Friday, December 31, 2010

Filling up the house

This is part of 2 of my new years series. To read part one go here. Please leave a comment or email me with any questions you have!

From the time I was in first grade I had to memorize a verse every single week. I was to recite the verse to my parents and then have them sign a very sheet which would be turned into my teacher. I did really well on this until about my senior year, then I got lazy. That year I just had my mom sign the sheet and then i would learn the verse about half an hour before the verse test. Not the best way to fill my mind and heart with His word.

This year I'm determined to change that. Two girlsfriends and I will be participating in someting called the "Siesta Scripture Memory Team" facilitated on the blog of the wonderful Bible teacher, Beth Moore. You can read detailed instructions here. Basically, you pick a Scripture verse on the first of the month, leave a comment on her blog saying which scripture you've chosen and then memorize it over the next two weeks. You will then repeat the process on the 15th of the month. You will memorize a total of 24 scriptures in all.

I'm really excited about this because I firmly believe in the power of Scripture. Nothing stops the enemy in his tracks like the Word of God. Hebrews 3: 1 reminds us to, 'fix your(our) thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.' What better way to fix our thoughts on Him than to fill our minds with His words?

I'm already chosen my first scripture. I wanted something that goes along with the fast I will be doing. I chose I Thessalonians 5:23, "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." My whole fast is about getting rid of the junk and sanctifying myself before God. I thought this verse was perfect.

I hope that I have encouraged some of you to consider making a commitment to fill your mind with scripture this coming year.


Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cleaning House

This new year I'm making a lot of changes to the way I live. I wanted to share my goals and strategies with you, so over the next few days that is what I will be doing. Please leave a comment or send me an email( if you have any questions.

I'm a planner. A very serious planner. I do tons of research before I even buy a new mascara(seriously). So, imagine my reactions when just a few days ago I started to feel this tug. This pull from fast. But not just any fast. To do the Daniel Fast. I felt God saying to me, "Start the new year fresh. Do the Daniel Fast to get rid of last year's junk(physical and spiritual) and renew yourself for the coming year." My reaction," Well, I would need to do some proper research which would take me approx. 14 days, so how about I start in February?" Sometimes i think God just shakes His head and laughs at me. Over the past few days I've been seeing the Daniel Fast everywhere. Everywhere I turn there is a book or an article or a friend confiding in me their desire to fast to begin the new year. So I've relented and will be starting the first 21 days of the new year by fasting the way the prophet Daniel did. I found a great book to help me along this journey(other than the Bible) its entitled, ironically, "The Daniel Fast" by Susan Gregory.

 The Daniel Fast is based off of the example of the prophet in the book of Daniel chapters 1 and 10. Daniel 1:9-14 says," But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, " I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you. Daniel then said to the guard who the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, " Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat your royal food, and treat your servants in accordance to what you see." So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. "  Daniel was from a well respected Jewish family. He was, at the time of the above passage, a captive in Babylon. The King had invaded Israel and taken captive a good majority of the people as slaves. Daniel, being from a good family, had a good education, was handsome, wise, ect. Everything a good king would look for in one of his officials, which is what Daniel was being trained for. Therefore Daniel and his friends were treated with special respect, the king himself even ordered their food. But Daniel refused to eat the food because: 1. He was Jewish and they had strict guidelines as to how meat was to be prepared and the Babylonians did not follow these guidelines and 2. The meat itself had been sacrificed to pagan gods. So Daniel presented his own plan for healthy eating as you can read in the above passage.  After the 10 days testing period Daniel and his comrades appeared healthier, stronger and wiser than those who had eaten the kings food, so the meal plan stuck. The original Hebrew text would have used the word Pulse for vegetables which means anything from a seed, so the Daniel Fast included anything from a seed such as fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, ect.

We gain more guidelines for the fast from Daniel 10:3," I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips;"  "Choice food" is sometimes interpreted as "pleasant food" which is why the Daniel Fast does not include any sweets, whether they contain sugar, honey, agave nectar, ect., and also no alcohol.

The Daniel Fast is essentially a vegan diet with some added restrictions. The things one CANNOT have on the Daniel Fast include:

-all dairy products
-all sweeteners
-all leaved bread
-all refined and processed food products
-all solid fats
-all non water beverages(This includes coffee and tea even though they are both natural. I'm a big coffee and tea drinker though, so I've decided to give up the one that is hardest for me,coffee, and limit myself to just a few cups of tea a day)

The foods one CAN have while on the Daniel Fast include:

-all fruits
-all vegetables
-all whole grains
-all nuts and seeds
-all legumes(beans)
-all quality oils
-soy foods(this includes soy milk, which is not a dairy product)
-condiments and cooking ingredients

To some this may seem like a crazy idea. For those who are not use to eating like this, the Daniel Fast can be daunting. The hardest part I think is going to be all of the preparation. I will have to literally cook every single meal. No more grabbing a granola bar as I run out the door in the morning(it contains sugar as well as other processed ingredients) no more running through Wendy's for a quick dinner. I have to think ahead and plan my food according to what I will be doing that day. 

To help myself be organized through out this process I will be planning menus one week at a time: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the food can be prepared a few days in advance, so I will also be doing a lot of that.

You are probably wondering, why? Why are you doing this? Why do you feel God is calling you to this? The last 12 months of my life have been filled with a lot of junk, both physically and spiritually. I'm doing this as a way to get rid of that junk and to start this year fresh, completely surrendered to God. I'm excited I can't wait to see what He has in store for the next year.

I will occasionally share a recipe or an experience I have on here, but rest assured this fast is all about me and God and has nothing to do with blogging. I am however, more than willing to answer any questions you have about this fast or about why I am doing it. Feel free to leave a comment for jot me an email with your questions.

God is good, my friend, and I so look forward to seeing Him in a new way over the coming weeks.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Online accountability

Lately I began  reading a friends new blog. Its their first attempt at blogging and is really interesting to read. The thing I've noticed though, is that when someone comments on their blog, they do not use they're actual name. Instead they use some kind of nickname I guess you could call it. Ex: he wrote a post about getting up early and a commentor put they're name as 'earlyriser'.  I think I'm the only person to comment on the blog who used my actual name.

The reason this really bugs me(like, really bugs me) is that there is absolutely no accountability online anymore. You can just make up a name and never have to answer to what you say.

Growing up a principle my parents reinforced over and over again was accountability for you actions. If you did something that you knew was wrong, you had to face the consequences. Not so much anymore thanks to the Internet.

I hear a new story every week about a cyber bullying case. Students who are being bullied via facebook or myspace. Of course we can't always hold these bullies(read:cowards) accountable for their actions because they don't have to use their actual names.

Please don't think that I'm going to be all "The Internet is of the devil! Ban is from you home!" I'm not. I'm a big fan of the Internet, but more than that I'm a fan of accountability and responsibility. I encourage you to not hide behind a 'username', but to hold yourself to a higher standard online. I completely understand the desire to not give out too much personal info online, but that doesn't mean you get to say what you want without facing up to the consequences. Before you say something online ask yourself this: what would my reaction be if someone was saying this to me? Lets lift each other up, not tear one another down.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas recap

Oh.My.Word. The last few weeks have been such a whirlwind of activity. Between the parties and the shopping and baking and wrapping. My goodness. I greatly appreciate you  for putting up with my(unplanned) hiatus over the holiday weekend. I had planned to post at least once, but just realized that I hadn't seen my family in months and wanted to spend time with them. It was wonderful.

Christmas at our house is very quiet and low key. Like I said the weeks preceding Christmas are extremely hectic so Christmas day is very laid back. My sister works the night before so she usually gets home about 8am. Then we all wake up and make coffee and cinnamon rolls and sit around opening presents for a few hours(yes hours. We're very spoiled girls.) The rest of the day is spent watching movies, sleeping, and eating yummy food that was made the day before. It was a wonderful day to just breathe.

What about you? What was your day like?


Friday, December 24, 2010

From the Simons

Merry Christmas!

Best wishes to you and yours this Chrstmas season.

The Simons.

*sorry about the terrible picture! It was taken just a few weeks ago at my parents anniversary party and it was the best I could find. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Under Construction

I am updating the blog a bit today so it will look a little crazy today Please check back later to see the new look!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On my nightstand

Last January I had the opportunity to do an internship with a local church. During my there I got to talk with many different people and 'pick their brians'(if you will) about how to be successful in life, faith, ministry, relationships, ect. The one thread that all of their advice contained: read. Every single person emphasized the importance of reading and growing and never being satisfied with where you are. Always striving to know more. Since then I've tried to make it a point to read about a book a month. Not a fiction book for fun, but a book that will challenge me in some area of my life; usually spiritually. A few of the books that are currently sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read are....

1. God Came Near by Max Lucado: I'm actually currently reading and really enjoying this book. Max Lucado is such a brilliant story teller. This book really shows you the stark reality of what Jesus did, not only by dying on the cross, but by coming to Earth in human form in the first place.

2. One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill: My friend Caleb, who is also the youth director of the youth group I volunteer with, gave me a copy of this book last week. Caleb and I have been friends for a few years and I know enough about him to know that this book must have impacted him greatly for him to not just recommend it, but to buy a copy and give to me. Really looking forward to reading this after the new year....

3. Discipleship Counseling by Dr. Neil T. Anderson: I took a class about prayer two summers ago and this is one of the books I was suppose to *ahem* read during the course of the 21 week class. I never read it. But, I think might. One of my majors is psychology with a specialization in Christian counseling and I feel that this book would be a good way to expand my knowledge of the subject. Its a whopper though, I might give myself a few months to read this one.

4. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin: This one if for me. I love Emily Giffin. She's funny and charming and realistic. I picked this book up at Half Priced Books(my favorite place) several months ago, brought it home, shoved it in my book drawer(yes, drawer), and promptly forgot about it. I just found it early tonight. Maybe I will read it while I'm on vacation in a few weeks....

So, there's my book list. What's on yours?


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Filled to be emptied

As melodramatic as it sounds, I feel empty. Literally, I feel like a pitcher of water whose contents have been poured out and is now sitting on the table. Empty. My quiet times with God are not what they use to be. I feel like I’m communicating more with Him now than ever before, but I just can’t seem to do my Bible study homework. I just end up sitting and staring at the wall.

As a youth leader, I feel inadequate. I can sit and talk and listen and pray, but I have no advice to give. No answers to the questions my favorite students inevitably ask. How can I pour into them when I have nothing inside of me that can be poured out? The words of Hillsong’s “Desert Song” have never ringed truer for me, “I know I’m filled to be emptied again.” I was filled and now I’m empty.

I had coffee with some of my best friends/sisters in Christ/fellow youth leaders last weekend and they emphasized that this is why we as Believers need to be a part of a local ‘body’. We need to be in relationship with other Believers so that when we are empty, they can fill us back up.

There have been many times over my more than a decade of being a follower of Christ that I have had the opportunity to fill others up. I’m very good at filling others up. Being filled myself?

Not so much.
It’s a very humbling experience to allow others to come alongside you and pick up where you are lacking, and to others help fill the holes that are in your spirit. I’m learning, however, that it’s a beautiful thing.

When the body of Christ functions the way it was intended to, lives are changed. Relationships are mended. Spirits are restored.

My advice: don’t fight it. Let the Believers around you do what they are supposed to do. Except their encouragement, their friendship, their love. Let yourself be cared for.

I Corinthians 12: 18, 24b-26
"18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.24  But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Comfy Day

It has been snowing for three days here in my little Ohio town and everything is still in the 'magical' stage. You know that time when the snow is still fresh and clean looking? Its a beautiful pristine white blanket that makes everything look like a movie. I love this time. In a few days all of that gorgeous white snow will become brown and yellow*ahem* and just kind of yucky looking, so I"m really enjoying the beauty of it now.

Speaking of enjoying, I have a much desired Monday off today. Can anyone else hear angles singing or is that just me? ;) Don't think I'll be staying home sleeping all day though(ok so I slept til 8:45, a girls entitled to a little rest,right?). Today is all about getting some Christmas stuff done. I've decided to make quite a few of my gifts this year, so I'll primarily be working on those. but then I'm also getting the house ready decorate. I'm not gonna lie, I love it when our house looks like the North Pole blew up and landed in our living room. I'm one of 'those people'. And I make no apologies. My mom and I went shopping this morning and got all kinds of cute things for the bathroom and tonight we'll be decorating our tree. Even if our hearts aren't feeling very Christmacy this year, it doesn't mean that our house can't look like it.

Honestly, I just plan on resting today. I haven't gotten to do that a lot lately and I could use a day when I don't get out of my pj's(I do have my Bible study Christmas party, so I suppose I'll have to get dressed at some point...). These last few weeks have been tough and I need a day to drink lots of coffee and just be home.

What are you plans for today?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Shopping

The Christmas shopping season is in full swing and I have to say, I’m really enjoying it this year. This is the first year that I’ve had ‘real money’ to be able to afford some extra special gifts for family and friends. Gifts that have really been catching my eye this season are handmade items. I’ve found lots of great stores that handcraft things like jewelry, purses, and household items likes dishes and decorative items. The best part: for the most part the items that I’ve found have been very reasonably priced. A lot of the things that I’ve found have been under $30. For custom pieces, that’s a great price. I would love to show some of the things that I’ve bought, but unfortunately some of the gifts recipients read my blog and I’m not one to disclose presents before Christmas.  I will however, share with you some of my favorite online stores. Most of these I have come across while reading various blogs and quite a few of them have very interesting blogs of their own. Click on the link to learn more about them.

Funk Vintage Kitchen- I have absolutely fallen in love with this store. The creator, April Kennedy, takes items that otherwise might be thrown away and turns them into gorgeous gifts. She also features some lovely handmade jewelry. I have bought a few pieces from her and cannot wait to give them this Christmas. I’ve also been really impressed with her prices. Very reasonable.

The Pleated Poppy-This is another shop that I came across while reading some blogs one day. Based in California, Lindsey the creator, handcrafts lots of fun little purses and pouches(I think they would make a great make up back or purse for a little girl). She also makes adorable flower pins and hair clips as well as some beautiful  crystal necklaces. A little pricier than my first shop, but I think you really get a fantastic product for the price. Bonus:  If you read her blog she will often give codes for 10% and 15% off in her shop. 

Lisa Leonard Designs-  I’m a little obsessed with this shop right now. Lisa Leonard makes absolutely stunning handmade jewelry.  The pieces are often customizable and perfect for moms, grandmas, sisters, nieces, anyone that loves beautiful handmade jewelry. I should warn you, it’s not cheap, but it’s beautiful and totally worth it for an extra special gifts.

I hope that you have fun 'window' shopping these sights. They offer fun, beautiful gifts for loved ones...and a in my case at least, a few for yourself as well.

Happy Browsing!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Boastful

I apologize for my silence over the last few days. My family is going through one of the most difficult seasons we have ever faced and that pretty much consumes all of my free time. I'm not going to get into it here, because quite frankly I'm not entirely sure who all is reading this and I respect the privacy of my family. However, a prayer would not be wasted on the Simon's.

I keep remembering that even in the midst of this time, God is still God. Just because it feels like my world is being taken apart, brick by brick, God never ceases to work in our lives.

A week or so ago I was doing my Bible study homework and the author quoted a verse about not boasting in yourselves, but about boasting in the Lord. At the end of ever lesson there is an activity where you can write something that you found meaningful during that particular lesson and then turn that verse or whatnot into a prayer. That day my prayer went something like, "Lord, give me even more reasons to boast about your goodness in my life." I had no idea what I was praying. Over the last few weeks I have seen people healed, finances put back together, ministries flourish, lives transformed...its been incredible.

So, here's my thinking: I asked God to give me more reasons to boast about Him. Maybe this season that my family is facing is one of those times. God is taking us through this so that we will be able to look back on this time in a few months and say, "My word, how God is good." I know that I will be able to say that. I can say that with full confidence right now, but I look forward to saying it in regards to this season and being able to see where He worked.

Psalms 44:8
"In God we make our boast all day long,
   and we will praise your name forever."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Non Serious Tuesday

I was going to write a really serious post tonight. It was going to be about the things God is teaching me about obedience and how I've suffered because I chose not to obey...but then I realized it was Tuesday. I don't do serious posts on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays I get up and go to school and talk about the pros and cons of the death penalty. I gives speeches. I take math tests. On Tuesdays I drive home through 5o'clock traffic. I run inside just long to put on a pair of yoga pants and grab a Healthy Choice(love those things) and then I leave again to go see Emma. I do not write serious blog posts on Tuesdays. Perhaps I will do a serious Wednesday post. Today, however, I'm going to tell you about some of the more mundane exciting aspects of my life.

I registered for winter quarter on Sunday night. I'm taking two online classes and two in class classes. I'm really excited about the online classes, although I often lack this little teeny thing called self discipline, so I should probably get crackin' on that....later.

 Tomorrow I am finally getting my hair cut. I only cut my hair about every 5 months because I'm really lazy busy, so by the time I actually get around to getting it done, it really needs it.

I bought a Joyce Meyers book the other day. I have a long running debate with my friend Diane about who is better, Joyce Meyers or Beth Moore. Now, I realize that having a debate about which Bible teacher is better is a bit sacrilegious, but I digress. I've decided that I am just going to start this book with an open mind. I've heard nothing but good things about Ms. Meyers so we'll see...

Next week is my last week of classes until January! I am beyond ready for a break. I'll be going to Florida to visit family the last week of December, which will be a lovely treat because I'm going to be working so much over the next four weeks. Can you believe we are nearly a short month away from Christmas? Where does time go?

Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to go make some tea and read my Joyce Meyers book. Goodnight!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Dear Jesus, please explain...

Guy: "Hey, so do you wanna grab coffee sometime?"

Hannah: "Well, see, I would love to, really, but I just feel like I need to remain single for a while. To focus on my relationship with the Lord. Ya know?"

Guy: "You could have just said no."

So, here's the thing, if some single lady*raising hand* feels that God is calling her to a season of singleness(singlehood?) what is said single lady suppose to say when invited out for coffee by a boy who, under normal circumstances, she would LOVE to sit down to a skinny vanilla latte with? I'm sorry, but the Bible just doesn't cover this. I don't want all three of the boys who ask me out  those boys who ask me out  to think that I'm trying to avoid saying no, but at the same time, I'm not going to be disobedient. Would it be easier if I just said no? Perhaps I should just give them my blog address and have them read this.

This would be one of those times when I wish God had provided a how-to manual for this season. I mean, what will the three boys  all those boys think if I keep saying no? I'm not sure I'm cool enough to be a woman of mystery.

Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited to be at this place with God. I cannot wait to learn the things He's going to teach me during this season, but how does one explain this potential dates? Explain this one, Jesus.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Survived

Driving home from church this evening, I was reflecting upon my day and the only thing that came to mind was, "Well, I survived.". Sometimes, I think that's all we can do. Its was a hard day for a lot of reasons that I won't go into, but I'm glad that today is done and now I can go on to tomorrow. I have an unexpected blessing of an actual day off and by 'actual' i mean, I'm not working or going to school or volunteering. I just get to have a day where I don't have to do anything. I feel like God planned this because He knew I would need it. He is so good. Since I will have more time to write tomorrow, tonight's post will be super short. I do however want to encourage to go here and listen to this song by MercyMe. Oh.My.Word.This song has been speaking a word over me the last few days. This is truly God's message to the world.  Sometimes God is just too much.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunday Funday

This past summer I had a lot, I mean a lot, of free time. I read about two books per week, went out with friends almost every night, slept late, watched Rachel Ray and The View religiously, read blogs, painted my toenails, all kinds of fun things. About mid-way through the summer I was at my friend Diane's house remember saying, "You know Di, I know all of this free time isn't going to last, so I'm just going to really take advantage of it." And oh boy, did I. Rachel Ray, I miss you. What's for dinner tonight???

Over the last 8 weeks I have been busier than I think I have ever been in my life. Work has really picked up(Praise the Lord), school is crazy(I love it), sleep afterthought. Some mornings I wake up and think to myself, "My gosh, when did I become a grown up. And can I go back???"

I love being busy, but I was exhausted. Between work and school and church commitments I never saw my family, friends or the insides of my eyelids. Finally, a few weeks ago I just couldn't take it anymore. I knew that I needed to make some changes. The best decision I have ever made was to change my availability at work so I no longer work Sundays. My word, I feel like i can breathe again! Even though my weeks are ridiculous and I'm exhausted by Wednesday, I know that there will always be another Sunday in just a few days. This makes the week so much more bearable.

What do you do to stay sane in this crazy thing called life?


Monday, November 1, 2010

A List

1. I worked 16 hours on Saturday.

2. I finally put all of my summer clothes in hibernation for the winter. This means that I can now buy more winter clothes!

3. My mother disagrees with #2.

4. I was on the phone with Dell last night for 30 minutes. They referred me to Walmart. Who referred me back to Dell. Who referred me to Microsoft. Microsoft was closed.

5. My computer still isn't working right.

6. Tomorrow the new Nora Roberts book comes out.

7. Tomorrow, we vote.

8. I'm more excited about #6 than #7.

9. Emma peed on me last week. I've been babysitting since I was 12 and this event has NEVER occurred. It wasn't something I was particularly excited about.

10. I slept with my snuggie last night.

11. I swore I would never wear leggings. I said the same thing about skinny jeans.

12. I now own two pairs of each.

13. How did I ever live without #11?

14. I made some pumpkin cookies this weekend. Oh.My.Word

15. My highlights need done. Amen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Books I Love

Ever since I can remember, I have loved to read. My parents love to read and they read to my sisters and I all the time. I thought today I would share some of my favorite books with you. So, in no particular order:(click on the title to get more info)

1. "Redeeming Love" by: Francine Rivers

Oh my word, I love this book. It is a retelling of the book of Hosea in a more modern way. I think I read it in like two or three days. A must, must, must read.

2. "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by: Joshua Harris

I was introduced to this book my senior year in high school in my Marriage and Family class. We read bits and pieces of it and then this past summer I found a copy at half price books for about $5 so I bought it and read the rest. It really was one of the better books I have read. It challenges Believers to look at our dating lives through the eyes of our Creator and shows you practical ways to follow after God in relationships. Also, I have yet to understand the cover image on this book. If you get it, please explain.

3. "So Long Insecurity" by: Beth Moore 

I love Beth Moore. Really, I do. And I really, really loved this book. It discusses the cultural epidemic of insecurity. We live in a world that is so full of messages saying we have to look, act, dress,ect. a certain way and for most of us, we fall incredibly short of 'the standard.' This book address a key issue: who we are in Christ. It challenges you to take back the dignity we, as children of the Most High God, have been given. Its really funny too.

4. "No Sex in the City" by: Lindsey Isham

I picked up this book this summer honestly, because I liked the cover. This is the authors first book and that is fairly evident once you read her work. I really liked the book though. Miss Isham gives an honest look at what its like to make commitment to save oneself for marriage and then sticking to it. She's very grounded in the word and pretty funny too. Warning: this book is not for anyone under the age of 18. or for anyone who cannot handle awkwardness. Its not inappropriate it just doesn't hold anything back.

5. "Not My Daughter" by: Barbara Delinsky

I just recently read this and can honestly say its one of the best books I've read. I have recommended this many times in the last month. It tells the story of four high school seniors who all decide that having a baby would be super fun and so they all plan to get pregnant together. Oh my word, don't even get me started. It makes for a great book though. Hint: the mother of one of the girls who gets pregnant is the high school principle. hmmm....

I hope that maybe I've inspired you to pick up a new read this week. Right now it is cold and rainy outside. The perfect day to be inside with a good book! What are some of your favorite reads?


Friday, October 22, 2010

My Day in Pictures

Here is a look at my Thursday through the eyes of my cell phone camera.

Psychology test:fail.

Elevator fail. I have to take this elevator or walk up six flights of stairs. Major.Fail.

How I got through the day.


Emma likes to wear my shoes. But she also likes to wear her own shoes. Here is her solution. The girls a genius.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Powerful Words

I've been thinking a lot lately about the impact of my words. Not just on this blog, but in real life, day-to-day conversations. I don't think its any secret what my religious views are. I am a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Without His saving grace, God only knows what kind of mess I would be. Since I started blogging, however, I've been asking myself, "Do my words reflect that?" When I speak are my words full of love or condemnation. Do I lift others up or tear them down? Do others hear the voice of Christ coming out of my mouth, or the voice of Hannah(God forbid)?

The book of James goes so far as to call our tongues "fire". they have the power to kill and destroy. The really remarkable thing though, is that they also have the power to lift up and heal. They have the power to share the joy of Salvation with others.

I knew I had a problem with my 'tongue' a few months ago when I started noticing that I was cursing all the time. I could accidently drop my pencil and out would pop a word I didn't even realize I had in me. I'm not sure what started the cursing, but I knew it had to stop. I didn't like the way those words sounded on my lips. I was reminded of a verse in John that talks about the fact that the words that come out of our mouths are a true reflection of our character. I was a little ashamed of the character I had developed.

Thankfully through prayer and God's mercy, I've toned the cursing down considerably. More importantly I've learned that when my heart is not right with God, my words reflect it. When I don't spend time in His presence, I'm short tempered, snappy, impatient, rude, ect... I'm not a reflection of Jesus Christ, which is what we as Believers are called to be here on earth. I pray that I will be able to say the words of King David, who as he was writing his final oracle before death said, "The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue."


Monday, October 18, 2010

Christmas 2010

Some people have Christmas in July. My family has Christmas in October. My grandparents spend about half of the year in Florida which means they miss almost every holiday. To make up we celebrate Halloween, thanksgiving, and Christmas in October. This year was really fun.

We had an enormous dinner, courtesy of my Grandmother and Momma and I was again reminded of why I love my family.

My beautiful grammy.Notice the pumpkins on her shirt in honor of Halloween.

After the dishes had been cleaned up we all took our places in the family room to open Christmas presents. My grandparents are incredibly thoughtful with their gifts and its always really fun to see what the picked out. Best gift of the night: a pair of monkeys that sing a Sunny and Cher song. I.Love.My.Family

We're a spoiled bunch!

My favorite would have to be two place settings of Fiesta dinner wear for my hopeless chest(we don't have 'hope chests' in our family we have 'hopeless chests.')  The funny part about this particular gift: Everyone in my family got my grandmother a Fiesta place setting this year, and she got me the same color that I got her. So when i opened the present I thought I had mistakenly opened my gift to her.

My uncle Kim and youngest 2nd cousin, Tanner. Its hard work opening all those presents.

Thanks Grammy and Grandpa for such a wonderful Halloween/Thanksgiving/ Christmas!

Merry Christmas,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Date Night Numero Uno: I went out with a Fairy

I have two dates this week and will be sharing the highlights of both here. Look for date number two on Sunday.
Have you ever eaten in a public place? with a child? by yourself? It's exhausting.

My thoughts exactly, Emma.
I decided to take Emma out for little date night, because who wouldn't want to take a three year old to a restaurant? When I arrived to pick her up she was, I kid you not, in a fairy costume. I forgot to take a picture of her whole outfit, but it was so cute. A pink fairy costume(complete with wings), pink turtleneck, pink tights, and white sparkly shoes. Adorable.

We went to Bob Evans and had a really fun time. Emma of course enjoyed her coloring book while we awaited our "cancakes". Please stop for a moment and notice how she has her tongue between her teeth. Such serious business, coloring is.

After dinner I decided to take emma by my work to show her off  take emma shopping for a few things. We had a splendid time. My little fashionista got a cute little fleece pullover and I got some comfy tees to sleep in. It was an all around pleasent evening....until Emma started crying on the way home because she wanted to sleep at my house. Poor thing was sooo tuckered out. I have to say though, I do it again in a heartbeat.

See you Sunday for date night number two!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Personal Stylist

For the past year, I have had the incredible blessing of getting to take care of the most amazing little girl(not that I'm biased). Emma is three and is just the coolest little person you'll ever meet. I thought I would pass on a bit of fashion advice that Emma gave me one night while getting ready for bed.

Three or so weeks ago I had given miss Emma her bath and put her pj's on her. She went over to the bookshelf to get a book and on the way there somehow stumbled upon her favorite Dora the Explorer night gown. She of course starts ripping her clothing off and putting on the Dora nightgown. I, being the wonderful babysitter that I am, told her that no, she could not in fact change pj's she had the wear the ones she had on. Her response? "I don't LOVE those ones!" I kid you not, she actually said that. Since then, whenever I'm shopping and considering buying something, I ask myself, "Do i love this?" These words have saved me a bit of cash, I must admit. Good advice, Emma.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shameless Self-Promotion

This is a friend of mine. Her name is Bayley.Here we are at our high school graduation.Bayley, like myself, is a college student living in a super cold city. She is also, like myself, a blogger. Just a few days before I launched this site Bayley launched her own blog. Here's another thing about Bayley the blogger, she's an amazing blogger. She's funny and insightful and creative. I wanna be Bayley when I grow up.

Bayley is also, much to my great delight, a shameless promoter of her own blog. Every time she writes a new blog post, she tweets it. I love this! I want people to read my blog(obviously) but wasn't sure how to even let people know I was writing one. Then along came Bayley. She has given me the courage to be a shameless promoter of my blog. Thanks, Bayley!

I'd also like to take a moment to(shamelessly) promote Bayley's blog. There is an anchor for my soul is her beautiful blog. She is truly a woman after the heart of God and that comes through spectacularly in her writing. She's also hysterical. Seriously, she's one of the funniest people I know. It would lovely use of your time to take a moment and visit her site. After you read mine of course... :)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Making the Connections

I have been incredibly blessed over the last three years to be a member of an all women's Bible study at my church. There are women from all ages and several different churches who come together to just seek the Lord. We have tended to do studies written by a popular women's Bible study author, but this year we decided to do a study by a pastor named Henry Blackaby. The study is entitled "Experiencing God" and focuses on experiencing God in every aspect of your life.

Today in the lesson I was doing it talked about how when we ask God to show us where He is at work around us, we should then look for His answer to our prayers in our lives. God answers prayers. There is no question there, but how often do we actually then take a step back and look for the answers to those prayers. In the study, Mr. Blackaby gave the example of the executive of a company who asked God why he had been placed in such a high position within this particular company. God then started bringing him hurting people within his office. One man came and shared some family troubles, another starting asking spiritual questions. This man then realized that this was God's answer to his prayer. He made the connection between his prayers and the answers in his daily life.

I cannot begin to share the number of times I have gone to God in prayer over something and after praying about it, I went and tried to solve the problem myself. I feel like God just looks at me with a confused look on His face during these times. I'm certain He's thinking, "Well, why did she come to me if she thought she knew the answer already?"

I am not God. Neither are you. When we go to God in prayer, we can know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He will answer it. He might not answer it on our timetable, but He will answer it. Abraham had to wait 25 years for the son God promised him, but God did fulfill His promise to Abraham.

My encouragement to you today is to submit your requests to God and then wait patiently for His response. He will not disappoint.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Always Read the Direction. Always.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist so when I decided to create this blog as part of a school project, I knew that I wanted it to look unique. I found this great website that offers free backgrounds for your blog, myspace, twitter, ect. I was thrilled! Not only were the uber cute, but they were FREE! A college students favorite word. I found the one I liked and read the instructions on how to install it. Well, almost all of them. I skipped a step because I thought I knew what I was doing. I didn't. Five hours later(literally) I went back and read the directions. After hitting myself upside the head I went back and made a few clicks and the backgrounds installed perfectly. Always read the directions. Lesson learned.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blog world. Please be patient as I continue to work out the kinks and get my blogging feet wet.