Monday, October 31, 2011

From a pure heart.

I have been more than honored to know my Little for almost four years (next March).  She is by far the most beautiful 16 year old I have ever encountered and my husband and I are always speaking of how amazing her walk through life is (in the midst of quite a few trials) at such a young age. 



She has all of the things that I desire our children to have: a love for God and a desire to know Him, a seriously deep beauty, conviction, passion, faithfulness (how beautiful in a 16 year old!), and dreams.

Here is something she just wrote that I thought I would share to hopefully encourage each of you "to be more child-like."

Lesley-you are one of the greatest gifts God has ever shown me.  It makes me tear up to think that He brought you into my life because you have entirely blessed and convicted me to live differently.  Thank you.

"All people have dreams they want to achieve or the majority of us do .A few days ago I was laying in bed and I realized how I didn't really know what to do with my life. I strangely sat in my room and started asking god what was my calling.. Surgery was something that I always found interesting.I remember being the age of twelve or thirteen and watching television shows on surgery! I have always been a fan of science. Though I figured that being a surgeon would be cool after becoming one what was I going to do? Later on that night I watched a video called Remember Nhu (www.remembernhu.org).This was my inspiration. As all people's callings should be based upon my heart was calling me to love people and help them. A summery of my dreams/calling.

I want to become a heart surgeon and use all the money to make or support organizations to fight against sex trafficking in other countries.Its horrible how these girls get treated and don't get to choice who they want to lose their virginity to.This is important because they are terribly broken and need god. I then want to buy a house and adopt or at least help all orphans and foster kids and teach them about gods unconditional love. I would rather adopt them all and become their mom but I don't really know.Furthermore I want to build a church or help build one in some other country.Most importantly become and be a women more of god I want to extremely love. 

I know this dream of mine is quite big. Some people even think impossible but with god and ambition nothing is.I've realized it's easier to have ambition for doing something if your doing it for someone else than yourself.In this case I'm doing it for him. I made the LORD almighty a promise a couple weeks ago on making a change in this world and I am going to do so.I am going to try.After all it took 1,OOO tries to finally create a light bulb(:

Now I would dearly love for you to try and live out your dreams.It might be put aside for a while because of family, problems, marriage and children not that any of these things are bad.Its important to know that it's okay as long as you return working on your goals, people after a period of time give up. Achieving them or trying to is what counts."

As Timothy Keller so eloquently states: "No child dreams of sitting in a cubicle when they grow up. They dream of changing the world. There is a mission."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fathers.

Last night my husband made me tear up as he just laid his head on my belly, kissed it, leaned his head back on it, and just rested there.  It moved me so deeply.  In fact, tears are in my eyes as I write this.



Our child will have the most amazing father. I know I am biased, but my husband is the most solid man I have ever met and one who lives by God's word and loves through it as well (which makes me insanely blessed...).  

The topic of the "fatherless" has been huge on my heart for awhile now.  Partly due to the wee one on the way and partly because I meet with/or know quite a few girls who are fatherless either from abuse/death/neglect/divorce/etc and just talking to them makes me realize the weight of the call to be a father.  Children desperately need their dads.  Just for proof, here are a few statistics regarding the fatherless:

· 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census).
· 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
· 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
(Source: Center for Disease Control).
· 80% of rapist motivated by displaced anger come from fatherless homes. (Source:
Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, pp. 403-26).
· 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. (Source: National Principals Assoc. Report on the State of High Schools).
· 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. (Source: Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. Of Corrections, 1992).
These statistics translate to mean that children from fatherless homes are:
· 5 times more likely to commit suicide
· 32 times more likely to run away
· 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
· 14 times more likely to commit rape
· 9 times more likely to drop out of high school
· 20 times more likely to end up in prison



I went and saw the movie "Courageous" two weeks ago with my sis, my little sis (through big bros/sis) and her sister.  I was so moved by this group of men who made a vow to be men, different from the world, and to step up and love their wives and children as Christ loves us.

It has made me pray for men, for fathers, for men who will be fathers, for those without fathers, for hope for those who lost their dads (in one of many ways) and who were able to step past that and know God's love and the Father he is.  

My dad is a beautiful example of this having grown up in a home with a less than great father who passed away when he was 14 (and sadly there were few who were sad about this).  My father stepped past that and because of God's love he honestly became the most loving, gentle, tender, man my sister and I could have ever asked for as a father (just watch sometime how little kids run up to him without even knowing him!).    

I hope this encourages all of you to pray for men and for those who are fathers.  Also to pray for those who have been damaged by the "fatherless" state of our nation. 

xoxo, Anna N 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thanksgiving and truth.

It is official. Blogging is not my "gig." 

I am always torn between what a blog is even supposed to be for. I truly feel that WHATEVER I do: whether it be writing, speaking, eating, etc. is all supposed to honor God and encourage others through that. I haven't felt like much of an encourager lately as the home project was (as always) quite a bit larger than we anticipated and most of the time that I used to spend with others has been moved to getting the home put together.

But, God has brought many people into our lives lately that are in the midst of stories of divorce, betrayal, abuse, and just the pains of a broken world. 

Hence, when it comes to writing, here is the honest truth of what I would like to write about in very vivid ways:

1) Divorce is not better for children. Divorce sucks. The word itself means "death."

2) Our generation is a generation of quitters (and the generation preceding it).
I asked a 92 year old women who had been married 67 years what the secret was to their marriage.  She said, "Honey, when I was your age, quitting wasn't an option."

3) Fathers need to be fathers and mothers need to be mothers. Period. Children are in desperate need of their parents.

4) This world is in desperate/deep need of knowing Jesus and His forgiveness and knowing grace/mercy/peace/hope/love and that maybe ALL of this does matter.

5) Redemption is possible.  Healing is possible.  Life after abuse is more than possible.

6) The beauty of what God does in a woman's body in creating a baby.  There is no other possible way, other than through Him, that our little one will come into this world.  Halle-lujah.  I am not the one telling my cells to replicate, differentiate, multiply, etc.

Pictures of the remodel are coming! 

My husband just happens to be able to do plumbing, electrical, construction which is a huge blessing (but also takes up A LOT of time).  So blessed by him.

PS: Me at 6.5 months.  Might I mention the things I love: my leggings, UGGs, Helly Hansen jacket, and forever 21 tank tops.




Thursday, October 13, 2011

His plans.

Just a little note to say we are alive and kicking (baby, too...literally) but still in the midst of a crazy remodel:


-no toilets
-no kitchen yet
-no doors on yet
-no master bath
-still painting left to be done (literally 15 gallons of paint have been used on the interior)
-oh, and our refrigerator somehow disappeared from the appliance order :)


Oh, and we move in tomorrow morning.


Empty wall.  So sad.




You know the crazy thing?  Once I had one meltdown (actually I have had two tear-filled events during this last month), I felt completely at rest!


Funny thing about planning and me:  I feel sooooo at peace when things that I plan don't work. For instance: the appliance order that was set and ready to go and the refrigerator that now will be here next Wednesday (which means day 35 of eating out).  Somehow it just makes me smile because it makes me remember that I AM NOT IN CONTROL of my life. There is a God who is much greater than I and I seriously just smiled when the guys said the fridge was nowhere to be found.


Why? Because there is something about not being in control of everything that reminds that there is Someone who is.


Halle-de-lujah.


Skip-de-doo.


And did I mention how better His plans have been then mine?  Just look at my husband...never planned on marrying someone that ridiculously awesome AND handsome.


xoxo, Anna N

Monday, October 10, 2011

A love story.

Happy Monday, lovelies!

You can find Matt and I's story here today: www.hespeaksinthesilence.com



Or you can find me at Home Depot, painting doors, packing boxes, the doctor's office (PS: the echocardiogram was clear and apparently our baby is "quite active"), etc.

xoxo, Anna

PS: My down jackets barely zip...this little workout tummy friend seems to be taking up more and more space by the day :)

Friday, October 07, 2011

Almost six months!

Before my beautiful/handsome/perfect-for-me husband left this morning he prayed for what you can distinctly see in the pictures below.  I am so in love with my man who holds me before he leaves for work and prays over our "family," our lives, the kind of parents we will be, etc.  Babe-I can't believe God gave me you.

Regarding the little one- it will be six months along on Monday!  So crazy! My stomach muscles kind of get sore because it is growing so well (great thing!) but it still has been such an easy/beautiful pregnancy.

On Monday morning we have an echocardiogram because Matt and his sister both have congenital heart defects (minor).  There is only a 4% chance our little one will have anything but if the doc sees anything then we will deliver out of a different hospital.  We are not worried-at all. God knows ALL he is doing and we trust Him more than 100%.




PS: I LOVE OUR HOME. The current one and the one to come...


So blessed.


xoxo, Anna N

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Painting podcasts.

Since I have been painting for nearly three weeks now (on and off, of course)...I thought I would give you an update on what I listen to while I dazzle the historically pink walls to white.

Have you ever heard of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC?  I stumbled upon his book, "The Reason for God" and then my husband told me he had a lot of podcasts that that book was based off of (from at least ten years ago).  Thus, I spend my time painting during the day listening to various subjects and I love it!  



Click here!  My personal fave is "The Struggle for Love."

I hope you can go listen to just a few. Even if you aren't sure what you think about God, religion (he has a lot to say about "religion"), church, etc.  I promise, what he says will change your heart in some way.  And with the passing of a very ingenious, wise man, it makes all of us realize that no amount of money/intelligence/etc. will allow you to escape death.  Praying for his family during this...

Amen, sisters.  Off to go take one night off with my hubby from this 30 day remodeling craze.

xoxo, Anna N

Ikea.

This afternoon I am going to Ikea...again  I hadn't been there in at least two years (I think) but I am need of some inspiration of some modern sort :)  Shocking. I know.





I am also getting rid of stuff before the move and selling things such as: the Kitchenaid Pro mixer (sold), the Kitchenaid 12 cup processor, the juicer (almost sold), glasses, etc.

10 days.  Really?!?!  Oh shoot..I should probably get going.  And maybe I should start packing.

PS: Go buy the Matt Hammitt CD and listen to "All of Me." It is a song written about finding out their little boy had a severe heart defect while in the womb and realizing that it stopped him from fully pouring every bit of his heart into loving that baby.  It is so beautiful.

I am going to make a sign for the baby's wall that says: "You are going to have all of us. You are going to have all our love."

{PS} Funny how God works: the one thing I didn't want in a home was something modern and the one thing Matt didn't want was to live in the suburbs.  Here is to God knowing where we should be better than we do :) 10 days until a modern home in the burbs. Love you, baby.

Hallelujah.

xoxo, Anna N (future baby mama)




Monday, October 03, 2011

Deconstruction: Part 2

Sorry I haven't posted a ton on the home!  It is mainly because we are there...all the time.  

A few things that have been done:

-nearly four coats of paint on all surfaces (and we have A LOT of trim...hence a lot of blue tape went up)
-removal of entire kitchen
-removal of multiple walls
-sheetrock installed
-bathroom shower/tub demolished and wall/window to outside removed (see why below)
-cabinets/doors stripped, sanded
-multiple appliances removed (sink, oven, two fridges, light fixtures)

This is a very aggressive remodel for 30 days but thank goodness I have a husband who happens to be a project manager for a commercial construction company (and family and friends who are ridiculously awesome)!!!  My handsome husband LOVES this stuff...I mean got up at 5:45am on Saturday to do this sort of thing...LOVE.

Here are some pictures!  I hope you had an amazing weekend and if you haven't yet, be sure to go the Remember Nhu site: www.remembernhu.org and watch the video! We had dinner with all of them Friday night and were IMMENSELY blessed by listening to those who have entire hearts for what God is doing and how they can fight for those who are being sold.

Love you all!  Off to find reclaimed wood, bathroom light fixtures (ours were circa 1966), return screws, prime cabinets and doors, etc.

This is our "closet" where the rotted shower moved into.

This was left behind-we are taking bids for it. It is awesome.

Our atrium! Notice the 20 plants that are missing!!!
I really dislike this color. A lot.

Reason why the shower has been demolished.

My sister. The most joyful person I know.  Obviously.

We could call this "Mark's wall." He and my sis worked on it for at least six hours...

Our garden team! Juanita worked in the pouring rain for six hours yesterday!

My little. How beautiful is she?  Most amazing young lady I know...
Oh, the trim...


And our help is lovely!!! And wears tie-die...
No more kitchen!!!


Did you notice that used to be a wall?

There were many more highlights of this God-given weekend but I will post those tomorrow.

xoxo, Anna N