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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Willow House

 I am so delighted to announce my new business venture with Willow House.  It's been years of being on the lookout for a home-based business that was "the perfect fit" for me and finally I've found it.

*  Home Decor * Outdoor Living *
 * Home entertainment * Dining

This company has it all and I am proud to represent them.
I am anticipating an exciting Summer of learning and growing and trying something new!   Here's just a PEEK of my favorite things:

OH, the vintage beauty of it all!
LOVE the design, the quality, the detail! 

  If you have a few extra minutes, bop on over to their catalog at my personal website, (it even makes a "sweesh" noise when you "turn" the pages, like you're looking at a real magazine). Love that!!  Over there you can also read a bit more about my thoughts in getting involved with this company in the first place.
Tonight is my Launch Party. Here are some of the GREAT items that are on sale right now, like the cutest red casserole dish, (pictured above) for under $30, with scalloped edges and handles!  So sweet.

Have fun looking....
"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~Wayne Gretzky~

Monday, June 27, 2011

Plan B

  This is what we did on Sunday.  And it was beautifulWe were so honored to be a part of the morning and M's dedication.

It felt like the morning was tailor-made for me, for us. I shouldn't be surprised because I don't really believe in coincidences.  When I saw that the message was entitled "Plan B" I knew it would be restoring.

Here are some of the notes I took:

The problem with "plan B" is
there's no time to plan.

  Could it be that "plan B" was "plan A" all along?  Because of what is has helped us to become? 

We focus on the DESTINY;
while He focuses on the PROCESS.

It's as much ABOUT THE PERSON WE'RE BECOMING as the stuff we're experiencing.
 And if we could only get ahold of that TRUTH we can live a wonderful life.  We can ADJUST and ADAPT when our "plan A" fails us or our expectations.
I feel like I'm in "plan B" right now, I felt like that back in March too.  But it's not quite as scary as it was the first time.  I feel more abandoned to THE REALITY that I'm not even in charge of my life anyway.  And you know what, there's SO MUCH FREEDOM IN THIS, in this not caring about my life and what happens to it.  Don't get me wrong, I love my life and those in it, but they aren't mine,
And I'm more okay with that then ever before.  

"The Lord will w-o-r-k  o-u-t His plans for my life~~~for Your FAITHFUL LOVE, O Lord, endures forever.
Don't abandon me, for you made me."

Psalm 138:8 (New Living Translation)

Saturday, June 25, 2011


What a beautiful night we had last nightRemembering well the fresh word that I felt spoken to me, to "let my kids bring healing to me" we headed to a place of JOY.  A local carnival was underway so we loaded up the kids and set out. 

It was such a beautiful night, the Summer air blew gently, just enough to be comfortable with a light sweater on.  The kids were so delighted to be there and us too.  Paisley got a balloon upon entering, tied onto her wrist. She danced all night with that balloon, (until Tyler knocked her down in the middle of the dirt and she fell on it and it popped)! 

It was another level of healing for me, just watching the kids LIVE LIFE!!  I saw a few friends there that night, they were so kind to me.  (Thank you Ang and Adrienne).  Kindness is such a strong characteristic of our Jesus.  He has a great personality! 

I knew I needed to get OUT OF THE HOUSE, (showered and dressed and presentable). Our truck was in the garage most of the week so we were "stuck" here and that was ok with healing physically.  But the kids were getting restless with all my restlessness.  You know how it goes, Mama's attitude rubs off quite quickly on the kiddos! I was feeling for them because I was quite the grouch the last few days, tired and irritable and emotional.  They don't understand what's going on, (we're not telling them about this miscarriage, they had a hard enough time understanding it the first time) 

And so going to a place of joy was just the ticket.  Speaking of tickets.  Jake knew the lady in charge of the bouncy houses so she escorted our children from one bouncy house to the next when there was no line and the kids just bounced the night away!  And then the man who was in charge of the pony rides was Jake's cousin, so he too gave the kids free pony rides!  There was no line and barely anyone there so it was not bothersome or offensive to anyone else.  But it was a blessing to us that's for sure, (with each ticket costing $1/person for one ride, it was a gift to us).  I ate the BEST CARAMEL APPLE I ever had, (and I've eaten alot of them in my life).  There was a rock band there and the kids danced in the yard until the sun set.  A nice old man walked up to Paisley and gave her a stuffed animal, oh, she was so happy. 

It was a lovely night, but it had a different awareness for me, stepping back and really taking the night in. I'm writing about it because I want to remember it, the details of it, the beauty in it.  Again, the Lord, oh HE'S SO GOOD, met me very personally.  I was looking for Him though, that always helps.

There's a song playing on my ipod right now and the words are singing:

"Don't let your eyes get use to darkness, The light is coming soon. Don't let your heart get used to sadness, put your hope in what is true. No matter how the wind may blow it cannot shake the sun. Lay your sorrows on the ground,it's time to come back home.
When the future seems uncertain, like the coming of a storm
Your loving Father carries his children when they can't walk anymore."

~JJ Heller~

Friday, June 24, 2011

another miscarriage

It was a joyful Father's Day weekend as we learned the previous week that we were expecting another baby!  Of course, after having a miscarriage back in March, I was so delighted to see that simple, miraculous word "pregnant."  I was 5 weeks pregnant until this past Tuesday.  I woke up to some light cramping and then the bleeding started.  I knew right away what was happening, but was comforted by others words, (my sweet midwife and my friends) that this can often happen early in pregnancy and not to be too worried about it, but my heart was heavy I can remember feeling a heavy heart before, always in relation to a death, as in literally it felt like a weight was resting ontop of my heart, still does. 

That night I barely slept, moving between the recliner, my bed and the couch.  I just was so restless because I knew I was bleeding our baby out. It's a terrible, terrible feeling to haveAnd sorry for the mental word picture, but it's the truth of what is happening.  My body was preparing a place for this baby to grow and bloom and become it's own little person and now, like a thick winter coat, it's shedding everything that was once it's haven

There was a beautiful storm that moved through, the rain falling outside was soothing mixed with distant thunder and almost constant lightening.  Around 2am the electricity went out, (so thus all the AC units).  The kids woke up one by one and cried out in the pitch black.  Jake made a "nest" for them on the floor and they fell asleep in peace. 

Earlier in the night, before they came into our room I clearly heard a tiny sweet voice say "Mommy."  I popped open my eyes and reached my arms out to the side of our bed, I thought perhaps Paisley had somehow gotten out of her crib and made her way to our bedroom, but no one was there. Immediately I heard the Lord say to my spirit, "I'm holding her.  Let your kids bring healing to you."  It was a very real moment in my life and one I will never forget. I don't know how that's going to happen, my earthly kids bringing healing to me and all, but it was such a strong and clear word. 

My family and friends are amazing Yesterday morning my friend Jena had the children, took them to the park and out for lunch, then home for naps.  That afternoon I was almost certain their eyes were sinking into the back of their skulls because of watching too much tv!  Jake couldn't get home fast enough and our friends Scott and Angie brought us dinner, (I have the best friends in this world)!  I'm so tired, physically and emotionally. I just want to sleep and not think about it, not have to process all this againYesterday my mantra was, "this just sucks" because it does. 

Today I am writing because that brings healing to me, reaching out, not in, is what frees me.  It's different for everyone, and not right or wrong either way.  My husband retreats and heals.  Not I.  While chatting with a friend of mine she said some things that were so right on, "things which are out of our control are always difficult to accept. Trials are funny...they slam realities into our face that are actually with us all the time, but we don't focus on until we have to. We are not promised anything, although we live as though we are."This morning I sat under some praise music, (which simply means I put on some worship music and laid down on the recliner with my eyes closed). Some words that stuck out to me most were these: 

"my heart aches for You my God, my soul waits for You my God, I've come far to find you here, in this place will I draw near. For I know You are faithful, my God.  For I KNOW You are faithful my God.  From the land of the barren, we will cry out for rain, fill our hearts God, I'll keep trusting You. {And Your Spirit inside me holds me close}, in Your Wonderful Presence I let go.  For I know You are faithful my God.....I declare YOU ARE FAITHFUL."
~Kim Walker~

This miscarriage has proved to be very different then the last one.  Not nearly as intense physically, but moreso emotionally.  So many questions and feelings of guilt and doubt about the future; Did we try too soon?  Should we have waited longer?  Why did I get pregnant again just to lose another baby?  What's wrong with me?  Will I be able to carry another baby full term? What will people say about me having 2 miscarriages so close together? 
Mostly stupid questions, but questions nonetheless.

  I WANT to share with you.  I know there are some of you reading, who think it's too soon and I shouldn't be sharing such intimate details of my life on this great world wide web.  But it's life and it's happening to me in living color.  I'm not ashamed to share it with you, my struggles TODAY, my heartaches and questions.  And really, that's why I blog anyway, to share my life.  The parts of life that are beautiful and good as well as the valleys and sorrows.  I feel raw right now, feeling so irritable and tired, yet restless.  I'm sure it's partly hormonal too.  Again, I am SO AMAZED at how quickly a woman's body regulates to "making a house a home" internally for her unborn baby. 

Last time I really pushed into the Lord's presence, for comfort, for healing, for refuge and He met me right where I was, ever faithful.  This time I'm feeling a bit more broken.  I don't have the strength to reach out it seems and THAT'S OK.  It's not about me being able to press in, or touch His garment or even cry out.  It's just about me being His and that's enough for now.... 

"{We are perplexed},
but NOT in despair."
II Corinthians 4:8

Monday, June 20, 2011

Planting a garden

Our garden is growing beautifully right now,
but it all started with a little seed....
Tyler wanted to take a picture and this is what he captured.
Neat. I watched my husband work :) while the kids did this.....

Fresh soil and little helpers.
Mama knows best, that's for sure....
we follow her instructions perfectly for SHE is the wise garden one!!

Those hands have worked more soil then I will in my lifetime.....acres upon acres!!!!
Our little plot on earth.....

"Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy."
~Astrid Alauda~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

is anyone free?

"Who is free? Who is living out the life they talk so much about?" I cried these questions into my towel one night after my shower.  After a difficult few weeks in dealing with a personal situation I have finally come to the place where I can cry it out.  That's always healing for me, to just CRY.  That release for me always starts the questions though, the sorting out. So, I'm up early, (6:30am) to digest a little bit in my soul. To me, to our home, that's "early". 

Sometimes, (alot of times) it feels like so many people around me, (myself included) like toTALK about this life as a Christian; what is should look like, what it looks like in their life, what Jesus says it should look like.  And I know I'm not the only one who sees this, hears this, all this talking.talking.talking.  In all honesty, it just gets OLD.  I'm like a child in this, SHOW ME what it is your talking about. Just be quiet and show me what true freedom looks like, A LIFE LIVED OUT LOUD.  

There are so many of us, in the church, who are walking in such deep bondage, tormented.  And yet, no one to tell, no one to share with, no one to cry out to because we must be as the church perceives us to be, "together", "perfect."   And it's not just the church, it's our culture in general, (at least where we live). In our culture you are suppose to have it all together and not look undone.  Looking undone isn't comfortable or nice or pleasant for people to interact with, so we just shut-up and stay bound up. 

So, that's what brought me around to the beginning of this conversation, (or monologue is more like it, thanks for sticking with me if you're still reading).....who is free?  Will ANY OF US on earth truly know freedom, (SPIRIT/SOUL FREEDOM) while walking around in these dusty bodies?  Maybe we just get closer to that freedom as we understand it more, as we understand ourselves and the One Who made us and calls us.

"You will be ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever (that's one ever for every year I've been a Christian) HEARING,  and NEVER UNDERSTANDING;
you will be ever seeing but NEVER PERCEIVING.
For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS and turn, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM." 

Just a little bit of what Paul had to say to remind the religious folks....  (Acts 28:26-27)

Paul was reminding ME of this. Janelle, don't be ever hearing and never understanding.
Don't be ever seeing and never perceiving. 

God of my spirit, please give me SPIRITUAL ears to hear and eyes to see. Help my heart to understand what You're saying to ME, how You're directing ME, how You're calling out FOR MY FREEDOM, for MY HEALING, for my UNDERSTANDING.  

not for ourselves, but FOR YOUR GLORY!!!!!!!!!

Amen, (so be it).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dancing in the rainbows

*You can push play at the bottom of the page for a song that matches this post!*
 I love so much about this picture. You can almost feel their joy and delight coming right through the computer screen. We have a blingy chandelier over our kitchen table and with the new patio door that Jake just installed, we have lots more sunlight in the kitchen. One night during dinner Tyler said, "Mom, there's rainbows in here!"  And that's when we noticed the prisms all around us.

It was beautiful.

I pushed the chandelier so it swung gently and suddenly we had our own disco ball of sorts!  The children danced around to their own song of life. It was a moment in time. 
A stop. 
A notice.
A memory. 
There was such an abundance of innocence in the unexpected visitation.

I like that Jake's lunchbox and water jug are in the picture too,
safely home once more.  Each night I breathe a sigh of relief when I hear his truck pull in.....sometimes just for the mere fact of being resuced from the day, but more often then not, it's just the knowledge that he's safe and sound.  If I let myself, I could worry about his safety and what I would do if he were no more.  There's no life in that, (literally) so I try not to linger there. 

It's the little things that make LIFE lovely or hell on earth, (think opposite of what is listed below). 
The things that can quickly seem "normal" or "deserved" or "our right" that REQUIRE OUR ATTENTION MOST:

*food on our table.
*health in our children.
*breath in our lungs.
*husbands that come home.
*clean water to drink.
*homes to live in.

The rest is just extra,
the unexpected rainbows in our life.
I have this quote written quite largely on our bathroom wall, right in front of the toilet in bright red letters so you HAVE to see it several times a day! 

"Remember this,
very little is needed
to make a happy life."

~Marcus Aurelius~

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tyler is six!!

 It's my Tyler's 6th Birthday today.  He announced to me this morning, "look how tall my arms are Mom, I'm six now!"  Oh, the joys of BEING 6!!  The SWEETNESS of a full life ahead..... 
He's a lover of LIFE!!  He laughs alot and cries easily!  He is FULLY engaged in whatever he's doing.  He loves friends, food and fellowship.  Most nights during dinner, "are you done eating 'cause if you are, then I can eat the rest."  (speaking to his brother or sister and their half-eaten plates of food). He's easily eats more then every meal.
He ADORES his baby sister and speaks to her in a high-pitched baby voice.  He is so sweet to her, (unless she takes something of his, then it's not so sweet)!!
He is the leader of the pack.  Often organizing pretend play and telling everyone what to do and what to say.  I'm trying to work with the "bossy" part of it.  As I remember quite clearly one mantra in my ear, "stop being so bossy Janelle!"  (oh dear).

He loves being with his cousins. Here he is with Sophia when they were both so little! xoxo. 
My precious baby!  Oh, those days with just my baby and I. 
So many sweet memories of our "alone" days.
One of my favorite pictures of Tyler when he was a baby.
"Safe in Daddy's hands" I titled it:
A very unfortunate first Christmas for the firstborn!!
Sorry about that Tyler.....oh, and the reindeer outfit too!
Aiden~Chase~Tyler, (and Bennett too, but he wasn't born yet when this picture was taken) his cousins,
some of his favorite people!
He was so BRAVE last year when he had a serious staph infection.  The week long hospital stay, the shots, the PICC line, the antibiotics 4 times a day for weeks on end.  He grew up a lot during that time. Another favorite cousin visiting him at the hospital, "Poopy Mitch" as he has been affectionately named!!  (sorry about that Mitch)!!
Playing with friends.....
His hero.
His pal.
His Daddy.
Our traditional outing each year at the Fulton Opera House.
He enjoys productions on stage and sits so still throughout the entire performance. These dates are precious, just me and my little man.

His everyday friends.
His forever friends.

Tyler, we're so glad you were born!  That you were GIVEN to us, to our family, for this ever brief time on earth.  We love you so much and hope you know that through and through!  MAY YOUR SIXTH YEAR BE YOUR BEST YEAR EVER!!  Here's to making memories.....

"For whoever finds Me finds life....."Proverbs 8:35

Monday, June 6, 2011


(please mute the music at the bottom of the page first)

"I am praying not only for these disciples, but FOR ALL WHO WILL EVER BELIEVE IN ME....My prayer for all of them, is that they will BE ONE, just as you and I are one, Father~~~that just as You are in Me and I am in YOU, so THEY WILL BE IN US, and the world will believe....." ~Jesus~

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A little bit about YOU!

Hi Friends.  We're roasting like a bunch of marshmallows over an open flame! It's barely Summertime here in Pennsylvania and the AC's are already out. SO GRATEFUL for air conditioning.  So many people around the world just live in this kind of heat with no relief! 

So, now that Spring has come and gone,
(HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?) I thought it would be neat to go back and look at your favorite blog post that you wrote this Spring.

If you're a blogger, leave a comment with a link to your favorite blog post that you wrote in March, April, or May. (If you're not a blogger, leave a comment to your favorite post that was at someone else's blog during the Spring.)

Looking forward to seeing your favorites!

"A perfect summer day is when
the sun is shining,
the breeze is blowing,
the birds are singing,
and the lawn mower is broken."
James Dent~