Dec 28, 2014

What's Your Plan?

A new year is upon us and I urge you, encourage you, exhort you to make a plan for how you will spend time with the Lord in 2015. There will be a million distractions and temptations to keep you from reading the Word each day, but with a plan in place it will be easier to overcome the myriad excuses that will pop up to keep you away from your Bible.

And why do we read? There are so many reasons, but JOY is an important one. Even on those days when you feel there is no time to sit down with Scripture for a few minutes, even on those days where your reading plan feels like the most burdensome checklist, there is joy to be found in meeting with the Father and satisfaction to be found in learning more about His Son. Even though your reading will feel monotonous some days, on other days it will feel like refreshing water to your soul, hope for your weary heart, guidance for your wondering mind, and encouragement for your dreams and passions. And one by one, the days of turning God's pages, whether in weary obedience or glad anticipation, will add up to joyful transformation in your heart and your life when the year is through.

This is my prayer for you... that you will be obedient and that you will be changed. I pray that 2015 is the year God's Word becomes more precious to you than ever before. So pick a plan. Stay the course. There is grace for the days you miss and wild joy for days you spend in His Word.

Ligonier Bible Plans - An awesome comprehensive list with so many options.

The Bible App {YouVersion} - This is how you can read on your phone at work, in the car, or in the waiting room on the craziest of days. 

ESV Study Bible - This is my favorite Bible version and they have 12 different plans available in various formats.

Challies Round-up - Another great list of reading plans.

Shirkers and Slackers Bible Plan - This is the plan I'm doing this year. "Slackers" might be misleading because if you follow this plan you will read the entire Bible in a year, but the format is a little more flexible than others, and I like that you read a different genre of the Bible each day of the week.

Chronological Bible - If you've never read through the Bible before, this is probably my top suggestion for you. This is a paperback Bible and it tells you exactly what to read each day of the year. You don't need any additional app or checklist. The plan moves chronologically through the Bible, so the books are in a slightly different order than a regular Bible. For example, Job was a very ancient forefather, so his book comes right after Genesis. When you read about David's trials and battles in I and II Samuel you will also read the Psalms he wrote during the same time period. When you read through the Gospels, you will read each account of the same miracle or parable side by side. It's a really fascinating way to read Scripture, and it's a super organized way to get through a year-long plan.

*Learn more about Bible reading here.*

Dec 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

{Card designed by Bean Press. Highly recommend!}

Dec 20, 2014

Saturday Snippets

Love this post on Jesus becoming a baby...

I shared my birth story on Momquery last week...

A couple of fancy cosmetics I've been eyeing are on sale {Nars Multiple Stick and BB Cream}...

Loving leather leggings {three different price options here, here, and here}...

Helpful ways to respond to the homeless...

These bags.Yes, please...

The Bible reading plan I'm doing in 2015...

Emails from students. True story...

American cities ranked by their food...

Adorable custom art print at a reduced price...

This week's inspiring motherhood post...

Five places where you shouldn't breastfeed...

Dec 16, 2014

Zianne's "Favorite Things" Birthday Party

As I mentioned earlier, we threw two birthday parties for Zianne... one in Seattle where it was surprisingly warm and sunny and one in Phoenix where it was surprisingly cold and wet... like crazy flash flooding, roof leaking wet.

My dear friend Shalyn and I decided to throw a joint-birthday party for our babies who were born just six days apart {all three of them since she has twins!}. To keep the party gender neutral we chose a "favorite things" theme - planes, books, music, animals, etc. Our plan was to host this party at the local train park which is about halfway between our houses. We rented a picnic ramada, bought teal and navy decorations, Shalyn made the cutest Little Blue Truck cutout for photos, and we made a bunch of cupcakes. We were set for a low-key first birthday at the park. We chose the last weekend in September hoping the weather would be slightly cooler than all the sunny 100 degree days that make up the first half of the month. Joke was on us...

In the days leading up to the party, we could see rain on the forecast. By Friday, there was an 80% chance of rain for the following afternoon.. But you never know... it's the desert. Even though we figured it would rain at some point, there was also a good chance it would pour for 20 minutes and then clear up. Plus we had a large covered area rented, so a little rain wouldn't hurt us.

Saturday morning came and it was perfectly sunny. By noon it was slightly overcast but still not wet. It wasn't until about 2:00pm that the flood started. And I literally mean a flood. Shalyn and I had been on the phone on and off for 24 hours trying to figure out what to do if it got really stormy. We looked into a few back up options but none of them were very convenient. Finally at 3:00pm the park made our decision for us. They called Shalyn and told her the park was closing down. Apparently, the rain had caused some broken trees in addition to flooding and the property was considered unsafe. So by 3:15pm we set a back up plan in motion. Party at our house. Starting in approximately one hour.

Thankfully, my sister and her boyfriend were visiting, so with both of them and Micah to help me, we had the whole truck unloaded {it was already packed for the park} and the house set up for the party in record time. Never mind the fact that our roof was leaking. We blocked off the leaky area with balloons and string and called it good to go. Within minutes, guests were knocking on the door, drenched from running from their cars to our front porch. It was not exactly the casual party at the park that we had planned, but we are grateful so many family members and friends braved the storm to celebrate with us. And the kids didn't care about the rain one bit. They were just in it for the cupcakes.

Invite by Shelley's Paper Studio

Leak station...

Favorite things party favors... Ritz crackers, a toothbrush, a book, and a ball

"Hey... I thought they were taking us to the park?"

Zianne is waving... as always.

Seth {aka Sethy}

Aaron {aka Bear}

Zianne {aka Z}

Dec 14, 2014

Zianne's Rockin' Robin 1st Birthday Party

So Zianne turned one! {It happened nearly three months ago, but please disregard that fact...} We actually threw her two birthday parties, one in Washington while visiting family, and one in Arizona, which was a joint party with her twin-friends, Aaron and Seth.

The funny thing is that her party in Washington took place on a perfectly sunny Sunday afternoon. The weather was nearly 80 degrees, which is rare for the Pacific Northwest almost anytime of the year. The funnier thing is that it POURED down rain for her Arizona party. I'll share more details later, but just imagine flash flooding, the park venue for the party closing down, and hosting the gathering at our house at the last minute despite the fact that our roof was leaking. This, too, is very rare for the desert we now call home.

But back to the sunny party... I decided Zianne should have a "Rockin' Robin" party in honor of her very favorite song and all the oldies dance parties we had during her first year of life. The girl has moves. I bought Zianne a poodle skirt from Etsy, found some old 45s at a local record shop, and commissioned the cutest robin sugar cookies from a Seattle bakery. We invited friends and family over to Micah's mom's house for a lunch of pizza and cupcakes, before watching the Seahawks beat the Broncos during Z's afternoon nap.

We started the celebration with a dance party to Z's favorite tune, which she loved, and the party ended with Zianne eating cupcake crumbs off her own body during her post-cake-smash bath. I'd say the day was a success!

Invitation by Sweet Hammer Press

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