January 30, 2012

California: Day 3



Birthday day! 

We woke up early and drove over to Herbivore (for the second time in three days!) for a big birthday brunch followed by a drive into the city. JP brought me to the bench at the highest point of Delores Park and we sat and overlooked the big and beautiful city. It was a gorgeous day in San Francisco. 

That afternoon we went to Union Square to go ice skating. It was JP's first time ever ice skating and one of my birthday wishes to go. So, JP made it happen and it was so much fun! It turns out that John-Paul is quite the professional skater. I'm sure we'll be seeing much more of him on the ice. 

We headed back to our hotel and changed into our fancy birthday outfits and headed to Millennium, a beautiful new vegan restaurant in SF where JP had made dinner reservations. Oh my goodness. As they walked us to our table there was a huge display of roses on the table, all a part of JP's secret birthday plans, and only the beginning of an incredible birthday weekend.

January 24, 2012

California: Day 2

Day two was declared a lazy day upon waking up. JP made breakfast for us; a scramble with tofu, soy chiroso, black beans, and homestyle potatoes. The rest of the afternoon was spent laying around reading and watching hockey games. Before picking up burritos for dinner, JP and I raced out to see the sunset over the mountains along one of his cycling routes. A beautiful end to a relaxing low-key day. Birthday festivities were planned to begin early the next morning, so we certainly needed our rest!

January 23, 2012

Notes: Giving It All I've Got

Notes: Giving It All I've Got

Yesterday morning at NewSpring, Perry opened up with asking us to pray a simple prayer, "Lord, speak to my heart this morning". Perry went on to speak about how, as believers we are to always be maturing in Christ, we are to intentionally be pursuing Christ.
Below are some of my personal notes (in italics), along with the sermon outline (in bold):

A growing relationship with Jesus is intentional, not accidental!
 - Mark 12:30   - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind and with all your strength." To love God with all of your strength - when this feels like a struggle, ask God to manifest His strength through you.
 - Many times we pray so that we about something so that we don't feel the need to obey.

Two Myths that Can Keep Us Stuck:

Myth #1: I'm great right now!
 - Philippians 3:10-14   - Paul writes, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death."
 - 1 Corinthians 10:31   - "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Myth #2: God will never ask me to do anything difficult.
 - Luke 22:42   - Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
 - Luke 9:23 - God calls us to take up our cross daily and to follow Him.
 - Acts 22:16   - "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."
 - James 5:16   - "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for eachother so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
 - 2 Corinthians 6:2   - "For he says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.'"

There is always another step closer to God. The reason God asks us to take, what may seem as uncomfortable or difficult "next steps", is so that He can point out and cut out the toxic areas of our lives that will harm us otherwise. Exodus 8:8-10 Pharaoh didn't handle the problem when he should have, his heart became hardened. Often we look to God and ask for what's next when we don't want to take the "next step" that He has already laid before us.

Although the Lord may ask for us to take an uncomfortable next step, it is always for His Glory, which is our constant encouragement and security. Our Lord is sovereign, constantly loving and forgiving each of us. What an encouragement knowing that our Lord, the Creator of the universe has laid out a path before each of His children, loving and protecting them each along the way.

God is always God. God is always good. To God be the glory.

California: Day 1

After sleeping in a bit, JP and I went out for a delicious breakfast at Herbivore. Tofu scramble for him, french toast and blueberry cornbread to share. We then went for a walk around Berkeley and grabbed a cinnamon roll topped with lemon icing and blackberries at Cinnaholic. With full bellies, JP whisked us away to the Golden Gate Bridge. I was a little child jumping with excitement and smiling so much that my cheeks hurt. It was the most beautiful and wonderful day for a visit to the GGB. We walked across the big red bridge and took pictures galore. These were definitely some of my most treasured moments from the entire trip.

January 22, 2012


Long time, no chat, right? Let's get things rolling.

The last few months have been a whirlwind. Spending a few weeks in Indiana (the longest consecutive time spent at home since moving to SC) with my family, was a great blessing. I had the opportunity to grow closer with those who I typically only get a few days out of the year to spend time with. The first week of January was spent in California with my best friend, John-Paul. It was the most wonderful trip and I can't wait to write about each day and share a few photos here!

Alas, winter break has come to an end and a new semester has just begun. Sometimes I find myself more focused on (and/or overwhelmed by) my "Grad School Prep List" than enjoying this season that I am currently in. A season to learn and love more, enjoy, and appreciate all of the people and opportunities I am blessed with.

Today is for reading a non-textbook book, writing cards, and packing gifts for a few very dear people with upcoming birthdays (!!!!!).

I hope you're enjoying this quiet Sunday as well.