Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wall of Thanksgiving.

So during one of my rough days a few weeks ago I was texting a friend and she said she was praying for me and asked if she could give me homework. "Sure", I said. Her homework was for our family to remember all the times God has been faithful to us and to write down all the things we are thankful for. I loved the idea and immediately wanted to make this something we can keep. Something that will look pretty and we can display for years to come. I scanned Pinterest but still could not find anything I really liked to display thanksgiving. Everything was specifically for the holiday of Thanksgiving so it looked a little too fallish for everyday. Then I came upon a homemade cork board and really loved the idea. So I set about to make my own cork board for thankfulness. The above picture is what I ended up with. I love it! Please do not pay attention to the dirty fingerprints on my white door. (This makes me want to clean that right now.)

Here is how I did it in case you would like to make your own.

Step 1. I purchased a cork panel from Hobby Lobby. It was around $14.00. Hobby Lobby has coupons on their website for 40% off any one item. That makes it roughly $9.00.

Step 2: I searched and searched for the right fabric to cover the board. I could not find anything I loved for under $40.00. I finally found this shower curtain at TJ Maxx for $14.99. I had a $10.00 gift card for there so it cost me roughly $5.00. You can pretty much use any fabric as long as it is large enough and is not sheer. I bet you could even find something at a Thrift Store that you can use. 

Step 3: I cut the fabric to roughly the same size as the board and used a staple gun to secure it to the back of the board. Todd helped me with this step because it was useful to have another pair of hands pulling the fabric tight while I stapled. That and maybe he didn't really trust me that much to handle his staple gun.

Step 4: I secured a piece of ribbon to the back of the board with the staple gun.

Step 5: I cut out tiny pieces of pretty scrap book paper for us to use for our things we are thankful for. And then we stuck them on the cork board with push pins. 

Here is the finished product along with the first things the kids said they are thankful for. 

Elizabeth: God helps me when I am hurt. He heals me. I love Him. 

Claire: God loves me. I love Him. I am thankful for the bunny rabbit. 

I think that alone was worth the $15.00. 

I am super grateful for the ability to remember how truly blessed I am!

Monday, May 21, 2012


I am wrecked. I was Internet shopping this afternoon for a little gift for a precious family who just came home with their son. I imagine to any normal person looking at adoption gifts doesn't send you into tears. But for me it did. Suddenly all the adoption books, wall art, t-shirts were not for this precious family but for me. For my son. For our family.

I never really understood, until now, how someone can simultaneously feel two feelings. I feel intense joy, and gratefulness to God for writing this precious story for my friends. I feel incredibly privileged to bear witness to God doing a miracle in the life of a precious child. I am overjoyed with them for the blessing they now have in their home.

And then I also feel longing. Longing for our call. Our picture. Our happy ending.  Longing for our story of redemption. Longing for our turn.

I am wrecked.

To say that I am coping is a stretch. I am weary. I am burdened. I am hurting.

I am not ok. Some people may be wondering why I would admit this. Why would I admit that I cry almost daily and sometimes over the silliest things. Most of the time my tears are private. Most of the time I save them for the shower or the bathroom or the car.

So how can I feel a wreck and yet live with hope?

Isaiah 40:28-31 (niv)
 Do you not know Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. 
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
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.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Giving it over

So the past few days Todd and I were trying to figure out if and where we were going to do a family vacation this summer. We have gone every year, for the past three years, to a little beach house in a cute little Michigan town. We love love love this. It is a super inexpensive and low key way for our family to make some memories. So we were looking to go to the same little town this summer and the place we normally stay was mostly booked so we started looking at other options. Now this is not a big deal. It isn't super important in the grand scheme of things. But, can I tell you, my heart was in a panic about it. The act of emailing people, bargaining, and moving around dates was making me freak out. In the midst of trying to wrap up our school year, and trying to just get the other life stuff done it was too much for my brain to handle. It doesn't make a lot of sense. It really is not a big deal. But suddenly my brain was in an all out tizzy over dates and places and money and... what if the dates we want cannot be found and we will never be able to have a great family vacation filled with memories. My children will be scarred for life.

Ok, so back to reality. I took a second and had a little conversation in my head and reasoned that this thing is getting out of control in my little brain so I need some help. Now while I was looking at houses, emailing people and going out of control, my much more sane husband was doing the same thing in a much more human like fashion. So when he came home last night I said, "This vacation thing is freaking me out, so I am handing it over to you and I trust you to do the research and then when you come back to me with a decision I will on almost all accounts agree to whatever you have decided." And then I pretended to physically hand him the "vacation" box. Shew I feel better already. I literally felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I took something that I was freaking out over and gave it to some very capable hands.

This little exchange has me thinking about how so often while I am in a tizzy about something in my life God is already working on it. And I think He is just waiting for me to hand him the box and say I trust His decision. So last night as I lay in bed I had a mental picture of handing over about a half dozen boxes that I have been "working" on that are becoming to heavy for me to carry. And I feel better. Until I try to pick up those boxes again. So today I want to lay it all down and instead choose to carry His yoke.

Because what happens is I give Him a box and say I trust Him. But then when things aren't working out exactly like I thought or according to my time-table I pick it up again and try to make it work on my own. And that doesn't ever work out. But for some reason I keep forgetting that. And my patient and loving heavenly father continues to remind me over and over that I can trust Him with my boxes.

What boxes have been causing you some craziness? It's time to hand them over. But not to me. I have enough to carry and cannot be trusted with them.

* A little side note. Sorry the verse is coming out all crazy. I cannot make it look normal and have no patience for it right now. That box is gone.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."