Linking Up for the Thursday Five

I'm joining in with Legally Brunette's Thursday Five! You can too! :)

5 Things that make me:


{1) Oliver (my pup) makes me happy every time I come home and he is at the door waiting to jump on me and show me just how great he thinks I am.  He's such a little charmer.

{2} I am grateful for my amazing husband who actually SUGGESTED watching The Young Victoria last night because it looked like a book I'd read and he knew I'd had a busy and tiring week.  Sigh.  I love him.

{3}  Watching "So you think you can dance!?" makes me jubilant every time I get to watch those amazing dancers work it to some amazing choreography!!!!  

{4}  I am ecstatic to have Saturday and Sunday off of work.  I plan to sleep in, chill, and rest! Yep. All of those :) Ahhh...sweet, sweet slumber.

{5}  I'll be thankful when my mom gets home from her two week trip to China and Singapore tomorrow, safe and sound!  Say a prayer if you think of it please :) I am anxious for her safe return!


Saint Teresa's Prayer

My mom just sent me this in an email, and I wanted to share it with you lovely blog-followers! :)  I might have to had it to my morning QTs!

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be confident knowing  you are a child of God. Let his presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and everyone of us.


that's what it's all about!

I've been reading this book

And it has been making me feel like this

I've enjoyed the book because it has put in better words than my mind can conjure up some things that have always left me a little unsettled with American Christianity.  One of the things is how we confuse what Christianity, indeed what life, is all about.

The message of Christianity is NOT about Jesus coming to die for our sins to bring us life because God loves us.  That may sound shocking, radical even, but it is true.  That is only part of the message  The real message of the gospel is this:  God is awesome.  He is worthy of praise.  He is great and He loves us.  He is not great because He loves us.  His love for us being the center of our faith makes us the center of our lives.  Instead, GOD should be the center.  Everything Jesus did pointed to God's greatness.  He used God's love for people to point to God, but that was not the final message of Christ.

It's all about God.

Having David Platt explain this in words was not so much a surprising revelation.  Instead, it felt like a truth that had been in the corner of my mind, at the edge of my awareness, had finally settled down and found its home.

I remember my love for the worship in Oaxaca, Mexico.  I left Roca Blanca this summer truly touched by the prayer and praise of the people of Oaxaca.  They prayed to and praised God. They asked for assistance and thanked Him for blessings, but the central focus was God...and how worthy of praise He inherently is!  I want my heart and my life and my praise to be like that.  I want it all to be about God, because that is how life should be.  It is how God created it.  How egocentric have I been to insist on the gospel being about ME?  How silly that seems now that I have been able to articulate the concept that EVERYTHING...all love, all beauty, all goodness, all blessings, all gifts...are for GOD!! Hallelujah!


HOW TO have the best birthday ever

1. waking up at 1:44 am thinking someone was breaking into your house and possibly cut the power, and then realizing it was just your dog who had been inadvertently trapped in a side room...he was likely jumping at the doorknob, trying to escape.
2. working 6 am to 12:30 (I got off early!), and going to sesame with your husband for lunch (YUM!)
3. hanging out with your husband who took most of the afternoon off of work
4. getting your friend and neighbor to come over while you are getting ready (after your husband went to church to play music for a service) because of the fake burglar experience
5. going to Outback for a QUICK dinner with a SLOW waitress, but enjoying the time and the food with your amazingly sweet and thoughtful husband!
Rushing home to let friends into your house for a sweet game night, complete with chips and ice cream cake and pie!!!

Trust me, guys.
These steps WORK!

On the way to lunch :)

One Colorado and One Park Circle mini cheeseburger

With some amazing friends, about to chow down on
the best ice cream cake ever!

Goofing off with some besties!

With the man behind the plan!

Signs and Mafia!!

Goofing off with family (plus a couple extras we adopted)
at the end of the night :)


laugh with me


thank you letters

Some other bloggers have inspired me to remember some things that make me happy and that I really and truly am thankful for.  What are some things that you're thankful for today?

Dear July,
Thank you for being a month full of fun
sparklers and fireworks
family reunions
my birthday
And don't get me started on your fabulous weather
beautiful sunny days
quiet, not-so-hot mornings
sudden storms and rainbows
Thank you, July, for being so stinkin awesome!

Dear Chick-fil-A,
Thank you for giving me a job
Not only that, but thank you also for keeping me busy, busy, busy
And I really do love your chicken minis!
And your fries!

Dear Parents,
Thank you for your love and support of all my dreams.
Thanks for a fun and free dinner more often than I deserve.
Thank you for always letting me bring Ollie over,
even though he makes your dog go a little crazy.
Thanks for finding me a temp job while a searched for a full-time one.
Thanks for listening about my day whenever I call.
Thanks for, well, 

Dear bloggers,
Thanks for your wonderful comments!
I really love hearing your thoughts
And I love getting to know you better through your own blogs.
You have given me this fabulous outlet
And an opportunity to meet you.
So thank you.


monday munchy miscellany

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
{1} I am definitely not meant to be a butcher.  After my first day of training at Chic-fil-A I have realized one thing for sure...I am not an expert butcher, nor a particularly enthusiastic one.  Although I'll mainly be working up front, I have to start my training back in the kitchen.  It really isn't that bad.  It is actually reassuring to see the cleanliness and the good attitudes of the people in the kitchen (as well as their skills that far exceed my own)! But I am definitely appreciative of my status as future greeter/server/cashier! :)

{2} Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are deceptively complicated.  I never realized the true artistry of making a PB&J, but having asked my darling husband to make me one a few times now since we got married two years ago, I have realized that there is a science to it.  You need enough of both ingredients without having any one taste be too overpowering...or too gooey.  I will have to measure out my next sandwiches to give Mikey better directions :) haha

{3} Sticking to the food theme that has developed...I am in desperate need of a few cheap and easy recipes!  My poor husband has eaten spaghetti, enchiladas, and sandwiches a few too many times...as have I!  I recently made some really good baked chicken, but that demands sides.  Any good, easy casserole dishes you would recommend?  I am also a big soup fan, and I love my crockpot!  I'd really appreciate any ideas you could throw my way :)

{4}  Mikey's mom makes the BEST brownies!  We went to their house last night, and I had every intention of resisting any dessert temptation.  I even told Mikey on the way there.  But once those deliciously gooey brownies were out of the oven, I was defenseless.  At least it was a very sweet surrender!

{5} Home-made paninis are so good!  I was recently forced to experiment with my sandwich making when we were out of condiments, and I discovered that a ham and cheese sandwich on the George Foreman Grill is oh-so-good :) You can add little extras also, but I'm a panini purist, I suppose.  Mmm...great way to make a sandwich lunch seem more like a treat! 


Boxed In

I've thought about this at different points throughout my life, but this past week, it has been hitting me especially hard.  What am I talking about, you may ask...perfection and personality.  I know nobody is perfect, but aren't we all supposed to be striving towards being the best us we can be?  We are called to be like Christ...God's hands and feet, God's heart and mouth to this world.

I think that far too often we box ourselves in by making excuses for our attitudes, our words, or our actions based on our personality.  We all have our failings, certainly.  But just because we happen to have a personality that makes us one way or another...too loud, too quiet, too outspoken, too captive to fear, too sarcastic, too off-color, too whatever...does not mean that that is the end of our road.  God calls us to be like Him.  And I truly believe that being like God means embracing the personality He has given us, but also working through the trials and temptations that come with that specific personality.

Not only do we short-change God by using our personalities as a crutch, rather than a springboard for becoming more and more like Him, we short-change ourselves.  I cannot be everything God created me to be if I limit myself to how I naturally act.  Part of growing up is developing.  Maturity is a metamorphosis...the essence of who we are should remain, but we should become even more than our immature selves...something better and far more beautiful.

Last night at church, our pastor challenged us to take inventory of our tendencies...where we tend to slip up or get distracted from God.  And he asked us to pick one or two of those areas to really focus our attention on, to work on daily so that we can become more Christ-like in that area.  There were definitely a few tendencies of my own that really stood out to me.  I hope you might take just a second to take inventory of your life, to look at where you are using "personality" as a crutch and letting it box you in.  And then pray and ask God for guidance in how to overcome your areas of weakness while still staying true to who God created you to be!! :)


it's been too long, blogging world

in one word or phrase- I'M BAAAAACK!

I’m dreaming of you- 21st birthday...less than two weeks away! :) I really, really love birthdays because they mean you get together with family and friends...and you get to go shopping!!! :)

song on repeat- Fix the World Up for You by James Morrison--I have been listening to him nearly nonstop on the long, long car rides between SC, Indiana, and Pennsylvania...his songs are so fun and so soothing...love them.

gotta write it down- ...so he grabbed his lucky pink inchworm foot... -near quote from a madlibs game my family played on the drive to Indiana!

lesson learned- Family is so, so important.  Any time you can steal away to reunite and spend some time with loved ones is well worth it.  Even when you haven't seen some family members in a long time, they're still family...and that is priceless!

picture to frame
With our kids on my cousin Jason's farm :)

highlight of the week- Seeing my dad's side of the family in PA after over a decade!  I loved seeing my mom's side of the fam in IN, but we got to go visit them after a long hiatus last summer.  So it was extra special to see my grandparents, my Uncle Jim, and my two cousins, James and Michael, in PA!!!

weekend to do list- get some pictures taken with my wonderful husband, hang out with some great friends, and SLEEP! I am exhausted from my long travels ha