the little drummer boy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

josh and i went to christmas town last night. i loved it. theme parks arent really joshs scene but it was definitely really different this time of year. the lights were absolutely beautiful. seriously. but im not so sure it was all worth it. it just made me want to be in europe- the real europe- and see the lights of paris all lit up or go to a real german christmas market. i think know one day we will do that though.

one day well have real pictures...

on the way home we listened to christmas music and drank starbucks drinks. mine was soy and just was not the same... maybe its in my head. anyways. the little drummer boy came on. the good version from the original claymation movie. i turned it way up and soaked it in. the song gives me chills and really makes me think.

the lyrics get me.

baby Jesus,
I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring,
thats fit to give our King.

thats us. thats humans. that is why the Christmas miracle- the birth of Jesus- from a virgin- is so so so unexplainably beautiful. God- full knowing that humans have absolutely nothing fit to give Him- the King-comes down both fully God and fully human and takes us anyway. the begining of this clip, the man calls aaron, the little drummer boy, a ragamuffin [a poor, ragged disreputible person] that is what we all are. and Christmas is all about the fact that we have a God that loves us so much that he would send his son- himself- in the form of a little baby whos fate is to one day die and feel the entire weight of the world and all of our sins on his shoulders. all for us. how beautiful. and the little drummer boy goes before the King- little baby Jesus- and offers what he has. and in the end it says (talking about baby Jesus) "then he smiled at me." and thats the beauty of Gods grace. that we have nothing fit to give the King of Kings- yet he is pleased with his creation anyways.

i love love love that.

so i hope and pray that this holiday season will remind you of the grace and kindness. the fact that LOVE came down and conquered death for us. the Birth is the reason why we celebrate. celebrate the fact that your soul is alive because this little baby was born for you.

merry christmas from us both.



Friday, December 23, 2011

so its really warm out  the past few days. i love nice weather. but not at christmas time. i love the holidays. the smells. the lights. the hot cocoa. and especially the decor is my favorite. but this weather is killing me. i cant even wear boots its so warm. but my home looks like christmas so ill just go with that. ive had my home decorated since thanksgiving week. and since i still have this old computer and cant find my photo card adapter (hence no honeymoon pics yet) i decided to take a few pictures with my fancy smancy camera phone... okay my phone is no where near fancy and takes pretty awful pics but its better than nothing right?...

trader joes furn tree. i saw waterless snow globes on anthro and decided to make my own. i couldnt find trees so i used pinecones. and thought of making a snowman and candy cane heart on my own.

(i realize how blurry this pic is...sorry) this is our tree. yup. got it from the craft store. i think we improvised well.

here it is at night. i love it.

i LOVE christmas cards.

christmas isnt the same without cookies- and these are so good. his moms recipe.

we went pine cone picking one weekend.

i love vintage christmas tins. i get that from my mom.

 so thats most of our christmas apartment. i love it. it feels like home to me. a few things.

1. to make the snow globes i just hot glued cotton balls, pine cones, candy canes, and made a snow man and glued it all to the bottom of the lid. voila.
2. those cookies are to die for. but im not sure if it is a family recipe. so ill share if im allowed to one day. theyre a crowd pleaser!
3. katie hardy and i sewed stockings. yup. its true. here they are up close:

mine on the L and katies on the R.

cute right? i have been LOVING the neutral christmas houses ive seen on pinterest. so i decided that id make stockings. it was hard at first. but i LOVE the finished product. id share my "secrets" with you but honestly there are none. we just kind of did it. and it turned out pretty okay id say. i am hoping to get a sewing machine soonish. i find so much joy in making things. i think thats Gods character coming out in me...

were off to christmas town tonight at busch gardens. we found coupons and i found some extra work to pay for our visit... oh i cannot wait! i love christmasy things like that!



Monday, December 19, 2011

[well... done for now at least...]

we finished our finals and are now in down time. well, were working all week, but thats all and that is pretty "down" for us. i must admit it has not sunk in. i came home the past couple days and the thought "what homework tonight?" runs through my head. and then there is also no young life stuff for the next couple weeks. so i keep asking josh "wait. we really have nothing to do tonight?..." its true. we dont.

oh what JOY.

seriously. we are loving it. but i have let something steal my joy the past couple days. the fact that i didnt get those straight As i had hoped for so desperately. i got a B in microecon. im crazy. that class worked me so hard and most people- even business majors- fly by with hardly a C. i got a B. and that is insane for a non-math minded history major. i accomplished a really big hurdle. and now im not going crazy excited like buddy the elf when he finds out santas coming. its funny how we let things do that. we accomplish something and its not good enough. we get something and its not god enough. we are constantly letting this world, comparison, ideas, and other people steal our joy. i didnt get straight As. who cares? whats an A in microecon to me? i passed with flying colors, worked extremely hard, and feel quite accomplished in the fact that i didnt just memorize the questions and answers, but i actually have a fairly good concept of the course. i even think in economic terms now. like weighing my "opportunity costs" and saying things to people like "whats the marginal benefit?" kinda bugs me and then again kinda makes me feel smart. i got a B. and that is just right for me.

so note to self: "self- stop letting this steal your joy."

honestly- think about how often you do it, and it will scare you. im learning each day that my life is what it is. im living, breathing, have a husband who loves me enough to wake up early with me to help me get ready for work even though he doesnt work until later, a beautiful home in historic ghent, parents and in laws who love me dearly, and a  God who loves me enough to get down on my level and die for me.

what is your "this" ? whats stealing your joy?

JOY. find it in this season. and dont let anything steal it.

i found this on pinterest a while back and 
was reminded of it as i wrote this post


exams & hair.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

were in the midst of finishing up exam week. its not that crazy. its just long and mundane and i have microeconomic equations running out of my ears. were more than ready for this semester to be over and to enjoy the break. i love christmas time. by far one of my favorite times of the year. im ready to start some christmas traditions with each other and to be still and silent and not have fifty to-dos for school running through my mind. i like to-dos. they keep things interested and keep me from boredom. what i dont like is the to-dos i dont ever want to do. like homework, papers, and going to the bank. and so im ready to relax. craft some things up. watch its a wonderful life. drink hot cocoa-even if its 68 degrees out right now- bake cookies. and just enjoy each other.

exams will be over for me at 645 tomorrow night. i think it will take that long for this one, but after im home free. the pressure is on me though right now. i have straight As so far. i dont mean to brag. but i will anyways. this semester was hard. tough classes with a lot of work. especially microecon. i have a B in the class right now. i want an A desperately. it is possible which scares me. i dont want to let myself down. which is crazy because i was just trying to get a C in this class at the start of the semester. (its an extremely hard class.) so a B is a miracle in itself. but I want straight As. so we will see.

tuesday i cut my hair. i mean cut cut. 12 inches. i had been thinking about it for a while. but kinda chicken and unsure. my friends formed teams- team short and team long. cutting your hair isnt a big deal- but it was for me. ive never liked my hair short. 9for the record, its not even short. its technically midlength. but compared to my old hair, its short) i did it. i donated it. i like it. i won't say i love it. but i do like it. just getting used to it. it feels god i will say that. no more nappy rats nest knot clumps in the back of my hair. it feels healthy and i like that.

off to study. sorry for the mundane post about exams and hair. i have a lot to share but too much on my mind to be really clear about it.

matts in the background.


be still.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ironic title. the past five days have been a whirlwind of non-stop events and things to do for me. i had two papers and three assignments smack dab in the middle of a work crew weekend at rockbridge. monday therefore, was really hard- but i wont complain bc the weekend was too good. chesapeake had the opportunity to take  kids to fall weekend work crew. work crew is where you go to serve campers. youre given a job, a food server, store worker, cook, dish washer, or baker. it is fun- but hard. really hard. you wake up early, go to bed late, and you are just physically and mentally exhausted. its a rare opportunity to serve 850 kids, but we did it this weekend.

so friday i saddled up in my dads 8 passenger seqouia and drove to gbhs. i loaded up the suv with 7 girls plus myself and mountains of luggage and pillows. it was crazy. it was hard to drive such a big vehicle at night, but we made it. we were servers. my arms are spaghetti noodles if you didnt know. i was exhausted. but refreshed & at peace all at the same time. i cant tell you how amazing this weekend was. i literally cant. i took four girls from grassfield- leah, christine, daytona, and anna. they worked so hard and didnt complain and kept their spirits up. it was so great to work alongside them and be with them. for the first time this semester, i felt like i was supposed to be leading. which is a big deal for me. bc ive been waiting for some direction with that.

waiting is my enemy. so often were looking for the next thing. its like were never content to be in the now- this can be related to every day life and future stuff too. kind of like the whole wedding obsession that girls do. [yes. i did it too] you stir up this day "next big thing" in your head- like going to high school, or college, or graduating or getting a job, or marriage, or babies or retirement- whatever it is, your just sitting there twiddling your thumbs until you get to the next thing- and then when its gone your waiting for the next thing to give you direction. and that is not how we are called to live according to God.

be still and know that i am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted on the earth.
psalm 46:10

so if were just trying to configure it by ourselves- then there is no faith there that God is doing work in your life so that he might be exalted. it begs the question- do i have faith at all? if im not being still and content then no. im not putting faith in God at all. i read the other day about this kind of thing in my utmost for his highest. he says that when youve really let go entirely and you just are in the presence of God, then you experience pure peace and joy that no human can have on their own without God. 

so instead of trying to configure the next five years of my life, let alone the next week (exams coming up... eeek) which im notorious for. i am instead going to pray to learn to be still. and then actually try and do that. because this weekend, with no reserves and no expectations, proved that this is all true. if i just let go, and let God, then im free to live passionatly and endlessly and real life & joy will be given to me.

so... what are you waiting for? be still. be content. 

**heres some pics of these crazy girls from the weekend. i love them with all of my heart.
modeling of course. l to r: daytona, me, anna, leah, & christine.

myspace pose. annas really good at it.

girl group pic. cant tell you how much i love all of these girls.


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