Hinds Feet on High Places

Love this book. I first read this book when I was young and homeschooled. I think I was in 5th grade. I liked it then, but I think I got more out of it as an adult. I love the older style of writing, but it's not really the easiest for me to read. I frequently got confused by the unique grammar Hurnard uses as she writes.

But the overall story was true to any woman's, or human's heart. We tend to look to the mountains of possibilities and grow desperate for a means to our greatest dreams. And truly, we are all held captive by our own shortcomings and sin until the King sets us free.

It was so refreshing for my soul to read, to simply revel in allegorical truth. If you're looking for simple, truthful refreshment, pick this book up!


We have a mortgage...

And a mobile home.

Yep, you read correctly, we were in Iowa City last weekend, and I DID remember to bring my camera so I could show off our humble abode to you all. With no further ado, here are the pictures!

Ain't she a beaut?

The huge front window that provides all that home-y natural light

The living room

The kitchen

The master bedroom. See that cute little stain-glass window looking into the master bathroom? We're high-class now. (Not my favorite part of the house...)

Hey, we have a skylight! But we also have a mirrors around our bathtub which kind-of grosses me out and those curtains are sweeeeeeettttt.

But look at our awesome over-sized tub!

And our big walk-in closet!

The second half of the house, gotta love that wallpaper!

The tiny room and Bryan's future music room

Oh yes, the second bathroom, you bet we get to keep that shower curtain.

My future office and the guest bedroom. Don't worry, we are totally keeping those plaid curtain, who could resist those! (hopefully you're catching my sarcasm here)

Now this is the most exciting part! A huge shed! With electric running to it! My dream for this space: DEEP. FREEZE.

Despite some decorating projects, we are incredibly blessed! Can't wait to show you what we do with the place!


Iowa City Retreat

Bryan and I went to Iowa City this past weekend for the Iowa City church planting retreat. It was really, really good. We started Friday night with worship, fellowship and confessing (anonymously) the lies we've been believing. As Lance read our lies, we fought them with scripture, at least one piece of truth for every lie. What a great way to start the weekend.

After our mini service together, we broke up into groups, and went out on the town! It was fun to get out into Iowa City (friday) night life and get a taste of where we're moving. Overall, I think everyone went to bed in awe of the craziness but also the amazing cool-ness of the city. I know I kept thinking, "I want to live here!" The Ped-Mall area is just so full of life, cool shops, and amazing food!

Troy Nesbitt spoke to us on Saturday morning, sharing with us, as a new church, things that he and Cornerstone have learned from starting a new church. This was probably my favorite part. I really want to remember ALL of these things as we transition into our new church family:
  1. JESUS (that's what all that matters)
  2. Be known for what we are, not what we're not
  3. Know and be known by everyone in our church (while it's still small enough for that to possible)
  4. Welcome the outsider in. Write their names down and remember them! (There's the word in the Bible that we translate into hospitality, it literally means "lover of strangers." I love that!)
  5. Except big things, but focus on celebrating all things
  6. The poor matter, so do the rich
  7. Athletes and Artists are both people. People matter.
  8. Generosity begins where obedience ends and giving everything is best
  9. People mess it up, it'll hurt
  10. Authentic is Accountability
  11. Have critical conversations (when you are most scared to do something, that should motivate you to do it)
  12. Prayer actually works, tell people why you're praying for them
  13. We (Cornerstone) came up with the Three C's on purpose [Celebrate, Connect, Contribute]
  14. Missional living is unnatural and always hard (but it becomes addictive)



Oh man, I feel like elevensies right now.

Anyway. Bryan and I have been married for ELEVEN months today. Holla! That's almost a year, in case you were wondering. This past month has been...to put it lightly...CRRRAAAAAAZZZYYY!

Crazy in the sense that we OWN A (mobile) HOME (yeah, you know you're jealous, our home can move around if we want it to)

Crazy in the sense that we saw God provide once again with $6,128.00 of Scholarship Money.

Crazy in the sense that I've been so busy with I don't even what! I seriously have had ZERO to NO time and I'm not really sure why. The expected culprits are: Crafty Projects (which I'll hopefully be blogging about soon), Relationships (mostly new ones with Iowa City Bound Folk) and Traveling (today I'm going to Iowa City for the third time in the last three weeks).

Crazy in the sense that our TV has been OFF this entire week, and we've been crazy productive because of it! (ok, we watched LOST, I'll admit it. But we didn't watch it on our TV, and we still dropped from 15-20 hours a week of TV, video games, and movies, to ONE 45 minute episode)

So, yeah, we have crazy lives right now.

Other notables from this month:

Bryan is doing AMAZING in his Stat class at ISU. I knew he would, he has such a brain for weird things like statistics-but still, I'm SO proud of him! The last test he took was out of 85 or something, the average score was around 56 or something and BRYAN got a 72 or something! He's excited to be done with school in a week and a half!

And while we're talking about recent accomplishments, as of yesterday I have an entire book of the Bible memorized! If you want to hear it, make sure you carve out around 40 minutes of time, because that's about how long it takes me to say it!

Tomorrow, we close on our trailer, so you'll definitely see some pictures soon!

Next time I write one of these, I'll be writing from the perspective of having been married for a YEAR! Wahoo!


Make Week

photo credit: simple mom

I have Gilmore Girls Season 5, disc 1 (from netflix) sitting on top of my entertainment center. Bryan and I have been watching Friday Night Lights Season 3 on Netflix Instant Watch. We watch LOST every Tuesday. We watch the Office and Parks & Recreation every week. I watch Project Runway every week. Bryan plays video games 4-6 days out of the week. We watch at least 2 movies a week.

If ever we had an addiction as a family, this is it.

Usually, when Simple Mom writes a new post, I feel like she's writing it for me. This afternoon, as I read her blog about Make Week, I was sure she was writing for me.

We need to cut some of this crap out of our lives.

I talked to Bryan about it almost immediately when he got home. He totally agreed and we decided we would go all week without turning on our TV.

Within an hour, we wanted to go back on our commitment. Pathetic, eh? We sat there, having no idea what to do, because we didn't really feel like anything BUT watching TV. As we discussed our pathetic-ness, we discovered that we don't know how to relax without the TV. Bryan didn't want to read, I didn't want to organize, we didn't feel like going on a walk (on this perfectly gorgeous day). These are all perfectly relaxing things-but we wanted to veg!

Thankfully, after sitting around staring at each other, we finally got up and did something.

So far *this [make] week* we've been pretty productive.

We purged our bookshelves, our video game boxes, our storage boxes, our records and our board games and started our garage sale pile. Here's what we've got so far:

I finally made some adorable dividers for my mini management notebook (more on that later) which totally motivates me to use the cute dividers to open it up more and use it!

I'm blogging right now, and I'm going to menu plan these last two weeks of April as well tonight! And I'll STILL get to bed before 11pm!

Bryan mostly read Mere Christianity tonight and now he's picking out healthy recipes.

In conclusion, Alsbury's-ONE, TV-ZERO!

Until tomorrow!


Dear Friends...

I have a date with my laptop tonight, I shall be blogging as many of the 10,000 blogs I've meant to blog over the past MONTH. So much to write about, so much to catch you up on-so much has been happening!

I am excited.

Get excited!

*See* you tonight!


April 6th, 2010

Two years ago, on April 6th, 2008, Bryan proposed to me next to the Princess Castle in Disney Land.

Today, April 6th, 2010, Bryan and I acquired a castle of sorts.

A MOBILE HOME to be exact!

We freakin' bought a trailer in Iowa City!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm SOOOOO excited! Can you tell?

We're going to have a little, beautiful, cute little home of our own! Except that it's not so little, considering it's TWICE the size of our current one bedroom apartment. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, one awesome shed, a huge and very pretty deck, big windows in the living room, over sized bathtub in the master bath, high-end washer and dryer and very close to a cute little fishing pond! We'll have a REAL guest bedroom so you can come visit ANYTIME you want!

And guess how much it costs? $21 dollars LESS than what we're paying for rent here in Ames!

I wish I had pictures for you all but you'll have to wait until we close on the 24th of April. Until then!


Reaching for Perfection

I'll be the first to tell you that I'm a perfectionist. An obsessive, compulsive, downright crazy perfectionist.

There is something so curious about perfectionists if I do say so myself. The word perfectionist kind-of implies that I'm excellent at everything but really it just means that I despise my own imperfections. I don't enjoy messing up and often I'll just give up if I can't make it perfect.

I'm am growing, mostly because God doesn't put up with my foolishness for too long.

But I'm also getting more and more comfortable with who God made me to be. I'm a perfectionist and a little crazy sometimes, but I think I'm ok with that. And I'm convinced that I should definitely keep striving for the excellence that always seems just out of reach.

The current application for this: I've been pretty disappointed with my finance blogs. They are far from perfect and they have been driving me crazy! Did you notice that I seem to have given up? Yeah, that has been driving me crazy too, because I also hate not finishing what I start.

So, in application of striving for excellence, I'm starting over! I'm going to take some time to develop a game plan and write some rough drafts out. I want to write with excellence and honesty, because I know there actually are a few of you who this thing!

I love blogging and I love personal finance, and I want to combine those two things with excellence.

You can look forward to new and improved finance articles starting April 30th!