Friday, January 28, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. If my house was on fire and I could only grab 3 things I would grab my phone, computer and ummm {insert something sentimental here} probably some of my fav books. Honestly, if this really happened, I would be so focused on getting out of the house with the hubster I would forget to take anything!
2. A smell I really like is the beach, baking bread, Pumpkin Spice candles {but only in the fall} and coffee brewing. I also love the smell of the marsh – it feels like home .

3. Something you might not know about me is I chose my own middle name when I was thirteen. Like, my parents gave me legal name change for my birthday. Being from the South, I love monograms and I didn’t like that I couldn’t have the “normal” monogram on my book bag. Yes, I sounds a bit ridiculous now. Thanks, Mom and Dad, to giving in to the whims of a 13 year old! .

4. Some of my favorite websites to putter about on are I’m totally obsessed with adding things to my wishlist. I have WAY too many blogs in my Google reader and that’s where I do most of my puttering. My favs are Tales and Trials, Marta Writes, Fly through our Window, YHL {I have quite a few house-y blogs I love} and my newest addition lifeingrace .

5. This weekend I will drive to Savannah to celebrate my dad’s birthday. One of these days, I plan to visit and act like a tourist like my friend Laura Sue did for her honeymoon. I’d choose the best restaurants and shops to visit {Yes, I have a list of places I want to go}. Here’s what we’ll really do: We will probably go garage-selling tomorrow morning, and my mom plans to cook my dad one of his favorite meals for dinner: beans & weanies. {Yes, folks, I said beans & weanies.} We got him a super-special gift, but we are all a little worried he won’t like it. Seriously, he is the hardest person to find presents for. On Sunday we’ll head to church with the fam and then go to one of my fav restaurants, Carey Hilliards {YUM!!!} .

6. Nothing makes me happier than
whew, so many things make me happy. {Can I just confess I’m not good with superlatives?} I am happiest when I’m hanging out with those I love {I’m totally a quality time girl}, whether it’s with my hubs at the beach, with my family at the Springs, or with some BFFs getting pedicures .
7. A bad habit I have is not getting up on time every morning. My goal {and New Year’s resolution} is to wake up at 6 a.m. consistently. It’s just SOOOOOO hard, especially now that we have an electric blanket .

{P.S. I'm linking up to The Little Things We Do}

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random Ramblings 01

01: I got this fantastic new watch last week, which I totally love - it's white (!!), but I keep forgetting that I'm wearing it and keep looking at the wall clock for the time. Hopefully I'll get used to it soon.

Over Christmas I watched The Godfather for the first time with hubs, my father-in-law, and Greg, my brother-in-law. Greg got the trilogy for Christmas. Loved it.

03: I'm absolutely in love with The Feist station on Pandora.

04. Another fav is an OPI nail polish my mom traded with me, You don't know Jacques. Thanks again, Mom! I wore it for two weeks straight...thinking about putting it back on. :)

I'm trying really, really hard to stay ahead on my house-work, but it's just SO hard...and it's just the two of us! {UGH!!} I think I need some better strategies for keeping the house clean or to stay ahead of it. It sounds ridiculous, but I've been making a conscientious effort to put things away, right away.
06. We went to Willy's yesterday for's been months and months since I've been there. Oh green salsa, how I have missed you! And, they have this super cool Coke machine with a touch screen. There are 106 possible drink options.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Work-out Playlist

Okay, friends, it's a new year and time to get back into those usual routines. For me, that means hitting the gym regularly. As hard as it is to make myself go, it is absolutely essential to my well-being that my behind sees BodyPlex at least three times a week {my goal is 5xs/week}.

Some of you saw on FB, that I was looking for some new songs on my work-out playlist. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm very happy with what I have; it's the perfect mix of fast and not-so-fast songs for maintaining my pace for 2-3 miles.
  1. Beautiful Day - U2
  2. Forget You - Cee Lo Green
  3. My First Kiss (Feat. Ke$ha) - 3OH!3
  4. Telephone - Lady Gaga
  5. Empire State Of Mind [Jay-Z + Alicia Keys] (Amended) - Jay-Z
  6. Chicken Fried - Zac Brown Band
  7. Firework - Katy Perry
  8. Don’t Stop Believin’ - Extreme Party Animals
  9. Club Can't Handle Me (Feat. David Guetta) - Flo Rida
  10. You're All I Have - Snow Patrol
  11. Meant To Live - Switchfoot
  12. All I Want to Do - Sugarland

Once this one gets old, I will have to post my other work-out playlists. What are some of your must-have songs when working out?

Snow Days

What does one do when the city closes down for three days?

Day #1: Have a fire ALL day, which is totally my fav. Go on a walk to the park. Laundry. Watch a movie. Eat a super tasty dinner {even if it wass left-overs}. Catch up with my hubs who was gone the entire week prior to the storm. Fall asleep while "watching" the National Championship.

Day #2: Sweet quiet time in Galatians. Phone calls to both Moms to catch up. Organize pictures in iPhoto. Yoga X. Dinner out with friends. Another fire. More laundry. Clean bathroom. Watch TV.

Day #3: Another fantastic QT. Make an overly ambitious to-do list {to avoid cabin fever}. Shore up New Year's Resolutions {coming soon}. Deep clean bedroom. Dust. Finish laundry. Venture out to the gym. Bake Super Charge Me cookies. Delicious dinner.

We had {at least} five inches of snow last Sunday night followed by freezing rain. Our little city {and, well, all of North Georgia} didn't know what to do. Work and school were canceled Monday through Wednesday. It was absolutely lovely to be home for a couple of extra days; to share life & dream with hubs; to slow down and attend my soul. So good.

If you were in the snow/ice, what was your favorite part of the week?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Part of the Process

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

So for several months I have been trying to write this post, but every time I sat down to put my thoughts into words, it was still too hard. See, I want to share more about the process of paying off our ministry deficit. It was a tough, yet rewarding year - full of little treats. Last January I mentioned that we received some tough news. Well, that news was that we weren't making progress quickly enough on our deficit with InterVarsity. When Mike and I got married, our support budgets with InterVarsity merged; unfortunately for us that meant we combined two deficits into one ginormous deficit: $29,000 worth of deficit. Even now, it's tough for me to write that $$$ amount because it's plain embarrassing to admit that's where we were {I need to say that the Lord has/is continuing to heal me from these feelings, especially as I choose to walk in truth}. Folks, in an effort to be transparent and authentic, there it is. And, I think {hope} it will be good for my soul to write about the process.

Well, the hard news in January was that our salary with InterVarsity was being cut by 75% in order to reduce the deficit. I don't think I will ever forget that night, it was a Thursday - the first large group meeting with our college students. We showed up that night and did our best loving college students...and asked Jesus to keep loving on us. Throughout the next couple of days, Mike and I clung to one another and Jesus. We took turns in the following days {and weeks} being fearful, angry, confused, and then, in desperation, we would pray together. We kept praying...because we didn't know what else to do.

I could list all of the different things we did to "make it," but, honestly, the way we made it work was through the Lord's strength and provision. Seriously, he knew every one of our needs and met each one: I got a permanent job at UGA right before the salary cut, a friend wrote us a check when we needed a car repair, my parents hired us to do some work on their rental properties {thanks Mama & Daddy} which helped us pay for a couple months worth of car payments, another family member sent us "fun" money each month which oftentimes just went towards our bills. Our financial partners continued to give generously and cheerfully. Our hearts continue to be overwhelmed with thanksgiving for them. These are just a few examples how the Lord powerfully met our needs and showed us his love. To Him be the glory!

Simply put, the salary cut allowed us to bring in more money each month than what we spent on our salary. The surplus slowly whittled away the deficit. With our reduced income, we became big fans of Dave Ramsey and started budgeting like two super Steve Urkel nerds. We used {are using} the envelope system and a cash budget. We cut all of our "fun" categories to the bare minimum. We used to spend 85% more on going out to eat than we do now {kinda scary}. Needless to say, I cooked WAY more than I had been cooking {I tried lots of new recipes and our friends were gracious to just come over for dinner or invite us over instead of going out}. Mike got a part-time job at Target during the busiest part of the InterVarsity year to help make ends meet {Thanks, babe.}

Through this ten month journey, the Lord reminded me again and again of something I forgot along the way. "He cares for me" {1 Peter 5:7}. Like really cares. It was a tough road, but it was filled with special surprises. We went on several mini-vacations during that time {Blue Springs, Oak Island}; we celebrated our First Anniversary; we trained for and ran a 5K and then a 10K together; we went to the Catalyst Conference. Somehow, in the midst of penny-pinching, we were able to pay for these extras.

That's it, really. Along the way, we tried to and imperfectly loved college students {and still continue to love 'em}. They were transformed and made new
by Jesus. I'm grateful we got to participate.

At this time last year, I knew that the Lord would be teaching me about self-discipline. Little did I know how much. Thank you, Jesus, for your daily bread and for lifting me out of the mud.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year's mantra

In this New Year, I hope I can live with this kind of abandon. I choose to trust the One who holds my heart and keeps me.


by Mother Theresa

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered;

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may cheat you;

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, someone could destroy overnight;

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten;

Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it will never be enough;

Give the world the best you've got anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.

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