Thursday, February 26, 2009

Can't resist....

I volunteered to go shopping on Tuesday to get food and necessities for our trip next week. But................ that's not all I came home with. The $1 section at Target and the amazing sales at Walmart killed me. I came home with more than food. I came home with everything girly. Who wouldn't??!! My precious girl is down there and I want to bring her and the other little girl things to play with while I"m there!! I now have one activity for each day there. I won't try to justify my purchases. I had WAY TOO MUCH FUN!! And I just couldn't resist.... :)
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Thankful Thursday

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

I am thankful for.............

1. The incredibly relaxed week that i have had. I'm taking it easy on school this week and have been focusing on getting ready for the trip, practicing piano, catching up, reading, and doing lots of spring cleaning! I let myself do a little packing every day lol. In all seriousness though, I have just been so thankful for a low-stress week with lots of rest.

2. My date with dad on Tuesday! :) I have been blessed with an incredibly wise and loving daddy!

3. Time with Noah last night taking him shopping for a new backpack.

4. 8 DAYS till Guatemala!! WOW!!! I'M SO EXCITED!

5. The opportunity that God has given us to go to Guatemala. The past week, God has been teaching me how to pray with great expectancy, eagerly anticipating what is to come and what He will do.

6. I have not gotten this nasty cold/flu everyone has been getting..... i've been drinking 3 glasses of orange juice a day and washing my hands like crazy (and praying I don't get sick until after i get back from our trip).

7. Laughter, smiles, and hugs

8. It's ice cream night tonight lol. For those of you not acquainted with ice cream night, it is one of the most delicious and fun events. Once in awhile, one of us (usually me, since I'm the ice cream addict), will call ice cream night. After homework is done, we'll go out and do the drive-thru at DQ, come back and talk or watch a show together on TV. You should try it sometime lol. :)

9. I am SOOOOOOOOOOO thankful for God's goodness in our friends the Semlows' adoption!! They have been waiting on a signature for 5 1/2 weeks now and had reached the point where they HAD to get the signature in order to adopt these kids. Well... lots of people prayed..... and God worked. They finally got the paperwork they'd been waiting for!! Praise Him!

10. Music. Both playing it and listening. It's amazing to have such an amazing aspect of God's creativity in creation. He is incredible.

What are you thankful for today???? I'd like to hear!! Leave a comment if you'd like! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

God is Good

Today was a really good day. Actually, the past few days have just been REALLY good. It's been one of those days when God's faithfulness, grace, mercy, and goodness have been overwhelming. I could just cry with thankfulness.

So.... this afternoon I baked a cake and told my family we were having a "God is good" party tonight. It was like 15 minutes long and consisted of us eating cake and ice cream together. But it was fun. And it was my way of showing my family that I was thankful for them and loved them. That through the blessing of my family, I see God's goodness to me.

I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:1-8

Sunday, February 22, 2009


In exactly 2 weeks from now I will be in Guatemala. I have 13 more days until we leave our home to travel down there... and my heart is full. Full of hope and expectation, and, if I'm honest, full of fear. I am scared to go down there. I am scared of what God will teach me. What He will call me to. I am determined not to numb myself to the pain, I want my heart to be broken over what breaks His heart. Yet it will not be easy. It is not easy to open up and be vulnerable and let God mold and shape you. But it's what I long for. I long for Him to come in and take over my life, my heart. And so, it's with great eagerness that I await my trip. These next couple of weeks will be a time of preparation- mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

I keep thinking of the song Empty Me by Jeremy Camp. This is the cry of my heart:

Holy fire, burn away
My desire for anything
That is not of you
And is of me
I want more of you
And less of me
Empty Me
Empty me
And fill, won't you fill me
With you, with you.
I don't want my life to be about me. I pray that He fills us with Him- all of Him. His compassion, loyalty, faithfulness, goodness, grace, love.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Decorating day!

It's been a great Saturday afternoon. I spent most of it at Hobby Lobby getting picture frames, ordering pics, going to Walgreens (thank goodness it's right down the street lol), and hanging things up! It was so much fun going through all of our old pictures. It'd been awhile since I'd done that. I'd forgotten how perfectly adorable my brothers were when they were little, how precious Chloe was as a puppy, and it was fun to see how we've all changed. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the wall in our office/computer room now! I can't stand bare walls, and this room is starting to look finished, and it's not covered in ancient tins and toys (my mom's collections!). Sorry mom, no antiques for me lol! I aboslutely love photography and have always loved going into friend's homes that have pictures everywhere. It's fun to finally be displaying some of our family photos! Here's some snapshots of our newest home project!! I am probably way more excited about this than I should be. But I just had a great time doing it! :) It's fun to decorate and make things look cute!
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another."
John 1:16

Is that scripture not true?!! Out of the fullness of His INCREDIBLE grace, we have received MANY MANY blessings! Yes God is sovereign, and no life is certainly not easy. But through it all, God is good, and we need not look further than His word to find incredible blessings.

After I read that verse this morning I immediately thought of the basic provisions He has provided me with that I take for granted: home, food, clothes, car, etc. I thought further and my list expanded to the church, family, and friends. As I began thinking about that I realized just how many times God has used other people to shower His blessings on me. I thought about all of the incredible people He has placed in my life who have taught me, loved me, and encouraged me. He has been so generous in giving me dear friends, mentors, role models, and Godly parents. They are some of God's greatest blessings to me, and through them, I have experienced firsthand some of God's greatest gifts, as they show me grace, love, and mercy. Thank you, dear ones, from the bottom of my heart. So God has given me these people. Who has He given other people? I hope that I have been a blessing to others. I hope that I have not thrown aside opportunities to be a blessing to other people. If I have been shown such grace and love from our great God, my immediate response should be to long to show it to others, be a beacon of light and love for Christ. So, as I go about my day, I pray that my life is a blessing to others. I long to reflect back to others the great blessings that have been shown to me.

"From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another."
John 1:16

May we rest in the comfort of His grace, the warmth of His love, and the beauty of His mercy. We have been covered in blessings from above. Now let's pass it on and be a blessing to someone else.

1 year old!

I missed the birthday of my blog by a week but I'm just going to pretend that I didn't. My blog is 1 year old!! What an amazing year. I was looking back at my first posts and see how many prayers God has answered, how He has been so good, how He has moved me from one season of life to another. I see comments from you, who make me smile everytime I see a new comment, full of encouragement and love. Thank you bloggy friends, you make me happy! :) And I love reading all of your blogs too!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On my....

On my mind.... our upcoming trip to Guatemala! I have started my packing list!

On my heart.... Guatemala, the orphans, all the families I know who are heartbroken over having to wait and wait for their children.
The chapter we're on in Captivating is a tough one. It's digging really deep in my heart and sometimes digging deep hurts a little!! But it is ALWAYS good! And growth always comes from it.

On my favorite playlist.... I go on these music kicks where I only listen to the same 6ish songs for like a month. Then I overplay them and won't listen to them for months lol. Right now i'm on a new list of fave songs. They have encouraged me so much and the lyrics are so good! Here's my list for now! :)
Call Me Beautiful by Ginny Owens
You Invite Me In by Meredith Andrews
Slow Fade by Casting Crowns
Love is Not a Fight by Warren Barfield
While I'm Waiting by John Waller
The Blessing by John Waller
Mighty to Save by Hillsong
When the Tears Fall by Newsboys

On my bookshelf... Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. GOOD BOOK! I'm only about 3 chapters into it but have heard amazing things about it. It's already good though!

On my blog... THANK YOU to Melinda who graciously offered to help me on my heading!! It is now up!! :)

Enough about me! What about you?!! Are there any ways I can pray for you today??

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day. I told my mom this morning, "Tonight I'm spending the evening with my little valentine!" This year, I had my own little valentine. I babysat tonight for a sweet 9-month old boy while his mommy and daddy went out on a date night. We played with his choo-choo, rubber duck, read books, cuddled on the couch while he drank his bottle, and sang songs before bed. Thank you sweet Samuel for being my valentine today!

The other reason I love Valentine's Day is seeing all of these romantic fathers and husbands love on their wives and daughters. It is so sweet. I loved seeing the anticipation in wive's faces today as they excitedly talked about their "suprise date" tonight. I loved seeing my friend's face light up when she saw her dad had gotten her and her sister balloons and cards today. It's just fun and makes me happy.

Hope you all had a good Valentine's Day! :) Remember that you are loved more than you can imagine!!


Friday, February 13, 2009


Found this fun website where you play with words.... here's some of mine:

My blog:
Jeremiah 29:11-13

I want to be:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

LOVE this song! :)

I just heard this song for the first time today. PAUSE the music in the right side-bar so you can listen to it!! I posted the lyrics as well! :) Enjoy, ladies! We ARE beautiful!

I've been waiting
For a hero who's brave and strong-
Someone to love me,
Someone to tell me I belong,
So I pretend I'm satisfied,
And I stand watching from the sidelines,
Till You pull me into the light
And say, 'It's Your turn now,
Welcome to your life!'

And You call me beautiful,
And say You've loved me all along,
And You've always held the keys to unlock my soul
Oh You call me beautiful

There's a smile on my face,
And a brand new light in my eyes,
It's a new day,
And I've never felt so alive-
I feel as if I could conquer anything,
Oh thats what Your love has done for me,
And now all I want to be,
Is everything You want me to be-

And You call me beautiful,
And say You've loved me all along,
And You've always held the keys
To unlock my soul, But I didn't know-
Now I can finally start to live,
Take those chances I have missed,
Things will be much different,
Now that I know
You call me beautiful

The story is better than I could dream after all,
Now this is reality
To know You and to hear You call me beautiful
Call me beautiful-
Now I can finally start to live,
Take those chances I have missed,
Things will be much different,
Now that I know-
Now that I know
You call me beautiful

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So I've been playing with pictures and photo programs and trying to create a heading for my blog. But, alas, it has not worked out as I planned. But you may view my attempt at a heading. It just didn't work.... :) I'm learning lots though and hope to learn how to do it eventually!
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Sometimes I just don't understand why things happen. Especially when it's to people I really love. Or to innocent people, children, who did nothing to deserve the treatment they receive. My heart broke when I saw this on another blog:

"As recently published by Nuestro Diario, a leading Guatemalan newspaper, children are being abandoned to the streets at an alarming rate. With few government institutions to provide care and the closure of many private institutions, some birthmothers are simply leaving their newly born children in trash dumps. Nuestro Diario reports that in Guatemala City alone, 91 children were found abandoned with 70 being new born infants. Twenty abandoned children in Guatemala City were found after they had already perished. What is being done to build a social service system which not only protects children from corruption but also from a tragic death?"

You can read the full article in detail here:

Newborn children in trash dumps? Is this the world we live in? That is so sickening to me. Have we fallen so far away that we're willing to take children and throw them away? It makes me want to lie in a ball and sob. But that won't do any good. So I turn to the Father, the loving Father, who adopted me as a child when He found me covered in grime, helpless, and crying out for help. And when I seek Him, I find Him with arms open wide. He has a plan and a purpose. I wish that our hearts weren't so hardened that it takes millions of orphans to open our eyes to our selfishness but perhaps that is what it will take. And through it all, I see hope with every adoption blog that I read. God is redeeming by placing these children in families. God is redeeming by sustaining wonderful Christian orphanages and organizations around the world. God is placing the call to the orphans as a heavy burden on people's hearts. There is hope, despite the pain in the world!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


What a day!! God was so good to us! The conference went wonderfully! God kept bringing people to the table in a steady stream, and we sold quite a few items (more than I was expecting!). We also made some really good connections with people and I'm excited to see if they follow up with us! While I could stop this post here with this update, I feel like I have much more to say.

I was just overwhelmed with emotions all morning. They brought all of the conference participants and anybody who was running a booth into the main sanctuary for the opening speaker. The speaker showed a video that made me cry. It was just picture after picture of orphans around the world. As the precious faces flashed by I saw more than just people. Each face was a child. A child who is forgotten, abandoned, unloved. A child with a heart, that has been pierced time and again with hurt and disappointment. These are the thoughts that were going through my head as I watched that video. And it left me feeling raw. Broken. Every so often, God always places me in the way of something that grabs me. I am thoroughly convinced that He does this to keep the flame in my heart going. Because each time, the fire is stoked and my burden weighs more heavily, reminding me of God's call to care for the orphans. A little later on, there was a mom with 3 kids in tow. She walked up to the poster we had set up next to the table and began to weep as she looked at the faces of the children. I nearly began crying right along with her but managed to hold it in! As I watched her clutch her son tight as the tears poured down her face I couldn't imagine a more beautiful image. I was watching a woman let God share His heart with her. In "Fields of the Fatherless," C. Thomas Davis says, "Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cy out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human." She was letting her heart be broken by what breaks God's!! That is so beautiful.

I do not let down my guard nearly enough to let my heart break for the world. For the people. For the children. I will purposely not watch a video on a blog that I know will make me cry. Because it hurts. Yet I need to open up. I need to let myself be moved. Let God change me to make myself more of a servant and more willing to go where He leads. I want to be broken by what breaks His heart. Will we as Christians let God break our hearts as He shows us the need?? As I watch the beautiful faces of children go by on the screen will I let it sink in that each one of them needs a family?? There's a choice to make. May my heart be broken and surrendered to what God will have me do to answer His call to care for these children!

Yet my spirits were lifted as, throughout the morning, I saw hope. Hope for these children who will be placed in families. Hope for the young couples who walked around with empty arms. God, in His beautiful plan, has already ordained precious children to be placed into these families whose hearts have been touched and broken by His call to care for the orphans!! That is hope.

I'm struggling with a good scripture to end this post with! My mind keeps turning back to my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11. You all must think I don't know any other scripture. But my heart is drawn to those words of life and hope. Hope for your life. Hope for my life. Hope for the lives of the children who are fatherless here, but who have a Father in Heaven who loves them more than I ever could.

"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.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Conference Tommorow

Tommorow we're taking Scraps 'n Ribbons (the business my friend and I run that benefits orphans) to an adoption conference!! I'm so excited! God totally dropped the opportunity in our laps and I'm praising Him for it! I would really appreciate prayers that:
1. People would be drawn to our table. Even if they don't buy anything, just spreading the word about our business is fantastic!
2. That GOD WOULD TOUCH PEOPLE'S HEARTS!! If even 1 family's heart is broken for the orphans and decides to adopt through this conference, that will be success. That would be one more child with a forever family that loves them.

I'll post pics tommorow!!!

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Small Indulgences

My favorite little treat when I need a little something sweet.... my tiny bowl of chocolate chips. Yep. Just plain ole' chocolate chips!!

Be Still and Know

I love my life, with my insane schedule of work, school, church, friends, and family. However, I tend to let my life get a little too crazy. I hate telling people no. To me, the worst feeling in the world is feeling like I disappointed someone. I thrive off feeling needed, leading me to overcommit myself. They're always good things that I commit too, but I just can't say yes to everything. There has to be a line that I draw, a boundary, so that I have time for the things that are truly important.

Yesterday I was getting ready for the day and trying to figure out how I was going to get everything done and realized that I just couldn't!! I can't do everything, I'm only human! God was just speaking to me and brought Psalm 46:10 to mind: Be still and know that I am God. Of course, it "just so happens" that I have been playing the SCC song "Be Still and Know" recently. It is hard for me to be still. Hard for me to say no. Hard for me to be humble and say, "I'm sorry. I can't do that." It's hard for me to set aside my projects/things I'm doing and focus on people or meditate on the Word. But it's something I must remind myself to do because it's SO very important!!!

So I'm trying to take little steps. Trying to consciously make decisions that leave me in a good position, with time to Be still from the constant running-around of life and to make sure my priorities stay in place.

I encourage you to take a few moments today to be still before the Lord. Just close your eyes and take a deep breath!! Relax! It will bring the sunshine back into your day. Know that He is God. He is faithful. He is good. He is eternal. He is powerful. He has a plan. So be still and rest in that.