A friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day, and I thought it was so cute that I had to share! I couldn't help but chuckle when I watched this.


Happy Wednesday!

Busy, Busy

We had a very busy weekend! I'm usually better at commenting on all of your blog posts, but I fell behind this weekend, just because I was gone for most of it.

On Saturday I had a wonderful visit with a friend that I haven't seen in a while, and I finally got a bag of candy corn! Then I realized that this may have to be my first and last bag for this year - I ate practically half the bag myself. And candy corn is pretty much pure sugar. I don't even want to know the glycemic load on those things.

I bought a cute dress and belt for a wedding that Derek and I are going to in a couple weeks - I didn't technically need a new dress, but my other dresses didn't seem right for an evening wedding in October. It's really cute, and the dress was only ten bucks - the belt actually cost me more than the dress did! I'll try to post pictures sometime here.

On Sunday we ended up not going to church - it was one of those weird weeks where my family couldn't go to church, and Derek and I were going to go by ourselves, but then Derek got an offer for some cheap wood for the winter. He's been worried about getting enough to last us all winter, so he went on Sunday morning to get wood and we missed church this week. I hate it when that happens.

Anyway, Derek and I did our Bible study together instead and then went over to my parent's house for a little while. Derek and my dad watched football, and then at halftime we all went outside and shot our rifles. I need to get in practice for hunting season - the past couple years I keep missing when I get a shot at something. So I want to try to get in more practice before my season starts this year, and maybe I'll actually hit something this time!

After we finished shooting we enjoyed some delicious hamburgers for dinner, then headed down to town for Derek's hockey game. His games are usually really late at night and I can't go when they are that late, because I have to wake up at five in the morning for work. But this week his game started at 8:20 PM, so I got to watch part of it before I had to go home and go to bed. I got a few good pictures! I left at the end of the second period, but later I was wishing I had stayed, because Derek's team came back to win it in the third period and Derek made a goal. And I missed it! I really wish his games were earlier in the evening.

My parents came to the game too!

Derek is the one behind the ref.

That's my honey - number 99!

Derek is the one in front of everyone! He did great!

Anyway, there's my weekend in a nutshell. This week will be crazy again, because Derek has a training in town for work, so we'll be staying at a hotel tonight and tomorrow night. Then I have one night at home on Thursday before I head out on Friday morning with my sister to visit a friend who lives on the east side of the state. We'll be gone until Saturday night, then my brother and sister-in-law are having a party on Sunday after church, so this may be a slow blogging week! I'll try to check in at least once though.

Have a great week everyone!

Of Butterflies and Caterpillars

I read something interesting the other day in the Bible study book that Derek and I are doing together, and I thought I'd share it here.

"Biblical terminology does not say that a Christian has two different natures. He has but one nature, the new nature of Christ. The old self dies and the new self lives; they do not coexist. It is not a remaining old nature but the remaining garment of sinful flesh that causes a Christian to sin. The Christian is a single new person, a totally new creation, not a spiritual schizophrenic. It is the filthy coat of remaining humanness in which the new creation dwell that continues to hinder and contaminate his living. The believer as a total person is transformed but not yet wholly perfect. He has residing sin but no longer reigning sin (Romans 6:14). He is no longer the old man corrupted but is now the new man created in righteousness and holiness, awaiting full salvation (Romans 13:11)."
From Ephesians: Our Immeasurable Blessings in Christ by John MacArthur.

I thought that paragraph was really good, because I guess in my head I always thought some of the old sinful nature must still be there, because I don't think anyone can deny that Christians still sin. But this paragraph is saying that the old nature is completely gone. There isn't even a little bit left.

When I was growing up, I learned in church that there are three things that can tempt a Christian to still sin, even though they are saved - the flesh, the world, and Satan. When they say "the flesh" can cause a Christian to still sin, I always thought that meant some remaining bit of sinful human nature. But when I read the above paragraph in my Bible study book, I realized that "the flesh" is alot different from "sinful nature", or the old man. The Bible states very clearly that when we come to Christ we are a new creation, and the old passes away (2 Corinthians 5:17). So when we accept Jesus as our Savior, the old sinful man is completely eradicated, and inside we are a completely new creation. The list doesn't include "sinful nature", just "the flesh". That old childhood list finally makes perfect sense to me.

However, that new creation is still encased in our sinful flesh, our earthly bodies. And those earthly bodies still hinder us and cause us to sin, even though spiritually we are totally clean and new. Kind of like a butterfly when it's still trapped in that icky cocoon. The butterfly is totally transformed from that fuzzy caterpillar into the beautiful creature with wings - but it's still in the same cocoon that a caterpillar is in.

But someday, we'll shed our earthly bodies, and only the inward spiritual creature that is underneath will show. If you're a Christian, that totally new and clean spiritual nature that the Lord gave you long ago, from the moment you believed in Him, will finally be freed from the corruption of our outward flesh, and we will be able to see the Lord because He has transformed us.

If you're not a Christian, your earthly body will be shed as well; but all that will be left is that old man, the one that is not fitted to fly to Heaven, because you've never let the Lord save you from that sinful nature and make you new and clean.

So are you a butterfly or a caterpillar under that cocoon?

Image from .

Monopoly Fun

Monopoly. I just realized within the past year how fun it is!

We really get into it when we play it with my family. The bartering can get rather amusing - I really won't sell my properties unless the buyer is willing to pay my outrageous demands. Sometimes they're willing to meet my price, and sometimes they're not. But sometimes I get great deals (usually from my sister - when she wants a property, she'll pay alot to get it). However it usually comes back to bite me later, because they usually only pay that much for a property that completes a set, then they spend the rest of their money to plop a hotel down on it on their next turn. If you land once on some of those properties with a hotel, you're just done.

Like I said in my last post, sometimes I take it a "wee bit" too seriously. But that was in the past. I think I'm better now.

Why this post on Monopoly you may ask? The game is still sitting out on our kitchen table from when we had my sister over the other night.

My sister won. By alot. Despite the fact that I sold one of my properties to her for five hundred dollars, plus three times free rent. She didn't get a dime from me, but she put hotels up on those properties pronto, and drained everyone except me dry.

Ah, good times!

Lots Of Awards

I recently got two awards! One from Kristen at Ladybug Blessings, and One from One Heart Two Hands! I'm honored that you guys thought my blog was worthy of awards - thank you very much!

From Kristin at Ladybug Blessings:

In order to receive this award I have to list five current obsessions, and give it to five other bloggers.

Here we go; Five Current Obsessions:

1. Well, I'm a little obsessed with figuring out this whole FAM method right now.

2. Blogging of course! If I wasn't obsessed with blogging we wouldn't know each other, would we?

3. Clothes. It's pretty awful, but I love buying new clothes. I try to control myself most of the time, but I think my wardrobe needs an update, so right now it's on my mind alot. I especially need a new winter coat - especially since it's supposed to snow another foot today.

4. Movies! I'm a big movie buff. Derek and I go to alot of movies on our date nights - they say not to do that because you can't talk with each other, but we enjoy seeing new movies together - it's one of our common interests. And the beauty of it is that we still get to talk to each other on the forty-five minute drive to see the movie, during dinner, and on the forty-five minute drive back home! I think that's pretty good for a date night.

5. I currently have a temporary obsession with candy corn. Everyone keeps talking about candy corn, and I want some! My next grocery shopping trip, that's what I'm getting. I especially like the mixes with the little pumpkins in it. Mmmm!

There are alot of other obsessions (books, science, the Biggest Loser . . .), but those are the ones I'll list for now.

And I'll pass this one on to Brittney at Far More Than Rubies, Jenene at Prairie Girl Gone Coastal, Amy at I Then Shall Live, Kara at KSS, Jessica at Called to Serve, and One Heart Two Hands! I know, that's six not five, but that's my list and I'm sticking to it.

And from One Heart Two Hands:

To receive this award I have to:
1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.

Hence, Seven Things You Might Not Know about Me:

1. I was a microbiology teaching assistant for our local community college when I was a senior in high school. And I loved it. My microbiology teacher was deeply disappointed that I was going to school for dental hygiene - she thought I should be a microbiologist. And honestly it still fascinates me. I wouldn't mind going back to school someday and majoring in microbiology. And that actually is something that I could use with dental hygiene - there are alot of research studies that I could get involved with if I did that - and I love research!

2. Ralphie was given to me by Derek when he proposed. He left me a mysterious message on our kitchen table ( I was living with my parents and my mom and sister took me away from the house for lunch - when we got back, there was the note) telling me to meet him at our community hall, and when I got there he had a table set up with white lights, a Christmas tree, and romantic music. His buddy Jed made us dinner (because he's a chef), and after dinner he brought out a picnic basket. Derek told me to close my eyes, and when I opened them he was down on one knee with the basket open, and Ralphie was inside with a little white sweater and a ring around his neck! Derek asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes.

3. I take Monopoly a little too seriously sometimes.

4. I love high heels. They make me feel fabulous, and I wear them whenever I can.

5. I was home schooled from the third grade on and I loved it! Alot of you knew that, but some of you probably didn't. I liked it because it allowed me to move at my own pace and I think I learned better that way - it also saved me from alot of the negative aspects of public school. But that whole topic is probably worthy of it's own post, so I'll save all my opinions on the subject until later!

6. I love dark chocolate. And the richer chocolate cake is, the better.

7. I used to make movies when I was younger with my friends. We got very sophisticated - we bought video editing programs, digital video cameras, and everything. But I'm sorry, you are not going to see a sample of one of our movies - it's rather embarrassing (especially when one of us had to play a boy)! We weren't that great at acting (it's good for laughs though), and I was totally in my awkward stage during that whole period. I do not want the only video you guys have ever seen of me to be one with my baby face, braces, and frizzy hair! Nope, it ain't going to happen.

And I'm going to pass this award on to Anne Carr at Bibelot: Life's Little Things, Marissa at Sparkles and Fate, Kate Craig at An Airman's Wife, Kristin at Ladybug Blessings, Paris Pink at The Pink Polka Dot, Larissa at You Make My Life So Beautiful, Rebecca at Making Memories, and Felicia at Open Up The Sky! I know that's eight not seven, but the same as above applies.

Whew, that's alot of awards! I hope you all are having a great Wednesday - it's still snowing here! I'm hoping I can get to work alright later on. Enjoy your nice fall weather (because apparently this is the only place in the country where it's snowing)!

"Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful . . . "

No people, those are not pictures of last winter! It actually snowed five inches yesterday, and it looks like it could dump more on us today. I just saw a fawn trudging through the snow with it's mother outside the window. It's actually very peaceful.

I can't believe it snowed so early this year. I don't remember it snowing this much in September in a long time. I am totally unprepared - I desperately need a new winter coat, and I haven't had a chance to buy one yet! Guess what I'm doing this weekend.

In spite of my opposition to the idea, I find myself humming "Let It Snow", and and wondering what I should buy my family members for Christmas this year. I'm even tempted to turn on some Christmas music! This after I make fun of my sister for doing those very things in September. Snow will do that to you.

I plan on spending the entire day indoors. I'm going to clean, do some research on the internet, write a few letters that I've been meaning to write for a while, and keep the fire going in the wood stove. I broke out my winter sweaters, every candle in the house is lit, and hot chocolate is also a distinct possibility.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful. And since we've no place to go, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow . . . "

Teacups and Old Books

On Friday I embarked on a mission to an antique mall near us to find my friend a tea cup.

This is a very dangerous mission. Why, you ask? Because every time I go to the antique mall to buy something for someone else, I always end up coming out with something for me! You might remember this from that time I went to find a teacup for my mom - what did I leave with? A teacup for my mom, and a teacup for me.

So I go in and find a nice teacup pretty much right away. But as long as I'm there I might as well look around, right? I knew it was a big mistake even before I started.

As I was browsing I noticed a booth that had alot of old books, and I remembered that my friend loves old-looking books. So I stopped to find her a real antique book, just for something extra.

I browsed through different sections of the store looking for a good old book. As I was walking I was thinking how neat it would be if I found an old copy of a Jane Austen novel - because both my friend and I love Jane Austen.

I stopped to look at a few old readers, and low and behold, hiding behind an old speller was a copy of Pride and Prejudice from the 1940's! I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to buy it for myself!

Mission: Accomplished, but also failed. I found a great teacup and book for my friend, but I also failed to resist the temptation to buy something for me. But antique malls aren't like regular stores - you can't go back a week later and expect to find the same thing again, or even anything similar. So I had to get it while I could, right?

Here's a picture - I think it looks like a really cool old book, and I'm using it for a decoration in my living room. It was printed in the 1940's in Great Britain, so it's about sixty-five years old. I was just excited to find an old-looking copy of Pride and Prejudice! It can't get any better than that.

Doesn't it look neat? I just thought I'd share my great find! I love antique malls - you never know what kind of goodies you can find in there. Which is why I should never shop there - because if I find something I like, I have to buy it or it will be gone! I'm going to try to learn my lesson and not go there again unless I'm prepared to spend money.

By the way, I have something new up on my painting blog, and if you haven't read my guest book review on Bound to Books, be sure to check it out! Have a great Monday!

Geocaching and My Ancestors

Today I had my first real geocaching experience! The picture here actually has nothing to do with that, but I thought this post needed a visual aid. So just in case you forgot what Derek and I look like . . .

Today, we went down to visit Derek's mom today, because Derek's brother was in town and we wanted to see him. After a nice visit in the morning, the four of us headed east to meet Derek's cousin for dinner.

Derek's mom just signed me up on her account, so I can research my family history and add it to her tree! I'm pretty excited about that. I don't know a whole lot about my ancestors, and I thought it was so sweet of her to invite me to use her account so that I can research them more! She's practically an expert at ancestry research (she has 387 people in her tree), so I'm sure if I get stuck she can give me some direction! It will be fun to research that with her.

Anyway, after dinner we all went to a park to look at the ancestry website on my laptop, because my mom-in-law wanted to show Derek's cousin a couple pictures. While I was getting the computer fired up, Derek's cousin pulled out a fancy GPS, and started playing with it. Turns out he's really into geocaching, and there was a cache about 500 feet away!

So after we looked at a few pictures on the laptop we walked over to the place where the cache was and started the search. It was hidden in this old train engine outside a power plant. We could hardly see, but I whipped out my little, tiny keychain flashlight, and Derek climbed underneath the train and started searching. It took us ten minutes or so, but finally Derek found this little key box, and inside was a few pennies and a lots of pieces of paper with people's names on them! So Derek's cousin signed it and logged it into his geocaching GPS! We put the cache back and walked back to the car.

Derek's cousin told us all kinds of cool stories about some of the caches that he's found. It was so much fun! If you recall, geocaching is on my list of things Derek and I are going to do when we retire.

But maybe we'll start a little sooner than that. Turns out there is a cache hidden right outside our church. We know this because Derek's cousin found it after our wedding reception, which was at our church. I'm totally going to look for it this Sunday. I'll let you know if I find it!l

Guest Post From Bound To Books

Note: This post originally appeared on Bound To Books, but for the sake of my future records )and the blog books I'm working on), I'm posting it here as well! Check out Brittney's book blog, Bound To Books to read more reviews!

Our first ever guest poster is Callie from Through Clouded Glass!
Callie has been a blog friend of mine for quite some time, and though we both share a love for books and reading, it is so great to get a fresh perspective on a book! Make sure to check out her blog at Through Clouded Glass!
I wasn’t sure which book to do a review on when Brittney first asked me to do a review a few weeks ago. Fiction or non-fiction? Classic or new? Christian or secular? In the end I decided on reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I’ve been wanting to read more of C.S. Lewis’s books, and I had never read this one, so The Screwtape Letters it was!

I actually started reading this book once in high school, but it’s one of those books that takes a lot of emotional effort – you’ll learn things about yourself that are not pretty. For that reason I didn’t actually finish it at that time, but I always wanted to go back and finish it, and this was a good opportunity to do so.

Just in case some of you out there haven’t heard of The Screwtape Letters, it’s basically a fiction book comprised of letters written from a senior demon to a junior demon, explaining the best strategies and techniques to use in tempting a young human man. I knew going into the book that it would be well written and deep – C.S. Lewis was a great thinker, so I was expecting to learn something from reading it. What I didn’t expect was how powerful the book really turned out to be. I saw myself and my failings in every chapter.

Though a lot of what is mentioned in the book is just speculation on Lewis’s part, I have no doubt that he was right. It’s like my personal demon has been using this as his handbook. Chapter 12 and Chapter 1 for instance, was probably how he kept me from finishing this book the first time – that uneasy feeling that I’m not doing very well spiritually and subsequent reluctance to think about spiritual things, and the distraction of everyday, ordinary things.

Because it’s written from the perspective of a demon, it can be rather depressing or dark at times. However, the things you can learn from this book will shine a light not only on your failings (the first several chapters were very convicting to me), but also on ways to combat the attacks. I feel as if, having read this book, I’m much more prepared for these tactics in the future, and more prepared to triumph over the attempts. You’re looking at things from a dark perspective during the reading, but when you look up and think about what was being said it is extremely enlightening and convicting – and in that respect, the final purpose and effect of The Screwtape Letters is anything but dark.

For me it inspires the right kind of living, because I want so badly to live in such a way to win the everyday battles. But Satan’s plans for us are never really foiled unless we keep our eyes and hearts constantly on Jesus – and that’s the point. It’s so much about our underlying attitudes and daily choices – your actions taken by themselves may be righteous, but in looking at your attitude and actions together, you see that some of what you thought was good may be, in fact, a sin for you. It’s easy, after reading this book, to see how my demon has been exploiting my good intentions, or exaggerating the things that I do wrong, not necessarily in my actions, but in my attitudes.

One chapter that I really appreciated was Chapter 8, which talked about God giving us dry periods in our faith, because in those dry periods we have to consciously make the effort to seek the Lord and do what’s right, even though it’s harder than normal. It’s easy to keep our eyes on Jesus when we’re at a spiritual high – it’s much harder when we’re at a spiritual low, and for that reason the efforts made in a spiritually low state are much more precious to God than the efforts made at a spiritual high.

Chapter 15 was another great chapter because it made me realize that thinking too much about the future isn’t really a good thing. With the future comes uncertainty, and a certain level of fear, and ambitions, which are a great precursors to all kinds of sins. We please God much more by living our lives with our minds either on the present or eternity. If our focus is on the present we can thank the Lord for each passing pleasure or grace, and focus on helping others; if our focus is on eternity it will inevitably be on Jesus. We should only focus on our earthly future as it affects what we do today to prepare for some future task the Lord may give us.

Nothing, however, compared to the last chapter. That is the chapter that made the whole book worthwhile. But that’s all I’m going to say!

Those are just a couple of the things that I took away from this book. I could easily write individual blog posts on each and every chapter – and any book that makes me think that much about my walk with the Lord is a keeper! If you’ve never read it, don’t let the initial conviction and the unpleasant feelings that result discourage you from finishing the book. The things you will learn about spiritual warfare and your personal battle are definitely worth the effort it takes to read it.

Officially A Guest Blogger!

Hey guys! My guest book review is officially up on Bound to Books! Go on over there and check it out! (And I'm not going to tell you which book, so you have to go over there and see for yourself! Clever, huh?)
My blogging friend Brittney runs Bound to Books, and it's a great book blog - there are tons of reviews, and great ideas for you reading list! I really enjoy reading about the different books that Brittney has reviewed, and I was totally honored when she asked me to do a guest review!
Head on over there and leave us some comments! You know how we love comments. *smile*

Shriek, Swerve, Squish

I just had the most terrifying experience. It's a beautiful fall day today, and I was just cruising along the highway on my way to work, wearing my fabulous new sun glasses,listening to Laura Ingraham, and minding my own business, when I see movement out of the corner of my eye. I look at the steering wheel and there is a hideous little brown spider staring back at me. It looked like a Brown Recluse, and I let out a shriek.

My heart rate soared. The fight or flight response was initiated. But there was no place to flee, because I was in my car on a busy highway - so my only choice was to fight. I grabbed a napkin from the door pocket, grabbed the ugly little thing, threw the napkin on the floor and stomped on it several times.

I'm not sure if I killed it or not. The rest of the way to work I kept having visions of that little spider coming after me in a rage, biting my leg, and giving me a huge painful welt. I kept looking down at the crumpled napkin on the floor. I swerved quite a few times. Good thing there wasn't a police officer near by - I probably would have been pulled over if there was.

I'm still pretty shaken up. I hate spiders. And I haven't dared check the napkin yet. The adrenaline is still pumping.

My hand will probably be shaking for the first patient or two. Hopefully they won't notice. At least it didn't bite my hand and give me a big welt - then I wouldn't be able to work at all!

Upcoming Book Review And A Questionnaire

A few items:

1. What did you all think of the Biggest Loser last night? I think the right person went home - she wasn't that nice to her partner, and I think she will do well at home anyway. My favorite thus far is the youth pastor, Sean. Derek and I are rooting for him as of now.

2. I'm doing a guest post for Bound to Books on Friday. Bound to Books is a great blog that my blogging buddy Brittney runs. It has tons of book reviews and we also do book discussions periodically - if you're a book worm like I am, or even if you're just looking for a good book to read, head on over there and check it out! And stay tuned for my book review coming up - don't worry, I'll remind you all again to check it out on Friday!

3. And finally, I got tagged for one of those survey things by Tatiana over at Living Life and Loving It, so here we go! If any of you want to do this too, please do - I'd love to read everyone's responses, not just the individuals I tagged at the bottom!

1. Respond and rework: Answer the questions on your blog,
Replace one question that you dislike with a question
of your own invention, and add one more question of your own.
2. Tag other un-tagged people.

What's your favorite article of clothing?
Probably either my red high heels, or my dark-wash, wide leg jeans with the high heels!

Who was the last person you hugged?
Derek! I love hugging my hubby. And hugging him is usually accompanied by kissing him, and that's even better!

What's your favorite dinner?
I love my mom's recipe for lasagna - it is just layers of goodness. So my favorite dinner is my mom's lasagna, French bread, and Ceasar salad. Mmmm!

What was the last thing you bought?
Well, I bought some Pine Sol and an eyeglass repair kit the other night, but that's kind of boring. The last fun thing I bought was some yarn for the blanket I'm knitting, and an insanely bright orange sweater (which you can see in the previous post)!

What are you listening to right now?
The TV in the background. I'm watching Family Matters right now - Urkel makes me laugh.

What is your favorite weather?
Sunny and warm, but crisp, with the leaves changing colors. Indian summer and early fall weather is my favorite type!

What is your least favorite season?
Spring. That's because where I live, "Spring" consists of the ground turning to mud, and everything looking brown and ugly, until "Summer" starts when everything is green.

What's in your purse?
Oh my, do I have to list everything? Lip gloss, wallet, envelopes with grocery money, mirror, bobby pins, mints, gum, cell phone, keys, eye drops, contact case, glasses, and occasionally a book. I have a large purse.

Say something to the person who tagged you:
Thanks for tagging me Tatiana! I'm enjoying reading your blog, and I'm glad we're blogging buddies!

What is your favorite dessert or cool treat?
Ice cream! Especially if it is mocha ice cream, or if there is hot fudge involved.

What did you want to become as a child?
I wanted to be a store clerk when I was in first grade. I thought it looked like fun at the time! Then I wanted to be a nurse in middle school, but I changed my mind because I didn't want to give shots (I just couldn't handle that thought for some reason). Finally I settled on dental hygienist, which is what I am today (and ironically I do give people shots anyway - but it's only in their mouth, which seems better to me for some reason).

What do you want to be now?
I'm with Tatiana, I want to be a strong light for Jesus more than anything. But I also want to be a stay-at-home mom and wife! Someday . . .

What do you miss?
Hmm, I kind of miss school right now. I used to love going back to school in the fall. I'm an academic nerd - I love taking classes! I think I'll probably go back to college at some point in the future.

Which is you favorite country/state, and why?
Well, the United States of America of course! It's the greatest country in the world, and I thank the Lord for allowing me to be an American!

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
I'd grab Derek and either go to Disney World, or back to Hawaii. It'd be awful if we could only stay for an hour though!

What are your most challenging goals right now?
Paying off the rest of our debt (except the house), which we're so close to doing; and ultimately paying off the mortgage. Not to mention figuring out where the Lord is leading us with Derek's employment.

What is your 5 year plan?
Wow, that's hard to explain in just this little space! We want to pay off all the student loans, save for and buy a new car, finish the basement, go to Italy, and start having babies! That's it in a nutshell.

What is your favorite sport to watch?
I like watching bull riding and wrestling and lumberjack competitions (mostly because they all are really quick sports to watch - I like watching sports that start and end quickly - they're more exciting), but I also like watching college football with Derek (if I have a book handy)! He's a huge fan.

What show would you want to be a cast member on (reality included)?
Oh, I would totally be on The Mole. Has anyone else watched that show? It's like a mystery reality show, and I would love to be on it!

What is your most prized possession?
Like a material item? Goodness, I don't know. If we're talking things that I own, I guess I would say my dogs. If we're saying something that isn't living, I'd say my wedding ring is my most prized possession.

Name one favorite childhood memory.
I have too many to just pick one! I really love the memories of going horse-back riding as a family though - we used to go almost every weekend in the summer when I was little, and we'd always pack ice water, beef jerky, and licorice. We'd just ride off somewhere remote and enjoy the solitude, God's creation, and each other's company. Definitely one of our most memorable family activities, though we did alot of other fun things too!

What is your favorite book of the Bible?
My favorite is (1) Proverbs, because it has so much practical wisdom - you can learn so much about how to live a godly life from reading that book and applying it. But my other favorite is (2) Revelation, because I like knowing how it all ends! The last two chapters give me shivers and make me long for Jesus to come back soon!

Thanks for tagging me Tatiana! These things are fun. I tag Kate at An Airman's Wife, Anne at Bibelot: Life's Little Things, One Heart-Two Hands, and Paris Pink at The Pink Polka Dot. You all are relatively new blogging friends, and I'd like to get to know more about you!

Our Story

When I was 18 years old my mom convinced me to go to this mid-week college/career service at a church in town. After about a month, I noticed this tall, dark-haired guy one week. I remember thinking he was really good-looking, and I was rather hoping he would come up and talk to me.

Little did I know that Derek had noticed me that week as well when I was walking into the building from the parking lot. He tells me the first thing he noticed was how small my waste was - I knew that was a good sweater choice that day!

The next week I decided to sit on the opposite side that I normally did, and Derek came and sat behind me. We started talking and I liked him right away. The next week he got my phone number, and we went on our first date a week after that. Derek took me ice skating, then to a really fancy Italian place for dinner - it was a great first date.

It didn't take long for me to realize I was going to marry Derek someday. About a month after we started dating I just knew somehow.

Nine months (to the day) after we met, I came home from lunch with my mom and sister (I was living with my parents), and found three roses and a note on our kitchen table. The note said to dress in something formal and be at our church community center at five. When I got there Derek had a dinner table all set up, with candles, white lights, tiki torches, and a Christmas tree. His friend Jed, who's a chef, came up to make us dinner, and after we ate Jed brought out a picnic basket and set it on the floor near the table. Derek told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, he was down on one knee with the basket open; inside the basket was a Yorkshire terrier puppy with the ring tied around his neck! Then Derek asked me to marry him; and I told him that of course I would! I was totally surprised: I didn't suspect a thing until I got the note, even though my whole family was in on it. But I never dreamed he would propose with a puppy! Derek knew that I always wanted a Yorkshire terrier - we decided to name him Ralphie.

Seven months after that Derek and I said our vows in a small ceremony on my parent's property. We honeymooned in Hawaii and came home to our two-bedroom house in the mountains. We've been married for over a year now, and even though we've been through so many changes and trials since then, the Lord has taken care of us. We've got a house, two dogs, we're able to pay the bills each month, and we're traveling through all these crazy times together - and that makes it all good.

What I Believe

I believe that every person has sinned and "fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). I believe God is absolutely holy, and cannot have sin in His presence. Because God is holy, our sin has separated us from God. Because we have all sinned, we all deserve to die (Romans 6:23) and be separated from God forever in Hell.

I believe God loved us so much (John 3:16) that He came up with a plan to take away our sin. That plan was Jesus.

I believe Jesus is God, and He was born to a virgin two thousand years ago. I believe He lived a sinless life and died on the cross in our place (2 Corinthians 5:21). By the spilling of His blood, He gave us life (Isaiah 53:5) - He paid the price for our sin, He died so that we wouldn't have to be separated from Him for eternity.

I believe that on the third day after He died, He rose from the dead, He came back to life again (Romans 14:9, Acts 2:24). He is no longer dead - He is alive and waiting to meet us in Heaven.

I believe that if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins (1 John 1:9) and give us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), so that we will be able to spend eternity in Heaven with our Savior. I believe that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved (Romans 10:9). I believe that whoever believes these things will be with the Lord in Heaven forever, and there will no longer be any death, or sorrow, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).

I believe the Bible is the Word of God which He gave to us through the divinely inspired men who wrote it (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21). I believe it is our guide for teaching, for rebuking for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). I believe it is powerful and active (Hebrews 4:12), and I believe as Christians it equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17).

I believe that if we believe that Jesus has died to save us and rose again that we should no longer be living for ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:15), but that our greatest goal should be to live in a way that is pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9).

If you have any questions for me about my beliefs, please contact me at I'd be happy to talk with you about any questions you may have, and if I don't know the answers I'll do my best to find out for you!


I'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or if you just want to say hello, shoot me an e-mail at!

About Me

I am a Christian and a twenty-something newlywed. I live in the mountains with the love of my life, and we have two dogs. I graduated from college a year ago and am now working as a dental hygienist. I'm between life stages right now - I'm done with college, at least for a while, and my husband and I aren't planning on having kids for another year or two.

I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was four years old. I feel very blessed to have grown up in a Christian household, and my parents helped me grow in my faith through my childhood years. Jesus is not only my Savior but my constant Friend, though I could never deserve it, and I've never for a moment regretted giving my life to Him.
I'm definitely a girly girl - I like dressing up, makeup, shoes, perfume or anything that smells good, flowers, shoes, painting my nails, decorating, shopping, shoes, and I'm a wedding addict. And did I mention that I like shoes?

At the same time I can be tom-boyish in a way. I love camping, hiking, fishing, four-wheeling, trail-riding, and I hunt big game every year. There's something invigorating about getting into the outdoors and doing something outdoor-sy, throwing on a ball cap without worrying about my hair and getting my hiking boots dirty, and just enjoying God's amazing creation. You know what I mean? I'm especially a fan of outdoor activities in the fall. There is just something about the season of Autumn that makes me feel alive. It's hard to explain, but I have a suspicion that Heaven will give me the same feeling.

I'm a dog person. I love dogs - they are the one pet that will really show you love unconditionally, no matter how irritated you get with them sometimes.
My husband is my other half. He completely makes up for the areas that I fail in - he's my best friend, my teammate in life. He's always there to encourage me, laugh with me, help me figure out my problems, make me smile, be silly with me, hold me when I want to cry, and just love me. I don't know where I'd be without him.

I want to be a stay-at-home mom someday. I don't think there's really a more noble goal in life than to raise godly children and teach them about the Lord.

This is just a blog about my thoughts, things that Lord has been teaching me, and our married life together. I hope in some small way my musings can be an encouragement to you, but also that you might draw closer to Jesus as you read about my blunders, lessons learned, blessings, struggles, and just everyday life occurrences! My vision is so muddled and foggy, but someday He'll make it all clear.

About the Blog

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then we shall see face to face . . ."
1 Corinthians 3:12

Do you ever have a really vivid dream? Sometimes my dreams are just so lifelike that when I'm in the midst of them it feels as if everything is really happening to me, and when I wake up I have to think for a minute to make sure it was really a dream.

But when I try to remember the dream later in the day I can't remember most of the details, no matter how hard I try. Everything is just foggy and clouded in my memory. The dream just fades away now that I'm really living in the real world.

A few years ago after one such experience I had an epiphany. What if the "real world" is really just like a dream? What if Heaven is the ultimate reality? As I thought more about it, it made more sense - it seems to me that one day when I die, it will be as if I have woken up. I will find myself in Heaven with my Lord Jesus, and when I look back at my earthly life, I'll realize just how foggy my vision was at the time. This physical world, which seems so real and lifelike now, is really just foggy and cloudy, like a dream. Someday when I wake up in Heaven, the Lord will make everything more clear to me than I can imagine right now. It will be as if I have seen things clearly for the first time.

The thought made me long to be in Heaven with Jesus even more, and it also made me realize that all the craziness of this world will someday fade and only the clarity that eternity provides will be left. I'm looking through a clouded glass right now, but someday the Lord will open that window, and I'll be able to really see for the first time. My, how I wish for that day to come! But for now I'll just have to do my best with the dirty window.

The name of my blog was inspired by this realization. This blog is mainly a place to share with you my life and my thoughts, but only as they are seen through clouded glass.

But then I'll be able to see face to face . . .

Biggest Loser, Hunter's Orange, and iTunes

Who's ready for Biggest Loser tonight! Me, me! I love that show - it inspires me to be more healthy. And I need that right now. Even as I write this I really want to whip up some Autumn sweetness, but no! I will resist.

In honor of the Biggest Loser season starting tonight, I did my 30 Day Shred workout DVD this morning. I've been slacking on the working out lately, but I think the show will get me motivated again. I might need a new video though, because this one just isn't making me as tired as it used to. Even though I haven't even done it in a week! That makes me feel good - it must be doing some good.

In other news, guess what I found in my desk drawer a couple days ago? A twenty-five dollar iTunes giftcard! Derek won this card on the trip we took for his work. You know, the one way back in April? Yeah, it's pretty bad that I haven't used it yet.

I'm trying to decide what songs to buy with it - Derek told me I could pick some songs - he has no particular preferences, and we like the same type of music. Anyone have any good suggestions? I love country music, but I also like jazzy music too, and light rock . . . anything in those genres that you could recommend? I would buy Taylor Swift's new CD, except I think I want to actually buy that one at the store, instead of digitally. "Then" by Brad Paisley is definitely on my list. And "Chicken Fried" by the Zack Brown Band. And I like Francesca Batistelli's sound . . . I have to give this some thought. I don't want to waste our giftcard.

Yesterday I went sweater shopping. I remembered that Kohl's had a some sweaters that I liked in the spring, and I thought I might go look to see if I could get them on sale now. I remember they had this gorgeous aqua color sweater, so I thought I'd try to find it.

Well, I did actually find the sweaters on the clearance rack! Twelve dollars, so not an incredible deal, but I was still happy. They didn't have any smalls, but that's okay, because the mediums fit alright. However their color selection was very limited. They didn't have any of the aqua ones (rats!). You'll never guess on the color I bought.

They only had three colors left - blue, pink, and orange. And the orange was bright. It was the same color as hunter's orange, which is great when you're hunting, but you don't see it too often in clothing. The orange color actually looked rather hideous on the hanger - and I know most people must have thought the same thing, because they had one blue sweater left, a few pink sweaters in very large sizes, and about twenty or more orange sweaters all glaring from the rack.

However, being the adventurous girl that I am, I grabbed one of each color to try on in the dressing room, including the neon orange sweater.

The blue one was nice, but I have so many blue sweaters already that I didn't want another one.

The pink was a gorgeous color, but they only had it in large, and it looked a little too bulky on me.

The only one left to try on was the garish orange sweater. But like I said, I'm pretty bold with my fashion choices and I can usually pull it off, so I tried it on.

I was pleasantly surprised - the color looks awful by itself, but it actually looks great on me! It makes my eyes look more green, and my hair and skin are just the right colors to soften the brightness. So I did what I really never thought I would do - I bought the awful orange sweater.

I actually like it. What's wrong with hunter's orange anyway? I always did notice that it brought out my eyes when I wear it for hunting season . . .

See what I mean? It looks like a terrible color by itself.

But I think it works on me.

The Best Glimpse of Heaven

Fall has arrived! When Derek came into kiss me good-bye after firing up the chain-saw this morning, his face was freezing cold. A cold front has moved in, I have candles lit all over the house, I'm drinking Vanilla Maple tea from Celestial Seasonings, Derek is off cutting wood so we'll be ready for winter, and all feels right with the world. I think I'm going to spend time today making some sort of delicious fall-ish soup. And I feel the need to bake something. Something with spice and cinnamon.

I went on a candle-buying spree yesterday - I bought tons of candles with scents that remind me o Autumn. I love those five-piece candle sets from Walmart! I got mulled cider and pumpkin festival candles - I'm all stocked up on candles now. And if you've never checked out Hobby Lobby candles when they are on sale, you should. They have all kinds of great candles, for pretty good prices. I got some "Indian Teak" scented candles and I love them - they smell so rustic and spicy - exactly the way Autumn should smell.

I love just spending cold fall days like this curled up on the couch with a book and a cup of tea - and my favorite Autumn tea is most definitely Vanilla Maple tea from Celestial Seasonings. You have got to try this tea! It's so good.

On days like today I feel like my heart is overflowing with thanks. Because really, what other reason would the Lord give us a season as beautiful as Autumn except to show us how much He loves us? It's my favorite season - it's filled with warmth, home, family, and the most beautiful displays of God's creation.

Autumn is the season that reminds me the most of Heaven - when I imagine what Heaven will be like (even though I will never really know how wonderful it is until I get there), I imagine something like Autumn. Not only because of everything I mentioned above, but also because I just feel so alive in the fall. I don't know why, but everything feels clear and beautiful, the blessing are so obvious everywhere I look, and my mind can't help but turn to my Creator - and I think that's how it will feel in Heaven as well, only infinitely better. I think Autumn is the best glimpse of Heaven that I will get while living on this earth, and that's the main reason why I love it so much.

I hope your day is filled with wonderful scents and cozy feelings, but also with thanks and praise to our Redeemer! Someday we'll enjoy an eternity of the beautiful feelings that fall brings, but it will be even better because we'll be with Jesus. We may have to wait a little while until that wonderful season that will never end begins, but until then, enjoy this glimpse, and soak up this Autumn season!

Have You Forgotten?

Baby Blankets Of Purple Yarn

Did any of you know that I knit? I'm not sure I've mentioned it before. Well, I knit. Any fellow knitters out there?

I started last fall, when both Derek and I were unemployed and I wanted a hobby that wasn't too expensive to pass the time. Well, knitting is a wonderful hobby, because it doesn't cost alot to get started! All you need is a couple of needles and some yarn. And some knitting instructions, but the cost for instructions is minimal, if you have to pay anything at all.

Last fall I decided I was going to knit a patchwork blanket - you know, where you knit squares of different colors, and eventually when you finish all the pieces you connect them all together. They look really neat! See . . .

Image from It's a really cool website, and they're having a sale - check it out.

I decided I would try to finish the blanket before we had kids (which was 2-3 years at that time), so I figured I would have plenty of time, right? Well, I've learned I'm extremely slow at knitting. Here's what I've accomplished so far.

Yeah. A square and a half. And I have to make about twenty. Somehow I'm not sure if I'll make my baby deadline. At this rate, I should be done with this blanket by the time Baby Number One starts middle school.

But I have renewed determination to get going on my knitting! No more watching television with idle hands - I should be knitting while I watch Biggest Loser this fall! And I will. At least until I get tired of knitting and stop for several months again. Oh boy.

Labor Day List

Here is the plan for today.

Eat breakfast (pineapple upside-down cake yougurt and a banana. Yum!)

Work out. I've been slacking lately, so it's time to get back into the routine and dust off my 30 Day Shred DVD.

Take a shower and wash my hair (with my new shampoo).

Paint! I haven't painted in a few days, and I need to keep up on it. I started a painting last week, but I don't really like the way it's looking so far. But considering it's my first real painting in color, I guess it doesn't look too bad. I'll post pictures soon.

Go on a motorcycle ride with Derek - possible our las tone ever. Yes, Derek has decided to sell his bike, and we've got someone interested in it. The guy just needs to get approved for the loan and we'll have to say farewell to the bike. It' kind of bittersweet - we both new Derek wouldn't keep it forever, and it'll be great to get rid of that debt! But it's kind of sad because I know Derek enjoyed riding it, and I liked riding with him on it occasionally too. I just got to remember that we're getting rid of all that debt! Soon we'll be debt free except for the house, and that will be a wonderful feeling.

Work on this marriage workbook that our pastor gave us. We recently had a marital counseling session. Since it's been a year since we got married, we thought a few follow-up sessions would be helpful. To me counseling is more of a preventative measure than treatment when something is wrong, so we're going to try to strengthen our marriage, so hopefully we won't have any big problems in the future! Plus we've been thinking we could have a review on communication differences between men and women - you know, those infamous misunderstandings!

Make a really nice dinner for Derek - I bought fillet mignon, and I'm going to try making it! I'm a little scared, because I've never made something like fillet mignon before, but I'll figure it out. Then I'll make biscuits, baked potatoes, and maybe some sort of vegetable, like one of those ten cans of green beans I bought on Saturday!

Watch Star Wars! We all love Star Wars in my family, and I haven't watched it in forever, so Derek agreed to a marathon with me!

Gracious, that's quite a list! I better get going on it. What is everyone else doing for Labor Day? Enjoy the day off!

A Weekend Grocery Run

I love having our cabinets well stocked, but lately they have been empty. And I mean empty. I don't know how, but for some reason we went through everything this month, and there was just nothing left in the house that was good to eat. I had to scramble to think of things to send with Derek for lunch this week, because there was just nothing.

Well, I went grocery shopping today and resolved that difficulty! This is was a typical weekend grocery shopping day, so I thought I'd give you a play-by-play, just for fun.

6:00 AM - I wake up and take my temperature so I can record it on my chart.

6:15 AM - I'm back asleep.

7:30 AM - Still asleep - it's a weekend after all!

8:30 AM - I finally wake up and roll out of bed, because I can't sleep all day - it is a grocery shopping day, which means I will be away from the house for at least five hours, so I better get going! Run to the restroom, wash my face, and try to wrestle my hair into obedience.

9:00 AM - Go into the kitchen and make Derek some eggs for breakfast, because that is literally the only thing there is for him to eat! Thankfully I still have some of my cereal left, so I munch on Fiber One and Derek eats his eggs while we do our Saturday Bible Study meeting.

9:30 AM - Go into the bathroom and apply some makeup so I don't scare everyone in the grocery store.

10:00 AM - I'm off!

10:40 AM - I finally arrive in town, and make my first stop at Walmart. Consult the list. Decide to start with finding the shampoo.

10:55 AM - Still looking at the shampoo. This is my hair - shampoo is an important decision. Finally decide on Pantene Pro-V for me and Suave for Derek (yes, he gets the inexpensive stuff).

11:00 AM - After grabbing toothpaste and other toiletries, I zip off into the food section. I usually don't do trips up and down each aisle or I'll buy more than I need - normally I just go straight to the items on my list and get out of there before I spend more money than I intended. But not today, because it's really not possible to buy stuff we don't need this time - we need everything.

11:30 AM I feel slightly embarrassed as I push my at-least-one-hundred-pound cart through the store. People give me funny looks, because there is food piled up in the cart so high that it looks like a mountain. Either that or maybe they're wondering how in the world I can get that humongous load to move with my little toothpick arms.

11:40 AM - The canned goods cover at least two and a half feet of the conveyer belt, and I'm wondering if the cashier gets annoyed with people like me for buying so many cans.

11:50 AM - I make my way out of the store and these adorable little kids ask me if I wan to buy some popcorn. I really want to, but we really don't eat that much popcorn, and I have other stores I need to hit. They make me feel really guilty. I'm still suffering from the guilt now. Please everyone, don't hate me for not buying the popcorn! Especially after you hear where I went next.

12:00 PM - I jump in the car and decide I'll run to the mall to get myself another pair of sunglasses, since my favorite pair broke last weekend (isn't that so sad? I'm so hard on sunglasses). Of course while I'm there I might as well check out Charlotte Russe, right? This is the danger of sending me to town with money alone.

12:45 PM - I leave the mall with two pairs of sunglasses (it was either get one for six dollars or two for eight), a dress (it was on sale for five bucks! I couldn't pass that up), a couple of layering tanks (once again - on sale for two for five dollars), a bottle of perfume (it was really cheap, and I ran out of my other stuff last month), and a shirt (it was so cute, and it was one of the last ones). I know, it's like a sickness - I can't pass up a deal. But it's not really a sickness, because I only splurge and buy stuff like that when I know we can afford it. I'll just keep telling myself that.

1:00 PM - I jump in the car feeling just slightly guilty, and head off to Hobby Lobby to buy a candle for a house-warming gift for my brother and sister-in-law. They have really pretty candles there, and if you catch it at the right time (about every other month) they're half off.

1:15 PM - The candle is temporarily forgotten, as I struggle with the temptation to buy a candle sconce and cute little decorative sign for our bedroom. Can you believe we've been married over a year, and I still haven't decorated our bedroom? It's scandalous! I almost talk myself into justifying the buy, but at the last minute I change my mind. I already spent money on clothes, and I can wait and think about the bedroom decor for a little longer before buying. It was good practice at resisting the temptation to spend.

1:30 PM - I head out of the store with two lovely candles for my sister-in-law and head to the library to drop off a book.

1:45 PM - Back at Walmart to pick up the cold stuff and fruit that I didn't get earlier. I didn't want to ruin all the cold stuff by leaving it in a hot car while I made my other stops, so I'm getting it now (yes, I knew I was planning on spending that much time at the mall - shameful, I know). I leave the store with oranges, apples, bananas, butter, milk, sour cream, cheese, and another cute shirt/dress. I know, I know. This is why I like taking someone shopping with me - it's less tempting that way. In my defense, I haven't bought any clothes in a couple months, so I figured it would be okay to buy some now.

2:10 PM - Making the drive back up the mountain, sipping a Diet Dr. Pepper.

3:00 PM - I get home and come inside to a sparkling clean home! That's right, my wonderful husband cleaned the house for me, because he realized I probably forgot that his dad and dad's girlfriend are coming over tomorrow, and he didn't want me panicking about the house being a mess (and I did indeed forget that i needed to clean - he knows me so well). It smelled like Endust and 409 - the smell of clean. I give him a big thank-you kiss.

3:05 PM - I drop an armload of bags and sheepishly tell Derek everything I bought. He initially pretends he's shocked then laughs and tells me it's fine. See, I told you I wouldn't have got that stuff unless I knew it would be alright.

3:20 PM - I finish unloading the groceries and putting them away, and the cabinets are nice and full. That makes me feel happy. I love seeing cabinets that look full of food, especially when they were empty mere moments before!

3:30 PM - I take a bath and use my nice new shampoo, spray on my nice new perfume, and get into my nice new shirt/dress and skinny jeans. Then I sit down with a cookie and glass of milk and write this to you!

4:00 PM - Derek tells me my outfit looks good. It was all worth it.

I feel so fall-ish. Plaid just says "autumn" to me.

The night will be finished off with me making taco salad for dinner and watching a movie with my hubby (hopefully). A pretty good day, if I do say so myself. One of those days when all feels right with the world, you know?

The End.

No Camera

Last night was the last time I leave the house without my camera.

I was thinking all day yesterday that I should have brought my camera, since we went to two parties.

But I was really sorry last night.

For our anniversary I saved up enough money for Derek to play hockey again. He used to play hockey when we were dating, but he hasn't played for over a year because of all the craziness of getting married and stuff. Plus it always seems like there are so many other things to put your money toward, you know? So I set money aside specifically so Derek could play hockey again.

Well, last night was "drop-in" hockey, and I went with Derek to watch him play a short game with other random guys who would "drop-in" to play. This is kind of like a warm up night before the real season starts in a couple weeks.

I was so sorry that I didn't have my camera! Derek looked so good in his hockey uniform (if I do say so myself), and I was so proud of him as I watched him skating around the rink. But no camera. Aaaah! It was like a nightmare. Maybe I need to surgically attach it to my hand.

Thankfully there is another open ice night this week, and I'm planning on going again. And this time I will definitely be bringing my camera!

Songs That Make Me Cry (In A Good Way)

I've recently heard several songs that tend to make me get choked up. I'm not really a crier - I don't like crying, especially if I can avoid it. That's why I don't really appreciate depressing books or movies - why make myself sad enough to cry if I don't have to?

However, I love these songs! If something makes me cry and I like it, then in my mind it has to be really good! I thought I'd share some of those make-your-heart-swell-and-eyes-shine songs with you all. Just for fun.

I've included links where you can either listen to the song or watch the video, so you know what I'm talking about. Please forgive the randomness of the links, but I could only find certain songs on certain sites.

These songs make me cry, but they also make me happy. I don't like to cry just to cry, the song has got to leave me with a good feeling when the tears are gone, not a depressed one. If a song depresses me, you can forget it. Just rest assured that if you follow the links and listen to the songs, it may make you sad, but in a happy way. At least if you're anything like me.

Here we go:

Eight Songs That Make Me Cry (In A Good Way)

1. Almost Home by Craig Morgan. Sit me down with this song, and my stomach will get that twist in it by the end. But it's because it's kind of happy, but in a sad way. It makes me want Heaven even more, and it makes my heart hurt for the old man in the song. You just have to listen to it. Here's the link:

2. The Little Girl by John Michael Montgomery. It sounds depressing until you get to the very end, so just hang in there. The twist at the end is definitely worth the depressing beginning. I like it because it's such a positive portrayal of Jesus within the secular culture, and that's always good.

3. Love Them Like Jesus by Casting Crowns. Not one of their most well-known songs, but definitely a keeper and tear-jerker, at least for me. If you are a Christian, once you hear it you will totally understand why it makes me cry.

4. I Loved Her First by Heartland. It makes me cry because I'm really close to my dad, and I almost cried at our wedding when he walked me down the isle, and this song perfectly portrays the way that moment felt (only its from the dad's perspective - but that almost makes me cry more). It's a good one.

5. Love Story by Taylor Swift. This one is confusing, because it makes me happy too. But the part at the end where he says he talked to her dad and go pick out a white dress just gets to me for some reason. But they're happy tears.

6. You're Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins. Just because it's so true, and we really will miss certain periods in our life later, so we should enjoy them while we're living them. It's really an uplifting message, but it makes me sad because times change and you'll miss them someday but you won't be able to get them back. Just makes me get that lump in my throat.

7. It Won't Be Like This For Long by Darius Rucker. It makes me happy-sad, because someday I'm going to have babies, and they'll grow up, and every year on their birthday I'll be happy, but my stomach will be turning at the same time, because they're growing up and soon they'll be gone. For some reason I think I understand my parents' pain better the older I get, even though I don't have kids yet.

8. My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust. Because it's a beautiful reminder of what Jesus did for me. Here's my favorite line "Yes, living, dying let me bring; My strength, my solace from this thing; that He who lives to be my King; Once died to be my Savior." To think how much the Lord sacrificed to save us - the thought should always give us shining eyes, should it not?

Now aren't those good songs? They're good-sad songs - there is a difference between happy-sad songs, and depressing-sad songs, or sin-related-sad songs. I don't like the latter two catagories. I love the former.

What about you guys: any good songs that make you cry, but in a happy sort of way? Or am I the only one weird enough to feel happy from a sad song, or sad from a happy song?

Confession Time

With all of these trips that Derek and I have been going on the past couple of weeks, we’ve kind of lagged behind on our weekly Bible study. But we intend to get back on track now that our schedules should be back to normal!

If you remember, Derek and I are doing a Bible study by John Macarthur on the book of Ephesians. This week the chapter was on the body of Christ and spiritual gifts. It was a really good reminder to use my spiritual gifts more, because the church cannot be unified or function as it should if all of it’s members aren’t contributing.

However, that lesson was not what really jumped out at me. Do you ever have one of those times where you keep hearing about one topic over and over again, typically a topic that convicts you, and even though you might ignore it the first time, you eventually have to face the music because you just keep hearing about it everywhere you look? That happens to me all the time. I think that’s the way the Lord likes to show me things – by repetitive references to it.

Well, lately I’ve become increasingly aware of (2) my selfishness, once again. It’s one of those things that is really hard to beat. And I’ve especially been realizing (2) what an envious and judgmental attitude I have at times.

Envy is one of those sneaky sins, at least for me. You don’t do anything wrong – you feel something wrong. Those kinds of sins are a lot harder to put your finger on – you know something isn’t quite right in your heart lately, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what that feeling is springing from.

Well, this past week I’ve been convicted of my envious and prideful attitude, which once again grows from an underlying selfishness – that dreadful sin that seems to be at the bottom of all the others! Boy, do I need to work on it. But I’m talking about envy today, not selfishness – just be aware that selfishness is behind it as I continue.

I get rather jealous when someone else gets something that I want too. It’s not really that I don’t want them to have it, it’s that I don’t want them to have it first. I’ve always been a little competitive, and I like to be ahead of everyone else. So when someone else moves to the next stage of their life without me, or is doing better financially, or anything like that, I’m not happy for their success like I should be. Outside I congratulate them or tell them how great it is that the good thing happened to them, because a part of me really is happy. But another part of me that I try very hard to hide is frustrated because they’re ahead of me. That part of me isn’t really happy for the other person – it’s angry and sad. It rants, it cries, it gets depressed. And it always will, as long as I allow it to stay there.

I’ve realized recently that I really need to eradicate that diseased part of me – it’ll kill my relationships and turn me into a bitter person if I let it. And what grieves me most is that it’s not at all pleasing or honoring to my Lord.

I also realized how judgmental and self-righteous I can be. Lately I tend to think that I’m always right, and I’ve been making judgments about other people’s motives when I shouldn’t be, especially if it’s someone who I think has wronged me in some way. I used to be a lot more merciful – I gave people the benefit of a doubt much more frequently, and I tried to think the best of them. I think that was one of my spiritual gifts, but lately I haven’t been exercising that gift at all – in fact, I’ve let it atrophy to such an extent that I have had the opposite attitude lately. I’m ashamed of myself and my attitude.

My mom says that sometimes the Lord allows you a time of going your own way so that you can realize how awful you can actually be, and how much you really need Him. I think that’s what I’ve been experiencing lately. And when you do have a time like that, my mom says you need to crawl back to the Lord and let Him help you overcome that struggle – and He’ll never turn you away when you do that.

I had a good cry about my sin one night last week, and I asked the Lord to forgive me and help me to improve. And here is how I feel He answered me.

The next day I worked on the Bible study that Derek and I are doing together, after not doing it for a week and a half. And wouldn’t you know, one of the supplementary passages was Romans 12:4-18:

“4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men."

That’s what the passage said. Here’s what the Lord said to me while I was reading it:

“Show mercy with cheerfulness (like you used to do). Let your love be without hypocrisy (that means not secretly grumbling about others or judging them – you’re not really loving them when you do that). Continue steadfastly in prayer (you’ve been neglecting that lately) . Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (that means not being secretly frustrated when they succeed before you do). Do not be wise in our own opinion (you’re not always right, Callie, and you don’t know what I’m doing in other’s hearts).”

The Lord gave me a direct passage to show me what I need to do to improve. And I’m going to be working on it, with His help.

I guess the Lord put it on my heart to share my struggle with you today, because who knows, maybe one of you is having the same problems. I think it’s good to confess our sins to each other, because Christians are not perfect – I think my little confession here proves that. I don’t think we have to pretend to be perfect – in fact, it’s probably better to admit that we’re not. I think so often we Christians avoid talking about our sin because we want to be good examples. But nobody said we would be perfect as long as we live in this world – we’re still going to sin. However, Jesus died to save us from those awful sins, and He’s still working on us. And boy, do I need to be worked on – His work won’t be finished until I get to Heaven, really.

So here’s my game plan to improve on this, based on that Romans passage. It doesn’t do much good to just be sorry, I have to have a plan, right?

1. Pray more! Turn off the radio on the way to work, and pray. Pray about my attitude, pray for other people, especially those who I’ve had a bad attitude toward. My prayer life has been suffering severely lately, and I’m sure that hasn’t helped me in the envy/self-righteousness department.

2. When I feel a little jealous of someone, or have a little envious thought, catch it, pray immediately and ask the Lord to forgive me, and make a conscious effort to be happy for the other person.

3. When I catch myself making judgments about other’s motives or attitudes, pray immediately and make an effort to think the best of that person instead.

4. Admit when I’m wrong more, and open my mind to the possibility that I may be wrong, even when I’m sure I’m right, because I don’t know everything. Be more sensitive to my self-righteous attitude by praying about the subject right away, instead of waiting until later.

Some of that will be hard to do, especially in the middle of the incident, because like I said, I think these sins are kind of sneaky. It’s easy to admit when I do something wrong, because I can usually see it right away, but when I think something wrong or have a wrong attitude it’s not always visible to others. It’s between me and the Lord, and I can be awfully good at ignoring things I think that are wrong, because you can’t help the way you feel, right? Well, that isn’t true, I can help the way I feel, and I think that will come from catching those thoughts right as they flitter across my mind, and confessing them immediately. I’ve been trying to do better, but it’s awfully hard – but I know the Lord will help me improve. It just takes time.

Anyone else have problems with those sneaky, attitude sins? Any suggestions on what has worked for you?

I thought I’d leave you with a prayer that I wrote down after the Lord convicted me so strongly last week. I think it sums up my problem rather nicely, and I know the Lord heard it, and I’m praying He’ll help me to be sensitive to His correction.

Lord, I am a wretch. I’ve been spiteful, prideful, bitter, impatient and envious. I haven’t overlooked offenses as I should, I’ve been thinking only of myself and my own feelings. I am stubborn in my pride, thinking that I am always right and others are wrong. I’ve been judgmental, self-righteous, and ungrateful. Please forgive me. Help me in my attitudes and thoughts this week, help me to think of other’s needs before my own comfort or feelings. Help me to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, and weep with those who are weeping. Help me to be grateful for what I have, not constantly comparing myself to others or being envious. Forgive me for grumbling about others and holding grudges, for being a hypocrite. Forgive me for not using the spiritual gifts you’ve given me, but going my own way instead. Help me to change my attitudes and behaviors, especially toward those that I feel have wronged me. Help me to show mercy within my own heart. Thank you, Lord, for being my “God Who Forgives.” In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
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