Well hello blog world, how I've missed you!!! Do you also find that it's so hard to get back into the blogging swing of things once you've been away for awhile?? I have definitely been busy. I have also had many moments of feeling a bit overwhelmed, which I have started to see as a privilege and a reason to be thankful. I'm finding that often the stresses of life are the very things that show us how much we have to be grateful for!
I'm sad I missed Miscellany Monday because that's just what I need after being away from the blog for more than a week! So I'll make this "Random Tuesday" instead:
1. I am overjoyed because I had the privilege of baptizing my friend Jessica on Sunday!!! What a special, wonderful day it was, and a powerful moment that I was able to share with her. We met last year at the school where we both taught. She has been such an encouragement to me, and I'm so thankful for her friendship. Like I told her on Sunday, I know the angels are rejoicing over her decision, and I am rejoicing with them! Praise the Lord - I am in awe of his awesome work!
2. I am somewhat overwhelmed because...Kevin and I are moving within the next couple weeks. This has previously been my opinion on this matter: Grrrr. The apartments we have lived in for 2 years are raising our lease, and it has challenged us to come to terms with making the wisest choice. This has honestly been what has preoccupied me more than anything over the last few weeks, as the unknown always seems to be an opportunity to either trust completely, or be overwhelmed with stress. It has actually turned out to be a great opportunity for Kevin and I to see God moving and answering our prayers, and to learn to come together and work as the team God intended us to be. We truly desire to be faithful to him in every way, and we have no idea what he is preparing us for. We are learning to be thankful for having to learn how to make necessary sacrifices now, and we know many more will be required in the future. And we've come face to face with how blessed we are, having way more than we need, even while often struggling with the sinful nature to want more. Without getting into lots of details, we already know God is using this part of our story to increase our faith in him, as he is showing us how He's the great Provider. So while at first this seemed like a terrible time of year to go through this, it's actually quite appropriate. Rather than grumbling my way through this season of joy and generosity, I am starting to see this is really not a bummer...it's actually a blessing that I'm truly thankful for.
3. I had an awesome opportunity to speak at a high school girls' "True Beauty" retreat a little over a week ago. It was an awesome weekend, starting with oatmeal facials! (Recipe for that to come soon!) I spoke to the girls 3 times, and I was inspired by their hearts for living for Jesus. I was also reminded what a difficult and confusing time that season of life can be, and how we struggle as women to see ourselves as God sees us: unconditionally loved, and unbelievably beautiful. I encouraged them to believe and cling to the fact that God is for them, he is pursuing them, and he has a plan for their lives that he longs to lead them through. Hopefully I will have a better recap on my messages soon! Thanks, girls, for having me and sharing your hearts that weekend! I am praying for you and was privileged to get to share my heart with you!
4. Kevin and I had fun celebrated our anniversary in Nashville...thank you for your advice on some fun things to do! It was a great time...and will get its own post soon!
5. Thanksgiving was spent at my Grandma's and we had a fabulous time. She was a beautiful and gracious hostess. While there I made a couple pumpkin rolls...yum!!! I think the best recipe is the one from LIBBY'S pumpkin, found here.. It's so much easier than you think, and it makes a great gift! (Perhaps I'll do a video blog on how I make this!) I love this time of year, and I am loving learning from all of your creative ideas how to make it even more special!!
6. Finally, I am participating in my first craft show this weekend!!! I will be so excited next week to unveil my vision for these creations with you. And I'm excited for my first experience of this kind on Saturday. That said, please forgive me if I'm absent from my blog and yours more than usual this week! Between teaching, creating, and packing, this week is turning out to be quite the adventure! :)