1. The gap between my daughters teeth

2. Cotton candy clouds 

3. White cotton curtains blowing in the breeze

4. The kind prayers of a stranger 

5. The creek in the old door, that has been etched into my memories 

6. Flowers in the middle of the table 

7. Old Audrey Hepburn movies 

8. Memories made in Ireland with my husband 

9. Cold milk 

10. The sun shining on the hills 

11. The way my daughters nose crinkles when she laughs

12. Oregon 

It's only the beginning.  
I dare you to count the ways He loves you. 
Give your attention away to the little ways that He shares his peace with you.  
You are surrounded, drowning in a sea full of grace you only need to look, 
surely if you look, you will discover His gifts. 

One Thousand Gifts

If you haven't read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I really encourage you to.  A couple months ago we did a bible study surrounding this book and also devoted a weekend women's getaway on it's message.  I won't go into too many details about the book but I did want to introduce a new series that I want to do here on my blog.  Over the course of the next couple months or so I am going to share with you my one thousand gifts.  I think it's a great way to share the joy of the Lord and maybe you guys can share with me some of your gifts as well!  I hope you all come on the journey with me!  The title for this series will always be Eucharisteo so keep an eye out!

Proverbs 31 Wifey

My husband and I have been separated for the past eight months due to his military obligations in South Korea.  Sigh..eight down, four to go.  

I've decided to be really open and vulnerable with this post just because I believe it's OK to be open.  These past eight months have been really, really hard.  Really hard.  And when I say that I don't mean it lightly.  Communication is the worst.  We are on two completely different schedules, he works full time, and I'm a full time student and a full time mother of a two year old.  Throw that into the mixing bowl and then add in a fifteen hour time difference, mix it all up and you have a horrible mess.  There has been misunderstandings, arguments, tears of frustration, tears of sadness, and just a whole lot of missing one another.  

Over the past couple months I have been really angry about the whole situation and have an increasingly difficult time communicating because I've just been a total grump about it.  I would just rather not have a conversation because just the thought of it is exhausting.  All in all it hasn't been very fair to my poor husband who has to put up with my bad attitude.  I think it's safe to say that we are both ready for this separation to be over!

As I was going about my day today I had this overwhelming feeling of Proverbs 31 just being pressed on my heart.  

A wife of noble character who can find?

    She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks. 
She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,

    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I think that it is so important that I remember that I am to be the woman that the Lord has called me to be despite my circumstances.  Some of you may look at this scripture and think wow! That's a lot to live up to. And seriously what about the men?  How do get them to stop acting like, well men so that we can be a Proverbs 31 woman?!  There's a simple answer. Grace.  The Lord gives us grace to fulfill this calling and he gives us grace where we fail.  It's not about living up to these standards alone or really living up to them at all, it's about accepting what He has done for us as being good enough.  We can't be good enough, it's impossible, so we let him be good enough and with that he guides us and directs us in our calling.  And with all that, if the God we serve is so willing to shower grace upon our failures shouldn't we as wives be willing to give grace where our husbands have failed?  Real quick:  your husband is going to mess up! YOU are going to mess up!  Marriage is about serving one another even in the midst of their failures.  

my husband and I love popcorn and we rarely sit down to a movie together without making any and we love the kernels and not just any kernels but the half popped ones, theres just something about them that we both love (maybe it's the crutch?).  Early on in our relationship we used to fight over them (they are rare ok! theres only like two or three of the per bag of popcorn) but as time went on we both came up with a pact: if we found one we would give it to the other person.  I know it sounds funny but it's kind of our "thing" and it's a way that we can serve one another and we trust one another through the process.  If I find one first and give it to him I know that I will get one in return when he finds one.  Sometimes it doesn't turn out even and that's ok! 

In the end it's not really about the popcorn kernel.  It's about sharing and serving with your spouse knowing that you may not be served in the same way in that moment.  It's about sacrifice.  And the cool thing about serving is that it's contagious!  It will turn into this beautiful cycle (it will get broken occasionally, we're human) of service and sacrifice that will bring so much joy to your marriage! 

A pastor of mine once said "God gave us families so that we truly learn what it is like to love unconditionally."  

Being a Proverbs 31 woman isn't about keeping score it is simply about loving unconditionally and we can show our love through serving others and doing it with a joyful heart regardless of what you are going to get in return.  Isn't that what God did for us when he took human form in Jesus?  He literally ate dinner with sinners and afterwards washed their feet (which were probably really, really gross) and he did the ultimate service by dying on the cross. 

Remember who God has called you to be and remember that you are not alone in the process.  Look to him and you will find fulfillment.  And with this fulfillment you can begin to give grace to others. 

The Comparison Game

Over the past while I have been noticing certain trends on social media (mostly instagram) where people have been constantly comparing themselves to others.  I think the most common phrase I've seen is #goals #hairgoals and things of that nature.  Although, many of the posts may be made out of lighthearted humor I think it's important to not get sucked into the thick of the comparison game everyone is playing.  AND please don't get me wrong I am all for social media, in fact I love it and I believe that it is a tool given to us by our Creator.  I live in the West and I have family in the East and I get to see their faces almost daily and instagram is one of my favorite creative outlets.  I basically get to be an amateur photographer and share my love for creativity and art in a few small steps. With all of this said in the age of the Internet and social media it's important that we learn to guard our hearts and our minds against certain things and use the gift for it's true purpose.  

Ok so with that short introduction out of the way let's get back to what I really want to talk about and that is BEAUTY.  One of the main issues I see among women and girls today is the failure to accept the way they look.  I see women constantly comparing themselves to one another, stuck in a never ending attempt to find fulfillment in their own beauty.  

The above paragraph is something that I have struggled with for a long time.  I mean a very long time and if I'm honest it still haunts me from time to time.  The key to solving this issue is to really understand where the need comes from.  Where does this desire to be beautiful and wanted come from? Well it comes from out Creator!  Our God created us with the need and the desire to know and to be fully known in return.  So these deep desires that we hold in our heart to be wanted, to be deeply desired, are valid.  They were intentionally etched into our very being.  So where do we go from there?  How do we come to peace with all of this?  Stay tuned.

But for now we are coming up on the part where I bring up the over used Bible verse that everyone reads when they need a little pick-me-up when it comes to their physical appearance.  Don't worry I've done it too and I am about to do it again and you'll see why in a minute.  

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, my soul knows it very well! (Psalm 139:14) 

When approaching scripture we always want to remember to approach it in Spirit.  So when we look at this verse at face value we're like "oh yeah that's great, maybe I'll even get that tattooed on my arm someday" (BTW totally love tattoos) but when we approach it in Spirit we can begin to look beyond face value and see what God has really offered us here.  The Bible is a love story, a true story about how our God loves us with a pure, fierce, unending love.  So now we can really get into the thick of this verse, break it apart and take in all that it's worth. 

I begin by looking at the word wonderful, it's mentioned twice here.  



inspiring delight, pleasure, or admiration; extremely good; marvelous 

Do you see how beautiful this picture is painted now? You aren't just simply a creation but a marvelous creation!  You are an inspiring delight!  When God created you it was no small thing.  He created you to be something great, so have faith in the work that He has done in you!  Know that you are a wonderful, complex, inspiring creation with a great purpose!

Remember how I talked earlier about knowing and being known?  Well, there is another part of the scripture that comes to mind.  Psalm 139:17-18 says:  "How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They cannot be numbered!  I cannot even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!"



of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly 

There is a God who KNOWS you.  The same God that created the universe and hung the stars in the sky.  He knows you! His thoughts are precious towards you! When you think about this remember, too, that our God is infinite and not bound by the boundaries of time.  Think about that for a minute, would you?  I know it's hard to wrap your mind around it, and that's ok! That's how our marvel remains, but He was thinking about you before you were born on this earth.  He's been thinking about you for a long time and his thoughts are precious, meaning that they are of great value to Him they are never wasted thoughts! Girl, you are known by the same God who knows the stars by name.  How amazing is that? 

But how am I really supposed to look at so and so's instagram account without hash tagging: thigh goals?  Because let's face it, outer beauty is special too.  You were, after all, were created with a body, eyes, nose, and lips and that's good!  It's ok to want to feel beautiful on the outside, just remember that it has to be handled in a delicate way.  

I think the number one key is, like we talked about earlier, knowing and understanding your true identity in Christ.  That He looks upon you with a true uncorrupted view and he loves you!  Just the way you are.    

The second key is understanding that same goes for all other girls as well.  I think it's time that we understand that it's ok to look at a beautiful girl and celebrate her beauty and still celebrate your own. Instead of tearing yourself apart or finding little things to tear her apart with, celebrate! Celebrate your differences, get inspired by her!  Celebrate her curves or her toned muscles .  Celebrate her freckles or her braces.  Whatever it is, celebrate it.  Know that she was created just as marvelous as you were. We serve a mighty and creative God.  Just look at the diversity that surrounds you. We were each created with unique and special characteristics that were meant to be shared with one another.  Our differences give us the chance to learn and grow from one another!

Our differences is the very reason that true beauty goes without definition. 

And isn't that something to be celebrated? Because I don't know about you, but it sure does take the weight off my shoulders.