This Time Last Year

9.29.2011

For some unexplained reason, I started thinking about this time a year ago last night. And at first this thought process started out very simple and without a lot of substance.

Then I kept thinking about it, mulled it over and came to several realizations with the most significant being this; God makes a way when there doesn't seem to be one. I have no doubt that I've said that before, but I need to be reminded of it constantly.

This time last year, I was panicking over the fact that in less than two months, I would be out of a job. I really and truly wanted to trust God entirely during this season of unknowing, but if I'm being honest, there were one two a few nights of not sleeping well. Prayers were prayed, encouraging words were given and upbeat sayings were said, but at the end of the day, this was an opportunity for me to realize that I am in control of nothing in my life.

A person’s days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed
.. Job 14:5

To some, that verse may seem like an odd or funny choice considering I'm talking about potential unemployment, but I think it provides the perfect summation of our time here on earth. God has already determined our days and He has set lines that cannot be crossed. So why in the world would I think that He hasn't determined something as small {in regards to the grand scheme of things} as a job? As nervous and terrified {no exaggeration} as I was during this time, I really and truly believed that if it was God's will for me not to have a job immediately after my current one ended, it was for a reason. There was a lesson for me to learn and as you know, the lessons that God has prepared, are usually the hardest ones and the the ones that change your life the most.

I constantly prayed that my heart would be ready to receive the lesson. I probably prayed more for that than for a job itself. And that's the honest truth. If I did not have a job, both Andrew and I would be stretched in ways that we had never experienced. It would force us to rely completely on God and His provisions and we would have to be prepared and ready for that because the enemy would have been posed to attack. Realizing that some of you may be thinking that we should already rely on God completely, I can tell you that is an area that we're both continually working on and that's the reason I believed He would choose to bless us with that lesson rather than a job for me.

Out of all the prayers that were prayed throughout the months leading up to the end of 2010, God chose to bless me with a job. I was in awe and unbelievably thankful because I have no doubt that this job opportunity was thoughtfully and carefully prepared for me by Him. This job has also had it's moments of stretching me and falling into God's arms because there were times I didn't know if I had the strength to get through another day. And sometimes, I still have to stop and realize where I am in my life and how far God has brought me and how far I still need to go. I know that this job was not something I earned or something I deserved, but a blessing He orchestrated.

Seasons of unknowing and seasons of pruning are some of the hardest ones that we'll go through while on earth. Trusting the unseen is tough and relying on hands we can't physically feel to guide us through life seems crazy. But that is what faith is...

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see
..
Hebrews 11:1 

God watchs over every step I take, but He does not keep track of my missteps and I praise Him moment by moment for that because my missteps are many. But His grace is abundant.

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Happy First Day of Fall!

9.23.2011

It's officially here!


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 Though I have already been indulging in delicious pumpkin treats, I think it's imperative to ring in this wonderful season with a warm slice of pumpkin bread. The next couple of weeks will be filled with football games and mountain leaves and I am positively giddy just thinking about it!

This is a wonderful season with fun traditions, flavors, colors and clothes. There is nothing that I don't love about autumn except that it's too short.

Happy Fall Y'all!
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If I'm Being Honest

9.21.2011

Honesty is the key to any and all good relationships, and as such, I feel the need to share some things with you, my wonderful readers. And before you start reading the list below, remember that in all relationships, you have to take the good with the bad.

Also, I really hope you all remain  my wonderful readers after reading some of these somewhat embarassing admissions.

...If I'm being honest then I should probably tell you guys that I recently lent a friend The Hunger Games series and feeling some serious withdrawal. Keep in mind I've already read them all.


...If I'm being honest, the gym and I haven't had the best of relationships lately, but admitting it is the first step. That applies here, right?

...If I'm being honest, I'd probably be okay eating cereal or PB&J's for dinner more than just every once in awhile if it wouldn't make me a terrible wife. I'd try to make the PB&J's look like this because that looks way better than an ordinary sandwich.

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...If I'm being honest, I really need some help with my guitar learning/playing, or lack there of. I'd be willing to argue that trying to teach yourself a musical instrument is one of the hardest things you can do. If you've done it or have any tips, please feel free to share!

...If I'm being honest, I may or may not have done a little happy dance when Kyle Chandler won an Emmy because it was far from overdue.

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 ...If I'm being honest, I tell Andrew every single time I get a new follower on here. Yes, I do realize how sad that is, but I've accepted it. It's exciting me and I think it's worth telling him.

...If I'm being honest, I was so excited that it was raining on my way to work today so that I could use my new windshield wiper blades! No joke and they worked like a dream. Too bad that doesn't stop people from driving like maniacs.

...If I'm being honest, I'm already thinking about where our Christmas decorations are going to go this year. I see some changes taking place and I have all of last year's post-season items to remember!

So nothing earth shattering to admit on this rainy Wednesday, but hopefully enough to make you laugh a little at my expense.  
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It's Elementary

9.16.2011

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever. 

These words are easy enough to understand, but for me, they are nearly impossible to comprehend and wrap my teeny, tiny brain around.

To say that someone lived makes complete sense. If you're reading this, then you are a breathing, living human being. Even someone loving us is understandable. Sometimes I don't know how Andrew loves me, but I know and trust that he does.

Okay, so to recap: someone living and loving us is understandable. Those two things, easily grasped. Now on to the next part...Dying, He saved me. 

Whoa. It does not matter how many times I've heard, read or sang those words, they always stop me in my tracks. How could the Son of God choose not only to love me despite my shortcomings, but to die for me so that I could have an everlasting relationship with the Lord. His Father. We all know the story; He died on a cross, He was buried and 3 days later, He rose again. I'm sure you're on the other side of this screen nodding your head and wondering if I have a point.

If I have a point {and I'm not sure I do}, it's this; this should be one of the easiest aspects of our lives to accept, trust and live by. But for me, it's not always as easy as it should be. I do believe it. There is no other explanation for my still being here on this earth except by God's love and grace alone. But every day at some point, I wonder if He does love me because I'm just honestly not sure how He could after all I've done or thought of doing. I forget that on top of dying for me, He bore all my sins. He took the nails for me. And if nothing else, that is why I should live my life that is worthy to be called His.

I am honestly laughing a little bit at myself and how very elementary this sounds! Trust that I do realize that, but I also think know that there is someone out there that needs to be reminded of this simple, all consuming, never failing love. Because it's there and it's real. It's a love that can't be fallen out of or outgrown. It's a love that I am so unworthy of, but it's poured out onto me without a second thought. This kind of love is worth having and living for.

And really, how could you not love someone that took the nails for you...

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Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again
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Birthday Wish List!

9.15.2011

There are many times throughout the year I'm sure my husband wonders if he's married to 6-year old. I jump up and down when I'm excited and/or mad; I may or may not through tantrums at really dumb things; and I get really, really pumped up for my birthday and Christmas.

However, I did warn him about all of the above long before we said "I do" and now he's just stuck with it and me. And with that said, my birthday is roughly a month and a half away and I'm already thinking of things that I'd like to bring in the 26th year of my life. Some of the things listed below are things I just want at some point in my life, but birthdays are always a good time to ask for things. 


1...I would LOVE an external flash for our camera! Too bad they're all upwards of at least $200. Eh, that's why it's called a 'wish list'.

2...And I have actually never used a filter, but I hear great things and this is actually realistically priced!

3...Now that I've decided to give running outside a shot, an iPhone armband (3) may have to be a necessary purchase.

4...This dress is so perfect for fall. Great color and everyone needs a sweater dress!

5...I'll be honest and tell y'all that I have fallen in love with flat riding boots, but I just can't bring myself to shell out the money. I may just have to suck it up because this love does not seem to be be fading.

6...I just love these because they look so comfy and hello, they're Carolina. And I need another piece of Carolina clothing like I need a hole in the head.

7...We just bought the 5th season of "Friday Night Lights" on DVD after watching the others on Netflix. I am not a fan of incomplete sets, so we pretty much have to have the rest of the seasons! Sadly, that means we only have to buy 4 more.

And that concludes my birthday wish list! And don't go rushing out to buy all these things because you have a month and half...

I kid, I kid.

Mostly :)
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My First Blog Date!

9.14.2011

That's right! I finally had my first blog meet up and if I'm being completely honest, I was sooooo excited about meeting Brooke from Bright Wishes.

You know I mean business when I use 5 "o's". That's some serious excitement. We met up for frozen yogurt this afternoon with her gorgeous daughter {no exaggeration there} and just enjoyed the abundant amount of warmth {no worries, the high on Saturday is 68 degrees. Praise the Lord} and talked. She's getting married next month and moving to Virginia, but I really hope to get together at least one more time before that!
Beautiful Brooke and her equally beautiful daughter!
Sweet girl gave me a flower :)

Brooke was so incredibly sweet and I'm thankful that we got to finally "meet". It's pretty awesome to meet the person that sits on the other side of the monitor, typing words and posting pictures. To hug that person and talk face to face is truly a blessing.
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Letter to Me

9.13.2011

We've all heard the phrase "if I knew then what I know now...". But we all know that what we go through makes us who we are and so sometimes it's good that we didn't know then what we know now.  Though I somewhat despise the quote "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" for my own reasons,  I do understand the gist of it what it means. But I've been thinking about what I would say if I could write a letter and send it to myself 10 years ago, and though there are many more then what's listed below, these are probably the most significant... 

...Don't give up. The things that are worth it, don't come easily. And if someone tells you that you can't do something, just let that fuel the fire that is driving you to where you want to go.

...Enjoy the days you have at Mount Tabor High School. The whole time I was in high school, all I could think was how much I wanted to be out of it. Now that I'm an adult with bills and a full time job, I wonder what the heck was wrong with me.

...Just because they're considered "popular", doesn't mean you should try to fit into their mold of what's cool or acceptable.  I wasted too much time trying to be classified as one of the popular girls friends. Why? I have no clue. At the time it seemed really important and very necessary, but here I am, 9 years later, and thankful that I wasn't part of that crowd. I am who I am and that is awkward, loud more often than not, and not stylish by anyone standards. And that's okay. It may not have been then, but if you learn to love yourself at 16, you're doing pretty good.

...Be the friend, daughter and granddaughter that you would want. Praise God this is something that didn't have to be accomplished by graduation and I have time to improve this. But in high school, there is an abundant amount of time to devote to these things. Work hard to be there for your friends and harder to visit your grandparents and family members. Life goes by faster than you ever think it will and moments spent with them is precious.

...Loving God may not be "cool", but it is so awesome. No explanation needed.

...Save your money! I just shake my head when I think about all the money that I made during my high school years that got blown on who knows what. Financial intelligence is still something I'm trying to learn.

...Just because some jerk broke your heart into a million pieces, doesn't mean there isn't an awesome one being prepared for you. I'm pretty sure this applies to all of us. There will always be that one guy that shattered our hearts, but we were positive that was the one we'd spend the rest of our lives with. You know, because meeting your husband when you're 16 happens quite frequently. But again, the heartbreaks and the jerks provide the path that God has paved to the one He has prepared.

...Find what you love and what you're good at and figure out how to make a living doing it. Oh if only I had known this earlier in life. Life is not about working, but you working takes up a lot of hours so you may as well find something you love and that you're good at to pass the hours.

It probably goes without saying that despite me wanting to say this to my 16 year old self, my 25 year old self needs to hear it just as much. I guess that's why they say you never stop growing up. Or at least something like that. Regardless, I would have liked to know all of these things about 10 years ago, but you learn as you go!

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Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

9.11.2011

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We all have those moments in our lives that we know we'll never forget. We may not know at that moment that we'll always remember, but as the months and years go by, those moments become more defined. September 11, 2001 will be with us forever and chances are we will never forget where we were or what we were doing.

I was in 10th grade and sitting in my world history class when the teacher that shared the room came in and turned the t.v. on a news channel. We all sat there watching the scene unfold and trying to make sense of it all, which was somewhat impossible because it didn't seem real. Then, before we could comprehend what we had already been watching, we witnessed another plane fly into the second tower...

I can't tell you what I had for breakfast or dinner that day or what I wore. But I remember where I was sitting and how it felt to see all of that take place on American soil. I remember the uncanny sense of patriotism and unity that reverberated throughout the country in the days to follow this unprecedented tragedy. Now it's been 10 years and that does not even seem possible. So much has happened since that September day and that sense of unity has since faded, but today, we stand together in remembrance and thankfulness for those that lost their lives that day and the ones that followed.

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Never forgotten, forever grateful.
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May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor!

9.05.2011

“Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.
The Hunger Games have begun…”

This is probably one of the best trilogy's or series I have ever read. Looking back, I should have tried them the first time I ever read a blog post about them. But thankfully, reading is one of those things where better late than never is actually true. I already read the first book twice and will more than likely read the second one again in the coming weeks. 

Yeah. I'm that person.  But I only do it with books that I really like because I tend to read faster when I really like a book since I can't wait to see what happens next. And since this is the case,  I inevitably catch something the second time around.

I also discovered that trying to describe these books to someone that hasn't read them and probably won't read them, is quite a feat. They're fictional-fantasy, but not to the same degree as "Harry Potter" or "Twilight". The time frame is phrased as "the not so distant future" and I'd say that's pretty accurate because there are a handful of statements in the three books alluding to what used to be in the land that is now Panem. The citizens of Panem live in 12 "Districts", though there were originally 13. But after an uprising against the Capitol, the 13th district was destroyed and the Hunger Games were born so that the remaining 12 districts will always remember that the Capitol rules all....

I do realize that there are a myriad of synopsis available throughout the world wide web, so I'll stop there. But this book provides twist and turns that you'll never see coming. It grips you, holds on and doesn't let go even after you've finished. They are wonderfully written and entertaining.
please note the cute pup in the background
Obviously, I feel that these books are worth reading, but I'd love to know if you have read this series what you thought and if not, if you're planning on it!

p.s. the movie is coming to theaters on March 23rd and I totally plan on seeing it!

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I Promise...

9.02.2011

No doubt that I have been neglecting my little blog this week, but hopefully that will change this long weekend. Below are a few of the things I hope to blog about before this 3 day weekend is over with.

My blog post wish list..
1. Hunger Games. Enough said
2. Fall decorating
3. Start of college football
4. Early morning gym sessions {believe it or not, they actually happened this week!}
5. Other random items :)

Also, I read today that Chicago Starbucks already has their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Excuse me while the 4-year old inside of me screams not fair and stomps her feet.

Okay. I'm back. But seriously, I'm ready to immerse myself in that cup of goodness...
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And though I'm excited for it's return and arrival, I plan on enjoying the last 2 days before summer unofficially ends. So with that said, I hope you all enjoy your long weekend and I'd love to know how you're spending these final days!

P.S. Please don't forget to check out my other blog "More Than March" and follow it if you like college basketball at all! I understand it's football season, but I could talk college hoops year round...and I do!
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