July 30, 2014

Moving | A reason


This is the state our house is in at the moment. Nearly everything that reminds me of this place being home is now packed away to be undisturbed for a few weeks. At first it didn't bother me to leave, but now everything seems so uncertain. Was it the right choice to leave this place we've called home for a year?

 Mornings are marvelous here. The sun greets me in the mornings, practically spilling into every window in the kitchen and sunroom. My heart is continuously overflowing with awe at the splendor I witness here.


Although we overlook a golf course, from this top floor we've spent many days watching the wonders outside this wall of windows. Favorite moments we've spent together, enjoying a winter filled with snowfall. Watching the snow drizzle and drape across the dormant lawns in our backyard was a sight only those from condos above could appreciate. As the snow blanketed the earth, we also covered ourselves with anything bringing warmth, never realizing all those memories would never be duplicated again. Never would we sit there in that warm place and watch the cold surround us. There would never be another winter at those glass windows. They are cherished memories now. Memories from this special place for one excellent year.


So many memories were made for our family in this place. Maybe this is why I find leaving it so bittersweet. It was merely a rental, but it was home because we made it to be.

I don't know why I'm more attached to this place over the others we've been in. But I am. Maybe because now Andrew and I are growing up. We are ready to settle instead of wandering. We are ready to root our being into one earth and watch the soil settle, sprout, and blossom into the likes we've not yet had the vision to create ourselves. We are ready for a permanent place to change with the backdrop of our life. I'm ready for a place to call forever, that will be home to some cold, but mostly warm memories. I do not want to make memories, but I want to build on memories.


July 28, 2014

Humbled | Worship


I love my church. I love the pastors and I love the people who congregate there. My church is not perfect.  In fact, they are a people who you will find many faults in. Yes, you and I both have them: faults. That is why you should feel welcome there.

Over the recent weeks, the church has been diving into and listening to sermons on worship. This is a subject so near to my heart. I am so humbled in worship by how much God longs to be intimate with me, and it tugs at my heart strings. Worship is so powerful in song and with the giving of our lives. 

Place value in Him. When we are sincere and true in worship, when we allow worship to move beyond a command and into a response to a worthy God, it is in these moments you find your feet dancing, your hands welcoming, and a song bursting forth from your lips. Your acts move from command to a spiritual response, not because of obedience but because of awe. He wants you to come to him in worship because you are in awe of him.

Isaiah 29:13  The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

Even in Isaiah, peoples' mouth and lips honored God, yet they lacked a heart response to Him. God wants our heart. He is jealous for it. Would you choose the lover with chains or the lover with the sincere heart? God wants our sincere heart.

Worship carries with you wherever you go. Worship is not just a once a week encounter with God during a church service. Although church worship with fellow believers can be powerful, worship carries into our being, our everyday walk through life as we offer up our spirit to the Lord. God wants a spiritual encounter with you all the time.

Romans 8:16: The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

There is a heart response in worshipping God. Allow yourself to be humbled by His greatness and enjoy His desire and longing to be closer to you. Allow God to share and reveal things in your life. He wants to do that for you because He is attached to you. He thinks you're lovely and wonderfully made.

Song of songs 2:16: My beloved is mine and I am his... "

July 23, 2014

DIY | Mason Jars | Flowers | Chalkboard










Here's how we did it. I say "we" because a friend of mine also made her own, and later Andrew came home to see we were in need of brute strength for the nails. He devoted his time to helping us arrange the steel clamps and screw them in place. Unfortunately for us, the nails were too long and went straight through the board and into the table. It's a good thing we had a black sharpie to fill the hole in our table. Just to be on the safe side, be sure when you buy your nails that the length is right under the depth of your board.

The first thing we did was paint the board with chalkboard paint. Your board could be old or new, wide, tall, or whatever length you choose. We waited a few hours for it to dry, then screwed in the clamps and tightened the jars into place.

After days of looking at this project against the wall, I decided to rough it up with a sanding pad to make it look worn and dated. Originally I was going to use it as an herb planter, then decided on flower vases. It turns out I don't have a green thumb, but then how could I when I forget to water the poor plants until they're already browning. I'm basically not a planter, but I love to watch things grow.





This project was easy and I am excited to have some fresh flowers on display. Andrew is not a huge fan of big bouquets in the middle of the table, so this gives us both what we want. Not to mention, these jars can literally hold anything. Switching out the flowers for pencils and crayons when the school year begins might be a great option as well. 




July 22, 2014

Fireworks | A holiday redo



Our 4th of July was spent with sweet friends. The day was sunny and perfect in all aspects, but our city decided not to have the fireworks display because of the predicted bad weather, which passed us by and left no trace on the day of the fourth. Even so, the city rescheduled the fireworks for late July. 

We so enjoyed watching the bright lights in the night sky and I never get tired of seeing Meredith's reaction to it all. 


















July 18, 2014

CHICKEN AND TOMATO PIE | delicious

I always get excited when Meredith tries new foods. She has been such a picky eater in the past and there's usually nothing I can do about it, except to tell her that's what's for dinner. Then, of course, I feel like a bad parent for making my child eat something she nearly gags when she eats. Her reaction to food is NOT a testament to how good my cooking is. It literally means she'd rather be eating chicken nuggets soaked in ketchup. Anything lacking the chicken nugget exterior produces a gawkish face from her.

Recently I made the same gawkish face when a friend of mine openly tried to persuade me to come over for a bite to eat, which consisted of tomato pie. The persuasion was taking place via text message, but I'm pretty sure she understood what was going on on my end of the phone because the emoticon I used prompted a sure response of "No, it's really very good!" I knew I could trust her opinion since my husband and I nearly lick our fingers every time we eat at her house.

I visited with her based on the knowledge that I didn't have to finish what I didn't like, and I knew she wouldn't be offended. My full intentions were to at the very least try the tomato pie. After all, I do always tell Meredith that she isn't allowed to say she doesn't like something unless she tries it first.
I'm guessing from my approximate stares, squinty eyes, and unsure face, my friend knew I was skeptical but she reassured me it was great.

To my surprise, I loved it.
The only thing I did different was add shredded chicken on the bottom so the juice from the tomatoes will soak into something other than the pie crust.
You can find the recipe here.











July 2, 2014

Under the Water | POOL ADVENTURES

There's something about using a turn-and-click disposable camera that brings me back to the days of old. It's nice to just point, shoot, and do it all again without contemplating what the picture looks like. I guess there's a freedom that comes with it.

Meredith and I purchased a water proof camera two summers ago to take in the water with us. You can see it here. This year we did the same thing. Some friends of ours joined us for our pool adventure.
















June 27, 2014

My Heart | Georgia

These are my babies. Well, some of them. I have exactly two nieces and two nephews, all of which I love and miss dearly while I'm here in Virginia and they are in Georgia. Last week I had the opportunity to visit with my family in Georgia and the time there melted my heart to a puddled mess on the floor. When I left yesterday, that puddled mess stayed with these children in hopes they would continue to remember me until we meet again in another six months. A piece of my heart belongs to them and one day they will know how much I love them. What wouldn't we do for our beloveds?
Below are the pictures I took of Logan and Keira while I had the opportunity. I only wish this could happen more often.