Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Family is Weird

So don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. {Colossians 2:15-17}

Is it just me or are y'all criticized for making certain life decisions? I know I can't be the only one, right?

Before I get any messages about the irony or the hypocrisy of this particular post, let me say that I'm very aware how this MIGHT come across to some. I'm very aware that it's my opinion that no one else's opinion should matter, but Jesus's.

Are we all on the same page? Good!! Let's dive in, shall we?

On a daily basis, each and every one of us are bombarded with questions about our life style choices. Will you stay home once the baby comes? Are you going to breast feed? Cloth vs disposable? When should you start solids? Will your child start a Mother's Day Out or will they be home? Will you go back to work or will you devote your life to serve your family? Will they attend public, private, or homeschool?

How often will your family be involved in church? How will you celebrate certain holidays? Will your child be involved in sports or will academics take center stage?

You want to know what makes my family weird? We fiercely love Jesus. I only allow Praise and Worship in my home and in my car {jamming out with their dad on the way to soccer is a different story}. We homeschool. My husband and I treat ourselves to an adult beverage after the kids go to bed quite often. My husband is the head of our household. You will find us at the soccer field on any given night. My husband is responsible for the laundry. I've got dibs on yard work. I make my husband's plate for dinner as a sign of respect for him. We rarely agree on anything, but we love each other enough to support any and all our crazy ideas.

I have a deep desire to honor and respect my husband as best as I can. I realized a long time ago that being "just" a wife and mother is what the Lord called me to do in this season. I don't know how long this season will last, but you better believe that I'm relishing every moment. I have dreams of owning a business one day, going on missions, and giving as much as I can. Right now, my husband and my children need me. There is no doubt in my mind that I was made specifically for them and I'm so humbled that the Lord has entrusted their care to me.

The ability to encourage those around you, being humble, dressing modestly, blessing those around you, and respecting authority are paramount in our household. Our girls WILL be raised to know their strength in the Lord. In a world where so many women are being taught that they are equal to men, our girls will be raised to complete their husband, not compete with him.

 Don't allow anyone to make you feel depreciated for making a decision that you've prayed over. You've made your life decisions for a reason. You've been called by the Lord Almighty to raise your family to glorify Him. You've been convicted over any given topic for a reason. You've prayed and sought out reliable counsel. Be confident in your ability to raise your family the way the Lord has called you to.

 Your personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and interests are completely different from mine. AND THAT'S OKAY!!! The Lord knows what each and everyone of you needs on a daily basis. You might need more time away from your children during the day. You might need more adult interaction than I do. Your children might flourish in a classroom setting with other children their age.

As long as you are doing the best that you can to fulfill the needs of your family {whether you think you are succeeding or not} I salute you mama! You are my hero! In the spirit of the Olympics going on at the moment, remember one thing : Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on the winners. Don't compare yourself to others, keep your focus on Jesus, and follow the plan He has set out for your life. You can do this! Whatever it is - you can do it! With everyone being as busy as they are, its going to be hard, but find a few mamas in your area that will encourage you and cling to her {not in a creepy way, though}.

So there you have it - my opinion on the fact the other's opinions shouldn't matter! I hope this little rant has blesses, encourages and invigorates you today. You are the wife and the mama you need to be your family. Be confident in the abilities the Lord has blessed you with.

In the Meantime - Love God Greatly,
Whitney



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tornadoes and the Lord

I think that title perfectly describes this past week.   I think the title perfectly describes every week, but particularly describes the events in our household this past week. Either that or filling a blender with flour, turning it on and neglecting to the place the lid on AT ALL!

I've been praying on a few things that God has laid on my heart, taking a few small notes, planning some small projects for our first week of school, preparing my house for a birthday party, and striving to find the time to craft a few custom orders. All that while, searching for the grace I know is deep inside my heart, even though I hear sharp words whipping from my tongue.

Our oldest had a birthday party on Saturday, in which we spent weeks budgeting for all the little trinkets, decorations, and items used to entertain her friends for just a few hours out of the day. Water balloons, slip n slides, baby pools, chalkboards to announce "THE DESTINATION IS ON YOUR LEFT - YOU HAVE ARRIVED". Not to mention the food... oh, the food. It was a joyous occasion having the laughter of our family and friends fill our sanctuary. But can I be honest for a moment? {or at least get a "Bless Your Heart"?} I was a mad woman for an entire week - purging the house of all its suffocating clutter, moving it to the master closet {naturally}, and then placing it back to its rightful throne so it could actually function for the family.. Five days, people.. FIVE!!!


We've always filled our home with worship in the morning. After breakfast, the praises of the Lord spill from our speakers life a life giving flow. The children are ushered into their wing of the house to wash their freckle-kissed faces, throw the dust off their covers, and clean up laundry off the floor so I can wash it {since I'm obviously too lazy sort through it myself}.

In the back of my mind I hope that this life giving flow will subconsciously induce them into obedience and hard work. {Please tell me I'm not the only one} Sometimes it works and my house transforms into a living breathing rendition of Snow White. In my mind's eye, I picture my children as cute little woodland creatures washing the dishes, gathering cob webs, and fending off dust bunnies. Other times I'm desperate to get through this house-cleaning charade without them losing respect for me, or crawling into the fetal position in a corner, praying for my husband to rescue me for the fire-breathing dragon I've learned to call my home. Most often times I just wish the hubs would tell me he thinks all the toys and blanket forts in the living room add to the charm of our family.

This morning's worship was brought straight from the Lord's heart to my ears. I hear the crescendo of the beat building throughout the house. I've heard these words so many times before... They've touched my heart and soul in so many ways that I can't recollect them all. I stopped for a moment, in my desperation, I think to hear something worthwhile instead of the clamouring of children and construction. I closed my eyes as tears started to pour down my cheeks in complete awe of this Holy Spirit that I fondly refer to as my Heavenly Father. With hands raised high and swaying back and forth like only a mother does I heard the gentle whispers of love:


You give life, you give love 
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, you restore
Every heart that is broken
GREAT ARE YOU LORD

...

All the Earth will shout your praise
Our hearts will cry these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

~ All Sons and Daughters

Those were the first words I heard from the Lord this morning. Give Life. Give Love. Which is the greatest commandment of all. 

Give. 

Whatever is going on in your life, your example is needed. You have children that literally depend on you for their every need. Whether it be to change a diaper, feed a hungry tummy, lending a gentle word when they are feeling anxious. Their father needs a comforting meal and an embrace after a long day's work. Your children need to see that embrace. They need to see that loyalty. They need to see the physical love that you have for one another through mutual service.

Our children need to see love through action. Will you pray for me this week that I can give that kind of love to my husband and my children? Pray that I can be a light in this world, not just in my house. Pray that love becomes so infectious that it pours from our backyard, into our neighborhood and into our communities.


Loving God Greatly today,
Whitney

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Once Was Lost But Now I'm Found


The last three years of our lives have been a beautiful organized mass of chaos. Definitely not an adventure that can be covered in just one semi-inaugural post. 

In those missing years, I've had time to grow my spiritual walk with my Heavenly Father. 

He's placed some of the strongest, God-fearing women I could possibly get my hands on, I've jotted down every snippet of life giving truth and locked it away in my heart that I could possibly get my hands on. These beautiful women have given me so much to think about. I find myself questioning the relationship I have with my sweet Jesus - in a good way, of course. It's caused me to dig deeper into His Word, and given me the intestinal fortitude to turn away from that which can't encourage me or bring me joy. 

I am human, after all. I'm still navigating the burden of sin in my heart, and around those in my life. Isn't it amazing how we can be so full of Christ's love and yet, still give in to the temptation of the flesh? I know I do every single day, give in to this temptation of sin, whether it be fleeting, or compounding. 

I promise that I will share this new voyage into motherhood with transparency and authenticity. 

So there you have it, friends. Grab a coffee, sweet tea, or Arnold Palmer, perhaps. I welcome you on this journey of motherhood. The craziness. The confusion. The poop. Oh so much poop! 

I have no idea where this little blog might go. I have no idea what MY soul wants to express. I just pray that every time I sit down to my quiet little corner, and express the desires of my heart to each of you, that I can also express Christ's love for you. 

You are so much more than "just a mom"! As I tell my girls daily: You are the daughter of a King. You are the daughter of our Lord Jesus. You are the daughter of our God, Most High! You are Cherished, Loved, Covered, and Redeemed! His love for you is immeasurable! There is nothing you can do to halt that love! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Mashed Taters




well, I had a lovely recipe for you ladies today
when making mashed taters I normally don't have a recipe, I just do everything to taste
well I got to work measuring and writing everything down, taking pictures and making sure that this post would be awesome. 

I wrote down the times I started and the time that it was finished so you would know how long it took to prep and cook this dish.

BUT when I went to take it out of my home management notebook, said recipe was nowhere to be found!
What good is a  home management notebook if you can't find what you need?!
lol

So I'm going to try as hard as possible to remember errathang that went down

we really like homemade potatoes. It might take a lot longer to make, but I know whats going into my food.

I know some people don't consider mashed potatoes a healthy dish, but it's healthier than you think
since it's homemade

This recipe will give you a lot of leftovers but its better to be safe than sorry

Cast of Characters: 
(serves 4)

4 potatoes
 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk
4 TBS butter
1/2 - 1 tsp paprika {or just enough to make it pink} optional
1/2 - 1 tsp garlic powder
2 TBS mayo, totally optional if you want to keep it "skinny"
1 TBS salt, or to taste

get a really big pot.... as big as you can get it.
this is a Paula Deen stock pot I got for Christmas :)





peel and dice your potato. It doesn't matter to what size, as long as they're all equal in size

Place them in the pot

THEN add water, just enough to cover

put on the lid, but leave some space for the steam to release


Sometimes I get a little carried away and forgot to take pictures... sorry

set your eye to med-high heat and let water come to a boil, with taters in it

once it comes to a boil allow for 20-30 minutes or until tender

drain in a colander

Place in a large bowl or a stand mixer bowl

Start mixing in stand mixer on a low level or with electric mixer

add milk, butter and mayo until desired consistency is met

add salt and garlic powder. 
stop mixer for taste test
then add paprika


place them in a serving dish. If they're ready a little early you can place tin foil over them to keep warm


I started peeling the potatoes and at 5:41 and I set them on the table at 6:24

If you make them, let me know how they turn out for you :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

dear whitney

if I ever had a chance to write a letter to my younger self
it would be 
a letter for encouragement
a letter for comfort
a letter for peace

and this is probably what it would look like

dearest whitney, 
never blame yourself for your parents' divorce. 
never put value in your appearance,
unless you are praising your husband at the city gates



you have no idea how many times you will blog from the bathroom while your youngest plays in the tubby
or how many times Tangled will be watched in a days time
you'll always have one sock looking for its sole mate


 you might not know it now, but you will grow to have a love for women's ministry
you will grow to love serving others
baking, cooking, planning 
for your fellow neighbor


the demons you grew up with as a child will be forever present, 
but I can promise you, that you have overcome them


That man that you called dad
the one that was never around
you forgive him,
because you will finally understand why he made the sacrifices that he did.
you and big daddy grow to be the best of friends


I never want you to validate yourself with the quantity of friends you have
they all leave you, eventually
except for that precious little girl you met in 4th grade.
Aunt Brittany stuck around

and she will be your biggest cheerleader


you still grow up to have a passion for children.
I know you always thought you couldn't be happy unless you had your very own classroom, 
but you are pretty darn happy staying how with two of the spunkiest little girls in the world.


your future husband will make you speechless.
he'll be quiet, so you'll need to learn some patience
he likes spaghetti........ a lot
he's a complainer and he's stubborn

but he loves you with everything he has to offer
you will have to compete with hunting and fishing
guns and his knife collection

but he will always come home to you. 
he's hard to resist,
and will make you weak in the knees

you aren't a big worrier,
but you do wonder if your oldest even likes you sometimes
and she does, whitney
she admires you
and appreciates you
be careful with the way you speak to her
for the words you say will become her inner voice,
and you promised yourself so long ago
that the verbal abuse was going to end with you.

lastly but not least-ly
my dearest whitney, 
you will grow up to live a simple life, 
a life that the Lord, Your God, promised you long ago

you've been given every desire of your heart, 
Most days you're lonely,
craving more excitement,
wishing you could wiggle your nose and the house would clean itself
but you ARE happy

Your husband loves you,
your children make you laugh
your house might be messy,
but your home is happy.




Linking up with:
weekly wednesday blog hop
Mommy Moments Link Up

Saturday, January 12, 2013

my very first tutorial

the month of love for us is actually January.
 because it's the month we celebrate our anniversary.
and this year made 7 years for us

to celebrate the red hot {since we live in Alabama, I mean that literally,  lol} love month
I bring you my very first craft tutorial

a Valentine Door Hanger



I found this on Pinterest, but there was no tutorial to follow and that seriously bummed me out.
I was determined to make it, so a bloggy neighbor of mine and I headed out to Hobby Lobby and started searching high and low.

I had most of the items I needed
 but we bought 4 letters for $3 a piece and some lilac colored ribbon

What you Need::

pair of scissors
hot glue gun
lighter
1/4" ribbon in any color
5/8" ribbon in any color
needle and thread
circular stickers
skewer, optional
drill
can of red spray paint


drill tiny holes into the letters, from the front, where you want to tie the letters together with ribbon


 Add stickers to make a polka dot effect
Here's a close-up of drilled letters


  spray paint letters in layers, I think we used three layers of paint


 layer three
let dry overnight, even though it isn't necessary


 move to your work station and peel off stickers, we used a skewer, but you don't have to


 cut 6 pieces of 1/4" ribbon into 6" increments
take your lighter and burn the edges so it will go into the holes easily
it was a little tough to get the ribbon through the hole so I threaded a needle for a little help. I wanted my knots to be on the wrong side of the door hanger so I went the back on the X's and went through the fronts on the O's.
tie your ribbons with a square knot {its like a shoe tie, but it's right over left then left over right} and cut off the excess


hot glue under ribbon and around holes to add stability 
{my letters kept rubbing against and on top of each other}


Once all your 1/4" ribbon is threaded, knotted, glued and cut
take your 5/8" ribbon and cut two pieces of equal length. 
We used 18" only because I didn't want to block our peep hole

repeat the previous step with the lighter and needle/thread.
tie off and glue again

This step will be much more difficult because the ribbon is much thicker

have someone help you measure where you want your hanger to "sit" on the door and tie your ribbon at the proper length.

For the bow: Cut your 1/4" ribbon and 5'8" ribbon to the same length {we used 20-ish"}

lay your door hanger back on your workspace and tie a knot perpendicular to your hanging space.
Then tie a bow like you would a shoe. I am not good at making bows at all so this is the only part about the project I'm not happy with.


Here is what our front door looks like

and here's a closer look.

This is my very first craft tutorial EVER... and I would have to say
I'm pretty proud of myself..

If this tutorial inspires you, I'd love to see what you creative ladies come up with!
Happy Crafting :)



Saturday, December 15, 2012

after all.

because of yesterday's events and events taking place in my own life I have felt drawn to this song all week.



brings me to tears