Sunday, February 22, 2009

Surprise Party!

I love these girls! They threw me a surprise party for my 25th birthday (the party was a few weeks ago on my birthday). It was awesome and they totally caught me by surprise. I'm so thankful to have them in my life! And I'm also thankful for my amazing husband. He was in on the whole thing and danced around all my last minute change of plans on my birthday to make sure we still arrived at the right place at the right time. I was oblivious the whole time. Thanks you guys!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't Be Jealous...

We went to the circus!!! Yep, you read that right. Stephen and I went to Ringling Brother's "Zing Zang Zoom" Circus a few weekends ago. I came across a really good deal on tickets and we didn't have anything going on that day, so we decided to live it up and go see the greatest show on earth. 

It was actually a lot of fun. Stephen even said afterwards that he would do it again any day. They really put on a fun show and some of the things they did were pretty impressive. Between the acrobatics and the animals, they definitely kept you engaged. I think my favorite part was all the animals and the amazing tricks they could do. Oh, and the cotton candy...can't forget that! Here's some pics from our visit to the circus! 

They shot 2 girls out of those cannons!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Hand of God

A few nights ago Stephen and I were looking at one of my journals from high school. My junior year of high school I went on a family vacation with KJ Pugh to Disney World. (Side note - It was on that trip that I first met Stephen). While on this trip I noticed that KJ's sister, Katie, was going through a devotional book called Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore. So shortly after getting home from the trip I went and purchased Whispers of Hope for myself. It's a fantastic devotional and prayer journal that I highly recommend. It was really neat to look back over my prayers as a junior in high school.

Well Stephen was reading over some of them with me and he jokingly asked if there was one in there about him. I said that I thought there was at least one prayer in there for my future husband. Well we flipped through the book some and then Stephen said "Turn and look at the one dated on my birthday." So I flipped over to 1/17/2001 and THERE IT WAS! On my husband's birthday, as a junior in high school who barely knew him, I was praying for my future husband! How amazing is that!? It is surely no coincidence...we've always said that we can see the hand of God all over our relationship and sovereignly bringing us together. Here is another piece of evidence that God was working on our hearts and in our lives from well before we knew we would be husband and wife. God is truly amazing and worthy of praise!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Books, Books, and More Books!

Note: You will find my current book list at the bottom of this post...hope you make it all the way to the end!I have loved reading ever since I was a little girl. I used to get in trouble for reading in my closet when I was supposed to be in bed...I would get in bed with the lights off, lay there for a few minutes, and then when I thought the coast was clear, I'd grab a book and hide in my closet and read until I got tired or got caught.

As a young girl I loved Nancy Drew, the Anne of Green Gables series, The Secret Garden, and the Mandie Books by Lois Gladys Leppard.As a teenager, I began to read more Christian fiction and books on Christian Living. Some of my favorites were The O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson and Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot.

In college I went through a phase of wanting to read some of the classics in literature that I was supposed to have read in high school, but didn't really enjoy because they were an assignment. I also continued to read various Christian fiction and non-fiction books. Favorites were The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Humility by Andrew Murray, A King's Rhapsody by Hester W. Chapman, and The Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster.

Lately my taste in books have centered more around women's roles...books on marriage, being a godly wife, discipling, mentoring young girls, and parenting. For the last few months I've had a stack of books on my nightstand that I'm trying to read through in the midst of my busy life and being a good wife to Stephen. Thankfully I've been able to finish a few of them and inevitably find two more to add to the stack with each one I finish.

As I continue in the God-given roles of wife and discipler to teenage girls, I have a huge interest to learn from others who have gone before me and have godly wisdom to share. I love reading insights from others and gleaning bits of wisdom and truth from their experiences. I thought I'd share my current book list incase anyone might be interested. I'm hoping to write a brief review of each book as I finish it. Nothing scholarly or in-depth, just my takes from the books.

I want to make a point to mention that none of these books replace the importance and necessity of personal time in God's Word and prayer. God is the ultimate source of wisdom, and everything I read in a book must be weighed against the truth of Scripture. The compass for my life is found in the Bible - it is there that I learn the importance of loving and respecting my husband as well as the importance of teaching younger women.

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything...Each one of you [husbands] also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:22-24, 33.

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." Titus 2:3-5

So in light of the preeminence of God's Word as the source of truth and wisdom for life, here are the books I'm hoping to read over the next few months for edification and sanctification in my life.
Currently Reading
Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, wife of CJ Mahaney

Growing Godly Women: A Christian Woman's Guide to Mentoring Teenage Girls by Donna Greene

My Book List
Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper, wife of John Piper
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp
Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace by Ricucci & Mahaney
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
Knowing God by JI Packer
The Holiness of God by RC Sproul
The Cross of Christ by John Stott
When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper
The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges
Holiness by JC Ryle
Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp
Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Too Small To Ignore by Dr. Wess Stafford, President of Compassion International (I know him!)