Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Found Jesus Under My Kitchen Table

As I was walking out the door to head to the grocery store, I noticed something unsual under my kitchen table. It wasn't the usual mess of crumbs I noticed (although that was certainly there) or one of the random toys that gets thrown or kicked under the table. It was Jesus. My very giving mother (who happens to be my dear friend and mentor) gave my girls some flannel graph Bible stories awhile back. They are really cool and a great tool for teaching kids about certain people/events in the Bible in an interactive way. I love them. I think my favorite Bible stories are the ones I learned by flannel graph when I was very young in Sunday School. So, anyway, when my kids play with them, it is great. They love to tell the stories and put the right people with the right scenes and it's wonderful, but it never fails that someone or something is always left out of the container that I keep them in. Thankfully, I rescued Jesus before the crumbs multiplied which they are wont to do. I sweep several times a day, but those pesky crumbs - they multiply. Hubs doesn't believe that I sweep that often because by the time he gets home from making a living everyday, it certainly doesn't look like its been swept....several times. Anyway, as I was saying, I got Jesus out from under the table and put Him back in His rightful place. Then, I finished hauling the two children and myself to the car so we could go buy groceries. As I sat in the car and was thinking about finding Jesus under my table, I laughed. It just sounded so funny. But then, I started thinking about how this week has gone for me. I definitely wouldn't classify it as one of my best weeks. I feel like I've been bombarded with one thing after another, like something is trying to rob me of my joy by throwing one thing after another at me. It has been tiring and discouraging and expensive. But I have been reminded more than once by that Still, Small Voice inside me that I need to find Jesus in all of these things that are happening. I need to bask in the joy of knowing He isn't surprised by any of these surprises. He saw it coming. He has been preparing me for these trials and has equipped me to handle them the way He wants me to....the way that will give Him glory. He has been faithful to me my entire life through great trials, joyful times, etc. He has never let me down and I know from experience that He doesn't plan on ever letting me down. Whatever trials bombard me, I know that they will not overcome me. I can always find Jesus in any trial or joy, I just have to be looking for Him. Today I found Him under my kitchen table, but I also found Him in His Word, in the encouraging voices of my family and friends, in the beautiful music exalting Who He is and in the sweet fellowship with my girls and husband. He is real. If you are looking for Jesus, you don't have to look far. He's waiting for you to call out to Him and He will show Himself real to you.
Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Blessings of an Ordinary Day

Today I choose to be thankful for ordinary days. You know, the days that all I have to do is conquer a mountain of laundry, clean bathrooms, wipe up spills, change diapers, feed 'starving' children, plan the week's worth of meals, get groceries with at least 2 kids in tow, etc. Days that my kids want me to stop what I'm doing and read to them or play games with them when I have a to-do list a mile long. Days that I seem to be wearing my referee shirt all day and my sanity is at a record low. I'll remember to be thankful that 'no news' is good news! And I'll thank the Lord for getting us through the day with few boo boos (I hope!). I will remember to thank Him for my health and do what I can to take care of myself and my family's health. Ordinary days are a real blessing. Sometimes I forget that. But not today.
I'm thankful that I get to take care of this cute thing everyday...

And cuddle with this sweet thing...


And have a sweet conversation with this ever-changing thing...
And welcome this great man home every night...

I am very blessed. Way more than I deserve.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update on Medical Mission in Haiti

For those of you who are praying for the Medical Mission Outreach team in Haiti, here is an update they posted on Facebook this morning. You can became a fan on Facebook if you'd like to keep up with them...

Monday - Jan 25th - Several hundred patients had been seen as of that update. Lots of broken legs, arms, hips, etc. A lot of surgical candidates and general medical needs.

Tuesday - Jan 26th AM - While preparing to open the clinic today, they noticed a mother and a very malnourished 3 yr old boy - he is in the end stages of AIDS. Tough start to the day. The clinic is crowded today. Second wave of problems is evident - many severely infected wounds due to the unsterile operating environments in the city. Keep praying!!

I know the team appreciates your prayers as it has been very emotional for them and for the patients and their family members.

Monday, January 25, 2010

DRUMROLL, PLEASE.....

The winner of the Paula Deen/Rachael Ray Giveaway is....

#86 Sandy @ Sandy's Space is the big winner of this fun giveaway!!! Sandy, you have 24 hours to contact me (I sent you a note through your blog). Otherwise, a new winner will be chosen.

If you love the Paula Deen and Rachael Ray items too much to let them go, you can purchase them for a great deal at CSN stores online. Go here. Go there anyway to check out their thousands and thousands of awesome name-brand products!!!

Thanks to all who commented and entered this giveaway! Come back often. You never know when you'll find another terrific giveaway!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Medically Necessary

I have some very tender-hearted and compassionate friends. I do. And right now I'd like to ask you to stop and pray specifically for three of them. Bradley, Kelleigh and Jeanie left today with a group of 25 people on a Medical Mission Outreach trip to Haiti. They are spending a week in Haiti as a surgical and medical team helping those who desperately need medical help. They will be working in 12 hour shifts, around the clock. So, please pray for strength and safety for all of these people. They will be at a secure mission compound and patients will be shuttled in. This team is not sacrificing their time/money just because it is medically necessary for these desperate Haitians. They are there for a greater cause...to share Christ with every person that comes in for their help. The temporary sacrifice they are making will make a difference in eternity. Please pray for them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ahhhh....Saturdays

I love Saturdays.

My three chickadees let us sleep in on Saturdays - usually til 8:30 or so. And now that I've said that, it won't happen tomorrow.

Hubs likes to make breakfast on Saturdays. Although, by the time it's done it's usually brunch and it takes til lunchtime to clean it all up. But, it's the one day of the week that we usually don't have to be somewhere.

Hubs lets me go out by myself on Saturdays....with no kids. All by my lonesome. It's refreshing. I can do whatever I want to do and take my time. It's such a luxury. I love it. The solitude. Nothing prohibits me from going wherever I want to go. I mainly window shop or go where I really need to go and get what I really need to get, but it's okay. I'm alone. And it is the only time during the entire week I get to be alone. It usually only lasts a couple of hours, though, and then I wonder what my fam is doing without me. So, I come back home to find everyone still in their jammies, but the kitchen will be sparkling clean. I love that.

I'm very much looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. So happy about that.

What do you on Saturdays?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Can Thank Me Later.

My giveaway is still going on until Monday! Go here to enter if you haven't already.

And if that isn't enough, my sister (who never fails to amaze) has another - YES, ANOTHER - awesome-you-cannot-live-without giveaway. WARNING: You may covet after you see it. I seriously think you are going to love it. I have one of my own. (Bet you can't guess where I got it?!?) I need.....er...want more. Top notch giveaway. High quality product. You just won't believe it. Get on over there and enter. Go.

Okay, since you haven't gone yet, here's a little somethin' somethin' for you to think about while you click the link.....


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blog Referrals

I enjoy reading blogs and normally I read the ones that I am familiar with, but every once in awhile I come across a new one that I find I really like. And when I remember to subscribe to their posts or 'become a follower' then I start reading them more frequently. My blog list is growing and I look forward to reading new posts when they're up. So, I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorites that aren't visible on my blog...
(Except for this one....)
1. Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss - is great! Not just because it's my sister's blog, but because it is a good read. You'll find How-To's, Great Ideas, and sometimes a personal note on there. Go check it out. You won't be sorry. Did you sign up for her GIVEAWAY that ends tomorrow night????

2. Blog Giveaways!! - Self-explanatory. How could you NOT love that blog??? Possibly a little time-consuming, but quite possibly a money-saver, too.

3. My Sweet Savings - If you are into saving money, this is great! I appreciate that Heather does all the work for me and I just do what she says and it saves me money and time. If you're not into saving money - shame on you! Get with the program. It's addicting.

4. Lauren Elise Designs - a friend of mine from years gone by. You should check out her great jewelry!! You'll love it. She's creative and super stylish! And affordable, I might add. PS - There's a giveaway over there right now!

So, go check out these great blogs! I'm totally a fan of promoting other people's blogs/businesses/giveaways when I have the time to do it.

Stay tuned for more....

Monday, January 18, 2010

We Go Way Back

Just thought I would share this pic from old times seeing how this friend of mine quite possibly will be in the Super Bowl this month....We were friends when he was made famous at my favorite SEC school - University of Tennessee. This pic was taken just days after he signed his contract to go Pro with Indianapolis Colts. GO COLTS, btw!

Yeah, Peyton and I go way back. I have this picture and his signature to prove it. Don't be hatin'. You know you love my '90s bangs, too. What can I say? I had to look my best on that 'date'. (Actually, it was more like my friend, Jules, and I stalking him and waiting in quite a line at the then-new Jared Jewelers in West Knoxville just so we could get his signature. Who knew we'd get to have our pics taken with him??) That's the closest I've ever been to a multi-millionaire.

THIS COULD BE YOURS!!!

TIME'S UP! SORRY YOU MISSED THIS GIVEAWAY, MAYBE THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SOMETIME SOON!!

Ok, so way back in November '09, I did a giveaway for My3Chickadees (my etsy shop that is still closed for the holidays...or until my motivation returns). Well, a reader signed up for my blog and invited me to enter her giveaway on her blog. Then, I ended up winning!! It was this cute, red pitcher. I love it! It's dishwasher friendly. I love that.
(Did I mention it's dishwasher friendly?)

I've used this cute pitcher several times already.

Anyway, the website that I won this great pitcher from sells all kinds of things from stools to diaper bags to the kitchen sink....literally. Thousands of items on their website will wow you. I had a blast looking through all the many, many types of products they offer. Go take a look at their website.

I really think you'll love their selection of Paula Deen and Rachael Ray things....two of my most favorite Food Network people! When I get to watch cooking shows those are the two that I really like the best. I picked out three items that I would love to have from these two peeps.


Paula Deen's 3-piece Chef's Knife Set:
Paula Deen's 13" x 18" Aluminized Steel Half-Sheet Pan with RED Silicone Insert Pad:Rachael Ray's 2-piece Tong Set in Orange:

These are three of my favorite things and I just wanted to show them to you...


and tell you....


THEY CAN BE YOURS!!!

To enter this giveaway:

Leave a comment on this blog entry and tell me which one you'd choose if you won!! (You can only pick one...sorry. But you are more than welcome to buy the other two that you don't win.) If you don't have a blog, remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!

This giveaway ends next Monday, January 25th at noon!!! Don't waste time...Enter now! Tell all your BFF's!

Also, don't forget to check out my sister's blog for another GREAT giveaway!! (Hint: Le Creuset)

I have a teenage nephew.

I keep saying this to myself today thinking it isn't possible!
How could this sweet little thing...
turn into this tall, handsome thing?? And SO QUICKLY???
(That is my sweet almost-teenager niece on the right.)

Happy 13th Birthday to my 'SWEET' nephew who likes to say 'SWEET!' a lot!
I love you, G.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Merry Heart Has a Continual Feast

There are not many people that I know that exhibit this on a continual basis, but there is one woman that stands out in my mind. Every thought I have of her displays her big, wide smile and her bubbly personality. She is a gem. She is someone I have known almost my whole life and I've known her through different sets of circumstances all of which she remained that joyful, bubbly person that everyone loved. Last Wednesday, around 5pm, she was greeted at the gates of Heaven and reunited with her own mom and dad, her first husband and many other loved ones. She struggled for 10 years with breast cancer and really fought a good fight. I learned of her death just moments later and all I could think of was how 'merry' she was. She had a blameless testimony. Her life was less than 60 years long, but she influenced countless lives and made every moment count. My family loves her. My parents told me stories about her this past week that I did not know. Stories that make me laugh because she laughed - a lot! Stories that make me thankful to know her because of the difference she made in my family's life when I was young. One of her dear friends said of her that if it weren't for her, they'd be on their way to Hell. She was golden. A true friend to her friends. A lover of God and loved by God. An example to me of how important it is to have a merry heart. My mom said to me as we were discussing Rita's life that Rita always had a continual feast because of her merry heart. And there is no other way to describe her. She was genuine...the real deal. I love her and look forward to her greeting me one day when it's my turn to enter the gates of Heaven. She'll be there waiting with her big grin ready to show me around and introduce me to all of her peeps.
Please pray for her family. Her husband, Leon. Her step-children. Her sisters, Vivian and Bonita. Her nieces and nephews, etc. She is greatly missed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

RED is my favorite color.

It has always been my favorite color for as long as I have had a favorite color. I like red everything. Red Skittles are my fave. Red Starburst, Red M&Ms, Red icing, red, red, red, red, RED! I love it. My dining room is red. Even my laptop is red. So, in honor of my favorite color being red, my sister is doing a giveaway. It entails Le Creuset, kitchen stuff, and RED. So, get on over to her blog and sign up!!! What are you waiting for???

PS - the giveaway isn't really in honor of my favorite color. I just thought it was a good way to introduce the giveaway. False advertising, I guess. Oh well, so sue me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Urge...

I suddenly have the urge to rearrange #1's bedroom furniture. Only problem is that Hubs is at work and I will be forced to use my own anything-but-brute strength to slide a huge 1930's solid wood armoire over about 4 feet to its right. Then, if any strength remains (and no pulled muscles ensue) move her little desk in its place while trying to not step on any tiny pieces of PlayMobil or Polly Pocket. I just need to move some furniture and make things look a little different. I've been contemplating moving #3's crib around, but am afraid it will ruin her impeccable sleeping habits and that is not something I'm willing to mess around with. I need my sleep. I also want to rearrange #2's bedroom, but not sure how I will do it, yet. I just suddenly feel crowded. I don't like crowded. We all need a fresh, new furniture arrangement every few months, don't you think? I'll post pics if I am physically able later.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year, New Opportunity

I've been reading through Romans recently and have been reminded of why I like that particular book of the Bible so much. I took a class in college all about Romans and it was one of my favorite classes. Romans is so full of practical help and second chances at relationships and choices, including the Ultimate Second Chance - salvation from sin. As I started reading through, I was reminded and yes, even convicted, of areas in my own life that I fall way short of how God wants me to behave. You can't even get through the first chapter without seeing your own sin and unworthiness. It's so easy to read Bible passages or sit in a church service and hear messages and immediately think of everyone in your life that 'really needs to hear this!'. It is way too easy to point a finger at others while completely ignoring the fact that the same sin is in your own life. I love that in Romans, God just spells out so clearly that we have no right to judge others because we're guilty of the same things we tend to look down our noses at others for.
I've witnessed the hurt of people who have been 'labelled' or deemed guilty of the sin they've committed and sometimes over things they haven't done. Sometimes when someone commits a 'bad' sin, we just want to write them off and completely detach ourselves from them lest we tarnish our own image. When a fellow Christian sins and it is made public to everyone around, we should not disassociate ourselves with them (when they are repentant) and just wish evil to come upon them. Neither should we be upset when things seem to be going well for them. We do not know what work God is doing in their hearts and we have no right to gossip about them or speak evil of them to any other person. Romans 2 states that the goodness of God leads to repentance. So, shouldn't we show goodness toward others no matter what spiritual state we believe them to be in? Our goal in every relation should be to bring people to a closer relationship with our Lord and Saviour. So, when we're busy talking about someone who has fallen short (aka. gossipping) we are not doing the will of God. We are guilty before God. James 2:10 states, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
This has weighed heavy on my heart for several weeks as the Lord brings to my mind people that I know and love that have been hurt by others in this way. May 2010 be the year we all begin to treat others the way God treats us.
And on another note - my church has started a series on Wednesday nights called "One Another". It is all about our relationships and how we treat one another, etc. I encourage you to listen to the messages here. The first one is called 'When One-Anothering Begins' and is dated 1/6/10.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Redefining Beautiful by Jenna Lucado



When I picked up this book, I knew that it was geared toward teenage girls, but since I have three girls myself I thought it would be interesting. I was pleased to read some good advice with references to the Bible although it takes a few chapters to get to that. Teen girls would enjoy the 'big sister' feel of this book written by Jenna Lucado, daughter of well-known Max Lucado. Jenna points out the way 'the world' views beauty versus 'inner beauty' and what God sees when He sees you. Uplifting and points girls toward the focus of real beauty.


I was pleased with this book and will most likely pass it on to my pre-teen niece since my girls are still young. I like for 'advice' books to be backed with Scripture and wasn't sure this one was going to be that way until about the 5th chapter. So, I was glad to finally see references to the Bible. It is a book that teen girls will read through quickly. I believe it will appeal to them and keep their attention. It is written on the topics that surround teen girls.


Good book!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Top 10 in 2010

Happy New Year (a day late!)

These are my top 10 resolutions for 2010.
(By the way, are you calling it twenty-ten or two thousand ten?? I'm torn!)

1. Spend more time talking with God everyday and more time listening to Him.

2. Procrastinate less.

3. Eat one healthy thing at every meal. And force my children to, as well.

4. Design a cookbook for my dairy-free, egg-free and peanut-free girl!

5. Exercise more (after I conquer #2)

6. Organize every room in my house!

7. Give more back to God - the Giver of all good things. Without Him, I have nothing anyway. Malachi 3:10

8. Entertain friends more often. Cultivate these golden friendships God has given me.

9. Prepare my child (and myself!!) for Kindergarten in the Fall! (aka - stock up on Kleenex)

10. Show my husband and girls how much I love them daily.

What are you working on this year??