Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Poor Woman's Christmas Card

So my financial situation is a bit tighter this year than I had hoped for or anticipated. I have been trying to save in as many ways as I can, cutting back in areas that I never thought I could. In a way, the simplification of my life is soul cleansing and good. But sometimes it's hard. One of the things I had to say no to this year was sending Christmas cards. This made me VERY sad, because I love picking out the perfect one, addressing the envelopes to friends and family...and I absolutely love the nutcracker postage stamps this year! But it just wasn't in the budget. Sigh. Oh well.
 
So instead, I decided to design my own card and post it here. So to all of my friends and family (at least the ones who read my blog), this is a special delivery from my heart to yours.
 
Outside of card:
 
 
Inside of card:
 
 
  
Currently Watching: A Charlie Brown Christmas



Monday, December 15, 2008

One of Those Days...

Have you ever felt like you were being kicked while you were already down, bruised, and bleeding? Yeah. That was today.
 
God, I just don't understand...I am your servant and I have been obedient. I am seeking you with all that is in me, to the best of my finite ability. When will this stop being so difficult? When will you provide deliverance? I love you, Lord, but I just don't understand...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas is Near!

Christmas is only 12 days away! 

I have no idea how the days have gone by so quickly. Just a little while ago, it seemed like Christmas couldn't get here soon enough. And now, I just can't believe it's almost here! I spent the day doing some Christmas shopping, which mainly means I spent the day surrounded by crazy shoppers: fighting for parking spots, waiting in long lines, traffic...but I was in no hurry, so the crowds didn't bother me as much as they usually do. I did have to call it quits late in the afternoon because it was getting to be just a bit too much. Haha. It's what I get for waiting this late. Oh well.

Tonight, Laura and I headed out to Terrell, TX for Walk with the Wise Men. It is a live nativity performance that a local church puts on every year. It was so great! When we arrived, we were welcomed and told that we could take a seat and sing some Christmas carols or take our picture with a wise man while we waited. Of course, Laura and I opted to take our picture with the wise man! It was free, and they gave us a copy to take home with us! It wasn't until they were making announcments that we realized it was technically for the kids. Adults were welcome to take their pictures with the wise man if they wanted, but you know....

I think it turned out great! And it's a fun memory of our walk with the wise men...


After waiting for our number to be called, we finally began our journey through the Christmas production. We walked back in time to when Christ was born...Mary and Joseph, centurions and innkeepers, angels and shepherds, and (of course) wise men. The scenes and costumes were very well done! Oh, and there were definitely live animals- horses, a donkey, and a sheep. The sheep was the best part...he pretty much just bleeted the whole time, begging someone to pay attention to him. I couldn't help but laugh when he started eating the jacket of the man standing next to me. The church gave a gospel presentation and offered refreshments at the end of the walk. And we definitely received a gospel track on a million dollar bill. It was a fun and interesting night! I really enjoyed it, and it definitely made me excited about being in the Christmas season. It got me focused on the true meaning of the season.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pine Cove Work Crew

This weekend I had the opportunity to serve at Pine Cove with the 20s group at my church. On Friday night, we loaded up the cars and headed to the camp out in East Texas for a weekend of service and hanging out! For those of you who know me best, you can understand that this was a big step for me to go on this trip. I have been attending Woodcreek for a little over 2 months now and I have loved every minute! It has been such a blessing to finally have a church home. I have loved the biblical teaching, genuine worship, and loving congregation. The best part has been the 20s group. From the moment I walked in (which was a pretty terrifying moment), everyone made me feel so welcome! And yet, despite how wonderful everyone has been, I have still been myself and struggled to put myself out there and be "social." Sigh. How can I be in my mid-twenties and still struggle with this? Blah.

Anyway, so signing up for this trip was a big deal for me. I was taking a leap and putting myself out there. And I am SO glad I did! It was such a great weekend! We were on the work crew, serving food to middle schoolers. When we weren't serving food, we were decorating the dining hall for Christmas! I spent Saturday cutting snowflakes out of coffee filters, decorating a tree, and getting to know a few more people in the 20s group. That evening, we sang Christmas carols, had some praise/prayer time, and played games. It was fun to hang out with such an amazing group of people. Being able to serve side by side, praise His name one moment and play hilarious games the next was so great!

I am so grateful for the body of believers that He has provided!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

ICE!

Last week, Laura and I had the opportunity to go to the ICE! display at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. Laura really wanted to go, so I took her on a hot date for her birthday :) Haha. We went to dinner at Jason's Deli, then made our way over to the resort for some holiday fun!

When we arrived at the hotel, I was speechless. It was absolutely GORGEOUS. For those of you who don't know, I have wanted to work at the Gaylord Texan ever since I decided I wanted to be an event coordinator. Working for the event staff at this incredible resort would be an ultimate dream come true. To actually walk on their property made me want to work there even more. Anyway, side tracked...


When we arrived at the exhibit, they gave us these huge bright blue parkas for us to wear inside the tent. It was 9 degrees in there! When we walked through the door, we entered an icy winter wonderland!












It was SO cold, but so much fun! To top off the night, we stopped at Starbucks on the way home to warm up. I hope you had a great birthday Laura!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

On a Lighter Note

There is a lot of randomness in this world. And I am ALL about randomness. I find pleasure in the simplest of things. And I am fascinated by strange and different things. I love random!
 
That said, this post is random. But I just had to share these two things because they are my new fascination.
 
The first is courtesy of my friend Laura. She discovered a show on TLC called "This is Why You're Single." LOLOLOL. Oh my gosh. When Laura told me about this, I had to check it out. Being a single person myself, this was extremely intriguing to me. Basically, the show follows friends and family members as they hold an intervention for a "perpetually single" loved one. It's pretty much AMAZING. I watched my first episode this morning and I am already hooked. This morning I learned about Victoria, a woman who talks too much and thinks she is the total package and won't settle for anything less than perfection. Haha. I do tend to not give guys enough of a chance (or so I have been told), but luckily I do not have Victoria's problem of talking too much and being arrogant. The mere hilarity of the concept has set me on a quest to discover exactly why I am single ;) You can check it out on TLC every morning at 7am.
 
The second is the new book I have on order from Amazon. I saw an interview on the Today show with a little boy who had written a book. I wasn't really interested until I saw the tagline: Nine-Year Old Ladies Man. Basically, it had started as a school writing assignment. This 3rd grader had decided to write about girls. And it has turned into a book of him giving advice on "How to Talk to Girls." The interview was adorable, as this nine-year old was giving advice to men of all ages. He had done his research (observing other boys on the playground) and was very insightful. He offered several pieces of advice, but my favorite was that boys should comb their hair and not wear sweatpants. He won my heart and I am excited to read more of what he has to say! You can see the story and interview here.

The Weight of Disappointment

Yesterday I received some really disappointing news. I was going about my day, when I received a phone call that just turned my day upside down. For varying reasons, I can't share right now what that news was, but hopefully I can share that in the near future. (I know that is vague, and I apologize). My heart just sank. I was looking forward to something and that one phone call brought my excitement and anticipation crumbling down. I am glad I was by myself because I couldn't stop the tears. I can be such a girl sometime.

I think this hit me hard because of how circumstances seemed to be falling into place around it. I felt at peace and I felt confident...I was expectant that God was going to answer. I wasn't fully prepared for this answer. The old feelings of inadequacy and the hurt of repeated rejection were creeping back. Again, God? Is this really happening again? Am I ever going to catch a break?

I had to remind myself that God is bigger than my disappointment. I had to remind myself that God is still God and He is still working behind the scenes. I was reminded of a devotion my mom sent me:
 
"God is more interested in our character than our comfort. He desires that we produce more spiritual fruit. Therefore, He’s always at work pruning the areas of our lives that don’t match His plans. So, when God allows our world to be turned upside down, we are not experiencing a “setback” but rather a “cutback.” In God’s economy, a cutback can be a good thing because it makes room for more good stuff to come."
 
His pruning may seem like it's going to kill me sometimes. Haha. But He's not trying to kill me. He cuts us back in order to produce more...more Christ-like fruit. My dad gave me some good advice:
 
"Be sure to express your disappointment to God. He wants us to bring that stuff to Him. But then it is so important that you muster up as much as you possibly can the strength to tell Him that you are still going to trust Him, despite the disappointment. Express the fact that you are still going to trust that He has a plan, it is good, and He is going to take care of you."
 
His pruning may be painful, but I am going to trust Him. This is not a setback; it's a cutback that can help me grow in Him. I am disappointed. But I am going to trust Him anyway. I know He has a plan...a good plan. And He is going to take care of me.
 
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” 
- John 15:2 (NIV)