Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favorites, Vol. 7

Inspiration



Here's what has moved me in my reading this week:

She Reads Truth Hosea plan. So good. So very good. I love the book of Hosea and know that I am going to reread Redeeming Love for the umpteenth time after this study.

"IF You Are Standing In The Rubble" by Jennie Allen. I feel like I share something of hers every week. Love her, her writing, and her heart for Jesus and women of the world.

"What Love Never Does" by Emily Freeman. I recently just started following Emily again, and I am so glad; especially since I am going to meet her in a few short weeks with my friend Rachel! More on that later. :)

"Until we are tired" by Becca at The Stanley Clan. I am always so very moved by Becca's writing. Her family's ministry in inner-city Atlanta is truly inspiring and challenging to me.

Creation 

[via]

In a few weeks, my sister and I are most likely going to Music Midtown 2014. I'm excited/nervous; I've never been to a music festival. But hey, #yolo. We talked about how we have to look cool and dress like hipsters, and I feel like this hairstyle will do the trick.


Imagination

[via]
I really need some new glasses, so right now I'm imagining my face with some new Warby Parkers. As someone who has worn glasses since second grade, this is a big decision. I have contacts, but I can't see as well with them. {#blind #thestruggle) So in the next couple weeks, I may look like a new woman. You've been warned.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

on singleness

I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away... My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin...

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat... But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.

-Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

Singleness. It's like a four letter word to me some days and the biggest blessing on others. Because my friends, singleness is sometimes hard. Really hard. And sometimes it is pretty stinkin' awesome. The fact that I could pick up and move anywhere right now without regards to another person's life? Pretty great. I'll take it. Yay adventures.

Here's the thing. I've been doing this whole singleness thing for pretty much my entire adult life. There are mountaintops and valleys, just as there are in any other aspect of life. The enemy is very astute. He loves to prowl around and plant lies in the most unsuspecting areas. He can sneak into thought processes in clever little ways, making it seem as though the lies are really just like the truth.

[via]

I don't have any magical words or anything that hasn't been said already. But here is what I'm learning-singleness, just like any other life stage or calling that the Lord has given you-is an arena in which God can move in and through you. Life doesn't begin at the altar. God numbers our days and gives us people to love and tasks to fulfill in each day in every stage of our lives. And while we (the Church) think that sometimes the Kingdom is shaken by #powercouples, that simply isn't true. God can and will use whoever is willing, single or married.

The bottom line is that
a) God does not owe us anything.
b) God is good and gives us more than we deserve.

The greatest temptation at any stage in life is to wish away the current season. Within our lives here on earth, we see the four seasons change (some more than others depending on where you live) each year. In winter, everything lies dormant. Spring brings glimpses of new life, and summer ushers in growth. Fall is a time of abundant harvest. So it is with our seasons of life. We miss the beauty within our current season when we wish it away and do not appreciate it for what it is worth. God's will for us is to be thankful, and often times when we are thankful, He can do so much more in and through us.

God, in His great riches, has bestowed upon us all that we need. He has given us new life through His Son, Jesus Christ. He has chosen us to walk in the light, and in the light, we find that we need Him more and more each day. He chooses to reveal Himself to us, and that alone is cause for rejoicing. Our hearts were made for Him. Our souls cry out to Him. And while us single ladies (and gentlemen) may find ourselves frustrated as we wring our hands at the heavens as we beseech the Lord for answers, we have to understand that He is in control, and all that He does is for His glory and our good.

We have a choice: constantly question God and demand Him to do as we ask, or come to Him with grateful hearts, ready to be used by Him no matter what the circumstances or the cost.

Recommended reading:

"You are Significant With or Without a Significant Other" by Shauna Niequist #preach. I love her.
"4 Lies Single People Need to Stop Believing" via Relevant Magazine
"Let's All Be Brave" by Annie Downs
"Do You Think Your Story Matters Less Because You're a Woman?" by Donald Miller (Watch the video!)
"Your Fears Are Making You Weak" by Jeff Shinabarger
"6 Things Single People Are Tired of Hearing" via Relevant Magazine (but really...)
"Your Story Is Not A Paint by Numbers" by Andrea Lucado

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday ten: Kid Quotes

It's true, kids say the darndest things. This year, I am teaching second grade at Downtown Academy. This is the youngest age I have taught, and they are just the cutest little bunch of kiddos. All day long they keep me laughing to myself with their little quips. I've been trying to keep a log of their quotes in my phone, but it is hard to do so in the moment! Here's a small fraction of what they've said so far:

1. Did you know collard greens comes from grass?

2. The doctor said if I broke my nose again I'd have to get a new one.

3. Me: I never played any sports. Ever.
Student, incredulously: Then why you so skinny?!

4. Your dress is soft. Is it silk?

5. [walking up the hill to the school from the lunchroom, huffing and puffing]: I'm not gon give up, cause mans don't give up!

[via]

6. All teachers got some kind of toughness in em.

7. Me: That looks ratchet!
Student: Whoa you say that too? You know what that means?
Me: Yeah.
Student, to peers: Wow, she's just like a kid still!

8. At my old school they taught me that if you drink too much water [from the water fountain] there's not gon be enough for fish bowls!

9. Student: Do you have kids?
Me: No.
Student: Why? Are you married?
Me: No.
Student: Do you have a man?
Me: No.
Student: You don't have a man?
Me: No.
Student: Oh...

10. Me: Please sit up.
Student [lying down on pillow in reading center]: But it's comfty!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Goals and Bucket List Update

Well friends, summer vacation is over, but the season itself is still in full swing. If you are a local or Southern reader of this blog, you can attest to the blazing temps outside. I'll be so happy when the highs are in the 70s instead of the lows, as will my wallet, since we have to crank the AC all day and night in order not to roast! But I digress...

At the beginning of the summer, I made a little list of goals. I was able to accomplish a few of them, but not all. This summer was still amazing, though, and I am so very grateful. Here's a look at what went down in summer 2k14:
  • Read five new books.- Done! 
  • Get my classroom ready at Downtown Academy before pre-planning in August.- I wasn't able to get my classroom ready before pre-planning because of construction, but I did get done what I needed to get done during pre-planning. :)
  • Buy and complete the Blog Life e-course from the A Beautiful Mess shop.- So this definitely didn't happen. I did, however, buy an e-book called The No-Brainer Blog, and enjoyed reading and learning from it.
  • Complete summer bucket list with friends.- So when a friend calls you and asks you to come to Kenya with her in four days, priorities shift a bit. I did like half of those things. Ha.
  • Return to memorizing the book of James verse by verse.- I'm going to be in a Bible study in a couple weeks that will be studying James, and I am going to return to memorizing the book then. :)
  • Host a 31 Bits party.- Still on the docket and will have to be a fall event. 
I had plans and dreams for this summer, and the Lord far surpassed them all. Don't you love how He does that?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
-Ephesians 3:20-21

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites, Vol. 6



Inspiration

This sweet family who documented their journey with cancer-two terminal diagnoses within one househould.

The knowledge that less is more and more is less. Who cares about keeping up with the freaking Joneses when we have more than we need?!

Taylor's Swift's new song. Judge all you want; it's a jam.

Clear eyes, full eyes, can't lose. Can't. stop. watching. Friday Night Lights.

Sarah Bessey's words on Iraq. So many tears.

Creation

I made some delicious drop biscuits for the first time this weekend, and they disappeared within hours.
Looking forward to making more yumminess with my Kitchen Aid mixer and crock pot when fall finally arrives!

Imagination


{via}

I'd love a world where standardized testing was no longer a part of our school system, but unfortunately it seems like it is here to stay.

I'm going to see Keith Urban again with my BFF Teresa and my sister Lauren, so right now I am imagining his beautiful face on that big screen at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater!

Happy weekend, lovelies.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

why Michael Brown and Ferguson matter

I don't want to write about this. I don't want to talk about this.  But it demands attention, because the world is waking up to the fact that unfortunately, racism is alive and well. Some may shake their heads at the thought that anyone could truly believe it was gone. As a child, I was fascinated with Martin Luther King, Jr. I loved learning about him and others who propelled the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and transformed the landscape of American history. My heart is so heavy. My eyes are so tired from weeping..

And yet I had the understanding that because of my brown skin, people may treat me differently. Sure, I grew up in the suburbs. Most of my friends were white growing up and still are today. But any person of color can tell you that they know what it is to be profiled or judged based on their appearance. Any person of color can tell you about when someone has called them a racial slur and laughed it off, thinking that it was "just a joke."

How can this be? What kind of world are we creating for the children we are raising and educating? Why is it that people are obsessed with the "safe" news? People are upset about persecuted Christians in Iraq, the millions of babies who are aborted each year, and the endangered species that need "saving." But when an innocent, unarmed, African American young man is gunned down in the street? They turn and look the other way.

{via NBC news}
People do this because it is easy. It is comfortable. Throughout the past couple weeks, I have been unable to sleep and have cried many tears as I think about the world we now live in. We have tried to pretend that racism is not real. We have tried to pretend like we do not "see color." We have tried to joke about race relations and just say that we're all the same. But it is in times like these that we see that as far as we have come, we have a long way to go. We all have pre-conceived notions. Stereotypes and generalizations exist for a reason; they are rooted in some truth. But we have to stop lumping people together in groups that fit the little boxes in our heads.

What saddens me most is that the death of Michael Brown is not the first nor the last of its kind. I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to be an African American male in the United States today. Say what you want, but they are at the bottom of the totem pole. Read the statistics. Look at corporate America. The majority of those in power are not those with chocolate skin.

My father, Ed Miller, is the most hard-working man I know. I respect him deeply. I love him even more deeply. Why? Because he is honest. He is smart. He is funny. He is kind and generous. And he is an African American man who "breaks the mold." I am proud to call him my father. Would he be stopped in the middle of his day because a cop "just wanted to make sure everything was ok?" I don't know. The thought of it makes my blood run cold. I'd like to say no, because I know that classism is also a real issue, and his class may prevent him from being a victim of racism. But that's another conversation for another day.

Here's where the fear and heartbreak set in: what will become of the sweet little boys I teach who will someday become black men? If I have sons, what kind of world will they live in? Will the world have moved past Ferguson and begun a conversation that has moved us to action? Or will we continue to say what we want to say without listening? Will we continue to exist in stereotypes, unable to move past our judgments and willing to only listen to those who look and think like us?

90 year old Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor, arrested during Ferguson protests.
What would Jesus do? A popular saying in the 1990s, but a poignant question for us as we examine our hearts and lives in the wake of crucial days and moments in our nation's history. Jesus said that many who are first will be last, and the last first. How can anyone attempt to justify the death of a young man, whether black, white, purple, or red? If someone dies, their death affects lives upon lives upon lives. In this case, Michael Brown's death has affected millions as they watch what unfolds in Ferguson.

Here's what I know: life matters. People matter. And when we begin to realize that yes, this is a race issue, but even more so, a human issue, maybe we can move towards a conversation that moves us toward action that executes justice. Because God only knows that we need Him to move and compel us to speaking on behalf our brothers and sisters, no matter what they look like.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Further reading and listening:

Our Response to Ferguson (Pastor Leonce Crump II)
"To My White People" by Jennie Allen
"This Is What We Mean When We Say It's About Race (To the white person who just doesn't see it)" 
"Affected" by Chookooloonks
"Black Bodies White Souls" by Austin Channing
"First they came for Black people, and I did not speak out" by Matt Stauffer
"America Is Not For Black People" by Greg Howard
"A white cop, a black kid, and a crime" by Jamie the Very Worst Missionary
"How These Righteous Religious Leaders in Ferguson Are Giving Us Hope" by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday ten: Psalms of Comfort

Y'all, I love the Psalms. They are a place of refuge and hiding for me. A place where I know that I can find every emotion and yet still find hope in the Lord. Knowing that the Psalms were written by David, a shepherd boy turned mighty warrior and man after God's own heart is such a comfort to me. I love knowing that a simple and ordinary man was used by His heavenly Father to do great things, yet he was human and flawed, just like me. Here's ten of my favorite verses and passages from the Psalms.

{via}
1. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken...You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
-Psalm 16:5-8,11

2. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
-Psalm 62:1-2

3. Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
-Psalm 112:1-2

4. Trust in the Lord, and do good' dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him.
-Psalm 37:3-7a

5. How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
-Psalm 13:1,5-6

{image via Naptime Diaries}

6. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
-Psalm 34:8-10

7. When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
-Psalm 56:3-4

8. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
-Psalm 100:1-3

9. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.
-Psalm 103:1-2

10. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.
-Psalm 126:1-3

Monday, August 18, 2014

on hard things

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near...Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,
“Yet a little while,
    and the coming one will come and will not delay;
 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
-Hebrews 10:23-25,35-39
It seems like no matter where I look these days, there is news that is so discouraging that it leads me to genuine heartsickness. These past couple weeks, it seems as though the battle between light and darkness has come to a head and we have been made aware of issues that before simmered under the surface. Christian brothers and sisters suffer around the world as they are tortured and killed for their faith. Unarmed African American men are shot in the streets. Gangs use children to sell their drugs. Religious sects fight against one another and bomb each others' cities. Millions of women and children around the world are taken and sexually abused and trafficked, with Atlanta, our own backyard, being the world's hub for trafficking. Planes are shot down from the sky. Fear is instilled in the hearts and minds of millions. Lord Jesus, come quickly.

I have wept and prayed as I read the headlines. What is most troubling to me is my feeling of helplessness. What can I, a 26 year old single teacher in Athens, Georgia, really do that would make a difference? My mind reels and I sit in fear as I think of what the world will be like when or if I have children. The world we live in now is hard, to say the least. It is evil and only getting worse. People (myself included) live for themselves and protect what they deem to be their own. We cater to our needs and look out for own interests. In a word, we've got it backwards. 


{image via Pinterest}

Because God's economy says that we pay attention to the marginalized and watch as they become first. He says to have a banquet and invite the poor and the beggars. He says that we should clothe the needy and invite the homeless into our homes. Why? Because that is how the world will take note of His glory. When we stop building new church buildings and funding programs and instead build lives. When we trust in Him to take care of us and live generously, even when we know we won't see an immediate return on our investment. 

My heart hurts for the pain and suffering I see flashed across the news each day. The temptation I face is to think that I have no power, no voice. But that is just what the enemy would love for me to believe. That I am nothing; I don't matter and can't do anything. After all, if the United Nations and the rest of the world's leaders can't figure out, I sure as heck don't have anything new to add to the conversation. 

But God...

is still on the throne
hears the cries of His people
is not asleep
is still working
is omnipresent
is omnipotent
is omniscient
is still good.

Tonight, I sat in my church pew and listened to two hours of stories. Stories of men and women around the globe who are spreading the Gospel and who are investing in the most important work there is- kingdom work. And I was so encouraged. I learned so much; the most amazing thing being that despite the oppression, martyrdom, and darkness, the Church is stronger than ever. 


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, forthese words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me,“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Revelation 21:1-7

And that, my friends, is the greatest Hope I have. It is my only hope. He is my only hope. Because I know how the story ends. I have no need of fear. But I do have a responsibility and a privilege to join Him in this fight. Because we do not wage war against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of darkness. So it high time we pick up our weapons and fight the good fight. We have all we need in Him, and we will be victorious. Praise God.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Favorites, Vol. 5

How I'd love to spend my last summer nights.
{via}
Inspiration

I've really been missing Nanny lately. I had a dream about her this week and woke up crying. Grief comes in waves, and these blog posts have been such a timely encouragement to my weary heart. Coincidentally (or not), they are by the same author. :)

It's Never Like You Think
Losing Joe

Also, my friend Rachel and I started a little book club with the two of us. We are reading Let's All Be Brave: Living Life With Everything You Have by Annie Downs. Since Annie is a UGA grad, I'm pretty sure we'd be BFFs if we ever met in real life. In fact, I kind of want to be her BFF. Her words have been so good and so very timely.

Creation 

{via}

I am love love loving the new fall line by Noonday Collection. Especially this bag. I've been wanting a nice big brown leather bag, and this just may be "the one." It was love at first sight. :) If you don't know how amazing Noonday Collection is, check out their story. All items are made by women all over the world and in turn sold by more women here in the United States. Fashion meets purpose meets empowerment. What's not to love about that?

Imagination

The Lord provided in some really neat ways, and I am so very proud to say that now I get to pay off my credit card debt (think hundreds, not thousands) in one fell swoop! I am incredibly grateful and want to be a good steward of money. So I have been imagining all the ways I can put this extra money to good use and not just blow it all. Although I do need new glasses and a new phone...

Happy weekend friends!

And the winner of the giveaway from last week is sweet Jessie Canfield! Yahoo! I know you'll enjoy your choice from East West Design Co. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday ten: Good Eats Round 2

After writing volume one of Good Eats, I kept thinking of other places I loved. So here we go again, friends- another round-up of the Classic City's best fare.


1. Independent Baking Co.
As a recovering carb addict, I was so delighted when this little bakery moved in to Five Points. The croissant is perfection. They also have coffee for all you coffee lovers. :)

2. Tlaloc El Mexicano
Authentic Mexican from a hole in the wall place. My idea of heaven.

3. La Puerta del Sol
The East Side location of Cali-N-Tito's that just opened up is beautiful. They have so much more space, and the food is delicious, just like at the original location in Five Points.

4. King of Pops
Ok, so I know that this isn't a restaurant. It's a little cart with popsicles. But boy are those popsicles good! My personal favorites: chocolate sea salt and basil lime.

5. Ted's Most Best
This restaurant is one I haven't been to often, but want to visit more. Their pizza is delicious, and they have a wonderful outdoor seating area.

6. Your Pie
Think Subway for pizza. Personalized and baked in a brick oven. So good. My standby is "The Nat"- fresh basil pesto sauce, mozzarella, feta, grilled Chicken, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. Nom nom nom.

7. Ideal Bagel Co.
As stated in the last Good Eats post, I love breakfast. One day last week, I accidentally showed up to work an hour early, so my friend and I went to breakfast. Because why not? I enjoyed my first visit and hope to return to sample one of their many cream cheeses or try out the lunch menu.

8. Inoko Sushi Express
Sometimes, I just want some hibachi chicken. Inoko satisfies that craving for less than $6 before 5 p.m. on weekdays. :)

9. Jittery Joe's
I don't drink coffee, but most of my friends do. I love tea, however, and JJ has some yummy baked treats (and they are half off after 6!).

10. Herschel's 34 Chicken and Ribs Kitchen
Herschel Walker is known as one of the greatest football players to play between the hedges for UGA football. His restaurant, of course, has a sports bar feel with a menu characterized by southern flair. Yummo.

Monday, August 11, 2014

for such a time as this

There's a lot of buzz in the Christian community these days about what it means to be brave. I feel like I read about it in a new way just about every week through one of the (many) blogs I follow.

brave {adjective}
possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance

Here's what I know. The word of God changes lives. Hebrews 4:13 says

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

How often do we harden our hearts to the this truth? How often do we think we are too far gone to really remember and walk in this truth? How often do we deem others as lost causes, too far gone to change or find freedom? Too often, friends. Too often.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to meet and befriend women in Uganda and Kenya. The Lord gave me the opportunity to sit with them, listen to them, and to realize that they are really not that different than me. Our day to day lives are quite literally worlds apart. But deep down (or maybe not even that deep) we have the same struggles. We have the same hopes and dreams. And we have the same God. We are sisters, all of us, and we have been placed where we are for such a time as this.

While in Kenya, I had the privilege of watching my dear friend Jennifer host a women's day for a group that visited to receive teaching, training, and most some good ol' TLC. Thirty women came and journeyed with their children and their hearts ready to receive whatever we had for them. Some of these women are ministry leaders within their communities. Others are women who are HIV positive and have been otherwise ostracized from society. We didn't know the difference between the two. We just greeted them in love, welcoming them for a day of rest and restoration.




This day proved to be life-changing. The women came, timid and unsure, and at the end of the day, they were laughing and beaming from ear to ear. They had been served by men, which is unheard of in a culture where women are subservient and not valued.  They had been loved on, fed spiritually and physically, and set free. They discussed how they would meet together to continue to go through the materials they had been given. But most of all, they were empowered. Empowered to walk in truth and enable others to do so.





There are so many things going on in the world right now that are cause for tears and grief. The political situations in other nations where our brothers and sisters in Christ are trying to spread the joy and good news of Christ are unreal. There is war, violence, hate, and unbelief. There is darkness and evil.

But there is also hope. And hope is an unwavering anchor for the soul. There is a movement of women who are ready and willing to rise up and give in ways which we haven't before. There are people who are making big waves and changing lives, and they're doing it not knowing if they will fail or succeed. And what's most wonderful about all of this amazing change is that God gets all the glory. Always.

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer



Inspiration for this post:
What No One Tells You About Fear and Comfort Zones and How to Change. the. World by Ann Voskamp (so.many.tears)
You Make Me Brave album by Bethel Music (still on repeat these days)
And Finally I Give You..."Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker (on the growing list of books to read these days)
She Reads Truth Hebrews study, day 4
The Esther Initiative through End Bible Poverty


*All images courtesy of friends on the Kenya team.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Favorites

{via}

Inspiration

Shauna Niequist's latest blog post is just so spot on. When I read her words, it is like reading pages from my journal. 

"Permission to Be Broken" by Jennie Allen: Yes and amen.

Creation 


Y'all, I have some amazing friends. They are super talented and create beautiful things. My mom is a woman who loves a handwritten note card on beautiful stationery, and she definitely passed on that love to me. I love simple, yet elegant stationery. My wonderful friend Rachel from Raving and Raveling and her friend have a brand new Etsy shop called East West Design Co, and friends, this stuff is the real deal. Beautiful prints and stationery. And today, because I love you so much, I'm giving away one item of your choice! Enter below and enjoy! :)

Imagination
I know that is definitely still summer, but I've been dreaming of fall lately. Those chilly mornings and evenings when a sweater and jeans are just right are among some of my favorite things. And that polar vortex the other week? The one that sent us highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s? It was too good to be true. A girl can dream, right?

I bought a jacket similar to this and cannot wait to wear it!
a Rafflecopter giveaway











Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday ten: 2014-2015 wishlist

Well friends, they say you have not because you ask not. I'm so very excited and honored to begin yet another school year, but this year will be different because I'm at a new school! We are blessed to have many wonderful sponsors and contributors, and wonderful people like you have been asking about what we need. Here's my wishlist for this school year. If you'd like to provide something on this list for my room, just email me at jess56@gmail.com. Right now I have 10 students but may have up to 15! :) Y'all are the bomb.

{via}

1. Books, books, books!

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young
Jesus Calling Bible Storybook by Sarah Young
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
My Five Senses by Aliki

2. Desk partitions for wandering eyes. :)

3. Little trinkets for my prize box. Silly putty, play doh, Matchbox cars, baseballs, Nerf footballs, markers, notebooks, candy, snacks, etc.

4. Gift card to a grocery store to buy snacks for when kids don't bring one from home.

5. Bop It! game for indoor recess

6. Rocking chair

7. Any kind of UGA paraphernalia :)

8. Chimes- a good way to signal and get everyone's attention.

9. More books! You can never have too many.

The School Story by Andrew Clements
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Superfudge by Judy Blume

10. Floor lamp- for when we need some mood lighting ;)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday favorites

Inspiration

"8 Ways to Change the World: Advice From 7 Leaders on How to Make a Difference" from Relevant Magazine
In the pursuit of justice, we sometimes try so hard to be a voice for the voiceless that we forget they already have a voice—oftentimes, we just aren’t listening. We unknowingly trample over those we are trying to serve. We break instead of restore. But in learning from the voices of the world, we begin to recognize that culture does not define our worth, but dignity is an inherent gift from God. Jesus is always seen through the eyes of the neglected, the oppressed and the abused. 

"The Beauty of Dignified Work" from Noonday Collection blog
I'm on a big justice kick here, seeing as how I am reading through the She Reads Truth justice Bible study plan, and I loved following the Style for Justice Team in Rwanda. This theme is definitely one that the Lord has brought to the forefront of my mind and heart lately. 

Creation

Tomato & Zucchini Frittata from Love & Lemons
Definitely making this soon. We have a big zucchini and some delicious home grown tomatoes from my roommate's family's house that I am just dying to use.

Tortellini Skillet Lasagna from Lemons for Lulu

Imagination



What if we remembered this truth a little more often that we forgot it? 

Happy weekend, friends.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...