Friday, February 28, 2014

Faithful Friday: The Impossible

Happy Friday!
Today I want to share something that may seem like such a simple thought and verse
but it is the world to me.  I find that often some of the scriptures that mean so much to me
and to others I know have short messages, but they are messages that convey such wonderful
comfort and leave a mark on your heart, such as this one or the beautiful "It is well with my Soul".
For me, knowing God specializes in what would NEVER be possible otherwise
makes me have the most heartfelt thankfulness and a sense of comfort and joy in my heart
that compares to nothing!
Since before I can remember, I was taught about all of the accounts in scripture where
God performed miracles and made impossible things possible, resurrecting and healing,
parting the seas.  This has been such a blessing to have in my mind and heart
because anytime I am struggling with something or feel like my situation is hopeless,
I remind myself of this... that God does not just do the impossible.  He specializes in it!
We can have faith that the Lord will
answer our prayers and relieve our heartaches, even giving us miracles and hope
where dark times seem to choke out any hope we had.
This verse is the most beautiful reminder to never lose hope.
Blessings to you!
Hoping y'all have a blessed weekend!
.         .          .
Faithful Fridays are hosted by Joy at her lovely blog, Doodlebug.
You can visit her here and read her wonderful posts or even link up your Faithful Friday post!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Little Sunshine

Happy Saturday!
I am so grateful another weekend is here to enjoy and to
pick up projects and crafts from last weekend.  I hope yours is off to a great start. 
What are your weekend plans?
.          .          .
Kalin from the lovely blog, Modesty Is My Policy, is so thoughtful
to have nominated me for the Sunshine Award!
She is so sweet to nominate me a second time for this award- which
is lovely and cheery just in it's name!- and I am honored she thought of me.
Since many of the questions are different from last time, I'll hopefully have some
 different answers so that I'm not writing quite as much of what I have on other award posts.
So, I thought I would answer them today and thank her for nominating me
(although I'm a bit distracted by this glorious scenery of the Sunshine Award image).
I really love her questions.  Here they are!
What is your favorite time of year?
I've always loved Winter because whether you have snow or not-
which we usually don't- it is always such a cozy and cheerful time of year.
However, with the Spring days already showing themselves, it is hard not to
answer with Spring because I am more and more looking forward to it.
I love all times of year and the beauty they bring, except for probably around late
July and August when it becomes humid and about a thousand degrees in the South.
Do you have any pets?
I have my little dog, Lucie, who I have talked a little about before.
I love her and she's my little companion when I'm home alone,
always sitting on my lap and following me around.  You can see her here.
We also have an aquarium full of beautiful fish that we got this past year.
They are so calming to watch with their fluttering tails and colors.
What is your favorite genre of music?
It's hard to choose because I listen to a lot of things, but mostly I have grown up with
 the older music my parents did because I have always enjoyed it so much
more than anything new.  I also have come to enjoy some country,
more than anything because of the pure and beautiful lyrics in most
songs and for the stories in them.  I love that. 
I am so inspired by worship songs as well.
I would say overall that my favorite music is just anything that makes me
 feel something or that is nostalgic to me over the range of genres there are.
What is your favorite kind of food?
I love good Southern home cooking and Mexican food over anything,
as well as Italian.  So delicious.
Do you have any siblings?
No, I am an only child :)
What is your opinion or courtship/dating?
I personally believe that courtship, or what can be called dating with a purpose
 in a courtship, is what leads to the best kind of marriage.
  Choosing courtship over casual dating is to choose the way that will not
lead you away from purity and that will help you to guard your heart and save it for
the one God has for you.  Dating means leaving pieces of your heart with
different people and I know I don't want that.
God has worked so much in my heart about this even in just the past few years
to strengthen my convictions, but I am so thankful to have grown up with parents
who instilled that in me early on. 

Pants or Skirts/Dresses?
All of the above.  I wear jeans a lot because I feel most comfortable
in them, but I love to wear maxi skirts and lovely dresses- especially in Spring!
I am looking forward to hopefully sewing a new dress!

What inspired you to start blogging?
I was excited at the thought of having a way to share my joys, faith, crafts,
 and loves, as well as a little about Southern life through writing and photographs.
If you could meet any famous person, dead or alive, who would you pick?
Jesus.  That may seem like an obvious answer, but I cannot imagine just how
incredible it would have been to have met Jesus when He was on Earth,
to sit down and hear him speak!  How amazing.
Other people I would like to meet are Michelle Duggar and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
What is your favorite bible verse?
I think the bible is so packed with beautiful verses that every single day I find
or am reminded of one that I love so dearly.  It is hard to say if it is my absolute favorite because
of that, but definitely one of my favorites is a reminder to me that God will take care of
 me through my hardest trials if I trust Him: Isaiah 40:31...
"But those who trust in the lord
will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint".
Those are my answers.  Thank you again, Kalin!
The sweet, lovely friends I have made in you all are truly wonderful.
Because I will have more than the eleven nominees and because I think I have repeated
awards before when I nominated others, I choose to nominate all of you♥
Your blogs are such a blessing to me, as is your friendship.
Each of you deserves a Sunshine Award.
I have had fun writing this post. 
Thank you for reading.
May you have a blessed and beautiful weekend!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Faithful Friday: Firm Faith

Yesterday I wrote this verse in an email to a friend.  She was telling me about an experience she is going through and I was hoping to encourage her.  She is such a wonderful example of standing firm in her faith, and I was reminded of this amazing verse.  I hope she doesn't mind me saying this... I was just inspired by her firm faith to write about this verse.

One version I read said "stand firm in your convictions".  While this one says "the faith", they truly go hand in hand.   I love this verse so much because it is such a loving encouragement from God.  He's encouraging us to not give up, to stay strong!  And no matter how weighed down we feel, we can know that with Him encouraging us, walking through trials with us, we can and will get through.
The first part of this verse is so wonderful, too, because it is a reminder to be watchful and to be firm and stand up for our faith.  This is eye opening for me every time I read it.  It is easy to think about and know how important it is to stand up for our convictions every day in any way that comes up, but when it does come up sometimes it is harder to be courageous and firm.  I know this is a loving reminder from God to me that a life of loving and having faith in Him is not complete without standing up for Him.  Even if it means losing everything else- because nothing else could matter more.

There is such a difference in having faith and having firm faith.  God is continuously working this in my heart and reminding me of what that means.  And just think how amazingly special this is... to be encouraged by God Himself to be strong.

Let us show our love for God and strengthen that love by being courageous in our faith!

.           .           .

Faithful Fridays are hosted by my friend Joy on her blog Doodlebug.  You can visit her, here!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Girls' Weekend

It sure feels like this week only just started and it's already Wednesday!
It has actually been a shorter week because we had sort of an extended weekend.  It was such a wonderful weekend!  It was exciting to have my grandma come stay with us for a few days again. Our time with her was a lot of fun.  Having her here was kind of special because my Daddy was out of town and we ended up having a girls' weekend (but I missed him). 
Most of the time, the highlight of the three generations of us being together is something like spending time outdoors, seeing scenic places, doing crafts or jewelry making, gardening or spending time there, or being in the kitchen together.

When she was here this time, I had the privilege of taking her to Hobby Lobby and having her inspire me to do something I had wanted to try for a long time: embroidery!  I just love moments where I can learn things like this.  Learning anything from a grandmother that she can pass down is so special to me.  So she showed me everything I would need and got me so excited about trying it.  We looked at all of the embroidery floss in all the beautiful colors and picked out a hoop and needles and I came home and tried it out the next morning.  And I love it.  I started with some simple letters which are finished now because being a Southern girl, I had to try a monogram :)
I am excited about how it turned out, especially because it was for something I sewed.  I am looking forward to sharing pictures.

I have so many wonderful memories of moments in the kitchen when my grandma comes to visit, just she and my Mama and I talking over some good, old-fashioned Southern food cooking and smelling amazing.  My grandma treated us to some of her famous fried seasoned potatoes.  They are so good!
I joined in on the cooking this weekend, too, and put together a recipe for delicious cheese straws.

Since the last winter storm earlier this month, the weather has gotten a lot warmer.  It will sometimes stay chilly longer, but it is definitely starting to feel like Spring outside at least for now.  We recently picked up some seeds to start our planting in a few starter pots out back and they are really growing.  I'm excited about them, especially to see how our cantaloupe plant turns out.
They really started to shoot up this weekend.  This was my view as we sat outside and talked together in the cool breeze.  
Sunday night, I made the main course for supper, a meatloaf!  I think meatloaf is one of the most wonderful comfort foods.  I used this recipe from Trisha Yearwood, whose cooking show I can't get enough of.  We usually make meatloaf from a family recipe, which is delicious, but I wanted to try something different and we had everything to make it.  I topped it off with a ketchup-brown sugar glaze.  It always feels good to be able to serve something to my Mama and Daddy, and they loved it.

That was my wonderful weekend.  A girls' weekend is always so fun, and seeing my grandma is so nice.  I love her, the memories I have with her, and spending time with her now.  Of all we did both out and about and at home, I think maybe the thing I enjoyed most was just the three of us sitting out back in the mornings and afternoons talking, listening to her stories, and catching up, with the breeze blowing through the trees and the wind chimes singing away.  I definitely feel Spring in the air!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and enjoy the rest of the week! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Faithful Friday: True Love!

It is a day when the world celebrates love.  We went to get groceries this morning and I can't even tell you how many men I saw walking out with big, beautiful bouquets of flowers and chocolates to give to the ones they love.  Which is so sweet.
But as love amongst one another is celebrated, something that often goes overlooked is the most important and strongest source of love in existence!  God's love for us should be celebrated more than anything.  Without him, there would be no love at all, because He is love.
God loves us immensely more than anyone else ever could and that love for us never dies or fades or leaves us.  This verse so beautifully reminds me of how much we rely on God's love for us, and how much I know I do each day.  It is so humbling to stop and think of how much we need God's love, where we would be without it, and how gifted we are to be personally known and loved by the Creator of the universe!
In thinking about this, I ponder on the amazing thousands and thousands of ways God's shows His love for us... through our family members' love, our friends, those who He placed in our lives to love and encourage us, the blessings in each day, the way He allows things to fall into place in His plan for us, the way He is working in our lives right now, and even  through meadows, sunsets, the animals, waterfalls, mountains, the glorious sceneries that He loves us through in that He allows us to enjoy all of the beauty He created.  Each and every blessing that we think to be small or simple is God's expression of love.
God's incredible love for us is greater than we are ever capable of imagining, the deepest love there is.  How honored we are to be able to rely on His love and live each day to see the way He shows us how much He loves us.
Have a great weekend!!
.            .            .
Faithful Fridays are hosted by my friend, Joy, on her wonderful blog, Doodlebug.  You can visit her and read her amazing posts here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On the Good Ship Lollipop

This morning I heard that Shirley Temple Black passed away yesterday.  She was 85.  I just wanted to write something about her because I was sad to hear she had passed.  I grew up, thankfully, with parents who introduced me to Shirley Temple when was little.  I remember watching her movies and wanting to dance and sing like her.  I even loved ordering a Shirley Temple at restaurants because I thought it was fun because it reminded me of her (I still love 'em).  Her smile was unforgettable- and of course her head full of bouncy curls.  I also loved that she seemed level-headed and respectable.  She also left acting early to raise a family.  She sounded like a classy lady way beyond her days as the loveable, cute little girl America loved so much. 
It is a sort of an out of the blue thought, but even Santa Claus was a fan.  I write that because I am reminded of something I read this morning that made me laugh.  Shirley Temple's mother brought her to see a Department Store Santa during the holidays when she was a little girl, and he asked her for her autograph.  She said that was when she stopped believing in Santa Claus, haha.  I thought that was a funny story.

Shirley Temple represents the purity and simple times in America that are nostalgic to so many.  I think that's one reason why she and her films are so loved.
I used to walk around all the time when I was little singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop".  I still get it stuck in my head sometimes, and I have a feeling I always will every once in awhile.  In memory of her, all I can say is that I'm thankful to have had Shirley Temple be a part of my childhood.  She was truly so talented, beautiful, and had such joy in her bright smile.  It was a smile that seemed to light up the world, even now, and one that will be missed.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Faithful Friday: An Amazing Verse

Today I have a simple post.  I just wanted to share these verses that have been especially on my heart and that I have been thinking of often since I was reminded of them in a devotional last week.  I am so grateful for each part of these verses... I love how you can soak in each line and the meaning of the beautiful words here:  love, mercy, alive, Christ, grace, saved.  And thinking of the meaning of this altogether makes me thankful and amazed in a speechless, awe-inspired way.

This is an amazing bible passage.

Have you had any specific verses on your mind?

I'm off to finish a sewing project I am so excited about and enjoy being cozy inside during this blast of cold weather.  It's a lovely start to the weekend here :)

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!


.          .           .

Faithful Fridays is hosted by my friend Joy on her amazing blog, Doodlebug.  You can read her inspirational posts here!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Softest, Sweetest Butter Cookies Ever

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the week! 

Today I wanted to share with you a recipe that I found recently that falls about in the top
two cookie recipes I have EVER tried!  It is for amazing butter cookies.... so sweet,
and the most perfect, soft, chewy cookies ever. 
They never got even slightly hard.

Before I go on, I should probably warn you that if you bake these there is a good
chance that you might just stand by the cookie jar all day long eating cookie after cookie after delicious cookie and still be looking for more.  Not that that happened to me ;)

These cookies were so amazingly good on their own, but I had a little bit of this pretty
purple frosting (I LOVE purple!) and sprinkles left in the fridge from when I baked
sugar cookies.  I was so excited to use my "froster" with the star tip that I got
this weekend at Hobby Lobby  and had fun doing some simple decorations
 on the cookies to make them cheerful and bright.

I always love how cakes or cookies or anything looks inside this cake platter.
It's been in our family for a long time and I hope it will become an heirloom to pass down.
It reminds me of something in an old diner that might have a pie under it or something.

Now to the recipe!
I do not take credit for it.  It is from Robyn from Add A Pinch.
She is a Southern wife and mother and shares the most delicious recipes.
Every one I have tried has come out so great.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar well, then add and beat in egg.
Gradually spoon in flour mixture until it is mixed in well.
Add in vanilla.

Bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes.
(It may have just been my oven, but mine took 15 minutes)

Writing about this recipe is making me want to go make another batch
right this minute.  These cookies are simply wonderful.
I was so excited to find this recipe, and even more excited about how it turned out.

I hope you'll try it! 

Happy baking!

Blessings :)

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