Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book #2-Heavenly Man

A few months ago I was re-listening to one of my favorite speakers, Kerry Sheer, who taught at a church woman's retreat a couple years ago. Every time I listen to her talks I get reminded of the disciplines that come with pursuing the Lord and what a joy they are!! One thing Kerry encourages women to do is to read books! That books are away of sitting a learning from others and gleaning from their wisdom of what the Lord has taught them. And in her words "Some of ya'll may say that you don't really like to read, my one advice for you about that is, get over it!" I am one of those who fall into the category of not being a big reader.

So I grabbed my precious friend, Katie, who loves to read and asked if she would be up for reading one book a month with me. So we started off with "1,000 gifts" and now I just finished my second book "The Heavenly Man".

OH my goodness talk about rocking your world. This book is so inspiring and challenging. Brother Yun is a committed warrior for Christ and it is truly amazing to hear what all the Lord has done in his life. Brother Yun has been through physical persecution like you wouldn't believe, there was one point I had to put the book down because I was completely horrified by the things that were happening to him. By reading through it though it gave me a clearer picture of how horrific Christ's sacrifice must have been. I also loved that you get to hear from his Yun's wife as well in some of the chapters. What an amazing women she is!

This is a book I couldn't put down and I am so thankful for this challenge this year to read one book a month!! Next book: Bruchko, its about a 19 yr old who heads into the jungles to evangelize a murderious tribe of South American Indians and he gets kidnapped.

"Too good to be true!"

This is the phrase I kept repeating these past 8 weeks or so. I have learned over time with my walk with the Lord that as we are being sanctified some how life just continues to get sweeter. The Lord has been shepherding, teaching, and loving me through learning about the discipline of Fasting. I have to say this has been hands down the most sweetest, intimate, peaceful and joyful time I have ever had with my Heavenly Father. By His grace, deep rooted chains have been broken, my confidence/beauty is in Him- not anything I have done, not in how much I weigh, not because a man has told me and hard sin has been revealed.

Next discipline I want to learn more about is Simplicity....

"Too good to be true"

August has been filled with lots of first in my life.  So many exciting things happening I just keep thinking "This is too good to be true"... His grace is "too good to be true"!!  

For about 6 weeks the Lord has been patiently shepherding and teaching me about the discipline of Fasting and Prayer.  This has been hands down the most sweetest and intimate time with my Father.  To truly live day to day not satisfied by bread but by the words that come from His mouth (Matthew 4).  By His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit through these weeks He has broken many deep rooted chains that have kept me from walking in freedom for many years.  Ahh joy and peace just well up inside of me just thinking about it all.  To truly be walking as a new creation and to not be falling back into the sin I was so tangled up in is nothing less than pure joy and peace!!

These are two books I highly recommend in learning more about the discipline.  The book on Key Principles, is a great study that walks you through the Bible- what Jesus says about fasting and different passages of scripture that give different situations on why we are called to fast.  The book by John Piper, stirs your heart and asks deep questions on where our true satisfaction comes from.  

"Therefore, when I say that the root of Christian fasting is the hunger of homesickness for God, I mean that we will do anything and go without anything if, by any means, we might protect ourselves from the deadening effects of innocent delights and preserve the sweet longings of our homesickness for God."


Ha, I just realized over the past few months for whatever reason my posts have not published and have gone to drafts.  So that is why I have 4 updates in one day.... thats a record for me!

Strengths Finder

Totally recommend everyone taking this test!  Great resources and opens your eyes to so much about yourself you may have never known.

The Lord used this tool in my life to change the way I see myself.  To finally learn and know my strengths and not always wish I had somebody else's.


So the past month or so I started training for my first 1/2 marathon!  I am super excited about this adventure and let me tell ya its been a hard one but with my friend Sally(who is doing it with me) cheering me on its been really life changing.

It's hard for me to believe that this is actually my life.  To think back to the beginning of this year and it was like the beginning of every year I would say "This is the year, this is it, I'm going to change".  For years I've been wanting to change, wanting to be healthy, wanting to be disciplined and control what goes into my mouth instead of it controlling me.  I've tried everything except complete surrender and confession to the Lord.  OH what a merciful God he is! He is changing me and I don't know how to put into words the joy I have in the freedom my Father has given me!  What a gift He has given all of us, to know we all can experience this because of His love for us and his sacrifice on the cross!

There is true joy and freedom in discipline!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


As you can probably tell I'm not much of a Blogger. As the time goes on I tend to stray farther away from technology. I rarely check facebook or twitter and when I can leave my cell phone at home I do. I just always forget about them and think why in the world would someone care where I'm at or what I'm doing at the moment. I am thankful though for all this technology, it has made keeping in touch with family around the world much easier.

Doing this blog I have had the same attitude, why in the world would someone read this and who really cares about the "adventures" in my life. But I coming to find out that this is a great way for me to process and to share the testimonies of what God is doing in my life, hoping that it may be a bit of an encouragement to those reading too. So here is a bit of a recap of what's happened the past couple months that I haven't recorded:

May's adventure: going to see Bon Jovi in concert! This was hysterical, we were one of the youngest groups of girls there. The biggest fans were all at least 40(which they should be) and were so funny to watch. Lets just say concert entertainment has changed so much... spirit fingers were used often

June's adventure: going to San Pedro Sula, Honduras! OH what an amazing experience this was. It was so great to see the people, see how God's gospel is being spread through out the city, to see how God is using Brother Moaricio to love on high school students and run the Youth for Christ ministry at a camp, Rancho Viva, about two hours away from the city. Its absolutely beautiful (pictures to come)! I loved this city, I'm obsessed with all the different colors of the houses and buildings, the details in the gates around the house, the style of decoration, the language (I'm determined to learn spanish this year), the food, the people, the children and would be totally fine if the Lord told me to move there.
It was an honor to be on a trip with Soup and Linda Campbell. Just sitting and eating with them was refreshing, so much wisdom and love in their lives. I learned so much from just watching how Soup leads and was so encouraged by the long talks I had with Mrs. Linda. I pray that when I'm their age I will still be up for adventures and be ready to go teach Gods truth whenever asked.

*Please Pray: one of our translators from the trip is actually coming to the states in about a week and is getting to go on the Fellowship Student Ministries camp trip! Pray that a deep relationship with the Lord would be cultivated and the Holy Spirit would ignite a fire in him that would not dwindle.

July's adventure: I know a couple months ago I talked a little bit about fasting during Lent and how I was terrified about going with out a meal. Though I have fasted before in the past and have truly enjoyed it, it's not my first thought or a real desire. Well the Lord is having me face my idols and enemies head on so this month I am studying and learning all I can about Biblical Fasting. I'm almost done with a study by Kay Arthur and Pete De Lacy called "Key Principles of Biblical Fasting". This is unbelievably eye opening! I knew I didn't know much about fasting but come to find out I knew zip about Biblical Fasting. I can't wait to share more about what the Lord is teaching me through this!

God is doing great things, He is so gracious and loving!!

Trust Him. Ask Him. Wait on Him!

Friday, May 6, 2011


One more exciting adventure happening in 6 weeks is that I'll be going to with the student ministries from Fellowship Memphis to San Pedro Sula, Honduras for a week. We will be hiking up mountains, riding mules, sleeping in hammocks, serving, sharing the gospel, being challenged out of our comfort zones and falling more in love the Lord!!

Lord, teach me how to...

Its been a long while since I have updated. This month a new adventure has popped up something I hadn't written down and that is to ask the Lord to teach me how to pray. For the most part when I think of prayer its me talking to God but that just a one way street. I am missing out on listening. Then not just listening but obeying.

I hate that I listen to the enemy and believe his lies more than I listen to my Shepherd who tells me the truth. I hate my sinful pride that thinks I can go through a day with out communicating to the Lord instead communicating with Him at all times through out my day. I hate that I give into the flesh more and believe that I'm going to find satisfaction in those desires instead of running to my Prince of Peace who is the one who is going to give me ultimate satisfaction.

So this month is the beginning of something new.... learning how to listen and OBEY my Shepherd who loves, cares and adores me more than I can ever possibly imagine.

John 10

"The man who enters by the gate is the Shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. What he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."

may we run away from the strangers voice today!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This is my first year of actually going through Lent with an understanding and a heart to learn more about it. I grew up knowing about it and I remember going to school with many classmates who would come to class one Wednesday morning every year with Ashes on their forehead in the shape of a cross. I sadly always figured oh that's a "Catholic" thing.

Then this year Lent was brought up to my attention more and one of my big sister's in Christ challenged me to do the 40 day fast with her giving up sweets. Fasting has always been a battle for me, giving up food for a meal or day sounds like torture but this year God has been teaching/pruning/sifting through my heart and showing me how I idolize food using it to bring comfort instead of Him who is my comforter.

As I have been researching I read Ann Voscamps blog about Lent and she referenced this little devotion book. This is my first morning sitting and meditating through it. It is amazing!! I highly recommend it and it is great for family devotions too!! Here is poem from week one, "Identifying Discontent"


Great and holy God
awe and reverence
fear and trembling
do not come easily to us
for we are not
Old Testament Jews
or Moses
or mystics
or sensitive enough.
Forgive us
for slouching into Your presence
with little expectation
and less awe
than we would eagerly give a visiting dignitary
We need
neither Jehovah nor a buddy-
neither the "the Great and Powerful Oz nor "the man upstairs."
Help us
to want what we need...
and may the alter of our hearts tremble with delight
Your visitation
-Frederick Ohler

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March adventures!

Last week a few friends (Sally, Erica, Lisa) came into town for a little visit for Spring Break! It was a true blessing!

On our first full day we went downtown to see the Peabody ducks and then we were going to go to the Civil Rights Museum but most of us had already been so we decided to check out the Slave Haven house, underground railroad museum. We had no idea was to expect but we decided to check it out.

I am SO glad that we did!! It opened my eyes to so much and I just couldn't believe all that I was learning. The house is still kept in original condition and the tour guides made everything come alive! Praise the Lord for this home and the man who built this home with the intention to help slaves escape from a life that seemed hopeless.

*taking a painting class so I'll post some pictures of the final product here soon!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

February Adventure!

Well its been a while since I have been able to sit down and journal out about my adventures.

Last weekend I was able to enjoy my monthly adventure and since it was February I thought it would be fitting to check off my list, spending 24hrs with the Lord (the Love of my life). I had no idea where I was going to go but I knew the Lord did and what a blessing this time away was. I always love going on a women’s retreat with church, you get to get away from the hussle and bussle of life, be out of your house with your best friends and other women who are tiered and thirsty for a fresh sip of the Word along with the desire to have their hearts changed to be more like Christ’s.

This was going to be a bit different in some ways and I was so excited to see what the Lord was going to teach me through this time. I had nothing planned I just wanted to rest in Him and let Him lead our time together. So Friday afternoon I set out for about an hour drive to a sweet farm house that was offered to me and I just couldn’t believe how perfect it was! I drove down a long gravel drive way through beautiful pine trees, acres of fields with beautiful black cows roaming with baby cows following right behind their mommas. My heart just leaped with joy and thanksgiving of God’s grace to be experiencing this. I quickly got settled in and was tucked in bed by 6:00 o’clock ready to read and pray till my hearts desire. Though I was so excited for this time and even asking that the Lord would give me energy to stay awake as long as possible He knew that the first thing I needed was rest. Yep at 6:30pm my head was on my pillow and I was out! I woke up a few hours later thinking “oh Lord no, I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to fall asleep on you!” and He graciously said “Rest”. So 12 hours later at 6:15 the Lord gently woke me up to His sun rise, the bright reds, oranges and yellow colors beaming through the forest of trees into my bedroom window and I leaped out of bed like a child on Christmas morning. I didn’t want to miss this beautiful painting that He had made, I felt like it was just for me. So that morning I stayed in bed from 6 till about 12:30 just devouring His word and gleaning wisdom from a few other books I brought along.

I am still on the course to read through the Bible in a year and I am a bit behind according to the schedule but I'm totally okay with that cause God doesn't work according to a schedule and finishing Exodus was perfect for my time with Him last weekend. As I began reading I had kept thinking "Gosh Lord, I wish I had a day like this every week" and He gently reminded me, you are suppose to have a day like this every's called the Sabbath!

Exodus 35:2 "For six days , work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. whoever does any work on it must be put to death.".... DEATH- this is serious stuff, God's not joking around with this. How many times I have heard this and read this yet it is still such a challenge or I feel guilty because there is so much "stuff" I should be doing. That is SO far from the truth! That is nothing but the enemy trying to get me to not spend 6+ hrs straight with the Lord and to really rest from a hard/busy work week. So new challenge.... from here on out this year I want to create the habit of having a Sabbath day- where I do stay home and sit still with the Lord, I don't go run errands, do laundry, clean the house, etc.

This past month as I have been reading through “One Thousand Gifts”, I have been praying that the Lord would help me see the details in my life, that the lens that I look through wouldn't be set on the broad scope but it would be more of a magnified glass. From Exodus 25-34 God is explaining to Moses all the details on how He wants the Tabernacle built inside and out. These chapters I use to just skim through thinking I'm not going to learn from these... ahh how prideful and wrong was I!! As I was reading the Lord began to show me how He is a detailed God and letting me see a little bit more about Him. Did you know that the Lord likes Almond flowers? Those are the flowers He chose to make His lampstand out of. Did you know that He likes acacia wood? Thats the type of wood He chose to make the table out of. He likes blues, purples, scarlet and finely twisted linen. He could have chosen any colors to be royalty colors but He liked for those colors to be royal. He wanted the finest craftsman's to make his curtains. He wanted things to be lined with gold, for things to be set in just the right spot in just the right way. Now to think, we are His tabernacles. That He has fashioned us in such a way that every little detail is just as He wants it. Then to think how I take my body for granted and treat it like it's a trash can when its actual royalty, when its actually His craftsmanship, when actually my body is the home for the HOLY sprit and its to represent a Holy God.

How sweet is God to begin to show me how to look through the magnified glass lens on my life. How to look for the almond flowers, the acacia wood, to pay attention to colors, to individual items and to give thanks then in return He gives joy! Though I may say Lord thank you for my clothes may I not forget to say thank you for the laundry machine that cleans them for me, the dryer that dries them for me, the laundry soap and dryer sheets that I am able to buy, the laundry basket that I am able to put my clothes in and the hangers I have to hang the clothes on and then the chest of drawers I am able to store them in. How one thing I use to give thanks for has now turned into eight things I give God thanks for!

thank you's:


129.pine trees

130. grass

131. hot bathes


133. durt roads

134. people who enjoy working on the farm

135. a map

136. hot chocolate

137. tea kettle

138. sun rises

139. almond flowers

140. seasons-winter, spring, summer, fall

141. the sound of cows mooing

142. lady bugs

143. hammocks

Friday, February 11, 2011

Obedience knows no ages or stages

A friend of mine just passed me this article that a friend of hers wrote, "Singled Out by God for Good". Amazing article on the season of singleness and how God is soo good.

Little snip bits of the article:

"Thoreau insists that most men lead lives of quiet desperation; I insist that many singles lead lives of loud aggravation. Being immersed in singles can be like finding yourself in the midst of "The Whiners" of 1980's Saturday Night Live—it gives a whole new meaning to "pity party."

"Can God be any less good to me on the average Tuesday morning than he was on that monumental Friday afternoon when he hung on a cross in my place? The answer is a resounding NO. God will not be less good to me tomorrow either, because God cannot be less good to me. His goodness is not the effect of his disposition but the essence of his person—not an attitude but an attribute."

"You see, we singles are chronic amnesiacs—we forget who we are, we forget whose we are. I am a single Christian. My identity is not found in my marital status but in my redemptive status. I 'm one of the "haves," not one of the "have-nots."

"It is a cosmic impossibility for God to require less of me in my relationships than he does of the mother of four whose office is next door. Obedience knows no ages or stages."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Date night

What a beautiful snow day it was! I am so thankful for the gift this morning of being able to eat breakfast while looking out the widow to see the ground covered with stark white glittering snow.... ahh beauty!

Though I did get to stay in my pajamas today thankfully it has been a productive day and now my day is ending with a date night with the Lord. Last semester I was challenged with an assignment to pick out one day that week and spend at least 2 hours with the Lord. I thought oh yes, this will be great! The day came around and I spent the morning just doing things I enjoy-sewing, watching a movie, staying in my pajamas and eating cereal. Then about three hours before I was going to meet with the Lord I thought, I want to really treat this like my date is coming over for dinner. No way would I have laundry everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink, papers lying on the floor and be looking like a slob. So I went all out, I treated this night as if I was getting ready to make dinner for the man of my dreams. I cleaned my apartment, did my hair and make up, put on a cute outfit, lit candles and had dinner with the Lord. As I was getting things ready I began to think, WOW 2 hrs. "Lord, what are we going to talk about for two hours". Then I thought well what do most couples do on a date night.... they get to know each other! This is a time I get to know God for who He says He is, not what my friends say, not what teachers have said nor what the world says. By the time two hours had rolled around and sadly I had to be some where after, I was telling the Lord " no no don't let this be over yet, I want more time with you"

Girls (and guys) I challenge you if you haven't done this before to try it. You don't have to do it the way I did, be creative!! What would you want to do on a date? How do you get to know people? I also really love the devotional by Kay Arthur "Lord I want to know you". Its a great way to get to know God by His character and what He says about Himself.

Well tonight was an amazing night with the Lord. As I have been trying to stay on track with reading through the Bible in a year, I have been asking the Lord to help me see what these stories mean. I don't want to just read Gods Word it to read it but I want to read it to be changed by it. Tonight He was faithful to meet me on my bed and have a heart to heart.

Tonight I read through Exodus 13-17 (leading Israel out of Egypt) . These are a few chapters that I feel like most people know about and it is easy to just skim through because you know the bases of the story. Well tonight the Lord had me digging through these scriptures to learn more about Him. In chapter 13 the Israelites are freed from slavery under Pharaoh and now being lead by God through Moses to the promise land. The first time I read these chapters I began to tell the Lord once again, gosh I am so like the Israelites. I grumble and complain when I know that you are leading me but how I so easily forget...I'm so annoyed!
Then the second time I read through the chapters the Lord told me stop focusing on the Israelites, learn from Moses.... YES! Learn from Moses, I don't want to be like the Israelites I want to be like Moses- obedient, faithful, patient, loving, trusting servant. So then I began to highlight everything Moses was doing and saying. Moses in these 5 chapters is not the same Moses I read of in the early chapters. In the beginning he didn't fully trust God and the Lord had to show him signs to build up his faith (ch.3), then he had to deal with Pharaoh and the plagues, and now he is leading a nation, crossing the Read Sea, trusting the Lord for substance and water in the dessert then defeating the Amalekites. AHHH how awesome is that! Moses had to learn but Moses clung to the Lord, he dwelled in the Lord and no matter how crazy the Lords commands sounded he obeyed.

Then the third time around I get deeper! Through these five chapters God is showing the Israelites who He is!! This is exciting!! God isn't just telling them of His character traits but He is saying let me show you how I am a God who is a

Protector- Exodus 13:17-18 " When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the dessert road toward the Read Sea." Though going through the dessert was a longer route God did this because he was protecting them from harm and He knew them to know they would have turned back around!! Though the season of singleness may feel like we are wandering in the dessert with no man to be found, God is protecting us by taking us on a longer route!!

Shepherd- 13:21-22 "By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left it's place in front of the people." Never will He leave us, Never will He forsake us! The Lord protects and He leads us we just have to be obedient to follow!

Deliverer- 14:13-14" Moses answered the people, " Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." God is fighting for them, for you and me! We have to not be afraid of our circumstances but fear the Lord. When we stand firm in Him that is when we will see deliverance today!! They Egyptians aka. our enemy- sin. The Lord delivers us from sin!! He is says He will fight for us, he will go against our enemy but we must be still in Him!

Savior- 14:30-31 " That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses his servant." The Lord saves! These people watched as the Lord destroyed their enemies....We get to watch the Lord destroy the sin that so easily in tangles us but again we have to put our trust in Him.

Redeemer- 15:13- "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to our holy dwelling." Verses 1-18 in chapter 15 is a praise song they are singing to the Lord and I LOVE IT! The Lord not only saves us from our sin but He redeems us from our sin! He is guiding us to His dwelling place! Psalm 84- "Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young, a place near your alter oh Lord Almighty my King and my God." May we dwell (build our home) near His alter and remind ourselves daily that God has redeemed us for His glory!!

Healer- 15:26 " He said,"If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees," I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you." Praise the Lord that He is a God that heals our wounds- physical, spiritual, mental or emotional.

Provider- 16:4-5 "Then the Lord said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days. " We serve a God that provides for our needs and does it in ways that we have to say "It was only by God". I like this picture too because every day the Israelites had to get enough food for just that one day except for the sixth day they got two days worth. But this is how we should be treating our spiritual food from the Lord. If I'm not getting in Gods word daily, how could I possibly think that I'm not going to starve by the end of the day or the next....Matthew 4 "man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"

Ahh this is what I needed to be reminded of and experience tonight! May I gather enough bread for my daily need and be still and know He is God.

Go have a date night!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Soap Bubbles

I hit number 50 this week on my list of thankfulness. Through the first couple of days the major things that I am thankful for come to my attention- my home, my bed, my job, etc. Then I realize, all of the "big" things I am thankful for are going to end at around 75-100. I started talking with the Lord and asking Him "1,000 Lord, really". He said yes really, that means after you see the "big" gifts I have given you, you are going to have to start noticing all the small gifts I am giving you.
It's easier to notice the bigger gifts that you use everyday and that are staples to your life. It takes work and discipline to begin to slow down and truly smell the flowers/notice the small gifts the Lord is blessing you with. As I read through Ann's story there is a point where she is thanking God for the soap bubbles and how the sun reflects these beautiful colors off of them.... SOAP BUBBLES! How teeny tiny those are but how packed they are with beauty... Gods beauty! I want to be noticing the soap bubbles in my life!!

The list so far (not ranked my importance):

1.crossfit/excitement for the weight loss journey the Lord has me on
2. surprise nights off
3. The sweet families I work for/have
4. cozy flannel sheets
5. cuddle duds-best pajamas!
6. the smell of a blue "volcano" candle burning
7. extended time at a book store
8. my job
9. children's excitement over a cupcake
10. eating lunch with a preschooler
11. daily victories over addiction
12. My brother- love his artistic, loving, crazy self
13. My Dad- LOVE this man! I pray for a man like him to be my husband
14. My Momma- the Lord has taught me so much through her
15. The 13 years I did have with my Aunt G.
16. That Nana lived with us
17. Downline ministries
18. My years in Denton
19. The Vaughan's
20. for beautiful colors
21. for the memory I do have
22. a warm house (a heater that works)
23. Friends who call me out on my sin
24. The Orozco's
25. Katie King- for embracing me
26. Kelsey Tennison for unconditional love
27. Every roommate I have had... The Lord has used these girls to shape who I am today
28. a cell phone that works
29. Paul Sunday, the boy I support in Uganda
30. encouraging conversations
31. common hearts with sisters in Christ
32. connecting families with sitters who bless the whole family
33. Fresh breakfast smoothie
34. quiet mornings to spend in the Word
35. beautiful music
36. a warm shower
37. productive days
38. phone dates with distant friends
39. socks
40. eyeglasses and contacts
41. freshly brushed teeth
42. a hot cup of green tea
43. my car
44. money to buy gas for my car
45. for pretty things- architecture, home decor, art, etc
46. the smell of bacon this morning reminded me of family time at the cabin
47. being able to buy food
48. unending grace
49. all the things inside my home- furniture, clothes, dishes, jewelry, shoes, art supplies
50. being able to dream about BIG ideas

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

weight lifting....something I've never done before

Well as apart of my goal to lose weight this year I ran across a groupon in December for a bootcamp work out called Crossfit. I thought "OH this will be great!" thinking this is just what I need to help me jump start my weight loss. After that I started researching more about it, I began to think "OH my goodness what have I gotten myself into, I don't want to be a body builder!"... yes I know I should have done the research first before signing up.

I had no idea Crossfit was this nationwide hard core, weight lifting boot-camp. As I began to watch videos and reading testimonies I was excited to see what this was all about but also scared out of my mind.

This is my favorite video I found off of the Memphis Crossfit website. I really liked the community that it talks about and the challenge that it brings that I don't get working out by myself. So I stepped into Crossfit and to my surprise it has been an absolute blast! I love the atmosphere, the people, the encouragement, the challenge, the puke feeling I get about half way through, the since of accomplishment I feel when I'm done, I desire to eat cleaner and be more disciplined, my clothes are fitting better and I'm excited to say I'm already one size down!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Wherever you are, be all there"

A friend and I started reading a book "One Thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. It's been more life changing that I ever anticipated. The idea of wanting to journal 1,000 things I am thankful for came from this book. Ann is an absolute beautiful writer and in this book she shares her testimony of how the Lord has changed her by teaching her about Grace (Charis), Joy (Chara) and Thankfulness (Eucharisteo).

I read chapter 4, a sanctuary of time, today and pretty much underlined the entire chapter. She quotes a pastor talking about time and how we are always in a rush,

"Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing...Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away."

It hurts to think of the thousands of beautiful things I have missed so far in life because I'm such in a hurry to get to the next place or not being thankful for the life the Lord has given me. Ann says it beautifully " I have lived the runner, panting ahead in worry, pounding back in regrets, terrified to live in the present, because here-time asks me to do the hardest of all: just open wide and receive."

As Ann continues to write she talks about how now that she is looking for things to be thankful for she begins to start living in the moment, seeing things in the moment and in continuous communication with God. "The clock ticks slow. I hear it for what it is: good and holy. Time, what God first deemed holy above all else (Genesis 2:3)... When I'm present, I meet I AM, the very presence of a present God. In His embrace, time loses all sense of speed and stress and space and stands so still and ...holy." Oh how I want to meet I AM every day, to be in His presence in the present and to dwell in His embrace.

"The real problem of life is never a lack of time.
The real problem of life-in my life- is lack of thanksgiving."

This is my life too! I desire to live a life of gratitude. To not miss out on the littlest gifts and to live life in the present, to be all here one day at a time and to stand arms wide open ready to receive the gifts the Lord gives daily.

Psalm 39:6 "We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing"

check out Ann's blog:

The List so far:

As my new years resolution I decided I wanted to do one fun thing a month that I've never done before or something that I enjoy. So here is what I came up with so far (no necessary order)

1. Go to a Memphis Tigers game....Check!
I got to go with two friends and had a blast! Its so neat to be around all the Memphis Tigers fans.

2. Spend a weekend in Nashville- I really want to go indoor rock climbing, shop at Trader Joes, find some fun vintage/thrift stores, eat at local places and take fun pictures!

3. Spend an extended amount of time away (has to be at least 24hrs) with just me and the Lord...check!

4. Find an open field to watch a Meteor shower... apparently there is an awesome one to watch in August.

5. Go on a road trip to visit my friend Megan in Chattanooga,TN.

6. Take a reupholstering class... For about a year now I have wanted to start a side job of turning old furniture (all types) into new fun pieces to put in a home. When I've taken something that I have found on the side of the road and made it into something useful and beautiful in my eyes I can't help but think of the Gospel. How I was like that piece that had been thrown away but because of Jesus' who has graciously picked me out of the pile, has spent time sanding me down(sanctification), painting me a new color(I've been washed white as snow), making me useful for His glory(redeemed) and sees me as His masterpiece, beautiful in His eyes.

7. Go to a concert- not sure who I want to see yet but going to a show is always fun....check!
8. Go camping with friends- I've heard of some great places around Memphis.

9. Read through the Bible in a year. (this will happen in 2012 by God's grace)

10. Go serve at the soup kitchen and learn from the people I meet.

11. Lose weight... I say it every year and I come up with excuses every year. NO more excuses! So I started going to an intense workout/boot camp called Crossfit. It has been the best thing for me so far this year. It is so fun to see little victories and to realize that the Holy Spirit is changing my mind set towards losing weight.... whoop whoop! CHECK!

12. Save up to go to France! My goal for this one is to go around September/October this year.

13. Journal 1,000 things I am thankful for. This one I don't want to rush through so I'm planning on taking the entire year to journal these out.... almost there in the 800's

14. Have an "urban spoon" date with my friends.... I did this one random night with a friend and had a blast. We locked in the area of town we wanted to go to and the price range we wanted to stay in then clicked the shake button. What ever restaurant it landed on thats where we went.


Other fun things I would love to do in my life time:

1. I heard someone the other day say they were planning on going to the summer olympics next year in Europe..... What an awesome trip that would be!! Not sure I would be able to do next year but one day hopefully I will get the opportunity to go to either summer or winter!

2. Learn how to knit

3. Visit all 50 states

4. Take a road trip up the west coast

5. Go snorkeling in Australia

6. Learn how to skateboard

7. Learn how to surf

more to come....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Going Stagg

"Going Stagg" seemed fitting for the title of this blog that I have been encouraged to write. Its a bit of an older term that we use to say when someone was going some where "alone" aka. not with a date. In the past couple months I have been on this roller coaster dealing with being in the season of singleness. Some days I am enjoying my independence and other days I'm on my knees praying that God would have my earthly knight and shining armor come knocking on my door at that instance.

I know I'm not the only girl who is dealing with this, who struggles with the reality of "always a bridesmaid never the bride". I do desire to be swept off my feet, to get giddy when I see this man, I desire to be chased, to be fought for, to experience a "toe popping" kiss, to have a partner to do life with, to have a man that I respect and I'm blown away that the Lord chose me to serve him. But until that season of life comes, what am I doing in this season of life that I am in?

I am guilty of this but I am so tiered of talking about being single and wallowing in it. I'm tiered of having the response of I'm learning how to be patient and waiting on the Lord. Waiting for what? My life doesn't start when I get married and have children(thats when chaos starts). The Lord has me in this season for how ever long He sees fit because He loves me and knows this is what is best for me. There are so many things that I've never done and want to do, things I want to learn how to do, places I want to see, cultures I want to experience, books I want to read, goals I want to achieve so what am I waiting for? Why am I not doing those things and wishing away this season of freedom?

So I am starting this blog as an outlet to share about that singleness really is a gift from the Lord and its time that I receive this gift with gratitude and enjoy every minute of it!