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Monday, February 29, 2016

February {Life}

One of my favoritest gals (hey Chelsea!) inspired this post - things I've learned through the month of February. Although we have a few days left this last day (hello leap day) and it was a rather short month, this month felt like it stretched on for eons.

Warm weather really is my friend. Something about the sun rays making contact with my skin just brings forth life into my soul. I can easily get goose bumps just by sitting and being in the sunshine.
My sister's sweet pup decided to sunbathe with me

I'm not a fan of Greek yogurt, but the hubs can't get enough. We're experimenting with different foods and textures in our healthy adventures #WelbornsGetHealthy. I'm so grateful we're finding routine in it.
Cry the ugly cry when God doesn't give you your way, and be grateful. I may or may not have laid in bed one night, mad as all hell at God for killing my wish-dream, and yet still thanking Him through it. What I had envisioned isn't what God had planned, and I'm learning that that's okay.
Working out can become addicting. That's such an odd concept for me (still) but I have found that I'm craving and thoroughly enjoying my time working out. Not to mention, I'm sleeping like a champ at night #WinnerWinnerChickenDinner.
Change is hard. Plain and simple - moving forward isn't easy. But I'm so lucky to have Hunter by my side, and I by his, as we navigate through this life. My go-to song lately has been It Is Well by Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music. Seriously, the lyrics are enough to soothe my soul.
Saw this the other day and just loved it
What's been happening with ya'll, friends?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spring, alas?

We've had some pretty great afternoons around these parts lately - high's in the lower to mid-70s and just sunshine for days. I'm actually really eager for the warm weather to be here this year (last year I was so, "Eww why God?!").
Hello spring flowers.
Hello afternoons in the park with the pups.
Hello beach.
Aside from the pollen, spring is really a wonderful season. The new life that bursts forth with much vigor and gusto is breathtaking and refreshing. My parents live in a neighborhood off a winding, canopy road and one of my most favorite things to do in the spring is to take that drive out there. Trees are lush and green, draping their branches over the top where bits of sunlight trickle in while you drive. The fresh grass waves in the wind as you drive by.
Downtown Tallahassee the morning after a night of storms - poetic, eh?
Doesn't that sound just fabulous?
It's these sweet, simple snippets of life that always remind me of God's renewing - His everlasting promise that all good things come from Him. He and I have been working some kinks out but I love how springtime serves as His example that all things can be made new again. Even when we feel like all the doors have been shut, and we do the ugliest cry possible and demand that God explain Himself, we are still reminded that He is good, holy, sovereign, just.

Even something as messed up as me can be made new again. What a glorious God we have?!

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Monday, February 22, 2016

We've lost our marbles

The hubs and I started a couple of weeks ago this really weird thing where we're eating healthier, and packing healthy lunches, and meal planning dinners, and exercising. Like in a gym. I know, I'm just as shocked as ya'll are while typing those words out.
But we're doing it! And we're totally kicking butt!
Now I know a few of ya'll are looking at me like, "Child, you don't need to exercise." Can I share a teensy tiny little bit of info with you? Just because one is skinny does not mean one is healthy. For example, I may be skinny but I was eating like a junkyard dog, exhausted all.the.time, and I could barely climb a flight of stairs without dying.
So a huge part of this healthy adventure we're on involves eating healthier. That means we gave up fast foods and are packing lunches. As a newbie to the world of healthy, I was constantly looking for ideas on how to pack more diverse, yet healthy, yet filling because the hubs works crazy hours, yet yummy lunches. After a couple of trial and errors, we have succeeded.
Funnily enough, as we're trying to strengthen and make our spiritual walks more healthy, we're also tackling our physical health. Because at the end of the day, we just feel so much better. And I've gotta take a minute to brag - I'm beyond proud of Hunter for taking this step. I mean, the guy is having to drag me to the gym most days! Knowing that we're working towards this goal together is very humbling and refreshing.
I'm actually not going to post any before and after pics because, in my non-professional opinion, the number on the scale means jack-squat. For us, being healthy is actually feeling good about your body and feeling confident in your skin; being proud of yourself on what you've accomplished; and in my case, having the ability to get up a dang flight of stairs without contemplating calling 911.
So if you have any questions (again, not a pro here), feel free to contact me about what we've been doing to get healthy and to stay healthy.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Redeemed - A Women's Lent Study

So there's this thing called Lent and if you haven't heard of it, or aren't sure what all it's about (that's okay, I didn't either), let me allow my girl Kelli to sum it up:

 It's a time of drawing closer to God through the discipline of self-examination and repentance.  It's a time that we imitate Jesus' withdrawal into the wilderness for 40 days.  It's a time for us to examine our hearts and re-focus it on what matters - Jesus.
Isn't that something we, as Christ-followers, all should crave? More time with God, to be more like Jesus, etc. I've never participated in Lent before because honestly, I didn't feel the need to. I know I'm covered by God's grace and I know it's not my good works that will get me into Heaven one day (although good works are nice, don't discount that!).
When Kelli brought up the idea of this study for this Lent season, I really couldn't resist not joining in. Simply because I am so starved and hungry right now for the Lord so anything that is Gospel-based and biblically sound, I'm eating it up. With that being said, it starts today and I would really really like to invite anybody to join in! This isn't a paid advertisement or a way to boost anything. I just feel that we as believers need to come together more often to study and challenge each other.
So feel free to jump aboard this study and even better - feel free to email me, text me, call me, FB me, whatever your means of communication may be and let's chat this over. Let's dive into the scripture, hand in hand, and seek His face.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Welcome to Atlanta where the players play...

Please tell me I'm not the only person who has that song pop into their head when they go to Atlanta? No one? Just me? Bueller?
This past weekend, Hunter and I escaped our little city for the big city for a night. We just wanted a weekend away from everything; an escape to recharge our batteries. It was every bit of wonderful and more.
We didn't have any set plans or timetable - just go where the wind blew us. We enjoyed dinner Saturday night at this adorable southern restaurant straight out of Gone With the Wind called Pittypat's Porch Restaurant. Ya'll, good southern cooking doesn't even come close to describe what we tasted. Between my shrimp and grits, and Hunter's fried chicken plate, we were fat and happy little campers.

Blurry pic for the win
After dinner, we moseyed around downtown just checking out all that Atlanta had to offer. We shopped a bit at the World of Coke and had every intentions of doing the Georgia Aquarium but alas, it was crazy crowded there. Lucky for us, we've got family that lives in Atlanta so we know we'll be back and can check it out then.
Speaking of family! We were lucky to have brunch with some of my extended family Sunday morning before we jumped back on the road. I swear, we're so close to some of my extended family that we really consider them to be immediate family - ha! We totally ate our weight at OK Café. Holy moly, it was good!
I'm so grateful for this past weekend. It was just what the doctor ordered to help us relax, unwind, and really just spend time with each other sans dogs and real-life adulating stuff. We've decided we need to make this a pretty regular thing. Like an every weekend regular thing. Ha! I wish... Our bank account would hate us.

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#12MofBliss - January recap + {Distractions}

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Last week, I kindly shared some pictures with ya'll of our little Disciple Now weekend from a few weeks ago. The lesson for the weekend was somewhat goofy because #teenagers, but the overall message was something that resonated deep for me.
The purpose of this lesson was to really encourage our students and each other to dissect our own lives and find what is distracting us from our relationship with God, if we even have a relationship. I couldn't even begin to list the ways I was distracted from Him. I had fallen so far off the beaten path of my spiritual walk, I honestly didn't even know where to begin.
As we journeyed through the study, we found that some distractions can be good distractions. Things like nature and admiring the Creator's creations (remember, admire the Creator not the creation) can be a good distraction because in the end, you're still praising Him for His glory and wonders. What about those other distractions? Here were a few that I found to be distractions in my life that keep me from spending time with God and deepening my relationship with him:
  • Netflix -- let's be honest, it's a really hard distraction to peel away from
  • Busyness -- I have a really hard time sitting still and just being - I have to always be doing something
  • Church stuff.

That last one was actually really hard for me to admit to as a distraction. Now let me explain myself before I get all you church-goers' panties in a wad (what movie is this from?)... I fully believe Church (as in the body of Christ, believers in Christ) is a very important and necessary aspect of growing one's faith. We need to have fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to challenge each other with theological ideas and debates, all done in love. We need to come together regularly to ready ourselves for the world around us.

When I say "church stuff" I'm talking about the mundane, ritualistic, religion-practices side of things. I'm talking about the endless meetings where people sit and talk about "what they're going to do", but nothing is ever actually done. I'm talking about the church stuff that really doesn't GO OUT and share the Gospel (thus making disciples) and just meets once a month to eat and talk about what you've done (get that gold star!) and what you're wanting to do in the future (but we all know it's not going to happen, unless it involves feeding you food). I know some of ya'll are reading this and can feel your blood pressure rising. No worries, feel free to call me out on my shortcomings - I can take it.

So I found that I had somehow allowed that one thing to become my biggest distraction. And I knew I needed to do some spring cleaning. Since ridding myself of that distraction, I have been able to see an almost immediate turnaround. I've been allowing myself to meet with brothers and sisters in Christ in so many different ways. Through bible studies, small groups, prayer buddies, spending a Saturday to do ministry, reading, etc. I have found ways to not only fill my empty spiritual well, but have the ability to begin pouring it back into those around me. I can feel Him saying, "Alright girl. Now you're getting back into the groove. You've got quite a ways to go, but you're doing it sister" (yes, God's my homeboy #peacefingers). I'm finding that by doing these things, I'm being intentional with my spiritual walk. I'm realizing that I can't just sit back and wait for different things to pour into me. Sometimes, we have to go and seek it because isn't that what we should be doing anyways? Always seeking Him?

I have been working on cutting Netflix down, and saying no to things to reduce my busyness. I'm learning that it really is okay (and necessary) for me to just sit, and be, and hang with God.

What are some things distracting you from seeking Him? I seriously challenge each of ya'll to take stock of where things are in your life and your spiritual walk. It really is a humbling experience. I'd like to think I've fully accomplished my goal of making my spiritual walk just right. But I know that this goal of ridding my life of distractions will take time, and pain, and tears, and triumphs to be celebrated. For now, I'm celebrating that I'm covered in His grace entirely.

Ember Grey Twelve Months of Bliss

Monday, February 1, 2016

Baffling ways

Have you ever just become so confused by things in life that you almost can't even begin to try and understand it? There are many things in life that leave me scratching my head and saying, "Bless your heart"... And please know this is all in good fun. I know I do/say things that just don't make sense to folks. Feel free to roast me ;)
+ Juicing - I know it has it's health benefits and this and that. But just eat the fruit or vegetable. Isn't that the same thing? I guess if one doesn't like eating the fruit or vegetable it would be different. But goodness... that's a waste of a perfectly good item if all you're taking is the juice!
+ Hot coffee on a hot, summer day - Remember, I live in Florida. Ice coffees all the way, baby. I do love hot coffee on a bitter cold day. But hot coffee on a hot, summer day? Lord, I'd pass out.
+ Nay-sayers - I'm all about that "dream big" and those party poopers really are no fun to be around. Of course, I'm not going to jump off a cliff without a bungee cord attached and scream, "Dream BIG!" as I plummet to my death. Common sense, people.
+ Pew warmers - There, I said it. Pew-warmers who show up to church just to get that check-mark and pat on the back will always confuse me. And honestly, it's something I'll never try to understand or explain. Ha!

This honestly just made me laugh!

+ Kids/tweens that date - You're 12 years old. Where the heck are you going to go on a date? Chuck E Cheese?? And then when they break up it's like they've lost the love of their lives. YOU'RE 12!!

+ Scary/gory movies - Just, ewww.... I can go for a scary movie and will probably scare you more than the movie does with my screaming, jumping, and carrying on (I'm really very dramatic - it always cracks Hunter up). But when it's scary/gory, like Saw or Hostel, gag me gross. Just, no.
+ Grace upon grace - I'm so unworthy of it all. Whether it comes from the Big Man or those around me. I'm always humbled when grace is given, and thus, I try to give grace too.
As much as these things confuse me (plus others that I won't list simply because I'm not all about that arguing on the internet, ha!), I know that they are a part of somebody's lifestyle. I know I have quirks and batty things that I do/say that just don't make sense to others. Hey, it's all the loose nuts and bolts that make the world go 'round, right?

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