Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year!!

As I look back on my New Year's posting from last year  http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2012/12/resolutions-anyone.html it is amazing to see how God worked in my life. I am teaching yoga classes again and organizing a mom's ministry for our community. Both of these things have been a blessing for me.

2013 seems to have flown by, it has been a great year, I am blessed more than I deserve. I have a wonderful amazing hard working husband who also puts his family first! I love being Ryan's wife! I have two beautiful smart children, and they make me want to be a better mother each day. We live in a pretty great place, what is really great is we have placed down roots, finally after moving around for 8 years! We have a wonderful church family, that we enjoy spending time with, and I am thankful to all of them. Many of them have been there in prayer, support, and encouragement, definitely has helped deepened my faith. I have a wonderful family and great fiends that I can count on. So for the New Year of 2014 what could I ask for, really nothing that I don't already have. 

My heart desires a deeper relationship with the Lord and I know with that only goodness can flow from it! I want to glorify God in all I do; as a wife, parent, being a friend, serving in ministry, yoga, grocery shopping, just every day living, etc... Now I know that I won't always get it right, thank God for His grace! 
John Piper says it perfectly "When Jesus becomes greater in the world and I become lesser in the world, my joy increases. And when this is the purpose and plan of Jesus himself, it is not egomania. It’s love."

This is the Bible verse I will focus on:

He must become greater; I must become less. - John 3:30 NIV This is the Message version: This is the assigned moment for Him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines. and KJV He must increase, but I must  decrease.


Still my favorite verse I always go to when I worry or don't know what to do: 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6
My favorite verse ties together well with my focus verse of the year, I will continue to trust the Lord and seek His wisdom, while Jesus becomes greater in my heart! 

In 2013 I have struggled with a bit of distraction and feeling unbalanced. When I feel like that I realize I do not have my focus or heart prioritized right, therefore I must decrese. I feel one thing that will help with feeling less distracted will be less Facebook, I have been feeling this way the last few months. If I want more of God and to be the best wife, mom, etc...I need to make sure my attention is on them. This year I followed a blog that spoke to my heart and I desire to be more hands-free, maybe you will join me too. http://www.handsfreemama.com/  So I will apologize in advance if I miss something you share on Facebook, I hope instead you will call me with news, send me a personal email/snail-mail or better yet stop by if you live close, I don't want to miss important news. However I will still be writing on my blog (or at least that is the plan), I love sharing our life with my family who lives far away and it is the best way for me to do this. I also love to write and share, it helps me process things on my heart, though not all those things make it on my blog, because not everything in life needs to be shared on the internet. 

I am going to continue to organize and purge things we do not use or need, this really helps clear the mind. This year I am going to try and do some crafting, something I use to enjoy doing before kids and now that they are a little older they will be able to help. Maybe I will share some of those on the blog, that is if they turn out good, because even though I enjoy it, my crafts don't always turn out great! It's a process! I plan on reading lots of books, it is one thing I enjoy when I have quiet time.

Really I am looking forward to 2014 because this year I turn 40!! I know most people dread it, but I am excited, the hubby and I are planning a getaway for my BIRTHDAY, without kids!! I want to be sure to enjoy life to the fullest, God desires that for us too. Every good and perfect gift is from Him and I want to rejoice in it all!

So what will your focus be for 2014? I know some focus on one word, others write goals or do New Year's resolutions. Whatever it is we decide to do, let's encourage one another! 

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:23-25
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:11


Wishing all my friends and family a wonderful blessed 2014!! 
xoxo
 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Break

What do you do during Christmas break? First I love not having school, we don't have to get dressed and rush out the door in the morning and this mama stayed in her pj's all day today! My children love playing together, though they have their moments.

Well we had our movie night. Every Friday night is movie night with Abigail, this Friday we watched Mary Poppins! Now if that doesn't bring back some memories....just a spoonfull of sugar...



We have been playing with new toys~cars, games, coloring, and the piano keyboard. Abigail is getting good at Connect 4! Watch out grandparents when you visit, she might challenge you to a game, remember how competitive she is with Candyland!

Also we play dress up, Abigail is always playing dress up and putting on some theatrical performance. Today Aidan decided to join in on dress up fun and got out his spiderman cape.


In a couple days the hubby and I will celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary, can't wait for date day!!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Blessed!!

December is a a busy month at our front door as presents and yummy treats arrive from our family through out the month via the mailing system. Christmas Eve we opened all our presents that arrived. I took a ton of pictures for our family, but here are just a few to share to all.

Abigail opening her presents.

Aidan opening his presents and Bear patiently waiting to see what is for him.

The hubby opening his presents and posing! 

 Yes that is me opening presents, while Abigail pops bubble-wrap!

This was the after effect, mama had some cleaning to do.
 
Christmas eve night we took a drive to see Christmas lights one last time before people put them away and the hubby and kids prepared a plate of cookies and milk for santa. 
This morning, I waited patienly for the kids to wake, which is not normal, Aidan is my alarm clock but this morning he slept in, must been all the excitement from Christmas Eve or maybe it was his Christmas gift to me!
 To keep it simple, we get our kiddo's three things from santa, one thing they need, one thing to play with, one thing educational, plus stocking full of goodies. 

Abigail surprised!

Aidan digging in his stocking!

Of course we can't forget Peter and Bear! 

 I might regret this present later, but the whole family is having fun! The hubby even took it away from the kids to play and Abigail had to ask for it back!


We are blessed beyond measure! Thank you God for the best present of all!!
We must not forget what this day is really all about, when I asked the kids this morning, they both answered Jesus. I think it is so sweet how Aidan says baby Jesus! Well time to cook our big Christmas meal and enjoy some more play-time! Later today we will have our Happy Birthday Jesus cheesecake!




Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

To all our friends and family:
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!
 May you all be blessed and filled with the peace of the Lord!!







P.S. I tried really hard to get all three to look at the camera at the same time, maybe next time :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Christmas Focus

This Friday posting a few inspiring things to help us put our focus on Christmas. It is just 6 days away! I am ready and excited, we are spending the next few days enjoying some relaxing days, listening to Christmas music, crafts, looking at lights, and preparing for our Christmas meal! But most importantly remembering the true meaning of Christmas!

Music:
Mary Did You Know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN70R-3ao0U
Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbjJxC9Atu0
O Holy Night http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNpeztMwiXQ

Church Program, Out of the Box Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdJ2Yy9N4o

Amazing Grace Christmas Lights  http://www.youtube.com/embed/mnk0KjWxgMA


Twas The Night Before Christmas...The Greatest Gift One Can Get...Love...see more at: http://timewarpwife.com/?p=1325

Teaching Christmas to Young Hearts...see more at: http://timewarpwife.com/?p=1315

Free printable...http://howtonestforless.com/2013/12/05/jesus-is-the-reason-for-the-season-free-christmas-printable/


Free coloring sheet..Happy Birthday Jesus http://www.freefunchristmas.com/christmas-coloring-pages/happy-birthday-jesus-coloring-page/


Wishing all my friends and family a very Merry Christmas!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas programs and fun!!

It has been a busy blessed week celebrating the Christmas season.

Saturday Abigail and I had a birthday tea party to go, it was a blast! On Sunday our Sunday school celebrated Christmas together with food and a fun Christmas present swap. I love my church family!! Makes living away from family a little easier this time of year.  Then later that night, was the children's church musical program and Out of The Box Christmas, it had a great message and some fun humor by some of our little's and Abigail is included in that entertainment. She also got to play a princess, so perfect for her, as she is always dressing up as one at home. It was a blessing to watch!! Then Monday the kids had their preschool Christmas party and program. I always love going in and watching the kids interact with there friends and teachers. They had a lot of fun and the hubby and I enjoyed watching them! This was Aidan's first year performing, I think the preschool teachers may have been a little wore by the end of it, but it was wonderful and had some great laughs. A few of the children wanted to try out the piano for themselves and little man wanted to ride the cow! Yeehaw, I say!! In parenting I have learned you must have humor and I know God has one too! I know many were blessed by the music, message, and prayer. All the praise and glory goes to God!

I am still uploading video's and will email those out to our family, there are 6 of them, we are proud of our kiddos!! I will also post one or two of them at a later time. However I do have some cute snapshots to share with you.
Birthday party fashion show!

I tried to get a good picture of the two of them together before Abigail's performance, but little man didn't want to partake. 


Church preschoolers performing!

Church musical program!






Again I tried to get a picture of the two of them all dressed for Christmas program, but failed again. 



Preschool party


Preschool performance




Friday, December 13, 2013

Gift of Love!

It is not always easy being loving and graceful in this world we live in and I have failed and will continue to fail. God gave us the greatest gift of all, His Son, so that He could show us real love and grace. This is how I want to live and I pray daily to be more giving and to love completely.

Giving not getting is the way to live:
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

How to live:
1 Corinthians 16:14 MSG Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
POWERFUL!



"Love, compassion, kindness…lets give those precious gifts this year, and ALL year for that matter, this Christmas. Let’s pray radical, bold prayers begging God to use us right where we are, to be His hands and feet to this hurting world. Let’s pray for obedience and hearts that break for what breaks His. Let’s join together as a community of Christian women and encourage each other to put the love God has given to us into action in our lives. And then lets move beyond the talking and praying and start the doing…intentionally sewing seeds of love in our communities." See more at: http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/2013/12/christmas-story-er/

Love is a gift, and if we hand over a gift with one hand open while the other is closed, the gift is lost in exchange. - See more at: http://timewarpwife.com/?p=1268#sthash.qzqPGyc2.dpuf

"Love is a gift, and if we hand over a gift with one hand open while the other is closed, the gift is lost in exchange."
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Luke 6:38 See more at: http://timewarpwife.com/?p=1268

God's love is....http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/2013/12/love-word/

It’s never to late to place Jesus in the premiere spot – behind the wheel.
“Glory to God in the highest,” Luke 2:14 See more at: http://www.themominitiative.com/2013/12/09/whos-driving-your-tractor/
 
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Luke 6:38, - See more at: http://timewarpwife.com/?p=1268#sthash.qzqPGyc2.dpuf

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Time

We have been enjoying the Christmas season this year! Though this year has been a little colder then I like, may need to consider moving farther south. The kids really enjoyed helping decorate our house and tree. One of our favorite things to do is go look at Christmas lights and decorations. Abigail is helpful in reminding me to do our Jesse Tree ornament, which I sometimes don't always remember but thankfully she does, she is great at keeping us on track. Saturday we will start our 12 days of Christmas countdown! We put together Operational Shoebox's a few weeks ago, Aidan's first year and this is Abigail's third year. I am excited as this year we are tracking where the Shoebox's will end up, Abigail colored a nice picture this year that we placed in the box to the girl that will receive her box. Last week we had a wonderful time with our mom groups friends celebrating with a Happy Birthday Jesus party! This week we are in full force getting ready to go to Christmas parties, church and school programs, and our mom's cookie exchange. So yes there will be lots of pictures taken and video's taken to share. Earlier this week we were blessed to spend a few days with my parents and celebrate an early Christmas with family! Thankful they made the trip down! The kids got a little spoiled, even our furry babies did too.

Abigail received some cute clothes and fun crafts to make, plus Lalaloopsy dolls.I don't understand the dolls, but she likes them. I remember growing up and liking Cabbage Patch dolls and Barbies. Which just brought back memories of things I wanted when I was a kid. How about banana clips, and the plastic bracelets and charms? At least My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls are things she like and I also had, though they were a lot different back in my day!
Today Abigail and I tackled making headbands and the horse pillow! They turned out pretty good considering my non-crafty mom skills, thankfully Abigail is an artist! We also had some fun with glow in the dark art!
 

 Aidan was all about John Deere, the second he saw what he was opening that is all he kept saying over and over. I am not sure where his obsession comes from, none of us are farmers, but maybe we will have our first farmer in the family! He also loves tools, so he got right to work using them.

My parents opening there presents. 
 
Both Bear and Tigger got new beds. Both of them have taken advantage of sleeping on them!
 




Friday, December 6, 2013

End of week encouragement!

This week we started our Jesse Tree ornament, our moms group hosted a Happy Birthday Jesus party, and we experienced our first Kentucky winter storm! My Minnesota peeps would be laughing at storm Cleon. (But we must understand this is common for Minnesota they live it for about 5-6 months a year, one reason I do not live there anymore.) Yes they name winter storms now. I am thankful that things didn't get as bad as they were predicting, though the storm isn't done yet!. Yes it is cold out there and there is a slight layer of ice on our patio furniture, the ground is just wet now and it is sleeting, but I am glad we are prepared and for the prayers of protection, praise!

This week for Advent the focus is on the word HOPE, and I feel that this world needs so much of that right now. This verse is perfect to pray for yourself or someone in need: Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


We should embrace our weaknessess, let His light show through them. 
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 
These words in this song...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOHJghBU0XA
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Blog posts worth sharing:

What are you dedicated to? Do your hours match that dedication? http://www.incourage.me/2013/11/living-a-life-that-matters.html


Our children are gifts meant to be loved, cherished, nurtured, and returned unto the Lord.
How should this affect our parenting? http://jenthorn.com/blog/2013/12/2/thischildisnotyours



“Christmas is simple…and complex!http://womenlivingwell.org/2013/12/celebrating-christmas-in-opposite-world/




“Carpe Diem!” Seize the day, ladies! Keep planting, keep praying! http://timewarpwife.com/?p=1236

That famous saying karma will take care of it, but then this...
Karma chokes on its own advice at the foot of the Cross.  http://theocult.com/2013/12/03/karma/

I read this someplace and thought it was great, we have all heard What would Jesus do? but add to How would Jesus do it? 

Our Jesse Tree!
 


“Carpe Diem!” Seize the day, ladies! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hope, Faith and LOVE!!


I enjoy journaling. I write out prayers, prayer lists, and verses that God speaks to me and shows me when I am reading through my Bible. This was from a couple nights ago but I thought there are so many people going through hard-times now that this may be helpful to keep us focused on HOPE, FAITH, and LOVE!

Luke 1:37 For no word from God will ever fail! (His promises are true, His Word is true!)
(Week 1 Advent)~HOPE

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the ASSURANCE of things HOPED for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Believe in God, He is who He says He is!)~ SEEK Him!

Matthew 7:7 ASK, and it will be given to you, SEEK, and you will find it, KNOCK, and it will be opened to you.
(Be persistant in pursuing God. Knowing God takes FAITH!)

Matthew 6:33 But SEEK first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(Turn first to God for ALL things, nothing too little or big that HE doesn't care about. He LOVES us completely.)~LOVE

John 15:13 Greater LOVE has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his FRIENDS.
 (We always have a friend, Jesus! Christ gave up His whole life so we could know His LOVE and GRACE! We should LOVE like that!)

John 12:47 If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.