Monday, March 3, 2014

Another Year, Another Rememberance Stone

21 And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:21-24

Everyone knows the story of Moses and the Red Sea, but did you know God did the same thing a second time for Joshua and the Jordan? Oh, to fight our forgetfulness! 

Each year since God opened my heart and saved me by His grace in 2008, I've made an effort to fight forgetfulness by writing what God has revealed to me through the current year on a stone. I pray that I would never forget His lessons, and that it would heal my heart to fear the LORD! {fear of the Lord means to to have a reverential obedience and making God your only idol}
God's theme for me in 2013 was learning to treasure Christ. It was an amazing year of suffering, grace, mercy, healing, and eyes being opened. 

I've shared my struggle with contentment as a working mom previously, and in May 2013, God soften my heart and allowed me to be content with my circumstances. After becoming content, God revealed to me what He had been up to in my suffering through reading John. God revealed to me that He was not answering my prayer, and allowing me to suffer because He was healing my heart of my idol of money. Did you know that the sin that led to the betrayal of Jesus and resulted in the brutal death of Jesus was an idol of money?! Yep, Judas had been stealing money out of the offerings, and then on the night of the last supper, he betrayed Jesus for money. Judas loved money more than Jesus...and so do I. Convicting.

Suffering is a promise for all those that love and follow God. And I'm so thankful that God allowed me to suffer, and not let me chase after my idol. God is good, and God does good. Yes, even in suffering. 

Over the summer I began to pray for God to gently and mercifully remove my idol of money, and to heal my heart to love and treasure Christ more than money. I was scared out of my mind because I thought that God would heal my heart through even greater suffering. I was anticipating us losing our jobs, our house burning, and living on the streets. Why do I try to expect God's moves? Why do I always go to worst case scenario? God's heart is always on trial. 

God answered my prayer in September 2013 in a very unpredictable way. He blessed me with more money, a better working schedule, and new work responsibilities. What? I was completely shocked. Why would He bless me financially when my idol is money? 

There is so much more to the story of God's movement in my circumstances from giving me Mila, to suffering through an at risk pregnancy, kidney stones, employee chaos, and more. This past year was mixed with blessings and sufferings, and reflecting on this, God revealed to me His theme for this year.

Treasure Me, love Me. Not your circumstances, not your idols. Fear Me and Me alone. 

"11 ...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13

These verses are often misquoted. The promise isn't that I can do anything I set my mind to...if I dream I will get it...if I work hard my dreams will come true. NO! What Paul is saying is that his circumstances doesn't dictate his joy. Paul's ability to endure life, to do all things, is solely based on treasuring Christ. And, treasuring Christ produces fear of the Lord. That's Paul's strength. 

Oh, to be free from circumstances. Yes God, I see what 2013 was about. Learning to treasure Christ, whether in plenty, suffering, need, or abundance. 

Let this stone be a constant reminder. Let people ask me what these stones mean, so that every person knows the Lord is mighty and good, and all who hear should fear the LORD!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Big K Christmas Decor

It's hard to make big changes every year with your interior Christmas decor, unless you want to break the bank. I like decking the halls with the same holiday decor each year, because so many of my decorations have sentimental value. Every ornament has a story, and as I hang each one I am immediately taken to the day I received it. 

But, I like a little change with my Christmas decor, and my mirror-turned-chalkboard helps me balance the sentimental memories and a fresh decor theme. 

This was our house last year, a theme of "Joy to the World". And, here's a peek into our home this year with a theme of "O, Come All Ye Faithful":

 I let Caleb pick out his own tree and ornaments...of course he picks Mickey and Friends!

I changed our card wreath from last year to something a little more honor of Mila. 
This year I wanted to display our Christmas cards on our Jesse Tree. I love our annual Jesse Tree Advent Activity, and what better way to combine my favorite activity with looking at my family and friends each day?!?! 

I took some ribbon and tied it to a clothing pin...and you get a Christmas card ornament.

And after Christmas is over, I hole punch a corner of the card and save the cards on a single ring. My friend Jo gave me the idea! She encouraged me to save the cards, and each day pray over one of the families. What a great way to remember to pray specifically for family and friends!

...and Caleb got his first Nativity set {it never looks like this...normally everyone is scattered across the floor}...

We attempted to take a Christmas card photo this weekend...I've had my eye on this card, but I need to actually order it! You might get it next year!

 WINNER {with the help of some candy}

That's our Big K Christmas decor this year. Not a whole lot of change...but that's how I like it!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Caleb Turned TWO

I can't believe my little man turned two last month! Time is flying by y'all! {and Mila will be here in exactly 3 months}

We threw Caleb a little birthday party at our neighborhood's community center {no cleaning house for this momma, and no need for a contingency plan for our very unpredictable Texas weather}, and the theme was Disneyland! Surprise, surprise. 

Caleb was in love with Mickey before our Disney trip, and since the trip he is obsessed with all things Disney! His favorite movies are Toy Story 3, Up, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I wanted to bring all of our fun Disneyland memories back to life at Caleb's party...anything for a smile from my little man. Here's a peek into the birthday boy's day:

Overall, we had a great time celebrating our Disney-loving-little-man! I think Caleb LOVED his party...he took a four hour nap afterwards, so I would say it was a success!