Monday, December 31, 2012

My Year in Photos: 2012

1. January

2. February

3. March

4. April

5. May

6. June

7. July

8. August

9. September

10. October

11. November

12. December

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 10 Books of 2012

This was a hard list to make. I loved all the books on this list, and it was hard to put them in order of importance. I have read such great books this year that I have not added here. I am thankful for all of the publishers that have allowed me to try so many new books, genres, and authors. 

Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato

The Centurion'sWife by Janette Oke and Davis T. Bunn

Accused by Janice Cantore

Echoes of Titanic by Mindy Starns Clark

You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

The Choice by Robert Whitlow

Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin

The New Recruit by Jill Williamson

Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke

My favorite series this year was The Sister Wife Series by Allison Pittman

Among the books I've read this year, I've also enjoyed these to name a few

The Anniversary Waltz by Darrel Nelson
Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergen
Garden Of Madness by Tracy L. Higley

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Monday- I participated in a Litfuse facebook party. I've always wanted to participate in one of these and finally got my chance when it didn't fall on a church service.

Tuesday- I decided to do something different with my hair. I did some little girl/ cowgirl pigtails. 

Wednesday- My parents celebrated their 10th anniversary of marriage. Instead of going ice skating for our 30 in 30, we went bowling. We had a great time. The funniest moments were when I bowled backwards, yes it flew out of my hand. I was able to bowl with both hands, I guess its a lefty thing. I was actually better with the right. The other memorable moment was when Sara made a gutter ball with the gates on. She threw it right on the gutter.

We then had a scrumptious dinner afterwards. 

Thursday- For Thursday's church service I wore a purple jean dress that I "found" in my closet.

Friday- I enjoyed my time today staying home. As a family we enjoyed writing down our 2013 goals and looking through old family albums. 

Entering these here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting Ready For Church

The above video was ment to portray this message, "Things aren't always what they seem...even on Sunday morning. This video is a humorous way to help your audience make sure their perspective isn't getting in the way of their relationships, and that no one has it all together... including the family in front of you."

After thinking about the video, I received a whole new revelation about it. Going to church is a time to rejoice and celebrate in the Lord. It is a time to share about God's goodness and partake in fellowship. Many times we forget that we come to church to see Him. Instead, we like this family are so concentrated on our appearance. We have to make sure our hair is just right, our clothes a great sight, and our shoes put on tight. Church becomes a fashion runway. No longer is it important to seek God, but now it's about seeking compliments from others. No longer is it important to praise God with all your heart because you might just mess up your hair jumping. No longer is it important to listen to His message because your too busy looking at others and what they wear, do, and how they act.

You may not be this person who is so into how they look, but there are more than one ways to fall into being religious and irreverent in the house of God. Being irreverent can be defined as (Adjective- Showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously. Synonyms- disrespectful - flippant - impious) When we care too much about what ourselves and not how our hearts appear before the almighty, we are being irreverent. If we let our minds wander throughout the service we are being irreverent. If we don't care about how we stand spiritually before God and hide behind a "Blessed in the Lord", we are exercising a flippant attitude and are being irreverent. 

I encourage you to be transperent before the Lord. Allow Him to minister those areas in your life that you know you are struggling with. Those areas He knows you are struggling with. 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17

Strive not to care so much on your appearance. You should care more how you stand before God.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
 2 Timothy 2:9-11

God is so patient with us. How he can put up with our foolishness, irreverence, pride and our sinful nature is a true evidence of His love for us. Let us strive to go to church with an expectancy that He will do great things. Let us go with the sole purpose to seek Him. Let us go to church with our problems and come back changed! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Prayer For a People: Connecticut Shooting

Friday, December 14, 2012 was a day of immense saddness. A gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut and killed 20 children and 6 women. As I look at the photos of the children, it brings tears to my eyes. I see blue eyes, blonde hair, red hair, freckles, dimples, baby teeth, curly hair, and just pure sweet innocence. I think why? Why those children? Those same thoughts must plague the parents of the deceased children. We may never know God's reason for our why's, but He is in control. He is sovereign.

I pray that the parents of the children and relatives of the other victims may feel comforted. No words of consolation can help. Financial support, casseroles, and time can't help. If it isn't the Lord working in their hearts, those who remain are lost. I pray that they may feel nearer to the Lord now than ever before. Their children are in the arms of Jesus. They are safe in His arms, without sorrows or worries. I pray that the surviving family memebers may open their hearts to Jesus and receive His comfort and love. 

I pray for the Lanza family. May you comfort them as they grieve over their son/brother and mother. May they be able to forgive and not feel responsible. I pray for protection over their lives. May no one try to get revenge and hurt them for something they were not responsible for. May they be able to eventually heal from this pain.

I pray for the children who witnessed these horrific events. May you cleanse their minds and restore to them their innocence. I also pray for the teachers, police officers, and EMT's to erase from their minds the horrific post factor to the massacre. I pray that through this they may draw near to you. 

I pray that all who were involved directly and indirectly for emotional, mental, spiritual and physical healing. 

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Review- No Safe Harbor

No Safe Harbor is a book you do not want to miss reading! From the lovely Irish brogues, the immense mystery plot, and not to mention sweet romance, you will find a great read in this novel. At first everything seemed suspicious. You trusted no one and suspected everyone. Then your heart began to soften to all the characters even the secondary ones. Each character played a vital role into the story. They not only proved as fun distractions in solving the mystery, but also as the backbone to the story. They all felt like one big family, maybe a rather dysfunctional one:)

What can I say about the suspense? The author crafted such an intricate web of mystery, that to this day I'm still trying to piece everything together. The story being told by more than one perspective, helped to add to the suspense. 

The romance was sweet and simple. Loved how they began with a simple friendship and as they grew to know one another the relationship changed to a romantic one. The romance did not feel fictional at all. The romance was real and not your typical cheesy love at first glance love story.

Overall No Safe Harbor is your go to book. It contains a lot of mystery, intrigue, and suspense. It provides great historical lessons about the Irish revolution. I enjoyed learning about the Irish history, with all of its political intricacies, gang activity and faith in God. No Safe Harbor is a 5 star worthy book.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my independent and unbiased review. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Drinking hot chocolate with the family, while writing our top 10 moments of 2012. Sara was so cute. She was acting like she was actually drinking coffee.

 We also took the opportunity to write letters to a friend.

Going to the library and seeing an ice-cream truck in December. Only in NYC:) I am definitely enjoying these coldish wintery days. Believe it or not for December the weather is pretty warm. So far no sign of snow for Christmas, but I'd much rather have the weather stay as it is.

I Had a great time having a girls night in. We had a home pedicure.

I received an advanced readers copy of a book. I feel like I have something that others don't (technically I do:)

Great Week! Can't wait to see what the next week has in store for me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Prayer for a Friend: Instagram

This is a special prayer for each of my Instagram friends. I tried to pray about specific things that you've shared about your life. I prayed a separate prayer consisting of many of the same things.

@apostolicgirl15- What a blessing to know that God knows everything about you, even when I don't. He knows your name, your age, and your struggles. May He always be your goal that you strive towards. May you feel His love, peace and joy always. As a budding keyboard player, may the Lord continue to use you in the music ministry. 

@hannahsandsfeld- I pray that the Lord may continue to use greatly in His kingdom. As a piano teacher may you be able to teach with excellence and with dilligence. May you always have the patience to deal with each individual person. As a photographer I pray that the Lord may continue to give you fresh ideas and clients.  MayHe give you time for everything you need to do as a Christian, daughter, and sister. May you always know who you are in the Lord. 

@emilysacra- I pray that you may always work with diligence in everything you do. May he prosper you in your job at Chickfilla, may the light of Jesus shine through you. May others be able to see the difference in you. I pray that you may grow deeper in the knowledge of the Lord, in His goodness and faithfulness.

@alexisp70- As your ministry continues to progress in D.R. may you always remember that your first and foremost ministry is in the home. May you continue to be that example of what a godly man is to your boys. May you be that strong head of the household. May you always be guided by the Holy Spirit in even the smallest of things.

@jennifer_blair_ I pray that you may continue in the grace of the Lord. May you always know how to balance your time. May you strive to be that perfect helpmate for your husband. May you be there to lift his tired hands and always be willing to serve him. As a photographer may you continue to be booked up with clients. The Lord bless you in your new home!

@kitkatgrace- I pray that the Lord may bless you richly and abundantly. As you grow up, may you increase in the wisdom of the Lord. May you continue to cultivate your talents as a writer. I pray that the Lord may be able to use you to convey His message in all your writing pieces. May He continue to supply those fresh ideas, and may you overcome any writers block that may try to stop your work.

@madelinehilder- As you continue to grow in knowledge of photography, sewing, and intellectual things, may you continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus. May you always be sensitive to His voice. May you walk with integrity in all you do. I pray that the Lord may bless your business and give you the skills, time, and dedication to do it to the best of your abilities.

@the_shutter_bug- I pray that whatever you do and strive to be, may be what God wants. May the decision not be what others are doing, what others say to you, not even what you want. May you feel His presence in even the simplicist of tasks that you do. You have a big heart and love for many! May you always let the Lord guide you in every pursuit you want to follow. May you be a leader and never a follower. May you lead many to Christ through your loving disposition.

@his_swordmaiden- May the Lord bless you and keep you may His face shine upon you. I pray that you may feel Christ nearer to you today than ever before. May you have special encounters with him that can testify to His goodness and love. As a designer, photographer, and homeschooler you have a lot on your plate, but I pray that you may continue to grow in your talents and weaknesses. 

@alexajenkins13- As a daughter of the King and daughter of a Pastor, may you always be a worthy example to others. May you always reflect Jesus in all you do. Never negotiate on your principles. As you come to the close of your high-school years may the Lord make clear His path for you. May you always strive to do His will wherever you go.

@alimarie97- As you find yourself in this busy season of life may you always remember your Savior and all that He has brought you through. High school life can be difficult, but in the name of Jesus you can understand and pass all your classes with flying colors. May you lead many of friends to the feet of Jesus.

@kianna_rose- My prayer for you my dear cousin is that you may grow stronger in the Lord. May you continue to experience the beauty of our Savior. May the Lord continue to bless the work of your hands. May He prosper your etsy shop. Through everything that occurs in your life may you always see the Lord's hand in it all.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Looking back on //

This year to me has been one of learning. Learning to be a better and more devoted Christian. It is so easy to fall into religiosity. We can be conformed to our daily routine, not daring to venture out and experience new things in Christ. The hurricane throwing our schedule a bit out of balance was a huge blessing. It showed me that we can spend time with God whenever and wherever, not only in the morning, church or at our designated times of alone time with Him. We should dare to be different in the Lord!

Looking forward to //

I am looking forward to trying new things. The more and more I think about it, I realize my time of care-free days are almost over. I want to experience and try different things. I not only want to be a dynamic person in Christ but overall. I want to be able to say to my children, "The Macy's parade, yes I went there." "Oh and I did go on that really big roller coaster!" "I want to live a life of oh wells not a life of what ifs."

Reveling in //

This song, this verse, this aroma, this candle, this shop, this (the second) photo.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Count Your Blessings

On Saturday my family and I enjoyed our time shopping together. From the enormous tree, Christmas carols, and lights, the mall was decked with Christmas cheer.

After shopping for quite some time, we ate dinner at Red Lobster. The dessert was my favorite, a warm brownie, ice cream, caramel and fudge sauce.

I can't believe I actually have to teach a Sunday school class. It's my own class, but I really don't want to do it:( Prayers are much appreciated. My mom says in life we have to do a lot of things we do not like, and I guess my time has come.

We went shopping for some gifts on Wednesday. I am finished buying my gift for the family exchange. I think I'm the first one!

On Wednesday, I wasn't feeling very well. I had a chilly/hot body. Even though I still wasn't feeling good, my family and I tackled a 200 piece puzzle.

Got our passport applications done!

Went to my grandma's house to say bye to her and my aunt. They are leaving to DR for about a month!

On Thursday, I woke up with a swollen eye:( Seems like the devil is really trying to attack me. In the name of Jesus he is defeated! 

Overall, I would say I had a great week, even with all of its ups and downs!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Audio Review- Oliver Twist

The audio dramatization of Oliver Twist is based on the classic tale written by Charles Dickens. The plot itself is timeless and emotion filled. Based on a little boy called Oliver, who was born an orphan, who later was forced to work amiss horrible conditions in a work house, Oliver has had his fair share of difficulty. When certain circumstances put him in harms way, it will take courage, love, and the truth to set young Oliver free from the cruel world that is ready to swallow him whole. 

Though I've never read the book, The Parish Boy's Progress the story of Oliver Twist, I very much enjoyed listening to the dramatization version. From the lovely english accents, to the stirring music, and sound effects, this series was beautifully done. On occasion the narrator would shed light to some unfamiliar customs and behaviors, making the audio drama all the more understandable and enjoyable. 

The packaging itself is beautiful. The package consists of five cds with the different scenes printed on it. One bonus dvd is included containing the behind the scenes, and a documentary of the modern day Oliver's. Divided into about 10 sections/scenes per disc made it easy to bookmark your spot. 

The 5 1/2 hours will be one of imagination, suspense, and endearment. I give the Radio Theatre's Oliver Twist a much deserved 5 out of 5.

I received Oliver Twist from Tyndale Publishers in exchange from this independent and unbiased review.

Arielle is having a great giveaway at her blog!