All Are Welcomed

Last night I enjoyed a super fun dinner with part of our Swaziland team.  Such a fun evening with yummy food, great conversation and even better ladies.  I came home to a quiet house and full heart.  Everyone was already asleep except Josh of course.  He headed out for a late meeting as soon as I got home.  Then over the course of the next few hours I don’t even know what happened, but I allowed Satan to absolutely have his way with me.  It was one of those times when I just beat myself up about everything.  And I proceeded to bully myself into tears…picking every little piece of myself apart.  Nothing was safe.  No feeling, no emotion, no outlook on my physical, emotional or spiritual self was safe from the dogging out I was giving myself.  Who makes themselves cry?!?!?!  This girl apparently.  It was ridiculous.  There I sat crying on our bed because of nasty, ugly, untrue things I was saying to my own self.

Then like a quick slap in the face I realized I was being insane.  I was surely the craziest of all the crazies.  I knew I needed to combat Satan stat.  I grabbed my Bible, said the same prayer I pray every time before I start reading and picked up right where I last left off.  The very first sentence I read:

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him…” and a few sentences later…”It is before his own master that he stands or falls.  And he will be upheld for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

And the tears flooded my eyes.  There I sat before Him completely weak and frail by my own doing.  And He did what He was made to do…lifted me up right out of my piss poor attitude and pity party and just mess of myself and made me feel known.  Made me feel loved.

Who am I to dog out myself?!?!?  Who am I to criticize the God of the Universe’s handiwork?!?!?  I think I’ve got to be a certain way, look a certain way, live a certain way, clean myself up just a little bit more, etc, etc, etc before I am good enough to be loved and cherished by Christ and that is just BS.  He welcomes us…longs for us…pursues us…just as we are.  No need to spit shine my heart…it won’t work anyway.  I’m clearly a hot mess all on my own.  God wants me just as I am and when I am flat on my face beating myself up about anything and everything…feeling worthless and not enough…He makes me stand.  He reminds me I am worthy of His love right in the midst of my junk.

This morning I read my Bible first thing.  I knew I needed it to kick start my day after the night I had given myself.  And there again I read:

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

I am welcomed by Christ.  You are welcomed by Christ.  He longs for us to be with Him.  He wants us.  He desires us.  We are His.  And because we are His we have value and worth and meaning even when we just do not see it.  And on top of all that He’s even going to use us for His glory.  Who is this Guy?!?!?

One thing God continues to teach me is when I choose to spend time in His word…seeking Him…seeking to know Him more…just showing up as I am…He meets me there.  He will not be a no-show.  And then He’ll knock my socks right off with exactly what my heart needs to hear and know and learn.  He is alive.  He is living and moving and teaching and loving and making a way for us every day.  Crazy grateful today we are all welcomed and cherished and loved, even when we’re flat on our faces and then He makes us stand tall again.

Happy Friday.

9 Things

1.  Crazy virus has been picking our kids off one by one.  No one is safe.

2.  In retaliation I made whoopie pies…and 2 buttermilk pies.  It’s just what I do…a coping mechanism if you will.

3.  The cuteness is TOO MUCH TO HANDLE!!!!!  Thick as thieves.  I can name about 6 Kelleys who are going to have a hard time seeing this little one go.

4.  There are still plenty of spots available for May’s Bible journaling class.  Check out the details and let me know if you want to join us.

5.  I love when I get texts from my kids teachers…especially when they contain pictures like this.  “The chameleon can shoot their tongue really far.”

Let me insert a hoorah for good teachers!  Our kids have the cream of the crop this year.  They are amazing.  I’m thankful they recognize hilarious kid writing when they see it and choose to document it for me.

6.  Lots of key fobs.  Lots of orders.  So close to having this current list wrapped up.  Thank you forever and always for ordering items.  I adore my job.  It’s a privilege.

7.  I’ve been testing out my new No. 41 headband and I love it.  Headbands are serious business for me as a runner.  I’ve got no time for headbands which won’t stay in place or come off easily.  I was skeptical at first, but after weeks of running in this one, I have given it my official thumbs up.  And it’s a giant extra plus when the company is doing their part to help change the world like No. 41 is.  Check them out.  They carry lots of other items besides headbands.

 8.  Meg shared Jen Hatmaker’s recent sermon Disciples Disciple and I’ve listened to it twice already.  It is so so flippin’ good.  Everyone should listen.  Loved every last stitch of this and she just presents it perfectly.  Josh Kelley listened to it as well and has been passing it along too.  So good.

And 9.  I’ll leave you with this gem.  My friend Marcie and I took it upon ourselves to try and reenact all the emoji faces.  Yes you read that right.  Yes it is a gift that only God himself could have given us.  This was my favorite and I did ask her permission to share.  #yourewelcome

I feel like she really nailed it.

Happy Wednesday people!

May Bible Journaling Class

You’re officially invited to May’s Bible Journaling Class.  I do hope to offer the class more and more, but I’m going to take it month-by-month.  I’d love to have enough interest to increase to two classes a month.  Eeeeek.  I think a lot of good could come from this and I am already sitting in anticipation of what God will do.  I’m love opening up our home and setting out tables and chairs and making cookies and I think it will be a really amazing time.  Here are the details:

When:  Saturday, May 16th

Time: 1pm-4pm

Where:  Our house. 

Cost: $50

All the money will be used to do some good in this world.  March’s class we raised enough money to fund a Fun Day for over 150 kids in Swaziland Africa which will take place on our trip in July.  A jump house, a big special meal, face painting, games and treats.  April’s class raised over $700 to help purchase items and assemble welcome baskets for ladies entering the Magdalene Houses.  May’s funds are still being prayed over and decided about.  I will let you know what kind of good is going down as soon as we decide. 

This class will be 3 hours in length and we will talk about the process of Bible journaling and I will share how I go about this each day.  We will also talk about supplies and tips, tricks and techniques I use.  There will be time for questions throughout the class as well as time for you to do some of your own Bible journaling and practicing.

Each person will bring their own supplies.  You can read about the supplies I use on THIS POST, but please feel free to bring the items which work for you.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE THE ITEMS I USE.

Lastly, this class will be limited to 16 people due to space in our small house.  If you would like a spot email me at pitterpatterart at gmail dot com or Message Me Here.  You can reserve more than one spot, so chat with your family and friends and make it a girls time.  This will also be a kid free time…sorry, no kiddos.

I hope you will join me.  Each month I have walked away from each class just feeling so thrilled and honored I was able to hang with such precious ladies and talk about the Bible and being creative for an afternoon.  Let me know if you have any questions!  So excited and can’t wait to see what God has in store for May’s class.

Happy Tuesday.

Case Of The Mondays

Some days just find me a bit off.  Especially those days which go nothing like I planned.  With a family of 7 you can imagine how sickness just kind of meanders its way through out us.  It’s redonkulous.  So days are a little slower and have to be re-worked and re-scheduled and re-figured out.  Sigh.  I’d planned on blogging much earlier today, but hey, 10pm will have to do.

Saturday was April’s Bible journaling class.  I really love these classes.  I don’t know if people are really learning anything or not, but people keep showing up and I keep having so much fun and as long as people show up we’re going to keep raising money to do good together.

Because of this month’s class we’re going to be able to put together a lot of welcoming baskets for ladies entering the Magdalene Houses.  So excited.  And the next class will be Saturday, May 16th from 1-4.  I will post more information this week, but if you would like a spot(s) just send me a message and let me know if you’d like to join us.

Josh Kelley and I had a rare big kids only date Sunday morning at Legofest.  You guys!!!!  I thought Hudson was going to die.  They all love Legos, but Hudson, well he’s out master builder.  He needs no plans.  No instruction manual to follow.  Just give him a tub of Legos and let his little mind and hands go to work.  We all had such a good time and everything was made of Legos and it was so fun being with just the big 3.  They are like the vintage Kelley kids.

I’ve been trying to wrap up orders and I’m still pressing on.  I have been taking little breaks here and there to make some new small canvases.  People have been asking about pricing and honestly, I just don’t know yet.  I’ve actually made quite a few, but I keep finding them appropriate homes.  So I have no idea if I will sell some or not.  Right now I’m just enjoying making them.  We shall see.

And earlier today I watched Gary Haugen president of the International Justice Mission give his TED talk and then for the rest of the day my mind just continued to think about it.  I found myself tearing up randomly.  Truth and facts and compassion and violence.  Please watch.  He just nails it.

 Now to pack some lunches and fold some clothes before hitting the hay.

Peace out Monday.

And Then We Got Ants

We always get ants.  Always.  You can bet with the very first warm rainy day of spring the ants will come marching into our house.  And I’m always ready with my Terro…all thanks to The Great Ant Bebacle of 2012.  Since then Terro and I have been ant killing BFFs.  So the ants showed up and I happily cut that first Terro packet open…like opening ant season.  What usually follows is a swarm of ants.  You just watch them eat what’s really their yummy death and take it back and pass it around to all their young impressionable friends, but this time only like 3 ants showed up the the Terro party.  Then our current littlest picked up the trap and dumped out every last bit of sticky ant death goodness all over our bathroom floor.  It was everywhere.  Everywhere.  I picked her up, closed the bathroom door and decided to clean it up when I had time.  When I revisited the bathroom a mere 30 minutes later, THEY WERE EVERYWHERE.  Like a swarm.  Of Ants.  Everywhere.  They were gathered around each and every big and small drop of Terro like animals gathered at a watering hole.  This is but a tiny sampling of our ant visitors.  And I just let them all feast…all day long…and by night fall they were all gone and surely dead.  Terro, I puffy heart you.

Then I made cookies to celebrate their tiny ant deaths…or maybe I just made cookies for the sake of making cookies…and because I have some sweet ladies coming to our house tomorrow for Bible journaling class and what kind of decent human being would I be if I didn’t offer them a chocolate chip cookie?!?!?  Hello.  And just make this pie…just do it…don’t argue or ask questions…just make it…and then savor every last little bite.  And maybe just go ahead and make 8 because what on Earth are you really going to do with a quart of buttermilk anyways?!?!?

Our lilac bush is in full on awesomeness state.  Watermelon has been purchased for the second time in 2 weeks.  And we’re eating outside more and more.  This can only mean spring is officially here and summer is on it’s merry way.

Please note Hudson’s rind…he clearly hates watermelon.

This is the photo version of Amon doing his bear roar.  He’s hilarious.  And loves bears.  The end.

This is Amon currently…

Yep.  Down for the count.  Sick as a bear.  Fever and on a regular puking schedule.  Hey there puke bowl…you’ve been good to us all these years.  Thanks for taking the brunt of it all.

And work.  You guys, I am so close to being caught up.  So close.  Baby sets and key fob sets and dish towels and name pillows.  Thank you!!!  Thank you for your orders.  It’s a joy for me to make and create for you!!!  You are awesome!

Hope your weekend is stellar!

Happy Friday.

Swirling Heart & Head

I feel like my heart and head are in a perpetual swirling motion.  There’s no stopping Jesus from coming right in and gently reminding me, yet again, He wants it all…not bits and pieces, but all of it…everything.  This keeps me swirling and thinking and hashing out and debriefing and changing all the time.  And each time I land again right where I landed last time and the time before that and the time before that…loving Him and loving others…and how can these concepts absolutely consume and eat my life right up in the best kind of way.  And the swirly heart and mind keep moving.  Sigh.

It’s hard to make sense of a lot these days and people are wreaking havoc on our hearts and problems with our county and state press in hard on my heart and make me wonder if things can really be fixed.  Things like affordable housing which seems to affect just about every one and every thing and people we hold dear.  So many unanswered questions you think will never be solved.  The problems just grow, but I long to be apart of the solution.  I dare to wonder and ask God to use me…use our family.  And when you dare to ask, sometimes He dares to answer.

And so Thursday finds me at a bit of a loss.  It finds me just unsure about most everything.  I’m thankfully nearing the end of Romans.  It has not been my favorite.  I have deemed myself unfit for Romans :)  It has been tough to understand for my brain.  I’ve been reading multiple translations to try and grasp exactly what Paul is saying.  The last few days though God has linked His words directly to my heart and made me see I actually might like Romans after all.

From the Message Romans 9:

I‘ll call the nobodies and make them somebodies;

I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.

In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody” they’re calling you “God’s living children.”

And then in Chapter 11:

Be convinced of God’s grace and purpose in choosing you.

Be humbly mindful of the Root that keeps you lithe and green.

I had to look up the word lithe…I’d never heard that word before.

lithe 1: easily bent or flexed  2: characterized by easy flexibility and grace

In the midst of just feeling at a complete loss…like there’s nothing I can really do…like I just don’t know what to do, I want to remember we are all somebodies to Jesus…and not only somebodies, but really special, uniquely created in His image children of God.  We matter and have purpose and grace in Him.  He gives us life.  He gives us worth.  He wants the glory…because no matter how much we think our story is ours…it’s really His.

So I dare to continue to ask Him to use me.  To make me a somebody.  To be convinced of His grace and purpose in choosing me.  And to be humbly mindful that He keeps me alive…He gives me purpose…The Root which keeps me easily bent towards Him and characterized by flexibility and grace.

He Has Overcome

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy

John 16:16-33

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”  17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Here’s to a Tuesday full of His promises.

Baked Beans & Funfetti &…

I could hardly wait for the weekend to come to a close so I could happily report 2 things: 1) People actually ate my baked beans…technically they are my Aunt Tootsie’s since it’s her recipe, but only one spoonful remained and I was pretty happy about that.  Maybe I’ll try my hand at super intimidating kitchen items like baked beans more often. Who knows, maybe this weekend I’ll tackle mac n cheese.  Things might get crazy.  And 2) You guys, I actually made Harper’s class birthday treat this time around.  Like I actually made it.  She went with old school boxed Funfetti cupcakes and canned icing…girl is on it!!!  And now let’s all take a moment of silence to pray I actually remember to deliver them at lunch time tomorrow.  Who wants to call and remind me?!?!?

Sidenote:  Harper got this little pillow craft from a cousin for her birthday and she’s addicted.  She keeps taking all the fabric pieces out and redoing the entire thing.  If you have a crafty kid, I totally recommend Plush Crafts. 

I think I forgot to tell you, but I tried my first macaroon at Hope Spoken.  And then I died.  I might have eaten 211 chocolate macaroons because they are like heaven/brownie/cake/I really can’t decide the texture, but I want to marry it.  Now I need to learn how to make them asap.

The lady in the background is obviously stashing away macaroons for later…or maybe looking for lipgloss…I’d be stashing away macaroons.

Sometimes I set up our kid’s toys in funny positions and wait to see how they react.  Amon busted into loud laughter and lots of “Look momma look”s.  I mean, come on, it’s a bear on a lego car!

When you’ve been saving your money the final decision is hard.  And time consuming.  And patience inducing.  And I like to stand directly by the little self scanner machine and then they all just report back to me with their items they need price checked.  And then the person behind us at check out is always a bit perturbed when they realize we’re doing 4 separate checkouts.  Eeeeeek.

I didn’t know I had calico cat hair, but according to Harper I do.  And she clearly wants me to be more stylish…hello dress and fancy high heels.  My “have hope” dress does however slay me into a 1000 pieces.

   And these little canvases could easily become a consuming pastime.  I’m thinking about making some up to sell.  Just give me all the colors of the world.  Any particular wording you would be interested in seeing?!?!?

Hope your Monday is off to a grand start.  Each day has the potential to be crazy good.  Here’s to a week full of them.

Happy Monday!