Friday, June 29, 2012

{ Faith } filled Friday

Okay, y'all. This is awesome. I L-O-V-E how God works. It brings chills down my spine just thinking about it.

I was in some sort of funk this afternoon. No lie.

I couldn't even tell you how it started or what brought it on. One minute I was fine and the next I was in a- full. blown. meltdown. Complete with Disney Princess style tears running down my face. Out of nowhere. I mean, it's not like I could really blame it on hormones or PMS, because that all happened last week.

{I know.... TMI. But we get real here on the blog. And last week's PMS was sans meltdown. Weird, huh. Last week.. PMS... no meltdown. This week... no PMS... with a bonifide meltdown. It's just weird, that's all I'm saying.} 

Okay... back to my story. Sorry y'all. I'm scatter-brained today.

So, I'm sitting on our couch, crying. For no good reason. And crying out to the Lord at the same time, to bring some sort of clarity to my mind. We've had a lot to deal with this week, so perhaps the meltdown was an accumulation of all of the stress? As I'm reading my Bible and seeking time to literally do nothing but sit in God's presence, the Holy Spirit leads me to Psalm 145. At first I didn't think anything of it. Only until I began reading and re-reading this passage of scripture did I realize that this is the same passage that I was lead to put down for week 1 of the sexy back challenge ...that starts next week.

Amazing, huh?

But get this. Until today, I had every verse in Psalm 145 underlined... except for verse 7 and verses 14-17. And you guessed it, those were the exact verses that He used to speak to me today. Why I had never given much thought to those particular verses before, I do not know. But I can tell you that they spoke powerfully to me today. Especially verse 7, which says:

They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

So that is what I plan to do every Friday. I will eagerly share with you how God has displayed His abundant goodness to me throughout the week.

I'd really like to link up with other blogs so that we can all share how good God is, and declare that to the blogging community. What do y'all think? I'd like to come up with some sort of cute blog button to display for the link up as well.... but y'all, I am technologically challenged. Ask my hubby. He'll tell ya. So, if any of you sweet, sweet, blog friends know how to do this and could help me out, I will be your forever friend! I know that there are link up services out there... again, I just don't know which to use, or how to use it for that matter. 

What do y'all think? IS this something that you would even consider writing about on your blogs? Please, share your thoughts with me!

**** Edit****

After publishing this, I found out that there is already a Faith Filled Friday blog link-up over at Beholding Glory. I'm currently deciding if I will just link up with Laura each week or if I will simply come up with another name. I'll keep you posted :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

For the Greater Good

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28.  Possibly one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible {along with Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 4:13}. We love to slap it on anything from coffee mugs, t-shirts, and Get Well cards... to water bottles, home decor items and bumper stickers. It is a verse that is used often by well- meaning believers to comfort those currently walking through great difficulty. I myself am guilty of misusing and misunderstanding the meaning of this complex statement made by the Apostle Paul.

 "... God causes all things to work together for good..." 
{emphasis mine}

I must confess to you... when I have read, quoted, or even prayed this verse over others, the good that I was often referring to in my mind, was my own plan. The outcome desired. What thought to be the best course of action. How thought God should intervene on someone's behalf. How I envisioned God to move, etc. Because after all, the good that I have envisioned is what is best for me and those I love, right? Right??


This is not the good that Paul was speaking of, for he was referring to something far greater.

If you continue reading, Paul reveals to us in verse 29 that "those who love God and are called according to His purpose" (v. 28) are also called "to become conformed to the image of His Son..." 

So, if the "good" that Paul is referring to in verse 28 equates to being "conformed to the image of Christ," we can conclude that God will cause {or allow} events/people/illness/circumstances/ {fill in the blank here} to come into our life in order to make us more like JesusAnd for Paul, being molded and shaped into the image of Christ was the greatest good that could ever happen to us, regardless of which form it takes. But take heart, and rejoice my dear friend! For the Lord desires to use the circumstances in your life to draw you ever so closely to Him! Especially the hard ones. Especially the difficult ones. Especially the painful ones.

I'm speaking from my own experience when I say this; "it is most often in the midst of the storms of life that we cling to the One who created it." I'd like to believe that when all is well in my life, that I would cling to Jesus the way that I do when all is not well.... or at least from my perspective, things are not well. However, I have proven time and time again that that is just not the case. When life is going as expected... I depend on my own strength more, and Jesus less. I look to fulfill my desires, not the Lord's. I give myself a pat on the back when I encounter victories, instead of giving the Lord the credit He is due. When all is well in my life, I have a tendency to act as though I have no need for God. 

But when life is hard... I hold on to Jesus as though my life greatly depended on it. 

And I believe that this is what the Lord desires of me. Only this is what the Lord desires of me all the time- not just when my circumstances are challenging or painful.  I'm learning to embrace and even treasure life's challenges, because those are the seasons when my relationship with Jesus is the sweetest. The most tender. They are also the seasons when I bloom and am transformed. It is my heart's cry that I can one day echo Paul's words when he said, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances..." {Philippians 4:11, NASB} So, whether I am currently walking through a season of abundance or a season of need. Whether I am suffering from an autoimmune disorder or my health has been completely restored. Whether that promotion takes place or not. Whether my hair continues to thin and fall out or it is restored to its former luster. Whether our adoption journey takes place now, or years from now. To God be the glory! Because whatever the circumstances... it is my hope that God will mold me and shape me into the image of His Son in the process. For that is the greatest good.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bringing Sexy Back

If you are not currently following Carlos Whittaker  on Twitter, or his blog , then I suggest you go do so, right now. And when I say right now, I mean... Right. Now. Got it? I promise. I will still be here when you get back.

Why haven't you left my page yet?!

Hurry!! You won't regret it!

Okay... glad you're back! So if you did what I asked and checked out Carlos' blog , you will already have an idea of what I'm talking about when I say that I am joining Carlos in the Sexy Back Challenge '12. For the next 12 weeks, I am committed to transforming myself in the following three ways: physically, mentally, and most importantly-spiritually. 

Here are my goals for the Sexy Back Challenge '12:

Physically- Complete a full round of P90X.

I've tried to do this several times already and failed, but I am committed to finally becoming a P90X grad. I have been horrible about starting this program and quitting after 4 or 5 weeks. So I am hoping that y'all will keep me accountable! Okie dokie?! This will also help me in my training for the half marathon, as well as improve my fibromyalgia. 

Mentally- Read at least one new book each month. 

So that would be a total of 3 during the course of this challenge. Anyone have any suggestions? What have you been reading this summer?

Spiritually- Memorize a passage of Scripture each week.

Week 1:  Psalm 145
Week 2:  Psalm 63
Week 3:  Joshua 22:5
Week 4:  Hebrews 12: 1-10
Week 5:  Colossians 3:12-17
Week 6:  Ephesians 3:14-21
Week 7:  Acts 3:10-12
Week 8:  Isaiah 42: 1-13
Week 9:  Psalm 139
Week 10: Psalm 127
Week 11: Job 42:1-6
Week 12: Deuteronomy 26:16-19

Each week I'll be checking in with all of you to report my progress. The first check in is this Saturday, June 30th. If you are on Twitter, you can follow along with those joining us, by using the hashtag #SexyBack12.

Are YOU gonna bring your sexy back? If so, leave a comment with a link to your blog so that we can keep each other accountable!

Because godliness is sexy.

Will You Join Me?

I got on the computer this morning with the full intention of finishing a blog post that I had started earlier in the week. {I'm teaching Vacation Bible School this week, so finding spare time to write has proven more difficult than I had planned} Instead, I feel lead to ask y'all to join me in praying for my husband, Greg.

Unfortunately, I am unable to give any specifics as to the nature of the request. But to put your minds at ease,  know that all is well with our family and our marriage. However, the next two days will be incredibly difficult for Greg nonetheless, and I feel a tremendous burden to pray for the following things:

  • Godly wisdom
  • Endurance
  • Peace
  • Discernment
  • Biblical leadership
  • A shepherd's heart
  • A gentle spirit 
  • Rest
I wish that I could share more details with all of you, but I just can't. I hope that you will understand. For one thing, it would be gossip. And it would not help Greg at all if others knew exactly what was happening. Trust that the LORD is El Roi, The One Who Sees. He is aware of what is taking place. It has not escaped His notice. And He is Sovereign, still. 

Will you join me?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

DIY: Floral Arrangement Made From a Kleenex Box

I don't know about y'all, but we're on a tight budget. We have to account for every penny spent. We rarely eat out, entertainment is a treat, and I cannot recall the last time that I have spent money home decor. It's been years... I can tell you that much.

{little known insight on the Card family: 90% of the things we have in our house were either gifted to us or it is a hand-me- down that I have re-purposed.}


I get in these kicks every now and then when I want to redecorate the house. I guess it comes from my time spent working for Pier 1 ages ago- who knows? Usually I settle for moving various objects around. A picture frame here. A vase there. Rearrange furniture.You know, stuff like that. I think I trick my mind into thinking that I have new stuff. lol.

Greg was closing at the store tonight so I decided to look around Pinterest for some design/ DIY inspiration. The boys were napping, therefore I had a couple of hours of peace and quiet where I could be creative. I didn't really see anything on Pinterest that I could make that didn't involve having to go to the store to purchase a few items- which was disheartening, because I saw several cute projects that I could work on. I knew that I had a book of scrapbook paper, along with a little bit of homemade mod podge, and some paint.

 Hmmm.... I was going to have to be extra creative today.

I found an empty Kleenex box that I had yet to throw away {I've been battling a sinus infection and a fibromyalgia flare up for the past few weeks. I usually don't hang on to stuff like this, but today I sure am glad that I did!} as well as some flowers that I had bought years ago at Michael's on clearance. The thought hit me: why not turn this empty Kleenex box into a new floral arrangement for the living room?! So that's exactly what I did! And the price was even better at $0!


  • Empty Kleenex box
  • 1 sheet of scrapbook paper of your choosing
  • Mod Podge or make your own
  • 1 sponge paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Flowers


1.  Measure out the dimensions of your empty Kleenex box. 

Place the scrapbook paper over one of the square sections of the Kleenex box at a time, running your finger along the edges of the box, thus creating a crease in the paper. Once the outline of the box has been formed in the paper, cut out the square. Repeat this step for all four sides of the Kleenex box. 

{I did not cover the top or the bottom of the box because I knew it would not be seen.}

2. Take your mod podge and coat one side of the Kleenex box using your sponge paintbrush. Then place the square of scrapbook paper on top of the wet mod podge.  Repeat this step until each side is covered.

3. Once all sides of the Kleenex box are covered with the scrapbook paper, brush on a coat of mod podge to seal the paper to the box and to provide a nice finish. {If you are using the homemade version that I linked above, it will be a matte finish}

4. Let it dry completely

5. Place your flowers in the top of the box and...

Ta Da! You now have a new floral arrangement. You could even use this as a inexpensive centerpiece for a party or gathering. This project only took a few minutes to create and even if you did not have all of the supplies handy, it will cost you less than $10 to make {assuming that you make your own mod podge}.

So... what do you think?! 

Alive and Well

I know... it's been a while.

I am officially the worst. blogger. ever.

Our family is alive and well.


Much has happened since my last blog post. Here is a quick recap:

Greg and I went on vacation to the Dominican Republic with his parents... Hayden graduated from preschool... summer began... still training for our half marathon {well, I am at least}... I have been crafting and re-purposing items around the house like crazy... I became a Child Ambassador for World Vision... Greg traveled to New Orleans to work the Southern Baptist Convention with LifeWay; meanwhile I traveled with the boys to McKinney to escape utter boredom in Texarkana for the week... Hayden and Rylan are both making progress with swim lessons.... and VBS starts tomorrow.

Whew-I'm almost certain that I left out something in that list. And as July and August approach, we will be making a few additional trips to McKinney for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and wedding celebrations! Needless to say, life has been busy for us.

And despite the chaos, God has continued to reveal Himself in beautiful ways to me all summer. I promise to unpack some of them {or at least attempt to} over the coming weeks. I'm tempted to unload them all in a single blog post because I am always so excited to share with you what the Lord is teaching me, however, I want to do these justice.

Until then, I hope that you will enjoy a few of the images that I have managed to capture so far this summer.

{Our room and the view at the Majestic Elegance Resort, Punta Cana}

{The beach was heavenly}

{All of these images are my own. Please don't steal them!}

{Hayden's last day of preschool }

{Fun in the sun}

How has your summer been?! Have you done anything exciting lately?!