DIY Canvas Art

To say I have been lacking creativity lately would be a true statement. A few weeks ago I began working on some art for Hannah’s room, but didn’t feel inspired to finish them. I have learned from many failed projects that if I’m not into it I need to walk away and wait for my heart to be in it.

I penciled in my lettering first, then went over it with sharpie. The above picture is half way through my plumping phase. I simply add depth to the letters and make them pop more. And that is where I left it for weeks. Then yesterday I was inspired. 

I decided to do a slight ombré effect. I penciled off sections 2 inches in from the edges (pictured above). Then I chose my two paint colors (white and deep pink). I mixed the colors half and half and painted the middle section. Then I split the mixed paint in half. One half I lightened by adding 2 tablespoons of white, the other half I darkens by adding 2 tablespoons of deep pink. I painted each section on either side of the middle section and continued to the edge. I then used a dry brush to blend the edges of each section (I forgot to take a picture at this stage…sorry).

This paint dried all day. In the evening I mixed white paint and water (equal parts) and painted from the center out to the edges. Then I used a dry paper towel to white wash the canvas. This lighted everything and pulled some paint off to give it a more rustic look (I used tempera paint for this purpose).

Sorry its sideways…

Then I let the canvas dry all night. In the morning I used a sharpie to go back over the lettering. Lastly I sealed it with a spray clear enamel. 

I love them and am so glad to get to mark something off of my to do list. 


Scary Moment

It was almost 10 pm, so I headed home. I left Kyle and two other adults with the teenagers from our church for their night long youth event. When I made it home, I fed the dogs, watered my plants, and locked up the house. I was asleep before 11 and apparently sleeping hard. 

Sometime after midnight, I was awoken by Kyle, in the house, with lights on and everything. I didn’t hear him drive up, the dogs bark, Kyle call out to me through the windows, unlock the door, turn on the lights, fiddle around in the house…I heard nothing. 

When I woke up this morning the reality of my hard sleeping hit me. I was home alone and was completely unaware of anyone coming into my home. It scared me. What if I don’t hear Hannah crying? Or someone who isn’t Kyle break into my home? What if I sleep so hard that I don’t hear the smoke detector go off? Luckily for me, Kyle and I don’t spend many nights apart from one another, but what if…?

I’m in trouble!

We had a very busy but fun-filled weekend! Sunday school party, baby shower, missions banquet, as well as all of our regular weekend events… It was great! But at the end of the weekend I realized I’m in trouble. 

Seeing all the little girls play at the Sunday school party…I’m in trouble. Looking at how adorable the ting baby girls are in the church dresses…I’m in trouble! Receiving the most precious gifts for Hannah at the baby shower…I’m in trouble!!! 

If Hannah is half a cute, precious, or sweet as what I have observed this weekend, then I am in so much trouble! I can’t wait for her to be here but need to be praying for strength to not give in to her every desire…

Ohhhhh, I’m so in trouble!

My First Kingsbury

Yesterday I finished reading The Chance by Karen Kingsbury. It was the first one of her books I had ever read (which seems odd since I LOVE Christian novels), and I was hooked, addicted, had to know how it would end, LOVED IT!!!!

It is about a teenager girl (Ellie) whose family falls apart, is uprooted from the only place she has ever called home, and loses contact with everyone(including her mom and best friend-who she loves!) except her dad. Because of this she feels unwanted, unloved, and doesn’t believe in God anymore. Eleven years pass and suddenly things begin to change…

I finished it by the pool and got too much sun…but it was so worth it!

I don’t want to ruin it for you so I won’t finish the summary, but let’s just say it reminded me so much of the prodigal son. In Luke 15 you can find the parable of the lost son. This story that Jesus tells is about a son who leaves home, wastes what he has been given, and finally comes back home. When he gets home he is received with open arms by his father.

Just like the lost son, when Ellie finally realizes that God is real, that she was never really alone, she is so loved and has always been wanted, God welcomes her with open arms! 

Today, if your lost and wandering around aimlessly…know that you are loved by God. You are wanted, valued, and cherished. You can come stumbling, crawling, or running and skipping back to God the way the prodigal son did to his father. 

Tuesday Night Date Night

A few years ago, as Kyle was adjusting to working for a church, we sat down as a couple to talk about our new phase in life. I was frustrated with not having a husband who would safe guard a night for us and needed to be heard. Since that night we have kept Tuesday nights as a night for us. We rarely go out on an actual date, but we do have our time together no matter what. 

Marriage is tough. And the stresses of life can put a strain on anything, but especially on relationships. Our marriage is very important to both of us and we have spared ourselves many stressful, tearful nights just by saving Tuesday nights for each other. 

Some things we do that don’t cost much:

  • Cook together
  • Watch a movie on a pallet of blankets in the living room (Redbox or something we own)
  • Go fishing at the neighbor’s pond
  • Go kayaking down the river (we own our kayak)
  • Read a book / bible together
  • Lay in our hammocks on the back porch and talk
  • Take our dogs for a walk / hike
  • Drive around with the windows down and sunroof open
  • Play a video game together (we like Peggle, Fortune Street, and Just Dance-well, I like just dance)

Dates don’t have to cost money or be fancy. They can be simple. 

I love Tuesday nights!

Yesterday we had a Tuesday day date…lunch at Cody J’s, baby appointment, shopping at REI, And That!, Motherhood Maternity, and Academy (mostly window shopping), frozen treat from Chicfila, and a car wash and vacuum (so we can install a baby seat!). Then we came home and cooked dinner together. The night ended with Kyle catching a few fish while I read a book on the dock. Nothing special, but an entire day together refills my love tank (I’m a quality time girl)!!!

How do you stay close to your spouse? Do you have a night set aside for each other? How do you do something similar with kids (my life is about to change)?

Oprah is not God

I’m laying in bed a little longer than usual this morning watching Live Kelly on ABC. I’m not normally a morning talk show kind of girl, but today I really didn’t want to get out of bed. 

Oprah is on the show this morning, and I am blown away by the build up to her interview and praise during the interview. “Oprah made it okay for women to love bread.” “Oprah is who I credit for starting my career.” “Oprah, Oprah, Oprah!” 

They are acting like she is God. 

I must confess I have never watched an episode of Oprah’s show, read one of her magazines, or anything. I know there is an Oprah effect and everything she promotes turns into gold, but why? Why does her opinion matter so much?

I personally don’t care what Oprah’s opinion is…what she approves or disapproves…she’s just a woman. Not God!

I care about what God’s opinion is. I care about what God approves. I want to know what the thoughts of God are. 

I’m just shocked by the love and praise for this woman! We should be talking about God this way!!!

God is the reason the sun comes up each morning. God is the reason I can breathe. God has created me, my daughter (who is currently kicking me like crazy), and everything in the universe. God saved me from my son. God has made me one of His children! God is EVERYTHING good, just, righteous, pure…

Today, let’s praise God!

Tired of being Tired

For the first three months of pregnancy I was exhausted and slept constantly. For the three months that followed that I slept well and wasn’t dead dog tired. But now… For the past two months it has become harder and harder to sleep. I wake up every other hour to go to the restroom. In the middle of the night, Hannah decides it is time for karate class. And here recently, I have to eat a small meal between 4 and 6 am in order to continue sleeping until a reasonable hour. It’s insane!

I’m just tired of being tired. 

Help Me Overcome My Unbelief

Oh, the number of times that I tell myself I believe but in my heart I am full of unbelief. When looking for a job, I would pray and tell myself (and others) that I believed a job was coming. Yet so many times it was as if I was saying I believe? When I was hired, it became easier to believe that God could and would provide for our needs. So the next time a financial need came up, I believed God would take care of it, somehow, someway. When trying to start a family, I became overwhelmed with unbelief. I would pray and tell myself I was believing but struggled to overcome my unbelief. 
This week I related to a father in Mark 9 who also would say he believed but struggled to overcome his unbelief. 

“When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer. ””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭9:14-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

How many times am I just like this father? Saying I believe, but knowing that I am full of unbelief. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I prayed that God would help me believe. That I would try to stay positive that it was our time for a baby. Jesus, help me believe that you are in control of this. I hit a turning point in my walk through infertility last October. Here is a small piece of one of my journal entires from last October when I was 40 days late, had taken 4 pregnancy tests—all of which were negative, and had a nurse tell me I couldn’t be pregnant:

I don’t know if I am pregnant or not, but what I do know is that my God is bigger than the sticks I have peed on, the nurse I have spoken to, and this entire situation. If God wants me to be pregnant, then I will be and nothing will stop Him. 

This was my believing point. I believed this so much that I can remember telling multiple people this (including the nurse who told me I couldn’t be pregnant). This was the point at which I truly believed in my heart, not just my head, that God was so much bigger than my infertility. 

Was I pregnant this cycle? No. Did it hurt when I discovered that it still wasn’t my time? Yes! But I no longer just had a head knowledge that God could send me a child. I fully believed, with my entire being, that God was capable of doing anything in my body, no matter what the doctors were saying. 

Today, choose to believe. If you still struggle with unbelief, pray that God would help you overcome your unbelief. He can do greater things than you can ever imagine…believe!

Sometimes I have to Walk Away

Today was tough. Not all day, but when I had to walk away. There are points in my life and marriage when I simply have to walk away. 
Being a youth pastor’s wife (and I’m sure, any ministerial wife) has its challenges. One of the challenges I am faced with occasionally is not know what to do, say, or think about something my husband is struggling with. Maybe it’s a message he has prepared and can’t seem to get to a good point in. Maybe it is church politics (every church has them). Maybe it is picking and choosing between church events and resting or going to family gatherings. The list could go on forever. 

So many times I wonder what he wants me to say, think, or do. Many times I try to gauge if he needs me to build him up or put him in his place. Should I point out that he is being ridiculous? Am I suppose to continue to compliment his 3 point message with its alliteration? How does he expect me to respond to this? 

Today, I didn’t know what else to tell him. I didn’t know how else to help. I simply had to walk away. I grabbed my pool bag and a book (Wonder Struck by Margaret Feinberg) and left. Not out of anger or even frustration, but because he needed a day to just sit, think, pray, contemplate, seek advice, … A day to just be. 

I hate walking away, but more than that I hate watching him struggle. I want to help him fix it. I want to be his friend, helper, soulmate. But today I couldn’t help any more than I had tried. 

It’s hard, marriage that is. 
I’m back at home now. About to eat dinner with my sweet husband. I hope and pray he is in a better place, but know that either way, God will take care of him even when I don’t know how to. 

Knit Together

For Mother’s Day we gave our parents an experience we ourselves could not have imagined being so amazing. We had a 3D ultrasound done! It was incredible to see Hannah’s face, hands, feet,… She is beautiful and I had no words while I stared at her in amazement!

God created her! He knit her together in my body (Psalm 139:13). He knows every detail about her and the life she will live. 

In Sunday School we are studying 1 Samuel and today specifically talked about Samuel’s calling to be a prophet. Samuel’s story is special to me because of my connection to his mother, Hannah (which is who our Hannah is named after). As I sat there and soaked in the lesson this morning I was yet again struck with an affection for this story. How Hannah was blessed with Samuel, raised him, and then gave him back to the Lord. God used Samuel in ways most of us can never imagine being used. He was God’s man but it wasn’t an easy thing being God’s prophet. 

I hope and pray that Hannah will live a life that follows God. That she will have a heart that longs for her Savior and doing His work. I want God to use Hannah’s life for His glory and honor.