Friday, November 23, 2012

Our sweet day of thanks.


I am so very thankful for my sweet family. 

I had an amazing Thanksgiving riding up to visit my family that lives in Hiawassee. It was a FUN Scream-Machine of a ride. 

We visited with family and enjoyed the mountain weather on the front porch. I made the comment to Ryan how difficult it was for me at first to just chill out and relax in the stillness, but finally it caught up to me and MAN WAS IT AWESOME! Sometimes we just need to unwind, and where would a better place be than with family enjoying the fresh air. 

Before we ate, we drove up to a gorgeous spot near the house and shot our family photos for 2012. We had some laughs for sure, and the memories we made were awesome. A memory like Greg trying to race me to the camera and almost beating me there until catching a slippery patch is something that certainly made us laugh. 

Then, it was back to the house for family stories, tons of great food, and laughs.laughs.laughs! I added to the yummy meal with the simple green bean casserole and Kentucky Pie {chocolate chip and pecan pie}!

 After we made it home, Ryan and I headed over to his parents and enjoyed talking with the fam. 
 The day was super enjoyable. 

 I think this was the second Black Friday that Mom and I skipped out on. It seems the stores are opening earlier and earlier {10 pm at some places}. There's just nothing I want to wait in line for that much. I am trying to be even more purposeful in all of my gift-giving this year. I can't wait to share some of the gifts that I have for loved ones! 

Hope you and yours had a terrific Thanksgiving! 

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am absolutely loving the devotions on my phone each morning. Today's devotion is something that is very near and dear to my heart. It is a topic that a lot of my friends and family discuss often. While your experiences happen and effect you, they also have potential to bring about good. Why do so many of us let circumstances determine so much in life? Just because the most awful of all things happened to you doesn't mean you have to go around treating others or the rest of your life like a waste. Look around today... do you have things that you allow to use as a crutch, an excuse, or a reason to continue a certain behavior or feeling? Praise God for that, and ask him how you can use it to His advantage.

Here's what Joel and Victoria Osteen said:
"I know people who feel like they’ve wasted years of their lives because of poor choices. They spent years in a relationship that was toxic, years with an addiction, years at a job where they weren’t fulfilled. But you have to realize, nothing you have been through is ever wasted. Your past experiences, good and bad have deposited something on the inside of you. Those challenges have sharpened you to help make you who you are today.

When the enemy brings hardship into your life, God has a way of taking that experience and turning it around for your advantage. You may think you’ve hit a dead end, but if you’ll stay in faith, you will see God begin to open up a new route. He’ll put the right people in your path, the right opportunities, the right circumstances to move you forward toward your God-given destiny.

Today, don’t focus on what’s happened in your past, focus on what God will do in your future. He wants to restore your soul and revive your dreams. Keep believing, keep expecting, keep hoping because God has a new route for your future!"

He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies. (Psalm 103:4 NLT)

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