The Yes Day: [Almost] Wordless Wednesday

© Nyk + Cali, Wedding Photographers

On December 23rd, 2014 I said Yes to marry my best friend.  I will fill y’all in more once I get photos back (he hired a photographer!) and will do a whole post on the proposal.  For now, this is my absolute favorite photo that we have received!


Yay for Fridays! Christmas Traditions

So today I decided I am going to give you my favorite Christmas traditions that we do/did when we were children.  Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year and my parents always made it really special and I have so many fond memories of when we were little.


1- New Pajamas on Christmas Eve.  I know a lot of people do/did this and it is still my favorite.  My mom still does it and I look forward to whatever pair of new pajamas I am going to get.  We have so many home videos from when we were little dancing around in our new pajamas to Christmas music.  It never got old.  I should bring the dance parties back.

2- Picture on the Stairs.  I don’t think we were the only ones who did this but every year before we could go downstairs on Christmas we had to sit and get our picture taken.  I love these because they are probably the worst pictures because we just got out of bed, but they have our new pajamas, our smiles and our excitement.  My mom has most of them framed in Christmas frames for the season.

3- Gingerbread House Making.  We made them randomly when we were younger but this is actually something my sister and I have started doing in more recent years.  We basically have a contest to see who can make the best gingerbread house.  I’d say I win pretty much every year.

4- Opening presents one at a time.  My parents always had a rule that we had to take turns.  Each person opens a present and while it may seem like it is putting the spotlight on one person it makes it more enjoyable and no one is rushing.  I would always do my stocking last as my mom finds the coolest things for stockings!

5- Advent Calendar.  When we were little we would take turns who got to put the next piece up on the Advent calendar.  I think my sister and I still fight over who gets to do it when we are at home.


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How to Glorify God in the Ordinary

Sometimes I feel like life is so ordinary, too ordinary.  What exactly is ordinary?  I’m not really sure, but if I knew I’d say this is what it feels like.  I don’t feel like I am doing anything spectacular.  I don’t feel like I am called to do long term missions or live in a foreign country but that doesn’t mean I can’t glorify God in my day to day life.

I can glorify Him as I am working around the house.  I can choose to not complain but to instead glorify Him that I have a house to clean or that I am able to clean my house without it hurting me.

Ephesians 4:29- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

I can glorify God everyday while at work.  I can get really angry at difficult customers or I can treat them with love and respect, just like I want them to treat me.

Colossians 3:23- “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”

My everyday ordinary is God ordained.  He knows my past, present and future.  As long as I am working at living according to His will, reading His word and trying to follow Him to the best of my ability I am glorifying God in the ordinary, in my everyday life.  More of Colossians 3 says,

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (12-17)

This is how we should live everyday to all we meet.  Life may seem boring, it may seem mundane and while you may not realize it you aren’t alone in wondering if you can glorify God in it all.  If maybe your life should be more exciting.  But if you look at the big picture, at His Kingdom it is all made up of little moments.  Some moments look somewhat ordinary but many look extraordinary.  We can’t see the entire picture but we have faith that it all goes together for good.  It is all working together for His purpose.  By living and loving we are working towards that.  And when I think about my everyday life, my ordinary when it comes down to it, it is really extraordinary.  Just the fact that I wake up breathing, the morning sun shining through the clouds, the amazing sunsets I see off my front porch.  It is all extraordinary.  So when I get down thinking, my life is so ordinary I try to just focus on the eternal perspective of it all and it looks a whole lot different.


Letting Go of Worry

Cast your Anxiety on Him


What is Worry?  According to the dictionary it is “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.”  Well, that sounds just lovely doesn’t it?  The Bible has a lot to say about worry, Jesus tells us not to worry.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

“Then Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Therefore, I tell you,d o not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than the birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25

And those are just a few of my favorites.  There are many, many more.  Okay, so we know the Bible tells us not to worry, but does it tell us how to not worry?  We know we are not supposed to do it, but still we continue to do it (myself included! More times than I would like to admit :)

Why should we not worry?  Well, for starters it doesn’t do anything.  Worrying wastes our time where we are inventing things in our heads that may or may not happen (you know the line- 95% of what we worry about doesn’t actually happen) when we could be spending precious time finding solutions.  Or if we can’t find a solution we could be praying and talking with God instead of going round and round in our heads.

Worrying is the opposite of trusting God.  I know that is not what we want but it is precisely what we are doing when we are worrying.  We are not trusting Him, the Creator of the Universe, to provide the answers and what we need.  We are instead trying to provide these on our own.  We have to let go of the control (which is an absolutely scary thing) we want to have and hand our thoughts over to Him.  By trying to overpower the thoughts we try to control it and then it can just grow.  Instead, if we release it immediately to God, refuse to let it take up anymore of our time, then we are not letting it get a stronghold.  Worry is just fear.  And so we are choosing fear or trusting God.  I want to do my best to trust God.

Now just a side note, there are some things that we need to focus on and make plans for but we don’t need to let these control us.  There are some big things that are going to come into our lives that aren’t just ‘what-if’ worries but are actually happening, things we do need to be concerned about.  With these we need to plan and do the best we can, all the while realizing that God is in absolute control.  So what is going to happen is going to happen.  We can do our best to prepare for it, but ultimately it is in God’s hands.

My steps for worrying?  
1. Immediately pray to God.  Let Him know how I am feeling and why I think I am feeling that way.
2. Take a deep breath and work on slowing my breathing. If I need to I go down to my knees to calm myself down.
3. I ask myself if I can solve whatever this worry is easily.  If I can, then I do.  If it is truly something outside of my control then I pray it to God again.  There isn’t anything I can do about it.
4. I try to distract myself and change my thoughts.  The more I try to not think about something, the more I think about something.  Start doing something else, focus your attention elsewhere and not on your worries.

Now, do these steps always work?  Nope.  Do I continue to try them? Absolutely.  It is a constant battle to try to keep emotions in check.  I find it is even more difficult when I know I am worrying about nothing that I can control.  Those are the hardest times but if I continue to meditate on the truth in scripture, I know I will be okay.  You can find so many verses on worry and fear in the Bible.  If God didn’t want us to work on it, I don’t think He would have put it in there so many times.  We need to focus on Him as letting go of worry and giving it to Him is so incredibly freeing, while continuing to worry can harm us.  Another thing we can focus on?  Being Content :)