Tuesday, February 28, 2012

High Hopes!

My desire/hope to blog more this year is just a big fat fail!  I sit here... to just really post about nothing... and the kids are hanging from the stair railing and raising...well... cane.  LOL

Don is in Uganda.  He is amazing.  I am falling more in love with him by the minute.
Abby is having a seizure about every other night.  She is making progress in many ways and yet seems to be stuck in obvious ways as well.  I am... well.... walking through that on a day to day basis and in HIS grace and strength alone.
Marc is growing like a weed and making us laugh constantly.  His speech is coming along... as are his emotions!
Taylor is approaching puberty and navigating through her first year of middle school.  She is such a sweet spirit.
I am trying to be all to all and trying to stay connected to the ONE who is in control of it all.  I am itching to get back into photography and painting furniture and freshening for Spring.
Project One Forty Three is in the full throttle of trying to get children hosted for the summer host program.  I am the coordinator for some southern states and have had the sweet joy of walking with several families through that process.

Sadly, this seems to slip by me every day and before I know it.... another week has passed without a post.
Hate that.  So here is just a few of my fav's from Pinterest.  Inspiration if you will.  And I hope to get back this week with some pics and stories!

Love... to ya!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not To Us

We practiced this song last night for worship this coming Sunday.  I can't get it out of my head.  I had never heard it before and then found out it's almost 10 years old.  Really....?  It is timeless.  And it is my current mantra.  I wanted to share it with you and it will be here for a while!  Worship and lift His name on high!  Be blessed today friends.  His name is mighty!

"Let them praise your great and awesome name-- He is holy."
Psalm 99:3~

"I will be glad and rejoice in You;  I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."
Psalm 9:2~

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory, 
because of Your love and faithfulness."
Psalm 115:1~

"I will praise you, O LORD my God, with all my heart; 
I will glorify Your name."
Psalm 86:12~

"I will praise You as long as I live, 
and in Your name I will lift up my hands."
Psalm 63:4~

"All the nations You have made will come and worship before You,
O LORD; they will bring glory to Your name."
Psalm 86:9~

"Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of Your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name's sake."
Psalm 79:9~

"Teach me Your way, O LORD, 
and I will walk in Your truth; 
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear Your name."
Psalm 86:11~ 

"No one is like You, O LORD,
You are great,
and Your name is mighty in power."
Jeremiah 10:6~

"And now what are you waiting for?  
Get up and be baptized 
and wash away your sins, 
calling on His name."
Acts 22:16~

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Adventure of Today

"Give yourself fully to the adventure of today.  Walk boldly along the path of life, relying on your ever-present Companion.  You have every reason to be confident, because My Presence accompanies you all the days of your life-- and onward into eternity."  Jesus Calling

Why can't I keep myself wrapped in the confidence of Christ's Presence and give myself fully to the adventure of today?  Control is the first word that comes to my mind.  I want control.  I want to control situations.  I want to control people.  I want to control the future.  I want to control my life. And when life hits with both barrels, as it so often does, I feel out of control and anxiety and stress come on me like white on rice!

There is such a fine balance with life.  It seems so hard to find it and yet Christ makes it sound so simple.  Trying to balance being a child advocate, being involved in church, helping others, loving and guiding my children, having enough time for my husband, keeping the house in order, making and keeping all the needed appointments for the family and myself, running the errands, attempting to nurture friendships AND time with the Lord can just be overwhelming.

One task a time is where I try to keep my mind.  One task at a time, one day at a time, and boundaries. 

So that is my main task today... giving myself fully to the adventure.  And relying on the ONE who can allow me to do that if I can fully surrender.

Pray you have a blessed and adventurous day!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Chalkboard Wall for Candi

OK... better late than never... right!  I made a chalkboard wall way back when and I still totally love it.  I love how we can use it for so many things and I love the way it personalizes my home!  It is a super easy and fun addition and you can put one just about anywhere!  Examples... kitchen wall, office wall, dinning room wall, children's bedroom wall, back of kitchen island, door, laundry room wall... and I am sure many more places.  I have even seen one blogger chalkboard paint her fridge and it is awesome.  I may try and find a picture and add it!

So here is my before wall.  It was a sliver of a wall in a walk through hall area where
the door to the powder room is and the pantry.  It also leads to the garage on the right and straight through to the dinning room.  Soooo... that is a long explanation of why it is a tiny yet high traffic area!  So the little wall right there was just begging to become way functional and super cute!

And here it is without the edging/cutting in complete but looking way fun!  I actually put on three layers of magnetic paint first and then three layers of chalk board paint.  The magnetic part is pretty weak. So... I guess I should have put like 5 coats of that or just skipped it.  It was kinda gritty which caused me to put extra chalkboard paint on to get an even surface sooooo... I would have just skipped the magnet part of it and will in the future. :0-)

Here is what I used.  This little sponge roller is one of my favorite tools ever... and my "wooster" brush.
The secret to a well done job is the right tools!  DO NOT SKIMP on a paint brush.  Yes... a "purdy" or "wooster" brush may cost you triple what a cheap one will... but it IS for a reason!  "Wooster" is my favorite.  The bristles STAY where they are supposed to stay which enables you to drag a nice, clean, and straight line for cutting in.  I have used this one brush for years now and it has earned it's keep several times over!
Here are some secret tricks!
1.) If you need to walk away from the job to pick up a kid or have a phone conversation... place the roller or paint brush in a zip lock bag and seal it all around the handle.  It keeps you from having to wash it out and keeps the paint from drying!
2.) I also do the above while I am waiting for coats to dry!
3.) Before you rinse the roller, take a plastic ruler of the wooden stir brush they give you and slide the edge down the roller... TONS of paint will come out that you can reuse and it makes cleaning the sponge roller easier and faster since there is a TON less paint in it.
4.) Always rinse the brush with the water flowing down the bristles off the edge, never down into the bristles opening it up with the pressure of the water.  This keeps the bristles in line better.
5.) After you rinse the brush super well... walk outside and sling it in the air.  Water will fly out of it, the bristles stay smooth and it dries super faster!
6.) Go in halves with a friend on the chalkboard paint.  It is not expensive but unless you are covering a big wall, it does go a long way!  That way two of you will be motivated to knock this project out and it will save you some money! :0)

  Sorry this is a tad blurred.  Lighting was terrible and the shutter stayed open longer!
But I wanted to show you that I added two clip boards from Wal-Mart.  I hung them with a screw so they would be secure.  The top of the clip board has that little metal tab where it can hang!  We keep a little notepad for the grocery list on one (then we can just add to it & tear it off when we go shopping) and outgoing mail or other important items on the second one!
And here it is in full action!  I LOVE it and I love seeing little art work at the bottom!  Every time I see it, it makes me smile... still... after several months!  

So this little craft/project post is dedicated to my sweet cousin Candi who loves this kind of stuff! :0)
Sorry it has taken me so long to get it on here!
Now go out and paint something!!!!!!
You will LOVE IT!


Monday, February 06, 2012

Out of Focus

"When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture.  The remedy is simple: Fix your eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen."  Jesus Calling

A friend of mine gave me the devotional, Jesus Calling, for my birthday last Friday. (Thank you Elizabeth!)  Yes, I had a birthday.  No, not many pictures.  I have become oh so slack and nonblogger worthy with my camera. :0(  Sorry.

One of the local christian radio stations reads from this devotion every night.  It has often spoken to me as it takes a scripture and uses it as the basis of what Jesus might say to you about that subject.  Today, I read the entry for my birthday, and it was the above.  And it hit home... deeply.

Since coming back from my trip, I have this weight like a cloud that stays near as I feel so much of the pain and loneliness of the kids we saw and talked to.  I KNOW they are in God's hands and I KNOW HE will help them but I can't shake this feeling of responsibility I feel towards them.  I am here... doing what I do here and they are there... waiting and trying to survive with abandonment, neglect, loneliness, rejection, depression... among many other things. 

I want to just go over and get this big bus and just get them all.  I want to say the right things and talk to the right people in hopes that their hearts will be opened wide enough to let one of God's needy children inside.  I have to tread lightly around people who don't get it as I just want to scream... "REALLY????" at them and the way they live their life.  I have to give grace to others who act half interested and then run right back into their life of luxury and business and excess and selfness.  I have to smile at others who actually walk run sprint past a table covered with faces and avoid all eye contact.  It can be exhausting.  Frustrating.  Annoying. 

In addition, one of my own needs extra of me... needs patient me... needs proactive and attentive me... needs loving and kind me... needs smart and alert me... needs the me who is trying to reach her heart and help heal her from past wounds and her own destructive attempts to deal with her pain and abandonment/rejection/delays/spiritual attacks/physical attacks.  And today I blew it.  I was patient.  I was patient again.  I was patient and firm again.  I gave her two choices... try again or quit.  Her behavior was her choice and we quit.  She lost a privilege.  Then she lost control.  She lost control of her emotions and her mouth.  I still remained patient.  Her mouth continued and continued and continued.  I felt myself approaching my wall with each outburst of her mouth.  Twice I looked at her ready to spew my own rant... and twice I turned away.  And then there was another outburst and she involved her brother and I lost it.  All desire to be the adult in control, the calm and educated and controlled adult flew out of me life a raging waterfall.  She had won. She pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and I gave in... threw all the previous hours work down the drain in 5 minutes of spewing through clinched teeth and shaking from extreme emotional overload.

I came home, put her to bed, and went to my room.  I wondered how and why in the world she can push me to the wall.  I wondered how, knowing fully what is going on, that I can still cave in and spew like a burst pipe.  And I picked up, Jesus Calling, and read the above.  How thankful I am that Jesus can speak to me in times of such need.  The visible... only seeing the visible.  Yes.  That is exactly why I gave in and lost it.  All I could see was her defiance.  Persistence.  Disrespect.  Disobedience.  Disregard.  All I could hear were her words that were stabbing me and begging me to fight back.

And I lost total focus of the real enemy.  The unseen enemy.  The one who knows I have been purposefully wooing her heart.  The one who knows how deeply I love her.  The one who knows that progress has been happening.  The one who knows our connection is so deep and yet so tried.  The one who was cheering me on to lose it... to stop with the loving eyes and give her the glare.  The one who was trying to get another dagger into her heart through my very own mouth... how cunning and manipulative Satan is at all times.  Oh how I hate him with every ounce of my being.

And I lost sight of the One who was standing next to me, the One who was ready to take all the pain she was throwing at me.  The One who had given me every moment of self-control up to that point.  Did I call out to Him during this attack?  No.  No I did not.  I had read the book.  I was trying to pull up and rely on my own strength.  And I did... for almost an hour.  The battle raged all around me in the unseen and I not once called on the One who says He goes before me.  I let pride and self reliance talk me into standing my ground by myself.  I let the circumstances of the situation blind me to the very One willing to fight it... and win.

My devotion is a good reminder to me today.  My eyes HAVE to stay on the unseen... they have to remain focused on the spiritual and overlook the temporal.  My eyes HAVE GOT to stay on the One who will walk me through fire without being burned or even scorched.  Not only in parenting... but every single aspect of my life.  I have GOT to die to me every day and let HIM live through me.  I have GOT to remember I can do NOTHING without Him.  I have to stay in communion with Him at all times.  I have to keep HIM in focus.  Everything will then become a blur!