January 31, 2014

Coffee Date: Friday Musings

Coffee Date Jan 31 2014 from Andrea Worley on Vimeo.

Happy Friday Friends, Let's Have coffee!

Tell me one awesome thing that happened in your week. 

Linking up with Alissa today from Rags to Stitches.

January 30, 2014

Functional Ways to Display Your Vintage Glassware

If a collection is defined by owning more than one of something, than I for sure have a collection of vintage dish ware and glassware in my home. I love finding pieces that are unique and special. Most of mine have come from my Grandmother, and a few I've found on my own at antique stores and thrift stores. 

If you have pretty glassware like this I think it's best to display it and actually use it. Here's a few functional ways that I like to display and use mine.

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My Grandmother gave me a bunch of milk glass plates, one of the ways I like to use them is to corral my hand soap and lotion next to my kitchen sink. 
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Glasses and cups are great for storing stuff, I use these in my office/craft room to hold all sorts of things. They are fun because you can see what's inside since they are clear and they are pretty too!
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I use a trio of these milk glass stands and plates to house all my bracelets next to my jewelry box. They are pretty yet very functional because I can see what I have right there in the mornings when getting dressed. 
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I have these saucers in my night stand drawer to keep together my hair ties, bobbi pins and lip stuff for night time. Ps- this night lip balm from C.O. Bigelow from Bath and Body Works is the best for nigh time. 
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And lastly, I have another plate near my sink in my bath room for my rings and other things. Especially handy at night when I wash my face. 
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Do you love vintage dishes too? How do you display yours?

January 27, 2014

Monday Morning, Sick babies, Give Me Jesus + Coffee.

Sunday my kids woke up with running noses and coughs. Today the baby was awake before the sun was up. 

Crying and not feeling his best. Today calls for lots of Jesus and coffee. I already feel like I've been up for a million hours and it's only 10 am. It sure feels like it should be 4pm. 

I don't know about you but I don't like when my kids are sick, it takes a tole on the whole house. But it's a good reminder to slow down and take care of what matters most. 

Did you watch The Bachelor Wedding last night? I did, it was so awesome to see a Christ centered wedding on t.v. and it was beautiful. 

This morning I read this post and it challenged me even more about this community, I hope it encourages you as well. 

Happy Monday friends, how was your weekend?

January 23, 2014

How Will I Thrive This Year?

Well we're 23 days into the new year. How are you doing with your goals and resolutions you made this year?

My word of the year has been ever present on my mind, it's a good daily reminder and measure for me this year. 

It got me thinking a few weeks ago; How will I Thrive this year?

It's one thing to say I want to Thrive, but it's another to really figure out what that means for my life. So I sat down and thought about some goals, things I wanted to do better, ways that I wanted to grow this year and how I was going to accomplish that. 

  • More time with Jesus. 
  • More dates with my Husband. We're getting a baby sitter and making it more of a priority.
  • More pursuing friendships that matter. Last year I got really hurt in some of my relationships and put way to much energy into ones that didn't matter, this year I want to pursue friendships that will draw me closer to Christ through our friendship.
  • Less comparison, more JOY.
  • Taking a break from social media on the weekends and enjoying more UN distracted time with people. 
  • More time feeding my creative side. I want to spend time creating in new ways and try things I have always wanted to like painting. 
  • More journaling for myself. I have a journal I write in every year and for the last couple years I've been writing less and less for myself personally. This year I want to renew that passion.
  • Travel more.
  • Take my kids to Disneyland. 
  • Laugh a lot more! 
  • Finish decorating our home. I've been so indecisive about decisions, but this year I want to make our house a home for our family. 
  • More entertaining in our home. I want our home to welcome the people we do life with. I love connecting like this, and want to do it more this next year.
  • Continuing to focus on my health and fitness.
How are you taking steps towards meeting your goals this year?

January 21, 2014

Fun Ways to Dress Up Your Party Invitations

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I love sending out paper invitations for parties and gatherings. I think invitations set the tone for your events and I love picking out pretty ones to compliment the design and feel that I'm going for. I've had so much fun the last three years designing and picking out some of the prettiest invites for my daughter's birthday parties! If the invitation sets the tone of your party, then the envelope is also an extension of that. 

Today I want to share with you some fun ways you can dress up your envelopes before you put the stamp on them and hand them to the post man! 

1. Envelope Wraps
These adorable address wraps are a fun way to put the to and from on your envelopes! With fun designs on both the front and back and tons of options to choose from you're sure to find one that suits your personality. 
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Do you love washi tape? I do. Over Christmas I was telling my sister about the wonderful world of washi, she'd never heard of it before. I had to do my sisterly duty and show her all the fun things you can do with washi tape! 

If you're like me you have a few rolls of washi around your house. Mines been sitting in tin buckets in my craft closet for sometime now. Then I discovered this cute little washi tape dispenser, you can hold tons of washi and big plus is that it's a dispenser so you can tear it off and use it when you need it. 

Also, these can be stacked on top of each other with the center pole. So if you're collection is ever growing you can just stack other dispenser on top and call it a day! Pretty clever huh?
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2. Seal the back with washi tape. 
I love using washi tape to seal the back. No nasty glue taste, and it's much prettier. WeR has tons to choose from, see them here.
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3. Use stamps to embellish.
I love using fun and clever stamps to embellish my envelopes. You can get ones with fun sayings or phrases or pictures too. I like these Doodle Stampers that you can use to run along the edges. I used the XOXO one below.
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Did you fall in love with the washi tape dispenser? Or the envelope wraps?
Good news, use code WORLEYHOUSE for 20% off your purchase on any of these items and more at the WeR Memory Keepers website!

Do you like to send out party invitations? What's your favorite way to embellish your envelopes?  

January 20, 2014

Zane's Winter ONEderland Birthday

We celebrated Zane's first birthday while we were in Iowa with family. We were so excited to celebrate his big FIRST birthday with a Winter "ONE derland" party! It was the perfect theme considering he was born just a few days before Christmas and we were going to be in Iowa knee deep in snow. 

This is gonna be a little picture overload post, get excited! Here's peek inside his party. I went with the colors red, blue and white. I saw these printables in the TomKat Studios shop and knew they'd be perfect for his party. 

I designed the invitation myself. I love the way it turned out, and I love the winter theme. 
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I filled theses Kraft boxes with fun favors for the kiddos and added these thank you tags from The TomKat Studio with ribbon. They turned out really cute and the kids loved them. 
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Dessert tables are my favorite! I loved putting together some simple things for his table. Lots of sweet treats and homemade sweets for this table. Everything was really simple, just the way I like it. My sister made these cute pretzel rods for the party. 
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I filled red + white stripe baking cups with different cookies and placed them on the table. 
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This cake, man let me tell you about this cake! It's the best cake I've ever had in my life, and it was made by the same woman who made our wedding cake almost 7 years ago! She's wonderful and if you live in Central Iowa you must have Andrea Rouse make your cake! 

I showed her the printables and the invite and she came up with this wonderful design. I usually don't love cake, but hers is the very best. I added some toppers to decorate the top of the cake.
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I filled bags with Carmel corn (also from The Tomkat Studio) and put those on the dessert table as well. 
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I've been taking monthly photos of Zane, just like I did with Ava and we had those hung up at the party so everyone could see his monthly growth progression. I love adding personal touches like this to the party. 
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Our Family.

Happy Birthday Zane!

I wanted to do a fun craft with the kids, give them something to do and also something fun they could take home. I decided to make North Pole ornaments. I mixed silver glitter in some Epsom salts to use as the "snow." 
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The kids filled the ornaments, and then we added a red stripe straw to act as the North Pole. They had a lot of fun with them, and everyone enjoyed it. 
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They actually turned out really pretty it was such a fun craft to do with the kids who came to his party. 
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Zane's smash cake.
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He really went for it and it was the cutest thing. At one point though he was on total sensory overload, as well as sugar I think. But it was so fun to watch him eat his first cake. 
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BIG thanks to everyone who came to his party and shared this special day with our family. 

If you're looking for party sources they are listed below;

baking cups, blue stripe bags, red stripe straws, printables: TomKat Studio
Kraft boxes: Pick Your Plum
Cake: Cakes by Andrea

January 17, 2014

Coffee Date Friday!

Happy Friday!

You know what that means? 

Another coffee date, this time with a video! 
Shirt: Old Navy

Thanks for joining me today. As always linking up with Alissa from Rags to Stitches Blog. Come join the fun and meet some new people.

January 15, 2014

Giving Up, In Order to Gain.

Life is interesting in a way that it takes twists and turns that you never expected. How different seasons of life change you in ways that you never thought they would. Life is this vast collection of experiences and moments made up with people and circumstances. The older I get the more reflective I get as well. The more I re evaluate what is working and not working in my life. The more I ask God, "Where do you have me?" or "What is your will in this season?"

Did you catch that? In this season?
There was a long period of years in my life when I thought that what God called me to back when I was in my early teens and twenties was what my life would be and look like for the rest of my life. 

Not to say that it doesn't always look like that for some. I think it just depends on where you're at in your own faith journey. Everyone has different conversations with God, yours are probably very different than mine. And then again they just might be the same depending on what we're talking about. 

For a long time I didn't want anything to change. I felt the stirring in my heart, I felt God calling me to move on from certain areas of my life. And you know what? I couldn't let them go. Even though I knew that he was leading me in that direction, even though I knew that it would be a time for growth I didn't want to let them go. 

And when we feel God calling us in any area and we don't act in obedience, that result is direct disobedience. And what can God do in my life when I am choosing not to follow him even in the smallest areas? Simple answer, not a whole lot.
I end up doing things in my own strength, without God. And that's not who he's called me to be. In my flesh it's hard to give things up that I want, or that I hold dear for some reason. The last six months I felt that stirring. I felt God telling me, "Andrea, you need to let this go, in order to see what I really have for you." 

"You are not defined by this, you are defined by me."

You may not know, but for the last seven years I've been a licensed minister. I have a certificate that shows that I'm a legit licensed Pastor. I felt God call me to ministry when I was a teen, and for a long time I ran from a ministry calling out of fear. In college I finally accepted that call on my life and took steps in my education to complete a degree and gain my ministers license. I've been licensed ever since. 

I had dreams of being a pastor in a local church and doing ministry with my husband. And for a while we were doing just that. Over time our circumstances have changed and God has us in a different place. 

I kept my credentials for a long time, renewing them every year because I thought God would bring us into full time ministry. When that didn't happen the way I thought it should I'll be honest and tell you that I was frustrated and confused. 

After a while my ministers license became a sore point for me. When people would ask me about it, when I would see it (the paper) sitting framed in a box. And then it became this sort of validation for me. A validation for my faith, a validation for people, a symbol of status in a way. It was everything to me that it shouldn't be. 

And that's when I felt God saying let it go. That's when I realized that it doesn't and shouldn't define me or my faith. Is that to say that I'll never be licensed again? I don't know, I don't know what plans God has for me in that area. 

What I do know is that I'm walking in obedience right now, where he's leading me. I'm giving up in order to gain....


A piece of my relationship with Christ back, that I let get clouded for to long. 

And letting God fill those voids in my heart that are left there from disappointed over the issue of not being in full time ministry. The reality is that I need to get back to the heart of ministering to people weather or not I have a piece of paper next to my name that says "I can." And do it because it's my heart, and that's what God's called me to first.

January 13, 2014

Dr OZ 3 Day Detox Cleanse Review + Tips for Success

Happy Monday friends!! How was your weekend?

Remember when I told you in my New Year + New Goals post about wanting to do a cleanse this year? Well, we did it! My husband and I completed the Dr OZ 3 Day Detox Cleanse last week. 

I had never done a cleanse before, and I've wanted to do one for a while now but wanted to wait until I was done breast feeding as they are not advised if you're breast feeding. I choose the Dr OZ 3 Day Detox Cleanse for a few reasons. One being that it was only 3 days, and as a first timer I wanted something easy and not to long. 

Secondly, he gives you a grocery list and you just buy the stuff and follow the instructions. So easy. And most of the items I already had in my pantry so it was even easier for me. 

A few reasons Dr OZ gives to detox are: constipation, persistent headaches or muscle aches, food allergies, stubborn weight loss. You can read more about Detox Made Safe and Simple here.

Over Christmas I was a little to over indulgent and had way to much sugar, and I wanted to clean out my system and get rid of all the junk and toxins. A cleanse was a great way to do this. I wanted to share some thoughts on my experience and some tips for success if you choose to do this cleanse as well. 

First you'll need to download and print off the grocery shopping list and go shopping. You can print it off here. My husband and I did this cleanse together. I shopped for the both of us at my local Sprouts, but you can find any of these things in the natural section of your grocery store. I spent $85 for the both of us for the 3 Day Detox Cleanse. 

Tip #1: Prep all your fruits and veggies the night before.
This cleanse takes a bit of planning, you'll want to have everything ready to go in order to make your drinks each day. The last thing you want to do is wake up before you go to work and wash and chop veggies. If you do that most likely you will not want to make your cleanse drinks and not do it. The night before I washed, chopped and bagged all my fruits and veggies ready to portion out them the next day for my drinks. Doing this will make it a lot more easy and convenient. 

Tip #2: Eat something light the night before.
Do not gorge yourself on a heavy meal the night before your cleanse. The point is to be cleaning your system so don't over indulge on sugar and heavy stuff. 

Tip #3: Drink lots of water.
In the plan he tells you to drink lots of water, I echo this as well. You should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day anyway. Water is your friend and essential in flushing out your system. 
The cleanse actually went better than I thought, I honestly thought that I would be very hungry and just have to "push" through it. However, I was not hungry at all during the cleanse. I felt full and not hungry at all during the 3 days. I will tell you by the end for Day 2, I was craving variety in my meals and even caught myself drooling over a food commercial but not out of hunger just out of wanting a variety.

I did have a headache that lasted 2 days because of lack of sugar and caffeine. Which I expected since that's one of the reasons I wanted to do the cleanse in the first place it didn't surprise me that my body was having a reaction the way it was. 

I slept better each night, and found that my body rested better and I was able to calm my mind each night. Which usually I lay awake all the time when I go to sleep thinking about things, but during the cleanse I felt a calmness and was able to quiet myself and rest. 

Also, you might be curious about weight loss during the cleanse. Although it was not my intention to use the cleanse as a weight loss tool I did however loose weight during the cleanse, over the course of 3 days I lost 4 pounds. I also want to add that I also did my normal workout routine during this time in addition to being on the cleanse.

I had a great experience with the Dr OZ 3 Day Detox Cleanse it was a great way to re set my body, clean out the junk and start fresh. If you're looking to do a cleanse and ease into it like I was I would recommend this as well for you. 

Have you done a cleanse? If so which one? I'd love to hear about your experiences, leave them in the comments below.

January 10, 2014

Mother & Date Night and #FROZENFUN

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

We saw Disney's FROZEN the movie over the holidays with my Mom and Ava's cousins. We loved it! It's such a great story about love and family. I wasn't sure how I would like it, usually I don't know about some of these animated movies. I don't like when they have adult humor in them and are marketed towards kids, but FROZEN was a great movie. Really heart warming, and I loved that it was about two sisters and their love for each other.

Paired with a really funny snowman (Olaf) and cute reindeer (Sven) and the best soundtrack ever! If you haven't gone to see the movie yet, take your kiddos this weekend. You'll all love it, I promise!
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This week I took Ava on a Mommy & Me date! I love doing this with her, it's good to get away with her and give her some special one on one time with me. We went to Subway and had dinner, they have special FROZEN Fresh Fit Kids meal with a FROZEN themed toyed inside. 

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After dinner we headed to Wal-Mart, Ava wanted to pick up a "FROZEN" dress like the one from the movie. While we were there we checked out all the other FROZEN themed toys they had to offer. Ava decided on the set that included Sven, Olaf toy, Anna toy and Elsa toy dolls. She's been playing with them non stop. 
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Did I mention that the soundtrack is awesome?! Well, it is. Ava was singing "Let it Go" on our way out the theatre and she's been singing it ever since. We have been watching clips on Youtube of Elsa performing it and Ava has been singing along with it. She's got the whole thing memorized it's the cutest thing. 

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It reminds me of me when I was a little girl. I remember when The Little Mermaid came out, I had the tape soundtrack. You better believe I wore that tape out listening and singing all those songs.
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We love FROZEN and I can't wait already till it's out on DVD so we can watch it again and again. In the mean time Ava is having a lot of fun acting out scenes from the movie with her toys and singing along. 

Have you seen FROZEN yet? Did you love the movie too? What's your favorite character? 

January 8, 2014

4 Simple Tips To Help Your Children Sleep Well

*Disclaimer; I'm not an expert. I am just one parent sharing what I've learned and what's worked for me in hopes you can learn something as well. 

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How do you like that title? Well, it's true.

Let's talk about sleep for a second, shall we? If you're like me you want more of it. Love your bed and wish that your kids would sleep longer and past 6:30 am, can I get an AMEN! But, alas my kiddos do not and they always have me up way to early (in my opinion) wanting me to get them dressed and fed or something. I kid.

Let's back up for a second and understand where I'm coming from on this. Both my kids have had very different sleep patterns from the time of infancy till now. Ava was my dream baby, she slept through the night at 3 months old, she took two naps a day lasting for two, sometimes three hours. I was very blessed and thought it was amazing that she always slept so great. Now that she's three her sleeping has been all over the place. We went through a phase where she didn't want to nap at all. She isn't always the best bedtime sleeper either, she doesn't like bed time shall I say.

Zane, he's my wild child and unpredictable. He still does not sleep through the night, and he's well over a year old. Let me repeat that, he does not sleep through the night. He has become a good naper during the day though. Taking two naps a day. We're still working on getting him to sleep through the night, he's not perfect and our house is not perfect either but this is what we're working on. 

Both kids are up by 6:30 am EVERY. DAY. It's a miracle if I can get them to sleep past 7 am! Sometimes on the weekends they sleep past 7 am! I'll take what I can get at this point, and just add heaping amounts of coffee.

SO this is where I'm coming from my friends, these are some tips and tricks that have worked for me in trying to get my kiddos to sleep well and sleep better.

*Creating a routine.
One of the things that I really took away from the book Baby Wise, was about creating an eat, sleep, awake routine. Ava took really well to this routine and loved her schedule. Zane not so much as first. Even though he didn't thrive on routine I tried as much as possible to keep the routine and now at 11 months he's just now starting to really fall into a nice routine which is nice. Creating a bed time routine (bath time, stories, rocking and singing) is also helpful and I think gets kids in the mind frame of bed time and helps them wind down a bit and ready for bed.

*Make the bed only for sleeping.
This is especially helpful for babies when you're trying to sleep train them and create a routine. I learned this lesson that hard way with Zane. In our old home it was one level so it was easy to sit Ava in an exercauser or bouncer while I ran to the bathroom or did some other things for a few minutes. In our new home it's two levels and many times I would put Zane in his crib while I was upstairs doing laundry and trying to get some things done. He'd cry and scream the whole time till I was done doing whatever I was doing. Then when I'd actually want him to sleep or nap he'd cry some more eventually not sleeping because he was confused about what his crib was actually for. If you want your child to sleep better establish early on that the crib is only for sleeping and don't put your child in his/her crib unless you want them to sleep. Since doing this he's actually taken to nap time a lot better, and goes to sleep at night right away. 

*Be willing to change up sleeping times 
When I first started trying to sleep train Zane I was laying him down too early in the morning and he wasn't sleeping at all. Adjusting his nap time by an hour later allowed him to lay down at a time when he was ready and tired. Sometimes it's ok to adjust times and figure out what works for you and your child. 

*Adjust your expectations
Ava slept for two to three hours at a time during naps. I expected Zane to do the same once I started sleep training him & getting him a routine. He never slept that long, ever. For a long time it was frustrating, but then I realized that he was never going to nap for three hours like Ava did. If he napped for 45 minutes to an hour I needed to be happy with it. Some babies are just not long nappers and that's ok too. Like I said he also doesn't sleep through the night, yet. At around six months this was pretty insane to me, but I've learned to just make progress with this and keep trying. 

January 6, 2014

White As Snow.

This past year was a good one for so many reasons.

We bought a house at the end of January. We learned what life was like with two kiddos around the house. Ava started dance class, which has been so fun. Zane learned to walk, and had a million other milestones that we cheered for and rejoiced for. My Grandparents moved across the street from us, we had tons of family come visit us throughout the year. We traveled to Iowa twice. 
As with anything in life we had joys but I also had ups and downs in my life. This past year I also left my full time job to stay at home with my two little ones. A dream that I had in my heart for a long time. It was all I ever wanted. I kinda muddled through this thing called motherhood for much of the year. I had a three year old and a baby and all of a sudden I didn't know what to do. Most days I felt like I missed the mark, that I was failing or that I wasn't doing what I thought I should.

I'll be honest and say that going from one to two kids really threw me for a loop. It challenged me, brought out the worst in me at times, and stretched me as well. 
It also left me with a feeling that I felt like I couldn't place which in turn made me retreat inward. It left me feeling kinda paralized in so many ways. Most days were messy, most days I felt like I was in the thick of it and wondered if anyone noticed that I was drowning. At least that's how I felt most days. 

These feelings manifested themselves in ways that I didn't know they would. It's probably the biggest reason that in the last year you didn't see as many pictures of my children. I fought so many wars within myself about how much or little I should share on my blog about my children. 

At times I didn't feel that great about myself as how I was mothering, I felt like I didn't know what to say, so I just didn't. I felt a bit stuck. 
I poured my energy into other things that mattered. Some that didn't matter that I'm not proud of. I spent more time multitasking when it didn't matter. I let my house go for to many days. My marriage suffered at times. There were times that I just didn't feel like I measured up to anything. 

To put it plainly I felt like I lost myself a little bit this past year. Here I was a new mom of 2, not really knowing that that meant and feeling like I didn't do that well. I really struggled with this a lot during this past year. I went from working full time to being at home and not really knowing where my place was. 

I thought I would be attending play date after play date, and I didn't. I thought I could successfully homeschool Ava through preschool and most days I couldn't get her to sit down with me. 
 I love, love old hymns. I love to sing them and pray the words out loud. There's this old one called "Jesus Paid It All" that I love. The chorus goes like this;

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin has left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

I love these words so much. Even though this year was kinda messy, and I felt like I was deep in the throws of motherhood and finding myself again God started reminding me of who I was in Him. 
The wonderful thing about Jesus is that he gives us a new beginning. And I need that. Everyday I need that. I need his grace and mercy in my life. I'm so thankful for his grace, for his saving grace. I'm thankful that when I needed it most it was there. 

Even when I didn't feel good enough, or when I felt like I was barely making it as a wife and mother God reminded me of this calling of being just that for this season of life. 
As I look towards this next year of Thriving as a wife, mother and person I'm challenging myself with the things God has taught me and opened my eyes to.

Less multitasking and more sitting down and being there.

More sharing about what's on my heart with the people he's placed close to me.

More sharing my heart here on the blog and less worried about what others will think and say.
More celebrating life's everyday moments. 

More reminding me that God's grace is enough. He's enough. He takes even the messiest parts and makes them white as snow.

What are some things that you are learning about yourself? 


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