Thursday, July 31, 2014

sunset in july || 311

I have wanted to post this song on the last day of July every since since 2011 when it came out.  Now I get to.  The last sunset in July for me was spent on our new front porch as we opened the doors to our new house for the first time on our own.  Although there wasn't much of a sunset with all the rain and clouds, July has been such a whirlwind month with many beautiful days ending in warm sunsets. I am already reminiscing.

Monday, July 28, 2014

spiritual gifts.

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend about spiritual gifts.  All throughout the New Testament we see that God's Holy Spirit in us gives us gifts and works through us in particular ways to get God's work done on earth to advance His Kingdom.  Of course, these gifts through which God works in us are our spiritual gifts.
The best way to know which gifts have been given to you is through the affirmation of other believers.  This means that if other believers see that you are a huge help to those around you, you have the spiritual gift of serving; if you help keep the spirits up of those around you, other believers can affirm that you have the spiritual gift of encouragement; and so on.  There are many, many spiritual gifts.  Here's the thing: just as the passage says in 1 Corinthians 12, every gift is given to help the Body of Christ and without your gift and your place in the Body, the Body cannot function properly.  It's not fair to compare your gift of encouragement to someone else's gift of administration (and vise versa) because those are two completely different gifts that have two completely different roles in eternity.  That being said, my friend shared with me a website that organized a test to see specifically what spiritual gifts belong to you.  It is best to be affirmed by others, but this site can give you idea of what gifts God has blessed you with and how you can use them effectively within the Body.  To get the most accurate results, remember to answer truthfully ;) Here is the website; post your results below and ask your closest friends and family if these results are head-on.  Tell me what you think about your results, too!

Here are my top three:
  1. Discernment (34)
  2. Administration (32)
  3. Wisdom (30)
What others said about my results:
I asked a few friends, including my husband, about what they thought about these as my gifts.  Especially my hubbub - who spends the most time around me - said that these were indeed pretty accurate.  Even before taking the test, Frank has told me regularly that he thinks two of my spiritual gifts are discernment and wisdom.  I know how to approach all types of situations, and the wisest way to do so to avoid conflict or error; I understand people very quickly and can tell a lot about them very soon after meeting them; I am very observant of others and things around me; I know the right words to say to get a point across clearly and without offending another person; I can see what important in each situation and what is not; justice is my value.  And because of these gifts, I also know what words to say to comfort someone, or to help someone; I know what actions to do that would mean the most to another.  The descriptions for every spiritual gift is given on the website.

What I say about my results:
Yeah, I can see that... ;) And it's good to have a word to put with the gifts I already knew God had given me.

So what are your spiritual gifts? What's your place in the Body of Christ?
{Courtesy of Frank; taken in an old German cathedral}

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

fix my eyes || for king and country

"Hit rewind, click delete. Stand face to face with the younger me; all of the mistakes, all of the heartbreak - here's what I'd do differently: I'd love like I'm not scared, give when it's not fair, live life for another, take time for a brother, fight for the weak ones, speak out for freedom, find faith in the battle, stand tall and above it all fix my eyes on You!"
Isaiah 1:17 | Psalm 82:3 | Isaiah 12:2 | Psalm 121
This is my reminder to me and to you today.

Monday, July 14, 2014

mixtape {Freedom}

{Freedom mixtape link}
July, for me, is the month dedicated to commemorating freedom and the different ways we are blessed with it.  In July 2006 I found my freedom on my face, in tears, in awe of what Jesus has done for me.  In July 2009, I found freedom from depression, sin, and destructive behaviors, and it was replaced with joy and the hope found in receiving my calling.
What is the freedom you have been given? Are you still celebrating?

  1. This is Amazing Grace || Phil Wickham
  2. I Am Set Free || All Sons and Daughters
  3. Your Love Never Fails || Jesus Culture
  4. Relentless || Hillsong United
  5. Here For You || Matt Redman
  6. Set a Fire || Jesus Culture
  7. Give Me Faith || Elevation Worship
  8. The Lord Our God || Passion ft. Kristian Stanfill
  9. Be With You Forever || Kristian Stanfill

Thursday, July 10, 2014

blue ridge mountains.

(If you look super hard, you can see Raven Cliff Falls between me and my mom)
So guess what? My camera is completely dead...
I have/had a Nikon D70 that had two previous owners before me, and I've had it for a little more than 3 years.  I loved that camera.  On the lookout for the new one.  So these pictures are courtesy of my sweet mom and her smart phone :)  Every year, before I was Frank-and-Jessica, my family went hiking and camping to celebrate summer.
To celebrate the 4th together Frank and I went with my family on a five-day trip to Table Rock State Park to hike the eight-and-a-half mile Pinnacle mountain trail, swim in the Pinnacle Lake, hike another four-and-a-half miles to the Raven Cliff Falls look-out, slide down Sliding Rock into icy-cold water, and watch a fantastic fireworks show in nearby quaint Pickens.
Fifteen hiked miles and many achy muscles later, I did not want to leave the radiant, lush, saturated green around me, but I left breathless from the blue haze that settles on the mountains for which they have been named. I love living here.  We are already vamping up for some more trails!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

run like a girl.

That is a good question: since when does being a girl make you weak?
If you "run like a girl", why is that an insult?
What about "win like a girl"?
Girls are stronger than we are given credit for. 
Being a girl is a really great thing.