Monday, September 27, 2010

1,000 Gifts: #61-100

First I saw that Angie from Bring the Rain was doing this book with the Bloom Book Club and THEN I saw that Ann from Holy Experience was doing it, too, so I decided to jump in.

The book is called "Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives" and you can get it on

This is exactly the book I need for this new slower, more restful phase of life we're starting. This was our first "real weekend" at our new house and boy, did we enjoy it!

61:: an iced caramel coffee drink on a Saturday morning

62:: getting a pedicure with my mom

63:: the perfect shade of burgundy-red nail polish

64:: a baby shower with pink, ruffles, cupcakes, Winnie the Pooh and great good food

65:: not being pregnant

66:: a big-bellied mama, all smiles and glow

67:: giving the perfect gift

68:: buying that purple sheath dress at Drew's insistence

69:: size 8

70:: getting my hair to (almost) look like it did when I left the hair dresser

71:: Drew and Andrew going to get pancakes together

72:: the boys' outing being ruined by a poop incident--and no one really minding

73:: laughing about my grandmother, age 84, who has to put her lipstick on before she can go to Walgreens to pick up pictures

74:: a chubby 16-month-old sitting on the munchkin potty, proud as punch

75:: trying to type quietly

76:: inspiration from my dad

77: cracking up over chapter titles for my future book

78:: Angus burgers & tater tots

79:: an uninterrupted evening with my parents

80:: Sunday football

81:: a leisurely trip to the store

82:: a happy husband

83:: leg scratches

84:: the boys playing chase

85:: the actual pitter patter of little feet you hear in a two-story house

86:: figuring out why there was a screw in my cookie batter

87:: enjoying a new phase of life

88:: knowing I'm fertile

89:: being happy to gain 5lbs.

90:: posters and maps for the boys

91:: more sex

92:: being happy with doing less

93:: seeing both sides of the coin

94:: knowing that sometimes you do have to look back, to see how far you've come

95:: appreciating how very far I have come

96:: choosing to think positively about the future

97:: deciding what not to use in this house

98:: a new appreciation for "normal" days

99:: the occasional extraordinary day

100:: knowing tomorrow will be another amazing day

For more entries, visit Holy Experience

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Friday, September 24, 2010

This Day

Now more than ever, I appreciate "normal days." Normal is so, so wonderful and never to be taken for granted. When I feel well, everything flows smoothly, I'm home with my healthy kids all day and there are no crises, that's not just normal, that's a MIRACLE.

Focusing on living each day in God's grace (not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future) is also an excellent anxiety-preventer.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about "this day:"

"Nothing is more important than this day." -Goethe {the quote on the front of my gratitude journal)

"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve." (NKJV) Joshua 24:15

"This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (NKJV) Psalm 118:24

Today has been an amazing, blessed, one-of-a-kind day. Thank You, Lord, for normal days. May I always see them for the miracle that they are.

{I'm always adding to my you have any favorites??}

Monday, September 20, 2010

1,000 Gifts: #41-60

We talk of little else except where the furniture will go, whether to order cable or Direct TV, the stuff we still can't find, what we forgot to get at the store and how glad we are to finally be in a new place.

I want to get to the accessorizing phase but there is still work to do, still boxes to unpack.

I want to meet the neighbors, host a play date, plan a tea party, stamp all my books with "This book belongs to:" so I can start loaning out my favorites.

But the craft room needs organizing. Artwork needs hanging. Toys need bins and cosmetics need baskets and clothes need washing and dishes need homes.

I want to make a difference in this community. I want to impact lives. I want our family's presence in this neighborhood to be felt.

But I must wait.

So far, we're just "the people who finally moved in to that rental." No one here knows us. No one has come to visit. I feel guilty, that I haven't "done anything" yet.

But I feel the familiar whisper, that whisper to a woman who is a border-line legalist, who likes to-do lists and rules, who doesn't feel like she's earning her keep in this world unless she's working and working and striving and striving.

He says, "It's ok to unpack. It's ok to nest. Take your time. Make your home the haven on your dreams. Make it your own. Make it wonderful. Your mission can wait."

Sometimes it's my husband's voice saying, "Would you just relax??" My mother asked me last night, "Have you even sat on your new couch yet?" No. I've barely sat down at all.

One of the goals of this whole move was for me to stop DOING so much. Yet all I want to do is DO. I have to work at not doing all the time.

So I'm nesting now. I'm rearranging and beautifying and making this place feel like I actually live here. And just doing that, for now, is enough.

41:: Pirate Andrew, third in line for face painting.

42:: enjoying an afternoon with my son without being behind a camera the whole time.

43:: attending a lavish birthday party.

44:: a new fall wreath, after I'd just hung te empty hanger on the door the day before and wondered what I'd put there.

45:: knowing God is real. Really knowing.

46:: chocolate cake, homemade by my mom.

47:: feeling "lighter" at church.

48:: fantastic worship.

49:: people who are genuinely interested in how I'm doing.

50:: getting the date wrong for a party and it working out for the better.

51:: Reading "Good Girls don't Have to Dress Bad" by Shari Braendel in one morning in my new Morning Room.

52:: resolving to stop apologizing for wanting to look fashionable and amazing.

52:: making a hair appointment with a new gal.

53:: looking out at my tree-lined street from the laptop.

54:: boys wrestling on the bed.

55:: leftovers from On The Border.

56:: sweet iced tea.

57:: Saturday McDonald's breakfast with my boys.

58:: being a minority sometimes.

59:: buying beer for my dad.

60:: Andrew's love of birthday parties.

Read more at Holy Experience

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We who are loved much

At 11:11, I was face down on the floor in this room, the Tree House Room, the office/craft room in the new house. The room where I will read, craft, pray.

I was listening to this song...

...after reading

this post at Holy Experience.

I was praying for these people...

...and all the people in our new community. The people we will be serving in this new season.

"We who are loved much, serve much."

My Tree House Room has been christened in tears of gratitude. I have never felt more loved.

So I have a lot of serving to do in this new place.

holy experience

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Moving {surprises}

Tonight was the first time I went to our rental house since we toured it last weekend. My hubby had been taking loads of boxes over in the van all week then tonight we took over all the kitchen boxes I packed today.

Can I tell you how many times I've opened the drawer for a spoon or fork to find it empty?? At least five.

My hubby did it tonight, too. "Huh. No utensils? I was about to say that it seems like the stuff you'd pack way at the end, but....I guess it is way at the end."


The Big Moving Day is Saturday so, yes, we are at the end. SURPRISE! It's here!!

The reality of the new kitchen being half the size of my current one is hitting home. There are several more boxes to unpack and my cabinets are full. And I didn't even unpack my pots and pans yet!!

SURPRISE!! I have waaaay too much kitchen stuff. I also have two boxes just of coffee and tea that have no home! I've got to do some re-prioritizing.

Then there's the stairs. I only went up to turn off the lights my son turned on and coming down, it hit me: this is my new home.

Stairs are my reality now. SURPRISE! I'll be doing the up-and-down routine hundreds of times in the next year.

But the highlight of the night was arriving at the house to discover painting supplies in the dining area. "Uuummm....Hoooneeeey??" I inquired.

"What??" My hubby asked, feigning innocence.

"Are we painting??"

We had decided to leave the red wall in the living room/dining room red. There was too much time, money and effort involved in changing it when the red was perfectly fine, especially just for a year.

"I told you we didn't have to paint that wall!" I reminded him.

"It's my new house, too, y'know," my hubby reminded me, mostly kidding. He knows I love green. He knows I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the red wall. But I was willing to work with it, rather than inconvenience anyone.

So my precious husband went to the store and picked out the perfect shade of green. The color? "Fresh Guacamole." It will go perfectly with my avocado posters in the kitchen. It is an amazing shade of green.

My husband didn't want me to settle, even for "just a year."


I need to stop settling so easily. Life is sure full of pleasant surprises and I get the feeling that I'm in for a lot of them this year. Let the adventure begin!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

1,000 Gifts "Moving On"

We're moving.

We're actually moving out of our house, the house we had built as newlyweds seven years ago. It's the house my sister-in-law lived in with us for six years, the house we brought our babies home from the hospital to, the house where we've hosted Christmas dinner and a dozen tea parties and made a million memories.

And we're moving. Like...this week.


A week from now, we'll be spending the night in a different house.

And it hasn't sunk in yet.

I am excited! I really am.

I am looking very much forward to starting a new phase of life for our family. I know that God is leading us along and He has blessed our journey immensely in the last few months.

We asked for God to lead us, to open and close doors. The house we fell in love with on 3.25 acres that backed up to a mountain? Was rented out to someone else. Door closed. We only had one family see our house and they put in an offer and are so excited to move in. Door open. My friend's rental a block away? It won't be vacated in time. Door closed. A rental 3 miles from my husband's job, with four bedrooms and 2.5 baths that even has a "morning room" like the one I have now? Available, adorable, affordable and move-in ready. Door open.

Turns out the door He opened on our next home is green, my favorite color.

God has answered our prayers. We know He is directing our steps in this process to simplify, down-size and refocus on what's important.

And at some point, probably very soon, I will realize how much I'll miss this place. It will eventually hit me.

But for now, I decorate the new house in my mind. In my imagination, between wrapping tea cups in newspaper and stacking books in diaper boxes, I choose paint colors, I accessorize and I move furniture. I think about where we'll put the Christmas tree this year and the beachy artwork I'll hang in the downstairs powder room and the neighborhood ladies that will come over for playdates. I picture crafting upstairs while the boys play in the loft. I think about hosting Andrew's birthday party in the "tot lot" at the end of our block.

I know it will be amazing because God is in it.

21:: free boxes from friends

22:: my sister-in-law offering her guest bedroom and garage as storage

23:: my next craft room feeling like a tree house

24:: knowing how many people have prayed for us during this process

25:: praying for our future neighbors

26:: having a whole new neighborhood in which to spread the Gospel

27:: knowing there are no coincidences, only God-incidences

28:: thinking about how little "stuff" we actually need for the next year

29:: my grandmother being excited about seeing our new place when she visits

30:: not feeling stressed during a stressful time

31:: moving 70 avenues away, which isn't that far

32:: being just far enough away to really be "getting away"

33:: the prospect of a fresh start

34:: going where no one knows you

35:: being closer to my folks

36:: deepening our trust in the Lord

37:: decorating with a new color scheme

38:: a rental that's move-in ready

39:: parents who come to see our new place

40:: knowing that with God, there's no such thing as a downgrade

Check out more lists at
Holy Experience

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