Category Archives: God

Top 12 in 2012

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There is no way I could possibly end this year without a round-up or list of some kind. It’s no surprise that I love lists. With my forgetful nature it’s imperative that I have some sort of ongoing list on the back of an envelope with my enclosed bank statement (true story) whether it be a grocery list, my infamous mile-long to-do lists, or a list of blogging ideas. I am a list maker.

So without further adieu, I give you my top 12 from 2012: a random concoction of top memories, moments, images that stick out in my mind as being associated with this year.

12. Living in Durham

To the outsider, Durham may seem “ghetto” or “sketchy” or whatever other adjectives you might attribute to my city. But, to the insider and a Durham native her whole life, it’s a pretty great place to live. This year living back in Durham after college has been adventurous & interesting, to say the least. I’ve learned a lot about my hometown and explored new places, even started a new job in Durham. I wouldn’t trade this city for anything. 2012 has been fun, Durham, let’s see what 2013 has in store!

11. Turner Classic Movies

It sounds silly, but this year has been a great year because I’ve been able to watch TCM! I didn’t get the channel in college, and I had missed out on so many good old movies. This year, I’ve definitely upped my old movie watching and even started tweeting during some films, using the hashtag #TCMParty. It’s been so fun talking with other classic film lovers and learning all sorts of new facts about actors, directors, & films!

10. The Durham Bulls

I would be terribly remiss to post about my year and not include the Durham Bulls in some way or another. So many of my spring & summer memories involve a baseball game, or being around the ballpark. I’ve lost track of how many “girl’s nights” were had at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park with dinner before at Tobacco Road, Tyler’s, or Mellow Mushroom… how many bags of peanuts I purchased and devoured… how many tweets I tweeted to @DurhamBulls… how many parking passes I had in my car from parking before games. 2012 will be remembered as the year I learned to love the Durham Bulls all over again.

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9. Summit Church

After years of hearing great things about this body of believers, I finally visited one Sunday back in April. That church is huge, and despite my introvertedness, I have enjoyed going back and blending in amidst everyone. Each time I go, I learn so much. I can’t really describe it or put into words how thankful I am for a church like that and strong leader JD Greear. His messages challenge me, make me want to be a better follower of Christ, and make me long to serve overseas. All in all, The Summit has made a huge impact on my life in 2012.

8. Volunteering as a literacy tutor

This has definitely been one of the highlights of my year, possibly even my life. Giving someone the gift of literacy, who has gone their whole life without being able to read something as simple as a menu, is so rewarding and fun! Sure, it’s been challenging on both ends, but I think my student would agree that this year has been a huge blessing and learning experience! After all, he did read his first book ever just a few months ago!

I highly urge you to volunteer somewhere and make a difference in someone’s life! If you’re in the Durham area, let me know- I have a great place for you to volunteer! 😉  (shameless plug)

7. Live Music

As I’ve said before, there’s nothing more magical to me than live music. Ok, Disney ranks up there with magical, but I simply love live music. This year I got to see a few artists/groups in concert, and it was great! Jessie Baylin, The Fray, Lucius, and Milo Greene. Plus, every Sunday at church is like a mini-concert with the awesome worship music! 🙂

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MILO GREENE

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Isaac on the keys

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6. The NC Cow Parade

No, I’m not crazy. If you live in the Triangle area, you should have heard of the Cow Parade by now. If not, read about it here. I got to “meet” a few of these incredibly creative cows in and around the Durham area while they were in town. I think it’s so cool that something so big can be associated with my city this year!

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the Burt’s Bees cow!

5. Maximus Decimus Meridius AKA the puppy we call Max.

Gifted to Mom for Mother’s Day, this little fella has brought so much love, so many smiles, and lots of memories to our family. I love coming downstairs in the mornings to his sleepy self, and coming home in the evenings to a hyperactive puppy… it’s hilarious how excited he gets to see his family!

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November 2012

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July 2012

4. Cancer

This year, I was reminded just how much I want to kick cancer in the rear. I lost two dear souls to that horrible disease, and it breaks my heart thinking of how many other lives were lost to cancer this year. I know both of my loved ones are now with their Savior, but I wonder how many others are assured that their loved one with Him?

In honor and memory of my loved ones who lost their lives to cancer, I donate platelets as often as I can. It’s something so simple and easy, yet it can save someone’s life!

3. Disney World

I think everyone can agree that Disney is just so magical that it makes them feel like a kid. Disney truly was magical this past March as my crazy family paraded the streets of the theme parks, rode rides, and took too many pictures.

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2. My California Trip!

Clearly I have been way too eager and excited to visit the West Coast for the past few months, but this was the year that dream became a reality! I have SO many pictures and stories to share about the trip, and if you can’t wait for my dozens of recap posts, feel free to follow me on twitter and read my tweets from the trip!

 

1. Blogging!

Typical answer for a blogger, yes, but I have loved keeping track of my life with this blog, and finding other bloggers in my area! It’s been fun “meeting” other bloggers and I enjoy reading blogs as much as I enjoy blogging. Let’s see what the next year holds in store for me & this blog! 🙂

Sovereign God

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Words cannot express my feelings today. My heart is so full of thanksgiving, love, worship, and joy.

“The only sovereign God revealed Himself to us. What mystery, that He would speak into the dark, into our hearts.”

 

I do have a little something to share with you: The Summit Church’s Christmas at DPAC.

 

I highly encourage you to watch and worship and celebrate the true reason for the holiday. I have been watching, re-watching and singing to that first song all day long. What better way to celebrate the meaning of Christmas than with worship? That’s what it’s all about, after all!

 

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Matthew 2 : 1 -11

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

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How can we not fall down and worship the King who humbled Himself to come live as a man, and die for mankind?

“Praise the Lord. His name is holy. The earth is the Lord’s, and all He has made will sing.”

 

 

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Chosen

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Saturday, my little brother turned 18. I’ve been a big sister for 18 years to that crazy kid. It’s hard for this big sister to believe.

My earliest memories with my brother involve him crying, cuddling, playing & laughing. I loved having a little shadow that followed me around the house; his little feet shuffling on the living room carpet. His little hands reaching up when he wanted to be held. His little laughter when sissy would say something silly or make a crazy face. Watching little sibling grow brings such joy.

And grow he has.

Adam surpassed me in height when he was 13. I was 17 and not impressed that my little brother was bigger than me. And I wasn’t so impressed when the girls at church starting crushing on my brother. (Sorry y’all, no hard feelings)

As he has grown physically, he’s also grown mentally & spiritually. He’s learned so much from my grandpa about being a spiritual leader and not a follower. He’s grown mentally in ways that sometimes attribute him to being much older than he is. I have always been impressed with one of my brother’s qualities: he thinks for himself.  This is one quality that most teenagers don’t possess, in my opinion. I’m thankful that my brother is smart enough to make his own opinions and judgments in certain situations, and I’m thankful he has his priorities straight.

For years, my brother has wanted a tattoo. He always claimed it wasn’t for show- he wanted something that symbolized he was different from the sinful world we live in.

For years, my family has debated with him, convincing him to wait until he was 18 and until he knew for sure that he wanted that permanent ink on his body.

For years, Adam had patiently waited… until Saturday.

When he finally woke up around noon, all he could talk about was getting a tattoo. We even cancelled our plans for indoor skydiving to cater to his wants for the day! The one thing he wanted was a tattoo. And after my mom asked him some questions about his intentions, the purpose of a tattoo, etc. the four of us were in the car heading to the tattoo parlor.

Talk about a first for my family!

Bro and Mom talked to the tattoo artist and picked out a font. He drew up a price. Bro’s girlfriend showed up and was clearly freaking out that her boyfriend was about to get a tattoo. Momma was nervous about it too, and only went back to the room long enough to see what it was going to look like. Dad was chill and sat in the lobby watching ESPN the whole time. I played the role of the cool big sister and watched & documented the whole thing 🙂 And I used the nifty hashtag #lilbroturns18 to document/comment on the days adventures.

apprehensive?

apprehensive/nervous?

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the stencil of his tattoo

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first few seconds of the process

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someone likes what he sees

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after the first letters

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proof that I was there 😉

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finishing it up

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cleaning

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a ghostly brother exclaiming “it’s real!”
just kidding, he didn’t say that. but it’s a fitting caption

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finished product!

Saturday, my little brother turned 18 and got a tattoo. It almost seems unreal to me, although I knew it would happen eventually. While I can’t say that I’m thrilled my brother got a tattoo, I can say that I’m proud of what it means and the stance he’s taken behind it.

PS: Don’t tell my grandpa about the tattoo! Bro plans on doing so tomorrow 🙂

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The mini-meaning behind “Chosen” as told by my 18-year old brother: “It started when I was in Peru. We were in those small villages where people had hardly anything, and it really hit me that I was Chosen. God chose me to live where I live, to have the family that I have, and to grow up in a place where I learned about Him. I was Chosen to live out His will for my life. Ever since then, I knew that I wanted Chosen permanently on my body as a reminder that He chose me and that I need to live like I’m Chosen, and not like the world.”

2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for this that He called you through our gospel that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”

Flawed

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When asked, “What is your worst quality?” one might not have an immediate answer. I know I don’t.

But, when given time to stew over that question, a few qualities of mine come to light. I’m not proud of any of the qualities I consider as “bad” but then again, who IS proud of their bad qualities? And I think we can all admit that we have them.  We’re all flawed in different ways… I mean, we are human, it’s only natural.

My worst quality is jealousy, and this is a quality that has surfaced lately in my life.

I’ll admit it- I’m somewhat of a jealous person. Of course I don’t notice it until my jealousy is in action, so to speak. And although it might not be very noticeable to outsiders, I’m aware of my jealousy and I hate it.

I get jealous over stupid things which include, but are not limited to: dating couples, married couples, those gorgeous model girls that guys adore, people my age who have babies of their own, people who claim to have the perfect job, people who have everything figured out in life, those who can drop everything and travel in a split second without having to worry about finances. Argh.

As you can see, I covet silly things… things that really don’t matter in the overall scheme of things. This quality of jealousy is something that I’m aware of and try to combat daily, whether it’s being jealous of something small or silly. The Bible is clear that jealous is a work of the flesh… and I don’t want to walk in the flesh but in the Spirit.

 

Galatians 5:19-24 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with itspassions and desires.

Romans 13:12-14 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

 

Jealousy is even one of the Ten Commandments! Talk about convicting…

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

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This post was a response to the Daily Prompt. What’s your worst quality?

Month of Thanks

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All month I’ve been keeping a running list of things I’m thankful for… however small, silly, random they may be. It’s been a good exercise and I think I’m going to keep it up throughout the coming months. That way, whenever I feel I have something to complain about I can just look at all the little things I’m thankful for.

1- For a new picture for the monthly calendar in the office! And the ability/opportunity to participate in webinars and learn all sorts of things as an AmeriCorps member.

2- Thankful for running water, even if it is super cold at work when I wash my hands.

3- Thankful for dogs whom I love dearly,  and the fact that dogs know how to get back home! [they ran away. Post on it’s way 😉 ] Also thankful for my married friends whom I love and have so much fun with although I don’t get to see them often!

4- Time change and an “extra” hour of sleep. And caramel macchiatos. Read the rest of this entry

Slow Sundays

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I don’t know what it is about Sundays, but I always feel depressed on Sundays. 

I never want to get out of bed, and even when I do, I feel so lazy and out of it. I hardly ever am productive and I really dislike it. A few reasons why I think Sundays are so hard for me:

– I (sometimes) go to a huge church where I’m a nobody. In some ways, I like it… I like the anonymity of it… sitting by myself and listening to God without having to listen to friends chatter back and forth during the service. Being able to focus on Him the whole drive there and back and really pouring out my heart in that time alone. But some Sunday mornings, like today, I just don’t want to get out of bed and go to be alone in that big place. Some Sundays, I don’t want to blend into the crowd… I want to go to a place where people know me and want to get to know me. I want to be recognized and waved at and sat with at church. And that doesn’t happen currently. Read the rest of this entry

The Visitation

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A week after the fact and I decided to post what I typed last Tuesday night after the visitation for my aunt.

(I got home around 10pm last Tuesday, took a hot bath and had a good weep, hopped into bed and started typing until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer)

Let me just say that I hope I never ever lose a loved one again (impossible, I know)… because I would be a wreck. I was a wreck last week and it was just my aunt. I can’t imagine having to bury anyone closer to me…my mother, father, brother, grandparents…

I guess I’m sharing this somewhat personal post to give you a glimpse into my Tuesday last week. It was rough and although I don’t want to relive it anytime soon, I want to remember what it was like. And I apologize in advance for my scattered thoughts.

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Tonight was so hard.

Read the rest of this entry

Another Angel

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Remember how my single post last week was about fighting battles and how life happens? (It was a really scattered post) Well, one of those battles was lost this past weekend.

My aunt passed away.

This world lost a fun, caring, hilarious, energetic woman… a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, woman of God. And God gained another beautiful angel.

It still doesn’t seem like it’s real, ya know? When you lose a loved one, it takes a while for reality to set in. The reality of me losing an aunt hasn’t set in, but the reality of two little girls losing their mother has hit me hard. I’m tearing up (at work!) as I type these words. Two little sweeties don’t have a Mommy anymore. I can’t even imagine.

Autumn & Gabrielle, July 2011

Those two little sweeties spent the weekend between Mere Mere’s house and their house, having tons of fun and not suspecting a thing was wrong with their Mommy. Friday & Saturday night during their prayers, they prayed for “Mommy who is at Duke because she had the cancer.” As I turned off the light and rolled over, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Oh, if only they knew. Read the rest of this entry