Saturday, May 28, 2011

Two Books To Give Away!

I have two copies of a very good parenting book called, Shepherding A Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp.

I read this book years ago and again in the recent years.  It is a very good practical and balanced book on shepherding your children’s hearts.

shepherding childs heart

I have acquired two copies that I would love to bless someone with.  All you have to do is leave a comment saying you would like the book!  That’s it!

I will draw a winner on Friday, June 3, 2011.

Next week, Lord willing, a “Tutorial to Cheap and Easy Chalkboard Labels”. 

Have a wonderful and blessed weekend! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

More Spring Projects


This Spring has been all about organization and projects!  I love it.  Due to health issues and coming out of a very difficult season in life, if feels delightful to be able to do the things I love.  One of which is ORGANIZING!  I am awful at taking ‘before’ pictures as I am usually in a snit fit to get organizing that I don’t want to stop to take a picture.  Sorry, it really would be more dramatic with a before and after photo.

In our bathroom I put these cute, cheap matching baskets in Brian and my drawers.  I spray painted the little tins that hold the nail clippers and Q-tips.  I painted them black.  I found this really cool shelf liner paper.  I adore black and white right now.  So clean and crisp.  Don’t you think?


This is my drawer.  I purged tons of old make-up products that I kept for . . . for what, I don’t know. Winking smile  I even lined my box and baskets with the pretty black and white shelf liner, just for the “pretty factor”.  It makes all the difference in the world, for me, to have small baskets to keep things in.  If I just have one big basket I throw them every which way.


Moving on to our bedroom closet.  If you knew what was on these shelves for ten years you would know why it thrills me to see this closet!  I leave the doors open sometimes just for fun!  I had the big white baskets from a kitchen makeover about 6 years ago that I never used.  They were perfect.  I put an extra shelf in to use up as much space as I could.  The other baskets were from the Dollar General.


I even replaced the mismatched baskets above Brian’s side of the closet with matching white ones.  We keep things in there that we don’t need that often, as it is quite a reach.


Now, for the back bathroom!  I so wish I had before and after pictures!!  This was my nemesis for years.  I never could figure out what to do with these cabinets and above them.  It was always a mess.  Now it looks so nice!!  They are the cabinets above the washer and dryer.

In the baskets I have extra rolls of packing tape (the down side to buying in bulk) and light bulbs.  I made cute little labels for them, ‘laminated’ them and tied them with a ribbon.


Behind the door on the right are the laundry products. It just so happened to work out that the laundry detergent I use comes in a white container.  (yeah!)  I removed the label from the bleach and replaced with my fancy ‘chalk board’ labels.  I put the Downy in a quart jar because we only use Downy on Saturdays for our sheets.  (I still love the smell of fresh Downy sheets)  No sense having the super huge Costco size bottle taking up space, that is down stairs in the storage room.  (I should show you that sometime, organized, though not as pretty) 

See how much space I have since purging and organizing?


This is the left side of the cabinet.  I purged out a ton of large vases!  How many do I really need?  And, they are like a quarter at Goodwill if I ever want more!  I’d rather them store them than me.


I am not totally thrilled with the slight curve in the little shelving stand I have, but it serves its purpose and it was free.  Found it in my garage.

I have a bunch of skinny, tall vases that I line up on the kitchen window sill that are always falling over so I put them in their own basket.  The short vases, are just that, short, so there was always a waste of vertical space.  They got their own basket.  Any other odd size vases got their own basket too.  I try not to let the fact that the two baskets on the left are blue, they were only a dollar each, just wish they were white.  I’ll be okay, though. Winking smile


This little cutie patootie table was only $2!!  It was unmarked at a garage sale and I thought they might be asking $10 for it, and I was willing to pay $5.  Imagine my delight and inside squeals when the gentleman said $2!!  It was a country blue and painted very well, but you know how I feel about green!  I wanted to distress it like my headboard, but it was blue under the green, not white.  I did apply a light rubbing of stain over it to make it look a little more rustic.  It is so cute by the back door.  I came in from gardening the other day and set my seed basket on it, I think I’ll keep it there.  Looks kind of cute, don’t you think?


On to the pantry!!!  One of my favorite spots in the house.  This is the rack that has been on the door since we moved in.  I have finally accumulated all the same size spice jars.  It has taken awhile to figure just what spices I use on a regular basis too.  I also  removed all the Costco size containers from the top shelf in put them in jars.  (except for that rogue bottle on the left, I really just want to throw it away)


Doesn’t it look so cool to see all those labels???


The top shelf here has the more commonly used spices in my house.  Italian seasoning, chili powder and cumin deserved larger jars.

I put a ‘sweeteners’ label on the shelf, as things never seemed to get returned to where they belong.


This is the lower rack.  A spot for the oils, vinegar and the baking powder, soda, salt and cornstarch (which is really arrowroot, just haven’t changed the label) . . .


On the bottom row I removed all the oddball boxes of tea and put them in jars.  Love it!


On a tiny wall just inside the door I have these really cool square jars.  I bought them when we did the kitchen remodel six years ago.  I reorganized an repurposed them.



Oops, the millet jar is really popcorn.  The jar used to be used for millet, I just labeled the other side.  I have MY Tazo Cucumber White tea squeezed in between two jars.  I drink this every single morning, so it is in a convenient spot.  (right there next to chocolate chips, hmmmm)


The bottom shelf in the pantry has baking supplies, flours and sugars.  I even made cutesy labels for the onion and potato baskets.  Did you get the idea that I love to label thing sin my home?  As far as I am concerned, an organizing project isn’t finished unless it’s labeled.  Just my opinion.


Phew!  That was a long post!  I know there are more projects, this is just what I remembered today.  I will have to show you all we have done in the garden too.  That was the other huge Spring project.  Oh, and the guys are doing the roof as we had some leaks and it is nearly 25 years old.  Does it ever end?  Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Train Has Crashed!

For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (1 Corinthians 11:8-9)

These verses have convicted me lately. On a good day, they can sound all romantic and flowery. But on a day when I think that I have a better idea, it is not so pretty. Trust me.

A very dear and Godly woman shared that marriage was not about me on my own train, Brian on his, the both of us side by side on the tracks of life riding off into the sunset happily ever after. Not so! Once I married Brian, my train had actually crashed! I was now on his train. . . to read the ‘rest of the story’, head on over to “At The Well”.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

He’s Still My Baby

This is just about the only time of the day that this little guy slows down.  I don’t know why I love taking pictures of him sleeping, he is just so peaceful.


He is definitely loved! 


He is my baby.  He is three and a half years old.  I have been longing to be pregnant again, but as the years tick by and me approaching 45 this year, I can only wonder if Elijah will always remain my ‘baby’.

I can say that I have learned a thing or two by the time I got to number nine.  Praise the Lord.  I was beginning to wonder Winking smile We spent the last week potty training our ‘baby’.  What have I learned?  WAIT!  Wait until they are ready, especially the boys.  I have always pushed and regretted it.  Not this time.  Nope.  I didn’t care if he was going to go to college in diapers.  Just kidding.  One day he decided it was the day and he had one accident the following morning.  But not one since!  He even goes poo on the potty, which hasn’t always been the case with other children in the family who shall remain nameless.  (ahem)


Perhaps in the years to come Elijah won’t appreciate this picture being on the world wide web, but I can’t help but somehow mark this milestone with a picture.  Oh, and it is where I spent the better part of the last week. Smile

I know you hear it often, but it really does go so fast.

  Before you know it all the days of endless diaper changes and sleepless nights will be filled with wishing for just one more of those days.  Does it really get any better than being a mama??  (hard as it is)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pictures of Our Celebration


All the children were so helpful in getting things ready for the party.  This little guy was the holder of the lilacs as his sister cut them.  Isn’t this adorable?


Our eldest, his wife and Victoria waiting to feel our precious granddaughter move.  I never did get to feel her kick!



After the meal we gathered to sing praises and share testimonies of what the Lord has done in the last year.  It was a sweet time of fellowship around the Lord.


Then, I called everyone over to the side yard without telling them what we were going to do, just in case they were going to chicken out.  I taught them the “Electric Slide” to the song Just a Closer Walk With Thee by Bart Millard.  It was a blast!


Even the, ahem, older folks joined in.  Everybody seemed to be going in different directions at times, but we didn’t care, we were just having fun!


Wish you all could have been there!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Trash To Treasure

I have been wanting a new headboard for a long time now.  I knew I wanted some type of ‘shutters’ for my headboard.  On one of our treasure hunting garage sale days I found an old bi-fold closet door for $2!  I knew if I cut them in half they would be perfect.


It is no secret I adore GREEN (and purple), so I set about to find the perfect green.  Here is the before.


The pictures do NOT do it justice.  I painted them with three coats of a gorgeous green and then sanded them in random places.  I then took some old stain we had and rubbed it on lightly.  I wiped off the excess and it was beyond beautiful!!!


Here is the ‘after’ picture.  Aren’t they so, so cool!?


I have been so busy with tons of projects around the house this Spring.  Lots of organizing, purging, painting, and gardening.  It has been such a busy, yet delightful time.  I hope to put up more pictures of the various projects I have been working on.  What have you been up to?

Friday, May 20, 2011

It Was A Slow Fade

Ten months prior to my healing last May 19 was not really the beginning of my sickness.  Over these ten months, my physical body finally collapsed under the weight of many spiritual issues.

It took a lifetime to get that sick. It wasn’t diet or pregnancies or anything else physical, really.

It began slowly, years of whispers from the enemy through other people and circumstances.

There were many rejections over the years that convinced me that I wasn’t good enough. These programmed me to believe that if I just worked harder, did more, was better, prettier, thinner… then I would be loved. Performance began to become a way of life. If I did really, really well and did more than everybody else, maybe someone would notice and love me, accept me, pick me and choose me.

The descent into a life dominated by Fear (yes, I capitalize it because it is an evil spirit and it has a name: see 1 Tim 1:7) began slowly and subtly. The fears produced from a very insecure childhood set me up to not trust, and to fear abandonment. The fear of losing the love I did have was hard on our early marriage. As long as I held on really, really tight, I could control just about everything; or so I thought.

Jesus saved us and it was better for quite some time. Our world was a happy, held together, organized, controlled little world, but not for long. It slowly began to unravel when some pretty horrible and frightening things happened to our family. These were beyond what we could cope with, but we held on as best we could. Severe fear, stress and anxiety began to rule my heart. I didn’t see it. It was all I knew to do to cope.

Years of dealing with a rebellious son and all that goes with that. Giving birth to number four, and then number five, then an emergency ectopic pregnancy. Two 17 week miscarriages that shook my very fragile world and fragile faith. Fear was a way of life now. 

We became one, fear and I.

I did go on to give birth to three babies in three years during extremely difficult circumstances with our son.  Yes, fear was ruling my mind and heart.

More years of ups and downs with our son, mostly downs, and another difficult, and this time, painful pregnancy.

Looking back, I see my illness had little, if anything, to do with the physical, it was a full on spiritual attack that had amplified slowly over the years. I was totally ill-equipped to see it or handle it.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I had an incredible relationship with the Lord through all of this. I was just completely and utterly blind and had been taken captive in many areas of my mind by the devil to do his will.    ( see 2 Tim. 2:26)

It was a slow fade; a long term plan of my enemy to steal, kill, and destroy my life and each member of my family.

I can honestly say my healing and deliverance was nothing but an awesome display of my Father’s mercy towards us. Our family was spiraling down due to my health. Hope was something that had become foreign to me, by then. As deep of a slimy pit as I was in, I had no idea just how deep and how it was our whole family that needed deliverance.

Last May, when we began to have the Truth poured into our hearts by the bucketful, it was nothing short of MERCY. Slowly, for the first time in many years it was all beginning to finally make sense. Puzzle pieces were finally fitting together.

When my mom tells the story, she uses the word miraculous. While it looked “miraculous” because I was sick one day and healed the next, it really wasn’t a miracle. I reserve the word miracle for things like, someone raised from the dead, a new limb grown where one was not – the miracle of new birth.

No, this wasn’t a miracle, it was simply the power of the Word. Truth. It was the Truth that made me free and continues to make me free.  (John 8:32)  Once the spiritual lined up, my body lined up. My body didn’t need the healing as much as my spirit needed cleansing (2 Cor. 7:1) and once that happened, once the Fear, the Rejection, the Accusation, etc. was gone, my body began to function like it was supposed to.

Praising our faithful and merciful God for one year of continued health and continued deliverance!

Psalm 30

I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Surprised By a Smile

She had slept soundly for the first time in many years.  Before her eyes even opened something strange had happened.  Her hands traced the outline of her lips.  She was smiling.  Her eyes startled open.

What was this feeling inside her? Just yesterday there was heaviness, today a distinct lightness.  Before, profound hopelessness, now hope and joy.  Strength and energy replaced extreme exhaustion.  The wonder of it all was almost more than she could contain.  What a gift, and a surprise gift to boot.  Aren’t surprise gifts the most fun??

Ladies, I know we need to believe the following things simply because they are the Word of God, not necessarily because we see, feel or experience them.  But, can I just encourage you as someone who has seen and felt and experienced them?

Joy absolutely, truly ooly does come in the morning.

Deliverance comes from the Lord ALONE.

He really does turn our mourning into dancing.

Jesus still heals the broken hearted.

Jesus still proclaims liberty to the captives.

He still opens our prison doors.

Comforts those who mourn.

Gives us beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning.

He gives us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!!  Hallelujah!


He is no respecter of persons!  What He offers for one, He offers for all who come to Him!

Rejoice with me today?! This very day, one year ago is the day I woke up with a smile on my face.  Tomorrow we are having a celebration with close friends and family to celebrate what the Lord has done.  I will also be sharing a testimony tomorrow.

When I think about the Lord . . .

Makes me want to shout HALLELUJAH! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Who Told You? (part one)

The scales continue to fall of in so many areas of my life.  It seems the Lord reveals lie after lie I have believed over the years that have heaped burden upon burden.

One question He asks me that has become instrumental in my freedom is,  “Who told you?”  Seems simple, but trust me, it is profound!  He asked Adam and Eve that same question in the garden.  “Who told thee that thou was naked?”  (Gen. 3:11)  (who else was with them in the garden?)

Let’s try a few ‘who told yous’ here.  I challenge you to begin to ask yourself this question, especially in the areas where you are perhaps feeling guilt, or just plain beat up.

There is great freedom in discerning whose voice led you to do something, Your Father or the enemy.  And, even more freedom in letting go of what is not from God.

Who told you that you never do it good enough?  Your mothering, your home keeping, your wife-ing?  Better yet, go deeper, who has been telling you your whole life you didn’t do it good enough? 

Who has told you that you are not tall enough, pretty enough, thin enough, quiet enough, speak up enough?  Who told you that nothing you do is ever good enough?

Who told you that you have to be 100% consistent with child training for you children to turn out okay?  Perfectly consistent!?  That is the message spoken in many popular child training authors, speakers and bloggers.  Really?  Does God expect us or ask us to be 100% consistent?  Wouldn’t that be perfect?  Last I checked, not one of us is or will be perfect or perfectly consistent at anything.  Who told you?  God or man?

Who told you that you need to use this particular curriculum and be this kind of mom?  Just because Sister Suzy and “everybody” else reads ‘all’ the classics snuggled on the couch all day, every day, takes nature walks daily, and does lots of fun unit studies all with great joy and organization does NOT mean that God is leading you to do these things!  Who told you that you have to do those things?  If your Father didn’t, why carry the burden any longer?

If you are bound by any dietary rules, even if you don’t quite see it as bondage (yet), I ask you,  “who told you that you couldn’t eat carbs or meat or grains?”  I am just asking, I know this one can be a ‘sacred cow’ for many.  Just ask yourself, ‘who told me I can’t eat {fill in the blank}, was it God or is it possibly a ‘doctrine of devils’? * see disclaimer at the end of post.

These are just a few “who told yous”.  I encourage you to seriously ask yourself this question in all areas of your life.  The enemy is so subtle, at times.  He somehow convinces us we just have to do something that sounds good and even Godly, yet may never have been from our Father.


* (Disclaimer:  most of you know some of my “beliefs” about foods and which might be better choices.  Even so, I am reevaluating these beliefs to see which ones line up with the Word and wisdom and which ones were based on fear.  When I have written on this topic, my goal has never been to put a burden on anyone.  I have encouraged you to seek God and your husband’s counsel before making changes.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Am Done Waiting

What am I waiting for?!  I have been “waiting” for years.  Waiting for what?  Waiting for life to be . . . “perfect” . . . “normal” . . . or “whatever”, to be happy.

How many more years will go by before I realize that there is no “perfect” or “normal” or {{{fill in the blank}}}.

The lie is that When . . .

  • when my children obey
  • when I lose weight
  • when I get pregnant
  • when I get married
  • when my house stays clean
  • when my house stays picked for longer than a nano-second
  • when it is quieter
  • when life slows down
  • when I feel better
  • when the children are grown
  • when we make more money
  • when I have time for friends
  • when my husband treats me better
  • when the weather get nice

When . . . When . . . When . . . !!

The truth is, today, right now, the mess, the crazy, the loud is really what I have been waiting for, I just don’t realize it.  You, Lord, are right here, Jehovah Shammah, the Lord Who is there. 

All the circumstances that I long to be ‘just so’ will only be morphed into other circumstances I long to be ‘just so’.

I am done waiting!  I am dancing, NOW.  I am laughing, NOW.  I am seeing, NOW.  I am ‘smelling the roses’.  Tip-toeing through the tulips.  Seizing the day.  No more waiting, You are already here, and You are truly all I need.

You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth."
William W. Purkey

Care to join me?  Let’s end the waiting and embrace the NOW!  Let’s dance and sing and spin with praises for our God, what have we got to lose?

Monday, May 9, 2011

He Knew

You are ‘good enough’ (actually way better than ‘good enough’, but this is the lie that some of us here.  The, ‘I’m not doing {{{it}}} good enough.’)

Our Father loves you and is so pleased with you, right where you are at in your walk with Him.

Your value has nothing to do with the size of your body, how your house looks, how well or poorly you do anything.  He loves and accepts you. Period!

He knew before you were born EVERY.SINGLE mistake you would make.  He knew what you would be good at and what you would be bad at.  He knew what weaknesses you would have and what strengths.  He knew what things you would really struggle with and what things you would conquer easily.  He knew every hurt that would come your way and how well or poorly you would handle it.

He knew all these things, yet He still chose you!  HE PICKED YOU!  Chose you to be His own, to love you with a love beyond comprehension.  He laid down His life for you, so that you could be called a son (daughter) of God. 

You are no surprise to Him, and you are certainly NOT a disappointment to Him.

He loves and accepts you the way that you are right now.  He knows who you were, who you are and who you will become, and He smiles and rejoices over you!  He picked you!

Stop trying to measure up, you already do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Looking Back

One year ago today, the Lord started us on this beautiful, wonderfully exciting journey to freedom; wholeness, actually.

I had received my copy of A More Excellent Way three weeks prior to this day. I knew immediately upon reading this book that after months and months of searching for answers, we were about to see some serious answers to our cries.

We set out right away to try to get me to Georgia for the For My Life Program. I remember it seemed like everything came against us. My mom and her husband were scheduled for a trip to Europe. (they would be the ones to stay with the children) I knew they would help cover the cost, so that was not an issue. The timing of the tickets, the hotel and the program were not coming together. But the biggest obstacle was leaving the children, we just didn’t have a peace with our options.

My heart sunk. I knew this was what we were supposed to do, but we just couldn’t make it happen. I just didn’t understand why we couldn’t go! I really struggled with anger towards God and accusation towards Him during this time. I was getting worse and all the doors seemed to be closing. ‘Why wouldn’t He let me go?’ “Why would He dangle this in front of me only to yank it away?’ (yes, I now see how heavily I was under the influence of the enemy, the Accuser)

We finally realized that going to GA was not an option right now and decided to pursue the For My Life Online Program.

Little did we know that this was exactly the Lord’s will for our family. Had Brian and I went to GA our family would have missed out on getting this teaching together. The Lord used to it to set our family free, not just Mom and Dad, who in turn would have to come home and hope to share what we had learned with the children, but the whole family.

On May 3, 2010 we started the FML online program. And so began our journey to wholeness. We watched approx. 2-2 1/2 hours a day. This was challenging as we had to work it around Brian’s work, life, a very sick Mama and littles. We watched an hour in the morning before all the littlest were up and in the evening after they went to bed.

I look back with great joy as I remember those three weeks of sitting under amazing teaching straight from the Word of God. It was so good. The weeks were not without their major bumps, but looking back now, it was awesome. We learned, we grew, we REPENTED of so much yuck, we cried (hard) as the scales were peeled away. Those weeks were emotionally draining yet extremely refreshing and exhilarating.

I highly recommend the book A More Excellent Way if you are struggling with health issues in any way. Please, if you have any questions regarding anything to do with the Adrenal Fatigue/Exhaustion that I struggled with or my healing and deliverance, please, please feel free to ask me! I want nothing more than to see others set free from the oppression of the enemy and to walk in the fullness the Lord has for them.

Oh, to the end that my tongue and my heart and everything glorious within me may sing praise to YOU! and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever!!