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Monday, January 30, 2017

Capturing {MOMENTS}

Goodness it has been some time since I've seen this little space. As I touched on briefly awhile back, I've somehow managed to become a bit of recluse, both Hunter and I. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing though... We've had a lot going on and taking the time to really pull inward and preserve our sense of peace has kind of been good for our souls.
 
 
Fun fact about the photo above: My sister took that. She recently got a camera and has been playing around with it. Ya'll, her work is so good! We're encouraging her to pursue photography and graphic design once she's graduated high school (only a few months away!!). I've officially hired her to do all my pictures. If you're in the area, she would be MORE than happy to take pictures for you or your family as she is trying to build her portfolio.
 
We recently tried a new restaurant and for all my local folks, you MUST check it out. Such a cute setting in an old home, with many items repurposed into things. The food was superbly delicious and fresh. Below is a picture from their Facebook page and was actually the table we sat at.
 
 
I'm always so amazed at how God can meet us where we're at. For awhile I had been struggling to find time and ways to get back into His word. I decided to start listening to the Bible app as I drive into work each morning and I've been pleasantly surprised with how much it changes my days. Not only does it change my outlook for each day, I've been able to retain so much from the reading. At almost 30 years old, I still learn something new every day.
 
We're finally getting a "winter" here in Florida and wouldn't you know, I'm starting to crave spring weather. It's been a strange winter here with more warm days than cold days, so I decided to purge all of the big winter jackets I owned. It always feels good (to me, Hunter is a different story) when I'm able to declutter our home. Less stuff means less problems in my opinion, ha!
 
Happy Monday, friends. Enjoy the day for it's another day of life to live!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

{GRACE} Alone

I mentioned last week that I've been journeying through the Bible and I'm currently in Leviticus. Ya'll, do not ever tell a new believer to start off in Leviticus - it'll drive them mad. But just like every other part of the Bible, it does serve a purpose and can be applied to our every day lives. My application?
 
Thank God for Jesus. Seriously.
 
If you haven't taken a journey through Leviticus, I encourage you to do it. Just listen to how many types of burnt offerings there are for different things (guilt, sin, etc.). The entire time I'm listening to it I can't help but think of how dead I would be if I lived during those times. That's probably why God knew I would be better off in the A.D. era and preferably with running water.
 
My God knows me too well.
 
 
But in all seriousness, I'm so grateful that God sent the {PERFECT} sacrifice that would fulfill all sacrifices and would keep us from having to perform those Old Testament sacrifices to atone for our sins. The fact that Jesus, so perfect and without blemish, willfully chose to die for my blemishes and imperfections is truly mind boggling. The beauty in my faith versus other religions? My God came TO me to save me, rather than me trying to do as many works as I can to GET TO Him (news flash: You will never be able to do enough good works to pay for all your sins).
 
So on this lovely Monday.... er Tuesday, just sit and meditate on the fact that you have the opportunity to live a completely saved life through Jesus' death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. There's nothing I can do to EARN that grace and forgiveness - not works, not money, nothing of my own doings will get me any closer to Him. Just by believing in Him, trusting who He was and is, and resting in His assurance of His promises, that's what will get me into the gates of heaven. Live out your life as Jesus would; don't abuse the grace He has freely given to you.
 
I cannot wait to see His face one day and give Him the biggest hug EVER.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This {SEASON} of Life

As I'm getting older, I'm finding myself creating new habits and leaving old ones behind. Habits like learning to say "no" more and soaking in more time at home, lounging around in our hammock outside, or playing with the pups. Habits that include more me time when Hunter is having to work his crazy hours and thoroughly enjoying those little moments of just me, myself, and I. And habits that include starting at the very beginning of the Bible and reading/listening (Bible App anyone?) my whole way through it.
 
Let me just say, as I'm venturing through the Old Testament I keep thinking to myself, "Thank God for Jesus." They would've hung me high in the streets if I was alive B.C.
 
One habit that I've noticed I'm putting into place (rather unintentionally) is the habit of secluding myself and our lives from those around us. Don't get me wrong, we love sharing our lives with others - it's part of our testimonies - yet I can feel myself withdrawing from things like social media, this here blog, etc. Not that anything bad has happened to cause this; it's just something that I think God has been doing in our lives.
 
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Proverbs 4:23

We've had close friends pass suddenly in these last couple of months and it's really forced us to realize the importance and value of time. Yesterday was yesterday and you'll never get that back. We're spending less time worrying, and more time enjoying; less time with toxic friends, and more time with those that seek love and kindness; less time fretting over bills, and more time dreaming and doing. So you see what I mean?
 
My sweet blog friend, Em, touched on it last week and when I read her piece I couldn't help but violently nod my head in agreement with all that she was saying. I think God calls each of us to different places and allows seasons to happen in our lives to mold us, shape us, and painfully grow us. Maybe God is taking Hunter and I through this season of life where we're closing inward and allowing ourselves to just be.
 


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Monday, January 9, 2017

New Year Vibes

2017 has already proven itself to be the year of interesting. You can stay 2017, I guess. Ha! But in all seriousness, 2017 has kicked off with a bang and, I believe, is only a sign for more things to come, both wonderful, heartbreaking, real, and true:
 
+ We started off celebrating 2017 with Hunter's birthday. My sweet country boy loves a good fish fry so a couple of friends and I planned the best fish fry the boy could ask for. We're talking about yummy fried fish; shrimp and sausage gumbo; and the party was complete with the best cake EVER. 
 
 
 
+ Another debt has been paid off and let me tell ya, it feels glorious. Knowing that God has given us opportunities to be able to provide and live comfortably, while paying off debts, is truly an understated blessing. He is faithful and good to us.
 
+ Seeing how God has brought us to this point is humbling and worth meditating on. Many folks say that 2016 flew by and it really did. This year, Hunter and I will be celebrating 6 years of life together, 3 years of marriage, a million memories made, too many laughs to count, and a whole heck of a lotta love for our friends and family.
 
+ 2016 brought growth in many ways, including relationships with people. God removed specific people out of our lives and brought in new folks to help us all sharpen each other in love. It's very difficult to find good friends that will lovingly challenge you, encourage you, pray for you, and we love that we are able to do the same for them. THANK YOU God for continuing to mold each of us.
 
Here's to 2017 - may the days be bright for each of you!

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