our full life: july & august

Welcome to the last two months! Holidays, birthdays, beach bashes, family, community, and work celebrations…big months! I will be posting again this week about some other news from August, but until then – Enjoy these little snapshots. This is our (VERY) full life.

j1 Our annual Red, White, & Brunch party went off without a hitch!

j2 Four girls in red, white, & blue…and a photobomber!

j3 A Wednesday latte, crumble, and good read before dinner.

j4 We went to Disneyland with our family this July. So many good memories made!

j5 Jr. High photo scavenger hunt in The Village. This was worth a lot of points so they had to strike a pose and flex.

j6 Just a normal day at Moonlight…just kidding! The Switchfoot Bro-Am brought out crazy amounts of people. It was a good day.

j8 Bro-can at the Bro-Am.

j7 Sun, surf, and clear horizons. :sigh:

j9
All kinds of FUN-FETTI up in this birthday party.

j10 Sweetly reading together about spiders.

j11
Summer salad: romaine, blueberries, cucumbers, tomato, and goat cheese with a homamde creamy herb dressing.

j12 This cutie was in trouble. He was having silent time and looking quite adorable to me.

j13 Friend time at Tower 30 Beach Night!

j14 Breakfast is served on a late Saturday morning.

j15 Enjoying a staff dinner at Bagby’s in Oceanside. Good friends, food, and drink for the win.

j16 Gelato with the Fandeys. We were all trying to decide which is better – this place in The Village or the little Florida shop we go to every other year.

j17 My cute date at golden hour. Let me tell you…this is guy is so good to me.

j18 Youth Summer Camp never looked better.

j19 My watermelon fell apart into this heart! The kids were so amused. ❤

j20S’mores and chats and waves crashing in the background. Summer at its finest.

a4 Succulent love.

Childrens Hunger Fund 2015 - bPacked some huge pallets full of food for the hungry in our San Diego neighborhoods with my coworkers. Great day and a great cause!

a1 Enjoying a margarita and waiting for all our Family Fun Friday guests to arrive and events commence. :deep breath and exhale:

a10 Looking fancy dancy at Agave Del Mar for the annual work dinner.

PCO FFF 15-48-b
Splashing around in the Carlsbad Lagoon at PCO’s Family Fun Friday. It took ALOT of planning to pull this day together, but it was SO fun and one I won’t forget! (photo by R.Helms)

PCO FFF 15-96-bPCO volleyball! Again, SO fun! (photo by R.Helms)

a2Much needed relaxation after a crazy couple of days.

a3Better Buzz coffee drinks on a lazy Sunday. I got a honeybee latte…YUM.

a5Finishing up Bread & Wine at Pannikin in Encinitas. If you are looking for a good iced tea, the sport tea there is my favorite.

a6I had four drinks at my desk…I’m blaming it on the heat.

a7I had four drinks at my desk…I’m blaming it on the heat.

a8 Little cutie Lucy! She is so funny! I have missed her so much and her and her family is visiting from Alabama this week. Trying to soak it up where I can.

HEY – Let’s start this full month of September right! My recommendation: 100 days with Jesus. It leads up to Chirstmas time! Let’s do this together and be encouraged. Sign-Up HERE.

Until next month for more fun photos!

xo sarah

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gospel wednesday

GW

Dear friends,

I have been meditating on and discussing death this week. It may sound a bit morbid to be thinking about death, but it really is something we all have and/or will experience in some way or at some time. Jesus wept over this matter and also spoke with great urgency. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:23). Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He desires to save all that would believe for eternal life with HIM!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18 ESV)

And all who believe will be able to enjoy Jesus for all of eternity in Heaven. What an inconceivable joy! Reading the poem below was such an encouragement for me (from The Valley of Vision). Keeping my eyes heavenward is such a reminder to share the gospel in word, deed, and action.

Earth and Heaven

O Lord, 

I live here as a fish in a vessel of water, only enough to keep me alive, 

but in heaven I shall swim in the ocean.

Here I have a little air in me to keep me breathing, 

but there I shall have sweet and fresh gales;

Here I have a beam of sun to lighten my darkness, a warm ray to keep me from freezing;

yonder I shall live in light and warmth for ever.

My natural desires are corrupt and misguided,

and it is thy mercy to destroy them;

My spiritual longings are of thy planting, and thou wilt water and increase them;

Quicken my hunger and thirst after the realm above.

Here I can have the world, there I shall have thee in Christ;

Here is a life of longing and prayer,

there is assurance without suspicion, asking without refusal;

Here are gross comforts, more burden than benefit,

there is joy without sorrow, comfort without suffering,

love without inconsistency, rest without weariness.

Give me to know that heaven is all love, where the eye affects the heart,

and the continual viewing of thy beauty keeps the soul in continual transports of delight.

Give me to know that heaven is all peace, where error, pride, rebellion, passion raise no head.

Give me to know that heaven is all joy, the end of believing, fasting, praying, mourning, humbling, watching, fearing, repining; 

And lead me to it soon.

Have you ever thought about eternity? Have you found hope in the good news of Jesus Christ? I would truly love to hear your story.

xo sarah

this abundant year

One year ago, today, I published my very first blog post.

I didn’t know what to expect. I loved reading blogs, but I never thought I would be the one writing one. I was really excited, and I knew it would be fun to try something new.

Before my first blog post, I wrote on a small piece of paper the reasons for wanting to start writing and I took a photo of it:

2012-04-19_1334859762

Basically the paper outlined my priorities and values in my life: Jesus, the gospel, living life abundantly, my husband, my role as a wife, taking care of and pouring into my home, and being inspired by Gods design for biblical womanhood. My about page says more.

I think I have accomplished my goals for what I originally set out to do here, but it was not all by myself. I did have a clear vision and some specific goals to accomplish, but definitely needed help making it all happen!

I am so grateful to my friend Nicole of Gidget Goes Home and a contributor on Simple Mom. She helped me set up my WordPress account, showed me some photo editing websites, and helped me with getting a Gravatar. She is such a sweet friend and a true sister in Christ. I really couldn’t have done it without her! I also couldn’t have done it without my husband. I had not written much since college and was a little rusty…slash…very rusty! He is such a word guy and he truly helped me with editing my grammar, sentence structure, and flow. Thanks husband!

I hope you all have enjoyed reading and seeing this blog grow. I have!

A little side story…I really wanted to reach 100 followers before my one year anniversary of starting this blog, and I did! A couple of days ago, I reached 100 and that’s all thanks to God and you readers! I was so excited to get that notification and I hope to reach more and more people each day, week, month and year! God is so good and I feel so blessed to be able to do this.

Check out some of my most visited and favorite posts:

Happy one year anniversary to This Abundant Life!

Thanks for reading everyone! Love you!

xo sarah

a few of my favorite things

Here are a few of my favorite things (in no specific order). Hope they make you smile and inspire you to enjoy this abundant life you have been given!

cardigans, my kitchenaid, fresh herbs, sleeping in, good books, church, fresh flowers,   real butter, tea, doughnuts, praying, chocolate, beach days, husband, pinterest, singing, Jesus, The Bible, magazines, being silly, veggies, board games, chapstick, peonies, candles, friends, diamonds, citrus, kissing, vanilla coke, hawaii, tv, rain & thunder, sushi, Instagram, cleaning, chick flicks, long walks, babies, popsicles, black skinny jeans, freckles, list making, crafting, margaritas, blogging, Trader Joes, coffee, honey…

What are your favorite things? I would really love to hear them! 🙂

xo sarah

my abundant list

Below is a list that describes why I believe my life is truly abundant:

1. My Lord, Jesus – He is God and my salvation. My hope and my King. He carries my burdens and gives me my joy through His undeserved grace! Ask me about Him sometime!

2. My Husband – Bret is my best friend ever. He is strong in character, tender in heart, a true leader and protector of my heart. Did I mention handsome? HUBBA HUBBA

3. My Home – We live in a little 1 bedroom apartment in South Carlsbad California and it has become more of a home to me than anywhere else I have lived. I take pride in my home, I keep it tidy, and I make it safe. I love that God has given me a heart for my home…I didn’t know I had it in me. {blog/photo-shoot “Our First Place” coming soon!}

4. My Church – We are a part of a church called The Fields. I love my church family so much! My husband leads worship some weekends and the Jr. High Ministry which I help with too. Being able to serve is a huge privilege and honor for us both.

5. My Family – I have been blessed with a truly wonderful family. Yes, every family has it’s imperfections, but I love them all so deeply and wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I also married into an amazing second family…baby niece included (she melts my heart)!

6. My Friends – I have been blessed with many friendships, but not many girls can say they’ve held strong to the same group of friends they made in middle school! I love you girls. Here’s a picture of my best friend Jocelyn and me blowing out our birthday candles:

7. My Kitchen – Getting creative in the kitchen, whether that be cooking or baking, has been such a joy and pleasure for me. I love putting a meal or dessert down in front of my husband and hearing him go “MMMMM!” But trust me…I’ve heard my fair share of “hmm…well, you’ll do better next time.” He’s sweet, but to the point. Needless to say, I’m still learning!

8. My Health – I love eating right and making healthy choices; so finding fresh local produce and natural ingredients is a must! Exercising is very important to me as well. I am not an expert or professional in either area, but I try my best to honor my body.

What makes YOUR life so abundant? I would LOVE to see and hear all about it!

xo sarah

this abundant life

An abundant life (John 10:10) is something I deeply desire and always hope for.

An abundant life, I realize, is not free of sorrows or absent of trials but it is completely fulfilling and satisfying for one reason: Jesus. Jesus is the treasure and prize that meets every deepest desire. Hopefully this post convicts and consoles, as well as provokes repentance and encouragement.

An abundant life is firmly rooted in the Gospel. This is the Gospel: Jesus is God. We are sinners. The penalty of our sin is death. Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and was crucified on a cross for our sins. He loved us and so He died the death we deserved to die. Now we can live eternally with Jesus in Heaven and experience the truest form of freedom through the grace and forgiveness that Jesus gives. This free gift of salvation is available to anyone who believes, repents and puts their trust in Jesus. Amen!

The Gospel gives hope, assurance, and makes this life we live truly abundant because we have a relationship with Jesus and forgiveness of sin. There is a passage of scripture in The Bible that really sums up what living life with Jesus looks like, Psalm 23:

      The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

          He makes me lie down in green pastures.

     He leads me beside still waters.

          He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

          for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of death,

          I will fear no evil,

     for you are with me;

          your rod and your staff,

          they comfort me.

     You prepare a table before me

          in the presence of my enemies;

     you anoint my head with oil;

          my cup overflows.

     Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

          all the days of my life,

     and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

          forever.

My purpose in writing this blog is to bring glory to God, share how He has called me to Himself, and what living life abundantly through Him and for Him looks like for me. Whether that be loving my husband, making my house a home, getting creative in the kitchen, living in community, or exploring this beautiful world…I’m here to share
this abundant life with you!

xo sarah