Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mid Week Randoms

Hi friends!
I do love a good link up, so I thought I'd join in on this one today.

{1} Swim lessons this week have been a blast! I've been teaching these brothers and they are such a joy. One of them is working on making his strokes stronger so he can possibly join a swim team, and I've looooved sharing all the tips & tricks I learned during my competition years.

{2} My 101 in 1001 list is looking pretty good. This past Sunday I got to mark another thing off, ziplining! Oh it was so much fun. By the end of the day I got brave and was going upside down, doing flips, & going backwards. If you haven't done something like this I highly encourage it!

{3} The Lord's blessings have literally showered me this week. Just when I think I'm about to stumble the Lord lifts me higher and life couldn't be any sweeter.

{4} This morning I'm spending time with a sweet friend preparing for the school year over coffee. I love spending our time together, even if it is over school.

{5} How in the world is it August tomorrow?! Like wait, what happened to summer?? Time to squeeze in a few more adventures before the school year starts.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Five

Hello Friday!!

Wow this week has absolutely flown by!
I finished up my internship last week and silly me thought this week would be nice and slow. Who am I kidding, I love being busy and fast paced.

1. I loooved getting to see Hunter Hayes last Friday night. Oh boy can he sing and entertain a crowd. Plus it doesn't hurt that he is super cute. It was so fun to go along with two great girl friends to my hometown and just enjoy the sights of being home. 

2. Poolside. Oh yes, I've finally gotten to lay by the pool some this week. The sun popped its sweet rays out and I've been soaking them up. Not having to work all day rocks! I take a good book, some sunscreen, and there I am for several hours.

3. Swim lessons. I had the pleasure of teaching the sweetest 8 year old boy to swim this past week. On Monday he couldn't do any strokes, by yesterday we were swimming laps, treading water, and going down the water slide. Amazing I tell ya!

4. Volleyball. I will never sick of playing volleyball. We had an exceptional group play the other night and it was fantastic! Afterwards we all walked down campus and jumped in the fountains. Something I've been wanting to do since arriving at UT. Wish I would've taken pictures but it was so dark out.

5. LAKE. Oh yes, today is beautiful, no rain in sight, and we are headed to the lake today! Can't wait to get out on the water with my friends, enjoy some sun, and have a fun night together.

Hope you had a great week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Running Shoes

Okay darlin's,

I'm in a shoe dilemma, so I need your vote!
Which pair should I get?!



Thursday, July 18, 2013

A good gift gone bad

As I said yesterday we had the opportunity to attend church at Buckhead Church on Sunday morning. They've been doing a series My Bad Church Experience and if you haven't gotten a chance to listen to any of it yet I recommend you go do so now! It's been great. I've been listening along in the car every time I find myself driving for 45 minutes or more at a time.
This pass Sunday was title A good Gift Gone bad. We studied in Matthew 23:1-7 and it was truly eye opening. Here are some of my notes.

  • People from church, keep people from church
Where am I judging outside of the church? What standards am I creating for others?
 This definitely struck a note with me. It is so easy to judge others based on their actions, what they say, and not know where they are coming from. And I find myself all too often setting others up to my standards which may not be realistic for them. This in turn is setting them up to fail, hurting them and me. I need to spend less time judging others based on what they can't do, but praise for what they are capable of, because we are all different.

Where am I saying on thing and living another? 
 Hipocrisy. Oooh everyone hates this. But we find it to be so true in churches today. Everyone has fallen short of the glory of God and we can all be guilty of this. I know many times my actions and attitudes are one thing, while I say another. I'm striving to have my actions and even more my attitude reflect what I am called to be.

Where am I portraying I'm better because I'm a Christian?
Ouch. This one hurt. I work with urban youth, and sometimes its easy to fall into the trap because I had super involved parents and a safe home to believe I'm better, but I'm not. God created us all in his perfect image, and I am not better than anyone else. I know others are more educated on the Word than me, and others have been on more mission trips than me, but that does not make me any less either. We are all here to serve and glorify our God, in our own specially designed way. 

And lastly, we are called to be the givers of the gift. We are not to wrap up the most precious gift in garbage, but to present it as the most wonderfully packaged gift. 
Here is the link for the message, I really hope you get a chance to listen to it.
Happy Thursday my friends!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It feels like a perfect night

Hi sweet ladies!!

Wow. What a weekend!
I can not begin to tell you how loved I felt over my birthday weekend. I was showered with such great love all weekend long and flat out spoiled silly. I tell you, my sweet friends and family sure do know how to do birthdays.
Friday started with my barre class, and it was incredible! My instructor was super welcoming and made sure I felt comfortable since I was new. I'm absolutely hooked on barre now. It was such an incredible workout and really worked my muscles deep. I can not wait to sign up for my next class!
The drive to Georgia Friday was just beautiful.
Upon arriving Friday we did some light shopping before having dinner then heading into the city for a Braves game. 
I haven't been to a game since I was 4 so I really enjoyed the experience. The Braves didn't pull out a win, but the crowd and the fireworks were pretty great. Oh and I got to meet Leslie and Jessica!

It was so great to finally meet these sweet sweet girls in person!

my sweet hostess for the weekend
 After the game we were welcomed with dessert when we got back home.
Saturday we slept in and enjoyed a quiet morning. After having a large breakfast we set off for some shopping in downtown Atlanta. We had such fun just browsing all the stores and chatting it up all afternoon.

afternoon pick me up
Saturday evening was spent relaxing, walking around the neighborhood, and watching The Help. We were wiped needless to say. 
Sunday we headed to Andy Stanley's church, Buckhead Church. Here I finally got to see my old roommate and dearest friend Elaine. It was so great to be in church together again. The message was amazing and truly convicting. I'll have to do a recap on that some other time because it's definitely worth listening to twice.
Elaine & I
 After church we rested up before getting ready for the concert!

just playing with the pet turtle
Then it was finally concert time!
Let me just say Luke Bryan is WAY better in person than on the radio. The best concert I've ever been to. We arrived, got some souvenir shirts, a drink and made our way to our seats just as FlGa line was performing cruise. Perfection. However ever after that it began to rain. At first it was just a sprinkle and then the heavens opened up. Well turns out rain is a good thing, because after that the party really got started. Everyone was carefree and just having a great time. The rain did end, and Luke came out and we belted our hearts out! You better believe I danced and sang to every song. We had a blast and I can't wait to go to another show of his!

And it wouldn't be a proper birthday without ringing it in with Taylor Swift's 22 & waffle house. It was a perfect night for breakfast at midnight after all!

I hope you had a great weekend! :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Big Deuces!

Happy Monday friends!! 

Today is my birthday and I can't begin to tell you the love I've already felt from friends and family. I'm beyond blessed & couldn't be any happier. Today I'm off to spend one last Monday with the kiddos and then onto some birthday celebrating tonight. 

It was a perfect night, for breakfast at midnight. 

Be back tomorrow with a full recap of my completely spoiled weekend. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Birthday weekend begins!

Happy Friday!

Did you hear that? It's Friday! And it also happens to be my birthday weekend, double hoorays!

I've been anticipating this weekend for quite a while and I'm just so excited that it's finally here. This weekend I'm off to see my boy, Luke Bryan!

Oooh how I can not wait to sing my little heart out!!

 But first I'm headed to a pure barre class this morning. Have you ever done one? I'm really excited to experience it, and hopefully it won't leave me to sore for the weekend. I plan on spending some serious girl time with some of my favorite sisters in Atlanta. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

10 on 10

Today's post is about finding the ordinary things in life beautiful.

Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments.

I came across this idea while reading Bloom the other day and though this was a great idea!

1. My morning started out with bird house and model car painting. The simplicity of helping small hands nail together some wheels and create the perfect paint color brought me such simple joy. 

 2. I got some time spent in NoNo's beauty salon. Is that not the sweetest little face?!

3. Lunch time. First time trying quinoa, and not sure if I love it yet. 

 4. Silly mustaches with food coloring gel.

5. Cheesecake and fellowship with some super sweet ladies that refresh my soul. 

 6. Catching up on one of my favorite new blogs and planning out the rest of the month.

7. A learning lesson that I needed to read.

Unfortunately after church I wasn't feeling so well, so I didn't get the last three pictures. But I can tell you what it looked like. 
8. Bible. Helped with the youth group tonight loving and praying for those teenagers.
9. Dear John. Some much need rest so as ward off this cold.
10. My favorite beverage, diet coke with lime.

I really enjoyed taking the time to capture some of the simple moments throughout my day. 
I challenge you to try sometime! :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1,000 hugs

Something has been heavy on my heart.
Yesterday I gave you a snippet of what my summer has looked liked, but I could never do it justice.
My friends laugh and make jokes about how often I talk about "my kids." But I only wish they knew how incredible these small people truly are. And how I receive 1,000 hugs every day.

For most of the summer I've been in a dry patch with the Lord. I couldn't figure out why for most of the time, as life was going just as I wanted it to. But it was me. I wasn't the one searching, and seeking His face. I'd created my quiet time to be another check list, not centering in on the Lord or focusing on what he had to teach me, until now really.

You see these kids reflect Jesus in many ways, and to most its unexpected. Urban children have gotten a bad rep, but for no reason really. These kids I'm so fortunate to spend my days with are some of the greatest people I know. 
Yes, we argue and don't listen to each other sometimes but there's more.
We hug, we laugh, we cry from laughing, we play, dance, and celebrate all the little things, even becoming the four square king for just a minute. 
These kids have taught me what unselfish love looks like. 
They didn't need to know everything about me to love me. It took a simple name game and somehow I was theirs forever.
However, Jesus knows everything about me and yet loves me the same. He knows my name, my thoughts, and where my heart stands at all times. Just like these kids who give their hugs to me every day, the Lord wraps His arms around me.
I wish everyone could feel this love everyday.
And they can, it just takes a little out stretching of your arms and voice.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer of Smiles

Happy Monday!!

Today I want to share a bit of my summer thus far.
This summer I've been working with urban youth children. And I absolutely love it. Each day is something different with a different group of kids. I'm primarily a "health" role person, along with another girl, and we go around to our different sites and teach health. This ranges from dental care, every day exercise, to how much sugar is in a soda. 
The kids are brilliant and know more than most adults. 

My favorite moments with them come when we're being silly playing four square, dodgeball, or even hunting salamanders in the Great Smoky Mountains. I've truly learned over these past few weeks what unconditional love looks and feels like. It didn't take longer than a week for these kids to trust me, and not much longer for me to fall for their sweet toothless smiles. I may have turned into a bit of a soccer mom with all the gear currently in my car, and learning camp songs so we can be entertained. And I may always be joked about with my friends because all I do is talk about "my kids". But really these kids feel as if they belong to me, and I only hope every one can experience the love and brilliance children have.

Watching one child silently give up their ziploc baggy only so another can catch salamanders brings my heart warmth.

I can't believe all these kids have silently been teaching me this summer and now its about to end. I plan on spending as much time as possible loving on these sweet faces over the next days & hopefully being more like Jesus to them as they have been to me. 

cooking camp
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Friday's Letters

Hi sweet friends!!

Sorry for quite the absence around this little corner lately. I've been busier than I have ever been this summer, but I'm back and feeling really inspired. I hope it lasts! But for today I'm leaving you with some letters.

Dear Friday,
I'm so excited to see you, even if its a 100% chance of rain toady. But I'm determined to go on my hike with some incredible middle schoolers, and enjoy God's beauty in the Smoky Mountains. We had planned on getting wet anyways, so rain won't be stopping us!

Dear friends,
Wow you sure do keep me busy and moving. I love that we are continually playing volleyball, kickball, or swimming. I'm so blessed by our friend group and all the fun we have.

Dear Church,
You are the sweetest little family. I enjoyed seeing so many faces Wednesday night at our indoor cookout to celebrate the 4th. Even with a damper in the plans everyone was so joyful to be together fellowshipping.

Dear best friend,
our time spent together this week was precious. Watching P.S. I Love You was sweet bliss. And my morning devotional is that much more lovely when we do it together and sip on the world's best coffee.

Hope you readers have a great weekend!