Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Giveaway Winner

Well, I had hoped to get another post done this week, but it just didn't happen.  I still plan on writing more about grace.  Some wonderful friends are sharing their thoughts on grace with me.  That way I will actually have some thoughts to share with you!

We are heading to Colorado to spend Easter weekend with my family.  I am excited to see everyone, but especially my new little nephew who was born on April 1.

Okay, I am very tired and still have several things I need to get done tonight.  So, without further ado, the winner of my blog giveaway is....


She just happens to be my cousin.  Congratulations!  Thank you to everyone else who left a comment on my blog.

That's all for tonight,folks.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Blessing

I hope you have a wonderful Lord's day filled with God's grace and glory!

If you haven't already entered my giveaway, make sure you go here and leave a comment.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

By Grace....and a Giveaway

Several weeks ago, on a whim, I signed up to review products for (in)courage and Dayspring .  I honestly figured my itty-bitty blog would not be considered and I forgot about the whole thing.  Imagine my surprise when I found a package on my doorstep last week.  I opened it to find this wonderful jewelry set.

I've actually never been a big jewelry person, but lately I have been trying to accessorize a bit more.  I can tell you that this pendant will now be one of my staple pieces. I love the simplicity, the stamped words, the sweet little bird.....

...and the scripture on the back!

{By the grace of God I am what I am.  1 Corinthians 15:10}

Isn't that the truth?!

The set also comes with this cuff bracelet....
....and these sweet little earrings.

All the pieces are available separately, but the set is on sale right now for 20% off.  If you need a gift for Easter, Mother's Day or Graduation, this would be a great choice.  It would also be a wonderful way to tell a new Christian "welcome to the family."

Receiving this jewelry and writing this blog post have really made me stop and think about what grace truly means.   I plan on doing a follow-up post to share some thoughts with you, so make sure you stop back by in a few days.  I'm really trying to blog more regularly again.

Now for the giveaway!  Dayspring has generously offered to give one of my readers a code for $20 off a purchase from their online store.  To enter, just leave a comment on this post.  It is not a requirement, but in your comment I would love to know your thoughts on God's grace and how it has impacted your life.  I will draw a winner next Wednesday - April 20.

{The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you. 2 Corinthians 13:14}

Disclaimer ~ I received this jewelry free of charge from DaySpring and (in)courage, in exchange for my review. I was not compensated in any other way and the above opinions are just that - my opinions.  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Porch of Protection

Phil and I have been married for almost 16 years.  We have owned four different houses, in four different towns.
 This was our first house.  It was almost 100 years old.  What character it had!
Our second house.....
 Third house....

And our current home....

Do you notice a trend?  All of our homes have had wonderful front  porches.  A porch is at the top of my list when we house-hunt.  I've even been known to tell a realtor (or two) that I wasn't interested in looking at a house if it didn't have a porch.  I just feel like it makes a home complete.

Our first porch had a porch swing.  We loved spending time on that porch, but probably spent even more time on the next-door-neighbor's porch visiting with her. Oh, how I treasure those memories.

House number two had a porch lined with beautiful azaleas that bloomed every spring.  The view was of a million dollar house and barn across the road - complete with white fence and horses and cows grazing. 

I was heartbroken when we moved again, but took solace in the new front porch.  It was huge and actually wrapped around three sides of the house.  I would sometimes drink my morning coffee out there and watch the deer in the yard.  Or I would take a nap on an old cot.  I decorated it just like another room of the house; filling it with rockers and tables and fun "junk." 

And now our current home has a front porch and gazebo. Cold weather arrived shortly after we moved in, so I haven't had a lot of time to spend on the porch or to decorate it.  I have ventured out a few times to take pictures of sunsets or to just enjoy the view of the river across the road.  Now that spring is arriving, I am looking forward to getting a porch swing, planting flowers in the flower boxes, relaxing in the evenings.....

But first we must deal with this....
A couple weeks ago, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the peacefulness of our porch was shattered (literally).  A drunk driver lost control of his car and came flying through our yard, slamming into the porch.  I can't even put into words the sound, the smell, the horror.... I won't go into a lot of detail, but the driver lost his life right there in my yard.

I've been filled with so many emotions since then.  It is hard not to let the "what-ifs" fill your mind.  My 10 year old was outside, but thankfully on the other end of the house.  He so easily could have been right there in the front yard.  The car easily could have taken a different path in all its flipping and spinning and crashed into the corner of the house where the rest of us were sitting.  We could have been sitting right in those chairs on the porch enjoying the sunshine. Instead, we were putting on our shoes to go for a walk.

The anger has also been hard to deal with.  I'm angry that this senseless act could have been avoided.  I was angry that there were beer cans spilling out of the car into my yard.  I was angry that my sweet boy couldn't sleep that night and angry that people were walking through my yard the next day "just to see what happened."  I'm angry at what seems to be apathy from the community; that it doesn't seem to be a big deal that alcohol was involved. Overall, I have felt violated somehow.

But you know what?  Even through the bitterness, anger and frustration I know one thing to be true.  GOD IS GOOD!  He spared us from further tragedy that day.  Shortly after the accident, I posted some pictures on facebook.  A cousin commented about our "porch of protection."  You may have heard people pray to be surrounded by a "hedge of protection."  Well, in our case it was our porch.  It was the impact of the porch railing that stopped the car.  Without the porch, I truly believe the car could have come right through the dining room window.  I can't even imagine.....

We are still waiting on estimates, insurance, busy contractors, etc.  I'm ready to have everything cleaned and fixed so that we can enjoy our porch.  I'm ready for the visual reminders to go away.  But I know in my heart that I will always remember our "porch of protection."  It will be a reminder that God is in control.  We don't know how many times in our lives (or even in a day) that He protects us from tragedy.  Sometimes it is obvious.  Other times we will never know.  Thank you, God!

P. S.  I think I will continue with the front porch trend from now on.

{Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Job 1:10}