Friday, June 29, 2012


This has been a great week so far!

Of course, I started out pretty overwhelmed and under joyed, but I realized that it has a lot to do with how I'm spending my time and what I'm investing my time in.

I've been intentional about my quiet times and 52 in 52 studying this week. It's a breath of fresh air!

Just like these lovely wildflowers. Aren't they happy?

My friend Ashley and I were driving down a back road Monday morning, and these little beauties were growing on the side of the road. I said, "I want to pick some!!!!" So she pulled over!

Yay!! I picked some for myself and some for Ashley.

They're still on my kitchen table right now.

I had to shake out all of the pollen (or whatever it was that was falling off) today. I should probably throw them out, but they're too happy still to be tossed.

One of my tomato plants outside has a baby tomato.

But I think I killed the plant, therefore killing the baby tomato. Oops.

There's still another plant going strong, and it has flowers on it so far! Hopefully baby tomatoes are in the neat future!

The other flowers in my garden are doing pretty well. I may have a green thumbnail at this point.

Definitely not a whole green thumb though.

2 Chronicles 3l:20-21

In everything he undertook ... he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.

Love that passage. 

Philippians 2:14-16

This is so hard, isn't it?

Well okay. Maybe it's just me, but I find it hard!

I don't even realize I'm complaining sometimes until after it's done and time has passed.

But this is my prayer, my ambition. 

Remember when I said I was trying to be more intentional about my quiet times and my scripture memorization? Well, I'm trying to be more intentional about not complaining or arguing as well.

So this bitty kitty has kind of taken over the house. Her name is Chloe, and she's only about 5 weeks old now.

I know, she's supposed to still be with her mommy, but she didn't have one when she was found, so I've become her mommy.

She drinks goat milk. And sleeps in a little cradle formed from my shirt. And climbs the curtains like an American Ninja Kitten.

And...she drives Izzy crazy. For real.

For the first week that Chloe was here, Izzy hid under the bed all the time. This week, she has been coming out from under the bed.

She does well until Chloe decides to play Simba from The Lion King and pounce on Izzy.

Yeah. She's pretty feisty!

I discovered a "Documentary Network" on my TV tonight.

And I just watched an hour worth of a documentary about these four Irish women talking about their late husbands and their many quirks.



Monday, June 25, 2012


Confession time.

I didn't pick out a verse for this past week. I will be doing two this week because of this.

I do believe I have hit the overwhelmed phase of my grad school, and I'm afraid it won't get any better.

I feel as if my life has been nothing but school work lately. When I'm not doing school work, I am either walking Iz, a feeding bitty kitty goat's milk (I should probably post about that, eh? lol), mindlessly watching TV and being a bum, tutoring little kiddos at the YMCA and my school, working out with a friend, or doing things for church (especially now since VBS is only a couple weeks away).

And then there are those other life things that happen - like actually seeing my family here and there, babysitting when needed, cleaning my house that seems to be overwhelmingly dirty these days, and sleep would be nice as well.

Yeah. I'm pretty worn out. I went to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 last night, which isn't exactly early, but not really late either since I've been staying up late doing school work this week.

This morning... I woke up at 9:15. I'm supposed to be at church at 9:30 for Sunday school, so I was late. Obviously. I reckon I needed some extra sleep.

Classes also keep me from family gatherings, which is extremely hard.

I missed my mom and niece's family birthday gathering because of class. I also missed our family's Father's Day gathering. And then I'll miss my dad and nephew's birthday weekend as well because of class. I haven't looked beyond that yet though. :)

I don't feel like I have to be present for these events to be complete for my family. Rather, I desire to be present because I need that time with my family.

Living by myself, I've really come to value family time so much more. Yes, I've always enjoyed it. However, now, I sincerely need that time because it's just me. I sometimes go several days running around doing things without having a chance to talk with my family. Not out of a lack of desire, but simply a lack of time and energy. So when I miss those precious times with my family, it really hits me hard.

Okay, so this is not me trying to have a pity party or gain sympathy at all. It's just me venting. :)

Crazy to think that I'm so overwhelmed with all of this when I don't even have a husband or children, eh? Yeah. God knew what He was doing when He orchestrated me getting my master's now and not later in life. I don't know how the moms of young children are handling the program, but they're rock stars for sure!

And in the midst of this craziness, I've noticed my time with God suffering more and more. This definitely doesn't help with my outlook on things either.

So, I'm asking for a bit of help from my friends! Our Bible study group finished up our study on Esther awhile ago, which was amazingly great with keeping me focused and on track with my time with God. Not that I can't just read God's word without a guide, but it's good to have some direction in my studies.

With that said, does anyone have any suggestions for great devotional books that I can work through? A precious mom of one of my students gave me a daily devotional that has a passage with a small excerpt about it for each day, which has been great! I'd like to add something with a little more depth to it.

EDIT after maybe 10 minutes of hitting post: So, I realized this post was pretty much all negative about my grad school experience so far. I want to make sure I intentionally say that the things that I have learned and the changes I am hoping to make in my classroom next year are totally worth these rough patches! I have met some amazing people, and I am completely excited about how God will use this program to reshape me as a teacher. So I'm whining tonight, but it's all totally worth it. And I realize that. :) But I'm allowed a post to vent, right? Sure!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

loud love (52 in 52)

Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record or wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Do you know someone that embodies that passage?

For me, that would be my grandma.

I've told you about her before, but there's nothing wrong with being reminded of someone great, right? :)

Of course, I'm not saying that she was perfect: She had her faults. But you could never fault her for her love towards my grandpa.

She loved him out loud. Way out loud! When he had to be put into a nursing home, she drove to sit with him every day.

Every day. Without fail.

If she wasn't feeling up to driving, she made one of her children drive her to the nursing home.

Loud love.

She spent her time there making sure Grandpa was taken care of properly. She kept him company. She entertained visitors that came by to see her and Grandpa.

The nursing home staff came to love her. They expected her to come in. And they knew she would scold them if they didn't do something the way they should. But they loved her.

We lost someone very special the day she died. But hopefully her legacy won't ever die.

I had a different passage picked out for this week's 52 in 52, but I've decided to go with this passage instead.

Because there's nothing wrong with being reminded of someone great, right?


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

summer walks and undivided devotion

Izzy and I are enjoying our summer so far.

We went on a "long walk" last night and this afternoon. They're long walks because it's about 30 minutes as opposed to our walks of going out, Izzy doing her stuff, and then us coming back inside.

We're going to take a long walk everyday.

That's the plan anyway!

I've come to the conclusion that I am a stay at home mom during the summer. I just happen to have a baby with four legs that wears a harness while we walk instead of riding in a stroller.

That should help my, "I want a family"-itis...right?

Hope so! :)

So far, during the first week of summer, I have...

-Spent two mornings working out with a couple friends. Love them!! (the workouts...and the friends)
-Bought more [clearance] plants for my garden. Hope they make it!
-Spent an entire day...minus about 2 1/2 hours...devoted solely to grad school work. I got most of it done! Woo! About 2 1/2 more assignments to go for now.
-Challenged myself (and have already started) to eat healthier and be more mindful of what I put into my body.

And that's about it. Doesn't look like much, but it's been pretty busy so far!

Okay, so since I mentioned my "I want a family"-itis, I guess that's a good segue into my 52 in 52 for this week...

An unmarried woman is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is conceded about the affairs of this world-how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:34-35

I apparently have a thing for the books of Corinthians. This is my 4th verse from these two books, which is the most from any book so far.

This isn't the first I've come across this passage, or the first that I felt compelled to camp out and store its words in my heart.

Not sure when I wrote that, but it is most definitely still my heart's cry today.

This season of being single (well, more like life since it's all I've known lol) can either be a blessing or a hardship. I pray that I allow it to be a blessing for me.

A time of growth in Christ, devotion to God, and learning to live for Him. 

And then when He blesses me with more than what I'm experiencing now, it will be all the sweeter.

Right now, though...

Undivided devotion.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

my life (aka craziness) ...according to Instagram.

Things around here have been crazy! Hence why my 52 in 52 updates have been running late for the past couple of weeks.

I started grad school in May! I am getting my Master's in Education in Divergent Learning.

It's only a year long program, but it is very intense.

It's not all serious business though.

Last night, we made cookie people, choosing the different toppings according to our personality styles.

I apparently have a yummy personality because all of my personality style toppings were among my favorite treats! Yay!

(my cookie didn't last long...obviously)

On a serious note, I am learning SO much in my classes. I'm glad I started in the summer and not this fall because I'm able to transition into the work load. However, it's a bit frustrating at times because I want to implement these strategies right now.

Patience, dear teacher. Patience.

My homeowner-ness is continuing to stretch my handy woman skills!

I put in a new doorbell several weeks ago.

The original one that "came with the house" had part of the plastic button part missing, so people feared for their lives when they came to my house, choosing to just knock instead of risk electrocution by ringing the doorbell. No need to worry any longer, my dear friends!

Right after I finished changing out the doorbell, the UPS man came by to deliver a package (containing a grad school book - woohoo...). I was so excited and proud that I very enthusiastically exclaimed to him, "I just changed my doorbell!!!"

Yeah. I get excited about small things. But it's just me. I don't have someone to run to for an impromptu celebration...because you know. Adding another notch in my tool belt as handy woman calls for impromptu celebrations! So this would be why my life is often on Facebook.

Just in case you were wondering!

But anyhow -- back to Mr. UPS. Upon hearing my jubilation in a new doorbell that I changed all by myself, he turned around, gave me two (not just one!) thumbs up and said, "Alright!!"

Yep. I'm a dork! At least I'm a smiley dork though, right? :)

So, along with my grad classes and my brand spanking new doorbell, I'm also experiencing empty nest syndrome...

Sad times.

I had become so accustomed to checking on my little feathered friends every day that I was super sad to see them gone.

Ever need a reminder of God's love for you? Yeah, me too.

The church down the road from my parents has this great reminder for all the world to see! It's on their ball field fence.

It makes me smile every time I drive by. And makes me wish I had an obnoxious chain link fence in my front yard to broadcast love to all as well.

Okay, maybe not to that extent. But it does make me happy. I love it!

And look what I have on the windowsill above my sink! 

Baby marigold plants! I've been plucking the seeds out of my [dead] marigold flowers in my flower boxes (another post about that soon-ish!).

I'm excited to see that the seeds I "harvested" are growing! Woo!

I also planted LOTS more, but they're on the deck rail in the back yard. I'm experimenting a lot with seeding flowers. We'll see what happens!

I also have some squash, sunflowers, morning glories, celosias, and forget me nots planted to grow some before putting them in my flowerbed.

Speaking of...

I now have a GORGEOUS flowerbed in my backyard! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!!!)

It has some of my grandpa's lilies (my brother had them in his yard, then shared them with me) along with some plants I bought at Walmart for 50% off.

Hope they don't die!

I have a knock out rose bush, two tomato plants, and two other perennials that I'm not sure of their names. 

So this has been my life lately. We finished up the school year this past week, so now I'm focusing on church, grad school, and my home.

Sleep is always nice too.


be kind

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:29-32

Can we just say that God is teaching me about being an example? Having a tender heart, speaking truth and uplifting words to people, forgiving, and so much more. This goes for people I don't know, to people I work with, to even my own family members.

Sometimes, we are harsher on those that are closest to us than we are to anyone else. 

My prayer is that everyday that I live, my life will become more and more of a reflection of His love, grace, and forgiveness, to everyone that I come in contact with.

I totally wouldn't be able to even strive for His reflection unless I have received His love, grace, and forgiveness every single day of my life. Why I keep that only to myself?

I want to share it, show it, emulate it.