Wednesday Word

Just wanted to share this message with the blogger world. I got this in an email devotion the other morning.  I had to read through the "When I am free from...." section a couple of times for it to really sink in.   
Happy Wednesday!
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather,
serve one another humbly in love."
Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
Do you ever suffer from Me Syndrome? You know, that time of the day or the month when you feel that now is the time for me? I sure do; often in fact. If it doesn’t help or benefit me, I don’t want to do it! I guess that is why Galatians 5:13 jumped off the page when I read it recently.

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (NIV)

Ouch! That really hurt! Freedom is given so I can serve. Okay, Lord, so where do you want to free me so I can serve?

Here is the short list of what was downloaded to my heart in a mere two minutes of journaling my response to that question:

When I am free from ambition, I am free to serve with a joyful heart.
When I am free from selfishness, I am free from irritation.
When I am free from jealousy, I am free to rejoice in the good of another.
When I am free from judgment, I am free to pray from a pure heart.
When I am free from expectation, I am free to enjoy whatever comes.
When I am freed from controlling others, I am free to see the miraculous.
When I am truly free, I will see the Kingdom of God in my life.

That is what I want to see –the Kingdom of God come in my life. What is that going to take? It's going to take tearing free from my own selfish thoughts and feelings. It's going to take looking at things from God's perspective. It's going to take God's help. In order to be free, I have to be free of me.


Spring has Sprung!

I do NOT want this weekend to end!  It has been incredible - the weather, the food, the projects... all of it. Thursday night Jesse and I grilled these AMAZING kabobs - we might start getting "kabobed out", but they are such an easy, delicious way to grill.

Friday night, Jesse and I went out for our 3rd Friday night in a row.  Must be our new date night?  We went bike shopping... looking at a Trek Skye S for me.  Anyone know anything about this bike?  Jesse has had a Trek for about 4 years now and has had no problems with it at all and still loves it.  We want to start riding together - especially in this beautiful weather!  Speaking of beautiful weather, we did some "window shopping" at Lowes garden center and then ended up at Bin 612 for dinner and it was great!  We both got a house salad (simple but deelish) and split a pizza.   For real.... one of my favorite places in Stark.  I just LOVE sitting on the patio area, watching people walk by, and enjoying good food with my love. Doesn't get much better than that, folks.  

Chirping birds and sunshine woke us up Saturday morning.  We made fresh smoothies and omelettes, then made our way to the Co-Op and then back to Lowes.  The rest of the day was dedicated to being outdoors!  I had some projects for myself - window boxes and hanging baskets for the front porch:

I just love pretty flowers.  Excited for the flowers in the hanging basket to grow, bloom, and start trailing over the sides.  This definitely freshened up the front of our house! We have some more flowering projects planned for the yard and I can't wait for all the blooms this summer.  Flowers in a vase are a great surprise, but I love a yard FULL.  The veggies in the back are growing each day.  It's really fun to watch things grow from seed!  

We had some friends over Saturday night for Dennis's birthday.  Turkey burgers, grilled corn, sweet potato fries and a salad. Followed by homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yum.  

Today has been very relaxing.  Breakfast at Shipleys and then I finished an ongoing project - The English Family Cookbook, complete with photos from all of the kitchens we have cooked in since we got married.  I don't want this weekend to end.  Church tonight, then on to finishing up some homework and then getting the week started tomorrow.  We're headed to the beach this coming weeked for the wedding of Christin Davis and Brandon Taylor!  


Much Needed Reunion

A much needed college reunion happened a few weekends ago at Elizabeth Butler's kitchen shower!  It's been a while since I have been able to get together with all of the girls, so I was so excited when I found out that a shower was being thrown for Butler!  It's always fun to shower friends with wedding gifts and all have a chance to catch up.  It feels like just yesterday, we were all Juniors living in the Chi Omega house and here we are... all growing up, living in different cities, with big girl jobs.  

Emily Vanderpool opened up her home to us for the shower and a slumber party.  We opened gifts, went to eat at Salsa, a fantastic mexican place, then went to an awesome honkytonk karaoke bar.  But seriously, I think I would have fun doing anything with these girls. The night ended with us spread out all over Emily's house with 5 of us in sleeping bags on her living room floor.  

Thanks, Krystina, for the pictures!!!

Emily's sweet Doberman puppy - Penny!  

All the gals - minus Lori and Lialah

Some characters at the WindJammer.

It was so. much. fun. In honor of these girls and this week being spring break (not that I got one), I will leave you with two of my favorite spring break pictures.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again at the Chi Omega/Phi Delta 75th Anniversary in a few weeks!


Catch up!

So, it has been way too long since I last blogged.  I always say that I will be better about blogging regularly..... and then I don't.  And then I end up having HUGE posts like this one to catch up all of you.  So this is your forewarning that this post will be a long one, but hopefully a good one!  I promise I'm going to do better.   Let me catch you up on what's been going on:

 Jesse and some guys go on a camping trip every year and they let a girl go for the first time this year...  Maggie!  This was her very first camping trip.  She is getting a doggie pack for her 1st birthday and then hopefully we will be able to take her on more trips once our schedules slow down! She had another doggie buddy there, Martin, John Windham's boxer.  From the stories I heard, these two pups didn't stop the entire weekend.  

Next, Anna and John Clemmer and their dog, Huck, came to Starkville for a visit!  We rarely get visitors in the spring, so this was really special!  The fall is when the English Bed and Breakfast is in high gear due to football season, so it's always great to have friends in town during the spring.  The weather was absolutely beautiful!  Lindsay Sistrunk and Clay Warden joined us with their dog, Eli, and we went to the dog park.  Lindsay and Clay are getting married in June and will live in Starkville and I'm so excited for them to stick around!  Anna, thanks for not stealing my kitties!

(JP stopped by for a visit before he leaves for Japan!  More on this to come in another post.)

Now for some food...  here's a fun little light salad recipe.  We added Craisins to the salad for a sweet and colorful addition.

Followed by a bath.  Maggie is pretty chill during bath time, but LOVES playing with her towel afterwards... and I won't lie.. we love that part of it too!

Final update:  the garden!  I mentioned a little bit ago that Jesse, Alex, and some other guys from the Landscape Architecture department have started a garden at Alex's apartment.  We have tons of things planted and spent all afternoon this past Saturday working in the garden.  It's so awesome to help be a part of growing food, harvesting it, and then making a great meal out of it! 

 I spy Maggie...

 Here's Alex's sweet dog, Zoe!

I will leave you with this awesome meal and kick-a salad that we made from the garden!  Spinach, Feta, and Rosemary Lamb Burgers with Provolone cheese, Roasted Potatoes and Kohl Rabi with Rosemary, Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper, and finally the salad- lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, broccoli flowers, red bud flowers (all from the garden) and feta cheese, beets, radishes, carrots, walnuts, and balsamic vinegarette.