Thursday, December 20, 2012

{Christmas Favorites}

Smell: Real Christmas trees, the smell of fireplaces when walking outside, the smell of cold (yes, that smell exists)

Tradition: Tim and I always go to the store (usually Target) and each purchase at least one ornament for our tree. Then I usually write the year we purchased it on each ornament (somewhere inconspicuous).

I also make homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day (yummmmm)

Movie: Elf! I have seen this movie a gazillion and one times, but I never get tired of it! We have it on every year when we decorate our home for Christmas.

Hymn: O' Holy Night -- my all time favorite. The lyrics are full of richness and bring glory to the Lord. I can't get through the song without crying. It is beautiful. 

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining, 

It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth. 
Long lay the world in sin and error pining. 
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth. 
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! 
O night divine, the night when Christ was born; 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!  

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, 
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. 
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, 
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land. 
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger; 
In all our trials born to be our friends. 
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!  

Truly He taught us to love one another, 
His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in his name all oppression shall cease. 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, 
With all our hearts we praise His holy name. 
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we
His power and glory ever more proclaim! 
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Christmas Album: Sufjan Stevens - Songs for Christmas

Gift: A few Christmas' ago, my parents started to gift us parts of the Willow Tree Nativity set. Each year since they have continued to add on to it. I am so thankful for this set. It is beautiful and I love setting it out every year.

Sight: I love looking at Christmas lights and looking for that 'Griswold' home! I also love sitting in my living room, turning off all the lights except for the lights on the Christmas tree. I love our tree and looking at all of our special ornaments.

Dislikes: Crazy stores & full parking lots, elf on the shelf, the terrible drivers that seem to come out this time of year, Texas winters (thankfully it is cold today! But it's been spring like the past few weeks); I want some sweater weather!

Feel free to comment and tell me some of your favorite things at Christmas time!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 15: 3 Gifts Golden

Golden Christmas Decor
Twinkle lights. Ornaments. Tinsel. Sparkly, gold snowflakes. Wrapping paper. Ribbons. Adds a warmth to the season!

Golden Sunsets
Simply gorgeous. 


Golden Butternut Squash Soup
Warm. Creamy. Yummy. Homey. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 14: 3 Gifts Silent

Rather than try and make up for the last 10 days, I am deciding to just move on. Life happens, right? 
Thank you for understanding.

Saturday Mornings
One of my favorite times of the week. I wake up (usually before the hubs) and the first thing I do when I leave the bedroom is open the blinds in the living room to let all the beautiful morning light in. I start the coffee, feed the starving kitties, make myself a little breakfast (usually scrambled eggs & toast), and then sit on the couch with my bible, journal, and pen. It is so quiet. It's a time when I can just be. I don't have anywhere to go for awhile. I can sit, soak in God's word, pray, journal and be silent. It is my mini Sabbath. It truly is glorious. The best rest I receive all week long!

A Look
You know that look. That look you get from your spouse, a best friend, a family member. That look where you understand exactly what they are trying to communicate without having to say a word. There is something so special about having a close relationship like that where you know exactly what the other person is feeling or thinking by just a look. I love that. And I am thankful to have relationships like that.

Silent Prayer
This truly is a gift. I love that no matter where I am, no matter what I'm doing, I can always be in communion my Heavenly Father. He hears us even when we're silent. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Days 2 & 3 Smooshed

My goodness -- it has been one crazy weekend! I knew it would happen that I'd end up smooshing days together this month. I have good intentions to blog daily.....really, I do. I took Friday off from work so I could spend the day with Tim and his family. Tim turned the big 3-4 yesterday! I'm so thankful that his parents were in town so that the whole family could get together to celebrate! That rarely happens. And today I went to my high school alma mater, which was hosting their annual marching band invitational. Two of my nieces were competing! It brought back so many memories of when I was in marching band. OH, the good ol' days. Now I'm home, exhausted from the weekend (and it's only Saturday night...) and ready to chill with da hubs and watch 'The Office'. So, without further adieu.....

{Day 2} 3 Gifts Worn
1. My engagement & wedding bands -- such a precious reminder of the covenant I have made with Tim and God. And they're gorgeous too ;)

2. A Smile -- smiling is such a wonderful gift! Turns a not so good day, into a better day in my opinion.

3. Comfy, cozy sweaters in the fall/winter (of course, not when it's still 80 degrees in Nov...oh TX...)

{Day 3} 3 Gifts that start with 'N'

1. Neighbors -- we are truly blessed with great neighbors on either side of us.

2. Nebraska -- Family. Slower pace of life. Great memories. My second home.

3. November -- one of my favorite months. Color changes in the leaves, cooler weather (sometimes), Thanksgiving, yummy seasonal Starbucks coffee flavors, Pumpkins, etc.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 1: 3 Gifts Eaten

October was the 'blog every day' month. Yep. Missed THAT boat. But I like this month even better. I've decided to blog every day of November about things that I am thankful for. And to help me do so, I'm going to follow Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare for November! Won't you join me? Whether you do the same on your blog or in your journal at home, let me encourage you to really spend some time thinking about God's blessings in your life. I'm sure if you really sat down and started writing down things that you are thankful for, you wouldn't be able to stop. So, here we go!

1. Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate chips -- Yum. So nice to indulge a little (or a lot?) today after a good but challenging week.


2. Gluten Free anything (!!) -- I have Celiac Disease, and since I am unable to have anything with wheat/gluten in it, this new trendy gluten free thing that's going around is pretty freakin awesome :) I remember back when I first realized that I was gluten intolerant, I decided to make some bread. Now, this was 8 years ago. You could not find gluten free all purpose baking mixes and bread mixes at almost any store. So, I think I went to the local natural food store, bought some rice flour and decided to make bread out of that. Rice flour and egg, plus a few other ingredients = ricey eggy doughy nastiness. I feared I was doomed to never have bread again, and that my friend, was a sad day. Thankfully times have changed, and I can go to practically any store and get the ingredients I need to make bread, or just buy some yummy gluten free bread from the frozen food section! It truly has made life a little easier in the food department. So thankful!

3.  Indian Food -- curry. tandoori. mixture of amazing spices. naan (gotta figure out how make gluten free naan...). basmati. Makes my taste buds go crazy. In a good way.

Thankful for the food that God has blessed me with to savor and enjoy! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

{Fall & Blessings with a Little Mix of Realness}

My morning started out like every other morning. Dragged myself out of bed, away from the warmth of the covers. Took a shower. Got dressed. Did my hair & makeup. Fed the cats. Grabbed a quick breakfast (thankfully I made it the night before!), poured my coffee into my travel mug (little sugar & cream. stir.) Grabbed my purse & keys, and walked out the door. The moment I stepped on my porch I was greeted with fall. True fall. Coolness in the air! It is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s! I love the changing of the seasons. Especially living in TX, the gift of fall is welcomed. I decorate my home early (usually around Sept 1) in preparation because I like to make fall last in my home as long as possible. I love everything about it. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, spice scented candles that make my home smell a-mazing, the colors, cooler weather, etc. I love how creative God is and how he turns leaves into radiant, beautiful colors. All different. But they flow so well together. Makes me want to praise Him from whom all blessings flow. Such a precious, precious gift. I just want to soak it up and bathe in it for awhile....

Tim and I are in a slow-long-seems like it will never end-days I feel like I'm hanging by a thread-season of our own (kind of feels like a long, hot, TX summer - the kind that never seem to end). This has been one of the toughest seasons of our lives thus far. God is molding us, refining us, s t r e t c h i n g us, sanctifying us. And it is hard. Super hard. And there are days that I just want to give up. There are days that I sit and cry and ask God, Why? and How much longer? and Are you there? There are days where I feel like I'm living the movie 'Groundhog Day' and I wonder, what's the point? I have been all over the map emotionally. I have been distant from people (which I hate). I have seen the ugliness of uglies of sin in my heart. Tim and I have had many hard and long conversations about big life things. I am thankful that him and I are on the same page. We are in prayer. We are waiting on the Lord. I want to be bold in actively seeking Him. His way is far superior than anything I could come up with -- something I need to trust in. God is gracious in that he turns the ugliness of life into something beautiful. God showers us with blessings, daily, even when they don't look like blessings. I am excited to see where God is leading us, as hard as this road has been. 

About a month ago, I found this band on Spotify. LOVE THEM! Go check them out. now.
I love the realness of the our humanness, we are weak. There are days of doubt. There are days of hopelessness. Satan loves nothing more than to put subtle lies in our heads, and so often, I believe them; anything to distract me from my Savior and His promises. There are days when the Lord seems far away. There are days I need to know that the Lord is still holding me in His hands. This is the song that I've been singing the last several months, to be honest. There are days when I cry out to my heavenly Father, 'I need a reason to sing!'

I am thankful that the Lord tenderly, and maybe not so tenderly at times (which is OK because I often need a good kick in the behind -- it's called violent grace) reminds me that He is with me. That He does have me. That He dearly loves me! That this life is not for nothing. I am thankful for Truth. I am thankful for good friends and a church that cares about my soul and my heart. I am thankful for Jesus. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. {Deuteronomy 31:6}

Friday, August 10, 2012

{I will wait on You}

Photo courtesy of Mrs Suzie Cue

How long,O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
{Psalm 13 ESV}

Monday, July 16, 2012

Give Grace

Let no corrupting talk 
come out of your mouths,
but only such as is  
good for building up,
as fits the occasion, 
that it may give grace 
to those who hear.
                       {Ephesians 4:29}

God has been pressing on my heart lately about my words. 
Words can be: ugly, disrespectful, harsh, vindictive -- just down right hurtful.
Words can Tear Down
It's amazing how just a few words can affect someone for the rest of their life. How it can affect relationships. How it can affect harmony with one another.

How would God have us speak to one another? How can we give grace to each other? How can we build each other up instead of tear each other down, whether to faces or behind backs?
 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. {Colossians 3:12-17, ESV}

Praying this over my heart and over yours as well today, whoever you may be. May our Heavenly Father give us words of kindness to speak to one another. That through Christ, who lavishes grace on us daily, that we may extend that grace to those around us. May the words of Christ dwell in us, and be on our lips.