Read My Apple Tree Story here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

He Listens

CRY OUT to the Lord.

He hears us. He wants us to be comforted and He wants to be in every single part of our lives. No matter how big or small.

I cried out to the Lord last night and I KNEW HIS PRESENCE. It was then that all was okay. I was surrounded by His love and felt the peace that only God can give us. Just as we hold and comfort our own babies in our arms, God does just the same with us. But the amazing thing is how much stronger His love for us is than the love we feel for our own children.

If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.
Exodus 22:23

Cry out to the Lord ... He does listen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Home Sweet Home

One of my guilty pleasures pretty much involves anything that has to do with the home. From real estate, furniture shopping, and remodeling to fabric and color palettes, paint colors, and house floor plans (as a child, I would sketch these out on road trips for entertainment!). Watching HGTV is my way of decompressing after a long day.

I have forever been thinking through our bonusroom and how to make it a more practical, livable yet also pretty space for our family. I love the space of the room, but very much dislike the constant surrounding of  toys and "junk." I love this room mainly because it is what keeps all of this stuff out of our DEN,


and it helps keep the rest of our home somewhat serene-like.

Here is another reason I am working on this room ...


I found the most awesome Etsy shop! For some time, I have been collecting samples of fabrics to go with my blah chocolate sleeper, khaki walls, white wainscoting, and extra large wall of windows. So far, this room has gotten the least of my decorating attention, and it just does not fit my taste and personality. But, as I've said, it is used mostly as a playroom for now, so it certainly has not been a decorating priority for me.

Until ......

I found this outstanding shop!! I love just about every single fabric she has! This is just the fun and fresh look I want for our bonusroom. I love all the new ikat, chevron, and lattice patterns that are big right now.

My thoughts are to have pillows and drapes made in coordinating fabrics to go with my chocolate sofa. And then find another fabric to recover my loveseat in.

I would love to hear your thoughts!!
Do you have a favorite?

They are all so fresh ... how do I decide?!
Also, have you ever painted over wallpaper??

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord
Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Have Trust, Gain Peace

When my doctor told me, at 27 weeks pregnant, that if I didn't put myself on bedrest, then our precious baby boy would most certainly arrive. And at only 27 weeks along, I knew that we needed more time.

After hearing half of what my incredible doctor had told me, and after the shock of it all and wondering how I was going to be a MOM to our almost 3 year old little girl, somehow I was okay. I never really questioned the popular response of "Why God?" With HIS grace, I knew that whatever happened, we would somehow be okay. We would get through it, only with His help. I knew that we were/are ultimately HIS, and our sweet little baby boy was in His hands. Somehow I allowed God to take over my heart, and I had complete PEACE.

With the help of my wonderful parents, our amazing friends and church members, we figured out a good plan. And with many extra doctors appointments, a few small scares, a couple of fainting spells, many extra pounds gained trying to fatten our boy up, a very sore body, and an extremely understanding incredible toddler, we made it to a whopping 38 weeks and we met a perfectly healthy, strong little Wilson!
I suppose my point in sharing all this is to help remind myself where my faith was through all of this. It was complete TRUST in our mightly God. It was the PEACE I had in knowing that HE was in complete CONTROL.

When I think back about it all now, it amazes me at how HE works. I may never understand why all this happened, but I certainly don't question it. I see the special bond my husband and daughter made during this time, how much extra time they spent together and how close their relationship is now. I can't help but wonder if maybe they wouldn't be so close now. I see all the quiet time I spent in God's word learning and studying and growing closer in my walk with the Lord. I see how important relationships and friendships are, and that we are always needed. Whether it's an extra friendly "hey, just checking on you" or a thoughtful card in the mail, or a home-cooked meal to someone that could use it. Or just because. So, I don't question HIS "why" because I know that it was somehow for HIS good. I may never understand His reasons, but I believe we aren't supposed to. We just TRUST in Him and His wonderful ways. Some of them are obvious and some are not.

Thinking through all of this now makes me want to be a better person. Not for me, but for our loving Lord. He opened my eyes to so much during my "scare", and thinking through my New Year's resolutions "thoughts on bettering my life" has made me think back on this time of rest I had over 2 years ago. With the craziness and contant hustle and bustle of being a stay at home mom, trying my best to keep it all together, trying to figure out a balance, I think about the good that can come out of rest. I should stop and just take it all in -- all the beautiful wonders of this world. My life as it is now and how fortunate I am. And not about the "nots" and the "don't haves" in my life.

Take time for life. Remember whose life it is. And live it to your fullest. But remember to give HIM all the GLORY.

And we know that God auses all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

Monday, January 9, 2012

Start Simple

So ... this year I said I wanted to learn how to be SMART with money, and so far I am really pleased! The whole couponing thing can get overwhelming to me, as there seems to be too many rules and gray areas. However, I wanted to start somewhere and see how I could do.

Here is my simple strategy ...
I cut out coupons from 2 Sunday newspapers.

I look through the CVS circular to find what is on sale or what has "ExtraBucks".

I purchase what items are on sale that I have the coupons for. Keep in mind that when CVS has a 2/$4 sale, for example, since you are buying a quatity of 2, you can use 2 coupons on those items. This explains my reasons for buying 2 Sunday papers.

My first trip to CVS last Sunday, I bought some great, useful items, like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, Flinstone vitamins, Tylenol, 2 BOXES of Pampers, and more. My total came to around $130. With coupons, I got my total down to $53, however I walked away with $17 of ExtraBucks!! I was fairly pleased, especially considering I bought all household products that we NEEDED anyway!

I always scan my CVS Bag Tag, too, by the way.

I did the same thing this past Sunday, but this time walked away with $22 worth of products for absolutely FREE!!! I was so excited! This certainly makes it FUN and worthwhile! And this is without much extra effort and time.

This feeling of accomplishment leaves me with a better sense of self-worth, and that is something I need a little extra of these days.

If I can do it, YOU can too! Start SIMPLE!!
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
Luke 16:10

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts on TWENTY-TWELVE!

Each year that comes and passes, I realize that I never stick to my resolutions. But I also have never put them into writing and truly "studied" them with much thought. This year, I plan to continually remind myself of the things I want to do to improve the quality of my and my family's life.  Now these may seem simple and generic to some, but they are important to me and thoughts that I know are not out of reach for me. Some are easy and I've already made progress on, and others I still am not sure how to improve on.

Here are some of my thoughts on starting the new year off FRESH ...

1.  Simplify my life.

2.  Be a more frugal and smart shopper.  Learn how to coupon and spend more wisely.

3.  "Just a closer walk with thee ..."  Find and make time for God daily. Study Scripture and apply it to my life. Grow in my walk with the Lord.

4.  Lead a more active lifestyle. Get back into tennis playing (it was my life growing up), take Wilson on more strolls, family neighborhood walks, increase my jogging capability (I hate to run!), tone and get into better shape.

5.  Drink more water and less Diet Coke and Sweet Tea! Be more conscious about what I put into body. Learn how to eat and cook healthier for my family.

6.  Organize my home and learn how to stay organized.

7.  Spend moe quality time with my children, husband and frinds. I have always had gread intentions of doing "extras" but have never been thorough and consistent on following through.

8.  Grow my home business.

9.  Time Management and more patience.

10. Get up earlier and be more productive.

Happy New Year!! It is going to be an awesome 2012!!


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