"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." -Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Colors

Because I haven't blogged enough this week (HA--catch the sarcasm) and because it looks like THIS outside my back door:

And like this looking to the right out my front door:
And looking up outside my front door:

For the reasons mentioned above, I decided it was time to buy a fall wreath make a fall wreath. Let me clarify. Buying a wreath equates to approximately $50-$100. If you read my post from earlier this week (and you should--here), you know we're on a strict budget. And since it's the 28th of the month, I don't have money left in my budget to BUY a fall wreath.  So what do you do when you can't buy one?  MAKE ONE!  So I started searching the Do It Yourself Blog world and found the CUTEST one at Thrify Decor Chick. Oh my goodness!  So. Cute.  I will say, it took me forever to make because I'd do one step and then stop. So this was four weeks in the making! Haha.  But it should have taken me like an hour start to finish.  

I first searched through Lowe's to find something square that I could use as a base. She used a foam block, but I wanted something more sturdy.  So I found a remnant of a ceiling tile that was kind of damaged. But that didn't matter to me. I cut it to a square. See below.

And I'm really bad at taking in between step photos.  Oh well.  I found the same leaves at Dollar Store that she used.  They were wired, so I could bend them to whatever I wanted to.  I did two things different then the blog I followed.  I dusted the leaves with a light spray of gold spray paint.  Just enough to make them kind of sparkle, and I added a bow to the top left corner (that doesn't show up as good in this picture--oh well.)

  Up close of my "dusted" in gold leaves.  See how they are shimmery?

The whole door. Love how the bow is very subtle.

But, just in case you thought it was too subtle, I took an up close picture.

I love it!  Just had to share.  Now if you come visit, you can see our cute fall wreath!  And maybe even the beautiful leaves in the tree outside of our front porch. God paints them beautiful this time of year!  So glad the weather today matched their colors!  Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention:

Ceiling Tile.....................................$2
3 Packs of Leaves @ $1 each..........$3
Role of Ribbon...............................$3
Spray Paint....................................$2 (and some left over)

Total Steal!  Just a little elbow grease!

And just because it's been awhile since I posted a picture of us....here's a silly one from Tanner's wedding weekend (which I really should post about soon...since it was almost a month ago!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

21--In Honor of MSU Being Ranked

In honor of MSU being ranked #21 in the nation in the BCS polls, I thought I'd share with you 21 things that I've learned since marriage.  This definitely isn't all of them, but they are the ones I could presently think of.

  Twenty-One Things I've Learned Since June 19th
(in complete random order) 

1.  My milk bill has tripled. No really, it has.  Every time I go to Kroger, I know the person behind me thinks I must have five children by the amount of milk I'm buying. 2 gallons all in half gallon size because they are cheaper. "No ma'am, I don't have any kids.  Just a husband with a drinking problem -- a milk drinking problem that is.  What's that?  Yes, he actually drinks 2 gallons per week.  Sometimes more.  No, I buy separate milk since we don't agree on the fat percentages."  Seriously. Currently, there are 6 half gallons of milk in our fridge! 

2.  Boys eat about 6 meals a day which leads to an expensive grocery bill and necessitates coupon clipping.  I never really considered coupons to be fun until I began learning HOW to use them.  Now it's a game to see how much I can save.  My best...$200 worth of groceries for $130. Thank you for those $70 extra dollars Kroger!  Thank you Jenny Loving for teaching me the art of coupon clipping and using them! Too bad there are no milk coupons to clip.  There are soy milk coupons....no way on earth David is going for that! 

3.  Number 2 leads to me eating 6 meals a day unintentionally.  Yes I know it's 10pm. No, I have no idea why I'm munching on what he's munching on. 

4.  Sleeping in the same bed with a boy is different then sleeping in a bed alone. 
Probably mostly because we are currently sleeping in a full size bed.  And if you have met my husband, you know he is 6 '5".  Needless to say, this is temporary.  However, I like it because it forces him to cuddle with me whether he likes it or not!  Big jump, however, from sleeping in a queen size bed alone to two people in a full size bed. 

5.  Boys who are 6'5" untuck the sheet at the end of the bed every night making bed-making twice as hard and twice as long. 
Fortunately, David has learned how to make beds and tuck sheets!  Makes the amount of time it takes drastically less!  But really, he untucks it every night.  Like comes to bed and pulls it out.  I'm hoping there isn't a draft in the winter months. 

6.  The hardest thing to share in married life is the remote. 
Now, y'all know I love sports as much as most anyone, but my evening entertainment generally includes sitting down with my dinner to whatever is on Food Network.  While my husband doesn't mind watching the occasional episode, it is definitely not his favorite.  I have only successfully roped him in to Chopped on the Food Network.  I'd say our TV knows two channels--231 and 206 which would be Food Network and ESPN respectively.  I might adjust that to include ESPNU and ESPN2, however, I have no idea what channel they are on DirecTV. 

7.  Budgeting can be fun.
You would be amazed how much I enjoy having a set amount of money to spend each month. David set up a budget for us when we merged bank accounts.  It is the most incredible thing ever.  My husband knows how to use an Excell spreadsheet.  For our friends who have seen it, you know what I'm talking about.  As long as I'm under budget, it doesn't matter what I buy.  Works out great when you want that really cute pair of shoes that you don't want to tell hubby about.  You don't have to tell him what you spent $42 on as long as you have $42 in your clothing budget to cover it.  Works out awful when all you have is $14 left for the month and it's the 22nd of the month.   

8. I rarely have leftovers. 
Thoughts on my shopping trip... "Hm, the package says serves 6.  That means I can hope it will serve us each 1 meal + David 2 lunchs."  When we were doing our budget, we were talking with our pastor.  He told us everyone in their family gets a specific dollar amount per person for the month for groceries.  To that, my reply was, "does David count as one or two people?"  Again, my husband is 6'5".  I've had to learn that one serving to me does not equate to one serving for him.  Needless to say, leftovers are minimal. 

9.  I have made Captain Rodney's dip far more times then I wish to count in the past four months. 
Please see here if you don't know what Captain Rodney's is.  If you don't, I suggest you make it.  I found it in Starkville for $9 a bottle at Campus Bookmart. That's the cheapest I've seen it.  Make it.  Eat it with Frito scoops (thanks Alex and Chelsea McIntosh).  You'll be addicted.  Let me know when you make it.  Don't blame me if your husband requests it every time he watches football.  Or when you gain 5 pounds because you eat it all the time. 

10.  Date night used to mean eating at a nice restaurant and watching a movie.  Now it involves eating roast when I've shopped cheap (see #2) and watching TV (see #6). 
And it's still bunches of fun!  I never thought we would quit going on real dates.  I don't think we've been on a "real" date since our honeymoon and that's perfectly fine with me!  As long as we get to hang out together and can make quality time for each other, that's all that matters. 

11.  Cleaning up after myself is imperative if I want the house to look neat.  There is not enough time to clean up after myself and my husband if I don't. 
Ask my roommates from college, I'm not the cleanest housekeeper.  I like the kitchen clean, spotless, and in order, but when it comes to my room or the rest of the house, I make piles.  However, being married has taught me to pick up after myself.  Don't get me wrong, David helps out. BUT, most of the time I just pick up after him.  (though, he does pick up after me too!)  It is nice to have someone else to help keep the house clean! 

12.  As David would say, "Text message inbox deletion used to happen every other day.  Now it happens every two weeks." 
We used to text all of the time.  No really.  We texted ALL of the time.  Now, our texts are short sweet and to the point.  Ready for some examples? a.) "Did you take the garbage out?"  b.) "My cell phone is dying."  c.) "Get some bread from the store."  Needless to say, we used to have to delete texts everyday.  I just looked at my cell phone.  We have 100 texts between the two of us.  They go all the way back to Sunday, October 17. Woah. 

13.  David does not respond well when I am hysterically crying. 
Actually, I think he wants to laugh at me when I do that.  Probably because half the time I'm crying over something that really isn't a big deal.  I could be crying over a spider that is running across the wall.  I could be crying over something so trivial as the fact that it's Monday. Or as big as why God has us here.  Needless to say, it is evidently clear that God made girls emotional and tearful.  Boys are stoic.  They say, "oh hey, it's Monday."  Girls cry about that!  Haha.  I'm so glad God made us different, but sometimes I want David to join my pity party.  BIG difference from living with girls.  You come in crying and a girl wants to hear all the details and what's wrong.  Husbands care about what's upsetting you too, but I think mine could respond easier if I wasn't a blubbering fool.  Why God made us different, I'm not sure, but I bet he gets a great big belly laugh watching us try to communicate through our emotional differences!  Ha! 

14.  Weddings are so much more fun to go to when you're married and not engaged. 
When we were engaged, we would attend weddings with a little bit of dread.  Not of going to celebrate with our friends--we were excited for that. It became a joke between us as to what people would ask.  David would almost always be asked if he was ready.  He always said that one day, he was going to say no and see what the other person said!  In the words of our friend Simon Bailey, "This whole thing was my idea."  I always got the question "are you taking notes?"  Thanks, but as much as I love being at this wedding, I'd really like for my wedding to be original and my own!  Now when we attend weddings, we not only get to visit with our friends, but we get to remember our vows and what we promised to each other.  Weddings are now so much more fun because we're so excited for our friends to enter into what we have.  Don't get me wrong, they were fun before.  But now, we KNOW what the minister is talking about when he tells our friends it won't be a cake walk. I'm pretty sure, standing on that stage, we were blinded by love. Our ears weren't really receiving what the pastor said. HA! Our ears weren't really receiving what ANYONE said that day!  And since we've yet to see a video of our wedding, we live vicariously through the ministers our friends choose for their weddings and what they choose to say! 

15. We were at a wedding and the pastor said that the wife should put out a vase of flowers every time the husband had done something wrong to let him know he needed to apologize.
Insinuating that husbands don't necessarily know when they do something wrong.  When I told David that sounded like a great idea to me (especially since we received a beautiful crystal vase for a wedding present...that currently resides in storage), he responded that he thought the husband should be allowed to do the same.  Except instead of a vase, he'd just set out his golf clubs insinuating I'd done something to make him upset, and I should purchase a round of golf for him!  And yes, Emily and Tanner, that was at your wedding. Just in case you, like us, don't remember anything anyone said on your wedding day! 

16.  As David would say, "I will never understand his desire to play golf, and he will never understand my desire for decorative pillows." 
Fact: I like to decorate. Fact: David likes to play golf.  I will never, ever understand why a boy would want to spend between $30 and $50 to go outside, hit a tiny ball with a big club, yell, get frustrated, and leave mad.  Okay so the aforementioned sentences really describe my brother, dad, and grandfather during some of the times I've seen them play.  David doesn't really let it bother him, but still.  $35-$50 is a lot of money.  Especially when you have to spend lots of money on clubs, gloves, shoes, clothes, etc. to be able to play and do well.  I can think of lots of things that sound more fun.  Namely, shopping.  So even though we are not in our own home yet, and all of our belongings are in storage, I still have been shopping lately for our bedding.  When I told him I had bought 7 pillows for our bed plus the 2 we'll sleep on and that I still needed to get 2 more, he just didn't understand.  For some reason he thinks 11 pillows is too many pillows for our bed!  I keep thinking he'll appreciate it when he sees how cute our bed will be when it's all put together.  I think I'm wishing futilely.  We will always differ on this one and agree to disagree.

17.  I long for the day when David learns to drink coffee with me.
I love coffee.  David does not.  Growing up, my parents had (and still have) a tradition of drinking coffee together in the mornings. They talk about their day, and they used to talk about how bad my brother, Daniel and I were!  David does not drink coffee.  And it makes me sad that we can't enjoy coffee together in the mornings.  I guess we'll have to get him something else to drink.  Ooooh!  I know! How about we try MILK (see #1).  Now, if only I could get up and ready on time in the mornings so that we could share this tradition!  Time together in the mornings has definitely NOT become a tradition for us yet.

18. Ole Miss has a new mascot---the bears! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Yeah, it's something I've learned since June 19th.  Just had to include it because it makes me laugh! Out loud. A lot.  And actually, we were gone for a week to St. Lucia for our honeymoon without cell phones or internet.  When we got back, I checked all things MSU on my tweets with Kyle Veazey.  We missed a ton while we were on our honeymoon.  The two biggest being Phil Turner left the MSU Basketball team AND Ole Miss put out a list of potential mascots. Needless to say, I text all of my UMC friends and told them to vote for the most ridiculous one!  Anyway, can't contain myself over Ole Miss being the bears. Really?

19.  MSU Football is way more fun to watch with a husband! However, I'm pretty sure he'd prefer to watch me yell at Ole Miss football games. 
I'm not sure how we got married without David ever seeing me route against the Rebe...err bears.  Really and truly on any given Saturday, I'd rather see Ole Miss lose then MSU win.  Don't get me wrong. I LOVE MSU winning, but you should hear me cheer AGAINST Ole Miss.  It's rather comical for David I'm sure!  You'll have to ask him about it!

20.  Saving for a special "vacation" trip means combining vacation and a bowl game. 
Vacation has been budgeted for. We just didn't expect it to be spent on a bowl game.  Thank you in advance Bulldogs for becoming bowl eligible early enough in the season that we can actually save our nickels and dimes with an ending in sight! Instead of haphazardly saving, we'll be doing it knowing that our efforts will be rewarded!  Merry Christmas to the Adams family.  BOWL ELIGIBLE!  

21.  After four months of marriage, I'm more in love with my husband than I ever thought possible. 
I cannot imagine what it will be at the end of a lifetime together.  We have had so much fun in four months.  We've trusted God more than we ever have before. We've learned so much about each other.  It's just been a really great 1/3 of our first year of marriage!  If you made it through all 21, thanks!  Aren't you glad MSU wasn't ranked 24 this week--ha!

If you're married, do you have something funny that you've learned in marriage (or serious)?  We'd love the advice (or the laugh)!  I went back and made it to where anyone can comment! Please leave some for us so we'll know who is reading!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friends, Football, Florida, Fun fun fun bowl games

Wow! What an incredible weekend!

David and I kicked off our weekend when our friends Ben and Kate Hutchison came to town.  Kate was my roommate last year and a bridesmaid in my wedding this summer.  We have walked through many things together, and I'm so thankful for our friendship.  And it's really neat to both be married now and share so many new life experiences!  

Kate and Ben were in town from New Orleans for FBC Starkville's college retreat this weekend.  They stayed with us, and after the boys went to bed, we stayed up late catching up.  Nothing is more encouraging to my spirit then friends that God puts in my path to remind me of His faithfulness.  Kate and I can catch up on the phone all day, but there is SOMETHING to be said about looking each other in the eye and pouring out our hearts!  It is evident to me that God crossed our paths so many years ago simply because He knew what we were going to walk through individually, and it is such a blessing to have a friend who understands.  I seriously had no idea what He had in mind for our friendship when I heard that name come up during rush when I was a junior in college. Or when we met for the first time in Montgomery Hall.  We were two screwed up crippled kids. I think Kate would agree with me when I say Satan had us both captive in different and similar areas.  Not that Satan doesn't still attack us today. I'd just say we're better equipped in our fight against him.  We still mess up, but thank goodness for the grace of God!

God truly had a sense of humor when He chose us to be friends.  We seriously couldn't be more different.  Seriously.  When we lived together, Kate was the clean  one. I was messy.  Kate woke up early in the mornings. I rarely woke up early unless there was something I had to be at. Kate left most of the wedding planning to others.  I wanted to be smack dab in the middle of wedding planning!  I would be gluing labels on water bottles or tying ribbons on cowbells and crafting it perfectly (aren't y'all sad I didn't have a blog then--or else you would have had to listen to those random ramblings!), and Kate would be laughing.  Not just laughing, laughing hysterically. I am a perfectionist, and Kate doesn't care.  I don't mean that in a bad way!!!  I mean that I probably definitely go over board on somethings, and she finds me humorous.  BUT, God saw fit to join our hearts forever.  We continue to walk through some of the same roads, and I'm so thankful for my married friend!

*I have many more great friends!  This blog post just happens to be about Kate because she came to see us.  Come see us, and this could be you! :) *

We all woke up early for breakfast. It's fun sitting around a table just two couples eating breakfast and catching up.  I'm pretty sure that was the first time we all ate breakfast together and for sure the first time we ALL slept in the same house together.  After Kate and Ben left Saturday morning, David and I had a very relaxing day.  We watched a little football during the day and just enjoyed having nothing to do.  Until that evening when I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  I am positive that when I have a heart attack at forty, it will not be from all of the bad food I ate. It will most certainly be attributed to the fact I was an MSU fan all of my life.  "Sorry doc, I know you know how my Bulldogs are!"  Not to relive that wonderfully awful game, but let me just say, when it was 10-7, I started reading a 125 years of Mississippi State book that was on the coffee table.  I thought David Adams was going to KILL me if I pointed out one more random fact or asked him if he'd ever seen a picture of the library in 1974.  Let me explain my MSU philosophy:

In all MSU sports, it should be assumed that at the end of regulation, a loss shall be recorded.  I know I may get some comments on this one, but go with me here for a second.  It is far easier on your body, mind, and soul if you just assume that the Bulldogs will lose all of their games.  (Note...this is Sara's opinion--not David's so don't fault him for it because I know some don't agree--him being one of them).  That way, when we do win, you are pleasantly surprised.  And you can throw a celebration like none other.  I have found that if you follow this philosophy, you can:

1. Tailgate before the game and not be concerned with the game.  Instead, use it as social hour to see all of your friends.  Make sure you put aside all desire to discuss the upcoming game.  You really will have a better pre-game experience.

2. Yell like H - E - L - L just like the fight song says during the game.  Ring your cowbell at the correct time (don't even get me started on people that refuse to respect the bell--on second thought, I may blame my heart attack on that topic one day).  And cheer for the boys even when interceptions are thrown, TDs are made, and pick sixes happen for the other team. All the while following the philosophy that we will lose.

3. Post game experience will be rather enjoyable due to the fact that if we lose there is no let down. You were already expecting the loss.  You can move on and finish that last cookie left at the tailgate, hug friends until next time, and go about your week. If we win, a celebration like nothing ever seen can happen.  Because you weren't expecting it. 

In the past 24 years of my life, this has worked for me.  I did not choose my university based on their football, basketball, or baseball team. (yes, I follow this philosophy in all MSU sports---I was SO overwhelmed when the baseball team got to go to the College World Series in 2007).  Basically, I just assume the worst.  Way more fun that way!

So...why am I going to have a heart attack at forty and blame it on MSU sports?  Well, that Florida game would be a good example.  I finally put the book down on Florida's last drive.  I thought I was going to throw up.  MSU doesn't usually start a game on top and stay on top unless we're playing a no name team.  And TRUST ME, I've been around to see MSU blow a few (or more) games to no name teams!  The fact that we were 10-0 headed into the locker room at the half against a ranked team got my hopes up.  I tried to suppress my hopes by reading a book about the university I love and call home.  It didn't work.  I was going to be heart sick if we lost this game.  Yelling at the TV every time Florida completed a pass to stop the clock or ran out of bounds to stop the clock spooked the puppy were we were housesitting.  I just wanted to win! And thank goodness that kicker missed the field goal!  After watching Kentucky pick off South Carolina in the end zone to lose earlier that day, we all knew nothing was impossible.  But seriously, what were the odds of us winning at Florida?  In the swamp?!  Excitement ensued!  (thank you MSU philosophy--even if you did fail me in the 4th quarter).

For those of you who don't know, I married a man who loves, loves, loves sports.  And that's fine with me.  I've been raised in a family who loves all things sports...especially MSU all my life.  However, I like sleep almost as much.  8 hours a night is a prerequisite to a good day.  For that reason, when I looked at him right after the game and said "let's go meet the team when they come home," he said, "seriously?"  Now, I love MSU, but I also love my sleep.  The thought of staying up till 1am he knew was something that I wasn't likely to do.  However, him being the sports fan he is, didn't question me again after I told him I was sure.  After thirty minutes of being awake, I gave in to sleep.  I told him to wake me up at 12:30am and we'd go.  So you can imagine what I said at 12:20 when he woke me up.  That smart hubby...he knew I wouldn't get up so he started ten minutes early.  We finally left the house at 12:40am. And I'm SO glad we went!

I took some pictures, but they didn't turn out very well.  Plus the one of David and I looks like I just rolled out of bed...probably because I did.  But it's an experience I'll never forget.  First, Dan Mullen arrived and was surrounded by a sea of fans ringing cowbells, throwing high fives, and handshakes.  Then a sea of students, alumni, and I even saw a few children/parents, walked to meet the buses.  As the players got off the buses, they walked through the sea of fans.  Throwing high fives to the team, ringing cowbells, chanting "We just beat the hell out of you. maroon, white, fight fight fight, Mississippi State," and listening to many chant "Go to hell carebears!"  Oh what a sight it was.  It was obvious that this was not something Mississippi State fans typically did! In my seven years as a student at MSU, we've never had this opportunity.  But it was so much fun!  So excited to see what the Dawgs can do with the rest of this season.  While it was fun to win, I think I'll hang on to my philosophy.  Even though Mississippi State is ranked for the first time since September 29, 2001.  Do you realize the last time MSU was ranked was right after 9/11.  Think of all that has changed.  And how long ago that was!  Wow. 

So, I'll end with some of my favorite comments that have been said about our rival's decision to adopt the Black Bears as their mascot.  Needless to say, our fans have had a hay day with this topic.

Top Five List in Random Order
 1. Hotty Teddy!
2. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide yo picnic baskets
3. Care Bears
4. The Grove = Yellowstone = Yogi Bears
5. The bears are hibernating in the fall and winter (football and bowl game season)

And finally, be sure to visit here: http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=5685344 to see how great Ole Miss is at math.
I know, I know....I have Ole Miss friends who read this. Rest assured, I love you! I really do!  I just think you picked the wrong school.  We all make mistakes.  I'm just glad I didn't make that mistake.  Go Rebel Black Bears.  Hope you have fun in December.  Love my Ole Miss friends though.  Clarifying that one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DIY Attempt #2 -- Spray Paint

So I've recently been introduced to a bunch of do it yourself blogs since we got married.  Being on a budget is not always fun, but I'm discovering it sure makes for fun art projects!  You may remember my DIY Attempt #1 which was a microwave cart repainted red.  This time, I decided to enter the fabulous world of spray paint.  From what I've gathered from the blogs I read, spray paint can make just about anything pretty!  These ladies take stuff from the dollar store and spray paint it.  And I do mean gaudy, ugly, cheap, cheesy figurines, picture frames, wreaths, etc. and make them really cute.

So when I was home a couple weekends ago, mom and I started cleaning out my room.  Everyone give a great big UGH!  It was fun  memorable  exhausting something I never want to do again.  And yet, we will because I barely made a dent.  Just think TONS of high school stuff, clothes I never wear, stuff left over from college dorm & Chi O house days, and all around junk.  My mom wants to re do my room into a guest room, and I honestly can't blame her!  It looks like the Tazmanian Devil came through my room. My brother's looks the same.  In general, both rooms have just become a catch all for both of us.  We just discard things we don't want but don't want to get rid of.

So the attempt to clean and purge began.  I found a picture frame from a long time ago that had a picture framed of a Children's Choir I sang in when I was in the fourth grade.  Mom wanted the picture, but not the frame.  And let's be honest, the frame is UGLY! (see below) BUT, I immediately thought of my budget AND spray paint.  I've been wanting to frame at least ONE of our wedding pictures to put in our home since we don't really have anywhere to hang one yet.  So, I brought the frame (among other things) to test out spray paint.  I'm sure there will be other blogs to follow on my other random items I salvaged from home!

Isn't this ugly?  I mean if you can't tell, it's gold speckled.  And if you know me, you know I hate yellow.  And this REALLY looks yellow!  Ick!

I started with a coat of gray primer. Then added the fabulous metallic color you see below.

Didn't it turn out fabulous?!  I thought so too!  And this is one of my favorite wedding pictures.  I love, love, love it!  And the best part was, I spent some money on the spray paint, but guarantee I'll use it again.  So essentially, this frame was free + the cost of spray paint and the picture!  Now we can have a reminder of the day all the time.  Until we get to a place where we can hang multiple pictures!

Have yall ever spray painted anything and revamped something old?  Look for many, many more things like this! :)

One last thing. I recently found My Owl Barn which specializes in finding all things owls on the internet and putting them in one place.  And I LOVE it!  

Aren't these cupcakes so so so cute!?  They made with cupcakes and Oreos. You can find the full post here.  There's also a cute 'Smore recipe on there too.  Find it here.  And the picture below:

Halloween and fall are the best times to add to an owl collection!  Hoping I can find some more cute owl ideas! 

Not much to update on David and I. We're just hanging out in Starkville.  We've been housesitting for the sweetest dachshund this past week.  She's absolutely been a joy, and we've had a blast.  We're looking forward to some good friends visiting this weekend and then many, many friends coming to town for Mississippi State Homecoming next weekend.  We would love to see everyone so let us know if you'll be in town that weekend (or any other time)!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life or Death...

No, we're not dying. Yes, we're very much alive.  But it seems lately that we're being hit with our fair share of tragedy...and it also would seem that some of our friends are too. 

This post won't be a "normal" one.  No pictures (which you know kills me!). And not the most lighthearted one either.  But something that we are surrounded by.  God keeps driving this point home--Ultimately, HE is in control.
Many of you saw on my Facebook status last week that David is serving as an interim youth minister at a church in Columbus, MS.  He's been doing that for about a month now, and we are very much enjoying this experience.  It's fun to have a ministry together.  Challenging, yes, but we love loving on some junior high and high schoolers! 

Last Saturday night (10/2), a girl in our youth group was killed.  She was 16 years old riding in the car with two of her friends.  The driver swerved to miss a deer.  None of the girls were wearing seatbelts, and she was killed instantly.  The driver and other passenger walked away unscathed.  Tragedy.  

So many questions.  So many thoughts.  Why being the number one.  Why God would you take away such a young life? WHY? Why did you have to end her life?  WHY? Why, if you promise to protect your children and those that love you, did you decide to let this one die?  WHY?  Why make all of her friends walk through this event at such a young age?  WHY?  Why ask those close to her, her family, friends, and community to walk through such a tragedy? WHY?

And just as we walk through this, we watch friends that we know and love walk amidst similar tragedies in their families.  Many of you know Simon and Ashley Bailey (click name for blog) who just found out that Ashley's mom is extremely sick. Why take a loving mom and family who loves God and put them through what they are walking through?  Many of you also know our friends Brett and Laura Beth Williams (click name for blog).  Laura Beth recently lost her aunt who was the mother of two young boys.  Why God do you ask these young boys to not grow up with a mom?  Why take LB's aunt away?

I spent a long time asking God these things on the drive to Columbus for visitation and the funeral last Tuesday and Wednesday night.  I've been doing a bible study on the Psalms. We happened to be on Psalm 125 (Holmon Christian Standard) which says:

"1. Those who trust in the LORD are like Mt. Zion.
They will not be shaken. They remain forever.
2. Jerusalem--the mountains surround her
And the LORD surrounds His people
Both now and forever.
3. The scepter of the  wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous
So that the righteous will not apply their hands to injustice.
4. Do what is good, LORD to the good
to those whose hearts are upright.
5. But as for those who turn aside to crooked ways
the LORD will banish them with the evil doers."

In verse two, it says the LORD surrounds his people.  In the bible study, it was depicted like mountains surrounding us.  Mountains are harsh, jagged, and protect what they are surrounding.  And how God does not let anything in that He didn't see fit.  Not letting us have more then we can handle.  Then verse four says "Do what's good to those whose hearts are in tune with you" (new living translation).  Why would God let such tragedy come into our lives.  To people who love the LORD? To those He SURROUNDS?

Honestly, I don't have an answer.  I know that God is just in whatever He does. I KNOW THAT.  And I KNOW that He is faithful!  But why?  I ask God this all the time.  And it struck me.  What if God's "good" is not what I see as "good."  God likes glory.  He wants all the glory I have.  He wants your glory. He wants OUR glory!  So "good" to Him means me not understanding. BUT knowing that He just is.  I can ask why all day long. I can literally let it paralyze me that we endure such heartaches. Such tragedy.  But ultimately, he does things to get glory.  How? I don't know...but I can share with you what I saw on Wednesday at the funeral of a 16 year old.

The pastor talked about how we can know that she was in heaven.  Not because she did a bunch of good things, but because she had salvation in Christ.  In reading my friend Laura Beth's blog, I came across something that was shared at the funeral of her aunt.

"In no way do I want to discredit the life that my Aunt Michelle lived.  She was a great wife.  She was THE BEST mom.  She was one of the most giving people that I knew.  She loved people with everything that she had.  She went to church.  She lived a good life.  By the World's standards, Aunt Michelle was a good person and "deserves" to go to Heaven.

They are wrong.  It is not the "good" things that she did.  It is Christ in her.  It is the decision that she made to make Jesus Christ the Lord of her life.  It is that moment when she realized that Jesus came to this Earth, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross for her sins.  It is because she had a RELATIONSHIP, not a religion.  It is because of that, and only that, that I will be able to see her again."

The pastor at the funeral I attended shared something similar.  During the funeral about 45-60 people stood to say that they had accepted Christ during her funeral--most of which were youth.  I know that all of them may or may not plug into a church to be discipled, but regardless, because of this 16 year old, God got glory.  And my understanding of what is good was shattered.  To God be the glory. 

I'll finish by giving one more of Laura Beth's excerpts (and I'm sorry LB, I have taken every bit of your blog post now!)  But it says it so perfectly:

"It is my prayer, and I know that it would be [Aunt Michelle's] too, that if you don't know Christ as your personal Savior that you would surrender your life to Him THIS very moment.  Don't put it off.  As we have seen with my Aunt Michelle, we are not promised tomorrow.  No matter how young.  No matter how healthy.  We just don't know.  Do it now.  So that you can spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.  It is either Heaven or it is Hell.  There is no in between.  And it is only through Christ that we can escape Hell, because that is what we deserve."

Lastly, in bible study we talked about how when we are saved by Christ, we are surrounded by His crown of thorns that He wore when he died at Calvary.  Like the mountains, that crown of thorns only lets in what He sees as good.  God surrounds His people with that crown of thorns.  WE are covered by the blood when we are saved by His grace.  And forever....HE WILL GET THE GLORY!

This song was on a CD given to us recently in how to help the students cope.  I'm finding it to be such a good expression of how I feel...both during this tragedy, but life in general!