love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! This post is coming a little later than usual, but oh well.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to post today because of reasons stated in my last post, but I couldn’t resist!

I wish I could have been able to write the posts I wanted to about Valentine’s Day before this, but oh well, I will write them at some point. 🙂

So I’ll be honest, Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday. Probably because I think it’s a made up holiday so that stores can make money. But, I still enjoy today. 🙂 I think it’s so important, actually it’s most important, that people show love to the special people in their life year around, not just on today. That doesn’t mean celebrating today with that special person is wrong either though.

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Ryan and I prefer to keep Valentine’s Day low key and not spend too much money. After all, my birthday is in three days, so that’s way more important to me than Valentine’s Day. 😉 But we still have plans to make tonight a fun, romantic, inexpensive date night. 🙂

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I will go pick us up dinner at a restaurant Ryan has been wanting to try that is known for it’s burgers, fries,  and shakes. A.K.A. Ryan’s favorite kind of restaurant. When I am out picking up dinner, Ryan is going to make sure everything is perfect at home for a romantic, date night dinner at home. This is a perfect, low key Valentine’s Date for us. We would much rather do this than go out to an expensive restaurant that is extremely crowded and wait forever to be seated. Um, no thanks. We will stay at home and be comfortable. 🙂

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I can almost guarantee I will be wearing fuzzy socks on this date. #totallynormal

I am also excited for the rest of this weekend! Like I have mentioned, my birthday is this Saturday, so this weekend we are celebrating that with my family.

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Tomorrow morning Ryan and I are volunteering with a group from our church to do some type of canned food drive or something. (I’m not totally sure what we will be doing; I guess I will find out tomorrow!) Then tomorrow night Ryan and I are having dinner with my parents, brother, and SIL to celebrate my big day. I think we are all staying the night with my parents because Sunday we are having a big lunch with the rest of my family to celebrate my birthday and my little cousin’s 8th birthday, which was earlier this month. Here’s the whole group who should be at our Sunday lunch!

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Plus my other set of grandparents who aren’t in this picture, but here they are below.

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I am so excited for the birthday celebrations to begin!

Lucky for me though, the celebrations won’t end this weekend! Ryan and I will go out to eat by ourselves next weekend to celebrate my birthday! Since my birthday is on a Monday and I will have work the next day, I told Ryan I would rather us go out on a weekend so we won’t have to worry about working the next day. I also don’t mind extending my birthday celebrations. 😉

So there’s a little bit of what I will be up to this Valentine’s/birthday weekend! Oh I will also be fitting in a 17 mile run at some point! This will be the longest distance for me to ever run; I’m pretty excited!

Finally, I have to end by wishing my amazing husband/Valentine/best friend an amazing day!

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 Becky + Ryan 26   Becky + Ryan 52 Becky + Ryan 4 Becky + Ryan 1 Becky + Ryan 50Becky + Ryan 28

Questions:

1. What are your thoughts about Valentine’s Day?

2. Do you have any plans for tonight or this weekend?

3. Tell me something you are loving lately!

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Love Challenge

If you have been reading my blog for the last month or so then you know I have a new teaching job. I am a pull-out teacher for first and fourth grade, and if you care about it, you can read more about what I do here. Well, some days I get pulled to sub for certain classes if they couldn’t get a sub. Last Friday and yesterday I subbed for the same second grade class. After being there for two days, I already feel like I know the students in that class so well! I was amazed at how quickly they became attached to me and trusted me. I think I got about six letters that said “I love you” and had hearts drawn on it yesterday.

Isn’t it amazing how easily a child loves someone? How quickly a child can love someone without thinking twice about it? Now think about this some more. What can children teach us? Should we as adults love as simply and easily as a child? Why does it seem as we get older we love less and loving seems so much harder? Is it what we go through in life? Do circumstances happen that then make us harden our hearts to love others?

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14
Do you see what I’m getting at here? 🙂
I know not all of you reading may be Christians, and that’s okay. We all have our own beliefs, but Christian or not, I think we can all admit that love is very important and something our world desperately needs.
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Now I am not just talking about the love you feel for a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, I mean the love we should show to all of the people we come in contact with.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives and everything that is on our to-do list, but I feel that we have such a greater calling in life than to just mark things off our to do-list, go to bed, just to wake up and do more things for ourselves. What type of life is this? What is the purpose of this? Think about it, our world keeps getting more and more selfish, and as this happens, we love less and less people.
If you are a Christian, then you have a huge responsibility! God died for you and for me, not just to forgive us so we can go on living guilt free for ourselves, but he forgave us so that we would live for Him and use our lives to glorify Him! What a better way to glorify Him than to love the people in our lives? Even the people who aren’t always easy to love.
 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”               Luke 6:27-31
That’s hard. It’s just natural to not like the people who are mean or rude to us. But think about it. How much better would our world be if we all just worked on loving people more? If we worked on loving the people who aren’t nice to us or on loving the people we see every day at work or the store but never give a second thought about. Every person in our life is there for a reason. Maybe that reason is so that you can show him or her love. Maybe you will make their day or change their life.
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Showing love to someone could be as simple as holding a door open for them, lending them a dollar, or just even asking them about their life and listening to them. Maybe you have a few extra cookies or treats around your house, why not share them with someone? Send someone a text saying you are thinking about them. Give someone a hug. A hug might be exactly what someone needs.
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How do we love someone though who we hardly know or is mean to us? Well, we have a good example.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

Jesus, God, the Almighty Creator of the world, the only perfect one to ever walk this earth, died for us, a bunch of sinners. I mean he died to save the people who killed Him! How is that for loving those who it’s hard to love?? Now we can’t love people like this naturally, we have to ask God to give us the same love that He has for His people so that He can shine through us.

Here is another definition of love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” I Corinthians 13:4-7

Basically, I think we need to think of ourselves less, and think of others more. If we do this, I think we will naturally love more! Think about the people you normally don’t give a second thought about, and then think about how you can make them smile. 🙂 Think about how you can make a difference.

This is where the challenge comes in. I challenge you to love people more. Love those who are hard to love. Love those you barely know. Make someone’s day. Make our world a better place. I mean, if we all do this, think about how much better it could be! Plus, I honestly believe that if we start thinking about ourselves less and loving others more, we will be happier! Let’s try to love as easily as a child. 🙂 But you might not want to give an adult a letter that reads, “I love you” with a bunch of hearts. That might be a little creepy coming from someone who is older than ten years old. 😉

Will you take part in this Love Challenge? If so, think of something you can do differently today and this week! 

I would love to hear any of your comments!

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.  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!

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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 August 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.

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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      

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!! 🙂

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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    

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.

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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?

Mavericks Game Date Night & A Man Pleasing Meal!

Ryan and I had a blast at the Mavericks basketball game tonight!

Ryan and Me Mavs game

This was a late Valentines date I planned for the two of us. For Valentines Day, I gave him a poster with 100 memories of us written on it (On the 14 days leading up to Valentines Day I left him notes, and every day’s note had a different favorite memory I had of the two of us). I also made him a Dallas Mavericks blanket, which I was very proud of because I am not crafty at all but I am trying to become more crafty! I also went to StubHub and found us some pretty cheap tickets. So tonight, we finally got to use those tickets ands see Mavericks play the Brooklyn Nets. Ryan is a HUGE Mavs fan, and I’m a big fan too, but Ryan is a much bigger fan than I am. Unfortunately, our team lost. 😦 But we both agreed we still had a blast! Their basketball games are always so fun, and they put on a show for all of the fans during any breaks.

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I took this picture during warm-ups, which explains the incredible amount of people on the court!

Before the game we stopped for dinner at a delicious burger place Ryan’s brother’s family got us hooked on called Smash Burger. I forgot to take a picture of my burger, but I ordered a burger on a multi-grain bun with lettuce, grilled onions, tomato, spinach, avocado, and goat cheese. And I had some Sweet Potato Smash Fries on the side. They call their fries Smash Fries and add some type of seasoning that make the fries super yummy!! So tonight’s dinner wasn’t healthy, but it sure was tasty! I really enjoyed it, and I even told Ryan as I was eating it that I don’t order burgers often when we go out, so when I do I want a good one that tastes fresh like this one did. Ryan ordered a vanilla milkshake, and I had a few drinks of it, but it was honestly too sweet for me to have too much of it.

Now I haven’t shared a recipe in a while, and I didn’t cook today since we went out on a fun date, so I thought I would share what I made last night. I also thought now would be a good time to share this meal because it is really a man loving meal, and since we went on a date for my man tonight, this meal seemed proper to write about. 🙂

Once again I forgot to take a picture of my food as I was cooking and when I finished, so here is a picture of the leftovers in tubber ware.

Man Food

This dinner is super easy to make, but oh so scrumptious! And you can definitely make it healthy without your man ever knowing the difference. 😉

Here is what I used: (Serves about 4-6 people, but this was good for us because we love leftovers, and Ryan can eat a lot of this 🙂 )

  • 2 turkey sausage links
  • 6 small red potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • About 10 pieces of asparagus (or however many you would like to cook)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt (enough for your personal taste, I didn’t measure how much I used.)

So first, I cut up the turkey sausage into links, and then cut the potatoes into cubes. I placed these into a sprayed glass cooking dish and then placed the asparagus on top. Then I sprinkled about 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and seasoned it with all of the seasonings. I put the dish in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I let it cook for 15 minutes, flipped it, and then let it cook for another 15 minutes. The potatoes still weren’t done after that, and I was getting more and more impatient as I became hungrier and hungrier. So I turned up my oven to about 400 degrees or 415 degrees Fahrenheit and after about 10 minutes it was finally done cooking.

While that was baking I chopped up my onion and bell pepper and let it saute in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Then I chopped up the two chicken breasts into small pieces, seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and seasoning salt, and let it saute with the onions and peppers. I let this cook until the sausage and potatoes were done cooking in the oven. As soon as I took the sausage and potato mixture out of the oven, I combined everything together. Now besides the asparagus this meal was just meat and potatoes. So I also cooked some green beans and made myself a spinach salad to enjoy with it. I wish I would have taken a picture of my plate because not only did it look delicious, but it tasted delicious too! The best part was Ryan loved it!

What are some of your favorite healthy, man pleasing meals to eat?

What was your last date night? What did y’all do?

More of a Family Packed, Wedding Planning Weekend

This past weekend was so busy I couldn’t write about it all in my last blog post! Since I got so behind on blogging after this busy week I need to get caught back up! So let’s start with last Saturday.

Ryan and I stayed at his brother and sister-in-law’s house on Friday night so we got to see them and his precious nieces and nephew. Ryan’s parents also came to visit for the weekend so it was one full house! I loved every minute of it! 🙂 For breakfast Ryan’s dad went out and got everyone donuts. I enjoyed one blueberry donut, one pig in the blanket (some people say kolache, but pig in the blanket is just so much more fun!), and two donut holes. It was good, but donuts never keep me full long because it is just full of empty calories and sugar. (Also, I haven’t told Ryan’s family about my blog yet, so I didn’t take any pictures of my food when I was with them. I will tell them soon so I can start taking more pictures around them!)

Since my breakfast didn’t keep me full long I was ready for lunch when it rolled around. Ryan and I had lunch with his parents at an Italian restaurant called Luigi’s where we were thinking about having our rehearsal dinner. I had eaten there many times and loved it, but Ryan and his parents had never ate there so I wanted them to all taste it. We all thought the food was delicious, and we loved the atmosphere so we went ahead and booked it! Yay for one more thing crossed off of the wedding to-do list! 🙂 There is also a huge room that is used for large parties in the restaurant that can fit up to 80 people, so that will be nice for us!

After lunch Ryan and I went to Al’s Formal Wear to see if we could get prices for him and his groomsmen’s tuxes. We weren’t planning on buying anything or making any decisions, but they had a deal where all of the groomsmen could save $40 if we went ahead and signed a contract, so we did! One more thing crossed off the to-do list! What can I say, we were feeling productive! We were feeling so productive Ryan even got a haircut when we were out! We get things done!! 😉

After that, Ryan and I headed to my grandparents house to meet my family for dinner. As we were driving Ryan and I realized we had spent so much time in the last couple of days driving. We were a little tired of being on the road, and poor Ryan drove the whole time so he was really tired!

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I tried to get a picture of him while he was driving and he just gave me this look that said, “Why are you taking a picture of me? I am just tired of driving and definitely don’t want to pose for any pictures!” I told him it was all for the sake of the blog. 😉

We were the last ones to get to my grandparents’ house so we got a big greeting from everyone as we walked in. Both sets of my grandparents were there, my parents, Ben, Kaleigh, and my Uncle Joe! We enjoyed a yummy dinner of Dickey’s barbecue. I had a barbecue sandwich, some beans, a little macaroni and cheese, and a couple of small pieces of ham. Again, I totally forgot to take a picture!

I definitely enjoyed eating and catching up with my family, especially Ben and Kaleigh since I don’t see them as much since they live far off. IMG_1377

Below is the whole gang! From the top left you see my PawPaw, MawMaw, my Dad, Mom, and Mammy. From the bottom left you see Ryan, Ben, Kaleigh, Pappy and Uncle Joe. My PawPaw and MawMaw are my Dad’s parents, and Mammy and Pappy are my Mom’s parents, and Joe is my Mom’s brother. And I am not pictured because I am the photographer for this picture! 🙂

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My MawMaw and PawPaw recently moved close to us, so trips like this just to come see them for a few hours and to eat dinner are a treat since before this summer we would have never been able to do this.

A little bit after we ate my parents, Ben, Kaleigh, Ryan, and I all went back to my parents’ house for the night. We all stayed up for a while talking and catching up, but the best part of the night was when Kaleigh left the room and brought me back a present.

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Kaleigh gave me a gift asking me to be a bridesmaid in her and Ben’s wedding!! 🙂 She had already asked me to be a bridesmaid, but she said this was my official invitation. Of course I was so excited! The bag included a cute pen, a chocolate bar, some tissues (in case I cry during the wedding, which is very likely since I’m a cryer), and three different shades of blush. All of the bridesmaids are in charge of buying their own dresses, so the three shades of blush are to show all of us what colors of dress we can get. Such a cute idea! I love my future sister-in-law!

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This weekend Ben also asked Ryan to be a groomsmen!! Ryan and I were both so excited! I sure do love weddings! 🙂 Ben didn’t have a cute bag with gifts and an invitation for Ryan when he asked him to be in their wedding. I guess guys don’t do that. 😉

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I’m so glad the four of us could be together this weekend!

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It was also great to spend some time with these two this past weekend!

Sunday my family and I slept in, and I enjoyed a delicious bowl of oatmeal with my Daddy for breakfast.

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I put in half of a banana, strawberries, blueberries, and walnuts into my oats to make one big bowl of deliciousness! Oatmeal is always so much better at my parents’ house because they have food that makes it so much better, like blueberries and walnuts! Plus, eating breakfast with my Daddy is always special!

After breakfast we decided to watch church online so we wouldn’t have to get out. The message was about not having any idols, and this is when God really convicted me. But that is good, I needed that conviction so that I can change a few things to keep God first in my life.

After church I enjoyed a small snack of crackers, turkey lunchmeat, and strawberries.

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For lunch my Mom fixed all of us some delicious chili. I added some crackers, and I chopped up some onion, squash, mushrooms, and carrots to add to my chili. I did this a few weeks ago and loved the added veggies! It made me get full without having to eat so much of the actual chili. (Huge health tip from me: always load up on veggies! This way you get full without eating all of the other stuff that isn’t as good for you.) I also had a few crackers with guacamole before our meal as a little appetizer. Since we had guacamole, I decided to be a little different and added some of that to my chili too. The verdict: amazing! Is guacamole ever bad? I don’t think so! 🙂

We spent the rest of the afternoon talking with my family until Ryan and I headed back to our homes. (I will try to always say “homes” so that no one thinks we live together. Ryan and I do not live together, but if I ever say we are heading home, I just mean we are heading back to the town we both live in. I just wanted to clear up any confusion. 🙂 )

I spent the rest of my Sunday working on my thesis (yes I am an undergrad student, but I have to do a thesis for the scholarship I have), eating dinner, doing some school work, and relaxing with Ryan. We had a very busy weekend, but it was definitely fun. Because we got to see both of our families made it a very special weekend.

For today’s quiet time I read Proverbs 9. What really stood out to me was verse 10.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10. Simple verses like this have such a deep meaning and remind me to continually seek the Lord simply because He deserves my attention and my life!