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.