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 

five days five ways | feature friday free for all