Monday, November 29, 2010

Can You Believe It's Been 2 Years?

Abby is going to be 2 years old December 9th, so we are throwing her a princess party this weekend. I can't believe it's already time... wow! Come join us for a great time, but be sure to RSVP so we have enough cupcakes for all. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Worship in America...

The Three Most Disturbing Words on TV...

This article really makes you think.

I read it a few days ago and am still convicted. It's well worth your time.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2010/11/22/the-3-most-disturbing-words-on-tv/

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Here's the "Easy" List

Here are the "easy" things I am thankful for in 2010...

- Jesus- Where do I even start? I love Him so much. I'm a mess with Him but an even bigger mess without Him. He is my life source... My joy.. My hope. I don't mean to sound cliche, but I am so overwhelmed with how much He loves me. I am so thankful He never changes and is crazy about me too.

- Bryan- We have been through quite a bit of heartache and tragedy in our short four years together as a married couple, but I love my husband even more with all we have been through together. I appreciate his steadiness and kindness. I love that Jesus is His strength. I couldn't ask for a better husband and Daddy to Abby. I am so proud of the man he is.

- Abby- She is my little firecracker. She's a bundle of noisy bright energy and such a joy. She has been my greatest tool for sanctification so far, and I have no doubt that will be true in the future too. I am crazy about our precious daughter, and I enjoy her so much.

- Family- I love my family both new and old. I am so thankful to have so many people in my life who support me and love me well. I am very aware of how blessed I am.

-Friends- I am thankful for new and old friends this year. I am so grateful for the old friends who have put up with me and who have been there for me for years. You know who you are- I love you! For the new friendships that God has been growing this year, I am thankful for you too! You've had to walk through some times with me this year. I am so thankful for friends who encourage me when I am down, love me when I am imperfect, cry with me when I am sad, and rejoice with me when I am happy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful...

Instead of following the usual Thanksgiving routine for being thankful for the things that are easy to be thankful for, here's how I am learning to be thankful for the difficult things in my life this year.

- I am thankful that Bryan has a physical illness that comes and goes that we couldn't get diagnosed this year, because despite the stress of the unknown, it has taught me more about God's sovereignty. God is good, and He brings even illnesses into our lives for our good and His glory. If I can trust Him with my salvation, I can trust Him with my husband's life. Even knowing a diagnosis wouldn't make us more in control, it would just seem "comforting" to explain away a chronic illness.

-I am thankful that we serve at a small church where our finances are tighter at times than we would prefer. I could go on and on about this one. I have a love/hate relationship with this situation. It has taught me how much I lean towards making money my "god." I have had to learn that God is my Provider over and over again. I have learned how to live more simply than I ever have before. I have learned that much of what I "needed" before wasn't really a need at all. Because of our finances, we were prompted to turn a business idea into a reality, and I have had so much fun doing graphic design and building websites.

-I am thankful that I have lost friends this year. This one has been a tough one for me. I am more aware of my need of a Savior in a thousand different ways. I am thankful that Jesus can work out all things for good in the end. I am thankful that there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Jesus Christ. It's been my lifeline verse.

-I am thankful that I had a child born with allergies almost two years ago. I would have never realized how much food can be an idol in our culture had I not had to give up most "normal" foods for over a year. While Abby has finally outgrown most of her dietary issues, it was a real eye opener. I think I finally eat to live instead of living to eat (but I sure do enjoy food)!

-I am thankful that we miscarried again this year. Don't get me wrong- I hate that it happened- oh, how I hate it. It's in the moments that threaten to rip you apart that you learn how much Jesus loves you- really loves you. I have learned how precious and constant His peace is when we are spending that daily time with Him and how quickly it leaves when we try to live life our own way in our own strength. I am thankful that I have two children waiting for me in heaven when Jesus brings me to my final home. I can't wait to meet them. I like knowing that they will never know a life apart from Jesus- they get to start enjoying Him in His fullness now without any pain or sorrow.

-I am thankful that I am so imperfect that I can't pull it all together most days. I'm often late, sometimes disorganized, and too often opinionated. With such obvious pitfalls and shortcomings, two things are obvious from my life. Jesus really does love sinners, and Jesus doesn't give up on sinners. I am thankful that I am so greatly loved by my Jesus and that He sees something beautiful in the mess I am.

How about you?

What tough things can you be thankful for this week?

What painful confessions of thankfulness do you have?

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Little Details

God's sovereignty in the little details still gets to me. I just can't get over being amazed at how intimately He is ALWAYS working through every situation good or bad in my life and yours. Here's a classic example tonight.

Let me run through the steps that led us to the present.

-2 years ago, we buy a house and my parents give us their old queen mattress and box springs.
- 8 months ago, we find a nice wooden bed frame beside a garbage dump that just needs to be sanded down and painted. Since someone had just given us their old van, we were able to load it up and carry it to our house to be restored.
- 2 months ago, we finally find the time to restore the bed and paint it to get our guest bedroom ready for out of town guests.
- 1 month ago, a single mom of 4 gives her life to Christ and begins coming to our church.
- 2 weeks ago, we find out that we can get a huge tax deduction if we give up our guest bedroom and turn it exclusively into an office for our web design business.
- Yesterday, we post our bed frame on craigslist to sell it to help pay for Abby's playhouse that we are building her for a birthday/Christmas gift. At Bible study that night, we find out the single mom needs a queen mattress and box springs. She's been making do with sleeping on the couch or on box springs for a while.
-Today, we sell the bed frame to a guy that needed a frame cheap for his college-aged daughter who is coming home for Christmas from Minnesota. We give our queen mattress/box springs to the single mom so she can actually sleep comfortably at night for the first time in a while. Our guest bedroom can turn into an office now as needed. With the $50, we can buy leftover lumber for Abby's playhouse that we found tonight on Craigslist for really cheap.

Doesn't God's sovereignty in the small things just blow you away?

God is just so good- so involved- so present- always.

Incredible.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh How He Loves Us

Have you ever had an off day where you just felt unloved and unloveable? Well, that was my day today. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I was running off so little sleep wide open on a busy day. It was just one of those days where EVERYTHING seemed to go wrong that I touched. You know what I am talking about. My hair was bad. My house was dirty. My kid was fussy. Just one of those days.

Tonight, as I wrapped up a few things online, I saw a contest on Devacurl for 50 lucky curls from 50 states, so I submitted my email address just for a shot. Can you believe I got an email back saying that I had been selected from MS for a Devastylist to come cut my hair?!!!

At that moment, I heard God whisper... See I can provide for your wants with even impossible odds against them. This may seem like a shallow thing to be humbled by, but this is what you don't know.

I have secretly really, really wanted a Devacut, but there aren't stylists anywhere near me. It would be an overnight trip to do it, and with saving up for Bryan's seminary tuition, it just wasn't going to happen.

Out of the blue, a Devastylist is traveling to Gautier, MS to cut my hair!??? Coincidence. No. That was a love letter from God to remind me how closely He knows even the stupid, selfish desires of my heart that not even my closest friends know. That's how intimately He cares for me... and you. (If that doesn't make you tear up, something is wrong with you. He loves you that much too.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Day

Summary of My Day:

Manage websites. Check.
Design & order banner. Check.
Chores. Check.
Walgreens trip. Check.
Client Website down. Check.
Abby drinks 1 oz. of Benadryl while fixing Website. Check.
Call ER. Check.
Call Poison Control. Check.
Fixing Website while Abby moonwalks in the Living Room. Check.

Dear Dr. James Dobson,

I would like to introduce you to the new strong-willed child. She puts all of your examples in your book to shame. Also, she can climb really well to reach things put away and can pop a child-proof cap in less than 10 seconds.

This is Abby.

Kind Regards,

Her Tired Mommy

Sunday, November 7, 2010

True Gospel

Many of you have wondered why I would share our journey through this miscarriage so openly. Honestly, I believe it is God's will for us to suffer publicly this time. Three years ago, when we miscarried shortly after sharing our good news, I decided that I never wanted to go through grieving in the public eye again. However, God's will for us was different than mine.

What you don't know is that when we found out we were pregnant, we were only 3 weeks along. We kept it a secret until weeks later when we had went through repeat HCG levels and an ultrasound that confirmed the pregnancy was healthy.

Days after we began sharing our good news, I began bleeding- at first, in a way that looked like spotting. After a doctor's visit where they assured us that everything was normal, we continued to share and trusted that the bleeding would stop without any problems. I even heard God whisper to me leaving the office that day, "That everything would be ok- to trust in Him." We did... and still do.

I haven't shared our journey for attention or to make myself look strong, because I'm not. I'm actually the weakest, most insecure person you will ever meet, but my Savior is so faithful, so sure, so strong. He has given me a strength, a hope, a peace, and a joy along this difficult road that I have never known before.

Everything is ok. Not in the way I wanted it to be. I want to still be pregnant. I want to give Abby a baby brother or sister in June. But, I trust God. I trust that He has a purpose in our suffering. I trust that He has a purpose in us sharing this journey with you. I have no idea what it is. Maybe you need to know what the true Gospel is.

The true Gospel is not that life will always go well for believers and that they will have abundant health and financial prosperity in this life. That's a lie from hell.

The true Gospel is that we are weak and pitiful in a horribly broken world and that God in His great love for sinners like us sent His only Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins that we might have hope in His resurrection. That we, His children, would not fear death and eternal separation from Him or our loved ones that believe in Him. The true Gospel is that Jesus is enough for us here in this life and the next and that we do not have to be alone. The true Gospel is why I can rejoice in my grief knowing that one day our family of three will one day again be a family of five. This true Gospel is why I can get out of bed each morning smiling and with joy in my heart- it is why I live.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Launched!

The new business site for Peripety Designs is launched!

Check it out & give me feedback:

http://www.peripetydesigns.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

When a Nerd Becomes an Artist

I've been working like a mad woman on our new business site this past week, and I am close to being finished on my end with the design elements. Yesterday, I realized I didn't have a current family photo to add to our "About" page, so I created my own.

Here's what I started with...


After about 30 minutes of digital manipulation which included erasing both backgrounds, color desaturation, and a digitally hand drawn new shirt for myself, I added the sketch overlay and woolah! A modern family photo for our new site without the expense of a photographer.

Looks are deceiving, huh? I heart Pixelmator.
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