I found this photo of Tess and I and I really love it! It is from a trip to Birmingham in 2009. I remember that trip being a really relaxing one for David and I, and it was so fun to have Tess along. She was a road-trip girl for sure!
Over at ABJ Photography I am hard at work transitioning things from weddings to pets + people photography! We are in session down at the gold dome as well, so I apologize for my absence here at Simply Southern.
Oh yea, and we are moving…
I think you get where I am going with this…lots of updates to come once the transitions happen. But, as for now, I have only so many hours in a day and this little space in cyber-land is on hold for now.
Well, there she is folks, on the market 48 hours! We are under contract on our sweet little home, out first real home together. So many fun memories, so many lessons learned here. We love this little house, but the Lord is moving us on.
I look forward to new projects, gardening, and community. While we are not moving far, it will be bittersweet to leave. Thanks to all who prayed along with us over the weekend. For stopping to read my frantic PRAY text messages. We are still moving ahead one step at a time.
A few days ago David’s mom sent me a really great email about choosing “one word” to use as a guide in 2013. I loved the idea of an inspired life, or a centering word to help my focus for the year. You can read more about the one word challenge here.
After some thought, the word that kept coming up in my mind is…
photo via ABJ Photography
In 2013 I want to be THANKFUL in all circumstances.
I want to give THANKS in the good and the bad.
To be THANKFUL is the acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
Being thankful can change the condition of the heart, even if it takes a great deal of effort to find.
I think I will find that it is easy to find many reasons to be thankful!
I want to be present in each day, and I think a spirit of thankfulness will be a great place to start!
I love what the author of this challenge has to say about it, when picking out your word:
Your One Word is intended to be your guide, not your harsh standard. It’s not about doing more, but about being who you were created to be. Don’t miss the freedom in that!
As I move through this year, I hope that THANKFUL will be something that resonates on this blog as well. Would you consider this challenge? I encourage you to share your post or your word with us here! Again, visit One Word Three Six Five for more details.
We have not gotten very deep into new year’s resolutions around here, as I mentioned a few days ago. However, I have come up with a challenge for myself and my women’s small group (thanks to a reminder from my North Point leader advisor).
The reminder was to PRAY BIG with others.
The idea of “praying big” really struck a chord in me. I think I have become a little complacent with my prayer life? Or maybe, although we have challenges in life and 2012 was not easy (so obviously we were praying)- we are still very blessed and I had been going through the motions with prayer? Complacent still does not feel right, but I will use that word for now. Anyway, the idea of “praying big”, praying with the ladies in my group over this coming year, over the couple of things that have been weighing down our hearts, it reignites me a little. It is a challenge to dig deep in sharing of our lives, but also the ability to raise these prayers high to the Lord together, and watch how he moves. It is inviting the Lord in, releasing what bit of control we have over things we may not have been believing he would answer.
My “big prayers” belong in my sacred circle of trust built with my community group (and David), but I challenge you to pray big this year too. Pray big with others, so that you can pray for others as well.
14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Christmas has come and gone…maybe that is why I love it so much? It cannot last longer than a season, and it makes you anticipate the next one!
I LOVE some hot chocolate!
This actually happened, on a rainy day the mail man could not walk out package two more steps to the carport, and it was the second time our packages were left in the yard! That, mail people, is why you no longer get tips and goodies at Christmas!
After all the work, shopping, parities, and volunteer events were complete we headed down to Alabama for some re-lax-a-tion!
Maggie snuggle time.
LOTS on time by the fire!
Traditional Christmas Eve service
New tradition, Mexican on Christmas Eve!
Christmas lights show set to music!
Christmas Puppies! Maggie wore her bow all day!
I do not really set New Year’s Resolutions. However, I do like to reflect on the past year and how I have grown, and set a focus for the new year. Something that really stuck with me from this past year, that I wanted to share as a thought provoker for my friends and family online, is the idea of changing your words from “I don’t have time” to “it’s not a priority.”
To better get to the heart of what I am challenging here, I found this quote from Laura Vanderkam (via Joanna Goddard, photo mine):
“Change your language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently”
I hope that you can find a sense of freedom in these words, as I did. Sometimes I could actually say the words out loud and other times I had to think them in my head. I wish that I could share with you all of my eye opening moments from using this simple phrase, but there are many. Thus, why I share it with you today!
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas! I hope that it is filled with love, family, and holiday cheer!
While home in Wilmington, David and I took the dogs out on the beach for a walk after Thanksgiving lunch. I have not seen so many large shells along the shoreline like we saw that afternoon in a very long time! Granted, I do not live there anymore, but I have logged some serious beach time at Wrightsville Beach.
Despite Mason’s off-leash antics, we had good time watching the sun set and taking pictures. I wonder if the Lord will ever lead us back there, and if so how great it would be to take more walks there year round.
As the sun set we were able to get a cute photo that we used as our Christmas card photo. I wanted to use that photo because it was about what that photo represented, our little family, out on the beach, together, and everything is all right with the world…
Maggie had a great first beach trip! Looking forward to getting that girl in the river this summer!
This time of year I am busy, not with tree trimming, shopping, or baking, but with work! I cannot complain, it is a great time of year to work extra hours and spend time opening the holiday season in Georgia.
We start right after Thanksgiving with the tree lighting at the Governor’s Mansion. I usually attend several parties over the course of the next few weeks, celebrating, and attending events where the Governor and First Lady welcome and thank so many state and local people for all they do all year.
The mansion is a great place to visit this time of year. It is open to the public, decorated beautifully, and you will most likely run into the lady of the house.
This year the rooms were decorated according to Christmas carols. Below you can see the entry way, “Winter Wonderland” room.
The next big tree lighting is at the State Capitol. They always bring in the best trees to stand in the center of the dome. It usually takes a few days to get on all the lights and bows.
One of my favorite parts of this tree lighting is the Atlanta Boys Choir, and Alum. They sing on the North Wing steps and they sound like angels.
We are spoiled this time of year with free entertainment at lunch. Groups come and play music or sing carols. In the midst of the frenzy that we have created around Christmas, this is a neat time to be reminded of the true meaning of the season. After all, a little boy was born in a manger, while great chaos was happening in cities around him. (Luke 2: 1-21)