Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Azalea Trail Run...

I hope you all are having a great weekend. Mine has been so nice and a much needed break. I have gotten to spend a lot of time with my family and Brett. That has been good because we do not get to see each other much during the week. Last night, we relaxed and did homework. The homework part wasn't awesome but...we were able to spend time together and for me, I don't really care what we do as long as we are together.

Now...let me share with you a decision I made just 26 days ago. I decided that I wanted to run the Azalea Trail 10k race that happens in Mobile every year. I have never run an actual race...other than the fun run for the Azalea Trail when I was younger...but I wanted to do it. I wanted to do the 10k even though they were having a 5k as well this year. I didn't inform the blogging world about this decision because basically, I figured I'd back out. haha. My pride wouldn't be able to take breaking the news that I quit. Just another reminder of my sin and how prideful I am. Anyways, I have been training for the past 20 something days and although I run pretty consistently...I was forced to start running longer runs. Training had been going good. My endurance wasn't too bad but my legs have been sore throughout the process.

Fast forward to this morning. I woke up around 6 am...immediately thought, "what a terrible idea this was" haha. Just kidding....but seriously, it was early. We headed downtown and began warming up. Jeff, Amy, and I were the ones who ran today. Amy and I stretched and took a short jog around the block. My shins began to throb and I thought...."ahh...not today." We got back and were about to go line up to start. I was thinking it was going to be a rough run. Brett came up behind me and said a quick prayer for me and my shins. :) I started getting nervous as we lined up and finally...the gun was fired and we were off.

It was such a great run. My shins really did not hurt at all and I was pushing myself the whole time. I felt great. It was tough...don't get me wrong...but I did pretty well. Bottom line...I finished and I loved it. I want to run more races for sure. I completed the 6.2 miles in just about an hour..maybe like a minute or a minute and a half after an hour. I was going for under an hour but I felt like I really pushed myself so I can't complain!

Here are a few pictures from the day....
My sweet sister who ran with me the whole time...even though she
probably could have smoked me! :)

The three racers...
My face pretty much tells how I was feeling before we started. :)
Jeff finishing wayyy earlier than us. What a stud. 46 minutes. Baller.
Never has a finish line looked so sweet....
Sweaty. Hot. Happy to be done and have finished!

As for the rest of the day.....Spot of Tea for breakfast, back home for a shower, a three hour nap (me on one couch...Brett on the other...haha), and a relaxing day. It was the perfect Saturday. I hope yours was just as good!
Enjoy your Sabbath tomorrow!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Hello all! I has been f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I am sorrrrryyy! The week after spring break kept me real busy but today was beautiful and a great end to a crazy week. For now, I will just update you on my spring break, which went by unbelievably fast by the way.

We started off the week in Panama City. It was fun but so so cold. We actually ended up coming home early from that little trip. Fail. But we still had fun!

The only actual day that I was able to be in the sun was that Friday. Oh well...

That last weekend before school started my dear friend Sarah came to Mobile for a wedding. We had so much fun. Sarah was my roommate for two years and has moved now to do her student teaching. I miss her dearly so I was thrilled! Two other friends came over, Brittany and Julie. You can just look at the next pictures and see that we had....lots of fun! It was so great to be with them.

Sweet Jules
Slumber party and of course...we painted nails.. :)
Love you B-Free!

Work it Sarah
That is a scarf on Julie's head....and it was so cute by the way...
Oh..Hey Sam...thanks for being the photographer on our group shots... :)

Love. Love. Love. You Girls!

So all in all...a good spring break. I also did a little cooking that last weekend. I made baked ziti and a chocolate chip cheesecake. Both were pretty successful and so good. Just let me know if you want the recipes. I had pictures and was going to walk you through it but obviously time has just gotten away from me. So...let me know. I will try not to be such a blogging slacker this week.
Enjoy your weekend friends!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just Checkin' In...

It's been over a week since I posted and I had every intention of giving you a solid post tonight with pictures and everything since Spring Break is drawing to an end.. However, our internet is down at the moment and I am creepin in the Starbucks parking lot. I had to come do some school work but thought I'd let you know I'll be back soon with stories, pictures, and a couple of recipes. Just give me a few days... For all you Spring Breakers...enjoy your last day of freedom tomorrow. Be back soon!
P.S. I don't know why I felt the need to "check in" as if anyone other than my mom and sister read this thing. So..shoutout: Hey mom and Amy! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Promises from Hebrews

Today as I was studying through the book of John I took a little detour to Hebrews. This book is so great. In my study Bible it states that the purpose of this book is, "To present the sufficiency and superiority of Christ." Boy does it ever! I just thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite verses. These thirteen chapters are full of words and promises that are so encouraging.

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." 1:3

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone." 2:9

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." 4:12
So often I don't realize what a privilege having the freedom to read, study, and memorize God's Word really is.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sing. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." 4:15-16
I am so thankful that Christ understands everything that I go through and all that I will go through. What an amazing example to know that He experienced it all and still never sinned.

"..but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens." 7:24-26

"And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." 10:10

"...let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." 10:22-25
Love these verses!!

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." 11:1
I pray that I will have this type of faith.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." 12:1-2
These are my life verses!

Hope these were encouraging! May we all strive to fix our eyes on Jesus and run with perseverance this week! Have a good week friends!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Break? Is that you?

Yes. Spring Break is almost here. I pretty much consider it to already be here. I still have to go and teach my fourth graders tomorrow and I have to teach fifth graders for a bit on more classes, no homework (at least for a few days), and no tests. Bliss. I plan to enjoy every minute of this break.

On Friday afternoon I will be leaving to go to Panama City Beach, FL and I am so so excited. Now, to most people...PCB is simply a beach...a nice vacation spot....a party place. me, it is a city filled with probably some of the greatest memories I have ever had and definitely a place that I hold dear to my heart. I spent two entire summers in PCB. To most, this probably sounds wonderful and it was. Don't get me wrong. They were crazy, tough summers that stretched me and taught me so much. I think I have mentioned before that the reason I was there was for Summer Beach Project. It is a project through a ministry called Campus Outreach. I was encouraged to go my freshman year and then after my sophomore year it was simply a no-brainer that I would go back. Let me take you back and share some of the firsts that I experienced at SBP 2007 and 2008.

First of luxurious home for both summers was....
Let me tell room, 6 girls, one bathroom. Talk about a challenge! Plus....I can't see the room but just look at the name of this hotel...oh wait....I'm sorry, "MOTOR INN." Yes, this is where I stayed. I could stop here and give you a list of things I learned just through my living conditions. :) Don't get me wrong..a hotel with about 100 college students living in it was also unbelievably fun!

Secondly....I also had some pretty great jobs while I was there as well....
Summer of '07=Burger King Summer of '08=Chick-Fil-A

Busy? Challenging? Humbling? Absolutely. More fun than I could ever imagine a job being? Absolutely! I would not have changed where I worked for anything!!
I also had a couple of experiences that were simply fun.
In 2007 I was able to look into the future and see what I would look like in 50 years. :) 2008 I became one of Jesus' disciples and grew a beard. Okay...just kidding but we had a lot of fun dressing up like this.

I learned to swing dance! Oh goodness...this is a skill that I will be forever grateful to have. swing skills pretty much can only be credited to this guy in the picture with me. Meet my dear friend, Caleb Bridges aka "King of Swing." He is a stud and makes me look good when I dance with him!

In the summer of 2008, in addition to growing in my relationship with the Lord I also began a relationships with this special guy and began to fall in love. Sorry...don't mean to be mushy but this was kinda a big part of this summer. I learned a lot about him and a lot from him. I watched the Lord stretch him and teach him so much that I know contributed to the man he is today and the man he will continue to become.

Mostly, these summers were filled with friendships that I will cherish forever. Seriously, I treasure the time that I spent working, talking, raging, LAUGHING, praying, and growing with each person.
^One of my closest friends thanks to SBP and South's group from 2007^

All I can say is WOW! Far too many memories were made with this girl. I love you Brynn!
^My roomies for the summer and my sweet discipleship group^

But above all other things...I grew in my relationship with the Lord. I learned to study God's Word in ways I never knew. I was fed so much Scripture and so much truth. I learned how to serve when it is tough. I learned how to have grace with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I was shaped and molded and stripped.

So as I said, Panama City Beach might be just a place to vacation for some...but to is a place where I met so many friends, made countless memories, and a place where the Lord challenged me and I can't wait to go back for a few days! :)

This was long, tedious, and quite possibly uninteresting for some of you. Forgive me as I strolled down memory lane. Have a good spring break (those of you who get one!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Friday Night Date..

That is right. I had a date tonight. In fact...I had two dates tonight. We went to some adventurous places. We dressed up. We danced the night away. We watched a movie together. We read a story together. It was a glorious night. Who were my dates you may be wondering.....

Only the cutest red-headed children you have ever seen...

I had the privilege to spend my Friday night with these two and truly loved every minute of it. When I got to their house they were watching, The Swiss Family Robinson. LOVE it! Naturally....we pretended like we were fighting off pirates. Then...we headed to MC's room for a dance party. Alvin and the Chipmunks music. Sadly..I remembered these songs from when I was younger and watched these movies. I knew the words better than them. We had so much fun!! Obviously from the pictures above.....we enjoyed dressing up. Then...with a story and a was sadly time for bed. All in all, a fabulous Friday night!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

I get to see this sweet face on Sunday and I cannot wait!
Mmm...Edible? I think so!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Sick Day

Unfortunately, my hump day turned into a sick day. How unfortunate. I skipped all of my classes. That is when you know I am sick. Since I have been in this season of school I haven't skipped a class. It's seriously been a year. Anyways, I am actually feeling better tonight, thankfully. My teachers were all understanding which was a huge blessing as well. Other than feeling terrible, the day was pretty decent. The downside was that it should have been a crime to be inside on such a beautiful day. Oh well. I did get some homework done and was able to spend some good time in the Word this morning.

As I have mentioned, I have been studying through John and this week we jumped to 1 John. There is some encouraging and convicting stuff. I just thought I'd share a couple of things that stuck out this morning.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." -2:15-17

There was a question in my study asking us to explain what the three things in verse 16 were talking about. I was discussing it with my mom and was just amazed. I have read these verses so many times but they say and mean so much more than I even realized and my mom really gave me some great examples. The cravings of sinful man basically refers to idols. This is anything that comes before God. This is the feeling of wanting to watch television, play on the computer, sleep, etc. instead of spending time with God. These things aren't bad but when they take priority they become bad. I am so guilty of this. The lust of his eyes refers to wanting anything that someone else has that you don't. For so long, I guess I thought it just was talking about physical lust. It is desiring to look like someone else, desiring to have that car, those clothes, that house, etc. Boasting of what he has and does is simply what it says. It is being prideful about the good things we receive or our accomplishments. These verses were convicting this morning, particularly the part about the cravings of sinful man.


"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." -3:1-2

I believe the question that followed reading these verses was, "what do you find encouraging about these verses?" My response: What can you not find encouraging about these verses? I love this! Not only does He love us...which is in itself an amazing thing, but one day we are going to see Christ for who He is. One day we will get to experience what it is like to be like Christ! I was encouraged. It is amazing how the Lord can take the days that we feel the worst and make them so restful and uplifting. We serve a great God. I am thankful that He knows me and my needs and He fulfills those needs!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Goodbye February, Hello March!

Sorry for the lack of posts the past couple of days. My week in the fourth grade ended and went extremely well but was so exhausting. The weekend was...ahh....just what I needed. I was productive but was able to rest a good bit.

Well, I finished my book for February last night. I know...I always finish them on the last day that I am "allowed to" according to my resolution. For Christmas, Brett got me two books in one volume. He got me The Sacred Romance and Desire by John Eldredge. For February I opted to read Desire:
(This isn't what the cover of mine looks like...but I couldn't find my actual cover)

The book overall theme of the book is about our journey to find the life we prize and how our desires are often what guides this journey. God uses our desires to call us and lead us. The book was an easy read and I really enjoyed it. Here are a few quotes that I liked from the book:

"Clearly, God is not opposed to desire. Far from it. He gave us a heart that desires deeply, and he uses those desires to draw us to himself, and to the life he created us to live."

"We abandon the most important journey of our lives when we abandon desire."
This is so true. I believe that in life we have to have a balance of listening to and following our hearts and remembering that it is dangerous. After all, God's Word says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" -Jeremiah 17:9 This is something I have definitely learned. Our desires and our hearts influence our actions but ultimately God must determine and direct our steps.

"God is a deeply, profoundly passionate person. Zeal consumes him. It is the secret of his life, the writer of Hebrews says. The 'joy set before him' enabled Jesus to endure the agony of the Cross. In other words, his profound desire for something greater sustained him at the moment of his deepest trial."

"God creates mankind for intimacy with himself, as his beloved. We see it right at the start, when he gives us the highest freedom of all--the freedom to reject him. The reason is obvious: love is possible only when it is freely chosen. True love is never constrained, our heats cannot be taken by force. "

So it was a great book and I enjoyed it! One month soon I will read the other book in this volume. Another thing I wanted to talk about was church on Sunday. The sermon was great but at the end of church is what hit me. Jack showed the video in the link below:

This is a Francis Chan video and he is talking about the persecution of those Christians in India. Disclaimer: It is a bit gruesome. I was so heartbroken. The thing is...I have felt that way before and I may think about if for the day or even the week but after that it is out of sight, out of mind. I hate that. The bottom line is: As Christians we are called to persecution. God's Word even tells us that we should expect trouble and persecution. Living for and standing up for Christ is a sacrifice. It is a great call. I couldn't help but think, "that should be me." Ultimately, in the United States we choose to what extent we are persecuted and even then, we are not truly persecuted. I know that I will not be beaten for my faith, at least not now. However, I have been encouraged to truly pray for these people along with, I am sure many others who are beaten and killed for faith in Christ. Jack explained that it takes so much courage and faith to be a believer in countries like that because if they could be rid of this persecution by just renouncing Jesus Christ. So, as I end, I would encourage you to pray and pray hard for these people. Be thankful that you don't have to experience that type of persecution but pray that you will be bold enough to stand for Christ in the same way that these people do.

On that note...I am off.

Have a good week everyone!

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