Wednesday, November 20, 2013

genuine love.

"Let love be genuine.  Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor." 
Romans 12 : 9-10

Let love be genuine.  Not love when you feel like it, or love when the other person loves you.  No, let it be genuine.  What is genuine love? What kind of love is worthy to be described as genuine, true, and honorable?  Let's look.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on it's own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 
1 Corinthians 13 : 4-7  

Wow.  To have what the Bible describes as genuine love would be amazing.  Imagine it.  Christ would always come first, tempers would never be lost, grudges would never be held, truth would be cherished, hope would flourish.  (And let's be honest, decisions would never be made.)  Life would be perfect.  And although that perfection will never be achieved due to our ever powerful sin nature, what is there to stop us from putting love first and striving towards the fulfillment of that perfect place?  So join me.  Let's put love first, being patient and kind, not being envious or boastful.  And what do you know?  Maybe someone else will catch on and together we can make this world a more lovely place.

found on Pinterest

*all Bible verses are ESV*

Monday, October 7, 2013

new post on the cooking blog!

I haven't posted on my cooking blog in a long time, but thanks to the encouragement of a dear friend I decided to pick it back up!  (well, she was actually teasing me for saying I would post, but then never doing it.)

Anyway, for some reason I think two blogs will be easy to handle even though I can hardly handle one. . . yep, that's how my mind works.

Please visit A Pat of Butter and a Rolling Pin!

Have a marvelous day!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Rejoice : to feel joy or great delight  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

To feel great delight.  To be filled to the brim with love and peace and passion for Christ.

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it be tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV

Although we experience trials and tears and heartbreaks throughout this life,  one day there will be no more tears.  Only praise and glory and honor.  And rejoicing.
When we have those hard days, where nothing seems to go right, there is always reason for rejoicing.

You are alive.

You are loved.

Tomorrow is a new day.  Don't continue carrying the burden and pain of yesterday.  Lay them at the feet of your Savior and rejoice!

Monday, June 10, 2013


do you ever feel alone?
do you feel like no matter how many people are around, they are nothing to the emptiness inside?
sometimes you just need someone to tell you it will all be ok.

let me do that for you.

everything is going to be ok.  maybe not today, maybe not next week, it may even take a really long time.
but it will happen.
it will happen if you trust God.  He is the One who stands tall even when storms rage and strong winds push you to the ground.
when He envelops you in His love there is nothing that can take you away.

He is with you.  He will always be with you.

"even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

so do me a favor.  be strong.  be strong for yourself, be strong for me.  set an example for those around you.

because you will never be alone.

Monday, April 29, 2013


She is twenty.

This gorgeous girl with her clear blue eyes and her sweet smile.
And her freckles.
I am so jealous.
She's my best friend, my inspiration, my partner in crime.

We've been together for ages, exploring and living, fighting, (of course) but always making up.  Things aren't nearly as exciting by yourself, right?

 We  love many of the same things, hiking, cooking, playing outside.
So those are the things we do together.

And we've always been super cool. . .

Well, she has.  I had some bad days. . . 

But, of all the things we love, laughing makes the top of the list.  I can think of countless situations, one of us having a problem or being in trouble, but always finding something to laugh about.  
She's like that.
Finding the good in every situation.  
{I have to help sometimes, but we are still human here.  :)}

So this year on her special day, my mother asked many of our friends to write something encouraging to Lillian, beautiful words for her to read over and over as the years go by.

On the morning of Lillian's special day, my family gathered around (with the addition of our amazing friend Olivia, who is practically family) to read to her the beautiful words from her friends.
It was lovely.
We cried.

And laughed.

Thank you to all who took the time to write something encouraging to my sister, who was truly touched by the evidence of so much love.
We get so caught up in our problems sometimes, so blinded by sin and sadness that we forget there are countless souls who love us for who we are.
And most of all that there is ONE who will always love us no matter what.
And that is what fills my heart with joy.

"Lilleyin, I wish you did not go.  I lov you so much." - Melissa Anne

". . .Lillian, when asked to write a note for you, I did so without hesitation.  The words came so easily.  I did not have to 'think of something nice to say.' That's because you are a wonderful person!  And I pray that God would bless you richly on your birthday and always!  Keep following God's direction in your life and cling tightly to Him always. . ."

"You always have a kind, positive, encouraging word.  You are thoughtful and friendly to those you meet.  You are quick to laugh and to share others' joys and sorrows.  You are a wonderful example for me to follow, and I thank you for that.  And Lillian, on top of being one of the most genuinely nice people I know, you are also one of the most beautiful girls I know. . . You are such a blessing to so many people, Lil!  Thank you for being such a wonderful friend.  Love you, sweet girl!"

My dearest Lillian,
It has come.  This day on which we gather to honor you and your lovely life.
I can't even begin to find the words to describe all that you mean to me.  You are so patient with me, especially when I don't deserve it (which, by the way, makes be feel especially terribly, and more like a lowly worm than anything else.)
But that is what I need.  A constant reminder of the attributes I know I need to possess, but so easily slip through my fingers.  You have a grasp on life.
Things don't seem to take you by surprise.  And even when they do, you somehow manage to keep your head and deal with them (well, most of the time).  You are a daily inspiration.  Watching you grow into a Godly young woman helped me realize the importance of growing in faith.  I was stuck in a rut of non-growth, but you helped pull me out, whether you knew it or not.  My goal was (and is) to grow up to be just like you, loved and appreciated by all.  You don't seem to see it, but people love you.  They love YOU.  For your sweet spirit and your quiet laugh.  For your continuing determination to show Christ's love, even when it does not seem to be wanted.  I hope you realize this as you read these notes, I did, just barely fighting back the tears.  I love you so much, my darling sister.  You keep me held together.  I don't know what I would do without you, and I pray I will never have to find out.  (Well now that I have finished this on a depressing note, I ought to think of something funny to say. . .so. . .I shall end with a Daily Odd
Compliment.  "Today, I gave myself a headache, trying to picture how someone would describe a jellyfish to a blind person.  And that's when I realized I shouldn't be left alone and I miss you."  He he he. . .)
Much Love,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

broken hearts

"Father, break my heart for what breaks Your's.
Give me open hands and open doors.
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
that my own little world is not about me."
My Own Little World - Matthew West 

We all have those days.  The ones where nothing seems to go right, when all you want to do is curl up in a little ball and cry.

When you feel like your heart is breaking.

You are human.  I am human.  We have emotions, feelings. . .we love. . .

And when everything seems to be going wrong, there is One who hears your cries, listens to your prayers, but most of all, He loves your heart.

He loves you.

Remember it if you are on top of the world, and when you are at your lowest.  When you are happy, and when you are sad.  Remember that He loves you always.

Because sometimes it takes a broken heart for true love to seep in.

Sometimes failure gets the best of you, knocks you down, tells you that you will never be good enough.  But don't believe it.  Get back up and move on.

You are strong enough. 

So, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

he loved

Living, He loved me.

Dying, He saved me.

Buried, He carried my sins far away.

Rising, He justified freely forever.

One day, He's coming, oh glorious day.

Lyrics from "Glorious Day" by Casting Crowns

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a snow day and a sick day

We don't get snow very often.  In fact, if ever a few flakes fall, people start going crazy.  Schools get delayed, traffic slows tremendously, and everyone rushes to the store to grab that gallon of milk and loaf of bread that is absolutely necessary for survival.  What if the power shut down?  Or the roads were closed? Or that light dusting of snow froze overnight and became deadly black ice?  Friends of ours hailing from Colorado found this extremely amusing, coming from a place where a few feet "isn't that bad."  Not to be mistaken however, I love snow.  The silent, flakes that swirls around, resting for a moment on your hair or sleeve, then melt away as quickly as they came.  But with cold weather and such come the sicknesses.  So, recently I've been using exorbitant amounts of tissues, listening  to my favorite songs over and over, and playing too many word games.  It's okay now and then though, right?

"The children outside all are laughing,
under the perfect skies the shapes and colors of the season
make me feel alive."
"There's an anchor that's pulling on my heart,
and it's deep in the water,
but it can't take me down."
"The dawn is fire bright
against the city lights.
The clouds are glowing now,
the moon is blacking out, is blacking out."

"If every building falls,
and all the stars fade,
we'll still be singing this song,
the one they can't take away."

"Wake up to the morning light,
wipe away the lonely night.
Let a brand new day wash over you."
 Song lyrics -
1. "Beautiful World" - Tim Myers
2. "Waking Life" - Schuyler Fisk
3. "Your Love is a Song" - Switchfoot
4. "Closer to Love" - Mat Kearney
5. "Hold On" - TobyMac

Monday, February 11, 2013


Seventeen years is a long time.  Having recently passed another milestone in my life, I have been mulling over the past years, my relationships with people, but mostly the ways I have grown and all the things I have learned.  And the good thing is, it never stops.  I am so blessed by the ability to constantly learn and apply the things I have learned, changing the way I view myself, the way I treat others, and ultimately the love I have for my Savior.

So here's to another year of:

Learning to spend more time outside, enjoying God's stunning creation.

Learning to really talk to people.  Not just skin deep, trivial, small talk kinda stuff, but heartfelt conversations where you laugh, and cry, and love each other.

Learning to keep climbing towards my goals, to shoot for the moon and land on a star, to follow my dreams.  And when the journey seems slow, pray and study the Scriptures to make sure my desires are aligned with God's word, and keep working, trusting God's will for my life.

Learning to spend more time with the people I love.  (Preferably while eating food that I love.  Like Thai Chicken Pizza.  Just sayin')

Learning to stand out. and not be afraid about what people think of me.

Especially when you look awesome like this chick.

And when you're wearing killer heels, everything is ok.  Even when that guy is staring at you like you're  insane.  You're not.

Learning to be silly.  I think I have this one down pat.  Life is short.

Learning to love fully and without restraint.  It's one of those things we can't live without.  And it's totally worth doing well.  When you treat someone with love, you are doing them (and yourself) one of the best favors I can think of.  Maybe they're hurting, or sad, or just having a bad day, but love can heal it all.  

Learning to think positively.   It really affects the way you act.

These awesome, gorgeous girls helped me understand the importance of being positive.
 And the importance of laughing more.   Like, all the time.   ;)

Learning to pray about everything.  Learning to give God everything.  All the honor, all the glory.  He deserves it.  I don't.

What are you learning?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why not try. . .

. . .a fishtail pinned up into the milkmaid?

My favorite tutorial for the milkmaid can be found here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

. . . his heart was filled with {love}. . .

"It was not for his own sin that the Father bruised the Son.  It was because he wanted to show us mercy.  He wanted to forgive and heal and save and rejoice over us with loud singing.  But he is righteous.  That means his heart was filled with a love for the infinite worth of his own glory.  But we were sinners.  And that means that our hearts were filled with God-belittling affections.  So to save sinners, and at the same time magnify the worth of his glory, God lays our sin on Jesus and abandons him to the shame and slaughter of the cross." 
- John Piper, The Pleasures of God

And he took it on himself gladly, in order to save such wretched sinners as ourselves.  There is much reason to rejoice, when we consider what has been done for us, and where we would be without it.
"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


(This was supposed to be posted yesterday, and you know you love pretending. . . thanks a bunch!)    

     Yesterday the question in my five year journal was "What is your most cherished memory from the past year?"  Thinking of this brought back so many lovely memories from the past year, (and some not so lovely ones,) that I had to share with you.  So, here's to a wonderful new year, and I hope and pray that it will bring me closer to the ultimate prize in my walk with the Lord.

Not to mention the fact that it gave me an excuse to go through all our pictures again. . . 

There were not very many pictures from January, because my grandfather passed away.  We had seen changes in his life, and after speaking with a close friend of his who had been privately counseling him in spiritual matters, we are confident that he is with the Lord.

In February we took a girls trip to Charlotte with my best friend and her mom.  Our birthdays are the 3rd and 4th, so we drove up, (got lost taking a "shortcut") and spent two days shopping, eating, laughing, visiting her family, and trying on killer heels and clothes we couldn't afford.

Keeping a straight face is very difficult.

Melissa "Annie Oakley" turned five in March and my mother turned fdsanoinjenj.  In case you were wondering, that is just another way of saying 29.

"Put 'em up!"

April is Lillian's birthday month, so we hosted a little "European Picnic" in the backyard with the fam.

Vegetables and hummus, meat, olives and feta, citrus rounds,  crackers and cheese,  and  rosemary artisan bread

 In May, we took a family trip to Virginia, visited Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, Monticello, Ashlawn Highland, and Polyface.

Statue of Thomas Jefferson in Yorktown.

I like doing hair.  People tell me I'm good.  Lillian makes fun of me.  She says I spend three hours doing my hair.  (Which is totally not true, just sayin'.)  Back in June was when I really started to do "fancy stuff."  

This was my first attempt.  I was really proud.  Of course, it fell out within a few hours, but I try to forget that part.

When we went to Williamsburg, I sewed a colonial outfit ensemble for myself.  (Lesson learned - summer heat + corset, long dress, and jacket + walking around all day is not fun.)  (Then again, having people ask directions and random questions is pretty neat.  And there was a lady who asked for a picture with us. . .) Anyway, in July, our church had a Father-Daughter Colonial Banquet, so, thankfully I already had a dress.  I tried to be period correct, but I ran out of time, and finished my corset with bobby pins.  Shhh, don't tell!

I got to be the "official colonial hairdresser," with some help from Nancy, my "official colonial hairdresser's assistant."

Ah, August.  I received this letter from a dear friend after a small incident with a  scared girl and a jack-in-the-box.  Which led to a little blood and a small scar, hardly visible anymore.  It was funny for me, and not so funny for the scared girl.  I did suggest climbing trees to her once and later she fell and had a concussion, though.  I guess we're pretty even, now.

Aren't those unicorns adorable?!?
We also went and rode rides at our county fair in August, which was too much fun not to mention.

I loved this ride.  It was like a hamster ball that rolled around and switched directions very roughly.  Lillian, on the other hand, did not care for it at all.  In fact, I was rather afraid she would lose the contents of her stomach onto me, but thankfully we hadn't eaten our funnel cake and fried cheesecake yet.

In September we went to the mountains with some friends, and enjoyed the beautiful mountain views.

Isn't the view spectacular?
Hold on,

There, that's better.  Oh, now I want to go back.  

October held our first (and only, unfortunately) camping trip of the year.  I posted about it here, so there's no use in boring you again, but I did re-edit this picture of my cousin and me. . .

There.  Aren't we so cute?  :)

Back in June, Lillian and I acted in a film produced by some friends of ours.  Actually, we met them during auditions, but a week spent in pretty much one room with no air conditioning, lots of bright lights, and about 12 people either makes good friends, or mortal enemies.  We're pretty much friends.  The movie premiered in November, so we took some girlfriends up to see it with us, and spent the day shopping before the movie.

Christina and me.  And Coffee.  (not pictured)

After the movie, we drove back to our house, had some other girls over, and watched Robin Hood until two in the morning.  And then stayed up a little later (*cough, cough* 6am)  talking.

And here's December, barely over, yet seems so far away.  (It's been a long day.)

Christmas has come and passed, as well as New Year's Eve, and now, on New Year's Day I have had the privilege of re-living the past year through pictures and precious memories.  I hope very much that this year will be as amazing and inspiring as the last.