Friday, October 31, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 31

Wow! I can't believe I actually finished something! For those of you who know me well, you know that I am great at starting things, but HORRIBLE at finishing! To finish the 31 day joy challenge is a blessing in and of itself, but the true blessing and joy comes from everything that I have learned and been reminded of. Things like...

1. I am a child of the LIVING God!
2. I was created exactly how God desired me to be, inside and out!
3. Experiencing joy doesn't have to be in just the big moments of life, but in the small moments, such as cooler weather, changing of seasons, seeing a beautiful butterfly, reading the same verse you've read a hundred times, but actually understanding its meaning for the 1st time, realizing the blessing of a wonderful, Godly husband, feeling overwhelmed with love for a child who hasn’t even entered this world yet, and so many more little things.

There are so many other things I could list here, but you can always go back to day one and catch up on them if you’d like!

Anyway, my joy for today is have the strength, discipline, and true heart’s desire to finish what I’ve started, and to experience the joy of the LORD in different ways each and every day! If you’ve followed me on this journey, you know that I started this journey because I wanted to overcome my anger issues, and after realizing that my anger stems from lack of joy and contentment, I thought what better way than to journal on my blog about all the things in life that the Lord has given me joy in and through. Journaling has brought me joy and contentment, and even a sense of calmness that I don’t know I would have had if I hadn’t taken the time to write down all of these little things. Now that I have experienced the joy of the LORD, I will continue to journal on my own, about all of the little things in life that he brings me joy through, and may even continue to share some of them, though not each and every day.

Thank you to all of you for your sweet comments and encouragement through e-mails and phone calls! I am so richly blessed by each of you in my life! I praise the Lord for providing me with such amazing women friendships with y’all! I pray that the Lord used me to bring you joy during these past 31 days!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 30

Today's post is short and sweet. All I have to say is that after seeing the attached video for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time tonight, I still can't stop laughing!!

I can't embed the video in to the acutal post, so you will have to follow the link, but I hope you do, it's so stinkin' funny!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 29

What a joy it is to hear the truth of God's word!! Tonight I had the pleasure of hearing a wonderful, gifted woman of God speak on the subject of body image. Although it was aimed at high school girls, I found much encouragement in her words, or rather the words the Lord gave her to speak.

Cynthia Culver struggled with body image for almost 25 years of her life. She found freedom and healing in the truth of the word of God, and since has started her own ministry helping individuals to be grounded in truth and walking in freedom.

I will attempt to post some great points I took away from last night, but I would encourage you to listen to her Body Image Program Talks on her website at:

Here's what I took away from tonight...

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal, kill & destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."

Christ desires me to trust that he has wired my body so that I don't have to manage and control what it looks like, what shape I am, how much the scale tells me I weigh, and what the mirror tells me I look like. He has created me in HIS image! He has knit me together exactly as He wants me to be! The way my body functions is a gift from him! It functions fully and wholly, and I should praise Him for that gift!! HE is my creator! Only He gets to tell me who I am! Not the media, not the culture, not my friends, not my family, no one except HIM!!

Do I like me? What influences my answer to that question? What are the messages that I am getting about my body, my appearance and what makes me valuable? Here are a few that I wrote down...

- Being skinny is what it's all about
- Compare, Compare, Compare! (If only I had her (fill in the blank here) then I would be whole)
- I must be: Sexy/Tan
- I must have: Clear Skin
- I must have: Great Hair
- I must have: White Teeth
- I must be: Photogenic
- I must have: Money
- I musth have: High End Clothes & Accessories

How do I react/respond to those messages? How do I live out my response? Here's a few things I wrote down in response to those messages:

- Keep to myself
- Isolate
- Withdraw
- Emotional wreck
- people pleasing
- spend more money
- discontentment
- jealousy
- talk about it all the time
- talk about other people
- stress
- self-conscious
- obsess
- restrict eating
- over eating
- hate yourself
- become a slave to whatever will make me happy

Know that the answers above are not all what I feel, they came from a large group discussion, from regular high school girls. I have to say, I was shocked at some of them, but I do agree that this is what our culture, the media, and the enemy himself is teaching girls and women all across the US.

The final question was, What is the truth?

The truth is that there is no other freedom apart from Christ!!
The truth is that the enemy is thrilled when we compare ourselves to others!!
The truth is that he has victory when he has success over stealing our joy!!
The truth is that I was created in the image of Christ!!
The truth is that He created me exactly as he wanted me to be!!
The truth is that "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!!"
The truth is that I am a child of the living God!!

I want to be the unique JILL that God created me to be!!

Obedience breeds peace, Disobedience breeds chaos

We should always take captive our thoughts and if they do not fall in line with God's truth, God's words & God's ways, then we should not be thinking them!!

The last thing Cynthia did was give a visual illustration that will forever be engrained in my mind. She took out a $1 bill and held it up. She then asked, "How much is this bill worth?" to which we all answered, "$1". Can we make it worth $0.50? No. Can we make it worth $1.50? No. It will always hold the value of $1. This is how Christ created us, and views us today. HE SETS OUR VALUE. There is nothing we can do, say, no action, that will EVER lower or increase our value to him!! No matter what we look like tomorrow or ten years or even fifty years from now, our value to HIM will always remain the same! HE sets our value, only HE can do that!!

I hope you were all encouraged by these truths, that the God of the universe took the time and created each one of us unique to only ourselves! He cares for us, and loves us, no matter what we look like, no matter what we say, no matter what we do!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Little Bambino Update!

Today I had my final 4-week appointment with Dr. Riegel! From now on out, I'll be seeing him every two weeks! WOW! That means the end is almost near, doesn't it? I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet!! Well, my heart is ready, but my mind is not. Too many to do's left on my list!!

Anyway, the appointment went well. The heartbeat is down to a whopping 136. I'm kind of surprised, only because it started out at 174, then went down to I think 150, and now this. I guess Caleb doesn't have much room to move or be active in there anymore, which means a lower heartrate. At any rate, doc said everything was fine. I profusely thanked him for the Chiropractor suggestion as it truly has helped with my back pain over all, SOOOO much! I would highly recommend it to any pregnant woman, especially the weekly pregnancy massages, they are heaven!!

All in all, we're on track and doing good. I also asked him about the rapid, seizure like movement that Caleb had been experiencing during the middle of the night, and Doc said that 40-60% of his ob patients come in with the same question, yet he has no explaination for it. All the babies come out just fine. That was a huge relief to me, just as a first time mom. Thankfully, each night that Caleb had these "episodes" he would wake up the next morning and move around just as usual, so I knew he was still alive and kicking, literally!

So, we're now at 29 1/2 weeks and truly counting down the days. I can't believe how fast it has gone, yet it feels like forever ago that we took the HPT and initially found out we were even pregnant. I am praising the Lord today for a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy little boy growing inside me, and will continue to pray each day for peace about the whole labor and delivery process. It does not seem that far off, and I find myself more anxious about it each day. I know that it's not the thing I should be scared of the most, but the first three months following, but I don't have a high pain tolerance, and just find myself worrying about that some days.

Anyway, just wanted to give a little Caleb update! Also, be sure to check back at the end of next week. I've got a HUGE surprise post that will be coming, that is of pregnancy nature, and can't wait to share! For all of you who might already know what this surprise is, SHHH! I'm keeping it a secret for all the others out there that don't already know, including some family members!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Joy in the Little Things - Day 28

A couple weeks ago I shared about the joy I had in partenering with a Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, Crickett's Answer for Cancer, and creating custom products for them. Well, today I received a very exciting e-mail from Carole at Crickett's. They made it into the news for the first time, on Crickett's 2 year anniversary of passing away no less. What joy filled my heart and tears filled my eyes as I read such a touching article and learned even more about the cause that I have the honor of working with! Truly a blessing to my heart! I would love for you to take 3-5 minutes to read the article, as it truly is so neat to see how things are working out for this sweet family, and the cause they are fighting for! I have no doubt that the Lord has his hand in this somehow!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 27

Today I am tired. I did not want to get up this morning, much less go to work. I am still paying for the trip to the Arboretum and my spirits are down. It hurts to walk, it hurts to sit, it hurts to stand. It hurts to do pretty much anything.

Then tonight, Aaron and I caught up on all our Tevo'd shows, including Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I'm not sure if y'all have ever seen this show, but it brings tears to my eyes everytime I see another family blessed by this team of homebuilders.

Anyway, last night we watched the two episodes we had Tevo'd and man were they tear jerkers! I was graciously reminded, by my Heavenly Father, how truly blessed I am, that I can walk and sit and stand, and do all of the things that some people just don't have the opportunity to do. I found myself weeping tears of joy over these two families who have so little, yet CONSTANTLY give of themselves to those around them. What a humbling reminder that we live in a fallen world, yet, each of us has the opportunity not just to change our own lives, but the lives of others around us. Growing up in a very poor family and being on welfare, these stories on this show every week touch a very special place in my heart. I am so grateful for the abundant blessings I have in life, not just material, but ETERNAL.

Thank you Lord for the sweet reminder that you love each and everyone of us equally! Thank you for sending your Son to die on the cross at Calvary, to save us, and give us life everlasting, even when we feel that our life is not how it should be. Thank you for showing me the joy in a sweet little boy's heart, who can barely talk, can't walk, and can barely breath. I want to experience the kind of joy and hope that this little boy, Job, experiences each and everyday, despite his outward circumstance. Thank you for showing me his heart of gold, I long for that.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 26

Today has been somewhat of a hard day for me. Although I had a GREAT time at the Arboretum yesterday, I definately paid for it last night and all day today. I have had some of the most extreme lower back pain, more than I usually have. I know it's from walking so much. Anyway, after not getting much sleep last night, tossing and turning, and barely being able to sit up in bed this morning, I got up and started moving around and it did get a little better.

So today, my joy comes from it being the Sabbath. Praise the Lord for Sundays!!!! Now, although I didn't crash on the couch like I normally do Sundays after church, I did relax and spent time in my scrap room, doing some really fun projects that I haven't had the time to do lately, just creating! I then got to go to Shoreline, our high school ministry's weekly gathering, and hear different students share where they are at with their walk with the Lord, as well as struggles that I'm sure most of us faced in high school at one point or another. Needless to say, it was a good reminder of the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.

I was blessed to hear students pray outloud for attributes they see, appreciate and love in their Heavenly Father. Things like, provider, protector, unfailing love, healer, forgiver, unconditional love, father to the fatherless, meeting us wherever we're at, never giving up on us, never forgetting us, never leaving us, trustworthy, and the list goes on and on.

Lord, you are so good to remind us of your unfailing love for us, when we need it the most, when we are dry and feel that we have nothing left to give, when we are lonely, when we are questioning life itself, when we feel that we have no purpose. I praise you today Lord, for I know that I am fearfully & wonderfully made, and that your plan for me is bigger and better than anything I could ever dream up for myself. Help me to believe your word, live your word, and trust you, Almighty God, for my every need, for nothing is too small for you!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Joy in the Little Things - Day 25

Today we were blessed to join some WONDERFUL friends at the Dallas Arboretum! I was super excited because it was my first time there to actually walk around and see the beautiful flowers. We joined the Self Family and had a blast hanging with them and just loving on their kids. We are so excited for them to grow up being friends with Caleb. Caleb honey, you are so blessed already to have so many people who love you so much and can't wait to meet you!

Anyway, I've uploaded a few pictures that Aaron & I took from our time there. Thank you Lord for the beautiful weather, the wonderful relaxing time we had sitting under the tree sharing a picnic lunch with such great friends, and a chance to see your creation through the eyes of two precious children of yours! Thank you for the sweet reminder that you have created all things. Your nature and creatures are such a blessing to my heart, each and every day!!
Aaron and I, I'm 29 weeks here!

Karla & I - such a sweet and precious friendship that I cherish so much!!

Noah wanted to walk all the way around the fountain with me, oh such joy fills my heart with you Noah, sweet little man!!

Haley - what a honey you are! Priceless I tell ya!!

Brother & Sister!
Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Joy in the Little Things - Days 22, 23 & 24

Ok, I know, I know, I'm cheating the system! I'm combining three days last week instead of posting separately. I figured if I didn't combine them, they wouldn't all get done and I know I'm slacking lately. Don't get me wrong, I know exactly the things from each day that the Lord blessed me with adn filled my heart with joy, I just haven't taken the time to blog them. Anyway, here we go!

Wednesday - Praise the Lord this is "hump" day! This means that this week is half way over and we're closer and closer to the weekend! That alone fills my heart with joy! As we get closer and closer to meeting little Caleb, I am continually reminded, graciously by the Lord, that I am to "work unto the Lord, and not for man" (my own paraphrase) Col. 3:23. I have always desired nothing more than to be a stay at home mommy, but I have to admit, the closer we get to January, the harder it is for me to focus at work, and really even have any kind of desire to be there. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job, the people I work with are wonderful and my boss is such a joy to work for. But on the other hand, when you are about to get what you've been waiting your whole life for, it's SOOOOO hard to concentrate on anything else! So today, I'm praising the Lord that the week is half way done, and I am one day closer to being a (hopefully) good mommy to Caleb! Thank you Lord for choosing Aaron and I to parent this sweet child of YOURS. May we always trust you with his life, and may he grow to know you in a personal way.

Thursday - Today I am praising the Lord for a husband that leads well! This has been an extremely long week for me, as well as him, and after a very short conversation, we decided that we needed tonight to do nothing but REST. Aaron took the lead and responded to an event that we originally had said yes to, and changed our answer to no. Thank you honey for looking out not only for us, but for Caleb. He was telling me that I needed to rest and just sit, and that is something that is VERY hard for me to do. Thank you Lord, for a restful night and some relaxion with my wonderful hubby!!

Friday - Ok, tonight's is a little weird, but so cool! Aaron and I decided to have a "date night". We went out to Firewheel and ate at the newest pizza place, Brooklyn's Pizza, which by the way, I HIGHLY recommend to anyone and everyone. The pizza was amazing and the atmosphere was wonderful as well! After dinner we went and bought tickets for Fireproof. I have been wanting to see this movie for sometime now, knowing full well, that I'm sure there will be some level of "Christian Cheeze" to it, but really wanted to support the Christian movie business as much as possible. Since we bought our tickets early, we went next door and walked through Dick's Sporting Goods, and spent some time looking at shotguns. For protection purposes only. Once we got back for the movie and had our drinks and snacks in hand, we walked in to the acutal theater and realized that there were only single seats left! This brought up a GREAT opportunity for me to be completely frustrated and feel like our night was ruined, but I chose not to act out in anger, and truly allow the Lord to fill me with his peace and joy, knowing that it's three weeks in to this movie being open, and theaters are still full to the brims!!! Praise the Lord that couples are going to see this movie!!!!! I know that each and every person in that movie theater was meant to be there that night, and I truly believe that they must have needed to see that movie more than we did, and that's why we didn't get seats! Now don't get me wrong, I was bummed, but we went and got our money back and will definately be seeing it, maybe sometime this week. Anyway, we left the theater, with popcorn and coke icee in hand, and went to Best Buy to look at the new TV we'll be getting next month! Can't wait!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Got Tagged...

Well, I knew the day was coming when I would get officially tagged, and today was that day!

Ok, here are the rules: Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.* Tag 5 people (changed the rules a bit) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.* Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog....

So, 7 random facts about me, in no particular order...

1. All growing up I wanted to go to Baylor and be a Baylor Bear. I got this "itch" from my counselor at Kanakuk when I was 8 or 9.

2. Although I have done Admin work for the past 10 or so years, it is definately not my passion. I do believe it is a gift the Lord has given me, but I look forward to the day that I don't have to work for someone else who makes the big bucks, and I can work for myself, at my own pace. Thankfully, that day is not too far off!

3. I've always wanted to take the train through Western Canada, and the Canadian Rockies.

4. I lived in Vail, Colorado when I was 19 years old.

5. I am a very independent person. I LOVE having my own time to do whatever I like to do, whether it be sitting at Barnes & Noble reading a book, journaling, crafting, etc... There are days that I don't talk on the phone to anyone, and I love it! On the other hand, I also thrive on REAL relationships. You know, the ones where authenticity, honesty and Christ are the true base of the relationship.

6. I love sports, but was never coordinated enough to play any. I grew up in gymnastics and cheerleading, and that was the extent of my sports experience. I always wanted to be a dancer, but like I said, I was not coordinated enough.

7. Since being in Dallas, it is the first time in my life that I have not had a pet. There are days where it makes me really sad, and other days I'm glad I don't have that responsibility anymore. But more days than not, I'm just sad. I've always grown up with animals, and have been an animal lover since I can remember. I miss having something furry to hold.

Ok, well, there you go! Some of you may (or may not) remember that just a few short months ago I did a post about my top seven secrets, so this one was a little harder to write, but definately on the lighter side of things!

Ok, so now, to tag 5 people...

1. Melanie S.
2. Katie & Matt
3. Kim
4. Laura
5. Melanie P.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 21

Well, today did not start out the greatest. The first thing I did this morning was run to the bathroom and get sick. Not sure why. I think it was a conglomoration of being dehydrated, overtired, and extremely hungry. Anyway, the day kind of went on like that and I ended up going home sick about lunchtime with a really bad headache. Once I got home, I crashed on the couch and woke up feeling much better. I think my body, and baby, were telling me something!

Anyway, last night we had our marrieds group and what a blessing it is to my heart every time we meet! It can't get any better than girl time, puppy chow (also known as muddie buddies) and authentic, real women conversation! These three ladies bring such a joy to my heart! Growing up not really knowing what it is like to have real women friendships, the way God intended them to be, I truly had no idea what I was missing out on until I moved to Dallas. Now I can't imagine my life without these amazing women, nor do I ever want to!

Thank you ladies, for loving me well, encouraging me in my walk with the Lord, holding me accountable to the way I love Aaron and inspiring me to be more Christ like! Each of you have different qualities that I love and long for in my own life. I love each of you so much!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 20

Tonight I had the privilege of attending one of my small group girls high school choir concert. Today also happens to be her birthday, which made it extra special! My life has been sweetly blessed over the past two years with this group of girls, and tonight, I had a chance to see them love each other well. I did not attend this concert by myself, two of my other girls came with me! What a treat for me, and what a blessing to Katie! Thanks to all of my girls for loving each other so well! I know y'all have a long history together and I appreciate your love for each other! You gals are such a joy to my heart! I love each of you so much and am constantly blessed!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 19

Today I had a wonderful surprise phone call! My Uncle Doug, whom I haven't seen in about a year and a half, called me to let me know that he had a layover at Love Field for two hours, and wanted to see if I had time to come hang out with him. Of course I jumped at the opportunity!

My Uncle Doug, all growing up, was the "guy" in my life. Whether he knew it or not, he was always there for me, he always loved me well, encouraged me, and built in to my life in very meaningful ways. Growing up without a father figure was hard, but he made sure he let me know that he cared for me and loved me very much. We had so much fun together, and I have extremely wonderful memories of my time with him as a little girl!

Uncle Doug, thank you for always being there for me, both as a little girl, and even now! Your big heart and compassion has NEVER gone unnoticed! You are so special to me, and I cherish every moment we get to spend together! While we don't see each other very often anymore, I pray that over the years to come, we will continue to be intentional with conversations and family visits. Thank you for being a constant in my life, and for showing me in so many ways, the love of our Heavenly Father! I love you very much!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 17 & 18

So sorry this post is late! We had a jam packed weekend and I was not in front of the computer much! I am going to combine Fridays & Saturdays joy posts because they were both the same thing.

This weekend, for 24 hours, we got to get away from the busyness of life, and a bit of a messy home, and enjoy some priceless time with friends at a Parenting Conference that our church hosted. We stayed at a very nice Marriott Hotel, ate WONDERFUL food, and spent some great time learning about raising Godly children. What a blessing this was to not only myself, but Aaron, as we are gearing up for the transition of a lifetime!

Friday night, we heard from Todd Wagner, the pastor at Watermark, who gave great insight into:

1. Providing LIFE
2. Providing LOVE
3. Providing LEADERSHIP

He spoke about the importance of providing leadership, and instilling leadership qualities in our kids, so that they will grow up to impact the world in dramatic ways for Christ. One of the most influential things Todd said, that really resounded in my heart, was that we as parents (or soon to be parents) have the opportunity to give our kids either a great burden to overcome, or to disciple them well and give them leadership qualities. Looking back on my childhood, I know how much my mom loved me, and desired for me to have the best life possible, but as always, there were many obstacles that I have had to overcome over the past ten years of my life as an adult. We are imperfect people, and so there will always be obstacles, but I would rather go in to parenting with the mindset that I am going to "...train up my child the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it..." rather than hope for the best, but expect the worst.

Todd also outlined different parenting styles, which I thought was very interesting and wanted to post up here. Here it is:

Also, he encouraged us to make a plan for essential greatness and gave us his vision for his kids...

Godly men:
1. Step Up (Ezekiel 22)
2. Speak Out (Proverbs 24:11-12)
3. Stand Firm (1 Cor. 15:58)
4. Stay Humble (1 Peter 5:5-6)
5. Serve the King (Mark 10:45)

Godly Women:
1. Serve first (Mark 10:43)
2. Speak faithfully (Genesis 2:18)
3. Show beauty (Proverbs 31:30)
4. Stay Humble (1 Peter 5:5-6)
5. Seek God (Matthew 6:33)

After Todd spoke, we were GREATLY entertained by the christian comedian, Tim Hawkins. He was also the entertainment for our bi-annual volunteer appreciation night at Watermark back in May, and let me just say, I don't know that I have EVER laughed so hard in my entire life!! He truly is absolutely hilarious and clean as well, which makes the experience so much more enjoyable!! Free plug here:

Saturday, we had the opportunity to choose three breakout sessions before the final session. The first one we chose was Preparing to Parent. This one was so encouraging to my heart because although most couples go through "pre-marital" counseling, there's not really and "pre-children" counseling offered out there! We learned the importance, not just in this session, but in all five sessions, the importance of our own personal relationship with the Lord, and how that is what spills over into our kids lives more than anything else. During this particular session, valuable things were spoken about the roles of the mother and father.

1. Children need both mom and dad, and He has designed us to be different.
2. Fathers parent differently.
3. Fathers play differently. Dads encourage independence. Moms encourage security.
4. Fathers build confidence. Dads encourage pushing the limits. Moms protect.
5. Fathers communicate differently. Dads provide direct communication. Moms are more descriptive and personal.
6. Fathers discipline differently. Dads provide justness, fairness and duty. Moms provide sympathy, care and help. It's more like rules vs. relationships. Both sides are necessary.
7. Fathers relate differently. Dads relate the child to the world. Moms see the rest of the world in relation to their child. Dads prepare and Moms protect.
8. Fathers are different. Dads teach their boys how to relate to women with respect.

The final thoughts from this session that both apply to mom and dad are
1. Pursue Christ Yourself (Col. 1:10)
2. Pursue Your Wife (Eph. 5:25)
3. Pursue Prayer as a Couple (Col. 4:2)
4. Pursue the Word of God (Col. 3:16)
5. Pursue Forgiveness (1 Thes. 5:14-22)

The 2nd session we attended was Early Childhood Discipline. I won't go on and on about this one, just because I know each and every parent has different methods that work specifically for them and their children, and I don't want this to become a debte issue. But just a few highlights that I found encouraging to me was:

1.) take the time to remember the fun times with your kids, whether you journal about it, blog about it, scrapbook about it, whatever way works best for you, take time to remember the little things.
2.) There are no formulas or easy answers!
3.) Our primary responsibility as parents is to mdel a life full of devition to Jesus Christ such that our children will find it easy to believe that God loves them and that His way is teh best way.
4.) Celebrate when your kids are Christlike!!
5.) It will be easier to let them get away with things, but that's not always the right or most beneficial way for them
6.) Commit to consistency & choose your battles carefully.

Our model: The Lord's Discipline...
-Is always motivated by LOVE
-Is proof that we are His children
-Always has our best interest in mind
-Is purposeful

The last breakout session was Parenting Young Children. This session was particularly insightful for me, as a mom (to-be) because there were many different "home styles" that were explained. This helped me understand better my growing up as well as allowing me to have a visual of what style home I want to provide for our children. I'll go through these quickly, but I do want to share them because what Blake & Rebecca had us do was to think about which one of these each of our own parents did. It was very eye opening to me, just to be able to put the puzzle pieces together between Todd's parenting styles given Friday night, and then these home styles given. It helped me to have a better understanding of some of my own personal struggles growing up, as well as the good and bad things that happened in my childhood. Here are the home styles Blake & Rebecca talked about...

1. An Amusement Park
-Characteristics: Fun times
-"No" is seldom heard
-Lack of discipline
-No appreciation for delayed gratification

2. An Airport
-Characteristics: Complete Busyness, Problem saying "No" to activities
-Little Margin
-Preoccupied with what lies ahead
-Anxiety & Stress - watch the pace of each child because they are all different

3. A Zoo
-Characteristis - no clear "chain of command"
-Confusion over roles...You are the parent!
-Little regard for boundaries

4. A Business
-Characteristics - worldly values
-Aiming for Success, no significance
-"Right Schools" and GPAs
-World's Economy

5. A Nursery
-Characteristics - constant manipulation of situations in life, tries to keep ALL bad things away
-Safety First!
-Tendency to prepare the parth for the child rather than the child for the path

6. An Embassy
-Characteristics - Godly home where the Lord is put first in everything
-Aiming for greatness
-Eternal perspective
-God's Economy

The final session was taught by Kyle Kaigler, the pastor of Family Ministry at Watermark. He shared about the Foundation of Family Ministry and what Watermark will be embarking on in the near future with starting a whole ministry focused on families. It was so exciting to hear the vision of what they have planned and I truly feel like Aaron and I are in the best place for this time because by the time everything gets up and rolling, our kids will be old enough to understand family values and what worship really is.

Overall, this was a wonderful weekend, not just to get away, but to be given such encouragement by others who have gone before us, who are seeking out the best from the Lord, who desire to teach what the Lord would have us learn as parents, and the push to grow strong, Godly leaders for this next generation!

Thank you Lord, for the blessing of children, for the blessing of your Word, and how you instruct us to live and grow as parents. Help Aaron and I to constantly run to you with questions, as I do know there will be many of them! Give us your strength to endure the hardships that come with parenting, and the awareness of the blessings in life through parenting!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Great Reminder...

Last Sunday morning at church, our worship team introduced us to a new song, well, maybe a new song to some, but I have heard this song before. For some reason, singing it with a couple other thousand people and in the presence of the Lord, brought me to tears. The Holy Spirit was alive in me and I praise the Lord for awakening my heart to his truths spoken within the lyrics! Since Sunday, I have listened to this song probably a dozen times a day, and still feel the same tug at my heart each time. I've tried adding it to my playlist below, but they don't have it available, so I'm just goig to write out the words to the song. If you can find it online, listen to it, it's amazing!

Stronger - Hillsong

There is Love
That came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious

Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm
And through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me

You are stronger
You are stronger
Sin is broken
You have saved me
It is written
Christ is risen
Jesus you are Lord of all

No beginning and no end
You're my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross

You are stronger
You are stronger
Sin is broken
You have saved me
It is written
Christ is risen
Jesus you are Lord of all

So let your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher
Be lifted higher

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 16

I was surprisingly emotional today when I was listening to my iPod at work and found myself overwhelmed with joy, hearing the song that I walked down the aisle to at my wedding (An Improvisation on Canon in D, by Robin Spielberg, this is not your normal version). I've heard it many times before, but this time seemed extra sentimental. Maybe it was thinking about where we both came from, how the Lord brought us together in such a random situation (well, random to me, but not to the Lord!), or how far we've come in the past 4 years of our marriage. Either way, the Lord has done miraculous things in our marriage and our lives, and I was sweetly reminded today of how precious Aaron is to me, and how special I felt, not only on that first day as husband and wife, but have continually felt each and every day.

Aaron, you are my world. You are my soulmate, you are my best friend, you are the love of my life. You are strong and courageous, you are mindful of others, you are passionate about the Lord, you are forgiving and understanding, you are gentle, you are patient, you are so very helpful and you are caring. The Lord knew exactly what he was doing when He brought us together. We are opposites, but fit perfectly together. You are my life, and I truly cannot imagine living each and everyday without you by my side, holding my hand, and encouraging me to be the Godly woman I was created to be! Your love overwhelmes me, and I find myself questioning how I was so fortunate to have been found by you, and chosen by you, and by God for you. Thank you for your love, you passion, your drive, your committment, your loyalty, your honesty, your grace and your determination. Without those things I know I would be lost!

Lord, thank you for giving to me a husband who loves me for who I am, who is in love with you, and who leads our family so well. Thank you for the joy you have brought to our marriage, even through the trials and struggles that we have had and continue to battle. Thank you for helping us to see the benefit in honesty, trust and compassion. Thank you for blessing us with other couple friends whom we can count on to keep us accountable to the way that we love each other and take care of each other in our marriage. Thank you for the gift of marriage, may we always be aware that it is a gift, and I pray that we would continue to honor each other for the rest of our days here on earth.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 15

Finding joy today didn't come easy. Not that I wasn't happy or grateful for all of the wonderful blessings the Lord has given me, but the past few nights, I have really felt like I am in a battle with Satan.

I've been getting up in the middle of the night 2-4 times. Each time, when I get back in bed and try to get comfortable, it feels like Caleb is having some kind of panic attack. It almost feels like what I can imagine a seizure would feel like, and lasts probably in all reality, 2-3 minutes max. He does not move like this ANY other time during the day, and boy does he moves a lot. This has been really scary for me, and when this happens, I find myself frightened that maybe the cord is wrapped around his neck and he's trying to get free. This is when the fear consumes me and I find myself in my own little panic attack. The only way I have found that I can get back to sleep is by praying. I fall asleep praying for the Lord to protect Caleb, to keep him safe, and to keep me safe as well.

The good news is that each morning I wake up and feel him kicking and moving as he normally does, which puts my mind at ease for that moment. I don't know where this fear comes from except from Satan. It's really the first time in my entire pregnancy that I have been fearful of Caleb's life and well-being.

I do praise the Lord for giving me feelings of Caleb's normal movement during the day, and I continue to pray against any harm, and espeically against the attacks of the enemy. He knows that I am weak when I am half asleep, and he has used that weakness against me.

So, my joy for today is found in the fact that each morning I wake up, I find my pregnancy and Caleb's movements to be back to normal.

I covet any and all prayers as I battle this out with Satan, and continue to trust the Lord with Caleb's life.

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your weary souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-29

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 14

Today is a very special day, it's my Mom's Birthday! Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!!

I want to take a moment to share, with whomever out there in blog world acutally reads my blog, about my sweet mom. She is many things. She is super mom for starters. She raised me as a single parent until I was 15 when she remarried. She is courageous, she is smart, she is sensitive, she is caring, she has a heart of gold, she LOVES the Lord, she enjoyes bird watching, she is patient, she is so kind, she is loving, she is nurturing, she is compassionate, she is selfless and she is giving. But the greatest thing about her is that she is MY MOM!!

Mom, I am so thankful to the Lord for blessing my life with you. I know normally it's said the other way around, but I know the Lord gave me to you for a reason, and I'm so thankful that He did! He knew what he was doing when he made us a team. Thank you for ALWAYS taking care of me growing up, for trusting the Lord, even in the most difficult of times, and for loving me just the way God created me. Your lovingkindness has never gone unnoticed. Your faith and passion for the Lord has been seen throughout the years, by me, and I thank you for that. You taught me to be strong in my faith, to love the Lord with all my heart, and to believe that I was created in His image. Thank you for showing me a Godly perspective on being a mom and a wife. Words cannot express how much you mean to me. I love you so much and thank the Lord for you everyday, but especially today!!

Mom & I - March 2008

Mom & I September 2008

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 13

Today I was sweetly surprised to receive an e-mail from a very close friend. Aaron and I have been friends with this family for a little over 4 years (wow, that long already!?!?) and have so enjoyed watching their two precious kiddos grow up!

There's no better way for me to put this, so I'm just going to copy the e-mail word for word, Karla, I hope you don't mind!

"So Noah woke up this morning and as we were both walking into the kitchen for breakfast I hear him say something and all I could make out was 'come over'. So I asked him, 'Who do you want to come over?' and he said without a pause, 'Aaron and Jill.' I said, 'do you miss them?' and he said, 'yes, mommy.'"

This sweet e-mail brought so much joy to my heart and tears to my eyes! Thank you Self Family, for loving us and allowing us to be a big part of your life!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 12

Today was a L-A-Z-Y day if I've ever had one. It's 9:30pm and I'm still in my pj's that I wore to bed last night! There is justifyable and good reasoning for not leaving the house though.

I woke up at about 7:30am feeling really sick. I had already gotten up to potty three times and felt fine, until this time. I honestly don't know what made me feel sick today, whether it was the pizza we had for dinner last night, or maybe the boat ride didn't do so well with Caleb after all, but for some reason, I have been off all day.

While I haven't felt up to par all day, there are still many reasons for me to be joyful. I have an understanding and loving husband who would do anything for me. I have the freedom to rest and take the time I need to feel better, because I live in a free country. I have a healthy baby boy growing inside of me, who today is 27 weeks old (I don't know about you, but I like to consider him 27 weeks old, in utero of course, it makes him seem more real to me). Those three reasons are enough for me to count my blessings and praise the Lord for his goodness and mercy!

Thank you Lord, for allowing me to see your good and experience your joy, even in difficult times. Thank you for blessing me with a serrvant hearted husband, for my freedom, and for Caleb. May I always recognize that these blessings are not because of anything I have done, or can do, but are freely given to me by you, my gracious Daddy! I love you Lord!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 11

Today I am filled with joy for two reasons! One, today is my little niece's 3rd birthday! Miriam is such a precious little gift to our family, and the only girl so far. What joy it brings to my heart every chance I get to spend with her and watch her grow up, through pictures and occasional visits. With my sister and her family in Raleigh, it's not that often that we get to see wach other, but I am so thankful that the bonds of family are so strong! Miriam, I can't wait to see who you become as a woman of God. You are such a blessing and a joy to my heart! I love you and miss you terribly!! I Love you!

My second joy of today was the chance Aaron and I had to spend the day on the lake with the Eubanks and Selfs. As I said earlier this week, joy fills my heart when I see the beauty of God's creation, and boy did we ever today! The lake was perfect, the sun was shining, and it couldn't have been more than 85 degrees otuside. There was an awesome wind blowing and the time we got to spend with our closest friends was such a blessing! Caleb even liked the ride, I think.

Thank you Lord, for allowing me to see and appreciate your handiwork, wherever it may be. May I always remember that you are not only the Creator of this universe, but the Creator of me, and my Heavenly Father!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 10

Today, I have to admit, was a difficult day. With stress at work, and not enough sleep, I felt exhausted and a little overwhelmed. I know the Lord is faithful to give me his peace and joy when I ask, and He didn't let me down today, even in the midst of my circumstances.

Tonight, Aaron and I had the chance to do absolutely nothing! It was so wonderful to be able to spend time together, catching up on our shows we missed during the week, and just relaxing! I know that this time together doing nothing is limited and so I count it very precious.

Thank you Lord, for the opportunity to be lazy tonight with my sweet hubby. Thank you for allowing me to see the benefit of quality time with him now, so that when Caleb gets here we will continue to not only fight for our time together, but make it purposeful as well.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 9

I should not be surprised at all by today's post, even thinking about writing it brings tears to my eyes, and I'm sure it will turn into a flood as I continue to type out these special words!

Over the past few days, Aaron has shown a side of him that I think I have longed for, but didn't know it until I had it! I always knew he would be a great daddy, but to see him in action before Caleb even makes his grand entrance is that much more of a treat! Aaron has been kissing my belly and talking to Caleb, and Caleb responds!!!!! It is truly just the coolest thing ever! Ok, yep, I was right, the tears are now flooding!!

The other night, Aaron was getting ready to leave to go work out, and I was in my office working. I'm convinced that Caleb is sleeping when he isn't moving, just because he moves and kicks what seems like ALL DAY LONG! Well, he had been "silent" for about 30 minutes while I was at the computer, and Aaron came over and kissed Caleb and told him he loved him and then proceeded to leave to go to the gym. Before Aaron even walked out the front door, Caleb was doing somersaults in my tummy! He knows his daddy's voice!! I can't even put into words what a blessing that is to my heart!! I'm sure all you mommies out there have experienced something similar, and I now understand one of the truest forms of joy I think I've ever experienced (outside of salvation), being Caleb's mommy and being blessed with a daddy that loves him just as much as I do!

I know that it's not much longer until we get to meet Caleb face to face, and I honestly can't wait for that day, but I want to not only experience, but REMEMBER and enjoy the time I have left with him by myself!

Lord, you knew the number of our days before we even came into being. Thank you for this precious gift you have given Aaron and I. Help us to treasure each and every day we have with Caleb, now during pregnancy as well as when he meets us face to face for his earthly life. I pray right now that he would grow to know you as his Savior, in a very personal way. That he would trust you with his life, and Lord, that you would bless him abundantly! I pray for his future wife, if you choose to bless him with one, that she would be a godly woman whose greatest desire is to serve You wholeheartedly! I love you Lord, and give Caleb's life over to you. Help me to trust your will for him, forever.

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance...You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16: 5-6, 11

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 8

Being blessed by young(er) women in my life every Wednesday is always my highlight for the day! Each Wednesday I co-lead a small group of junior girls and let me just say how wonderful and awesome they are! Not only do they come with open hearts and minds, but so often I find myself learning from them, not just trying to lead them well!

Tonight was an especially blessed night. Not only did my new co-leader, Casey lead the bible study, but for this year, we are studying one of my favorite books in the whole Bible, the book of James. There is so much to be said for the trials and tribulations we all experience in life, and to have a book in the Bible to turn to for uplifting and guidance during those hards times is so great!

The best part is that I know each one of my girls, including myself and Casey all have our own struggles and trials we go through every day. Casey did an amazing job with such a great illustration of how we are like a butterfly. She shared the story of the butterfly with us and it truly spoke to my heart. Knowing and experiencing trials and hard times are inevitable, but when you have the Lord to turn to, you are never alone! Christ chose me! I am His child! I am His daughter! He knows what He is doing with my life, even if I don't understand! What an encouragement to know that even though people in our lives will constantly let us down, we have a perfect Savior whom we can trust for all eternity.

I know I've posted this on here before, but one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible is Psalm 139. Here is oneof my favorite verses that truly relate to the joy I am experiencing today...

"Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." Psalm 139:16

Lord, you know my thoughts, you knew my life before I was even here! I praise you for writing my story, in your words and your timing! May I be a blessing to others, through your grace and mercy. May you continue to write my story, as you see fit, even when I don't understand. Help me to always trust, always believe and always seek you first in everything. You are everything!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 7

Let me start by saying that I think it's FINALLY turning to Fall! That is, by definition in the state of Texas, any temperature during the day under 80 degrees!

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a nature "freak". One of my greatest dreams in life is to own a "ranch" in Colorado. (Not a dude ranch, but I do want to include horses and a large chunk of land in the Rocky Mountains). Therefore, whenever we change from sweltering heat to anything below 80 degrees, I am overcome with joy and get the "itchies" to be outdoors as much as possible!

As I was walking across campus today (work campus that is, not college), the wind was blowing, the sky was completely clear, the sun was shining and it couldn't have been more than 78 degrees. I found myself holding my hands out and silently singing praises to the Lord for what a gorgeous day out that it was!

He fills my heart with joy each and every day, and by making a choice to allow myself to experience that, my days are filled with more joy, happiness, patience, kindness and awareness of my attitude. I am so thankful to the Lord for His never ending promises, that I can truly believe and write on my heart for all eternity!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 6

Tonight I met with a new, but dear friend to share our life stories with each other. As I shared my story of grace, and as I listened to hers, I was joyfully reminded about the unconditional love, grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father.

We all have "life experiences" that either we're not proud of, or are deeply hurt by. But, praise to the Lord, for providing healing and forgiveness and giving us each the opportunity to overcome hardships that we all face in life.

Thank you, Lord, for bringing me out of the deep pit I was in. Thank you for healing my heart and providing me the strength and courage to forgive those in my past who have hurt me so deeply. Thank you for allowing me to separate your love from humanly love, so that I will NEVER doubt you! Thank you for Caleb, TRULY our miracle child. Thank you for giving me opportunities to share the story you have written for my life. May I always heed to your words, and allow you to use me as you see necessary, even if I don't understand!

And thank you, dear friend with whom I shared coffee and the grace of God with tonight! Know that your story is powerful, and the Lord knows the ending!! Love you girl!!

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, than I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 5

What a spectacular day today was!! I am so blessed to have the freedom to attend a church where the Word of God is preached authentically. Where the pastor is not afraid to be bold with his preaching. Where the Lord is praised. Where I can lift my hands and sing, and cry tears of joy, tears of overwhelming joy in knowing that I have a SAVIOR who has cast away all my sin, and has given me grace and mercy.

What a joy it is to experience the Holy Spirit at work in my heart! What a joy it is to sing out to the God of the universe! What a joy it is to be able to hear my small group girls praise the Lord through song, to watch them take notes during the service, and to have the honor of being an encouragement to them through leading a weekly bible study!

What a joy it is to have a Godly husband, who loves me, and cares for me, and shares the joys of this life with me! What a joy it is to be able to spend quality time with him, to have wonderful moments, to experience his love for me in ways that so many women in this world do not have the privilege of experiencing.

Today has been filled with many joyous moments. Thank you Lord! May I remember throughout this week, the joy that I have felt today. I pray for marriages across the nation that are not at a place of joy, Lord, that you would revive hearts, renew spirits, and remind us of the ultimate love, your unconditional love.

“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” Psalm 145:8-9

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 4

Today I found myself joyful in loving others that I do not know personally. I know that sounds a little bit odd, but hear me out. Today I completed my first set of handmade notecards for Crickett’s Answer for Cancer, a breast cancer foundation that has become my first wholesale account. Please hear me say, that this is not a business plug. I truly felt so joyful in knowing that I will be providing a product that I hope and pray the Lord will use to bring hope, encouragement and joy to many women out there suffering through and surviving breast cancer. After finishing the notecards, and taking pictures, I not only felt accomplished, but I truly felt like I have such an opportunity to share the love of Christ with the women who will come into contact with Crickett. I have felt this from the very first time I came into contact with Carole, from Crickett’s. I know, and FULLY believe that the Word of the Lord does not go void, and so I will step out in faith, and trust that the Lord will use me in special ways with through this opportunity.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

What a proclamation David makes here in this passage!! Lord, help me to believe your Word is truth, and to not only believe that in my heart, but that you would give me boldness to share your truth with others!!

The Notecard Set with Matching Tin

The Custom Day Planner

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 3

Ok, this one might be a far stretch for some of you, but for those of you who know me well, know that there is very little in life that is more enjoyable for me than either a massage or a pedicure. Well, I haven't had the opportunity to have a pedicure in quite some time. Actually it's been almost 14 weeks to be exact (I only remember that because the last one I had was with my mom, and I was 12 weeks pregnant). Anyway, Aaron and Jarret (a good friend) are heading to Austin this weekend to do some major wakeboarding at the cable park there. Katie, Jarret's wife, and I decided to stay back and have some girl time of our own, and one thing we will be doing is indulging in the greatness of a spa pedicure!!! I just booked the appointments, which is why I am so joyful right now! I have wanted to make an appointment for some time.

I know you are all probably wondering what a spa pedicure has to do with being filled with the joy of the Lord, so let me see if I can put my thoughts in to words here. There are two reasons I am filled with joy right now.

1.) because I love to be pampered, what girl doesn't! And because the Lord loves to bless his children!! Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That is proof right there that He loves me and wants to bless me!!

And my second reason, is because I get to continue to build and deepen my friendship with Katie as we spend time together! A great biblical example of the kind of friendship I long to have with the women in my life is David and Jonathan, in 1 Samuel 18:1, specifially, that says, "As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."

So that's how I am bringing together the joy of the Lord and spa pedicures! I'm sure I will have more joy-filled things come to mind today, and I might even do another post, but at least for now, I have found joy in the little things, through friendship and a spa pedicure!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 2

Today, the Lord gave my heart such joy through my sweet, amazing sister, Julie!! I'm sure she has no idea that her comment on my "Quick Trip Home" blog brought a flood of tears to my eyes, and an overwhelming joy to my heart (go ahead, take a look for yourself, you'll see what I mean)!

I want to take a moment, and talk about my sister. She is a wife. She is a mom, supermom to be exact. She is courageous. She is outspoken. She is smart. She is wise beyond her years. She is strong, physically, emotionally and mentally. She is a daughter of the King. She is all heart.

Julie, thank you for allowing the Lord to speak through you, and give me such words of encouragment, love, joy and excitement! You are not only my sister, but my friend! I love you!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Joy in the Little Things Challenge

I am starting a new challenge for the month of October. Each day I will think of, pray about and acknowledge something in my life that brings me joy, and find a scripture in the Bible that has to do with joy. I hope to post each and every day, just a short one or two paragraph note expressing what I have found joy in on that day. I desperately desire the Lord to fill my cup and overflow my heart with joy and this is a tangable way, for me, to visibly see the joys in everyday living! I welcome any and all of you to take on this challenge with me, whether you feel joy deprived, dry, empty, or just want to be constantly reminded of the blessings the Lord has given each of us every day. So here it goes...

Joy in the Little Things, Day 1:

I am very blessed to have a MASSIVE picture window directly in front of my computer at work. I find myself "drifting" off into my own world of imagination quite often during the day. Although it's not hard when you have a view like mine! Today, I have been blessed by the presence of a beautiful monarch butterfly. He has been "perching" and fluttering around the bush right outside my window, and I have found myself following his every move, with such a huge smile on my face, all day long!

Thank you Lord, for giving me a glimpse into your creation through the life of a butterfly, a view that is out of the ordinary for a busy city like Dallas!

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Spotlights On...

A sweet friend of mine, and fellow blogger, does a weekly post called "Creative Women in Business". This week, I had the extreme privilege of being her Spotlight woman! Thanks Weatherly, your website is wonderful, and what a gift to be featured on it!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!