Friday, September 21, 2012

Please follow us

We've been doing lots of blogging over at our new Wordpress site. If you're getting us in your Google reader please update your feed and use this link.

You can find the new blog at www.babeblessings.com - it's been redirected. 

We're still updating our new blog and getting everything up to date. And we'd love to see you there. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Can There Be A Good God?

I started reading One Thousand Gifts back in July when we were up at our piece of heaven (aka Ernst Island). But then I was reading during the night when insomnia was keeping me up, and my heart was still healing and I just needed to be busy.

I started rereading it this past week and Goodness! Did my heart need this. To read it, really read it and soak up all the little things that Ann is telling us.
 
Can there be a good God? (p12)

I’m not sure I can tell you how many times I’ve asked this question. How can God be good when cancer happens, when horrible deaths happen.
How is God a good God when my father is waiting for someone else to die so he can live?

But this sermon at church a few weeks back reminded me why and how God can be good.  
God promises believers in Jesus that he will do good in and through our lives no matter what happens.

God will make all things work for good. It doesn’t mean that life will be good, and that only good things will happen to us. It doesn’t mean that it’s everything is going to be easy, but God will work every circumstances we come up against and work it for Good.

At the end of the school year this past May our community was hit hard with wondering why. A little girl was getting off the school bus and was struck by garbage truck. She has spent months in the ICU of a big city hospital and still has a long road ahead of her, and as a community we wonder why. Why would this happen if God is good?

In August this 13 year old girl’s mom told our local paper this - “It’s a faith journey for us, just the trust and the hope and the belief that we are held by God and there’s nothing that happens that’s outside of his sovereign care for us,” After weeks and months of wondering if her little girl would be okay; would wake up and be her daughter again, or a totally different person. But standing on the knowledge that we a held by God in all situations, and that he will turn it all to good if we believe in him.

I don’t understand everything that happens. And I’m okay with not always understanding; well I’m starting to be. Because I know that God will work all things for God if we believe in him. God will use the situations I encounter to shape me and make me more like Jesus. And so when I wonder why, I stop, I take that thought and replace it with a prayer to help heal my unbelief and help me become more like his son.

I’m linking up with Annie and Margaret as we all read through One Thousand Gifts.

to leave a comment please pop over to our new site - we are transitioning over to wordpress and don't want to loose your thoughts - see the post here 


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Only Words

Have you ever had a book just stop you in your tracks and make you realize you could be doing so much better at life?

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Vonkamp has done that for me, and to be honest I’m not even that far into the book. 

source


Tiffany recommended the book to me a while ago, and while we were away at the Island early in the summer I read the whole thing – well I read it at midnight when I couldn’t sleep, but I was just reading not absorbing it. So I started re reading it this weekend. Goodness! That’s pretty much all I can say! Goodness how much did I miss – I am so thankful that I’m re reading this.

I pulled Ann up on Google this morning, after reading about a Zhers Market grocery store – something I thought was only local to us here, and low and behold she lives less than an hour from me. How was it that someone from South Carolina was the one telling me about a book written an hour from me! I watched Ann’s interview on 100 Huntley Street on YouTube, and one phrase really hit me.

The only words that matter are the words you live.

What words am I living?

Thankfulness?
Inspiration?
Unconditional love?
Humility, hope?

What words is my life living? And how am I using those words to influence my world? Am I leaving the world a better place at the end of the day.

Thoughts I’m thinking while I settle down to bed. Been a long day.

Ann – thank you so much for sharing your journey. I can’t wait to get the hardcopy book and start making notes. And gift a copy to my friend, and my mother in law. I’m excited to see how you’ll touch their lives too.  


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

babE Brother?!?!?

Grayson is joining the big brother club some April - well we hope little babE2 wait's until April to arrive. 

We're over the moon and are so excited to be growing our family. And so so blessed to have another Ernst to introduce to the world in 2013. 

 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The desires of our hearts


I love a summer salad. I remember many nights when my dad would be working late and my sister would be out with her now husband and my brother would be at a friends or a church thing, so my mom and I would head out the garden and pick some fresh lettuce and fresh pepper and tomatoes, and throw it into a great salad. Add some hard boiled eggs and some cheese and goodness it tasted amazing!! There were times when I would eat all the lettuce first and leave all the fixings in the bottom and just eat those at the end – did you ever do that? Do you do that? There are times when I still do that. Tonight we had an amazing baby romaine with strawberries and goat’s cheese and pecans. And I was so tempted to eat all the lettuce first and leave the fixings with balsamic dressing and eat them at the end. 
 
So what does salad have to do with the desires of our hearts??

Well we have this tendency to want to take all the fixings – the great little bits of God’s word and leave the rest. Leave the lettuce and just eat the strawberries. We love the parts where God talks about giving us everything we desire, providing for us, filling our cups until they overflow. But what we seem to skip over is the fact that those promises that God makes to us are contingent on us living our lives according to his word. He makes promises to us in return for our lives dedicated to him.

Psalm 84:11, TLB. "For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk along his paths."
God will give us everything good, but we have to walk along his path. Did you read that? Did you hear that? He will give us EVERYTHING! If we follow his path. 

We can have all the good fixings, but we have to eat the lettuce too. If we are attentive to God and the desires he has for our lives, and live his will in our loves, then He will give us everything we could ever desire. 






Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I will not Doubt


Have you had moments when you wonder what and how everything in your life is working towards??

I have had some moments in the last year wondering how my life is working towards achieving everything God has planned for me. And then after a service at church last week I realized that those moments I’m doubting how God is working in my life. I’m doubting that God is turning the things that I am coming up against to shape my story for him.

God is in Control, I will not doubt.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.


Trusting God and his plan and the fact that he’s in control is a step out in faith. Not everything in our lives is God’s perfect plan; we have free will. But if we allow him, he can turn the things that we happen upon in life to his plan and use it for good. We will have a straight path, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some hills in there. But we can know that he has ordered our steps before we take them and he will guide us up the hills.

Do you remember Job. Everything that could have been bad happened to him. But what did he say. Job 1:21 – the Lord gives and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. (NIV) He trusted God so much that even after everything he went through he still trusted God and praised him for his mercies. All I can say to that is WOW. Trusting God, praising God with everything that happened. I want to me more like Job every day.  

So I've stopped doubting. I stopped wondering why something happen. Instead I trust that God is in control of what is going on. That he will use all things for His good. 

I will not Doubt. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's a Great Day

I’m so excited today! The last week I have been so so excited. This past week I have been working on a blog makeover for one of my best friends. And it’s finally up and ready for everyone to see.

Please pop over to Jennifer’s blog and see all the changes! And you can also win a blog makeover from me. 

Finding My Way in Texas


I’ll be updating the site this week to reflect the changes to blog design as well as a bunch more options – until then I have taken the info down so it’s not confusing. I’ll be sure to let you know once it’s all back up.

Also pop back tomorrow for a new printable.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quiet

I have been a bit quiet lately. I’m keeping my commitment to myself to blog about quality and not quantity.

There seems to be a big push in the blogging community to get back to our roots in blogging. To stop blogging for the numbers and return to blogging for us. I have in the past been all about the numbers, but I gave up on that a while ago. I’m so glad I took a break and got back to me so I can get back to writing for me, and sharing it with you.

We’ve had a few busy weeks lately, and the last week has been exceptionally busy and tiring for me too. I have been working on a few different blog designs as well as some new prints. And I have a giveaway next week on Jennifer’s blog.


I have a few posts that I’m working on. Last week at church we had an amazing sermon, one that I totally needed to hear. I’m can’t wait to tell you all about how God’s been working that in me this past week. The peace I feel is so amazing right now, and I never thought I would feel this about peace about things.

I did write a bit over with Mrs Pate and at Sarah’s blog – you can check out my posts here and here.

Have a great weekend! I can’t wait to hear about it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Friends

Recently we left the church that had been our home for years, my home for almost 28 years. When we left we left all our friends behind; we the people we thought were our friends. There’s only one couple that we still connect with. This is part of the reason my heart needs a lot of healing these days.

But one thing this experience has done for me is made me so so thankful for the real friends that I have in my life. And the new friendships that have emerged.

And today I’m so so so thankful for one person in particular and thankful for today. Today is Jennifer from Finding My Way in Texas Birthday! 29 years ago the world was forever changed when Jennifer entered it. At least my world. 

Jennifer is celebrating her birthday with a big giveaway and she’s giving everyone 50% off everything in her shop as well!!

Go check it all out!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Be Still and Know

When I was in my 20s I had to go through a few jaw surgeries. The first was by far the easiest. Just day surgery that turned into one night at the hospital and pain meds and super soft food for a month or so.  The second one not so much. I was in the hospital for a few nights (1 in the ICU and 3 on the ward I think) and my jaw was wired shut for about 8 weeks.

The hardest part was the morning of the surgery. I knew this surgery was more involved ad I knew the pain would be a lot worse and recovery would be hard too. It was the mental part that was hardest on me. The summer before I had no idea what I was getting into; this summer I knew all to well.

So I turned to my worship songs and this one was my theme for that morning and the rest of my recovery.

Since that time I’ve found rest in this song


When the oceans rise and thunders roll
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still and know you are God.

Right now I’m facing one of those waits that you never know when they’ll end.

My father is waiting for a new set of lungs. While we were away on vacation earlier this summer my dad was hospitalized and ended up being bumped up the list. That news is both good and bad. Great that he may get his lungs sooner, but it also means he’s not getting better and he couldn’t’ rebound after his hospital visit. Every time I see him I wonder if it’s our last coffee chat or his last snuggle with Gray. When those thoughts pop into my head I have to remember that God is in control and trust in his perfect timing. I have to remember that God knows the numbers of days my dad will have just as he knows the number of hairs on his head.

There will come a day when I’m standing in a hospital waiting room waiting to hear about my dad. Thinking of that moment scares me, but when I still my thoughts and focus on him, my fear melts away and I have peace.

So no I have this printed in my planner, and as the wallpaper on my phone. And you can too. Down load the pdf – or you can email me for the hires jpeg copy too.






mrspatewrites

I'm linking up with Tiffany over at Mrs Pate Writes and Tori from Easoms.com for Worship Wednesday. I know I don't link up with things often but This one is great. I love everyone's journey with different worship songs.




Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Passion: I've lost mine

I came to the realization this week that over the last few months I have let other people steal my passion.

When I decided to start doing blog design and prints I knew that I would be a small fish in a huge pond full of other little and big fish. What I didn’t expect was that some of those other fish would come at me, that they would tell me in one breath that all creativity comes from God, but in the next telling me I was stealing food off their tables.

With all this negative talk I retreated and tried really hard not to step on anyone’s toes. Afraid that by saying or doing anything I would offend them. But by doing this I realized that I was hiding the words God had given me, and the vision he gave me.

So today I’m taking my passion back. I’m taking my passion for design and my passion for getting his words out there. I’m not going to let other’s get me down.

So from now on expect to see lots of new designs and free printables. I’m excited to see what we comes out of this. 


Monday, August 06, 2012

Exciting News - and some technical difficulties

So Friday morning I started to record a vlog for you guys. And then I went to play it back before uploading it to youtube, and goodness it decided that I should sound a bit like a man and the audio didn’t match the video at all. And then with all the compute issues we’ve been having every other time I tried it didn’t work either.And now it's Monday and I'm finally sitting at a working computer- Thanks to my amazing Hubby - and I can finally get back to what I love. 

Since my vlog wouldn't work I thought I would just show you pictures of my vlog and tell you what I was going to say.



So I started out saying how much I have missed you all, but how great our few weeks away was. How much I love reading all your comments and that I have something up my sleeve for all you commenters and I’ll tell you about it real soon.

Then I started to tell you all about something I was planning on doing in the new year, but after so many amazing women telling me I should do it without even knowing I was planning it, I decided to do it now. If you’re on instagram or twitter you may have gotten a sneak peek.

I told you the heart behind it, and how much it’s blessed me. And then I showed you what I was talking about.



Our new JOURNAL!!!! With all 10 of our original mini prints in it.

A great new blogging friend of mine, Tiffany, commented one day to me when we were chatting that because my prints are meant to be written all over, I should put them in a journal, so that when you come to a print you can write all over it.

And then I showed you three of my favorite prints in the journal. 


For such a time as this: If you read my post over on Virginia’s blog you would know a bit of the story, but this print is the beginning. This print came in a time when I needed it most, when my world seemed to be falling apart. But now I can focus on what I was created for. I was created for such a time as this. 

Jesus loves me this I know: Old Sunday school day, but oh so true. If I know that Jesus loves me no matter what, I can make it through a rough day. Knowing that no matter how I feel about myself that day Jesus loves me just the way I am.

Through Christ I am: I love what Jennifer did with this print. She has written all over it! She wrote everything that she is through Christ. “More than a conqueror; forgiven; bought by his blood; chosen; alive.”




And then I went onto tell you that the journal is now in the shop! And there’s a special pre-order price. Journals will begin production September 4th, after the Labour Day long weekend. So currently they are listed in the shop for $20.00 USD, after Labour Day the price will go up to $24.00.The price is already reflected in the shop so no discount code is needed.

Details about the journal: all material in the journal is printed at a professional printing company; the covers are heavy silk coated stock. There are 100 note pages, and the remaining 9 prints are set throughout the journal. It is spiral bound with black binding.

So pop over to the shop and pre-order your journal. I would love to be able to send you a journal. 

 

 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Winners!!

I have been so excited for today!! For weeks – like weeks and weeks – I have been so excited to bless you guys with the amazing things God has placed on my heart.

So without dragging this on forever so here are the wonderful winners!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will be emailing the winners today - as well as those who commented for bookmarks. The emails are starting to go out now.

So along with the 15 sets of prints one of the winners is also going to get our new journal. So I took the 15 winners and got random.org to choose one for me!



So Abby I will be sending you a journal with your mini prints – I know a certain Mrs Pate that will want to see it as soon as it gets there!

Also don’t forget about our free printable on the blog yesterday! And I have a feeling that there maybe a few more free printables on the blog this week too. 


 

Friday, July 27, 2012

If We Do Not Lose Heart and a free printable


Okay first I have to say I love my YouVersion ap! I can read every verse in any version I want. And sometimes different wording make all the difference. So like most day I took my #shereadstruth verse and put it through my 4 or 5 versions. Maybe it’s just me but I feel sometimes one version changes the impact 100%.


If we do not lose heart

 Lose heart

Do not lose heart


We will reap our harvest if we do not lose heart; if we are doing the work with the right attitude and the right purpose. If our heart is in line with God’s purpose and plan.

How many times do we clean our house to get it done and grumble through it. Instead of be stewards of our homes and working to keep them with the respect they deserve. I am often putting my needs last, but am I doing it because I know it’s what I’m supposed to do, or am I doing it with a servants heart?

All these questions flooded my brain and I realized that I’m guilty of doing things with the wrong attitude; I’m doing them just to do them and not always taking a moment to fix my attitude. Our attitude makes all the difference in what kind of harvest we reap. Our attitude can help keep our heart in line with Gods plans or it can make a task a chore.

Chores – did you have those as a kid? I did and when they were chores they sucked! But if I was helping to get the house ready for company, or a party or my grandmother coming to stay it was okay: the purpose changed. So the house still got clean, just with a different attitude. Maybe we need to think of things a bit differently.
Okay – I don’t talk much about Brian’s idiosyncrasies – but here’s one. He’s a neat freak!! He will get physically anxious in a messy house. For the first few of our marriage I didn’t’ get it. And really we were both working and I had a clean house. Well really, I would head to the gym on Saturday mornings and I would come home to a spotless house. (Yes I know, I was spoiled). When I was on bedrest I couldn’t clean, so Brian would do it, or sometimes his mom would pop over for a morning and do it for us. And then when Gray came home I was so busy feeding a little man and getting enough sleep to have enough to feed him, and Brian picked up the slack. Well now – not so much. I work hard to keep the house clean, and there are some days when I have to fix my ‘tude. I need a checkup from the neck up, because GOODNESS I need to remember that I’m so blessed to live in the house I do and have the opportunity to stay home and be a full time mom to Grayson. And keeping the house is part of my job, but it’s also part of having a thankful heart and respecting the blessing that my house is.

But it’s not just about cleaning. We can apply this to everything. In those moments when our kids are on our last nerve, making sure to deal with them with grace and the right attitude. Or friendships – are we sowing into our friends? Do we have the right attitude towards our friendships?

After I read this verse I ran in from the dock – yup I’ve been sitting on this for a bit – and I started creating. And after some thought I decided that I was going to share this with all of you. So I turned it into a free printable for you. You can download the free printable below in PDF format, and you can also purchase the full print from the shop. 


Galations 69 - Free Printable

Also – there is still time to enter the giveaway. Just a few hours, so if you haven’t checked it out go to this post and you can see what it’s all about.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What sets us apart?



What sets us apart from the rest of the world? 



I think the ability to live this verse sets us apart from the world. When we’re hoping for something for ourselves we can still be overjoyed when the same thing happens for someone else. When we’re in the middle of a storm wondering when we’re going to see the sun again we can rest and be patient and know that God will see us through any storm.

And when we pray, knowing that God will answer, but sometimes the answer is what we need most not what we want, we keep our eyes and heart on him and we are faithful. 



I love that Kacia keeps this up on her fridge. I love that she’s reminding herself of God’s word and the little things we can do that set us apart.

I wrote this post last summer as a guest post. 12 months later we’re still living this verse.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Be joyful in hope
Patient in affliction
Faithful in prayer
                  Romans 12:12 NIV

This is the one verse that describes what my husband and I have been living and standing on for the last 12 months.

A year ago my husband and I started our journey to becoming parents and we couldn’t have been more excited. We were overjoyed with the possibilities for the future and how our lives would change; as adverse to change as we are we were looking forward to this one.
And then we started down the road of bedrest.
As someone who was raised to choose my attitude on a daily basis, I thank my dad every day for teaching me to choose hope and joy every morning when I woke up to spend my day in bed. To hope for my son’s life and the impact he would have on the world. And to be joyful in the fact that we made it another day and he has growing safely. I chose to be joyful in hope and not let the negative in, at least not too much. I’m not claiming to be perfect; I had moments when it all became overwhelming. I remember the first Friday morning of bedrest when Brian brought me up the ultrasound pictures and I broke down. It was hard to look at the pictures and not know what the future held and if babE Gray was going to be okay. We were only 22 weeks along. We needed at least another 2 weeks before the doctors would really be able to do anything, and another 18 weeks until we were full term. After a few minutes of pity partying I straightened my attitude and decided that I needed to be joyful in hope. I had hope, and even in the moments when I didn’t, God was my hope. He lifted my eyes and warmed my soul and told me it would be okay; I just had to focus on Him.

Patience has never been my strong point. I am not a patient person; at least I was not before bedrest.  Bedrest is one of the biggest tests of patience a person can be put through. I thought 3 minutes for a pregnancy test was too long, or even the 9 months of pregnancy, but the thought of enduring 18 weeks on bedrest seemed impossible. A lot of people wonder what bedrest is, or think it must be like a vacation getting to spend every day in bed. Well after 4 days in bed you get over the sparkle of no work, and relaxing and catching up on blogging or emails or even just reading. After that it becomes work. I was lucky in the fact that I could get out of bed to go to the washroom, or shower, or even come downstairs to have dinner with my husband, at least for the first 8 weeks; after that I was in bed on my back except for washroom breaks. I spent a lot of time just watching the clock. I look at it every minute waiting for Brian to come home from work, wondering if he was going to be late or not. Bedrest was my affliction. It was a case of suffering for me, I suffered the physical side effects of bedrest; my body ached all the time, I lost my flexibility, and I lost a lot of strength. But more than the physical suffering was the emotional and mental suffering. It was hard to know that the only way I could guarantee another day of growing Grayson was to stay in bed, and there was no guarantee. As if a pregnant woman isn’t emotional enough, I went from a normal pregnancy to a high risk pregnancy, to a round of preterm labour at 29 weeks. But unlike some ailments, I knew there was an end date. I had a due date, once we got there the bedrest would be over, and I would be praying to get back all the time I could spend in bed sleeping. I just had to be patient and focus on the end date. I also had to be patient when , at 29 weeks, I went into preterm labour and Grayson threatened to meet us 11 weeks before his due date. I had to be patient and let my body realign itself, and be patient and know that God was in control. The patience paid off, and we made it another 3 weeks before Grayson decided to arrive.

Prayer has been a part of my life from before I can remember. My dad would always say bedtime prayers with us as children. I’m the youngest of 3, all of our names starting with J, so at bed time it was always “Thank you Lord for Jennifer, no, Jacob, no, thank you Lord for Jacqueline.”  I tease my dad to this day about that. He’s the one that decided against naming me Jessica, and knew that I was a Jacqueline. I know that my parents prayed over my life before I was born, and that’s part of the reason why we wanted to know if babE was going to be a boy or a girl, and to have a name picked out. We had so many people in our lives that we knew would be praying over Gray’s life before he was born, and we wanted to be able to pray specifics; to pray for him as a future husband and father, to pray for his future wife and her family. We never ceased praying for him. When the diagnosis came down, and the prescription was bedrest, we prayed harder. When we were headed for the hospital in preterm labour the first and second time, we prayed even harder. And when my son was born 8 week premature we spent hours at his bedside praying. Neither my husband nor I are doctors, but we do know the great physician, and we knew that as long as we focused on Him, that our son would be okay. During the hardest times, we prayed, and we tried not to focus on the situation we were in, but the situation we wanted; we wanted to be home with our son healthy, whole and thriving. The hardest night of our lives so far was the night Grayson was put on a ventilator. We held each other, and after we got our heads wrapped around what was happening to our son, we prayed. I spent the night by his bedside and sang him worship songs, and praying over him. I claimed healing for him. I had to be faithful in my prayer, and not just faithful to pray and continue to pray but to speak my faith through my prayers.

The last 12 months have been a true test of who I am, and where I stand. I am created for a purpose by the one who is above all others, and I stand strong in my faith and knowledge of Christ. As much as the last 12 months have been a test, they have been such a great lesson and reminder. I have been reminded to be joyful in the hope of tomorrow, to be patient through the suffering because joy comes in the morning, and to speak my faith through my prayers and pray often.

Grayson will be 6 months old next week. We left the NICU 33 days after he was born and he has been thriving ever since. He broke 12lbs on the scale this week, and we couldn’t be more excited to pack away the newborn clothes for good and break out the 3 month clothes.


Don’t forget to enter to win our giveaway. Just a few days left. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway