Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello Blog World

Well hello blog world! Its been a few weeks away, captivating this time of the year with my family and creating wonderful memories for the years to come. Perhaps this will be a this and that kind of posts with thoughts and feelings I am pondering recently. Nothing earth shattering. :-)

  • I love the way God is shaping me and molding me through certain challenges. He does it so gently, and He is challenging me to stand up and be bold.
  • Relishing in these young years with my sons and as I hold them in my arms, watch them run, play and get dirty, I feel so complete. So content. So full of real JOY. 
  • Parenting and growing with my husband as we raise vivacious, go getter boys....my cup overflows.
  •  I love my husband more and more and I love my sons more everyday. I love everyday we have.
  • Cultivating and nurturing little hearts, doesn't get any better.
  • Putting my family first and foremost.
  • Living a contented life void of complaining. 
  • Richly blessed by the words of a friend yesterday.
  • Running my first half marathon in May, the training for it feels so good. So rejuvenating. To run with a friend or to run and praise God that I am able. My runs I will track. I can do it.
  • Allowing my children to express themselves, express their hearts openly. No shame in our home, only open arms who understand that sometimes life can be hard, even when you are three almost four.
  • Planning a forth birthday party, the joy and excitement in his eyes.
  • Writing love notes.
  • Cooking wonderful meals. I love to cook.
  • Thankful for the opportunity to invest in the lives of those closest to our hearts.
The list goes on and on.  Praise God.

"My cup runneth over." Ps. 23:5

What thoughts are you pondering this moment?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Praying Fervently with Drenched Eyes

For these babies, these teachers, these parents facing the greatest loss of their lives. Jesus, surround them in this dark place of devastation. Let Your love and peace that only You can give be felt this very moment. Such brokenness in our world, sometimes it feels too much to bear.

"Your heart cant forgive. Thats why He gave you His."
~Ann VosKamp

Dear Jesus,
It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated. 
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Your Children

~Max Lucado

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Chosen Vessel

The Master was looking for a vessel to use.
Before Him were many, which one would He choose?
"Take me," cried the gold one, "I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value, I do things just right.
My beauty and luster outshine the rest
And for someone like you Master, gold would be best."
The Master passed on with no word at all
and came to the silver urn, near a window tall.
"I'll serve you dear Master, I'll pour out your wine.
I'll be on your table whenever you dine.
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true
and silver will always compliment you."
Unheeding, the Master passed onto the brass,
wide mouthed and shallow and polished like glass.
"Here, here," cried the vessel, "I know I will do,
place me on the table for all men to view."
"Look at me," cried the goblet of crystal so clear,
my transparency shows my contents so dear.
So fragile am I, I will serve you with pride
and I know I'll be happy  in your house to abide."
The Master came next to the vessel of wood,
solid and polished it solidly stood.
"You may use me dear Master, but I'd rather be used for fruit, not bread.
Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,
empty and broken it helplessly lay,
no hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
to mend and make whole to cleanse and to use.
"Ah, this is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I'll cleanse it and mend it and make it all mine.
I need not the vessel of pride in itself,
nor one that is narrow to set on the shelf,
nor one that is big mouthed and shallow and loud,
nor one that displays it contents so proud,
nor one that thinks it can do things just right,
but this plain earthly vessel filled with power and might.
Then gently he lifted the vessel of clay,
cleansed it and mended it and filled it that day.
He spoke to it kindly, "There's work you must do,
just pour out to others as I pour into you."
~written by Carole Wolaver, the Pottery Lady

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Contentment for me is so many things. Simple things. Things you cant buy. For me, its nothing extravagant. I love the simple ways of life.

Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."
Hebrews  13:5

Contentment for me is.....

~Waking early, sitting by a small light to study the Word and be in prayer.

~Thinking of my kids while driving in the car and laughing about a moment we had.

~Being with my entire family. Its the core of who I am.

~Rocking my baby to sleep and rubbing my preschoolers back till he is asleep.

~A roll out of bed morning with my husband and sons, make some pancakes or another yummy breakfast and sit as close to each other as possible under a blanket munching away and watching a movie.

~Lighting a seasonal candle and allowing my home to feel warm and smell good.

~Keeping traditions both new and old.

~Holding my husbands hand.

~Having a peaceful heart and home.

~Cooking a yummy dinner and baking a dessert for my family.

~A simple walk to see Gods creation through my children's eyes.

~A fresh perspective on life in general.

~Gaining wisdom from those I admire and love. A good, deep conversation.

~Waking my kids up late to go on an ice cream run. Just because.

~Playing in the rain, catching the rain in our mouths, a warm bath and hot chocolate with a movie to follow.

~Delivering a hot cup of coffee to our neighbor.

~Having a small home, where we are all close.

~Having friends and family who are there no matter what, no matter the time, or moment.

~Letting my kids be kids and make messes.

~Letting my kids sleep in our bed all snug, cozy and secure.

~Having dance parties with my kids and hubby every night.

~Running with my kids and laughing like crazy.

~Piling into our bed at night and singing worship and children's songs together.

~Hearing my sons precious prayers.

~The true love in my home.

~Practicing hospitality often.

~Sitting still, and taking in the sights and sounds of my children.

~My healthy family.

This is just the beginning of my contentment list. My heart could carry on.

My cup is overflowing.

My heart is full.

My eyes on Him.

To God be the glory for this beautiful life I live.


What are you content in this very moment?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tis the Season!

I have seen a few blogging ladies write out a list of their plan for the Christmas season. Things and activities they desire to do during this beautiful, cozy month. I, myself have never made a list but I love the idea. Besides the fact that I am a big time planner and I love to make my lists, I find this to be an awesome idea. This season is a season to especially be intentional with our children, as we are drawing their hearts nearer to Jesus and feeding their hearts with the reasons we believe. So here goes mine, I know its not going to include everything but most.

  1. Birthday Cake for Jesus- This will be a first for us this year but I have already been talking to Cayden about baking and decorating a cake for Jesus. The entire process will be so fun. I am sure Camden will enjoy taste testing ;-) And on Christmas day, we will sing Happy Birthday to Jesus (as we do each day) and cut the cake to share.
  2. Cookie Cutters: I have a set of cookie cutters that tell the birth story of Jesus. These were gifted to me last year and we will get to make them this year!
  3. Gingerbread House Party: I love to make gingerbread houses (hot glue them together everyone!)...we will get together with a couple neighbor friends and enjoy decorating mini houses and playing. I have decided to make it small and quaint this year.
  4. Our Annual Baking Day: My mom, sister and I love to select the cookies we will make each year and we enjoy a day of christmas music and baking. This year Cayden gets to join in on this tradition as he LOVES to be in the kitchen helping. We also build a big ginger bread house together each year too. This day is a favorite tradition of mine.
  5. Christmas Party: Cayden has a few friends he has been with since birth, they will all come over and we will have a day of cookies, crafts, singing carols, and play. They are all the best of friends, all five of them.
  6. Naples: We love to walk the canals of Naples all bundled up looking at the beautiful lights and houses right on the water. We do this usually a couple times, great fun!
  7. Warm Home: Our home is decorated and the white lights are shining. The more white lights the better!
  8. Nativity Story: This year we are enjoying our stuffed animal nativity set. Its been fun to create the birth story of Jesus with these. Cayden can tell the story now, a big goal I have set this year for him and us. To learn it every day. To sing Happy birthday daily. And to talk about why Jesus came.
  9. Car drives: Cozying up in the warm car, singing songs and looking at the lights. Plain and simple and a blast.
  10. This year we have been invited to a party at our neighbors which will include a visiting Santa. It will be fun to have the magic! I remember a neighbor of ours doing this as a young girl and it was so fun and magical for my sister and I.
  11. Church Party: We love having great friends over often and this is our annual dinner and white elephant that we do. We will have awesome food, desserts, white elephant game and sit by the fire with hot drinks.
  12. Ruby the Elf: Hide our little fun Elf each night for the boys to find. We started this last year and it turned out to be fun. I dont do the whole Elf gig as I am not to keen on it, but the hide and seek part of it is adds to the fun.
  13. Advent Calendar: Each day we will read part of the Christmas story and of course a little surprise will be there for each day along with a tiny ornament to hang on the tree.
  14. A Christmas Story: Ryan and I cozy up on the couch each year and watch this movie together. Its something we do and have done since we were dating <3
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas: We started this  fun to watch show as a family last year and we will have popcorn and goodies to go along.
  16. Christmas Eve: One of my favorites since a tiny girl. Christmas eve service at church followed by an Italian dinner at my parents house. A wonderful night. 
Okay, I better stop there! I know many other little flings and crafts will be mixed in there, but these are the ones on my heart tonight. I so love this season, and as a family we are so excited about it.

Tis the Season. 

Thank you, Lord Jesus.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Don't Turn the Lights Out

This past Thursday, at my moms group at church, our pastor, who has such a shepherds heart, spoke about marriage. It was awesome and I think all that he shared resonated to each and every wife present. He shared wisdom, studies he has done, biblical truths. I walked away feeling so rejuvenated. One of the many things he touched on was something about parenting. It was rather a tid bit or tangent that he just threw into his speaking time. He said this, "By the way parents, don't ever just put your kids to bed, turn the light off and walk away. This is a special time with your child to sit and talk. They will open up to you, and it happens at bedtime." SO profound, so true and I agree wholeheartedly.  I shouted a big AMEN in my heart and told him after I loved that he shared that.

Thinking about bedtime with my children. I love it. It's the end of a day filled with excitement, learning and love and to be cozied up with freshly bathed children, warm jammies and dimmed lights, well it just brings on a big sigh. A sigh of rest. A sigh of closeness together. A sigh of a day well spent. A sigh of quiet time.

I love our nights together with my family. We all pile into our big bed, kiddos and all. We all get under the warm blankets, I dim our overhead light and we pray together as a family. And now that my oldest is 3 (dont forget the 1/2) ;-) he loves to talk while we all lay in bed together. I love it. His latest concern is shadows and  having bad dreams. While these aren't the biggest concerns to say a 13 year old opening up and sharing, its a concern to him. Showing my son that we can talk about our bad dreams, that we can pray about them-that we would have "sweet dreams" and to encourage him that he doesn't have to be scared...it is priceless. While my youngest is just one, he gets to cozy in with us and share hugs.

I know many moms who do/have done this and have wonderful relationships with their precious older children now. Relationships of openess. My mom was one of them too. I still remember laying next to her and talking as a little girl. To this day, my mom is the person I can share anything with. Because she allowed bedtime to take 30 minutes instead of 5. Its the best. And to experience this now with my boys, is something I cherish so deeply.

I love bedtime because of hearing their little hearts express their concerns. Their love. Their excitement of the day and what's to come tomorrow.

I love bedtime and I hope you do too! Take 30 minutes or more and just love and listen to them. Stroke their hair and face and marvel at them as they drift off to sleep. Investing in them, is a beautiful thing.

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Deut. 6:6-9


Sweet dreams.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Captivating Fall and Growing a Heart of Thankfulness

Fall is here is So Cal and our neighborhood leaves and the trees in front of our church are beautiful. The feeling of thankfulness is abundant and my goal to ingrain a thankful heart into my children is a mission I dont take lightly. Back when I taught preschool, each Fall we took a "Fall Walk." A wonderful time of giving thanks to God, observing the changing leaves, singing songs and collecting some nature. I have done this each year with Cayden, but this year, as he is older and understanding the world more, we truly enjoyed this time. Last week, the boys and I journeyed out for about an hour walking around our neighborhood saying hi to neighbors as we do, stopping to chat, sang songs and talked about God. I was reminded of this verse,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
 and with all 
your strength. These commandments that I give you today 
are to be on your 
hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when
 you sit at home
 and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when
 you get up. 
~Deut. 6:5-7

As Cayden and Camden held fall colored leaves, pine cones and the like, the importance of cultivating a 
thankful heart is HUGE. We sang, "Its good to the give thanks to the Lord," "Autumn leaves are falling down,
" and "Praise Him, Praise Him all you little children."

We held hands. It was sweet. I love our daily walks, but this one is particular stands out in significance. I
 prayed before we left for our walk that God would fill our hearts with a desire to thank Him in all we would 
see that day. And He never ceases to fail us. Eyes lit up as we observed leaves, acorns and as we sang. God
 is so good to give us these moments with our precious gifts, our children.

We came home, washed up and sat down with fall scrapbook papers, glue and scissors and our bowl filled 
with autumn blessings. The apple designed paper was chosen and as Cayden cut leaves and squeezed the 
glue and positioned each blessing just so, I was so thankful. So thankful for the simple things God gives us
 such as a little acorn for the squirrles. Oh how He loves even the tiny animals in our world.

Thank you God for loving us even with all of our blemishes.

Cayden's list of thankfulness  was this, "our house, me, Camden, Jesus, shows, Daddy,
Mommy, Pop Packages,
 trains" All things in his world that are so important and vital to him. Precious
 from a three year old. I love seeing through his eyes of wonder and love for life.

Camden was thrilled to hold a simple leaf, a tiny pine cone. He is thankful too.
And his eyes
 light up just the same.

Let us not grow weary of teaching our children of thankfulness. Let us talk about our
 out loud daily.
"Thank you God for this cup of cold water." "Thank you God for a plumber who
can come fix the bathroom sink." I think its so important to live out loud for our children
so they may see and
know what being thankful to Him looks like.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at 
the proper time 
we will reap 
a harvest if we do not give up. ~Gal. 6:9

Thank you God for these moments.

"Thank Him, Thank Him, all ye little children, God is love. God is love."

(P.S. blogger is acting up I think, so this post is posting funky...sorry!)