Of Bible Studies and Little Promptings

A new year is the perfect time for new or renewed habits, even though that's so cliche, it's true.

After an embarrassingly long hiatus from bible studies it feels wonderful to get back on track. The Girls and I did Priscilla Shirer's study, Discerning the Voice of God last year and really enjoyed it. Sometime in the mid-spring (I forget) we attempted to do her Jonah study, I think we may have finished one week's lesson, but just never quite got it together. #life. I'm sure it's a wonderful study too, but it was definitely one of those cases of "It's not you (Jonah), it's me (or us)", we tried to get it going in the fall again to no avail, so the timing of a fresh start this January was perfect.

Over the past few years the Girls and I have done all three of Kelly Minter's Living Room Series (No Other Gods, Ruth and Nehemiah) and they are all FABULOUS (like seriously, highly recommend you try them if you are looking for a meaty yet do-able and real-life applicable bible study--with recipes no less!). When we saw she had a new one published we couldn't wait to get our hot little hands on it and dig in!
So far (one week, but hey) What Love Is on the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John is excellent. Several times during the daily lessons I had to really stop and think a bit more deeply about certain areas of my life where I might be rationalizing sin. It also felt good to get back in the habit of spending some time in God's word each morning. The cold, hard, sad truth is that when we aren't doing a study together my bible is gathering dust on my nightstand. This time I'm using a fun set of colored pens to spice my writing up a bit, plus there's the well known fact that colored pens help spread happiness.

In loosely related news, I was blessed Sunday by the outcome of a small prompting. I try not to totally ignore spiritual promptings, although I know I do quite often out of moods or timing or whatever. We sat a few pews further up than usual, possibly knocking other regulars out of their usually claimed pew, but I say, whatever, get over it and mingle with new people, people. There was a woman sitting on the other end our pew, by herself, that I was fairly sure was a visitor. I smiled and tired to make vague eye contact when I passed the communion trays to her, noticing that she had a bit of a hard time turning to take them. Once services were over I felt prompted to introduce myself to her (yes, this is something that should always be a habit when I see an unfamiliar face but sometimes I'm good at that and sometimes I'm not, you know, in the mood to be social beyond a smile and a head nod #truth).

I am so thankful I didn't ignore that small nudge because she was delightful and as we chatted she mentioned she has been in pain from a herniated disk in her neck (so much so that she struggled over going to church that morning) and will be having surgery soon and so of course I dragged Scott into the conversation so he could tell her about his experience with the exact same thing! Who knew we'd have that in common? Um...God! She got a little teary because she'd been having anxiety about all of this but now felt relief after hearing Scott's experience. I was all goose bumpy and totally blessed by her grace filled words and evident faith.

Anyway, lesson to myself (and anyone else interested): don't ignore those spiritual promptings! Blessing either for you or another or both will always result. Which, ironically, was one of the themes in Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God study.

I love it when things come full circle!


Miscellany Monday

A few random tidbits of late and not so late...

Scott and I had a day date (my favorite) recently on his day off that involved eating and movie watching (more favorites).
We started off with breakfast at our favorite place, The Egg and I, as per usual. I have a new delightful dish to add to my rotation, the chicken apple sausage scramble which includes egg whites, spinach, tomatoes loads of Gouda cheese and aforementioned sausage. Can I get a yum? Scott got Viva la France because he's a sucker for french toast (ew!). 

Once we fueled up we headed over to the early bird showing of Selma, which, oh my goodness, was powerful. In an I'm embarrassed to be white and from the south, but it is what it is and it's our history kind of way. I know there's controversy about the way the movie portrayed LBJ and MLK's relationship (as in not historically accurate) but it's still a great movie. It's a shame the actor portraying MLK wasn't nominated for an Oscar, he's deserving. If you get a chance to see it, GO!

FYI: I also watched a PBS documentary on YouTube about MLK called Citizen King and there are also full length versions of the Eyes on the Prize documentaries about the overall Civil Rights movement, even one specifically about the Selma to Montgomery march. Good stuff!

Post-movie we dropped off Annelise's charm bracelet at James Avery to get her Christmas present from her Aunt Karen added (a rabbit and a cat charm) and since La Madeline is so conveniently located, as in right next door, we soon found ourselves enjoying salad and soup for lunch. Can I get another yum?

After picking up Annelise after school we made an emergency stop for cupcakes, as you do.
(It was Friday after all, and the start of a three day weekend, so I guess we were celebrating.)

Annelise went over to a friend's house Sunday afternoon for a sleepover (woohoo for MLK day!) so Scott and I hightailed it back to the movies to see American Sniper. I knew that movie would be hard to watch going in, and I was right, but it was really powerful though difficult to stomach at times (like Selma). Of course I was a heap at the end. The theater was absolutely silent as we left, I think everyone (a full house) was overcome with emotion and respect.

Annelise had a fabulous time with G. and S., epic Nerf battles--I think they were reenacting the Hunger Games, trampoline jumping, Minecraft construction, silliness, staying up until the wee hours and general girl stuff (but no drama, thank goodness). When I picked her up Monday afternoon she had that wild-eyed crazed look which is the sign of sleepover success.

In unrelated news, I have never been one to listen to podcasts. No reason really, other than I didn't know of any good ones.


Enter Serial.
The bad news is it's about a real-life murder of a teenage girl but the good news is it's chock full of twists and turns and wait...whats and whodunits.

And you can totally binge listen now (which is what I did) instead of waiting each week for the new podcast. Sometimes there are perks for arriving late to the party. I even got Scott to listen so we could discuss and compare theories. He listened on his commute and I listened in the car or when insomnia struck.  Is Adnan guilty and wrongly convicted? Why does Jay seem so shady? What about those phone calls? I don't know!! It's so addictive!

Now I have to find new podcasts to get hooked on.

Two things:

01.) Annelise got glasses.

It's like a whole new world.

They're mainly for school (she sits near the back in two classes and was having trouble seeing the whiteboards) but she likes to wear them as much as possible.
02.) Annelise dusts and accepts payment in frappucinos.

It's a win-win.

In cooking news, last week I made Edie's Cheese Tortellini soup, except I added turkey sausage because my people tend to want meat with their supper, whatever, man. Not only is it yummy, it's pretty easy and quick to throw together, so it meets my criteria.
I also made Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake, which is slightly similar to lasagna, but not, yet still has that comfort food quality going on.

Tonight we're having Mexican Meatloaf (Annelise actually cheered when she heard the news), which is an easy but always delicious go-to meal. Perfect for Mondays (or any day). We eat it on a bed of spinach with salsa, tomatoes, avocado, crushed chips--whatever you have.

(Just sharing those recipes in case y'all are looking for something new-ish to feed your people, you know how they always expect food at certain times and all.)

Happy Monday, y'all!



After seeing the shamefully low (55 posts might seem like a lot to some, barely anything to others, but when compared to the previous years it made me sad) number of total blog posts for 2014, I had big plans of blogging more in 2015.

I've missed using this space somewhat regularly as a journal for my thoughts and our life happenings, along with occasional fashion/lifestyle and exercise tidbits here and there.

I figured the dawn of a new year was the perfect time to recommit to blogging (along with all the other re-commitments of cleaner eating, regular exercise, bible study/prayer time, et cetera).

Then two days into the new year I got sick and quickly lost all motivation.

What started as vague aches morphed into sore throat and congestion which soon turned into a 75 year old's hacking smoker's cough (I don't smoke) (I'm not 75, thankyouverymuch ). The kind of cough that can soon escalate into heaves and convulsive seal barks. Scott kept telling me to go to the doctor but since I don't really have a GP and each day I thought I felt slightly better (not really) and I was worried if I actually went to see a doctor they'd say it was just a cold and I didn't need antibiotics and I might as well have stayed home.

I tend to over think things.

This went on for a week.

I know.

Then this past Sunday night Annelise started running a fever.

Great. Cue extra mom guilt.

When Scott came home Monday evening I told him fine, I'd go to the doctor, but wouldn't it be great if Annelise and I could both go at the same time and knock this out in one fell swoop instead of trying to coordinate separate appointments. Then I had the brilliant idea of going to one of the nearby Urgent Care clinics. I was all in, let's get 'er done!

The clinic wasn't too busy and we were seen fairly quickly. They saw us both at the same time and swabbed Annelise for strep throat and the flu since she was running a fever, which came back negative (praise!). The doctor was really nice and we could understand what he was saying (yes, that's a problem sometimes). He made me really happy when he said he wasn't opposed to giving antibiotics for upper respiratory infections (praise!).

About an hour and a half after arriving we left with prescriptions for antibiotics (both of us), 'roids (me) and heavy duty knock you loopy cough syrup (both of us but we only filled one because it was a crazy $62.00).

The draw back to my brilliant plan was the difference in co-pay prices between regular office visits and Urgent Care. I had no idea. #clueless

Scott was not amused.

I kept saying, hey, at least we both went to the doctor! And we have meds!

He relented once he remembered he could file all of this on his flexible spending account, which that in an of itself is weird because you pay your own money and then you get reimbursed with your own money that had been set aside from your paychecks, but just whatever, man, he was happy again.
And he had the grace to not say I told you so when I told him how much better I felt the next day.

So there's that.


Due to the plague and all I never posted about New Year's Eve and Day.

We enjoyed our third annual ringing in of the New Year at Pat and Robyn's house (they are so gracious to invite the craziness into their home each year) with the Smiths and Sabs, as per usual.  We feasted on all kinds of appetizers, including but not limited to most forms of cheese, chatted, laughed and so forth. Rinse and repeat. The kids played basketball, jumped on the trampoline, played hide and seek and tag until the wee hours of the morning. We rarely saw them.
There were also many rounds of ping pong, for all ages.

This photo documents one version of Around the World (or ping pong table) where even the lack of extra paddles is not a problem.

That's what books are for, right?
(I think Annelise and Kamri were either playing basketball or chilling out and therefore not pictured. Macy wasn't there because...

she was at a party at Roger Clemens' house.)

What the what?!?!

Needless to say the men all felt a tiny bit cheated.

The next day, once we got ourselves together after crawling home around 4:00 am, we went over to my dad and Peggy's for black eyed peas and cabbage. And football. Lots and lots of football.

For the love.

Happy 2015, y'all!
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