Thursday, December 6, 2012


Strange name for a Christmasy type post hey?  That's what I'm feeling I need this season.  Rest and Peace.  I  VERY easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle that is Christmas.  Shopping, spending, baking, decorating, carols, lights, concerts, banquets, parties, etc etc etc.  The list goes on and on and as fun and festive as the time is - at the end of it we feel exhausted.  We have overspent, over extended, and over eaten.  We begin our new year with over working to try to pay the bills for all the shopping we did and acru more bills by joining the gym to try to deal with all the over eating that went on for the last 2 months.

I love all the festivity that goes with Christmas but I don't love the Christmas hangover.  I don't love the pressure of perfection that takes over at this time of the year.  The perfect gift, the perfect tree, the perfect turkey, the perfect lights, the perfect hostess, the perfect outfit and of course the pressure you put on your family to have the perfect husband who gives the perfect gift and the perfect children who have a hard time even remaining sane because of all the sensory overload that takes place at this time of the year.

WOW - is that what its really all about?   When I think about the Reason we even have Christmas - I don't see any perfection - except in the peace.  The journey wasn't perfect, the marriage wasn't perfect, the accomodations CERTAINLY weren't perfect but that day the PRINCE OF PEACE came to dwell among men to bring us Peace.  Not peace on earth, not peace among men but peace and rest to our spirits.  Peace between God and man...

I'm turning myself around this Christmas - that pattern is coming to a screeching halt!  While I will still give gifts, bake for my family, enjoy the festivities, and listen to carolls; I will rest.  I will encourage my family to rest and relax and have peace this season.  I WILL NOT take on the pressure of having to be at every party, concert, banquet, take part in every secret santa, etc.  I may send my Christmas cards out in March - lol.   I will celebrate the gift of peace that God sent that day.  The peace that we so easily forget in the hustle and bustle of life.
I don't think the night Jesus was born there were cherabim and seraphim in that stable, with kings and wisemen with all kinds of elaborate gifts; those came later - but what I think the scene looked more like was this:
A husband and wife, in awe of the miraculous gift that had been given to them.  Probably an amazing feeling of overwhelming responsibility but I'm pretty sure there was peace and joy.  And, after Jesus was born, I'm sure they all laid down together to rest.
I LOVE Christmas, but this year, starting today, I'm going to focus on the Peace that Jesus came to give, the rest that we so need at the end of the year and I'm not going to put pressure on myself to attain perfection, instead, I'm going to rest.  I'm going to spend time with Jesus - the source of my peace and let Him renew and restore me at the end of this year in preparation for all the great things that lie ahead in 2013.  I'm going to love on my family and friends and try to be a blessing to them by not putting the pressure of perfection on them.  I'm going to try to focus on the beauty around me, the gift of Christmas and remember to breathe.

 Will you join me in celebrating the peace that Jesus brought and rest this season.  Be good to yourself and those around you and don't forget to rest...

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Project Beauty and a Challenge

I've recently introduced you to Jessica Hover.  Her blog continues to challenge me and so now I'm inviting you to take up a challenge with her and I as well.  Project Beauty!
Project beauty is a journey to discover who God created me to be and to see myself the way He sees me!  I want you to join us as well and we want to hear about what you discover!
You can read more about the challenge and what Jess is going through here.

Imagine what could happen if the amazing daughters of God began to discover their destiny in Him and began taking that destiny to the world showing it the beauty of God!

Here's what to do to take the challenge:  (FROM JESSICA'S BLOG)

It's day one of the project and here is where I am at....  
I am choosing today to encourage myself. The same way I would encourage a struggling friend.

Everytime I look in the mirror I will think of at least one thing I love about myself, and I will thank God for that thing.
And when I lay down for bed I will thank God for 5 things I like about myself.
I did it last night... and again this morning when I woke up.
That's all. Day one of project beauty is encouragement. Simple.

The Bible says in Genesis 50:20--
"But as for you, you meant evil against me; 
but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, 
to save many people alive." 

Satan wants to destroy us through our insecurities and perversions of beauty. He wants to convince us that we will never be good enough. But here is what I have decided... the more the enemy lies to me... the more I will pursue truth... and the more truth I find ... the more truth I will share... which means more freedom for both myself and others.

Join us!  Leave me a comment and keep us up to date in what God is showing you about your own identity and beauty! Pin It

Monday, November 5, 2012


So based on my last post I felt compelled to begin a list of what or whom I think God created me to be.  I started by thinking back to the things I've always loved, even as a little girl.  Here is the list I've begun, in no particular order:

I love my boys - all 4 of them!  I love their smiles, their faces, their victories and accomplishments, I love their failures because I know it teaches them to overcome adversity and that their worth is not based on what they do;

I love my husband - I believe with all my heart that God purposely placed him in my life to teach me about love.  Unconditional, I'll never give up on you - I love you even when you're ugly kind of love.  I love that he is honorable, that he desires to please God with all his heart, that he wants to make me happy, that he thinks I'm beautiful.  I love the deep, genuine love he has for people - all people.  I love how nonjudgemental and gracious he is - GRACE - that's his super power!

I love animals - especially bunnies - but pretty much any baby animal - except bugs!

I love to worship - no, I mean I REALLY LOVE to worship God - it refreshes and re-energizes my soul without exception

I love to dance - with out reservation or fear of judgement or worry of how I look - to dance with utter abandon - like David did.  I love to dance at weddings, in church, in my living room - I love to dance.

I love pink and blue and I love pink and blue together!

I love flowers - almost all flowers but ESPECIALLY the full kind like peonies and roses!

I love dresses!  I might wear them everyday if I could - the very simple sun dresses and the very fancy ball gowns.

I love weddings - everything about them - planning them, attending them, being a part of them, having them - all of it - the love - the celebration, the dressing up, the party, all of it!

I love sweats - yep, I know I said I love dresses but I also love sweats, not the lulu lemon dressy yoga pants that you can wear out to the store, but the old grey baggy sweats that feel WAAAAAYYYYY toooo big, even when its you're period and you've just eaten four helpings of icecream! 
I love high heels - especially stilettos! (I don't love how I'm scared of breaking an ankle whenever I wear them - LOL)

I love long hair!

I love to travel!

I love decorating and I love color!

I love to laugh!  Not the small, grin kind of laugh but the belly, I can't breathe, no noise is coming out and I sit here and clap my hands looking like a retarded seal kind of laugh!

I love romantic comedies - not the kind that make you feel sad at the end and have unrealistic expectations for your husband and marriage but the kind that make you celebrate the love you have in your own life.

I love seeing people love and pursue God!  Not because the bible tells them to but because they genuinely love Him - because they have a relationship with Him and have decided that their lives are no longer their own, not out of compulsion, but because of a realization of His crazy, over the top love for them.

I love the mountains and I love the water.

I love wood burning fire places.

I love cleaning my house. It makes me feel like I'm honoring God by taking care of what He has blessed me with and it makes me feel like I'm creating a great place for my family to come home to everyday.

So, these are a few of my favorite things - whether they are popular or not is irrelevant - they are MY favorite things.  And, as I read over the list above - I think I might be starting to like this little girl God created - maybe even uncovering layers of expectation and disappointments to uncover the beauty He created.

What are a few of your favorite things?

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Sunday, November 4, 2012


Identity - the condition of being oneself and not another; the sense of self; the state of having unique identifying characteristics held by no other person or thing.

Do you know who you are?  Do you know why you are here and what God created you to do?  I'm not entirely sure I do, so I've determined that I'm going to figure it out.  Here's where I started:

Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me thoroughly and have known me
I’m an open book to you;

(God knows me - thoroughly, better than I know myself - there is nothing about me or in me, that He doesn't know)

    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.

(He is Always watching over me and watching out for me)

You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.

(He knows my past, present, and future and is already there)

I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going

(the comfort of his presence always around me)

This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

(How can His love for me be understood?)

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!

If I go up to heaven, you are there;
 if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—

even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.

I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—

but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

(Even if I tried, even if I run, even if I hide, I cannot escape His love for me)

To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are all the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!

(Being in health care we only touched on the miraculous way our bodies were created, have the ability to heal themselves and function on a regular basis, only a master craftsman could have designed such awesomeness)

My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought as if embroidered with various colors in the depths of the earth a region of darkness and mystery.

("being formed in secret", it was a secret, the shame of my conception, the fear regarding my life, the weight I was on the future, the desperation and dispair); (various colors, curiously wrought - it seems He took pleasure in the creative process of my being, that it somehow brought the creator joy to see his creation)

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

(He saw the expanse of my days - past present and future and is there in it all - He is I AM)

The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

(Soverignty in my life - the thought that His protection, love and guidance, have always been a part of my life, even when I was unaware of them

How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!

I couldn’t even begin to count them—
    any more than I could count the sand of the sea.

(God obsessively thinks about me - I am ALWAYS on His mind, the object of His affection, the center of His universe so to speak)

Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!

(sustain my life and let it glorify and tell the world about you)

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my anxious thoughts!

(Look in all the dark, ugly dust filled corners of my heart and change me, clean me, transform me - make me like you - take over those areas until they are exactly the way you want them to be)

Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Why do the messages of failure, of defeat, of fear, of dissappointment and regret play so loudly in my head on a regular basis.  Why does comparison consistently steal my joy and why is perfection the standard to which I hold myself?

I find myself asking, "Who am I Lord?  Who am I really?  Who is it you created me to be?"  I need You to show me, change me, recreate me.  Heal me.  Help me to be all that you created me to be.  Help me to see what it is that you are so in love with.
Help me to be me - help me to see what it is that is unique about me - what are my gifts and talents, what is it that you really created me for.  Allow me to see the beauty you see when you look at me.  Clear away all that fogs my vision and help me to see clearly what you see when you see me.

What do you hear when you ask God who He created you to be?

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beautiful Boys

We headed out today to try and get some pics of the boys - it looked beautiful outside one minute and by the time we were getting in the van it was spitting and overcast!  It was SO SO cold!  The pics turned out good I think anyway!  We may head out one more day to a different spot!  Poor Isaiah had just gotten out of the shower and was FREEZING - lol!

The sweetest things I see everyday - I am blessed so much more than I deserve! Pin It

Monday, October 15, 2012

Just to encourage you today that His love for us NEVER EVER changes or fails - he sees more than a beautiful mess when He looks at us!

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jessica Hover: Celebration. Not comparison.

Shaun and Jessica Hover were a couple we met when Isaiah was in YWAM - they were his leaders on his Chile outreach and are just an amazing young couple.  They both impacted Isaiah's life in an irreversible way and we are so thankful for their heart and investment.  I read Jessica's blog regularly and am constantly challenged by the things she rights but more so on the insight and transparency regarding her own journey.   She is just as beautiful inside as she is on the outside - a stunning beauty both physically and in her heart.

This was a recent post by Jess that I especially loved and a message I think we all need to hear more so I'm posting it here for you to read.  I hope it encourages you as much as it encourages me!

Celebration. Not comparison.

That's something I'm learning.

Celebrating a person means that when someone else achieves something great or receives something wonderful... I get excited with them. If they look particularly good, or happen to be gifted with a certain strength then my job is to encourage them in it.

If they sing well then I promote them. If they cook well, then I tell them.
If they have an awesome body, I can affirm them in that.

It's so common to feel insecure about someone else's successes... But that is comparison... And it's rooted in lies.

The success of another person is NOT a mark of our failure, and it doesn't have to make us feel bad.

I read this cute story recently:

3 caterpillars were crawling through a field. Seeing a butterfly pass over them, the first said, "Look at that smart aleck up there, flitting around, making us feel stupid." The second caterpillar said, "You know, some days I wish I could fly." The third caterpillar said excitedly, "I know that guy! He used to be one of us! If he can fly then I know I can fly too!"

Where do we fit in the story? How do we respond when we see strengths in other people?

God designed us so that when we walk in our gifts & strengths, with confidence and humility, it will actually inspire other people to embrace their own gifts & strengths too.

God's word says in 1 Peter 4:10, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

Meaning our focus isn't on whether or not we are better than the people around us. Our focus is on using what we have been given to bless, serve, encourage, inspire, and LOVE the people around us.

Comparison is a thief.

Celebration is a love-filled-life-giving party!
So.... Let's party! :) 

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Single Stamps - YAY!!!

Another Great Promotion from Stampin' Up!

Cropped SSF_Perfectly_Penned
So many of you have been asking for Stampin' Up! to offer single stamps.  And they listened.  Stampin' Up! now has single stamps available from three select stamp sets: Word Play (p. 135), Perfectly Penned (p. 132), and Seasonal Sayings (Holiday Catalog, p. 34). You can now choose just the sentiment you need from any of these three stamp sets! 

Here are the details: 
  • These stamps are available on any order type, at a club or workshop. 
  • You can find the stamp item numbers & prices for each on the flyers here, plus they tell you which size clear block they will fit on.
Word Play


Perfectly Penned

  • These single stamps will be packaged in cello bags. If you'd like a case for your stamp, you can buy our Clear-Mount Stamp Cases that come in packs of four (item 119105).
  • This offer is available for clear-mount stamps only and runs through January 2nd, 2013. 
  • The stamps won't come with a Clear-Mount Block, so you'll need to buy a block separately if you don't already have one. The recommended block sizes can be found on the above graphic.
  • There's no limit on how many pieces you can buy! These make great, easy to mail gifts, too!
  • Contact me today to order yours!
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Monday, October 1, 2012

New Stampin Up Promo!!!

Hey Ladies!  There is a great new promotion in October that I don't want you to miss out on - especially if you are planning on ordering anyway!  In addition, I'll be offering a class to make these beautiful ornaments or gift toppers in November.  If you order one of the bundles below in October, the class will be free :0)!  Here is another example of these beautiful ornaments. 

Free Free Free....Stampin' Up! October Promotion!If you aren't going to order but would like to attend the class in November (dates tba) please let me know asap so I can have enough supplies on hand for everyone!

New Month means a new promotion 
at Stampin' Up!

Dates: October 1-31, 2012 

Promotion Details: It's only October, but Stampin' Claus is coming to town! Get a FREEFestive Paper-Piercing Pack when you purchase the Ornament Keepsakes Set and Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper.

Paper-pierce festive shapes. Guides on templates let you create perfect designs every time! 3 unique templates: ea. 6" x 6". Templates coordinate with the Window Frames Collection Framelits Dies, Holiday Ornaments Framelits Dies, and the LabelsCollection 

Chose from the following options:

Retail Value
Special Price
Christmas Gift Pack (wood-mount)
Includes Ornament Keepsakes Set (wood-mount), Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper, Festive Paper-Piercing Pack
Christmas Gift Pack (clear-mount)
Includes Ornament Keepsakes Set (clear-mount), Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper, Festive Paper-Piercing Pack
Christmas Gift Pack (wood-mount bundle)
Includes Ornament Keepsakes Bundle (wood-mount), Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper, and Festive Paper-Piercing Pack
Christmas Gift Pack (clear-mount bundle)
Includes Ornament Keepsakes Bundle (clear-mount), Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper, and Festive Paper-Piercing Pack
The Fine Print
  • See those special item numbers above? You've got to use those in order to get your FREE Festive Paper-Piercing Pack.
  • You can get your FREE paper-piercing pack by purchasing the Ornament Keepsakes Set and Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper or the Ornament Keepsakes Bundle and Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper. Remember: the bundle gets you an additional 15 percent off the set and the Holiday Ornaments Framelits Dies. So many options!
  • This promotion has no limits-for every bundle you buy, you'll get a free Festive Paper-Piercing Pack. They make great Christmas gifts!

Contact me today to order your Holiday Bundle!

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