Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grasping His hem.

I realize that I've got quite a few readers with different faith, or people who might not know every bible verse or story I reference.  (Even if you come here for the decorating/photos/baking and this faith stuff isn't really your cup of tea, I'm so glad you are here anyway. Just so you know.)  In case that describes you a little bit, there is a story in the bible that I just love, and before I say what I came to say, you'll need the background of what I'm talking about... so here it is, in my best Sasha nutshell.  There was a woman referred to in the bible as the "Woman with the issue of blood."  Poor thing. My heart goes out to her... here's why:
 
She had been suffering for twelve years, of a chronic hemorrhage which made her "unclean" in the Jewish society in which she lived.  She had also tried every remedy known to man but nothing had made her better.  She was most likely exhausted, weak from anemia, humiliated, rejected by everyone she knew, frustrated, and quite possibly divorced because of the length of her uncleanliness. She had no hope.  None.  She had heard about this guy wandering around healing people, named Jesus, and something inside of her heart, not quite dead after all, sprung a new seed of hope.  She snuck into a crowd where she would not have been welcome.  She reached out her trembling hand and let her fingertips grasp the edge... just the edge of his hem.  She probably thought she would get away with it and then could run like mad back into the shadows.  Who knows how long it took her to work up the courage to do this.  She probably thought she had nothing to lose at this point... it couldn't get any worse.  She dared to believe in what she hoped- that He could save her.  He could rescue her.  Pure, I-have-run-out-of-all-my-other-options kind of faith. 

She clutched His hem, only for a moment, but that's all she needed.  Instantly, strength filled her body and she knew healing had happened, deep insider of her. Jesus knew immediately too.  Someone had touched His clothes and He called her out. The bible says in Luke 8:47 that she "came trembling and fell at his feet."  I love that He turned eyes of compassion and love on her and kindly said, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”  But what I really love... is that Jesus was in control the whole time.  It wasn't an "Oops I just lost one of my power packs" moment.  He allowed healing-a rescue- knowing that she was reaching out in faith toward Him.  Believing Him for that rescue.  

I had an awesome "aha!" moment today.  I have been reading about things God does, taking someone from the depth of a pit to second in command... taking someone from captivity to trusted advisor to a king... and it occurred to me that BIG rescues are God's specialty.  We all need a rescue from time to time.  We have situations beyond our control with no hope in sight and no idea what to do about it.  It's so easy to focus on the size of the miracle we need- rather than the Miracle worker Himself.  He is God.  Size is irrelevant to Him because if the only kind of faith we have to offer is the itty bitty hope of maybe getting near enough to let just the tips of our fingers brush against His hem in faith, that's all He needs.  It might be small but He can work with small faith.  He can heal with small faith... He can bring rescue to a heart with small faith.  He promises in Matthew 17:20b "...Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." 


All we have to do is reach our trembling hands out, filled with nothing but a tiny seed of faith and let Him do the rest.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random good day.

Good Morning sweets!  It's all quiet here in the house this morning and I couldn't bear to stay in bed any longer, so I uncharacteristically snuck out quietly and began my daily routine a whole hour and a half early.  (Not a morning girl here, so that's a big deal.) Have you ever woke up after a night where you had worship songs on your tongue at every hour?  Any day that happens to me, it's a good day.  Ready for a random post?  Oh goody!!

My friend that I posted about previously, texted me yesterday, where she and her family had driven through the night to get to her sis in law while they waited for news about her missing brother in law and nephew.  She texted that they had been found and everyone was doing okay but tired.  What a good ending to that day. It blessed my heart like crazy to see you all reaching out in love and offering up prayers of safety for people you didn't even know.  A good reminder that life can change in the space of one moment... one phone call... one word.  Made me hold my babies and husband close, that's for sure.
Do y'all remember this post where I giggled about God speaking to my man through a Larry boy car's words proclaiming, "I AM THAT HERO?"  Gosh, the story keeps getting better.  Adrain and I are like excited school children, desperate to share our encouragements and stories with each other, at the end of the day.  Reading snippets of our devotionals and things that spoke to our hearts during this waiting season.  Every single thing is encouraging us to have faith.  Simple faith. A couple days ago, I was texting back and forth to a friend in a similar season as I was getting ready for the day.  She was sharing all of the open doors and answers to prayer and I was cheering her on... but then I set the phone down and thought, "God... will I ever be able to say these things about OUR story?"  I kid you not... I was startled in that instant by, "I AM THAT HERO!"  Middle of the day... house all quiet... kids and husband gone.  Laughter bubbled up inside of me.  I told one of my dear bloggy friends, Sally. (If you don't know Sally yet, please go meet her. She is precious.) Anyway she emailed me and said, "Don't replace the battery just yet. Let God speak!"  I laughed and laughed.  Weird car... Cool God.

The photos in this post are from the beginnings of a sign I am hoping to make a DIY of.  If I can remember to take photos of each step, that is.  Ha!  A sweet friend of mine came to me with a baby's room sign request... and I have been collaborating with one of my favorite peeps (who also just happened to be today's post sponsor) to make it all come together.  And let me just say that any day I can beat on a piece of wood... is a good day.  (grin)  Also... any day I can mix up champagne pink paint, is a good day.  Sorry I can't show any more... it's a step-by-step process and I'm only about 1/4 of the way there!  Don't worry... soon I shall give many details and paint colors.   

Finally, I now have an I-will-run-with-you-in-the-rain partner.  Which means I can run on trails again.  (I tend to find them a bit scary unless I have a buddy, especially on dark, rainy days.  Safety first!) Which also means I won't talk myself out of doing it.  Which also means I'm going to get serious.  Which also means I'm suddenly aware of how much I've been slacking.  Dangit.

Going to memorize this today.  Ask me if I did it when you see me next, okay?  (grin.)  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

Okay that's it for my random brain this morning.  You should see me when I imbibe coffee.  It ain't pretty.

Gonna be a good day!  



Monday, February 25, 2013

Family










 Yesterday we hosted a small gathering to celebrate my Mama's birthday.  I had fully intended to wax poetic about all things partyish, talk about some frivolous topics (you know, since I never do that) and dramatically mourn the fact that my hoodlums have totally outgrown a bucket of toys that used to be their main focus each and every day for years... I was going to talk about setting up a booster seat, gather sippy cups and how I had to take "a moment" when I laid out a bib and one of the hoodlums old baby spoons for my niece.

And then as life happens, my heart broke when one of my dearest friends in all the world, incidentally someone I raised babies alongside, so many years ago, called me.  She called because her brother-in-law and 15year old nephew were up on a mountain yesterday and never came home last night... their truck was still in the lot.  Search and Rescue are headed up today but that means that they were out all night in the snow and elements. 

I couldn't even sleep much last night.  I feel physically sick to my stomach today for my friend and her family.  God kept waking me up all night to pray over them.  Of course I am praying for a happy ending.  My mother's heart kept thinking about family... extended and close.  Because she is my friend, it almost feels like it's happening in my family too.  So instead of a silly post about things that don't matter, I decided to share this in hopes that some of you might also pray.  We know God is fully in control of this situation and though my friend didn't know where her brother-in-law or nephew were all night, God knew exactly where they were, every single minute.   

*UPDATE: MY FRIEND JUST TEXTED ME THE WORDS, "JUST FOUND THEM"....That is all she said so when I hear more I will share...  thank you so much for prayers!!  Keep em coming. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Parties and joy.

This has been an amazing week so far.  It has been unusually busy, with every night filled to the brim and it's continuing for the next few days.  Normally that stresses me out but we have had all of our favorite people filling it, so really no stress at all!  (I hosted book club and a birthday party for my friend Kristin on Tuesday, and these photos are from that celebration preparation.)   I used my once a week "cheat day" for a glass of mimosa in case any of you are also doing the Forty days of Water with me.  I'm not going to use any other weekly cheats during Lent so I decided I could be flexible on the actual day, rather than making it Sundays only.  (Just so you know.  In case you were holding me accountable. Which you should be.)

Dark chocolate nibs topped with pink sea salt.  
*Melt a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, pipe into little swirly nibs on a non-stick surface or baking mat, and sprinkle with a bit of coarse, pink sea salt while still glossy.  Let cool.

Blood Orange Sorbet  
1/2 cup honey
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 cups frozen peaches, thawed (or 3 fresh peaches, peeled and diced)
2 cups blood orange juice
tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped mint or thyme (both are good and I tried both ways.  Mint is my favorite and a classic.)
Optional ingredient- 1/2 cup champagne  
(Not gonna lie, this "optional ingredient" is yummy for book club and a great way to use up flat leftover champagne... just don't serve this version to kiddos.  I know you already knew that.  Just saying.)

*Place fruit into food processor and puree until smooth.  Combine juices of blood oranges and lemon and begin to press mixture through a sieve.  (This could take a bit of time but it's worth it.) Toss the pulpy residue and whisk in the honey and herbs until honey dissolves.  (Stir in champagne if desired.) Place ingredients into an ice cream mixer of your choice, and mix as directed. 




 

 











 While I am here I have to share a piece of my current heart's journey.  It's what I do.  We had some disappointing things happen earlier this week, but we looked at each other and made the decision to pull hard, in the same direction.  Tell me you know what I mean.  That moment when the whole house can crumble, or you can pull yourselves up by your collective boot straps and start moving in the same direction, together.  We made that choice.  This week has been all about choice.  Choosing our words, choosing to ignore our emotions, choosing our attitudes and choosing to worship, praise and thank God for it ALL and leading our babies along behind us because they are watching oh-so-closely.  

I literally wore this song out all week.  I probably played it a hundred times already!

I said to my man at one point, "I will do it differently!"  When frustration and disappointment hit, I have continually turned left on myself in the past and I refuse to keep hitting my head against the same wall expecting a new result.  Cray-zay!  I was talking to Adrain one minute and then I was declaring myself and taking a stand that mattered, the next minute.  I told God, "I will accept whatever You give us in every part of our life and I will let it. all. go. fully."  The weight lifted off my heart immediately.  Though I have said those words so many times (and meant them, make no mistake) this time felt completely different.  I literally said out loud, "I am placing my faith in You, not in what You give or take away."  I had to say it out loud.  I had to claim it and make it mine.  Tears fell.

We've been going through the most amazing series at church called "bent."   After all of this letting go stuff, I was catching up on a missed sermon and some words our pastor said resonated deeply.  He said, "There's nothing wrong with wanting to be released from a burden, but true faithfulness is defined by how we handle ourselves when the burden is still there." 

Oh my word.  When the burden is still there.  Does that hit home with anyone else?  

Later in the same sermon, he said, "Our faith is most deeply tested when we feel forgotten."  Adrain and I have been crawling side-by-side out of that hole of feeling forgotten while we deal with kid challenges, job worries, finances and all of those other daily demandsOur hearts know we aren't forgotten yet our circumstances often scream taunts for the opposite sideDo you ever feel that way?  

 We are taking a stand against those lies side by side.  Suddenly the "outcome" of our many prayers isn't quite so important.  We are still desperate for a few rescues, but nobody knows those details more intimately than the God who authors our story.  

So yet we will  trust HIM.   

We choose to trust steadfastly in the unwavering compassion of His Sovereignty.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Showering Alicia.

My dear friend Alicia is soon to have baby number four and a bunch of us decided to give her a virtual shower today because we love our Alicia-girl!  I have no idea what it would be like to have four kiddos so I can't really offer any experiential advice on that particular front, all I can imagine to say is something like, "Hold onto your hat girl!" because I'm sure it will be wildly fun.  I always wished I had been born into a family with lots of siblings.
 I "met" Alicia a few years ago via her blog, and then was so excited when my buddy in real life Becky, (who I also met via blogging and who came up with this shower idea in the first place) met her in real life and loved her.  No surprise.  This blogging thing... it brings friends together doesn't it?  I laugh sometimes when I go through my text messages and see that half of them are from girls I have never met in real life. I swear I will meet them all someday too.  Anyhow... Alicia made the most darling lamb mobile for her baby's room and was planning to do it in grays and creams.  It inspired me and I really wanted to make her something special to go along with that, so I created a "hello baby" hoop just for her in those colors.  (I also have a few listed in my shop, here.)   I stumbled upon this little lamb at Pier1, and I clutched it to my chest.  I really did.  I was that excited to find it.  It came home with me and I had to swat my daughter's hands away many times because she wanted it.  Kids.
 And because I can't help myself around babies... I tucked one of these little onesies into her gift as well. (Also listed here.)

 

Her gift has already been shipped off to her and I thought it would be fun to slip a few inspirational nursery photos  into this post since that's kind of one of the main things we talk about when we gather for baby showers.  We talk about birth stories and nursery plans and how cute everything she is getting will look in the baby's room, etc.  Alicia isn't finding out the sex of her baby which has always been the best surprise EVER in my opinion!  You seriously can't top it.  With a neutral color scheme it's easy to add some fun pops of color after the baby comes.  Here are my favorite nursery looks, found via Pinterest:
via
 This was my favorite.  If I was having another baby... I'd be all over this, pretty much every detail. 
 
via
How precious would it be to anoint your little one's wall with this reminder of love from their Creator?
Framed things.  Sigh.  I am a love with this entire photograph.
via
 This almost makes me want to have another one.  Almost.  (grin) Did  you grow up in a house with lots of siblings? Were you an only child?  I had a little brother (almost six years younger) and I always wanted a big brother.  When I was little I would pretend that I had some older brother off at college that my parents had never told me about.  Ha! Can you imagine something like that actually happening?!  I crack myself up.

Linking up to Miss Becky's shower with Carissa, Suzanne,, Mary, Amy, Amy, Amy, and Amy!  We love you Alicia!!

 We welcome you sweet baby!!


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