How Great is Our God

Good afternoon and happy Sunday! I hope you all have enjoyed a fantastic weekend and that it continues through the day! It’s been a crazy busy weekend for us, but VERY enjoyable! We spent Friday night visiting with friends. It was supposed to be a campfire outing, but the downpour rain and storms made that not happen. It was still nice to get together for some drinks and chat. I worked on Saturday, but immediately after we were off to our friends house for their good-bye party! Good thing we will see them on Wednesday again, so it wasn’t really good-bye! 🙂 If you remember from my last blog post, our friends are moving to Africa! It’s been wonderful to get to know them and pray for them as they leave on this amazing adventure!

This morning we went to an amazing church service, which I will try and recap sometime this week….it was too good not to share! We followed it up by an awesome trip to the dog park with Telli! She had so much fun bounding through the water and playing with the other dogs!

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My favorite song at the moment- Chris Tomlin-How Great is Our God-World Edition

This song has been out for awhile, and I have loved it ever since I initially heard it, but there is something different about the song lately. It’s my jam…no joke. I have worked out to it, it pumps me up on my way to work, I listen to it at home, every where..I love it! It’s truly a song that stands true to it’s title, “How Great is Our God.” He is so great! And regardless where you are at in life, what your relationship with Christ is like, where you live in the world, what language you speak, what you look like….our God is SO Great and loves us the same!

He loves us unconditionally.

He gives us strength when we feel weak.

He shows the light when we only see darkness.

When we mess up, He shows His grace.

When we fall down, He picks us up.

He shows us His original artwork everyday when the sun rises and the sun sets.

He shows His creation by the beauty of this Earth.

We really do serve a wonderful, loving, amazing and GREAT God!

I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do!

And if you want to hear Chris Tomlin’s explanation of how he came up with the idea of the world version of his original song and the inspiration behind it, you can see it here. It truly is it’s own work of God and how amazing he is.

Now for the funny part of this morning and this song…….

As we were driving home from church this morning, I told Nate I wanted to listen to that song, so we played it and I sang along at the top of my lungs (like I always do), but this was the first time I had an audience. Nate looked at me and laughed. I knew exactly what he was thinking, she is singing to this song like she knows the words she’s singing, and the language she’s singing. Yes Nate, your right…..and God doesn’t care! 😉 As long as I’m singing to him, right? Or attempting in this case? Well, then he said something that we laughed so hard at for the next 20 minutes….”You sound like Joey on the Friends episode that he thinks he is speaking French! You are singing like you know African and Portuguese!”

I hope that leads you with a smile the rest of the day. Remember to praise our God always and see the beauty and grace he surrounds us with everyday!

❤ God Bless

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First really nice day out…after winter

Good Evening!!!  What a fun filled day today was! (I don’t really have a recap of the last couple days because all I did was work, and who wants to hear about that)

Nate and I were so excited to go to church together this morning (sometimes it seems like we serve on opposite Sundays or we meet up half-way through service). It was a wonderful service under the series CROWDED. This was the final message in the series and boy it was a good one. Our church is all about bringing Christ into people’s lives and ultimately making heaven more crowded! I love that phrase, it makes me smile everytime time I hear and think about it! It  also hits our church as a double-whammy right now because we are getting more crowded which is wonderful, but of course with growth, comes growing pains. Today’s message was on if we are one with the church, we need to serve with the church. We need to share our stuff. We need to share the gifts God has given to us. We can’t just put money in the plate and expect to get everything we need from the church. We must participate, we must serve, we must share the gospel. I sat in my seat very thankful for the church that I love serving (and happy I volunteered yesterday to stay for the 11 am service, so I didn’t feel guilty about not serving after that message 😉 )

Which leads me into….the best form of birth control….working in “little rock” (Babies->4 year olds). Nate serves coffee and I serve in the little rock– Nate says if he would do little rock with me he would never want kids–I’m glad he didn’t serve with the kids today! Oh my gosh were the kiddos cranky today! I think of the 9 that were in my room, 5 were screaming bloody murder for mom and only wanted to be held! I was holding little Jemma and she was the last to settle down, so I was able to take her out of the room and rock with her…then she turned into quite the snuggler–so precious–but still exhausting! I love serving in little rock…although some days can be challenging it makes me happy knowing there are parents getting saved everyday, they are attending church and bringing their children to hear about God! It is such a wonderful ministry to teach kids at an early age to know and love Jesus and that they have a God the father that will love them forever!

When I got home, Nate had Telli already to go for a hike at the dog park! It was a beautiful day….and awesome to spend it with my family! It was pretty crowded so instead of letting her play in the pen area (there were some mean and aggressive dogs there) we took her to the off-leash hiking trails! She did so good staying with us and greeting other dogs and then continuing to follow us. She loved when we made the loop and came back to the creek! I forgot how much of a water-bug she is! Watching her jump in and out of the creek and up and down the hill was hilarious!

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After a good hike, it was the perfect afternoon to grab a frozen yogurt at Menchies! Our favorite summer hangout (that sentence made me sound like a 12 year old!).

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It was delicious…Nate enjoyed the cinnamon bun flavor with some toppings and I enjoyed the cake mix and cookies and cream yogurt with brownies, cookie dough chunks, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, and chocolate pebbles! Telli sat nicely next to the table as we enjoyed our frozen yogurt in the sun!

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It was too beautiful outside to be inside when we got home so we laid out in the sun for a little while and then I did some tilling in the flower pot areas. I can’t plant any flowers yet, because more snow is expected this week, but I thought it would be good for the soil to take out all the old roots and mix it around a little bit! (I don’t really know if thats the right thing to do, because I definitely don’t have a green-thumb, but it seemed like a good idea!)

And now for dinner…….It’s GRILLING season!

Nate made some delicious burgers with feta cheese and jalapeños inside and I cut up some veggies and sweet potatoes! Oh, and we bought my favorite Wisconsin beer- Lienenkugels Summer Shandy!

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We marinated the veggies in olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar! mmmmm, some of the best grilled veggies I’ve ever had! Too bad I did burn the sweet potato fries, but the non-burnt ones still tasted really good!

Telli was really jealous of our meal….I think she wanted some….

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That’s when she was patient and good…..

….and then she became like her father….very impatient when she doesn’t get the food she wants!

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Well that wraps up today before we head into the work week tomorrow!

What are your favorite things to-do on the “first really nice day” after winter?!?!

❤ God Bless

A little snow….nbd

Just like that, the snow is back–in full force! As much as I would love for spring and summer to come in full force, snow in the mountains is just so beautiful and Colorado definitely needs the moisture in the ground. All weekend I knew exactly what I was going to blog about today, because I was SO looking forward to today, but with some turn of events I feel the need to mention other events-so I apologize for the all-over-the-place blog.

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1st,

My heart, my thoughts and my prayers go out to all of those affected in Boston. What a sad and horrific tragedy to happen today. I just pray for all of those injured and killed in this horrific event. For such a dark cloud  to hover over one of the worlds most athletic events, instead of joy and happiness of achieving greatness.  For something like this to strike at an event that so many people  train so hard for, and celebrate in finishing….so sad…

2nd,

As mentioned in previous posts we are working on our financial freedom using Dave Ramsey.  Therefore, after much prayer and thought we decided to sell Nate’s 4runner. It’s his baby. It’s his love (I think sometimes more than me… j/k….well kinda 😉 ) He is feeling at peace about selling it, knowing our finances are in God’s hands and he will continue to bless us. We currently have a guy that is going to buy it, all the financing is taken care of, so we just need to close….we will continue to pray that it will close!

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Also, since we will be selling our 4runner, we will also be purchasing a car. We are searching for an older model, higher mileage vehicle that is reliable! We have a couple meetings set and are looking forward to deciding which car will be best for us! Any recomendations or personal experiences out there with a 2001 Toyota Highlander, 2004 Honda Pilot, or 2000’s Subaru Forester? I would love to hear your opinion!

3rd,

It was so snowy today! I was lucky to spend 4 hours at a spa! (see my next post all about the Woodhouse Spa in Denver). Nate picked me up from the spa so I didn’t have to drive home (he’s so sweet!). We were both pretty hungry and were craving some warm food. We have always driven past Da Kind Soups in Evergreen, but had never stopped. Tonight would be the perfect night—and boy it was!

First of all, I got a crazy look when I walked through the doors (flip-flops in a blizzard?!?!?–Yeah, I just got a pedicure!). There was a line of 10 soups, SO many flavors–the ones I remember…Chicken Noodle, Tomato, Chicken Chili, Beer Cheese, Potato Leek, Chili, Lentil something or other, and many others. I think Nate and I had samples of almost all the flavors! I decided on the Potato Leek soup with a bread bowl and Nate decided on the Chicken Chili. Both were delicious and inhaled upon arriving home! The first time will NOT be the last time!

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I hope you all had a great Monday and let’s continue to pray for those affected by today’s tragedy.

❤ God Bless

Catching the wave….

Good morning!! It’s the weekend (well maybe for you, not for me- I have to go to work..boooo) I hope wherever you are you have stayed warm and safe this past week as storms whipped across the US. My parents house actually had a large branch (from my favorite birch tree) fall on the house. Thankfully, it didn’t do any damage except to the gutter (at least from what they can tell for now). But that storm was wicked! We just had below zero temperatures!

Nate left to go skiing early so it’s just Telli and I in the house. We’re enjoying Dave Barnes on Pandora (highly recommend the Pandora Station!), the sunrise out the window and a hot cup of coffee. I love mornings when I can relax and be prayerful and thankful over the past week. Oh, and a delicious breakfast of waffles with almond butter and blueberries!!

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Catch the wave

Well Nate and I have had a lot on our mind  (my career, finances, future family, etc…) recently and have been diligent in our prayer trying to find the best guidance from our Lord. I love how many messages at church and songs on the radio play at the perfect time to bring me peace when I feel  anxious, excited and uncertain. Recently, our pastor spoke a message titled “Catch the wave.” He presented it a couple weeks ago, but I will typically replay messages during my commute to work, and my small group discusses the messages a couple weeks after the message was spoke–so we discussed it this week. Needless to say, I think it was a message that definitely spoke and continues to speak to me. I wanted to share bits and pieces of it while it applies to my life, but if you like what I say, I highly recommend you listen to my entire inspiration on this post— Eric Parks, you can see it here.

Have you ever boogie-boarded? Our family took vacations down to the Florida beaches quite a few times when I was a child, and I loved boogie boarding and body surfing! There is this thrill I remember…standing in the ocean looking for the perfect wave to come in so I could catch it! There is that split-second decision to go for it-to ride the wave. If I decided that it wasn’t the perfect wave, there were always more waves coming. Sometimes I took a wave and it twisted me and rolled me….and I crashed. While other times I caught the wave and rode it all the way in..past all the water and up on the beach with a big ol’ smile on my face! When I jumped in and caught the perfect wave- it was wonderful! The awesome thing is, once I decided to catch the wave-the power of the wave took me, I couldn’t control anything…sometimes it twisted me and turned me…and sometimes it just sent me right into shore–but all the work is in the power of the wave!

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says: My grace is all you need, my power works best in your weakness

Maybe what Jesus is talking about–is we all need to surrender to the power of the wave.  Catching a wave with a boogie board or body surfing is like living by grace-taking the leap and stepping into the flow of God and his plans for me! When I surrender myself to the power of the wave it takes me where God intends me to go and it is always a wonderful ride! But I definitely have my days, situations, periods of life where I prefer to say “no thanks” to the waves God sends me thinking I can do it on my own or doing it societies way is better-because “times” have changed. Do you ever do that? When I don’t jump into the wave, when I just stand in the middle of the ocean, it’s not as fun, I make more mistakes, I don’t feel as full of life….It’s not as fun as it is to dive into the wave and let it take you where it intends to lead you.

God is constantly sending waves towards me. My biggest fear is that I will not surrender to his waves or that I will not see his waves coming in my daily life.

My small group brought me comfort in knowing that this message was all about his grace. God is the wave maker, and the waves (grace) he sends are constant. First we need to see the wave coming (my doubtful self said: well what if I don’t see the wave coming and I miss the opportunity. They said: be thankful God will continue to send waves until I do see it, and if he can’t make it clear enough he will paint the wave orange so I can’t miss it-because when I surrender myself to our Lord he will put me on the right path).

If I don’t surrender to the wave, if I just stand there and don’t attempt to catch the wave I will never see transformation and I won’t even take a step on the great path that God has in my plan.

The cool thing is if I decide not to take a wave God has sent to me, or if he sent me the perfect wave and I took it, but made mistakes I don’t need to convince God to send another wave I just have to turn around and look for the next wave that’s coming my way. The waves are never ending, God keeps sending the waves and that is grace. And that is what brings me peace. The great thing is I may miss the wave today, not see it coming tomorrow, but God will put me where I need to be.

Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

When I look at my career, finances and future family I must remain hopeful and thankful. Hopeful for what lies ahead and thankful for the waves I may have missed but knowing God will send more for me to catch!

Thank you God for having such Amazing Grace on all of us. I pray that you give me the ability to see the waves you continue to send my way, I pray for strength and faith to surrender to the waves you send, and I pray for the courage to not give up when I know I make a mistake.

❤ God Bless

Cafe Brazil

What a fun night! We were invited to dinner by two wonderful couples in our small group, Christina & Eric and Jeremy and Leslie.  What a great night of food and fellowship as we had the opportunity to get to know both couples more!

It was also a new night for me. I consider it to be my first of many “blogging dinners.” I’m still getting used to taking pictures of everything I eat and do. Well, I forgot about it tonight until the food came out and it just looked SO good, I wanted to take a picture of it. I asked, “do you mind if I take a picture of my food for my blog?” 🙂 After that I wasn’t scared. So thanks to Jeremy, Leslie, Christina and Eric; I also enjoyed my first blogging dinner! (I do need to apologize for my food picture skills….according to Nate, I need to do a better job, because the pictures just don’t do the food justice!)

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They had heard great things of the restaurant we went to, Cafe Brazil. What a great decision! It is located on the west side of Denver in a quaint little neighborhood. When I walked in I felt like I was back on my honeymoon. (We didn’t go to Brazil, but it had a similar vibe to the Dominican Republic with the “Caribbean music, bright colors and fun drinks that I imagined were in a coconut!) Besides looking out at the construction taking place outside, you could’ve plopped this place in the middle of somewhere down south, on a beach, with blue ocean water across the way!

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We got the menu and OH My GOSH….it was over whelming! I mean I love to try new foods, but I’m always hesitant and it takes me forever when I don’t understand what the title of the dish is. I need to read through all the descriptions on every entree and all the drinks! There were so many great sounding options! I made some very good decisions on dinner and I believe everybody at my table enjoyed a wonderful meal as well.

I started with a Batida: A sweet cocktail featuring a choice of spiced rum or cachaça* shaken with my choice of tropical fruit.  The first tropical juice I chose was the Mango followed by the Blackberry! The best drinks I’ve had in a long time! (Besides the glass or two of wine that regardless taste good after a long day at work!) 😉 This is a picture of the Blackberry Batida. I think they used real, fresh blackberries and mangos–not just processed juice! Delish! I could’ve drank many more to enjoy all the flavors, but I didn’t want to end up on the floor–and probably not the best choice in caloric intake either, but hey–who said I was counting calories tonight!

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We all got different appetizers and I enjoyed the calamari and soup (and the soup was free!)

When the waiter came around for entree decisions I did what I always do and wait until the last minute and then pick on instinct! He told me it was the spiciest thing on the menu. I began to doubt my decision and asked, “how spicy?” He said, “pretty spicy—I would say medium spicy to most brazilian foods.” Great answer waiter…..this is my first time eating brazilian food, not sure what thats suppose to mean. I asked him is it was possible to tone the spiciness down on the entree.  mmmmmmmm….it was perfect! Not the picture, the meal! The vegetables (Zuchinni, Red Peppers & Carrots) were stacked around the rice, prawns and scallops. It reminded me of building link-in-logs around my toys when I was little! And for you foodies out there this is the real description of the food.

LA CALEÑA — Large prawns and sea scallops simmered in a sweet hot sauce of fresh-diced tomato, mango, passion fruit, green onion and Italian Parsley, finished with Brazilian Chile’s. Served with herbed rice and vegetables.

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It was SOOOOOO good! Definitely better than anything I could’ve cooked for Nate and I!

And now for dessert…..I typically don’t get dessert because I am so full from the meal that I know I won’t enjoy the dessert to it’s full potential. BUT….I heard the waiter say a dessert option of Chocolate and Hazelnut Gelato. Waiter…you had me at GELATO!! I LOVE gelato! It’s so smooth in texture and very light feeling for being ice cream….so we indulged and had the great tasting gelato!

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Nate and I are so blessed to have wonderful new friends from our small group! We had such a great time getting to know them and enjoying delicious food! We cant wait until our next dinner out, we we’re already discussing some possible options….Hops n Pie anyone?!?!

Do you consider yourself a foodie? Like to try new foods? or keep it simple? 

❤ God Bless

 

Thank God for wonderful, amazing, honest people…..

Have you ever lost something that you knew you made the mistake in losing and didn’t know if you were going to find it again?

Nate and I went through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course last fall. I must say for two spenders, we are doing very well and we are very proud of it! Granted, sometimes its really hard. Like when I see the cutest shirt, or pair of shoes but I know we’ve already spent our clothing money, I have to wait until our next pay day and “budget meeting.” (make sure the wine bottle is near by) 😉 The cool thing about this however is that before if I saw something I liked or thought I liked, I bought it…and then it sits in my closet and I never wear it. Having only so much money to spend, allows me to go shopping and find things I LOVE and if I don’t love anything, then I go home empty handed and save the money so I have more to spend on the next shopping trip!

Here is the wonderful Dave Ramsey envelope system……

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I know it seems old school, but it works! At least for Nate and I. When you see the cash disappear between your fingers, it’s much harder to spend than swiping the debit card. We have different envelopes for Groceries, Telli, Clothing, Entertainment, Car Repair/Insurance and Home Repair. The last two categories are the big categories. We don’t use these often, but every pay day we are putting money into them, because car and home repairs cost a lot of money and the whole point is to be prepared for them, instead of being a surprise!

Anyway………

Nate called me on Thursday night at work and said, “have you seen the envelopes around?” I began to have doubt in my mind, because I knew he wouldn’t call me unless he really couldn’t find them….and I had no idea where they could be, and I knew there was a lot of money in there between the home repair and car repair envelopes.

I got home on Thursday and we picked our brain….when was the last time we took money out. Kohls!

We looked at our Kohls receipt to see when that was…..March 3rd!

Did we drive my car or Nates car to Kohls……My car! (crap…to make a long story short, I am provided with a  company car for work, but every couple nights it changes…)

March 3rd was the same day our good friends Andrea and Aaron came up to go ice skating on the lake and have a couple beers. Nate remembered making the comment, “hey look, you have twin Nissan Rogues!”

Ah-ha….I knew what car it was in, I just didn’t know where that car had gone….

After making a couple calls on Friday at work, a client had actually picked up that vehicle and when I called her, the envelopes were still in the glove box! I drove right down completely on the other side of Denver, to her house, picked up a bottle of wine and thank you card on the way and picked up my envelopes! She was such a sweet girl, loves the wine, and told me she was glad I called because if she had found that down the road and didn’t know who it belonged to, she would’ve freaked out not knowing what to do with it!

Thanks so much Ms….you were honest and amazing! I Thanked God many times on my drive home that sometimes we see so much bad in the world, that we forget there are many wonderful and honest people. I’m glad my envelopes were in the hands of an honest amazing woman!

Have you ever lost something, and recovered by a stranger?

God Bless ❤

It is what it is Wednesday!

Wow! What a day..and great day at that! I know it doesn’t make sense with the title, but I had an idea that I will get to at the bulk of my post. But as a quick recap of the day…..

I had the day off! I was so excited because I had a doctor’s appointment in Denver that is close to one of my favorite parks, Washington Park! It is such a great park to enjoy when it is beautiful outside. In the summer on any given day there will be many groups of people with kickball, volleyball, softball, etc. going on. I was very surprised with how many people were there at 11 am this morning! I mean really? What do you do for work that you are there running/biking/rollerblading/walking/sitting in the park! There were SO many people! I even took Telli down for a road tip to the park. I knew she would love it, but she loved it more than I was expecting!! She had so much fun but was not on her best behavior. There were too many new smells, dogs, strollers, ducks, geese and people compared to what we are used to at the parks near our house. Her training went out the window and she tried pulling me everywhere! So my much anticipated run turned more into a walk/stand to make her stop pulling and wait until I told her we could continue. I laughed because I was able to use my new app that I spoke about in an earlier post. Map My Fitness! The only thing with today, it told me my pace was an 18.55 minute mile…..no bueno Telli, too much stopping for you!

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She did have fun and was worn out the rest of the afternoon.

While I was sick I was watching some Pioneer Woman episodes. On one episode that Nate was around for, she made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches!!! Nate loves chocolate chip cookies! I wanted to thank him for taking SUCH GREAT CARE OF ME while I was sick and so today I made him the ice cream cookie sandwiches! They turned out really good!

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Here is a picture….but as you can see, I started eating it before I remembered to take the picture…..Mmmmm…..mmmm it was good!

And for dinner I made the it’s so simple to make and delicious to eat—Noodles with tomatoes, onions and pesto! It’s SOOO good, and SOOOO easy!

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And now for the heart of this post:

Nate and I are in a small group with young couples from our church. We love it and it gives us the opportunity to be vulnerable and real with people. There are couples at all different stages of life (kids, no kids, pets, careers, health problems) so it’s a great way to get to know people and have great, well-rounded discussions. I named this post “It is what it is Wednesday” because I am making a commitment to every Wednesday be REAL with my readers. Not that I am ever not real but it’s easy to only post the good things that happened that day or week, or to only post the good pictures. But this is my commitment to show you the messy days, the imperfect days, the imperfections of me….

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson

In our small group discussion tonight we talked about how dissatisfied people are with their own lives not because of who they are, but because of who everybody else is. We live in a society of social media and perfect pictures and perfect posts on Instagram and Facebook. We see others as they are on the outside–the package their wrapped in. But we never truly see their gift that God gave them; that is what we need to look at, their inner-being. But because we only look at their outside (the Facebook posts and Instagram pictures) their life will seem to be so much better than our own. They seem to be doing more with their life, we want to be like them but don’t know how and why we need to be…but now we feel dissatisfied with our own life. As a society we only post the things that we want others to see and not our imperfections. We don’t want people to see the broken hearts and the voids in our soul. If I want you to read about me and get to know me, I want you to know of my imperfections too….because there are A LOT! So from now on it will be called; IT IS WHAT IT IS WEDNESDAY.

God Bless