved Him.  
It didn't matter that she would have to go explain to her fiance, that she had not so much as touched, that she was going to be having a baby & she already had a name picked out.
It didn't matter that people would most definitely be pointing & talking behind her back. 
Not to mention she was young! Just a teenager.  

 But then she also knew that:

Jesus Christ's death would atone for the sins of mankind.
Jesus Christ would ascend to the right hand of God.
Jesus Christ would exercise His Priestly Office in Heaven.

And she would play a part in the greatest part of history ever. 
Until then, she would welcome a tiny baby into the world.
She would hold him, feed him, play with him, kiss his boo-boos, 
encourage him, teach him, scold him, nurture him, protect him, pray with him.
She would be there for every first moment and watch him grow 
until her baby became the man that would change everything.


{you knew i would share this, right??}





 












Sunday, November 25, 2012

{insta}week

no sooner do we put the dishes away from the thanksgiving feast do we break out the ornaments & christmas wreaths. 
don't get me wrong, i love christmas & all that comes with it.
i love the decorating, the music, the lights, the baking, the scents, the shopping & creating of gifts.
however, i feel like, for me, i have to let the thanksgiving meal digest before i get into the spirit. 
we have a tradition of getting our tree the first weekend of december & allowing all things christmas to invade our lives. 

and before that can happen, 
we.must.get.the.living.room.completed.

starting the painting this week...ahhhh!!!

and now for the weekly edition of

1. long waits at the slowest bank in america
2. finishing up some painting in order to start more painting
3. my newest fashion accessory (face masks are sooo cool)
4. walks around the neighborhood
5. sensitive eyes
6. yummy food i can make when my hubs is working
5. after bath fun


1. birthday breakfast
2. thanksgiving treats
3. thanksgiving snoozes
3. naps with friends
4. nosey little ones
5. picking out paint
6. lazy, cozy sunday nights
7. sleepy cousins
8. "to him, about him" #shereadstruth
9. "the lyrics of truth" #shereadstruth
10. treasured moments

have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

just call me thrifty.

lately you will find me scouring blogs out there like the following:





plus others that i find via pinterest but forget to bookmark.
{and kick myself for later}

i've had the itch to redecorate for awhile now.
{anyone remember this post?}
 well, the time has come & i'm really excited about what's about to go down in our house!
i've taken a lot of mental notes,
i've taken a lot of mental pics,
and a vision has been born.

one of the things i've learned is how to shop at goodwill & other thrift stores to find treasures among the items that someone no longer wanted.
it's become my new favorite thing to do.
i go looking for items that i can do "projects" with.
i'm all about the homemade, diy, & thrifty projects i will be able to use to
decorate our "new" living room.
my husband just shakes his head at me because he'd probably call me addicted,
but i've always had the bug for making it my mission to get the best deal i possibly can.
{i once bought a brand new purse for 52 cents}

so for my birthday i requested a day spent antiquing & thrifting
& i'd love to share my wares with you!

{from top going clockwise}

~this crate was $1. yes, that's right.  i know, i was excited too! i'm not quite sure what i will use it for yet, but for a dollar, i will find a use!
~these vintage books were 25 cents a piece.  i love the idea of decorating with vintage books because 1) i love books & 2) they are always such great colors!

and real quick, can i give you a close up of the red one:
a vintage "my utmost for his highest" by oswald chambers.
probably one of the best devotionals i've ever read.
the inscription on the inside cover was a birthday message, so i felt like i was meant to have it.

ok back to the pics:
~this wooden structure { for lack of a better term} might appear to be quite ugly, but imagine with me a coat of spray paint, perhaps white or cream & now i have a cool new way to store my jewelry.
~i admit i do have a slight obsession with mason jars. and the blue ones are just so pretty!
~then there's this array of odds & ends like the orange candlestick {loved the color}, milk glass vase, glass jar, tin planters & a silver tray. 

all of this for less than $20.

i've got a few other "treasures" that i've already begun turning into little beauties that i will be posting about in the near future.
i hope that you'll join me on my newest journey & tell my husband it will all be worth it in the end when i've saved us tons of money with my crazy visions and daily projects!

 anyone else out there love to go thrifting?
ever created something awesome?
i'd love to see it!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

a very thankful birthday.

34.
this is the number of years i have now inhabited this earth.
34?
is it really possible i am entering my mid-30's???

recently we went to a field hockey game that mike was covering. 
he started asking me the rules of the game because i used to play.
my response was, "i don't know, that was 20 years ago."
i almost choked on the words!
20 years ago?
i was a freshman in high school 20.YEARS.AGO.
{imagine me looking at you with extremely large eyes}

my dad tells me that the only really important birthdays are the decade birthdays: 30, 40, 50, 60, etc.
everything in between, he tells me, is non-essential.
{or whatever word he makes up to mean non-essential}
i realize 34 is a completely random number.
have you ever known anyone to love the number 34?
well, i take that back.
it was charles barkley's number & you should know if you don't already, 
i do love me some sir charles.
aside from that, i guess it is a pretty unimportant age in the grand scheme of things. 

however, on my 34th birthday, being that it's so close to thanksgiving, i can reflect on the awesome blessings i've had since my last {non-essential} birthday.

  • i experience the love of my Heavenly Father on a daily basis & he takes me just as i am
  • God has blessed us by providing so that i can stay home with our son just as i had always dreamed
  • He's also provided a job that mike loves & does well
  • my husband works hard in order to support us
  • our marriage has been tested & grown by God's grace
  • i've learned so much since becoming a mom ~ love in its most beautiful form
  • we've witnessed the growth of eli in such remarkable ways: sitting, standing, walking, kissing, hugging, hi-fiving, knuckle-bumping, eating & eating & eating, mimicking, playing, loving, snuggling, & sleeping through the night :)
  • we got to create some memories with a few family trips
  •  i get to watch on as my parents experience grandparenthood for the first time ~ it brings me such joy
  • we are reaching people on a weekly basis by providing food through the food pantry
  • we serve on a weekly basis at our church that we love dearly
  • i participated in the beautiful wedding of one of my very best friends
  • God has kept us all healthy and sick-free
  • i'm learning to be more content with what i have & who i am
let's be honest, i could never contain my blessings list to one blog post.
big things, little things, there are far too many. 
but now i enter into another year of life looking forward to what's in store.
to see what's been written in this chapter of my life.
alright, 34, bring it on!

Monday, November 19, 2012

shoulders

over the last year i've been asked the following questions {or ones very similar}:

will you teach eli "shoulders"?
will eli do "shoulders"?
when will eli start doing "shoulders"?

well, my friends, the time has come. 

if you are scratching your head wondering what in the world "shoulders" is, thinking maybe you have missed something vitally important, let me give you some background.

the only way to really do this is through video:

video

this is the original "shoulders 1.0" video shot 2 years ago.

and another, "shoulders: the wedding version":

video


a few days ago i began practicing with eli:

video


and now we have "shoulders: the breakfast version":

video


yes, we will continue to add to our repertoire & yes, i will be happy to post them for all of our fans!



Sunday, November 18, 2012

{insta}week

alright, can someone please tell me how it's possible that november is almost half over????
my birthday is next week. {insert big smile here}
thanksgiving is next week.
christmas decorations are popping up everywhere.
i mean, we are definitely having fun, but i feel like i must have missed a few weeks somewhere.
 good thing i'm an instagram addict!


i spent the beginning of this week visiting one of my favorite people, my bff, bethany.

here's eli & i setting out on our roadtrip

then we got stuck in traffic.
buzz kill.
but we made it, and we had a blast.
i love that though we don't get to see each other often, we just pick up where left off.
sure, we have things to catch up on, but we still laugh & laugh & reminisce about the crazy things we used to do. 
{of course post babies, it takes us a little longer to remember some of those things}
one purpose for our visit was to meet eli's future wife, baby izzy.  

 we decided that we needed pictures of them as babies together so that when they get married in 25 years we can break the pictures out at their wedding. 
we tried to get pictures of the boys {she also has an almost 2 year old, bauer}
but photographing two active boys: not so easy!
those pics are on the camera & someone borrowed our camera, 
so you'll just have to take my word for it.

we were very sad when it was time to come home. 
oh how i wished we lived closer! 

but it was good to get home to see daddy since last week he had been out of town for work.

lots of snuggling happening around here!


while we were at b's, eli had fallen down {what's new? #storyofhislittlelife} & on wednesday, he woke up with his very first shiner. 
one of my friends & followers on instagram threatened to call social services on me.
sometimes i wonder if i'll have one of those accident-prone kids.
be one of those moms that the nurses in the er have on the radar. 

so about every other week i contemplate getting rid of my facebook account for so many reasons, really, but i haven't brought myself to do it yet. 
and this week, i found one more reason to keep it.
i used it to my advantage to request the donation of old matchbox cars to my car-less son.
within minutes of hitting enter, i was hit up with numerous willing donors. 
would you believe that i searched yard sale after yard sale & found not one little car?

he was so excited! 
he loves them!

i haven't done a great job this week with keeping up with she reads truth, but here's a verse that spoke to me this week.

especially when one of my tasks this week was folding bulletins:
i really don't mind doing it; 
it's hard to imagine that folding paper could be something done "unto the lord". 
but it seems pretty clear: not some things or once in a while or half the time.
WHATEVER you do. 
makes you {me} think about how you {i} conduct yourself {myself} in all things!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

recap:: the happy day project {2012}

i've been really excited about writing this post to talk about my experience participating in 

before i begin, i have to provide a little disclaimer:
i didn't exactly follow the plan as it was laid out.
for those of you who know me well, i'm sure you're not all that surprised.
i guess it's just that stubborn, slightly rebellious part of me that has to do things my way sometimes.
okay, A LOT of times.
{sorry, jeannett, if you happen to read this!}
 despite this small little detail,  it did not take away from the meaning behind, nor the purpose of the experience.

we started out the week by writing notes to people.
yes, that's right i said, "writing".
remember the days of picking out a card for someone & sending a nice handwritten note?
yeah, it had been a while since i've done something like that.

 i found out later in the week that the people i chose to send notes to had a pretty stressful week.
i was so happy to know that my note offered a bit of happy for them during that time. 

tuesday we were supposed to give gift cards to the homeless, and here's where i went a little "off course".  
i know we have a homeless population in our town, however, i don't think it's quite as obvious as it might be in other places.
at the risk of offending someone, i chose to do something a little different.
the idea for this day was to provide the gift of food for people who may need a little help.
mike & i run a food pantry out of our house, so we do this on a weekly basis.
i decided to treat the people who come to our food pantry with a little dessert while they waited in line.

 i had this yummy recipe for a pumpkin crunch cake.

i also collected information from everyone to participate in an "adopt a family" program our church does through our food pantry.



next, we were to treat someone.
{i actually did this one a day late}
i was helping a friend at church, so i picked up some coffee & while i was there i paid the bill for the person behind me in the drive thru.
i don't know why, but i was really nervous doing this. 
i'm not really sure what i thought would happen....the person would get angry & flip me off because i did something kind?


another project was to put together blessing bags for the homeless.
so again, i changed it up a bit & put together a blessing box for a local church who was sending a truck load to victims in new jersey affected by hurricane sandy.

 

a first grader at our church decided he wanted to collect items for kids in haiti to send with a team that will be headed there in a couple weeks for a missions trip, so i put together a bag of items for that too.

found these adorable socks on clearance at target so i snatched a bunch up.

finally, we were given the task of recognizing those in the service.
there was a virtual component for each day & for this day it was donating to the Wounded Warrior Project.
A gal from our church was raising money through her blog, so i decided to help her out.



now, i really hope this post doesn't come across as "check me out, i'm awesome because i did all these great things this week".  
not my intention at all.
what i learned from this week was the truth in the verse:

"Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered."
Proverbs 11:25

my soul felt refreshed.
i was honored to be serving in Jesus' name.
i felt like i had this uncontainable energy this week longing to be expended through the giving of my time, talents and resources.

early in the week mike had written a note to our neighbor & i dropped it off with some dessert.
she dropped by later in the week to let us know how much she appreciated it & i sneaked this picture:
i just loved her smile.
it made my heart smile knowing what this simple gesture meant to her. 

 and to top it off, on saturday, i came home to this:
 a group of kids from another local church raking my leaves!
this was a HUGE blessing!
we have 2 very large trees in our yard that produce A LOT of leaves.
it takes almost 2 hours to do just the front yard.
5 kids, 30 minutes!

then, these people show up a few hours later asking to take my leaves:
they took 2 truckloads.

blessings all around!

i know this was a really long post & if you've made it this far, thank you for persevering!
i've just been challenged by this little project to continue to look for ways to be a blessing to others & not so that i reap any type of reward but to make much of Jesus.
to be the hands & feet of Christ so that others can catch a glimpse of Him.
to share His love with a lost & broken world so that they might "taste & see that He is good"!
Psalm 34:8










Tuesday, November 6, 2012

a day for the history books

yes, it is election day & it is a very important day, but i will get to that in a bit.
 
today is a very monumental day because today was the first mini-emergency in the rubin household regarding our little one.
now, please note, i use the term "emergency" for lack of a better term.
i fully realized at the time that it was not emergency room material.
however, it was much past the stages of "let-me-kiss-it-and-make-it-better".
 
you see, my son had blood gushing {and i don't use that term dramatically} from his finger.

i had let charlie out so we were playing in the den until charlie was done his business.
all of a sudden eli starts crying, but i have no idea why because he was still in the same spot he had been 30 seconds before.
he put his hands down on a box that was sitting in front of the chair in the room, and when he moved his hand, there was a puddle of blood.
naturally, i was quite surprised because i had no idea where this blood would be coming from. 
i then realized he must have cut it on one of these bottles:
i have 2 of these big decorative bottles from my grandmother's house, and
one of them got broken somehow several weeks ago.
the top part where the cork is broke off, but it was a clean break so i really didn't think it was a hazard.
i had even run my fingers over it to make sure the edges weren't sharp.
guess i was wrong!
 
so eli's crying, blood is gushing & i'm trying to retrieve any info that i learned in first aid. 
apply pressure and raise the wound!
ok, but they didn't teach me what to do when the 14 month old patient doesn't want to cooperate.
 
i had no way of telling how deep the cut was so i figured a trip to the doctor's wouldn't hurt.
i called mike, who had just arrived at his staff meeting, to tell him he needed to come home so we could take eli to the doctor.
thankfully the doctor is only 2 blocks from our house & they had no patients at the time. 
poor baby cried harder when he saw the nurse come in than when it happened.
they got it cleaned up & showed us the nice little slice mark on his thumb. 
the funny thing is, i had planned on taking him in today to get the second part of his flu shot. 
so we figured as long as we were there, and he was upset anyway, might as well go ahead and do that too.
 to make up for it, we let eli "ride dirty" in the car.
don't judge, but that's what we call it when we let him ride in the car without sitting in his car seat.
i know what you're thinking, if they have a name for it, they must do that a lot.
not really, only a few times.
mostly when we went yard sale-ing in this one huge neighborhood.
he thinks it's the coolest.
we like to make him smile.
and after all that, he needed a smile.

don't worry, i made sure to snap a pic of the aftermath:

{it was also all over his face, pants and socks.}
 
i wanted to get a picture while the blood was gushing, but i didn't think subjecting my crying, bleeding child to a photo shoot was really "mother of the year" material. 
probably thinking of taking a picture at that time wasn't really 
"mother of the year" material.
hmmmm

i couldn't get a good picture of the boo boo after the blood {surprise}, but here is his little boo boo hand clutching kitty, who makes everything better.


               ============================================================

and now for my thoughts on the election.
i tried to get into politics about 8 years ago, but got pretty fed up with it because the reality is that there's no honesty.
i've voted 3 times in my life because i have the right to do it & because it's a special freedom.
i've never backed any particular candidate with strong conviction.
i've pretty much taken the "lesser of two evils" approach.
right or wrong, it's just the way i've done it because i don't believe that any politician will ever share my beliefs or be strong enough to live out the type of convictions that i hold to be most valuable.

but here's what i do know. 
no matter who wins, no matter what party has control over this country, there is still One who has ultimate control over the universe.
no matter whose faces appears in the little oval as the next president in the back of our history books, 
God is still sovereign & will reign victoriously.
 
He has already written the outcome.
He's already planned our future.
 
And it's in Him that i place my hope.
it's in Him that i place my trust.

Monday, November 5, 2012

happy day project 2012

i meant to post this earlier, but of course, {famous words coming}
i forgot!
oh well, i didn't miss the boat on this & that's all that matters.

i've seen this little logo floating around on various blogs i read & decided to check it out:
life rearranged

i thought, i like to be happy & i like to make people happy & see people being happy,
 so maybe i just might want to join in.
the more i learned, the more i liked it. 
{you can find the background here.}

so i'm linking up with jeannett over at life rearranged to spread some happy this week.
stay tuned for pics and posts!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

{insta}week

it's sunday night.
 i'm sitting here drinking a cup of coffee while my {not so} little brother eats our leftovers from our first thanksgiving dinner of the month.
he came in this weekend for a wedding & requested a family thanksgiving since we don't get to see him for thanksgiving anymore.
my mom cooked, i hosted & it was a wonderful evening. 
but oh, i couldn't wait to pull on the sweatpants & baggy sweatshirt.
ate.too.much.
but such a great way to end the week!


 this week started out, of course, with hurricane sandy coming to town.
thankfully, by the grace of God, we only experienced some water in the basement.
we kept waiting for the limbs to fall off our tree out front {because they always do},
but nothing!
but we used the storm as a great excuse to stay in our pjs all day  & eat all the food we thought might go bad if we lost power.

you can see here charlie was waiting & watching.


we were so grateful that this was all we had to deal with. 

eli lately:

each stage we experience with him is awesome & amazing & fun.
this is my favorite so far
{i say this knowing there is so much yet to come}
i love that he's beginning to mimic us & we witness what we teach him.
i love that he's such a little ham.
he loves to make faces & laugh & make people laugh.
i can't get enough of that little face.
my cup overflows.

Friday, November 2, 2012

i could

have you ever been afraid to pray for something because you know God could use that prayer to cause major waves in your current calm?
i'm in a place like that right now.

i just finished a study on Philippians with She Reads Truth which was phenomenal!!
i've read through this book before, heard sermons on it, but this was like reading it with brand new eyes.
{something i've been praying for for a long time}
paul was just an amazing man.
that's it.
that's all there is to it.
amazing.

how many people do you know that could write a letter from jail to encourage & love on people for the sake of Christ?

there was one verse that stuck out to me:
"...for I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances."
{Phil. 4:11}

after reading this, i thought, Lord, i want this to be my prayer.
but then i retracted that statement.
i was afraid!
what would this mean?
how would God shake up our world to make this be a true statement?
what will i have to sacrifice?
i don't know if i'm ready to be shaken.

then today i came across this song:


i could just sit where i am.
i could just play it safe.
i could allow fear to dictate my next move.
i could miss out though.
i could miss what wonderful things God has in store for me.
i could miss out on a transformation that draws me closer to Him & who He wants me to be.

but what i long for is to go higher and to go deeper.
i long to go where He leads me.
for His mercy light my path.