Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Spiritual Spotlight

"I am convinced that multitudes of Christians who suffer from stress, depression, discouragement, relationship problems, and all sorts of other hardships experience these things because of a refusal to forgive." 
John MacArthur

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the LORD forgave you. 
Colossians 3:13

Our pastor has been preaching on the subject of forgiveness over the last few weeks.  He began on Easter....Forgiving the Unforgivable...of course speaking of Christ dying on the cross for our sins. 

He has brought words of encouragement with each passing week.  It has been such a blessing...even when talking about how not granting forgiveness builds up bitterness in our lives.  He has spoken on how to remove the bitterness...recognize God's GRACE....refuse to carry a GRUDGE, resolve to forgive GRACIOUSLY & GENEROUSLY!! 

And he has spoken on what forgiveness means...showing MERCY to my debtor...ABSORBING the debt...and RELEASING the debtor...RESTORING the debtor

Today my pastor spoke on what it looks like when we refuse to forgive....
*It IMPAIRS our walk with God
*It REVEALS our spiritual condition
*It DENIES God's grace
*It CAUSES others to distress
*It ALLOWS the poison of bitterness to remain in me
*It KEEPS everyone in prison
*It PREVENTS genuine love {so sad}

Although one might feel that releasing it means that no one will ever think about it again, that the pain you went through, the hurt, never really existed.  But that is not what Christ has called us to do.  We are called to give it to Him....give it "up" to Him.  Christ knows our hearts, our hurts and he can hold our pain.  In some instances it is very difficult to give it "up" many times we don't feel like the "offender" deserves our forgiveness...and very often they probably don't.  But often what we fail to realize is that in giving it "up" we are finally freeing ourselves of the pain.

Once we determine that forgiveness is finally the step to take we must make four promises:
*I will no longer DWELL on this incident
*I will not BRING UP this incident again and use it against you.
*I will not TALK to others about this incidennt
*I will not allow this incident to STAND BETWEEN us or hinder our relationship

I have a friend that I wish could have been at my church to hear these incredible words of truth and encouragement.  She has suffered through a lot in her short life, but she has built up such a hard heart to those that have hurt her...she is suffering from almost all of the characteristics listed in the first paragraph.  In listening to my pastor's words, I know he has shared such wisdom.  As much as I don't want to share this lesson for fear of hurting her, I know that God is encouraging me to speak to her. 

I know the pain of not giving forgiveness....and how it built up a wall that shielded God's love from me.  I cried out to God on numerous occasions, but yet I heard nothing.  It wasn't until after 6 years of "living in the dessert" that I had that "A ha" moment.  I offered up forgiveness in my heart and my life hasn't been the same!!!  Just one small act of forgiveness BROKE down that wall, and Jesus flooded back into my life, my soul.  It was AMAZING and moving and I never want to face that wall again.  Oh how sweet is God's incredible love and grace!!

I pray that you find freedom in forgiveness.  :)        

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Difficult Phone Call...

Well I guess this post is a shameful plea for stomach is in knots, my mind is racing and my heart doing double time.  Why?  I must make a trip to the...duh, duh, duh....dreaded dentist!!!  Now for most people the thought of going to the dentist doesn't make their blood pressure sky rocket, or make them want to run away from home, or make their stomach hurt so bad they must spend a ridiculous amount of time on the potty.  In fact most people probably don't make an appointment with the dentist, hang up the phone, and then burst into tears.  And to those people I scream say, "good for you!"  Sadly I am THAT for example...I made the call, got off the phone and proceeded to bawl.  If left alone I probably would still be crying.  Fortunately for me, my bestie walked in, my Grandma was folding my laundry and my kids were pounding on my closed bedroom door.  So I sucked the tears back up and boldly pressed on with my afternoon!!  Go me!!

Again, for most people this feeling of utter panic is not something they experience.  Unfortunately I have had way too many bad outcomes after seeing the dentist.  Whether the bad news was my fault (ie. not flossing, getting pregnant- which apparently, as I'm told, with every pregnancy your teeth shift and you pretty much will need a root canal/crown, etc) or heredity (gingivitis) I am GUARANTEED to walk away upset.  I NEVER EVER go to the dentist and hear..."Way to go Ashley!!  Whoop!  Your teeth look beautiful, white and above all are super healthy!!"  NEVER!!  The sad truth about it is I never will.

I am so jealous of people with gorgeous smiles displaying their glowing white teeth.  I catch myself staring at peoples teeth often...I dream of what it would be like to not have my problems.  To be perfectly honest....when dreaming of winning the lottery or having an incredibly lucrative career, my first "big spend" would be to get "new teeth" {inside family joke}!!  In other words, find a dentist that will fix EVERYTHING and make them white and shiny, and I would proudly grin from ear to ear!!  Ha!!  And I WON'T say that will never happen....maybe....someday! :)

One last word...luckily I am not big on showing my teeth.  Not that I don't want to...but oh my!!  You should see me when I try to smile and show my teeth at the same time....I just CAN'T!!  Like physically CAN'T!!  Hahahaha!!  If I try, my eyes get all squinty and close up...oh and my jaw starts to tense up!!  No joke.  I am not a teeth smiler like, say....Giada De Laurentiis {from the Food Network}!  Talk about a teeth shower!!!  She shows her pearly whites even when her mouth is closed!!

Anywho...tomorrow is the day.  I already know it's going to be difficult....first time I've gone in 2 years, new place, new dentist, first teeth cleaning in forever, pain because of my sensitive teeth, hearing any bad news, the financial aspect above all else.  All that to say....PLEASE pray for me tomorrow!!  I will need it and covet your prayers sweet friends!!  I ask for mercy, peace, no embarrassment, for a compassionate dentist and for hope.  I pray your Wednesday is better than mine!  ;)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pinkalicious Party Prep

I am feverishly trying to get Breslyn's room finished, but it looks like it might be next week before I can reveal it all. :(  Oh well, I can still plan her 4th birthday party...that is all too quickly approaching!!  Of course PINTEREST is awesome when it comes to planning ANY party!!  Here are some ideas....

I don't know whether we are gonna focus solely on Pinkalicious, or add the other books as well {Silverlicious, Goldilicious and Purplicious}. 

Tell me that is not an incredible cake!!!  Wow!


cute doilies! 

Absolutely LOVE this cake...BIG love!!

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Really like the individual cupcake stands for each little person!

Those are just a few ideas...but I definitely need more!!  I am excited about planning this party, and I really hope it will meet my expectations...we have 5-6 weeks to prepare and pull off an awesome par-tay!!! ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vintage Dresser Reveal: B's Room Part IV

Okay ya'll!!  Here is the BEFORE pics of B's dresser...I unfortunately did not get a true before {with the drawers actually in the dresser!}, but this will have to do!!  Take in her natural get ready for steps to my version of vintage/shabby chic....:))

Here are the steps to re-doing an antique dresser....1st-don't get frustrated. 2nd-you will get frustrated, but try not to let that totally ruin your experience.  3rd-take your time and DO IT RIGHT.  4th-think it through before you will be so much happier!

5th-when you discover that the drawers WON'T GO BACK IN, don't get SO ANGRY that your family fears you...and if that does happen, you might want to just go ahead and put yourself in timeout!!

6th-borrow your dad's (neighbor's, uncle's, girlfriend's) electric sander and GET TO WORK!!

7th-pretend you know what you're doing, when inside you feel like this....

8th-stare at the mess you've just made, and add that to the 2 million OTHER things you will have to do during "clean up!"  Gawh!!

9th-clean up the drawers...and maybe crack a teeny, tiny smile!!!

10th-now throw something on top for an "official" AFTER photo!!!  11th-smile BIG, laugh out loud with pure giddinessMaybe.even.squeal!!




 ....yeah, that's right....I'm in love!!"

I'm almost ready to reveal the entire room!!  EEEK!  Ya ready?!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Curtain Sneak Peek: Bresnlyn's Room Part III

So I give you another sneak peek at Breslyn's room!!  I think this design element may be my absolute favorite of the entire room!!  I cannot wait to show you the final product!!  I knew I wanted her curtains to make a statement, but never could really find what I wanted.  I couldn't afford any custom curtains, so I was basically stuck.  I finally asked my momma to meet me at Target and help me decide!  Well, we found these BEAUTIFUL heavy duty curtains.  Love them.  But they were not long enough, so we headed over to JoAnn's to pick out extra material to add to the bottom.

I knew I wanted to bring in the other colors we were using in her for sure black & white, yellow and green!!  I fell in love with these patterns!! 

My momma is AWESOME!!  She whipped these together {and I know it wasn't easy...apparently one of the curtain panels was longer than the other!!  What??  What a pain!}  Anywho...I picked them up from her house last night, and we are going to hang them tonight!!  Eeek!!  So excited!! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Look....

I am not tech savvy....and that makes me sad/angry/frustrated.  Anyways, for some reason my blog shows up funny on some peoples browsers.  I don't know why it does that, but I figured I would go back to the same ole plain look I had way back when I first started.  So, the blog may look wonky for a while....until I find just the right background...or I may change it with every season!!!  Who knows?!  :))

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Precious Treasure: Breslyn's Room Part II

In preparing for Breslyn's new room I began my hunt for a new dresser.  I mentioned my quest to my family, and my Grandma informed me that my parents had an old dresser in their garage.  Now let me tell ya, their garage isn't your average two car building.  It is HUGE...and FULL of old junk vintage treasures!!  I found some dressers, and I was happy.....BUT then Grandma told me one of Great Grandmother's dressers was in there somewhere!!  So I went back in for another search!  And THERE.IT.WAS!!  A beautiful wood dresser that I've seen on multiple before and after blogs!  I was beyond excited about this awesome find!! 

What I did not expect was that once we (my sweet Daddy and hubby) got the dresser out, we would find a treasure trove in each of the drawers!!  Eeek!  This dresser is such a special find, and I am thrilled for it to find new life all these many years later!!  :)

Look at those GORGEOUS crystal drawer pulls AND the unique key holes!!

And let's just say after sitting in a garage for 30 years or so an antique dresser might need a little wood glue and clamping!!   

And these are pics of the treasures we found!!

Bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pearls, old perfume bottles, love letters, a piece of paper with my name and my brother's name written on it....oh my!!

A beautiful off-white bonnet!!  Precious!

A cute little mitten and rocker sunglasses!!

One of my favorite Great Grandfather's business card holder!  He was a policeman, and it is cool knowing he carried this around with him every day!  :))

Along with this incredibly delicate black shawl we found some other "not-so-lovely" treasures!  We found pantyhose, dried gum and the most disgusting item....dentures!!  SO GROSS!!

Even with the nasty dentures ;) this was a wonderful find!!  I cannot wait to show you the after!! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pinterest Food Pass and FAIL!

Well, I am pretty proud of the fact that I have been thinking outside the box when it comes to meal makin' and fixin'!!  Anywho...I've tried all the following and some were Y.U.M.M.Y and some (one in particular) were fails.  Here ya go...

I am eating this as I type!!  It is very good.  It's a little salty....and a little mushy.  I would rinse the black beans a lot more, and I would leave out the the salsa and use it as a garnish.  But actually quite delish!!

These puffs were just okay.  They ended up being a lot doughy...not so great.  But maybe a real cook would know how to fix that.  Even though it was doughy, it was also slightly dry. 

This TACO PIE is delicious!!  I mean DELICIOUS!!  Fix it, it is sooo worth it! :)

Oh my Sweet Goodness!!!  Made it...can't wait to make it AGAIN and AGAIN!! 

Baked Club word...INCREDIBLE!!  I can't wait to make them again...husband and kids loved them.  We discussed how yummy these would be with eggs, cheeses and anything else we could stuff in there for a breakfast meal!

HORRIBLE...don't make took F.O.R.E.V.E.R to prepare and by the time they were eaten they were completely stale!  Yuckkkky!

Well, I hope this will inspire you to go out on a limb and try something different...or spice up something you currently eat now!!  Have a great evening!!