Refine me.

Ever heard that old saying “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another“?

It is proving so true right now in my spiritual life.

All of a sudden, God is making me so aware of my filthiness.

It used to be that I struggled with a few (haha- bear with me!) “big” areas of sin. Little by little, I removed/let go of these sins taking over my life. I assumed that without these sins overwhelming my heart, mind, and life, I would be “okay”. I would be so much “better”. I wouldn’t be down trodden by sin. I was so wrong!- Now that I have moved on from these things, I am so much more aware of the abundance of my life that is other sin.

Pure, filthy, ugly sin. 

Praise the Lord though that He does not leave us in this helpless state to fend for ourselves!

As I am reminded minute by minute of my constant disobedience to God, the very Lover of my soul, He is refining me. He does not give up. With His bare hands, He continues working on His masterpiece, sculpting with intense purpose.   Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

He sees potential in my mess. He has laid out a plan for my life, far better than any of my plans or wildest dreams. He doesn’t give up on me when I choose Facebook, Instagram, and gossip {#worthlessthings} over time in communion with Him {creator of the Heavens and the Earth}.

Instead, He is maturing me in the midst of the muck.

But far better than that, He has already cleansed me. He forgave/forgives me completely.

I’ll leave you with this- Just listen.

As I have listened to it the past few weeks, I thought Landon sang, “For I am your God, I will still give you away.” haha- go figure! My girly mind goes straight to thinking of a wedding…  I finally googled it today to find the lyrics are actually, “I will still give you aid.”

However, I am choosing to stick with my version. My God is so merciful, He will still “give me away”; He will present me blameless. (Isaiah 41:10 and Phillipians 2:15) I am forever thankful for that grace that washes me clean each and every day.

Blown away by the Lord’s faithfulness to those with little faith,

Updates!

Doing All the Work

Revisiting WordPress today for the first time in months feels kind of funny! But I wanted to stop in for a second to share a thought with you…

I always find myself (disgustingly!) wondering what things would be like if I didn’t “improve” the situation? Do you ever do this?…  I mean wondering:

-What would the kitchen look like if I didn’t clean it?

-Would anyone do laundry (or have clean clothes) around here if I didn’t?

-Would the dishes just pile up if I didn’t load the dishwasher & put them away after?

It’s not a pretty thought. I should gladly help with a smile on my face. 

While cleaning the counters today, after prepping all the ingredients for homemade pizza with sweet friends tonight (:, my mind began wandering. I had to think how much more mothers must feel this way. I know I constantly let my mom do stuff for me without as much a “Thank you!” (Much less the hug she deserves.)  As humans and women, I think deep down we want the recognition. We feel so proud we completed this and that and marked 47 things off our to do list in one day…

But I write all this to say, How much more recognition does Jesus deserve? 

He constantly picks up after me. I forget to acknowledge that.

He cleans up all my messes. I rarely say thank you.

He goes before me into each day. I get there and enjoy myself without ever turning to him.

He makes sure I have a clean outfit heart. I even take that for granted.

And He does it “with a smile on his face,” without expecting anything in return but Faith in Him~ Something this girl needs to learn.

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Heavenly Father, I love the way life can practically throw me into realizing how great You are. You sent your Son for me. How could I deserve that? You know I don’t. The way You love me feels tangible in these moments. Incredibly thankful. Thank you for working for me even when I fail You. Amen

Easy Apple Turnovers

There is nothing quite like good conversation, dessert, and hot coffee after dinner.

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Mitchell & I were planning to head over to his grandparents Monday night to hang out and so I could meet his great aunt and great uncle. I wanted to take a dessert but I didn’t want it to be to drawn out because I knew my mom was in the kitchen getting dinner ready.

My first thought was Apple Turnovers, a childhood favorite. I happened to already be in Target (I’d move in if they would let me!) so all I had to grab were crescent rolls!

I put them together in about 15 minutes and they only took 20 to bake- perfect :) They smelled so good cooking that my family practically begged to have them with dinner! I obliged. Even after each of us having one, there were still plenty to share!

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2 cups peeled and chopped apples (I used pink ladies. Don’t even consider canned.)

1/3 c sugar

2 tbsp flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon (I adore cinnamon, so I was extra generous here!!)

Dash nutmeg

two 8 oz cans refrigerated crescent rolls 

Glaze:

1/2 c powdered sugar

water to the right consistency

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Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together first five ingredients; make sure apples are well coated. Take a bite- this mixture is amazing. Roll dough out and separate the 16 triangles. Spoon 1 rounded tbsp of apple mixture into the center of each. Fold dough over the filling, overlapping each corner. Try to close up all the holes! Place each on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Combine glaze ingredients and mix until smooth. Drizzle over the top & lastly,

CUS1590Enjoy

The everyday accessory

I admired dogeared necklaces on other people for the longest time before I finally got my own! However, ever since I took the plunge and purchased one for myself, it can constantly be found around my neck. I literally only take mine off occasionally for a statement necklace.

http://www.dogeared.com

I purchased this one first for one of my best friends.

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Then I had to have an outline of a cross although I think it has recently been discontinued.. I can’t find a picture for you anywhere!  Sadly, after about 6 months of wear and tear, It broke :(

So, Mitchell replaced it with this one- I think my favorite!!

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And my current one. (A Christmas gift from Mrs. Brenda! Thank you)

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They sell for $40-60 each, and they are definitely versatile enough to make that price reasonable.

You need one. Its the accessory you literally do not have to think about but other people will!

The Second One

I typed an entire post with you this afternoon and it deleted just before I clicked “publish”! Ughh. At least practice makes perfect!!

Thursday marked the end of exams and the end of my sophomore year! I treated myself to a end of semester treat= a heavenly massage! It was the perfect way to relax after a week of tests and studying (and mexican with friends, packing, and way to many HGTV shows.) After my massage I left Starkville for the last time as a student at Mississippi State- whoa! But I am so excited for this summer and fall and everything those two will bring. Praying for a time of growth and preparation this summer. I know it will be a big change but I can’t wait.

As soon as I got back to Collierville, I had to do some rearranging, cleaning, and decorating. I think I’m addicted. My room for the summer is finally settled in and just homey enough. Still trying to convince my dad into adding some hardwood. The homemade goo from elementary school apparently wasn’t supposed to be left on carpet (whoops!) For now, I’m loving this set up. It won’t belong before I’m gathering everything again to move in August!

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The wall with the table and lamps really needs a pick me up so I’m planning to recreate this pretty soon!

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Today has been pretty laid back other than a bootcamp workout my mom & I did this morning. It kicked. our. booties. in the best kind of way! I know I’m going to be extremely sore tomorrow!! But it was nice to have an intense workout in so we could relax for the rest of the day, help Josh find a hat for the torrential down pour known as Beale Street music fest, finish getting everything unpacked and organized, and enjoy Las Delicias for dinner with some Sonic to follow! I’m becoming addicted to their mini Caramel Banana shakes… so good. but so bad. Did I already undo that early morning workout?!

I’m so excited for this tomorrow/weekend! I’ll be heading to Whitney’s first shower tomorrow night! I can’t believe she’ll be getting married in 4 months!

What are your weekend plans?

P.S. A new show is starting on HGTV and I think I’m meant to be the star of it. Renovation Raiders. While the homeowners are out to dinner, a room in their home is renovated!! — I once painted my bathroom while my parents were out to dinner… let me tell you, it looks just lovely. ;)

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Survival

ExamWkEssentials

Coffee in the form of Iced Caramel Lattes, good music, a planned reward to celebrate finishing, studying something that has eternal significance, food to fill the tummy and fuel the mind during last minute cramming, great friends for encouragement and much needed breaks (not the TV show this time!)… all served with a side of procrastination!

See you on the other side!

A Quick Workout for Busy Days

Travel days are always busy- even when the “traveling” is only 2 hours worth from Starkville to Memphis.

Wednesday was a busy day that involved finishing all my classes for the semester (woohooo!), completing a project, babysitting, and driving home!  Knowing all that the day held, I pulled myself out of bed and headed downstairs even though it was the perfect stormy morning for sleeping in!

I planned on having eggs like I have the last couple days (trying to get more protein), but I just wasn’t feeling it. My belly wanted carbs… in the form of cinnamon cereal. So I went with it. Alongside my cereal, my new mug I got for my birthday filled with coffee from the keurig, 2% milk, and stevia. Thanks Mom!

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The almonds and strawberries were a pre workout snack

Even in this busy day, I wanted to get a good workout in (without taking too much of the day) and make use of my new running hat :) Thanks M!

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I hit the Sanderson Center after class for this:

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And let me tell you, my heart was pumping! It felt a lot better to ride in the car knowing I had 3 miles done.

Can you find 40 minutes to get your heart pumping? It’s not so bad if you take the Lifetime app with Army Wives on demand ;)

PS: Have you heard of She Reads Truth?! It is daily devotional for women.. I highly suggest you grab a cup of coffee and head on over there today. A new portion is beginning, with the focus on Hosea. It’s too good to miss. I posted a link on my Facebook this morning- I promise it’s so good.

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Overdraft

Saturday morning I woke up and immediately headed to the kitchen to find the waffle iron and get cooking. There is nothing better than fresh waffles on a Saturday morning!

While I cooked, my older brother called (the one who used to add up multiple charges from his debit card and subtract that one sum out of his check register..), and told my mom and I that last night when he looked at his Regions app, we both had negative balances…

I knew it couldn’t be right. I keep up with my credits, debits, deposits, everything on my Regions mobile app.. I had just checked it the day before and everything was fine.

After checking into it further, he was right. A check I wrote in February was just deposited, in April. My lack of writing in my check register came back to bite me! I had, in fact, overdrafted. Ughh- Now I was so frustrated at myself… If I had just written everything down, this would not have happened.

But, I called regions, told them my story and even went on to say, “I know it is really due to my lack of keeping track..” The sweet guy I talked to credited back $18 of the $35 I was charged. I was so glad.. although I did selfishly think that getting the entire $35 back would have been better!

Romans 6:14

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

As I calmed down, I started to think of the grace, although partial, the bank had shown me. It reminded me of the amazing grace God shows us say in and day out.

We “overdraft” our “accounts” every single day.

We are naturally sinners.

But our “bank”, God, credits us back the fee, over and over. 

He doesn’t credit us back partially, but always fully.

He forgives and wipes our slate clean.

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I couldn’t be more thankful for our forgiving God, and practical metaphors that show us clearly how he loves us fully and consistently shows us grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

DWYS: 2

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20130419-DSC_394220130419-DSC_3953 20130419-DSC_394820130419-DSC_395020130419-DSC_394720130419-DSC_3976Just for kicks, this little beauty had to join in on the fun!

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Shirt: Old Navy, Chambray

Leopard Belt: Kohls

Shorts: Ann Taylor LOFT (love em so much I also own the denim!)

Coral Earrings: Target

Don’t let a low budget keep you down!! Some Target, Kohls, and Old Navy finds put together with purpose can stand beside the J Crew ensembles any day!