Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Oh, it's already a quarter of the way over...

This year has started out great so far, the Lord is revealing himself to me and growing me so much! There is so much racing through my mind, but in a good way. There are a few really hard things going on around me too.

I will share on a funny little thing first.

A few weeks ago I went to a wedding. It was so simple and beautiful. I met this couple while they were in high school and they have a funny little story. They have know each other since there were young and he always knew she was the one, it took her a little time realize it, but she knows now, and now they are husband and wife!

So, I am not on the cutting edge of fashion and would never claim to be "in" but I thought I knew how to dress for a wedding...

Well, apparently not this wedding. The bride is the most delightful, bubbly, super feminine, lady like, sweetest girl! She wears lace and pink and anything girly. So while deciding on a dress to wear I took this into consideration, plus it is now spring, so pastels work, right?? Wrong!!

This is what I wore

We took the older 2 boys and had special date time with them, while having a sitter for the younger 2, so I only have a phone pic to document.

I felt pretty ok as we arrived, then we started walking up to the line to sign the guest book. I noticed a lot of dark colors, but didn't think too much about it. Then we sat down and I looked around and I noticed a very high percentage of the women there were wearing either black or navy. 

I turned and mentioned this observation to my husband. He quickly read the insecurity that was starting to build and assured me I looked great. He played my little game though and with every woman that walked in we glanced at each other and smiled, because oh yeah, they were wearing dark colors too. Oh how i wish I had had a coat to cover up, ha!

The wedding was great and it was so nice getting to talk with people I don't normally have the opportunity to. And guess what??? The wedding wasn't focused around my dress choice, shocking I know! Not sure anyone even noticed I didn't fit in, but when I got home I did recheck the invitation to see if I missed something about attire, nothing there, I'm just that out of it, ha!

Now for a little of the hard stuff

A wonderful, lovely woman, that I am blessed to be able to call friend shared a status on her facebook account that made my heart sink.


Her name is Christina and at the age of 26 she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has since been going through treatments and surgeries to remove and shrink tumors on her brain, with successes. Her faith has only been strengthened by this journey. She was told and has known that this cancer would probably be what ends her life this side of Heaven. She has taken this news with such grace and courage! She feels lucky to have the opportunity to let inhibitions go and live the life that Christ has called her to live. A life where she lives the gospel out and loves in the purest.She is now 31, and during this journey she met a wonderful man that decided to walk this journey and share the ups and downs of this life together and they married, they had a beautiful son together this past November. My heart is heavy for her family, but at the same time you can just see Jesus permeating this whole situation. There is pain in the hearts of the ones surrounding her, but even stronger is a peace that is surpassing all understanding.

This status was from Saturday, the day of my baby's first birthday party. About 20 minutes before I saw this a friend and I were sidetracked from many conversations and somehow got on the topic of those close to us dying. A few years ago I met a woman in a bible study that had lost her son when he was about 20 years old, she shared with me that when it was all happening she hadn't realized, but looking back she can see how God had prepared her for what she was going to go through. Even through our conversation God prepared our hearts for the news we would soon be learning. Through text this friend shared a verse

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD is Rock eternal."
Isaiah 26:3-4

Christina lives several hours away and I don't get to see her nearly often enough! When I would see her though we had great talks, I haven't mentioned yet, but she is the FUNNIEST person!! So through many laughs and much sarcasm these are 2 big takeaways I have learned through our conversations

1) be present where you are, yes we should dream big, but take in and enjoy the now
2) don't let fear (of man) rule your decisions, you only get to live this life once, make it matter

I love you so much Christina!!


Love,
Erin

Monday, December 31, 2012

it's almost 2013

Bet you didn't know that! As one year ends and another one begins there is always reflecting over the previous year, successes, failures, trials, and triumphs. With this usually comes the question of what will I do different this year, or how will I strive to keep some things the same.

2012 was a big year for me, I became a new mommy for the fourth time (am I still considered "new mommy"?)! Also came many opportunities for growth, some of those opportunities were seized, and some not so much!

My goal last year was to live intentional. I want to be an intentional wife, mother, daughter, friend, and servant of the Lord. I still have a long way to go to reach  my goal, but the Lord has been so faithful in leading my steps and stopping me in situations to seek Him on how to react in situations. I plan to continue to work at that goal, and this year to add living for the Lord in a way that is even more obvious to people.

I think that sometimes people assume I follow Jesus because I dress modestly, don't swear, try to stay away from movies/music/entertainment/etc that doesn't honor the Lord, but I deeply desire to show people Jesus! I do believe that when your make Jesus the Lord of your life there are lifestyle decisions that can be different from others choices, but I want to unashamedly live like Jesus! Far too often I let fear stop me from doing what I feel God prompting me to do. It is so silly and doesn't make sense, these things are good things, and not far out there, but goodness I am good at twisting the situation and making up excuses on why I shouldn't speak up and help.That.Must.Stop.Now.

Psalm 25
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.

I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause. 

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, 
for you are God my  Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember,  Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord; 
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Who then are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, 
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!

Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame, 
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord, is in you.

Deliver Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!

My goal this year is to act on my fear of the Lord and not the fear of man! I will continue to be in the word daily and submit everything in prayer. The sermon I heard at church yesterday went though this Psalm, and the thing said that struck me most was when the Pastor said and reminded me of the fact

"Prayer can change anything and everything!"

I am so thankful for that! I made a little chalkboard frame that is now on my mantle that I plan to put little messages or verses on throughout the year. Here is a look at what it says now.


I am excited to see what the Lord puts on my heart to write on this board! But in the meantime...

Happy New Year!


-Erin


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wow! You are busy!

Oh the many, many times I have heard that being said in response to me telling them I have four boys, ha! I think it is code for, "Wow! You are crazy!" I never quite know how to respond, so I just smile and nod.

Truth is things are busy having four boys, but things are also so good! I am daily blessed by these little men!

This morning I came downstairs to a family room covered in cereal and toys everywhere. I did not take a picture, but this is not the first time this has happened, the first time it looked a little something like this.

just imagine the cereal spread all over the floor too!

The one thing that is the same from this picture and every other time this has happened, is that look of pride on the little boy that got his breakfast all by himself!

My "plan" before I saw the mess was to come downstairs and get some bible reading in while my boys played  nicely around me. Since there was no clean area on the carpet and I had the baby that needed to play, we can just say my plans changed. But so much blessing can be missed if I choose focus on the busyness that comes with four kids. So many smiles and opportunities to build up my kids would be lost.

I still was able to read my bible, not as much as I had originally thought and with many more disruptions than I had expected, but there was also love given by my sweet boys. The little one that made the mess kept saying, "Mama, I love you two... then three... then four... then six... then eight..." and so on! I am still giggling as I think on this.

A verse that through the many blessings I have been given (even put it on our Christmas card) is


Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them
psalm 127:3,5

So yes, I am busy!!! But I am so much more blessed!!! May you be blessed today!

-Erin



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

christmas decorating

This is our second Christmas in this house. When we were looking for a home to buy, secretly during each tour I would look around to see where a Christmas tree would look best. We have a front room with a bay window that looks onto the street, which of course would be a perfect place for a tree, but our fireplace is in our family room, which of course is a perfect place for a tree...

Last year my husband blessed his pregnant wife and we got 2 trees! This year I was torn between what to do, I had since rearranged the family room and there was no spot for a real tree. The week of Thanksgiving we received an ad for the hardware store and I found the perfect compromise, a little pre-lit, artificial tree. 


the boys decorated it all by themselves...


I had a  lot of fun things planned for the mantle, but just didn't have the time to get it done. I am good at copying other's ideas, so when i saw this blog post I knew I had all the supplies and now the pattern, so I recreated it, and made a chalkboard frame to go with it.




our little manger



my boys also decorated this pre-made (which made things way easier) gingerbread house.


our formal dining room



my husband made me this table!

And here is our big tree, not in the front of the window...





Our banister got a little decoration too.


my boys art from school



This year felt more like makeshift decorating, but I don't mind. Not that I am all bah humbug or anything, ha, I am just really appreciating the making of the memories. Every year I will know this house even better and the decorations can get even better, and maybe my kids won't be sick, so I can actually make it to the craft store for supplies, ha!

The real reason for the season is Jesus and celebrating his birth! I am especially grateful for the gift of salvation!!

Do you have any traditions or special decorations around your home?

-Erin

linking here and 

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

a golden birthday

Earlier this month my son turned 6 on the 6th. I had mentioned in passing to him that it was his "Golden Birthday" he was so excited at the thought of an extra special birthday! Anytime he would see something that was gold he would light up and say. "Mom, this would be perfect for my golden birthday party!" The pressure was on!

Luckily kids have great imaginations and can make something simple into something extraordinary. I shared some of my plans for the party. I knew they were lofty goals. I was so busy trying to get things finished by the time everyone got here I wasn't able to get any pictures of the decorations... so we can pretend it looks just as great as my inspiration!

he wanted a gold 6

The theme was a 'golden ticket' Willy Wonka party. We did our best with our 'costumes...'

I am a grown up Veruca Salt and my sweet boy is Charlie


Mike Teavee


not dressed up but look who's trying to crawl!


these two didn't dress up either, but they are both nice to look at!


I love how all kids huddle over the gifts, always makes me smile!





Happy Birthday sweet sweet boy, you are truly a gift from the Lord! You bring joy and laughter everywhere you go, Daddy and I are so amazed by you and proud of you!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made
psalm 139:14

-Erin




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

waaaay outside of my box

I am not the most daring of people, especially when it comes to how I dress. I see so many cute things and even different type things that look so cute on other people, and instantly think, "oh, I could never pull that off!"

So after a few years (it takes awhile for my courage to build) I got... bootie boots! Yes people, this is BIG news!!!





I am even wearing a snake print necklace, ha!

my boy that loves to get in on pictures, I'll take cuddles where I can get them!

So there you have it, things are getting crazy around here! 

-Erin 




pleated poppy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the time i wore my kids dress up


Yep, that actually happened. I had about five minutes to think of a costume for a party and my lovely boys loaned me their cowboy dress up. That's an official Woody vest and Mickey sheriff badge (that my hair is covering). I get crazy y'all, gotta watch us quiet ones, ha!

-Erin

PS Don't be too frightened, my gun isn't real...



pleated poppy