Weekend Reading

Better Homes And Gardens, So Sweet Treats

Weekend Reading

Here’s today’s edition of weekend reading, dear readers.


Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading

Some good reading for you today:

Freebie: 21 Sets of Free Social Bookmarking Icons For Your Blog From WPZoom

Thank you! And…Other Versatile Bloggers

I am SO excited to have received “The Versatile Blogger” Award! I have Audra from Rediscovering Domesticity to thank. Audra recently had a wonderful five week series on the Proverbs 31 woman, called 5 Weeks to Be a Better Housewife. Be sure to check it out!

 The rules of the award:
1. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous.
4. Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award.

Seven Things About Myself
1. One of my life goals is to go to France.
2. I can’t stand violent movies. Interestingly, I used to really enjoy war and adventure movies, but somehow in college I became re-sensitized to it, and now I have nightmares or really scary thoughts.  
3. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a violinist/ballerina/artist when I grew up. 
4. I played the piano a little, and the organ, and now the guitar. I never did play violin.
5. In high school, I once got into a fight with another girl… at church camp. Yep, an actual physical fight. I was defending a smaller girl against the attack of a girl probably three times my size. I lost the battle, but I won the war… she knocked the wind out of me, but I scared her off. 
6. I’m addicted to coffee! I thought I’d be fine just drinking one small mug a day, until I didn’t one day and got the worst migraine ever!
7. I’m married to the most thoughtful, funny, and altogether adorable man in the world!

I’m Awarding
I only picked ten instead of fifteen, because otherwise I would have to leave some out that I’d like to include, so I it was just easier to to do ten. I included a few categories for each to illustrate their versatility. I’m sure I could have included more, but I wanted to keep it somewhat simplified. 

1. Simple Mom : Spiritual/personal growth/inspirational/educational

2. THE little THINGS IN LIFE: Spiritual/personal/thoughtful/homemaking

3. Dropped Stitches: Photography/thoughtful/personal/spiritual 

4. A Stranger in the Land: Marriage/missions/homemaking

5. Twice Remembered Cottage: Decor/inspirational/thrifty finds

6. Seeing God in it All: Spiritual/personal/thoughtful

7. Not So Homemade: Crafty/recipes/blog design/photography

8.  My Domestic Bliss: Decor/thrifty finds/personal

9. Mommy Life: personal/humor/spiritual

10. Be Joyful Always: personal/recipes/spiritual/missions
For those of you awarded, feel free to pass on the award, or not, if you choose. If you’d like, write a post with the 7 things about yourself and leave a comment here with the link to better introduce yourself!

Happy Monday!

Pier 1 Love

Pier 1 Imports is my new favorite store! Brian and I were there Friday browsing for something on which to spend a wedding gift card. I made a wish list in no time! I just love their fall decorations! They have very unique furniture and dishes, as well as bath stuff and decor.

We found a few clearance items we couldn’t resist.

 The glass container cost $4.98. I plan to fill it with something fall-ish to display on the sofa table or coffee table.  I was so excited about this teapot! I love butterflies, and it matches the tea mug and the fancy plates I received as a wedding gift. It cost $4.18This is the tea mug dismantled. I think it is so cool! The Chinese symbol means “tranquility.”  It cost $2.98
Come to find out, they’re hiring! If the bus route timing works out, I think I’m going to apply! 

Joyness Journal: Wednesday

Today so far it has been a little harder to be joyful, mainly because it’s been a rather boring day. But,

  •  I did get a phone call from my Mother-in-law 
  • And an email from Melanie of  Elegant Custom Blogs with the first beta edition of my new blog design!
  • I’m almost done with the laundry for this week
  • I will get my wedding pictures ordered very soon
  • It’s a gorgeous day outside; not too hot
  • It’s September! Hooray for fall and cooler weather!
  • I’m going to be receiving my tax rebate soon
  • Brian is not gone at work all day today!
  • I cannot wait to go to California this weekend and visit my sister-in-law!
In my Bible reading today I started Philippians 1. In verses 3-6 Paul writes:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The whole chapter has  a focus on joy, joy in all circumstances, even imprisonment. I spent some time today reflecting on the above verses and thinking of people I remember with joy. I came up with a list:

My Bible study leaders- Nikki from Campus Crusade, Kim from North Myrtle Beach summer project, and Sabrina from Campus Baptist Church.

 For most of the time, I was the only one besides the co-leader attending the Bible study Nikki led in my dorm building, and I sometimes wondered if she was going to cancel it and decide it wasn’t worth it. She never did, and I learned so much as we studied Ephesians together. That Bible study was a blast, we always had so much fun sharing stories and just talking, and she always made treats of some sort. I learned a lot from watching Nikki about how to lead a Bible study and how to evangelize in a very natural and understanding way. Nikki didn’t seem much older than college aged, she was really good at relating in a way that wasn’t motherly but mentoring.

Kim was also on staff with Campus Crusade, but from a different college. Kim was so much fun! She was full of energy and laughter, but was very sensitive and thoughtful too. She had a huge heart for prayer and missions, and that definitely passed on to me and the girls in our apartment. She was awesome at one on one discipleship, and she inspired me to lead a Bible study and disciple others. She prepared me well to take over the Bible study and discipleship of the other girls. We were all thrilled when her boyfriend proposed to her on the beach. Throwing her a surprise bachelorette party was one of the highlights of the summer, and we all missed her terribly when the staff left.

Sabrina has been inspirational to me as long as I’ve known her. She was probably the first person to welcome Brian and me into Cyclone Bible Fellowship. I looked forward to Bible study with her every week my freshman year, and discipleship my sophomore year. Her insight and wisdom never ceased to amaze me, and our discipleship times especially helped to prepare me for marriage. She was so willing to serve around CBF, and so open and real. I miss her a lot, so I’m glad she has a blog so I can kind-of keep up with her :).

I can think of sooooooooooo many others too I’d love to mention, but I’ll just have to save it for another post!

Who are some people you remember with joy?

Joyness Journal: Tuesday

I love flowers! I’m glad there are quite a few flowering bushes around our apartment. I cut a few stems yesterday and put them in some vases around the house. Every time I walk into one of these rooms it makes me smile.

 They really brighten the house and give it a fresh and homey feel. Flowers are proven to help people relax and boost moods. Studies show that when someone is in an elevator holding flowers, the other people who get on are more likely to talk to each other and be friendly. Someone did a study on it, I know I read that in a reliable source. 
At the Park
I had a great time today; Brian was going to be gone all day since the CEO is visiting and taking the management all out for dinner, and it wasn’t worth making the drive from the West side to the East and back again. So, I decided to take Honormommy up on her suggestion, and gave her a call. We and the kids went to Taco Bell and a playground, before going to their house, putting two of the four down for naps, and breaking out the scrapbooking. I didn’t get too far because I left all my stickers and tags, and after a recent scare when I thought I’d lost all my childhood pictures, I really wanted to scan these before doing too much to them. I also realized how rusty I am at scrapbooking! But I am very thankful for the conversations we had and the time out of the house and being craft-y. 
To The Rescue
What brought you joy today?

The Search for Joy

It’s almost too ironic: after a week when I’ve been very worried and stressed, Pastor Joel Tetreau preaches on anxiety and worry. After a difficult week when I’ve been particularly frustrated, disgruntled and sorry for myself, he teaches on Joy. Funny how that works!

But it’s definitely to my benefit. Like me, you may have heard before that JOY stands for “Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.” Simple, but true, and very hard to live. You may not have heard this (I’m quoting from the handout):

  • Joy is a by-product of “Living in Christ.” Sometimes Joy is “felt” as a gift from the Holy Spirit (Phil. 1:3, 5,10, Gal. 5:22, Ps. 4:7)
  • Joy is a tool for “Living in Christ.” (Sometimes Joy is not “felt” but determined based on the facts of our faith, not the feelings of our faith.)
I thought the second point was aimed right at me. I tend to focus  A LOT on my feelings, not on what I know to be true by faith. I tend to forget the John 13:17 principle I talked about some before, where right thinking leads to right doing, and then it’s followed by right feeling. 

“The crossroads for many believers is this. Satan has stolen their joy using the same technique he did on Adam and Eve. First, he built up “unfair expectations” toward God and others. Second, he tempted (and succeeded) Eve and then Adam in not being content. Notice the result when this happens: You loose Joy, You find Sin (or it finds you!)” 

The above quote really caught my attention. I’d definitely built up some unfair expectations of God and Brian, and felt let down and discontent as a result. And as I wrote on the side of my paper, according to Psalm 16:11, we don’t have any excuse for not being joyful. We like to tell ourselves that we can’t be joyful because of _______. Maybe our marital status, job, finances, health issues, etc. But Psalm 16:11 says: “You make known to me the path of life:  in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” If we are God’s children, we have God’s presence with us always! We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, and God promises never to leave or forsake us. 

I made a lot of excuses for why I wasn’t joyful last weekend. In fact, even Sunday afternoon, I was back at it.  I’d written Brian an email the night before with all the things I’d wanted to express all week when I didn’t think he was listening, so we went to our complex’s pool after Sunday lunch for some couple’s time. Brian finally told me that he had a hard time wanting to listen to me because I’m “always negative about everything.” Despite the superlatives, there was some truth to the statement. I shot back: “Well, I had a really hard week! It’s easy for you to be positive! You get to leave and go to work every day, where you have friends and everyone likes you. I’m stuck here all day by myself with lots of dirty dishes and laundry!”

We had a good talk I think, and it clarified for me that I was just not being content with where God has me right now. Sometimes I feel stuck…not stuck as in I wish I were single, but stuck at home doing school until Brian gets home, fixing dinner, cleaning up, and going to bed, day after day after day. After all the frenzy of school where I actually had to go to campus, involvement with our college group, teaching a Bible study, wedding planning, the wedding, honeymoon, and move, this seems really boring! I’m ready for another adventure! 

But I think I’m beginning to see God’s plan for this time of inactivity. I got way too busy for a while there, and I was neglecting the most important thing: spending one on one time with God, really listening and learning and  worshiping. I think I’m “stuck” so that I can learn to be still and appreciate who God is

And so, this week I’m going to be looking for joy. I’m going to pay closer attention to the everyday things that God has blessed me with. Every day (hopefully) this week I’ll post something that brings me joy. I’m going to focus on the positives and delight in the simple things of life. 

Do you have joy? Often, seldom, or never? What’s keeping you from experiencing joy? What brings you joy?

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