Thursday, May 22, 2014

My prayer ... renewed

Life is busy - no matter how small or big your family is. Seems like there is always something vying for your time, right? I certainly feel that way. Yet, I desire so much to treasure each child no matter what busyness is affecting our life. I am realizing just how quickly time slips from our fingers, and just how little of it I really do have with each precious soul that I call son or daughter. 

I love each one, uniquely, fervently and enjoy their particular strengths and pray for their weaknesses, though I admit - that last part I don't do well or frequent enough.

I have become so burdened in this arena lately that I believe God is trying to get my attention - and focus me yet again in seeking him on the behalf of the each child's needs, and burdens as well as my hope for them as they grow.

What is my hope for each child? Well, generally speaking (and most important to me) is that my children walk in truth, seeking to be more Christlike and in so doing, I know the fruits of that will be peace, true joy and fulfillment.

There are also particular and specific prayers that I have for each child. 

First, I pray that I as a mother can express the absolute joy I have in the job God has called me to. I love being able to stay at home each day and care for my children, loving them, serving them, helping, molding, instructing, etc. Yet - I ashamedly and too often fall into the pit of despair with the feeling of being too busy with appointments, meetings, laundry, or dirty dishes and floors. 

Yet, I KNOW that if I had to pack up each day and head out to work - that I would absolutely miss the mundane of mopping my floors, scrubbing pots, and folding clothes. 

Anyway. My prayer for me is that I speak out loud my gratefulness of motherhood - so my husband and my children can hear me. 

So, I'm praying for Abram - that he enter this world safely and at full term.

I'm praying that Justus will continue to speak and jabber, and that those little dialogues of jibberish will emerge into clearer vocabulary.

I'm praying that Ethan will continue to grow in Christ and develop a keen understanding of scripture and the voice in which to declare truth.

I'm praying that Gabriel will use his strength of discernment and ability to be led by the Holy Spirit to bring honor to Christ, whether via full time ministry - or right in the place God directs and has him.

(a recent mission trip to Uganda that Phillip and Gabriel took together in February 2014)

I'm praying that Chloe gains a full understanding of her Saviour's love for her, and that she truly understands and accepts salvation.

... and ...
I pray these girls remain best of friends for their entire lifetime.

I pray that Ellie will keep a tender heart toward Christ and that I as a mother - I
can help her learn and appreciate the meaning of being a joyful help meet.

I pray that Isaac will be used of God in a mighty and remarkable way and that as he grows that he would always seek Christ first - having a relationship with our Saviour that is close and palpable to all those who may witness Isaac's life.

I pray that Max will continue to blossom - and gain the ability to communicate his simple needs.

I pray that Ivanna will be able to find a calmness and an ability to function in social settings without anxiety.
I pray that Asher will continue to thrive, and be blessed as he discovers how wonderful it is to be a big brother.

 . . . and  . . . 

I pray for my husband, that he continue to be directed of God in decisions and choices and always seek to live with integrity. I pray he is blessed of God and realizes always that his family is so grateful for him.

Just sharing how God has been working on me lately - and convicting my heart on the matter of prayer for my family.

I hope you have a blessed day and week!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Justus!

It has been five years since giving birth to our sixth child, Justus. I'm sure many of you know that we had no prior clue that Justus would be born with a heart condition or Down syndrome. We were totally oblivious to the blessings that laid ahead.

Having Justus has changed our family dynamic for the best possible way. His presence in our life has enriched both his siblings and parents. We are eternally blessed to have been entrusted to his care and upbringing and love him to pieces. 

Today also marks Mother's Day. Fitting that Justus would celebrate such a milestone birthday on Mother's Day. After all, he was due on Mother's Day and crawled on Mother's Day.

Earlier today I posted the following on Facebook, and want to extend the same sentiment here:  

To every woman who has invested, loved, cared for, prayed for, wept over, worried after, mourned the loss of, mentored, or yearned for a child: Happy Mother's Day. 

More than just labor & delivery creates a mom. It's often the labor of hands and sometimes turmoil of heart that creates Motherhood. 

Enjoy your day! May it be blessed!

As today comes to a close - I will leave you with just a few pictures of Justus, and at the end is a link to a video montage that my sweet husband and children worked so hard on to surprise me with today. I hope you had a blessed day.

Justus, I pray your smile never fades, your spirit continues to venture, your laugh resonate, your presence inspire, and that you are always blessed of God. Thank you son, for just being you and touching this mommy's heart in a way that cannot be described. 

Thank you Lord for the gift of Justus, and for every child you have gifted to us. We are eternally blessed.

Click on the link below to view video:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Old Buffet, New Look

I have many passions - one of which is taking older furniture, painting it, and giving it a new look. I love the thrill of finding a piece with "good bones" and imagining it with a fresh coat of paint - or shabbied up a bit. 

I have been doing this for years, and have really enjoyed it when I have the time, money and space to rework a piece and put it in my home.

There has been much talk of a newish paint called chalk paint, so I looked into it. Many people love it and claim that it can coat any surface without prepping the piece. I might try it in the future, but for now I was turned off at the price of the paint which can be as steep as $40 for a small quart of paint. I have always used a flat latex (the cheapest I can find) and it has always worked well for me. So, for this project I stuck with what I knew.

A friend had given me a can of Annie Sloan's clear coat wax (a line of a popular chalk paint). The wax acts as a top coat, a sealant to the paint as well as a nice finisher in bringing out luster.

So ... this is what I did:

We had recently purchased an old Craftsman style home (108 years old), and I found myself wanting to add some funky pieces. My problem? I didn't have a ton of space, but needed a place to serve from within my dining space. I started to look through online ads for a smaller buffet, that was on the cheap. 

I found these two contenders. The top one was a bit more than the bottom, so naturally I went to take a peak at the bottom one - and felt it was too small - almost like a coffee table. It was the right color, as I was wanting to go turquoise, but in the end - I decided to spend just a tad more and get the top buffet. I think I spent $75 for the piece. Not too bad ...

When I get furniture to rework, I get excited and started right away. I had recently purchased a new chandelier from some of my favorite furniture friends who take my hobby of reworking pieces, and then sell them (you can find them on Facebook under My Sister's Stuff). This chandelier is awesome, and lends a fun and funky focal point to my dining area - anyway, I digress. I wanted my buffet to help anchor that chandelier by echoing the color scheme. So, I matched the paint at my local hardware store and also picked up some cheap flat white paint. 

I first painted my piece with the blue paint, and then after that dried, applied the white.

I wanted the blue to pop through, but not steal the show from the chandelier. So, my answer to that was to have the white coat help offset the blue. So I sanded down in spots to reveal the blue, and in other spots sanded further to reveal the wood grain - giving the piece a true shabby feel.

The outcome was exactly what I had envisioned. I then used that free wax to finish. Man, that stuff stinks. So, after opening some windows - I applied the wax a couple of different times, being sure to buff in between applications.

The outcome of applying the wax was a deeper, more saturated look. I LOVE IT!

A fun, funky, yet not to overstated piece. 


Total cost: 
$75 for buffet
$15 for a gallon of blue paint that I still have tons of 
$10 for the cheap white paint that I will certainly use again - white is so versatile, especially for the shabby chic look. 

Mission accomplished.