12.12.2010

It's the Most Wondeful Time of the Year!

Christmas time is in full swing and I LOVE IT! Personally, I think we should move Thanksgiving up a few weeks so we can have a couple extra weeks of Christmas, but, until that happens I'll just continue soaking up every minute I can.

This Christmas is a very special Christmas for Bobby and I because it is our first one as a married couple. Yay! Guess that means I have to go out and get one of those ornaments that say "our first Christmas"... I'll have to add that to my list of to-do's.  Anyway, Bobby's parents were nice enough to give us a Home Depot gift card to get our first Christmas tree and some decorations, they are awesome.  We got ourselves a little guy only 5 feet tall since we don't have too much room right now, but he is fabulous.  We got through decorating the tree with only a little bit of bickering... it's hard to compromise on Christmas when you have been doing it your way for twenty odd years...but we tried.  I grew up with a star as a tree topper and Bobby an angel... you can see how this could be a problem.  Our compromise this year: no tree topper. Hahah. So now our tree is without a topper.  Maybe next year. ;)



I also completely cleaned out the bin of free Christmas tree scraps at our local Home Depot to decorate the rest of the house with and still need to go back to get more to put some in the two bedrooms so our entire house will smell like Christmas. Woo!



And P.S. Those pine cones smell like cinnamon. Yes, amazing I know. They were only four dollars at Joann's and if you go online you can get a coupon!

So since we just got married we have a lot of empty boxes, and being newlyweds, we are also poor.  Insert me trying to be creative with our resources to decorate for Christmas.  I decided that on a budget, firewood can be great decor for our fireplace and if you have any empty boxes laying around, wrap them in some Christmas wrapping paper and voila!




To top it off, as I am writing this blog post today, this is going on outside our window!



12.03.2010

DeeperStill.

I consider myself pretty young in my faith and still learning my way around and I guess it's kind of funny, but at times I feel like I am learning more than our second graders as we teach them about the life of Jesus Christ each Sunday at church.  My biggest struggle right now is reading scripture on a regular basis.    I grew up in a Catholic home and for whatever reason, reading scripture outside of church was not something that was taught and so along with just being lazy, it has been a new concept for me. I know I should, and I want to, I just don't do it regularly.

I am so excited to be heading down to Birmingham today because I get to spend the weekend with such a dear friend AND attend a LifeWay women's event called DeeperStill, words that really sum up what God has put on my heart in this season I'm in; to go deep in his Word, daily.  To make it a priority each and every day to spend time deep in scripture to hear God speak to me.

I've never been to a conference like this before and I am beyond excited to spend two days immersed in God's Word, going deeper into prayer, and worshiping our Lord alongside thousands of godly women eager to deepen their relationship with Christ. I pray that all the women there this weekend, including myself, leave having a deeper relationship with God than they did when they arrived, and that it creates a burning desire in all our hearts to continue to listen to Him speak through His Word and go deeper still.

11.30.2010

True Thanksgiving

I am bound and determined to post this before November is over... so before this day ends.  I've never experience writers block before but I'm pretty sure I've been dealing with it this last week and it is no fun.  I have had so much on my mind I've wanted to write out and yet could not for the life of me put it on paper to actually make sense.  Hopefully I'm not the only person who has this issue...here it goes.


So the Sunday before Thanksgiving the message at church that day was titled "Theology of Gratitude" and it was awesome and I have been waiting to find some time to write down all that has been running around in my brain from it.  It was such a great way to bring Christ to the center of this turkeylicious holiday and so I wanted to share it with you.


Side note: For all you history buff's out there, Thanksgiving wasn't ratified until 1941 as a National Holiday.  Also, in 1863, after getting a series of letters from a woman named Sarah Hale, President Lincoln wrote his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.  Here is a small tid bit from it:


"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverance's and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."


Now getting back to last weeks service, the scriptural references our pastor used was Luke 17: 11-19, Ten Lepers Cleansed.  Jesus said,


“And it came about while He was on the way to Jerusalem, that He was passing
between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous
men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus,
Master, have mercy on us!" And when He saw them, He said to them, "Go and
show yourselves to the priests." And it came about that as they were going, they
were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned
back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving
thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered and said, "Were
there not ten cleansed? But the nine--where are they? "Was no one found who
turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Rise,
and go your way; your faith has made you well.” 


Only one of the ten lepers who were healed returned to give thanks to God, one! There was only one man out of ten who's heart was so moved by Christ that he came back and gave Him thanks.  Not only was it just ONE man who came back, he was also a Gentile and the only one in the group, aka, the outsider.  This man literally "fell on his face" at Christ's feet out of thankfulness to Him. That just blew me away, not to mention when the pastor then asked, When was the last time you've fallen on your face thanking Christ? I about fell out of my seat.  I don't think I can even remember a time I have.  Sad, so sad.  We live in such an "entitlement" society it is so easy to lose sight of the fact that everything we have and all that we are is because God blessed us with it.  I was so quickly humbled the second our pastor asked that question thinking about how ungrateful we can be to our almighty God but how unconditionally loving He still is.  We are no different than this leper man, the only thing that sets us apart from him is that our disease, sin, is not visible like his leprosy.  As believers in Christ, we are cleansed from our spiritual leprosy, and for that I am SO grateful I can feel my heart smile and I want to fall to my knees with gratitude!
The next half of the sermon was focused on application using 3 main points about gratitude.


1. Comparison is the kiss of death of gratitude.
If you spend your time comparing what you have or don't have to what other have, your not being grateful.  


2.  Thankfulness defends against bitterness and being preoccupied with ourselves. 
After stating the second main point, he posed the question, "Can you be thankful while you sit in the sometimes painful waiting room of life?"  What a doozy of a question huh? 


..and finally...

3.  Thankfulness requires humility. 

Then he posed this last 
(hypothetical) question,

If God never did one more thing for you, would you still be thankful?  Thankful for your salvation? For the forgiveness of your sins?  That you can glorify God through Christ? That you have an intimate relationship with Him? That you will live forever with Him in all eternity in His Kingdom? 

For all this, we should be thankful, that is true Thanksgiving.



Hopefully this doesn't seem like a complete mess to you reading... sometimes it's just hard for me to organize my thoughts. =)  If you have some free time, I encourage you to listen to the entire message! Here is the link: Theology of Gratitude

I Wanna Marry You

This is so random but I am so in love with this new artist (Bruno Mars) and with my favorite show Glee and now the two have combined so I felt the need to share (and I am having a major case of writers block).  We have a bunch of weddings coming up this summer and secretly I am hoping someone decides to do this down the aisle... maybe not because I will probably feel the need to join in.  Either that or someone needs to propose dancing and singing to this song. =)  I'll help if there are any takers!

When Bobby and I renew our vows in 50 years we will be having a Glee wedding. Yes, we will be old and wrinkly, dancing and singing our way down the aisle. And yes, you're all invited. 


11.17.2010

Hello Missouri

We were in Springfield, Missouri this past weekend for Alex and Caroline's wedding.  Alex is one of Bobby's cousins and we were thrilled to have another fabulous girl join the Cool clan.  For those of you who have never been to Missouri, there's not a whole lot there, but it was an awesome weekend spent with Bobby's family who I absolutely love!

The rehearsal dinner was at their wedding photographers studio--so creative right??





There were some very heart felt speeches about the bride and groom from their siblings and wedding party attendees as well as a new twist to the old song "take me out to the ball game" in the brides honor.  Everyone sang along...



The next day we made sure to take some time for breakfast at Cracker Barrel, a must for any trip, and then headed off to pamper ourselves a bit with a mani (weddings are great excuses for a fabulous manicure). Then it was off to the ceremony!





Caroline and Alex had a beautiful ceremony focused around Christ's love for the church and marriage.  Here are a few snap shots of them saying I do and becoming Mr. and Mrs. Cool!








Then it was off to the reception at SAVOY which used to be a old firehouse. Awesome venue!  




I loved all the little details of their wedding.





The wedding party table was beautifully decorated with flowers and each seat had a different china pattern setting,


The guest tables had beautiful centerpieces as well, all in different vases,





All this said, this wedding hands down had the BEST dessert EVER.  I usually completely forget about dessert when I'm at a wedding (obviously because I am way to busy cutting up a rug on the dance floor) but there was no way you could miss the four, yes FOUR dessert tables they had displayed in the front of the room.  Cupcakes and cookies were everywhere!






That concludes our weekend travel.  On to the next weekend stop, Atlanta for Thanksgiving! GOBBLE GOBBLE.



11.11.2010

Becoming A Blogger

For a good week or so now I have been OCD about setting up this blog.  Who knew there were so many options for backgrounds and colors and layouts, etc... not I.  Anyway, with music being such a huge part of my life, I figured what better night to start this blog than the night of the 2010 CMA Awards.  Especially because I'm sure I'll be super busy next year getting ready for the event that I won't have time to blog (kidding...but, slightly hoping). 


So for any of you new followers, my husband and I are newlyweds of four months and he is a musician.  We got married this past July in Georgia (more of that fabulous day in the Our Cool Life tab).  That was, by far, the most amazing day of my life!  Here's a quick snap shot from our first dance at the reception:


  

As I mentioned earlier, Bobby (the husband) is pursuing a career as an artist/musician/writer in the country music industry which is the reason we are here in Nashville.  I'll be completely honest, I was not thrilled about living here at first, mainly because I missed my family and friends in Atlanta.  However, after we got married and I started seeing first hand how much God was blessing Bobby and his musical gift, that feeling quickly changed.  As we sat on the couch tonight watching the CMA Awards, before he left for one of his weekly writers nights, we couldn't help but talk about the possibility of him being part of such a big night for country music artists one day.  If such musical success is in God's plan for us, and we are blessed with such an amazing experience as the CMA Awards, I promise you all will be the first to hear. 




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