Wednesday, August 31, 2011

winner of the August giveaway!

It's winner time people!

Remember last time when I randomly selected my friend Carrie and started laughing, just because it was Carrie? 

Well, this time, I seriously cracked up. 

I went to to its random number generator, because I figured out that it's a lot easier than cutting up 50 names and putting them in a hat. And probably more random anyway. I have everyone who was entered in a numbered list, and whatever number it generated would be the winner.

It gave me the number, I consulted the list, and the name next to my mother.

Therefore, I cracked up.

No, I will not strip my mother of her title as winner. I'm trying to be honest here, people. And I'm extremely thankful for her support of my blog. :) I will indeed give her a Thirty-One prize.

BUT, just to be extra fair, I will also have another winner. Who gets to pick the Thirty-One gift. Who did not give birth to me.

That winner.....



Yayyyy. She's so sweet and encouraging and is a faithful reader! So I'm happy it picked her! 

So, Brooke, you need to go ahead and pick your item. :)

Thank you to everyone who commented & such. Y'all are awesome. Sorry I haven't replied to many people yet. I get overwhelmed by your great thoughts and ideas! 

Also, I'm brunette as of today. Crazy.
This is the only picture so far. I know, the dark hair makes me look even more G. Didn't know that was possible, did you?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

my thirty-one party.

Saturday's party was a success. :)

My pal Brittany came over and set up all of her lovely items. Which was a LOT of items. It was so nice to see most of the bags and such in person. They're bigger than they seem in the catalog! 

I set up a little ice cream buffet. It was so fun to do. I like to try to be creative sometimes. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Blue ice cream truck printables were free from Kara's Party Ideas. Awesome party inspiration blog.

White hobnail dishes and a few other items were courtesy of my dear mother. Maybe one day I'll have as many amazing serving options as she has collected and thrifted and discovered at antique shops. :)

So, besides eat ice cream with scrumptious toppings, what else did we do? We had excellent fellowship. I loved seeing the people who came, they were all beautiful women inside and out. We shopped of course. Now is a great time to start getting Christmas presents. Or to just....get stuff for yourself. To help organize your life and home. Which is what I'm trying to do. Key word trying.

Which reminds me. Tomorrow I'm randomly selecting the winner from my list of entries for the August Giveaway! So if you want to be entered, you better get your "like" on. And comment. 

Here are the three options for whoever the lucky winner will be.
Bear with me, because these pictures may be hard to see. If you want to be able to zoom in and look at them better, you can visit their online catalog at

Choice #1 - The Mini Organizer. 
I'm getting one of these and I'm pumped. It will be oh so handy.

Choice #2 - The Thermal Tote.
Perfect for lunch! I already have one of these & love it. And so many patterns to choose from!

Choice #3 - Lil' Expressions Mini Zipper Pouch.
If I had more than a 2 person family, I would totally get one. You get to customize the little people on there. How adorable! Wish I could make the picture bigger, but you can go look on their website.

So there you have it. The three choices. I hope the winner will happen to like one of those things. BUT, the winner will have to hurry up and let me know which one so I can order it. If they don't let me know within 24 hours...I will have to pick another winner. So make sure you check back to see if it's YOU. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

news, happenings, & hoards of old people.

1. I could not post yesterday. I was literally busy from sun-up to lights out. But, at church we did a "Way of the Master" evangelism video lesson that was perfect for my Wednesday Witness. I will talk about it later.

2. It seems as though Jordan and I have been having non-stop fun since he got home from Pennsylvania last Friday. It's been ridiculously good. But having fun is pretty exhausting sometimes. Saturday we babysat (more to come about that) and then watched a movie. Sunday we went to church, had lunch at my Grandma's with my fam, went out to eat at Outback for our engagement anniversary that night, and then Coldstone. Awesome, awesome day. Monday we went out to eat downtown at Cantina South with another married couple, got some Cookout milkshakes, then went to a movie that night with some other friends. On Tuesday Jordan went golfing with my dad and I went shopping for my party on Saturday. Yesterday our cousin Brooke came to visit (the one I counseled with at camp). We went out to lunch and to see a movie and then had dinner with Jordan and went to church.

After we got home and sat down, Jordan and I were like woah. These past few days have FLOWN by, it's like they all ran together. They can't all be like that or we'd never get anything done and never have any money, but it's a blast sometimes. I'm glad we're a couple who likes to be going and doing and hanging out with people. He's my best friend.

3. You may have noticed how many times I said the word "movie" in that paragraph. We hardly ever go see movies, and if we do it's at the $1.50 theater. But in the past few days I've seen 2 good movies at the real it's been pretty crazy. I mean the seats are really comfy in the real theaters. Really. Comfy.

The first one I saw was Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I think they did a really good job with it....but it was SAD. Like sad the entire movie. I felt bad for the people...I felt bad for the apes...not a feel good movie. But I did enjoy it, especially since I used to watch the really old ones when I was little. Also, the guy who plays Draco was in it. Ha.

The second movie I saw was The Help. I really don't like most chick flicks, and from the previews it kinda looks like it would be one, but I don't consider this a chick flick. I think men and women alike would enjoy it, because the story is just THAT good. The characters are phenomenal. Acting is excellent. It's historical, riveting, appeals to all of your senses, makes you think, just does all kinda great stuff to your insides. Disclaimer: There is some bad language, so be forewarned.

So when Brooke and I went to see The Help, it was during the day. We drive up to the theater, and there is a line of at least 30 people getting tickets. Not just people. People of the age of 65 and up. Not that there's anything wrong with older people. I love them. They're awesome and full of wisdom. But it was hilarious to see a giant group of them going to the movies. And when we got into the theater there had to be like 60 of them in there with us.

Brooke took this picture after we had been in line for a little while. So funny.

The movie Jordan and I watched at home was United 93. It's about the plane that didn't make it to its target on 9/11. Also not a feel good movie, but I'm glad I watched it. Can you believe it's about to be the 10 year anniversary of that day?? I can't. Wow. I'm sure I'll write about that later.

4. I'm working out a lot. I feel better and have more energy. I recommend working out.

5. I'm helping with Storm Squad tryouts tonight. I'm excited to see my Canes family and give them some assistance. Also, I'm prepared to be very entertained. Tryouts can get crazyyy! You have to do so many spontaneous random things. So I'm excited to see what's in store.

6. My Thirty-One/Ice Cream party is this Saturday. If I know you, and you want to come, then let me know. Seriously. It's gonna be fun. Or if you don't know me, but live near Raleigh, and want some great Christian fellowship and good times, then let me know. Or if you want to order something from Thirty-One through my party, let me know also. I think the theme of this paragraph is that you need to let me know. Or if you want to win my August Giveaway of a Thirty-One item, then become a fan of the Christian Wife Life Facebook Page and comment on one of my August posts!

7. Have a great rest of your Thursday. It's almost the weekend. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

um, earthquake craziness.

Just experienced my first earthquake. So obviously I had to write about it.

Not too long ago we had insane tornado action here in Raleigh. Today we had tremors from an earthquake that started in central Virginia. Hurricane Irene is expected to hit us this weekend. Crazy.

So earlier I was just eating my lunch, good ol' peanut butter sandwich and some Cheezits, about to do some studying, when everything starts shaking. I thought my wrought iron thing on the wall was about to fall on my head along with the smiling faces of me and my husband that also adorn the wall. "Is that those dang powerwashers tryna clean our buildin while makin as much noise as possible again??" I thought to myself. For some reason I remember that thought being in the redneck voice that I just depicted. So I look outside, while everything is still shaking. Nope. Nobody in sight.

My next thought was that the lady below us was going to leave another note on our door thinking I was shaking the building somehow. I mean, I work out here sometimes but I don't think my weight would provoke that kind of reaction from the building structure. Hopefully she realizes that. Because I have a feeling that even if she heard there was an earthquake she'd still try to blame it on us somehow. 

So then I get on Facebook, which I must admit is an excellent source of news, and see that many others felt the same thing and are attributing it to an earthquake that centralized in Virginia. Okay so I'm not crazy. That is good. Thanks, Facebook.

I then think about the fact that my husband was just climbing a cell phone tower not even half an hour earlier. I'm very thankful that he got done when he did....the thought of everything shaking while he's hanging onto some metal bars hundreds of feet up in the air by himself is not cool. Not cool at all. Thank you, Lord. 

So yes. We had an earthquake. We are freaking out about it because that kinda stuff doesn't happen here. So  if you live in California or another earthquake prone place, I can assume you are chuckling at us North Carolinians right about now. But whatev. It was crazy to us.

Now let's see what happens with Miss Irene this weekend...

Monday, August 22, 2011

when the disciples said dumb things.

I love when I'm reading God's Word and I can totally relate to a stupid thing someone does. I do stupid things. A lot. So when a believer in the Bible acts like a dummy, but is also eventually used in great ways, it gives me much encouragement and hope. God can still use dummies. We're not doomed to dummyness all of the time, because we have His power.

I was reading about a prime example of that today in Mark. Jesus was experiencing hoards of people following Him and marveling at His miracles and teachings. He had just fed a group of over 5,000 men (which could have added up to 20,000 people when you throw in women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6).

He was healing people left and right. His disciples should have expected these crazy awesome things by the time we hit Mark 8. But no. Let's read verses 1-8.

"About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, 'I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.'

His disciples replied, 'How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?'"

Um. What. Are you kidding me, disciples?

Can someone please knock them upside their heads? Can they be fired from their disciple jobs?

This group of people consisted of 4,000 men. Less than the time before. So why in the world could they not think back to the last time they were in that exact same situation and had leftovers from five measly loaves and two little fishies?

Because they're human. They're sinners. They can be dumb. They forget easily. Like the Israelites. Like David, a man after God's own heart. Like Saul, before he was Paul.

Like me.

God blesses me every single day. He has pulled me through so many struggles and trials. But for some reason, whenever I enter another trial, I tend to ask, "Lord, howEVER will I get through this? WhatEVER shall I do?"

And then someone needs to knock me upside my head.

Just like every other trial I've ever gone through, just like when God provided for me the time before, God never fails me. Why does this leave my mind so quickly? Just like the disciples, I can be in awe of what God does for me in my struggle and then panic the very next time it happens.

I'm so glad Jesus didn't fire the disciples or punch them or leave them in their whiny state. He gave them grace and taught them more and helped them grow into brave, influential warriors for Christ.

I'm also glad that the Bible records the dumb things that they said. Failure can be inspirational. Especially when you know the ones who fail have successes that are of eternal importance.

So next time a trial sneaks up on me and I feel a panic mode coming on, I need to give myself a brief history lesson. It would take about 2 seconds. I need to say to myself, Self, has God ever let you down before? No. Has God always been in control with a perfect plan? Yes. Alright then. Trust Him.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

a year ago today, my life completely changed.

A year ago, right at this moment, we were headed to Fenway Park. Walking across the bridge...taking in all of the sights...talking excitedly...hoping for a win. I was with my best friend's parents and her brother, wearing my Carl Yastrzemski shirt, jeans, navy Chucks, not a care in the world but the game and the fun that awaited me.

Had I thought about marriage at that point? Of course I had. I had a boyfriend. I'm a girl. A girl with a boyfriend automatically wonders if he's "the one" even if she doesn't want to get married, even for just a nanosecond. It must enter her mind. At least that's what I think happens to the majority of girls. But this was different. This was no casual dating time. This was for real. A "courtship" if you will. Although we never officially called it that.

Jordan and I started talking a lot in March. Our first "date" was in April. We started officially "dating" in June. With the intention of seeking God's will in the relationship - if it was headed toward marriage. By the end of June I just knew. I knew I was going to marry him. God had made it evident to me. I don't know how to explain it. I wrote it down in the journal of letters that I had started writing to Jordan, and he was able to read it when I gave it to him on our wedding day. If I hadn't had documented it, he probably wouldn't have believed me. But I knew. I was in love with him in a way I didn't know was possible - Christ-centered love is a million times different than earthly love. Jordan leading me spiritually was the most romantic thing he could have done for me. I just knew.

We didn't talk about it. We didn't say "I love you". I only remember actually speaking of marriage once. I think that was in July. There was not a clue or hint that it would be anytime soon whatsoever. I do know that when my friends asked me about him, and I told them that I thought I would marry him someday, they were pretty surprised. I had a history of failed relationships and I had never said that before. I couldn't even believe that the words were coming out of my mouth. I didn't want to get my hopes up. But it wasn't just my hope - I had God's hope. He guided us the whole way. It was truly an amazing process, totally due to His grace alone.

That day. A year go. When I saw Jordan come out of nowhere....when he dropped down to one knee...when he told me he loved me for the first was the most surreal, shocking feeling I have ever experienced. I gripped those railings as tight as I could and entered into a dream-like state. That man kneeling before me...the man who treats me with honor and love...the man who reads me God's Word and prays with me for everything...the man who forgives me for mistakes and encourages me to do the right thing....the man whom I respect and admire more than anyone....the HOTTEST man I have ever laid my eyes on...wanted to marry me?!? I started to feel sick. When so many emotions are inside me and feeling like they are being churned in circles by a Kitchenaid mixer, I feel sick. After I said yes a bunch of times, told him that I indeed loved him as well, and climbed the stairs with him to call our parents, I had to take a huge breather and stand near the trash can. "Are you sure??" I asked him. You know, just to make sure. Confirm that I heard the question correctly. It is marriage after all. But the look in his eyes told me he was sure. And I was more than sure. I was absolutely positive. I was elated.

I'm not gonna lie. We got some negative feedback for our "quick" relationship. How "fast" we progressed, and how we surely hadn't been together for enough time to know that we wanted to get married. Compared to what? The average time for a dating relationship before engagement? I have no idea. We really didn't care. We knew that God had led us to this point and that was all we needed. We didn't expect everyone to understand. Sometimes we didn't even understand.

And here we are. A year later, five months married. Problems? Yes. Struggles? Absolutely. Surprises? That's life. Doubts? Never.

I love my husband more every time I see him. Every time I talk with him. Every time I even think of him. We are a team. We are one. I consider myself the most blessed girl in existence. Thank You, Lord. Thank you, Fenway Park. Thank you, Jordan. Thank you, August 21, 2010.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

sleeping in and Japanese.

We just got out of bed not too long ago. Even though we woke up a long time ago since we actually went to bed pretty early last night, we got to just lay around. No plans. No rushing. No working. It's been an extremely long time since we've had a Saturday like this. I can't even remember the last Saturday like this.

Jordan is getting us Japanese right now. I. am. so. excited. Sometimes I get really excited for food, which I know is pretty lame, but when I'm not cooking...and when it's something as good as's like my tummy is tingling with anticipation of the gloriousness that is about to enter it. Maybe some of you will understand.

And just to finally have a day off with my amazing husband, when we're not on a trip or busy as soon as we get up, is such a blessing. So he's about to get back. I'm going to sit as close as possible to him and watch The Office and eat Japanese food. And get off this computer. Haha.

Jordan and I are babysitting a toddler and a baby tonight. So that should provide for some interesting stories. Changing diapers alone should be an adventure. So get ready for my next post which will included these adventures. I hope y'all have a rejuvenating weekend. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

blogs to follow.

Today I realized that my Blog List that is located in the right hand column of this website was blank. Totally gone. Who knows how long it's been like that...and I do apologize to all the people I had listed there who somehow disappeared.

So I redid the whole thing. Added to it. And let me just say that there are some excellent blogs on that list so I urge you to check them out. But lately I've been wanting to follow more blogs that relate to mine...anything to do with Christians...wives...lives...I don't know. I need blog suggestions from others. I know I've already asked for your own blogs, and I still want them so give them to me. Now. I will follow you. But besides those, if you know of any others I might enjoy...then please do share. :)

Thank you! And don't forget about the August giveaway!

eating healthier & breakfast.

So along with this whole working out to get healthier and ready for my fitness certification thing, I also need to participate in the second, always proven part of the get healthy plan. EAT healthful foods.

Since I’ve actually starting cooking now that I’ve been married, I’ve tried to make nutritious meals and somehow get Jordan to eat vegetables. But it’s not good enough. There’s still way too much junk going into our bellies. (We are snackers!) We’ve both realized this and want to change our eating ways. I’ve never really been on a diet. And I wouldn’t even call what we’re trying to change a “diet”…just some simple changes in our habits.

You know that one thing people always say but it seems like not a lot of people do? Eat a good breakfast. That has been our first step towards a more nutritious lifestyle and I think it really has made our days better. I would occasionally eat some cereal or something, but lately I’ve been having a bowl of oatmeal every morning and it has been deliciously wonderful. The brown sugar maple Food Lion brand kind is my favorite. Yummm. Jordan has been eating yogurt with granola. I’m not so much a fan of this (or at least I haven’t found a kind I like yet) but he has loved it.

So…my question for you is this: What other nutritious breakfast foods should I try? I know I’m not going to eat oatmeal every day for the rest of my life. Or take the time to make eggs. So what do YOU like to eat for breakfast that gets you off to a great start and a healthy day?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

back to school...sort of.

Today is my last day of babysitting. Therefore, unemployment looms ahead for who knows how long. I'm excited to get a lot of things done around the apartment (I even made a schedule for myself which I will post about later) and be able to blog more and such. But I do want to bring in some income to help our little family and save up for important future things. :) Hence the need for a job.

I've been on the search, and recently God has opened some doors for me and it has made me extremely exciteddd! So before I share about it, let me give you some background information. I have always been a very active person. Playing a sport every season in high school, coaching and playing basketball with my girls, working at Canes games, etc. I love being active. Lately...I haven't been as active. Which means I've had to work out more to make up for it. Which means that I've been trying to figure out what I like to do to work out. (Which is NOT running. I've tried to like it. I admire people who like it. I wish I liked it. I do not.)

I joined a gym for the first time (Planet Fitness) and have really enjoyed it. There are many different options besides just treadmills which is what I normally have done in my apartment work out spaces. Lots of them I have no idea how to work...but still there is a large variety of options. I'll figure them out eventually. It's a good gym to be so cheap. So this has furthered my interest in fitness related things.

My uncle started a company 19 years ago called IFTA (Interactive Fitness Trainers of America) which has grown into a huge success and keeps him constantly busy. What they basically do is certify people to be personal trainers, group fitness instructors, yoga instructors, pilates instructors, and all kinds of other fitness related titles. So now...after much prayer...and much research...and much talking to Jordan about it...and asking for my uncle's advice about it...I'm going to get certified in a few weeks! Ahhh! I'm so pumped. Like, literally pumped because I'm trying to work out more to prepare for it.

This means that I am basically in school again haha. I was JUST talking about how I'm so glad I'm not one of the ones going back to school right now. And now I am. Haha...that's what I get for making my own plans and not thinking about what God has in store for me. Haven't I learned not to do that by now?? So anyway, I'll be studying for my group fitness certification which will be tested on September 16 at IFTA's big Raleigh Weekend they have coming up. It's a huge event that has so many different classes you can take and will be held at NC State. So if you're interested in this stuff at all and live in the Raleigh will definitely be worth checking out (which you can do here at their website). I'm trying to decide what other classes I want to take that weekend. Then I'll hopefully be working on my personal trainer certification to add on....and we'll see what happens from there!

I'm so excited about an opportunity to learn about this interesting and helpful subject, to interact with others, and hopefully help people too. Eventually. Unless I'm horrible at it. We'll see...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

august giveaway!

It’s now the middle of August and I can’t believe it. Although I love the summer of course…I’m kinda ready for it to be over so things can slow down a little bit. Then maybe we’ll actually have some free nights or weekends for a change. Ehh probably not but maybe.

Anyway, since it’s a new month, it’s time for another giveaway! Yayyy.

This month’s giveaway will be a “Thirty-One” product. If you haven’t heard of Thirty-One, it’s a company that sells cute organizational items such as bags, purses, baskets, and the like. It got its name from Proverbs 31, which describes a virtuous wife. Pretty cool.

A few of my friends and relatives are now selling Thirty-One, so I will be having a party next week with my friend Brittany. Perfect timing for me to order something for the lucky person who wins this giveaway. :)

My favorite new print is that black and white one shown in the picture. You better believe I'll be getting some organizational products in that pattern. Oh yes.

So, what must you do to enter? Well, first of all, you have to be a fan of The Christian Wife Life Facebook page. Then, you either need to leave a comment on one of my blog posts from August, or a comment on anything that is on the Facebook page from August. And if you do both…your name will be entered twice. :) Pretty simple, huh? By the way...if you have a blog, please do leave a link to it in your comment! I want to follow your blogs! 

Okay so what exactly will the prize from Thirty-One be? Well…I’m not sure yet. Because I don’t want to pick something out that the winner will hate. So after someone wins then I’ll work together with the winner to decide what it will be. But it will be something cute that’s for sure!

Go check out the Fall/Winter 2011 Thirty-One collection. Then leave your comments by the end of August and you’ll be good to go. Thank you for reading. :) I love being able to give stuff away to a reader! Oh and if you want to purchase something through my party...definitely let me know.

Hope you're having a fabulous week so far!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the world's tiny tower.

I have an old phone. I like my phone a lot. It lets me talk. It lets me text. It can take pictures. That's about it. But I mean...why would I need a crazy intelligent phone that is basically a mini computer? I don't even have a real job yet. I know that people say once you have a fancy phone you never go back. I'm going to prolong that as much as possible.

Jordan, on the other hand, travels with work frequently. So he upgraded to the pocket computer talking device a while ago. Since Jordan now has a fancy smart phone, I have the privilege of using his old iTouch whenever he doesn't need it. You may think that I would get a bunch of apps and use Facebook on it and even do blog stuff on it. But no. I've only downloaded one app. That app is Tiny Tower.

What is Tiny Tower? It's a game where you build a tower floor by floor. People (they're called "Bitizens") move into your tower and you hire them for jobs as you build more floors. For example, so far I have a burger place, an Asian restaurant, a museum, barber shop, bookstore, video store, photo studio, and apartments for my Bitizens. My friend Carrie has gotten me hooked on this game. Whenever I have a dull moment during the day, I am probably restocking my stores and hiring Bitizens (if I'm not texting Jordan). They even have their own Facebook (it's called Bitbook) where the Bitizens post statuses. Awesome, I know.

Okay so this is a huge time waster I know this. I promise I don't work on my Tiny Tower while I'm driving. Promise. But I do have a point in telling you about Tiny Tower.

The Bitizens all have different likes and dislikes. They also have a happy meter that shows you if they are at their ultimate level of happiness. You know how they can reach that top level of happiness? By landing their "dream job". If you build a store or restaurant or whatever and that place is their dream job, if you hire that Bitizen they will be fulfilled in their Tiny Tower life.

I can't help but relate this to real life. It's sooo like the real world. People go to school for years and years and work hard to eventually get their dream jobs. Which will make them happy. Or feel fulfilled. To give them a purpose. To make money. To support their families. So their kids can go to school for years and years and work hard to eventually get their dream jobs. And the cycle continues. I don't think my Bitizens can have kids but that'd be a nice add on.

I'm so thankful that the grace of God has given me an eternal purpose. Nothing I can do on my own is worthwhile. The only thing that matters is giving God glory. Which is something that I need to remind myself of everyday. (And when I'm spending too much time on my Tiny Tower.)

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. - Exodus 9:16

I'm on the search for a full time job. In the real world. I do not want to be like a Bitizen. I don't want to search for a dream job that will make me happy. First of all, I'm already happy because I have the joy of the Lord regardless of my circumstances. I'm blessed beyond words. I have God's love, grace, and mercy. So I don't need a big income or a fun job to make me happy. I have to check my motives though, because my sinful nature tends to look only for jobs that sound exciting or fun, or that have a good paycheck.

I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill His purpose for me. - Psalm 57:2

I am crying out to God Most High. I am so thankful that He is sovereign. I have no idea what I'm going to be doing in the future, but I cannot figure it out on my own. I don't want my selfish desires to motivate my job search. It's not easy though. I need to focus on my relationship with Him first and foremost. Only then can I not be a Bitizen. Unlike Bitizens, I have a personal relationship with my Creator and Savior, Who gives me a reason to live. So I guess even if He never gives me a job, if I'm honoring Him then that's what matters. Only God knows.

This has been a subject that is constantly on my heart and in my head so it helps me to type it out. I appreciate your prayers so much. If you are on the job search too, then I'd love to talk to you about it and pray with you about it. Let's leave the Tiny Tower that this world offers us.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. - Proverbs 19:21

Friday, August 5, 2011

wedding dreams & a beautiful friend.

Lillian Renee Johnson.
This girl is such a fantastic friend. 
We both came to Wake Christian in the 2nd grade and had the same wonderful teacher, Mrs. Fowler. We both had a love of books and writing. (She has a blog that inspired me to blog.) We both loved yearbook and I was honored to be her co-editor for 2 years. We both shared the dream of having a beautiful love story and becoming a wife over any other future or career dream.

Which is what brings me to writing about her. Her love story is at its climax. (Not that it's going to go downhill or anything...but I mean a wedding is pretty climactic.) Renee will be married to her Prince Derrick in October and I could not be happier for her. I remember finding out that she was engaged and doing a happy dance because we had all been dying from the anticipation of that day.

If anyone deserves an amazing love story and a happily ever after, it's Renee. To remove all doubt you should read this beautiful post by her. She has prayed and dreamed about her future husband all of her life. And that relationship ended up blossoming out of a college friendship. 

So today eight of us, who have been friends since middle/high school, will be traveling to the beach in celebration of her upcoming marriage. A lot has changed in the past few years for this group of girls. It seems like every time we get together, it's because one of us is getting married! Which is awesome and oh so fun. I'm so thankful that we have stayed friends this long. They are such a blessing and encouragement to me - lifting me up in Christ and being amazing examples of godly women. I wish I could see them more. 

I have many sweet memories from my friendship with Renee. Hearing bits and pieces from tales of her crazy crushes in middle school. Wuthering Heights. Writing stories such as "The Long Pier". Cracking up at the crazy happenings in yearbook. Winning a yearbook beach trip (because we made the best yearbooks ever). Going from film to digital and from 2 computers to 20 computers. Planning class activities. Finally getting her to join Student Council since she was the best planner of us all. Poltergeist. The Kiss of '06. Both of us finally getting it right with the men God planned for us. Showers, sleepovers, and outings to places I never thought I'd be with Renee. Or with anyone haha. Okay this is making me sad because we're so old now. I'll get to the pictures.

Me & Renee in 10th grade I think - at the Dawson's Creek set
Most of our group of friends at a football game junior year - Me, Jessica, Whitney, Renee, Carrie, Sarah and Bethany
Cari, Me, Renee, Bethany, and Leah at Jr/Sr our senior year
Jessica, Me, and Renee at Bethany's wedding
the girls at Whitney's wedding - Me, Sarah, Carrie, Jessi, Whitney, Renee, Bethany, Jessica, & Cari
I could write much more about this amazing girl and our group of friends. But just to sum it up - I am beyond blessed by these people. I can't even think of a single negative instance from knowing Renee for these 16 years. She constantly inspires me. After dreaming about our love stories for so many years, all I can say is PRAISE THE LORD that He is the One who planned them!

I hope that in a few years I can still say that we are all just as tight. I know it will only get harder, but I truly believe that we will be. And then I can start writing about the little Renees and Whitneys and Bethanys in their lives.....okay I won't go there yet haha. Let's just sick to the wedding part right now. :)


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Camp was amazing. Except for missing Jordan…that was pretty hard and I know it would have intensified every act of fun that I had if he had been there. But besides that, camp was amazing. I’m so thankful for the opportunity God gave me to go and learn about how to Walk His Way!

Just to be more to the point, I’ll make a list of what I loved about counseling at camp.

1. The meetings that we had twice a day – learning what true faith really means and what it takes. Uncle Eric is an awesome speaker who definitely spoke the Word all week! It was awesome to see God using him for His glory. I’m so thankful I was able to listen to such great teaching and I’m going to meditate on the Scriptures he used even more. I’m definitely more fired up about walking God’s way than I was a week ago. :)

2. The campers. Oh how I loved the campers. There was such a fun group of them and it was encouraging to see young people (ages 15-19) passionate for the Lord. They inspired me. But I’ll get more specific.

3. My cabin. We had the sweetest group of girls. They all got along well and seemed to build each other up. We even won awards for having the cleanest cabin all week. :) I especially loved our devotions each night when the girls would share their thoughts and questions on what we had learned that day. They would make simple but convicting points that still stick with me right now. One of my sweet girls kept reminding us that “what you put in your mind is what comes out”, and she could not be more right. If we are in the Word and focus on "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report" (Phil.4:8), then that is what will take over our thoughts and how we act. Such an excellent reminder.

4. My team. I was the co-leader of the Green Team. It was one out of five teams, and each team had about 20 kids. My team wasn’t the best at memorizing all of their verses…and we didn’t win many games…and we ended up in fourth place…but there is no doubt that we were the most entertaining team. Heavily distracted, yes, but oh so amusing. For instance, one moment we’re having a meeting, the next we’re having a dance-off.
Or maybe having a tricycle race. Or a no-hands tetherball game. But who knew they'd pull off an awesome musical performance like they did? I was so proud of them. For their end of the week musical skit thing they used the song “Don't Waste Your Life” by LeCrae. The lyrics are definitely worth looking up. Some of you can see the video on Facebook. It's impressive. Anyway, I will miss my team soo much. They made my time at camp a blast.

One of the funniest people I've ever met.

5. Counseling with my cousin. Technically cousin-in-law, but I’m tired of referring to all of Jordan’s family members with “in-law” at the end, and I feel like I’ve always meant to be family with them anyway, so I’ll just leave it to “cousin”. I liked Brooke the first time I ever met her (along with the rest of my new cousins), but I got to know her a lot better since I spent seven nights in the bed next to her. :) It was honor to be a counselor with such a godly woman. She made me feel so comfortable with everything and answered my millions of questions. I already miss her.

6. Other members of the Shelley clan. I also got to spend quality time with Jordan’s parents, Joseph, Anna, Josh, Danielle, Harvey, Blaine, Thomas, Uncle Eric, Hope, Grace, and other random people who I didn’t even know were related to me until last week. Which was AWESOME. I am so thankful for these amazing people. Their encouragement and godly influence is such a blessing.

all of us doing the "Shelley Power" sign :)

7. Outdoorsy activities that I do not normally do. Such as hiking up the mountain. Killing endless bugs. And most importantly - the "death swing". Which is this thing where you have to climb up a ladder and then a giant net to go up a tree, until you get to this platform and get hooked onto a cord. You then just jump off and freefall at first until the cord starts swinging you back and forth. For those who know me and know how much I anticipate things and get myself worked up about them, you would probably think I would decide not to do this. But I did. And it was fun.

8. Receiving mail. Being away from electronic devices was so great. I mean....I'm thankful that I'm typing right now and that I'm connected to loved ones online and all that, but it's just so cool to get away from all that stuff for a while. And not only that, but I got to send letters back and forth with my husband and family. :) Letters are fantastic. Jordan was so sweet to write to me and he even sent me a package with candies and gum and such. It was soooo encouraging because I was aching from missing him. I love him. If you haven't noticed.

9. The music. My brother Joseph led the singing, which was amazing of course. Brian helped out and Stephanie was baller on the drums. Then at the end of the week my talented husband sang "In the Light" by dc talk, and Uncle Eric sang a couple songs too. I love the Shelley musicalness. The camp songs are sooo stuck in my head but I like it. I walk around singing them and doing all of the motions. Can't wait for Joe and Jordan to lead music at Extreme Weekend in September when we'll be back at Mountain Top! :) Yeaauuhhh.

That about sums it up. There were also fun games and lots of awesome verses to memorize and good food and fun activities. But I'll just stop with nine. Would I do it again? Yes. I want to do anything that God wants me to do to serve Him. But I would hope next time that He would also want Jordan to do it at the same time.

And if you are a camper or a MTYC staffer and you are reading this - I miss you and I love you. And I'm praying for you. And I miss you.


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