Monday, October 31, 2011

.:Beautiful Things:.

Monday is a day of Thanksgiving around here. Though I haven't been good at getting my "Multitudes on Mondays" up for the last few weeks... I'm still striving to be THANKFUL in all things. While I don't want this weeks post to come across as materialistic or shallow - Today I do want to give thanks for things. Beautiful Things. I truly believe that the Lord loves us to enjoy our lives. He wants us to live abundantly and with joy. Not that things bring lasting joy...but, sometimes... seeing a beautiful thing causes my heart to stir. You? And that comes from God. Creator of all. Creator of beauty.

This weekend I had the opportunity to stop by our local Salvation Army. I have a love/hate relationship with that place. But on this particular day I was feeling lucky and determined - so, off I went. I was looking for copper. Better Homes and Gardens did a spread about using copper in your autumn decor and I was hooked - line and sinker. {ha! Is that even how that expression goes?! HA! I'm totally leaving this in here because I love it.} :) I had the dream of finding a large copper pot. Thats when I realized that copper actually has value and I'm sure I would not be finding one of those. I did procur a few other little gems and hope to have them placed strategically in my home prior to Thanksgiving. The rush is on! And, I'm not sure why...but, Salval's prices have dropped. I mean, really dropped - things were .29 and .49 cents when usually they were 1.99 or something.

I walked out with several copper-ish pieces as well as a few other knick-knacks that caught my eye. I'll say it again... I'm NOT a decorator, though I would love to be. But these little things caught my eye and my heart. For some reason along the crowded shelves in the dirty salvation army they stirred my heart as beautiful things. Things that could have another chance - much like myself. And I'm sure this sounds silly. But I'm thankful to find beauty in the small, unsuspecting places. And I'm eager to share this beauty with my family. So, bag of raffia, cheese cloche, huge basket, random metal wheelbarrow, copper pieces, old tin cup, brown vase and bead berry wreath... I'm thankful for you. And I'm thankful for the little times like this when I find pure joy in life. Simple. Joy.


Another little thing before I log off here.

This weekend hubs and I also took a glance at what lies under our delicious blue carpet. {ick} This is what we found. Keep in mind our home was built in 1914.
We don't know if it's salvage-able or not. We aren't even sure what that green gunk is. We are so very house-dumb about this kind of thing. But, they are REAL wood, and REAL old. Who knows, maybe someday we'll have time and know how to finish these babies and make the dining room look fantastic. In the meantime.... anyone know anything about hardwood floors? We'd love to hire you. We can't pay, but, we'd love to hire you! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

His Mercies...the anticipation

Lastnight as I lay in bed my shoulders were tight, my head pounded, and I dreaded the early morning hours to come. The night prior was a disaster. Both of my girls have head colds and both of them are up at random times during the night - making for one exhausted momma, as I seem to be up hour after hour waiting on two children. Time seems to FLY by sometimes, doesn't it? And then some nights it draaaags on. My poor Augs has the worst of it, I'm afraid. She's completely congested and just coughs and gags and chokes all night long. I'm not the type that can "tune out" that kind of thing... so I lay there feeling helpless and stressed out. As if my thumb twiddling and grimmaced face helps. Anyway, yesterday was a long and difficult day for me after a midnight awakening, followed by a 4 to 6:55am wake up time. Keep in mind that I babysit full time and my 3rd little one was to arrive shortly after 7am. My body was protesting BIG TIME as I tried to get dressed and get moving. Everything within me was exhausted and begging for sleep. Had those days?

The whole night I had been begging God to PLEASE help me show love to my children, to be patient, to be kind. I was claiming VICTORY over my flesh...because Christ has already given us victory - we forget that.

Finally the adrenaline kicked in and we actually ended up having a pretty great morning. Ava and I had some great one-on-one craft time while Augs napped and little boy played on the floor. We talked about "Eucharisteo" and giving thanks in ALL things. I had Mozart playing quietly and our fall scented candle burning. I kept thanking God over and over for His mercies that morning. Then nap time came and life just seemed to all fall apart. Augs wasn't adjusting to her new 4-hour routine, and she was snotty and having trouble breathing -which, kills a naptime. Ava's new thing is fighting nap time, when, usually she LOVED going to nap. My morning adrenaline was fading and I was tired...aching for 10 minutes of alone time. My head pounded and reminded me of just how little rest I actually got lastnight. I'm so spoiled on sleep now - having a 5 month old who's been "through the night" for months! I could go on and on. I found my heart getting frustrated, "Lord, WHY is this happening? You know I can't handle this!" Almost as if I was DUE that alone time I craved. {psst...I don't} My selfishness was taking over fast.

The day ended finally, around 11:15 lastnight. I crawled into bed and just wanted to collapse into a deep sleep as fast as I could...that's when the coughing started. I moaned, "nooooo" not again. In my mind all I could think about was that I "needed" sleep - it's scientifically proven right? All I longed for was to experience yet again those new mercies from my God. I cried. {Literally} My heart sunk as I pictured myself up again at 12, 2, 4am...such ugly hours when you are at your limit. I was fighting for joy - it was a very real battle. Hubs was already asleep and I didn't want to wake him to ask for prayer... so, the Holy Spirit was definitely translating my "groanings". :) Praise God for that! Scripture was pouring through my tired mind and I slowly felt the tension ease, my head stop aching and the dread leave my mind. Not that anything magical was happening, but, my anticipation of the new mercies of the Lord were my comfort. I could make it through another sleepless night if need be. I could love my children, patiently, just as if I was running on 12 hours. I could face tomorrow. And I drifted off...

At 6:38 this morning my alarm went off. Two little beeps. My eyes fluttered and I sat straight up looking around. Did we all really sleep all night? Glancing at hubs, he asks me... "feeling better?". {Turkey!}

And my eyes mist as I yet again bask in the goodness and mercy of my God. He is REAL. He is ALIVE. He is ALL I NEED.

Psalm 89:1 -"I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations."

Psalm 103:8 - "The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy."

Lamentations 3: 22-25 -"Though the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.“ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “ Therefore I hope in Him!” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,To the soul who seeks Him."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Someday when I'm old

Someday when I'm old I'll sit on the couch and read a good book

... all the way through.

I will take leisurely walks on beautiful fall days,

enjoying the sounds and smells of the new season.

Someday I'll sleep in until 8am - then have big, fancy, breakfasts, and drink my coffee

while it's still hot.

When I'm old my house will always be clean and tidy. No scraps of toilet paper on the bathroom floor, no crumb littered couches or toy infested porches.

Someday I'll sit in silence. For long periods of time.
I'll have no one to care for and nothing to do but sit.

Thanking God that today is not that day.

I've had a rough week - the kind that every mother has every now and again. Children were unruly (does anyone still even say that word?!), naptimes were interrupted or non-existent, grocery shopping didn't get done so meals were...interesting. House work just never seemed to be wrapped up, not even the "Smaller" chores. Tensions high and patience low. Humanity showing through BIG TIME. And while I sound like a crazy lady... I'm thankful for those weeks. I don't wish for them and I can certainly wait a long time until we have another, but, I needed the reminder this week of just how very fully I need to be relying and leaning on the Lord. I can't do this wifely/motherly life on my own - and, when I try it's a big hot mess of ugly. {ask my hubby}

Several nights after the children were in bed or down for naps I just had a few minutes to sit and cry. Cry because of my frustrations, but, also because I realize how quickly these days WILL pass and someday I won't have these "treasures" in my home anymore. Life will be boring. And though I'm exhausted and tested and weak - I can think of no better way to be exhausted. I have failed many, many times this week. I'm thankful for Grace. I've been short and sharp with my biggest girl - and that breaks my heart. Breaks my will. I'm forgiven, and thankful.

Even during a difficult week we still manage to have our fun around here. It's a fun time in life with Ava turning 3 soon and Auggie really turning into a Baby that moves and does things :) We are all giddy about setting up holiday plans - including a trip to OHIO next month and then seeing all our siblings and cousins on Pausley side in December. Ava asks everyday if it's Thanksgiving yet. :) I love that she's grasping the joy that can be found in these special days. {mommy's fave days!} Lastnight we were just hanging out as a fam. Nothing to do and nowhere to be - playing with Hubs Mac. He turned the camera feature on and we had so much fun laughing, giggling and taking funny pictures. A memory I will never forget. Friday night on the couch with my babies and husband. It's burned onto my mommy-brain-hard drive. :) {Sniff, sniff}

August started solids this month. We've gone through rice cereal and carrots and this week we are working on sweet potatoes and oatmeal cereal. I know "they" say only do one food at a time but... we like to live on the edge around here. :) She's doing pretty good with eating - just has a little of that tongue thrust going on, so she ends up wearing most of it. It's adorable. She loves carrots and seems to do better with those. I can't wait to get back into making baby food again. I love it!

Miss August is now also a professional roller-over. The second I put her down she's flopped onto her belly. It's hilarious and opens up a whole new world for her. She's really into grabbing things, too, so toys are more fun these days. And she isn't grabbing for toys alone - but, mommy's coffee and food, bibles, and most importantly -her toes.

I love my chunky, happy, beautiful Auggie Hope :) She melts my heart and makes me smile.
My Ava girl is just 2 months away from turning 3 years old. I CANNOT believe that. She's amazing. Everyone keeps saying to me how smart she is, and funny, and animated. I just nod. It's so true! She keeps me hopping here at home, too. If it's not a detailed conversation about why baby Jesus doesn't wear a diaper and "look Mommy he has a butt", then it's explaining to me "actually" this or "Oh, you're right" about that. She is very opinionated and seriously emotional - we are working on the right way of training her and teaching her how to use her strong will for the Lord. Convicts me EVERY day. She loves to go-go-go and always wants to be out and about. Loves the city life - just like her daddy. I can't keep clothes (that fit) on her long enough. She, at almost 3, is in mostly 4t items. Jeans are too short otherwise. Her feet seem to be growing by the day, too. We know God will provide for our Ava... He always does. We have been so grateful for cousins and friends who give us their "big girl" clothes. :) And I love finding my deals here and there are cute things, too! So thankful for this beautiful girl and how much love she has for such an imperfect momma!

Life is a gift. Life is Grace. We can't forget that. Every moment is a chance to start over - when caught up in the GRUMPS of life. Thank you Lord for my family and the blessing they are to me. I can wait to be old.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stuff you didn't know you didn't know :)

Bear with me as I share a silly email I received this weekend...

Every day more money
is printed for Monopoly than the U.S.

Men can read smaller
print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was
originally green.

It is impossible to lick
your elbow.

The cost of raising
a medium-size dog to the age of eleven:

$ 16,400

Intelligent people
have more zinc and copper in their hair..

Q. Half of all
Americans live within 50 miles of what?

A. Their birthplace

In Shakespeare's
time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened,
making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the
phrase...'Goodnight , sleep tight'

In English pubs, ale
is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when
customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind
your pints and quarts, and settle down.'

It's where we get
the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'

Many years ago in
England ,
pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle
of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill ,
they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle'
is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Now, how have any of us survived until now not knowing those things? :P
Happy Monday! Let some silly in today!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

These Days...

I'm sitting here at my desk looking out our bedroom window. The leaves are changing to yellow, brown and orange. It smells amazing outside. The way Thanksgiving smells, and makes you feel special and alive and comforted. I feel unfamiliar with this keyboard and this screen - seems like I never get the time to blog my thoughts and ideas lately. Life is full and rich. My week days are filled with children and household duties and ministry appointments - I'm thankful for each of those. My evenings are filled with family dinner around the table, tv shows with my husband or grocery shopping - also thankful for those things. I do scratch at my head and wonder how each week seems to fly by a little bit faster. {sigh} Anyway, Fall is clearly here and we've been enjoying some little family things each weekend. My girls are growing and we are such a fun stage with them. Ava loves going and doing, she's my busy body. She loves activity and outings and go-go-go. She is so disappointed when I tell her, "it's time to go home" and asks, "can we go to one more place?" every time. August will be 5 months old in a few days. She is SO AMAZINGLY go with the flow. She never cries. She is smiley and chubby and perfectly adorable. This morning I walked out of the room she was in and came back to find her rolled over onto her belly. {sniff, sniff} So begins some mobility already. She is an amazing creation made by an amazing creator, God.

This weekend our church is hosting our Big Picture Missions Conference. We have missionaries from all over the world and our own country here with us - sharing their calling and experiences. It's intense. Lastnight my heart was so challenged by hearing lady after lady talk about how God uses them, seemingly insignificant, in HUGE ways. I was reminded of my order : Child of God FIRST, Wife SECOND, Mommy THIRD. Needed that reminder. My tears welled up {and over} as I heard them share their hearts pains about leaving family behind to serve, health issues endured, and roles taken on all the the Glory of God. How easy my life seems after hearing such things. Do I even have anything to dare complain about? We had a ladies day of pampering and fellowship yesterday - lunch at a fancy pizza place, starbucks pumpkin spice lattes for dessert and then pedicures at the Aveda salon. :) Wow, did I feel special! I was blown away by just listening to the conversations around me. Women challenging each other to step up and parent for Christ. Pastors wives encouraging other pastors wives... experienced missionary ladies giving advice to young, upcoming missionary ladies. It was EXACTLY what the bible exhorts us to do as women... "TEACH THEM". Ah, my heart was full. I loved sitting in the back of a van talking to two dear pastors wives about how we raise our children. The struggles we face, the victories we have, the desire to follow God harder and more diligently and the obstacles we face. Part of me {although we were all exhausted} didn't want the day to end. I want to have those conversations everyday. And I came to a realization - something I think I already knew but forget about : we all have the same struggles. They sometimes have different faces behind them, different price tags or circumstances. But they are so similar. We need each other. Cracked pots trying to serve a holy God.

Just thoughts.

It's saturday. The fam and I are planning to make an appearance at the International Food Festival downtown today. I'm hoping to try some Ethiopian food or maybe something else. It's an amazing fall day - and I couldn't think of any other people I'd rather be with.