Thankful…

…for early foggy mornings and hot cups of tea

Photo0199

…for playtime with this pup

Photo0143

…for books! And for the time to actually read them 😉

Photo0195

…for cozy $4 Ralph Lauren pj pants

Photo0177

…for four mile hikes with this fellar

hiking

…for Thanksgiving menu planning! I love to menu plan, especially for the holidays!

… for the chance to worship at the Hillsong United concert tonight!

…for the fact that school is slowing down, break is almost here, and this lets my brain breathe again 🙂

…for this beautiful song…

Let your hearts be light and full of love ❤ ❤ Have a great week!

Xoxo,

Stacey B

Advertisements

My Top Five’s

What a great week it has been! I finished three exams, made A’s on at least two of them (not sure about the third yet), and now I’ve had the most glorious day off EVER. I woke up at 9, ran some errands, had an awesome workout, and came home to clean. I also spent time lingering in the library while out 🙂 I miss reading! Right now I am watching David Attenborough’s “The Life of Birds”. This series is amazing. If you are at all interested in birds, I highly recommend it (you can find it on Netflix). I just sit here, mouth agape, edge of my seat while watching this! Birds are sooo amazing!

Ok, geek time over. I wanted to do a quick post about my “Top Five”‘s for various categories. I hope your day is amazing and that your heart is light ❤

Top Five Books I Want to Read

1. The Clay Lion, by Amalie Jahn

2. Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul, by Jennie Allen

3. Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heavens Agenda by Bill Johnson

4. Finding the Hero in Your Husband: Surrendering the Way God Intended, by Julie Slattery

5. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

Top Five Green Products

1. Seventh Generation Countertop Spray

Product Details

2. Mrs. Meyers All-Purpose Cleaner, Lemon Verbena

Product Details

3. Burt’s Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub

Product Details

4. Local homemade goat milk soap – it does wonders for my skin! And by buying it, I help support local business (and a good friend, too!).

5. L’Oreal Paris EverStyle Product Line

Product Details

Top Five CD’s I Can’t Stop Listening To

1. Avett Brothers-Magpie and the Dandelion

Product Details

2. Bethel Live- Be Lifted High

Product Details

3. Katy Perry- Prism

Product Details

4. Hillsong United- Live in Miami

Product Details

5. Avett Brothers- I & Love & You

Product Details

(I kind of have a thing for the Avett Brothers)

Top Five Things On My ‘To-Cook’ List for Thanksgiving

(I’m hosting this year!)

1. Cooking Light’s Classic Cranberry Sauce

Classic Cranberry Sauce Recipes

2. Jenna’s Lightened Up Snickers Pie – it was a HUGE hit last year. Gone in about 5 minutes! Not everyone got a slice, so I think I’ll make two this year 😉

3. Cooking Light’s Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole– again, a HUGE hit with everyone. What is there not to like when butter, creamy potatoes, and marshmallows are involved??

4. Cooking Light’s Fire and Spice Ham– I made this two years ago and my husband and stepdad still talk about it! That’s how you know you’ve got a good recipe 🙂

5. Boxed Velveeta Mac and Cheese- I know, I know. I usually hate anything boxed, but the hubs requested it with the biggest puppy-dog eyes you’ve ever seen and I just couldn’t say ‘No.’. So among all of the homemade goodies, there will be boxed mac and cheese too! Everyone loves that stuff anyway, and besides…it’s Thanksgiving, if you aren’t going to indulge a little, what’s the point??

Top Five Things I Cannot Wait For

1. My friend and I are heading to Greensboro, NC right after school on Monday to see Hillsong in concert! Yeah! It’s going to be a great night of worship 🙂

2. Thanksgiving- I love cooking for other people and having family over. This year we are bringing both families here all at the same time, 15+ heads, so it’s going to be great!

3. December 31st- You can find Jason and I at the Avett Brothers New Years show just an hour from our house! This will be the fourth time I’ve seen them in concert! They know how to put on a show and I love them. We actually saw them on New Years Eve last year too, and at midnight they dropped bajillions of white balloons and streamers from the ceiling..it was magical.

4. Only three more weeks of school left, and then I get 4 week Christmas break! I will be locked in a room by myself surrounded by piles and piles of books just waiting to be read.

5. Serving at my church this weekend. I love seeing all of my church family and hearing a good message from my pastor…God has filled my heart so full of love and joy this week that I just want to run up and hug random people 🙂 🙂

Since I can’t hug you, I’ll send you an e-hug –> *huuuuuugggggggssssss* Haha 😀

Hope you guys have a great weekend! God is good! All. of. the. time.

xoxo,

Stacey B.

Grab His Hand

walk

This morning, like every morning this week, I woke up with a sense of overwhelming anxiety. I have 3 exams this week, two of them are on the same day. I haven’t been able to go to my small group for the past three meetings and I find myself spending less and less time reading God’s word. I still talk to Him and He talks to me, but I find myself setting aside less time for Him. I used to read my Bible while eating breakfast or lunch, now I sit at the computer and look at school stuff or Facebook for a distraction. My Facebook posts and Pinterest pinning has increased- a clear sign that I’m busy with schoolwork (because I use those things to distract me).

And it’s not like I don’t feel it when it begins to happen. God taps me on the shoulder as soon as I sit down at the computer and says ‘Stacey??’. But I just sit there and say ‘I’ll read my Bible tonight after schoolwork. And I don’t. I hate the feeling this gives me. It’s like I’m in an ocean, and I can see God and He can see me. He calls to me and even though I have the ability to swim to Him, I don’t. I don’t help myself. I actually swim downward, deeper into the water instead of staying afloat and grabbing His hand.

I need to grab His hand.

I almost decided not to go to church this morning because of all the studying I need to do. But I quickly realized that is how I go from swimming downward on my own account, to being pulled  downward. And if God the One by my side through all of this school stress, if He is the One holding my hand and still loving me even though I’ve put other things first, why would I miss a chance to praise and worship Him with people I love??? That’s just ridiculous. He deserves even MORE than that.

This morning I woke up, sat down at the computer at 6:30 to finish my 17  page study guide for renal physiology. I began playing these worship songs in the background:

Both of which brought tears to my eyes. Because God is good. And He is love.I used to pray for him to change my circumstances, like “God, please get me out of school. Please let this go by fast.” And one day, He said “I can’t make this go by fast. I can’t get you out of this. You signed up and now you are in school. I can give you joy. I can change your outlook.” And He did almost immediately. I love having the privilege of going to school. I love that I am a senior and do not have any debt, I love that He has blessed me with this experience, though it sometimes doesn’t feel like a blessing. I love that I don’t have to wait for Him to bring me out of school so that He can use me- He uses me right where I am and as I am. Degree or no degree.

I guess the point of this post was just to say that, it doesn’t matter what you are going through. God is beautiful and the greatest friend and father that one can ever have. If he can’t bring you out of your circumstances, you can be sure that He will be right beside you while you go through it. You can be sure that He will laugh and cry with you and share in your pain. Because you are His child and He loves you.

And He’ll never let you forget that love, no matter what. So don’t keep swimming downward toward things that won’t matter…things that don’t help you through. Reach out and take His hand. Give Him the chance to pull you out and embrace you.

I hope your weekend/week was swell. Thank God for this beautiful day and for extending His grace once more to us so that we can continue this thing called life. Love is sent your way…

xoxo,

Stacey B.

Eyeballs, Brains, and Hearts- A Week of Grossness

“Pass me that bag of eyeballs.”

This week was gross. If I could wash all of the stuff I learned this week out of my brain, I would. Especially the images of the actual specimens seen in class. In real life. Like, right in front of my face.

Maybe because it was Halloween, or maybe he just really gets into gross stuff, but my Developmental Bio teacher asked groups of four to present a presentation on a mutation of their choice. And of course we chose gross ones with graphic pictures and of course there was someone in our group that worked at the hospital that had access to the exact mutation we were covering. Aye-yi-yi. So this week in school, I’ve seen fetuses that were born with their intestines on the outside of their body (omphalocele), bags of real human eyeballs (another group was doing cyclops mutation), real slices of human brain (another group was doing anencephaly)…and the list goes on. And then the hospital worker brought other organs and what-not just for others to look at.

I, of course, was trying not to puke.

Not only that class, but in Animal Phys lab we had to dissect a sheep heart. I didn’t touch it. Not because I’m squeamish, but because I feel bad for the poor sheep that the heart used to live in. Next week we’ll be dissecting cats. I don’t know how I’m going to get through that one.

I also did a paper on parasitic wasps. Female parasitic wasps are pretty dang gangster. Like all parasitic wasps, they lay their eggs in a poor, unsuspecting host (usually a moth or caterpillar). The eggs then multiply and differentiate into two different types of larvae: soldier larvae and reproductive larvae. Soldier larvae attack other competitive invaders trying to use the host as well, while reproductive larvae eat the host from the inside out. Once the host is eaten, the soldier larvae die. But do you know what the larvae do to that poor moth? They eat everything except the brain. So the moth is still alive and can provide a perfect “home” for the larvae to grow, but it is a walking zombie pretty much. Isn’t that cool/terrible?

So anyway, back to what I was saying about the females- they are vicious. If there are more males than females in the host, the females will kill all of the males making the ratio in their favor. They also kill others that have different genes too! They kill relatives, the men, females that don’t share their genes…they pretty much rule the host. So…wow. Sorry to get off on a tangent about parasitic wasps 😀

By Thursday, I was ready for the grossness to end. And I desperately wanted a beer! I got my second test back from Animal Phys and I did better! I can still pass the class! I also met with my adviser for what I’m hoping was the last time. My husband is ready for me to be done with school. I think I saw him for a whole 15 minutes this week.  He found me lying in the fetal position on the floor a few times this week too.

Did you guys dress up? We went to a party with friends and it was super fun 🙂 Here is my costume:

???????????????????????????????

People got it. I was glad. Jason wore a plastic sheriffs badge on a flannel shirt as his costume. In other news:

Campus is freakin’ b-e-a-utiful (#JimCarrey) this time of year! I can’t get enough of it!

Photo0163

 

 

My dog has been driving me insane. It rained all day yesterday and she kept shoving her toys into my thigh whenever I’d walk or sit..It’s looking sunny outside today! Gonna get this little ankle-biter to the dog park!

Photo0150

Also, lots of homework means that house cleaning was ignored this week, so I should probably go get a start on that. Here’s to there only being 2 more months of school left! Hallelujah! I’m off to go live the fancy life…meaning I’m going to go do dishes. I hope your weekend is a great one. Spread the love ❤ ❤ ❤

xoxo,

Stacey B.