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!

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!  

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!

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! =]

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...

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!    

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer - Projects??

Summer is here - with all the stifling heat that comes with it!  Everyone seems to be asking my family when we will finish our school year and take a Summer break... The answer? We aren't! =]

Yes, it's true... and honestly, I am excited about it!

So this Summer I am doing:

  • History (Tapestry of Grace)
  • Math (MathUSee)
  • Web Design 2 (FLVS)
  • Spanish 1(FLVS)
  • AP Macroeconomics (FLVS)
  • Music (Piano, Band, and Voice)
We decided to work through the summer for several reasons.  First, as I approach the end of High School (I'll be a Senior next year!) I need to complete our History curriculum by this time next year - and at this point we have about a year and a half left to get through before graduation!  Second, we simply get bored when we have no school to work on, so we decided to just continue through the summer.  We will still take breaks if we want to go to the beach or something, though!

So that's what we are doing this summer, along with a whole bunch of other stuff!  What are you and your family doing this summer?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

I recently heard this song on a friend's blog, and immediately fell in love with it.  The lyrics are beautiful and encouraging, and I love the hymn style of this relatively new song by Keith and Kristen Getty.  Be blessed!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The {Godly} Woman

Pure, nobel, sweet-voiced, gentle.  Loving, tender-hearted, sympathetic, loyal - to God and others.  Always having a kind word for all. Modest and becoming.  Frugal and helpful.  Daily giving herself for the benefit of others.  A character that inspires others.  Unafraid to stand up for truth - even when the truth is hard or unpopular.  Ever seeking the help of God.  Strong -  because she finds strength in the One who never fails.

This is the Godly woman.  The woman I seek to become.

In a world that says a woman is her own master, able to do as she pleases, go where she wants to go, and be whoever she wants to be - no matter what that is - we, as daughters of the King MUST make a stand for Godliness.  When women desire to be more like men, they greatly degrade themselves.  Yes, we are called to submit to our fathers, husbands, etc.  We have a God-given position and we must be strong and wise enough to be what God intended.

In her series on “The Godly Woman”Martha Montgomery gives us a helpful comparison of three related words:

"When the woman was in her unfallen state God appointed her to be subordinate to the man (Genesis 2:18). This was a matter of rank and did not imply any inferiority. It was an honorable position.  So we see, first, a woman is a subordinate.

  •  This is a matter of rank.
  •  It is by God’s appointment.

After the woman had sinned, in her fallen state, God imposed subjection on her (Gen. 3:16). So second, a woman is in subjection.

  •  This is the matter of her husband’s (or father's) rule.
  • It is imposed by God.

In the New Testament the wife (or daughter) is enjoined to come into submission (Eph. 5:22-24) to her husband (or father).  Third, a woman is to be submissive.

  •  This is a matter of inner attitude.
  •  It is to be voluntarily assumed.

The inner attitude is toward the subordination appointed and the subjection imposed in Genesis."

If you're interested in reading more about this subject, a great resource is So Much More by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin.

I know that this post isn't as fun and exciting as some others have been, however I have been thinking about it a lot lately and wanted to share my thoughts with you!  I hope and pray that this blesses, inspires, or encourages you to live the life of a Godly woman! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Inspiring Quotes

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.  -Robert Louis Stevenson

God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.  -Jim Elliot

There are two ways of spreading light: To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.  
-Edith Wharton

It's only by forgetting yourself that you draw closer to God.  -Henry David Thoreau

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.  -Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Splash Blog Party!

My friend, Lucia Marie over at From Under My Little Umbrella is co-hosting a blog party!  I had never heard of this before, but it sounds really fun!  If you want to join in and enter to win some great prizes head over to her website.  Here are the rules: Simply answer the questions below with all the goofiness, solemn-ness, or heartfelt-ness you can muster.

What are two songs that describe you? 
Restless by Audrey Assad and Holding My World by Kristian Stanfill

What do you most fear?
Life without God

What color(s) dominate(s) your wardrobe?
White, Blue, and Grey 

How do you normally do you hair?
Huge messy buns =]

Do you prefer milkshakes or smoothies?

 Smoothies - my Mom's are the BEST!! Although I LOVE Chick-Fil-A's Cookies & Cream Milkshake =]

Do you like the color pink?
Only if it is a soft, pastel kind of pink

What is your favorite flower?
 I love all flowers... but if I had to pick one I would probably choose cherry blossoms or wildflowers

How many states have you been to? 10

visited 10 states (20%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

What is your favorite thing about June? 
Cook outs!

Describe your "dream wedding location.
A quint little country church - with a steeple and filled with flowers or maybe a field of wild flowers.... =]