Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love

I love this picture. 
My parents were undoubtedly a happy couple. 
My dad didn't bring home flowers every week.  (He actually brought home one rose one time.)
They didn't tavel across Europe together.
I don't believe they had an "our song."
My dad LOVED sports and my mom barely tolerates them.
But they loved each other very much. 
They loved spending time together.  They were married for just shy of 26 years, when death did part them, temporarily. 
My mom and dad met at a Bible study which my dad led in what was known as the Career Department at Grace Community Church.  My mom and her roommate at the time thought my dad was kinda "cute."  When the group went out to eat my dad would leave an empty seat next to him and wait to see if my mom would sit there.  And she did.  ;)
One night they were at someone's house and this book was sitting on the coffee table.  They were looking at it together and realized that they had a similar sense of humor.
One day my mom had a particular trying day at work and she told my dad about it.  He asked if it would help if he took her out for dinner and a movie.  She said yes and that was that!
I am so thankful for my parents.  I am thankful that they were committed to each other.  That no matter what trying times they would face together, splitting up would never be an option.
I remember one time when I was little and we were learning how to play Hearts as a family on the carpet in the "family room" my dad was explaining that he loved my sister and me but that he loved my mom even more...in a different way.  I was upset by this at the time.  Ha.  But now of course I understand and I am glad my mom always came first.  ;)
My parents are and always will be a great example to me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Garden

A few days ago I mentioned my plant that wasn't doing so well.  I really thought she was going to die, so I prematurely bought another little plant from Restoration Hardware.  A tiny globe boxwood.  Well the other one pulled through after all so I decided that I am going to start a little garden on my window ledge/seat thing.  I also decided that since plants are alive, they need names.  The one on the left is Gloria, because she's a survivor.  (For those who don't know, Gloria Gaynor was the first to record, "I Will Survive.")  The other one is Woody.  Really clever there I know.  The great thing about Woody is that he only needs to be misted once a month!  I think I can handle that.

Now I just need some pretty flowers.  (Actually, when Gloria was a newborn she had tons of tiny bright pink flowers all over her.  But they must only appear bianually because it's been over a year since they were around.)  If anyone can tell what kind of plant she is just by looking at her, please let me know.

Here's a few more shots of Woody.

Do any of you readers have a green thumb?
Any tips?

Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY: Fabric Garland Chandelier

The other day at work, my friend, Jessica, directed me too a wonderful new blog called A Beautiful Mess.  If you have never checked it out, go there right now!  I absolutely love everything about it.  Elsie, the writer of this fantastic blog, has a plethora of fun DIY projects including the one below.  (The pic is from her site.)
Pretty much ever since I put up the chinese lantern in my room, I have been dissatisfied with it.  I didn't love the shape or the look and for the last year or so I haven't even had a light bulb in it.  So when I saw the fabric chandelier on Elsie's blog, I knew it would be the perfect fit.
So this past weekend I decided to do it.  What I liked about this project in particular was that all the materials were things I already had around the house.  It's made out of an old fashioned cookie cooling rack (which we happened to have), some white fabric and lace, and a sewing needle and thread.  :)
Here is the finished product in my room.
After it's complete you stick some white fairy lights through the rack and hang with an extension cord.
Just the right amount of whimsy for my room!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happiness is...

...focusing on and thanking God for what He has given me already, not focusing on and complaining about what I don't have that I want. 

Colossians 3:15 "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful."
Psalm 69:30 "I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving."
Psalm 100:4 "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!  Give thanks to Him; bless His name!"
Psalm 4:7 "You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and their wine abound."

and one more:
Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Because of God's amazing love, we have so much to be thankful for!  Everything in fact.  :)

(Oh and on a more earthly level, looking at that picture above, happiness is sleeping in.  Yay for Saturday tomorrow!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Life

The above picture is a shot of the plant in my room, from it's good side.  I am notorious for killing plants.  A green thumb I do not have.  But this one has managed to live for over a year!  A lady at work gave it to me last Christmas as a "Secret Sibling" gift.  I take unnecessary pride in this plant; unnecessary in the sense that I have really had nothing to do with keeping it alive.  I water it occasionally.  And I placed it near the window where it can get a little sun.  That's it. (1 Corinthians 3:7 - "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.")  And like I said before, this is it's good side.  The plant is not nearly as vibrant as it could be, because even though it's right near my bed and I see it every day, I still forget to water it. 

I find it fascinating (but I guess not all that surprising) how many things in creation are pictures of God and our relationship with Him.  The sun (and I've probably written about this before) is the center of the solar system.  The planets revolve around it and it is the source of light just like Christ is the center of our lives and He is the source of light: knowledge, holiness and glory.

In Proverbs, sluggards are told to go the ant and learn how to work.

Same goes for plants.  Psalm 1:2-3 says, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers."

If I forget to water my plant or open the shades it starts to die.  The plant needs that water and light!  Same goes with me.  If I don't drink God's Word each day and bask in His light, I start to smell of death.  Sin is right there.  But with some water and sun, with the Word, life is renewed!  It's amazing to see how well my little plant improves when I cut off the dead leaves and give it something to drink.  Same goes with the refreshment I receive from God's Word and time spent in prayer with Him!

2 Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

So drink up friends!  Enjoy your day!


Monday, January 16, 2012

That time of year...

Resolutions?  Yes, no, maybe so?  Well when New Year's rolled around I felt that it was almost pointless to make resolutions since I find such difficulty in keeping them.  Plus the whole idea just sometimes seems a little....cheesy to me.  What has happened to me and the idea of cheesiness??  In the last couple years I have wanted as little to do with cheesiness as possible.  But I think I've gone to the other extreme. 

This last weekend we had high school winter camp.  The topic was the glory of God.  To bring God glory should be my utlimate goal and resolution, which I cannot do apart from Jesus and the Holy Spirit working in me. 
1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 
Romans 11:33-36 "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!  'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?' 'Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?' For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever.  Amen."

Any resolutions I make this year should stem from this.  And it has become more and more clear to me in the last two weeks that I HAVE to make goals and plans in order to grow and truly bring God glory with my life.  If I don't plan anything it's not going to happen.  A friend asked me recently, "What are your plans for this year?"  And I didn't have much of an answer.  Lame!  The very next day I was reading a book that my wonderful boss gave me and the author was talking about the importance of setting goals to grow. 

So, at camp I decided that it might be a good idea to break up my day/areas in which I am involved and see in what ways I need to grow.  That may be a way to figure out some goals and plans to make. 
For me that looks like:
God
Family/Home
Work
Church/High School Group/Evangelism
Friends
Entertainment
Food
Sleep/Rest
Finances

Right off the top of my head I know that in my relationship with God I want to wake up at 5 every morning and spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer.  I want to read through the Bible this year, but faster than one year.  Maybe a few months or more.  I want to spend the majority of my time in the car praying to Him or singing to Him. 
With Family/Home I want to help my mom around the house more.  Be more involved with cleaning and cooking, etc. 
At Work I want to be focused on paying attention to what I am doing.  I want to make sure that I don't draw attention to myself at lunch by trying to be funny or whatever.  I want to take interest in other people.  I also want to take a couple of lunches every week to read. 
With Church/High School/Evangelism I want to faithfully pray for those on staff and the girls in my small group.  I want to choose a day or two in the week where I specifically plan to pray for them.  Same goes with missionaries and people I want to tell about Jesus.  To be realistic, I'd like to start off with telling someone the gospel at least once a month.  I know it should be more, but I want to start off with more than last year. 
With Friends I want to be more purposeful in our conversations.  To ask more faithfully how I can pray for them and then to actually do that! 
With Entertainment I want to be much more discerning in what I watch.  I want to ask myself, "Is what I'm watching glorifying to God?"  If I can't find any way in which it is, I shouldn't be watching it! 
With Food I need to come up with a plan for eating healthy and stick with it.  With the disease I have this is necessary and yet I forget that it is.  I would like to have self control in this area.  I'd also like to spend less in eating out.  In order to do this I really need to come up with how much I should spend a month and stick with it. 
With Sleep and Rest it's pretty simple.  I need to go to bed earlier!  I would like 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night.  If I get up at 5 that means I need to go to bed between 10 and 11.  That means I need to start going upstairs between 9:30 and 10 and that means getting off of FB by 10 for sure! 
And finally with Finances I need to make a budget and stick with that.

Well, again, those are plans that come to mind immediately.  I know that I could come up with more and probably other categories.  But this is a place to start.  It's also probably more than you wanted to know, but I am thankful to have a spot where I have recorded this and now you all can keep me accountable! 

So, what have you decided to do this year as far as resolutions?  What has helped you in the past?  I want to know readers!  Now is the time for you to finally comment!  har har...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pinteresting Wednesdays

Okay, can someone just pin a bunch of these "work week" outfit ideas?  It makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier.

I. want. one. of. these.
 I love things like this that aren't too matchy matchy.
 This is just funny.
 And this is just cute.
 I'm trying this tonight when I get home.


I think this would just add that "little somethin'" to my room.

 So I started my first quilt a plethora of months ago and then got the measurements wrong so I had to take it all out.  Nevertheless, I got a little discouraged and took a break.  A long one.  I had wanted to make a "crazy quilt" like the one below, but my mom said that I needed to learn the basics first.  But one day.  I will make this.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New Year, New Feature: The Art Corner

The Sleeping Gypsy
by Henri Rousseau


Well, this may be the snootiest thing I have done on my blog yet, but I have decided to start The Art Corner.  I like art, but I was never really into art history before, but doesn't everyone need a little more culture in their life?  Well here you can get a little taste.

The idea came to me when I was helping my mom clean out a bookcase this weekend.  I came across a book she bought when she lived in New York.  It's called something like, 50 Paintings to see at the Modern Museum of Art.  I decided to look at one ever so often and actually read about each painting. 
The Sleeping Gypsy is the first one I came across.

I must admit, I was not a huge fan at first glance.  But as I read about the painting, I came to appreciate it more.  For one thing, the book actually had some quotes from Rousseau describing the painting himself.  I would much rather hear the actual artist's explanation rather than some art student's interpretation of it.
What do you notice about the painting?

Did you see that the lion is passing by the gypsy?  Yeah, I didn't catch that either. But here is Rousseau's quote: “A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her (a vase with drinking water), overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic.”

Apparently, when he tried to sell it to the mayor of his hometown, he was rejected.  The paiting did not receive any true recognition until around 20 years later!  Pablo Picasso was among the first admirers.

I personally think Rousseau was stinkin' good for being self taught.  The more I look at it, the more I love his use of color and the strong lines.  It also reminds me of what life will be like in the Kingdom, when the lion will lay down with the lamb.  That sure isn't the case nowadays.  There is a sense of peacefulness here and a sense of danger.  I like how the two contradicting feelings are present.  Okay now I'm at least on the verge of sounding like a pretentious art student myself.  (No offense to art students out there!!!)

What do you think?  Do you like it or hate it?

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