Friday, February 28, 2014

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-eight - One Word

Linking up with Bailey Jean for the final day of February's challenge! Hooray! This challenge has been so much fun, and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.
Bailey has a monthly reflection she does on her word for the year, but since that's not a train I've jumped on, I'm going to take it in a different direction. The one word that means the most to me, that re-centers me when I'm feeling off, that brings me back to Jesus every time is grateful. If I were going to get a tattoo, I would tattoo the word grateful on the instep of my foot {easy to cover up, doesn't wrinkle as much - yes, I've thought a lot about this!} because I want to be reminded to choose gratefulness every moment.

A couple years ago, right after I graduated from college, I read Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. This book hit me right where I needed to be hit. Gratitude changes the mundane into worship, so every moment and every action honors the Lord.

The moral of the story is, I want gratefulness to be my way of living. It's my theme, my mantra, my goal.

Thank you, Bailey, for a wonderful month of prompts and posts! This was so fun. Thank you for being a lovely hostess!

7 Quick Takes: End of February

Joining Jen at Conversion Diary for today's 7 Quick Takes.

1. First things first: the reason I didn't join the link-up last week was because I was in Kentucky surprising my friend! :D Twas a glorious and too-short visit, and I chose to enjoy being with my bosom friend and her kids {who happen to be four of my favorite children in theee whooole world}. There is a post on this surprise visit forthcoming.

2. I really loved this post by Emily at Chatting at the Sky. Making your blog really truly your blog is supposed to have some flexibility perks, right? On that note, there are a few blog posts that I've promised {like the one above} that I haven't yet written and I do want to actually write those. Since today is the last day of Bailey Jean's Blog Every Day in February challenge, look for these promised posts in March.

3. Also in March, you'll be seeing this blogger at a couple different blogs. What! That freaks me out just a teensy bit. But yeah, I agreed to write a post for my lovely friend Victoria, and then my friends Catherine and Yvonne and I are doing a blog swap/hosting each other/guest post thing in the middle of March. So yeah, that's gonna happen and it's gonna be great. I'm speaking in faith, obviously, but let's all agree together and amen and amen.

4. Did you take part in END IT? Thursday, February 27th was the day that people all over the country and world decided to Shine A Light on Slavery. Check out END IT's website as well as other resources like Made In A Free World.

5. Ok, maybe my OCD is getting the better of me, but even when "blogging experts" tell me to promote la blog on ye ol' Facebook, I can't do it. When I go on Facebook, I want to see people; when I go on Bloglovin', I want to see blogs, and hopefully ne'er the two shall meet. Am I crazy? I am feeling slightly crazy because the line from "The Quiet Man" is running through my head: "When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey, and when I drink water, I drink water." {If you have never seen "The Quiet Man" then please don't even bother finishing the last 2 Takes because that is a John Wayne-Maureen O'Hara classic and it will add to the quality of your life and maybe even affect your definition of masculinity because hello it's John Wayne...end rant.}

6. This morning I totally thought I had my life together {hair looked good, chai was made}, but when I got to work, I found that only one earring had survived the journey from my bedroom to the office. Sigh. I don't know if I forgot to put in one earring because I was also choosing my socks for the day or if I put it in and it wormed its way out. This is a question that will haunt me until at least 5:30 pm today when I get home to check my dresser.

7. Today is the last day of February which means it's the last day of Bailey's Blog Every Day in Feb challenge, which is both awesome and sad. It's awesome because hello, a bunch of people just blogged for 28 days in a row! And it's sad because it's over.... but it's also just a teensy bit awesome that it's over because all good things must come to an end and this was definitely a good thing :) But seriously, this was a fabulous challenge and it was so fun to link up with Bailey and the gang every day.

That's all, folks! Have a happy, happy weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-seven - Fave Blogs

Linking up with Bailey Jean on our second-to-last day of February! Can't believe we're almost done.

People, I read a lot of blogs. Like, 50 blogs. I know. It's obsessive. And by that, I mean that I'm obsessed. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to healing, but I don't think that this is a problem...

Anyway, picking favorite blogs is so so so hard! How do I choose!? Okay, here are a few faves, but please don't hold me to these favorites forever and ever amen, because they will change. That is a promise.

As much as I would love to write a brief and witty description of each of the blogs listed here, that would take days and days and would still not accurately or entirely capture what I love about them. So I'll give you the jist and you can check them out on your own time. Without further ado:

Camp Patton - mommy blog, hilarious dry humor, kid quotes

The Arizona Russums - life, Jesus, teaching and studying, cute baby!!

Wait + Hope - books, art, Kingdom perspective, and happens to be written by my bestie :)

My Drop in the Ocean - pro-life, college, loving people, singlehood adventures

Jen Hatmaker - I've written about Jen before, and she never ceases to shake up my mentalities. Can't get enough!

I could go on and basically list every blog I read, because I only keep reading the ones I really love, but 5 seems like a good number on which to finish. Plus, 5 is the number of grace, so I will extend grace to you and not list every. single. blog. that I read. You're welcome. 

Note: I keep scrolling through the blogs I follow to make sure I've listed the ones I want to, and I'm not sure at all! There are so many great blogs I love, but I'm forcing myself to hit publish and not bombard you with my entire reading list. But if you want some more suggestions, you know who to ask ;)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finish This: Week Eight

Linking up with Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, Nicole at Three 31, and Lisa at COASTLINED.

Five Things I Know For Sure:

1. No matter the question or problem, Jesus is the answer and the solution. There is nothing He can't handle, which is great because there are lots of things I can't handle. Trusting Him is always worth it.

2. Speaking of Jesus, I'm sure that He invented massages. They are divine. That's all I have to say 'bout that.

3. Ten will always be my favorite Doctor. Nine and Eleven were awesome, and I have high hopes for Twelve, but there's no one like Ten. {If you're a Whovian, you can read my farewell and Samara's tribute to Ten.}

4. Surprises are awesome. As I alluded to last week, I went down to Kentucky to surprise my bosom friend as an early birthday present. If you can believe it, I kept my big mouth {both my physical mouth and my blogging/social media mouth} shut and she was totally surprised! Post forthcoming on this, never fear.

5. I'm not afraid to speak up if I see something wrong. Yesterday on the plane home, there were two guys behind me talking loudly about their workout plans, their life goals, their travels, their wives, their favorite colors, their childhood fears, what they wanted to be when they grew up, what shaving cream they used, and on and on and on... I'm notevenjoking. It was horrendous.

After about 45 minutes of this {I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they might shut the heck up quiet down after we took off}, I asked the gal next to me if these guys were, in fact, really loud. She confirmed my suspicions, and so I turned around and gave them my best "I'm smiling to be polite, not because I like you in any way, shape, or form" smile and said "Would you gentlemen mind lowering your voices, please?" They said "sure," and seriously not 5 minutes later they had ceased. all. their. talking. It was the best.

There you have it: five things I know for sure! Come back next week for some new prompts.

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-six - Favorite Recipe

Linking up with Bailey Jean for today's yummy post!

The recipe I'm about to share with you is an old family secret. Many generations have died with this recipe only known to their favorite child, and wars have been waged to protect the purity of the ingredient list. If I dare share this recipe with you, I face excommunication from my family as well as shunning from the cooking population at large. My firstborn's blood may have to be sacrificed for the horrendous crime I'm about to commit. But for a blogging challenge, I'm willing to risk it.

{Would you believe that I was voted "Most Dramatic" in my high school class? Yeah, me neither.}

Crack Popcorn {aka Candied Popcorn}
It is called crack popcorn because it is SO stinking yummy and addicting that people have been known the eat an entire bowl without realizing it. Also, crack seems to be a theme today - go check out the serious goodness on Bailey's blog!


  • popcorn
  • almond bark {2 squares per 1 bag of popcorn}

Step One: pop the popcorn. Try to keep up here, guys. Once it's popped, pour it into a deep bowl. Try to get just the popped corn in the bowl - no seeds allowed!

Step Two: chop up the almond bark squares. I use a sort of grating technique with a knife.

Step Three: melt the chopped almond bark. The trick here is to not let the almond bark burn. I do 30 seconds in the microwave, stir, another 30 seconds, stir, possibly 15 more seconds to melt it all into smooth goodness.

Step Four: pour the melted almond bark over the popcorn. I use a spatula to pour some on, stir the popcorn around, and then pour the rest. Stir the popcorn so that the almond bark is covering all the popcorn.

Step Five: {This maybe should be set up while the popcorn is being popped or the almond bark is being melted.} Pour the coated popcorn onto a flat surface, preferably covered. Wax paper, tin foil, and paper towels are all great to cover your table and protect it from the stickiness of the almond bark. Smooth the popcorn out so it's not one big pile. Then let the almond bark harden on the popcorn {it is appropriate to taste a little bit at this point!} and enjoy.

Ta da! The best part about this recipe is that the popcorn really doesn't look that different from un-candied popcorn, so if you take it to a party, at first everyone will judge you for being that girl who seriously just popped some popcorn for a party...but then someone will taste it and then there will be a light shining forth from the heavenlies and the lucky someone who discovered the goodness in your bowl will try to sneak the bowl back to their seat so that they can devour its entire contents, and sometimes another person jumps on the bandwagon and fights break out over the really big clumps, and friendships are truly tested over this simple recipe, and the moral of the story is, you will always have an empty bowl at the end of the night. You're welcome.

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-five - Dear 16-year-old

Linking up with Bailey Jean for this post. I seriously can't believe how close we are to the finish line of February!!

(Apparently 16-year-old Bek fell off the bandwagon because she does not have a picture of herself at this age. And I'm a firstborn, so there's really no excuse! ;) )

Dear Bek,

Golly gee whiz, you've experienced a lot of changes this year! You've moved, started attending school, have a new dance company, made new friends, and finally have actual homework. You've had teachers to get used to, a uniform to wear, classmates to bond with, all while practicing your driving abilities. 

While you may feel like this is a ton of new things (and it is!), get used to it! Life is so full of new and exciting adventures, many ones you'd NEVER anticipate. And as you move from one adventure to the next, remember your value. Remember that nothing you do will ever change God's love or plans for you. You have gifts and abilities from the Lord that others need, so don't be ashamed of who you are or how God made you. 

Bek, God is going to take you places - physical, spiritual, and emotional places - that you wouldn't believe. He's going to redeem your past and guide your future. He's going to stretch you beyond your comfort zone and grow you gracefully. He's going to give you amazing friends and wonderful mentors, and He's going to speak directly to you, too. 

I can't wait to see what He has in store for us/me even now, because look at how He has blessed life! And it's only going to get better. 


25-year-old Bek

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-three - Blogging

Linking up with Bailey Jean for this challenge

Some of the joys of blogging include:

• joining in a community with people from every part of the country (or world!) and every walk of life.

• processing life in a way that may never be the same, but can be remembered via the talent of the 'net.

• the ease with which your sisters can stalk you.

• participating in link-ups like this that promp you to share what you never would have otherwise.

• comments from kind readers! (This is a compliment to you, not puppy dog eyes!)

What do you love about blogging?

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-four - Guest Post

Linking up with Bailey Jean for an exciting guest post! Side note: I've been using the Blogger app on my phone and it is sorta dumb in that it publishes posts to the date you started the post, not the date you hit publish. That's why these past few posts have been showing up in odd ways. If anyone knows how to remedy this, please help a sister out!

Guest post by my college roomie Catherine! Catherine is a wonderful friend, a talented writer, the queen of dry humor (as you'll see), an unashamed nerd, and an all-around cool person to know. She and I met for the first time moving into our teensy dorm room, and we had so much fun that we opted to do it all over again our second year :) Catherine is a gem, and I'm excited for you all to hear from her!

Loving the Command for Purity

Eph. 5: 1-3 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Hi, I am Catherine and I'm nearly 29 years old and have never been on a date. No grand stance on my part, just no one has asked and life stuff took over. But by the grace of God I am saving myself for my future husband (who may or may not be the first person I date). The path of purity is a tough one, no mistake. We live in a sex saturated culture and someone who continues to save themselves for their future spouse is seen as an anomaly. They are responded to with disbelief and sometimes, awe. Kind of like Big Foot, and the older you get the more like Big Foot you become--in rarity, not in resemblance hopefully. 

At times the road of purity seems too difficult to walk and it's easy to believe that God is being cruel by telling you to live a chaste life. It's easy to believe that He is keeping something vital to your well being away from you. It sometimes seems that He is telling you not to be human because sexuality is part of our humanity. It's easy to believe all this because all the signals we get from the world tell us this--you are being denied something incredible. 

And yet we are given the command of purity.

But before we take a closer look at that command let's look at the greatest commandment--love God with all your heart, soul, and mind (Luke 10:27). When we fully understand and accept the gospel it is easy to love God just as the above verses say--He gave Himself up for us. We love God because He loved us when we didn't deserve it. Because we understand the gospel we can follow this command and even love it. When we love God we love His commandments because His commandments come from God Himself. The command to love Him gets that much easier. 

Now the command for purity can work the same way--we love God because He saved us and we can love purity because it came from God. He already gave us everything we need--Jesus--and loving God is for our benefit and we love purity because yet again, it is for our benefit. When we love God's commands it is so much easier to follow them. Instead of looking at the command for purity as a harsh yoke around the neck we can love it and see it as a precious gift. This gift can be given to your spouse or be kept for yourself and seen as something that keeps you from the pain that comes from indulging in sin. 

We can lift our head up, not in pride, but in total assurance that we can boldly approach the throne of God and say that we have loved Him.

If for whatever reason you have not kept the command of purity, KNOW that God is a God second chances (He has given me plenty) and His grace is ever flowing (and I live by it everyday). You can still love His command for purity--from here on out and by God's grace you can live a life of purity. Love God and then you can love the command--see how it changes the way you look at it? It is something precious instead of burdensome.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not Alone Series: Masculinity

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe.

Who is a great example of masculinity in your life {father, brother, uncle, priest/pastor, etc}? What do you love about them?

I don't know if I've ever said this explicitly on the ol' blog before, but I don't have any brothers. I have an awesome dad, an incredible mom, three amazing sisters, and no hermanos. Sometimes I've felt like I was missing some crucial element of life, but now I recognize that there are definitely huge parts of my growing-up years that I wouldn't change, even though they would be totally different if I had a brother. For example, my sisters and I all shared a room for a couple years. Yes, your math is correct - four girls, two sets of bunk-beds, two dressers, and a huge population of Barbies all occupied one room.

Obviously, my home has always been a female-dominated house {even our dog was female!}; my mom did an excellent job of teaching my sisters and me what femininity looks like, and my dad was pretty much my sole guide for masculinity.

{That was a really long introduction to sharing what I love about my dad. Bear with!}

I love that my dad...

  • loves the Lord
  • is strong
  • holds my hand
  • talks to me about anything
  • takes care of me 
  • loves and dates my mom
  • expects me to succeed
  • plans and dreams with me and encourages me to dream bigger
  • is comfortable working behind the scenes
  • reads a variety of books
  • does his research and then chooses to follow God
  • has a special relationship with each of his daughters
  • is a spiritual father to other girls who have entered our home
  • has never made me feel weak or inferior for being a girl
  • always reminds me that my husband will be God's best, not just someone who "can fog a mirror"
  • is passionate
  • is respected by other men
  • has discernment
  • is a go-getter
...that's a good start. I don't know if this really answered the masculinity question, but it does answer the "what do I love about" question, so there ya go. 

Dad and me on the Christmas merry-go-round 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-two - Anxiety

Linking up with Bailey Jean, as per usual :)

How do you fight fear, anxiety, stress? I think of these as three separate and similar challenges, so I'm going to address them separately. Fear usually comes when I realize I'm not in control of a certain situation; anxiety strikes when I'm waiting on something and it's a determining factor in a big decision, and stress overwhelms when I start to do too much.

Fear: Remembering that God is in control. Choosing trust. Deep breaths. Praying for God to take over. Talking with my bestie. Worship music.

Anxiety: Praying for God's will to be done, no matter what. Remembering that He is in control. Praying for someone else instead of getting stuck on my situation.

Stress: Deep breaths. Lists. Focusing on one thing at a time. Praying for the peace of God to invade me. Saying no to more to-dos. Multi-tasking when possible.

What helps you survive seasons or moments of stress, fear, or anxiety?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty-one - Home

Linking up with Bailey Jean for February's blogging challenge!

The meaning of HOME. Well, once again Bailey has perfect timing, because by now the surprise is done: I'm in Kentucky, my Other Home! My bosom friend AJ's birthday is next week, so I flew out to surprise her. This really deserves its own post, but since the subject is home, I thought I'd share :)

Home is wherever you're a part of a family. I consider Seattle my home because my biological family and church family are here; I consider Kentucky my other home because my non-biological family and church family are here.

Home is where you are welcome no matter what time and no matter what situation. Home is the place of unconditional love and acceptance. Home is the anchor that keeps you grounded and in the right place.

Home is wherever the Lord has called you. Home is where there's grace. Home is where there is rest.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Twenty - Story Without Words

Linking up with Bailey Jean for the twentieth post of February! Woot!

Today's prompt is "a story without words," so here goes... we'll see what comes of this attempt at fiction. Very fiction. Bear with.


No, it really is the end. I hope that sort of made some semblance of drug-induced sense. And if not, you can just come back tomorrow for a less frightening post.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Finish This: Week Seven

This lovely link-up is hosted by Nicole at Three 31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Lisa at COASTLINED, and Becky at The Java Mama. Enjoy!

I plan on buying a birthday present for my roomie! Trying to decide between Seattle chocolate {always a hit}, a gift card {so she can pick out what she loves best}, or something really nerdy {because that's what nerd friends get for each other}. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments!

I give *Captain Phillips* 5 Stars because that movie was so so SO well done and intense and well-acted and amazing and incredible and yes. If you haven't seen it, I personally recommend watching it during a thunder storm while your lights flicker on and off. It adds to the intensity level, for sure.

I felt courageous when I said goodbye to my parents and watched them drive to the airport after moving me into my dorm room in Kentucky. Knowing that I was supposed to be at this school was amazing, but knowing that I would see my parents for 4 months {plus the 3-hour time difference made things challenging} was really, really hard. But I had my cry session and then was good.

I feel about swimsuit shopping like I do about ordering a chai latte; I've found the drink {swimsuit} that works for me and I get the same thing every time and am pleased with the result. Seriously, Land's End has the most amazing swimsuit, and every few years {they usually last at least 3!} I pick out the color and/or pattern and order the swimsuit online. Done and done.

Go check out the link-up for more of Finish This!

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Nineteen - Little Secrets

Linking up with Bailey Jean; we are almost done with February!

Today's prompt asks for "little known facts about you," so brace yourselves.

1. One of my life dreams is to live on a houseboat. "Sleepless in Seattle" may have influenced this desire, but that doesn't make it any less valid. When it happens, I'll invite you over. Pinky promise.

2. When I was 3 years old, I fell off a bed {no more monkeys jumping on the bed!} and hit the mirrors on the closet door. My nose was basically cut off, except for one little piece of skin. Stitches and two decades later, no one meets me and says "what happened to your nose?!?!" with any semblance of horror on their faces. In fact, when I tell people, they don't believe me and have to examine my nose in order to see for themselves.

3. I played Speed Scrabble for a couple of years before I ever played Scrabble on the board. My AP English professor had us play Speed Scrabble as a way to work in timed, pressure-filled situations {I think he just was tired at the end of the school day}, and I thought that was the best way to play Scrabble ever in the whole wide world. 

4. I took classical piano lessons for about 6 years. I'm so glad my parents "encouraged" me to do this. Sometimes I resented all the necessary practicing, but when I got to my last semester of college and needed another half-credit to graduate with honors, I took piano and loved it again. No, it wasn't the most convenient thing to get myself to the basement of the western-most building on campus every day, but once I was in my little piano room, everything was wonderful. 

5.  While I can usually read two or three books at a time, it's really hard for me to be in the middle of more than one crochet project. I feel torn because I want to finish both, but obviously can only work on one at a time. This is why I'm working really hard to finish my friend Rosemary's scarf before I start my Doctor Who scarf, even though the Whovian in me is dyingggg. But priorities, my friends. 

There, those weren't too traumatizing, I hope! Go learn stuff about other people in the link-up.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Not Alone Series: Valentine's Day

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe.

What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? Do you enjoy it? Loathe it? Not even realize it's a special day? Do you celebrate it in any way?

My parents have always been the best at giving valentines and chocolate, and I so appreciate the standard and example they have set for me. I walked into work on Friday and found chocolate and a card on my desk {see, there are some great perks to working with your parents!}. And this Valentine's Day, my bestie and I had made plans in advance and so I was looking forward to an evening spent with some fun girls. We hit up Happy Hour at a great Italian place and then went to see "Winter's Tale." And then we may or may not have gone back to the Italian restaurant for their second Happy Hour... what can I say, sangria is my valentine!

Because I knew my plans in advance, I was able to approach this Valentine's Day with excitement for a great evening with "all the single ladies." Did I wish I was on a date that evening? No, actually; it was really great to spend time with friends and I don't wish that away. Do I wish that next year I'll have a date? If that's God's timing for me. I'm sure that whenever God brings me into a relationship, we will celebrate Valentine's Day, and I'm looking forward to those celebrations. But I'm really glad that my single friends and I could go party hearty.

There were a lot of articles going around the internet about "showing love after you've been in the trenches together" and stuff like that, and while it's good, it doesn't apply to me right now. Honestly, I don't want to be told that Valentine's Day is not that special, that every day with your spouse is special, blah blah blah. Right now, I'm still waiting for my first "special" Valentine's Day. I know that not every Valentine's Day will be the most romantic thing since "The Princess Bride," but I'm hoping that at least one V-Day will be! *end rant*

For my big finale, I present to you a photo taken at the end of our Valentine's Day celebration. We were definitely aiming for blurry...or we were laughing too hard at each other to hold still. I'll let you use your discernment to figure out the truth ;)

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Eighteen - My Style

Linking up with Bailey Jean for this post on my personal style {or lack thereof}.

The prompt for today tells me to describe my style. Well, if I was one of those people who took pictures of their outfits, this would be easy. I would share these pictures, pick a few words that generally describe the outfit, and call it a good day. But alas, no pictures.

Since I work in an office, I wear a lot of dress pants {cotton blend for the win!}. Fortunately, we don't have clients coming in, so we can be more business casual than business formal. Phew!

I like bright colors and patterns on my shirts, and I usually have either a scarf or a sweater {or both} since my office is cold. My co-worker teases me that I wear something purple every day, and I'm starting to recognize how right she is!

Gonna be honest here and say that yes, I am one of those people who prefers comfortable clothing. Thankfully, clothing companies speak my language and I'm able to get away with it. You're probably shaking your head at me, but I know that if a piece of clothing doesn't make me feel comfortable - in both the feel of the fabric and the way it falls on me - I won't wear it.

So if I had to pick some fashion words to describe my style, it would probably be....disastrous. I don't even know what most of those fashion words mean, so I will avoid using them and instead try and take some pictures in the future.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Seventeen - Five Favorites

Linking up with Bailey Jean for five favorites today!

This may come as a shock to you all {oops, some sarcasm dripped on the floor!} but I really, really love Doctor Who. Well, really I love a lot of British television, but Doctor Who is at the top for the vast majority of the time. I know I sound like a crazy fan-girl, but I'm gonna be loud and proud and say that it's my favorite. Doctor Who is pretty darn awesome. 

You may officially and permanently put me into the "weird girl" category in your head after this one. I love cleaning and doing housework. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting - these are a few of my favorite things! I enjoy keeping and having a clean house. The only cleaning task I avoid is cleaning the fridge, but I've tried to embrace being a grown-up and do it little by little so it doesn't get too intimidating. 

Kentucky is a favorite! I've already written about my love for the Bluegrass State {and already used this image, apparently}, and I'll say it again: if the Lord told me I could move anywhere for a season, I'd have my bags packed and ticket booked before you could say "Kentucky Derby." 


Especially after Valentine's Day, sangria is a favorite. If you have not any yet, let me know and I will have you over and make some for you...but in reverse order, since it needs to sit for a couple hours before enjoying. One of these days I should post the combination of recipes I use, but only after you come over to try it!

How to describe this final favorite.... Crafting sounds way too organized and planned out for the activities I do. "Pinterest-inspired actions" is probably the most accurate. I love crocheting {just bought yarn for my Doctor Who scarf!}, following recipes for various soaps {dry powder only - I know my limits}, painting household items, reusing and repurposing, etc. One day when it's not February, I will do a craft round-up...maybe. We'll see. 

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Sixteen - A Hard Lesson

Linking up with Bailey Jean for the February challenge!

I am not perfect. I am going to fail. Failure is not the end of the world. Failure does not affect God's love for me.

This multifaceted lesson has taken me most of my life to learn, and even now sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that I'm still learning and that I need to practice what I've learned.

There's no brilliant story of a great revelation or a giant screw-up with tears and restoration. This lesson took me several years to fully accept, and even now sometimes I fall back into old patterns of thinking. What has changed over the years is how quickly I remember that God's love for me doesn't change, and that lesson is worth every screw-up.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Fifteen - A Big Dream

Linking up with Bailey Jean for today's prompt.

Well, Bailey has great timing. Dreams are what I've been praying about for the past few weeks. On my retreat last weekend, I was specifically asking God for direction and vision and a dream, a goal for my life. I'll be honest: I'm still praying about this. 

I want to see abortion ended in my lifetime. There, I said it. That is my dream, my goal, what I pray for. What can I do to see this happen? There are so many avenues to accomplishing this: changing hearts, adjusting education, changing the laws, providing support for women facing crisis pregnancies, connecting medical, financial, educational resources, praying, praying, praying...

In what capacity does the Lord want to use me? I studied business in college and have entrepreneur-blood in my veins, so how do I use my skills and training for my passion and dream? I don't know yet. Right now, I'm working in an unrelated field and volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center. There is the potential for more at the clinic, but nothing is solidified. I'm asking God for direction for my next step. 

If you would like more details on why I'm pro-life or about the clinic I volunteer at, please feel free to email me.

Friday, February 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Links, Links, and A Couple More Links

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary for today's 7 Quick Takes!

As an aside, I think that this edition should be renamed to "7 Quick Links that Bek Shares" because that's what I've got for you today. Or maybe I'll try reallllly hard to combine the links into half the Takes and actually share stories and fun stuff like that for the other half. Jury is still out, though, mainly because 7 is an odd numeral. Oh, the woes of a blogger.

One: I shared a post from Emily last week, and here we go again. I love every one of her points - "Six Life Lessons I Learned While in Uganda.

Two: Note: this article and subsequent links deal with the topic of sexual abuse. Statistics tell us that one in three women and one in six men are sexually abused. Because of its prevalence, I want to share these tips on talking to someone who has been abused. This is an important read because I want to be especially careful of my words, since this kind of abuse leaves scars that are not always visible. Look at that statistic again: this affects more than 15% of men and over 33% of women. We need to be aware of what's happening. I also want to be sensitive to those readers who have been abused and give them the forewarning of the content and possible triggers. Let us be sensitive, gentle, and loving as survivors heal.

Three: Buzzfeed killed this week. For laughs, this Buzzfeed article about the history of countries in the shortest {and snarkiest} way possible. For more laughs, check out their selection for a fictitious American Doctor Who. For quizzes, indulge your inner {or outter} nerd and take this quiz. Which Jane Austen character are you? I got Anne Elliott - woot!

Four: If Men Got the Titus 2 Treatment... great read, and great links for further reading!

There! Those are all the links I have to share. Onward with stories from real life.

Five: My co-worker's daughter is approaching the age for driver's ed, and so my co-worker and my mom and I were discussing various driver's ed experiences we'd had. My co-worker confessed that when she first learned to drive, the only thing she had driven before was a lawn mower, and so once she was in a car she focused totally on staying next to the lane lines, just like she was mowing the grass...bahahaha! Please tell me I'm not the only one laughing at this.

Six: Since I promised last week that I would spill the beans this week, brace yourself for some beans. Aka my Valentine's Day plans. Tonight, a few girls and I are dressing up and going to 1) drink sangria {yes and amen!}, 2) watch "A Winter's Tale" 3) in a theater that also serves dinner. Yep. Awesome sauce. Be jealous.

Seven: To end with hilarity, please enjoy this e-card and some chocolate {I provide the e-card, you provide the chocolate. Unless you're Willy Wonka and can take a picture of chocolate and turn it into edible chocolate. But I don't even have a picture of chocolate, so you are totally on your own here, sorry...not to rub it in on Valentine's Day... I'm just gonna leave now...}

Blog Every Day Feb: Day Fourteen - Happy Valentine's Day!

Linking up with Bailey Jean as we mark the halfway point of February!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day is filled with fun, laughter, conversations with those close to you, and definitely some good chocolate {or save it for tomorrow when it's on sale!}.

Jen Hatmaker wrote a beautiful post yesterday giving written valentines to those for whom this day stinks. It's really quite a lovely read, and she includes the majority of feelings and life seasons, which I appreciate.

And for my grand finale, here are some images that will hopefully cause smiles, laughter, and awkward snorts. You're so very welcome. And please ignore the fact that two out of the three images are teenager posts and I have not been a teenager for more than 5 years. Yep. Smile, laugh, snort, and walk away. Please and thank you.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


61 years ago today, my grandparents got married. My grandpa was from Tennessee and came out to Washington with the Army when he was 17. My grandma was born in Canada, raised in Pennsylvania, and came out to Washington for a job. They met at church where they were both serving the youth group.

wedding party

A few years later, they had a couple kids.
Grandpa + Grandma with my dad and aunt

Quite a few years later, they renewed their vows for their 40th anniversary.
hooray for 40 years!

Grandma and Grandpa embodied sacrificial love, and not just for each other or for their family; they opened up their house countless times to strangers, cousins, church family, visiting pastors, missionaries, in addition to having each of their granddaughters spend the night frequently.

5 granddaughters at Easter

As many of you know, my grandpa passed away last March. He suffered from Alzheimer's for the past several years, and as my family prepared for him to go to Jesus, one of my prayers was that he would live to see his 60th anniversary; I'm so grateful to God that he did and that my grandparents were able to have a little celebration with family.

Although Grandpa is not on earth to celebrate their anniversary, I want to recognize and honor the 60 years that he and Grandma invested in each other, in their kids, in their 5 granddaughters and 2 great-grandchildren, in their neighborhood, their church, and countless other people who had the privilege to meet them. 

Grandpa, I know you're celebrating with Jesus right now, and I miss you like crazy. Thank you for loving and honoring Grandma for your whole married life.  

Grandma, I can't imagine this first anniversary without Grandpa, but I thank you for loving Grandpa faithfully and well. I love you!

Christmas 2011