Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scratching the Surface.

This is what happens when you don't do laundry for a week and a half...


and sadly there's still more to come.

I am a procrastinator of many things, and in some weird way I enjoy it.

My kids lately have been a little harder than usual. Some heart issues have come up with all four of them in the last few weeks. Of course, the issues are different but all demanding of my time and attention. I am learning that I can choose between two types of mothering- Mothering with intention or Mothering with procrastination. Since I am a procrastinator, when I see all these issues in my kids arise, I try and fix it all real quick and hope for quick results. Just like with laundry, I wait til there are piles upon piles and then I start realizing there is a problem(we have no clothes to wear) and then I motivate myself to work like a mad woman and get it all done in 20 minutes.

God is teaching me that who my kids become in the big picture of life all depends on what I did with them in the detailed moments. When I procrastinate, I am responding to the problem but not truly dealing with the issue. Mothering with intention is more than a full time job. It is coming up with agendas and strategies on molding our children's heart to be like Christ... constantly. Don't get overwhelmed. Be encouraged that God walks along side us in the details. He is our Counselor and He longs to give us creative ways to reach our children's heart.

May we be patient, and not be seekers of immediate results. And may we realize it is truly not about us but God's heart for our kids. So may we press in with pure intention and hold on to the truth that "He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it."


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monkey See. Monkey Do.


Hope your weekend is realxing and full of lots of rest and play!

P.S... Start savin' up your spending cash, I am getting ready for
 my spring show and I'm loving the goods!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grace.


It was pouring down rain and cold this morning as I was on my way to drop the kids off at school. I am sure we are the family known for always being late, because we are always late. But not today, for some miraculous reason, everyone was dressed and emotionally ready to walk out the door at 7:45. On the way there, I passed by a kid who was standing in the pouring rain at the city bus stop. Not realizing my kids were listening, I said quietly, "Oh, that poor boy is waiting for the bus and he is soaking wet." Their ears perked up and they said "Why are you sad mom?" I knew if I told them they would without reservation tell me to go get him. I ignored them for three blocks and wrestled with it in my mind. "What if he's a.... or what if he does...". My instinct told me he was just a young kid who was drenched and cold, waiting for the bus to take him somewhere important...hopefully.

My kids were still pressing me on why I said what I said earlier. I finally just told them about the boy at the bus stop. What I saw as an opportunity to run from, they saw as an opportunity to help. They said, "Why wouldn't you pick him up, can we please help him?" Side note: I am not condoning picking up random strangers and taking them places. I am however encouraging you that if God impresses it on your heart to do something... do it.

I turned the car around and we headed that way. I rolled my window down and asked if he needed a ride and he started running my way. His backpack was falling, his glasses were foggy, and he was indeed wet. He said, "Thank you so much for doing this ma'am. I am not a weirdo or anything, I live at the Methodist Home across the street." He started telling me about himself and I was amazed at how polite and educated he was. His name is George, he has been a foster kid all his life, moving from home to home. His parents were illegals from Honduras and they got deported when George and his 3 siblings were young. The mother made the choice to leave them here because she wanted a future for her children. George and his brothers and sisters have lived apart all their lives. He keeps in touch with them often and He said he talks to his mother once a week. He is 18 now and George says she still cries every time she talks on the phone with him. She hasn't seen her son since he was 3.

I asked him how he has gotten through all this and he said, "I have learned that I just have to adapt to whatever comes my way. Yes it is sad not having parents, but I make the best with what I am given." Good stuff George.

He needed a ride to the technical college in town, he is a freshman studying culinary arts. It was funny because his girlfriend called and she said, "George! you don't get in cars with women!", his response, "Julia, she is old and has kids." Old?! I laughed out loud.

I realized this morning that God's grace stretches over the vast sea of all our circumstances and needs. Today, I need grace to train my kids to stop fighting, yelling and hitting each other. I need grace to see the beauty in all the noise. In Honduras, George's mom needs grace to make it another day without all the noise. This morning, George needed grace to know that He has a Father in heaven that knows him by name. He cares for him and on a rainy day like today, his Father asked a paranoid mom to show him love and simply take him to class.

Let God's grace get you through today, and if it is overflowing, let it pour out onto your husband, your children and those around you who are in need.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Not so literal...


When designing a space or a room, challenge yourself to think outside the box. It will add more interest to your space when you come up with creative ways store things, shelve things, and display objects.



In my room, I found an old Romanian crib that I loved. I originally purchased it for my daughter's room for her dolls and toys but it was too bulky. When we moved, I felt the space by my bed needed a little more interest so I stuck a flat of faux paperwhites in the
 crib and now it serves as a planter.


Mantles. I love them. They all have a unique story of their own. This one in my girls room adds some depth and dimension while serving as a shelf for some of my favorite trinkets and pictures.


I would love to know the story behind this window. Where did it come from, what was the view on the other side like? I am intrigued and inspired by this window and I am happy that it has found a home in my space!

If you want to add a unique flare to your home, it doesn't have to be big, just be creative.  I have found that when I think outside the box within the spaces of my home, it inspires my little ones to do the same!

I would love to see pics of ways you have been creative in your home. Please send my way!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The view from here.

All the kids are snug as a bug sleeping. Chip had good intentions of reading a book but after two pages, he was out. All is quiet in the house but the dishwasher that is humming.
I am working in my home office tonight and can't seem to get focused. As I look to my left, I stare at the old school board from 1942 I recently found at an antique show for $30. I didn't neccesarily have a place for it but it spoke to me. The watermarks on the edges emphasize to me its long journey over the years; it's also a reminder of my own journey as well.


Some may see a dirty old picture, but I see something that touches my heart. My mom is Korean and my dad is American. Growing up a "halfy" was a bit difficult for me. I remember at 4 getting made fun of because of  my eyes. In kindergarten my differences were a daily joke to the three boys I dreaded sitting next to at lunch. I remember as a small child thinking that who I was wasn't good enough. I consciously kept my distance from anything that was Asian related so I could prove to my piers I was just like them.
This went on even as a teen. Even though I thought I was over the picking on and the name calling, the residue of that unfinished business in my heart showed up in other ways. I remember when I would first meet people, the insecurity that who I truly was wasn't good enough would creep back into my confidence.
Fast forward to my twenties and something switched. I started going back to those places of pain and I allowed God to heal me in those areas that were buried deep inside. I had journaled pages of past hurts and I forgave and let them go. In those places where the deep roots were unearthed in my heart, they were filled with new life. I walked with a new confidence; not in myself but in who I was in Him. A woman filled with purpose and intention called to walk out in the boldness of who I was created to be.
When I look at my two precious little girls, my heart longs to protect them from the mean boys in the lunch room. I don't want them ever feeling the way I felt when I was a little girl. But I know we live in a mean world and it's to be expected that these times will come. I recently concluded that those who face opposition and make it on the other side are the strongest. With that in mind, I want to teach my daughters to fight and stand for who they were created to be. I want them to be warriors who fight against the careless words that try to chip away at the core of who they are. I don't want them to take as long as I did to discover what beautiful and lovely really is.
Back to the picture...
When I saw it in a pile of other school boards that were once used in a classroom, I grabbed it and immediately thought of my mom. I wondered how she felt when she saw her daughter pull away from the culture that identified her. This picture was something I wanted to get in her honor. Mom, I am proud to be a Korean woman. I am proud of all the obstacles you had to face and all that you have accomplished to get where you are today. You are the strongest woman I know.





I hung this picture by my desk so I could be reminded every time I see it. "Embrace who you are, and in that place there is freedom to be who you were created to be." May we all be aware of this daily in our own lives and may we pass this down to our children.
 
 
 


Ok, I gotta get to working now... just thought I would share my view!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More please?


I bet if my kids only had 4 toys they would play with those four toys... and be just fine. The first time we opened gifts at Christmas, I really felt like my kids were truly content. Then there was number two with the first grandparents and by the third time of opening gifts that weekend something changed. No matter what they had asked for and what they recieved, their eyes were looking for the next thing to open. Over Christmas weekend, their appetite for more increased. The more they got, the more they wanted. I have realized that with my kids, less is truly more.

But it doesn't stop there. I am a 33 year old adult who has the same exact tendencies as my four young children. "What else is there? What else will make me happy?" What I am learning daily through my children is that the buck stops here. If I can't get the gratitude thing down, they for sure aren't going to get it. They listen and they watch me. They do as I do and this challenges me to the core.

The truth is that unlike my kids, I know that apart from God I will never be satisfied. However, when I examine my own heart on a daily basis, I realize that I have bought into the lie that more is better. I must train my heart to rest at a place of contentment and then I can enjoy the fruit of that when it overflows out of my kids hearts.

Let's do our kids a favor and give them less stuff and and maybe play with them more. Let's do ourselves a favor... Let's stop wanting and start enjoying what we have.

May your Home be Happy today


Friday, January 13, 2012

Game changer



My three least favorite things to do: Unloading groceries, folding laundry/putting it up, and emptying the dishwasher. It's funny because I love filling my frig, stuffing my washing machine, and overloading the dishwasher. I wonder what all that says about me...

The other day I had one of those moments. The kind where you get a gentle whisper and everything changes. Perspective is turned upside down. I was unloading the heavy groceries into my car and I was grumbling about the idea that I was going to have to unload them again and carry all this food into my house. All this food? This is what I heard... "All this food to some families would be like gold." I had 18 stuffed bags of fresh food and my un-hungry butt was complaining about carrying them in the house and putting them away? Not anymore. Thank you God for provision.

Tonight while folding the laundry, I would make myself take in the fresh smell of Tide original scent and remind myself that although 6 humans is a lot of laundry to manage... thank you God for the sweet babies that fill these clothes. And as I did the dishes tonight, I started thinking about how fresh running water would be an absolute life saver in many parts of this world. Thank you God that fresh, running water pours into our sinks at our disposal when we need to wash the fresh food off our pretty dishes. Perspective. I need new perspective in so many areas. It's contagious though, and if it catches on, we would all smile more, relax better, and love harder.

We can do it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fairy Garden Party

Ella's fairy garden party was captured so beautifully by Molly Winn. If you are looking for ideas for your daughter's next birthday party, read on.


The tree trunk stools were courtesy of my neighbor's tree that had fallen down in a storm. If you drive around town, you would be surprised at how many of these you can find on the side of
road. Even though it wasn't easy getting them here, the reward is that I have these cuties here permanently now in our side yard. The kids love sitting at this table.

{Activity}
Your guests will make their own mini fairy garden to take home with them.

What  you will need:
Small plants from your local nursery $1.49 ea

Small bag of dirt and a ziploc bag full of pebbles(to put at bottom of pot for drainage)

Small teracotta pots from Michaels .50 ea.. I spray painted mine pink in advance.

Mini birdbaths or something that is small that you could stick in the dirt. I put glue in the mini bird bath and then had the girls sprinkle glitter on the glue. We called it fairy dust!

Mini signs you can print off  of your computer using microsoft word, I used two paper colors and then glued a toothpick to it.  The sign says, "Fairy dust here".


 




 

 
{Food}


I bought this bag of pink straws and used them for the white chocolate covered marshmellows. I took pink food coloring and added it to the chocloate and sugar sprinkles to the top to add a little shimmer. These were so inexpensive and easy, the girls loved them.


Strawberry cake


Cupcakes with decorative picks on top from Michaels, Martha Stewart section


 

{Decor}


 These birch containers are my favorite. No need to be a floral designer with this vase. Just buy a selection of flowers you like and place in the test tubes and it sets the arrangement for you. If you are doing a fairy party theme, think along the lines of more whimsical flowers. 
Birch Vases $16 Rosetreewaco.com

 

A birdcgae is a good way to keep napkins and plates from blowing away



This moss tablerunner is a great way to add a natural flare to any tablescape. It is reusable and inexpensive. You can find these at Michaels or online at jamaligarden.com

 


These pink paper flower balls you can get at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

 
{Party Favors}


Every little girl got her fairy wings when she arrived at the party.




Monday, January 2, 2012

Clean Slate.


When I walked by my table this morning, I realized I haven't written anything on the chalkboard yet and the jars are empty. It was refreshing actually. I have no idea what to fill those things with and I don't know what to write. I have nothing. This new year is a fresh start, with new vision and purpose to move forward in... not looking back.

Like every year, I get anxious about what I am going to "try harder" at in the New Year. Well, Sunday I woke up at 10am like a teenager, missed church, and the house was a wreck with cereal in places where cereal shouldn't be. I thought, "Well, this isn't a way to start the new year...great."

Empty your mind, your soul, your list of expectations... Breathe easy and let your mind Rest. Life isn't about goals and hoping to check them off one by one so at the end of next year you are reminded that once again, you have failed. Just simply move forward in 2012 and love more, hand out grace more, rest more, laugh more, and give thanks more.

As I stare at the empty jars I am reminded that when we are empty, we hear more and see things clearer. It's refreshing. I pray you are refreshed today and that you Enjoy every waking minute you are given. Bless you and yours in 2012.