A Grande Era

I don't know if any of you do this, but I get hooked on a certain channel for a period of time. Like I went through a Discovery Channel phase for about a month and then there is Animal Planet. One month might be TLC with the baby stories and then next it is TCM. TCM is Turner Classic Movies and that is the channel that I am stuck on now. I wouldn't say that I am an old movie lover, but something about the way most of the movies are black and white and how the actors don't seem anything like today's actors intrigues me. I love thinking about what life was like in that era-how it would feel if my life was an old black and white movie. I can just picture Wade with slick back hair, a dinner jacket on, and saying sweet nothings to me (oh wait he does that now, I'm so clever). Of course I would have the perfectly curled hair with bold lips, the big flowing dress, and the soft voice that sounded beautiful when I broke into a solo in my sitting room.

I wonder why those movies seem so beautiful and today's seem so digusting. Romantic comedies now are just full of stupid stuff that make you wish you hadn't paid the money to go see it. I wish they would take a cue from the older movies and focus on the development of the characters and have humor in the movie with witty lines instead of trying to get laughs with crude jokes. Why can't the men be the night in shining armor like the TCM movies instead of slobs or jerks that the leading ladies try to turn into a man.

Here's to Turner Classic Movies, a look back into a way of life that seems lovely (at least for this month, until I move onto Animal Planet).


The beast of change

I just had an amazing time with my friend Alyson today. She has been the friend I have had for the longest and we still are close. We go back to about 3rd grade and went on family vacations together and had tons of fun growing up. We would even sit on the phone and watch a tv show on school nights together just so we could occasionally speak up and say, "I can't believe she said that!" I have so many fond memories with her.
She recently got engaged and she will be the first one of my best friends to get married. As she was sitting at my house and we discussed what people were doing now in Belton she received a phone call from her fiance Brent. I could halfway hear the conversation between the two of them and they sounded so cute together and then I got this realization that will sound like I am an idiot to you, but it seemed so divine at the moment. I realized that the man on the end of her phone was the person she was going to spend the rest of her life with. I know that sounds like I am just stating the obvious, but she is my first friend to get married and for the 15+ years I have been her friend she has been a single woman. I don't know if this seemed so crazy for my head to grasp because I don't know Brent that well or because it will seem so different for Alyson to now be Mrs. Nelson. I can't quite grasp it.

I can't begin to imagine what my friends felt like when I got married. Here I was still in college at the ripe age of 20 and my friends were thinking about what class they could make an easy A in and I was planning a wedding. It didn't seem odd to me at all at the time, but when I am on the other end of it with sweet Alyson getting married a normal way it still seems weird. I must have been like an alien or something to my friends.

Anyway, all that being said it reminds me that change is always going to happen. And usually change is going to feel so weird and sometimes uncomfortable that you might just decide to not even consider the change. We are people that love familiarity and want things to follow the routine that we have neatly packaged, but the best things in life are going to be when we embrace the change. Alyson is going to be the happiest she has ever been when she gets married and I will have my best friend to share stories with and to live life with as a fellow married woman. It will be amazing and it all had to happen with change. Some of the best things in my life have happened because I left everything familiar to me and followed a path that I had no idea of the outcome. It was then that I have grown closest to my Lord and that I have been truly excited to see what God had planned for me-I knew it was going to be good because I wasn't in control of it anymore.


Where's the intensity?

I think this might be true for most of us. I was in the best shape of my life right when I got married. I worked out every other day for like and hour and a half. I lifted weights, did cardio, cut out all fast food, and ate really healthy. Why? Because I wanted to look the best I could for my husband (Wade and I called it the honeymoon bod). Well after I got married I haven't really stopped working out I just haven't had the same intensity with it. I haven't gone off the deep end with eating bad food I just don't mind hitting the desserts or grabbing a Big Mac every now and then.
Right after I moved to Charlotte I found my workout buddy Kelly. Although at the time we thought we were awesome with our 40 minute cardios and our 500 calorie burns we were sorely mistaken. We have since upped our workouts with some heavy weightlifting and some intense cardio and my entire body hurts.
When I look back on this whole workout history I wonder why it took so long for me to get serious again. I always wanted to be toned and have a healthy heart and body and I still wanted to look great to my husband. But there was this whole season that I just went through the motions, but didn't take any risks or endure any pain. I figured I was good to just maintain and I wanted to get by with giving as little effort as possible.

I see how this happens with us spiritually as well. I can look back at so many times in my life where I was pursuing God with every ounce of my being and then others where it felt like I was mainly just going through the motions. It doesn't take much for us to lose the focus or take our eyes away from the the goal. Sometimes I think we just give it a tiny bit of effort just so we can strike it off our list or so we can tell ourselves we are good little Christians. But the truth is if you aren't giving it your all you are still a slacker. It takes more than just having this feeling of maintaining your relationship with Christ. It takes upping the intensity and pushing past the pain. If we get to a season where it feels like we are just gliding along or just going through the motions then we need to evaluate how we are connecting with our Lord and then do something to make it a little more intense.


Oh the Joy of Marriage

Wade and I have the awesome privilege of doing marriage counseling for two of our friends. We had dinner with them last night to see what they want to get out of this kind of thing. To tell you the truth it seems like Wade and I are newlyweds still so it was kind of funny to be the wise old married couple at this dinner. But we are so excited to pour into this couple's life and share how things worked for us. I know two and a half years isn't long to be married but I feel like Wade and I have learned a lot from each other and we realized that alone we can't do this, but when we center our marriage and our lives on Christ then it makes us willing and joyful to lay down our selfishness for the sake of our husband/wife.

I am guessing that people must see this special glow around Wade that makes them want him to be part of their weddings because this past Saturday two of our other friends got married. And Wade had the honor of being the one that married them. On the day before and the hours leading up to the wedding I don't think I have ever seen Wade that nervous. But you would never have known it once he started. It seemed like he should take a side job of marrying people. I was so proud of him and so happy for our friends to be joining the married crowd!

So if you want a marriage tip of the day from counselors Wade and Ferris then it would be to never joke about divorce. Never use it as a way to scare your spouse. Just don't use it.


Christmas Thoughts

First off I want to thank everyone for giving Wade and me some great movies to put on our list. We finally have the tree up and stockings and I would say our house is looking pretty Christmasy. I am pretty shocked at how much scented candles are. I mean how hard it is to form wax into a cylinder shape. I am sure it isn't $15 worth.

Also, I am shocked (well not really shocked) that Target doesn't sell any Christian ornaments. I think it is lame that stores have taken it so far to remove Christ from Christmas. I understand stores having Happy Holiday things for sell so that they sell even to the the people who remove Christ from Christmas, but couldn't they keep the Christian stuff so Christians who shop at Target can buy those?

And I haven't done any Christmas shopping. I am really excited about it though. I mean I have Baby Pressley to buy for this year so that will make it fun and I can go to the mall during the day to shop for people so that makes it a little less hectic. Maybe I can knock everything out a few days next week. I can never decide if it is better to make a list of what I want to get people or just let the mall inspire me. Making the list takes a lot less time in the long run and I probably have gifts that are more thoughtful. There I decided to make a list this year.


The Christmas List

Wade and I are the couple that love Christmas but since we have been married we really haven't started any of our own family traditions. We did make our own Christmas ornaments for two years, but last year we ended up not doing that so there went our one tradition. So we decided this year to embrace the festive Christmas spirit and emerse ourselves in all its goodness. So right now we have two things on our list that must be done before Christmas.

Number one is a list of Christmas movies that we must watch before Christmas is over. The list is growing and right now we only have the Santa Clause trilogy and Polar Express. What other movies do you recommended to be added to our list?

Number two is that our fireplace has to be used at least one time. This is may not happen since we have a real fireplace and that means we have to go get wood and really start it and then who knows what we need to know about our chimney. So if this one doesn't happen I won't be too upset.

Then on my own (I guess this counts as three things) I want to make our home feel like Christmas. For previous years, if you weren't in the room with the Christmas tree then you wouldn't know it was Christmas at our house, but this year I want to embrace holiday hand towels and stock up on red and green candles and liven up the table with a christmas centerpiece.

So here is to Christmas and the need to go to the store and buy things to make it feel that way.


I fell off the universe

So I haven't blogged in awhile, but it is with good reason. Well first off I kept my niece like the last post said then there was Thanksgiving with family and you can't really get around to writing a blog with that much food around and then I got home and "it" hit me. "It" being the sickness that left me begging for relief for four days. Somehow I got a fever and a congestion so bad that the nurse at the doctor's office said it was the worst congestion she has heard in awhile. That is comforting. So thankfully Tuesday the doctor gave me some meds and I rested a little more and by Wednesday the fever was gone and the sore throat was feeling a little better. I still sound like I am pinching my nose if you talk to me on the phone and you don't want to know how much kleenex I go through, but I am on my way to recovery.


Hanging out with Baby Pressley

My sister had a conference to go to today and tomorrow in Columbia. So she brought my niece with her and I am getting to keep her for two days. If this would have happened three months ago I would be clueless on how to keep a baby, but since moving to Charlotte I learned how to change a diaper and be a little more natural around kids.

I am figuring out:
1. that you can't do much until it is naptime.
2. you better be good at doing stuff with one hand and a baby on the other hip.
3. that if you didn't have a baby in front of you some of the faces and sounds you make would be pretty embarrassing.
4. that bringing a baby to a new place means lots and lots of bags and hardly any of it is the mom's stuff.
5. being entertained by a toy only lasts for a few seconds.

I think I am well on my way to understanding the babies. Good times.


A logo on the side of the building

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to be part of Palmetto GBA's pie rally in order to celebrate their new brand look. What is interesting about all this is the fact that about a year ago Chris How (Palmetto GBA's web designer) and I worked on about 50 logos hoping one would get picked. As a graphic designer you think that the logo that will get picked will be the one you spent the most time on or that you were just really inspired with. But in this case the logo that was picked was my 11th hour logo. We actually had a meeting about which logos we would present to our company's president and one hour before that meeting I came up with my last logo and somehow everyone liked it.

Needless to say after about a year when they had the unveiling of the logo I was really excited. I have never had a logo that I designed roll off the side of a building. It was huge. I didn't bring my camera since I messed that up, but my boss George Nicholson had his and took some pictures of our design team.

(Chris How, George Nicholson, and me)

(The logo off the side of the building)

(Logo up close)


The Ball

Now that I am working from home I have taken over our one armchair and my storage ottoman has become the home of my computer and freaking awesome external hard drive. The armchair and ottoman are perfectly positioned in front of our sliding glass doors that lead to outside. And outside is Scooter.

Quick backstory...Scooter may really have an obsessive compulsive disorder. His first toy as a little puppy was a squeaky ball. I feel like his thought process with the ball may be as follows: "Oh my, it is my ball" "Is my tail waving fast enough to show my excitement to everyone?" " Wait, I caught a whiff of the ball over here...I can actually smell the trail!" "AHHHHH....the smell is glorious." (the AHHHH in my world is this ear piercing bark followed by smaller barks and this happens over and over again) So somewhere along the way any ball became this crazy obesessive toy. For awhile he got so crazy that balls were banned from our house. (It's a long story)

So back to my armchair. I sit working on my computer with my back to the sliding door. Then I hear a faint whimper which turns into a loud high pitched cry then on to a manic scratching on the door that makes me feel like any moment Scooter could bust down the door. So I put my computer down look over my shoulder and there he is. I walk to the door. He doesn't want to come in. He doesn't need anything. He drops the ball at my feet and gets a running start for the ball to come sailing to him through the air. And this happens maybe about 20 times during my workday.


Material Possession

Don't you hate it when you have some material possession that you like a lot and then you do something completely stupid and you get so upset but the only person responsible for messing it up in the first place is yourself?! Yep, that happened the other day to me. Last Christmas, Wade got me this macdaddy, awesome camera. I loved it. It was perfect since I was trying to get into photography more and it was a digital slr and had the most amazing picture quality. I have taken many a pictures with it and made a design out of it. So the other day I decided to get out my camera so Wade and I could take it to Uptown Charlotte and we could take some fun pictures. The battery was running low so I decided to charge it and I saw this other battery laying there. Since it was in my camera bag I decided it must be already charged and put it in. However, it was the wrong battery for the camera. I could smell this faint burning smell and Wade eventually got it out. But when I put the correct battery back in, the camera didn't work. So the limited warranty won't be effective since I messed it up myself! It is a very good lesson about materialism though. Yes, it is great to have a camera and it is good to use it since it cost a lot, but it is something that can be replaced or possibly fixed. I almost had a little pity party for myself, but Wade helped me through it. I realized there is absoultely no reason to let some small object like my camera cause me to break down.


Buck Teeth

Creative advertising can certainly put you ahead of your competitors. And it doesn't matter what kind of company you are...it is still important to think outside of the box.Take for example a doctor who specializes in children's teeth. I mean you would think their advertising would be a tooth for a magnet. Or maybe even some smiley face stickers or something. But this guy steps out and does this.

The orthodontist handed out these pacifiers to mothers and attached to it was his business card with a line saying get your child's teeth checked before it is too late. A interesting mix of something funny, but thought provoking. And if you were one of those moms you probably dialed his phone number immediately.

Is it bad that when I have kids I want to have a pacifier like this? I would laugh all the time!


Standing out as a Design Gangsta

As a graphic designer you have to do something to stand out above the rest. I still haven't figured out how to really do that, but this guy certainly did. I love how he uses all of the design terms and he goes past the wall of famous designers. Not to mention he is from my new state North Carolina. Pretty funny.


Mute Math

So this past Friday Wade, Eric Phillips, and myself made our way uptown Charlotte to see the band Mute Math. I had listened to their cd previously and really enjoyed them and I knew that they were super creative, but my face was completely rocked off and from here on out I will be at any show they have that is near me.

Here are some things that I saw that made me know this concert was going to be the jam:

1. I was basically on the front row. There was one girl in front of me so I had one of the best views ever.
2. The drummer came out on stage, took a roll of tape and wrapped it around his headphones so they wouldn't came off as he rocked out. He also had this look on his face like he was missing a few screws and on some medication.
3. The lead singer did these super awkward dance moves that ended up being somehow extremely cool.
4. The band members all rotated instruments. The bass player went to the drums, then the singer played keys/keytar and did some drum stuff, then the guitar player did some keys. It was crazy.
5. The drummer did this drum breakdown (video below) and just picked up his drums and set them on things and didn't care if anything got messed up.
6. During one song, the lead singer did some handstand kind of things on his keyboard and then flipped over it, then he jumped back over and pulled down a speaker.
7. When they played their last song, the stage ended up being in complete ruins. The drums had been knocked over, mics were on the ground, a guitar had been taken by the audience. Everyone knew that there wasn't going to be another song.

I guess you can tell from those things that these band members are just crazy. And wouldn't you know it they are all Christians and if you read their lyrics you will notice it. I love how these guys are Christians, but rock the boat on how the music has to be. They have come out with a sound that is so different from any other band and they are getting recognized. I think this is a perfect example of how being really creative is something that God is pleased with. He didn't make us to watch someone and do exactly what they do. He made us so that we would take risks and chances and even if you look stupid at least you tried it.

(This video is from the concert in Charlotte that we saw and seems to have the angle of exactly where I was standing. You can see the bass player has taken over the drummer's spot, the drummer is the one going to town on his sideways drum, and the singer moved from the keys to hitting the standing drum in the back.)

(This is them wrapping up the drum breakdown.)


The lone married one, until...

I got married two months before I turned 21, to Wade who is 8 years older than me, while I still had one year left of college. Needless to say my friends who I grew up with weren't anywhere close to making that decision and I have been the lone married one out of our high school clan for awhile now. But the other day one of my best friends Alyson called me to let me know she just got engaged! I loved hearing Alyson say that she got engaged and knowing by experience how much she is going to love marriage and that this is going to be such a wonderful time for her. So I had so much excitement inside for Alyson that I had to post a blog about it.

(Watch out Alyson, the roles are about to be reversed! What?!)


Chuck and Design

Wade and I have quite a few shows that we really enjoy watching. One of those shows is called "Chuck." It comes on NBC at 8 and is about this everyday type guy who saw top secret information and is now helping secret agents figure out national security issues. It is a humorous show with action and romance. You will love it. I actually told Wade last week that I wished Chuck could come on every night.

Although I love the show and I think you should watch it that isn't the reason for the post. The reason I posted about Chuck is because it wins the title in my opinion for best beginning credits for a tv show. One area of graphic design that you can specialize in is coming up with these opening credits (like the opening credits for the Spiderman movies). If I was better at animation I would love to come up with these. So when this show fully embraced the creative opening I was super excited.


Bless Back Project Rages On

I went to church this Sunday and found out that Elevation had an article written about it in the Charlotte Observer. The Observer heard about our Bless Back Project and put the story on its front page. I am so excited that all over Charlotte random people are being blessed by Elevation Church attendees. I think people have gotten so excited about it they don't want to stop with what the church gave them. Instead they are reaching into their own pockets to figure out how they can serve and help others with the money that God has provided them in their own wallets and checking accounts.

And you Mt. Horeb peeps, I have been looking on the website to see what you have done with your money, even though you live in Columbia you aren't exempt from sharing your Bless Back story online! Can't wait to hear them.


Survival Cookbook

I used to be a horrible wife. For the first two years of our marriage, I made Wade a Lean Cuisine every night. That was our big dinner...Lean Cuisine. I always wanted to cook and change things up, but I felt like cooking took too long and I wasn't organized enough to plan out what I was going to cook ahead of time and then I wouldn't have the right groceries. It wasn't fun. I even had a few times where I was so sick of eating Lean Cusines that I thought I would throw up when trying to eat one.

So when we moved to Charlotte I figured I had some more time on my hands and my husband was working hard at the office so I decided to try cooking. I had two criterias for any meal that I might prepare. 1. It had to be super easy. 2. It needed to be healthy. So I went on the hunt for cookbooks on Amazon.com and found two cookbooks that I thought might work well. I have used one A LOT and if you are in any situation like I was in I think you will like it too.

The book is called "The Weeknight Survival Cookbook" (subtitle "How to Make Healthy Meals in 10 Minutes") by Dena Irwin, R.D. She gives a shopping list for the week and then you use a lot of leftovers from previous meals later in the week and that makes my grocery bills even cheaper. For example, I made a turkey meatloaf on a Monday and then on Wednesday we had a spaghetti type meal that the leftover Turkloaf was chopped into. Then she also takes shortcuts in some places, but in other areas you are making a sauce or something from scratch so it feels like I can truly tell Wade I cooked something for him instead of popping something in the microwave or oven. And that makes me feel proud of my skills.

The first week I bought everything on her shopping list, but I realized Wade and I don't eat 6 big meals a week. So I decided to pick 4 of her meals and then only buy what I need for those, which makes my grocery bill like $70 for a week of meals. All the meals are 4 servings so I end up eating some of the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Hope this helps any of you struggling out there. I won't say I feel completely comfortable with cooking yet, but I am learning.


I am the Law Giver

This was just too funny not to post.

I love when big businesses (Toyota) use a humorous approach to selling their product. I don't know if it causes more people to buy it or not, but I think it is funny and then I end up watching it multiple times, so other people must do that too. Funny phrases makes this advertisement go to a whole new level of awesomeness. Did you see me lay down the law?

Weekend Recap

I have been doing a pretty bad job of blogging regularly. I just always put that as the last thing on my list and then of course I never get to it. So I apologize. I will do better, but I am not making a promise that you can hold me to.

Weekend Recap

1.So my small group girls (and my friend/co-leader Wendy and her daughter Lauren, and our friends Nick and Trevor, but for the sake of simple writing all of these people are included in the term "small group girls") came up and visited Saturday and Sunday. We ate at Firebirds (an awesome steakhouse) and they went to Elevation Sunday morning with me. It was so much fun. I loved being a host to them and loved getting to hear what is going on and just see them. They are all talking about college and what they want to do in their life and it seems so weird to think that when we first started hanging out they were tiny freshman. They want to come up like every month. I would absolutley love it!

(I have some sweet timer skills don't I? Too bad my eyes look like little slivers of black)

(Of course we had to do the traditional funny picture. Scooter looks a little depressed)

2.Elevation took crazy to a whole new level on Sunday when they passed out a total of $40,000 to the people who came. You can visit the Bless Back Project and see what people are doing with the money they received. This is the coolest thing I have ever seen a church do. I mean what church gives away its offering and then doesn't take up another one and asks it people to go crazy and do whatever they can to bless someone other than themselves and family members. I love it! They didn't care if you talked about Elevation or anything they just wanted to send out an attitude of generosity and catch on that we can do the same with our own money.

3.Then finally Wade was supposed to go out of town yesterday and today, but some plans fell through. Since he didn't have to go to Atlanta today I got to go to watch him play for an event last night in Columbia. Wade and the band did an amazing job and I was so happy I got to see it. We also went back to our old house since we know the people we sold it to. It felt so weird being in a house that we spent 2 years at (our first married years) and it is completely different. But even after visiting our old stopping grounds I am incredibly thankful that we live in Charlotte now and I have an awesome home.

3b.Also, Wade's friend Andrew brought him back a sword/big knife from Africa. Watch out if you sneak up on Wade too fast. He may cut you. Jk. Maybe.


Honey...can't you stop doing that?

So as I was running errands yesterday I overheard this conversation between an elderly couple:

(Both walk to car, woman is driving, woman pushes the unlock button on keychain, man goes for handle, man cannot open door)

Woman: (Irritated tone) You always do that. Everytime I try to unlock the door you grab it too early. You do it all the time.
Man: (silence)
Woman: Why do you do that all the time? You need to wait until until it unlocks and then open it.

At first I thought this was pretty humorous. You know seeing a little old couple not getting technology. But then I got kinda sad. I thought about how this woman was nagging her husband in public for anyone around them to hear.

I take it very seriously as a wife to uplift my husband. When we got married I transformed from being Ferris "everything is about me" Ivester to Ferris "I am now one in the eyes of God with my husband" Joye. I want to make sure that I am a loving and encouraging wife to Wade at home, in public, around friends, around strangers, or alone at our house. And I know that if I ever start to have a spirit of nagging or put him down in any way then the possibility of me turning into that elderly nagging wife increases.

So some application...Every once in awhile I ask Wade how I have made him feel. Have I lifted him up in public? Have I ever embarrassed him? And sometimes I get an awesome report and sometimes I may find out I said something that hurt his feelings, but I didn't realize it. I think it is so important and helpful to get this perspective from your husband.
Then there are those times that your husband will never hear what you say about him. I have seen groups of women get together that were Christians and they just talked about the things their husbands have done or do that irritates them. It is one thing to share situations to godly women to get encouragement and prayer, but to put down your husband for the fun of it is never good. So ask your friends to keep you accountable. Tell them to call you out if you begin to share something with a critical attitude. And ultimately pray that you will be sensitive to what you are saying about your husband. You will love seeing how courageous and strong your husband feels when he knows that his wife is always on his side.


Music and Lyrics

I don't know how many of you went to go see Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. I saw it right when it came out with Wade and his parents and then watched it again the other night at Kelly's. It is a romantic comedy and goes through the typical romantic comedy plotline, but there is one jewel of goodness that it has that most other romantic comedies lack. I am talking about the awesome 80's video that starts out the movie. I think if this had been a real 80's song it would have made it on my 80's mix tape/cd. Here it is in all its splendor.


Poor Scooter

Yesterday Scooter went to the vet. As a puppy he was so good at the vet. The doctor would stick out their hand and Scooter would lick them and his tail would wag like crazy. They would give him a shot and then he would kiss them again. I was so proud of him. But yesterday was different. Yesterday was not fun.

It all started when we walked inside. He was instantly on the hunt. He went around the vet office sniffing like a crazy dog. Usually when Scooter sees people he gets really excited and runs up to them and kisses them, but this time anyone that came up to him he backed away from. Then there were other dogs in the office that wanted to play with Scooter, but of course Scooter did this, "I'm scared, don't come near me" low growl/groan under his breath. That reaction I actually did expect. He is kinda skittish around other dogs.

Then he had to go to the back and get the shots. Normally this is where Scooter outshines other dogs. So sweet and not moving when it is time for the shots, but not yesterday, he was acting up so much they took him to the back away from me. So weird!

In the end, Scooter got all the shots and some treats. The vet told us that Scooter needs to go on a weight loss program. Apparently he has a chunky back side and some love handles. I feel your pain Scooter. So we had to reduce the amount of dog food we give him and he has to up his exercise to get rid of the weight. I guess it helps now that he has his backyard to roam around in. Here is overweight Scooter in his new fenced-in backyard.


A specific prayer

I know it is Tuesday, but God has been rocking my world the past two days because of the sermon this Sunday. I used to be all about journaling my prayers. I have two journals that are about halfway full that have prayers to God in them. At some point I stopped actually journaling, but without them I feel like I have no way to measure how God is answering my prayers. So after we moved I pulled out the journal and began to write down my prayers again. Every few days I try to go back through the week or so and see what I have been praying for.

Well I don't know how many of you heard Pastor Furtick's sermon, but one key point was about being specific with your prayer life. We tend to say, "Be with my parents," but God is already with them. How can you pray specifically for them? We also say, "God if it is your will we ask that you allow us to get this new job." It is like we are giving God an escape clause if he doesn't want to give us the job. If it isn't God's will he won't give you what you are asking for. We have to say what is on our heart and trust that God knows how to answer us. But ultimately both phrases are limiting our vision of God. How will we ever know how God is answering our prayers if we ask for something, but then give the "out phrase" or if we aren't specific enough to have any measure of an answer.

So as I looked through my journals I saw all of these "Be with...." and "God I only ask this if it is according to your will" and it was hard to measure the answers of my prayer life because I was never very specific. I figured if they were gray then I would be happy with whatever outcome happened. So I am now trying to make an effort to pray specific prayers. So when I flip through my journal after a few weeks or months I will see exactly how God answered my prayers. I will then become sensitive to what prayers aren't part of His plan for me and what prayers I wasn't ready to have the answers as yes. It is a journey that I believe is going to make me a stronger child of God.


What a great Thursday

Today was an awesome day. My fence installers came today and started working even though the delivery truck had a flat tire this morning and were running late. Then at 12 I left my house to go see Meredith Brock, hair stylist extraordinaire, in order to get a new do. I stayed at her house until about 3:45. I must say I am totally digging my hair. It looked so bland and just blah before, but now I feel like some girl punk rocker. It is amazing what a fun haircut can do to a girl. A little color and few strategic snips makes you feel like a new person. Then when I got home the fence posts were up and all that is left is to fill in is the boards. So sometime tomorrow little Scooter will get to play outside and run around off a leash. He is going to love it.

Also, I found out today that some of my small group girls from Columbia are going to be coming up October 13th and they are going to come to church with me that Sunday. I am super pumped. These girls are now seniors and I miss them so much. We were together from their freshman year and I had to leave them right before their last year of school. So that Saturday is going to be wonderful as I get to hang out and hear what is happening in their lives.



Since moving into our house we have had to deal with several companies in order for our house to function. Some we bought things from, some we had to ask them to do a task for us, some gave us a certain service, you get the idea. Well in all of that I think something has gone wrong with 9 out of 10 of these "requests." Now I am guessing since we have had a lot of problems then I could totally be to blame, but I feel like I represent the average female. I don't have too much knowledge of handyman things or technical stuff, but if you explain to me what you are talking about then I am smart enough to know what is going on. So back to the story. With all these companies there have been two types of interactions. One attitude is negative. These people are either uncaring or sometimes rude about the problem I am having. They take the stance that the money is more important or their time is more important than my sastifaction and happiness with their product or service. The other attitude is positive. These companies tell me again and again that they are sorry for any confusion or problems and will do everything they can to fix it.

I had one company frustrate me so much that after the phone call I was so emotionally spent that I burst into tears. Poor Wade got a phone call of me barely being able to talk and all I could say was, "They were so mean!" I can't believe that any phone operator would ever treat a customer like that. I am not just one sale of a fridge or one fence installation. I could be an ongoing customer. I have friends and family members that purchase your products and I am more than willing to tell all of them to cancel their cards and head to your fiercest competitor. And the one major way to make that not happen is to tell your phone operators to treat the customer just like you would your best friend (or whoever they hold in high regards) and be apologetic for my problem. Break me a deal if it has taken me 5 phone calls to finally get this problem solved. I promise it will be worth it when it is time for me to purchase a dishwasher, add on to my cable, or refer a new customer to you.


So thankful

Wow...yesterday was incredible. We had our first Sunday at Butler High School and people showed up and I mean lots of people. Elevation Church had 162 people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior yesterday! I am in awe of how God is using our church to reach so many people. Now that we are in Butler I feel like we are so perfectly placed for new visitors. I mean it can't get any easier trying to tell your friends how to get to the school because it is right off 485. So after a awesome Sunday morning we had a night of prayer and worship at Butler that night. It is beautiful being surrounded by believers who are truly thankful for all that Christ has done in their lives. They are excited to sing to Him and snatch up any opportunity that they can clap, shout, or holler about the absolutely astounding things this church has seen and is going to see. I love it!

After such a great Sunday it is hard to go back to trying to search for jobs. I am trying to completely hand this over to God, but with each day of finding nothing to even apply to it gets very discouraging. I think I have been to more company and random business websites this past week then I have ever been to in my life. My internet history is like 3 pages long. But I will stay on the hunt and if you know of any companies or businesses that employs a graphic designer then I would love to hear from you!


A Saturday Mash of Thoughts

I am chilling at my house right now while Wade is setting up for the first Sunday of our campus being at Butler High School. We are so excited to see how God is going to use this strategically placed high school to bring more lives to Him. Wade and I were talking about what to expect for this Sunday for both campuses and we have some pretty high expectations. I believe God is going to definitely show up and more than likely shatter anything our little minds have come up with.
We are starting a new series this week called "Sun Stand Still" that I think is going to be really amazing. The band is going to play an original song that is specific to this series. So don't miss it!

In other news, this week most of our fall shows are having their season premieres. There is one show that I absolutely love called Bones. It airs Tuesday at 8 on Fox. There are a couple of reasons why I love this show. 1...It has David Boreanaz the guy who played Angel on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" and I liked both of those shows when I was a teenager. 2...David Boreanaz, called Booth on the show, is an FBI agent and for some reason in between high school and college I wanted to be an FBI agent. 3...The leading lady, called Bones on the show, is a forensic anthropologist. Now I never wanted to be that but I did want to be a forensic scientist in college which probably means that I would have looked at threads and hairs instead of bones. So as you can see I have a lot of random interests in the show and it makes me love it! Yes, I am a complete nerd and I am not ashamed. Make fun, throw your jeers, but I will embrace the dorkiness.

And finally, Monday someone is going to come install a backyard fence for us. You don't know how excited I am about this. Having to walk a beagle on a leash in your backyard multiple times a day is no fun. Scooter wants to smell everything in sight. He wants to go in everyone's yard in order to stay on the "trail" and he will wait forever to use the bathroom. Plus, being in our house all day makes him go kinda crazy and then he chews on random things which isn't good. So come Tuesday when that fence is finished I will be doing some kind of crazy dance maybe I'll even throw in some cartwheels or something. You never know what's up my sleeve.


Check Me Out (getting real sermon series)

I designed this series poster a few weeks ago for Mt. Horeb and forgot to put it on here. This series was called "Getting Real" and it was about having hard conversations with God and others. I went with a coffee cup since it is a good symbol for conversations. I took the coffee cup picture myself in my kitchen. The text at the bottom if you can't see it is the different sermon titles for each week that the pastors want on the poster. It is in a handwritten type font to continue a theme of conversation and being personal. I like the old feel almost coffee stained look. It feels warm like you have been sitting there with that cup often and someone is across the table listening.


Hello Fall

Well the weather has cooled off and it feels wonderful when you step outside. I was actually able to wear a 3/4 length shirt in the non-air conditioning Pathfinder yesterday afternoon and I was comfortable. Anyway, one of my favorite things about the nice weather is taking Scooter out in the mornings. The wind is blowing gracefully through the trees and there is this beautiful fall morning scent that I can smell. So as I was taking in this wonderful morning I looked down at Scooter. There he was standing, nose up in the air, ears flapping behind him because of the breeze, and enjoying this weather as much as I was. I think Scooter enjoys the fall morning scents more than I do.


A month in Charlotte

It has been a little over a month since we have moved to Charlotte. God has done some amazing things and has shown us to always trust him and have faith. Here are some things that God has just blown me away with:

1. Wade and I are part of Elevation. I go to a church that is passionately pursuing the people that haven't met Jesus. They are doing anything they can to share the Word of God, love on them, and serve them. And they expect everyone that is already at the church to do the same.

2. I am making friends. I was a little worried about not knowing anyone when we moved. But God has already been placing people in our lives to welcome us and to have fun together. And I know the longer we are at Elevation the more God will bring new friendships and new faces to us and also deepen the ones we already have.

3. Our house is amazing. The process to getting our house is kind of humorous, but I absolutley love it. I love how everything is set up and it will be perfect when some little kids are running around.

4. A job. I still don't have one, but God is showing me that everything is in His time. My faith is being strengthened and I know that God is going to show me the most amazing job for me when it is time.

5. Wade. Wade has a lot going on with his new job, but he is still so interested in how my day has been and what he can do to help me. I don't think explaining how amazing Wade is on a blog would do him justice, but he is my best friend and I cherish every moment with him. I am so thankful that God blessed me with such an amazing husband.


Shiny Toy Guns

I may be doing some stereotypes, but I believe that men will constantly switch between channels. Like If Wade and I are watching a show, then during a commercial he would want to switch just to see what other things are on. However, he always switches back before the show starts back again. I on the other hand can watch one channel all day without ever changing the channel. And there are probably three reasons for this:

1. I am a woman...we want to make sure we are ready for whenever our show begins again and we really want to be faithful to our show.
2. I am really weird...There are many sub reasons that can fall under this category, but I tend to get lost in the shows. I may be totally into a show, but if I do a channel switch my mind totally blanks out and not until way later do I realize that I haven't switched back in time and now I am engrossed into two different shows at the same time.
3. I LOVE commercials...I get so excited about seeing a really well made commercial. It has to have good music and actors and a good story. I want a mini show for my commercial.

So, there you go. My totally random stereotypes of men and women and tv. I am sure every single one of you fits into it perfectly. And just to let you know at all times I have a favorite commercial and usually it is because of the song that is playing. So right now my favorite commercial is for the Motorola Razr. Good music (Shiny Toy Guns), good looking actors, some sweet ninja moves, and some definite chemistry. Men, how could you flip to a different show and miss this?


Emotional over Biblical People

Can I just tell you how much I love the Old Testament. I was just reading from 1 Kings and I must say I get so hooked! I start reading about all the kings and their successors and I can't stop. So I finally got to Elijah's story this morning and as I read I came to this particular moment in Elijah's life.

Elijah had just won this victory over all of Baal's followers and yet when Jezebel says she is coming after him he flees without thinking about how God is in control of the situation. We did a series on this back at Mt. Horeb in our youth group and we mentioned how Elijah was kind of cowardly and how he had little faith, but as I read today I just thought about how exhausted he was. He thought by God defeating the pagan gods that there was victory. I am sure he imagined that Ahab and Jezebel would turn back to God and everything would be good again, but it wasn't. There were still battles to fight and Elijah couldn't handle it at that moment. He actually prayed that God would just take his life right there, right then. He needed rest. So God gave him that. God let him retreat and comforted him, but when it was time to fight again He gave him some encouragement...there were others waiting to fight alongside him.

I really emotionally connected to this passage today. I actually thought of Elijah as this real man that was in such a desperate time instead of just some Bible character that I could color in a coloring book like a Barbie Doll. He prayed to the God that we pray to. He cried out to our God and he was given peace by our Father.

We have a personal relationship with the God that rescued Elijah. What do you need to be rescued from? What are you crying out to God for? Do you need rest? Know that God is going to give you the peace and rest you need, but it is only to keep you going for the rest of the fight. And he has some encouragement...He has others to fight alongside of you. It is okay to be desperate and hurting, but remember you have the all-powerful God guiding you through it.


The Pick Up Artist

I will admit it, when Wade and I veg out in front of the TV at night it sometimes goes to a random reality show. We've been known to get addicted to some of these pretty lame shows and there is no reasonable explanation as to why.

One show that we saw from the very beginning is "The Pick Up Artist" with our fave guys Mystery and his wingmen Matadore and J Dog. They are teaching a few guys that our culture would say are losers and putting them through "pick up artist" school. You would have to watch the show to know all about IOIs and negs, and kino, but it is basically to help these guys become more comfortable around women and think of it as a privledge to the women that they are even being hit on.

So why am I sharing this reality show with you? Because as Wade and I took Scooter on a walk the other day he told me that even though he didn't know anything about Mystery's methods he thinks that he was following the guidelines when he met me. Yes, you read that right, Wade thinks he is a natural pick up artist. Thankfully, the only one he showed this gift to was me and I totally fell for it all.

So I figured I would leave you with the commercial for The Pick Up Artist just so you can see Mystery and his two wingmen to his left and right.


Schedules and Routines

I feel like I am finally about to see the light of day again. For two and a half weeks straight I have been basically sitting at my computer all day doing random graphic design projects. And it has been without any kind of break. No blog checking, no surfing the web, no doing much of anything except move type around and pick colors. So I am pretty excited that some of the projects are at least ending or wrapping up.

Not only has that been going on, but I am also still trying to make our house organized so we don't come in stressed out, I am supposed to be looking for jobs, and I am running tons of errands concerning our house or the bills or our car.

Anyway, it isn't that I mind doing all these things, in fact I love doing most of these things (not errands). But when I don't have a schedule or a set routine I get a little overwhelmed. I listened to a sermon called "Downtime" by Andy Stanley (thanks to our staff wives lunch) and it has really helped me out. I look back at this last month and think how different it could have been if I had established a routine of when things are going to get done and what things should just be taken off my to do list. I know that God wants our lives to be productive and He wants us to be hard workers but He also wants us to enjoy all the little things that make life so special...the things that make our lives so unique.


My beautiful Pressley

A few weeks ago, Wade and I got to go to the Ivester family reunion. That is my dad's side of the family. And whenever I go to Belton I get to see my beautiful baby niece Pressley. So of course I had my camera and I took some shots of her that day.

This is Pressley with her G-TI (my mom).

And here she is with her adorable grin.

Here is another of Miss P totally out of it. That is my cousin Dana holding her.

One of her proud Grandpa (my dad).

And here are all the ladies.

I will put up the rest on my Flickr page soon. So keep on the lookout Sharlie!



I never had a nickname growing up. And it kind of made me sad. I mean my friend Alyson was alycat. Then there was my friend Meagan who was Mae. Well I guess you could count all of my mom's random names for me (Ferris Bo berris, Fericio, are there more Mom?) Anyway, when I got to college I met one of my best friends Laura who is now a missionary in Slovakia and she and some other people gave me the nickname Fe...as in Santa Fe. I never thought it would stick. I mean this was new terroritory could I be cool enough to keep the ever coveted nickname?

Of course I was cool enough. Why did you even doubt. Laura ended up introducing me to her friend Jamie as Fe and what would you know...Jamie is Wade's cousin. So when I started dating Wade a little later on, Jamie let the whole Joye/Ross family know that my name was Fe and it officially stuck. I am now Aunt Fe to my little baby niece Pressley (at least that is what I call myself to her) and when I stare at the TV with my mouth wide-open it is called Fe face (thanks again to Laura).

So to everyone out there who desperately wants a nickname I have a little bit of advice for you. Just be patient. Nicknames come with time and are usually the best when someone else gives it to you and when it is out of the blue. But if all else fails then just shorten your name to two letters. Then introduce yourself like this (except use your given name and nickname), "Hi, my name is Ferris, but everyone calls me Fe." Then of course that person will want to do want "everyone" else is doing. And then a nickname is born.


Crazy God stuff

In one week Elevation went from 2400 something to 2812. Who does that? We do. That's some crazy God stuff right there. God is lighting up Charlotte right now!
This past Sunday happened to be the beginning of the 80's rock series. TV's were spray painted in neon colors playing 80's videos and the Super Mario's tune was the countdown song. Guitar Hero was available for people to play outside while waiting to get in. And the band played Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit...yes we know it was the 90s, but if you want to know why it was played then watch the sermon online or the listen to the podcast.

I feel so honored to be at a church that is so creative and out of the box. I like that people are so excited to go to the church that they never want to miss it. I love that fact that week after week people are surrendering their lives to Christ and then passionately pursuing their friends because they want them to know Jesus too. It is exciting.

I have a picture for all you Mt. Horeb peeps. Wade led worship last Sunday for the high school event called Pulse and a lady at the church named Lisa takes pictures of Elevation events and she captured one that I thought you all would love. You can check out other Elevation pics here.

I figured you would all love wide-open mouth Wade about to eat his mic. And hopefully it will bring a smile to your face. We miss you!



It's Sunday?

I don't think ever in my life have I been sitting at my house waiting to go to church. As I was growing up, I would wake up on Sundays to someone banging on my door saying, "Ferris you are going to be late to church if you don't get up." We all know teenagers are barely awake during their Sunday School time and it is a constant struggle to keep them engaged. I wonder why we didn't start church later?

Well today Wade woke up at 5 AM after both of us having a hard time of sleeping and got ready to go to church. He pulled out of our house at 5:37 AM and I couldn't believe how early it was! In Mt. Horeb days I thought getting up at 6:15 was early! Well anyway, thankfully I got to go back to sleep and woke up at 8:20 to Scooter scratching on his crate telling me he was ready to get up. So I got ready and I have just been sitting around waiting to go to the 11:30 service.

So right now I am praying for Wade who was getting ready for three services at 6 AM and who will finish things out when I am just then making it to church. Boy do I love Elevation!


A would you rather wednesday

Since I can't think of anything else to write about I figured I would do a Would You Rather Wednesday...

So would you rather

have your eye fall out at random times
have uncontrollable constant drool?

I would go with the eye. I would just wear an eye patch and then be super hardcore.


Measure A LOT!

I have been having lots of trouble with measuring lately. First, it was our fridge. We tried to make sure it would fit width wise but we never opened the door to measure if it would hit our protruding counter which it pretty much does. Then when it was time for us to get a sleeper couch so guests could stay with us I measured the width of the couch to make sure it would fit along the wall I wanted it to go. However I didn't measure to make sure it could go through the guest bedroom door. So we are couchless for our guests and I have no idea what to get instead. At least Value City Furniture took the couch back with a full refund.

So I learned a valuable lesson, measure absoultely every single thing and never just guess that it will work. And it might be helpful to keep a tape measure in my purse.


Can I get some breeze?

As some of you may know Wade and I have a 2006 Corolla and a 1997 Pathfinder. Both are good cars, run well, don't need to go to the shop really, and have their own unique purposes. However, the Pathfinder has no air conditioning...well it kinda does. It gets colder on the interstate, but if you aren't going 65 mph then it feels like a desert heat. So Wade has lived with this for 3 or 4 years now. The summer starts, he feels the heat, deals with it for awhile, gets to the breaking point, then realizes summer is almost over, and makes a stand againist getting it fixed. And somehow I got out of having to drive the Pathfinder because we made a rule whoever has the nicer job gets the Corolla (because you end up with sweat stains on your clothes).

As you all know Wade has started his job and I don't have one. So Wade being the good husband he is said I could still drive the Corolla since I am a lady and need air, but in keeping with the honor of our rule I took the Pathfinder. It isn't too bad because I am in the house most of the time trying to get things done. Or on the phone with Sears for 14 hours trying to get a stinking fridge that isn't working out. But when I have to ride in that beast of a microwave I feel like my skin is slowly melting off. So the next time you are out in car feeling that cold breeze flow through your hair and it gets too cold so you turn the vent away remember your friend Ferris who is is a pool of her own sweat begging for a little blast of coolness to come her way.


Time Warner and Getting Things Done

I am in my house starting a blog while the Time Warner guy installs another cable outlet. He actually came within the time frame I was given. But what do you do when these people are here? I mean he is intently working so you can't really start some in-depth conversation and then it is the cable guy so you can't just keep watching TV. I tried to do some things around the house, but as I was working he would say "Ma'am" and then ask me some question. So I decided to grab my computer and sit at our eat in kitchen table so that way I am out of his way, but close enough to answer any questions he may have.

I must say I have been getting a lot done around the house by not having a job. I used to be so nervous when I would have to go somewhere to purchase a big item or talk on the phone about getting some kind of service, but I have been so good at it recently. I have gone to Lowe's and requested a fence estimate, called another fence person for an estimate, gone to Value City Furniture in hopes to buy a couch, visited a gym that we may become members of, and the list goes on.

But keep me in your prayers about a job. I know God has something special out there waiting for me. I just need to find it!



I know I know. It's like I fell off the world. I have been all around the southeast it feels like these last few weeks. From Columbia to Atlanta back to Columbia then to Belton to Columbia back to Atlanta then once again to Columbia and finally to Charlotte. We are now in Charlotte loving the area we picked to live and having a great time in the new house. I am busy unpacking boxes and still trying to find a job while Wade is now officially working at Elevation. I promise I will update more now that cable is up and the house is becoming more like a home.



This weekend has been one of farewells. We had a surprise farewell that our family came to on Saturday, a time of goodbyes at church, a going away party that most of our youth came to yesterday, and my work gave me a farewell lunch today. We are nearing the end of our South Carolina stay.
It has been so weird though. During all of these farewells I haven't really felt any emotion. I don't know if it hasn't hit me yet or if I am just not grasping how big of a deal this is, but I never seem like any goodbye is for real. Maybe that is true. Maybe all of these goodbyes will turn into "until next time."
I have been blessed by the people around me at Mt. Horeb and at Palmetto GBA. God has guided me through every situation and I have been learning so much. I know that all those around me were extremely instrumental into making me the person I am today. So to all my South Carolina friends, "until next time." I love you and we will be praying for you.


Say it isn't so

I love the show Man vs Wild. For some reason I like the show better than Survivorman. But seeing this article puts a new perspective on things. Some people are saying that Bear Grylls of Man vs Wild is staying in hotels while he is supposed to be surviving in the crazy places. It even says that some of the events were staged like biting off a snake's head, wrangling a mustang, and even building a raft. I still give him tons of credit for all the things we see him do on the show (the dude swims in the freaking Arctic) and he can certainly climb, but if Survivorman does it all on his own then I would say listen to his survival tips instead. But don't worry Bear Grylls, Wade and I will still watch your show.


Then and Now

When I was younger, I was the annoying little sister that wanted to do everything my sister Sharlie did. One of the things I always wanted to do was to hang out with her and her best friend Keitha. Keitha actually took me to the University of South Carolina to show me around her Alma Mater and help me find where all my classes would be. I always thought the world of my sister and her. So, when I found Keitha's Flickr page I couldn't wait to see what images she had taken.

You can look here to see her photographs. She is in a group called 365 where they have to take 365 self-portraits and they are turning out great. And she takes other amazing artistic photos.

One of my favorite images came up today. It reminds me of images in National Geographic.


I may need to vomit

Wade and I have had some encounters with gross things. A dead mouse in our dog's water bowl, vomit and urine from our dog and visiting dogs, a youth who puked in a bathroom sink after he ate the nastiest hotdog known to man, and I am sure we will encounter more. For some reason I am usually the person to clean all this up. I apparently have the stomach to handle the most disgusting of messes and Wade doesn't mind me taking over.

This morning tested my skills of handling absolutely awful things. Our dog Scooter had an "accident" inside his crate last night. He did warn us with incessant barking in the middle of the night, but we assumed he was upset that his friend Ne-hi was allowed to walk around in the room while he was locked up. We were extremely wrong. Ole Scooter's stomach wasn't feeling too well and he let out some of the most foul smelling stuff.

We tried to clean it up with paper towels and I felt like I could vomit. The mess was too great and we had to take his crate and bedding outside and wash the mushy poo out of it with the hose. Right now everything is sitting outside to dry out and waiting to be cleaned with some kind of miracle disinfectant.

Wade said we could apply this as a valuable life lesson. Scooter barked during the middle of the night to be taken out, but we were too comfy and tired to get up. We made an excuse about Scooter being jealous of another dog. We could have gotten up and handled a situation before it got really messy. Instead we decided to stay in our comfy beds and spend 15 minutes this morning cleaning up the most horrible mess ever.

So the moral: Don't wait to handle any kind of situation until it becomes a huge mess. You should handle it right when you feel just a little uncomfortable because you know if you wait it isn't going to be pretty.


Which eats grass

I was reading Psalm 106 today and got to this little part in the chapter:

19 At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal.
20 They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass.

I love how David threw in "which eats grass."

This past Sunday Dr. David Olshine preached at Mt. Horeb. It was a great message and at one point in the sermon he preached against entitlement. He said something like this:

Olshine: God, I preach for you, go on mission trips for you, pray for others, help old ladies across the street, read my bible. You owe me something good down here!
God: Olshine, you don't want me to list what I've done for you.
Olshine: No, God give me the list.
God: Well, mountains, rivers, sand, birds, raccoons, white and red blood cells, your wife, your children, great artists, trees, Bill Gates, composers, good food, dogs,...
Olshine: Okay God. You don't owe me anything.

For some reason when I read that verse in Psalm, I thought about an Israelite worshiping that cow. What would their conversation be with the cow?
Israelite: Cow, you owe me. I have been a great Israelite and have been good to my wife and children, I have said good things to my neighbors, and I come worship you. What are you going to do for me?
Cow: chomp chomp chomp
Moses: Hey idiot...it's a cow. It eats grass and can't do anything for you. It can't even do anything for itself. How stupid can you be?

Sadly, there are many times when we choose something other than God and we need to hear someone say, "How stupid can you be? You are choosing something that doesn't matter at all over the all-powerful God who actually loves you!"

Let's take a second to think about what we are spending our time doing. Where are we when we should be worshiping God? Are we trading our Almighty God for something that "eats grass?"


A Chronicle of the "New Potential" Part 4/ Check Me Out (portfolio website)

This past week felt so crazy. I was left alone from Monday to Thursday while Wade was on his trip to make offers on the "new potential." And you all know that we got it. I couldn't wait until this Saturday to see what I had been praying to get without have ever being inside! So I finally get to see our beautiful new house and I LOVE IT. I am already in decorating mode. I can't wait to make this house really "ours." We took these two pictures at our house being proud new owners!

I also finally got up my portfolio site. You can check it out and let me know what you think. That site doesn't show all my work, but it is a good base to start from.


My portfolio and a rock and roll vibe

I am ever so close to unveiling my portfolio website. Hopefully I have worked out all the little kinks in the code and it won't mess up when the big-time employers are looking to hire me! So keep checking back if you are dying to see my website.

I am also going to see our new house tomorrow. Wade is so excited about showing it to me. I guess now I get to think about where a couch could go and what our color palettes are going to be. It is going to be so much fun looking for things to make our house unique and personal. I can't believe I am saying this, but one of the rooms I am most excited about decorating is Wade's music room/the guest room. I have these two gifts that I am going to buy him when we get it completed that I think he will love! I have visions of that room being a cool, creative haven for Wade and a place to showcase his music stuff. I see a color scheme of red, black and white: a complete rock and roll vibe.


A design rant

The past two days I have drove to Lexington, SC around 6:15. For some reason I didn't have on the radio and just studied the things around me.
I have this odd dynamic of being some sort of lover of nature but with this need to see modern buildings and design. I don't really know how the two go in hand, but somehow they do. You would think that a huge Target building would enrage me that it eliminated land that animals and birds called their home, but instead I rejoice at their sleek design mixed with dashes of eye-catching red.

I have found one thing that really annoys me. And that is the onslaught of small business signs. I don't think I necessarily hate all small business signs, but it is more of a mix of there are always 15 signs within 5 feet of one another and they usually are poorly designed. On my drive, I passed random car dealerships, old jewelry stores, car repair places, storage facilities, etc. It seems as if they all came in around 1970, built their small business, hired their cousin Joe to make them a sign to put in the front yard and haven't changed a thing since then. People get someone to give you a design, a brand!

So, which would you rather see...

A huge Target building that engulfs an area of land


15 small businesses that take up the same amount of land with bad signs?

A Chronicle of the "New Potential" Part 3

Well last you heard there was a house that Wade saw, but I didn't and that he liked and I didn't know what would happen. Well, WE GOT IT! They accepted our offer yesterday and all we have to do is get the inspection and get all the loan stuff together and we are good to go.
Looks like this Saturday we will head up to Charlotte so I can actually see the house the we bought. That seems really funny. I guess that shows you the utter confidence and trust I have in my husband for him to know what I will like. I know he picked a good one and I did get to see some pictures.
So celebrations are in order and just pray we have a good inspection!


My Small Group

I had my last official small group meeting last night. We went to Travinia's in Lexington and enjoyed some wonderful Italian dishes and some Creme Brulee! I was given two wonderful cards that my small group signed and an awesome popcorn set for my birthday! I absolutely love the girls that are in our small group and they have meant so much to me in the past 3 years that we have been together. I am so sad that I am going to miss their senior year, but I know God is going to send someone amazing to take our small group to the next level. I am going to miss them so much and I wanted to let them know (even though I doubt any of them read this) that I think they are so incredible. They have blessed me beyond measure and taught me so much over the years. I have seen the transform from scrawny freshmen to beautiful young women who are truly seeking after God.
And it is amazing how God brought me and my co-leader together. He knew how well we would mesh together and how we would balance each other out. I am so proud to call her my friend and I know that we will keep in touch.

So there is my little shout out to my small group. I love ya'll!


A Chronicle of the "Potential" part 2

Yesterday we decided to let the "potential" go. We discussed all the projects that we would need to do on the house and factored in moving to a new city and starting new jobs and we came to the conclusion that we should probably not stress ourselves out.

So, yesterday Wade booked it to Charlotte before he had to go to an Elevation meeting to look at a few houses. I had to trust that Wade would represent each house well and make sure that it was one we would both enjoy. And it seems like he found one. He went on and on about how much I would love it. So we will see if things work out with this new house we have our eyes on.

Also, Wade is out of town again! But this is a pretty short trip. Although, I am having to keep our crazy beagle plus our pastor's beagle and when they are together it is chaos. The past two nights both dogs have jumped on the couch and smothered me. Ne-hi (our pastor's dog) lays all over my feet and Scooter lays directly on my stomach with his face on my neck. It is unusual.


Birthday Festivities

Friday was my 23rd birthday! Good ole July 13th. I took off work, got to watch Harry Potter, ate some steak, bought some clothes, went to the lake, and had multiple good dinners with friends and family (multiple restaurants singing to me as well). Let me just say I am so thankful for everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday! I missed some phone calls of people who remembered my special day and although I didn't get to talk to you, you have no idea how much it means to me. And thank you for the emails/comment posts as well!

But if you want to hear some awesome stories from my birthday check out my amazing husband's blog. One funny story he mentions is putting a Happy Birthday balloon on Scooter's collar. He was really freaked out, but it made an amazing picture.

And I thought I would also add a picture of me and my gorgeous husband from Saturday evening. And yes, we were still celebrating my birthday.


Blindfolded (er...closed eyes)

You have to go to this post about cartoon artists who drew their signature cartoon character correctly and then blindfolded. You will be amazed at some of them!

So, I decided to test my skills. I didn't have a blindfold handy so I just closed my eyes. On the left you will see my drawing of a bird with my eyes open and on the right I drew a bird with my closed eyes. You can see the bird on the right is pretty crappy. Good experiment.



Wade and I love a graphic tee. I call most of Wade's t-shirts rocker tees because well...he is a rockstar and the shirts help him look like one. Ha! Anyway, I know I should have seen this site way before now, but I didn't. The Threadless website seems really cool. And up until now Wade and I have gotten cool shirts from Express or American Eagle and BigStuf. I like the idea of having a shirt that not everyone in the universe is wearing. Basically at Threadless anyone can submit a shirt design and they can decide to sell it or not.

They have girl tees, regular tees, kids tees, and even onesies for some designs. So, if you are looking for some new cool shirts then this just might be the coolest site for you to go to. You may end up having too many to choose from though!


A chronicle of the "Potential" part 1

We don't have really good or really bad news from the inspection (see previous post) concerning the "potential" house. Apparently, the old wood siding has taken a beating. Some areas are rotted and would definitely need to be replaced. So, we now have a contractor coming in to look at the siding and tell us how much it would cost to replace it. And after that, we will try to negotiate with the seller, but if they do not cooperate then Wade will probably punch them. Just kidding.

Every time I have moved before this it has been to another house within the same city (except college but I'm not going to count that) so it has been a very different experience driving each Saturday to look for a house. I guess it is definitely better than having to book a plane to go find a house though!

But when reading this today, I am was reminded that God will provide for us. He has brought us to this ministry and he will lead us to the right neighborhood and neighbors that we can share the love of Jesus with. Isn't it awesome to have a God who is capable of anything and who treasures us as His precious children.


The same story

Well, in about an hour some person I don't know will inspect our "potential" new home and let us know if it is worth putting an offer on the table. I am still trying to stay detached from the house so that if a bad report comes back then I won't be utterly disappointed.

I remember this one house Wade and I looked at while we were engaged that we fell in love with. It was cute and had this storage area outside that they converted into some apartment thing. It was awesome. We had an inspection done and what would you know the house had to be condemned. Whoops.

Last night was our last Ignite. I ran the media for our high school ministry for the last time. It was sad when I turned off the computer and powered everything down. I thought about how for 3 years almost every Sunday night I had sat up in my perch running the media while the kids worshipped and listened to the sermon. It was crazy to think about that stage in life ending. We did leave Ignite on a phenomenal note. The band sounded amazing and the kids were really worshipping. Wade had this awesome talk about being part of the big story of Jesus (Ephesians 1:15-23). And for Christians no matter where we go or what we do we will always be part of the same story of Jesus. I like being part of something extremely bigger than myself.

We still have 3 more weeks left at Mt. Horeb. I am so thankful for all the people God placed in our lives at Mt. Horeb. We are truly blessed. And I know that the friendships we have gained there will remain even with a move to Charlotte.

That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn't stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ's body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
Ephesians 1:15-23


A blessing we don't deserve

I am still reading the Bible chronologically. So right now I am reading 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, and Psalms. It gets a little confusing at times, but I love seeing what all happened around the same time. So while I was reading all the lineage stuff in 1 Chronicles I realized a very important message: God can bring something amazing out of a huge mistake you have made.

Back in biblical days your lineage was very important. That is how God said he would bless Abraham. It seems everything was focused on your descendants. So ultimately the greatest lineage is Christ's. But once we look back at the people who make up Christ's lineage we see some people who made some big mistakes, but God still used them to bring His son into the world. Here are some of the people we see:
  • Judah and Tamar: basically Tamar was Judah's daughter-in-law. Her husband/his son died and he was supposed to give his next son in marriage to her. Things happened and he didn't give his son, so she devised a plan to disguise herself and seduce the father. She ended up being pregnant with twins by her father-in-law. And one of the twins Perez is in the lineage of Christ.
  • We all know my favorite story about Ruth and Boaz. Boaz is in Christ's lineage. Guess who his mom was...Rahab. She was the prostitute who helped the Israelite spies conquer Jericho in exchange for the safety of her family. She followed the Lord after that and was no longer a prostitute.
  • And you always hear that Christ was from the line of David, but Solomon is the son that it continues with. Out of all the wives David had we see that the line of Christ comes from the woman he committed adultery with, Bathsheba. Solomon is the second son born from the two. The first died because of the consequences of their sinful encounter.

I am sure there are other examples of God using big mistakes to bring a blessing, but these few encouraged me. Whenever we make a mistake and indulge our sinful desires it is our responsibility to go on our knees begging for forgiveness. Once God has forgiven us and wiped that sin away we still have to deal with some possible consequences. Like in David's and Bathsheba's case the son they were so desperately trying to hide died. But even with our sinfulness God still can bring a blessing. That is just one more thing that God does for us that we definitely don't deserve.


19 days

That is how many days I have left at my current job. Only 19. It is so crazy to think that in 19 working days Wade's and my life will be completely changed from what we know of it right now.
We are a burrito of emotions. But I think the biggest emotion is excitement. We know God has set us apart for this journey and we can't wait to see what is in store for us.

I thought now would be a good time to chronicle how amazing God has been to us.

A little over a year ago, Wade and I decided that a move to Lexington, SC would be a very smart idea. We would be close to the church and move to an area that was growing like crazy. And it seemed like a great place to have a family. So we looked for houses and finally decided that we would build one. We put in the offer and had it contingent upon our house selling. So we had about 6 months to sell our house. Six months goes by and no one has bought our house. Then we had to sign away our built house. We kept our current house on the market though because we just wanted to sell. Still nothing. A few months go by and Wade and I were thinking about a possible move to Northeast Columbia, but only if our house could sell. Nothing. A year of trying to sell our house and nothing happened. Finally, we took it off the market.

When we found out that we were going to have to move to Charlotte. We put the house back on the market. We were scared about what would happen this time. And one week goes by. SOLD! In one week our house sold. Wow, God is pretty cool.

God knew exactly what He was doing. At the time it felt like nothing could go right, but now looking back on it I can see how God used all of it for some teachable moments.


Relient K

Transformers rocked my face off. It is the best movie of the summer and anyone who reads my blog better go see it. Okay that's all.

In other news, Relient K is this awesome rock band. I remember about a year ago our youth group kids were in this huge Relient K kick. They wanted to play the CD before every Sunday night event. They would wear their T-shirts all the time, etc, etc.
Randomly, I came across an email about their tour bus being destroyed by a fire. They lost EVERYTHING! Computers, cell phones, all instruments, sound equipment, clothes, cameras, and ipods were all destroyed. They got out of the bus just in time and no one was hurt.

So it is going to be a process trying to buy all new equipment and personal items. Just lift them up in a prayer when you get a chance.


Weekend Recap

Wade and I are still in the process of finding our new Charlotte home. This Saturday was the second time we have looked at houses in the area and we were fairly successful. I think there are at least two houses that I could move into.

This weekend we decided to stay in Charlotte overnight so that we could visit both campuses of Elevation. We are both super excited about what God has in store for us there. Wade wrote down lots of notes about what his new job will consist of and I soaked in the excitement and passion of our new church.

But one of the things that has made me feel even more comfortable with the move are the people there. We have had the pleasure of having Larry Hubatka as our realtor and he also heads up the student ministry at Elevation. He has made us feel welcome and excited about our move to Charlotte. And after hearing a lot of amazing things about her, I was able to meet Kelly Hubatka (Larry's wife). We met at church and she was super friendly. And I already have this amazing respect for her with having 4 girls under 5. It is great to find people like this when you are new. There is always this fear that you will move to a new place and it will be really hard to find friends or have someone to talk to, but I feel like with the people we are meeting at Elevation that we are finding friends before we have even made the move to Charlotte.

Tonight a Columbia clan will head to the 8pm preview showing of Transformers. I had no idea that this cartoon/toy existed before all this movie hype. But I have embraced it whole hearted. I am ready to hear the line that Wade has quoted all week:

One shall stand, one shall fall.