2014 Scripture Focus

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With being two days into the 2014, everywhere you look on the blogosphere, Facebook, etc… is New Years resolutions.  Some people have given up resolutions and decided to focus on a single word for the year to improve whatever that word means to them.  I started thinking about this and resolutions never get kept.  A single word focus may simplify things but you still have the issue of it going by the way side after a few days, weeks.  I started asking myself what can I do to keep myself on track this year?  How can I better some aspect of my life and not feel like a total failure.  I began praying for God to show me what He wants me to work on.  2013 was rough!  It severely effected my life, my attitude, my relationships including the most important one.  My relationship with Jesus.  I struggled in 2013 with a huge space/wall/silence between me and God.  I refuse to let that continue in 2014.  God has a purpose for everything and it’s time I start actively seeking what that is.

So for 2014 I am focusing on my relationship with God.  Yesterday, someone posted this picture on Facebook and I sat staring at it for a while.  I scrolled and played on FB for a while but kept coming back to this scripture.  This verse is so much in simple words.  “Be joyful in Hope!” Our hope is God.  Be joyful that He is everything we need.  Keep focused on Him.  “Be patient in affliction.” God doesn’t tell us that we wont suffer.  In fact, Jesus says we will have trouble in this world.  But He came to overcome the World.  So we can trust that no matter our suffering, God is working it out.  “Be faithful in prayer.”  Ok seriously, does anyone know a better weapon against the enemy? Prayer is powerful!  This is also our DIRECT connection to God.  That and His word.  So these simple instructions tell us to be joyful, patient, and prayerful.  My job is to be obedient to these words and that is what I’m going to do for 2014.  I’ll be checking back in throughout the year and let you know how it’s going.  I’m pretty excited about this.  God has big things in store.  Praising Him for whatever He has planned because I know it’s going to be amazing!

How about you?  What are you doing for the New Year?

XOXO, Denise

Happiness is… New Beginnings in a New Year

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Happiness is…. New Beginnings in a New Year

Let me just say that I am sooooo happy to say goodbye to 2013.  It has been one of the craziest, hardest, not great years EVER!  There were definitely highlights (and I will go over those in a bit) but man am I glad that it is finally over.

2013 Regrets or Lowlights (in Chronological Order)

~Leaving my childcare job at my church after 4 years.

~Leaving my pediatric dental assistant job that I LOVED!

~Leaving my friends that I loved and would not have survived living in Utah without.

~Working for an awful human being in the form of a dentist when I moved back to SC.  I’m still healing from the scars that man left after all this time.

~Realizing my marriage was over and asking for a divorce. (Number 1 suckiest thing this year!)

~ My husband realizing (months after we agreed to divorce) that I was really serious and it dawning on him how hurt I was from the things that happened in our marriage.

~My pappy dying. (Definitely ties for Number 1 suckiest thing!)

~Finding out the day after burying my pappy that Ian had already filed for divorce and I was being served the following week. (Due to court errors, I have yet to be served.)

2013 Highlights

~Moving back to South Carolina!

~Seeing and living near my family for the first time in 8 years.

~Spending quality time with my best friend in the world!  Getting to know her babies!

~Living less than 500 feet from my sister and watching our boys pick up right where they left off!

~Finding a new church home.

~Getting the job at the school.  Oh how I love this job and these kids.

~Becoming real friends with Ian after all we’ve been through.

~Receiving the TEACH grant and making plans to go back to school.

~Really standing up for myself and not settling for less.

~Watching both of my boys blossom and grow up.

Things I am Looking Forward to in 2014

~Starting over!

~Going back to school!

~My son becoming a teenager (maybe I am not really looking forward to this but I am so proud of him!)

~This blog!  I already love it.  I used to blog all the time and got away from it.  I am really happy to be back at it.

~Reading the Bible in a year.  I know I NEED God’s word like I need breath.  It’s one in the same!

~Expanding my baking.  Trying new recipes.  I have a HUGE passion for baking and it fills me with joy to share it.

~Spending quality time with my family.

~Seeing where God leads.  I’m making the resolution to seek God and be ready to say YES to whatever or wherever He leads.

 

So no I’m not sad to see 2013 go.  I am taking 2013 as learning life experience and I’m moving forward.  2014 Here I come!

What are your Lowlights and Highlights?

Are you making Resolutions?  Working toward a goal?  Focusing on a single word?

 

XOXO~Denise

High Five for Friday (Christmas Edition)

I seriously had a great week!  We had a light week with many of the kids being on vacation from school.  There were no major scouting events.  I did miss my Tigers though.  I finished shopping and everything was ready for Christmas morning!  Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F.

1. I did some baking this week.  I tried my hand at making homemade cinnamon rolls using The Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  I will be posting a little more on that adventure this week.  It was a huge hit.

2.  This year was the first Christmas I’d been back in SC to spend with my family in 8 years!  It was so much fun getting to spend time with them.  On Christmas Eve we went to my Aunts and ate and visited.  The kids played minute to win it and it was pretty hysterical.  Even  my cousin (around my age) got in on the action.  Fun was had by all!  017

3. We started a new tradition of Christmas jammies this year.  The boys all got Duck Dynasty and I got the cutest pink owl jammie set ever!

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4. Seeing the genuine excitement on my boys faces on Christmas morning made me feel all warm and gooey inside.  I mean honestly who wouldn’t with these two cuties??

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5. I received the Urban Decay Naked palette I’d been wanting for a while.  I absolutely love it! I’ve tried a couple combinations of the colors and can’t wait to try more out!

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Christmas was amazing!  It was the first one in a long time I was at peace with.

So how was your week?

XOXO, Denise

High Five for Friday

This week has been a little crazy with trying to finish Christmas shopping, my boss being on a cruise all week so I was in charge of the school and working long hours.  However there were several highlights that made it so much better!

1. My secret santa at work dropped this little guy off for me at the beginning of the week.  I named him Owen and he makes me happy! :)

Owen the Owl

Owen the Owl

2. One of my parents brought me a gift for Christmas yesterday.  It is a bottle of perfume.  I thought it was so sweet for her to think of me.  :)

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3. One of my favorite Christmas traditions in Charleston is the Festival of Lights.  I haven’t been in 8 years since we lived in Utah but now I’m home and of course I wanted to go!  So we loaded up yesterday and headed to the island to see the lights.  We rode the carousel too.  :) I bribed Brennan to ride it with pie.  That boy loves some pie.

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4. We drove through the lights, walked Santa’s village and rode the carousel.  We ended the night by roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate.  It was Jaxon’s first time to go and Brennan hasn’t been since he was 4.  I loved spending the time with my boys.

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5. Tonight is my office Christmas party.  I’m so excited for tonight.  It should be a blast.  Definitely going to round out my week nicely.

What traditions do you look forward to every year?

Hugs, Denise

It’s Crazy How Much Everything Changes

The tradition has been to either snap a photo or get pictures taken at Christmas to use as our Christmas card.  I love this tradition because we have ended up with some really cute pictures and cards!  So this year, with everything that’s gone on with the divorce, the kids schedules, and our school/work schedules, I just wasn’t thinking family pictures this year.  Besides, I pondered if taking a family picture (all 4 of us) would be a huge lie any way since we are in fact in the process of divorce.  Don’t get me wrong, Ian and I are getting along fantastically and spending time with the kids together for the first time really ever.  So maybe it’s not that much of a stretch.  I wonder though if people will think it’s weird that we are sending out a card together.  Ian wants and is trying to convince me to work it out.  I’m just not sure.  I’m praying about it.  That’s all I can say.

Anyway, at B’s boy scout Christmas party we snapped a quick family photo and I thought “Hey, I’ll just use that one!”  So yesterday I open up Walmart’s photo center and logged in. There was my pictures from the last two years right there.  I started looking at the differences in our appearances from 2011 to 2012.  Then I uploaded this years picture and thought “WOW!  Look at how much my kids have grown!” I mean last year my son was shorter than me!  No seriously! Look at this picture!CF 2012-0114Look at the differences from 2011 and 2012.

Our 2011 Christmas picture

Our 2011 Christmas picture

Our 2012 Christmas Picture

Our 2012 Christmas Picture

 

Just the differences there are incredible to me!  I thought they looked so much more grown up in the 2012 picture than 2011.  But wait till you see 2013!

2013 Christmas Picture

2013 Christmas Picture

Brennan is TALLER than me!  Like not just a little bit! A whole LOT!  And look where Jaxon stands compared to how tall he was in 2012!

So I thought how cool would it be to use all the pictures in ONE card and show the changes.  If it blew me away, maybe everyone else will think it’s cool too.  So here is how our card turned out!  I absolutely LOVE it!

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But seriously my kids can stop growing.  I mean Brennan is ONLY twelve and he is already so much taller than me.  By the time he hits high school, he is going to be taller than Ian!

What do you think?  What does your Christmas card look like?  Do you have a “tradition” as far as that goes?  I’d love to hear it!

Love, Denise