Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blogger Spotlight

Girls-I have to introuce you to my sweet friend, Karissa. She blogs over at The Start of the Shaws and it seriously is my favorite read. I am lucky enough to not only be blogging besties with this girl, but also real life friends.

We met at work in November 2012, right after I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Life was sort of dark for me in that season, I was struggling health wise but that overflowed into all areas of my life including my work life. I know that God sent Karissa to our office for the short period of time to be a light in my life because she really was. I am so thankful to have met her, and to be her friend.

Her blog is so cute, she is so stylish and blogs about her fun little life with her hubby Krieg. Recently she got a new job, they adopted a dog, and just bought a house. She also puts together thrifty, adorable outfits for cheap that she shares on the blog. CHECK HER OUT!

Karissa Rae Shaw

Tell us a little bit about you: Hi friends! My name is Karissa, 23, born and raised in Boise, Idaho. I've been married to the cutest guy I know since August 3, 2012. I love my sweet husband Krieg, our American Eskimo Stanley, a good deal, Starbucks, big hair, and fashion.

Tell us a little bit about your blog: My blog, The Start of the Shaw's is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, so I like to call it a 'lifestyle' blog. Mostly I write about my life, the joys and trials of being a newlywed, with a little bit of DIY, recipes, and outfit posts tossed in the middle.
What inspired you to start it? I've always wanted to journal. It's something I've started a million times but could never seem to stick with. I started blogging as a way to keep up and connect with a few friends in my life, and I wanted to be able to document memories of our first year of marriage. It's been such a great way to meet new people and connect with others who share the same feelings and challenges I have faced. I love being a part of the blogger network.

What is your favorite thing to write about? I love to do outfit posts. Consignment shopping is one of my favorite past times and I love to be able to feature a cute outfit that I put together for a great price!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a blog? Be consistent! Start blogging and stick with it. Find something, or several things, that you enjoy writing about and share them as often as you can.
When you're not blogging, where can we find you? As of right now, you can find me working on the lawn of my 'almost' home, at a home decor store spending money, playing Scrabble with my main man Krieg, eating too many carbs at book club, or training for my 5k with Brittany!

Go hop on over to Karissa's Blog, and give her some love!!
Instagram: Karissaraeshaw

Monday, May 27, 2013

Miscellaneous Memorial Monday

Can I just get an AMEN for Mondays off from work? Pure joy. I just want to take a quick second to thank those who have served our country, both in the past and present. Thankful for the men and women in the armed forces who sacrifice so we don't have to. Also just a big hug for the families they have to leave behind to protect our freedom.

Today I am linking up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters for Miscellaneous Monday!

  miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Saturday morning Ronnie took me to our favorite coffee shop for coffee and breakfast. 
Please don't judge me for that huge pile of biscuits and gravy. 
Worth it.

Going to coffee shops is easily my favorite date with this guy.

Again, making bad decisions, but here, it was bagel sandwhiches.
Bring on the carbs.

I reedeemed myself somewhat this morning, by running 3 miles.
This girl is no longer "sidelined" from running!

This sums up our weekend, and our life pretty much.
Looking at houses and not finding our dream home.
Or, finding our dream home, but it is 10 other people's dream home
and there are already multiple offers on it.

I'm about to head out the door to the grocery store to stock my fridge with healthy like foods.
I don't even want to talk about what else I had to eat this weekend.
Cheeseburgers, cake pops, and pizza may or may not be on that list.

Happy Monday, friends! Tomorrow I am going to introduce you 
to my favorite blogging friend and real life friend/running partner. 
She's a real treat! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday to all of my lovely readers, and a special hello to those of you here from The Marvelous Flight of Cara. I am so happy she invited me to join her in her Tiffany's Giveaway. If you haven't checked it out, hop on over to Cara's blog and enter to win a 200 giftcard to Tiffanys! I hope you stick around!

I confess...that although I had that well planned out meal plan full of healthy, nutritious dinners for every night of the week, I have had ramen noodles for dinner twice. Please don't judge me. My life is hard. (See below)

I confess...that we have started the process of searching for our first home to buy (to live in together once we're married) and boy, has my lack of patience become evident. It is a JUNGLE out there in the real estate market.

I confess...that I have too expensive of taste. We keep falling in love with homes that are just a little over that budget. "Hi, do you want to come over to my pretty new house? I couldn't afford furniture and don't have any food or drinks to serve you, but you can admire our pretty floors and cabinets?" That will be our life if I don't lower my standards just a tad.

I confess...that I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist last night for the first time in years. YEARS my friends. It wasn't pretty. I got reprimanded for not flossing enough, so you bet your happy self I flossed this morning.

I confess...that I have a lot of life things to catch up on this weekend because all I've been doing every day after work is house shopping, but I really just want to lay at my apartment pool and get a tan.

I confess...that I wasn't supposed to have coffee today because I got my teeth whitened at the dentist and here I am , sipping on my normal Starbucks latte at my desk. I have a straw though, that helps, right?

I confess...that I haven't ran since Tuesday and need to get my booty out for a little jog...to burn off those ramen noodles and daily lemon cake pops I've been indulging in.

I confess...that I am all for the just say no to skin cancer campaign, but this girl needs a real tan. This self tan in a bottle stuff isn't working out for me.
Happy Friday, I hope you all have a long weekend and spend it doing something great!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tips for Beginner Runners

I have ran twice this week, two days in a row! Can we all just celebrate that for a minute? I ran two miles both Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday my friend Karissa joined me and my run was so much more enjoyable. I love running wtih friends, chatting about life, and motivating each other to keep going. We are running the Color Me Ran 5k on June 22, so we have 30 days to be 5k ready!

Seriously, I can't tell you enough how excited I am to finally be feeling well enough to run again, to be able to run two days in a row, to be running consistently again. Running has been what I do for the past few years. When I first got sick and had to give up running, I honestly felt like I lost a little piece of me. Running again, albeit it slow and less miles is just such a blessing in my life!

I wanted to share some tips for beginner runners. Heres a little beginners guide to running. I am no expert, but I have learned some things. I've ran three half marathons, a handful of 5ks and 10ks, and in 2011 even ran 100 miles a month for all 12 months! Right now though I am slowly easing back into running, and having to follow my own guide to running for beginners ;)

Fit For Life Half Marathon July 2012

1. Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Your shoes are important. I recommend going to a running store and getting fitted for a pair because typically, you go up a half size at least in running shoes. I spent the first year of my running life in shoes too small, and I lost toenails all the time. Real attractive. Go spend the extra money on a GOOD pair of shoes. Your feet will thank you, but so will your legs, hips, back, etc.

Christmas 10k in December 2011 with my sweet, missed friend Adriana

2. Pick a beginning running plan-and stick to it. I used Couch to 5k when I started running. Let me get real here, in 2010 when I decided to start running, I couldn't even run one mile without walking. Don't let that discourage you. In 8 weeks I ran a 5k without a walk break, and a few months later, I ran a half marathon. There are so many plans out there. If you are a true beginner, I recommend Couch to 5k, but Runners World also has a similar 8 Week Running Plan.

After a run up table rock with my sweet dog Diesel. I miss him SO much.

3. Plan your workouts. Literally, schedule them in your planner, your iPhone, your desk calendar, etc. Print out your running plan, cross each workout off. There are days, like Wednesdays that aren't good for me to run. I work early, but have to be at youth group that evening, so I always run out of time, even when I have good intentions. IYou have to plan for sucess or else other things might creep in and before you know it, it is Friday and you've missed every workout. Most of the beginning workouts just have you running about 3 days a week, 20-25 minutes each session, so pick three days, and stick to those days!

4.Know that some runs are going to be better than others. A couple weeks ago, I had this amazing run where I just ran faster and farther than I had in months. I don't know if the stars were aligned just right, or if I was well rested or well hydrated, but I felt so great. Then three days later, I went out again, and barely made it through my run. I walked about 6 times instead of one. I struggled. I was frustrated. Sometimes you think that if you reach one distance one time, you should be able to do that forever and ever amen. Wrong. Some days are just not good days. Don't give up. Keep running, keep pushing yourself, and know that tomorrow will be better.
Fond memories of this race, we had such a big crowd of friends and family here to cheer us on

5. Stay hydrated. Seriously, water water water!!! You need water! It will help you SO much. Water is so important, and it makes all the difference in the world when you run. They have said that how much water you drink today will effect your run tomorrow. I know that one the afernoons that I am planning on running, I really try and up my water intake, and limit my coffee/soda that day. And especially in the hours before, I make sure I'm constantly sipping on water. I know when I've had enough water or not when I run. It makes a difference. Drink your water all the time, but especially when you have a run planned that day!

Diesel knows how important it is to stay hydrated

6. Pick the time of day that works for YOU. You guys, I've ALWAYS wanted to be a morning runner. I've had dreams of waking up early, getting a good run in, coming home and enjoying a hot shower and cup of coffee before starting my day but it almost never works out like that for me. On the off chance I can drag myself out of bed, I struggle through my morning runs. They just are hard for me, maybe I am not fully awake or maybe I haven't had enough food/caffeine but I'm pretty much hopeless in the mornings. I believe you can probably train your body to do anything-but I have much better runs in the afternoons or evenings. So thats when I run. You morning runners, I am jealous of you. Tell me your tricks. Until then, you'll find me running after work even if that means its 100 degrees out in the summer.

7.Set a Goal: I definitely recommend signing yourself up for a 5k race. If you've never ran a minute in your life, set that race 2-3 months out. If you are fairly active, but just starting to run, you can probably set it sooner. This is what keeps me running sometimes, knowing I have a race I paid for, a time to beat, a finish line to cross. Maybe its my pride, but I don't want to blow it at a race because I didn't train properly. Set a goal! Karrisa and I are running the Color Me Ran in June, and that is DEFINITELY keeping me motivated!

Just because I miss my old running buddy!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A few favorite posts

I haven't been blogging over here too long, but I do have a few favorite posts that I've shared in the last few months. I want this blog to be a real, authentic place that I can share little moments about my life, how I am chosing joy despite my circumstances, a place of gratitude and thankfulness, and a little space on the internet that glorifies Christ.

Here are some of my favies:

I shared why my boyfriend and I aren't kissing until our wedding day: I have a confession

I shared our story of how we tweeted Kip Moore like crazy people and ended up winning tickets and meet and greets to his concert: That Time I Blew Up Kip Moores Twitter Feed

For the Blog Every Day in May Challenge, I educated on one thing I know for sure: God Isn't Mad At You

I wrote a post for all you girls who love a man, but aren't quite married yet: How To Pray for Your Boyfriend

Thats all for today, lovelies!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Life is Hard, but God is Beautiful

Something I am currently struggling with?

Ask me this on the wrong day, and my list of things I am NOT struggling with will be much shorter. Ask me this on a day that I am drowning in to-dos at work, my joints are aching, and my RA fatigue is hindering more than just my energy level. One simple truth that I know to be true: Life is hard, but God is beautiful.

Life is hard, isn't it? In the midst of this broken world, we face the consequences of sin and destruction everywhere we turn. The Boston bombings, the tornados in Oklahoma, abortion and babies going to heaven too soon, sex trafficking and just plain selfishness of ourselves and those around us. Life is hard. It is ugly, and it can be messy. But God is good in spite of all of this, He can bring beauty from the scariest, darkest place.

I am struggling currently with how to do it all. Seriously, someone share with me how you do it all, fit it all in! I work all day, and sometimes getting dinner on the table seems as impossible as climbing Mt. Everest. How do I succeed at work, and cook myself healthy meals? How do I balance my time in the evenings between working out, doing my school work, serving in youth ministry, keeping my house clean, spending time with my boyfriend, having that much needed girl time, loving my family, carving out me time, and consistently spending time in the word and prayer?

I've shared some of my recent struggles with surrender, with trusting God's plan, with living with a chronic disease, but...the day to day struggles can be hard too.

But the beauty in all of this is I don't have to do it all. I don't have to rely just on my own strength to do this. Do I have an excuse to just eat out every night because I am too tired? No. I need to plan ahead, be prepared with meal plans and groceries so after work, I don't have to do the hard work of thinking what to cook, and then making sure I have the right groceries.

Does it mean I can slack on school because I just need some "me time?" No! School is a priority in my life, but I can make it easier on myself by looking at my assignments and workload, and scheduling time for studying each week. These things are important to me, doing well in school, eating right, exercising, etc is important for my mental health.

I am still trying to find the balance, learning what it looks like to "do it all" and what it looks like to take a break. Learning how to prioritize, and manage my time better. Learning what things can wait til tomorrow, and what I just need to make time for a little each day in order to avoid being overwhelmed by it all at once. Like I was yesterday when I was sick with the flu and realized I had 3 assignments due that night!

Asking for help, combining some have to do things with friends or my boyfriend, and asking God for him to send his strength are all ways I am overcoming this "do it all" mentality. I am still figuring this out, and I suppose its something that will always be somewhat of a challenge for me, no matter what season I am at in life. I know in my heart I am more than capable of being a career woman, working towards my masters, serving in ministry, loving my boyfriend, friends and family, and taking care of myself. God has called me to these things in this season, and I know He has equipped me as well.

Do you have any advice for trying to do it all?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Missing blogger & a Meal Plan

I have slacked on this whole "Blog Every Day in May" Challenge, because blogging every day is just hard! Can we just rename it "Blog A Lot of Days in May?"

I've had a pretty quiet weekend, mostly because I've been feeling a little under the weather the past couple of days. I was actually supposed to work on today, but I went to bed early Saturday evening with a migraine and an upset stomach, and I was feeling really nauseous and sick when I woke up this morning.

I think my body was worn down Thursday evening, after working nine days in a row. I am on Enbrel and Methotrexate to manage my Rheumatoid Arthritis, both of them are immune-suppressants so I am supposed to avoid taking them when I am not feeling well. I took them both Friday morning and felt okay, but by Saturday afternoon, I was in bed feeling crappy.

I forget sometimes that having Rheumatoid Arthritis is more than aching joints, that though my medications help manage my pain, that they do still comprise my health by suppressing my immune system and lowers my body's ability to fight off illnesses, viruses, and bugs.

One thing that I can do to keep my immune system working as well as possible in my circumstances is to make sure I am giving myself the proper nutrition. To fuel my body with good, clean food and avoid toxins, processed sugars, etc.

Something I haven't been as careful and diligent about is my eating habits, and I wonder if that has anything to do with whatever I've caught. I made up a mean plan for the week to make sure I am getting the proper nutrition and avoiding things like soda and white flour carbs.

I will work on getting recipes up for all of these yummy dishes throughout the week. Hopefully this week having my meals planned out for me I will make better decisions and eat food that is going to help me stay healthy. 

What is on your meal plan this week?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yet I Want Your Will, Not Mine

Recently, I heard a thought about surrender that sucker-punched me with conviction.

It went something along the lines of you know you are surrendered to God's will when you trust God to work things out versus trying to manipulate, force your own agenda, or control situations.

Yikes. You guys, I am struggling with surrender. I am struggling trusting that God's plan for my life is better than the plan I have worked out so nicely in my head of how things are supposed to go. I just have these life plans you know? Those plans that you have worked out so perfectly in your head? And when things aren't going according to plan, I sort of, possibly just lose it.

Sometimes I want to ask God, "What about me? When is it my turn?" I look around at people that I think have everything, and get stuck in the comparison trap. I feel so convicted that every time I ask God "Why don't I have this? When is it my turn for this?" I am basically telling him that what He HAS blessed me with isn't good enough. That His son's death on the cross that saved my life and set me free isn't enough.

True surrender says "God if this season, trial, pain, illness, loneliness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose in my life, or someone else's life, then I am in. I consider it a blessing." True surrender is trusting God, when you don't see what He is doing, or how things might work out for the good. True surrender is trusting His word. His word that says his plans for us are good and perfect, that everything works out for the good of those who love him, that He will never leave us or forsake us. That He alone is enough for us.

True surrender is responding like Jesus. Jesus surrendered Himself to his Father the night before his crucifixion and prayed "Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." Mark 14:36 True surrender is work, friends. I've surrendered a circumstance to God so many times I lost count. Sometimes, surrender is a moment by moment thing for me. We are self-centered sinners who need the grace of a loving God.

Yet I want your will, not mine. 

When I am doubting God's plan, when I become overwhelmed with anxiety or worry about a circumstance in my life, when my plans aren't being fulfilled the way I'd hoped, I am going to chose four words: Lord, I trust you.

Lord, change my heart to desire your will instead of mine. Lord I pray for your forgiveness for my self-centeredness, my selfishness, my lack of faith. Give me a heart full of trust in your goodness.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy List

Ten things that make me happy? Easy!

1. A good cup of coffee-especially shared with my man or a girfriend
2. Being in the SUN! I love laying out, hiking, running, playing tennis, picnics, walks, etc. I love being outside in the sun.
3. Fresh flowers-especially peonies and lillies
4. A clean house-especially when I don't have to clean it
5. The colors pink and mint together
6. Babies and puppies-who doesn't love babies and puppies?
7. Just because surprises
8. Reading a good book
9.Baked goods-baking them and eating them
10. Knowing I'm loved by Jesus.

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to Pray for your Boyfriend

I believe in the power of prayer, and I think that praying for the people we love is so important, in our spiritual walk as well as those that we pray for. I feel so loved when someone prays for me, prays over me, or just shoots me a text or e-mail letting me know they are praying for me.

I've noticed that there are a lot of "How to Pray" guides. How to pray for your future husband, how to pray for your husband, etc. But something that is near to my heart is praying for my boyfriend. I want to talk to you girls who aren't quite single, but you aren't married either. You girls who are dating a man seriously, can see yourself marrying him someday, but just aren't to that season yet.

I pray for Ronnie often, and though the specifics I pray for him about differ depending on what is going on in His and our life, I have found that I mostly pray for his walk with the Lord, I pray for his leadership, I pray for his obedience, and I pray for him to stand against temptations of the world. I also pray that I would demonstrate Christ's love to Him, that I would offer him grace, and that I would display the fruits of the spirit to Him. I pray that He feels respected and honored as a man and the leader of our relationship.

If you are wondering how to pray for your boyfriend, I would recommend praying for these things:

1. Pray for your boyfriend's walk with the Lord. Pray that the Lord is pursuing His heart, that your boyfriend is staying close to His loving voice, pray that He is desiring growth in his relationship and pursues closeness with the Lord. Remember the the Bible tells us to not be unequally yoked, which means to not be on the same level spiritually as the person you are dating.

2. Pray for his leadership qualities. Although you may not be married yet, pray that the Lord is growing your boyfriend in this area. Christ said that the husband is the head of the wife, and therefore will lead your family. He should be your spiritual leader one day when you two are married, one who you trust and respect. Pray for him to lead you well, to follow Christ in wherever He may call you as a couple. Pray that he learns what it means to be a Godly leader before you two are married so he can lead you in the way Christ would desire when you are married.

3.Pray for obedience. Sometimes God asks us to do hard things. Sometimes God calls us into something we never planned for ourselves. I encourage you to pray for your boyfriend to have an obedient heart, to listen when God speaks, to move when God calls him to move. No matter what God asks of us, whether its big or small, pray that your boyfriend is willing to follow Christ first and foremost.

4.Pray for strength against temptations. Pray that he can be a man who doesn't fall for what the world says is okay, but for what God's word says. We live in a broken, fallen world where we are constantly tempted by sin. Jesus was tempted, although He never sinned. As humans, we aren't perfect, and we need to be praying for protection and a sound mind and heart against sin. Pray that your man lives a life to glorify and please Christ.

The way I pray for Ronnie has changed throughout our time we've been dating, as has the way we pray together as a couple. I want to encourage you if you don't pray for your boyfriend to try it out. You don't have to pray for him out loud in his presence, in fact, 9 times of out 10, I don't pray for Ronnie when I am actually with him. I typically pray for him at night before I go to bed, or in the mornings when I do my devotionals and quiet time.

You can tell your boyfriend you're praying for him if you want, and if you're comfortable, you can ask him how you can be praying for him. If you aren't comfortable sharing that yet, that is okay. God hears your prayers, and prayer changes more than just the person you are praying for. Try it out.

If you pray for your boyfriend, what do you pray for? If you're married or engaged, tell me about how your prayers have changed from when you were dating. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

10 Words

Today's challenge: Sell yourself in ten words or less. 

I thought I would turn my bloggy over to my sweet boyfriend. To be honest, I expected him to laugh my request for him to "guest post" on my blog, but he surprised me and agreed to it with a happy heart. 

Hello to all Brittany's blogging friends! It is my pleasure to describe Brittany in 10 words. First of all let me just say, she is THE most incredible woman I've ever met! Even more incredible than my mother which is saying a lot since I am a momma's boy at heart! Anyway here we go... (these are in no specific order) 

-hard working (full time job & working on a masters degree) 
-patient (especially with me because I'll be honest I'm a pain in the ass) 
-Christlike (she constantly shows me more of him & less of her) 
-courageous (she's not afraid to ask me tough questions or the people around her) 

I feel like I could go on & on but that's all for now folks. 

Well, that definitely made my little heart happy. Sorry he said ass. ;)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blogging Police

Hi friends, please don't call the blogging police on me because I am the worst "Blog Every Day" participant! I missed things like: what I do (work), what I am afraid of (snakes and being kidnapped and divorce), and was about to miss capturing a little moment of my day because really, who wants to see a picture of me working?

Oh who am I kidding, of course you do.

My desk in its current state. Also, that is a physical "like" on the print
 hanging on my wall from a fellow coworker. Win.

This is my desk currently. It is so messy and has so much to do in that pile that it is currently giving me some anxiety. My day has consisted of four interviews, one new employee orientation, and I have a meeting that is supposed to start any minute, plus one more interview at the end of my day. Our companys turnover rate is crazy high right now, and I'm struggling to keep us fully staffed!

Not to mention that stack of files and paperwork I need to find time for. But alas, here I am, blogging away.

Maybe I will get some of this stuff done as I will be working for the next 9 days without a day off!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Keep Running the Race that is Set Before You

I interrupt regular programing to tell you guys something...I ran 2 miles tonight! I ran 2 miles! I took one little walk break between those two miles. I haven't ran a mile straight for over 6 months.

After my last half marathon- July 2012

On Saturday morning, I went out for a run, but I only ran .3 miles before I took a walk break. I continued the walk/run pattern for about 25 minutes, and today, I just needed to get out of my head, so I laced up my shoes and turned on some worship music, and off I went.

Around the time I heard the lyrics "Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power" I looked at my phone and realized I had just ran a mile. I started crying because I remember the fear and hopelessness I felt when I first got sick and thought I may never run again. I remember almost throwing away a box of running clothes because I was in so much pain, the idea of running seemed as crazy as expecting pigs to fly. I remember crying outside my apartment because my hands hurt so bad I couldn't turn my doorknob.

Our God IS the Healer. He is so good and gracious, even when I run from Him and His love, He is with me. Even when I don't feel worthy of Him, he wants me. When I am faithless, full of fear and doubt, He is faithful.

At the beginning of the year, I set some goals.
One of them was to manage my RA without steroids. CHECK!
Another of them was to run a half marathon. Just three weeks ago, I almost deleted this off my 2013 dreams and plans Note on my Mac. But after today-I think that this is a real possibility. I am going to shoot for the moon, dream big, and work hard.

Thankful for a God who meets us where we are, but never leaves us where He found us.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My sweetest bloggy friend

Blog Every Day in May, Day 5: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don't have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member
Meet Karissa.

Karissa is my favorite blogging friend, but she is also one of my favorite real life friends.
God brought this sweet, sassy, ray of sunshine into my life just six months ago,
and she has quickly become one of my dearest friend.

We met at work in a really dark season of my life.
She was hired in my office about the time I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis,
and work was a real struggle for many reasons.
She literally was a bright spot in my days and still makes my life a little sweeter.

Karissa and I in our sweet work uniforms. Blue polos and khaki pants will be the death of me
Anyway, Karissa has moved on to bigger and better things in the career world,
but she's still a very important part of my life!

We e-mail from our now different work places every day,
and once I tried to send her this hilarious e-mail that only she would find funny,
but I sent it to my entire team, bosses included. Oops.

We are in our Tuesday night book club together,
and are even going to be bridesmaids in our friend Stacey's wedding this summer.

This girl is just a real peach.
She always can make me laugh, she is a voice of reason in my life, she has great marriage and relationship wisdom because shes the only one of us gals that is married so far, she is a total fashionista, even her mom is great! Her mom gave our entire book club "Book Worm" lottery tickets one day to help us "pay for our weddings."
(Yes, I am planning my wedding. No I am not engaged yet. What?)

Karissa and her hubby, Krieg. I think he's pretty great too.

You should hop on over to my friend Karissa's blog and learn about her sweet life.
Really, I love this girl!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Favorite Quote

Blog Everyday in May, Day 4

Favorite Quote

Wait, I just get ONE? I love quotes! I have so many favies!

Does a favorite scripture count as a favorite quote? I have a lot of favorite verses from the bible, but here are three of my favorites.

Happy Saturday, Friends!
2 Corinthians 12:9

Fruit of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22-23
Its a daily struggle for me to display these fruits . Its easy to display the fruits of the spirit when you're in a good mood, having a great day, and people are loving you. But for me, when I am tired, grumpy, or people are irritating...I struggle bearing fruit. Praying daily to invite the spirit into my heart and give me the power to display these to everyone I come in contact with.

2 Timothy 1:7

Friday, May 3, 2013


Day Three: Something that makes me uncomfortable.

There are two things in my life that make me very uncomfortable, but are things that I want to continue to pursue to get better at.

1. Confrontation-I am much more of a "peace keeper" than a "peace maker". I know that communication is so important in relationships with friends, family, and my boyfriend, but I get so nervous about confronting people, even in a loving way. I often let things go and never address them, but that isn't always healthy because it can create bitterness in my heart as time goes by. It is something I want to be better about, but it definitely makes me super uncomfortable!

2. Not having a plan- This is a nice way to disguise my sin of being a control freak. But I thrive when my life is planned out, when I know whats coming next, and when. I like to be prepared, mentally, emotionally, and physically. God has been trying to show me that I don't need to plan out every detail of my life, because He is in control. HE has a wonderful plan for my life, more in store for me than I could ever plan out myself.

Other things that make me uncomfortable:

-socks on in bed
-people chewing with their mouths open
-my nail polish chipping
-the feeling of my legs being unshaven
-people standing too close to me

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Something I Know

Blog Everyday in May Challenge Day 2

Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

Good morning! I've been thinking about something I could teach my sweet followers, so I started thinking, what am I good at?
  • Sometimes I am good at loving people, but sometimes I am selfish and forget that whole "regard others as higher than yourself" part of the bible.
  • Sometimes I am good at eating healthy, but sometimes Chic Fila calls my name.
  • I am good at school, except for anything math and science related.
Okay, maybe I don't have any great ideas for "how to do xy & z well" ...But what do I know, that I want to share with you all?

That is easy. The one thing that I want to teach you, tell you, remind you of is this one simple, life changing, liberating truth: God isn't mad at you.

I was stuck in this wrong thinking for years. Years of my life I thought I had already "blown it", so why keep trying? I felt like I had let God down, myself down, my friends and family, and that I would never be right again. I felt ashamed of my mistakes, and because of that shame, felt like the only path I had left to walk was one of sin and more shame. I turned my back on God after one mistake, and although I believed in Him, I wasn't sure that he still believed in me. I wasn't sure that He even still loved me.

But I am here to tell you that God is a God of GRACE. Of Mercy. That you cannot outsin his love. It doesn't matter where you have been, or what you have done because God loves you and is pursuing you. Those years of my life that I was running from God, he was waiting for me with outstretched arms, waiting for me to run back into them. Waiting to wrap his arms of comfort, love, and peace around me and tell me "I forgive you. I love you."

It is never too late, you are NEVER too far gone, theres nothing you can do to make God love you less. There's no sin that he can't redeem. You are loved, my sweet friend. You are forgiven. God isn't mad at you. He hasn't given up on you. He is FIGHTING for you. I pray that if you are stuck in shame, regret, fear, or sin, that you just turn back to God and let his forgiveness and grace wash over you and make you new.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Better late than never!

I'm linking up with the Blog Everyday in May challenge and am going to share the story of my life so far in 250 words...ish.

I was born in Texas, moved to Germany, and settled in Idaho. I lived with my mom and dad until their divorce. My dad was in and out of my life. I knew he loved me, but just couldn't stay put in one place, moving often. He married a woman when I was 10 and my little brother was born afterwards, much to my delight. I always have loved kids, especially babies.

I lived with my mom and older brother, and my mom worked so hard to care and provide for us as a single mom. We went to church but didn't talk much about Jesus at home, and I don't remember praying as a family ever.

After my mom got remarried, I went to high school and was a cheerleader. I struggled with my weight and with an eating disorder for two years. I struggled with insecurity and never felt enough. Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, etc. I didn't walk with The Lord for a few years and it wasn't until I was in my early twenties I learned a life changing truth: God wasn't mad at me. I learned God was a God of grace.

God blessed me by bringing my wonderful boyfriend into my life in June of 2012 as well as a wonderful group of girl friends I had been praying for. Also in 2012 I landed a job in Human Resources and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and have had my faith tested and grown as I learned to lean on God and shine his light in the midst of my circumstances.