Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 16

My Dream House



I've always been drawn to the picture-esque white houses with wrap-around porches for those necessary porch-swinging moments.


I love red accents. The stand-out red front door. The red blenders and toasters in the kitchen. Not to mention, the blackboards in a kitchen is a must-have for me in the future. I think it's such a swell idea.


What the house sits on is more important to me than the house itself, because...


I need land for a gazebo...


And this rockin' tree house, of course!

I can't picture my dream house without lots of land to run around on with kids, lay out in the sun, star-gaze, and gather with friends and family. I realize the more land my house sits on, the more I'm going to need a professional landscaper to come out at least once a week. Right?

What's your dream house like?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 15

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 
Psalms 31:29

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 
2 Timothy 1:7

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 
Psalm 73:26

How cool is this!?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 13

Goals:
  1. Rely solely on the Lord.
  2. Work on the changes God has been presenting to me.
  3. Focus on myself in this period of down-time.
  4. Be in the Word daily.
  5. Pray more daily.
  6. Get over an 80 on the TEAS Nursing Test
  7. Get into a Nursing Program.
  8. Continue raising support and saving for my Haiti trip.
  9. Remove the "bad" from my life, and insert more "good". Focus on the good.

p.s. How cute is Ryan? I know this is so off-topic, but I couldn't resist sharing a picture of him. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 12

I can't leave the house without my purse
Otherwise, my shoulder seriously feels naked.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Haiti Update

I wanted to take some time off from my 30-day challenge to bring you all an update on the preparation of my trip to Haiti . 
  
Here's what's new:

  • My passport is officially in! 
  • Support is continually coming in! Thank you to all my friends and family for the prayers and financial support. I really, really appreciate it. 
  • I've begun researching the country of Haiti (more so, because my passport recommends it :))
  • 8 days until the very first December team meeting where I'll get to properly meet my fellow teammates! 

Thank you all so much for taking interest in my trip to Haiti. I'm so excited and feel absolutely blessed with this opportunity that's ahead of me. I promise to keep ya'll up-to-date in the next coming weeks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day Nine

Travel :

I've been to many wonderful travel "musts" in the United States, but very very few "hot-spots" abroad.

Maui, Hawaii
Younglife's Malibu Camp in Canada
Chico, California
San Francisco, California
Palm Springs, California
The Happiest Place on Earth
Seattle, Washington
and soon...

Port au Prince, Haiti

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day Eight

My best friend, Jan.

Meet my best friend, Janae Marie Prentice. I feel so unbelievably blessed to have met this amazing, God-loving woman. She has been there for me countless times and I can't thank her enough. We've had an abundant supply of good times and I'm excited to add to those memories. It's been great to have experienced such a consistent friendship, even despite the distance. Janae, I love you and thank you for allowing me to mention you in my blog.
     This was our first date night :)                                                          We were each other's +one at our lovely friend, Casey Milot's, wedding in January.


Six Flags for a little post-sophomore celebration.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day Seven

Favorite Movies:


                                                    Forrest Gump                                                                           Elf



The Hangover

You seriously can't go wrong with any of these.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day Six

Happiness in a Picture:

Miss my roommates. We made so many great memories together :) Love you all.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day Five

Fits my Mood:


Evan Wickham's Our Deliverer

Solid Rock's morning worship started with a huge surprise as Evan Wickham stepped on stage and began to sing. Evan is artist Phil Wickham's brother who lives in San Diego and occasionally, just like Phil, makes his way up to Portland to lead Solid Rock's worship for a weekend. This was one of the fortunate weekends he led worship. I can now say I have been blessed with the privilege of seeing and hearing both the Wickham brothers perform. 

On a more serious note, I love when I leave church on Sundays feeling so completely convicted. Today we had Ian Nelson speak on Matthew 4:17 as well as 6:9-13; The Lord's Prayer. He talked about the the kingdom of God and the importance of prayer. It was an awesome sermon and I couldn't help feeling a sense of relief as clarity entered my mind. 

Lately, I've been selfish. I haven't properly been dealing with all the uncertainties in my life. Between filling out nursing applications left and right, raising support for my trip to Haiti, and relational struggles, I have not been relying on Christ and, more importantly, I have not been praying to Him. Because I'm so dang stubborn, I've failed to seek the Lord entirely, which has left me worn out and discouraged. After this morning's service, I know what I've been doing wrong. I cannot do this alone.

Prayer allows us to partner with God and his kingdom on Earth. Prayer changes reality. If we have not, it is because we have asked not. I not only need to do a better job of praying and having continuous conversation with the Lord, but I need to rely on Him for those uncertainties in my life. 

"Our requests really do make a difference in what God does or does not do." -Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day Four

My Parents

My dad, Ken.

My mom, Laurie (and brother, Chad).  

One way I like to describe my parents is: You can't live with them, and you can't live without them. No...my parents are great. We've had our fair share of up's and down's, but who hasn't dealt with those growing up? I'm lucky to have parents who still love one another. This upcoming year, they will have been married a whopping 25 years! I'm so proud of them. 

I love how much stronger our relationships have become over the last few years. I was constantly butting heads with my parents in middle school and high school. They were great discipliners, that's for sure. I was grounded a lot and had plenty of consequences. Thinking back on it, though, they really wanted the best for me. They were only watching out for me. 

Since being in college and maturing into a young adult with responsibilities of my own, I've come to appreciate all that my parents have done for me and my siblings. Granted, there are still some times in which I cannot stand to be around my parents, but I'm sure they feel the same way about me on occasion too. My parents have done a great job raising us to be smart, respecting, and responsible individuals and those three aspects have taken me far in life so far. I'm thankful for how dedicated my parents have been in raising me and my three siblings. Honestly, I don't know how they did it.

Here's to you mom and dad :) Love you guys.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day Three

My First Love

It's better to have lived and loved, than to never have loved at all. I thank God for blessing me with my first love. I've had my fair share of interests, (baby) crushes, and stomach butterfly moments, but nothing compared to loving someone. My first love was my high school sweetheart, my rock, my best friend, my plus-one, my saving grace, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, and my peace of mind.

I never thought we would have had that much history. Through the up's and down's, the laughters and fights, the closeness and distance, we remained true to who we were as individuals. Thanks for being there to pick me up. Thanks for making me laugh and breaking down my walls. Thanks for being born into the amazing family you were born into. Thanks for being such a strong-willed, God-loving man. Thanks for being my best friend, through thick and thin. You were more for me than I could ever put into words.

Thank you God for giving me that first love. I can only hope love comes at me again someday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day Two

Meaning Behind:  Replicating His Love

      I could go on and on regarding the meaning behind my blog's name. I mean, God's love goes on and on for each of us, so it only makes sense...right? :) As a believer, once you've grasped some of the capacity of God's love for you, all you want to do is attempt to replicate that. Everyone deserves to feel God's love. The least we can do is try to make everyone feel loved. 
      I understand how completely unrealistic it is for a human being to even come close to the love God's given us individually and as a whole, but it's worth a shot. We are natural-born sinners who have refused Christ, turned away from him countless times, and dismissed the gifts he's so willingly blessed us with. We are so underserving of his love, yet are so repeatedly forgiven for our sins and so cared for under his watch. After committing your life to following Christ and spending time with Him on a daily basis, its hard not to attempt to replicate his love. No one is perfect, but we can change in the name of our savior. 
      I chose "Replicating His Love" as my blog's name because I want to spread the amazing love of God to others. I want to share how he has blessed my life and how I have attempted to return the favor by loving on others. 


"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5


"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." John 15:9



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

30 Day Challenge

On a day in which I've woken up feeling like absolute blah, I've decided to change it up a bit. I've always been inspired by blog challenges, so to lighten my mood I'm embarking on the 30-day blog challenge. This way, ya'll can get to know me a little better too. Here's the break-down:


Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: 
A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 9:
A place you've traveled to
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you're looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME. Why?
Day 22: What's in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Memory
Day 24: Something you've learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge



I'm hoping I can diligently stick to this daily. Fingers crossed!


Day One:



Ya'll hopefully know my name's Amber by now. 
  1. In general, my clothing has to match. When it comes to work out clothes though, I really have to match; color to color, neutral when needed, sports bra to shirt...the works. 
  2. I'm a home body. I like my "me" time.
  3. I hate hairy legs. I cannot, must not, refuse to go more than 2 days without shaving. 
  4. I have to brush my teeth every time I leave the house.
  5. I can do this ear-piercing scream. Seriously, ask me to do it and I will.
  6. I'm pretty certain I'm addicted to ice cream. Chocolate ice cream.
  7. I have this voice I can do that sorta makes me sound like a baby (like Tommy from The Rugrats), no joke. Only a select few have been blessed with hearing it.
  8. I can flip my eyelids inside out.
  9. I do better in smaller groups. Large groups kinda freak me out.
  10. I could happily die after watching Keith Urban live in concert.
  11. I only want boys when I'm older and married.
  12. I only drink water and cran-grape juice. Milk with cereal only! I hate soda, with a passion. The carbonation and I do not go well together.
  13. I seriously cannot burp, even if I try.
  14. My biggest pet peeve is when shirt's tags are sticking out of the neckline, exposed. Cannot stand it.
  15. I'm nearly always cold, even when its nice outside.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blahhh

If I didn't want this so badly, I would have given up a long time ago. Now's the time when I really crack down and begin filling out applications for the nursing programs I really want to get into. My to-do list is intense and extensive. I'm feeling completely overwhelmed, to say the least.


Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jesus Commands Us To Go.

Over the past week, I have been engulfed in this book titled Radical by David Platt. Do we truly understand how Jesus intended us believers to live? Do the Words God has written in the Bible mean anything to you, or only the one's you choose to listen to? David Platt does an excellent job showing what Jesus really said about being a disciple -- then invites those reading to believe and obey what we read, hear, and feel from what's written in the Word.

This past year, I've realized how much a good Christian read benefits my walk with the Lord. Don't get me wrong, the Bible is my go-to, but sometimes (if not, often) another's educated perspective is just what my soul needs. Just as a heads up, my next few posts may mention some of Platt's quotes from his book. I strongly suggest you go out and get a copy of Radical. Heck, it's only $10 at the Christian Supply store in Cedar Hills Crossing right now!



*I may jump around a bit in this post, but I promise you it will all come together at the end.*

In 97 days, I will be embarking on a much-anticipated journey of a lifetime to Port au Prince, Haiti. Solid Rock Church will be sending a team of 28 for one week to this still-devastated country to bring hope to the community there in Grace Village. I remember sitting in a church service some time shortly after the earthquake hit in January of 2010 when Solid Rock first decided to send teams once a week, once a month to Grace Village in Port au Prince. I remember seeing the pictures of destruction: rubble, bodies, families displaced, and complete shock. They lost everything. And I remember listening to the service that day as they advocated for volunteers and feeling drawn -- so completely drawn to participate. I needed to be a part of this. I wanted with all of my heart to go right then and there. It was God calling me.

When I originally decided to take a semester-year off from school, the very first thing I thought to do was apply for this mission's trip. I applied early March, while the deadline was five months away in August. That's how badly I still wanted to go. It's funny when God calls you to do something and we procrastinate and put things off as human beings, but when we finally take charge and follow through with what's commanded of us we feel this sense of peace. Am I right, or am I right? I felt that peace. I knew I was supposed to go and although I had to wait and wait and wait for the deadline, then the application process to begin, I had this feeling I was set-in-stone going.

Five months, a few emails, and one phone call later, I got the reassurance I was waiting for. I am going to Haiti. I can't wait for what God has in store for me. I can't wait to bring light to this community. I can't wait to be alongside these wonderful, God-given children in the pictures below.




"How many of us are embracing the comforts of suburban America while we turn a deaf ear to inner cities in need of the gospel? How many of us are so settled in the United States that we have never once given serious thought to the possibility that God may call us to live in another country? How often are we willing to give a check to someone else as long as we don't have to go to the tough places in the world ourselves? How many of us parents are praying that God will raise up our children to leave our homes and go overseas, even if that means they may never come back? And how many of us are devoting our lives to taking the gospel to people in hostile regions around the world where Christians are not welcomed?" -David Platt (Radical)

I want to strongly encourage any and all to listen, and listen really hard to what God is commanding of you. It may be something you don't want to do, something you're afraid to commit to, something out of your comfort zone. Nonetheless, God is commanding you and his intentions can only be to benefit you in the long run. What's mentioned in the Bible is not to be taken lightly. We can't pick and choose what "sounds" good to us at the time. If that was the case, the Bible would be significantly shorter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Here I Go!

It's about time I get started on this little blog of mine. For a few weeks now, the thought of starting my very own blog has slowly, but surely, crept its way into my life. With the inspiration of a few of my closest friends, I have decided to finally go through with it. I mean, why not? Timing is everything, and I think now, more than ever, I am ready to take on such a task.

I'll make sure to cover some necessary ground before really diving in to the world of blog posting. I completed two "critical" (and by critical, I mean general education critical) years at California State University, Chico. During my time there I chose to take the educational path of Nursing, ran on their Division II Track & Field team, and met some of the most amazing people through the Christian organization: Campus Crusade for Christ. Since finishing my nursing pre-requisites, I am currently taking a semester-year off to pursue nursing programs throughout Washington, Oregon, and California. Therefore, I have all the time in the world (aside from an essay here and there) to start up this blog. That's why I'm here!

Now here's my life:


This is my wonderful family.


This is my favorite little nephew, Ellis James. 


These are the two best friends that anyone can have.


This is my comfort zone.



This is my guilty pleasure.


Last but certainly not least, this is my everything.

I'm sure I'll get better and better at this whole blogging thing eventually, so you gotta bare with me here.  From here on, it can only get better! Ciao!




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