Thursday, December 30, 2010

Everyday Beauty

There is beauty all around if we take time to see it. Cultivating a grateful heart means eyes wide open to what is in front of you....

Like drinking warm green tea from a cute old cup....

Eating lunch and flea market shopping with flea market lovers...or wanna be lovers...ha ha ha

Finding a small old shelf that will fill up an empty spot.....

And finding time to rejoice even when circumstances are the same...

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

Love to you,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I want something different

Yesterday I took a long stroll in the mall all by myself. Crazy right? I mean who goes out into the mall on one of the biggest return shopping days of the year? Me! I had this urge to get out and look around and it wasn't going away until I did it.

Some of my favorite shops are just not doing it for me anymore. I don't know what has gotten into me and yesterday I found myself not really wanting anything I came in counter with. Then I got to thinking.....maybe its because I have too much stuff already! I mean how many sweaters can I buy this holiday season? How many times do I have to stroll past the store with all the tall chocolate boots? Enough is enough.

I can sense that I need to take a step back and realize that I need/want something different. My husband and
I are doing a bit of reflecting this week. I guess that is what you do when the new year comes. For us the new year is coming at a perfect time. Just when the year is changing so are our hearts. We are looking and longing for this one thing: simplicity. You might wonder...what does simplicity look like? I guess that is the question we hope to answer. In this very moment it looks like cleaning out my closet and actually wearing the clothes I have. It means for me to stop eating so much so I can fit into some of the clothes I already have. Laugh if you want but its true. :) It means for me to get organized and to start appreciating the world around me.

My friend
Megan White introduced me to this blog called Kendi Everyday. I like this girl. I like her style and advice she gives about clothes and closets. Starting today I am going to takes some of her advice and apply it.

Since we are on the subject of wanting something different. I want the words that come out of my mouth to be different as well.
Holley Gerth is writing a series of letters about words and how we can serve with them. Nothing is hitting home more for me than this series. I so desperately need to think before I speak. I have lost sleep over the conviction from the Holy Spirit over my choice of words. I know it all starts with my heart though. I pray God is teaching you new things. A dear friend wrote to me today and said she was praying for me to Expect God today. I pray that for you as well. What a gentle and loving reminder.

Love to you,


Monday, December 27, 2010

How was your Christmas?

Hi! I hope your Christmas was everything you wanted it to be. We went to my parents home close to St. Louis for Christmas Eve and it turned out to be a Winter Wonderful Land! The snow was perfect. The kind you can make great snow balls with.

Zeke, our dog came with us this year and he decided to be a hyper hypo everywhere he went. Bringing him might have been a mistake but at least he had some fun.

We spent Christmas day together at our own house and opened up gifts together. This is something we don't get to do every year so it was extra fun for us. We did nothing all day but watch movies and eat candy!

Then we headed over to Bryan's parents home and had more delicious food and opened up gifts together. Always a good time.

I am already planning out my week and plan to do a little after Christmas shopping. Looking forward to hanging out with friends as well. I am grateful for this break. I am trying to plan out the coming year as well. Things I want to accomplish or be a part of. I am planning on doing this 28- day challenge here. My focus is to take the body challenge part of it only and use some of their relaxation tips. I won't be successful with all of it but I thought doing some of it would be fun. Just trying to get back in shape. :)

I am wanting to read this book very soon. I can't wait actually. I already read the first chapter online. The kindle edition is out but the hard copy will be released soon. I prayed and asked God what book I should read next and a few days went by and this book came to my attention. God is so faithful and good like that. I am excited to read it and can't wait!

I am also planning on participating in the 2011 Siesta-Scripture Memory Team! You can be a part of it too! Read all about it here. It will be challenging but very rewarding. I can't wait to see what God will do! I am thankful for this challenge because its just what I need.

Trying to cultivate a grateful heart can be a challenge for me right now. Don't get me wrong..I have a lot to be thankful for. I just tend to choose the wrong frame of mind and focus on what I don't have. I don't want to be attached to that stronghold anymore.

I pray you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Very Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Today was a wonderful day because it was full of Christmas parties and holiday treats. My secret santa got me some VERY cool gifts. My secret santa was my coworker Amy who has become one of my dearest friends. When I got my new job in August, Amy and I really hit it off from the start. She makes me laugh and she is very understanding. I love how God works and He loves to surprise us with new people in our lives! She is such a blessing!

Since we are on the subject of friends...another dear friend surprised me at work today and brought me a graduation gift and a Christmas gift. Ronda is her name.... and she is just one of the coolest people I know. She is really what I would call an angel in my life. I couldn't imagine life without her. She is so wonderful in every way. I was thrilled to see her!

Tonight we got to do Christmas with our dear friends Robby and Tal and their sweet little girl Ella. Ella made Christmas so special for us tonight because she was so excited about her presents. She loved everything we got her and smiled the whole time. She is sooo cute!

I just felt like God came down and gave me a big hug today. So many new and old friends and so many blessings. I pray you are feeling that love tonight as well. He is good and He is strong. So much bigger and stronger than anything we are facing friends.

I know a lot of us might be missing someone or something this Christmas season. We have a longing that is going unfulfilled right now or we are still waiting patiently to feel normal again. I just pray that we would stop and recognize God for who He is. I so desperately need to worship HIS awesomeness!

Love to you,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wonderful Life

I am getting ready to watch my all time favorite Christmas movie...It's A Wonderful Life. I grew up watching this movie with my mom. As a little kid I didn't really get the full concept of the movie. I just liked being with my mom and watching it together.

As an adult I can't wait to watch it every year. This may sound selfish but I love watching it by myself. I make popcorn and lock myself in my room and watch the whole thing. I even like to say the movie lines out loud. I will always cry at the end too. I could watch it over and over.

If you have never watched it, I encourage you to do so. It might be just what you need right now. To sit back and reflect on your life and realize YOU make a difference. YOUR life counts and matters to so many people. Even when life is confusing and you don't understand the reason can look and realize that life is really wonderful. We just need to take off the blinders and see the truth.

My favorite part of the whole movie is when George Bailey claims that he wants to live again and then he starts taking off and running through the streets in his town and yelling MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Oh gets to me!!!

Please tell me...what is your favorite Christmas movie???

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I write to you as a new woman. A woman that is free from papers, assignments, projects, and spending endless hours in class. I don't get to officially walk until the spring because the college I attend only has spring graduation but I am very very happy. I think I even caught a glimpse of my old self the other night as I was singing loudly in the car to one of my favorite songs. I am thankful. My dear awesome friends gave me a fun graduation party. I love you friends! I couldn't do life without you.

As I enjoy this time of freedom again, I am filled with anticipation of what is to come. I had a few moments of panic when I realized that I don't have anything keeping me distracted anymore. So instead of fighting the change, I am changing other things as well.

I took one step and deleted my facebook account. I like facebook. It's fun and you can connect with so many people at once. I just found myself comparing my life with other people when I logged on. I want to appreciate my own life....just the way it is. We only get this one chance...and I want to make it count. So if I was your friend on fb, maybe I will catch you some other time. Maybe we can actually meet in person and talk face to face. I would like that. :)

Lord willing, I plan to read more and write more. I hope to invest time in my family and in my friends. I hope to experience God the way I know I should be. I am also hoping for some time of rest. Not the kind of rest where you don't get out of bed, but the kind that energizes you.

On another sister Patricia, Trisha, Pat, Trish, whatever I might call her in the moment, did come down this past weekend. Yes, we did laugh and cry and even managed to bake several Christmas cookies. I love that girl. We made some good memories and I was so sad to see her go.

Love to you,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finishing Up

I just spent the entire day finishing up a big final project. I loved every minute of it. I created an entire 6th grade girls group from start to finish. This project has been in the works for some time but tomorrow it's due so I had to really organize it today. I implemented songs, activities, questions, art, and much more. This can be used within the school setting. The girls group is entitled: Beautiful You. It's all about building a positive self-concept and connecting together as girls. It's about creating lasting friendships and learning how to be drama free! :) I love it and I am super proud of it! I can't wait to actually use it one day.

On another note....I have 4 amazing sisters and one of them is coming to visit me in a week. I am so happy I can't see straight! We take turns having a "sister weekend" and its my turn to host! We will be baking Christmas cookies and doing other fun things that involve Christmas. I will post pictures of our time together.

This week our church is hosting the 33rd Annual Springfield Live Nativity Pageant. If you live in the area you should totally come and invite your friends. The admission is free and you watch it from your car. I will be singing in the choir a few nights and nothing makes me happier during Christmas time then to sing those awesome Christmas Carols. It makes me happy to know that some people will be hearing the story of Jesus for the first time. I pray for hearts to be soften and lives to be changed. Come experience the Joy!

Love to you,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Philippians 1:29

"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him." Philippians 1:29

It's somewhat hard to believe that it has been over three long years that we have waited and prayed for a child. I remember when this trial first started taking place that I would always look to the future and think.."Maybe next year at this time we will have a child etc.". I was always picking myself up and wrapping myself up in hope. I have never felt like it was
mandatory for Jesus to give us a child. I haven't approached God with demands and time lines, but I have approached him with deep deep sadness. Sadness that probably shows on my face. I have often walked into church wondering if people could see the emptiness inside of me. Over the last few months I just don't hide it anymore. I can't help but be grateful at the outpouring of love I have felt from my opportunities to be real. I have friends in the faith that send me messages and emails and notes and speak truth into my life. Sometimes those nuggets of encouragement and truth allow me to walk into the next day.

I guess my focus lately has been accepting the bitter truth of where I am spiritually. I have never been here in this place in my walk with God and I don't want to stay. I know where I am and its not where I want to be. I have had a few conversations this week with some people I dearly love. One of them being my husband. He confronted me about where I was headed emotionally with my sad heart. I wasn't upset with the fact that he had concerns, but I was upset with the fact that they were true.

Our dear friend Joe is teaching our Sunday School class this month, and he is doing an amazing job. He has spoken a lot of truth to us. We are currently reading Philippians and the verse above struck a cord with me. Not only are we to know God and believe on him, but we are to suffer for him. I wish I was that girl that was on pregnancy number 3 or 4. I have always wanted a big family. God knows me and he knows my dreams and desires. He knew I would be here in this very time in my life. I can't help but wonder what he is up to. He has full control and he is the giver of life. For some reason he has allowed this suffering to be present in our lives.

I am so grateful that God can see the big picture as to why. I so want to Trust Him because He is deserving of it. I have walked myself to a lonely place instead of walking towards Him. I guess this post is an outpouring of my cry to be on higher ground and out of this pit I have been living in. I am thankful for James 4:8 tonight.

Love to you,