Friday, October 28, 2016

Why I Choose Jesus!

If you've been reading for a while or following on Instagram, you probably have seen that I am involved in a campaign called "Jesus for King 2016". Today our church is hosting our first Jesus for King 2016 presentation and I wanted to share with you what it's all about and why I'm so excited about it.

First of all, JFK 2016 is not an anti-Trump or Clinton campaign. It's simply saying that if you are dissatisfied with your current choices for a leader-- there's a better option! I believe that the Bible tells us that Jesus is God's son. He is in heaven with God now, but he will come back to earth someday. 

When he does, he will set up his Kingdom on earth and the whole world will be filled with God's glory. In that Kingdom, Jesus will be King. And he will be so much better than any human leader! Unlike any human, Jesus will be able to solve all the world's problems. He will solve healthcare and poverty and injustice. He will rule fairly and lovingly. He won't be corrupt or dishonest. He always will know what's best so we can count on him to do the right thing. 

And his delight shall be in the fear of the LordHe shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. Isaiah 11:3-4

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a dear, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the dessert. Isaiah 35:6-7
So what is JFK 2016 all about? It's not predicting that Jesus will come back to earth in 2016 (although that would be great!). It's about encouraging people to seek a better hope than we have in human leaders. It's about "casting your vote" for Jesus. It's about choosing him as your leader and following in his footsteps.  

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Acts 2:38

JFK 2016 gives us a hope for the future! It helps me rest assured that I don't need to worry about whether Trump or Clinton becomes President. I don't need to worry because God is in control. He will choose the President who will cause His plan to come about. And I'm so thankful for that hope! 

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome  the world. John 16:33

If you want to know more, check out Jesus for King 2016 or send me an email! I'd love to see you at our presentation. Happy Friday, friends. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Life on the Hill

One of the fall activities in the area we live in is Apple Hill. People come from all over to experience it! It's a series of orchards, pumpkin patches, wineries, and farms- all owned and operated by different families or businesses. You can go to hike, to pick apples, pumpkins or berries, to buy crafts, to eat delicious apple desserts and more. I go every year and it really is a very fun experience. 

Pro tip: if you ever make your way to Apple Hill, it is WAY more fun to go on a weekday than a weekend. Not as many places are open but it's so worth missing the insane traffic.

I have been to Apple Hill twice this year, including last weekend with all  my siblings. There were tons of people everywhere but we still had a great time. Because, apple fritters and caramel apples.

My favorites (missing Dalton and Lauren)

Here's a great photo to start us off. What Daniel did when I begged him to smile. 

Apple beer! Which is really just beer mixed with apple cider, but very good. 

Fishing pond

A vicious little creature

Being silly on the playground

Apple trees
Fudge and caramel apples... soooo good.

And here is this beautiful picture my sister took, not at Apple Hill. You're welcome
 Our favorite places to go to at Apple Hill are High Hill Ranch and Abel's Acres. What are your favorites?

Friday, October 21, 2016

This Story Has a Happy Ending

**This story has a happy ending** 

Speaking of vulnerability (my recent post here), when I was at my routine physical exam last week, my doctor found a little lump in my breast that she was concerned about. She told me that she was 95% sure that it was fine but she wanted me to get an ultrasound done. Which of course, was a statistic she completely made up, so I wasn't super reassured. She told me not to freak out but of course I did.

I went home and cried. Daniel helped me to calm down and we've been praying about it daily. However, I decided not to tell others because I didn't want them to worry about something that was probably nothing. I had to wait a week and two days to go in for my ultrasound and it was a long week! I tried not to worry or think about it. 

However, the Wednesday before the test, I started to have all my anxiety overwhelm me. It was probably nothing, but what if I was in the 5%? What if I was the person whose life was going to change forever in a day? I was driving to Bible class, feeling so raw and on edge. I was praying a lot. I heard a song come on the radio (and honestly I don't even remember what song it was), but the words were so perfect. It was reminding me that everything is in God's hands. 

Which I know. I know that everything is in God's hands, but that doesn't mean that bad things won't happen in this life. And maybe this would all be part of God's plan to make me a better person. 

When I went to my ultrasound on Thursday, it was so scary. But I am okay! I have a small but benign tumor. I have to have it monitored every six months, but I am okay! I am very thankful.

I'm not claiming to have the worst tragedy of all time. I am thankful to be part of the 95% this time, but I know that I won't always be. In this life, there will be trouble. That's what Jesus said. It doesn't matter if you are a believer or not, you WILL have to face trouble. You will have hurts, tragedies, pain, sadness. But there is so much more to the story! In my story and in your story. 

P.S. The night before my ultrasound, we were eating with my family and Daniel told them about it (not knowing that I hadn't). The next day, my mom told me that my brother had asked my family that night to have a prayer circle for me. *tears*

Thanks for reading, and happy weekend! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

8 Ways to be a Better Friend

In my opinion, a friend is one of the dearest treasures you can have. They are a joy to have, but I've found that in order to have a friend, you have to BE a friend. BEING a friend requires hard work. We all know what we want in a friend but how often do we treat our friends that way? I've been thinking about how to be more intentional with friendship and have come up with what I think is really important to being a friend. 

Of course, if you are my friend and I'm not doing what you want in a friend, please tell me! (:

1. Be reliable. I think this is hugely important in friendship. Of course, we should be understanding if our friend truly has something come up, but we have all had those friends who you can never rely on. Don't be that friend. 

2. Be generous with your time. If your friend feels like she has to schedule your time way in advance, she probably doesn't feel like you care about her a whole lot. I get it-- we're all busy. We have jobs, we have lives, we have stuff to do. Seriously, make time for your friends, even if it isn't the most convenient thing in the world. 

3. Find out what your friend's love language is. Almost everyone knows about how the "love languages" can affect our romantic relationships, but we can use the love languages in friendship too. If your friend really feels loved by gifts but you always give her lousy ones, think about how you can make her feel truly cared about in your friendship! In the same way, if your friend seeks quality time that you never seem to have for her but you shower her in expensive gifts, your friendship could use some redirection. 

4. Be vulnerable. If your friend thinks you are perfect and have it all together, I suspect she doesn't know you very well at all. Be open. Laugh with her, cry with her. 

5. Be kind and supportive. Women can be... catty. Don't be catty with anyone, especially with your friends. Support your friends, even if you don't always agree with them. It's not your job to try to control them. 

6. But still, learn how to make up. I have no problem fighting with my husband (oops), but when it comes to my friends, I don't know how to tell them my feelings. It is a special friendship that can say "You hurt me but I still love you." I think good friendships are easily dissolved when we don't feel comfortable enough in the friendship to say "That hurt my feelings" or "I'm sorry" or "I'm mad at you."

7. Be inclusive. Don't make people feel left out. If you are spending time in a group that you and your bestie are part of, make a point of not excluding others. From personal experience, I know that nothing is worse than feeling left out. Even if you aren't doing it intentionally, you should go the extra mile to make sure. 

8. Make your friend feel good by complimenting her! This is one that I am horrible at and need to work on more. For some reason, it just never occurs to me to tell my friend how good she looks, how smart she is, how funny she is, etc. I know it makes me feel awesome and I am going to make more of an effort to do so to my friends.
SO, what do you think? What do you look for in a friend? 

Friday, October 14, 2016

6 Favorite Recipes

It's Friday, I'm sitting at home embroidering, drinking coffee and listening to the rain. Just a few of my favorite things. Something else that's a favorite of mine? Food. Here are a few of my current favorite recipes linked from the website they are from!

I thought it was fantastic served over ripped up pieces of corn tortilla. Yum! 

Smoothie bowls are my favorite right now. They are so quick and easy in the morning and a great alternative from my normal cereal.

Guys, this sandwich is so amazeballs that I will actually use that word.  

We substitute shrimp for chicken and this is my current favorite salad. 

At first, we were a little unsure of this recipe but if you want something flavorful and different, look no further. I like to sub sour cream for the mayo. 

Easy, cheap and so yummy. 

Tell me what your current favorites are! Have a wonderful weekend, friends. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Art of Vulnerability

Vulnerability can be hard and often it is associated with shame. I don't know if that's just our culture, but we feel ashamed to be vulnerable. If we are vulnerable, we might feel like we are weak and therefore, less.

But vulnerability is a part of life and relationships, and I don't think it has to be or should be shameful. In fact, I think it is the opposite. It is the only real way we can forge deep relationships with people, because to be open, we must be vulnerable. It means exposing our fears and our hurts, our joys and our weaknesses. 

It's scary. What if we open ourselves to others and they laugh? What if they reject us? Well then, did you really want a relationship with that person anyway? 

Vulnerability comes more easily to some than others. Some of us are the type of people who will admits their fears and flaws to anyone. Some are not. And, of course, there are certain people who it is easier to be vulnerable with. When we start being vulnerable, we tend to lose all sense of pride. But this is what makes the best relationships. If we have friends who think we are perfect and will never fail, then they don't know us at all. Our spouses probably know our icky parts better than anyone, but hopefully they loves us best of all.

And of course, there's no use trying to maintain a sense of pride before God. Our best relationship with God will come when we are open with Him. He already knows all, but we should also tell Him. 

So let's try to open ourselves up to being vulnerable. It doesn't have to be with everyone, but start with a few people in your life who you feel your relationship would improve with if you were more open. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Good Books and Dear Friends

Do you like to read? So do I! As an adult, I find it very difficult to find good book that is not just chock-full of trash. Here's some books that I have enjoyed this year that I have rated a 4 or 5 stars on Goodreads. 

I've linked each book to the description on Goodreads so that this post wouldn't be forever long. Please note, just because I liked the books does not mean that I always agree with the characters or the authors on everything!

Why I liked it: Sweet and raw. The main character was part of the foster system and turned 18 without ever being adopted. I enjoyed it because I am very interested in fostering/adopting older children and like to see some insight on what their lives are like without parents. 

Why I liked it: I enjoy historical fiction, especially around the World War I & II era. This book is a bit confusing at first with all the different characters, but I really grew to like them by the end. 

Why I liked it: I love sister bond books and I love books that point out real life issues. I thought this book did a great job of showing life from the perspective of a person with a spinal cord injury and what it feels like to be in their shoes, as well as how it affects their family. 

Why I liked it: This was a very popular book this year and I really loved it. I love the idea of realizing how life can change us without even recognizing it. The moral of the story: will I be who I want to be in 10 years? Will the people around me still love me? Note: this does have more language than I normally read. 

Why I liked it: Daniel won this book in a giveaway at work and gave it to me. I thought there was no way I would like it BUT it turned out to be one of the best books I've read all year. I really enjoyed reading about what life was like for Julie and how different it was from mine. 

Why I liked it: I love YA fiction and I love suspense novels. Done and done. Jennifer Shaw Wolf is an amazing author. 

Why I liked it: Gahhh, I loved this book! A love story with a heart-wrenching twist. 

I'd love to hear some of your favorites! Happy weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

6 Tidbits to Change Your Attitude

I am a huge quotes person. As in, it's probably my biggest Pinterest board. I love quotes because they are a small, beautifully put and profound summary of something that resonates deep within me. I'm going to share some of my favorite tidbits of advice with you and why I love them. I hope to do a few of these because there's no way I can limit myself to just a few! 

The cause of most of man's unhappiness is sacrificing what he wants most for what he wants now. Gordon B Hinckley 

To me, impatience is a universal human problem. We want what we want, and we want it now. Waiting is so hard and it's not fun. Our society pushes us to do whatever our heart leads us to, even if it means letting go of the thing we want the most. In terms of faith, I think it can be so easy to get swept away in temporal things instead of holding out for the things of the Kingdom. This quote reminds me to hold on. Don't sacrifice the biggest gift for a meaningless, fleeting gift. 

Comparison is the thief of joy. Theodore Roosevelt

The whole world is basically run on the fact that we want what others have. Commercials, wars, business, everything revolves around coveting. And it takes our joy. It's nearly impossible to find joy without letting go of the constant wanting. 

Do not regret growing older. It's a privilege denied to many.

So, so beautiful. Growing older can be scary and, of course, there are many consequences of aging. Yet, we should be thankful for it and the wisdom that comes from age. 

You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. 

I'm the type of person who has a hard time letting heavy things go. Little things, big things, if I worry that something is wrong, I hang it around my neck and carry it with me. It's hard to do, but it's so relieving to let things go. And sometimes, I just have to because I can't possibly carry one more thing around. Thankfully, we have Jesus who says he will carry it with us. 

Don't shine so that other's can see you, shine so that through you, other's can see Him. C.S. Lewis

Um, YES! If people are looking at me, I don't want them to see imperfect, human me. Wouldn't it be so much better if when looking at me, they saw a little glimpse of how Christ loved? 

We get so worried about being pretty. Let's be pretty KIND, pretty FUNNY, pretty SMART, pretty STRONG. 

Not much to say about this one. I wrote a post about it here, but I still adore it. Women especially spend so much time worrying about being pretty. Let's worry less about that and worry about these things. 

Do you have a favorite saying to change your attitude?