Saturday, May 28, 2011

Project 31: Day 2

Day 2:  What makes you uniquely you?

Wow, these questions are hard.  I really hate talking about myself, but here are a few things I came up with that are unique about me. 

1. I am a natural redhead and proud of it  
2. When I jump into something (relationships, projects, teams, etc.) I jump in whole-heartedly

3. I love corny jokes and I genuinely laugh out loud at them

4. I crack myself up often

5. Unlike a lot of people, I love studying foreign language, especially Spanish

6. I crave ice cream or fro-yo every night

7. I have very large feet (size 11), but I just tell people I have a strong foundation :)

8.  I am a scaredy cat and have to close the closet and bathroom doors in our bedroom at night

9.  I unashamedly scream at the TV like a man when the Wolfpack is playing

Well, that's all I could come up with.  Hope you have a little bit of insight into the unique me.  What makes you unique?  I would love to hear!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pray for Matt Hill

If you read the news, you have probably heard about Matt Hill.  He is a Christian Outreach Minister in D.C. and has been missing since Tuesday.  One of the fellow ladies in my small group is very close with his family and is asking for prayer for Matt and his family.  I do not know Matt, but he is a fellow graduate of my high school and later graduated from Elon University here in NC.  Please, join me in praying for Matt's safe return.  We know the power of prayer and know that our God is a just God.  Here is a news article about this situation.  Thank you all for joining us in prayer.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Project 31

So I have been reading Meg's blog for a while now.  She has taken on a challenge called Project 31.  It is a reflection project that encourages women to reflect on their beauty, as the Lord sees it and to celebrate the beautiful people and things of life.  The project is based on Proverbs 31:10-31. I have been thinking about taking on the challenge myself and finally decided to give it a go.  I cannot guarantee that these posts will be inspiring or insightful, but I can guarantee that I will grow in the process.  This is all I can ask and pray that the Lord will help me be a better wife and woman of Christ through these reflections.  So here we go.   

Day 1: What does beauty mean to you? 

This is such a loaded question.  To me beauty is being completely yourself from the inside out.  For me as a woman, I have always been a little self-conscious, but at the same time able to develop my confidence over the years.  To me, beauty radiates from the inside out.  It isn't about the clothes you wear or the people you call your friends.  When you are able to look at yourself and be comfortable with the armor God has given you, that is beauty.  Beauty is striving every single day to be a better person, to never settle, but to grow.  Beauty is investing in the lives of others by using your character and radiating from the inside.  Whether you are sweet, goofy, introverted, extroverted, a thinker, a nerd, an athlete, or a little edgy, when you are comfortable with yourself from the inside out and are able to embrace yourself with an air of comfort and confidence I believe you are beautiful.  Have you ever met those people that are so genuine it's like you can see their heart?...Those people whose smile will melt your soul and make you feel completely comfortable?  You know exactly who they are because they know who they are...these people are few and far between, but they are so comfortable with who they are that they consistently embrace their beauty and are able to convey this to others, not in an arrogant way, but in an inspiring manner.  I think when you embrace your own self and are able to be comfortable in your own beauty then you are able to more easily see the beauty in others and it becomes a contagious chance to encourage someone else in their pursuit of self-actualization.  Being genuine from the inside out and letting that spillover into the lives of others, that is beauty.  To me, beauty is not a visual sensation, but a feeling that is obvious from the moment you meet someone.  Beauty is a combination of things and is not created but embraced.  If you are able to take your God-given compassion, boldness, creativity...all those spiritual gifts and bring them to the outside, that my friends is beauty.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Puppy Love

I just have to share the latest photos and videos of our puppy, Piper.  She is growing so fast, so I am trying to record every precious moment of puppyhood.  Come on, who doesn't love a cute puppy video?  Enjoy!!

She looks so pudgy here, but she's not

Best Friends

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Natural Beauty

The other night while celebrating Brandon's birthday at dinner we somehow got on the subject of makeup.  My foundation has run out and I really don't want to spend the $20 on another bottle, but Clinique is the best and does well for my skin.  Anyways, Brandon looks at me and says (totally genuinely) "do you really need it?  I think you are beautiful when you go all natural."  Okay, all at once "awwwwwwwww".  Honestly, I hate going out without makeup.  I know it sounds superficial and self-conscious, but I really feel "unpretty" without it.  Not that I wear a lot of makeup, I actually prefer the natural makeup look and didn't start wearing makeup until I was a junior in high school, but something about makeup makes me feel prettier than when I wear my bare face.  Isn't it amazing how someone else can look at you and see a completely beautiful person that we can't even see ourselves?  I know I have found the right man because he sees and loves the real me.  He doesn't need me to be all dolled up or to cover the flaws that I see in the mirror.  He loves me just the way I am, even if I don't.  He makes me feel pretty when I feel grungy and question my beauty.  What a blessing and a great illustration of how Christ views each of us!  I know that I will still go out and buy that bottle of foundation for my own sanity and self-esteem, but it is a nice reminder to know that my husband sees me just the way the Lord created me and he loves me all the same.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Happy 24th birthday to my amazing, wonderful husband!!  Brandon, I am so blessed to be able to call you my husband and I am honored to be your wife.  You are my best friend, my confidant, my biggest supporter, and my love.  I love you with all my heart and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!

Here's a little photo montage for your enjoyment:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gray and Yellow

This is my new color obsession.  Since moving into our house a little over a month ago I have been thinking about how I want to decorate it.  Gray and Yellow is such a modern and chic color combination, but is still fun.  The yellow adds such a pop and I am even considering accenting with the white and teals.  This is the scheme we are going to use in our living room.  I can't wait to start painting the walls and take on some DIY projects, like the empty frame collection seen below, which will go above our fire place.  Here is some of my inspirations:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm a Master

Yesterday I officially received my master's degree in school counseling!  I have been waiting for this moment for two years.  Two years of countless literature reviews, projects, papers, journal articles, and hours of professional practice.  It is a very surreal feeling and I do not feel any different or more distinguished.  The ceremony was quite boring and impersonal and my actual paper degree will arrive in the mail; however, I do know that this is a crossroads in my life, a turning point.  I am very proud of myself for this accomplishment and cannot wait to put it to use.  It was wonderful to be able to share this achievement with my family and to know that they are proud of me.  This degree and process allowed me to grow in ways that I would not be able to otherwise.  I have become less critical of myself, more trusting in the process, and more comfortable with who I am.  It is very bittersweet though because school was always my safety zone, where I felt comfortable and felt like I was achieving something.  Now, I am in limbo, with no job and really no commitments.  I have never reached a point in my life like this.  After high school I knew I was going to college.  After college I knew I was going to graduate school.  After graduate school...?  This is a time when I truly need to have faith in my God that He will come through for my next step.  I pray that the Lord will place me into a position where I can use my spiritual gifts and make a difference.  I have been extremely blessed thus far through my education and have been afforded many opportunities to succeed.  I was blessed with a full-tuition fellowship to graduate school, had wonderful professors, supportive classmates, and a passion for the subject.  My God is faithful and never lets go of His promises.  He has a plan for my life already set into motion and graduation was just the next step in His plan for me.  Remember, whenever God closes one door, He always opens another.     
Please ignore my heinous was humid and rainy

Friday, May 13, 2011

Music to my Ears

This is The Church by Elevation Worship.  This is my prayer and represents a desire to serve others for our Savior. 

We are the change
the world is waiting for
We've got a love
the world is desperate for
We will lead
and take to your streets

Now's the time for us to rise
and carry hope and let love shine
and show this world that mercy is alive

Now's the time for us to rise
and carry hope to hopeless eyes
and show this world that mercy is alive

We're not afraid
we will abandon all
to hear your name
on lips across the world
we will run
in the wake of your love

Fill our hearts with your compassion
let our love be active here

How Great is Our God

Three summers ago I was backpacking through the Andes mountains, trekking the Inca Trail, camping above the clouds, climbing the hills of Pisac, watching the sunset slowly over the looming hills, and I was in a whole 'nother world.  I was in magnificent Peru, taking in the country, the fabulous scenery, the culture, our Lord's wonderful creation.  

Words cannot explain the Andes mountains.  They are mystifying, magical, surreal.  The size is incomprehensible.  They stand tall and stretch towards the heavens.  They reach above the clouds and were made to glorify their Creator.  While staring in awe of this creation I could not help but think, if the Andes are this big, how big is our God?  Staring at the Milky Way on the top of the mountain I thought about the size of the universe and that God is bigger than the Andes, bigger than the universe.  If He can set the Andes in place from His hands and paint a sunset with the sky as His canvas what can he do in my little life?  God's power is unimaginable and our potential is usually untouched.  Our God is higher than any other, bigger than anything here on Earth, larger than the Andes mountains.  Standing 14,000 feet above sea level I realized I cannot be afraid to trust God to do big things in my life.  The creator of the Andes, the maker of the stars and heavens loves me and sees me as His most valuable creation.  My little life is bigger than the Andes mountains and I have to trust the Lord to do big things through me.  I have to desire that Andes be built in my life.  


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brighten Someone's Day

One important concept I have learned through my training as a counselor is that everyone has issues.  You never know what is going on in someone's life.  People you think are perfectly fine are walking around with a mask every single day.  As the old adage goes, "you can't judge a book by its cover".  I really believe this is true and it calls us to take action.  We have the power to brighten someone's day instantly.  It may be a smile as you walk by someone, a "hi, how are you" to a store employee, or a wave to a neighbor.  Making someone feel special is easier than it seems.  It does not take going out of your way or some elaborate plan.  I am guilty of putting my head down as I pass someone or just going through the motions in the checkout line, but I want to be more intentional in my interactions with people.  If one smile can change the course of someone's day then I am not beyond trying.  We are all fragile and vulnerable to bad days.  Why not take the initiative to truly show Christ's love through our interactions with strangers?  You never know what impact you can have on someone's life and they may never tell you, but know you can plant a seed of happiness and care that can transform a person's day and in turn have lasting effects in their life.  So smile friends and know you are making a difference. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

For my Mom

A little music to set the mood
How do you say thank you to the woman who gave you life?  Who cleaned up your messes, wiped your boogers, took you shopping just to make you feel better, got up in the middle of the night because you were scared, listened to your teenage drama, and helped you become a Godly woman.  Well the truth is there are no words to express how much I love my mom.  I can only continue to make her proud through my actions and to live my life the way she taught me to.  My mom is a rock, my biggest supporter, a selfless giver, and a wonderful example for me as a woman.  So, here's to you mom!  Happy Mother's Day!  I love you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Little Things

For me, it is so easy to get wrapped up in and blinded by the big things in life; the things that call for a great deal of energy and an overwhelming amount of time.  Getting caught up in the routine of life is natural and sometimes necessary, but the thing is, life is not made by routines.  It is not enriched by deadlines, rushing around to fulfill our duties, or worrying about a grade on a paper.  No, life is made by the little things.  
Life is...

Life is a culmination of the little things.  The little joys in life that make your heart sing, that warm your soul, that make you stop and smile.  These things are often lost in the ho-hum of life.  I don't want to miss these things.  I want to take notice.  I want to cherish them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Summer Reading List

Let's take ourselves back to grade school when the dreaded summer reading list came out.  The last thing I wanted to do on my summer vacation was read, especially anything related to school.  As I have gotten further into school and eventually made it to graduate school I have found myself missing the opportunity to read books, not text books, but real novels.  For the past few years my summer reading list has consisted of titles like Counseling Theories, Multicultural Counseling, Counseling Adolescents, and Advanced Techniques.  I would spend my summer days, with the heat streaming through the blinds, with my nose buried in textbooks instead of being enthralled by captivating stories.  Well, this summer that is all changing.  I finished my last graduate school assignment yesterday, which means graduation is quickly approaching, which means no more summer classes.  Therefore, instead of dreading the summer reading list I am excited to make one, to fill it with books I've been wanting to read for the past couple of years.  So here are a few that are on my list at the moment.  What are y'all reading lately?  I would love suggestions!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Piper Brown

Meet our newest addition, Piper Brown!  In honor of me receiving my master's degree in two weeks we got a puppy!  She is a six-week old Australian Shepherd mix.  We think she is mixed with lab, but there is no way to know.  We rescued her from the SPCA.  How did we arrive at the name you ask?  We went to the bookstore, picked up a baby name book and had at it.   Brandon began flipping to random pages and pointing to random names.  He landed on Piper and I loved it.  It is an adorable name; girly but not prissy.  We are so happy to have her.  She is the sweetest girl with a lot of energy.  We can't wait to watch her grow!

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