What are your Dagons?
I decided this week to start in the OT for my reading since I typically spend more time in the NT. I chose 1 Samuel, and have learned some cool things through the book so far. Today I read chapter 5. The Philistines have just captured the ark of God and have placed it in the temple with their god Dagon. The next morning they find Dagon face down at the base of the ark. Then it says in verse 3: “they took Dagon and put him back in his place.”
I read in the faithlife bible app which allows me to read with a commentary below the text. I found the commentary so interesting for this verse. As you can see, it highlights Dagon’s weakness as a god. He was so inanimate that they actually had to physically stand him up. Ridiculous right?
Or is it? I started wondering this morning what Dagons I run to and trust in before I myself lie prostrate before the One True God. The daily anxiety I’ve been facing lately is trapping and torturous at times, and I’m beginning to observe in my own life the weak idols that I tend to run to for deliverance BEFORE God. Things like food, shopping, tv, Instagram, Pinterest, decorating my home, exercise, status, a perfect image, to do lists, and it goes on and on and on. I even run to my husband first a lot of times, and every time I end up finding that these idols are not the solutions. They might help for a little while, but in the end, these things all lie lifeless and in need of God themselves.
No thing, person or therapy is going to fully fulfill us besides God. I’m reminding myself to not be foolish as the Philistines were. Day after day they picked Dagon up and reinstated him as ruler of their temple. And day after day, the god they put their trust in fell to the ground. I pray we realize sooner than the Philistines that the God above is the ONE TRUE GOD and the only one who can truly help us. May we fall only at His feet in worship, knowing that He is our help.
Love you all. Talk to me! Tell me how you’re doing. Are there any gods/Dagons in your life that you keep picking up? Destroy them and fall at God’s feet!
To My Mothers
Well I had a LOVELY post written up to honor my beautiful mothers, but then the computer crashed and I lost it. Oh well. I will try again:)
Today is a day that we gush about, pamper, and serve our mothers in order to make them know how much we appreciate the work they’ve done to care for and love us. However, the more I think about it, the more I want to lobby for a “Mother’s Week.” Maybe next year? They deserve so much of our respect and love for the ways they’ve nurtured us and made sure we are the people that we are today. Thank you Moms across the world! You’re all so under appreciated, and I want you to feel stinkin special today. I watched a couple kids this week, and I was exhausted after 3 hours. What you do day in and day out is amazing. (INSERT APPLAUSE).
So on mother’s day, I found it only fitting to celebrate the two women in my life that I am able to call “Mom”…. well… one I call Terry, but maybe the longer Nick and I are married, I’ll call her Mom:)
Mom, you are my best friend. Since I was little we’ve been pals. You and I were the girls of the family, and at times I would hover around you so much that you’d have to practically shove me out the door to get me to go play. I’m so glad that our relationship has been nourished and has been able to grow to what it is today. You’re the woman I aspire to be as a wife and mother, and I am SO thankful to have that. In church today while Phil was praying about the moms, he mentioned that some of the congregation may not have had a good relationship with their mom. I cannot imagine what that must feel like, and that just made me squeeze you tighter. Every Mom is faced with the choice each day to wake up and love their children well. Thank you for choosing to love us. I am so grateful for you Mama.
As Phil was reading Proverbs 31 today, these verses painted a vivid picture of the woman you are. And by the way… I’m not the only one who sees. On a regular basis I have people telling me what a great Mom I have. You’re a gem, a rare one, and I love you.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:25-26)
Now to Terry, my MIL. I remember the first day I met you. I immediately felt like family. Probably because you hid behind the door and jumped out to scare me:) You’re a woman after my own heart. A lover of laughter and full of spunk and sass. I feel like I’m at home with you, and that’s a gift. You have always made me feel important and loved, and I couldn’t ask for more from in-laws. You’ve raised the most godly and respectable boys, and I’m so blessed to be able to be married to Nick. Thank you for sharing him with me.
I so highly respect your dedication to studying God’s word, and I am inspired by you to dig deeper into it. You are a beautiful woman, and I love you so much! Thank you for welcoming me in and loving me as your own daughter. Hope your day is truly blessed today.
LOVE YOU MOMS!
Thrift Find :: Paying It Forward
Today I went to lunch after church with my lovely friend Alyssa. I feel like this girl could be in my family, and I always love our time together. She cracks me up. Anyway, we went to Sushi Hana, got fattened up on some not so raw fish (she did, but not I… not a fan of the intense REAL sushi), and then spontaneously took a trip to my favorite place: Value Village! The weather has been AMAZING, so I’ve been on the hunt for some new shorts to add to my wardrobe. I ended up actually lucking out and finding these beauties that fit GREAT, and they don’t look like booty shorts. I swear there are NO appropriate shorts for us ladies out there. Girls, don’t settle for the bun revealers, go to thrift stores or buy Mom shorts.
Anyway… after trying on a few things, I settled on just the shorts, becauseclearly this shirt wasn’t working in my favor…
Alyssa found several shirts and a clutch, and so we headed out of our respective dressing rooms, but we were stopped by a woman with a question. She asked, “Are you girls buying anything?” Thinking that was an odd question I answered that yes we were going to get the items in our hands. She proceeded to tell us that she had a $25 store credit that was going to expire today, and she’d only found a $4.99 pair of jeans to put towards it. She was pretty frustrated that she couldn’t get a gift card, so she at least wanted to use it on someone else. She proceeded to take us to the register and pay for our whole lot! I was so humbled. I do not accept gifts well, and this was so awfully humbling. I was so blessed by this woman’s generosity. I want to be more like that. She could have easily left the store in a huff with JUST her jeans, and not decide to patiently wait for us so she could use up her credit. Instead, she decided to be a blessing. I told her I’d pay it forward. What a pleasant little surprise.
Moral of the story: shop at thrift stores. The shorts are already cheap, and they may be free! Ok but seriously, be generous, and accept sweet little gifts like this from God. He loves to surprise us. Even in the form of green and white striped shorts.
Love y’all! Have a great week.
Hey everyone! I wanted to let you know about my secondhand boutique I’ve decided to reboot. I believe I told all you old readers about it when I first gave it a try. I’ve been re-motivated to fill the store, and I’m excited to announce its launch! Please check it out and hopefully you’ll find some pieces that are new to you! Spread the word. My hope is to be able to expand this more and be able to shop more for the store. I’ll keep you posted each time I post new items.
You can find the store here:
My friend Abi just did a blog entitled “Currently” which contained a mix of things she’s currently doing. I thought it was fun, and feel like I need to do more spontaneous “get to know me” posts. So thanks Abi for the idea. I’m adding a few of my own too. Here I go…
Watching: Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives. Whew that’s hard to say… and kinda sad. I’m watching Guy Fieri on a Monday night… by myself. It’s ok. I’m content! What else are you watching Allison? I’ll tell ya! My phone! Waiting for my love to be done chattin with his buddies so we can facetime. Thank you LORD for technology. I’m really missing him today. He’s in Tennessee (my other love).
Hating: My lack of motivation in regards to cooking. I’m in a rut. I think mostly because I’ve spent this whole month shopping/cooking for one. It’s not as fun to cook for just me. I cook mostly to impress ya know! Kidding… kinda. I’m going to cook a few different times this week for me and for people, so I’m hoping to kickstart my cooking heart.
Loving: Besides my husband who is SO hot and loving and romantic, godly, handsome, rockstar-ish, talented, and darn awesome…. I’m also loving this family pictured above. My sister-in-law Jenna introduced me to the world of YouTube. I knew about it for funny one hit wonder videos, but I didn’t know about subscribing. You guys… it’s awesome. This is really one of the only channels I subscribe to, but this family is amazing. They’re super entertaining, and so encouraging and real. Today’s post made me just laugh, because they’re just dorky and awesome. Call me nerdy, but these people are people I look forward to seeing each day. Meet the Shaytards. Yes you heard me right. Just go watch em. You won’t be sorry.
Feeling: Loungy. I’m sitting on my couch with my feet up on a folded blanket, whilst in my workout clothes…OMG YOU GUYS! I ran 3 miles without stopping today! I’m so stoked. It wasn’t even hard this time. I felt like those little legs under me were on an auto pilot. Ok… side tracked:) I’m also feeling a little down, because I REALLY miss my BFF. We only have 7 more days left of tour! I cannot wait. Next up is studio time for their new record, but at least he’ll be in Portland for that. AH! I can’t wait.
Eating: Nothing. That’s a problem… I’m going to go find something to eat. Wait… no I just ate soy vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips. Maybe I’ll just have a few Juanita’s tortilla chips. Have you guys had these? They’re amazing!
Excited about: May 7th which = NICKO! I’m also really excited that I have a relationship with a personable God. I was just thinking about it today, and realizing that I’m messy. I’m so ridiculously redundant with my sins, and yet God loves me SO much. I was so thankful today as I sat in my car and shed some lonely/emo tears, because God loves me in that lowly and messy state. I just read in Mark today when Jesus says, “It is not the healthy that need a physician, but the sick.” We need Him and He WANTS to spend time with us, regardless of the condition we come in. He doesn’t need us to be perfect. Rest in that peeps!
Ok.. your turn. Email me some of yours! I like getting to know you! Happy almost last day of April!
Not Quite Alone
It’s Sunday today… a beautiful day full of sunshine and cool breezes, and I am trying to enjoy it alone. However, I have this nagging and nervous feeling about alone time, and I really hate it. Being alone is something I don’t do well, but I want so badly to love it. I have many friends who love nothing more than to curl up in their favorite chair on a day off and lose themselves in a book for HOURS on end. Many of my friends are introverts, and I just don’t seem to relate. I am fully energized by people, and in fact am frightened by the thought of sitting in a quiet house with no one to share it with.
God sure does have a sense of humor then having me marry a traveling man, because I’m often times left to face days by myself. I’ve learned to love certain things, like getting to choose which TV program I watch, or getting to tag along with my parents on their dinner dates:) However, the days when I have NOTHING planned are some of the most difficult. I know some of that has to do with me being an extrovert, but I also think that I fear not having a “plan.” I like to be in control of things, and so when a day is completely open and leaves me to myself and my house, I’m afraid I won’t get things done, or will be missing out on something else. Perhaps God allows these time slots to help me relinquich control, and just enjoy some sweet felllowship with Him. Perhaps He’s waiting for my full attention to really breathe His Spirit upon me and share some new wisdom with me. I should be more afraid of MISSING that, rather than being afraid of shedding a lonely tear.
So today, I sit here in my living room on a blanket on the floor reading the Word and typing these random words to you. My butterflies in my tummy have calemed down, and I am deciding to hang out with me today, because in me lives the Spirit of God who NEVER leaves me. My favorite verse, one that I memorized during a very anxious time, is Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He’s not left us. There are never days that we are alone. We may feel like the tangible hug of a friend or loved one is absent, but the Spirit of God dwells inside of us if we have accepted Him. Don’t forget that, especially when you’re feeling lonely.
How about you all? Do you love or hate alone time? What do you do with your alone time that fills you up? Do you have anymore tips for me? Is there any way I can pray for you?
Rachel’s ecstatic joy!
As you all know, once a week I do activities with my friend Rachel. Rachel has the sweetest countenance, and in recent years, she has become a little bit quieter. It’s been my goal every time we hang out to make her smile. Today… I hit the MOTHERLOAD!
Our date yesterday consisted of a picnic at the neighborhood fountain with my Mom, Amanda & Evy. It ended up turning into an entire Solid Rock mommies and babies picnic! It was so fun. The weather has been beautiful, so we just couldn’t help ourselves. Rachel sat quietly on the bench and ate her bagel, grapes and string cheese, while we watched the kids come back to show off their soaked shirts to their moms and friends.
After Rachel finished her lunch, I decided to test the waters (quite literally), and took her over towards the fountain to splash! She was a little apprehensive at first, but I knew she trusted me, so we took it slow.
I looked over and saw the most joy filled face I’ve seen on Rachel probably EVER! She was STOKED on life:) Who knew that a little fresh cold water was all it took. I couldn’t get her to stop laughing and hollering as she reached out and let the cool drops pour over her hands.
Check out my next blog (which should be appearing above this one shortly) to see this in video form.I took a short video of Rachel’s infectious joy, and I kind of can’t stop watching it. I hope you enjoy.
For those who are struggling to find joy, please view this and remember that you have the ability to CHOOSE joy each and every day. We don’t need everything to go right, we just need to choose to find joy in the simple things, and the rest will follow. Practice this today! Love you all. Video coming shortly…
Birthday Surprise #2
To continue the birthday week festivities, Nick told me Monday night that i would need to be ready to leave the house by 7AM the next morning, and my only clue was that the activity would be a little “unconventional.” Six A.M. came fast, and the only idea I had was that perhaps we were going hot air ballooning or something. Instead, Nick rolled over and pulled a tiny box out of thin air. “Here’s your next clue,” he said.
I opened it up and found this sweet hand written note inside. I excitedly got ready and packed an overnight bag with a couple outfit options, not having a CLUE as to where we were headed. We drove towards downtown, and slowly but surely we pulled up to this….
This is when he revealed that we were leaving on an 8:30 train to SEATTLE! I’d never ridden on the trains here (only in India haha). What a creative idea! I was blown away, and could not stop smiling.
We had a blast just talking and laughing on our way up. The great part about being on a train is that you get to see parts of the state that roads don’t take you to. There was beautiful scenery, and instead of driving, we were just able to sit and enjoy each other’s company.
Halfway through the ride we headed to the dining car and enjoyed even more conversation over cheap/stale bagels and cream cheese. The car was ALL ours:)
On the train we picked out a random Thai place for lunch, and upon our arrival began navigating the big city of Seattle. There’s something about not having a car to depend on that feels so adventurous!
This was one of the only Thai restaurants we’ve eaten at that even came close to 2nd place to Dang’s. It was delicious, and such a little hole in the wall spot. We were off to a good start!
We took a hike uphill to our precious 1920’s hotel, and settled in for a little while before we hit the town.
We set off next towards Pikes Place (which was just a few blocks away), and explored the old market. We took in the sights and sounds, tastes and smells, and left just BEAMING. It was about 70 degrees, perfectly sunny, and I was with my best friend. It was literally the perfect day.
Our first mission was to find a magnet. It’s a new tradition we started this past year, that everywhere we visit, we pick up a cheesy refrigerator magnet as a memento. We picked out a plastic space needle this time:)
We found this amazing donut stand and got a half dozen assorted treats. This chocolate frosted with sprinkles was DELIGHTFUL! The cinnamon sugar ones were fresh and hot! Holy moly!
One of my favorite parts of Pikes place is their BEAUTIFUL floral arrangements. This time of year the tulips are just GORGEOUS. I wished we had the ability to bring every one of these buckets home.
We made our way out to a park (filled with a LOT of druggies I might add), and took some beautiful photos of the water and mountains, and then meandered on down some stairs and back up a steep hill into this lovely little alley….
Everyone must visit the gum wall while in Seattle. We left our mark.
The rest of the day included LOTS of exploring, and a good amount of shopping. As if an iPad, and surprise trip to Seattle weren’t enough, Nick decides he needs to spoil me more with CLOTHES! Gosh… Nicko… you did well:) Our night ended with a shared dinner at the Palace Kitchen where we were SO excited to just sit down for an hour. We worked hard walkin around that city!
From Palace we headed down to the waterfront to get some homemade ice cream, and then between heavy breaths, we laughed and talked while we climbed 6 of the steepest hills of our life to get back to our hotel. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and watching netflix in our hotel, and falling asleep to the street noise of downtown!
The next morning we woke up (on my ACTUAL birthday) and headed out for a yummy waffle, and then killed some time at a coffee shop. The weather was yet again BEAUTIFUL! I was soaking it all in.
I’m sorry this was SUCH a long post, but I couldn’t cut any pictures or memories from this post. Nick and I agreed that was truly one of the best weekends we had together as a couple since our honeymoon. We were entirely refreshed (see photo above ha!), and completely fell in love more. There was a moment while we were leaving Pikes place that I looked at Nick, breathed in the fresh air, and welled up with tears because I was SO caught up in this perfect moment. Do you ever have those overflowing joyful moments that you want to freeze frame? That was my entire time with Nick these past few days. My love knows me so well, and made my bday such a special time. I’m so thankful that I have not only a lover but a BEST friend in Nick. Nothing is better than going on adventures with my buddy. I’ve never entered a new year of life so refreshed and secure with myself and my marriage. God is so good. Thanks for enduring this post! Love you all, and thanks for the birthday wishes!
Birthday Surprise Part 1
My sweet Nick was home for 4 days this week, and one of those (today) happened to be my birthday! Instead of just having a fun day on my actual bday, he made it a birthday week! Those events started Monday night when he came home from errands with these:
Next he was upstairs like a cute little elf, wrapping some of my gifts. About 15 minutes later he came down with this…
I was super caught off guard since my birthday wasn’t til Wednesday, but he told me to open up my first “clue.” A clue?! I love this stuff! Here’s what commenced. Just the thought of him putting this all together and thinking this all up is precious.
The inside says: “wishing you a magical birthday!” And then this… The big surprise!
An iPad!!!!!! I had been talking about one. I’ve wanted one to blog on and have as my computer when Nick is gone. I just didn’t think I would get one! The gift was from the whole fam. Thanks Newells and DePartees! I love it!
My surprise was followed by an already planned night at the movies. We had a cinetopia groupon and I got us tickets for the fancy “parlor” theater. It’s filled with parlor chairs and couches. Not a bad end to my night. Ahhh!