Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Grateful Hearts ✽ Joyful Laughter

Issac Charles Lee
August 10th, 2018
9 lbs. 6 oz.
22.75 inches long
Precious gift from God <3

Our little Issac arrived mid-morning last Friday <3. Mama and Baby are doing well, and we are all so thrilled for this new little brother! He is such a content little guy... and he snuggles so well! Mama says he has a very definite pattern; over the past couple months, she has noticed that he is always most active in the morning and in the first little bit after we children go to bed; and that hasn't changed a bit since he's been born!

 He is such an alert little guy. Look at those eyes <3. I love him so much. He just looks all around with those big eyes whenever he is awake - he is sleeping or observing, there seems to be no in between. If ever a baby were intentionally taking the world in, it's this little (big) guy!

And yes, Baby Bear stuck <3. Noah was so confused the first time Baby was called Issac... then he must have just assumed that Issac was a totally different baby, because then the next time we called him Baby Bear, THAT confused Noah... oops, haha. Noah has been so gentle and protective and accepting of him, it has been adorable!

We think Issac looks the most like Josiah, but he has such dark, dark blue eyes that look like Peter's when he was a baby, that we won't be surprised if his eyes end up brown. Mama also says she's seen Andrew in him at times, but for the most part, he looks like Siah... in fact, Mama called Josiah Winnie-the-Pooh SO often when he was a baby, because she felt like he looked like him... she had forgotten about this when I heard her tell Issac last night, "You look like Winnie-the-Pooh right now." Too funny.

We are so grateful for the Lord's protection over Mama and Issac, for the prayers of all our dear friends, and for the joy little Issac has given us. Issac has already met most of our extended family, and had two photo shoots, so lots more pictures will be shared in the future ;). But for now, I just wanted to share our little gift with all of you, and our family rejoices in the kindness of the Lord <3.

Rejoicing in Hope,

P.S.... go check out this post :D!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

On My Book Shelf ✽ Girl Defined + Little Life Moments

Good afternoon everyone! I hope your day has been wonderful and that your week has been blessed! It's hard for me to believe it's already Wednesday for some reason. But I am here to talk about lots of little things of varying importance, for anybody who would like to discuss them with me ;)!

Girl Defined Bible Study

You may have heard of this book before... it was actually really big in the circle of blogs I read for several months, but I was late to the trend, as usual ;). (My tbr list is so long... Mama bought this book like a year ago and I just finished it, hahaha...) It has a gorgeous cover (and interior, actually - the design is so pretty!) When I finally got around to reading it, I had heard enough people mention it that I knew that it was either really, really good, or I was going to be disappointed to find that it was way under the standard I had been told it hit ;). But having finished it, I can say: it was really, really good.

Bible study with Journaling Bible and Journal

Within 24 hours, I had gone through the first 4 chapters (considering I wasn't skipping the study section and bible studies always seem to take me a while to go through, this is definitely saying something for this book!) Reading through the first chapter I kind of felt like it was going to fall short... until I was hit with a bombshell that I hadn't expected, and then I instantly became excited to go through the rest! I had heard a lot about this book in the context of biblical self image and modesty, and really didn't expect much more from it through most of the first chapter, but then there was just one little sentence that jumped out at me (I think it might have even been in the study questions, not the actual chapter!) about finding our identity in Christ or in... well, literally anything other than Christ, and I got a glimpse of just how deep this book was going to delve, and it truly made me stop and think, and then I couldn't wait to get into the rest of it! This book covered so much... loving the Lord with your whole heart, using your time wisely, finding your identity not in what other's think of you but it who God has called you to be, living bravely for Christ, the jobs a girl could take on (do you think they were able to give an answer that would work for everyone without knowing their circumstances? It was the best way to answer that question I have seen!), how we have been placed here "for such a time as this", and yes, modesty and self-image... directly and indirectly, it dealt with SO much, and I loved it.

Girl Defined Review

Kristen and Bethany write like they are right there, with plenty of stories of their own shortcomings to encourage you that they've been here and they know; but they have also been blessed to see the truth, and they want to share it with all the other woman out there. I truly loved going through this book... it was such an encouraging read, but more than that, it was refreshing. I am going to say that 95% of everything in this book is something that I have thought through in the past. But looked at from a new perspective, it wasn't redundant at all. And it's sisterly advice "spurs on to good works"; whether this is new to you or you are well versed in these matters, whether you are working steadily or are feeling discouraged. It was easy to read, but deep to think through, and I honestly look forward to reading it again! It's definitely going to be one of the top books I recommend after this :)!

(For those of you who wanted to know when I shared the Undivided study, yes, this book (as Undivided did) uses more bible translations than the KJV when sharing verses. I read the ESV and HCSB along with the KJV habitually, so this wasn't a problem for me, but for those of you who's conscience would be hurt by this, I didn't want to accidentally deceive you by not bringing it up. When a translation that I don't feel is the best is shared in a book, I know I can always look it up in my own bible to "rightly divide the word" for myself; if you think that you can do that, I still wholeheartedly recommend this book, because it is such a blessing!)

In other little news from today...
Noah this afternoon woke up from his nap and yelled for me. I came to lay down with him, and he gave me the tightest squeeze, gave a sleepy smile, and told me, "Oh, so comfortable. It's not 4 o'clocks yet." And went back to sleep <3.
For the curious, "4 o'clocks" means nap time is over. He may get up at 4 o'clock... sometimes he tried to test us by telling us it is 4 o'clocks ahead of time ;). Unfortunately, unlike him, we can read a clock ;). But this is the first time he has voluntarily said it was NOT 4 o'clock just to get to stay at nap time, I found it adorable.

What doesn't kill you makes you want ice cream

I'm working on a new "thing" for the shop today :D! Daddy suggested this one, and I have to say, I love it. As soon as he suggested it I knew 1. It needed artwork. 2. I wanted it to be a chalkboard (although, now that I have finished the design, I also really want to make a happy, colorful canvas one, so, we'll have to see about that!). So last night, I sat down and freehanded a sketch of an ice cream cone, and today I dug out a chalkboard! I had some issues with my photoshop which was frustrating, but once it cooperated, I loved how the design turned out :D! This was actually my first time using the graphite transfer method on a chalkboard, and it IS possible, soooooo... lots more ideas just opened up where chalkboards are concerned. *wheels turning* And what does everyone else think? Should I add hearts around the ice cream cone, or not? Here's the original sketch...

And I am ridiculously pleased with how that fast draft turned out. I am no artist, y'all, so forgive me my excitement. But I pulled up a pinterest sheet of ice cream doodles and combined about three to make that ^. Peter was sitting beside me, pointing out all the mistakes I was making ("THAT ice cream cone doesn't have a cherry!!!" - he told me I must not know what I was doing, hahaha), but when I finished my pencil sketch and started tracing over it with a permanent marker so it would show up well in photoshop, he goes, "Woahhhhhh, you are a good tracer though!!!" We all have our skills ;).

Speaking of the shop... Under The Tapestry is celebrating 3 years on Friday, and I am holding a contest on my FB page and running sales all week long to celebrate :)! So you'll want to check those out here and here.

How is your week going? Have you read "Girl Defined"? If so, what was your favorite thing about this book? Would you add hearts around the ice cream cone? And are you going to join in Under The Tapestry's contest :D?!

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri <3

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Looking Back at July ✽ Little Moments

Happy August, everyone! I hope your July was wonderful and that this new month will hold lots of blessings for each of you! Life was busy and full in July, and now we are all just wondering when Baby Bear will choose to grace us with his presence ;). Here's a little look at our month...

One night while Mama and Daddy went on a date, I had the little ones make personalized pizzas for supper. It made quite the impression on them. Abbi especially talks about it constantly, and I would say it was definitely a memory maker for them, haha!

Abbi made her pizza shaped like a stocking on accident, lol!

I wuv him <3. He woke up early and came to snuggle me in bed while I did my bible reading, but by the time I was ready to get up he was fast asleep again :).

We were gifted these chairs by a kind couple at church who are moving, so sweet!

Peter drew the kissy-face emoji from memory after seeing it once as I scrolled through instagram. Too cute!

Mama and I have been crafting half the month; she took up fabric stamping (so awesome!), and I have been working on a baby blanket for 3 weeks... hopefully just two more days worth of work to do there! I kind of had a goal to finish in less than 40 days, which is, I think, my current record for how diligent I was on getting one from start to finish. I'm not a very competitive person except against myself, then I am ruthless, haha! But I'm not going to share any pictures, we'll get some with baby eventually ;).

Our garden... haha. Well, the bell peppers and tomato plants started flowering. But it's so late now, I doubt that it really does much good. But, as Bethi says, we did better than last year! We've got three cucumbers that are quite big, and we harvested a whole basil plant (which is currently drying in the dehydrator, and it smells delicious, but it's taking so loooonnnnnng, haha!). Last year we got three basil leaves. And Bethi lost them. This year is, sadly, an improvement. We had such a great garden before we moved to VA, it's sad!


Josiah: "I am hiding the dice from Noah. He can't see it way up there!"
Yeah, well neither can you, buddy... haha!

Noah, sitting in the van, about to go into church...
"Get pizza!"
After church:
"Get pizza now!"
*babbles about pizza*
Mama: "What if we don't get pizza?"
Noah, little lips quivering: "Because [translated "but"]. It be tasty."
*pizza for lunch*

Noah, with a caution cone on his head: "I'm a birthday!"
*Mama gives him a real birthday hat for fun*
Noah: "Where's a mirror? I sooooooo cute!"

Abbi: "Noah! It's raining!!!"
Noah: "More whipped cream!"
He typically loves rain, but apparently :whipped cream > rain:.

Also, obviously Noah is the family comedian of the year. You can't beat two year olds. (Sorry, Tori.)

Can we all just agree that if you clean the play kitchen set at church and there AREN'T toy cars in the oven, the question begs to be asked, did they even use the nursery last week?

Tori: "Noah calls cardinal birds, caramel birds."
Peter: "...Cardinal birds?...
"...I think I know why...
"...I call them caramel birds, too."

*Me, talking to myself, obviously*
I thought that that habit had died down for some reason, but nope, it's totally still buried in there, and it's resurfacing full force. Honestly it annoys me too when I notice, but it's just so involuntary, lol.

Also, does anyone else find themselves making a conscientious decision to Stop. Singing. In. Their. Head. and breath a sigh of relief when everything is quiet for two minutes before you start again...accidentally? Or no? Is that just me?

Noah, pointing to a cucumber; "Cucomoe!"

Abbi: "We've loved each other all our lives."
"Except you were MISSING for eleven years of my life, and it was sad."
Abbi: "But we have always loved each other in our hearts, even when we didn't know it..."

Abbi and Emmi, pretending to be indian princesses, walk past our organization station:
Emmi: "Ooo! You have a morning schedule! Not many tribes have those."

Josiah, when Tori asked if he liked salsa chicken: "No, but I just keep on eatin' it. And when it spices me, I have to take a big drink."

Andrew: "I didn't want to take my belt to bed with me! I might swallow it while I slept." (???)
Tori: "And then every time you would open your mouth to sing, you would start... BELTING."

Josiah explaining "Duck, duck goose": "You sit, and we'll goose you."

Bethi: "You don't get points for doing nothing."
I mean, she was being sarcastic, but that's a great life lesson right there. Thanks, Bethi.

While mourning the fact that the first baby cucumber I found was eaten by bugs, two much bigger cucumbers were growing and I never even knew it, I was so surprised when I found them, haha.

Noah is only too young for coffee when he wears this shirt....

...If he is wearing literally any other shirt, he says he is big enough. It's hilarious. I will tell him, "You're too young for coffee!!!" and he looks down at his shirt to see whether he is too young today, or not.

I'm turning on the dehydrator for basil...
"It won't turn on."
*checks plug*
"Ohhhhhh, good."
*plugs it in* *turns it on*
"It still won't start. Where is the manual? Maybe I forgot something.... nope. Oh dear. Wait a minute... I bet..."
"Yep. Y'all, I plugged in the coffee pot."

I take a video of Noah telling me what his "Dino-mite Dude" shirt says, because it's cute, and he asks to see it.
After it's over, he tells me, giggling, "That was Noah. Noah talking like a baby." Like he doesn't talk all day long like a baby for obvious reasons... like, um, being a baby ;).

Abbi and Emmi celebrated Christmas in July... with an umbrella tree, a precious moments figurine, and air cocoa with candy canes in a Christmas cup, hahaha!

Tori, while I edit this post... ""Are you laughing at your own blog?"
Me: "Cardinal Birds?... I think I know why..."


Under the Tapestry Knit Dishcloths

These knitted washcloths are available in Under the Tapestry :)! I was asked to sell these by a knit-washcloth-fan, and I have several sets available! And Under the Tapestry celebrates it's 3 year opening anniversary on August 10th! How would y'all like to see that celebrated :)? I have some ideas, but I am still finalizing things, so I am open to suggestions!

Murphett the Crocheted Mouse by Under the Tapestry Handcrafts

I also impulse free-handed this little mouse for Noah one night. He had been carrying around a baby's first laptop just to play with the little "computer mouse" on it. So I thought, I bet he'd like one without the laptop attached, and that evening I crocheted it up on the fly in a little over an hour. I finished it after he went to sleep, which made me sad, because I had told him I was making something for him... but then he woke up being carried to bed, and I was like, "Hey Noah..."... and when he saw it, he gasped and grinned from ear to ear, and it was just precious! I told Bethi, "That was worth it!!!", to which Noah replied, "Yeah, Merphett," and shoved the mouse in her face, so now this little guy is called Merphett the Mouse, and the pattern for him is going to be up on Under The Tapestry Handcrafts soon!

And here are the posts I shared on Forget Not His Benefits this month, in case you missed them :).

Life Lately

Undivided: A Study in 1st Samuel 

Whereas it was in Your Heart


How was your month :)?! Any ideas for Under The Tapestry's 3rd "birthday"? What are you looking forward to in August :)? Many blessings to each of you in our precious Lord and Savior!

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Whereas it was in Your Heart ✽ 1 Chronicles 6

1 chronicles 6:8 and 9

(Quick note before I dive into this blog post... that picture of the metal heart? That's a picture of the metal workings on a canon at Jamestown. It always makes me laugh a little bit that we found that there!)

I have been continuing to read through the bible once again, and am currently in 2 Corinthians. I don't usually go through this slowly, but I have changed up how I go about my devotions once again, gong through the bible and doing bible studies at the same time, and so it's working out well for me to go at slower pace for my read-through. I like to try to read through the whole bible at least once every year :). I'm also doing chronological right now, which is neat :).

Solomon just dedicated the temple in my reading, and says these words, which, coupled with some of the things that are shared in the passages leading up, really stood out to me this time, despite having read them many times before:

"But the Lord said to David my Father, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name." -2 Chronicles 6:8&9

David had a desire that he would be able to provide the ark of the covenant a permanent resting place in Israel, and that they would have a house dedicated to the worship of their God, a way to show their respect and reverence for the one true God. This was a wonderful desire, and a thing that anyone would assume he was called to do, as it was on his heart; but God told him no.

David's reign had been to bring peace to the land of Israel, but because that endeavor had cost much in the way of war, God told David he was not to build the temple; he was to leave this to his son, who would come into a kingdom already secured in peace. But God does't tell David that he needs to forget that desire, in fact, He tells David, "you did well that it was in your heart". Just because it didn't fall to David to bring about this work, didn't mean it was a bad thing that he longed for it.

And so David didn't give up that longing to see the temple of the Lord build. He didn't disobey and build it anyway, and he knew he would never actually see the finished project. But he didn't huff and sit back because he couldn't be the one privileged to carry out the job. Instead, he still wanted to see to it that he did all he could do to make sure that his son was able to carry out this desire. He couldn't build the temple himself, but he could provide for his son all that he would need to build it after David was gone.

We read in 1 Chronicles 28 that David had put extensive work into drawing up the plans for the temple. David divided up the work between the Levites, David drew the plans for the building, David gathered up the materials needed, and David encouraged the people in the coming work. David may not have built the temple, but he enabled the Israelites to do so as far as he was able.

And that was just really beautiful to me, and it made me think, what desires are on our hearts? They may be noble, godly desires, but our circumstances may hold us back from accomplishing the work. Do we give up in despair? Do we try to pretend that the desire is not there? Do we maybe think that it's not fair that we can't do something that fills us with so much passion?

Our circumstances might be temporary, or the Lord might never change them. Are we holding onto the fact that someday it will be different and just gritting our teeth until things change? If they never change, will we have wasted our entire life waiting?

I know a wonderful woman who loves children, would love to bring up a family someday, and would love to foster. But her circumstances don't allow that right now. But she hasn't left that stop her; she works with children all the time, giving their families help in bringing them up, and frequently babysits for fostering and adoptive families for free as a ministry, enabling them to continue on with their good work refreshed and supported. Just like David, she may not be allowed to fulfill that desire directly, but she hasn't ignored it; instead, she expresses it through another channel, enabling others to do what she herself feels called to. Which in turn means she is also doing what she was called to do, it just looked differently than she expected at this time! I think it's something we all could learn from. Because sometimes, yes, we just aren't working hard enough (that's a whole other side to this, that I won't get into; if you know that you could do what you are called to do and won't, that's totally different!), but what do we do when it's truly impossible to do what we thought we were called to do? Might we be trying to accomplish the work in ways we weren't meant to?

So what about us? What are our heart desires that don't seem to be able to tangibly work out? How could we re-direct those good things into something useful? Who has the right circumstances for that work, but needs enabled or mentored or encouraged or supported in actually accomplishing it? Can we offer that to them, and follow the ministries the Lord has laid on our heart in a way that may feel less direct, but is just as needed? Because who knows, maybe that is just why it has been laid on our hearts!

Rejoicing in Hope,

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel ✽ Bible Study Review

It's the middle of July. In SC. And I am chilly. Yes, I know I am insane.

So, I have a cup of hot chocolate in my hand, obviously, and I have been singing snatches of LifeWay's 2018 VBS songs all morning because I helped with a local VBS and now I truly believe they are stuck in my head for life, and some of them were great songs, but they won't stop playing on repeat in my head, and so please help me.

BUT, if this sound track can maybe stop running through my head for a few minutes ;), I wanted to share with you a bible study that I just finished up on Sunday :)!

Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel Bible Study Review

I am in a blogger group on Facebook (By His Grace Bloggers, if anyone is interested in joining us!), and one of our blogger friends in the group just released a new bible study, "Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel". She offered it free for those of us in the group in return for a review on Amazon, and you know me, I love the bible studies that lead you through the passage, especially when they are free ;), so I jumped right on board! I enjoyed this study so much though, I wanted to share it with y'all, as well!

"Undivided" walks us through the book of Samuel, making clear that this is not simply a historical book for Israel. "The hero isn't Samuel or David, but God." Throughout the whole book, we are given glimpses of God at work, bringing about his plan, showing favor to those to whom He will show favor, keeping His promises no matter the circumstances, showing His might, protecting His people, and yes, punishing the wicked and trying the faithful; we see Saul rejecting the gift he has been given, the favor of the Lord, and giving his heart to earthly things, and we see God raising up David, a man with an undivided heart for God (with human failings, yes, but dedicated to honoring the Lord in all that he attempts, and repentant when shown his sins), to lead His people to Himself.

As soon as I opened the PDF book file, I was intrigued, because I was expecting a chapter by chapter study, like most; but no, it is set up so that you went through section by section, instead! You all know that the original manuscripts didn't have chapter and verse numbers. Well, this study is set up to go through a scene of the book a day, instead, and I loved it! I feel like you get a better feel for the setting when you do it this way. One passage that especially stood out to me as being "different" going through this way was 1 Samuel 13-14:46. Somehow, before, I have never really caught that Saul's fear of the Philistines and disobedience in the offering of the burnt sacrifices was so close in time to Jonathan's fearlessness in God and breaking his father's vow that not a man would eat all day. Somehow, that just seems so like Saul, unable to obey himself and yet so soon forgetting that other men can make mistakes as well. Obviously, that has never changed, it's always been in the passage the same way, but things like that stand out more and make you think when you read them in connection with each other rather than in bits and pieces. So that was one thing I really enjoyed about this study!

Another thing that I loved was that, in a section for application/reflection, additional bible passages were shared, and there were questions to ponder through, like most bible studies ;). But I found that these questions were very easy to spark your thinking to ponder for a few minutes, but that they also were very easy to carry further, and you could really spend a lot of time working through them and studying through them and really examining yourself; so I think it works great either way! Stephanie had a great way of writing, too, that drew you in and kept you engaged, and also made you think a bit more about how the passage fit together, with those around it and with the rest of the bible. I wrote down several selections of her comments in my notebook!

This study is set up to take 14 days, but there is a suggestion that you could read through the day's passages one day and then do the bible study work the next day so it would take 4 weeks, and I think I would suggest that. I got through it in 3 weeks, I think, because I was truly trying to do a day's assignments all together, but I just couldn't quite do it. That might have just been me, though. I am pretty sure I have mentioned here before that the Doorposts bible studies that I love are supposed to take 5-20 minutes a day, depending on the assignment, and I routinely take 45 minutes no matter the assignment, haha ;). I just get sucked into all the extra stuff you can do on the side, and usually end up writing, cross-referencing, note-taking, and researching a lot!

Have you ever done a bible study on 1 Samuel? Are you interested in "Undivided"? You can find this bible study on Amazon here!

Rejoicing in Hope,