Friday, April 29, 2011

Every Wedding a Royal Wedding

Okay, Okay, I admit it, I am one of those girls who loves sappy love stories and can't fall out of love with weddings.  Even after planning my own for 11 months I still enjoy watching wedding shows and helping friends plan their own.  So, naturally the royal wedding took its place on my DVR this morning.  I loved it.  The gorgeous gown, a beaming bride, the look in the groom's eyes when she reached the altar, but my favorite part was the address given by The Bishop of London.  He said

"every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a  new life together so that life can flow through them into the future... The spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this: the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life."

I love these words and the purity behind them.  Yes, my wedding day was a fairytale, a royal day.  We are honored to be God's chosen creation, to be the Kings and Queens on this earth.  We are chosen to uplift one another to bring each other to a higher level of our selves.  I can truly say Brandon makes me a better person.  He challenges me to live as my true self, to never stop evolving, and he delights in my spiritual beauty.  Marriage truly is an opportunity to bring out the best in one another, to become self-actualized creations, to glorify our creator by investing in each other's true selves.  I am thankful for my marriage and to be able to see other men and women of Christ to love each other in the purest sense.    

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

I am coming to a time of transition in my life.  I will be graduating from my master's program in a little less than three weeks.  Being a natural born planner, a bit of a control freak, and a semi Type A personality (at least I'm honest about it)  :)  I have a tendency to get stressed out when I don't know what the next step is.  All I have ever known is going to school.  Getting up, putting in my time in the classroom and internships, and writing countless research papers.  Now that I will finally have a degree that allows me to enter the "real world" I have to face the future.  The only problem is, the future is uncertain right now.  I have been wishing for the day to come when school would be over, but now that it's here, I am freaking out.  Change is not easy and adaptation can be our enemy.  

Being a school counselor in a tight economy is not necessarily a great recipe for job hunting.  People keep telling me to be patient, that things will open up over the summer.  I want to believe them, but patience isn't always a strong point for me.  I am trying my best to trust in the Lord's plan for me.  I know the Lord will provide in His time in His way.  My favorite verse in the Bible is Philippians 4:6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.   I pray for the Lord to allow me to give up my worries to Him.  I pray that He will open a door for me to be able to do what I love, to be able to contribute financially to my family, and to be able to glorify Him through it all.  Yes, it may be stressful and it is uncertain, but the reward will be great.  God's provision is inevitable, we just have to trust and believe in it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Boldness and Creativity

You are only as strong as your purpose, therefore let us choose reasons to act that are big, bold, righteous and eternal.  - Barry Munro

My church is a living example of living boldly and doing it big.  Elevation is known as a "megachurch".  I frankly hate the term and the connotation it carries, but that's what we are.  For Easter, the theme was 3D Easter complete with 3D glasses.  Yes, this is creative and a little different, but the message is the same.  We use lights, loud music, and creative presentation.  It's all for God.  It's all so that "people far from God will be filled with life in Christ."  It is easy to look at this type of church and say it's all about the show or it's over the top, but for Elevation it's all about the numbers.  Every number is a seed planted, a life changed, a life saved.  Every song, every creative presentation, and every glimmer of the lights is to reach people for Christ.  It is not uncommon for people to criticize people who do it differently, who go against the grain, but wasn't Jesus different?  Didn't he go against the grain?  I believe that whether you attend a traditional church with an organ and a choir or whether your church is like Elevation, we should all learn to live boldly, to do it differently.  We have to remember the message is the same.  The purpose is the same.  We are on the same team.  So, embrace each house of worship as you would a teammate live boldly and creatively for the people far from God!  Happy Easter y'all!     

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Green Thumb Part 2

Today we tackled another gardening project, the area in front of our house.  This area was full of holly bushes, boxwoods, with a couple beautiful hydrangea plants scattered in between.  We decided to take out the holly bushes, so off to the Depot we went (again).  This time we set out to actually buy some plants instead of just wandering around aimlessly.  We decided to get two azalea bushes and two rose bushes.  When we got home we set to work, well Brandon did most of the work, but I cheered him on like a good wifey.  We also put the birdbath my dad brought us from my grandma's house in the center.  It was a fun day spent in the beautiful Carolina sun!  A little splash of color goes a long way and always brightens my day.  Now I can see it whenever I pull in the driveway.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Music to my Ears

Here you go!  This is a new band, Wind & Willow, who hail from right here in NC.  My favorite part is that this was filmed on NCSU's campus, brings back memories.  It's long, but worth the listen.  Plus there is a free download HERE to try to promote their music.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One for One

For my birthday I decided I wanted to get my first pair of Toms Shoes and my wonderful hubby obliged.  He originally bought me a Vera Bradley laptop case, but it ended up being too small for my computer, so this was a great alternative.  It was a hard choice, but I decided to go with the red Classics.  Having a size 11 foot that happens to be very narrow does not make for easy shoe shopping.  I went to one store and tried them on.  The 11 was too loose, but the 10 felt small.  Feeling discouraged, we left without my Toms.  I decided that I wanted to try them on again just to make certain.  I tried on size 10 and it is snug, but the clerk said they would stretch a good half size, so I decided to go with them.  I am still trying to figure out what to wear them with, red is a dicey color but I love them (any suggestions would be appreciated).  They are so comfy and feel like I am wearing socks.  I am so excited to have them and to know that I was able to send a pair of shoes to a child.    

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Home Repair and a Green Thumb

Last week we had our first breaking in as homeowners.  During our move, the panel on our washing machine got dislodged and the machine would not work.  Brandon, being the engineer that he is, set to work to try to fix it.  In the process he had to drain the residing water from the machine and into our drain pan.  Well, our washer is upstairs, so the water was supposed to drain out through a floor drain and into a pipe.  While I was downstairs cooking dinner I suddenly hear a slow stream of water hitting the floor.  I look over and water is filling our light fixture by the kitchen!!  By the way, the light was on.  I run and grab a bucket and yell for Brandon.  We had a plumber come out and diagnose the problem and Brandon set to work again.  Being the amazing handyman that he is he fixed both the floor drain and the washing machine!  The plumber quoted us $210 to fix the problem and my amazing hubby fixed it for $25.  I am so proud of him and thankful to have saved the expense of the plumbing work and a new washer.  Welcome to homeownership Brown family!

On another note, today we did our first dose of planting at our new house.  Home Depot and Lowe's were our best friends this weekend, seeing as this is our first time really learning how to do yard work.  We decided to go with a couple packs of Celosia, which are cute fuzzy flowers that come in bright colors.  We planted them around the base of one of our trees and spread fresh mulch.  I think it came out pretty well.  I can't wait to watch them grow!


After (kind of hard to see, sorry)
P.S. If you read this blog, please click follow above on the right side.  I would love to know who you are :)  Have a blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Forgiveness is a Loaded Thing

Forgiveness.  A loaded word.  A loaded concept.  A loaded action.  Something I am struggling with.  As a Christian forgiveness is a virtue that is crucial for us as believers.  To be completely transparent, this is a part of my spiritual life that I am struggling with.  There is a situation in my life that has created such hurt, such an offense that it continuously eats away at me and challenges me personally, emotionally, and spiritually.  It is so easy to talk about forgiveness as if it takes no effort, no struggle; however, I believe it is one of the most difficult things to truly achieve. 

How do I truly find the strength to forgive?  Does forgiving mean I have to forget?  Does it mean that I have to let that person back into my life?  How do I forgive when they show no remorse?  How do I know when I have fully forgiven them?  

So many questions.  I know the Word says to forgive seventy times seven times.  I am just not there yet.  Just when I start to move on, it comes back to haunt me, it is made apparent in my life again.  I am reminded yet again of the pain.  The pain that slowly creeps through my body and preys on my soul.  I so desire to be able to forgive, to let this offense stop eating away at my life.  I am thankful I have people in my life who support me through the struggle and who encourage me in this area.  I am not there yet, but through prayer and consistent nurturing and attention I believe I will get there because God's timing is perfect.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Have you ever been somewhere with someone and you feel this intense feeling that God put you there for a purpose?  Well, I feel this way with my career.  Even though I am not a hired counselor yet (come on dream job!), I still have the amazing opportunity to work with students in my internship.  Today, I had a realization that this is what my calling in life really is.  I love being a counselor.  Not many people can say that about their jobs, but I truly feel that this career, this path allows me to use my spiritual gifts to impact people.  

While sitting with a student today I realized that I am in the position to make a direct and lasting impact on lives.  I have the privilege of sitting with young people in their pain and challenges.  Yes, that's right, I said privileged.  Sitting with someone in their pain means they trust me enough to hear their story, to be there when they are vulnerable, and to work through it with them.  Once, someone said to me (in a very condescending manner) "how are you going to share Christ when you can't talk about God in school?"  Well, here's my answer.  I am sitting with those in need when everyone else may leave.  I am showing them unconditional positive regard and genuine care.  Isn't this what Christ does for us on a daily basis?  I may not be able to talk about God, but I can show Christ's love through my actions.  I am privileged to be a counselor and I want to remember that each time I enter the room with someone.  I am privileged to be a counselor.     

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Music to my Ears

Here's another edition of Music to my Ears, for your listening enjoyment.  This is Taylor Swift covering Mumford & Sons "White Blank Page".  I think this is amazing and she's my favorite!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We are officially homeowners!  We closed on our first house last Thursday and I am in love with it.  It is amazing to have our own house together in a cute neighborhood.  This weekend has been a whirlwind and we are both exhausted but enjoying every minute of it.  Friday we began moving and boy we didn't stop until Saturday night.  All day Friday and all day Saturday we were hauling boxes and furniture from the apartment to the new house.  We are so blessed to have our families close by and they were a tremendous help.  We could not have done it without them.  We stayed our first night on Saturday and moved Charleigh in, so that she could adjust.  She is thoroughly enjoying all the space and big windows to look out of.  We have begun unpacking and organizing, but we have a long road ahead of us.  I am itching to decorate, but for now I need to get these boxes unpacked.  We are so thankful for all of the blessings the Lord has given us and we hope to build many happy memories here.  Here are some pictures of our new abode, once we get everything settled I will post more of the inside.

Opening the door for the first time

carrying me over the threshold

our beautiful mess

SWEET welcome basket from our new neighbors, the Meadow's

Charleigh even got presents

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