Saturday, December 31, 2011

never once...

Gahlee gee bums. It's been a year hasn't it?

I mean, wowsa. Lots of changes went on here. I had three different jobs this year. Two, if you count substitute teaching as babysitting. ;) Which, sometimes, that's what it is. So, let's say 2 1/2 different jobs.

My living situation changed. 3 times! 3 might be a magic number. I lived in my house for 5 1/2 months, in which I didn't take my Christmas tree down until like...March. Then there was living with Matt and Molly. What a blessing that was. And now it's with Mom and Dad. Which, I'm still learning how to do that.  I thought I knew.

I was wrong.

All these changes,and yet there's one thing that never did.

God.

There were ups and there were downs and there were plateaus in the middle, but He was there carrying me the entire. time.

I wish I had some good words to sum this year up.  My word of the year was really put into action. {It was "trust." I think I'm picking "fun" for next year.} ;) But Amber Haines has two posts that I was just like...ummm...yeah, that's what I want to say except for it wouldn't be as exquisitely phrased. :)


Words that stuck: 

"Broken dreams are always building blocks for new dreams. And this time, I’m trying not to have a plan. I only know that God is with us, and it’s never what we think, and that things will fall apart, and that even then, especially then, it’s ok."


Words that stuck:

"God is faithful to change dreams, to make Himself the Vision – His nearness, His voice, His Face. And I’m finding that when the End of my Dreams is God, rather than God being the means for my dreams, I become encapsulated by Him. Storms rage on, but I rest in smooth anchored boat, God-hands cupped in protection around my heart, and I learn to love His hands and even the winds that blow me into them." 

Like...seriously. 
Did you read that last paragraph? 
Those are some crazy awesome words. 

So, that's my prayer for this new year. That He makes Himself the Vision and that, even though it may be hard, I follow Him.

I'll leave you with some of my favorite posts from 2011 on God's faithfulness. 
  And a video. 
Because you can never be reminded enough. :) 





Biggest blessings to all of you friends in the new year. It's gonna be good. Like..really.

:)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

well...

You've heard of No Shave November right? It's when guys grow out their beards and don't shave for the month of November. It's a cultural phenomenon. I don't know where it started.

Along those same lines, I think the blog {inadvertently} participated in No Blog November.

I had lots of stuff going on in my mind. And in my life. I mean, not like, life-changing things. I was just busy. And sick. And tired. And evidently couldn't find it in myself to peck out a post. Sad. 

If you were wondering about my test. I delayed it. 'Twas no way I would have been ready. New test date is January 14th. Which, is actually sister's birthday. So...I'm giving myself a present of taking a two hour test that kind of determines if I'll be able to teach the rest of my life. Or something.

No biggie.

;) 

The nieces came for Thanksgiving. And I know I've said it before, but I seriously.  SERIOUSLY. HAVE THE CUTEST NIECES EVER. Proof below.

And before I inundate you with pictures, can I just say Instagram has to be one of the best things ever invented. Ever. 

Just a reminder, Anna Woods is the oldest, she'll be 6 in a month. And is in kindergarten. And can READ! Little girl read me a story about a pumpkin and I was just like..."Can you stop growing up? PLEASE?" Also...we decided after seeing one of these pictures that she's basically The Godfather. Except, the playground kind. Or the kindergarten kind. She cracks me up.

Little brown-haired chick is Hadley. She's 3 1/2...there are three pictures of her on the couch that I feel should be in like a baby GQ magazine or something. And what's funny is Mary Neal took those pictures. Ha.

Smaller blonde-haired chica is Mary Neal. And she's actually almost a whole month younger than Hadley, even though she's a head taller.

I loved getting to play with each of them separately for a tiny bit. They are all so completely different. And I'm pretty sure they're going to be the best freakin' friends for their entire life. And that makes my heart so abundantly happy. You have no idea. So without further delay. Proof they're the cutest.


















Happy December!

IT'S MY FAVORITE MONTH! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

my head hurts

I don't think I complain a whole lot. 

I usually see the best in situations. I once had someone say to me, "Well we can't all be incorrigible optimists can we?"

But I just have to say, my head really hurts. 

Part of it is because our weather has gone from fall-like temperatures to really cool fall-like temperatures and my sinuses can't handle it. I still don't  know how all that works.

But the main reason is this...


And this...


P.S. 3 of those 4 graphs are WRONG. Yikes. 

My Saturday was mostly dominated by factors and factoring.  


I was proud that on the last chapter test I took this evening, I made a 26/27. 

My life has been Algebra for the past week. Not much of anything else. 

I take my test exactly 2 weeks from today. 

Trying not to freak out. Especially since I just reviewed the sample questions on ETS' website and....yeah, I don't know how to work most of those. 

Lord, help me. 

All your prayers are appreciated friends!

If it's quiet around here for the next few weeks, it's probably because my nose is buried in some form of math textbook. 

A perk of all this studying? 

I've become an excellent pencil-sharpener. 

{See...incorrigible optimist.}

Saturday, October 22, 2011

everyone needs to just calm down.

And by everyone, I mean me.

I signed up last Thursday to take the Praxis II: Mathematics Content Knowledge test. Which was, coincidentally, the deadline to take the test on November 12th. Monday, this Facebook status conveyed how I was feeling about it.


I don't know why, but I didn't read in my devotional book that day. I think I was a day behind, so, I actually read Sunday's on Monday. I was sitting in my planning period Tuesday looking at Monday's devo and it's exactly what I NEEDED to read.
"Anxiety is a result of envisioning the future without Me. So the best defense against worry is staying in communication with Me. When you turn your thoughts toward Me, you can think much more positively. Remember to listen, as well as to speak, making your thoughts a dialogue with Me. 


If you must consider upcoming events, follow these rules: 1) Do not linger in the future, because anxieties sprout up like mushrooms when you wander there. 2) Remember he promise of My continual Presence; include Me in any imagery that comes to mind. This mental discipline does not come easily, because you are accustomed to being god of your fantasies. However, the reality of My Presence with you, now and forevermore, outshines any fantasy you could ever imagine. "

Luke 12:22-26; Ephesians 3:20-21
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I  don't know. Maybe that's exactly what you needed to read today. Maybe it was just my job to share.

Are you envisioning your future without Him? I know He is with me on any given day. But somehow I forget that He's with me every. day. I peek into the future and start to hyperventilate because I don't see Him there. Probably because I have bad eyesight.

There's a version of Psalm 139:5 that says, "You hem me in, behind and before."

He's there. Even if we can't see him.

Walking with us from where we've been, to where we are, to where we're going.

So breathe deep, friend. And calm down.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

i just keep thinking...


"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, 
the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." 
- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


It's true friends. This world is not our home. 

I bought Switchfoot's newest album this week and the last track. Sigh. I'm in love. It's a reminder.

I couldn't resist sharing all the lyrics. They're just so good. Indulge me.

Feeling like a refugee
Like it don't belong to me
The colors flash across the sky

This air feels strange to me
Feeling like a tragedy
I take a deep breath and close my eyes
One last time
One last time

Storms on the wasteland
Dark clouds on the plains again
We were born into the fight

But I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive

Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Where the weak are finally strong
Where the righteous right the wrongs
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Feels like we're just waiting, waiting
While our hearts are just breaking, breaking
Feels like we've been fighting against the tide

I wanna see the earth start shaking
I wanna see a generation
Finally waking up inside

Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Where the weak are finally strong
Where the righteous right the wrongs
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

This body's not my own
This world is not my own
But I still can hear the sound
Of my heart beating out
So let's go boys, play it loud

On the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong
In a world where I belong
In a world where I belong

Where I belong
Where I belong
Where I belong
Where I belong

I still believe we can live forever
You and I we begin forever now
Forever now
Forever
I still believe in us together
You and I we're here together now
Together now
Forever now
Forever now
Forever now
Forever
Forever 

 Please please please, just listen to this song.  Really loud. 

And then live like this world isn't your home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

i don't even know...

I woke up this morning.

I had just had a really weird dream.

I won't go into too many details, but it left me wondering...WHAT was that about?

Like...really.

I don't really believe in the interpreting dreams thing, but, it was just so bizarre.

There were 4 other people in my dream, none of which I knew, and we had taken turns praying. I was the last to pray and these were the last words I remember right before I woke up. This isn't verbatim, but, something very similar...
"God, You are faithful. You are good. You have our best interests in mind when you make us wait. You will always do what's best for us. Always. Help us to remain faithful to You and believe in Your faithfulness even when it seems we can't."
 And then I woke up.

It wasn't about a job. Or anything related to a job. But something else entirely different.

And I typed out about 50 different status updates to try and...make sense of it? I don't really recommend the trying to make sense of the world through status updates, but...sometimes it helps.

It was one of those moments where there were about a BILLION different things running through my mind. But everything I typed out made absolutely no sense. I couldn't say anything and it fully convey what was going on in my brain.  I had no words and too many words at the same time.

And then I thought of a verse -
  
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. - Romans 8:26
 I wasn't magically not thinking about what the dream meant. 

But it did make me pause and remember that God has me. He will always have me. 

Always.

And that makes everything okay.

Friday, September 30, 2011

lessons learned {from being a substitute}

I can't remember if I've shared on here that I'm a substitute teacher.
Yes. A substitute teacher.

It. Is. Fabulous.

I have learned some valuable lessons. Some, you can't really put a price on.

{1} Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher - Let's be honest, we've all had bad teachers.  People that obviously don't care for their students. If you are a teacher, you should probably like kids. You should also probably have a reasonably large pool of patience. I think if you have patience and like kids, maybe you should be a teacher. Teaching is most definitely a calling. And one of the most noble I believe. I subbed kindergarten last week and they were sweet kids, but, when asked again if I would sub? I had to say, "Thanks, but no thanks." because...they killed me. Literally. I died last Thursday. Maybe only for an evening, but...death still the same. 

If you went to kindergarten, move heaven and earth to find your teacher and say thank you.

I'm not kidding.

{2} Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher for 30 years - I've met lots of teachers that I bet were most excellent teachers. 10 or 15 years ago.  And had that pool of patience and love for children and desire for them to succeed. But now, it's long gone. And they're hanging around even though they can't stand the kids.

That makes me so terribly sad.

[Author's note: Everything from here on out isn't so serious...or sad.]

{3} Kids talk about the most random things - Today at lunch some 4th graders were talking about cancer. Cancer! And how some haven't met their grandparents because of it. And if there was a heart cancer. They then talked about Heaven. And gates.

Not every 4th grader is that...serious?

I've had conversations about monster trucks with 3rd graders. And Charlotte's Web {we read the last two chapters one day and I ALMOST CRIED. For real.} I've talked about Barney, the purple dinosaur, with Jr. High-ers. And llamas with kindergartners. Llamas. They couldn't believe I've petted a llama. Minds were definitely blown.

{4} If they love you, they draw you things -

Example 1 - Yellow Highlighter Heart - 6th grader


When I scanned it, the yellow highlighter didn't show up. Fail.
On my part.
Not their's. :)

Example 2 - Calvary - 4th grader

I'm not sure if this kids thinks I need Jesus?
Or he loves me like Jesus?
Could be a number of things.
Was a nice reminder during the day though.

Example 3 - I Love You Inside a Heart - 4th grader

I love this. The block letters.
The heart inside the heart.
Nice thing on a Friday.
Except she thinks I'm married.

Obviously, hearts are really popular. And I'm wondering if you're a girl, if that's what you HAVE to draw?


{5} Students like to find out every piece of personal information about you - Every class has asked if I'm married, if I have kids, and how old I am. Some have asked where I live. Which...ummm...awkward.

The very first kid that asked how old I was then asked, "Isn't that rude to ask?" to which I replied, "Yes...it is."

BUT, their math problem of the day said something along the lines of Mrs. Smith is between 30 and 45 years old. The sum of the digits of her age is equal to 11. How old is Mrs. Smith?

So, what does Ms. Hebert do?

You wanna know my age?! You gotta figure it out! ;) Which, they did. But they learned math at the same time. That kinda made me happy.

{6} Math skills magically come back to you - I subbed 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math for a few days. It was amazing how I remembered how to add fractions, and flip the sign in >/

It's also amazing how you don't remember some things.

Like factor trees.

Ummm...anybody? :-/

{7] There's this thing called a Promethean board. - It. Is. Amazing.

I'm sure there are other things but that's what I can think of off the top of my head.

Y'all have a good weekend. While I go rest my feet. And my voice.

:)

Monday, September 19, 2011

beautiful things

I am so beyond excited that I can finally share with you my creative genius project that I've been working on for the past few weeks and had in my head for a month!

At our church we have a program called GMAs, which stands for Girls Missionary Auxiliary. They study missions/the Bible/lots of other things I don't know over the course of a year and complete a "step". At the end of each year they are part of a coronation where their hard work is recognized. Well, almost two months ago, one of the leaders asked if I would help out with organizing the coronation and said the girls were thinking of going one direction because they wanted to sing this song.

The song was great. I loved the song. But, I just wasn't sure it was they way to go. So I prayed about it, and prayed about it, and one Monday morning about 3 a.m. I woke up and KNEW we were supposed to have the theme "Beautiful Things" {based on this song P.S. They have an album coming out Tuesday and WOOT,  I am so excited.} and I was supposed to create this video.

It consists of 345 pictures shot over the course of about 4 hours over 2 afternoons. It was my first time to use a MacBook Pro and I TOTALLY COVETED OUR YOUTH PASTOR'S COMPUTER. Forgive me. I created it in iMovie kinda using these instructions to understand what to do {WARNING: I wouldn't recommend watching any of the videos in that link, because...you'll see some things you probably don't want to see. Except the sock movie. You can watch the sock movie.  I say this from experience. :-/} and this video about using iMovie 2011 {that of course I can't find right now} to help me actually get it done.

I really want to stress that it is ONLY by the grace of God that this got done. It never ceases to amaze me how He equips His children with the tools to get done what He wants to get done. I read some dialogue while the video was playing, that of course was timed to turn this thing into a cinematic masterpiece. You can read it below the video.

Hope you enjoy!



God plants a seed in all of our hearts. 

A seed that yearns to know the One that planted it. 

He waters that seed with Truth and Mercy. Grace and Love. 

His Word says that eternal life is knowing Him, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ who He sent.  (John 17:3)

He makes everything beautiful in its time.

The more we begin to know Him. The more His life begins to bleeds into ours.  His desires become our desires. The seed has grown into a life that loves Him and His ways.  Our actions start to reflect the capital S-O-N.  We seek the things that are true. Noble. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. Praiseworthy. The things that are above.  Those things that are eternal. 

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image. His image. Making all of us into beautiful things. 


P.P.S.  I absolutely love these girls. 

P.P.P.S. That's my nephew watering the plants in the video. He helped me unfurl the flowers and move the stems and plant the seeds and was a good sport for all of it. He was also the only other family member that understood where I was trying to go with this. That's only one reason of the bajillion why I love him. 

P.P.P.P.S. The idea for "watering" the plants and that effect comes from Toya. She showed me a flower her daughter had made months ago and when I woke up that Monday morning with the idea...I knew I had to use it. 
The end. For real.

Friday, September 16, 2011

lessons learned {from a preschool field trip}

I went to the Heritage Museum/Pioneer Days as a 'chaperone' with about 35-40 three and four year olds yesterday.

My life has been changed. Here's proof.


That is a 100 lb. catfish that was caught in New Albany. Didn't know they could get that big.  Interesting. That's also a fox. It kind of looks like the catfish is chasing the fox. Anyone else think that's funny? No? Just me?



I've heard of dulcimers before but don't think I had ever seen one up close and in person. I like the hearts. :)

One of my favorite movies EVER is Reality Bites. My sisters and I quote it often. In the last scene of the movie Troy is strumming a guitar singing this song that I honestly always thought, the words were made up to. I realize now it was probably a salute to pop culture that I never understood.


Y'all. IT'S A REAL SONG. "Froggy Went A-Courtin'." Why did I not know this?


 4 yr. olds don't really like to stand still for pictures.  You'd think I had known that. Evidently I have forgotten in the past month? This was also my first experience on a train. 



This picture is mostly just for my nephew. His Accelerated English teacher gives students nicknames. Scott's nickname is the Frenchman. :) Leah thought it said henchman. I don't know about you but Henchman's Bend is not a place I'd like to visit. 


It's a LLAMA!!! I never understood people's fascination or love for these things until I experienced one first hand. They're just so adorable! 

One of the local high school's Spanish Club has t-shirts that say "Como Se" and then a picture of a llama. 

You know, because the double ll in Spanish is pronounced "ya"? And that means "what's your name?" or something like that.

I think it's one of the wittiest things ever. This probably makes me a nerd. 

I think this post also goes to show that I have led a very sheltered life. 
Never been on a train? 
Never seen a llama?
This easily entertained? 

:)

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

waiting here for You


It's 3 a.m. and for the third night in a row, I'm up. The past two nights I've woken up sometime during the 3 o'clock hour and been unable to go back to sleep. Tonight's a little different considering I haven't been to sleep yet. I have a song stuck in my head that we sang at church tonight and I just felt like sharing the lyrics.

If faith can move the mountains, let the mountains move.
We come with expectation, waiting here for You.
Waiting here for You.

You're the Lord of all creation, and still you know my heart.
The Author of Salvation, You've loved us from the start.

Waiting here for You.
With our hands lifted high in praise.
And it's You we adore.
Singing Alleluia.

You are everything You've promised.
Your faithfulness is true.
We're desperate for Your presence.
All we need is You.

Waiting here for You.
With our hands lifted high in praise.
And it's You we adore.
Singing Alleluia.

We will wait for You Lord
In step with You Lord
We will sing Alleluia

Singing Alleluia
Alleluia
Singing Alleluia
Alleluia

Waiting here for You.
With our hands lifted high in praise.
And it's You we adore
Singing Alleluia.
Singing Alleluia.

There's a lot of thoughts going on in my head. Mostly how it feels like I've been waiting and waiting and waiting, expectantly, believing God for whatever He has for me and yet I'm doing nothing. I really am desperate for His presence. 

When I was a senior in college I interned in Dallas with the company I'd eventually work for. The first two weeks of our internship consisted of training in an area outside of Chicago. Somehow I had wound up in first class on the flight to training and so we boarded the plane that day, sat down {I was RIDICULOUSLY excited to be sitting in first class, had never done that before, I thought I was some. thing.} and waited. We left the gate and sat out on the tarmac for 2 hours before it was decided we'd head back to the gate. I don't remember exactly why we didn't take off, I think it had something to do with it being January, heading to Chicago, and icy. Regardless, I thought that just might be the worst 2 hours of my life. And I got to enjoy a movie and meal! I can only imagine if I were sitting in coach. {I was a much less patient person back then.}

All that waiting. 

And we. got. no. where. 

That's kind of how this waiting feels. 

I know this time isn't wasted. This waiting isn't for naught. But with no really productive ways to spend my days, let's just say that one day feels more like three. 

I wonder when I'll get to the end of the hallway

And until I do, I pray for Him to give me purpose. 

And I wait. 


**Click here to see Christy Nockels singing "Waiting Here for You" live @ Passion 2011.**

Thursday, September 1, 2011

if you like unicorns...

Y'all, IT'S SEPTEMBER!!!!!

That means cooler temperatures and fall-y things and...EEEEEE, I'm excited!

SO...one of my dear sweet youth girls celebrated her 17th birthday yesterday and she absolutely LOVES unicorns. She has a unicorn pillow pet whose name I believe is Veruca LaDome {not sure on the spelling}.

Last year we saw Despicable Me to celebrate her birthday and I thought she was going to die of laughter after this scene.



Yes. So cute.

A picture of what her dream bedroom would look like?

I think that little stuffed unicorn may actually be what Veruca looks like. Maybe not. Hmmm...

So for her birthday this year, I wanted to give her a birthday greeting that she'd never forget. Something involving unicorns. I searched: unicorn, birthday song on YouTube and came up with this. 



YES! Seriously. How can you not like that? I laughed so hard. She loved it. My nephew, however, thought it was stupid. Boo.

I can't decide which of these vids is my favorite:

Your Haircut Is Growing On Me
Sorry You Failed Your Test
Sorry You Lost Your Phone
Thanks For Always Liking My Status Updates

I'm kind of thinking the status update one. Mostly because I have this sweet older lady I go to church with that "likes" almost every single status update of mine. Sometimes nobody has liked it and days go by and I'll get a notification that she just did. It really does make my day every now and then.

I'm not sure what that says about me. :-/

So, what's your favorite? Shall we put it to a vote? 

The real winner? Juicy Fruit. I mean, who comes up with this stuff?

It's almost the weekend!

AND IT'S SEPTEMBER!!

Woot. Woot. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

some things i didn't write

I shared some words back in November that I didn't write and what's funny is that two of the people on that list are on this list today.

1. I shared a few weeks ago how I couldn't get this song and these words out of my head. Ann's words and the video in this post. Just...yes. We are blessed so we can bless. We are loved by God so that we can be His love.

2. Angie's post over at (in)courage on not being Moses. I think this kind of goes along with this post from 2 months ago. It is still stuck in my head that there is no competition when it comes to God's Kingdom. We. I. so often pretend like there is. I used to really struggle {and still sometimes do} with being a missionary's sister. And if it wasn't that, it was being the "most hip" female youth worker. {We all know, that I never will be, but, I aspired...} ;) God made me. Me. Not Sarah. Not one of countless women I call my friends. Me. And if I can't be me and serve Him the way He made me? Then, that's pretty lame. I am a missionary. Whether it says that on my business card or not. Not that I think Sarah has business cards. But you know what I mean. It's just...convicting all over again. Go read it.

3. Annie's vlog about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It may seem all fun and games but the last minute or so...yowsa. "God tells way bigger stories than we do." and "What I would have written for myself is far inferior to what has been written for me."

Mind.

Blown.

I think this really struck me for two particular reasons.
{a} Obviously...there's the whole job thing. Do I really need to explain that one?

{b} Some friends of mine had a sweet baby last Thursday. Life doesn't always go the way we thought it would and I know Jordan and Marty weren't necessarily expecting Morgan to be born with all the difficulties that she has been born with. But to know that God knows way more than we do. And He always writes the best stories. This tiny girl is going to change some people's worlds. I'm pretty sure she already has. In ways that we can't even imagine. I immediately thought of this verse:

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. - Eph. 3:20, The Message
 We have a choice. To believe that God is telling that bigger story, or...not. What will we choose to believe? 

For updates on precious Morgan Noelle you can check out their blog, this Facebook page that was set up, or follow Jordan and Marty on Twitter. (or the hashtag #PrayForMorgan).

Go.

Read.

Or watch. :)

Take it to heart.

Happy Tuesday, y'all.

P.S. If you can pray for me some sleep? It's 5:04 a.m. and I've yet to be asleep. :( Booooooooo.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

this will make your life better.

Here at TMROR, we are all about bringing you the latest and greatest music and other cultural selections.  And by we, I mean me. And by latest and greatest, I mean, your grandma has probably already heard of this band. Or TV show. Or...whatever. But, just pretend with me.

I love music. I was once asked if I had to be deaf or blind, which would I prefer. I said blind because while I can go without seeing just about anything, I don't think I could make it without hearing music. It just speaks to my soul. It's the same in every language. Except not, because it's different, but its abilities to move a person, that's what I mean.

Bad analogies aside, this past week I was watching some television and saw a preview for the 3rd season of NBC's The Sing-Off. To say I was a LITTLE MORE THAN EXCITED is an understatement. I was at Matt and Mo's and since they have a DVR, I rewound it and watched the preview TWICE. Two. Times. I just realized that previews go with movies. Commercials go with TVs. But I'm too lazy to go back and fix it.



If you haven't heard of it, it's basically like American Idol. But instead of one person, it's 12 or so different groups. And instead of instruments, there's no instruments. And instead of semi-bad singers. They're all really really good.  So, in all actuality, it's not like American Idol at all.

Still not convinced? Here are the 5 best things about The Sing-Off.

{1} There's not a single bad group in the bunch. These are the best of the best. You know those CDs that you really love, except two songs, so you skip them? Yeah. Not the case with TSO. It's all good, all the time.

{2} You get to see clever group names. Two words. Pitch Slapped. Highly inappropriate? Yes. But..really. I mean...the first time I saw that, I'm QUITE sure that I laughed so hard. And while I know these guys didn't come up with it, The Whiffenpoofs were on last season.  As in Gilmore Girls? As in Richard Gilmore was a WP and sings with them in that episode where they're at the Harvard/Yale game and Emily is having the maid make a Bloody Mary, and...I've seen Gilmore Girls too much.

{3} Judges that don't make you want to slit your throat. Ben Folds and that really tall guy from Boyz II Men. Shawn I think is his name. They actually know good music. And give constructive criticism. And I'm happy to announce that Nicole SureIsAnnoying Scherzinger  is not coming back this year. There's a new girl. Nicole kind of did make you want to slit your throat, but two out of three ain't bad.

{4} Groups in coordinating outfits. This is every singing nerd's dream. Or maybe just mine. Surely not just me?

{5} Did I mention every single thing you hear is somebody's VOICE?  That some people have that much talent to create an entire song not using anything man-made, blows. my. mind.

Still not convinced? Watch the opener from last season's show.



If you're not toe-tapping and wanting to dance after that??? I'll pray for you.

The new season starts September 19th! YEAH YUH!

P.S. Does anyone else think the first chick that sings from Eleventh Hour (the very first group in the video looks EERILY similar to Whitney Port?

P.P.S. I really don't want to think about how this show and DWTS is on the same night. Can I just live in a dreamland where all my TV viewing selections magically work out? Yes? Awesome.


Monday, August 22, 2011

the things you do for friends...

My mind is going blank right now so I can't remember if I've told you that Molly is pregnant. Has been for about...4 1/2 months. Molly and her husband Matt used to be my awesome neighbors.

Until they became my housemates.Or I became their boarder. I don't exactly know how to phrase it.

Anyway, if you follow me on twitter, you might remember this from last week:
I know it's one in the morning, but I really want some red jello. !

And then the NEXT day...
 Okay, so last night I wanted red jello, tonight, a spoonful of Nutella with some cheddar goldfish. I know, sounds gross, but SO good! ;)
 After thinking about it the rest of the week and talking about it tonight with some friends after church. I have decided that I'm having sympathy cravings.

Sounds kind of ridiculous, but Molly and I have spent almost every day together for the past two weeks. Apart from me just being weird {we all KNOW that}, I've decided the most logical answer is this. :)

Am I not a great friend? ;) {FYI - that's said dripping with sarcasm.} :)

They are finding out what they're having Tuesday and I CAN. NOT. WAIT! EEEEEE!!! I've already decided it's going to the cutest baby on the planet. Probably even cuter than my nieces or nephew. Well, maybe not cuter but AWFULLY close. :)

Last random bit of nonsense?

The song from the video below is stuck in my head. I tried finding the actual scenes from the movie, but...failed. Have I ever told you that I think it would be one of the most amazing things ever if I got to play the part of Maria in a play some day? Or Liesel? Mostly because she gets to sing that cool part on Edelweiss.

Add that to the useless list of things you now know about me. You're also probably singing Edelweiss in your head now aren't you?

You're welcome. :)



Happy Monday homies! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

nothing is ever wasted...

Do you ever read something and think, "This isn't the first time I've heard that?" The following excerpts are from Beth Moore's "Paul" study that I have 20 something days left in. It's a journey through the book of Acts and it is exactly what God knew I needed during this time of so many unknowns in my life.

To give you some background, Paul knew he would be going to Rome. God has promised him that. But two years after He had made that promise, Paul was still sitting in a jail cell. Well...Paul eventually did make it to Rome. With some prison guards as his escort. I doubt when the Lord confirmed that call to Rome on his life that he thought he'd be going as a prisoner. Or that it'd be a while.

Good investigators ask certain questions: who? what? where? when? how? The context of Acts 26 shows what we may know: who is in control and even what He's doing and where he's leading--but we'll rarely guess when and how!
Not one minute is wasted, but God rarely seems to fulfill His revealed plan when we expect. 
Sometimes we can keep asking when God is going to do something He's already done.


God is the Deliverer, but we never know how He might deliver us. We see that God always fulfills His promises, just not always the way we imagine.

Praise God, He gives us what we need, not what we want. 


When we don't know what, when, where, or how, we can trust in who. We won't always find our answers, but we can always find our God when we seek Him with all our hearts.  And He will love and comfort us until all other answers come.
So maybe I'll try to stop asking the 'when' and just continue to seek God. I look back and see ways that God provided not in the ways I necessarily wanted, but in the ways I needed. Why do I think He'll somehow forget me this time?

I think it was particularly interesting that I read this on a day when I got an email back from my most recent job inquiry. They've appointed a Board member during the interim and the search is on hold while they assess their needs. I was waiting to hear back from this organization before I went another route. So...looky there at that answered prayer.

If you think about it, will you say a prayer for me? And all this job search jazz? I am so blessed to have friends that I know are praying. I get texts almost every day telling me how they're praying for me. I so appreciate it and I promise you that your prayers will not be wasted.

Keep seeking Him and His kingdom above all else, friends!

Friday, August 12, 2011

all's grace.

I  see it at the end of Ann's posts. Two little words that stick with me.  I hadn't given much thought to it before Wednesday.  Really thought about it. And then we're talking about grace and peace in church and during the middle of the message, this post from (in)courage from months ago pops in my head and I can't wait to get home and watch the video because I had never watched it.

Since Wednesday night I'm quite sure I have listened to this song at least 50 times. At least. It's convicting.

The past two or three weeks I've felt absolutely drained. Of everything. I felt as if I reached the bottom of the job-hunting barrel and I couldn't go any deeper. As if the babysitting weren't just a season. That I was never going to get a real job. This would be my lot. Forever. It's frustrating when you're not hired for the jobs that you're overqualified for. That you don't hear back from the jobs that you are perfectly qualified for.

Completely worn down.

That was me.

God and I have had some talks and there have been tears and the asking of when is this ever going to end and the waiting for an answer. I've seen Him answer other prayers (we'll get to that when I'm not so close to the situation), and I just wonder, when is this question, the job one, when is it going to be answered? I read something in my Bible study Monday that said "God can deliver anyone from anything at any time." and I hate that the thought in my head was, "When am I going to be delivered from this situation?"

My mind goes back to grace. I search the web and I find this verse -

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." - II Cor. 9:8 

And I stop because I realize that all IS grace. That I'm not working out of a deficiency, but rather an overflowing sufficiency. That I will be able to complete what I need to because He is giving me the grace. It's not coming from me.

So the barrel that I thought I was at the bottom of? I guess God picked me out of it and put me in a different one. And if I get to the bottom of this barrel? He'll put me in another one.

Or maybe it's not a barrel at all but an ocean of grace that I'll never really reach the bottom of.

I think that's more like it.

Now it's just a matter of remembering it.




All's Grace from Shaun Groves on Vimeo.

Monday, August 1, 2011

what i learned from france...

I think we all may know how I absolutely love (in)courage.

Is
Sauce

And fortunate little me received the opportunity to be a daily guest blogger over there. 

Today! 

So head on over there and read about what I learned from France.


Or Disney. 

Whatever.

:)

P.S. I've never actually been to France. I bet my mom was really confused for a second.

:)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

the reason it has been crickets around here...

Two weeks ago started Vacation Bible School at our church. 
And the nieces from out of town were here. 
So there was a lot of this.


And a little of this. 

{That's ice cream, btw.} 

And of course, purses from Aunt Sarah in the Philippines. :) 
Which, I think the purses are actually from China. 
Just go with it. 


Then last week was my trip to the beach
So there was a lot of this. 


And a little bit of this. 


And this view every morning. {Apart from the three that it rained.}

The complete lack of cell service and the whole watching kids thing kind of kept me from doing anything that took more than 2 minutes. Which means my poor Google Reader has 91 unread posts in it. 

91.

I think it may just attack me. 

:-/ 

But I have some exciting news tomorrow. :) 

Yay for that! 

Hope y'all have had a fantabulous two weeks. 

Full of fun things and sunshine. 

P.S. I normally take WAY too many pictures. An entire 7 days at the beach? 
I took 10. 
10!

Ridiculous! I think this may be an all-time low. 

Or actually that's probably the time I went to Disney World and took two pictures. 

Long story.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

please be my strength

The words to this song just hit me like a ton of bricks when doing my Bible study last night. Through this entire ordeal, I've just felt like there are days where my faith is sorely lacking and I can. not. take another step, make another decision, or speak another word. When that happens, all I know to do is call out to God. Sometimes it sounds like this.  

I've tried to stand my ground
I've tried to understand
but I can't seem to find my faith again


like water on the sand
or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short


please be my strength
please be my strength
I don't have anymore
I don't have anymore


I'm looking for a place
where I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure


I cannot create it
I cannot sustain it
It’s Your love that’s keeping me


please be my strength
please be my strength
I don't have anymore
I don't have anymore


at my final breath
I hope that I can say
I've fought the good fight of faith


I pray Your glory shines
in this doubting heart of mine
and all would know that You


You are my strength
You are my strength
You and You alone
Keep bringin me back home

You are my strength
You are my strength
You and You alone
Keep bringin me back home
You and You alone
Keep bringin me back home

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I think I might move to Canada

Not because it isn't a blazing 100 degrees there, although that'd be nice, but because I'm hoping if I do, I might somehow bump into Sarah Richardson and she'd instantly fall in love with my personality and want to hire me to work with her even though I have absolutely NO design experience whatsoever.

I knew when I moved in with Matt and Molly that I'd be watching a lot of HGTV. Mostly because Molly has a degree in interior design and I am totally okay with that. I love HGTV. Love it. And have I ever mentioned that they renovated their house when they bought it a year and a half ago and she has it designed in the most beautiful way ever. Every time I walk in, which is a lot lately, I feel like I've stepped into a design magazine or something. She is just so uber-talented. If I had a house, I'd totally hire her.

All that being said, I did not know that she would get me hooked onto Sarah's House.

I don't know if you've ever seen it, but the premise is Sarah buys a house that hasn't been touched by a renovator's anything, (seriously, there has been some TRULY horrendous rooms. Hor. ren. dous.) and then goes in and renovates the house to make it a house that she'd want to live in. Totally makes sense to me! I mean, when you buy a house (not like I know) that has been partially renovated, you're paying for those renovations, whether or not it's how you would actually do it or not.

So, I'm quite sure I saw part of an episode less than two weeks ago of Sarah's Summer House and since then?

I have watched approxmately 41 episodes in less than 2 weeks. 

That is more than slightly ridiculous.

But it's just so pretty and funny and entertaining.

You can watch full episodes of Season 2 and Season 3 online here.

The Master Bedroom in Season 3? I think it's my most favorite room that I've ever seen in my entire life.


I want to live there.

Apart from all the house renovation/design stuff I've learned, I've also learned some new words.

Pro-cess. Which, is what we in the U.S. call process. But they put the emphasis on the PRO part. I think it's funny.

Bang Up job - a really good job.

I think I learned bang up from my Irish friend Luke that I worked with in Dallas. He'd say that sometimes. I also learned "Bob's your uncle, Nelly's your aunt." from him. Which, I still don't know what that means. He'd just say it sometimes. I think it was to throw me off. ;)

But seriously, if you like design or home renovation stuff and you haven't seen it before? Check it out!

I'll be back later this week with more spiritual and holy stuff. I just had to share my new obsession!And by later, I mean, tomorrow or Friday. :)

Today is Wednesday y'all! {Way to go Captain Obvious!} Which means I'm only about a week and a half away from the BEACH!!!

WWWWOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

i'm having intermediate school flashbacks

Y'all.

I'm going to the BEACH!!!!!!!

For a whole week!!!!!!

I have never been to the beach.

Apart from 2 hours spent at Pensacola Beach when I was 16 years old. But...that's not really what I consider going to the beach. 

Anyway, I'm tagging along with the parents, and the kids I keep to help keep an eye on them and all that jazz and I really, am just so beyond thrilled that there is no possible way I could communicate it to you. 

I feel like I'm a character in this...


Please tell me you remember that? 
Oh goodness. We leave in 2 weeks and I'M SO EXCITED!!!!! 

I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!

And I also feel like Jessie Spano wth all this I'M SO EXCITED business.


Now you understand why I feel like I'm in intermediate school.

:) 

Y'all have a super weekend!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

song for my family

One of the things that's been on my mind.

This is a song for my family
outside the walls of Sunday morning from sung within.
This is a song to confess our sins,
lay it all out, and try to begin again.
To hope again.

Please forgive our ignorance in looking down on you.
Please forgive our selfishness
for hiding in our pews while the world bleeds
while the world needs us to be what we should be.

This is a song for my family who just can’t believe in the Jesus that you’ve seen on Sunday morning.

This is a song for the cynical saints.
The burned out and hopeless,
The ones who've been cast away.
I feel your pain.

Please forgive the wastefulness of all that we could be
But don’t forget, there’s more than this
Her beauty still exists.
His bride is still alive.
His bride is still alive.
His bride is still alive.
His bride is still alive.
His bride is still alive.

This is a song for my family
inside the walls of Sunday morning.
Be what you should be.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

oh the thoughts.

I got a lot of thoughts roaming around in this old noggan of mine.

How ABC should bring back a season of that show, "The Mole".
How I watch a lot more HGTV these days than I ever thought I would.
How I need to paint my toenails.
How we influence people whether we realize it or not.
How one day we're going to fall at Jesus' feet and cry Holy, Holy, Holy.
How God is asking me to use my word of the year a lot more than I thought I'd have to use it.

It's "trust" by the way. I think next year I'm going to pick a word like, love, or joy or eat, or something that doesn't require as much "effort". 

And that was just like 15 seconds. Maybe. You don't even want to know the rest.

All these thoughts swirl around and and around until I'm sick of hearing them. Things I want to share with you.

Good news is I now have a computer. So, hooray for you people that read this. I'm not making any big flashy promises, but I promise to be here.

Consistently

Not once every 3 weeks. Because...you deserve more nonsense than that.

So...the end. You have something to look forward to? Maybe?

But seriously, dd y'all ever watch the first season of The Mole? Goodness I loved that show. And I knew the last few episodes who the mole was. She looked like a grown-up version of this girl I went to high school with. Bizarre!

Hope your Tuesday was grand :) 

Monday, June 20, 2011

on seasons. {and life}.

I never thought I'd be at Chuck E. Cheese's in the middle of a weekday. 

At least not until I was married with kids of my own.

Surely this wasn't the way things were meant to be.

I didn't go to school for five years; earn two degrees; simply to be sitting in the home of an over-sized mouse at 11:30 on a Tuesday morning. Listening to some kinda catchy remakes of 80's hits. Watching moms nod their heads to the music that was the sound of their youth, trying to exhibit patience while counting out 45 tokens for each child.

Yet.

There I sat.

It was a few weeks ago. We had been the second group to walk through the doors. My old self would have laughed at my new self.

The new self...

...is pretty decent at Mario Kart on the Wii. 
...listens to cries of "Ms. Ebekah...".
...warms up chocolate milk and gives the youngest his blank blank (blanket) so he can nap, while trying to figure out what part of Spiderman he wants to fall asleep too (it usually has to be 'all the way over', i.e. from the beginning).
...runs around to pick kiddos up from swim lessons and haircuts and softball and wherever else their little lives might take them.
...figures out which battles I need to fight (the hitting of the siblings, the backtalk for the umpteenth time) and which to let slide (I discovered it's not the end of the world when they forget to add ma'am to the end of their yeses or nos every now and then).

I have a booster seat permanently in my back seat during the week.

This life is so foreign to me. Yet, I've come to realize.

It isn't always going to be like this. 

This is just a season.

I won't be keeping kids forever. (At least, I don't think.)

I've been given this summer to shape their littles lives. To pour into them the love that Jesus has poured into me. And while I saw that as my primary goal, God had other plans in mind.

I get to speak to moms that I would never have ran into otherwise of how God ordained this. This summer of sitting. How I can go from a job in accounting that occupied 40 hours of my week to watching an 8 and 4 year old accumulate 509 Chuck E. Cheese tickets. How neighbors and friends have reached out and taken me in because they've received such grace, that they feel compelled to show it. How I've seen Him give me peace that passes understanding. 

He always gives us opportunities to speak on His behalf. To tell others of what He's done in our lives. What He's doing.

And that peace,
grace,
the love that He pours into our hearts,

It can be theirs too.

Where is God giving you opportunities to speak up?
Are you seizing them?

"For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
- Acts 4:20

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