Friday, September 28, 2012

my cup runneth over.

Well...I have been a bit negligent at documenting my last few days of TDOC, but to put your mind at ease, there have been cupcakes, random coffee drinks from Starbucks, and other various serendipitous moments that have allowed me to celebrate each and every day in some way. That being said, this is the last email post regarding TDOC, so you will have to just imagine that my last few days of this series will be celebrated with pizza, gelato, vino, and beauty.

I did, however, want to write a short note that is in reference to this post's title. My cup does, in fact, runneth over. I have been overwhelmed by the incarnate love of Christ as displayed through my dear friends, fousins, and family throughout the past couple of weeks. I honestly do not know if there has been a time when I have every felt so loved, both by them, and by my heavenly Father. Every note, every word, every effort, every plan, every token -- from the big and small, it has added up to make this the best birthday I have EVER had...and I technically haven't even had my birthday yet. Wowzers!

To everyone, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea what it has meant to me and how the Lord has used you to show me His infinite love.

So what do I expect as I look ahead?

Lots of candles to be blown out and treats to be eaten.

Impromptu cartwheels whenever the whim hits me.

Bubbles to celebrate anything and everything.

Family and friends to walk beside me.

And light to show me the way as I move forward on this journey.

Cheers to life in the arms of the Beloved and cheers to what lies ahead. Until we meet again, may the peace of Christ be with you.  CIAO!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TDOC: day 21-24

Whew, let me tell you, it has been a whirlwind of celebrations these past few days. After this weekend, I very much feel like I have had my birthday and could "call it a day" at this point. The crazy thing is, it has only just begun. I have only seen the tip of the iceberg, but gosh, I feel absolutely spoiled knowing it's not over.

(**Recently edited to add a TON of pictures taken by my fousin, Elisa.)

Day 21

I celebrated day 21 with the "fab four" which happens to be the last four members of my first community group. We took advantage of our flourishing downtown art scene and strolled around the Nasher. They actually have a pretty sweet setup on Friday nights with a band and movie outside on their lawn. However, we did not stay for the movie and merely took a quick perusal of the sculptures. I must say that nothing really spoke to me, but I suppose I just don't have the vision.

The weeping willows, however, definitely did speak to me. How great are these?

We also took a brief stroll through the Crow museum before heading to dinner at Cafe Izmir. We enjoyed Greek tapas, but I think the highlight was their hummus and pita which was dubbed "the best in Dallas." I don't know about that, but it was pretty tasty.

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
Philippians 2:3-4

Day 22

My 22nd day of celebration was a veritable bonanza, containing so much good and happiness, that I almost couldn't handle it. My dear fousin, Elisa, was in Texas for a visit, so Michelle and I took a little road trip to Waco to meet her for lunch. When she walked into the restaurant, it was apparent she brought the party with her. In one hand she was holding a giant bouquet of balloons and in the other, the most rockin' plate of custom cupcakes you have never seen. (No, that's not a typo. You literally have never seen anything like these.)

We enjoyed our lunch at the Olive Branch and also enjoyed a little side of Roma as I brought one of my maps for us to look at. Elisa generously pointed me towards the "best gelato place ever," so between that and the Vatican, I think we have it pretty much covered.

We shut the place down and proceeded to take our party outside. We enjoyed the beautiful weather and sat outside for a good 2+ hours. There was much laughter and overall celebration between the three of us. As if the cupcakes and balloons weren't enough, I was also gifted with flowers, lipgloss, nail polish, coffee (from Trianon!), cava, AND earrings and flats (also from China) I had pinned on Pinterest. Hello, much too generous. I was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and love that went into everything. I felt like the Lord was giving me a giant hug and His love was overflowing.

After ALL that, I got to blow out the candles on my cupcakes and we all shared in the deliciousness lovingly prepared by Elisa. (Not to worry that one of the decorations caught flame during the serenade, but we caught it before the whole thing went up in flames.)

Because Elisa has some serious photog skills, Michelle and I got to have a mini photo shoot right there in the middle of the Waco square. I absolutely love these pictures and couldn't help but sharing.

(*All photos above taken by Elisa*)

I cannot thank Elisa enough for each and every detail she put into my pre-birthday celebration. She went
ALL OUT and I was humbled by the love she showed me. The only thing missing was China (and Li, of course). Many thanks to her, as well, for the lovely earrings and shoes.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
Galatians 2:20

Day 23

My 23rd day was celebrated with my parents and sister. I spent the afternoon at my parent's house and my mom gave me a little early birthday gift. It was much needed makeup and very timely as I needed it for my trip. Many thanks to them for getting me exactly what I wanted! (No pics, but who needs another pic of me?)

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete."
Colossians 2:9-10

Day 24

I got to celebrate the 24th day of my birthday month with my favorite 5-year-old in the whole world: the one and only Haylee Grace. Since I will be out of the country on her 6th birthday, I wanted to do something special with her before I left.

So...we went to "one of her favorite places" which happens to be the mall. She got to pick out her dinner and this girl chose Sonic grilled cheese with fries and lemonade. Can't say I blame her as their grilled cheese used to be one of my dietary staples.

After dinner, we headed to Forever 21 where I told her she could pick out any necklace she wanted. You would have thought she had died and gone to heaven and we spent a good 20 minutes on our knees in front of the display. But she finally made a decision, so we made a beeline for the register to make our purchase post haste as she could not wait to put it on. (If you look in the last picture, you can get a good look at her choice which was a chain with a large crystal heart pendant.)

Since we were celebrating, we obviously had to get dessert and she had her pick of any cookie at the Great American Cookie Co. She chose the one covered in sprinkles (without any hesitation, I might add). After that, it was time for the grand finale which was her birthday present. Her Mimi and Paw-Paw went in with me to get her the costume from Brave. Suffice it to say, the gift was a hit.

I'm so glad I got to celebrate with my little Pearl and hate that I will miss her birthday, but I cherish the time we got to spend together.

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
2 Corinthians 5:21

Friday, September 21, 2012

TDOC: days 18-20

Happy Friday!  I feel like I was just writing that greeting in my last post.  Time is FLYING by so fast that I think before I turn around, it will be Christmas.  My mom always told me that life goes by much quicker with each passing year.  Man was she right.  Can I get an amen?

TDOC this week has been a series a small celebrations.  I have found myself extremely busy, but I have still tried to find small ways to celebrate each day.

Day 18

The celebration for day 18 pretty much happened by accident.  I hadn't given it much thought all day and in the midst of doing some cleaning that night, I decided I was going to take advantage of the "yoga room" in my house.  I started by using some weights and doing some lunges and what not...and then, I thought - why not do something that is actually fun? 

So...I cranked up the ipod, dug out my ballet shoes in my closet, and went to town.  I was doing leaps, chaînés, chassés, arabesques, and pas de bourrée-ing like there was no tomorrow.  I am sure I was quite the sight for sore eyes, but luckily, I was home alone so all inhibitions were thrown to the wind.

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness."
Psalm 30:11

Day 19

Like I warned in a previous post, day 19 was a bit of a repeat.  I celebrated with a donut.  I know it's definitely not original and probably to most, wouldn't be considered much of a celebration (especially since it wasn't my favorite variety which happens to be a tie for blueberry cake and case you were interested).  However, I treated it as a celebration, so that's all that matters.

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24

Day 20

In honor of the 20th day of my birthday month, I wore a high sock bun and red lipstick.  If I'm honest, the sock bun doesn't really count because I am rockin' those things like nobody's business; however, the red lipstick to work was definitely an anamoly and felt tres celebratory.  No photo proof on this one because I didn't want to be my own personal paparazzi, but I'm sure you can picture it.

But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:54-55

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

thankful thursdays.

Happy Thursday to you all, dear readers, and welcome to another edition of "thankful Thursdays." You might have noticed that I failed to post last week, but rest assured, this should not be an indication that I didn't have anything to be thankful for. No, there was much to be thankful for last week and the same goes for this week.

However, rather than listing a tangible grace for which I give thanks, I am going broad on you. This week, I am thankful for this exact moment and this exact place in my life--knowing that it is all gift and that every breath is because God is willing it. I am grateful for the struggles, the things that have gone wrong, the mundane details, the moments of grace, the prayers answered.

I believe the following quote sums up the prayer of my heart and I hope it speaks to you as well.

What are you grateful for this week? Please share.