our full life: week seventeen

This is week seventeen. One I will never forget. It started like any other…quite enjoyable, in fact. However, it ended with suffering. Suffering that I wish I could just hit rewind on. Suffering that causes me to lean on God deeply in desperation. I will share more on that at the end of the post.

prom.jpg Prom? Bret and I spotted this public display and reminisced on High School days.

date night sunset.jpgThis is what God meant when he said that creation speaks of His glory.

editing.jpg Editing. Remembering Easter.

coffee and a cutie.jpg Bret’s off Fridays are my favorite. He suggested we use our giftcard to Vinaka. Yes!

the privateer .jpgChecking out a new dinner place: The Privateer. Coal Fired Pizza and other delicious eats.

duarte dinner.jpg Stamped concrete, surfing art, good food, and even better friends.

staff bowling.jpg Staff bowling night. Blessed to be on such an incredible team.

youth breakfast.jpgJr. High Breakfast Bible Study. Studied Colossians and ate to our hearts content.

katherine's day.jpgRemember the beginning of my post when I mentioned suffering? I would love if you took a few moments to read where our hearts have been lately.

This last weekend was heart breaking. Our pastors’ beautiful and kind hearted daughter (one of the students in our Jr. High group) was faced with life changing news. What was thought to be a sinus infection turned out to be much different. After a CAT scan on Friday, neuro doctors informed the family that their daughter has a mass at the bottom right side of her brain (middle cranium fossa) that would need to be removed. This news was absolutely crushing and came the day before Katherine’s 14th Birthday.

While there was still a lot of questions to be answered and things to pray for (the mass to disappear, the doctors to be strong and capable, the surgery to go smoothly, the mass to be removed and not cancerous, life preserved in good quality, God glorified, and more), Katherine’s amazing parents still wanted her birthday to be special. SO, we made that happen! Katherine had her 14th Birthday in the hospital with some of her closest girlfriends. We decorated a waiting room, ate pizza, spent time with her, sang Happy Birthday, and spent time praying for her. She was tired and we could feel the sadness weighing on everyone, but ultimately God was present and Katherine was so blessed by the time we all spent together.

This was something her dad emailed us about where Katherine was at mentally with this heart breaking circumstance: “Katherine loves to play soccer and surf. She has always looked up to Bethany Hamilton. We watched Soul Surfer again last night before the surgery. She told her mom yesterday that perhaps God can use this situation to bring Him glory like He did with Bethany. I told her that God is already doing that!” What a blessing.

It has been so comforting to know that thousands of God’s people from around the world are desperately praying for this beloved family. We have been praying constantly and our hearts long for relief. If you would like to pray for this family, please do! Katherine had her surgery today and things went very well and she was sustained by the Lord. The Doctors removed what they could of the tumor and are waiting for more results. Here are some of the prayer requests:

  • That the doctors got all of the tumor out
  • That the remaining pain in her face/head will go away permanently
  • Speedy recovery
  • No cancer found in the removed mass
  • No infections or complications
  • long and full life ahead for this beautiful girl

This has been a heartbreaking and discouraging time. Deeply felt grieving, weeping, and aching. Even still, my pastor and his family are giving thanks to God for his grace and provision. They continue to worship the God who is always present. They hope people will see His glory through this.

If you have faced suffering in your own life, I am truly sorry. Your suffering is not something I or anything in this world can fix. Please hear this message on God in the Midst of Suffering and see that there really truly is hope and rescue.

xo sarah

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our full life: week sixteen

This was week sixteen of twenty-fourteen.

It was Holy Week on the Christian Calendar (the week leading up to Easter). During Holy Week we remember the most important week of the most important person who ever lived: Jesus Christ. Take a moment to reflect on this short quote:

“There was never any love like the dying love of Jesus. It is tender and sweet. It serves. It loves even unto death. Jesus had nothing to gain from us by loving us. There was nothing in us to draw us to him. But he loved us still, while we were yet sinners. At the Last Supper, in the garden, at his betrayal, facing the Jewish leaders, before Pontius Pilate, being scourged, carrying his cross, being nailed to the wood, breathing his dying breath, forsaken by God – he loved us.

To the end.

To death.

Love shone best and brightest at Calvary.” – Kevin DeYoung

easter greetings.jpgMaking Robin’s Egg Nests for neighbors with a friend.

luannas house.jpgAMEN! This was written by my sweet friend Luanna. It beautifully hangs in her dining room where she feeds and cares for her family.

fence walking.jpgWalking by fences and capturing the shadows.

home to me.jpgThis is home to me.

sunburst.jpgSunburst!

nordstrom date.jpgAn afternoon date with the man of my heart. Honey almond latte….say what!?

sunrise service 14.jpgHAPPY EASTER! IT IS FINISHED! HE IS ALIVE!

Here is Bret leading music with an amazing team at our Easter Sunrise Service at The Flower Fields. What a joy it was to sing praise to the King of love!

family easter day 14.jpgMarrying Bret was the beginning of all kinds of joy that I had never experienced. One of those joys was becoming a part of this incredible, beautiful, and loving family. Yet another example of God’s amazing grace that I do not deserve. Also…I love my brothers’ face in this one!!!

easter dinner 14.jpgEaster dinner at 8pm (after a LONG nap): turkey vegetable soup & buttermilk biscuits.

HAPPY EASTER everyone!

xo sarah

 

this abundant list

TAL easter 14.jpg

  1. The first on my list of links: a video about this incredible day, Good Friday.
  2. Easter comfort food with significance!
  3. Rice krispy eggs sound like a perfect treat for family and friends.
  4. What a fun challenge to draw on a regular basis and have fun!
  5. A new (to me) blog that I am excited to start reading.
  6. Two more reasons I love John Piper: one & two.
  7. Such adorable shoes that I wish I could order in time for Easter Sunday.
  8. Speaking of adorable…the paws!
  9. I just realized what Maundry Thursday was!
  10. These might be the perfect snack for this weekend.
  11. Wow. Inspiration and honor communicated through disability.
  12. A raw and convicting live album recording from a special Good Friday service.

Happy Easter Weekend to you all, friends!

xo sarah

gospel wednesday

GW

{Sorry to everyone who is getting this post in their email subscription twice this week…I hit publish too early last night before I finished writing the post. Thanks for reading!}

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop working/meeting with my team. We were finishing up lunch and were about to discuss Jr. High Ministry, finalize some plans for our Mexico trip, and get stuff DONE. God, however, had something else planned for us.

A man sitting nearby scooted himself next to our table and asked if we had a moment to talk. He wanted to discuss a philosophy book he was reading for a class he was enrolled in. We said sure and he began.

His question had to do with the understanding of knowledge, but in terms of capacity. He was curious to know if we thought that people should attempt to understand things that are beyond their brain’s capacity of knowledge. For example, “Should a table try to understand a human being if it does not have the ability?” or “Should we, as human beings, try to know their own soul and their Creator if it is outside our ability or capacity to understand?”

He said from the start that he did not want to bring religion in to the discussion, but we let him know that we were okay with talking about God. We let him know that we were Christians, went to local churches, and were honored to discuss our faith.

The next three hours were spent going back and forth in conversation with this man and bringing the truth to his ears and heart. He was of the Bahai faith, so his views on God were very different than ours (me, my director, and my boss). We listened to his views, he listened to ours, and overall the discussion was really rich and a true blessing to me.

I was very aware of how present the Lord was, there with us; that He had gone before us and He was working through us to speak truth, grace, and the Gospel so clearly. It was really amazing to see God using all three of us in very different, but very specific, ways. It was a tangible example of the body of Christ for me.

In all that we discussed, I was most affected by this man’s views on sin. He said that his god would not give him anything that he could not overcome. This sounds good in theory but, in all reality, it’s not entirely possible. I was glad that I could encourage him with my own experience. I disagreed with him because, I told him, there is something in my life that I could never and can never overcome on my own. There is something in my life that tempts me day in and day out. There is something in my life that no matter how hard I try, I, in my own power, just can’t overcome. That “something” is my sin.

Then I got to share with him Who can and did overcome sin: Jesus! I was hoping he understood how amazing the grace of God is and that Jesus accomplished what we never could. I also asked him if I could read him a portion of the Bible. He agreed and I read him the beginning of Ephesians 2:

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Our conversation was challenging, exciting, and helpful. It was challenging because I wanted to see this man come to faith in Jesus and have an eternal relationship with the God of love. It was exciting because I have prayed that God would bring people into my life that I can share the Gospel with, and He did! It was helpful for two reasons: first, because I was able to see where I have room to grow in my knowledge of Scripture to better communicate the Gospel and, second, because I was able to see this man’s perspective and pray for his heart to be turned toward Christ.

Now I hope to meet with him again, talk more about God, and see how I can be praying for him. God is good!

Thank you for reading!

xo sarah

our full life: week fifteen

This life is abundantly full of God’s grace.

While this week had tears, conflict, and stress…it also had laughs, rest, and beautiful people. I can truly see the goodness of my Savior and His amazing grace in this life. I hope you enjoy week 15!

iced latte for here.jpgIced latte for here…at home, that is! I add some honey while the espresso is hot and then pour whole milk over ice.

going greek.jpgGoing greek. That jar has some pretty killer salad dressing!

lofty coffee april.jpgLofty Coffee work meeting.

thursday singing.jpgSinging hymns at home.

essential oil rubs.jpgI made my friend some essential oil coconut rubs. They smell amazing!

sister & hazel.jpgMy beautiful sister and baby Hazel at her baby shower. ❤

korean meal 2.jpgFirst time eating Korean food. Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to go back.

korean meal.jpgLots of carbs & veggies!

april birthday cake.jpgChocolate cake with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. Thanks for the perfect recipe Shutterbean!

jocelyns 26th.jpgThe beautiful birthday girl! ❤

the snows.jpgSome of my favorites: The Snows.

bret & gigi playing.jpgMy husband is going to make a really great father one day. Here he is playing with our buddy Gigi.

May the peace and grace of God be with you in the week to come!

xo sarah

this abundant list

tal april 14.jpg

 

  1. This week I made a Greek salad. All inspiration came from Joy.
  2. LISTEN to this!!!
  3. Most of my time is spent working with youth and this article was such an encouragement! I can’t wait to share the beautiful products and the vision with parents I know.
  4. If you like dessert (who doesn’t?) then this short video will excite your senses!
  5. I love roasted veggies and this recipe looks interesting and tasty.
  6. 50 ways to love life! I liked so many of them…but number 16, 20, and 50 sound just right to me.
  7. Quite possibly the best sermon I have EVER heard. Preach it Piper!
  8. Amazing story. Brought tears to my eyes to see her sweet and beautiful face.
  9. Whoa, baby! I gotta make a roasted potato salad.
  10. How COOL is this candy making video?

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

What have been some of your favorite links this week?

xo sarah

gospel wednesday

GW

Sometimes I do not know exactly what to write or how to communicate the Gospel in a different way each week. For example, I have a post all prepared in my mind for next week…but I am still struggling with actually writing it out. Sigh.

While the writing part is sometimes difficult, the heart for it is there. That is God’s grace! I have a passion for sharing the Gospel purely because God gave me that passion. He wants me to tell everyone about the best news in the world! I am truly blessed to be able to do so.

This following prayer comes from a book called Valley of Vision. I have posted from it before because it is one of my all-time favorites. I wanted to share this particular prayer with you all today to show how desperate we are for Christ’s freedom, redemption, and salvation. I bolded certain parts of the prayer that are specifically speaking to my heart and I hope it encourages you! Please take time to enjoy this beautiful prayer.

THE GOSPEL WAY

Blessed Lord Jesus,

No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.

Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message,

lived out on earth through infinite compassion,

applying thy life to insult, injury, death,

that I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.

Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way,

Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God, for opening this way,

Praise everlasting to thee, O Holy Spirit,

for applying this way to my heart.

Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel on my soul,

until its virtue diffuses every faculty;

Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.

Teach me to secure this mighty blessing;

Help me to give up every darling lust,

to submit heart and life to its command,

to have it in my will,

controlling my affections,

moulding my understanding;

to adhere strictly to the rules of true religion,

not departing from them in any instance,

nor for any advantage in order to escape evil,

inconvenience or danger.

Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy;

Strip me of every pleasing pretense of righteousness by my own doings.

O gracious Redeemer,

I have neglected thee too long,

often crucified thee,

crucified thee afresh by my impenitence,

put there to open shame.

I thank thee for the patience that has been borne with me so long,

and for the grace that now make me willing to be thine.

O unite thee to thyself with inseparable bonds,

that nothing may ever draw me back from thee, my Lord, my Saviour.

A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

Can I be praying for any of you? We have a gracious God who listens and deeply cares!

xo sarah

our full life: week fourteen

Hello again, friends!

Week fourteen surprised me with an unexpected meeting (check back next week for more on that) and some much needed relaxation. It was also a crazy week at work, but overall God showed me more and more about how to trust Him.

And we’re off!

aftermath.jpgThe aftermath of Bret’s birthday dinner. He wanted Sriracha chicken, rice, edamame, and cheesecake. His is the most refined of palates. And, yes, I waited until later to do the dishes.

hiding harps.jpgA work meeting at Peets and a cute little hiding Harper.

blue moon with bethany.jpgHad a Blue Moon for the first time with my friend Bethany. Thank you and YUM!

naptime lighting.jpgPretty light and shadows on our bedroom wall.

making time to read.jpgI’m trying to make more time to read. I really love it! I just get so tempted to watch TV instead. Hard habit to break.

iced tea movie night.jpgEnjoying a nice night at home with some iced tea and a girly movie (One Day).

dominion game.jpgBret and I started playing this game together called Dominion. Totally dorky, but totally fun! Especially because I beat him every time.

kettle coffee trip.jpgA Saturday morning vanilla bean latte at Kettle Coffee & Tea.

kettle coffee trip 2.jpgBret has a good eye for photographs. I love holding my drink without a sleeve to warm my, almost always, cold hands.

Until next week! Thank you so much for reading. ❤

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Philemon 1:25)

xo sarah

our full life: week thirteen

I’m three days late….

for posting my thirteenth week! Here we go again.

salad lunch break.jpgDesk lunch: arugula, wild rice, roasted sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, chicken apple sausage, and lemon garlic vinaigrette.

best day sunset.jpgI threw my hubby a surprise party last Friday. This was the view that night.

surprise drinks.jpgSurprise party drinks.

smores brownies.jpgS’mores brownies! My secret: just triple everything.

surprise party plaid.jpgThere was no plaid requirement – just a funny coincidence. Also…look at the guy in the middle! My baby LOVED his surprise party!

surprise snacks.jpgMost of Bret’s favorite snacks: wasabi peas, Doritos, popcorn, and pretzel m&m’s.

little lovely.jpgCHEESE!!! ❤

surprise bestie.jpgMy bestest girl and me having such a blast.

cg beach lunchSaturdays are for picnics by the water with friends.

sub zero.jpgSUB-ZERO.

lu snuggles.jpgWatching Caillou and snuggling.

lu bathtime.jpgWhatchya doing pretty girl?

tsh date.jpgI met Tsh Oxenrider from The Art of Simple. She inspired me to read and write more as we discussed her new book: Notes From a Blue Bike.

nicole & me.jpgMy friend Nicole is something special. I love getting to spend time with her.

rear view view.jpgRear view view.

bday boy.jpgThis guy. I don’t deserve him and I am honored to share life with such an amazing man. Happy 28th Birthday to my one and only true love.

homemade cheesecake.jpgLastly, I made him the most incredible cheesecake. Thank you Stephanie Day for your perfect family recipe. And thank you for telling me my layers were fabulous.

Enjoy the week ahead friends!

xo sarah