Friday, December 9, 2011

I love to look through pictures and hoped you might too!

He is planning his next move ha, such a busy boy!

He crawls all over and walks along the furniture which is very tiring as the chaser.

But he's too cute.

I'm finding that my quiet times don't need to be long to be good.  This morning I grabbed my smaller bible and found the story of Paul and read in 2 Corinthians 12, about How God's grace is sufficient for me as it was for Paul. Thanks Nicole for passing this along to me yesterday!

He had a blast during breakfast this morning and was cracking me up.

Last night at 8:30 I decided to do some more Christmas baking while I watched Christmas movies! Chocolate dipped pretzel rods, don't mind if I do. :)

white chocolate!

Don't forget this important step..shortening to go in the choc. chips when you melt them.
It's possible I almost ruined the first batch but fortunately I remembered half way through melting the choc. chips.

I enjoyed decorating them.

Don't forget your pretty plate! I bought this one at Target for $2.00

And another pretzel goodie.
preheat oven to 350 degrees and place pretzels on your tray with the unwrapped rolo on top. 
Stick in the oven for 2.5 minutes and then take out and quickly place another pretzel on top to make a yummy treat.  You can also top it with an m'm, or nut. If you can try to place the tray in the freezer to cool and harden the chocolate for about 10 min.

BUT be freezer spit them all over the place. ha that was a cooking fail! I opted for the refrigerator instead.

So there's a little peak into one of my joys, baking!

Here is the current status of our apartment, very much undone and not safe for a child.

Garrett, you will always be that tiny baby in my eyes, love you sweet boy!

He is my happy helper.


Have you ever found out something from someone that just rocked you to the core?
I never want to be so prideful that I don't understand I too am one step away from sin.  I don't want to be ignorant to the schemes of satan either.  He's cunning, confusing, and as I've always said really good at what he does.
I've recently read through a book that was such an encouragement to me. It explained a few things in a way i'd never heard and drew me closer to God.
Then yesterday I found out the man who wrote the book had been engaged in an affair for a number of years. My heart ached and I was disappointed.  
So when I crawled into bed and was still discouraged to the choice of finishing out the last chapter of this book he wrote I decided to take it to my Heavenly Father.
We hashed over my own failures but how God has still used me, we remembered King David who was as God called a man after his own heart but still had an affair and had a man murdered.  Then I started to listen to God as he reminded me that i'm not to look to men because they will disappoint.  My God is the faithful one and men will fail (myself included) but he stretched his grace to an even further place in my heart.
Grace for others.

Ann Voskamp
God appoints people who do disappoint – to point to a God who never disappoints.

This is what I read this morning...pretty amazing!

So that's where God and I are traveling next in this journey of healing and restoring.  How I know this will be hard as he tweaks an area I will have to give to him with complete abandon.  My expectations of certain people and my lack of grace for when they fail.  I'm ready though. :)


We are approaching our move-in and move-out date and i'm excited.  We could definately use a few more hands to help but i'm not going to worry.  I'm soaking up this last week with a dishwasher and am preparing for a future of washing dishes daily. :)
Well i should get back to cleaning.  Hope you are having a great day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
Proverbs 27:6
 A friend may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but it's often for your own good. It's better to be told truth then be told sweet words that send you into your own ruin.
Oh yes we're going there today..

Why? Because I want to touch base with an issue we are all going to run into. 

Here is what i'm hearing from a majority of woman.
*I can't find good friends
*It's hard to make girlfriends as an adult
*I can't connect with woman around me

sound familiar?
i've been there!
Have I mastered becoming a great friend, no
Have I made mistakes and hurt friends? sadly, yes!
(Thank God for his grace though.)

However, He has laid a few things on my heart about friendship and I wanted to share.

I don't have it all figured out because lets face it, humans are tricky and try as we may we're plain ol' selfish. When you put two imperfect people together you will eventually have a few snags or perhaps a big one that ends the whole relationship. 
Normally I'd say that I could get along with pretty much anyone. I can find a lot of good in a person and i'm thankful for that. But lets face the truth..there are a handful of people that i've come to meet that drive me nuts. Do you know what i'm talking about? 

They are either miserable and pretend otherwise, Or they are miserable and let everyone know.
But either way being miserable is hard to be friends with. 

But I hear it time and time again from these same people how people are walking out of their lives. I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them and say 'do you really not know why!?'
 THEN they are adding to the mess with status' on facebook about what a bad friend so and so was for ditching them and there are tons of others chiming in about how awful that person is and sugar coating sweet words that sounds something like 'you don't deserve that' or 'you're wonderful!' wait a minute.
(Can you see why facebook can be more then annoying at times?) 
It's fine when we have a bad day and need to vent or are going through a chapter in our lives that we're struggling but a never ending negative attitude is hard to deal with for anyone.
Let me tell you that i've been the negative friend and I've had some pretty amazing people stick it out with me but I can tell you that it was hard for them.

We have different temperaments and each of us deal with things differently. It's not fair to expect a woman to have to make friends with another woman who is lets say negative.  They're constantly posting on facebook about this bad thing or that bad thing and they don't want answers or help, they want to complain.
If you're anything like me if there's a problem you want to fix it and move on.  If not then I admire your view on a more patient approach to let things run it's course.  But I can't take the constant negative spirit because it brings me down!  Selfishly I want to surround myself with woman that are joyful. Now I didn't say happy.

Joy is this constant hope and a content spirit no matter the situation.
For example:
My cousin's wife miscarried recently after being far along. I didn't know how she would respond but when she wrote a note praising God still I was blown away by the attitude she chose.  She responded gracefully and with love in her time of mourning.
She didn't add it to a list of wrongs been done against her instead she placed it in Christ's hands.

Do you see what I mean? Isn't that the kind of friend you want to be around?
But then I've met many woman who have been wronged or are going through bad situations and they hold onto their pain and throw up their card every time you start to question their attitude...
They want to stay unhealed. They have a right to be angry or bitter. They don't want to give God whatever it is that's hurt them.
To stay friends with a person like this wears you down eventually.

 I have met people who feel bad about walking away from this kind of friend and they carry a lot of guilt in their choice. I'm one of them!
So i've asked myself recently if it's wrong to walk away from someone? Is it ever God's will for us to move ahead with our lives?
Here's what i'm learning..
In some cases, it's okay to leave, you're not a bad friend to commit to walk away and simply pray for that person because God did not intend for you to be hurt. 
We can look to Matthew 10:14 where God instructs his disciples that if a place or person does not welcome them or listen to their words (the good news of Jesus Christ) that they are to shake the dust off their feet and leave.
Read that entire chapter if you have a minute because it's message could probably be taken a few different ways but honestly it's simple.  Jesus wanted his message to be spread but knew that some people's hearts were hard and wouldn't accept truth.  Later in chapter ten he says to them, v16 'I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.'  God knew the kind of world that he was sending us into.  He cares for us deeply and the idea of his lamb among wolves doesn't sit well with him but it's the result of the Fall.
How can we apply this to our friendships now that go sour?  If you are loving a friend and trying to help them and they turn you away then I believe God wants you to move along.  It's always my desire to live peacefully with everyone but that can't always be the case. There are people who are hurting that need to hear about Jesus and it's not worth sitting with a person who has already chosen to be hard to God.  Be gracious though and walk away with caution, don't do anything that causes you to sin.
Here is my experience with what I call a good friend.  I've been confronted with truth by a friend before and it hurt really bad. It bruised my pride mostly, but oh did I need to hear what she said. I respect her all the more for what she did because I know it's hard to approach a friend in love.
  I have also experienced a friend who knew I was about to make a bad choice and said nothing, didn't stop me and I walked straight into one of the worst decisions i've ever made. Although at the moment my friends sweet words justifying my choice made me feel good and I thought she was a wonderful friend you can bet that now I look at her and realize she was not the right kind of friend.

I've ran into a few situations with people where I cared so much for a friend and saw the choices they were making were really hurting them.  I didn't know whether to say something or keep quiet.  There is a big difference in speaking something in love and judging and I have to be careful.  When you see a person hurting it may be appropriate to stay quiet and pray, or sit and listen to them, or be available to sit quietly with them saying nothing, but there may be a time for gentle reminders of truth.  It requires much prayer!
And girls if your friend throws you under the bus..move along unless she comes around. Don't feel like you need to earn back trust for being a bad friend because loving a friend is not being a bad one.  God will deal with your friend in a gracious way but it's not his will for you to get hurt.

So lets go one step further and girl talk some more...

What about those questions i've seen over and over about our lack of connecting with other woman?
I think it's our desire to be known by a friend.  Have you ever had a best friend that keeps your secrets and loves you still after knowing them?  Or the kind that brings over your favorite coffee drink just because?  How about the friend that is willing to sit and talk or sit and listen? 
Women need friendships..desperately.

I have a load of wonderful woman that have filled my 22 years. They're amazing God loving woman that have helped me to be the woman I am today.
I recently have met a fellow navy wife who asked to be a mentor to me. I love her so much and was really excited that God blessed me with her!
It starts when someone says i've been there too or i'm walking where you are now.
I find my best friends are those woman that love God deeply and know His love because they show it to me every time we're together.
I walk away from lunches with them and have a sense of peace or a restored soul.  I am ready to go back home and love my boys and serve God all the better.
Yet as much as I've been blessed there have been times i've walked alone.

I don't know where you find yourself right now. Maybe you have an abundance of friends or maybe you're walking in the valley very much alone. 
Is the problem always us or is it simply a season we're in with no close friends?

I want to throw this out there.  Maybe God needs to get us all by ourselves to speak to us at times.  He needs to remove certain people in our lives so that it's only his voice we're hearing and not someone Else's.
But dear one, you were made for relationships..not to walk through life alone.  God intended us to walk through life together and I believe when we pray he will bring friendships.  You have to give quite often because like any relationship it requires us to be selfless. (keep that in mind)


I want to tell you about my Amy. I thank God for her all the time and know she was an answered prayer.

I call her 'my amy' and i'm not sure why but when I see her in church coming in I think 'there's my Amy!' and I get very happy.
I prayed for a friend and God brought me the most not girly girl, blunt as can be, sport nut (i mean that in the best way!), and honest person i've ever met.
But oh man do I love her!
When I met her she had just experienced a great loss.  She lost her two babies in a miscarriage. We met in a bible study and week after week I came to respect her.  She was honest and real about her loss and it was refreshing but still heartbreaking.  Over the months we were able to get together and talk which  was not something Amy did often but God continued to use her. 
She is my coffee buddy and a good one at that!
There's no expectations in our friendship and that's what I find is amazing.
If we don't talk for a week or if we miss a text there's no hard feelings.
If one of us sees another friend there's no feeling of resentment that we weren't included.
It's peaceful.  And I love having a friend that doesn't expect me to be a certain way but takes me as I am and yet still encourages me to grow.
Did you catch that?  Yes she likes me but she is not afraid to share with me when i'm out of line..she doesn't sugar coat but tells it as it is and I love it!
Everything I see her she makes me laugh so hard. 
Pray specifically for this kind of friend because laughter, truth, and a real God loving woman is a huge blessing in life!
I know Amy may just be in my life for a season but I am so thankful that God blessed me with her.

Keep praying God would help you be a good friend and don't expect too much, we're imperfect people and need Grace.
Until next time,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The clock read 5:30am and I hopped out of bed.

Me+wide awake cheerfully+5:30am=NOT A NORMAL OCCURRENCE!
but it's true..I woke up super early after going to bed at 7:45 last night. Life is good. :)

There are some amazing things that happen in these early parts of the day I realize now.
I see my husband off to work, I spend time in the quiet with God, hear a sweet message by Chuck Swindol, and drink fresh coffee!
AND I am able to see God's handiwork in the mix of the pink and purple sunrise this morning.
Life IS good!

As soon as this little munchkin wakes up we're going to get dressed and take a morning walk. I'm sure those are pretty fantastic as well.
We opened stockings this morning. An old tradition to set them out December 5th and I love it! Christmas comes all month of December this way. We all were awake this morning and we enjoyed seeing what each other had in their stocking.  I picked a few things out for myself too! Cake pans, a candle, cotton candy, and a few other things.
We had fun. :)

Unfortunately i've become a victim in my own home. There was this terrible..i can hardly bare to mention the name..silverfish bug that was scurrying around in the early parts of the morning VERY unwelcome. I tried to kill it but it flopped away after my failed attempt to whack it.
Did you know I have serious bug-a-phobia??
I thank God for people like my father in law who is fearless of spiders, or the way my grandpa Bacon can smack a cockroach with his bare-hand. What brave men! (I'm truly in awe)
So if i never am blessed with a baby girl at least I will have men to take care of the constant bug dilemma our world faces.
so you must realize that my new prayer is that when Jesus and I meet up in heaven I will rejoice not only in the fact that I am Home at last but that this home is bug-free!

I was able to listen to Chuck swindol preach about Jesus this morning. He is one of my favorite teachers.  The man is wise and humble. 
He spoke about the importance of knowing who Jesus was.  We were flipping through the book of Matthew quickly but I discovered a few new things about Jesus this morning.
1. He was rejected by the people from where he grew up. They said 'isn't that the same Jesus that we knew?
2.His own family was embarrassed by him when he began his ministry.
3.When Jesus stood before Pilot behind closed doors he was incredibly bold to this governor.  He was not intimidated by Pilot. 
4.Jesus did this all for me..God allowed his own son to walk in the place where I was meant to walk.

This message will never fully be comprehensible to me, but it makes me surrender my will and allow Him to sit on the throne in my heart.
If you have time I encourage you to read through the gospels this month. And if you can only pick one, then try the book of Matthew. Read it like you've never seen or heard it before. Let yourself learn new things..never fall into the mindset that you know it all. 
Allow God to show you more.

I hope you are having a wonderful morning!
Praying that you would enjoy this day. :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Have a seat :) I'd offer you something to drink but my home is currently undone accompanied with a fresh scent of cardboard. We are on low supply of food and drinks this week.  But please make your way in and sit down for a minute. 

We're moving across town into a beautiful rental home. I've never actually owned a home but from what I hear it's wonderful.  We're simply borrowing a home for this year and getting all the comforts of one without the stress of home ownership! Isn't that a great deal?
Today I was able to tape a few boxes together and pack away some areas we won't use for the next week and a half.  It's always amazing how much you accumulate over the years. I am a firm believer in having a place for everything and I crave a neat home! But strangely i'm not anxious with this mess because it's an organized mess! Those are the best kind :). 

Oops! I almost forgot to turn on my pretend fireplace! It came along with our cable service and I jumped with joy when I found it.  (seriously, i leaped into the air, picture that!) It's beyond fake and I have a grin every time I turn it on but it's the small things in life like a pretend fire that make me happy.

I woke up this morning after what was such a deep conversation with the Lord last night and I was refreshed.  I'm currently learning Grace right now.  You have to understand that for as long as I can remember this has not been something I accepted for my life. I was never hesitant to tell other people of God's grace but no that wasn't for me! Do you realize when you are a perfectionist like myself and living life trying to pay God back, having high expectations for yourself and others it leads to brokenness.  You are never good enough and when years are spent with this mindset there is bitterness and anger because this idea of God that I created was really hard to please. Life isn't enjoyable when you are daily not living up to what you think you ought.   God wasn't fulfilling because I wasn't understanding Him.  Having low self esteem for what seems like an eternity didn't help either.  But here we are and I'm learning for the first time about God's grace, about who I am in Him.  Last night I became very aware of the hard work it will be during this healing process.  I'm having to change a mindset that i've had since before high school.
It's a miracle to me the way God is changing me. 
This morning I remembered the life of Paul (in the bible) and how he had praise for God continually. He lived in a constant joy.  I began to pray for a heart like Paul's.  That I would to learn to be content in my day to day life.  That I would understand not everyday will be at the peaks of a mountain but that I would continue to look to Christ.   
Often when we talk about becoming saved we think it's an immediate change of our lives as though God is going to change everything for the better that moment.  We want to believe that as a christian we now will have an easy life with no pain.  How sad it is when you come to the reality that hard situations happen to even the child of God.  That in fact you aren't well liked and what you believe is nice for you but just a fantasy in the opinion of many.  But knowing that God has a plan and that he is enough is where you begin to grow as a christian.  Accepting his love and grace as a sinner is the most freeing thing i've ever experienced. 
Have you ever been there too?

Jesus came as a servant.  He didn't make a grand entrance and he had no reputation.  I will never stop learning new things about his time spent on earth and will be amazed with each new thing I learn. 
I'm grateful that my God is strong, humble, and full of GRACE. We talked through the concept of how his yoke is easy and his burden being light. (I'm living that right now)

I don't know what God's will is for my future but I am not afraid to dream now.  I am not putting myself down or letting satan continue to have a hold causing me to live in bondage.  God created something beautiful in each one of us and it's a shame when we tear it apart. 

I have to get back to packing and then come through my promise to little Garrett that we'd take a walk! Have a wonderful day dear friend!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tonight I went for a run and had a great chat with my Heavenly Father.  I probably looked like a crazy lady running with a gigantic smile but I couldn't help it.

Here is a picture from when I was younger.  I was super happy and I remember smiling a lot. I loved Jesus and not in a cliche, say it all the time kind of way but I really loved this Jesus that I heard about all the time. 

On that joyful day I got up and professed my faith in front of my church family and was baptised. It was incredibly special to make this choice on my own and understand the meaning behind it. I was smiling ear to ear because I loved Jesus deep in my heart!

High School! Here I am with my big brother :). But again I was happy and loved Jesus as my relationship with Him began to grow and I started to understand the meaning of what it is to serve God and have a relationship with Him.

And to portrait this last year.  I have loved Jesus still, even more then ever before.

From a tender heart I share this with you,

Philippians 2:5-11

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

A sob crept up quickly in my chest and I let out a cry.  My hand flew to my mouth to silence but not fast enough, with eyes shut tight I announced to my King that I loved Him.  It's all I could say but He knew the rest.  For it was his grace that led such a hard heart to break into a gooey slobby mess all open and raw.  But He didn't plan to leave it that way, no he had plans and when he knelt beside me lifting my chin reminding me that He had been waiting and planning a way back to Him all that time.  He took hold of this heart and let the junk come pouring out and took it in his hands nailing it to the cross so long ago. Asking me to stop carrying around the guilt of sin and accept the gift of Grace.  He told me it's been forgiven that freedom was mine and how his yoke was easy.  Oh the wonders He could show to me! So I continued to offer my heart completely to Him with hope for the future.  I wanted to become less and Him to become greater in that moment.  He showed me where I went wrong and asked if I'd be willing to do the hard work while He helped me back to health. 
I wanted to lay flat on my face and not move but to bow before my savior, King, and the one who came and died in my place.
He gave more then I deserved.  He took a wretched sinner and has begun to restore this broken soul.
Like a flood breaking down the barriers I had up and rushing through to the corners of my heart joy, love, and hope are being replaced where once bitterness, anger, low self-esteem, and brokenness showed their ugly faces. 

He's doing wonderful things in my life friends, I wonder if you know Him too?

Life was meant for more then what the world offers, of this i'm convinced.  I praise God for blessing me with 22 years and the privilege to get to know Him no matter where I've been.