Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31- Wrap Up

I'm sitting here reflecting on the last month with this challenge of writing for 31 days about Being Still with God. Overall I think I have made baby steps toward God and in strengthening this relationship with Him- the awesome thing is that when I just step towards Him he runs to me with open arms! Praise the Lord, He doesn't give up on the weak and distracted and then He welcomes all attempts to grow closer to Him.

Thank you for reading and following this month! I sure did help me have some more motivation knowing that others were checking in on me/my blog. You all are GREAT!

This is the last day of the 31 Days so I"ll leave you with some of the verses I was reading this morning:

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all this to be loss in view [in comparison to]of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. -Philippians 3:7-8

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. -Philippians 3:20-21

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 28- A Day of Rest

source (and a good article on rest)
We often hear Sunday called a "day of rest" because the Lord rested from creating the world on the 7th day. It's best for us if we take at least one day a week off work to refresh-it allows for happier more productive people.

Sundays can get very busy even without work. I feel like most people just can't sit still, like the world will end if this or that doesn't get done! Now, I'm not petitioning for laziness, but it really is ok to just have a day to rest and enjoy without a to-do list or this or that place to be.

Our Sundays are usually pretty simple: Get up and go to church, have lunch, grocery shopping, maybe see friends, and maybe take a nap before dinner and homework. I know, I know- sounds like a really cush life, and you parents out there are shaking your heads at me-don't worry, i'm soaking in all my free time and naps before I have kids. :) But even Sundays as easy as that can feel burdensome due to being too worn out from the previous week.

Today was one of those days.

The alarm went off at 6:30 for church (we were going to head an hour south to our parents' church) and I just rolled over and asked if he still wanted to go. Of course he still wanted to go but my fabulous and caring husband saw that it was one of those Sundays I (we) needed off. So we rolled over and slept in.

Heathens! you say!

No, I don't think it's a sin to skip church, but I do think it is bad to make a habit out of it. We need fellowship and encouragement from fellow Christians, to learn and be convicted and have that time set apart to worship. Of course you can and should worship throughout your day (worship is anything you offer to God:singing, dancing, praying, fellowship, washing the dishes) but going and being with your church family is so important.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Make Small Spaces Feel Bigger

One thing I've found about small spaces is that they can easily become cluttered or displays that look nice in larger homes just look messy in my small one.

There are a couple things I think that help the space feel larger and more open:

  • Letting in as much natural light as possible. I leave my blinds up as much as possible. Being able to see outside makes the room feel larger. For this reason I also don't have big bulky curtains-even though I love how they look!
this photo is from back in July, the room arrangement has changed! for one thing the papasan chair is now in the bedroom making the living room feel bigger.
  • Keep larger pieces of furniture in neutral colors. My couch takes up a full wall (the longest wall) in our living room space, the cream color makes it blend with the wall a little bit and allows the eye to travel further without being weighted down by a large dark object. I also painted my book shelf and dining table chairs white. Keeping larger pieces neutral also allows for more ease in redecorating. It's like having a clean slate to decorate with pillows, pictures and all those things that you really want to focus on- grandma's vase or a favorite figurine.
    this picture was taken the week we moved in but you can still see how even though the couch takes up most of the living room, and the picture for that matter, it's color makes it not distracting.

  • Keep your surfaces clean. With small spaces we inevitably have to use a lot of counter space just for appliances but by keeping the unnecessary things stowed away, and dirty dishes out of sight, things feel much more open. Also, try stacking what you can to open up more space- I stack my toaster oven on top of my microwave using a board cut down to the right size. I would like to eventually paint that board white or black to make it blend in better.
  • Hide things! I LOVE BASKETS and other such storage containers!You can see some of them in this picture on my shelves. They corral food, movies and other things we use frequently and need in easy to get to places but that we don't want to see. 
This picture was taken in July if you can't tell from the chalkboard. :)

Day 27- Don't be Selfish

I've been slowly reading through Philippians this week, trying to soak in God's word every morning (I have missed a few days though.) THis morning I started chapter 2 and this is the verse I focused on:
"Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take interest in others too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form he humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross." Phip. 2:3-8

This is such a good reminder! It is so easy to feel entitled to certain privileges or titles or that we are better than someone else. In all reality, every single one of us is bad. We've all sinned, done something wrong/something against God's Word, so we are all on the same playing field.

Then look at Christ! If anyone was ever deserving of honor and glory, or who had the right to gloat and demand our praise it was Him. He made the world, He made us, and He knows exactly what is going on now and in the future and in the past. He is King but he didn't remand our love or praise but HUMBLED himself! He not only gave up His heavenly glory for the weak body of a man but He died like a criminal on the cross. For what purpose you ask? For us. For all of us sinners-we don't deserve Him. He died because the penalty of sin is death, and since we have sinned and He never did, God accepted His sacrifice on our behalf so that all we have to do is put our faith and hope in Christ, accept Him as our King, and we are forgiven and rewarded eternal life in heaven!

Seriously, if Christ can humble Himself that much then I can follow His example and my sacrifice (giving up my pride, being right, looking out just for me) is NOTHING compared to His. Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 22-24- Philippians

The last couple days I have been reading and re-reading Philippians 1. Yep, same chapter for three days. Sometimes it is just good to mull over a single chapter or verse for awhile.

"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." -Philp.1:9-11

"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one, with one mind striving together together for the faith of the gospel; in no way be alarmed by your opponents-which is a sign of destruction for them, for salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be me." _ Philp. 1:27-30

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wedding Planning!

I am so excited! One of my best friends, Amy, has asked my to be her wedding planner! This is a huge honor and a lot of responsibility, and I'm so ready for the challenge!

Amy and I met my freshman year of college. She was a couple doors down from me in the dorm and ran on the cross country team with me. She always wore bright happy colors, had the biggest most beautiful smile and was (and still is) such a blessing in my life. We quickly became good friends and our friendship grew closer and closer as we dealt with boy issues, worked together at a campground, ran and competed together and other college aged fun and craziness. Eventually she supported me on my wedding day as a bridesmaid, and she has continued as a close and supportive friend in my marriage. Now, I get to help her plan her wedding, be there every step of the way and I'M SO HONORED and EXCITED to do so.

Amy, you are such a beautiful woman, inside and out. Curtis is one lucky man! Thank you for your friendship and allowing me to be a part of your special day! I can't wait to see where married life takes you two and know that I am always here for you.

For those of you who are curious to the theme and such of Amy's wedding, I have a Pin board with ideas! Go take a look!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 19+20+21- Priorities

By the looks of it, I have a commitment problem. You could also say that I'm really bad about completing goals I set for myself. Sometimes I think I can do more than is possible, other times I am plain lazy or don't prioritize my goal.

I could get a lot more done if I made it a priority instead of just talking about it.

This is the wallpaper on my desktop right now:

I find that I do better with goals if I've got someone to be accountable to- like a coach, team, teacher, boss, or friend. For example, I lost 6 pounds competing with my coworkers, but once the challenge was over I gained it all back. Or like this 31 Days where I am suppose to sit and have quite time with God every day and then blog about what I learned...obviously I haven't been great on that.

So there you have it, my "blog life" image is broken. :) I'm 15 pounds overweight, I don't read my Bible everyday, and I'm really bad about completing personal-individual goals.

Praise the Lord that He isn't finished with me yet.

"For I am confident of this very thing,that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ." Philippians 1:6

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Series! Small Space Living

 This Blog has MOVED! thanks for visiting! Check out SMALL SPACE LIVING posts and the NEW BLOG by going to Making Life Beautiful!


I LOVE  my little apartment. It is the perfect first home for us two little newlyweds. And by little, I mean tiny.

It's a one room basement apartment (main room, bathroom, bedroom) in the home of one of our professors. They are the sweetest family and the best neighbors! With low ceilings and less then 500 sq  ft, storage and decorating can be a challenge. And then add our small, newlywed college student budget and things get a little harder.

This series, Small Space Living, will cover my decorating, organizing, and shopping ideas to help you live in your small space cheaply, comfortably and beautifully!

Here are some other posts with my decorating style: hallway, my diy chevron rug, the apartment when we first moved in a year ago.

My first secret: I do A LOT of thrifting. This saves me money and i find original items and i usually dont mind repainting or tearing apart these cheap finds to make new things. Below: all my picture frames are thrifted and repainted, the candle sticks were a grage sale find, the cake plate/cheese plate was a thrift store find, etc. It hard to look anywhere in my home and not see something that is secondhand! I LOVE IT!

Since my last decorating post I have already changed things up!
I got bored with all white walls, and though I'm sure they would have let us paint it would have taken far too long for my impatient self, so for my first apartment decorating trick....

 Get out your staple gun and tack up some fabric on a wall! I chose burlap because I already had it on hand in a large quantity from my wedding. But you can always find coupons and get cute fabric on discount. The other great thing about this is that I can quickly and easily change it depending on the season or my decorating mood. Depending on the wall size it might not be cheaper to go this route over paint, but for those of you in apartments or dorms where you can't paint this is perfect!

 I also love decorating with natural things-real pumpkins and dried leaves. Small decorative pumpkins are about 50 cents at Winco!

 I also rearranged my living room. I took out my coffee table and arranged a little sitting area.
 I love the stacked books in my fireplace, but cold weather is coming! and I'm very excited to start using my fireplace for cozy fires, but now I have to find space for all those books...solution coming soon!

I found this lovely pillow at the Goodwill for $4! It's a Target pillow in perfect condition that usually goes for about $20! This series will also cover my thrifting adventures, I'd love for you to come along with me!

View the other posts in this series by clicking the HERE or the Small Space Living tab above.

Day16+17+18- God's Love

God's love.

How can it be explained? It is so huge and wonderful and beyond description.

He could have forced us to love Him, but then that wouldn't really be love would it.

Instead He pursues us and gives us with everything- Himself.

There on the cross the God of the Universe died, arms outstretched, taking our sin and calling for us to come to Him.

God's love is freely given, undeserved, unrestrained, complete, and cannot be earned. Nothing, not even sending His Son to the cross, is to costly to show His love.

And what does he get in return?

"He gets adopted children who are petty, petulant, spoiled, demanding, argumentative, mistrusting, angry, critical and an irritant to everyone but God... Nevertheless, our God bought us with an infinite price and intends on seeing us crowned with His very glory. Is is any wonder that Paul shouts at the top of His lungs, :I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long, and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses all knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Eph. 3:17-19) Paul prays that I will know the unknowable love and be so full of God that I achieve dimensions of being that reflect the boundlessness of God." -Dan B. Allender
 (quote found in Becoming a Woman of Purpose by Cynthia Heald)

That is also my prayer for both you and me- that we may know God and His love, though they are too great to understand, more and more fully and be filled to the overflowing with His love, grace and joy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 15- Pray for your husband

I found this great illustration on Pinterest which coincides with a book i have been reading- The Power of a Praying Wife. I believe every woman should pray through this book! Prayer is so important in relationships, and as women, wives, it is our duty and joy to pray for our husbands and our relationships to them. 

One of the most poignant things I learned from this book is that I can't do the work of the Holy Spirit. Duh right? But think about it, how often do we try to change them on our own? Tears, nagging, getting angry- while not always intentional it happens- but those things don't work. God works. He is powerful and knows our husbands more deeply then we ever could. Prayer is our connection to God and in our prayers for our husbands we are also grown and changed by God. What a blessing!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Must Haves and Must Dos!

As I've mentioned before, I LOVE FALL! Definitely my favorite season! SO I thought I'd put together a list of fun things I have to do or have for Fall- ready?

1. Pumpkin Latte from Dutch Bros and or Starbucks.
Because buying coffee from these places is a treat and can't be an everyday thing, I'm going to try to make my own Pumpkin Coffee Creamer! I'll post a tutorial soon!

2. Eat lots of Candy Corn! I know some people hate it but I'm one of those who LOVE IT! And not the silly pumpkin shapes or the chocolate flavored- it has to be classic yellow-orange-white candy corn!

3. Wear scarves and boots!
I have many scarves and am in the process of crocheting more! I'm really into the infinity scarves and chunky cowls right now! And I really really really want some "riding boots." I love dark brown ones with buckles.
4. Go to the Pumpkin Patch.
We have yet to go this year but we will!

5. Decorate! See more of my home autumn decor here.

6. Collect colorful leaves.
I think I'm going to make one of these mobiles and hang it in my window. Tutorial coming soon!

7. Carve pumpkins. We'll do that once we go to the pumpkin patch! Here are some fun ideas though:
Jeff's pumpkin

8. Drink hot coca while reading a book next to the window listening to the rain.
Unfortunately I don't have much time for "fun"reading right now, so I'll have to substitute homework :/

9. Sitting next to the fire- preferably with hot coca, or a pumpkin latte, reading a good book or watching a movie.

10. Having friends over!
I'm seriously thinking about hosting a Fall themed Pinterest party for a few close friends. hmmmm.... more to come on that! I know- the suspense is killing you!

Days 13 & 14- Oswald Chambers

 The one marvelous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh. 
Sanctification is "Christ in you." 
It is His  wonderful life that is imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God's grace.
-Oswald Chambers 
(emphasis added)

How can I say it better then that? Good ol' Chambers. We received his devotional My Utmost for His Highest for our wedding and we love reading it together. It's worth checking out!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 12

Our love and relationship with Christ makes us different.

 Are you different than the world? 

How do you represent Christ?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 11- Draw Near

This morning I got to chat with my momma on the phone for a little over an hour. It is always so good to talk with her. She is fun and encouraging and very wise. One topic that came up was our various Bible times for this morning. I want to share some of her insight on a well known verse...
this is my pretty momma and me.
James 4:7-8

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."

Momma talked about how a lot of people will only focus on one part of this verse, just submitting or just resisting, or just drawing, but we need all the parts.

The verse before this section says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gves grace to the humble. Submit therefore to God."  I know it is hard, but God really does know what He is doing, and besides who are we to question Him? Submit therefore to God. (submit means to relinquish your control, give it up, humble yourself.)

When we submit to God it also means we need to resist the devil and his temptations. We can't obey God and fall into sin, but "No temptation has overtaken you but such that is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are capable, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13) Temptation is not sin. Sin is when you give in to temptation. The devil can only tempt us as far as God will let him and when we don't fall, he has to flee.

To draw near to God we have to submit to Him and resist the devil, to resist the devil we need to submit to God and be close to Him (to rely on His strength), to submit to God we have to draw near to Him and resist the devil.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." That is what I am attempting to do this month, draw near to God and be still in His presence.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 10- God's Glory

As I mentioned before, this morning I made the effort to get up early enough to have quiet time with the Lord before classes. I am so glad I did. I not only got to be in His Word but I had time for breakfast and it set a great happy tone to my entire day. I'm going to do it tomorrow to!

This morning I worked on about half of the first chapter of "Becoming a Woman of Purpose" entitled "God's Purpose: A people that will reflect His glory. It certainly makes sense that to more fully know our own purpose we would want to know God's purpose first since He is the one who gives us our purpose.

God is perfect, holy and wonderful. He created us with the general purpose of bringing Him glory. Part of that is how He saved us and wants a personal relationship with Him.

Think about it: this amazing God, THE God of the universe, who is perfect and all knowing wants a relationship with little, tiny, imperfect sinful ME! That is something worth praising Him for, worth living for, something worth centering our purpose around.

Here are some verses from my morning study about God's glory:

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. -Psalm 19:1

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory because of your lovingkindness, because of your truth. -Psalm 115:1

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
-1 Cor. 10:31  

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in truth. It was for this He called you through our [the apostles] gospel, that you may gain the glory of Christ. -2 Thes. 2:13-14

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession. -Titus 2:11-14 

I heard this song {Amazed by Kutless} on the radio driving home today. Listen and worship!

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