Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

     Welcome back to another WILW segment! Here are a few things I've been  quite fond of lately....

1.) My Jeremy Camp Christmas CD. I snagged this up for only $5.00 at Lifeway last Friday and love the upbeat and beautiful songs. Here are a couple of my favorites...

2.) Slatkin and Co. candles! I am in love with these candles and the way you can smell them in every room. My fav's are Winter and Twisted Peppermint- a Christmas staple in our home!
Winter 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body WorksTwisted Peppermint 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

3.) Christmas movies! I love curling up on the couch with a nice cup of coffee (peppermint mocha creamer of course :) or hot chocolate and watching a good movie. One of my absolute favorites is called Silent Night. I had never seen it until a couple of years ago, but it quickly became one of those, "must see yearly," Christmas movies. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend it and guarantee that even your husband will be a fan!

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Okay...okay...don't judge the movie by the cover. It kinda looks like a psycho Christmas movie-but I promise, it's not. The overall theme is actually very heartwarming.

That's all for this week! Happy Wednesday!

Winter 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mary: The Faithful Servant


     As I put myself in Mary's shoes, I wonder what my response would have been when Gabriel announced that I would give birth, knowing full well that I was a virgin. What a disgrace she would now be considered to her family and community. What a slap in the face to Joseph, her finance, who also knew full well that there was no way the child in Mary's womb was his. What great faith Mary had when she said to the angel, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be done to me as you have said." I would like to think that I would have given the same response as Mary, but how could I ever say for sure that I would have been so willing to do so. After all, when Mary accepted this task she ran the risk of being stoned to death, losing Joseph, and, as I said before, disgracing her family. What a mature and selfless young woman Mary had to be to set all these things aside and simply trust her God. How I pray to have that kind of faith; strong...courageous... unwavering.

      Not only did she have faith when the angel told her she would be with with child, but think about the journey along the way. As my pastor also pointed out, there could not have been a worse time for a census to be issued when Mary was so close to giving birth. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 80 miles. I have not yet experienced what it's like to be pregnant, but I have a lot of friends who have, and I would guess that they would definitely pass on traveling 80 miles-on a donkey- while being 9 months pregnant! Not only that, but then going into labor and giving birth in a stable. If I were Mary I'm sure I would have thought to myself, "This is the Messiah, the Son of God, and he is going to be born in a stable?"

      However, the thing I love most about God is that He can redeem anything and make it beautiful, and how beautiful it is to think our Savior entered the world in such a state of humility. He deserved so much more than a stable and a manger, but as the Bible tells us He, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!" (Phil 2:6-8)

      What a sweet, sweet Savior that we serve. Jesus did not deserve the cross, but yet He knew it was the only way to save us, so that we may have the hope of eternity. I am so thankful that Jesus did not stay a baby. He choose to live and die on the cross, and after resurrecting, is now sitting on the throne at the right hand of God, waiting for the day when He can come and rescue us. I am looking so forward to that glorious day, friends, and I pray that you are too. Over the next few weeks let's meditate on the humble way that Jesus came to earth during His first coming, and gladly rejoice in the hope of His second coming where He will forever reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Until then, I pray that my heart would be made a dwelling place for Him, and that I may have such an immoveable faith as Mary.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     Now that it is officially Christmastime, the Sunday Worship Song for the next four weeks will be Christmas songs. I love this time of year and what it represents- our Savior, coming here to earth to dwell among us. I've said it before, and I'll say it again- I am completely fascinated by the birth of Christ and the events leading up to this divine miracle. Jesus left His throne in Heaven with all of it's glory, to come here to this imperfect and broken world to save us. How amazing is that, friends? He loves us so much and my prayer is that we would all be filled with this same unconditional love during this Christmas season. Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!! I hope you have a blessed one :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Everything Give Thanks...


With Thanksgiving being only two days away, I thought I'd take a moment to list a few things I'm grateful for...

1.) To say I'm thankful for my salvation in Christ Jesus is an understatement. It means more to me than life itself. Without this incredible gift from Him, we'd be living in a world with no hope. But, thanks be to God that He has not left us hopeless. He gave us His Son so that we may have life, and have it to the full.

2.) My husband. This guy lights up my life and fills me with joy overflowing. God richly blessed me as a wife and I am forever grateful. Jeff is my best friend and I love how he just "gets" me. At times, he knows me better than I know myself, and there's no one else I'd rather be on this journey with. I came across this quote the other day and it reminded me of him...

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3.) My family. Boy, oh, boy do I have a great one! I am so blessed to have a family that is deeply rooted in Christ and I come from such a long line of Proverbs 31 women. My mom and dad are the best, my brother...Awesome, my sister-in-laws are great, and I have hands down one of the best mother-in-laws in the world. And, not to mention my wonderful nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I also have a best friend who is like a sister to me, so I consider her part of my family, too:) They are all so special to me and I love them so, so much.

4.) Music. I absolutely love music. Christian is hands down my favorite. I can't really explain it, but something happens in my inmost being when I am worshipping the Lord. I have always said that music has a way of saying to God what my soul wants to, but what my mind doesn't know how to. Hope that makes sense to someone else other than me. Some of my favorite artists are Bethany Dillon, Brandon Heath, Kari Jobe, Nicole Nordeman, Shane and Shane, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Third Day. I am also a really big fan of alternative music such as Ben Howard, Coldplay, and The Lumineers.

5.) Lastly, I am grateful for my home, my job, my car, my clothes, and a pantry and refrigerator full of food. It is so easy to take these things for granted, but we are truly blessed to have them.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! I would encourage you to take it all in- the sights, the smells, the sounds, the family and friends you are surrounded by...soak it in, friends, for these are the things that are truly meaningful in life.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

Friday, November 16, 2012

Overwhelmed and Undone...

     That's where I've been in my relationship with the Lord lately. I have felt such a strong presence of His love, grace, and mercy, and I am completely undone. Have you ever been that way before, when you are so overcome and overwhelmed by his love that all you can do is fall down in worship to Him? It is a sweet, sweet place to be, my friends. I feel that at times my relationship with the Lord can become very mundane. It's kind of like a husband and wife thing-He's always been there, so at times it's easy to just "get used" to Him being a part of my daily life. Oh, how I can be so quick to forget that this is the Almighty God that is with me- and more than that, He is in me! Thank goodness we serve a God who longs to be in a relationship with us and relentlessly pursues us until He has our hearts completely. And let me tell you..He has been pursuing me in such a sweet way that I am left completely speechless at the goodness of His glory. I cannot even begin to comprehend why He loves me so much or why He chose to save a sinner such as me. But, of this one thing I am for sure...God is good and God is gracious. He loves us so much and I believe that when we truly grasp how deep, and how wide, and long His love is for us, it will change everything. Praise be to God that He is jealous for us and loves us with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3) Be blessed this weekend, friends.

Here are a few worship songs that I've been listening to lately. I love the lyrics and truth that each song proclaims and hope you enjoy them as well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I love this powerful worship song by Kristian Stanfill and the truth that it proclaims. God's love will NEVER fail. He will never give up on us, and most definitely will never run out on us. He loves us with an unconditional, sacrificial, unending, and amazing love. Nothing can separate us from Him. Nothing! As Romans 8:38-39 tells us (and this is Paul speaking), "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Take heart today and know that you are held tight in His grip. And that, my friends, is one truth that will ALWAYS remain.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

     After a week long blogging break, I'm back! I did not intend to not blog at all last week but that's how it turned out. So, to catch up I thought I'd share a few things I'm loving at the moment...

1.) My husband. Besides God, he is my rock and my safe place to land. He is so supportive and I love him so, so much!

2.) I'm loving the fact that as of Nov. 1st, it has been a winter wonderland at our home. I love, love, love Christmastime and all of the festivities that come with this beautiful season. I absolutely cannot wait for some yummy Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner and the fun quality time that is spent with family.

3.) Speaking of Christmas, I also love to decorate and fill my home with holiday cheer. There's just something about the warm glow from the Christmas tree, candles in the window, and the scent of freshly baked cookies that melts my heart this time of year. I guess it really puts things into perspective for me. I remember why we celebrate this beautiful season and it's all because of a lowly, humble baby that came to the earth. This was no ordinary baby. was Jesus in flesh. God with us; Emmanuel. Here are some of my favorite Christ centered decorations that I found on Pinterest...

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I love this idea of getting 25 ornaments for the 25 days of Christmas and writing a different name for Christ on each one. (Ex. Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, The Bright and Morning Star, Alpha and Omega, etc.)

It's all about Him, friends!

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4.) Christmas Music! I have been blasting mine since last Thursday (and maybe even a few days before that ;) Here are a couple of my new fav's from Francesca Battistelli and For King and Country...

Happy Wednesday, friends!