Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak: Psalm 91:1-4

I have yet to do just one verse for our weekly memory verse, and this week's verse(s) are no different. 

Today's verses are from Psalm 91:1-4: “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”
I found this picture here

These four verses are jammed back with powerful words: shelter, rest, refuge, safety, trust, rescue, protect, cover, faithful, and promises. Each one of these words are what I need from my loving Heavenly Father; and I mean ---->need<----.

**I'd just like to take a minute to remind you that the definition of you is not found in your career, education, past, present, family, spouse, friends, money, or the church you belong. What you do, or do not do in a day does not define you. The One who created the universe in which you breath and the One who knows you better than you know yourself defines you.

***I would like to challenge each of you to do one more thing this week in addition to the memory verses (I know you are crazy busy but just give this a try with me). I challenge you to discover your definition that can only be found in your Heavenly Father... "How?" you ask... Here's one way: write on a piece of paper these words, "My Heavenly Father (Saviour, God, which ever your favorite name is for our Lord) loves me unconditionally just the way I am." Next find a Bible verse that supports that statement and also write it on the piece of paper. Immediately after you wake up each morning read the statement and verse, and then pray for God to show you evidence of this statement throughout your day. And then write that evidence on the back of the piece of paper. 

I got this idea from a friend, and tweaked it a little bit, so I can't claim it as my own idea. I have seasons that I really need a reminder of my definition; I hate to admit that now is one of those seasons.

I look forward to hearing from you about the memory verses and the definition challenge.

Remember that God is love,

ps the concert was so much fun, perhaps I'll write about it sometime. Blessings.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just for Fun

Finally a Lady GaGa/Beyone song applies to my life, "And I am sick and tired of my phone r-ringing. Sometimes I feel likeI live in Grand Central Station.
Tonight I’m not takin’ no calls,’cause I’ll be dancin’. ‘Cause I’ll be dancin’
‘Cause I’ll be dancin’ Tonight I’m not takin’ no calls, ’cause I’ll be dancin’!" 
My life is now near completion. {Completely and totally joking} well kinda

Here a couple of my favorite songs by the amazing artists that my friends and I will see in concert tonight...

Blessings!.... "Cause I'll be dancin'".... <3
God is love,

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak: 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

How did you do on last week's memory verse? I'll be honest, I didn't do so good. Last Friday evening, a friend of mine asked about the memory verse; I don't remember if he just asked what the verse was, or if I had it memorized, or what his words were exactly, but I do remember doing a whole lot of fumbling and mumbling. Last week was a fumbling, mumbling, just-keep-swimming, kind of week. Do you have ever those weeks? Months? Years? Well I hope and pray that today is a start to a much better day, week, and year. 

This week's verse, and the two verses before it, were chosen because they correlate with my life plan (which I referred to in my post about Lazy Moose Cabin and hope to share in detail at some point).
 Here is this week's verse: 
"I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow." 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

I want to grow. I want to grow in the word, in the Lord, and in love. I want to challenge my brain, I want to learn. I want to explore different cultures. I want to be more of a blessing to others. I want to reach my full potential.  But I want to shrink in size and in sin.

This week's verse helps me remember that, no matter how much I strive, it is ultimately God who does the growth (and the shrinking).

Please keep swimming and remember that Jesus is your life vest.
God is love,

p.s. (ladies) if size and food is a weakness... this morning's post at {in}courage from Lysa TerKeurst, is a great post for you..."Because I'm feeling a little weak today"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Form Fits Function

In true Vanessa fashion, I'm choosing to celebrate something by writing a blog post. How nerdy am I? I have a gazillion things I need to do, but I must share something that I learned in my Anatomy & Physiology class.

I learned that YOU were designed and created for a very specific purpose. Everything that makes up you; cells, spleen, hair... was created specifically to serve its job... and it's job is ultimately to serve you, so you can, you know, to this thing called live. 

So if everything in you was uniquely suited to it's function... that makes you a walking, breathing, etc, mass (form) of uniqueness suited for a function... In other words God obviously designed everything on this planet: from your toenails, to your dog, to serve a specific purpose. 

My heart is designed to beat to keep my blood flowing which then blah blah blah. My dog is designed to love me unconditionally, make my house a mess, and chase big white pick-ups.

Which leaves me wondering... what am I designed for? Truth is, I know my form and I know my function (well the most important function, I'm still figuring out some others). 

Do you know your function (purpose)?

I promise it is more than just reproduction.

I have included a video for your viewing pleasure... just in case you need a clue what your function is:

My prayer is that YOU (the reader) discover your function and perform your function in the unique way that only YOU can.

Blessings! In truer Vanessa form, I'm off to conquer my gazillion to-do's... it's part of my function... (get it?)...
Ok peace out! xoxox
God is love,

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

It has been very encouraging to hear from so many of you who are taking on this  memory challenge with me!  

The kids at the Baker Valley Seventh Day Adventist School also memorized Matthew 22:37-40! And the teachers even recorded the kids for me! I don't know how describe how much that meant to me... 

Here is the video of the kids saying Matthew 22:37-40 together:

Way to go Elijah, Tyler, James, Emily, Kayley, Jarred, Hannah, Ely, Evan, Ammelia, Katie, Layna, Grayson, and Ruben!!!!! I'm so proud of you all!!!!! <3 Thank you very much Alice and Gary; you are the best (for endless reasons)!

This week's verses comes from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
"Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."

This picture came from here.

God is love,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Review of Sorts: (in)courage, DaySpring, Cards, & a Card Organizer

Have you ever heard of (in)courage(in)courage calls itself "a home for the hearts of women" and I agree with them. I originally discovered (in)courage through Blessings Unlimited (I'm a Blessings Unlimited independent consultant. I consider it a hobby). Now I follow (in)courage on Twitter and Facebook and I subscribe to their daily email of new-blog-type-posts. You can click here to read what was in today's email; it really spoke to my heart, it even made me cry.

Back on December 20th (in)courage tweeted this: "Are you a card sender? If so, January  is for you!

I tweeted this back: "@incourage "Are you a card sender?" Ha!!! You have no idea!!! This is like the most  opportunity!!! <3"

I was slightly excited (huge understatement).

And then (In)courage responded with " LOVE hearing that!"

It was like a match made in heaven; blogging and cards, what more could this girl ask for? 

In(courage) sent me free cards (which I got to pick out) and a card organizer (which was a surprise added gift from them!) with the agreement that I would write a review of sorts about their product on my blog . It's a win-win for everyone because I get FREE CARDS, they get personal advertisement, and my blog gets exposed to a new audience. Plus I don't feel like I'm selling my soul or anything because I genuinely love their cards, their company, and consider it an honor to write anything for them (let alone something I'm passionate about!!!). 

I may be breaking some sort of unspoken blogging law by sharing these details with you... but I think it adds to the genuineness of the review... and I want all of my reviews (or anything I post) to be at least genuine. Side note. 

(In)courage sent me an email after I signed up to write this review. This is how the email started, 
"Hi there!
Thank you all for partnering with (in)courage & DaySpring and being a part of an (in)spired deals review. You will be receiving a So True Card Pack plus a Thank You boxed note set! You can expect your cards to arrive by this time next week. We are looking forward to hearing you share your story about who you sent a card to and why card sending matters to you! We also snuck a little extra gift in your order as well! 
"Snuck a little extra gift in your order?!?!" And I thought this arrangement couldn't get any better... 

 I was all kinds of excited when the package came! 

Packaged perfectly...

Ta Da!

My surprise was this beautiful "I Will Bless You - Accordion Card Organizer" - By the way it is on sale right now for $4.99
 This is the So True Card Pack; coincidentally I have a board on Pinterest that is called So True!, which is one of the reasons why I picked this pack. Unfortunately the pictures (mine or Dayspring's) don't do justice to how beautiful these cards are. In person, they look like quality handmade cards. A lot of beautiful detail was put into each card (on the outside and inside).

 I have a rule about not sharing what I write in cards. You can read this post to find out why.

 Thank You - From the Heart. Need I say more? 

Here's a shot of my favorite stamps... Do you think the government would send me free stamps if write a review about them? What was that I heard? When pigs fly?

You can read this post to learn why I love giving and receiving cards so much... it's an addiction actually. 

I will be doing my first ever free giveaway soon... hopefully this week. May I (in)courage you to spread the love and send a card or two this week... you won't regret it! I'd also like to invite you to share your card sending goals for 2012 by commenting below.

God is love,

p.s. My favorite team, the GreenBayPackers, lost today. I will not be cheering for them at our annual superbowl getaway weekend. :'( Sympathy cards appreciated. ;)

p.s.s Don't forget that tomorrow is Monday, which means there will be a new "Memory Verse a Week for the Weak".

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Review of Sorts: Lazy Moose Cabin

My husband and I decided to start the year off right by spending a couple of days out of town and in the mountains. We used the time to set some goals for the year and for our lives. It was a relaxing and rejuvenating time together.

We both agreed to use our cell phones as little as possible and I promised to not visit Facebook; it was glorious.

Since we are on the get-out-of-debt plan (as mentioned in  Our Honest Christmas Letter), we wanted to; 1) maximize our time and 2) maximize our budget. We were able to accomplish both goals by choosing a destination close to home. We found a cute lil' cabin in the woods of Sumpter, Oregon called Lazy Moose Cabin. This place was too perfect not to share with you all. We arrived Monday afternoon and left Wednesday afternoon.

The pictures on their website do not do justice to this cute little cabin. I remember walking in and being pleasantly surprised at how warm and welcoming the cabin instantly felt. The cabin's cleanliness was also very much appreciated; there wasn't a spot of dust in the place. Which was a refreshing break from my Saint-Bernard-lived-in casa. The cabin is tastefully decorated in a moose theme. They even managed to get the theme across without making me sea sick with moose nick-nacks everywhere.

The cabin is small but Ryan and I are use to living in 300 square feet or less, so it's small size didn't bother us in the slightest. The owners were GREAT to work with. And the price was less than what we budgeted for at only $85.00 a night (plus tax). The cabin had the two things that I required which was 1) in the woods and 2) a bath tub. My only complaint of our stay is the small water heater, (and I wish we could have stayed a bit longer but that doesn't count).

We found the cabin by doing a simple Google search and then clicking the first website that came up which was www.historicsumpter.com. We brought our own food to cover breakfast and lunch. For dinner, we drove to John Day the first night, and Prairie City the second night. The food was alright, but let's just say that it didn't compare to our home town favorite, Barley Browns. We ate The Scoop N Steamer for a late lunch before we left Sumpter Wednesday. I had the burrito salad, which looked disgusting, but was amazingly and surprisingly delicious. Ryan had some sort of burger; nothing out of the ordinary to report there, he ate it and was jolly as always (men!). 

In conclusion: I give the Lazy Moose Cabin 7 strawberries out of 7 strawberries. We will recommend the cabin to our loved ones and look forward to staying there again someday!

Here is the contact info for Lazy Moose Cabin:

290 N Ibex 
Sumpter, Oregon 97877 
Phone: 541-296-1057 
Cell: 541-980-3003 

I thought I'd include "Remind Me" by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood since it is fitting and because I GET TO SEE BRAD IN CONCERT SOON! SO EXCITED! Enjoy!

God is love,

p.s. Did I mention that a herd of turkeys surrounded the cabin? That really added to the feel of being "far away in the woods"!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak: Matthew 22:37-40

This week's memory verse(s) is Matthew 22:37-40. I'm using the NLT translation but you are welcome to use whatever you would like!

Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."

I got this pic from facebook

Good luck!
God is love,

A Little Something for Your Manic Monday

Tomorrow is January 9 already! Time goes by too quickly! Tomorrow is kinda a big deal in my little world and here's why:
  • We are handing over our book keeping for our small construction business, Y Bar Construction, over to our accountant's office!!! (Insert happy dance here!)
  • School starts back up again tomorrow. I'm taking Human Anatomy and Physiology (Biol 231) and a P.E. class this term. 
What you have here is over $300 in textbooks which  automatically make them worthy of a picture.

  • I get to hang out with a bunch of kids at a church school for a couple of hours and lead a brief worship tomorrow morning. 
  • Ryan and I are doing our first weekly review (I'll explain in a different post). We were suppose to do this today but Ryan had to go be a superhero and save someone's house from burning down. I know what you are thinking, "How dare he?!?" It's tough being a superhero's wife. Please note sarcasm.
  • And of course there's a million other chores I will hope to accomplish tomorrow but what I'm really excited about is....
  • Tomorrow is the first day of a weekly series that I would like to call "A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak".
One of my goals for 2012 is to memorize one Bible verse a week. And I thought, "Why not invite the entire world to memorize with me?!?". Genius I know!

Alright, alright, the entire world doesn't read my blog, but my family, friends, and coworkers do! My hope is that folks will check on my progress throughout the week and join me in memorizing the verses.

I plan to update the memory verse each Monday, so just think Monday = Memory Verse. I named the series "A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak" because you guessed it, I am weak but He is strong, and I want to get stronger from the ultimate source of strength. I promise I'm not a freak. Well maybe I am. Actually, I'm a freak. Insert that song, you know... THAT song.

Anywho, I welcome and encourage your participation. How you participate is really up to you! It would be so great to get videos from you memorizing the verse, or comments on what you do to memorize verses. The sky is the limit. 

God is love,

p.s. I thought I would include a Brad Paisley song because in case you haven't heard.... I GET TO SEE BRAD PAISLEY IN CONCERT soon! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Take Time to Stop & Smell opps i mean Send the Cards

There are many things I would like to write about tonight, however today was a "need to give cards day".  So I decided to take the time to stop and  smell  send the cards. 

Card number 1

Inside of Card # 1

Card #2

Inside of card #2. Sorry the picture is a bit blurry.

Also inside of card #2

Both of these cards are from the "ALL OCCASION ASSORTMENT"
 via Blessings Unlimited. You can purchase them here if you would like.

These two cards are ***PERFECT*** for each recipient/occasion. I'm not going to share whom I'm giving them to, or what I'm writing in each card; that's just too personal.

You may be thinking, "She'll post about shower dates, but won't post about what she writes in a card???? I don't get it." (Aren't my ESP skills impressive?)

Allow me to explain. I think shower dates are a beautiful thing worth sharing and celebrating. It's a beautiful thing that Ryan and I are still madly in-love with each other after 5.5 years of marriage (8.5 years of togetherness). This should be celebrated.  The happily-married thing is getting to be more and more rare it seems, so why not celebrate the happiness/love when it happens?!?! (Fuzzy moment)

It is also a beautiful thing when I write in cards; not because I'm an amazing writer, because it gives me the chance to really share my heart with the recipient (which is probably why I like card giving so much). The words would lose their intimacy and sincerity if I were to post the words that I write in these cards. The words are meant for one heart, from my heart. The end.

God is love,

p.s. There are several other cards I would like to send to several other people. If you are one of those people, thank you for your patience... it will happen eventually. Same applies to emails, phone calls, and text messages... I will get back to you eventually. <3