Sunday, May 27, 2012

Father's Day Special

Hi Friends! I'm doing a little creating of my own, and I loved the result so much, I thought I'd share it as new item in the shop.. just in time for Father's Day :)
These daddy duo portraits are $40.00 and are just available for a limited time in my shop! I think they're the perfect Father's Day gift, and would make a lovely decoration for a daddy's desk!

I can make a silhouette using any photo of your special Daddy and kiddo(s).

Lots of love,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grace-based Mothering. Tip #2 Hearing the Word

I'm tired, and the Proverbs 31 woman seems like she must be tired too. The passage says that not only is this highly esteemed model-woman's lantern burning late into the night, but she is also up early preparing breakfast for her household helpers, and quickly goes out to the city gate to sell her handiwork.


Personally, I'm just disappointed there are no mention of naps. 

Remember, Elise? Our resident mommy-consultant. She's sharing another tip for exhausted moms today. Here is the first one (Worship: Praise and Adoration) if you missed it. 

Tip #2  Hearing the Word.

I long for messages from the heart of God. I long to be full of the Spirit of Grace. I long for more and more faith. 

Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 

Because I truly struggle to sit and read and keep my eyes open... the audio Bible app on my phone has become treasured by me. I can listen to whole books in the wee hours while washing dishes, folding laundry. Because I'm not tiredly skimming familiar verses--I become aware of things I did not even realize were in scripture. I absorb a lot more than I thought I would. I also sometimes listen to the audio Bible when I'm in the car alone on the way to a job etc. 

Selah also helps me to hear the word and keep my focus on Grace by reading to me from The Action Bible. It is her favorite book, hands down. She literally reads it to herself for hours every day, and asks to read it to me. I cannot emphasis enough what a jewel this book is and what a wonderful conversation starter it is. We come across stories I didn't even realize were in the Bible so then we look them up together and read them word for word and I am amazed a what a great job they did to make this Bible kid-appropriate and still Biblically accurate. 

Another wonderful way to hear the message of God even among the blessed chaos of kids is written right after that beautiful verse in Romans that says faith comes by hearing the message through the word of Christ:

"But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: 'Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.'" ~Romans 10:18

This is referencing Psalm 19 "The heavens declare the glory of God... their voice goes out into all the earth... "

Take the kids outside. Being outside of four walls is so soul-healthy. Look up. The heavens declare a message of glory and majesty and grace and His perfect control that we can listen to at the park, on a walk, or in my case, while the kids are on the front step "hunting" for roly poly bugs.

*Glory* Thanks so much to Elise for sharing. You can always read more of her story and writings on her blog Redeeming the Days

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Kassie from K plus J equals love and babies!! She is the winner of the OutOfAlabaster custom silhouette necklace! 

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. Because I love you all.. 
Use the code BASICALLYBFFS for 15% off in my custom silhouette shop

Sweet Kassie. Isn't she lovely?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The time she ate coffee beans.

I have no idea where Selah grabbed a bag of dark-chocolate covered coffee beans, although I have a sneaking suspicion that it might have been pulled out of the depths of the couch cushions, where it lay in hiding for months...

I saw her, hunched beside the couch, playing quietly.. Too quietly, I realized. As she heard me approaching, she ran off in speedy tiny steps, her caffeinated treasure clutched tightly above her head in chubby toddler fists.

As she ran, she squealed, "EEEeeeeeEEEeeeeeeee."

Much to her disappointment, I apprehended her stolen treat. But it was already too late..
I'm not sure how many she ate.

Lots of love,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Giveaway!

I'm celebrating the completion of all of my Mother's Day orders (and hopeful return to a normal bedtime..)! Woohoo!! You ladies (and your lovely men) have shown me such love this Mother's Day, that I'd like to return the favor.

Up for grabs is one custom silhouette portrait AND necklace! *gasp* This is a $75.00 value from my shop.

The custom silhouette necklace is my most favorite creation in the shop. A classy silhouette, backed on vintage dictionary pages, and in an antique bronze setting. It's on a longish chain, so it's super modern, and perfect for wearing with just about everything. 

Love you. Enter to win. Tell your friends. 

Giveaway Details:
Entry 1) Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment/ leave a comment if you already follow
Entry 2) Like my page on Facebook and leave a comment/ leave a comment if you already do
Entry 3) Tweet about this giveaway including my Twitter handle @OutOfAlabaster 
Entry 4) Post on your blog or Facebook status about this giveaway
Bonus Entries: You can Tweet and post on FB once a day for additional entries.

Good luck! Winner will be chosen by random comment selection on Friday the 18th!

Lots of love,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A new season

You know that feeling when your teeniest--even unprayed for--secret desire is met with abundance?
 He loves me so well. I am astounded again.

 The Spirit is  stirring, hearts are being knit together with His unified vision, and quietly but surely something new and exciting is being formed. No fanfare required. He can do that himself. For now, we are quietly writing, sharing, praying, and dreaming. 

Dreaming big

And that's all I'm going to say for now. 

Lots of love,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Grace-based Mothering Tip #1 Worship. Praise. Adoration.

*If you just joined us on this amazing series, be sure to read Elise's first and second post on the subject of mothering with an attitude of radical grace. She's going to be our official mommy consultant over the next few weeks as she shares a heart that is overflowing with wisdom and grace*
So, without further adieu, my first suggestion about how to keep communion and intimacy with Grace during your hectic mommy days/months/years is..

1) Worship. Praise. Adoration.

When I don't praise God for Who He is and What He has done for me... my prayer life and my level of graciousness with my children is deeply affected. 

This is one of the easiest things to do with kids. I put on some great worship music, loud, and let them sing along with me and emulate my raised arms and hands stretched high to the Most High. Even just a couple of songs can soften and rejuvenate my heart that wants to harden and express anger out of my tiredness. It gets me looking up when my whole day can feel like looking down, feeling down, focusing down. Praise helps me to lift my eyes up to where my help comes from. 

Music can be an emotional scrapbook of your relationship with God. Sing songs you haven't sung in a long time. Remember what the Lord has done for you... "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy  help I'm come..."

Sing the Lord a new song.  Maybe this one? It's Alexa's favorite right now. She calls it "O my song". It blesses my soul.

It is possible, even through all the struggling pain and chaos, that Life can be found. Grace makes beautiful things out of dust. He makes beautiful, Spirit-full, grace-full parents out of us. 

In this way, and through writing down lists of things we are thankful forwe are speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We are singing and making music in our hearts to the Lord, encouraged to always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


The nitty gritty of it all

*Let's just all sit back and soak in the wisdom as Elise shares her heart on grace-based parenting. It's all about soaking up grace for yourself, so you can give grace to the little people*

Grace-based mothering.. It sounds so perfect.  Nice and orderly. But, let's get real here for a minute ladies. 
The anger, desperation, and hopelessness a little two-and-a-half foot person can stir up in me can be downright startling. 

Let me tell you... Alexa. Is. Sassy. 

Destructive. Challenging. Defiant. Non-stop. 

She can find things no matter how high and hidden I try to store them, and she is quick and effective with her graffiti. She "plays" hide-and-go-seek at bedtime and won't come out no matter how I call, threaten, or discipline her afterwards. It's a good thing our closet door is frosted glass... I could've been up all night that kid was being so still, standing there innocently next to the vacuum cleaner and wrapping paper. 

She takes off her soiled diapers and leaves gifts for me to find, she's put her Aunt's finger nail polish on her face as "makeup", and she has shut one of our kittens in our front loading washer(the kitten was completely fine, and has been rehomed). 

I need lots of grace to survive this child, and for her to survive me! I'm certain some of you might know some little people similar to her?

I wrote in my last post that we can not give what we do not have, and we can not have what we do not accept.

Grace comes from Grace. To have grace to extend to our children, we must accept Grace. We must be in relationship with Him to receive from Him. 

Okay I admit it--I'm needy. Desperately needy. I will accept grace from Grace... but how?

When I set my alarm to wake up early for Jesus time... no matter where I put my phone, no matter how early I plan get up, Alexa always seems to find it first and hide with it, maniacally scrolling through my pictures. She usually gives her location away because she can't help but click on the videos... a good portion of which are of her being extremely loud doing something I probably shouldn't be recording to later laugh about. But laughter at her antics are a survival mechanism for me. Don't judge me. 

 I am also homeschooling a brilliant six year old, and caring for a five month old baby who is just learning to scoot-crawl very quickly...   

Realistically, I am in a place in life where physical stillness for more than five minutes results in a dead-to-the-world kind of sleep. A place where on-the-knees prayer results in waking some time later with my folded up legs aching from a long lack of circulation and a carpet imprint on my forehead.

Please don't misunderstand--Alexa is a treasure and I love her fiercely and I pray to God I will continue to have the privilege of raising her--I'm just being straightforward about the toll it takes. 

So if you can identify, may I offer a few suggestions on how to keep communion and intimacy with Grace during your hectic mommy days/months/years?