Aug 19, 2013

Our weekend in pictures.

Birthday Bash, cute baby and kids, lake boat, games with friends, too much food, rain, Kristen, and lots of laughs. Happy birthday Commodore Rob.

Aug 12, 2013


     I finally woke up early enough on Saturday to make it to the Greenville Farmers Market. Folks, I've been trying to go since May when it officially started, it didn't take me too long . . . Regardless, it was everything I hoped it would be and it did stir in me that latent dream to have an amazing flower garden/food garden, you know, when I grow up and own a home (one day). I bought pimento cheese dip, peaches, peach salsa and this beautiful bunch of flowers from Tyler Farms. I'd say it was a successful trip. Other than that Gray and I didn't do much. It was one of those relaxing weekends, where nothing we had planned got finished, but really it doesn't matter because relationships were grown and we feel rejuvenated for the week ahead. 
     Although, it won't be too hard to get through this next week because Gray's oldest sister, Kristen, is coming to visit from San Francisco! We've got a couple things lined up, including some dog obedience classes, falls park, homemade pizza, and a trip to Adams Bistro. So much to look forward to! For those of you who are Greenville natives, are we missing any stops on our itinerary? 

Aug 9, 2013


     I've been a little preoccupied lately. Thinking. Sifting through thoughts and feelings. Reflecting.
        Gray and I have faced some tough situations and decisions and I'm feeling worn. Don't worry, it's nothing life altering or life destroying, just a little wind in the midst of our calm. It's the kind of week that tires you, but only because the forward step you are taking requires a little extra exertion. 
     In all honesty I feel a prevailing sense of thankfulness. God has placed some incredible people in our lives. It's caused me to question why I'm so surprised, why my faith in them was so small. Is this a reflection of how small my faith is in God? . . .
     In 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul writes, I have sent Timothy to "strengthen, comfort, and encourage you in your faith, so that you won't be shaken by the sufferings and wither under this stress that lies ahead (vs. 2-3). Timothy was sent to remind the Thessalonians who they'd placed their faith in, to encourage them to prevail through all of the temptations and testings that they were and would experience.
     This week I needed that reminder, I needed a Timothy. I was stressed, and even though we are now slowly getting back to normal I know there will be more stress up ahead because that's life, but God graciously provided several Timothy's that encouraged me in my faith. I was given much needed advice, listening ears, sensitive hearts, praying warriors, and prevailing love. I was challenged and encouraged through friends and family that though I am weak, His spirit is strong in me, I've been given faith to trust that God is good and his love is great regardless!
     Has God placed any Timothy's in your life to encourage you in your faith? Have you been a Timothy to someone this week?

Aug 7, 2013

Photo Shoot: Gray

     I needed some practice and Gray just happened to be readily available, so it's logical that he would be my model. In a perfect situation he would love it and jump at my request to be in a photo shoot, but that wouldn't be Gray. Fortunately for me, because he loves me sooo much, he chose to indulge me and be my model. AND even though he informed me that taking pictures with a guitar is cliche, he let me have my way! Maybe it is cliche, but it's a part of who he is and I had a vision, so without further ado, my handsome husband . . .

Aug 5, 2013

Riches and creatures fill the earth.

There is so much here, O Eternal One, so much You have made.
    By the wise way in which You create, riches and creatures fill the earth.
Of course, the sea is vast and stretches like the heavens beyond view,
    and numberless creatures inhabit her.
    From the tiny to the great, they swarm beneath her waves.
Our ships skim her surface
    while the monsters of the sea play beneath.  
And all of these look to You
    to give them food when the time is right.
When You feed, they gather what You supply.
   When You open Your hand, they are filled with good food. 
When You withdraw Your presence, they are dismayed.
    When You revoke their breath, the life goes out of them,
        and they become, again, the dust of the earth from which You formed them at the start.
When You send out Your breath, life is created,
   and the face of the earth is made beautiful and is renewed. 
May the glorious presence of the Eternal linger among us forever.
    And may He rejoice in the greatness of His own works—
He, who rattles the earth with a glance;
    He, who sets mountains to smoking with a touch.
I will sing to the Eternal all of my life;
    I will call my God good as long as I live.
-Psalm 104:24-33 (translation The Voice)

     This weekend we met an old friend of Grayson's for lunch at Pinky's Westside Grill. I would highly recommend it if you're ever passing through Charlotte, NC. Zach and Gray were best friends in high school, so Kristin (Zach's girlfriend) and I heard lots of crazy stories!
On our way home we were able to visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. I was living the dream! I absolutely love botanical gardens; so much beauty in one place. Even though it was super hot and not his favorite thing, Gray tagged along and added his own spice while I enjoyed the scenery. 
I'm pretty sure this isn't allowed . . . He love's to photo bomb.
Gray definitely made the gardens a more happenin' place. . . 

Aug 2, 2013

He is With Us.

My sister is guest blogging today, and I don't need to say anything because she has a way of saying things beautifully all by herself. I hope you're encouraged as much as I was by reading this.

     As most of you know who have been following my lovely sisters blog, I was originally supposed to be her co-blogger, but with schedules and living 8 hours away we found it to be much more of a challenge then we originally anticipated! Instead, I now have the privilege of guest blogging! So thanks for letting me share a little of what I’m learning Jak!
     July 20th marked the beginning of my 21st year on this blessed earth and to say it was an interesting birthday is an understatement…
I always love birthdays. In our household they were always viewed as something to be cherished, a special day devoted to the “birthday girl.” And while I have never been able to bring cupcakes for my fellow classmates, I would not change by summer birthday for anything. I love having time off, free from anything to celebrate with my family. I love reflecting over the past year and rejoicing in the new year to come. 
     For me, this year marks the beginning of the end. I will be starting my final year of college and hopefully be an RN in a little over 10 months! (say what?!) It’s crazy to think this moment is fast approaching and with it brings a whole slew of things to consider.
     Where will I be in one year? What will my first job be? Will I still be in Xenia? Do I even want to be a nurse? But seriously, what am I doing with my life??
     I am a planner with a capital P so you can see my dilemma. The unknown makes me nervous. So naturally, I automatically plan for the worst possible outcomes. Let me say, not a good idea. It makes for an awful birthday, and year. I began to dread my upcoming classes, homework, responsibilities, dorm life, graduation, first job, and well yeah basically everything.
     But God really used my 21st birthday to start to shake me out of this pattern of thinking. I was miserable on my birthday and rather than rejoicing I was wallowing, yes wallowing. What kind of birthday is that?? I was not finding my joy in Christ but rather placing my ability to be happy on whether or not I knew what the upcoming year held for me. I was not placing my trust in God to provide all the happiness I needed and allow him to be in control of what this upcoming year brings.
     The song He is With Us by Love and the Outcome continues to pop up in my playlist time and time again. And the lyrics go a little like this….

Remember when your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when you wonder if you're gonna make it
There's a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt
We can't pretend to see the ending or what's coming up ahead
To know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close to the One who knows

We can trust our God
He knows what He's doing
Though it might hurt now
We won't be ruined
It might seem there's an ocean in between
But He's holding on to you and me
And He's never gonna leave, no
He is with us, He is with us
Always, always
He is with us, He is with us

We believe there is purpose, there is meaning in everything
We surrender to His leading
He wants nothing more than to have us close

     These lyrics have just really reminded me of the simple truth-God knows what he is doing. By placing my trust in him I can understand true joy. A joy grounded in the reality of what he did for me on the cross and continues to do even when I fail to trust him time and time again. Instead of always being caught up in knowing what is coming ahead, I need to be thankful for the place he has me in right now. And when I continue to make seeking him a priority, the details will fall into place. It might not always be the way I think it should be, but he is worthy of my trust. God has something for me no matter what the situation!
     And I know this seems like such a cliché thing to write about but it is such a reality because of the fallen world we live in. My prayer is for a joy found in Christ and an ability to turn complete control over to him. By doing this, I pray for an increased ability to look outwardly and love the people God has placed in my life. To be a living testimony of God’s love for me! 

- Francesca