Friday, January 31, 2014

{iPhone Rewind} :: January

 This was actually the last day of December, but I had already posted my iPhone rewind, so I just decided to save it for this month. My sweet husband left me a gift at work while I was out to lunch. Definitely an encouragement that day!

We started off the new year by doing a little cleaning and organizing. This type A girl was more than happy to alphabetize Mike's book collection; he sure has a lot of books {so I have no excuse on my reading goal!}

We didn't get the worst of the polar vortex, but we weren't immune either. "Feels like 0" is WAY too cold for this Texas girl! But to keep it in perspective, my brother-in-law had a work trip to Chicago, where it was "Feels like -42." No joke.

We were running full speed to get things ready for Redeemer's public launch. It was fun to get our signs in!

Ya'll. I have been on pins and needles waiting for this Winco to open. I have watched it being built for months now, and cannot wait for it to open next month!

 I obtained this handy contraption at work, and I think it's the best invention ever {I'm sure I'm WAY behind, but I'm excited about this little device!} It's a portable charger for your phone(s). So convenient!

 We are absolutely loving our espresso machine. Mike makes fantastic lattes {still using that barista training!}, and he makes them fun for me :)

The worship guide for our first pre-launch service; we couldn't have been more thankful for the minimal hiccups. We will have one more pre-launch service before the official launch February 8th.

Sasha has started sleeping with her toys. You know, just in case...  ??  Haha :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY :: Home Coffee Bar

I have wanted to have a home coffee bar for awhile now. We host a lot of people in our home, and usually have a makeshift coffee bar on our kitchen counter. Of course, there are tons of ideas on Pinterest, so I have been planning and creating in my brain for months! When we got our Nespresso, we decided to go ahead and piece together our own coffee bar, and our families helped us obtain varying pieces as Christmas gifts {yay!}

I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out, and it's so nice to have the extra storage space. We love serving coffee and tea to guests, so this just makes it a little more fun! :)

Our collection of monogrammed mugs were perfect to display on the hooks.

Coffee/espresso anyone?? :)

Monogrammed "M" :: a gift from my sweet Bible study girls
"But First Coffee" Sign :: Mike's idea, my design; printed at home
Shelf with baskets :: Hobby Lobby (50% off sale and a Christmas present from mom and dad)
Cabinet :: Target (10% off the weekend after the whole debit card debacle)
Espresso Machine :: Nespresso Pixie (a Christmas present from Mike)
Torani Syrups :: World Market, varying liquor stores, Mike's parents (more Christmas presents)
Coffee Maker :: Wedding present :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

{Tying the Knot} :: David & Laura

I promised I would do a Tying the Knot post when I had access to photos from Laura's photographer. She sent me links months ago, but you know...things get busy. So I thought it would be fun to post them now, in honor of their 6 month anniversary :)

Because why not relive a really fun and amazing day??

With the beautiful bride

LOVE this shot!

Can she be any more radiant?

Finally Mr. and Mrs!

Haha- love these photos.

Sweet girls

Look how adorable they are

Oh you know...just chatting. On her wedding day.

Giving my MOH speech

So cute

Best friends

With our boys!

And they lived happily ever after...

Happy 6 month anniversary sweet friend! :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Difference a Year Can Make

This week, I sat in the waiting room of my GI doctor for my 6-month check up. As I sat there waiting to be called back, I was struck with the realization of the difference a year can make. This time last year {give or take a few days}, I was waiting in the same room, but my heart was filled with fear and questions. I had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease just weeks before, had been on a steroid regimine to reduce inflammation, and was waiting to talk with my GI about what life would look like moving forward. I had no idea what was ahead and was having a hard time processing all that was happening. I was so scared, and it took everything in me to hold back the tears.

As I sat in the waiting room a year later, the appointment felt routine, and I was much more confident about what I was facing. The strangers from a year ago had become familiar faces, nurses and a doctor whom I have grown to trust. And the news was a lot better too; my GI said that as far as Crohn's patients go, I am doing really well, and they are going to continue digging for answers to my medication expense. I praise God for His care in my life and for my progress. My 6-month check ups can now become yearly check ups, and I am so thankful for continued health.

It certainly hasn't been an easy year, and there are still times when I struggle with the sickness the Lord has allowed in my life. It is certainly discouraging when my medication price increases {which it did again, recently}. But I was reminded yesterday of how faithful He is to walk us through the difficult things of life. I am grateful for how much better I feel after a year of treatment, and for the ability to even treat my disease. And I am humbled every time the Lord provides {this time, a raise and a bonus that will help us pay for my medicine this year. Another Ebenezer Stone.}

I believe this is a "thorn in my flesh," as it certainly keeps me humbled and dependent on Jesus. In my hours of doubt and discouragement, I can draw courage from Paul's example.
"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
I pray every day for a cure {a lot more than Paul's 3 pleadings!}, but for now the Lord has said "no." So for now I lean on the same promise that He gave to Paul: His grace is sufficient for me. I pray that I can learn from Paul's example, that I can be truly content in my weakness and use Crohn's as a way to boast of the power of Christ.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Book List Update

So remember when I talked about accomplishing everything on my resolutions list? That was a good, satisfying post...

I also made a reading list for the year, and I have to admit that I didn't fair as well with that one...I read a grand total of 3 on the list. And there were only 10 total haha. I just couldn't find the time; or rather, I chose not to make the time. Sigh.

I read The Church Planting Wife by Christine Hoover and LOVED it. I am so glad I read this one, and it was a privilege to be a part of her launch team. I HIGHLY recommend this book to all church planting wives, as well as anyone who knows a church planting wife. I wrote a review here, if you're interested.

I also read Emotional Fitness: Developing a Wholesome Heart, by David Furguson & Don McMinn. This was required reading for our residency with Christ Fellowhsip, so I had to read that one ;) While I understood the reason for assigning this book, and it had a lot of helpful information in it, it wasn't my most favorite, and not one I would necessarily recommend.

It took me the whole year, but I also read Grace, by Max Lucado. I have always enjoyed his books, and this one was an encouraging read. Despite how long it took me to finish it, it actually is a quick read :)

While I only read 3 from my list, I read 1 additional one that wasn't on the original list...I read For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter. Mike asked our group to read it as we anticipated the next steps in our church plant. I really enjoyed it, and it got me excited about how the Lord was building His church!

So I read 4 books. All year. {5 if you count the Bible!} Hey, that's better than none, right? :) It's really rather pathetic, especially considering that my sweet friend Amy read like a thousand books. She's such an inspiration. {For the record, she actually read 53...that's a book a week! I have a lot to learn from her...}

While I know I won't read quite that many, my one goal for 2014 is to read more books. Mike has a ton of books to choose from on his book shelf, so I will just choose what I will read next based on what is floating my fancy at the time. If I can accomplish 5 things on a list, surely I can accomplish this one??  :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

1000 Gifts #733-825

733. My best friend's birthday.
734. Family.
735. He washed me white as snow.
736. Bright lights on our Christmas tree.
737. The sunshine on a day of grief and goodbyes.
738. Dinner and conversation with Grace and her kids.
739. Thankful for sweet, encouraging words from friends.
740. The light that shines in the darkness.
741. Bright, sunshining days.
742. A day off in the middle of the week.
743. Getting Christmas shopping done early!
744. Marriage counseling with a sweet couple in our church.
745. Thankful for green lights and a patient dentist!
746. Thankful for a warm house.
747. Thankful for safety on the icy roads.
748. Thankful for a sweet husband who drove me to work.
749. Thankful to be only 5 minutes from work.
750. Thankful for a warm bed.
751. Life eternal from my Savior.
752. Love and compassion from my Savior.
753. Mercy and grace from my Savior.
754. The beautiful icicles that hang from our house.
755. A warm cup of coffee held in my hand.
756. Hearing worshipful music at the Ross King concert.
757. The bitterness of the winter cold, but the beauty of the changing seasons.
758. The ugly brown snow, but the comfort of knowing the roads are becoming safe again.
759. Warmer temperatures!
760. The joy of exciting news for friends.
761. Enjoying leftover bundt cakes from our sweet neighbor.
762. Wrapping up another Bible study with the women in our group.
763. Ice cold sweet tea.
764. Ice cold coffee.
765. Ice cold water {apparently I like ice cold drinks}.
766. Thankful for strength through a crazy busy board day.
767. Thankful for hard but necessary conversations.
768. Thankful for a patient and forgiving husband.
769. Striped, warm socks.
770. A striped scarfs.
771. Christmas music at work.
772. Our first meeting in the new church building!
773. Finding the lost keys :)
774. A fun date out for a friend's wedding.
775. Sundays as a true Sabbath rest.
776. Rummikub rivalry with my love.
777. Attending the McKinney Chick-Fil-A Christmas party {Mike is their "store pastor"}
778. Lunch with co-workers.
779. Comfort when feeling disappointed.
780. Spaghetti pie!
781. Dinner with a sweet friend.
782. Taco Tuesdays at Rosa's Cafe.
783. The comfort of talking with someone who "has been there."
784. Finishing our Christmas shopping!
785. A fun day of running errands, making Christmas gifts, and hanging out with my love.
786. New friendships.
787. Crock pot meals.
788. Anticipating Christmas.
789. Answered prayers.
790. Christmas music!
791. Netflix may not be the real thing, but it's still fun :)
792. Nights in with my love in our pajamas.
793. Quiet mornings with cup of coffee and my Bible.
794. Early Christmas presents.
795. Redeemer Christmas party.
796. Crossing things off my to do list!
797. A home to clean and prepare for guests.
798. A fun date night with my husband to see Christmas lights.
799. The provision of a good job.
800. Spending holidays with my brother.
801. Catching up with Laura.
802. Half days on Christmas Eve.
803. The anticipation of Christ's coming.
804. Christmas Eve service with our First Presbyterian friends.
805. The coming of the Messiah.
806. The glory of God revealed.
807. Good news of great joy for all people!
808. Salvation in Christ.
809. Joy in Christ.
810. Faith in Christ.
811. The ability to go home to see my family.
812. Road trips with my love.
813. Hugs from my parents.
814. A second round of Christmas with family.
815. Yummy food shared with family.
816. Time spend with family.
817. Hope in things not seen.
818. Hope in eternal things.
819. Christmas on the River Walk.
820. Remembering all that the Lord has done for us this year.
821. Coffee and conversation with my mom.
822. Safe travel back home to McKinney.
823. A quiet day at the office before the start of a new year.
824. Thankful for a good year.
825. Anticipation of a new year.