a directed heart

a glimpse inside


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Today I’m overwhelmed

…with blessings.

I really should feel overwhelmed by the blessings surrounding me every day, but today I feel especially surrounded, and especially grateful.

I am married to a wonderful man, and after a weekend without him, I’m so glad to have him back!

Hubs

Christmas break has been a fantastic opportunity for us to spend a lot more time together and it has been so refreshing! Cooking breakfast, laughing, making plans for the upcoming season in our lives, and watching hilarious videos (of cats) on youtube. Needless to say, it has been a much-needed opportunity for quality time.

Over the  past few weeks I’ve felt especially encouraged by Jacob. He’s been quick to spur me on and has been so supportive in the ways I feel the Lord is stretching me. Eek! Not to mention, he’s been incredibly patient and gracious to me, even though he’s been working crazy hours (and HE has the right to be the tired one!!). The Lord uses Jacob frequently as a model of his grace and faithfulness. I’m a blessed woman.

I’m so thankful for this refreshing, encouraging break and for my great husband!! So here’s to the last two days of break and welcoming in another semester of school. My LAST one, I might add. :)

Yep.

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I Think This Is Contentment

Lately I’ve been feeling very content in the mundaneness of life. Going to class, going to work, planning dinners, cleaning, trying to do homework, reading, grocery shopping, talking with friends, washing dishes, watching movies with Jacob, making coffee, eating Special K Redberries every morning for breakfast… really just the same things over and over, but it’s nice. I feel like there’s a rhythm and I like it. I like living with Jacob, and even though I rag on him about where he puts his clothes, I like doing little things for him like laundry and keeping a clean home. Everyone around us is getting engaged, getting married, getting pregnant, or having babies, but I’m content right here where we are now, living life together and enjoying the mundane, everyday-ness of it all.

I scheduled my classes today for next semester–my last semester of school! I can hardly believe it, but I am so ready. I’ll be taking 17 hours–Dynamics of Group Communication, Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion, 3 hours of The Stampede (the school paper), Christ and Culture, Editing and Style, Alexander Technique, and–what I am most excited for–HORSEBACK RIDING! Yeah! I’m excited to round up my boots when we visit home next so I can get some horse time next semester!

Going right along with this random blog post, I read a few chapters in Luke today and I am happy to say it left me thinking. In Luke 8:9-15, Jesus explains the parable of the sower (the one where the seeds fell in various types of soil). The last verse jumped out at me today. It says, “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” Maybe this is only striking to me today because everyone else has already figured this out, but Jesus is saying that we make the choice to be good soil. Being good soil is not only hearing the word, but holding tight and fast to it and letting it invade our hearts! We must let the word of God change us and bear fruit in us, but–here’s the kicker– this is a process, so it takes patience. Sometimes it’s easy for me to be frustrated because I don’t feel like I’m learning anything or growing, but at the same time I give in to that frustration and stop pursuing the Lord. I am not holding tight and fast to his word with patience. Instead I’m brushing it aside when I don’t feel instantly gratified and blaming Him for not teaching me anything. So today I am listening to Jesus’ words. I am going to hold tight to his word and what his word says is true with patience. And while that sounds easy when I read it, I need to focus just one day at a time. So here we go.

Lord, again I come to you after searching elsewhere for what can only be found in you. You are my Light, my Foundation, my Rock, my Savior, and the reason I even have life. Thank you for patiently loving me with your prodigal love, waiting for my eyes to open and my feet to run back to you. Today I am choosing you, holding fast to you alone. Not my friends’ or families’ approval, nor the gifts with which you’ve gifted me, nor my appearance, nor my grades, and nor my possessions. Those things are but specks next to you and your great, great love. Amen.


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Funny Tips & Tricks I’ve Learned from My Husband

Adding cheese to your popcorn takes it to a completely new level. I’m talking about serious yummmmmy.

You can freeze bread–something we’ve put to use since we’ve wasted a lot of bread during the first 4 months of our marriage.

Dyson vacuums are the best.

Root beer is also absolutely delicious (and therefore diet coke is not the only great soda…)

We don’t need to eat dessert every day. Even though I still do….

———–

And on a much more serious note, we’ve been seeing the depth of God’s grace and provision for us a LOT in the past few days. Praise the Lord for that encouragement. Amen!


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Cooking & Relying on Christ Go Hand-in-Hand

Some days, like today, I really enjoy cooking. It brings me some serious joy to make a good meal that I know is at least semi healthy for us. It’s a good feeling to know what you’re eating, you know?

But then there are those other days. Those days I can’t think of something to cook that I haven’t already made like 1000 times, when I get really hot from the stove and frustrated because I don’t feel like a good wife. Isn’t it silly that sometimes my definition of “being a good wife” boils down to how well I grocery shop, keep the cabinets full while sticking to our budget, and the level of creativity in the meals I make?

What in the world??

Sure, those things are parts of being a good wife! Sure, I’m called to care for my husband in those ways–submitting to the budget we laid out, using our money wisely, and making yummy, healthy dinners…. but that is not the extent of my calling, nor the heart of it! Those qualities alone do not make me a good wife… or a “good” anything. My own actions don’t make me “good” or “worthy” because I have already been made new, clean, and worthy in Christ, fully!

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:3

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:2-3

Praise the Lord that my worth does not rest in how well I can cook! No, friends, instead our worth rests in the ever-sustaining name of our Savior Jesus!

My calling as a wife does not rest in cooking well (PTL), but rather in loving Jesus well and relying on him every minute of the day! Reliance upon Christ even in those frustrating minutes when I don’t like to cook will lead me to remember my worth is in him and will free me also to love my husband the way I am called to love him, without looking for my value in his approval.

Today has been a roller-coaster day, but I am so thankful and ready to rest in reliance upon Christ.


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Crock Pots & Other Food Related Problems

I was so proud of myself the other morning… I woke up early, made the bed, did some laundry, vacuumed the apartment, spent time in the Word, and got dinner started in the crock pot all before I went to work at 11. Jacob got off work at 3, but I since worked a double, I wouldn’t be home until late… hence, the crock pot meal. I was so excited for him (and proud of myself) to have a dinner mostly prepared already even though I wouldn’t be there! I thought about it periodically at work and I COULDN’T WAIT to taste that crock pot chicken teriyaki! Yum.

What I imagined happening: Coming home to a yummy smelling house (that did happen) and eating delicious food that was cooked to perfection.

What actually happened: When I got home and looked in the crock pot (Jacob had already eaten some), I asked, “Was the chicken this brown when you ate it?” He replied, “Yeah… it was a little dry.” I turned over some carrots only to find the nice orangey color on the top didn’t match the bottom (which was very brown. Yuck)…Oops. I burnt dinner. In the crock pot. I thought that was pretty much impossible… aren’t crock pots fool-proof???

Guess not.

 


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Wedding Part 4: A Little Behind-the-Scenes

Okay, this is the end of our wedding series! I hope you all enjoyed feeling like you were there via pictures:). This post is a little “behind the scenes” of SOME of the projects we worked on during the months before the wedding.

Table Number Painting

 

They started like this…

We bought these from Kirklands, one of my favorite Home Decor stores. We also used them to hold some labels on the food table.

After painting, they looked like this…

Walah! They now match our color scheme… “Rustic Elegance” in Purples, Creams & Browns.


Centerpieces

 

The centerpieces were born one night in May in my room at the Johnson’s house. I knew I wanted a tag like that, but I didn’t know what would be on it. And I had been collecting that jute (the string) for months from Walmart (the only place I could find it… and now I can’t find it anywhere). I had recently bought the lace from Ben Franklin Crafts in Kingsport- like $3 for 5 yards.. crazy, right? I stumbled across this verse in my Bible, this image popped into my mind, and I got out of bed and started working. You can tell from the state of my desk that I wasn’t neat about it. This was the picture I sent to Jacob & my mom to see what they thought… and it was a winner!

Erica, Sarah, Christina, and I put together the centerpiece and aisle arrangements the day before the wedding. I hadn’t ever arranged flowers before, but it was a blast!

Saran Wrap

We covered the tags in saran wrap in order to protect them when we sprayed the flowers… had to keep everything looking sharp before the big day!

And here’s the finished product!

Aisle Arrangements

 

Dad and Jacob worked for a long time trying to scrape the stickers off of the votive jars.

It was painstaking for them, but entertaining for me and mom.

The next day we DIYed the arrangements at the farm…

… and then they hung beautifully down the aisle!

Guest Gifts

 

My mom is awesome. She put together these nice gifts for all of our guests who stayed in the hotel during the weekend. Jake and I helped her assemble them on Thursday afternoon.

Programs

 

I designed the programs on my computer in a program called Adobe InDesign… we printed them onto special paper….

….cut each individual page…

…and tied them together with twine!

I was really happy with the finished product… and so excited we made them ourselves from start to finish! The front page consisted of the order of service, we listed the names of everyone who was officially seated during the wedding (grandmas/grandpas, moms, sisters), the usher (Nick), and we had a memory section for our family who couldn’t be with us all on the second page. We had lyrics on the third and fourth pages for the two songs our awesome musician Blake played during communion (Nothing But the Blood & In Christ Alone), and lastly a thank you page for everyone who helped out!

All the while, Jacob was working on the reception playlist!

Favors

 

The cards arrived back in March…

…so we made an afternoon out of unwrapping, labeling, and re-packing the cards!

My mom and Leslie wrapped each and every pack of cards and glued cute embellishments on them all the week of the wedding. So many details.

The wrapped favors added some color to the table… killing two birds with one stone: favors & decoration!

If only I had more pictures to bore you with: us tying ribbons on each of the bubbles, spray painting the glass to make the chalkboard sign for the aisle & Guestbook signs, writing notes to all of our grandparents, Jacob making Giant Jenga (he did take pictures for me… what an awesome husband:)), Jacob folding napkins, us writing the seating arrangement on the chalkboard, etc. Glad I didn’t post those pics? I bet:).

Hope you enjoyed a little behind-the-scenes wedding prep!