Cozy Christmas Home Tour Part 1

Hey there friends!! If you’re coming over from Back to the South, welcome! I’m glad you’re here! Feel free to take some time and look around! Today I’m sharing with you our family room all decked out for Christmas. In my insta-stories a couple of weeks ago (when I was decorating) I mentioned that I had intended to keep the decor simple this year. But…I just love decorating for Christmas and once I got started I couldn’t stop! It’s okay though because it’s just for a season!! And I LOVE it!!
Cozy Family Room Christmas decor
Continue Reading

Advent Ideas For All Ages

We are just a few days from the beginning of December, and I am thinking of how I’m going to get/keep my heart ready and focused during this Christmas season. I have shared a few different advent ideas over the years and I thought it would be good to collect them all together for y’all! 🙂

 

Continue Reading

Happy Birthday frazzled JOY!!

Wow, has it really been a year since I started blogging??  I have to say that when I was first introduced to the blogging world, I had no idea what it was all about or how big it was!!  My friend Jennifer was telling me about a project she saw on a blog she liked to read – Thrifty Decor Chick.  It sounded cool, so I thought I would check it out.  I was instantly hooked!!  I soon found a couple of other design blogs that I enjoyed reading, but I didn’t subscribe to any – I know there are many of you out there.  J  Then Jennifer started her own blog.  I loved reading and seeing every project she did online because she is really talented!!  Then came pinterest and I was again sparked to take back up my passion for crafts, home improvement, DIY, and decorating.  After a while I decided that if all these others could do it maybe I could too.  I talked to my hubby about it several times, and he just kept saying, “yes, you should do it!”  Have I mentioned how awesome he is and how supportive?  Well, ya then he decided he wanted to blog too (he really is an excellent writer) – wait, what?  That was gonna be mine thing!!  So, I dove in head first, and started my random blogging, having no idea what I was doing – seriously no idea.  I learned as I went and am still learning!!  I also continued to find blogs through other blogs that I enjoyed reading.  While I love my decorating, DIY blogs, I have found that my taste has changed a little bit.  I am drawn to those who are so brave to share their stories of life – the hard things that we are all dealing with.  I am also drawn to those who aren’t afraid to share their faith – because really what’s faith if you’re not willing to share it. 
You may have noticed that I have a variety of things that I post about here.  I still love sharing my DIY faves, but honestly sometimes there are life things on my mind and my heart.  These posts have two purposes – one is to clear my mind – writing does that for me, the other is to encourage –whoever The Lord might have reading that might need a word of “you’re not the only one” that day.  I know that reading other peoples’ stories makes me feel better some days –  it’s just nice to know that you are not alone in the day to day frazzledness of life, and it makes me feel a little less insane.
As I sat in church on Sunday morning I was challenged about sharing my faith – and God brought this blog to my mind.  I realized that although I have mentioned my faith here there I had never really shared my story, my testimony.  So, I took some time and wrote out my journey to Jesus.  Also, I have created a tab with this story for future reference and a tab for more information about The Man I call Jesus and Savior.  Please feel free to email me any questions you may have.  Thanks for reading along and commenting and following and sharing.  I think the blog world is so interesting – all the cyber friends floating around out there J.  So much fun really!!
So, my story.  I did not grow up going to church with my family.  My only exposure to church was through going to church with friends.  The most frequent being a friend I met in first grade.  Every year she invited me to attend vacation bible school at her church.  I eagerly attended for many reasons.  She was a good friend, I am an only child so summer got boring and monotonous quickly, and I really enjoyed the time spent there.  From there I became involved in Wednesday night youth activities when I got old enough for that.  That too was fun.  That didn’t really last for too long, because in high school our relationship changed – our friend groups changed.  But, the seed was planted.  I knew God, and I believed he was a strong force in my life.  I was a miserable teenager – unhappy a lot.  Whether warranted, that’s how I remember myself.  I had hanging on my bedroom wall two crosses – which I think I found at garage sales – I would often sit in front of them and “pray”.  I didn’t really know who I was praying to, but I knew it made me feel better.  As I look back I know God was taking care of me even then.  Fast forward to college.  I met a boy.  The night we met we talked for hours, I went upstairs and told my roommate “I’m going to marry him” she thought I was crazy.  He was a church going boy, and he asked me to go to church with him, and honestly I jumped at the chance J.  That summer we attended his home church together.  One afternoon we were out driving around and he asked me if I knew Jesus.  I said “no”.  I knew by now who Jesus was but nothing more.  He shared Christ with me right there in his truck.  The next Sunday I walked the aisle at that small town Baptist church and gave my heart and life to Jesus.  I asked him to save me from my sins, and be the boss of my life.  Best decision I ever made!!  Two years later we were married in that church J.  Ha!  Told ya!
Jesus is a present figure in my life every day.  I could share endless stories of how our life events could only make sense because of God’s hand.  Many stories of monetary blessings that came at just the right time.  But I have to say the biggest thing is the peace and joy that he brings me every day.  Really as my blog title eludes, in the midst of my frazzled life I still have joy.  That joy can only come from The Lord.  See, there’s a difference between happiness and joy.  Happiness is dependent on our circumstances.  Joy only comes from The Lord.  Our knowledge that He is in control and that no matter how bad things seem at the time, in the end He has the victory!!  You see when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead He defeated the devil and the hold he has on God’s people.  My trust in God and the big picture allows me to retain my joy each and every day. 

An example – one day we came home from running some errands and there was water pouring down the driveway coming from the garage.  We opened the garage to see water spraying everywhere, coming from the hot water heater.  My hubby and I sat in the car and laughed out loud!!!  We then unloaded the car and proceeded to clean up the mess.  Joy!!  Were we happy that we had to repair the hot water heater, or clean up a water mess?  No, but in the grand scheme of things – joy!! 


I really could go on and on.  But not today.  J  Thanks for letting me tell my story, and if you made it this far – thanks for reading!!

Blessings to you and yours!!

Linking up with Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions here
250 Titus 2 Tuesday
Continue Reading

Transitions

Transitions – you know, when you move from one stage of life to another – how do you handle them?  We really try our best to celebrate these times within our family.  However, I have to be honest and say I’m having a hard time finding the celebration spirit right now.  Because there are toooo many transitions going on at the same time.  It’s so overwhelming for me.  I want to be happy I want to enjoy these times, because they are precious and they are exciting.  But, for this momma heart, they are a little sad too.  I have been trying to fight the sadness, and anxiousness with extra prayer.  Because I want to celebrate!!  I mean these transitions are good and exciting!!

My biggen is going to be a senior, going to be 18 soon.  How is it possible that I am old enough to have an 18 year old son?  God is so good.  Talk of senior pictures, college applications, and such makes me want to run to my hiding place, but I am holding on tight to my trust in The Lord because I know He has a perfect plan for my boy.

My baby girl gets her driving permit tomorrow.  What!?  She is far more excited than I am.  Teaching kids to drive ranks right up there with potty training for me in the list of parenting duties I do not enjoy.  That’s why daddy is in charge of the practice driving!  🙂  (I mean after all, I did most of the potty training!!)

This kid is entering middle school – 6th grade.  Which for us also means entering the church youth group.  Middle school should be called miserable school, really do any of those kids learn anything amongst all those swirling hormones?? Youth group is such a turning point in their spiritual training because they begin to take the focus off themselves and they learn how to make their faith their own. Really an awesome thing, but he just seems like a little guy to me :).

As I was thinking through getting ready for school, printing supply lists and such, I realized this would be our last year of buying elementary school supplies. Wow, just wow.  This will be our 12th year at this elementary school, the same elementary school.  That alone is a blessing.  Even though many teachers and administration is gone, many are still there.  It’s been a good place for my kids :).

You know then there is me adjusting to being a full-time stay at home mom. The summer has not really been a good measure of what it will be like, since I am usually home during the summer. 

So, tell me, are you going through any transitions in your family?  How do you handle them?  Denial, stress, trying to be controlling, prayer?  It is always helpful to share with friends – because then we realize we are not alone!!

Blessings to you in whatever life stage you find yourself!!

Linking up with Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions here
250 Titus 2 Tuesday
Continue Reading

Home Blessed Home

I am home from my 13 day trip in a bus with 41 teenagers and 9 other sponsors.  Can I just say that I have 50 new best friends!!  I knew several of these people before we embarked on this journey, but some I did not.  I fell in love with each and everyone of them over these 13 days!!

We had lots of fun amidst watching God move through us in the hearts of so many young people.  All along our journey to and from New York City we stopped in various juvenile detention center to share the message of the gospel through song.  (And when I say “we” I mean our amazingly talented kids.)  Then the simple truth of the gospel was shared by our fearless leader, and we watched time after time as God changed lives.

Let me just say that it is amazing to FEEL the Holy Spirit come down in these places of darkness and despair.

We were not able to take pictures in the detention centers, so the photos I have are of the fun things 🙂

I have A. Lot. Of. Photos.  So, rather than make this a super long post of too many pictures, I have decided to just share those I posted on Instagram (plus a couple extra of me and my biggens :)).

Enjoy!!  I am hoping that my head will clear up and the cloud of exhaustion will lift soon.  I’m getting old, and that many days of busyness can really wear on a girl.
First site of Lady Liberty.
This is as close as we could get to Carlo’s Bake Shop – wait too long, schedule to keep.
Nighttime in New York – picture from the Staten Island Ferry.
Times Square!!
My first New York hot dog – YUM!!
Grand Central Station (aren’t they cute:) – my heart)
Rockefeller Plaza.
Phantom of The Opera on BROADWAY!!
Central Park – it’s impossible to take a bad picture in this place.
Coney Island!  I LOVE the beach – it is my happy place!!  (I dislike selfies very much.)
Niagara Falls – again, impossible to take a bad picture.
Me and my big boy – we got a little wet near The Falls 🙂
The road home was long….this was just the end of the journey – the light at the end of the tunnel. 
 So blessed to share this journey with these two!!

The travel fog is starting to lift, hoping to see some sort of routine next week.
Blessings to you!!
Continue Reading