Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dirty Rags

Do you ever read those rockstar blogs where everything posted always looking so snazzy and shiny? The adorable clothes are homemade, something delicious is always being whipped up, and things are super tidy all the time?!

I admire them and secretly wish I lived like that but the truth is but I am HOT MESS!! (they probably say the same about themselves but just publish the good stuff :)) So in honor of imperfection welcome to a messy week at the Deckers:

{To your right you'll notice the dirty sink and gross dishes)

{Well hello Ryan's underwear, laundry that should be put away, random junk everywhere.}

{Sometimes THIS is how I feel when the week is just sloppy and I''m falling behind}

The Lord caused me to think today with laundry on my counter tops, open bags of food in my kitchen, used tablecloths thrown wherever, and dirty dishes filling my sink how well He loves me in my imperfection.

What if I had to have it all together to get Him to notice me??? Or my life had to be perfect to have a relationship with him?? What a lie! How often though do women especially believe that they can't show God (or anyone) their junky-mess because it seems like everyone else has it together? Well thank the baby Jesus, God does not operate that way at all. Actually the opposite.

Some encouragement I'm leaning on includes these two verses...

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy...

Titus 3:5

We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

Isaiah 64:6 (A)

My BEST moments/productions are considered as FILTHY RAGS (KJV) to God. That just makes me love the Lord more. He says I dig YOU and not what you produce, not what you can accomplish. He has the perfect thing covered. It seems what He really values (after His own glory) is just simply us; no homemade cookies or perfect attitudes required.

So if you're having a messy week, or month, or LIFE, take heart that you are not the only one. We're messy people and the Lord says it's all good. Just come to Him. It takes a HOLY God to love us where we are at and be willing to send a sweet guy by the name of Jesus to fill in where will always lack.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18

P.S. Check out the new recipe tab just added yesterday!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Get ready for the shock of the century... yes, Ryan Decker is writing a blog post. You may be asking yourself, "What warrants such an act?" Let me tell you.

Today I, along with the Heavenly Hosts, the cast of Modern Family (our favorite show), and the rest of the world are celebrating the birth of the one and only Carly Erin Decker.

My wife is the most amazing woman I know. To let her know I have come up with a list of 23 things that We (I and everyone that knows her) appreciate about her.

23 Things I appreciate about Carly Decker (in no particular order):
  1. She loves Jesus with every part of her and it shows.
  2. She opens up birthday presents and gets excited about receiving coupons!
  3. She calls our dog stinker so much that he now responds to the name.
  4. She made a foreclosed house a beautiful home.
  5. She has no problem fighting dirty when wrestling (poking, biting, etc)
  6. She turns our space heater on full blast while she showers so when she gets out it's a little warmer.
  7. She cooks delicious food like enchiladas and turkey-kale stir-fry.
  8. She is SO good at the piano.
  9. She is consistent with having daily time with God.
  10. She has red hair.
  11. She loves adventure and moved to Saudi Arabia to follow the Lord and me.
  12. She is faithful.
  13. She wanted to get married in a red barn with cowboy boots.
  14. She loves Africa and black babies (not in a racist way, in a Jesus-gave-her-that-heart way)
  15. She communicates with patience / gentleness.
  16. She literally makes an "ick" sounds when she wants me to know she doesn't like something!
  17. She is a care-taker (especially when I am being a baby).
  18. She has 'red-headed' baby vision 24/7.
  19. She is respectful.
  20. She color codes her part of the closet.
  21. She is a go-getter; she is not someone who talks about doing something for a long time. She actually does it.
  22. She always tries to roll her Rs, but unfortunately sounds more like a horse in the process.
  23. She chose to be my wife.
Carly, you bring me so much life. I love you.

{Carly w/ the presents from her parents on birthday "eve"}

{One delicious cake with the BEST frosting}

{A birthday feast! Cornish game hens, homemade bread, salad, white zinfandel, and cake!}

{Ryan with his bird}

{Harpo & Ivy "kissing"}

{Mom, Birthday Girl, Dad}

{Carly & Husband}

{Gazing at the cake while being wooed by a birthday melody}

{Amazing family birthday party, amazing birthday eve!}

Saturday, January 28, 2012

On Cooking for the Masses

Saturday, I truly love thee. It's a great day to breeze through a to-do list.

And because I'm embarking upon the art of cooking for 8+ crowds I have time to prep. I really enjoy the big group cooking challenge because of the need to budget, plan, organize, and be flexible. But I'm not the expert and would welcome your helpful advice!

Last week for our small group I made this super healthy chili in the crock pot. The ole' crock by the way is a wonderfully magical invention. It's like an Easy-Bake Oven for adults!

So How To Cook For 8+:

-Plan ahead! Find a few easy recipes that can easily be double, tripled, quintupled (is that a word?). Good Recipe Examples: Crock Pot Recipes, Chili, Soup, Casserole etc... Bad Recipe Examples: Filet Mignon, Lobster, Anything with expensive cheese...

-Shop ahead with a list! Don't shop the day of--I've done this, many times and still have only recently learned my lesson. I bring the list, get in, get out, and reduce stress later.

-Kitchen Smarts (like street smarts, but ya know...less scary). In the prep/assembly of the dish put things away as you take them out. Literally this saves me 15 minutes of clean up time no matter when I'm cooking. I get out the salt, I use it, I put it back etc... So simple and keeps things my kitchen clear and clean for guest arrival.

-I have to be flexible and have grace that cooking for big groups means things probably will take longer to cook or the recipe may not easily double. Find someone (oooo Ryan Decker!) who will encourage you and taste test their lives away.

-Finally, I think I've realized that blessing people in your home a real ministry and way to love them. Thinking back to Martha & Mary (Luke 10:40-42) the most important thing isn't how perfect everything looks or tastes, but enjoying and blessing the people you get to be with.

So now this week on zee menu eez....

Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
(meant to serve a group of 8... 4 of which are very hungry husbands)

What to Get:
  • 2 1/2 lbs beef round steak
  • 3 medium green peppers (or orange or yellow would be yummy!)
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 5.5 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • Salt & Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 large loafs French bread sliced into sandwich lengths
  • 12ish slices of provolone cheese

Directions to cook:

1) Lightly coat crock pot with olive oil

2)Cut meat into strips, place in crock pot

3) Add green peppers, onions, broth, and seasonings

4)Cover and cook on low 7ish hours, or high 3-ish hours

5) Toast the bread lightly at 400 F for 5 minutes with cheese on top to melt

6)Finally place beef/vegetables onto bread, top with cheese and allow to melt.

Serve alongside oven baked sweet potato fries, a big garden salad with toasted almonds, or homemade coleslaw.

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
68. Crock pots
69. Moon rises behind the mountains
70. Patient teachers
71. Ability to create

But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:40-42

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jesus in the 'Burbs

Food for Thought: What happens...

Sum up of this article: a Jesus-loving married couple lived a nutso lifestyle for years-working in slums across the world for the gospel, lived/raised their kids in China, boycotted new technology, and prided themselves on extremely cheap living standards. They were living crazy for Jesus! But then they grew up...Adulthood realities like safety, financial stability, education for the kiddos hit and they made some hard but necessary lifestyle changes. They were not longer the "revolutionaries" they once prided themselves to be.

So they grew up...as all responsible revolutionaries must do.

While still living evident lives for Jesus they realized in this "grown up" state to not judge those who live whatever the "American Dream" is and figured out how to live life in the US minus the mediocrity or complacency. So now I want to know,

How do you love Jesus and live a life sold out for Him in the suburbs of America? That is what I find myself asking tonight.

I mean Ryan and I were sort of revolutionary not too long ago...we moved to a closed Middle Eastern country just 60 days after we were married, traveled ALL OVER the world, made friends across oceans and borders, did some insane ministry and will never be the same.

{Just 1 of our adventure to Yangshuo in the mountains of China}

But then we moved back to the States, bought a house, hooked ourselves up with 2 cars, some jobs and now live sort of 9-5.

So am I living any less for Christ now that I have a 30 year mortgage, a dog, and a steady income?? Do I think I'm somehow MORE devoted to the gospel if I boycott iPhones, do ministry for work, promote causes of injustice, and spend my Christmas breaks in India?

{My new and luxurious reality.}

I want to find the balance in the tension between sold out radicals for Jesus and the life of the 'burbs. (I suppose we're not total suburbia with no HOA and chickens on the way...but still!) It would be wise for me to examine what the Lord says is true in the Bible, examine my choices, and be in constant convo with the Lord to weigh options and lifestyles. I believe we CAN be radical but not inaccessible or "holier art than thou".

The cool part is that the Lord knows our hearts-we want to be different from the world and living outside of mediocrity. Bring it Lord, we're ready to be as normal or as crazy as you want!

{Real life hopes: travel, have passions, and surrender all at the foot of the cross}

Do not be
conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yay or Nay?

Vote: What do you think of this new blog design?

We are definitely digging it! Less cluttered, sweet tabs, and a super simplified set-up. I vote yay!

Designing and organizing our blog this evening made me so grateful for this easy way to share details of our life with people all over the world. Dang the Internet is so amazing and such a fun creative writing outlet!

While we're here we'll just share what's in the week ahead:

1) Sewing Machine Class 101 for Carly (so excited for this, I received a machine for my birthday from my generous parents--sewing machines are making a comeback!)

2) Week #2 of our marriage small group-it rocked our expectations this week and breathed so much life into our week.

3) A DU Pioneers basketball game with Anna Meverden to celebrate her coolness!

4) 23rd Birthday Celebrations this weekend for Carly! A homemade Mama Nelson dinner is on the menu for Saturday evening...yum!

Enjoy your week and pray with me for a snowy birthday weekend!

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
65. Mason jars
66. Laughing hard
67. Creativity and newness

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Recent Reading

Thoroughly enjoying all of the goodies in this stack! 2 down and only 5 to go...

Ryan and I are trucking through the 1st one and are so challenged in our communication habits. We have a lot of growth to trust the Lord for and our eyes are wide open to areas of weaknesses. But the good news is we are doing a few things right with great action steps to continue applying. Next on our list to read together is Sacred Marriage, we hear over and over again that it will rock you and change your entire view of marriage...intriguing huh?!

What are you reading?

The books from top to bottom:

1) The Language of Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggrichs

2) Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus

3) Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas

4) Pray Big for Your Marriage by Will David Jr

5) Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt

6) Crazy Love by Francis Chan

7) Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands by Gary Thomas

P.S. Has anyone heard of the show Modern Family??? We crack up every time we watch it! Stream it in from random sketchy websites for free. The show actually gets us talking and thinking about life. The men are fairly legit (more shows portray men as big joke scumbags), the issues are real, and the dysfunction of everyone makes us laugh and encourages us that we are not the only crazy ones! Watch a couple episodes...

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
59. Tomatillos
60. New grace
61. Slow mornings
62. Costco finds
63. Modern Family and real life
64. Valentine's Day decorations

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning

Proverbs 9:9

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Just a little post-tastic share of what's going on for us in January...
  • Every Monday we're hosting a marriage small group w/ 3 other couples. We're so grateful for our home to be used for this! We'll be going through this material to be encouraged, stand firm alongside each other and glorify God through our marriages. Bring it!
  • There are random desires in me to throw a Valentine's Day party...anyone in, anyone?? I've never been into the holiday but suddenly pink mashed potatoes and an overly decorated, sugar coma heart cake sounds fabulous. Hmmmm.....

    {A potential V-day cake: cheesy and awful to look at...yet probably delicious}
  • We are continuing to walk through what it means to be a part of our church community. We finally have time, space, and energy to pour out so now HOW is the question?! Ryan is blessed to start practicing with the worship team and I am still exploring/stalking the church bulletin to get plugged in. Feeling hopeful!
  • Finally, I (Carly) began volunteering with Alternatives Pregnancy Center as a Client Advocate--my role is working through feelings/circumstances of those in a crisis pregnancy to make an informed decision respecting their own life and life of the unborn child. Next month is an intensive training to start up. Feeling so privileged to be a part of this ministry and share life with these women.
  • There are other important and life-changing thoughts rolling around our conversations lately but they are not solidified enough be blog-worthy. Updates to come as the Lord leads
Random pictures of the week:

{Healthy breakfast: 2 c. strawberries, 2 bananas, 1 orange 1/2 c peas blended with ice and s splash of organic apple juice. Serve alongside boiled eggs and sauteed lemon asparagus!)

{Romantic husband brought these home to me just because!}

{Homemade turkey Italian sausage + veggie pizza on Monday night}

{A very depressed Harpo because he is still out of commission}

{My studly guitar player learning and mastering THIS}

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
53. Marie & Alyssa @ Mines
54. Brave basil plants in January
55. Tulips
56. Words of encouragement
57. A husband who believes in me
58. Adventures

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Ephesians 6:10-11

Monday, January 16, 2012

Angel Food Cake

This is my lightened up version and my new favorite cake recipe! Ryan had four pieces....this cake has no mercy!

Angel Food Cake

(adapted from Better Home & Garden Recipe)

11 egg whites
3/4 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract
(or orange, or almond, or something else yummy!)
1/2 c. granulated sugar

1. Let egg whites sit at room temp for 30 mins
(make sure these are in a large bowl for later steps!), set aside. Sift together the powdered sugar & flour until lumps are gone, set aside.

2. Add cream of tartar and vanilla to egg whites. Mix with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar to mixture a few tbsp at a time and use hand mixer until stiff peaks from.

3. Sift about 1/2 cup of the flour mixture into the egg white, folding together gently. Continue folding the flour mixture into the egg whites 1/2 cup at a time. Pour into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Cut through the batter to remove air pockets.

4. Bake on the lowest rack at 350 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. You'll know it's done when you lightly push the cake and it will spring back. When finished baking, invert immediately on a cooling rack. Eventually loosen from pan and serve.

 You can also make Chocolate Angel Food Cake by sifting 1/4 cup cocoa into powdered sugar/flour mixture. Or HoneyAngel Food Cake mixture.  Beat 1/4 cup honey in a thin stream over egg white mixture and continue normally with remainder of recipe.

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
48. Tomorrow
49. Quiet
50. The sound of the furnace coming on
51. Quick Golden snow storms
52. Homemade pizza

Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.
Psalm 78:25

Free Stuff Galore!!

Question: Are we the only ones looking to save money this year? I didn't think so...

2012 means a very real look at money for the Deckers! We want to give more generously, save better, invest wisely, and cut unnecessary expenses. So we look out for the best deals and how to save some moo-lah!

And who doesn't love free stuff?!?

Here is what I found so far in my hunt to cut down on spending--I thought you would appreciate the resources too. Thank me later when your paycheck doesn't take such a hit. Bam!!

P.S. None of these companies know me so hopefully they don't mind my promotions :)

1. Free Yoga: WHAT??? It's true! Denverlaughs.com offers free Laughter Yoga. Have you ever heard of something so dang cool? There are classes all over Colorado. Golden's is every Wednesday. It's 100% free for traditional yoga practice plus a laughing exercise thrown in there. So awesome!

2. Free Coupons: There is no Sunday paper subscription to this house so we rely on couponmom.com for our money saving coups! I signed up year ago and have used them every single week since.

3. Free Tea: Celestial Seasonings! Very Boulder-hippy of us. All the free tea you can drink and a free tour!

4. Free Movies: If we're not using some free Redbox code Ryan has used for the thousandth time (go husband!!) we rent at the library. May I also add that you can read all the free magazines (and free books, dur.) you want!

5. Free Fondue: Mostly free...we get to manage random Melting Pot events throughout the year and if you volunteer for a 3 hour shift (super easy work and every person gets their own gift card!) you get a free 4-course dinner to this ridiculously awesome fondue restaurant. Let us know!

6. Free Clothes/Decorations: Ladies, this is pretty much just for you. I have hosted several "Swaps" over the years for my friends. We theme it for the items being exchanged: "Summer Clothes Swap" or "Accessory Swap" or "House Decoration Swap". Every lady brings a few items they would like to trade with one another to spruce up their closet, home etc. It is always a hit with a few appetizers, fun drinks, and good friends! Try it out!

{Super simple tray to put together for snacking}

{With our sweet friend Caitlin, at the last Accessory Swap in May 2011}

7. Free Exercise: We strap on our snowshoes or hiking boots and hit the mountains for literally unlimited free adventuring. These AMAZING beauties are 100% free to use, soak them up!

{Our drive to church every week and anytime we adventure into these gorgeous mountains}

Follow this link for a more resources. There are tons of museums, the zoo, tours, and random other goodies. I am obsessed with it all!

I am feeling so grateful today to live in a place that offers us such abundant resources to live a full life with minimum costs! How cool is it that we can do so much for FREE? I'm thinking this is a direct answer to prayer that we might be able to cut costs in 2012. Thanks Lord!

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
41. Free activities and resources
42. Denver
43. Almond butter
44. Encouragement from my husband
45. Birch wood candles
46. Forgiveness
47. The promise of Ezekiel 26:26-27

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you".

Hebrews 13:5

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jesus > Religion

Religion puts you in bondage...while Jesus sets you free

Echoing the praise that we are represented by Jesus and not by ourselves. Check out this video...

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Matthew 16:24

Gluten Free Yam Pancakes

This recipe was inspired by the ever healthy, vegetable loving niece of ours named Rilyn! We made this breakfast in the wee early hours last Saturday to the enthusiastic tune of Pandora's Toddler Station. Par-tay. I think I saw Rilyn's party dancing hips come out.

Then we feasted on this glorious new concoction! Harpo took on left-over duty from the floor while Rilyn helped clean up this way...

Now this breakfast is a favorites for the nutrition, color, and flavor factor. Double the recipe for an easy pull-out-of-the-freezer breakfast during the week. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Yam Pancakes

1 cup almond flour (or use regular flour if you're not a glutard)
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup smashed yams or sweet potatoes**
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (I added extra or throw in some nutmeg)
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup milk (almond, soy, or rice works well also)
1 egg

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda stirring together. To that pancake mixture add yams, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup and finally the melted butter. In a separate bowl whisk together milk and egg. Fold the egg mixture into the other ingredients until well combined.

Drop 1/3 cup batter into hot, buttered pan until browned on both sides. Enjoy with maple syrup, almond butter, or just plain!

**You can roast yams at 350 F for 1 hr 20 mins and then peel off skin. Easy way to get your yams.
Also, to zest up this recipe add walnuts or chocolate chips! Yum!

Just feeling so grateful this morning for time off to be able to cook, spend time with our favorite short lady ("she's just a miniature person!" -ryan), and rest.

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
33. Big mugs of early morning coffee
34. Harpo healing
35. Restarting yoga after wrist healing
36. How hard core King Solomon was (1 Kings 2)
37. Time and energy to bake
38. Balance and routine
39. Friday night Chinese dinners w/ my parents
40. Winter

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore.

1 Kings 4:29

Monday, January 9, 2012

Stewarding Tim Tebow's Beliefs

There is no denying that this man is radically different! If you know anything about him, it's probably not just his football skills that you talk about right? Hmmmm......

Why is that? What makes Tebow so distinctly set apart?

He is a bold man for Christ, using his platform through football to bring glory to God, and taking the heat every week for his athletic abilities but even more for his faith in Christ.

Learning more and more about this man we realize how insanely legit he is! His heart is to lay down his entire life for Jesus, view himself rightly (the world doesn't revolve around him), and accurately represent the gospel to the world. Watch his testimony here:

Here is an honest look at his heart for Prison Ministry and his view of Jesus' insane love and forgiveness:

So before this turns into his next fan page, let's just be clear is no hope in Tebow. He is just one man, a sinner saved by Grace. Our hope is in Christ. But there is a unique opportunity presented to Coloradans specifically and those who love Jesus to further God's Kingdom which is Tebow's deepest desire.

This topic comes up in many conversations throughout the week at work, school, or with friends. Why not accurately and authentically represent who Tebow is and what he is all about? If he can do it in front of millions of people, haters, cameras, and fans every week I think that's the least we can do...

Random facts about John 3:16-it's one of the best verses in the whole Biblia and look at how those numbers add up for Tebow:

"Officially, Tebow passed for 316 yards against the Steelers, completing 10 of 21 pass attempts — meaning he passed for 31.6 yards per completion."

"First and foremost, I just want to thank my savior, the Lord, Jesus Christ," Tebow said at the postgame news conference. "I am so thankful for the platform God has given me."
-Tim Tebow

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Our Almost-Car Crash

Our drive to church today was a little more eventful than normal. The worst to report is spilled hot coffee and rattle nerves but safety all around!

Anyway the roads were slick early this morning but Ryan was already driving extra careful while we talked about the Lord's favor in our safety lately (ironic?!?!?). In the midst of that faith-filled little convo, a big ole fatty patch of black ice jumped out of nowhere. We literally slid from one side of the road to the other, fish tailed and finally our back end swung out behind us.

Ryan: "Oh no oh man oh no oh no..." (while trying to correct the steering)

Carly: "You're doing great love you're doing great" (uhhh... not sure where the encouragement came from??)

At come point we saw the right side of the road quickly approaching and while we braced for a loud crunch of metal and pain...all we got was a light *thud*. We had jumped a curb on literally the only part of the road without trees, telephone poles, or some other structure. Also, may we just ask how there was not a SINGLE other oncoming car that entire time? Awesome.

Daaaang Lord, there was really no need to give our hearts a jump start but we are super grateful for protection today. This is just another story to add to the list of God's faithfulness and sovereign protection when we don't deserve or expect it.

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
32. God's sweet, sweet favor

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

1 John 5:18

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Great Rilyn Weekend

We get this sweet little roll of love until Saturday afternoon.

Have mercy she melts us. Just look at that toothy grin!

We now understand all the work that goes into taking care of a little person and it is a very dedicated and unique role. But we are soaking up every second with her and digging the gig.

Come on people, just appreciate that face and those horns/pigtails...Swoon.

{Sweetest girl eating her snack}

{Fun with puzzles at the library!}

{"Boouuu!" (translation: Look at these interesting books.)}

{Mama Nelson snuggling Rilyn Grace--getting her baby fix}

Happy weekend friends!

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
28. Solid parent role models (Tyler & Anna)
29. Rilyn Grace
30. Lazy Friday nights
31. Hot mugs of Peppermint tea

In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

Proverbs 14:26

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crazy Person Color Crave

January makes me crave color like a mad person! Outside everything is brown, white or gray.

Blah blah blah.

It's always this time of year that feels dreary and dark with the late sunrises and early night falls. But not in the Decker house!

Right about now I am NEEDING pops of color to make it to April! So I've been finding and creating bright pops around our house. It illuminates the whole place It's all simple and beautiful; light a candle or two, put on my African music, pour a cup of coffee and the day warms right up.

{Our cheery winter fireplace}

{Pig planter with gorgeous prickly plants!}

{Not a color-related pic. Look at that super professional trim job my husband did! Excuse the dirty fingerprints.}

{Ryan informed me that this is his new "garage hat"...ha!}

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
17. Convenience of internet
18. Hues, shades, and tints of COLOR
19. Realization of my distracted heart-Romans 7
20. Avocado scooped out with almond nut thins
21. My swatch!
22. A godly, humble, hilarious, loving, husband
23. The Hibernator from Steuben's on 17th
24. Belated Christmas plans
25. Sweet new babies in staff meetings
26. Lazy afternoons in Golden and libraries
27. Organization tools and calendars

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Romans 7:25

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Hallelujah, the blessing of 2 weeks off is upon me! I hope that the next days are ones of galene, a new favorite Greek word.

galene [galh/nh]: calmness, stillness of the sea, a calm

{How tranquil and gorgeous is this picture of Golden? Talented photo source: www.terrisphotos.com}

I am learning to value and quite frankly obsess over the beautiful Greek language. It's incredibly rich and the definitions are so dang cool. Check out this resource for your own studying-I promise it is so worth it!

Life has been a whirlwind the last month-each experience is so wonderful and fulfilling but an exhaustive combination. I'm anticipating some "galene". This verse defies my take on any stress inducers:

And he [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:39

I'm so encouraged that by only 3 words, Jesus calmed the entire situation and all circumstances bowed down to his authority! Such a sweet reminder for me.

Only 48 short hours away, we welcome our dear friend Katie in from her break from Saudi Arabia! We plan to drink ourselves silly with coffee as always, visit the (FREE!) Celestial Seasonings Factory, challenge Matt and Ryan to a victory round of Spades, and finally be outside in this amazing Colorado air!

We also get to steal Rilyn Grace for a sleepover later this week. Calm will not categorize that time (ha!) but it gives us so much life to be around that almost-one-year-old!

In reality, we welcome this time of refreshment no matter how it measures up to our expectations.

Random note: Harpo just visited the vet to determine the source of a back leg injury :( He landed hard on it after a jump last week. He's on strict rest and anti-inflammatory meds. He has been spoiled rotten and even suckered us into allowing him on the couch for his nightly icing sessions. What is becoming of the Decker household?!?! Updates to come...

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Psalm 131:2

My Journey to 1000 Gifts
11. Almonds
12. "The Language of Love & Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
13. New friendships
14. Leaning into uncomfortable situations
15. Purple socks
16. Protection and companionship of Harpo

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thankfulness Goal

I have a New Year's GOAL. Not a resolution, they are not the same in my opinion. A goal is a God-given task of enthusiasm to bring glory to His name (my definition anyway). Now THAT is how I want to start my New Year.

This goal sparked because of one of my absolute favorite women: Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts and blogger of aholyexperience.com. She is a wise, godly woman with a gift to write; her thoughts are shared daily on the blog and they will always bring encouragement and life. Check it!

The book challenges us to live fully right where we are, appreciating and recording both the ordinary and most holy of gifts. And true to the title of her book, her desire is for you to journey to 1000 gifts and beyond!

My goal in 2012 is to be a more thankful human, hungry to find Jesus in every situation and quick with praise from my mouth. I will be recording here the sweetest, most simple, most extravagant of blessings at the end of the posts. Happy New Year and happy journeying to your newest goals for the coming 365 days.

My journey to 1000 Gifts...
1. Challenges to step outside myself
2. The gift of thankfulness
3. Big soft hotel beds
4. Organic hazelnut coffee creamer
5. Quiet time in the books of 1 Kings and James
6. Flirty texts to my husband
7. Conference speakers who break the mold
8. Mornings
9. Early solo yoga
10. Renewed mercies every morning

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:15-17

holy experience

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012: Famous Flash Tebow-ers

Ryan and I rang in 2012 with no electricity thanks to the (tornado?) strong winds yesterday! So the evening was extremely relaxing but chilly for us, ha! My amazing directors allowed me to the night off so I drove right down to Golden to hang with my hubs over dinner and late night talks. We actually were thankful for the loss of power to eliminate distraction so we could connect and be together.

While I was away from work the DCC conference back in Denver was up to some CRAZY stuff! 1200 students organized themselves on the 16th Street mall and flash mobbed! They flash "Tebowed"...ALL 1200 of them!!!!!! How sweet is that? I'm so encouraged by boldness that these college students have and their extreme, unashamed love of Jesus. They even made the news!! After the flash mob, they initiated conversations about faith on the 16th Street mall and shared the gospel literally hundreds of times. I'm so amazed at God's tendency to use the least expected to His glory on New Year's Eve no less. What a radical, unique God we get to serve.

Happy 2012 and New Years Day! We pray this one is full of boldness, joy, and the sweetest joy of know Christ face to face.

{1200 students worshiping all night on New Year's Eve}

{One group of the Flash Tebow-ing group on 16th Street frozen in this position for 60 seconds}

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17


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