Friday, September 24, 2010

show us your home: master bedroom

i had so much fun last week visiting new blogs and seeing everyone's living rooms. i really love decorating and i love getting new ideas to file away for future decorating opportunities :-). today kelly's korner show us your home is highlighting master bedrooms. yay!

our master bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in our house just because i think it's so warm and inviting. i've always heard that your master bedroom should be a place where you can relax (obviously) and just be a little retreat in your home. since our home is on the market, we've "de-cluttered" our bedside tables, dressers, and chest but if we weren't on the market, these are the books you'd see stacked on our bedside tables. my side: lies women believe and the truth that sets them free, adopted for life, sun stand still, radical, respectable sins, and something borrowed. hubs' side: you'd see his kindle which is loaded full of some fun and some serious books (as well as a couple of my own ;-). i'm also going to include the picture of the jewelry box hubs made for me our first married christmas. yes, when you see it you will be astounded because it is absolutely beautiful and amazing. the more amazing thing about the gift? when he gave it to me he said that he wanted to give me this jewelry box that will hold my "treasures" so that i will always remember that i am his treasure. see? absolutely precious.

we did leave a few things on our bedside tables, though. hubs has a pic of us on our honeymoon enjoying the luau on the island of kauai on his table. the frame is a hand-carved frame we bought in kauai. it's gorgeous. i have a willow tree figurine of a husband and wife hugging (my mother-in-law gave it to me for our first married christmas) and i absolutely love it. i also have a book my parents gave me right before hubs and i were married that has the lyrics to the song my daddy and i danced to at my wedding. it's beautiful and if i ever open it to read it, i always cry. i means so much to me!
i know kelly is going to do a specific post for bathrooms but i really love our master bath and how it seems to flow so well with our bedroom. so, i'm breaking the rules and including it today. i'm such a rebel! ;-)

i don't remember what is next on the home tour for next week but i'm sure it will be great and a lot of fun!


enough. this word has been bouncing around in my head over the last week as i've pondered what it means to have enough and specifically, for God and my relationship with Him to be enough. as i meditated and processed and thought through the concept of God being enough in my life, i decided to go to the dictionary to ensure that i was working with a correct perspective on the word, "enough." merriam-webster defines enough as, "occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations." wow. i'll be honest that in light of all the Lord seems to be teaching me that definition spoke volumes to my heart.

first, i'll give you a little history behind what the Lord seems to be doing in my heart as of late. a good friend and i are walking through beth moore's breaking free bible study and it has been an incredible and life changing study over the last few months. i've been challenged to really examine my life and allow the Lord to reveal areas of bondage or captivity and then do the work necessary to allow Him to bring freedom in those areas. in one of the most recent dvd sessions beth talked about the concept of "enough" and what our lives look like when Jesus isn't "our enough." she used examples of all the things that can fill our lives and take the place that is specifically reserved for Him. here's the thing...i don't think most people, myself included, intentionally fill our lives with other things (and they're usually not what we would label bad things) which end up excluding the Savior but it does happen. why? why does it happen? do we not trust Him to be enough? what does it look like when we allow Jesus to be "our enough?" these are the questions that have been rolling around in my head and my heart for the last week.

i'm pretty sure that if you ask me if i trust that Jesus is enough for me i would answering with a resounding, "absolutely!" and i do trust Him. He has proven Himself faithful, loving, and trustworthy so many times in my life over and over again. i also believe, though, that this is a process and sometimes i don't always get it the first time (or the second, or the third, or the fourth). think about the israelites for a minute...God's chosen people. they had seen such incredible wonders and experienced God's provision and His work in their lives time after time after time and then here they are in jeremiah 2:12-14. "be appalled at this, o heavens, and shudder with great horror," declares the LORD. "my people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. is israel a servant, a slave by birth? why then has he become plunder?” yikes. not only did they abandon (or forsake) God...the spring of living water, they decided to create their own source (that was broken) to try to fulfill their thirst or the need they had for God. the result of their sin and attempt to live from these broken cisterns? slavery, bondage, captivity.

i'm done with broken cisterns... first of all, it's sinful, second, they don't hold water and third, they can't fulfill the thirst and desire i have for Jesus to be enough in my life. i've asked the Lord this week to uncover any cisterns i've dug on my own so they can be destroyed. i don't want to walk around in the bondage of trying to fill places the Lord alone can fill. if the Lord has taught me anything over the last few months, i have learned that He is enough. period.

i'm so thankful that the Lord desires to be our "enough" and i'm excited about the future. He alone is capable of meeting my needs and my one else. i can't wait to see what the Lord will do in our lives because above all else, He is what we want and desire. He is everything. He is enough so whatever He asks us to do, wherever He asks us to go...we're in.

Friday, September 17, 2010

kelly's korner: show us your life friday

okay so i admit that i'm a dork and really have fun participating in what i'd call the little "blog carnivals" that other bloggers (who usually have lots of readers) host. kelly from kelly's korner is doing "show us your life fridays" and each friday has a different theme. for the next few weeks "show us your life" is all about home tours and today's room is the living room. we don't have a formal living room (most newer homes now don't have formal living rooms anymore. i'm sure eventually the trend will shift back the other way) so i'm going to give you a tour of our great room/den/family room. :-)

this is the view of our den as you walk through the front door from the foyer (down a little "hallway"). i love the "wall of windows" and how much natural light it gives to the space. ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that i LOVE light...i don't like it when rooms are dark and the more natural light the better!

the focal point of the room...(in addition to the windows) is the fireplace (not the tv ;-). i love the picture we have on the mantle the black and white pictures of different scenes of pathways/gates with isaiah 32:17, 18 below it which says, "and the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places." my prayer is that the Lord would work in my life and j's life refining us and developing righteousness so that our home will be a place of "peaceful habitation, a secure dwelling, and an undisturbed resting place."

view of the back door, breakfast area, and part of the thing i absolutely love about our house is that it is a transitional floor plan and everything is so open!!

view from the backdoor

well, that's our great room :-). our house is currently on the market so if you know anyone who would LOVE a house in our area, pass the word along!

happy friday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

lessons i learned in middle school

today as i made the morning drive to the middle school (the 30+ minute commute--depending on traffic) i listened to elevation worship's new cd, kingdom come, (which is incredible, by the way) and the lyrics to a few of the songs really resonated within my heart...

...Give me faith to trust what You say
That You’re good, and Your love is great
I’m broken inside, I give You my life

I may be weak, but Your spirit is strong in me
My flesh may fail, but my God You never will...
(Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship)
middle school isn't exactly what i would call my comfort fact, it's pretty far from anything i consider comfortable. give me a class of preschoolers or younger elementary age students? perfect! i would, in fact, absolutely love it. but middle school...really...for the second week in a row? i spewed all of these thoughts (and more) to the Lord this morning on my drive. thankfully, He didn't tell me to suck it up and deal but He was gracious enough to speak to me through the lyrics of the song above (those are just a portion of the lyrics). you see, as i laid bare all of my worries, fears, and uncomfortableness before Him this morning, i felt a prodding to ask Him to give me trust Him and allow Him to work. and then...(oh yes, there's more!)

This city, Lord, it is Yours
This city, Lord, it is Yours

So break our hearts
Break our hearts for the people who are far from You
Break our hearts

Teach us to love the way You love us
Send us out, send out us out
Pour out Your fire and flow through our lives
Send us out, send us out

This city, Lord, it is Yours
This city, Lord, it is Yours
(This City Is Yours, Elevation Worship)

i truly felt the Lord prompting me to make the most of my time with these middle schoolers and to see it as my ministry for today. the song, this city is Yours, (a portion of the lyrics above) started playing and it clicked. i asked the Lord to break my heart for the students i would encounter today. the ones who would be super needy/screaming for attention, the ones who are disrespectful and really don't care what i say (there are a few of those), the ones who so clearly just want to please someone and would do anything for some affirmation, and the ones who seem as though they have it all together.

my prayer, now as i'm sitting at home pretty worn out from my day, is that i made the most of every opportunity to love those 6th graders and that He will give me more opportunities tomorrow.

break my heart, Lord, for the students who are far from You. teach me to love the way You love, pour out your fire and flow through my life. break my heart, Lord...break my heart.

Monday, September 13, 2010

monday evening brain dump

it's fact, it's been monday allll day long. it's not been a bad day but the fact that it is monday gives me an excuse to not write a beautifully cohesive blog post. hence, the title of the post: monday evening brain dump. so here we go...

  • the weekend was super busy but also a lot of fun. spent time with friends friday and saturday nights, saw family on sunday, and ended the weekend participating in dave ramsey's financial peace university. yesterday was week #2...i'll comment more on that in just a minute.
  • i subbed for 7th/8th grade social studies on friday and it definitely affirmed that i am not called to teach middle school for the rest of my life. it actually wasn't that bad i just couldn't take my eyes off the class while they were doing their work. i had forgotten how sneaky and deceptive (some) middle schoolers can be but i made it! my classes all day were also the quietest on the hallway. my preschool training did pay off ;-).
  • i'm subbing again tomorrow and wednesday but this time for 6th grade language arts. i'm a little more nervous because i just received the call about an hour ago and i have no idea what the lesson plans are, what the teacher's schedule is, or if she has any afterschool duty. so, tomorrow morning i'll be winging it with the 6th graders. apparently i'm always up for an adventure.
  • j and i are definitely learning a lot from financial peace university. dave ramsey doesn't play around, that's for sure! we're working on developing our gazelle intensity toward our budget, debt, etc. and our goal is to ultimately honor the Lord with everything--especially our finances. i'm excited about the challenge because i know in the end it will be well worth it.
  • speaking of dave ramsey, j and i had completed baby step #1 (establishing your emergency fund) and it came in handy today when my car needed a significant repair. dave's right when he says that we all know these types of expenses will happen (we just don't know when) so it's best to be prepared for them so that you don't have a car crisis AND a financial crisis. i'm a fan of the emergency fund, i can tell you that ;-)
  • please continue praying for my cousin's husband, kevin. he is currently going through chemo treatments and had another ct scan this evening. please pray that the chemo is doing it's job and killing this tumor and the leukemia. you can visit his caringbridge site here.
  • i've not been a fan of dancing with the stars up to this point but the cast this season seems like they may be a bit of a train wreck so i'm considering watching just to see what happens (although, hubs does not know about this plan...he may object ;-).
  • yesterday my birthday was officially 2 months away (so now it's 1 month and 30 days case you were curious). i'm not excited or anything ;-). i already know what hubs' gift to me is going to be and i'm super excited--we're going to see the chapman family (steven curtis, mary beth, will, and caleb) in concert. i recently read mary beth's book and it is simply ah-mazing. if you haven't read it, you's worth it.
  • i did laundry most of the day today. how in the world can two people have so much laundry?! yeah, i haven't been able to figure it out yet, either. if you do figure it out, i'd love to know the answer!

well, since tonight is a school night, i should probably go pack my lunch and get ready for bed. i'm hoping for a funny story to share from my 6th grade subbing adventure.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

lazy days

we've had so much going on around here at casa de alley that we felt as though some lazy days were in order. so, that's just what we've done the last several days and it's been absolutely wonderful. we have truly just "existed" at home and enjoyed the beautiful weather (and not having a schedule)! the plan for tomorrow is the same as saturday and sunday: be lazy, enjoy some down time and just rest!

we actually did have one thing planned yesterday....we saw mary poppins the musical and it was absolutely incredible. it's one of my absolute favorite movies from my childhood and the musical was so much fun! it was wonderful and practically perfect in every way ;-). the only thing truly on the schedule for tomorrow is our nfl fantasy football draft. my nephew (who is 15) called me and asked if i would set it up for him and for his friends and, "would you like to play with us, too, aunt amy? you're really good at stuff like that." how can you say no to a request like that? so, i'm the league manager for our little group's fantasy football league. i actually need to go study up and make a plan for the players i want to draft. decisions, decisions.

don't be too concerned with all this talk of laziness and lack of schedules and resting that we're going to become unproductive people. no, you shouldn't be concerned at all because tuesday morning is coming when hubs has to go back to work and i have to go observe a middle school social studies class where i'm going to substitute at the end of the week. yes, you read that sentence correctly...i am going to be a middle school substitute next week. (shiver) you can start praying for me right now if you'd like. i remember what kids did to subs back when i was in middle school but the important thing is not to let them see me afraid, right ;-). i'll give you a full report next week, don't worry...and i'm the experience will provide me with some interesting blogging material.

just thinking about it tires me out....back to my restful, carefree weekend!