Friday, July 29, 2011

In Him

It's bedtime. But I can't seem to drag myself into bed quite yet. Because it has only been a few hours since I stumbled upon this beautiful verse.
For in Him we live and move and have our being.

Acts 17:28a

What could be more simple, straightforward, heart-moving as that? I just can't get over it. God has wrecked me with these simple 11 words. I know I have heard them before- most likely countless times. But this time I paid attention. This time, I heard the question behind the words- "Are you living, moving, and being in ME? Are you recklessly abandoned and completely reliant on ME alone?" As tears streak down my face and I realize that everything I have and do and am is in Him, I pray that there will be less of me and more of Him. That those words would always be on my lips- "less of me, more of YOU." 

5 Things Friday- Things that have made this week awesome

Things that have made this week awesome

1. Garage sale-ing this morning and Savers last night- snagged some great deals!

2. Spending lots of time with VYC people.

3. Slumbie with my future roomie last night- spent lots of time planning out our room!

4. Looking forward to an AWESOME last night of the VYC summer series on Sunday (yeah, I know, technically not THIS week, but I have been looking forward to it!)

5. Making this weekly planner (I've decided the daily one is just too planned out). Here's one without the header.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life Binder

Happy Saturday!  So on Thursday I shared a lovely little organizational tool. And I told you all about the Life Binder. So here's the promised post showing you how I did it and what's inside. Let's get started. I'm just going to tell you how I did mine, but obviously if you were to make one you can adapt it to whatever you need to help you keep your life organized. Here are the different categories I used:
  • Every Day
  • God
  • Time Management
  • Finances
  • Fitness
  • Organization
  • Random
  • Recipes
All set up in the cool air-conditioned lounge. Paper, sharpies, cutting utensils, computer for inspiration, water for hydration, friends for company= 4 hours of lovely crafting!

For each section I used a divider ($0.98 for 5 at Wal-Mart) and went to town on it. I used scrapbooking paper, sharpies, and quotes printed from the internet to decorate mine, but you could use whatever you like! And, like I said, I went to town. So mine is all very random and just whatever I was feeling, so if you are more of a type "A" personality with your organization, you could always color coordinate and make all your tabs the same, etc. However I'm more of an organized clutter kinda gal.
In my "Every Day" section I printed off a bunch of the daily sheets,  2 to a page and front to back so that 4 are on one page.
In my "God" section, there are multiple resources. I put scriptures, tips for inductive Bible study, questions for the first couple chapter of John, and other random printouts I have from church, Navs, etc. You could even use this space for journaling or recording prayers or doing a Bible Study you print out. However, all that stuff is in my journal and elsewhere for me.
You can find schedules galore in my "Time Management" section. I have my class schedule for next semester, schedules for VYC this summer, as well as my weekly calendar.
My "Financial" section is filled with charts waiting to be filled out. Mine are pretty simple- "date, what purchased, store, and amount."
In my "Fitness" section I have put a couple different exercises and workouts to try as well as lists and printouts of healthy foods, snacks, etc. I plan on making a workout log as well.
My "Organization" section contains a couple printouts of organizational tips. One that I especially like that has helped me purge my room a bit, which you can find here.
Everyone needs a "Random" section for those pieces of paper that you just really want to keep but that don't really fit anywhere else!
I don't have any recipes in my "Recipes" section yet, however I do have a cool kitchen conversions chart as well as grocery lists.
So here's the whole thing, tabs and all! I'm considering making a couple more categories, just for fun! I also need to make the cover as well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

5 Things Friday- Things I am thankful for

Things I am thankful for

1. Renewed (or maybe just NEW) passion for RAing this next year

2. Honest friends who will tell me my shorts look like mom shorts and that I should thus get rid of them

 3. Fun Friday at work= free lunch from our boss

4. Face time I will get with my parents this weekend

5. All the amazing VYC interns I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know this summer

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I have a confession.
I'm really bad at managing my time. But in the last 24 hours I may have become obsessed with organization and time management. I just never knew it could be this fun! It all started when I stumbled across this little beut:

{click for printable version}

Be still, my heart.

So, after my breathing finally returned to normal, my brain started working. And I decided that it was about time that I had a Life Binder. Yup. I think I just made that up.

So here's the deal. I can be REALLY good at wasting time. Like, trophy-winning good. Yet I desire to give my time fully to the Lord and let Him shape it into what He wants it to look like. I want to use the time He has given me learning and growing and loving. I want to be productive and faithful to the responsibilities He has entrusted to me, while still having time to seek Him and love others. And it just so happens that He has wired my brain in a way that works really well with little lists like the one above. There's just something inside of me that says "yes!" to lists and jumps with joy when those lists are pretty.

Enter the Life Binder. The culmination of lists, recipes, charts, notes, goals, and everything important that can be put on paper. Where creativity and productivity collide. The thing that just might start my school year off right, so maybe I'll have one less time-wasting trophy in the case. Or maybe I'm just being idealistic. But hey! It's been fun to make, and there's always the off-chance it will stick. So, have I wetted your appetite to see what's inside this baby? Perfect. Come back in a few days. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A work in progress

"Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert."

Isaiah 43:18-19

I am in a constant state of being sanctified, changed, taught, and molded. Praise the Lord that He loves me too much to keep me where I am. Now, I just need to remember to not dwell on the former things and instead focus on what He is doing in my life now, how he is bringing forth a new thing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

5 Things Friday- Things that make me want to scream, etc.

Things that make me want to scream, cry, punch something, shake someone, pray, and DO something

1. There are an estimated 100,000- 300,000 children sex slaves in the US.

2.  Within the first 48 hours of being on the street, one in three children are lured into prostitution.

3. The average age of entry into U.S. sex trafficking for girls and boys ranges from 11-14.

4. Pimps commonly sell minor girls for $400 an hour on America's streets.

5. In many states, victims of child sex trafficking get arrested rather than their pimps and johns ("customers"). Seriously?

*Statistics taken from Reject Apathy magazine

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tutorial: Making an Envelope Book

Happy Thursday! It's almost the weekend... which means you may have a little more time on your hands! So, if you find yourself bored this weekend, wondering what you can do to fill your time, I have just the thing for you! We're going to make a book out of envelopes! Ready?


  • Envelopes

  • Hole Punch

  • Binder Rings


First, you need to figure out how many envelopes you want... you may use as many or few as you like, and remember- you can always add more! You need to arrange your envelopes so that the openings will be the outside edge of your pages. I alternated my envelopes so that I had facing opening pages (i.e. the backs of the envelopes) and facing closed pages (i.e. the fronts of the envelopes). However, you can arrange them how ever you like.


Now you are ready to punch holes in your envelopes. I just punched the holes in one envelope, then used that as a stencil for all the other envelopes so that I was sure they would line up.


After all your holes are punched, connect all the envelopes using the binder rings.


Now comes the fun part! Let your creativity run wild and decorate the envelopes! Use colored pencils, markers, or crayons. Write quotes or verses. Use stickers, scrapbooking pieces, torn out magazines, or photos to add another dimension. The sky is the limit. You can also put things inside your envelopes- whether they be prayers, letters, memories, photos, or lists!


You can make a book for virtually anything- a recipe book, scrapbook, journal, or gift for someone. I decided to make a prayer book, so my envelopes are decorated and filled with verses, prayers, quotes, and song lyrics as well as doodles and drawings. I mainly used sharpies and a little bit of collage.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hannah's Pasta Salad

So I'm a college kid. Living on a college campus. During the summer when there's no cafeteria to feed me. So I really like cheap, easy, fast recipes. Delicious and nutritious doesn't hurt either. So, when I saw my friend eating this little beaut, I demanded she tell me the recipe. So now here I have it for all you fine people. Enjoy.

Hannah's Pasta Salad

  • Pasta

  • Italian Salad Dressing

  • Any delicious mix-ins you want! (I used carrots, sugar snap peas, and cheese)

WOW! Only three ingredients?!?! That's right! (Well, technically 5) And a big batch of this could easily be made for a couple bucks... cha-ching! That's the sound of money in the bank!

So boil your pasta (duh). Cool. Add mix-ins to and dressing to taste.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Early Mornings

So last night was the first in a four-week series that will be happening this summer at VYC. It was sooo great to get to see everyone from youth group again and just be able to re-connect. And one of my favorite parts of the night is usually at the end, after all the plans and activities are over. It's when I get a little bit of face-to-face time with a girl or two. When I get to listen and talk and pray and just walk alongside them.

And last night was a particularly good conversation. Because normally when this young lady and I talk, we just end up kinda going in circles. It seems we are often going through the same things in our relationship with Christ, which is good, but can also be difficult. It's like we're both in a pit at the same time and can't get out or even see anything above... it would be so much more helpful if one of us was at the top of the pit offering a hand up! But that's not how it's been, so we normally just ask each other a lot of questions and don't come up with a whole lotta answers.

We've both been frustrated with how we live our lives vs. how we know how our lives could be. We've struggled through praying and being in the word with our short attention spans and constant distractions. We yearn for deep intimacy with Christ while striving to figure out how to get it. So last night I decided that I'd had enough of talking in circles and questions with no answers. I proposed one week of spending at least 2 hours with Jesus in the morning.

So this morning my alarm went off at 6 am. And wow am I not a morning person. So my first two hours went a little like this:

Do my Experiencing God study. Get distracted by my toenail. Clip it. Read the Bible. My finger hurts. What is that? A sliver? Oh... back to reading. I'm hungry. Ok let's journal now. Put the date... 7/11. OH! It's my friend's birthday. Well that's distracting. Text them to get it off my mind. Continue journaling. Wow I'm really hungry. Get a bagel from the fridge, toast it, and lather on some good ol' cream cheese. Back to Jesus. Attempt a "Pray for an Hour" little hand-out I have. 15 minutes later apparently my eyes think it's nap time. Shake myself awake, go to the bathroom to wash my face in hopes that will wake me up. Come back. Finish praying. DONE.

Wow. It was a little hectic to say the least. I find myself getting so distracted, and then getting frustrated with myself when I do! But then after all this, I had a bit of time after getting ready for work, so I read a bit of a "The Me I Want to Be" by John Ortberg... and it was talking about just that! Ortberg suggested that instead of getting frustrated, you use them as prayers!
 "I used to think of those kind of thoughts [distractions, worries, etc.] as obstacles to prayer, but I have come to think of them as prayers waiting to be offered. Maybe the reason they pop into my mind is not simply my short attention span, but rather what my mind is really concerned about. Instead of trying to suppress these thoughts, it is better to begin to talk to God about them."

So I will be applying this new-found theory to my date with Jesus tomorrow. And I will also will be going to bed earlier.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I miss Romania so much right now, it physically hurts. I want so badly to go back and hold the kids. To get to stumble around with my limited Romanian vocab, trying to express how I feel about them. How God feels about them. I want to cuddle and play and laugh and sing. I want to comfort them when they cry because the older kids were beating them up. I want to make goofy faces with them over and over again as they fight for use of a camera. I want to chase after them after they've thrown snow in my face. I want to get my butt beat in soccer as they all laugh because I can barely kick the ball. I want to see them running down the lane to greet us with hugs and kisses as our van pulls up to the orphanage.

I just want to be there. But that's not happening right now. So I just go back and I read. And I remember. And I pray for the little ones I grew to love, the big ones I grew to respect. I pray for their future and their present. And I pray that maybe our paths will cross again this side of Heaven.


5 Things Friday- Things that make me smile

Things that make me smile

1. The FINAL Harry Potter comes out in ONE week! (And we watched the Live Premiere yesterday at work.)

2.  Reading great blogs (check out this one.)

3. AWESOME Old Navy Sale tomorrow... going with my boss and work buddies.

 4. VYC Summer Kickoff tonight!

5. It's Friday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Sometimes I like to think of God (or Jesus)  as Aslan.

He's mighty, powerful, loving, forgiving. He's a conqueror, a protector, a warrior. He brings peace, order, joy, and life. He fights for me. He sacrificed His very life for me. Sometimes I tremble in His presence, and other times I just wanna give Him a great big hug. Yup. Sounds like Aslan to me.

Friday, July 1, 2011

5 Things Friday- Decisions you can make to make-over your time.

Decisions you can make to make-over your time.

1. Unplug your cable cord.

2. When tempted to surf the internet mindlessly (Facebook, tv shows, etc.), find websites that bring you life. Research organizations or causes that you are interested in, or find a site with encouraging messages, videos, and articles. My fav is (online magazine and other resources from Leslie Ludy).

3. Wake up a little earlier to spend time with God to start off your day.

4. Choose to fill your brain with good books and conversations rather than staring at a computer/tv screen for hours.

5. Find ways to get yourself motivated. Maybe you're a list person. Maybe you need to be more active. Whatever gets you motivated to get things done and kills apathy, do it!


Where do you spend the best hours of your day?

What do you go to for rest, enjoyment, and pleasure?

Are there things in your life you can't imagine giving up?
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