Friday Finds 5/5/17

This Friday Finds post is brought to you by my “Flood Day.”  That’s right.  School was cancelled today due to the creeks rising over the bridges.

I was already at work at 6:45 and so I’ve been trying to redo my entire testing schedule…that’s been fun.

Today’s find is a little bit different: I’ve got a fun story for.  Last night at small group, a couple people shared that they are daily reminded of God’s love for them in small ways.  For example, one woman said she always prays for a good parking spot and she always gets one.  Just something God does for her.

I’ve got to admit that it kind of made me mad.  I didn’t say anything, but I was frustrated…and spent a lot of time last night thinking about why it mad me so mad.  I guess the root of it is that I don’t feel like that’s the way God deals with me.  I don’t get those “and then I won the lottery” or “and they lived happily ever after” stories.  My friend needed a new car….then passed out at the doctor’s office, broke her nose, and got a settlement that paid for the new car.  I’m not jealous, exactly.  It’s just that I’ve begun to understand that the easy way isn’t going to be His path for me, and that’s ok.  His love for me is revealed in other ways…like the way He strips away my pride and forces circumstances that require I give up trying to do things on my own and trust Him.  And that means hard things.

All that to say, last night I was feeling sad and definitely asked God, “Why can’t You just love me that way instead?”

This morning while getting ready for my nonexistent workday, I discovered the cream for my coffee wasn’t smelling right and didn’t think it would be wise to risk it.  I’m not a fan of black coffee so I headed to Sheetz on the way in.  I got my coffee and when I pulled out money to pay, the cashier asked, “Would you like your coffee to be free this morning?”

“Ummm, yes. I most certainly would,” I stammered back.  (Turns out they changed their rewards structure and I hadn’t realized….)

It’s not an earth shattering miracle to have a free coffee that typically costs $1.50 but I don’t want to ignore that it was a gift.  God sent His love in a clear way…the easy way…and I am thankful I didn’t miss it.

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And another little find for you, courtesy of my sister, Amy.  Some friends of hers are the models in this adorable “This is Us” Themed Photo Shoot.  So fun!

Happy Weekend!

Friday Finds: 4/21/17

Happy Friday, y’all!

I don’t have any typical finds for you this week.  April finally had her baby and it was amazing to watch! From hooves and a nose out to a baby giraffe on the ground in 12 minutes.  It was awesome!

What I want to share today is a quote from one of the books I’m reading right now, Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul, by Hannah Anderson.  The chapter I read this morning was so convicting and encouraging.  Here is an excerpt:

“Because our emotions are powerful, it’s tempting to simply shut them down or deny them like the ancient Stoics would. We know the danger that comes when we are led by them, how easily we lash out in anger or manipulate others. But simply controlling our emotions doesn’t make us humble, or healthy, people. Instead, humility calls us to something better. Humility calls us to feel deeply precisely because we know that ‘God is greater than our hearts.’

“Because ‘God is greater than your heart,’ you can trust Him to care for you when your heart breaks through disappointment or suffering. Because ‘God is greater than your heart,’ you can trust Him to rejoice with you in times of joy and success. Because ‘God is greater than your heart,’ you can trust Him to correct and lead you through doubt and fear. Because ‘God is greater than your heart,’ He can handle the depth of your emotions. He is not afraid of them, and as you bring them back to Him,  you shouldn’t be afraid of them either. In this sense, humility does not shut down your inner life; humility redeems it.

“So that, with the psalmist, we can finally and confidently proclaim, ‘My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.'”

Humble Roots, p.114

Friday Finds 4/7/17

My spring break starts at 3:30pm today!  I’ve been anxiously awaiting this day for weeks – we had far fewer snow days this year and Easter is so late…I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.  I’ve been working hard this week to wrap up loose ends so I can actually take the whole week off.  One of my goals this year is to only work the days I am getting paid to work.  I’ve already failed but I’m making some improvements.

Anyway, here are some things I’ve “found” for you this week.  They’re all on the deep side, but worth your time.

I am Racist – I so appreciate Chad Ashby’s thoughts on this.

Ode to the Church – this is a couple years old, so you may have seen it before, but it’s a beautiful picture.

Always Good, Never Safe – short devotional examining the God of Israel and Aslan.

God Will Give You More than you can Handle – because otherwise we wouldn’t realize we need Him.

Also, I just started reading Alive in Him by Gloria Furman – I’m only a chapter in but you must BUY. THIS. BOOK.  I can tell it will be one for which I end up underlining more than 50% of the text. This is the type of book I want to read.

Finally, I want to give a shout-out to my girl April the Giraffe – I’ve been watching her pace in circles for six weeks. I hope that baby comes out soon and it doesn’t happen in the middle of the night so I don’t miss it.

Friday Finds – St. Patrick’s Day & March Madness Edition

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year!  I don’t care too much about St. Patrick’s Day – I’m not even Irish enough for it to count – but I love the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament – so many games, so much excitement.  I almost want to take off work one year just to watch all the games…but I won’t. Not this year anyway. I also have a huge paper due Monday so I’m not even sure how much of it I will get to watch.  And I’m dying to visit the twins (and their parents) so that will take precedence.

Here are a few “Finds” for you from the week.

A Little Commentary on This is Us – this is the last time I will talk about this show for a while. The season 1 finale was Tuesday and I’m already looking forward to season 2. I think it’s a great show – there’s a lot of talk about it being emotionally manipulative. I disagree. I see it as teaching empathy.  That’s good for all of us.

If you are interested in having a little St. Patrick’s Day treat, here’s a recipe for a homemade Shamrock Shake that you can have whenever you want, because…here’s some terrible news…my local McDonald’s stops selling theirs BEFORE St. Patrick’s Day so I can’t even actually have one on St. Patrick’s Day. So that’s fun.

Sarah Bessey wrote a great post last weekend that resonated with a lot of people.  I appreciated her honesty and perspective. So I Quit Drinking.

Lastly, my good friend Chad Ashby wrote this great article for Desiring God a few weeks ago – Hospitality Is War. Chad is a pastor in South Carolina and the husband of one of my dearest sorority sisters, Mindy.  You can read more of his writing at https://chadashby.com/.

OK – I think that’s all I’ve got. Have a wonderful and restful weekend, Friends!

Friday Finds 3/10/17

Happy Friday! After a springlike last six weeks, they’re calling for snow early next week!  😦 This may be the first time I haven’t wanted a snow day – we’ve made it this far and I’d rather the school year end early.  Why am I never content? Ha.

Since we’re talking about the weather, has anyone else heard about the super blooms happening in the California desert? Check it out! It’s stuff like this that just makes me in awe of the One who created all this. What a beautiful reminder of Scripture –

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing..

They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.”

 

I wish I had more interesting articles for you, but I’m tired and I’ve wasted an exorbitant amount time in the black hole that is Buzzfeed. That being said, here are a few articles I’m sure you’re sad you missed. 😉

17 Mind-Blowing Facts about Beauty and the Beast  – since the live action version comes out next weekend

11 Tiny but Enchanting European Towns – these make me wish I had an unlimited travel budget…and a valid passport.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Friday Finds 2/24/17

*this was scheduled to go out Friday but clearly I messed something up*

 

I’ve got a few things to share this week, nothing much though. It was an extremely busy week at work – the earliest I got home was 7pm on Wednesday…and even tonight I am covering an event and won’t be home till 9. I am looking forward to staying in bed as long as possible tomorrow morning. I hope Finn has some compassion.

A couple interesting posts:

Why Papa is Not Aslan – a helpful explanation of the theological problems with The Shack.

Blessed are the Winners – a tongue in cheek gospel according to Trump. Sadly, it sounds like a speech he’d give.

19 Things to Give Up for Lent that aren’t Chocolate – this gave me a lot to think about. My coworker/friend (she’s the best) and I are both planning to give something up for Lent and keep each other accountable so I have have been giving this a lot of thought. I tend to give up some kind of food thing…but I don’t think I am going to do that this year. My motivation for that thing is really to lose weight, so in that way my Lenten practice is an idol and that defeats the whole purpose of Lent. So, while I am very much on a diet and trying to lose weight (because it is necessary, not a vanity), and will continue to do this during Lent – it won’t be the Lent focus. Also, I don’t just want to give something up without finding a way to “replace it” with Jesus. I want to tie it in to abiding in Christ. I’m leaning toward giving up the snooze button and spending that time reading Scripture or in prayer. Isn’t that the point anyway?

And for some fun: 26 Teacher Problems – sorry for the language, but these are so on point. Especially the last one.

Friday Finds 2/10/17

Teacher workdays are my favorite! They are one of the few days every year in which we get actual one hour lunch breaks and can leave the building – what a luxury! I feel the need to point this out because there are trade-offs. Yes, we get summers and snow days but we also take work home every night, have to eat standing up, and can’t go to the bathroom at will.  🙂

Today is one such workday and I am hiding out in my office with my door shut trying to actually get work done. I am drowning in spreadsheets and paperwork at the moment, with course registration in full swing and state testing just around the corner.  However, I’ve got Ellie Holcomb’s new album, Red Sea Road, on repeat and I have nothing to complain about.

You should definitely find this album and listen to it. It’s wonderful, and the title track is amazing.

How can we trust
when You say You will deliver us
from all of this pain
that threatens to take over us?
This desert’s dry,
but the ocean may consume,
and we’re scared to follow You.

We will sing to our souls.
We won’t bury our hope.
Where He leads us to go,
there’s a Red Sea road.
When we can’t see the way,
He will part the waves,
and we’ll never walk alone
down the Red Sea Road.

I’m also really enjoying this season of The Bachelor. I look forward to watching (on Tuesday, since I have class on Mondays) and then listening to and reading other commentaries/recaps. Elizabeth posted a great roundup of some great options if you want to check it out here.

I am quite tempted to make this cake for Valentine’s Day, but I am afraid I will end up eating it by myself so….

Lastly, a wonderful coworker informed me yesterday that McDonald’s Shamrock shakes are back so go get one! Honestly, I will probably make that happen in the next week because if you wait for St. Patrick’s Day you won’t be able to have one and that would be sad.

Have a great weekend!