Monday, December 20, 2010

Good Post I Didn't Write.

December 20, 2010


Tags: Christmas, Family, Friendship, Home, Imperfection, Love

You can’t fool them, you know.

Two pudgy hands cup left cheek and right, turn your face to demand your eyes laser lock onto hers, and she whisper-stomps “Mama, you’re not listening…!”

Technically, you’re right when you coo, “Yes I am, honey, I can just do two things at once,” because you did hear her; but she’s right because you weren’t listening.

Hearing only requires ears; listening demands ears, eyes, mind…and heart. The difference is ages apart.

Your children don’t just know the difference, they understand the difference:

Something else is more important than them in that moment.

O u c h!

I grow weary from all the admonitions to focus on Christ during the Christmas season, to resist holiday busyness. Please don’t get me wrong–I agree with that!–but then I see a believing people tangled and lifeless in sticky-webs of shopping, baking, parties and school or church programs….

And mamas are distracted…

And daddies are working extra hard to pay for everything…

And though our homes have never looked more lovely or smelled more cinnamony delicious…

Our actions are speaking loudly and they don’t always match up to our words.

Or maybe I’m the only one…. :/

* * * * *

For God so loved the world He GAVE His one and only Son….

God incarnated man becoming fully present with us to experience life as we know it. He felt the love of his mother’s touch, he learned craft at the hand of his father, he celebrated marriage, and he cried from personal loss. He looked his friends and followers directly in the eye and gave them his complete attention, regardless of the demands placed on him and distractions associated with circumstance.

Jesus was fully present with his family and followers. Jesus IS fully present with his family and followers.

And so, sweet lovies, might I suggest a Christmas gift you can give your family and friends this year? Something inexpensive but absolutely priceless?

Your time.
Your undivided attention.
Active listening instead of passive hearing.
Being fully present when you’re with them.

Close your laptop when they walk into the room. If you’re a blogger, let go of any notion that you “owe” your readers daily postings at the expense of your marriage and family. Silence your cell phone. Be available to the people who need you. Be still with the people you love!

As a mom to a high school senior, I promise–learned from experience!you don’t have much time….

You...your presence–sharing tea or dinner or reading aloud or over a game of Candyland–is the lovliest of all gifts to give and receive.

Please chime in! What are the holiday trappings that threaten to divide your attention? Have you unintentionally ignored your children or spouse while readying for Christmas? What are your suggestions for meaningfully engaging those you love?

by Robin Dance, P E N S I E V E

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I found this post today, and I am determined to make one [or five?!] of these beautiful wreaths. I know you can just go out to a store and buy pre-made ones to hang up, but where's the fun in that? How much does it actually reflect you?

I'm not even a big fan of wreaths, but I may be changing the way I feel about that. I'm itching to go outside right now and get the supplies needed to make the "twig" one. Know how much that would cost me? Zero Dollars. Always a good budget for me.

So here's your encouragement for today : Get up and be creative!!'s supposed to flurry tonight...!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I had some bananas left from last week that I wanted to use in something, and then Matthew found cashews on sale this past weekend while we were getting groceries, so I was left with little choice : I had to make some muffins. Oh darn. ;]

I wanted to try doing something special with them, and I had some cranberry relish from my mom [my favorite part of Thanksgiving, by far], so I thought I'd give them a holiday spin. So today's experiment became :

Cranberry Banana-Nut Muffins

Super easy - I won't even post a whole long recipe here, just basically use a standard Banana Nut Muffin recipe, like this , or get a super convenient mix, if that's more your style. I didn't have a mix today, so I threw together a guesstimate sort of recipe [I didn't have the patience to look one up - Shiloh was napping so I knew my time was limited, lol].

Once you do that, just ad in about 1/2 - 3/4 [depending on your taste preference] of cranberry relish. You could easily substitute the canned whole berry cranberry sauce. I also put in about 1/2 cup of OJ just because orange and cranberry are awesome together.

Anyway...that's my experiment in the kitchen for today. I also made sweet potato fries, since I had some sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving as well. Yummmmmmmm! Now if I could only figure out something good to do with lots of onions...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Mercy House.

Go check this out, it's incredible!

If I had the money, I would buy all the girls on my christmas list these:

AND, between now and November 30th, you can save 30% with the code SUPER30. Amazing? Yes. Consider supporting this incredible ministry!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jumping on the Bandwagon.

While I do think that it can be [not always] cheesy to do holiday themed posts, being thankful is a very Godly attribute, so I'm am joining the blogging world and doing a Thanksgiving post. [Also, I am hosting our families for the first time this year, so I may be M.I.A. over the next week!]

1. I am thankful more every day for my salvation. Without Jesus, nothing else in my life would work, and none of the amazing things I'm about to share with you would be in my life. He has had His hand on me even when I've tried to push it away. He has lavished Love and Grace on me.Keep in mind that I deserve none of this! I am a real mess - I am selfish, stubborn, judgmental, and unloving, to name a few. But He is always loving, always faithful, and always pursuing me. Without Him, and am and have nothing.

2. I also get more thankful every day for my incredible husband.
And not just because he's the most handsome thing I've ever laid eyes on!
He is my very, very best friend. We met in October of 2000, dated for a year [I was 13, he was 17 -yes, my dad hated that], broke up in 2002, dated other people, and got back together in February/March of 2007. We had stayed in the same circle of friends, but hadn't been really close [we'd have a long conversation about once every 6 months, but saw each other almost every day]. Then he just showed up one day at the coffee place where I worked and something clicked into place. I wasn't even thinking romantic things at the time; I was going through a really bad break up [which had been going on for about 8 months to give you a picture of how dramatic and ridiculous it was], and he was just being a friend. He was exactly what I needed. I could trust him completely. From that place of trust, openness and forgiveness, we found ourselves in a weird place. He came over to my apartment one night and said "I either can't talk to you anymore or I'm going to marry you." That was March 2007. We were married New Year's Eve 2007. And it has been better than I thought marriage could be. :]

He's an amazing father!! Shiloh adores him, and his heart just gets mushier for her every day. I didn't think I could love him more, until I saw him walking around with her in the delivery room, and they were just staring at each other while he sang to her. And as she's grown they've formed such a special bond. I can't imagine raising a child [soon to be children!] with anyone else.
He loves Jesus more than anything. He is the reason I accepted Jesus in the first place at age 13, and he helped draw me back to Him when I was in the darkest place I've ever been. He wasn't always sugary about it, but he was always real and willing to tell me exactly what the Bible said about anything, even if he though I wouldn't like it. And he's still that way. I have so much respect for him. The only reason we could make it when we got back together, the only reason I could trust him enough to marry him, is because I knew He loved Jesus more than me, and that is how he can love me so well.3. I can't begin to express how thankful I am for Shiloh.

She is an absolute gift from God. She is a real picture, wrapped in a perfect little body, of the Grace Jesus has for me. I made so many bad decisions in my life that should have prevented me from ever having her. All I could think when I first held her and got to see her was "I don't deserve this. God loves me more than I will ever understand to have done this for me."
And every day He shows me something new and amazing through her. I feel so incredibly blessed to be entrusted with her.
4. I am thankful for the baby in my belly. :] It was a real shock, but the closer it gets the more excited I get. I can't wait to see both Matthew and Shiloh around this new little baby. Our little family just keeps growing, and I can't wait to see what life will be like with 4 of us.

5. I am so, so thankful for my friends. Specifically, my friend Haley. She has stuck around through some real tough situations and has supported me and Matthew when literally no one else did. Jesus was really trying to bless me when He brought her into my life. She understands what we do for a living, and has a heart to do it as well. Plus, Shiloh is in love with her. There's nothing like having someone who your kid enjoys as much as you do, and who genuinely loves your kid. I have no clue what I'd do without Haley in my life.
I'm stopping there, even though I could probably go for days [I'm seeing now why people have been doing things like "10 days of thankfulness" and stuff like that...we have a lot to be thankful for!!]. I will add, since it's Sunday, that I'm thankful for my church, Greenville Christian Fellowship. They are some good folks. And the leadership is stellar. If you don't have somewhere to be on sundays, look them up!

"I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."
-Psalm 9:1

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jesus Hearts Yard Sales.

I've had some pretty major yard sale scores the last couple of weekends, and it could not have come at a better time. The last few months have been the worst financially since Matthew and I got married [don't even mention October...which I renamed "Sucktober" very maturely!], and it is of course time to gear up for the holidays, which we are hosting for the first time this year. Then throw in the move mid-october plus a 14 month old plus my pregnant belly suddenly getting giant seemingly overnight, making me MUCH less efficient, and we have what you could call a tight spot on our hands. [Note: Shiloh is not a "tight spot"...her ability to climb on things and reach things above her head may be, though ;)]

Anyway, at times when it's tough financially, it's easy to start doubting everything you're doing, wondering if maybe you've been a bad steward somewhere and so God can't trust you with as much, so you start pulling your life apart to look at everything you've done. The problem with that is, it's not about you.

Yes, you absolutely are responsible for being a good steward with what you've been given. And yes, there is biblical evidence that God rewards good stewardship[Matthew 25:14-30]. But, when you begin to think that God's provision and faithfulness is tied to something you're doing, you're making it about you and your works, instead of the fact that God is love, and will be gracious and just.

So that's what I learned [and have been learning, and continue to learn]: it's not about me. If I would just go ahead and really learn this lesson, God could stop trying to get it through my head and work on another part of me...but I am just not learning it very quickly. I'm very grateful He loves us in our messiness.

Another temptation in financial hard times is to doubt not ourselves, but God. This is always a dumb idea. God is always God, He is always Love, He is always just and kind and gracious. But when we don't receive something the way we expect to, we refuse to receive it at all, sort of like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. If we would just step back in those moments and remind ourselves of the Truth : God is good, He is Love, He is my Father, and He will provide for me, we would be able to see where He is providing for us in a different way.

Like my yard sale scores.

We have [literally] a zero dollar budget for anything other than food for Thanksgiving. So decorations and things of that nature were totally out the window, which isn't a big deal, but kind of a bummer. It's my first Thanksgiving as hostess, and I'd like to be kind of fancy and fun about it, you know? And although this seems like a silly little desire, God knew this desire of my heart and made a way for me. He didn't give us a bigger check so I could go out and spend money on brand new stuff. He did, however, remind me that Matthew and I had seen a moving sale that morning and that since they said everything must go, they probably just put everything out by the street after the sale.


All in neat stacks in boxes was everything I needed. Platters and dishes and candles and decorative things...I mean everything I could've wanted from a store. For free. My friend Haley and I went by and loaded up the Jeep [no exaggeration...we packed it out!] and even got to meet the owner of the stuff and hear their story. And this was doubly exciting to me because I hate the idea of buying/consuming new things and increasing the need to just make more and more junk to sell in stores for way too much when there are people throwing the same stuff out every day right down the street. It's crazy to me! When did we get too snooty to re-use someone else's candle holders or board games or pictures frames [and the list goes on and on]?! Crazy.

I think that's why Jesus hearts yard sales. We learn to consume less, respect the earth more, and find our identity in "stuff" less. We learn to be creative. We learn to share with other people who may need what we don't anymore. It's just good common sense. In case you didn't notice, I heart yard sales too. :]

This now feels super long. Hope it made sense. Now I'm going to bed. :]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Recipe.

I love experimenting in the kitchen. Sometimes it turns out awesome, sometimes it is really bad. But today I may have nailed it.

No pictures, because it would be pretty boring, but here's what I made:

Vanilla-Honey Tea

1 family size tea bag
3/4 cup sugar [we like it real sweet!]
2 Tbsp organic honey
1.5 tsp clear vanilla extract
2 quarts water

Pretty simple...I just wanted to change it up a little from normal sweet tea and thought I'd share. We'll see what Matthew thinks when he gets home from work.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Things are finally getting settled [still haven't unloaded all of our stuff yet, but I think it's helping me restrain myself from putting up Christmas decorations so I'm ok with that]! Matthew had a personal retreat this weekend to a monastery in Virginia that's being turned into a Prayer House, so Shiloh and I had our first girl's weekend alone. And we made it. :] Actually, we more than just made it; it was awesome! She slept ten hours straight at night and took a three hour nap in the morning, and we went with my friend Haley to a toy store here in town and played there, and then scored some free stuff out of some yard sale leftovers. AND we saw a rainbow. Pretty sweet.

So here's where I am this morning:

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

[Ephesians 3:8-12]

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

[Hebrews 10:19-22]

Shiloh started me on this because she's really into keys lately. She LOVES finding the right key and us holding her up to the door, the mailbox, whatever and letting her put in the key to open it.So this morning she was walking around with a key putting it in all the keyholes [all our doors have skeleton key keyholes because they're old] and I got hit with the word "access". She wants access to everything Matthew and I have, and to us. And it goes both ways, because I want all of her as well. The idea of shutting a door between the two of us when one of us wants to get to the other is a painful image for me!

And it's the same with God as our Father.

There was a door between us, and we're the ones who closed it. Everything started with open access between us and God, and then we slammed the door in His face. Every day we get up and make decisions to shut that door between us. And then we have the audacity to say things like "God is distant" or "I can't feel God and it's His fault" and on and on. But the truth is, we shut the door and God put a plan in motion to swing it wide open. He was a parent separated from His children, and that is an anguishing place to be. And us? We are too comfortable in this world to realize most of the time that we are nothing more than children separated from our Father. That's scary when you're a kid! And it should be even more so in a spiritual sense.

We have bad things enter our life, and instead of letting God through the door that He gave everything to open, we throw a tantrum and blame it on Him and shut the door. And yet through Jesus, we have the ability [and the right!?!] to open the door and get close to Him again. We have access to the God of the universe any time we want because He's adopted us as His children and has handed us the keys. Isn't that insane? What's probably more insane is how nonchalant we are about it. I'm guilty of that, most definitely. I can hang out with, talk to, hear from, receive from, give to, and directly connect with God anytime, and I pass up opportunities all the time because something else is more pressing. I always forget to have some time with God during Shiloh's naps, because I start cleaning or crafting or blogging or looking up coupons, etc and by the time I realize I'm not spending that time with God, she's awake. But what good does a clean house or saving money on groceries do for her if I'm not where I need to be with Jesus or being an example for her of how to pursue and love God?

Don't waste this gift.When I hand Shiloh a key, she is focused on one thing: getting access to whatever I've just given her. She's so much smarter than me. :]

And she so darn cute. Here's another picture just for cuteness.

I'd encourage you to look into this stuff yourself...there's a lot I could say that I'm not because I don't want to post a novel.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

not now, arctic puppets!

This has been a month for the history books. Or maybe a month to purposely be left out of the history books. I have never been so glad to see a month end!

This is just a quick update, because we just got internet today and it's been over a month since I've posted, but it's also ten o'clock and I'm almost 7 months pregnant [when did THAT happene?!] and I know Shiloh will be up at 5am [only 7 hours from now...zzz...].

We've been at the new apartment for almost 3 weeks now. It is such a cool place. Once we get more settled, I'll take pictures. I hate not being settled after 3 weeks, but I'll have to count the stairs next time I leave and share that too...then you'll understand.

Shiloh and Matthew have been sick, so I have been beyond busy and pretty much in a constant state of wishing I was napping. But we're coming out of that now, and Jesus has given me lots of grace to get them through it, as well as giving me such a sweet husband and daughter, which helps a lot.

We haven't had internet, which is more crippling than I expected. But we got it hooked up today [FINALLY!], so I'm hoping to get back into blogging as I get more settled here.

Life Lesson of the Day/Week/Month: taking care of a baby is like a vacation compared to taking care of a toddler. ESPECIALLY while pregnant. I have so much more respect now for women who have done this without having a total meltdown.

Jesus is doing some good stuff in our family right now, and in our little community of people at the Boiler Room. It can get messy when He does that, but it's always for our good. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Now I am going to go to bed and hopefully not move for at least 6 hours. That's not likely, considering Kicky McGee here in my belly and how much water I just chugged, but here's hoping.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Will Remember You.

I have not forgotten about blogging! I have been keeping up with the recipes I've tried each week, pictures and all. I just have to figure out how to get them from my phone onto my blog. :] But so far, I've made cake pops, dulce de leche, pesto, and a "family omelet". I'm pretty excited.

ALSO, I need to do a ONE YEAR blog for my little baby girl! I'm waiting on pictures to do that, but once I get those, be prepared to say "aww" for about 10 minutes straight. :] She's so cute.

So I have a lot to catch up on here, but I'm 20 weeks pregnant, chasing around a now walking one year old and trying to prepare for a move in two weeks...I'll get this done when I can!

Monday, September 13, 2010

secret place.

I know this may seem a little cheesy, since the Boiler Room is doing internships right now called "Secret Place", but I promise I wasn't thinking about that when I decided to write this. :]

I was reading a devotion today on Psalm 91, and it mentioned abiding with God in the secret place. We read things like that all the time, and the Bible uses that phrase a lot, but what does it mean to you? Do you have a secret place?

If not, I'd suggest finding one.

For the first year or so I was saved, I didn't know/care what this meant. I was happy with my life, I was surrounded by christian friends, and I didn't really feel a need to have a place just for me and Jesus, since He was so widely accepted in every other area of my life.

Then, Matthew broke up with me. And suddenly my 15 year old world crashed in around me. I was left staring at everything I had lost and trying to figure out if I really meant all the things I had said about loving Jesus or if I had been doing to fit in with my friends and make Matthew like me. My friends got tired of me moping about the break up eventually, and then it was really crunch time. All I had was Jesus to lean on and work through it all, and we needed a secret place.

I don't necessarily mean a physical location. When you're a teenager, the only real option is your bedroom. ;] I mean a place in your heart that is just Jesus' spot. A place you keep things that only He knows about. A place where you can lay your burdens on Him, because He cares for you. And then He can come in and heal and clean. Somewhere He'll never have to share with anyone else.

Once I got past all my mess with that break up, I found that having that place was still important to me. My quiet times with Him were sweeter. I felt like He knew me better, and I knew Him better. [Even though He obviously knew me all along.] It's not just a place to retreat when times are hard. It's something we have to cultivate in all seasons. You can't invite Him in and then when things work out, lock the door.

I'm also not knocking having a special physical location where you like to be with Him. Those can just be more tricky[but also very helpful, especially when you live with someone else!]. When I returned from my short stint at Emmanuel College in Georgia, I went into another very dark time in my life. When I was going through that [and up until Matthew and I got married], I always went to the field behind the graveyard on 10th street to just sit and work through things with Jesus. I could cry, or yell, or lay down, or dance, or sing, or read my bible and journal, all without interruption. I spent one night out there in pouring rain just laying on the ground, letting Jesus deal with mess in my heart. I still love going there, and it still calms me when I go.

Jesus has a special place in His heart for you. We're not just a mushed up ball of humankind to Him - He knows each hair on our head. I love Shiloh more than life, but I have NO clue how many hairs are on her head! He really cares for you specifically, and wants a special place for the two of you to have to yourselves. Just like a husband and wife. There are things Matthew and I know about each other that no one else will, because we have a secret place in our relationship where intimacy can grow. Jesus is our husband...we are His bride...doesn't it make sense? Find a place for Him. He won't storm in and force you to, but when you choose Him and make a place for Him, beautiful things can happen.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Direction.

One thing I have learned over the last year is that blogging about anything in depth is difficult with a baby/toddler. Then, throw in being pregnant again and sleepy all the time, and it gets even more difficult. But this is something I really want to do, and I have a plan and a hopefully this will work.

I'm slightly stealing this idea from an old friend of mine, named Sarah. She's been doing a new things every week this year and it's been inspiring to keep up with. [Check her out at her blog - she's a smart cookie!]

So I'm taking that and tweaking it a bit, because I have been going through everything in the house recently [nesting much?] and came across my recipe binder, which has hundreds of recipes, most of which I've never tried. And I LOVE cooking! So I got bummed out for a minute, and then wondered how to give myself a kick in the butt to start trying some. And this is what I came up with:

52 Weeks - The Recipe Edition.

I'm going to pull out a new recipe every week for the next 52 weeks [even if it's just a drink or dessert or snack recipe-I'll need easy ones for when the new baby gets here], and make it one night for dinner. Then I can take pictures and post the recipe and tell you what we thought of it! It will take some commitment, but I really want to do it.

So the plan is to start with Shiloh's birthday party, since I'll be trying a few new things there, and then jump right in the monday after! I'm pretty excited.

The second phase of the plan is to blog another day each week with something God's showing me in the bible. I love writing about the bible! So let's see if I can do this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 Months?!

So my little Sugarbean is 10 months old today. I really can't believe it. I remember looking at her when she was born, and I feel like it's been 2 weeks since then. It's enough to make you cry a little. :] Especially when you're preggo with baby #2! So to my big girl, at 10 months you:

Are crawling, cruising, and standing alone like you were born doing it.
Finally have a "lovey"! A little baby doll your wilmington Grandma [Haley's mom] gave you.
Will try anything we feed you - you are a great eater!Are laying down for naps now...So I am getting more productive ;]
Wake up in the BEST mood - you are so so sweet!
You have started just crawling into our laps and snuggling.
You babble constantly! You get really serious about it sometimes and it's too funny.
You have a great sense of humor and just crack yourself up a lot!
Still only have two teeth, but you're working on more. I don't mind though, since you still nurse to sleep. ;]
Are becoming more of a Daddy's girl every day...I wish you knew what it does to his heart.
You still won't take a pacifier, but that's okay by me!
You figure out things on your own sometimes that really blow us away -you're so advanced for your age.
You make us so proud when you behave in the nursery at church. Despite how anti social we are, you are quite the friendly little booger!
You shout at other little kids in public to get their really scared a little girl in Babies 'R' Us...haha.

You are so beautiful. You do something new every day, and I feel like if I blink I'm going to miss something. You are truly a gift, and I can't imagine life without you. I pray for you so much! I know Jesus has big plans for you and I'm so privileged to get to see them. I love you more every single day. I can't believe It's time to plan your first birthday already!!

Monday, June 28, 2010


So I haven't posted since April...whoops. A 9 month old spitting up on your keyboard will do that. :] But I've been getting inspired, and I have big plans for making time to we'll see how that works out.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

this is incredible.

Read the girl's story behind this ministry. I can't imagine letting Shiloh do something like this...but what if God has called her to really Love like He does? What if we could raise her to be better than us, to trust God more than us, to be truly selfless and whole-heartedly pursue Christ, no matter what the cost? It scares me to think of letting her go to do something so radical. I wonder how much it tore apart Mary to watch Jesus live out His calling?

It helps me remember my life is not my own. But I have a harder time thinking that about my little girl. :]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

cloth diapers&DIY goodness.

For reasons of frugality and trying to be "green", we are trying out cloth diapers at home. I randomly found one pack of 12 cloth diapers [looks like a burp cloth] at Wal Mart for 5 dollars. I haven't seen them since! I then got two diaper covers off Ebay. You can support stay at home moms and save money over going to some boutique. They usually run from about $14 to $30, and I got mine for $3 and $5. We just don't have the money to drop $100 on the startup kits and all the little extras, so with some creativity and bargain hunting I'm making it work for under $20. If we decide to switch to cloth completely, I'll have to find more covers and maybe more inserts, but I can just find some more deals online. Shiloh likes them, and looks pretty darn cute in them, so the switch may be in our near future.

Then I solved my lack of pillows problem with Matthew's old t-shirts and quilt pieces my grandma put together:And turned my utensil caddy [which took up too much space on the counter] into my crafts caddy:
And made an old cashew can into the new utensil holder:

I'm pretty excited about getting stuff done. I've had a surge of energy and creativity the last month or so! Expect more pictures and DIY stuff soon, regarding my garden and our move coming up!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

halfway there.

So, here it is:

Shiloh, at 6 months,

You can sit up on your own [until you see something you want!]
You can roll across the living room shockingly fast.
You are still breastfeeding like a champ.
You absolutely hate bananas [the face you make always makes me cry from laughing].
You love teething cookies and applesauce.
You respond when we say your name.
You can hold a bottle on your own [makes me really sad!].
You like tearing up magazines.
You still sleep on your side instead of your back.
You always crack up when your Daddy yells "butt!" at you in his silly voice.
You are a bouncing machine!!! Thank goodness for your johnny jump-up.
You "talk" to us very's too cute.
You are into EVERYTHING...especially Daddy's Blackberry. :]
Your favorite color is red, which is one of my least favorites!
Your eyes look exactly like your Daddy's.
You love bath time.
You're very soothed by Daddy singing.
You're incredibly hot-natured! It's a little ridiculous.
You have me and Daddy wrapped around your little finger - which I wasn't expecting to happen to me!
You hate Miley Cyrus and fuss when she's on the radio. [yessss!]
You "nom" on everything...including chairs...which really cracks up Will the intern!
You sort of army crawl across the floor the pack and play will be a big part of our lives soon.
You give me and Daddy "kisses"...sloppy and sweet!
You have started hugging me...and it makes me want to explode!

You are better than I could have dreamed. You have changed my life and I would do anything for you. Nothing matters to me more than you do. I'm sure all moms feels this way, but I often look at you and find it hard to believe that any person has ever loved another person this much. I want you to have everything that is good. I want to tell you about Jesus, and watch you grow up in the way He wants. I want to support every dream you may have. I want to be a better person than I ever have been so that I can be what you need me to be. I pray for you almost constantly!

My life will always be better because you are here. I adore every part of you and can't wait to get to know you more and more as you grow. You are a perfect picture of God's grace for me. I love you more than you will ever know, and more than I could ever understand.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

my life as of late.

Shiloh has been killing some teething cookies. She can hold it and feed it to herself...which makes me a little sad. Stop growing up!!
I got lovely birthday flowers from my lovely friends who threw me a surprise party!
Shiloh also likes swinging...but in a very calm way. :]
Matthew's an awesome daddy.
Bruegger's Bagel Breakfast for my Birthday! [alliteration much?]
Life has been busy, but good. I have had an awesome 23rd birthday and this weekend will top it off when I get to spend the weekend in Black Mountain with people I love, and see Jennifer Knapp in concert! :] Also, Shiloh will be 6 months on I have to get back up here and do a 6 month post like all the other cool moms.

Monday, March 1, 2010


If you haven't heard Matthew explain where the name for the Boiler Room comes from, let me share it with you.

[Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London's famed New Park Street Church (formerly pastored by the famous Baptist theologian John Gill). The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before electronic amplification.]

Charles Spurgeon was obviously a powerful speaker. When he traveled, he was asked where the power came from in his ministry, and he said it was due to "boiler rooms" - a room in whatever city he was traveling to where people would gather and pray before, during, and after his meetings there. This is what fueled his ministry and gave it such an impact. Like a boiler room in a building or ship, they were not really seen by anyone except those working in them, but there would be no power without them.

This is the heart of the Boiler Room in Greenville.

Prayer fuels missions. If you believe in the God of the Bible, you believe in prayer. Even those who don't believe in Him often utter prayers without thinking when they're in a desperate situation. At our core, we as human beings believe in prayer. And we've seen things change when we cry out to Him.

Now...what if we prayed even when we weren't in crisis mode? What if your pastor could get up to preach knowing that he had been covered in prayer throughout the week? How more bold could those who reach out on ECU campus be if they had people praying for hours each week for them?

Ephesians 6:12 says that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but with the powers of darkness in this world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That's why shouting at college students doesn't work, but praying against the things holding them down does. [And no, I don't mean walking up to a stranger in a public place and putting your hands on them and "praying the demons out of them". That's not a good plan...ever.] But what if when you went up to share the gospel with someone after having spent a significant time in prayer for them? We need to become more spiritual-minded, and less flesh-minded [and crazy-minded, for that matter.]

So that's the idea. A room where God's glory can dwell. An atmosphere that is conducive to prayer, worship, and intimacy with God. A place where the people of God can be with Him anytime - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And from that flame on the altar that never goes out, real power from heaven to change lives and set people free can flow. And though the people praying in th Boiler Room night and day may not be the ones to go out in power or even see what their prayers accomplish, they are still keeping the flame that fuels it going.

If you have a heart to pray, or maybe just want to see what this looks like, come out sometime. We now have public prayer/worship from 10-12, Monday-Friday, plus 6:22 on Friday Night. We'd love to have you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I was reading my Bible at 6:22 on Friday, and stumbled across some verses that are amazing. I was planning on using this for my lesson at the 6:22 girls' bible study last night, but then only me and Hannah came...haha. So this is where I'll use them.

Proverbs 24:11-12

11 "Rescue those being led away to death;
Hold back those staggering towards slaughter.

12 "If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this',
does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not He who guards your life know it?
Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?"

We have a responsibility to one another. Christianity only works if we stop putting ourselves first and start looking out for others ahead of ourselves. If you see someone struggling and just go on with your day, this passage says that God weighs your heart and perceives that you made that decision, and that He repays each of us for what we have done. That's a big deal - it's important to God that we rescue those in need of rescue.
Also, we aren't just supposed to pat each other on the back for being good at pretending we have it all together; We're supposed to share in our struggles and bear one another's burdens. [Galatians 6:2]

Hebrews 11:13-16

13 "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."

We are not from here. We are not citizens of this world, and we should live accordingly. When you go to a different country, you have to take some time to get accustomed to it - a different language, or dialect, or traditions, or behaviors - how much more, then, should we feel strange and different in this world? We should not feel at home here, because this is not our home. We may never see the fruit of what we do; we may get hurt over and over again by putting others before ourself, but that's not an excuse not to do it. We'll see it when we get home - to our real home. While on earth, we should always be homesick for Heaven. The reason we fall short most of the time is because we have settled in here, and we look just like the rest of the world.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

14 "And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, take tender care of those who are weak, and be patient with everyone."

This is my favorite verse. of my favorites. :] It lists a lot of types of people, or a lot of places people can be on their walk, and how other believers should respond. Not a single one of them lists "ignoring" or "judging" as a Godly option. When someone is weak or struggling with something, how often do we just gossip about them and pat ourselves on the back for not being that sinful? People are constantly hurting and going through things all around us - it's the human condition. But how many times at the end of the day can we look back and note the person we've taken "tender care of" that day? That's part of our job description! That's at the core of calling ourselves "christian". Loving others more than ourselves. Willingness to inconvenience ourselves to help someone else. And again, we fall short of this because we look just like the world. This goes against human nature and what the world would say to do, but it is God's heart, and therefore, it should be our heart.

You know how to make your heart look more like God's heart? Spend time with Him. Get to know Him. Read His book. It's awesome. :]

This is also awesome...and a good way to get pumped up about living like Jesus. Watch/listen to the whole thing...we've got this painted in the Boiler Room because it's just amazing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow & 5 months!!

So, Shiloh turned 5 months yesterday, and we celebrated by playing in the snow!
Her eyeballs are amazing. :] And she loved chewing on my snowball!!

Shiloh and Daddy walking through the snow...
I've got some verses that were sticking out to me at 6:22 that I can't wait to write some maybe tomorrow I'll do that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010


1 Corinthians 10:31-33

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

I got hit with a major conviction last thursday, as I was driving back to Greenville from Farmville [my mom's house]. All girls struggle with self-image, but adding the 60 pounds you gain while being pregnant and then only losing 30 of them by month 4 after giving birth can really bring out some issues. Now add years of battling [not very successfully] an eating disorder or two, and being dumb enough to get on a scale other than at the doctor's office, and you have a good picture of my state of mind last thursday when Jesus got me.

Here's the problem: I am selfish. Sure I care about health issues, and want to be a healthy weight for those reasons, but that's not really what motivates me, or most females.

We have a deep longing [which I believe is from God] to be found beautiful. To be adored. It's why guys have a natural ability to find women beautiful. These are both good things. But what we have done is taken these natural, in-God's-image desires, and twisted and perverted them into things like porn, lust, pre-marital sex, and eating disorders, to name a few.

The male side of this struggle is pretty obvious, for the most part. The female side is veiled, and yet celebrated.


Vanity and insecurity so severe that we spend large amounts of time, money, and energy making sure that as many people as possible find us attractive. Vanity so consuming and uninhibited that we are willing to put our brothers in a position where they may stumble in order to appease our neediness. Sometimes we even go so far as to engage in physical relationships we'll later regret and that the other party will regret so that we feel "wanted".

This is sin. Yes, society feeds it and encourages it, but we have to take responsibility-this is sin. If I stand in front of the mirror before I leave and am thinking about what any person other than my husband will think, I'm cheating in my heart. Desiring any attention in that manner from anyone but your spouse, honestly, is a sin. It is idolatry, adultery, and being a stumbling block.

Thinking back to the above verse, we need to dress in a way that is pleasing to God and even that glorifies him [I do not mean cheesy Christian t-shirts! LoL]. We need to be loving towards the males in our lives by helping them not to lust. We need to be different from the world. We need to be more concerned about others' struggles than about our egos.

I'm not trying to offend anyone, or push my convictions on anyone. All I can do is read my bible and pray, and then listen. And this is what I get from that. I'm also not saying that males don't struggle with this - don't even get me started on male vanity! :]

So pray for me about this, and ask Jesus about it in your own life. And dress really cute for your spouse! After all, they're the person God designed to be enamored with you!