Productive Days

Let’s be honest…December was a whirlwind and definitely not my most productive month of the year.  Between all the family get togethers, present buying, not feeling the best….not much got done.  Thankfully, we got to eat out and to eat at other people’s houses, which was such a blessing!  Now, January, on the other hand, always seems to be my “go to” month.  I typically start off the year with ambitious plans and resolutions (I kept mine extra simple this year and didn’t even include too many lists! And I just love my word. Open.).  I love new beginnings and starts.  Plus, the weather is just plain cold so it translates to perfect weather to get things done inside!

Here are a few of the things that have been keeping me busy…

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I LOVE handwritten cards.  I am so thankful that my parents (even when we totally hated it) made us write thank-you cards for gifts.  There is much to be said about being thankful and taking the extra time to express it.

I’m not always prompt on my response time for cards, but I’m adamant about doing them!  These were a mixture of birthday thank-you’s, Christmas thank-you’s, and a few happy notes.  Besides, who can resist cute, bright, colorful cards!?
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Hello Lasagna Soup! This was another Pinterest find.  I totally did not follow the recipe…I only had 2 cups of Vegetable broth instead of the 6 cups (they said chicken stock, but same difference).  A little water helped make up the difference.   I had pasta sauce instead of tomato paste and fire roasted tomatoes.  I didn’t take the time to cut an onion (I needed my one onion for another recipe this week!) and I more or less threw in whatever felt right for all the spices.  I am NOT going to be nominated for the person who can follow a recipe or be known to measure correctly.  However, this was delicious!! I even told my husband that I was excited to eat the leftovers tomorrow.  I am a total sucker for ricotta cheese so that was a highlight! Here’s the link for the original recipe…I would guess that it is just as good if you follow the actual recipe! Plus, if you like meat…there’s sausage! (I opted out of that one!)

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Boaz and I have been rocking out on the treadmill!  He prefers outside, but I’m a wimp and I like to read and walk. 🙂 I started A Confident Heart by Renee Swope!  I’m also pumped to dive into Angie Smith’s books–What Women Fear and Chasing God!  This is going to be a good year for books.IMG_7302Lastly, my domestic diva qualities (well…really a facebook post that said this was super easy and running out of my own almond milk and happening to have extra almonds) led me to believe I should try making my own Almond milk!  I was impressed with how easy and fast everything went!  I need to work on perfecting the taste, but other than that I am a BIG fan!  Separating the milk and almond meal was my only not so favorite thing, but other than that, I approve!  I’m eyeing a few recipes to try out with the leftover almond meal too…so I’ll keep you posted!

That’s what is keeping me busy around here! Other than work and spending time with the husband, of course. 🙂

What have you been up to!? Any suggestions for recipes or crafts or projects or books for me to try!?

What’s Up Wednesday

IMG_1934hearing Boaz crunch on an apple that I deemed too old for me to eat

seeing the book of Luke and my DSM book

thinking that I’m ready for spring and to be able to go outside!

doing bible reading, breaking free, and a final exam

looking forward to seeing sigur ros, going to virginia, and planning another vacay

feeling content and happy to have Boaz home

touching the wooden chairs my grandmother made

missing africa and friends

thankful for being able to sleep in, cereal, pretty wedding pictures, marriage, friends, sunlight, mountains

excited about going to the mountains again

coming up easter, spring, and ally & levi coming home!

something old the shorts i’m wearing that i love

something new a super soft liberty sweatshirt that i got for free

something blue Boaz’s chew toy

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Home?

i’m still catching my breath not sure if it’s really okay to breathe again…still tentatively being like, wait really? and yet all the time thinking oh hey maybe this is just the beginning of a beautiful year of celebrating!

so without further adieu here is the current photo menagerie of the place i’m calling “home?”

it’s a start. a work in progress. and likely things will change, but so far i do love it and it’s me.

first off. i legit love my bed.

and well as you can see…i have a love for shoes and standing mirrors.

I’m in love with this shelf I found–for now it’s here in the kitchen! Plus, the clock has always made me happy.

a little cluttery but convenient and logically placed to include all sorts of happy over here from my mod podge magnetic board to my yellow cup to the paper towels with cupcakes on them to my pink blender to my bright colored silver wear.

love from africa postcard + marathon love water bottle + cute white table + painted chair=happy

the words came of course…because I love me some words and can stand in front of the fridge for FAR too long playing with these–at least I’m not eating?!

and this one found a spot on my wall.

here’s my lived-in living room

i LOVE accessories! hello tons of earrings and some necklaces! and cute african boys giggling at me as I get ready.

added a few pops of color in here =)

this room gets SO much sunlight in the afternoon it’s glorious.

transformed this little area into a nice workspace.

and here’s some more books and more africa.

and oh hey craft corner!

and lastly cue my fave furniture find!

there you have it! the lovely picture tour =)

What are you reading?

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I have a great love for giraffes and for books so this fits just perfectly!

I’ve got quite a stack of books on my desk right now….which will be great because as of yesterday, I finished all the work for my classes for this term! So hello time to read!

God Never Blinks by Regina Brett (seriously absolutely in love with this book)

Inside Out by Larry Crabb (just starting this one)

Drawing Near by John Bevere (I promise…some day I will finish this book)

Azusa Street: They Told Me Their Stories by Tommy Welchel (Intrigued to read this one!)

{w}hole by Lisa Whittle (working my way through this one)

Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn (got this one for free and am excited to see his take)

Enjoy the Silence by Maggie and Duffy Robbins (this looks great! thank you christy for sending it!)

Your turn! Tell me what’s on your reading list or what you’re reading currently. 

faithful to teach

God is ever faithful to keep teaching me and opening my eyes…

Matthew 25:35-36 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

What is it like to serve someone who is really hungry and thirsty? I do not mean someone who has skipped lunch. I mean someone who is starving. Hungry, thirsty people are in great need. They may be demanding. They do not care about you. They do not think clearly. They want only to have their needs met. They are desperate, clamoring, grabbing.

What is it like to serve strangers? They may make no sense to you. Their ways are foreign. They seem dod. You do not know why they do what they do. You cannot serve strangers effectively until you take the time to understand them. If you do not, it is only too easy to serve them in a manner that is frightening, inappropriate, or offensive to them.

What is it like to serve naked people? Naked people want to hide from you. They feel exposed. They do not want to be seen. To not humiliate them requires great tact and care. They do not want you close. They want you to go away. Their ambivalence is overwhelming. But you cannot cover their nakedness unless you move in close.

What is it like to serve sick people? Sick people focus on their pain. It is all they can think about, and their interest in you extends only to what you can do to make them feel better. Sick people live in small worlds. Sick people talk about what hurts. Sick people are needy and often messy. Sick people require constant care and oversight.

What is it like to serve prisoners? You cannot serve prisoners unless you go to prison. You must enter a place of locked doors and little light. You must enter a place of restricted movement. you must enter a place where you are watched and where trust is rare.

ht: Competent Christian Counseling

cloudy and fuzzy: do you enjoy god?

the weather lately has been rainy and cloudy.  my head is a bit cloudy and my throat hurts. my heart feels fuzzy around the edges. tattered. weary. ready for bed. sleep to chase away these cluttered thoughts. i mull over the next question in that little book that i thought would be an “easy” read because oh you know…i know who i am and what i’m about…or i thought i did… first that book was asking me to relinquish those dreams. the ones that as i wrote i realized weren’t future dreams, but were stuck in the past. the next little chunk started asking if i am sacrificing to know god or to go along with the crowd. then it reminded me that the first step in dipping into the satisfaction of god is letting go of our futile quests of satisfaction outside of Him. as if those two didn’t already have me reeling and then it stopped me in my tracks with this question…

do you enjoy god? 

so, how about you…do you enjoy god? are you satisfied by Him?

a purpose

There is a purpose in the waiting. You are not forgotten. He is holding your hand.

Bind up these broken bones. Mercy bend and breathe me back to life. But not before you show me how to die.

And so…I camp out and wrestle with learning how to die alongside these thoughts from “Five Little Questions” by Dannah Gresh (the title is deceiving…they totally are heart booty kicking questions.)

Look with the eyes of your heart so you can see the hope God desires to pour into you so you can follow His footprints to His perfect plan.

Are you prepared to relinquish those unrealized dreams that God never planned to be yours?

The place of our suffering is the place where we find the hope for freedom to live the life God designed for us. Embracing it gives us the courage to move past our fears.

Afraid there’s no hope for you? Look with the eyes of your heart. There is hope.

Your turn (i’d love to sit at your feet and listen to learn from your heart…): What are some desires that God has shown you? Have you had to relinquish unrealized dreams and if so, what helped you along the way? What does hope look like for you? Any other thoughts?

teacups and love

since i’m in the mood here’s a little picture fun….

my lovely tea cups from my church’s teacup & cookie exchange. the red one is from this year and the blue and white is from 2009. i love a little competition and opening presents. though, i must say i get so indecisive and stressed about what one to pick when it’s my turn!

cute cute hat that i got for my birthday from a dear friend for my birthday

my little man holding my sunglasses and being all cute. love him and love the randomness of this picture.

someday. hopefully soon. i will own a papasan chair. i don’t know what the cushion will be like yet, but it will be grand and i will curl up in it and read my bible. i might just even put it in my office.

speaking of bibles…i am quite seriously pondering buying the maxwell leadership bible so that i can use it for the little 6 month chronological read through (starting january 15th!! more details to come…but you should ponder and then totally join me and others in it!). any thoughts on it or bible versions?

ohhh and speaking of doing the chronological read through…did you know that i’m PUMPED to go see my lovely friend who did sprinting the bible in 90 days with me?! because, um, well, i am. so yes, this is going to be an amazing end to 2010 and hopefully starting 2011 off with a little sparkle.

One Word 2011

and with 2010 coming to an end…so does my word for the year (joy).  well, not that it ends! but i get a new word for 2011. i’m a bit scared of my word but i just know god has BIG things in store and wants to use this word in an eye opening way…come back on 1/1/2011 for the official reveal. are you going to pick a word to focus on for the year?

p.s. it’s almost christmas =)

your fault.

“Most of you thought the things that have happened to you were somehow your fault—that you deserved it. If only you had been prettier or smarter or done more or pleased them, somehow it wouldn’t have happened. You would have been loved. They wouldn’t have hurt you.

And most of you are living with the guilt that somehow it’s your fault you aren’t more deeply pursued now….The message of our wounds nearly always is, “This is because of you. This is what you deserve.” It changes things to realize that, no, it is because you are glorious that these things happened. It is because you are a major threat to the kingdom of darkness. Because you uniquely carry the glory of God to the world.

You are hated because of your beauty and power.”

–Captivating

friday book fun

what are you reading right now?

–boundaries by cloud and townsend, the cry of the soul by allender & tremper longman III, the glass castle by jeannette walls, the bible (psalms, proverbs, james 1, and john)

what do you want to read?

here are just a few from my ever growing wish list…..the grace of god by andy stanley, a call to die by david nasser, next generation leader by andy stanley, a million miles in a thousand years by donald miller, ruthless trust by brennan manning, a life unleashed by christine caine, and so so so many more.

what books do you recommend i read?

ohhh, i’m so bad at this because i read so many and have a hard time picking a few. so let’s see….. passion and purity by elisabeth elliot, redeeming love by francine rivers, hinds feet on high places by hannah hurnard, strengthsfinder 2.0, and so so so many others =)

what book did you want to like, but just didn’t?

–captivating by john and stasi eldredge…i really did want to like it…but i just have yet to love it.

 

your turn!!