Sunday, January 30, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 18}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}


Many Southern gospel songs have spoken to my heart over the years, but one in particular challenged me a few years ago as I struggled with contentment.

Gordon Mote’s song, “Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory” reminded me to see the beauty of everything around me instead of focusing on what my life’s lacking.

Just last Sunday I was able to hear Gordon at a local church and was reminded how much I enjoy his music. I'm so thankful to the Lord for using many means, including this song, to help me come to a place of contentment...a place where I can see His glory!





Don't Let Me Miss The Glory

VERSE 1
In the view from the mountains
There's a story to be told
In the crashing of the ocean
There's a power that no man will ever hold

All the stars in the Heavens
Decorate Your handiwork
And like a mighty choir
They've come to celebrate Your worth

CHORUS
Don't let me miss the glory
Don't let me miss the grace
All creation is singing
To the honor of Your name

Don't let me miss the wonder
Don't let me miss the grand design
And the lightning and the thunder
Lord open up my eyes
Don't let me miss the glory

VERSE 2
In the cry of a baby
In the laughter of love
In the dance of the faithful
you will find the greatness of our God above

In the prayer of the righteous
In the beauty of Your grace
In a brand new morning's mercy
All Your memories of my sin have been erased

Monday, January 24, 2011

What I'm Lovin'

I'm constantly finding a new, "life-changing" product, so I thought I'd share what I'm lovin' this week:

1. Spicy Ranch Dressing

Think Ranch, with a twang...perfect on my favorite grilled chicken salad at Steak Out! Plus, I can buy it at my beautiful new Kroger, while drinking Coke Zero!




2. Crystal Light Peach Tea

I never considered myself a fruity tea person, but when Meg served it at Recipe Club, I realized I am a fruity tea person. Plus, there's only 5 calories a serving!




3. "Hidden In My Heart" CD

I just found this CD today from Revive Our Hearts, but the minute I heard the sample MP3, I knew it was a treasure. It's actually a lullaby cd, but I don't know about you, but I can always use soothing, Scripture songs. I can't wait to get my copy! Check out thier website to hear a sample...



4. Eucerin Calming Creme

I'm always on the hunt for the perfect lotion...and I think I found it! It's moisturizing without being oily and costs about $8 at Target.





5. Cute Rain Boots

When the next Huntsville Blizzard hits, I WILL BE READY! I know these aren't snow boots, but for $20 they will keep my feet dry, freeing me to build a real snowman! (Confession: My last snowman was built by squatting in the small 12 inch space under my awning, where the snow didn't accumulate. I just couldn't stand the thought of my feet getting wet!)




I'd love to hear about any new products that you're lovin' so please share!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 19}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

One of the highlights when I interned at Camp Victory was attending a Bible study on Tuesday nights with an eclectic group on ladies. This fun-loving, snack-munching group was led by my friend Sandy, who provided much insight and encouragement during my internship.

During one of our lessons, we began sharing about moments when a certain Bible verse or passage seems to jump off the page and becomes so alive and applicable, that it seems God must have written it just for you, just for that moment! Sandy then introduced me to the word rhema.


Biblestudy.org defines it like this:
An intuitive understanding that a particular scripture verse or passage has immediate application to a current circumstance


Every time I open my Bible, I pray that the Holy Spirit will use the living word to speak to me in such a way that my heart burns with the knowledge of my Lord and Savior just as the disciples’ hearts did when they were unknowingly speaking to Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).

I’m often awestruck with how the Lord makes His word so personal to each of us and to each situation we find ourselves in. As I study the book of Isaiah this year in BSF, I often find myself laughing at how I’m applying the ancient Old Testament to my life as a 29 year old single girl! Now, if that’s not a rhema…I don’t know what is!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alabama Gal, 29

A fellow blogger is hosting a “Singles Meet & Greet” of sorts. A friend offered to submit a post for me, but I decided that since I’ve given other types of online dating a shot, I might as well try this one!

My one hang-up with online dating is the nagging feeling that I’m trying to help God out. Every time I’ve ventured into those waters, I’ve carefully sought Godly counsel and this time is no exception. So my writing this post isn’t my way of doing what God can’t- it’s my way of being available for God to use any means He sees fit!

With all that said, I guess it’s time to tell you about myself…

The most important thing in my life is my relationship with the Lord. I’ve been a Christian for almost 17 years and strive to honor Him in everything I do. I’ve been involved in Bible Study Fellowship for six years and I’m loving this year’s study of the book of Isaiah.

The second most important thing in my life is my relationship with my family and friends. I’m blessed to be surrounded by precious loved ones who constantly support, pray for, laugh with and eat out with me!

I’d love to tell you more about myself, but to prevent sounding completely self-absorbed, I’ll stop…unless you want to know more!

Leaving it in God’s hands…
With my twin...I'm the one on the right! BTW...she's single too!
With a family friend, sister and mom at a Southern Gospel concert- my fav!
With dear friends serving dinner at the Christian camp I worked at during college.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 20}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

Do you ever have a moment that even while you’re in it, you realize it’s going to a “game changer”? I had such a moment my sophomore year at Pensacola Christian College, when I heard evangelist Dave Young say,


“Get a cause higher than you.”


The moment I heard him say this, I knew that my summer plans needed to some serious consideration. It was easy as a college student to want a summer of bummin’ around, but in that moment, I knew I wanted to do something meaningful and with an eternal impact.

A few months later, I heard about Camp Victory when Bill Richoux visited PCC, recruiting summer camp staff. I was immediately drawn to the ministry of Camp Victory and to Mr. Bill’s heart for ministry and quick wit, but the decision to spend seven weeks in the middle of nowhere and away from my family was a big deal! To encourage me in my decision, Mr. Bill sent me a Top Ten list of reasons why I needed to be at Camp Victory that summer and though my family could hardly believe it, I signed up to be a camp counselor!


That first summer of 2002, led to four more summers on staff and a year-long internship after college graduation. I can’t begin to describe all the memories made at camp…the friendships forged…the lessons learned…But it’s a huge part of my life and the Lord used those times of ministry to mold me in many ways.


A cause higher than myself? The possibilities are endless! I want to keep that challenge in front of me each and every day and choose to serve the Lord by serving others.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hope Overflowing turns 1!

My entry into the blog world happened one night as my friend Jennifer and I were brainstorming on creating an outlet for my ramblings. I know it’s just been 365 days, but a lot has changed since I started Hope Overflowing.

This time last year, I was full of questions, doubts and bitterness, but through much prayer, many lifestyle changes and a multitude of loving friends and family, I’ve moved from that pit into a place of freedom and trust. So today as I’m celebrating my blog’s birthday, I’m also praising the Lord for the last year of growth!



Psalm 40

1 I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and He turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.

3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the LORD.

4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.

5 O LORD my God, You have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.

6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]—
You don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.

7 Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:

8 I take joy in doing Your will, my God,
for Your instructions are written on my heart.”

9 I have told all Your people about Your justice.
I have not been afraid to speak out,
as You, O LORD, well know.

10 I have not kept the good news of Your justice hidden in my heart;
I have talked about Your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.

11 LORD, don’t hold back Your tender mercies from me.
Let Your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.

12 For troubles surround me—
too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
I have lost all courage.

13 Please, LORD, rescue me!
Come quickly, LORD, and help me.

14 May those who try to destroy me
be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
be turned back in disgrace.

15 Let them be horrified by their shame,
for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”

16 But may all who search for You
be filled with joy and gladness in You.
May those who love Your salvation
repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!”

17 As for me, since I am poor and needy,
let the Lord keep me in His thoughts.
You are my helper and my savior.
O my God, do not delay.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

The weather man actually got it right! What a treat to wake up to 7 inches of snow (and get to miss work)! It's the most our area has seen since 1993! As we watched it fall last night, we were surprised at how quickly it accumulated. Unless the Arsenal was testing something in the middle of the night, I'm pretty sure we witnessed the rare phenomenon called thundersnow (a kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain) cause I heard thunder in the middle of the snow fall!

We are used to seeing tornado warnings around here, so I loved seeing our white radar...




This is one of my scrapbook rulers stuck in the snow...7 inches!




This is some major stuff for North Alabama!




In a flashback to our childhood, Abby and I made snowcream, but I was careful to scoop up only clean snow!



Wavin' to my favorite neighbors!





How cute is our little Frosty?!?! I'm shocked I had a real carrot to use!


Oops! Someone's nose was too heavy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 21}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

One of my most treasured habits (inherited from my mom) is marking a meaningful verse by writing the date I "discovered" it in the margin of my Bible. We even indicate song lyrics in our Bibles by drawing little music notes. Kay Arthur has nothin' on us! I often joke that I’m “dating my Bible”- hey, at least it won’t ever stand me up on a Friday night! :-)

I love being able to look back and see how long a verse has been speaking to me. Eight years ago, in 2003, I claimed Psalm 17:15 as my “singleness” verse. I had no idea I was going to have to claim it so long, but praise God His truth is my rock now and however much longer I need a “singleness” verse.


Psalm 17:15
“When I awake, I will be satisfied with Thy likeness.”


This verse helped me realize that though I go to bed alone and wake up alone, knowing/loving/trusting/serving God provides all the satisfaction I need.


“Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,
That fight for our love, and our passion,
As our eyes are open wide and on You.
Grant us the privilege of Your world view,
And may Your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.”

-TobyMac, “Lose My Soul”

Friday, January 7, 2011

Frequent Blogger Miles

I just noticed that the counter on my blog is about to rollover to 1,000!

Thanks to all of my friends (and those who link from other blogs) for taking the time to read my musings and share in my journey.

May the Lord's HOPE be very real in your life today....just as it is in mine.

Much love, dear readers!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 22}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

When I decided to do Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods Bible study almost two years ago with a friend of mine, I had no idea what the Lord had in store for me. Many of the scripture passages used throughout the book are from the Old Testament, about the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness towards the Promised Land. In a bit of irony that only the Lord could pull off, while doing NOG, I was also studying the Life of Moses in Bible Study Fellowship. Combined together, those two powerful tools created fertile soil in my soul, allowing the Lord to teach me many things about who (or what) I was really worshiping in my life.

“An idol can be a physical object, a property, a person, an activity, a role, an institution, a hope, an image, an idea, a pleasure, a hero- anything that can substitute for God….The evil in our desire typically does not lie in what we want, but that we want in too much.”

“Idolatry is taking a good thing and making it an ultimate thing.”

Ouch.

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah 2:8

“They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods…Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols.” 2 Kings 17:33, 41


And who started this Bible study convinced she wasn’t serving any false gods?!?!?

As we continued to study the Israelites, I was struck by Exodus 11 and Psalm 145:15. During their time in the wilderness, God supplied the Israelites with manna. YET- they started whining for quail…they were so focused on what they didn’t have, that they didn’t recognize the provision in what God had already given them. They were convinced that quail was the absolute best thing for them.

The Lord showed me that I often whine for what I think is best for me, losing sight of the provision and blessings He’s already showered me with.

But get this- there’s even a bigger lesson here: God’s plan wasn’t for them to feast of manna or quail but on the bounty of the Promised Land!

Let that sink in. I don’t want to get comfortable in the dessert, begging for quail, when God has milk and honey waiting for me!

Ouch, again.

The last two years since NOG have been ones of relinquishment- recognizing the idols in my heart and letting God have full control. As I’ve flipped through my NOG workbook and Bible to write this post, I’ve walked down my spiritual memory lane. I have so many things marked in NOG in my Bible, that I’ve been tempted to just retype the whole book here, but that probably infringes on copyright laws, so let me just encourage you get dig in for yourself when you have time for an eight week study and feel like turning your world upside down!

Author Kelly Minter is also and singer/songwriter and her song, “First in My Heart” wraps up my NOG experience and current prayer to the Lord:

So this is love, if feels like war
To slay my gods by the sword
Making room for You to dwell
Here inside of me unrivaled
Though it cost me everything
Only You will be

First in my heart, first in my mind
And in everything, I long for in this life
First in my dreams, first in my eyes
Before every other love that I desire

So settle in and You never mind
These trembling hands, these teary eyes
Cause I never knew it’d hurt so bad
To turn my back upon this golden calf
Let its memory fade away
Till only You remain

Take these idols a million miles
From the allegiance of my soul
Fill this hunger with Your wonder