A Survey for My Readers

Dear readers,

As I look ahead to upcoming posts and am just pondering on what to write on, I thought it would be helpful to do a little survey to get ya’ll’s opinions!  I value your thoughts as I work to make this blog an encouraging, uplifting space. I would love to know what you want to see me write more about! It would really help me if you would take the survey below. 

Thanks for taking the survey, and most of all, thanks for reading. You’re awesome, and I am humbled that you take the time to come here and read. I pray it will always be a blessing.

love,

Allison

 

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6 Things to Do instead of Being on Your Phone

I have really been convicted recently of how easy it is to live distracted, yet ineffective. I have come to realize that it takes intentionality to not mindlessly overuse technology. If I just do what comes easy, what doesn’t take any brain power, I reach for the phone, surf social media, scroll through blogs, etc.

But it’s not who I want to be. There is more to this life than keeping up with everyone’s statuses, and reading the inspiring posts, and following the celebrities and fitness gurus.

Last night I had an epiphany. I had a nice long supper break ahead of me at work, and I was about to do something mindless like sitting at the computer and surfing when I heard the still small voice say, “Come away from the noise. You need something else more right now.” I grabbed my Bible and journal, turned my phone on airplane mode (I still had my work phone on for work calls or family emergencies) and proceeded to have a leisurely, quiet supper digging into the Word of God, quieting my spirit, reflecting, meditating, and praying. And it was SO REFRESHING!

Media can be a powerful tool, but in those times when we need refreshment, “escape”, or rejuvenation, media isn’t usually the best option.

Would you join me on a journey of freedom from the pull of the noisy unnecessary?

Try one of these next time you have some alone time and are tempted with the “media escape”:

1. Read the Word

The Word of God is rich. I am amazed at the new truths that are always there no matter how many times I read it! I am currently reading in Job, and have really been amazed at all the nuggets of deep truth I am finding there.

2. Memorize Scripture

Memorizing Scripture is good for the brain (all you students out there should take advantage of this!) and most of all, it is good for the heart. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11

3. Pray

Prayer is powerful, and Satan knows this. There is a reason that prayer is one of the greatest struggles for many Christians. Sid Roth said, “The enemy will try to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit Him.”

4. Go on a Walk

Fresh air does wonders to clear brain fog, alleviate headaches, and bring balance physically and emotionally. And the exercise of a vigorous walk is always good!

5. Study an Informative Topic

The other day I had some time, and I started browsing some articles on leadership. This is something I need to do more- purposefully study topics that will help me to learn and grow. Study is hard, especially in a life that is already full of work and responsibilities. But study can be a surprising source of refreshment and clarity in the work that we do.

6. Read a Book

It has been said that “Readers are Leaders”. Many of the best leaders of history and our day have also been readers. Reading is not only profitable to our minds, but settling in with a good book, even if for only 15 minutes, can be very relaxing.

What about you? What is your greatest temptation with technology? Which of these 6 things do you want to start doing more of?

-Allison

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Memories from the Double Wedding 

September 1st, 2017- the day that my two “little brothers” would get married- dawned bright and beautiful. It was a perfect day, not nearly as warm as many September days, and not a drop of rain in sight. Since the wedding was to be outdoors, weather had been a big prayer request, and the Lord provided above what we could have imagined.

Everyone bustled about preparing that morning, and the anticipation and joy in the air could be felt!

There was plenty of coffee brewed for the family and bridal party milling about the house. Even a wedding day is better with coffee, in my opinion.:)

I will always treasure this picture. Being only 17 months apart, Carson and I pretty much went through different stages of life together. We spent hours playing out in the cow pasture or down by the creek with some mixture of various siblings. Every since about 2nd grade, he was better than me at math, which I didn’t mind because that meant I had a built-in study partner that could explain the problems to me. For awhile there was a bit of a power struggle when we were in our teens, because he was always very mature for his age and a super strong leader. And I, although not as mature, was no less strong and stubborn. But after a rough year or two, things got better and I learned to value his strength and leadership instead of seeing it as a threat. He has provided counsel, leadership, comaraderie, and stability in my life as a trusted friend and my dear little/big brother.

I still remember the night last winter when I was really missing him and just feeling like I was missing out on his life (as he was back home). I texted him and told him just that, and he immediately called me and we talked for an hour. I will never forget that phone call. It was right around Valentines Day, and as we chatted he filled me in on everything going on in his relationship with Carolina. I realized that night how very “in love” he was- falling hard and fast for this Lina-girl.

Carson is an amazing guy, and I always said that he needed a wife that was very strong, practical, and hard working. I somehow thought that a girly girl just wouldn’t be his type, but an adventurous, creative, strong, low-maintenance country girl. Carolina is all that and more. Together they are a dynamic due- they say it like it is, don’t waste time or money on frills, and they can make the pieces fly!

Josh grew up when I wasn’t watching. I distinctly remember that night last August that he said he wanted to talk with Chels and I. I didn’t think much about it, cause we have sibling chats a lot, and I just figured it was something about his college studies or general life. When he said, “Well, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been praying about Cassidy, and I’m planning to ask her”, my heart about stopped! WHAT?! My mind was thinking something like, “My little brother Josh??!!  No way is he old enough to ask a girl!!!!  When did this happen?”

But sure enough, come to find out he was not only old enough to ask a girl, but mature enough too. And after he and Cassidy started their relationship in September, I was amazed to watch him lead her and pursue her heart. It was truly beautiful! The first few times he took her out on dates I was still having a bit of a “Is this really happening?” shock, but eventually reality set in. I treasure all the talks we had during this time. He was always asking good questions, wanting to learn more about how to be the sensitive, caring servant leader that his girl needed.

My  brother, Josh, although steady and laid back, is one of the hardest working men I know. All at the same time, he balanced his relationship with Cassidy, a full time job, and getting his Bachelors degree in Communications in 15 months. It was intense, but I loved watching his tenacity as he would get up in the wee hours of the morning to study, then work hard all day, and take his beloved on a date in the evening. It was as if there was a prize before him, and nothing could stop him.

These two beautiful ladies were THRILLED to pieces to get all prettied up for being in this epic bridal party!!!! What a party it was!

Our two families up there on the wagon, singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, truly felt like a piece of Heaven on earth. My heart was so full, remembering on all God’s goodness and grace leading up to this day.

These relationships had been bathed in prayer, so it made sense that the Big Day would be, too.

Oh, they were so happy to be MARRIED!!!!!

MR. + MRS. AT LAST!!!

The cake cutting was truly hilarious! The caption says it all.:)

Joshua and Cassidy so delicately gave each other a small bite, while Carson and Carolina did a gigantic smash! It was very indicative of their personalities and relationship dynamics.

What a powerhouse each of these couples are.

I love seeing them serving Christ together!

“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3

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When Going with the Sister to Visit the Fiance

When my work schedule changed and I ended up having a few days free that I thought weren’t going to be, I made fast plans Wednesday to head out Thursday for a weekend trip with Chelsy. She was planning to visit her fiance, John, over the weekend, and when I asked her about going along, she said “of course!”. So after working Thursday forenoon, then snagging a coffee date with an out of state friend who was in town, I headed home and joined up with Chels, where we loaded up and headed to Kansas.

We talked pretty much faster than we drove (which might be saying alot:), and enjoyed every minute of the time together. Chels bought us dinner at Subway, which is one of our mutual favorite places for a quick “grab and go”.

Just a little note here: treasure the time with your family. Chels and I are extremely close, and knowing that she is soon going to be moving away makes me all the more grateful for the times we have had and are having together. And of course I look forward to visiting her after she moves to Kansas and making many more memories together. But this little trip together was pretty special, since we’ve done so many road trips together in the past, and now that she’s getting married, our “sister road trip” days are probably at an end.:)

I got to help Chels and John work on their house, which was super fun! It’s alot of work, but one thing’s for sure- these two aren’t scared of hard work! And they sure do look adorable in the process!

And so another road trip with my dear sister is in the books, and I am reminded of what a gift it was. It may have been just a weekend trip to visit her fiance and work on their house, but to me it was extraordinary. 

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be extraordinary, just by doing them with the right people.” -Nicholas Sparks

-Allison

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Memories from Mitchell + Bryn’s Wedding Day

Mitchell and Bryn’s Wedding Day was amazing. I managed to snap a few photos in between all the celebrating! The morning started out bright and early with coffee out with this dear friend from Canada.

Her latte + my Americano. Stupendous, especially after the previous full day and short night!

Mitch and have always been very close, and seeing him marry the love of his life was one of the most special things I’ve ever experienced.

The morning was dragging for him. Since he and Bryn decided not to see each other before the ceremony, he was not only super excited to get married, but missing his girl all morning long! I got to deliver their letters to each other. It was sweet.:)

And seeing my handsome bro all ready to marry his love………was amazing. He looked so sharp, and he was definitely the most excited he’s ever been!

Rebs and I (along with Chels and Liz and several other gals) were bridesmaids. The special room set aside for the bridesmaids, maids of honor, and bride was buzzing all morning with activity as everyone excitedly prepared.

It was a beautiful picture of Jesus and His bride- Mitchell waiting to come for his bride, and Bryn meticulously preparing for the arrival of her groom. It was beyond amazing……truly it was holy. How will it be when Christ comes back for His church? Oh that we would be ready and preparing ourselves with just such love and anticipation as Bryn had that day.

Taylor and I got to walk together in the bridal party.

I think this is my favorite picture of the whole day. The word that comes to mind is “sacred”, because it truly was.

And this is my second favorite picture! Mitchell swept her off her feet, they kissed, and they were off!

“Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let They glory be above all the earth.” Psalm 57: 5

Truly, a good and holy marriage brings glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, and His name is lifted up when a couple builds their union upon Him. The only thing better than Mitchell and Bryn’s wedding day is seeing Christ glorified as they love each other and serve Him together in marriage.

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