Posts tagged Church
Money! Want some?
Money. Not the most glorious topic of conversations to have with ANYONE, but a necessary one. Instead of small group on Monday, we all made it out to church to hear Joe Sangl give his two cents (aren't I a comedian) about green! He was humourous, knowledgeable, and with-it! He even gave us free...yes FREE...documents to balance our money. 

I will say that my handsome hubby was really in his element. When I walked out of church I asked him if he learned anything new. He responded with a simple no, but said he really enjoyed it! At one time Joe asked if anyone was driving an older car and asked what it was. People were saying 2003 Grand Caravans (not too old to me), and I decided Ryan needed to share. I flailed my pointer finger up in the air and aimed at Ryno's head. Joe asked what he drove and he proudly shared about his dependable 97 Toyota 4Runner with over 200,000 miles on it. I am so proud of my hubby for standing by his statement, "drive it to the wheels fall off". Cars are ridiculous, although we love taking Pearl for a ride! Joe spoke about how the Bible teaches us so very much about managing money. After all, God owns it all . . . are we managing it correctly?

My sis and her friend, Abby, came along with us, and we all had a great conversation from the presentation to home. It was so nice to see them, and I am proud of them going to a financial class at such a young age! We all learned that in order for us to have money, we can't spend money. I also found out how much longer I have until I am completely debt free with the house and all! :)

I wanted to share these great tools with you all! Mr. Sangl has a free app: I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. LOOK IT UP! I absolutely love it. You can find a ton of tools on his website, Facebook, or Twitter page as well! Please, do me a favor and check it out!
Let me know what you think!
Can you save the world?
 So, this morning I was reading my devotion in Jesus Calling and was reading the verses at the bottom of the page. I continued reading Luke 6:37 and it led me to **WATCH OUT ** Luke 6:38. "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."

This part stood out:  
The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
It made me stop and pause because I had just texted my friend Sara over at Mixon Mania. We have been throwing around our need to go on a mission trip. I referred to this back in my 30 Before 30 list and again on this post! I just can't shake it. I know God wants to open my eyes to the world that is all around us. We, as Americans, are so rich, and it's time I share what God has blessed me with. We look around and we are sitting on nice furniture, watching tv on flat screens, and having good food in our bellies. I know that this is not everyone in America, but I am speaking for a lot of us. 

Here's something to make us think: 

1. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than seventy five percent of the people in the world.
2. If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
3. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are more blessed than five hundred million people in the world.
4. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish, you are among the top eight percent of the world's wealthy.
5. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
- found HERE! 

Hmm. This brings me around to praying about giving to Cross International and supporting children. With a donation they will be taken care of by Christian parents, have food, clothes, and shelter everyday. I really wanted to sponsor one child, but I felt led to support 2. I pray these children will be blessed by this donation and they will have their needs met. 

Thanks for letting me share. God bless you this evening. 


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Why do we worry? In my case it is the fear of the unknown or the memories of bad things that have happened before.

Tonight, Ryan was talking on the phone and it cut off after only talking for a total of 53 seconds. I call him back, and back, and again, and one more time, and again . . . it's seriously ridiculous. This fear and worry crept in so fast, and all of the most senseless reasons as to why he didn't answer were swirling around in my head. I mean, CRAZY thoughts!

Source: via Van on Pinterest

I called Mom just to make sure my phone was working. It was. Mom reminded me that his phone could have died. I wanted to believe her, so I took that as the case. I focused on something else.

In the meantime, my very favorite verse was running through my head: Philippians 4:6 - Do not worry about anything, but pray about EVERYTHING! So, I prayed.

Thank God that it was just the cell battery running out of juice. He knew I was worried . . . it's not the first time!
Source: via Van on Pinterest

Does anyone else do this?
Mountain Views with Great Friends
This gorgeous weekend was even more beautiful because of who we shared it with. Our community small group took it's second annual retreat to the North Georgia Mountains. On Friday night we left out after enjoying a filling dinner at Loco's together.

We made it up a little before 11 pm. The road to get to the neighborhood was a one-lane dirt road, which had us all telling spooky stories on the way through the winding trail. The map said 2.3 miles, but it took us about 15 minutes because of our turtle-like speed and dodging ditches. What were we in store for?

Thank God it was perfect! The Snow Fort was fabulous and super accommodating. We stayed up late talking and snacking. At one point most of the ladies were asleep while the men were chatting away. Time for bed!

The next day, we woke up to a yummy french toast casserole along with some filling bacon, sausage, and fruit! Nathan and Sarah did a great job. The boys played some Jenga and got pretty loud with it, while the gals enjoyed a game of Scrabble. It was strange not to be able to press a button and scramble your tiles like on Words With Friends!

Ryan and I were in charge of lunch. We brought the CrockPot, chicken, Texas Pete, and some ranch packets along. When you mix it all up and let cook for 4 - 6 hours you have buffalo chicken for some spicy sandwiches on buns. We had some veggies and salad to go with it. Afterwards we chilled in front of the TV and watched 50-50. This is where all of the tears started falling {only the gals of course}.

Then, several of us went exploring the mountain. It was about 1.5 - 2 miles, but ALL hills. Even walking downhill was a bit scary. If you hit a pebble and started to roll, you weren't going to stop! That's why we had to walk like monkeys down the mountain and bearcrawl up the mountain to the cabin.

We stopped for a photo op at the entrance of the 'hood. The men really enjoy pics. . .

"Sorority pose" was decided on for the ladies pics. One thing we didn't decide on was having Scott hide behind the sign and POP out while we were posing!


Danielle and Matt were in charge of dinner on Saturday evening. They made a great taco soup that was enjoyed by all. Next, a game of Life was played. If only we got paid our salary every time it was a pay day!

After the game was finished we had communion. This is something we didn't do last year. It was something that will stick with me for life. We all shared how God used this group to help us. It was powerful to hear stories that we may or may not have known. Some special news was shared, contagious laughs were had, and tears were shed. So happy that we made the drive to join a community group that Sunday evening in 2010! I love where it's guided our lives.

Later that evening most of the gals hopped in the hot tub and had some girl talk. The guys stayed inside and who knows what was going on. Whenever I walked in someone was playing DJ and memories were being shared.

We all woke up on Sunday AM, ate some bagels, oatmeal, and fruit, and rolled out around noon. Before we all piled in the cars, I snapped some pics of every awesome couple and the whole crazy group!

{Karen and Scott}

{Danielle and Matt}

{Ryan and ME}

{Nathan and Sarah}

{Adam and Kristen}

{Mike and Lauren}

It was a successful trip!!
Thank you God for letting us share our time with you and your beautiful creation. Thank you for letting us get home safely.

I would have changed my lovely cold I caught mid-Saturday. I am sure it was obnoxious the way my horn was sounding every 5 minutes. At one point, I created a Neti-pot out of a water bottle. Not one of my proudest moments. Now, I am still laying in bed with a nasty sinus infection. This little cold hasn't visited since the last cabin trip. Maybe next year the beach will be in the retreat plans. What do you say group?

Wonderful Weekend! (lots of pics)
I love weekends! I feel so blessed to have a job that allows time to renew yourself over Saturday and Sunday. The sad thing is the rest part of the "renew" rarely happens. Rest is certainly important for my well-being and others around me. I had a busy weekend, but a great busy it was!

On Friday afternoon, I headed down with my sister to photograph Ashley and Drew's gorgeous wedding at Little Gardens in Lawrenceville. Here are some shots
we captured of their perfect wedding day...

Ryan was in the wedding! He looked handsome in his tux. My sis took control of my camera while I took a break and snapped a few action shots of us dancing. One thing I love about my husband is his talent of dancing. He is fantastic! It makes me love him more!

On Saturday, Erin and I treated Mom to a lunch at Aqua Terra Bistro in downtown Buford. I had eaten dinner there with friends on Ryan's birthday, but hadn't been back! In comes the power of advertising. I had "liked" Aqua Terra's page, and when I saw the $10 off of $20 deal I was hooked. We enjoyed ourselves...talking, laughing, dreaming, remembering, and creating new memories all while eating seriously the best food. For our appetizer we had crab salad stuffed avocados, then we all had sandwiches. Mom and Erin had potato salad with a crab cake sandwich. It all tasted so fresh there's no way I could do it justice describing it's deliciousness here. I enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich with an island salad. Perfection sums it up! We all enjoyed having a girl's day to celebrate Mom's birthday. Then, we stopped in a fabric store that Mom found. She bought some fabric to make a couple of fun kids' outfits!

Later that night Ryan and I met up with friends from work to enjoy a meal at Farm 255. The restaurant was donating 10% to our school's Farm to School program, so it was for a good cause and the atmosphere was so relaxing. We got to celebrate a friend's engagement, too. We are so happy for them!!! Congrats guys!

This morning we got up and enjoyed church service. Andy discussed listening to God and the multiple ways we can hear Him. I don't know if I have said this before, but I LOVE OUR CHURCH! I also enjoyed seeing lots of friends at this service. Our church is so large, so seeing familiar faces was hard at first. Now, it feels smaller and smaller because of our small group and friends from work and school attending. If you don't have a home church check out Athens Church! After service we went to Harry's Pig Shop to eat some lunch with our friends. I was excited that Carrie and Kyle came with us this morning. Natalie and Will visited the new facility for the first time today, too.

I love this song that was played this morning: