Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PIMJ: Notes and Contentment...

For today's Peek Inside My Journal post, I thought I'd share the notes I took on Sunday at the youth service. This was actually the second time I had heard this sermon and it hit me in a totally different way this time.
The sermon was on Philippians 4:10-20 and focused on contentment.

(Just a note, these are not all my words. A lot of this is notes from the sermon, and occasionally a thought that was stemmed from what was being said. One of the reasons I decided to post this is because there were a lot of searching questions that stemmed from this sermon. You can see them and read most of my answers.)


(Philippians 4:11) = "content" - Not lacking a necessary resource. Other writers have described this word by comparing a person to a city...say a port city. There are things coming into that port to help support and sustain the city and there are exports going out of it. The city is dependent upon the imports to survive. However, Paul is saying that he has learned how to be content with whatever he already has even given in life by God with out needing to rely on all these "imports" into his life.

What imports am I dependent on in my life?
  • Time with Travis
  • Facebook?
  • My phone
  • Books
  • Food - Good Food
  • Car = Freedom = Social Interactions
What was Paul dependent on that made him content without external imports?
  • Jesus Christ living inside him
"He who had God and many other things has no more than he who has God and God alone." - C.S. Lewis

- I need to repent of covetousness and seek God as my only sustenance...my only "import".

(Philippians 4:16) = The people of Philipi saw themselves as part of the solution the the "problems" Paul was in. 

Do I see myself as part of the solution to "problems" God has shown to me in life?
What "problems" has God revealed to me in the world or in lives of others around me?
Am I a part of the solution to these problems? Or am I a part of the problem, if only by simply doing nothing?

(Philippians 4:18) = Our worship does not ADD to God's glory in any way. He does not need our worship in order to be glorious. He made us and we are His! However, our worship is pleasing to Him. 
Our worship RECOGNIZES His glory, and that is pleasing to Him.

"Either you worship money or you worship God WITH your money." - Mark Driscoll


The big challenge for me in this sermon was to place my dependence on GOD completely. There are SO, SO many things in my life fighting for my attention and worship...but when I placed my faith in Jesus, He sent  His Holy Spirit to live inside me and that is ALL I need to be joyful and content.
I know that this will be the battle I fight every day for the rest of my life...yet ironically enough, I will only experience victories when I allow Jesus and His Spirit to do the work in me. Such a paradox and I don't fully understand it...but it is SO beautiful and it is so freeing.

All I have to do is surrender...

Be blessed.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Little Late Because...

...I've been having too much fun!

But here are all my Instagrams since the last time I "photo-dumped" on you all!
(There's some good ones...I think. ;-)

The Photographers at a dear friend's wedding. I got to come along for pictures to carry her train and do other "helpful" things.

The AMAZING bride and groom!

Lakefair Fireworks were STUNNING! They even had some that fell into the lake and then shot back up a few seconds later, exploding after they were high enough...how cool is that?

I attempted to make popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave...lesson learned. I need to use small bags, not large ones.
...my microwave still smells like smoke. LOL!

What I AM eating!
These homemade burgers were GIANT...and sooooo good!

 What I AM eating!
Two kiwi with lunch...my tongue and lips burned SO badly!
It was totally worth it though!

What I AM eating...on SPLURGE DAY!
Mountain High Mud Pie from Red Robin...YUM
(Note: We split it 3 ways, so it still counted as my "small" amount of sugar.)

 This bug dropped out of the air in mid-flight at my work...in the staff room.
It was highly entertaining to watch peoples reactions.
It was as big around as my THUMB!

Travis was gone on a youth camping trip for 2 nights. =,(
But I had some good girl time...my friend Amy left me this note during the time she was at our apartment by herself. =)
We had an all church BBQ and Baptism on Sunday at Black Lake Bible Camp.
There are few things more encouraging than watching a baptism!

The play set a Black Lake Bible Camp that brought back good memories and made me miss my dear friend Laura in Florida...We get to see them in 6 DAYS!!!

Hope you enjoyed this little peek inside my life for the last week+
Be blessed! <3

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adding Cap Sleeves to a Spaghetti Strap Dress

Hello dear readers!

Are you ready for another tutorial?
I am. It's been far to long. =)
Unfortunately this tutorial is not quite complete. I was altering this dress just a few hours before a wedding I planned to wear it to.  Thus, the final step was rather hurried and I forgot to take any pictures of it. =(
I will do my best to explain it thoroughly and feel free to email me with any questions you might have!

I cut my fabric from some leftover scraps I had. They matched perfectly!
For those of you who don't know what a basting stitch is...it is a straight stitch, but with your machine set so that it is longer than normal stitches. This also loosens the stitch so that it is easy to pull on the threads to gather the material.
(NOTE: I sewed the basting stitches about 1/3 to 1/2 an inch in from the edge of the material)

Next is the final step...
Start by attaching the sleeve to the front.
(NOTE: DO NOT clip off your straps...the cap sleeves will cover them, but the strap will still be the main piece holding up your dress.)

Take one gathered end of the sleeve and (starting on one side of the strap) pin the gathered section to the inside of the dress. Make sure that the fabric is pulled down far enough hide the basting from view when the dress is being worn.

To cross over the strap, fold the gathered fabric up and to the inside so that it is hidden from view and the fabric fold of the sleeve is meeting the fabric of the dress in front of the strap. You will sew it down this way. Place one more pin on the other side of the strap to hold the rest of the sleeve in place.

Using a needle and thread, sew the strap down. I sewed over and back across the sleeve to make sure that it was firmly attached. The bodice of your dress should have two layers...only sew through the inside layer of fabric.

Complete the same process to attach the sleeve in the back.

(NOTE: Before you start sewing the back of the sleeve, make sure that you measure to make sure the sleeve is the right length to fit comfortably over your should...measuring it by the existing strap is the easiest way to do this. You don't want your sleeve so loose that it falls off your shoulder exposing the original strap.)
Complete the same process for the other sleeve, clip your threads and you are done!

So curl your hair, put on make up and get ready for a fancy evening out...or in my case, a wedding!

If you use this tutorial, send me some pictures so I can see your beautiful creation!

Enjoy and, as always, be blessed!

Linking Up:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vlog Time!!! - The Girl Behind the Blog Link Up

Yep, I'm linking up with

Ashley from 5ohWifey


Lindsay from Trial by Sapphire 



I love/hate doing these. But I actually watched mine all the way through this time once I finished. (I'm getting braver!)

I realized though...I really need to smile more while doing these. Goodness! I look like I'm talking about death or something. =P

Anywho, the prompt for this video was...

What is something you want to Begin, Accomplish or Change in your life and the lives of those around you? 

So watch it and then hold me accountable ladies! =)

Be blessed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I work at a pool.
I am a lifeguard.
I teach swimming lessons.
I teach water aerobics classes.
I (occasionally) bond with a certain patron, child, or family.

There is one godly christian couple that I have had the privilege to know through my work. I taught their son swim lessons several times and their daughter once or twice.

I had not seen then in quite awhile, until today. They came in for free swim and I got to talk to both parents a bit.

But why am I writing about this?

Well, something from the very beginning of our conversation stuck out to. The father walked up, said hi, and asked how I was. I replied that I was good and asked him how he was...his answer struck me.

"Better than I deserve. Blessed beyond measure. God is good, all the time."

I wish I had that attitude more...

HE IS GOOD! I should rejoice in that fact daily!

I notice that as I spend more time in God's Word, in singing worship songs, and in prayer the more my heart is inclined to see God's goodness even in the darkest circumstances. I found my self singing this song as he walked away a minute later. Old...but so true!

Join me as I seek to rejoice in His goodness day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Be blessed.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Sugar...

...for 6 months. Yep...that's right. I'm on a SIX MONTH sugar fast.


I started last Sunday...and by some miracle have made it one week already. Whoohoo!

So today, at a cousin's birthday party, I posted this to instagram...

What I am NOT eating...

Sigh...it looked so good.

So here are the details. My sister Abigail and I are doing this together so here are all the details:

Duration: 6 months
Allowed Foods: Natural sugars including fruit, honey, agave, etc.
Banned Foods: Sugar
Specified "Cheat Days": Once per week for one small serving of sugar (ie. a cookie or flavored latte)
Once per month full splurge day...as much sugar as I want! (Note: the week I use my full splurge day, I DO NOT get an additional day for a small amount of sugar)
Start Date: July 15, 2012
End Date: ....6 months from now??? We really need to figure that out exactly.

Have you ever done a sugar fast or cut out another food like this? What was it like? How did you keep yourself motivated?

Be blessed.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Too Busy Enjoying Life...

I haven't taken many instant am photos lately...maybes it's because I am to busy enjoying life to stop and capture it on my phone....or maybe I'm too busy moping about the load of laundry that got completely ink stained including 3 of my new shirts...or maybe I'm too busy goofing off with (ie. teaching) three middle school boys for a guard start class at my work...hmmm....either way, these are all the photos I've got.

The BEAUTIFUL center pieces from a wedding I attended two weeks ago!

And a yummy smoothie that I had at a bachelorette party last weekend. The secrete? Jet tea and ice? Amazing huh? So simple and so good!

I had a friend spend the night middle of last week, while my hubby spent the night with some guy friends. We decided to be crazy with whipped cream. =)

And then we at cookie dough...with whipped cream and sprinkles! Soooo pretty!

My Mm painted my toenails the other day. I LOVE this color. Thanks to my sister Anna for letting me borrow it....something about teal is just so cheerful.

My hubby and I went on a much needed lunch date on Monday. We ate at the Olive Garden and I officially have a new favorite there....the Shrimp Mezzaluna! TO DIE FOR! I couldn't decide between shrimp pasta and ravioli. Then I found this new menu item andI LOVED it. (Get the point yet? Lol!) I may just have to try to recreate this here soon....

How was your week?

Be blessed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reverse Mission

Imagine you are on a 48 passenger tour bus with approximately 45 other people, ranging in age from 50 to 14. it's day number 2 of the long awaited Mexico missions trip with the high school youth group. The excitement is just about worn off and the long flat roads of central California are stretching in front of you. Maybe now would be a good time to read or take a quick nap...

"BANG...Clunk, clunk, clunk" ruptures from the front of the bus. For a fraction of second it seems that the tireless teenagers are actually struck speechless, while the great white bus limps to the side of the freeway...and then the worried whispers begin.
"Flat tire" is the general consensus, judging from the sounds we heard issuing from the underside of our transportation. It is 4:30 PM.

Forty-five minutes later tired youth emerge from their portable prison, stretching, talking, and laughing amongst themselves. Two hours pass quickly, filled with sun bathing, pull-up contest, bottle cap tossing, card games, and a nap or two. Oh the joys of creating random entertainment for an indefinite period of time!
...Yes, this was how the Mexico missions trip started out. Nearing the end of that two hour stretching, I was helping a small group of youth leaders attempt to contact a nearby Calvary Chapel to see if we could spend the night...but I digress... Let me go back to the beginning.
Our bus did break down in the middle of California on day number 2. But it broke down just a field and fence away from a trucking company. We called them up and three workers hopped the fence to come check out the problem. It turns out that the front brake had snapped off and gotten crushed by the wheels. We (very slowly) drove the bus off the freeway and over to the truck yard lot...where we got off and waited for two+ hours.

The three workers worked on the bus for almost 3 hours during time they were supposed to be off...and then they refused pay. As Mexican Americans, they were so excited that we were going to help the people of Mexico, that they insisted on working for free. Finally, when it became apparent that the bus would not be fixed that night, a group of youth leaders hopped on our smart phones and started searching for nearby churches.
Have you ever heard of Visalia, California? None of us had. But we got (miraculously for 7:30 at night) in contact with a local Calvary Chapel. They not only agreed to let us stay the night at thier church, but they also sent two cars over to help ferry people to the church (we also brought along a 15 passenger van that we used) and they bought us pizza and soda for dinner!

We were astounded. Here we were on our way to serve people we had never met and yet we were being served by people we had never met! The next day (through another miraculous series of events) we finally had the bus fixed and ready to roll...at 4:30 pm. But we were on the road again, only a day behind schedule, and COMPLETELY and TOTALLY blessed.
They allowed use their gorgeous church facility the entire next day to practice our skits for Mexico, fix the exhaust pipe on the van, play volleyball, and just hang out.

Every single person on the trip, left Visalia feeling an overwhelming sense that God was truly in control and that He had just given us a huge example of what it meant to truly serve. Had we not had that experience on the way down, I doubt we would have been able to serve as effectively in Mexico.

Although we were a day late arriving in Mexico, we really bonded as a group during our time "stranded" at the beautiful Calvary Chapel Visalia. We also were blessed beyond measure by their service to us on the trip. God was in control of our plans and schedule...and every single person on the trip new it.

Our God is good...and He IS in control.

Be blessed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Share the Sunshine

While I was in (or on route to) Mexico, I received an email from a very sweet blogger that I "met" a few months ago...

And she so sweetly awarded me the...

The sunshine award is for: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”. 

I'm super excited to get this award. I really try to be positive and encouraging on my blog, so getting this award was really encouraging.

SO here’s how the award works…
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them
  • Answer the following 10 questions about yourself
  • Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they’ve been awarded the Sunshine Award!
  • Don’t forget to copy and paste the award on your blog!

10 questions:
  1. Favorite color?  - Pink...coral to be specific!
  2. Favorite animal? - I'm not really an animal person...but I do like dogs okay and I want to own chickens someday.
  3. Favorite number? - In the past it has been 7, 14, 30....idk what else. I don't think I currently have a favorite number...
  4. Favorite drink? - Hmmm...diet pepsi, coke zero, and carmel macchiatos. 
  5. Facebook or Twitter? - Facebook for my personal life, and Twitter for my "blogging life". (That sounds so terrible...i just need to get a Facebook page for my blog solidly running and then I'll probably be back to Facebook being my favorite across the board.)
  6. Good book or good movie? - Oh wow...book.  =) Though I do love a good movie as well.
  7. My passion: - Jesus...and then teaching and writing. I love to writing...anything and everything. And I love to teach writing. But mostly, I just love to teach! Often I can teach things that I can't do myself...don't ask me how. Teaching gives me energy. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
  8. Giving or getting presents? Giving! I love getting gifts too...mainly from my hubby. <3
  9. Favorite day? - Days that I can hang out and with my friends and family with quality talking time and deep conversations. Of coarse the day would probably start with sleeping in, a run, and a coffee date with my hubby at Starbucks.
  10. Favorite flower? Wow! My answer on this is the same as Britt's answer...Sunflowers! How awesome is that? They are so pretty! I like gerber daisies and babies breath are beautiful too. However, I also agree with Britt that basically any wild flowers are AWESOME!
Nominations: This is the fun part for me!
  1. Nichole from Nicoladee
  2. Dionne from Raw Christian
  3. Jen from The Arizona Russums
  4. Erin from {Sweetness Itself}
  5. Katy from Sweet Verbena
  6. L from All Glorious Within
  7. Shelly from House of Smiths
  8. Audrey from Putting Me Together
  9. Gussy from Gussy Sews
  10. Mariah from Thee FireWife
Woohoo! Isn't this fun?

A big thank you to Britt from Bee LittleQueen for awarding me this cool award...the Sunshine Award!

Be blessed <3

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Favorites Flashback: Part 2

Hello again dear readers!
Today I'm going to share with you Part 2 of...some of my favorite post from the month of June! (P.S. Yes, I know it's 2 days late...I've been hanging out water skiing on the Hood Canal and watching Harry Potter enjoying life.)

I won't waste anymore time...let's jump in with two feet!

Meet Jordan from Makin Memories of Us!

Ever wonder how to cut fatty foods like butter and oil out of your cooking? Read "Abs are Made in the Kitchen!" I plan on trying this the next time I get my act together and actually cook something. =P

Her Friday's Letters Post made me laugh and smile! I love getting a peek into her life.


Next meet Jenny!

I just found out that this sweet lady was my blog angel for the blog angels link up! She was an AWESOME blog angel and really is a super sweet person. Get to know her! =)

You should also check out this awesomely adorable post about why she loves being British...she makes me want to sit down for a cup of tea!


And last (but certainly not least) is Laura!

This blogger lady is AMAZING! Seriously. She just celebrated 1000 GFC followers...5 MONTHS after starting her blog. Wow! She deserves it.

Read the INCREDIBLE birth story of her second daughter. (Teaser...one of them almost didn't make it.)

In this beautiful and challenging post, she argues that Love is a Verb. Her heart for Jesus is wonderful and inspiring.


I hope you all find some cool posts that you enjoy and maybe a new favorite blog to stalk for awhile!

Be blessed.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Favorites Flashback: Part 1

Today I thought I would share with you some of my favorite posts from the month of June.

Not my posts...my sponsors posts!

First meet Angie from Angie Gets Crafty!

She is an awesome crafter. Check out these adorable patriotic and nautical flowers!

Head over to the Angie Get's Crafty Blog or Shop to see more of her AWESOME creations!


Next, meet Mary from Mary in Marriedland!

Her sweet encouragement to fellow sisters in Christ encouraged me and made me smile.

Check out these homemade "Wellness Energy Bars" (aka. Lara Bars). I HAVE to try these! They look awesome.


Meet Mommy Huh!

Here she passes along some great shopping advice from her coworker! I am seriously keeping this in mind...so smart!

And she hosts a "Totally Social Link Up" featuring a different social media venue each week! So fun!

Mommy Huh: Totally Social Link-Up


Check back tomorrow for more of my favorite post from June!

Be blessed. <3