Monday, April 1, 2013

Guess who's back....

So I realize it has been quite some time since I have even looked at this blog, let alone posted on it (over a year to be exact).... but I am back. For some reason, I have ended up here tonight after so long, and I am not really sure how.

Lately I have been feeling a little lot drained. I have been drained from the amount of schoolwork I have had this semester, the conflict between wanting school to end and not being ready to part from friends/college life for good, the anticipation for a new season of life, and the lack of time spent with my Savior. Today I have realized how much these things are affecting me and how earnestly I have tried to fix/endure them by myself. Instead of running to the Lord, I have been running from him. I have come up with a million excuses and have allowed my busy schedule to run me down and bring self-pity. And I am exhausted.

On this Easter Sunday, I have realized who I have been relying on and why it is getting me nowhere. When I rely on myself, it only brings exhaustion and defeat. But praise God for his grace that never runs out and can never be defeated. Today I am reminded that God gave his son as a sacrifice for me and that I am not my own. Jesus died for me because of his grace and not because of anything I did or will ever do. In this grace, I can rest. Even when I am drained by the troubles of this world, I can find rest and peace in him.

I think the reason I ended up here again tonight is because it is a place where I feel as if I can speak what is on my heart. For me, that is not always an easy thing to do, but for some reason, writing on this blog always helped me to do that. With that being said, my second to last semester of college has proven to be extremely time consuming, so I probably will not be here as much as I'd like, but it does feel good to be back.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Break :)

Sorry for my absence in the blog world. I can't tell you how badly I have wanted to have time to sit down and write here so many times, but this semester has proved to be extremely busy. Along with being busy, it seems that I have gotten to be very selfish with my time (not that I haven't always been)... but it's become worse lately. It's hard for me to make myself sit down and do the things that I need to be doing. This especially has been the case with being in the Word... I've always struggled with consistently spending time with Him and can so clearly see the strain that has on our relationship. So that is something I have been trying to improve on... not to rid myself of guilt or because it is a burden but because I know that He will use it for my benefit.
Pinned Image

But I am glad to be back, finallyyyy. I feel like things have changed in quite a few ways since my last post.. For one, my sweet Meg and Jack have grown and changed even more. I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holidays, and can't wait to be with them the rest of the week. Seriously, what a treat they are. If only they knew how much joy they bring to our family...

I am also still loving my wonderful roommates -- we recently celebrated the engagement of Lia a couple of weeks ago while we are also not looking forward to her leaving us in December. But on the bright side, she will be going to work at Disney World in January as someone pretty awesome...... Belle! So so excited for her but sad to have her leave. Ak, Louise and I are planning to go visit for Spring Break though so that is definitely something I'm already looking forward to :)

One thing the Lord has really been showing me this semester is my desperate need for gratitude. Not just for the big, obvious things I have right in front of me but also for the smallest things I overlook everyday. I'm currently reading the book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and it has been such an eye-opener for me. She writes about living a life of thanksgiving and how doing just that allowed her to truly see God. I have been so encouraged by it and truly desire this type of change in my heart. Along with this need for a more grateful life, He has also shown me that while I claim to know of His grace firsthand (which I believe I do), I do not always live as though that's the case. I am so thankful for the grace He has granted in forgetting my past and still my everyday sin but so often I get stuck in the past and allow it to hinder my growth and freedom in his acceptance. He has made us free and forgiven for a purpose, and I need to embrace that. His acceptance is all I need after all.

From One Thousand Gifts :

"To learn how to be grateful and happy, whether hands full or hands empty. That is a secret worth spending a life on learning."

"All beauty is only reflection. And whether I am conscious of it or not, any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down."

"To fully live -- to live full of grace and joy and all that is beauty eternal. It is possible, wildly."

That is all for the night. Hope to have encouraged you in some way :)


Friday, September 2, 2011

Big sister and "her" baby
Jack McCall Jones :)

Currently dying to see those little ones above (especially Jack since I haven't seen him since his arrival into the world). I'm scared to miss their sweet growth since they're several hours away. It really is crazy how much they grow and mature in the short time you're away from them. Oh man, they're precious.

Speaking of kids, I am finally starting to get into more education classes, and I am loving them. I am so thankful that through one class specifically the Lord has given me such assurance of my future as a teacher. I am realizing more and more the importance of this career and the way He can use me to touch people's lives, especially children, and love on them through His unending love for me. I am also getting to go to an elementary school once a week for the semester, and even after the first week, I know it's going to be rewarding. Exciting happenings, folks!

Can we talk about the fact that it is September?! August flewww by but I can't say I'm all that sad about it. August is a busy, transitional, awkward month filled with new routines and schedules to get accustomed to. Not to mention you melt when you walk outside (unfortunately this sticks around for too long in Starkville). September brings football (#hailstate), Labor Day and no school, settling into a routine, and a slow movement into Fall (my favorite season). Oh the fun to come...

By the way... have I mentioned my new roommates? I must say I am one lucky girl when it comes to this topic. First of all, I have been blessed throughout college with incredible roommates and friendships. Seriously, they have gotten me through some rough patches and embraced the best with me. And this current set of roommates does not disappoint. Living with Lia, Louise, and AK has already been a wonderful experience. Partly because our house is perfect but mostly because they are phenomenal. I am so encouraged by them everyday and have already laughed enough to hurt several times (shocked, I'm sure). But they really are such amazing women of the Lord, and I feel so grateful to have them as friends and now roomies. They will probably never know how much I love and look up to them, but I will surely try to show them.

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

Much love to all. Hope to write again soon :)

anna j

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home again, home again...

Being back in Starkville has already been so great. Reuniting with lots of friends and anxiously waiting to see the rest is always rewarding. My summer in Nashville was such a blessing and I have missed being with my sweet sister and her family. The lord showed me how richly he has provided for my family and I and allowed me to learn even more about who I am through his redemption. He is so good! I am currently back in Nashville welcoming my family's newest addition into the world.. Jack McCall Jones. He is a handsome one I must say. Will have pictures soon! It has definitely been interesting to see how my niece, Meg, has reacted to her new brother, and right now, she is quite obsessed with him. Obsessed and possessive... her baby seems to need her at all times, so she wants to be the only one holding him... we'll see how long this lasts. But Jack and Lori are both doing great and are healthy. They get to come home tomorrow! He is just the sweetest little thing in the world :)

Tomorrow I will return to Starkville and on Monday we have Bid Day and new little Delta Gammas so that will be exciting! And then we start school on Wednesday. I can't believe that! I am unprepared with no books or supplies so I'd better get on that. It is still unreal how quickly this summer passed by. I wish we could have another month or so just to play... or go to the beach, which I've been dying to do, but that's just not reality.

On another note, lately I have felt a lack of confidence and importance in myself. I don't really know why, but it has been bothering me. I have just felt like a disappointment and been down about who I am. I know we all go through these times for whatever reason, but it is tough to deal with. For me it is so easy to get caught up in this world and who I am in this place. I tend to focus so much on other people and what they may be thinking of something I've done or didn't do correctly. I'll admit it, I'm a complete people pleaser. I like to make people happy and give them their way with no conflicts regardless of if it's the best thing for me. So often I deceive myself into thinking that this is okay and that I'm focusing on other's feelings when in reality I am looking out for myself and avoiding being uncomfortable at all costs. That is such a dangerous way to live and not a life of loving others. But as I have been thinking about this time of struggle for confidence, I am realizing that my confidence comes from the Lord, and this is not where I have been looking. Instead of digging deeply into who I am through Him, I have looked outwardly, comparing myself to the amazing people around me, where of course I will feel disappointment. If I rely on the importance I feel in the world, I will get nowhere, but if I realize my importance to God, how can I not have confidence? He chose me to love and to die for and to USE. Whether I always understand my importance or not, the Lord is going to use me for His glory. Now surely I can go and live confidently in that!

Thanks for letting me spill my guts... Be back soon!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

I have a longer post half typed and ready to be completed, but I just haven't been in the mood to finish it. So for today, rather than ramble to you like usual, I will just do a quick one.

Two days ago I returned home from Nashville and have already been to Starkville then Jackson then back to Starkville and now to Tupelo again.. just call me a world traveler. I saw friends I haven't seen all summer, and it was even better than I imagined. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder :)

I already miss this yellow-haired girl.

Eager to see my sweet nephew in a month and in this attire.

Excited to find out about this today...

Free Drew and Ellie/Brett Dennen concert in my favorite city during my favorite season? I'll take it.

Currently into creating my own cards (bday, thank you, etc) via stamps, brainstorming creative gift wrapping techniques and gifts to put in them, contemplating new crafts - like distressed frames for my wall, and thinking about cleaning out old clothes/junk taking over my room

Also working on my cooking skills......

And finally, I'm searching for a Vespa scooter or anything similar and researching about having one/convincing my parents of my need.... so if any of you have ANY advice on any of the above, please help a girl out :)

That's all for today! Hope everyone is well :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nashville love

As you may notice, I changed up the looks of things around here once again. It's always refreshing to do a little rearranging even though I usually get really frustrated because it doesn't always work out how I would like.. but I'm still alive and well, no damage done. Before I begin rambling, I'll give you a few more pictures from the weekend because I just can't resist..

 <<< Spent my Saturday night 
      with this sweet guy, Earl

                                         And his pup, Dora, who snuggled with me after bedtime >>>

Then yesterday, we made art...

 (complete with a mustache and all.. love this picture)

That's all the pictures for now. There will be plenty more to come from the vacation in the near future, so have no fear! But like I said, I am having a wonderful time in Nashville again this summer and as last summer, am learning so much. During my stay, I get to attend Lori and George's church, Midtown Fellowship, and am always richly blessed by it. Unfortunately, like many others, I have had a difficult time finding a church home in Starkville since I've been at State, and it gets a little frustrating. But I always look forward to my Nashville trips and going to Midtown.

So anyways... this summer I have heard a couple of sermons that have truly stuck with me. The most recent was yesterday when Randy discussed giving glory to God and our freedom. The passage he spoke about was 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1, and he discussed the command to do everything for the glory of God. Through this he reminded us that God IS glorious and doesn't need us to add to his glory. He is totally and completely satisfied in Himself, and we give him glory by proclaiming HIS glory. So often I think we can get caught up in what we are to do and how we are to live and not to live, but it's not about us! We must take the focus off of ourselves and focus on the Lord and be satisfied in His glory rather than living as if we are working, working, working to make Him happier - because we aren't! Randy also talked about our freedom as Christians. We are free from sin and free to do as we please.. but we must be certain not to cause others to stumble. Even though we are free from sin, those around us may not be and we should not cross the line for THEIR sake. This takes the focus off of ourselves and places it on others - which is what the Lord asks of us. How much farther this takes us from sin when we begin to love people as ourselves! It is always so refreshing to understand things in a new light. Hopefully you understood the way I was able to... sorry for my lack of writing skills.. I tend to get a little scatter-brained.

But I hope that you all have a wonderful and fun week!

"Glory to God is finding our deepest satisfaction in Him..."

anna j

Saturday, June 25, 2011

time flies...

I am amazed that it is already the end of June. WHERE has the summer gone? As you know, I have done terribly keeping up with the blog along with many other things. My summer has been wonderful here in Nashville. Very much relaxed with lots of golf tournaments and more in between, but the time has flown by. You know what they say... time flies when you're having fun, or on any break from school...

I guess I will do a picture update to inform you about a little of my summer..

Hanging out

Loving on Ripley (who no longer looks like this due to a buzz cut)
AK came to visit and we attended the grand re-opening of Franklin Theatre.. found the Ghostbusters while we were there!
We also went to Musician's Corner...

Just a shopping in Whole Foods
Playing, playing, playing
We played beauty salon...
...and french braided
Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg

So that's just a small glimpse of my summer so far. Can't complain! Next week we are taking a family vacation to Gatlinburg, which should be fun. We'll be there for July 4th so that will be interesting. Imagining a whole lot of patriotism :) I'll be sure to capture some photos. All of the above pictures are actually from my iPhone and most are doctored up by Instagram (a fabulous picture app!), which is pretty impressive, in my opinion. But that is a quick post for now.. more to come, hopefully sooner than later!

anna j