Monday, November 21, 2011

The Way It Should Be...


"The man must be glad to do a man's work, to dare and endure and to labor; to keep himself, and to keep those dependent upon him. The woman must be the housewife, the helpmeet of the homemaker, the wise and fearless mother of many healthy children... When men fear work or fear righteous war, when women fear motherhood, they tremble on the brink of doom; and well it is that they should vanish from the earth, where they are fit subjects for the scorn of all men and women who are themselves strong and brave and high-minded." 

~Theodore Roosevelt from The Strenuous Life, 1899

Monday, October 31, 2011

One Day Left

Only one day left to vote for which blog title is your favorite - Life Unfolding, A Life Resolved, or Resolved.  I would love to hear your opinion!  Happy voting!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peppermint Winter

Confession: I love Owl City.

This song is perfectly epic and I think it kind of fits my mood on this "cold" Florida Day!  Hope it makes you laugh!

When do you start listening to Christmas music?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Call for Help

If you are very observant, you may have noticed my two new pages: My Bookshelf and A Life Resolved.

The first is just for fun.  The second, however, shares a little of what I have been thinking about lately.  Those thoughts are precious and important to me, and, in a way involve you too.  I have been considering changing the title of my blog to either A Life Resolved or simply just Resolved.

Now, here is where you come in.  Would you please help me decide whether I should change my title or leave it the same?

If you have an opinion, please either comment on this post, or vote in the poll on my sidebar.

Oh, and please read my page "A Life Resolved" before voting, so you know exactly where I am coming from when thinking about this change!

Thanks so much, dear readers!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Bracelet: A True Story of Purity

MaKenna and I both read this story and knew we wanted to blog it.  The problem then was deciding who would get to post it.  In the end, we decided to both post it at the same time!  So, you can also read this here.

Please note:  I don't agree with everything in this story.  But the point of the story is incredible and perfectly depicts my views on boy/girl relationships.  I hope it inspires, blesses, and encourages you as much as it did me!  


Charming Your Daughter
By Sarah Kistler


Sweet Sixteen had finally come! I never thought I'd make it. But I did. And it was amazing. My parents threw the birthday party of the century, and I had more people over than I could count. The whole day had been awesome. But as I watched the sun begin to set, I knew the best part was soon to come.

It was late in the evening. Confetti had been swept up, helium balloons had started to sag, and gift wrapping had been folded up neatly and tucked away for my mom's later use. As I sat by my window studying the dusky sky, Dad peeked into my room with a smile.

"Ready to go, Sweetie?" he asked.

Was that a trick question? I wondered as I scrambled to my feet. I'd been waiting for this night for five long years, and it was finally here! I was now officially allowed to date! The plan was for my parents and me to go to my favorite restaurant on the night of my sixteenth birthday and officiate the agreement and discuss rules and such. And now we were finally on the way.

I sat across from my parents in a quiet corner booth. Having just placed our orders, I figured it was time to get on with it. "So. I can go out with any guy I want to right?" I squealed, hardly able to contain my excitement.

Mom and Dad chuckled. Dad answered, "Well, we agreed to that, didn't we?"

"Sweet!" I exclaimed, doing a little victory dance in my seat.

My parents had held me off for years, but now that the time had come, they would let me date any guy I wanted! Of course they knew I had a good relationship with God and wasn't too short on common sense, either.

"Now wait just a second," Mom interrupted with a smile.

"You have to agree to a little something yourself."

I was expecting a lecture of some sort, so I was already prepared. "So what do I have to do now?" I asked, leaning forward on my elbows.

"Just open this," Dad answered, producing a small white box. He gave a mysterious smile.

I hesitated a moment before removing the curly pink ribbon. I slowly opened the lid and saw a beautiful silver bracelet. But not just any bracelet. It was a charm bracelet. And they weren't just any charms. They were gemstones, small but gorgeous. A dozen dainty charms dangled gently.

"Wow" I didn't know what to say. I wasn't expecting this at all.

"Now you have to understand this isn't just any bracelet," Mom informed me.

"I know," I said. "It is so beautiful!" I studied it closer. There were six small charms alternating with six tinier ones. The smaller ones were a deep blue. Sapphires, I guessed. And the other six were each different. One appeared to be just a rock, one was pink, a white one, a red one, green, and... was that a diamond?

"This charm bracelet is symbolic," Dad explained, leaning in closer to study it with me. "It Represents you and your purity. This is what will guide you through your dating relationships. You mother and I can only tell you what's right. We can't make you believe it yourself. Hopefully, this will."

I looked up solemnly. "I'm listening."

"This represents the first time you hold a guy's hand," Mom said, pointing to the gray one. "It's just a piece of polished granite. Seemingly cheap, yes, but it's still a part of your bracelet. This is pink quartz."

Then she gently rubbed the next one between her fingers. "It represents your first kiss."



"This green one is an emerald," Dad continued.  "This is your first boyfriend. The pearl is the first time you say 'I love you' to a man other than me."


I giggled. This was so amazing.


"The ruby stands for your first engagement. And the diamond represents the first time you say 'I do,'" Mom finished.


After letting that all sink in, I cleared my emotion-clogged throat.  "What do the six tiny sapphires stand for?" I asked.


"Those are to remind you how beautiful and valuable you are to us and God," Dad replied.  "Now here's the hitch in all this, the one and only rule you'll ever have to follow when it comes to dating."


Only one rule. Sounded good.  But little did I know...


"Whenever you give one of these actions of love - a kiss, an 'I love you,' a hand to hold - you also have to give the recipient the gem to match."


I must've misunderstood. "I have to give him the gem?"


"You have to give it to him," Mom restated.  I was silent for a moment.  I thought they must be joking.


But they weren't even thinking of cracking a smile.


"But Daddy!" I suddenly shrieked.  "These are insanely expensive!  I can't just give them away!:


He gave a soft, loving chuckle.  "Did you hear what you just said?"  I thought about it.


"Baby, your purity, your heart, they're far more valuable than a few little rocks.  If you can't find it in your heart to give away your charms, I don't think you should be giving away the things they represent."


I could feel my insides melting, ready to gush out my tear ducts.  On the other hand, it made me feel valuable and precious.  But on the other, it made me furious.  It made no sense.  But it would.


A few weeks after that night, I was hanging out with my friends at the beach.  Chad wouldn't swim because I wouldn't swim.  I was more interested in reading than getting caked with sand and he was more interested in sitting with me than swimming with his buddies.  He was sweet.  He was cute.  And he tried to hold my hand.


I was thrilled for a nanosecond when a certain piece of ugly granite flashed through my mind and made me move out of his reach.  I was severely annoyed - annoyed at my parents, annoyed at my bracelet-turned-handcuffs, but most of all, annoyed at myself.  I was letting a little rock dominate my romantic life.


I furiously glared at it during the whole embarrassing walk to the bathhouse.  But then God hit me upside the head with a shocking epiphany.  I couldn't give up a little chunk of granite.  It was a part of my bracelet, which in a sense made it a part of me.  I wouldn't be whole without it.  It wasn't a priceless gem, yet it was still valuable.  It made sense after that.


Kevin came along eventually.  We had fun.  We hung out a lot.  I thought I might love him.  I thought I might tell him so .  I thought of my pearl.


It turned out that I didn't love him as much as I thought I did.


So my parents had been right.  They couldn't make me believe the things they wanted me to believe.  So they let God and my bracelet do the work instead.  Among the four of them, I figured out how valuable I was.  How valuable my purity was.  How not valuable guys were who were just wasting my time and emotions.  If they weren't in it for the whole bracelet, why should they get one part of it?


Nate.  He thought my bracelet was awesome.  So he never tried to hold my hand.  He never tried to kiss me.  But he asked me to marry him.  


I never knew that so many years of torture could amount to so much happiness.  I'd thought it was silly.  I'd thought it was overrated.  But now, I have never been more glad of anything in my life.


As I gave my husband the charm bracelet in its entirety, I wondered why I had found it so hard to hang on to those little rocks when it was so amazing to give them all to the man I truly loved.


But it didn't end there.  Now our daughter wears it.


*Excerpt from Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2010)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the hills - 
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.


He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps [you]
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.


The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.


The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and even forevermore.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Of Planners and a New Week

It's Monday again.
  

A new week.  A new beginning.


Plan a little - but always plan to improvise.  Make the most of your time - but make your time about what matters most.

Today is a new day.  
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: all things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  ~1 Corinthians 5:17~

Make the most of it.
"Dream as if you'll live forever, Live as if you'll die tomorrow."  ~James Dean~

Friday, September 9, 2011

Myths of Homeschooling.

I am sure many things popped into your mind as soon as you read the title of this post.  As long as you homeschool, that is.  I often find the things that people (very un-informedly) say about homeschooling, to be, well, extremely funny - at the very least.

So here are some of the myths I have heard about homeschooling over the past 12 years:

1.  Myth: "You are so luck to be home-schooled because you get to wear you pajama's all day long!"
    Truth: The only time I wear pajamas all day is if I am deathly ill.  Which is just about never. =] A very. very. very. small percent of those that homeschool may choose to wear PJ's all day, but I am certainly not one of them.  House clothes - yes.  Jammies - no.

2.  Myth: "You are so lucky that you can sleep in every day!"
     Truth: Although some Public Schooled prisoners, I mean students. =] may consider 6:30 sleeping in, due to their overly early schedules, I have never considered that sleeping in.  Nor do I dislike getting up early, or feel that I am forced to.  I enjoy having quite time to myself and  God before the pressures of the day begin.

3.  Myth: "Don't you wish you went to school so you could make friends and socialize?" (this is my favorite =] )
    Truth:  First, a classroom isn't the best place to socialize.  As far as I know, if you are caught talking, passing notes, et cetera, you will likely get sent to the principal's office.  Second, children  begin making friends from the time they can talk.  Being home-schooled doesn't change that.  Third, I would much rather not spend scores of time around people who don't have a real relationship with God, are disrespectful to those in authority, and smoke or drink.  I am blessed to have friends in my church, across the state, and in various places around the world that I know will lift me up, and be a positive influence on my life.

4.  Myth:  "Home-schoolers hang out at home all day."

     Truth:  This one really makes me laugh.  =]  Honestly, I sometimes feel like I'm never home.  Between running errands, going on field trips, and participating in various extra-curricular activities, I am definitely not always at home - an when I am, it is a joy and a nice change.  =]

5.  Myth: "Nobody takes a home-schooling graduate seriously."
     Truth:  Although in the past this may have been true, it is not any longer.  More often than not, homeschoolers are very readily accepted into the top schools and are more trusted on the job.  Employers and College recruiters realize that 9 times out of 10, homeschool graduates are more likely to study independently and have good thinking skills.

Well, there you have it.  Five of the most common myths about homeschooling and my reasons of why they are untrue.  Have you ever heard any homeschooling myths that made you laugh?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Psalm 98

         1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!

         For He has done marvelous things; 
         His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
 2 The LORD has made known His salvation;
         His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
 3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
         All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 
         
 4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;
         Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
 5 Sing to the LORD with the harp,
         With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
 6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
         Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King. 
         
 7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
         The world and those who dwell in it;
 8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
         Let the hills be joyful together 
          9 before the LORD, 
         For He is coming to judge the earth. 
         With righteousness He shall judge the world, 
         And the peoples with equity.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Hungry

"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." 1 Peter 2:2  

As followers of Christ, we should be continuously hungering and thirsting after Him.  We should desire Him as much as an infant desires milk... needing to be fed every hour and crying out when we do not receive the nourishment we seek.

We must crave the very Presence of God.  We must dig deep into His inspired words.  Desiring to go deeper and deeper in Him.  And never. ever. stop learning more about Him.

Brothers and Sister in Christ - let us never stop our yearning for God.  May our need for Him overwhelm all else - until we are completely consumed by our love and desire for Him.

"They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for a dwelling place. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness. "  Psalm 107:4-9

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

iHeartFaces: Pet Week



This week, the iHeartFaces challenges is all about pets.  I took this picture of my dog, Maggie, last November.

I love my doggie!

<----- Click here for more info about iHeartFaces and directions for joining in the fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Healing in His Wings

Miracles, Signs, and Wonders.

How great is the God I serve!  He blesses. He loves. He heals. 
He is all powerful and all able.

Let me explain what I'm talking about.

First, you need to know that I am heavily involved in various ministries as well as school projects, etc. that require much use of my arm.  From playing piano in my church's youth band, to piano lessons - both giving and taking, to classes online, as well as other normal things I do with my hands, I am pretty much constantly using my hands.

 Wednesday night, I played piano in our mid-week service.  

Thursday morning, I woke up with extreme weakness in my right arm - so much so that I could hardly even pick up a pencil to write.  Throughout the day it got worse, until it was no longer weakness alone, but a horrible pain that ran up and down my arm at the slightest movement.  

Marmee gave me a deep tissue massage near my shoulder and we realized I had a knot beside my shoulder blade that was undoubtedly the source of the pain.  

Friday and Saturday I did almost nothing except sit around and read with a wrist brace on.  Not the most exciting thing in the world - even if I do enjoy reading!

Between Thursday and Saturday, I had requested prayer at the prayer meeting we attend each week, my family had prayed for me, and I had prayed for myself.

 As the pain continued to increase, it really felt like God wasn't listening.  In reality, His plan  was just too amazing for Him to heal me immediately - even though He could have with no problem.

Then on Sunday we had an amazing church service.  God's spirit began moving in such a mighty way.  I left my seat and walked down to the altar - not to ask God to heal me - I had already done that, and honestly I wasn't even thinking about it all.  I simply desired to worship Him and glorify His great name.

While I was worshipping, however, I suddenly felt that I needed to pray for my arm to be healed.  

As soon as I thought that, someone came up behind me and laid their hand on my shoulder - right over the knot.  Someone else laid their hand first on the upper part of my arm, then slid their hand down to my forearm, where the pain had been the greatest. 

The two people praying for me had no idea what I was going through - in fact they still don't know.  But that didn't matter... because God knew and that was all that was necessary.

At the same time as this was happening, Marmee was across the sanctuary, praying.  She hadn't been praying for or thinking about my arm, just the same as me.  She suddenly felt impressed to pray for my arm.  When she finished, she opened her eyes, and the first thing she saw was me, surrounded by people praying for me.  She told me later that she knew, at  that moment, that I had been healed.

And I had.

Words cannot express the gratitude and love that wells up in me for God, my healer, who in His rich mercy took away my pain.  And not only that, but He gave me an amazing blessing as I prayed in the Spirit.

I haven't felt so full of joy and peace in so long.  God is so good.  His plan and way is perfect.

There may be trials, and pain, and sorrow in life, but if this healing has taught me anything it is that God is able.  And that He always sees me and loves me unspeakable and is at work in my life.  Even when situations are beyond my understanding, I can rest in the knowledge that He truly will work all things together for good to those that love Him.  

I hope this testimony brings encouragement and light to your life.  Because for me it wasn't just the restoring of use to my arm - it was something from which to gain strength.  

"But to you who fear my name, The Son of Righteousness shall rise 
with healing in His wings..." 
Malachi 4:2

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From the Proud Owner of...

For many, many years now, I have wanted Adobe Photoshop.  However - it's very expensive (as anyone with any kind of interest in photography can tell you!) and was never "in the budget."  

So... we went with the next best thing - Photoshop Elements on sale! =]  

(me likey sales. and photoshop elements. a lot.)
 =D


I have had such a grand ole time watching tutorials and gettin' acquainted with this lil' guy...  I can't wait to start using it in earnest!  

Friday, August 5, 2011

In Everything..

Give Thanks.  In the minutest detail of life.  In the trials.  In the pain.  In the storm. 
When stress is overwhelming.  When sadness comes.  

When we don't feel like it at all... Give thanks anyway.

Having a thankful heart can come only from knowing that God is sovereign - that He is.  Who He says He is.  Who He has always been.  This knowledge cannot be known without thankfulness overflowing in my heart.

And yet.. there are days when I can't seem to get the words out.  when everything feels so out of control.  when I know who He is - but still can't seem to give thanks.  

Why?  My soul cries. why can't I thank you even while I know who you are?

It is then that He whispers to my heart, You must be broken on Me.  You must surrender your will, your pride, everything, to Me.  You must deny yourself to truly see Me as I am. To truly give Me the thanks - the praise I deserve.  

Brokenness.  it happens when I realize I am not enough.  that I can do nothing on my own.  

And then.  THEN... I can SEE Him.  
then I can give thanks.

Not because of my circumstances. Not even in spite of them.  Because in that moment all I can see is Him.  Everything disappears. fades. pales in the Presence of the Holy God.

I have been broken on the Rock.  And He holds me.  He tells me I am His, and He is more than enough.  

so I give thanks.

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Emphasis added)

Friday, July 22, 2011

A photo shoot with pears

Pears... Delicious. Speckled. Green. Goodness. 

I have been wanting some oh. so. badly. the past few days and then my wonderful Marmee surprised me with a perfect pair of pears.. That inspired me to do a photo shoot. =D

A pair of pears..

Glorious morning sunlight..
Blue Jean. Sunshine. Pears.. Happy girl!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom


"It already appears, that there must be in every society of men superiors and inferiors, because God has laid in the constitution and course of nature the foundations of the distinction."
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
"That wise Men have in all Ages thought Government necessary for the Good of Mankind; and, that wise Governments have always thought Religion necessary for the well ordering and well-being of Society, and accordingly have been ever careful to encourage and protect the Ministers of it, paying them the highest publick Honours, that their Doctrines might thereby meet with the greater Respect among the common People."
Benjamin Franklin, On that Odd Letter of the Drum, April 1730
"Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."
George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." 
Abraham Lincoln
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."   
Declaration of Independence
Happy Independence Day!  
In the midst of all the cookouts, picnics, fireworks, and singing, let us remember all those that have fallen for our freedom, and what it took for our Founding Father to shape this Nation.  Without their faith in God, and His hand in all of the historical events, this country would not be here, as we know it, today.  Let us give thanks today for our freedom, for this country, and for our Great, Mighty, and Wonderful God - they ultimate founder of Independence!


"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."  
Luke 4:18-19





 
 

Friday, July 1, 2011

A first...

Today I taught my very. first. ever. since the beginning of time. PIANO. lesson!!!!

About a month and a half ago, my Marmee's friend, Melissa approached me about giving her 9 year old daughter, Delaney, piano lessons.  After thinking and praying about it I decided to go for it!  Since it was her first music lesson we both had a first, along with all the nervousness and anxiety that go with it!  =]

I think it went really well... she already learned a song (which really pleased both her and her mom!) and all about the Grand Staff (I'm not sure how much of this was actually comprehended, but at least she has exposure to it!)

My favorite part was watching her face light up when she played her song - it was so sweet!




Playing her first song together

Playing on her own!

Us two Newbies! =]

I had so much fun teaching (I think I learned as much as she did!) and can't wait for our next lesson!

P.S. Please ignore our messy house... we are getting ready to rip up our carpet and put down laminate hard wood, so it is quite a mess! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Today I...

Wished my dear friend, Jean Marie an extra-special, totally amazing, beyond blessed birthday.  It's pretty amazing that, having just met at the end of May, I feel like I KNOW her... and I don't think anyone who knows her can help loving her!  She is such a dear, sweet, funny young lady, who quite obviously loves God and cares about people.  I love you, Jean Marie and hope that your birthday has been as amazing as you are!
**friends**

I also watched the rain pitter-patter-pat outside - I'm really thankful for all the rain that we have had this past week or so... it is truly a blessing and a miracle!  And... MaKenna and I ran through the rain. really. REALLY. fun!

I ate a DELICIOUS tortellini, tomato, green pepper, zucchini, feta, and crouton salad... complete with greek dressing!

A yummy bite of tortellini and feta cheese...

... quickly disappeared =]

and... I helped my Marmee add memory to our computer 
(taking a picture is helpful... right??????) =]

So that is a [not-so-complete] list of what I did today!

It's still raining outside, and I really want to go puddle jump or just simply frolic in the rain... =]

Hope you all are having a wonderful week! 

 Love you all,  
Holly Lou

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh, Happiness...

What brings joy and happiness to your life? For me, I get happy when:

I drink a Green Tea Frappe from Starbucks...  

I play piano (especially on such a beautiful Grand as this one!)...

I spend time with my adorable baby cousins!...

I walk along a gorgeous tree lined unpaved streets...

I capture sun-flare...

I experience a lovely sunset on the beach...

I drink COFFEE!

While all these things bring happiness, this kind of happiness is temporal.  It doesn't last.  It's very easy to be doing any of these things on minute and the next feel like I'm in the "Depths of Despair". 

So where is lasting happiness?


Lasting happiness, or joy, is only found in the presence of God.  He is the source of everything we could want or need, and it is in this provision that joy abounds.

At the beginning of this month, Marmee, Makenna, and I started an In-depth study of Joy.  If you have never done this before, I would like to encourage you to start.  It has been so eye-opening, and it is very easy!  All you do is use a concordance (you could even use a website like BibleGateway.com ) and look up the word you are studying (the choices for words are nearly limitless!).

One of my favorite verses I have found during our study is Psalm 16:11.  It says:

"You will show me the path of life;
In Your Presence is fullness of joy;
At Your Right Hand are pleasure forevermore."

My deepest desire is fullness of joy that comes from being in the Presence of the King of kings.  It is a joy that never ends, because God never ends, and the further I go in Him the more joy, love, and peace I find.  The nearer I get to God, the more clear is my revelation of Him.  

Consider your own life:  Why do you feel so unfulfilled when you are doing everything you can to be happy?

Maybe it's time to find time to be in God's presence - because there you will find fullness of joy and fulfillment.  Your experience will never be greater than your sacrifice, so don't be afraid to give Him your all, and you will find joy unspeakable and full of glory!

"Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, 
because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord...
I Chronicles 29:9


"Do not sorrow,
for the Joy of the Lord is your strength!"
Nehemiah 8:10e

"If you keep my commandments you will abide in My love... 
These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you, 
and that your joy may be full."
John 15:10-11

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge - Let's Hear It For the Boys


This is my first iHeartFaces entry!  This picture was taken of my little brother, Caleb at age 7, at Turkey Lake Park in Orlando, Florida.  The beating sun and a rush of energy brought a rosy flush to his cheeks.  I love you, Caleb!

Enter a picture of the fathers, brothers, and other boys in your life at iHeartFaces this week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Little Things Photo Challenge [Day 4]

Today, we did a little bit of school (actually, I just played piano for like an hour! =] ), and then went to "Picnic in the Park", an event that my youth group is doing on various Fridays this Summer.  After that, we ran some errands and then came home... and I blogged for FOREVAH!  

video

Just a few notes:

The little crocheted thingy on the third slide is a coaster that MaKenna made for me... and I LOVE it... a lot.

When we went to U.S. Toy Store, I basically went camera ballistic!  The pictures I posted are about a third of what I took! =]  MaKenna and I were pretty much being the craziest nerds ever...  We laughed for like 5 minutes about the chicken that fell on the ground and "died"! =]  And I love penguins. And unicorns. And random mouse things with awesome rubber hair. HAHAHAHAHA... wow...

And then we went to Walley-World... I don't like that store, but I {h.e.a.r.t} CILANTRO!!! =]

Ok... I am done being random...


From, the random, crazy, ballistic camera nerd,

Holly Lou


Friday, June 17, 2011

The Little Things Photography Challenge [Day 3]

I didn't take as many pictures today... but it was still super fun! =] So here we go... Day 3!

video

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Little Things Photography Challenge [Day 2]

Ok, I know this is a day late, but after we got home from church last night, I just didn't have time to post - please forgive me!! =]

For Day 2 I decided to try to make a video of all my pictures.  I have never done this before and have had so much fun that I think I'll do every time I get a chance! =]

video

A few notes:

The grass looking stuff near the beginning are scallions... A couple of weeks ago, I want to get an onion out of our fridge, and one of them had sprouted!  We decided to plant it, just to see what would happen.  So far, it hasn't done a lot, but it is a TON greener - before it was more of a yellowish color - and it is a tad bit bigger!

The little white vase is another "experiment".  Marmee has ivy growing in a vase on top of our fridge, and she trimmed it up and gave me a piece.  I am hoping a root will grow, but so far no sign of one, although I think it has a new bloom!! **YAY!!**

Our New Series in Reverb (youth) is "3D" - Making DAILY DECISIONS to be DEVOTED to God!  I am so excited about what God is going to do in my youth group this Summer - I know, because it comes from HIM, it will be incredible!

Much love from,

Super excited, somewhat computer geek, completely in love with Jesus,


Holly Lou

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Little Things Photography Challenge [Day 1]

Yesterday Emily Case started a photo challenge.  Her idea is very unique - she wants to photograph the little things about her life - without worrying about making her pictures perfect or worrying about who sees them and what they will think.  I. just. LOVED. this. idea!  So... I decided to join her!  I know I am a day behind, but here we go... my day - In pictures!

First things first - I read my bible and devotionals.  Right now my Marmee and sister and I are reading all the verses about Joy!

Then, I went to wake up my (still) sleeping sister!

Breakfast time!

Smoothies - Lovingly made by Marmee!

My little dog, Maggie... I don't normally photograph her because she is NOT photogenic, but this one didn't turn out too bad (except for the red eye remover!)

My little brother Caleb, sorting his baseball (and other various sports) cards.  This was unique to the day - normally he doesn't pay attention to collecting sports cards!

I love this recipe book!

Our first tomato - not very big, but that's okay!

In addition to the tomato, our marigolds have also bloomed beautifully!


School today included bible, history, math, web design, exercise, and...
MUSIC!!

With our lunch (quesadillas) we had a special treat - Coke is special to us because rarely have it!

I love our new little cups from Ikea!


A trip to the library [where I found this amazing book!] and choir practice finished off my day.

Except for...
My favorite-est,  "only buy on sale" ice cream! =]

So far, I am loving this photo challenge - it's a nice change to just take pictures of whatever and not have to worry about every little detail being perfect!  If you want to join in on this challenge, read Emily's post about it!