Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hannah's Hope...

My mom gave me the Amazon Kindle for Christmas and I have been reading all about it for the past few days. You literally can download books, magazines, newspapers and more from Amazon-dot-com. Of course each item has a cost, but most of the items I plan to purchase are between $3-$8. How easy is that?????

My first purchase for the Kindle?

Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart In The Midst Of Infertility by Jennifer Saake. It is absolutely amazing!! I read the first three hundred pages in one sitting and I just can't put it down. The author is relating the life of Hannah in the Bible and the struggles she faced while trying to concieve with her own struggles in the 21st century. The similarities are uncanny....watching others get pregnant so easy, attending the birth of someone else's child (showers), answering those horrible questions like "When are you going to have a family?" And the list goes on and on.

Another part of the book that I like so much is the Burden Bearer. This part of each chapter helps others understand what we are going through and how they can be more sensitive. The Burden Bearer for Chapter 2 explains how people should never ask the question "So, do you have any kids?" when they first meet someone. Instead, they should ask something more along the lines of "Tell me a little bit about yourself." Isn't this so true???

Overall I am really learning so much about myself, about Hannah, and how to release my frustrations, desires, and hopes and just let God take control. Afterall, He is already in control...I just needed to realize it.

2009 is a new beginning for me...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cookin' with Cathy...

I FINALLY convinced my mother-in-love to start her own blog!! YEAH!!! She has been blog-stalking for some time now and decided to start a blog that will spotlight all her WONDERFUL recipes. We call her ALL the time to ask how to cook some of our favorites...Cathy's Chili, HDC---also known as Hotdog Casserole, Broccoli and Rice Casserole, and so many MORE!

She hasn't made her first post yet, but please welcome my mother-in-love, Cathy. Please click on this link to visit Cathy's Kitchen!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...Christmas Edition

Thankful Thursday is when I post about three things that I am most thankful for that week. Today, because it is Christmas, I wanted to share three very special things that I am SO VERY THANKFUL for today.

1. The birth of Christ...

Today as I celebrate the birth of Christ, I reflect on this perfect baby and how He changed EVERYTHING.

Luke 2: 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.

2. My family...

I am so thankful that my family drove from Houston to spend this special holiday with me and my husband. We have been so blessed this year to have my parents here for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. But with the addition of my #1VBF and my sister, Christmas has been over the TOP!

3. My husband and Southpoint Church...

I have been hoping and praying that the DH would attend Southpoint Church with me for some time now. Tedra, Lisha, and I were planning to attend the Christmas Eve service and I asked the DH if he would like to go with us. I think he was a little apprehensive, but knowing how important it was for me, he agreed to join us. After the service, the DH commented on how much he liked the pastor and how he enjoyed the service. He agreed to attend every Sunday with me now...what a blessing!!!

I hope you'll share the three things that you are most thankful for on this ThankfulThursday (Times Three)...Christmas Edition.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Do You Think?

I was blog-stalking this morning and read a post about the IVF Vacation. The blogger stated that she witnessed this site and info from CNN last night. So OF COURSE I needed to do some research. And sure enough, CNN had a video about the IVF Vacation. Check out this video...

I must say...I'm pretty interested in doing more research...the cost of IVF in the Czech Republic is 1/3 the cost of it here in the USA. Pretty amazing, isn't it? What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear them...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Disappointment Turned into Prayer...

I am having a rough day today. As you can see, it is 6:00 a.m. on my FIRST day off on Christmas Vacation. So why am I wide awake and writing a post on my blog? My plan for a Christmas surprise for my family ended this morning when my stomach started cramping at 5:30 this morning. You know the rest...no need for details :(

So here I sit trying to sort out my feelings....my first thought? DISAPPOINTMENT!!

Disappointment...the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest.

The word disappointment is made up of DIS and APPOINTMENT. DIS means separate, apart, or asunder. So, disappointment describes a feeling of dissatisfaction or anguish, which is experienced when we are torn apart from our expected appointment with fate. Yet, we don't have to experience pain when things don't go our way.

The negativity surrounding disappointment exists not in the real world, but only in our mind. It is not the event, but our interpretation of it that causes pain.

Now this last definition caused me to think for while....the interpretation of the disappointment is what causes pain, not the event itself. So what did I do next? I prayed...

Psalm 31:2-5
Turn your ear toward me. Rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me. Indeed, you are my rock and my fortress. For the sake of your name, lead me and guide me. You are my refuge, so pull me out of the net that they have secretly laid for me. Into your hands I entrust my spirit. You have rescued me, O LORD, God of truth.

It still isn't the right time...only He knows when.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Want to Be at the END of the List...

Kelly's List that is...Kelly created this blog where she has posted all the names of women longing to have a baby. Whether it be through adoption, naturally concieving, holding a baby to term, or through IVF, all the women listed have the desire to be a mother. She also has a list of women to pray for that are hoping to find a life-long companion to share their life with. It is pretty amazing to see the number of women out there with the same desires and frustrations as mine. Kelly posted on her blog that within 6 weeks of having this blog and 6 weeks of prayer for these ladies, 11 women have discovered they are pregnant!!! What an awesome gift from God this Christmas!!!

Kelly posts all the praises at the end of the list, so you can see which women have been successful in their journey. This is where I hope to be SOON....at the END of the list!

Psalm 86:1-7
Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help. Protect me, for I am devoted to You. Save me, for I serve You and trust You. You are my God. Be merciful, O Lord, for I am calling on You constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord for my life depends on You. O Lord , You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask Your aid. Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry. I will call to You whenever trouble strikes, and You will answer me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

Thursdays are when I post about three things that I am most thankful for that week. Here is my list for this Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

1. Seeing my family for Christmas...

My parents have spoiled me rotten this year. Not only did they drive from Houston all the way to Jacksonville, Florida to see us for Thanksgiving, but they are making the trip AGAIN this weekend for Christmas. I will be doubly blessed on Christmas Eve, because my #1VBF and my sister will be here too. This is going to be one special Christmas for me :)

2. Scripture...

I have joined Angie Smith's Sundays group and have decided to memorize Psalm 139 this month. We have only memorized the first six verses, but it has really made me realize that God has a plan, He knows what will happen next, and that I should trust Him...He KNOWS!

3. Christmas Break...

There are many things that I have enjoyed about being in education for the past 13 years...teaching children, the relationships I've made with my co-workers, and HOLIDAY breaks :) Only two more days of school and I am off until January 5th!!!

What three things are you most thankful for this Thursday???

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Being Mary Instead of Martha....

My best friend send this devotional to me yesterday and it is SO true....at least for me it is. Read this verse and summary and then I'll explain...

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said." Luke 10:38-39

Martha had the privilege of hostessing Jesus. Jesus actually came to her house. Instead of sitting at His feet like her sister Mary did, Martha worked and actually complained to Jesus that Mary wasn't helping her enough. Jesus gently chided Martha, and affirmed Mary's choice to sit and spend time with Him in the middle of all the work that had to be done.

I laughed as I read this devotional because I am SO guilty of trying to be Martha...not just Martha in this verse but Martha Stewart too! I have a VERY difficult time sitting down...don't get me wrong, I love to sit and watch my favorite shows that I've taped all week in the comfort of my own home...but while I'm watching the television (or really listening to the television), I am also checking emails, reading blogs, cooking dinner, washing a load of clothes, making greeting cards, cleaning the kitchen cabinets, checking my twitter, vacuuming, feeding the dog....need I go on??? I pride myself in being a MAJOR multi-tasker, but this is getting out of control!! Now I must admit that I do take the time in the mornings and devote my entire drive to work to Jesus. I reflect on the verse I have chosen for the day, say thanks to Him for all the many blessings I have received, pray for all the people on my P-List (Prayer List), and ask for a peaceful and productive day. But, what I really feel as if I should do is just STOP!!! Set aside more time than that daily morning drive for Him. Let the dishes pile up in the sink, let the DH help with washing the clothes, spend more time with the DH and my puppy, and overall just set aside MORE time for Him. After reading this devotional I made a promise to myself to try and be more like Mary, not Martha. But I'm going to need some help. Would you join me?

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Jesus to be a companion during my hectic days. Help me to remember that peace can only be found when I choose to set aside the pressing demands of my life, and quiet myself with You. Teach me to look for Jesus' presence in the middle of my hectic schedule. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Stockings Were Hung..

I just had to brag about an AWESOME teacher at my school, Kathy Keel. She is not only teaching our students how to sew, but she's also teaching them the true meaning of CHRISTmas.

Our students in the dance and theatre departments take a sewing class to help them learn how to make costumes. I observed Ms. Keel's class on Friday and was so excited to see that she was teaching them how to make stockings. But not just any stockings...let me explain.

Ms. Keel's daughter told her that for Christmas this year, she wanted to donate some items to a local hospital. Ms. Keel starting thinking about what items they could donate. She decided to have her classes make 50 fleece blankets to donate to the hospital. While her class was making the blankets, one of our parents donated swatches of material from her furniture store. Ms. Keel's wheels started spinning and came up with a WONDERFUL idea. She'd have the students create stockings out of the swatches and donate them all to the hospital. Check out these stockings...they are BEAUTIFUL!!

Ms. Keel and one of our students...

The swatches of material donated...

This was my favorite stocking...I LOVE IT!

More samples of the stockings....

Aren't these just the cutest stockings you've ever seen?

I am so proud of our students AND Ms. Keel. What a great example of the true meaning of CHRISTmas :)
And speaking of Christmas...if you haven't participated in my Christmas Door Tour, please visit the previous post and join in the fun!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Door Tour...

Today is the first annual Growing Our Own Garden's Christmas Door Tour!!!

Here are the pics of my Christmas front door...

This is a pic of all our decorations at our front door.

Our theatre department at school has a poinsettia fundraiser each year and I always buy a few...I think their poinsettias are just beautiful. I won the metal stocking from Southern Living Home and I think it looks great with the leftover garland from my mantel.

We have the BEST florist shop I have EVER seen...Kuhn's Florist. For the past two years, I have gotten a real wreath and the pine scent is so intoxicating!

My toy soldier is probably my MOST FAVORITE Christmas decoration. My mom bought him for me over 10 years ago and I look forward to putting him out at my front door each year.

Okay, you've seen my front door, now it's your turn! This is how it works...add your link to Mr. Linky below and leave a comment so we can visit your Christmas Door. I can't wait to see how creative you all are!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Maxine Monday and the Reason for the Season...

During the holiday season, it is very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas...buying too many gifts, going into debt, and unfortunately, sometimes we forget the real REASON for the season. Maxine said it best in this cartoon...

I can gaurantee you that socks are NOT what Mary and Joseph had in mind.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."~Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 5, 2008

And the Winner is...

Here are the names of those that entered the Christmas Card and Gift Tags giveaway:

1. Alyson

2. Kristy

3. Jordan

4. Miss Anne

5. Mary

6. Heather

7. Petrii

8. Krysta

9. ACC-Mom/Angela

10. Kendra

11. ZentMrs

12. Brandy and Jonathan Crumly

13. Cathy

14. Faith

15. Dottie

I thought I would do the drawing a little different this time. Just to make it a little more fun.

I cut up all the names and put them in a bowl.

I shook up the names REAL good.

I had the DH draw a name from the bowl...I thought he might get a kick out of participating :)

And the winner is....


Please email me your address and these cards and gift tags will be on their way!! Congrats!

Merry Christmas and thanks to all of you for particpating! If you are interested in purchasing some of my cards or tags, please visit my Etsy Store to the right on the sidebar.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Different Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

Thankful Thursday is when I post about three things that I am MOST thankful for this week. As I begin typing out my three things, it makes me think about what I pray and thank God for every single day...

1. My husband

2. My family

3. My friends/My support group

I know it is a simple list, but these are the things (people) that I just can't live without and I know how blessed I am for having each and everyone of them in my life. I start off every single day reading a verse from my Bible, refect on it for the entire day, say thanks to Him for my list above, and then pray for all the women (and of course myself) that are on my P-List (Prayer List, thanks to Amy ). But this morning, I started wondering...do you think that God gets tired of hearing me pray about the same exact thing over and over? I know He knows the desires of my heart and the desires of all the other women out there dealing with infertility when we are asking for His gift of a beautiful little baby. Am I praying the right way? Am I asking for too much? Am I asking for the wrong thing?

I read this verse this morning...

Psalm 25:4-5~Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

And this verse goes on to say...

Psalm 25: 11-12~For the honor of Your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose.

I could REALLY use that path, that guidance, that reassurance, that hope.

And as I close this Thankful Thursday (Times Three), I am even more THANKFUL knowing that when I ask, I shall receive, and more importantly, He will provide.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rebel WITH a Cause and MORE...

If you haven't done so yet, you must check out MckMama's AWESOME Giveaway!!

She is giving away TONS of great prizes and for several WORTHY causes!!! All you have to do is donate at least $10 to her Chip-In (proceeds will all be donated), snag her widget, and post about it on your blog!! SO EASY!!!!

And speaking of EASY....make sure you vist my post below and leave me a comment to be entered into my FREE giveaway...a set of my cards and gift tags.

And don't forget about my Christmas Door Tour....it is coming soon!!!