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Showing posts from January, 2011

romance and the wedding of the Lamb

this is sort of like a part 2, to my last post. if you haven't read it, click here.

well, i wrote that post, and then i went to my thursday morning Bible study the next day. of course, i was ready for something along these lines since that's what we've been studying, but no one could have prepared me for the message that our dear teacher, Amy, would present to us. i wish i had some way to link to her, a video of this message, something to introduce you to her... but i don't. what follows is generally, pretty much, Amy's concept and writing (there is a part where i have her exact words, and the rest i'm writing myself, from her original concept) so don't credit me with this! first, she started out by reading psalm 45 from The Message, to introduce the Bride (you and me) and the Groom (Christ Himself):
You're the handsomest of men;   every word from Your lips is sheer grace, and God has blessed You, blessed You so much. Strap your sword to Your side, warrio…

romance and the ministry of Jesus

this week i am being actively and earnestly pursued by a God who wants to romance me. yes, you read that right: romance me. 

i'm reading Captivitating (as recommended by Leslie) and i'm doing Beth Moore's Breaking Free study. [i happen to be in week 6 of the study, and we are learning about a woman's heart, which is right in line with the message of Captivating]. this week, all at once, God is flooding my heart with this earth-shattering reality that He wants to romance me. i've always known that "the king is enthralled by [my] beauty" and that i am the "bride of Christ". but honestly, i never really sat to think about what that really means until this week.

my husband is not romantic, and neither was/is my dad. based solely on what i've observed through life circumstances, i've always believed that romance was only for the movies. i never knew that it was appropriate for real life. i never knew that it was actually authored by God, someth…

[the book of Acts] : and why it has me uncomfortable

i'm the type of girl who is usually doing some sort of Beth Moore study [like right now, i'm doing Breaking Free]. i read the portions of the Bible that she tells me to read, in the context of what she's trying to teach. don't get me wrong, this is totally wonderful and so useful [and let's face it, she's the best. so, who can blame me, right?] but my goodness, when you actually sit down and read the Bible for yourself with no context, just to get the facts... it messes with you. have you ever read through the book of Acts in its entirety? well, i'm about half way through and it has me uncomfortable. it says things like:

"all the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." [2:44-45]

"... from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had ne…

wishing there was more to show for it

i sat down to play my piano today. it was horrendous. for someone who took piano lessons for almost twelve years, you'd think i'd be a brilliant pianist. not true. you know what they say, "if you don't use it, you lose it"? that's what happened here....

then i started thinking, i've been a Christian for 20+ years. oh, how i wish i had more to show for it. shouldn't i be "further along" than i am?

maybe you hate praying out loud, because you know how grossly obvious it will be that you never pray in private? yeah, i've been there. the beautiful thing is, you can change that... just start praying. not to look good in front of others, but because it will change your life.

do you think God won't hear you? do you think He's long gone and done with you? not true. don't allow the enemy one more minute of control over your life or your thoughts. God loves you more than you could ever fathom, and He longs to prove that to you.

i used to r…

[recipe] the best chocolate chip cookies you have ever tasted. promise.

my mother-in-law is probably the best cook [and baker] that i know. we lived with my in-laws for 9 months, so i benefited from her talents for awhile [no, i didn't cook one dinner those entire 9 months!] i took notes, though, and left with lots of wonderful tips and yummy recipes to add to my collection. by far thee best thing i learned: how to make her signature chocolate chip cookies. these took her about 15 years to perfect, and you'll see the secrets that make them so incredible. [she won't mind that i'm sharing with you :) she's the sweetest person on the face of the earth and loves nothing more than sharing her wisdom]

forgive me, because i don't have photos of every single part of the process [and they're taken at night so they're not the greatest quality]. alright, enough excuses... here's what you need:

preheat your oven to 375 degrees

1 & 1/4 cups light brown sugar. packed
3/4 cup butter flavored crisco[this isn't pictured, but it'…

tutus and tea parties

this past sunday afternoon, my sweet girl spotted her blue pettiskirt, matching top and matching bow hanging in the closet. she looked up at me and said "mama, princess?" so we put on her little outfit and she walked over to the mirror to admire herself. her gaze lingered as she swayed from side-to-side and tried to see what she looked like from behind... and then she exclaimed "reesie, CUTE! go show dada?". there is something so innocent and perfect in her reaction. i love that her first thought was to go downstairs to show her daddy how beautiful she looked. did she want to make sure it was true?she needed her daddy's approval before she believed what she saw in the mirror? it was such a timely example of the truth that i'm pondering as i'm reading through Captivating. i took her downstairs to see her daddy. she twirled around to show him how the skirt fluffed and bounced. of course, being the good daddy that he is, he ooh'd and ahh'd and made…

feminine and timeless gift wrap

for some reason, even though i know it will be torn through and thrown in a trash bag, i absolutely love wrapping gifts. our first married christmas, i wrapped up empty boxes just so that i could look at the pretty packages all december long :) anyway, i just thought i'd share a photo of the box that held all those cute headbands today. so feminine and classic. to me, nothing is more beautiful than lace. i loved it! [and it took her forever to unwrap for some reason, i guess i used a lot of tape!]

[fyi: claire is the new baby's name. reese is my daughter's name]

all alone

mmmm. i love being alone. i really and truly love it.

tonight my husband is working late[ish] and tomorrow too :) is it odd that i'm excited about that? i absolutely love and adore my husband, and we get along really well. he's easy to be around and doesn't expect much, but i really enjoy some solid alone time.

what will i do with this time, you ask? well, there are a few things on the agenda:

1. mix together a large cup of peppermint hot cocoa + a splash of coffee. so delicious. why do i love peppermint and chocolate so much?

2. finish up a few more headbands. my friend's baby shower is on saturday and i'm so excited she's having a girl- mostly because i love giving headbands as gifts. [they're completely adorable, super practical, and everyone loves them. not to mention they cost me $0 because i have an entire room full of leftover supplies.] here's what i have so far. and of course they're way cuter in person:

[yes, i did slow the shutter speed to cat…

photography : a really easy fix for instantly better photos

okay, so i am seriously not an expert. i don't even know the correct terminology. but i thought this might help some of you who are scared of the manual setting on your camera! just having an expensive camera does not equal awesome photos. the little dial that has "auto" and "m", "a", "s", "p". yeah, you're supposed to use that! i've been trying to figure out how to take better photos in bad lighting [without hurting my brain too much in the process]

so, after a seriously two minute lesson from my brother, i learned that in areas of low light [where your point & shoot will use its flash and take horrible photos] you can just lower the shutter speed and things will look great. this allows the camera an extra split second to take the photo, letting more light in. yay! here's a quick example of what i did:

turn that dial to "m". now, you'll see a screen with a bunch of nonsense on it. you want to turn the o…

thrifting, discount stores, and decorating on a budget

i thought i'd lighten up a little and post about something else that i'm really passionate about. i am a frequenter of goodwill, ross, tj maxx, homegoods, marshalls, etc. i love finding deals. it's such a rush! we just moved into a larger house. i'm not kidding, our old condo's entire contents fit into one room... so, needless to say, i've been having fun filling it up! but we're on a tight budget. [i'm talking $15 a week for discretional spending money]. here are just a few examples of things i've picked up over the past few months:

* HUGE disclaimer * i know these photos are absolutely hideous. please humor me and don't worry about the quality! focus on the great deals. i promise i'll break out my NikonD50 and start experimenting with the manual settings really soon :) [i think you may have to click on these to enlarge and see all the writing. sorry!]

[yes, my inspiration for the white dishes filling up the hutch IS none other than the neste…

a few goals for 2011

i know, it's now january 8. i guess i hate the pressure of changing the entire course of my life, in 17 different areas, all in one day. so i take my time and start small [and late].

mainly, i plan to read daily. surprising as it may or may not be, i'm not much of a reader of anything besides the Bible. when i do read, it is always non-fiction. i plan to continue with the lean toward non-fiction, but i plan to make it a daily practice. my husband [who reeeaaallly does not read] has decided to do the same. we want to be like real adults :) so we're going to set aside at least thirty minutes a night, in bed, for just reading. we usually flip through the tv and let it drone on while our minds drift off into neverland. why not feed it with knowledge and words instead? that's the first plan. [i have already started by re-reading "mere christianity" and then the plan is to continue on with the six other major works of the great CS Lewis]

also, i plan to blog much mor…

my gift for you

i just read through this post, where Shauna is talking about our ability to give a gift to others even if we have no extra money or time or tangible goods... she challenges us to share our experiences. what we've learned, what advice we can give about certain things.

everyone's path is vastly different, made up of a million little moments and big moments that pile up to form a person. thankfully, our days have been ordained by God since before we were even born. God gives us trials and circumstances so that we can be equipped to love Him more, to serve others, and to offer insight or wisdom to someone found in the same situation... here's mine.
[on motherhood]: it is the single hardest, and single most rewarding thing i have ever had the opportunity to practice. pray constantly for patience, supernatural love, and purpose in raising your kids. the days are long and challenging but when you decide to see these children as gifts, you start to see your purpose in parenting the…