Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Thursday, March 5, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SON

I've been a baking lunatic this week in preparation of my foodie's birthday. He has always been the one to want a little of this, a little of that, oh, I don't know, gourmet vanilla bean cupcakes with whipped cocoa frosting, a giant birthday cake Whoopie Pie, that fabulous Death by Chocolate party a few years back, ha ha. We sure do have some yummy celebrations! Right now I've got a double batch of cupcakes (from a box) and the first batch of whoopie pies (without the creme) in the freezer downstairs, and I'm not even halfway there. HA

Tonight is the championship play-off basketball game for Jonah's team. How exciting for that to coincide with your actual birthday! So of course there must be cupcakes. Of course.  =)

As apparent by my last post, sometimes I really wrestle with this whole growing up business. It is the most wonderful, rewarding, sacred and humbling process, and my prayer for all my children, especially for my Jonah on his birthday, is that they continue to walk with the Lord. That's it, that's all that truly matters to me.

I also hope that my children feel celebrated on their special days. While I would love to treat them to more lavish gifts or whisk them off to some really awesome mini vacation or something, we just can't do that. It is my most sincere desire that all the special little things we do speak to their hearts and let them know just how much they mean to me, what a wonderful and unique creation they are.

Jonah Gabriel, you are growing into such a caring, interesting, fun and special young man, and we know that the Lord has so many wonderful things in store for you! Happy Birthday, Son!

Now I'm off to whip up chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries and cream...  ;)



Monday, March 2, 2015

SEEKING TRUTH

Hello March! Since we just got new snow dumped on us, I'm really (really!) hoping the old "in like a lion, out like a lamb" bit is true.  I suppose we shall see...

I've been thinking a lot lately about time, more specifically, about our days on this earth. I don't know if worry is the right word, but there's certainly an angst or anxiousness that hovers over these thoughts. And I've begun to realize that it's robbing me of joy and peace. My oldest son is officially in driver's ed now- no, that was not an intentional segue into a post about angst and fear, ha!- and he's been chauffeuring me around and keeping track of all his hours on a driving log hanging on the fridge. I don't know how I feel about all this. It's pushing me in a direction I don't yet feel ready to go. It makes me realize that sometimes I just want my babies back. I want things the way they were before, when everyone was younger and I didn't have to worry so much about aging parents or making huge decisions that impact my children because it felt like the years just stretched out endlessly ahead of us. There would always be time for this or for that because, well, we had lots of time back then. And now, suddenly, we don't.

I was talking with some friends at church yesterday about an area in which I feel like a complete and utter failure: family devotions and Bible reading/praying together. It's what my heart desires most and yet I keep failing. (I know there is no condemnation in Christ but I feel like a failure.) I have had so much time and I have wasted it! And now that my boys are older, it makes me feel like it's too late. Like that ship has sailed, my chance is gone.

Is that really true? Is that how Jesus wants me to look at it? No, I don't think so. God's Word is FILLED with promises of renewal and transformation and peace and grace and hope. He can - and does - use our shortcomings for His good when we allow Him to. How awesome that the Creator of the world and all that is in it is a God of love! That HE is the one to restore and heal and soften hearts! I love the Lord and want to live out my life in a way that honors Him, but I can't save people- only He can do that. This is so hard for me to grasp because I feel like if I could get a grip on nightly devotions and we could have prayer time three times a day, if only I would do this and do that, then all would be well with my children. Really what I'm thinking is: if I do all the right things, then I can save them.

Talk about pressure, right? But that's not true! I am called to train up my children, to love them and to teach them Truth, but ultimately, I have to relinquish the thinking that I am responsible for their own walks. And that is so hard. I don't want my mistakes and shortcomings to injure my children's views of our perfect God, to be a stumbling block for them. Argh. I'm sorry to be so confusing and all over the place, but it's all so jumbled in my mind as I wrestle with these thoughts.

I know I have an internal struggle going on because I do feel called to equip my children in more ways that I have at this point, and that isn't a bad thing. My time has not run out. Each new day is a new opportunity to live out our faith, to explore grace, to meditate on Scripture. I don't need to allow fear and doubt to cripple me here, but rather, this unsettled-ness can spur me to action. First and foremost, I can pray about how God wants to use me to teach my children. I can pray about resources and influential relationships and every single detail about how to reach them and KNOW that He hears me and that nothing is trivial in His eyes.

I don't think I'm alone here, but I wonder how many of you struggle with the same thing. We can be praying for one another!

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10

This verse is such a great reminder to me-
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SEWING PROJECTS FOR MYSELF

I used to sew clothes for myself All.The.Time when I was younger. I was athletic, fit, and everything I tried worked perfectly, and most importantly, fit. Around the time Ethan was born, I tried to make some things for myself, but my body had changed- I lost most of the pregnancy weight, but things were just, well, different. I tried a few more times but was always less than thrilled with the results. By the time I was running around chasing my three gorgeous boys (all born within 39 months of each other), I had simply given up on the idea. I loved my babies and I loved my life, but a thyroid issue and stress binge-snacking had me not quite loving my shape. It was a really difficult time. I cringe when I see nearly every photo of me from back then because I know I wasn't looking my best, and I certainly wasn't feeling my best.

I've worked hard over the past few years to like what I see when I look in the mirror, and let me tell you, it isn't just about the body. So much is about what's going on in the mind! I don't need to be perfect- and who is?- but I want to be my best. So I've embraced designing and sewing things for myself in the past year or so. And do you know what? I love it again! Such a great feeling.

Here's a sampling of one of my stashes for this spring/summer, and this year, it's going to be all about the dresses and skirts. I'm a tall 5'9" and the things I keep trying on in stores are simply too short. Same thing with pretty tops and shirts, but that's another story for another day. Sorry if this is totally and completely boring to you, but I kind of love it, ha.

I need a few well-fitting staples in my closet such as a denim softly-pleated A-line skirt, a go-to summer dress (or two, or three!) that can be dressed up or worn casually, and one or two pretty blazers/jackets to pull things together. I made quite a few tops last year- maybe I'll share those sometime- so I'm mostly set with blouses and shirts.

 Since we're barely above zero, and rarely even hitting hitting double digits this winter, dreaming of these summery things is both torture and exciting, ha ha!

I just had to share this cute pic I posted on Instagram a bit ago: we keep taking turns getting sick over here, and Caleb spent one afternoon pouring his little heart into knitting a scarf for Mimi. I LOVE that my boys are secure enough in their "manhood" to embrace crafty things- they are quite talented! All three of them make awesome things.

Speaking of dreaming about spring and summery things, here are the fabrics I'm using this year for custom nightgowns at Rose and Ruffle. I absolutely adore them! So, so pretty! I think #7 and #9 are my favorites. =)
I have more details on my sewing blog- here- and on my shop's site - here. Please let me know if you have any questions about ordering. Thanks!