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Thursday, March 6, 2014

not for me but for You

One of the greatest seasons us upon us.  No not Spring, not in Pittsburgh yet at least ;)  But that of the season of Lent which leads up to the ultimate celebration we have as Christians.  Easter Sunday, the day Jesus conquered death and with it, our sin.  Lent is a time of preparation we as believers experience through prayer, repentance, and sacrifice or self-denial.

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Self-denial is something we as humans really struggle with,  so deep rooted is it in us to seek our own pleasure.  But when we think of what Christ went through for us, that much love, that much pain endured...it becomes such an act of love to make some sort of small sacrifice in honor of Him.  Many times we only see the self-denial, the rules, the limitations.  We don't see the actual freedom that comes through obedience.  Obedience is hard for me even though I understand it will lead to a greater good.  Probably for many, but definitely for me.  Too many times I choose what I want "for the now" instead of what I need for eternity.  But I am learning.  And thank God He still loves such a beautiful mess as me anyway.

And so this year I am sacrificing sweets, and I'm a little nervous about it.  Lots of people give up sweets for lent, but they probably don't fret much about it.  You may have seen some of the healthy choices I've been making on Facebook and Instagram but don't be fooled,  I am still a hard-core sugar addict.  This is something that frustrates me to no end.  That I in my own power can't get control over it. 

I have given up sweets all-together for lent once before, about 10 years ago.  And have given them up a few times since then but I always built in a cheat for myself knowing how hard it was before.  Saying I'll give up sweets for all the days except Sundays or I'll give up sweets but I can still have one little piece of hard candy after dinner.  It's so foolish, I know.  I'm certainly not proud of this line of thinking.  But this year....this year with His grace I will truly do it.  Because I know that if I truly do it for Him and not for myself then He will provide the strength.  Those years before...I was really just doing it for myself.  To say I gave something up.  That I sacrificed something I love for Jesus.  But I didn't really do it at all.  It was a farce.  I am determined to make a true and honest sacrifice this year for my Lord, and I know He will help me when I call upon Him.

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One of the most difficult times that has caused me problems in the past is that both of my sons celebrate their birthdays during Lent.  It'll be tough to not participate in the birthday ritual of cake and ice cream.  It's easy to make the excuse that it is a special occasion, which indeed it is, but I'm too good at rationalizing.  I can find a  reason that every day is a special occasion ;)  I'm just going to have to focus on the other ways we celebrate and not just the cake an dice cream part.

Do you participate in Lent?  Are you sacrificing anything or perhaps adding something?

*PS - I also like to add something to my life during this season that I don't normally do.  This year I am doing the Renee Swope's "A Confident Heart" daily devotional. I can't wait to see how God will change me by committing to daily time with Him.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

finish this | week 8

What a week! It seems like life has been all over the place this week.  It's fun to take a little break and "finish this" :)

1. My favorite comfort food is
Lasagna! Lasagna! Lasagna! That ooey-gooey-cheesy-metly goodness is just oh-so-hard to resist.  Hubsy's recipe is my favorite, he uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta.  And it's a rare treat too because he doesn't make it very often.

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2. My most memorable birthday was
my first birthday party with school friends.  My birthday is in the summer so I never got to celebrate it in school with my class and one year my parents had a party for me at our house with the whole class invited.  It was awesome for me at that young age and it really made me feel super special to be able to have a party with kids other than my cousins.  Most birthdays these days are pretty quiet, definitely no party involved.   Hmmm...maybe I need to remedy that ;)

3. The best karaoke song is
every song!  I am a singer, albeit a terrible one.  I love to belt out pretty much anything.  I used to get embarrassed when I was younger and I would be out running errands with my mom and she would start singing whatever song was on in the store.   I was all 'I don't know this lady, I just happen to be walking beside her'.  She would always laugh at me and tell me I would do the same thing to my kids one day.  And I totally DO!  I love to sing along to any song that's on and watch them roll their eyes at me.  Oh and Hubsy just loves it too, he's always telling me that "Karaoke night isn't until tomorrow" while he tries to mask himself behind his glasses/hand/hat whatever he can find to hide behind. 

4. Boots make me feel
sassy.  Whether it be fashionable knee high boots or hiking boots, they make me feel like I can tackle anything.
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5. I am grateful
for God's faithfulness this past year.  I used to suffer from TMJ pain pretty much daily.  After years of nothing my dentist or doctor recommended working, I finally pursued chiropractics and it has been a literal God-send.  I then began to suffer from significant fatigue and inability to focus.  I finally listened to the inner voice in my head telling me it wasn't just normal "mom-tired".  Went to have blood-work done and found out I was low on iron and been taking supplements ever since which has helped a good bit.  And just when we thought we had no hope of selling our house and moving to our humble hilltop homestead, God stepped in and found a way.  I prayed fervently in all of these areas and God answered, maybe not right away like I wanted ;) ...but in His time.  I am so blessed and so very very thankful for it.

Happy hump day!

link up here!

Monday, March 3, 2014

industrial farmhouse | wall decor

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As more and more painting gets completed at our little country house, we are finally starting to embark on the final touches of decor.  When it comes to making a house feel like a home, it's not until the wall decor begins to go up that it really comes together and feels like your sanctuary.  At least that's how I see it.

Farmhouse style is all about the richness of texture.  The more worn the better!  So I'm sharing some of my inspiration with those of you who enjoy this style of decorating as well.  Got a favorite?

1. DIY LOVE sign
2. old barnwood art
3. fine art photography - autumn
4. aqua bottle wall decor
5. farmhouse wreath
6. primitive candle sconce
7. hanging lantern

Happy Monday friends!
Make it a great week!

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