Friday, March 29, 2013


Sometimes, when my anxiety is bad, I want to throw up.
Literally, run to the bathroom and throw up my lunch.

I feel like my heart would explode if I didn't tell others about my struggle. 
There are times where I am having anxiety about something. Something I think isn't normal. Something I think no one else would care about or think about. Something everyone might hate me for or judge me for. 
The only person I can't keep it from is my husband. 
I've tried before.
He always knows.
He'll say, "what's wrong?"
me: nothing.
him: babe.
me: what? I'm fine.
him: I know you. You can tell me anything. Come here, sit on my lap and I'll cuddle you if you want to cry. Sweetheart, nothing you say is ever going to make me stop loving you.

 And most the time, I will & then I'll tell him all about what's bothering me. Waiting for him to get irritated or frustrated that I haven't let that go yet. That I don't trust the Lord enough. That I should have figured this out by now.
He never does.
 Not once, not ever.
 So I don't know why I am so scared to come to him. He has always showed unconditional love to me.
My husband is rare in that sense. I wish he wasn't. I wish more were like him. Unwilling to judge. Letting Christ live so freely through him that no matter what anyone says to him, he really, truly doesn't care. He loves despite of anything. Really, you have no idea the people I have seen him love. The things they've done.

And it got me thinking. The example my husband sets isn't because my husband is great. It isn't because he has the ability to love others in and of himself despite anything else but because of the love Christ showed him first. 
He figured it out a long time ago. That Jesus loving him was all that mattered. That there was nothing, not one thing, in this life that could EVER steal that truth from him. 

Because Christ lives in my husband, I have experienced, real, unconditional love through him. I have felt more loved and protected in these last few years of marriage that I have in my WHOLE life.

Because of this, I've learned that I can  go to Jesus, freely, with whatever is hurting my heart. Even when fear takes over. When I am afraid that this time is going to be too much.

And EVERY time, He will say to me,
Come here, beloved. I will hold you and I will let you cry. I will comfort you and give you hope. I will reassure you and remain faithful. You can trust me.
Then I'll struggle to get it out & I'll cry and be sad and He will say, Jess, nothing you can say to me will EVER make me stop loving you. Nothing you have been through, nothing that upsets you, no thought, no sin, no power, nothing can separate you from the love I have for you. I'm not going anywhere, I will be here every single time you come to me because I am faithful.
I know this to be true because He has proven His faithfulness over and over in my life. The Lord has loved me in a way that no one else can. Not even my husband. It's the most perfect, peaceful love and it's mine to have. It's yours to have. It's ours friends, if we would just accept it. Let Him love you. I can promise you won't ever be the same.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

{SO WHAT} Wednesday

So What Wednesday

I know so what Wednesdays are you're favorite. No? Well they're mine. 

SO What If:

-I  already booked our snorkeling/kayaking tour for August. I'm a planner and got us a smokin' deal.

-I am slightly terrified of said tour. I saw my sister get stung by a sting ray when she was little and I have been traumatized ever since. The thought of getting that close to them again is frightening.

-Everytime I see someone holding a Starbucks drink or a picture of one I immediately go into "I must have Starbucks now" mode. First step is admitting you have a problem.

-I'm too lazy to clean my house so I am going to pay some youth students to come do it for me. Everything they earn goes to raising support for camp so, see, I am just helping the cause.

-Nathan and I have decided to mainly talk through emojicons lately. While he is upstairs working and I am down. Ya, didn't you read last weeks post about me being banned from working in the same office because I might have a slight issue with leaving him alone ;)  Just keeping our marriage alive people.

-Annabell (our dog) chewed up the vegetable garden that my husband has been working on since December. Oh, wait, actually we aren't the least bit OK with that.

-My white board calendar still says February.

-Nathan & I have had dental insurance for years now but failed to make an appointment until this week. 

Hey friends, I am guest posting over at Faith, Love & Hope later this afternoon and would LOVE for you to check out my answers to an interview with her! I'm letting you in on stuff I didn't know how to verbalize on my own blog until she asked the questions!

Oh, and if you missed my very first Vlog and are just dying to hear my voice you can check it out here!

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Girl Behing the Blog {My very FIRST Vlog}

Ok, so listen.
This had to have been the tenth vlog I tried recording & even then, Nathan had to edit the crap out of it (as you can see, he even named it wifey first vlog) Lol. He also added music.. isn't he sweet!

These are WAY harder than all those pretty bloggers make it seem. 

A. I have NO idea why the color kept changing. Stupid computer.
B. Apparently I can't talk without using the word "um" in every one of my sentences.
  C. This was fun! not. I only did it because I knew how badly you all wanted to hear my voice. ;) I think my Bloggy BFFL is the only one of you who actually has, so, you're welcome.  I'm kidding, I really have wanted to do a vlog for some time now! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Love knows no bounds {A guest Post}

Friends, this girl is very special to me. Back in December, I decided to participate in the Cara Box Exchange for the very first time. I didn't know it yet, but the Lord had planned for Laura to be my partner all along. Through many emails, we became friends. Real friends. She shared her heart with me about her struggle with many  hard things that had happened in her short life & I shared with her my struggle with anxiety, which she also has. I couldn't have imagined what God was going to do with this friendship in such a short time but for some reason He chose me to speak love and truth into her life. I still don't believe any of this was my doing but only the Lords. 
Read the story for yourself &
please, check out her blog, follow along and make friends with her too! You will love her as much as I do!

Hey guys,

I’m Laura and today I want to talk to you about something your church may be wrong about (or at least mine was growing up.)

The church I grew up in had a pretty good policy on the company you keep: “birds of a feather, flock together.” Which I find to be relatively true. But this viewpoint of theirs really focused on surrounding yourself with religious people. They made their opinion very clear- if you had friends who weren’t strong in their faith, or who didn’t believe at all; they were a weakness in your relationship with God. They will bring you down, my church said. They will lead you into temptation. They aren’t the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. They told us that your close friendships should all be with Christians (preferably those from your own religious denomination who shared the same “beliefs” as you.)

And I’m here to tell you that they were wrong.

That they are wrong.

Surrounding yourself with religious people, or people from your church, isn’t necessarily “the right way to live.” If you have any life experience you have probably come to realize that there are a lot of religious people you wouldn’t want to spend time with outside of church. Who aren’t necessarily good people despite being religious people. And you probably know that there are a lot of good people in the world who aren’t religious, who don’t attend your church, or who may not even believe in God at all. People who are generous, loving, kind, and forgiving.

I was one of those people. For a very long time, I was a good person. A good person who didn’t believe in God. I grew up an avid Christian but faced a lot of hard things in life that weakened and ultimately diminished my faith entirely.

But I was tolerant, excepting and open minded. I never pushed my beliefs or lack there of on any of my friends. I respected that they believed something different than I did and I was never a threat to their devotion to God. I also expected that they return the courtesy and never push their faith on me. I was a loyal friend, a trustworthy friend, who happened to believe entirely something else than they did.

And those friendships were invaluable to me.

Those friendships saved me when I experienced heartbreaking things like infertility, adultery and divorce. Seeing my friends who had hope during storms like the ones I faced made me want that same hope. Having friends who didn’t abandon me when I felt disheartened, made me want to have the strength they had. Strength that came from something other than themselves. Strength that came from God.

I met Jess in December, a particularly bad month for me in terms of struggling with the overwhelming emotions of sadness, failure and disappointment. Jess is obviously very strong in her faith and very vocal. She always made it known- what she believed, but never expected that I jump ship and agree with her. She practiced tolerance and patience. As did I when her profusely religious opinions came to me via email. We formed a life-long friendship in such a short amount of time. A friendship built on respect, love and acceptance of one another, just the way we were.

And then she said something life changing to me. “Is it okay for me to pray for you? I know you don’t believe but I really think it might help.”

Granted, I knew she was probably going to pray for me regardless of my response. But folks, she had the consideration to ask me as her way of letting me know that she was. It was her way of quietly saying “I respect your beliefs but I want to help you the best way I know how.”

A couple of weeks later I got a hand written letter from her. With words that brought me to tears. “I hope you know, that even when you don’t believe, Jesus loves you so much.”

I met Jess when I was beginning to want a change in my life. When I was beginning to see that I had been so strong for myself for so long that I was exhausted and emotionally battered. I met Jess when I made the decision to slowly start exploring faith as a way of finding hope and happiness in life despite the obstacles I faced. I made the decision to start trying to believe in God again on my own.

But her friendship, her encouragement and her prayers helped me beyond recognition.

I still struggle with my faith. After all, it has only been a few months since I started tip-toeing into a new church (where I am pleased to say I have found much more to my taste than my childhood religious institution.) Some days are great, and some days- not so much. But every day I have the love and support of my friends. Friends who are good. Friends who believe and friends who don’t believe.

I very much admire Jess and her devotion to Christ and her church. And I think that her friendship with a non-Christian has actually STRENGTHENED her relationship with God. Contrary to what my church always said. She spoke to God more frequently when she prayed for me. She felt God more fiercely when she desperately hoped he would find me. And she found unspeakable joy with God when God started to heal the wounds in my heart.

She never told me these things. She didn’t have to. Because I know Jess. I know that she is never more happy than when she sees her God do amazing things. And I know that she never feels more complete than when she helps a lost soul find their way to him.

I hope that you cherish all of your friendships. Those with believers and those with non-believers. I hope you surround yourself with good people, not just religious people. I hope you love all people the same. That you respect and value the good people in your life- those who share your faith, and those who don’t. I hope you never expect that other people change their beliefs to yours. I hope you love your non-Christian friends just as much as your Christian friends. I hope you know that they may never believe the same things that you do and I hope that doesn’t make you think any less of them.

And lastly, I hope you never underestimate the power of your faith and how it can silently work miracles in other peoples lives.


A struggling-with-my-faith-but-finding-my-way friend of Jess’s,  

Friday Letters


Dear Target, you make it very hard to not buy every single cute mug you have on sale for 2.48. You know I have a thing for cute coffee mugs, especially with our intitials on them. SO thanks a lot.

Dear Oceanside, I'll see you in just 5 short months. I cannot contain my excitement as I cannot wait to be lying on your beach with the hubs. Please show me some love and be extra warm when we are there, OK?

Dear BFFL, Have I ever told you how happy it makes me that my husband's best friend married you? Because now, we are best friends and even though you moved away and crushed my heart, I still love you. I cannot wait to see you tomorrow & more importantly for our girls getaway.

Dear Gizzy, I love you dog but if you don't get a bath soon I may just have to invoke the no cuddle rule. I know you think it's my responsibility to bathe you, but it's your fathers.. so go give him that cute stare you give me when you want to go for a walk.

Dear Pook bear nut face hole, Even though you have decided it's best that I work downstairs and quit bothering you while you're "trying to work," I still love you. I am so excited to be doing life with you. Everything about us, I love. Thank you for always taking the time to show me how much you care about me.

Dear God, Please stir in me a passion for your people. Use me, despite my flaws, to reach the lost, Lord. You have done so much healing in my life in the past month alone I don't even know how to begin to thank you but want you to know I am so grateful for everything You have given me, especially your overwhelming peace these past few weeks. I love you and will forever be yours.

Dear friends, just yesterday I added something exciting to my blog. I am offering an XLARGE Ad space with a TON of exposure The reason I decided to do this was for the sole purpose of raising funds for our Jr. High & High School students for camp this summer. I would LOVE to have you sponsor my blog this month and in turn, sponsor a student! I promise you wont be disappointed! & also, just so we're clear, I love each and every one of my blog friends! Thank you for being so awesome!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Simply Free, A Guest Post!

Good Morning Friends! I am SO excited to introduce you to Lauren. She is just about the sweetest girl I have ever met and she loves the Lord with her whole heart! Please read on and send her some love as she shares encouragement with you today & go leave some love on her blog because she is awesome!

Hey! I'm Lauren and I blog over at Simply FreeI'm a southern newlywed trying to live out this life as simply & creatively as I can while serving Christ, loving others, and finding an abundance of joy & laughter along the way! I write about life & love, as well as recipes & other crafts I've really enjoyed creating. I am so excited to guest post over here with the lovely miss Jess. She is quite wonderful (as I know y'all already know!) so I was delighted when she asked if I wanted to do a guest post :) Today I wanted to share a bit from my heart regarding confidence, my faith, and how to serve the Lord in the midst of all of that! Feel free to  stop by if you have any questions!

In speaking of confidence, I find myself somewhat conflicted to the reality of the thoughts we possess. How does an individual profess confidence in Christ and yet have little or no confidence in self? How does one acknowledge being created in the image of the One most high, yet choose to examine the slightest of inequities within our being with such scrutiny? How can one reconcile our complete worthiness though our Savior alone and yet daily fall to the lies that we will never be yet worthy enough to walk this journey of life in the real world?

We cry as Moses did, "Who am I?" but are we not also crying "Who are you?" ? In our self-doubt, I can't help but wonder if we are but also saying, if even for a brief moment, that He is not worthy as well. It seems as though we fall victim to staring into a mirror or disproportional truths; a sea of irrational, and faulty images that plague our minds until we genuinely believe our discord of the spiritual and the physical. Of our disjointed view of the world not alining with the reality. I'm tempted to wonder if our of thoughts of inadequacies are all to do with our desire to please everyone around us, but the One we were created to please. We were desinged to glorify Him with our entirety. Our whole being. Not only our words, but our actions, our thoughts. It's not who we underneath, but what we do that defines us. We are called to behave in such a way that our very being can bring glory to His name. If it's one thing that's stuck with me this year it's been that behavior is more than simply just outward actions; yet these frivolous gestures that we display for the world to see, only to appear in the best of light to please people who don't matter is the one constant in our lives. We say that our confidence falls to Christ alone, but do we believe that? Do we hold our self-doubts captive and deny the adversary the pleasure of our contradiction and weakness? Our covert behavior, our thoughts...our seemingly private images, are all but behavior under the influence of the events and thoughts that surround them. From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

I'm reminded of lyrics from a Shane & Shane song... "you are my favorite part of me". Is this really our heart? Are we so bold as to claim the glory that is within? Is our cup truly filled to overflow with his righteousness? Do we take claim to the mercy and grace He has promised? To the truth that in our weaknesses, His power is made perfect? In OUR weakness...our weakness of situation. Our weakness of stability. Our weakness of health. Our weakness of finances. Our weakness of talents. Our weakness of abilities. Do we dare take comfort and hold steadfast to confidence that we were knitted together by His hands, that we were known while yet in the womb? That we are precious creations of the One True Creator?

Or do we still insist on looking in the mirror, clouded by guilt and shame? Do we see amplified the shortcomings and find fault in the blessings? You're not good enough. You're not smart enough. You don't have enough experience. You're not small enough. Skinny enough. Pretty enough. Funny enough. Strong enough. Eloquent enough. Knowledgeable enough. Old enough. Talented enough. You. Will. Never. Be. ENOUGH. Do we hear the Father calling to his children to be completed in His perfect image, yet insist that not only are we not good enough, but that He is not capable of using our broken and fragile beings for greatness?

Whether originally from the lips of Marianne Williamson, or as debatably misattributed to Nelson Mandela, the following quote brings an interesting perspective to mind. Are we so caught up by our faults simply because we are fearful of succeeding? Fearful of outdoing our peers? Could this really be...could the fear of pride not turn us to blessed meakness and humility but to self deprecation?

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

In the reality of my journey, my confidence has never come from ability. Quite honestly my confidence has never really blossomed to it's full potential. It's as though a flower that attempts to emerge, ever so slightly, in the chill of winter upon glimpse of the glorious sunshine, only to feel the sting of the cold and defeating world's surroundings, and is forced to retreat within for fear of no survival. There have been moments when my heart and my head align. When the words I speak are in line with the thoughts within. That my confidence in Christ is revealed in my confidence of my own flesh, that though cracked, is still molded by the Potter's hands. But I guess the question remains, how do we continue that confidence without becoming prideful, but without denying our divine purpose in the Kingdom? How do we move from "Who am I?" to "Here am I! Send me!" ?

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

{SO WHAT} Wednesday

So What Wednesday

 SO What If:

-I just unpacked my suit case from the mini-vaca we took almost 3 weeks ago.

-I couldn't get coconut out of my head yesterday so I ran to the store to get some almond joys, coconut oil and chocolate chip to create the perfect cookie.

-I've started baking twice a week again while on a "diet."  I am practicing self control. 

-I didn't finish filling out myfitnesspal diary last night after having said cookies & mexican food. I only had one cookie. . & maybe half the dough. PS-Wanna be my friend on there?! jmnway is my user name! :)

-I really need to use the restroom.. but I don't want to get up so I am just going to hold it. 

-The bump on my belly is bigger than my BFF's baby bump. I've had it since I was little and trotted around in tweety bird swimsuits. Also, I don't like to do sit ups.

-I am convinced we can afford an all-inclusive vacation so I keep looking up trips online. We can't, but a girl can dream.

-I also convinced myself we could afford Hawaii. Again, I am dreaming. Looks like it'll be California again this year, but I probably won't stop looking.

-We watched the OZ the Great & Powerful in 3D last night. We're nerds & it was awesome.

-If Tuesday nights have inadvertently become our date night. We're that old cool married couple who changes things up.   

 - I bought the cutest dress but I'm saving to wear on Easter. 

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

 I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. (No, mom, not while I'm working.)
I am always looking for new dessert ideas because, well it's no secret, I LOVE to bake.
Sadly, I haven't come up with anything on my own. 

Well, one time I did. I bought one of those delicious graham cracker pie crusts, a family size vanilla pudding, some whipped cream & bananas. I was in a hurry so I just whipped it up the pudding, poured it in the shell and topped with sliced bananas and whipped cream. Simple, but oh so yummy.

I know, it's nothing amazing but it's not too bad for a 17 year old. I made it without having to search the internet too. I thought I'd eventually get around to blogging about it until the other day when I saw it on a food website. I was so sad! I guess I waited too long to share it with the world and someone else figured it out.

I recently came up with two ideas that I haven't seen anywhere else. They aren't crazy or anything, but they are different. My plan is to test them out soon and share them before anyone else does, haha. 
It's always been my dream to come up with a great cookie recipe or a to-die-for dessert. One day friends, one day.

Until then, here is a really yummy dessert I found at this cute little blog
I changed it up a little & it was a huge hit at an event we had. Nathan of course loved it. Anything peanut butter and he's in heaven.

What's in em:
-Ghiradhelli brownie mix with chocolate chips
-Peanut butter
I would start with 1/2 a cup. That was way more than enough for me.
Reeces chips or extra chocolate chips (optional.) Um, I didn't do this but wouldn't those Recees ones be DELICIOUS to add on top?
How it's done:
-Mix your brownies according to the instructions
-Divide into pan. I used my new brownie pan and a muffin pan. I also have a mini muffin pan and  think these would be great tiny.
-Bake until they're a little runny still (or however you like them) approx 10-12 min. (longer for large muffin pan) Stick a toothpick in center to test.
Heat Peanut butter in microwave for 45 seconds
-take a teaspoon and make little holes in your cute little brownies. Be careful NOT to poke a hole all the way through.
-Pour peanut butter in the little hole you created.
-Let cool completely or they will fall apart.
Grab some milk & ENJOY!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fab Friday

Linking up with Laura this week to celebrate the good things in life.

-I've lost 4 pounds in these last 2 weeks since I started getting serious about eating better, exercising & maintaining my calorie intake. I'm proud of myself.

-Next week we are starting a new series in our marriage small group & I have heard it's a really awesome study. I can't wait to dive in. I Love anything that would strengthen my marriage and allow it to be an example for others.

-We had the BEST small group the other night with our high school girls. I have been so encouraged by my friends prayers and just being a part of a community that prayers for each other that I wanted to also have them do the same for each other. We spent a couple hours just talking about what the Lord has been doing in our lives and when they cried, I cried, we all cried.. :) Happy heart.

-My BFF is prego & adorable. As stated earlier this week, Tanya, I love you and your unborn little!

-Another friend (who is also prego & adorable) recently moved right by me! I am so excited to see her more! 

-We have a day off tomorrow with absolutely NO plans. This is huge I tell ya! I am beyond excited.

- I've seen the Lord do BIG things this week in terms of my anxiety. I haven't had anxiety for some time now and when it kinda took me by surprise, The Lord assured me He had everything under control. Things that would have me upset and crying for weeks in the past, The Lord brought peace to me in a matter of hours. He used my friends prayers and His unfailing word to reveal His faithfulness to me and it was amazing.

  -I made these last night & they were yummmmmyyyy. Recipe will be up on Monday :)

-My bloggy friends. I know this is something I always write about, but I am so beyond thankful for your friendships, prayers, and love. I wish we all lived close so we could be friends outside of the internet. I have seen so many of you follow me on Bloglovin after the GFC news (before I even knew what was happening!) and that makes me so happy. Thank you for reading my blog and caring enough to make sure you still will.  Kassie, if I get to see you this summer, I will be beyond excited!! Love you girls.

Happy Friday Friends!! :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SO What Wednesday

So What Wednesday


I have only written 4 posts this month and it's the 13th.

I average 15 posts a month. Quality not quantity people ;)

I didn't feel like getting dressed this morning so I am still in my owl pjs. A pro & con about working from home.

I lost horribly to my husband last night at mini golf. He's a pro at everything. Not cool.

I really want to do a vlog.. but I can't get my husband to do the married one with me & I don't have any other ideas. 

I was going to clean the whole house yesterday then realized Nathan already did it. Lucky me :)

I have to come up with an awesome dessert for tomorrow's small group and haven't even really thought about it. I'll make it happen.

I slow down at lights when I see the little hand clicking down from 4 but the light is still green. I hate those things. I get so confused about what I should do! 

I have "ombre" hair on accident because I don't want to color my hair anymore. At least I look cool. 

I use my new iPad mini like it's my phone. I don't even look for my phone anymore, I am more concerned about where my iPad is.

I really want you read this post from yesterday about what's been on my heart concerning money. It's important to me.

I get really excited when my husband gets home from his 2 hour staff meeting. Even if we do spend all day, every day together, I happen to miss him a little. I love him.

Happy Wednesday my friends!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

YOUR money?

Sunday after church we had a core meeting. We do this every so often with the members of our church and share things about what God is doing in our lives. Then we usually go over some things about how we are doing as a church and our lead pastor will talk about some great stuff he has seen God do. While I was listening, Rance said something that I can't get out of my head.

We don't know how much time we have left. 

Of course, this is true in anyone's situation. Not just that of a Christ follower. The difference is as a believer we have assurance of being with the Lord when that time runs out. We long for the day that Jesus will return. 
And so it made an deep impression on my heart.

Not because I am worried about how much time I have left here, Please by all means, Jesus, I would gladly go home with you now, but because others don't know either & it's my responsibility to make sure that before they're time is up, I tell them about the Lord. 

When he said those words I couldn't get the picture of Jesus returning out of my head. When he said the words he chocked up a little and I know why. Because Jesus could come back at any minute & we are called to live every single day as though today will be the day that we see Him face to face. This means in everything we do.
And my eyes welled up with tears because I don't want to be the reason someone doesn't hear about Him.
I don't want others to be left out and hopeless.
I want the Lord to break my heart for what breaks His. EVERYTHING I am for His kingdom's cause.

Specifically in ministry, we were talking about serving. Not only with our time and talents but also with our money. I know everyone hates when Christians talk about money. But why? It's not OUR money. It doesn't belong to us. There is not one thing in this life that is mine. So if money is holding me back from what God is calling me to do, then I have some serious things to consider.
Here's the thing friends, I am SO guilty of this. For a very long time, I hated the idea of tithing. I was never taught to tithe so I had no idea why I needed to give MY hard earned money to a church when I didn't like what they spent it on. I wanted to spend it on me.

I thought I knew best. I thought I knew what the Church spent the money on and I didn't like it. So I kept my money all to myself.

But God doesn't say only give if you think it's going to the right place. He asks us to give regardless of how we "feel" about it and also give joyously and if you really want to know where that money goes, ask! I promise you, the church is giving money to those who desperately need it. GOD has appointed the leadership in Church because He knew they would give to those who are hurting & struggling. There's no need to question that.

When we started going to Access, we both decided it was time to tithe. If I were being honest, I have never found a church like Access. Their hearts were to seek and save the lost. Nothing else mattered. Their mission was to see as many people as possible come to know the living God and they revealed that in the way they love. So I began to be OK with giving up my money.

Although you see, I still thought of it as mine.

The thing is, the more I seek the Lord, the less I care about money. The less I want it & the more I give of it.

Because I don't want what I give to ever hinder another from hearing the truth about Jesus. 
Because the truth is, money is different to a non-believer than it is to someone who follows after Jesus. Sometimes, it takes spending money to relate to them & if I am hording my money because it's mine, then where does that leave room for God to use what HE HAS GIVEN ME to reach the lost?

I say this all in love dear friends. Search your heart & see what the Lord does in your life when you give without holding back. See how He not only changes others lives but yours as well. He promises a blessing and I am living proof of that. I could go on and on about how much He has blessed us in every area of our lives when we began to give freely. But most importantly, remember, we don't know how much time we have left. So give freely friends because I can promise you will receive more fulfillment from seeing the lost find Jesus than you ever will from a full bank account.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bella {A Fundraiser}

Hi friends! 

For any of you who don't know, I have a beautiful little niece, Bella. In June of last year, she was diagnosed with A.L.L. A form of childhood leukemia. You can read her story here or here

I have been wanting to host a fundraiser for my sister and baby niece for some time now but wasn't sure how to go about it.

Recently I was given the opportunity to raise funds for Bella through a Pampered Chef Party online! Of course I am extremely excited because I finally found a fundraiser I am both passionate about (baking) and a way to raise support for my family. 

The best part is, Bella's family will receive ALL proceeds through this fundraiser!

 So here's the deal.. If you can help, that would be so awesome. The reason I am doing this instead of just asking for money is because I know people enjoy getting an item while supporting Bella at the same time. Plus, hello, I LOVE pampered chef! For our wedding, my sister in law got us the chopper and we use it every time we cook. I also am ordering the bar stone for myself (through this fundraiser of course) because I have used it before & I love, love, love it. Not to mention there are 46 new products this spring that I wish I had in my kitchen!

As a thank you for supporting Bella, I will also be giving away a pampered Chef small bar stone for everyone who places an order from now until March 17th. You will be automatically entered as soon as you make a purchase. 
The link you use the order is here and can also be found at the FB event page here. (You must order from this link for Bella to get the proceeds.)

 At the end of this time, my sweet little niece will draw a name from a hat! Isn't that the cutest thing ever?! :) 

While you're deciding what to get, visit Bella's Blog & Facebook Page. My sister is giving away FREE bracelets to raise awareness for childhood cancer & also sells adorable shirts with Bella's logo on them. (Yes, of course I have one! :))

Thank you all so much for supporting Bella in whatever way you can. You are more than welcome to donate to Bella at anytime on either of the pages listed above if you wish to not participate in the fundraiser. If you would please pray for her whenever you think about it, that in and of itself, is so, so appreciated. 

Here's Bella, being Bella :)

Rules for giveaway:
Open to U.S. Residents ONLY
Winner will be notified via email so please enter your email with your order. 
Void where prohibited by law. 
Since I cannot require you to purchase something to be entered, if you would like your name in the drawing, please email me at to find out how.
no purchase necessary

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.  If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

*Photo Credit The Gold Hope Project.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

SO What Wednesday

So What Wednesday


I have nothing else to write about so of course I defaulted to my favorite, So What Wednesday.

I am house hunting and we can't buy for another 5 months. 

I found my dream house while searching, within our budget, but I know it will be gone by the time our rental lease is up.

I miss my dog terribly. He's my little buddy & it's so weird being without him for a while.I mean, look how cute he is.

I thought it was Thursday & got super excited because the iPad mini I won comes Thursday.

I am tracking it every 5 minutes. It's an iPad. Enough said.

I got my case 2 days before I'll even get the iPad mini. At least I know it will be protected when it gets here!

I was at Starbucks the other day (one day out of forever it seems) and the girl charged me for extra caramel. If I were being honest, I go there WAY too much, but in my defense, I have NEVER been charged for this because their rule is only if you are adding something to the drink that isn't typically in it. It's cool Starbucks, I am just going to drink coffee at home.

I ate a super low calorie breakfast & dinner  yesterday so I could have a bean & cheese burrito for lunch. I was still under and it was well worth it! 

I got a pedicure in the middle of winter. I really  needed one. I haven't had one since my bff got married. A year and a half ago.

I am so excited that my bff is pregnant & just shared the news with the world, aka, Facebook. I almost couldn't hold it in any longer ;)

I can't decide on a vacation. We have gone to the same place 3 out of the 4 years we have been married but hubs wants to try something new. But so what if I don't want new. I like old.

I have way too many so whats this week.

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Our little getaway.

Nathan & I have been itching to get away somewhere together for some time now. Thankfully for us, my mom owns a house up north and it is the perfect little getaway spot. So I asked my mom to swap houses with us for a week & thankfully, she agreed. 
 It's so beautiful up here. I just want to sleep all day and never leave. The only unfortunate thing is, besides Saturday & Sunday, we are working. 
Yesterday, we hiked around the lake and it was amazing . There was still snow all over the ground and the weather was cold but bearable. It's just nice to be somewhere away together, working or not, in another environment. You know? 
& there's just something about being away from the busyness and daily demands. I am getting time in with the Lord and feeling renewed this weekend. I am so grateful for this. 

  Love you babe.

 He's the cutest. 

We even got to see our dear friends on the way up.

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