Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Just enough faith to see the beauty

   I didn't think this flower had much potential to be completely honest with you. This past early spring I was buying my seed packets. All organic and probably more packets than I needed for the space I had. I was dreaming. Once I tallied up how much I had spent I spoke to myself at the store, "Alright, that's enough for today, Jame. No more. You've got a lot of work ahead of you." Yes, I speak to myself when spending money :) (but not out loud...haha). Such as "Those 3 shirts are adorable but you must only choose one today." or at Costco (if you know me, you know it's my happy place) "It's either guac or hummus today." Hard decisions I tell ya.

   So on this particular shopping excursion I wasn't going to spend a cent of money more on seeds or anything to do with gardening. But then, I saw packages of gorgeous flowers with vibrant reds and oranges for cheap. Real cheap. Like 20 WHOLE cents cheap. How could that be?! Yes, I can do that I told myself. I tossed two packages into my already full cart. And I thought if they work...great! And if they don't...no worries! No guilt trip for wasting money. I planned on buying already bloomed flowers later in the spring anyways. Flowers from under someone else's careful and expert care. I've never planted flower seeds before but have done a few vegetables. 
   In my heart I think I already set my mind up that these probably would not amount to much. So as I planted my tomato and pepper seeds into a special seed starting tray inside my house I also worked on the flower seeds. They were so small. But those I put in an empty egg carton with soil. Nothing fancy. I carefully watered the all seeds and allowed for the sun to shine on them directly. Placing them on the deck on warm days and on our kitchen counter on cooler days and at night. The other veggie seeds had sprouted but not yet the flowers. Still I waited patiently and eventually at the end of May there were a few thin green stems that had sprouted of the 15. I squished those stems that were still alive into one of my outside planters. This planter that had already been filled with beautiful flowers. At this point, I was thinking those thin green sprouts were possibly just weeds. However, I wasn't going to give up just yet. THEN, one day at the end of July this gorgeous orange Zinnia had bloomed from a long stem. It took me by complete surprise! Surprised because deep down I wasn't entirely sure much would come from those 20 cent packets. Because that's inexpensive for a hearty flower to grow isn't it? How naive I was. I stood in AWE and amazement at the beauty. I think I even teared up at God's faithfulness. And in delight at the incredible gift it is to garden and be able to reap those benefits. And a week later another one bloomed, a pink one. And I think a third one will be blooming very soon :).

A smile came over my face and I was grateful. Grateful that I didn't just give up.Grateful that I continued to try to do the best I could day after day. Grateful that my mustard seed faith was enough to keep going. To keep believing that possibly something beautiful would finally come. 

He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.
Luke 17:6 NIV

   This story isn't really about having faith regarding seeds growing. But rather having faith that God is at work when the surrounding factors seem against your favor. It's about believing that God has a plan when our faith seems small. He tells us if we have faith even as small as a mustard seed that is enough. That is enough to do big things because nothing will be impossible for you. Trust in Him and He will allow you to bloom to your full potential. He will not give up on you. 

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Matthew 17:20 NIV

P.S. Next spring don't hesitate to buy a few packets of those cheap seeds, I know I will :). 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Our lovely temporary home...

Let me tell you a fact I have learned with much certainty over the past 2 months. That simple fact is that no matter where you are, as long as you are with your family and remain positive--> you will be okay. Not just okay but really + truly + perfectly A-OK :). 

I have learned this because our family sold our first home. Our starter home we had for 9 years. Our family of 5 was ready for new memories in a new home. However, we did not find that "dream home" to move into seamlessly like we thought we would. I'm not going to lie, it was sad leaving our home. It was hard. We had such amazing memories there. With much thought and consideration we were so  thankful to be able to rent a wonderful {smaller} home for the time being. 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom small.

But you know what? This experience has been completely humbling and incredible! I really would not trade it for the whole world. We are living in the cutest older home with the prettiest trees. The fall colors are everywhere. I can not get enough of the reds and oranges. And the views are glorious from every angle.

 One evening as I was reflecting over my life and the future, my youngest caught my attention "Mama! Look! Out dat window. The sky is pretty red!" I turn my head to look out the window in our living room. The sunset was a beautiful red and deep orange! One of the prettiest sights I've seen.
Because I can not miss a special photo opportunity of God's beauty, I ran outside for a picture. In the drizzling rain I quickly took a picture. As I came closer to the view, I noticed 3 peaceful deer in the field.

THREE. God is so good! In that second I knew that God was speaking to me. He was clearly telling me that my purpose right now is here. It's in this rental home. My purpose is being the best Mom I can be to my 3 kids. Memories will be made in this home. As long as we are together and remain positive everything is going to be really good. 

There's a hill in the back that my oldest has decided will be awesome for snow tubing down. Over the jumps he will make. Because, he is all about making jumps these days. There is a concrete path from the garage to the house that my kids need to ride a bike or scooter to and from each day. It's the cutest. We have a beautiful road to take walks on. A gas station super close that my oldest thinks is the best in case we run out of milk. We've walked down the road to the restaurant to eat. Seriously, we are so thankful. 

The leaves! Some may think I'm crazy to think this but I am loving the leaves. The kids are, too. At our other home we mostly had pine trees. Raking up huge leaf piles and listening to the giggles from the kiddos while they jump in over and over is music to my ears. And I don't even mind that my raked piles end up all over the yard again. Memories!

We have a rope swing we made in the back in which the oldest kids love to have underdogs on. We didn't have a rope swing at our other home. They laugh as the branches brush up against their legs as they go so high. 

Trees to climb {carefully} is a favorite. 

 In August my son picked me a gorgeous flower with the root and all. That was too sweet!

This simpler living has brought our family closer. I thought we were a close fam before but now I know for sure we can be closer :). And that we are. I know what everyone is doing at each moment of the day at home. There's no hiding an extra piece of candy or trying to take my phone to play games on it without Mama knowing. I see all and know all. There is not a dishwasher and I have learned that we can be perfectly fine without one. My son even has learned to wash dishes and I think his wife will definitely thank me one day. And my hands are super clean, just sayin'. 

A large portion of our belongings are still in 2 storage units. The kids are learning to enjoy playing with only some of their toys. When we stop at the storage unit and they see an old toy, it's like Christmas to them! The boys are sharing a room which has taught them how to show respect to one another. My youngest son absolutely loves his bunk bed. He was so excited when he found out he gets to sleep on one and share a room with his bro. 

My husband and I laugh so much because for one, our "bedroom" is in the porch. We are sleeping on our oldest son's full size bed instead of our fancy newer mattress because it won't fit :). These are the memories I will miss and love to look back on. Because life is too serious sometimes to not laugh about it. Our dining room table fits us 5 perfectly. We can pray over our meals and eat as a family. I just love family dinners. 

We are thankful for a roof over our heads, running water, meals and laughs to share, beds and blankets. A washer and dryer to wash the many many loads of laundry we accumulate. The warmth inside with the recent cooler temps outside. Grateful to have a kitchen to prepare meals at. Baking pumpkin pie, muffins and cookies is a favorite. We are grateful that God has given this opportunity to be thankful for all this and more. 

This home will be temporary but our family is FOREVER. 
Happy is the family centered on God, thankful hearts and love.

Friday, April 22, 2016

2 years, 6 months and 10 days

It's been 2 years and 6 months and 10 days that our lives were forever changed when we made the decision to raise a little girl as our very own. 2 years, 6 months and 10 days that we have been blessed to be called Mom and Dad to a beautiful girl. 2.5 years we have loved another little being as our very own. 2.5 years of bonding, millions of cuddles and kisses given, hundreds of books read and more giggles than can be counted. 

922.5 days of praying for her every single day. 922.5 days praying for the day we can become a legal family of five. 922.5 days that my boys have had a sister and that we have had a daughter. We've celebrated 3 Thanksgivings, 3 Christmases and 3 Easters as a family of 5. Wonderful memories made.

Watching tummy time turn into crawling turn into taking first steps. Watching first steps turn into racing around the yard chasing 2 brothers. Hearing first words turn into complete sentences and belting out lyrics to "Let it go." Watching independence set in with wanting to wear a Princess shirt daily. And witnessing the sweetest bond develop between 2 brothers and a little sis. Along with the silliness and laughter :). 

To say this waiting has been incredibly difficult is an understatement. 

To say this has drawn us closer to God than we have ever been is the truth. 
To say we have gone through significant ups and downs with our emotions would be honest. 
To say we will persevere through this waiting is 100% correct.
To say we can't imagine our life any other way is real. 
To say we are blessed is spot on. 

We don't know what the future holds. We do not know the potential day we may be able to pass through the storm of this specific unknown. We do not know the questions that will come up one day nor will we know exactly how to answer them. We do not know what tomorrow holds nor what the next hour may bring.

But what I DO know is that we serve a Mighty God who knows the future. We know that He hears our every single prayer and cry out to Him. We know that He does know the time of the passing of this unknown. He understands our frustrations and our anxiety of the unknown. He holds us up with His mighty right hand as stated in Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

We know that we don't need to worry about tomorrow because He has already taken care of tomorrow. Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." 

We know that God has never let us down and is not going to start now. We believe Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." He has good plans for us. 

We believe Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." We will continue to pray for wisdom, peace, patience and joy in this storm of the unknown. 

We will continue to be patient and press into God's promises for our future. We know there will always be hard days when worry sets in. But we do believe God will be there every step of the way. We are grateful for encouraging family and friends who surround us and pray for us. We will continue to trust in God's perfect plan in this.


Jamie :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday Favorites time!

 So I'm linking up with ErikaAndrea, and Narci

One of my favorites this week has been the weather. I'm so grateful that we had some extra beautiful days outside. Pretty surprising for November and so lovely!

It was so nice outside that the youngest and I were able to take a walk. Running, walking, running, giggling, walking, running....

We also were able to play outside on the grass barefoot....and loving it! 
70 degrees will do that to you :). We played football, airplane, played in the woods and I took some sweet pictures. Such fun!

Sometimes you just have to create your happy place by making pumpkin bread while sipping on a whipped cream topped pumpkin spice coffee while watching Dawson's Creek. :) Pumpkin bread is my fave to make in the fall. It's so easy and delicious!

This came in the mail. Christmas is in the air :). I just adore paging through the "Pottery Barn Kids" magazine. Everything is just so cute!

And this isn't necessarily a "favorite" picture but what it symbolizes is a favorite of mine. 
-2 backpacks (meaning the boys are home from school)
-Groceries (meaning we have food to eat)
-A mess on the stairs (meaning I have a family :) )
Because this is my everyday beautiful messy life and I wouldn't change it for the world!

7.) Some of my favorite new bars here. These Clif bars are scrumptious! "Iced Gingerbread" and "Spiced Pumpkin Pie." Hello yummy!

8.) This week I had paint class with some sweet gals! Painting is so relaxing and fun! I've never went to one of these classes but I am so thankful I did. A night to remember! :)

Happy Friday to you, 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

When all seems right in the world again...

On tough days it is amazing what a simple thing can do to lighten your feelings. 

My cute 4 year old was busy playing with toys in his "fort" as he loves to do. He wanted me to close my eyes because he had something for me. I did so and he was very adamant that I don't open them until he said so. 

So, I waited and waited. 

Then I felt his sweet and warm hands touching my finger wiggling something on there. When I was allowed to open my eyes, I see that he placed this big plastic ring with a bow on my finger. 

Then he ran away excitedly. 

Awe! My heart melted into a puddle and I gave him the biggest hug (and may have shed a tear).

 Such a sweet surprise! His heart is so kind!

....And all is right in the world again :). 

And then he gives me a fake shot in my arm and takes some of my blood and tells me I'm brave. That little charmer has my heart forever and ever. 

Here we are after he put the ring on my finger :). The picture is blurry and perfect at the same time! I've come to realize that it is hard sometimes to get a "still" picture. And I will accept that because in this season of life, that's how it is with playful kids. I will cherish the blurry pictures because they are so special.

Like this sweet friend of mine who took a 2 hour walk with me on a beautiful fall day. She's such a blessing in my life! Her kindness shines for all to see and I love her so much. Spending time with friends is so precious!

And the perfect timing for a specific devotion from "Our Daily Bread."

"Time spent in prayer is always time well spent." I love that! We will never regret praying and praying. 

I am so very thankful for these special moments to treasure. They seem to turn up while being intentional about watching and listening for. 

Blessings to you, Jamie

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thank you...

Have you ever had one of those days where your eyes are opened to so much thankfulness your heart could just burst?! 

This one day my 2 littles and I headed out for some errand running fun. It was a long drive to the stores we needed to go to and it ended up being a long morning.  

And I met so many sweethearts that day who just made my day :)!

Thank you to the kind hearted man that drew smilies on my Costco receipt to give my kids a smile. You have no idea how much that meant to us. 

Thank you to the business man who told me he would push my cart back after I unloaded all my groceries into my car and buckled my kids up. He said he'd been there before with the kids and gave me a big smile. ❤️ I practically teared up at his generous act. I told him "Thank you" probably 5+ times. This simple act of kindness I have never encountered before. And it made me think that I need to do this for others. 

Thank you to the cute Grandma who commented on how good my kids are which made me very thankful! She was absolutely darling and my kiddos were being really great. This allowed me to give the littles some praise as well because hearing it from someone else means so much.

Thank you to the pretty lady at Once upon a child who gave my kids stickers to keep them busy while I was paying. She kept chatting with them while ringing up my purchases. And she paid attention to them. Kids love to be noticed and loved on. And she did just that. 

And last but not least....Thank you to the adorable Grandpa who gave me a laugh telling me the kids clothes I was purchasing wouldn't fit me. He was so cute I could've given him a hug. 

Thankfully, Jamie

Friday, October 16, 2015

favorite things//fall moments

Today I'm talking all about some Friday Favorites and I'm linking up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci! I'm blogging about some fun stuff (I will not mention that my boys have strep throat this week. Poor boys!!)

1.) Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous! It was 70's on Saturday and my oldest had a soccer game. Watching his soccer games are one of my all time fave things to do! I want to keep my eyes glued to his game the entire time. Of course I love chatting but oh how I enjoy cheering him! The team is a blast to watch!

We're so proud of our strong and determined 7 year old!

2.) In the cooler weather this fall it sure has been a good time playing in our woods...climbing trees and crunching the leaves under our feet. My middle child is such a little monkey! I can remember fun times as a child climbing trees and exploring the woods. 

3.) We got the chance to attend a glorious wedding reception for my dear friend. The decor was amazing and the bride was stunning! What a great time we had. Dancing is always so much fun!

4.) I've taken pics of this trail before because it is just dreamy. I love the pine tree lined path with the tiny bit of light at the end. Love!! This is my favorite little running trail to get to. It's almost like a reward to myself :).

5.) I've never created new crayons from old ones. But this day we did and I'm so happy we finally did! And it's so much easier than I thought it'd be. Just take off all the paper from the old crayons. Randomly place the pieces into an old muffin tin (or these oven safe star molds I have). Bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes or until all melted. Then let them sit for 1-2 hrs until completely cool and hard. Pop out and color away. What a blast!!

6.) I've been binge watching episodes of The OC at bedtime lately. This show brings me back to my teenage years. I remember my husband (then boyfriend) coming over to my parent's to watch this show weekly. Haha! 

7.) I just got this hand soap and it smells so so good! I've realized that I'm in love with the scent of lemongrass. Give me all the lemons :).

Earth Friendly Products Hand Soap, Lemongrass, 17-Ounce Bottle (Pack of 6)

8.) I've almost done with the book. Live Love Lead by: Brian Houston. I got the book from a Hillsong concert I went to recently. Brian Houston was there and gave everyone a copy of his book. How generous! And it is an extremely motivating book!!

Happy weekend to you!