Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Valentine Snow Day Activity

8 Cups , 12 pencils , 6 sicker books , 6 Russel Stover
Chocolate Hearts , & 2 Sets of Window Clings
W/ Walgreen's Bonus Card & Coupons $10.00

I just wanted to do a quick update on a Valentine deal you may not want to pass up . I wrote here , about the Walgreen's Christmas themed deals from December . I also wrote here about the "Creative Pay It Forward" challenge a friend told me about . I thought that with this weeks Valentine themed deals in the Walgreen's ad it may inspire some of you to combine the two . If not it is also a great deal for anyone that has Valentines to make or buy for their little ones , Sunday or Elementary school classes and would even make for some great party favors if you are hosting a Valentine event . Especially with the popularity of the at home printable this could really save someone a buck or two . Boxed Valentines are usually 4 or 5 bucks depending .

I also read today about a fun snow day activity . If you live any where like I do you've had multiple already this Winter . Anyway , it suggested if you have school aged children to use some of a snow day to get ahead on those class Valentines by making them at home or even if you already had yours purchased by going ahead and filling them out and addressing the envelopes . I thought it was a great suggestion ! It also suggested things such as cutting heart shaped place mats' out of old news papers just to make the activity even more themed and fun for your children . I thought it might be cute to make a day of the theme and put red food coloring in their milk for Valentine Milk or to use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut their sandwich that day. Those would also be fun ideas for the actual Valentine Day . I know when I went to Elementary school we almost always had some sort of party that day . So , I would wake up excited about the day . This would just make it even more special for your lil' one(s) .

Anyway , just a little FYI and perhaps some Valentine inspiration . What have you done on this rainy day ?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creative Pay It Forward

Creative Pay It Forward
This is a FB status of mine from earlier this month .
"If you read my blog you know I'm all about a home made gift , giving back and "the thought that counts" motto of life . Here's a super fun way to actively pursue this ideal that I've stolen from my friend Telisha - Join me won't you ?! 

2013 creative Pay-it-Forward: the first 5 people to comment on this status will receive from me, sometime in the next calendar year, a gift. perhaps a book, a ba
ked good, a candle, music, a surprise ! there will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me. The catch? these 5 people must make the same offer in their status. ( be sure to PM your address ) 

This sounds like fun and I LOVE giving and receiving mail, no matter what it is... I will do my best to keep up with this - I love creative things too! :) GO!
Once upon a time I went through a Starbucks drive-thru and was given a business card sized paper that simply said "You're beverage was paid for by the person in front of you . Feel free to pass this along to give someone else a free drink ." At the time I was a college student and you can only imagine the joy this brought to my heart . Apparently somewhere in the U.S. someone had began the idea of a Starbucks pay it forward with giving the barista more than needed to pay for their order . They said just to use the extra for as many orders as it would pay for that came after them . This is of course a rough version of the story . It at one time had been on the website, but tonight I couldn't find it for the exact tell of it .

Earlier this year a friend of mine posted the following on her FB status , "2013 creative Pay-it-Forward: the first 5 people to comment on this status will receive from me, sometime in the next calendar year, a gift. perhaps a book, a baked good, a candle, music, a surprise ! there will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me. The catch? these 5 people must make the same offer in their status. ( be sure to PM your address )" . I thought it was such a fun idea . I feel like so many people want to give back , help out or just desire to brighten someones day they just don't know where to begin . That is why you will often see on my blog ideas , links , etc. for care packages , home made goodies , or stories of things I've made and given or have been made for me . Just a few weeks ago I shared of my Aunt bringing me home made soup while I was so very sicky with bronchitis . It genuinely brightened my day and took a load of my shoulders for the day when it came to meal planning .

Since the challenge in the "Creative Pay It Forward" had a entire calendar year time line on it I thought it was a no brainer and something fun . My first "CPIF" was to the friend that's FB status inspired me . She as well was taking the challenge so I thought maybe a few things to inspire her creativity would be the perfect "CPIF" . I came across these glitter glue pens for .30 cents a pack at Wal-Mart in the school supply isle . What a find ?! I of course purchased some for myself as well . These puppies are super handy when I am making ornaments , frames , or even working on scrapbooking . Plus , we all know I love glitter .

I  added this fun mini-scrapbook to her "CPIF" gift . I had purchased several of these a few years ago in the dollar section of a craft store . I think they had even been on sale , so I don't think I even paid a dollar for it . It came with stickers and a fun design on the front . It isn't too flimsy and is perfect for a little recipe book , scrap book , or even a fun guest book for a house warming party or something along those lines . I also had purchased a multi-pack of glue sticks from the back to school clearance section at Target earlier in the Fall . I added several of those sticks to this gift just in case .
For a few dollars I think this makes a fun care package and "Creative Pay It Forward" . Hopefully inspiring and supplying my friend as she works on her "CPIF" projects .

Again I say , it isn't the cost , but the thought that matters . I hope you are inspired through this lil' blog post to find a way to do some Pay it Forward projects . I'd love to hear about them . You never know where someone may find their inspiration or how your small act of kindness may change someones day .

Thursday, January 24, 2013

~ We Had Fun ~

I'll update this blog entry with clearer photo's as soon as I can . These will have to do for now .
FUHouse 2003
Amber, Stacie , Jenny, Sarah & Jessica
We had fun , no wonder I'm so tired . Tonight I had the opportunity to Skype with two of my former roomies and BFF's . One is in Washington state, the other in Virginia and I in Tennessee , PTL for technology !!! I think we may have spoken for over a hour by the time it was done . After we got off the phone I was inspired to hunt down my old video camera . It was one that I'd gotten before I left for college , but haven't used in yearrrrrrsssssssss . I wasn't even sure if the tapes would still be in it or that I would be able to hook it up to my TV for viewing . Once again, PTL for technology because it all worked . As I watched footage of my friends and I , I became overwhelmed by the laughter . We had so much fun .  For one year in 2003/2004,  four of my best friends and I lived in a awesome house in Forest, VA , Amber, Sarah, Jenny , Jessica and myself . Several of us were in school . All of us had at least a job or two maybe even three . Several spent time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity . I traveled now and then with a Liberty University music team . And we all had friends out side of the house , but none that seemed as important at the time as the one's in the house . We'd joke , "why leave when we are all here ?" or "there's four of us here , let's play a game !" . We still use the game joke every time there are more than two of us in one place .

FUHouse - Forest United Methodist Church Parsonage - Forest, VA
As I laughed at our shenanigans I was not only overwhelmed , but grateful . My g'parents have always been so proud of the friends I've made in my time away from home . I think it's comforted them to know I'm surrounded by such good people . Now that life , distance , marriages , babies , work , and oh did I mention life , have moved us away from each other I'm even more grateful for the friendships we have . I watched my home movies tonight and relived decorating our two Christmas tree's , sledding at night , snow ball fights , a death slide (made of snow) , and a few dance parties . WE HAD FUN !!!! How come it's so easy to forget the fun ?! It's so important to remember it .

Jenny gearing up for some snow fun . 

These are the people I lived life with .  Now, we all were friends before our time as roomies and we are all still friends now , but in that one year Amber's father passed away , Jessica got engaged , Jenny decided to spend the Summer as a missionary in Guatemala , Sarah decided to go back to school and I attempted a semester of Graduate school along with a few other things . To say we lived a lot of life in that one year is an understatement . It's been ten years now and I can remember it all like it was yesterday . I'll never forget getting the call from Jessica that Amber's father was gone . I'm so grateful for a boss who understood that these girls weren't just my roommates, but my sisters and he let me leave work that day to drive Amber to her home town . I'll always remember that Jessica was wearing her chicken pajama's the night Marvin purposed to her in our home . It's impossible to forget that we put rocks in Jenny's pocket on the day of the "hurricun" (said in a Dr. Falwell accent) and put her on the porch to see if she'd fly . I'm always gonna be grateful that Sarah loved me enough to open her bedroom door even though I had the flu to take me to the doctor . The flu that would eventually get most of us . I still blame Jessica and Amber who worked at a day care for bringing in these kooties . This is the stuff I gotta keep in mind when I get down about my current, slower days . We had fun . We had a lot of fun . No wonder I'm so tired .

~FUHouse~ 4 out of 5 roomies had the flu, the one behind
the french doors didn't want to risk it. #memories

These are the people that no matter how long we go with out seeing each other or speaking, we pick up just as if it's only been a day .We still see each other as often as we can . Sometime it's just a few  and sometime it's all of us . As families and miles grow it becomes harder and harder to all get to the same place at the same time . We will never stop trying though .

Tonight I am so very grateful for the love , sister hood , tears , heart breaks , and FUN we had together in just that one year . I'm grateful for all that was before , after and to come as well , but for me that one year was life changing . I have no siblings so this was my first time in a home with more than one person . I mean I'd lived in a dorm , but that's totally different . I have video's from that too . I'll have to share those stories on another entry . Tonight I'm also grateful for technology and the ability it has to bring us together no matter how many miles are between us . I'm grateful for old home movies, pictures that will forever be proof of our hotness , laughter and people who accept me as I am .

In the ten years since we lived together ........

Jessica has gotten married , had two adorable children and is a teacher in VA . I still call her with all my Home Economic questions . She'll never be rid of me .
Sophia and Paxton - Jessica's adorables

Amber is finishing her SECOND Masters Degree and has proven to be the smartest of us all .
She is teaching in VA and spent the summer serving in Uganda as a missionary.
Sarah is a military wife (to me that's super hero status) and is a mother of two beautiful lil' ones . One of which is just like Aunt Stacie , wearing her pearls every where she goes .

And Jenny is in Florida , married and expecting TWIN GIRLS this Summer .
If you'd told us then where we'd be now there's now way any of us would have or could have believed you . We were too busy having fun . We had no idea at the time these would become our memories or that we'd be so far apart in miles ten years later .

Washington, DC - Jenny , Stacie , Amber & Jessica

Amber , Jenny, Jessica and Sarah - You are my soul sisters . I'm forever changed because of you . Thank you so much for loving me as I am . I hope you know I love you just as you are . I'm a better person because of the influence you've had and continue to have on my life .


Sunday, January 20, 2013

~ Sick Day Supplies ~

The last twelve days have been a bit exhausting . I've had a rough case of bronchitis/sinusitis . My sweet Papaw had to spend 4 days in the hospital . There was a small snow day that made travel more of an issue for those helping Papaw  and I have hated that I couldn't be of help to my family while he's been sick . After a full box of tissues , 2 bottles of cough syrup , bag of cough drops , bottle of pocketbac , and more juice/tea than I measured I'm very glad though to be on the mend and for Papaw to finally be home . Some things that I noticed during these sick days was how I was able to rest and be less of a burden to others at the height of feeling bad simply because the Lord has prepared ahead for me .

I wrote multiple times during the Holiday season on savings , discounts, sales and couponing . I didn't know then that my discount shopping would be the provision I'd need later . I'd had several coupons that I almost didn't cut because I thought I might not need them . Lesson learned . If you look at the coupon for more than a glance you might as well cut it out . I mean , if you don't use it you can give it to someone else . I had several coupons for around forty cents off of 2 cans of soup . Since chicken noodle soup tends to be inexpensive I'd used it for that flavor to stock up , "just in case" . I also happen to have a box of lotion tissue in my hall closet that had been free with the purchase of cough medicine . I'm so grateful that even though I hadn't needed those items at the time of purchase I went ahead and took the time , spent the few bucks , and purchased them . It truly saved me in the long run .

If you're wondering ,  I'm not writing just to brag . hahaha! I'm writing to give you some sick day lists . Things to keep in mind as you cut coupons , skim sales papers and do your weekly shopping . You don't have to purchase all you MIGHT need in one trip . But if you add a item to your weekly shopping each week you may be surprised how helpful it is when you're in need .

~ Sick Day Supplies ~
Tissues - I've become a fan of the kind with lotion in them
Cough Drops - I love Halls Honey Lemon.
Cough Syrup - If you're gonna be home sick , might as well get the kind that helps you sleep.
Nothing helps you heal like rest .
Chap stick - all the nose blowing and sneezing can dehydrate your pucker.
Anti-Bacterial Gel - Be real. You're not gonna walk to the bathroom and
wash your hands every time you sneeze and blow your nose .
Vapor Rub - Word is if you put it on your feet and wear socks it'll work magic.
Throat Numbing Spray - I've found the brand doesn't matter . So generic is fine .
JUICE !!! Hot Tea !! Honey !! Fresh Fruit !!
Thermometer - I vote all house holds should have one .
Chicken Noodle & Vegetable Soup - Canned soup lasts for years .
So, if you purchase it and don't use it for several months it's still no loss .
I'm sure there are endless amounts of things that could be added to the list .
 Please feel free to make your additions and share them with us .
Photo: Heating up some home soup from my sweet aunt pat. Just what the dr ordered on such a cold, rainy, stressful and sicky day. Thanks aunt pat for being so thoughtful !!
While I've been sick one of my sweet Aunts brought me home made soup , crackers and cough drops . It truly brightened my sick day and really helped me out . I ate on that soup for 3 meals . When you're truly feeling unwell just microwaving something sounds like work . It also helped my family to know I was being taken care of when they needed to focus their attention on Papaw . If for some reason you are one of the lucky ones that never or very rarely gets ill then perhaps this list will inspire an act of kindness . Most of these items would work great in a
 "Feel Better Soon" care package . 
Happy Couponing ! Happy Care Packaging !


Frame ~ Christmas ~ Valentines Wreath

Everyone knows I love a inexpensive , creative , multi-purpose project . For Christmas this year I went against the "norm" and hung a picture frame turned wreath on my front door . I also went against the normal holiday colors . This frame had originally been gold with a piece of card board in it . Something you'd see in a dollar or clearance section . While in it's original state it once hung in my old apartment . However, since the move it didn't really match any thing. So, I kept it to the side waiting for a new use . I used a flat head screw driver to remove the card board that had been originally in the center of the frame . It had been stapled in . I then primed the gold frame with white spray paint .

I did all this spray painting in the warmer fall months . After spray painting the frame I let it dry for about 45 minutes or so . I wasn't too crazy about getting every nook and cranny primed . Since it was planned to hang on my door I knew it would be mostly viewed from afar .

Once the primer was dry I added a coat of pink spray paint . Again , letting it dry about 45 minutes before moving further in the project . After the paint had dried completely I added some gold snow flakes tied to gold ribbon . The snow flakes had come in a multi-pack for just a $1.00 . They are something I'd had from several Christmas' ago . The ribbon was also something I'd had left over from either gift wrapping or crafting . I then hot glued a glitter gold bow ornament to the center bottom to complete the look . The gold bow had also been a old Christmas ornament . I love pink and glitter so, this was totally a reflection of me.  Since my wreath hook was gold I thought it all went together nicely .
Now that I'm past the winter holidays I wanted to find a new purpose for my wreath . I had several ideas , but went with this one . I already had this foam, flower and ribbon heart from valentines yearsssssssssss ago . I've always kept it and used it now and then for varied events , decor , etc . With my pink frame I though it might make the perfect Valentines wreath for my front door . I untied the snow flakes and pried off the hot glued bow . Luckily there wasn't any significant paint damage . And again since it's going to hang on my front door even if there had been paint damage it wouldn't have been too big a deal since most of it's beauty will be taken in from afar .

I simply used the ribbon that was already attached to the flower heart to attach it then to the frame . It is currently hanging on my front door ever so sweetly . If you don't already have a flower heart they aren't all that difficult to make . You just need some foam , flowers and ribbon .  At this time of year heart shapes are everywhere . 
Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Repurpose.....and then Repurpose again.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

~Sugar Daddy~

(I apologize for the hot mess that is the organization and placement of the photo's in this blog .
 I'm having technical difficulties today. I blame the weather. )

I'm on day 8 of bronchitis/sinusitis/fever , day 3 of sweet Papaw being back in the hospital , day 3 of rain and hour 2 or 3 of snow/sleet falling from the sky . So, to say that I'm getting cray cray in my quarantined uncontrolable existence would be an understatement . I've been working feverishly (pun inteded) to rest, heal, follow doctors strict orders,  keep my spirits up and keep in mind that God is in control . I hate not being able to help my family while Papaw is in the hospital . I'm sadly not allowed to be around people or out in the cold, rainy and snowy weather . I mean, unless I want to be sick for longer that is .  I also don't want to be that thoughtless girl who spreads her kooties while she's sick .  I'm so grateful for Jack Davis' company in times like this .

As I work on keeping my spirits up  (in all of this uncontrolableness it is work) I've been focusing on the things I have to be thankful for . My thought is if I don't focus on the good , the bad very well may kill me . I'm grateful that my mom lives close enough to help out my g'parents in times like this when I can't . I'm grateful for my great aunt who brought a mason jar's worth of her recreation of my great g'ma's home made soup . I ate the last of it today and it's been such a blessing . I'm also grateful for things like Gilmore Girls Box Sets , cable with tons of channels , internet , warm jammies , my inhaler , hot tea , and a miriad of other things .

Today I needed to muster up the energy to do some dishes and some picking up around the house . I was drowning in dirty bowls , spoons , and over flowing trashcans full of tissues and empty medicine pouches . Once I got the energy up , thank you Starbucks ground coffee for the home , I thought I'd make a little snow/sick day snack . One of my favorite Chattanooga couples got me a Sugar Daddy for Christmas . No , no , not the sugar daddy that will purchase me diamonds and Coach bags , but the candy kind . And not just any puny pocket sized Sugar Daddy , but a half pounder .

I knew there was no way my teeth would survive actually eating this sugary treat . So, I debated what other options there may be for it other than just keeping it as a memory . Today I had a UREKA moment . Necessity is the mother of invention . I decide to see if I could melt down this half pound caramel confection . I made a double boiler , sprayed my smaller pan with cooking spray ,  added about a 1/4th cup of milk and set the stove on medium/low .

Turns out , it worked . It took about an hour to melt into a total liquid . I didn't want to turn it on too high of a heat considering this was an experiment .

While my sugar daddy melted I prepared a pan for caramel pop corn making . I placed a sheet of tin foil on the length and width of the cookie sheet and sprayed it with cooking spray . Once my caramel was a total liquid I put some microwaveable keetle corn in the microwave for 3 1/2 minutes . Don't forget once the popcorn is popped to sift out the extra seeds that didn't pop . Other wise once you cover it with caramel you may have a few unkind surprises when
you bite into your candy coated treat.

While the pop corn was still warm,  with a baggie on my hand to protect from the heat of the caramel and pop corn , I poured the hot , melted caramel over the popcorn and moved it around the sheet to cover it all .

TA-DA!!!! A Yummy , snow day snack !! I saved just a bit of the caramel to use later in a possible Caramel Machiato or something else yummy and delicious .

To keep the clean up easy I put the small pan that I had used to melt the caramel in a empty sink and poured the hot water from the double boiler into it to remove the extra caramel . Otherwise I may have been scraping and soaking this pan for days .

What have you found, purchased or recived lately that can be repurposed ?
Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Repurpose
Happy Snow Day !

Monday, January 7, 2013

~ I Miss Your Face ~

~FUHouse~ 4 out of 5 roomies had the flu, the one behind
the french doors didn't want to risk it. #memories
I miss your  face and it just makes me so mad sometimes . There are relationships that just aren't meant for forever . We've all experienced it . Sometimes it's elementary , high school or college friends that over time the relationship simply ends . Sometimes it's family . Through divorce , death , life choices , or distance not all family connections last . So, o.k. What do we do when we miss someone that just wasn't meant to be there forever or is simply far away ?  I tend to be an advocate of "feel what you feel", meaning if you are sad then be sad . If you need to mourn the loss of a relationship, then do so . Then move on . But in these situations when it is truly out of your control , fate stepped in and removed something or someone that simply wasn't suppose to be there , how do you handle the moments of missing ?
~ College Life ~ A few of my Besties~
~ RD Life ~ Snow Days are the Best Days~
I'm unsure at this point what the answer to that question is . I don't know that my normal philosophy of emotion which is "feel what you feel and move on" would work . To miss some one is to linger on what once was , what isn't and possibly what may never be . I don't know that I consider any of that a healthy thought for more than a moment . What I have realized though , is once again , the importance of embracing opportunities when they are presented . Since I moved back home the one thing I've missed most are the friendships . My grandparents have always said that I've been blessed with such amazing friends . I agree and for me , these friendships have more often than not turned into what feels like family . I didn't grow up with siblings and lived in a single parent home so, my happiest times are with friends . Not necessarily "doing" things or "going" places, but just all together everyone chatting, laughing and being in one place . Comfortable . Growing up I always loved to be where all my cousins were . I don't know if it's the only child thing or what, but I love a gathering of loved ones in a home . My great grandmother had 11 children she then took part  in helping raise some of her grand children and even great-grandchildren . I was one of the lucky ones who got to spend summers in her home . With each day I never knew which cousin , aunt or uncle might drop by to visit . I think all of this really formed my "happy place " of being with people I love .

In HS we were awesome...
good news...we still are .

All that said , as I've worked on reconnecting with old friends , family , and keeping connected with those in other cities I've really missed people . I consider myself pretty good at technological communication . Ya know, facebook, texting, phone calls, skype , etc. But since my move I haven't always been able to take the opportunities presented to spend the time in person that I wish I could  . I've often had friends from afar be in a near by city or even in town and not be able to visit with them for one reason or another . Such an instance happened three times in a row this last holiday season . I've been so sad and missing the people that make me whole .

Definition of WHOLE. 1. a (1): free of wound or injury : unhurt
(2): recovered from a wound or injury : restored (3): being healed
In all this time with opportunities taken and opportunities missed I'd been beating myself up and feeling wounded over how much I missed my friends . I had been feeling like I'd let them all down with each time that I couldn't meet up . Friday I had planned to meet up with some friends I hadn't seen in over a year . They happen to be near by and it was something I really was looking forward too . However, that morning I wasn't feeling very well at all . I was so disappointed . I had to postpone and hope to be able to see them the next day .With postponing the possibility of spending time with my friends I became overwhelmed and sad . I started thinking that maybe the Lord was putting me in solitary confinement . Perhaps He had a reason for all this alone time . As I lay in bed that night praying that I'd feel better the next day so I could see my friends, it hit me .  I realized what exactly I had unknowingly fallen victim too . It wasn't the Lord keeping me away from my friends . He was the one providing all these opportunities !! I had unknowingly and unwittingly been looking past His provision for my needs . How was I so blind ?! Saturday I woke up with determination to not pass on another opportunity to take hold of God's provision . I had a wonderful time with good friends . It was relaxing , fun , and a tangible experience of Gods' love , provision and care for me . 
So, I suppose , the answer to " How do you handle the moments of missing ? " would be instead another question . How is God trying to fill that space ? Is He providing you with opportunities to make new friends , reconnect , or perhaps the time alone has a purpose as well ? My realization was that He had been trying to ease my pain of missing my friends for some time . I however , so consumed with myself hadn't even be able to notice His hand . How upsetting is that realization ?! I was so consumed with myself that I missed God !!!! My eyes are open now and I hope to not be so flippant when a opportunity comes my way . God truly cares for not only our needs , but our wants as well . I'm grateful for a God that knows me so well . And while "my" plans for Friday had fallen through God still had a plan for my day that I'm so grateful for .
How might He be trying to answer your prayers or provide for you that you may be missing ?

~ Campus Life ~ Costume Cruise ~ Friends that Might as well be Family ~
 ~ Chattanooga Life ~ Tacky Christmas Party ~
~Don't deny the awesomeness that is my goodwill dress~

Friday, January 4, 2013

~While I Wait ~

 Photo: Watching Passion2013 live stream. Thankful today for technology and the ability it gives us to worship together while miles apart. #thankfulforfellowshipWordfuelandworship

I am thankful that in my quiet time this morning I ended by asking God what He wanted to do with my day . He surely answered . Today through a series of unplanned events I found myself at home watching the Passion2013 conference online . It was definitely Gods planning for my afternoon .
Are you as excited as I am that technology can provide the opportunity to worship , be fed , and fellowship together from miles away ? With all the "bad" technology sometimes has to offer this gift of live stream  Passion2013 is for sure a good !
Today as I caught part of Session 8 of the Passion conference  Pastor Giglio was speaking on how we "wait for God" , "I'm waiting for God to......." , fill in the blank . While in all actuality God is waiting on us . Waiting on us to ask , take a step of faith , move , do, write, sing , etc . As I listened to Pastor Giglio's words combine with something I'd read earlier in my quiet time, "My heart is grieved by your independence" - Come Away My Beloved,  I found myself convicted of "waiting" .
Many times in life we must wait . It is a waste of energy and time to try and make things happen in our own time . We MUST WAIT on God .  I don't think that the waiting is wrong , it's what we do while we wait that can lead us further and further from what we are waiting for .  After my time via live stream at the Passion2013 conference I'm in a greater realization of the importance of what I do while I wait . While I wait on God to provide a job , a ministry , funds , healing , fellowship , rest , the list goes on and on , I can be someone He uses while someone else is waiting . I can write , testify , make aware ,  love , pray , bake , create , listen , research , spend time in the Word , the list goes on and on . All of this so that while waiting I'm not being waited on . Does that make any sense to anyone other than me ? Also in my time this morning I read Psalm 136 . Did you know that out of the 26 verses in that chapter the following phrase is written 26 times , "....for His steadfast love endures forever." ?  While we wait on Him , while He waits on us ," .....His steadfast love endures forever" .
It may not have hit you as it did me, but I was blown away . Stop being impatient Stacie ! Stop being anxious Stacie ! Stop over thinking it Stacie ! Start trust Me stacie ! Start testifying of My love for you stacie ! Start lookin in new places for My plan for your life stacie ! The list, again, goes on and on .
My prayer for you this afternoon is that you would see that He is waiting on you while you've been spending time waiting on Him . What does He have for you today ? Just ask . I'm sure He'll answer .
 Definition of STEADFAST. 1. a: firmly fixed in place : immovable. b: not subject to change
While I'm Waiting - John Waller
I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I'm waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord
And I am peaceful, I'm waiting on You Lord
Though it's not easy no, but faithfully I will wait
Yes, I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I will move ahead bold and confident
I'll be taking every step in obedience, yeah

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint

And I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You Lord

I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting

~ The Laborers Are Few ~ Part Two

Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few".

Many of you read here about my friend Crystal who is preparing to serve the Lord by way of the mission field in Peru . I thought that you may like to keep up with her directly and find out more concerning her mission . If so, by clicking on  Crystal2peru you can follow her story and find out all the details I might not have shared in my original post .
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Crystal is still praying, preparing, and fundraising for her mission to Peru . Unlike a short term trip her calling is life long . She isn't looking at this as a quick week or two in the jungle. She's planning for a life of service there . So, she has much to prepare and plan for before she can pack her bags and go . While I know that Crystals' loved ones are soaking up every last minute of her being in their day to day , I also know that she is very eager to get to her mission . I'm encouraged and challenged by her eagerness . We aren't all blessed enough to be fully aware of our life's passion/mission/vision .

If you are interested in helping Crystal click on Crystal2peru to find out how you can help . If you'd like to learn more about her sending organization click here for Pioneer .

As I've said about a million times , it isn't about the amount it's about the thought . I want to simply encourage you to consider how you might be able to serve by serving Crystal . The list of needs is endless and starts with the easiest , most simple and amazing of needs, prayer . A person can pray while they brush their teeth . Not all are lead to give financially. Not all are lead to pray . Not all are lead to go , but I think all are lead .

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gweneth's 5th Birthday ~ Reverse Gifting

Gwyneth's Reverse Birthday/Gifting
Gweneth Rose

As many of you read in my blog  "Sweet Tricia" , I am forever amazed by the grace, good hearts and thoughtfulness that can come from folks even when they themselves are going through unthinkable pains . My friends Nate, Tricia & Gweneth are such people . As Tricia awaits reactivation for her second double lung transplant they continue to love on others . I'm sure if I spent as much time as they did in a hospital, doctors office , and hotel I'd be thinking only of my own selfishness . Their strength and ability to think on and  love on others continues to challenge me .

Nate & Tricia's miracle baby Gweneth , is turning 5 this month . In honor of the miracle that is Gweneth's life and how God continues to provide for them they have made a amazing tradition out of her birthday that goes beyond cakes, ice cream and gifts . I had to share this awesomeness with you all . If you are interested in taking part what's written below is from the event page Nathan posted on Face Book . It has details, mailing address, words of testimony and how they came about the idea .

With the early arrival of my sweet friends son Hudson , written about here I am even more aware of the need that this awesome birthday event is meeting . I've posted many times on giving back , loving on others , and the little things that can change a persons day and sometimes life . This is a wonderful opportunity and with all the after Christmas sales going on I wouldn't think it'd be all that expensive either . If you're looking for a way to give back , I'd like to encourage you to consider this birthday event .

"One of our favorite days of the year! Gwyneth Rose will be turning five on January 8! And, while we love birthday parties and cake and ice cream, our favorite part about this grand day is what we like to call "reverse gifting".

For the past three years for Gwyneth's birthday we've asked our friends and family to forgo any birthday gifts for Gwyneth (really, she has everything a five year old could want/need already) and instead purchase new or gently used preemie clothes for us to deliver to the Intensive Care Nurseries at DUKE and CHKD (the two hospitals that have taken such great care of Gwyneth for us). Over the past three years we've delivered over 125 gift bags full of clothes.

Gwyneth is now old enough to understand what we're doing, and we're looking forward to continuing this for many years to come. It's a lot of fun and a great way to teach our daughter that her special day doesn't have to be all about her. Collecting and delivering these gifts has truly become one of the highlights of our year.

We learned from our experience at Duke that every little detail for a family of a newborn preemie can be a huge mountain of stress, including (maybe, especially, considering how hard they are to find) finding preemie clothes. Finding clothes tiny enough to fit a 4lb baby can be very difficult.

Here is a blog comment from a mother who received one the gift bags a few years ago:

"I just wanted to say Thank You! I arrived at the duke NICU today and received our onesie and your letter!! My son keylan, was born 3 wks ago @ 24 wks and weighing 1 lb 8 oz. Your gift really touched my heart. With everything going on, I haven't even thought about clothes. At times I feel so alone, to know their are people that care is truly a blessing!! Christy"

We will be collecting preemie clothes and gift cards to Target and Babies R Us through January 15. If you would like to celebrate Gwyneth's 5th birthday with us in this way, here are three ways to do it:

1. Donate new or gently used preemie clothes to your nearest hospital Infant Care Nursery in honor of Gwyneth and/or any other preemie that has blessed your life.

2. Mail new or gently used preemie clothes to us. We'll deliver them for you to Duke and/or CHKD. (see mailing address and instructions below)

3. Mail or Email gift cards to us from either BabiesRUs or Target and we'll do the shopping for you. (see email and instructions below)

Thank you so much for considering joining us as we bless other preemie families in celebration of our daughter's birth and life!

Nate, Tricia & Gwyneth Rose

Mail to:
Nathan Lawrenson
PO Box ?
Durham, NC 27713

Email to

We have had the most success shopping for preemie clothes at BabiesRUs and Target. You can also find lots of preemie clothes at online retailers.

E-GiftCards can be purchased at BabiesRUs and Target websites and sent directly to the email address above.

Please, keep clothes unwrapped (as in, don't wrap them in wrapping paper). The hospital prefers for gifts to be unwrapped so there are no surprises...we'll make sure to put them in gift bags for you when we deliver them. Also, feel free to include a personal note to the preemie family(s) with your gift.

We'll be accepting donations through January 15. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment. Thanks!"