Saturday, November 30, 2013


Goals - I love 'em and I hate 'em.  But mostly love.

In the recent days here are a couple I've achieved;

kept up an early rising time for over two four weeks
squatted my goal weight
completed this blog challenge

Our little adventure entitle Twenty1... What? It's over already?  Stop it.  I feel like November is just beginning. BUT the Christmas music, festive decor, warm holiday drinks, brisk fresh air and the ever-growing pile of presents convince me that December is knocking at my door.

And I am holding this door WIDE open.  Hello beautiful season of family and celebrating Jesus.

But back to twenty1.

When Bethany first texted me about doing some sort of blog challenge I thought "super FUN!"  When we nailed down a date and actually committed I thought "what have I just gotten myself into?"

It's been a challenge - notice most of the posts have been posted past 10pm, but I have so enjoyed every post.  {thanks, Bethany for the superb idea}

Thank YOU for your comments and thoughts.  I loved to receive emails letting me know that these posts have encouraged you, amused you or cause you to think.  After all, I don't write on this little spot in cyberspace just for life to keep going as it is... and believe me, I am so looking forward to writing my follow-up piece on this entry.  stay tuned

Writing is something I love. Absolutey adore.  It's the way I express myself - all the emotions, thoughts and ideas that come flying through my mind.  I look forward to the many weeks ahead where I'll share more learnings and findings {never said I was good at grammer or English}.  Please, please feel free to comment your replies, quetsions, ideas, thoughts and whatever else you may be so inclined.  I love it.

And with that - Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a little yellow for your day

a peek in my purse

Are you a heavy-weight toting girl, or a bare neccesities kind of woman?  When it comes to purses I'm a bit of both.

My beautiful Fossil bag is my fashion icon, and practical companion.  It holds both the needed and a bit of the unneccesary items as well.

The contents include, but are not limited to;
- wallet
- checkbook
- random photos of friends and family
- tracts and wordless book
- compact mirror
- pen
- keys
- bobby pins
- codliver oil capsules {what?!?}
- earbuds for the iPhone
- 3 dif kinds of lipgloss {that's where they all are!}
- pain killer for dire emergancies
- sunglasses
- December work schedule
- hand sanitizer

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Have a Dream...

Recently I listned to a sermon by Eric Ludy entitled "Five Smooth Stones".  Soso good.

If you remember correctly, David tended sheep for his ocupation.  Of course he played the harp and accomplished other things, but it was pretty basic and mundane.  Soon we see that God reveals a dream to David; he is going to be king over all Israel.  Impressive and thrilling.  What happened next?  David was sent back to the sheep.

Several opportunities presented themselves where David could have easily taken over Saul's place and claimed his appointed throne.  But no, David was faithful in the small things, if you could say killing a bear with you bare hands is a small feat, and he was justly rewarded.

Eric mentioned that sometimes God gives us a dream, or a vision of what the future will hold... and than sends us back to the sheep.  Back to the basics, back to the training ground.  Why, because He wants to make us miserable and waste our life? No.  Because He is preparing us for a future only He can see.

God has given me dreams, passions and pursuits, and I tend to get so excited about them that I want to plunge headfirst.  I find myself getting discouraged when things aren't happening as fast, or in the right way, as I was anticipating.  Stuck in the basic run-of-the-mill opportunities of life is boring and seemingly meaningless.

What if we change our perspective?  What if we start to trust God that His timing is best?  Would our attitude change?  Maybe you're not in the mundane phase of life, but maybe you are.  What now?  Just as a note, this post is not about to encourage complacency, sit around at home twindling our thumbs... quite the opposite.

For those of you with a dream... here are a couple things I've found helpful.

- Write out your thoughts, purposes, passions.  It's encouraging to see how God hones our desires and brings His desires pervading through our soul; once we give Him free reign.  I find it so helpful to journal what God lays on my heart.

- Be faithful.  Life isn't always glamourous and amazing.  Of course we learn to enjoy the practical phases of life, but start with being thankful and diligent in the areas He has placed in front of you; serving family, job, schoolwork, learning a language, perfecting your trade, etc.

- Pursue your interests.  This could be taken the wrong way... but what I mean is to get active in the areas you feel God may be calling you.  I love teenage girls, working with them, sharing the gospel, interacting, everything.  My dad encouraged me to seek out opportunities where I could be involved in girls' lives - I started volunteering at a local pregnancy center and this has only served to deepen my love for Jesus and the girls around me.  I also began to mentor a teenage girl with a local ministry, and have learned that relationships are wondeful, but challenging.

- Don't be discouraged.  This one is hard for me, but I think the first step {write it out} comes into play here.  When we write down our passions, thoughts about what God is speaking, we can go back and renew our focus and energy.  Never ever despire seemingly meaningless tasks/work.

- Live for Jesus Christ alone.  Why are you doing what you're doing?  For the praise of Jesus, or yourself?  I have to be honest - I'm a people pleaser.  But lately Jesus has been chipping away at the block of self {or more like taking a chainsaw to it} and conforming it to seek only the praise of His name.  Ask God to give you opportunities to serve in little ways, unoticed activities, tasks done only for the glory of God.

"Therefore... be steadfast, immovable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, 
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 
1 Cor 15:58

Your life is drastically different than mine, so it's going to look different.  Your training ground could be at home, at college, in Africa or in north Omaha, that's not the point.  The point is to seek the Lord and serve Him with every fiber of your being, no matter the situation.  David fought a lion and bear in preparation for a giant Philistine.  John the Baptist roamed in the desert before he prepared the way for the Messiah.  Moses spent time away from Egypt before God used him to free His people from bondage.  Seasons of preparation are viatally important.  Let us not underestimate the lessons we'll learn, people we'll meet, experiences we'll experience, personalities we'll interact with...

EVERY experience God gives us,
EVERY person He puts in our lives,
is the PERFECT preparation for the future that only He can see.
- Corrie tenBoom

- these are a bit of thoughts in regards to a previous post.  expect more to come.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Starbucks, snow and shopping....

it's my Friday favorite.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

way back when...

cellphones didn't exist
life was so simple
stubbed toes were my biggest problem
i had no schedule

little did I know that...

iPhones are awesome
life only gets better
God is bigger than biggest problems
i still don't have much schedule


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

From My Shelf

Love my books. Each and every one of them.

My little 2-shelf bookcase was outgrown years ago... and my dream had always been for built-in bookcases to surround the double bed in our room.

Dreams do come true - I arrived home from vacation several years ago to find beautiful shelves built around my bed.  Compliments of my incredible father.

My sister-in-law Abby and I spent the evening organizing and arranging all the books and little odds and ends.  Esther had gotten me a dozen black frames of varying sizes.  Full of family and wonderful memories they line the top of the shelves.

Arranging the books by color was a brilliant idea by Abby!  Love the way it brings the eye to each shelf and showcases the lovely colors.




Left Side

Please excuse the low lighting. It was all I could do to coax my photo apps to rescue my late-at-night-attempt-at pictures. Perhaps I'll have Bethany snap a few pics when they come home for Christmas. Maybe the bill have my room clean. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


{my designated night to make dinner}

the morning when I barely have enough time to whip up some meatloaf and stuff it in the fridge...

the afternoon when I call my mom and ask her to put said dinner in the oven, because I won't be home in time...

the evening when I come home from a big day at work and realize no one will be here to eat yummy dinner with me...

And this all happens on the "What's Cookin' for Supper" post for the twenty1 project.

Go figure.  

So yah... sorry. but no pictures, no glamourus descriptions of yummy cheese-filled meatloaf.  Just a picture of the recipe. 

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2013


Teacher, cook, maid, referee, taxi driver, housekeeper, counselor, songwriter, disciplinarian, nurse, confidant, cheerleader, physical therepist, coach, grandma, teammate... and my Mother.

A simple title with a magnitude of responsibilty and influence, being a mother is something I highly respect and don't understand.

Constantly dying to self.  Perpetually caring for those who rarely realize, let alone appreciate, what you do.  Conforming your body, schedule, needs, wants and desires to little individuals who will bring hurt, pain and confusion to your life. {and of course joy}

My mother has been my constant fan, always encouraging me to seek the Lord and pursue His purposes.  I know when I have an idea or scatterbrain plan she isn't going to laugh.  She will hear me out, listen, give cousel and keep loving.  When I fail and fall on my face, she is there with a hug, kind word, or a listening ear.  When I succeed she is there in the front row beaming, praising the Lord and inspiring me.

In a child's life, from my personal experience, a Mother has the power to;

inspire greatness or diminish potential
speak life or bring defeat
promote uniqueness or foster insecurity 
awaken confidence or generate timidity
cherish vulnerability or close a heart
transform weakness or supress strength

Ever since I was little my mother took her relationship with God seriously.  Prayer and Bible reading were the beginning of every day.  She lives out God's word.  There is no one who has influenced my life in a more positive way than she.

Mother or sister, daughter or friend - never underestimate the power of influence.

I don't even pretend to understand the sacrifice, 
but from the bottom of my heart; 
Thank You.
Your little girl. 

"A wife of noble character who can find? 
She is worth far more than rubies. 
Her children arise and call her blessed...
a woman who fears the Lord is to be praise." 
Proverbs 31:1, 28, 30b"


I'm working on a pretty lengthy writing project and I thought this excerpt is appropriate to share.

"I was little. My imagination was in full swing. Brilliant plans were being made inside my 10 year-old mind. The sky was the limit for my blazing dreamst. I was going to be a famous writer! And my brililant career was going to begin with my first book: Emily and Her Animals.

Yep. True story. Descriptions were my specialty and several chapters in my developing series were devoted to Emily's farmhouse interior. I even had my friend draw pictures to illustrate my eloquent attention to detail. It sounds so silly, so girlish and immature. But when I showed them to my mother, she didn’t frown. She read them, commented on them and took me seriously. Inwardly she may have been laughing, but those thoughts of amusement were kept from my notice. I only saw the joy and pleasure.

“Anna, these are so fun. God has given you a gift for writing.” She smiled affirmatively.

I glowed. My confidence was boosted and my dreams soared. 

Soon, school, friends and different pursuits halted my early publish of the Emily Series, but those uplifting words from my mother were not so easily forgotten. I would think about them with every English paper I wrote, and they would play back as I scribbled out book reports for school.  Emily was disregarded, but dreams of writing were kept safe.

My mother has lived a valuable example to me in regards to inspiring others. When little ones, or not so little people, come with their dreams and excitement it is so easy to laugh, bash or undermine their goals. The prospect of a 10 year-old author isn’t reality, but a naive heart is wide open to both words of life, and words destruction.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth at all, but only what is helpful for building others up, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians

Friday, November 15, 2013


"Make every day a scavenger hunt for God's glory."
- Ann Voskamp

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Schedule, routine, huh?

"You lead me / by the water still / you lay me down to rest / upon your faithfulness..."

These words and the gentle strum of a guitar are the words and melody that wake me every morning. Typically my reaction is one of joy and peace  one of scrambling to turn off my alarm before it wakes my sister...

Hello beautiful day!

Each morning I get up and do the usual things - choose an outfit, slap on some makeup, grab a glass of water... AND eat breakfast {my favoritest thing in the morning}.  When our family is "on-schedule" we meet before my father leaves for work and have family devotions together.  I make breaskfast for the family {have I mentioned how much I love this meal?} and then proceed to my personal quiet time. 

From then on out...

Good luck trying to keep track of my life. I don't. Siri does. And even then we have some issues.  It's been more lately that I've had a consistant schedule, but pretty much every day is different.  I live by the "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of living that drives some insane, and rightfully so. Pros and cons to both modes of life.

And here is where I change the subject.  Who really cares about my morning routine?  It really isn't a routine, unless routine is spontaneous, continually different and... but enough about that.  I wanna ask some questions and I wanna get some answers.

If you're a single girl reading this blog, listen up, this one's for you. 

Living with your family, living by yourself, we all face the question "what to do?" How do I know if I'm doing the right thing?  Should I work at Target or teach piano lessons, live at home or move out?  Bake bread or go to college, sew or write, work part time or full time?  Wait around for a guy or 'get out into the flow...'?

Questions, questions, questions pepper my brain and I start to get fearful.  I know God has a plan for my life. I want to accomplish, through Him, His purposes for my life, but how in the world do I figure it out?

This is an issue I've been thinking about a lot the past several months/year.  I have quite a few thoughts I'd love to share with you, but first I want to hear what you think. 

Step out into the open and comment.  Reveal yourself, or remain anonymous it's up to you.  But share how you have dealt or are dealing with these questions, and any thoughts you might have... 


Share what you're doing right now... 

Either/or but not neither. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

two words

"Love Does."  - Bob Goff

{also author of one of my favorite books. 
read my review here}

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

little boy birthdays

{birthday boy cars}

I've less than a month to go before I wrap up these darling cars and gift them to my little Edmund. Ever since I started writing about toys at Fat Brain Toys I've been intrigued by the Automoblox set. Now they are in my house, anixiously waiting a little boys love and attention.

Looking for fabulous gifts for the Christmas season, or any season for that matter? Head on over to Fat Brain Toys... or call in and talk to us, you might just hear my voice on the other end of the phone. Yes, I'm promoting the company I work for, but I seriously love their toys. From cradle to coffin (yah, kinda morbid), Fat Brain has a toy to suit your needs. Educational, fun and utterly amazing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

a note from Kosovo

"We were not created to be big,
we were created to respond to big."

{hand-written missionary notes}

My heart has been refreshed and challenged as a missionary from Kosovo shared his heart, and the heart of Jesus with our church this weekend/week.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Recent Reading

Books - just the sound of that word makes me happy.
{Be sure you take note of your input at the end of this post!}

Rewind a couple years and you wouln't have found me without a book under my arm or in my purse, or on my lap. Unfortunantly my schedule doesn't leave room for a ton of book reading time... but I sneak it in when I can.

My books don't get finished as fast as they used to either, but there isn't much I love more than curling up with a good book {Bethany is always giving me fabulous title to read. so raid her shelf for some good titles}. So if you were to pop into my world and find me under my soft blanket with a cup of hot cocoa here are the titles you'd see in my hand...

Will Our Generation Speak {on chapter 13!}
by Grace Mally

Challenging. Insightful. Truthful.

You'll get my full review {check out my Write-up Wednesday series} when I complete the book. But don't wait for me. Read it yourself.

I have enjoyed every.single.chapter.

Not only does it rouse my heart and give a vision for sharing the gospel, but it also gives practical tips to begin conversations, combat fear and be diligent, confident witnesses for Jesus Christ.

The Shining Company
by Rosemary Sutcliff
{on chapter 12}

Author of The Outcast and The Eagle of the Ninth, both of I which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

More of a stimulating "fluff" read, this book is set back in the days where men wore armor and carried swords while traveling to and fro throughout the kingdom perfoming valient deeds. Women were beautiful with long hair, oftentime braided, and were either expert swordsmen themselves, or the lovely princess-like character that spurred their knights on to greatness.

However, Ms. Sutcliff doesn't stick to the normal trends of typical renissance style books, but branches out with tales that keep you reading.  Prosper and his faithful companion Conn set off the join the king in conquest to defeat the everapproaching enemy. Old-english style writing, unique plots and heartwarming devotion prevail. {read more in my Write-up when I complete this book}

My Current To Read List - What's on yours?

  • Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson {author of In A Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day}
  • Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret
  • The Help {jury is still out on this one, but I've heard good things...}
  • Clemintine {Emily: "I laughed the whole way through" - youth read. 
  • Born to Run {my brothers talk about the stories and advice in this one}

Now it's your turn... 
Grab the closet book, your recent read, any book you'd like AND;
turn to page 32, paragraph 3. Copy the second sentence in the comments.

Leave a little love and we'll see what kind of information/instruction/humor/plain-random-and-pointless is found.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

German Pancake

Can it be breakfast already?

Seriously, this is my favorite breakfast of all time. I looked skeptically at it the first time I tried it... but never again. Simple and delicious, smoothered with homemade caramel sauce and yogurt.

I fell in love with breakfast when I started eating Ruth's breakfast feasts. I remember spending a week with her family and politely declining the ample portions of yogurt and baked oatmeal that everyone seemed to be lusciously enjoying (mistake #1). I thought I could survive without breakfast for a week (mistake #2). After the 2nd day of cold cereal the smells overtook my mind and in order not appear a "picky eater" I took the plunge - homemade yogurt on the pancakes.

Done. Yogurt was my best friend, my delicious compaion. I realized then that breakfast did indeed deserve the #1 meal slot of the day.
Then Ruth made German Pancake - where had I been living all my life?

If taste buds could flutter, mine did.

The ingrediants are starkly simple;

The results are astoundingly delicious.

German Pancake
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
dash of salt
sprinkle of vanilla - optional

Preheat oven to 400˚.
Place 1/4-1/2 stick butter in 9x13 pan and place in preheating oven.
In Vitamix (or other blender) blend milk, eggs and flour well - 30 seconds or so.

Slide the melted butter around in the pan so it covers the bottom of the pan.
Once preheated pour the blended mixture into the hot pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden
note: the sides of the batter slide up the walls of the pan creating a one-of-a-kind effect

Top with yogurt, caramel sauce, syrup, powdered sugar or anthing your taste buds crave
{my personal favorite: homemade caramel sauce and homemade plain yogurt}

Grab your fork and enjoy! Breakfast is about to become your favorite meal of the day.

Photo credits: Bethany Beasley head on over to her blog to check out Esther's Sunshine Rolls

Yah, I cheated and didn't really make this recipe today, but Bethany did. She snapped these beautiful photos for me. But I promise you, I've made this breakfast waaayyy more times than I can count.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I may be 22, I may try to act all mature, but there are times when squealing with child-like excitement seems the only appropriate action.

Three things;

receiving packages and letters... expected or not
putting the last touches on a planned surprise, waiting with anticipation

::completing creative projects::
making applesauce for the first time
sewing the last button/stich/hem, reviewing my design and creation while sewing
spreading the icing on a cheesecake that looks heavenly
watching a cast perform in custom-sewn costumes
finishing a paper/writing project and rereading

last-minute camping trips with the siblings
packing for a week-long road trip
the anticipation of new and exciting opportunities

{and because I like pictures, here are a couple recent 'squeal-like-a-small-child' moments}

Tuesday, November 5, 2013



 Last minute decision to drive 80 miles for a Thirty-One party.

#31forthewin #totespleasecomequick #iheartmonograms

Monday, November 4, 2013

Daily Bread

"Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8
Meditate: to internalize. More than just "to know".

This was a simple statement shared during a week-night Bible study by a dear elderly Pastor/friend. 

I was convicted. Is memorization and internalization of the Word a daily/weekly part of my life? I have to confess, this area in my life needs work. 

How do we implament this clear command in scripture? Here are a couple suggestions that I'm giving a whirl myself.
*calling on you for your help. thoughts, suggestions, hints*


In the words of my father "you just have to start."

^^this is my favorite way to memorize.
Cute, pink, with an Apple sticker on the front and a picture of my sis and inside.

::Make it convenient:: 
Write it on note cards, tape it to the shower wall (this does work), write it out in a journal, carry a Bible with you wherever you go, get a cute pink binder (I love mine!), whatever floats your boat and gets stuck in your mind.

This one is big for me. Alone I get sidetracked and distracted. Recently my Bible study group and I have begun 1 John 3. When younger girls start showing me up in small group... this is works for me.

Don't look back and mourn over lack of diligence. Don't look forward and be overwhelmed or set unrealistic goals. 


"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 1 Timothy 3:16-17

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Starting Off {twenty1 - Day 1}

Happy November, everyone!

Autum is perfect for wearing slippers, drinking warm cups of coffee/tea/cocoa and laughing, talking and being together around a roaring bonfire.

It is when death becomes beautiful - leaves falling from trees.

It is when the gift is family is treasured, around loaded tables of delicious food. 

November is when I start freaking out that December is blowing in so quickly (quite literally, actually).

AND November is when Bethany and I have decided to embark on a challenge entitled - twenty1

Yep. Calling it twenty1. Why? Just cuz. Well, our real reason is because in the next 30 days we will have blogged twenty1 times. I'm sure you just clapped twenty1 times and will check our blogs twenty1 times/day to see twenty1 random bits of tidbits we can't wait to share with you. Get ready, set... wait. the next one doesn't come till Monday.

Inspiring, challenging, spritual, silly, random, future, past and present thoughts, ideas and goals will be disclosed to you, my dear and faithful readers.

Comments? YES. You may even be called upon to leave a bit of love in specific ways, so creep out of your blog-stalking caves and join in the fun, eh?

Today's twenty1 post; 

Friday Favorite

yah, I know this is Sunday, so a bit behind... But let's just rewind and live it over again. It was a great weekend.}

Cherish everyday spent with little nieces.
Never too little to learn.