Friday, December 31, 2010

I resolve...

to set one goal per month in 2011.

{maybe more often, if I am feeling ambitious -which isn't likely}

And I will accomplish that goal.

I will spend more quality time with my kids. Training them how to do domestic things like cleaning this house they live in, washing and drying dishes the right way, cleaning out the car, etc.

I {might} even do a few crafty things with them.

We will go places. Explore. Have picnics. And laugh a lot.

I will try new recipes. And my family will be the guinea pigs. The children will gag and Hubs will examine each new dish with a magnifying glass, but I will find some new dishes the whole fam can love. Oh yes I will.

I will {try to} be more organized. I type this while thinking of all the new toys {with tiny pieces} that the girls got for Christmas. We will be organized. We will be organized. We will be organized. Repeat.

There will be things I will go through this year that I cannot plan for. Trials, disappointment, heartache always get mixed in somehow. But I will trust in the Lord. His mercy will be new every morning. I will remember His faithfulness. I will recognize His unfailing love. I will not forget His goodness to me and my family. His grace will be sufficient. And He will carry me through. He always does.

I'm looking forward to this new year! A fresh start! A clean slate! It's going to be GREAT!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Future's So Bright....I Gotta Wear Shades

I have been thinking a lot about how prayer affects our lives. I know firsthand that it is powerful. I know from experience that praying as a group of Believers for a specific request is pleasing to God and He hears those prayers and delights in answering them. I know that sometimes I don't even know what to pray because I'm overwhelmed by a circumstance and the Holy Spirit Himself intercedes on my behalf and prays to God the Father my heart's inaudible cry. And He hears. And answers. I know that God answers every prayer according to His will and I try to always pray 'according to His will' knowing that He can already see what my blinded eyes cannot. He has my very best interest at heart.{My parents have taught me this my whole life.} And I believe that. There isn't a need in my life that He cannot meet. There is no battle He cannot win. No enemy that He cannot defeat. No trial He cannot see me through...and make me stronger as a result.
Recently, the transmission went out in my van and we were down to one vehicle {which isn't necessarily a bad thing} but the timing seemed terrible. Just two days before Thanksgiving and we were suppose to drive that van out of town. Hubs and I were a little bit discouraged, but decided to just pray and ask God to meet our need. We planned to keep it to ourselves and not tell people about it unless it became necessary, but just wanted to see God provide - as He has promised. It took nearly two weeks to get the van done because of the holiday and some minor details, but the day after the transmission went out {the day before Thanksgiving}, Hubs was going to have to work late and get his vehicle road-ready for our trip. The Lord laid it on someone's heart to have the work done for him on his van and he did not have to stay late or pay for the work. What a blessing that was! And something we had not even asked Him to do for us!! We were content to handle it on our own, but God decided to bless us unexpectedly. Later, when our van was finally going to be done, we had decided how we were going to pay for the transmission and AGAIN! the Lord met our need exceeding abundantly above what we expected Him to do. What a tremendous blessing to be a recipient of the pouring out of God's love and faithful provision! That was a huge burden lifted off of our shoulders even though we were purposefully trying not to fret over it. I cannot even express the joy and thankfulness I have over all that God has done for me and my family. He is so good to me.
Without trials, I would not recognize His grace. Without heartache and grief, I could not experience His comfort. Were it not for needs {financial, physical, emotional}, I would not know The Provider. Because of my weakness, I know His strength. Because of my sin, I have met the Saviour. Because of His Word, I have knowledge, my eyes are enlightened and my path is lit. My future is bright and full of hope!

PS - the Lord keeps providing by way of giveaways! Since my last post about giveaways, I have won 2 more!!! (worth over $100)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Art

This year I was inspired to make some Christmas art for my home. I love Red Letter Words and all the great prints she does, but I am not in a position to spend that much on art at this point in my budget. {Especially when I can copy it for a fraction of the cost.} So, I decided to make a fun one for my black and white half-bath downstairs in my home and what better color is there than RED for Christmas stuff?

The inspiration

I bought a 20x20 canvas from the Hobby Lobby. Painted it with a glossy red acrylic paint using a cheap bristle paint brush from the Walmarts. Let it dry. Then, measured and taped off the guidelines for each row. Finally, I took a smaller brush {actually it's my Hubs' brush that he uses for wood glue - Shhh...don't tell him. I cleaned it off really good} and painted the names of the reindeer. {Don't you think the reindeer get overshadowed by the big, jolly guy?} Freehand. That explains the not-so-crisp look of the letters. I like it, though. And now it hangs above the porcelain throne in the half-bath.

The amateur result

I have plans for another canvas for my mantle reminding us of the REAL reason we celebrate this joyful holiday! You'll see that later.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Year-Round Wreath

First try at the monogrammed wreath

I have been using the same wreath for over a year now on my front door. It's the BEST wreath ever. {In my opinion.} I first found it on The Nester's Blog which you can find in the righthand margin and adapted it to my liking. I love it because it is monogrammed and I just happened to have had a big 'M' laying around here that I had bought at TJ Maxx years ago because I knew it would come in handy....and it did. Here is my first post about the wreath sometime last year.

Wreath from this Fall {cell phone pic = way too bright}

You just take a large grapevine wreath and one the next size smaller, wire the smaller one to the front of the larger one and then add your stuff! I put my big 'M' right in the middle {after I spray painted it silver} and attached it with clear fishing wire. That baby is tied on there pretty tight and you can't even tell. Next, you add the greenery that you love and then flower or whathaveyou and hang it on your door. I hung mine from a wide wire-rimmed ribbon that I nailed into the top of my door. I'm not crazy about metal wreath hangers because they tend to scratch the paint off the door. This ribbon has been hanging there over a year and is still going strong. {Keep in mind that my door is covered by the roof of my porch, so you may need to use waterproof stuff if yours is out in the open.} I have changed out the floral stuff on my wreath for each season and just left the rest of it. It's like a 1-minute makeover for the front door.

Christmas Wreath 2010
{Walmart has these GREAT clip-on poinsettas for $1 each!!!}

I plan on keeping this wreath up forever....or until I find something else I love, but this does it for me....for now.