Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Wonderland!!

Keith and I woke up Monday morning to a Winter Wonderland outside our window! Keith stayed home all day from work and school was closed. Needless to say we were literally snowed in our house! We knew this snow storm was coming so we acted like any true Tennessean does and went grocery shopping the day before. :-) We had an absolute blast acting like little kids out in the snow. We went sledding, made snow angels, and threw snowballs at each other and the dog. We had a BLAST!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A New Year...A New Beginning

As I was riding home today from a track coaches' clinic all I could think about was that all of my Christmas decorations were still up...yes, even the tree!! I absolutely LOVE Christmas, but I also despise taking down the decorations. Well, when I arrived home and walked upstairs I noticed Keith had cleaned the house and already started taking down the decorations! I was so excited! As the decorations were taken down and stored away for later on this year I couldn't help but think back on last year and everything we've been through. A lot has changed with us moving, getting new jobs, and buying our first house. As the new year is here I am so excited about what God is doing in our lives. I think the biggest change will be that we will be having our first baby this year!!!!! Yep...I'm pregnant!!! I am 11 weeks right now so that makes my due date towards the end of July. I'm really hoping for a July 22 birthday for our little one. Mainly because that is my dad's birthday and that way I'll always have a little something of him with me :) When I found out that I was pregnant I was shocked! We definitely weren't trying to get pregnant by any means. After I told Keith and the initial shock wore off, we are both very excited. It still doesn't feel very real to us yet though. I was only really sick for about a week and then the power of prayer knocked that away. Now, the headaches are starting. I think the reason it doesn't feel real is because any time I've had an ultrasound it hasn't looked like anything but a tiny dot. I did get to hear the heartbeat for the first time last week. That was pretty cool. I think once it starts moving around it will become more real to me.

Hardest things to give up since finding out:
1) Dr. Pepper (although I only crave water now)
2) volleyball
3) snowboarding (since it's winter) mountain biking (in the spring)
4) not getting a full 8 hours sleep through the night (only because I have to get up and pee at least once)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

On the road again...

Christmas! My favorite time of year! Food, family, movies, games, friends, laughter, joy...and traveling. The traveling part would probably be my least favorite, but totally worth it to be with our families. Keith and I set out before Christmas to Knoxville to spend some time with my family. Christmas Eve is probably my favorite time of the holidays because that's when my family gets together and we have tid-bits (snacks), play games, and my sister and I have a tradition of watching part of the 24 hour marathon of "A Christmas Story" on TV. My family it not one to get together a lot and spend time in one room together - I think this is why this is my favorite day of the year. We stayed there and had Christmas morning at my parents house. My sis came over with her hubby and their two kids. We opened gifts (one at a time of course) and watched the kids go nuts over all their stuff. Norah even got a gift which she opened all by herself. We then packed up the car, said our good-byes, and headed 5.5 hours to Columbus, GA. Keith's sis had to work Christmas Eve so we all decided to have the Edwards's family Christmas at her and her hubby's place. The one thing we didn't expect was to have a white Christmas!! And in the words of Joel..."It's a Christmas miracle!" Mainly because it never snows that far south in GA. So, we had fun and so did the puppies. We opened gifts, ate lots of food, went to a light show, and played a marathon of rummy tile! A few days later we packed up the car, said our good-byes, and drove 5.5 hours back to Asheville. Needless to say it was a great time spent with the families. Here's a pic of Norah and Heidi (Darcy and Joe's pup). They are hilarious together!

Passion 2011

The summer of 2003 (summer after my freshman year of college) was life changing. For many reasons really, but one event in particular aided in my reformation. I was involved in a college ministry called The Well at ETSU. They were offering to take a certain number of students to the Passion One Day conference in Texas that summer. After researching it I realized it would be a conference filled with Christian authors, speakers, musicians, and more. God blew my mind when I was there. It was definitely a pivotal moment in my walk with the Lord. Two years later (2005), The Well was offering to take another bus load of students to Atlanta to the Passion 2005 conference. I went with expectations of having the same experiences I did two years prior - God showed up in a completely but still life altering way. (He likes to work in ways we least expect - which I love.) Upon graduating college and having a "big girl job" I have been unable to attend any other Passion conferences. And admittedly, I felt a little too old to be going since it is for college age students. This year I saw on my friend's facebook account that they were streaming Passion 2011 LIVE!!! I tuned in this morning to watch last night's session with Louie Giglio. He spoke about being free and fully alive. My heart and mind jumped at his words. I immediately retracted any previous thoughts about being too old for this. I just finished watching this morning's session with Beth Moore - wow! what a powerful woman of God! She spoke about knowing God's will for our lives and the renewing of our minds.

Let me just brief some of you who may not know about our break-in incident. In August of this year (just 2 months after moving in our new home) at about 4:30 in the morning we were broken into. One of the guys came into our bedroom. Long story short we were kept safe (only by the grace of God - this I am sure) and the perps ran away. However, later that morning they were all caught!! Ever since then I have led a life of fear - fear they would come back, fear that anyone would come back, I didn't feel safe anywhere...especially in my own home. These people don't even realize it, but I have allowed them to have power over my mind. NO MORE!!!

God really spoke to me through Beth Moore tonight. Here are a few things that I am confident of:
1. I have the right and capacity to decide how I'm going to think.
2. We must take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
3. There is NOTHING that has power over me (and you) that the Spirit of Christ cannot break.
4. I must have self-discipline to shut out every other voice and listen to God - the One and only thing that matters.
5. Think a new thought about an old situation. It will diffuse the power it has over you.

As I lay prostrate in my bed with tears overflowing I brought all of this to God and asked him "how?" And He told me that it can only be done through Him. I know I cannot get rid of this fear on my own accord - it must be done and can only be done through the Holy Spirit of Christ.

I encourage you to tune into and watch the replays of Passion 2011. You never know what God will say to you.