Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birthday Blessings for My Mom

Dear Mom,
     I just wanted to take a minute to tell you Happy Birthday, and let you know how much you mean to me. From the time I was born you have instilled Christ and God's word in me, and for that I am forever grateful. Out of all the gifts you've given me, this is the best gift and one that has forever changed my life. I will never forget all the Sunday School lessons you taught, and through those stories I was captivated by Him, and the great love He has for us. You taught me what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus and because of this, I now have the hope and promise of eternal life. From the bottom of my heart...thank you. I also wanted to thank you for teaching me compassion. Because of your selfless attitude towards others, I know what it means to love and serve the least of these. In you, I see the kindness of Ruth, the courage of Esther, the hospitality of Lydia, and the heart of Christ. You are truly an amazing, godly woman and I feel blessed to be your daughter. Thank you for all that you sacrificed for us through the years. You always made birthday's and Christmases so special, and created memories that will last a lifetime. My hope and prayer is that I can one day be the kind of mother you are to my own children. I also wanted to apologize for the years I was a prodigal child. I know the choices I made and attitude I had broke your heart, and for that I am truly sorry. However, God was faithful to His promise that if you train up a child in the way he should go, he will not depart from it when he is older. Thank you for training me in the way I should go; His way. There is no better direction you could have pointed me to. And, even though I'm no longer a child, I still value your wisdom and look to your example of faithfulness. I love you, mom. Always have, always will. Happy Birthday!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     Wow. What a powerful worship song. After hearing this I am left nearly speechless and all I can do is humbly bow my head in reverence and thank the Lord that because of His son, Jesus Christ...I am redeemed. What a wonderful gift we've been given. I have made so many mistakes in my past, but because of Him, I no longer have to carry the weight and guilt of my sins. He has truly set me free, and I am no longer a slave to sin, but rather a forgiven child who is completely sold out to Him. Oh, how I love Him, and oh, how He loves us. I will ever praise Him for making me a new creation, and just as this song says, I don't have to be the old woman inside of me, because her day is LONG DEAD and GONE! I am redeemed....thank God, redeemed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Space Between

     A few months ago, my pastor preached a sermon on Moses leading the people into the promised land, and how God allowed the people to go into a season of wondering while on their journey. When the Israelites left from Egypt to go to the promised land, it was a journey that should have taken about 11 days. However, this was not the case...it took them 39 YEARS. This period in the Israelites history is known as, "the wondering." As my pastor defined wondering, he said, "Wondering is living in the space between where I started and where I want to be." He then went on to say that God does a lot of His work in us when we travel in that space, and then gave this challenge, "How do you live in the space between?" The space between dating and getting married. The space between deciding to start a family and having a child. The space between getting into debt and getting out of debt. The space between losing a loved one and being reunited with them in Heaven...the list goes on.

     How we live during the space between, defines our character and what we really believe about who God is, and what He can do. The problem is, is that most of us aren't concerned with the journey, but rather we are more focused on the destination. As a result of this, we are in a constant hurry. For example, when go on a trip we may not even take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way, because we are so anxious to get to where we are going. The same can be true in our daily lives. We just want to hurry up and get the mundane tasks done so that we can move on to something more exciting. What if those are the times that God is trying to speak to us the loudest? I am concerned that we are so anxious for the next great thing, that we miss what God has put before us in the here and now.

     Why, in this culture, are we in such a hurry? God most certainly is not a God of, "hurry." Take for example, Abraham and Sarah. God had promised them a child, and He was faithful to that promise, but not until decades later. God is not on our time. He has His own clock. I have to agree with my pastor when he said that he believes the primary reason for this, is because God is more concerned about who we are becoming than where we are going. Did that hit you as hard as it did me when I first heard it? For me, it was a real eye opener. Many times I have asked God, "When is ______ finally going to happen? How long must I be in this land of wondering?," all the while forgetting that He is faithful to ALL of His promises and He will come through for me. As my pastor put it, "What God does for us while we're waiting, is often times more important than whatever it is we're waiting for." 

     So I ask, who are we going to be when God calls us to a season of wondering? Are we going to whine and complain as the Israelites did on their journey? (More on that to come.) Or are we going to be a grateful people who rely solely on God's direction and look to Him every step of the way, while all along, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6) God does His best work in the wilderness, and out of wondering comes...becoming.

Monday, July 23, 2012

31 to be Exact

     As I was visiting the Women Living Well blog tonight, I came across this video and could not wait to share it. We are called to be women of a different status, and to look different than the world. You may ask, "How can we look different when we are constantly bombarded by the media to look, act, and think like the women we see in magazines or on TV?" Well, I'll tell you how. We need to change our focus, and fix our eyes and minds on Christ. Only He can transform us and purify our minds. So I ask, will you join me on this journey of becoming a Proverbs 31 woman, or will you continue to fall for the lies of the enemy who tells us to gauge our worth on media standards, instead of finding our true worth and beauty in our Sweet Savior, Jesus Christ? I promise there is freedom to be found when we silence the enemy and listen His voice instead.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I have been loving this song by Switchfoot, and know that there have been many times in my own life when I have been made restless, simply because I needed to reconnect with the Lord. There is truly nothing like feeling His sweet presence in our daily lives. My favorite part of this song is when it says...

Until the sea of glass we meet
At last completed and complete
Where tide and tear and pain subside
And laughter drinks them dry

Oh, how I cannot wait for the day when we see the clouds part, and our precious Savior takes us home. No more pain, no more tears...just laughter. What a glorious day that will be. Happy Sunday everyone!

Also, please continue to pray for the people of Aurora, Colorado during this time of tragedy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marriage Tip Tuesday

     When it comes to your marriage, how much time are you spending with your spouse? I'm not talking about being in the same place at the same time, I'm talking about that deep, one on one time that we all need to be having with our spouse. I have been really convicted lately about how much more time I spend on other things such as the Internet, TV, housekeeping, etc., instead of taking each precious moment I get to spend with my husband. I would say out of all these, the Internet gets most of my attention. If I'm not working on this blog, I'm on pinterest. If I'm not on pinterest, I'm on other blogs, and so on. As a matter of fact, just last night I could tell that Jeff was really trying to get my attention, but what did I do? I selfishly chose to finish what I was doing on the computer, rather than give my husband the attention he rightfully deserves. Later on, I felt so guilty about it that I ended up writing him a short letter to apologize and promised that we would be spending some quality time together tonight. So, that is what I encourage you to do as well. Pull the plug on the computer, TV, or whatever it may be that serves as a distraction to you. I don't know about you, but I don't want these things to have my heart, and here lately... they have. Instead I want more than anything for God to have my heart first, and my husband second. I need to more intentional to number the days I have on this earth and make the most of every moment. Starting now, that is exactly what I'm going to do. Jeff will be home in a couple of hours, and when he gets home I refuse to let any distractions come between us. Will you decide to do the same thing for your husband as well? I promise the quality time and bond you build will mean so much more to you than anything else. Give him the attention he wants, needs, and most definitely deserves.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding Day Fun

     Last week was very busy with all things wedding. Let's begin with the rehearsal dinner! (Warning: This post includes A LOT of pictures)...

Did my mom do an  awesome job, or what? It was absolutely beautiful. Here are a few more pics of the decorations...

This was the table that was set up as you walked into the door, which included a gorgeous picture frame with some pics of them and the resolution for men and women.

This was the copy that Aaron signed...


And, this was the one that Kathleen signed. (I know the print is small, but it was the largest copy I could I find.)

Each table was set with these mini picture frames, which each couple got to take home.

Along with the pictures, each table was also set with some of my great Grandma Conn's cookies. We make a ton of these cookies at Christmas, and my mom thought it would be a neat way to honor her. Love it!

And, just because I thought it was pretty, here is one more pic of one of the table settings. Again, I am amazed by my mother's and aunt's decorating abilities, and hope that I can be half as talented as they are.

Me and the handsome groom! He gave a beautiful speech, which included the sweetest letter to me...and of course...I cried.

My groom and me :) Doesn't he look cute in his tie?!

My cousin Austin and his girlfriend Sarah.

The beautiful Ms. Hannah!

My beautiful Mom :)

All us girls!!!

Jeff and I with the bride and groom.

Daddy and me! (I caught him during cleanup :)

And, of course..when us cousins get together, you can bet we are going to have a great time together.

Whew! This wedding stuff has really brought out the anger in my Big Bro. Haha!

      I think that's about it for the dinner. Now, for the wedding. ( I don't have any pictures of the actual wedding, due to the fact that I was in it.)

Here's a picture of the beautiful bride! Her dress was gorgeous!

And, here's the handsome groom :)

Love this pic ;)

Me and my girls! Love them!

Mom and Dad :)

Izzy giving the peace sign.

The flowers were beautiful. (Really this picture doesn't give them justice.)

They drove off in this neat, restored mustang, and wow...what a sweet moment it was!

     The ceremony was so beautiful. It was so Christ centered, and I did pretty good holding it together...until this song was sang...

How could you not cry with this song? So sweet :)

     He choose, "Mama," by Boys to Men, for his dance with mom, and Kathleen's Dad choose the song, "My wish," by Rascal Flats. Both were such sweet moments indeed. And, as for their first dance together, they chose, "You and Me," by The Dave Matthews Band. I love this song and it fits them so well. I look forward to many more years of memories with the both of them, and know they will do great things for the Kingdom of God. I am so happy for them, and love them deeply.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     Happy Sunday Everyone! Whew... this past week was jammed packed with wedding activities, as my big brother tied the knot yesterday. I will have many pics to post tomorrow, but as for now I am enjoying this day of relaxation with my wonderful husband, and worshiping our great God through this beautiful worship song. It's called, "Graven on the Palm," and it was written by one of the worship leaders at my church. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)

Graven on the Palm from Southeast TV on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

      Can you all believe it's already Wednesday?! Time just never seems to slow down. Anyways, here are a few things I've been loving lately...

1.) My dear big Bro., Aaron. He is getting married on Saturday, and I can't believe it. Even though I am 4 years younger than him, I suddenly feel like the big sister who is watching her little brother grow up. I can only imagine how he felt on my wedding day, being as he was the older one watching his little sister grow up. Gosh, I am already getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it. I am going to try not to be a complete mess on Saturday, but considering I cried watching their slide show...at my parents house, I'm not making any promises. Can anyone say Kleenex?! Here is the song he choose for his part of the slide show. Don't ask me why, but when I hear it all of our childhood memories start flooding my mind, and the tears quickly follow.

2.) Today, I am also loving my friend Ambro Wright. (AKA- Amber Wright) I miss her like crazy and am so ready to see her and her sweet baby boy. She is currenly in Japan, as her husband is serving our country. Please come back soon Amber, I need someone to listen to great music with, such as this song...

Call me weird or whatever, but I just love this song. It's what I call, "happy music." Besides, I know Amber loves this song, because she posted it on her blog, as well :)

3.) Lastly, I'm loving The Leaving Eden sessions, by Brandon Health. Here are a couple, and I would encourage you to check them all out...

Yes, I realize that this is a lot of music in one post, but what can I say? I love my music :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Living a Legacy

     Last week one of our beloved worship leaders went home to be with the Lord. Matt Davidson was only 37 years old, and leaves behind a wife, and three children, ages 10, 5, and 2. He was in a car accident last Tuesday, and died unexpectedly on Saturday morning of a pulmonary embolism. While the congregation is saddened by Matt's death, we also take great comfort in knowing that he has been made completely whole in our sweet Savior.
     Matt always had a bright smile on his face, and his love for the Lord was very evident. As my pastor shared the news with us, he told us that when he arrived at the hospital, Matt's wife was breaking the news to the children. He said that she just kept coming back to the statement, "Your Daddy loved Jesus more than anything in the world, and that's what he would want for you, too." My pastor then went on to say something like, "Matt left his family with the greatest legacy; a legacy of loving Jesus." 
      In order to leave a legacy, we have to live our legacy here and now... while we still have the time. The days are short, and we are to number our days and make the very most of them. So, what does living a legacy look like? To me it's loving Jesus and loving others unconditionally. It's serving the least of these, and being Jesus' hands and feet to the hurting. So what keeps us from doing these things? Could it be that we are pursing the wrong things such as wealth, beauty, pleasure, selfishness, perfection, etc.?
    I have once heard it said that when we chase these things, we are chasing after the splendor of Solomon. King Solomon had it all from the world's perspective. He had wealth beyond measure, pleasure, fame, etc. But in the end, he says in the book of Ecclesiastes, "Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." (Ecc. 2:11) Do you see it? All of these things were meaningless to him because the Lord was not in them. He chased every possible thing that he could, yet wound up completely empty.
     I don't know about you, but I don't want the legacy of my life to say, "Well, she was a good girl, and was always really nice to people." No, I would hope people could say, "She loved her Savior more than life. She was completely sold out to Him." But, this can't happen without actions on my part. If I am not loving Him, and His people well, I might as well be chasing after the wind.
     I saw on the news tonight that from where Matt had been on mission trips around the world, our church is receiving calls from people in Poland saying that they are praying for his family. Wow! What a legacy, indeed.

Matt Davidson (Source: Southeast Christian Church)

Please pray for his family during this difficult time.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I was so excited when I found this video of my church's high school/college age worship team. This song is from the CD Awaken, which is a live worship album that they made. It is available on i Tunes, in case your interested. Let's worship our great God together on this beautiful Sunday! Be blessed :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Very Creative Day

     Here in Kentucky the temperatures are soaring. The high for today was 106! This is the hottest it's been here since 1936. Crazy! So, since there was no going outside for me today, I decided that I would finish up a couple of craft projects that have been in progress for about...3 months now.

First, I finished spraying my chair re-do with gray spray paint. (I had already reupholstered the cushions a few months ago.) After the paint dried, I (actually Jeff), put the chair back together. Here is the final result.

Next, I worked on yet another yarn wreath. I could make these things for a living. They are so easy to make, and the end result is so cute.

Here is the next wreath I am going to attempt to make this fall. It is so pretty, and reminds me of something my Aunt Rosie would make. It looks like they just attached the mini corn-cobs to a straw wreath. It should be easy. We'll see soon enough :)

Pinned Image

     Well, that's all for now! Stay cool, friends ;)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nothing is Wasted

     In the last week I have been dealing with some family issues that do not directly involve me, but is hurting someone that I love deeply. It is breaking my heart to see this person hurt, and I wish I could take the pain away. But, I can't. Only God can comfort them and give them the peace that they are so desperately longing for.

     Tonight I want to remind that person of God's deep, unending and unfailing love. God sees your pain, and promises in His word that He will never leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) God is still sovereign and He will work everything together for your good. Rest assured that out of these ashes, beauty will rise. God has a plan, and in Him... nothing is wasted. I love you.

Dear Lord, please be with my family member tonight and let him know that you are holding him tight in your strong arms. God he is hurting so bad right now, and I pray that you would speak peace to his soul and let him feel your presence. Please remind him that nothing can happen to us without going through your hands first, and let him know that you still have wonderful plans for him. God you promise in your word that you will fight for us; we need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14) Please go before him and work this situation out for your glory. Thank you for your love, mercy, and grace. Amen.