Friday, October 23, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Smiles

I'm linking up with Mrs. Disciple again for this week's #FridayFive! Today, I'll be looking at Five Smiles and I couldn't be more excited!

Some of these smiles have changed over the years and others are constant in my life. As each season of life changes, so too do the things that make me smile.

This is a super precious one that joined our family several months ago. She has blessed our lives immensely and we are smitten. I have loved watching her learn and change and grow. I so look forward to what the Lord has in store for her life.

This handsome man makes me smile. He continually points me to Jesus and loves life. He reminds me to let things go, to catch sight of the bigger picture, and to try drinking black coffee. He loves well. Leads well. Lives well. Serves well. May we never forget where our blessings come from.

My community. These are my people. We do life together. And for that, I am eternally grateful. AND, I don't have a photo of all of us together. This MUST be remedied. I guess it's a good thing though--we are all so busy doing life together and cannot stop to take a photo. We are enjoying one another, confessing to one another, praying for one another, and loving one another...(at least, that's what I'm going to use as an excuse as to why I don't have a photo.)

My parents. What can I say about them!? They have helped shape me into who I am. They pointed me to the Lord, allowed me to fail, and helped me up when needed. I learned a lot of difficult lessons under their roof, and I am ever so grateful to have them love me unconditionally. It's been so great seeing them love their granddaughter, and I now recognize that they cared and sacrificed so much for me when I was a baby--I KNOW that they cared and sacrificed for me while growing up, but now that I have a child, I can TOTALLY see that and appreciate it at a new level of understanding. This photo is 7 years old, when they came down to Austin to run a race for a friend of mine that was battling cancer. THAT means so much. More than words can say.
I also find joy in a fresh cup of coffee--plus, peppermint mocha creamer can put a smile on this gal's face! Had you put a cup of coffee in my face a couple of years ago, I would have scoffed. Coffee is no longer a joke, it is a necessity. :)

Wanna join in on the #FridayFive fun? Check out Mrs. Disciple's page and share your Five Smiles!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Hello again! It is that time of the week: Thankful Thursday.

On this cooler, rainy Thursday, I am particularly thankful for a warm cup of coffee! I love waking up and having some coffee. Rather, I should say that I love to have a little coffee with my creamer.

I am thankful for early, but slow mornings with the babe. Sure they can be exhausting, but those early morning, slowly still waking up play sessions are just the sweetest. You can see her investigating and learning about every little thing.

I am thankful for lovely hikes. Nature is my jam. It is so rejuvenating. Hiking makes me so appreciative of all that is around me. It forces me to pay closer attention to details. It forces me to take a break and enjoy.

I am thankful for watching the sun set. Need I say more?!

I am thankful for a jogging stroller. Hard runs are hard, but jogging strollers make jogging with Harper so much more enjoyable. It is by no means easy! It's a good challenge, just what I need right now. I love it and look forward to running more with her.

I am thankful for high school football. Harper experienced her first football game tonight and she loved it. My high school football team was not good, so any opportunity we have to watch a team do well is a blast!

I am thankful for learning about sign gifts. In our life group this week, we discussed the sign gifts that are mentioned in the Bible. In preparation, I had to learn new things about speaking in tongues, healing, and prophecy. I enjoyed the challenge and I hope the students got a lot out of it.

I am thankful for long walks and talks. Long walks make for great opportunities to have conversations. I am not the type of person that can go on a 30 minute walk and not say a word, that is not me--unless I am forced! To this end, I cannot say that I have been forced to do so yet; however, I am sure there will be a time to come that all I will do on a walk is listen while Harper talks to me. That, I am so looking forward to! So, maybe it won't be 'forced,' rather I would enjoy listening to her thoughts and life-happenings.

I am thankful for this season of life. I want to always and forever be thankful for whatever season of life I am in. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it is easy. Whatever it is, I love it and want to be thankful for it.

What are you thankful for this week?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

#FridayFive :: Perks of Being 27

27 is an odd age. In between 25 & 30. Not a big milestone so to speak. Nothing new that you couldn't do when you were 26. BUT, I will say that there are a few perks to being 27...

-When you're 27, you're not in your 30s yet. You can still claim that you're in your 20s for a little while longer. Hold on to that while you can because 30 is coming for you soon! :)

-When you're 27, you have some wisdom to share. What you have experienced in these short 27 years of life might be worth sharing. You've enjoyed sharing this married life with someone for these past 6 and a half years--wouldn't have it any other way. Life has happened, and that's worth noting. God has shown up in big ways in your life in these short years on Earth! Boy, are we thankful! Share it. What good does it do you to experience things in life and not share what you've learned?! You've been given a story. Tell it.

-When you're 27, you've grown up in a generation that has a lot of information at your fingertips. You have the power to impact so much! The power can be used in different ways and you've seen it go both ways--to rip others apart and build others up. What are you doing with social media? Are you building others up with your influence or not? This really brings to light your heart in each post. Are you doing it for yourself or for others? It is for good or not? Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

-When you're 27, you realize that you're part of a great generation that has experienced life before social media advances and with these advances. In all actuality, it's pretty sweet. You can document life in a brand new and exciting way; however, the face to face communication is a dying art. Practicing genuine face to face communication is key and it's crucial to this life. Do more of this and there will be great reward--it builds community, trust, and love. You also have the opportunity to build your social media relationships and turn it into face to face ones! Just do it. It's wonderful and beautiful. Grab coffee. Go for a walk together. Write a letter even. Yes, a real handwritten letter--not just an email. These advances are wonderful, but we must not lose sight of the beautiful things that got us here.

-When you're 27, you've grown significantly in causing others to feel seen and known and loved. You're not perfect, you're only 27, but you realize that this is important. Because in these 27 years of life, you have needed, craved, and longed for these things. You've received it and are working to habitually do the same for someone else. Let them know that they are seen, known, and loved above all. You are learning to truly be there for people. To embody community. To embrace someone and live life with them. To stand in their corner and fight for them and love them.

PS-When you're 27, you can still do risky things! You're young and have time to recover if anything crazy happens. You only live once. You'll only be 27 once--make it count. Run your race. Make decisions and stick with your gut--you've lived life well thus far. Finish 27 strong. Before too long, you'll be 28. And then a whole different adventure begins.

What are the perks of being your age?

I've linked up with Mrs. Disciple for this week's #FridayFive. You can too!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Woohoo! Another Thursday is here!

I'm thankful for community & accountability. Sometimes your feet are held to the fire to bring about growth and purification. Sometimes (most of the time, perhaps all) it sucks, so you need someone there to stand with you and bandage your feet after the wreckage. Yes, I'm thankful for those lovely people in my life.

I'm thankful for tithing & giving. Tithing and giving are important disciplines, but they aren't just disciplines--they are a delight! Once you let it become a habit, it truly is easier and you can then be the cheerful giver you are called to be. Also, I love that you can tithe 10% of pretty much anything as long as your heart is in the right place. I spend a lot of time on the computer or phone, for every hour I spend, 6 minutes of that needs to be given back to the Lord. I can send an encouraging text to a friend. Read a few verses of scripture. Even turn off my phone and pray for that time. Scroll through my contacts and pray for those people. Six minutes isn't much.

I'm thankful that there's progress being made on containing the Bastrop fires. I'm praying for those that are affected by the fire!

I'm thankful for a Texas win against OU. The few wins we've had this season are hard fought. I will relish in it! Hook 'em. Also, Bevo has been diagnosed with cancer--so that win was really for him.

I'm thankful for cooler weather and walks in the neighborhood. The weather is finally getting to an enjoyable point. I so enjoy it. Running can commence.

I'm thankful for learning. I attempt to learn something new all the time. I want to keep those synapses firing and grow my neuro-plasticity! Challenging myself. Furthering myself. What are you learning?

I'm thankful for fall. Fall is the marriage of football, pumpkins, apples, browns, reds, oranges, yellows, and ciders & soups. I love it and I now want to go bake while watching football!

I'm thankful for listening. Listening is such a key element to life. We get so hung up on talking and don't spend much time listening. I often am guilty of this. I want to be there for others and part of that is just showing up when necessary and LISTENING. This is a challenge for me--listening and truly soaking those words in, not listening and thinking about what to say next.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thankful Thursday :: Belated!

I know it's Friday, but I still want to express my gratitude, so here's my belated 'Thankful Thursday' post!

I'm so thankful for forgiveness and grace! It's truly freeing when these things are given out, and in turn, I want to throw it around like confetti. Try it!

I'm thankful for a date night to see Leon Bridges at ACL Live Taping. Here's his song 'Shine,' enjoy! Tyler and I had a great time together! Leon has fantastic stage presence, and though I doubt we were filmed since we were in the balcony, we definitely shouted for him. I'm sure our neighbors loved us.

I'm thankful for worship. We discussed worship with our junior class and it was honestly a lovely experience. I love that worship is a response of the heart, not just a set time for corporate worship on Sunday mornings. I needed the reminder of what worship truly is and how I am doing it day in and day out.

 I'm thankful for hard conversations. Though they may not necessarily be pleasant, we all need these types of conversations. You know the ones, they may step on your toes some but ultimately bring about grace, truth, and allowing the Holy Spirit to change your life. Yeah, those!

I'm thankful for Petra. There's one song I continually sing over Harper, that I will force her to learn one day. The song 'I Love You, Lord' is a short, sweet, and honest song. I love singing it over her while she's being fussy because it ultimately alters my perspective on the issue at hand. Of course I do what I can to get her to stop crying, but there are times that she won't. It is those times that I like to think that she is singing to the Lord. He hears her cries. He loves them. After having two miscarriages, the cries are a reminder of God's faithfulness in our lives. I pray that my heart would continually be reminded of that sweet truth, rather than get upset over Harper being expressive in this way.

I'm thankful for photos. Memories sealed in a capsule. Printed and enjoyed. I need more printed photos in my life. Reminders of the blessings in my life.

I'm thankful for Amazon Prime. 2 day shipping is the BEST! I can get real paperback/hardback books in my hands in two days and I don't even have to leave the house. Lazy, perhaps. Amazing, definitely! I can also find other things to order too, of course.

I'm thankful for the restorative time with family in Oregon. It was truly beautiful last weekend and my soul desperately needed that time in the wilderness, surrounded by His creation.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Today I'll be writing, as I hope to every Thursday, about what I'm thankful for! I'm writing in hopes of altering my perspective and enjoy each blessing.

I'm thankful that I get to watch Harper learn and grow. She is currently learning to roll over and we're working on crawling!

I'm thankful Tyler has been able to be home for some time now! I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but with all of his job sites, he has had to travel quite a bit. We've enjoyed this time together.

I'm thankful for LifeGroups! I love having the Juniors over at our house. I am so blessed by our time with them and have loved watching them grow and allowing them to grow and change me.

I'm thankful for Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey! I recently learned that I am going to be on her Launch Team. I have downloaded the book and so look forward to starting it! Book launching has become somewhat of a hobby for me and I LOVE it.

I'm thankful for community. I love that the Lord has provided these ladies for me to live life with. Everyone needs a tribe, your people...those that are in your corner, fighting for you, praying for & with you, and loving you.

I'm thankful for a Run for the Water 5K on Nov. 1! It will be my first race post-Harper--and I am pretty pumped! Anxious, but ready to get back to it.

I'm thankful to visit family. We are about to head out to see Tyler's parents in Oregon! They haven't seen Harper in several months, so I know it will be a good time with them.

I'm thankful that Harper is getting better. We are so humbled by this journey with her health; and it creates a deeper trust in the Lord, as we are not in control of her tiny body. God is faithful!

I'm thankful for having the opportunity to celebrate my Grandpa's 80th birthday this previous weekend. I have learned many things from that man! He taught me how to shoot, how to hoot & holler at football games, and most importantly how to truly care for others. He is a light to those around him and because of him I know what a percolator is. When I call and ask how he is, he says 'I'm percolatin' pretty good for an old fella!' Love him.

I'm hoping this new bit will create in me a spirit of gratitude, even in the smallest of things! What are you thankful for?