Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I hope that you had a great day with your friends and families! I was supposed to work last night, so my Thanksgiving plans were up in the air until the last minute. My dad (who is the greatest!) drove up with plans to pick me up from work on Thursday morning to drive us home. I ended up getting to stay home on Wednesday night, so I met up with him at midnight and we shared the driving through the night to get into Jacksonville at about 6am. We decided at the last minute to stay home and do Thanksgiving in Jacksonville with just us this year, which we have never done before. It was a fun and very relaxing day! My sister woke me up as the Macy's parade started and we watched it until the end (something that we usually don't get to do) before getting dressed and ready to eat lunch. And lunch was fabulous! We had turkey, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole (my favorite), corn casserole (I pass on this one), homemade buttermilk biscuits, and sweet tea. Yummy! Lots of props to my super fabulous Momma who made it all herself!

And then there was hummingbird cake (another favorite), gingerbread and pumpkin trifle, and cookies and cream (which we like to call "junk") for dessert. Let's just say that I should be full for a while. I am so glad that I was able to come home and be with my family! After lunch we all took a nap before I insisted that everyone get up and dressed for a couple of family photos in the backyard. (Most of us didn't bother with the shoes...)

We missed our Pam and Jeremy! My younger sister and brother-in-law live in North Dakota and were not able to make it home for the holiday this year. We saved them a place in a couple of our photos, though:

We spent the rest of the day relaxing over a game of Trivial Pursuit, a couple of Christmas movies, and Black Friday shopping strategizing. Speaking of shopping, I better head to bed! Those 5am deals are going to come early!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meeting MckMama

This past Sunday, my friend Kerry and I headed down into the city for a picnic with MckMama. MckMama is a blogger that I have been reading for a while now. I actually first linked to her blog through a link on Kerry's blog. So, it was appropriate that we headed down together to go meet her. Anyway, MckMama has a popular blog where she posts about life raising four kiddos, photography, natural eating, and loving Jesus, among other things. Her blog has become very popular as she has openly shared about and sought prayer for her youngest son, Stellan, who was diagnosed in utero with a heart condition called SVT. While the doctors thought he wouldn't survive the pregnancy, he was born healthy. However, when he was about 4 months old, his SVT reared its ugly head again, and he has had several hospitalizations and close calls since then. Most recently, though, his SVT was healed through a successful (though very risky) surgery. I love reading the blog (mostly because MckMama is funny, entertaining, and I love her photos), and have spent time praying for the health of sweet Stellan. So, when she posted that she would be in the Atlanta area, and was planning to have a gathering to meet some of her blog readers, I started to consider going. I was a little hesitant, though, because I knew that an actual meeting would be a whole 'nother step into my blog-addiction. But, when I got an email from Kerry asking me if I was interested in going down, I decided that accompanying her was a great reason to go! So, we went. It was a fun time, even though it was a gray, nasty rainy day. It was fun to get to meet MckMama, to see those sweet kiddos of hers in person, and to even get to hold the miracle baby himself! Here are a couple of pictures of them, using a layout that I learned from this MckMama post:

Note to Self, Volume 2:

Dear self,

When driving, please refrain from veering off the beaten path. I mean, seriously, you are not good with directions. Just face the truth. You have no idea which way is north, south, east, or west unless the sun is rising or setting, and even then sometimes you have trouble. So when driving somewhere new, just look up the directions. And when you do have directions and manage to arrive at a new place successfully (say, the Trader Joe's on Peachtree Pkwy), DON'T just decide that you can figure out a different way home. It doesn't work that way. You may just end up in John's Creek, where the people at the Walgreen's look at you funny when you ask them the best way to get back to 85. So, save yourself some trouble next time and just turn around and go back the way that you came. Trust me, it will turn out better that way.


P.S. You may want to consider asking for a GPS for Christmas. That might help, too. (That is, if you weren't planning to leave the country soon and would therefore not have much use for it long-term...)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do You Know...

Do you know who is in this photo with me? I'm referring to the one in the middle. Clearly, her nametag says Jennifer, but you might know her by another name. That is, if you are a bit of a blog-stalker like myself. I have linked to her blog here on mine before, and asked you to join in praying for her sweet son. I met him today, too. Any guesses? I'm headed to bed right now, but more about this picture and a couple of overdue blog posts coming soon...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Could Be Yours...

This coming Thursday I am having a little get-together at my house. It will be a good time of food and friends for sure, but it will hopefully also be a time for people to get to know a little more about my heart for Peru. I will also be selling a few handmade items to help to start raising money for my Peru support account. Here are some of the items:

(Click on the image for a better view)

Isn't this awesome?!? One of the fabulous girls that I work with made this for me to sell. It's a collection of "doodles" that are in the shape of the country of Peru. It is made up of a bunch of different words like, "poverty", "salt & light", "compassion", "sacrifice", and lots of others. I think it's a fun game to stare at it and see what new words I can find. The amazing thing to me is that Stacey didn't even outline the shape that she was going for. She just started doodling and just formed it into the shape of Peru as she went. Amazing!

Another friend from work, Kelly, made some earrings and bracelets. Here are a few of the earrings:

I have also been making some handmade cards to sell. While I was in Florida visiting my parents recently, my mom bought me some really cute Christmas paper. We made several cards together. Here are a few:

I also have some Christmas cards that were designed by some of the youth in Lima. These are from previous years that I have left over. Money from these cards would go directly to support the ministry in Lima.

All of these things could be yours! I would love for you to come and hang out with me on Thursday if you live in or around Atlanta. If not, and you are interested in any of these things, just let me know. I have lots more cards and also some scarves that I don't have pictures of yet. I think that I am just going to sell those things on a donation basis, so let me know if you are interested in anything!

(I apologize for the quality of the pictures and the poor lighting. I was in a hurry and my house doesn't have the best lighting for taking photos.)

Living Room Makeover

I did a little rearranging in my living room this weekend, complete with the addition of a tree branch to my wall. Wanna see?? Here you go:

Clearly, the frames are still missing some pictures to go in them. I'm working on that...

If you're wondering where the branch came from, it's from a park near my house. Yep, I definitely went outside, found a tree branch, lugged it to my car, crammed it in through the trunk (it went all the way through to the driver's door right beside my head), drove it home, and hung it on the wall. I love it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And Another Thing...

...that I am thankful for (see previous post) is that I don't have a serious plumbing problem in my house that I am trying to sell! Yay! One of the outdoor faucets broke a while back and I just turned off the water valve to that faucet until I could get it fixed. Because that valve only seemed to control that one faucet and therefore was not affecting my life in any way, I have been putting it off for a long time now. Last weekend I was finally able to have someone come and look at it, and it turns out that it just needed a new washer! How simple. I was hoping (and praying) that it would be something simple like that, but I was afraid it might be something worse. Thanks, God, for answering that prayer!


"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

This is a post that I have intended to write for a while now. About 10 days to be exact. Actually, maybe more. Lately, I have felt the Lord speak into me from several places that I need to be taking time to be thankful. To take account of the ways that the Lord has blessed me. To remember the things that He has done and praise Him with thanksgiving. The Bible tells us often to do those things - both to remember and to be thankful - and I want to be better about taking intentional time to do just that. I have intended to take time each day of November leading up to Thanksgiving to think about and jot down things that I am giving thanks for. Though I have taken some time intermittently to think about those things, I have not been committed to taking time to write them down. So, I wanted to do that here. I have so many things to be thankful for. Here are a few of those things:

-my family. I am blessed with a family that loves the Lord and loves one another. My parents are still together after 33 years of marriage and are committed to the vow that they made to one another. I recognize that as a rarity these days. My sisters are both amazing women who love the Lord and are examples to me of how to love and serve others well. I now also have an amazing brother who is the perfect partner for my sister and who loves the Lord and is committed to serving Him with his life. (Happy Birthday, Jeremy!) I am thankful that I had a chance to go to Florida recently and spend some time with (most of) the fam!

-a new roommate! I have been praying that God would send me a new roommate since mine moved out about a year ago, and He finally did. A friend from church (whose name is also Aimee, just spelled a little different) moved in a little over a week ago, and I am loving having her around. It is nice to have someone to just chill and watch a movie with when I don't feel like doing much else. She is also incredibly talented in many artistic/crafty ways, and I am looking forward to gleaning some knowledge from her.

-community. I am thankful that I have an amazing community of friends to share life with. We have been meeting weekly for over two years now, and they are such a blessing in my life. I can share struggles with them, laugh with them, pray with them, cry with them, celebrate with them... I know that they will be there to send me out as I go to Peru and pray for me while I am there. I am so thankful for this group of fabulous friends!

(P.S. For a great sermon on community, you should listen to this one by Matt Chandler called Gospel Community. It's a good one.)

-a Godly mentor. I have a wonderful lady in my life that I have been meeting with periodically for the past couple of years. M'Lyn speaks truth into my life, encourages me, and even sets me straight every now and then when I need it. I am thankful for her presence in my life.

-peppermint mocha creamer! This one may seem a bit trivial, but I am thankful nonetheless! As I type, I am enjoying my first cup of coffee with peppermint mocha creamer of the season. This is the one "Christmas-themed" item that I welcome long before Thanksgiving. I maintain that it should never have been labeled a seasonal item to begin with...

-peace about the plans that the Lord has for me. I am thankful to be able to walk toward moving to Peru with confidence that the Lord has led me here and will continue to guide me as long as I am faithful to follow. I have peace that the One that created me knows each of my days before any of them come to be (Psalm 139:16).

-Peru supporters! I have already been surprised and incredibly blessed by people that have communicated their desire to support me as I go to Peru. Some of those are people that I have had little contact with over the years, and I am overwhelmed and so thankful that they would want to walk with me on this journey.

-days off. I am so thankful for days like today off from work to have an opportunity for rest and renewal!

-Fall! I am thankful for the beauty of this season which speaks to me of God's glory and creativity. God didn't just create an Earth simply to sustain us, but created so many things for us to enjoy. I love the vibrant colors of the leaves and the rich flavors of pumpkin and spices characteristic of the season. I love that God gave me those things as a blessing to enjoy!

-the everyday meeting of my needs. I am thankful that I have everything that I need and so much more. I have food to eat, a house to sleep in, heat to warm me, warm clothes to protect me from the cold, shoes to put on my feet (well, flip flops anyway...), an income to pay my bills. I am blessed, indeed. There are so many people in the world that don't have so many of those things. I recognize that I have a responsibility to share what I have with those who have need. I pray that I would open my eyes to some of those people during this holiday season that the Lord may be calling me to bless by meeting their needs.

There are 10 things for the first 10 days of this month. My goal is to continue to share with you at least one thing that I am thankful for each day this month. Please feel free to encourage me to stick with this! And I would love to hear about the things that you are thankful for, or about the things that the Lord is speaking into you during this season.

"Remember the wondrous works that he has done..." Psalm 105:5

"...And be thankful." Colossians 3:15

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This is the reason...

...that my tongue still has a hint of the taste of envelope glue.

Yes, I licked every one of these envelopes. Yes, I know that was a bit silly. Because, yes, I do know that there are things called sponges and that I have some of those downstairs in my kitchen. Nonetheless, I am excited that my first Peru letters are written, addressed, and sealed. Watch out - one may be arriving soon to a mailbox near you.

(P.S. If you are reading this and you would like for this letter to be arriving to a mailbox near yours, just let me know!)