Archive | March, 2012

Box Full of Happiness

31 Mar

I got a surprise in the mail yesterday…. my Vera Bradley order arrived early!  I was visibly excited.  Wiggling like a puppy or a kid on Christmas excited!

Plain on the outside
Pretty pop of color on the inside

I ADORE Vera Bradley products.  If I could afford it, I would own a full luggage set, and so many of their other colorful and wonderful products.  I receive email updates and frequently peruse the website for sales.  I had been keeping a close eye on sales lately because I had been green-lighted by Aaron to order by new purse when I came across a good deal.

Right before Micah was born in 2009, Aaron and I went shopping at a bookstore in KY and we purchased my very first Vera purse.  It was my birth present!  Sweet right?  Absolutely.  Why mess with tradition and a good thing?  Before my love with Vera purses, I would exchange my purses at least 1x month.  I carried that first purse for almost a year!  Loved every moment with it.  I got my second Vera purse as an actual birthday present from my mom in October 2010.  It is still my current purse, and by far my favorite print.  While still in really good shape, the wear and tear of everyday use for 1 & 1/2 yrs is starting to show a bit.

Parting will be such sweet sorrow with my Very Berry Paisley print

Hence the box of happiness carrying my new purse (my birth present for Kasen), plus a couple of extra pretties that were also on serious sale.  Here is some Vera eye candy to start off the weekend on a happy note. Continue reading

Defining Beauty Part 1: Day 33: Lent Journey

30 Mar

“The bride, the beautiful princess, a royal daughter, is glorious. She waits within her chamber, dressed in a gown woven with gold. Wearing the finest garments, she is brought to the King. Her friends, her companions, follow her into the royal palace. What a joyful, enthusiastic, excited procession as they enter the palace! She comes before the her King, who is wild for her!”   – Psalm 45: 13-15 (as interpreted by Holly Wagner)

beau-ty  (from dictionary.com)
1. the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
2. a beautiful  person, especially a woman.
Who we do let define our beauty?  Our worth?  Where does true beauty lie? Do others see us as someone whose beauty they wish to emulate?  Where does our beauty come from? Is it worth emulating?
I saw the above quote on Pinterest today, and it went along with the Scripture I had read in my devotional.  I’m focusing on this idea of beauty, and what it really means.  Am I someone who sees herself as beautiful? Honestly, it’s difficult to do when you are 30 wks pregnant.  I am tired because I’m not sleeping well.  I don’t feel like I get anything accomplished.  I don’t FEEL beautiful.  Is that my worth?  Doesn’t God see me as beautiful no matter how I feel?
I’m going to be reflecting on this concept of beauty today and tomorrow.  Think on this until then–
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  ~Philippians 4:8
How do you view your own beauty or the beauty in your life?
Gracefully~~Heather

Light from the Darkness: Day 32: Lent Journey

29 Mar

Light Overcoming Darkness

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”-John 1: 1-5

As we draw nearer to Easter our focus tends to shift towards how we will celebrate Easter day.  We see the light and joy to come.  While there is still darkness to journey through, it is nice to see the light breaking through.  We are reminded that darkness has not overcome the light.

I used to be a nanny.  One of the perks of my job  was getting to play with the kids and be creative.  Same perks as a stay at home mom…who knew?

This was a creation from my nanny days.  I had not painted since I was in Mr. T’s (no, not that one) art class in elementary school, and I surprised myself.  While I am not about to enter this in an art contest, as a self-described drawing deficient, I was quite pleased with my efforts.  I’ll let you interpret for yourself.  I’ve included some more angles of the painting. It was done as Easter art, so I thought it was time to dust it off and share it again.

Hope you enjoy it for what it is.  (I do not plan on pursuing a career in art, so don’t ask or beg me to!)

Light Overcoming the Darkness2

Light Overcoming Darkness3

Light Overcoming the Darkness4

Art (even poor excuses for art) is a great way to look into ourselves on our journey.  Give it a shot!

Gracefully~~Heather

Beauty in the True You: Day 31: Lent Journey

28 Mar

“You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.”   – Song of Songs 4:7 (ESV)

God created each one of us; lovingly crafting His children from the inside out.  He knows us.  He chooses us.  He loves us.  The real us.

God isn’t fooled by the images we try to create of ourselves; what we present to the world.  He is interested (and He already knows) the real story.  He looks at each of us and desires for us to know our story as well.  He wants us to accept the offer of grace that is freely given, so we might discover our true story.  A love story.

We are masterpieces of God.  When we are covered by grace, God sees us and says, “There is no flaw IN you.”  God sees the true story inside us because He shaped us.  He is waiting for us to see our own true beauty.

I want to share the lyrics from Ginny Owens’s song, True Story, one of my favorite songs.  I encourage you to download it if they speak to you.

True Story

I am a gifted artist
I’ve learned to paint this canvas well
I work until I’ve finished
An ideal image of myself
But you know better

I am a storyteller
Quite brilliant, if I do say so
I tell them tales they want to hear
And they believe it’s me they know
But you know better

Chorus:
You see my imperfections
Still You say I’m a masterpiece
A marvelous reflection
The image of Yourself in me
You paint with strokes of grace
Undoing my disguise
You say beauty lies in the true story

The world might think me foolish
If they could see beneath my mask
They might find my dreams laughable
Or be embarrassed by my past
But you know better

(Chorus)

Of where I’ve been
And where you’ve brought me to
Of who I am
All because of you

Ginny Owens

I hope you have a day full of beauty.

Gracefully~~Heather

Let Your Light Radiate Love: Day 30: Lent Journey

27 Mar

1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
5 Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;”

-Isaiah 60: 1-5

Many people are familiar with the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”  It is a Sunday School staple but it also one that has made its way into popular culture through quotes, movies, and other media.  It is a song to help teach children that they should hold the light of Christ that is within them, up high for all to see.  They are taught not to hide it under a bush or a basket, or to let the light go out.

What light? Continue reading

He Knows Your Name: Day 29: Lent Journey

26 Mar

9 “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.   10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.  11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9: 9-13

Name

Seven days old in the icu tonight

Little baby boy, they don’t want to have to say goodbye

Your mother’s on the phone

Your father’s in the hall

Prayin’ “God,save this life”

He sees you

He’s near you

He knows your name

He knows your pain

He sees you and He loves you

He knows your name

He knows your name

Four doors down there’s a man who just won’t wake up

He crashed so hard

And the doctor’s want to pull the plug

Your wife is by your side sayin’ “Not tonight”

Prayin’ God will just show up.

He sees you

He’s near you

He knows your name

He knows your pain

He sees you and He loves you

He knows your name

He knows your name

Maybe you’re alone

In a corner of an empty house

Or maybe you’re the one

No one notices in the crowd

He sees you

He’s near you

He knows your name

He knows your pain

He sees you and He loves you

He knows your name

He knows your name

He knows your name

He knows your name

NAME LYRICS – FIREFLIGHT

A hospital is a place where we expect to encounter pain. It is a place of the sick and the dying, but it is also a place of healing and recovery.  Even in the midst of terrible pain, you can find hope. Continue reading

You is Important: Day 28: Lent Journey

24 Mar

Image copyright of Heather Tiger

” 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ”

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

Aibileen Clark, one of the main heroines from The Help, faced great trials and persecution.  She felt weak; yet she was made strong.  She had great faith in the midst of struggles.  She never forgot that she, and those she fought for, were worth every minute of pain.  She knew her value and the value of others, even when told there was none to be found.  She was worth the fight.

Do you know you are? Continue reading

Dark Night: Day 27: Lent Journey

23 Mar

20 Are not my few days almost over?
   Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy
21 before I go to the place of no return,
   to the land of gloom and utter darkness,
22 to the land of deepest night,
   of utter darkness and disorder,
   where even the light is like darkness.”   – Job 10: 20-22 (NIV)

Though it seems dark as night, still there is light to be found

“11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.”Psalm 139: 11-12(NIV)

I wrap Your Word around me as a layer of light for my soul

Today I want to share the scriptures I am finding comfort in. The sentences in between are my thoughts.

I also wanted to share the poem, Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross.

The Poem:

One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
– ah, the sheer grace! –
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
– ah, the sheer grace! –
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
– him I knew so well –
there in a place where no one appeared.

O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

-Saint John of the Cross


Peace be with you today my friends, even in the midst of darkness.

Gracefully~~Heather

Soul Weary: Day 26: Lent Journey

22 Mar

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)

Image courtesy of rightabsorption.wordpress.com

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Roman 8:26-28 (NIV)

If you can’t tell by today’s scripture, or the title, this post is going to be a bit melancholy.  I told you at the beginning of this series (40 Day Lent Journey) that I was going to be excavating some not so pretty and shiny areas of my life and faith journey.  My hope, in doing so, is that I can re-ignite my spiritual passion, deepen my faith, and do some needed soul restoration.  I also hope that by sharing this journey, God will work through my words to reach others who are in similar situations of the soul; broken, doubting, angry, ambivalent, hurting, lost, or anywhere in-between, bringing hope and restoration.

What has happened in the 26 days I have been on the journey so far?  Continue reading

DIY Paint Chip Easter Egg Garlands

21 Mar

*There is a children’s Sunday School lesson tip using this craft at the end of the post!*

I’m a little late getting all my Easter decorations out this year, but I leave them up all Spring, so I’m okay with that.  Normally, I add one or two new store-bought decorations with each new holiday or season.  Not this time!  I came across this fabulous and brilliant DIY craft on Pinterest and knew I had to give it a shot.  After swinging by the original post and tutorial by Steph over at Modern Parents Messy Kids, I set out to gather my supplies.

I had to go to Lowe’s to get the paint for Kasen’s nursery, and while I perused the grays and silvers, I managed to grab a “few” extra Olympic paint chip samples, in a variety of Spring hues.  I did feel a bit of guilt over the number taken, but Micah picked up stray samples others had rudely discarded on the floor, and we turned them in to the cashier, so I think he worked off the “amount.”  I also bought paint and a staple gun, so not feeling too bad for them.

Here are all the supplies I used for the Easter Egg Garlands:

Cost:$3, only because I had to buy some yarn, although it will also be used in another Pinterest DIY project I’ll be working on.

I did use the provided egg template from Modern Parents Messy Kids, for the first few small eggs I cut out.  I ended up using an egg I cut from the paint chip for the rest of the small eggs since the paper was a bit thicker and easier to trace.  I suggest printing the egg template on cardstock if available, or free-hand.  I’m not that brave!  I used an egg Micah created at his sitter’s for the large egg template.

Trace on the back of the paint chips to eliminate marks on the eggs

I was able to get 3-4 eggs out of the sample using the small egg template.  This does include some of the paint name on 1 of the eggs you’ll cut, so if you don’t want the print, I would only trace 2 per sample.  Of course this is for the specific Olympic paint sample.  I was able to get 1 egg per sample with the large template.

Punch two holes in the top of the eggs.  A smaller hole punch can be used.  I had to borrow one from the church, standard single punch, and it was the perfect size to easily push the yarn through each egg when stringing.  I tied a small knot on the end I was feeding through the holes, which made it easy to handle and prevented fraying.  I really like how the colorful yarn looks!

This was a time consuming project for me, from hand-tracing the eggs, cutting them out 3-4 samples at a time, punching them 2-3 eggs at a time, and stringing them together.  It took me a few hours, but I created 5 garlands of about 20 eggs each. I also had to help take care of a attention-craving two-year old, which did not leave my hands free the whole time!

Check out the results! Continue reading