November 25, 2014

Thankful


That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,

And tell of all Your wondrous works.

(Psalm 26:7)
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God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who work in my heart every day, to conform me more to the perfect image of Christ; whose love is endless, strong and reassuring.

My parents, who love each other, and are committed to being a team, something I admire them for, because it takes deep commitment and love to keep going in a marriage (they have been married for 33 years).  I love you, Mom and Dad!

Joel - you are my best friend, and this year we have grown even closer.  Thank you for being the BEST older brother, for your generous heart, your listening ear, your kind wisdom, your selfless spirit, your fun-loving, adventurous nature, and most of all, your sensitive heart for those in need, who you can love in Jesus' name.  I love you!

Caleb and Claudia - y'all are so cute together, and I am thankful to see God working in each of you as individuals, but more importantly, as a couple.  In March I had the honor of witnessing your vows to each other, and throughout this year, I have seen your love grow, mature, and deepen.  I am so proud of how you have each made some great strides as you walk this path called life.  I am excited for you as you look to your first anniversary, as I know God has a lot in store for my second favorite couple. I love you both!

Phoebe - you are my best friend, and an inspiration to me every day.  Your peaceful spirit is always a blessing, as I tend to be the frantic sister.  You are an amazing woman of God who keeps growing in your understanding of Who He is, and who you are.  I love how passionate you are about life, and how you throw yourself into whatever you are doing, whether it be your job, music, WNL, Sunday morning, housework, school, sports, or your amazing baking projects.  You are a light, just like your name means.  I love you!!

Johanna - you are also my best friend, and what would I do without you?  Hopefully nothing.  You are so creative, and funny, and your smile really lights up a room.  I admire your courage, determination, and faith in God, especially this year.  Your love for life, friends, and experiencing new things is contagious.  Keep crafting, singing, playing beautiful music, and loving people, because you are good at those things.  I love you sis!!

Jaden  - my spunky "little" brother, whose energy level never drops, whose mouth never stops, and whose brain is always churning because you thrive on learning, doing and being.  I am excited to see where God will take you in this life, how He will use your love for animals, facts, and sounds. I love how you love to surprise us, how you enjoy being outside, getting messy as you romp through the mud, ride your bike through water, talk with kitty, charge by with your sword, after some unseen enemy, how you spend hours pouring over your Lego table, and how detailed things turn out after you've labored over them.  I know God has great things for you, my warrior brother.  I love you!

-Fall colors
-Chocolate
-Elizabeth, Camille, Rebekah, Brittany, Allison, Amy, Secret Friend, and Sian
-Country walks
-Wednesday Night live
-1000 Gifts journey
-Journals
-Warm beds
-Trips
-Music
-Garden produce
-Instagram
-Boots
-British television dramas
-Spotify
-Letters
-Ginger nymphs
-Friends
-Small group
-Laughter
-Hope
-Love
-Peace
-Joy
-For King and Country
-Adventure
-Camping
-Family gatherings
-New clothing
-Sweaters
-Jaden's smile
-Chalkboard art
-Grandma's hugs
-Texts
-Concerts with Joel
-Pictures
-Dessert
-Volleyball
-A lovely home
-The Bible
-Pink
-Roses
-My plants
-Succulents
-Bible studies
-Friendship
-Emails
-Reliable vehicles
-Silliness

My list literally goes on into eternity, because the countless blessings God gives, are new every day.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!! 

November 20, 2014

Rewind

Me at 15 and 24.5 
As I was ironing the other afternoon, I started thinking back on some of the lessons I have learned over the years, and what I would tell my 15 year old self, if I could go back in time. 

Next year, I will be 25, a whole decade will have passed since my 15th birthday - which both frightens me and excites me, because even though I enjoyed my "teen" years, I am glad they are over.  

I want to share several things that I have learned in the years since my 15th birthday:

- God is the most important relationship in your life, so spend more time praying, reading the Word, and memorizing scripture.  

- Your parents and siblings love you, no matter what you do, or say, so treat them with unconditional love, and patience.  

- Show affection to those who care about you

- School is important, so focus on your studies while you are still young, and your brain and life aren't overflowing with stuff 

- Good friendships are worth developing, and waiting for, because whoever you hang with will effect your worldview ("The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray."  Proverbs 12:26) 

- Read more challenging material, to expand your understanding of this world 

- Be diligent in your chores, housework, and any jobs you have, because honesty and dependability are important virtues to hone 

- Smile - because this world is made up of grouchy people who walk around defeated and beaten down, and it shows on their faces 

- Rules are important, because they protect you from evil, and focus you on good; don't begrudge what God has commanded you to do, through His word, and your parents 

- Confidence comes from knowing who you are in Christ: you are loved, you are accepted, you are cherished, you are precious, you are kept, you are saved, you are begotten again, you are redeemed, you are Spirit-filled...

- Speak only after you have carefully considered your choice of words (is it Sincere, Truthful, Innocent, Noble, Kind?)

- Learning to cook, clean, balance a checkbook, grocery shop, care for younger children, drive, car care, and basic knowledge of power tools are good skills to acquire 

- Fashion, and popularity aren't all they are cracked up to be, so focus on pleasing God, above people in general

- Boys make great friends, so treat them as such, not the possible "one" 

- Spend more time with your siblings, developing those relationships, because friends come and go, but your siblings stay with you for a lifetime 

- Get to know your grandparents while they are still alive, ask questions, listen to advice, show respect and love for them 

- Be thankful! 

And finally

- Sin is serious, so treat it as a deadly plant whose roots need to be constantly removed from your heart 

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Let no one despise your youth, 
but be an example to the believers in word, 
in conduct, in love, in spirit,
 in faith, in purity

I Timothy 4:12 

November 13, 2014

Boots


For a couple of years now, I've been looking at all the adorable boots that are popular, but also way practical at this time of year, and thinking of a way to buy myself a quality pair.  But, I wasn't going to spend $60+ dollars on a pair that were fake (i.e. fake leather, man-made material, etc.) because I just don't like the way fake wears.

So, I finally had some money, and got online to look at what might be out there, in the way of leather boots at a decent price, and I stumbled across this pair: 



The amazing thing about this pair of boots?  They were on clearance, and Target.com was offering free shipping (a special they are running through the end of the year), so it was a win/win for me.  Aaaand, they were genuine leather!  Score.

So, I ordered them last week, and while I was out of town, they were delivered.  Which meant waiting a few more days until I got home, to un-box them.  And when I did, *squeals* this is what I found!!



I am super stoked, because they are leather, they are comfortable, and they are uber classy and boho, which is what I was looking for.  And I saved $18, which was a nice bonus. 

So that's how I got my new pair of winter boots. 

I love them.

November 4, 2014

On my radar


"I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him."  C.S. Lewis

"Listen to people with scars." Gunnar Gundersen

"We may as well face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low.  We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher plateaus in the things of the Spirit is all but gone.... [We] have imitated the world, sought popular favor, manufactured delights to substitute for the joy of the Lord and produced a cheap and synthetic power to substitute for the power of the Holy Ghost."  A. W. Tozer

"Given our talent set, our experience, and education, many of us are fairly capable of living rather successfully (according to the world's standards) without any strength from the Holy Spirit."  Francis Chan (Forgotten God)

"God showed us how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.  This is real love.  It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other."  1 John 3:9-11

"Jesus Himself is the satisfaction for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."  1 John 2:2

As I was meditating on that verse, it reminded me of what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5

"Therefore, if any is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation."  2 Corinthians 5:17-19

"The damage of pornography is hearing loss.  We find it hard to hear and believe the beautiful things God is saying about us as His children.  We begin to think everything is about us, all the while forgetting that God has an agenda.  An agenda which we can hear because He now lives inside of His people."  Unearthed Magazine

"Your moral framework is critical in the respect you show for yourself and your fellow human beings.  Think of it as the coinage of your life and your day-to-day living.  But this coinage has no value if it not based on the riches of God's plan for your spiritual well-being."  Ravi Zacharias (The Grand Weaver)

"Prosperity knits a man to the world.  He feels that he is "finding his place in it," while really it is finding its place in him.  His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home on Earth, which is just what we want.  You will notice that the young are generally less unwilling to die than the middle-aged and the old." C. S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters, xxviii)

"Modesty and discretion are not old-fashioned values.  They are God's standards that help us to encourage one another in good works, not covetousness."  Rosaria C. Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert) 

Come However You Are