Aug 11, 2014

Grateful

It's August.

I tend to reflect a lot from August through October; especially about things that I could have done differently.  In order to keep from living in the past, focusing on things I can't change, I'm attempting to focus on the present, positive aspects of my life.



Without much thought I can say that I am grateful!

Grateful for...
  • Mario: His leadership, his frugality, his patience, his love.
  • Maddie: Her wittiness, her sweetness, her joy, her trust, her love.
  • Life, Health and Strength: I'm just thankful to be alive, well and in my right mind.
  • Friends: Having friends is so important, and I wouldn't trade them for anything ;)!
  • Provision: We've been blessed with more than enough.
  • shereadstruth.com: I haven't studied my Bible this in-depth in quite some time. So grateful for the community, study plans and most importantly, time with God!
  • Instagram: It's by far my favorite social media platform. I love the community, and the social aspect of this site is just enough and perfect for my introverted self!
  • Reading Time: I love to read, and my reading list is lengthy, so finding time to enjoy it is the epitome of perfection! 
  • Giving: Helping people overwhelms me at time, yet I'm a giver at heart. Watching people give for Jeremiah's campaign (gofundme.com/jaystuitionfund) has been delightful, and I pray the Byrd's reach their goal!
  • God's Love: He loves me, in spite of me! Enough said!
What are you grateful for?!



Aug 8, 2014

A Special Request

Hello friends,

The Byrd family is campaigning to raise money to send their son, Jeremiah, to one of the best autism schools in their area. Since early intervention is the key to his greatest success in his life, their goal is to raise his tuition of $30,000 for the school year. If we can get 1500 people within our network of family, friends and community committed to giving just $20 they can easily reach their goal!

Each person that donates to the campaign by next Friday, 08/15/14, will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gas card!!! Visit either of the following fundraising websites to make your contribution:

gofundme.com/jaystuitionfund
youcaring.com/tuition-fundraiser/autism-school-tuition-fund/213598

Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated! You can also help spread the word about our campaign by directing individuals within your network to our fundraising websites and using the hastags #autismfund and #1500give20whenever you post about our cause.

Feel free to copy and paste this entire message to your Blog or Facebook account as well!

Thanks so much!!!


Jul 28, 2014

Bible Study | #SheReadsTruth

I discovered shereadstruth.com a few months ago and I've been on fire for God (read: diligently studying His word) ever since...

I've wanted this mug since I first saw it and finally purchased it a couple of weeks ago.  I so adore it!

"She Reads Truth is an online community of women who are committed to reading God’s Word together."  One of the things I love most about this community is reading through and contributing to the comments during each study because it gives me so many different perspectives. I now make it a point to dive into the Bible first thing in the morning when I rise and it makes for the perfect beginning to each day!

After joining this community I also found Kristen Schmucker's blog through her #lampandlight campaign via Instagram.  I've come to love and utilize her suggestions on studying scripture.  She includes a link to a sermon by Matt Chandler, How to Study the Bible, which I encourage you to listen to in it's entirety.  However, I've included an outline of what I learned from Matt's sermon below.

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Needed to Study
1.)   Consistent time and place.
a.      Without this you just won’t do it.
2.)   You need a Bible (obvious right?!).
a.      One that is as close to the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek text as possible.
3.)   Highlighter and Pen.
a.      Highlight or underline or make notes about text that just seems to jump out to you or move you at the time.
b.     Certain things may resonate with you…what do you think that is? The holy spirit, of course.
4.)   Reading Plan
a.      Not having a plan will open you up to feeling lost.
b.     Without a plan you won’t stick with your goals…that’s with anything, right?
c.      It’ll also send you to places that you might not normally read.
5.)   Journal
a.      There are just certain things that you need to write down so that you reflect on them later.
6.)   Calendar/Planner
a.      So that if something comes up while you’re studying, you can just write it down quickly to do later and not use it as an excuse to be/get distracted.

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How to Study
1.)   Start with prayer (~5 mins)
2.)   Read (~10-15 mins).
a.      Don’t just read just to read or as a checklist. The point is to be engaged and actually soak in the text. Keep it short.
3.)   Journal (during reading).
a.      Physically write out the verse that jumps out.  If multiple jump out pray about which should be the one to focus on.
b.     Write down what you observe from that verse.
4.)   Application (during reading).
a.      What does it mean for you?
b.     Write out how it applies to you.  Don’t be ambiguous.
c.      Application Steps
                                          i.     Detail what is going on in your heart and spirit that need to be corrected and what steps need to be taken to correct them.
5.)   End w/ prayer (~5 mins).
a.      Write down your prayer.  It will keep you focused to finish out the study strong.

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The idea is to start small with something you can apply and be obedient to time-wise.  In other words, start off with small increments of time as listed here. 5 mins, 10-15 mins, and 5 mins for a total of 20-25 mins soaking up His word each day.  Then, as necessary, increase that time as you become more disciplined. Know that it's okay to miss a day but get right back in there and stay consistent overall.

Studying God's word diligently has such a huge, lasting impact on life, and ones attitude towards life. I pray that these suggestions are helpful and that you find the time to draw near to Jesus!

Be blessed,


Jul 25, 2014

Wine

I recently went on a trip to South Carolina to visit one of my bestest best friends and I had quite the memorable adventure at the worst concert ever, no exaggeration.  But, I'll save that story for another day so that I can give you all of the unbelievable details. Nonetheless, I had an amazing weekend, cuddled up with her cute little dog, Izzy, and I don't even like dogs, spending time catching up and just relaxing on a mini-momcation! 

Top Left: BFFs | Top Right: "Izzy" | Bottom Left: Downtown Charleston
Bottom Right: Amazing Shrimp & Grits from Pages Okra Grill...so good!

During the trip we visited downtown Charleston, so beautiful, had dinner at Pages Okra Grill, the best okra EVER, and visited Irvin-House Vineyards & Firefly Distillery.  The wine tasting ($5) consisted of all five of the wines they carry, which changes each year, and included a complimentary wine glass.  At the distillery we got got a choice of six vodkas ($6) from a long list of options and it included a complimentary shot glass.  Needless to say we were, uh, 'right' by the end of it.  Good stuff, folks, good stuff!


One of the wines, the Magnolia, was so good, and sweet, just like I like it! The hubs and I enjoy a glass or two of wine on Friday nights so I couldn't resist snagging a bottle for him to try.  He loved it, of course!  We usually take a couple of days to finish off a bottle so I was thrilled to see the cute little wine caps and purchased those in addition to a burlap wine carrier. I so didn't need the carrier but wanted it just because, so whatever. Cute, right?!

Cheers,

Jul 10, 2014

Potty Training Success

Madison has mastered the potty! Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but she’s definitely on the way. She’s been doing such a great job keeping her diaper dry and informing her teacher that she needed to go at daycare for the past couple of weeks. She’s been doing so well that last week they asked that we send her in panties only this week. 


 The hubs and I thought they were lying to us about her using it. Seriously, folks!

Every day we’d come home from daycare put her in panties and fill her with fluids. Then you know the routine; ask, ask, ask, offer treat after treat, sit on the potty for forever and nothing happens. Usually RIGHT AFTER she’s been asked for the 100th time and has left the potty for the 50th time she would have an accident because she just couldn’t hold it anymore and going on the potty at home was somehow not her thing. Frustration doesn’t even describe this process!

I wanted to believe that she just wasn’t ready yet but knew that wasn’t the case since she wasn’t having the same problem at daycare. Nonetheless, over the weekend I silently resolved to just give up…again. And just like that, as soon as I decided that I didn’t care anymore (at least for right now) she says “Mommy, I have to go potty”. I of course, figured this would be a false alarm as usual, but she went. She actually went!!!

The screaming and praising and running around the house I did was ridiculous! 

Ice cream was a must so we headed to Cold Stone soon after (with her panties on at that…yeah, we’re brave)! She ends up going to the potty the rest of the day, no accidents. Pampers at night still, of course!  

The next day was Sunday and we had church. Decisions, decisions. "Should we try it?!", I asked. “Yes”, says Mario, “I trust her”! 

What?!? She's not going on a date...but o-kay.  You’d think she heard him though and didn’t want to let him down because she made it through the service, no accidents. She asked to go a few times during the service, of course, which yielded a few false alarms; however, she did go on one of the occasions. The same happened during our outing to the park later that evening!  What an accomplishment!

I’ve said all this to say, she’s got it, and I couldn’t be more excited as it’s been quite the journey. It's like something just clicked for her.  Do I still expect accidents here and there? Of course! She’s still young and it’s still a new process for her but she's definitely got the concept now.  

I'm so, so proud of her, guys, so proud :)!!! 

One milestone down, a lifetime of milestones to go (as we all know teaching/coaching ones child(ren) never really ends)!

Cheers to potty training success,


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