Song for the Sabbath

I absolutely love this song.  Several years ago I use to sing it over and over as it blared in my car.  Such a great cry out to a merciful, wonderful God.

"Mercy, weep over me, let your tears wash me clean.  Majesty, be merciful to me for my eyes have seen holy."



Do You Know Him?

Last night's message was powerful, and the worship was awesome.  Kyle Idleman, one of the two truly godly men who pastor and lead our church, reminded us that when we are offered and receive the free gift of salvation, we are the ones who need to be humbled and realize what an incredible, undeserved relationship we are given.  We are not doing God any favors...he is God.  He said God doesn't need us, but he so passionately wants us.  We are called not to merely "become Christians," but to be fully committed, dying to ourselves Christ followers.  We should be on our knees in unbelievable, unspeakable gratitude, much like I believe we will be when we are in heaven, meeting our Maker face to face.

This is the part my mind has settled on over the last couple days.  Think about that moment.  If you have given your life to Christ and are looking forward to an indescribable eternity in paradise with him, let me ask you this question.  Do you really know him?  I was pondering this on my way home from work yesterday, reflecting on if I have really sought after him lately; if I have spent any intense, intimate time with him that would grow our relationship.  I started thinking about how I have loved him for as long as I can remember, how I am constantly learning and longing to completely trust him, and how he has been so faithful to me...and how I think I know him.  Then I was convicted.  I imagined being on my knees before him, in a speechless awe of his great love and even greater glory, and feeling like a stranger.  Not because he didn't know me.  But because I had neglected to use the few, short years he has given me on this earth to really get to know him.  And there is nothing that would break my heart more.

Matthew 7:21-23 says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

Never, ever do I want to see the day when God would say, "I never knew you."  Yet one thing is for sure.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He remains who he is and his pursuit of me will never cease.  He invites me in to know him and experience the fruitfulness of a lifetime of following him.  He promises that it won't be easy; that the pain and difficulties will be certain.  Following God rather than cheering for him like a mere fan will always be the harder road.  But he also promises that the joy of walking with him offers so much more than any short-term happiness and comfort we so desperately try to attain here on earth.  Still, I must choose to follow him and seek after him.  I must choose to delight in him, pour over, and be changed by his living and active Word.  I must choose to call on and access the power of the Holy Spirit inside me.  I must be quiet, get alone, listen for his voice, and receive the love he longs to pour out all over me.  And I must submit to what he wants for me and the way he calls me to love, even when my selfish pride, narrow plans, and defensive ways make it incredibly difficult.  Not because I have anything significant to share on my own.  But because Christ in me has much to share for his glory.

Then, on that beautiful day, I hope and pray I will stand before him, tears spilling down my cheeks, recognizing a peace I have only longed to know, as I will lean into his wide, open arms that have been waiting for me since the day he made me.  Fully realizing that the most important relationship I have ever experienced is now before me.  And I will know him...not because I have devoted my life to him and tried my best to love him...but because I will have walked with him, and talked with him.  And I will have been in those arms before.

God wants you.  He is seeking after you.  He so passionately loves you and wants you to call on his strength.  He knows you.  Do you know him?

"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9


Not a Fan - Night of Revival

Our pastor started a movement last year called "Not a Fan," calling Christians to be truly, committed followers rather than just fans of Jesus.  Tonight he is hosting a "Night of Revival," where he promises to challenge whether you are just a fan or a true follower when it comes to your faith.  Whether you have believed all of your life or don't know if you believe at all, this will definitely be a night you do not want to miss.  After launching it here tonight, he will be traveling around sharing this message all across the country.  If you live around here, be sure to come join us tonight!

What: Not a Fan Night of Revival
Where: Southeast Christian Church
When: April 21, 2010 7:00-830


Book Fair Fun

This week is the book fair at my school, which just means that these big silver book carts are rolled into the library and explode with new books for the kids (and their parents!) to drool over and buy.  It's a great feeling to take the kids to preview the books and see them get excited about reading.

As an avid reader and a bookstore lover myself, my heart also skips a beat or two when I am surrounded by new books with crisp pages and brightly colored illustrations.  And children's books are something special.  I love the creativity put into these books, and many also have a sweet message.  As a teacher, I also see first hand what a difference reading at home makes for my kiddos.  So today I thought I'd share a few books that have caught my eye recently at the book fair or Barnes and Noble, and a couple of my favorites that I consider must haves.  Happy reading with your little ones!

This is a new book about a sweet little boy named Liam and his garden.  Very cute!

Always a true classic.  I love the illustrations in this one!

My mom bought me this at the beginning of the year and it's so sweet.  My kids love to read it!

This is another new one I saw at the book fair that has a simple message about liking your unique self.

I saw this in Barnes and Noble and thought it was too cute.  I was the little girl who was always complaining about it being too tight, too itchy, too uncomfortable, etc.  So I can relate! :)

Max Lucado is an amazing story teller, and I especially love his children's books, starting with You Are Special.   This is his latest, sharing a message to kids about how much they matter, just the way they are.

This book is just hilarious to me, and so cute.  And as a girl who doesn't always succeed in being the first to say "sorry," I can appreciate this one!  I'm sure it will come in handy when I have my own little mini-me running around as well!

I learned about this book when I was in school to be a teacher, and it is simple but wonderful.  Especially if you have a little one who struggles to see the beauty in his or her own abilities and gifts.

An obvious classic for my family.  My mom loved reading this to us when we were young.  So fun!

Finally, one my most favorite authors wrote this one.  It is a sweet story about how we often celebrate the "firsts" in life but many times we forget to notice the "lasts" before little kids grow up.  Love it!

(All these books can be found at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com)


Song for the Sabbath

I heard Steven Curtis Chapman in concert last night, (thanks to some very generous friends!), and it was a treat as always.  I love his honest music and incredible heart for God, which has been tested and strengthened by the devastating loss of his 5 year old daughter Maria Sue, almost 2 years ago.  He talked a lot about the strength they have had to draw from God as well as the comfort they have found from the hope and assurance that they will one day dance with her again.  They have an incredible adoption story and a foundation that helps others along the journey of adoption.  God has grown a huge place in my heart for this hopefully to be part of our family's story one day too.  He wrote the sweetest song about the experience for children who long to be loved and received into a forever family called "When Love Takes You In."

Awhile back I talked about his song, "Be Still and Know," as being one of my absolute favorites to bring me to a place of peaceful surrender and worship, and to remind me how very powerful God's love is for me.  I hope you have a sweet Sunday today, and at some point you have an opportunity to be still and know his love for you too.


Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Welcome "Ultimate Blog Party" participants!

If you are here for the first time, thanks for visiting! (If you read regularly, thank you too!) 

My name is Page and I am a wife to an amazing man named Kevin, a first year teacher to a class of 3rd and 4th graders, and a mom to a sweet 6 yr. old shih-tzu named Chai. I started this blog a few months ago when I turned 29, as a way to journal the adventures of the "countdown" to the big 3-0! It has become my creative outlet for sharing my heart for God, my passion for writing, my adventures in marriage and teaching, fun finds, favorite recipes, and the beauty of it all! Here are a few highlights about me, my blog, and my life of 'crazy joy'!

My "Honey-Love" - I love my husband like crazy, and we daily try to live a life that reflects our intense love for God and His crazy love for us!  I waited 27 years to meet the man of my dreams, and I am so thankful for the beautifully divine way we were brought together.  We met on February 10th, 2008, and were married November 16th that same year!  It's been a fun and wild journey ever since. :)

My culinary side - I love to create all sorts of deliciousness!  My secret dream job is to be a pastry chef or chocolatier!  (A.K.A. to become a mom and make some seriously sweet treats!) :)

All things cute and creative - (I would love to add 'crafty,' but I am a work in progress on that one!)  I LOVE the creativity that runs around on this blog world!!!  I am constantly inspired and amazed by the gifts and ideas of others!  Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

For the love of family and friends - I am blessed beyond measure by the people I love and get to share life with, and who (thankfully!) love me through it all!

At the heart of me -"Crazy Joy" - I have a heart that beats for God and has since he started pursuing me as a little girl.  He has been faithful throughout my life as he has provided for and taught me how to trust him with everything.  

The idea of "Crazy Joy" came from my own experiences as well as those close to me who have endured many times of trials and heartache,  yet have realized that when we place our hope in God and receive his great love for us, we will be able to experience an "inexpressible joy," and a peace that passes all understanding.  For that I am so very grateful.  I pray constantly that God would use me and what he's done in my life to be an encouragement and source of strength for others.

Thanks again for stopping by!  I would love for you to follow along and share with me your own 'crazy joy' journey! 

 Enjoy the party! :)


It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a ??

Whatever this thing is, I'm a fan.  I certainly have an appreciation for whoever was so creative to think of this great flying contraption!  Kevin, Chai, and I were outside our apartment last night when this suddenly floated into view.  Looks like a fun way to enjoy the sunny day!


The Beauty of Brushes

Yesterday I received  my new Real Simple magazine in the mail, which is always a happy moment for me.  This month's turned out to be particularly enjoyable because it's loaded with all the latest hints, tips, tricks, and recipes a girl could want.  Sometimes I think it's a little light on practicality, but this one is the Spring issue, which means it's filled with all things cleaning, decorating, cooking, and beauty.  One particular article on makeup tips inspired this post on my most favorite aspect of makeup...the brushes.  If your first thought was that you've never even thought of using brushes, then this one's for you.

Five years ago, after my first 5 years of college, (when I still didn't know what I wanted to do with my life),  I worked at Sephora for about 2 1/2 years.  While retail and mall hours were less than desirable, there were some aspects that were quite fun...like the access to everything you could ever want to know and learn about more than 200 of the most fun (and expensive!) brands of makeup out there.  I quickly learned the importance of a great brush in your make-up bag.

So I thought I'd share my most favorite brushes that I have found make all the difference...and that I thankfully bought when I had the discount!  Although I love mine, in recent years it seems like Target has picked up some much less expensive but seemingly quality ones as well.  Either way, if you are a fan of having fun with your makeup, you will be amazed at what a difference great brushes can make!  For long lasting brushes, just make sure to clean them with a gentle cleanser every couple weeks, (bristles facing down under running water), and lay them flat to dry!

Foundation brush by BECCA (so much better than fingers or a sponge!):

Powder and cheek brushes by Paula Dorf (my absolute favs - and ones I seriously had to save for - amazingly soft!) :


All-over eye shadow brush by Sephora (great for base color and all-over blending - and the one to choose if you're only going to choose one!) :

Eye crease and bullet brushes by Smashbox (great for adding darker colors and definition to the crease and corners) :

Secret camouflage concealer brush by Laura Mercier (love it!) :

Velour puff by Laura Mercier (just because it's the best way to set your makeup and get that finished but "glowy" look) :


More of You, Less of Me

Holy Spirit Have Your Way
from Leeland's "Love is On the Move"
I am loving this beautiful, powerful song.  (Click on the title to hear it.)  Talk about some crazy joy!  It's especially meaningful to me after I spent the last several days with my sweet grandma, helping her heal from a heart procedure that she needed after having a mild, yet scary and unexpected heart attack last week.  As I have shared several times before, I love my grandma so much, and I'm thankful for the dear, sweet friendship we share.  Her wisdom and love are always such an encouragement to me, and God continues to write the story of her life in a beautiful, unique way, with each new day He gives her.  I loved the time I was able to spend with her these last few days, and I treasure each story of her fascinating life she shares with me.  My gratitude for having the privilege to be her granddaughter was certainly renewed, and my perspective on all that we worry and complain about on a daily basis in this temporary life was most definitely challenged.

God also did a seriously powerful work in me as my heart broke hearing my incredibly independent and strong grandma cry out to Him, through tears, to help her and heal her because she could not do it on her own.  She was in some serious pain, and felt at the end of herself or her own strength.  It was difficult for her to let me help her, as she was in a place she has never been before; a place of complete dependence and need.  And I felt thankful, more powerfully than ever before, for the blessing of every moment we are graciously given to spend with those we love here on Earth.  Grateful also for the daily things we are able to do that we so often take for granted, like painlessly walking across a room.  Talk about humbling.

Yet this is the place God wants us in each and every day...admitting that on our own we can do nothing, and realizing our desperate need for Him.  Today my grandma is starting to feel better, and she is seeing the fruit of her faith and prayers for healing.  We talked about this circumstance that God has used to build an even deeper relationship with her, (and me for that matter), and how the opportunities we are given to trust Him allow Him to show us how much He truly loves us.  This experience forced us all to trust Him completely.  A couple months ago our pastor encouraged us to pray one simple prayer daily and continually.  I encourage you to do the same, as you too realize your desperate need for Him, and His amazing ability and delight to provide.  (I love you Grandma!  I pray you find strength in this prayer also, and that you feel God's great love for you through His comfort and peace.)

"More of You, less of me, fill me with your Spirit."


Pink Party Planning

Currently I am having fun trying to plan a lovely and oh-so-girly baby shower for my friend Traci.  Like I shared in her story, she is having her 5th child and 1st girl!!!  And she's only 2 months away!  Bring on the "pretty in pink" princess love!

Here's a look at my inspirations thus far from some fabulously creative blogs....


Vinyl Love

I am loving Janey Mac's wall art vinyl!  A great alternative for a "commitment-phobe" person like myself to decorate in a super-cute, non-permanent way.  Here are the few that I am loving right now.  Definitely makes me want to start decorating a baby's room or something!  Guess I better get working on that baby part! :)  Check out these designs and a whole lot more in their Etsy shop!