Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blogging therapy- through the lens

Every now and then, I grab a hold of my camera and wander around the house snapping hundreds of photographs of ordinary things.  I tend to do this when the big picture of life seems overwhelming and I can't focus anymore.  Do you ever do this too?  I find that it's soothing when my circumstances feel overwhelming and the questions are too many to bear.  Life as a mama, a wife, a friend... it's not always black and white.   I work to regain my focus piece by piece, slowing my breathing, snapping my shutter. It stills the chaos and quiets the soul.  This one is just for me... for my record books so-to-speak... a blog post I can log in to my "Adventure Chronicles" section and keep track of where my heart is resting today.  Thanks for coming along. 

(James 5:11) "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

 (Lamentations 3:25) "The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him"

(Galatians 6:9) "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

(Proverbs 3:5-6) "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

(Psalm 40:1) "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry."
 (Hebrews 6:15) "And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised."

(2Corinthians 4:16-18) "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

 (Romans 12:12) "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

(Isaiah 40:30-31) "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

 (Psalm 27:14) "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."

It's not so extraordinarily slow,
It's my impatience that makes it so.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Party sneak peek, Limeade recipe, and a winner

By now, you all know that I'm a sucker for a party of any kind.  Ava and I planned to host a Noonday Collection trunk show next Monday evening.  Sadly, gobs of our friends are unavailable because I'm the worst when it comes to planning something with good timing.  We're throwing it anyway because Noonday rocks.  (Apparently people go on vacations and such during the week of July 4th.) We kinda forgot about that.

I dug around in my party drawer and came up with an unopened package of lime green polka-dotted napkins (Target) and gray stripey straws.  (Everyone knows these are party essentials.)  And then, don't laugh at me... I thought to myself, "Huh.  Guess we're going with a lime or mint theme."  (This my friends, is how my brains works. And also, how throwing a party on an itty bitty budget works.) Washi tape is such a fun, inexpensive, and easy way to transform a few things and make them festive.

Ava and I are going to try a recipe for some little key lime desserts in cups and if it turns out, I'll blog the recipe for ya next week.  In keeping with the theme of using what I had on hand, I dug out some bamboo skewers and washi tape in gray chevron and mint polka dot.  I couldn't believe I actually had washi tape in those exact colors.  No idea where I got them.  (Michaels maybe?) I made swizzle sticks and decided we needed a fun limey-minty drink to swizzle, so I whipped up some homemade limeade.  (I also plan on making a refreshing unsweetened version with club soda, thanks to the idea from my buddy, Betsy.  Think virgin mojito. It's super yummy!) 

Simple syrup (3 cups water, 2 cups sugar, heat until sugar dissolves.)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 cups cold water
Stir together and chill until ready to serve.  Garnish with fresh mint if desired.
I taped off a plastic serving tray and sprayed it with primer, then chalkboard spray paint. It turned out really fun! (I got the straws locally, but you can find them here.  The cute tags were from Ballard Design last year, but I think they still sell them.)

Also.  If you want to be a part of Ava and my Noonday Collection trunk show, we would love to have you!  I just wish you could actually all pack my house and let me serve you yummy drinks and dessert.  You can however, participate by visiting this site and placing your order via email, to  (Just let Kelsey know you are ordering via Lemonade Makin Mama's trunk show, and she'll hook you up!)

The randomly drawn winner of this cute multi colored Noonday Collection necklace is... Melody Olson.  (Melody, please send your address to and I'll get your prize out!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gideon, weeks 1-2 recap in my heart

I mentioned that I'm participating in the Gideon summer bible study via Beth Moore's blog.  In a perfect world, I'd blog on all the amazing things I'm uncovering and we'd have terrific discussion, but the truth is, I'm squeezing my computer time in between snatches of quiet, and I can't see a ton of blogging happening this summer, period. My blue-eyed baby girl hand picked a bunch of wild daisies for me a few minutes ago, and they were too sweet not to share, so I figured I'd jump on here and share my heart quickly.  I not only learned a ton over the past two weeks, I've also had a bunch of heart revelations surface.  I have cried and journaled a ton over the past two weeks.One specific thing has become really apparent to me, and it may indeed have changed the course of a particular path I've been walking, for over a year now.  Deep. A lot of these things need to remain private but I will share what I can.  Mainly, I've been overwhelmed by fear in my life.  I never actually thought I was horribly wrapped up in fear, but this study has been turning over roots of very deep fear in my heart that have shocked and surprised... then later convicted me deeply.  It's the kind of fear that makes decisions based on false security and controlled justifications. 

One thing really spoke to me early in this study.  Priscilla Shirer says, "The Israelites thought having access to some of the promised land was better than having to fight for all of it.  So, comfortable and complacent, they chose to enjoy the relative quiet rather than risk upsetting their equilibrium by obeying God completely.  They had every right to all of the land- in fact, they already owned it- but since they chose not to possess it, they weren't able to enjoy it.... Our shortsightedness often makes partial obedience appear to be the best, safest, most reasonable choice, but it always leads to future hardship, eventually making our lives more difficult than they need to be."

The result of this kind of action leads to emotional weakness, physical exhaustion, and spiritual deflation. Um.... most of you don't know me in real life, but this eroded description fits me perfectly right now.  It's heartbreaking to realize that I got my own self here simply by letting fear rule some decisions, when faith would have been the life-saving option.  The good news that followed melted my aching heart and restored hope.  I don't know where you're at as you read this, but I desperately needed to know there was a sweet promise ahead, as I repented and grappled with my own mess. 

 Priscilla reminded us that the entire message of the bible is God's redemption plan for humanity.  She says, "From beginning to end, Scripture spells out the divine rescue plan God is orchestrating to bring people back into relationship with Himself."  I loved that she showed a circular graph for those of us who are visual learners.  The thing that often happens is;

1) a rejection of God's way.  (In choosing fear over faith, I rejected His purpose and plan for my heart, my decisions and my life.)
2) Decline in God's people.
3) Consequences allowed by God's hand. And finally, when you can't take it another minute and you crave God's outpouring of favor on your heart, you come to;
4) a restored relationship to God's presence. 

I am taking huge gulps of fresh air as I circle around to #4. 

And then He gave me this old favorite. Joshua 1:9 “Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.” (emphasis mine)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sliding into Summer

 Hi my friends.  As soon as the kids got out of school last Wednesday, the rain moved in.  Then my man had to leave town on business over the weekend, and gets in late tonight, so we've been hanging out at home doing... nothing.  Ha!  The rain is totally un-motivating so this is short and random.  I'm trying to tell myself that it's actually summer.  It's hard to believe summer has arrived while looking at gray skies (these barn/cow photos were taken last week when the sun was out, momentarily) rain, and temperatures in the 50's. (Hurry and come summer!)

I always laugh how moving one piece of furniture into another room turns the whole house upside down into a big party of moving other things to clean underneath and behind, etc.  (Because as soon as you see what was behind the thing you moved... you suddenly realize it's like that behind everything!  And maybe that's just me.) Since my man was gone last night I took the opportunity to clean and organize a ton of things that I'd been putting off.  JJ helped me move a dresser from the guest room into his room. (We decided that his tiny under-bed drawers were no longer cutting it.) That created a hole in the guest room.. and well, you know how that goes.  Slowly a game of musical chair-furniture commences.  (And yes Alicia, you totally called it when you said things wouldn't stay the same all summer like I planned them to stay.  LOL)

 Plus, I had to reshuffle this area for the sign I won from House of Belonging back in December.  (I had my big white cabinet sitting here but it felt too high to me once the sign was hung above it, so I flipped it with this shelf.)

 I LOVE this sign.  There is a passage in the bible about sparrows that has about a dozen notations and dates from the journey I've been on these past few years.  It always pops back up when I seem to be needing reassurance in my story. 

I filled the hole left from the dresser that used to be here with this delightful stack of vintage suitcases.  (My brother in law gave me the two gray ones a couple of weekends ago and I've had the tan one for a while.) I hadn't been sure what to do with them or where to put them.  I think they like their new home.

Psalm 84: 3-4 "Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house;they are ever praising you."

How was your weekend?!  Don't forget to enter the Noonday Collection necklace giveaway, here!  I'll be announcing a winner on Friday.