Embracing the Fire (Frankly Friday v. 1)

Today I'm participating in a blog hop. Feel free to check out the gal who sets is all up, Amy's, blog :) She just started it a few weeks back and I have a couple of other blog friends who have participated on a regular basis. Love the posts I've seen, just haven't felt like I had much to add. Well...today I do :)


So I was going through blog posts yesterday, instead of getting ready for the day *sigh*, when I happened to read a great post by Tony Reinke on the DesiringGod ministries blog entitled Learning from Lincoln's Flawed Marriage.

Loved the post. I think everyone should take a moment to read it.


You'll learn more from it than from me; I'm pretty sure I can guarantee it.

What stuck with me was one of the last statements Reinke made:

"There were resources for healing he did not know, and short of healing, embracing the fire is BETTER than escape." [bold print, enlargement, and italics mine]

Why, you might ask, did this resonate with my soul so much?

Well, my heart loves to find ways to escape. Even if it's becoming numb to all around me in hopes that it will soon subside. Though it might be different for everyone, I'm willing to bet many people are like this and they either don't realize it or they deny it. Personally, I've done the latter a lot.

Thankfully, I've gone to counseling a couple years ago and I've been surrounded by friends for many years who don't stand by either of those afformentioned situations.

(Oh and by the way, hopefully you've realized by now I find the point I enlarged applies to much more than marriage. I think it applies to many aspects in all areas of life.)

It can, and more than likely will, make life unseemingly hard, though I've actually found it can be even harder attempting to hide and/or control when we have no ability to truly do either. (Gah, I'm rambling. Just hang tight with me. I have need to spell this out, more for myself than for you.) Yet those hardships, if embraced, as Reinke suggests, can be the refining fire God uses to mold us more into his likeness. Embracing the fire is like allowing God to put us in the crucible so that when we are completely refined we come out reflecting him. All for his glory!

Painful? You betcha!

Rewarding? Far beyond any worth we humans can measure. 

For the outcome is a better image of the Creator, which is the reason for all of life.

And though we will not be completely refined this side of Heaven, I can't imagine living a life filled with pain without knowing I'm suffering all for his glory, whether seen or unseen by someone else.

Maybe a bit hard to chew walking into what is known as one of the happiest seasons each year sees. But for me, I think it will hopefully help keep me in the right perspective of all that we celebrate at Christmas.

Yes, the birth of a Savior but who lived a life full of pain all so he could pay my ransom from a life indebted to paying him for my failings.

He is the reason I celebrate this season, for without him I have no capability of truly glorifying God, and that gives me abounding joy!


Lil' Scootin' Booty

So today I give you proof that I no longer can leave Zoë in one spot. Though I haven't been able to because she rolls, she's now much faster and more dedicated in where she is going.

If she sees a book she wants she's headed that way.

Found an electrical wire? Yep. She's gonna try to get it (though I have attempted to hide/cover any wire she might get to).

I've even found her with pieces of carpet fuzz in her mouth. Our carpet was put in just before we moved in so it's hard to get all of these. Anyway, I thought it was cute how she was scooting over to her bookshelf and thought I would share it with you.

Also notice, her tummy doesn't keep her pants up. They start sagging because of how they're pulled when she scoots.


O Tannenbaum (Wordless Wednesday Version v. 6)

*WARNING: minor picture overload. You have been warned! And yes, I used the traditional, original language of the carol. Hoping it was properly placed online*

O Tannenbaum,

O Tannenbaum,

wie treu sind deine Blätter!

Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,

Nein auch im Winger, wenn es schneit.

O Tannenbaum,

O Tannenbaum,

vie treu sind deine Blätter!


Our Bathroom

So yesterday I posted about our new home.

And I had every intention of showing you all of it. Especially because I have family who wanted to see it and it may be a long time before they ever come down for a visit.

Funny enough, someone made a comment about how they love my shower curtain and so I went back to look and see if I had posted pics of both bathrooms. Lo and behold, I didn't. I'm not sure how our bathroom was left out, but I think it's quaint and like that I could hang something on the wall above the towel rack, so I want to show you guys.

This is looking into the bathroom

My only dislike: there isn't an area to keep the aerosol can next to/on the toilet. Thus, it stays on the counter. It doesn't look bad, it just isn't my preference of placement. Otherwise, I love how much space there is and how there is enough storage so the counters stay clear when something isn't in use.

Mmmm...I know it isn't much, but anything extra to make it a bit more of "home" makes me smile. It just makes it that much less "blah", in my opinion.

So, I couldn't really show you this part of the bathroom because it's so small the picture would practically be black. However, see that shelf below the cabinet? And see the basket above the toilet? I love, love, love how I can keep a few rolls of toilet paper and all my monthly necessities kept in nice baskets where they won't get wet and, as far as the private stuff, guests won't have to see all of that, yet it's still handy. I'm also still in love with our shower curtain as much as when we registered for it.

Sorry the pics aren't the best. I just did what I could. I've been so tired lately between a teething baby, working myself through the move, and trying to get myself into the groove of things.


The New Home

Remember how I asked here, if you could tell me what was going on with all those bubbles from my dishwasher?

Well, of course this is only speculation as there is no real way to test it, we are pretty sure some genius, previous tenant put dish detergent and/or soap into the jet dry compartment of our dishwasher. The picture shown is only a small amount compared to what Ben and I walked in on. Thus the towels.

I actually thought I might have put too much, though I've never had that happen before. However, when we stopped the dishwasher to see what was going on, the compartment for detergent, which is where I always put it, hadn't even opened for that cycle.

Needless to say, I might be putting towels down every time we run the dishwasher for a while. It wasn't water either. Of course, water mixed with whatever the heck they put in there makes the bubbles, so the floor does end up wet, but it's not like that because water is overflowing.

Fun times :)

Anyway, I promised pics of the new home. And I will deliver. We'll start from the entryway:

The Entryway

This is what you see when you first walk in. There are two doors, one on either side of you. To the left is the washroom. To the right, Zoë's room. Straight ahead is our living room :)

The washroom

My hubby and dad installed the shelf just above the washer and dryer. Boy am I glad they did! I'm able to fit all of my cleaning supplies for house and car exterior in there as well as all my clothes detergents/stain removers. There are couple of other odds and ends in there, so it's a bit of a catch-all, but I love that we have that space.

Zoë's Room - in her doorway

Zoë's Room - to the right of her doorway

The closed door is her closet. Since it's nothing more than clothes and storage, I didn't take a picture of it. Though it is a nice walk in. (I didn't take pics of either closet. They're both clothes and storage :]) The cabinets in the far, bottom right of this pic are her "dresser". 

Zoë's Bathroom (looking from the right corner)

It isn't very big, but it will work perfect if we have friends come to stay. It's really nice to have two bathrooms, though we lived with one just fine.

Zoë's Bathroom

I love how each bathroom has enough space to store stuff in easily accessible places (i.e. the medicine cabinets) so that the countertop stays clean and tidy.

This is the left (that is if you're looking from the entryway) of our living room

It's pretty much become our "study" area. One of the table chairs remain in the corner because, as you will see in a bit, we have to push our table up against the wall. That door leads out to our tiny patio, but in order to have more of a living area, the couch had to be in the way. 

This is the right side of our living room.

Better pic of the fireplace and some decoration :)

Yes, we have a fireplace. No, we're probably not going to use it. As much as I love (and I mean L.O.V.E.) wood burning fireplaces (oh and no it doesn't have gas, it's completely old fashioned), there is no grate in there. And the brick is already covered in soot. It's too much of a mess to clean if there is no grate and I'm not buying one :/ Our time will come :)

From the living room you walk into our...

Little Dining Area

The table actually fits much better than I had thought it would. And I was really glad our kitchen counter has a slight lip that protrudes out into the area. It allowed for my two plastic storage bins to fit well and not be in the way.

Our Kitchen

I love how it was relatively easy to make the space my own. And it actually has decent space. Ben can be cleaning dishes or helping me with dinner on one side while I'm working at the other and we aren't in each other's business.


I don't really think it's a hallway, but I don't know what else to call it. This is to the left of the dining area and, as it has since we've been married, our trusty, cheap cabinet has come in handy for some extra storage :) To the left is our bedroom. To the right is our bathroom, which is also, technically the guest bath.

Up first is our Bedroom

This is what you see when you first look in. We have two bookshelves in our room. I think we will always be in need of a good bookshelf :) Behind the curtains is a second door leading out to our patio. Sucks we had to block the one in the living room, nice there were two ways to get out there.

from the left corner of our door

The bookshelf you see in the first picture is behind me.

Gotta love how our fan photo bombs every picture because the pull strings are so stinking long. HA! I wasn't climbing on my bed to hang them over a bulb just to get them out of the picture. So photo bomb they did.

Last but not least: our Patio

It isn't very big, but it is large enough to put a couple of lawn chairs and enjoy sitting outside. It's also already come in handy to have a place to cut Ben's hair.

And that's our little piece of Houston. Very small considering how huge this metropolis is. But we love it. God provided in so many different ways that I'll deal with getting rid of the roaches and bleach stains on my brand new carpet. The complex dropped trying to blame us for the stains and paid to have a carpet cleaning company come and dye the spots. The roaches, well....they're still here but they're almost gone.

Just looking at the pictures as I posted them reminded me of all the many ways God provided for our stuff to fit in here. Items I wondered if I would have to learn to live without because they wouldn't fit out of the way. None of them were necessary to get on in life, just a huge huge blessing. And God saw fit to allow us to keep it ALL.

So blessed!


It's Coming...

...I promise.

I promised pics of our new abode; I will produce them.

Just not today.

Too long of a post.

Especially when here is what I keep thinking about when it comes to the new dwelling:

Can anyone guess why it's doing that?

Yes. We still let it run, just with towels down.

So, what do you think happened here? 

Not that you'll win anything for it. I'm just wondering if someone could tell me with only seeing those pics :)

I'll give you the weekend to mull it over.

Happy weekend to you all folks! I might be going to get our first ever Christmas tree with the hubs and babe this evening :) YES! If so, be looking for pics to come. And certainly I will be showing you our tidy, teeny spot in west Houston next week.


We're Here

Yeah. I fell of the blogging radar completely over the past week? Week and a half?  I don't know, I just know it's been a while.

But we made it.

Safe and sound, though not without a couple of adventures I was not asking for (Ben wasn't either for that matter).

And it's beginning to feel more and more like home.

Here are couple of pics of the new pad empty. I missed the guest bedroom and dining area, but here ya go:

When you first enter our apartment, the "master" bedroom is on your immediate right and the wash room is on the immediate left. I apparently missed pics of the washroom, too, but I didn't forget the master bedroom:

 Zoë is sleeping in this room. We chose to give her the master because 1) the bathroom is smaller than the "guest" bathroom and 2) this bedroom supposedly has a smaller closet. I'm not convinced about #2 but I am about #1 and with two people sharing one of the bathrooms, I opted for the guest to be ours.

 Our lovely living area. Complete with a fireplace that has no grate. HA! What's it for if you have no grate? This is straight in front of you as you enter.

 A really bad pic of my kitchen :) It's the widest kitchen I've had since we've been married. It unforunately has a teeny tiny space they call my pantry but we're making it work.

From the dining area there is a small space, I guess you could call a hall, that our bedroom and bath are off of. Bedroom to the right (no pics yet...sorry!) and this is to the left. Love how the sink is seperated from the toilet/shower area by another door. 

And this little cutie did PHENOMENAL throughout the entire ordeal. And she likes the boxes :)

Well, I'm going spend time with my husband, who no longer has 1 am shifts! HOORAY!

P.S. I love watching him walk out the door in professional dress. He looks so good :)


I'm Behind...

*Side Note* So I wrote this post just before we moved when all the sudden I had no internet. That's right. We learned our lesson of when to tell people to shut everything off the hard way. Oops! Here is what was going on before we traversed to good ol' Texas:

...on reading the blogs I follow.

...on blogging the stories that I've wanted to share but are aimlessly floating around in my mind because I'm swimming in boxes.

Not sure when the next time I will be able to blog. Tomorrow is "pack-the-u-haul" day. Friday is d-day. And I'm not sure when we will have access to internet.

I can't believe it's here.

I keep feeling like I'm having an out of body experience. Or that maybe I'm dreaming. It's just so weird.

Since my brain is floating around in a bunch of boxes I thought I would let you in on why it's like that.


...and boxes...

...and more boxes...

...lots of others...


And all those pictures don't include the bedroom. Or Zoë's closet.