Sunday, March 24, 2013

my boys, the dentist & why i will need prayer.

as i sit here and type, my husband says to me, "have you done a blog post lately?"
i realized recently that i haven't done any "just because" posts, so here you go.
here's a look at what's been happening around here.

let's talk about these two.
recently, eli has been all about daddy.  
when i dress him in certain things, like this sweatshirt or a collared shirt, he says, "da da" because he knows daddy has the same one or something similar.  then he gets really excited about wearing it.
on this occasion, he wanted to wear his sweatshirt and a hat just like daddy.  

i love watching them have fun together.  
isn't there something so endearing about a daddy and his boy?

daddy's been really excited about teaching eli about march madness this week.  
i think eli's just excited to shout "ball" every 45 seconds.

this week i went to the dentist for the first time in a very long time. 
5 years. oops.
not because i have a crazy fear of going to the dentist. 
in fact, i love it. 
i've been going to the same dentist for over 30 years. 
{my dentist also happens to be my uncle. why would i go anywhere else?}
so why 5 years, you ask?
i'm not really sure! part of it was the last year or so we didn't have insurance, but the other years?
i guess i just got busy?
needless to say, i was nervous! 
going to the dentist, for me, has always been a bit of a boost to my confidence. 
i was nervous that after this long, there might be a blemish to my "perfect" record. 
i'm happy to report that my record remains unstained. 
 and just for fun, here's a little treat for you:
 a picture from my very first trip to the dentist! 

speaking of firsts, this week we took eli to his very first circus.
it was certainly not barnum & baileys, but it made my dad so happy to be able to take him. 
 i'm working on a project for eli for easter. i'm pretty excited about it, and i'm really hoping he likes it as much as i think he will!
i'm thinking about posting a tutorial on here at some point. 

today we celebrate the birth of dink dink!
he's 11 years old. 
when i got him 11 years ago, i randomly chose march 24 as his birthday. 
i really have no idea why. i guess it seemed like a good day for a cat's birthday at the time!

so this week my friend jen wrote to me to let me know that the CM director at their church had won 2 free tickets to the orange conference in atlanta in april and said they wanted to give them to us.
mike isn't able to go because of a lack of vacation time, so that left me to make the decision to go without him. 
knowing i want to go to the influence conference in the fall, i didn't think it would be possible financially.
jen writes me back the next morning to let me know that my airfare would be paid for as well. 
i told her it would come down to praying for enough courage to be able to leave eli for a few days. 
we attended the orange conference in 2011, and it was awesome!
i knew that it would be such an amazing experience to keep the passion burning for children's ministry.
but leave my baby for several days?
yes, leave my husband too, but i've spent time away from mike before. 
i've never been away from my baby.
{moms, you know what i'm talking about, right??}
but i also know that i did not want fear to be what was holding me back, so i said yes.
friends, i will be needing A LOT of prayer at the end of april. 
A LOT!!!!!
hope you all have a great week.
is it really going to snow tomorrow??
here's to sunny skies & warm weather!!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


"worship in the chaos of life."

this might be my new favorite quote.
it came from our message at church on sunday from a series called "the most powerful thing we do".
when i heard it, i wanted to shout out "YES!!"
it resonated deep within me because this is something that i do!

i know i've mentioned it before, but i love music.
and music of the worship absolute favorite. 
there's nothing like turning on music that uplifts & encourages & comforts & allowing it to flood my heart & soul with truth.

i'd like to share with you some of the songs that i use to "worship in the chaos of life".

in those times when i need comforted, when i need to feel the Father's touch, i listen to this:

i love this song because i hear the Father so clearly inviting me into His arms.
to rest in the palm of His hand.
to find shelter in His wings.

there's also this one:

{please excuse the not so great video, there weren't a lot of choices for this one}

"i'm the only one who knows your heart's desries"
"and i know you through and through, there's no need to hide" 
these lines remind me that i am known by Him.
He knows me better than i know myself.

for the times i need to be reminded of God's faithfulness, i might choose this one:

"oh, my God He will not delay"
He ALWAYS shows up on time & i can always trust Him to do so!

when fear sets in,  i like this one: 

and sometimes, when i just don't have the words, this is a great one:

sometimes it's enough to just thank Him for the cross & His sacrifice.
to be reminded that He gives Amazing Grace each & every day.
and that because of the scars He bears, i have been given hope.

and when i just want to celebrate, i might choose this one:

i just LOVE this song!
this is one of those songs that i can't help but to belt out! 

seriously, i could go on & on!
a song for every occasion, but i'm pretty sure you get the idea!

worshiping in the chaos of life to me means facing the mess & the trials & the busyness & the craziness with hope in the One who has defeated the grave and allowing Him to reign in that chaos.

recently i read this & wanted to share it with you:

"Singing cheerful songs of blessing and glory and grace is an act that is good and right and often timely. But there is beautiful worship for all of us in recounting:
These are my afflictions. This is my God. He has the right to use my life how He deems and I will not respond as one who knows no hope. No matter the trial, I will not be prevailed upon. I will respond as a daughter who counts it an honor to identify with my Savior in suffering and sacrifice. When you pass by me, in any season, you can be certain that the blessing of the Lord is upon me."

this is what i aspire to be able to proclaim!

what about you?
what are some of your favorite songs to worship to in the chaos of life?

A Royal Daughter

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

it's been one of those days...

so i am 100% sure you know what i'm talking about.
one of those days.
the kind where you'd like nothing more than to crawl in a closet & hide.
or maybe crawl in your bed & scream in your pillow? 
that's what today has been like.

it's been realizing the mortgage and the february heat bill is due & the bank account won't quite accommodate both payments. 
{remember how cold february was??}
it's been having a fussy toddler who only seems to be fussy for you. not daddy. not pop pop. just you. 
it's been realizing it's 1:00 pm & you haven't had your coffee yet.  
 it's been thinking that less than 24 hours ago your house was somewhat clean, save a good vacuuming.
oh and realizing you desperately need a shower but just don't have the energy to do it. 
and tripping over one too many matchbox cars in the kitchen. 
and having a sink full of dirty dishes staring at you in the face. 
and you've eaten one three too many brownies.
AND it's pouring down raining to top it all off. 

hmmm....sound familiar?

at one point, i just had to stop & pray & ask God for forgiveness because i didn't think today was a day in which i was doing my best to be Christ-like.  
and then a song started running through my head. 

"Lord, I need you, oh I need you.
Every hour I need you.
My one defense, my righteousness.
Oh God, how I need you."

oh yes, i need You, Lord!
more like every minute!
i love the part that says, "my one defense" because He truly is my one defense.  
He is the only reason i get by on a lot of days.
He is the one who fights the battles when i don't have the energy to put on the armor. 

and after i sang through this song a few times, i began to focus on my devotions this morning which were on thankfulness.  
of course, it's easy to be thankful when things are going great.
when our kids are well-behaved, when our bills get paid on time, when the house is clean, when we've had our coffee :)

and of course it's easy to want to be grumpy when you're in the midst of one of those days, but i just started thinking about things i was thankful for today.

here is a small list i came up with:

~God is on my side & always has my back
~God always provides
~Dinner is cooking in the crock pot!
~i'm drinking my coffee & it's a brand that i had on a trip to a Seattle a few years back, so i'm reminiscing on some good times
~i got up early & had my devotions first thing this morning
~i already went to the gym {so i don't feel quite so bad about those brownies}
 ~i've got a healthy, usually happy little boy who i'm over the moon about
~my hubby loves me despite my greasy hair
~i get a nice break to just sit & relax & write
~the meeting that was supposed to be at our house tonight was cancelled, so cleaning can wait till tomorrow
~the rain stopped & the sun is trying to peep out
~earlier today i saw buds on my lilac bush

as i write, i am filled with joy!
it feels so good to ponder the little things that i am thankful for!

so if you find yourself in the midst of one of those days, may i suggest grabbing a cup of coffee and something to write with & make a list. 
pretty soon, i'm almost positive you won't be able to wipe the smile off your face!

A Royal Daughter

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

snowstorm of the season

we've made out pretty good this winter as far as snow goes, in that, we haven't had much!
i'm not a big fan of snow. 
before i became a mom, snow was my favorite because i was a teacher & snow meant snow days.
no school!!
hubby & i could spend all day in our pjs. 
i could spend all day snuggled up reading a book.
 though these days i can definitely spend all day in my pjs (yep, happens quite frequently), i don't get much reading done.

wednesday we were supposed to get a big snow storm. schools were closing the night before even before a flake fell from the sky.  i guess because we haven't had snow is so long, people were forgetting what it was like! 
and when we woke up.....i'm not even sure we had 3 inches!
some storm.

but since this was the last of the snow we will see for awhile, we took eli out to play in the snow for the first time. 
 i had to get some good use out of the $2 puffy coat i scored at a local thrift store earlier this year!

i had to document it too so that he knew that there was a day that mama came out in the snow with him. (playing in the snow with my kids will be a labor of love for me. i dislike it sooooo much!)

this boy & his sticks.
he just loves them!

poor dink had to stay inside.

i think he could've stayed out all morning, but mama was freezing.  
he threw a fit when it was time to come in.   
all he wanted to do was shovel & shovel & shovel some more. 
soon enough we will venture outside, though we won't be wearing our puffy coats!
this weekend it's going to get close to 60 degrees!!
come on, spring!

influence network link up

i'm super excited about linking up with the influence network today.
i first learned about the influence network last fall through julie over at one simple red stitch when she attended the influence conference.
i quickly found myself drawn to the blogs of so many different women who have inspired me & encouraged me. 
i love the idea of a community of women who love jesus & wish to see this world transformed coming together to spur one another on. 

i'm excited to say that, lord-willing, in september i will be attending the influence conference!

short happy story on this:
a few weeks ago mike & i were talking about something & he said, "....when you go to the influence conference....". it took me by surprise because it's not something we have talked about before, other than me expressing a desire to go.  So I asked him to repeat what he said, to which he replied, "you know, when you go the influence conference."  i was so excited to hear him say this!  he proceeded to tell me he knows how much i would love to go & how he really wants to support this desire of mine.  as far as he's concerned, i'm getting to indiana one way or another come september!
awww, good hubby, right??

so in order to get know other "influential women", we are to:
1. share a picture of ourselves we love
2. 3 things about ourselves
3. what we've learned on the influence network

a picture:

here's a photo of myself that i like a lot, but it was taken almost 4 years ago.
there aren't too many pics that i even remotely like of myself lately, but if i had to choose one i guess it would be this:
{you can check out this post for the explanation on this one!}

3 things about me:

~i love music & feel that certain tasks CANNOT be completed unless there is music involved, such as cleaning. my taste in music is pretty much all over the place. my current pandora stations include: hillsong, gungor, jesus culture, mumford & sons, children's indie, disney, 70's lite rock, & jingle bell rock.

~if there was one food i could eat for the rest of my life it would totally be ice cream.  i love ice cream! my favorites are coffee & mint chocolate chip...though not together!

~i actually do not enjoy being on the computer, which is ironic since i started a blog.  i don't really enjoy typing & would much rather hand write something any day!

{if you'd like to read more about me, you can check this recent post.}
what i've learned on the influence network:
i have a confession. i just joined the network, but i did take a class last month & have been following the blogs of many women who are members.  what i've learned is that i love the hearts of these women & that everything about this network is making much of Jesus.  also, i'm all about all things handmade & businesses that give back & i've found so many great ones through this network. 

i'm really looking forward to meeting some of these ladies in real life!  
hopefully you are one of them!