Monday, January 31, 2011

New Duvet Cover

Jeremy and I went to Richmond, VA last week to pick up dresses for my work, and we spent some time at this great outdoor mall after a delightful lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  I haven't been in a real Pottery Barn store in ages. (there is an outlet store close by, but they don't style the store) and I was so inspired by all the beautiful things! Oh course I found the most perfect bed with the most perfect linens, that are perfectly too expensive :) 

We then went to Crate and Barrel, which happened to be right beside Pottery Barn (this could only get better if there was an Ikea next door). I love that Jeremy enjoys going in these stores with me and that we can sit in the furniture and talk about what we like and don't like.  So much fun.  While I was in the restroom, Jeremy scoped out the clearance section at Crate and Barrel and found some AMAZING duvets! They had been floor samples and were marked down so much!  I found a beautiful khaki linen twin size duvet that I had to bring home.  Nevermind the fact that I will only be sleeping in a twin size bed for another 4 months.  Someday we'll be able to use it in a guest room or a kids room :)  At least that's how I justified it. 

oh, and to give you an update on Jeremy's interview....  we think that it went well, but it will probably be at least a couple of weeks before we hear anything.  They have another applicant to interview in a week or so.  We loved the people and the church, and are just praying that God's will be done. Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Memory Verse

Last night after Jeremy's interview, I sat down with my Bible and turned to Psalms.  I read this verse, and knew it should be my memory verse for the week.

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity"
Psalm 133:1

It is my prayer that as the search committee considers Jeremy for this job that they will have a unity about them and with us.  That we can be in one accord on the Lord's will for this position- if Jeremy is the right fit or not. 

Unity is essential for the church, and I have learned over and over that so many things can hinder that unity.  What a great reminder this verse is of the goodness and blessing of unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Please Pray

Please pray for my fiance Jeremy and I tomorrow.  He has an interview at a church in North Carolina for a youth pastor position.  Pray that Jeremy will be able to clearly communicate his passion and vision, and that if this is where God has for us, that everything would work out smoothly.  Also pray that we don't get our hopes up, but wait patiently for an answer, and follow wherever He leads. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chalkboard Menu

I picked up this frame at a local antique shop the same day I got these. I plan on making a chalkboard menu for the wedding reception out of it.  One goal I have for our wedding is to use mostly decorations and items that I can reuse in our home after the wedding. This is a perfect example of that.  After using it at our wedding reception like this:

I hope to use it in our home like this:

Or like Aliesha's lovely black chalkboard menu in her kitchen:

I am so eager to get this project underway, but I am worried it is too cold outside to spray paint, and we don't have a garage or basement where I could do it.  It snowed yesterday so I at least have to wait until the snow melts.  Do you have any suggestions? This will be my first time using chalkboard paint, so I'm a little nervous I'm gonna mess it up.  Also, do you think I need a primer?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I started a new Bible Study with the women's ministry at Thomas Road Baptist Church this week. You may or may not know this, but I graduated from Liberty University with a degree in women's ministry about a year ago.  I started going to the women's Bible study while in school ever so often to "learn".  Not necessarily learn from God, but to learn the organization and function of a Bible study with that many ladies (we run close to 300 each week I think!). It was a classroom to me, a learning opportunity for later in life when I am hopefully able to lead a women's group. 

But not this time.  This time I just feel the deep need to connect with other women, the deep need to spend time in corporate worship, and a deep need to hear from and experience the presence of the Lord.  On Sundays mornings, I serve at our local church with the children. We don't have a Sunday night service, and Wednesday nights Jeremy leads the youth and when I'm able to get there from work, I work with the children again.  I depend on my personal study of the Word to be fed and filled.  But sometimes you just need to worship, pray, study, and reach out with others.  That's what the church is for- for the edification of the Body and for bringing others to the sweet knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior.  It is refreshing to have a time each week where I can get that.  That's what women's ministry is all about.  Meeting the needs of the women right where they are at. 

I am so looking forward to the coming months of studying Priscilla's Shirer's newest Bible study, Jonah with the lovely women at my new table group.  I was so blessed and inspired by these ladies already, and I just met them on Tuesday! I am confident God has some amazing lessons to teach through this new study.  In it, Priscilla talks about the interruptions that come in life and how we should view not as interruptions in our plans but instead as Divine interventions and as an opportunity for God to do far greater than we could have ever imagine.   Sounds a little like Writing in Pencil

I can't wait to share some of what God reveals!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memory Verse

I didn't get a chance to post my memory verse for the week on Sunday, but here it is: 

"Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness".
1 Timothy 4:7b

This verse has already been a help to me this week as I make food choices, and even just life choices. So many times we debate within ourselves about something that we know we shouldn't do, but we desire to do in our flesh. This verse is a wonderful reminder that we have to practice discipline and self control because the end goal- godliness- is much greater and much more satisfying that what is in front of us at the moment.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Goodies

I picked up some pretty new serving dishes and a sweet vintage tablecloth last weekend.  The cake stand and serving plate came from TJ Maxx.  The cake stand was only $12 and the plate was $7. I love them and think they match perfectly with our new dishes.

I have an affinity towards vintage tableclothes and couldn't resist this one for only $3!  I used them to set up a few snacks for us at my recent wedding project workday where we made the wedding invitations.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wedding Invitations

Tonight I had another wedding project workday with my roommate and good friend Chrissey.  We finished making all of the wedding invitations!  I’m all about DIY for the wedding, and the invitations are no exception. 

I used a “print at home” invitation kit that came with 50 invitations, 50 reply cards, 50 envelopes and 50 reply card envelopes. I bought them because they had the perfect blue envelopes, and decided to print our invitations on the white back side of the invitations from the kit.

I started out with two of these invitation kits. They were only $4.99 each!  Ollie’s is amazing!100_0874

100_0876I then wrote up my invitations on Word and printed them out on the backside of the invitation using my regular ole’ printer. 

We trimmed them down a little so that I could make a border using a sand colored paper that I picked up at Michael's.  I left a space at the top of the invitations to put a stamped seashell.


My roommate and bridesmaid, Sarah, showed me about a year ago how to emboss with rubber stamps and I loved it!  I decided to emboss a stamped shell on the invitation.  Embossing gives the images a raised texture and makes it shiny. 

Here is Sarah embossing tonight…


And Chrissey using the heat gun to make the embossing powder melt and raise.  It’s so cool how it works!


I put the finished invitation on the sand colored paper and then tied a raffia bow around them. 


And this is how they turned out!


I’m really happy with the finished product, and so thankful for the girls for helping me out.  We knocked them all out in a few hours tonight.  I had been working on addressing the envelopes earlier this week so I was able to go ahead and stuff the invitations in the envelopes.  Now I just have to figure out a design for the reply cards and they will be ready to be sent out in April!  I’m happy to be ahead of schedule and getting projects done early.  Hopefully this will make the last few months less stressful!


Only 147 days until the wedding….it’s getting close!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Old Blog…Fresh Lessons

I “started” a blog about a year and a half ago, different from this one.  I wrote about 5 post and haven’t really thought about it since.  I remembered it the other day and went to look at what I had written back then.  I thought I might share a few of the posts with you here. 

The first one is “The Thrill of the Hunt- Lessons from Shark Teeth”.  Let me preface it by saying that my family LOVES to hunt for sharks teeth while we are at the beach.  There is just something about it that is so exciting, especially when you find a really good one.  Here are some photos of my dad and I hunting sharks teeth this past summer.



Here was my largest tooth that I found last year.  The picture is blurry because there was salt on the lenses- whoops



Adding to our collection…


Here is what I had to say back in 2009…

So this week I am at the beach with my family at Kure Beach, NC. If you know me well, you know that I am pretty obsessed with finding sharks teeth. Like tons of sharks teeth. Last year our family found 1400 teeth, our goal this year is at least 1500.

When I was out looking for teeth today, I thought about a lesson that could be applied using this illustration. When you look for sharks teeth, you have to look closely, carefully, and continually. There are so many times that you are just standing in the water looking around, knowing that there are probably about 100 teeth all around your feet but you just can’t see them because of all the sand and pieces of shells. Some times you just think you should give up because they aren’t there.  But I know they are because of my past experience.

It reminds me of my relationship with God. Sometimes you just can’t see God working in your life. Sometimes it feels like He doesn’t exist. But my past experiences reassure me otherwise. Just like you can find sharks’ teeth if you look hard enough, you have to seek after God. Sometimes you are in a time in your life when you don’t feel God and His presence, but Scripture tells us that we can seek God and find Him if we seek Him with all of our heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-13) Enjoy the journey in your walk with the Lord, and enjoy the “thrill of the hunt” of seeking after Him.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bedroom Inspiration

A major purchase that Jeremy and I will have to make soon will be our bed.  Throughout the years I have been collecting inspiration photos and here are some of bedrooms.  I’m drawn to a few different types of beds: metal canopy beds, dark wood beds, and painted white beds.  I showed Jeremy these pictures last night and asked him which type he likes the best.  He picked dark wood, so dark wood it is.  I love the contrast of dark wood with crisp white! 

I’ll now be scouring Craigslist and some local shops for our perfect bed at a perfect price, but until then I’ll share some of my favorite inspiration photos for bedrooms.  If I know the source, I’ll post it under it.



c0d0cac4e600 beachy-bedrooms-seashell-curtain-l 



Image Source: Pretties and Posies




Image Source: The Nester

Image Source: Click photo for link

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lessons fom Ruth Bell Graham- Part 2

Yesterday I shared some lessons from "It's My Turn" by Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham.  Today I wanted to finish sharing some quotes from the book that really stood out to me.  Hopefully they will encourage and challenge you as well. 

"After my first date with Bill, I knelt and said, 'If You let me share his life, I'll consider it the greatest privilege in the world'."

"Don't feel greedy if you want him home all the time (likely as not, you won't have him all the time).  And don't feel guilty if on occasion you're glad to see him go.  He's probably secretly glad too.  Not for keeps, you understand- just for a breather.  It's what Kahlil Gibran refers to when he says, 'Let there be spaces in your togetherness.'

"Every mother should have at least one Christmas baby. It makes one feel very close to Mary."

"Self indulgence is doing what we want rather than what we ought.  I had always thought of self-control applying to temper or to drink.  But what about the almonds in the pantry, the ice cream and chocolate sauce, the candy which I know will add unnecessary pounds and make my face break out?  What about controlling my tongue?  My tone of voice?  Standing up straight? Writing letters?  All these and many more need controlling."

"If only God will enable me to tend to the possible, depending on Him for the impossible"

"The home should be a place of quiet peacefulness.  This responsibility falls squarely on the mother's shoulders.  Uncomfortably, whenever Proverbs speaks of nagging, it is the woman to whom Solomon is referring.  There is no way around it.  The woman creates the atmosphere of the home."

"Perhaps it could also be said, 'A good mother is one who makes it easy for a child to be good'".

"I have but one desire for Bill, for our children, and for myself, that we be men and women of God.  I lie awake nights loathing myself for the person I am, fearful and worried that I cannot bring up this family as I should.  And I can't.  I am a weak, lazy, indifferent character casual where I should be concerned, concerned where I should be carefree; self indulgent, hypocritical, begging God to help me when I am hardly willing to lift a finger for myself; quarrelsome where I should be silent, silent where I should be outspoken; vacillating, easily distracted and sidetracked...  All that I am not, He is; all that I am and should not be, He forgives and covers."

"Never let a single day pass without saying an encouraging word to each child.  Particularly wherever you have noticed any- even the slightest- improvement on some weak point.  Some point at which you have been picking and criticizing.  And never fail to pass on any nice thing you have heard said about anyone, to that child."

"Quit studying the problems and start studying the promises"

"I learned that worship and worry cannot live in the same heart.  They are mutually exclusive"

"I have started many a day with [the] simple prayer, 'Lord, what can I do to help You today?"

"For me, spiritual dryness usually follows an extremely busy period.  air must be still for dew to fall, and I was anything but still"

"It could be merely a piece of plywood stretched cross two sawhorses. But have a special place for Bible study that doesn't have to be shared with sewing or letter writing or the paying of bills."

"When we were in school, we always kept a notebook handy to take notes on the professor's lecture.  How much more important is it to take notes when God is teaching us"

"If a busy housewife has to clear off a spot for Bible study during a crowded day, she is likely to put it off.  But if she has a place where he Bible is always open and handy, whenever there is a lull in the storm she can grab a cup of coffee and sit down for a few minutes or more of pure refreshment and companionship"

"Buildings fall into decay and eventually disappear.  The transformed life goes on forever."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lessons fom Ruth Bell Graham- Part 1

For Christmas I received a copy of "It's My Turn" by Ruth Bell Graham, evangelist Billy Graham's wife. It is a great easy read and is full of practical wisdom and advice for wives and mothers.   For my own benefit as much as yours, I am going to share some of the bits and pieces that I highlighted when reading it.  There is so much to share that I'll break it up into two posts. 

I know there is a lot, but there is so much to learn from this amazing woman of God.  As Jeremy is applying to youth pastor positions, I've been thinking a lot about being the wife of a man in ministry and what that will mean for our family.  It will be an amazing privilege to serve along side him, but I know that there will be challenges.  Who better to learn from about marriage, ministry, and family than the wife of Billy Graham?

"You have heard from one who has had  generous portion of the earth for his parish.  You are about to hear from one who had their home and their five children for hers.  The size of the parish is immaterial. But the message and the goals have been essentially the same."

"I have learned much from others.  But I have learned the most from an old, eternally contemporary Book and its Author."

"One's spiritual survival and growth is not necessarily dependent upon one's rots, or the environment within which one grows:"

"Daddy and Mother were of the strong opinion that life is a battleground and that home life and schooling should be the training ground"

"If God could be reached only through intellect, then where would the brain damaged, the mentally retarded, and the little child"

"True scholarship and deep love for God frequently going hand in hand"

"Gently, tactfully, persistently, I tried to suggest and then to persuade Bill that perhaps he, too, should go to Tibet as a missionary.  It was obvious that I was doing the calling, not God.  Weeks passed.  Finally Bill turned to me: 'Do you believe that God brought us together?  I did-unquestionably.  'In that case,' Bill said firmly, 'God will lead me and you will do the following.'  And I have been following ever since."

"When two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary."

"It is good to know how to disagree and when [with your husband].  Here are a few suggestions out of my own experience: First, define the issue (and make sure it is worth disagreeing over); next, watch your tone of voice and be courteous (don't interrupt, and avoid rude, unkind, or unnecessarily personal remarks); third, stick to the subject; fourth, stick to facts; and fifth, concede graciously.  As for when to have a disagreement, this takes both sensitivity and ingenuity on the part of the wife as well as the husband.  For one thing, it is not wise to disagree with a man when he is tired, hungry, worried, ill preoccupied, or pressured. Nor does it pay to argue with your husband unless you are looking your very best.  And avoid arguing when you are boiling mad over some issue."

"Adapting to our husbands never implies the annihilation of our creativity, rather the blossoming of it"

"Young husbands seldom mean to be cruel, but being new at the business of marriage, and unable to see things the way new brides do, they can be thoughtless"

"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.  And after the forgiving comes laughter, a deeper love- and further opportunities to forgive"

"A woman assumes the household responsibilities to free her husband for his"

"Pity the married couple who expect too much from one another"

"It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision.  Such expectations put a man under impossible strain."

"God created us to be a 'help meet' for our husbands...Since every man is different, needs will vary.  So it is up to the wife to study her own husband to discover how she ca best meet those needs.  And she is to adapt herself to him.  Now, this takes skill and imagination.  It keeps a woman feminine."

"Too often, early love is a mirage built on daydreams.  love deepens with understanding, and varying viewpoints expand and challenge one another.  So many things things improve with age.  So it is with marriage.  Those who abandon ship the first time it enters  storm misses the calm beyond.  And the rougher the storms weathered together, the deeper and stronger real love grows."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Homemade Wheat Thins

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ Tbs sugar (or honey)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
4 Tbs butter
¼ cup water
¼ tsp vanilla
salt for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease cookie sheets

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Cut in butter- a fork works good to do this if you don't have a pastry blender
3. Add vanilla and water and mix together well.  (If you are using honey instead of sugar, mix with the water and then add)
4. Divide dough into 3-4 balls.
5. Flour surface and roll out dough (make sure you roll out as thin as you can)
6. Cut out cracker shapes using a pizza cutter. 
7. Place  the cut crackers on a baking sheet.  (You can crowd these together, they don't expand while baking)
8. Using a fork, poke holes into the crackers. 
9. Bake the crackers for about 10 minutes
10. Let cool to crisp


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our Save the Date Postcards

Because everyone coming to our wedding will have travel, we decided to send out Save the Date cards so people who plan to attend can be making plans to go to the beach this summer.  I made the signs before we went using some old scrap wood and painting them a pale blue.  The lettering was suppose to be brown, but it showed up orangish in the pictures- oh well. 

I created our Save the Dates using one of our engagement pictures, and made them into postcards. We did postcards to save money on postage.  Such an easy way to save since postcard postage is about half that of regular stamps.  My favorite part is the vintage postcard label that I found at Martha Stewart weddings.  I added our information in using Paint (I can't figure out photoshop or gimp, and didn't know how to save as a jpeg file in Word, so I had to go old school and use the Paint program).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Biggest Loser

Do you watch The Biggest Loser?  I love it- it is so inspirational!  As I told you here, one of my new year's resolutions is to loose 15 pounds by March 23.  Watching The Biggest Loser helps to movitate me and helps me realize that it is possible, if I'll put forth the effort.  I think they should play it all the time in the gym when I work out, it would make me do alot better I know! 

The new season just started, so if you haven't watched it should start!  It comes on Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC. Last night was only the 2nd episode and you can watch the first two online to catch up before next week.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sweeney's Curious Goods

Downtown Lynchburg is a treasure trove of beautiful antiques shops and unique finds.  There is store that captured my heart the first time I ever came to Lynchburg to visit Liberty University, almost six years ago now.  That store is Sweeney's Curious Goods.  It's an old hardware store and has 3 floors of architectural salvage. 

                                                                       Columns and mantles...

Beautiful old woodwork....


                                                               HUGE, beautiful old doors....

Tons and tons of doors....

Remember when I told you that one of my "house dreams" is to have an old chippy door?  Well, I think this  is "the one".  I plan to use it at the wedding (more on that later) and later for decoration in our home.  Now if I can just make myself spend the money to get it!

                                  Every where you turn in this place, there are more doors!

Stained glass windows....

  I even loved this old industrial fan...

                                                        There is an entire section of windows....

                                               And these feet for claw foot tubs are fabulous!

It is one of those shops that you see people on design shows go to and think to yourself, where in the world are shops like that? 

Too bad it's pretty expesive.  And that I have no where to put 99% of the stuff. :)  (With the HUGE size of most of the stuff, I don't know who would.)  I'm content being a window shopper though :) 
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