Thursday, February 27, 2014

March Madness

No, not that March Madness. 
 Basketball is not what has inspired me to blog again.

I'm pumped about March, because it's going to hold some pretty epic things. 

First bonus, fresh off the heels of two big events, is that there are no events at work in March, but lots of groups and one-on-one visits - which I love!

Derrick and I are heading to South Carolina to visit our wonderful friends Allen and Sara. They're the kind of friends that we can go on adventures and explore new places with or just stay in our pajamas and play board games. I think God gave Sara the gift of hosting. Their home is always warm and cozy, candles burning and fresh fruit or chocolate chip cookies waiting to be eaten. We're pretty excited to see their new house and explore Asheville, NC with them! 

 Any day this month (they're aiming for the 19th) I could become an "aunt"! My best pal since 4th grade is having her first baby and will bravely be the first in our tight knit group to become a mom. I don't think I've wrapped my mind around how this is or isn't going to change everything, but I do know that Whitney and Aaron are going to be great parents. I'm definitely not ready to have my own child, but I'm really excited to meet and love on Graeme! 

Oh yeah, my husband turns 26 this month. Which is crazy. I'm so excited to celebrate him and the fact that on March 25, 1988, God decided to bless the world and change my life forever (I wasn't born yet, but you know what I mean).

And, to end the much-anticipated month, on March 31, NeedtoBreathe will be in the Creek, and Derrick and I are going with some dear friends from Hope. The cool thing is that we met those same friends for the first time at a NeedtoBreathe concert at the DPAC in April last year. Happy friendship anniversary, Gores!

(And speaking of anniversarys - Happy one year anniversary to John and Jessica Sierra.
I can't believe it's been a year since your fairy tale wedding!)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Praying through Proverbs 31

Prayer has always been a struggle for me. It's natural for me to talk to God throughout the day - in short "thank yous" or "be with me nows". But it's hard for me to have a focused, disciplined, meaningful prayer. 

Keeping a devotion and prayer journal has helped a lot. I'm a writer by nature - so having somewhere to record my prayers is good for me. Plus, I love going back and seeing answered prayers or growth in my relationship with God. 

I still don't often pray like I should. Two weeks ago, as I finished the book of Proverbs, I lingered in one of my favorite chapters in the bible - Proverbs 31. A chapter that I've read and studied and tried to emulate for years. 

This time, as I made a list of characteristics of the Wife of Noble Character, I decided to dedicate some time to praying through Proverbs 31. 
It was awesome. A relationship-changer; both with me and God and me and Derrick. 

I've included how I divided it by days below, adding a little detail on how I turned the verse into a prayer. I would encourage any woman reading this to take 9 days and give it a try. 

V. 11-12 
I prayed that I would be a wife that Derrick would have full confidence in, trust completely. That I would always bring him good and never harm. That I would be protected from temptation and use my words and actions to always support Derrick. 

V. 13-15
I prayed for the strength, energy and wisdom to work hard in all I do. And I prayed that I would use my skills and talents to provide for my home, my husband and those that God has given me to love on. 

V. 16-18
I prayed for wisdom in earning and spending money. For guidance in being a good steward. That I may use my career, my skills, my passions to provide financially. And I prayed for dedication to take care of myself - physically and otherwise - so that I might be prepared for the task at hand.

V. 20
I prayed that I would see those in need and have the heart to love them, reach out to them and give up my resources to care for them. That Derrick and I would have a heart for ministry together. And that God would open my eyes to ministries I can help.

V. 21-22
I prayed that I would always be prepared, and have a home and family so well-taken care of that we're ready for whatever may come our way. I also prayed that I would always dress appropriately and take care of my appearance as a representation of Derrick and our family. 

V. 23
I prayed for Derrick's job, his passions, his videos, his heart, his mind. For him to be able to find success and satisfaction in his work - and use his skills and talents to impact people for the Kingdom. 

V. 24-25
I prayed earnestly that God would grant me the grace, wisdom and skill set to provide for my family. That I would have such a heart for Christ and wisdom in providing and preparing - that the Green family could stand up against adversity and have joy in whatever comes our way. 

V. 26-27
I prayed that I would be someone others can trust. That I will have wise insight and speak caring and uplifting words to all around me, especially those in need of encouragement. I prayed that friends and family would find refuge in me and my home.

V. 29-31
 I prayed for my possible future children - and for preparation, strength, wisdom and joy as a mom. I prayed that I will take care of myself physically but focus on my relationships with God. That God will intervene in my life in a big way and use me as a wife and woman for Him. I prayed that I won't be full of myself but that I will be the kind of person that other's trust and admire. 

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Series of our Friendship

A few weeks ago, while waiting on my husband to come to bed, I went on a long rabbit trail. And ended up looking at ALL my Facebook photos. It was a lot of fun, actually – and it took me back to some really good times.

I realized that these five years of pictures and many, many happy memories and wonderful moments– of graduations, weddings, bridal showers, game nights, dinners out, Christmas parties, double dates, etc. – represents the third book in my friendship with these amazing ladies. And how rare and blessed that is.

  I was looking at all the photos, and reliving all the memories…then it occurred to be that this was just a tiny piece of our story together.

A lot of friendships are a book with many chapters. You are childhood friends or high school friends, or maybe you meet in college and go on crazy adventures together, or you may meet at work or church or through a friend of a friend after you become an adult and get settled in life or you might meet in a mom’s group once the little ones are around. And then the story of your friendship happens – set in a specific time and place, a book with many chapters.

But with Whitney, Bethany, Cari, Carrie, Jessica, Jessi, and Ashley – our story is a series. See, for many of us, we became friends in elementary school or middle school, all of us forming a tight bond by high school. We had sleepovers, celebrated 13th &16th & 18th birthday parties, participated in the senior play, went on class trips, got pumped up for homecoming, hung out together at the Junior/Senior, had silly adventures and the best of inside jokes. I’ve got scrapbooks and boxes of memories from that amazing journey. Our first book – a long one – ended with a tearful graduation but excited anticipation. 

Then college came, and our second book started. We were spread from Arkansas to Ohio and many places in between. But we still found time to get together on fall breaks, Christmas break, summer break – catching each other up on majors, new guys, new friends, strange adventures, big mistakes, studying abroad, missing home, break ups and makeups,  etc.  We found time for summer ice cream, winter road trips, coffee breaks, double dates, New Year’s eve celebrations. That book probably ended around the time some of us stopped dating the wrong guy and quickly met the right one…near our college graduation dates.

Then Bethany got engaged. We threw our first lingerie shower and took pictures at our first wedding. And the third book in our series began. A time of finishing (multiple, in some cases) degrees, graduating from college and settling into careers.  Job searching and wondering where God was leading us. Coming home or finding new homes. First apartments and first houses. Falling in love with the right guys, engagements, bachelorette parties and weddings. Christmas parties, coffee dates and game nights, pinterest pinning, and settling into adulthood.

And last night we celebrated the prologue to our next book. I have a feeling that the first chapter will be titled “Graeme”. And it’s going to be a definite page turner.

God has been so good. Stay tuned!