Tag Archives: fellowship

Journey Journal: Days 214-231

The last few weeks could be characterized by copious amounts of coffee accompanied by fabulous fellowship and foodie adventures, intermingled with thoughtful musings on articles and video clips. Check it out below.

“The relationship between coffee and well being” – picture courtesy of Stephen Altrogge

Day 214: Friday, August 2, 2013

Had another wedding today. Picked up the various pieces on Wednesday, started working on them on Thursday night, and finished up Friday morning–and actually got a full night’s sleep on this one!

This weekend’s wedding flower lineup included white hydrangeas, calla lilies and roses, blue delphinium, purple statice, peach wax flowers, green hypericum berries and grass…oh, and blue thistle!!  It turned out to be a beautiful combination! Here’s a sneak peek. I’ll post professional pics soon.

Day 215-216: Saturday and Sunday, August 3-4, 2013

More house projects. A FaceTime “coffee chat” with one of my best friends, Katie. Church. And a “breakfast for dinner” get together on Sunday night as a send-off for three of our friends who are moving away from Greenville–two to work with a church in NC (while the husband pursues ordination with the intent towards chaplaincy), and the other to teach English abroad. It was a really good time…though we will miss our friends.

Day 217: Monday, August 5, 2013

On Monday, a friend from church dropped off their first batch of eggs from their farm! Of course, that automatically meant I “had” to have eggs for dinner. So we made a batch of sausage gravy and served it over toast with a farm-fresh omelet filled with onions, peppers, goat cheese and basil, topped with arugula. So delicious! You know the eggs are fresh when they yolks are perky and deep orange. I was super excited to start getting these each week…that was, until a coyote (or neighbor’s dog) got into the chicken coop. Sad day…because these eggs were amazing! We savored egg dishes the rest of the week!

Day 218: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One of the video clips I was fascinated by this week is below. Talk about “trash to treasure”–this “Landfillharmonic” clip is amazing! Makes me thankful for all that we have:

Day 219-220: Wednesday through Thursday, August 7-8, 2013

I had some perfect peaches, so I decided to make peach pie to share with our Shepherding Group. It turned out pretty good, but I’m still working on my pie not being too runny. After Shepherding Group on Wednesday, I made stuffed peppers for the first time in ages. I found several recipes online and adapted them to be my own unique creation–recipe here.

On Thursday, I heated up the stuffed peppers and took them to lunch with my friends Shannah and Annette. Annette brought a corn salad and a cucumber salad; Shannah shared a fresh spinach salad with homemade maple vinaigrette and homemade peach pie with latticed crust and all–it was perfect!

I had plenty of leftover stuffing left that didn’t go in our peppers, so on Friday, I used them to fill hard corn taco shells–and they were fantastic! I topped the tacos and stuffing with fresh arugula, cilantro, and a dab of sour cream, along with the avocado sauce.

Day 221-222: Friday and Saturday, August 9-10, 2013

Friday lunch with an old high school friend that I was recently reunited with through work. Had our friends Kevin and Melissa over for dinner and games–recently we’ve been playing a lot of Dominion with them, but tonight they taught us a new game, Elder Sign–which is really fun! (Definitely on the Christmas wishlist 😉 ). Saturday was more work on the house. Helped the couple moving to NC pack up a bit and said final goodbyes (not that we won’t see them again soon). 😉 Lunch with my folks and sister–my parents were picking up my sister’s boys for a few days at the farm before school started. Then ran some errands and ended the day with having my sister Michelle and her husband Alan over for dinner (with only the new baby girl). We just made simple sandwiches and she brought some potato salad–and we taught them to play Dominion. It was a lot of fun! We should do that more often.

Day 223: Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Sunday not teaching in the children’s ministry for several years. It was kind of weird trying to figure out which Adult Life Application Group we fit best into. We ended up in Marriage Foundations, since we know a lot of the people in that class, and we really enjoyed it. We want to visit a couple more before we make our final decision–though any of them would be really good, I think.

Day 224-228: Monday through Thursday, August 12-15, 2013

Monday was a hugely successful day: got all my data exported and submitted for conversion at work! AND we got the majority of the insulation put up in the new room! Phew! I just have to say…if I “had” to install insulation in a hot room on a hot day, at least I got to do it with my hot husband! 😉

Read a really good article on marriage: God Loves Odd Couples. Marriage isn’t about being “perfectly compatible”…it’s about reflecting Christ. Very encouraging article.

Tuesday, I had my semi-annual dentist appointment, followed by a free birthday cupcake from Chocolate Moose–no, I didn’t tell the dentist where I was headed after my cleaning, and, yes, he did tell me I won a “mouth of the month” award! After work, I went on a long walk with a good friend, Jan. She’s a fantastic young mom of two and even though we aren’t able to get together as much as we’d like, every time we get together is always refreshing and uplifting.

Wednesday night after church, I had two friends over. Great night of fellowship with sisters in Christ who love Jesus, the Gospel and the power of Redemption! Enjoyed precious gifts of conversation, edification, good coffee, and orange cinnamon rolls.

Thursday night was dinner with some more friends, Ben and Ashley, whom we haven’t been able to catch up with in forever. Forgot that the 2 1/2 cups of coffee that I drank at dinner tonight was NOT decaf. Fail.

Day 228: Friday, August 16, 2013

Nothing like James Galway and fresh coffee on a rainy morning! I love classical flute! It’s been far too long since I played. After work, I grabbed a few ingredients and we headed over to our friends Daryl and Adrianne’s house. It was my first attempt at from-scratch banana pudding with meringue topping! I added freshly grated nutmeg and soaked the bananas in a little lime juice before adding them to the pudding with the Nilla wafers. While we made the dessert, the guys watched the grill and practiced their target shooting. It doesn’t get more Southern than this:

photo-20

Day 229-230: Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18, 2013

Progress on the house…windows and door are finally in in the new room! …along with framing, wiring, insulation, and subflooring! Plus new white posts instead of green rails on the front porch! More to come, but excited for the progress so far!

Sunday, we stopped by Panera and Starbucks for breakfast before church (wanted to use my free birthday drink). Caught up with several friends at church. Afterwards, we used some more birthday “freebie” e-coupons (World Market, etc.), then lunch with Bryan and an evening of hanging out…just the two of us! It was kind of a perfect day!

Day 231: Monday, August 19, 2013

Today I turned 32 years old. And the word that comes to mind is…blessed. I had a fantastic birthday! Tim and Debbie took me and Bryan out for lunch today, my friend Tami brought by a cute little flower pot to the office, the sun came out, and Bryan’s taking me out again tomorrow night for a nice dinner…plus lots of phone calls, messages, and emails that made me feel loved and appreciated. So thankful for the family and friends God has brought into our lives. As you can tell if you read the above post, it’s a busy stage of life for us, but it’s so rewarding and fulfilling!

Are You a Fisher of Men?

This was a compelling clip. As a Christian, am I actively sharing Christ? Or am I just part of a religious club? Am I more concerned about discussing Christianity or about seeing souls saved and lives changed for the glory of Christ? Do I focus on the fellowship or on Christ and His Mission? When was the last time I shared the Gospel of Christ with someone–a neighbor, a classmate, a coworker, a friend, the restaurant server, or grocery cashier? This video is thought provoking and worth the watch…

Here are some more thoughts: Do I attend church to “get” something or to “feel good” about myself, or is church a place to worship Christ together with other believers, to encourage one another, and to edify one another (which may also mean the occasional rebuking in love with a spirit of truth and grace) so that we might grow together in Christ and that Christ might be glorified? Am I living out the Gospel or just being another “consumerist Christian”–showing up to church on Sundays…and even on Wednesdays, making sure I make an appearance at church suppers and special activities; but then walking out the door as if I’d never been inside? When I leave the church doors, am I forgetting the body of Christ? Or are they a part of my day-to-day life? Do I go about my  life–at work, at home, on vacation, running errands, whatever–as if I am in the same rat race that the rest of the world seems to be in? Am I too busy bickering and debating with my brothers and sisters in Christ to realize there’s a spiritual war going on all around us? Am I allowing my heart and mind to be changed by the Word? Am I impacting others around me for Christlikeness? I have one life to live–how am I using it for Christ? Am I using it for Christ? Just some food for thought.

Thanksgiving Tips: Stuff the Turkey, Not Yourself!

1. Don’t skip breakfast! Eat a low-calorie breakfast to kick-off your metabolism for the day. A cup of yogurt topped with fresh fruit and a handful of granola is perfect, or try a cup of steel cut oats with sliced apples and cinnamon. Another great option is the Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage breakfast sandwiches.

2. While your meal is cooking, get active. Lifting a turkey in and out of the oven doesn’t count as a weight routine, so grab those weights and do some training before your feast.

3. Watch your portions. Stuff the turkey; don’t stuff yourself! Too many of us overeat at family affairs. Don’t feel like you have to take a serving of everything on the buffet. Choose the healthful options. Wait several hours before returning for seconds. Go for a 3-4 oz. serving of roasted turkey, and avoid the fatty portions. Avoid casseroles if you can; many of them are full of hidden fats and sugars. Mash cauliflower instead of potatoes to cut down on some calories; eat mashed sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole, and serve your green beans steamed with a sprinkling of cranberries or pomegranates, garlic, and almonds. Don’t forget that apple cider and other holiday beverages contain calories too.

4. Get the family involved in fitness. Go for a 45 minute walk or play a game of football in the backyard after your feast as a family and boost your metabolism by as much as 15%.

5. Remember that Thanksgiving is about the people and the memories more than it is about the food. So, don’t stress out if your pie doesn’t look just like grandma’s did or if dinner doesn’t start exactly on time. Enjoy the moments and thank God for Who He is and what He’s done and will do in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving! Bon Appetit! And Enjoy the Journey!

~Melissa

The Inspiration Behind the New Banner

In celebration of reaching 10,000 hits on the blog, and in a continued effort to simplify, I decided to create a new banner and change the background of my blog to white. Here’s the banner I designed and a little insight into each image it contains:

1. Rest.

  • We all know how important rest is. If we don’t have it, our bodies and brains don’t function properly. Each of us requires a slightly different amount of rest each night. For me, that means a minimum of 7 hours. 8 hours is preferable, and I love Saturday mornings, when I can soak in 9 or 10 hours in one night! Too bad America doesn’t instate siestas for people past the age of 5.
  • Sleep deprivation is a real and rapidly spreading problem in our impulsive, instant-gratification society. So many of us come home and run straight for entertainment to “detox” from the demands of the day: TV, Facebook, video games, and the list goes on. We live in a digital age. It’s not all bad, but throwing quickly moving images in front of our eyes doesn’t help us rest; it just adds more “noise” to our lives. Know when to unplug. Plan to turn off electronics a good hour before bedtime, so your brain has time to decompress from the day.

2. Good Nutrition.

  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” right?! Healthy eating is a necessity to live a balanced, whole life. Food is fuel, and if we want to “live long and prosper,” we need to be conscious of what enters our systems. But who says healthful food has to taste bad?! Think about this: God wants the best for our lives. Meanwhile, God created us to need food to survive. Every good gift is from God, food being one of those gifts. He’s given us creative minds and tons of different flavors. So, let’s praise God by creating delicious, beautiful meals that are full of nutritional value, and then use the energy from those foods to bring Him glory.

3. Fellowship, Support, Communication.

  • What is fellowship? If you’re not familiar with the Christian term, you may be familiar with the classic trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. Part I is The Fellowship of the Ring. The Fellowship was a group of people who joined together over a common goal. In the Christian worldview, the one thing that binds us together is Jesus Christ. So, when we fellowship, we are joining together over the union we find in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • God knew what He was doing when He put more than one person on this earth. We need each other. We need support; we need love; we often need correction. We need each other. It’s important to have a support circle, a small list of close friends and family you know you can count on if your car breaks down a thousand miles from home, if you need a shoulder to cry on or a solid kick in the pants, or if you need to ramble at 2AM. Most of us won’t have more than 5 of these in our lives, so when you find them, hold them dear and be mutually supportive.
  • It’s also a reminder to practice communication, just like any other skill in which we want to excel. We need to communicate with each other, always remembering the perfect balance of truth and love. And we need to communicate with God through prayer and Bible reading. God created us to be dependent on Him. But it’s more than a dependence; it’s a personal relationship that He desires to have with each one of us. And it’s amazing!

4. Environment of Growth.

  • I liked this picture because it’s in an office setting, which encompasses things like working (and blogging: see the computer in the background), but it also contains new life being nurtured. Create an environment, at home, in the office, in your car, wherever you are, that is an environment of growth. Eliminate things that hold you back or distract you, and encourage things that push you to be the person God wants you to be.

5. Exercise and Hydrate. Two more vital necessities in life.

  • It’s a constant battle to get off the couch or out of the house and just move, but we all know it’s important. Not only does it help us burn calories, it releases endorphins which lift our moods and help us keep a balanced perspective on life. You don’t have to join a gym or spend lots of money on fancy equipment. Just be endeavor to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • For years, doctors and educators recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day. Today, they’ve increased the recommendation to 9-13 glasses per day! The majority of our bodies is comprised of water; it’s essential for every function of our bodies. It’s important! It’s really important! So, hydrate! And when you’re exercising, remember the trifecto: prehydrate, hydrate, and rehydrate.

6. Refresh.

  • Carve out a block of time each day, even if it’s only 15 minutes, that’s set aside to reboot. Soak up the word of God and give yourself time to meditate, pray, and apply what you’ve just read. Go on a short walk, listen to music, read, practice some yoga, or just sit still. Your body and mind will thank you.

This is My Journey to Lean. And it can be yours too. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the journey! ~Melissa