Sunday, October 6, 2013

life after death || my ultimate Hope

i woke up feeling under the weather this morning and was informed by my daughter that a sweet, sweet girl, Phoebe Fair, had been taken home to Heaven last night. she fought a long and hard battle with cancer, but last night God said, "it's time to come home, my love", and i imagine the mysterious and glorious transition from earth to Heaven.


you see, like all of us, she had an appointed time to be born, and she had an appointed time to die. Jesus always keeps good on His timing and promises, and it was Phoebe's time.  our family was only made aware of this sweet girl and her family a few months back, but as fellow members of the family of God, we were privileged to hold them up in prayer, bearing their burdens from across the country, because of that One bond we share in Christ. that will never cease to amaze me! 
so, today we weep not for Phoebe, because she is more alive than ever and stands in the presence of her Creator. she is perfectly whole. healed. made new. what HOPE! what we must not forget, is that she left behind a family. we must, must, MUST lift them up in prayer. we must hold their feeble knees and pray healing for their broken hearts. death is swallowed up in victory, but our humanness feels the sting of loss. Phoebe's life was not in vain and neither is her death. i have witnessed miracles in and through the Rock solid faith of her parents. i have been forever changed because of sweet Phoebe's life. 

praying friends, please join me in praying for Phoebe's family.

to read more of her story, you can go to the family blog:::

(jack's bulletin board)


Friday, August 23, 2013

sometimes God comforts and encourages our souls quietly, through scripture and prayer, and for me, through song. but sometimes He sends tangible gifts, from new found friends from afar, to bless you and reassure that He does really care. and He cares in the details. i love that so much. some people make this world a better place just by being in it. that's you, @nataliecreates ! you are a treasure and my heart was so full from this thoughtful, carefully planned package. His love to me through you. :). i wanted to share my devotional this morning with you all, too. it encouraged me so much. || when we experience difficult or even devastating events, we may be tempted to wonder if things will ever be right---if we will ever be happy again. but we serve a God who transforms the past, replacing mourning with joy, and sadness with praise. there are no circumstances which dictate that we are doomed to a life of regret and emptiness. instead God promises that as we come to Him, He will replace pain with HOPE. because of His death and resurrection, we can find freedom from the pain of the past and HOPE for a beautiful and glorious future. || "to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." isaiah 61:3 amen. xo

Thursday, August 8, 2013

last night, honey and i briefly discussed our somewhat outdated 70's humble home with it's obscurities and space challenges. of course, i mentioned the vision i have for several of the rooms. :) we talked about the previous owners and the choices that they had to make to build it for their family. size, location, layout. i laid there and thought to myself, "they didn't even know that while they laid the plans for their future, and built this house for their family, God had plans all along for this house to be mine. He was building it for swoop down in His mercy and rescue us from homelessness, one of our greatest times of need, and prove true His promises of provision for His own. even more, He was rescuing us from ourselves. the plan that WE had devised for our future fell through because of our rebellion. He pursued us and drew us back to Himself in His grace and mercy, because He loves us just that much." i cant even express to you how thrilling that humbling thought is to me! that our God would love us enough, even in our sinful wickedness and betrayal, to transform our lives and lavish upon us riches that we certainly do not deserve. this is our mercy house. i'm so glad that i can run down this driveway to our little piece of Heaven on earth. amen. where does He have you today? certainly right where He wants you, until He leads otherwise. :). #bloomwhereyouareplanted #boastintheLord #myheartspilledover #mercyhouse WHEN I'D FALLEN AND STRAYED, THERE WERE MERCIES ANEW || FOR YOU SOUGHT ME IN LOVE, AND MY HEART YOU PURSUED || IN THE FACE OF MY SIN, LORD YOU NEVER WITHDREW || SO I'LL SING OF YOUR MERCIES ANEW psalm 103:8

Thursday, July 25, 2013

i can't really express with words what emotions this picture evokes of my precious firstborn. she is brave, loyal, kind and true. she seeks to harm no one, and is comfortable in her own skin. she'll never have to say, "i wish i would have tried", because she sets her mind to do what she desires to accomplish and doesn't quit. watching your children deal with pain and hurt makes you hurt with them. dealing with loss and experiencing rejection, even of the smallest kind, can seem so hard and unnecessary, yet i praise God for it. i praise Him for the way that He draws her to Himself, how He loves her like i cannot, and how she leans into Him during those times. it's really a beautiful thing to see her faith grown, and mine right along side of her. i certainly don't deserve this blessing and i am so unfit for this task, but He fills in my gaps and by His grace alone, we can do hard things. He IS enough. #soisingofYourmerciesanew #andthankYouforthetrials #Youmakeallthingsbeautiful #inYourperfecttiming

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.

Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.

Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

i really didn't have time to rearrange the girls' room today, but the dust bunnies were out.of.control. now @ellygrace_99 has her own sweet little spot to create. totally worth it. :). #timewellspent #thelaundrycanwait

sometimes you just gotta set aside the laundry...again...and spend some quality time with your girl.
elly's style is a little more eclectic than mine, but i think i love it.
i'll never regret spending this time with her, making this space special.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

there are days when defeat and sadness rule my day. my expectations aren't met, i get easily offended, and these FEELINGS spiral into deeper sadness and feelings of worthlessness. such things never come from God, and are a full on attack from the evil one to render me useless for His kingdom. feelings will always fail you, but He never will. to think that my God cares about the intimate affairs of my life is so overwhelming to me. He loves in the details, and uses others as a tangible reminder of His unfailing, never stopping, pursuing, agape love. thank you @theadoptshoppe! YOU are a blessing and this necklace came at just the right time on one of those very low days when i wanted to quit. so glad i didn't. what has He done in the details for you lately? #boastintheLord.

there is nothing more beautiful and reassuring than knowing that no matter what,  you are loved.
whether you're high on the mountain top or deep in the valley, God is there, waiting to meet us 
there is something so freeing about being vulnerable, and sharing your heart.
it's something i am learning to be better at each day, pushing my ugly pride aside.

i have found myself surrounded by the most beautiful women who encourage me daily and blanket me in their affirmations that we are in this together.
in the messy and the beautiful.
i am so thankful.


Monday, July 22, 2013

there is no normal with these two. :). my mama heart is so full because they gave their salvation testimonies before our preacher and the deacons tonight. we'll be headed to the river next sunday! expect lots of tears from this mama. CANNOT wait! God is so SO good. :)

hello, friends.
i don't know exactly what it is or why, but lately God has been tugging at my heart to revive this little space of mine.
when i started my blog, i had the wrong mindset, the wrong aspirations for it.
i had this idea that i had to have hundred of followers, and that it always had to be perfect.
the problem is, perfect isn't real.
expectations aren't met, feelings get hurt and well, i think you know what happens from there.  :)

so, i'm starting a photo journal, a little space to store and tuck away memories, for me, and for my family.
no expectations.
just a place where i can come and remember, smile, and thank God for what He has given me and boast in His goodness.
i may only post a photo, i may add some words.  
who knows?

what i DO know is that this life is fleeting, my kids are growing, and instead of feeling like time is slipping through my fingers, i want to embrace each new season, because that's the way God intended it to be.
children don't keep, and i want to love them well, embracing each day.

my mama heart is full, and if you read the title of this post, i think you'll know why.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

i came up short...and late

so i'm a little late to the party.
think anyone will notice?
i like to call it fashionably late.
and i am bound and determined to get these 10 on 10 photos sealed into history.
ready? ready.

let's just start off by saying that there is nothing fashionable about the first photo below.
me. in the garage. grinding coffee.
so i can have peace longer while the boys sleep.
also, i'm wondering why it's called beauty sleep?
because i don't wake up more beautiful.
i deteriorate at night.  it's true.

making necklaces and photographing them for the shoppe is my fave.

my happy little family(insert creepy music).
it's too bad they have no idea what's coming to them.  it's sad, really.
the caption below this photo on IG was, "shhhhh....don't tell them their mother is a murderer."
and if you read a few posts back, there's proof.
that might even make it premeditated.

this is my very first attempt at my new iphone app, OVER.
it made me ridiculously happy.
my honey got me an iphone for mothers day and i love it.
he got one too.  so that's for...fathers day?
you know i love you, dear.

hey!  we went to the thrift and i found a vintage dress for a dollar and these wooden beads.
wooden beads+mary=true love.
especially when they're only a $1.50!

i have turned into a crazy cat lady and i have no idea how.
this guy has me wrapped around his declawed paw and gets away with spilling way too much water.
i hate walking in wetness.  hate.

lessons.  maddie is the queen bee activity coordinator/teacher in da house.
here, she is instructing her daddy on 'old macdonald'.
he did well and was pretty happy with himself.  :)

so let's call this 7 on 10, mkay?
i have no idea what happened in between, i'm just glad i got these posted!


ten on ten button

Monday, May 13, 2013

mothers day, a missions trip and a winner!

hello, friends!
first off, i just want to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU so very much for your sweet and encouraging words about our new little shoppe
we are completely humbled and BLOWN.AWAY. by your kindness and love.  
super excited, too!  i'm not gonna lie!

taking the plunge to hang the open sign on the door was a scary one, but you have all made it SO fun and such a blessing!
i just keep saying, "to God be the glory!", because it is what it is and it's ALL HIM!

now that i said all that, i would like to give a little something back to YOU!  
it started like this...
this morning i was sitting at the dining room table(my work space) while the kids were (supposed to be)doing school, picking at each other, begging for breakfast(at 9:30am...YIKES!), emptying the pencil sharpener all over(loathe), and sprinkling eraser shavings to kingdom come.
i had ORDERS TO FILL!  i had INSTAGRAM to check!   gah!
basically i was getting a little stressed out and i started to grumble, but the Lord quickly reminded me
NOT TO MAKE MY BLESSINGS A BURDEN.  do you ever do that?
i mean, i am SO blessed in so many ways, but i always seem to find the negative! yuck!
i had to repent  for being so silly and selfish and the Lord is always so gracious to forgive.
 then HE gave me the thought to do something fun for you guys.
because you bless me so, so much, i am offering 15% off all items currently in the shoppe
with the code::::YOUBLESSME!
just enter it in at checkout and there ya go!
how fun!!!
(i also fed the kids hash and fried eggs, so they did actually eat)
shop til your little hearts content so that i can fill it right back up!

did you have a nice mothers day?
we sure did. 
my kiddos and honey spoiled me GOOD! 
i even survived the elmers glue-a-thon in my KINDERGARTEN sunday school class. 
 it was a close one for sure.  ;)
we also managed to squeeze in a few pictures of me and my brood.
there WERE tears from a certain little red headed person in the group whom will not be named.
even so, i'm so blessed to be their mama.

now, let's get onto the giveaway/missions trip/win-win situation all around! 
my friend, jami, from Call Me Blessed, is raising money to help send her husband to uganda on a missions trip happening VERY SOON!
when God calls, we have to answer, and they are taking that step of faith in a BIG WAY.
i'll let jami take it from here...


today is the day! the day you get to see all the goodies up for grabs.
aaaand, i'm nervous. there i said it. i feel better already.

if you read my post from last week you know that hubby is part of a mission team going to uganda this summer.
we are thrilled to be able to participate and can not wait to see what the Lord does.
the team will be traveling with children of the nations spending time teaching and loving on children in group homes. they will also be visiting refugee camps, building a laundry facility and planting fruit trees.

the children they will be spending time with have been displaced by AIDS and war.

just the thought of it is heartbreaking to me. so many children with no parents and without a home. i long to look into their little faces. to tell them Jesus loves them. to tell them i love them.
for the time being, however,  i feel called to send my hubby off with as much support and prayer as possible.

will you pray for him and the entire team? pray that everyone they come in contact with will see and feel the love they have come to bring.

we are also in need of financial support. some wonderful friends have rallied behind me to make this fun giveaway possible. i am beyond grateful for and humbled by their support.

please give what you can. a little. a lot. every dollar is appreciated.

here are all the entry details:

*all of these items were donated by the shops and persons listed. this giveaway is open to US residents only. anyone of course, is free to give, however the gift sets will be shipped to US winners only. everyone can enter this giveaway once by leaving a comment with your name here and telling me that you shared this giveaway via twitter/facebook/instagram.
after that? $10 per comment/entry. click the "donate" button at the bottom of this post to donate through paypal. donate $20 leave 2 comments. donate $100 leave 10 comments. easy peasy right?
**please leave your email address with at least one of your donation comments so i can contact you if you win. the winners will be chosen using and announced on monday, may 20th.

ok! let's get to the good good stuff.

there are 2 sets of prizes. so 2 winners! holla!

set #1

set1a aly4 set2d

set #1 includes:
- color pop necklace, feather necklace & aqua vintage inspired earrings from happy days
- gray and white polka dot infinity scarf form lovelylittlewhimsy
- 1 necklace from heathers happys, winner's choice
- 2 prints from blossom&vine, winner's choice
- 10" teal wreath with fabric flowers from small town joy
- $20 target gift card

set #2

maryuganda set2a set1c

set #2 includes:
-2 necklaces & 1 needlepoint from hope homemade, winner's choice 
- 1 print from blossom&vine, winner's choice
-1 7" twig & flower wreath from florero
-1 necklace from heathers happys, winner's choice
-1 print from katygirl designs, winner's choice
- key necklace from salvage517
-$20 target gift card

bonus set
ok, a little bonus for you. because we are so grateful for everyone's support there will also be a winner of these fabulous items!

-a custom designed blog header from danielle burkleo worth $35.

  - a custom made clutch from jenni carlisle{@ragamuffinbeauties on instagram}

one more thing...
my dear friend carina has come up with another way you can support us.
for every arrow necklace purchased from her shop she will donate $10 to our uganda fund.
you can't really beat that.

well there you have it!

please visit all of these shops. these are some truly wonderful women.

and will you spread the word? tweet, facebook, instagram, blog about it? we would be super grateful.

thanks friends!

ok, it's mary again.  :)
we are thrilled to be a part of this, so if God is tugging at your heart to help in any way, head over to jami's and enter in.
our prayer is that the gospel will be shared in a big way and that lives are CHANGED by the transforming power of Christ!

and speaking of giveaways....the winner of the we walk by faith necklace is #16!
miss AMY!  i will be sending you an email VERY soon!
now, remember, i didn't want the rest of you to feel left out, so head over and use the 15% off coupon
YOUBLESSME to snag your own 'frosting'.
hahaha...i had to say it.  sorry.
don't forget, we do customs orders, too, so bring on the ideas!  ;)

talk to ya soon.


Monday, May 6, 2013

we're still kickin' and a GIVEAWAY!

well, guess what?
i've hemmed and hawed about how to start this post, so here ya go.
i miss you.  there.  i said it.  :)
i miss your comments of encouragement and the love that you show to me so graciously.
i miss sending reply emails and getting to know you better.
i miss sharing our life, and documenting it for my children(the whole point!).

the krauses are still very alive and well! 
 life has simply gotten the best of me these days 
and i've decided that it's moving waaayyyyy too fast for my liking.
i have a daughter who is 14 going on 30(see above).
my boys are becoming little men.
and my sweet maddie, well, she keeps me busy with sleepovers and such!

but of course, in the middle of all of that, you can find me hiding in a pile of laundry a mile high, or trying to figure out what to make for lunch(again), maybe grading papers, killing succulent plants, scouring the toilet, perhaps? 
maybe photographing my sweet husband repairing a leak.  

if you are on instagram, you may see the goings on of our life over there(mary_krause).
it's so easy for me to share photos and activities on there, but part of me misses the interaction over here, too.
it's like sending a text when i should be calling.
or an email when handwritten is best.
i have really gotten impersonal and while it is convenient for this 90MPH life that i feel like i am barely hanging on for some days, 
i know that i crave slow and simple and being more reflective. 
being more present is important to me!  #helpmeLord
i don't just want to hang on for the ride, i want to enjoy the journey.
and i have to come clean, these past few months i haven't been doing that very well.
i'm sure some of you understand.

the Lord has been teaching us so many things, and He has been so gracious and tender with me along the way.
i am SO glad that HE is the captain of this ship, because i would for sure steer us right into trouble.
He is my TRUE NORTH.
unfailing.  constant.

SO!  with that said, my friends, we have been up to some pretty fun stuff that we are really excited about!
my daughters have this constant desire to create and make(no idea where that comes from!?), and so, with the Lord's help, we decided to DO IT AFRAID and start up our very own etsy shoppe.

believe me, i.was.scared!
our prayer is that HOPE homemade inspires you in your faith and that our pieces will be a constant reminder of His love and faithfulness to and for you.
i mean, we can NEVER be reminded of that too much, right?

so, to kick off our new venture, we would like to have a giveaway!
here's a peek at some of our creations.

and..........we are giving this necklace away to one of YOU!
something that i need to be reminded of DAILY.  or MINUTELY, more like it!
>>>we walk by faith, not by sight<<<

to enter:::

just leave me a comment on this post!
#easypeasy  :)

additional entries(leave separate comment for each one):::

1) visit our shoppe and tell me what your favorite item is!
2) share this giveaway on facebook/instagram/your blog

giveaway ends 5/10 and is open to readers worldwide
a random winner will be picked(out of a hat!) by 5/11  :)
please leave your email addy so that i can connect with you if you are the winner!

head on over to :::sew mama sew::: for TONS more giveaway fun!

thank so much for stopping by!
we HOPE you love our creations and that they inspire you in your faith.

it feels good to be back.  :)


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

welcoming spring chick:::a bloggy shower

pardon me while i dust off the cobwebs from this little space of mine.
life has been on fast forward for several months now, but since celebrating the birthdays of all four of our kids within 35 days of each other, i am ready for it to slow down.
i am thinking slower paced, less stressed and calm.
we shall see about that!  :)

today is all about partying again, though, and blessing one of my dear sweet friends.
  it's going to be super fun!  
alicia from la famille, is only EIGHT weeks away from welcoming their lil spring chick into their quiver.  
i met her through...wait for it....BLOGGING!
she has a super great sense of humor and is just real.  i love that.
because we can't get together in person(wouldn't THAT be grand?), we thought that having an online 'bloggy' shower would be the next best thing!
how fun is that!?!  
click on the image below to head over to becky's house.  she is hosting this fun party and has lots of fun stuff over there!
there are several other women attending today, so go check them out!

welcome to the party!

if you were coming to my home, i would be in a panic frenzy right about now...
the coffee would be brewing and i would have treats waiting for you to munch on, my favorite candle burning, and faint music in the background.
it would be so much fun!
i adore party planning and details, so i would have banners hung and chalkboard art somewhere!
but best of all, i would get to hang out with you and rub alicia's belly(that sounded funny). just go with it.
i love babies, i love alicia, and i love big baby bellies.

when i first started thinking of some things that i wanted to make for this sweet one, my mind wandered to a mobile.
something knitted, perhaps?  maybe felt?  feltED?
then alicia foiled all of my plans when she came up with the cutest mobile on the planet!
i should have known!  (overachiever)  jk, a!
so instead, i made a different kind of 'mobile'.
i cut stars from an antique french grain sack and strung them from bakers twine on a branch.
each of the six stars represent a family member...every one different and unique.
their lights shine brightly through personality traits and their uniqueness,
 but together, as a family unit, they weave a beautiful, tight pattern like the grain sack itself.
i cannot wait to witness the uniqueness that spring chick will bring to this family!
if you notice there are seven stars...that's because the brightest, most uniquely gifted and powerful One of all is God...right in the center...guiding this family and blessing them with His overwhelming goodness.
babies are a gift, you know?

so maybe we should talk gifts now?
ok....grab your coffee and have a's time to unwrap.
alicia, you go in the middle.  :)

alicia is registered at target.
it's so fun to see what she picked out and what she makes us feel closer, you know? 
well...she pretty much needed everything because the sweet girl got rid of all their baby stuff when they moved across the country!
i picked up a blanket from targy(not on the list...rebel!), because it was neutral and striped and well, i just love neutral and stripes.  
seeing as we have similar tastes, i trusted my gut. 
we also picked up a few onesies that WERE on the list.
my daughter made them extra special.
if you want to bless her, too, than by ALL means head over there!

then i spotted these chicks at marshals and well...the rest is history.  :) 

and no baby could possibly survive without knitted moccasin booties.
my daughter made these as well.
are you seeing a pattern here?

does anyone need a refill on coffee?
another bar?
becky, you wanna reset the music?

maybe we should play a game now.
one of my favorite shower games is to make up baby names out of the letters of mama and daddy's names.
in this case it would be out of ALICIA and JARROD.  
i don't know if they've settled on a name yet, so i thought i'd help them out...wanna play?  
also, *note alicia* i am doing this in list form, because i know how you feel about lists.  :)

it's good to see i haven't lost my touch, huh?!  
i think i gave them some very viable names to work with here.
a-rod is my personal favorite.
my husband pointed out that rod would suffice, but i think the 'a' gives it more of an 'alicia' feel.  teehee!
feel free to add to the list in the comments below!
let's keep this one going, peeps.

alrighty, friends...
let's see what alicia has decided on for her nursery theme.
it's FAB! 

 i absolutely adore this calm and neutral pallet that she has chosen.
it's something that i would totally pick, too!
below is the ADORABLE mobile that she lovingly handcrafted.
isn't it PRESH?!

in honor of her sheepy theme, i made a few printables for her to hang in the nursery if she'd like.
i know new mamas can have long nights and need extra encouragement.
what better way to be encouraged than by our wonderful, merciful, Savior 
and the ever flowing fountain of peace and grace that only He can give.
scripture is like a balm to the soul and i pray that these will bless her.  :)
they look the best when printed on linen paper and i think they look really cute hung with simple washi tape.
i also thought they would be cute clipped with mini clothes pins on a strand of twine.
easy up...easy down.

i think this just about wraps up the party...i'm kinda sad.
do you really have to go?
wait! i want to leave you with this...

dear miss a,
you have been so much fun to get to know through blogging and i am blessed to call you my friend.
i am so excited for this baby...this wonderful gift that has been entrusted to you and your family.
i cannot wait to watch His plan unfold in your life and to see where He guides you.
the future may be uncertain for us all, but there's one thing for certain...
He holds the future and we can rest in that.
His plans, His ways, are higher and greater than ours and better than even we can imagine.
i hope you know that you are loved.
so. very. much.


mar bear

now go!  see what's shakin' over at becky's, carissa's, amy's, suzanne's, amy's, sasha's and amy's!

grab a button and join in the fun!

 photo aliciasbloggybutton_zpsebb4789f.jpg