Saturday, January 24, 2009

new home decorating

The following pictures show our latest decorating additions...
Matt's library shelves are becoming more and more full as each semester passes and his book collections grow. Therefore, we made more room for him, by moving some of my books and a lot of old Bibles out of the office and onto a shelf near our living room/dining room. It fit well in the space and clears some shelves for him!

The next pictures show our new Audubon additions in the bathroom. I really like them. We even found the frames at Hobby Lobby during one of their 50% off framing sales... what perfect timing!

Lastly, I finished my "punch needle" project. The box advertised that it was, "fun, easy, and a quick way to smile"... seems like kind of crazy 1950's housewife marketing... but I'll admit I would agree with all claims. It only took me about one or two weeks to finish as I worked on it in the evenings over our Winter Break off and on. Framing it was a bit harder, but it worked out well. Now our kitchen has a little more life!

These are fun and restful areas of life for me. I'm thankful that the Lord has given me a desire and joy in caring for our home!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Perfect Peace & Rest

In light of an especially hectic week at school and plenty of future-related thoughts, these songs were especially encouraging tonight at church. The Lord often brings me greater clarity through the singing of His Word and His truths... funny thing, because I really don't even sing-sing (as in singing well, or in choir). Maybe they will encourage you right now too...

"Like A River Glorious"
  1. Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
    Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
    Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
    Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
    • Refrain:
      Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
      Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
  2. Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
    Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
    Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
    Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
  3. Every joy or trial falleth from above,
    Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
    We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
    They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
Verse 3 is especially challenging and settling all at the same time... I know that the Lord is enthroned at Sovereign even over room 213 at Semple Elementary. Tomorrow I must act on that belief and really let myself remain in His care without becoming so upset, frustrated, and full of complains and overwhelmed feelings in the midst of it all. I have such comfort knowing that nothing is beyond His wisdom, and indeed He is Sovereign (all-knowing and all-powerful).

The next song is a new one to Clifton Baptist as of tonight. I hope we continue to sing it more and more often. You can find it on YouTube here. It is written by Aaron Keys and Stuart Townend and is based on Psalm 62...

"My Soul Finds Rest"

My soul finds rest in God alone, My Rock and my salvation,
A fortress strong against my foes, And I will not be shaken.
Though lips may bless and hearts may curse, And lies like arrows pierce me,
I’ll fix my heart on righteousness, I’ll look to Him who hears me.

O praise Him, hallelujah, My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing, My Redeemer, my God.

Find rest, my soul, in God alone
Amid the world’s temptations;
When evil seeks to take a hold
I’ll cling to my salvation.
Though riches come and riches go,
Don’t set your heart upon them;
The fields of hope in which I sow
Are harvested in heaven. (TO CHORUS)

I’ll set my gaze on God alone,
And trust in Him completely;
With every day pour out my soul,
And He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath,
A sigh too brief to measure,
My King has crushed the curse of death
And I am His forever. (TO CHORUS 2X)

O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah! hallelujah!

I am mindful and especially thankful of the Lord's abundant mercy upon me each day. I will trust Him and continue to pour out my soul into His loving care and faithful guidance.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

these are a few of my favorite things...

I wanted to show you via pictures some of my most recent (materialistic) delights...
First, I'm thankful that the Lord provides for us in big and small ways, and allows us to delight in Him in the midst of it all. I hope that gifts and things will never steal my focus away from Him.

* our simple winter centerpiece... I was excited to fill the "vase" (which was a gift from a student during my student teaching) with rice we had in the kitchen, easy!

* a great towel which is a new addition to our bathroom and began the inspiration to decorate with songbirds (that I miss seeing here in the city)

* the soap dispenser came as a set with the handtowel... I really do enjoy the birds!

* my newest creative decoration which my brother thought was quite creepy... hopefully guests in our house won't, anyway I loved the glass I found for only $3 at a little shop when I was home and decided to incorporate it into our bird bathroom... so I filled it with moss and a fake bird nest with a robin blue decorative egg my mom had! I love it, Matt assures me that he likes it too, which is nice!

* we brought candles back from home at Christmas so I added this one to our bathroom

* since I became inspired by the birds, we found on ebay 2 Audubon bird prints that were a great price (only $15)... once they arrive I'll find two inexpensive frames and add them to our bathroom to complete our project

* Matt's side of the bed now, with a new reading lamp (so that he won't burn down the apartment while trying to dim the light by covering it with a t-shirt... true story, I woke up to him asking me about the smell in our room, which was the smell of a burnt t-shirt and a burnt lampshade!) and little table for his ever growing stack of books to read!

* our Christmas gift from Matt's mom and step-dad... they had one of our wedding pictures blown up and printed on canvas! its a great addition to our room, and the wedding boquet is perfect right below it

* our anniversary present to one another... we had our painting of the bed & breakfast we stayed at on our honeymoon framed, its hanging in the living room now

* my mom gave me a cobalt blue deviled egg platter... I used it for our friends' New Year's Eve party last night, and the eggs were a hit!

* the sugar and creamer set was also a Christmas gift from my mom... I'm hoping to use it soon for entertaining two great coffee drinking friends from Kansas City!

a few other favorites...
* my new stockpot "multi-pot" which dear Darcie hunted down with me... it has a steamer insert and a colander insert, very convenient!

* a punch needle project... kind of like cross stitching, but not really... I'll post a picture when I'm finished with it, I hope to buy a frame for it and hang it above my sink... its been a very fun and restful project

* new clothes from my favorite place thanks to my husband's thoughtful gift for Christmas

* a perfect chai tea mix which we've already so enjoyed:
1 c nonfat dry milk powder
1 c powdered non-dairy creamer
1 c French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 1/2 c white sugar
1 1/2 c unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp white pepper