Proverbs

Praise Him in the Good Times and the Bad

So I have been totally out of the blogging world since Sunday morning. Finally, today I was able to read some other blogs and comment on a few. I will say, I missed reading everyone’s blogs. It’s weird how you form relationships with people who you have never met in real life! But I had been so busy I didn’t have anytime to blog or comment on other blogs. So Tuesday morning I planned to write a post last night about my most recent bridal shower on Sunday. But yesterday, some things happened and blogging or commenting on other blogs just didn’t seem right. My planned post about my last bridal shower will have to wait until later, it might even be next week. For now, I want to write about my need for God’s comfort and faith in His plan.

Jeremiah 29-11

Yesterday morning I was student teaching as normal. That morning Ryan text me, and we got some news that we weren’t going to get to end up living in the town we really wanted to live in. Some things had changed, and the plans we thought were going to be perfect weren’t going to happen. Ryan and I were both really confused by this, and a little upset to be honest. We thought we knew what was best for us, and in our minds moving to this one town would be best for us. This was a reminder to both of us that God knows what is best, not us, and that His plan is so much better than our plan. God sees all and knows all. We do not. Ryan and I cannot see in the future so we do not know what will end up being best for us. I do know, though, that wherever we end up, it will be perfect and it will be exactly where God wants us to be. After all, “Now faith is being sure of what he hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1. I have no idea where Ryan and I will be living in a few months, but I have faith that God has a perfect plan for us.

Faith in God's plan

Unfortunately, the sad news didn’t stop here. I got another text from Ryan after lunch. His grandmother of 95 years old passed away yesterday morning. His grandmother (called “Grandma” by all of her grandchildren) lived a long, good life, and it was her time to go be in Heaven with Jesus. Although it is sad that none of us will ever be able to see her here on Earth, we need to celebrate her death because she is no longer suffering or hurting here on Earth, but she is in Heaven worshipping God. That is something that is worth our praise! Plus, now Grandma gets to be with her husband, who was taken from this Earth 22 years ago. It is always hard when a loved one leaves us, but when they are a believer like Grandma, it should be a celebration.

When Ryan text me this news I called him immediately to see how he was doing. He as doing fine because he got a lot of his grieving out last week when she was first put in Hospice. But I was still worried about him and everyone in his family.

When I got home, I knew I just needed to spend some time with Jesus. We got some bad news and lost a loved one. It didn’t seem right for me to go on with my day like normal by working out, blogging, and commenting on other posts. I came home from school, read a Proverb, and just prayed. I prayed for God to help Ryan and I trust in His plan, even though things weren’t going according to our plan. I also prayed that God would give us all peace and comfort as we dealt with  Grandma’s death. Nothing just seemed to go right today, and all I could do was let God be my strength, because I didn’t have any of my own.

God is my strength

As I read Proverbs I was thinking about how tired I was, and I knew it was because of my lack of sleep the last two nights. I had been very busy and was running on about 12 hours of sleep from the last two nights combined. I felt like God just wanted me to rest in Him, and for once, not feel like I had to be doing something every second of the day. So I took a 20 minute nap, and this made me feel amazing! God knows what we need, and when we listen to Him, we will feel better.

I usually like my posts to be happy and positive, but the truth is, life is not always perfect and I never want to portray my life to be perfect. Sometimes life is hard and disappointing, and it is these tough times that we give God everything and say, “Lord, hold me up, I need you. I can’t do it on my own. Give me the strength I need. I know you are in control, and I have faith in Your plan.” It’s also these hard times when we have to praise God.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

God’s Word tells us to praise Him at all times. Right now, I am praising God for Grandma’s long, wonderful life. I did not get to know her very well, but I have heard many amazing things about her, and I wish I could have known her better.

I am also praising God that Ryan has a job right when he gets out of college and he will be able to support us after we get married. This is a big praise!

Please pray for us and Ryan’s family this weekend as we go to the visitation tomorrow and the funeral Friday. Those things are never easy. This post ended up being longer than I planned, but I want to dedicate this post to Ryan’s sweet Grandma and the wonderful life she lived.

 

 

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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!

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 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.

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      

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.

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!

So I first saw Faith in my Friday on Christina’s blog, thetinyrunner, which led me to Melissa’s blog, freeingimperfections. I thought this was really cool, so I thought, why  not work this into my own blog? Besides, I think it would be really awesome if a big group of bloggers starting sharing about their Faith every Friday together!

1. Quiet Time

I have been reading Proverbs for a while now, and this morning I read Proverbs 15. I first decided to focus on Proverbs because it speaks so much about how women and wives should act, so since I will be getting married in June, I thought it would be a great book in the bible to focus on for a while. Proverbs 15 spoke about wisdom, correction, having a cheerful heart, fearing the Lord, and humility. There is really so much to take out of this one chapter. One of my favorite verses from today was Proverbs 15:33:”Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” This seems so simple, but it means so much! In order to be wise, we must fear the Lord. I have learned that wisdom is not something someone attains easily or many people have. Wisdom is searching for God and obeying his will at all cost because you know He is all knowing and all powerful. If one does not fear the Lord and understand His power, might, and majesty, then he or she cannot possibly have wisdom. Wisdom only comes from God.

The second part of Proverbs 15:33 is so important too. “…and humility comes before honor.” This is much easier said than done. I feel that so often I feel as if I deserve something or some type of treatment, when this could be no further from the truth. Jesus Christ was crucified! He served the lowest of people! Who am I to think I deserve any better treatment than my Savior, the Almighty King and Creator! If I want to have honor in Heaven, I need to humble myself here on Earth. That means serving others and giving up the idea that I deserve anything.

2. Group Bible Study

Last night Ryan and I went to a bible study that we have been going to the past couple of weeks with some other young couples. We are going through the study, Radical, by David Platt. Every week we watch a DVD of David Platt together and then discuss it. I have really been challenged the last two weeks while listening to the DVD. David Platt continues to ask the question, “Do you believe this book?” He is referring to the bible, and goes on to say that if we really believe the bible we wouldn’t be able to keep living the comfortable lives we live now. The bible says numerous times that those who have not given their lives over to Him will spend eternity in Hell. If we really believe this, then as Christians, why aren’t we doing more to try to reach out and save the lost? Of course, we cannot save them with our own power, but God wants to use us to save them!

Also, if we believe the Bible, why don’t we have more compassion on the poor? Millions of people are dying every day from starvation, disease, and lack of clean water, while most of us here in America live comfortable, easy lives, where when we run out of food all we have to do is run to the grocery store. And when I say run, I mean get in a nice car and ride to the store. Pretty tough life, huh? I know I don’t consider myself to be rich in any sense, but compared to the rest of the world, I am rich. God has blessed me so that He can use me to bless others. I need to take this seriously and really consider what I can be doing to care for the poor and reach out to the lost. I pray that God can give me a heart to care for and love the people of this world like He does.

When we were driving back from bible study last night I started telling Ryan that I just wanted to give up everything we had and go live in a third world country. I just felt horrible for letting all of these worldly things become so important to me. Ryan reminded me that right now God has us where He wants us for a reason. Maybe someday Ryan and I will be able to go serve the Lord in a different region, but right now God wants to use me where I am. I just need to continue to pray and be obedient to whatever He calls me to do. This isn’t easy in the least bit, but I will try.

What have you been reading in your quiet time?

Are you involved in any type of bible study?

What has God been showing you or revealing to you in your quiet time or bible study?

Happy Friday y’all!! 🙂

School Days=No Life

So I know I am just now posting about last week’s Monday through Wednesday, and here it is Monday, but I have just been so busy! My next post will probably just try to give a brief highlight through my weekend enough to get me caught back up! I don’t like posting about what happened to me a week ago! Plus, I know I forget things! So hopefully soon I will be all up to date! But like my title suggests, on the days when I go to school, I have no life, so nothing too interesting really happened to me last Monday through Wednesday.

I started off my week Monday with a yummy breakfast. A bowl of pumpkin protein oatmeal hit the spot!

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Like always, I enjoyed the other half of my banana on the side with a small glass of almond milk. I packed my lunch for school and enjoyed a delicious turkey sandwich (with all of the veggies of course) and an apple. On the ride home from school I ate some carrots and hummus because I knew as soon as I got back home I would be in a hurry to get ready. Becca, a friend of Ryan and I, is a photography major, and she took our save the date pictures for us. I saw this really cute save the date idea on pinterest so I asked Becca if she could take a picture like this for us, and she said it would be easy! So we met her at the studio on our University’s campus and she shot pictures of us for a little over an hour and a half. At first, Ryan and I felt a little awkward trying to pose, but eventually we just started having fun with it, and that was when we got some really cute pictures! So, yes, it took quite a while for us to take these pictures, but the save the date turned out super cute, and it was totally worth it!

Save the Date

Becca is seriously an awesome photographer! You should definitely check out some of her work here!

After we got done taking pictures I was starving and so ready for dinner! I hadn’t gone grocery shopping for the week yet, so I made due with what I could find. It ended up being pretty good though!

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Tuna, steamed brocoli, a sweet potato, and some Almond Thins crackers. It hit the spot!

After we ate Ryan and I went to Wal Mart to get groceries, and then I headed home to get ready for bed. I have to go to sleep early whenever I get up early to student teach. No more of the late night college life for me!

Tuesday morning I made some Greek Yogurt Protein pancakes that I got from pbfingers.com. I had made these before with strawberry and blueberry yogurt, but this morning I used key lime yogurt because that was what I had. It was good, but next time I will stick with either strawberry or blueberry.

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I sliced up some strawberries to eat on top, and I also poured some sugar free syrup on top.

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I also enjoyed a banana. This breakfast was perfect because it actually kept me full until lunch five hours later!

Now y’all know I don’t want to take a picture of my lunch when I eat in the teacher’s lounge, so Tuesday morning I actually remembered to take a picture of what I packed for my lunch!

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I packed a spinach salad that included spinach leaves, turkey lunch meat, onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper. I also put some wheat thins on the salad to give it a little crunch! I ate some grapes after the salad to finish off the meal. Yum!

My snack that afternoon before heading to the gym to workout on my own was some strawberry Greek yogurt with some almonds and pretzels mixed in.

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When I got up to the gym, I was ready for a good workout. Since my weekend had been so busy I hadn’t got to workout since my tabata workout on Friday. I did a mix of different ab and leg exercises, followed by a few ab exercises. I didn’t write down my workout though, so I don’t remember everything. Sorry!

After my workout I ate a banana and peanut butter before I taught Six Pack Cycle.

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This held me over during my cycle class, but once it was over I was ready for dinner! I decided a veggie egg sandwich would be quick, easy, and filling!

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I also enjoyed an apple and then a few almonds.

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After I ate I went to the BSM to meet Ryan to watch the Mavs game. This was very nice because I also got to see some friends who I haven’t got to see much this semester.

Wednesday I had some cinnamon peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast.

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This yummy bowl consisted of:

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of natural peanut butter
  • several sprinkles of cinnamon
  • half of a banana
  • two strawberries

I microwaved the oats and water for about 1 minute and 45 seconds. Then I stirred in one teaspoon of peanut butter and sprinkled in some cinnamon. You can read here about some of the awesome health benefits of cinnamon.  

I had seminar all day so I packed a mid morning snack, my lunch, and an afternoon snack.

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My mid morning snack was ham, crackers, and carrots. My lunch was a turkey sandwich with lettuce, onion, bell pepper, tomato, seasoned with pepper and italian seasoning and an apple on the side. My afternoon snack was carrots and hummus. Pictured is my blue lunch box from fifth grade that I still carry my lunch in. 🙂 People in my seminar class were probably thinking I had a full pantry in my little lunchbox!

My workout consisted of a four mile run, and then my Six Pack Cycle class that I taught. On Wednesdays for my cycle class we are on the bike for half of the class, and the other half is spent on the floor doing core work.

For dinner this night I made a crock pot meal, chicken parmesan. This is one of me and Ryan’s favorite meals! It is so easy but so good! I remembered to take pictures while I was putting it together to show y’all. First, I got this awesome recipe from here.

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First I mixed the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Then I put the chicken breasts in the egg, then the bread mixture, and then into the crockpot. I use frozen chicken breasts from Wal Mart because they are cheaper.

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After I place all of the chicken breasts in the crock pot I cover it with two cups of mozarella cheese, and then pour in a whole jar of pasta sauce. I used Ragu flavored with meat because it was on sale at Wal Mart. I got two jars for just a little over $2.00. Yay for awesome deals!! 🙂

Whenever I was ready to eat I cooked some whole wheat noodles and then added it to the cooked chicken parmesan for this big pot of deliciousness below.

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I also enjoyed a piece of garlic toast and some spinach salad. For my garlic bread I spread some, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, on a piece of whole wheat toast, sprinkled some garlic powder on it, and then lot it sit in the oven on broil for about two minutes. Much healthier and cheaper than buying the frozen garlic bread!

That night Ryan and I went to FroYo with our friends, Marlee (my maid of honor), Woodward (Ryan’s roommate whose name is also Ryan so I call him by his last name), Chelsea, and Tanner. Chelsea and Tanner are actually getting married two weeks before Ryan and I! I am Chelsea’s maid of honor, and Ryan is one of Tanner’s groomsmen! They are both in our wedding as well, so us and all of our friends are going to have a busy, wedding packed summer!

I forgot to take a picture of my frozen yogurt at FroYo, but I enjoyed some sugar free vanilla yogurt with some granola on top. Whenever I go to frozen yogurt places I always try a ton of different flavors, but I always get vanilla. Nothing else tastes as good to me!

So I know I am just now posting about last week’s Monday through Wednesday, and here it is Monday, but I have just been so busy! My next post will probably just try to give a brief highlight through my weekend enough to get me caught back up! I don’t like posting about what happened to me a week ago! Plus, I know I forget things! So hopefully soon I will be all up to date!

And of course, about my quiet times. So I have been reading through Proverbs, and I am really enjoying it. A lot of what I have been reading lately talks about gaining wisdom and understanding, and how this comes from fear and knowledge of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10). I know in this world it seems like the wicked always prevail, but God’s Word tells us that the wicked will be triumphed over in the end by the righteous. I challenge you all to pray for wisdom and understanding from God. Our world is so lost, and in order to know what is right and how to best live for God, we need Him to give us understanding and discernment.

I hope everyone had a great Monday! I will try to give an overview of this past weekend with workouts and recipes soon!

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!