Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Yet will I praise Him"

In all honesty, I don't want this post to turn into a rant or anything of the sort. It's just time for an honest, vulnerable moment on my part.

This Fall, it has been incredibly difficult to stand and praise the Lord. 

He is so good, yet my flesh rises up and wants to control my own life. When trials come, I want to draw closer to Him, not further. These past few months have been truly trying...for the whole family.

In general, I never get sick. ever. Starting at the beginning of August, I had two colds during that month, then a cold in September that turned in pneumonia through most of October. After that, while trying to get back into running after a few weeks off, I twisted my right ankle. A week later, my left ankle over compensated. So I wasn't able to run for another two weeks. Ha! After that, a sinus infection mid-november with some allergies. (I went on a two week trip up to Connecticut the beginning of December). When I got back, I was sick for several days. It's been crazy.

I couldn't do evangelism.
I couldn't meet with the girl I wanted to disciple.
I could hardly pay attention at any Bible study.
All the part-time job opportunities I prayed about, every single door closed.

**It was rather discouraging. **

In the midst of all of this, Mom got a cold that turned into bronchitis; Aimee had a horrible sinus infection, allergies, with cold symptoms (most of the Fall); Charlotte got pneumonia and a stomach bug; Dad had some sinus issues; and Anna has finally recovered from her year of stomach problems and is now healing from a surgery/skin graft due to a third degree burn she got 3 weeks ago. (Poor darling!)

There were days it was hard to pray--hard to read the Bible--hard to think of anything but myself.  Over and over again I would repeat, "This I know that God is for me" and "The Lord does not forsake those who seek Him."

Finally, a few weeks ago, God gave me a breakthrough. I still got sick. The situation around me hadn't changed at all, just my perspective. In many ways, I feel like I failed a test that was put before me. To "Bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips."

God doesn't change. 
I do. 
He is always good. 
He is the only good thing in me. 

One of my goals for 2013 is to truly praise the Lord (loudly if I need to) at all times. Especially when I am grumpy and things aren't going the way that I (in my fleshly, "I know better than you" attitude!).

The name of this blog is "Spring of Joy" for a reason. Jesus is the fountain of life and joy. There is nothing else besides Him. That does not mean that I am always happy--just trying to truly live knowing that I am redeemed because of His sacrifice. 

What could give me more reason to rejoice?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Belated Christmas Card photo!

I know it's a little late......ahem.....

This was the picture in our Christmas card this year! :) 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"for whom did you carry the stone?"

I wrote this as an email today, but just had to share with others on here. 

I just finished reading a book called "These Strange Ashes" by Elisabeth Elliot. Ah! So good. I would definitely recommend it to all of you. It's about her first year as a missionary in Ecuador. (Before she and Jim got married). This excerpt at the end of the book really ministered to me, and I wanted to share it!!!!
"A story is told of Jesus and His disciples walk one day along a stony road. Jesus asked each of them to choose a stone to carry for Him. John, it is said, chose a large one while Peter chose the smallest. Jesus led them then to the top of a mountain and commanded that the stones be made bread. Each disciple, by this time tired and hungry, was allowed to eat the bread he held in his hand, but of course, Peter's was not sufficient to satisfy his hunger. John gave him some of his.
Some time later Jesus again asked the disciples to pick up a stone to carry. This time Peter chose the largest of all. Taking them to a river, Jesus told them to cast the stones into the water. They did so, but looked at one another in bewilderment. 'For whom,' asked Jesus, 'did you carry the stone?' (pg 148)
**Even though throwing the rocks into the river made absolutely NO sense to the disciples, they did it. Jesus asked them to simply carry a stone for Him--no other instructions. They had to follow Him, carrying their stones, whether big or small, until He gave the next command.
 If God has asked us to do something, to carry a "stone" for him and then throw it in the river, we must do it, if for no other reason than because of who He is. Because He has asked. Because He is God. Even though it seems weird. Even though it seems like people would think we are crazy. Even though, if I were Peter, I would have thought, "Are you kidding? I want some bread! I am hungry! Do you know how heavy that rock is that I carried? And now I have to throw it in a river? Why?"
I want to carry my stone for Jesus. To be willing to do whatever He asks, even if it is throwing it in the river. Even if the stone is actually something more valuable to me. To give it all for Him. My heart is so hard and I am so unwilling.... Oh Lord, help my unwillingness.**

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall came to thee...

God has been so good to me.

I just got home Friday night from a two week visit with my dear friends from Canada. They were touring around New England and the Lord provided for a plane ticket to meet them up there! Woah. I was just...blown out of the water (is that an expression?) by His goodness. The way He worked through the details, the timing, every single concert, every single conversation--it was incredible.

My heart was leaping for joy the whole. He brought healing and restoration on so many levels. Once again, I was reminded of the TRUE reason why Christmas brings joy.

It is not the gifts.
It is not the food.
It is not the idea of family being together without drama (which basically is impossible).

It is time with the Prince of Peace Himself. The giver of all joy. Jesus.

My heart is so easily turned to other things, yet nothing satisfies the emptiness, the longings, etc.. like time with my Savior.

Monday, November 26, 2012

oh, Christmas tree!

We put up the Christmas tree on Saturday and finished decorating it AND hanging up the stockings last night. Anna baked gingerbread cake and we had lovely, Christmas music playing in the background. *sigh of deep happiness*

This is a quick picture I took with Instagram. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Tonight I am overwhelmed. 

After a week of really struggling, being sick again, my ankle still recovering, thus not being able to run still, and several planned things falling through, God really showed Himself to me today in simple, ordinary things. 

Aimee and I drove into town together today so I could pick up my car from the shop and so she could go to a doctor's appointment. I dropped her off...

First stop: Starbucks--to see my friend, Emily. She works there ALL the time and when Aimee has appointments near there, I go and grab a drink, see Emily, and read my Bible for a bit. I wasn't planning on getting anything because I was going for coffee later in the day with a friend. Em asked if I wanted a   "sample of something"? In my mind sample=small cup. a little amount. way less than a normal beverage. WRONG. Em fixed me a tall peppermint mocha! It was delicious. She's such a dear.

Second stop: The car shop. *groan* Who knows how much it was going to cost me this time. Oil change. check engine light. recall repair. Ayi yie yie. The cashier hands me the receipt with all the repairs. I glance at the total and try not to wince, it's $50 more than my highest estimate. We talk about it a bit and then she says, "Let me check to see if your Owners Advantage program has anything on it still...." She, in shock, turns to me and says, "It is ALL covered. You don't have to pay anything today AND you still will have some left for future repairs!!" *inward sigh of relief*

Third stop: Target. Mom gave me some money and a little list of things we needed--then Charlotte needed a birthday present for dad and Anna wasn't feeling well and asked me to pick up stuff as well. It was a little overwhelming trying to remember everything. I hoped that mom had given me enough for her and Char's things, and then I had a bit of extra cash that could cover Anna's stuff  (and hopefully  the things I wanted to get for dad.) I got to the cash register and mom & charlotte's things were a little over what mom had given me. *uuhhhh* THEN, I opened my wallet and found a $5 that mom had randomly given me last week for something I did not end up getting! It was perfect! Plus, I had just enough for the things Anna and I BOTH needed! Yay!

Fourth stop:  Five Guys. I never get burgers. ever. But I was really craving one today, so I splurged! Because of the way God had provided earlier in the day, I was able to go to lunch with Aimee. We basically never get to go out together! :) *and God has provided the past two weeks for me to do that with her, as well! So cool!*

Fifth stop: Starbucks (on the complete opposite end of town as the other!) My friend, Grace, and I had planned to get coffee together around 2:00 so I could hear the story of her engagement! *yay* Little did we know when planning that it was BOGO drink free from 2-5 pm today! Booya. I was able to get a drink for only $2.00 (we split the price of one) and bring it home to Aimee! ALSO: It was such a peaceful, fun, happy, encouraging conversation that really lifted my spirits. Thanks so much, Grace! :)

**Although these things may seem small, "God is the God of the big and small!:** 

Then Hannah G. texted me the verse of the day:

Psalm 8:4
"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that you take thought of him, and the soon of man that you visit him?"

Monday, November 12, 2012


Just thankful today for THREE incredibly creative, beautiful, funny, Godly sisters! :)

Visit from friends!

A few weeks ago, some dear friends got to come visit for two days while on their way to N.C. :)

This is a picture taken of *A* and myself with them in September, after Joel & Sarah's wedding!

They came in on a Sunday afternoon! Us kids went on a long walk all through the fields in front of our house. Then, inside for some yummy dinner and family reading and discussion time. On Monday we all took a morning walk *glorious*! We worked together to put some food together for a picnic lunch and headed up to Carter's mountain. It was so pleasant and relaxing to just talk and enjoy the beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains! God is so good to us!

We had such a blast with them. Here are some of us up on Carter's Mountain.
*an apple & peach orchard near our home*

Monday night we got to make granola!! Something we have wanted to do together forever!!! Yay! Then we had a bonfire and an awesome time of worship, plus stargazing! It was so sweet and wonderful. (Sadly, I didn't get pictures of either!)

God is the God of the impossible! We never thought they would ever be able to come see us because of distance, money, etc...


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why I Am Thankful Today

God's ways are so perfect and good. Rarely do I fully understand them--but I know they are good because HE is good. always.

Last night, Anna and I got to see our friends, The Josties! In my time of traveling with The Sky family, I have met the Josties twice. Because they have a wonderfully large family, and our crew was generally 10-13 people, there wasn't much....well....what I would call "quality time" with anyone.

When I found out that The Jost family was going to be near our area (and yes, two hours is close in comparison to what would take 38 hours of driving to get to their home!) I was ecstatic and...hesitant.  "What if they don't remember me?"  Seriously though, how awkward would it be to run into a concert and try to give them hugs when they didn't remember me? All sorts of "worst case scenarios" filled my head. Some were hilarious!!

Anyways, God made it clear that we were supposed to go! So awesome. A girl I met in that area last year FB messaged me and asked if I wanted to attend the concert and spend the night with them. Yes, please!

Overall, the Lord so blessed our less than 24 hour road trip adventure! We had such a sweet reunion with all the Josties and were thoroughly blessed and encouraged by their music. God used the encouragement or challenges before each song to minister to my heart, and He used conversations afterwards to REALLY encourage me to keep pressing on in Him!

I am so blessed. So thankful.

Our new found *yummy* beverage. 
Ah. There they are. My mind is still kinda in shock that we actually saw them. :)
*Sorry it's fuzzy*
A little less fuzzy!
Intense concert face on the Right. :) 
Look at all that plaid! 
I'm not a huge coffee drinker, but this made me want to drink more!
PROOF. BOOM. We finally got together.
Thanks so much for opening your home up to us!

Might I also mention that if I hadn't been home this Fall, this never would have happened!!!!? God knows just what we need, right when we need it. :)

Today: I am thankful to be home. I am thankful for divine appointments. I am thankful for friends.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First World Problems Anthem


Today is the first day that I REALLY tried to run in about 2 weeks. That pneumonia really did it in for me during the end of September/beginning of October. Since my running/jogging buddy, Allie, is moving out of the country for about 5 months, today was our last run. *sad face*

I was only able to run a little over a mile. It was incredibly frustrating, but I know it's easier to get back into running after a break than it is to start from scratch. However, it was nice to just walk and talk for a while with her. I'm going to miss her SO much.

Meet "The running club!"
We took this picture a few weeks ago when we, unintentionally, wore the same colored shirt to run.
Haha. :)

Anybody want to be my new running buddy?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Well folks, after 2.5 weeks of being sick (and incredibly stubborn about not going to the doctor) I officially have Pneumonia.  I gave in and went to the doctor yesterday. *siiiiigh*

It started off as a horrible cough and then turned into more cold-like symptoms--then a more raspy cough.

So--that's why I wasn't able to run very far every time I tried...and why I've been feeling so tired and a bit discouraged.

Our doctor said, " If you were wondering why you felt like you couldn't really get oxygen whenever you ran, it's because you weren't getting oxygen!" aha!

Haha! Thankfully now I don't have to feel guilty about my lack of running endurance, my constant desire for naps, or my general inability to be really motivated lately!

I'm going to take a nap now!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wedding Preview!

Two of my closest friends got married last each other! Craziness! Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!

Sweet Emma doing my hair for me!

The lovely bride and bridesmaids.
(Most of my closest friends are in this picture!)

The goofiest Bridal party you will ever meet! You should've seen our hilarious antics.

So in love! It's been a long Summer.

The beautiful centerpieces!
(I just had to add this because...well...they're beauitful!)

The morning after the wedding we all had breakfast together.
It was so nice to relax, talk, laugh, and have true fellowship for a couple of hours with people I love!

I miss you all so much!

Over all, it was a wonderful weekend. God is so good. I am thankful beyond words. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What am I doing today...

Today I am:

  • Still in my grunge comfy clothes.
  • Feeling bad for not going running this morning, even thought it was a torrential downpour until about noon.
  • Working on photo album and memory book stuff from last Fall. Finally! Yay!
  • Baking with Char! (Yummy granola bars and chocolate chunk cookie bars!)
  • Going to see my friend who is back from being in Peru all Summer. 
  • Planning out how to finish rearranging my room.
  • Writing lists of things to do before going to Connecticut next week. 
  • Finding that days of "nothing" can often be more stressful for me because I don't have a million things to do. It is days like today that I have to rest in the Lord.
  • Getting excited about Joel & Sarah's wedding on the 15th! (only 9 more days, y'all!)
  • Thrilled that this upcoming wedding means seeing all my closest friends and favorite people!
  • Looking forward to what plans God has stored up for me this Fall. **update coming soon**
  • Meditating on God's constant goodness, even in the midst of horrible, or unsavory circumstances. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012


Wow. I haven't posted in a while. To say the least, June was an insanely busy month for our family. We had something going on every weekend, including vacation, bridal showers, family visiting....and the list goes on.

Nags Head, NC OBX (Aimee took this from our hotel room)

Here we are with the bride-to-be at her brown & pink bridal shower!
(Her August wedding will be one of five weddings I am attending this year!)

We also got a darling little kitten that Char named Nala. She is mostly black with a white belly, and other white spottings!

Here she is!!!!
Isn't she the cutest little thing? She loves being held!

We also had a horrible storm that hit the east coast last week. Thousands of people were without power, water, AC in the midst of some really hot days. (105F with a heat index of 110F). Texas weather without the reality of being in Texas. We went about 4 days with our little generator running our fridge and then decided to head down to my grandparents lake house. I am so thankful that we had a place to go, as many could not leave their homes. Some of the stories are so sad of people being stranded, trying to stick it out... According to our neighbor, we got back electricity Wednesday night, but many in the area didn't get it back until Friday...and some didn't get water back until the day after. 

We have much to be thankful for.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Joel & Sarah

These are two of my favorite the WORLD. And, once again, two of my favorite people are getting married. I am totally excited because I get to be in the wedding. (Joel's brother Gabe got married to Tai Sophia last year-- two more of my favorite people--and I was in their wedding too!)

Their love story is amazing. Sarah is hoping to write it down soon, and I want to post it here. *sigh* God is good.

Here are some pictures I took while the SKY family was in the area a few weeks ago. (I still need to get the others off Aimee's camera.