Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I won't apologize for

I stumbled across a comment months back on my blog from one person who was well, very angry!

Angry because we were on HGTV and how I claim I'm a Christian. They didn't like how we 'got a house for a half a million dollars....' or something to that effect. And a million other reasons.

To settle the score here folks, our show wasn't exactly real life.
It's TV...and even those reality shows aren't real.
That's all I can say on that, but what the person was really angry about is that my blog is often about faith and God.
They claimed that an 'insecure person' is normally who talks about God and their beliefs.

I am human. I do have my own insecurities of course.
However, I'm grateful for them because they humble me.
They put me on my knees in prayer with God.
But what I am not insecure about is my beliefs and my faith.

I won't apologize for talking about God on my blog or anywhere, really.
My faith in God is what I'm anchored in.
So, it is the center of my life.
Plain and simple.

My life goes out from here:
My Savior, my husband, My children, family, friends...Texas Longhorns, food....etc ;)

What I must be clear is this, I'm not perfect. Nor will I ever be nor do I ever claim to be. I am just as bad as the next sinner. I fail and ask for forgiveness on a daily basis. I sometimes let my flesh get the best of me.

Being a Christian doesn't make me better. It doesn't exempt me from the hardships of life. Nor does it mean I will always respond in a better way than Joe down the road (no offense Joe down the road). However, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I am able to do a lot better than what I would do on my own accord.

Do you know how much God loves you and me? For that reason alone, I can't help BUT talk about God and my Savior!

He loves me, regardless of being a sinner, my past sins and my future ones.
That alone has me excited!

The fact that I'm extended mercy and grace regardless of my mistakes.
The fact that God gives me peace when I should be worried.
The fact that God holds me and my path even when I don't know what tomorrow holds.
The fact that when I die, I will then be in Heaven praising Him for all eternity.

Is it crazy that I can't help but talk of Him?
Am I a fanatic?

I promise you, if could just get a glimpse of the love God has for you--then you too couldn't help but talk about Him! He is SO good.

He is waiting for you. He is loving you. Angry or not.
So, if you ever want to know about His love for you, or have questions...then I'm here to help in anyway I can. God is love and He is GOOD.


I love this song by Chris Tomlin--it reflects how I feel.

How Can I Keep From Singing

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." - Ephesians 3:16-19

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do you have control?

One thing that's for certain is that life is ever changing. Controlling it, well, that rarely happens.

Take my house for example. If you frequently come over, then you will know I clean obsessively. For instance, I have a hard time sitting and visiting because I see things that need to be dusted. I can't help it! I also clean late at night and I scrub and wipe down everything a few times over. 
I'm obsessive...and trust me, if I could lessen down the crazy cleaning, I would.

But, it's who I am. I also do it for some sense of control in life.
As a momma, we have little control over our time and our bodies (especially if you're still nursing.)
I can guarantee if I need to be somewhere, something will happen to make me late.
A kid will run out the backdoor to jump into the fountain, someone will poo on the floor, someone will need another snack, someone will be scaling a piece of furniture, someone will be crying or shrieking and someone is always missing a shoe. 

I've grown use to that. So in order to lessen the crazy, a more 'controlled' house helps.

That said....the control lasts about 2 minutes.
(Like after they wake up and began moving around.) 

So essentially I spend all this time late at night cleaning when I could be sleeping, relaxing or watching TV like a normal person. Instead I look for some control which is silly, especially since my two boys can shred every sense of control and order I have in seconds.
They're good at that.

I use to try to control the mayhem they commence but it's easier to just go with the flow and deal with the fallout later. 

Anyway, my analogy, though not amazing, is life.
We can't control what life brings to us, but we can control our attitudes. 
That's key.

I use to stink at it.
In fact, sometimes I still REALLY stink with my reactions.
Sometimes I lose my cool, sometimes I yell and scream (mainly at kids that don't listen for the 100th time) or sometimes I just need to vent to a loving friend or family member. 

We don't have control over much.
We may can control some things (like what to eat or not) or if we are going to engage in sinful acts, etc. 
But for the most part, we don't control life's stresses, messes or mishaps.

The good thing is, 
as a Christian, I don't have to understand or have control.

I  know who controls all things and sustains all things.
The Bible says, 
"In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." -Job 12:10

If that doesn't get you, the Bible also says,

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." -Proverbs 16:9

"You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." -Revelation 4:11

Basically, God has everything in control. He knows each and every being. He created us. So He knows our struggles.  Everything that happens, be it good or bad, crazy or messy is known to Him. He knows what we face. He knows the path in front of us. 

I definitely lack faith at times (if any read my posts this summer about my surgery), however, I am constantly reminded that HE has us.

We don't have the control, He does.

So, my sweet friends, instead of us trying to fix the stresses or in my case, clean the messes, let's abide in Him. Our success at trying to control life will only be short lived. Let's nestle up to our King, praising Him at the same time knowing He has our future and paths all figured out. He can restore us and He can give us peace.

God's got this, He says so Himself.

"I am the Lord, the GOD of ALL mankind.
 Is anything too hard for me?" -Jeremiah 32:27

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Home, Part Two!

In my previous post, I covered our new space for the kiddos. From the grey wood floors, to the grey accent wall--it just feels so comfy and peaceful. We also love the mounted TV which has Netflix and lots of recorded Peppa Pig for the days we stay indoors due to the heat or recently, the rain. (Praise Him!)

We spend lots of time cuddling on the chaise lounge, wrapped in blankets, unwinding at night together as a family. I'm grateful for this new space. We have already created lot of good memories in there so far.

Also, like I mentioned the kids' toys are there, they all have a home. The boys room only has stuffed animals and some books. But slowly we are moving out the books into the office and the new room. Kie loves reading and I want him to have a space for his books and a relaxing place to 'read' :)

Furthermore, now that I'm back to feeling good, we did our (very pushed back) spring/summer cleaning the past few weeks. Justin has been cleaning out his garage (if you know his garage then you know it needed help!) And we have put in new shelves, cabinets and even a new A/C. He is also getting a new garage door. He spends a lot of time in his garage during the winter months doing upholstery for clients.  So getting his garage cleaned up is imperative! My dad also loves helping J clean his garage (they have the best relationship)...and in fact, the new garage door is a gift from Dad. (Love ya pops!)

Anyway, we have been de-cluttering, donating and selling things on Craig's List. Which is also where I found some great finds.

I got a beautiful antique vanity that was in pristine condition for $75 . I really lucked out!
We also got a great, big armoire for $50. It was a $1400 armoire originally.
The girl selling it didn't feel like moving it since it was so big. Thankfully J and Warren were able to get it out safely.

Anyway, Justin put a new back on it, painted it, took off the old legs and put on some more modernized ones. So total, we put $15 into it.

It now stores ALL the home school stuff, games and crafts we have.
Previously the office had tons of our crafts, art supplies and home school items in there.
I was really wanting to take it all out of there and have a nice/labeled spot for everything.

I was able to move everything out of the office/guest room to make it more homey for guest and to free up the closet and shelves. I love it! I really enjoy having everything in one organized (and labeled) spot. Do you see my OCD? ha

Now to share some pics!
I have a passion for interior design and how a space feels and makes one feel!
I definitely have a bit of a funky, eclectic I usually go for whatever makes me happy or feels good. Hope you enjoy!

I got a new rug. I LOVE this rug. It's a lot smaller than our previous one...and it's easier to clean. Our former rug was SO big it took up a lot of the room and it was a shag carpet. So, it began looking bad and things would get lost in it! (my diamond earring I never found!)

One day, I'd like to get a new sofa, but since I'm raising BOYS--a microfiber BROWN one is best. It's easy to clean....and tho there are no stains, I'm sure if I ever got a new one it would stain fast. --I enjoy having a sectional but sometimes I want less bulky furniture. The living room space has a layout that only allows for so many options. Also, I love my Union Jack pillow. J loves everything the pillow is for him!

Dad's funky art work that is ALL over my house :)

More of Dad's work

Love this sign from Joss and Main. You can't tell from the picture, but it's like a chalk paint written over glass with a framed print, so it's 3D.

I have a small obsession with great soy candles and essential oils.
This candle I got for my birthday :)

We also got a Nest--which has been great for using an app on our phone to set it while we are gone. Plus, it's been energy efficient and Austin Energy gave us a rebate for getting it! Win!

Always have some essential oils going...
love sitting here and getting some quiet time.
I love this big Rustic K in our kitchen.
My new favorite STORE all! (The Craig's list steal)

swapped out the boring white curtain in the hall bath for this beautiful French inspired one :) LOVE.  Kie loves it and tells me 'that's where Meme lives!

Kix this morning at Central Market. Seriously, he gives the best faces. He didn't want to get out of the shopping
Sweet J slept with the kids last night during the thunderstorm. We all played musical beds. And at one point, Justin was in Kie's twin bed with both boys. 
My love for Frankincense. I love using this oil because I always think of our beautiful Savior and how He was gifted it.
The boys and I went for a walk/jog yesterday. SO humid but I loved the overcast skies. Slowly building back my endurance. So grateful to feel like working out again.

A Chair and little ottoman that J just finished for a client. She loves it! I love how is able to do anything with his hands.
Blessed my babies have a daddy like J

There is our old rug. See how I needed a new one? Also, Kie is showing off his crown and his baby's crown that Justin made them lol.
Glow in the Dark Mustache fun!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Home

Trying to get back into blogging more :)
I figured I'd write about some of the things I love most and I'd love to hear what you love, too! This post is specifically about the home, Our Home.

As most know, J and I live in an old house. We have been working on our home for years now.
We got a little help (Ok, BIG help) from HGTV and the wonderful Property Brothers. What I like about old homes is there is always room for improvement. Same goes for us, too! Am I right?

This past year we have added (closed in our patio) and made it into a full blown playroom/entertainment space. Justin did 99% of the work himself. He built up the walls, the windows and doors...insulated it, drywalled and painted it and installed the floors. We got our AC man to put in the AC which is definitely needed in Texas.

I love it because all the kids stuff (most of it that is) is in there. Plus, everything has a space. And that is important in trying to maintain the kid stuff!

We still have tweaking to do to it. Eventually I want a closet system in there to store more but for now it is working great. I also love that it keeps our house free of the millions of toys that kids somehow manage to collect very quickly. 

Also, as many know, I am a bit of a clean freak and organizing and managing things is something I enjoy!

Seriously, a good night for me is when I have lots of energy, classical music going and the house to myself to clean. I'm big into aromatherapy and essential oils. So a happy home for me is a cleaned one...that smells divine! Not only does it create a great restful place for me and the kids, but it promotes creativity as well!

Also, it is something my husband loves too. Justin is big into doing things for me and that's how he shows his love. And he responds great when I do things for him...and cleaning the house for him is part of our love language. He is a happy man when he comes home to a clean home and a cooked dinner :) 

We also both love how our home as changed from the bachelor pad that it was---to a home where our kids have grown and so has our love.

However, one thing I try not to get caught up in too much is the HOME itself. 
I know ALL of this is can go away. And that though we are blessed with a home (that is nearly paid off) however, things are just things and that's not what is truly important in life!

Just because we have it today does not mean we will tomorrow. So, I'm humbled and grateful for what we have now.

Also, our home is small. Something I have learned to love, especially when it comes to cleaning. I can't imagine cleaning 5 bathrooms (like my parents have!) or dusting that much space. So for me, our small home is great for keeping the amount of stuff we own down (I'm a minimalist in many ways) and we are close together :)
Which makes checking on kids in the night very easy.

AND with FALL around the corner, it is now time to get the fall scented candles going :)
I love this time a year for a BILLION reasons, but a big reason is the leaving the back screen door opened, letting the cool air circulate in the house and breathing in the crisp air! 

It won't be long until we are lounging in the back yard around a bonfire!

So, yes--that's a few things I love! What do you love?

Also, stayed tuned, I've been doing some decorating (another thing I love) and I'll be posting pictures soon!


J has hung their X Games skateboard on the wall in their new playroom

Kie can sit here for hours playing with cars or drawing
Their little reading corner --and I love the wooded-grey accent wall :)
everything has a place-shelves J made for the cubbies

We have a blow up mattress for extra guest that are over but for the most part it's put away

Sunday, September 14, 2014

When Life Shifts

So it's been a while since I wrote. Like always, I have a few posts in draft but I wanted to write some about when 'life shifts.'

This past summer was a time of lots of changes. Initially, the changes were hard. I was sick and couldn't do a lot of the things I normally could do. Life shifted. Thankfully, God was there to show me through.
Life got hard, I tried to adapt myself, I failed...but I then began to lean on God.

Life shifted and eventually I came to Him.  
It was beautiful and I learned a lot about myself, but most importantly I learned more about God's love for me. How it was constant. How HE is constant no matter what life was doing.

Fast forward some weeks/months and I began healing and my focus *shifted* again.
In this world, it's easy to lose sight of Him. Or, maybe it is easier for me to lose focus on Him. I got busy in the ins and out of life and got away from making time to start my day and end my day with My King.

I began feeling like my old self, and my old self shifted to my past ways. I wasn't plugging into God everyday, multiple times a day like I needed to. I wasn't engaging in prayer, worship or reading the Word.
I shifted away.
Did God shift from me? No. He was the same as He was today and yesterday.

Long story short, when I moved away from God... I reaped what I sowed.
When I try to live in this world without Him, I suffer. I hurt. I get hurt and I inflict hurt.
But, when I stay in my King, in His word and in His mercy and grace, I learn I can also extend that to others.

Today in Justin and my Sunday school class we talked about turning away from our sins and transgressions. And how, if we did TRULY reap what we sowed, we would all be destined for hell.
My sins, big and small, make me unworthy for Heaven. But, because of the salvation I have from my Savior, Jesus Christ, I am saved and won't burn in the lakes of fire.

When I say that outloud, or in this case, type it is crazy. Here I am, a sinner, so unworthy of ANY grace, but because of HIS blood, I am saved from Hell and will spend eternity praising God in Heaven. Crazy huh? ALL because He loves us. All becaues God loves you and me so much that He gave His own son for us.

God keeps showing His love to me, regardless of deserving it.
That's the thing, I will never be able to deserve it. There's not one thing I can do TO deserve it.

My focus, is and should always be shifted to HIM and HIM alone. If life is going good and smooth, my focus should be on His Kingdom and will...not what makes me happy and pleased. If life is going rocky and hard, my focus should be on His Kingdom and will, not anything else.

I am learning. I am hard headed, so sometimes it takes falling on my face a few times to realize. And in this case, I have....and God is showing me, "Hey Halley, I'm still here. You may have drifted (and shifted) from Me, but I am the same today and always, for I am the great I AM."

My hope is that my walk won't wax and wane as it has before. But, that my walk stays more aligned in Him. I know I need to be consistent in my walk with Him (and in my actions) in order to be of use for Him.

I pray that the next time life shifts, be it good or bad, big or small, that my focus and walk won't shift again. I want my eyes to be glued on Him and Him alone. That His word is imprinted on everything I do and say.

So, that's my prayer. God, keep me in You. Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for showing me your love in so many ways. Thank you for your Son.


"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." -Deuteronomy 11:18-19


Small update:
J and I are no longer teaching Sunday school (We still sub and do WIN) but we started going to a Sunday school class together. I love this time we have. Something that I take for granted on occasion is that we are freely able to attend church and praise God aloud.

I see the news and my heart breaks for these people who have to go in hiding because of their beliefs, and yet here we are, freely able to pray and worship in these beautiful churches all over the country.

So, today I thank God for that.
I am grateful to be in the USA---able to worship with my husband and children with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

I do believe we are living in the last days with all the persecution Christians are facing---and I ask that you pray with me for those that are being tormented. Thanks.

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