Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Discouraged and grateful

A few nights ago, I was driving home with my little man asleep.  In these rare occasions when I am alone, I either crank up the radio and sing at the top of my lungs even though I can't carry a tune  Or I have a conversation out loud with God.  This particular night, I praised Him.  I started out praising Him for the amazing Father that He is.  I then went on to thank Him for all the things in my life that are such a blessing to me (including you-- my blog sisters!).  As I was pulling into my driveway 25 min later, I was still thanking Him.  Thanking God for all His goodness, thanking Him for the abundance of blessings that overflow in my life.  As I was cleaning my bathroom yesterday, I was thinking again upon all these blessings.

Life for me right now is really good, really fulfilling.  It's easy to reflect back on all of God's goodness.  I'm just really encouraged by the fact that I'm right where I need to be in this season of my life.

Sometimes I get discouraged or disheartened.

At times, I get discouraged about my part-time job.  A whole lot of that discouragement comes in the form of my commute where I drive 20 out of the 25-mile drive in construction zones and all the crazy drivers that are in a hurry to make it to work on time.  But...I'm grateful that I have a job I love.  A job with an extremely flexible schedule.  A job that gets me out of the home for a few hours a week.  A job that draws us that much closer to not being a slave to the lender.

I get discouraged at my husband for working mega overtime hours while he spends some evenings at the ball field, some days practicing with his bands, and then sleeping the rest of the time he is home, so it seems.  Our time together is very limited.  But... I'm grateful for my husband that is healthy, able, and willing to put in all those extra hours to pay for the beautiful home we live in and put money aside for our kids' futures.

I find myself getting frustrated at my kids because sometimes it seems like I'm a single parent with Rich being out of pocket so much.  The older ones are arguing more, and just being pre-teens in general.  With Dad being away, they are needing so much from me right now.  But... I'm grateful they know what's right and what's wrong.  They know when they need to step up and help out.  They know and respect the fact that in our life it is God first, family second and friends third.

I'm really getting flustered at my spring cleaning and my home.  I don't need to be in control of my daily life, that's God's job.  But I do like to be organized and efficient!  If I am not, then I feel like I can't get anything accomplished.  Every week, I set goals for myself of what I want to accomplish for that week in terms of my home, my kids, my husband.  As I'm maturing, I'm learning that it's okay if those goals don't get met for that week.  It's okay to roll those goals over to the next week.  It's not something to stress about.  As I've learned to deal with these things, I have found that I'm not stressed out all the time like I used to be.  This past month has been a different story.  I'm allowing my frustration of a cleaning schedule that I want to be on interfere with other things.  But... I'm grateful for the large home we live in because it is comfortable for everyone to have their own space, yet a place for us all to come together as a family.

What is so interesting is that as I'm typing out my feelings, I'm realizing how all these discouragements are working together to try and get me down, frustrated, angry.  But... I'm grateful for my God that sends abundant blessings into my life.  Because of the goodness and joy that He fills my heart with, these frustrations are fleeting.  I so enjoy praising Him at any second of the day for the small pleasures and the big discouragements that grow me.

If you've stayed with me to the end of this post, I thank you.  =]  This is really more for me.  I needed to get these things off my chest and remind myself how grateful I am!

I do want to share something about my home that has been taking forever to do, but I am amazed at the results!  Some of you know how much oak woodwork we have in our home.  I have been using a finish rejuvenator by The Victorian House made right here in Skiatook, OK.  It is incredible!  These pictures are of the door to the garage that gets used numerous times daily.  Before...

I only did the door frame so you can see the difference.  After...

Yes, it is incredible!  I buy mine in Claremore but there are a few stores in Tulsa that sell it if you need to bring some wood back to life.  By the way, this is what is throwing my cleaning schedule off.  I just don't want to be spring cleaning this summer when I can be lazy out by the pool.

Thanks for visiting me and listening to me ramble on and on...  I appreciate your friendship!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Even more goodies... projects I've been working on

Don't you just love receiving goodies in the mail?  I had another fun week of that happening!  I almost feel guilty for winning so many delightful giveaways!  Notice I said almost... Hehe!  Yes girls, for some reason I've been fortunate to win so much, sorry to take it away from you!  I've decided it's time for me to repay the honor and work on a giveaway.  I sure love to receive, but even more... I love to give.  I'll have to see what I can come up with.

First, I won Karen's (New Beginnings) wonderful soap giveaway!  Look at all the great goodies that she sent!

I love it all, but I really love the homemade soap!  I have a cast iron soap holder that stays in my main bath.  I change out the soaps for the different seasons.  Look how perfect these soaps fit and they look so neat!

I put the oatmeal (I think?) soap out to use and I love the way it smells and feels!  My men are afraid to use it.  I told them it is all natural, all homemade goodness.  It is wonderful!  The tea lights are apple and smell so delicious!  Makes me want to bake a pie!  I put the blue soap and the shell soaps in one of the upstairs bathroom that is blue with a beach theme.  How about that?  It's like Karen knew exactly what would work in my home!  I didn't get a picture because my little guy was so excited about the soap that he took the raffia off and used it!  Oh well, he did tell me that the soaps were so beautiful!  How could I get onto him after that?  What a fun giveaway!  Thanks so much Karen!!  I love it all and it works perfect!

Then I received a wonderfully prim sign that I bought from Jody (Star Spangled Pretties).  She had it wrapped so neat that I didn't want to tear in to it!  How cute is this...

I love the sign!  It's gonna have to be put up till this fall though, when I will work on my living room.  Isn't it so neat?

This is what I've been working on lately and why I haven't been creating or crafting.  My daughter's softball helmet used to be pink.  I didn't get a before picture, but it was pink all over.  She has outgrown the pink, but not the helmet (thank goodness!).  So I decided to paint it lime green and black... the colors of their uniform.  It took a week because it has 2 layers of black paint, 4 layers of lime green paint and 6 layers of sealer on it... lots of in-between drying time!  In the end I think it turned out great from afar, just don't look too close.  Haha!  She was happy with it so that's all that matters!

Still working on my woodwork in my home.  This home is beautiful with all the oak moldings and trim.  The builder did a wonderful job on it!  When we bought the home 4.5 years ago, the homeowner said she cleaned the wood twice a year.  Well, here it's been this long and I'm just now doing it for the first time!  Hehe, I feel like such a slacker!  I didn't realize how dinged up the wood was until I got close to it.  I'm going to show you another amazing picture!  This Victorian House Finish Rejuvenator is incredible stuff!

This is the door from our house to our garage.  It gets so much abuse, numerous times daily.  Honestly, you can't tell that it's this bad unless you get down on the floor.  I'm almost embarrassed to show you the pic!  Haha!
As you can see, only the door frame is done.  I had to take this picture to show you how amazing this stuff is!!

Because I've been working so hard on spring cleaning and my woodwork project, all else has been put aside.  I'm making progress, but too slow for me!  I want to get outside and plant some sweet potato vines and flowers that I bought last week.  Since I can't get outside yet, I thought I would leave you with a picture of some of my beautiful flowers.

The azaleas are so pretty!  They bloom out so beautifully, I just love it!

Oh my!  That green in the hosta is a gorgeous shade!

Thank you for visiting me.  I wish for you a wonderfully blessed week, my prim friends~

Monday, April 19, 2010

My dear friend Cora

When you have a minute, grab a cup of tea, and go over to visit my sweet friend Cora.  She is a true Southern girl full of goodness and delightful hospitality.  She was recently, rightfully featured in Gooseberry Patch's blog as their Featured Friday blog.  I discovered Cora when Gooseberry Patch started their blog last year.  Her blog name "Heartfelt and Homemade" drew me to her.  She is sincerely heartfelt with homemade goodness thrown in.  I love how she so effortlessly displays her beautiful photography, her delicious recipes, her ingenious crafting, her charming sense of humor and most importantly-- her love of our Savior.  She never fails to mention Christ and I love that about her.  

I'm so grateful for all the wonderful, sweet friends that I have made through this blogging journey.  I truly believe that each new friend I make is a divine appointment by God to give me one more precious sister to keep me accountable, pray for me, encourage me, bring me joy, and lift my spirits.  Thank you dear friends!  I love you all!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A fabulous woman

A fabulous woman is any woman who is whole.
A whole woman in every aspect of the word.
She is complete, unbroken, undivided, and full.
Her mind is heavy with her dreams and hopes, and is on track and willing to learn.
Her heart holds love and desires; and she is ready to share room in it for her family and all that breaths life.
Her smile is beaming with kindness and is given away in a split second.
Her eyes are set so that we can see deep down into her very soul.
Her ears are ready to listen and keep many secrets.
Her hands are talented and prepared for work; helping, creating, making, and holding.
Her arms are far-reaching and willing to embrace the moment.
Her shoulders are strong enough to bare the burdens of the whole world.
 Her legs are equipped for running and walking beside her loved ones;
they are prepared to travel the distance; and even for kneeling.
Her body is predestined for the Lord’s labor of love here on this earth.
Although she may not be physically whole...
she can still do all these things and so much more.
Her capability is unlimited.
She is absolute and total.
She is without a doubt FABULOUS.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My delightful goodies from Darla over at The Prim Patch

Yee haw!!  I got my surprise package in the mail from Darla over at The Prim Patch!!  I won her secret giveaway!!  Let me tell you... she is AWESOME!  WOW!!  She spoiled me with lots of goodies!  I was so excited about all the wonderful goodies that I forgot to get a picture of it all together so I'll show you where I put it.

This is in my laundry room.  I just finished spring cleaning in there today.  It's never been decorated because my crafting area was in there until I moved it all out and put it in another room.  This is all the prim I have in there... so far, but that will change.  =]  Karen (The Barely There Primitive Bear), see my brown Clorox bottle that I found at a yard sale years ago for a quarter?  Back to Darla's goodies... the clothespins in the bowl and the spool.

The wooden clothespins are wonderfully made!  They are dipped in wax and spices then covered with my favorite.. homespun!  They are tied up with jute and embellished with rusty pins and bell.  They are too cute sitting in the bowl I just re-did.

The spool.. oh my goodness!  I was just telling another prim blog friend that I was gonna have to make me one.  How on earth did you know Darla??

It's almost like Darla was reading my mind this week as I was thinking about how I wanted to decorate my laundry room.  To get to the only bathroom I have on the main floor, you have to step through the laundry room.  I always had my craft table piled high with projects on it and I hated every time someone would be visiting and need to use the bathroom.  So I decided to move it all out and now it's fresh, clean and simple in there.  But too simple... so I am going to prim it up.  My laundry room decorating will be an extension of My sewing half-bath.  Don't you just love it when you receive something that works perfect for what you need?!  Thanks so much Darla!

My 4 yr old son was so excited about my box.  He helped me open it up, unwrap everything and set it in place.  These two prim wonderful goodies were in the box also!!  Robbie said "Oh how beautiful!" with much excitement, it was so cute!  He said he knew the perfect spot for them and this is where he put them... on the entryway bench.

Hanging on a peg hook shelf in the dining room is the temporary home for the star until I get my patriotic living room started this fall.  I just love it and it's going to work perfect in there!

I adore sheep and just started collecting them this past year.  This is the temporary home of the sheep because I'm going to be painting this room soon and moving things around.  Isn't it just the cutest?!

I also received three wonderful smelling tarts!  Darla, did you make those and what scent is it?  My husband asked what I was cooking because it smelled like maple in the house and I hadn't even had them in the tart warmer yet!  Lol!  But they will smell wonderful in the new tart warmer my mother-in-law just bought me.

Darla, you're awesome!!  =]  Every single thing is perfect for me, how'd you know girl??  Love it all!  Thanks so much!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My new addiction

I’m so glad I discovered Briwax!

It’s now my new addiction!  Do you remember the small bowls I got at the thrift store?  This is what they looked like when I brought them home.

After sealing them, I painted them with Folk Art’s English Mustard, Apple Spice, and Pebblebrook paint.

I finally found some Ebony Briwax and went to town on these bowls.  That stuff is amazing!  I really love the nice sheen finish that it gives.  It reminds me of an old antique patina… so lovely!  Once you buff the Briwax, you are done.  No spray sealing.  No holding out till it’s dry.  It’s dry to the touch and ready to go.  Love it!

Here’s the little mustard one by itself.  I just think it’s so cute now!

As you can tell, I’m loving this stuff.  I’m actually going to re-do some things I’ve done in the past… starting with this little cabinet (I need to antique those stark white knobs-- that's always bothered me).

If you’ve not tried this product, I strongly recommend you try it now!  Hmm… too bad I can’t get paid to advertise for them.  =]

Wishing you a blessed and delightful week~

Monday, April 5, 2010

Family Devotion Time

We had a most enjoyable Easter weekend.  It was full of God’s goodness all around!

We bought each kid a Bible for their basket.  You know it’s time for a four year old to have a Bible when he begs and begs for one.  Robbie was so cute.  He said “Oh look, a book.”  When I told him it was a Bible, he said “For me??”  It was so sweet!

I just wanted to share something that has been heavy on my heart.  I had a conversation with my 11 year old daughter Amariah a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t remember what we were originally discussing, but I started talking about the rapture.  This is how our little conversation went:

Me:  That’s how it’ll be when the rapture takes place.

A:  What?  What are you talking about?

Me:  You know, the rapture… when Jesus comes back…

A:  What?? He’s coming back where?

Me:  To this earth.  I’m very concerned at this point!

A:  What?  Jesus is coming back to the earth?

This conversation is happening as we’re driving down the road.  I just about ran off the road when she said this.  I had to whip my head around and see if she was serious.

Haven’t we talked about this before?!?  In her 11 years existence, has this not been mentioned?  Did I just assume that since I knew about it, she would too?  Didn’t her Sunday school teachers teach her about this??  Then it hit me.  Whose responsibility is it to teach her?

God has been heavily convicting me of a family devotion time for quite a few more years than I care to mention.  I’m just an extremely slow learner!  I will be honest in saying that I waited patiently, thinking that the head of the household should start it.  I mentioned to Rich many times how I wish we would set aside a time when our family would turn everything off, sit with our Bibles, and share with one another.  I laugh now when I think about how collectedly I told him one evening that we were having a Bible study that night and if he wanted to join us, he was more than welcome.

We’ve come such a long way since that first night.  We’ve learned that sometimes you just have to stop in the middle of the devotion and pray.  We’ve learned to ask specific questions to each kid so one kid doesn’t answer all the questions.  Three year olds can be quite disruptive during a Bible study, but works out when the three year old is put in front of the TV during this time.  We now all have prayer journals that we use.  After the devotion is over, everyone goes to their quiet spot in the house and writes out prayers to God.  I’ll never forget the first time we used the prayer journal…  I had to make Amariah stop writing after four full pages and go to bed!

Yes, we have come a long way, but we are so far from where we should be.  We have been very inconsistent.  We allow other things to pop up and invade our time.  This is where the conviction has been heavy this past year.  Before the Extraordinary Women’s conference I went to in March, I was praying for God to show me exactly what it is I need to be doing for Him.  Boy, oh Boy, did he ever whap me upside the head and show me what I was doing wrong!

So.  Please pray for the Berry family as we start our next phase of Family Devotion Time.  These changes will be forged immediately.
·        Four year old Robbie will now be joining us so he can learn right along with the other kids.
·        We WILL start our devotion as soon as the kids are done with their homework, before we have dinner and let the night settle in.
·        We WILL make Monday, Tuesday and Thursday our devotion days. 
·        We will scratch where we left off and start anew in Romans with basic Christianity.

Hm… sounds simple when I put it in writing.  Life is sometimes not as forgiving as a written list.  But I know with God leading us, IT CAN BE DONE!

Even though most times I don’t like it at the time, I am grateful for the convictions that God places on my heart, in my mind because I know He is doing that out of love and He truly desires the best for me and my family.