stop & trust.

another true & meaning “daily blessing that i’d like to share with you…

part of my “new year, new you” goals – stop being so afraid of everything. opinions of others, choices of others affecting my family or children, health issues, failing as a mom, failing as a wife, failing as a christian, failing, failing, failing…

stop being afraid, kristi.

stop being afraid.

God is watching over you, so don’t listen to your fears. This is a choice. Trust God, and don’t give in to your fears.

God’s promise to believers is that, no matter what happens to us, he is working for our good — if we love him and follow him (Romans 8:28). If you’re a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good — not that all things are good, but working together for good.

That means we can stop listening to our fears; there is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately get some good out of. There is no need to fear the future. Your fears reveal where you do not trust God. Today, make a list of your fears, and ask God to help you identify why you have fear in those areas. Then, ask him to help you replace your fears with trust.

Now, this is important: expect God to start helping you learn to trust him with each fear. Then, watch to see how he helps you.

{emphasis added}

my last name

excellent reminder & message as we enter a new chapter of our lives as christians, spouses, parents…

Afraid of Making the Wrong Decision?

“He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:3

side note here – it’s me, kristi – so i was thinking about this verse all day & i started to think about something my husband & i talked about before he became my husband (or before he took me as his wife). we were driving down the interstate – funny how you can remember some things so clearly, but struggle to remember what time it was when you last fed your baby…sorry, isla…anyway we were driving along & the topic came up about his last name (the dierks bentley song may have been playing on the radio…)
{you can find it here if you’d like}

there’s some serious pride dwelling in a man’s heart over his last name…it’s the generational inheritance & it can either be a solid name that carries with it a legacy, or it can be a name that, by wrong choices & poor behaviors, can carry with it a sting of pain or embarrassment. one of the lines that resounds with me is, “i’ll never bring it shame…it’s my last name.”

as God’s children, we bear His very name. i can’t pretend to understand this fully, b/c i don’t. i understand the value in honoring your family & your name with your life & your choices. i desire to never disappoint my earthly father or bring shame to my maiden name, but at the same time i am not a man, nor am i a father, so i can’t exactly wrap my mind around the emotional aspects of this topic.

i guess i can compare it to the protective rage that can rise up in a mother when a child or spouse is insulted by another or mistreated…or the way i can just know what my girls need 99% of the time b/c i can sense it somehow. it’s all apart of the nurturing heart & mind gifted to a woman by God. men tend to have other triggers & mysterious qualities. this is one of them for me. i’m all about redemption – oh if i screw up, yes it may sting the family a little, but we’ll recover; we’ll redeem ourselves…but no way would my husband get over anything that easily if it held the threat of diminishing our reputation or our name.

don’t get me wrong, if my reputation is being slandered or attacked by another due to their own malicious issues – that’s a whole other topic. what i’m talking about here is the power of that name…maybe my hubby can explain it better.

to paraphrase…He guides [us] along the right paths [helps us make the right choices] for his name’s sake…

just like my husband, God cares about us & “our family” as His children so much that He will gladly lead us, not only b/c he loves us, but b/c, like any father who cares & respects his family, He will uphold the honor that is due His name…

now, onto decisions…

Sometimes we’re afraid of making the wrong decision. And that creates stress. But God says there is an antidote to our indecision. Psalm 23:3 tells us, “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” We handle the stress of decision-making by letting God guide us.

You may be thinking, “But I’ve tried this!” You asked God to guide you, but then you became more confused than before. You still couldn’t figure it out. You wonder, “Why is knowing God’s will so difficult?” Is God playing games with us? Of course not! God wants to guide us. He wants us to know his will more than we want to know it. Our problem is we often look for the wrong thing when we’re trying to find God’s will.

Some of us look for a feeling. Some of us want a methodical approach to God’s will, a recipe, or a formula to apply. Some of us take a magical approach and look for God to do some fantastic sign. All of these ways lead to frustration and cause us to miss God’s will. God does not want you confused, and he does not want you stressed over making any decision. He is there, guiding you every step of the way.

This is his promise, so you can believe it to be true: “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

source of devotional: paul phillips’ 01-09-12 daily blessing

an amazing father leading his precious daughter…

“i don like-a smack, mom”

it’s already january 8th?!

i feel like it’s been only a few days since i rang in the new year with the mister, the bean & the little one…

yes, can you believe it – against my better judgement both babies were up to witness the new year’s arrival. i think it took like 3 of these last 8 days for them to get somewhat back to normal in regards to bedtime…

we stayed much later than anticipated (by me only apparently) at our friends’ new year’s party…

hubs was happy chattin’ it up with his buddies…isla was just happy…and avey met a boy…and was quite content chasing him around the kitchen & assisting him in rearranging the appetizers…haha

mommy was sick to her stomach, as usual these days, & enjoyed the festivities the best she could while silently cursing the spread of yumminess that was mocking her all night…

anyway, the plan was to be home by 10pm, put the babes to bed & then enjoy the final moments of 2012 with a champagne (pronounced cham-pag-nay) toast & a new year’s smooch. lovely.

the real deal…rolled in at 11:45, decided to welcome 2012 as a fam, complete with the toast (for mom & dad), a glass of maraschino cherry water for avey & some random dancing.

this is where the smacking comes in…

dad decided to engage in the good ole tradition of pot banging with aves…well…

“i don like-a smack, mom! i don like it!”

awww, sweet baby…she didn’t like-a smack this year…maybe next year if we can better prepare her for it. i should probably allow more pot banging on a regular basis…hmmm…

don’t worry, she recovered quickly – she’s a lot like her mom. five more maraschino cherries later & a few more over-the-top dance numbers & she was back to her happy self…just in time for bed!

plans changed, but it was the perfect night.

i think that should be the trend of this year for our family…not exactly what we planned, but rather, the perfect plan for us.

after all…”many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (proverbs 19:21)

not our will, but YOUR’S this year, Lord.

thank you in advance for new mercies every morning & the opportunity to make this year better than the last…

constant reminders

i just finished reading this article on the recent loss of the duggar family. i personally support their choice to let the number of children they have be left “up to God” & do not judge them for their decision to bring lives so willingly into existence. some people try & try & try to conceive & do everything imaginable without success for only God knows why & others, like the duggars, seem to be able to create life after life. so many people knock them for this & talk about how ridiculous, or make their jokes…but let me ask this – do you care why or how you came into existence? maybe you were a happy accident, maybe you were planned, maybe you were the result of “letting God be God” – aren’t you just thankful for the opportunity to experience life?

so i take this opportunity, this reminder, to pray for the duggar family in their loss & to pray for every mother, father, family suffering loss…having to set aside or give up on the plans they were already making for the little life created.

i also take this time as a chance to remember my heaven baby.

i’m thankful for you, baby, & i know we shall meet you someday. until then, give Jesus a hug & kiss from us all & ask Him to whisper in Avey’s ear to stop distributing dog food all over the house so i can enjoy my time with your sisters that much more.

this is a good article & testimony. we serve a loving & gracious Father. He does work all things for our good & He cares for us. you can also read a little of {our story} here.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar continue to grieve following the news that the reality TV mom miscarried her 20th child last week.
The “19 Kids and Counting” couple told People that they plan to hold a memorial service on Wednesday for the baby they named Jubilee Shalom Duggar.

“We have had many tears today,” Jim Bob told the mag. “This is life, and I understand that we are going [through] something that many others have. You think about the what-ifs, but God gives us strength to go on. We won’t be able to see this child’s life and the phases that we’ve seen for our other children, but we know we will see this child in heaven one day. We are thankful for each child, and we are blessed to have the children we have here and the ones we will meet someday in heaven.”

Jim Bob thanked their fans for the outpouring of love they received following their heartbreaking news.
“We would like to thank everyone for their prayers, emails and outpouring of love,” he wrote in a letter he shared with the mag. “As our whole family is grieving, we also know that God promises to work all things for good in our lives. Our prayer is that Jubilee’s passing will help us all realize that this life is short, and our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. He gives us a peace in our hearts as He guides us through whatever we might face.”

This was Michelle’s second miscarriage. She previously lost a baby during her second pregnancy, when she was reportedly taking oral birth control. According to the mag, this incident caused the couple to let the number of children they have be left “up to God.”

link to the {original article} in its entirety.

“a lovely note”

looking for a guest blogger!

{picture courtesy of ruffleblog.com}

i’ve been wanting to do this for a while now…

if you’re into blogging, not into blogging, not sure altogether, but have something interesting to share with my little world here…i’m interested in featuring a guest blogger.

be it a diy project, a recipe, a story, a sermonette, a joke, a tutorial or tip on anything & everything…whatever! i would love to share my little page with you.

i have very interesting, intelligent, loving, talented, wonderful friends, so i know that i, along with everyone else in blogworld, would be blessed to hear from you!

think about it…pray about it…
please leave a comment below or contact me via e-mail, twitter or pinterest if up for it!

~ kristi

btw ~ isn’t that a sweet picture & idea? i love the blogs i stumble upon. this is a great one & is loaded with lovely ideas & pretty things…

kitchen reflection

i spend about 90% of my day in the kitchen. the heart of our home. often the messiest room, and probably my favorite spot & biggest pain in the fanny all at the same time. a lot of love is in that room & that room constantly makes me think of the ones i love.

today, as i was preparing dinner (turkey feta chowder btw – so delicious), i kept glancing at isla’s early ultrasound pic i have had hanging on the side of the refrigerator since we came home with it last november. i was only about 6 wks pregnant & i had hemorrhaged. you can see actually the spot looming above her little body floating there. they said the bleeding area was only a few cubic centimeters, but yet it was still about three times the size of her little body. babies are such miracles.

i was reminded again of that picture as i was holding her just now. she’s gotten her 1st head cold (ava & daddy are sick too) & so she’s not sleeping too well tonight. i spent the last hour just holding her in my arms here as she slept & squirmed like she was fighting a belly ache or something.

i was on the verge of thinking that i wished she would feel better & sleep in her crib, so i could get some things done & go to bed myself, but then i thought of that picture in the kitchen & the dark cloud of bleeding that hovered over her for nearly two months.

she is a sweet, quiet, precious little miracle. once i remembered that, i really didn’t care so much anymore that i was staring at a cold cup of “hot tea,” or that there’s still a heap of dirty dishes on the counter & oatmeal smeared across the kitchen table. i’ve got a pile of clean laundry camping out on the couch & i don’t even have time to get into the story behind the HUGE soot spot still on our cream carpet from ava playing in my 3-wick candle this afternoon…while i was straightening up in the kitchen – imagine that…

that’d be the spot…

yep, my arm was killing me & the house is a total wreck, but i had a beautiful little miracle in my lap.

they make the mess more than worth it, don’t they?

speaking of…i just ordered ava a play kitchen online. it’s such a blessing to be able to buy her something she will love so much for her christmas gift.

i look forward to watching her “cook” for her babies, clean up her their messes, “wash” her little baby clothes & the ten wash cloths she’ll swipe from my pile on the couch…

her kitchen will soon become the heart of her little world too.

funny how we women are made…wanting to take care of the ones we love from the beginning.

funny…a “mommy blogger” blip on tv just sucked me in…

seriously, though, i have got to go clean the kitchen…

good night. go kiss your babies one more time. if they’re like mine though & they wake up at the very shift of air caused by the silent cracking of their doors…just go stand outside their rooms long enough for one more prayer of thanksgiving for their love, their health & their existence…

and tomorrow, when they are little tornados all over again & you’re giving yourself your nightly pep talk to pick up the toys & load the dishwasher, forgoing the opportunity to just pass out on top of the laundry pile that can wait another day…remember…

your kitchen, your house, is trashed b/c your home & heart are full.

15-Minute Method: How to Boil the Perfect Egg…

One Good Egg

I am one of those people that has had to ask Google “how to boil eggs” probably more times than I should admit.  For whatever reason, I just couldn’t remember!  I must also confess, I would just pick a suggestion randomly, and they often didn’t even turn out well!

At last, by trial and error… I have finally achieved trial and success! These eggs are perfect!   Yes, I said it… PERFECT, and I’m happy to share the super-easy-to-remember process with you too!

egg

The “15-Minute Method”

Okay, I start out with my 2 quart pot (it’ll usually have a label on the underside or handle) – it’s like a medium sized pot.  I like to stick with 7 or 8 eggs at the most.

I cook several at a time, because my Avey-baby will gobble them up like nobody’s business.

Plus, they fit perfectly in this sized pot…

Place them in the pot filled half way with tap water before turning the burner on – for obvious reasons. If you try to place eggs into hot water, it will hurt, people! Plus, you can’t drop them in, because they’ll crack… so, unless you want poached eggs, trust me.

Then bring it to a rolling boil and set the timer immediately to 10 minutes (once it’s boiling). I usually have to turn the heat down a bit halfway through, because the roll gets a little violent, and I’ve quickly given myself a poached egg or two. Do not, I repeat, do not put a lid on it.

Once the 10 minutes is up, remove the pot from heat and let them sit in the pot for an additional 5 minutes – still uncovered.

Once the 5 minutes is up, drop them into a prepared ice bath – I like to use this large, glass measuring cup, because it’s easy… I use it to scoop up a bunch of ice, and then I just pour the water out when it’s time to stick them in the fridge.

Plus, being that it’s glass, it’s easy to see how many eggs I have left and identify them as hard-boiled…  You don’t want to stick ’em back in an egg carton and grab the wrong kind when you’re in a hurry.

These eggs have been perfect every time, and they’re a cinch to peel…

Quick Re-cap

I call it the “15-Minute Method, because it takes exactly 15 minutes to achieve perfectly hard-boiled eggs.  Lucky for me, it’s such an easy phrase to remember.

So, 10 minutes boiling and 5 minutes sitting in the hot water, removed from heat.  Ice bath, peel, DONE!

See??? Perfection!

eggs

Miss Avey would have to agree… She just downed three!

Enjoy!

 photo a9de1fdb-52d3-4604-a79d-ba7ee6db5adb_zps8f990315.jpg

still standing…

that’s what i’m doing – building wings.

some days lately it feels as though i’m having to do it frantically & others, i seem to get a few moments of floating.

today’s been a mixture of each.

have you ever felt as if you were on the verge of change? well, i’m on the cusp of a new me…i think i’m pretty much there.

i have had this happen once before in my life. i’m talking over-haul kind of stuff…

the first time was my senior year in high school. that’s been a long time ago now, but i remember that year so vividly b/c my life changed…i changed.

going into that year, my life had been “perfect.” seemingly close-knit family, successful in school & sports, oodles of friends…always on top of the world…you probably couldn’t catch me crying or frowning for that matter if you tried.

as of october of that year…homecoming court, lead role in an independent film, cheerleader since the 2nd grade…by february…dropped from the film, kicked off the squad, tattooed, 42 school absences, countless tardies, detention & divorced parents. needless to say, not the same pretty picture…

valentine’s day, february 14th of that year, i was at the lowest, most desperate time of my life. the future was blurry & i was just going through the motions on so many levels. when i didn’t think things could get any worse & i could probably count true friends on 2 fingers…Jesus showed up.

3 days later on february 17th, i caught a glimpse of Heaven…and just like that i was new.

i can’t explain to you how that happens, but when the Lord said through paul, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come,” He meant it…i really was new. i tried to remember how i felt about certain people, things or topics…tried to relate as the old me, but i never could. i really had become a new creation. my thoughts, my desires, my perceptions & realities were all new.

so this is why i have hope today. this is why, i know it’s going to be ok. i know, b/c i’ve already been there & i’ve experienced the outcome when you release your fears, insecurities, doubts, life…into the hands of the One who made you, knows you & knows what’s best for your life.

my issues are far from resembling any of the issues i faced back then. i’ve been faithfully devoted to Christ everyday since & my “sin issues” aren’t so blatant anymore…i’m learning the deeper you get into your walk w/the Lord, the more like brain surgery it becomes. He’s finding the details in me…the glitches.

through my recent blunders & struggles, i have found a desperation for Jesus like i haven’t felt in a long time. He’s reminding me that i had forgotten to keep leaning on Him. my spirit is more humbled now than ever & He’s probably allowing that to happen b/c “a meek & quiet spirit” is what He loves. {1 peter 3:4}

reminiscent of my previous experience, i’ve been unraveling. unlike the last time though, it’s been a slow process & this time, it’s not the things around me that are coming undone – it’s me. i’ve asked God to help me become this noble woman described in His Word, thinking He would help me to evolve from where i already had grown to. in actuality, He’s stripping me down & showing me the existing uglies instead.

lately, my shortcomings can be found mostly in relationships, most importantly, in my marriage. i’ve asked Him earnestly for months now to help me become a true proverbs 31 woman. i didn’t know that prayer was going to lead me here, but it has & i’m thankful for that.

apparently, you can’t pray to become a proverbs 31 woman & still insist on steering your own ship. lesson learned – the hard way. i have a confession. i’ve been arrogant in my marriage…self-righteous even at times. my way’s always the best…i am above hurting someone i love…nope. i’m finding neither of those are true. i’m seeing that i really can be hurtful & i haven’t been the woman i have the potential of being…the woman He created me to be. my husband deserves that woman. my children deserve that woman. God deserves that woman.

a wife of noble character who can find?
she is worth far more than rubies.
her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
she brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

wow. full confidence. lacking nothing of value. bringing him good, not harm, all of her days…the Lord is really refining me right now. He’s got His magnifying glass on my heart & mind.

i’m learning to be thankful for my failures & i’m actually excited to see who’s coming out on the other side of them. i’m on the verge of becoming better, wiser, stronger b/c of them…

so i guess my message is simply this…

how well we rise will depend entirely on who you let build your wings.

check out brooke fraser’s song, shadowfeet in the playlist at the bottom of the page…

when the world is falling out from under me,
i’ll be found in You…
still standing…

amen.

Ruby Jane’s leaves

we don’t need to know someone to love them. we don’t need to love someone to mourn for them &…we don’t need to birth a child to feel a longing to hold them & see them well when they’ve gone to Heaven too soon for our hearts to understand.

my heart aches for Ruby Jane & her family tonight.

i stumbled across their precious blog while trying to find the tutorial i wanted on make it and love it. i love that i stumbled on such a gem instead.

Ruby Jane.

you can read their story {here}.

i cry for my Heaven Baby still some days. you know that already… & i didn’t even get the chance to see or know my baby. imagine seeing & knowing sweet Ruby Jane for nearly a year then having to say good-bye. some things in this world just remind me to be thankful & to be mindful of our blessings.

some stories change our lives…change our hearts. thank you, Ani for the story of {her leaves}. i will never look at leaves the same again…

Ruby Jane, when i see them, i will honor you & remember to pray for your sweet parents & sister. God is gracious & compassionate & He will pour out His loving-kindness & blessings on them. i know it.

and someday, Ruby Jane, we will all be together again…you with them & us with our angel. until then…

Lord, please help me to remember sweet Ruby Jane when even the thought of complaining crosses my mind. thank you, Lord for my blessings…my babies. thank you for their health, Lord & thank you for giving us Your compassion in our hearts that we can be moved by others’ strength & courage in such a way that it can change our own lives forever…making us better people…You allow our hearts to break in order mold & shape them…

a word from Ani…

I want to be busy and stressed out, and tired and have spit up in my hair.
I see mothers everyday that look so upset and unhappy.
Do you know how lucky you are to have spit up in your hair? Do you know how lucky you are to have TWO crying babies in your cart? Do you know how lucky you are that you get to buy diapers? Do you know how lucky you are to have circles under your eyes from being up all night with your baby, and not from crying all night from missing your baby? Do you know how lucky you are that you get to nurse your baby? It takes everything in me not to walk up to mother’s and just make sure they know!

thank you, Ani for your honesty & the reality check. thank you, thank you, thank you. i don’t even have to go into how badly i’ve taken these joys for granted…

please check out the Ruby Jane Foundation {here}.

{image source}

you can also connect with this incredible family on facebook…{here}

sharing similar struggles? read this…

i came across this post this morning. it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite blog sites. it just goes to show – we are never alone in our struggles. there’s always someone out there on the same page as you, regardless what the situation…loss, frustration, joy, fear, success, embarrassment…the list goes on. we’re all human & i’m simply a woman trying to live in truth. i’m never perfect & i’m not ashamed or too proud to pretend otherwise.

if it appears i’m on a soap box, i may be, but i feel that God is trying to transform me – to set my priorities & thoughts straight. maybe you’re on the verge of a new you too. thank you, Jesus that you love me enough to constantly point me in the right direction…

find the post here…{sisterhood…get real}

Emily P. Freeman says in her book, Grace for the Good Girl,

“When I am wearing a mask, not only can others not see me, but I can’t see them. I see everything through a thin veil of perception…. What would it look like if I allowed Jesus Himself to determine my comfort zone? What if, instead of walking into a room with a wall around me, I was able to walk into a room and move toward others in freedom? Before I am able to do that, I have to be convinced that I am safe. And that is exactly what Jesus came to do.”

{image courtesy of pinterest}

“let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” james 1:4