Friday, November 22, 2013

5 Things Friday

Good morning and Happy Friday! I'm linking up today for 5 on Friday. Here are 5 things I've been checking out this week.

Pottery Barn is having 60% off many items right now. I liked these plates.

4 for $29.50  - source Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn Kids had this Thanksgiving runner marked down to $24.99

Courtesy: PB Kids

I thought this vest would be a good Christmas present for my daughter. It comes in several colors and is $18 at Old Navy.

Old Navy

Darling inspiration for a kids' Christmas table at PB Kids. I took this photo during our annual fall trip with Grandma to the mall and Cheesecake Factory.

I watched this yesterday with some of my kids. I still love it!!

Have a great Friday! Enjoy the season!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When Peace Seems Unattainable

We just returned from Disney World for our littlest boy's Make a Wish trip. We had a great time with six days packed full of seeing all the sights there. Our son has a rare, genetic condition called homocystinurea which basically means that his body cannot break down protein. The inability to metabolize protein can result in brain damage and a host of other problems. You probably would not know by looking at him that he has any health issues. But it is a serious condition that we treat by medications and lots of prayer. He is very smart and keeps us laughing. He loves the NY Giants and Eli Manning, Star Wars, his X-box, and basketball. He really is the sunshine of our home. We call him our little surprise as I became pregnant with him at the age of 42! I thank God every single day that we have him.

It's not to say that things have been easy. Fear sometimes grips my heart. I will wake up from a deep sleep, stare at the ceiling, and pray over him. A short time back, his specialist sent me a letter to keep with me in the event that our son ever had to be hospitalized . The instructions for the emergency room staff caused me to put the paper down and walk away. It was just too much to take in. I had to wait awhile before I was ready to read it. I do keep it with me whenever we go anywhere. Sometimes I take it out and hold it in my hand and ask God that it never have to be used. Fear seems to delight in coming to us at night, doesn't it? I feel I can keep fear at bay during the daylight hours.

One night I woke up feeling so troubled. I tossed and turned in such deep distress. I suddenly sensed in my spirit a presence in the room. I didn't see anything at all, but inside I knew there was a very large angel standing against the wall near my bed. I don't know if you believe in things like that. I admit that it probably sounds very strange. But I think sometimes God shows us things to comfort us. During those dark early morning hours, I was not a person of great faith.  But God in His infinite tenderness towards me, showed me He was on watch over me. I tried to describe this event the next day to my husband. I had the distinct impression that this was a very large being of massive height and build. I sensed he was sent there ONLY to stand guard over me. That was his purpose.  As I lay there quietly, I fell back to sleep and didn't wake up again until morning. (He will give His angels charge over you...Psalm 91:11)

The funny thing is, I've asked God before to let me see an angel. But at those times when I cannot sleep and I go downstairs at 3 am, I change my mind and say, "That's okay, God. I'll just pass on that." I'm not sure I'm really ready to see one when it is dark and I'm all alone.

I've had similar experiences to this at different times in my life. It is has always been very unexpected. I see myself as someone very low on the totem pole as far as being a person of great faith. I'm always more surprised than anyone that God shows me things. I think it takes me by surprise even more that God seems to direct my attention to how He feels about me. His kindness towards me astounds me.

If you are going through a hard time today, you aren't alone. He is there with you, watching over you at night, and watching you during the day. I think if we really knew His heart of love and concern towards us, we would be amazed.

When we were flying home, I looked out the window at the beauty of the sky and the clouds tinged with shades of pink and gold. I thought how God spoke all of these things into existence. And yet, His heart and attention are turned towards me and they are turned towards you. He is so great but He isn't beyond our reach. He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities - our frailties and our weakness.

Father, I bless whoever may be reading this. I ask that You reveal your great love towards them and give them peace. Give them peace that passes their natural understanding. In Jesus' name - Amen.

Have a wonderful week!

Linking to;

Monday, November 18, 2013

Miss Grace Filled Life: Pottery Barn Knock Off - The Mayflower

We were gone this week for our son's Make A Wish Trip to Disney. I hope you enjoy this repeat post of our Pottery Barn knock-off!

Miss Grace Filled Life: Pottery Barn Knock Off - The Mayflower: Last year, I was admiring this Thanksgiving item at Pottery Barn Kids. But it had a big price tag. If I remember correctly, it was about $50...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Greenery at Christmas

I love a fresh and classic approach to Christmas decor. I especially like a special way to greet guests who come to the front door. Here are a few things I've spied this week that I would like to try for this holiday season.

I LOVE fresh greenery! Especially around entryways and on the mantel.

Love the greenery with fruit.



I especially like the white lights and red wreath




Christmas with Southern Living 2001

I find fresh greenery sold by the foot at grocery stores each year. Last year, I think I paid 79 cents per foot.

 I love using greenery in unexpected ways like the photos above and below.


Southern Living

Nell Hills. This is me to a "t"!


Nell Hills - I love the greenery over the table and the candles in the urns.

I'm not a professional at all. I look at photos and get ideas. Sometimes I take leftover greenery and lay it on a footed cake plate, then top that with red and green apples, pineapple, cranberries, oranges, limes, or maybe silver and green Christmas ornaments. It's fun to just play around with things you already have on hand.

What are some of your favorite decorating tips for the holidays?

Friday, November 1, 2013

More Advice for Young Mothers

Back at the beginning of the baby days
If  I could sum up everything I know for every young mother reading this right now, my words would be this...


This is my biggest regret.

That is the quickest way to rob yourself of joy - the joy of your new role as mom, the joy of enjoying the "now", and the joys of tomorrow.

If you suddenly start feeling "less than" another mom, go to another person that you trust and that you know loves you. Tell them how you are feeling. You really have to! Don't try and struggle through this on your own. There are some people that seem to have it all together. But they have their own struggles, too. Don't compare your weaknesses to their strengths and vice versa. You are the mom that your child needs.

God gave your child YOU. He knew what He was doing. You are doing an important job every single day.

If you are going through a hard financial time, I also want you to know that things will get better.

I remember years back when we were working at a non-profit ministry. I drove to our doctor's office with a sick child. His office was located behind a hospital and offered a valet parking service. As I sat in our car waiting for our turn for parking, I people watched. I watched moms get out of clean mini vans, pull out beautiful strollers with matching diaper bags and walk into the building. I had to laugh because I was sitting in a car with a cracked windshield and a noisy muffler. I wanted to pull a bag over my head. At that moment, I FELT LIKE MY OWN CAR. Have you ever had one of those moments?  I did wish at that moment that we had a nicer car, but really what was important was what was inside my car. I had everything! I had a beautiful baby in the backseat. Really, what more could I need? Sometimes, you just have to laugh and know that things can only get better.

 You may not have a lot right now, but that will change. God will provide your needs and He will also provide a whole lot of wants. He loves to give you the desires of your heart.

We lived in a very small trailer for several years while my husband worked at a ministry for people addicted to drugs and alcohol. But those were happy years. The ministry (and my husband and I)  fixed up that trailer to the max. People were always surprised at how nice it was when they came inside. We made it our home.

We live in a very beautiful home now. God gave me the desire of my heart. But the kids and I remember the old days. We know what it is to have a little and a lot. And we are all grateful! It is God's loving kindness. That is His disposition towards you, too.

I really want you to know that in whatever stage of life you find yourself in right now, God is there with you. He is on  your side. He loves you. He is proud of you. I believe He watches over you at night with tenderness. You are doing an incredibly important job every single day. You are creating memories for your child of what it means to love them. They are resting in your love, knowing that you will be there each and every day.

I wish I could reach out through this computer screen, give you a hug, and tell you that no matter what, everything is going to be okay! No matter what it may look like, how tired you are, how frazzled you may feel, it will get easier each day. God will take care of you. He will fight for you. He will give you what you need every single day, and as you seek Him first, He really will give you the desires of your heart. You can rest knowing that someone bigger and stronger than you, has you in the palm of His hand. He doesn't view you as a failure. He loves you and has the very best in mind for you.

Advice for Young Moms Part 1

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