Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Believers and unbelievers...dare you to read! - Romans 1:21

I know a few people who are not believers in Jesus.  I'm sure we all do.  My heart goes out to them, and I love them just as much as I love my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  It hurts my heart to know that they don't know Jesus the way that I do.  I think us, as Jesus followers, are often misjudged.  We are expected to be perfect, to always be nice, to be selfless, and so on and so forth.  But lets face it...we are sinful!  Everybody is!  Christian or not, we are all sinners.  I mess up.  I am judgmental, I gossip, I am prideful, I lie...I could go on and on!  But there is a difference between me and my non-christian friends.  I am forgiven.  I have been redeemed.  Not because of anything I have done, (I know that I am no better than anybody else), but because of what Jesus has done for me.  He payed the penalty, which is death, on the cross so that I could live a blameless and free life.  He rose from the dead to show us that He is God.  I have a Savior who created me, who loves me, and who knows me better than anyone else does.  He knows the number of hairs on my head!  I know Him, and strive to know Him better, and I love Him dearly.  As for my non-believing friends/family, they do not love Him.  It is hard for me to understand that, but I came across a Bible verse today that shed some light on this.
"Yes they knew God, but they wouldn't worship Him as God or even give Him thanks.  And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused."
Romans 1:21
I believe this to be the truth about unbelievers.  I've learned from my own experience that when I'm frustrated at God, angry at God, feel let down by God, it is because I am making up ideas of what I think God is like, and who I think God is.  But no matter what I think of Him, it doesn't change who He is.  What you think of Him doesn't change who He is.  He is a Savior, Redeemer, loving, just, truthful, powerful, good, unchanging God.  I have read emails that have been pages long about why someone hates God.  I read one lie after another and was heartbroken that God had just been labeled by the character flaws of us mere humans.  "God is racist, God is hateful, God is a hypocrite, God is sexist, God is mean..."  No, God is PERFECT.  We are NOT.  Don't blame God for the mistakes us humans make.  He loves you.  He adores you.  He is waiting for you with arms wide open.  He is ready to forgive anything you've ever done.  He created you just the way you are, because He wanted you to be exactly that way.  He is your Father, and is waiting for you to accept Him into your heart.  He is your protector, and He is there for you and has been there with you in your darkest times.
If you are reading this and you don't know Jesus, don't go to the world to find out who He is.  Go to the Bible.  You will find ONLY truth there.  Your biggest mistake will be to make up ideas of who you think God is.  I know because I am guilty of doing that.  I often have to remind myself of the truth of God, His real characteristics and throw the rest out the door, because the rest is all lies.  Don't tell me you know who God is, if you haven't even read the Bible.  Read the Bible first, pray about it, and then, and ONLY then, decide if you want Him in your life or not.  This is a dare.  This is an invitation.  If you are reading this, know that I love you, but more than anyone else, you are dearly loved by your Father in heaven.  He wants you.  He wants to pursue you.  I promise that if you give Jesus a chance, He will change your life like you never believed was possible.  If you are hesitant, I totally get that.  But try to think about why you are hesitant.  What are you afraid of?  Are you possibly believing lies about God?  Do you REALLY know who Jesus is and what He has done for you?  Ask yourself these questions, and go from there.
I am not claiming to be perfect, or that I think I'm better than you.  I just have something that I believe is worth sharing.  It is urgent.  It is truth.  It has eternal consequences.   Check it out for yourself and see what you think!!!
Know that you are loved.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why did you say that, you idiot?! - Stupid pregnancy comments.

There is something about being pregnant that makes people think its ok to say anything they want to you. The sad thing is, what they say is usually pretty stupid.  Why is it that while you're going through the most wonderful, personal, emotional time in your life people feel the need to make you feel insecure?

If you are pregnant right now, or have been in the past, you will enjoy this post.  I am going to slam those dummies that say stupid things to us.  If you are not pregnant, take notes.  You don't want to be a dummy!   Here are a few things that I have had people say to me.  I am going to add responses....things that weren't said, but should have been said.  One, because its funny...two, because it feels good to get it out!

"Get ready to never sleep again!"  My first thought, "Oh my gosh...what have I gotten myself into?  This is going to be miserable!"  Truth: I have slept at least 9 hours a night since Sara was 8 weeks old...thank you very much you idiot.  What my response should have been, "Wow, thanks so much for the encouragement!  That is SO helpful to know!  That made me even more excited to be a mom...because right now I'm nervous, confused, anxious, and a little scared."  I find that if you have the right resources (On Becoming Babywise...worked wonders for us!), you'll be fine!  You'll appreciate the time that you get to spend with your little bundle of joy.

"You're life is going to change so much, you won't have a life anymore!"  My first thought, "Oh great...I'm not going to have any friends, I'm not going to have any fun, and I'm going to be such a loser!  My life is over!"  Truth: Life is just beginning...literally.  Sure, life changes, but it is the most wonderful, amazing change you could ever experience!  Having our precious Sara has helped us enjoy life even more than we ever did before.  We take time to focus on the little things and appreciate family time.  You get to be a kid all over again!  And there is something so special about being able to care for another little human being.  What my response should have been, "You must be a really sucky person if you're not having fun being a parent.  I'm sorry that you don't enjoy your wonderful kids that are blessings from the Lord.  I feel really sorry for you.  You're selfish.  By the way, thanks for the useless information."

Someone finds out I'm pregnant, and they say to someone else, "Boy am I glad I don't have to do that again!" right in front of me.  My first thought, "Just because she has been through it before, doesn't mean she has to be insensitive to someone who is going through it now.  Just because she has been through it before doesn't make it ok for her to say stupid things!  She must be bitter about being a mom!"  Truth:  Being pregnant is hard work.  Its the hardest job I've ever done.  Your body is not yours anymore, you experience strange things you've never experienced before, and you are emotional the whole time.  But it is such a wonderful job knowing what is going on inside of you.  Its not easy, but it can be really fun at times.  What my response should have been, "Do you not see me standing here?  Why the heck would you say that right in front of me?  Do you not remember what this is like?  I'm doing my best and you just made me feel like crap.  Thanks, you idiot!"

So there it is.  Forgive me for calling so many people idiots...I'm emotional. :)

So now for some encouragement, and advice from someone who finds being a parent a big blessing.  Enjoy being pregnant, and don't worry about your appearance.  It will change so much beyond your control, so I've learned that you just need to accept it and roll with it.  It is fun.  My new saying is, "These aren't stretch marks...they are tiger stripes.  Grrr!".  Be proud of what your body is able to are growing a human being inside of you!  Wow!!!
Having a child is the most amazing experience ever.  It can be challenging at times, but it just gets better and better.  With every stage comes different things, and each one is so much fun.  You didn't even know you could love another human being the way that you love your child.  They will bring so much joy to your life.  You have SO much to look forward to.  Don't listen to people who give you negative advice...obviously they don't remember what its like to be a new parent.

Children are a blessing from the Lord.  You have a tiny person being knit together in your womb by the Creator of the universe.  Enjoy this precious time.

Now go eat some ice cream!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Tante Sara!

Today is my tante Sara's birthday.  She would have been 92 today, but instead she's 7 years old in heaven. I celebrate her birthday every year because she was one of the most important people in my life.  Even after she's gone, her life has been blessing me still to this day.  So, to celebrate this wonderful woman of God, I thought I would just share some fond memories that I have of her.

Growing up, I'd go visit tante Sara every Wednesday after school.  I would call her Tuesday night and ask her if I could come over the next day, and of course the answer was always "Ja!".
Tante Sara would make me a snack right when I got there on Wednesday afternoon.  Most days is was "reis mit milch" (rice with milk).  I know, it sounds weird, but its soo good!  I still eat it to this day.  After that, I would play or color while she cooked dinner.  I played with my special Barbies that she had at her house.  She sewed and knitted special clothes for them too.  I would color with my special box of crayons (that I actually still have:).  Dinner was usually the same.  Mashed potatoes (my fave), scrambled eggs, and some sort of vegetable.  I got super excited on days when she made lima beans.  I'm weird, I know.  As I got older though, tante Sara would let me fry my own eggs.  So when it was almost time to eat she would call me into the kitchen to cook our eggs.  The smell of melting butter on a frying pan still brings back memories of her place.  Then after dinner I would help her clean up.  Then she would make me do my homework, and then we played.  We played lots of different things.  We had special puzzles that we put together.  I still remember one was a picture of baby chicks sitting on colorful easter eggs.  The other one was a Mickey Mouse puzzle with "The Queen of Hearts" poem written on it.  I can still recite that poem, if you want me to. :)
Another thing we would do was play hide and seek.  I was super good at hiding because I was little enough to fit anywhere.  She wouldn't allow me to hide under her bed though because she was afraid it would fall on me.  Haha!  Sometimes I still hid under there to throw her off.  Tante Sara wasn't a very good hider.  She usually only hid behind doors.  It was pretty obvious when she was standing behind a door, because I could see her through the crack, and because that was her only hiding spot.  I usually pretended that I didn't know where she was, because I felt sorry for her bad hiding skills.  One time though, I really couldn't find her.  I was so confused.  She wasn't behind any of the doors.  It took me forever to find her.  Finally I found her hidden inside her closet.  "Genius!", I thought.  I couldn't stop laughing after she came out of there.  It was so unlike her to actually have a good spot to hide!
Sometimes we would go for a walk through her apartment.  We would take the elevator all the way to the top floor, 6H.  We would walk a circle around the top floor, then take the stairs down to the next one and do the same thing all the way to the main floor.  I loved going for walks.  I remember smelling all different kinds of food that people were preparing in their own apartment.  Even though I'd already eaten dinner, it made me hungry all over again.
Sometimes we'd go to the game room on the main floor and visit the other old people putting puzzles together.  Tante Sara would brag to them about me.  She thought the world of me.  She called me her little sister.  She always made me recite my special poem to them:

Hab Sonne im Herzen
obs stuermt oder schneit.
Ob der Himmel voll Wolken,
die Erde voll streit.
Vertraue auf Gott,
verlier nie den Mut.
Hab Sonne im Herzen,
und alles wird gut.

I still have this poem hanging in my kitchen.
Another thing we would do is play games.  We played "Mensch aerger dich nicht!", which is the german version of the game Sorry.  Once again, I felt sorry for her, so if I had the chance to land my piece on hers and send it home, I wouldn't.  I would pretend I didn't even see it and try something else.
Tante Sara also taught me how to sew, crochet, and knit.  I believe that a lot of my creativity comes from her.  We would sew little purses together, knit little pot holders, and make presents for my family.
Every once in a while I would spend the night with tante Sara.  She would set up two beds on her living room floor on her bright red carpet.  We would sleep next to each other there.  Before bed she would read to me from the Bible.  Tante Sara taught me a lot about Jesus.  She taught me to love Jesus.  She was such an amazing example to me of what kind of person I wanted to be.  She was amazing.
So, those are just a few of the wonderful memories I have of my tante Sara.  I'm not sure what the rules are about this, but I often ask God to say hi to her for me, and to tell her about my little Sara.  She would be so in love with her, I just know it.  I am forever grateful for my amazing great aunt, and she will never be forgotten.  I hope that I can be a great woman of God like she was.  I look forward to teaching my little Sara about all the things I learned from tante Sara.  I also look forward to the day when I get to spend eternity with my Lord and Savior, and dance and sing with my tante Sara again.
So, tonight, like we do every year, we are celebrating tante Sara's birthday by making her special dinner: mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and vegetables.  And for dessert we always had ice cream bars.
Happy Birthday tante Sara, Ich liebe dich!  Wir vergessen uns nicht!

Deine kleine Schwester,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, new projects!

I don't know what it is about starting a new year, but I feel like I get to start over new.  And what I mean by that, is I get to start new things in my home!  I love decorating (although, I can't say I'm a pro) my home.  I have been finding some really fun ideas on  My house is pretty the way it is, and I have done a lot, but now I have new ideas and I want to do things differently.  Plus, I feel like my style changes with time.  There are colors in my house that I don't like anymore, and there are things that I've done that I'm not happy with anymore.  I have so many things I want to do, and I'm the kind of person who wants it all done NOW!  But of course I'm not able to do that because I have a kid, and I'm not Martha Stewart.  So here is a list of things that I'd like to accomplish in my home this year.

-new duvet cover (I found a really cute one on
-paint furniture. bedside tables a pretty sea blue, other stuff, probably white.
-re-cover headboard with a pretty fabric.
-re-arrange my wall decor and maybe change it up a bit.
-make some fun pinterest crafts to go on my walls
-find some super fun accent pillows for our bed
-curtain rods and curtains (ikea has the cheapest ones!)

Hallway Bathroom:
-find a cute antique looking bathroom mirror
-different shower curtain (preferably a lighter color with a simple pattern)
-new towels, and new rug (white, light blue, green, gray color inspirations)
-change decor to lighter colors, with some pops of brighter colors
-new lighting (if I'm brave enough)
-find tiles and cover the part of the floor where the carpet used to be (in between the bathroom and hallway)

-clean out cupboards and make more room
-put up a glass shelf across my window to display my antique teacup collection
-find fun centerpiece ideas for my table so its not always the same thing

Guest Bedroom downstairs:
-paint walls a light brown/goldy/taupe color (very relaxing)
-paint shelves and put up on wall
-do a bunch of pinterest crafs to display on the shelves (letters, painted coke bottles, framed art, canvas art)
-get a duvet cover (something white)
-find some fun decorative pillows (and maybe do a doily decorative pillow project)
-paint lamp and get new lampshade, and get another lamp for other side of bed
-find a little side table for the other side of the bed (ikea has a super cute $20 one!)

Living Room:
-paint or stain our side table
-paint the wooden toy chest white (or maybe a fun color, depending on how I'm feeling that day)
-find some fun decorative pillows to put on the toy chest

Sara's Room:
-pull up the ugly brown carpet so the beautiful wood floors can show
-curtains for the windows, or just a cute window treatment

So thats as far as I have gotten with my list.  I'm sure it will grow!  Here are some pictures of ideas and inspirations that I've found.

Here are the colors that I want in our bedroom.  Our walls are already green, so I thought painting our bedside tables that blue color would be pretty.

Here is the canvas art that I am collecting toilet paper cardboards for.  Thats right, its made with canvas and toilet paper middles!!!  I will probably make one for the guest bedroom.

Here is the inspiration picture for the guest bedroom downstairs.  I think using tan colors with gold accents would be beautiful!

Here is the duvet cover that I'm saving up for from IKEA! I can't wait to get it, because the duvet cover we have now is a very dark color and shows all of Lucy's fur and all the stupid little feathers that pop out of our feather comforter.  It always looks dirty! Ew!

Here is a mirror that I love, and I think it would be pretty in our bathroom.  Right now we just have a super plain rectangle mirror and some ugly lighting.  

I thought these mirrors would be super cute in the bathroom or the guest bedroom.  They are so fun and unique!

Well there ya have it.  My 2012 house plans.  Now that I have a list it'll be easier for me to stay on track and get things done.  I'm not sure where to start, but at least I have a list to give me direction!  Oh I'm so excited!  I love this kind of stuff.  I'm such a dork :) Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A fabulous night

Johnny and I are in New Hampshire right now on vacation.  What a beautiful place this is!!!  I just had to write about our dinner tonight because it was absolutely FABULOUS!
We were taken out by another couple from Johnny's company with a few other couples.  We went to this cute little restaurant right next to our amazing, gigantic, beautiful hotel, the Omni Mount Washington Hotel.

Our dinner started off with some wine.  I am not a big fan of wine, but I asked for some white just because it felt appropriate at a place like this.  We got to order some amazing meals from a menu that had things like Ox Tail Soup and Pickled Beef Tongue on the menu.  Yup, it was THAT fancy!  I ended up getting a pork chop served on warm apple sauce, a side of butternut squash, and some delicious sweet potato frittata.  It was absolutely amazing!

It felt really weird sitting at a table with people twice my age, drinking wine, and eating this fancy food. I felt like I was pretending to be a rich grown up!  Haha!

We had some wonderful conversations while eating our fancy food.  There was this man named Ron, and he told us some stories about raising his two children.  He shared with us some very good advice that I will be sure to follow.
First, he shared his christian faith with the whole table of people which I thought was bold of him.  Then he went on to give us all some advice.  He shared with us two tips that are sure to help us raise our children in the right way, because minutes before I had shared that some days I feel like I'm the best mom in the world, and other days I really don't know what I'm doing.

His first tip was this: pray with your children.  He shared that he started praying with his son every day before school when he was in high school.  This changed things drastically for his kid, because he started to do better on his tests and just better overall in school, and ended up graduating an A student!
His second tip was this: read the Word to your children.  He shared that when his daughter was in high school, she always had some sort of drama going on in her life.  She would come home and tell her dad all about it, and he would try and give her good advice.  But if you know a teenage girl, they don't want advice, they just want someone to listen to them vent!  So one day she came home from school and started talking about the latest stuff going on at school, and this guy Ron immediately said, "Honey, lets sit down and read the Bible and see what God says about this situation.".  So they sat down, searched topics that related to her situation in the concordance, and read the Bible.  He said this situation was so different than the other ones, because she was actually open to hearing what God wanted her to do.
Ron went on to share that its so important to follow these steps, because you always have to leave your children with something bigger than yourself...God.  He said that if you fall down alone, there will be no one to pick you back up.  But if you fall down with God, you are never alone and He will always pick you back up.  That is the most important thing that you can teach your children.  You may not know what you are doing some days, but as long as you put those two steps into practice, you will always have God to fall back on, who is bigger than yourself.

This was such an important conversation for me to listen to, because it encouraged me to put these two steps as my first priority.  You always wonder what you can do to be a better parent, what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and you just always feel like you should be doing more.  But this reminded me that I need to teach Sara about Jesus, and pray with her and for her, and read her the truth of the Bible, and the rest is just details.  As long as I am taking those steps, the rest is in God's hands.  That is the most important thing I will ever be able to teach her.

So anyways, I just had such a fabulous night eating fancy food and having amazing conversations with some really really great people, and I wanted to write about it so I wouldn't forget.  I am so thankful to be on this vacation, I am so thankful for my husband and daughter, and I am so thankful for my wonderful God.  I am so blessed.  This vacation in New Hampshire has been so amazing, and I just can't wait to look at all my pictures and make a shutterfly book with them, and tell my family all about it.  This is the kind of trip we were planning on taking later in our lives, but we are so happy that we got to experience it now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Traeger, 18 months

We got to spend some time with our good friends Chelsea, Ryan and their little guy Traeger the past few days.  It was much needed since they moved to Pueblo a few months ago and we haven't got to hang out in a while.  I got the opportunity to take Traeger's 18 month pictures (even though he's really 19 months), which was awesome because we missed his 1 year pictures.  Anyways, we had so much fun with these guys, and I had a blast taking Traeger's pictures.  He was smiling all day long!  Here are a few....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Gordon's - photo shoot

My good friend Trish asked me to take pictures of her girls.  I already got to take pictures of Kenadee last year when she was 2 years old.  This year Kenadee is 3, and her new little sister, Pieper, is 3 months old.  These three girls are sooo precious and I really enjoyed taking their pictures...not to mention they are GREAT models!  Here are a few of my favorites.