This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Advent Season

This picture has nothing to do with the post...he's just cute.

This year is when it begins! Bic and I are going to do an advent celebration with our children! No more waiting for all the pretty Crate&Barrel and Anthropologie ornaments to fill the Jesse Tree. Well, I'm waiting...not so much Bic. I don't even think he knows that I want them.

I still want those ornaments...and I'm going to get them :), but for now, we are going to use things we have around the house and celebrate the coming of Christ with treats, activities and the beautiful scriptures that God has already given to us. The Kids will love it...they don't even like Crate&Barrel and Anthropologie...silly kids.

I found a great (and FREE) resource with all the Advent readings and some extras. Check it out at Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience Blog. By signing up to receive her posts, you get an extensive Advent Jesse Tree Printable, for Free! I've skimmed it and I am really looking forward to using it.

Our "Jesse Tree", this year, is a mix between a "calendar" and a "tree." I have a ton of small brown paper sacks and a bunch of varied Christmas ribbon scraps and I'm going to make a little bag for each day of advent and string them (with an ornament hanger) up on decorative garland on our book shelves. Inside I am going to put the scripture for that day and some sort of fun and quick little activity the kids and I can do that day...I still need some ideas for that, if you have any please leave them in the comments.

I saw one idea that said "eat a candy cane off the tree." My kids will LOVE that. fun. simple. delicious. Oh, I'll also number the bags (if I run out of time, it might just be with a Sharpie :). Here's the start...

Happy Holiday Fun planning to YOU!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday JOY

With the Holidays quickly approaching, I am so excited to really be focusing on My own little family. What are the traditions we want to embrace and enjoy? What are the things we are going to choose to let go of, in favor of what is best for the NOW?

If all we do from this day until January 1st is make sloppy sugar cookies at home and decorate our Christmas tree with the cheap ball ornaments and learn about Jesus and why He came...and it makes my children grin with joy...then that is all I need. But, by golly, I will make a few crafty plans and see what else we just might be able to accomplish!

Come along with me, will you? Come walk with me in this idea that maybe less flawless Pinterest photos and less never-ending Facebook posts, for comparison, is really what we need for a Very Merry Christmas.

Let me elaborate, lest I have already turned you off. ...I can hardly think of a more delicious reality than a beautifully-spread Christmas table...a sparkling tree that looks like it's been slowly crafted over many years, but with a fresh and chic look of a pottery barn ad...delicate, yet hardy homemade Christmas treats, layered in a multilevel display...beautifully and lovingly decorated and wrapped individual gifts hand-crafted for family and loved-ones.

I am a "nest-er" who loves the idea of decorating and...creating...perfect spaces and "moments". But, although there are many things that are good... not all are best. As wives...mothers...women who know and seek the Lord, it is our responsibility to figure out what is best for each season.
"And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.
But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." - Luke 10:39-42
I look forward to the future seasons when there are bound to be more opportunities for spectacular spreads, and perhaps, this is that kind of season for You.

As for me, I'm not going to stop enjoying the creativity that God, Himself, has given me. But, since my natural tendencies are way more Martha than focus is gonna need to be in the direction of the sitting.

Here are couple of great Holiday Posts you may enjoy:
- FeminaGirls "Wrap up the Stress"
- Passionate Homemaking "Traditions: Choosing the Best for THIS Season"

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Hello Again...and Have Some Soup

Well, It's been three months since my last blog post. I figure, now's as good a time as any to get going again. I do so enjoy the Blog world, but lately my focus has been very single-minded.

I'm now 15 weeks pregnant and I've been very sick for the last 8 weeks of my life, with all-day, intense nausea. But yesterday I made soup...and it was wonderful!

Now, I've read many blog posts that start out by saying how difficult it's been for some woman in her first trimester of pregnancy, and yet she has managed to continue nourishing her family well, hosted a fundraiser for over-seas missionaries and just happened to have a little time and energy left over to knit new Christmas stockings for all 5 of her children. Believe me, I'm no stranger to the temptation to feel inadequate. But, lest my nourishing soup story and pictures of my darling children tempt you in the same way...let me tell you a little about how it's really been going around here....

I've spent most days sitting on the couch...sitting, not laying, because that would just make the nausea worse. I can't even count the number of hours of television my toddlers have watched and the extent of my care for them has been diaper changes and some food...when absolutely necessary. I've been eating all the food that is easy and quick and full of unhealthy ingredients and simple carbohydrates...not because it makes me feel good, but because it requires less of me.

The Pastor's wife had to take over leading my bible study and I have basically been ignoring even my closest friends just so I don't have to have much conversation with anyone and, last week, my husband took it upon himself to scrub the toilets because he just couldn't take it anymore. And, if you know my husband, you know how bad things must have been for it to have come to that!

But, this day, I went to the store...I purchased real food and I made soup! I've been craving Paradise Bakery's broccoli cheese soup every day, so when Sarah from The Littlest Foodie shared a recipe from the Mangio de Sola blog I knew I had to try it! It really hit the spot and it's so good for my body (and my baby) to be eating this kind of nourishing meal. Take a look here if you want to try it out!

And, here's a few pics of my babies...because they are just so dang cute!