A Mother’s Treasure

This time of year I love to read Jesus’ birth story, for obvious reasons. It’s not a long story. In fact I struggled trying to find it this year. I like to read out of Luke chapter 2.

Unlike most of our children’s birth stories, this story does not include a gender reveal party or multiple baby showers. There wasn’t even a proper place for him to be born. Mary didn’t get the option of having a C-section or epidural or even a homebirth. She took what she could get and that was a stinky stable. Jesus did receive a few gifts but nothing like our children receive. Mary wasn’t stocked up on all the essentials. Yet she was carrying our Savior.Something that jumped out at me this year, as I read through Jesus’s birth story, was the mention two times in Luke about how Mary treasured up things in her heart.In Luke 2:18 it says “all who heard the shepherd’s story were astonished but Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart”. Mary took all that the Shepherd’s said, about the angels coming to visit them, in. She didn’t start calling all her friends and didn’t boast about carrying and giving birth to the Messiah. She instead held it all in her heart and treasured it.

We also read about Mary treasuring the words Jesus spoke in Luke 2:51. These words were written about the time where Jesus goes and speaks to the teachers in Jerusalem at the Passover festival. It’s actually a time where Mary and Joseph lost Jesus which gives me a little comfort that even the parents of Jesus lost their child! But Jesus wanted to stay behind and speak with the teachers and listen to what they had to say. Jesus responds when they ask why didn’t he follow them with….”didn’t you know that I must be in my fathers house but they didn’t understand what he meant then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them and his mother treasured up all these things in her heart”.

Mary knew that she gave birth to the Son of the Most High. And anything that anyone said about her son she treasured. She also treasured the words of Jesus that he spoke to her. Now my son is definitely not Jesus. He’s very sweet and a good boy, but I think we all as parents, do something similar to what Mary does when we treasure those moments and the words that our kids speak to us. We know they won’t be little forever and even when they get older we still love the words that they speak to us, (expect the Junior High years)! But we also treasure those words that others speak about our children. Because when we are not around our children, we hope they are still kind and loving little human beings. It’s not always the case, but I love to hear from my son’s teacher each year. I love to hear from his friends and other parents who say sweet things about my son. Imagine all the good reports Mary would receive about Jesus. And also all the bad reports from those who did not believe or who even wanted him dead.

Luke 2:33 “Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Mary knew Jesus would be rejected and come upon great opposition, so she treasured all the truths and good words others spoke to her and those of Jesus.

I encourage you all to re-read Jesus’ birth story. Again, it’s not anything super long or complicated, it’s actually pretty simple, but also the most glorious birth story you’ll ever read about. I pray this Christmas season that you would treasure up all those words and moments that God has spoke to your heart. That you would tell others of the treasure that you have found. And if you have not found that treasure, I pray that you can find that gift of peace. Know that little baby grew up to be your Saviour. So if you need saving…if you’re tired of running from your mistakes…if you’re overwhelmed…if you just can’t do it anymore… know that that simple birth story turned into a great story of God’s redeeming love. He sent his son to be born to a virgin and to live a life, to then in the end, die for all of our sins. All because he loves us and we are his treasures. It may all seem like a funny story or maybe it’s really weird to you, but again I encourage you to read Jesus’ birth story and the wondrous gift that we were given that night.

Summer

Boho Chic One Room Challenge Final Reveal

It’s here! The past six weeks, I have completely transformed my office/guest room from a storage room, into something I can actually work in! Also, if anyone wants to stay with us, I won’t be completely embarrassed. If you haven’t been following along, the One Room Challenge is hosted by Calling it Home. The challenge is to transform a space in your home or someone else’s and post each week about your progress. You have six weeks and then we all get to share our completed spaces. It was so much fun and although I had a few little hiccups I really do enjoy having a time limit and at the end of it I have a completed room!

Before:


And now after!!!!!!

DSC03229

DSC03262


This challenge really helped me discover my style. I have to give you guys a bit of honest truth….I don’t love certain items in this room! I know that is weird to say, but I’m a neutral girl. I decided to step out of the box and do something different, but in the end I wish I would have stuck to my neutrals. Oh well, that’s how we learn and get a sense of what we do and do not like in our home.

DSC03266DSC03229

I branched out and got a super colorful rug. It is gorgeous but just too much color for me. The great thing is I can easily change that out and replace it with a more neutral one and it will look great with everything I have in the room now. I do have to say though this room is so bright and cheery and I find myself hanging out in here more than I did before!

I was so surprised at how much furniture I was able to fit in this room. It needed to function as a guest bedroom and an office. Having two different functions meant I had to have quite a few different furniture pieces. I managed to fit in a sofa sleeper, desk, bookcase, side table and a dresser!

My favorite part of the room may seem silly and quite simple, but painting my bi-fold closet doors was the biggest change and prettiest! I love with just a little paint, I could transform the once yellow doors, into something more modern and fresh. The vintage gold knobs against the white are so good!

DSC03258DSC03257

I also love that I was able to incorporate the art I chose. The art prints were something I had looked at previously and always dreamed of using them in my home. I think they are a perfect addition to this room.

DSC03240DSC03239

My bookcase drama was really the only issue had. I talked about this in my last post. I wasn’t doing any sort of remodeling, so this was a pretty easy update. The bookcase wood color was not my first choice but it will do. The size is absolutely perfect and they were a great price for a pretty substantial piece.

DSC03234DSC03233

We haven’t had any visitors yet so I am hoping the sleeper sofa we chose is comfy. It is a dark grey and adds some warmth to the room. Opposite to the sofa is basically all white so I love the contrast.

DSC03227DSC03270DSC03244

This challenge was so much fun and I hope you enjoyed following along. I also enjoyed getting inspiration from all the other talented designers who participated. They put together some of the most amazing rooms! It is crazy what six weeks can do for a space!

P.S.I linked to most items in my previous posts, but if you want to know where anything is from just comment below and I will let you know!

guest ORC logo

 

Summer

Thanksgiving Day Prep

We have just about a week to go before the big day! If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, like I am, you have probably started planning all that needs to be done!

I put together a little infographic in hopes it helps relieve a little stress! Let me know if you have any additional tips or tricks to make Thanksgiving Day go a little smoother.

The Days of Summer

 

Summer

Week 6: One Room Challenge

I was scrolling through some of the very talented designers who post their weekly progress one day before all of the guest participants for the One Room Challenge. Much to my surprise, I realized this isn’t the big reveal week. We still have another week.Whew! I can use another week! So stay tuned for next weeks post to see how it all came together.

I mentioned before that my bookcase was stuck in Alabama according to Targets’ tracking system. I ordered it about 3 weeks ago now and I was getting nervous as no new updates were coming in. I finally contacted Target and they let me know that the shipping label was created but it was never shipped and they would have to refund me my money!

Huge bummer. I loved the bookcase and I was stalking it as I noticed it was always sold out in the wood tone I wanted. So, when I saw they had 9 in stock one day, I snatched it up. The bookcase came in a lighter vintage oak tone and a walnut. Since I have a walnut toned desk I thought it would go great in my office/guest bedroom. Unfortunately, I believe a lot of other people thought it was great too and she never arrived. I ended up going to an actual Target store and picking up the same bookcase, but in the vintage oak. I had noticed that the stores carried that one and I thought maybe I would get lucky and get the walnut one. No luck, but it is still a perfect size and fits everything I need it to. It was also super easy to put together!

The top boxes house my larger photos. They are from the Sugar Paper line from Target a few years back.

 

Love that I was able to fit my printer on the shelf!
Styling is not done yet! I want to keep it simple and actually use the space for storage as that is a hot commodity in this space.
loring bookcase
This is not my office…it is the photo on Target.com…just to give you an idea of how it looks, as it is in a corner and I can’t share the whole bookcase well.

Since I thought I had to have everything done today I am pretty close to being finished. Just a few more accessories and I will be done! I am super excited to complete this challenge hosted by Calling It Home and so have enjoyed looking at all the other participants posts.

guest ORC logo

Summer

Pass the popcorn

the art of

As a young girl I was obsessed with Saved By the Bell. One day in elementary school we got the announcement that Screech(AKA Samuel Powers) would make an appearance at our school.(PS he is 40 now) I was hoping for Zack or Slater, but hey, he knew these two and that was good enough for me. I was so excited. The closest I had come to meeting a celebrity, was Tony The Tiger, at our local Alpha Beta.

The day came and he was nice. It wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped, but I got out of class, so it was a good day. Later on I would learn that he was actually quite a mess and not very nice, like he was portraying that day. Over the next few years my childhood naivety began to wear down and I saw many of those, who I considered to be famous, as not so great in the character department.

Many stories, most recently Harvey Weinstein’s scandal, have come out about the secret lives of these celebrities, that leave us shocked. Unfortunately, years ago, I stopped being shocked. Which is a sad place to be, but it is reality for many of these celebrities we can in many ways worship. They get to a level that is almost unhuman-like. We freak out if we see them in person and I can’t imagine what it must be like. After all, they are just humans, with some great acting skills and a whole lot of money to make them look good!

This is going to date me(again) and is quite embarrassing, but I remember the day I heard Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson filed for a divorce. I had watched their show, The Newlyweds, from day one. It was such an odd concept to me that we, the audience, got to spy on their lives. Only it wasn’t spying because they signed up for it! Each week I got to know them more and more and was totally invested in their relationship. So, how dare they separate! I was so sad. It is really silly. I do not know them personally, but because celebrities give up their privacy, it feels like I know them.

Since The Newlyweds, hundreds of reality tv shows have been made. I got sucked into many. Finally, about two years ago I decided I had to stop watching most reality tv. I got caught up in their drama and got to see some ugliness I did not need. My family has it’s own. I do not need any extra! I began to see that Hollywood was really preying on these people and their families. Most seasons ended with someone getting divorced or some family members hating each other. I saw this as an attack on family and relationships and it saddened me.

Fame is something that I do not think most people can handle. Yet we throw it at our children. So many childhood celebrities could not handle the fame and fortune and live with close to nothing in their adult years. Others make it look very appealing, but we have to remember, they are actors. They are good at faking. I was reading over an old post from a few years ago that I wrote on Robin Williams’ passing. He seemed to have it all. So funny, rich, loved by many….but it wasn’t enough. He needed something more. That seems to be the case for so many who are famous.

This idolization of another human being is too much to bear for most. We put these high expectations on them. We put them on pedestals, so when they fall from way up there, it hurts even more.

In Matthew 5:16 it states:

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.

These actors are gifted with some amazing talents. They do many good deeds. They are stars after all, they should shine bright, right? The problem is they like to shine for everyone to see, so that everyone will praise them. God does not get the glory, they do. Selfishness is their biggest idol and this is what gets them on the front page of the tabloids.

This should break your heart. It breaks mine. I feel challenged to pray for them. I can’t imagine the pressure to live under a spot light. They have such a great platform to be good role models. Unfortunately, many are lost and surrounded by so many destructive temptations. Their destructive ways have become entertainment for us. As I mentioned before, Hollywood has made a killing on documenting others’ drama. Instead of finding their value in themselves and the approval of man, I pray they come to know the priceless value of knowing Christ.

 

Summer