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

Advertisements

i love lists : 15 encouraging verses

Our church, The Fields, is going through the book of Daniel right now. The tagline is “faithful living in difficult days”. I don’t think this teaching series could have come at a better time. Not just for me, but for so many of my friends and family.

12038471_10153578321429707_4570062313698895486_n

It just seems to be a season of difficult times, trials, suffering, testing, heart break, and waiting…for so many of us. If you feel like you’re in that season too, I want to present some encouragement and truth to you all today and hope that it brings a peace and comfort beyond understanding.

  1. But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
  2. ‚ÄúIt is finished,”… John 19:30
  3. Bless the Lord, O my soul,¬†and forget not all his benefits,¬†who forgives all your iniquity,¬†who heals all your diseases,¬†who redeems your life from the pit,¬†who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,¬†who satisfies you with good¬†so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103: 2-5
  4. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139: 23-24
  5. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears¬†we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3: 1-3
  6. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Philippians 3:12
  7. You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56: 8-11
  8. I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart. O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. Psalm 38: 8-9
  9. Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. Psalm 130:1-8
  10. There is a God in heaven… Daniel 2: 28
  11. I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things. Isaiah 45: 5-7
  12. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1: 17
  13. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16: 34
  14. As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. Psalm 17: 15
  15. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20: 24

Jesus loves His children so much. So much that he gave his life for them. We did everything to deserve death and nothing to deserve life. But Jesus didn’t give us what we deserve. He gave us grace. He gave us His own righteousness and faith. Jesus came and died so that we may have life and have it abundantly, and abundant life comes only from knowing Jesus. There is no greater aim.

#write31days #31daysofwriting

xo sarah

i love lists: sundays

Sundays. They’re some of the best days. Some people call Sundays the Lord’s Day.

Every day should center around the praise and worship of God. Every day we should wake up with grateful and humble hearts before our Maker, rejoicing that His mercies are new every morning. So, what’s so special about Sundays?

Sundays are special because it is a day that you can gather¬†with other believers of God¬†and worship Jesus TOGETHER. Gathering on Sunday morning is one particular expression of a life lived in¬†continual worship of God. Scripture tells us to gather and to hear the reading of Scripture, to feast on the¬†preaching and teaching of the Word. We can be singing hymns, praying together, and preparing our hearts to serve God in the week ahead. Sundays prepare us for a life lived in community and remind us of God’s amazing Gospel.

I have the distinct honor and pleasure of being married to a man gifted with musical abilities and leadership. I love how he leads our church family in songs of praise and worship to our King and Savior. He tries to pick songs that fit well with the Scripture we are going through. He also tries to pick songs that will stick with us throughout the week so we are encourging our hearts with melodies of truth and the Gospel. Today, I thought I’d share with you the music set he put together for The Fields this Sunday. So many people were encouraged by the theology of each song. It was a blessing for my heart as well.

sunday 10-11

Here’s the set and a link to the versions of each song on YouTube.

  1. Before the Throne
  2. All Creatures
  3. We are Here for You
  4. Behold our God
  5. Oh God
  6. Though You Slay Me
  7. Psalm 145

Please listen to each of the above songs and be blessed! Pray about the Lord’s Day – for the service, the music, the pastors, your own family, and yourself. Ask that the Lord be glorified and that there would be great expectation and anticipation for the gathering. Ask that each Sunday – and every day – would be all about Jesus. Amen.

#write31days #31daysofwriting

xo sarah

our full life: week forty three

Here’s what our past week looked like:

Date LWC Date Night! Land & Water Co. in the Village. sashimi Umami Bowl. Not my favorite, but Bret was a big fan!

FT chat Blurry FaceTime from Austin, TX.

bran dinner¬†No husband at home = cereal for dinner! ūüôā

evening palms¬†Evening walk home. I don’t know about you, but I love power lines and palm trees.

vining Helped my dad work on his garden on Friday. Wrapping vines and hoping for the best.

big gulps Iced tea Big Gulp after lots of yard work.

sunset colorsIt’s just too good. Carlsbad sunsets for the win.

bnf 3Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch.

bnf 1¬†Hello Birdie. I want to pet them…and at the same time stay far, far away.

bnf 2BAAAA.

bnf 5Beauties in a wheel barrel.

bnf 4BNF is a magical place.

bnf 6The crew. ‚̧

Enjoy week 44…live it UP!

xo sarah

our full life: week forty & forty one

Hello there! Welcome to the last 2 weeks of our life:

surfer sessionSunset walks with Susie Q. and some surfer dudes.

vital picBouldering with some awesome Jr. High peeps.

protonLast proton therapy (we PRAY!) for this beauty. Please keep praying for Katherine.

loss notesIt is hard to put into words how much the Loss Conference blessed my heart. I will be writing about the things I learned and some relationships I love in weeks to come.

loss lunchMy food theme last weekend was carbs. And boy oh boy, it was delicious!

sunshineYou are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

ctc 10 Coffee & Tea Collective for iced cold brew.

morning timesI love arugula on eggs and iced tea in jars. I also really love my new book : Prone to Wander.

nektar date Nektar date. Love these huge prints.

hs ceilingWork from above.

erosion I love living here.

music prepMusic prep for The Fields. One of my favorite parts of the week.

cooking club 10Cooking Club going strong with this dish. Butternut squash soup topped with walnuts, blue cheese, and granny smith apples.

paradise Bird of paradise for my pleasure while I lounge and read.

rest dayThe perfect Sunday afternoon.

Enjoy & rejoice the week the Lord has made!

xo sarah

gospel monday

Gospel Monday

Happy Monday!

Today I was so blessed by the rain, by the work I had in front of me, and, most definitely, by the Gospel. I didn’t want to let another week go by without posting on the very thing that produces in me the most passion, satisfaction, and joy.

I have been wanting to share for weeks about The Gospel Coalition Conference I was blessed to attend in the beginning of April. I was so thankful to be there and gain teaching and encouragement from so many respected and trustworthy pastors. I finally had a moment to sit down today, collect my thoughts, and share a few of the big ideas God showed me through this conference.

The conference was focused on the life of Jesus as told through the Gospel of Luke. Below are some of the valuable notes I wrote out.

  • From John Piper’s message on Luke 1 & 2: We have certainty in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. The truth about Jesus will always be the truth. The truth about Jesus leads us to repentance and obedience. The truth about Jesus leads us to a life of excellence and sacrifice. The truth about Jesus is something we must know deeply in our souls.
  • From Kevin DeYoung’s message on Luke 15:1-32: God seeks out sinners and is diligently seeking the lost. God rejoices when sinners repent and are saved! We should be a people of patience and compassion for the lost. We should be a people always prepared to seek and find all kinds of lost people. We should be a people marked by our joy in Christ.
  • From Stephen Um’s message on Luke 16:1-31: (on money) When is the last time I have pounded my chest in despair, crying out to the Lord to spare me because of my greed? Money is simply a means of exchange and we need to be theologically intentional with it.
  • From Gary Millar’s message on Luke 22-23: Our situation is so hopeless we actually need someone to trust God for us. Jesus lived the perfect life we could never live and died the death we deserve. Jesus dies in our place. Praise Him.
  • From Tim Keller’s message on Luke 24:1-53: The Resurrection is a shattering historical event. The Resurrection is the key to understanding all of Scripture. The Resurrection is a powerful message to the world. The Resurrection leads us to a place of humble worship. The Resurrection gives us a hope for the future; ¬†that it’s there and that it’s unimaginably magnificent. The Resurrection shows us that everything will be redeemed and restored forevermore.
  • Jesus Christ calls Himself the King. He is the King. Worship Him. Obey Him. Rely on Him. Believe on Him. Expect great things from Him. Come to Him in prayer. He is the King!

I cannot put into words how grateful I was to be at TGC conference and to be poured into for hours upon hours. Not only was I lead in awesome worship and teaching, but I got to spend time with my church family. I will not forget this wonderful experience. Thank you to The Fields for making this experience so amazing. Thank you Jesus for not only saving me, but blessing me with even more grace to live this life ABUNDANTLY!

I hope you were encouraged by these words. Much Love to all of you!

xo sarah

gospel monday

IMG_2613

Amazing words! If there is anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the Gospel. I feel like I could just sit and think about that for hours.

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I began attending a church called The Fields. My husband joined the staff to work with the Jr. High ministry and we were so excited for the new adventure. At the time, I had no idea how precious this church and the community could (and would) be to me. Through the awesome work of Jesus, The Fields has played a huge role in my growth and understanding of the Gospel.

For example, when we first arrived, it was the summer of 2011 and that meant there were special summer groups going on: Band of Brothers for the guys and Women’s Summer Discipleship for the gals. During that summer, everyone went through the book “What is the Gospel” by Greg Gilbert.¬†First of all, this book is incredible, simple, and highly recommended by yours truly‚Ķthis little book clearly communicates what the entire Bible teaches about the Gospel. Second, this book was, in a way, my first ‚Äúintroduction‚ÄĚ to what The Fields was all about, passionately stood for, and deeply believed in: Jesus and His glorious Gospel.

That summer was a turning point for me in my faith. I will never forget that summer because I think it pin-points when I really began to understand what the Gospel really means, how the Gospel affects every moment of my life, and how precious God truly is. During that Women’s Summer Discipleship we were given a blank flashcard and were asked to write down, in our own words, what the Gospel is. This is what I wrote on that flashcard:

‚ÄúWhat is the Gospel? We are sinners and deserve hell. Jesus loves us and even while we were still sinners, He died on a cross as a sacrifice for our sin. He took our place and felt God‚Äôs wrath against sin. Jesus also rose from the dead ‚Äď defeating it. This gives us victory over sin and new life in Him. Now we can stand before our Father white as snow, justified, and pure.‚ÄĚ

While there are some semantics I would change and some words I would like to add here and there, I think writing out the Gospel once in a while can be very helpful. It’s interesting for me to look back and see what was particularly hitting me at that time. Writing down the Gospel gives us the right perspective. It’s something we should preach to ourselves daily. Moment-to-moment, in fact!

What is so amazing is that Jesus’ work on the cross has given us the free gift of forgiveness, life, and a relationship with the God who loves us so much. I hope you take some time to write down the Gospel today and really remember and revel in the amazing grace that Jesus has spoken over His beloved children.

xo sarah