Faith in my Friday

BIG BIG NEWS!

I know it has been over a week since I last wrote; I’m sorry this is just a really busy time for me right now. By the end of this post you will know why. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a fabulous Thanksgiving that I still need to do a recap over, and did a fun Ugly Christmas Sweater 5k that was a blast, but I will recap those things later. Today, I have much bigger, better news to share. But since it’s Friday, and I haven’t done a Faith in my Friday in a long time, I thought this post was perfect to link up with Melissa. Thanks for always hosting Melissa!

Faith in my Friday pic

So as many of you know, since January of this year I have been student teaching. I graduate college next Saturday, December 14, and I couldn’t be more excited! I have had an incredible student teaching experience, but I am ready to have my own job, and to be honest, I am ready to make some money too (not that teachers have a ballin salary or anything like that ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I knew that since I was graduating in December it would be hard to find a job immediately since it would be the middle of the school year. I was aware that I would probably have to substitute for the rest of this school year before I could get hired for the next school year. And I was totally fine with this. However…

I GOT OFFERRED A TEACHING JOB THIS WEEK!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I could not be more excited, thankful, happy or grateful. I will get to stay at the school where I have been student teaching since August, which is another huge blessing because I like the teachers I will be working with, I like the principal, and the school is close to my house! When my principal offered me the job I hugged her and told her this was the greatest Christmas present I could have gotten!

Now, you may be wondering why I decided to link up with Faith in my Friday about this post. The reason is because I give God ALL the glory about this job. The Lord continues to bless Ryan and I, and it is amazing to see how the Lord has made everything workout perfectly according to His plan ever since we got married. Pretty much everything that has happened to Ryan and I has been different than how we planned or envisioned things in our heads. But everything that has happened has been so much better than either of us could have ever imagined! This past year has been such a reminder to me that the Lord’s plan is always sovereign and is always better. God sees the big picture. We don’t see the big picture. It’s simple. I don’t know why we even think that our plan could even compare to His plan. But I sure am glad that the Lord has a plan for me.

Jeremiah 29;11

To give you a little idea how the Lord has been working in our life, here you go.

Ryan and I got married on June 7 this year (I still need to write that wedding post!), and at the beginning of May, we still weren’t sure where Ryan would work or where we would live. By the time Ryan did get offered a job they told him he would have a six week training period and then be placed in another store. Not too bad, but they couldn’t tell him where his permanent store would be until after the six week training period. So basically, we had no idea what city to look in to find a house. We thought this was absolutely horrible, but looking back, we see how it was a blessing.

grateful heart

Because we didn’t know what city Ryan would be working in, we tried to pick a centrally located place that Ryan could drive just about any direction to get to where he might be working. When Ryan finally found out where his permanent store would be, we found out we didn’t live that close to it after all. We thought this was a bummer. Luckily, Ryan was only here for a few months before he got his new job that he loves, and it turns out where we live now is very close to his new work! Once again, the Lord knew Ryan would get the job he has now, and he knew that where we live now would be the perfect location for us.

All things

Also, if we didn’t live where we lived now, we would have never found our new church home, which we also love! Our church has been such a huge blessing, and we have met so many great people there already! The Lord knew we needed this church, and now we live within five minutes of it. I do not believe this is coincidence. This is the Lord’s will, and I know he played a part in making sure this all happened exactly as it should at the exact time it needed to happen.

IMG_4656

This picture was taken last Sunday at our church; Ryan and I were Mary and Joseph in one of our church’s Christmas shows!

Another huge outcome of us moving to our new home was that I ended up switching to a new school for my student teaching. This was a hard decision for me to make, because I loved the school where I did my student teaching from January to May, and I hated the thought of leaving and maybe ending up at a school that I didn’t like. But, I knew the school where I had been was too far from where we lived now, and I needed to try to switch schools. (Ryan helped me make this hard decision to switch schools. He kept telling me I needed to be at a school closer, I knew he was right. My husband is so wise!) I ended up switching to the school where I am now hired, and like I said earlier, I LOVE my school and it’s so close to our home! Again, the Lord placed me exactly where I needed to be and in a great school! The Lord amazes me how when you are faithful to Him He blesses you.

I am not writing this post to brag on myself or the good things that have happened in my life, but I am bragging on my God and on how sovereign, wise, and mighty He is!

โ€œLet him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.โ€ (NIV)

2 Corinthians 10:17-18

I am writing this to remind you that the Lord has a plan for you, and even if it doesn’t always seem like it, His plan is so much better than yours! You just have to trust in Him and put your faith in Him. This is much easier said than done, but I promise you, if you do this, you will not regret it in the long run.

On a totally different note,ย the weather is really bad here, and it is supposed to be all weekend. The roads are so bad that my school got cancelled, and Ryan’s work is closed today! So we are both enjoying a relaxing day in our warm, cozy home! It sure does feel like Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_4659

I plan on eating some pancakes soon and watching Christmas movies all day! (With a workout happening sometime today ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Today was supposed to be my last day of student teaching, so I guess yesterday was my last day! I can’t believe my student teaching experience is finally over! I learned so much, and I am so excited to start my new job in January! As for now though, I am on Christmas break, and I plan on thoroughly enjoying this month off before I go back in January! ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions:

1. Can you look back and see how the Lord has worked in your life and put you in certain places for a reason?

2. How do you like to celebrate when something big happens in your life? Ryan and I ate dinner at Panera bread and then had ice cream the night I got offered the job. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. How is the weather where you live?

Faith in My Friday-That’s Just Life

It has been quite a while since I have taken part in Melissa’s “Faith in my Friday”, so I am glad to join back in!

Faith in my Friday pic

Okay, time to be real and be honest. I have not spent time in God’s Word once this week. I am not proud of this, and typing it makes me feel horrible. But I say this so that everyone understands that it is something I struggle with. It is so easy to get busy with other things, things that are even good things, and not make time to read and listen to God’s Word. I have prayed much this week, but I know that is me talking to God. In order to let Him speak to me, I have to read His Word. I feel like many people struggle with making the time to sit down and read the Bible (maybe I’m totally wrong and everyone has it all together except me) just because in today’s world it’s all about go, go go! But that’s not what the Lord says it is about.

“He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'” Psalm 46:10

In case you don’t know, I am the type of person who has a hard time sitting still. I like to always be moving and always be doing something. This verse is a constant reminder to me.

There is always something that needs to be done: work, cleaning, cooking, blogging, hanging out with friends, spending time with family, volunteer work, etc. I mean, let’s face it, the list could go on and on. If we didn’t need sleep, I am sure we could all find something to consume our lives with all 24 hours of the day! Sometimes I wonder how I can possibly get everything done that I need and want to do. Well I have finally learned, that’s just life.

to do

Life is busy, there are many things to do, and in the midst of everything we are supposed to keep things in perspective and know that God comes first. Because after all, He has given us everything else, and He is all that matters! This past summer was filled with Ryan and I getting married, moving into our first home, getting organized, cleaning, working, writing thank you letters, seeing family and friends when we could, working out, and studying for my teacher certification test. Because of all of this I didn’t get to start blogging this summer until this past week. Well, that’s just life.ย 

When life gets super busy, I mean it’s always busy, but sometimes things just seem to get even more hectic, I have learned that I have to prioritize my time and my activities. The Lord needs to always come first. If He is not first, something is wrong. When I am not putting the Lord first I can usually always tell.

put God first

After God, Ryan, my husband comes next. As his wife, I want and need to submit to Him. Time I get to spend with Him is important, and I love and cherish this time very much.

100_3248

Sidenote: This is a picture from our honeymoon; I will have a post about our honeymoon soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Next, is my family and then friends. These are the people God has placed in my life, and they have blessed me so much. My family and friends provide me with love, support, and guidance. I can’t let these people disappear from my life.

After I do the things that are necessary, but not always as fun in life (school, work, clean, etc), I can make the time for fun activities that I love. This includes, working out, blogging, reading, looking through Pinterest, etc. I really did try all summer to get back into blogging, but the way I had to prioritize my time, it just didn’t fit in. I really do love writing on here though, and I love communicating with other bloggers and making and maintaing friendships with some amazing people! I looked back at a lot of my older posts this morning, and it is funny to me how my blog has changed since I first started it. I used to write long posts every single day, trying to document everything I ate or every workout I did. It finally changed to shorter posts that also included my life, my faith, with some food, recipes, and workouts thrown in when I felt like it. That’s when I started to love my blog.ย When I quit making my blog all about a certain subject, but instead just about my life and what I enjoyed. I enjoy reading blogs when I actually get to know the reader and they open up. I hope I have done that for y’all. I hope y’all can see that I am a regular young lady, trying to live her life for Christ to the best of her ability, trying to be healthy in a not so healthy world, trying to love and serve my husband as I should, and trying to be the daughter, sister, and friend that God wants me to be to everyone in this world. I have learned that I might not be able to blog every day, but that’s just life.ย I do love writing here though, so I am hoping I can write here regularly. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, what the Lord is showing me is that when I don’t have time for everything it is okay, as long as I am keeping things prioritized as they should be, and keeping Him first in my life. God has blessed me abundantly, and everything I have is His, so everything I do needs to be devoted to Him. That is why I have devoted my blog to Him, and if one day there are other things I need to do for the Lord besides blog, I just have to go with it because that’s just life. ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions:

1. Do you ever have a problem just being still and being with God?

2. Is it ever hard for you to find time to read God’s Word in today’s busy world?

3. What do you think of my blog? Do I include enough about myself? Is there more y’all as readers would like to know about me or something else I should write about?ย 

4. Has God been laying anything on your heart lately?ย 

Faith in my Friday and Saying Goodbye to the BSM

Yay for Friday! Today is a special day for me because it marks the end of my first semester of student teaching! Just one more semester and then I can graduate in December! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been at a teaching conference all day, which is why I am just now getting the chance to write.

2013-05-03 11.47.47

I absolutely love Faith in my Friday. Thanks so much Melissa for continuing to host it on Freeingimperfections.com. In my most recent Faith in my Friday postย I wrote about how much my faith has grown since Ryan and I have got engaged because I have had to put all of my trust in God’s plan and let go of my own. As Ryan and I get closer to getting married, our faith in God is also having to grow stronger. Let me explain.

We get married in 1 month and 4 days. We do not know what city we should live in. We aren’t sure what city we should be looking to live in. We do not have a house to live in, or even a prospective house to live in.

That is scary to think about when we know we need a place to live fairly soon. We have been praying and asking God to show us where He wants us and what He wants us to do. However, right now, God is just telling us to be patient. I know God has an amazing plan, and He will reveal it to us on His own timing. And let’s be honest, His timing will be the best possible time.

Faith in God's Timing

In the next month God is going to show us a lot and we will get the answers to the questions we have had for so long. God always answers His people!

Today Ryan’s sister-in-law, Krystal, text us both with this bible verse:

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

This was exactly what we needed to hear from God! Krystal told us that she was praying for us and that the Lord would make Himself clear to us in housing, jobs, and finishing school, so that He would receive all of the glory and honor!

God speaks to people in many different ways, and I think one way is through other people. God definitely spoke to Ryan and I today through Krystal. I am so thankful for the family and friends in our lives that God has blessed us with. The Lord is determining our steps for us, and whenever Ryan and I finally figure out what God wants for us, He will get all of the glory and praise!

Workout

Yesterday I did this awesome workout from fitncookies.

fitncookies trainer tuesday 2

I was a sweaty mess after this workout, and I loved it! As I was looking at Heather’s workouts I found another one I wanted to do, so I did this one today.

Fitncookies Burpees, arms and abs workout

I hate/love burpees. So hard, but such a good workout! Both of these workouts wore me out! I love trying out new workouts from my fellow blogging friends! Thanks Heather!

Saying Goodbye to the BSM

Last night was a sweet and sad night. While we have been in college Ryan and I have been very involved with our school’s Baptist Student Ministry (BSM). This ministry holds a very special place in my heart for many reasons. I have had so much fun being involved in it throughout college, I have met most of my friends through the BSM, and most importantly, this is where I first met Ryan my freshman year of college.

Last night was the spring banquet, and our last event with the BSM. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I don’t even know if I should put a sad face at the end of that sentence because I know it is good we are moving on because everyone has to graduate and go on to that next step of their life, but it is still sad. We had a blast though, and it was nice to have one last big party with our friends!

2013-05-02 21.57.41

In case you can’t tell from this picture, I am blessed with an awesome group of friends whom I love very much!

Every BSM banquet has a theme, and this year’s theme was western. (Ryan and I didn’t dress for the theme, but decided to dress up instead. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

2013-05-02 22.02.16

Here is Marlee, my maid of honor, roping. I thought this picture was so cute and had to post it. ๐Ÿ™‚

The banquet was held at a cowboy church, so it everything fit the theme perfectly. And of course we had barbecue for dinner! Here is the table full of food!

2013-05-02 20.39.18

I enjoyed some brisket with barbecue sauce, a baked potato topped with some cheese, baked beans, and salad. Plus, since I knew we wouldn’t really be having the healthiest dinner ever, I ate an apple right before we left for the banquet.

2013-05-02 18.37.38

Why did I take this picture? I’m not really sure except I thought it might turn out cute. Most definitely did not, but I still decided to share it with y’all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tip for everyone out there, anytime I’m going to a party or a banquet where I know there won’t really be healthy options to eat, I try to have something healthy before I go. That way, I won’t be quite as hungry and won’t have to fill up on so much junk food at the party. Away from that side note, back to the banquet!

Some awards were given out and all of the graduating seniors gave some words of wisdom to everyone else. Even though I am not graduating until December, I was considered as a senior since I won’t be a part of the BSM anymore.

Of course last night called for lots of pictures!

2013-05-02 21.59.26

I love these girls!

2013-05-02 22.04.06

Ryan and I with our wonderful BSM director, Joe.

2013-05-02 22.04.43

I love all of these girls and the fun times we always have.

2013-05-02 22.07.32

Is my fiance the most handsome man ever or what? ๐Ÿ™‚

2013-05-02 22.14.38

And of course needed a bride, groom, and maid of honor picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

The BSM has been so good to Ryan and I during college, and I am so thankful for the friendships and relationships I have made. For anyone who is in college, I highly suggest finding some type of group or organization to be involved in. It really does make your college experience so much better!

Questions:

Has God ever spoke to you through someone in your life?ย 

Do you find it hard to have faith in God’s plan at times?

Were you involved in any type of organization in college?

Faith in My Friday

First off, I don’t think I can start out this post without mentioning how crazy this week has been. It truly has been a statement of how lost our world is. ย We all desperately need Jesus, but our world doesn’t seem to realize this. We all need to continue to pray for and love for the lost. Jesus wants to use us to reach everyone who does not know Him!

we all need Jesus

I am learning more and more every day just how much I need Jesus, and that absolutely everything in my life needs to revolve around Him because He is all that matters. Ever since my Ryan and I got engaged in Augustย I feel like my faith has really grown because I have had to trust in God so much. There are so many unanswered questions, and I have no choice but to trust in God with absolutely everything. We get married in less than two months, and I”m still not sure where we will live, where Ryan will work, and so many other things. I am naturally a planner, so this is extremely difficult for me. I like to have a plan for everything, but I have learned that my plans don’t matter; God’s plans matter.

trust God

Today in my quiet time I read Proverbs 20 and this verse really stuck out to me, and fit just perfectly into everything that is going on in my life right now.

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24 ย  ย  ย 

I know this is no coincidence that I read this today. God is telling me that He has a plan for Ryan and I, so there is no point in me worrying or trying to plan out our whole lives. He has a plan, and it is much better than anything I could ever imagine! I mean after all, last year I would not have imagined that I would be marrying Ryan this June, but God had it planned, and I am SO GLAD HE DID!! ๐Ÿ™‚

100_2967

Learning to trust God and realize He has a plan means I need to let go of my worries and anxieties and lay it all at His feet. I have desperately been praying for God to reveal what God wanted Ryan and I to do and where He wanted us to live, and this past Wednesday this verse got stuck in my head:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 ย  ย 

This hit me hard. I don’t need to be anxious. All I can do is pray and know that God will take care of Ryan and I.

power of prayer

Another thing God has really continued to reveal to me all week is the amount of people Ryan and I have in our lives who love us so much and who love Jesus! This truly is such a blessing, and I am so thankful for everyone in our lives. Ryan and I are apart of the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) on campus, and last night we went to the weekly bible study/worship. As we sang songs about God’s love for us I loved looking around and seeing college students pour out their hearts to God in song and raising up their arms in praise to Him. It was such a great reminder of how much God loves me, and how he has placed me somewhere where I am surrounded by others who love God as well! Then this morning I got to spend time with two of my best friends and hear about what God was doing in their lives. It is so encouraging to see my friends seeking God’s will in their lives! I love getting to witness it all!

The closer I get to God, and the more I read His Word, the more I realize that as Christians, we need to constantly be on our knees before Him, humbling ourselves so that whatever we do we are using His strength. I am trying to learn to do this now.

Humble yourself

Questions

What verses have been on your mind this week?

Are you a planner? Do you struggle with letting go of your own plans and trusting in God’s plans?

Faith in My Friday

Well, it’s that time of the week again. Time for another Faith in my Friday! A big thanks to Melissa over at freeingimperfections.comย for hosting this again!

Sorry I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday; I was super busy and the day just got away from me. I hated that I wasn’t able to blog, but I reminded myself it was okay because I can’t let my blog overtake my life. I talk about this here.

Last night Ryan and I went to the bible study we have been going to that is studying the book, Radical, by David Platt. We watch a video every week, and in the video we watched last night David was talking about how the gospel commands us as Christians to take care of the poor and orphans. We don’t need to do this because we feel sorry for them; we do this because we are commanded to by God.

Our world is so lost, and it breaks my heart thinking about it. The world has grown so far from God, and I think that we Christians sometimes forget just how serious God is about everything He says in the Bible. The Bible says how hard it is for a rich man to enter Heaven, and that a rich man has received his reward here on Earth in full. I know that I most definitely want to receive my reward in Heaven for eternal life; I don’t want to receive my reward here on Earth when it will only be temporary.

God says that those who do not care for the poor and His children do not know Him and will spend eternity in Hell. That’s serious! The Bible is no joke, and I think our world has started to take what is written in the Word too lightly. We need to cling to every word from the Scriptures and study it so that we can understand what God wants to tell us and show us.

Now, I know having money is not a sin. God blesses people financially! But God does this so that people can use those blessings to further His Kingdom. Most of us in America are rich compared to the world, so we need to be sharing what we have with those who need help. Today, just take some time to thank God for everything He has blessed you with. Ask Him what specifically you can do to further His Kingdom and how you can use the blessings He has given you to honor Him. Who knows what He might reveal to you? ๐Ÿ™‚

I have really enjoyed this bible study over Radical, and it is really showing me to study what I read in the bible more carefully and really take it to heart. I have read or heard so many stories in the bible for most of my life that sometimes I forget its importance or seriousness in my life and the lives of everyone. God has let us have His Word, and I know I need to cherish it more than I do.

God continues to amaze me this week as He is helping me finish this stressful semester and get everything done that needs to be done. I fail Him every day, but he continues to have mercy on me. We serve such a mighty God, and it just amazes me!

Sugar Temptations

Okay, so yesterday I was tempted several times to mess up on the Sugar Detox Challenge.I am proud to say though, that I didn’t give in!! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I owe this totally to Ryan! He makes me a better person. ๐Ÿ™‚

It first started at lunch yesterday. I ate with my Dad at McCalister’s Deli and I got a chicken salad with a bowl of chicken tortilla soup.

2013-04-04 12.13.10

This was healthy and didn’t make me cheat for the challenge, but the hard part was what came with the meal…a free sugar cookie! It was hot and fresh and looked so delicious! But I didn’t eat it, and as soon as I got back to school I gave it to Ryan. He suffered and ate it for me so that I wouldn’t be tempted anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So after that I was really proud of myself, but then dinner came along. Ryan and I had to go see our jeweler because he is working on making my wedding band and had a question to ask us. After we left the jeweler we wanted to grab something to eat before we went to bible study. We went to Grandy’s, which isn’t healthy, but I was able to find a healthy option for dinner. I had grilled chicken with rice, corn, and green beans.

2013-04-04 17.54.43

Again, I felt good about choosing this healthy option, but the problem was it came with two super yummy rolls. Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever been to Grandy’s, but they have scrumptious rolls! This is where Ryan helped me. I picked up the roll, and said, “I’m hungry, I don’t care, I’m eating this!” Ryan reminded me how well I had been doing this week not eating sugar and that if I ate this roll I would regret it later. I (not so happily I might mention) put the roll down and continued to eat my dinner. Once I finished my dinner I thanked Ryan for telling me not to eat the roll. I most definitely would have regretted eating it, and I am so happy that my man helped me. So I can say I am still going strong for the Sugar Detox Challenge! ๐Ÿ™‚ And of course, just like with the cookie, Ryan helped me out by eating both of my rolls to prevent the food from tempting me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t he a sweetie? ๐Ÿ˜‰

In case you were wondering what Ryan ate, here it is

2013-04-04 17.54.54

Looks a little different from my plate, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, not pictured is the two rolls of mine that he ate. ๐Ÿ™‚

Workout

This morning I had an awesome arm workout that I got from olivetorun.com. This arms of steel workout was really hard and had my arms burning by the end. I did the advanced version, which was this.

  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of high knees
  • 15 push-ups
  • 25 tricep dips
  • 60 second plank
  • 15 push-ups
  • 40 mountain climbers
  • 15 shoulder press
  • 20 chess press
  • 15 push-ups
  • 25 tricep dips
  • 60 second plank
  • 15 push-ups
  • 25 right tricep kickbacks
  • 25 left tricep kickbacks
  • 30 second jumping jacks
  • 30 second high knees
  • 60 second plank.

I did this one time forward and one time backward. I did the first set of 15 push-ups regular, but after that I did girly push-ups. My arms were burning! And pretty much every time I had to do 25 dips I had to break it up and take rests in order to do all 25. But that’s okay, I’m getting stronger! If you are looking to tone your arms up for this summer, definitely do this! And check out Cori’s blog, olivetorun.com because it is awesome! After I did this strength workout I did 20 minutes on the elliptical for some cardio.

But now I think Ryan and I are about to go to the Outdoor Adventure Course in town because today you can go to the course for free! After that we are heading to see my parents with Marlee and Woodย so that Marlee and I can work on addressing some of our wedding invitations with our other friend Ruth. So fun! I hope everyone enjoys their Friday night! ๐Ÿ™‚

What have you been reading lately?ย 

Are you taking part in any type of bible study?

How do you think God wants you to use your blessings to honor Him?

Have you been tempted for the Sugar Detox Challenge?

What workout did you do today?