Friday, March 27, 2015

Faithful Friday: Commitment to God

Two sentences.  Only two sentences, yet these are so prolific and meaningful when I think of them in application to how I want to live for God, the way I know I don't want my relationship with the Lord to be- I don't want it to ever come to just being a fan.  I love how this is put in this quote.
How amazingly said.  Belief is not enough- showing God that our love for He and His son is a love of truth and devotion involves living out His word in our lives.

I remember when this has been discussed in sermons at church... I remember it being discussed in terms of a parable of friendship.  When you have a friend and you tell them they are a great friend and you appreciate them, they will not believe you if you talk badly about them to others, or are rude to them, or do other things that go against what you have said.  Similarly, if we claim to believe in God, we cannot say we love Him and are devoted to Him and then live our lives in ways that go against all that He stands for.

May we never be just fans in our faith.  May our faith and belief in the Lord be fully accompanied by an undying resolve to live out all that He is in our lives.

How beautiful it is to purpose to put God ahead of our selfish desires and bad habits, to show Him that our love for and devotion to Him involves COMMITMENT and is vastly more important and worthy than something that is tempting us to live out our lives going against His commands.

Hugs and blessings!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

Happy Spring!

Southern Living always has the most delightful quotes come
Springtime, with words that make me feel the soul of Spring and all that
it is... the blooms, weather and breezes, color all around to come, and just
the sheer beauty.
I love this one, but I would take out the word "hateful" in
describing winter because I love Winter, but I am so excited for Spring.

Isn't that just the most heavenly feeling when you can feel Spring
on your skin when you walk outside, smell the scents of it all around!
We are enjoying the beginnings of Spring in this part of
the South and hoping it lasts a loooong time.  Because
usually Spring is five seconds and then Summer is here.
So please hang on a while, Spring! ;)

.           .           .

I hope your start to Spring has been a lovely one.
Depending where you are, you may have flowers blooming up
all around to remind you of the changed season, or you may have
snow outside your doorstep.  It's always so neat to me to think of
how different the same time of year can be for each region of the country,
and of course the world.

I think the telltale sign of Spring here is this sight every year
along the county roads and highways...

I don't believe there is ever a season's view in my home
that makes this land feel more a part of my heart or makes me feel
more in love with this place than this.
From bluebonnets, to Indian paintbrush, to evening primrose.
God is so good to give us all such beautiful wildflowers in each
place we live, to experience and savor in Spring.
I'm so thankful for these glorious seas of blue.

Spring here has been characterized by wildflowers
and taking in their loveliness.
Aside from that, it has so far been spent inside
as I've spent time trying to make my mama feel better from
a flu she has.  But that has been a blessing in a way because it has
forced us to rest.
I was sick along with her over much of Spring Break
last week, so we stayed inside and rested together, but
it made me think of how easy it is to take for-granted rest
and spending time taking it easy with your family.
An entire day of watching classic Disney movies
was definitely a reminder of how lovely the simple things
are... like watching those dreamily wonderful
movies that translate generations and make you smile inside.
I was so happy to watch The Little Mermaid especially.
My favorite.

I think I write this every Spring, or have since I have started
writing here, but I think this blessed season has such an air of hope
and new beginnings with it, a freshness that settles in along with
Maybe it's because it is the Season for spring cleaning?
I don't know.  It just has that essence about it.
There is so much to look forward to.

Spring desserts.
Spring decorating.
Flowers shooting up
to bring cheer.
Sweet swallows with their song
and iridescent hummingbirds

And there is such a gently wonderful beauty
to the fact that all of these things roll around each Spring, the
same things to look forward to, yet they are new and
exciting once more because of how they have
been missed.

Happy Spring to you!

Have a lovely day!!

What is a sure sign of Spring's arrival where
you live?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Baseball Mitts and Baby Blankets

I was reading through my post titles and realized
that I had started a post over a month ago that I never finished.
It is simple and actually inspired by an entry I made for my
writing class, and I decided to finish it and share it today :)

•          •          •

In one of my classes last week, I got the joy of seeing people at their most beautiful.
Their eyes lit up, their faces beamed, some of their voices had sadness, some of them
joy, all of them depth as they spoke... the commonalities being that each person had
 something in their hands, an object that they treasured, and that no matter 
what the emotion, there was always meaning that showed
 through so magically.
Magically... through their eyes and face as they held
those things: 
a baby blanket, a book, a locket, a ring, symbols
of beginnings, of endings, of much more.

Our prompt was to bring a "sentimental object."
I thought for a few days about what I would bring.  I have things lining
my shelves, in my momento boxes, and notes and photos that I treasure,
 tucked in places in my room.  I am a very sentimental person and I keep everything
that has had significance to me because I think the closest thing there is
to traveling to the past and the memories we cherish are in those very items.

Some of my most cherished objects are dried roses. 
Each one has a different meaning to me according to what event it 
came from.  Some are from funerals of my loved ones, the newest being
 a white rose from this past August.
They rest atop my tallest bookshelf, placed together in a bunch.
I would have taken one of those to share, but they are so fragile and
I was afraid to risk having it be crushed or dropped.

In the end, I decided to bring 
something else that is also always resting on my shelf...
my baseball mitt. 
Black, leather, slightly worn from me using it
all these summers- to play and to bring to games
to catch fly balls.
It holds so many memories that feel as if they have been infused
into its leather... memories of the day I got it at the ballpark when I
 was only five, the day my Grandma- who is now gone- wrote my name on it
 for me in pink pen that still remains, of all the games I remember going to-
 that I'm still going to and always will, of the pictures scattered of those 
nostalgic, sweet moments in everyone's albums, the photos I hold close,
and of all the hot summer days when nothing was better than
going out to the park and practicing batting and pitching with my
It's a child's glove, but it still fits me today.

What amazes me...
is how one object, no matter how small or seemingly simple and
meaningless to someone else, can have the most monumental
meaning to you... the most prolific impact on your mind and heart,
bringing upon you a wave of nostalgia for another place and time,
or even tears to your eyes as it evokes thoughts of 
those who may no longer be with you.
Whether a baseball glove or a baby blanket.

I think that is one of the most priceless, inherently, and distinctively
precious things of life... that, just like photographs, these
things are a ticket to the past to bring us back to a moment
that will forever feel like it was just yesterday.

•          •          •

It is Spring Break week for me and it has been such
a wonderful time to rest and relax, as well as enjoy time
both out and at home with my family.
I'm thankful for this week.

I will be taking a short break from posting until next week.
I will "see" y'all then ♥

Hoping your day is very blessed!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Faithful Friday: Storing Up Treasures in Heaven

This is one of the messages in the bible that hits home
for me so much!
This is close to my heart... for one, because this is one of the points that
I remember being impressed upon me in church as I have grown up...
and secondly- partly due to that- I believe there to be such
great value in these wise words.

In a day where it is so easy to be wrapped up with
technological advancement and buying the latest phone or the flattest
T.V, this is advice that we can truly take to heart.
In my writing class recently, we took time in a writing workshop
to write, in just a few minutes, about something we believe is wrong.
I wrote about this, thinking along the lines of how people
all across the world spend thousands of dollars on things like handbags
and shoes.  They spend beyond their means, or if they do spend within
them, they spend lavishly simply because they know they can.
The point I wrote about was that while one person is doing so, there is
someone just a few miles away in the same city who would feel so
thankful and blessed to have dinner for the night.  They wouldn't
even know what to do if they had even one-hundred dollars.

God exudes the most profound love of any being in existence,
and surely his heart breaks to see people starving and even dying because
they are homeless or have no money at all.  I think of this when I am buying
things and try to let this love He shows us guide my attitude toward
material things.  I love clothes and shopping.  A lot...

But this verse
reminds me that the REAL place to invest my life 
and my heart is not in materialistic things, but in God.
Storing up treasures in HEAVEN, not on Earth.

My favorite part of this verse though is
the message the where we store our "treasure" is the
place where our heart is.
I am inspired in my faith and in my walk with God
when I am honest with myself and ask myself if I really
need something, if am buying something for materialistic
reasons, or if I am buying something that I could use the money I
am using to buy something for someone else.
I am encouraged by these precious words
to store up a thousand times more treasures in my faith, in heaven,
than here on Earth through materialistic things.

What a wonderful verse.
It brings to mind the truth that is hard
 to face sometimes when we are tempted materialistically...
that when we die (and now), God is not going to care that
we bought the highest-end brand dress or the biggest house
on the block, but He will care how much we invested in our
faith in our daily lives.

The message is a blessing... to keep our eyes simple
and focus on the things that matter.... serving God and putting
our focus on helping others instead of serving ourselves.


Wishing you a lovely weekend♥

Friday, March 6, 2015

Faithful Friday: A Cheerful Heart

This weekend got away from me and I find myself now
writing this on Monday instead of Friday!
The weekends just fly.  I hope yours was wonderful!...

I think something so simple, but so prolific, when it comes to 
living joyfully is remembering that life should never be too full of sorrow
 and stresses that we forget to laugh and have cheer in our heart.
It is isn't always something that will come naturally when we are heavy
laden with trials, but I was thinking about this and it made me smile to
think that even in the darkest moments in our lives, we still often
laugh at things that come up and that adds even the smallest bit of
cheer to our day.

When I think of the qualities I would like to be remembered
for, being a happy and cheerful person who is always
laughing and smiling- and cheers others up- is definitely
one that I think of.

But when we do laugh every day when we have such great joy
in our heart, as well as when it's hard to laugh because of something
we're dealing with, yet we still find a way to anyway, we owe
all of that to God... because He is the reason we are inspired to have
 a cheerful spirit and countenance within us.

And what beautiful wisdom is found in these words...
laughter truly is the best medicine.
It isn't just a figure of speech or opinion-
it's God's message to us. 

.           .           .

Moments come and go out of our lives, but when they are
characterized by sadness or being tired out from a certain struggle,
they can seem to hang on.
The light within them, to me, is always laughter.
Because as God has reminded me so many times in 
struggle, that moment when I find myself laughing at something
or smiling when I didn't think I would is always a
glaring reminder that laughter is a gift.
Not just because it brings you joy if even for a short time,
but because it is priceless and not always abundant.
So when it is we can appreciate it even more, and when it's not,
we can be inspired to be of good cheer anyway.

I'm so thankful for laughter!
Laughing is probably my favorite pastime.
I love the electric, beautiful feeling you get when you can't
stop laughing, when others are laughing with you, or
when you really needed a laugh.
I've been blessed to grow up in a family where jokes and
hilarity are abundant and someone is always trying to make everyone
else laugh.
I also find myself laughing at entertainment I enjoy, like 
I Love Lucy and movies with clean humor.  
A few months ago, I remembered watching a comedian
that my aunt had shown us when we went to visit her a few summers
ago.  Just randomly, for some reason I thought about a certain video
we had watched and I looked it up to find it.  From that moment, I kept
watching this comedian and looking for more of his videos.
Everyone has a little bit different sense of humor, but he- Tim
Hawkins- really makes me laugh.  You may have heard of him.
He is a Christian and does a lot of shows at churches.  I haven't
seen all of his stand-up, but from what I have seen, he is quite funny
and always keeps his material clean.

Since I am writing about laughter,
I thought it might add some laughter to your day by sharing a few
of my favorite videos of his.  You'll notice that he always seems to
do women's voices in Southern accents, which always makes me laugh.
This first video is probably my favorite- I can't stop laughing
at it, but I also love seeing the sweet, elderly people in the
audience enjoying themselves as they listen and crack up...
and the second video is so funny to me because of how true
it is that that phrase is used!

Have a blessed day!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Profoundly Loved Blog Party (& THREE Years!)

Happy Thursday!

It is a "freeze day" here and school is canceled.
That has made my day! :)

Recently, my friend Kalin from the faith-inspiring blog,
 Magically Ordinary, tagged me to be a part of a blog party
Thank you, Kalin, for thinking of me and so excited to get to
 be a part of this blog party and answer some fun questions!
This involves seven questions and ten tags.
Here we go!

1.  Tell me about someone you love, and why.
I love my family and friends who are like family with all my heart, but more than any one person in the universe, I love God and Jesus.  I love God because without Him and without what He did for me and you, my life would be meaningless.  I fall in love with God more and more each day and He is the constant thread that runs through my life, challenging my thoughts and my heart and my character everyday.  I love the Lord so much because of how beautiful and cherished it is to me to know that He loves me when He doesn't have to.
If I had to choose someone "earthly" I still can't pick just one person-  I would say my Mama & Daddy because they are my biggest supporters and have invested in and loved me so much all these years and continue to.

2.  What is one thing you do that makes you feel like, "man, I could do this forever," when you do it?
Crafting, writing, photography... Oh, there are so many things, but I would have to say, although it isn't really something you do for a hobby on a daily basis, something I feel that I could do forever without getting tired of it is traveling and seeing new things.  Seeing the glorious beauty of the land and creation around me gets me so excited and I look forward to every chance I get to go on trips and adventure to different places, whether they are states or hours away.

3.  What do you love about yourself?
This is kind of a question where you have to take a moment to think about your character, which is humbling.  I think that I most love that I am loyal, family-focused, compassionate toward others and kind, that I try my best to live the way I know God would want me to (but most of all, I am thankful for having that instilled in my heart!), and that I am dedicated and diligent in getting things done and reaching my goals.

4.  What advice would you give someone who doesn't believe they are beautiful?
I would tell them that their worth is not found in the eyes of themselves or those around them who may be telling them they are not beautiful, but instead in God's eyes.  And absolutely no other opinion matters even a fraction of what God's opinion does.  I would also tell them that God created you, and He does not make mistakes.

5.  What is the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about confidence?
The most helpful piece of advice that I have received about confidence is that being confident is, first of all, not about being boastful but about holding your head high in the sense that you know you can accomplish what you set your mind to, and secondly that you are more beautiful when you are confident.  Even more importantly, you feel more beautiful when you are confident.  Beautiful not just physically, but in soul and mind.  I think that advice about the first thing has helped me so much in doing things I have been afraid to do, allowing me to go up and give speeches and presentations or be open even as a shy person.  Telling myself that I will be able to get through and do something that goes outside my comfort zone has helped me immensely in being able to do just that.

6.  If you were your own daughter, what advice would you give yourself?
Something I would find most important to share with her would be to keep her focus on what truly matters in life- faith, family, and serving others- instead of petty things that can easily fog our vision when it comes to what we value in life, or how we see ourselves.

7.  A verse, poem, sonnet, ancient-old proverb that inspires you to love yourself/others?
I love poetry so much, but honestly cannot find just one poem that I want to share for this because love in poetry is such an expanse of expression.  I did find a well-known verse, though, that to me seems to be the best inspiration to love others because it not only tells us to love others, but it tells us how.  I love that we have these beautiful reminders within this verse to love one another in the most meaningful ways...

What lovely questions!  These were so fun to answer :)

Now for the seven tags... I've been thinking about it while I was writing, and there are way more than seven girls and ladies that I would want to tag, so I am tagging anyone who is subscribed to my blog, who reads it, or who just stumbled on this post and might have enjoyed it or been inspired to do it!   I would love to read your answers if you do!

.            .             .

One last thing to mention in this post...

I cannot believe it, but two days ago (I'm just a couple of days late) marked three years that I have been writing on my blog!

THREE YEARS!!?!?   ...It seems like I just started.  I can't even tell you how much I have loved it.  Writing is something I never get tired of doing when it means sharing things that I am inspired by, that I think can inspire and up-build others who may read here or come across my blog, or that gives me a chance to ponder the beauty of life and the things that bring me so much joy.   It is so much fun to get to write about these things and I know that doing so has made me look at life as so much more amazingly beautiful than I ever saw it.   Writing about faith, family, recipes, projects and creating, and my love for Southern culture is so close to my heart and I am so happy to get to have done that here for three years now.
But beyond all of that, my most favorite part of all is YOU!  Connecting with the sweetest, most genuine girls and ladies who have reached out their kindness and become dear friends is the greatest blessing!  I am so glad I started blogging because if I had not, I never would have found the blogs of you who are all so wonderful and such inspiring examples of loving God and others.  It has also been so meaningful to receive emails with the greatest expressions of kindness, as well as those that have told me that something I've shared about my walk encouraged them.  That means so much to me.

I am so thankful ♥

God bless you!

I hope y'all have a wonderful day!!

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