Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stuffed Animal Hammock!

I wish I would have pursued this years ago...
it would have saved me from much angst
and my kids from much fear of mommy giving their stuffies to children in need.
Let me explain a little of my world.
Growing up, my older sisters thought stuffies were useless
and so, I was allowed three stuffies and no more.
I grew up thinking stuffies were stupid and a waste--then,
I had six children who LOVE stuffies!
After fifteen years of trying to figure out the best way to store stuffed animals
(that seem to multiply during the night)
I FINALLY 'googled' the problem.
 'Stuffed Animal Hammocks' popped up.
But after seeing that not one of the hammocks are
made to hold more than five stuffies
I moved on.
I googled, "DIY Stuffed Animal Hammocks."
This glorious site came before my eyes
like a Krispy Kreme donut and a hot cuppa couffee on a cold, rainy day.
I followed her advice to the letter and voila!
Four stuffy hammocks installed without the hubbies help!
I'm quite proud.
Child number 1's stuffy hammock

Child number 2's stuffy hammock

One hammock on top...and one on bottom
bunk beds. I put the hammocks next to their beds so they could
easily get to them and easily put them away.

Now, now, before you scream...yes, my girls love stuffies!
and to further daughters made their own stuffy hammock.

My fourth child's hammock...I have some work to do on it,
 but boy am I happy =)
And there you have it!
One happy mommy =)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Is it a Miracle?

A friend of mine was conveying an incredible story to me the other day of how God 'showed up' and created a 'miracle.' He used the word miracle over and over again and as he did my mind kept asking, "Is that a miracle?"

I do not doubt, in the least, the power of God to create miracles, but was what he shared a miracle? You know like...blind- see. The deaf - hear. The lame- walk....kind of miracles.

By definition a miracle is: "An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. -such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God."

So, two years ago I wrote an article called, "He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills." It is the retelling of an unbelievable story. To summarize: I had wanted new couches for years. We tried to save for leather couches, or even faux leather couches, but something else would take precedence and thus, no couches. Finally, I cried out to God and surrendered the desire for new couches. A few days later I heard the Lord whisper, "Today you'll find your couches." That day I did! Now, I ask you, is that a miracle?

This is how I see it: I prayed to my Daddy in Heaven. I cried out to the One who made me, the One who loves me, the One who gave His very Son to die on the cross for me. He answered my prayer- I got couches. Is that a miracle? or a relationship? Is that God doing something extra-ordinary or is that God being GOD?

I believe God desires to be a part of our intimate lives. He wants us talking to Him about everything on our hearts. He wants us to trust Him, talk with Him, have a relationship with Him. So, "when His child asks for bread, will He give him a stone?" (Matthew 7:9) NO! He gives His child just what he asked Him for.

Can I tell you that my house is now filled with 'miracles' or 'answers to prayer' from God. I prayed for a dresser for my daughter (Unmerited-Undeserved Favor) -He gave it to me. Prayed for something/anything to help organize my children's closet- He gave it to me. Prayed for two different kinds of armoires- He gave them to me. Prayed for clothes for my teens who just KEEP growing-He gave it to me . My son tore up his new soccer cleats- prayed-He gave it to me. My list could go on. Okay, I will. I prayed for a dining room table, chairs and china cabinet -He gave it to me . I didn't pray for rugs and pillows for my couches, but had it on my heart- He gave it to me. Prayed for a new couch for the kids play room - He gave it to me. That's still not all. I prayed to have six students for my Joy School - He gave them to me. I prayed for a way to raise extra money for my family - idea was sent by the Holy Spirit - I now have a little side business!

Do you get it? I haven't had 'miracles' in my life- I have GOD in my life. I have a Father who loves me and hears every prayer, ridiculous or not. I talk to God about everything. I share with Him all my joys, worries, anxious thoughts, etc. Now, by definition everything I have received from God is in fact a miracle- "An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. -such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God." But God being God -all He CAN do are miracles. He cannot be less than who He is and we should expect no less. We should not be surprised when God answers our prayers- He loves us. He is our Daddy. He wants a relationship with us.

In other words, we should not be surprised when "God shows up"- He never left. He is always with us. I believe God wants to do even more in our lives. I believe God wants us to know Him. I am not a 'name it- claim it' preacher. God has used all my answered prayers to teach me about who He is. As for me, I believe God wants me to know and believe He is not like my father on earth. My whole life, and still even today, I was and am afraid of my earthly father. I never felt free to ask him for anything because I never knew if he would respond in kindness or rage. Growing up I quickly learned to never ask him for things. I learned to go it my own way. I have always had a job, since I was eleven years old. I have had some form of employment and have paid for everything.

Today I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mommy of six, which I believe is the plan God has for me, but with that decision came the decision to not work outside the home. I have to rely on my husband's income to provide for us. (That doesn't always work). So God is teaching me that HE is my daddy and HE will provide. I can come to Him and He will not send me away. He will not yell at me. He will not say, "How Absurd! You want what!?" He will not laugh at my requests. He adores me. He delights in my heart. My heart is to bless my family and my company. My heart is to have a home that welcomes people. God knows my heart and I have had this journey with God to learn this lesson. I used to be afraid to ask God for anything. I was independent and could do it all by myself. He has taught me that He is gentle. He is kind. He has taught me that I am not alone and He wants to help me. I have had to learn who He is, abandon the lies I believed about Him and the lies even about myself of being capable of doing life on my own. It has been a walk with Jesus. A relationship.

The point I am trying to make is the more we see the move of God as a 'miracle' the more we keep Him at a distance. The more we say, "God showed up" the more we believe in His absence. He is always wanting to create miracles in our lives. He is always with us. Miracles should not be infrequent- but expected. Miracles are all that God can do- so why not invite Him in and allow Him to do what He does best- miracles, through a relationship with you!