Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giving thanks for the valley...

After speaking of a particularly trying season in her life of deep lack, author Jan Karon speaks of God's goodness in the midst of it all...
"What I learned mostly, however, is that God is faithful. He really does love us. And here's what some may have trouble believing:
If you're on a painful journey through the valley, ask Him to walk through it with you. Make some chicken soup from chicken bones, and give thanks. And when you finally get to the mountaintop, give thanks for the valley you've just been through. Because you will almost certainly go there again. And again, it will be hard.
But it will be good."
Learning to look for and taste His goodness in times of little and much.
-just a little sheep, following hard after my Good Shepherd, down in the valleys and up and over the mountaintops

Friday, December 2, 2011

through her little lookingglass...

My theory is that sometimes it's just good...
to get a three year old's perspective
on life
through her lens.

It doesn't matter if it's not perfect, off-kilter, and a little hazy,
as long as it brings a smile...
is all that really matters in her little 3 foot world.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grace or Law...

What are you living under?
You already-saved Christians!
Did you begin in the Spirit and are now trying to live out by the law-driven flesh?!
Check this chart to find out and see...

The Grace List
by Tim Kimmel

The Obedience-based Life vs. The Grace-based Life
You live to impress God vs. You live to trust God
A performance vs. A relationship
A duty vs. A delight
Predictable vs. Fluid
Promotes fear vs. Promotes faith
Creates worry vs. Creates calm
Masked vs. Transparent
Critical Spirit vs. Compassionate Spirit
Sense a lot of guilt vs. Sense a lot of freedom
Inclines you towards pridefulness vs. Inclines you towards humility
Outside-in management vs. Inside-out surrender
For “church” people vs. For everybody
More natural vs. More supernatural
Focuses on being good vs. Focuses on being connected
Lends itself to self-righteousness vs.
Lends itself to organic obedience

 Praying He makes me a grace-based live-er, more and more. I need it. And so does my family!

 "And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." -John 1:16

Thursday, November 24, 2011

a baby, an aunty and her cousin!

What a sweet sweet joy it's been to snuggle this little for the past few days!

Does God give any gifts more precious than these itty bitty lives?!
I truly think not.

Children are a GIFT from the Lord, they are a reward from Him.
-Psalm 127:3

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy Falloween to you!

Have you manuevered through the maze yet?!
Go get out there and do it!

Why don't we play crazy with them more often?!
Don't they make life a heap more enjoyable, these littles in our lives?!
And a lot less, "life...just get it done, and get through it."
Seeing more of it down at their level and through their eyes, 
sure makes it all seem more grand.
Of such is the kingdom of heaven, in this mama's book.
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Saturday, October 15, 2011


Any happy hen that can labor & deliver
could-have-been-twins in the form of
a hurkin' huge golden egg,
in my urban farmyard,
deserves a big fat badge of hen honor in my book!

Go Happy Hen!!!
And go happy breakfast eaters!

Let's get True-Faced here...

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, 
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy...  
-Ps. 107:2

Who's got junk in their life?! (big personal hands-up)
Who's got really big messes that need a lot of clean-up?! (big personal hands-up)
Who knows they aren't perfect and really needs a really perfect Savior to get them through life, for pete's sake, through every day for that matter?! (big personal hands-up)

So, I figured if the people whose lives we are around and a part of every day have seen the real true-faced me...why not the worldwideweb?!

I told the hubbs and the pastor, that if only 1 life, 1 family could be enlightened, freed, impacted by the story of a big God fixing a measly little fearful-which-produces-control-or-angry girl...
then it was all worth it. 
Worth all the honesty, all the realness, all the ugliness, all the humbling it took, all the courage that had to be drummed up in Him,
to share the beauty He can make out of my ugly mess.

Which means He can more than make one out of yours too.
He's a more than enough kinda God, that's how I know it's true.

View on and see how I know how (interview done with my hubbs and my pastor for our FearLess series at church this fall)...

Krystal Irwin's full interview from Larry Whitaker on Vimeo.

There is no fear in love; 
but perfect LOVE casts out fear, 
because fear involves torment.
But he who fears 
has not been made perfect in love.
-1 John 4:18

Let Love, Jesus, cast out all fear.
So you can live in freedom
and have abundant life.
In this is perfection, 
nothing else.
That IS what He went to the cross for.
If I don't know much of anything else...
I know this much is true.

Friday, October 7, 2011

the transformation...

is happening before my eyes!
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The adventures of happy girl and her Happy Hen...

Meet happy girl's favorite friend...Happy Hen
Meet happy girl and her daddy's favorite activity with Happy Hen...

Slide Time!

Happy Hen says "it looks kind of yellow and high and slippery"...

"Are you sure about this happy girl?" -Happy Hen

"I'm sure. Now would you just, ugh, work with me here, Happy Hen?!" -happy girl

"What in tarnation just happened to me?!" -Not so Happy Hen

"Blaaahhhh!!!" -Not so Happy Hen

"What.was.that?" -Not so Happy Hen

"Do my wings look like hers?!" -very happy girl

"Whoa! That was awesome!" -still very happy girl

"Can we talk about this?!" -Not so Happy Hen & happy girl's daddy

"I don't feel so happy anymore." -Not so Happy Hen & still very happy girl's daddy

"Now let's try that one more time Happy Hen." -very very happy girl

"Blaaahhhh!!!" -Very Unhappy Hen

"Why I oughtta!" -Very very Unhappy Hen

"Humph. Do my wings still look ok? I'm so going back to my roost." -Very very very Unhappy Hen

"Here I come Happy Hen, let's try that again!" -very very happy girl

"Why are you running away from me Happy Hen?!" -very confused happy girl

"Oh well, there's always 5 other happy hens to go try again with!" -happy happy girl

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jesus FIRST...

I am listening to my little right now as she cleans up a monster mess she just intentionally dumped on the floor (carpeted floor) with her potato soup lunch.
I could be totally irritated that she would intentionally do this to MY clean floor, right?
But by the grace of God, it is not one of my usual-reactively-freaked out-responding moments.
And by His grace, as I told her to simply go get a wash cloth and take care of the deed herself (because that's what the consequence chart says she is to do, and who can argue with a chart, eh?)

And by His grace, He decided to bless my heart with songs of joy and praise coming out of her mouth while she worked to re-do, fix up and do it right....
"Jesus First
Jesus First
Jesus First in my life."
This must have been a new Sunday School song today because I haven't heard it around these parts before.

Man alive...why can't I remember these moments?

Cuz isn't their reactive-response usually a mirror of ours?!
Big person Freak out = little person freak out
Big person Hooting and Hollering = little person hooting and hollering
Big person Shame = little person feels even more shame
Big person Intimidation = little person feels fear, not love
Big person Condemnation = little person screaming and tears

Big person LOVE and gentleness and patience in the discipline =
gentler, less freaked out and riled up response (not always a given, but much more of a trend)

Responding, not ReAcTiNg...that's what this mama wants to have more of a heart to do.
And I'm sure this girl appreciates it too.
I want her heart to still worship while she works to do right and well and try agains.

Trying, one step at a time, to put Jesus First, over in these here parts.
Mama leading and girl, prayerfully following.
That way, all the rest just seems to fall into place too.

photo credit:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

a good friend...

is worth much much more than even fine gold!
Do you have one of these matchy-matching, soul-connecting, smile-evoking,
giggle-sharing, kindred-spiriting girlfriends?
No, you say?
Why then I say...
please do go out and find you one.
they do your body good.
my mini learning the sweet sweet joys of a girlfriend!
(photo credit: Blessed and Beautiful Boggs' Blog)

this shout-out goes out to all my dear girls out's know who you's are!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Looking for His kinda rain?

We are,
over in these here parts.
His rain brings
and mostly
More of Him.
That's for sure.
So we keep looking up.
Waiting for more.
Join us?
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Do you get lost...

In these baby blues?

In this heart of gold?

In His intricate hand that weaves so much beauty?

I do.
I surely do.
Every day.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Deep Thoughts from Mitford's Father Tim...

Isn't it amazing when reading a simple fiction book, for the sole purpose of being lightly feathered off to a quiet, pleasant place, and you come across some deep and abiding truth of Him?
I truly love it when that happens...
"Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow, the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually; "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me but in me and I in him.""
-St. Francis de Sales
Father Tim of Jan Karon's Mitford series also shared in a most poignant way of his fears relating to his relationship with his own father, which I thought most fitting in the middle of this FearLess series we are going through at church (SFC FearLess sermon series linkage...)
"But, thought Father Tim, hadn't he, too, lived in a prison of his own for years on end, alternating fearing and despising and secretly rebuking his father? As a believer, his freedom in Christ had been severly handicapped for wont of letting go of the old bondage; of the old Adamic bitterness he'd unwittingly nurtured." -Father Tim, A New Song
Are there any fear driven prisons, created by you or others, that you need the shackles broken off of, to fly free as a bird from, right now?
Is your FREEDOM in Christ being handicapped from hanging onto old bondage, being nurtured by you?
Seek Him to see.
Your soul needs it.
Jesus went to the cross to give it
He wants you to live it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are you choosing JOY today?

I'm working on it. 
Joy despite the pain, the hurt, the sadness, the battle...whatever is fighting to steal the JOY He wants you to receive and has in abundance for you.
These choices are never easy though, are they?
It seems like it takes work to choose it.
I don't remember Him ever saying any of it would be easy though.
This life.
But I do know the choice is so worth it.
For the good of your soul.
"...for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
-Nehemiah 8:10
Choose HIS joy today as your strength.

Gitzen Girl always talked a lot about that JOY choice on her blog. (just went home to Jesus, after 3 yrs of homebound chronic illness)
"Joy: the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.
That's what it feels like and means to me. Take a minute today to think about what joy is for you and then take it one step further. Take a moment to leave yourself a note... on your nightstand, on your bathroom mirror, by your computer... leave yourself a reminder to stop, take a deep breath and consciously choose joy today.
Trust me, it's worth your time."

(photo credit: Gitzen Girl's blog)

Got a few more moments to soak in some more thoughts on that choice of joy??

More of Gitzen Girl's thoughts on choosing joy (homebound from chronic illness for over 3 years)...

More thoughts by Ann Voskamp, on choosing joy...

Monday, August 29, 2011

More of Life Lately...

a FREE memory box from Paper Coterie.
DUDES, you have GOT to check them out.
Quality of products = no-others-comparable. Pricing = incredibly affordable.
Freebies = cherry on top!
Tomato firstfruits, hooray!

Irwin Garden Fresh Homemade Pizza!

Chicken Run Fun!

Enjoying Cousin Adam's fabulous pepper-coring creation! 
Sold at a Bed, Bath & Beyond near you!

Dehydrating garden herbs for an Irwin Herb creation! 
Coming to a kitchen near you soon!

Turning Thirty-Three! Thirties ARE the new Twenties, right?! I'm feelin' it already!

Shooting the girl and her "girls"...

A surprise birthday grown-ups-only trip to Enchanted Forest!
You'd have thought from the looks we got there, that it was illegal to be there without our child or something! ha!

A fabulous ultra-restorative getaway at a pastoral retreat center,
with a 4 mile hike and 10 waterfalls on boot!

As papa says most often at our house...Life is Good folks, Life is Good.
So is God, who makes it Good, for that matter! ;)
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