Enduring All Things: March 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday Party - March 2015 {Link Up}

This has been a tough month. If you're not aware, a close family friend of mine was killed in a car accident at the beginning of the month. He was a 21 year old college student on his way to do mission work for the Lord.

Since the accident, I've done a lot of thinking. I've been thinking about my own life and my priorities because after streaming all of Nicholas' memorial services, it became obvious that his priorities were in the right place at 21 years old. But I've also been thinking about the people who are important to me. My husband, my family, my friends. Every soul that has touched my life is so important to me and I take their existence for granted every day.
Basically, the suddenness and devastation of Nicholas' death has made me realize that we aren't promised tomorrow. And we aren't promised that our loved ones will live to tomorrow either. So this month, and every month, I am so thankful for the people in my life. All of them. I hope that I can stop taking them for granted.

I'm going to be present with people when I'm present with people. There will be no more checking my phone during meals or when I'm talking with someone. I will try not to have to-do lists and other things running through my head when I'm listening to others. I will not hold grudges anymore and I will tell and show the people around me that I love and appreciate them.

I am so thankful for everyone God has placed in my life and I hope you all know that!
What are you thankful for this month? Link up below!
Thanks for reading!
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We have so much to be thankful for and a lot of us take that for granted. Lets change that! I bring you the #ThankfulThursdayParty linkup with Charlene @ From Bisons to Buckeyes! We will be writing about what we are thankful for and linking  up on the last Thursday of every month. I would love to have you and can't wait to see what you're thankful for in your life! 

If you're interested in co-hosting, please send an email to Charlenemarie11@gmail.com.
Host: Charlene- Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook || Co-Host: Rachel-  Pinterest
Linkup Rules (Guidelines):
  1. Follow your host and co-host
  2. Link up your Thankful Thursday Party post, NOT your blog URL
  3. Use the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayParty when you share on social media
  4. Grab the button and display it on your blog so others can join the party
From Bisons to Buckeyes: Thankful Thursday Party




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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Simplify - Peony Project

You know what my excuse is for everything? "I have no time." Or "I'm too busy." I have no time to read the Bible. I'm too busy to read any novels or blog posts. I have so much going on that I forget to pray. And I can't volunteer to take on any more responsibility for fear that I won't have time to do it right.

But that's no excuse! I really have plenty of time! I just usually use my time rather poorly.
It really started getting bad when I added exercise to my daily routine. That takes up my lunch break and/or a lot of time after I get off work before Pearson gets home. I also like to use that time to blog, read, and do other things that Pearson and I can't do together so that when he does finally get home, we can spend some quality time together.

Except, I waste time. I wast so much time scrolling through social media. I waste so much time watching stupid YouTube videos. Pearson and I both waste time watching Netflix. Which it turns out, really isn't quality time spent together. We finished 10 seasons of Friends in about 2.5 months. And we always have something we're watching.

I waste so much time worrying about what I'm going to wear, what I need to buy, how clean my apartment is when people come over. I let laundry and dishes pile up because I waste time on everything else and then the daunting task is staring me in the face and I know that's more time I'll have to spend.

The bottom line is, I need to simplify my life. I need a simple daily routine that doesn't include too much time wasters or too many daunting tasks. A lot of the things I waste time on are relaxing things that don't take a lot of energy, but because I do those things, I get stressed out about the time I have left to do the important things. And some important things (like spending time with God) don't get done at all. I'm burnt out.

On the other hand though, scheduling every minute of the day and leaving no room or time for myself is just as bad in the opposite way.

So from now on, I'm going to simplify my life. I will start by staying off of social media. I will fill time left by not watching so much Netflix with reading and spending good quality time with Pearson. I will pencil God time, me time, blog time, and exercise time into my daily schedule. And I'm not gonna worry when things don't get done. And hey, it only takes 21 days to make a habit, right? That's not too long!

Do you need to simplify your life? How do you think you could do that?
Thanks for reading!
Linking up with Heavens to Betsy for this month's Peony Project Prompt: Simplify
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Coffee Date

If we were having coffee...

I'd probably start the conversation by complaining about being in Atlanta this week for work. I'm used to working from home in my pajamas and not expending a lot of energy to talk to people. I usually don't have a commute and don't have to do much to get ready for work so I always get less sleep when I'm here. And most of all, I miss Pearson and Pip. I miss my home.

But then I'd follow up and say that I really shouldn't complain because I get to come home and spend time with my family and see all my friends I left behind when we moved. I get to drive a fancy rental car and reconnect with my coworkers. And work pays for all of it. It's really a sweet deal!

I'd tell you that Pearson and I have lived with one car for almost two months now. This means that Pearson drives our car to work and I am quite literally stuck at home all day because he doesn't get home till 10 pm on average.

But then I'd say that I was being a brat and that I really am thankful for our one car and all the other material things we have that we really don't need!

I'd tell you that I am so glad spring is here but it's hard to know how to dress for this weather. Do I need a coat? Can I still wear boots? Is this sweater too heavy for March? But I'm gonna stop complaining because I think Columbus heard me. It snowed there last night. I'm sorry!!

However, I'd tell you that I am so loving every season of life right now. The other day Pearson said "Can you believe we're almost done with March? Soon it will be Easter. Then the Fourth of July. Then Labor Day. Then Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and we'll start all over." And I couldn't help but think about how excited I am for all of those things. I didn't always look forward to all the holidays of the year. But I am really happy with my life right now. Even the "boring" times of the year when nothing much happens. Namely winter time after Christmas. Even that is fun right now. My birthday, Pearson's birthday and Valentine's Day were all fantastic this year! If you know me, you know that's not always the case.

I'd tell you how grateful I am that I love my life so much right now and I'd ask you if you are as happy as I am. If not, make changes. You deserve to be happy. Forget your past. God has, after all. Start making plans for your future and present that include things and people who make you happy.

What would you add to our conversation?
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy First Day of Spring!!!

Happy Friday and Happy First Day Of Spring! In my opinion, not much could make this day any better! Lets get on with the Friday Five, shall we?
ONE || The First Day of Spring
I would say you have no idea how ready I am for spring but I bet you have some idea. But seriously, I think if I had to endure one more day of snow or negative degrees, I might die. So I am so glad today is the first day of spring that I'm giving you a special add sale! Click here and take 50% off any sponsor option using promo code "HappySpring" but hurry! This offer is only good for the first 5 people to use that code!

TWO || Running outside
I ran outside for the first time since the fall this week. I ran on Monday and Thursday and it was heavenly! So much better than going to the stupid gym.
THREE || Hanging out in Pearson's lab
Last night, Pearson was going to have to stay really late to get an experiment done so he asked if I wanted to come get dinner with him and then hang out and watch Netflix while we were waiting for stuff on the experiment to happen. It was so much fun!

FOUR || Skinfix Hand Repair Cream
I got this Skinfix Hand Repair Cream in my #XOVoxBox from Influenster and it's absolutely amazing. One of the best hand creams I've ever tried. And it came at the perfect time. My hands were dying of dryness. Thanks Influenster and Skinfix Inc.!
FIVE || This video of a talking dog who's owner got him a cat!
A while ago, my dad found this video of an owner teasing a talking dog about bacon and we all loved it so much! As a family we talk about the video often and watch it over and over. Well this week, I found the above one made by the same people and it's awesome!

How has your week been?
Thanks for reading.
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG  Bright on a Budget
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Keeping God First in All Stages of Marriage

You know what? Pearson and I are very busy. Especially Pearson. Did you know that getting a PhD is hard and time consuming? Shocker, right? But in all seriousness, Pearson really isn't home a lot. Most nights he gets home at 9 or later and he works Saturdays too. And while I may not work so much for my job, I also take care of a dog, do housework, write a blog, and am very involved with church by teaching children's classes, hosting showers and all sorts of other things.

But you know what? There is always someone out their busier. I mean, we don't even have kids yet. I can remember how busy I was as a kid going from piano lessons to ballet then straight to softball practice all in one day. And my mom had to take me all those places and figure out how to get my brother where he needed to be also.

Life is busy. That word is thrown around all the time. And I think The Devil tries to use our business to keep us out of Gods word and stop us from talking to our Creator. I think Satan tries to trick us into thinking we don't have time for God today and makes us forget our priorities. And a lot of times, he succeeds.

Today I've partnered with my blog-friend Heather from A Beautiful Ministry to bring you some tips to help keep God first in your life but more specifically, in your marriage. I'll give my tips below and then let Heather take it away and add her expertise for how to keep God first in your marriage after you've been blessed with children.
  1. Pray with your spouse. I don't care how late it is, how tired you are or any of those excuses, pray together before you go to sleep. Pray about things that happened that day, hopes you have for the next day, your future together and anything else you need to bring to God. Make it a habit. Pray together before every meal. Pray together at other special times. Just always be in prayer together.
  2. Pray for your spouse. I tell you, there is not much else you can do to feel closer to your spouse than to lift him or her up in prayer. Ask him how you can pray for him. Pray constantly for his safety, his confidence at work, any problems or doubts he's having that he told you about, and his spirituality. 
  3. Study the Bible together. We definitely don't do this as often as we should but we try to read a short devotional together before bed every night. It's very important to constantly study and grow your own faith through scripture, but it's just important to grow your faith together as a couple.
  4. Make Church a priority. Go to church every time the doors are open and get involved. Find out where you can help as individuals but also as a couple. And if your spouse ever doesn't feel like going, set an example and go by yourself anyway. The result might surprise you.
  5. Go to God with conflicts. When people fight with their spouses (or anyone for that matter), usually the first instinct is to run to friends or family and rant about the issue. We tell other people our side of the story and sometimes blame the other party and put them in a bad light. Instead of running to other people, we should run to God. Take the issue up with the Man Upstairs on your own and maybe He'll show you your fault. Take the issue to The Father together with your spouse and maybe He'll help you find an answer.
  6. Treat God's word as your first source of marriage counsel. I tell you, there is a lot of wisdom in that book. If you have questions about anything going on in your life, you can probably find answers in the Bible, but especially marriage. Explore the topic and soak in the wisdom.
  7. Find other Christian couple friends to spend time with. It's certainly important to make friends with people who have similar beliefs and values as yourself but as a couple it's important to make friends with couples in this category. Being friends with people in similar stages of life is such a blessing. You are experiencing much of the same things in life and can help each other on your journeys.
What do you think? Do you have any more to add? For now, I'll turn things over to Heather!

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I'm gonna start this post out honestly by saying that Leon and I have not always been the perfect example of putting God first in the business of our lives. I still don't think that now. However, we've gotten better!

He's a full time cop and I'm a full time mom. He works at night and I'm with the kiddos during the day. When he's awake I'm sleeping and when I'm awake he's sleeping.

Get my point? We rarely see each other most days and we've used our busyness as an excuse to not read the bible together or pray together. And in doing that two years ago ended out with a very bad taste in our mouths. We had little intimacy, we argued almost every day and with him being a cop he was letting the influence of swearing and getting angry easily take over him which led to.. well, more arguing.

However, things changed last October when he had a 20 day vacation. We both just changed and desire even more of God. In one night Leon's anger left him and he were love birds all over again. Now our goal and passion is to put God first in our lives. Ahead of our busyness, of our children and each other. We desire to be overwhelmed by Him and not overwhelmed by the busyness of our days.

We read devotionals when we're together and when He's working I'll send him a sermon I've been listening too or a verse I loved that day. I wish I could say that we spend hours together every day in prayer but it's just not that way yet and hopefully once his full time Pastor lifestyle comes through we'll be able to do that. I deeply admire spouses who can!

So, here are some ways Leon and I keep God first in our marriage and communicate Jesus to each other.
  1. We pray together.. Not everyday (like we should) but we do as often as we can. However, when we're not praying together, we're praying for each other. which is just as good in my opinion. Man there's power in prayer!
  2. We read the bible and devotionals when He's off of work. On days He's not working we'll read a devotional together before we go to bed. We love reading Devotionals by Bill Johnson, Joseph Prince and just anything that brings us in the Awesomeness of God's love and power. We'll also listen to sermons together.. We love Todd White! Also Bill Johnson and a lot of Marriage wisdom sermons.
  3. We pray with our children. Now this is something him and I do before we put Evelynne (our daughter) to bed. We give her a kiss, read her a story and we pray together. It's my favorite looking around the room with all of our hands held together and talking to Jesus as a family.
  4. I write Leon love notes with scripture telling him how much I love him and how proud I am of him with a scripture to brighten his day. Writing is my language and that's a form of communication that I have always shown him.
  5. And when he's not working on Sundays we ALWAYS make it a priority to be at church.. It doesn't matter how many times My 3 month old Liya girl has kept me up. :)
Hello there, I'm Heather Leigh and I blog over at "A beautiful Ministry" where I blog about my funny, exhausting and joyful lifestyle as a wife and Mama. I'm Married to a police officer and Pastor named Leon. But I often like to call him my "Preacher man" since he literally has the word of God written on his heart.

I'm the mama of two beautiful little girls Evelynne who's two years and Liya who's two months. Being a wife and mama and my most important work and ministry and I love them so very much and I love praising God in serving them and loving them.

My blog is about finding beauty in the every day Ministry of motherhood. I'd love for you to join me and be friends. :)
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Baking & Decorating Cookies - Project Date Your Husband March

A couple weeks ago, Pearson got home relatively early for a Monday and out of the blue he said, "Let's bake and decorate cookies tonight!" We bought some cookie dough to make cookies during the holidays but never used it so it's been in our freezer. I was a little surprised but super excited!

So we thawed out the dough and got the flour and rolling pin out. I looked through my cookie cutters and the only ones I had that weren't Christmas-y were a diamond ring (for a bridal shower) and a heart. Oh and when we bought Christmas icing, we couldn't find red so we got pink. So we had pink, green and some black. Basically, we made ChiO (my club at Harding) cookies! 
We rolled out the dough and started cutting. Honestly, I think Pearson ate more dough than what ended up in his cookies. Below are our cookies just before putting them in the oven. Can you tell which ones are Pearson's? lol Oh and we decided to add a few stars because they weren't that Christmas-y and I had to do one gingerbread man!
When they were done baking, we started decorating. Below are Pearson's cookies...
 
And these are mine.
These two are my favorite: my ChiO heart and my little dude!
The cookies were delicious even if they didn't look perfect. And we may or not have eaten all of them in one sitting. Not to mention all the little bites of dough we ate in the process!

We had a blast and I loved that it was all Pearson's idea. And it was sort of spontaneous for a Monday night. And it sure beat just sitting in front of the TV all night.
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Letters to the World {March 2015 - Link Up}

Dear Coffee,
I love you so much. You are always there for me and get me out the door. Thanks!

Dear Influenster,
Thanks so much for the #XOVoxBox! I'm loving everything in it. I used several of the Tide Pods this weekend, The SkinFix and cream is absolutely amazing. And my teeth already seem whiter. Being a blogger/social media influencer certainly has its perks.
Dear Weather,
OK what have I done to deserve how nice you've been lately? I really appreciate it but I know you're gonna get back below freezing in a couple days. But I changed my closet over to "spring" things anyway.

Dear Avacado,
How did you become so tasty. I remember eating you in the past and you were just OK but Cassey has gotten me eating you again and I love you! And you're so good for me too. I think we have a god relationship going here.

Dear TV Shows,
Why have you started coming back so soon! We've been watching Friends on Netflix and not paying attention. Now we have a bunch of episodes to catch up on. And for Gotham in particular, we won't even be able to watch all the ones we've missed on Hulu. There's so many they aren't all on there anymore. Ugh.

Dear Friends,
You sneaky little show! You have us so distracted. How do you do it?? How are we almost done with season 9 already! And I just know We are really going to miss you when you're over. Oh well. All good things must come to an end.

Who or what would you write to this month in an open letter? Link up below!
Thanks for reading!
From Bisons to Buckeyes: Letters to the World




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Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Friday!

Thank goodness it's Friday. This has been a long week and all I want to do is chill with friends. Good thing that's what we're doing like all weekend. Lets move on the the Friday Five, what do you think?

ONE || I feel like I shouldn't even do a Friday 5 this week. I mean it just seems so unfair that I'm continuing on with life and enjoying 5 things this week when Nicholas isn't experiencing life on Earth anymore. But one thing I have loved this week that came out of the tragedy is getting to see God's children come together and serve Nick's family and friends. The Church is truly such a blessing. I also really enjoyed the memorial service last night and was blessed by all the kind words and stories. He was truly a special kid.
TWO || I need to find some way to make myself focus. Lately I've been having a really hard time staying on task and getting work done. Sure there's been stuff going on in my personal life but that's no excuse to sit on social media or blog or play games on my phone when I should be productive.
THREE || Spring is in the air! I actually took Pip on a long walk to and around the park on Tuesday. It was awesome! I haven't done that since the Fall and we were both way overdue. It rained all day that day, so it was really wet and muddy but still totally worth it. I've also had the window in my office open a lot this week because it's been warm enough and not much makes me happier than that!

FOUR || The best tech support ever! This truly had me cracking up. It's definitely a computer nerd thing, but so funny and worth a read!

FIVE || Everybody seems to be having babies right now and I am so excited! People always told me that after you get married all your friends will start having babies and you'll get baby fever. Well, they were half right. All my friends seem to be having babies, but I do NOT have baby fever. I am so happy for my friends and I love babies, I'm just not ready for my own. I'll settle for "Aunt Charlene" right now thank you!

So how has your week gone?
Thanks for reading!
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG  Bright on a Budget
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ten Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Did you know that last week was Sleep Awareness Week? Yep that's a thing. And you know what's ironic? I have been getting a lot less sleep than usual lately. It's my own fault. Pearson and I have been going to bed late, watching lots of TV up until we finally turn in and then I lay there longer scrolling through social media on my phone. 

Anyway, the people over at Casper Mattresses are celebrating all month because they think one week doesn't cut it. You know what? I agree! Sleep is so important to maintain a healthy life and so many people neglect it not seeing the importance. The people at Casper have shared some tips for getting a good night's sleep and I thought I'd add some of my own. I know these tips really work from experience, but I've neglected a lot of them as of late. Here's to getting into better habits!
  1. Don't look at any technology screens right before bed. The blue light tricks your brain into thinking it's day time and not time to go to bed. Turn off the TV at least 30 minutes before you want to be asleep and read in bed (not on a back-lit eReader) for that time.
  2. Wash your sheets and PJ's on a regular basis. I don't know about you, but for me, clean sheets are just so much more comfortable than old, dirty ones. There's nothing like laying down in a fresh set of sheets, am I right?
  3. Drink herbal tea (like sleepytime tea) before bed. The herbal smells calm the senses and a hot beverage relaxes the body for a wonderful night of sleep.
  4. Don't drink caffeine too late. A lot of people will tell you a certain time of the day (like 2 pm) that you shouldn't have caffeine after. Frankly, for me that's too early. But I know caffeine doesn't affect me like most people so just be smart about it. Find a time that you know works and stick to it.
  5. Cuddle before bed. Studies show that cuddling also relaxes the body. And who doesn't love a late night cuddle session? Whether it's with your significant other or your dog, calm yourself down in the arms of a loved one before you go to sleep.
  6. Keep the temperature reasonable. Most people like to be a little colder at night. Then again, I get some of the best sleep when I'm on the warm side. Whatever you prefer, make sure the temperature and your pajamas are comfortable so you're not waking up in the middle of the night to put more clothes or covers on or take some off.
  7. Be active during the day, I don't mean to do a crazy vigorous exercise right before bed, but do more than just lay around all day. If you're body is not tired, you won't sleep well. If you have a desk job, take the stairs. If you work from home, take the dog on an extra long walk during the day. Just get up and do something.
  8. Keep a note pad on your night stand. Most people lay in bed with a million thoughts running circles in their minds. I do this sometimes. But if you have a note pad right there, whenever you think of something you can jot it down and then forget about it till the morning. Also, you can spend some time doing a "brain dump" before you lay down to sleep. Take the notepad and just write everything that comes to mind. Get it all out of your head and sleep with sweet dreams.
  9. Wash your face before bed. Not only is this healthy and good for your skin, it's so much more comfortable to sleep with a clean face. Also, you can train your body to know that when you wash your face, it's time to settle down and go to sleep.
  10. Block out as much light as possible. Do you have lights outside your bedroom window? Block them out with thick curtains. Turn off all lights in the house. You don't want your brain to think it's day time at all. And then when it's time to get up, open the curtains and let the sun in!
What would you add to my list? Do you have any little tips or tricks for a better night's sleep?
Also, I have to know, what type of sleeper are you from the chart below? I think I'm a combination of the iSleeper, and the night creature.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the Casper Mattress Twitter page!
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Confession Session

ONE || I usually don't record my food on MyFitnessPal on the weekends because sometimes it's just too shameful.

TWO || Ohio has completely ruined snow for me. I used to love it. Now I can't stand it.

THREE || I'm not a fan of rain either but the other day when it was raining instead of snowing, I got pretty excited!

FOUR || Sometimes Pearson and I sing worship hymns while we're laying in bed at night. What do you think our neighbors think?

FIVE || I have now only seen 2 movies that were nominated for the big Oscar categories this year: Into the Woods and The Imitation Game.

SIX || I drink so much coffee, Lorelei Gilmore would be impressed.

SEVEN || We finished season 8 of Friends last night. That's right. 8 seasons in just over 2 months.

EIGHT || I'm a book-adapted-to-movie snob. I understand that you can't convey everything in a book onto the big screen, but at least do the book justice. That's all I ask.

NINE || I tend to hibernate in the winter. I usually only leave the house on the weekends. 

TEN || This means I usually only change out of my pajamas and put makeup on on the weekends too.

ELEVEN || In fact, some days I only change out of my pajamas to work out on my lunch break and then I put them back on after I shower.

TWELVE || I go way too long without washing my hair. I shower often, but I hate having to dry and style my hair so I only wash it 2 or 3 times per week and the rest of the time try really hard not to get it wet in the shower.

THIRTEEN || I keep getting behind on the #365DaysOfTruth and then reading like 5 days worth in one sitting.

FOURTEEN || I sort of freaked out when I turned 25 in January. Like, I'm half way through this decade. I have close friends who are in their thirties. Eek!

Want to see more of my little confessions? I've done this post twice before: here and here.
What do you have to confess today?
Thanks for reading!
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I'd love to introduce to you Felecia of HelloFelecia.com! Felecia and I connected through the Peony Project and I am so excited to have her hanging out on my sidebar this month! 
Lifestyle Blog // Style Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest
Here's what she has to say about herself and her blog...
"Hello Felecia is a lifestyle blog of a writer, currently unpublished but working toward changing that fact. I am in my twenties, a fan of period pieces, the 1920s, fairytales, and all shades of purple. I'm an avid reader, music listener, and enjoy hands on projects and creating. My name is Felecia Efriann, meaning Joyful and Fruitful, two things I hope I live up to."
I asked Felecia some questions so we could get to know her better... 
  1. What is your favorite way to de-stress? I like to cook or have at home spa day while watching one of my favorite movies like my all-time favorite Sound of Music or a period piece.
  2. If you could quit your job for 3 months and have all your responsibilites taken care of, what would you do? Oh and money is not an object. I would travel. visit a few of my Lifetime to do list travel spots. I would choose January through March so I could include a couple different award shows as part of my travel plans and maybe even a fashion week. It would have to include money toward shopping as well as time to enjoy the scenery from behind a camera lens as well as coffee shops. The trip would not be complete without including tasting food from different cultures.
  3. What is something you would love to attempt if you knew you couldn't fail? I like to accomplish everything I do with that mindset. Right now, what I'm working on is a few different novels and sketching designs for a fashion line.
Go show Felecia some love and check out these great posts while you're there!
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Thoughts About Death

You know what's a wonderful thing? Hope. The hope we have in Christ Jesus is indescribable. I often wonder how people without faith get through hardships on this earth. Not that faith in Christ is a crutch or just a means of making life easier. In fact, it is just the opposite of that. Christianity is hard. But one thing we do know as Christians is that we have the hope of eternal life. When a loved one who was saved passes from this life, we know we will see him or her again. It makes it just a little bit easier to take the pain.

We may still ask God why, just like Job did (Job 10:2-7). We may still even blame God in our heart of hearts like so many of the wonderful people in the Bible (Job 16:6-14). But we know God didn't intend to hurt us. We know things happen for a reason and we know God never promised us a life free from pain and heartache.
For my readers who don't personally know me or may not have heard, a good family friend of ours passed away Friday night/Saturday morning due to a car accident. He was a 21 year old college student and really good friend of both mine and Pearson's brothers'. He was traveling with a group of students to do mission work on their spring break in Syracuse, New York. Here is a Louisville, KY news story.

I believe Nicholas is in Heaven looking down and smiling. There are no tears in heaven so I know he's not crying for us, but I think he wants us to know he's doing great, heaven is wonderful, and as much as he loves us, he would never want to come back to this corrupt world. He's just excited for when we all join him someday.
A few of the kids from my and Pearson's home congregation (Buford Church of Chirst) at Harding for Spring Sing in 2012. Nicholas is the one in the yellow Star Trek-looking costume.
You know what else is a great thing? The Church. And having a church family to lean on in times like this. We cry together, we laugh together, we bear each other's burdens, and we help each other on the path to eternal life. Jesus sure knew what he was doing when he established The Kingdom here on earth. One of my favorite passages of scripture is in Acts 2:42-47 when the members of the church were in constant communion. We may not experience life quite like they did these days, but boy can we come together in times of trial like this.

The past year or so has been a tough one for so many of the people I love. My Buford church family has lost several of it's faithful workers. Two of which were very young and very close to me (here's a post I wrote about Canon). My Fishinger and Kenny church family has lost several of it's workers, a couple of which were elders, just in the last few months. And that certainly hit the entire congregation very hard. Being a human is difficult sometimes, but I am so proud of these two church families as well as the Harding University family and the broad church family all over the globe and how we have lifted each other up in prayer, served one another in whatever ways we need it, and are just there as pillars and reminders of Jesus' love. I pray that this never changes.

Nicholas, you are loved and will be missed until we meet again.
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sharing Scripture - She Reads Truth Edition

I've been reading She Reads Truth studies since November of last year. One of the things I love most about this community and the studies they provide is the beautiful pre-made graphics that accompany each devotion! It's simple to just share the graphic after reading a devotion that really speaks to you so that you can share your findings with your friends. So for the Sharing Scripture linkup this month, I thought I'd share all the She Reads Truth graphics I've shared on social media since I started. These are from several different studies, "Open Your Bible." "Advent," "John," "Hymns," and this year's "Lent" study. I think that's all. Anyway, I'll let these just speak for themselves. Oh but I should say they aren't all direct scriptures. Some are quotes or song lyrics from the devotional thought.
Linking up with The Artsy Cajun for Sharing Scripture.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Personal Goals for March

Well well well, if it isn't time for a blog post about my personal monthly goals. Sigh. Y'all I didn't do so well this month. I pretty much failed at all my goals. But you know what, that's OK because I'm not perfect and I'm trying. And I do still love posting about my goals to keep myself accountable. Honestly, if I wasn't telling you all about this today, then I probably would just give up on all my resolutions after the second month of the year. But instead, I am determined to do better this month. So lets see how I did on each specific goal.
Spiritual:
So I'm still reading the Bible through this year with the #SheReadsTruth #365DaysOfTruth but I got so behind this month! At the worst point, I was 10 days behind. And I was overwhelmed. I thought there was no way I could catch up but I didn't want to quit. So I started reading entire books in one sitting (or in one workout session but more on that later). I eventually caught up. Actually just yesterday I finally caught up. But I am still a little discouraged because I was reading each day using the SOAK method and really soaking everything up. But when I read so much at a time, I don't think I retain as much. So this month I want to get back into reading the allotted reading each day using the SOAK method.

Anyway, I have kept up with the She Reads Truth Lent Study so far though. It's so very inspiring! As far as the 5 Love Languages Minute Devotional that Pearson and I are supposed to be reading together... The last day we read was January 31st. That's a fail.

Lastly, I've decided for Lent to give up social media because it's such a time waster! However, because I blog and I'm in some important groups on Facebook for blogging and church activities and such, I am not completely giving it up. But I am only allowing myself to check for notifications at lunch, right after work, and before bed. If I am tempted to check at times other than that, I stop and pray instead. If I catch myself scrolling through after I've checked notifications, I will stop myself and read a chapter of the bible instead. So far I've done pretty well with this. And it helps me stay focused on whatever I'm doing at the time as well whether that's working or blogging or whatever.

Physical:

In February, I added cardio to my workout schedule. I started the couch to 5K program using an app on my phone (C to 5K). I'm not exactly where I should be in the program, but I've done OK. I really enjoy reading the Bible while I walk and praying while I run. I started doing this lately to help catch up on my Bible reading. I've also done OK with Blogilates. I work out pretty much every week day missing only a day here or there if I have a lot to do. But I slack a lot on the weekends.

Speaking of slacking on the weekends, this month I've pretty much eaten whatever I want on the weekends. I mean like ordering a pizza at 10pm or making and icing a batch of sugar cookies and eating them all in one night. Yeah it's bad. So this month I am going to get serious about my health again like I was in January and not skip the weekends.

Mental:
I'm still reading Muscle and a Shovel. At this rate there's no way I'll finish 15 books in 2015. This month I'm gonna step it up a notch. I'm also still reading Happy Wives Club with the Meaningful Marriage Book Study but I am really behind schedule. So in March, I will finish Muscle and a Shovel, get back on schedule with Happy Wives Club, and start on a new fiction novel. Maybe Ender's Game or The Maze Runner.

I am going to do so much better with all of these goals in March. I slacked in February because it was just a bleh month with all the snow and I had a lot going on with Valentine's day, Pearson's birthday, dentist appointments, Pearson being sick... I could go on with excuses but the point is, I am getting back on track and I'm going to be very serious about my goals again like I was in January! Who's with me? Thanks for reading and keeping me accountable!
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What I'm Up To {March 2015}

Ah March. The month that Spring officially begins. Yeah right... Last year we had snow on April 16th... I'm not getting my hopes up. Nevertheless, it is a new month and that's always exciting. And whether spring really comes this month or not, we are a little closer to warmer weather anyway. So lets see what I'll be up to this month, shall we?
Making: Time for myself. I'm done with being stressed out and busy.
Cooking: More stuff in the crock pot. It's perfect because I never know when Pearson will be home at night and the crock pot can just keep dinner warm until he gets home. BUT I never get anything in the crock pot in time for it to be ready for dinner...
Clicking: Crock-pot recipes on Pinterest.
Drinking: Water and more tea. Pearson has gotten me into it.
Reading: Muscle and a Shovel ...still
Wanting: To get a second car already. I'm tired of only having one between us.
Looking: Tired, I'm sure.
Playing: Trivia crack, draw something, and words with friends
Wishing: It would stop snowing!
Enjoying: My hubby being home while he's sick. The sick part isn't so great but at least he's home.
Waiting: For Spring!!
Wondering: What you are up to! Leave a comment!
Loving: Mary Kay Satin Hands hand cream
Hoping: Pearson quickly gets over this vertigo and that it doesn't continue to come back this bad.
Needing: To get out of the apartment and do something!
Smelling: Yummy herbal tea that the hubby makes all the time
Wearing: Chunky sweaters... still.
Following: the new Cinderella movie!
Knowing: Spring will eventually be here.
Feeling: Healthy
Giggling: At Friends. Have I mentioned that I love that show? Well, just stay tuned for a few more lines.
Watching: Gilmore Girls (When Pearson's not home) and Friends (with Pearson)
Listening to: The "intense study music" playlist on Spotify while I work.
Obsessing over: Friends. We finished season 6 this weekend. That means we've watched 3 seasons per month. But I know we went through 4 seasons in the last 2 weeks so at that rate, we'll finish the series in the middle of this month. Then we can get back to watching our live shows...
Shopping for: Spring
Learning: To not spend so much money
Bothered by: SNOW
Eating: Much healthier than usual
Wasting time on: NOT social media. I've given up social media for Lent. OK not completely. I'm allowing myself to check in the morning, at lunch, and right after work. But whenever I feel the urge to check, I stop and pray instead. If I find myself aimlessly scrolling through social media, I stop and read a chapter of the bible instead. 
Praying for: Several soon-to-be parents that I know.
Working on: My attitude and not caring what other people think of me.
Looking forward to: Seeing Mamma Mia! This weekend.

What are you up to this month?
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Still Learning - Marriage & Relationship Goals {link up}

Happy March everyone! It's the first Monday in March which means it's time for Marriage and Relationship goals! If you've been reading my blog at all this year, you probably know that my word of the year is LEARN and that I've been centering my Marriage Goals around that word. This month will be no different!

My goals last month involved the love languages of Physical Touch and Quality Time because I learned that those were Pearson's top two languages. I'll be honest, I could probably work on my physical touch. My goal was to hold hands all the time, play footsie at dinner and show a little more PDA. None of that really happened.
At the Columbus Blue Jackets (hockey) game.
BUT, I think we did pretty well on the quality time part. Pearson worked late a lot so we made the best of the time we had. AND we actually did go on one intentional date every week this month! We went to a Columbus Blue Jackets game the first week. In week two we went to Moe's for dinner and then the library where we used a study room and worked on our budget for February. I know. So exciting, right? But we had just lost Pearson's car and really needed to figure out how we were going to afford another one and being at the library actually made it more fun and we weren't distracted by Netflix or anything. Valentine's day was sort of between weeks 2 and 3. Then in week 3 we went out for Pearson's birthday and last week we went to the dine in movie to see The Imitation Game.

So this month I am going to continue the weekly date night goal and I want to try to add more physical touch again. But I also want to commit to putting away all technology in the evenings and whenever we are together. It's really a problem and I'm even starting to annoy myself about it. Also, I want to eat dinner together every night if possible and to eat at the table. Not in front of the TV. And while we eat we will talk about our day and ask each other thought provoking questions to help us learn more about each other.

Here's to a great month of learning more about our spouses! What are your goals for your relationship this month? Link up below!
Marriage & Relationship Goals




New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us to continue moving forward and avoid the "ruts" of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional. If you would like more information, click here.




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