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30 Days of a Thankful Heart { Days 27, 28, & 29} Moments of Joy, Melodi, and Mom

30 Nov

Let me start by saying I am not thankful for being sick the week after Thanksgiving.  I am especially not grateful that my sweet baby boy has been sick as well.  Horrible cough, fever, congestion, and draining, double ear infection makes for a miserable baby and miserable mommy.

I am however, grateful for access to good healthcare, doctors, and medicine to help alleviate the illness crud that has kept our family sick on and off for almost 3 months!

YUCK!

So, I have fallen a few days behind (again) in my thankful posts.  Let’s catch up, shall we. Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 18} Answered Prayers

19 Nov Community Worship

It’s Sunday.  In this house that means we spent most of the day at the church.

That happens when you are the pastor’s family.

It was a long day, as most Sundays are, and I didn’t even have time for my Sunday afternoon nap.

After a great sermon by The Hubs this morning, focused on John 3:16-21 and The Gift of Grace, our Abundant Life Small Group provided a spaghetti and lasagna lunch for the congregation, taking up donations to help fund various mission work in the conference.  It was delicious and I am incredibly thankful to share life with this amazing group of individuals.

We were able to have a brief respite at home after lunch, even though I had to run back up to the church to decorate and tidy up for the Community-wide Thanksgiving Service our church was hosting that evening.  I think The Hubs and the boys got a little bit of an afternoon nap, and I did manage 30 minutes to relax on the couch!

We headed back up to the church a bit before 5 and I corralled the kids while The Hubs prepared to welcome a few hundred people into our church. Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 9} Drama Queens

9 Nov IMG_3097

I love to read.  It is a luxury that I took for granted before the hubs and I had children.

Pre-children, I could lose myself in a good novel or series and read cover to cover, no interruptions.  I would read non-stop and often experience a book hang-over after completing a really great read.

Post-children, I usually have to wait until after bedtime to pick up my latest novel(s) and I am often too exhausted to read more than a chapter or two, not able to summon the enthusiasm to let the book transport me to another world.  It has been a real adjustment for me to not finish a book within a day or two of starting it.  Continue reading

April Shower

30 Apr The sweet cake for Kasen.  It was yummy

If anyone is still hanging around my little blog after my recent absence, a few notes: 1) I’m still here.  I am alive, though currently not so well.  Sinus crud and nearing the end of my pregnancy are taking its toll.  2) Thank you to those who have stuck around. 3) I am struggling to find my energy and inspiration, so hang in there with me a bit longer, please!

I promised to post about the recent baby shower our wonderful church family hosted for us on the 22nd of April.  The photos are finally edited, the gifts sorted if not put away, and I’m working on the long list of thank yous.  Aaron and I were truly humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and generosity of our church family last Sunday at the shower.  The decorations were lovely and had just the right amount of personal touches from ideas I had suggested, the food was scrumptious, and the company superb.  I can’t say thank you enough to the many ladies who put forth so much time, effort, and energy into making the shower such a wonderful success and memory.

There were many photos taken, and I tried to take a few at home of just some of the fabulous gifts we received.  I’m going to put most of the photos in gallery format to save some time.  I hope you enjoy the pictures and the sneak peeks you’ll see of the nursery in progress!

For Everything a Season: Day 34: Lent Journey

2 Apr beauty from pain

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:”

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  -Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 11

A friend handed me a copy of a devotional on Ecclesiastes 3:11 at church Sunday.  She said she was doing her devotional and thought of me since I had recently been posting on this very idea; beauty.  I was very grateful for two reasons: 1) She cared enough to think of me and make me a copy, and 2) She cares enough to read my little blog and remember something I wrote!  Makes my heart happy.

The funny thing is that she didn’t realize she was sending me a much needed message from God.  I didn’t read the devotional until after we had returned home from the Community Easter Service (yep, a week early), and I desperately needed to read that scripture and the accompanying message by then.

The author of the devotional, Nicole Johnson, focuses on the need for us to embrace beauty as part of who God created us to be.  Instead of getting so caught up in seeing the pain or ugliness in and around us, we often need to spend time focused on the beauty God has created in and around us; not to mention the beauty He is working to create through us.  Continue reading

Box Full of Happiness

31 Mar IMG_1888

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

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

Pirate Elephants, Healing, and Hope: Day 25: Lent Journey

21 Mar

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV)

It’s hard to believe we are on Day 25!  God is leading me on an incredible journey that has taken unexpected, but fruitful turns.  While He is still refining the message I will share with you tomorrow, I am honored to have a guest blogger joining us today.  Leanne Penny shares her heart over at leannepenny.com as she allows God to minister through her life and words, “journeying with those hurting, healing, and choosing joy.”

I have known Leanne since 2007 when we met in a counseling class at Asbury Seminary in tiny Wilmore, KY.  I was smitten with the fabulousness that is Leanne.  We found many common interests including food, helping others, college football, and being silly and spending time with good friends.

Just for fun...A photo of Leanne and I from a gathering in KY to watch an OU football game (2008)

While her stay in Wilmore ended before mine, a fellow Okie, her husband Kel, brought her back to my home state (OK), and Leanne now makes a lovely home in Ada, OK for her family, which includes two beautiful children.

Photo courtesy of Folsom Photography and leannepenny.com

Leanne is a constant source of inspiration for me and many others, and she is on my must-read blogs list.  When I think of people that embody the above verse from 2 Corinthians, Leanne comes to mind.  She has suffered great loss and tragedy in her young life, has walked in utter darkness, but she has clung to God’s saving grace, letting His light shine through her life.  Where she has found comfort in Christ, she is now able to offer that same comfort to others who are hurting, broken, and bruised.  God is truly creating her ashes into something beautiful.

I am blessed to call her my friend, and so grateful she is willing to share her words of hope with us today.  You can read more about Leanne HERE.  Check out her story HERE.  I encourage you to visit her blog, follow her on twitter, or like her Facebook page, so you can journey with Leanne as restoration and joy is found.

Here’s Leanne: Continue reading

Prep Mode: Day 24: Lent Journey

20 Mar

 

 

“”Now listen, daughter, don’t miss a word:
      forget your country, put your home behind you.
   Be here—the king is wild for you.
      Since he’s your lord, adore him.  Set your mind now on sons—
      don’t dote on father and grandfather.
   You’ll set your sons up as princes
      all over the earth.

Psalm 45:10-11, 16 (The Message)

Today, I am just going to let this scripture be the focus.  I am working on a little more in-depth post covering some touchy issues, and I don’t want to rush it.  The inspiration came late last night.  I feel like God is really wanting this message to be a bit more than usual, so please bear with me until tomorrow.

I also overdid it a bit yesterday!  The hubs took the day off (after a long week last week) and we worked on the yard before the rain hit; he mowed and I weeded some and picked up trash from the yard.  Our yard is a pass-through for people (aggravating), and they dump their trash.  I often see empty cigarette cartons lying in the grass.  Fun for the kiddo to find.  After the yard came painting!  Yep, we got the nursery painted.  Two coats in a room with no ceiling fan in humid, rainy, warm weather=no fun for this pregnant mom.  Even with breaks between walls, for me, I was done in.  So glad I put on a roast in the slow cooker so no dinner prep was expected later!

I went to pick up the little guy from his babysitter (whom he had been asking to go see ALL weekend), and we went over to see a family from the church so Micah could play with their 3 kids and the hubs could move some furniture back into the nursery.  I love watching Micah interact with these kids.  They love him, and he adores them. They are older by a few years, but they are so great with him.  It was a battle to leave, but once convinced we had to go home to see daddy, he was on board.  He is a very loving child and likes to give hugs and kisses, and he has started giving them to everyone when we leave somewhere.  As he made his rounds to say goodbye, he decided Ella, their 7 yr. old daughter needed some extra kisses.  He kissed her like 6 times until she kissed him back, even once on her nose!  Sweet, adorable, and funny, but oh my….he is going to be a handful when he gets older!  I got him home and his motor ran on full speed until I finally sang him to sleep at 9.  He’s really fighting sleep these days.  So not fun.

Needless to say, I am taking a day to rest some, recover, and focus on renewing my spirit in the gloomy rain.

Check out the above scripture and let it ruminate.

I hope to see you tomorrow for a few new posts!

Gracefully~~Heather