Sunday, January 29, 2017

Living Life

Chores, school, jobs, cleaning, floods, laughter, tears, futures. . . Life.
Here I am living life. That can mean lots of things, but one thing to keep in mind is that to be alive and to be living are different.
To be alive means you are breathing, you are moving, your body is working.
But to be living is to be experiencing, learning, growing. Growing in godliness, in friendships- deep, lasting friendships- growing in holiness. Breathing in God's plan.
To be alive is a good thing, to be living is a better thing. Living in Christ, having been raised from the dead and made a new creature.

                                             Are you living life or are you just alive?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Enjoying Life

Do a little somersault,
Or maybe a cart wheel. 
Some people mumble,
But I'd rather tumble.
I'd rather jump and skip,
Laugh and trip,
Just enjoy life.

I'll go dance, 
Giggle and prance,
Yell out loud,
Forget about the crowd
Of people who stare,
Of those who glare.
I'll just enjoy life.

Forget the mad,
But not the sad.
Give a flower or two
To cheer up you.
I'll bang on the piano,
Or scribble a poem
That hardly rhymes.

I'll run through the woods
Scamper and play
I could run all day.
I could grumble and complain
Or make fights and strife,
But I'd rather enjoy life!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Loving Life

Sometimes I become discontent with how my life is. Sometimes I complain for lack of excitement or direction. Sometimes I complain because things aren't going my way. But right now (as I write this because things can change fast!) I am loving life. I'm loving being single, I'm loving being at home, I'm loving my neighbors, I'm loving my family, I'm loving where I am. I wish for more adventure, for more fun, for change; however, it appears that God has me right here, right now, and "I'm lovin' it." Sure, life is far from perfect, I am far from perfect, but why complain? Why not just relax a minute and enjoy life where you are?

Jump and give a howler!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Back In the Day...

I found some great pictures of our family from 2004 and 2005, when Micah was still around. I hope you will enjoy a little "history" of our family.

I think this was taken on the top of Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.  
Jesse, Josiah, me, Micah, Hannah, Bethany and Mom, Priscilla, and Gabriel.

Card-playing used to be a big thing in our house. Clockwise from Dad: Micah, Hannah, Josiah, and Gabriel. 

A Birthday party with our neighbors. We are STILL neighbors!

Christmas morning, 2004. Priscilla, me, Lydia, Hannah, and Bethany.
Below is of the boys on Christmas of the same year. Micah, Jesse, Josiah, and Gabriel. 

My 8th Birthday celebration in Durham. I tried to blow out the candles and they wouldn't blow out. We eventually dipped them in water; it was quite exciting.

Friends from VA visited us while we were living in Durham. 

Jesse playing guitar for Lydia. That was one of the boys favorite things to do. 

A friend's Birthday party. 

Back home after living in Durham for about 3 months. 

Micah loved to take pictures.

Family picture from 2005.

A picture of us kids. 

Micah, me (photo bomber!), and Jesse. 

Gabriel doing trampoline tricks for us and the neighbors. 

Have a great day and enjoy life. 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Christmas at Our House

Of course, we had pasca for breakfast. 

Looking excited about breakfast.

Lydia dressed up for church.

Candles lit for dinner.

Enjoying the meal.

Though the morning was cloudy, the sun shined in the afternoon.

Our fake tree in the sunlight.

Bethany sitting in the afternoon sun. 

The living room becomes quite trashy at present opening time. 


                                                          Dad's Picture's of Christmas
Lydia "reading," Priscilla smirking, and me looking sick or tired. Overall, quite a funny picture, especially with dresser and lamp.

Lydia and I.

Do I look like a racetrack something or another?

Hannah and Lydia. 

Well, that was a nice day. 
Merry Christmas for this year!!


Monday, January 9, 2017

The Passion of a Happy Man

The title of today's post comes from two things. Passion is a play on words. First, it refers to the literal word that shows someones zeal or excitement for a certain subject. Secondly, it refers to the Passion Conference that happens every year since 1997. The "Happy Man" comes from a post my brother Jesse did a few years ago about two happy men: John Piper and Ron Paul.

So I am going to tell you a little about (1) my first (and likely last) Passion conference in Atlanta, GA at the Dome, and (2) John Piper. 

On Monday this week, my mom, dad, 4 sisters, and one sister's boyfriend drove down to GA to attend the conference. We had been blessed with free tickets and free hotel rooms at the tallest hotel in Atlanta, the Westin. We were with the Desiring God group, so we got to hear more from Mr. Piper than the rest of the conference. He was the best part of the conference, really the main reason we went! Ha!

The conference was held in the Georgia Dome with over 55,000 people attending! It was pretty amazing to be with so many people, listening to the gospel preached and praises sung to God. The music was way too loud but a lot of people really like that.  We listened to Christine Caine, John Piper, Louie Giglio, the Passion Band, David Crowder and others. 

Well, to get to the passion of Mr. Piper, I will start with our dinner the first night. We had dinner at the hotel with the Desiring God (DG) people, and Mr. Piper stayed for a little while. He told about DG and Passion. In his passion for the worship songs, he started singing "How Great is Our God." The next day, he spoke about the "Ultimate Essence of Evil" which is basically loving anything more than God. I really loved the message and was struck by the truth of how great a sin it is to love something more than God. Finally, After that, we went back to the hotel, and we DG people listened to John Piper and some other DG workers speak. One thing that particularly struck me about Mr. Piper was his grace. Many people wanted their picture taken with him, and I'm sure that could become very tiring, but he continued to wear his bright smile and take pictures with dozens of people.

So that's a glimpse of the Passion Conference and my appreciation for John Piper. Now, before I go, I must say that, although the loud music wasn't my favorite, there was something I really enjoyed: When the instrumentation stopped and just the crowd of people sang. Ahh! The roar of voices singing in unison to the Creator who deserves all praise was pretty awesome.

On cloud 9, literally. We were on the 58th floor and we were in the clouds. 

The Dome full of people. 

Louie Giglio. 

David Crowder.

Night in the city from our window in the hotel. 

Morning in the city from our window.

The crowds walking to the Dome. 

John Piper.

The X on my hand is the sign for the End It movement to end human trafficking. Everyone at the conference was supposed to put the X on their hand and we were photographed. 

Our hotel.

The view form the top of the hotel.

God bless you and have an extraordinary day!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thanksgiving in Years Passed and for this Past Year

We have a big family, but once people start leaving, Thanksgiving becomes less crowded, which means less fun. Anyway, here are some pictures of different Thanksgivings since 2004. The picture above was from 2004.

This was 2005. We were blessed by some friends' parents who let us stay in their beach house. This was our last Thanksgiving with Micah (lower tight in chair) who died less than a month later. 

This was 2006.

In 2007 we spent Thanksgiving at our Grandma's shore house.

No family picture, but it looks like we were at the shore again. 

I think this was 2011.

By 2012, we 5 girls were the only ones left. We had a man and his son over for dinner. 

In 2013, our Grand-dad was living with us and there were only 4 girls left. 

2014 we only had 4 girls. 

Oh, my, only 3 girls left by 2015!

Happy Thanksgiving from 2016! Dad was there but I like this picture. 

With this new year, we should give God thanks for all that He has done for us in 2016. I can think of some things that I have been blessed with over the last year. First, we got a great snow near the beginning of the year and the sled ride down the hill was, as always, extraordinary. Maybe the greatest blessing from last year was in February when my first niece was born! In March we got to go to CA to see her. I was blessed to be able to help at The Gospel Coalition in June. I loved being able to serve so many people, hear great speakers, enjoy time with family, and meet new friends. In August, I finally finished high school. In October we made another trip to CA, and the whole family was together. This past year has truly been an amazing and blessed year for me. Sure, not everything has been "all bubbles," but I am abundantly grateful for God's goodness in my life. 

Besides some of the bigger highlights, there have been the things we sometimes take for granted: Dips in the creek, spring flowers, tea parties, sunsets, laughing, thunderstorms, hiking, Birthdays, the Burlington Revival, Cherokee Cove, blueberry-picking, summer bike rides, winter walks, old and new friends, and, most amazing, salvation through Jesus Christ alone. 

I look forward to God's plans for me and you in this coming year. 
God bless you all!