Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day For Me....and Jesus Calling

Today was MY first day of school.  I am the director of our weekday program at church - Mother's Day Out.  Today we welcomed around 140 children into our classrooms for the first time this year.  We survived!!  And, I can say with confidence that this was the best first day yet out of the five I've had as a director.  There were the usual tears (from kids and moms alike), bumps, and odd building issues (cricket invasion).  But there were a lot of happy, excited faces (kids, moms, and teachers).  Excited for their new adventure to begin.

This morning I woke up with a case of the first day jitters and headed straight to my favorite devotional that is my go-to especially when I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  "Jesus Calling" . It is written as if Jesus is speaking directly to you from His Word.  Every time I pick this up I feel like it was written just for me just on that day.  But, you know the awesome thing about God?  I have several friends who have this same devotional book and they feel exactly the same way!!  God is soo good.  Stress and worry has become so common these days, it's just part of everyday life.  We have become used to it. 

A couple of weeks ago I was awake at 4am full of worry and stress and this is what I read:

“STOP WORRYING long enough to hear My voice.  I speak softly to you, in the depths of your being.  Your mind shuttles back and forth, hither and yon, weaving webs of anxious confusion.  As My thoughts rise up within you, they become entangled in those sticky webs of worry.  Thus, My voice is muffled and you hear only “white noise.”
Ask My Spirit to quiet your mind so that you can think My thoughts.  This ability is an awesome benefit of being My child, patterned after My own image.  Do not be deafened by the noise of the world or that of your own thinking.  Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Sit quietly in My Presence, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking.”

It seems that at those times we most need to hear from God are the times we are most stressed.  Our minds are so full of “anxious confusion” from our own thoughts of worry, our own efforts to problem solve, that we can’t hear the voice of God.  I wonder how many times we miss the blessings, take the wrong path, make the wrong choice, simply because we were too worried to simply pause and listen for God’s voice. 

The day that I read this was a day filled with lots of important decisions.  I needed to hear God’s voice.  I photocopied this page out of my devotional and hung it up in my office, so that throughout the day when my thoughts of worry began to create too much “white noise”, I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to quiet my mind.  What a glorious power we have if we would only remember to use it. 

Today when I picked up my little book, there was a different message, but still a reminder that God is in our corner.  How amazing. 

I challenge you…”STOP WORRYING” long enough to hear His voice, and remember God is there for you...let Him fight your battles. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Fall!

This has been an INsanely busy week for me at work!!  So I am looking at a very long list of to do's for the weekend.  Hopefully I will make it through the not so fun stuff so I can get to the fun stuff. 
With the cooler weather I have been itching to start decorating for fall.  It might be a touch early for that I know, so I decided to work on making some cute decor items.  I have pinned many on Pinterest and last weekend I took some time to make my own version.
 

I have seen many different burlap pillows floating around Pinterest.  But, it is kinda itchy so I didn't really want to have them inside.  But I thought they would be great outside.  This glider bench is on my tiny front porch.  These were super easy to make!!
I started by cutting the burlap to the size I wanted the pillows.  I didn't worry about being exact about the cutting because I knew I would trim it later, and because I didn't really care if it was perfect :)
Then I found a font that I liked and typed my phrase "Happy Fall", positioned the paper under the burlap and grabbed my orange sharpie.  (I used a piece of poster board that I had on hand to place under my work so the sharpie wouldn't get on the table where I was working.)  This part went really fast.
 
Then I decided I wanted to line the burlap with something so I couldn't see the stuffing through the burlap.  So, I searched through my stash of fabric and found some white cotton.  I cut it a little bit bigger than the burlap pieces.  Then I got my sewing machine out. 
I chose to use a zig zag stitch that was wide and pretty close together, and of course orage thread.  I sewed almost all the way around, then I trimmed the edges with my pinking shears, stuffed and sewed up the hole.  Easy peasy!!

 
But then, my perfectionist kicked in.  Ugh.  All those little frays from the burlap were driving me crazy.  So...I decided to pull them all off to make a fringed look.  Love it!!
 
 
 
Well, that's it for today.  Must get going on that to do list...

Fall Party


Friday, August 17, 2012

Back to School

I have always been ready for school to start.  Ready for the routine, ready for the kids to have something to keep them busy everyday, ready for them to be separated for a time so they don't kill each other.  This summer is different and I can't quite put my finger on why.  I'm not sure what happened to the summer.  It seemed like we just got out of school. 

Garrett, Gavin, Amanda, Caleb

Today I am a whole bowl-full of mixed-up emotions. 


A junior, my Garrett is a junior??
My baby girl is starting high school?? 


Caleb...5th grade???  His last year of elementary school??
Gavin...4th grade???
What happened?? I blinked too many times...

As time grows closer to children leaving the nest I find myself trying harder to gather them in.  I know the future holds so much, and I'm excited for every second of it.  As Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  I know God has BIG plans for each of them, and that gives me peace. 

My advice is the same I heard from friends who have gone through this before me...don't blink.  Enjoy every precious moment.  Don't wish for tomorrow, enjoy today.  It sounds so cliche, and I remember when my kids were younger I rolled my eyes and said in my head "ya whatever, I know"...but I didn't know. 

I can't wait to hear all the wonderful stories about their first day which I'm sure will be fantastic!! 
 I will be waiting, very impatiently :)
Praying everyone else has, or had fabulous first days!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lightening Up

It has finally cooled off a little here, and I am feeling a little like diving into a few projects at home.  As if I don't have anything else to do right?  Anywho...

After our third trip to the beach last summer I decided that this is where I am meant to be...

This is my happy place :)
But, for many reasons we are stuck in the concrete jungle, as my husband says.  So, for now I wanted to find a way to bring the feeling of my happy place into my home.  I have always gravitated to warm colors - brick red, brown - earthy colors.  But now I find myself more and more drawn to the colors of the beach.  The blues and greens of the water, the various shades of beige on the beach, the coral and yellows in the seashells and sunsets.  Something like this

source

My next step in the lightening up process is drapery.  This is what I have now



I'm thinking something like this would be nice

source
  But since this blog is new, I thought I would rewind a little and share with you where I started a few months ago.
The first step was the front door, I had been seeing so many cute colored doors on Pinterest.  So, I went on a search for paint, on the mis-tint shelf.  And, I found the perfect color, $7.00 for a gallon of paint+primer!!  Score!!
Not in the blog mode I did not take a before, but here is the after

Love!!

Then it was on to my biggest issue in my house - all the orange oak.  I am soooo over it.  I swore after painting all the trim and cabinetry in our old house that I would NEVER do that again, but just like with childbirth, I think I am removed enough from it to get started again.  So, start is just what I did.  My hubby and kids were out of town one weekend, fishing, and I dove head-first into my deconstruction project.  Here is the before


You can see on the bottom where I tested a couple of paint colors before I found one I liked. I ended up choosing Glidden Antique White.  I went with the paint+primer because there was no way I was sanding all of that and I wanted to save a step.  You can see how dark it is and that is with the lights on.  (Forgive my photography skills, still learning how to use my camera.)  By the way there is another built-in just like this on the other side of the room. 

So, I started painting...  (I did not sand anything, just cleaned it all really good)


You can see in the photo on the left that I was too lazy to empty all the shelves before I started.  I'm not a very patient person, and I needed some gratification to motivate me to keep going.  You can see the yellow glow the orangey oak causes. 
Then after I started painting....I decided to start deconstructing.  I had always thought it would be great if we could put our TV and all it's components in this built-in.  So I did some measuring, and got out the saw.  I used a jigsaw to cut the second shelf to the length I wanted to remove.


Let me tell you, that was a boogar to get out once I cut it!!  But, I finally got it out.  Then, I turned it sideways and cut it to fit as a side piece for the newly created smaller shelf to the left. 
Woo HOO!!

Then, more painting, and yes I did clear the shelf off :)


Much better picture...taken in the daytime, and no orange cast. 
Here it is now reloaded with all of our stuff (really the daytime pictures with the natural light are so much better, I'm going to remember that).


I still need to get a cord cover for that ugly cord, and I plan on painting the oak paneling above...someday. 
Every since I finished this I have been trying to convince my hubby that I need a table saw and a nail gun, for my list of future building projects.  Anybody with me??
School starts Friday, so maybe I will have time soon to tackle those drapes. 
  I read a post today from one of my favorite bloggers that really hit home. "Seven Signs You Might Be Decorating out of Fear" - head over to The Nester and see if this describes you.  I am done being afraid of decorating,  if I like it then that's all that matters!!  :)  Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. I hope you enjoy it, and are inspired to try some DIY.


Friday, August 3, 2012

The Olympics....and this girl

The Olympics are a pretty big deal in our house.  Nothing else has been on the television since it started, and everyone fights for control of the remote trying to make sure they don't miss the good stuff.  This time around has been a little different for me with this girl...




She has loved the sport of gymnastics since she was four years old.  She loved everything about it and seemed to be great under pressure.  She seemed unstoppable.  Let me tell you, until you have a competitive athlete in your own home, it is so hard to understand the behind the scenes part of the Olympics.  My girl competed for six years in the sport of gymnastics.  Gymnastics is a tough sport.  It is hard on your body - lots of jarring, bouncing, and...falling.  It is hard on your self-esteem - lots of room for failure, and not as much for success and people judging you constantly.  It is hard on your life - you have none, no family life, no social life (outside the gym at least).  But, for those few girls who love it enough to stick it out, it pays off.  This is what we all see in these Olympic gymnasts.  It's all glam and glory because for these girls all that hard work, and sacrifice paid off. 

For those who don't make it for whatever reason, it's a different story.  My girl sat riveted to the tv watching the women's gymnastics team final competition.  No doubt thinking "that could've been me".  But one injury, one too many stresses, and she was done with the dream.  There are thousands of girls all over the country that are sitting in the same spot with her, and only five on the podium.  There will be hundreds of starry-eyed four year olds that will sign up for gymnastics this month filled with big dreams.  And of course, we cheer them on, because we have proof in those five young ladies, that it can happen. 

That brings us back to this girl....

Yes, I know she looks just like me...
I don't mean to paint a sad picture, because it's anything but.  She chose to leave a sport she loves because she felt God leading her in a different direction.  I will always admire her courage to step away in faith, not really knowing where that step was going to take her, not many adults can do that.  But my girl is full of spunk and confidence, and I love that most about her.  She is growing into an amazing young woman and I am tremendously proud of her.  As she walks her winding path, the purpose of this journey will one day make sense.  But, until then she will walk on, find and chase a new dream, and we will cheer her on, because we know that it can happen.
This is not her favorite picture but it's one of mine.  Shows her true personality :)
bottom two pictures courtesy CaitPhoto

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Me blog?

Why blog?
That is the question I have asked myself for months.  These are the answers that I came up with.
1)  I love to read blogs
2)  I like to write (weird I know but I do)
3)  To recount God's blessings over our family

Really it's all three.  I do love to write.  I do love reading about other people's lives, but not in a weird creepy kind of way.  I like that it makes me feel normal.  How I'm not the only one who doesn't like to spend oodles of money decorating their home.  How I'm not the only one who struggles to balance everything.  How I'm not the only one who makes mistakes and then laughs about it.  I love reading about how everyone else is just like me.  I think it is so cool that there are people out there I have never met who seem to get me!  Some days it is just the encouragement I need to get up and get going!

The last one, however, is the one that hooked me.  My husband and I have been riding this roller-coaster of life together for 18 years now. And the path that God has led us down has been winding and even bumpy at times. One of our favorite things to do when things get bumpy is to look back at where we've been, where God has brought us. Those are the times that God reveals pieces of His plan to us. It helps us to see why the bumps are there, and helps us to keep walking. So, I hope that as I blab on about day to day things on this blog, God will weave His glory and we will see His hand. 

God continues to show Himself to me over and over again and I don't want to forget any moment, so I'm jumping on the blogwagon.

So today I will start by telling you a little bit about us.  My husband and I have four children.  Three boys and one girl.    Our oldest son is 16, our oldest daughter is 14, the "little boys", as I often refer to them even though they aren't so little anymore, are 10 and 9 (no I'm not crazy they are 19 months apart).  I am the director, or the "principal" as the kids call me, of the mother's day out and preschool program at our church.  Maybe from this description I don't need to explain the "frazzled" part of my blog name, and hopefully I don't have to explain the "joy" part either.  The joy is sprinkled throughout my day and is usually unexpected.  Whether it is a sweet smile from a child, or an encouraging, loving text from my husband.  Life is good.  God is good.  My husband is the Minister of Recreation and Community Outreach at our church.  He is the love of my life, a wonderful father, and a Godly man.  He also just started blogging!!  You can check him out here if you want.  :)  I could ramble on for hours about each of the wonderful people in my life, but that will have to wait until another day.  For now I have just one last thing to share...my heart...


We have an awesome young lady who takes our family photos.  You can check out her talented self here.

Blessings to you until next time!!