Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We Did Church at Home






Sunday we woke up congested and headachey.  We didn't make it to church. We are lucky enough to attend a church that does webcast's of the services. So...we did church at home.

We sat around in our pj's, bibles and notebooks in hand, sang..loud, in the comfort of our home.  It's not something I would want to do every Sunday, but on days like this it worked.

The kids did get a little bored at the end, but for the most part they listened, prayed, and sang along.

I was reminded of the verse  "For where two or three are gathered in my name I am there." {Matt 18:20}


He was there.


Have you ever done 'church at home' before?  How did it go?







Thursday, February 23, 2012

His Mercies Are New Every Morning




Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." {Lamentations 3:22-24}

Jesus draws me closer to Him, He sees what I don't about myself. My name is written on His hands, He knows me!  
Knowing this I feel loved and safe with Him.

When I feel small and like the words don't matter He reminds me that they do and I keep going.  

When I feel like nothing good can come from me. The words, emotions, energy just isn't there I seek His face and I'm renewed.  There are some days I don't want what He is offering, I let my feelings boss me around and run the day.

But when I do::

He offers me grace that I can turn around and give to others
Forgiveness that can be extended not in my strength but His
Peace to cover the craziness of it all

His word promises that His mercies are new each day all I have to do is come to Him; he's waiting. Some days there are no words, my soul feels empty and I close my eyes and pretend I'm sitting at His feet in His presence. A sweetness fills my soul, a settling.  It's here I let Him wash over me and give me strength. 

He's always there.... waiting

Willing to give to me what I need 








I have to be willing to seek Him.
I have to take the time out of my busy day to accept His rest.
For me it means getting up early, sacrificing sleep, getting up before everyone else. To set my mind and heart right before the day gets started.
For you it might be at the end of the day or lunch







Whenever it is I pray you do it.

When You don't know what to say, ask the Holy Spirit to speak for you.

Close your eyes and just be still...

He's waiting!

How do you do quiet time?  What are some things that you can share that work for you? Please Share!














Linking up at Faith Barista today, she asked "What attracts you to Jesus? Click over to read more...


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Didn't Want To Go To Church


                                                                  photoweheartit


We had signed up, for nursery duty, actually Trey signed us up. Normally I would have been thrilled.

 But not tonight.

 I grumbled under my breath the entire drive there, I don't  want to go, don't want to do this, don't want to be there. And to make it worse I was doing it alone.

A Volleyball Tournament came up so Trey stayed with the kids, while I went to church. 

I don't know what was wrong with me, usually I don't mind this sort of thing. I like helping out the church we attend. But this time my heart and attitude were way off.

I arrived and was greeted with friendly 'hellos' and 'welcomes' and 'we're so glad you were able to come, we have had a lot of people not able to make it tonight'.  

I hoped they couldn't sense my desire to NOT be there either!  I knew I was in trouble and starting shooting up frantic prayers for help. God change my heart and attitude and could you put a rush on it?

They took me to my class and everything was well organized and laid out for me, no worries, right?  Wrong, 20 minutes later I was swimming in a sea of 15!! three year olds. 15!

God what are you doing to me?! Your messing with me right?!

They didn't leave me alone with them, thankfully, they sent in backup.  And one of the leaders was kind enough to stay and help lead.

She helped lead the story time and her love for the children was apparent and contagious.
As the night went on a softening was taking place and I was starting to get into it.  I could feel my prayers being answered and my heart turning around. I was starting to feel guilty for my earlier feelings. How could I have NOT wanted to come and be a part of this?!

It was fun singing and dancing with the little guys.  

One little girl in all her cuteness told me she brought her Mojo! Still not quite sure what that means but it was funny hearing a three year old say the word Mojo :))

God works in funny ways, He knew I needed to be there. To receive the blessing that those little kiddos would give me. And I needed to be the blessing to the church and show up.

Sometimes the very things we don't want to do and fight against are the very things that our souls need.


We may not realize it but God does.
Matt 19:14 Jesus said " Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them,for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

 I had a good time and was glad that I went. I arrived home with a smile on my face and funny stories for the family. What more can you ask for?


Has there ever been anything you didn't want to do, but had committed too, and later was glad you did it?  Please share!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Scripture- A Time For Everything


                       Photo


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8{ESV}

 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace."

 I love these verses and that fact that they remind me that there is a time for everything under the sun.

I kinda tweak these and use them on my kids :))  I often tell them there is a time to play and a time to to do chores, playing comes after the chores. And it's true there is a time to work and a time to play.  But I often need that reminder as much as they do.

I came across this on my 1000 gifts app the other day Wherever you are be fully thereChildren grow up so fast and we aren't promised tomorrow. So when they want my attention I'm convicted to be 'fully there' playing. Because there is a time to work, time to rest, time to pray...just not when my kids want to play!

 I love Sundays because they are a day not to run around and get one more thing done, but just to rest and be 'fully there' with those you love.

 Have a restful Sunday! What are some ways you spend your Sunday's?

 I'm about to go play with the kiddos and then take a nap, maybe I'll be able to convince one of them to snuggle with me! ha!


                               I'm linked over at Bonnie's My freshly Brewed Life
For Her Fresh Brewed Sundays

Friday, February 17, 2012

Craft Day/Sewing Day {Chair Cushion} Tutorial


                                    

Look what I've been up to for the last two weeks!! Chair Cushions!



Normally this should have only taken an afternoon, but for little ol  add sidetracked me it took two weeks!




These cushions greatly enhance our sitting experience. Providing lots of extra cushioning in our derrieres :) {not that I need any extra :) }  But they will definitely make sitting at the kitchen table more comfy. 




This is our formal dining suite, but since moving into a MUCH smaller house we had to get rid of one table and since the other was on it's last leg, it was an easy decision which one to keep, now I'm just trying to make sure the kiddos don't ruin it before we move again {in t-minus 8 months}

Before                             


                     After:: Ta da!!
      


                                           
After completing them, I'm happy with how they turned out except I wish I would have thought to use oilcloth material. This way if 'little man' wipes his hands on it, it could be wiped clean {he has some sort of strange affliction to using a napkin!} So, now I'm thinking maybe Scotch Guard?

 I LOVED this pattern, it probably won't match my other dining room decor when it's put back in a dining room setting again, so I guess that means new pictures?? :)

I've been wanting a change anyway.

To make these I didn't use a pattern!! This is a first, I always rely on some type of pre-made pattern, but recently I'm decided to get really good at this sewing thing, so decided I needed to start doing it from scratch! :)

  •  You will need 3 yards of fabric, really depends on the size of your chairs. And how many chairs you      have. I have 4. {always wash,dry, and iron your fabric before you start}
  •  2 yards of foam {I used 1" foam, you can use more or less}

I took several pieces of plain paper and made a big rectangle and taped them together. Then placed it on top of the chair and drew out the outline of the seat. That's it! Pattern is made.

I gave myself a 1" seam allowance {the line you will sew on} so I went out 1" from the line I drew for the outline and cut.  Placed my pattern on top of the fabric, pinned down and cut it out! That's it. So easy.  note:: you may want to give yourself another 1" in the front, this helps when you are slipstiching it shut after it's been stuffed. I found this out the hard way.grrr.

For the ties, I decided on how long I wanted them I did about a foot long and 2" wide. If you want them longer, cut them longer.  Cut 4 for each cushion.  I then ironed them and then took the left side ironed it towards the middle, did the same for the right and then took the left side and folded it over to the right stopping short of the sides meeting.  Ironed it down, and pinned and sewed it down. Then take one of the ends folded it in about 1/2 " and serge or zigzag stitch it down. Repeat this for all of them. {sorry I forgot to take pictures of this step}


                                         Here it is done. See how I folded left to right, but didn't completely  cover the                                                                                                   
other side. I stopped just short. {sorry for the blurry pic}
                                         


This is how it looks finished and tied to the chair


With right sides together pin your cushion fabric pieces together leaving room in the back to pin your ties {about 2" in from the edge of the seat, should be fine}.  Sandwich them between the fabric, making sure they are straight.  You only want to sew the ends of them down. Pin.

Begin sewing 1/4" from seam line all the way around except for the front of the cushion{ leave this open so that you can stuff} Then sew again 1/2" from seam line.  You gave yourself a 1" seam allowance but the extra room helps when you stuff. {You want to do 2 lines of seams for extra reinforcement} Then Iron over all the seams you just sewed and then trim it. Where there are curves make small little snips with your scissors, stopping before you get to your seams, all around the curves. Then turn it inside out and iron again. Ironing is SO important when you sew, it really takes the "homemade" look out of what you are sewing and makes everything lay down and look nice and crisp.

Take your foam and place underneath your newly sewed cushion and trace it out. I went in about an inch because you don't want the foam to fold up when it's stuffed, you want to make sure it has lots of room. You can take extra pieces of foam and place them in the curves of the cushion to help fill it out.  Slipstich the front closed and you are done my friend!
Before you place them on your chairs you might want to spray them with ScotchGuard? or something to help easily wipe up stains for those times your kids don't have a napkin and decide their new cushion will do the job! :)

Email me if you have any questions!!
Thanks for reading...

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Willing To Bare It All


        

  I've struggled with my purpose in life for as long as I can remember.  What did God create me for, would swirl around in my head and keep me up at night.  After I had kids I thought well, this is it, this is what He made me to do. He created me to be 'mom' to Keeli and Jackson.  But still that nagging thought in the back of my head never wavered. There has to be more, right?  I love being mom and wife and have prayed hard for contentment for what I've taken as my lot in life. But, what about me? God created each of us for a purpose, a reason. 

Who am I outside of my family?

Remember that old Reba McEntire song "Is There Life Out There?" The song is about a woman that married young {like myself}, raises her kids, and is wondering now what? 
Is there life out there
So much she hasn't done
Is there life beyond
Her family and her home
She's done what she should
Should she do what she dares
She doesn't want to leave
She's just wonderin
Is there life out there
                                                 you can see the video here if you'd like.

 I could get a job, but would it be something I'm passionate about, or just a paycheck?  I want to work and live with a God-given purpose. Doing something that I love and making a difference in someone else's life. Then, God put writing on my heart about a year ago.  At the time I didn't know much about blogging or blogs much less how to write one! 

But, I did it. I set one up. But only it was a sewing blog, ClaraElla {named after my grandmothers} I love to sew and would love to make a living doing it someday-somehow.  Making money off of it was the part I wasn't sure about-still not.  So naturally I assumed the blog would be all things sewing, but I think God had something a little different in mind, he's funny like that! ya know?

 I told no one about ClaraElla {and it's now set to private, maybe one day it won't be}. The idea of someone reading something that I wrote was/is terrifying. I didn't want to put myself out there, I'm a pretty private and sometimes quiet person, so writing a public blog was way WAY out of my comfort zone.

My posts weren't about sewing like I thought they'd be they became personal.  I couldn't have a sewing blog if I were only writing personal insights. But that seemed to be what would come to mind when I would sit down to write.

It was too uncomfortable to think that people I knew would read my personal thoughts, so I shelved the blogging idea.

Or so I thought.

Fast forward a year later with not one but 2 blogs! God placed it on my heart again. I had been praying for Him to show me what He wanted me to do and blogging kept coming back to mind. Maybe this time He knew the idea would stick since I had just moved 800 miles from everyone I knew and loved and would need some kind of outlet and a way to spend my days with the kids in school.

ThereSomethingDifferent was born. Though that wasn't it's first name it had several before it, I just couldn't decide on what best defined me and what I wanted it to say about me.
I started reading other blogs and never realized how many of them there were! How is is that I had never heard of these before?!  I was starting to feel like a little fish in a BIG pond.  But I was inspired by what I read and knew God gave me a voice and refused to give into my fears. I have to give these fears to God daily.

I depend heavily on the verse found in Hebrews 10:35-36::

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised."

Doubts threaten to take over if I let them and some days they are just too strong, and I let them silence me before I shake them off.  Things like "Can I , will I make a difference? "Will people be able to relate?" "Can I write clearly enough and interestingly enough for people to be interested in what I have to say?"

I don't know. But if I focus on these too much I won't be doing the will of God for my life.

I have to turn to the only One whose opinion matters.

When I write I feel like I do have a purpose and it doesn't matter if one or many read, as long as just one is encouraged, that's OK. While I love comments and people viewing and  joining the page
I can't focus on these things either. That would take me to a place of seeking human approval. It would lead me to a place of darkness if these things didn't happen or continue.

And I've personally read so many things online that I've never commented on- but have still been deeply touched by the writers words but just didn't comment. And it's my prayer that it's the same for others too, even those that do so quietly.

I have to Trust in Him and His plans for my life {Jer 29:11}

It's my goal for this blog to encourage and relate to those who stumble onto here. That the things that I worry about or have gone through, that someone will be able to sit back and say "Oh yeah, I get that! I've been through that before."

Doubts will come and go but I have to be vulnerable enough to allow myself to go to that place of baring it all for the words to flow. They are God inspired and life from my viewpoint. My words matter and can make a difference and so do yours!

I choose to believe what God says I can do and learning to make His voice the One I listen too above all others is what I strive for. His validation is what I seek.


       In Faith,
                                      Won't you join us at Bonnie's
                                                  where we  are talking about being 'vulnerable'?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Heart Day!! { Breakfast Treat & Dessert}

Happy Valentines Day!!                                                                              These yummy treats were inspired by this recipe, but I changed it and made it with brownies instead!! I then cut them out with my heart shaped cookie cutter, sliced them in half, placed of dollop of that yummy filling on one side closed it up and done!  I think I liked them this way even better. I know the kids did, bc I had to keep smacking their little paws away from them :)

These went with Jackson {aka 'little man'}, to his class party today. He was so excited to take them and share{hopefully} with his friends.  He just knew they would love them as much as he did. I mean the kid had a point it doesn't get much better than chocolate and sweet cream filling...yum! The boy takes after his mama, we both love chocolate :)


For a 'special' Valentines breakfast I made cream cheese and Nutella sandwiches!!
If you have not tried Nutella yet..where have you been?? This stuff is pure awesomeness in a jar.
Seriously addicting!


and you might even look like this when you eat it :)


I took 4 pieces of bread {made 2 sandwiches} on one side slathered on some cream cheese and the other Nutella

Slapped a smidge of butter on the outsides and tossed into the frying pan until everything was hot and gooey and toasted on the outside.


                                          Used my heart shaped cookie cutter again and made cute little heart sammies.
                                     
                                         And no, the sammie isn't burnt it's just the way we like it ;)

Eat and enjoy all the happy smiles
                                           Nutella=Love :)



      Much Love,

{Unwrapping Love} Remembering Us,Back Then






I've been married for 10 years, going on eleven.  Marriage is much tougher than I ever thought it would be.  There is nothing fairy tale(ish) about it.
It's hard.

But choosing to love and live each day with each other and not rely on feelings is what keeps us going.  Along with our faith that marriage was meant to be forever.

Remembering 'how we were' makes us feel connected.  We are more than just mom and dad to our two kids, we have our own connection that goes way back before they were born.  We like to talk about what we did on our dates and where we would go, with our kids and they get a kick out of hearing us reminisce.Usually they acknowledge us with the ever popular eye-rolling.

We smile, because we remember. We remember us back then.

We remember us before kids, mortgage payments, jobs, and other responsibilities that seem to pile on when you grow up.

We remember the us before life seemed to take on a mind of it's own.

We look back at how far we've come since the day of our "I-do's."

And we remember why we started this whole crazy journey to begin with.

Life is busy and it's tough to maintain the same close connection we once had.  You grow-up, sometimes in different ways.

Being intentional is key and talking about our past and future makes those roots grow even deeper.

One other way we try to keep the embers burning is having a date night at least once a month. Just the two of us. Alone. Sometimes we honestly can't think of anything other than the kids to talk about, because our world revolves around them so much. But still it's nice to get out of the house without them and talk about them without them hearing :).


I'm linking up over at Bonnie's for the Faith Barista Jam and at a Holy Experience. Come on over and see how the "community" is unwrapping love in their own way?




                                       


Alecia



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Scripture



Selah-You Are My Hiding Place

2Cor 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Have a restful Sunday. Rest in His peace for whatever your circumstances are today.

Love You,
Alecia



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Do I Know Of Holy?



Definition of HOLY::
Exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness;  having a divine quality 

I feel more like this, a

  ha! :o)                                                                            
I've sometimes wondered what being Holy meant.  Did it mean try to be perfect? Don't try to mess up?  If so holy would never be a word used to describe me.
Then I heard somewhere it's referring to being set apart. Different.That you are now somehow different, and live it so they want it too!!  As in let the old you and the life you once led die off and let the new one grow. Let that be what people see. Now that's more attainable.

Oh how the devil tries to swoon me with his lies of striving to be perfect. But the truth is we will never be "good enough" to get into heaven, that's why we needed Jesus. He paved the way for us. I try to take it one day at a time and live each day so that I end of it I want to be able to picture God smiling down on me and saying "Job well done."
I hope to strive to do my best and give myself slack when I do mess it up.
{Webster's dictionary}

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seeking Community and Connections




I've had past hurts have left me a bit cautious when it comes to forming friendships and have left me thinking that maybe I'm better off with just acquaintance like relationships.  It sometimes feels like no one really wants to connect. Every one's too busy, or has their established friendships and aren't very welcoming to "outsiders."   Especially when you move to a small town and everyone there has known each other since pre-school.

In my heart though I would love to have someone that gets me and I them, a soul sister. I want to stop being cautious and go for it!

Connecting with other women is a kind of connection that you can't get from talking to your husband or a guy. Your guy isn't your girlfriend!  No man understands the way a woman thinks or gets wanting to know the "details" of things. Take the birth of a child, a woman wants to know how much they weighed, how long, how was the delivery-was it easy or hard? The guy just gets that a baby was born and it was a boy or a girl.

We love to talk and express ourselves in a way that men just don't understand. We feel refreshed and rejuvenated after having our "girl time." So, in theory I know connections with other women are important, but....

If God made us to be relational then why is it soo hard?? so scary? I don't want to put myself out there, just to be rejected or have the friendship fall apart down the road. Which it has and has.

This past weekend my pastor had a sermon about ..On Being Alone. There are 2 kinds of loneliness. 1. The kind that only God can fill and 2. The kind of outside loneliness from the lack of interaction with other people, he said " If we are always pushing back from relationships then we are going to miss out on God's presence most often than not." Ooh, I think God must have let it slip I would be there!

God made us to be in relationship with him and others.

So, if that's what God made us for then maybe I should give them another chance and start looking for opportunities to be more relational.  Take the risk and stop playing safe. I could start being intentional and start being the first one to make the first move. If I get rejected try not to take it personal and try again.



Bonnie at Faith Barista is talking today about  "community" and what that looks like to each of us. For me its being able to be "real" with someone and finding authentic relationships with other people. I wanted to link up and give my two cents. 

Bonnie along with the other ladies at (in)courage have had some great stories about giving relationships another shot and not giving up on them, they realize the importance of them and want other women to see and know the importance of them as well. Too often than not women will try to bring each other down instead of lifting each other up.  That's not what God wants of us. We really can live side by side and live life together encouraging and building up each other, if we are intentional, thoughtful and kind with our words.   The (in)courage group has really encouraged me to not give up and that "real" community is possible.

Can I be so bold and ask for you to pray for me? For confidence to make that first step of reaching out online and in real life?
Thanks in advance and if you want drop me a note and I will pray for you as well!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Clear the Clutter!


Tumblr_lykm8ifrul1r52w20o1_500_large
PhotoCredit

I love to clear out the clutter in my house. It gives me a  feeling of being lighter.  Like I can take on the world!

Trash pile, goodwill pile, and sort through pile. I always make my piles.
It got me thinking one day::

What if I applied this same principle to my heart and mind clutter??

I could clean out the closet of my heart and mind so that what is left is only what is beneficial and useful. Things I don't need that have been hanging around far too long.
Things I need to let go of...
Like past hurts and regrets?

Forgiveness that needs to be given so that I can move on.

All the woulda, shoulda, coulda's that barrage my mind sometimes would stop.

How much lighter and freer would I be then? In my heart and mind?

Oh, to let my soul be free and fly like the wind, like wings on eagles. Higher and higher than this world and all it's problems. Set me free, O Lord, set me free.

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