Sunday, September 23, 2012

Check Your Feet

So this morning on my way to church, I rushed back to my room to put on my shoes.

Slipping them onto my feet quickly, I grabbed all of my loot and headed out the door, shouting goodbye to our house guest.

I closed the door behind me, juggling three bags and on my way down the three steps to the car, I glance down and notice this.

Yep, they are two different colors. (Sorry it's not the most fabulous picture - one black and one red shoe)

Yep, I put them on in the dark. Yep, they are the same brand and style so they felt the exact same putting them on.

So came laughing back into the house, announcing to Jen that my shoes were wrong.

Hilarious! I almost wore them that way to see if anyone would notice, but the red shoe did not go with the outfit!

It was one of those moments where I am thankful that because of my clumsiness I look down at the ground to watch where I am going! It definitely came in handy today!

Check your feet on the way out the door!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Recipes, Relationships, Redemption

Tonight was a sweet night.

Our Bible study small group met together to share life together by sharing our stories - what has God done in our lives to this point.

I stole this idea from a fellow small group leader and was so excited to get to know this incredible women in a new way as our small group time FLIES by each time we meet.

Cheryl was SUPER kind in us being able to meet in our apartment, meaning she was banished to her room! :) Thanks, roommate!

Having people over is so fun and it means I get to use fun new recipes!

I am going to show two of my current favs!

 I found this cute printable on a couple of weeks ago.

Simple finger foods were on the agenda - pumpkin muffins, spicy hummus (did not make this), salsa, pizza dip and lemonade and tea.
 One of my new favorite recipes was found on Pinterest.
My Pinterest Page

It is seriously SOOOO easy

Pumpkin Muffins
1 box of cake mix (I used yellow, but white would work too - or a spice cake would be DELISH)
1 can of pumpkin (the smaller, 15oz can)
1-2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Mix together. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

I added just a little milk to lighten up the dense batter (less than 1/4 cup)

 This is one of my friend, Kara's, favorite recipes. SOOOOO yummy!

Pizza Dip 
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temp
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayo
1 c. mozzarella, grated
1/2 c. parmesan, grated
1 c. pizza sauce
2 ounces pepperoni
Any other pizza toppings you want!

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayo and 1/4 c. of each cheese and spread on the bottom of a pie plate. (I only used mozzarella because that's what I had on hand!)
Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the remaining cheese, pepperoni, and any other pizza toppings you want.
Serve with crusty French bread, pita chips, or crackers.
The night was filled listening to stories of how God has intricately woven His tapestry through each one of our lives.
The themes of redemption, guidance, direction, plan, and grace were mentioned repeatedly.

Our paths in coming to this place in this time vary greatly, but the impact is far-reaching. The journey can be a number of things - painful, joyful, stretching, adjustment, hopeful, redemptive, and so much more.

I love how God's masterpiece is brilliantly orchestrated, sewn, and how the fabrics of our lives include the colors of so many themes - all to bring Him glory.

Our time went so quickly, that we are meeting again soon to finish hearing each story.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of friendship. What precious women with whom to walk this part of life together. Your story is beautiful told in each life. Oh how I hope you delighted in seeing the tears, laughter, amazement, rejoicing, and life spoken here tonight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wedding Day - Luke and Abby

The big day came on July 7.

(I'm going to do a separate post on people we were able to see at the wedding)

 This is Luke and I - normal
 The beautiful bride
 Yeah - sisters!
 They did all of their photos before and it was fabulous!

Charlie Belle eating her dress because it was a delicious dress!

The new Spencer clan!!!! We keep growing and I love it!

 OH MY!!! Could eat her up!!!!

 Uncle Luke tried!

 All Luke and Abby's nieces and nephew!

 Luke and Abby did generational photos. Grandma and I were checking out hers. Love this woman!
 Luke's Side
 Luke and Grandma Jean - so thankful she could come!!!
My baby brother - a groom!!!!

 Love them!!!

 They walked out to "I Feel Good" - thus Luke's face and awkward looking movements in this picture!
 The Main side of the family
Spencer side of the family

It was amazing to have so many of the extended family there! What a sweet gift!

 It was a long day for little miss                      Cute sign leading into the reception area

 Luke's baseball cake!

 Luke put on his baseball hat, to which Abby replied, "Only for two minutes!" Hilarious!
                                                                                       Best buds - Luke and Matt

 Whoa! We're married!
Congratulations, Luke and Abby!!! Love you both so much!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

An "Abnormal" Week

What is normal anymore???? Moving from a highly structured school-day formatted environment to a laid-back, you-never-know-what-might-walk-through-the-day office environment is like night and day. The beautiful part has been that I see so many of the same people (ie: students and staff) each day, but the interaction is very different.

Last week, I was hit head on with the realization to be prepared and Spirit-led at each moment. If you are a follower of Jesus, we know that intellectually, but living it can be very different.

A "typical" day starts with a quiet office, open Bible, sometimes our Ladies Bible study book, and a pen. I love those early, still mornings to rest and enjoy the Lord's presence. This has been sweetness for my soul.
After that, every day is different. Preparing for the week, lessons, chapel, details for programs, setting up, cleaning the office, reorganizing things, talking with people who drop in - this is "normal".

Last week, numerous students came by to talk. It hits what my heart loves - building relationships, hearing hearts, and asking the Lord for wisdom!

Students laughed, cried, shared, opened their hearts, talked freely, and sometimes more than one of those!

I realized again in a new way that ministry has the potential to be completely draining. It requires a daily filling of the Spirit, an undeterred reliance upon God, a complete humility in realizing I have nothing to offer - doesn't this side like life?

So many things in my "job" have changed, but so much of it is the same. It is loving students, praying truth over them, desiring for their passion to be about Christ, and hearing their hearts.

My heart breaks for so many of them. It is the time-old questions we've all asked in one form or another, "Am I good enough? Will they accept me? Why my family? Why can't I just be myself? Who am I?" and so on.

Yet, my heart rejoices at this unique opportunity. I don't know how I would be doing this title anywhere else. I'm thankful to be here. I'm thankful for the freedom to take the time to talk to them, to listen, to be available, and to grow.

I "found" this song this past week in the midst of talking with students. It is a beautiful reminder that redemption brings freedom in the midst of our weakness and weariness in the battle. Praying each precious one finds Jesus in the midst of each of their storms, that truth permeates each battle, and that hope would be delight as they Jesus guide them through each step.

So what may have been what I considered an "abnormal" week, may end up being normal; I'm ok with that.

And so dependence on the Lord grows. Reliance upon Him must be strengthened. And I must continue to die to self. Knowing it's all for His glory.

What a joy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rehearsal Day!

This was our second family wedding in Dallas, but the differences between being a part of the bride's family is quite different than being a part of the groom's family.

The big thing we had to prepare for was the rehearsal dinner. The consensus was to invite all family in town, wedding party, and others involved to be a part of the rehearsal dinner. So the obvious choice was to have BBQ and Blue Bell with Texas sheet cake. It was such a fun night of laughter, tears, and time with family.

 We spent the afternoon making centerpieces.      Love this picture of CB with the twinsters!
 CB received much loving this evening! How could you now help but love on her???

 Sister and her best friend forever!!!
 Hannah and I were Scripture readers. So I had a plan worked out for the rehearsal since i thought we would practice. I had prepared, Deuteronomy 21:10-12 to read as the practice (knowing full well I would be disowned forever if I were to read this during the ceremony). Sadly, we didn't get to practice, so I read it to Mama Lisa instead.
(The passage says, "When you go out to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails.")
 Look at that beautiful face! She melts my heart
 Talking with Bill and Rachel who just had their sweet baby boy!
 This is what happened most of the night - baby passing, talking, being with one another. Weddings are so quick and all of our family traveled many hours to be there. It was so nice to have time to talk and be together.

 CB getting some loving from her daddy
 Luke giving a little heartfelt shout out to momma and pappy.
The "Jeans"
Abigail Jean, Hadley Jean, Alice Jean (Grandma), and Madelyn Jean
All of us (except Grandma) are named after Grandma!

Grandma with her daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters Aunt Jan, Crystal, Hadley, Grandma, Hannah, Charlie-Belle, and momma
 The new girls hanging out and getting to know each other.
We went over to the Kirkpatricks after the rehearsal dinner to hang out. We kept standing up and that cute baby was on the couch. Mama Lisa kept saying, "Sit down." While she was in the kitchen, we all stood up and were around the baby. We said we were re-enacting the nativity. :)
 We love this baby!

We love these sweet friends! What precious gifts! 

One of my favorite things about friendships is when you can go weeks, months, or years without seeing each other and pick right up where you left off! That is a treasure!

Wedding post upcoming!