Friday, December 10, 2010

i promise i'm alive (ep. 2)

Oh my goodness.

I just wanted to drop in and say a big hello to all the tens of you that read this blog.



But really.

It's been kind of hard to blog because as some of you know, I don't have a computer at my house. That makes the whole blogging thing kind of hard.

{If any of you want to buy me a computer because you love me and my writing that much or simply because you're the most awesomest person ever and have a generous spirit. Let's talk.}


I would say I'm kidding, but crazier things have happened. I assure you. And...I'm really not kidding. Well...only partly kidding. 98% of me is completely serious.

And I would blog at Mom and Dad's but their computer was shipped off somewhere to be fixed 2 1/2 weeks ago and it has yet to return. They're not expecting it back until the END OF DECEMBER.

How does one survive? Good thing my sister and mom can check Facebook on their phone or the world just. might. end. (And mine too, I ain't gonna lie).

Anyway, so that's why it's been the crickets around here lately.

I had the best of intentions to tell you all about the crazy awesome trip to Deeper Still {if you pause the video at the 45 second mark that's TOTALLY me in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. What's up with my hair? And my mouth? Oh well. Moving on.}

I also was going to tell you about the first Thanksgiving without the sister. A synopsis: having Thanksgiving on Saturday is BIZARRE. And I kind of liked it...but at the same time, I was completely thrown off Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Weird.

I was going to tell you how my Christmas tree is STILL not up. Neither is Mom and Dad's. I still have my wreath hanging on my front door. And there isn't a single bit of me that's freaking out over not having my Christmas decorations up .

Not a single bit.

I was going to tell you all about the most fabulous birthday I've ever had in my life. For real. The. most. fabulous. birthday. ever. The only actual gifts I received were 3 packs of sweet tarts {just because I'm curious, what side of your mouth do you chew sweet tarts on? Let's do a study. I'm serious. Stop laughing.} and a very special ornament with the letter 'R' on it that blinks. Oh, and a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE.

Like, a bajillion people wrote on my Facebook wall. I got just as many texts and phone calls and emails. Having caring friends and family and people that you barely know is SO hard. I mean really. So hard.

And...what else...ummm...I met a ton of cool and awesome people at Deeper Still.

Example 2 {example 1 is the link above} ;)
Melanie aka Big Mama. She was so so so sweet. And I told her how I'm awkward too. That in and of itself is awkward enough. But really. I can be so awkward.

P.S. That is one CRAZY eye on my behalf. For real.

Example 3

Kelly from Kelly's Korner was sitting with the Compassion Bloggers and due to some seating issues we got to sit with them on Saturday morning, but this was Friday night when I was like, "Yeah, I read your blog and Harper is so cute and you're just the cutest little pregnant lady."

More awkward.

And while not a cool and awesome person. How about these cool and awesome SEATS thanks to (in)courage and DaySpring??


Oh, Chicken Burrito Bowl. I'm quite sure you will be served in Heaven. And guacamole, you too.

Okay, so...that's all I have time for. And there were very serious and spiritual things that happened and yes this post is just fluff, but I had to share. I couldn't keep it in any longer!

OH and I got to meet Lisa-Jo and Ann (we are on a first name basis now...ha.)

And I'm being COMPLETELY serious when I say the first words I said to Ann Voskamp were,


Yes. For real.

I can't go on anymore. Because really. Those were my first words to someone that writes the most beautiful words that I don't even UNDERSTAND sometimes.

Sheer fabulousness.

And awkward.

But we've established I rule at that.

Y'all have a good weekend.


{Sorry, I just don't have time for more words!}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

things you must read...

I've got words for you, but they aren't mine.

Here's a list of some posts that were in my Reader today that you absolutely have to read.

Read them. Be changed. Live better because of it.

1) Toya's post on pre-Thanksgiving chaos.

2) Annie's post talking about her book coming out next month!!!
P.S. As I commented, I'm neither a teenage girl nor a college student but I'm totes getting it.

3) Sarah's post on sharing your story. Be brave. Stop hiding behind a computer screen. (I say that in a nice way).

4) Ann's post on being an Upside Down Kingdom Blogger. Read. It. So convicting. And that woman has to write the most beautiful words I've seen in a long time.

5) Wendy's post on walking through the desert and finding God had been there all along.

Enjoy these awesome posts. I know I did.

Monday, November 8, 2010


When I started to think about who I was grateful for. Who I was really thankful for, the normal people ran through my head.

There's the sister.
Then there's the mom.
Then there's my awesome friends.
And the list goes on and on.
Seriously, I could probably list the people I'm thankful for and why I'm thankful for them, for a looooonnngg time.

But I knew immediately the person I was most thankful for this year wasn't a single person, but rather a group of women. A community of women. The likes of which I've never seen before. Maybe that's what makes them so special. Because I don't think you can replicate this kind of thing.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about (in)courage. The women that write for it. The women that comment. The love and encouragement I find there. I always. always. come away blessed. Always.

The reason I'm so thankful for them is because some of these posts have literally changed my ENTIRE life. And I'm not saying that for affect. I'm saying that as the truth.

I read Sarah Markley's post (I'm SO sad the entire post isn't up, I think it may have gotten lost in the move to Wordpress :( :( :( ) on January 4th and I was yearning for something different. I had always been that 'good Christian girl' on the outside but struggled and struggled and struggled with having that daily quiet time. With actually being souled out for the cause of Christ. So, I decided that Monday that I was going to do exactly what Sarah did and give God a year. I didn't know what was going to happen, but I basically dared God.

You show up, or bad things are gonna happen.

(Yes, you should be talking to the computer screen saying I am crazy.
Dare? God? That's bad news bears).

I don't want to think it was an ultimatum because deep down in my heart I knew what the problem was.


Regardless, I dared God and the entire year He's been like,
"Really Rebekah? You thought I wouldn't show up? Look at yourself now."

And so I look, and I'm different.
My heart is different.
My heart is bigger.
My heart is more full of Him and less full of all those lesser things.

Obviously, I know it's because of what God has done. But to me, it's what He has done through these people. Through people that are doing nothing but being the branches. Staying connected to the vine...and bearing fruit. So that God is glorified.

I'm sure they don't realize the impact they've had on me. And they won't. Until Heaven. When they get their crown and there's a jewel because they were faithful to Him. To write. When it hurt. When it cost them pride. When it was the last thing they wanted to do, yet, they did it.

I've learned transparency.
I've learned what it means to step out in faith.
I've learned about obedience.

And God orchestrated it so that when I would read the posts in my reader first thing every morning, He was teaching me whatever it was...other places.
(He's so good like that, and it blows my mind the way He orchestrates things).

This is my comment on that post about stepping out in faith and I think it sums up what (in)courage has taught me.

I’ve learned that confession is good for the soul (God taught me that through you, Sarah). That when you decide to seek Him like you’ve never sought Him before, He. Shows. Up. That it’s okay if you don’t have it all together. That a real relationship with God is not only doable, it’s downright necessary. Mostly, I’ve learned that God can be trusted. Even though I know that sounds silly. It’s taken me a while to learn He always wants the best for us.
My act of bravery is coming up in 10 days as my little sisters leaves for the Philippines to work as a missionary for 3 years. Letting her go is probably the *toughest* thing I’ve ever experienced and as much as I’d like to keep her here so my life would be more comfortable and normal, staying isn’t what God called her to do. Trusting Him through this is taking all that I have but, I’m trusting that His grace is sufficient. And He’s proving me right. :)

So I'm thankful for
and Sarah.

Because through their words written in obedience, my life is changed.
And changed lives are what God is all about.

I have some other exciting news that was made possible by (in)courage that I'll share later but basically, I get to go to Deeper Still because of them. And I'm SO FLIPPIN' EXCITED!

Seriously. We'll talk about that later. :)

P.S. I am by no means perfect. Just ask my family.
But I find myself being perfected by the Greatest Perfecter.
And that's enough for me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

what i learned about christmas today

Last Tuesday I was home sick and sometime that evening I watched one of my favorite movies.

The Family Stone.

I like it for many reasons, not the least of which is that Luke Wilson holds a special place in my heart ever since he was the thoughtful law student in Legally Blonde.

I also love it because it's about Christmas. And who doesn't love Christmas? It has my dream home. I'm pretty sure the Stone's house is my dream home. And all the snow? And the familyness? (Just look past me making up that word). I can appreciate that the Stones have their little family unit and they have their traditions and their dysfunction as does every family. And I love the bigness. Big families. Christmas. Pretty houses. Snow. It doesn't get much better than that.

So, I always cry at the end of that movie, but last week, during some random point in the movie I just started crying. Mostly because I was thinking about how Sarah wasn't going to be home this Christmas. Or the next 3 Christmases. And it seriously tore. open. my. heart. And tear ducts. I was really really really (and a lot more reallys) sad. Really.

I was thinking about waiting at the bottom of the stairs to go upstairs and dig through stockings and presents. Helping with lunch. Staying up watching America's Funniest Home Videos. All the siblings going to the movies on Christmas night. All the stuff that makes us...


That to me is a huge part of Christmas. It's what I look forward to.

And just thinking about it possibly not being like every other Christmas had me crying.

Fast forward to today, sitting at lunch, doing my Bible study. I'm going through Kelly Minter's 'No Other Gods' and it is so. good. It's reshaping my heart and allowing me to let go of things that I had unknowingly made into idols in my life. Or perhaps knowingly. Either way. It's changing me.

We've talked about idols and why they're bad and how they dethrone God and set us up for false expectations and the point has been driven home again and again that they will never satisfy. They won't. They can't. Eventually, we'll realize that, but it's always better when we realize it sooner rather than later. This week is focused on saying goodbye to those things that we've made as idols.

"I'm finding that when I dwell on a memory or a tradition in an unhealthy dose, it occupies every part of my brain that could otherwise be taking in my surrounding and what God may be trying to reveal to me. There is a place for sentimentality, but I've been a junkie, and living in the moment is a much fuller way to live."

I read that and it slapped me in the face. One of Kelly's (I say that like we're best friends, although, she did reply back to a tweet of mine last week so, perhaps we're on our way to bff-dom?) friends was talking about how she hated Nashville (her new town) for the longest and didn't really enjoy the city because her heart and mind were stuck back in Iowa (her old home).

I realized I did that a lot in Dallas. I had left my heart in Mississippi and wasn't fully living in the Big D.

I think we can do the same thing with memories and traditions.

Of course I'm going to miss my sister on Christmas, but that doesn't mean that God can't make this the best Christmas ever. I want to keep my eyes open to what He has for us this Christmas. Because my heart says, there can be nothing good about a Christmas without Sarah. But at the same time I read God can make anything good.

"With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."
- Mark 10:27

All things.

Not some things. Not parts of things.

All things.

Even Christmases without my sister.

And as if that wasn't exactly what I needed to hear Mark goes on to say this:

"So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. "
- Mark 10:29-30
(emphasis mine)

I read that and I can only think how Sister is being obedient to Him. How she left her house, brother, sisters, father, mother, lands--for Christ's sake. For the Gospel's sake. And because of that, because of her obedience, she'll receive not only what she gave up, but all that multiplied by 100. Not only in this life, but in eternity. That blows my mind. That God loves us that much. That He chooses to bless those who honor and obey Him. We don't deserve any of it. Yet He gives it, because He can.

I don't have a big pretty bow to tie this thing up. I just know that my heart is growing. I'm being cleansed from the cobwebs of my former idols. I'm not letting traditions or cherished memories keep me from making new traditions, and new cherished memories. I'm allowing God to do the impossible, the stuff that is only possible with Him.

Like enjoying Christmas this year.

Monday, October 11, 2010

fool me once. shame on you. fool me twice...

This is going to be short. And I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves. I was putting clothes in the dryer to dewrinkle before work this morning and I look out my kitchen windows that had the blinds open. I see some white paper on the bushes on the side of the house.

I thought that was quite strange.

SO...I walk to the front door.
Open it.
And immediately burst into laughter.

Some of the kids were out of school today for Columbus Day and they took their Sunday night of freedom as an opportunity to stay out late and roll my yard. I did not hear a single bit of it. Which is kind of funny considering I woke up Saturday night thinking someone was breaking into my house.

At least two high school junior girls (that I absolutely love) were responsible for this. And I'm sure others that I don't know about yet.

I'm beginning to think I should stop laughing about it and get on to them so that it won't happen again. Because...two weekends in a row?



Ideas for revenge?
(because I am NOT a prankster).

Monday, October 4, 2010

i am so ridiculously blessed.

As I mentioned last week, this past weekend was our annual D-Now for our county churches. All the sessions were great. I got to pour into 7 11th and 12th grade girls and get to know some other adult ladies better.


Like...the only pictures I got over a 36 hour period. I don't know what my problem was.

The theme was 'Consuming Fire' and the curriculum was on what it means to be authentic in our worship. It explored what worship is, what we worship (sadly, it usually isn't just God), aspects of personal and corporate worship and how the students (and us!) can be authentic and true worshippers.

It also dealt with what it means to be a living sacrifice as described in Romans 12:1-2. We talked about what it means when we're conformed to the world (as too many 'Christians' are), how to renew your mind practically (through the study/meditation/obedience of God's word) and a whole bunch of other stuff. It seriously was awesome and the corporate session with about 450 students from 11 different churches all over the county were great.

Preparing for this weekend was such a ridiculously huge blessing to me. I taught two of the sessions (on renewing your mind practically and the corporate worship session) and it really made me examine how I operate. Was I practicing what I was 'preaching'? I prayed that my words wouldn't just be something I was saying but rather, something that was true. Something that I was actually doing in my own life. Thankfully, it was. But there was some definite stepping on toes (all mine) as I was reading over the lessons in preparation. It's not enough just to be 'doing' these practices, but rather, doing them faithfully.

One of the many funny things that happened over the weekend came as I was teaching the last lesson on corporate worship late Saturday night. I'm sitting in the corner of my living room right beside the window and I hear leaves crunching outside the window. I knew that it was the 9th and 10th grade boys. They were staying in the parsonage which is right down the road and a lot of those boys like me for whatever reason. SO...I told the girls, okay, someone's out in the yard. Do NOT be surprised when they bang on the windows or doors. Sure enough, 5 minutes later BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM! Banging on the door. I go to the door and check but they've run away. Well, 20 or so minutes later we hear them again and Tina (the other adult) set her car alarm off and all of a sudden you hear a ton of boys scream and start running. That was quite funny. Just in case they were still around, all of the girls that had cars went and set their car alarms off. I'm sure the neighbors down the road were thinking WHAT is going on?! The next morning I walk out to this.

I think they did quite a good job. And people kept asking me at church yesterday if I was upset. I personally take it as a sign of love. My dad always says he wouldn't give me a hard time unless he loved me. So that's the way I think of it.

Also, the 9th and 10th grade girls went on some kind of upgrade scavenger hunt where they start with one item and they go around to places and try to find something bigger/better/worth more than what they have. And you don't get whatever you give them back.

So, I have 5 teenagers bust up in the house asking if I had something better than this.

In case you can't tell...that's a 2 1/2 inch tall rooster with fruit surrounding it. I don't get it. And it makes me wonder WHERE in the world they got this from?

So...I gave them this. That may not be the actual lamp, but it's very similar. I got two of them for like $5 each at Wal-Mart last year. And that one wasn't being used so it's all good. :) Evidently my lamp got another lamp and that's it. But the group that came and saw me 'cheated' because they weren't supposed to go to people's houses that they knew. Oh well! I know they had fun :)

One of the other teams managed to get a brand new sewing machine that was valued at $99 and a huge MS State umbrella.

Is that not crazy???

Tomorrow is my one-year anniversary at CDF! Is that not crazy too?? Crazy. I told my co-workers in staff meeting this morning that it has seriously been the best year of my working adult life :) So so so blessed to be there and do what we do and to get to work with such awesome people.

Lastly, this scripture has been on my mind for the past week and a half or so, just had to share. I love the way The Message puts it -

"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives."
- 1 Peter 2:9-12

Are we living exemplary lives so that others will see our actions and whatever the negative things they think about Christians will be overturned? Are we living holy and set-apart lives? Lives that don't look like the world's? Just a thought.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

take that cupcake! {wreath}

I had to give you a little update on the craft debacle from last week.

Last night I had just eaten a really late dinner and gone through the mail that had accumulated on my dining room table and was kind of cleaning off the counters when I saw the glue sticks that I bought Saturday. The glue sticks had been the first thing to go awry. I had bought the wrong size to go in my glue gun on Friday night. Thankfully, there were two sticks that came with the gun so that's what I worked with that night.

Then, I called in reinforcements, because folding those cupcake wrappers was hard work and I figured if I could have somebody folding while I was glueing. We'd be good.

We were off to a good beginning. Mawmaw was folding and I was hot-glueing like a craftin' fool. Occasionally yelping because hot glue on your fingertips is no laughing matter.

So...Friday night ends and Mawmaw and I have folded 150 cupcake wrappers to end up with this.

That, my friends, looks like a ring that a miniature lion would jump through or something. It was awful. (And that picture was taken in my kitchen in case you were confused by the change in venues.)

THAT - I could not hang on my door.
THAT - I debated even showing you a picture of.
Because...seriously...punyness abounded.
BUT sometimes you have to let others see your failures so they can see how far you've come.

{Hint Hint - There's a lesson about more than crafts and DIY things in that last sentence.}

So...back to last night. I was standing there, looking at the glue sticks, really trying to avoid hanging a ton of clothes up when I decided I would NOT let the cupcake wreath defeat me. I would conquer the craft! I was not to be relegated to the craft hall of shame. WAS. NOT.

So, I plugged that sucker in and folded 150 more cupcake liners all by myself and I started in on slaying that thing. Whilst jamming to some John Mayer. But only the last 6 songs on Continuum because my cd is cracked and it won't play the first 6 songs. Sad day.

Anyway, after even more hot glue injuries and listening to the same last 6 songs about 8 times, all the while contemplating what lyrics I should make my Facebook status...this is what I had come up with.

And y'all, not only did I get the best of the cupcake liners BUT I made 4 little rosettes and put them on a doily and glued them at the bottom. Given, they aren't the best rosettes I've ever seen, but I didn't even know how to make them and I was just playing around with the ribbon, so I was quite proud. It's the little things that get me.

And it's a wreath I'd be proud to hang on my door.

Although - it looks really orange. Is that just me? And I'm thinking about ripping off the polka-dot ribbon and just using the brown ribbon that the rosettes are made of. But who knows.

I'm just glad I can hold my head high while reading crafting blogs.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall, Blog Design and More Random Things

Happy Fall, y'all!

First off, let me apologize in advance for this post because it is about to be all over the place.

1 - If you've been around my little corner of the interwebz long, you might notice that we (by we, I mean, the blog) got a new fresh fall look! I am LOVING the background. Golden and dots just say 'fall' to me. And evidently, they aren't viewable on the mobile version? Because...on my iPhone it just looks tan. So...anyway.

AND you might notice the new banner up at the top! Am I the only one that thinks that looks super cool? Hopefully not. What's even cooler? I DID IT MYSELF! This whole blog redesign (there's more to come) is courtesy of these super-helpful tutorials over at Mandy's Yellow Corner. YES! She rocks!! And I don't even really remember how I found it, but I think it involved trying to make a wreath...more on that in a sec. Anyway, the blog looks awesomer (yes, I know, it's not a word) because of her and her great instructions! Also, the fonts I used in the banner came from here. I also created a blog button (with the help of Mandy again) for Sarah's blog and it's right over there -->

I don't necessarily know if Sarah approves, but...I'm the handler sister, so, let's just go with it.

2 - I decided last Friday that I was going to make a wreath after seeing these cupcake wreaths. Let me just say, that either all my craftiness has left me since college or...I'm silly. My wreath looked rather puny compared to theirs and this made me all forms of sad. The reason I was trying to make a new wreath is because this is the wreath that has been hanging on my door for at least the past 13 years. At least.

You see why it needs to be replaced? I mean, I love that wreath. That wreath was my Mawmaw and Pawpaw's, but...that wreath needs a break! I won't show you a picture of my attempt at the cupcake wreath. I'm just too ashamed.

3 - Have I told you how much I love this time of the year? Fall is MOST DEF my favorite time of the year. Ugh, LOVE. IT. I always wanted to fall in love in the fall. I mean, I've never fallen in love, so who's to say it won't happen, but now I'm just rambling. I say all this because Fall also makes me want to buy school supplies. (You've Got Mail anybody?) And yesterday during bible study we were talking about the greatest gift we've ever been given. Apart from salvation. Because...that's obvious. And I decided that the greatest gift I've ever been given is this -

It's a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils (again...with the YGM) that I received about 2 years ago from my very dear friend and neighbor Molly. And the ribbon was tied much prettier than in this picture. I don't particularly know why a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils is the greatest gift but let's just say that I arrived home from working in Albuquerque one week and it just so happened to be the day that I got called a crazy Christian by a co-worker (and I wasn't really that upset, but I definitely needed some encouragement at the moment) and I open a package that I had received in the mail from Mississippi and that's what was inside. And I just burst into tears. I remember it like it was yesterday. I'm so blessed to be surrounded by awesome friends. And at that moment I wasn't even surrounded by them physically...I was 600 miles away, but, again, with the awesome friends. They are the best.

And as if that isn't enough, her husband blew off my walk the other day where I trimmed the hedges. My other awesome friends let me use their electric hedge trimmer thing (what's the appropriate word??) and it did not take 5 hours, but rather, 35 minutes. Anyway, the following Saturday when I went to clean them up, Matt had blown them off the walk that morning. I texted Molly and said something to the affect of "Did you or your husband do this? really need to stop being so sweet because I'll never be able to repay you for this lawn kindness." (or something like that). Of course, they did and Matt said not to worry because, of course, they don't expect me to repay them. They just love me. Is that not the sweetest? I mean...really. The sweetest.
They are much more even than last year. :)

4 - I accidentally killed a cat last week. It was possibly one of the most traumatizing experiences I've ever had. What's even worse is that I go to church with the owners. I ran over it on my way home :( It was running away and then all of a sudden it doubled-back and I couldn't slam on my brakes. It was so tragic. Anytime I've seen cats since then it's like they're looking at me saying 'Killer. Killer.' And now that I think about it-Wendy, the neighborhood cat, has not visited my house since then. I bet she found out. I don't blame you Wendy. I'd stay away too. :S

5 - Never in my adult life, or non-adult life for that matter, have I ever washed clothes using bleach. That all changed tonight. I washed my pretty white waffle-weave shower curtain and I put some bleach (after conferring with my mother) in the machine as well. The only bad thing is that I read the instructions for washing the shower curtain AFTER I had put the detergent and bleach in the washing machine. It most definitely said, 'DO NOT BLEACH.' But...I think we're going to be okay. I mean...really. What could happen?

6 - I have become something of a fantasy football phenom. My team, The Controllers, is dominating (points wise) in my 12-team league at work. Albeit...I'm 2-1, but...the game I lost was close. And I think I've become known as the team to beat. I go up against the only undefeated team this coming week. She said she needed to figure something out or she's going down.

At least she realizes it.

{And is that not a clever team name? I job title as a team name?? It's clever. You should be nodding right now.}

7 - D-NOW is this weekend!! WOOT WOOT! I'm so excited. Last year, Molly and I had the 10th grade girls at my house. This year, a different group of women and I have the 11th and 12th grade girls at my house. I've been prepping the past two weeks or so and the curriculum is absolutely fantastic. I want so bad for these girls to 'get' what I didn't 'get' until the past year. To be living a life of victory over Satan. A life of authentic worship (that's the curriculum). Every day. Please pray with me for them? They are such sweet girls and some of them are already MILES ahead of where I was when I was there age, but, everyone could use prayer. :)

The end. Hope y'alls Monday was as good as mine! :)

P.S. Texted came up in the spell-check. Come on Blogger. Get with the program!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

encouragement is...

encouragement is...

a hug in the airport when you're sending your daughter to the other side of the world.
sending a card to show someone you care.
that you value them.
that you value their sacrifice of a 'normal' life in the u.s. to bring Hope to filipinos.

encouragement is...

investing in the lives of the next generation.
telling them they are loved.
they are cared for.
they are beautiful.
even in their dress-up shoes.
and when they want to let the forks dance.

encouragement is...

cheering on your 7 yr. old cousin in pee-wee tackle football.
yelling "split the v. dot the i. curl the c. t-o-r-y. t-o-r-y. victory!"
a hug and a high-five after the game for all their hard work.

it's a friendly smile when you're new and you don't know if what you're doing is right.
it's a shared squall-fest when you know all they want is someone to cry with.
it's an "i've been there and you're going to make it through this."
it's letting a little boy know when they hold a door for you, that you appreciate it.
it's telling that boys' parents that
"you're raising him well. keep on doing what you're doing."
it's commenting on a blog and letting them know what they wrote spoke to you.
it's an email from one of your favorite bloggers saying, "what you said meant so much. thanks."
it's anything that makes the person on the receiving end want to keep on keeping on.

sunday september 12th is the 'national day of encouragement'.
(in)courage and dayspring gave their readers an awesome opportunity to spread hope and encouragement by sending hundreds of readers a 10-pack of their new 'hope and encouragement' cards.
for free.
i received my pack this past tuesday and the cards are absolutely beautiful.
i've already mailed two overseas to two special people.
(those are the pictures above).
there are others that i have in mind to get my free cards.
thanks so much for enabling us to encourage others through these awesome cards.
it made my week. for real.

if you haven't visited (in)courage, please do.
those women have changed my life in the words they've written over the past year since i've discovered it.
being open and honest about their struggles.
their victories.

i joke with people that my spiritual gift is encouragement/exhortation.
they think i'm crazy, but it's true.
when i encourage someone, i always feel as if i've received a blessing rather than been a blessing.
i'm so thankful that's one of the gifts God has given me.
i'm so thankful that He lets me uses it.
He...encourages me to use it through nudges of His spirit inside me.
(say this. go hug them. just be there for them.)
that's what i hear.

if you're visiting from the link-up at (in)courage, thanks for stopping by.
you've encouraged me.


how do you encourage others?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

crazy, how time flies.

Tomorrow changed everything., if you're not reading this until Friday, September 10th.

Anyway, tomorrow, a year ago, I got a phone call.

A phone call that I had been waiting on for months.

A phone call that led me back to Mississippi.

But not in the way that I thought.

I've come to realize over the past year that God rarely works in the ways we think are best. Something about that sounds biblical.
Isaiah 55:8 anyone?
I know, I know...why have I not realized that until the last year?

Call me hard-headed.

That's only one of the things I've realized over the past year since this crazy adventure got started.

Other things include:
- nieces are so much funnier in person
- sometimes hugging a friend after a long time apart makes it feel as if it hasn't really been that long
- there are jobs where your co-workers care about you and aren't just acquaintances but rather, friends.
- there are jobs where you can actually leave work at work and not stress every night about what needs to get done.
- lots of other things that if included would make this list would go on for a long time because there's just SO MUCH.

I'm so glad that God never stops working on us.

That we're continually being conformed more and more into His image.

That's all I got.

Well, not actually. You should totally watch this video because it's pretty cool!! Except, watch it without the sound because the sound was annoying to me.

I do you write something that wonderful and meaningful then end it with a Pac-Man video?

I don't know.

But wait, it's not over.

Compassion has a group of bloggers in Guatemala this week. Reading the bloggers posts back in the spring is what led me to sponsor a child in Kenya (Lillian. She's cute. And has the same birthday as me. AND she has 2 sisters and a brother. Crazy!! Not crazy...God, but you know, that's the word I use when I'm left without words).

Anyway, I read Ann Voskamp's post this morning at work and if you don't finish reading this post just to go read it. Oh my goodness, usually I don't get her posts because she uses words that to me are too 'flowery' and big (I bet y'all are smarter than me and can 'get it' :) ) and my little mind doesn't get analogy well...but man alive, that post. If you haven't read it yet...seriously...go read it. I just linked to the same post 4 times because I want you to read it!

And, you'll probably need a tissue.

Also, Shaun Grove's post was awesome as well. I totally get the Long Distance/Slow Violence thing. So so sad.

Can you help? Can your family sponsor a child? More than one? It's so rewarding. I've received two letters from Lillian and they just make my heart happy.

SO...this is actually the end of the post. Y'all please consider sponsoring a Compassion child. Whether in Guatemala or Asia, Africa. Just...somewhere.

Help end poverty.

Help bring justice to the impoverished children of the world.

Help bring Hope to these kids. :)

The end.

Monday, September 6, 2010

sweet sixteen.

It was a super busy weeekend!

Friday night was the football game.

Then Saturday a bunch of girls from church who I'm privileged to call my friends from a completely different generation, got together to celebrate Chelsea's Sweet 16.

She had actually turned 16 the Tuesday before that but a proper Sweet 16 celebration could not be had on a weeknight! ;) So, we celebrated by having breakfast at IHOP, going to see Despicable Me, spent some time shopping, grabbed a snack, then rode the carousel. Followed by a much-deserved Saturday afternoon nap (at least that last part was me.) :) Here are some pictures from our day.

This man was just sitting out on his swing waving at every single car that passed by. Made me wonder if he does that all the time. Am I'm not talking about one of those little 'Hey, how ya doin' waves' that we're partial to in the south. This was a full-out 'Hey, I hope you're having a great day and I want you to see me and wave back' waves.

Birthday girl!
She reminds me a lot of myself at 16.
She talks.
She never meets a stranger.

But on the flip-side, she has a passion for bringing people to Christ that I did not have at that age. A while ago, I was talking to her about Ricky, a homeless guy who I helped out last winter. I hadn't seem him in months and he just popped in my head one night. I was sad because I had never outright asked him if he was saved or knew about God, church, anything. Chelsea said, "Well Bekah, that's why you should ask people about God the first time you meet them. You may not get a second chance."

That really stuck with me. I'm all for building relationships and actually getting to know a person and witnessing to them by showing them love, but sometimes, you just have to come right out and ask. She reminded me of that.

Mostly everybody got chocolate chip pancakes. YUM!

We went and saw Despicable Me and it was ADORABLE!
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.
It has so many cute one-liners that I can't even remember them all, but a little girl, Agnes, really steals the show. :)

We took a mirror picture in the bathroom.
Mainly because I had never done it before and this was a day all about having fun and feeling free did. :)
The quality isn't that great. But...oh well. :)

This is our silly faces mirror bathroom pic.

I just love this pic because of the stripes.

They are such teenagers. Love it.

Since we were already at the mall, we did some afternoon shopping.
Cori is such a model and was trying to decide on this hat.
She didn't buy it that day, but eventually winded up going back the next day and getting it.

I love this pic. Minus the price tag.
Charlotte Russe had some beautiful jewelry.
I got a bracelet that I love.
And I'm not entirely sure this is legal.
Taking pictures in a store, that is. :-/

$2.99? For some cute clothes?
And thank you. :)

Our breakfast had kind of worn off so we snacked on some pretzel from the pretzel shop.
I got a cinnamon sugar one.
Oh my goodness, it was sooooooooooo good.

The carousel at the mall.
This may be one of my favorite pictures that I've ever taken.
And I've taken a LOT of pictures.
The girls rode while Molly, Kristin and I stood and watched.
But all the pictures of them actually riding are really blurry.

Second favorite picture I've ever taken. I think. I don't know. I just love it.

All in all, it was one of the best Saturdays I've had in a really long time.
Who knew that hanging out with 6 girls that are 10 years younger than you could be so much fun? We're going to have to do it again really soon.
Birthday celebrations or not.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

-Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


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