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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our Story

So I shared Mary's story earlier in the week, but Pop Rocks and I are celebrating our fourth anniversary this week as well, and I thought I would share how we met.

The short answer of how we met is at church, specifically in Sunday School. But I thought I would share the long answer....

I was trying out a new church my senior year of college with a couple of friend. I walked into Sunday School and knew most everyone in the class from school. There were a few people I didn't know specifically a guy and a girl. They were sitting with each other and really hanging out with each other like good friends or, you know, a couple. Of course I assumed they were a couple and made a note. I wasn't really looking for a boyfriend as I am sure I had a crush on someone else at the time.

Well there was also a college Bible study after church on Wednesday's. I decided, at the prompting of friends, to start attending that as well. I decided to do so and since we often rode to church together I would attend the adult service each time. As you might know, the adult service is usually the first one over and so I would be the first one to the Bible study. Well Pop Rocks also attended the Bible Study and he started showing up early. We would talk and get to know each other and were becoming friends. (He was not in a couple with the cute blond girl, just really good friends, like from childhood friends.)

The spring Jr/Sr formal came around and I really wanted to attend with my friends, but they were pretty much all going in couples. I was not going to go without a date and none of the dates I thought I might have were looking promising.

One day, Pop Rocks abnormally decided to sit with our friends in chapel, His younger brother was with him. The three of us ended up walking out of chapel together. (Its odd that I was even in chapel, because I had a partial exemption that semester.... strange.) When we walked out it struck me that Pop Rocks was also invited to the Jr/Sr, so I decided to see if he was planning to go. He lived off campus and had not, in fact, received the invitation that was sent to his on campus mailbox. So I explained what it was, but he was uninterested. So I did the next best thing and asked his brother if he wanted to go with me (as friends, of course). He politely declined and out of nowhere, Pop Rocks face lit up and he agreed to go with me, as friends, of course.

I had promised to purchase my ticket that night at dinner, but got caught up talking to a friend about the whole "situation" and missed the ticket sales. I had to work the next day and was not going to be able to purchase one during the day. I was sitting in my office when my cell phone rang. It was a mutual friend of mine and Pop Rocks who, to my knowledge, had never called before....

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Part 2

This is linked to the Perspectives on Life and Love Blog Carnival at Modern Mrs. Darcy!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Call of a Coward by Marcia Moston

I love to read fiction, but for my Booksneeze book, I didn't have any fiction options. I chose Call of a Coward because it sounded interesting. Boy, was I right! I read Call of a Coward over the weekend and I was so blown away! I really didn't want to put it down. This book was interesting, engaging, and heartfelt. The best part was that it was a fun read! Moston share's her (and her family's) story of following God's calling even when it goes against all that is acceptable and sensible. 


(Via)

After Moston's husband went on a short-term mission trip to Guatemala he fell in love with "The Project" at which he worked and it just so happened that a couple was needed to oversee the home for women and children. As a family they decide to make a year long commitment to fill this need. They set off on the multi-day drive from New Jersey to Guatemala and what follows is an intriguing tale of adventure and what it means to follow God into a third world country. Moston also explains life after missions. This was a very interesting part of the story and showed how God works, if we give Him the time.

This book was such a challenge to me. I struggle to understand sometimes how God is working in my life. I don't understand the different seasons and challenges that He takes me through. I get nervous, I doubt. It was so refreshing to hear that Moston struggled with these same fears, even while in the midst of a jungle. Part of serving God is allowing Him to use us for his purpose. We have to be willing to give up comfort in order to let Him accomplish this. I know that I struggle with doing this. I was glad to know I'm not the only one. 

I would have liked to hear more about Moston's backstory. She alluded to a fantastic salvation story, but it did not get told. Perhaps she will write another book. If she does, you can believe I will read it!

I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful story and will really encourage you in your Christian walk. It will help you to realize that there is such a bigger plan than we can see or understand. It will help you think about the way that you approach Christianity in regards to everyday life and in regards to the rest of the world. Next time you are looking for a great book, pick this one up!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Merry Mary Monday: 7.30.12

This week we will celebrate the second anniversary of Mary's arrival in our life. since I have never shared how she got to be a part of our family I thought I would give you the quick run down.

So Pop Rocks and I were approaching our second anniversary and we had moved into our house earlier in the year. Pop Rocks had a wonderful dog while we were dating (an English Bulldog) and first married. We both wanted a dog, but when we lived in an apartment it was neither feasible or practical. We lived on the third floor!

Anyway, we had our own place and we knew that we could get a dog, but we also had to make sure that we could take care of a dog. Well we had been thinking about it and I mentioned it to a good friend of mine, but nothing really came of it. Plus we hadn't committed enough to the idea of it to really do anything about (like check out a shelter, etc.).

A couple weeks later the same friend and I are talking and she mentioned that her neighbor had a dog for whom he was looking a new home. He was a wonderful pet owner, but was having to travel A LOT for work and she was having to be kenneled A LOT, so he wanted her to have a better home. I perked up and asked her about it. She gave me what information she had and agreed to broker a meeting for us after I talked to Pop Rocks.

Pop Rocks and I agreed with the neighbor to meet his dog and see if she would be a good fit for our life.

We arrived at his condo the following Sunday still a bit unsure if we were ready for this big step. We knocked on the door and heard a small bark from a dog that was obviously going crazy. He opened the door and there was Mary!

She was so cute and soooooo hyper that day. We spent about an hour over there and through the course of the time we agreed to take her on a trial basis to see if we wanted to keep her. He gave us her vet information in case we wanted to get her checked out.

Well we took her over to Josh's parents (the bulldog has since passed away - it was super sad) and they liked her too! We knew by the time we got her home that she was going to stay. I couldn't have imagined being parted from her! She is so precious and wonderful and is such an important part of our lives!

Here are two pictures he shared with us from when she was just a teeny tiny puppy...


She had to grow into those ears and her bowl, apparently :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Word of Wednesday: Holy

I don't have much to say today. I wanted to share with you the lyrics of a song that has really been speaking to me lately. The song is "What Do I Know of Holy" by Addison Road and I have found a lot in that song. It is so transparent, powerful and real. Go find it and give it a listen. Let it speak to your heart.

What do I know of You who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood but on the shore along your ocean?

What I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave Life its name?
What do I know of holy of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows your name on earth and in heaven above.
What do I know of this love?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lately

I guess I haven't posted much of what I've been up to lately, so I thought I would share...

I've been portraying the "Comic Host" at VBS this week and it has been a blast! I've been a Kermit, gotten a pie in the face and worn lots of fun costumes. Tonight will be another fun night of being less me and someone more crazy! VBS has been about love - epic love to be exact. I have enjoyed the lessons I've been learning each night as I work on the skits. Real love is tough and hard to show. Real love is putting others needs before I our own. Real love is being nice to and praying for our enemies, even when they aren't nice to us!


Mary has been doing really well. Shes been kinda defiant lately, but I chalk it up to her age. She loves her daddy so much its crazy! She loves me too, at least when he isn't available or she wants to cuddle in the bed. On July Fourth she spent a lot of time with her two friends. She had a blast even if she had to take more breaks!

I've been reading a lot lately. And then reading more. I (re)discovered the joy of used book stores this past weekend. I love to read, but sometimes it takes a really good book to make me fall back in love. I hope that I can go to the bookstore this weekend and find what I am looking for. 

I had a really stressful day this week. Because of VBS I got to be with some of my best friends and I noticed as I was standing next to one of them, their presence made my stress seem to dissipate. It was a wonderful feeling. I hope that everyone has a friend like that!

 

I dressed up like a cow this morning to get a free CHIKIN biscuit and it was so worth it!

What have you been up to lately?


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

As I mentioned I read the book Divergent by Veronica Roth over the weekend. It was a fantastic book and the start of the story that continues in Insurgent. Also, I read this book by the time I went to bed on Sunday night (still in about 24 hours). If you haven't read my review of Divergent, definitely go check it out! Also, if you haven't read Divergent and plan to this will have spoilers for that book. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Insurgent (Divergent) 
(Via)

Insurgent picks up right were Divergent left off. Much like other popular YA series. We find Tris caught in a world that has completely changed. What she thought was a happy place is not and those that were most important to her have gone. She has to figure out who she can trust and how she can protect those loved ones that remain.

On top of that, Tris has done some things that she's not proud of and have left her with guilt. She has to learn to ask forgiveness and also to forgive herself. As she learned in Divergent, selflessness is often the most brave action you can take. These are important lessons that we all need to learn. I mean there are definitely things that I regret (guilt) and there are times when I am well aware of just how much courage it takes to be selfless and put others before myself.

In this novel we learn more about the factionless and what their life is really like. We also get to Jeanine, Marcus and Joanna much more closely. 

We also get to see what life is like for Candor and more in depth for life in Amity and even Erudite. I think that this was one of my favorite parts, getting to see what all of the different factions were like.

Can Tris find the forgiveness she most needs? Will she be able to trust Four with her deepest secrets? Is she susceptible to Truth Serum? You'll have to read to find out.

PS You can find me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.... In case you wanna hang out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Word for Wednesday: Love

Its been awhile since I've done a post on Wednesday. Over a month! 

Today will start VBS at my church and I am looking forward to it. We are doing a special VBS this year and the theme is Epic Love. 

That's quite a concept: Epic Love. It goes so far beyond the easy love. Its about loving others, even when it is so hard to do. Its about loving our families, but its not just about loving our families. Its about loving our friends, co-workers, community, and even world. Its God's epic love. Not ours!

There are lots of ways I could be showing Epic Love. Its hard. It has to become a way of life, not just of ideas. It is Epic Love that will cause me to be a witness to my neighbors. It will help me reach out to those we deem unreachable. It will keep me from giving up on what I know is right.  

So the question is this, how are you showing epic love in your life? I would love to hear what you are doing so that it can help me to show epic love to those in my life.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Have you heard of Divergent? Did you like The Hunger Games? My friend that supplies me with good books brought Divergent to me on Friday. She jokingly said that she figured I would have it read by the end of the weekend. I figured I wouldn't. I had stuff to do. (I was hoping to take part in the Pinterest Challenge this time.)

I finished the book about 2 am Saturday morning. Its that good. I couldn't put it down. My plan was to read about half of it and finish the second half Saturday morning. I just never got tired. 

(Via)

So anyway... book review:

Divergent is a story about dystopian Chicago. There the world is divided into 5 factions. These factions are based on different values and each member of society has an aptitude for one. At the age of sixteen all children are given an aptitude test to find in which faction they best fit. Then they choose a faction the next day. Oh and its important to remember, "Faction before blood." If these teenagers choose a faction other than their parent's they will likely never see them again.

Enter Beatrice Prior. A young sixteen year-old girl who we meet on the day of her aptitude test. The results of her test will change her life. The choice she makes for a faction will change her world, her values and how she sees herself.  

Society is changing around Beatrice and she must choose to be a part of the change or to resist it. The choice might not be Beatrice's for the making. 

This is a fast paced story that will grab you and not let go. I highly recommend it. 

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Merry Mary Monday: 7.9.12

I put Mary in bed with me the other night  and I woke up to this. She had tucked herself into Pop Rock's sleeping quarters. I guess she was wishing he was there, or she was tired of me. Either way I thought it was so cute.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank

Before we went on vacation I discovered Dorothea Benton Frank's books at the library. My family moved to South Carolina when I was twelve and I grew to love the Charleston area (the Lowcountry) when my cousin lived there for awhile. Ms. Frank grew up in the Lowcountry and that is where her books take place. 

Isle of Palms of is set on the Isle of Palms (go figure!) and is a story about finding yourself. The main character, Anna, lived on the Isle of Palms until her Grandmother made them move to Charleston after her mother's death. Anna spent the rest of her life longing for the Isle of Palms. So she finds a way to move back disrupting what had been her normal for a long time. Thus starts an intriguing and interesting tale about what is important in life and what really matters. 

I love that Ms. Frank weaves (Catholic) spirituality into her books without making them the over-the-top preaching of many religious novels. She makes you feel what her characters feel. She also uses truly local dialects in her writing - Gullah and what I call "Charlestonian". I can't wait to check out another of her books and transport myself to coast!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Fifth of July

I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day! I sure did. I spent the day with family and friends. There was a pool party, bubble blowing, and barbeque. Mary's two friends were there and those girls had the best time. I am really tired today, I think from being in the heat for so much of yesterday. I didn't get burned, but I got sapped.

Oh, I finished another book on Tuesday, so I will had a book review coming your way!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Funny Story....

We started doing Nazarene Catechism in Sunday School on Sunday. This involved reading three of our Articles of Faith. The one about Jesus mentions that he ascended. I asked the kids if they knew what the meant and they said he went up to heaven. So we were talking about how cool it would have been so see it and one said, "Yeah, I would have liked to see Jesus ride up to heaven on a cloud of doves."

Me too, buddy. Me too!