Friday, April 3, 2015

Everyday Grace.

I love that Jess Thompson titled her book on relationships Everyday Grace, not every week grace. Or every couple of months grace. Is it just me or does every day feel like I need Christ more and more by the second as I interact with people.  People are the worst, I always say, and that's because we are sinners interacting with sinners all the live long day.  We are bound to place unrealistic expectation on one another and also, we are bound to hurt and be hurt by each other. What is the solution then? 
So. Lets read a little condensed version of a chapter about friendships and how the Gospel intersects them.

 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Have you ever experienced the awkwardness of meeting someone you really enjoy and thinking that it was the start of beautiful friendship, only to find out that they didn’t feel the same way? I’ll be honest, that is one of my biggest fears. I hate to be vulnerable and put my heart out there not knowing if my feelings will be returned. I want to make absolutely sure that the friendship is reciprocated before I ever let my real feelings be known. Initiating a relationship is a very scary place to be.
I was thinking about this the other day, when, all of a sudden, John 15:15 came crashing into my thoughts. Jesus does the very thing that I am so afraid of doing. He tells us, you and me, that he calls us “friend.” It almost seems like that can’t be right. I can understand God calling me his child, or his servant…but to call me his friend? He begins our relationship by calling me “friend.” I don’t do anything to deserve or earn this friendship.
He doesn’t invite us into friendship and then keep us at arms length. He tells us that he wants to share everything he knows from the Father with us. He invites us in completely, with no hesitation, no conditions, no judgments; just pure welcome. Fellowship and relationship with God is the ultimate goal of Christianity. This relationship is not something we can do; it is something that has happened to us.
What we deserve, at the very best, is to be called a servant. This was what the prodigal son asked for. He wanted to prove himself, to work for a relationship. Our God, like the father of the prodigal, will have nothing to do with that. When we come face-to-face with what we are, it feels like too much to even ask God — our Heavenly Father — if we can be a servant! The heart of the Father is to offer us something much better: “I don’t want you as servants. I call you friends.”
The lovely truth about dwelling on his proclamation of “friend” over me is that it frees me up to be a true friend to those around me. No longer am I looking to get into the “in” crowd; one such as Jesus has called me his friend! No longer do I have to wonder if others reciprocate my feelings; Jesus has loved me eternally even when I don’t love Him in return! No longer do I need to worry about whether or not a friend is meeting my needs; Jesus is truly all the friend I need! No longer do I have to demand that my friends are always available to walk me through a situation; Jesus never leaves my side! No longer do I have to make others prove that they’re worthy of my love; when I was unlovely and unworthy God initiated and sustains a relationship with me.
My savior has proved his love for and friendship to me by laying down his life for me. This opens up my heart and allows me to lay down my life for others. He has loved me when I don’t deserve it, even when I forget him. This changes my friendships; I can love even when I don’t feel like I am being treated the way I deserve.
Beloved friends of Christ, may we never forget that all of the love and acceptance that we look for in each other can be found only in the arms of Christ. His arms, once out-stretched on the cross for us, remain out-stretched, but now, reach toward us.---Jessica Thompson

You can grab this new book, Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesuson amazon right now!!

If you'd like a chance to win this book, please leave a comment! we'll pick a winner next week…

WINNER PICKED Dinah Childress!!! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

come-uh come-uh come-uh chameleeeonnnnn

It is day three of husband being out of town and Lord help me, single mom's deserve more than a million dollars + all the donuts + gin and juices on tap.

I stepped in puke on the way up the stairs today while bringing the sick child up to bed tonight. It was clean puke. You know the kind where you have wiped it up, sprayed it down, scrubbed it and it still leaves a spot? In my zeal, I over-sprayed, so it will be wet for the next two years at least.  On the way down, I told myself to miss that step, only I had miss counted the steps and still managed to step in it again. I asked myself and the Lord why I even got a runner for the stairs when the kids are still so little and the Lord was like, these and other questions will be answered at the Pearly Gates. God has jokes, guys.

I came down stairs to pick up a second child to put them to bed, who was wining loudly and clinging, and Pruett , who has yet to crawl, was on all fours crawling unsteadily backwards. American idol's obnoxious jingle was playing in the background and I watched my last baby crawl (the wrong direction) in the midst of bedtime chaos.


I have been thinking a lot about how I want my life to be and how it is not that. I tell myself throughout the day what should have happened and what this or that should look like by now.
all day long.

You should mother better. 
You should not have the stomach pooch by now. With the other babies that was already gone. 
You should probably be eating something other than carbs for breakfast. like a green smoothie. 
You should have said this to that person instead of ----. Sorta screwed that up. 
You shouldhave written more today. You had a couple minutes to spare. 
You should talk to Layne more about his day. He's going to resent you.

I literally do not shut up to myself all damn day.

All the other kids were in bed and it was just me and Pruett on the carpet.  I'm laying there with him watching him scoot and play with a non-children's paperback book and Boy George is in the background talking to the performers with cliche advice, I guess I would just say, Enjoy what's happening.
then me in response, chiming in:
I should do that. 

And I can't. I don't know how, Boy George. I can not, for the life of me, find the magical unicorn that is "balance". Basically, at the end of the day, I feel pretty bad about myself after all the not matching up to my expectations. I mean, there's no way to fancy this up with eloquent words and there's no way to fix my self worth with tired clich├ęs that no one can actually do. unless. well, unless, in a dusting of God's grace, He gifts you with maybe a strong margarita and a glorious moment of clarity where you see how good the thing in front of you really, really is.  I hate that we act like we are living some glorious full life of constant Be Here Now. We just fail so hard and deep down, we all know we're pretenders that yearn to love the moments in front of us.

I want to just cry admitting that. It's like staring at sophomore self in the mirror and seeing a huge zit on picture day. This isn't how I wanted it to go. I wanted to look better.  I planned it differently and I have this incredible blouse with a matching scrunci from the limited to prove it.

Speaking of high school me, I'm writing/procrastinating this talk for some young gals on "beauty" and I am learning how much I am still my insecure, zit face self hiding under something I think might make me prettier.  I know the truth though, I only want to be gorgeous but I am not. I want to be popular but I am not. Except for my senior year when I got boobs and legs, but I digress. I want to be something other than what I am because I know that looking a certain way brings me value.

I have thought about it a lot today.  That God's love for me is based on him seeing my ugliness and still choosing me. That because of Jesus, I am beautiful. That under all the crushing expectations that I don't meet, christian ones and worldly ones, God chose me wether I have the pretty life or pretty face or pretty morals I've wanted and tried for in my short breath of a life.

He loves me and that makes me beautiful, not the other way around-- not, I am beautiful so He loves me. Not, I have it together, so He loves me. The truth is, I am stuck and dirty and ugly, and He loves me.  Basically, that's kind of a game changer. Am I really 33 and just now learning about self worth as I walk up puke stairs and listen to come-uh come-uh come-uh chameleeeonnnnn but hear the Gospel? I laugh.  Of course, I am.
Grace probably dusts the unpleasant moments of life more than we think.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

writing and stuff.

oh hai.

ya. i know. i've been all quiet on the blog. i sometimes wonder if blogs are a thing of the past because of instagram and twitter and all the other quick things we have that keep us in touch.

but i know blogs are good for one thing -and that's writing. sometimes i write blogstagrams because it's more convenient. but this space is where i actually learned how to write. i didn't have to worry about capitalizing things and saying words all pretty. i didn't have to reference a thesaurus to find a bigger better word for what i was trying to say…i just wrote. i love that quote by ernest hemingway:

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

I think there's a lot of flowery christian writing out there and it's popular. so sometimes it crosses my mind that i should be more THAT. but i can't. and i won't. it's not my voice and it's not for me. 

i learned that here in this space. i had a unique voice and i didn't need to write like i learned how to in college or how i felt pulled by popular styles.  i would just start writing and the strangest things that had been sitting around in my soul would just fall out. I would re read that black on white and i think, i can't believe that was in there. i guess the internets would say i am a verbal processor and writing allowed me to take a moment to think about something other than whatever i was knee deep in for that life stage. i was a mom, covered in spit up and was wiping behinds for the better part of the day but i had things to say.  i was learning about life and God and things really hurt me and really encouraged me and i needed some place to put those thoughts.  I wanted the theology discussions and chatter but felt like it was a man's world, with resources geared towards men (think: crafting at MOPS as opposed to men's hefty theological book study at 6 am in the morning).

(please enjoy pruett's eyeline in the first picture. whatcha' looking' at buddy?)

and so i wrote. i was in there and i had things to say and things to think about and i liked discussing it with women in my same life stage. ( 'member when we used to comment on blogs? hashtag takes too much time.)

and i'm so very glad that i did.  the past me preaches to the present me. the past me tells me how much i've changed and grown. the past me helps this me remember that life is always changing and it's best not to hold tight to rigid judgements and ungraceful words. i did that all on the internet in front of people and i fell down and got up and did those things 100 more times. it was and is so good to be a blogger in this day and age, i don't care what anyone says.

now, i've moved in a new direction.  i am writing a book. a real long book. not essays, like my natural leaning. it's more of a marriage memoir and it is challenging me so much. i hate being challenged. ugh. but the uncomfortable is where i grow the most and where some of (read: ALL OF)my richest life experiences have taken place. so i'm trusting the process.

i may get picked up by a publisher and i may just self publish. who even knows at this point.  book-type people are looking at some chapters and it makes me very nervous. it's one thing to write something and hit publish. it's another to write your heart and soul and hear, this isn't for us. or can you change this this and this? or  this is too bold for christian marketing. 

i have time to figure this all out because i'm not even stinking halfway through. but. i just thought if i keep saying that i'm going to do it, i will have to just do it. because i told you i would. and a lot of the days, i just want to quit because it's a hard story. it's not a funny story. and i would much rather be funny than serious. but alas, for now, these are the words that need to be penned. it's a good story where everything that was broken and dead gets new life again. and those are the stories i can read over and over again.

with that said. will you all pray for me? to not be discouraged and to keep walking ahead in sometimes what feels like a really dimly lit path.
and just thank you for sticking with me all these years. i know i'm not your typical blogger with a schedule and all that. but it means the world to me. i feel like a lot of us have grown up together. or something deep. but haven't we a little?
lulz.
xoxox

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

our house on design sponge

our house is on design sponge if you want to pop over there and see it!
xoxo,
jami


you can see my craft room here 

if you want to see the kitchen redo, you can go here

the dining room before and after is here

our entry way how to is here

Thursday, February 5, 2015

WINNNNER

and the winner of the single mom giveaway is…

YOUR MOM. jay kay.




ERIN HISER!! you win the craziness.

all you ladies were amazing and i wish this could have gone to every single one of you.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

6 single moms.

it is such a joy to be able to give something crazy outlandish to people who quite literally do some of the hardest work on the planet.

so here's who you can vote on:

if you want to read about them, you can go look in the comments section on the previous post. they are all quite wonderful and deserving. 

simply leave a comment. you can vote once a day up, (as long as you like or follow a different vendor for each vote) until the winner is picked next thursday!
write the person's name and which of the vendors you liked or followed in the comments section.

here are this fine businesses again! and what they'll win…

you need a dining table. thanks unruh furniture.
 unruhfurniture // ​Facebook // unruhfurniture.com // Twitter: @unruhfurniture



you need some nutritious food on that table. thanks paleo fit for the $50 credit.


you need some pictures around that table with your kids. thanks bakerbakerphoto for the photo session.
Facebook //site www.bakerbakerphoto.com 


you need to know how to capture some good photos of those beautiful kiddos too. thanks allisoncorrin photography for the seat at your photography workshop. CAPTURE Workshops are the first in the CULTIVATE series from Allison Corrin Photography which are designed to inspire the eye, nourish the spirit and cultivate creativity. CAPTURE focuses on the technical components of shooting in manual mode indoors and outdoors in order to create beautiful, meaningful photographs as well as discusses other valuable considerations in the storytelling of photography.



you need coffee because. KIDS. 
thanks oddly correct coffee for the gift card//@oddly


everyone needs to go out to dinner too. how about a gift card from bread and butter concepts to one of these amazing restaurants? you can find them on Facebook here.




you need some table linens. probably nice ones…a set of 4. thanks pure as a pearl! these. are.gorge.
Instagram // @pureaspearl  Shop www.pureaspearl.etsy.com

before you eat your food, you need to wash those little hands. thanks soapDoh.
soapDoah is awesome playdoh like soap that encourages kids to actually play with their soap (so that it actually cleans their hands). genius. my kids love it.
Twitter: @SoapDoh // Facebook //Instagram: @soapdoh site: http://www.ilovesoapdoh.com/

you probably need to feel pretty because you don't take much time for yourself. thanks for the $50 store credit adelaide's vintage store. have you seen her stuff? oh. my. gollllllll.
instagram//@adelaidehomesewn // shop www.adelaidehomesewn.etsy.com


what's a pretty dress without stunning eyebrows? you need your eyebrows waxed. FOR A YEAR! thanks etiquette beauty. Facebook// site: www.etiquettebeauty.com // @etiquettebeauty


it's probably really hard to save because you're so busy giving to those kids. but let derek and carrie olson give you a one hour financial makeover sesh. you will love them.
"Basically, we sit down with you, go over your income and expenses, discuss your financial goals (or help you set some) and then help you get a plan together that works for you to start working towards your goals. We'll also provide some takeaways to help you stay on track."
site//www.derekandcarrie.com //

and i'm giving you a $50 gift card to honest company for what you'd be spending on diapers or  laundry detergent.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

nom your single mom: kansas city style.

single mom's basically are incredible people. i think we can all admit that. that's why this giveaway is just for you, lady. (or for someone you nominate).

the good people at unruh furniture do this thing where they make a lucky single mama a custom dining room table because…ya. so much happens around that table doesn't it? and you're not going to ask anyone for a table because you don't really ask for all that much. we know how you are. you're used to doing it on your own. could we help you a little bit?


you need a dining table. thanks unruh furniture.
 unruhfurniture // ​Facebook // unruhfurniture.com // Twitter: @unruhfurniture



you need some nutritious food on that table. thanks paleo fit for the $50 credit.


you need some pictures around that table with your kids. thanks bakerbakerphoto for the photo session.
Facebook //site www.bakerbakerphoto.com 


you need to know how to capture some good photos of those beautiful kiddos too. thanks allisoncorrin photography for the seat at your photography workshop. CAPTURE Workshops are the first in the CULTIVATE series from Allison Corrin Photography which are designed to inspire the eye, nourish the spirit and cultivate creativity. CAPTURE focuses on the technical components of shooting in manual mode indoors and outdoors in order to create beautiful, meaningful photographs as well as discusses other valuable considerations in the storytelling of photography.



you need coffee because. KIDS. 
thanks oddly correct coffee for the gift card//@oddly


everyone needs to go out to dinner too. how about a gift card from bread and butter concepts to one of these amazing restaurants? you can find them on Facebook here.




you need some table linens. probably nice ones…a set of 4. thanks pure as a pearl! these. are.gorge.
Instagram // @pureaspearl  Shop www.pureaspearl.etsy.com

before you eat your food, you need to wash those little hands. thanks soapDoh.
soapDoah is awesome playdoh like soap that encourages kids to actually play with their soap (so that it actually cleans their hands). genius. my kids love it.
Twitter: @SoapDoh // Facebook //Instagram: @soapdoh site: http://www.ilovesoapdoh.com/

you probably need to feel pretty because you don't take much time for yourself. thanks for the $50 store credit adelaide's vintage store. have you seen her stuff? oh. my. gollllllll.
instagram//@adelaidehomesewn // shop www.adelaidehomesewn.etsy.com


what's a pretty dress without stunning eyebrows? you need your eyebrows waxed. FOR A YEAR! thanks etiquette beauty. Facebook// site: www.etiquettebeauty.com // @etiquettebeauty


it's probably really hard to save because you're so busy giving to those kids. but let derek and carrie olson give you a one hour financial makeover sesh. you will love them.
"Basically, we sit down with you, go over your income and expenses, discuss your financial goals (or help you set some) and then help you get a plan together that works for you to start working towards your goals. We'll also provide some takeaways to help you stay on track."
site//www.derekandcarrie.com //


and so you can save what you'd be spending on diapers or  laundry detergent, here's $50 to spend at honest.com


how will this work?
if you want to nominate a mom or yourself, simply like or follow any company above and then come back and leave your comment here, telling which company you followed/liked, the name of the single mom, how many kids she has(or you have), and in fifty words or less, why you nominate them(yourself).
we will pick 6 moms and then the internets can vote on who gets this awesome bundle.

this section of the giveaway will close on january 27th. We will post the 6 chosen mom's on the 29th. and then for a week, until february 4th…the internets can vote!

fine print: this mom has to live in the kansas city area. that means their address has to fall within a 40 mile radius from kansas city, MO. don't be weird and try and find some loophole!