Monday, January 31, 2011

Love & Prayers

On an average weekday, my husband will call around mid-day.  We each talk about how our day has been so far, plans for that evening, what’s for supper, and usually he’ll chat for a moment with Jadon.  It’s something I so look forward to and miss on those days when it just can’t happen due to either of our schedules. 

On one particular day this past fall, despite one of his busiest days out of the year, Andy called.  There were so many things going on at the church right now, and yet my loving husband took the time to call (ever so briefly) to ask how my day was.  Jadon was already in bed for his nap and it had been a long morning – after having had a long night prior due to a nagging cough and congestion that Jadon was struggling to get over after a recent cold.  I was so looking forward to this conversation, as brief as I knew it would be, and yet after saying good-bye I did not feel the sense of love, contentment, and relief that I usually feel.  I felt guilty.  As I quickly reflected on the conversation we just had I realized that this guilt was not at all misplaced.  I suddenly felt awful that on such a stressful day for my husband, I had completely dominated our conversation with woes and complaints about all that I had been dealing with that morning… and, to make matters worse, other things that did not even matter to the day.  I just got caught up in complaint. 
Does this happen to you?  I often find myself sliding into that muck and mud.  It’s like quicksand.  It doesn’t take much to just suck you in and then find it difficult to pull yourself out.  The reality is (and thankfully God brought this to my attention quite quickly) that I can’t pull myself out.  I need to stop fighting against all that is over-whelming me and reach up to the ever-present hand of God.  He’s right there!  Just pray! 

God is the great forgiver.  It’s difficult to enter into the presence of the great forgiver and still feel weighed down with our sin and guilt.  It’s possible, but difficult.  Despite having a cranky, coughing toddler running around that morning, I had still found time to read my Bible, but I had not yet prayed to my Heavenly Father (and that God-please-protect-this-child-from-his-grouchy-mother prayer does not count).  And I must say, this sinner was in great need of some forgiveness.  Despite those difficult days that all stay-at-home moms have when you just want to pull out your hair (that is, the rest of your hair that your toddler has not already yanked out), it is a privilege to be able to be the one to care for my son each day – at his best and worst.  God’s given me an awesome responsibility that I often take for granted.  Staying at home is not always easy – financially or emotionally – but it is what God has given me to do for this time and I am honored to have such a high calling. 

God also challenged me, during this time of prayer, to pray for my husband.  I can’t do this often enough.  In her book Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, Sharon Jaynes says the following:

“Of all the roles and responsibilities God has given us as wives, the position of a prayer warrior or intercessor is perhaps the greatest of all… What we accomplish on our knees in the invisible realm will ultimately affect the strength of our marriage in the visible realm.  There is no other person who is more called or more qualified to pray for your man than you.”

Although cooking his favorite meal and laundering his –ahem… unmentionables may come in at a close second and third, the number one thing that a wife can do for her husband is pray for him.  Period.  As difficult as some of these busy days are for us, the best thing that I can do for my husband – as his helper – is pray for him.    

Do you thank God often for where he has you right now?  Do you pray for your children?  For your spouse?  For others who you love?  I hope God’s lesson to me is an encouragement to you today.

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:11-12

~ Carrie ~ 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fresh Fridays

My vision for Friday posts was to keep it low-key and personal - maybe a funny Jadon story... or a general synopsis of life for our family.  We'll see what it turns into.  

This week was a little exhausting, due to my teething toddler... We also had more snow!  We have 6 foot piles in our front yard.  I took Jadon out in the snow for a bit and got a chance to talk with our neighbor and her daughters (a rare thing in New England, as everyone seems to hibernate when the cold weather hits).  

I wrote this when we got our first major storm this month... and every time I think to erase it we get another storm!  (By the way, this chalkboard was a cute thrift store grab for $1!  More to come about this little treasure in the near future!)
Truth be told, I was about at my wit's end when Andy came home last night.  It was apparent that we needed some family time out of the house, so off we went to a favorite (and cheap) source of entertainment for our family - basically the biggest, craziest furniture store you've probably ever seen.  It includes a Fuddrucker's restaurant, Verizon store, Paul's TV, Home Depot, IMAX Theater, a liquid fireworks display, and - oh yeah - Richardson's Ice Cream.  Yes, after an 8 minute drive and $2.96 spent (for a bowl of ice cream that we shared), our family was recharged, and, most importantly, Mom had regained some of her sanity.  

That has about been the highlight of my week - and praise be to God who gives us those precious moments to remind us that even when we feel we are losing control, God is still in control.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, 
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. 
Psalm 20:7-8

Hope you have a great weekend!

~ Carrie ~

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2 Thumbs Up

If you haven't seen this video before then you've been missing a very special blessing.  This little girl's account of the story of Jonah is both captivating and adorable at the same time.  The passion and enthusiasm that she has for sharing the Word of God is definitely an example to be followed.  Enjoy!

The Story of Jonah as Told by The Cutest Little Girl

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Primitive Pick

My decor of choice is primitive/colonial.  I love the comfort and warmth of it.  Lately, however, I've had a tendency to throw in little hints of more vintage and contemporary elements... sparingly.  I guess you could say I'm becoming slightly more eclectic in my taste and it is slowly beginning to reveal itself in my decor. 

Each week I'm trying to showcase something in the world of decor that has caught my eye (although it won't always be primitive).  Feel free to leave your opinion!

This week: Black Crow Candles

There are 2 reasons why I love these candles: they smell great (obviously) and they burn a really long time!  Good thing, too, because I burn them all the time.  These candles are available at a variety of primitive stores or you can order them online here.  Hope you've enjoyed my first primitive pick!  


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


In an attempt to capture more of the everyday moments of my life I am going to try to post at least one picture a week.  I'm really hoping in the process of doing this my picture taking skills will increase and an awareness and appreciation for the regular activities that are my life.  (Don't worry... there will be no pictures of me cleaning any toilets or changing dirty diapers!)  Hope you enjoy my Life24/7.

My Lunch Date

Granola Thief

Monday, January 24, 2011

A time to reflect, a time to serve...

First official blog post!  I’m very excited for the start of something very new in my life. I hope this brightens your Monday morning!  

In the beginning of December, I decided that I should probably start working on our family’s Christmas letter.  Although it is somewhat time-consuming, I enjoy reflecting on all the year held for us.  Now, in 2009 it was difficult to keep the length of our Christmas letter to a tolerable amount.  So much happened that year! – the birth of our son, my husband graduating from seminary, responding to the call of pastor at the church we are still serving.  So, this year I excitedly sat down, opened up a new Word document on my laptop, and began the reflecting process.
After 20 minutes of reflecting I didn’t even have a complete sentence.  To my dismay, I could not think of even one Christmas letter worthy event from 2010!  I knew I must be forgetting something and later informed my husband of my predicament, to which he responded, “Yeah, I can’t think of anything either.” It was in that moment that I felt that we had somehow failed God in 2010.  Ultimately we decided not to include a Christmas letter with our photo cards this year (which made things so much easier).  Unfortunately I still struggled with the possibility that we had an unsuccessful year. 

For weeks I contemplated this dilemma and eventually was led to what I believe is an accurate assessment of 2010.  Whereas 2009 was a year of major life changes, 2010 was a year of transitioning.  God gave us 2010, with all its trials and blessings, to grow where he planted us in 2009.  It may not look exciting to anyone else, but it was beneficial to us. 
Unfortunately many people are quick to say “good riddance” to each year, hoping that the new year will bring greater satisfaction.  Along with this view comes an onslaught of typical New Year’s resolutions.  Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of them.  Maybe it’s the fact that I, like many others, consistently failed at keeping them – some not even lasting through the first month of the year!  The bigger reason why I’ve often shied away is that they always seemed so selfish (self-motivated, self-reliant, and self-driven).  As a servant of God (not self), I try to flee from such desires – and that is what I’ve done. 

As I spent time reflecting on all that God did in my life in 2010, I realized that I may have made a huge mistake over the last several years with my non-resolving rebellious attitude.  (Okay, maybe that’s a little over dramatic, but you get the picture.)  It dawned on me that God intends for us to reflect on what he’s done and contemplate how that should impact how we live now and what we strive for in our future.  If he didn’t, then what is the purpose of His Word that has been preserved throughout thousands of years, marking the history of God and his dealings with sinful mankind and provision of a loving Savior?  Why read it if not to learn from it and change the way we live now and give us a hope for our future? 

All of this led to my making a list of my goals for 2010.  (I’m still resistant to calling them “resolutions”.)  I’ve prayed about each of these goals and am prepared to do all that I can to see each one through, as God sees fit.  I fully understand that God is ultimately in control over each event that takes place in my life and even if none of my goals is reached by the end of 2011, I know all that I do will be with the ultimate goal of serving and loving God greater. 

~ Carrie ~

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:10-12

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Welcome to my blog!  Please check out the "About" page to see what will be happening here.  I'll try to post often, but I'm a busy wife and mom so... life happpens!  I hope that what I share is a source of encouragement to you!

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21