Saturday, July 4, 2015

ten songs for the weekend.

who you are - jj heller
who i am - jessica andrews
complicated melody - india.arie
stars in the sky - kari jobe
what i wouldn't do - a fine frenzy
sovereign over us - michael w smith
be still - kari jobe
far away - ingrid michaelson
for always - bebe & cece whininess
broken open - gordon mote

there's no big rhyme or reason to the songs that i've been clicking this week (there's never a reason to my music choices...), but as my 6-year-old & I lay in the heat, in front of a fan getting ready for bedtime stories, these songs have been keeping our minds off the the heat!

check these out on iTunes, or give them a listen on youtube, I'm sure you'll love them!

happy weekend!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

weekend love: succulents!

Yep, it's true! I love me some succulents. I think they look like magical, underwater roses. They are so beautiful and yes, they even rival my love of wildflowers (rival, but...maybe not beat!).

Some friends & I had a "favourite things party" tonight, and my "thing" was succulents. I love how many cute little ways they can be planted & displayed. I thought I'd share with you, some of the most inspirational, fun & cute! ways to plant these sweet little things! I hope you enjoy & find them as darling as I do.

try your succulents....
  • monogrammed! I can't wait to try this. my brother is building Jake a playhouse in our backyard and I think a big ol' "J" full of succulents outside would look too cute!
  • In driftwood! this photo makes me want to go drag a log off the beach and carve it out right now! how gorgeous is this?? 
  • amongst candles. my sister in law & I did this with our moms at Christmas time and they turned out just gorgeous. I was inspired, at first, by this video from Ingrid Nilsen (watch @ 4:48 to see the piece we did).
  • on a living wall. This is something that I might just be a little lazy and go buy, instead of make. We went to a greenhouse this weekend where they had several of these made up. Wow, were they ever stunning! A huge project to take on, for sure!
  • in tea tins! ♥ Be still, my heart; sweet little old tea tins full of blooming, bright succulents! Ahh, such simple, artistic beauty -- and, a pretty way to recycle, too! I'm using a teeny tiny tea tin from David's Tea right now to grow a cutting from one of my mom's hens & chicks!
  • oh my... succulents in a ladle! too cute and how simple? pop a nail up on your fence, stick a few minis, or one large succulent into the round ladle bowl and hang away! let the ooo's and ahh's and "aren't-you-clever's" begin! (try them in teacups, too!)
  • inside corks, on magnets! the description does it no justice, but check them out! I saw these cutest things first in another one of Ingrid Nilsen's youtube videos (see here, at 3:57). I love them & I think these will definitely be the next ones I try!
  • and, while succulents look absolutely gorgeous in all these unique & funky different places, you literally cannot go wrong by just choosing your favourite one and placing it, alone, in a simple little pot at on your windowsill!

See? Succulents! So many options; definitely fave-worthy! Stop by your local nursery & pick up one today! Happy weekending! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

closing a book

I just put down my pen after writing in the last line of the last page of my prayer journal. This journal went from February 2013 to today. In it are thoughts, concerns, words of thanks, fears, songs....prayers. All conversations with the Lord.

It's always special finishing a prayer journal. It's a beautiful time of review.

I started writing prayer journals right after I had my son and came out of a time of fear and anxiousness. In my heart, I was never still. (which is why I clung so much to my song, "Still", you can listen here). My heart, my mind, was always jumping from one possibility to the next, one "what-if" to the other, which left me feeling like I was just blowing around in a windstorm every day. Writing my prayers down really helped ground me when my mind couldn't be still enough to just talk, or even listen, to the Lord.

When I review my prayer journal, I picture the cartoon I once saw of a person blowing in the wind while holding onto a lamp post. The person is blowing left, right and centre, like a flag; holding onto their hat, their jacket whipping around them - unsure at best. But that lamp post? It's not going anywhere. That lamp post isn't afraid of the wind.

That's what I realize every time I write in a journal for the final time. Every time I go back and read what has been on my heart over the past years. God was there through the whole thing; steady, faithful & absolutely unwavering.

When I felt like things were crashing down, or was afraid they might; God was there, still & steady, for me. When I was rejoicing, He was still there. Every please I said, every thank you, every what-if...I could go on. He was there. He never changes.

Finishing a prayer journal is encouragement for me to live more sure of Christ. More sure of His love for me, more sure of His sovereignty, His faithfulness. Reminded that while I wake up every day and see a bright new section of canvas, He sees the whole picture. He is not afraid of what each day may bring, because He sees the story from beginning to end. Even when I come running to Him at every juncture, checking, asking, thanking, praying, hoping that everything will be okay... He never wonders. He never changes, wonders or worries, and yet He lets us. He lets us come to Him every day, every moment, any time. He is always there and even longs for us to come.

He knows me, He knows my thoughts, and, when reviewing my daily conversations with Him, I am just so assured that He's got me - right smack in the middle of His hands.

Exodus 14:13 "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today."

Thursday, May 7, 2015

be a wildflower

It's not the finely cut bouqet of roses, or the perfectly placed arrangement from the florist. No, those are stunning and beautiful, but it's the little yellow flower who has pushed his face up through a crack in the dry cement, that is truly beautiful to me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

a new beginning...

today we start our journey in home-schooling. (homeschooling? or home-schooling? who knows.)

I do have to say I'm very very excited. We spent the last week completely organizing our home (like, fine-tooth-comb style). We got rid of 100 useless (to us) things and brought in nothing to replace them. That felt great!
I have bins of supplies, ziplocs full of stickers & binders with endless notes -- I am feeling as ready as I think I can feel when beginning a journey like this.

Homeschooling... I never thought we would do it, but here we are!

If you are in our life (or, even if you are not!), we would love your prayers for a fun & efficient year. I really do feel that this is what God wants, right now, for our family and mainly for J, so I am feeling truly expectant that the Lord will have His hand on us as we learn together & that it will be a blessing to all of us.

I was joking around with the girls from our youth group the other night that my biggest prayer is that I will be able to follow along with the Kindergarten academics! I say it mostly as a joke, but I've been boldly reminded of how much learning you really have to do when you teach.  (I realized that first as a voice teacher, had it reiterated to me as a youth leader & now feel that the point will be truly driven home as this next chapter of our life begins.).

So, friends, as I said, we would love it if you would pray for us; and as we move into life as a homeschool family, I remember these precious verses:

"Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, August 23, 2014

28 before 28 on the 28th!

each year I keep a list of things I would like to do the following year. I love fresh starts, monday mornings, new beginnings - and I also like a good list-making session.

this year I will turn 28 on October 28th; a fact that I can either stress out about (28 feels OLD!) or celebrate! i've also always thought it would be cool, turning 28 on the 28th.

all that to say... i thought i'd indulge in a little list-making & share with you online-amigos the 28 things I've been wanting to before I turn 28 on the 28th.

1. Read a good book.
2. Lose 20lbs (11 down - 9 to go!)
3. Watch Pride & Prejudice.
4. Research some family history. (mission ventured! Thanks & some impeccable record-keepers through the centuries!)
5. Get family portraits done.
6. Perform a song I've written. (Hmm...maybe we will get there.)
7. Go to a zoo or aquarium. (I somehow have never been to either before. We did the aquarium with Jakob & my mom this Spring- the perfect little day!)
8. Go natural with my hair for a little while. (Doing! This inspired the sharing of this list tonight.)
9. Play banjo...better! (getting there!)
10. Do something magical & exciting with Jakob. (His first time at the VIEX this year and he LOVED every minute! Simple, but magical for him!)
11. Read through the Bible again. (almost finished, we are entering the home stretch here in Timothy now).
12. Sew something.
13. Knit a scarf.
14. Make Julia Child's beef bourguinion. 
15. Grow a successful garden.
16. Discover a new artist to listen to. (For those of you who haven't heard her... listen yo-self some Ellie Holcomb!)
17. Keep a blog up-to-date. (what do I write about/focus on?)
18. Host a worship night for BC Teen-Challenge. 
19. Go camping again.
20. Do a personal Bible study on a book of the Bible.
21. Drink more tea. Thank you David's Tea for moving in! New favourite -- watermelon mint iced tea. Mmmmm.
22. Just plain old try something new! I went TUBING the other week with friends and I tell you -- I haven't enjoying something so much in a long time! -- and I enjoy a LOT of things! What FUN!)
23. Watch "The Color Purple".
25. Do something in water colour. 
26. Do something extraordinary.
27. Wear lipstick sometimes.
28. Teach Jakob to read. (we are close. soooo close!)

So there we have it - what 27 has held & hopefully will still hold in these last few months of it!

Some things I want to do in my 28th year include making a quilt, going on a family vacation (non music/work related) & heading to Nashville again.

Let me know if YOU have done any of these things!

Monday, March 10, 2014

come to Jesus

it always amazes me how God works, through prayer. It shouldn't; because this is the Maker of the universe, in whom I place my total faith -  it shouldn't surprise me that He is able to fulfill His promises to me...and yet, here we are.

last night, after a busy couple of days, I just sat down to read God's word & pray. the breath I took when I sat down there was a heavy, tired one; I knew before doing anything else, even before reading the Word, I needed to pray. After spending time sat down with the Lord just, conversing, sharing & laying out my heart; my burdens and weariness were lifted from me. It sounds so typical of a Christian to word it that way, but I truly felt lighter as I left all of those things at God's feet.

That's what He is here for, to make our burden easier.

Matthew 11:28 - "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden & I will give you rest."


John 10:10 - "...I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full".

Those are words that Jesus actually said, and, if you believe in Him, those sentences above are ones I suggest you rest in & take to heart.

Come to Jesus, rest in Him & allow Him to take your burden (your stress, worries, tiredness...) away. He didn't die on the cross so that we could have many verses to quote, or so that we would spend our days tired & stressed out.... He came, He lived, He died... so that we could live life to the fullest! Leave your burdens, leave your weariness in His worthy hands and see what He will do with them... He will remove them from you, He will (He DID) take them upon Himself and allow you to be free...

I'm so very thankful for my time in prayer last night, as it reminded me of how very strong & capable my Lord is. I'm so thankful for a time of rest with the King of the universe...

I wake up today feeling refreshed and ready for the week. Ready to be sensitive to God's calling me & to go where He wants me to go. Ready to live life to the full, with all last week's stresses in the rear view mirror, rather than piling up on my dashboard.

Chris Rice wrote:
"Weak & wounded sinner, lost and left to die; oh raise your head for Love is passing by.
Come to Jesus, come to Jesus & live...
now your burden's lifted and carried far away, His precious blood has washed away the stain...
so sing to Jesus, sing to Jesus, sing to Jesus & live."

It goes on to say that in every situation, come to Jesus... & I agree. Today, just come to Jesus for everything you need, rest, encouragement, love, forgiveness...come to Jesus!