Monday, March 30, 2009

Easter Is Coming!!

Easter is right around the corner - hard to believe, right?? It seems like we just put all of the Christmas decorations away!! I love Easter!! It is the holiday that reminds us just how powerful our God is and to what lengths He went (and continues to go) in order to bring us back to Him. I love that it doesn't get as much hype and commercialization as Christmas - it really helps me to focus on exactly what happened on the Cross and then 3 days later at the empty tomb.

While Easter is the most reverent holiday that Christians celebrate, it is also celebrated by society with a focus on Easter eggs, Easter baskets, and Easter candy. While I love to celebrate what my Savior did for me by participating in Communion, observing Good Friday, and thanking God like crazy at the Easter celebration service, there is a smaller part of me that appreciates the good folks at Cadbury for choosing to make the most amazing candy ever for Easter -
Cadbury Creme Eggs and Cadbury Mini Eggs!! Some people would even go so far as to say that Easter has the best candy of ANY holiday! Some people like Peeps (I hate marshmallows, so no Peeps for me!) and John REALLY likes the Reeses Peanut Butter Egg - he says it has the perfect ratio of peanut butter to chocolate - and then of course, there is the infamous Chocolate Bunny that begs the question, do you start with the ears or the tail?

Where are you celebrating Easter this year?? I'd love to invite you to celebrate with us at West Pines Community Church!! Just click the link for all of the information. It's going to be an amazing time of worship and celebrating what God has done - ALL of the focus will be on Him!

After you decide where you'll be celebrating, what Easter candy will you and your "peeps" be munching on????

Monday, March 16, 2009

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

John and I are going to a wedding on Friday and I couldn't be more excited! I'm totally looking forward to seeing the bride and her family, who I have known since I was 8 and were an integral part of my life and my spiritual growth. There will be people there that I haven't seen in years as well as some of my dearest friends. Of course, it's also going to be a gorgeous and romantic event and I can't wait to see how the couple's personalities are reflected in the details of the wedding and both receptions.

My wedding day was the most incredible day of my life. I remember it like it was yesterday! I remember feeling so overwhelmed that there was this amazing guy standing in front of me who wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and then there were 300 people all around me who came out to support us and show us how much they loved us. I cried harder than I have ever cried in my life during our first dance, simply because I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness for God's abundant blessings.

Recently, John and I have experienced some "bumps" in our marriage and while sharing these with a couple Christian girlfriends recently, I was amazed to find that I'm not alone in this. Although my friends and I love our husbands more than anything on earth and while we have all given our lives to Christ and are actively pursuing Him in every area of our lives, our marriages are not immune from experiencing problems. Last week, I picked up a book called Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas and have been amazed at the truths in it. Between the book and some amazing advice from an unbelievably sweet and caring Christian friend, I've come to realize that while I tend to point out all of the areas in which John can improve as a man and as a husband, I've REALLY missed the mark as a woman and as a wife. Instead of focusing on myself and the areas in which I need to improve, I've wasted all my time and energy focusing on the person I can't change, and he doesn't really deserve to be judged by his imperfect wife!

While praying about this last night, I had a thought that helped me to wrap my head around how I can change my focus, so I want to share it with you so that I can make more sense of it as I get it out in writing... I truly believe that we as girls really sabotage our marriage as soon as the engagement ring is put on our finger. How??? The wedding. How many weddings have you been to where it was all about the groom? How many reality shows are on TV that show Groom-zillas? How many magazines feature hundreds and hundreds of pages of tuxedos and cuff links and shiny black shoes? None, because we are told by everyone on earth that the wedding is all about the bride, and so we start planning for this day thinking that not only does this one amazing day revolve completely around us, but so does every day after the wedding. This amazing man who truly wants you to have a perfect wedding day (and who really doesn't care too much about the color of the flowers or the chair bows or whether or not the ribbon on the programs is thick enough) ends up being treated like a stagehand during the wedding planning and then after the wedding, this man who wants nothing more than to make you happy continues to be treated as a slave - someone whose only purpose is to keep you entertained, give you everything you want, not have too strong of an opinion about anything, and not argue when you ask for something - just like he was treated during the wedding planning. Now I am sure none of us would admit that we acted this way and maybe some of us gave our husbands a little more respect during the wedding planning, but I really believe that this theory still has some merit in most marriages.

I want my husband to know that no one respects him more than I do. I want him to be confident that I will follow him no matter where he asks me to go. I want him to never hesitate to share something with me out of fear of what my response will be. I want him to always choose me when there is a choice between being with me or doing something else, not out of obligation, but because he truly enjoys my company. I want him to be free to be himself and know that I am behind him, encouraging him to be exactly who God has created him to be. And I am sure that none of this will happen if I expect his whole world to revolve around me and my desires.

My prayer is that I will be so focused on my relationship with Christ and on my role as becoming a wife that treats her husband the way Jesus calls me to treat him that I can honestly say that I don't have the time or the energy or even the awareness to point out his shortcomings. I know it will be tempting to sneak a glance at what he could do better, but I know where that will take us, and I have no desire to live that way any longer!!! He gave me everything I asked for when we were planning our wedding - now it's my turn to bend to his desires as we share a life together!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Support Diabetes Research!

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is the largest research & support organization for helping to find a cure for Diabetes and helping support those who live with Diabetes on a daily basis. My dear friend, Melissa, was diagnosed on April 1, 1997 and has participated in their "Walk To Cure Diabetes" for many years! I am walking this year to show my support for my friend and my family members who have Diabetes.

If you would like to support my sweet friend, you can do so by signing up to walk OR by giving a small donation :)

(Information about the walk location)

(To donate and/or register to walk with ELSWICK TEAM ROCKS)

Thanks for anything you can do!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chickens, Inspired By...Chickens!!

When I saw "Kittens, Inspired By...Kittens!" I thought, "This is something my niece, Jordan, would do."


Monday, March 2, 2009

Great Quote

"Great leadership is not about making decisions on your own; its about owning the decision once it's been made." - Andy Stanley