Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Power of Encouragement

Yesterday around 4:30, as I was scrambling to get the last things painted for our big ‘shop the barn’ sale this weekend, I was growing weary.  Weary of the painting that I love.  Physically tired and achy.  It was cold and gloomy all day, I never quiet got warm enough in the garage.  My hand was so sore.

I put my head down and cried out to God.  I thanked Him for this opportunity and how I knew it was Him that was providing this, but that I was tired.  Tears began to slowly fall as I stood there with Him asking for strength to finish strong.  I wiped the tears away with the back of my very paint and wax covered hands and finished painting.

It was now after five and I needed to get dinner going.  As I was leaning over the sink scrubbing my hands I looked out and saw one of the many beautiful sunsets we get to see.  It had been completely cloudy and gray all day and now,  just peaking through was the most brilliant colors of pinks, purples and oranges!  It was one of those sunsets where everything else is all black and all you see is the brilliance of the sun between the horizon and the line of clouds.

I stood there almost breathless.  It was so beautiful, so invigorating.  I thanked Him, as He knows what His sunsets do to my heart!

Later that evening I found a sweet, encouraging note from a friend I didn’t even know I had!  She has read my blog and chose that day to send a word of encouragement.  Again, breathless and invigorating at the same time.  I cried, tears of weariness and tears of joy.  I thanked her.

This morning I awaken to a beautiful, even more encouraging note from this sweet sister all the way from Georgia.  How did she know the perfect words that would minister to so many corners of my heart?  Did she have any idea of what those words would do for my soul today?  I don’t know, but I do know that her time in typing that note was absolutely not wasted.  Actually, she was a vessel of mercy and love sent straight from my Father. 

My point in telling you all of this is to encourage you to encourage others.  When someone is on your heart and you have the opportunity to shoot a quick email, write a letter, give a quick call, do it!  You have no idea how it might bless that person.  You might never know, but I am pretty sure it will not be wasted!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver(Proverbs 25:11)

Much love and hugs,


Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Remember Well

Reading in the Word yesterday and coming across the words, ‘let me not be ashamed’ brought back a flood of memories.

I remember praying, pleading, believing, h.o.p.i.n.g. that Your Word was true and that You would indeed contend with those who contend with us and that You would not let us ‘be ashamed’, for we put our trust—our weak and faltering trust in You.

Oh, Father, how I remember the years, the pain, the sorrow.  The times of clinging, barely, to Your faithfulness.  I remember where faltering faith often times gave way to weak and anemic hope.  I would go from, ‘Your Word is true!’ to ‘Your Word is true . . . right?  Please let it be true.’

I remember days that turned into years of wondering if the fiery trials would ever end.  Would sadness and grief and the begging kind of hope be my reality forever?  Would it always be normal to expect a ‘sucker punch’ at every corner?  Would I ever wake up and NOT wince, wondering what was coming today?  Would there be a day when I would actually “see” the goodness of the Lord and  begin to experience favor and joy and hope and laughter.  Would I ever wake up expecting Your favor on my day, or would it always be a weak hope?

I remember well those years, and I see how You held me even when I felt like I was free-falling. I remember each and every one of those feelings and the memories cause me to just shake my head and marvel at how you HEAL and DELIVER and RESTORE and REBUILD.  I laugh when I think of how far YOU have brought us and that every single word You have spoken is TRUE and has come true and is coming true.

Lord, let me never doubt Your faithfulness.  Let me always know that no matter how horribly dark it gets YOU are faithful and Your Word is true!

I don’t know where you are right now or how deep the valley may be or how very dark your days are, but I am pleading with you to know that He is faithful. He is holding you.  He will restore.  All the paths of the Lord are mercy.  It might not seem like it, but they are.

You are going to make it through, THROUGH, this valley!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

In Awe

I sit here, in my quiet time chair and just marvel.  I look around our bedroom and see seven of our nine children, some on the bed, some on the floor, some perched on the dresser.  I see my husband, who for years has tried to have that consistent 'devotions' we are supposed to have as a family.  I see the bible in his hand.


It really has happened.  Each morning for the past couple of years we all gather in our bedroom before Brian leaves for work.  He asks if anyone has anything to share from the Word.  Some days we have lots, some days, not so much, but we gather.  He ask for prayer requests.  "itchy arms", "focus with school", "salvation for loved ones", "mercy for those struggling with losing it all", we all shout out our requests.


We share the Word, we pray together, and sometimes we sing a hymn together.  Years and years we have struggled to make this happen on a regular basis.  We can't be the only ones, right?  I am not sure what changed, but I am so thankful it has.  I do know it must only be by His grace, because we have tried and tried.


It's the little things throughout the day, when you take time to notice, they really add up.  We do this every day and I guess I often take it for granted, but today, I shake my head in awe at what He has done.


It's not every day we have live worship, but after hearing Isaiah worshiping with his guitar in his room the night before we asked him to play for us.  Really??  I 'get' to be the mama here?!  Taking note of such sweet things really makes the 3,957 frustrating things in any given day seem so inconsequential.

Such a thankful Mama today!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  (James 1:17)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

He Always Provides

P1050634First, can I just say, “I miss writing here!!”  There is much stirring and brewing in my heart but barely a second to think about writing a post.

It started out as a curiosity to paint a table and then another and then another until it got to the point where my dear husband requested I not buy another piece of furniture until I sold a piece.  Seemed like a fair deal.

Well, the next day I sold a table and then another and then another.  I did not set out to start a ‘business’, but was just having fun and seemed to be following what the Lord had before me.  I couldn’t really believe someone would want to buy ‘my’ stuff.  Brian always believed in me and I think he knew we were onto something here, though I didn’t.


Here we are just three months later and I cannot keep up with the painting!  I do so much custom work for people that I often times can’t keep my own supply of painted pieces up. I am having a blast!  I get to make pretty things, learn new things and bless people.

The Lord has orchestrated me teaching a class too.  Who knew?!  We are having a huge “shop the barn” boutique sale the first week in December and if half the people come that say they are it will be a huge success.

What does this have to do with the Lord providing, you ask.  Well, Brian’s work has been very slow over the last few years and we are really waiting on the Lord for our next step and we have been for some time now.  At times we have not gotten a paycheck and in the natural, our financial position does not look that good.  P1050635

We are in awe of what is unfolding with this whole furniture thing.  We all work together as a family in various ways, each using their own gifting. I  am not sure painting furniture would provide entirely for a family of ten Winking smilebut it sure is a blessing right now.  We marvel at watching the Lord give us favor with purchases and sales.  We delight in the people we meet and get to work with.  Our family enjoys ministering in any way we can to the ‘customers’ the Lord brings.  I cannot put into words the scope of what He is doing, but it is pretty awesome and I just wanted to ‘gush’ on Him a little this morning, thank you for allowing me.

If you are interested in what I am talking about please check out our other blog, {re}imagined just for you.  Also, if you are anywhere near our neck of the woods, (someone is actually coming from Indiana!) please, please come to our ‘shop the barn’ sale and say hi!!  I would love to see you.

Amazed by His Grace,



Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Had No Idea

Today marks twenty-three years of marriage for Brian and I, and I can honestly say that I feel like all my dreams have come true. 

In all reality, I didn’t even know to dream this big. 

I had no idea of what a marriage with such unity, love and oneness looked like or felt like. 

I had no idea what it would feel like to be loved and accepted so unconditionally by someone. 

I had no idea of how such love could heal a little girl’s broken heart.

I had no idea what it would feel like to live with such a feeling of safety and protection.

I had no idea what it would feel like to be so cherished and nurtured.

I had no idea what it would be like to encouraged and picked up over and over again.

Our marriage has not been without its bumps and deep valleys, but I am humbled and in awe of the keeping power of God’s grace in this marriage.  We have walked through things that can destroy a marriage and only by His grace came out stronger and closer.

Humbled, that is the right word for it.  Really, if you knew the two of us, with all our flaws and brokenness you would be in awe of His grace too, trust me Winking smile

When I think of a verse to describe Brian the following comes to mind . . .

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

Happy Anniversary to the man of my dreams! I love you forever and always