Tuesday, September 30, 2008

White (well, now it is) Wicker!

So here it is, my newest garage sale find! I was on the way to our local farmer's market and, while driving, I saw this set on the driveway of a home I was passing. I thought to myself, "if that is still there when I am on my way back from the market, I will stop in and check on it." I know, you are asking why I didn't simply stop then.

I needed eggs from the farmer's market, and they go really fast because the restaurants snatch them up if you are not there early! The previous week, I'd gotten there when the market opened and I was too late. Mmmmmm, nothing like real farm fresh eggs!

Anyhoo, as we were driving home from the farmer's market (with the eggs), I saw that this lovely wicker set was still there (an hour and a half later! Can you believe it?). I turned in and walked straight over to the chair, took a quick look at it, and asked the owner how much she wanted for it.

"Ten dollars," she replied. I couldn't believe it. I was sure that the reason that it was still sitting there had something to do with the price being too high.

When she answered me, another lady turned and said, "Only ten dollars?" I quickly replied with, "MINE!"

I know, I know, I sound like one of my small children when they don't want to share! Truth be known, I could have talked her down on the price because it had been sitting there for so long, and she really wanted to move her items out the door, but, with competition looking at the same item and announcing that the price was "ONLY" ten dollars, I had to move fast if I wanted to get it.

So, that weekend was spent in grungy clothes and spray paint. And here are the beautiful results:

I am so happy with them... I had been looking all summer for a chair and some tables just like these for my front porch, and the Lord provided!

Now, another cold weather project for me: sewing some lovely shabby chic pillows and throws to adorn these with the comfort and beauty that I want to give to my family as a gift for all the love they give me. I can just picture us next Spring sitting on these and having a relaxing time reading aloud together, all nestled in pillows and comfort and enjoying tea!

I want my children to remember hours of loving family time snuggled together on this porch while talking of the day's events, what we have read, and the Lord's goodness to us.

I, of course, will also have my morning coffee out there too!

What projects are you doing in your home to reflect the love of the Lord and His goodness to you in blessing you with your family?

Lots of love to you,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Aftermath

Well, I'm back to my regularly scheduled programming now that my in-loves have ended their visit and are on their way back to Texas this morning.

We had a lovely visit with Jim Bob's parents. While they were here, they nailed down a time for a family trip to Hawaii next summer. There were lots and lots of details to sift through since it will be them, us, and Jim Bob's sister's family all going on this trip (fourteen people in all: seven adults, seven children!). What a generous and sweet offer! We are looking forward to this trip so much!

Today, though, I will be lying around like a slug with my children and simply resting in the Lord's goodness to us through family that lifts our spirits, makes us laugh, and shares their sunshine with us.

Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day!

I will have more before and after photos of some new projects and fall decorating coming soon.... stay tuned!


Friday, September 19, 2008


Jim Bob's parents are in town this week and we have been super busy going places, doing things, and talking each other's ears off. It's been wonderful!

We are having a very nice visit and are sad that we only get to have them for the next few days, but we are enjoying them to the fullest while we can!

Thank God for Family!
Thank God for family!

We are so very blessed to have family. The Lord has given us each other to hold one another up, pray for one another, and love. I am thankful for the provision of my in-laws. We have been through so much together, and we've seen God's grace displayed in our relationship. He is so very good to us.

Hug your family today if you are able. At the very least, let them know that you love them and how much they mean to you. The years go by so fast.

I love you, Jan and Larry!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Baby is Born... and Amy was there!

I just received the following photo of Amy who is still at the hospital with our friends who are now the proud parents of their ninth child, fourth son.

A covenant child is born... and a faithful friend is there!

What a blessing it is for me to be able to work from home, so that she can minister to others like this!

--Jim Bob, for...

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!

I'm off this morning to help a friend who is in labor with her ninth child! May God bless this precious family and this new covenant child!

Please pray for a healthy and safe labor and delivery for this sweet friend and sister in the Lord.

Thank you!

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Father's Vision for Designing Children's Rooms

In a previous post, I wrote about the melding together of "his" and "hers" to make a home "theirs." But, should that carry over into every room in the house, including the children's?

Today, I have asked Jim Bob to write a guest post regarding his vision for our children's room design. —Amy Joe
When designing the children's rooms, they should be gender-specific. I want them to thank God for their God-given gender, and their environment should celebrate the way God made them.

Especially in our home, I want them to each identify with their "element" in the home. I want them to see the strength, stability, and security that being a servant leader requires. The design of the house and the boys' room should solidify that aspect of design in their minds, especially as to the part that is "theirs."

I also want them to see the beauty that a helpmeet brings as she adorns her husband in loveliness. The design of the girls' room should also give them license to gardenize and beautify everything they touch. The rest of the house will be a display of how that plays out in our marriage and family.

When Men Were Men, and Women Were Women

Think of the pioneers: When they moved out West, he cut down trees and built a sturdy home that would protect the family from the elements. She decorated it on the inside, making it a warm inviting place for the family, and any guests that came along.

Once the house was built, he took horse and plow and dug up the rocks, turned over the ground, and turned all the green stuff brown... so that she could come behind and plant flowers and herbs and vegetables to beautify their home and provide delicious meals. Neither would have made it without the other. And each role was very clearly defined and displayed.

Be Ye Separate

In our post-modern feminized world where men no longer provide for their families by the sweat of their brow, and women muscle their way into the world of effeminized men, we've lost sight of the important God-given roles of each. I want my girls to be feminine, and my boys to be masculine. Not to the exclusion of the other, but in great appreciation of the other.

The boys' room, for all of its potential to be cave-like, should not be a cave or even a smelly locker-room, because mom still needs to go in there!

The girls' room, for all of its potential to be lacy and frilly, should recognize that Dad and the boys come in there, too... and if everything is uber-delicate, it's going to get broken.

In the rest of the house, the same is true. The furniture and design should display that a man lives here, but not alone. And the boys should be able to be boys by having sturdy furniture to live on. The accessories and utensils should display that a woman lives here, but not alone. And the girls should be able to be girls by having a tea party in the living room without being trampled on.

Further Up and Further In

Yes, there are gender-specific elements in each room, to bathe them, and establish and ground them in their God-given gender, but they are also given a glimpse of melding the two together in their own home one day, as they move further up and further in into their future roles and husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. Those future roles become a more full expression of who they are now.

For all the strength the boys bring (and I don't want it to be wimpy by any stretch), they must also live in understanding with the females in their lives by taking care of the delicate adornments in the home. For all the frilly, roses and lace the girls bring (and I don't want that down-played at all), they must also live in understanding that flowers are fragile and the males in their lives bring stability and protection so that they can blossom and bloom.

When either tries to do the other, the walls crumble from weakness and the flowers are trampled by brute force. Balance and completion is the key.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. ‚Genesis 2:18

Friday, September 05, 2008

Story of My Life...

My dear husband forwarded me today's Baby Blues cartoon, which often makes me think the artist has me on Candid Camera. After reading it, I thought... "

Uh huh, story of my life.
I am blessed, however, I have four who call me "mom." It's what I wanted my whole life, and God saw fit to make me the mother I wanted to be....

Sometimes we just don't realize when we ask for things what we are getting ourselves into, do we? But I am blessed, and very, very thankful to be Jim Bob's wife and the mother of his children.

Jim Bob's 40th Birthday "Party"
I love you, Jim Bob!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Lord Provides

We have been in a time of praying through what the Lord would have us do to reach some goals. He is so faithful always. He never leaves us nor forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). I praise Him now for having been there for us in the past and for being with us now.

The Lord has given us some great ideas for how to achieve our log home dream in the not too distant future, and we are in the process of pursuing those ideas.

I can't tell you yet what we are going to do... the pot is still simmering and the stew isn't done, but when it is you will be the first to know about it!

In the meantime, enjoy this link to a wonderful family that is working on the same dream. The father of this family, Brian Primer, took the same log home class that Jim Bob did and is making it a reality. We are featuring an article he wrote about building his log home in the September/October issue of Homeschooling Today magazine. I thought you would enjoy a fun sneak peek!

Have a great day, and stay tuned!

In His love and grace,

Monday, September 01, 2008

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old.....

I recently have had the blessing of getting in contact (again) with some very old and dear friends (well, the friends aren't very old, but our friendship is).

A few years ago, when we moved across the country, we left behind some friends who had been there with us through some of the roughest times of our lives. They stood by us through it all. It was very, very hard to leave them behind, but we knew that the Lord had called us away at that time, so we pressed forward.

Over the weekend, I had the privilege to reconnect with a few of these friends, and what sweet fellowship it was to sit and talk with them and feel like hardly a day had passed since I last talked with them. They know me well, and I them. There is always such comfort in that.

There is something special about the people the Lord brings into your life when your children are so young, and you are a new parent. You grow together, you hold each other up in prayer, and yes, you disagree on some things. But in the end, you know that if you ever really needed each other, you would do whatever you could to help.

The Lord is like that to us. He provides those iron-sharpening-iron friends in our lives for a reason: it makes us grow and understand more about ourselves and how to love the way He loves us.

And learn, I have.

No matter what twists and turns life takes (like a hurricane coming to destroy your home, and then coming a few years later and doing it all over again), God does provide... He always does and always will. And those old friends come together to hold one another up in His name; to give strength, encouragement, and material needs, if necessary.

I am truly blessed by these wonderful friends. How many times in one single life can one expect to see these kinds of friendships develop? I've heard statistics that say the average person will have, in the course of his/her lifetime, two to three good friendships that can really be strong enough to stand. I am abundantly rich, for I have been blessed with many more than that.

So, to M. A., L. R., L. D., and R. P., thank you for being the Lord's gift to me! I only hope that I can be as much of a blessing to you as you have been in my life. We have truly been through an enormous amount together. Through it all, you have been more than conquerors in Christ and godly examples to me. I love you dearly!