Choosing to See God


So, unless you've cut television, the internet and all modes of social media out of your life, chances are you are aware of the horrific, ongoing "scandal" at Penn State and the senseless, disturbing shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

And unless you truly did remove the aforementioned aspects out of your daily life, both of these things have no doubt left you feeling angry, helpless and heartbroken.

This world, simply, is messed up beyond reason.  Every day, we're inundated with stories and subject matter that weighs heavy on our heart.  We wonder why they happen and we long for answers.

And sometimes, we ask the unanswerable question of "why did God let this happen?"

As a believer, I hate this question because as I said, it's unanswerable.  My friend, Megan, talked about this a couple of weeks ago and I loved what she had to say.  When things happen that we don't understand, it's easy to wonder why an all-powerful, loving God would let awful things happen to innocent people.  On one level, I will never have anything resembling an answer.  But on another level, I choose to believe and trust that fire burns brighter in the dark; no matter how dark it may get, God's light cannot be overtaken.

This world is imperfect and pain is inevitable.  God did not promise a life without pain, but He did promise a life of hope if we choose to follow after Him.

In the moments we wonder where God is and if He's seeing the pain and hurt we're going through, I believe we have to choose to see Him.  Imperfections are easy to see in horrific and senseless acts; God's grace and mercy is there when we look past what's right in front of us.

In 1 Peter, we're reminded "the enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  Reading about the things that are happening in our country and world, will inevitably weigh us down if we let it and that is the devil's goal.  He wants to keep the pain front and center.  He strives to keep people from hearing about the grace and love God still pours out.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed...So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 
- 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 16-18

I'm not sure if I had a true "point" to this post, but I felt compelled to share these words and hope it reaches someone.  And if you haven't read Petra Anderson's story, I implore you to do so.

When the earth shakes, I wanna be found in You 
When the lights fade, I wanna be found in You
All I know is I'm not home yet 
This is not where I belong 
Take this world and give me Jesus 
This is not where I belong
- Building 429


Christmas in July


Lately, I've been struggling to think of posts to write that y'all would actually want to read.  I don't want to write posts just for the sake of writing; I want to write things that are actually worth reading!

With that said, I'm sorry for the lack of posting, but I'm hoping to get out of my slump sooooon!

And because I am the queen of the non-sequiturs,  I'm going to ask y'all for some help.  Sweet husband and I are considering going on a trip this December in lieu of actual presents and we have two possible destination spots in mind;

Denver, Colorado...

or New York City...

I know many of you are thinking to yourselves, "doesn't she know it's July?  Why is she making plans for Christmas?"  As I mentioned in this post, my love for Christmas is not normal AND if we do decide to go somewhere, I'd like to get a ball on the planning process.

I've never been to Colorado, and though I should probably be a little embarrassed to tell you guys where the inspiration came from to go there, I'm not and it's the "The Hills."  Since MTV has been airing episodes for several weeks now, I couldn't help but to DVR more than a few.  And whenever crazy Heidi goes back home to the tiny mountain Colorado town of Crested Butte, it's covered in snow and I just long to be there (sans Heidi and Spencer).

But after seeing where Crested Butte was, Denver was a more realistic option.  With that said, as beautiful, and possibly snowy, as Colorado would be, to visit New York at Christmastime has always been on my bucket list.  

So, I'm looking for opinions, suggestions or other ideas!  Yes, it's July 23rd, and yes, December is still months away, but if this year has taught me anything, it's that it'll be here before we know it! 


If You Really Knew Me...


I've seen this done on a few blogs now and thought to myself, "what a great idea! I'm totally stealing it."  So, I hope you enjoy the stolen idea and learning a few random facts about me!

+ you'd know when I'm hungry and/or tired, I get crazy cranky.

+ you'd know I get really, really attached to characters in books.  Like, to the extent that when the book is over, I feel something resembling sadness.

+ you'd know that I consider our dogs the perfect substitute for real kids for the time being.

+ you'd know that anytime something medical happens in real life, I usually say, "that happened in Grey's Anatomy one time."  I also comment about how no doctor I've had or have seen looks like McDreamy.

+ you'd know I take a lot of pictures.  Or if you read this blog on a regular basis, you'd know that, too.

+ you'd know I get told I look like Taylor Swift...a lot.  You'd also know I don't ever agree.

+ you'd know not to call me during a Carolina basketball game because I will not answer.

+ you'd know that I love Christmas in a way that is not normal.

+ you'd know one reason I workout is so I can eat more.

+ you'd know I do not love confrontation and try to avoid it at all cost.

+ you'd know that despite hating confrontation, I will stand up for what I believe and don't back down without a fight of some sort. 

+ you'd know even though I don't love running, I trained for a half marathon.

+  you'd know I have a tendency to ramble on and on even after whatever my original point has been made.

And on that note, I'll stop! It's more challenging that I thought it would be to think of things that only the closest of close in my life would know.

Happy Friday!


I've Learned You Can Get by with Sweet Tea and God's Graces


This past weekend, we headed up to Chapel Hill to see two of my favorite people, Carly and Allen, start their life together as husband and wife.  Also, if you find yourself thinking a lot of my friends are getting married this year, you'd be right.

Andrew and I met Carly in 2009 when she took some AMAZING photos of us... 

Little did I know that the girl behind the camera would become one of my dearest friends for years to come.

The wedding was at a beautiful church right off Franklin Street, but sadly, pictures were not allowed.  The reception was at Bay 7 in Durham and it was one of the coolest reception sites I've ever been to.  It was an open, blank canvas that was waiting for a bride's creative touch, which is exactly what Carly did...

We spent the night making new friends, eating good southern food and just showing off our awesome dance skills.

Seriously, if you're ever having a not so great day and are in need of a laugh, just ask for a video of my "dance skills"'ll brighten your day right up.

No visit to Chapel Hill is complete without a little bit of sightseeing.  It doesn't matter how often I visit that little college down that has been doused in the perfect shade of blue; I cannot get enough of it.  Andrew and I have made and have been given a lot of wonderful memories there.  And as silly as it sounds since I never lived there, Chapel Hill sometimes feels like home.

After sightseeing around campus, we headed over to Suttons, a Chapel Hill institution that neither of us had ever been, for a delicious lunch.  And though we were completely stuffed, it made sense to walk over to Krispy Kreme afterwards because the "Hot Now" sign was on and I'm pretty sure it's illegal if you don't get a dozen when that's the case.  Then the perpetual bittersweet moment arrived of getting in the car to head home.

It was a wonderful weekend that I'm not sure could have been any better.  But with that said, I'm extremely thankful that the next couple of weekends will be spent here at home.  That hasn't happened a lot this summer and I plan on enjoying it! 


Friday Desires


I would like to...

...go here...

...actually learn to play this... this... this... this more...

...wear this...

Since I have contracted the worst bout of bloggers block in the in the history of the world, this is the best I have for today! Happy Friday!!

{Images from Pinterest boards}

Life in the South


I love being from the south.  I say "y'all" and "bless her heart" and expect all restaurants to serve grits and biscuits and gravy for breakfast.  And the older I get, the more I appreciate front porches and sweet tea.

What I do not love about the south is summertime, and more specifically, the temperatures that can sometimes go with the being below the Mason-Dixon line.

Seriously, a weather thermometer should never read in the triple digits. Never. Ever.

I am beyond thankful that we haven't lost power and I'm praying for those that have.

My way of rebelling against this insane heatwave this past weekend, was to go a bit crazy on my fall and Christmas Pinterest boards.  I'm sure my husband wondered why I kept showing him pictures of pumpkins and Christmas wreaths that "we HAVE to make," but we'll just consider it my coping mechanism.

great idea

the perfect fall ensemble must be comfy and cozy
I like simple, pretty decoration ideas

the wreath "we HAVE to make"

Yes, I know it's only July 2nd. And, yes, I know that in the south, fall can be slow to arrive.  Regardless of those minor details, at least I'll be prepared for whenever the beautiful season of autumn decides to grace North Carolina with it's presence.

But until then, I will love the steady, ever present hum of our air condition and make sure our ice cream maker earns it's keep!

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