1 peter 3:4

"cultivate inner beauty--the gentle, gracious kind
that God delights in.the holy women of old were
beautiful before God that way.." -1 peter 3:4

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a little something about football..and mr. tebow.

i love football season.

i love attempting to understand the game.
i love getting together with friends to watch fun matchups.
and i love the hype and excitement that surrounds both the big games and the players in the nfl.

as of lately, i've really enjoyed the controversy that a certain player in the nfl is stirring up: mr. tim tebow. for those of you who don't watch football, he is playing his first year in the nfl and is the quarterback for the denver broncos.

he's pretty darn good.
and on top of that, he's kinda my type of man: he loves him some Jesus..SUCH an attractive quality.
having grown up in the philippines with missionary-parents, he has a passion for making Christ known.

{dear mr. tebow: i would love to be the mrs. sincerely, anna}

i came across an interesting paper clipping on the internet earlier, and was inspired by it. if only we were faithful and courageous enough to speak up for Jesus the way we're called to..

LOVE IT. preach, timmy. and call me after football season. ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

bm dress trade-off!

i've been in several weddings these past few years. and i was supposed to be in even more, but i just couldn't make it happen financially sometimes. if you're a girl like me, you feel my pain: i now have a closet full of dresses that i may or may not ever wear again.

while browsing pinterest tonight, i came across the NEATEST idea: a bridesmaid dress trade-off website! you sign up with newlymaid, and they send you a pre-paid package to mail them your bridesmaid dress in. in turn, as long as it's in good condition, they will credit you a dollar amount off of "little black dresses" on their website. and they're CUTE!

i think my favorite is this one:

i think i might actually try this website out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

last two!

i am thankful for technology.
{love this, it's so true!! :)}

how lucky are we, to be living in a time where we do pretty much anything from a cell phone or portable computer device?

visiting my pawpaw in the nursing home, my mom asked my brother to pull up a bluegrass clip on youtube from his ipad. pawpaw loves him some banjos and guitars! lee pulled it up, and as they watched the fingers on the instrument strings, mama whispered, "that's a computer, daddy. remember when they first came out, how big they were? that flat screen is the computer."

the idea of how the world worked, before all of the luxuries we have now, completely boggles my mind. not to say that we are better, because i do think that some of the convenience aspect of today's toys is entirely unnecessary {do i really need to check facebook while at family functions, or receive emails on my days off?}; but how neat is it that it's available for us?

the doctor i work for went to africa over this past summer, to work with an eye clinic in kenya. while there, he also spent some time with the children. he said one of the neatest things was taking a photo of the children on his ipad, and turning it around so that the kids could see the photo he'd just taken. he said until that moment, those young ones had never seen a photo of themselves. how strange a thought for us, as americans!

without technology, i wouldn't be able to keep in touch with as many friends as i do. and with me being SO people-oriented, that would crush me! the idea of not being able to post on someone's wall to let them know i'm thinking of them or to post a funny memory makes me so sad..and appreciate that i am able to do it whenever i want.

i am just grateful that i live in a country and in a time where i get to be blessed enough to own as much tech-stuff as i do.

i am thankful that i will never go hungry.
{fatty translation: i'm thankful for FOOD!}

especially today: mama's making dinner and i am super excited. it's the one day a year when i get to eat as much as i want and not feel TOO bad about it..all gyms are closed today! yesss.

{how cute are these little pilgrims!?}

happy thanksgiving, y'all!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

from God, to you..and me.

just came across this, and loved it. how true!!

God bless our troops.

i'm thankful for our military.

such a beautiful song! i am so thankful that there are people in this country who are selfless enough to enlist in the military. the risk they take is the ultimate sacrifice and not a day goes by when i do not thank God for their willingness to serve.

"there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
-john 15:13 {nlt}

Monday, November 21, 2011

to whoever you are..

today i am thankful for whoever prayed me through the day. there was no reason, with everything i've been preoccupied with in thought lately, why i should have been in a good mood when 5 o'clock came around. but somehow, i was.
someone must've been praying for His grace and peace to carry me through the day, i'm convinced.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

good things come in threes, right?

{..actually i think the saying is that bad things happen in threes..but we're going to just overlook that.}

weekends seem like both the easiest and hardest times to blog; easy when i'm home all weekend, and harder when i have plans that keep me away from the house and my laptop. the past few days fall into that latter category, so i am making up for friday's and yesterday's in today's post.

there are no photos today, only my very real feelings of thanks for these blessings tonight:

i am thankful for a God who cares when i hurt and when i cry. he cares about the little things that are so specific to me, that no one else can understand them.

"what's the price of a pet canary? some loose change, right? and God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! so don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. you're worth more than a million canaries." -matthew 10:29-31 {the message}

i am thankful for godly women in my church who are my support system. these women pray for me and invest in me and i would not be where i am and have the faith that i do without their backing.

i am thankful for God's master plan. i don't understand it and sometimes that really irks me. but i find that when i feel the most frustrated in life, reminding myself that "God's got this!" is reassuring. its hard to swallow, but if i say it enough then i remember to believe it. my status on facebook tonight isn't just a challenge to myself, it's a challenge to anyone who reads it:

God has a plan. {repeat}

Thursday, November 17, 2011

song that made me smile:)

i am thankful for songs that you hear at the most random times, that bring a smile to your face because you know EXACTLY what the lyrics are talking about. :)

{preach, girl.}

had my itunes on tonight, and a song from a cd i bought way back in high school came on. so i listened to the words and it brought a smile to my face!

one day closer to you {carolyn dawn johnson}
my married friends keep askin' when i'll settle down
they tell me time's a passin' and there's not too many good ones still around
i tell them i'm not afraid to be alone
and there's no need to rush into something wrong

so i'm not gonna worry, no i'm in no hurry
it's in the hands of fate, there's nothing i can do
and it might be tomorrow, or the one that follows
got the rest of my life to look forward to
cause every day is one day closer to you

you might be in montana livin' in the hills
or you might be in virginia workin' in the mill
all i know is that i haven't found you yet
but who knows, maybe we already met

so i'm not gonna worry, no i'm in no hurry
it's in the hands of fate, there's nothing i can do
and it might be tomorrow, or the one that follows
got the rest of my life to look forward to
cause every day is one day closer to you

everyday i pray God will keep you safe
cause i know you're out there somewhere

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a little something sweet

wow, today is november 16, 2011..its an anniversary of an event in my life. i got my first kiss exactly 10 years ago tonight, during my freshman year of high school. wow, time flies! i think back to the innocence of that first kiss; girls, cherish that! one day you will look back on your high school days, and you won't miss the relationships, the situations, or the boys. but you will miss that innocence. so lock it up and hold on to it tight! i can't believe all that God's brought me through in the last decade. {oh, that almost hurt my fingers to type--i was in high school a decade ago? ahh!}

i'm thankful for dessert!

{individual mini blueberry cheescakes--in corolla, nc}

{is there anything more american? hallelujah.}

{at kuntry kitchin in lynchburg, va..i was a little worried about this one but all was well.}

i had lunch with my sweet ms. kim yesterday. we ordered dessert with our meal, and she said,
"all of our lives, we've been told to save dessert for last. why? you burn calories eating! why not eat dessert first and then your meal? we're gonna eat our dessert first today!"

i like that rule. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

eyeballs and boots.

hello, hello! how's your week going, friend?

i'm curious, is anyone doing this "thanks for something every day" challenge too? i challenged my girls last week to try it; i'm looking forward to hearing from them tomorrow. their spin on life always makes me think :)
since my monday was a little hectic yesterday, i need to make up for missing a blog. lucky you, you get 2 entries in 1!
i am thankful for having a JOB! and one that i love, at that!
{dr. e and me! summer 2010. dang, i need to go tanning again..}

for those of you who don't know, i work as an ophthalmic chairside assistant at tidewater eye centers. i've been there for about two and a half years; and since i started, i've been assigned to the same doc: dr. edmonds. where he goes, i go. what he does, i do {or assist with, anyway!}. in fact, if you're reading this and are curious about lasik, give us a call! we do it all: cataracts, glaucoma, lasik, and basic eyecare.

sure, there are days i want to throw in the towel. and days that i get a little crazy and cranky. and days that i am too easily frustrated. and days that the sight of a clinic schedule makes me want to cry. and days that..well, you get the picture. but..how blessed am i to have a job in today's economy? and not just a job..but one where i truly love who i work with, and where i have the satisfaction of knowing i'm helping patients? every job has it's frustrations; mine, as of lately, have revolved around the recent transition to electronic medical records. so it's weird that i like coming home and blogging, because i get so angry at computers all day! :)

bottom line: i'm thankful for my wonderful bosses, my amazing coworkers who are more friends and family than they are coworkers, and having a stable place of employment. and i am even more thankful that God provided me with a job he knew i'd succeed in and love, even though at the time i interviewed i didn't think i'd like it at all! ;) he's so sneaky. never thought i'd like working with eyeballs..but he knew!

i am thankful that i own a pair of cowgirl boots!
{thanks to beth hamilton photography!}

AND for the many country concerts that come to this area, so that i can wear them! :)

{allie, me, and paige--eric church--summer 2011}

{tim mcgraw! summer 2008}

{jeana and me--lady antebellum--fall 2010}

{me and paige--JASON ALDEAN!--summer 2008}

{eric church--summer 2010.}

{me, jeana, and thompson square!--sept 2011}

{same night: proof i had the boots:)}

{paige, kate, me, and taylor--darius rucker--summer 2010}

i LOVE me some country concerts. and i love my boots..maybe i'll write a song about everything i've experienced with my boots! oh, wait..

Sunday, November 13, 2011

days of thanks: day 13.

phew! is the weekend over already? where did it go!? i'm writing this entry while curled up in bed; i'm a sleepy girl! its been a fun weekend and i'm really not ready to say hello to monday yet, but i haven't figured out yet how to delay the end of a weekend. {sigh.}

today was a special day in church; one of our 10th grade guys went forward with his testimony today and was baptized. there is something so purely beautiful about a young person taking a stand for God. it just makes my heart smile! and what was super cool is that joe {see previous post} was able to be the one who led him to Christ a few weeks ago. i just love the people that God lets me do life with!

hmm, speaking of people who God lets me do life with..i guess i will introduce you to the subject of my next day of thanks entry: the lovely ms. kim. she's on my mind today because i spent the last half of my day with her.

i am so very thankful for my ms. kim!
{oct 28th, 2011--inside an organ in a church in olde town portsmouth..yes, INSIDE! cross it off her bucket list, folks.}
{this was immediately after a drizzly ghost walk through olde town..which i highly recommend!}

to say that this woman is amazing is an understatement. i have known kim since i was probably about 3 or 4..and i am blessed enough to have her as my supervisor at work. this woman has the ability to smile and laugh during hard times, and has experienced the Lord's presence in some amazing ways. {her stories give me goosebumps!} kim inspires me to wait on God, to always trust Him, and to love unconditionally. her soul is beautiful; she's the type of person who stays up late to make little somethings for everyone for a holiday, will never tell you that she's in need of something, and will offer you whatever it is you need before you can even realize you're in need.
to summarize: i am thankful for the privilege of knowing and loving someone as inspiring as my ms. kim! and i am thankful that i am able to laugh with her, cry with her, and learn how to act like Jesus from her. <3

*and ps! the last few minutes of the jets v. patriots game are still ticking away..a friend of mine from high school is playing! dad called me a little while ago to say he'd seen him on tv returning a kickoff. now, i love my colts, but i might have a new team to root for. if you're not a fan of any particular team, root for the jets..#45.
it's been a while, but i'm so proud of you josh! you've worked hard!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

bistros, burgers and bonfires.

today was truly lovely.
i was able to have brunch with my beautiful fab 5 ladies {minus jess!} at a delicious little place known as the broken egg bistro. mmm, mmm, mmm! it was so good to see my girls.

tonight, my small group from church hosted a cookout and bonfire at one of our pastor's homes. which ironically brings me to blessing #12.

i am thankful for the friends in my bible study group.
{beth and i keeping warm by the fire!}

my bible study group is led by my former youth pastor, gary, and his wife, stacey; beth, nick, joe, and i have been faithful attendees ever since we started meeting about 2 years ago. my brother comes when he's home from college, and our friends eric and justin just started coming this year. i can not do enough justice when i say how grateful i am for their friendships; especially the ladies'.

{stacey and me, summer 2009. she'll hate me but i love this picture; i love her!}

these women know so much about my life and do an amazing job inspiring and encouraging me to chase after Christ. they have laughed with me and they have let me cry on their shoulders.

..speaking of laughs..
{nick and joe, summer 2010; dressed up for a youth scavenger hunt.}

the boys always do a great job of keeping the laughs going.

{chaperones at summer camp 2009! gary, nick, and me}

to summarize what i am thankful for in regards to my bible study: their love, encouragement, inspiration, hearts of service, and genuine love for the gospel.

{one of my favorite pictures ever: beth and me, with nick creepin' in the background and an even creepier joe's eye..creepin' as usual. teehee}

thank you Jesus for putting these friends in my life to help me know You and understand You more!

i decided to add this one last photo..only because it makes me laugh.
reason #529348 i don't allow joe around me when i sleep.

{on our way to summer camp 2011}

Friday, November 11, 2011

courageous skinny-dippin' date

the title of this post is probably a little curiousity-spiking--but i just had the best evening i've had in a while. my brother came home from school for the weekend, and we had a bubba/sissy date!

we started the evening off with {finally} going to see "courageous"...if you haven't seen it yet, DO IT! grab every man in your life and drag them to it, too. it is an awesome; i'm not a father {or a parent, for that matter!} but this movie does a great job at inspiring you to be MORE. more loving, more honest, more people-driven, more God-serving. and it's a super huge rollercoaster of emotion; you cry and then you laugh, and then you cry and then you laugh. {repeat}

after the movie, we headed over to skinny dip for some frozen yogurt goodness.
hands down, frozen yogurt bars are the best dessert spot. and skinny dip takes the cake for BEST flavors of froyo. they cycle them around, so you never know what to expect {although if you look them up on facebook, they post the daily flavors!}. mmm, mmm, mmm. and in the midst of my delightful sweet tooth satisfaction, i got to have awesome conversations with my bubbadukes.

i am so thankful that my siblings are two of my best friends.
tonight particularly: i am thankful that i was able to spend some much needed quality time with my brother:)

and just so bean doesn't feel left out, i'll end with a special thanks of having a super amazing mini-me :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

music: one of my many passions

i am a lover of music. most anything - to some extent - is pleasing to my ears. i am not prejudiced against genres, beats, or tempos. that being said, i have certain definite favorites..i.e., country music.  i love how country music can make you feel what the singer feels. outside of country, i have "favorite" artists not included in the country-genre: dave barnes, tenth avenue north, and ben rector. {click their names for a listen to my favorite song by each!}

i was super stoked to discover a new group yesterday, thanks to my amazing seester. {yes, that's our nerdy little nickname for each other, please don't judge} "anthem lights" is the new group; if you listen to k-love, you've probably heard their first single, "can't get over you."

i am thankful for music; the blessing of discovering new music, the talent the good music requires, and the fact that music is something that God loves too. yep, i'm thankful for all that.
{ignore their beautiful boy-band look..the song is solid!}
{human confession: the 4th guy shown looks like edward cullen..and i like it.}
i can't stop watching/singing/getting chills over/loving this video! i downloaded their whole album, and it's pretty darn good. :) hope you like it!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

my heart is happy!

so i know i already posted today, but God is awesome and doing work in my high school girls and i just needed to share :)

my girls read my blog regularly, and one of my 9th graders was inspired to make a blog of her own. the lovely mauren just posted this blog post:

Tonights Echo group was AMAZING! It was full of Laughs,Two Awesome Leaders, My Beautiful Fellow Echo groupers, and (of course) Jesus.♥. We had a Great conversation. I'm so glad God gave me the strength to share with them. (I have Been praying about that for a while) I'm So Thankful They are in my life!(: Oh! aaannnd I'm so Happy Riley Joined our group.( : Shes Awesome!

..love this! seeing these girls growing in their faith and loving Jesus is the greatest thing in the world! my wednesday nights with them are most definitely the highlight of my week. and yes, ms. riley, we are so excited to have you with us ;) 

7-9: i have some catching up to do!

i owe you an apology: i have neglected my days of thanks the last couple of days. i'm sorry. :(

it's been a busy week so far! but without further excuses, here they are, numbers 7-9.

i am thankful for my puppy.
{meet callie!}
i have had an obsession with weenie pups for..forever. {refer to my pinterest board!} i just think their little legs, noses, and ears are the cutest thing. about 2.5 years ago, i went through a rough break-up and was relying heavily on time with friends to get me through. a good friend of mine called to cancel our plans, saying that another friend of ours had given her a dog he'd found, and she was trying to find a home for it; she didn't want to leave the dog alone at her apartment. sort of annoyed that my plans had just gotten cancelled, i asked her what kind of dog it was. when she said, "dachshund," i felt a child-like giddiness well up in me. it took a few days, but eventually she was mine. {note: she was "mine" for a matter of just a few days..she ended up living at my parents' house and became BFF with my daddy! men always end up loving those little doggies!} she's a sweet, sweet girl and i love her so much! she's a perfect asset to our family and she was the best rebound relationship ever ;)

i am thankful for the ability to laugh at myself/be goofy.
{working the youth lock-in around 2am, summer 2010. notice, this one didn't need to be as big as the other pics:)}
i am a goob. beth posted this on facebook with a caption saying something about posting it while i was out of town, so that i couldn't un-tag it. when i finally saw it, i laughed so hard and thought it was so funny that there was no way i could un-tag it. i am so thankful that Jesus puts JOY in my heart and LAUGHTER in my life!

i am thankful for God's GRACE!
{"adult vbs" notes from last summer}
i love, love, LOVE the concept of God's grace! i could never in a million years express how much i am so very thankful for the availability of grace in my life! His grace covers me..even when i don't deserve it. it covers YOU..even when you don't deserve it. reading my "crazy love" book still with my accountability partner, bess..i came across this quote from francis chan: "in the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus, his grace covers us." i love that!
Lord, i am so thankful for your grace. i am so thankful for what i have been spared from, what i have gotten but didn't deserve, and for what you are saving me for..all by way of your amazing grace.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

what a lovely sunday!

so i'm finally sitting down to take a few minutes to blog--today has been a busy one! my wonderful fall sunday consisted of church, cleaning, a members' meeting at church, followed by frozen yogurt with my mom and dad. i love date nights with them :)
church was amazing this morning; i didn't have the chance to sit in the service because it was my sunday to be in the nursery--which was a different kind of blessing. those babies are so sweet! i just love to love on them. i did, however, sneak out for a few minutes to hear my sister sing in "big church" for the first time ever. {which you can watch, too, if you click here! she's got an awesome voice, i'm so stinkin' proud of her!}

moving right along, it's yet another beautiful autumn day, meaning it's time for another blessing i'm thankful for:

i am thankful for my fab 5.
{left to right: myself, ashley, lindsey, jessica, and betsy}

i've been friends with these girls since high school. ashley is my roommate currently, but only until she gets married in june of next year. she's been one of my closest friends since we met, way back in 4th grade! i met linds and jess in high school; linds is a mommy and wifey, and jess is doing the whole school and acting thing in LA!  betsy i met in middle school but we became inseparable in 10th grade..she's married too. these girls know just about EVERYTHING about me! and we've been through it all with each other -- pregnancies, engagements, called-off engagements, moves across the country, weddings, high school, college..the list could go on.

{sentimental photo-share time..sorry but i have to!}

{told you we go back!}

{summer 2008..maroon 5 concert in virginia beach!}

{betsy's wedding day! august 15, 2009}

{christmas 2010..ugly sweater party. ignore the antlers, i do.}

{christmas..2009? i think?}

{july 2011. love my jess!}

{march 2008..betsy's 21st bday dinner..we dressed exact opposite and didn't plan it!}

{gosh..december 2006? lindsey's baby shower!}

 i am just so thankful for everything that i've learned from these girls. i am thankful that they are each a part of my life and i wouldn't be who i am without the influence each one of them has had on my heart!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

24 days of thanks: entries 1-5.

it's a total shame that today is november 5th -- {remember, remember, the 5th of november..okay, sorry. i know everyone will be saying that today!} i only say it's a shame because i just had an awesome realization that i should be blogging everyday this month, until thanksgiving, about something i'm thankful for. do i have 24 things? i'm sure i do. i know i do. but do i realize it and appreciate it like i should? that's probably a big, fat, NO. life gets in the way, i get distracted..as does everyone. this month is going to be a chance to unwind and realize just what i am blessed with. since it's the 5th, i'll give you five things today:

i'm thankful for my parents.
{thanksgiving day, 2008. who do you think i look like more?}
i have been blessed with awesome parents who love Jesus. they are the hardest-working people i know. my dad works full-time at a local news station {no, he's not on tv..he's the mastermind behind the computers!} and also serves at our church as head of the sound ministry. my mom works as a substitute teacher in the local school system; and, when i told her of how we were struggling at work with having too much to do and not enough staff, she volunteered to help us on days that she isn't at the school. my parents are amazing examples of perserverance, faith, love, and discipline. i'm so thankful!

i'm thankful for my kick-booty awesome brother.
{october 2011, band rehearsal. every day but thursday..check them out!}
i can not put into words how much my brother means to me. i simply can't. i can try, but it won't do justice. he is a constant supplier of laughs, a lover of Jesus, and the most solid person i know. lee will be graduating from liberty university this may and i couldn't be more proud of who he's become and how hard of a worker he is. he is an amazing example of work ethic, time management, faithfulness, perserverance, and appreciation of life. i am so thankful!

i'm thankful for my beautiful sister.
{october 2011, senior picture by the lovely beth!}
i am so, so thankful that i have my sister. she is a constant personal cheerleader, another supplier of giggles, and my favorite sleepover invitee. its weird that i like inviting her over to stay the night, mainly because we shared a room for almost 20 years. from the time she could first walk around and do things, she's constantly been referred to as "a hoot." she is a lover of Jesus and i am so thankful that she's my sister, and even more thankful that she is my friend. she's an amazing example of loyalty, faith, standing firm for what you believe, and unconditional love. {if she still loves me after all the mean fights we had sharing a room, that says something!} i am so thankful!

i am thankful for my 9th and 10th grade girls.

{october 2011, small group bonfire at my house. below me is savannah, and then to left and going around is mauren, kendall, and carly. there are a good number of girls who were unable to make it that night, so shout-out to alexis, ashley b, ashley h, caitlyn, emily, and hannah!}
i have been so blessed to have the group that i do this year! it is such a diverse group but these girls bond together like crazy. we've laughed and cried together; the support system they provide each other is amazing. they inspire me to do better in my relationship with Christ, and to make choices in my life that i'd want them to make in theirs. there was  time when church and God were most definitely not my first priority..or even on my radar for that matter. i've had more life experiences than i can count; but God is using all of it and allowing me the privilege to do life with these girls and i love it! i am so thankful.

i am thankful for common, everyday beauty.
{october 31, 2011. sunrise while driving across the bridge near my house}
God places beauty everywhere. sometimes we don't notice it; sometimes it requires us to really stop and look. but other times, he allows such beauty that it literally takes our breath away. i am blessed to live where i do; while its a little off the beaten path, and further from work than i'd like, i get to see sunrises like that every day! and the sunsets aren't too shabby either! the cornfields, the riverbanks, the sunrises and sunsets, the country roads lined with trees exploding with color this weekend..all of it has been created by a beautiful God. i am so thankful!