Friday, January 27, 2012

So True!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How is the New Year Going So Far?

Well, I am not sure how this is possible, but it already feels like Christmas happened a long time ago. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Here are a few things that have made up 2012 so far:

·         My Christmas cactus continues to bloom with no signs of stopping! Last year it had a grand total of four flowers…this year, I stopped counting after 30.

·         I am trying to eat less rice and more ‘other kinds of food.’ I will keep you updated on this one. Yesterday I managed to eat lots of potatoes and no rice!

·         My first photo session of 2012 was great even despite the indecisive weather and some rain.

·         I have had a cold that refuses to go away despite the fact that I take my Vitamin C daily. I have very little energy and it is SO hard to get out of bed every day.

·         I received a birthday gift from a dear friend in the mail and I smile every time I see the gifts.

·         John and I started talking about what we want to do to celebrate our 4th anniversary this coming July. I can’t wait!!!

·         My To Do list keeps growing but I don’t feel very motivated to start working on it.

·         I have not cleaned the bathtub in 2012 yet. I am confessing that I REALLY dislike cleaning the bathtub and I have been procrastinating…hoping that it will miraculously clean itself sometime soon.

·         I am cold all the time – but I am sure you are not surprised by that.

·         I will be photographing a wedding next weekend and I am so excited!

·         John and I started reading the One Year Bible and I am really enjoying reading it together. Sarai’s interaction with God in Genesis always makes me laugh.

·         Watching the Planet Earth series only makes me want to travel to every single existing country.

·         I bought a giant bag of black beans this past weekend. Before we know it we will be eating black beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yum!

Well, that is all for now. I hope 2012 is treating you well this far!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I am Convinced This was Written for Me

So Are You?
Joel Anderson - By Senior Pastor, Harvest Orlando, Florida

"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25

Are you an encouraging person? Do you say encouraging things? Do you show it? When’s the last time, the last person you encouraged? Would you be willing to bring that question to another person? Why ask? Because there are times when we just don’t see it—we don’t realized that our “encouragement” is anything but that. What do I mean? Here are some examples:

 “Well at least you’re not as fat as you used to be.”

“With all the mistakes you’ve made, this one really isn’t one you should be concerned about.”

“You probably were just never meant to be the top sales person. Why don’t you stop trying to be the best and just be who God made you to be.”

“Those other kids are just a lot more naturally talented than you are. It wasn’t really a fair game.”

Maybe you chuckled at one of those, but most of them are things I’ve heard. Certainly it is true at times that the heart and intent of the person offering the “encouragement” meant well, but simply executed poorly. We get stingy with our encouragement or say enough on the positive side of the ledger “to count” as encouragement, but then lace it with the arsenic of an attitude or a partial praise as seen in the statements above.

So can I encourage us to encourage one another? Would you think with me about what our families and fellowship might look like if we walked alongside one another in a more intentional manner . . . if there were fewer “stiffs” and more people embracing one another, acting lovingly toward each other, as I think Christ would desire for us. 

Listen up . . . even the men. I’m thankful my dad was never afraid to hug me.  Dad, your kids need the encouragement of both — your concern and your affection. Even today, whenever I’m greeted by my former pastor at Harvest in Rolling Meadows, he kisses my cheek or head. While I’m not suggesting that’s the bulls-eye, (for some a huge sigh!) I am suggesting that the encouragement of others is a vital ministry and calling for the church. It is a powerful gift that gives life and hope and even healing to the family of God.

  • As I look at my recent behavior at church, would I say that I’m an “encourager” or a “stiff?”
  • How do I respond when people try to encourage me?
Prayer: Father, help me to embrace what You say in Your Word so that others will know I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Help my actions and words to be encouraging to others for no other reason than because it brings You glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Year Older

Yesterday was my birthday and I can now say that I am 26 years old!
OK, I know this is going to sound silly…but 26 sounds really old to me. When other people turn 26, I don’t think that they are really old. My grandma is in her 70s and I don’t think that sounds really old. But being 26 sounds old to me because I am 26. Does that make sense? No? Sorry for being confusing…

To tell you the truth I still kind of felt like I was 17 until recently. I felt like a teenager in some ways and I liked feeling that way. Over the past few years (especially in 2011) I started feeling like a grown up.

It may have started when I got married…and then I finished school…started a new job…paid off debt…watched friends get married…babysat friend’s babies…started a photography business…moved to a new city…

Somewhere in the middle of all those life events I realized that I no longer felt like I was 17. Reality hit and it became very obvious that I am an adult.

So, as a 26 year old (adult) I will tell you that despite no longer feeling as young as I used to be, I had a great birthday! It started by being with family over Christmas and New Years. I enjoyed being with the people I love, opening gifts that are SO me and eating yummy meals in the spirit of celebration!

Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I got to wake up next to my beloved…who planned a surprise gift! He sent me a few emails during the day with little hints and told me to be ready by 4:30. I was so excited I could have been ready at noon.

He picked me up when he said he would and took me to get my very first professional massage!!! It was great and relaxing and great.

We had seafood for dinner (because all I wanted was to have seafood) and spent the rest of the night together. I felt so blessed.

It was truly a wonderful day!

I am so thankful for family and friends who made me feel so loved and cared for! I am so thankful for a Savior who has given me one more year of precious life! May my 26th year of life bring glory to the one who knit me together in my mother's womb and breathed life into my veins!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

From 2011 to 2012

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

This was not a white Christmas, but John and I had a great time with family and friends while eating yummy meals, playing games, driving to see Christmas lights and sharing about the things we are thankful for – and above all, we are thankful for Jesus.

I know that 2011 was a hard year for many people (John and I included), but it was so refreshing to count our blessings and be reminded that the Lord was very much present in our good days and bad days this past year. Although I pray for a more cheerful 2012, I feel confident that the Lord will continue to shower us with his unfailing love, unexplainable wisdom and everlasting hope.  

I just have to share some of these with you!

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