a directed heart

a glimpse inside

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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!


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.


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.



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.



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!



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!


Wedding Part 3: Our Chalkboard Guestbook

In lieu of a standard guestbook, we had a “guestbook” area where our friends could write us messages on chalkboards. The photographer hung out over there for part of the reception to take pictures of our friends with their chalkboard messages.

Kayla & Amy

Casey, Abbie, and Meg

Sarah & Carter… who are getting married this weekend! Woo-hoo!

My brother Nick and his girlfriend, Caitlin

Sarah & Jeremy King… they’re married now, too!:)

Kate & Andrew… the soon-to-be “Gerbers” come this December!

Tommy, Luke, Adam, Lauren, and Juan…. I don’t even know what this is supposed to mean, guys!

“Too late Lauren, you’re ours now!” — Jacob’s side of the family, ha!

Jim & Sandy, my parents’ great neighbors! We love you guys:)

We don’t know how she got here… no one invited her??

Peggy & Bobby… Jacob lived with them during his internship in Maryland. It was so nice of them to travel all the way to our wedding!

Jacob’s Aunt Sharon

My cute parents!! We love you guys, too!:)

Alex played violin for the wedding and did an AWESOME job! Brad videotaped for us and Darlene helped set up in the morning & directed the grandparents. Thank you so much!!

My cousin & his girlfriend Jessica

My cousin Ben & his girlfriend, Lauren

Uncle Greg & Aunt Jennifer

Aunt Brenda & Uncle Dan

My cousin Jeremy and his wife Jenn

Jacob’s Grandmother

Jacob’s cousin & aunt, Madison & Nancy (Tracy L. is the lady “we didn’t invite”)

Oh my goodness… Grizel. Don’t worry people, that is not true.

Fellow camp team members…. Erica & Josh

Aunt Janet & Jenna, my cousin

Becky & Josh #sotrue :)


Jerry & Leslie… Leslie did so much to help us during the wedding planning… thank you, Leslie!!

Alex & Christina… who will be married in just over a weeks!

Jenn, Jeremy, Kim, Tammie, Jim, and Maleah…. “Never go to bed angry”

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Wedding Part 2: Reception

Oh, hello, Beautiful Big White Tent.

Here’s the setup before anyone got to it!

Thanks for this picture, Becky! I DIYed these centerpieces, both the jar and the arrangement. Thanks to Erica, Sarah, and Christina for putting the arrangements together with me the day before the wedding! We had a blast and they turned out looking great!! (You can also see a customized water bottle from the ceremony on the right!)

The centerpieces said “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” from 1 Corinthians 13. We chose this verse because it screams Gospel in every phrase. Yes, weddings are about love, but much more than our love for each other they are about Christ’s love for his Church… and what a great, great love that is! Christ’s love has truly born all things, believed all things, hoped all things, and endured all things for us… and still does every day. May we model our love for each other after His love. Amen & amen.

We had Sweet Tea, Lemonade, and Water…

and pretty lime, lemon, and orange slices for added elegance!

Dorothy Lane Market catered the wedding. We had pasta salads, broccoli salads, fruits and veggies…

…and sandwiches on all different types of cute rolls.

We used this chalkboard that we found at Hobby Lobby for our seating arrangement display! Jacob and I wrote all the names & table numbers the night before the wedding.. when everything was finally pretty set in stone. We loved the hand-made-ness of it!

After searching and searching for a card box I liked, I finally found this cute birdcage! We added some greenery and Leslie made a label, and we were good to go!

We made it through the line with some food, although we didn’t sit down very long to eat much of it!

Thanks for sharing your plate with us, Sarah!:) Here you can see the napkins Jacob so beautifully folded during the few days before the wedding… all 100+ of them! Great job, Jacob! And in the left hand corner you see the wedding favors wrapped in the cute purple paper! We gave our guests personalized playing cards, since we (and both of our families) love to play games so much! My mom and Leslie Sharkey wrapped them all and embellished them… thank you!

And here we are cutting the cake…. after we stood there awkwardly not knowing what to do. So maybe we didn’t think ahead… it’s the one area we missed:)

Since we didn’t know what we were doing, we forgot to feed each other at the same time…. oops…

… at least we both get our own picture!

And then we have the toast. This is such a special picture to me.. Jacob holding my hand while Dad hugs me. Thanks for your toast, Dad. We love you!!

And these are the lovely ladies who set everything up the morning of the wedding! So thankful for your hard work–thanks for making everything come together!

And, of course, we had lawn games! Sarah, Carter, Sarah, and Jeremy are out there playing Giant Jenga, hand made by Jacob (with the help of Adam Tomlinson) the week before the wedding!

We also had badminton, bean toss (aka cornhole, but we renamed it for the sake of the wedding), and croquet.

And that’s our reception in a nut shell! We had a blast and felt so loved by our friends & family… thank you to everyone who helped out and who celebrated with us!!

Guestbook pictures up next!!