happy monday

it’s my birthday- well actually not till wednesday, but i am a big fan of the birthday week celebration!  so my party starts today, here’s whats on the agenda:  cleaning house (not fun but totally necessary), crafting with a friend, starting some seeds (the sun is beaming through my kitchen window just begging me to grow some basil), and a big sale tonight at my instashop.  the sun is shining; the skies are blue, and i’m not feeling older yet.  i’m determined to have a good monday!  some days i wake up groggy and grumpy and not ready.  not ready for the day, not ready for school time, not ready to be a wife and mom, not ready to start feeding this crew of hungry boys.  but today i’m choosing to have a great day!

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have a happy monday!

you can check out my sale tonight at 5:00 pm mountain time instagram @onthedoorpostsshop.

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i’ve got big plans

my mind can race a million miles an hour with stories, and menus, and creations, and 5th grade grammar, and planning, and dreaming, and “wishin and hopin and thinkin and prayin” nope that’s a song from hmmm name that movie…

see already i digress because my mind wonders.  that’s how it goes for me all the time.  i’ve got big plans, but so often they fade into oblivion when it’s bath time for the littles or time to walk the dog or make cookies or whatever.  i get side tracked- don’t you get sidetracked?  i mean we live in this buzz of activity, and it’s all i’m sitting down with tea and bible study one minute; and boys yelling that the dog threw up on the floor the next.  it’s all sweet 4 year olds singing “i am the way and the truth and the life…” one minute; then homemade laundry soap boiling over on the stove the next.  what a crazy, awesome life i live.

so i’ve had big plans for writing amazing things on this blog.  God has been teaching me, and rocking my boat a bit.  i’m wrestling through my thoughts and God’s ideas on ministering to the poor; befriending non-believers; orphan care, and bursting the christian bubble i’ve lived in for so long.  but those plans have been thwarted by the real life doing.

today i picked up a crib (maybe that’s not the best way to start a paragraph for the sake of my mom and grandmother who might be reading this and how dare i let out that news on my blog.  mom, no new little one’s in this household.)  last weekend the hubs and i picked up a table and dropped it off at an empty apartment.  an apartment devoid of furniture and decor; no pretty curtains hanging on windows, only a few bags of clothes and some toy trucks scattered across the floor. i’m delivering table and crib to a single mom.  her baby girl has been in the neonatal intensive care unit for several months.  she’s not from my church; she’s not the daughter of a sweet older lady i know from bible study.  she’s just another mom who’s giving baths and telling stories and making cookies (when she can afford the ingredients).  so i’m taking tortilla soup and forging relationships.

this is foreign territory; it’s not scripted in the life i’ve lived; it’s not chit chat with other football mom’s on the sidelines; it’s not meet me at starbucks.  there’s no easy way to put it anymore; i’ve felt a pull for years to step outside- to reach beyond; but it’s scary and unknown.  it’s not just writing a check; or visiting third world poverty for a week; or crying over videos of forsaken children.  there’s no overlooking what waits down the street; i’ve jumped in.  there is no simple.  my heart’s wide open and raw and unsettled.  it’s all more like Jesus and less like Jennifer.  my mind swirls and chokes and strains at possibilities and scenarios as i learn to give and love.

i’ve got big plans, but God keeps changing them.

not your flannel graph picture

1 peter 1:17-19  “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

the reality of the jewish sacrificial system was bloody and graphic.  if the only picture we see in our minds of sacrifice is the sunday school flannel graph version, then we sorely miss a depth of understanding about the sacrifice Christ made for us.  sacrifice was messy and gruesome and rancid, but it was sanctifying.

hebrews 9:13-14 “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a geiger, sanctify for purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

Jesus was the sacrifice that redeems us.  he shed his blood and died a gruesome death that we might live!  that we might be ransomed from the debt of our sin and joined with God who we can call Father.

we do well to remember the sacrifice of the old covenant; it sobers us, it helps us understand the depth of love the Father has for us, it reminds us of the magnitude of the redemptive plan of God, it invokes reverence.

the lenten season began this week, whether you choose to recognize the season of lent in your home or not; let us begin to meditate on the truth of sacrifice that was made for us.

more info and questions:

read leviticus 16 for more understanding concerning jewish sacrifice.

what does sacrifice mean to you?

take time this week to praise the Lord for his great love for you and the ransom that He paid!

“how deep the Father’s love for us”  (this may be a great song to help you offer Him praise)

wear your heart

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i started making these denim cuffs this fall.  because i like to create. because i like to repurpose. because i was looking for a way to incorporate words into jewelry.  because i want something meaningful and pretty to wear.

i love words; i love letters that make words and books made by words.  i love they way they look and sound and speak.  i love typography and words as art and representation.  and i love that i found a way to put the words of my heart on my wrist.

i want the constant reminder; i want the pretty, and the practical.

it’s part of the whole “onthedoorposts” thing— sharing God’s Word everywhere in everything (more on that coming soon).

i wanna wear my heart on my sleeve wrist.  

 

fluffy clouds

1 peter 1:13-16  “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

obedient children—-ahhh the joy of all mothers is to have an obedient child.  a child who jumps up with a smile to take out the trash when you ask.  a child who quickly cleans his room upon request.  one who shares without complaint.  or shocker— a child who clears his place without even being asked.  an obedient child makes for a pleasant day.  i walk through life on fluffy clouds when my children obey.

if an obedient child can make for one happy mommy; how does an obedient child of God affect the Father?

in our house we have a little saying (i can’t remember where it came from, but i know it did not originate with me)  when mommy is giving you instruction you:  1. stop what you are doing  2. look at mommy   3. listen to mommy  4. obey as unto God.  that’s preparing for action.  you stop doing your own thing and focus your attention on the task at hand.  it seems simple with my children.  so why don’t i do it with the Lord?  why am i like the child who keeps on playing soccer when his mom has called him in for dinner three times already?  why don’t i stop what i’m doing, stop seeking out my own plans, stop making myself busy with the things of this world?  and start looking to the Lord and listening to Him- setting my hope on His grace.

why do i throw adult-size temper tantrums when God tells me to get the trash out of my heart?  why do i pout when i have to clean up my words?  why do i bulk when God says give?

i know the joy of having an obedient child; i want to give that joy to the Lord.

so this week i’m gonna work on obeying- and maybe we can all have a fluffy cloud kind of day.

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more infö and questions:

what area of your life do you need to yield in obedience?

we are to be holy because He is holy; what does it mean that God is holy?  (look up the definition of holy)

how can we be holy?  leviticus 19:1-4 colossians 1:21-23

what i’m making… crafty, crafty lady

we’ve been crafting away in this house.

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craft night thursday night, we made photo holders, headbands, and heart garland.

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i decided i wanted to make a coffee cozy or seven; i loosely followed this tutorial.  (they aren’t all pictured 🙂 and by the way, that cute little owl cozy has definitely solved my tea making problems.

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we’ve got a february birthday in this fam; so party prep has begun.  i’m making little stuffed monsters as party favors.  (i’ll share party pics after the big day.)

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my sister and i went to splatz for a girls night out.  i’ve never gone to one of these paint and drinks deals; it was tons of fun.  of course little sis’ painting (not pictured) turned out way cooler than mine; i am not a very brave painter.

aside from crafting, there’s been lots of food made here!  since my little sis is in town- she is making the good stuff- mint oreo truffles, cupcakes, birthday cake with fancy decorations.  meanwhile the mommy here is whipping up stromboli and alfredo sauce (with cauliflower) and faijitas and pancakes and green smoothies.

and did i mention that my sis brought season one of downton abbey with her.  so you know we’ve been watching while we’re making.  my verdict is still out on this show… so many friends love it, and i just haven’t fallen yet.  what’s the deal abbey lovers?

it’s fresh

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yesterday the hubs and i broke up the ice in the driveway and shoveled out our little honda civic that has been snowed in since december.  (strike that we shoveled it out once before just to see if it would start- it did- trusty little honda)  the driveway was a mess of slushy icy sludge.  we threw chunks of gray ice onto white snow hills.

later we drove to the store and passed banks of piled high snow; black snow.  these past few days we’re seeing black and white.  the sky has been gray the ground white lined in black sludge.  i don’t like this kind of snow.  when it’s old, dirty and slushy.  it bears down on me; it makes me sad; all dreary and painful and heavy.  it mirrors the soul.

but last night it snowed.  big light flakes blew in and covered the murky sludge.  this morning i woke to blue skies and white sheets blanketing the ground.   and my mind wondered to a sweet woman who reminded me just a few weeks ago  “that’s why i love the snow.”

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making some changes

i’m making some changes to the blog.  moving some stuff around and trying to make it look pretty.  it’s a work in progress, but i will try to be quick.  let me know what you think. 

in other news: i am having a craft night thursday.  so lots of fun pictures to come!

the whole story

1peter 1:10-12  “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”

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snow has been plaguing the east coast and other parts of the country.  atlanta was totally shut down, and kids all over have been out of school for days and days.  the weather is so unpredictable.  i don’t care how many meteorologists study temperatures and currents and systems; or how accurate doppler radar is.  no one can accurately predict the weather.  how many times have you watched the weekly forecast to plan for a trip and packed flip-flops and sundresses when you really needed jeans and hoodies?  i have little faith in my nbc weatherman.

predictions are tricky, but God spoke to prophets long ago and gave them sure fire predictions about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  i don’t claim to be an expert on prophecy, but here’s what i got from these verses this week.  God spoke to the hearts of men and women, they proclaimed the truth about what would come, and it came to pass just as the prophets said.  it’s the truth that speaks to my mind that is hungry for answers, that longs to understand the gritty details of my salvation, that seeks to stand on solid facts.

isaiah 7:14 ” Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathath, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel…”

zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

the old testament is full of prophecies of the coming Christ.  and i love to read them; to be reminded that God knew the whole story from the very beginning.  a sudden storm didn’t come and catch Him off guard.  He planned out our salvation from the beginning.  these are the things that i take comfort in; that i attempt to wrap my head around.  prophecy and predictions for me are not the stuff of theological arguments; but the stuff that points me to Jesus.  all the Book, all the world, everything that has breath whispering the name of the one who came to save me and you.

God is not a weatherman, watching the ebb and flow of tides and seasons on which to base His decisions about mankind.  no, He’s got the whole plan laid out; and i can count on Him when i’m packing.

more info and questions:

from a sermon by John Piper:

But I think it might strengthen our faith even more if we go to an Old Testament prophecy and see the truth of Christ’s resurrection and, even there 700 years before the event, its connection to the sacrifice of Christ. Even Isaiah (53:10–12) saw that the resurrection of the Servant of the Lord would be the reward of his suffering, and the proof that his suffering was sufficient to justify his people. Notice the crucial connections as I read

The Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if [note this “if”] He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days [that’s the resurrection!—”if” he gives himself as an offering], and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of [notice again the connection] the anguish of His soul, He will see it [its fruit] and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore [i.e., because he justified many by bearing their iniquities] I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong [this is the reward of resurrection], because [here it is one last time, “because”] He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

So already 700 years before the death and resurrection of Christ Isaiah saw them and the connection he saw was that the resurrection of Christ was the reward of his sacrifice and the validation of his suffering to cover sin.

  • If he would render himself as a guilt offering, THEN he will see his offspring, he will prolong his days.
  • As a result of the anguish of his soul, he will be satisfied (with its fruit in resurrection).
  • Because he bears the sins of many, THEREFORE God will allot him a portion with the great.
  • He will divide the booty with the strong BECAUSE he poured out his life to death.

alistair begg on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and it’s importance in fulfilling old testament prophecy

-how much do you know about Jesus fulfillment of over 300 old testament prophecies?  are they a comfort to you or a source of confusion?

what we’re making this week

i haven’t told you about what i’m up to in the creativity department in a while; i figured it was about time.

actually first i want to share a recipe with you; a recipe i have been using a lot lately.  ginger cookies, or molasses cookies whatever you want to call them… they may be the greatest cold weather cookie in existence!  now i am a chocolate kinda girl, so normally i would choose chocolate chip over every other kind of cookie; but these cookies are something special.  i’m talking melt in your mouth, make you feel all warm and cozy, eat six before you realize it, perfectly pretty and round, kind of cookie.  a dear friend of mine shared this recipe with me a few years ago; i don’t know it’s original source (mrs. judy, if you are reading this and know where the recipe came from please share).  i have no pictures of these delectable cookies to because, quite frankly, they get eaten too fast.

ginger molasses cookies

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 1/2 sticks butter softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 + molasses (i never measure this really and i think i use more like 1/3 a cup)

~ 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling the dough~

preheat your oven to 350; sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a small bowl.  beat butter and sugar for about 2 minutes; add egg and molasses and beat some more.  gradually add flour until combined.  scoop teaspoon size clumps and roll them into a ball then roll in sugar.  place on ungreased baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes.  you don’t want these to get over done so keep on eye on them.

if its snowing outside you should definitely be making these cookies for an afternoon snack!

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there’s happy valentines creative mess going on in my house.  getting denim cuffs and clothespins put together for my instashop’s valentines package sale has me in happy heart mode.  notice the valentines decorations that are hanging in my house (top pics) are blue.  all the red, pink, and purple is heading out the door and through the mail to friends and gracious customers.  the boys complain just because it’s out on the table… “mom why’s all this pink stuff in our house…”  ahhh boys.

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i’ve been playing around with making prints on pic monkey.  it’s pretty easy to use, and it’s free.  of course you can pay to get betterfeatures, but you don’t have to.  i’m super excited about these little prints that i made for the red valentines packages.

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i usually only share what i’ve been making, but this week the hubs brought this home.  i know right, it’s amazing!  he is a builder so he’s always making things (like houses and barns), but this is incredible (well houses and barns are incredible too, but they aren’t sitting in my living room) .  i’m so proud, and full of ideas for more furniture.  hmmm….. a new kitchen table might be in my future.

the boys and i have also started on some simple woodworking project for school as part of my “let’s make something in the garage b/c it’s snowing outside campaign”.  i will post pictures when we get a little further along in the process- who wants to look at piles of sanded wood?

that’s about it: cookies, valentines, and furniture- that’s what we’re making ’round here.  and now i’m off to make some potato soup and homemade rolls for dinner.