Thursday, February 6, 2014

simple changes.

The Lord has certainly been displaying His mighty hand in my life.  Well, the truth is He ALWAYS has been, I've just been too selfishly consumed in my own thoughts, time, and words to really hear Him.

What it comes down to is this.  My life is not meant to live here on earth in the selfish, unaware way that I've been living it.  Others may say, "Sara, you are NOT selfish!  You're so nice" etc. etc.

That's nice to hear.......  in my own prideful ears.

Life is too short.  I want to spend more time on eternal investments.  My husband, my children, my family, other PEOPLE.

This book has encouraged me.
10 trips to the thrift store, unloading my suburban, has left me with less of a burden on the homefront (i.e. cleaning, organizing, picking up) and given me more time with my husband, children and others.
I'm not even close to done either.  We're going beyond 40 bags in 40 days type decluttering.  Less truly is More.

This book has convicted me.  Marriage is hard?  amen.  My husband's sole purpose is not to meet my unsaid expectations to continually meet my every need?  amen.  Marriage is a Sanctification process that means I must stop being so self centered?  AMEN!!!  Friends,  marriage is a life long, enduring, grueling, glorious, amazing, hard, commitment that, in the end, should be purposed to glorify God, not ourselves.

I believe that everyone's journey to draw closer to God LOOKS different.  For me, right now, I am being convicted to simplify and serve.  Simplify the blog, my home, Facebook, clothes, everything really.  Serve my husband, my family, others, anyone.  People matter.  All people.  Regarding serving people, or putting others in front of yourself, however you want to word it;  I have learned that doing this just to make my self feel better is, again, just a form of pride and self centeredness.

Serving others to glorify God takes away any expectation of a "thank you" or reciprocation or feeling like I should pat myself on the back.  To simply serve to bring God glory is so so basic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

brothers

hank and chichi playing with the manger scene.  i love how often the kids play with this each year.  


i

i really treasure the relationships my children have with each other.  over the years i have seen them grow closer together because we are home together all day.  i am so glad the big kids are around to see their younger siblings grow up.....



we have most of our "to do" stuff for Christmas finished and I am so looking forward to these last few days of a bit more peace and quietness.  continuing to prepare our hearts for the celebration of our Savior's birth.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

finding joy in the deepest of sorrows.....

countless times i have started this post in my head just to close my eyes and walk away from the computer.  some things in life are just too hard.  writing about the sudden and tragic death of my sweet 3 1/2 year old nephew is one of those things.  not just "one of"  but "THE" hardest ever in my life thus far.

he went safely into the arms of Jesus on Monday, September 16 after a valiant fight for his little life following a near drowning.

pleading to God, praying without ceasing, crying, and groaning all ensued throughout the time i found out about his accident to the time he went to be with Jesus.  such deep deep sorrow.


yet we have hope.  i am going to share a video and some of the many Bible passages that we shared among friends and family.  there is the greatest joy (knowing that ry is with Jesus) mixed with the very deepest of sorrow (that he is actually gone from this earth).  it is the joy that makes others wonder, "how can you move forward?" "how can you have happy laughing moments anymore?" 

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

God IS good.  He is the creator of all life and if we have no hope then life is meaningless.  end of discussion.  BUT.....when there IS hope, NOTHING is meaningless..... please watch the following video:



and the story behind the song:



we are closing in almost 2 months since he went to be with Jesus forever.  Life is different.  It just is and it always will be.

I'm not very eloquent with words yet I have so many I want to pour out.

Psalm 91 is a chapter that I prayed fervently during the days ry was in the hospital.  It is a prayer of protection and hope.

Super smiley.  So very tender.  His ears and his voice.  Gentle with babies.  Silly little giggle.


" I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." ~Alfred Lord Tennyson~


loss is hard.  this is hard.  we were never promised that we would never endure hardship.  oh Lord, my God, when I pray to You, I believe and know that You are the giver of life.  You created Ry and perfectly placed him with his dad and mom and siblings.  I am so thankful for his life, that I loved him.   So very thankful for each of my children, all my nieces and nephews and family.  God, you are my refuge and my fortress, my God in who I trust.

ry man, i'm so very thankful for the certainty we have in knowing you are with Jesus.  smiling and being loved on in such a tremendous way.  i love you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

summertime.

summer is here and we have a fun project happening!  we've dug up the yard and brought in the fun machines.  i.e. dozers and diggers.


its been constant entertainment for the last 8 weeks.




and can i just insert some cuteness here.  chichi is 10 months old!  he is completely adorable and spoiled.  i'm not even going to try to deny it.

back to the pool project.  we chose a square, dark gray slate tile for the top border.

the interior will be a hydrazzo finish in the color 'french gray'.

back to some serious cuteness.  chichi loves loves loves his older siblings.  they tote him around and play constantly.






are you enjoying your summer?  

we don't completely stop school.....we do a math lesson here and there, a full day of school here and there, but mostly just enjoy the outdoors and do Bible time (i'm using the apologia What We Believe Vol. 1 and LOVE IT!)  

remember.....you don't have to "do it all".....keep it simple.  Love God, Love your spouse, Love your kids.  Spend time with each of them.  Its the relationships in life that matter....not the stuff.  

hugs, kisses, walks, and holding hands.   listen.  appreciate.  


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happenings.

It's been awhile!! I've been posting a lot over on Instagram and would love to have you join me.  

Chichi is almost 10 months old.  He is such a happy, cheerful baby. He has 3 teeth on the bottom and is cutting both if his top teeth right now.  

He loves the hammock and settles right down when we put him on it! 

We're putting an pool in!  The kids are so excited.  The tools and equipment over the past two months have provided lots of entertainment for them.


The garden is in and the cucumbers, beans and sunflowers are all growing! I even saw the basil popping up yesterday.   Please tell me you remember how hot it was last year!! Well, I remember. I was hugely preggers, sweating constantly and the garden barely produced anything.  This year is going much better!!

Garage sale season is in full force and a few of our best finds this year so far are this playpen .....

A vintage crib toy....

And this desk for the girls bunk room! Have you guys found any good deals out there?






 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

spring shelves. some bloggy and reader love and thanks.

while the snow is still flying outside, the springtime decor has sprung inside.  

i have been eyeing these cafe shelves for some time and i really really like the idea of having two shelves to change out the decor for the season.  sometimes thinking about decorating an entire room seems overwhelming in my mind and in reality two completely decorated shelves can make a better design statement.

here is what i chose for our spring shelves (everything was from shopping around our house except the owl and little tiny lamb, both from hobby lobby)

"be filled with joy" print by katie daisy.



and now for some fellow bloggy love!  this is a corner of our front foyer.  the micah 6:8 canvas is from the ever talented dee of red letter words. this particular scripture brings me back to my childhood and as a young girl memorizing micah 6:8.  it all seems so simple.  to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  but life happens and it can all suddenly seem so complex.  having Scripture hidden in your heart truly is a treasure and i need more of it.

i also think it is so important to mark your homes with God's word.  we use index cards and handwriting assignments taped to the walls with Bible verses but dee's artwork sure makes a pretty display of such strong truth.  and right in the entryway, to set the tone, to welcome, to remind us all.

and do you see the a. dor. able. michigan pillow??!!!  yes, i am THAT excited about it.  This was sent to me by a fellow michigander, Jill of Cora Anne Designs .....

too cute, i know i know.  and the back is navy and white chevron.  ahhh.  chevron just makes me happy.  and this pillow is quality work.  please, go visit jill's blog, they are renovating a lake house right now and its super cute.

blogging has connected me with so many people from so many parts of the world and from so many different walks of life.  the idea that people take the time to read my blog is humbling, and that many of you take the time to email me fills me with sincere THANKS.

thank you for reading.  thanks for encouraging me through comments and emails.

fact:  just last week i was having a doozy of a day.  grey skies outside, not motivated, and not feeling like i was accomplishing....well, anything.  i open up my email to find one that began like this

"I want you to know that your blog has been such a tremendous inspiration and encouragement to my wife and me........"

this gentleman went on to share their home building experience and thanked me for sharing my faith and life.  wow.  

thank you.

he (as well as all of you have emailed such kind words) was such an inspiration to ME.

to take the TIME to say THANK YOU.  to you guys, to people around me.  do you even know how many thank you notes i have written in my head?  i'm great about thank you notes for gifts but just random notes of encouragement, of thanks.....so many times i just let it slip by.

i'm going to try to be more faithful to say thank you.  do write a note of encouragement.  because i KNOW how much its appreciated!

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

dancy's 10th birthday party. confetti.

so i totally forgot to post dancy's birthday party last month!  not only that, but i really didn't even take very many pictures.  you'd think i have a new baby or something :) :)

dancy is very outgoing, endlessly loving to others, artistic, loves to dance and sing, and for the past year her joys have included gymnastics.

she asked for a colorful birthday party and wanted confetti.  to which i had to explain that unfortunately there was no way i was going to have fistfuls of actual confetti be thrown around the house to celebrate.

*side note*  when i was little MY mom and dad actually let my sisters and i cut up newspaper into a bazillion pieces and throw it all over the family room on new years eve.  my mom found newspaper pieces in the registers and stuck into crevices for months! i'm too chicken.

we decorated with a confetti motif instead.  we found colorful cupcake holders, big round sprinkles and from etsy, some fun printables.









her big gift was an ipod nano that we've been filling up with some of her favorite tunes.

francesca battistelli, casting crowns, jamie grace, kari jobe, mandisa, toby mac and yes, a little one direction. :)

i love you dance.  your heart is full of love for the Lord and creativity.  you are determined and steadfast.  you fill our home with music and laughter, singing and awesome art. your little brothers and big sisters all love to be where you are.

i pray that i can continue to be the best mom i can be to you and continue to encourage you in the ways that you need it most.  i am so glad that God gave me you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

6 months. chi-chi.

6 months.  little A has slept through the night 3 times now!  from 10pm-7am.  

this is a big deal as all the other kiddos were sleeping through the night waaaay earlier.  on the plus side though, i've been using the late night feeding frenzies to read through the Bible on my phone.

look at those eyes.  

little A is not so little anymore.  he's filling right out and has also acquired quite the arsenal of nicknames!  is this normal?  do you all have nicknames for your kiddos?

so the one that seems to be sticking is chi-chi.  (pronounced chee chee).  like chi-chi rodriquez, professional golfer.  but that's not where it came from.

have you ever seen the movie chitty chitty bang bang?  its a dick van dyke classic.  we were watching it with the kids (again) when little A was still little.... there is a song called chu-chi face and

 i. think. its. hilarous.  

i was calling him chu-chi face and well....it evolved into chi-chi.

so there you have it.  our little chi-chi.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 bags in 40 days 2013.

today is ash wednesday.  the beginning of lent.  what is lent?  it is a 40 day period that starts today, ash wednesday, and leads up to maundy thursday.  the next day is good friday (crucifixion of Jesus Christ). three days later is EASTER! 

are you confused?  

pastor bill crawford of waters edge church puts it this way:

Ash Wednesday is a day to stare death in the face, to acknowledge our mortality. All of us will die. Christians who observe this day get ashes "imposed" on their foreheads, while a minister says, "You have come from dust, and to dust you will return." In other words, "You are going to die. And here are some ashes to remind you, just in case you've forgotten."
Are we Christians gloomy? Do we have some peculiar fascination with dying? I don't think so. Rather, what allows us to stare death in the face is the assurance of life, real life, eternal life. When we know our lives are safe in the hands of God, and that this physical life is just the beginning of eternity, then we're free to be honest about what lies ahead for us. We can face death without fear or pretending, because we know the One who defeated death. 

on to lent.  its not a mandatory observance but one that prepares our hearts and minds for the days ahead. our family has been doing 40 bags in 40 days for a few years.  

here is our list for this year.  this is a very tangible way for everyone to get involved!

we also spent time in prayer this morning and came up with what each of us was going to "give up".  again, this is a period of self-denial to commemorate the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert.  these are things that in today's world should be SO easy to go without right?  

its just GOOD for us to (all ages) to have to FEEL the pangs of going without something, making us look UP and remember:

"I can do ALL things through HIM who gives me STRENGTH"  Phillipians 4:13.  

It's a time of humility.  i can't do it on my own. 

 if i tried to homeschool, be a good mom, be a good wife, be a good friend...etc.  all in my own strength i would have burned out LOOOOONG ago!

another fun thing that we pulled out was this countdown poster that we made with my friend amy and her kiddos when they still lived by us......

do you see  the little paper Jesus on the first day? we move him one spot each day.   :)  again, just a tangible way for the kids to see what is happening.  and just throw it up with tape on your cupboard.  its all good.

here is a closer look at our 2013 list.  i mostly do this on my own during the day.  if there is an area that its more helpful for the kiddos to join me then they do.


will you make more room for Jesus this Lent?  you'll be glad you did.

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Bible in A Year peeps.....how's it going????  i've had a couple times where I fell a few days behind and had to catch up.  it's been a HUGE blessing.  you can do it!  if you want to join here is my blog post about it and follow the hashtag #afbibleinayear over on instagram (@augustfields)
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Thursday, January 31, 2013

valentines 2013.

adding a few touches of love around the house.







here's a peek at some valentine love from years past


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