Monday, April 28, 2014


I'm a true believer that waiting does make the blessing SWEETER.  (I feel I am constantly being taught this lesson) I don't necessarilly think those who wait feel MORE joy than others (although sometimes they might), but I do believe they feel more grateful. Several people told me I was the happiest bride they had ever seen (probably because I didn't get nervous, or worried that day, just giddy -- to be fair, I had a wedding planner and a mother to worry for me that day), but truthfully, I wasn't the happiest bride ever, probably just incredibly grateful, more grateful than most women -- because I had waited and I knew how blessed I was to be marrying Dave.

And, that is the only way I know how to describe how we Washingtonians feel about this seems full of more Joy, but only because it was so anticipated all winter! The blessing of spring is definitely SWEETER this year. Spring came late --- after we waited in inches of snow (until the end of March) and below zero temps all winter - but it finally came and it is glorious!  I am sure that spring this year is no different than any other year -- the flowers are no more beautiful than last year, nor are the warm days and cool evenings any more refeshing than every other year! But, never before have I been this eager to enjoy every delicious morsel of sunny afternoon walks, pink fluffy flowers or restaurant patio sitting!

I have spent the past few weekends enjoying dinners out with friends, concerts neighborhood walks with Dave, baseball (only 2 innings due to rain!), open windows 24/7, summer cocktails, an easter egg hunt with Jack, egg dying and breezy Cherry Blossom strolls. I look forward to many happy DC days ahead...hikes, bike rides, weekend mornings spent exploring the booths at Eastern Market, outdoor movies and lots of Happy Hours!

Here are a few snapshots from our Happy Spring!!

Cherry Blossoms....

 A Sunday Morning walk around the tidal basin!
Mr. Jefferson in all his pink adornment!

Cute man, pretty flowers-- what more can a lady want?

Monuments and Flowers
"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow."

Easter Weekend....

Easter Sunday

 Jack's first time dying eggs!
I make him dye eggs every year and he pretends to be annoyed (but who are we kidding, he's the artsy one and his eggs are way better than mine!)

 Jack in all his silly adorableness!
 Egg Hunting!

2 goobers enjoying a spring park day!

 Jack being silly during Easter pics!

"For the winter is passed. The rain is over and gone. The flowers are springing up. And the time of the singing of the birds has come."  Solomon 2:11-12

Other Happy Outings.....

 Nats game
Ethiopian food-- yes Dave tried it and liked it!

Girls night concert!

 Nothing says spring as much as country music!
My NEW favorite spring cocktail -- the Moscow Mule (which sounds completely unspringy, so I call it the "Mississippi Mule" like Fondren Public does!)

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25- Five on Friday!

I've become the worst blogger ever...because life has been crazy busy, but that's about to change to just busy....because I quit my part time job -- my last day is next week.  It was nice to have extra cash, and the experience was good, but we don't need the money and I was tired all the time and hardly saw my husband or friends.  I'm glad to return to normal work hours! And Dave is excited to have me at home on evenings again (mainly because I will be cooking more often again!!)

To jump back into blogging, I am going to join in all the fun with FIVE ON FRIDAY. My sister shares five things every friday, as do many other bloggers I've read.  I've even joined in a few times, so here goes....


This weekend, we went to Pennsylvania to spend Easter with my adorable nephew Jack (and Marley and Bech). Jack is at such a fun WILD age.  He stays busy all day long and loves to be silly. Even though I don't always know what he is saying or thinks is so funny, his craziness makes me laugh! I love seeing his little personality. He is definitely a funny guy.


I am in love with this you tube video. I usually don't go crazy for animal videos, but I absolutely love the walrus doing his workout! The situps are my favorite!! I am pretty sure I look like this when I work out!

Watch it, it will make your friday!

I am currently obsessed with DC spring and summer -- the weather is usually pretty, although we still have a few chilly days here in DC.  I love the warmer weather and I have all these grand plans for spring and summer including lots of patio sitting, outdoor movies, beach trips, boating on the potomac, baseball games, bike rides, etc.   The long winter has made spring even more amazing.
Also, quitting my second job has made me feel so FREE. I now don't have to plan around work hours. If someone wants to grab a drink after work, I can. When my boss offers me his NATS tickets last minute, I won't have to turn them down (like I did last week). Dave and I can decide to take a bike ride after work or walk to nearby patio for Happy Hour. DC has a lot to do and see, but winter here is like winter almost anywhere else-- a lot of nights in, movies, indoor activities.  Now we return to living and loving in this great city....which has given me a renewed love for the nation's capitol. I hope I never lose the excitement of walking into the capitol building or driving by a monument or the White House.  We live in an exciting city and this spring/summer, I plan to enjoy my home to its fullest!

Maybe soon, I will write a post on my DC warm weather to do list, but until then, know that I am enjoying every single second of warm weather in this spectacular city!

What's your guilty pleasure TV show?  Currently, mine is Switched at Birth" on ABC family...a teen show where at 16, 2 girls and their families find out that they were switched at birth (yeah, pretty obvious title to a show, huh?) Of course, a show about being switched at birth would be too boring (JK), so there are other big issues like disabilities, socioeconomic differences, etc, etc.
Completely Cheesy...and I love it. I hadn't seen season 3 but I crammed most of it on Good Friday while cleaning and bumming around the house on my day off.
So, come on, admit it, you have some secretely ridiculous show you love too, right?

Prayers Please.  I know I have mentioned before that I am looking for another job. I am  grateful for the job I have, but it was never meant to be fulltime gig. I was really encouraged by a friend's testimony this week. She shared how she was struggling with a trial in her life and reached out to over 100 friends to ask for prayers-- and a year later, her circumstances have drastically improved. Her testimony made me realize that I am often not willing to plead for prayers as vulnerably as she did.The Lord hears our prayers and the prayers of others.  I trust the Lord will open the right doors and ask you to pray with me that He does soon.
You may remember Dave's long job search last year and the Lord was faithful.  The Lord has been faithful to provide me work "in the meantime" and I trust He will be faithful to provide a more permenant position.
Pray that I am thankful for work and an income for the time being. Pray I remember His past faithfulness. Pray that my job search doesn't place too much stress on Dave and me. Pray I don't waste my waiting -- that I learn from it! Pray God opens doors....and soon!
While on the topic of prayer, y'all know that one of my goals this year was to pray more for others? I have been keeping a prayer journal. I am curious, how do y'all write in a prayer journal? Is it actual prayers written out? Is it a lists of requests, a list of praises and answers? Is it a format? is it daily or weekly? Just curious as I am trying to find a format I like!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Helping Others Hope

We are called in scripture to encourage each other (Hebrews 3:13) and comfort others as Christ has comforted us (2 Corinthians 1:4). Over the past year, the challenge to encourage brothers and sisters in Christ has weighed on my heart. We live in a broken world where we will always know someone who is struggling with heartache, waiting for answers, discouraged by life, etc (and sometimes we will be the persons facing hard times!) One of the hardest things to do in the midst of struggles is hope. I have been so encouraged in my own life by others who, through their words and actions, have helped me to hope. I want to be this way too—the type of person that helps others hold on to hope when life seems disappointing or hopeless.
How do I encourage others who feel hopeless? How have I felt encouraged when I feel discouraged? I’ve spent a few weeks thinking on this topic and here are some of the tips I’ve compiled (from my own experience)for helping others hold on to hope when everything seems hopeless.

1. PRAY for them and LET THEM KNOW you are praying for them.
Seriously do both. If you tell someone you will pray for them, actually do it. If you are praying for someone who is struggling to hope then it may be encouraging to tell them that you are actively praying for them (praying for a husband, baby, job, health, move,etc). I am always encouraged when someone tells me they are going before the Lord on my behalf.  Letting someone know you are praying for her lets her know (1) that you take her concerns/worries/hurts seriously and (2) that although you can't solve the situation, you know the Lord can so you are actively bringing that person's requests before Him and (3) that you still have hope that her circumstances can be changed or improved.
Prayers don't have to be long or elaborate or on your knees at an alter.  (I often pray for friends and family on my metro ride to work) But take the time to go to the Lord on behalf of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Go in prayer to the only One who can give them hope and answer prayers.

2. Have a little grace.
Sometimes, even when we trust God, we will have moments where we feel down. We've all been through stages of life that don't feel hopeful and we have to fight for trust. Certainly, encourage your friends to hope, but recognize that everyone has a down day or week. Another bad date, failed pregnancy test, problems at work,  bad report, etc. can feel like a major setback. Although I appreciate (or at least try to appreciate) helpful critique to get out of my fog, sometimes, what I really need is someone who understands that life is challenging and lets me mourn before dusting myself off and moving forward in hope. We all need the freedom to struggle with difficulties without feeling like we are failing at the Christian walk (and about to be lectured by a Christian who seems to have life together).

This is a touchy topic because someone in a season of waiting or pain may not want to talk about it daily.  (As a single, I probably didn't want to be asked if I was dating someone daily) But, those who are waiting do want others to ask about the details.  It’s easy to ask about someone's wedding plans, nursery decorations or upcoming trip, but ask about the less exciting life situations to. Occasionally ask your single friend about her date or if she has met anyone new and interesting. Ask your friend getting fertility treatments about the procedure. Better yet, remember the date of procedures and check up on her. For someone struggling at work, ask how the project is going.  Ask about the job search, the night class, the doctor's visit, the recovery from a breakup. You don't have to (and probably shouldn't) ask anything too personal (or too frequently), but a few questions shows concern, helps you understand the circumstances a little better, and encourages your friend.
And, if your question leads to more discussion and opening up, be willing to listen-- without offering TOO many opinions. Sometimes feeling free to discuss one's challenges and process feelings aloud (and feeling someone else is trying to understand) enables hope. Be someone with whom others feel safe to open up.

4. Talk about the future: use words like WHEN, not IF.
One of the most encouraging things you can do for someone is refer to what they long for as a future reality.  As a single, I always loved when a family member or friend would occasionally say things like "when you get married, you should have this band at your wedding, when you have children, they will have to wear this cute smocked dress, etc" Sure, I knew marriage and family weren't guaranteed, but I still hoped they were likely possibilities and it always reassured me when others referred to my hopes as if they were going to happen.   A lot of well meaning people think that using the word "if" helps keep someone from getting their hopes up, but it often has a crushing effect.  Saying IF, MAYBE, POSSIBLY too much sounds like doubt. Trust me, someone who is waiting and longing and hoping has used the word 'IF' enough, so you don't have to remind them that jobs, healing, marriage, babies, health isn't guaranteed.  Instead, help them remember the possibility that it will be WHEN, not IF.
You can also help someone remain hopeful by ASKING about when.  If people are discussing babies, ask what baby names she likes. Ask about future weddings, marriages, health, adventures, etc.  These are things those who hope think about, but our rarely asked.  Those who are waiting for babies, husbands, homes, new jobs, etc have ideas and dreams about it, so give someone a chance to talk about their hopes. Discussion of  the little details related to hopes and dreams shouldn't be limited only to those who have been blessed with those dreams already.

5. Rely on WORDS better than your own.
You probably don't know what to say to someone who is waiting in a way that you haven't. That's okay. You can be encouraging through prayer, asking, listening and using futuristic words.  And, you can always rely on the words of others. If you see an encouraging article, Bible verse or quote, forward it along. We've all had that favorite encouraging verse or quote hanging on our mirror or saved in our phone. You could end up passing along words that help someone else keep going through a rough day. A sweet note or text with a bible verse can go a long way. When I am struggling to hope and stumble upon an article or phrase that gives me hope, I see it as a small encouragement sent from God. I often share these articles in attempt to help others feel encouraged as well (ask my friends who used to receive my article updates via email a few times a month ha!)  Sometimes helping others hope is as simple as sharing hopeful words you read!

6. CELEBRATE small milestones.
Celebrate job interviews, treatment being over, a good prognosis, a good date. Rejoice in small steps in the right direction.  Sometimes the answer to prayer seems so far away that we miss how God is actively working NOW. Help celebrate small blessings and step forwards.

 AND FINALLY....... (and most importantly)

******7. Point the HOPELESS to JESUS.****

Yes, it’s the simple answer. Basic and expected. But it’s true. We can help others hope by pointing them to the one who provides hope. Simple as it may be, we have to be careful not to come up with insincere cookie-cutter answers like “God is Control” and “Trust God More”. Although these statements are true, quickly throwing them at hurting friends seems like a quick dismissal of their pain and discouragement, relieving you of any obligation to listen, care, pray because "God's got in all under control".  Care for their needs first – celebrate milestones, pass along encouraging verses, listen, pray – and through all of this, continue to remind them that their Hope is in the Lord. What we hope for may fail, delay or not occur, but who we HOPE IN is solid.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Why I WRITE

Today's 5 minute post: WRITER. You can join in on the 5 minute fun at Lisa-Jo Baker's website.

I’ve always loved writing…journals, letters, love notes, prayers. There is something very therapeutic about putting my thoughts and feelings in ink. Sometimes, when I am stressed, I even jot down a prayer on a post it note, just to see the words formed on the paper before throwing it away.  Sure, I could pray aloud or silently, but there is something comforting and official about seeing my thoughts and prayers expressed openly and honestly on a piece of paper.

Also, I have some form of ADD. I am not hyperactive, just a bit scattered in my thoughts.  Luckily, I am also fairly disciplined so I taught myself to function without medication, but I still feel my thoughts come out a bit jumbled at times. I think this encourages me to write. When writing, I can cross out, erase, edit until my words express what I really mean. I think this is why research and writing was my favorite part of law school (and work). It might take longer than speaking, but it gave me time to put my best thoughts forward in the most concise, convincing way.

BUT, I mainly love writing because it’s a way to encourage. Almost everyone has a treasured note from a friend hanging on her bulletin board or tucked between the pages of a Bible. I have received exactly 2 love notes from Dave (he doesn’t share my same love of writing, obviously, although he is great about sending sweet short emails and texts) and I treasure them both, saving and rereading each one.  I’ll even reread encouraging texts from family and friends filled with Bible verses, encouraging wishes or quotes.  That’s what is so special about words and writing. Written words can be experienced over and over. Writing enables us to form our words in a way that can uplift another-- not just at the moment, but in moments to come. That's what I want my words to be-- a spring of hope and understanding that the reader can return to when discouraged. In fact, that’s why I started blogging after law school. I’m so encouraged by the kind words and honesty of others, so I wanted to attempt to use words to encourage and relate to other young professional women. And since then, it has become quite a hobby!