Tuesday, December 31, 2013

His Plans Prevailed in 2013

A New Year is upon us!

It is hard to say goodbye to something so sweet but it is also exciting knowing what is to come
I am so hopeful that the Lord will provide so many new adventures for me this coming year

2013 was unexpected for me
Unexpected but so much better than I imagined
Last year at this time I knew the Lord was changing me
He was helping me see His dreams for my life
For His Glory 
But even then I had this plan of how this year was going to go

"You can make many plans, but the Lord's Purpose will prevail."
Proverbs 19:21 

No matter how much I tried to control my steps, ultimately His plans prevailed and they were FAR better than mine!

Before I share about my visions and resolutions for 2014, here are just a few memories and blessings from 2013! 

Verse of 2013
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, 
according to his power that is at work within us,"
Ephesians 3:20

Word of 2013

Looking at the year 2013 
God is LOVE
God wants Followers 
Dream it. See it. Write- Africa!

Do you need rest? 
The day of LOVE
You are worth more
Dream without fear


A Dream fulfilled 
We are made for great adventure 
Dear 18 year old Jessie

He is Risen 
When you forget your cell phone 
Heaven on Earth- Chris Tomlin concert 

St. Jude Half Marathon
The Jessie Rees Foundation
He Knows 
Climbing the Mountains of Montana
Ignite Gods passion in your life 
AdvoCare Success School at Cowboy Stadium!
I am so passionate about this company and where it is going!
It has been amazing to learn about the importance of nutrition and supplements
But mostly, it has been so fun to teach others how to be healthy and see them reach their goals
I am so excited to see where this takes me in 2014!

This little guy turned one!
Where did the time go?!
Being his aunt has been one of the biggest blessings of 2013
And to think, I will have another one coming April!
My first time as a "wedding planner"

Sharing my AdvoCare story- Transforming for His Glory 

Discovered 3 Beautiful Gifts

Prepared for a Christmas that whispers Jesus

I have big visions, dreams and changes coming soon
Though I thought some might have come about this past year , the Lord has made my path better than I could ever imagined
I look back and am truly thankful the path the Lord led me on
His timing is perfect
His plans are perfect
It was a year of growth, stretching, finding hope and most if all preparation

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Friday, December 27, 2013

The Everyday Gift


I am laying in my bed at my parents 
Christmas tree put away 
Slowly seeing less and less Christmas lights as I drive through Enumclaw 
It is bittersweet as my radio is playing the sweet worship songs that I love
No more Christmas carols 

My heart is truly overwhelmed as I write this 
Overwhelmed with excitement and hope 
My heart yearns to live for Jesus daily 
My heart is truly overflowing with joy and thankfulness for Him 

My mind also wonders from memories of the past two months of the holiday season
Sometimes my heart longs to stay there forever... Christmas season everyday 
The gathering of family and friends 
The beauty of the glitter and lights
The days of no stress from work 
The sounds of Carols everywhere 
The words Joy, hope and love are apart of the everyday conversation 
The excitement of Christmas morning
...The magic of Christmas

So many emotions wrapped into one season 

It truly is a magical season 
A season of memories and nostalgia 
A season of hope and joy
A season of transition and change into the new year

The world will be still tonight
We will long for this wonder to go on
One Christmas candle will flame in the quiet
This cannot fade-none of this can ever fade
God stays with us
The Christmas candle burns hot, gives its Light
And the world lights up, and Christmas goes on forever now
Christ, the always Gift for all our days
- Ann Voskamp 

The gift of Jesus 
The gift of salvation 
The gift of His grace 
The gift of His love 
The gift of His blessings 
The Gift of His Peace 
We receive them every.single.day of the year 

That means we don't have to buy them or work for them 
We just simply receive 
Receive His gifts today 

As you take down your last bit of christmas decorations
As you begin to reschedule your work and school schedule 
As you begin to write your resolutions and To Do lists.. 

Peace is not ultimately a place
Peace is the ultimate Person

"Listen carefullyto what God the Lord is saying, for He speaks peace to His faithful people" 
Psalm 85:8 NLT 

For the Lord of peace Himself gives us "His peace at ALL times in every situation" 
2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT

The gift of JESUS
...Remember you don't have to wait until next christmas to receive 

Receive it today and everyday 
The magic of Christmas truly lives in our hearts 

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Preparing For Christmas

With just days until Christmas, I sit here not done with my Christmas shopping
I haven't even started wrapping or packing to be home for a couple days
The days before Christmas always seem to be the most busy
Why do I wait for the last minute to do everything?
Why am I feeling anxious that I don't have it all together?

"There is no need to produce or perform or perfect- simply become a place for God
That is all"

That is all?
That seems so easy
Yes, Jessie, that is all 
Make a space for Him this Christmas
Make a space to receive His Grace and Peace
His Love

"You most take hold of God when you simply receive Him in this moment taking hold of you"

 I always seem to feel better when I stop trying to perform my Christmas duties
When I stop trying to produce the perfect gift, card or project
When I stop trying to give everything I have to others
This Christmas I am going to take a moment (or two!) to receive

Yes, receive
No not material gifts
Receive Him
Before we are called to give, we are called to receive

I struggle to receive
Grace? For me?
Blessings? For me?

Only one thing is necessary this Christmas
Be a space for Love to come
Be still just for a moment
Find quietness in the business of the season
Simply receive LOVE
Let yourself be loved this Christmas

"Will you let Me fill all your emptiness with Love? 
Receive My love
Conceive My Grace"
It is for you

"Your greatest gift is not your gifts, 
but your surrendered yes to be a space for God"
- Ann Voskamp 

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Infuse Your Dreams With Life

 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for 
and assurance about what we do not see"
Hebrews 11:1

Traveling, giving/volunteering for charity, debt freedom and getting married
Get to name a few dreams of mine!

I am working on your behalf
Bring me all your concerns, including your dreams
Talk with Me about everything,
Letting the Light of My Presence shine on your hopes and plans
Spend time allowing My Light to infuse your dreams with life,
gradually transforming them into reality
-Jesus Calling 12/11

This is my vision board
I have never created on before
As I have said many times in this blog, the past two years have been one big dreamfest, if you will
Once I let the Lord take over my plans, He has placed me on a path I never imagine
Then came AdvoCare which has expanded my visions and I realized I need to dream bigger!

The best part is that through dreaming big and allowing the Lord to fill His purpose
He is also changing me in the process
Changing me for His glory 
Changing me or more of preparing me for those dreams...His plans

And when I really think about my dreams, like REALLY think about them
Would I be ready for them?
Am I ready for them?

You see, the Lord knows my dreams
He knows exactly which ones He will fulfill now 
There are some that I see Him gradually beginning the process
Then there are ones I have no idea how He will ever prepare me 
Those are the ones He knows I will need some more time to prepare

That is where faith comes in
Faith He knows
Faith that He is working on my behalf
Faith that spending time will increase my hope
Faith that He will infuse my dreams with life 

Faith is having confidence in what we hope for
Confidence the Him
Confidence in our dreams and visions
Assurance that even though we don't see the Lord,
"He is working things out for the good of those who live Him"

Faith is not thinking God can, but knowing He will

Speaking of dreams,
Well, this is happening
No really, I will be going to Africa!
I am freaking out so excited and yet so scared all at once
We have dates set in June
Every detail of the trip just sounds simply amazing and divine
This is definitely something only the Lord could provide and orchestrate 
More to come later!
Some things I have been up too lately!

Christensen family Christmas party!
We traditionally get together on Dec. 27th 
However my poor cousins are being swept away to Disneyland Christmas night so we got together on the 15th. It was a Sunday which means Seahawks were playing
My aunt made a nice brunch and we got to relax all morning, open presents and hangout with this little man

Annual roommate Christmas movie night and gift exchange

Gingerbread house making for the first time!
Can you guess which one I made? :)

Hike for a cure with this little one!
Emma Joy is the sweetest little gal and you would never know she has cystic Fibrous
We could not do the annual stair climb that raises funds for CF so we conquered Tiger Mountain
It was the most beautiful day out, perfect combination of cold and sun
I dont go hiking that much but this hike was so beautiful I might have found a new hobby!
Christmas list- Washington hiking Trails! :) 

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Great Plans


I am here!
Thsi isnt the Christmas post I have been wanting to write
But in the middle of life I cant seem to sit down and write my thoughts down
I cant form the blog post that I want too
I have come to except that, that is ok!
So, today I want to share some music that has been inpsiring me latley
I found a band that I am in LOVE with
It all started with this Halleluja SONG
Then of course I started stalking researching and found I LOVE all their music
Here are the lyrics to Great Plans
If you are like me and a little tired, little weary
Wondering, searching deep for that joy and peace of the holiday season
Please take a few minutes and listen to these songs
You will find you might be refreshed:)
Hello my love
your future waits for you
the certainties are few.
I know you’re scared
but the voices in your head,
will send you mine instead; they’ll say
Great plans I have for you
great plans I have for you
great plans I have for you
I know you’re tired
the darkness in your eyes
I’ve come to recognize
So lay yourself down
in the shelter of my tree
rest awhile with me, here
Great plans I have for you
great plans I have for you
great plans I have for you (x2)
And prosper you will
I know you will, I know you will
Prosper you will
I know you will, I know you will
Great plans I have for you
great plans I have for you
great plans I have for you (x2)

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snail Mail Adventure Awaits

When I started this whole "blogging experience" I had no idea what an adventure it would be 
Not in a traveling sense, but more of an adventure of the heart, an adventure of discovery 
Meeting knew people, reading stories of other women who challenge me, make me laugh, encourage me and have become a daily form of comfort by reading their blogs 
We all have a story to tell
Whether it is through creativity & DIY, decorating, traveling, inspiring through faith or just sharing about their every day life 
They all have a passion to share their story
Share their hearts 
It has been one big adventure and I am loving it

I participated in an event called Snail Mail Collective 
This is an opportunity to connect with another women from around the nation & world 
We get to know each other throughout the month, begin a friendship and then we exchange a small themed item 

November- What are you grateful for?

I had the honor of getting to know Jessica from Jess Loves This Life 
Jess and I hit if off right away- not just because our names:)
But for our love for everything fall!
Bath and Body works candles, crisp air, cloudy mornings, falling leaves & Starbucks
Just to name a few!
Jess lives down in Orange County so she doesn't get much of the "fall" weather 
but she does have Disneyland! 
I always find it fascinating when I hear people who has season passes because Disneyland was always such a BIG DEAL when we could go for vacation! In fact, I think I need to go again soon:)  
Jess and her boyfriend, Andy, go all the time and it sounds like it really is the happiest place on earth!

One thing I really loved about getting to know Jess is her LOVE for life
The title of her blog is so PERFECT for her
She sees everyday as an adventure and an opportunity to make the most of it
Her and Andy go on weekly dates to just take the time to enjoy each other and life 
Though each day is not always perfect, and there has been some health concerns with Jess
but she doesn't let that bother her
I was so inspired by her positive outlook on life and her strength to overcome
Thank you Jess for allowing me to get to know you!
Keep inspiring and keep savoring all that life brings you

Her themed gift was perfect for me
Bath & Body candle, Starbucks ornament and Disneyland postcard

What I am Loving Wednesday 

My little nephew put on his serious face today!

My brother and I cutting down our family Christmas tree 

This is a tradition I will always cherish 
I am ALL about the traditions, especially when it comes to family
My brother and I have our own places with decorated trees but there is something so nostalgic and comforting to come home and decorate our tree at our parents house
I know as we both get older we won't always be able to do this together
One of us might move away, not have time with our careers, or get married
I guess the last one wouldn't be all that bad:) 
Tonight we gathered our coats. hot drinks in hand and headed out to cut down our tree

Christensen Family Christmas tree 
Ornaments full of memories
Lights mostly working
And another year of tradition 

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Prince of Peace Day 30

Day 30 
3 Gifts Astonishing! 

1- Thanksgiving this year was one of the best. No special reason just simply the fact I found myself, my heart more thankful this year. A heart that was seeking gratitude in the little things in life. A heart that was thankful for every blessing, every wrong turn, every mountain I had to climb and every bit of hope for the future. Our first annual Turkey Bowl was pretty fun too! 

2- How amazing is this house?! Something magical and whimsical about this house. 
Dream house for sure. 
My poor future husband will have a lot of lights to hang! 
Tis the season!

3- Our Savior came in the most humble way to save us. 
He is called our wonderful counselor, might God, everlasting Father and Prince of Peace

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Give Thanks Day 28 & 29

Give thanks to The Lord for He is good; 
His love endures forever. 
Psalm 118:1 

Turkey trot around Enumclaw Thanksgiving morning

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I am changed
I feel different than years past 
I know I am different
Thankfulness floods my heart, daily
That has not always been the case

I have learned that happiness is not found in things, status or food
I have learned that the only true fulfillment is my relationship with Christ 
Because of Him, I have chosen to chase my dreams over complacency  
Because of Him, I have chosen to seek joy over self pity and doubt 
Because of Him, I have so much HOPE about my future I get giddy
Because of Him, I have found more peace 
I am Thankful 

The only explanation is the fact that I have chosen to seek the Lord in my life more intentionally 
I have chosen Him to lead, to guide and move in my life than ever before
I chose Him and He has provided 
I am thankful 

I have been so overwhelmed at times I catch myself saying "that is just crazy" 
When really it is just our God being who He is 
My life brings new challenges, blessings and adventures daily  
Sometimes I wonder how I deserved such a blessed life
Then I remember that we don't deserve anything in this life
He graciously sacrificed for us on the cross so we can receive Him 
I am thankful 

God graciously gives us His Grace daily
He deeply loves and always forgives us 
He wants a relationship with us still 
We don't deserve, but He gives
Because that is who He is
He is worth all our praise and thankfulness

Day 28
3 Gifts in Community

1- Family

2- Friends 

3- Enumclaw
I don't live there anymore
In fact, somedays I don't know if I will ever live there again
But it has my heart
It has my friends, family and memories forever
It will always be a place I call HOME
A place I come count on for support and love

We started our first "Turkey Bowl" It was such a hit!
Nothing better or more American than playing football on Thanksgiving

More pictures from Thanksgiving 

Cousin Brenden (right) and spanish cousin (exchange student) Guille 
Give Thanks unto the Lord

Day 29 
3 Gifts RED

1- CHRISTMAS! Everything is red during the holidays. 
I am thankful for the excitement of Santa Clause coming to town

2- Holly berries- One of my favorite Christmas decorations! 
My parents have a holly tree in their backyard. 
I always bring some back up to Seattle to decorate my place. 

3- Chris Tomlin Christmas CD (the cover is RED!) - Glory in the Highest
He is one of my favorite singers and his christmas CD is amazing!
Best SONG ever - HERE 
O, Come All Ye Faithful 

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preparing Day 26 & 27

Day 26
3 Gifts Preparing

1- DREAMS-I know God is preparing me for something big. You know how I know? Because I have dreams about my future that I never dreamed of, never ever thought of accomplishing when I was younger. In fact most of my dreams have formed within the last two years when I fully committed to letting go and letting God work in my life. The only explanation is they are from God! He knows my true hearts desires and He is slowly preparing me for those dreams.
Refer back to THIS blog to read about my dreams

2- One of our athletes and one of our coaches are preparing to head over to the Philippines to play for their National team. We did a last minute clothing/canned food drive with our department and fans. We received way more than I thought we would! So grateful for this community and to be able to have the platform to help. Below is my office full of the items!

3- Preparing for Thanksgiving! My mom and dad are at home setting the table, gathering the extar chairs and cleaning every square inch of our house. Preparing for a day full of family, food, laughter, joy and of course thankfulness.

Day 27
A Gift Homemade, Held, and Happy

Homemade- Every year when the kids were little, my parents took us around Deep Lake and we collected leaves. We then made placemats with the leaves. My mom still not onlyhas them still, but she puts them up as decorations around the house. Something so loving and nostalgic seeing them around the house when I come home.

Held- Cant wait to hold my nephew Jace! It has been almost two weeks and I am dying. The love I have for the child amazes me.

Happy- My parents- true joy and happiness.
Now that they are both retired, they have more time to live a life of adventure. Its is like they are "dating" all over again! They go on dates, they make time for eachother to just enjoy life. It makes me happy to see them so in love and taking care of themselves! So proud of them and their committment to eating healthier, taking supplements, being more active and growing in their faith...together.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Ugly-Beautiful Day 25

Day 25 
3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful

1- Crying- like deep from the soul, gut wrenching, ugly face cry. Girls, you know what I am taking about. Crying is not always a "sad" thing. I cry when I am frustrated, when I am happy and excited, and lately I have found some tears when I am praying at night. But you know what, crying is good for the soul. It helps release tension, pours out emotion, excitement, joy, pain or frustration. Yet, when we find the tears all dry, a peace can be found and that is a beautiful thing
Go ahead, open the flood gates and let it rain

2. Enjoy every single moment. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly- 
THANK GOD through it all. 

3. My life. Lets be honest there are some parts of my life that are pretty ugly. And I don't mean the laundry that is piling up next to my bed. Times I wish I would have been bolder, stronger, smarter and more confident. There are moments I said things that I wish I could take back. I remember times I wish I said something different or even worse take back what I said. 
I was not always the best example of living a Christ-like life. 

Jesus doesn't care how "ugly" our lives were or are 
He knows we are human and fall short sometimes daily 
He knows our past sins and the future ones
He knows we make mistakes, do and say the wrong things...a lot
But Jesus..
Jesus loves us anyway
He forgives us anyway
He gives us grace freely and abundantly anyway
He brings us salvation anyway
He sacrificed for us anyway
He shows us the way, truth and the only life worth living
...And that is beautiful 

My life is beautiful because of Christ
We are beautiful in Him
Not by who we are, because as I mentioned we can be ugly as humans
He makes us beautiful because that is who HE IS

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:20 

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