Friday, April 26

The Thick of It

How deep the Father's love for us. How vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only Son. And make a wretch His treasure...

Do you know this song? It's playing in my head as I type this. How Deep the Father's Love For Us.
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Without going into any great detail, I must say that it has been an interesting year. Stressful. Life's challenges never seem to let up. Just when I think we might be through the worst of it, another obstacle presents itself. Faith is tested. Patience is stretched and perseverance becomes the only way to proceed. And through it all, God is faithful to provide a peace that passes all understanding and a joy that is unspeakable.

He draws me closer. And because I know the wonder of being close to the Father, I thank Him for allowing the trials.

Dear sweet friend, if you are in the thick of it, don't let go of the faith. I promise you God is the only thing that will make sense of the struggle. Maybe not immediately, but down the road. You will see His goodness. He is faithful. He loves you.

Friday, April 19

Sunny Windy Weather Walk

One of my favorite things to do as a family is walk. This week we had some beautiful walking days. Pure blue skies...  photo 5_zps41bf4503.jpg
It was a little windy I admit. But I know I'd be in big trouble if ever I complained about that. I'll take sunny windy weather over snow and cold any day.  photo 8_zps780aa739.jpg
 I did some thrifting last weekend and was thrilled to find a five for fifteen deal on clothes. When I thrift shop I rarely find five items in one place that I like enough to buy, but I figured I'd scour the racks with a deal like that. After all, if I only liked four of the five items, four for fifteen bucks was still a fantastic price to me. Even three for fifteen didn't seem too bad. But wouldn't ya know it? God blessed me with five adorable items. Each $3.00 apiece. The heart sweater above is one of my five. I ultimately would love to style it with red skinnies and a fun patterned collared shirt underneath. But alas, I kinda like it this way too. What do you think?  photo 3_zpscc1b9ffd.jpg 
 Sweater - Thrifted 
Top - Herbergers 
Leggings - Express 
Boots - I can't remember (ages old) 
Sunglasses - Hubby's
Scarf - Handmade (by me) 

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Monday Mingle, and Watch Out for the Woestman's

Thursday, April 18

Thursday, Verse Day

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. 
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence, I shall not be moved.
Psalm 62:5-6  photo 1_zps83a811b3.jpg 
I think I could sit and ponder that thought for hours and hours, " expectation is from him." What an incredibly beautiful image of waiting on God. Oh to have such an utter confidence in Him and the fact that He will indeed show up. And while we wait for Him to act on our behalf we have the comfort of knowing that He is with us as our rock. He is our salvation. Through all our struggle we have Him as our defense. We will not be moved or shaken. He gives us peace while we wait.

Let me go soak in that for awhile.

Happy Thursday, Verse Day dear reader.
I hope you find yourself waiting on God today and if you don't know Him, I hope you'll seek Him. There is truly nothing better than being in a relationship with the Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, April 16

Altogether Quite Happy

I found these old photos in my computer archives today and thought they were too much fun to pass by. In fact, they tell a lovely little story about us. 

Once upon a time, there was me and you.  photo 1_zps7ed41d06.jpg 
For the most part we got along.  photo 2_zps4dc359be.jpg Laughing and being altogether quite happy.   photo 3_zps0d484bc2.jpg Except for my occasional short fuse...  photo 4_zpsbd3e3176.jpg 
To which you would lovingly respond with a bigger smile than before...  photo 5_zpsd9c36362.jpg And tell me you love me... photo 10_zps32757562.jpg Forever and ever. 

p.s. Spending today being overwhelmed with gratitude for the loved ones in my life. And praying for those in Boston going through loss. May the Lord comfort them deeply with His unfailing love.

Friday, April 12

Eating with a Plan

I'm realizing lately that I've been eating without a plan.  photo 1_zpseb5621f3.jpg
 I jump into meal prep mode ten minutes before I'm ready to eat. At this point I'm so hungry that health and nutrition are no longer a priority. Speed and ease come first. Budget is always factored in but only in the sense that I will buy the cheapest fastest thing. Which is never really the cheapest...

So this week I made a plan. It took me about an hour to lay it out and write up my grocery list. (In the future I think I can get it down to a half hour). 

I decided on three meals for each day starting with Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Come midweek I will reassess and plan out Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I've scheduled my grocery shopping for Saturdays and Wednesdays. And Sunday is our day of rest which means minimal to no cooking...

Breakfast: Cold Cereal
Lunch: Trader Joe's Picnic
Dinner: Frozen Pizza (add veggies on top)

Breakfast: Banana Peach Smoothie (with Spinach)

Breakfast: Eggs on Spinach

Breakfast: Oatmeal & Raisins
Dinner: Brussel Sprouts, Spaghetti

I've linked the recipes to their original sources. All of them, with the exception of the Indonesian Peanut Chicken, are from Simply Recipes. The ones that don't have a link are just my own informal concoctions. Nothing fancy.

What's your meal planning process? Does it work well for you? I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, April 11

Thursday, Verse Day

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, 
after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, 
stablish, strengthen, settle you. 
I Peter 5:10 photo 1_zps8df662db.jpg First and Second Peter are letters of encouragement written to believers. Reminders to stand firm in the faith. This verse especially makes me think of the glory of heaven. In this world we will have trouble. But God has overcome the world. He has conquered death. And He offers us eternal life where we will be perfect, established, strengthened and finally settled. 

Though I believe this verse ultimately speaks of being settled in heaven I do think we will experience earthly parallels of what it describes. For example, we will experience periods of suffering in this life but will be perfected through that suffering, strengthened and eventually settle into a season of rest. All to repeat itself again and again as God refines us and creates in us a desire for an eternity with Him in glory.

If you haven't read the books of Peter, you're in for a treat.

Enjoy and be encouraged dear friend. 

Monday, April 8

Breakfast at Courtney's

It's Monday which means I get to welcome you again to Breakfast at Courtney's... photo 3_zpsfeb517d0.jpg
Such a beautiful morning for this delicious family breakfast. Open windows, cool breezes, Scripture, worship hymns, birds singing along. photo 5_zpsc23a6788.jpg
I shared tea and conversation with my man while we ate Toasted English Muffins with Coconut Oil & Sliced Strawberries On Top.  photo 4_zpsda13d239.jpg
I would share the recipe but I think you get the idea. It's all in the title baby!  photo 2_zpsb35320c1.jpg Today I find myself counting an abundance of blessings from my Heavenly Father. God is so very good. His mercies are indeed new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.  photo 1_zpsb75ca3f5.jpg
Mug - Target
Plate - Ikea 
Bible - Barnes & Noble
Coaster - The Velvetleaf Boutique
Food - Vons

Thanks for dropping by dear friend.


Friday, April 5

Which Way Would You Wear It?

Do you own a cowl scarf that can be worn two different ways?
 photo 1_zps2b26c301.jpg Single wrapped?  photo 1_zpsd2210d6c.jpg
Or double wrapped?  photo 1_zps32410f81.jpg  photo 3_zps674a52d4.jpg  photo 2_zps3c21c26c.jpg Which way do you wear yours? And which way do you like better here? 

I'm working on styling items that are currently in my shop. It's really such fun! Interestingly enough, I felt put together before taking these photos, but now that I look at them I feel the outfit is missing something. Or several somethings? Amazing how a photo offers a different perspective. 

What do you think is missing? A belt maybe? Or long sweater? Or maybe a light jacket? Shoes of course, though you can't see that I'm barefoot here. Just couldn't resist the warm sun on my toes.

Thursday, April 4

Thursday, Verse Day

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended but this one thing I do, 
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 
 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus
Philippians 3:13, 14 
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Today I listened to a sermon by Dr. David Jeremiah about quenching the fiery dart of worry! Two things stuck with me. The first being not to waste my "todays" with the worries of tomorrow and the second being not to allow myself to get stuck on the successes of my past or the failures of my past by worrying about them in the present. Instead pray. And memorize Scripture!

Phillipians 3:13-14 is such a powerful reminder to fix our eyes on Christ. Forget the past (learn from it, but don't worry about it). Trust Him for the future (plan for it, but don't worry about it). And know that God gives enough grace for today. 

p.s. I'll be memorizing this verse this week. I have it written on a card that I plan to carry with me. 

New memorization tip? Don't try to memorize it. Just repeat it over and over. Before you know it, you'll have it written on your heart. 

Happy Thursday, Verse Day dear reader.


Tuesday, April 2

Cute Cozy Coasters

I sure do love me a beautiful coaster. In fact, I've become convinced tea and coffee taste better when resting atop something lovely between sips. That, and the fact that our furniture is saved from the wear and tear of water condensation and burn marks have me thoroughly in love...

I love the tile ones, the wood ones, the cork ones, the glass ones, and even the felt ones. But I especially love the crocheted ones. This week I set out to stitch up a set that would cozy up my couch-side table. photo 1_zps3db92670.jpg  photo 3_zps1146b93e.jpg
 photo 2_zps20b24077.jpg When I finished, I decided they were too much fun to keep just to myself. So I made some for my shop to share with all the other crocheted-coaster-lovers out there. Are you one of them?

Stop on by The Velvetleaf Boutique to purchase a set of your very own.

Happy New Item Wednesday all. 

 God bless you,

p.s. Linking up with Cutesy Crafts, The Girl Creative, and Craft-O-Maniac.

Monday, April 1

Breakfast at Courtney's

Delicious...  photo 3_zps5b2c25e2.jpg Honeyed Yogurt & Heated Plums 
3/4 cup Plain Yogurt 
1 Ripe Plum thinly sliced 
1 tsp. (or more) Honey 

Simply place the sliced plums in a hot frying pan. Reduce to medium heat. (I put a tiny bit of water in the bottom of the pan to keep my plum from sticking; but I'm thinking coconut oil would've been even better). While the plum slices are heating, mix the honey and yogurt until thoroughly combined. Remove plum when hot and place on top of the yogurt. Enjoy immediately!  photo 2_zpsfd6e001a.jpg  photo 4_zps6b22666b.jpg These photos make it look like I started my day off with devotions today and sadly I did not. So off I go to spend some time with my Lord. Praising God for He is risen! photo 1_zps22fc241a.jpg  

Thanks for stopping by for Breakfast at Courtney's

Happy Easter all,