Monday, January 24, 2011

I've Got a Suitor...and it's not my Husband

So I have a confession to make. I've got a suitor. Yes, I'm married already. 10 years, going on 11. Fabulous man, heaven sent, a true blessing and my best friend. However, there is someone else who's trying to win my heart.

What can I tell you about this other suitor? Let's see, so much to share...where to begin? We'll let me start of by saying he's a sweet talker. He knows just how to wiggle his way into my thoughts. He'll whisper something in my ear, and days later I'll catch myself thinking about what he said. He knows exactly what to say and when to say it, his timing is perfection.

He is also very courteous. He is always thinking of me. He will pop by to say hi, just to let me know that I am in his thoughts. He consistently lets me know that he is trying to win me over.

He admits to me that he's a jealous type. That he so wishes that my husband was out of the picture. That he wishes he was my one and only. He tries to get me to shift my eye away from my betrothed quite often, he knows how to get me to question myself and my decision. He's always telling me the grass is greener on the other side.

He can also be very stoic. He will tell me that even though he and I aren't together that he'll be okay. He can wait for me, as long at it'll take for me to realize that I should be with him. He says he wants to be with me for all of eternity.

His motives are manipulative. He loves to catch me when I'm confused or questioning things in my life, my relationships. He really thrives on getting me to the point where I feel utterly defeated. He tells me that even though it seems hopeless, that if I just go with him then it'll change everything for my betterment. I'll get to do what I want when I want when I'm with him, and what could be better than that?

He will make me feel like I'm the only person in the world that he wants. He will try time and time again to win me over...wait, wear me down. He showers me with compliments as often as he will berate and belittle me, trying to make me feel that he is the only one that would love me. He's hell bent on becoming my one true love, at all costs.

Oh, and he's also told me that he's a polygamist. So he's not only courting me, but countless others as well. He's going to court as many as he can, he'll court you too. He's looking to amass as many significant others as possible. He told me that he'll never stop, that his ultimate goal is to have a commune of souls, all of which are completely enslaved to him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Obligation vs. Desire

I distinctly remember the first time I tried to have a conversation with God. I was 6, maybe 7. We were running late, so my Mom had me finish up breakfast in the station wagon on the way to school. I was drinking orange juice out of my favorite Sesame Street glass, and as I finished I wanted more. As you can imagine, that wasn't going to happen on the ride to school. I really wanted more. "God, if you are real, fill up my orange juice glass with more juice." "God, if you really love me, fill up my juice glass, please?" I bet you can guess what happened.

That was the first time, as a child, that I remember asking God to do something for me. It was the first time I had a conversation (albeit one sided) with Him. It was different than praying, that I did everytime we ate and before bedtime. This was different. This was telling Him what I wanted, and waiting for a reply.

I have been a "Christian" since childhood. I went to parochial school from second grade 'till high school. I memorized many verses, read many bible stories, performed in many Christmas plays. We've always attended church, my parents raised us in a Christian home.

Here's the thing though, you can have all of that, and more, and still not have conversations with God.

My relationship with God has been a up and down one. I try to live my life the way He wants me to. Try is the operative word there, because as we all know we can have the best of intentions and still fall flat. I have felt that much of my relationship with my Creator as flat, one dimensional. Doing things just because you "should", not because you want to can leave you uninspired and feeling obligated. I felt obligated to God.

When God doesn't feel welcome, He doesn't force Himself in. He is the God of the universe, and we are but a speck in it. God will shine through cracks and show Himself in ways to remind us that we need Him, but He won't come in shouting demanding attention. He wants us to seek Him.

So when I walk around feeling obligated to Him, like I have to do these things to please him, how is that going to look to Him? Like I'm seeking Him? That I want Him around? Or that I'm just doing these things on auto-pilot because it's expected of me? Praying before eating, check. Making my monthly donation to church, check. Doing things out of obligation, when your heart isn't in the right place, is nothing but checking off boxes off a list.

But when I seek Him, things are different. When I am quiet and just listen, I can hear. When I clear out the junk in my head and open up space, I am making room for Him. When I desire to grow, to get out of my funk, to break patterns, to live for something other than myself, the obligation that I feel subsides.

God wants us to desire Him. He wants us to ask Him to come. He won't force us to submit to Him, that isn't how he works. He loves us enough to let us get to the place where we realize we need Him. He will let us go through our motions, our obligations, our flat places. He knows that in order for us to truly seek and ask for Him, we have to come to that decision ourselves.

Does that mean He won't court our hearts? No, He's courted me since I can remember. But God isn't like some overeager teenage boy fixated on me. He's not going to throw candy, love notes and flowers at me until he makes me like him. He's going to love me and pursue me as my heavenly father. Let me make mistakes, let me skin my knees, let me cry some. He's going to let me come to the decision to love him, not make me do it. He'll let me come to the realization that I need him, that I can't live another moment of my life without him. That it doesn't matter what I do in life if He's not alongside of me while I do it. That is the true love that God courts us with, and that is the true love that He wants from us.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Step Stool Facelift

I had a beat up old step stool for the kids in the bathroom that needed a little face lift. Here it is, looks SO much better! It was really simple too.

This it what it looked like. Your standard "Little Tikes" plastic step stool. I got it from a rummage sale, so it was banged up to begin with. I actually used it this way for a long time, but I just got tired of looking at it and wanted to pretty it up.

I covered it with black primer, then a few coats of brown spray paint. I then gave it a light coating of my favorite ORB for some added pizazz. To make the lettering I used white acrylic paint on some foam scrapbooking stamps, it worked really well.

It looked great, but I was worried that banging around in the bathroom would scratch it up, so I used two coats of Minwax Polyacrylic to seal it. worked on plastic!

Totally free makeover, cost nothing out of pocket. Every time I looked at that stool I cringed, not anymore!! What is something around the house you can pretty up?

Please click on "Linky Parties I Love" to see where I'll be sharing my latest project!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

GFCF Homemade Cornbread

My two boys are eating a GFCF diet, both for different reasons. So last night for dinner while Hubby, daughter and I were enjoying biscuits with our stew the boys had cornbread instead.

It's really easy and uses ingredients that you will more than likely have on hand. It's a simple recipe too, you'll never guess where I got it from.

A few years back my Hubby went on a business trip to Memphis and brought back this magnet. At first I was like, "Geez...thanks honey." But then after I looked at the recipe, I said, "Wow, thanks honey!!" Perfect recipe for our boys. The only substitution I make is using rice milk instead of regular milk. I pour the batter into a greased 8"square pan and bake as directed.

Even if you don't have special dietary requirements, this is good cornbread. It's dense and not nearly as "cakey" as lots of cornbreads tend to be. Almost closer to a spoonbread actually. We don't serve ours the way the magnet suggests, but I bet it would be good that way!

Sharing at the "Tasty Tuesday" linky party at:

Beauty and Bedlam

Monday, January 17, 2011

Funny Faces

When you are having a no good, horrible, very bad day...

and the bickering, fighting, whining and complaining is just too much...

and you think that you seriously are going to have a stroke....

and you can't run into your room and lock the door...

and you can't take the kids outside and let them run it off, because it's been raining for four days straight...

and the art projects, coloring, play-doh, snacks and tv shows they've watched before 10 am just aren't resetting the mood...

when all else fails...

get the camera, go in the bathroom, and take silly face pictures. It'll work, even if for only five minutes.

Being silly, it's good for them, and for you too!!

Sharing today with Blessed Little Nest:


And sharing at the "Embrace the Camera" linky party here:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Things in my Treasure Chest

I've found that I really enjoy reading other bloggers "like lists." You know what I'm talking about? Songs they like, books they've read, wonderful websites they've visited, products they are lusting admiring, blogs that are inspiring. I thought it would be neat to join in on the fun.

So from time to time I am going to post about things in my "treasure chest" that I'm currently enjoying, finding inspiration from, etc. I'd love to hear about yours too!

This is a beautiful song, one that I find especially meaningful. As a believer, I struggle with guilt over not having the walk with Christ that I know I should. This song helps me to put into perspective that my walk with Him is a journey, not something that only has meaning when I'm doing it "right".

I absolutely love this song. It really reminds me that I am in a temporary place, that I am going home to a place that I've never been before. That this place I am at, while it brings joy also brings frustrations and trials that God will wipe way in an instant when His plan calls it to. That this world, as amazing and awe inspiring as it is will be gone in a moment and we will be in His presence.

We got a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble and I can't decide what book or CD I want so I decided to use it for something else. I found this cute globe, I've always wanted a little globe for the house and I think it's perfect.

What are your current sources of inspiration, joy or enjoyment that you want to share?

Simple Valentine's Day Decor

Been working on some simple Valentine's Day decor this past week. Here are a few projects I did.

This is really easy. I just took a few branch cuttings from the backyard and hot glued some hearts to it that I cut out of red velvet ribbon. Arranged in a pink vase on a red plate/charger. This in on the microwave in the kitchen.

This is some simple Valentine's themed garland. I based it on all the cute pennant banners that I've seen around blogland. I took the same velvet ribbon I used for the heart tree above to make the banner.

All I did was take a piece of ribbon, fold it in half and cut out a heart making sure to not completely cut the top but used the folded section to wrap around the string. I used red/wht bakers twine that my sweet Momma gave me for Christmas, I think it looks perfect.

See, decorating doesn't always have to be a big production? Simple, cheap, fast is my motto...but I better be careful, that one could get me in trouble ;)

What are you doing to decorate for Valentine's Day?

Click on "Linky Parties I Love" to see where I'll be sharing my simple ideas.

Also linking up for the first time at Wildflowers and Whimsy:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mommy, Guess What?

There will come a day when they no longer come looking for me to tell me what is on their minds.

Trying to keep this in perspective.

Sharing today at:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fab Fabric n' Felt Valentine Wreath

So yesterday I worked on my latest Valentine's Day inspired decor idea while the kiddos were napping. I made this wreath for the front door, but I can't decide if I like it or if I should add something to it.

I wanted to use nothing new, but make it all from what I had on hand. I didn't have a wreath form, so I cut out a cardboard form and worked from there. I decided to change it up a bit and went with a rectangular shape. I actually like how it plays off the paneling in the front door.

I wrapped it in red felt, and then used some red fabric to accent the corners and make the little rosettes in the corner. I used bakers twine to wrap the entire perimeter when I was done and used a piece of red velvet ribbon as my hanger.

What do you think, should I do something else with it or leave it as is? I can't decide. On one hand I like the simplicity of it, on another hand it looks like a monotone rectangle to me. What would you do? Be honest, nice...but honest ;)

Here are some Valentine's Day related ideas from last year, a CD card...

some vintage Valentine printables....

and some hand dipped chocolate covered caramels. All really easy, all really inexpensive. If you look in the blog archives from Jan/Feb 2010 you'll find all of these ideas.

So, give me some feedback on my wreath. I'm interested to see what you all have to say!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My "It" Word for 2011

Awhile back I wrote about how starting last year, I was introduced to the concept of picking a word that I wanted to focus on for the new year, you can read more about that here.

This was an awesome thing for me, I truly found myself revisiting that word over and over again and really applying it in my life. It made a big difference, I saw a lot of growth in my personal and spiritual life because of it.

I wanted to put some real thought into my "it" word for this year. I had a few things swimming around in my head, but wanted to wait to commit to something until I felt it was right.

This past weekend, a situation arised and it was really clear to me what word should be my focus for this year. "Meaningful".

How many times have we done something just because we're supposed to, without really thinking about how we're doing it? Made a decision about something and just went with the flow, not thinking about what the ultimate outcome would be?

I don't want to sound like you can plot and plan out every aspect of your life, because as we all know that isn't possible. Or that we have to make every decision we make into an monumental one. However, personally I know that many times AfTer a situation has happened I'll wish I had put more thought into it.

Experiences, we have them everyday. From the mundane to the extraordinary, we definitely can say that our entire day is full of them. The experiences that we have, they have the ability to shape our characters. To leave lasting impressions. The experiences that we create impact people under our roof, in our community, in our churches. They can shape, mold and form the children we raise and the family we love as well as those we don't even know.

If I take the time to make sure that the experiences that we have are meaningful, think of all the opportunities that I've made to show and model to my children what I'm called to. That doesn't mean that everything has to be a holy experience that unveils a bigger picture. However it does mean that what we do, how we spend our time, what we do with what we've been given...those decisions can make meaningful and lasting impressions.

How can you make more meaningful decisions and choices? What is an "it" word that you can focus on this year?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stick Sunburst Mirror

So I've really developed a fondness for sunburst mirrors. I've made one before and it hangs in our bedroom, you can see it here .

As I mentioned before, I'm kinda going for a nature inspired look in the living room right now. I decided to make another mirror to go in there, but wanted it to look different from what I made before. I figured I'd try making it with sticks/twigs from a tree out in the backyard, and this is what I came up with. Not bad, right?

I made it the exact same way I did with my first project, but just used twigs instead. I'm really happy with the look. It looks great at night, the twigs cast some pretty neat shadows.

Here's a distance shot for perspective.

I'm still working on the living room overall, I'll get some more pictures up once I'm done.

Please click on "Linky Parties I Love" to see where I'll be linking up. How can you bring some nature inspired touches into your home?

Night Rides

Last night, after dinner we decided to go on a night ride. When the natives are restless, we load them up and off we go. We started off at dusk, so after playing around with my camera a bit I decided that I was going to take some "artistic" shots as my little point and shoot wasn't going to capture much else with the low lighting.

The horizon.

Sideview mirror and some porch lights.

Some approaching cars.

The freeway.

I don't know how I managed to pull off this one, but I love how the exit sign photographed.

Surprising amount of Christmas lights still up, those made for great shots. The above one is of a big tree that they decorate every year in the "old town" area where we live.

The tree close up, so neat!!


A home still decorated.

Night rides are good for my soul, I always come home in a better mood than I left it in. Definitely try it sometime if you haven't, it's a fun way to spend the night (and you can even go in your jammies!).

Linking up our evening adventures here: