Updates from an Au Pair

I have so much to say, so many things to blog. I want to tell you all about how grateful I am to have the job I have right now- all the ups and downs of being a live-in nanny have been so time consuming, but the Lord obviously had an amazing plan. I want to share with you all the goodies I have gotten for people for this Christmas week. I want to explain more how important it is that we celebrate Christ EVERY season, so no, I don't take Christ out of Christmas, I just make sure He is in every celebration. :) I want to show you all sorts of photos [but I haven't uploaded them yet]. I REALLY really want to meet Adam Young.

Ok, I admit, that last one had nothing to do with what I was going to blog, but its true, I would be insanely excited to meet him and chat with him for a while. :)

HOWEVER, I really don't have time to talk about all that. So, I thought I'd make you a few lists [because I have discovered I am an OCLM {Obsessive Compulsive List Maker}]:

These are a few of my favorite things {right now}:
1. heat dishes
2. Christmas trees
3. music
4. Proverbs
5. joyful eyes

6. wrapping paper
7. warm scarfs and toboggans
8. hot chocolate
9. sincere hugs
10. warm blankets

Books I want to read or [re-read] {right now}:
1. Kitchen Aid mixer manual
2. christmas recipe books
3. A Severe Mercy, by C.S. Lewis
4. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
5. The Great Bridge, by David McCullough

Ok, I can't think anymore, so I'll have to finish my list later, its time for bed. 6 am wake up to get ready for the school morning. :)

Good night!

"Yay!" News

Hey! I hope you are doing fantastically today :) Im down at the beach with my parents, enjoying one last day of hearing the ocean's rumble before heading home and getting ready for all the excitement the rest of this year holds! So, I thought that before things get too crazy, I would share some fun stuff in the works:

1. Have you heard about [Jimmy Valiant: Scions of Danger] yet? If not, heres a short link to go check out what this movie is about, and how you can help them. [Link HERE] Please support this film, even if you can only help by contributing a single dollar bill. These are great, godly men who are trying to glorify God and support and encourage us with this film- we could do the same by at least supporting them, right? So this link takes you to where they will tell you about the film and then ask for a monetary pledge. According to google, the definition of the word ' pledge' is 'to promise solemnly and formally.' Blogger really isn't that formal, but here is my pledge to help these guys out: I pledge to spend whatever money I would normally spend between now and December 21st going and getting drinks at Starbucks to instead donate to the Jimmy Valiant fund on December 22nd. *Whew* By the way, this isn't some tiny deal- Im almost convinced that the Starbucks hot apple spice runs through my veins instead of blood. Im always at Starbucks, either working on my computer, studying, or having "chill-out-time"/"talk-about-whatever-is-going-on-in-our-lives" with a girlfriend or two. So whats your pledge? Wanna join me in a cut-off from Starbucks? Or make your own deal: maybe a dollar a day and two dollars a day on the weekends? Let me know what you decide to do!

2. Have you ever read the blog "Stuff Christians Like" by Jon Acuff? If you have, you are probably chuckling or at least smiling right now. He is hilarious! And he's a pk [preacher's kid] like me, so that makes him amazingly cool. ;) He and his wife and kids just moved to Nashville so he could work for Dave Ramsey [random fact] . Anyways, you should check out his latest blog post, "The Soft x." Its not a funny post, so don't expect laughter and rainbows and ponies [which he normally includes, so no worries]. But its definitely worth reading and sharing with others.

3. This is probably a crazy thing for me to admit on a social page where whatever and all of what I say could come back and bite me like a bulldog, but I don't celebrate Christmas because of Christ's birth. Ohwow. I said it. Ok, Im sorry if I offended you just then, but don't stop reading and let me explain [because I really am a nice person, I think its just the freezing cold weather thats followed me to the beach that has made me more straightforward than normal]. Christmas, to me, has never been SPECIFICALLY about Christ's birth. Why? Well, several reasons, but here are the main ones: 1. In all probability, Christ was most likely born in April. Christmas is in December. ... 2. It was never SPECIFICALLY about Christ's birth when I was growing up. Yes, we read the manger story, but we also read about His life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection. It was all equal. No one story got higher points than another. 3. We celebrate Christ, and ALL about His entire life, death, resurrection, and EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. Especially on Sunday! Sunday is the the Holy Day in my book. Christmas, December 25th, is not a holy day. It is a holiday [yes, yes, I know that holiday used to mean holy day. but now it means vacation time]. It is on par with Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Valentine's Day, Labor Day, and birthdays. Its just a bit more fun because we get to give gifts to everyone and drink hot chocolate and eat peppermint all day. To our family, it is a traditional American holiday that we enjoy together. And please don't get all angry at me because "we don't make it about Christ" or "we are taking Christ out of Christmas" because we aren't. Christ is in EVERYTHING we do - every holiday we celebrate - every breath we take- He is in all of it! So believe me when I say, Christ is still in Christmas, just like He is in every day of our lives, so we should always celebrate that! Ok, Christmas speech being given...

I can't wait for Christmas!! Yay! I am super stoked to be wrapping presents, singing Christmas carols, decorating the house, and of course, taking lots and lots of pictures with my amazing new camera! So, I wanted to share with you a new song to listen to "get you in the mood":
Peppermint Winter by Owl City! You can get it on iTunes or Amazon... :) Yes, I really love Adam Young. Here is his version of In Christ Alone, by the way, in case you are interested [link to his blog post and song here].

4. I am, again, super stoked about this blog Oh Hello Friend: You are Loved . She is always sharing great tips and lovely pics! Im pretty excited about her "twelve days of cheer" and thinking about signing up.

Ok, I can't think of anything else super pressing to share with you right now- Im going to be pretty busy the next few weeks -Im starting a job as an "au pair" [basic translation: live-in-nanny] during the weekdays for the month of December, and I will be working as a once-a-week personal assistant and am still collecting for my cookbook [send in recipes please! :) ]. Oh, and though Ive put CP! on a pause for this month, Im still studying and trying to get a few tests in before I start back in January. I could really use some prayer in that, if you don't mind.

Alright, I hope you have a lovely week, and I'll try to post again shortly!

because He lives and reigns

Wow! Post One.

Wow! I have 41 followers- how did that happen?! Last I checked, I only had 12... Thank you everyone! I hope my blog is worthy enough to subscribe to...I will try to make it that way :)

Alright, so these past two months I have been borrowing a friend's Canon 5D Mk 1, and I am in love. Its ability to capture low-light settings and its wonderful 24-105mm lens have dazzled my soul. So, I wanted to share a few photos with you to show you what I am enthralled by! [Plus, I just think they are neat pics. ;) ]

[I was going through my photos, and realized I have too many photos for just one post! So this is from the most recent backwards. Post one]

Daddy took me on my birthday date! He has done this every year since I was four, and we always go to the same place. I love it :)

Because I am trying to be a food photojournalist, of course I have more pictures of food than of people...

Muwah! I love my daddy so much. Dads, if its really the only thing you get out of this post: build an amazing relationship with your daughters. And create traditions with them. It is so important for us to know how much you love us!

Our annual picture, in front of the Swan Coach House. I love how much my father loves me!

Spent a few days with my sister and brother-in-law and their kids... Here are the three oldest [MP just wouldn't hold still long enough to get a good shot! ;) ]

Jess! We had a lot of fun painting.

'Nita! Sweetheart of the forest:)

Jaybird! Its so hard to realize she is already 9 - How has time gone so fast?

Preparing for a crazy game of Uno-never a dull moment in our family!

I went to my two cousins' birthdays: Eli's first birthday, and Jon's...birthday [sorry, Jon, I forgot how old you are now!]. [background: Jon is my first cousin, son of Wayne and Judy Rogers, also known as my uncle and aunt. :) Kathryn is Jon's wife, and she is amazing. Eli is their first child.]

Happy birthday Eli! He couldn't figure out why Mommy was letting him have sweets all the sudden. Its ok, buddy, it won't last.

Happy birthday Jon!!

Alright, check these out: Kathryn is an artist, and she MADE this cake and those cookies. You should hire her. As I said before, she's amazing! [and also, this cake was wheat-free. I know, right?! :D :D ]

Aren't they adorable?? And they tasted delicious as well [wheat free as well, I believe...].

Ok, the color looked a lot better on my computer. Sorry, folks. But its so beautiful at my house during this Fall season! It must be my favorite time of year :) Forget Christmas, I am always more excited about Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin! I love them - the continuous swirl that draws the eye to the cheery orange. Pumpkins might be one of my absolute favorite reasons to love Autumn.

Ok, doesn't this look HDR-ish to you? Its not, obviously, since I can't figure out HDR, but I really like this shot. A storm was coming, so I pulled over in my Publix parking lot and took some shots. Haha, some of those people thought I was insane. Oh well, maybe they are following my blog and now feel slightly relieved that Im not a total loon. ;)

The storm in front of my neighborhood.

At the front of my neighborhood... I love how the headlights add a different level of light in this photo.

The moon, at around 7:15 pm.

This is one of the coolest little boys you will ever meet. Meet my nephew Charlie! Here he is posing with a new cool hat of his :D

"All Aboard!" Charlie and I played trains for an hour the other day. Then I got to lay him down for his nap- sweet little boy :)

I can't believe how blessed I am that he lives near me! I need to make this trip more often.

"My train is goin' over the bridge...is your train stuck in the mud, Aunt Mercy?"
"No, Im just takin' a break, taking some pictures."
"Oh...Well, I'm still 'train'ing..."

Peek-a-boo :) Here are a few shots from a photoshoot I had yesterday:

Family shoes!

If you ever need to learn to laugh, ask these two. 5 minutes didn't pass in which one of them wasn't laughing. :)

ahh! He is so precious! I love his quizzical looks. He gives them to me often ;)

Dinner tomorrow night!

Alright, so I don't know if you are taking my mom's webinar class, but if you are, then you will know that I am gathering recipes, and writing a few of my own and am creating a cookbook, complete with my own photos of the food, and if there is a big historical background to the food, a short paragraph. If you aren't a part of my mom's class, well...now you know. :) Therefore, if you have any recipes or such you want to share with me, then please email them to me! Im going to test them out, see if they meet my standard ;), take pictures of them, and if I ever get this project off the ground, then I will send you a discount coupon for the cookbook :) And yes, I will give credit where credit is due for each recipe :) [Which means, if you send me a recipe that isn't your own, please specify whose recipe it is, either your family's, or a friend's, or even if you got it off of google, which site. Thanks!]

Sunday is my birthday- yay! I will be twenty, what a strange idea... When I was younger, I was convinced that I would die before I turned eighteen. I don't know where I got that idea, but it stayed in the back of my mind. So for me to turn twenty is a pretty big step. I will no longer be a teenager! Wow! Thus, I am hosting a small dinner at my house Saturday evening. Nothing big, just a few close friends and family, but I am thrilled. I haven't thrown a dinner myself, ever. Do you want to know the menu?


Ok, sure, I can't resist sharing ;)

Here is the layout:

French loaf of bread
Dipping Oil
Cheese & Crackers

French Onion Soup

Autumn Salad, with apple slices, pistachios, and cheddar slices

Main Course
Flank Steak
Chicken Fried Rice
Some sort of greens [either broccoli, spinach or green beans]

mini gingerbread cupcakes
Strawberry cake with cream cheese icing
A healthier version of chocolate cake, with chocolate mousse icing

'Special' Drinks
hot chocolate
hot apple cider
chai tea latte

What do you think? Does this sound yummy to you, or a course you would skip?

I hope you have a lovely day! I'll try and post some pictures on the go tomorrow :)

Dear Love

I am terrible at writing poetry, but was inspired to write "paragraph poetry" while listening to my mom's last webinar class. :) ["paragraph poetry", as I call it, is written in the form of a poem, but read like a paragraph- giving proper voice fluctuation as you would when reading a normal paragraph.]

Dear Love [also could be entitled, "A Dislike for the Letter 'L' " ]

Dear Love,
Remember me?
I thought we had met
a few times before.
However each time you dissolved,
turning into an imposter
as your paper mache mask
melts in the rain of after-tears.

Each fraud once too often,
I resent this vague description
of your kingdom
that this dramatic world loves.
Must you always disappoint in the end of your tale?
Why is the climax of your every story
really just the beginning?

I must have your wrong address;
this one presented by this mad spinning time
calls you "cupid" and "blind".
Surely you dislike this slander
to your true meaning!

Love, you yourself are a sham,
a thief, a pauper in disguise as a king.
You let men say you turn the world,
and countless dreamers lose their life
in search of your imagined wealth.
Alone, you cannot fill me with any
amount of joy. Your happiness
flitters away quickly, with no basis,
like cotton candy at a county fair.

What truth do you hold that is so invaluable?
What elixir do you fill men with, so we
devote our whole lives to seeing you?
You have never loved me.
And I, in truth, have never loved you.
I only sought for selfish gain.

Yet I know I have seen you!
You dance on the outskirts of my vision,
hiding yourself in a book
of facts and truth and life.
I find you only to be true
when I am not looking for you,
but for Him.

I am shocked at this outcome of events!
You are so unlike this universe's image.
When I look to fill my empty void
with you, I only discover me,
this empty shadow with no depth
to fill anything at all.
But when I look for Him-
Oh the splendor and the joy!
And Love,
here I find your home.


I watched some videos from 9/11/2001 today, and cried until I could not breathe. Every time I watch, its like a horror film: I try to change the ending, but I never can.
I remember where I was on that infamous day. Science class, second period. Tuesday morning, and it was a boring day. All the sudden it seemed our teacher went berserk and turned on the tv. We were sixth graders, watching in shock, and terror. There was nothing we could do- we were in GA. There was nothing we could say to those of us who had family or friends there. We couldn't get in touch with anyone.
This was all very impressionable to a ten-year old me. This was the year I became an aunt for the first time, that may. This was the year I really "entered" double digits. This year I watched over 2000 people die because we as a nation could be terrorized.

I will never forget 9/11. I hope you never do.
Dear lovelies,

Hi! I hope you are doing fantastically :) Its Monday, 3:46 am my time [EST], and I just finished a mug of Irish Cream Flavored coffee... with 3 Marshmallows on top ;) YUM.
I was [am] studying for a CLEP test I am taking later on today [10:30 am, please pray!!!!!], but wanted to share a few things:

1. Im starting a new blog! This one will still be my sporadic, mixing pot of everything and nothing, and all that consists in-between, but my new blog will be fixed to being a stay-at-home full time college student, as well as a part-time nanny, PA, house cleaner, and photographer. Oh, and Im trying to eat healthily as well. [that coffee didn't count, as I consider it a necessity right now...] Soooo.... Im trying to come up with names for my blog! Do you have any suggestions?

2. I am in love with two things right now:

cakes and pies, which therefore include cake stands and pie-plates .


cute tape! I love writing and recieving letters [ hooray for snail mail!], so this caught my eye immediately :) I even ordered a few rolls of this tape, which is going out of stock! [bummer] I can't wait for it to arrive :)

Alright, I hope even a little blurb has made you happy :) I will try and update again when I know if I passed that test!

because He lives and reigns,

p.s. for a really great couple of sermons, go to sermonaudio.com and check out my dad's sermons on Psalm 83 and Romans 9 from today :)

Sharing Time!

I am not a writer. When I was a little girl, I had tea parties with myself and my American Girl Doll, Samantha. I would dress up to be the next Indiana Jones [the Christian girl version] or Emma Woodhouse come to life. Maybe on another day I became Nancy Drew, girl detective extraordinaire! I realized when I was 5 that to be all that I wanted to be would require one of three things: 1. several life spans, like a cat. 2. A twin, or a triplet even. or 3. I would have to become an actress.
Writing never entered my mind, except perhaps playing a writer who becomes lost in a jungle of ravenous cannibals, and must use her wits to escape with the handsome explorer, who just so happened to be in the same jungle as well.
Between the ages of 5 and...17, I changed my mind. I realized I didn't have to be the next Hollywood star, or have my name in lights on Broadway to feel that I had accomplished great things. I didn't have to be the most well-loved humanitarian actress [move over, Angelina Jolie] to have a strong voice for Christ. God had placed me, not as some actor or actress's daughter, where I would automatically be loved and have several thousand pictures taken of me daily, in the arms of my parents, and with my siblings, so that I could have the best voice for Him that I could give.
But as I have already stated, I am not a writer. So I will let Jasmine Baucham explain her story, and maybe you can see where Im going. The link to her blog post is here.


because He lives and reigns,

I feel...

Ready for a green light...


God is taking me on a journey. And sometimes the mileage seems incredible, impractical, exponential. But He will never give me a burden to heavy that He cannot lift for me.

ps. today is my Grandfather, Papa C., 's birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is a hero of mine, and I shall have to do a blog post on him soon. but here is a picture until then! [this is from last Thanksgiving, 2009]

because Christ Lives and reigns,


I am so very grateful tonight for two important men the Lord has put into my life: my father and Charles Spurgeon.

This morning's sermon, taught by my amazingly blessed father, went over Psalm 78 and the multi-generational instructions on how to avoid apostasy. [to hear this sermon, visit sermonaudio.com and look for Pastor Joseph C. Morecraft's sermon on July 18, 2010 ;) ]
One of the focal points was "truth is nothing new". Truth has always been the same. Truth never changes, from one generation to the next, through all of history! you should really listen to this sermon...

ALSO, here is the preface to my favorite devotional, Charles Spurgeon's Checkbook of Faith. I was reading it again recently, and wanted to share :)

"A PROMISE from God may very instructively be compared to a check payable to order. It is given to the believer with the view of bestowing upon him some good thing. It is not meant that he should read it over comfortably, and then have done with it. No, he is to treat the promise as a reality, as a man treats a check.

He is to take the promise, and endorse it with his own name by personally receiving it as true. He is by faith to accept it as his own. He sets to his seal that God is true, and true as to this particular word of promise. He goes further, and believes that he has the blessing in having the sure promise of it and therefore he puts his name to it to testify to the receipt of the blessing.

This done, he must believingly present the promise to the LORD, as a man presents a check at the counter of the Bank. He must plead it by prayer, expecting to have it fulfilled. If he has come to Heaven's bank at the right date, he will receive the promised amount at once. If the date should happen to be further on, he must patiently wait till its arrival; but meanwhile he may count the promise as money, for the Bank is sure to pay when the due time arrives.

Some fail to place the endorsement of faith upon the check, and so they get nothing; and others are slack in presenting it, and these also receive nothing. This is not the fault of the promise, but of those who do not act with it in a common-sense, business-like manner.

God has given no pledge which He will not redeem, and encouraged no hope which He will not fulfill. To help my brethren to believe this, I have prepared this little volume. The sight of the promises themselves is good for the eyes of faith: the more we study the words of grace, the more grace shall we derive from the words. To the cheering Scriptures I have added testimonies of my own, the fruit of trial and experience. I believe all the promises of God, but many of them I have personally tried and proved. I have seen that they are true, for they have been fulfilled to me. This, I trust, may be cheering to the young; and not without solace to the older sort. One man's experience may be of the utmost use to another; and this is why the man of God of old wrote, "I sought the LORD, and he heard me"; and again, "This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him."

I commenced these daily portions when I was wading in the surf of controversy. Since then I have been cast into "waters to swim in," which, but for God's upholding hand, would have proved waters to drown in. I have endured tribulation from many hails. Sharp bodily pain succeeded mental depression, and this was accompanied both by bereavement and affliction in the person of one dear as life. The waters rolled in continually, wave upon wave. I do not mention this to exact sympathy, but simply to let the reader see that I am no dry-land sailor. I have traversed full many a time those oceans which are not Pacific: I know the roll of the billows, and the rush of the winds. Never were the promises of Jehovah so precious to me as at this hour. Some of them I never understood till now; I had not reached the date at which they matured, for I was not myself mature enough to perceive their meaning.

How much more wonderful is the Bible to me now than it was a few months ago! In obeying the LORD, and bearing His reproach outside the camp, I have not received new promises; but the result to me is much the same as if I had done so, for the old ones have opened up to me with richer stores. Specially has the Word of the LORD to His servant Jeremiah sounded exceedingly sweet in mine ears. His lot it was to speak to those who would not hear, or hearing, would nor believe. His was the sorrow which comes of disappointed love, and resolute loyalty; he would have turned his people from their errors, but he would not himself quit the way of the LORD. For him there were words of deep sustaining power, which kept his mind from failing where nature unaided must have sunk. These and such like golden sentences of grace I have loved more than my necessary food, and with them I have enriched these pages.

Oh, that I might comfort some of my Master's servants I have written out of my own heart with the view of comforting their hearts. I would say to them in their trials - My brethren, God is good. He will not forsake you: He will bear you through. There is a promise prepared for your present emergencies; and if you will believe and plead it at the mercy-seat through Jesus Christ, you shall see the hand of the LORD stretched out to help you. Everything else will fail, but His word never will. He has been to me so faithful in countless instances that I must encourage you to trust Him. I should be ungrateful to God and unkind to you if I did not do so.

May the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, inspire the people of the LORD with fresh faith! I know that, without His divine power, all that I can say will be of no avail; but, under His quickening influence, even the humblest testimony will confirm feeble knees, and strengthen weak hands. God is glorified when His servants trust Him implicitly. We cannot be too much of children with our heavenly Father. Our young ones ask no question about our will or our power, but having once received a promise from father, they rejoice in the prospect of its fulfillment, never doubting that it is sure as the sun. May many readers, whom I may never see, discover the duty and delight of such child-like trust in God while they are reading the little bit which I have prepared for each day in the year.

For long years several thousands of God's people have read my MORNING BY MORNING and EVENING BY EVENING, and many of them have been good enough to write me, and acknowledge the benefit of such a perusal. I hope this little book will not interfere with those volumes. These daily portions are gathered from a more varied range of topics, and are all the more profitable because they deal with doctrine, experience, practice, and everything else. This is a sweetmeat of promise only, and it must not interfere with the fuller meals: nay, rather, I hope it will excite a desire for them.

May our LORD Jesus accept this my service for His sheep and lambs, from

His unworthy Servant,



Ok, so I'm watching Julia & Julia again, and honestly thinking- I would like to do a blog about cooking. After all, I need to learn to cook. And right now, I won't have much distracting me :) and then I remember...
Im starting CollegePlus! this week...
My sister's youngest girl is coming to stay with us for a week...
Im a personal assistant two days out of the week...
Our denomination has a huge conference in 2 weeks...
Afterwards, Im going to visit my grandparents [hopefully!]
Then I will be traveling off and on throughout July...
All the while still doing CollegePlus!...

Where did my time go??!

To be honest, my head is spinning 'round and 'round... Time, God's most precious gift, seems to trickle away like sand from a seashore... I breathe in... I breathe out... Time lasts an eternity between... and then a glance at the clock shows three hours gone. But how precious every moment becomes when looking back in hindsight.

I don't really have much to say now. Words seem to come and go, spinning in and out.


Time is the greatest gift of all.

Today's Realization


also... Mango Sorbet + Passion Fruit Ice Cream + Haagen-Dazs = amazing bliss.

On bread, baking, and God's Redemption

Ok, so if you read this and you also follow me on fb, you know that last night I attempted to bake a loaf of whole wheat bread. You would also know that when I got the dough out of the bread mixer [just like the instructions stated!!], I thought I had failed miserably.

Even though I knew it didn't look right, I tried following the next part of the recipe: kneading, molding, and shaping.
have you ever tried to knead, mold, or shape gooey dough? FYI for those of you that haven't - it doesn't work. In fact it is SUCH a major fail that it sticks to everything its NOT supposed to stick to: your hands, your clothes, the counter top it falls on, the mixing device. And it does not come off except when you stick it under hot water and add some soap.
Obviously I had failed. Right? Well, I decided to give it one last-ditch effort. It was already 1 am- what else could go wrong? I stuck it into a loaf pan we have, then into the oven for 30 minutes. Those minutes were endless- I wanted to open the oven door and see what was going on, see if I had failed, or if maybe, just some how it was going to be alright. But I was afraid of messing it up even more, the yeast completely caving in the bread, seeing that I had truly failed, etc. Thirty minutes later:

I couldn't believe it! Even though it was obviously wrong when I put it in the oven, @ some point that clumpy, annoying, sticky-to-everything-but-itself dough had turned into a gorgeous [and yummy!] loaf of healthy bread! Sure, some of the issues from earlier were still a problem: there was supposed to be enough dough for 2 large, shaped loafs- I only had one loaf that I had to stick in a container so it wouldn't fall apart. It had obviously not risen to its full potential. I still have no idea what I did wrong. Experts could easily critique its crumbs, its density, its porousness. But I knew that it was exactly what I had wanted it to be.

Do you ever realize that this is so similar to how God molds us? He, obviously being the perfect Creator [this isn't like me, so just pretend for a minute], did everything exactly perfect. He made us perfect: in His image, we are His highest creation! and then Satan [yes, I am comparing the bread machine to Satan. just stay with me.] comes in to the picture; in fact, God has PLANNED for him to come into the picture. [this is where the analogy between me and God TOTALLY disappears. I did NOT plan for my bread to get messed up. I DID borrow the bread machine though....] And Satan opens up an opportunity, given to him by God, to mess up God's creation, and we fall for it! [in the figurative sense for us, in the literal sense for my bread.] So, from what happened in the garden of Eden, from that situation, we are all affected. just like my bread was completely effected. And God hasn't just been sitting on the sidelines. He had told us what to do in the Garden. He had put everything we needed right there. But because we had the choice, we had evil in our hearts.
So now what? Well, obviously God didn't give up. In fact, so unlike my situation with the glumpy dough [yes I made up the word. no, its not in the dictionary.], God knew exactly what to do. He sent His only Son to die on the cross for His people! He didn't lose a single part or person of those that He loved since the beginning of time. Not one. Think John 3:16 with me here.
For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in Him
shall not die, but have everlasting life.
How incredible!
And it gets even better. God doesn't just allow His people to be loved by Him. NO! He shows them, by redeeming them from this world and its people, by loving us so that we can love Him. and out of that love flows everything good about us.
AND, just like my bread, though we aren't the best by the world's standards- we aren't perfect, not gorgeous or in the perfect shape or have the world's highest IQ or be the most talented people- God has given us just the right tools we need to be the best Christian, the best God-lover-and-adorer, the most Christ like. and He hasn't just given us the tools, but He is molding and shaping us every single step of the way. And @ times we are going to have hard trials; we will go through hot times; God disciplines those that He loves! But He never puts us through more than we can bear.

God worked on both the bread and me last night: I was so impatient, wanting to check every 2 minutes. But God's timing was perfect. If I had looked too soon, the bread would have ruined. If I had kept it in too late, it would have burned. But God knew the perfect timing, and when @ last the timer went off and I checked: voila, it was good :)

Politics made simple.

This evening a shameful bill was passed, in which those who govern in our nation said "yes" to a bill which they had not had the time to fully read and study. The people of this nation are to blame, because though we started out as a republic, by the end of the War Between the States, we became a democracy. A Majority easily swayed by smooth words and promises. Tonight The United States of America has shamed itself in front of all the nations of the world. Tonight a climax came- the Heath care Bill was passed. We truly are a democratic nation now, and as such are on our way to socialism and tyranny, the likes of which are easily recognizable throughout history.
I am not afraid. God has promised to protect His people, and unlike kings and presidents and men and women, His Word will never, and has never, been broken. His promises have stood the test of time. Therefore I trust and hope in Him.

I am praying for revival. Remember II Chronicles 15:1-7. The nation of Israel was in a spiritual decline, but God gave them reform and revival! This nation will not fully change,nor will it have any slight permanent change until Gods people fall down and repent, recognizing their true sin, turning from it and living lives fully devoted to God and His Word and His Kingdom. Only then will God ever begin to bless this nation again.

Psalm 4 "Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? [selah] But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. [selah] Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, "Who will show us some good?" Lift up the light of Your face upon us, O Lord! You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

In North Carolina

Friends are a blessing from Above.

"A judicious friend, into whose heart we may pour out our souls, and tell our corruptions as well as our comforts, is a very great privilege." - George Whitefield

Today I have felt

loved. even though I'm not perfect.

Day 7

It seems rather surreal that today was the last day of the challenge! It was also rather funny, a friend sent me an email yesterday, saying, " oh, have you heard about this challenge? I think you and I should do it together..." haha and yes, it was the 7-day skirt/dress challenge :) I sent them a link to my blog...
Alright, so I meant to have really amazing astounding pictures taken, with just the right lighting, and I was actually going to clean them up a bit..and then the day got away from me. so , sorry! you shall just have to believe me when I say I really am an alright photographer! ;) actually, all these pictures this week [excluding day 3] were taken by my wonderful mother, who has been so patient with me this week!
Ok, enough chatter. here are the specs:
White tank...$3, tj maxx probably
teal shirt...eddie bauer I believe, $15.
grey skirt...april cornell, a gift from my father :)
I borrowed the cap and scarf, from the same amazing friend :)
I wore the same brown boots Ive worn for the past few days, since it has been so chilly.
red jacket...a gift from my aunt in VA :)

I have really learned a lot this week, and been very blessed by this opportunity. I learned it is possible to sled in a skirt, and do other physical activities. I learned to take time for every outfit, and make sure it goes at least fairly well together ;) God gave me a lot of grace this week, and I loved how feminine I felt, all the time :) yes, I do wear pants, and yes, often this week it would have been much easier to wear them. but God helped me persevere, and there are lessons I learned this week that I don't really know the words for. SO, thank you Esther, and thanks to all of you who did this challenge and posted blogs on it! I am so grateful to have had even this bit of a connection with you, and look forward to the next challenge posted :)

because He lives and reigns,

Day 6

Today was FREEZING! And, as mentioned beforehand, I didn't get out of my PJs until about 11 am....lol so, then I decided I wanted to go on a walk and take pictures and visit my good friend Greta [who lives about 2 or 2.5 mi away]. So this is what I came up with:

Outfit specs:
cute hat...same as yesterday's [i love this hat!!!]
white tissue shirt...j.crew, about 3 or 4 years ago
dress...[Ann Taylor] Loft, gift from a friend :)
boots...same as yesterday's!!!
cream vest...goodwill?
blue jacket...same from Day 3 :)

I definitely have a few staple items in my closet :)

hair was tied back in a loose "knot", comfy and funky :P

what do you think?

b.c He lives and reigns,

Day 5

Alright, so finally- Day 5 Pictures!!!!

it was so cold!!!!!! lol I'm such a GA girl.

So here are the outfit specs:
brown cord skirt... same as Day 3
white tank...TJ Maxx? probably about $3.
red/coral sweater...Gap, $20. not on sale, but Im in love with it :)
Brown cool beans trenchcoat...Forever21, $10. <3>
Brown boots...my mom bought them for me... :)
cream cap...my friend! shes pretty much amazing :)

ok, so its now 11:33 am on Day 6, and I have a confession....Im still in my pjs.....[and yeah..they are sweatpants.... :( ]
but Im about to get dressed for the day!!!! I just was being a lazy bum...sorry!!!!
Alright, I'll write later!!!!