Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Timehopping, footballing, and blogging

a sweet phone pic from recently

So I caved and finally got onto the whole timehop bandwagon. I have to say the little dinosaur guy on the app is basically adorable. I can't believe it's taken me this long to do this. I'm getting sappy already. Today, two years ago I was uploading wedding pictures, and one year ago I was starting to study for the NCIDQ...which I've passed and I'm giving all the praise, honor and bragging rights to God!

I went on a run last night, and it was HOT. I'm serious, the high was 101 so you can imagine that at 6:30pm it wasn't that much "cooler."

Our small group friends got Paisley a new ball to play with. I give them props because it has proved to be indestructible by our destructing-dog but she's been completely obsessed with it. And it has a squeaker. It may be adorable but it's also annoying to hear her just constantly sqeeking that thing. This is the most obsessed she's ever been with a toy.

Kevin began fantasy football this past weekend. Which basically means he sees a "need" to watch every football game ever. So in other words, see ya next summer babe! He's in two leagues this year. I thought that was a lot until our cousin promptly informed me that her husband is in five. FIVE yall! 

Our home has been Soonerfied and it's awesome. I'll share some of that later this week. The first football game of the season is THIS SATURDAY! I can't believe it! All those little freshmen babies have been on campus for two weeks and hopefully most of them will be attending their first game this weekend, oh my first game...

This is the first semester beginning that I've not been on campus for and yet it's the first time that I've really felt the excitement of freshmen coming on campus. The Lord is stirring yall. I am so excited for what He's doing here in little-town Norman, Oklahoma in college students! 

Yes, it's true Kevin and I have been watching Bachelor in Paradise. Yes, it's ridiculous. Yes, that's all I have to say about that.

I miss Karla being in blogging world something awful but at least Samantha and Holly have been back at blogging again! Go check those pretties out! 

You can now watch youtube videos on pinterest without leaving pinterest! This means I can flip through all the work-out videos I want, faster! Here's my work-out board.

I found out I have an under-active thyroid. Something I wasn't sure I was going to share but well there it is. This means there's finally a reason for my insane weight gain and inability to fight any of it off. I'm praying that now that I'm getting that back in order that my body will get back in order and function correctly.

and basically those are some random thoughts for the day... what are some random things going on in your life?

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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Love Story: The First Kiss Picture

If you're new around here you can catch up here.

The spring semester brought on a fairly consistent schedule of classes during the week, church, phi lamb events, and date night. The beginning of the semester included celebrating Kevin's birthday, ice skating, playing in the snow, an interview, our first valentine's day, bowling and of course lots of studio projects compounded with creating my portfolio for portfolio review. 

Kevin's birthday was on a Thursday so we celebrated just the two of us the day but planned to have a lot more fun celebrating at our, now regular, spring semester ice skate with friends. I wanted to secretly surprise Kevin with his favorite cupcakes so I had a couple friends come over to my apartment to help with the decorating process and drive over to the rink with. In between slathering sugary goodness over the cupcakes Kevin and I were having our first fight. otherwise known as a basic miss-communication. He was upset with me for hanging out with friends and not allowing him over or ride with me to the rink. I smiled at the expense of his frustration while doing my best to keep from erupting with frustration myself. I knew it wouldn't last and it would all be over once his face saw the cupcakes. 

Sure enough, I walked in the door with this enormous box, waddled it over to the bleachers, popped off the cover and the birthday boy gleamed. Cupcakes were shared with smiles and then we slid onto the ice, each of us wobbling around till we balanced out and got the feel for it. Ice skating was infinitely better with a boy who liked to ice skate and was good at it too. We flew around the rink, holding hands, taking pictures, laughing with friends. I soaked in each minute 

As the evening closed, Kevin gave his camera to Trey, his best friend, to take a picture of us that didn't include one of our arms in the corner. He did what we asked of him and then he held the camera at ransom, promising to throw it across the ice unless we stood kissing for a picture. I argued pointlessly with him until we both gave in, resulting in our first kissing picture, the first of many more to come.

Freshmen year brought so much snow, classes were cancelled for days. This year brought less snow but still a couple days off. Kevin plowed his way to my apartment and picked me up for some fun in the snow with friends on campus. I wore jeans, trying to be a little cute, an outfit choice I regretted fully later on. We hung out with friends, took more pictures-of course, and got so incredibly cold. After wandering campus and getting cold to our bones we opted for a movie in a warm dorm room. 

Kevin and I spent most of the time chatting to each rather than watching the movie. 

We were a few months into dating now and I wasn't getting tired of him even in the slightest. It was alarming but so sweet. I was falling for this tall, thin boy and I didn't want to stop it. It scared me but it thrilled me. 

Back in the fall, Kevin had convinced me to apply to work for StudentLife camps. I hesitantly filled out the paperwork, otherwise read as Kevin filling out half of it for me. As fate would have it I qualified for an interview, and the time had come. The interviews were being held in Dallas. Kevin planned out the whole day for us including a dinner with some of his previous summer team members. He talked excitedly about the opportunity our whole way there, while I sat in the passenger seat fretting. We arrived at the interview site and made our way to the room. We sat as I walked through things in my mind to remember. Then they called my name.

The interview went far from well, at least in my opinion, but it was the end that stuck in my mind. I held onto it. At the end of the interview, one of the men prayed for me. He prayed that if Kevin and I dating was something in His plans, and something the Lord was working for the benefit of his children that he would continue to strengthen us. But if that we were not to continue to date that He would give us clarity and begin to break us apart now before it went on too long and hurt even more.

It was a prayer that I would continue to pray through the entirety of our dating relationship.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Date: Night at the Ballpark

Play Ball!

Ah baseball, a classic American summertime favorite. When Cassie emailed me about this link-up idea I was all in because I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. At the beginning of the summer Holly invited Kevin and I to attend a Red Hawks game with her and her sweet man. I love going  to baseball games! Love the atmosphere, the game, the people, the music. It's all so fun. A great summer time date night!

SO in July, Holly and I and our husbands went downtown OKC for a baseball game.

Our double date night was made even better because it was Holly's BIRTHDAY! 
Happy belated Birthday to the prettiest, kindest and most thoughtful lady! I love being your friend and I'm SO honored you allowed me to spend your birthday with you! 

Ballpark Date Night
1. Attend the Game
2. Pick up some game time food from concessions
3. Enjoy the Game
4. Laugh at the in-between sillyness
5. Take pictures
6. Talk, laugh, and enjoy each others' company.

Now link up your date night idea with us!

Details you need to know:
1)      Create a post that has a date night idea or shows a date night that you did that others could replicate.
2)      Add this widget to the bottom of your post.
3)      The link up will be live Friday, Aug 22 at 7am CST and run until Monday, Aug 25 at midnight CST. Add your post url to the link up during this time.
4)      Visit and promote some of the other posts on the link up!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Small Group 101: What to do during group time

Helping one of the couples move into their new home

I can't believe the last time I posted for this series was back in March. whoops!

I decided to start this series because the Lord has done amazing things in our small group and I can't keep it back. It's ridiculous, now, that before I was so afraid to lead a small group and so uninterested in being a leader for one. I want these posts to be encouragement for you to have the ability to step out and lead a group yourself, should that be what God has requested of you.

So for today I thought I'd discuss about what our group time looks like. What actually happens when you meet?

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

First, I have to do a little rewind. Our group, the way it has been organized, and the way it functions is/was greatly inspired by the groups we, Kevin and I, had been apart of prior to leading our own. 

Our group meets every other Fridays at 8pm. So at 8pm the couples start arriving at our host's home, one of the couples in our group hosts group while Kevin and I  lead. We talk for a bit as we wait everyone's arrival and then we open with a game. Yes, a game. Starting with a game has allowed newcomers to slowly get a feel for us in a fun way. Plus, it's a great way for us as a group to re-connect after a week apart and share some laughter together. The Lord loves when we laugh, it's a fact. 

The games we play range from quick board games to card games and even hangman. Currently our favorite is Ellen's game HeadsUp which is played on the ipad/smart phone. Based on feedback from our group, they love the game part. We've had some rather serious games of spoons and one of the ladies has been remembered for rolling on the floor in laughter after her husband took his turn at HeadsUp. We love the time to casually walk into our evening together.

After our game we transition into Bible study time. We'll talk about what we learned last week and anything people particularly remember, briefly. At this point we jump into our study. This has looked different depending upon the study we've chosen to do. Currrently, we are doing a video study with  Matt Chandler (he pastors The Village Church in Dallas, if you live there check it out!). So at this point we pop in the video and press play.

Post video, is time for discussion. The series we are currently doing comes with a wonderful guide of questions to follow but we always start off asking the group is anything stuck out to them or made them curious, etc. The biggest key in discussion time is allowing there to be silence. That was hard for me and still is. That "awkward" silence is okay. Let it be. People are thinking and considering what they've learned and what they want to share, and it's okay to have some quiet time to allow that. With each question, be mindful of this. Over time you figure out when a silent time is due to thinking or the result of the discussion being irrelevant or the topic is done. 

Another key in discussion time, be patient with yourself, you don't have to answer all the questions because you're the "leader."  Allow your group to converse naturally. Yes, this will take time, especially if your group is new and no one really knows each other. People take time warming up to one another.

Another key for discussion, don't be afraid to sway away from the list of questions you have. Sometimes your group will discuss a single question for a long time and it might lead into another topic, that's okay. Allow the discussion time to flow naturally. For you type A people, yes this is hard. Sometimes you'll go through all the questions, sometimes you'll only get through one of the questions, and sometimes you'll decide to skip specific questions. You have to gauge how the discussion is flowing and sometimes that means taking a back seat. 

And my final key for discussion, allow the Lord to work. All of what I said above is basically centered around be mindful of the Lord working through hearts. Be attentive to His presence. This time is for Him to teach you, to teach your members, it's HIS time not yours. It's HIS agenda, not yours. 

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them."
Matthew 18:20

After walking through the questions, we take prayer request and praises. We've lately been making an effort to remind everyone to share praises as much as requests, that's just something we've been working on. I like to write it all down in a notebook. Kevin likes to type it out on the ipad. However you like to do it, keep record of the prayer requests/praises. It's a sweet thing to get to go back and see where the Lord has worked, plus it allows you to remember how to pray for people specifically during the week. 

Then, simply enough, we pray through the requests/praises. Sometimes I pray, sometimes Kevin prays. It usually depends who has asked the questions during the discussion time. Just lately, since we've begun to feel our group has grown much more comfortable with each other over the past year, we've asked if anyone else wants to lead the prayer.

After prayer time, our group tends to talk for a while and slowly end our time together. Thankfully our hosts don't mind us stalling in their home until we finally decide it's time to leave. And yes, you read this group starts at 8pm, we usually finish around 10 or so and people have hung around until 10:30 or so before.

And that's it! You, as the "leader," do lead the evening but mostly it's run by your group members. 


That's our group time routine, simple and fun and easy.

Kevin and I have only been doing this for a year and a half, we are certainly not experts. We have a ton to learn and find we are constantly adjusting ourselves to be better leaders! 

What do your group times look like, whether you lead or just participate? I always enjoy hearing how other groups are organized.

Past posts on leading a small group:
How to balance leading a small group with everything else going on in life.
Being intentional with prayer in your small group.
The basics of leading a small group.
How we became leaders of a small group.
Our small group serving each other.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How About

How about instead of me writing another post today, we all go read the bloggers who wrote about Jen Hatmaker's book? 

Oh and hey, if you're feeling up for it, read about a moment in my day from last week.

And on a serious note, have yall been watching Jen's show on HGTV??? I mean, I can't even. They're a crazy fun family! I've also really come to love Fixer Upper about this adorably Christ living couple in Waco. YAY for sweet families representing Christ well on television! And what do you think? Do you like these shows? 

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