Monday, August 29, 2011

The wanting...

I just finished Shadow of the Almighty by Elizabeth Elliot the other day. Close to the end, I read this quote. Jim wrote this about one of my favorite verses in his journal just after he and Elizabeth got was finally God's timing for them. It only confirmed what the Lord had spoken to my heart a while back here.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalms 37:4

"It does not say He will give you what you want. It does say He will give you the want. Delight in Christ brings desire for Christ. He gives the heart its desires - that is, He works in us the willing. (Philippians 2:13). This is why He can say in John 15:7 'Ye shall ask what ye will...if ye abide.' The branch takes its sap from the vine, the same surges the vine feels then become the surges of the branch. My will becomes His, and I can ask what I will, if I delight myself in Him. Only then can my desire be attained, when it is His desire." (Jim Elliot)

In the last few months I have found that God has given me these desires. I know they are from Him and I know they are His leading. It's been pretty neat to look back and see that He has given me the want for different things. I have done things I never would have done, I want things I'd never want on my own, and I am in a place that I never thought I'd ever be. I only pray that He changes my desires even more, so that all of my desires become His desires.

I just thought I'd share that with you guys. It blessed me and I hope it blesses you too. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Recent Songs

Hey guys, I wanted to share with you a few songs I've been working on lately. We recently used one for a night of worship church. After the service Jonathan asked the speaker (David Nasser) for feedback on my song. I was so embarrassed, but gave us some good critique. He said writing bullet songs is important; take a principle in scripture or an attribute of God and really drive it home poignantly, instead of moving from one thought to another.

I'm an amateur for sure, but songwriting is an area where I hope to grow. Thus, I am opening up myself for critique here. I need it to get better. So, how do these songs hit you? What do they say? Is there one driving point, or is it several?

Oh, and don't really mind my guitar playing. I'm a pianist, but the only instrument I have access to at the house is a I play it...poorly! This is yet another area that needs improvement! :)

Thanks you guys!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

A few things I've learned...

Hey guys! I'm back for a little bit. I'm borrowing my hubby's computer for a second today. It really has been nice to get away from distractions and make the time to read and pray. Being unemployed has been quite an adventure thus far. It has been very evident that this is God's will for my life right now. I've been learning a lot...and some of it hasn't been pretty.

I have come to realize that I need people and that I hate waiting. I don't like to admit that I hunger to be around people. I like to be independent and make myself think that I'm strong. Guess what? I'm not. After a week of waiting and praying I broke down. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and I just couldn't take any more quietness, so I drove to Publix. (That is where I normally go when I'm angry. I shop for groceries and think. Yeah, I'm weird! Ha!) While there I had it out with God. I told him that I was so frustrated that I couldn't hold it together. I was angry that I had no answers after a week of waiting. I felt like I'd been left in the dark. He promised that if I took this step of faith, He would open the door. No door was in sight.

On the way home I stopped by a park to cry so Jonathan wouldn't see me. I hate to cry in front of people. Tears fell and washed away all my resolve. I didn't and couldn't understand. At the end of myself, I knew this was part of God's purpose. I needed to learn to trust Him in a deeper way. I had to let my fears go. After I came home, Jonathan let me cry on his shoulder. I told him that I was afraid that He would be disappointed in me and that I didn't want to be a burden to him. He reminded me that I'm not alone. He would take care of me no matter what and that I'd never disappoint Him as long as I am following God. Can I just say that I am so thankful for my husband? God was so good to give him to me.

Well, since then things have been better. I am learning to trust God for everything, for everyday. I am so amazed that I still have money in my bank account. I am astounded that I almost have enough funds for my mission trip. I am in awe of the peace that passes all understanding. In all of this God is teaching me to trust His voice. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. He has asked me to do things that don't make any sense! Still, I am trusting in His promises. He has promised to use me if I will give everything to Him without restraint. So I put all my faith in Him, even when it doesn't make sense.

And now, I am finally getting a glimpse of an open door. Jim Elliot once wrote,"the will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for." This has been more than I bargained for, but it is good. Being unemployed in the will of God is better than the best dream job I could even imagine. I'd rather hear His voice than the voice of any other. He is better and I am satisfied. He is has put so much joy in my heart. My cup overflows.

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!"
(Psalm 84:11-12)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sponsor in September

All sponsorships go towards my trip to Ethiopia.

I am so thankful to all of you who have helped me raise support for my trip! God has been so faithful and I have almost reached my goal! But I still need more, so I am opening up sponsorships for September. I am very excited to promote your blogs, etsy shops, and photography sites. I am thankful for how this blog has grown in the past few months. It is a great place to sponsor!

Each sponsor will get a spot like the one below, a summary post and can partner with me for a giveaway (if desired).

Contact me for more details at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy birthday husband!

Today is my husband's 24th birthday! I am so incredibly blessed to be his wife. Since it's his special day, I thought I'd take a minute to brag on him just a little bit...and to let you guys get to know my better half. :)

He is a natural leader. It's one of the things I love most about him. I love to watch him take on the responsibility that leadership demands. He is especially good at leading worship. He is not afraid to go against the flow. He is passionate and determined. He does his best when given a task. He is also an absolute goof ball and I adore it. We are so silly and playful together. He loves to tickle me too...I pretend that I don't like it. :) He is so committed to our marriage as well. I think he understands "being one" far better than I do. He is always telling me that I am not alone and that we are in this together. He gives me everything he has with no restraints. He shares all of his life with me, and he wants to involve me in his passions. He protects me and keeps me safe. He guards my heart. He sees my weaknesses and helps me to be stronger. I am so blessed to be loved like that!

I love you with all that I am. I look forward to spending the rest of my life by your side!

Happy birthday love!

PS: This post was scheduled because I am without a computer for the moment. I hope you all have a great week! I'll be back soon...I hope!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Engagement: Matt & Kellie

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of taking my brother and future sister-in-law's engagement photos. Everything worked out perfectly. I was able to borrow a friend's DSLR camera (due to my lack thereof) and we found the perfect location not to far from my parent's house. 

Matt and Kellie such a lovely couple and they made it so easy for me to capture these images. They looked so natural in every pose. I know they are so excited about getting married this December. I am so glad I've been able to see their love story's a sweet southern romance. They are absolutely perfect for each other!
Matt wanted to make sure we got these ring shots! :) The story behind how he got the ring is pretty amazing. Matt has been traveling with a ministry group called Life Action for the past two years, which meant saving money was practically non-existent. Well, it just so happened that the pastor at one of the churches they visited was a retired jeweler. Matt told him what he was looking for, and a few days later he showed Matt this ring! He was able to get it for a great price. It was such a blessing.

 Ah, young love. {Swoon} Can't you tell how in love they are? I can't wait to see where these two will go!

PS: I will be without a computer for a while because my mac had to go to the doctor. :( I will miss you guys until it comes home to me. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Giveaway Winner


The winner of the Lily White giveaway is....

Jennifer Rod!

Email me and I will get your lovely things to you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My latest DIY projects

I may be jobless at the moment, but I refuse to be lazy.  I really can't stand it. Turning on the TV during the day might as well be torture for me. (I know, I'm really an odd ball!) Don't get me wrong, I like some shows but I don't like wasting the day away. I love to focus on a project and get it done. That being said, I have kept my hands (and my mind) busy with these little projects. 

These are my favorites thus far:

A few days ago I posted some inspiration. I'm so very happy with how this next one turned out! It really looks like us and I have been wanting to add a few more pillows for a while now.

We've sort of developed our own 'sides' of the couch, so the beard is on his side and the lovely hair is on mine. I really like Jonathan's 'side' better, because it has the side table...but I let him have it anyway! Ha!

What do you guys think? Would you rather have the ruffle lampshade or the his & hers pillows?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunbeams & Daydreams

 The last days of summer are so pleasant. The weather just doesn't seem quite as hot when I know fall is right around the corner. These days make me want to soak in every last sunbeam before I am over taken by winter's chill. There is just something about the last fleeting moments of sunlight that puts me in a daydream-like state. I love to get away from our apartment for a while and enjoy the last bits of summer...especially behind a lens.

I recently borrowed a nice DSLR and have had so much fun playing around with it. I haven't ever used one...that is unless you count my Dad's old film camera from the 70's. In my daydreams, it is really mine!   A few days ago I went out to a little historical farm to practice. If they didn't close at 5 pm, I would have been out there for hours!

It was a perfect afternoon for a little photography practice. I needed to try a few things out before going home to take some photos for my brother and his fiance. I hope to be using a DSLR at some point in the future. I'd love to upgrade to a Canon Rebel T3i. Let me know if you guys have any reviews on that one!

What are you all up to during Summer's last days?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Faith spotlight: Bethany

Hey guys, I have the immense pleasure of introducing you to my friend Bethany. She and her husband are such a sweet couple! Aren't they adorable? I know there are lots of people out there who can relate with her story as well. I have this daily struggle between living in faith and living in selfishness that she talks about. You won't want to miss this today!

Hey guys! My name is Bethany. I feel so honored to be writing for Jennifer's "Faith Spotlight"!

I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to write when Jennifer first asked me to guest post, but then I got to thinking about what the Lord has been teaching me over and over again in this season of my life.

So, here's my heart:

All of my life I feel like I have always passed my responsibilities as a Christian onto the next stage of my life. Does that make sense? I would always think, oh after I graduate I'll help those in need, or no after I have my own house, or after I'm married, or when I'm older. My fear and selfish pride have gotten in the way of me loving people and evangelizing to them. Pretty ridiculous isn't it?

Sometimes I think to myself, when what the last time I actually talked to someone about Christ? Or when was the last time I helped someone who was in need? My heart breaks when I realize that I can't even think of the last time I did either of those things. I'm a Christian...but sometimes (more often than not) my life doesn't show it. I'm sick of making excuses for myself. How many times have I driven my someone that clearly needs help and I pass them by because I don't want to get 'hurt' or be embarrassed?

So many people are hurting. And I feel like all I ever do is sit and watch. Feeling bad isn't enough anymore. God calls us to reach out to the hurting and to love them unconditionally and passionately. His call is not to be taken lightly.

He has shown me that I need to stop waiting. I need to stop putting off what needs to be done. I need to stop telling God to hold on. I need to get  rid of fear. I need to be bold and live my life unashamed for Christ. I need to be real. I need to get uncomfortable and dirty. I don't need to wait to go to another country, there are people hurting HERE. In my town. Right now. I don't need to put off God's calling anymore. Gone are all of my excuses.

This life is not my own. That is so easy to say, but to really give your life to be used by Christ fully is such a daunting task. BUT it is the most beautifully rewarding thing you can possibly do with your life.

So I encourage all of you, as much as I encourage myself. Lets get out of our comfort zones and change this world through the love of Christ - not just with our words but truly with our actions!

~ Bethany

Thanks so much girl! One way you guys can get involved is to head over to Compassion's Cry 




Friday, August 12, 2011

Lily White Giveaway!

Well, it is time for my very first giveaway! I am so excited. Lily White is one of my sponsors and I am so excited to share one of her etsy designs with you all! She has the most adorable fabric headbands in her shop! You all know that I love headbands anyway!

Meet Mary: 

Hi! My name is Mary and I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida! I am a student by day and well, a student by night but any time in between I am a craftaholic and blogger obsessed. I have found a passion in using my photography, crafts and new found love of writing to bring glory to and serve God so that He can be greater and I can become less. I strive to be an example of His love for me to others and hope that my blog will bring encouragement and joy to those who read it!

So here is what is included in the giveaway:


To enter you must be a Google Friend Connect follower of The Blair Affairs.

Next go visit the Lily White shop and leave a comment saying which item you like best.

Extra entries (separate comment for each):

Follow Mary's blog
Follow me on twitter
Follow Mary on twitter
Tweet about the giveaway
Follow The Blair Affairs on Bloglovin'
Blog about the giveaway

The winner will be chosen Wednesday.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

~ Inspiration ~

Here's a little bit of what's been inspiring me lately. 

I really hope to make some of this while I have some time these days.

What has been inspiring you?


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