Thursday, December 31, 2015

In 2016

As 2016 begins, here are some things that I would like to see accomplished in my own life. These aren't resolutions, exactly, because my resolutions I usually set to be small and measurable. These are more like reflections on what I want to focus on in the new year. 



A bad habit I'm going to break: I'm going to be working on breaking my addiction to my iPhone. As with most of the planet, I check my phone about 948248 times a day. I want to stop being so connected to my phone and more connected to those around me!

A new skill I'd like to learn: Might sound crazy, but I am hoping to learn to knit socks. We'll see how that goes, as I don't know how to knit a stitch.  

A person I hope to be more like: I hope to be more like the person I want to be. That is a person who is patient, filled with compassion, on fire for God. A person who always put others first and who never backs down when it comes to showing the love of Jesus. 

A place I'd like to visit: I'd like to go driving along highway 1 with Daniel. I've driven along small portions of it and it was so gorgeous. I know Daniel will love it, especially driving in his Camaro (: 

A book I'd like to read: a few on my list: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas, Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin, and For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. 

I'm going to do better at: having patience. One of my biggest struggles is being patient. I'm going to work on this, especially in the area of my patience with others. 

So what's on your heart for 2016? Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Highlights

As 2015 draws to an end, I am reflecting on what was the best and worst in the year. I try to always be introspective about my year so that I can continue to grow. Here is my list of highlights. It's been a good year so I'm sure there are more, but this is what I think of most. 

10 Highlights of 2015:



1. Daniel's back surgery; it was scary and of course, I didn't want him to have to have surgery. But I'm so thankful to God for bringing him through it and healing him of his pain! It really has changed both of our lives. 

2. Moving into our first apartment-- it was bittersweet, but now that I'm here I do really love it. It has been fun to make it into our own sweet home. I miss my family but I still get to see them lots. I LOVE having people over for dinner or to just hang out. 

3. Treating my first patient at school! Our neuro class got to treat patients with stroke. Mine was an absolutely phenomenal experience and I loved every second!

4. Our anniversary trip... same place as our honeymoon but a year better! 

5. Getting all As this semester in school. Maybe I'm bragging, but ever since I have started grad school I have really hated it and struggled to get good grades. This semester has been a lot different and, though hard, I am enjoying it so much more. I finally feel like I'm making it. 

6. My summer bucket list, which included finishing my wedding scrapbook and visiting my grandparents in Virginia. This summer was SO full of sweetness. 

7. Um, Christmas?? Hasn't even happened yet but I can tell it is going to be way better than last years! I am so excited about the gifts that I got for everyone AND it's so much less stressful than last year! 

8. My birthday party... Daniel went all out and threw the most super duper funnest party! I'm thankful that he gets me and knows how to make my day rocking. 

9. My two favorite blog posts from this year: here & here. 

10. And of course, I'm so thankful to God for blessing me with this year. It's been overwhelmingly wonderful. I hope your 2015 has been this good and if it hasn't, I hope 2016 holds wonderful things for you. Maybe even the return of Jesus! #JesusforKing2016

Monday, December 21, 2015

When Your Heart is Full


photo by my sister, Melissa!
From the end of November to the New Year, life seems so packed with holiday goodness. 
But do you ever feel so bogged down with expectations for the holidays that you can't enjoy the goodness? I do.

For me, one of the biggest things is decorating. I LOVE to decorate. I find myself (as my poor husband knows), drooling over all kinds of Christmas decorations every time we enter a store. If I could just have that wreath and those ornaments, I'd be happy... right??

Sometimes, I think we all need to step back and realize that this time isn't about decorations. It isn't about gifts. It isn't about my Shutterfly cards or matching address labels. To me, it's about spending time with your loved ones. The crafts and the presents and the cookies and the ice skating are just a way to spend special time with them. 

There are those who don't have loved ones, who are spending this season hurting for love. There are those who don't even have homes to live in or food to eat. And I'm worried about my decorations??

If you are like me and spend the holidays with a full heart, I hope you will consider thinking of others who don't have what we do. The websites here, here and here give great ideas for giving to the homeless. If you want to help someone all year long, my church has this awesome organization where you can do everything from giving a mosquito net to supporting a child all year long. Let's all do what we can!

And if your heart is hurting this season, I pray that God will give you comfort and peace. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time

As we creep further into December, life feels full of good things. For me, the holiday season stretching from Thanksgiving to New Year's is truly the most wonderful time. It's full of celebrating family and love and appreciation. Here's a little holiday/winter break themed list of things that I plan on doing. 
happy memory of me being at Butchart Gardens for Christmas lights! so beautiful
// take pictures for our New Year's cards
// continue our (one-year old) tradition of going to the bookstore and buying a book on Christmas eve
// drink hot chocolate on our back porch with the Christmas lights on (& cuddle, of course!)
// watch It's a Wonderful Life
// go to the mall just to see the decorations
// volunteer 
// make homeless bags
// ice skate
// Christmas dinner party
// make cookies
// decorate the windows with paper snowflakes
// pancakes at IHOP
// do good
// drive around and look at Christmas lights 
// write letters reflecting on the past year with Daniel to share with each other
// make gifts for people at church
// do a puzzle with Daniel
// visit the Theatre of Lights in Old Sacramento
// karaoke with friends 
// make a new dessert 

What are your favorite holiday traditions??

Friday, December 4, 2015

James 5

Ahh, Friday! It's been a long week for me, mostly because I've been sick. Why can't I just go back to being a kid and be able to skip life when I'm sick?? Those were the days. 

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy this last chapter of James! Have a wonderful Friday!



James 5

Verses 1-6:
It seems that James harshly speaks to rich people. I think we can safely assume that he isn't speaking to all rich people, but rather those who have taken pride in their riches. Like it says in verse 5, there are some that use their riches to indulge themselves and oppress others.  I think it is safe to say that James is rebuking those who live without care for others.  

Verses 7-12:
The believers were withstanding great persecutions at this time. As we know from reading the gospels, many believers also thought that the setup of the Kingdom was right around the corner. And it is... to God. To us mortals, though, it seems awfully long it coming.  James encourages the believers to stand firm.  Life was hard for them, and it might be for us too, but remember that the Lord is faithful.  

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years , and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish ,but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9

It may be slow, but God has a purpose for that "slowness." He is doing it for the benefit of us! And when I think of all that others have had to suffer for their beliefs, I don't think we have it bad at all.  Sadly, this may have the opposite effect and allow us to become complacent instead of longing for our Lord Jesus to return. 

For those who were going through great persecutions, James reminds them of the prophets (such as Daniel and Jeremiah) who had suffered greatly before them. If they can endure, then so can we all. 

I always thought the part about not swearing by heaven or earth seemed randomly placed, but I think it is actually referring to this same idea of not being able to control when things happen. Therefore, we should take care because you never know when something will happen that is outside of your control. You don't want to be making promises that you are not going to be able to keep.

Verses 13-20
James reminds us of the importance of turning to God! In good times and bad. Sometimes, that's the last place we turn, and then only when we can't figure out things on our own.  But as we grow, we learn more and more to turn to God first in our joy AND in our sorrow.

There is also something to be said for confessing your faults to another person. It can be a humbling experience, but also renewing. I think when I share my failures with another, it helps me realize the gravity of my sin, and to pray for forgiveness. It also helps others to realize that we are all in the same boat, so to speak. Sometimes I feel like I am the worst sinner out there, but it is relieving to know that everyone messes up but that there is still forgiveness! Praise our loving Father!

These verses about Elijah are pretty amazing. I never really thought about the phrase "Elijah is a man just like us" until I heard some classes on Elijah. The speaker pointed out that it truly means Elijah was LIKE US. So often, I look at characters in the Bible and think they have some kind of superhuman faith. But they don't, and we can see that in Elijah. Elijah was a passionate man.  He got afraid. He got angry. He pouted. He ran from God. But in the end, he was faithful. God understood Elijah's weaknesses, and He was still with him. God understands ours too! 

Lastly, James points out the magnitude of saving someone spiritually. It's wonderful to save someone's life by preventing them from getting hit by a car or performing the Heimlich maneuver, but this life is only temporary. How much greater to save someone spiritually by giving them a hope for eternal life! Like the angels who rejoiced over the one found sheep, we should be seeking that ALL should come to a knowledge of our God.

I hope that you have enjoyed these devotions on James. If you missed one, here are links to each chapter. Have a joyful day!


Monday, November 30, 2015

James 4

Happy Monday! I hope your Thanksgiving was full of joy and blessings. Mine was wonderful and reminded me of all the things I have to be thankful for. Please enjoy these thoughts of James 4.

James 4


Verses 1-12
I think one of the key phrases here is "submit yourselves to God." When we realize how small we are, we won't be proud in our own strengths. It will humble us. I think that many of our failings in life probably have to do with our pride. For example, when we covet something it seems to me that we are thinking that we should have what others have because we deserve it!  Jesus tell us that we will receive what we ask for in his name, and so James points out. However, he reminds us that it must be done from pure motives. We cannot expect our Father to grant our every selfish whim. So when we submit to the Father, He really will grant our prayers because we will be asking for what HE wants. 

There are really only two choices: friend of God or friend of the world. James warns us that being a friend of the world means being an enemy of God. That's scary! I sure don't want to be an enemy of our all-powerful God. I want to be like Abraham, who was called a friend of God. Right before he is called a friend of God in James 2, it says that Abraham BELIEVED God. So our belief and submission to Him must be what makes us His friend.

When James touches on gossiping about people, I think the same idea of pride still rings true. The reason we put others down is because it makes us feel built up. If someone is doing something wrong, we can take pride in the fact that we aren't! Trust me, you've failed where someone else hasn't, so be careful with your words. Who are we to judge another? Rather, humble yourself before God and realize that you are flawed as well. He will carry us through His grace.

Lastly, I LOVE the idea that when we draw nigh to God, He draws nigh to us! How beautiful. As I mentioned here, the idea of God being like the sun, never changing, is powerful to me. The heat and light we receive from it depend on OUR position. When we push God away, He doesn't move-- we do.

Verses 13-17
Again, the theme here is submitting to the Lord. If we do, we realize that all plans are subject to His will. We can't ever say for sure WHAT will happen, but we do know that God will faithfully work things out so that His will is accomplished. Sometimes that's so much easier to say than live. But we need to acknowledge that even though it feels like we have some measure of control over what happens in our life, we don't really. God does. I don't think it necessarily means tacking a "God willing" at the end of every sentence we say about our plans, but it does mean that we recognize Him as the real source of authority. He makes the plans, not us.  Thankfully, He ALWAYS knows what is in our best interest, so much better than we do ourselves! 


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

James 3

Ahh, James 3... a chapter that was written directly for me! (-: Controlling the tongue is so difficult for me; I have lots of strong opinions and of course I'm always right, right??


James 3

Verses 1-12
It's amazing, isn't it, how the tongue is such a powerful thing? We let is take over and control our lives. James says we let  it "boast" and it's so true! Our tongue is what says it will do things, but it really is our other body parts that accomplish the task. For example, it is our tongue that might brag about how we can run a marathon, but it's our legs that actually do it! Hopefully we aren't the tongue in our own churches, boasting of things that we leave for others to do.
"But I tell you that men will have to give account of the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."  Matthew 12:36-37

The things we say are so powerful and they DO matter.  Often I forget how much they matter. We can do great good or great harm with our words. We can build people up and we can tear them down. It's scary because I, and others, often don't realize the destructive power of the tongue. The things that fly out of our mouths without thought can never be retrieved.  

Verses 13-18
But it's not just our words that matter. James says that if we are wise, we will show it in our good lives. However, if we (unwisely) have selfishness in our hearts, it will be manifest in our life. We can try to boast that we are wise, but our life will reveal otherwise.

Think about all the things James lists as aspects of wisdom: pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, merciful, fruitful, impartial, and sincere.  These are usually not considered to be virtues in our society!! They are often belittled along with those who practice them. But God tells us to "sow in peace" to "raise a harvest of righteousness!"

Choose to do it God's way!

Chapter 1
Chapter 2

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

James 2

Hope your week is looking great on this nice Tuesday! I love Tuesdays because I get out of school at noon and get to spend the whole afternoon at home (studying, but oh well!). Love this reminder of God's mercy in James. 

James 2


Verses 1-13:
James starts out with a plea to believers: to not let their walk in the Lord be tainted with favoritism.  This is about more than just treating our brothers and sisters unfairly (although it is certainly wrong too)-- it's also saying that we are the judge and we know best. If we favor some, we judge that they are more worthy than another. That is truly only the decision of God and Christ.  Even more so, the "poor" that we might look down on are really only poor in the eyes of the world. To God, they might be immeasurably rich.  
Truly, we cannot be keeping the greatest commandment if we show favoritism. When we show favoritism, we are NOT loving our neighbor.  As Christ has pointed out, James points out as well-- if you break one point of the law, you break them all! Sadly, we all fall short, but thankfully, God is merciful!
So if God is merciful towards us, shouldn't we be all the more merciful with others? After all, we are only human, not an all-powerful Being. Yet He chooses to forgive and have mercy, and so should we. It reminds me of the time Christ says that with the same measure you use, so it shall be used toward you. The example of David in regards to this is brilliant.  When David is fleeing from the evil King Saul, he time and time again shows mercy to the undeserving King in sparing his life.  Later, when David sinned by committing adultery and murder, God forgives him. Perhaps it was David's very mercy toward Saul that God remembered when He decided to show the same mercy to David.

Verses 14-26:
Faith and works seems to be a never ending discussion that can get very tricky. But the point of the matter is, works won't save you because they don't necessarily come from faith. BUT faith isn't real unless it is manifested in works.  When James points out that Abraham was justified by believing God, we should note that the very act of believing God was a work in itself!  In the end, it's so easy to say something, but we must actually DO! God knows our hearts... which can be either immeasurably comforting or very frightening. 

But He knows. He knows when you are doing your absolute best. He knows your heart, and He is merciful. 

Chapter 1

Monday, November 23, 2015

James 1

Daniel and I read the book of James again yesterday and man, there is not a book in the Bible that screams at me more, Danielle! You have a lot of work to do!

A while ago I posted about my "James challenge" and I thought I would share these thoughts again this week as a reminder of all this wonderful book has to offer. If you haven't read James recently, do yourself a favor and read the whole book in one sitting!

James 1

I will divide it into the 3 sections my Bible has it divided into-- verse 1, verses 2-18, and verses 19-27. I'm not going to quote the verses here so make sure to read the chapter first.



Verse 1: 
James is the brother of Jesus, but it is interesting to note that he doesn't make mention of this fact. He appeals to them merely on the basis of his servitude to God and Christ. We, too, come before God and the believers not for our parents or family, but on the merits of OUR character and faith.

Verses 2-18:
Obviously I love verse 2 because that's what I have called my blog... Pure Joy. What does it truly mean to take joy in our trials? As I have suggested on this blog before, I believe this joy is different than just being happy. It is much deeper. It's a joy in our hope that doesn't depend on outward circumstances. While our trials might not make us happy, we can take joy in the fact that they bring us closer to our hope! However, taking joy in our trials is a hugely difficult task, so James reminds us in verse 5 that if we lack the wisdom to be able to do so, all we have to do is ASK! Ask your Heavenly Father, and He will come to your aid!
In a similar vein, when we waver or are "two-souled" we are literally saying that we doubt God's ability. We may well doubt ourselves but we should never doubt Him! Instead, when we falter, turn to Him to persevere. James points out that God is ALWAYS faithful and doesn't change. People change, but God doesn't, and we should be so thankful for that! The idea of the of our God being like the Sun is beautiful. The Sun never changes but the heat and light we receive from it depend on OUR position to it! 

Verses 19-27
Ahh... quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. It's an age-old proverb and yet many (including myself!) fail to do so. But James warns us that this lifestyle isn't just a good suggestion, it is essential to bringing about the life that God wants in us!  
It's so easy to hear something and think it's great advice but forget to actually apply it's lessons. James reminds us that we must constantly focus ourselves to achieve the results desired.
Lastly, one of my favorite verses is verse 27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." I've heard it suggested that the "and" isn't actually in the original text, so the meaning becomes that looking after orphans and widows is what keeps us from being polluted by the world! 

Hope you have enjoyed just a few comments on James chapter 1. Please share any comments you may have!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Comfort for the Weekend

My sweet husband made this delicious warm soup with toasty bread to dip in it! It's been cold here and it was so nice! Mmm!


Bacon Potato Corn Chowder

1/2 lb bacon strips
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
14 3/4 oz cream style corn
12 oz evaporated milk
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 1 1/2 tsp in the pan. Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup potato water.

Add corn, milk, salt, pepper, and reserved potato water to saucepan; heat through. Stir in bacon and onion.

EAT.

Galway Potato Bread

2 russet potatoes, peeled, divided
1 egg plus 1 egg white
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
3 1/4 cups flour, plus additional for kneading
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Cut one potato into eighths and add to pot; cover and steam for 15 minutes or until tender. Mash with a potato masher in a large bowl and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 375 and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Coarsely grate remaining potato; squeeze out any extra moisture and add to mashed potatoes. Stir in egg, egg white, milk, oil, and caraway seeds until fairly smooth. Add flour, baking powder and salt; stir until mixture forms a soft but sticky dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute, adding a little more flour if dough is sticky. Shape into circle and place on prepared baking sheet; flatten slightly, keeping the dough mounded in the center. Using a sharp knife, make an X in the top of the dough. Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown.

Dip in soup!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Least of These

Jesus will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." -Matthew 25:45


Having just moved into a poorer area of town, I am having a whole new experience than I had growing up. I don't think I ever saw a homeless person in my town growing up. Now every day I see multiple people begging on the street. I see homeless people with carts full of stuff. I even saw a mom with a little baby, sitting out beside Target and asking for diapers. May our hearts never get too hard to feel compassion on these people.

Growing up, my parents always taught me by example to give what I could. Now, more than ever, my heart is opened to those around me who don't have what I do. To think about being cold all winter long and to never have a nice warm home to go into. To think of not ever having a full belly. To think of not being able to go get a snack when you start getting a headache from being hungry. To think of not knowing if you were going to be able to care for your children tomorrow. What would that be like? I really can't imagine.

Sometimes we are too quick to refuse to help. What if they buy drugs with our money? we think. What if they are just pretending to need help to scam me? 

I've long since come to the conclusion that it is not my choice to make whether someone truly deserves help. It's my duty to love. It's my duty to give. I encourage you to do the same.

Lately, I've been praying to be able to find the best ways to love the poor and needy. So often, I do something small like giving them a few dollars. There's nothing wrong with that, but I get the feeling that the act makes me feel better about myself while doing very little for that person. I'm praying to find the best way to impact those around me and show them God's love. 

Do share if you have any ideas! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Slow Cooker Apple Crumble

Oh, my, goodness. I made this yesterday with some old(ish) apples that needed to be used and it is AMAZING. So easy, so good-- make it now. 

Slow Cooker Apple Crumble (adapted from Fake Ginger)

1 cup brown sugar 
5 large apples, cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt 

For the topping:
2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
3-4 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, apples, and salt. Spread onto bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Mix your crumble topping ingredients until it comes together. Sprinkle it over top of the apples. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for one hour to let the caramel thicken.
Enjoy! 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hello Stranger

I've become a bit of a stranger around here because life has been crazy! Daniel and I have been dealing with moving to a new home, buying a car (and getting new tires!), and on my part, lots of midterms. I just finished my last "midterm" and already have three tests piling up for next week. We don't have internet at our home yet, so it makes blogging a little tough. Such is life, I suppose! 

As far as our new home, it is now filled with furniture and decorated. I think it looks really homey and awesome. However, we are having some problems with our neighbors and with parking, so please pray that we will get it all worked out. We had our first guest stay with us last week and we had a little apartment-warming dinner on Sunday. I fixed these AWESOME Hawaiian sliders, which are super easy and tasty. I would highly recommend them. 

Not much else is happening around here (we hardly have time for the stuff we already do). We are heading to a youth group weekend for a "country" weekend. I'm not much of a country girl (besides music), but it should be fun. I'm looking forward to not studying much!

In other news, having a brother who works at Starbucks is pretty awesome. If you know me at all, you'll know I'm obsessed with Lime Refreshers. Well, Justin brought me a full box of lime refresher concentrate that they use in the store. Whoo hoo! 



I've been struggling to stay positive lately so I'd like to leave you with one last thought, a beautiful quote from Corrie ten Boom. She is definitely a hero of mine. 

via

Happy Friday, friends. Hope your weekend is full of joy. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Looking in the Wrong Place

It's been a long and busy week, but a great week. I'm excited to share with you all that is going on, but until then, I thought I'd share something that's been on my heart again. I hope it speaks to you and reminds you that you always have somewhere to turn.



One of the Bible characters that resonates most deeply with me is Leah. I often wonder what it would be like to be Leah. Leah, who longed so desperately to be loved by Jacob. Leah, who couldn't measure up to the beauty of her sister. Leah, who was cruelly given by her father to a man who didn't love her. Leah, whose husband passionately loved her younger sister.

Poor, poor Leah.

Leah was looking for love, but she wasn't looking in the right place. In the account in Genesis 29, it says that the Lord SAW that she was not loved and gave her four children. The God of all the universe looked down at Leah and saw her.  After the birth of her first son, Leah thinks, Surely my husband will love me now. Again, after the birth of the third, Leah thinks finally, finally, Jacob will love her.  But alas, Leah is still searching for love in the wrong place.

It isn't until her fourth son, Judah, that Leah realizes that she is looking for the wrong love: This time, I will praise the Lord, she says. And finally, she gets it. Jacob might not love her (yet) but God did.  Finally, finally, she can be full. 

However, there is a happy ending. I think, as evidenced by the fact that Jacob was buried beside Leah and not Rachel, that Jacob finally learned to love Leah. Maybe not because of her beauty and charm, but because she had become full of the Lord.  In that place where the godly couples Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebekah were buried, so Jacob chose to be buried beside Leah.

As humans, we look for love. We desire to be filled, to be whole. I think God made us like that to learn to yearn for Him. Only the love of our Father can truly fill us and make us whole. Only when we are first filled with God can we truly accept and receive love from others. For years, we may be searching for "The One," but there is only One who makes us complete. So if you are desperately desiring to be loved, know that that love can be found. It's not in the man of your dreams, it's in the arms of your Father in Heaven. He sees your heart, just as He saw Leah's.

Run to Him. 


This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:9-16

Originally posted 5/27/14.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Be Ready

I don't know what your spiritual beliefs are, but I look forward to the return of Christ to set up the Kingdom of God! We don't know when he will come, but the state of world events seem to suggest that it may be soon. The evil in the world certainly needs the peace of God. So whether it is tomorrow or in a hundred years, it doesn't matter. We need to be ready!


Hopefully you will be perfect when Jesus comes back so that he will accept you.

Just kidding. I'm not close to perfect and I never will be this side of the Kingdom. I'm pretty sure you aren't either. The thing is, we can't let that be an excuse. We can't make ourselves perfect but if we could, we wouldn't need God. But we also can't give up and say, Well, I'm hopeless. I'll never be any better so why bother?

It reminds me of the story told in Luke 7. Jesus is at the home of a prominent Jew for a dinner party. A woman who was a prostitute finds out that Jesus is there and she comes in, weeping with the burden of her past. She anoints Jesus' feet and wipes them with her hair. She knows too well that she is a sinner, but she also knows that she need only come to Jesus. We should be like her. She might have thought she was too bad to be forgiven, but she didn't. Or like the Pharisee, we might think we are doing pretty well. Neither attitude will serve us.

Being ready means just that... at any moment we are ready to serve God. It doesn't mean you are perfect but it most certainly means you have to do your best. We show God's love in every way that we can. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Along the way, no doubt we will stumble. But how much better to stumble when Jesus is alongside you, ready to pick you up?

We need not be perfect, we need only a perfect Savior! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

We're Moving!

We are moving! Ever since we've been married, we've lived with my family and only had one car. I had a long drive to school. It's all changing so fast! Just last week, we applied for an apartment close to school and we can move in this weekend.

How do I feel? Overwhelmed. It's very bittersweet. Emphasis on bitter (ok, not really-- there's a lot of sweet too). I'm thankful that Daniel and I will be having our own place and that I won't have to drive so far to school. At the same time, it's so sad to me to not live with my family. I have lived in that house for almost 20 years! It's my home. But apparently you can't live with your parents forever. #biggirlpants

So I'm just trying to remember that I will still be able to visit my family anytime. And hopefully our new apartment will become a home, the Ferrie home. Here's to all that lies ahead!

Here's some words I wrote last year, just before I married Daniel. The words still ring just as true today.

__________________

Cabin where we were married-- photo by Lis Dondero
What Does Home Mean To Me? Good Question.

It's A Safe Haven. It's A Place To Find Comfort. It's A Place To Laugh. It's A Place To Rest When You Are Down. It's A Place Where People Support You No Matter How Stupid You Have Been Or Are Being. It's A Place Where God Is At The Center. It's A Place Where You Can Be Yourself. 

A Place Of Love. A Place Of Inside Jokes. A Place Of Delicious Food And Lunches Packed For Your School Day. A Place To Cheer For Your Sports Teams. A Place To Play Music And Sing Hymns. A Place Of Spontaneity. A Place Where Your Family Makes You Play Board Games Even When You Don't Want To. 

Home Is A Place Of Midnight Snacks And Halloween Parties In The Garage And New Year's Buffets. Home Is Going To All Three Of Your Brother's Basketball Games On Saturdays And Your Sister's Dance Performances.  Home Is Being There For Each Other No Matter What.  Home Is Family.
__________________


Friday, October 2, 2015

Happy October


Happy October! Normally, I'm thrilled when it is the fall... but honestly, this year I feel like I haven't had enough summer yet. Oh well, bring on the fall weather! I posted here about my goals for September, which I think I did really well! (: (: Here's what I did-- did you accomplish your goals for September?



1. Listen to a Bible class on the way to school every morning. 
Yeah! I did and I've really been enjoying it. Right now I am listening to classes on Ezra/Nehemiah/Esther; basically the period of the exiles returning. They've been really interesting and helping me to figure out the timing, which can be confusing!

2. Study while I'm ahead. 
So far, so good! Although I could do better, I think I'm staying up with school pretty well for now. It's been nice to not FREAK OUT about tests, so I'm going to try hard to keep it up (; I had three tests this week (well two so far, one today). Ack!

3. Have a weekly date night and meet up with my friends at least once a week. 
Did it! Daniel and I have been having weekly dates, which is actually easy to do because we follow the "love calendar" from Dating Divas. I've also met up with friends at least once a week, and sometimes more. 

Yeah! September was a good month! Also, it's hard to believe it has already been three months, but it has been three months since I posted the "quarterly goals" here. Daniel and I are updating/reflecting on our progress over the last three months. If you'd like to join along, here is the document. Or, if you want it to look better than mine-- make your own! 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Just Another Day

Hey guys! I recently saw a few bloggers share their "day in the life" posts. If you are wondering why the heck you would care about what I do every day, well, so am I. Get out while you can.  However, if you are somewhat nosy like me, here you go! 

5:00 am: Alarm rings. I make sure Daniel is awake and then go to the kitchen to pack his lunch and make his breakfast. I go to the bathroom and get back in bed. Daniel eats breakfast in bed, gives me a quick cuddle and leaves. I make a fort of pillows around my body and go back to sleep.

6:30 am: Alarm rings, I get up for real this time. I run to the bathroom, brush my teeth, wash my face, and eat a quick breakfast. I throw my lunch in my bag and head out the door by 6:50. **hopefully** #gettingupearlyishard #ivejustdiscoveredcaffeine

6:50 am: Leave for school. I have been listening to Bible classes on my way to school lately and find it super helpful!

7:20-7:35 am: Depending on traffic, I arrive at school. I sleep in my car until 7:52 (yes, exactly), get my stuff, go to the bathroom, and head to class. 

8:00 am: Class starts! My schedule varies throughout the week, but I either have an orthopedic class or a neuro class until noon. We have lecture and lab combined.

12:00 pm: Daniel calls me for 5 minutes on his lunch break. I warm up my lunch and eat/practice with friends in class.

1:00 pm: Lecture

2:00 pm: Lab  

4:50 pm: Schools out! I drive home as quickly as possible. Usually traffic isn't too bad at this time, so I'm thankful for that!

5:30ish pm: Get home! Kiss my hubby, chat with my mom a bit, unpack from my day. The evenings are different every day, but typically I do some sort of workout or yoga. I study a bit, catch up whatever cleaning I need to do, eat dinner/clean up, etc. 

8:30ish pm: Hang out with my husband! We typically do our "calendar item" at this time. Which could be this.


Or this.



Or this.



We do the Bible readings and sometimes read from a study book too. We like to cuddle and watch White Collar before we go to bed. 

10:30 pm: Prayers and sleep. 

It's a wrap! So what do you think? Does my day sound somewhat similar to yours? Completely different? Some days are much different and two days a week I get out at noon instead of 5, so those are my study days. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The End of Summer

Good morning! Seeing how it is the end of summer (nooo!) and the beginning of fall (yay!), I thought I'd update ya'll on my summer activity list. I actually thought we did a pretty good job of doing most of the stuff on here. 

Second Saturday Art Walk

The first on the list and... we didn't do it! Actually, every "second" Saturday this summer we have been out of town or doing something else. However, this is a year round event so I still plan on doing it in the fall. I've heard it's pretty fun.

Gold Panning + Fishing on the American River

Yes! Well, sort of. We did go gold panning on the river and we did go fishing but we didn't go the American River. Close enough. 

Sacramento Vintage Night 



Daniel and I went to this one! It was pretty cool but we actually found a different car event that Daniel enjoyed even more. He was in awe of this car. Apparently it's rare... although I wouldn't know (-:

Go to the State Capitol



Did it! Check out cool pictures here.

Swimming at the Lake

Ok, I actually didn't really do this. Crazy, right? I did go to the lake a few times and wade in but the days we went just happened to be unusually chilly and I just wasn't feeling it. Plus, the lakes around here are extremely low and icky because of the drought. 

Make My Wedding Scrapbook




Done, done, and done! This took fooooreverrr but I finally finished it the day before school started. Whatcha think??

Crocker Art Museum (Free 3rd Sunday)



Did this! Neither Daniel or I are into art, but we tried. To be honest, I forgot how boring it can be to walk around looking at clay statues and modern art. Sorry, art lovers.

Camping

Our church youth group went camping in mid August. I got sick while there, so it wasn't the best experience, but overall a good time. I thought the meals we cooked turned out really tasty, which is pretty good for camping. (: 

Bike Riding

I went several times on a local trail and I even bought my own bike! 

Davis Arboreteum



Daniel, Bekka and I went to the arboreteum earlier this summer. I really enjoyed it but it wasn't what I had expected. I thought it would be a big enclosed area, but it turned out to be more like a nature walk. I wish we had taken a picnic! Pictures here.

Go To Echo Lake (Where We Got Married!) 



Yeah! We went twice-- once for a hike and once for a retreat with our church. Here is a picture of us at the cabin where we got married. (: 

Go To The Library A Lot + Read 5 Good Books

I read a ton of books this summer! And by a ton, I mean at least 20. I don't know if I really read 5 amazing books, but I read some that I enjoyed a lot. 

Sacramento Gold Rush Days (Labor Day Weekend)

Sadly, we didn't get to go here, but that's only because we were on vacation for our anniversary, so I was okay with missing it! 

Find Fun New Workouts

I have been a youtube fiend recently. I have seriously been loving workout videos from PopSugar Fitness and "Yoga with Adriene." Check it out here. 

Anniversary Trip To Squaw Valley, The Beautiful Lodge We Had Our Honeymoon At And Where They Once Held The Olympics!




Yeah, yeah, yeah! Love this place so much. You can read about our adventures here

Take LOTS Of Pictures 

Ehh... I'd say I only achieved this mediumly. Which apparently isn't even a word. I did take an online photography class that I thought was helpful. However, I took far more pictures with my iphone than I did with the camera, so I guess I only half-achieved that one. 

Visit My Grandparents In Virginia 



When I had a week break from summer school, Daniel and I visited Virginia. We had a really nice time relaxing with my grandparents and seeing/eating fun new things. 

Thursday Night Concerts In Our Community 

We were there pretty much every week! Our town has these awesome free concerts in an outdoor amphitheater. It's always absolutely packed and SO fun to go to. 

All in all, I'd say I had an awesome summer! Here's to a wonderful fall!