Saturday, April 14, 2018

I Got Tagged Again!

The Tag:

I was tagged for the Liebster Award Tag by... Bethani from Gratefully His!

*stares Bethi down* You did this just so I would have to fill out the facts section again. I know you did. Just kidding, thanks Bethi ;)! 

 The Rules:

-Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award. Check.
-Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you. Will do.
-Give 11 random facts about yourself. I'm running out of facts, y'all. 
-Nominate 11 blogs. And blogs. I had a few I wanted to tag last time that went over the 11 limit, but not *11* more!
-Notify those blogs of their nomination. I can do that...
-Give them 11 questions to answer. *Thumbs up*

The Questions:

1: What is your favorite book?
No, no, no, no. You didn't. Not again!!! NOT THE FAVORITE QUESTIONS. 
Ughhhhh. How about a few?
The bible is the one book that I would never want to give up, and I especially love the books of Ruth, Psalms, John, Romans, and Hebrews.
Other than that... I am going to go with "The Valley of Vision", "Choosing Gratitude", and "An Old-Fashioned Girl". The one I have loved reading best so far this year was "Kingdom's Quest". It's this allegorical story inspired by the life of Paul, and honestly it's geared for younger ages, but for some reason this one just really touched me. I think it was raw and hopeful, all at the same time. It's not something I expected after the first few books, which were interesting but not terribly compelling, haha. 

2: What is your least favorite book?
This one is easier. It's a toss up between "Rose in Bloom" (I looked for that book for five years and HATED it when I found it, it was the worst disappointment) and "The House of 30 Cats" (you have a trouble-making cat? Let the cat die, then everything is alright! *screams* It was the worst).
3: What is your Favorite movie?
Nope, not even trying. Let's pretend this question doesn't even exist, 'kay? Although if you want to tell me YOUR favorite movie, I can tell you what I think of it. Ha. 

4: What is the scariest movie that you have watched?
Hands down, "Return to the Hiding Place". I'm not sure why it was so terrifying... maybe because in the back of your mind was the fact that it was a real story and this "was" really happening... maybe because as a real story, you knew people weren't safe just to help the story along... I don't know. But Mama and I went to bed with pounding hearts and jumping at little noises (Not kidding, Mama literally checked her blood pressure it was so bad, haha...).

5: What is your favorite month?
I am NOT copying Bethi here. October was my favorite month before it was hers ;)... It's fall, even here in SC. Coffee, gingersnaps, sweaters, cool(er) days, extra reading, the colors. Everything is beautiful from early October to mid November!

6: What does your dream house look like?
*Laughs because I literally answered this the other day* Then realizes... I told you my dream starter home. The home I dream about that is too small for raising a dozen children efficiently. Sooooo, I guess I could tell you about my dream long-term home, right? 
When I see that home, there are a few things that I want. I'd love an open floor plan home with lots of room for having family and church members over and being able to stay a part of things in the living room and dinning room while working in the kitchen. It's still got plenty of plants, but it's also got a whole lot more bookshelves, just because there is more room ;). There is a huge yard, and we have a wrap-around porch with plenty of seats. And I spontaneously bake chocolate chip cookies with small children at 8 o'clock at night quite often. I might want to work on the frequency of that BEFORE it's a reality ;). But once in a while can't hurt...
7:What does your dream garden look like?
It's big. It's got an arbor with a swing. Alllll the vegetables are there, but there are also tulips and daffodils and small, sweet-atmospheric plants in the middle,too.

8:What is your favorite Ice cream?
Ben and Jerry's Half Baked. Yummm!

9: How do you decorate your room?
How *do* I, or what do I aim for? Hahaha...
I love wall colleges, but I haven't done one because I like them all and can't commit to one. Ha! I pretty much love all (cute) wall art, and prefer functional flat surfaces. Color schemes I'm drawn to are blues and neutrals (preferably brown). But... I'm honestly not picky right now as long as it is cute and sentimental. And inspirational. Quote decor is a really big deal for me, haha :). 

10: Do you like Tea, Coffee, or Hot Chocolate better?
Not tea. Don't get me wrong, I love certain teas... but I'm not going to reach for it for a treat. I'm going to go with coffee, because if you know me you know I really love coffee! But I drink hot chocolate about as much because, 1. no caffeine, 2. almost as good ;). (Decaf coffee does not satisfy...)
11: What are 3 things that you plan to do in 10 years?
If I am alive ten years from now, I am going to wake up, eat, and feel emotions. Yes. Nearly impossible to fail. 
I totally cheated here, hahaha. But I can't even wrap my mind around that far without being reminded that... I don't know. I'll be thirty, and I have no idea where God will have me at that point. My goals might not be His plan, and I don't want to fight against that. And that's okay, because I can rest in Him and trust His path for me. 
Ultimately, my hope in life, at any time, no matter what circumstances I am given, are that I would love the Lord with all my heart, that He would use me to encourage those around me, and that I would be content with whatever those circumstances are, using them as He is leading. 

The Facts:

I'm going to do this a little differently. I think, instead of "real facts", I am going to give you a few of the many quotes that I love, because I believe that knowing what words mean a great deal to someone is really one of the best ways to truly know them, and also because, "A drop of ink may make a million think"... 

"I have an obsession with quotes, because other people are so much better at putting my feelings into words than I am."

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us." -Psalm 62:5-8
"To begin, begin." -William Wordsworth

"If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit."

"A bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't." -Charles Spurgeon

"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above." - Robert Robinson

"The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely." - Louisa May Alcott

"You can't truly rest until every area of your life rests in God." - A.W.Tozer

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer." -Psalm 19:14

"Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for."

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10

The Nominees:

-Bethani from Gratefully His. Yes, you dear. Because if you can" get Tori back", I can get you back, and I feel somewhat evil today, mwahahaha. Also because I don't think you should neglect your blog so much ;).
-Allison from "All Things Allison Marie". I just found this blog, and I right away subscribed! I thought it would be fun to get to know Allison a bit better :)!
-Daminika from "Walking in the Sonshine". I feel like Daminika has a unique blog... some of us are kind of cookie cutter without meaning to be, but somehow she does everything we do with a little personal twist which is fun :).
-Jessica from "Apples of Gold". Jessica's blog makes me think when I read it. She brings out the small things in a way that strikes you as completely new, you know :)? Also, we once unknowingly wrote blog posts about caring for others from two different sides of the story at the same time, and while I didn't post mine for months because it was kinda raw, I thought it was neat!
-Chelsea from "An Ordinary Pen". I love stalking Chelsea's blog... hahaha ;). Also, I love her blog name and the reasoning behind it!
Annnnnndddd... does anyone else want to say I tagged them ;)? 'Cause right now, the other 6 spots are a free for all, hahaha!

The Questions:

-Who is one person you look up to?
-What is the hardest part about blogging for you?
-Can you "introduce" us to your family?
-What is one blog post you've written that you hope none of your readers miss?
-How old were you were you started blogging, and how did you pick your blog title?
-What is one skill or talent you have that others might not know you have?
-What is your favorite bible verse(s)?
-If what you say in answer to this question was the only thing that you left when you died, what is it you would say?
-When you have free time, what is the first thing you want to do?
-What is your favorite fictional story (or the top few, for those of you like me ;)!)?
-What is one of the quotes that inspires you?

Thank you all for joining me for this tag once again ;)!
Rejoicing in hope,
Bri <3

Friday, April 6, 2018

Cast Your Cares

cast your cares upon the lord j.r. miller quote

As I was reading the other day, selections from "The Cure for Care" by J.R. Miller were shared, and I found the whole article... I wanted to share some of that article with you here, but if you would like to read the whole thing, it can be found here :). 


"...Refer every disturbing thing to Him, that He may bear the burden of it. “But why should I have to make it known to Him?” asks some one. “He knows all about it already. Why must I take it to Him?” It is reason enough that He has asked us to do it; and if we will not make it known to Him, can we complain if He does not help us? He needs us to learn to confide in Him and to flee to Him in every moment of perplexity or pressure. Whenever there comes into our experience a difficulty, an annoyance—anything that tends to produce irritation or anxiety or alarm or confusion—we are to carry it at once to God. We are to get it somehow out of our unskilled hands and off our frail shoulder into the hands and over upon the shoulder of Christ. It is not enough to kneel down and say a prayer, nor is it enough to pray about the particular matter that worries us, asking for help or deliverance. Only the most simple-hearted definiteness in prayer will meet the need. We must bring the very perplexity itself and put it out of our hands into God’s, that He may work it out for us. 

We are to bring the matter as literally to Him as we would carry a broken watch to the watchmaker’s, leaving it for him to repair and readjust. A little child playing with a handful of cords, when they begin to get into a tangle, goes at once to her mother, that her patient fingers may unravel the snarl. How much better this than to pull and tug at the cords until the tangle becomes inextricable! May not many of us learn a lesson from the little child? Would it not be better for us, whenever we find the slightest entanglement in any of our affairs, or the arising of any perplexity, to take it at once to God, that His skillful hands may set it right? Then, having taken it to Him, and put it into His hands, we are to leave it with Him; having gotten it off our own shoulder upon His, we are to allow it to remain there. 

But it is just at this point that most of us fail. We tell God about our worries, and then go on worrying still as if we had never gone to Him at all, or as if He had refused to help us. We pray about our cares, but do not cast them off. We make supplication, but do not unload our burdens. Praying does us no good. It makes us no more contented, or submissive, or patient, or peaceful. We do not get the worries out of our own hands at all. This is the vital point in the whole matter. 

Or perhaps we do cast the burden upon God while we are praying, and feel for the moment a strange sense of joy in our soul. We rise and go a few steps as light-hearted as an angel. We have given God our cares to keep. But in a little while we have gathered up all the old burdens and anxieties again, and have them once more on our own shoulder, and we go bowing under them, fretting and worrying as before. 

But is that the best the religion of Christ can do for us? Is that the full meaning of the privilege expressed in so many golden promises in the Scriptures? Is a little moment’s rest from anxiety in the midst of long days of care all that it is possible for us to obtain?

...We are permitted to roll our care entirely over on God and to let it stay there. We are to put the broken plan, the shattered hope, the tangled work, the complicated affair, into the hands of the God of providence, leaving the ordering and outcome of it to His wisdom. The provocation, the friction, the burden that presses sorely, the annoyance, the hindrance,—instead of permitting ourselves to be vexed, exasperated or disturbed by them, we are quietly to turn the matter over to God, and then go on calmly to the next duty that comes to our hand. And, having done this, we are to cease to worry. We have given the perplexity to God. We have asked Him to think for us, plan for us, and take the ordering of the affair into His own hands. It is our matter, therefore, no longer, but His. 

Should we not be willing to trust Him? We put our worldly affairs and interests into the hands of men, and feel that they are safe. We commit our sicknesses to the skill of our physician. Business complications we confide to the wisdom of our lawyer. A broken machine we turn over to a mechanic. Is not God wise enough to manage the complications of our lives, and to bring order and beauty out of them? Has He not skill enough? Is He not our Father? and will He not always do the very best and wisest thing for us? Should we not trust Him, and cease to be anxious about anything that we have committed to Him? Is not anxiety doubt and unbelief? and is not doubt and unbelief sin?..."

We give our worries to God, but go on worrying still, and this is the cause of our cares. 

I don't know about you, but  I know I have been guilty of this many times. I know God can and will answer all prayers in the best way, but so often after prayer I am left worrying that the answer will be different than what I would like, or will not happen quickly. But when I pray and leave those burdens at His feet, and do not pick them up again in fear, I am able to trust Him. "Is not doubt and unbelief sin?" When we doubt our Savior's plan or timing or answer, we are saying we know better what should happen. We, the fallible creatures with limited sight, doubt the plans of the infallible sovereign God who not only sees but has ordained the entire view of our life since before the world was made. Yet He continues to invite us to "Come unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)

And when our hearts are trusting and aligned in Him, the cares of this world are no longer ours to bear, but simple another way for Christ to show His power in our weakness, and we find rest. 

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri <3

Is there something I may prayer with you about, dear friends? Let us give all our troubles to Him and encourage each other in fellowship through Him!

Monday, April 2, 2018

March is Over...

Time to look back at the month!!!

Noah was cute, obviously. Also, he turned two! I was visiting my grandparents, so I missed the day, but we celebrated later :). Mama and Daddy took him to the park, and Mama said Daddy set a pinecone on a stump at the park to take pictures of it, so Noah found a pinecone and set it up on a smaller stump... then chased after the geese trying to give them a flower <3.

I made charts in my journaling bible of the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11!

My Grandpa and Grandma graciously opened their home to me for over a week, and gave me the use of their car. I had a wonderful time, browsing antique shops and thrift stores, going through old family photos, and watching documentaries, with Grandma, in between getting some driving hours in. And Grandma remembered that dark chocolate is the best ;).

And I spent the evenings petting their cat. She was afraid of my pink skirt (?), but she was a little attention seeker, and ate a couple spoons of my yogurt every time I would pull some out of the fridge, haha.

I found our dishes. The ones we use. Everyday. At an antique shop.... (for your information, we got ours when Abbi was a baby. Guess who just reached antique status. The nine year old, yep.)

Mama and I took the little boys shoe shopping. Peter went too, but he was behind my chair, haha. Mama gave them their bagel, and Peter goes, "WOAH, that's a big one!" Haha! They usually only get half, because, I mean, it's practically the size of the two year old's head.

Jojo turned 4, too :)!!! And our cousin turned 1, and Peter is about to turn 6 and Aunt Amber's baby is due any day... these little boys birthdays are all on top of each other!

Our birds are cute. And messy. I just wiped down the cage and gave them their bath, but it needs a deep cleaning like.... every day. Haha! They are adorable, though. And so fluffy after a bath!


Peter, holding a strand of Tori's hair and following her until she stopped and looked at him: "I was tracking you to give you a kiss."

Josiah as I told him goodnight, going through our "I love you routine": "You forgot the other thing. The dot and pie thing."
It took me a few questions to realize he wanted me to sing a little baby-song that says "You are my cupcake"!

Mama, after reading a review someone left on my shop: "It must be nice to have your job be taking people's dreams and making them a reality."
Abbi: "I want to do that!"
Mama: "You can. My dream is to have good little girls who are kind to each other and keep their room clean."
Abbi: "YES!!!! I will make Emmi do that!!!!"
Not exactly what was meant....

Josiah: "*Every*body is crazy... except God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit!"

Me: *switches out my long sleeved outfits for my short sleeved outfits as it gets warmer*
Me for three days: "IS IT COLDER TO Y'ALL, OR IS IT JUST ME?!?!??!!"
Day 4: "....oh. It's just me. I packed away my long sleeves..."

Peter: "Did Adam and Eve have children?"

*Bethi is putting Noah down for a nap*
*I walk past*
Noah: "BRI! Help me!!!!"

Mama: "Okay, Bethi, *I* am not that bad! Not even I dust hole punches."
Me: "...." should I admit it? yeah, sure...
"... I have done that before."

Noah sees a picture of a squirrel: "Moose! Moose!!!"
He meant mouse... if that makes any more sense ;).

Can we all just agree that if we call a wrong number, we apologize instead of acting like it is the recipient's fault or hanging up without saying anything? Please? ::sigh::

Josiah: "I want to go to the chicken nugget place, but not get pink medicine."
He went to Sonic after going to the doctor last month, hahahaha...

My Aunt and I, literally at the same time, but in different rooms:
*surveys the situation*
To ourselves, but outloud: "Okay."
*reaches for the closest lightswitch*
*turn to stare at each other and laugh*

*a commercial on TV* "This meal is so cheap... it costs nothing!"
My Grandpa: "Nothing? She stole that organic chicken breast then."

*roach on the ceiling*
*Andrew goes to vacuum it off with the shop-vac*
*shop-vac is set to blow OUT, roach is blown into the bookshelf*
::shudder:: We got it!

Abbi as Mama takes the little girls out to buy shoes: *waves at those of us left at home* "Bye, trouble!"

Tori gave me frequent updates the first day I was gone about how Noah was making it very clear he missed me, and it was sooooo sad, but to her credit (?) she let me know she hadn't told him I was with our cousin James, because he might think I had replaced him with another baby (?!)...

Tori: "Today Emmi got a gummy packet that had a total of 4 gummies in it."

Tori: "What kind of chocolate is it?"
Me: "Dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds! Or some of it has salted caramel."
Tori: "Oh, never mind. I probably wouldn't like it. It sounds fancy."


Also, I thought I would share this post with you, because it was really good. And with that, I am heading off, because things are so crazy lately that we had to split Joey's birthday celebration into two days, and he is about to open gifts :D! It's hard to believe my buddy, Joeyakins, our little "Seaweed", is 4 now!

Rejoicing in hope,
Bri <3