Home for Christmas

imagine her all lit up up at night with the, children picked, colored lights.Β 

imagine her all lit up up at night with the, children picked, colored lights. 

Last year we were deep into inspections, offers, and prayer to see if this ole house would be ours after the New Years. We packed and waited knowing she was the one, wanting her to be the one. It made last Holiday season go by in a flurry. This year, as we are still settling into this house, we are enjoying the gifts she has brought us throughout the year. We have hosted small groups, built new neighborly relationships, hosted ample dinners and seen countless children come and go through our many doors. As we decorated for Christmas I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude that we get to call this house our home. I am looking forward to hosting Christmas day where everyone will gorge themselves on food, have good conversation, and possibly nap the day away on the sofa. For now though we will get our fill of Christmas movies, smore making, and cookie decorating all in the name of memory building. I know so many sweet memories were made by the couple that lived here for decades before us raising their children and doing so many of the same activities. We are appreciative to have met a few of the folks that used to come here to play/hang over the years as they have nothing but nice things to say. Thank you Mr and Mrs W for letting us carry on the traditions of this ole house.  We are grateful for you. 

sources: {living room} New York print by us framed by SimplyFramed  | white dipped stool | black lamp | rug {8x10 no longer available} | chair | end table |  {dining room} Black eiffel chairs | wood chairs | chalkboard | pendant light | verse art made by a friend | {den} mini trees collected over the years | metal stocking holders | Ellie's new stocking | {outside} door mat | house numbers | metal planter from local shop Sweet Peas - similar

*last years Christmas decor in the rental

Ellie's Tween Bedroom Makeover {in process}

I feel like everything is continually in process in this ole fixer upper. Of course as a blogger I love a good reveal shoot, but if I wait on that moment then I may have nothing to share in the months to come. Ha. Ellie's room was somewhat picked up so I decided to grab my camera to share where we are now in the process. In our rental I LOVED her room. When we moved here I was planning on just using what we had, but Ellie had other plans. Her main concern was that her VERY pink room {which she begged for} was not even a color that she liked anymore. Mint is now the favorite. I loosened my leash on wanting to be the one in charge of a room makeover in order for her to try her hand at making her room her very own. We have extremely different tastes to say the least. She LOVES bright colors and I tend to lean towards a good neutral. I'm more minimal and I tend to think she has hoarder like tendencies. Overall she is happy with the direction in which it's going so in turn I'm too. 

As you can tell we used quite a few pieces from our old home. The bed was mine as a girl, she requested to use the angel wing lamps which still need shades and the marquee sign was from Home Goods years ago. She added in a few new pieces such as the chair from TJ Maxx, bedding, rug, end tables and her abundance of "stuff". Oh, how all the "stuff" can send a shiver up my spine. I set a somewhat low budget as I know in a year or two she will probably want to change it again into more of a teen room. For now though this room could not be any more Ellie and for that that I am rather proud.

sources: bedding {it's so soft!} | end tables {changed knobs} | end table knobs | dresser from ikea | marquee sign from Home Goods {these are fun or DIY here} | angel wing lamps from Scott's Flea Market | rug | pouf {similar} | lumbar pillow {similar} | roman shades | pendant by tammy Connor purchased from her years ago | door tassels  | sheep skin on chair | her favorite book series

The Narrow Road

As I drove the kiddos to school, after a bit of a rough morning getting everyone out the door, I do what I do and prayed for a God centered shift in their day, as we all needed it. As I prayed I did my normal thing and prayed for them to stay on the narrow road. I am a type A, rule following girl all the way. I try not to be. The Mr is the exact opposite. I too used to be more go with the flow, but something shifted along the way. There was a season of life where I honestly was afraid to mess up. If I tried to be a little "better" maybe more prayers would be answered. Maybe just maybe, the kiddos would not go down the hard path of life and stay on that narrow road. My view was skewed in who the Lord really is. Fast forward today, and I know the Lord loves me no matter all my crazy. I can't earn His love, He just loves me because He promised that from the beginning. My only requirement is to love Him and love others, and the overflow of that is a beautiful wondrous thing. So as I prayed for the kiddos to remain on the narrow road I felt the Lord urge me to no longer view it as the path of basically being "good".

I know I pray this prayer out of desperation that the kiddos won't follow in my footsteps. As my steps were destructive in every sense of the word. I lived {if you can call it that} in pain trying to earn the affirmation of others and doing whatever that took. That would then be followed by numbing out, because doing whatever was slowly killing me. I never thought that I was enough just the way I was. The words of others became loud. The ugly actions of others towards me became who I was. After I decided to make my life live for the Lord when I was 21 I became stuck in having to be "good" now. I stopped doing all the spinning that left me so very empty. That narrow road quickly became my anthem for not doing bad things that would leave me in heartache. It became the road where the Lord could love me and think that I was enough. 

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and the road that leads to life, and only a few find it - Matthew 7: 13-14

During my early morning prayer, I felt a shift in that prayer. A shift in the way I view and pray it. I prayed it in the way that would not lead my own children into feeling that that road is meant to be taken by refraining from doing bad things, but in a way that would lead to true freedom. I sensed that maybe that narrow road was one that could be walked down living in confidence in who Christ created us to be. One that sheds the feelings on how others view us and focus only on how God views us. One that keeps us from striving to please others and instead live in a way that pleases God. That this narrow road is where true freedom is found. At the end of the prayer that once held a sense of conviction and striving now lets me breathe free. It can be hard to not let the world define who we are with so many outlets that speak so loud. As I truly believe that all the "bad" things I went through is not what slowly destroyed me, instead, it was my lack of knowing who I was and the feeling of being lost in this great big world. That was my destruction. Now, as I ask the Lord to keep my children on that narrow road, I am asking for Him to keep His voice louder than the worlds dictation. I ask this so that they will forever be secure enough to live in a way that brings joy and peace through the hope that Christ is. My greatest wish for my babies is that they always feel secure in who they are, no matter what that person at school, in the play yard, and beyond says that they are not. Honestly I am not afraid of the poor choices they may make along the way. What I am afraid of is them forgetting how loved they are and that they are important. Jesus made them great and that is the feeling and knowing I desire them to dwell in. Really that is my for us all. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit - Romans 15:13