Monday, October 25, 2010

In The Meantime

At church on Sunday we were blessed with the opportunity to hear from a pastor from Seattle. This man, Pastor Judah Smith, made me a little skeptical at first. As he walked onto the stage, I will be honest, I just did not seem interested in what he had to say. I am extremely connected to our Pastor and I was ready to get back to hearing from him. Well as it would be I was wrong. This man blew me out of my seat. His message was incredible. I know I have said this about prior messages, but if there is any message to actually take the time to is this one!!

The big question of the message was this, "What do you do when you are not where you used to be and not where you are supposed to be so you are just hanging out in the meantime?" Pastor Judah had me hooked from that question. That was my question. Now, I do not really know where it is that I used to be or where it is that I am suppose to be, but I have a pretty good feeling I am in the meantime. One example of this in my life is I am engaged, but not married. Therefore, I am just hanging out in the meantime. What do I do in the meantime? How do I get the fulfillment I need in the meantime? Jesus. That's it. I need Jesus.

The thing is I feel exactly how Pastor Judah explained it. I have done all that I know how to do...God are we there yet? I have gotten my education, I have gotten valuable experiences, I have good mentors, am I there yet? I have spent less on useless things and more on paying off bills, am I there yet? Then he said something else though; "from here to here could be years!" There are days when the past will look sunny and the future looks bleak. What do I do when I am not where I used to be and not where I am supposed to be? Stay in the boat. That is what he said. When you don't know the answers and it looks kinda scary up ahead stay in the boat. Then it was this sentence that changed it all; "It is not my job to know the answers, it is my job to stay the course and trust God."

I would be crazy to think there is not purpose in the meantime. The highlights are part of the big show, but the meantime allows for the highlights. His comparison was sports. As a spectator you only see the highlights of athletes. You don't see them when they are practicing, eating, or resting to prepare for those highlights. Without that meantime though, their highlights would be nothing. This just really stuck with me. I want to live by God, for God, and with God. Once I get to where I am supposed to be, I want to do it with all that I have for Jesus. I want to change lives for Jesus. I want to stay in the boat so I can reap in due season. In the meantime...I should probably get to know Jesus so I am ready when the highlight comes.

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago"-Ephesians 2:10

Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 5 Sweetest Beginnings

This week I have decided to state the top 5 Sweetest Beginnings of 2010 in honor of the title of my blog!

1. A New Job-This has been truly awakening. I have been able to challenge myself in ways I am not used to. I have figured out what I like and what I do not like. I have met new people. I believe I was kept in Stillwater and put in this position for a very specific purpose.

2. Preparing For Marriage- Of course this has been very exciting and you can see last Friday's blog to understand what I am looking forward to most!

3. Serving in Lifekids with Zeb- This has been an awesome experience so far. We have gotten to challenge one another spiritually, pray together, and lead together. I could not be happier about this decision.

4. My Bible Study- This 8 week bible study has helped me work through some things in my life and grow closer to Christ. Through growing closer to Christ I have found forgiveness and freedom. I have also found a new friend whom I love dearly! Thanks Tiffany! :)

5. My Lifegroup- I have not been as loyal to my lifegroup as I would like to, but it has still been pretty sweet. I am so happy I decided to join a lifegroup. These women have become part of my life and boy am I glad they are. They are some of the most supportive and sweetest women I know.

Stay tuned for next week's top 5...any suggestions?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Inspiration is fun. I find inspiration in so many different ways in my life. I read blogs of others to inspire me to keep writing my own. I seek advice from married women both young and old to be inspired to be a good wife one day. I research advising tools to keep inspired in my work. I look for people in need to be inspired to help others less fortunate than myself. I am constantly in search of ways to stay inspired.

For me, inspiration is the key to my success. I do not want motivation to keep me going. I believe motivation is more or less an obligating term. Motivation makes me feel obligated to do whatever it is I may be doing. Inspiration is different. Inspiration involves emotion and the heart. It involves transparency and stories. I love reading and listening to stories of others because that is what inspires me to keep going. Inspiration is the desire to keep going because someone or something else convinced me it was worth it. Motivation just does not quite get that same glory.

I thought about this concept because I was telling Zeb last night that I needed some motivation to get back to the gym. I have been slacking on working out and it is that time of the year when sweets and good comfort food are everywhere! Apparently a wedding and honeymoon are not motivating enough to get me going. I was doing some research earlier today on workouts and other health related things and that is when it hit me. As I was reading testimonials of others I felt inspired by their story. None of them were saying I am just so happy to be skinny now or look better in that outfit, they were all talking about how good it felt to just be healthy. That was the inspiration I needed. I don't want be obligated to feel motivated in order to fit into a wedding dress I already bought. I want to be inspired to live a healthier lifestyle that includes regular workouts and eating right.

I am thinking God was playing a special role in that reading I was doing this morning. He was teaching me a lesson that I need to apply to my life. Inspiration is special. It comes in many different forms and means something different for every person. Universally though, it involves a love for something that is strong enough to make you do something about it. God is love and therefore I believe he would rather you be inspired to be and do rather than motivated to be and do.

"All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness"-2 Timothy 3:16

What inspires you?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Latte or Merlot?

Yesterday I was listening to Rise and Shine Oklahoma as I normally do while getting ready for work. I heard the word Starbucks and my radar was on. They were talking about possible changes to the Starbucks menu, beer and wine. What? Weird. Good. Bad. I don't know.

Word on the street is they are doing a test run in Atlanta right now. If things go well then it is in. They said that majority of the business at Starbucks happens before 2:30 pm. In an effort to help sales later in the day they have turned to more of a cafe environment rather than coffee shop. I guess their $2.00 drink special after 2:30pm if a coffee was purchased in the morning was not working. Basically, they are looking to offer a selection of wine and beer to late afternoon and evening customers. I am not sure how I feel about this. Starbucks is my favorite coffee shop. They are unique for their coffee. Now with wine in the mix I am confused. Pumpkin Spice Latte or Merlot?

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Contest Results

Less than 12 hours ago the wedding photography giveaway contest ended as I am sure all of you know. We, unfortunately, lost by 16 votes. This contest was fun, stressful, nerve wrecking, and intense! The last 48 hours I spent were basically living and breathing this contest. I talked, dreamed, and prayed about it more than I think anything else I have ever done. It was incredible to see the way friends and family pulled through for us. I truly felt blessed at the end of the night.

In those final minutes before midnight it was a whirlwind. I was hurrying people over to the computers, others were shouting the score, my phone was blowing up with text messages, and people were standing around in anticipation of the midnight hour. Then 12:00 hit. I read "contest over" on Andrea Murphy's status and before she had even got to post the winners my heart sank. I heard someone say we were down by 16. I buried my face in my hands right there in the lobby. I was crushed. All of that hard work and campaigning had come down to that moment. We had put in 15 hours over Sunday and Monday just stopping people and asking for a minute of there time for that moment. I tried with everything in me to fight the tears, but when you put all that you have into something and it just slips from your hands I guess it is hard not to cry.

Thank you so much to all the people that helped in a tremendous way! We never could have made it that far without everyone's help. Zeb and I really did have a lot of fun in the process. It was an odd bonding time for us. It makes me excited for the things that we will get to fight for together in the future. I saw a side of Zeb in this contest that I had not seen yet and that just makes it all the more worth it. We grew closer in the process. I think it taught us a little lesson for the future about fighting the good fight together and the benefit it can have in your relationship. And to me these kinds of things that bring family, friends, and strangers together for one cause is what I think life is all about. It is the little things in life that matter most! I can't wait to bring everyone together in person (rather than on facebook) just 7 months and 1 day from today for a very special day in both mine and Zeb's life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Top 5 Friday

Zeb and I have begun our pre-marital sessions with our Pastor. We have only had two meetings so far, but I love them. I love that hour that I get to spend with Zeb preparing for our marriage. With that I thought I would give the top 5 things I am looking forward to most in marriage.

  1. Having a family- this is the most exciting one for me. I cannot wait to raise our own children, but more than anything I can't wait to see Zeb be a dad.

  2. Sharing a journey with Christ-It is one thing to walk your own life with Christ, but when you are married you get to do it as a team. We get to cling to each other as individuals while clinging to the Lord together. The Lord will be OUR rock, not just MY rock. This just makes me tingle!

  3. Our small metal box-This is a recent idea that Zeb and I got from another married couple that we fully intend to implement into our marriage. It will be our little secret! :) If you are curious check out and find their list of the top 10 things that have made all the difference in their marriage.

  4. Fighting-Mainly because I know it will happen and I try to convince myself if I can positively prepare for it we might get through it easier. The other side of that is even now as a couple we fight, but there is always some beauty in the end. Whether one of us was forced to remove another layer of pride or vulnerability we are always better as a couple after a fight.

  5. Leaving a Legacy-We get to take two lives and through exploration, confusion, and understanding create the Sasha & Zeb language. Then we get to continue to pursue each other and the complicated, sinful individuals that we are. We get to love every ounce of those imperfections just as Christ loved the Church. Finally, we get to hope and pray with every inch of our body that the example will be impressed, that because of our unity in Christ our children will have a legacy to hold onto long after we have left this earth.

That is just cool!

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins"-1 Peter 4:8

Sunday, October 10, 2010


"Everyone gets somewhere, but not everyone gets somewhere on purpose"

Those are the words that started my day. I had the pleasure of watching yet again, a great sermon by Pastor Craig. I tell you what, this man has purpose in his life. He has passion for something so many are missing out on and that is Jesus Christ. He has found his Chazown.

Chazown is another word for vision or purpose. Craig spoke for one Sunday on the concept of Chazown, but has also written a whole book on it. In honor of this book our church is hosting a two day seminar on the Chazown experience in a couple weeks. This will be a time that people can come together in hopes of finding their Chazown. You guessed it...Zeb and I are in!

Now, this is not to say we are two completely lost individuals searching for 48 hours of eye opening information. We simply want to take advantage of the great things God can offer us in that time. As Craig said today, even if we were to know our purpose already or find it in those two days, if we never take the steps than the purpose means nothing. God said it better in Proverbs 29:18, "where there is no vision, the people perish..." This is my goal of participating in the Chazown experience. I have a pretty good idea of what it is that I should do with my life to bring the ultimate glory to God, but I need help with creating the vision.

Finally, I will leave you with the question that Craig left us with in order to find your true purpose.

If money were no object, what would you do with the rest of your life?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Faith Without Action is Dead

Over the last 4 weeks I have had the pleasure of listening to a series at my church titled "I Believe In You". This is a phrase that I think is not used nearly enough in our society today. Aside from being used, I do not think it is something that is shown very often either. The first week of this series was an emotional one for me. It talked about the need for older people to pour into the lives of younger ones in order to continue to build the future. As this series came to a close yesterday, we were challenged to think about two things. First, I should think about all of the people who have believed in me and helped me get to where I am today. Second, we should think about who we want to believe in to help them on their journey.

They have provided for me from day one. They have been at every sport game and event in my life. They taught me right from wrong. They taught me discipline. They gave me advice. They loved me. They are my parents and they believed in me.

She has been by my side for a lot. She has offered a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. She has played nearly every sport with me. She has financially supported me in times of need. She has loved me through everything. Her name is Maegan and she has believed in me.

She has made me laugh. She has listened when it seemed like no one else would. She has supported me in everything. She has been goofy with me. She has loved me. Her name is Crissy and she has believed in me.

She has always visited as much as she could. She watched me grow up from a distance. She has never missed a major life event. In recent years she has become a good friend. She has listened and offered advice. She has supported me spiritually. She is my Grandma and she has believed in me.

She has been my friend since the 8th grade. She has been through just about everything you could imagine. She has supported me in everything I have done, not just through her words but also her actions. She has loved me through and through. Her name is Amy and she has believed in me.

She has not been in my life for very long, but I know she will be there for years to come. She has guided me in every aspect of my life. She has seen me cry and made me laugh. She has given me second chances. She helped me prepare for grad school and always encouraged me. She is such a good friend. Her name is Summer and she has believed in me.

This blog could go on forever. There are so many more people that have done something in my life to help me get to where I am today. They believed in me. They may have never used their physical words to say that, but their actions meant so much more. Just like Jesus says in James 2:17, "faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead". If they would have never shown me through their actions that they believed in me, I may have never known. I may have never made it to where I am today. Thank you so much for believing in me.

That was the easy part. Challenge 2 is what is a little harder for me. I have to now impart my legacy on another person. This does not require just believing in another person. It requires believing in myself so much so that I act in someone else's life. This is the challenge that I will take on. I want so much to make a difference in someone else's life, the person that is or the shape that will take is the unknown. I just pray that when that time comes for me to shape someone else's life based off my belief in them that it will be accompanied with my actions.

Finally, I challenge you to do the same. Make a difference in someone else's life. Believe in someone else. Be the change we so desperately need in this world today.

I. Believe. In. You.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Life Happens

So yesterday Zeb and I ran into a minor problem with our wedding photographer. She called to tell me that she just found out she was pregnant and she would be due the first week of June. Well since our wedding is set for May 20th she would not be able to do our wedding. I WAS SO SAD!!! I loved the photographer we had picked and this news was not good. Since we already had our engagement session scheduled for yesterday we went ahead and did that. This only made me love her even more and wish even more she could do our wedding! But life happens and I completely understand.

With all of that said we are now on the hunt for a new photographer. There are not many that I have fallen in love with that sit in the price range we need them in. That is why we are now participating in a contest on facebook and need YOUR help! Go to facebook. Find Andrea Murphy Photography. I promise if you go to my page you can't miss her! Like her page. Then go to her photos and the album wedding giveaway. Find our picture and like it. It is that simple!! Then tell everyone you know!

I cannot tell you how much it would mean to us to win this package. We love Andrea Murphy's pictures and her, but just to be quite honest she is out of our price range. Therefore, if we won her package we could be getting so much more than we ever imagined for pictures. Please help us out! Spread the word! Thanks so much!

Love you all!