2015 was a seemingly ordinary year. It was a year of many friends getting married, my niece being born, beach trips, visits with friends, and more beach trips. But, 2015 was also a year of growth for me. It was the year that I took a big step of faith and quit my first full-time job, to be where I believe the Lord wants me. It was the year the Lord renewed my hunger for His word. It was the year that I found a new church family and started building a new community of friends. 2015 was a year of new prayers and new dreams for my life. 2015 was a year sprinkled with quiet, but faithful answers to some questions I've been having in regards to singleness. It was a year, yet again, that I saw the Lord's providence and protection over and over.
2015 was a year that looked like any other year, but a year that I learned some new lessons and relearned some old ones.
Thank you 2015 for the laughs, the tears, the sleepless nights, the books read, the prayers answered, the trips with friends, the drinks had, the new friends made, the reunions, and the times of celebration. But mostly, thank you 2015, for the seemingly ordinary days that gave glimpses of the One who is Extraordinary.
Lord, may you be more glorified and praised in 2016.
January & February
Took a lesson from kids that sometimes prayer is just simple and though we stutter and stammer, the moment we say "Father," He hears us. | Visited the Fairhope Pier. | Celebrated my first Mardi Gras in the city I love, New Orleans! | Blogging kick-started again in the new year and Polished Arrow is run off of coffee.
March & April
Was reminded by the sunrise that the Lord's mercies are new every morning! | Had fun, random roomies dates. | Celebrated 23 years of my family being a family and one of my best friends, Dad, sent me beautiful flowers. | My precious niece, who I lovingly call Savvy, was born.
May & June
Thanks to a wonderful friends wedding, there was a Tahoe reunion! | I got to meet Savvy for the first time and my heart melted. | Two friends from college came to visit and we spontaneously went the the beach...at night. | My lifelong best friend (seriously, we've known each other since kindergarten) came through Mobile!
July & August
I dressed up like a cow for some free food with some fun friends from church. | My parents came down to visit a couple of times. | While in Birmingham for a wedding, I got to reunite with another Tahoe friend. | That wedding was the union of two fun and dear friends who got married!| May through August were the months of friends and my favorite stretch of 2015!
This weekend gets its own special section, because it is my favorite holiday. For the past couple of years, I've had some great fourth of July weekends. It's what summer is all about in my opinion! One of my college friends came down for the weekend and we did it all. The beach, movies on the beach, toured a battleship, fireworks, and food. It was one of the best.
September & October
Football was back, so that meant many weekends watching Alabama football with Dad! | I went to an Indian Pow-Wow with my roommate and some girls from our small group. | Visited a pumpkin patch and corn maze to really kick off fall! | Ran into a sweet friend while at the corn maze.
November & December
Spent a day geeking out at a museum with some wonderful friends. | Celebrated Christmas in style with my small group: onesies and pajamas. | Celebrated a low-key Christmas with just my parents. | Turned 27.
Peace out 2015. Welcome 2016!
May this year be golden.
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"What difference has the Gospel made in how you see yourself? What is your moment of greatness? Are you making straight the paths for Christ? Are you removing obstacles or putting them out?"
A couple weeks ago, these were questions I walked away with one Sunday morning after church. While perfection is not attainable, greatness is something more reachable. There are great doctors, great missionaries, great teachers, great preachers, great parents, great business owners. But, my moment of greatness? Has it come?
The other questions seem to be easier to answer, but the answers can change daily and aren't always the answers I would like to give. There are definitely days where I'm no where close to being like John the Baptist in making the paths straight for Christ. In my pride, stubbornness, and disobedience, I set out way more obstacles for myself and others to hurdle over.
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, 'I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.'" -- John 1:23
Though I may not think my moment of greatness has come, the Gospel shows me who I am in Christ. Yes, a sinner, but bought and redeemed by a loving Savior. Now a co-heir with Christ and covered by His righteousness. Before I was someone with a voice speaking only empty words. Now, my words can be meaningful. Speaking truth and love to those around me. The Gospel shows me that, like John the Baptist, I am a messenger for Christ. Any greatness that I have is because Christ lives in me. He is the greatness.
He [John] came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. -- John 1:7-8
My greatest moment of greatness will only happen when I serve the One who is great. Serving the Lord makes the paths straight, letting him do his great work.
As I start to look to a new year, I want it to be one greatness. I want it to be a year where the Lord's greatness is seen.
I want it to be a year where the paths are straight.
As we start to look to 2016, let us pray for ways to serve and strive to live,
so that the paths for the Lord may be straight.
Merry Christmas, friends! Hope you all have a wonderful day with friends and family and hope that includes some laughter, fun, good food, and maybe a present or two. Thankful for all that surrounds me and mostly for the coming of my Savior, who is Christ the Lord, and Emmanuel, here with us. Hope your day is merry and bright and full of celebration!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Skylar over at Blonde Freedom had this fun Christmas survey up on her blog the other day. And because it's the busy week of Christmas I thought I would snag it and fill it out as well. Keep things light and fun this week. Plus, I love posts like these where you get to know someone a little better. Enjoy and happy Christmas Eve!
Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags? | Wrapping paper all the way! I love going through all the bins of wrapping paper in the Christmas aisles at the stores. There is so, so much that it can be overwhelming. But, I love it! This year my paper was a craft type with old school Christmas lights printed on it. Last year, I had simple brown craft paper and twine and fun tags for a fun package look. Plus, we have a long standing joke in my family about how much tape we put on gifts and how it makes it seemingly impossible to get into them.
Real tree or Artificial? | I am all about some real trees! To me, there is nothing like them. Yes the needles get everywhere and if the tree starts to dry out the needles can poke you very hard. But, nothing can replace the fun of going to pick it out, towing it back to the house, and then the amazing smell that fills your home. That being said, all trees I'm surrounded by this year are artificial. Nothing wrong with them, but my preference is definitely real.
When do you put up the tree? | I like to put up the Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. Although if my roommate had her way, our tree would have been up on Halloween. Or never taken down in the first place.
Hardest person to buy for? | My Dad definitely wins this answer. Mostly because you can't buy the man anything! Anytime we remotely have a handle on what he wants or needs and get ready to buy it for Christmas, he goes and buys it for himself. Dad has always been one to want us to have things to open instead of him. Although he is hard to buy for, he is one of my favorites to buy for.
Easiest person to buy for? | Mom gets this one. Because I usually get her a few of the same stocking stuffers every year that she loves and then she is easy to please with books or cute little knick knacks. And I usually ask her what is one thing she would love to have, but wouldn't buy herself. That's always fun.
Favorite Christmas film? | Well, there definitely isn't one! The ones I have to watch every year are (in no particular order): The Santa Clause, All I Want For Christmas (1991), I'll Be Home For Christmas, A Christmas Story, Elf, and White Christmas. I also watch Little Women every Christmas.
Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? | Another hard one, but all the candy and pies! I don't think I eat a real meal except for Christmas Day because of all the candy and pies that are brought out this time of the year! Speaking of pies, remember the cherry or pecan debate? Pecan won and is being made tomorrow morning!
Snow: love it or hate it? | I've never grown up in an area that was known for white Christmases. Memphis rarely got snow, but mostly got ice. And ice is not fun like snow. Until I lived in Tahoe, I had never had a white Christmas, but there is something different and special about having a white Christmas. I love it, until I have to shovel it. :)
Lights on the tree: colored or clear? | I'm more a clear lights person, because then the different colored ornaments all glow more brightly! But, colored lights are festive and fun. So, put both on there! Plus, it makes it look more full!
Favorite Christmas song? | Again, there isn't just one, but O Holy Night is my top favorite!
Reading of the Christmas Story or an Advent? | Both! I love to start Christmas readings the first of December to begin celebrating Advent, but focus more on the Christmas story the week of.
Travel at Christmas or stay at home? | Normally my parents and I travel to Memphis for Christmas to celebrate with our entire extended family. This year, with my Dad recovering from surgery, we are staying at home in Alabama. It will be different not going out of town this year, but I'm grateful and happy to be spending a few days with my parents at their home. Christmas definitely would not be Christmas if I was not with them.
Favorite Christmas cookie? | This is a hard one too! But, I'm a big fan of the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kisses on top!
Favorite Christmas tradition? | Normally we are out of town and always rushing from place to place, so traditions are hard for us sometimes. With my parents we normally will go and see a movie and we usually tune into the 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story. The past couple of years I've begun a couple of my own Christmas traditions like sending out handwritten Christmas cards and reading A Christmas Carol.
Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? | Mom usually lets me open one present on Christmas Even and then we do the rest on Christmas morning. I get more excited about my stocking! I love going to sleep with it empty and waking up with it full! No matter how old I get, that will always be exciting to me!
Most annoying thing about this time of year? | Probably just the traffic that is everywhere! I go out and wonder, "where did all these people come from!?"
What is the "silliest" family tradition you do or miss doing? | This definitely isn't a silly tradition, but a fun one. When I was younger and we still lived in Memphis, my aunt would give me and all my cousins movie theater coupon books. After we had dinner and opened presents all the cousins would go to the movies and just pile on top of each other like we were in our own living room. It was so fun!
What do you want for Christmas this year? | Books are always on my list, every year! This year I also said a subscription to Real Simple magazine and The Pioneer Woman's Cookware Set or really anything from her collection!
What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year? | I'm not sure, but just being with my parent's will be great. Since we are doing our normal Memphis Christmas, maybe this year we can begin some new traditions of our own.
Happy Christmas Eve!
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It's time for The Circle! One of my favorite monthly link-ups from my friend Kiki. This month is all about Christmas traditions and Christmas home tours. I can't wait to read through these posts. I don't have many Christmas traditions, but over the years I've been wanting to start some of my own. I've made it a point to start writing out Christmas cards, I watch Christmas movies, listen to Christmas music on the way to work, and for the past couple of years I've read "A Christmas Carol" every year. Being single during the holidays can be hard, but that's no reason to not create your own traditions! That's a whole other post. Today, I'm taking you around my small, but cute apartment living room. I have to admit, all the Christmas decorating was done by my roommate with the exception of the tree in my room and our front door. So, today I'm showcasing mostly her skills.
Our living room is really the most decorated room in our apartment. In the kitchen, we have some Christmas towels hanging, along with a Christmas oven mitt, and a dish full of cookies and candy. My room has a small Christmas tree decorated with Mardi Gras beads and a soon-to-be finished paper tree garland might be hung over my windows. And the apartment either always smells like Holiday Cheer from a candle or a Christmas Cottage from my Scentsy warmer and coffee. Happy Christmas! :)
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Back towards the beginning of fall, I was visiting my parent's one weekend when mom and I decided to create some seasonal fall wreaths to decorate our doors. I honestly thought this was going to be a Pinterest fail moment for me, because I had never created a wreath of my own before. Luckily, with mom by my side, we found some great floral pieces and were able to create some pretty wreaths. Mom decided to decorate some wooden, rectangle frames creating a really unique wreath. I decided to stick with a natural grapevine circle wreath.
I am a big fan of the natural, earthy look, so I love these grapevine twig wreaths! I could just hang a bunch of these all over the place and be happy. I also love berries, so I knew I wanted some of those to be included. I liked the idea of decorating just a corner of the circle, mainly focusing on one side, because I wanted a lot of the natural wreath to be seen. The colors of fall are beautiful with the oranges and reds and I love the different texture that the berries and the red poms give. I also wanted to personalize the wreath a little more, so I added the initial. Luckily, my roommate and I share the same last name initial, so I painted our letter in gold. I think it was a great contrast with the other colors in the wreath, but still added to the natural feeling I was aiming for. I was so happy with the way that my fall wreath turned out, (and for how easy it was to make!) that soon after I started thinking about my winter door wreath!
Since I love the natural look and love berries, my first thought for my winter door wreath was to keep it simple and beautiful by using the same grapevine wreath and circling red berries all around it, creating the sunburst look. I absolutely LOVE the all berry wreaths. So, one day I set out to Hobby Lobby to see what kind of berries they had. I was walking the aisles of Hobby Lobby while scrolling through Pinterest for alternate ideas, because in order to fill my grapevine wreath with berries, I was probably going to have to buy out Hobby Lobby in red berries. Then, I saw a grapevine wall basket and thought it would make a great door piece! I switched from my all berry idea to a more woodsy, Christmasy, wintry feel. Of course, berries would still be involved.
After finding the basket, I spotted the green pine pieces and knew they would be the focal point. I loved the contrast of the green with the brown, natural basket, but wanted some pops of color. And what better way than by, of course, adding berries? Anyone sensing a theme here? So, I gathered some red berries and then decided to go with gold berries to tie in with the initial from my fall wreath. I filled the bottom of the basket with natural colored moss to give more texture and hide the stems of the pieces. While I was piecing everything together in the basket, I wasn't sure if the piece would fit on the door. I thought it was going to be too wide! But, it ended up being the perfect width! And one twig piece of the basket had enough space and tension to hold the initial in perfect place. It was meant to be!
Back in the fall, I honestly thought that I would just pick the pieces and mom would fix everything together. But, together we were able to create a beautiful wreath and it made me even more excited to put together this winter piece myself. I love that my winter wreath isn't really a wreath at all. It's more of a statement piece. I absolutely love walking up to it everyday when I get home. I would love to create something smaller for my bedroom door. And of course, it will need berries.
Do you like to create wreaths or pieces for your door?
What are your favorite styles or ways to decorate wreaths for the winter?
Follow Me :)
"In a loud voice she [Elizabeth] exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!""
Today on this Sunday, may we rejoice and remember that we are favored by God.
He doesn't just visit us, but lives inside of us through his Holy Spirit and is always with us, our Emmanuel.
May we trust and believe in the promises the Lord has spoken to us, believing that what he has said he will do, he will do.
May we not just believe it in our minds, but in our hearts.
May we loudly exclaim for all to hear that the Lord has come and he is with us!
Go and find rest in your God.
Every other Friday, I'm going to be sharing snapshots that I have taken in and around Mobile. Not only do I want to share with you guys this place, but it will help me to get out and explore. I love the idea of "snapshots", because sometimes they are quick and can be hurried, but always capture a memory. My photos may not always be perfect or frame-worthy, but I hope you enjoy them. I hope you enjoy seeing little glimpses of Mobile and I hope this encourages you to get out, explore your town, and take advantage of all your place may offer. This is #SnapshotsOfMobile. Enjoy!
Some of my most favorite happy places are museums. I'm quite the nerd and love to learn. Another favorite happy place is any spot that is near the water or gives me a great view of the city. All three of those things are combined in a new museum here in Mobile. It's the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum and it is dedicated to all things marine related, particularly dealing with the Gulf Coast. The museum is located downtown, next to my favorite park, Cooper Riverside. It's shape even resembles a ship and when you enter in, you get to explore multiple decks of a replica container ship full of interactive displays. And on the top level? You can go outside for amazing views of the Mobile River and downtown Mobile. I can't wait to share more about this museum, it is truly incredible! For now, enjoy this snapshot of the lobby inside GulfQuest.
Where are your happy places? Do you enjoy going to museums?
Take a snapshot of your happy place and tag it with #PASnapshots! I would love to see it!
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Wishing | That I was going to Memphis this year as normal. My Dad is having surgery next week and his recovery time is over Christmas. So, for the first time since moving to Alabama, I won't be in Memphis with family and friends. I was pretty sad when I first learned the news and not seeing family will be hard, but we will be able to go within the new year. I'm more wishing now for a safe surgery and good recovery for Dad. I know Christmas will be just as wonderful just being my parents and I.
Remembering | That this is the month I turn 27! My golden year is soon to begin. I've been excited for this year to begin for some time, more so than other birthday years. I can't wait to see where the Lord takes me and what He has in store for this upcoming year.
Wrapping | I haven't begun to shop for any presents, much less wrap any yet! Although there is one gift laying under the tree that is for my niece. I have some good ideas for some gifts this year and I'm excited to get them and then wrap them of course! Wrapping is the fun part for me!
Baking | I haven't baked much lately, besides some biscuits and cornbread last month. The last time I baked a pie was for the fourth of July and I ended up not baking any for Thanksgiving. I would love to bake one for Christmas though! I'm thinking either Pecan or Cherry Pie! Which would you vote for?
Decorating | I really want to think of some cute, inexpensive ways to decorate my room and apartment for Christmas. I'm a fan of simple and classic decorations, so I may add some garland to my gallery wall or above my door in my bedroom. My roommate put up the Christmas tree a couple weeks ago, other than that our living room isn't much decorated. I also need to change up our door wreath. The great thing about our wreath is that the leaves and flowers are just stuck inside the wreath itself, making them easy to pull out. I'm thinking of just filling it with red berries for winter and leaving our gold "B." Suggestions?
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