Sunday, November 25, 2012

Picture-less Posting

I got a little note from Blogger saying I can't upload anymore pictures because I've met my quota.

I didn't know there was a quota.

I'm frustrated. 
Whatever decision I make, I end up having to spend money.

Either I pay for more storage, or pay to move to Wordpress.

It's dumb.

That's all I have to say.

Sad Face.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A heart of gratitude: When God wrecks you

I wish so bad that I could truly share my heart with each of you over a nice hot cup of coffee.

I wish that you were sitting across from me in a local coffee shop, legs tucked up under in a big comfy chair and your favorite drink was being sipped and holiday music played in the background and I could look into your eyes and tell you what really is going on in my heart.

It just doesn't seem fair, to read it online... I wish ever so much it was in person.

A year ago I would have never seen myself the way I am today.

We never know what to expect in a coming year, and we know there will be good and bad and yet we cannot ever imagine what life will really look like.

Sometimes it's a physical change, something tangible. Like watching your Mama walk graciously through breast cancer or your Dad go through open heart surgery and then only a few months later run in a 5k race. Or you move, or you get a new car or your kids are taller or your hair is grayer.

Sometimes it's inside.
 The change that comes with a year.
 Sometimes it's just that you are more patient, or more understanding or more content.

And sometimes, sometimes God just does a complete overhaul on your heart. Maybe He stirs it up in you, and maybe He uses something else to stir you.

That's what He did to me.

I am not the same. I am seeing things so different. I used to think that things like living in a hut in Africa teaching kids was for "some people" and that only certain people were "called" to the mission field and that church should look like _______.

That you go to school, grow up, get married, buy a house, have kids, put away for retirement and go to church and do your "church service" whatever it may be, on Sunday morning and live your normal American Dream life the rest of the week. Putting in your tithe and a bit more if you can and basically doing your Christian duty.

The stretch or pull you feel really isn't one at all. It's comfortable. This life you live.

I'm just not okay with that anymore, we aren't okay with that. Jesus didn't call us to live the Christian version of the American Dream.

Is my life really about Him or is it about me? 
Is it about what I can do for Him, or what He can use me up for?
Do I really give Him everything and allow Him to do anything with me? Or do I give Him most and keep a few things for myself?

For me it's been security issues. The anxiety of the safety of my family, especially my boys and stability in finances, dominated my heart in ways I wasn't fully aware of. 
Not that you become reckless in your spending, but that it isn't about the bottom line, or your savings account or your retirement. That's totally against the grain these days, even in the Christian community and I just found myself thinking and stressing over these two specific areas more than I was letting God just guide and be in control. Like, does He have my life in His hand or not? There isn't a half-way here. 

What if what we think is crazy and only for the "called" is really what anyone who says they follow Christ is supposed to do.

We can't all pick up and leave and move to a third world country, but we sure as heck can do more than what we are doing now.

I was pretty content. Pretty pleased with how things were going, and what the future looked like.

I'm just not okay with that anymore.

I don't want my kids to think this life is about them, that they are entitled to anything.

I don't want to wait until my kids "are older" to really dig in and give myself to Jesus and be reckless for Him. 

What a disservice to my children.

We have to do this one life better than we are. We have to do church better than we are. Church isn't about me or you, we already know...and have what we need. Let's stop just feeding fat sheep and feed the people Jesus wants us to feed.

Let's stop whining about petty things on Sunday morning and whether or not there is a Sunday School class for you, and get outside of our walls and take our message to our community. Let's not be content to invite our neighbors to our church programs, but to go to them.

Let's stop preaching at people, and just love on people.

Let's remember that it's God who saves, and not us.

Let's stop being consumers. Let's stop thinking of ourselves and sitting back and filling up on what we already have.

There is so much here, I realize that. And if we were having coffee together we could unpack it even more and you could see my eyes and hear my heart.
I know some of you won't understand, and some of you may be offended and that really isn't at all my purpose in this. I think a year ago I may have read something like this and it wouldn't have struck me. But maybe you are feeling some of this too....

God is at work people. He is doing some amazing things and let's not get in the way.

I'm His. He can do anything He wants with me. And guess what? That does scare the ever living crap out of me. But it should.

It's unsafe in the eyes of the world, but being unsafe in the eyes of today's culture is pretty much the safest place to be in Him. He did everything against culture and against what "was supposed to be done". And I'm pretty sure He says we're supposed to live like Him. Sometimes that gets lost in our versions. 

So yeah. I'm wrecked. Messed up. Seeing things in a different way. Seeing people in a different way and seeing my life in a different way.

This isn't just me. It's my sweet hubby too...God has worked us both over in our own ways.

So, yeah. What's next? Who knows...I know God is stirring up stuff and I have no idea what that means. We have stuff on our hearts that we are praying about and trusting Him with.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I love me a Birthday.

Today's mine. 

I feel 23....

Been a lovely weekend full of lovely people and I am so blessed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

*Exciting News* Trades of Hope- Helping Women out of Poverty

I am SOOO excited to share with you something amazing and inspiring that I am a part of now!!

I had never heard of Trades of Hope before seeing the display of gorgeous jewelry and handmade items at our church holiday bazaar a few weeks back. It wasn't just the stunning pieces that caught me, but the story behind each one.

I hung around for awhile, and found myself going back two more times, the final time asking the lady selling the items what I needed to do to sell them myself.

Trades of Hope is set up like a home party. Think, candles, makeup, kitchen supplies, bags etc. There are no end to these types of parties and businesses, and they are fun. 

But get this, Trades of Hope is the ONLY one of these that is selling Fair Trade 
products made by women from all over the world in impoverished communities. 

Here are some statistics:

1. 40% of all working women make less than $2 a day. 

2. Women are paid, in general, 25 cents to a mans dollar. 

3. Of the world's 1.3 billion people in poverty, 70% are women.

4. About 80% of the world's 27 million refugees are women & children.

5. The primary victims of today's wars are civilian women and their children, not soldiers.

6. Women have not achieved equality with men in any country.

7. In most countries, women work approximately twice the unpaid time men do.

 8.  When given resources, women will share them with her children and community.

Bracelets made by women in Haiti, baskets woven in Uganda, necklaces made in India. 
From Uganda

Women in Haiti are so resourceful! These amazing bracelets are  made out of cereal boxes!!

Trades of Hope takes their products, we sell them and through our sales we help women out of sex trade, slums, sweat shops and extreme poverty. They will be able to send their kids to school, put a roof over their heads and food on their table. 

They make between 3-6 times as much as they would selling these items where they live. 

This is women helping women, this is bridging the gap between us and them and connecting ourselves in a tangible way and doing something that matters.

For me this isn't about making money, it's about spreading the word. 

I love a good party, but this is a party with a purpose and that is something I can get excited about, and I know you can too!


For local friends, I will probably only be holding 1-2 parties a month so that my main thing remains my main thing (aka my family) but I will hold an online or catalog party any time you would like and that goes for any of you who are not local!

Here is my website for Trades of Hope, here you can click and purchase whatever you would like and it will be shipped directly to you! If you are part of a party that you cannot attend, make sure you put in that person's name in the "special instructions" part of your order so they get credit! 

Read the story, find out about Gifts of Hope and browse around. This is legit guys, no funny business here. 

** If you want to order anything and have it here by Christmas, email me at


ASAP, all orders placed by December 11th will be here in time, and I can't think of a better gift to give**

PS: Money I make from this is going to fund something else pretty can be praying along with us as we seek out what God is stirring in our hearts.....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

7: Waste and what November Holds

October: Waste

Guys, this month just sucked.

With Trev on Sabbatical and us gone for almost 2 weeks in the middle, and then again some other days here and there....we just didn't do a good job.

We decided not to plant a winter garden, we forgot our reusable bags all but one time, we did do our best to remember to recycle but we didn't do great.

The good things: 

Being October in Southern Oregon means (usually) no heater on and no AC, so that part we did good in!

We didn't buy any paper towels, napkins, baggies, foil or cling-wrap. We had to get creative for sure, but we did just fine. We won't be going back to paper towels, so that's a positive!

Although we didn't buy local, I did do an amazing job with our groceries and pared our budget down even more, and we ate it all up...hardly any waste. That always feels good!

This is definitely an area we can continue to improve upon and we will!

November is about Stress. Jen takes time at 7 different places throughout the day to pray.  Jen says this about how difficult this month was for her:

I found this month very challenging and equally beautiful. Evidently, I don’t respond well to interruptions, Spirit-led or otherwise.

But these pauses, plus the Sabbath, plus the sabbatical taught me something: My heart craves a slower life. I want people to stop prefacing their phone calls with this: “I know you’re so busy, but if I could just have a second…” I want to figure out what this means for our family. We can’t live in the barn forever, nor can we pull out of work, ministry, school, community, mission, family, and all the activities that accompany them. But what can we do to cultivate a quiet ranch heart in a noisy urban world?

Jen took the example set by this book Seven Sacred Pauses,  and intentionally paused at certain times in the day to pray. It didn't matter what she was doing, or where she was. One of the times is in the middle of the night (around midnight). The point being, to take time out of your day, and pause, breathe, reflect and pray. In this day, this type of thing can be very difficult and you can make a million excuses why you can't do it at this certain time or whatever. You can though. If you choose to.

The other thing she does is make sure and take part in the Sabbath. Basically, take a day and do church, rest, be with your family and eat. Don't plan events, don't fill your day with other stuff, just be. From sun up to sun down, do it.

Fast from stress. It's around us all the time, bombarding our faces and our computers and our phones. We have a say in this matter, it's time to step up our game and just say no.

Friday, November 2, 2012

3 Little Men & a Mommy Blog Status

While on vacation, I was almost completely unplugged. I didn't post to Facebook once we arrived to our destination, posted a few pics to Instagram the following two days and never got on Twitter or my Blog.

Once we got home I didn't feel like plugging back in. I still really don't.

I love this little space of my own, I love that I get to share my precious family with our friends and family that don't see us every day and I love to share what God is doing in my heart.

I don't have a product to sell, or a side business. I don't have a gazillion followers that I have to make sure and post at least 2x a week for. Guess what? I'm really glad about that. That's pressure I just don't need.

If I feel led to write, I will. If I want to post some pictures I will. Even if I go three weeks without doing it.

All that to say, I removed my most of advertisements along with the buttons for other blogs. I also won't be hosting a weekly link-up and I am no longer a Sweat Pink advocate.

This is just gonna be my little space for whenever I need a little space.

I whittled the blogs I read down to just a handful so that when I jump on here I don't feel overwhelmed or obligated to visit them all and comment.

I'm a Mom of 3 little boys, a wife, a homemaker, a small group leader, a best friend, a member of a small group, a Pastor's Wife, a daughter, a sister, a volunteer at a local teen Mom home, a reader of many books, a dreamer of the things that I feel are coming soon,  a birth photographer in training and a part time blogger. 

I appreciate those of you who read this little space and encourage me even if I've never met you.

That being are some pictures of our time away! We met up with my parents for one of the mornings, but the rest of the time it was just us!
We drove, stopped half way for a night and then finished our driving the next day. With three kids under 4, all that driving really was a nearly perfect trip. Truly amazing.

Paradise Pier at night

My Man in one of his favorite places...Main Street USA

Trev and Cam

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

He is saying, get in the tractor!

Waiting for Tiki Room

Train Ride

So darn cool

Luigi's Tire Hate

On the Caterpillar Ride

Trev and a Packard on the newly redesigned Buena Vista Street in California Adventure

Flo's at night...they have a great old fashioned menu

I was so proud of Jack for going on this ride! He looks terrified, but he came off the ride skipping!

Little art observers


Love this so much

Breakfast with friends

He wouldn't let me drive

Brer Fox

They almost had her glove off!

Beverley Hills Diner

Nothing much beats this....

New entrance to California Adventure with Carthay Theater peeking up in the background!

Cam was like HEY and then oh wait!

He danced on Bourbon Street and got some beads!

Digging in!

This kid was a theme park natural.
This was at the parade

He was named after the guy, so we had to go do this!

Everybody needs a Dinglehopper

DJ came driving through town

A green Dumbo no less!

No edit. Taken seconds apart at night!

Jack went on the Grizzly at NIGHT! SO BRAVE!

I am soaked

Special Grand Opening of Cars Land ears!

Smooches from Minnie

Sharing Ice Cream at Clarabelle's 

He got to build his own light saber. Of course it was green....

He was star struck

With my Dad, checking out the maps

Main Street at night

Matterhorn at night ( was pitch black out)


I love Meeko!

Boys in Ergos!

He was so surprised to see my parents! I love that I captured my Dad and Trev hugging in the background!

Parade Time


Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Freaking Awesome. 

Radiator Springs. They did it perfectly. 

Ghost Galaxy Show. Seconds apart. 

One of my favorites. No edit. LOVE.

My boys

Exploring Tom Sawyers Island