Category: Faith

October 14, 2013 cannoli 0 Comments

ice cream
We’ve been busy settling into our new home. Unpacking, decorating, cleaning, sleeping–repeat.
Taking breaks here and there and finding any excuse to get out of the house to see the light of day and to hit up Yogurtland Every.Single.Day. Literally I can not get enough of that tart flavor with coconut and carob (faux-chocolate) chips!
Anyway, I have recently found the charger to my camera (hallelujah) while unpacking and have been making sure to snap pictures each day. 
toys
I came out of the garage from doing laundry and found this little guy just hanging out on the couch. Perched up perfectly like so and I still have no idea who left it there but love finding little treasures like this and want to remember to capture them when I see them. Right now it’s toys and trinkets but the things they leave around will eventually change and want to look back and see what I will soon forget.
decor
decor

decor

Just a few shots of how our new pad is coming along…It kinda feels like home already.
cake
cooking
cooking
fatherhood
film
mom and baby
mom and baby
Summer days//nights have been filled with the beach, county fairs, the pool, baking with the air conditioning blasting and getting out of the house to anywhere cooler… Seriously so hot. I only moved inland a few miles but daaaaang it makes a difference of temp in the house.
wel
what we’re really like
wel
and what we’re like for instagram (did I just admit that)
anyway, me and Molly Poo at Oh Hello Friend’s shop in downtown Fullerton
always a good time
mom and baby
 vintage dress love
Scored Elsie’s at the Paris Flea Market for FIVE DOLLA make ya holla
{also please take note of Elsie’s “tattoos” she’s been drawing on her arms that keep smearing and fading into what look like bruises…I’m getting stares from people}
my children
and though our Disneyland passes have only been un-blocked for like a week we have managed to go to Disneyland THREE times
obsessed much?
ride
don’t get me started with Elsie
She be cray-zay lately.
Like way too much energy while Vernon is napping
Take her on Vernon’s trike for example
here she just said,
“watch me peddle backward mama”
 and then slammed into the wall and wouldn’t stop laughing then did it over and over again
fun
Then another day {yes these are all different days she just likes wearing this swim suit while we lounge apparently. I think it’s her version of stretchy pants}
Back to this picture.
We were playing hide-and-seek annnnddd… well you can see from the picture, I found her in the pantry and snacking on popcorn no less.
She is sooo my daughter
fun
rise and shine
 If you know me, you know stitching is therapeutic for me so I have been picking up the needle a bit since we moved to work on a few new pieces. It’s nice to get my thoughts together after the babes are in bed. It has been good for my soul I tell ya. Though we are adjusting I still feel unsettled for some reason, but this has helped. Lots.
play together
 don’t even ask…
smile
 A plus side to moving. I needed help and so help = my mama. I love when I get to see her more than usual. I love her. She is also good for my soul.
boy
I could squish this for dayyyys
palymovie theater
 Vernon and Elsie were way more stoked about the snacks I brought then the actual movie, but hey it was summer morning matinee which means cheap seats so I wasn’t complaining
baby
 different day//same suit
and same quirky antics
my baby
this picture kills me and I need to give back story…
We had just come from the beach, where we met up with new friends. Both babes were, well lets say it was one of the worst beach experiences for me.
Elsie didn’t want to share, nor did Vernon. I think each had 1,456,987 meltdowns over ridiculous things and I even “tried” to sit them on their towels for time outs, at the beach. Are you kidding me? I felt like a failure mom and was talking about how unacceptable their behaviors were the whole drive home while receiving whispers of “yes mama” and insincere “I’m sorry” from each of them.
I pulled up in the driveway and turned around to make sure they both understood how serious I was and then I saw this.
Elsie + Vernon holding hands with empty stares. The whole scene was all together precious and I’m not gonna lie, a lil’ creepy.
Like they were secretly plotting against me during the drive and holding hands was like their way of saying “we’re in this together”
baby
Oh and we also officially registered Elsie for preschool. I think my heart broke into a million pieces after I submitted the forms in which I had to muster up every ounce of strength to walk out of the school office without bursting into tears. I didn’t want them to reject Elsie on the account of her mama being completely insane.
So basically I have bags under my eyes from lack of sleep and crying my eyes out for days. I know it’s ridiculous and needs its own post but seriously did not expect so much emotion to pour out over her being away from me for four hours a day a few days a week. I can’t even type about it with out hot tears welling up. so enough of that.for now.
harvest
Greg Laurie Anaheim Harvest 2013
I hope everyone’s end of summer days have been fantastic. We are headed to the Harvest Crusade all weekend and if you’re not here in Southern California to make the event you can watch it via web. I promise it won’t disappoint!
Happy Friday!

October 14, 2013 cannoli 0 Comments

travel

Tonight I jumped on the computer to download pictures off my phone because it is full and I needed to free up some space.
As I look through the past few months of photos I can’t explain what I’m feeling but feel like I need to quiet my brain.
It is almost midnight and I had no intention of writing but everyday since I don’t know, say three months ago I have been telling myself I will write a blog post… or write in my regular journal but I haven’t done much of either.
I’m really good at processing things better when I write them out. So needless to say, I haven’t been doing well at processing my day to day and have started to feel overwhelmed with emotion as of late.

travel
travel
travel
travel

Even now. Right now in this moment, when no one is needing my attention, as I listen to the white noise of the babes sound machine accompanied by the deep breathing of Micah sound asleep I can’t shake this anxious feeling. But of what exactly, I couldn’t tell you.

There is so much I need to be doing but then I can’t think of what to start with but then none of the things I thought I needed to do seem important…does that make sense? There are things I need to check off my list but then I don’t really have a list just a running tab of things I want to accomplish. Then there’s so many ding dang emails I need to respond to and yet I just sit here scrolling through photos instead. Trying to take a moment to let it all settle in to my soul I guess.You see, since returning from our European Anniversary trip (which I still need to post about…sigh) I feel like I’ve been running with my thoughts instead of sitting with them. There hasn’t been a moment to take it all in and so the good, the bad, the heavy, the light hearted, the messy and the mundane have all been mixed together and piled up day after day leaving a wasteland of emotion for me to sort through.

And of course I haven’t the time to sort through it all which basically is a perfect catch twenty-two situation I have on my hands.

travel
travel
I know what you’re thinking; “prioritize your time better”, “take things off your plate”, “get a stinkin’ family calendar already so you are all on the same page…”
Really, it isn’t about having too much on my plate. It’s more about having too much on my mind and carrying stuff in my heart.

I have been trying to be very intentional with my time and filling my days with very little since Elsie started pre-school. We haven’t really adjusted to the school schedule because Elsie hasn’t really adjusted to pre-school in general. So my time with her afterward plus my time with Vernon while she is at school has kind of become my selfish time with each of them.
I will say, Elsie hating pre-school hasn’t helped my emotional state and so it only adds to what I already have piling up and so here we are back to me feeling anxious, tired and ready to sift through all I have swirling around in my head ultimately because I need to make more room for Jesus in my heart.

travel
travel
travel
travel
travel

I understand that even if I don’t get the chance to process all that has been going on for months I know it is necessary to just dump the things I can’t change or go back and fix. Not a sweeping it under the rug type of thing either (ain’t no body got time for dat) I mean literally just dump some of these piles I have collected in order to fill that space with His truths instead.
So much harder to actually apply that to my life. I know what I need to do, yet I still feel heavy hearted and that’s because I know it’s not an overnight fix but something I need to continually work on. Like errday.
I need to be filled with the spirit.
Praying the scriptures, reading the word, hanging with people who point me back to Jesus and encourage me, not leaving empty space in my heart or mind to be filled with anything other than His truths.
Even as I’m typing I’m nodding my head “yes” like this is new news, but really I just haven’t been disciplined to make sure I’m CONSTANTLY doing these things and was using a million excuses of why I didn’t have time when really I just wasn’t making time.
travel

travel
travel
travel

I need to say it just for the sake of saying it but I really am okay. I’m good but just in a weird place right now with all my thoughts and words tangled together in a way that I can’t quite share what God is and has been teaching me. He is working things out in me which is always a good thing and I know that.

travel
travel

For now I wanted to post these pictures from this past week while we were visiting Micah’s parents in Ruidoso, NM for the Aspen Festival. It was so beautiful and felt so much like Fall my heart almost bursted everyday we stepped outside! Such an amazing time soaking up all the family who came to visit and just unwinding from our normal day to day.
So I know this post was totally random and you basically just listened to me give myself a bible spanking but let’s just go with it mmmkay.

travel

October 9, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

baby

Today I was not a bad day or even necessarily a hard day it was just rough.
Vernon still has a fever from last Thursday. It is off and on but started at 102.4 this morning. 
After sitting in the pediatricians office for two plus hours yesterday to get a urine sample only to find out he does not have a UTI left me feeling a little frustrated. 
Probably just a viral infection they said and to let it run its course but if he still has this wretched fever without any other symptoms other than not eating and being extremely sensitive and fussy then I need to bring him back Thursday.
I’m not stressed at all, I know God has got this. 
But this mama is tired. 
I still haven’t caught up from my orders and emails from last week from when I was sick and I needed yesterday to plan my week and get things squared away.
Instead, that lovely time of the month sprang up on me and I was tending to Verns all day.
Not to mention Today was hot. Very hot. 
I didn’t get much done.
My house has not been cleaned since… well at least two Fridays ago and I know that because there is birthday decor from the Sole Hope Birthday Party two weekends ago still displayed.
The clothes I tried on for the concert on Saturday (like a pile of dresses…HUGE pile) are still  all over our bedroom.
sooooo….
Once I heard from Micah that he was going to head straight to bible study because he had to work a little later I made up my mind.
I was not making dinner.
It was too darn hot to cook but the babes and I were way too hungry to wait for a pizza to be delivered and so I scooped them out of the bath, smothered them with lotion, put them in their pj’s (yup, no shame in my game letting them rock their pajamas in public) and asked what Elsie wanted for dinner. 
She said pancakes.
Once she said that I instantly craved the Banana Pecan Pancakes from Denny’s and remembered Tuesdays are Kids Eat Free nights so double score for me.
So we went out to eat.
Because I can. Not because I deserved it or anything like that but just because I can. I realized after the way things have been going as of late that I need to not feel defeated or anything but just understand that this isn’t how things normally go.
I’m not normally this tired and the kids aren’t normally this fussy and my house isn’t this disastrous. There was just a lot going on last week and it’s okay to let someone else do the cooking. Even if that someone happens to be a cook at Denny’s.

I sat there sipping my coffee watching the kids stack the jelly’s and color on their menus and thought “man I’m tired”
I knew that once we finished eating that it would be almost bed time so all I would need to do is lay them down so then I could answer my very full inbox of unanswered emails, no wait I really wanted to blog about, oh wait I haven’t even started my bible study lesson and study is tomorrow.
**Sigh**
and not a sigh because I need to do my bible study but I realized it was just one more thing I hadn’t finished this week.
Praise the Lord for his Grace and understanding with this mama who is wiped out. 
I was able to hold Vernon a little longer, read Elsie one more story and even completed my study and what do you know, still had time to come here to my little space to post and it’s not even midnight.
It’s like he stretched the hours for me tonight and now I feel a little bit more sane. 
I think I just needed to be in His word soaking up His truths letting them wash over my frustrations and inadequacies of not being on top of everything. 
So now I’m off to bed before midnight, the first time in over two weeks.
PRAISEJESUS!
Oh and before I hit the sheets, the winner for the birthday group celebration was selected and miss Lauren Hochleutner you just won loads of goodies. Email me to claim your praise.
Farewell and goodnight all!logo

June 4, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

have you prayed for something but not really sure what you are praying for?
so you just prayed a general prayer about whatever was placed on your heart because you felt led to?
then, when you have been praying for your heart to be prepared for whatever it is God has in store for you and it actually comes to fruition, you kind of feel a little giddy and crazy and then overwhelmed by God’s Goodness.
and you laugh out loud and say God you are so ridiculously awesome!
smile
well that happened to me recently, when I was told about some conference that was to take place and that I should be on the look out for it.
and then it happened
I saw this post and my heart flipped a little lot
I had been praying where God would have me, what he wanted me to share, how much he wanted me to share and where he wanted me to share.
With friends, strangers, women at church or here on this blog? I had no idea, but felt a pull.
a lot of prayers were prayed and was kind of feeling unsettled not knowing what the next “thing” or what the next “step” in my life was when
BAM!
I’m smacked in the face with this Influence Conference.
ìnluence
hosted by these beautiful souls
me
Hayley, Jessi and Casey
and will have so many, many fabulous speakers
the paragraph below was the first thing I read about the conference and within an instant knew I would be attending
If you’ve ever wondered how or why the Lord was going to use you in your home, work, community, or online – Influence is a fantastic place to connect and learn. We believe that God has given you influence right where you are, for one purpose: to make much of Him. At Influence we’re going to dig into the common thread of all of us – the Good News. We plan on doing a little teaching, talking, sharing, and celebrating concerning the ways He might want to use you on the individual platforms He’s given.
When Micah came home that night and after the kids were tucked in I shared this with him. There was no persuading, convincing or even details given when he said
“this is definitely for you”
just a week before the announcement of this conference, Micah and I were discussing my upcoming 30th birthday in September and he said that after this past year and all we’ve been through and all I’ve overcome by the Grace of God, that he really wanted to do something special for me
I told him this conference was my “special”
and he agreed
and the minute the tickets went on sale he bought one for me
(I know right, he is so awesome)
And so come Fall I am blessed in knowing I will be surrounded by such beautiful and talented souls all geared and ready to learn how we to be better equipped to bring Glory to God.
Bring. It. On!
#beyondstoked #alittlenervous #needtofindmesomeroomies
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June 4, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

Today during my Soul Detox devotion I was struck by the question it asked
How have you seen your toxic fears influence your actions and thoughts?
only to realize this is something I have dealt with this past year and had been facing head on while going through the Psalms with my women’s bible study.
remember when I asked for prayer because I would be sharing what I learned from the Psalms in front of what seemed like thousands of women
(it was really two hundred or less, but that was still a lot more than I have EVER spoken in front of)
Well, I thought I’d share what I shared with those ladies because it really sums up my devotion this morning.

Hi there, I’m Natalie Ensor and I was in Chanele’s group this year. When she first asked me to share I was all for it. It wasn’t until I sat down to write what really ministered to me through the Psalms when I started freaking out. Not because I was nervous about speaking in front of everyone, that was a given, I even prayed the Lord would come back today…twice.

It was the idea of having to cram all the Psalm goodness that saved my soul this past year into just a few short minutes.

You see this year was one of the hardest years of my life. Physically and emotionally. Through studying these Psalms I could see God working in me and transforming my heart. He softened my will so that HIS would be done. He had lifted the bricks that once laid across my chest, which left me heavy laden for far too long. I thought by letting him lift those bricks from me I was abandoning all. My past. My failures. My insecurities. But I realized I was so so wrong.

Though I felt lighter from the load being lifted– I held onto those bricks, my burdens and fears and one by one stacked them up to build a wall. I hid behind that wall. It was safe. I was comfortable hiding.

I could be happy with just my Lord, husband and babies there. No need to let anyone in. I mean no one understood what I was dealing with and no one felt how I felt.

Or so I thought anyway.

Feeding myself these lies only left me feeling alone and helpless. Though I called on the Lord daily and dove into His good word I wasn’t receiving all that I could because of the wall I had built up.

There were days I just wanted to pack up our little family and move out to the country. Away from it all. From everything the enemy was using to take hold of my thoughts and feed my fears.

But studying the Psalms and meeting weekly with these beautiful women in my group –opened my eyes to what needed to change. My thought process needed some major reframing. I needed God to help me take my thoughts captive. I needed to surrender all. In doing this I realized I needed to let him break my wall down.

My comfort zone had to be shaken. My hiding place needed to be in Him not behind this wall. With each Psalm and study I grew, and with that each brick was being removed. And pieces of me were exposed. This terrified me at first but God made it ever so real while going through these studies how much He loves me and how my friends and family love me for who I am not some image I tried to be.

As we studied the Psalms I learned how I related to theses psalmist. We saw how whether they were in pain, going through trials or just in a time of peace they all Praised God in whatever state they were in.

I learned that it is necessary to Praise through the pain, because once we acknowledge Him and take our eyes of ourselves the pain doesn’t hurt as much and the struggles don’t seem as hard.

I came to understand that God is bigger than my circumstances. He already knows the outcome and will always be part of the end result.

Psalm 139 was just ONE of the Psalms that really spoke to me. How David speaks of God knowing us personally through and through. How we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I love in verses 23 & 24 of this Psalm where it reads “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me to the way of everlasting.”

David is asking God to test him, to know what he is thinking and feeling and to rid of any wicked way in him.

That made me want to dig deeper into God’s goodness , It gave me a new desire to have a pure heart because like David I was being tested and for the first time I truly  soaked up that God not only knew it but understood. He understood my hurts, anxieties and the lies I was feeding myself.

What ministered to me the most through the Psalm studies this year was God’s truths. Ladies,  HIS truths really did set me free. God’s promises are so real and that has become enough for me.

shereads

I hope you are following along with us in the #SHEREADSTRUTH community. I recently shared about it here and how we’re reading through a 35 day plan titled Soul Detox
you can learn more about it here.

I personally have been so blessed by each devotion. It seriously is such a refreshing study with not only life application but making you dig deep and ask yourself to seek within and really detox your soul.

June 4, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

baby
 This was one of those weekends that warranted one more day before the week begins. Nothing crazy, just  another weekend packed with family goodness but with that good also came some challenges.
Not sure if it was the ice cream we had from an Old Fashioned Soda fountain earlier on Friday night or what, but we could not get Elsie to go to sleep. It was okay at first because she was making us laugh and helping us clean up the living room but once nine o’ clock rolled around I had to make her go to bed. Only to lay down with her and hold her until she stopped screaming for what seemed like hours though it really wasn’t, and after she finally calmed down she asked me to pray for her that God would protect her from the monsters.
that lead into a long discussion about monsters not being real and that God is bigger than anything,
He would keep her safe.
baby
 I was exhausted afterward and wanted to hit the sheets but needed to finish up some orders and sit and talk with Micah about our plan for the rest of our open weekend.
We planned on waking up and heading to the Queen Bee Market in Carlsbad only for the babes to wake up way too early especially after going to bed way too late. We had three melt downs from both before the clock even struck eight am and that’s when the doorbell rang.
The plumber.
The one we rescheduled twice for our sinks that are continually backing up due to old corroded never been replaced pipes from the 1950’s!
So we decided to all head back to bed while he worked under the house and all slept til around ten.
It helped and we didn’t feel so… frazzled after getting a few extra zzzzz’s. So we loaded up the car and headed to the craft fair.
baby
Elsie was so excited but the minute we walked in, like the MINUTE we walked through the doors to get our shopping on, she sits on the floor and demands her blankie and says she wants to go home.
How do you explain to a three year old that we just drove an hour, because of traffic and that we were going to walk around whether she liked it or not.
Well you don’t. You have to bottle up all your frustration because you’re not angry at her, your tired too, and hungry and understand why she doesn’t want to be there and well you just say
“Elsie, I know your tired and so is mommy, let’s go to the bathroom and go potty and then come back and shop for a few minutes and then we’ll go get something yummy to eat and possibly go to the beach”
So you try again, only for her to sit back down on the floor and her tell you her shoes are hurting and that she wants you to hold her.
Something was off.
baby
 You can sense it, but your patience grows thin as both you and your hubs are manning a toddling little man who is literally pulling down displays all the while trying to handle your three year old who just seems to think life is miserable at the moment, while trying to remain cool and calm and try to shop in between.
We quickly purchase our items and just decide to head home.
they both fall asleep and both Micah and I wish we could do the same.
It’s only 2:30 and Micah still wants to go do something because let’s face it, the family day we envisioned with shopping, eating and then playing on the beach didn’t quite pan out.
So we stop in Newport on the way home for an early dinner and some walking around.
But then it’s one thing after another with the littles and we are just calling it a day.
Which was okay.
we were trying to make a magical day happen but it just wasn’t going to.
I was happy to just be in our home. together. all of us. fussy or not.
baby
 Then Elsie was up late again.
which lead to the same pattern of tears and frustrations from her today.
even at church, she didn’t want to go and we haven’t dealt with those apples since last year. When she would cry every. single. time
and I’d go get her because I couldn’t stand the thought of her being in there scared
and how she was afraid and shy and never played with the other kids
but we’re so far beyond that and she has grown so much and yet now she was pleading not to go in.
but then her fave teacher came to hold her, she calmed down but it still broke my heart and I prayed for her little soul throughout the whole service.
baby
all day it felt like I was biting my tongue, and practicing patience and feeling defeated as a momma but then I would think of the scripture I read Friday during my Soul Detox devotion.
It was 2 Timothy 1: 7 ” God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”
Man have those truths helped me get through this weekend. You can’t help feel like you’re failing when you hear yourself saying the same thing, like your a vinyl record and the needle gets stuck so you’re saying the same lines repeatedly until you want to scream
“be sweet to your brother Elsie”
“We don’t talk ugly, we ask sweetly”
“Don’t talk to your daddy that way”
“Don’t say no to mama”
“get off the dirty floor please”
“Vernon be gentle”
“Vernon don’t touch that”
“Vernon what’s in your mouth, please give it to mama”
over and over and over.
baby
But then I kept hearing God speak to me, “remember, I Gave you the spirit of power and love. You need to be self-disciplined, you can do this”
Though I’m exhausted from the weekend, because let’s face it, these type of things are just emotionally draining. You’re like in this constant battle of the wills.
your own and your child’s.
but God is good.
Sometimes some days are hard but God is still good and my family is still the best blessing.
And I’m learning that it’s times like these that I’m growing and learning and so are my babies. I’m so grateful for this time in my life and the person God is forming not only me but my children to be and when you stand back and look at the bigger picture what a gift it is to be part of that.
plus we roasted s’mores while being serenaded by good ol’ Hank Williams and Patsy Cline.
If that doesn’t scream goodness I don’t know what does.
Now I’m off to soak up some more of my She Reads Truth, Day 18 because it has proven to be so applicable these past couple of weeks and the scriptures that I have studied have been exactly what this mama has needed.
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