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Friday, January 30, 2015

Oh my, hello Friyay

I really can't get enough of Friday's guys. Friday's become Friyay's, which just make me oh so happy. It's been a quiet week in my world but sometimes that's just what the doctor calls for. The doctor also calls for a list of randoms, and I'm always down for that...

one: Tomorrow we will be celebrating my twin's birthday! Just kidding, we're not twins but we have had numerous occasions when we're together and people approach us asking if we're twins. It's become quite funny and we always love going along with it. What's scary though is that we tend to think alike in a lot of ways so there's that.

She's my special friend...

two: I have a second rustic palette project in the works and I can't wait to share it with ya'll. Just call me Handywoman Kelly.

three: We have completed and sent in our tax returns - hallelujah! I'm sort-of-but-desperately chomping at the bit to get our taxes done early every year. I don't know, I just like getting that mess done and over with. I have these horrible visions that if I don't do it fast enough, men in black suits and blacked out sunglasses are going to show up at my doorstep, whisk me away to God-knows-where and probe me in places I'd rather not be probed in. Mmm, no thank you.

four: My baking thumb is back. Well, minus cookies but otherwise... it's back! I'm not sure if Hunter is as thrilled as I am.

five: I've been tutoring my SIL in math for the last couple of weeks. We try to meet twice per week and as we've been going over different problems, I'm realizing more and more what a nerd I am. I get a pep in my step when we talk math #nerdalert.

Finally, my wheels are spinning for some ministry ideas and a dear friend of mine shared this article with me because it's something that is very near and dear to our hearts. Take a wild guess at where my wheels are spinning to...

Happy Friday folks!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DIY Rustic Palette Headboard

Hey friends! It's been a hot minute since I've posted any DIY projects or recipes. Let's face it, it's hard to do these things knowing that they will just end up in the closet until you can move out of your parents' house this summer. Just sayin...
Anywho, I'm always browsing Pinterest looking for crafty ideas. There are always those flops but every now and then I can find something that is doable. Sometimes with the help of an awesome husband and dad :)
I love anything rustic. Le duh, our wedding screamed rustic. I've been wanting a headboard for quite some time but with character and flair. Enter, the palettes. 

God was shining down on those palettes...
First things first, think of your design and how you want your headboard to look. We originally were going to build a frame, remove each board, and arrange like so. That plan quickly changed when we realized how difficult removing said boards are.
Once we realized where we wanted to go in our design, it was just a matter of finding similar sized palettes. Each palette was designed differently - some had bigger boards than others, some were more rectangular than others. Once you have similar palettes and the design down pat, begin attaching the palettes.
To attach the palettes together, we took 3 boards from another palette and used them as the connector. By attaching one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom via screws on the backside, the palettes became connected in an instant. Well more like 15 minutes but you get my drift. We also placed 2 boards across the top of the palettes to serve as the top-piece, and essentially keep the top from being open and allowing things to fall through the palettes.
My sweet, hardworking men. Please excuse the ripped sheet - thank Jep for that. Also, please excuse no bed skirt... it's currently packed away somewhere.
Finally, we lined the palettes to the wall, the bed to the palettes, made sure all looked dandy, and secured the bed to the palettes with screws. By using screws, this will allow us to back out the screws and break down the headboard when we move this summer.
Please excuse the mess (namely me) on the bed... I didn't believe in getting dolled up that day. All wall d├ęcor were wedding gifts.
It was so nice having this headboard to spice up our room a little bit. It made living with mom and dad for this short period of time that much more bearable! Kidding mom, you know I love you. We didn't stain or sand the wood down because I love the rustic look. I wasn't sure if it would pick at our pillows and sheets but no problems there. I also love how each board is different in size and color - it adds character!
I have another palette project up my sleeve that I'll be working on this weekend. I can't wait to share it with ya'll! My DIY groove is back in action. Just wait until we move this summer - I'll be a designing/crafting fool!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Forgotten God

Ya'll, it's a beautiful Monday! Granted, it's Monday but it's another day of life - hallelujah. This past weekend was a pretty chill weekend for me. Did some laundry, exercised some, and built watched my dad and Hunter build a rustic palette headboard for our bed. I'll be sure to share that later in the week.
A couple of weeks ago, Hunter and I read the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan. First and foremost, Francis Chan is a phenomenal speaker and his sermons are on point with the Gospel, even if it ruffles some folks' feathers. So Hunter and I read this book separately and came together with what we each thought about the book.
Guys, we cannot express how well Chan (once again) gets his message across plain and clear. The topic of the book is the Holy Spirit, and how we as a society, have completely almost forgotten not only the Spirit itself but the power and magnitude of the Holy Spirit. As Chan explains in the following excerpt from his book:
Hunter and I have felt for awhile that, while maybe done unintentionally and with the best intentions at heart, many people have forgotten the purpose of church. I'm not talking here about the "body of Christ" Church; I'm talking about brick and mortar church. The place where people congregate to socialize, er I mean, worship. See here's the thing, Hunter and I have found that many people tend to go to church because "it's what you're supposed to do." It's that checkmark for the week, the pat-on-the-back for being a good "Christian." I'm sure I'm ruffling some feathers at this point but hey, sometimes we need to have our feathers ruffled to remind us why we're here.
There were so many places in this book that I marked that spoke to me on so many levels. For example, in the chapter on Theology of the Holy Spirit, Francis Chan is explaining through indications of the Bible the power and purpose of the Holy Spirit:
"From the Spirit we receive power to be God's witnesses to the ends of the earth. It is the Spirit who draws people to the gospel, the Spirit who equips us with the strength we need to accomplish God's purposes. The Holy Spirit not only initially draws people to God, He also draws believers closer to Jesus (Acts 1:8, Rom. 8:26, Eph. 3:16-19)."
Just let that sink in for a minute.
Do you understand the power and magnitude of the Holy Spirit?! Francis Chan so eloquently reminds us the importance of knowing that power from the Holy Spirit because without it, we are nothing.
One last bit of information that Francis Chan touched on and it's something that Hunter and I have dealt with, deal with daily, and will be dealing with it to the end of our time: Taking up your cross daily. Jesus calls us to take up our crosses daily and that is so much more than just dealing and enduring with everyday life. As Francis Chan puts it, "It's a call to radical faith."
"Jesus is calling us to be willing to suffer anything and forsake everything for the sake of the gospel. His call is to love those who have cheated us in business; those who have spread nasty rumors about us; those who would kill us if they could; those who disagree with us politically, practically, and fundamentally... (2 Cor. 12:9-10)."
Again, please allow the magnitude of that to sink in. That bit there hit me square in the heart.
So friends, overall Hunter and I devoured every part of this book and it reminded us the importance of the Holy Spirit and the urgency we have to take up our crosses daily. Francis Chan did a fantastic job of kindly calling out several groups of people on their negligence and lack of emotion toward the power of the Holy Spirit (I'm looking at myself here too), with this book also serving as a reminder to himself that we all need to do better.
In a time that Hunter and I were really struggling with where God needs us to be, the words of this book reminded us the beauty of relying on the Holy Spirit entirely for His guidance and mercy. I challenge ya'll to truly look at yourselves in the mirror today, and every day, and ask yourself, "Have I forgotten the Holy Spirit? Am I taking up my cross daily?"
I am so, so grateful for a loving God that works His wonders and mercies anew every day. Happy Monday folks!

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Ain't nobody got time for that

Ya'll, I barely made it out of the house today with my clothes on. Between oversleeping, horrible weather, trying to get the dogs ready... I'm pooped. I know I promised ya'll a review of the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan but I decided last minute that I really wanted to collaborate with Hunter on the review of this book. We both read it, loved it, and have a lot of thoughts about it. So, Monday will be that lucky day.
In honor of it being Friday, and the fact that I managed to put clothes on, let's have an honorary photo dump. I love Em's idea of Project 52 where each week has a picture that somewhat represents a moment from that week. Friends, I give you my last 3 weeks...
Week 1

Sometimes, cookies just don't work out.
Week 2

You make beautiful things, Lord.
Week 3

Even though we have survived every thunderstorm, they're still so scary.
Happy Friday friends!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Care to join me over a cup'a joe?

If we were having coffee: I would hug you so hard the instant you walked up to me. I love a good hug, I'm a hugger, and it's how I show you how much you mean to me. Heck, I've hugged practically strangers just to let them know, I care.
If we were having coffee: I would tell you all about mine and Hunter's newest trip God has planned for us. God is putting us back into our house that I own, and boy oh boy, it wasn't what we were expecting. I truly believe that God has a good sense of humor. We're excited about this adventure!
If we were having coffee: I'd share my heart with you on how much it pains me to know that people can watch the world go by without ever reaching out a helping hand. I. Just. Don't. Plain. Get. It. I would ask you to pray for my heart, and that it would let go of that judgment against those folks because Lord knows, I'm in no place to judge.
If we were having coffee: I would be sipping on either an iced caramel macchiato or a caramel frappuccino. Because I'm fancy like that.
If we were having coffee: I would want to know all that is happening in your life: family, home, work, etc. I'd listen so intently, interject here and there because sometimes I just can't hush, and laugh in all the right places. I would want to know of any struggles you're having so that I can pray for you and the strength to persevere.
If we were having coffee: I'd share with you that Hunter and I are paying down our debts like wild people. I wouldn't share that to brag but to simply ask for your prayers in our efforts to unweigh ourselves from this awful debt.
If we were having coffee: I would tell you about my newest hobby that I'm dipping into - photography and graphic design. I've been mulling over this hobby for almost 1.5 years now, almost went back to school to get certified in graphic design, decided not to, and I've been getting graphic design projects at work that have just lit my fire like you wouldn't believe. I love the art of it all, thus, a new hobby of mine is blooming.
If we were having coffee: I would ask if we could do this again soon, and make promises to keep in touch with you until we did see each other again. And of course, I would hug you.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

You Make Beautiful Things

Have ya'll heard that song? It's a very simple song but speaks volumes through the words. This past weekend, Hunter and I were invited to help lead teenagers in a local retreat called DNow weekend. It was so nice to be back surrounded by these crazy kids and soaking up all their energy - we love it!
The theme was "Metamorphosis" and how appropriate for not only their lives, but our lives as well. God is continuously molding us, making us new each day. As Hunter and I progress in our discoveries of where God wants us each day, we're having to learn how to change and adapt to his plans. Some days are harder than others.
I thank God every day for the changes He is continuously making in me and my husband. Without Him, we would be lost to our own selfish desires and sinful ways. Granted, we are still terribly selfish and sinful in ways but through Jesus, we are made whole again.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Because I'm all about that bass

It's been a week ya'll - not bad by any means - but just a week! The fact that we're already past the halfway mark through the month of January is beyond me. But hey, what can ya do right? It's just all part of the fun!
How about a list of randoms for this here Friday?

* I've been making a diligent effort to get up earlier (read: when my alarm goes off) in the mornings to exercise/stretch and study the Word. So far so good!

* I'm off work today - helllurrrrr!

* Did ya'll catch what my word for the year is? I'm going to make it a point to practice that word for more than just this year.

* This is the year of weddings my friends. We have several friends and family members that are getting married and we could not be more excited for them and their new chapter in their lives!

* My body is slightly confused at the moment with the constant up and down changes of the weather patterns here in north Florida. Just pick a dang temp and stick with it for more than one day!

* I cannot express enough words for the appreciation I have for blogger friends that have turned into real life friends. I love that we can text/email with each other on life's every day adventures, and serve as each others cheerleaders. It does my weary soul some good.

* Speaking of weary soul - I had dinner this week with some of the bestest ladies around, and it completely rejuvenated me. Their hearts are just unbelievably wonderful and they completely humble me with their kindness.

* God has continuously blessed Hunter and I throughout these last few weeks. He has provided when we were/are not able to.

* I started and finished this book in literally just a few hours. My spirit has been thirsting for more and this book inspired me in a whole new way. I'll have a blurp about it next week but I cannot stress the fact enough - pick up this book and read it!

Have a wonderful weekend friends! Always, remember to smile :)

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I'm a little late to the party but...

I've been seeing a trend in the blog world at the start of the New Year and it has kind of inspired me. Many lovely ladies have dedicated their year to a word that can serve as a goal for the year, and I've loved reading about each and every one! At first, I wasn't going to jump aboard that train simply because I couldn't really think of a single word that would perfectly summarize a goal I have for 2015.
After a conversation I had with Hunter (and with others over time), I realized what that word would be:

You must be thinking, "What an odd word!" Allow me to humor you. The word Reserved is an adjective and by definition states this:

"slow to reveal emotion or opinions; kept specially for a particular purpose or person."

I am a very out-there person - you will know how I'm feeling, what I think about something, and I'm not afraid to share that. It's a quality I appreciate in myself and others because I feel like too many people push things under the rug, hoping it all goes away, and leaving so much left to be unsaid.

I really struggle with being able to do that - just quiet my mouth when it's necessary to do so.

I have found that by being liberal in my feelings, I have unknowingly caused quite a stir for some folks (more personal than blog-related). Thus, my word is Reserved. I wanted to seek the Lord's thoughts on this particular word, or at least the practicing of it, and I found this:

I will be Reserved in my words and rest in the Holy Spirit's wisdom when it is best for me to speak so boldly on a topic, versus remaining quiet on others. I will never refrain from sharing His love with people, even if it irks you. I love sharing those God moments with ya'll that happen in mine and Hunter's lives so that certainly won't cease.

I want SoKo Blog to be a place of faith and humility, of love for this life, and a place to capture those beautiful moments. Sadly, some people have the inability to accept a perspective that is outside their own and that is where I will be Reserved. I will be Reserved in the sense that I will allow the Holy Spirit to flow through me with His words, and not my own. With that, I bid you a glorious day!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Forever Grateful

See, I told ya'll I'm getting back into my link-up groove. It's been awhile since I've joined in with my gal, Em, on her Grateful Heart Monday's and I can honestly say... I need this in my life! It's so easy to get down and out sometimes in life's daily doings.
.... I've just vacuumed this room for the nth time this week....
.... The dog is half-housetrained and finding his hidden gifts are not fun....
.... There aren't enough hours in the day to work out....
.... I keep failing at being in the Word daily....
.... If my husband leaves one more dirty, crunchy sock on the floor, I swear....
.... We so desperately need a place of our own....
See what I mean? My biggest stressor at the moment is the last worry on that list above. I cannot express enough how desperate I am to have a home to decorate. A dirty kitchen all to my own. Our laundry room piling up with clothes. A backyard that fences in our dogs and my little vegetable garden. This yearning is so deep in my core that the burden is almost too much to bear.
But then I'm reminded of the beautiful moments in the wants. God so gently reminds me that although I don't have a home to decorate, I have a roof over my head. Although I don't have a kitchen to dirty up, I have food on the table every day. Even though our laundry is piling up in a small corner of our room, I have clothes to wear daily. And finally, I share a beautiful yard with my family and am able to help them manage their land.
Sometimes we need to take a quick second to remember all that is beautiful in this life. Regardless of what I want right now, God knows what is best for me and Hunter. We have to rest in the fact that He is all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful.
Today I am so grateful for where God has us in this life. Even though I may be desiring something slightly different, He knows what is best.

Ember Grey: Grateful Heart

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Taking a Leap of Faith

Sometimes in life we find ourselves at a crossroad. We have to choose the path that best suits our needs, wants, and desires. Sometimes that means traveling down the path less taken by others.
I have my degree in Marketing and love my job. It gives the income and benefits that provides for Hunter and I, and our future family. God has blessed us tremendously with my job! For the last year and a half or so, my heart has been nagging for more though. God has continuously opened doors that have allowed me to decide which one to pass through, and many I just closed right back up. Either the timing was off for me, or my self-doubt kicked in. Whatever the reason, I have been neglecting this yearning that has been placed on my heart.
I have decided to answer to this yearning in my heart and walk through those doors and windows that God has so graciously opened for me. I will share more when the time is right but know that I am not leaving my job. This doesn't have to do with the blog, a move, or even a little human. It simply has to do with the fact that I am beginning to dabble in a dream of mine that I have held off for so long. I cannot wait to see what becomes of this!
All I do ask for though is prayer. Prayers that God will use me and this dream for His greater glory.
"Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness."
-Psalm 115:1

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Monthy Fav's

It has been quite some time since I have joined in on a link-up and what better way to step back into the game with a recap on last month's favorite things! December was such a busy and awesome month for us, so I'm excited to take a look back on it.
Obviously celebrating Christmas with friends and family was my all-time favorite of last month.

Another wonderful moment was the wedding day of some amazing friends of ours! It was an early morning wedding with delicious desserts and breakfast foods.
And finally, I loved doing our Cookie Ministry. We plan on making that a tradition for our Christmases each year. Just something about giving to others is always so much more rewarding for me than actually receiving something.
Thanks Kelli and Mia for a fun link-up!

A Deeper Joy

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Monday, January 5, 2015

To my Huntman...

Happiest of happy birthday's to you! I absolutely love every moment I can get to cherish you, spoil you, and remind you how important you are to me.
You're turning a whopping 23 years old today! Man, I'm a cougar. Ha! But at 23 years old, you are a man of so much wisdom, patience, and love. Your heart for the Lord is completely and utterly contagious. Your heart for people is downright sweet. And your heart for me is truly humbling.
I always find it so funny that people automatically assume you're much older than me when they first meet us. Maybe it's the fact that you can grow a beard and I can't. Or that I'm very much child-like in nature sometimes. Or it's just the fact that you're so mature. Whatever the case may be, it's always fun!
Hunter, Hunna, Huntman, Welborn, Punkin, Bubba, Beast... Of all the nicknames you've been dubbed, I have to say Hunna is my favie. Husband, friend, son, grandson, nephew, BIL, child of God.... Of all your many titles in life, child of God is my favie.
Today is all about you and your life. I have been so fortunate and blessed to be a part of your life these last 4 years. God knew what He was doing when He brought you into this world. He has plans to prosper you Hunter, and not to harm you. He absolutely has plans for you to have hope and a future in this life, and the next.
Happy birthday sweet boy. Lord knows I love you more than simple words can say.

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