Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If:Table

Over the weekend of February 7th & 8th, I attending the If:Gathering conference in Austin, Texas. 


Ok, so I didn't actually go to Austin, but I got to enjoy the worship and speakers from the comfort of my own home. Slippers and all! 


Talk about powerful. Even though I have still been struggling big time, this gathering of women was exactly what I needed. They were amazing. 


While majority of the time, I watched it on my laptop, I did put some of the speakers up with the projector. Christine Caine is just so powerful that she deserved to be seen on "the scream", as Brooklyn called it. 

The main theme of this new conference was "If God is real, then what?". One of the founders, Jennie Allen said her greatest fear was that after it was over we would all go out and just do great things. That wasn't the point. The point was for us to grow closer to God and his individual calling for each of us. The mission of IF was 

to gather, equip, and unleash 
the next generation of women to live out their purpose. 

The gathering brought us together, united us for a common goal. We are women who want to go out and make a positive change in the world. On of my favorite parts was Jen Hatmaker speaking. 

"What would happen if we became a generation of women who said yes, we'll pull that thread? I know what its going to cost me. I know its going to hurt. I suspect I might end up loving it. I don't know what moves you. Orphans, the hungry, refugees, human trafficking, prisioners, the sick, I don't know. Here's what I do know. We can do this. Yes we can. We are brave, we are strong, we are the most privileged, resourced women on the planet Earth. There is nothing we cannot do, and nowhere we cannot go. And so if God has seated us with vision, that we are able in Christ, we can do it. And its not that what your going to do is some international movement...its not that. You just have to play your one note. And I will play mine, and together its going to create a song that sounds like freedom for the captives."
-Jen Hatmaker, If:gathering 2014


The next step was to equip us. Every Monday - Friday, on Ifequip.com you can read a passage from the Bible, hear women from the conference give their take on the passage, and then join in the conversation. Right now we are reading through the book of John. You can view my journal for If:equip here.

The last part is the unleashing. We are beginning with a monthly gathering around our tables. If:table. We will gather with 5 other women every month and have dinner together for about 2 hours, to discuss whats going on in our lives, our churches, our communities. To build bonds and learn from each other, and to help one another with our callings. IF provides the 4 conversation cards as well as ideas for a simple meal. The idea is based on Acts 2:46. 

"...they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts." (NIV)

We will join together at hundreds, maybe thousands, of tables on March 9th and begin something wonderful. I cant wait to see what is coming through the women who are participating in IF. 

God is moving in a powerful and beautiful way. I am blessed to be a part of it. I hope you will join us. 

If you want to learn more about the mission of IF, the programs they are partnering with (Food for the Hungry), or to download your own copy of the Gathering, please visit 






Friday, February 14, 2014

Easy Valentines Breakfast Table

Happy Valentine's Day!!! Hope everyone is having an awesome day so far. My awesome husband brought me tulips this morning. 
*swoon*. 


I thought I would share what I did to brighten up our morning here. Best part? It didn't cost an arm and a leg. Like I spent only $20. SCORE! 







For a $1 each, I bought the tablecloth, cups, plates, and straws. The teddy bears, set of mugs, and banners were $3 each. I already owned the leather table runner/centerpiece. Took me all of 5 minutes to put together. Which is awesome cause I was tired after bible study last night. Those ladies are so awesome they wear me out! 

Hope you all have an awesome day and get to love or be loved on by someone today. Maybe its the co-worker who isn't getting flowers, buy her a coffee. Maybe its the single mama in your neighborhood who could use a nice meal tonight. How about the cashier who looks dead on her feet, compliment her. The widow next door who still needs the snow cleared from her front porch. That kid in your class who looks like they really need a hug. Love them. Its not just about candy hearts and flowers. Its about sharing love with those around us. 

Extra bonus: little love from the 5yo. Enjoy! 
video



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Oh defeat...


I swear, the devil himself has the easiest job ever here this morning. I am in a fantastic mood this morning (yes thats sarcasm Sheldon), and to top it off, the dog decided to get himself off his chain outside and go for a stroll around the neighborhood. (Dont worry folks, he only uses it to go potty because we dont have a fence. He isnt left on it.) I feel awful. Just defeated today. So much to do, so little motivation to do it. My depression has been trying to take over. Again. Ugh. I am so over winter. It is always worse in winter. Short days and being cooped up inside make me crazy. I need sunshine and to be outside. But even then its not always enough. 

I always have the thoughts that "if I can just get such-and-such done, then everything will be fine." What a lie. I know thats not true! I know that there is never going to be a completed list. Its just not possible. Our lives are forever changing. Schedules change, jobs change, life changes. I am so thankful it does. My greatest fear is that the season we are in now will never change. That we wont be able to move forward. That my life will be a endless cycle of trying to play catch-up and feeling defeated when I cant actually catch-up. 

So I have this ginormous list. Yes, ginormous. 95% of it involves cleaning my house. I don't mind a few dirty dishes, or toys on the floor. But right now the clutter is taking over. There is a lot that needs to be organized and cleaned. Like every room in the house needs some sort of major work. It feels very very overwhelming. So overwhelming that sitting here in my pj's on the couch all day sounds like a fabulous idea. But doing that will make me feel worse. So I'm going to end this, get up off my rear, and go to get dressed. Then maybe run the dishwasher. Since its, ya know, loaded with dirty dishes. Maybe when hubs gets home we can tackle the office together. It needs the most work. 

Its a new day, a new chance to get done what needs to be done. A new chance to move forward. And most importantly, a new chance to love those around me. Wish me luck y'all! I'm going to need it to make it through today! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

My heart just hurts today.

Hey y'all. So This blog fell off the face of the planet. SORRY 'BOUT THAT!!!!! Really I am. 99% of the people in our circle get info about us via facebook, text, instagram, or twitter. But recently, I have felt the calling to start writing again. If for no other reason than to be a therapy for me. A place to get out my thoughts and feelings, a place to hold me accountable for the things I say I am going to do, a place where I can share the people and things I love. I know very few people see this, and I have zero intention of ever hosting ads on my page (unless its for Wounded Warrior Project or other organizations helping veterans) but regardless, I would like to see this blog grow.

A few weeks ago I started reading a blog called A Slob Comes Clean , and totally fell for her style of blogging. She just put herself out there. She used her blog as a way to communicate to herself, not just others. And in the process, she found a community of people who had the same issues she did, who felt the same, who wanted to do the same things are her, and wanted to support her.  She has inspired me to work harder as a wife, as a mom, and as a friend. To grow, both spiritually and in my actions.

Today especially, my heart hurts. It seems like the last few weeks has been more bad news after more bad news. Majority of it does not affect my family directly, but some does. Its the shootings at malls and schools, the orphans and widows in Syria, the drugs found too close to home, the girls being trafficked through my very own city, friends whose marriages are ending, an aunt, friend, and child battling cancer, the anxiety of bills that need to be paid, soldiers who aren't coming home, people out in the bitter cold with no place to go... the list just keeps growing. And my heart is heavy with it all.

 And yet, it fuels me. I want to pray over and be there for the friend who doesn't know what will happen to her marriage. I want to send a card to the wives who are burying their husbands and tell them how much I love them and how so very sorry I am for their loss. I want to teach my kids how to be good friends that lift up their peers so that no one in their life every feels the need to bring a gun to school. I want to trust God that the provision to pay the bills will be there. I want to volunteer my time to help end human trafficking. I want to visit the kid in prison and tell him its going to be ok, there is hope. Hope in a savior who loves us and is always faithful. I want to feed, clothe, strengthen, and empower the homeless vet with no place to call his own.

And mostly, I want to be a better wife and mom. 

Not perfect. Please notice I didn't say PERFECT, but better.

There are places I am lacking. there are areas in my life that I am straight up failing at. And that hurts. And I want to do better. I'm not sure how though. I know that I need to just trust that God has a bigger plan. Sometimes that's easier said than done. The only thing I can do is just keep moving forward. One very small step at a time.This week that means putting a big focus on my family and those closest to me. Putting a focus on building up my husband, and my marriage. Striving to seek out the best in my kids and not just telling them what they are doing wrong.

I know that I will fail this week. 

I know it will not be easy to put aside the fear and hurt. 

I know that no matter what, I must keep moving forward.

I must keep praying and seeking God. Striving to bring Him praise and glory. 

I must. 

Then maybe, just maybe, my heart won't hurt so much.

~~~~~~~~~~~

So after posting this, I saw tonight's blog post from IF:Gathering. HELLO GOD SPEAKING STRAIGHT TO MY HEART! Thank you God for giving me an outlet. I pray I will use it more and that it will help more than just my own heart. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hello all you pretty people!

Wow. What a year 2013 has been so far. I am still trying to come to grips with the fact that we are almost at Jeremys two year Alive Day anniversary. Two years. I remember talking just a couple months after it happened and wanting so badly to get two years down the road. For things to be "normal". To put it behind us. Not realizing that it would never be possible for us to "put your behind in your past" (no Pumbaa.... its you gotta put your past behind you. Amateur.) We are forever changed. My husband is forever changed, in so many good ways. Our family is forever changed, and blessed beyond measure by those changes. I am forever changed, in unexpected ways. 

We have been back in KC for ten months. That number is almost as hard for me as his anniversary. We miss New York still, our friends, our old life. I have been trying desperately to keep moving forward, but I admit, its insanely difficult. Some days are easier than others. Like its fabulous to be home to help celebrate my nieces first birthday, and to go to Royals games, and to plant a real garden.... There is still so much that feels unfinished though. We left in such a hurry. So many things have just been figured out over the last couple of months. Some things are still being sorted out. (ie: VA dependent pay. We had to involve our congressman, its still "pending"). I am still struggling to find my niche. To find out what I am suppose to be working on. Jeremy is plugging away at school with a specific goal in mind. Its hard to not have a specific goal, just a broad one: Get involved in some organization that I can make a difference in. HELLO HUGE GOAL THAT MAKES IT FEEL IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCOMPLISH. We want to be involved with organizations that help other wounded soldiers. We want to be involved in more local ministries. Yet there seems to be no good way to start. Its hard to plug into organizations that really only look at wounded warriors as soldiers who have lost limbs or have obvious disabilities. Jeremy's disabilities are impossible to see if you don't know what to look for. Civilians still take a step back when you tell his story. Like its contagious. Like he might go into some PTSD rage at any moment. News flash! My husband doesnt have PTSD. Thank you Jesus. It was one of my biggest prayers during deployments. That not only would God guard his body, but also his mind. 

Anywho.... This is our life right now.
Mustache stickers go with everything
My lil Luke Bryan fan.


Love him.

My 30th birthday dinner. They had Cheesecake for dessert. Can you tell?!
We had some of our best friends come down recently to visit. Seeing my Jessicas & my lil sis Lakin was a blessing and a curse. I miss them so much it hurts. I miss so many people. I know they are only a phone call away. So not the same though. 

Meeting baby Grady for the first time.

In Topeka to see another Jessica!



The kids last few moments together. Horribly lighting I know. 
Took Giffins to their first Royals game
I live her. My first Jessica. 

And more recently, this happened. 

YAY!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU JESUS!!!!! 
Speaking of which. I really need to go get ready to pick her up from school. I plan on trying to keep up with the blog better in the coming weeks. See ya soon!!!!!!

~E

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY Wednesday Cheap Wall Art

I dont know about y'all but I adore Pinterest. There are days when I find nothing at all worth pinning and others that I find awesome stuff. My husband always looks at me all crazy when I get excited over something on pinterest. He knows that either I have a new DIY project I want to do or a new recipe to try out and half the time its no good! After seeing several pins about using frames with scrapbook papers I decided to make a few to hang above my couch. So here is my DIY easy-peasy, cheap, take up plenty of space on my wall so it doesnt look so bare project. you need only 3 things to make em:
 
~ $5 10x13" frames from wally world
~ 8.5x11" scrapbook papers 
~ paint & brushes.
 
 
 
 
 



Simple right? I used 4 frames and painted the inside of the backing a creamy white. After its dry just use double stick tape to adhere your fav scrapbook paper in the center. Hang in whatever order you like with command picture velcro strips and you are DONE! I can change then out with every holiday and season, add pictures to the center, or use free printables from blogs I love. SUPER EASY! I like buying the $5 packs of paper from walmart because the papers inside are already coordinated to work well together!
Total cost $25.
Even the husband couldn't argue with that.
 
Thanks for stopping by and checking out one of my fav DIY projects.  :)

(ps: sorry about the crappy picture. I have yet to hang these in the new house and this is the only pic I have of them hanging in the old one! eeek! I will post an update once I get them up here!! Thanks for understanding!!!!!)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Resolutions

Hows that new years resolution going? .....Yea mine either. I say that because I am guessing you are like me and still struggling to keep going with it. I wanted one small thing: to write in my journal EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even just two sentences. I'm only 7 for 14. Whoops!!! So here is my challenge for you. Well actually there are two parts. 1) forgive yourself & keep trying. I know it sounds too easy but seriously, I guilt the heck out of myself when I fail at a goal. I need to forgive myself & keep moving forward. 2) Encourage someone in your life with their resolution. We all know how important it is to have people cheering us on when we make changes. Especially hard ones. So call that friend who is trying to get back in shape and ask her to go for a walk. Buy that friend who stopped smoking a pack of gum. Offer to make a meal for the friend who wants to learn to cook healthier. Make sure to include the recipe! By encouraging others around you, you may just find the motivation or returned encouragement you need for your own goals. Good luck!! This weeks preview: Wednesday: cheap wall art! Friday: Pumpkin bread muffins. I know its more of a fall thing but I love it all year!!!