Saturday, December 24

Chocolate, Christmas Movies, Lights, Smiles

MERRY CHRISTMAS



Last night my wonderful hubby did a great job at cheering me up. Determined to not let that "stuff" ruin my Christmas. We watched a Christmas episode of Frasier on Netflix, forgot how much I like that show. Then we went for a drive looking at lights, I didn't want it to end! Now on to cleaning the house, making the food and celebrating! Thought I'd add a few photos of our decorations, we changed colors this year so I had to improvise on a tight budget.It turned out pretty good, I already know what I want to change/add next year. I found glass Coke bottles at a store near by, I'd like to use a glass cutting technique I found online and make them into votive holders. Add a few big frames spray painted green and red and white/gold, fill one with a black and white family photo and call it good! I'm already excited for that! I dread taking the decorations down it's always so plain then.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! Praying nothing gets in the way of celebrating with family and friends!


Wednesday, December 14

Fall Photos...I'm a bit behind



Okay so before my laptop battery dies... here are the photos I've been meaning to put up since I did our fall decor, I went for simple. The green photo frames and sign will stay up all year but the vases I've since turned into Christmas... I'll get those up at some point maybe this weekend...

Monday, October 24

New place

I've entered into this new place where I'm actually excited about something again. after I left law school applications behind and decided that wasn't the path for me I wasn't sure if I'd ever find it. You know that one thing that makes you passonate. Something special that God gives you to do for the rest of your life. I think it's finally happened. While politics still frequently pops up and is one of those things I'll always have a heart for it's not the only thing any longer. My husband and I have been getting our feet wet in youth ministry. Something he was called to at 15. I remember when we first started dating, both of us being slightly concerned about how politics and religion would work. Well with God all things are possible, politics is a great side hobby for me now, dipping my feet in the waters reading a few articles here and there but not letting myself get lost in that world. Instead I'm lost in His world, finding passion for His people and wanting to see kids have something I never did - a thriving youth group. In all of this there are so many new things for us. Saturday we spent the day cleaning and finishing projects around the apt. so we could have people over. New friends for me, rekindled ones for him. After, I felt nervous and slightly off. I relealized it's because we are letting people in for the first time in a long time. Allowing people in gives the potential to become hurt. But it's so worth it for God. I have a lot of work to do to grow stronger with God, working with teenagers shows you that. So while we've slipped the last month or two in the goals we have for ourselves (working out, eating well, nightly devotions, etc.). We once again climb back up, recomitted to God and what He is doing in our lives. Recommitted to going to the gym 3 nights a week, making Him a prioirty over the nightly t.v. show and spending time in the Word. Recommitted to eating more veggies than lovely carbs (why can't carbs make you loose weight not gain). This time we're adding a new thing in with youth ministry, committed to helping wherever we can, committed to praying for the ministry - for the kids and supporting the pastor and his wife. Doors are being opened by Him that no man can shut and I am so blessed. Last night God spoke to the group about His love for them. It was a great reminder and an affirmation that we are in the right place, opening up to new people and new things leaning on God for the guidance of where to step next and how to move forward. So thankful.

Thursday, September 15

So in love

Just a quick post. I've wanted to post for the last two weeks but have been fighting off an awful bug so between sleeping and laying around resting, my fingers haven't wanted to do much of anything even though my brain has been going on about something to write.

This morning I read this blog which totally spoke to my heart. I'll celebrate my third wedding anniversary in October and while some days feels like I was holding his hand at the alter just yesterday other days I can't imagine or even think of life without him. My man is amazing, last night we were both feeling a bit off. Two weeks of me being under the weather spending most of my time in bed meant we hadn't spent much time talking and just hanging out. We both agreed it was time to turn everything off and sit together with candles lit, a cup of tea and chat. He told me last night, "I married you because you're my buddy, everything else is just a perk I get." Those words are precious to me, my best friend is the one I get to sleep next to every night and spend the rest of my life with and I LOVE THAT! Reading that blog post this morning put words to paper in the most poetic way that is exactly what I was and have been feeling. Some of my most favorite time with him is every morning. We purposely set the alarm early so we can hit snooze and roll over and cuddle with each other. Every morning when he wraps his arm around me and pulls me in close is precious time to me. Coming from a broken home has added some hurdles to climb over in my own marriage but each one has been worth it. Knowing that my man and I have something so strong thanks to God we will be together forever, is a comfort, a cherished knowing! As our anniversary approaches my heart fills with even more love for him, even more gratitude for all he does for me (and the man does A LOT), and so much thankfulness to God for bringing us together, building us up on a foundation of Him and giving us the deep KNOWING this marriage will last our lifetimes.

Okay I'm done being mushy... hopefully I'll be back this weekend with more of what God has taught me and what life has happened. If I'm not it's only because of all the catch-up I have to play due to being half out of it on cold meds for the last two weeks.

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, July 3

America, Where Are You Going?

God put a spot on my heart that I've questioned more than once but once again today at church I was reminded I have a special spot for America, it's still there and always will be. As our pastor talked of the Church in America and our role as christians to pray for this nation, tears welled in my eyes.

I was a History and Political Science double major in college. I'm not good with dates so don't ask, it was the stories I preferred. Knowing where we've come from, what we've accomplished and how that will, whether we like it or not impact our future. I also enjoy politics, not the ones you find in the office but the ones that create this nation! I look at our country today and my heart aches. We have come so far and yet it seems as if we are falling to our knees and I'm afraid we won't be getting up for some time. When people say our nation was founded by Christians, they are wrong and right. Some of those great men where believers and some deists (go look it up, learn something today), while others where atheists but still recognized that some Biblical principles were good. All of that said, we can not deny our nation began with Biblical principles as the foundation.

It hurts to look around and see how far we have turned from those Biblical principles. The sermon touched me today because of that special spot on my heart God has placed there. While missionaries are called to far off regions of the world I've been called to always keep our country on my mind. So I pray that every person that reads this would take even a couple minutes of their day to pray for her, OUR NATION. Pray that your brothers and sisters in Christ would do the same. Pray that our elected and appointed officials on all levels would be touched by the Holy Spirit and led by God in every decision they make. Pray that we, all Christians no matter what denomination would wake up look around and let God changes us radically from the inside out. No longer giving into our selfish flesh but doing His will. Think how different our nation would be if we, all Christians in the U.S. actually lived out what we believed and heard preached on Sunday!

As we celebrate freedom tomorrow remember to pray, as elections come up get involved find out who the candidates are and pray about who you should vote for. Ignorance and lack of participation is what got us to this point, let's make sure it doesn't keep us here. While men and women fight for the freedoms we cherish abroad, lets fight for those same freedoms on our knees, lifting this nation up to God and asking for His help and direction!

Monday, March 21

We're not meant to live like that!

We're not meant to live looking so far in advance. The world has taught us to have a plan, growing up in school we were asked what our five year plan was, that is the world's way not God's. We are meant to live having Faith in God at all times. We are meant to live getting one step at a time from Him and not looking so far in advance and worrying.

"For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink, nor for your body as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?...So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." Matthew 6:25-34

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6 & 7

My husband and I are at a point in our journey with the Lord that we have to depend on Him solely for the next step in everything. If I look to far ahead I see unpaid bills and no food in the fridge. If I do what the world has taught me instead of what I know to be true in the Bible we see lack. But I can't do that, I simply can't! I have to stand in Faith in GOD to come through once again for us. This afternoon I did that, I went the worlds way instead of God's and it turned out with me in tears. Then with the help of the Holy Spirit and encouragement of my husband I stood up and reached for God's word. I watched two mini sermons and read the Bible and wish I would of done that sooner!

I know the road we're on isn't one easily understood by others, it's one guided by God through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. He speaks and we obey. We do things contrary to what the world has taught us. We don't have a five year plan much less a tomorrow plan. Our plan is to follow God! To continually strive after Him in everything and if we stumble and fall then pick ourselves up and strive after Him once again. We know our actions are not understood by many of our friends. My parents don't get it at all and other family tries to understand and we deeply hope they do but for the most part we stand alone. Because of that sometimes it feels like a very dry desolate place, but I know like the Holy Spirit has continually reminded me this week we are never alone. I remember in Sunday school learning "God is everywhere, always with us." I've been blessed that that one phrase has stuck with me through everything. This week I've felt the Holy Spirit hugging me time and time again. When I'm so upset and frustrated that I can't give up because I know better and don't want to let God or my husband down like that. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit is so embedded in my heart I can't help but listen! Now I have to always obey promptly. That's the next step for me, when He says pray for this person or go speak with this one I have to listen without hesitation. So we step out again in Faith that what we are doing is right not listening to the voice of those around us that are negative or discouraging not looking at the frowns or faces of misunderstanding BUT instead we cling to God, we strive after Him, we Love Him and pray that He will continue to reveal that next step in our lives. I have a plan but not one like most, it doesn't tell me where I hope to be in this world in five years but instead where I hope to be with God in five years. How I pray and dream of my relationship with Him to be so solidified in Him I won't even think to look at my life like the world does but my first instinct will always to be in finding His Word and seeking His heart. Once again I find myself enjoying a poem by Robert Frost which I'll leave you with today.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

Monday, February 14

A New Perspective

Mark 4:35-41
"On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, 'Let us go across to the other side.' And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. and a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. And they woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be Still!' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?'"


God’s Expectations
I don’t think I can begin to count how many times I have prayed expecting God to work. Sometimes I’ve felt let down and other times what was needed happened. The part that I don’t always see, and I’m sure others don’t always as well, is how they are acting, speaking and praying during the situation. Tonight as I read Mark, I realized there is one thing Jesus expects out of us, and that is faith. I was reading Mark 4: 35-41, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” After everything his Apostles had heard Him preach, seen Him heal they still didn’t have faith when a storm came He would protect them. They wake Him in a panic about dying, so what does He do? He gets up rebukes the storm, speaks to them about what they have to correct and then continues on with the mission God sent Him to accomplish.

Why are you or I any different than those apostles? We have all seen Jesus do miraculous things not only in our own lives, but the lives of our friends and in the countless stories of the Bible. (Yes, I do believe everything the Bible is 1. True 2. Accurate 3. Words from God.) In the past couple of weeks my eyes have been opened to how God has answered the prayers I pray for others. I have prayed without fear, because after all what’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t get answered. I’ve prayed with confidence that He would do something good in their lives: my friends, my family, and my church. Yet, when I pray for my situation I don’t see the same results. It’s because I have faith He will work in the lives of those others but I struggle at times to have faith He will answer my requests.

We are living in a time where we must have confidence in our God; we must have unhampered faith in Him. We cannot be like the apostles who were fearful and didn’t have faith that God would come through for them in a storm.

Mark 4:3-9
"'Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and chocked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. And he said, He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'"

Parable of the Sower in a New Light
In this same study while reading Mark, I saw the Parable of the Sower in a whole new light. I saw it from the eyes of a teacher. The Parable of the Sower to my eyes tonight was about teachers and preachers, and how they sow the Word of God into other’s lives all the time; how those men and women see those seeds cast into various types of soils everyday. Atheists, skeptics, new believers, reborn believers, and those that have been in faith and known Jesus for years are all different types of ground. The seed does not change; it is always the Word of God and the sower is the teacher or preacher that is faithful to the calling God has placed on his/her life.

If we are called at any point in time to be the sower we must faithfully pray that the Holy Spirit will be working while we speak so His Word is sown into fertile, good soil. Perhaps you are only called to be teacher for a season, such as a life group leader, or perhaps God has placed a calling on your life to be a pastor like my husband. Whatever it may be, we need to start praying that the ground we encounter everyday to sow God’s Word into is fertile, and that the Holy Spirit has worked to make it fertile. We must be faithful in praying for those hearts. God wants everyone!

Mark 3:23-27
"And he called them to him and said to them in parables, 'How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong mans house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.'"

Our First Mission
I think far too often we get focused on the individual task God gives us and not the complete full mission He has given us as believers. Everyone has an opportunity to speak Him into other’s lives; everyone has the calling to bring others to Him. Either after I’ve lived out my 120 years or Jesus returns, as I approach the gates of Heaven, I want to see everyone that I was able to bring to Jesus, just like the Bible says will happen. I want that group to be so large it can’t be avoided. I want that group to be large, not for my own glory, but because that will have meant I obeyed God in His first calling given to me, and that is bringing others into the Kingdom of God. It’s time we remember our first mission before we begin to focus on our individual mission. As a body of believers we must do this together, not being focused on denomination, doctrine, or tradition, but solely and primarily on Jesus. We cannot be like the house divided referenced in Mark 3:23-27! If you want to know why Christianity is stagnant, it is because we have become a divided house. We are too worried about what the other believes and not enough about what God desires, about what Jesus began and left for us to continue. We are seeing so much evil in today's churches and assemblies because we have let the devil bind and plunder us. It's time we take those off and be the strong men and women of God we are called to be. He said He would not return until the word is spoken in every country, so let’s get started!

Saturday, January 29

Ending the "Honeymoon" phase of the relationship

My husband and I have been married for over two wonderful years and the honeymoon stage has ended. I'm happy that it has, we've kept the fun, romantic, whimsical parts but let the awkward, figuring out how to live with each other stage behind. We're comfortable together, whether it's moving around each other one night in the kitchen or just lounging around the house together. I've never been a get up before your husband to put on make-up woman but at the same time those first months and even years you figure out how to be comfortable and completely vulnerable at the same time. No make-up, hair not done and frizzy, in sweats with no socks not worrying about how I look and knowing he adores me anyway. While I still get butterflies when he grabs me unexpectedly and kisses me I don't expect that warm and fuzzy feeling everyday like I did when I was a newly wed. Most of those warm and fuzzy feelings aren't true or real expectations of what a relationship is anyway just Hollywood's way of making a good chick flick. Last night it occurred to me that is how your relationship with God is too.

Most of us Christians expect warm and fuzzy feelings to hit us every time we're in church, pray, study but that's just not a real relationship. The relationship with Him is just like the one we have with our spouse, children, friends it's one that has to be cultivated, worked on and it goes through it's own bumpy stages.

Sometimes when I pray I feel like I have to push myself, every minute is an hour and I'm not sure how to step forward. Other times I can't think about anything else at work then getting home, sitting down with my Bible and absorbing more knowledge from Him. Just like any relationship some days are easier than others. Some days we sit down to pray and God through the Holy Spirit reveals more than we ever expected about the next step, what we should be doing, what to pray for etc. Other days we hear nothing and wonder if something is wrong, are we too nervous, did we make Him mad...why aren't we hearing anything. Just because you're not getting warm fuzzies doesn't mean it's a bad thing, perhaps it's a good thing because just like my husband and I have walked out of the "Honeymoon phase" so have I and God.

Just like any relationship there are highs and lows. Maybe something happened and even though deep down you know God didn't do it you struggle with that because you don't see how He could of let something so horrible happen. I've gone through some crud and several times I remember laying on my bed, crying, begging God to help me understand "why me?". I came across a blog today that I've been following of a mother that lost her 8 year old daughter. She's struggling with her faith, and it touched me. I've never met her, just follow her blog online drawn to it for some reason. I have never been there, where she is in that dark place but I have struggled with my faith all be it probably on a completely different level. I pray for her, and hope whoever reads this will too. That in this time of darkness, God will grant her peace and hold her hand even though she may not be holding back. That instead of pulling away from God, she will come to cling to Him and know Him as her rock.

I'm glad to realize that the "Honeymoon" phase is over and how that is a good thing. We're maturing in our relationship together Matthew and I are. I'm maturing in my relationship with God. It's such a blessing to be at a new phase!

Sunday, January 9

The part that sucks...

So starting off the New Years in my family wasn't the fresh, clean, joyous event we all had hoped for. On Monday afternoon we found out my husbands great aunt and grandma had been in a car accident. His aunt passed that evening, his grandma was flown to a hospital in Dallas where she joined her King Friday evening. The last week has been a blur even for me, I can't begin to comprehend how it has been for those directly involved. A year ago November I saw my mom grieve a dear friend.

I don't think there is anything that can be spoken to prepare someone for this period in your life where you begin to see people go. IT SUCKS! While part of me is happy because I know the people that have gone have known Jesus and been followers of Him so are now with Him, perfect, dancing with the King of kings and Lord of lords. I'm also sad that I'm now old enough to see people go that are more than likely emotionally close to me. THIS SUCKS! I'm sure there is a better word than sucks but that is the one that first comes to mind!

This is the part of adulthood that no one tells you about, no one can prepare you for and that totally and completely sucks! The one thing that I do know is in the darkness that comes after you have had a great lose the only one that can possibly bring light is God. He is your rock and your fortress, He is the one that will bring comfort into your heart when nothing else will do!

Sunday, January 2

When did I become an ADULT?!

I've debated the last several days if I'd write a blog entry for the new year and if so what would I say, most I've read (I often blog surf, my husband says I blog stock) review goals for the new year. I think I will too of sorts, it's a good place to be held accountable...if anyone reads it.

Goal 1
The goal I've had for years now is to lose weight. I've changed it to get healthy. I've been on diets with my mom since I was 12, when she was on one so was I. I've done Weight Watchers, calorie counts, Atkins, Low Carb-South Beach, no sweets etc. I've always had difficulty loosing weight, my mom would drop 30 lbs. and drop two pants sizes, I would drop 30 lbs and not see any difference except in my fingers and toes. Talk about discouraging, I know everyone is different but give me a break! So I've decided to just focus on health, I know weight will drop when I do this but I don't care about my pants size anymore I care about making God proud because i'm finally treating my body as the temple he instructs me to treat it as. My goal is to learn better portion control to the point someone could wave a chocolate bar in my face and I wouldn't touch it. To see sweets as treats not three times a day necessities. I'm also planning on hitting the gym at least 3 times a week if not more for at least 30 min a time with my husband. No more whining and making him drag me (note: I've asked my husband to drag me, he loves me exactly as I am and wouldn't say anything if I didn't ask him to) but being excited to go knowing I'm getting healthy!

Goal 2
Stay disciplined in the small things as well as the big ones. It's finally hit me that I'm officially an adult and better start acting like one, being more disciplined in taking care of myself. That means flossing everyday, taking my vitamins, putting my clothes away and picking up after myself. Ugh...when did college end?

Goal 3
Pray without ceasing. I want to be so tuned in with God and the Holy Spirit I talk with them through out the day. I'm in a state of prayer while doing things that I don't need brain power for (coping, scanning, filing). I use my lunch breaks to read the Bible or encouraging words from other pastors and am so in love with God people notice the change in me and how I handle myself.
I used to get called an old soul a lot when I was a kid because I'd listen and normally say something no one ever expected from me because of my age. I was quite, a leader, teachers pet. Some where along the way of trying to find out who I was I lost some of that quite goodness. I want to be someone that people respect, look up to and turn to for advice. I don't want to say anything people will role their eyes at. I'm not sure if that's really something people do but I want to refocus to be quite until I have something good to say.

Goal 4
Obey God! Don't worry or fret, take one day at a time and live in His light where I have peace and joy! If something bad happens I want to turn to God first always instead of freaking out or starting to cry. Whether that "bad" thing is car trouble, money issues, death...whatever I want to be so focused on God that doesn't distract me or overtake me but instead I turn to God in prayer seeking Him in all things.

Goal 5
Organize but not to the annoying point my husband wants to get out of the house because I'm not fun to be around. I'm a little OCD, I like things clean and neat. If I had the money or resources my closets would look like Martha Stewarts, I'd have a label maker and everything! The thought of that makes me happy, a little giddy. It also has in the past driven my husband nuts and to the point he wants to leave and come back when I'm done because I'm not fun to be around. Part of it is I don't have the money to make things look like I want them but that shouldn't affect me! I can still organize and I'm creative so I can use things that I've got. So my goal is to organize while having fun. NO MORE STRESS

Goal 6
Blog more, not sure if I want to do it everyday but maybe every week, after my bible time on Saturday mornings sound good, or Sunday nights before my prayer time.

Now to focus on keeping all these, I know I can as long as I stay determined. No more flaking out, no more brushing it off letting myself get away with stuff. I'm not in college any more. I'm married, I'm an adult it's time to start acting like one and taking care of myself like God would want me to. Off to spend some personal time with God! Until next time if anyone is listening...