October 26, 2011

Quotes That Speak For Themselves

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say" 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Holding a grudge
is letting someone live rent free in your head"

"We are free to choose
but We are not free from the consequences of our choices"

"Great minds discuss Ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people"
~Eleanor Roosevelt

"The greatest thing a father can do for his daughter is love her mother"
~Elaine S Dalton

"To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong"
~Joseph Pearce

"Always be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle" 

Chandelier Beauty

Here is some gaudy adoration & goodness for your day!

I love these!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this elegant/barn mix

October 22, 2011

My Favorite Deal Sites

There are so many websites these days that have discounts anywhere from 50-90% off retail price, be it vacations, children's clothing or toys, restaurant gift cards, spa services, car care, etc. Many of them give you an instant $5-$15 credit just for signing up. It's free to join. Painless. And you get coupons delivered right to your email inbox. How easy is that???

These are some of my favorites:

This is a daily deal that has any and everything Save More

Any and everything Groupon

For Moms & Kids Zulily

Any and everything site Plum District

Adventures, restaurants, vacations, etc. Living Social

The Wonderful World of Frames

I love frames!

I love all of the different things one can do with frames to add to the decor. Paint them, add cork or chalkboard, fabric, mirrors, add burlap to matte to make a pottery barn look, etc.

Chalkboard Frames

Wall of just frames

Frames within Frames

Fabric Frames

October 17, 2011

On My Therapy List

Crafting = Therapy

 Cute Monogram/Button ideas

Source: etsy.com via Laura on Pinterest

Is this scarf gorgeous or what!?

Seriously, how cute & easy is this!?

Source: etsy.com via Laura on Pinterest

Line a cookie sheet with contact paper & make a cute little magnet board

Source: bhg.com via Laura on Pinterest

Or spray paint some cookie sheets

Twine or yarn wrapped letters

Source: etsy.com via Laura on Pinterest

A penny for your thoughts? Nickel Inspired art


Source: google.com via Laura on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Laura on Pinterest

October 7, 2011

Share Your Love Story

It began over 12 years ago. I had been dating the nicest guy. He treated me like gold. It was the perfect example of the "it's not you, it's me" scenario. It wasn't him. It was all me. I couldn't like this nice guy and I didn't know why.

I used to be so picky, so annoyingly, easily "grossed out" & picky. It didn't take much. I once had the nerve to walk over to a guy after a nice expensive dinner, while picking out a movie, to tell him "I think I just want to go home." The reason? The way he stood & the way his butt looked in his pants.

It's not that I thought my poo didn't stink or that I was better than anyone. I was just that picky & could not bring myself to like anyone that showed interest in me.

I scared myself a bit when I couldn't like this guy who didn't do anything wrong. Someone who treated me perfectly.

So I prayed, a sobbing prayer. "God, please...PLEASE, when the 'one' comes along please tell me so I don't ruin it." I honestly thought I'd never get married. I was only 19. But I was THAT picky & that mean to nice, innocent guys who didn't deserve my games.
Sitting in church one morning I look to my left & golly, if I never heard God clearer! "That is your husband". Sitting in a pew up front was this 6 foot 2 inch, 160 lb tall, drink of water. I'm talking long, lengthy sip.


"Okay, God".

I meet the guy eventually. His name is Jeremy (surprise, surprise).
And weird of all weird, I don't pick him a part.

We begin to hang out with the same friends. I was a youth leader & he a youth intern.  The more I got to know Jeremy & the more I actually started to like him. Really Like him.

But I wasn't ever going to tell him my God moment months earlier. NEVER.

My like for him grew...And his obvious like for me grew, though he tried to fight it. After months of friendship we began to "hang out" more and more until it was every day just us. He would do goofy things like "drive past my work downtown & tell me to look out the window". He "put worms on my car" like a little junior high boy. Phone calls, he always the "caller".

After worms & innocent stalking, it was clear, this guy likes me too.

I refused to ever say anything regarding feelings & all that jazz. I told God, "Lord, if he is the one, then he has to make the first move & he has to be the first one to say something".

Lo & Behold, he eventually did. We had the whole "What's going on with us?" chat.

Engaged 6 months later...
Married 3 months after that...

Now almost 11 years & 3 kids...God was right. This is the one for me.

No one else can put me in my place like my big daddy. And no one can whip my strong-willed husband into place with attitude that can cut like a sword, other than me.

I never did tell him I knew he was the one, until after we were married. I had to allow God to work every single detail out.


October 3, 2011

Miracles Are Still For Today

Nothing causes more boldness than when we are faced with an absolute tragedy. My husband said "What if God were only as big as our prayers?". I feel like we go in cycles when it comes to prayer, at least I do. Like most things, we have good bouts and bad bouts. What I long to do though is pray bold prayers continuously. Not just when faced with some sort of desperate need. Bold prayers that show just how big my God is. Bold prayers that intercede. Bold prayers that causes faith to rise up that'll move mountains.

Here's what I know: God is able. God is the same God today as He was yesterday. God is the God of the old and the new testament. Healing wasn't just for yesterday. Miracles are not a thing of the past.

Miracles are for today and God doesn't keep track. It's not like "oh, well, God did this in my life so now I can't ask Him for that". We can ask God for anything. As a matter of fact, He longs for us to just ask Him for whatever we need. We cannot compare God to an earthly authority. God is bigger than that. He will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves over, and over, and over again.
All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think Ephesians 3:20
On December 3, 2009 my precious little brother, whom I love to infinity and beyond, was in a terrible car accident with 3 of his best friends the first snow storm of that year. We were living in MN at the time. When I got the phone call I immediately felt desperate beyond all else. 
I was beyond distraught, scared completely out of my mind. We were out that night at a Staff Christmas Party and had a babysitter at home. I checked my voice mail thinking it was in regard to our kids. 
My dad's voice was on the other end and I will never forget it: "Honey, you need to call me right away, Andy has been in an accident, he is being taken in an ambulance, he's not breathing on his own." 
Talk about pleading with God.
I sat in the Maggiano's bathroom stall just sick to my stomach, crying, gathering the troops by texting every person imaginable calling on my prayer warriors to just intercede.
I walked out to more bad news.
Jeremy had gotten a hold of my dad, It's not looking good. Andy has bleeding on his brain, he is in surgery.
We headed home trying to figure out the best way to get me to Milwaukee. "Please God don't take him." "Please God don't take him." "God, please. Please." "God we need a miracle." "Touch Andy in the name of Jesus." "Please, please, please, please." I pleaded.
ruptured spleen (removed), brain bleeding and swelling, fractured pelvis, holes in lungs, punctured from broken ribs, lacerated liver, uncontrollable fevers.
Andy made it through the night.  
His friends did not. "Oh Lord, hold & comfort their families"
I left the next morning, Dec 4. Headed to Milwaukee, desperate to see my brother. Scared out of my mind that I'd get a call on my way that he didn't make it. I was alone with my thoughts, fears, and God. God who kept me calm.
I fiercely jet into that hospital like no other, my parents and siblings were altogether. 
I went in to see my baby brother, Andy.
This was the first day of a boldness I, by no choice, had to possess. There was no way around it. I need my brother. I might just die without him. I was so desperate. We all were. So distraught. Yet so strong in the Lord. We had to be. My family, though scared out of our minds, had to lean on what ounce of faith we could muster up.
Every phone call received held the fear that on the other end was news of death.
Every moment was a walk on eggshells.
The doctors were looking to see whom Andy's organs would go to. Outlook: Impossible. Unspoken, but seemingly obvious prognosis: He won't make it. By every science imaginable my brother shouldn't have been even hanging by the thread of life that he clung to. 
Day 2 that I was in Milwaukee I stood over my brother praying, reading scripture, singing songs of healing, and all of a sudden  had a peace come over me like I have never experienced before. 
I knew then and there, my brother was going to live. God was going to do a miracle. 
I remember walking out to the ICU waiting room and telling everyone, Andy is going to be fine. And we all spoke that same prognosis. God's prognosis. We had to have faith that could move this mountain.
Every obstacle we turned over to the Lord. God was with us every step of the way. When we'd take a baby step forward then a gigantic leap back, God was there.  His love, peace, strength, & healing encompassed our every being. There were so many bumps along the way. 
5 weeks I spent in Milwaukee. 5 emotionally exhausting weeks. If Andy made it, we didn't know if he'd ever talk or walk. His brain injury was so severe. 
Andy is alive today. He is restored. He's a brilliant human being. His intelligence was restored. He walks and talks. 
Andy and me at his HS graduation June 2010
Andy and I summer of 2011
I know that not all of our bold prayers have the outcome we desire or hope for. I know We are blessed to have our Andy. I know not every bold prayer ends with a miracle. I don't know why or that we will know the answer to that on this side of heaven. Nor do I understand everything. But, I do know, miracles are for today. Andy isn't a survivor by chance. He is a survivor because of bold prayers. He had thousands over the nation praying for his healing. We witnessed miracles upon miracles first hand as we read scripture over Him and believed God is the God of the impossible. 

Matthew 5:34 "Your FAITH has healed you!" 

I know what it's like to have only my faith. I know what it's like to plead out of desperation. I know what it's like to see someone so close to death. 

I know what it's like to have to be bold with our prayers even if we don't feel it!

I know the importance of speaking positively about a gloomy situation when all else looks dim. Faith. Faith heals because I have witnessed it and experienced it.