Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wear Your Colors...Every Day

There's no doubt where I work. Where I went to school. Where I fell in love. 

My car proudly states that I am a Campbell University alumni and faculty/staff.

My night shirt supports CU Athletics.

My husband often sports Campbell tees. I always feel a little happier when he wears anything CU. Free advertising :)

My closet now has orange pants, orange sweaters. orange shirts, orange dresses, orange jewelry...oh yeah, and orange nail polish.

Our spare bedroom closet probably has about 30 Campbell t-shirts collected through the years.

I always wanted to come to Campbell, I'm proud I was a student here, and now I'm proud of the work I do here.

Today is "Wear Your Colors" Day for colleges...and it's Campbell's first football game of the season, which is also our first night game. It's an exciting day in the Creek.

I'm wearing my orange dress and orange necklace. Go orange! (<this was the only orange option).

This morning, as I was so excited about my cute orange outfit, I started thinking about how obvious it is that I support Campbell. That I love Campbell. That I have a relationship with Campbell. That I'm proud of Campbell.

Is it just as obvious in my life that I'm a Christian? That I support the Christian mission. That I love God. That I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That I'm proud of my Savior, Creator, Father, and Friend?

Does my attitude reflect Him?

Does my daily life and choices point others to Him?

Can others tell there is something different about me? And it is something they want?

Does my home reflect my walk with my God?

Being proud of a school is awesome. Being proud of a Savior is even better!

 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, 
as though God were making his appeal through us. 
We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
 2 Corinthians 5:20

Monday, August 27, 2012

Out with the old...

There's something inspiring about changing it up. Moving things around. Starting fresh. Reorganizing.

Yesterday Derrick and I had one of those awesome marriage moments:

Setting: Derrick's office. Renee is working from a butterfly chair, trying to organize church serving assignments w/ computer and paper.

Renee: "This would be so much easier if I had a desk."
Derrick: looks at Renee with that look. Gives it a moment.
Renee: Grins sheepishly when she realizes she does have a desk. It's in the guest room. She never uses it.
Renee: "Why don't we just move my desk in here?"
Derrick: " That's not a bad idea...we should do it."
Renee: "Let's do it right now."

3 hours later. One trip to Walmart later. $50 later. Many trashed/given away books later. 2 moved bookshelves later. 1 moved desk later. It was done. And I am now wanting to spend all of my time at my new desk in the office with my husband where we can jam out to music together, and he can ask for my opinion on his video projects while I work on bills or notes or blog...

Now, to my BLOG. 

I've been blogging for almost two years now. Wait, almost three! I've been sharing my heart, my thoughts, my ideas, my stories, my God, my marriage - and I hope that you have been touched. I am so thankful for my readers, and so hopeful that God uses this avenue to touch you.

All this time, as I've been blogging,  I've never been able to find the perfect background. The right name. The right colors. My blog page has always been good...but never exactly what I was looking for.

Now, as you can tell it has a new look. A new name. New colors. A new feel.

I'm loving it. It's clean. It's colorful. It's fresh. It's inspiring.

But you're my guests. My visitors. And I want this home to be welcoming to you.

What do you think of the blog page decor?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Whispering joy...

My life is pretty simple. Work. Church. Family nights. Time with the hubby. Taking care of our home.

Maybe your life is simple. Maybe your life is hectic. Maybe your life is boring. Maybe your life isn't what you want it to be.

But there's always something positive. There are always beautiful whispers of hope. Of joy. Of happiness. Of answered prayers. Of blessings. Of God.

You just have to learn to listen. To pause the duties long enough to find the delight.

Here's a couple of whispered blessings in my life in this moment:

The open windows of my home, allowing the peaceful breeze to blow in.

The wide open green of the backyard. 

Old country and worship music playing in the background. 

The faint smell of vanilla from an unlit candle.

My husband in the next room using his talents to work on some projects. 

Finishing the laundry last night, so I don't have to do it today.

The ability to spend time with the Creator of the universe.
Getting 2 new shirts and a necklace without having to pay anything - on sale, plus gift card.

Typing a few more pages of Ms. Ester's next book.  

Looking back at a busy week where the students came back,
 and I had many opportunities to be used and be blessed. 

Looking forward to church tomorrow morning and time with friends tomorrow night.

Excited to have a busy week ahead - with two nights for family and two nights with friends. 

The satisfaction of writing a new blog.

When it seems like everything's alright. When it seems like things couldn't get any better. When it seems like everything's falling apart. When it seems like things couldn't get any worse...

Take time to hear the whispers of joy. Of hope. Of peace.

The whispers of God loving you. Calling you. Wooing you. Blessing you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year too...

August has not only always meant my birthday...but it has always meant back to school. It's a time of year that I have always looked forward to...

Buying back to school supplies, picking out new patterns and colors, buying new clothes and wondering who would look different and what would be different. The excitement, the anticipation. Wondering what this year would hold. What new things, new adventures, new memories, new experiences would await you.

 For the majority of my life, January was not the beginning of the new year. August was.

That is why I love working in a school setting. Our Campbell years are marked from August to May - with an exciting time of preparation and anticipation, quiet and chaos in the middle. And now it's back to school time, and I'm excited.

Every year, I feel like the next school year will be the best yet. We've made adjustments. We've explored new ideas. We have new events and initiatives in place. And campus is filled with new students - just starting out. Their future at Campbell is a blank slate. They will meet best friends, husbands, discover their dreams, and make a million memories.

Last week the faculty came back, and our days were filled with lunch gatherings, encouraging presentations, and meetings to discuss the upcoming year. I loved the busy-ness, the noise, the excitement. It was good to see life breathed back into Buies Creek.

And my students started dropping in talk about their summer, their adventures, their job searches and plans. I love every moment that I get to share their heart and share their dreams.

Tomorrow will be the culmination of our back to school days. Mini-Orientation and advisement, training and lunch with my wonderful ambassadors, department meetings, the president's picnic, and then the street fair. Chaos. Excitement. Fellowship. Planning. Advising. Looking forward. I've been anticipating it for weeks!

So I look forward. To new events. To a new group of students to reach out to, encourage, bless. To new programs and a new communication plan. To new adventures and memories.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wedding daze

My cousin is getting married this weekend, and I am so happy for her. This will be the first wedding I have attended with Derrick since we've been married, so that makes me even more excited. In the past, as I sat in the audience of a wedding, I'd be taking notes on what I liked, what I'd like to change, and feeling that bittersweet longing of hope for my own wedding day.

Now I get to understand how it feels, truly be happy for what they're going through, truly understand what they're promising, reflect on my own love story, and feel the peace, satisfaction and hope of knowing.

Sometimes I think about my own wedding day, and I panic to know that I can never go back and relive it. I'm glad it's over though. I'm much better at being a wife than I was at being a bride.

As a bride, you spend so much time thinking of the food, the flowers, the colors, the dresses, the shoes, the songs, the linens, the reality, those aren't the important things. Those things all came together - but they really aren't worth all the fuss.

So, what did I miss during my wedding day?

I can't remember my first thought that morning. The first time I saw my Daddy. What I talked to my bridesmaids about during breakfast. What we talked about while we got our nails done. What Derrick and I talked about during our first dance. I hate that I can't remember.

I wish we had gotten more professional pictures of our bridal party. 
And more pictures of just Derrick and me.

I wish I had taken pictures with each table and had conversations with each person there. That may sound silly - but I regret not taking more time with each person. Not capturing that moment and that day with each person that was there to share it with me. 

I wish I had taken time  to eat. I don't remember what food we had, and I didn't eat any of it.
 I wanted a fruit and cheese table, and I never even saw it.

And what do I most cherish/remember about my wedding day?

The very Derrick and Renee details - that made it uniquely ours. Our "cast list" programs. Our awesome green and pink sand. Our guest favor cups (we still have plenty if you want one).  Our beautiful china lanterns that our bridal party worked their butts off to put up were my favorite decoration - it made the dance floor magical. I love that our colors (green, orange, pink) were not only my favorite colors but each signified something. It was very us - and that's what I think a wedding should be. 


The moments right before it was time for the ceremony when my 
bridesmaids did and said silly things to keep me distracted.


The moment when all the bridesmaids had cleared out. 
I was alone in the bridal suite, and it took all of my composure to keep from losing it. 
Then Daddy came to get me. He also let me know that it wasn't too late to run :)


I always watch the guy as the bride appears. Always. And I had this fear that Derrick would just have a blank look when people watched him see me. Instead, his face mimicked everything I was feeling and there was no doubt he was so happy for that moment and forever. 

Leading up to the wedding, I was convinced that no one would dance, and that Derrick would have a miserable time at the reception. I think one of my favorite things was how happy Derrick silly he was with his friends, how precious he was with me.

McDonalds. After the wedding, on our drive home, I was so thirsty. 
We stopped at McDonalds - in his tux and my wedding dress - and got sweet tea :)

Our wedding day was a dream come true. It was amazing. It was a day I had prayed for for so long. God was there and had blessed it so many times over. But it was just a day. A day that began a lifetime that matters just as much.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

How do you SERVE?

At this point in my life, I realize fresh each day that my life isn't just for me. I need to use each day to make a difference in the world, to encourage, to build up, to serve...To make an impact for eternity. It's easy when it's easy. But when it requires me to reach out of my comfort zone or give up my time it becomes a little harder.

So I'm always looking for ways to serve. Opportunities to minister. Little moments throughout the day that God puts in my life to use me. A smile. A kind word. A listening ear. A prayer of support. An opportunity to give. A chance to show mercy and grace.

So many times I miss those moments. I throw away opportunities. I chicken out. I don't feel like I serve enough. I'm still far from giving my life, my time, my resources for God like I should...

So I want to know more ways to serve. I'd love to hear how you serve. In your church. In your community. What organizations you serve with. Creative ways you serve. Every day. On occasion. Using your talents. Giving of your time.

Leave a note below or comment on my facebook post. How do you serve?

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, 
faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 
1 Peter 4:10