sweet & simple

2.28.2010

 
just wanted to say how much i love my husband and how incredibly blessed i am to have him.


Seek and pray, pray and seek

2.24.2010

Have you ever noticed that there are some many times throughout the day, we are purely focused on what we want?  I have noticed that I am on certain levels becoming increasingly selfish. I want what I want and I want it when I want it. It is human nature to plan (unless you're a guy) and we want to believe that we have some control over what will actually happen. And obviously to some extent we have control over what happens; but moreover, we have control over how we handle and react to things that happen to us. One thing I have been struggling with is being patient and content in the place where God has me at this point in time of my life. At this point of my life (my ripe old age of 24) I believed that I would've had a career started, that Andrew and I would be homeowners, and the fairytale continues from there. I'm sure God at one many points in time has just stared at me thinking "Um...HELLO?!". 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. -- Hebrews 11:1

Faith isn't about trusting what we already have; faith is about believing what has yet to pass. He does not change like shifting shadows and everything that He gives is perfect. 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. --Jeremiah 29:13

Seeking God with my whole heart has been a struggle for me. I seek God and I desire Him, but sometimes, I just want parts of who He is. My flesh can still take over and I feel my earthly desires overriding my desire for God's will to be done.  It's hard to be patient and just to wait....and sometimes the waiting continues....until one day when you have finally stopped trying to plan your life, God reveals to you just what He's been working on.  And the most amazing thing about that is that what He's been working on is for you and you alone. He has given it His undivided attention and love...if that's not worth waiting on (in ANY capacity of life) then I don't know what could ever be.

.meet mark

2.19.2010

So I have embarked on a new endeavour! I have decided to become a .mark representative! For those of you unfamiliar with mark, it is a subdivison of Avon, but has a wider variety of products and it's extremely reasonably priced! I'm not sure that I can explain just how great it is, so take a look for yourself! I hope that all of my faithful readers take a moment and take a look around at everything they have to offer! Let me know please if you have any questions. Thank you and I look forward to answering any questions that I can!



Ready For Spring!

2.18.2010

Let me start off saying, I like winter. I enjoy crisp, cool air and the smell of snow. I enjoy scarves and gloves and hats. BUT...I am  kind of  very ready for spring. I'm ready for the cool mornings to giveway to warm afternoons. I'm ready for open windows and short sleeve shirts and bright colors. Spring offers so many great things; not only does the world finally awaken from it's frozen sleep, but it gives the rest of us the chance to enjoy the sun once again and spend more than a handful of minutes outside. I suppose I sound a little bratty, but I'm just very ready for the next season. Not only from winter to spring, but also the next season that God has for me. It's been a tough pruning season and I'm ready to see what God has for me. Whether it's what I've been hoping for or something completely different, only time will tell and I just have to be faithful. Praise God for the things He's been teaching me and revealing to me. I know I need it and I'm excited to see the end result of it all.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" - Jeremiah 29:11


Showing What You're Made Of

2.15.2010

Michael Jordan. Phil Ford. Eric Montross.  J.R. Reid. Shammond Williams. These are just a few of the names that make up the last 100 years of North Carolina basketball.  On Friday night, those players took their rightful place on the court in the Dean E. Smith Center to play in the Celebration of a Century game.  These players have won national championships, played in the NBA and changed the face of Carolina basketball as we know it. These players and the coaches that coached them have shaped UNC into what is today and the players stepped onto the court on Saturday afternoon were hoping to change this season as we know it. It's no secret to sports fans that the Tar Heels have had a less than stellar  2009-2010 season. However, after watching many of the same names that grace the rafters, the 2010 squad seemed to have a better understanding of their family tree. The 74-61 defeat over N.C. State broke a four-game losing streak and was much needed in order to restore some confidence to this young team.  Due to some significant injuries, it also gave Coach Williams the opportunity to play the many freshman that currently control his roster. John Henson, Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland and David Wear contributed a total of 34 points. The game was fun and entertaining and I believe that that the many influential alumni that served as spectators played a role in that change. It's never a bad thing to know what came before you.
Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington had their jersey's honored

J. Henson dunk

Freshman Leslie McDonald battles for possession

Never too much

2.14.2010

Ever since I was in high school, I hated the quote "whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger". I just think it sounds negative and stupid. However, I do believe that trials come and faith is tested.  Another quote that I never truly understood was this; God only gives you what He knows you can handle...until now. I told Andrew today that God must trust us a great deal because this past week has been tough. Not just a little tough, but probably one of the toughest weeks of our entire marriage. Nothing major, just a lot of little things that have started adding up. Now I believe that that quote is true; God will only give us as much as we can handle and He will be the one to give us the strength to get through it. That is the biggest and most significant part of the equation. When we have tried to do things on our own and tried to rely on our strength, we fall...hard. The enemy tries to feed us lies and make us believe that we're alone; I say Isaiah 54:17--  No weapon that is formed against you will prosper. Thank God for that. And as Pastor was saying today, if all we do is look for the trials and troubles that are going to come our way, that's when they'll overtake us. Fall on your face and pray and stand and worship.  God never wanted us to feel defeated. That is never how it's supposed to be. Though the world may feel as it's caving in, it's not; and even you still have the feeling, His strength and His promises still stand. His mercy endures forever. Not just last year, tomorrow or in 5 years. Everyday and always. Needless to say, this weekend was a growing weekend for both of us. And let me say this; praise God that He never gives up on us. That He doesn't think to Himself "Well, they haven't gotten it yet, therefore they won't".  He's so patient with us even though we're not always patient with what He has us going through. And that concludes the learning portion of this weekend.

The other parts of the weekend were a little lighter! On Friday night we received a beautiful 3-4'' on snow that lasted all of 12 hours!



 
It was beautiful as always and the dogs had a great time, but the best part about it is that it was gone by midday on Saturday. And I was extremely thankful for that because I had lunch plans with the lovely and wonderful Carly Brantmeyer!

It was, as always, wonderful to see her and spend time with her. She never fails to inspire me and I consider myself so blessed to know her and have her in my life. The rest of the day was capped off with a wonderful present from my hubby (a watch!...I've been wanting one forever) and just spending some quality time together which has unfortunately been a rarity these past couple of weeks (thank you NASCAR).

All in all, it was an excellent weekend! And as much as I loved the snow, I'm more than ready for spring. This cold weather get's old after a few months! It'll be here before we know it though...

No words

2.11.2010

It's true. I have no words. I don't even know how to express the disapointment, frustration, sadness and anger I'm feeling right now. And yes, it's all because of college basketball. The Carolina-Duke game is when the world stops and their eyes are fixated on the outcome of the biggest college sports rivalry. In years past, this has been a game that I really and truly believed the prettier shade of blue would come out on top. And though that was not always the case, I had faith that the five guys that ran the hard wood would make it happen. Last night, I could only hope that those glimmers and glimpses would show up for 40 minutes. And though the heart and desire was evident for 35 minutes, that clearly wasn't enough. Unfortunately, Duke walked away with the victory for the first meeting of 2010. It was a hard fought game on both ends and the Tar Heels looked as good as they've looked all season. Another big part of last night's meeting was the retiring of Tyler Hansbrough's jersey. The number 50 will never be worn by a Tar Heel again. I was probably a tad over-emotional, but that player left everything he had on the court every game.  Part of me was hoping that his heart would manage to spill out on to the current members of the Tar Heel squad; that of course is just a silly thing to believe would ever happen, but I couldn't help myself. The Tyler Hansbrough's of the world are very few and even farther between and I would be ridiculously surprised if a player of his magnitude ever graced the college basketball floor again. But for what is worth, it was an honor to watch him grow, fight and play in the 4 years that he was there. He is truly not only what Carolina basketball is all about, but he represents what all of college basketball is and should be.  Despite the end result, it was a good game and I'm interested to see which team decides to play against N.C. State this Saturday. I hope it's the one with heart.


L. Drew & W. Graves battle against K.Singlar
J. Henson fighting for posession
T. Hansbrough & Coach Williams talking before the game

Super Bowl XLIII...WHO DAT?!

2.09.2010

The 2009-2010 NFL season has officially ended with the New Orleans Saints taking home the big one! I was really unsure of who I was pulling for...I really like both teams and have no alliance with either. So needless to say, I was neither super excited or sad when they won. The best part of this past Superbowl was the wonderful company that Andrew and I got to spend it with. In our somewhat small apartment, we managed to squeeze in about 16 people (not including ourselves and dogs). Surprisingly enough, it was just enough room. We had a great time with some awesome friends.

I'm sure everyone thought I was a little obsessive with the picture taking, but I like proof! So all in all, Superbowl Sunday was a perfect; good game, good food, great company! I hope to try to make this a tradition because we had so much fun. And to close I want to leave you with a video that I believe will make your day...or at least make you smile!



DIY: Upholstered Headboard

2.05.2010

Since we've been married, one thing that we have SEVERELY lacked is furniture. Our livingroom is comprised of hand-me-down furniture which has been extremely helpful, but nothing has been truly ours. The big problem is the price tag that hangs off of the furniture that could be ours. So something that I recently discovered we could do to help with our dilema is to do some things ourselves. Obviously, living in an apartment can somewhat hinder the space and tools needed for such tasks, but thankfully Andrew's parents live a mere 20 minutes away and have both of those incredibly necessary things.




Materials:
Heavy-duty paper

1/4" plywood

Upholstery fabric

2" foam

Fiberfill batting


Tools:

Tape measure

Pencil

Scissors

Circular saw or handsaw

Portable jigsaw

Utility knife

Staple gun



How-To:

1. Figure out the size of what you’ll be upholstering or reupholstering. Make sure you have enough foam, batting, and plywood.

2. Create a template using heavy-duty paper. Attach the paper to the headboard using tape; the pieces can be taped together. Press the paper down near the edges; then mark using a pencil. Carefully cut out the template using scissors.
3. Place the template over the plywood and use tape to secure it. Trace the edge of the template on the plywood and cut the plywood. Use a handsaw for straight cuts and a portable jigsaw for curves.

4. Make sure you have plenty of fabric to cover your headboard. You'll want some overlay so you can cover the headboard and edges.
5. Get ready to cut the padding. Put the plywood you cut on top of the foam and cut with a sharp utility knife.
6. Lay the fabric on a flat surface with the backside facing upward (the side you won't show). Once in place, layer with the batting, foam, and then the plywood backer.

7. Put the headboard on the plywood. Fold the fabric over the back of the headboard and then staple in place. Start stapling in the center and proceed every 2” to 2.5” intervals for extra security.

8. Trim extra batting and material with scissors.
9. Hang the headboard 4" from the top of the bed (go higher for more drama).

I'll let you know how it goes!!

Excerpt from Mismatched Candlesticks

2.04.2010

They are an odd, but pretty pair; the two candlesticks we have perched on the antique dresser in our master bedroom. While both are crafted from solid brass with similar round and sturdy bases, the shafts of each candlestick couldn't be less alike. One is straight and streamlined; not at all fancy, just functional; with tall lines, direct and strong. The second is designed with a touch of flair; two equidistant strands of brass whirl and swirl side-by-side in a "look at me" manner, as they ascend to the top of the shaft that holds the candle in place. I found each candlestick at a different yard sale, both in the same month. While their styles aren't the same, somehow this eclectic pair is an interesting match. And more importantly, they are a constant visual reminder to my husband and me, providing a tangible picture of our marriage.


My husband is the first candlestick. No frills. Straight-forward. Only about function. I am the second one. Crazy. Winding. All over the map. Completely about fun. While we both are "forged from brass" in that we are followers of Christ with the same spiritual foundation, pair our opposite-end-of-the-spectrum personalities together.


When I receieved this from Proverbs 31, I automatically thought of Andrew and myself. I wouldn't necessairily classify us as this person has done, but we are opposite enough if certain aspects that I could relate. Where I tend to be more vocal and dramatic, Andrew is the rock of our marriage. He is the one that grounds me and brings me back to where I need to be. When I start to freak out and not rest in the Lord, he's there reminding me just how good God is and how He's never failed us. Though Andrew and I differ in many ways, God knew how well we would compliment one another and how much He would be glorified with our marriage. I thank God daily that He placed someone like Andrew in my life and designed him to be the amazing husband that he is. In my opinion, everyone needs a candlestick in their life that doesn't quite match. It makes life much more fun. And praise God we're not made all the same!

A glimpse and a glimmer

2.02.2010

The North Carolina Tar Heels currently stand at 13-8, 2-4 in the ACC. That record by itself is dissapointing  enough, but when this team has shown glimmers of what they have the potential to be, it makes it that much more frustrating.  On January 26th, the Heels defeated N.C. State 77-63. For the first time in a long time, it all seemed to click. They seemed to be having fun and enjoying one anothers company on the court. Unfortunately, that has NOT been the norm.  This has been a team this season that has often times seem confused and not excited to be on the hardwoods. The two lone seniors in Marcus Ginyard and Deon Thompson have not stepped up to be the leaders that both Coach Williams and the rest of the team needs them to be. I find myself dreading the minutes leading up to games and rushing the final seconds until my misery can be ended. Never in my life have I felt this way about Carolina basketball, and I truly hope that it never happens again. I understand that all teams have losing seasons and that I can handle. What I can't handle is when a team shows no heart and no desire night after night. In 8 days, these same Tar Heels will face a Duke Blue Devil team that thus far has been dramatically better. And with only a slim number of games (10 to be exact) remaining in the regular season, Carolina needs to have a quick and efficient turn around if they want to hold on to any kind of hope for a post-season run. And though I have faith in the individual players and the hall of fame coach, I'm just not sure there is going to be enough time for these Heels to do what they have done so well the past few years.  The next few weeks will be the determing factor of whether these Tar Heels will find themselves marching to Indianapolis. And as Deon Thompson said. "What's March without Carolina?"



Passion, desire, intensity

2.01.2010

A few days ago, I posted about how the North Carolina Tar Heel's were lacking passion in their games. Last night was no different in they're playing, but something struck me; my walk with the Lord is often times the same. The other night when Carolina played State, they showed the passion and the desire to be out there and it resulted in a win. Last night, they played lazy and like they just didn't care and lost. There are many days and weeks that my desire to spend time with the Lord is there and it's strong. And then there are other times where I just don't seem to care. I do other things rather than spend time with my Heavenly Father, and that is just not okay. It was an odd time to have this revelation, but honestly, are there really times that God is predictable?  Normally, no. I shared this thought with Andrew, and he agreed that more often than not, we are lackadaisical and not passionate about spending time with the Lord. It's a hard thing to realize, but an extremely necessary thing to realize.
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. -- Deuteronomy 7:9

There is no one that desires me more than my God, but yet, too many times I desire earthly thing over Him.  And that is just a frustrating thing. For someone that has known of the Lord's goodness for the majority of their life, I just don't believe there is any kind of excuse for that.

And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.
--Ephesians 5: 2

Another revelation that I had on Saturday was when watching Evan Almighty. For those of you who haven't seen the movie, I reccomend watching it. It's humerous, but has an excellent message. The quote that stuck me is this:

Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?


The weeks leading up to Pastor Livingston challanging us to the Daniel Fast, I had been praying for more discipline. I, of course, expected for that discipline to just land in my lap. When I was given the opportunity to display some discipline, I failed. The reason; I didn't rely on God's strength. I expected it to be easy, and surprise, it wasn't. But thankfully, God doesn't write us off when we go the wrong way or make a wrong turn; He finds another way to bring us back to where He wants us. Francis Chan says that God is like a GPS system; when we turn the wrong way, He recalculates for us. He doesn't get angry or yell, He is patient and shows His love and mercy. Praise Him for that. My gosh! Think of all the times you've gone the wrong way and how many times God just wraps His arms around you and steers you back in the direction you need to be. Anytime you're down, don't let the enemy make you believe that's where you'll stay. Your God will not allow it!

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me
--Micah 7:7-8


 
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