Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I'm Lovin' Friday

FYI: I posted this on Thursday by mistake! Come back and read it tomorrow ;).

This could be one of my favorite 'Friday' themes. I enjoyed Feminine Friday with Natural Mama for awhile (ahem), and always love to visit Renaissance for Foto Friday (at which I drool and dream I could take pictures like her). Now, my bloggy friend Ashlee has started "What I'm Lovin' Friday" and today is my first time to participate.

Here's what I'm Lovin'!:

~~FALL, FALL, FALL! The weather, the decor, the food {ya know, chilli, pumpkin bread},the fashion, and the fact that Thanksgiving is just right around the corner! Personally, I could really care less about Halloween. I wish we could just skip it all together and celebrate Thanksgiving for an extra month.

Here's a peek at my fall foyer tablescape. A work in progress. Proof that I am not related to Martha Stewart.

~~This kids' kitchen:

I'm in love. And if you visit, you'll be amazed at what this woman can build, and even more amazing, you can build it too! Unless you're like me, and running a little short on time :).

~~These beanie hats:

Note this is not my child {mine's cuter}, but a great representation of the hat. I'm stalking several on ebay and will order one as soon as the new budget period rolls around! I'll be sure to share pics :).

~~I'm lovin' that Emma is potty-trained! Except for pull-ups at night, we are diaper-free. And, she is the only child of mine ever to wake up and ask to go potty at night. Wow!

OK, I was starting to feel a little materialistic, but that last one saved me :).

So what are you loving today?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Going Beyond Yourself

If you've been a long-term reader of my blog, you may have noticed that it's been a long time since I posted one of my "sermonettes" (which isn't exactly a word). So, it's time. Get comfortable, pour a cup of tea/coffee, and get settled in. This is gonna take a while :).

We are beginning today our 4th full week of homeschool. It took the entire first week and half of the 2nd to find our groove, but we're grooving right along now. I'm certainly not doing everything perfect; just hoping not to mess my kids up for life :).

Homeschooling makes for interesting conversation. I have a close circle of homeschooling Moms for support, but there are many, many others who find the idea a little, well, foreign?
One response I seem to hear a lot of is, "I could never do that! I wouldn't even try." And behind my polite smile I'm thinking, "Nope, you sure couldn't--not with that attitude". Now I know that homeschooling is not for everyone. But a few years ago, maybe even a few months ago, I had a similar attitude. The truth is, I didn't have the desire to homeschool. I rather looked forward to the day when I could send my kids off to school and enjoy a few hours of kid-free-ness. Wow, think about how much I would get done!

But when I gave it a good, honest look and prayed about it, I realized that was not what was best for us at this time. Or maybe never? Not sure yet. Anyways, I'm doing something that I never thought I could do. And if I'd never tried, I'd never have known what I was capable of. Doesn't the verse say "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ? (Phil 4:13).

Now, let's apply this spiritually: What's your greatest challenge, spiritually? Is it exceeding your {or establishing a} daily prayer time? Is it understanding the Scriptures? Witnessing, getting to church on time, forgiving the one who has wounded you, having love for the unlovable? You know what it is--that wall that you keep beating your head up against, that you can never conquer. Allow yourself to think, for a minute, about what life would be like if you could. If you could let go of that weight, how much faster could you run?

You've shaken your head and said, "But I don't have the energy, I don't have the time, I don't have the personality to do THAT." But what if you did? What if you went beyond yourself and did it anyway? If you will take the first step, He will equip you with whatever you need to keep going. When we stand in judgment before a holy and just God, we're going to be devastated when He shows us the great, the awesome, the mind-blowing things He wanted to do with our lives, but we drew the line and said no. I. can't.

I'm going to share something pretty personal, but I feel like it fits here: A few years ago, I was in a place where I knew I had taken some steps back in my experience with God. On my knees, I prayed, "God, please make me what I used to be." Now, I'm not a person who goes around claiming God speaks to them all the time, but at that moment he stopped me and said, "I don't want you to be what you used to be. I want you to be what you've never been before."

He is doing it. I'm seeing things unfold in my life that I've never seen before. Because I'm stepping out of the boat, making small, but consistent and faithful steps to climb higher, to go further, to TRY.

You CAN do it! Through Him. The question is, how bad do you want it? How far are you willing to go? Close your eyes and JUMP IN! The results will take your breath away.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Last year, my Mom, SIL & I agreed (challenged each other?) to make something for one other for this year's Christmas. OK, now, whose idea was it exactly? Surely it wasn't mine? Cause I'm kinda getting nervous. Christmas is right around the corner. I gotta get busy! As if I'm not already! I've come across a few things here and there that are doable (hopefully), but as my SIL reads my blog (Hi, Monica), I can't reveal everything. But I will share a few things I have come across. Please advise as to the level of potential cheese-factor or flop-risk these may have for an amateur.

Ruffled T-shirt:

Check out the tutorial here.

Rag Bag:

Tutorial from Nesting Place.

Memo Garland:

Again, from the Nester. Gotta love that Nester!

Notice these are non-sewing-machine-requiring projects;as is appropriate for the sewing machine challenged :).

I do have some other ideas up my sleeve, but I have to keep something a secret.

If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment and share :). I LURVE comments (hint, hint). Even if you do not have a blogger account, you can still leave a comment by going to comments and choosing "anonymous". It would make my day!