Thursday, December 12, 2013

Worship Wednesday (Thursday Edition)

I have been following the She Reads Truth Devotional entitled Emmanuel (Which means = God With Us)
Today's devotional was really uplifting because it talks about God's all knowing power, creator of the heavens and the earth yet he seeks out our individual heart and soul. 
Here is a little part from the devotional. 
No, God’s greatness doesn’t diminish my importance. And it doesn’t concern me that I may be overlooked. God’s greatness is my great comfort, because He has told me how he feels about me. He told me that He loves me with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
And if the great enormity of my God causes me to feel security and not insecurity, what in this passing world is big enough to woo me away from Him? What obstacle or unknown is great enough to cause me to forget my security in Him?
Sisters, if we truly believe in the greatness of God – in His size and power and sovereignty, His love and saving work – then this is all we need to find comfort for a lifetime.
This song is really unique and has a special perspective on the night Jesus was born. Celebrating Our Savior's birth this time of year is sometimes lost in the hustle and bustle of presents, baking, and family get togethers. But this beautiful song is a wonderful display of the true meaning of Christmas and the amazing Gift brought to earth just US!
Check out the Video Here
I wonder if you've heard the story
Of little fame and lesser glory
The night the keeper of the inn
In the little town of Bethlehem
Encountered Joseph and his Mary
About to birth the Savior of the world

His wife said, go and see who's knocking
He ran down to the gate, unlocked it
The moment he heard Mary's cry
He couldn't look them in the eye
Denied them and went back to bed
When his wife asked who was there
He said, I don't know

Just a girl
Just a couple gypsies begging at the door
Told ‘em we don't have room for any more
And closed the door
It was just a girl

He tried to sleep but wasn't able
He snuck out to the dirty stable
The two had found for covering
And laid her in her suffering
The keeper knelt outside the barn
And in the light of that great star
He prayed, what have I done

He's just a babe
Just minutes old there trembling in the hay
I could have found a room for them to stay
I'm so ashamed
He's just a babe

There was no robe, there was no crown
The shepherds stood on royal ground
The keeper wept for what he'd done
He turned away God's own Son

Just a King
Just a million angels crowding in to see
Jesus there among humanity
Just a babe
Just minutes old there trembling in the hay
Staring at his mother in the face
She's just a girl
Just a girl
Does she even know that she just changed the world
Does she even know that He will save the world
Does Mary know that He will save the world
She's just a girl
Just a girl

Monday, November 18, 2013

Copy and Paste Time

I can't sum up all the crazy feelings I have been having with the changing seasons. I have never been one to accept change very well but who is? This devotional that God brought me to through my friend Kendra (who posted it on her facebook) and also my love for following She Reads Truth Devotionals, is worthy of just copying straight from the site. This message needs to be placed at the forefront of my mind and saved on my blog to look back at with the next change in season.

Here it is...

Text: Daniel 3:1-23
“And if not…”
I feel like that’s the rally cry of my faith. I hold on to the idea that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had. I believe that God will show up, that He will show up here on Earth and move in His people and move mountains.
“And, if not…”
And if not, He is still good. He is still the King Most High. He alone is still worthy of our worship. It is still worth it. It would be far better for me to perish than to live a life of bowing down to a lesser god.
We may not live under a government that dictates who or what we can worship, but how often do we voluntarily allow idols to take residence in our life? Comfort, safety, health, wealth. How often do we bow down and sacrifice for those things?
I have hopes. I have desires. If I’m honest, sometimes I hope God’s desires line up with my desires for my life, not the other way around.
But, I believe I’d give up comfort, safety, health and wealth to more fully know God. I believe that giving up those things would benefit me here on Earth. And, if not, I have the comfort of knowing there is glory in Eternity.
Do you have something you are hoping God will show up and do? Do you trust that He is good to grant that desire? Do you trust that He is also good in the “And, if not…”?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Worship Wednesday // Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

Wow, this is sadly my first post in October! I took a little break from posting not really by choice but just out of being busy with birthdays, work, Etsy orders and quality time with friends! But I'm back writing on a Wednesday which means....Another awesome song to Worship to :) This week's song Oceans by Hillsong gives me goosebumps and sometimes brings tears to my eyes at just how simply tender the lyrics are. I hope you enjoy it too! 

Sometimes our problems seem as deep as the ocean. The lists, struggles, exhaustion and heartache pile up. Although we have trust in a Lord that can Move Mountains, at times the weight of the world just feels like too much. It could be one big let down or a lot of little let downs piling up and our faith begins to waiver. God is pressing us to "keep the faith" though, just as Jesus took that walk of faith when he walked on Water! How powerful to know that the One who holds our future is the same Almighty One that enabled Jesus to walk on witnesses the impossible, became possible right before their eyes! 

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Saturday, September 28, 2013

She is Clothed in Strength & Dignity

I am loving the current She Reads Truth Devotional centered around God's Promises. It is a simple message but also really makes you think about just how blessed you are to receive God's Grace! Today's scripture was Isaiah 30:18.

I try to find my own strength and sometimes lean on the strength of my friends and family for help but I know that strength has limits! God's Strength is LIMITLESS! I can try to do it on my own but I will always fail because I find myself being broken down and discouraged but when I look to God for His Power then I know I'm in Mighty Hands :)

Reminds me of the strength that the women I see at Assure need so much! They are scared and lost which is exactly how every woman has felt at some point in her life. God heals and offers hope to those woman that seek Him. I had my first shift at the new West Office and feel blessed to be part of this it isn't bad working in such a beautiful environment! Check it out...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All Wrapped Up into One Day // Worship Wednesday

Today is a very significant day for multiple reasons. It's a hard day because I know that my best friend and her family are hurting. They went through something very difficult a year ago that is pretty shocking, yet when I see their resilience and faith, I am reminded that this doesn't have to be labeled as a "sad day". 

I can honestly say that Kendra has played a significant role in shaping my faith and her friendship has made an impact on not only my life here on Earth but in my Forever Home in Heaven. Wow, that's deep stuff...but it's the truth and it is what is on my heart today as I think of the heartbreak her family endured. So I think it is no coincidence that this day is also National See You at the Pole Day.

I have no doubt millions of people across the nation were praying not only for their school, classmates and teachers but also healing. Whether that be healing from sickness, loneliness or a broken heart. God can work wonders through prayer and it is powerful that today so many young people are joining together for one mission. A peaceful demonstration and positive gesture in this broken world reminds me of the song by Kari Jobe called 'We Are'. The song is an anthem for living like Christ and walking in your faith as an open example for others. 

Every secret, every shame
Every fear, every pain
Live inside the dark
But that's not who we are
We are children of the day

So wake up sleeper, lift your head
We were meant for more than this
Fight the shadows conquer death
Make the most of the time we have left

We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine
Let the light shine, let the light shine

We are called to the spread the news
Tell the world the simple truth
Jesus came to save, there's freedom in His Name
So let His love break through

We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One Year Wedding Anniversary

Where did that year go? Seems like not too long ago I was running around Omaha gathering up supplies for our wedding or calling/texting my sister and mom several times a day to finalize all the details. It was a fun, hectic and amazing time that I sometimes wish I could go back to but then I think of the love that has grown between Alex and I in just one year! I can't wait to see what the next five, ten, and fifty years brings!
We celebrated by relaxing together on the weekend which is something that we actually rarely do with our work schedules or traveling different places to see family or friends. 
After my 5K race  I came home to make homemade "Sweet Swine" pizza and watch the Packers game with Alex.

 Unfortunately the Packers lost but that wasn't spoiling our Anniversary day ;) Alex's mom stopped by to drop off a lovely house plant and a thoughtful card. 

Alex's "I don't know what to do with it" face
Even though the pizza was really simple to make, I was ready to have someone else make us dinner so we headed out west to one of Alex's favorite restaurants Kona Grill. 

Of course I wanted any excuse to wear a dress so Alex was forced to put on some dress clothes too. After ordering their delicious edamame and crab crunch rolls it was time for the main course! The waiter talked Alex into getting the pork loin and I had the house favorite macadamia nut chicken. 

"Lets take a picture in front of the fish!"
Both were delicious and left us very full but not too full to forget about dessert! We took some banana cream pie home for later and I reluctantly "shared" dessert with Alex. We are both bad at keeping surprises so we had exchanged gifts the day before and actually got each other THE SAME THING! So I guess with only one year into marriage we know each other pretty well ;) I checked my email Saturday night (not thinking there would be a gift waiting for me among all the junk mail) and I was excited to see a one hour massage! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Worship Wednesday - Give Me Your Eyes

This song by Brandon Heath is so dear to my heart because the second I start to hear the introduction I am taken back to Tanzania, Africa. This song sums up my experience in Africa like no other journal entry or conversation can. Love for the Humanity encompasses the simplicity of what that medical-mission trip was all about! 

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere, 
Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work
He's buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

I've Been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11 & Worship Wednesday

Most of us woke up today from the sound of our alarm clock and not from a nightmare of the image of the Twin Towers falling. For that I am grateful but also saddened that so many people still have these horrific visions implanted in their memory. As a nurse I take care of patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some can find a little relief by taking a pill but medicine can only do so much unfortunately and many of these victims struggle every day to regain some sort of normalcy in life. I am no expert on this topic but my heart goes out to those that were present at Ground Zero that day and for the many firefighters, police officers, veterans, and current military men and women who are affected by PTSD. So if you are a praying person, please take the time today to ask God to wrap His arms around these men and women as a thank-you for their courageous acts! 

I know I have featured another Need To Breath Song before but they are just SO GOOD! So I can't help myself by featuring my second favorite song by them called "Washed By the Water".  As you listen to the song, you can hear their passion for the story behind the lyrics. But you can also interpret the song your own way whether it be a melody about baptism, endurance or standing up for what you believe in when no one else does! 

Daddy was a preacher
She was his wife
Just tryin to make the world a little better
You know, shine a light
People started talking
Just to hear their own voice
Those people tried to accuse my father
Said he made the wrong choice
Though it might be painful
You know that time will always tell
Those people have long since gone
My father never failed

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

Repeat Chorus
Even when the Earth crumbles under my feet
Even when the ones I love turn around and crucify me
I wont never ever let you down
I wont fall
I wont fall
I wont fall as long as youre around me

On the same topic of Water..check out one of Self Magazines 2013 Women Doing Good Honorees that is fighting for access to clean water world wide. Marla Smith-Nilson writes that through this organization, called Water 1st, her most inspiring moment was when, "An Ethiopian man called me their water mother. When their project was funded, he said to me, 'Now I know that God has touched the ground.'" 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sharp Race Towards Brain Aneurysm Awareness

On Sunday I participated in a 5K that was truly special. Sometimes you sign up for races weeks in advance and the morning of the race you are thinking to yourself "why did I sign up for this..I just want to sleep in" but I'm really glad I got my butt out of bed for this one! One of the race sponsors was The Nebraska Medical Center so I had seen the signs posted in our break room and figured it would be a very worthy cause to donate to. Anita Sharp was a patient at TNMC after she developed a brain aneurysm during the holiday season last year. After the help of Dr. Thorell, a neurosurgeon, and numerous health care professionals she is doing remarkably well and is on her way to recovery! 
Working on a unit where patients don't stay very long and usually head to a rehab facility, I don't get to see my patients after they leave the hospital. So it was inspiring to see a patient that had once been in the ICU and was now enjoying a gorgeous day outside! 

Beautiful Day for a run at Lake Zorinski 
Dr. Thorell announcing that over 20 survivors were present for the race. 
 The race itself was a hot and muggy one! I finished in 31:24 which wasn't bad considering the hills and the heat. Each participant got 2 raffle tickets they could choose to place in different prize jars. They announced the winners of various raffle prizes but the REAL winners that day were the many survivors that showed up! Some even ran the 3.1 miles, which is an amazing testament to the endurance of the human spirit! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

If you don't like Coffee...

...then you probably aren't going to like this shake. But then again if you don't like coffee then you have bigger problems than just not liking this shake ;) Its ok, I won't hold it against anyone if they turn down espresso because I may have a slight problem. But if you are a coffee drinker like me and need a pre-workout boost then give this a whirl. There are similar recipes on Pinterest and this one stems from one I pinned awhile back. I rarely follow a shake recipe to a T because I'm usually just throwing in whatever I have available in my kitchen that sounds like a decent combo. 

// Ingredients //
1 Banana 
1/2 cup of frozen Strawberries & Raspberries 
1 cup of chilled coffee (leftover from the morning before because I'm the only coffee drinker in my home)
1/2 cup of Almond Breeze Milk
2 Tbsp of Flax Seed
Scoop of Protein Powder (mine was vanilla flavored)

 Blend it all together, close your eyes and chug it! Be prepared to be perked up and ready for your morning run! I love a combination of bananas and may be weird but I think they fit nicely together :) If you don't like fruit in your coffee you may want to skip the strawberries and raspberries. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August Cara Box Exchange

What a fun weekend...I can't believe it is September already! There are so many wonderful things that happen in September - Alex and I celebrate ONE year married, Mustang football season kicks off and of course my best friend Bailey welcomes a little girl into the world! And since Bailey didn't go into Labor on Labor Day, we have to wait just a little longer to meet Harper.
I figured it was about time to share my Cara Box from August since we are into another month already. I was paired up with Claire from Gypsy Slow Down and Amy from Love and Hot Chocolate. I had a wonderful time emailing and getting to know these two ladies through their blogs. They are very sweet and surprisingly both have two cats (maybe this is a sign that Kobe needs a companion too!) This month's Cara Box theme was centered around getting to know a blogger that is in your similar stage of life. Claire, Amy and I were in the category of Newlyweds so it was fun to chat with ladies that had planned weddings not to long ago. 
I sent Claire a package tailored towards her love for reading and included a little special something for her cats. Amy sent me a wonderful gift complete with scrap booking supplies, an inspirational magnet, jewelry holder, candle, nail polish, Christmas ornament and a thoughtful card! 
I lit the candle right away and tried out the jewelry holder with my wedding ring... Looks perfect! 

If you could like to join in on the fun and send your very own Cara Box, visit Kaitlyn's blog @ Wifessionals 

To see others from this month click Here

Friday, August 30, 2013

High Five for Friday

Excited for the weekend?! How about ECSTATIC? Because that is what I'm feeling right now! One night shift separates me from a fun filled weekend with my Whole Family at the Lakes in Okoboji. We haven't been all together with Alex included since Michael's graduation way back at the beginning of the summer so this is going to be such a blessing to have 3 days together! 

1 // Thursday Morning after work I prepped some Greek Chicken Gyros in the Crockpot and by the afternoon when the house smelled delicious and Alex was begging to have some to take to work. We were fighting over it and I had to make sure there was some left over for me to have for supper. Note to self...Make about 3 pounds at a time ;)
2 // Mike had is first week of classes at ISU and he is getting used to being in class sizes that are in the 300's rather than 20 student classes at MMC! I was lucky enough to get to chat to him on the phone and loved it because he always knows how to make me laugh. I told him to keep a look out for a girl that was on MTV's Catfish because she just started at ISU and I thought they could be friends ..haha! 
3 // Where's Kobe? He cracks me up and has become an expert fly killer and daytime "snuggler" while I'm sleeping 
4 // My bestie Kendra posted this picture and I asked her permission if I could share it because it gave me goosebumps right away. The caption read "The car I followed home from work..License plate, CJD DAD..Someone's initials? Someone who's dad was affected by CJD? A sign..? Pretty Crazy!" 
God sends us signs every day and if Kendra was too busy with the hustle and bustle of this world she may have missed this very special sign from The Lord. We are so blessed to have these little miracles from above that help us know the Lord is looking out for us and that everyday He is working to heal our heart :) 
For full details about her Dad's struggle with CJD you can read her blog and if you would like to know more about CJD visit this website 
5 // Finally after 1 week I was able to run. With this stubborn sinus infection and busy work schedule I had been lacking in the workout department so I was blessed to finally get some fresh air and listen to some great Pandora radio. I started to wonder if Pandora knew I was sick because these were the songs that came up...
I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for this {High Five for Friday} 
Hope you all have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Worship Wednesday

Thank you to anyone who read my last post on prayer and for the positive feedback! My prayer list is getting longer and longer and I hope you have found time to have a quiet moment with God too in this crazy (Cyrus circus) world! I was hesitant to bring up Miley because I know attention was the main goal of thy performance but I want to add her (and all the young ladies watching) to my prayer list too. But honestly what I was more troubled by was Kayne Wests heartbreaking introduction when he performed at the VMA's because it is a direct hit to my faith. Or should I say 'swing and a miss' to my faith because nothing will stand between me and My God! The singer was introduced with an 'Amen and Hallelujah!' And shockingly even 'jesus' (pronounced hey-sues as in the Spanish version) 
This hurt my heart and I immediately turned off the TV in disgust. I know I am naive to some of the things that go on in our culture but why should I be surprised by this even? In the Bible there were plenty of parables of people worshiping Idols such as gold cows and false prophets but I'm not here to write a research paper on the topic. I'm here simply to say I was saddened by that introduction and it brought me to close my eyes in prayer and once again praise The Lord for my Christian upbringing. 

And now... With a proper and pure introduction .. I give the Worship Wednesday song 'He is With Us' by Love & The Outcome 

Remember when your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when you wonder if you're gonna make it
There's a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt
We can't pretend to see the ending or what's coming up ahead
To know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close to the One who knows

We can trust our God
He knows what He's doing
Though it might hurt now
We won't be ruined
It might seem there's an ocean in between
But He's holding on to you and me
And He's never gonna leave, no
He is with us, He is with us
Always, always
He is with us, He is with us

We believe there is purpose, there is meaning in everything
We surrender to His leading
He wants nothing more than to have us close

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Power of Prayer

I have said many times that the closest I have felt to God was when I was in Africa. God is always just a prayer away but there is something really amazing about feeling a certain connection to a place that sets your faith on fire. That place may be in a small church, near a calm lake or even halfway around the world in an impoverished country. However you don't even need to be in that certain nostalgic place to be close to God. Even though the world around you may be spinning with to-dos, computer screens, and heavy traffic there is always one calm place that is only a prayer away. Prayer is a unique gift that I believe is a Godsend (Literally!)
♫ ♪ What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! ♪ ♫ What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! ♪ ♫ O what peace we often forfeit, ♫ ♪ O what needless pain we bear, ♫ ♪ All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. ~Scriven & ConverseFor some people it may not come natural and for others it is a necessary form of communication. I have learned to open up more in prayer and welcomed the notion of praying out loud before my shift at the pregnancy center with the other wonderful women there. And I wholeheartedly believe that prayer is a powerful thing! Prayer can heal a broken heart, cure a condition that was thought to be hopeless or bring two people closer together. I don't really have to go into a lot of detail but asking, thanking, worshiping, or connecting with your Lord is a tool that comes in very handy in a busy, busy world!
And even though I felt closest to God while I was in Africa, I feel day after day God working to bring special people into my life even if our paths cross for just a short amount of time. These people could be patients of mine, coworkers or even just someone in line at the checkout of Target. I found myself thinking the other day that as much as I attempt to work on a higher acuity unit to gain more experience, I am on my unit for a very important reason. I am in the spot God wants me when I meet a special patient that shares my faith and also when I struggle with finding the reason for such illness and pain in the world. I can grow closer to the Lord through other Christians but I can also grow closer to God when I use the compassion He has taught me. 
Some shifts are frustrating and beyond tiring but when you hear a patient's testimony and see her struggle but know that she will prevail because of God's glory then it makes it all worth it! Some nurses may not find the depth of their work as a caregiver. I hope I never become blinded to the good in every shift at the hospital and knowing that a little prayer can make all the difference! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fitness Friday And... A GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday everyone! Unlike most of you my work [weekend] is just beginning. I start my 3 shifts in a row tonight and lets hope they go by fast! Today I wanted to share with you my little workout I did earlier and also explain a great giveaway that features my blog and Etsy Shop! 
I started off with my normal run around the neighborhood but stopped at a little shelter area to do some power squats, quick jumps and oblique twists. I know I probably looked silly but oh well ...I'm not embarrassed about it because I got a great workout in. Then I finished the remaining 1.5 miles or so back to my house. It was a hot one outside in Omaha and the UV index was 6 so I'm sure my arms got a little tan too! When I got back to the AC (yes it is working now!!) I did some planks, crunches and more power squats.

Now ...For the Giveaway featured on Hallie's Blog at Life Oceanside 

Starfish Wooden Nautical inspired Picture frame
I'm giving away this beauty to one lucky winner! 

Samantha- Hooah & Hiccups// Ashley- Let's Get Bananas// Stephanie- Never The Same Spice Twice
Lauren- Something Beautiful // Cait- My Life As A Long
want to give you alllll of this....
Seriously? I told you they rock!  So get your butts in gear, meet these lovely ladies, and enter to win some GREAT prizes! 1 lucky winner takes the whole haul! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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