Aren’t You Glad?

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 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 {NIV}

Aren’t you glad this is truth? I am.

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be yourself.

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I seriously love this. The quote, the design, everything!

Something I want to do this year is really learn who I am. No, I’m not going to go all granola and head out into the woods to “find myself”. I just want to learn by observation. At the end of each day I’d like to reflect on what happened and most importantly how I responded and how I could do it differently. How I could do it with Jesus.

I learned a lot about my limits and imbalances last year. I push myself to unhealthy ends to make others happy, to do everything, to be like others and to be perfect. My expectations for myself are beyond attainable and God never intended for me to do ANY of those things I spend my time trying to do.

With that all being said, I’m not making any “resolutions” this year. Resolutions aren’t bad things at all. They’re good, measurable ways to make something happen! But for me it’s pressure. Pressure to achieve and attain. And when someone like me doesn’t measure up to their self-imposed standards, we know just where to find the wading pool of self-loathing. I’m not swimming there in 2012.

Ultimately, I just want to be myself this year. I mean really be me. I want God to write the story not my flesh. I don’t want to be who I’ve created me to be or who the world tells me to be. I want to be the Me that God created me to be–Holy and dearly loved.

you thought I died, didn’t you?

I didn’t die but I did kind of forget I had a blog.  No, not really that either. Whenever something I do for fun starts to feel like an obligation, I run. Hard in the other direction. Blogging started to feel that way so I pushed it far away.

I haven’t been up to tons but have intentionally been cutting back on any of the unnecessaries. I find that I can lean too far one way and ruin a good thing. None of this probably makes sense but thats okay, because I’m moving on in 3, 2, 1.

Since the miserable post I posted last I’ve done some new things.  Nothing groundbreaking, just new.

I started watching Design Star. It ended last week but added a fun little extra to my Monday nights.

Meg’s designs we’re my favorite most of the time {her voice was not} so I was so happy when she won, even though I thought Karl was awkwardly funny.

I made a coffee filter wreath {see I told you nothing groundbreaking}.

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They are plastered all over the internet but I was looking for something to hang over the fireplace for fall. I already had a wreath form so I just needed coffee filters. Easy peasy. It did take me two nights to work on though which is something I DO NOT like to do.  I’m impatient and hasty and like to see the end result in an hour. {But, like I said, I’m turning over a new leaf and not pushing myself to make something that’s normally fun, not.} Mine looks almost identical to this one.

I finished a project that has been in the works for almost an entire year! It wasn’t a constant effort, at all.  But, I finally made it happen. It’s a logo for some friends’ dad and his band.

You can see them play here.

I have tried a couple new recipes. One for a pasta salad that is sooo good. It was love at first sight when I saw it in this month’s Southern Living. You can find the recipe here.

It’s a great way to use up those grapes that are about to go bad and an excellent excuse to eat bacon. It IS salad after all.  ; )

The other recipe was for fantastic peanut butter cookies. Oh my word, these are not like any cookie I have had. Super easy and you probably already have all the ingredients. {There are only 5!}

You can find the recipe here.

I also started reading a real live book.  {well kinda, it’s on my Kindle} But you know what I mean, it’s not a magazine, blog, my Bible or a twitter feed. And ya’ll, it’s soo good.

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I’ve been following The Nester, and found her sister’s blog, Chatting at the Sky which is how I came across the book.  She wrote it!! Wow! Grace for the Good Girl is written for and to soo many of us. If you’ve always considered yourself a “good girl” because you strive for perfection, to please others, to “do the right thing” you need to read this book. Emily wants us all to join her to become Recovering Good Girls. {I didn’t do it justice, you’ll just have to read about it and buy it here.}

There’s this other new thing I’ve been doing. Zija!

Every morning I shake up a packet of xm+ in to water and head out for an early morning walk. What?! Yeah, I’ve been walking and even running before work. I can’t believe it either but going to bed early actually DOES help you wake up in the mornings. Zija has also helped me so much in the way of my health: energy, allergies, headaches and weight loss. I really do feel better with Zija.

Yep, I think that’s about it.  What have YOU been up to??

a {simple!} guide for studying Scripture

I get distracted when studying the Bible.

There, I said it.

If I don’t have a guide or I’m not in an all white room with only a chair {which is never} I find it hard to focus. Not just on Scripture but anything really. That’s why I’ve found this method of Bible study perfect for me, short , sweet and to the point. It doesn’t necessarily lend itself to in-depth historical study or anything like that but makes it easy to just simply hear from God. Wonderful.

Here, Pricilla Shirer discusses the 5 P’s of Bible study.  I’ve also written them here for you in case you can’t watch the video or just don’t want to, but she obviously goes into more detail and describes this process better than I ever will.

The 5 P’s of Bible Study

1. Position yourself to hear from God. This is where the struggle begins for me. Go to a place where you won’t be  distracted, turn off your phone, do whatever it takes to put yourself in a place or position where you can really connect with and hear from God.

2. Pour over the passage and paraphrase the major points.  Meditate, ponder, spend time in a small portion of the Word.  Just a few verses is plenty to chew on–we’re not talking whole chapters here.
This doesn’t have to be fancy, just in your own words, describe what you just read.

3. Pull out spiritual principles. What does the part I just read reveal to me about the character of God? What do I think God is trying to tell me here?  Is there something to be learned from this passage?

4. Pose the question. Put yourself under examination of the Spirit and ask yourself questions from the spiritual principles.  Am I following the command? Do I believe what Scripture says here?  What need to change in me to be in line with this passage? Don’t forget to record your answers.

5. Plan obedience and pin down a date to obey. If you have been convicted, challenged or encouraged by the passage, make a plan of action to change, to act, to start doing something, to stop doing something. Whatever it may be, make sure you have a strategy for making it happen.

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I realize there are tons of other methods to study and different things work for different people but this is something I found to be really helpful in hearing from God.

…and because it’s like my new thing to design things for you all to print, here are the 5P’s summed up as a quick reference that you can tape to the inside of your journal or put in a little frame close to where you “Position yourself to hear from God.” : )

There is a color one and a black and white one and they’re each 5″x7″

     



one.

One year ago today…

I walked into a little chapel

to put on the fanciest dress I’ve ever worn

and marry the most amazing boy I’ve ever met

in front of all our friends and family

and supported by the funnest friends ever. seriously. the funnest.

what a lucky girl I am to be blessed with a man like him.

July 10 will forever be our day and I wouldn’t want to celebrate each year of marriage with anyone else but you. Justin, you are wonderful.