Friday, October 30, 2009

Note to Self:

Dear Self,

Please stop putting laundry into the washer at night before you go to bed. Especially when you have to work the next day. I know that you always think that it's a good idea. I know that you are convinced that you will switch said load of laundry over to the dryer before you head out of the door the next morning. But, you won't. Just face the truth - you never do. And then, you are left with a load of smelly clothes that you discover a couple of days later that have to be rewashed anyways. So, please, for the love of your clothes, your nose, and the Earth, just don't do it.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Look

I updated the blog a little bit today. What do you think? Do you like the fall header? I actually made a couple of different headers, but in the end decided that I wanted a fall-themed header to fit the season. The leaves are from a picture that I took this weekend at Tallulah Gorge. I am a bit undecided about a background color. I really liked the blue, but it doesn't go so well with the fall motif, so I went with this one. I also successfully managed to teach myself how to edit a little bit of html in order to:

1. Make the entire layout of the page wider.

2. Make the pictures that I post bigger.

I was pretty proud of myself! I don't know how to make uploaded pictures default to that size, though. For now, I just manually changed the html for each picture. Feel free to enlighten me if you know.

Nevermind that my house is still a mess and my To-Do list for the day still half un-done. There's still time for that, right??

I should go get on that...

**Update: After a bit more effort, I figured out how to change html to get the background color that I wanted, and make the center column in white :-) The house is still a mess, though...

It's beginning to look a lot like...


On my craft table, that is... Yes, I do know that it is not quite November yet. (And I think that the fact that November is next week is totally crazy!) And, no, I am not one of those girls that starts listening to Christmas music with the first hint of cool air. On the contrary, I am a believer that Christmas music, decorations, and the like should not appear until at least after Halloween. Closer to Thanksgiving would be preferable.

(I make exceptions for peppermint mocha creamer. It can arrive whenever it wants. In fact, the sooner the better. The same for all things mint. Yes, I know that sounds a bit hypocritical, but who decided that mint was a Christmas flavor anyways?? I digress...)

So, why is it looking a bit like Christmas around here?? Well, here's why:

Christmas cards! Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale this week on scrapbook paper and stamps (dangerous, I know...), so I decided to pick up a few things to make some Christmas cards. I thought they might be a nice addition to the card collection to try to sell to raise some money toward Peru support. I also decided to try out a few gift tags. What do you think??

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday Sunset

I totally stopped on the side of the road to take a quick picture of this sunset last night. I was so distracted by trying to look at it while I was driving that I thought I should probably just stop! It was amazing! The picture really does it no justice.

"The heavens declare the glory of God..." Psalm 19:1

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Isaiah 61

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord had appointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..."
Isaiah 61:1

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Tonight, I am thankful for:

*the beauty of today. (Even though I slept through most of it, I still loved falling asleep to the sight of blue skies and the sun shining in through the windows.)

*a chance to catch up with M'Lyn after church tonight - an unexpected blessing!

*the quiet and stillness of tonight. Lord, help me to listen for your voice in the silence.

*my favorite soft, fuzzy, and very warm blanket! I've missed it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Save the date

(From a FB note I posted, in case some of you are not on FB...)

I wanted to let you know about something I am planning, so you can save the date. I would love to have some of you over for an evening of hanging out to have an opportunity to share with you in person more about Peru and why it is that I am so excited about moving there. It would also be a great opportunity to get to see some of you that I haven't seen in a long time and share some yummy fall food! So, for those of you who live in town and are able, save THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH on your calendars for a Fall/Peru sharing Extravaganza! I am also planning to sell some things that I have made (cards, scarves, photos, etc...) during that time to start raising funds for this adventure. If any of you have hidden (or not-so-hidden) artistic or crafty talents and would like to donate something to be sold, please let me know! I will also be selling Christmas cards made by some of my friends on the streets in Lima, and that money will go directly toward supporting the ministry there. So, mark your calendars and start saving your pennies (or dollars :-) )! I would love to see you here!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Got a BIG head??

Like, a REALLY big head?? In the literal sense?

Then you are in luck. I've got just the hat for you. Let me explain...

I've been on a little knitting kick the past couple of days. I really only have skills and patience enough to make scarves. Until last night, that is. Last night I decided that I would try to branch out those skills to include hats. Bad idea. Let's just say that it didn't work out so well. Unless, of course, your head is the size of a Goliath. Then maybe we'd be in business. Maybe. This picture does the actual width of the hat no justice, but here you go anyway:

Ridiculous, I know. Not sure where I went wrong. The possibilities are limitless...

But, happily, the story doesn't end there. Because of the persistent one that I am, I decided to give it another shot today. The result?? See for yourself:

Now, that's better. Far from perfect, but at least it has the general shape of a head. I consider that a step in the right direction...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mind Dump (= MegaPost!)

My mind is so busy sometimes! I often feel like I have ADD because of the way that my mind is always jumping from one thought to the next. I have such a hard time sitting down and focusing sometimes! Like now. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to dump a few things out. Here we go...

(WARNING! This post may get long. There are many things jumping around up there!)

I have been reading through 1 John lately. I feel like it is written in a style perfect for me because John repeats his main points many times throughout the letter. I appreciate that. I sometimes have a hard time retaining what I read, so repetition is good for me. Here are a couple of standout verses for me lately:

1 John 3:17 - But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Hmmm. This is one that convicts my heart. As Americans, we are so rich! We hold the majority of the world's resources. Even the poor in America are rich when compared to the majority world. According to the World Bank, 1.4 billion people are living on less than $1.25 a day. 1.4 billion. I can't really even comprehend that number. Less than $1.25. I can't really comprehend that either. That is 1/3 of the cost of a pumpkin spice latte. Seriously. And, even though I have personally witnessed extreme poverty in Peru, the majority of my friends there are above that line. Most of them have access to running water and electricity and are not dying of starvation. But, many people around the world are. Many children around the world are. And, as believers, we have a responsibility to consider the poor. God tells us that considering the poor and knowing Him are linked. Jeremiah 22:16 says, "He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the Lord." He warns us against oppressing the poor: "Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him." (Proverbs 14:31) Jesus identifies with the poor. He became poor for our sake (2 Cor 8:9). Jesus says that when we serve serve the poor, we serve Him (Matthew 25:35-40). I am mostly talking to myself here. I often fall into the stronghold of the comforts of my life here and forget these truths that Jesus has taught me. I want to be a more generous giver. I want to serve and honor the poor well. But, so often I forget them.

There are so many ways that we can serve those in need around us and around the world. I want to be much better at doing that. I welcome you to hold me accountable. I also invite you to seek out ways that you can love the poor, too. There are a couple of organizations that come quickly to my mind. Word Made Flesh is the organization that I will be serving with in Peru. This community of believers serves some of the poorest of the poor around the world in places like Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Romania, Nepal, India, Thailand, and Sierra Leone. Compassion International is an amazing organization that meets the basic needs of children all over the world. Consider sponsoring a child. There is also so much need all around us. Serving the poor may just mean walking across the street or walking across town. I encourage you (and me) to do just that.

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

As someone who struggles and has struggled with fears throughout my life, this is a verse that I want to grow in understanding of. I grew up with fears that someone would hurt me or someone in my family. I often had trouble sleeping and would read books late into the night because I was afraid that something would happen in my sleep. I had horrible nightmares about it. As I grew up, I struggled (and still do) with the fear of disapproval and rejection. As a single girl in my upper-20's, I deal with my fears of loneliness. But, Jesus offers freedom. He is love. And this verse says perfect love drives out fear. Jon Courson says of this verse that, "if I understand that God really, truly loves me, I can have absolute confidence that whatever happens at any given moment is the best for me" and "when you are sure of God's love for you, you don't have fear." Ultimately, I do know that God loves me and that He holds my life in His hands, but I often have trouble walking daily in that truth and in the freedom that it brings.


So, lately I have been beginning the process of gathering a team of people who will walk alongside me and support me as I journey toward Peru. I have a couple of ideas of ways to sort of jumpstart this process. I have been thinking of having some friends over one night in November as sort of a Peru sharing night. I would love to share with people around me more about the journey that has led me to this place and why it is that I want to move to another continent. I also thought this would be a good opportunity to start the financial support raising process by selling some of the cards that I have been making lately, and possibly some scarves and other crafty things. I would love to invite some of the creative people around me in my life (and there are many - you know who you are!) to possibly donate something to be sold. What do you think about this idea? Do you have any hidden creative genius that you would like to contribute to the cause? Would you like to come? Let me know what you think! And while I'm at it, here are a couple of new cards I have made:


Would you once again join me in praying for one of my little friends? While I can't tell you her name, I can tell you that she is a precious little one with a great smile. And that she loves hugs! It always puts a smile on my face when she stretches her arms out to give me a hug before I leave her hospital room. She has been in the hospital for several months now and has suffered more than any child should. And she has done it with more perseverence and grace than many older people would (myself included). I don't know if it is in God's plans to heal her body on this Earth, but I am continuing to pray that He would. And I believe that prayer can change things. (There is a great sermon by Matt Chandler on the subject that you can download here. It's called the Art of Prayer.) So, I would love it if you would join me in praying for her. You can specifically pray for healing and regeneration of her GI tract. You can pray for bleeding to stop. You can pray that her pain would be controlled, and that she would continue to regain her strength. Pray for more moments in these days that she feels well enough to play and have fun, like a child should. Thanks ahead of time for the prayers!


Other random thoughts:

Man, the lighting in my house is terrible! It's so hard to take a good picture! (At least for me with my amateur skills)

Mmmm...candy corn! I love the pumpkin shaped ones! The only problem is that after a few, they don't seem to love me.

My feet are cold. I really should go get some socks. Or my favorite fuzzy blanket! Yeah, that!

I wonder where my camera cord is?? (Update: found it! It was in the laundry room on top of the dryer, of course. Where else would it be?!?)

Wow, this post is long. I doubt anyone is still reading...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Reasons that I Love FALL!

1. Cooler weather after the stifling Atlanta summers

2. Leaves changing colors

3. GATOR FOOTBALL! I love that Saturdays are full of college football games to watch!

4. Perfect season for hiking (especially somewhere in the mountains!)

5. Pumpkin spice lattes! (a new discovery)

6. Being able to turn off the AC and just open the windows. Which leads to:

7. Cheaper electric bills!

8. Having a need for my favorite fuzzy warm blanket

9. Fun fall activities like pumpkin patches and corn mazes

10. The first signs that the holidays are coming :-)

What about you? What are your favorite things about this time of year?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you confused??

Frantically checking the calendar to make sure you haven't missed a month??

Don't worry. You haven't missed it. Today is Canadian Thanksgiving.

And, since one of the guys in my small group is Canadian, we thought it a good time to have a Thanksgiving celebration!

Complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, green beans, crescent rolls, sweet tea, pumpkin pie, and a yummy cookies and cream dessert that we affectionately refer to as "junk" in my family.

Mmmm... Let's just hope I managed to get it all cooked before everyone gets here at 7!

Pictures to come (if I remember to take them...)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Saturdays

Here is my standard attire for Saturdays in the fall:

Glorious, don't you think??
(Not pictured: the Gator flops.)

Off to watch the game! GO GATORS!!

(Please ignore the ridiculously horrible lighting in my bathroom...)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday!

Why is it wonderful, you ask?

Well, I will tell you!

I am off today AND it is beautiful outside!

I am off to the park to partake in the beauty!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Sometimes it feels like a cycle in my life - that every so often I am overwhelmed with the suffering around me and find myself in this place of brokenness. Perhaps it is because of the place that I work. Perhaps it is simply the fact that as I get older I become more aware of the things going on around me. Perhaps it is the Lord's way of bringing me to a place of crying out for Him with everything that I am, begging for His Kingdom to come on this Earth as it is in Heaven. Because I have faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful God, I believe that He holds the world in His hands. I will never fully understand why certain things happen here on this Earth, but I hold to the promise that complete restoration will one day come. I place my hope and my trust in Him as my Creator, my Savior, the Prince of Peace, Comforter and Friend to the brokenhearted. And I pray.

I pray that He is all of those things to my friend whose dad died unexpectedly in his sleep last night - to this precious girl who has already dealt with heavy loss in her life and who now has to walk through the pain of losing her Dad.

I pray that He is Healer to my little friends in the hospital tonight. For the one that I have been praying for who is getting worse and on her way to the ICU tonight. For the one who just relapsed after being cancer-free for just a few months. For the ones that seem to have little hope left for a cure. Yes, Lord, even them. Especially them.

I pray that He is Abundant Peace for the two families that took their little girls home on hospice this week.

I pray that He is Lover and Friend to an old friend whose husband recently died, leaving her widowed at 30 years old.

I pray that He is Provider for my friends on the streets in Lima whose needs are many tonight. I pray that He speaks Truth into their hearts loud enough to drown out the lies that the world shouts to them about who they are.

I pray. Believing that You hear me. Believing that You are God Alone. Believing that You are brokenhearted, too. Believing that one day Your Kingdom will come.

For this I pray.

Christ's Starfish Foundation

Sorry about my hiatus from blogging this week. It was a L-O-N-G week at work. I will be back at it soon, but right now just wanted to encourage you to check out the Christ's Starfish Foundation blog.

Christ's Starfish Foundation is a nonprofit organization started by my dad a couple of years ago. The mission of the foundation is to be a blessing to families of hospitalized children in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas. I have seen firsthand that being a parent of an ill child is stressful in so many ways. Not only do parents worry about their child's health, they must also worry about paying bills, getting to and from the hospital, trying to maintain their jobs, and finding ways to care for other children while one child is ill. While there are many resources available for the children with cancer that I work with, often resources are very limited for families of chronically ill children that don't have cancer. The aim of Christ's Starfish Foundation is to provide support to these families in need.

One of the biggest projects that CSFoundation takes on is to provide gifts to the children who are hospitalized in Jacksonville on Christmas. Last year, through the help of partners the Foundation provided approximately 1200 gifts to 86 children in Jacksonville, FL as well as 600 gifts to 60 hospitalized children in Gainesville, FL. Check out the blog if you would like to know more about the Foundation or if you are interested in providing gifts for children this Christmas.