Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Psalm 16

If you have a moment or two today, stop ~ take a deep breath ~ and read Psalm 16. We have been going through the Psalms on Sunday evenings at church and it has been such a comforting study.  This morning one of the passages I came across was the 16th Psalm. I have often shared verse 11 with you...

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Oh, how I love that scripture!  I have experienced the fullness of joy in God's presence and it just overflows, there is simply nothing like it!

This morning I was caught by verses 8-9...

I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh will also rest in hope.

This world is crazy and seems to be spinning out of control.  Life can be downright complicated and people can be downright difficult.  However...with the Lord before us, we don't have to be shaken or moved or brought down!  We can be glad ~ we can rejoice ~ we can rest in hope!

What a beautiful thought for this Wednesday!

{Gifts 74-95}

#74 - enriching conversation

#75 - crafting and chatting while good music plays

#76 - getting to teach his class and his sheer excitement over it

#77 - the freedom found in giving issues over to God

#78 - remembering not to lean on my own understanding

#79 - a gorgeous February day spent with my mom doing all sorts of things girls love to do and literally stopping to smell the roses

#80 - quiet solitude and hot coffee before dawn

#81 - hearing birdsong through my open windows

#82 - the peace of knowing I'm never alone

#83 - my mom making one of my very favorite flavorful and nutritious meals

#84 - watching my children set, work towards, and reach goals

#85 - the body life of a church family

#86 - the lingering scent of fresh laundry

#87 - technology that connects me to people I love

#89 - joy in knowing Jesus

#90 - comfortable shoes

#91 - a house full of people that make me smile

#92 - listening with excitement to what God is doing in someone else's life

#93 - seeing God's faithfulness through the testimony of others even in the most difficult of times

#94 - the sweetness of strawberries this time of year

#95 - the first scent of orange blossoms

For these and more I am grateful...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some Valentine Love

A few snapshots and sweet memories of Valentine's Week...

Jimmy surprised me with these lovely tulips at the beginning of the week and I so enjoyed these cheerful blooms!

Madi came home from her art club with this fun painting...

And Trevor came home from AWANA with this most precious list.

On Valentine's morning I had a small treat or two and a card for Madi and Trev at the breakfast table.  In Trevor's card I had asked him to be my Valentine.  I was curling Madi's hair when he came in with the card...he had answered my question with a yes!  
Melt my heart.

Off to school - the kids had picture day and got to dress out of uniform, and I taught music all day (in a dress with hearts on it, of course).

After work, Jimmy surprised me with a new outfit and bracelet.  He had laid it out on our bed with one of my favorite necklaces.  I was seriously impressed with what he picked out and his whole In Style Magazine type presentation!!  Cute.

We both had work and music lessons, but when we were done I used some shortcuts to make a quick dinner.  These frozen Phillips crab cakes were a taste of home!

My parents had taken the kids out for an early dinner, then gave us all some fun Valentine surprises!

Madi using her new straws she had gotten early that morning! 

Friday evening my parents kept the kids overnight and Jimmy and I headed out for some alone time.  We had a wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable evening together!  We ate a delicious meal and walked and talked and he listened to my heart.  
That is such a gift.

The weekend before had been filled some memorable quality family time.  We went to our first State Fair...

Madi and I enjoyed tea time at church!

Jimmy took Madi to the Daddy Daughter Dance...

And Trev and I had a double date with one of my friends and her son, who Trev adores.  

My dad has always said that one way to spell love is T-I-M-E.

Love has definitely been in the air.

I am grateful.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Let's Talk About Mint Green Jeans For A Minute

So, if you had told me ten years ago that I would be wearing pastel jeans one day I would have probably just laughed a little bit.

I was a child of the outlandish and colorful 80's, but a teenager of the early to mid 90's grunge and super-plain era (think flannels and Birkenstocks, and remember Gwyneth Paltrow's boring famous slip dress that changed formals for awhile?), and a young adult in the late 90's/early 2000's tailored-classic-neutral era (I loved and admittedly still love Meg Ryan's entire black, white, and gray wardrobe in You've Got Mail).  For well over a decade there was a lot of black, white, gray, brown, tailored lines, boot cuts, and high heels in my life.  I still have and often wear many of those neutral classics.

But a few years ago things started loosening up.  And I kind of liked it.  It was sort of refreshing, these maxi dresses and billowy sleeves and loose tops and stretchy, comfy skinny jeans and ballet flats and patterns and all this color, color, color.

And I'm old enough to know the tide will turn again one day.  We will go back to black turtlenecks and gray pants and slim blazers.  And I will like it because the styles will be updated from a really neat time in my life.

But right now I'm just loving and embracing all this color and flow.

So about a month ago I found a great deal on a pair of mint green jeans and bought them.  And started digging in my closet for fun combinations.  And wearing these pastel jeans all the time.

I think I'm kind of hooked!

Who would have ever thought.

(Found that last top at Ross recently for $7.99, and it is probably one of my 
favorite items to pair with my mint jeans.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Simple Ribbon Wreaths

I am drawn to beautiful.  I enjoy homemade.  And I really like simple.

I recently made that yellow chevron ribbon wreath with some fabulous ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby.  It was incredibly simple to make but adds such cheer to our family room.  Friday when I was out and about on my free day, I stopped at a small local Joann's.  The inventory was limited but I dug and came up with some cute supplies to make a another wreath.  I thought I'd take just a minute to share the steps with you in case you want to make one too!

Wrap your ribbon around a foam wreath form.  

Attach in back with floral pins.

Add another layer of ribbon if you wish, also attaching with floral pins.

Adorn with pre-made flowers, attaching with hot glue gun or floral pins.

Tie on a different ribbon or fabric for wreath hanger.

Then hang your wreath somewhere you can enjoy its simple beauty!

Mine is near some items I recently spruced up.

Handmade touches truly add warmth and cheer to a home!

But this craft is so simple you can do it in a flash, even when time is limited.

And that said, I've got to get out of here - I'm teaching PreK3 today!

Friday, February 8, 2013

High Five For Friday!

I was off today!!!  No subbing, no piano lessons, no volunteering.  It is a gorgeous blue sky day here.  I spent my morning eating breakfast outside with two girlfriends - what a treat! Ran a few errands and if all goes well I should have about an hour to myself before I need to get the kids from school.  I'm feeling inspired and made a stop at a craft store, so I think I'm going to turn up the music and get my craft on for a little while!

A few snapshots from this past week...

One - celebrated National Frozen Yogurt day - just me, my green chair, and a carton of cookies and cream froyo

Two - made an Aldi run for the first time in awhile, good to save some $$

Three - still so much sickness going around the school (and everywhere), always try to eat nutritiously but really focused on extra fruits and veggies this week

Four - my mom said she thought of me when she saw these - office supplies meet retro 80's glam - fun surprise

Five - loving my $4 scarf because polka dots are just so cheerful and the light neutral tones seem to fit this weather

We are going to have an action packed weekend!!!  Happy Friday!

Linking up with Lauren at High Five For Friday

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The text came in a few minutes before 6:00 yesterday morning.  When I heard the buzz of my phone I knew what would be asked and I texted back yes, I could teach today.  I gave myself a few more moments to enjoy the warmth of my bed before facing the cold darkness of morning, and when my slippers were on and the coffee dripped hot and fragrant,  I brought up Our Daily Bread on my Kindle.  The text was in Matthew, the key verse familiar.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

The author of the devotional wrote how Scripture teaches that God meets the needs of those who seek Him and pursue righteousness, and how we need to realize that often when we want more, God has already given us "just enough."  

It was a timely reminder from a familiar passage I have known and even sung of since childhood.  I smiled in the darkness because the day before, Sunday's sermon had included the same passage.

So I leaned in and listened, for I knew God was trying to remind me of something.

My heart kept going back to the word first.

There is so much in this world that vies for first place, that has the potential to steal our attention from God, who longs to draw us closer to His heart.

And this business of seeking Him first, it is not something that can be checked off of a color coded list.  It is an attitude of the heart, the habit of a trained mind, daily surrender and constant choosing of obedience.

Not everything we seek is wrong.  Many things we seek are good and should be sought, but they need to be sought after we seek the heart of God.  He must be first. Then the other things will be added.

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13 

When the priorities of my heart are ordered correctly, the rest follow and I see His hand and provision and mark all over my day to day living.

Goodness will overflow in the daily when my heart is centered and focused on Christ.

So whatever it is our hearts are seeking, even if good things - a solid marriage, obedient well-mannered children, a vibrant social life, health and wellness, financial peace, a well-ordered beautiful home, skills and talents, meaningful relationships, job success - let's seek God first. Let's serve Him first.  Let's pursue God and righteousness and let everything else flow from Him as we remain in Him.

God, please help us.  We confess we are easily distracted.  But we want to love You most and pursue You first before anything else, trusting that our daily lives will be ordered best and reflect Your love most beautifully when we 
give You first place in our lives and we remain in You.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

{Gifts 56-73}

#56 - more back porch basketball games

#57 - Florida in winter

#58 - open windows and laughter blowing in with the breeze

#59 - peanut butter and apple slices with him outside after school

#60 - studying the book of James in our SS class

#61 - miles walked and lives shared with a friend on a cold, sunshine morning

#62 - that I can teach piano lessons in my slippers

#63 - seeing the eagle that frequents our neighborhood soar above our home

#64 - uplifting conversation and laughter with two sweet young women of God over Mexican food

#65 - sunlight streaming through our front window

#66 - that ordinary day when my Kari Jobe station led me into an amazing time of worship

#67 - shopping with my mom and Madi for the upcoming Daddy-Daughter Dance

#68 - her sweet anticipation of this date with Daddy

#69 - hearing him read and being amazed how he continues to progress

#70 - teachers and children that work so hard and report cards that reflect this

#71 - how incredibly refreshing that frozen yogurt tasted

#72 - the smell of garlic bread in the oven wafting through our home

#73 - my new sign covered in truth and what it reminds me in a glance

For these and more I am grateful...

Friday, February 1, 2013

High Five For Friday!

1) Always feel energized when I wear my favorite color!  Yellow makes me happy.

 2) Did some crafting for the first time in a while.  Nice to freshen things up.

3) Usually pick up discounted gourmet coffee when I am at Marshall's, this one was a definite perk of my week!  So good.

4) Found this dress on clearance for $14 when shopping with my mom and couldn't resist, wore it and loved it.  Nice to wear something a little out of the ordinary.

5) Wrote this word down so when I see it, I can remind myself that people or circumstances can't steal the joy of Christ that is within me!  Need that reminder often.

Now I'm off to hit the trail to walk a few miles with friends, then I will spend the afternoon teaching 5th grade...hope you have a great day! It's Friday!!!!!

Linking up with Lauren at High Five For Friday.