Friday, February 6, 2015

Waiting, Whining, and Joy

Hello friends!  How are my lovely peeps hanging in?  Is it too late to wish you a Happy New Year?  I started this post in early January, and I just looked up and it's almost Valentine's Day.  Life, right?

Several people have asked me why my blogging dropped off in the fall, and I wanted to share a little bit about what happened.  Both boys are at school five days a week now, which is an all-new experience for me.  I spent the fall exploring some professional options for myself, and ended up applying for a part-time job in my field.  All throughout the application and interview process my husband and I prayed that the Lord would close doors if the job wasn't right for our family.  And our prayers were answered with a big fat closed door!  Funny how you pray for it, but it still stings.  Ever since, I've been doing a lot of processing and I now totally accept that I wasn't supposed to be there.

Where am I supposed to be?  The Lord is asking me to wait on Him.  His plan, His timing.

Man, waiting is so hard.  I don't mean to sound like I am whining, but actually yes I do, a little.  Most of you reading this are probably "do-ers" more than "wait-ers" am I right?  So maybe you can relate. When God is asking me to wait it is so tempting to fill up the time with projects new and old, so easy to cast about haplessly, searching for anything to fill that emptiness of time and ambition and creative energy.

I've written here about the refining fire of pain, and that is hard too.  But waiting has its own challenges.  It doesn't insist upon itself, like pain does.  Pain focuses attention; waiting scatters my attention so far that I forget I'm waiting on Him, not the next big thing. Not the world or its many distractions, not even the worthwhile ones.  So I'm attempting to walk by faith and not sight, trusting that He has got this, and expectantly watching for His promptings.  As with most valuable pursuits, it is so much easier said than done.

In the meantime, I am spending a lot of this downtime with this guy:

Friends, meet Angus.

He's a goldendoodle, and I think he's pretty cute.

He's also really, really good at bringing joy.  Even in the times where things are hard or maybe aren't as clear as I would like, there is always joy.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Pottery Barn Knock-Off: My Winter Mantel

Hello dearest!  Christmas time is here--happiness and cheer--and the perfect time to reconnect with my sweet peeps!  What better way than with a mantel, right?  So here it is, my:

I guess I will start with my PB inspiration:

Faceted Jewel Tree
Photo: Pottery Barn
I saw this picture in the catalog and just melted.  Things I knew I wanted: the mix of shiny and rustic, the greenery, candlelight, trees and that sweet deer.  Here's how mine turned out:

And the long view:

And the longest view:

And some of the details:

My chalkboard banner.  I used chipboard pennants and chalkboard spray paint.
Had to have some "snow" for that wintry effect.
Meet Rudy.
I wrapped a tree form in twine and sprinkled glitter: easy breezy.

While it's not an exact replica, I think I achieved the feel of the Pottery Barn mantel without spending tons of money.  The only items I bought were the glitter trees in two sizes, the evergreen sprigs, and Rudy the deer--all from Hobby Lobby at 50% off.  Everything else was previously purchased or crafted from supplies I had on hand.  So how did I do?  And how are YOU doing?  Are the holidays doing you in, or are you "calm and bright?"  It is such a busy time of year, but I hope you get some wonderful family time, and some time to celebrate the birth of a king!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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