From the monthly archives: "July 2012"
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. 

 

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.
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

Have you ever had one of those days when you can’t seem to get out of a funk. When you really wonder what value you have, or what strengths you have. I have to admit I have days and moments like this all the time. So I force myself to focus on Him. On who I am in him, on what I can do with his strength and power working through me, and that’s what gets me through the days some days.

Through Christ I am… I am stronger than my situation, I am whole, I am loved, I am forgiven, I am at peace, etc.
I love how Jennifer has written all over this print and posted it where she can look at it every day.
And I love how Virginia has this by her bed so she can look on it when she’s anxious.
Sometimes we just need that moment to remind ourselves who we are in Christ and the things that we can do through Christ.
There’s still another week for the giveaway – be sure to enter! I can’t wait to see who I’m able to bless with these prints.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you met Becky yet?
No!?!? well go check her out! I’ll wait.

Don’t you love the book she’s working on for Gracie? I love it! And I love to see my prints there and especially this one.

This quote broke my heart when I first read it. Mainly because I wasn’t living it.
Through grade school and high school I spent many many many hours in the ballet studio. Between ballet class and conditioning classes my doctor was not ever happy with the fact I was small. And then through university I worked as a fitness instructor and personal trainer and had my jaw wired shut every summer. There was a day when I celebrated that I fit into something bigger than a small or extra small.
Now not so much.
When we started talking about starting our family our doctor advised me to gain a bit of weight just to make sure if I did get sick I had enough to lose and still have a healthy pregnancy, so I gained a bit of weight. I knew that I had to give up my perfect image of my body. I knew that it would never be the same again when I saw those two lines. Little did I know how much.
I taught pilates and fitness until the day I went on bedrest – I was supposed to teach that night, but I obviously couldn’t.
So pregnant, not able to workout, let alone take the stairs much, way too much fluid that made me gain 8lbs in one week (hello stretch marks), and a body that thought I was 9 months pregnant when I was barely 7 months along.
Gray was 2 days old and I got hit with pitting edema. My kidneys couldn’t handle all the fluid I was given during my labour, and then effects of the epidural, and not being able to stand much, let alone walk after a bit of a crazy delivery where I wasn’t the main concern (which I’m thankful for don’t get me wrong – I’m so glad they were watching out for Gray). Swollen ankles doesn’t even start to describe how swollen my legs were. I could barely bend my knees and I was starting to get stretch marks on my legs from the amount of fluid. Not a good thing. Our nurse threated that when she came back the next morning I had better have normal sized ankles or she was going to send me to the ER to be admitted, and that would mean I wouldn’t get to see Grayson at all until I was cleared. The treatment for pitting edema – fluids and ice and elevation. You can take over the counter medication, except a new mom can’t take it due to possible complications. So I spent a day with my feet up and ice on my legs, trying as hard as I could not have to be admitted the next day. I didn’t want to miss a day with my baby.
That night I went back to my room and this song was on repeat. 

Has anyone body told you, you’re beautiful
You might agree if you could see what I see
Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me.
I was lying there with my feet up and bags of ice on them, three days after having a baby still looking like I was 7 months pregnant, hadn’t really showered yet, feeling like I was the last thing anyone would want to see, but hearing that God smiled the day he made me because I was beautiful to him. I was beautiful in my pj’s with legs bigger than tree trunks.
When I read this quote a few weeks ago it brought me back to that night, to this song. The world looks at our outer beauty but God looks at our heart. 
If beauty lies in the eye of the beholder 
then I want my life and what’s inside to give him something to behold. 
I want a heart that’s captivating.
Our beauty is our heart and our life, and God created us in his image. We are a beautiful reflection of God’s love, so let’s live it, and start believing it.
I love that this is part of Gracie’s book to remind her that she is a beautiful reflection.

Thanks so much for sharing Becky!

 

Now don’t forget to enter the giveaway – 15 sets of prints, and a journal full of our prints too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s official. babEblessings store has been stocked and everything is ready for order.
I’m so excited to be able to bless you guys with God’s word in your homes and journals and bibles and everything. And I’m so excited to show you everything God has put on my heart in the last little bit.
Because we’re launching our store and relaunching the blog I thought I would put things up for sale. So between now and the end of August if you use the code RELAUNCH at checkout you will get 30% off your order.
And for those of you waiting to see if you win the giveaway before ordering – if you are one of our winners I will refund your purchase of mini prints in full.
I plan on adding new things to the store through the next few weeks. Just want to make sure my readers get the first look at things.
So pop on over to the shop – see what we have going on.

 

7 weeks ago I decided that I needed a bit of a break. My heart was hurting hard. I felt like I was watching my life happen before my eyes and I really just needed to pull back and connect again with who and what really mattered.
Before the break I had started an amazing journey with some great women. I’m sure you’ve heard of #SheReadsTruth, and if you haven’t make sure you check it out. This whole story starts with them. Back on May 18thI started a reading plan with hundreds of other women around the world; something that has totally changed my heart. It’s something that I desperately needed even though I didn’t know it at that time. Even though I was spending time with God as often as I could I didn’t have a direction. I was just talking hoping that he was listening. As my friend Heather puts it – I was leaving messages instead of having a conversation with God. And I was letting his voice get lost among the world’s voice. I wrote a bit on Virginia’s blog last week about that. So that first day of #SheReadsTruth I wrote on the top corner of my journal a little prayer. That prayer turned into this,
And this became so much more. From the moment I started having conversations with God instead of just leaving messages I started to hear his voice and his dreams for me loud against the background noise of the world. This is my daily prayer everytime I open my bible or my journal.
From the amazing journey God has taken me on in the last few months my heart has been inspired. I’ve created 10 mini prints of verses or thoughts that God put on my heart, and sent them off to some amazing women to tell me what they think. And today they’re telling you. 
Along with having sent a set of prints to each of these women I’m giving away 15 full sets of prints,. And one of those sets will be accompanied by a journal filled with prints. Enter below for a chance to win. 
And for the first 10 people who comment on this post I will send you a set of 2 bookmarks. Just comment below with your email. And who knows maybe if there’s more than 10 comments I’ll have to just send off more bookmarks.
The last 7 weeks since I took a break has been such a huge blessing to me. God has shown me so much, and although not everything has been roses, I know that he’s doing a work in me. I don’t always understand why, or how, but I do know in my heart of hearts that my God loves me and does everything for my benefit. 
Be sure to pop back tomorrow. I’ll be sharing another print – and telling you the story behind it and possibly have a few free printables for you over the next two weeks. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We had a bit of a makeover this weekend. Not everything has been updated but it should be all done before sun down tonight.
We’ve also updated our sponsor section. Our Features spots are now open and until August 1st you can get 2 months for the price of 1. Also if you sign up for a spot I will send you a set of mini prints and bookmarks (which you can see tomorrow!) as a thank you. Use the code RELAUNCH for 2 for 1.
I’ve also opened up to swap spots. Use the code SWAP for a free swap spots. Please be sure to email me for an image or code for your blog. 
All sponsor spots will be included in our monthly sponsor round up. Feature spots on the 11th of each month, and swap spots on the 20th. 
For more details about everything visit our sponsor page
I’m so excited to be back tomorrow. I have had so much on my heart these past few weeks and I’m praying that I’ll be able to bless you through what I’m sharing.
Remember to pop back tomorrow morning to see what’s new. 
Even through we’re away enjoying our time in our little piece of God’s untouched creation I’m still blogging – and so excited to show you what we have planned.

Virginia from GeekyandSassy.com has a bit of the story and a sneak peek for you. Head on over to see it

For Such a Time as This

And Becky over at Beauty to Ashes has a give away going on and yours truely is ginving away some ad space and a surpise package.

Celebrate – also Becky just welcomed a beautiful baby girl to her family. Can’t wait to see pictures and hear about her arrival.

See you next Sunday for a big reveal! Keep an eye on twitter and instagram – I might send out some more sneak peeks.

Been a while eh?!?

Well we’re coming back! July 15th we will be blogging again AND I have some pretty awesome stuff to show you.

Right now we’re off to spend some time at our favourite place on earth. We’re heading way up north to Ernst Island for a week to spend some time with nature.

I plan on sitting on this chair every morning with my coffee and #shereadstruth,

and saying good morning to these pretty friends while I do it.

my good friend Matt helped me edit this – LOVE him

I’m exicted that Gray’s going to experiance the island a bit more this summer. He’s walking – oh right – HE’S WALKING!!!! I know huge right! so he’ll be keeping us busy while he’s running around. Maybe he and Brian will catch some frogs.

Here’s a little sneak peek at what we’ve been working on.

be sure to check back on the 15th!! I’m pretty sure you want to see the things we have been working on.

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