will the real Christians please stand up

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{a little comic relief}

I went out to lunch with a dear friend of mine this weekend. she is a friend that inspires me, a friend that encourages authenticity out of me, a girl who I need more of in my life. the topic of Christianity came up and the misconceptions that Christians often give. in fact we concluded that “Christians” (those who call themselves Christians) give real, authentic Christ followers a bad rep. these people leave a sour taste in the mouth of non-believers or even fellow believers. it’s a shame. actually, it’s a tragedy.

as humans we like to complicate. it’s a major fault of ours. while many things in the bible seem complex they are all built on the simplicity of one thing. love god and love others.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another 1 John 4:7-21

building our lives on this simple truth is what God is asking of us. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. it doesn’t get any more simple than that. this is what being a Christian is. we are not here to judge. we are not here to make the rules. they have already been made. we are here to show the love of Jesus Christ. we are here to be the hands and feet of our father. stick to the simplicity of this truth. if you are ever in doubt of what your beliefs should be, how you should handle a situation, how to treat someone, look to his word. his word is clear. his word is life. his word is love.

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Do More of What Makes You Happy

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when I move back home for these summer months there is always a time period where I need to get back into my groove. I need time to find my place, find what I enjoy doing, and start doing them! I have found my groove, I have found my place, and I need to start doing more of what makes me happy. because I’ll let you in on a little secret, being happy is good for the soul. real good.

last summer I made a Summer Wishlist/To-Do List, full of new things I wanted to try, goals, and adventures – things that make me happy but that I often times don’t give time for. to say I failed at accomplishing these things would be an understatement. but I don’t like failing at things(who does), so I thought I would give this whole summer wish list another go. My thought process was that if I put my list up on this blog it would be a way to keep me accountable.  {We’ll see how this goes}

without further ado …

Summer Pursuit to Happiness

1. read 2 books a month. I love to read, and recently got a kindle. it is one of my favorite ways to end a night and I want to make sure I’m setting aside time to do this.

2. go camping. we are hopefully taking a big camping trip this summer, so I may have cheated with putting this one on the list. oops.

3. visit my cousins in North Carolina. this is another cheat. please forgive. my mom and I are currently planning a trip to visit my cousin Heather and her family this summer. Heather has always been like a big sister to me and I wish we lived closer so we could do more together.

4. attend a country concert. Ever since I was in high school I have been a HUGE Rascal Flatts fan. Like, know every word to every song, kinda fan. going to one of his concerts would be ideal! where I’m from, country concerts are a big deal and happen fairly often. I have never been! and this is about to change, this summer.

5. tie-dye some stuff. or everything in sight. I do this every summer. I. love. tie. dying.

6. refashion 4 pieces of clothing. my sewing machine that I got for Christmas is needing some serious loving. so I intend to give it to her. 

7. go fishing. I feel as though summer isn’t complete until you’ve caught some fishies at least once.

8. clean my entire closet. {yikes} seriously, this needs to be done. I have clothes bursting at the seams. and it’s a walk in closet. and I have just donated 4 bags. jeesh. this is a must.

9. paint my nails weekly. I rarely feel put together. in fact, most days I feel rushed to get ready, my rooms a mess(see #8), and I have to wear a uniform to work. you get the picture. but for some odd reason, if my nails look nice- I feel nice. weird correlation, I know. but I’m going with it. and if something as simple as throwing a few coats of polish helps this girl feel a whole lot more put together, then I am going to do my darndest to keep it up.

10. get good at tennis. because right now, I don’t even know how to keep a constant volley.

11. utilize my Pinterest boards on a regular basis. I LOVE PINTEREST. it is inspiration when you’re all out of ideas, it is a cook book when you don’t have one near by, it is full of dreams when you feel stuck, you get the idea. I pin so many awesome ideas and I want to begin to put them to use!

12. practice my golf swing. a new hobby, and the competitive girl in me loves to show her face. so naturally I need to get out there a kick some golf butt.

13. go hiking. hiking is something I do with jake. but since he isn’t here for the summer, I want to tackle a mountain on my own. and once I pick which one, I’ll let you know. stay tuned.

14. bike for 10 miles. biking has always intimidated me. Jake’s brother is an incredible biker and bikes roughly 20-30 miles a day. I have been slightly inspired by him. my goal is much smaller, but is something I want to accomplish.

15. be an encouragement/workout buddy for my momma. while I have workout goals of my own for this summer, my main goal is to be an encourager for my mom. she usually works out by herself, and I love being able to provide some company and a boost of encouragement for her.

16. go to the drive-in movies. we have a place close to us that I’ve been to a few times. my thought was to go with jake, any wedding planner fans? the scene at the movie on the lawn is probably one of my favorites from the movie. so romantic! but since he’s in England, we’ll have to do a girls outing.

I often times get to the end of the summer and kick myself for not doing more of what I wanted to. these months just fly by so quickly. I’m hoping that this list will help and that I am able to look back and continually check things off and keep myself accountable. don’t hesitate to give me a nudge and keep me in line. I need it sometimes.

lists work for me. give them a try. they could help you accomplish some things on your wish list and also help to create some new memories this summer. I promise to document my progress and I hope you all do the same. share some things on your list – I might need to add them to mine!

life lately

it’s been awhile. awhile since I’ve posted, and its been far too long since I’ve felt like I have had something good enough to say. I don’t want to waste this space. ever. but something I’ve realized through this month of not posting is that creativity is good and creativity is needed. when my creative juices aren’t flowing, something is not right.

this is a creative outlet for me and something I enjoy doing. I’ve missed this little blog of mine.

life has been crazy lately. I moved back home, started my summer job, my best friend is getting married this weekend, and oh yea my boyfriend is leaving for England in 4 days. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed to say the least. overwhelmed with emotions, overwhelmed with responsibility, overwhelmed with life.

this past weekend was my last weekend with Jake before I have to say goodbye for 2 months. he was given an amazing opportunity to play soccer for an academy in England. During these 2 months he will not only have the opportunity to improve himself as a player (playing competitively and looked at by recruits!) but will also be serving in a missions capacity. This academy teams up with local churches to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through soccer and I could not be more excited to see all that God has planned for Jake this summer.

through all of my excitement for him, I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me. 2 months without my best friend, my partner, my boyfriend. these last few weeks there was a constant battle in my mind between being so excited for him and being sad myself.

this weekend was difficult. it was a weekend full of fun and adventure. but also a weekend full of emotions.

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on Sunday we got the opportunity to go Kayaking on the Delaware river with a few of Jake’s good friends. we had a blast, and it was the perfect way to spend a hot, sunny day.

the Delaware river is not an easy body of water to take on. it is known for being challenging. there are rocks that hide under the rough waters and the river is considered pretty dangerous. but it is also calm and relaxing and breathtakingly beautiful. water was pouring into our kayaks, I got stuck between rocks, and I was terrified. rocks would come out of no where, taking me completely by surprise, and at times I thought I might tip. but the rough sections never lasted too long and we were in calmer waters in no time.

I found myself craving those rough waters. because once I was through them I felt brave. accomplished. challenged.

to risk sounding extremely lame; life is like that. life is challenging, unexpected, terrifying, and dangerous. without these times we would stay the same. we wouldn’t be stretched or challenged. and it is in these times that we grow the most.

life is also breathtakingly beautiful. full of love, full of adventure, full of joy.

and as I leaned back in my kayak as the sun beat down on me I realized that I can’t appreciate the calm, breathtakingly beautiful times without the challenging, sometimes dangerous experiences. 

these next few months will challenge Jake and I. They will force us to do things apart, something we have no experience with. we will experience fear, loneliness, and sadness. these next few months will stretch us in ways we haven’t been stretched before. but this is also an opportunity for us to grow.

and once these 2 months are over we will feel brave. accomplished. challenged.

and I will be so ready to see my man.

Easter Weekend

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Easter is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a weekend celebrating the Risen King! But it’s also a weekend to spend with family. and lately I have been treasuring the time with them even more. the Lord blessed me with an incredible earthly family, and my time with them is never long enough.

Jake and I traveled to my house late Thursday night. a long trip was rewarded with sweet hugs from the people I love the most!

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{my mom is so creative}

Friday was the good Friday service at our church and we attended as a family.

Saturday was a girls day full of shopping, we can’t help ourselves. and the night ended with a little competitive backgammon with my dad. I can proudly say I finally kicked his butt.

Easter Sunday was quite the day. We celebrated Jesus all morning, while wearing our matching outfits (the boys get embarrassed). we have this tradition. every year my mom chooses a color and that is our theme for our Easter outfits. clearly, this year was pink. an Easter egg hunt is always apart of out traditions, it is just a little different now that we are all grown. there was hip-checking, stealing, and tackling. that’s what happens when the eggs are no longer filled with candy, but now money.

Easter dinner was delicious and reminded me just how much I missed my moms cooking. we gathered around the table and enjoyed a spread of ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, asparagus, bruschetta, cauliflower. it was delicious.

the afternoon ended on the front porch, enjoying the mini cheesecakes my mom made. it was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

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