Monday, October 3, 2016

My Unplanned Plans

    Hey everyone! It has been a while since I've posted, so I figured I would jump on here and kind of share what we have been living for the past 2 years. I know more people than just myself tend to get discouraged and flustered when things just don't seem to go as they should. So incase you don't understand the title, unplanned plans is the way life unfolds and goes completely against the way you had planned.
    To kind of explain what I mean, I will give you a little of our back story of whats been going on. I think I explained how my most amazing guy, Steve and I met in the last post. Fast-forward to now. We have known each other for over 2 years now! Shortly after meeting we knew we wanted to spend our lives together. So, I thought for sure we would be married withing a year, at the most maybe a year and a half. Well guess what? It has now been TWO years later, and we are still not married. This is not because we don't want to be together, or have some relationship issues. With any other kind of relationship, getting married is not a big deal. You get engaged, set the date and you're married. Sometimes you may have a few bumps as any relationship does, but still it's relatively smooth. Well insert the army, and you have a whole different set of problems. We have had many (counting on leave being approved so we could be engaged) tentative wedding dates only to be disappointed when leave was lost,  or was never turned in by those higher up. In the 2 years I have known Steve, he has had 1 leave approved in 24 months, and that one came a few months after we had first met. We really need leave to be approved so we can get engaged, and please don't suggest Skype. ;) We are very sentimental people, and believe God will eventually allow leave or some other means to go through, for this first step to happen.  As hard as waiting is, we want our engagement to be special. (We are currently shooting for Oct-Nov leave, so please pray with us!!!) I am not saying all this to make anyone feel sorry for us, Steve is THE BEST thing that has ever happened (after my salvation) in my life. He completes me even from 600 miles away, I can't wait to one day be together!!! He is so worth the wait! :) Our story is a lot easier compared to others I'm sure, but it just proves how so far my life has gone the unplanned plan route.
   I thought the hardest part was being single and waiting for Mr. Right to come along, but having to continually wait to be with Mr Right when you so, so, SO want to be together, is a close tie. Expecially when you have to watch others get married, have babies, and even some get engaged twice! I tend to occasionally get worried and discouraged a bit, but when I do Steve lets me talk it all out (which can take a while ;)) and then he brings me down to being reasonable and calm once again. He's pretty amazing! :)
 There is usually one reason I become worried and somewhat panic-y, and that is comparison! The Bible warns us of doing this:

2 Corinthians 10:12 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

I have to constantly remind myself that I am not in a race with my friends to see who gets married first, has a baby first or any thing like that. The Lord wrote our own life stories specifically for us, knowing what we could each handle, and what would bring Him the most glory. I don't always understand why at 26 I am not married yet, but I do know more than anything else that God loves me, and He is not doing this TO me to be mean, but for a reason I just don't see. Being in a certain place in life does not make you any better or worse than the next person.

 When I get discouraged about where I am in life, compared to where I THINK I should be, these are the things I try to decide I will do.

    ***I WILL:

        ~ Be thankful.
            I'm sure many of us have seen the quote, but it is so true. There are those who are praying for what you have. If we can't trust God and be thankful for what God has already blessed us with, how can we expect God to give us more. I try to list in my mind all that I have to be thankful for. God is so very very good to us. We have no reason to complain about anything!
        ~ Not compare.
            I will remember God is the perfect Author. His story books aren't like any other books, where I can go to the last chapter or so and read the ending to see if I'll like the book before I go through the trouble of reading it.(I'm bad, I know!)  His is a real life book. You can't read any farther than the exact page you are on. You just trust this Author loves you, and knows what you want but also knows what is best for you. Trust Him until you get to read (live) the next pages. Don't insult the Author by inserting what you see someone else is doing, because likely it won't turn out the same, and you never want to make this One mad. We all want our ending to be beautiful!

         ~ Change my attitude.
            Our attitude will reflect how we look at things. If we are mad or sad, everything we see or do will be negative. It is never okay to have a bad attitude, and allow our actions to affect others. The Bible tells us over and over we are not to be controlled by our emotions, because they can change so quicly and usually are not even rational.

Proverbs 28:26 "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."

Proverbs 16:32 "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."

The poor people around us, especially our boyfriends/husbands/fiances, family members, and even those who have the misfortune to run into us in the store have to deal with so much because so many of us girls/ladies have not yet learned how to handle our emotions. This is one of the things I try to work so hard on, not allowing my emotions dictate how I act. I hate the idea that girls are allowed to be grouches because they are just emotional. God tells us numerous times how we can fix this, it just requires us recognizing it and working on it. I'm not saying that we don't all have bad days, I have them as well, but my bad day doesn't have to make someone else have a bad day too. We must learn how to act like we have a merry heart, until we do.

Proverbs 15:13 "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken."

Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Lastly, when you are emotional begin to think of the things that Philippians 4:8 tell us to do, look at the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. I had to do this just today when I began to get a little down by a few things, and I was amazed at how well this worked!

***I'm not sure where all my readers are in life, but I'm going to guess that there are many others who's lives didn't go as planned. These are some of the things that helped and still continue to help me, even up until today, and I hope that maybe some of them will help someone else to realize that God's plans are SO much better than our plans. I have yet to see how God will unfold things in our lives, with us getting engaged, married and then changes in life after that, but I do know that I want His plans, and I will gladly live the unplanned plans!

What are some things that help you? :)

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Unfolding Of A Fairytale

    I am so excited about this post! If you have been following my blog at all you know it's mostly been posts about being single and waiting on the Lord's timing to meet that guy. Well the Lord allowed me to meet an amazing guy while on vacation of last year, so I wanted to tell the story of how we met. Instead of me just telling it, I thought it would be so much better if we each told the story the way it happened from our sides. So I asked Steve if he would be willing to tell his side, and because he's amazing he said yes. So here it goes. :)

I feel like this should start with "Once upon a time..." because it really feels like the story of how Jess and I met is a story out of a fantasy book. It's not unbelievable in the fact that it is some overly fake, flowery fairytale but in that fact that God worked in every aspect of our lives to bring us together in quite the unusual way. It was way to "coincidental" to be coincidental. It all started back about two years ago. I was at a dead end in my life's path. I wasn't going anywhere. I was working a difficult and poorly paying job. I was tired of accomplishing nothing. The idea to join the Army was a far shot and I didn't think it would work. I was sure that something would not allow it to work out but nevertheless it did. As I made it through basic training and AIT, I found myself in Ft. Bragg, NC. Not sure why but I figured God had me here for a reason and I would just have to go with it. Being here wasn't bad at first. My daily routine was pretty straight forward and easy to get into. As I got into the late summer though, my schedule started to get quite busy. I found myself in one thing after another from field exercises to weird shifts. I didn't care though because I was single and didn't have anything better to do. Although I really wanted someone special in my life, I was content to remain single and make a career out of the Army. Or I thought so until a certain Sunday in August. I was pulling night shifts at the time for a field exercise. I got back that Sunday morning and was very tired. I wanted to sleep so bad but the pull to be back in church won out. I fought to wake myself up, get ready and I went to church anyway. I walked in to our Sunday school room and my heart skipped a beat when I saw a new young lady sitting there off by herself. I did pretty good about remaining collected, but the whole class, I was wondering who she was and if I would see her again. During the class, a special guest was there and he even addressed relationships and said that if you leave the decision for your spouse in God's hands, you wouldn't have to try very hard. God would work it out. Well after going the rest of the day not talking to her but finding out who she was, I wasn't sure it was going to work. I wanted a sign that she was the one to pursue a relationship with but I thought it was over by that night. I spent quite some time on her Facebook page considering whether or not I should try to contact her when to my surprise, I got a friend request. It was from her! My heart skipped another beat. I messaged her the following morning and the rest is history. looking back on the whole thing, all I see is God's guiding hand Putting us both right where we needed to be at the right time. There are so many instances where a slight change would have never allowed us to cross paths. It's been challenging being in a long distance relationship but God continues to take care of us and help us through it. Waiting on God's plan for my future has been the best thing I ever did. Our relationship is strong and I hope and pray the "Once upon a time..." will end in a "and they lived happily ever after."

   This is kind of one of those stories that as you tell you are reminded by how amazing God is, and many times His will sneaks up on you when you least expect it. :)
   When I graduated high school in 2008, unlike many other people, I felt the Lord wanted me to stay exactly where I was and just keep serving in the church my Dad pastored. I had prayed about it and just didn't feel any leading anywhere else, so that's what I did. Like every young girl I desired to find and have the someone that God had created for me, but wasn't sure how this was going to come about. It was a constant learning experience to learn to be thankful and content to just wait on the Lord's timing to bring that relationship about in His time. I would get the question a lot why was I still here and not going to college. Many times when I would get questioned I would have to go back and pray and make sure this was what God wanted of me.....then I would get the overwhelming peace yes this was exactly what He wanted me to do. Countless people tried to pair me with certain guys they thought were "just perfect" for me, and even my sweet teen girls who I worked with tried their best to help me. I just got burnt out with everyone's well meaning efforts to "help". I wanted God's will for me, and knew that He would have to be the One to do it. So I threw myself into teaching piano lessons, and serving to my fullest capacity in church. My goal was to make myself so busy doing for others that I had no time to complain for very long. I loved being so heavily involved in so many aspects of the ministry. I would still get discouraged quite often, but my parents were my greatest encouragers. My Mom would always say, "Jess, it's going to be beautiful." Many times it was hard to believe, but the Lord made it absolutely beautiful!!
   In August of 2014 we went on our yearly vacation. We usually vacationed in Tennessee for a good while, then to NC for a couple of days to visit family; but this time my Dad decided we'd go to Georgia for a few days, head to NC then back through Georgia. So our timeline of where we would go to church was affected a bit. While we were in Georgia one of my married sisters had some medical issues come up, and I thought for sure we would cancel our vacation, but my parents decided to press on. Sunday we went to the church we previously attended when we lived in NC, I went to the singles/military class and waited for it to start. Shortly after I sat down a tall, very handsome guy came in and sat behind me on the opposite side of the row. Class began and there was a guy who came in, sang and gave a testimony about how he met his wife, and how it was so important to leave the decision of your future spouse to God. Class ended and I headed to the auditorium for church to begin. When I saw my Dad he asked me if there was anybody who was nice looking in class, this was his usual question that he has asked me for years to which I usually replied no, but this time I said yes and pointed him out. Soon after, a lady from church came up and said she had someone she wanted me to meet, I didn't know it was the same guy from class until later. Sunday night came and I saw him again and thought there was somewhat of a connection, but he never came and talked to me. I thought it was over when I left; but that night I just kept thinking about him and decided to find him on Facebook. My Dad had seen his last name on his uniform, and after some searching I found him. I sat there for a while debating if I should send him a friend request, then finally I did something I had never done before or after and sent a guy I didn't even know a friend request. I thought if nothing comes of it I will just unfriend him later. The next morning I had a mini heart attack when I saw a Facebook message from him telling me he didn't think seeing each other was a coincidence and wanted us to get to know each other. We were supposed to be leaving that following day, but we really wanted to meet. The Lord worked it out in spite of his busy schedule and he came over and spent 4 hours that night with us. We even stayed an extra day so we were able to see each other again at church Wednesday night. 
   Since then it has been a roller coaster of events with different things in the army, but it has truly been the best time of my life. Long distance relationships can be tough, but like the miraculous way God brought us together He has also sustained our relationship and made it grow so much stronger. Who else but my Heavenly Father could orchestrate a guy from Ohio and a girl from Florida to meet in North Carolina on vacation, on a Sunday that we could've easily have missed each other. The timing of everything had to be absolutely perfect. It truly does feel like a fairytale, and I can't wait to see and more importantly live how this beautiful story unfolds! :)

    Here's me and my guy! He was able to come down a little bit ago; we got to take some pics and spend an amazing couple of days together. :) 
   I hope that this in someway was a help to someone, or maybe even just a neat story to read about how wonderful our God is. It is always so much better to just wait on God regardless of your stage in life! In just this little story it is amazing to see all the traces of Gods hand directing our paths so that we would one day meet. To all my followers who are single, please wait on God and allow Him to reveal the beautiful relationship He has for you in HIS time. It is definitely worth the wait!!    

Friday, January 23, 2015

*The Fairytale Of A Single (Girl)*

   Well I am finally back again, hopefully a little more regular than I have been. Honestly I had been considering taking my blog down, because I feel like I'm learning so many things that I'm not sure if I could help anyone else, but after some prayer and encouragement from my favorite person I decided to keep it up. If I can help one person, it's worth it! :)
   As a lot of my posts are, this one will be mainly for my single (girl) friends, because I think they are my biggest audience and it's a subject still very close to my heart. In my opinion, what you do at this time can and will end up deciding ultimately how your life goes.
   For those who don't know me personally, as I said in my last post, I have had an exciting 6 -7 months now! In August of last year the Lord allowed me to meet an absolutely wonderful guy while we were on family vacation. I never saw it coming, but looking back I can see God's guiding hand as He laid the plan out perfectly, as only He can, for us to meet. Maybe one day soon I will share how it happened, but I have an idea that I'm hoping will work on how to do that. In my opinion, the best kind of "fairytales" are the ones written by God that you never see coming. I like the word fairytale, because I'm a girly girl, and think this is the best one I've ever seen. ;)  As mushy or even dumb as this sounds, I seriously wake up many days and wonder if I'm dreaming, and am so happy when I remember, No this is real life!! :)
   Do you know the one thing about this is there is nothing special about me? I don't get to wake up and feel like I'm living in a dream because of anything great I am or I have done, but because God's plans are only fairytales when they are revealed in HIS time! So that means that if I get to have a fairytale, so can you! (Unless you're not a fairytale kind of girl/person, then whatever you want to call it.)
  As I was driving somewhere the other day I was impressed with how in some broad ways God's will parallels some of the aspects of salvation, hopefully they will make sense to someone else too:
     * It's freely offered.
         Salvation costs us nothing, so also God's will and plan also is freely offered to each one of us.
     * Not a respecter of persons.
         So thankful salvation is not only offered to a certain type or class of people, it includes
         each and everyone of us. So also, God has a plan for everyone's life. Each life is just as
          important to God. and He directs and plans each life as He sees fit.
     * You have a free will.
         You can choose to accept or reject Gods offer of salvation; if you reject, you will one day
          sadly reap the benefits of that decision. So also, if you choose to not wait or choose your own
          way you will also not be exempt from the consequences that come with that.
     * Requirement of salvation is to simply to accept His free offer; so also we must accept to wait and trust God's plan, whether we understand it or not!

Regardless of what stage of life you are in, waiting seems to be the one consistent thing we all have to do at some point through each stage. It's not fun, but as I told one of our teen girls last night and one of my favorite sayings is:

    Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." You cannot decide what God's plan for your life is, only He can show that to you, so if He has not and until He does you must wait. However, waiting is not sitting around complaining and being depressed about what God hasn't done in your life that you think He should, it is happily (fake it if you must at times) being busy trusting that His plans are better than mine, knowing that when it's in HIS time He will unfold everything. Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Don't waste your time searching and searching for "God's will" it has not been lost, He knows exactly what He's doing. You will only end up with the wrong guy, or at the wrong place, or you will continually be depressed when all of your searching for whatever you think is God's will turns up empty. God has the perfect plan for you, He has not forgot about you, but you much choose to let HIM reveal it to you in His perfect time. During the waiting period it can seem like it is forever and that it will never end, but when you finally are on the other side and you get to live your "fairytale" you will be SO very glad you waited. :)   
Proverbs 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."


Thursday, November 13, 2014

   Hello everyone!! I have been MIA for the past 4 months, but 3 out of the 4 have been the best of my life. July was super busy with Teen Camp and VBS, in August we went on vacation and since then it has been the best, but also the most stressed time of my life.....and I wouldn't change a thing (well maybe a few things ;) )! God really is teaching me things I already thought I had settled, and it seems to be a never ending time of relearning the meaning of trusting Him and HIS plan completely.
  Glad to hear my little blog has helped and been an encouragement to some of you, God truly gets all the praise for anything good that comes out of anything from me. Stay tuned and the plan is to be back next week with my blogs and share what the Lord has done in the past few months, and also some more fun decorating ideas too in the future!! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dying to Self

These are the two quotes I have written on my dollar tree makeshift dry erase board, in my room. Why? Because in real life I tend to be a very selfish person!
   Within the past month I was really convicted by a person I had recently come in contact with....I could just feel her love toward God and how much of a close relationship she has with God. Through witnessing her testimony I realized that is what I'm missing.....I want to be oh so much closer to God! So I decided to up my Bible reading, and book-ended my day with Bible reading, but still felt I could do more. So I picked up a book that has been in our house it seems forever, that honestly I had never read because it seemed like a boring book. Boy, was I wrong!! Since I began reading this book I have not ceased to be convicted about so many areas I need to fix. I have yet to finish the book, because I am still working on the first few chapters and don't want to move on lest I forget all the areas I need to strengthen and fix! Some of the ideas in this post are driven from this book, but most are just things the Lord has shown me through my time with Him.
    My biggest problem I am working on is 'dying to self'. Dying to self encompasses so much in the Christian life. To be close to God at all, I must learn to die to self. Luke 9:23 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." The cross was an instrument of suffering, to die to self or deny yourself what the flesh wants to do is a type of suffering. The suffering is so worth it in comparison with the fellowship and closer relationship we began to develop with our Savior!! Dying to self to many may seem like a small task, but if you have tried it at all you will know differently. Our emotions are not supposed to, but tend to rule any task we do, to deny them in EVERY situation is a tough thing to accomplish. How many times are we supposed to do something that we choose not to, because we don't feel like it? Things we should be doing for the Lord. How many times do we complain about what a certain person said to us? Or didn't do to us? Or we can't believe why we were treated this way? Or many times when someone says something that hurts you, and we respond in anger to the hurt we feel? Those (me included) who choose to complain this way have not yet learned to die to self. The flesh makes us feel every time we are wronged, we must say or do something to "defend" or "justify" ourselves. This is definitely not what the Bible teaches. 1 Cor 6:7-8 "Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren." Now I realize this is referring to taking your brother to court and such, but it's the same principle. The need to justify ourselves when we feel we have been wronged is definitely not dying to self. Jesus is our best example, and here is what the Bible says about Him. 1Peter 2:23-24 "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously; Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the trees, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." Many times when we desire to justify ourselves to those who have wronged us, the moment we go about 'justifying' ourselves we become no better than those who have wronged us. The test of dying to self is when we are wronged or inconvenienced by someone and we can quietly shrug it off as though it's nothing, that is when we are learning to die to self. 
   It seems because I have been praying for the Lord to strengthen me in this area I have had all of these scenarios in about a week. I wish I could say I passed each test, but unfortunately I still have quite a bit of work to do! I have found though that if I place my emphasis on something else, it makes it easier to die to self. As I mentioned in the beginning of the post my biggest obstacle to dying to self is being selfish! Being selfish is defined as "lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure." This is obviously the exact opposite of dying to self. So to help put this into practice in real life, each day I am doing a job or jobs for someone else. All the things I have done so far are things I typically HATE doing myself, so doing them for others when it is not my job takes ALOT of dying to self. Many times I talk to myself, or sing myself through the jobs. Why do I do these? Because it is I who need to learn to not be selfish and to die each day to the things I want or do not want to do! So this is why both of those quotes are up in my room so I can see them each time I come in my room. I try to do all of these jobs as aggressively and positively as I can possibly do them! To be good at anything I must practice, and I have found that this has worked for me. As soon as I look at something and think 'that's not my job' it's like the Holy Spirit says 'it is now, die to that selfish desire!' I really am so thankful the Lord helps me through my learning of this dying to self daily. Some days it seems like I will never get this down, my flesh always wants to dictate what I do....and sometimes it does win. 
   In the end the responsibility of dying to self will not seem like a cross but rather a privilege to reflect the resurrected life. As Jesus had to die physically for me, so must I each day die physically to the flesh that I also may live the resurrected life. When a seed is planted in the ground, it does not cry or whine because the seed has to die to bring forth the life of whatever plant or vegetable it may be. The seed simply yields to the God Who created it, and dies to bring forth life. So also we rejoice when we see the beautiful bloom it produces. Dying to self is not in vain, it brings about a beautiful resurrected life that until our life is yielded, we can only imagine!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Single & Selective

      Hello everyone! I have been MIA for quite a while. My laptop broke recently, and so I can only use a computer/laptop when it's available. I have also been busy with chaperoning a teen camp last week, which was so fun!! Anyways so hopefully I'm back and a little more regular with my posts! :)
     This post is going to be mainly for my single friends once again. I don't know about any of you, but most of my advice from others comes from those who are already married. I so cherish and soak in the advice I get, but the advice that helps me the most is from people who are single. There's nothing like talking to someone who is going through the same thing, and knows what we experience from day to day, as it is with any situation in life! I'm going to ask a couple of questions, think seriously about them and answer them. How will you know when you find that significant other? Will it be a look, feeling or some other idea? Who or what helps you determine this is the person? Are there certain characteristics you are looking for? These are all really important questions that will help you determine what your future will be!
      I personally believe (in the realm of God's will for me to marry) that there is only one guy out there for me! Not a choice of which one I like best, but a guy God made specifically for me, and made me specifically for him! It is not a choice to be taken lightly, but is a choice that will determine my future. This is not as simple as choosing which outfit to wear today, but what man can I love and be a helpmeet to, for the rest of my life. Once the decision is made in front of God, it can never be changed before God. So what helps govern whom we choose? As I believe in everything God has a way this should be done decently and in order. As so many have done before me, I encourage you to sit down and make a list of rules, guidelines, requirements or whatever you want to call them, for your future spouse. Pray about this list and ask God if there should be any additions to this list. Then follow these!!! This list is not preferences, but rules for you to follow throughout the relationship from the beginning to the end, and also requirements for the significant other you are looking for - these are things he/she must have. These things will define his/her character. I'm going to open my mind and kind of share a few of mine and my thoughts about them! These may seem very small, but each of us is accountable for who we choose to marry, and these three are very important to me! :)

1. Spiritual Maturity
    I must see God throughout his life. Not just a guy who talks about God, but a guy who is focused on pleasing God will have the hand of God evident throughout his life. I won't have to wonder if he loves God, it will be evident. I'm not talking about him being a spiritual giant, but simply loves the Lord and is concerned about displeasing Him. I would expect him to be looking for the same thing in me! I'm sure most have heard this quote that I'm about to type, but this is truly one of my "requirements" for the guy. "A womans heart should be so focused on God, that a man would have to seek Him in order to find her." I truly believe that if I'm focused on God, He will bring this man along in His time!

2. No Initiating
    This one is obviously a rule for myself, and this is actually one that has caught me recently. Initiate means "to cause to begin." I get so tired of seeing girls chasing guys, it should be the other way around. If the guy is interested in you, he will seek you out, instead of making you chase him. Within the past month or so I thought about a certain guy, and asked in my heart, "Lord is it him?" To which in His still small voice He answered, "Did he initiate it?" There was my answer. No it was not His will, at least for now! IT IS NOT THE LADIES JOB TO BEGIN A RELATIONSHIP!  If the guy is crazy about you and is who God has for you, then he will make the first move....if he doesn't let him go, he's not worth it! He is not God's will for you. Anytime a woman initiates things it ends bad. Eve initiated the eating of the fruit, and caused Adam to sin....this ended badly. She initiated. He responded. Sin, sorrow and death were the result. God gave the man the responsibility to do the finding as seen in Proverbs.
Proverbs 18:22 
"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord."

3. Roaming Eyes
    Hopefully if the first two are met, then this won't be a problem. Still it bugs me enough that I have made it a requirement. Girls, you should not feel flattered if another guy is with another lady and is 'checking you out'. You should feel outraged for the other girl!! If you steal a guy like this, he will do the exact same thing when he is with you. He has a serious problem that getting married to him certainly won't fix. This can go for guys or girls, but from my experience it seems to be more of a guy issue than a girl.



**These are only a few of my guidelines I use in "selecting" my future spouse. Yes we are "selecting" our future spouses. Selecting is defined as to carefully choose as being the best or most suitable. Don't ever give into the worlds philosophy that you must be desperate if you reach a certain age and are not serious with someone. This is just one of the Devils lies he will feed you, if you will believe him, in hopes we will grab the next guy or girl we see and quite possibly destroy a beautiful future the Lord has planned for us!! Many before us have and are destroying their lives on the altar of having someone.
**Girls especially, guard your heart. Never allow your heart to have any part of the decision making until you have checked the guy over with your guidelines. As the Bible says, if your heart gets the chance it will deceive you. Proverbs 28:26 "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered." Given the chance your heart will tell you how unimportant all these guidelines and requirements are!
**I don't know about you, but I am choosing to one day walk down the aisle with the man of my dreams.....because he will be exactly the guy God created especially for me.

***Maybe some of you married or single have certain things you were looking for, or rules for yourself throughout your relationship. I would love to hear some of them. Comment below, if you want to share and they are personal I will not publish them, but I always enjoy hearing others who are just as choosy about who their spouse is! :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ladies Banquet - Jewels Of Grace

   Last Saturday our church just had our Ladies Banquet. Commonly referred to as Mother/Daughter Banquet, but we want all ladies to participate regardless, so we call it the Ladies Banquet! It is always so much fun!!! I love all the preparation that goes into it, the decorating...and the actual event!! Each year we search and search for a title, and then decorations to match...this always takes quite a bit of effort. We look at the ever popular Pinterest, as well as any other place we can think of! SO I like to post some of these ideas in hopes that maybe they can help someone else with their special events too! "There is no new thing under the sun" as Ecclesiastes says, so you may have seen these elsewhere too! :)

~ We have a big gym where we do our big events, so we usually use a big wooden partition that folds like an accordion to help give us a backdrop! 

~ Not sure if you can see or not, but we use different color plastic table cloth to put on our lattice (wooden partition) We put 

~ For our tables, different ladies in the church decorated their own table. They were given the 'jewel' and then they just decorated the tables off of them. Some were: emerald, diamond, pearl, opal, amethyst, gold, etc...I will forget each one! SO here are their different ideas of decorating their tables. This is fun to see what each ladies idea is!!

~ I think I got all the tables. The last photo is mine! SO thankful for those who offered their opinions for my table, I drew a complete blank when it came time to do mine! My jewel was pearls, and I LOVE lace and pearls together so knew I wanted to do that...but didn't know much else! All the tables were beautiful, and we had so much fun!! 

~ This next one is of my nephew David. The guys do all the serving for the Ladies Banquet, including cooking most of the food themselves. SO David wanted to help serve so bad, so he matched them, it was so cute seeing him and another little boy serving too! They just melt your heart!! 

Here are all the girls in my family, except one of my sisters! I absolutely LOVE spending time with my family, honestly there is no place I would rather be than with my family! Hope you can say the same!! :)

Psalm 73:1 "Truly God is good to (Israel), even to such as are of a clean heart!"
God is so good to each of us!!