our full life: oct. nov. & dec. yikes!

Hello all!

Wow…I haven’t logged on since October! Maybe 31 days of writing really wiped me out or something? Haha! ūüėČ

I think I have been behind in writing and enjoying the blog for lots of reasons. I think the main reason is that this has been an especially hard season of life. New challenges, new fears, and lots of teachable moments.

2015

However, I am nothing if not OCD. It would drive me crazy to have October, November, and December go unrecorded or unacknowledged. Yes, life has been rough – but, as always, it’s our life and it’s very full. In other words, an abundant life! This post would take FOREVER if I posted all the pictures so I will just give you my favorite highlights.

In October, we enjoyed:

  • Southern Cooking Club with friends
  • A special double-date down in La Jolla
  • A Whiskey Tasting 30th Birthday Party
  • A movie night with friends to watch Willow
  • Sunday Church
  • Fields staff bowling night & Bull Taco
  • Our planted palm trees growing by the bedroom window
  • Florence +¬†The Machine concert! Woohoo!
  • 2 pumpkin carving contests
  • Temecula corn maze with our community group
  • A new haircut – bangs!
  • Beach walks and iced tea
  • Youth Group Costume Bowling
  • Boss’s Day at K1 racing
  • Costume contest at work

oct 2015

In November, we enjoyed:

  • Disneyland!
  • Garlic knots from Knockout Pizza
  • Idyllwild fall getaway for just the two of us
  • A breathtaking hike
  • Book Club to discuss In the Unlikely Event¬†
  • More moving into the new building at work
  • Homeless bag packing and note-writing with our Jr. High kids
  • Happy Hour Cooking Club
  • Thanksgiving!
  • Star Wars Marathon – Episodes 4-6
  • Mediation by the beach
  • A busted lip and ruined shoes

NOV 2015 IMG_9470

In December, we enjoyed:

  • My company held its annual retreat¬†for 2015. It’s my job to plan and execute the weekend and I am so blessed that it all went smoothly. I am glad to hear all my co-workers enjoyed themselves up in Los Angeles. You can read about it here:¬†https://get.planningcenteronline.com/2015/retreat/
  • Some of the things we did: Queen Mary, murder mystery dinner, Universal Studios, Wolfgang Puck buffet, Samba, and too many great conversations to count.
  • 1/2 a dozen holiday parties
  • Christmas Under the Stars with The Fields
  • Christmas Shopping
  • Disneyland again!
  • Staff breakfast potluck
  • Lots of traveling to ALABAMA
  • Our first tornado scare, taking cover in the basement
  • Sweet time with parents, grandparents, siblings, and our beautiful nieces
  • Visiting family churches
  • Birmingham Zoo
  • Sweet Tea and TV
  • Railroad Park and Steel City Pops
  • Alabama Biscuit Company
  • Bass Pro Shop (my first time)
  • Beach walks & Mexican food at home
  • Ringing in the New Year with our bestest friends in the world.

DEC 2015DEC 2015 2

I will be back on¬†this January, friends! ūüôā

So far in January I have done more exercise, tried to eat less sugar, and am reading a lot more of my Bible…you know, your typical New Year’s good times. I love resetting and making the good things priorities again. What have you been up to?

Goodnight from here!

xo sarah

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gospel wednesday

GWGood morning friends,

I am so excited that December has started. And what did the first few days out here in sunny San Diego bring? RAIN, sweet, rain! I love how it feels chilly and fresh outside. I can hear it dripping outside my window and I love every second of it.

I am also so excited I started reading a devotional for the month of December. It’s called The Dawning of Indestructible Joy¬†and John Piper wrote it for the advent season.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.09.55 PM

From the definition above we can see that advent means the arrival of something amazing. Something beautiful. Something new. Or should I say someONE.

As a follower of Christ, I celebrate advent in December because of the arrival of Jesus . The arrival of Jesus provided the most notable thing to have ever happened – the gospel. The arrival of Jesus provided us with an indestructible joy – the gospel. The arrival of Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas at all – the gospel.

Please join me in reading this daily advent devotional. It’s not too late to catch up…it’s only December 3rd! Click the picture below or HERE to download the FREE PDF.

full_the-dawning-of-indestructible-joyIn closing, I hope to encourage you with a Scripture from the book Introduction:

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we
have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the
Father, full of grace and truth. . . . For from his fullness
we have all received, grace upon grace.”
JOHN 1:14‚Äď16¬†AMEN.

I will praying for FULLNESS for you and your family this advent/Christmas season.

xo sarah

gospel monday

Gospel Monday

 

Guest post by my intelligent, handsome, and admirable husband: Bret Theis. 

 

Christmas is, sadly, behind us now – along with all of its trimmings and traditions.
And the gifts.

Christmas gifts are, simultaneously, the most exciting and most stressful parts of the holiday!

When you’re a child, Christmas gifts are almost entirely one-sided. It’s so much more simple: “what am I going to get for Christmas?”

However, as an adult, you don’t think as much about what you’ll be getting. Instead, you fret about what you’re going to give. The range of emotions is endless!
You can go from excited, to nervous, to stressed, to anxious, to confused, and even to utter apathy! Christmas is just plain different as an adult.

But one thing that surprised me about enjoying Christmas as an adult is how I respond to the gifts I get. I’m assuming you’re like me and there’s at least a handful of things you might¬†want¬†for Christmas. Perhaps a new laptop. Maybe a new car even. Everybody would love a new car!

However, as an adult, when I receive gifts that I¬†need…that’s a completely different experience.

When you’re a child and you receive a gift that you need (socks, a sweater, underwear), it’s an incredibly underwhelming experience. As a kid, socks just aren’t that exciting. Here’s a handy tip: if you want to know if your kid is going to be a good liar, give him socks for Christmas; if he acts excited, don’t trust him.

But as an adult, getting a gift you actually need is something to celebrate over. When you’re older, you have a much better idea about what you actually need versus the meaningless things you want. You have a bit of a better idea of what’s good for you.¬† Since you’re actually supporting yourself, you know the things you need compared to the luxuries you’d like to have. So when someone helps you out by gifting you with something you actually need…it’s just sweet.

This is what makes Christmas so amazing.

God sees our needs.
God knows our needs.
And, most importantly, life-alteringly, mind-explodingly, reality-bendingly…God has provided for our greatest need in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Fact: Jesus is God.
Chapter 1 of the Gospel of John will fill you in on that reality.

Jesus, God Himself – the eternal Son, condescended Himself and became a human being.
The Timeless One entered into time.
The One who made flesh from the dust of the earth took on flesh Himself.

Why?

To give us the greatest gift anyone could ever receive.

Himself.

Jesus grows up and lives a life of innocent childhood, awkward pubescent teenage years, adolescence, and – finally – adulthood¬† –¬† all the while, “he committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22).

  • Jesus was perfectly human and perfectly sinless. Everything we cannot be.
  • Everything Jesus did was pleasing to God the Father. Everything we cannot do.
  • Jesus willingly offered His own perfect life as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of the sins of those who would believe in Him. Everything we need.

Now, Jesus gives the gift of forgiveness of sins, right relationship with God, and eternal life to all those who come to Him by way of repentance from sins and trust in His work of salvation on the cross.

There are some who may tell you that the gift must be “accepted”. Or that you have to “open the gift” for it to “work”. I don’t think that’s true, and here’s why: When you’re an adult, and someone gives you a gift you need, you celebrate!
You tear off the wrapping paper, rip open the box, and cry, “Thank you! I needed this!”

If you don’t think you need Jesus…and, frankly, it doesn’t sound like something you really want…let me encourage you: stop thinking like a child. Grow up and realize your need for Jesus.

He loves you and he’s got a gift with your name on it.

Merry Christmas.

gospel monday

Good morning friends. I hope the day the Lord has made is finding you blessed and with much joy!

Gospel Monday

Today, I wanted to share about an incredible experience I had last night. Every year our church plans a night of signing Christmas carols, reading the Christmas story, and eating lots of cookies & hot cocoa in the park. It’s called Christmas Under the Stars.

I never knew that when I showed up to the event three years ago, it would become my absolute favorite Christmas tradition. There is just something so special about bundling up, gathering together, and proclaiming the true meaning of Christmas under thousands of white twinkling lights.

CUS 1

Hopefully this picture can somewhat display how incredibly lovely the night is. It was such a cool experience to hear the train go by behind us and sing songs of truth with our community. Last night, we remembered that it’s a blessing to give gifts at Christmas – especially in light of the fact the Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

God sent His only Son to be born of of virgin and she was to name him Jesus. Jesus, being fully God and fully human, lived a sinless life to one day die. He died for a very real and specific purpose: to save His people from their sins. He bore the shame of the cross and died a horrific death so that we would no longer perish, but inherit reconciliation, righteousness, and eternal life with God (John 3:16).

CUS 2

There was a song last night that really reminded me of God’s perfect plan and why we celebrate Christmas. We all probably know it; it’s called Oh Holy Night. This is my favorite part of the song:

Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains He shall break for the slave is our brother; And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy name. 

Christ is the Lord! Oh praise His name forever! His power and glory forevermore proclaim.

Merry Christmas friends! I hope you can celebrate Christ this beautiful season!

What is your favorite way to celebrate Christmas?

xo sarah