Friday, April 15, 2011

Fashion Friday: Ruffles--Goin' Nowhere!

Some trends come and go and others stick with us for a while.

I'm hoping the harem pants obsession leaves fast.  Ruffles, on the other hand, are feminine and classic and I'm glad to see they'll be hanging with us again this Spring/Summer.

Here are some great ruffle tops to drool over:

Want the look but prefer to make it yourself?  Why, here you go!

A ruffle skirt you can make.
Source Ruffles and Stuff
Or maybe you'd like to make a ruffled shirt?  Here you go!
Source: Ruffles and Stuff

Here's a ruffle scarf you might love.
Source: Make It and Love It

Ruffles--they even work for the home!
Source: Ruffles and Stuff
 Go Team Ruffles!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things I Love: Easter Egg Burlap Pillow

I saw this on the blog A Little Tipsy a year ago and loved it.

Source: A Little Tipsy

How cute is that?  Oh, and it's a NO SEW project!  YAY!

Want the directions?  Click here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I Think About: God's Will and Decision Making

Have you ever heard people talking about God's will?

When someone dies, we say it was God's will.  When someone is sick or disappointed, we say that what is happening is God's will or that God's will will prevail.  We pray for God's will.

But have you ever heard people say, "This situation is God's will for me" but then they don't go through with the situation?  Or maybe, "God is opening all the doors, this must be His will" but it ends in destruction?

I do believe God has a plan for our lives and that He clearly laid them out in His Word.  But sometimes, I think people use "God's will" as a cop-out to either do whatever they want or to keep from doing what He really wants when it requires sacrifice.

Perhaps there's a calling on your life and you go for it because it's "God's will."  Then you meet with resistance and determine that there is no way that path could be from God because there are too many obstacles.  So you give up.  But have you ever wondered if there are so many obstacles because that path is God's will and the enemy doesn't. want. you. on. it?

Or perhaps there is something you want to do.  So you find "signs" everywhere that it is God's will.  And you do it.  Without praying about it.  Without seeking guidance.  When others question you, you say it's God's will.  But is it?  Is it His will, or yours?

Have you ever done something you told people was "God's will" and it ended in complete, utter disaster?

This past week, Matt and I were both presented with huge opportunities.  They both have the potential to be life changing.  But now we are stuck.  Do we want to do these opportunities for our own edification or will they bring glory to God?  Are these opportunities His will.... or ours?

When I make decisions, I want to do so with faith.  I want to say, "I will walk this road, whether it is straight or jagged, downhill or uphill, in rain or shine, in light or darkness ... I will walk this road if you walk with me." I want to make faith based decisions.

However, what I often feel like I make fear based decisions.  "I can't do that.  Who will care for the kids?" "I'm not sure that is the best decision ... it might cause financial strain.  It might make us change our schedule.  We might have to give up some time or a luxury."  Fear. Fear. Fear.  Does fear keep me from doing God's will?

When I share situations like this to others, I'm often "comforted" by quips about God's will.  I believe God has a will for me but please, don't throw it about so carelessly lest I construe God's will to be the easy path when the path of least resistance wasn't the one Moses took. Or Joshua.  Or Esther.  Or Paul.

Or Jesus.

Do you see what I'm saying?  Sometimes God's will isn't the one that's easy or that has all the "signs" pointing in the right direction.  Sometimes God's will is the hard path with resistance and obstacles and pain and sacrifice. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it."

How do we find the will of God? Does it just fall into our laps in the form of "signs"?  Or do we have to seek it.  Through prayer.  Through digging in the word?  Through waiting patiently (and not so patiently) through difficult and stressful situation? Through being still and listening?

God had a will and a plan for my life but am I missing it?

Am I missing it because I'm too busy looking for "signs" than praying?
Because I'm too busy seeking advice and commentary from friends than reading His word?

Or perhaps I'm missing it because what I really want is my will, wrapped in the verbal cloak of His will.  I want the wide open gate.  The easy path.  The one He says ends in destruction.

I would rather rely on my intuition, the advice of family and friends, my circumstances that to seek His way. The gate is too narrow for my pride. But if I humble myself, if I follow Him, I will find life.

What I think about God's will is that He has one for my life.  But it isn't easily seen.  It doesn't always match my will.  It is life-giving ... if I'll take courage to walk that narrow path through the small gate.

Pray for Matt and I this week as we make some pretty big decisions.  Please pray that we would make faith-based decisions.

Thank you Shell at Things I Can't Say for hosting a platform where I can Pour My Heart out and tell you What I  Think!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Days of Play: The BEST Easter Eggs EVER!

I've gushed about how much I LOVE Our Best Bites a time or two (or nine million--whatever).

Anyhow, I saw these eggs last year and didn't make them but you can bet your sweet biscuits I'm making them this year!
Source: Our Best Bites
Um ya, aren't those the most B.E.A.utiful eggs ever?  They look floral and tie-dyed.  I mean you'd never guess they were totally made from these--but they are!
Source: Our Best Bites

If you are uber impressed by these amazing eggs I encourage you to make some.  Today.

Here's what you'll need to pull off the best looking Easter Eggs in your neighborhood!
-Raw Eggs
-Glass or enamel pot (but pretty much any non-aluminum pot will be fine)
-Silk ties, blouses, or boxers, cut into pieces large enough to cover an egg
-An old white sheet, or pillowcase, or tablecloth, or random fabric, cut into pieces to cover silk-wrapped eggs
-Twist ties or string
-4 tablespoons of white vinegar
-Warm water
-Vegetable oil
-Paper towels
-Tongs or spoon

Oh, and you'll need the directions so head to Our Best Bites Silk Dyed Easter Eggs and get those! 


By the way, if you make a rockin' Easter Egg, be a dear and send me a photo so I can totally brag about your awesomeness on my blog!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What My Dishwasher Taught Me

My house is new(ish).

My appliances are new(ish).

But the epoxy that holds my appliances in place didn't stick so my dishwasher has been falling out of place for nearly a year and a half.  And when I say, "falling out," I mean leaning forward a couple of inches when the door is open. Of course this makes the top and bottom racks fall out.  For some reason this is a huge inconvenience.

The door of the dishwasher drives me crazy.  Huffy crazy.  Eye-rolling crazy.  Explicative crazy.

Silly isn't it?

I mean, my best friend of a decade hasn't had a dishwasher since I've known her.  And I have one that cleans and I complain that it falls forward a bit.

She spends time literally washing dishes; I think it is the worst chore in the world to put away the dishes that my machine cleans.

In ten years, my best friend hasn't lamented to me once about having to wash dishes.  I don't think I've gone a week without reminding Matt how awful my dishwasher is.

Six weeks ago I asked my dad or Matt to fix my dishwasher; they didn't.

Calm asking turned to critical hinting.

Hinting turned to nagging.

Nagging turned into a full-blown adult meltdown over the top dishwasher rack falling out when I was trying to put a fork into the dishwasher.

Meltdown=Matt rushed to fix the dishwasher.

Sad to say, I felt justified in my anger toward Matt for not fixing my dishwasher.  I mean, hadn't I waited long enough?  Hadn't enough time past?  If he couldn't remember, then surely my nagging would help.

While Matt fixed my dishwasher, I sat down with One Thousands Gifts and started reading.  Two pages into my chapter, Ann Voskamp says this, "long I am woman who speaks but one language, the language of the fall--discontentment and self-condemnation, the critical eye and the never satisfied."

I tried to read right past it but that quotation just pierced me. 

That was me.

Surrounded on every side with every luxury; so use to my comfort that any inconvenience, any disruption, sent me into a tail spin.

My lips trembled in the way that only on-coming tears could foster.

How could I be so ungrateful when I have so much?

I kept reading.  I ignored the tears.  And the shame.  And my husband fixing my dishwasher.

And Ann got me one more time at the end by stating, "life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change."

I'll be a work in progress ... I'll always be a work in progress.  But I'm starting to see how wonderful this life really is.  And if I keep looking, I have a feeling, I won't ask for better dishwashers or new cars, or new this or new that.

I'll just be content ... grateful, even.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Daniel Fast Menu {Week 3}

We made it through our final week of the Daniel Fast!  YAY!  Tomorrow we begin eating normally again.  I kinda can't wait to down a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup!

Here's what we ate the last week.

Breakfast: Hot oat meal with natural apple sauce, apple chunks, cinnamon, and cloves
Snack: rice cakes with peanut butter and bananas
Lunch: hummus, flatbread, and veggies
Snack: raisins
Dinner: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup with salad and flatbread

Breakfast: Coconut, banana, and mango smoothies
Snack: apple slices
Lunch: peanut butter and apple butter rice cakes, veggies, and a banana
Snack: trail mix
Dinner: Spinach pesto over pasta with salad, flatbread, and garlic herb dipping oil

Breakfast: oatbran with strawberries and bananas
Snack: orange
Lunch: Greek Salad
Snack: Peanut butter stuffed apples
Dinner: White chili with wild rice

Breakfast: Breakfast potatoes and fruit
Snack: orange
Lunch: Temphe tacos
Snack: ants on a log
Dinner: Pan grilled portabella mushrooms with mixed greens

Breakfast: Peanut butter and banana smoothie
Snack: hummus and carrots
Lunch: black bean nachos
Snack: banana
Dinner: Fettuccine Alfonso with mushroom-black olive salad

Breakfast: Breakfast potatoes
Snack: apple
Lunch: hummus and veggie wraps
Snack: rice cake with apple butter
Dinner: Black bean, brown rice, and asparagus enchiladas with guacamole

Breakfast: Mixed berry smoothie
Snack: peanut butter and banana rice cake
Lunch: baked potato and salsa
Snack: organic corn chips and salsa
Dinner: Spaghetti squash with marinara, salad and flat bread