Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trials and Strength

I love you, LORD;
you are my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety. (Psalm 18:1, 2 NLT)

I know I am not the only one who could use a little strength these days, so I thought I would share my devotion this morning!

It is always comforting to know that God is with us and knows whatever we are going through!

"God can strengthen us to the point that we can make progress even during trouble. The psalmist said of God, "He makes my feet like hinds' feet [able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble]. You have girded me with strength for the battle" (Psalm 18:33).

Trials and testing do not come to cause us to lose stability. They are opportunities to prove the strength of God. We don't have to waver in our confidence. Nothing will keep us from making progress today because God is our strength."

From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2003 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Check out the video I posted on Sunday! It helps when you need that strength to stick with you! Praying that you are blessed by this message as much as I am today.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lonely.

Last week, I posted my story that I shared with my small group. It's my testimony. I always thought that others had such powerful testimonies and mine . . . wasn't. God let me know I should think again. I have been on the top of His mountain and down in the lowest valley. Even though we may think we are all alone, God is there. He is guiding our paths and allowing us to choose. 


We are always welcome to come back. 

Music has always been very strong in my life. It is the way I worship Him the best. Songwriters take their time and write lyrics from their heart, yet they can impact so many countless others!

One song that sums up my walk with the Lord is You Never Let Go by Matt Redman. Even when we are not having an intimate relationship with our Savior, God is ALWAYS there! He never lets go. Patsy Clairmont talked about turning up our hearing aids this weekend. These hearing aids are on all of our ears, but some of us choose to be deaf to God's calling. He is sharing great things daily, and we just have to listen for His voice.

Check out this video! What is He saying to you?



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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunday Fun Day!

So, Ryan signed us up to serve at church on the video and production team. We were asked by our friend, Adam, who we've known a little over two years. He gets the privilege of working at Athens Church. We were at a point that we wanted to serve, but just not sure where. I had tried out Waumba (our sweet 4 and under program) and got spit up drenched in projectile vomit from a sweet baby. I had been asked to serve in multiple areas, so when Ryan said he wanted to serve on Video and Production, I couldn't say no.

We all know I like to take photographs for others. One huge thing about my comfort is that I have time to look at the images produced and enhance those that have a story. Well, guess what... totally different when I am videoing. What you see is what you get! Talk about pressure.

God has given me some encouragement through it all and He is using my uncomfortableness to better myself and Him. I really love serving with Ryan and that's been the neatest part.

I have had to struggle through some of the process of giving time here. For one, we woke up at 5 am to be at church at 630. I like to believe that I am a morning person, but waking up early + a case of nerves doesn't make me the most chipper!

I get so nervous that something bad is going to happen, like me flipping off of the drum stand while I am standing in the funkiest angle and formation to grab a shot.

While I was up there during practice, I must have been holding my mouth open in the weirdest way because about halfway through I couldn't close it. It's like the muscle in my cheek got stuck - I am a freak.

I sweat like no other because of how worked up I get. I also pulled a muscle from my thumb to my shoulder! Who does that? I guess I do. The girl dressed in a "com" system with a headphone set/microphone, huge intercom system hooked on my jeans, a huge bundle of chords hanging from my belt loop, and a camera the size of a suitcase in my hands is a sight to see.

AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE, I loved it! I loved being with the music (my favorite part of our church service and where I worship the most) and meeting our awesome musicians. I loved praying with our team and our wonderful lead pastor. I enjoyed blasting out lyrics because no one could hear me while our drummer was rocking!

Here is a video of what was captured and produced on Sunday am! I am the camera on the drums. Ryan is one of the still ones that recorded the singers!



Ever been in a situation that made you so nervous, yet you still loved it? 

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's HERE!

I kept meaning to do this post, and now that the master bath has been finished for awhile. . . it's time! 

Two years ago, we had gone with Jon and Danielle to the most perfect cottage in NC. We absolutely fell in love with the house. One room that I really loved and wanted to try to recreate it in a way that worked at our home was the bathroom! 

 {click on the picture for more images of the bathroom and master suite}

I loved it. I thought the neatest part was the mirror that was built into the wainscoting on the wall. What a unique touch! 

You may remember this spring, Greg, my amazingly talented brother, worked his tail off and recreated our version of the cottage's master bath. Check out that post here!

Dad came over this summer on a Saturday and worked hard to make it look absolutely perfect! 

Ryan added the finishing touches by hanging the towel hooks and loops back up! Now, it's ready to enjoy! 

Let us know what you think! 








I think all my guys did a great job! 

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Change Isn't Easy...

There's a lot of change going on in me, through me, and around me! The thing I notice the most about change is people resist it. One of the hardest things for people is CHANGE!


While talking to people about starting a healthy lifestyle, excuses start to creep in to their mind. They start hearing "I can't". I hear my 5th graders say I can't regularly. I quickly let them realize what they are saying and tell them why it hurts us when we say I can't and ask them to say I CAN. We are setting ourselves up to stay comfortable and, at times, uncomfortable in our situation.

People are very interested in getting healthy, but it's hard to commit. 


I know! I was given the opportunity to begin using the wonderful nutritional supplements over a half a year before I finally decided to begin. I quickly thought of all of the excuses as to why I couldn't!

1. Money - you want me to pay what?
In this day and age so many are worried about having enough. I was in this boat. I thought that money could be used wisely somewhere else. Instead, I probably used that money on going out to eat, buying new clothes I don't need, or getting some unnecessary item I could have done without. How did that money wasted help me?
The jumpstart package AdvoCare has thrown together is about $7 a day at the highest without any discount. It includes core nutrition, a meal, and a replacement to sodas and coffee! Saving money while getting great results! I say yes!
2. Well, I have a busy life! 

 So do I! I don't stop until 11 pm (sometimes later)! I'm not complaining it's how I am! If I'm not busy, I am bored! I know there are tons of people like me that get up at the crack of dawn, helps others get ready and out the door for a new day, go to work or school, worry about what's going to be for supper, run errands or go to events, come home take care of all your responsibilities, and back at it all over again the next day! I completely get it! I watched my mom do it like a pro. Here's the thing- I bet she would have killed to get her hands on something like SPARK to give her energy like she feels now. She would stay up late helping us with our huge projects we would spring on her  the night before they were due. I'm sure she would have loved it when she and Daddy would get us up early to be on time for church and make us gourmet breakfasts, all after staying up late and waiting for us to pull in the driveway when we were teenagers!

That little drink of 45 calories ad 21 vitamins and minerals gives the clear focus you need to wake up and start your day right! Promise! Change to your morning and an afternoon with some solid energy!


3. I don't want to diet starve myself!

Good thing, because there is NO diet in the sense of starving yourself. Did you know if you skip meals your body goes into a quick starvation or hoarding mode where it starts saving up all of your food the next time you eat. Your body isn't sure when you are going to nourish it again, so it begins to hang on to anything it gets! Even if it's that next Little Debbie!

The meals I eat are the same ones our grandparents and great-grandparents would have eaten, hence the reason when you see those pictures from the olden days you notice a significant difference in their weight. They didn't have processed food with tons of salt, sugar, and preservatives. They didn't have Doritos, Mountain Dew, and a drive-thru they visited daily.

Eating foods that help your body run... help you! It's as simple as that. We wouldn't put canola oil in our gas tanks - it doesn't help our car. Why would we put products that our body can't use into our mouth?

Over the past 5 months and hearing success story after success story with fiends and family feeling better, dropping inches, dropping pounds I am sold that this is what we all need! We need healthy lifestyles that help us feel our best daily, and that means feeding our body every two to three hours. People say that it's expensive, and I say think again! There are too many ways out there to save on food. Plus, when you are eating healthy it will surprise you how great you feel, and bad foods are no longer a temptation so you can walk right by and ignore their scent! When you know what it feels like without them, you don't need it!

4. I have tried everything! 

That is what our friend Liza said a month ago, and now she is down over 6 lbs in 10 days! I bet she didn't believe this was going to work, but this system helps everyone start to see the change they are capable of! It's not counting calories, carbs, points. It is core nutrition using vitamins and great food and that gives us energy and results!

It's what I said! I was eating clean, exercising, and sitting at a plateau I never thought I could budge! WRONG! I hadn't tried quality vitamins! Read my STORY here!
 

Yes, change is hard, but oh so worth it!! You have to want it! If you are ready, take some time and message me about what this is all about and start the process. The only thing I regret is not starting this sooner!



PS - Thought I would share some change that's been happening in our house! This handsome Dossinator dropped 20+ after putting his mind to it and making a big change to feel better! 





Monday, September 10, 2012

Circles

Andy Stanley tells us at least monthly that he likes to do life in circles. When I first attended Athens Church, I didn't understand why this was so important.

After being in a community group for two years and starting a new one three weeks ago. . . I know why! Life is done better and it's more genuine!

Two years ago I was literally dragging Ryan to Athens Church to sign up for small group. He didn't want me to go alone, so he ended up going along.

Now, looking back it had to be one of the best decisions we have made for our marriage.


Tonight, was our third time with our new group that was spawn from our original one. Three couples, including us, got paired with four other couples. Tonight, Ryan and I and another couple got to share our stories and where we came from. Here isbwhatbi shared:

I loved my life growing up. I have fabulous parents who helped me become who I am. I have a sister and brother to share life with. I had wonderful experiences that were used to grow my faith. I attended church regularly and had a relationship with God that I thought was the strongest ever. That was all until my world was rocked in 2002.

If you have read my blog for awhile you know what happened, however if you are a new one, I will fill you in.

On March 24th, 2002, my boyfriend, Wesley, left my house and never made it home to his. It is still the most painful experience I have ever had. It's the kind where your heart is ripped like lightning out of your chest and then shredded, stabbed, squeezed, and stomped on! Only to be put back in so you can try to stand up and continue to breathe. Standing up and breathing were not options. I was mad, mad at anything, anyone, and especially mad at God. I was a good person, had loved God and trusted Him for years and one of my very best friends was gone. This was my daily thinking.

I moved through the motions and have some memories of fun times finishing out high school, but I was walking through a daze. I had great friends, my family loved me, and made the decision to go away to NGCSU for college in the fall with my sweet Malorie! We had been through life together since we were 11 & 12.
While in college, I had a lot of fun, met new friends, and joined my Phi Mu sorority. I met Ryan, my now Dossinator, and kept my heart guarded from God and trying not to fall in too deep with Ryan.

I graduated, became a teacher, got engaged, married, and then my sis did something I will never thank her enough for. She brought me one Sunday to Athens Church. I brought Ryan within the next couple of weeks and he liked it! Church had never been this applicable to us, and I started back on my path towards having a relationship with God! It was so refreshing. I love that God is always there to love us and help us in this crazy life.

Joining our small group, doing life in circles, and connecting with others in the same season of life, is truly living.

So, tonight I shared my story for the second time ever in front of strangers. I held it together a bit more, because I knew God was right there beside me and working through me. Ryan patted my back, held my hand, gave me courage, and told his own story. I get nervous about what people think and then own it, because It's my story. It's how God molded me.

If you can, try to get connected in a small group that shares life together and truly connects. Honest people just living and trying to do their best while sharing with you is what our group is all about.

Tonight, I saw bonds begin to form, and people start getting comfortable. God is great. I am so happy we are a piece of this life story that is unfolding.

Life is better in circles!






First Response

Before my feet hit the floor I pray! This is a new habit I am making. It's one I fall in and out of too easy. This morning's devotion backed up why I am doing it. I thought I would share it on this Monday morning! May God bless you as you go through the motions of your day. I am working to glorify Him in all that I do!

"Sometimes I marvel at how long we can struggle in a situation before we think to talk to God about it and listen for His voice. We complain about our problems; we grumble; we murmur; we tell our friends; and we talk about how we wish God would do something about it. We struggle with situations in our minds and in our emotions, while we often fail to take advantage of the simplest solution there is: prayer. But worse than that, we then make perhaps the most ridiculous statement known to man: "Well, I guess all I can do is pray." I am sure you have heard that before and maybe you have even said it. We all have. We are all guilty of treating prayer as a last-ditch effort and saying things like, "Well, nothing else is working, so maybe we should pray." Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that we really do not believe in the power of prayer as we should. We carry burdens we do not need to bear - and life is much harder than it has to be - because we do not realize how powerful prayer is. If we did, we would talk to God and listen to what He says about everything, not as a last resort, but as a first response.

God's word for you today: Let prayer be your first response, not your last resort."

Psalm 63:1 - O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.

From the book Hearing from God Each Morning by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

All we need is love and LAUGHTER!

Tonight, my sweet Dossinator and I spent some quality time together! We decided after a busy, fun day that we would chill out. After flipping through countless movies, he let me pick one! I chose an oldie and one of my favorites...My Best Friend's Wedding! I was pleasantly surprised it was one he had never seen!



At first, I was so nervous for him to watch it! I wanted him to like it as much as I have the past 100 times I had seen it. While we were watching, he would start laughing. I thought he was really enjoying it, and then I found out why he was really laughing. ALL of the songs that are my "go-to" funny songs are from this movie and the soundtrack I was rocking out to in middle/high school! For instance, I always hum "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. So sweet! I never realized this movie was where all of those songs came from!

Some day, when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
And the way you look tonight.

One thing that I love about our relationship: we always laugh. Sometimes people believe that laughter is overrated, but it is what makes our hearts smile, our soul free, and our barriers to be broken down! My best friends are the ones I truly laugh with. My number one best friend is right next to me every day!




I am beyond thankful for my hard-working, loving, and handsome husband. God made a perfect fit!



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