Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It's Wednesday again...linking up with The Pleated Poppy! I love WIWW--for the friendships I have made through it (crazy, I know) and for the inspiration I gain from it! Join us...it's fun, I promise!


(Hate this outfit--and my flat hair is killing me)
Multi-color top: Belk
Black skinnies: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips
Jewelry: Silpada

White top: Old Navy
Green/White striped shirt: Gap
Skinny jeans: Ann Taylor
Boots: Madden Girl
Jewelry: Silpada

Bad picture but only one I had of this outfit!
Black dress: LOFT
Scarf: The Pleated Poppy
Shoes: Naturalizer
Jacket: LOFT
Jewelry: Silpada

(don't know why the frame on this one is so huge-LOL)
White shirt: J. Jill
Tied shirt: Target
Pants: LOFT
shoes:???
Jewelry: Silpada

White shirt: Old Navy
Gray shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: Buckle
Shoes: Ariat
Jewelry: Silpada


Cream long-sleeved shirt: Target
T-shirt over LS shirt: Ann Taylor
Pants: LOFT
Jacket: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Franco Sarto
Jewelry: Silpada

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Time for Everything

I know my trials and tribulations are nothing in comparison to what other people are battling today. I know that my lack of sleep is not the end of the world. I know that my job as a mom is precious and I try very hard to not take any of it for granted.

I thought about the verses from Ecclesiastes about there being a time for everything...

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


I really needed it to say somewhere "A time for sickness and then a long time with no sickness at all for anyone in the family."

Yeah, it didn't though. And so I am at home with a sick, sick little girl who keeps tossing her cookies--only she didn't have any cookies--every 20 minutes.


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Today is the Day

****update**** My mouth has remained closed without the use of duct tape and my God has blessed me. :)

Today is my day to do what God wants me to do.

I am guessing here, but He is probably going to tell me to keep my trap shut. Oh how hard that is going to be.

But 1 John 4:4 says, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."

So I am claiming that for myself.

And possibly taking some duct tape with me and taping my mouth closed.

I'll keep you posted...

But because I don't like two posts in a row with no pictures, here is a picture of my girl all dandy in her pink...glad we got this picture of our azalea bush...because the cold rain over the weekend has just about killed it now.



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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two Worlds

Do you ever look around and think "What in the world? How did this just happen?"

Well, that is what I have done this week. My life has teetered on the edge of two worlds--they are--"oh my word this is not really happening" and "I should have just kept my mouth shut."

In the unlikely event someone involved in the situation I am speaking about is reading this let me be frank and say I did not start the conversations nor did I fuel them. I did, however, defend myself. And hindsight being what it is, I probably shouldn't have.

It is so hard for me though to let something go when I know something has been said about me that isn't true. I can't sleep. I can't focus. I want the truth to be known.

I should have just kept my mouth shut. I do know, from experience, that silence truly is golden. And I was far from silent.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." I totally conformed to the pattern of this world.

Even though I know better. Even though right in the middle of it, I knew I was wrong. I just kept on. I couldn't let it go.

I am not from this world though. I have a home waiting for me in a mansion on a hill. But you would not have seen that this week. I was not a picture of grace, humility or love. I chose to react as this world reacts and all I can do is shake my head. I KNOW BETTER!!

I am a perfect outline for a pastor's sermon. Every chance God gave me to shut my mouth I ignored. Every time he gave me something else to think on, I didn't. I was consumed by the anger this situation brought...and I am ashamed of my reaction. I certainly did not take the high road. I still, just typing this, have thoughts in my mind of things I wish I had said. It's horrible.

I am the epitome of James 3:6--"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."

I keep hearing my sister Anonymous telling me of a pastor's wife's comment: It is more important for people to see Jesus than for me to be right. Sure wish I would've applied that one earlier this week.

I don't want to conform to this world, I want to be transformed...into something God can use. I choose His world. And perhaps a vow of silence.


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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Joining In

So I have been MIA lately...I blame it on March Madness (or Mad Marchness as my friend Lynn says!). I have been consumed with basketball lately...I should apologize for it but I just can't...yet. My team is still in it so I am still cheering for the games!! :) I have noticed I lost four followers...they must have been Washington fans!

But,alas, I am back and my friend Kristin has offered up a challenge on her blog. Go here to read all about it...here is brief summary. Her pastor has challenged them to not be critical of anyone...for 24 hours. Not the referees in a game, not the jerk who cuts you off in traffic, not your boss, your spouse, your kids, your co-workers...EVEN IF THEY DESERVE IT! I laughed when I read it at first. Then I felt that God was saying, "Can you do it, Paige?"

I am guessing it is going to be harder than I think...thankfully I did not see the challenge until AFTER my basketball watching for the day! :)

Wanna join us? Imagine how exciting it would be if we ALL did this?! Here's to happy thoughts and pleasant, uplifting words!


I will keep you posted.


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It's Wednesday which means we are linking up with Lindsey! We are a group of women who vow to stay out of our comfy clothes more days than not through the week and photograph ourselves to keep us accountable.

I failed...mainly because this was my most common accessory since last Wednesday!!!

We have been sick...grrrr...so I did a lot of lounging while snuggling with sick kids (and watching basketball because March Madness is here, baby!!)...so this is one view I saw a lot of ...


...and as a bonus for my confined to the house weekend...I got my shipment of jewelry from my Silpada party...I do love new jewels!
Below happened on one very rainy day---which is why the hair is wavy that day...no need to straighten in a monsoon!


Shirt Dress: Chicos
Leggings: Gap
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips
Scarf: Old Navy
Posy Pins: The Pleated Poppy
Jewelry: Silpada


White tee: Gap
Gray shirt: Chadwicks
Jeans: Levis
Shoes: flip flops
Hat: Ann Taylor
Jewelry (see below): Silpada

Link up! It's fun!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Mikey

Today is not a day that will be filled with a birthday party, balloons, or cake.

Today Mikey will not be turning 15.

Today IS Mikey's birthday, but he is celebrating in heaven. I am sure it is an amazing day up there...as is every day in the presence of the Lord.

But today, we miss you a little more, Mikey. Thanks for the 15 days you shared with us....your broken heart touched many lives. And you are never far from our hearts...we love you sweet guy!

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Life He Took

Times have been stressful here in my house--in my physical house and in the house I call my heart. Wrestling with God could be the understatement of the week--to me anyway. None of it surprised God though. And in His loving, infinite grace, He wrestled me back down to a posture of humility before Him and held me close. Then, as He so often does, He finished a phrase He had given me at the end of last week...the phrase was "The Life He Took." I thought I knew where this was going...oh how I did not.

The Life He Took

He looked at all the destruction around, all the sin, the death, the lies.
He knew the people would never be clean, no matter how hard they tried.
The sacrifices were given to Him but over time they would still not suffice.
How could He gain their full attention, to tell them how much He valued their lives?

After taking stock of the situation, His eyes fell on the only thing pure.
Though it tugged at His heart, for it was His Beloved, He knew it was the only cure.
For the people had become bitter, angry, jealous and unclean.
He knew what their future would hold, for He knows all that remains unseen.

He loved the people too much to leave them to die in their own wicked ways.
So He nodded to His Beloved and said, "I need you to go, be their saving grace."
And He sent to the evil people a life that had not ever sinned.
And He watched as they mocked and ridiculed and eventually crucified His Gift to them.

And yet that's not where the story ends, for that is not the life He took.
You see He raised that Gift back to life just like He said He would in His Good Book.
No, the life He took was one of hurt, one of despair and loneliness.
He took pain, regret, guilt, hate, inadequacies and bitterness.

He took the impure, He took the unrighteous and covered them in the blood of grace.
He rinsed them clean in the light of salvation and they can now look on His loving face.
He gave life back to the dying, He gave hope to the one who had none.
He took the life of a wretched sinner and replaced it with the Light of His Only Son.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It's Wednesday! Time for pictures of outfits for the past week.

I will start out your viewing pleasure with a picture of Caroline from Wacky Wednesday. I think this may be a picture of What NOT to Wear on Wednesday, but she is so cute, she can get away with it. However, I recommend that you do not try this stunt at home!

#1
White shirt: Target
Brown shirt: LOFT
Jeans: GAP
Shoes: ?
Jewelry: Silpada

#2
White tee-GAP
Gray shirt: Old Navy
Sweater: Old Navy
Jeans: GAP
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips
Jewelry: Silpada (see below)
Posy Pin: The Pleated Poppy

#3
White shirt: Old Navy
Striped Shirt: Old Navy
Jacket: LOFT
Jeans: LOFT
Boots: Madden Girl
Jewelry: Silpada and Pearls
#4

White Shirt: Kohl's
Purple sweater: Ann Taylor
Jeans: GAP
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips
Jewelry: Silpada
#5

White Shirt: Target
Black Sweater: The Limited
Jeans: Buckle
Scarf: The Pleated Poppy
Jewelry: Silpada
Shoes: Naturalizer


Linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy!

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Unredeemed

I was driving the other day to a local museum for a field trip with Caroline and this song came on my ipod. I almost stopped the car in the middle of the highway just to soak it in. It was not the first time I had heard it but it was the first time I had heard since the rug was pulled out from under us last weekend.

And God reminded me that nothing is beyond His grasp and nothing is too big for Him to handle. I love it when He does that. He gently tells me He is listening to my prayers and He loves me.

Listen to the words of the song. I pray it blesses your heart like it did mine.




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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Expectations

What is an expectation?

Let me just tell you...it is the act of expecting something; or the probability that something will occur.

Ever had expectations for anyone or anything?

Like maybe the cable man? Or the refrigerator repair man? "They will be there sometime between 8am and 12pm"--which, loosely translated means sometime between now and never. Right?

Isn't it true that many times what we expect of people is never what they give us? Is it because we set our bar of expectation too high? Too low?

I teach school. I see firsthand what expectations can do to a child.

Take a student who has always been a great student. He is well-rounded, smart, well-behaved, polite, kind, compassionate. We know this because for years before we get him we have heard about what a great student he is.

Now take a different student. Same grade. Same age. He is a trouble maker. He is mean, a bully, never completes his assignments, cannot be counted on to finish anything. We know this because we have been WARNED about him for years.

Now, let's say we mix them up at the beginning of the year. The awesome kid gets treated like the low achiever and vice versa. What do you think will happen? Will the low achiever rise to the challenge and the high achiever become a trouble maker?

Maybe. I have not really done this study so I cannot say definitively if that will happen.

The truth that I have come to know as a 15 year veteran of elementary school education is that students will rise to the occasion. If your behavioral expectation bar is set high, they will meet it. Same for the academics...if you look a child in the eye and tell them you believe in them, you will give them everything they need to be successful and then tell them that you expect them to achieve at _____________ level, they will.

Yes they will. I have seen it firsthand. Sure, I had to beat back some huge attempts by the student to talk themselves out of being able to reach the bar, but eventually they do.

On the same note, if we expect NOTHING from them, they will rise to that occasion too. Why? Because having someone else believe in you when you don't believe in yourself gives you the motivation to try harder.

So if we, as earthly beings can cause someone to achieve so much more than they ever thought they possibly could, why don't we trust God to help us reach His level of expectation?

We don't though. Or at least, I don't. I make all kinds of excuses as to why I can't live my life the way God wants me to. "It's too hard." "I am not good enough." "I am not cut out for ______." "They did this to me." "I am not as bad as they are!"

In reality, when I throw out excuses, I am saying that God is not big enough to change who I already am into who He wants me to be.

And it is at this point, Friday morning, that God took me back to my thoughts on expectations. What do I expect from God? Only condemnation? Only rebuking? Only disappointment? Why?

As I have grown up, I have become calloused. Parts of my heart have become hardened to the greatness of God's love, mercy, forgiveness and grace.

I need to look into the eyes of the children in my class and learn. They hang on my words, they believe what I tell them, they trust me. Why? Because I follow through. And slowly but surely, even the hardest child to reach begins to turn toward success.

I need the faith of a child.

"When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14

They believe, because it is in their nature. AND, because their teacher is trustworthy.

My nature may be scarred but my God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I need to raise MY expectation of what God can do, because when He looks at me, He sees potential I don't even know I have. And if the God of the universe believes in ME, tell me who can stand against me?

Don't let life's disappointments dampen your belief of God and His power and might. Seek Him earnestly and you will find Him. When you start your search, remember to look with the eyes of a child.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It's Wednesday and I have pretty much failed you all...so sorry...dirty mirror, deleted photos of some outfits (I was so not on my game) and black and white everything. Oh well. I am sure the girls hangin' with Lindsay today have more to offer!



1. shirt: Kohls, Pants: NY&Co, shoes: Lindsay Phillips
2. & 3. white shirt: Target, black spirit shirt: friend, jeans: LOFT, boots: Madden Girl
4. (deleted full length photo) shirt: Kohls, Pants: Buckle Jewels: Silpada
5. tank: Kohls, Shirt: Belk, Pants: Gap, Jewelry: Sipada, Scarf: The Pleated Poppy


Besides my sad outfits I have shown you here, I have been clothed in grace, humility and the love of Jesus. Let me explain: after receiving news that we never thought we'd hear about a family member (see previous post), I asked the multitudes to pray for us. And the multitudes responded. As a result of God's people praying, I felt the love and comfort of Jesus all around me. He has wrapped me up and is holding me close...so you see, I am covered with His love, grace and humility. And that is an outfit you can't beat, no matter what!

I hope you all are having a marvelous Wednesday.

Many Blessings-

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