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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Life as we know it...

... Are work day mornings rushing around, trying to get ready, pack lunches, take the dog out, etc. We always pause to kiss each other goodbye and give well wishes for the day.

... Has been full of surprises in just this year alone.

... Reminds us to slow down here and there when we get to going too much. We always try to make time to just sit and be still.

... Is made up of afternoons spent walking our yard and playing with Manny. We've been watching him closely over these last few months to see how he would handle being an only pup. We're convinced he's happy as a clam knowing that he gets our full attention and snuggles.

... Has made us really happy despite the down moments. God has walked with us in some of our scariest, darkest times and we know He will continually walk with us in the days to come.

Life as we know it is sweet and wonderful, full of love and happenings. Life as we know it, is GLORIOUS.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Oh the places {WE} will go

Happy Monday morning folks! I know, I know. It's Monday. But still, it's the start of a new week with new adventures. That can't be too bad, right? Now that 4th of July has passed, I'm pretty much ready for Fall weather to be here. I'm ready for the boots and scarves, cool mornings, and the holidays that come with the Fall season. It's going to be a good Fall, ya'll!

Facebook decided to lovingly remind me of the time that Hunter and I traveled to Honduras for mission work and talk about memories flooding back. 

Look at those little babies! And that view! It got me thinking about all the adventures we've been on over the last 6+ years of our lives together. Some really great adventures, others we didn't enjoy so much. But just seeing how far we've come together and how God has held us in His hands throughout everything really puts it all in perspective. His love for us has never wavered.

So on this Monday, as I'm eagerly anticipating the Fall season, I'm also looking back and thanking God for His mercies, grace, and love. I'm thanking God for the man in my life that I am so utterly in love with. I'm thanking God for our little country home that keeps us warm and provides a place of rest and retreat. I'm thanking God for loving me endlessly, never ceasing, no matter how far I may stray.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Facing {MY} Giants

There was so much great information that was touched on during our time at camp. The main focus or theme of camp was CONVERGENCE - choosing one path or the other with the hopes that you would choose the path that converges your life with God's. One particular night, the pastor was speaking on sin and how you can try to overcome your repetitive sin, or the sin that you repeat constantly. For me, that was a nasty tongue. Whether it be bad language (I know, I know ya'll) or belittling someone else, I've known for a long time it all needs to stop.

But it's so dadgum hard to break a habit.

So the pastor brought up the idea of facing your giants head on. In essence, when you pray and ask God to forgive you of your sins, don't just skip flippantly right over that part. Instead, NAME your sins out. What a gross taste that put in my mouth?! Having to say, "God, I'm sorry for belittling {name}. Can you help me to turn away from that. God, I'm sorry for saying the words I said. I know they hurt you." Hearing myself say those sins out loud and really looking them in the eyes has pretty much nipped that in the butt from happening again. Granted, I will still struggle, but I have become much more aware of what I say.

And then the pastor said to take it a step further. Write down your top three sins you struggle with daily. The ones that you don't even realize you're doing in that moment until the moment has passed. Once you've written them down, keep them somewhere where you KNOW you will look at it throughout the day. For me, that's my planner. Ya'll... you will realize how quickly you are starting those sins in the day. It's a nice little wake up call when you have a way to hold yourself accountable.

So I want to challenge each of ya'll today - what little or big sins are struggling with that are keeping you at a distance from God? Own those giants, look them in the eyes, and say, "My God is stronger than you" and let's knock them out together. Know that you're not alone in your every day struggle to maintain a somewhat Christ-like lifestyle (I say somewhat because, honestly, we will never have the perfect Christ-like lifestyle). Love each of ya'll tremendously. Mean it!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mountain {TIME}

What a whirlwind the last few days have been! Hunter and I just returned from Ridgecrest, NC with so many new memories, revitalized spirits, and deeper friendships. God is good! We, along with several other adults, took 60ish teenagers up into the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and ya'll, it was glorious! I was sitting on my back porch yesterday, just taking a break from getting the house back in order from being gone, and I became nostalgic of the time we spent there.
It's so easy to find your groove again when you're able to unplug and step away from life. We could all use a bit more unplugging.
This was the view from our dorm room. And this was also the only picture I took all week. I'm not kidding when I say I "unplugged"
I will share on a couple of things later in the week that really struck a chord with me and have since settled deep into my heart. But for now, I will say this:
I didn't realize I had become so numb and indifferent to God.
Yea, so that was kind of a painful process to own up to and work through. I may or may not have cried. But nevertheless, He and I are finding our routine again. I'm trying to figure out how to not become numb to HIM, but still keep the every day struggles and pains from overtaking my mind. It's a see-saw battle of trying to keep my defenses in tact, all the while, allowing Him to be near me. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm getting better each day.
For so many months now, I have been wishing away 2017. I was ready for 2018 and to get past all that 2017 had left in its wake. But I've since decided to embrace all that this year has thrown at us because here's the thing:  My pain/frustrations/situations are all being used for God's glory. No matter what may be going on, He is with me through it all. Even in the suckiest parts of suck.
That's who my God is.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

July Feels

Happy month of July and happy halfway mark through the year! I just love everything about the month of July - celebrations of all kinds, shorts and flip flops kind of weather, beach days, late night sunsets. Something about July is just magical for me. It's as if the year reaches a point where it recharges itself and begins again for another round of life to be lived. I feel like July is a month where a new page can be turned over, fresh and clean, ready to be written upon.
It also happens to be my birth month, so there's that. I've been through a lull the last few years with each passing birthday. It was just another day, another year, nothing entirely special. For some reason, my excitement and passion for birthdays has resurfaced and I'm entirely excited to celebrate my last year in my 20's. Let's just let that set in for a minute....
My 20's contained some of my most influential years of my life that have brought me to where I am today. Growing pains and sweet moments have molded me into the person I am now that has allowed me to very readily take on all that my 30's will bring. The last 9 years of my life have been quite mesmerizing in the sense that I can't believe a decade has nearly passed. I feel like my teen years are so far behind me now, yet, it seems as if yesterday that I welcomed the young age of 20 into my life. Such a bittersweet time in my life.
I have a few things up my sleeves that I want to accomplish in my last year of being in my 20's. Things like learning how to play one song on the violin, seeing someplace new that requires a plane ticket, taking local adventures and rediscovering my love for the beauty that surrounds me and is within a short car drive, going to a Braves game in their new stadium, hiking new trails, primitive camping with my man (I honestly can't believe I just typed those words #needabathroom #andabed), and so many more adventures. To my last year of being in my 20's - let's knock this out of the ball park.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Love Letters

Dear Hunter,

We were just stating the other day how fast time has flown. We've experienced 6 years of life together and despite some of the harder times, we cannot wait to see what God has in store for us in the coming years. We can honestly say that our marriage has endured some ups and downs, some turns and twists, but through it all we've kept our focus narrowly on God and on each other.

I love that we can sense the other's feelings or thoughts without ever having to say a word. It's like we're connected in some spiritual sense, a tether attached to both our hearts, creating a link between our emotions. When one is hurting, the other knows almost immediately and is able to respond in such a way that no other person could do so perfectly. Our eyes provide a window into our souls for each other and we use those as guiding lights to assess the other person in various situations. It's amazing how God has created that for us.
{circa 2016 - take me back!}

I know I say it daily to you, sometimes multiple times throughout the day, but I truly love you. I love the way you snuggle so sweetly and sleepily in the mornings. I love the way we pick at each other and how it's like we're old friends. I love that cute little toosh of yours. I love the way you can make a friend no matter where you are - you are my social butterfly. I love that kids are instantly drawn to your spirit and truly find you fascinating, personable, and funny (maybe the fact that you're like a giant has them fascinated too). I love your quiet way of taking in things and how you can so easily control your emotions. I love that you're mine.

We try to plan for the future whether it be bills or growing our family, and sometimes things don't work out in the way we would like. But I'm so grateful to be making plans alongside you. The complex and harsh details of being an adult are softened and eased because we navigate them together. I wholeheartedly believe that each morning our feet touch the ground, the devil is saying something along the lines of, "Crap, they're awake." We've been told that the devil doesn't like marriage and will do what he can to destroy it. He's tried, I'll give him credit for that. But his attempts to undermine the beauty of all that our marriage reflects and stands for are futile and laughable.

We're a team, boyfriend. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Always yours,


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Adventure {AWAITS}

Happy Tuesday! Hopefully everybody had a wonderful weekend and were ready to face this new week head on. We've had some pretty rainy weather these last several days and I'll be honest, it makes getting out of bed in the mornings pretty dern tough. I just want to stay in bed and snuggle all day long. But duty calls...
Have you ever had an ah-ha moment? A moment where it seemed that clarity settled in and you decided to change your ways? Yea, no?
Hunter and I had an ah-ha moment this past weekend where we decided to get out of routine and into adventure. Hear me out for a sec - we have somewhat of a routine each week and weekend. Now there's nothing wrong with a little bit of routine; I love a good schedule. But when your routine tends to undermine the chance for adventure, it can get a little, well, boring. So we've decided to start adventuring!

We have so many great things close to us - the Gulf coast, adorable towns, hiking trails, and so much more. Panhandle Florida really is a neat place and we totally take it for granted! Of course we'll have to be reasonable because #brokerthanbroke, but we decided we shouldn't wait until "we have the means" to go and do and see and live and be. We're not guaranteed tomorrow so why wait to live until then when you can live today?
With that said, we've got a few ideas and plans up our sleeves.  But if you have any ideas of fun things that you've done in the past, we're open ears to any and all suggestions! As I've mentioned before, 2017 has been a growing year for us and we don't want to waste any moment of life that wasn't lived to the max. Seek adventure, my friends!

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