Thursday, December 26, 2013

The After Christmas

 Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a particularly nice one here at my house. Spent the entire day with my amazing, awesome, wonderful family, most excited about watching them open the gifts I got them. That was the best part of the day for me, seeing them smile. Christmas could be that alone and I would be the happiest person in the world.

Not to say that I'm not thrilled with what I got. I happened to get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, an Olympus camera, the Skyfall soundtrack, a ton of yarn, instant English Toffee Coffee (the only coffee I'll drink), and chocolates. Loving every minute of it. The colors of the yarn are so amazing. I have to crochet something worthwhile now!

At the moment, though, we're all sick. I seem to have gotten the same cough I had back in November, the one that lasted all month. Complete with sniffles, my sister running high fevers, and general lack of sleep/drowsiness, we're all snoozing and becoming good friends with the Kleenex boxes.

So, there are only six more days until the new year. I see my coming new year as pretty exciting, albeit full of hard work. I'm going back to college to start classes in a Business major, and then I'm going to be applying for a job at a salon in town. It's something new to me, and I'm praying it all goes smoothly. That and I'll be driving myself to all these places. Nerve wracking, to say the least. BUT, I feel like it is going to be a very good year. 

So, how are the resolutions going? Do you have any? I do. I haven't taken the time to make an official list, or think to hard on what things I really want to do this year, but I know a few things for sure:

• I want to get into yoga or Pilates. Relaxing, something I can do to unwind AND exercise.
• I want to write more, blog more, craft more. Basically, I want to do what I love more.
• I want to read more! I haven't been able to read as much as I used to due to school, but perhaps now that I'm going to have normal classes again, I'll be able to start chewing down that stack of books I haven't touched for two years.
• I want to grow more spiritually and emotionally. I want to spend more time with God, and I want to start feeling like the adult I am considered.

Not much, and there are probably other things I could add to this list, random things, but those are the main points of my New Year's Resolution. What has your resolutions started to look like? Do you have one yet?

It's a beautiful day today. Hope you all have a good one, too! ♥

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

I was in a rush this morning to get these finished before church, but I did get a second to quick snap some shots of them before I gave them away! I used a fabric stiffener to keep them from being loose bookmarks, and it also helped to keep the woven-in ends in!

Hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas week! My posting should get back to normal when the holidays are over....I'm just so busy with so many things right now that crafting and photography have taken a back seat.  I shall be crafty again! I have a lot of things I want to try, along with some post-inspiring bootcamps I've found around Pinterest.

Busy-ness aside, though, I am feeling extremely blessed and forgiven. It's the greatest feeling in the world, knowing that I am loved and forgiven by my Maker. This time of year we can get so bogged down by anti-Christian hatred that the Christmas spirit is lost among the slurs and words. Don't let it hurt your heart, my friends. This is the season for love, and we are to love as God loves every person in the world. He loved us so much so that He gave us the greatest Christmas present in the world: Christ. He gave us a gift that took the penalty for sin, a gift that died for you and me. While we deserved the death penalty as sinners against God, Christ came up and said that He'd take our place because He loves us....How many people would be willing to do that for another person today? If you could slow down time, would you step between a random person and something or someone harming them? Would you go into a courthouse and say that you would take the punishment that someone else deserves just because you could? ...Would we even take our own due punishment without passing the buck to another, saying it was their fault and not ours? Most likely, we would think twice about giving our lives, whether in whole or just a portion, for something bad someone else did. But that is what Jesus did for us. He steps in and says that He'll take the punishment for when we lie, steal, cheat, gossip....He takes it, and then He tells us we are forgiven....

 What earthly Christmas present can do that?

Have a blessed, merry Christmas, everyone (and I mean everyone)! ♥

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lights and Gardens~

Monday was my official graduation ceremony, and after spending most of the morning and afternoon there, we all went to see Christmas lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens! They have gorgeous lights there, and the gardening itself is exquisite...let's not forget the awesome topiaries! We all had a wonderful time, even though I was slightly grouchy over how my hair looked after being smashed into a graduation cap...! Hah! But the evening was enjoyable, hair not included, and it was a great way to spend time with my grandma who was visiting from Missouri.

Where are some places you like to go see Christmas lights? Is it down the street on all your neighbor's homes, or do you go somewhere like this to see lights?

Happy Thursday! ♥

Friday, December 13, 2013

Oh, Majestic Mountain.

{Never will there be a time I will turn down a trip to the mountains.}

{We were all stunned by the amount of very green plant life in one area along the trail we took to the overlook.}

{As it turns out, we discovered that the ground in the path of green down the mountainside was quite gooshy, wet and slightly muddy. Standing there, we were in awe that there was most likely a stream of fresh water coursing through the ground below our feet, nourishing the many mountain plants along its trip downward. It was an amazing thought to think of how nature works like that, and we were standing on it. How amazing God is to have designed that alone, and He designed it all!}

{The closer we got to the overlook, the more the wind picked up, cooling off the air tremendously. We had been sheltered from the blasts while under the guard of sleepy trees, but not near the point. Because it was so much cooler here, little soft clumps of snow hid in every cranny and over wide shadowed areas. It was adorable, and everywhere you looked there was a little poofy surprise of white fluff peering back out at you!}

{The view from the overlook was stunning! You can see on the mountainside where the deciduous trees were, because there were bare trails all through the pines remaining, making it look like a caterpillar had chewed through hungrily! And the sky here. Oh. There were three skies in one. It just faded seamlessly, high and high, getting bluer and bluer.}

{Moss. If you can't tell by now, I love it.}

This is the place I love. Every time I look at these pictures, I am inspired. Inspired to create, inspired to live. God gave us life to live, and I feel most alive when I am surrounded by the beauty of His creation. Being in this place, seeing this place, smelling the fresh mountain air and the damp earth beneath my feet...I live in God's world, and nothing makes me happier than that! I am truly at home here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cheerful Giving!

December has perhaps been the busiest month so far. In between making and buying Christmas gifts and all the rehearsals and church activities  going on, there is little time to do much else. All my writing and reading has come to a screeching halt, and what games I do have time for are marbles with my siblings (Grandma brought down a bag. My wrist is killing me from it. Ha!). What bits of free time I have are spent online checking emails and whatnot. 

I've been out and about shopping quite a bit, and tonight may be my first time driving without my mother in the car. I got my driver's license on Friday, and still can't wrap my head around the fact that I can now drive places. It's so odd! I make my mother nervous, but I may be even more nervous than she about it. I still feel like a kid, not allowed to step into the adult world without being politely submissive, yet I know I am an adult now and I have just as much right as everyone else in these settings. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it.

As far as more crafts go, when I finish crocheting gifts, I plan on dabbling with some rubber stamps I've recently gotten a hold of, and I see some more decoupage in my future as well! I'll probably be making more gifts, which makes me happy. A few necklaces have been given to loved ones, and my room has become a treasure trove of gifts, presents for family members stashed about everywhere.

As much as you and I give, though, our gifts cannot compare to the gift God has given us. He gave us Jesus Christ, the ultimate proof of his love for us.

As we give to others this season, let's remember to not give because we feel like we have to. Let us give because we want to. It's the thought that counts!

“Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

Happy Tuesday, everyone! ♥