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funny mondays.

this is my last day in colorado, and i'm spending the day in denver with the bestie before i have to catch my flight. and since it's my last day and since the best friend and i are kinda obsessed with disney, i thought i'd share this with you.

 you're welcome, monday.


one thousand gifts // chapter seven.

happy friday, y'all! i'm sitting in panera in COLORADO while this lady is at work. it's always good to be back in this place that my heart loves. to pick right back up on friendships here like i never left. treasuring the time i have here with the people that mean so much to me.

on to the book club. beth and i love books and reading and clubs and being a team, so we decided to do this little book club to grow and learn and we hope that it encourages your heart. we want you to join us and share what you're learning, regardless of whether you are reading along in the book or not! just let us know what jesus is teaching you these days. if you're just starting to read along, you can go here to catch up!

"remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.  for we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasure, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us..."

my pastor preached on this passage last sunday and i was very convicted. i don't know why i'm always so surprised when jesus uses sermons and books to speak to exactly what i need to hear that week. this week, i have really had to focus on how i handle my anger and frustration when dealing with people i don't get along with. my attitude seems to always jump to the defensive, to anger, to "how dare you treat me that way".  i can only see the reasons and ways i have been wronged and my attitude turns to one of bitterness. 

"do i really smother my own joy because i believe that anger achieves more than love? that satan's way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesuss way? why else get angry?"
// page 126 //

why do i get angry? is it because i've bought into the lie that anger achieves more than love? that anger is a better way of expressing myself? that people will feel bad for me and be on my side if i express how i've been wrongly treated? choosing anger is choosing the way of darkness. every time i choose to be angry and lash out, i am allowing satan to have more of a foothold in my life. and that's the thing about anger. it is a choice. my choice. in order not to get sucked into a habit of anger and bitterness, i have to change my focus. 

"if you want to be really alert to seeing Jesus' diving beauty, his glory...then make sure you tune your senses to see his grace."
// page 129 - john piper //

grace. it's what i have to look for, and it's what i need to show to others. the well of joy is always there, but i have to choose to see it, and i have to choose to practice speaking it instead of anger. this next quote is what was most convicting to me.

"the only way to fight a feeling is with a feeling...feel thanks and it's absolutely impossible to feel angry."
// page 136 //

i have to remember daily to fight the darkness with joy. thanks. eucharisteo. change in how i react to situations will not come unless i practice the discipline of giving thanks. "the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is." 

99. puppy snuggles during thunderstorms
100. rain on the roof
101. baby blooms
102. fields of yellow flowers
103. concerts - phillip phillips!
102. meeting new friends of friends
103. sun setting orange on the water
104. bridge walking over the river
105. life with my core group
106. tree limbs like ocean waves in the wind
107. planes that take me to places i love
108. colorado weekends
109. watching the sunset while flying across the country.
110. snow covering pike's peak
111. watching dr. who with the best friend


thursday's letters.

dear macbook, this week you took a few more steps closer to death. i had to erase your memory in order to keep you alive. sorry about that. we all have to make sacrifices. dear chattanooga, thanks for beautiful days and walks over the river. dear summer, come quickly. i need a tan. dear best friend, can't wait to spend a whole weekend with you and bruce. the best. dear colorado, see you tonight! 


weekend update.

- lunch and baby clothes shopping with my bestie
- aimie [my preggers friend] had her reveal party and now knows she is having a GIRL. i couldn't be more excited. i'm about to be an adopted aunt! i think this is a fitting gift...
- going to a phillip phillips concert! dreams do come true. if you've known me for a while, you know how much i love this kid. my friend joli and i watched his season of amercian idol and would come to work and re-watch his performances over and over the next day. we're pretty big fans. i mean, who wouldn't be? he's southern, adorably awkward, and a super talented musician.

check this out. the kiddos are so presh.

1. i'm a little obsessed with stripes this year. i don't know why.
2. some days and by that i mean a lof of the days, i listen to disney music at work. i am a grown up.
3. i am the queen of awkward moments. trust me.
4. colorado bound in 2 days. i'm so excited, i may not sleep.


funny mondays.

straight up stupid humor is sometimes the best.
completely ridiculous.

you're welcome, monday.


one thousand gifts // chapter six.

confession: i don't have it all together.
phew. i said it.
contrary to popular belief, i am not always happy or content. there are days when it's a struggle for me to find joy anywhere. those are the days that remind me that i have to continually practice eucharisteo. i have to look for the beauty. i have to see deeply and thank deeply, in order to feel joy deeply.

"what more, you may ask, do we want? ah, but we want so much more -- something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. but the poets and the mythologies know all about it. we do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. we want something else which can hardly be put into words -- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it."
-c.s. lewis-

in a world full of so much pain and darkness, our hearts can't help but yearn for beauty. for something better. 

"is the longing for the Beauty the happiest place of all? longing to gave upon the Beauty of the Lord and to seek Him , the place where all the joy spills from."
-page 119-

it's the little things that take me by surprise. where i find the Beauty.

95. the new life that spring gives
96. the symbolism in a dogwood blossom

97. the last rays of sunlight pouring through clouds

98. sitting and watching the day's end
see my 1000 gifts list.


thursday's letters.

dear pollen, we are not friends. i just wanted to make that clear. you feel like sandpaper on my eyes. dear nat, we get to hang out tomorrow. two weekends in a row? too good. dear seed helicopters, you make me feel like a kid again. dear phillip, i'm coming to see you on sunday. can we sing together? okay great. dear colorado, it'll be you and me and the best friends in seven days. can't wait.

do you have fun plans this weekend?


weekend update.

- staying up late with my besties, telling stories and giggling like little girls
- late night fro yo trips. delish.
- calling aimie's baby "dolly" all weekend (we don't know the gender yet), but i decided that should be the baby's name since her last name is barton. dolly barton. it's funny, y'all.
- picking out clothes in a maternity store, for aimie, obvi. that was a first.
- seeing the catching fire teaser. eeeeeeeeeeeeek!

- fresh flowers
- longer, lighter days
- pollen. JOKE.

1. the chronicles of narnia is my favorite book series. period.
2. when i was little i had a crush on robin hood, disney addition. he was super foxy…

what are your favorites things about spring?


funny mondays.

mornin' sunshine!
the following proves just how cray cray people are, y'all.

you're welcome, monday.


one thousand gifts // chapter five.

if you're just joining us on this book club adventure, welcome! beth and i are on a journey to learn and be reminded of what it is to live a life full of joy and gratitude. we'd love for you to come along!

receiving something you don't deserve.

the verse that kept coming to my mind while reading this chapter was 2 corinthians 12:9.

"but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

i think we tend to look at grace in only one light. that grace is only present in our lives when we are saved from something terrible, from suffering, from tragedy. but what about when a mother loses a child, when your home is destroyed by a fire, when you don't get the job you so desperately needed, or when you receive the news that you or a loved one has cancer. where is grace then? God's grace couldn't possibly be there then, right? wrong. God's grace is there when he gives and His grace is there when He takes away. that is tough for us to swallow. we want to believe that a good God wouldn't let bad things happen.

"all God makes is good. can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God? that which seems evil only seems so because of perspective, the way the eyes see the shadows.  above the clouds, light never stops shining."
-page 88-

so we have to change our perspective. we have to change how we see. and we do that by filling our hearts with the truth and light of God's word. 

“the eye is the lamp of the body. so, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. if then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"
matthew 6: 22-23

friends, don't let the world warp your view of our Lord and of His grace. He is always faithful. always. all is grace.

it was God's grace that nailed His son to the cross to die for us. He gave up His most precious son's life, allowed him to suffer the worst pain, for us. He loved us even while we were His enemy…before we ever knew Him. so remember in the dark moments, the painful and heartbreaking moments, the  moments when you feel like you've been left behind, that you have a High Priest who intimately knows what you are going through and His grace will carry you.

"the Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, 'I know. I know.' the passion on the page is a Person, and the lens i wear of the Word is not abstract idea but the eyes of the God-Man who came and knows the pain."
-page 87-

reading this chapter forced me to look back on my past twenty-four years to see the trail of grace that has been there all along, even when i couldn't see it. i read once that gratitude looks back to grace received in the past and feels full of thanks. faith looks forward to grace promised in the future and feels hopeful. the journey of learning eucharisteo is not easy. we have to learn the hard discipline of giving thanks for all things at all times because God is all good. -page 100-

one thousand gifts. the whole list.
78. beautiful testimonies shining through difficult circumstances
79. cherry blossoms
80. melodies & harmonies
81. sweet blogger friends
82. gifts and cards from friends "just because"
83. work errands with coworkers
84. mountain peaks
85. group text messages
86. a whole weekend with best friends
87. inside jokes
88. refreshing afternoons at the park
89. real and open conversations about life
90. encouraging words for my heart to hear
91. safe travels
92. a grace-filled life

through many dangers, toils and snares i have already come. tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.


a note for you.

hi friends,

so you may have dropped by today to read the next 1000 gifts post, but it's not here! this week has been cray cray and i'm heading out of town for the weekend and i just haven't had time to write the book club post yet. i'm looking forward to a weekend of slowing down and catching up with my college besties.  check back (hopefully sunday evening) for my take on chapter 5.

hope y'all have a beautiful weekend! soak it all up!

p.s. last night i dreamed that kate middleton and i were besties. best dream ever.


thursday's letters.

dear johnny cash, last night i listened to your music while cooking dinner. dancing was involved. dear shadow, you have tried to eat both bees and hornets this week. you will learn your lesson one day, little pup. dear kayaking, you are the best therapy this girl could ask for. dear core group, we only meet two more times before a couple of you graduate. from college. i am old. dear bffls, tomorrow we will be reunited! it's almost been a year since the five of us were in the same city. here's to a great weekend in the home of country music.

what're you doing this weekend?


weekend update.

- spending some time in the sun and reading les mis. slowly but surely i will finish this book.
- playing apples to apples and quelf with complete strangers. awkward but hilarious.
- listening to lennon and maisy's version of this song on repeat
- an afternoon spent kayaking and working on my chaco tan


one // two // three // four // five

1. i've been known to get teary eyed in every disney // pixar movie i've seen
2. until my dying breath i will say that folk // country music is the heart and soul of america
3. in college, my favorite snack was a mix of goldfish and m&ms. you should try it sometime.


funny mondays.

if this doesn't make you smile, i don't know what will.
old people are the cutest.

you're welcome, monday


one thousand gifts // chapter four.

time. i feel like i ran out of it this week and am rushed to write this. i read chapter four in my car, in an almost empty parking lot, on a lunch break. the sunroof open and the sound of cars flying by on the highway just over the hill. i was speed reading through trying to finish in the thirty minutes that i had when i was reminded to slow down. i stopped, closed my eyes, and listened to the wind float through the blossoming trees. gift #74.

it's the gifts in the middle of the craziness. little doses of joy throughout the day and week that add up to so much more.

"being in a hurry. getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. i cannot think of a single advantage i've ever gained from being in a hurr. but a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing… through all that haste i thought i was making up time. it turns out i was throwing it away."
-page 65-

this week was just a good reminder to slow down in the midst of this whirlwind to appreciate the little things. to give them my full attention and to be fully present. "wherever you are, be all there." not worrying about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. i don't want my life to go by in a blur of busyness. i want to remember. all the joy, pain, laughter, and tears. every moment that made me grow and change.

"giving thanks for one thousand things is ultimately an invitation to slow time down with weight of full attention."
-page 69-

what about on the days when i feel like there isn't enough time? when i get caught back up in the busyness of this life? i'll remember that when jesus didn't have enough…enough bread, enough fish, enough strength to carry on…he gave thanks [eucharisteo] for what he did have and it became enough. so i will continue on this journey of gratitude believing that our world's view of "not enough" will be more than enough because of jesus' presence in my life.

life is not an emergency. so slow down and take it all in. the time you have been given is enough.

one thousand gifts. the whole list.
66. wind whistling through the chimes
67. dandelion dust dancing across the yard
68. easter sunday
69. sweet tea and lemons
70. clean dishes and soap suds
71. early evening walks with the puppy
72. target trips with the coworkers
73. the bff getting a new job
74. wind floating through blossoming branches
75. the sound and smell of a spring rain
76. game nights
77. new melodies


thursday's letters.

dear coworkers, y'all are the best. i love random lunch break target trips. dear chacos, get ready to be on my feet all weekend. we might even get to hop into a kayak for an afternoon. dear dandelions, stay with me forever? although, the way you float away on the wind is pretty magical. dear bath & bodyworks, i am almost out of my favorite lotion and am incredibly sad that you have discontinued that scent. dear nashville, watch out. i will be seeing you next weekend.

what are your weekend plans? 


weekend update.

- dyeing easter eggs with my core group girls. it's an annual tradition.
- having breakfast with my favorite 5 year old
- getting to skype with my friend, mer (she was my camper a couple years ago). she's going back to work at camp this summer and each week we are going through part of the Bible study she'll be doing with her campers. it's a blessing to continue learning from jesus and from each other.
- easter dinner with my cousins and grandparents
- watching dr. who (what can i say? i love him.)


1. i miss the old taylor swift. you know, the one with curly hair?
2. if there weren't any negative consequences, i could totes eat my weight in peanut m&m's.
3. i may or may not watch musicals by myself. and i may or may not sing along to every song. i was born for broadway…or an animated movie…since i get stage fright.

how was your easter?


funny mondays.

sorry for the ellen overload, but she always makes me laugh!!
you may want to pause this one just to get the full effect of tony's facial expression.

you're welcome, monday.