Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Year of Thanks

Well... it's Thanksgiving week. The one week of the year where most people pause to give thanks for everything they've been blessed with-- we should be giving thanks daily though!! Anyway, as I reflect upon the year and the many blessings that have been bestowed upon my family, I can't help but grin! It's been a big year, HUGE year and I have so much to be thankful for.
Blessings since last Thanksgiving:
Last December one of my cousins came to know the Lord. She called me out of the blue one day and wanted to talk about salvation. Praise the Lord that I have a new sister in Christ.
In January, my newest cousin arrived in the world. I was in the room with Erin when Harper Anne took her very first breath.
In February, I was blessed to celebrate yet another birthday. My kiddos at FBC got together on my birthday morning and surprised me with a huge birthday bash!
In April, the youth minister left and the responsibilities of a new position for the summer fell in my lap. I didn't know it at the time, but it was a HUGE blessing and God leading the way for future events to happen!
In May, I got to be a bridesmaid in two of my best friends wedding and celebrate the beginning of their lives together. I also participated in my very first mission trip to the Dominican Republic. I've never felt so blessed! Not just because I am not in need, but because I live where I don't have to worry about safety, am not persecuted for worshiping or have to worry about little things like buying gallons of water to drink instead of getting it from the faucet. I also completed my very first year of Seminary.
In June, I began the BUSIEST summer of my life. It was jam packed with activities for the children and youth of FBC. That same month, I learned a lot about what it meant to step out on faith. I gained a passion for youth ministry and really felt a higher calling in my life.
July was one of the scariest months of my year. I totaled my car on the way to Jackson. I literally saw my life flash before my eyes and realized that I was left on Earth for a reason.
August was an exciting month because I officially became Minister of Students and Children at FBC. I can't tell you how excited I was then (and even more so, now) that I was going to embark on a new journey. August was also exciting because I began my second year in Seminary.
September was a bummer. I was faced with a microdiscectomy beacuse I had a herniated disk. That month flew by because I couldn't do too much. I was supposed to start my official duties on September 1, but had to wait a few more weeks to get in full swing. Even though the month wasn't so good, and the fact that I slept a whole week of my month away from being in so much main, I am thankful that I haven't had any complications and had total relief from the procedure. It could have been a lot worse!
October and November both held the blessings of new friendships!
As you can see, my year has been full of blessings. Some of the events were great and some weren't so great, but I'm grateful. It's so hard to understand some of the events that happen in life-- but it's so important to find hope in the fact that God has the big plan and has our lives planned out.
I recently heard a song by Jason Diaz and it says this:
"You have a much better purpose,
You have a far greater plan.
You have a bigger perspective,
'cause You hold the world in your hands."
How true is this?! We should all find comfort!
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas in the Highlands

Last weekend, mom and I had a booth at Christmas in the Highlands. This is a Christmas Marketplace sponsored by the Highland Baptist Church Women's ministry. We had a great time selling Christmas wreaths. Christmas is our FAVORITE holiday and we worked our fingers to the bones trying to prepare and get ready. We still have a few wreaths to sell, so if you're interested, please get in contact with us and let us know!!

Our booth: Door Decor

Mom was in her "official" Christmas in the Highlands attire because she was on the committee.

Sweet Cara Lea was in Meridian and stopped by our booth!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Food Junkie...

Who would've ever thought that this precious angel (yeah, right!)...Would do something like this...

That would lead to a little midnight snack?!?!

Yep, you're seeing correctly. Last week, my mom was making her famous 3 layer strawberry cake for a youth fundraiser. After the cakes were baked and cooling, we had to leave and go to my grandmother's house and do something. When we returned... we saw that Gracie had helped herself up into the chair of the breakfast table and ate 3/4 of a layer!! SHE LOVES FOOD :)

So, needless to say, the strawberry cake ended up only being 2 layers. After my mom iced it, she let Gracie get a taste, too!! No wonder she's on a puppy weight loss drug!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good Stuff!!

This week has been full of good stuff!! I stayed in Jackson Monday night with my friend Kristen and we were able to get all of the old Meridian girls that now live in Jackson together. We all went to the same church and have so much fun when we're together!

The Meridian/Jackson girls at KEIFERS!!
left to right: Brittany, Lauren, Me, Kristen, Briana & Michele

Tuesday night I went to a friends for dinner and had so much fun-- then of course, Wednesday. Well, you know how Wednesdays are for church staffers!! It was a late night but I FINALLY attended my first choir practice since May. It's a good thing I guess since I'm WAY behind on learning my Christmas music.

Tonight was the Wesley House Fall Fest. It was an incredible night!! The weather was perfect, there were tons of kids there and everything was GREAT :) Here are a few pictures--

Kerrie, me and Jonda

Look at these precious girls!! The cutie on the left has been coming to the bible study on Tuesday nights with her older brother and sister!! Precious, just precious!! I totally played "balloon girl" tonight. Several of my youth and I blew up balloons for almost 2 hours: every shape, every color, every size!! It was fun!

The twins!

another girl from bible study, KiKi!! She LOVES to play the trumpet and is in the band! She is hilarious :)

There are many people right now dealing with so much. I personally don't have any life changing events happening in my life, but so many of my friends do and I'd like for you to pray for them!

1. Please pray for a friend's mom that has been diagnosed with cancer and for a family friend that's been diagnosed with lung cancer. Pray for peace and comfort for both families and for wisdom and knowledge for all doctors involved.

2. Pray for a friend that is dealing with the beginning of a divorce. Pray for the husband, wife and kids involved. Ask God to work in the lives of the people involved to learn to forgive and overcome the struggles that they are facing.

3. A great friend of mine was recently laid off from a fabulous job! Pray for God to open new doors for her family.

4. A friend of mine in Seminary and his wife were very excited to be expecting their very first child in February. This past Saturday, I received a text message asking me to pray for his wife. She had gone into labor four months early. Unfortunately, their 1 lb baby daughter was born early Sunday morning and went to be with the Lord shortly after. Pray for Nathan and his wife. Pray that God will reveal His plan for their life to them. Pray that He will give them a peace that passes all understanding and that they will find reassurance in the fact that their baby girl is resting in the arms of Jesus.

I told my mom this weekend that I was "sick of bad news" and was so ready for something good to happen. It's crazy how God puts all of these things together and we have NO clue why He does what He does. However, we know that His plans will be revealed to us in His time and that having to wait on Him makes living our life for Him more exciting each day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

One Big Long Post...

It's been a long time since I posted. I used to think I would have something to say EVERYDAY, but things have been very busy... and it doesn't look like it's slacking up anytime soon!

Last Sunday, most of my youth went out to Chunk to the camphouse and had a Halloween Happenin' full of good food, fun games, and just a lot of fun!! They had to dress up in an animated character costume. We had everything from Popeye and Olive Oil, Pebbles, Wilma, Batwoman, Piglet, Winnie the Pooh...

and Blair and I went as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss!!

We had SO MUCH FUN!! This week was going to be JAM PACKED for me, but I was READY!! After my youth event on Sunday, I had another fall festival planned for the Wesley House. I've been going and helping some people from my church lead a Tuesday night Bible Study there for school aged kids and we have the BEST time. Those kids are precious and I just want to adopt each one of them!! A few weeks ago, we met and Walt brought ROCK BAND... they had never gotten the chance to play and they loved it! The weather was just plain nasty last Tuesday, so we had to reschedule the event. They are looking forward to it!

one of the girls had never gotten to play with an iPhone so I let her take pictures with mine! and this little cutie showed up at my front door on Halloween night for trick-or-treating!!

On Thursday night, Frank Eddins and I entertained at the Center for Pregnancy Choices Banquet in Meridian. Dr. Alveda King (Martin Luther King, Jr.'s niece) was the speaker and has an incredible testimony. I got to meet her after and she was really sweet!!

Kristen and me at the banquet

These girls are in my Sunday School class: Anna, Ashley and Kristen! Such sweet friends!

...and then it was HALLOWEEN!! What a day, what a day!! The Preschool/Children's Hayride was scheduled to be outside, but because of all the nasty weather, we had to move it indoors to the FBC gym. It was so much fun getting to see all the cute kiddos in their costumes!!

Me, Melinda, Julie & Leigh Me and Festive Julie

After the Hayride, my mom hosted a little Halloween get-together at our house for the family. Harper Anne arrived as a pumpkin to do a little trick-or-treating!

A complete doll!

My grannie Poe and Grannie

Erin and Harper

and of course, the Hostess with the mostess, my MOM!

One night last week I came home from a busy day to find this:

Lucy just totally helped herself to my bed!! She thinks she a queen for sure!