Giving God my First

My precious friend Ashley, was my Secret Santa for our Bible study group’s Christmas Party. She gave me a beautiful new prayer journal and I’ve been trying to make good use of it. I’m trying to start a new habit of giving God my first… the first of my attention, my money and my time. I have my alarm set for 5:00 a.m. and my coffee pot programmed. We’ve been trying to do more preparation at night to make our mornings less of a hassle, too. Unfortunately illness and unexpected weather has not made it an easy task, but this morning, I was up before my alarm and reading His Word. I also spent some time reading Follow Me by David Platt. (Our Bible study group is doing the study workbook and it is eye-opening. Let me tell you.) I’ve been using the P.R.A.I.S.E. format for my prayer journal: P – Praise, R – Repentance, A – Acknowledgment, I – Intercession, S – Supplication for Self and E – Equipping (found it in Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore). It helped give me a good foundation in the beginning of my journaling, but slowly I’ve been drifting into jotting down what is closest to my heart. This morning I wrote some thoughts bouncing around in my brain after doing some reading of Follow Me.

God’s Will Revealed
I’ve found myself completely obsessed at times, with “knowing God’s will for my life”. In this particular passage, David Platt gives a great perspective on this:

God has a will, and he has made it clear. From cover to cover in the Bible, God wills to redeem men and women from every nation, tribe, language and people by his grace and glory. Subsequently, we are not surprised when the last words of Jesus to his disciples are, ‘Therefore go and make all disciples of all nations.’ We have no need to ask God to reveal his will for our lives; instead, we each ask God to align our lives with the will he has already revealed.

Its pretty obvious that God has called us to follow him and make more followers. My question is, where do I get started? It seems pretty obvious to me, that the best place for me to start is in my own house, beginning with myself. Here are some of the thoughts I jotted down in my journal this morning…

What can I do to grow my relationship with God?

  • Daily Prayer Time (giving God the first of my day)
  • Spending time in the Bible everyday (I listen to a daily reading plan on the Bible app on my way to work… The One Year Bible)
  • Making an extra effort to pray throughout the day – Bless my meals!
  • Ending my day with a short prayer and Bible time

What can I do to encourage my husband’s relationship with God?

  • Be a Godly wife (love the Proverbs 31 wife, she’s my hero)
  • Share my daily experiences with God with him
  • Be supportive and helpful, not a “nagging wife” (avoid Proverbs 21:19 wife like the plague)

What can I do to grow Godly children?

  • Pick a weekly Bible verse to memorize and keep it up on the fridge so we see it everyday
  • Lead them in prayer at meals and bedtime
  • Read more Bible stories (Alston loves David and Goliath right now)

What else can I do?

  • Make sure we all make Sunday a priority (breakfast, plan ahead for less stress)
  • Make Wednesday Bible study a priority for me but not an inconvenience for my family (plan ahead)
  • Pray over our home and keep some Bible verses around for encouragement

To the last year of my Twenties…

My twenties have been good to me. (I mean, who looks back on their twenties and says they were horrible?) I enjoyed college. Got married. Had baby #1. Bought a house. Had baby #2. Got my first job as a REAL graphic designer. I feel like I’ve grown exponentially both spiritually and emotionally. But let me tell you, I am so excited about my thirties. 

Why? Why not?! The thirties are when you finally have your life together and you’re still young enough to enjoy it.

So here’s to you Year 29… I will enjoy you thoroughly, but I will not mourn you when you are gone.

Birthday kisses and Prosecco…

Obligatory Blurry Birthday Selfie
Silliness at World Market

Christmas 2013

Are you so over Christmas? Well sorry, I know this is a little late, but this is really just for the benefit of this being like an online scrapbook.

This year, we started celebrating Christmas before the Thanksgiving turkey made it into the oven. I remember how magical Christmas was as a child. As I got older, it lost some of its sparkle and I decided to try my best to bring it back. We put up our tree super early, decorated the house to the nines, made our own decorations, had several Christmas photo sessions, saw Santa 3 times (he’s super busy!), cooked a lot, listened to the Chipmunk’s Christmas albums (vol. 1 & 2) every time we got in the car, enjoyed Christmas shopping, talked about the real meaning of Christmas and did an advent calendar, watched Christmas movies, read Christmas books, sang Christmas carols at the top of our lungs in the Walmart parking lot, and squeezed out every last drop of Christmas joy possible.

And treasured every second of it.

My brother (the 22 year old Marine) flew in Christmas Eve to spend the holiday with us. We really enjoyed having him and the boys are forever in love with their Uncle Logan. I even enjoyed taking the tree down… the weekend after the New Year. The boys helped and it was fun and less of a chore.

The point is, from now on I will be making extra effort to make Christmas at our house as special as possible. Not just for the kids, but for us, too. I guess I better start planning for next year. 🙂

Ice Skating Part 1

Ice Skating Part 2

Peanut Butter Pie

Home Made Christmas Garland

Advent Calendar

Alston as Santa

Alston & Uncle Logan

Eli & Aunt Katelyn

My First Venison Roast = Success

25 Days of Love {Revisited}

So back in July I challenged myself to do one random act of kindness a day, for 25 days. Easy enough, right? Not really. I bought someone’s gas, their breakfast, left a hefty tip at a restaurant… but started to realize that there was only so much I could do to give away one of those little cards. So I made an effort to show love to everyone. I smiled at everyone I made eye contact with, I tried not to get aggravated with people, I let people cut in front of me in line, etc. One thing I’ve learned is that I should be making a general effort to show love to everyone I meet every day… not just during a 25 day challenge. I mean, isn’t that basically what the entire Bible is about? Loving people? Let me tell you, its not easy. Its a daily struggle. But that is part of being a human.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do. Happy Tuesday!

25 Days of Love

We just started a new series at church called Change Your World. The message was amazing and exactly what I have been wanting to hear. {You can watch it here.} The basic point is that, as Christians, it is our job to be the change that we want to see in the world. Cliche, I know, but so very true. This message really spoke to me and it has inspired me to commit to 25 Days of Love. I will be challenging myself to find one stranger to love every day for 25 days. Find a need and fill it. Find a hurt and heal it. Pretty good stuff. Monday was day one. I’m using this blog as a way to hold myself accountable. I plan on reporting back with a complete list of my 25 random acts of kindness. Hopefully, this will ensure that I do them and inspire others to love a stranger as well. Happy Wednesday!

Declutter & Do Better

Its been awhile since I last checked in… In the past couple of months, I have really been trying to work on myself: as a Christian, a wife and a mother. I have started clearing out the clutter and the excess… the clutter of the world that hinders my relationship with God, the excess of time wasted on things that aren’t important, the excess of unhealthy behaviors and choices, and even the clutter in my house. I have to say that its a struggle, but its totally worth it. And the longer I do it, the easier it becomes. Am I finished? Certainly not. And I never will be. Can I tell a difference? Absolutely. And I hope everyone else can, too. I have realized that my purpose in this world is to love people – all people – no matter how difficult they are to love. To do that, I have to love me first.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I’m sad the Google Reader is leaving, but I really love Bloglovin, and now it has an app. I’ve gotten back on the band wagon and I will only be posting whats meaningful to me… I’m not trying to post every day, or every week even, if nothing exciting happens. But at my house, something exciting happens everyday. Like at 12:30 am, I was on my front sidewalk in my pjs with my thirty-eight revolver. See, every day there is excitement of some kind or another. One day I will tell you the whole story. Until then, check out Bloglovin. 

Hello, June

This weekend we enjoyed the spoils of summer… Gardening, sprinkler fun, ice cream, shrimpboil, Church of the Highlands online, a car wash and some reading in the sun… I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend… Welcome June!

Hi Friends

What we’ve been up to:

Alston can write his name and impressed me with his typing skills… (He’s a techie like his momma)

We celebrated our dear friends’ (Congrats Bull and Caycie!) wedding and I failed to get any pictures of my children in their cute new outfits. Fortunately, we’re wearing them to see the Easter bunny, so I’ll have more pictures soon. I did snag a picture of one certain (terribly handsome) groomsman…

We visited Desoto Caverns with Mammy and PawPaw and our cousin Stuart. (He’s the best baby sitter ever.)

Eli has started talking a lot more, can climb in and out of the tub and has started feeding himself…

We’ve kept up our tradition of Waffle House dates when Daddy is away on Saturdays…

 Eli is starting to look more and more like his daddy…

I’ll be back soon with pictures from Easter weekend!

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

Hi friends! I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes today. Its easy and healthy and delicious!

4-6 bell peppers (slice off the top and scoop out the insides)
1 pound ground turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning
1/2 can corn, drained
1/2 can black beans, drained
instant brown rice (2 servings cooked according to the package)
rotel tomatoes or salsa
sour cream

Heat your oven to 425* and stand your bell peppers up in a shallow baking dish. Place the tops wherever you can fit them. Place the peppers in the oven to bake while you prepare the filling. 
Brown the ground turkey and then add your taco seasoning. You do not need to drain the turkey meat or follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet.  Add rice, corn, beans and salsa/rotel until heated through. Remove bell peppers from oven and fill with stuffing. You can dump the remaining corn and beans in the bottom of the baking dish or save them for later. Bake stuffed bell peppers until peppers are as tender as you’d like. Remove from the oven and cover generously with shredded cheese. Bake until melted. Enjoy!