Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do you know Him?

I know at Christmas time we sing "It's the most wonderful time of the year"...but I don't buy it. Don't get me wrong, I do love Christmas. Christmas is full of grace and giving from our God, but do you ever sense a blanket of sadness over it? There is just something about His lowly, humble, poor birth that makes my heart feel heavy. And then there's His life, though there certainly were times of happiness, what a burden. What an emptiness He must have felt to have left the splendor of His Father in heaven, seated high on His throne, flocked by angels and praise, only to come to a dark place and know the life He was going to live.

But then there is Easter. I know that you are thinking if ever there were days of sadness, the days surrounding Easter would certainly be the most sorrowful; but my heart is not heavy this time of year. It's not that I am unaware of the suffering, or skip over it quickly just to get to the empty tomb. I get it, I get it as much as my simple, earthly brain can wrap itself around the majesty of it all. It's just that I get the urge to stand up and clap, rather than sit in sadness. Do you know what I mean? There is something so wonderfully incomprehensible about Easter morning to me, that my heart wants to leap out of my chest. Can you imagine being Mary at the tomb and seeing that the body was gone? Can't you just see her standing outside His empty tomb "weeping" John 20:10? And can't you just hear her heart pounding with joy when Jesus calls her name, "Mary" and then she responds in exclamation now knowing that it is Him "Rabboni!" John 20:16? Can't you feel it? My sister's name is Mary and I have heard her say that this is one of her most favorite verses in scripture, because she can here Jesus saying her name. She can identifying with Jesus meeting her at a place of sadness and saying her name...I like that. And though I'm a little jealous, He really is saying my name too, as well as yours. He meets us right in the midst of our broken lives and calls out our name.

So as we approach this holy week, get excited! Pick up your baggage, your junk and all your messy sin and start walking up that hill to the cross. If you are like me, you might have a few suitcases full, it doesn't matter. Throw one over your shoulder, and tie a rope around the other ones so that you can drag the whole line of them up that hill of Calvary; and once you're there, have a seat. Actually, we might be better off if our faces were face down in the dirt...if you know what I mean. And then just rest, rest in what He has done for you on the cross, because Jesus said it himself "It is finished" John 19:30. Believe Him.

So in the words of Dr. Lockridge, "Do you know Him"? What a week to meet Him if you don't! And for those of you that do, I hope you have a chance in church on Easter morning when you can stand up and applaud, for He has accomplished mighty things for you!

Happy Easter,


Am I the only one that didn't see this one coming?

Oh it's happening. That is a real golden retriever puppy my Caroline is holding, with real fur that is going to be all over my house, and real puppy teeth that are going to attempt to chew on everything it sees, with a real bladder that is cannot yet hold, and a very real daddy that is the size of a small horse...and yet for some reason I can't wait for him to come home with us in two weeks. Aside from all these other problems that I have listed, there is yet another dilemma that is currently weighing on me: what are we going to name this boy???? Please help me, or otherwise my husband is going to make me name him Maximus, and then I am going to have to listen to "I am Maximus Desimus Meridius, Commander to the armies of the North, General to the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance in this life or the next"....for the rest of this dogs life.

Come on friends, start talking to me. Names?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More photography links, this time with Darcy!

You know Darcy right? Everybody knows Darcy. I only know her in blogger world, but I wish I knew her in real life. I just found out that she is hosting a linky party on Tuesdays called Sweet Shot Tuesdays. You can link up with her to share your favorite picture from the week, or just click over to visit her blog, she never disappoints.

Well you knew this would be my recent favorite. Such a dude...


Monday, March 22, 2010

Back to house touring: The master closet

We are finally back to house touring, at least for today. Are you new here? Click here to see why I have put my home on a "house tour". Today I will walk you into our master closet. Are you asking yourself why? You should be. The closet is not all that amazing of a space from a design perspective (it is what it is: a closet); but rather I love that there was not a lot of square footage to work with, a whole lot of stuff to put in, and the cute carpenter somehow pulled it all off...and that makes it worth sharing in my house tour. That and the shoes of course.

We started with again. Much like our master bathroom remodel, my husband spent a lot of time on trying to come up with the best use of space. He finally decided on the one you see below, the U-shaped design optimized the square footage.

We used pocket doors all throughout the bathroom and closet, there was simply not enough room to have swinging doors at every entry.
Have you ever stood up on a chair or bed as an attempt to view the lower half of your body in a mirror? We had no full length mirrors in this house so this empty closet wall was the perfect place for it!
This is the back wall in our closet. It was a "dead zone" for a clothes rack, so we recessed it into the master bath on the other side. Do you see those wires hanging through the closet shelves? This is where the cute carpenter pulled the wires for his television in the bathroom, the TV hangs on the other side of this wall.
Ummmmm...can I get an amen?
That Cinderella was a wise lady....
How can a shoe that is so lovely cause so much pain? And why is it that it's owner keeps putting them on her feet?
Yes please.

These are half a size too small, don't care, wear them anyways.
These are the best of both worlds, fabulous and comfortable.
And then when I feel like kickin' it old school, I slide on my Vans. They are literally old school, I bought them in high school.
I'm calling this the strangest post in my tour so far. Thanks for hanging with me through the weirdness.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Heart Faces entry: "Sisters"

Have you ever visited the blog I Heart Faces ? If you haven't, you should. It is one of my favorite blogs to browse, and once I am there, I usually stay for way too long. This week they are hosting a challenge on capturing a face through "angles". As soon as I read their title, I thought of this picture I took of my girls. I knew I would love the photograph right when I snapped it. I have no idea if I Heart Faces is going to allow the shot due to the fact that there are two faces in it, but I am going to attempt it anyways. I also do not know if they will allow a "pretend / amateur photographer" to enter their challenge (I have never done this before), but we will soon find out. Regardless of whether this photo is allowed, you should check out the blog, it would be worth your time. Have you taken a picture from a cool angle, I'd love to see it!


Thursday, March 18, 2010


Perspective. It's all in our perspective of a what comes at us each day, much more than the actual events that take place. How does one person overcome and persevere tragedy seemingly effortlessly, and another person crumbles in the midst of the same set of circumstances? Well certainly there are more reasons than can be counted for why this is true, but I would like to suggest that there is one common thread that flows through the stories of success, well actually there are two. One is Jesus. That one is easy. But the other I believe is something that flows from the first, and that's perspective.

I visited a friend of mine yesterday that was in a car accident about three weeks ago. She was on her way home from a doctor's appointment and saw a car moving into her lane, and so she swerved. She swerved her vehicle directly into a picket fence that lined the road, and then found herself pinned in her car in the middle of a field. When the car came to its' resting place, she looked down to see her right hand holding her left hand...that was no longer attached to her arm. Her left hand had been completely cut off. Clearly and understandably so, she was in shock and remembers thinking "this is not good". She then remembers resigning herself to the fact that she was about to die and she told God or "Bud" as she will sometimes say, "I am ready". A few more blurred minutes passed and before she knew it, she was in an ambulance heading to the hospital. An unidentified man had tied a tourniquet around her bleeding arm, which is ultimately what saved her life. Her hand however could not be saved.

I do not know what I expected from my visit with her, but I certainly did not expect what I saw. Jen was still Jen. She talked a long time about life before she talked about her hand. When I could no longer handle the pink elephant in the room that clearly was only crowding me, I moved into my questions about the accident. She was so calm about the whole thing, very matter of fact. I didn't get the sense that she was in denial, or guarding herself from feeling the gravity of the situation, I just sensed perspective. She said, "Amy, those picket fences shot all the way through my car like spears, some missing me by no more than an inch, I am lucky to be alive". I was a little taken back, but then later I wondered why such truth and clarity would be so shocking to me. She was alive and so she was grateful. She continued with "I have two choices. I can be mad at God, the devil, and everybody else and be miserable for the rest of my life. Or I can choose not to, and I choose not to. It's a choice".

A choice. Just like that. I left our visit impressed with her, but honestly I think I was really more impressed with our God. He impresses me with the strength He has. He impresses me with the grace He pours out. He impresses me with the "eternal-ness" of all that He is. He doesn't tire, He doesn't grow weary, and He never runs out of all that is good. He didn't dump out a truck load of grace on Jen and then sit down in order to replenish His supply, the flow of life never ceases to flow. That is impressive to me, and it made me glad to know Him. I didn't think I could be any more smitten with Him then I already was, and yet I was surprised once again...and I was grateful for her life and for the much needed perspective that she unknowingly handed to me.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Tuesday reminder

It was a quick reminder early this morning of His faithfulness. A blooming tree in my neighbor's yard. I am not sure that I have ever longed for a spring to come more than I have this year. It has been a cold, hard winter for the body and the soul. I suppose it's due in part to the age of my children. It's a busy age, and though it's lovely, it is also tiring. So this year, though I attempt patience, it looks more like excitement. Excitement that the long days of summer are drawing nearer. Excitement that the bare trees are stirring inside because their Creator is starting to whisper "wake up", and so they obey. Excitement that very soon my kids will be chasing fireflies again in the summer evenings in the backyard, and this year Thomas will be old enough to try and keep up. Excitement that my God choice my broken heart to take up residence in, and that this morning He sent me flowers on a budding tree...just because He loves me.


Linking up with Emily today to unwrap my gift.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just like old times

This is my friend Jessica doing what she does best, being emotional. She is getting ready to get married, and we are not certain how she is going to stay alive until her wedding day due to all the liquid she is going to lose in the form of tears between now and then. I got to go hang with my college girls over the weekend at a shower for our Jessica. Do you have friends that you haven't seen in years, and then as soon as you get back together it's like you're back in college again, sitting on a couch talking girly talk. Only now the talk isn't about classes or boys or sororities; it's about husbands and work and babies and "can you believe this is what 'my body' looks like after nursing these kids of mine" know what I mean. Everybody needs girls like these. Girls that love you despite yourself. Girls that can tease one another without fear of hurting feelings and can talk real with each other without fear of judgement. Those kind of girls are a breath of fresh air for the soul, and that's what these girls are to me.

And just like old times, we had out our cameras in hopes of getting a 'perfect' picture. And just like old times, we took 20 of them and then vainly looked at each to be critical of ourselves.

Here we were distracted:
Here we were laughing at the absurdity of what we were being distracted over:

Here Blair said her arm looked "weird":
The picture taker told us to raise up our chins more...why? That just looks strange and I look like a turtle desperately trying to get its' head out of its' shell:
Though Jessica fears she has "pirate eye" and my hair resembles a football helmet in this picture...we decided this was the best:
At one point during the shower, Jessica oh so casually tells me that Style Me Pretty: The Blog, will be featuring her June wedding at the beach. Ummmmm....excuse me?!?!? I can't deal. I think it kind of might feel like a celebrity wedding; and that very real, professional blog is going to hate me by the end of the wedding as I intend on recording the entire thing with my camera for my very pretend, non-professional blog. Aren't you excited?
One more thing, if you were one of the people that emailed me about a tutorial for the Emerson knock off flowers, go back and check the end of that post from Friday, I added a link to the tutorial I used. Have fun!


Friday, March 12, 2010

I have this disease...

I have a major undiagnosed problem. I have this disease where everything cute and lovely and overpriced that I lay my eyes on, I consider a personal challenge to try and figure out how to make it myself for a lot cheaper. If you don't believe me, just ask the Sassy Seamstress. So please consider that information while reading my post today...

How stinkin' cute is she? I came across yesterday and I have been salivating ever since. I think this must be Emerson and I think if we knew each other in real life we would be best friends. Actually, probably not...she looks a lot cooler than me. Okay, sorry, this is not a post about Emerson the person, but rather those flowers that I am going to try and create on my own. That's legal, right? Assuming I can figure it out just by the looking at her picture.

I mean seriously...why is that not me in this picture?
Now that's just to die for...
Here is my first attempt. I learned a lot, I burned a lot of fingers, pricked myself a few times...but I think I've got it. Oh the possibilities...oh the little amount of time I have to do anything other than change diapers! But I'll tell ya, it beats the heck out of paying $90 for one...I don't care how cute she is...and she is pretty stinkin' cute!
So here is the tutorial that helped me on my quest for creating the perfect fabric flower that doesn't cost $ comes from Nori at Love2Create. Thanks so much for the inspiration Nori! I hope you don't mind that I have taken your words of wisdom and tweeked a few things. I just love these flowers!
Oh and if you are here from Better After...welcome! Thanks for the shout out Better After...your blog is the best!
I am linking this post to Twice Remembered: Make Your Monday. Wow, did I really just include five links in one post? That is a record.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday

There are a lot things I am thankful for today. I am thankful that spring is almost here. I am thankful that God thought it would be fun to add into our family mix a boy, after giving us two girls. I am thankful that Emily introduced me to Picnik. And I am thankful that my husband bought me a Canon Rebel XSI for Christmas this year....but probably not as thankful as my photographer sister is, as I do not beg her for her services nearly as much as I used to.

What are you thankful for?


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A servant's heart

I sat their eggs in front of them and then ran to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and attempt to wipe away the mascara from the day before that was smeared under my eyes making me resemble a raccoon. If I can attempt to accomplish nothing else in the morning, masking the dark circles under my eyes is essential to pretending I am not as disorganized as I actually am. While staring in the mirror I heard Caroline in the other room say "I will help you". I stopped what I was doing and walked back to the kitchen. I watched for several minutes taking the moment in. She had pulled her chair over to her brother's high chair and was feeding him his breakfast. Such a simple thing, it didn't require much. It didn't require money or planning. It didn't require a shower or make up. It just required a kind heart; a quiet, simple moment of service, of kindness, of love...a moment that only a servant's heart can produce.

My presence was unnoticed for about 2 minutes, but then Thomas spotted me and started laughing. He was laughing because he could tell something fun was happening. He was excited to be being fed and he was joyfully accepting the moment. Caroline turned to me and said "He was shoving it in his mouth so I told him I would help him". I smiled and sat down next to them and took a few more pictures. She was proud.

I am always surprised that in moments like these God reveals himself so strongly. We look for it in the big moments, we expect it there. And certainly he is present for those big, culminating times in life like when you have a baby or when you get married. But the older I get and the calmer I give my heart permission to be, I see Him more and more in the simpler moments. It speaks much of His character, does it not? I remember watching my grandfather feed my grandmother before she died. She couldn't do it anymore and he sat so content across from her wheel chair feeding her. What a moment, what a gift, what a privilege it is that God allows us to care for his children.
I tend to wake up each morning with my lists and my busy work and then wonder why at the end of the day I am so tired. I think my heart would do well to accept the small gifts that have been handed to me for today, and to live them with a still and less anxious heart. For today is the day that the Lord has made, the time is now to receive His gifts, the time is now to give him thanks, the day is today to be still and know that He is God.


I am linking up with Emily today over at Chatting at the Sky to unwrap the simple gifts.