Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One year ago..

Today, as I was walking towards my car in the supermarket parking lot, I paused for a second to tickle Selah's belly -- specifically, that adorable little roll that pooches over the edge of her baby jeans. She giggled, and then let out an infectious baby laugh. I'm sure you know the one... it's the magical ingredient for many a YouTube viral video.
There was a woman quite far in front of us, also leaving the store, who suddenly spun around her heels. It was a fast reaction, almost as if someone had called her name and she was about-facing to respond. I really didn't know what she was doing. Then, the thought crossed my mind that maybe she had forgotten something inside the store. Not the case. She took a couple steps towards me and said, "You know... that's the sound I miss the most." A moment of silence lingered, and then she turned right back around and resumed walking to her car. 

I felt like her words traveled in slow motion into my ears, loooong and drawn out, distorted through an emotional megaphone of sorts. I was frozen, and word after word hit my heart, bringing with it a realization that my little girl is growing up and that she will continue to do so.. and she'll grow and grow and grow until one day I won't hear that little infectious baby laugh anymore. 

That woman in the parking lot felt the power of  my little baby's laugh. She turned around in an instinctual reaction, in a fraction of a second, before her mouth even knew the words her heart was feeling. Then, almost as if she was actually taken aback by her own reaction, she shared her most intimate thoughts with a complete stranger. Oh the power of a mother's love. That little laugh is forever emblazoned in your heart. 
I know there will be other sounds to fill my heart and home as Selah grows. She'll say 'I love you,' read books to her stuffed animals, and have make believe tea-parties filled with lively chatter. The treasured baby-ness will slowly transform into something equally as endearing and loveable. I know this in my head, but right now my heart can't help but feel like I'm holding on to that little laugh with the tightest of clenched fists. 

Because, you know..the truth is, that's the sound I will miss the most. 

p.s. Selah's first birthday is tomorrow
p.p.s. I began this fully intending to share Selah's birth story. That, dear friends, will come sometime after I dry these tears. 

Lots of love,
Lindsey 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Misty Eyed

Hi friends. It's been too long since I've shared my heart with you. Now it's time. It's way past time, and  I'm feeling tired..really really tired.

When I worked outside of the home, I dreamed of the days when I'd be lucky enough to stay at home. I'd keep every trinket in meticulous order, iron my husband's shirts, and bounce a laughing baby on my knee all day long.

Only one part of this fantasy came true.
I'm just glad it's the baby, because honestly, I can live without dusted trinkets and pressed clothes.

Today, I am more likely to toss out any trinkets (so I don't have to keep them in order), laundry is self-serve (I definitely don't iron), and I've been burning the midnight oil every--single--day creating silhouettes.

I am thankful for the opportunity to create art, and excited at the prospect of my quickly-growing business, but lately, I am finding the need to strive for more balance in my days. Selah is growing closer and closer to her first birthday, and I want to soak in each moment of her baby-ness before it all disappears.
I want to remember this little face, and I want nothing more than to give her a heritage of blessings. This is my wildest dream, far surpassing any success my business could ever find.

Maybe it's just the holiday rush, or my hormones, or my little baby growing up, but I'm feeling it all, and every now and then I have to stop and scoop my little heart right up off the floor.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Custom Silhouette Necklaces

12/1/10 Thanks for asking, I AM TAKING PRE-ORDERS. If you are interested in purchasing one , they are 25 per necklace, and 15 per additional pendant. Necklaces are now listed in my Etsy shop!

11/30/10 Wow. I am officially SOLD OUT! I'll re-stock as soon as I can, and I hope to add them to my Etsy shop very soon. Don't worry, I'll let you know when I get more :)

**Update: orders for these are pouring in, so let me know quickly! I may not be able to leave this post up for much longer**

I have a little secret to let you all in on... It's a top-secret sale just for my readers! Take a peek at my newest custom silhouette creation.. custom silhouette pendants. *love* These are classy with a capital 'C' and I can't stop wearing mine!!

Each silhouette is backed on a vintage dictionary page and sealed in a bronze bezel setting, and although not pictured, the chain is included. Pendants measure 26mm x 20mm, and the chains are 30" long.
I just adore the way that these turned out. So much so, that I'm offering them to you! These necklaces aren't even listed in my Etsy shop, but I wanted you all to have the chance to receive them in time for your holiday gift-giving!


Details:
1) I need a silhouette to create it! If I've already made one for you, then easy peasy lemon squeezy. If you need a silhouette created, then I can make one for you through my Etsy Shop.
2) Send me an e-mail OutOfAlabaster@yahoo.com and we'll work out the rest!


Lots of love,
Lindsey





Monday, November 21, 2011

Pinecone Extravaganza

A few weeks ago, one of my momma blogger friends, Chelsey, from the Paper Mama asked me to create a post for her mind-blowing 50 DIY Days of Christmas. It's like a shot of Christmas inspiration every day over there!
                              ♥ The Paper Mama
Anyhoo, I thought you'd like to take a peek at what I shared. It's a little something something I like to call:  Pinecone extravaganza!!!!! Pine-cones aren't just for peanut butter bird feeders anymore; they are making a classy comeback! I'm going to show you several adorable ways for you to use pine-cones in your holiday decor this season. 

Mini Pine-cone Cake Bunting
This mini pine-cone bunting is a super easy cake topper, and I think it's adorable... Perfect for a winter wonderland party! You need to build your little bunting first, and then when it's assembled, stick it into the cake. First measure the length for your bunting with embroidery floss; for stability's sake, you don't want to put the candy canes super close to the edge of the cake. Wrap one end of your embroidery floss around a candycane, and secure  the end with a dot of hot-glue. Then, put a teeny dot of hot glue on top of each pinecone, and one at a time, add them to your bunting. Secure the end with hot glue, just like you did with the first one. Then, go back and add your teeny little bows on top of each pinecone. I used a strand of burlap, but you could use embroidery floss, or thin ribbon. Now you can place your bunting on the cake! Yay!
Paint-Dipped Pine-Cone Swag
Because my home is super colorful, I tend to gravitate toward holiday decor that is more understated. This pine-cone swag looks great hanging on my red dining rooms french doors. You could easily make it to fit your own decor, and I think it would look great any color!
1) securely wrap a piece of craft wire around the pine-cone. 2) dip the pine-cone in your paint. 3) hang your pine-cones out to dry overnight 4) hot-glue a piece of jute rope to the top of each pine-cone 5) construct your bow by folding over a rectangular strip of burlap 6) pinch the burlap in the middle, and secure with craft wire 7) gather all of your jute strands together, and tie them in a knot. Be sure to create a loop, so you can hang your swag. 8)Secure your bow around the jute knot you created. 9)cover the wire in the middle of your bow with a piece of ribbon  10) Taada! 

Free Printable Pine-Cone Gift Tags
Oh you know, just because I love you, you internet peoples, you ;) Print these to add that extra little handmade touch to your gifts. Click here to download. 

                                                        
                                               

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sick.

I just wanted to apologize for the silence around here. I have the nastiest of colds, and I'm spending most of my time trying to convince myself that I'm not actually dying. I had 'morning' (or all-day) sickness with most of my pregnancy with Selah, but other than that, I haven't been sick since before I got pregnant.I think I just forgot how miserable it is to only be able to suck in the teeniest bit of air through one nostril.

Thankfully (and strangely) neither Daniel or little Selah seem to be sick at all. Daniel's being a sweetheart and letting me rest this weekend as much as possible, and Selah is enjoying some Daddy time. That means pjs all day and lots of fun. 
fresh bed-head

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Friday, November 18, 2011

House Tour: Dining Room

The dining room. This is where we eat, talk, and where I beat Daniel at speed Scrabble so badly that he makes me eat humble pie by playing Dominoes. These pictures are from my sister's baby shower, so there's a lovely spread of food laid out, but it gives you a general idea of the layout of the land.

I store my cookbooks, and our board games in the far corner on a vintage kitchen cart, and pin recipes THE OLD FASHIONED WAY on my sweet bulletin board! I have some kitschy vintage cookbooks featuring ham salad molds, and other 50's cuisine hanging above the cart. My lovely sisters, Kelley and Leigh, sewed that adorable apron for me a few years ago for my birthday.
I mentioned before in  this post how the ugly taupe furnace was the bane of my dining-room existence, and you all had some great ideas about how to fix it! One afternoon I worked up the gumption to spray-paint it with my chalkboard paint, and I'm so glad that I did. (I love it as much as one can love a giant furnace.) I use it to write down our menu for the week, and I'm sure Selah will have fun coloring on it when she gets a little older.

The Hoosier cabinet houses my little collection of mid-century anodized aluminum wares. This, like my chenille bedspreads, is another example of my small and strange obsessions. I vividly remember drinking out of a pink anodized aluminum cup at my great-grandmas house as a child; I loved watching the beads of condensation gather and trickle down the sides of the cup. I have that very cup, that started my collection, and I love it.

We painted the french-doors red, and I feel like it's an unexpected statement that sets apart the room. The red also ties into the rug (from Target) and the industrial letter 'C' above the Hoosier cabinet.

I recovered the chairs with a green-striped upholstery fabric from Ikea. There is something charming about the contrast between the modern fabric with the old-style table and chairs. Really, it's a theme that's carried out throughout the room. Bright modern colors, with vintage touches to bring it back to earth.
Here is the dining room at it's best. Happy and warm and full of people. If you're just joining in on the fun, be sure to check out the other rooms: master bedroom, kitchen, hallway, and front porch.

Thanks so much for all of your incredible feedback about my home! I am so flattered by your sweet words.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When less than perfect, is just perfect.

I am learning that my house doesn't need to be immaculate to entertain friends. Visiting Stephanie's home, and experiencing the hospitality and love of her family in the midst of normal live, ministered to me in a profound way.  I want my friends to be a part of my real life too, and in my real life, my house is not always perfect. I hope you love me anyway ;)


Perfection is my enemy. I know that you've heard me say that several times, but it is a mantra that I have to keep rolling through my mind. The problem is, there is a lot of joy to be found just shy of perfection. If I never allow people into my home, because I feel it is not spic and span, then I am missing out on valuable community and friendship. 


Today is the last bit in my mini-series about cultivating life within our homes. I talked a little bit about Stephanie in my post 'Perspectives on home from a mother and daughter, which was actually written by her daughter Shay. Now we get to hear from Stephanie herself, and homemaker and momma extraordinaire.

This is what she has to say:

I must admit, when asked to write a blog post I was quite overwhelmed, not in writing the actual post but finding the time to do it!  I really don't have time now as I should be preparing for Classical Conversations class tomorrow, making a casserole for a friends baby shower tomorrow, grading math for three teenagers for the last week, taking the supplements that I forgot this morning, helping one work on his scholarship resumes, drinking my water quota and MANY other things but instead I was checking out my new pinterest account which reminded me of Lindseys request and I guess now is the time.  She asked me several questions and I will endeavor to offer a few answers as the Lord leads.  

On making my home a home to visitors:

     
First I'd like to say that I really love company, my children love company and my husband "kind of" likes company!  As a military family, we have had to "make do" in many of our homes, they were LESS than inviting!  When we purchased our first place, it was a 117 acre farm with a two bedroom/1 bath farmhouse.  NO ROOM AT THE INN!  But......we found a way to have company.  We planned bonfires, swimming parties, played paintball, had cookouts and did not let the lack of space deter our plans.  When we moved in to our current home, we were so excited to be able to have holidays at our house, plan bigger events, I even hosted a wedding rehearsal dinner.  The Lord has blessed us immensely and we do like to share.  With ALL that being said, WE LIKE TO COOK AND EAT and usually company does too!  I have purposed NOT to have an immaculate house, not that it is possible anyway.  I take guests on a tour of the house even if beds are not made, floors are messy or clothes are not folded.  I really like for people to know the REAL us and to know that if you wait until................IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!   

Advice.......... INVITE, eat what you have in the fridge, throw the clothes in the closet, roll the dog hair off the couch and make a pot of coffee. 

Lastly, one of my favorite studies on hospitality is written by Nancy Campbell from the Above Rubies ministry titled "The Family Meal Table".  
Stephanie

Saturday, November 12, 2011

First Birthday Planning

 I  *know* I'm in the middle of a mini-series here, but I just had to make a little interruption to share with some exciting sneak-previews of Selah's first birthday party!

I promised myself I wouldn't make a big deal of this birthday planning...I'm going to try my best not to get stressed out. There will be no pony rides or balloon animals. Just a sweet, small family and friends get-together to celebrate our little girl's first year!

These invitations were made by my amazingly talented friend, Sara Hinkle. She is a freelance illustrator, mommy extraordinaire, and an awesome undercover foodie-chef. Basically, she's everything rolled into one fabulous person. If you are interested in your own custom illustration, you can contact Sara via e-mail at sarawithoutanhblog@gmail.com or Twitter @sarawithoutan_h
Selah's party is going to be a  'Sweetie-Pie' themed event, with lots of handmade touches from my Etsy friends, and most importantly lots of pie! I'm planning to make pie pops, mini mason jar pies, and big-people pies too. MMMmmmmm.  No cake here ;)

Here are a few special touches I have gathered together for Selah's special day.


 1. Paper straws
 2. Red and aqua Happy Birthday banner - KeriKat Designs
 3. Vintage Tablecloth - Vintage Goodies
 4. Cherry Pie Wreath - Fanciful Felt by Bourdiers
 5. 'P is for Pie' vintage flashcard - More Loose Ends
 6. Felt apple party favors - Mud Pie Kids
 7. 'Sweetie pie' stamped serving spoon - Tiny Matchbox Studio

I'm really excited to share the whole party with you all in a few weeks!



Lots of love,
Lindsey

Friday, November 11, 2011

Perspectives on home from a mother and daughter.

This is the third part of my my mini series featuring guest posts from women who have transformed the way that I view family. 

I will always remember the first time I met the Nicholsons. It was a blur of new faces, both human and furry! About half-way through introductions, I made the mental note that I should be counting, but I knew it was already too late. 
the kiddos
Stephanie, is the mother of six of the most amazing children on the planet, but also of everyone who walks in her front door. In addition, she is doula, and gave Daniel and I private Bradley-method childbirth classes. The classes were great, but more than that, Stephanie welcomed me into the most hospitable home I have even experienced. 

I was floored. It wasn't spic and span. Their home was lived in. It wasn't quiet. There were kids and animals and music everywhere.. and guess what?! There wasn't an apology for any of it! 

Why should there be? Why do we need to apologize to guests for the fact that we live in our own homes?

I want my home to be like that... lived in with an abundance of evidence that the entire space is filled with love. 

I thought it might be interesting to hear perspectives on their home from Stephanie, as well as her oldest daughter Shay. Today we'll start out with Shay's writings about growing up in a purposefully welcoming home. 

Shay is a lovely college student, ESL teacher, and writer to boot! She blogs about her life and journey with Type 1 diabetes on her blog Just Same Changes.


family.
what a topic.
how do you even begin to tell about your own?
 especially if like me, you come from a large family.

so the topic at hand: living in a large family and remaining sane. 
okay okay so that's not exactly it...but close.

i am the oldest in a family of 6 children (though they are all taller than i am and most are driving so children is a relative word),
 2 parents, 3 dogs, an un-godly number of cats, 6 dairy goats, 3 horses, 
7 chickens (we would have 15 but between the neighbor's dog and my brother's memory loss when it comes to putting the chickens up, several have turned up missing..hmm) 
and other assorted breathing creatures that i can't remember.

 its a crazy, wonderful and super busy household!
(behold how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity!)

when i say life is all kinds of crazy wonderful, i mean its CRAZY wonderful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When The Same Old, Same Old is Just What You Need.

Today, I will be sharing the second part of a mini-series of guest posts from women who have transformed the way that I view family.  


Meet Andrea! 


Andrea is an old soul. As soon as we met, I knew that we would be fast friends and kindred spirits. She is a thinker, a gifted writer, and the waters of her heart run deep. Andrea and her family endured some tough times in the past. She writes here about their Thanksgiving traditions, and learning that sometimes, the most sacred gift is that which you already have... each other.

You can read more of Andrea's writings on her blog Washboard Storms.

                                     20110924-112634.jpg
Greetings all!
Dear Lindsey asked if I would write a little somthin' about one of my family's traditions, and I, of course, said, "Absolutely!"
It turned out to be a little harder than I thought it would be at first. 
I had anything but a typical Christian homeschool upbringing. My life has been anything but traditional- to anyone's way of thinking.


My mom raised my three younger brothers and I completely on her own, in low income housing projects, run-down farm houses and trailers with no heat or water. My childhood was one of great change, and great challenge, months and years punctuated with liberal amounts of overwhelming odds, sharp pains and fiery bursts joy. My life as a daughter resembles none of the lives of my friends. So, even though it seemed a little tense at first, I found my favorite family tradition. 

Every year about the time the leaves begin to blush and shiver in the startlingly colder breezes, my family gathers from the far corners of the house, the yard, the town- where ever we are scattered to, and we sit to discuss the impending holiday. 


"What should we have this year for Thanksgiving, folks? I am open to suggestions..." Mom begins, pen poised, looking, as she said, very open and adventurous. 
"Cranberry Molded Salad. Green bean casserole." A deep voice of the masculine sort offers this from a corner of the room.
"Turkey. Mashed Potatoes. Gravy." Another voice, not as deep but just as masculine, says. 
"Pie. Lots of pie." This from the youngest party present.
"Sausage and corn bread stuffing." At last, my contribution. 
"That's it? Nothing new? Just the Same Old, Same Old?" My culinary wiz of a mother almost sounds disappointed, but not surprised. She has been in on every Thanksgiving Dinner Meeting we have, and every year we say the same thing. Nothing new. Nothing changed. Nothing Doing.
"What about oyster stuffing, or creamed onions, or potato casserole?" Nope, no thank you, and no way. 
"Well, I guess if you wanted to add something.. I guess you could do that....." Dan, the eldest boy and most firmly entrenched in family tradition of us all, relents. The rest of us nod, hesitantly. "But you know, as long as we have the Same Old Stuff too." This gets a more enthusiastic approval from the rest of us. 
"Ok." Mom smiles, not having made a note on her page, "I guess Same Old it is."

While The Same Old refers *mostly* to a feast-like amount of food, the phrase means much, much more than just that.

The Same Old Means that Mom and I work in the kitchen for days before Thanksgiving, prepping, cooking, peeling, baking, mashing, frying, tasting, perfecting. Everything is done by hand, from scratch, in years past this was drawn out to even butchering our own bird. It means that we usually eat oatmeal or macaroni and cheese the night before to 'cleanse our palates' for the next day. It means the house is full of decadent smells, cooling pies and Christmas music. Every year we get out The Same Old New England Christmastide tape (*tape*, notice, not a cd or mp3, one of the extinct little gadgets you have to turn around every third song...) and every year I tear up when I hear the fiddle burst forth with the first strains of "Joy to the World- The Lord is Come!" It means the boys wander in and out of the kitchen, smelling and smiling. Dan will come bounding in, all 6'6" of him, and wrap Mom and I up in a monster hug saying, "Oh, I just LOVE this time of year- isn't this GREAT?!"  The Same Old means that the boys can eat all the pie they want after dinner, and the girls are able to mysteriously banish all thoughts towards 'lady-like' portions. I'll admit it- I eat stuffing until I am... well, stuffed!! It's a food I won't touch at any other time of the year because it is my special Thanksgiving flavor.
  
The Same Old also includes the Terrible Movie Marathon.  Every year, for enough years to make it a vital part of the day, we have had a Terrible Movie Marathon on Thanksgiving. After everyone is full of food and feeling doped up on gravy and tryptophan, we are in the mood to sit for hours on end and watch our least favorite movies- or, more correctly, movies that we are too embarrassed to admit to liking in public!  There are three rules to choosing the movies we watch on Thanksgiving Day: 1) They must either be in a series or have sequels enough to keep us occupied for several hours 2) Everyone must groan when they are mentioned, and 3) it can't be something we will want to see any other time of the year. 
Some past features in our Marathon have been; every episode in the third season of "Little House on the Prairie",  the entire gauntlet of 1930s monster flicks (The Invisible Man, The Invisible Man Returns, Son of The Invisible Man, The Invisible Agent, The Invisible Woman, Frankenstein, Frankenstein Returns, Son of Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein...... you get the idea) and every traumatic Shirley Temple musical ever conceived. Pie is consumed, movies are made fun of and all is well with the world.

You know, when Life refuses to be traditional and stay within the lines, I think people form tradition and structure where they can, framing sanctuaries and building Ebenezers* like the wanderers of old. Our Thanksgiving traditions have been our tower of stones set about in the wilderness. This year especially I think of the Help of our God Who has kept us throughout the years, and how thankful I am for it. We have known need -and so we feast with thankfulness and rejoicing on this day. We have known separation- and so we bond, and there have been years when it was just us, and it was more than enough. We have had a messy life- but there is a spot in a year where The Same Old reigns untouchable. 


It has been a messy life in the hands of a very Faithful God, and this tradition of gathering together and basking in that faithfulness is something I will always, always treasure.


*Ebenezer, from 1 Samuel 7:12; it means, "Stone of Help", or literally, a reminder of God's love, faithfulness, care or protection. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creating a home.. not just for the holidays.

Creating a cozy home seems to be in the forefront of everyone's minds during the holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? What about the family that lives in the brightly-lit and well-decorated home? In the next few days I will be running a mini-series of guest posts from women who have transformed the way I view family. These women are the real-deal. I want to round them up, lure them to my home with goodies, and talk the night away so I can glean from their wisdom.
                                           
Elise and I were childhood buddies, way back when... I rode in the rear-facing seat in her family's station-wagon, ate all-natural peanut butter sandwiches at her home, tried my best to learn all of her siblings names, and spent many hours playing under the mimosa tree in her front yard. She has grown to be a woman of deep character and wisdom since our care-free days of make-believe, and I think you will be so blessed by her insight.

p.s. Elise also has a daughter named Selah. So fun! Although I will admit to having 'stole' the name from her ;)
                                             
After you read this game-changer, you can, and should, check out more of Elise's powerful writings on her blog,  Redeeming the Days
Expose the Lies. Embrace the Truth.
Cultivating a Godly Family: The Invitation

I was asked : 
So... how do I cultivate a Godly family? How do I facilitate a big crazy family who loves each other and loves Jesus?!

I smiled wide and responded an excited yes, yes I would be honored to share some of my experiences growing up as the oldest girl of nine children of Christ-following parents, the good and the bad. I do come from a wonderfully big, crazy family that deeply loves each other and Jesus.  
I've been told countless times how blessed I am with family. I believe it wholeheartedly, experience it daily, and am eternally grateful. 
But it has been a strange thing for me, remembering childhood. I was looking at pictures with my mom recently, and was surprised that when flipping through all these smiling moments I just had this general feeling of sadness. Not because I had a bad or hard childhood... I didn't. I have tons of joy-filled memories. But I look back with adult eyes and some sadness began to creep in because I recognized clearly, in a fresh way, that we live in a broken world. Even the best parents, siblings, families... are broken.
And this was the at the heart of that soul ache that longs for Jesus to come back: no matter how hard I try I can't keep brokenness out of my home. If for no other reason... because I live there.
So even though I had a dozen thoughts from the start about my family's traditions, and how I am passing them on to my children... I could only scratch out a few very poorly expressed lines on each treasured memory, before hitting a complete block. I finally stopped trying and asked the obvious question:

 ... then what do you want me to share first, LORD? Where do You want me to start? 

This is where He lead:

Home. 

What makes a home? 

There is a physical location, full of belongings... 

...but mostly He kept impressing on me that home is about who lives there. My Mom. My Dad. My sisters and brothers. Now for me it's my husband, my children. When they aren’t there... home just isn’t the same. It’s just a house. It is the spiritual beings that live there that give home all it’s memorable, defining characteristics.  

So, for me, the beginning of cultivating a Godly family is that God must first be invited, and have a dwelling space among our family, our daily life, to live and be with us and therefore effect in the most profound ways the atmosphere of our home. 

The invitation:

My Mom told me once, long before I had a home of my own, that when she and my Dad first bought their home that they literally walked the house, and it’s perimeter, and dedicated the physical space to the LORD. She told me her desire to do this was two-fold: 

(1) It stood out to her that God told Abraham to walk the length and the breadth of the land that God was giving him(Genesis 13:17), and (2) she told me she was impacted by these verses which indicated to her that unseen spiritual forces could have “authority” over a physical location. 
And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.
Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”
~From Daniel 10(you can read the whole story and commentary here)
My parents dedication of their home, and their prayers for protection over it stayed in my mind, and I knew when I had my own home I would want to do the same. 

 Soon after my husband and I moved into our home we walked into the different rooms, both yards, and settled in the heart of the house, right on the middle of the stairs, and dedicated “our” space to the LORD. We prayed that God would be honored with our stewardship of the home He had given us. We prayed that He would be glorified in it, that He would dwell here in a powerful and peaceful way and pour out His presence on all who entered. And we asked Him to place His protection around us and all who came into our home from all opposing forces, both seen and unseen.  

And from the reports of loved ones, and how they have felt in our home(both at my parents home when I was growing up, and in my home now), I believe God has delighted to accept our physical invitation welcoming Him as the Head of our household. 
It is the presence of God that brings joy, peace, purpose, direction, laughter, healing, strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

And I see it in all of these other precious memories that I treasure from growing up... they were invitations for the fullness, the awareness, of the presence of God.

He is always with us, but being aware of His presence is what makes us able to think of ourselves in the correct way, think of Him in the correct way and therefore love Him well, and from the overflow of His love and grace towards us, love others well.
So, though it wasn’t the direction I originally planned to go, the first thing God has impressed upon me about cultivating a godly family is that home is greatly defined by Who lives there. If you haven’t yet and would like to, maybe take a few moments to extend a physical invitation to the LORD welcoming Him as the Head of your household?  
Sharing some verses He brought to my mind about "home":
"Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
~Luke 6:46-49
"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
~Proverbs 14:1
"By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures."
~Proverbs 24:3-4

That's it... looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Hope you are having a great day!

Blessings,
Elise Hurd


Sunday, November 6, 2011

A new era

Folks, we have turned a corner with little-miss-Selah in these last few weeks. She is cruising, loudly voicing her opinion, and it seems, growing up before my very eyes.

I have talked about our adventures with baby-led weaning before, but what I didn't take into account is that it is really BABY LED. Selah and her 8 teeth have taken the initiative and let me know very clearly that she is finished breastfeeding. She doesn't want to have anything to do with nursing anymore; apparently there are far more exciting things in this world to attend to! I'm a little surprised that our breastfeeding journey ended a few weeks shy of her first birthday, but here we are.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen some of my tweets about the fact that she is also refusing to drink milk. She won't take it, period. It doesn't matter if it's in a cup or bottle, cold, or warm... internet people, I even tried to give her chocolate milk, and she SPIT IT OUT. I'm not sure she's human...

The antics are just beginning; I know that. She's discovered that she can reach her bedroom doorknob by standing up in her crib. Oh my. Nap-time has become quite a little adventure of explaining that we do not open the bedroom door.. I tell her sternly, but she is SO CUTE. Just look at that little sleepy, milk-refusing, non-sleeping baby!
Perhaps putting the crib next to the door was a lapse of judgement in my nursery designing prior-to-baby days, but here we are.. We might be rearranging soon. Which reminds me, I'll have to post her nursery tour soon!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Prudent Baby Giveaway!!

Guess where you can find us today, friends? Yep. It's the very very fist blog I ever starting reading, even before I began my little journey into the blog-o-verse and handmade word. I'm really excited to team up with Prudent Baby to offer a custom silhoutte giveaway!
Prudent Baby

Did I mention I was so SO so excited to be featured as a Prudent Baby Giveaway this week?! Hop on over to Prudent Baby and say 'Hi' to Jacinda and Jamie check out all the great ways you can have a chance to win one of our custom silhouette portraits!

My Etsy Shop

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One day she'll forgive me.

Naked baby inside a pumpkin. Done and done. I'll share more later, but for now, just soak some of this in :)
Lots of love,
    Lindsey



The Paper Mama