April 15, 2015

2015 || March Progress, April & May Goals

I'm not even half-way through the year, and already I feel like I haven't been too diligent with these monthly goals. Instead of reviewing what I was intending to do last month, let me just jot down what I hope to accomplish by the end of May...
|| Career
  • Make summer income plans
  • Continue applying for full time teaching positions as they come up
  • Launch teaching blog

|| Spiritual

|| Blogging
  • Get back on track with a blogging schedule ----> figure out and carve a specific time to give this the time and attention I want to
  • Give the blog a bit of a facelift (new design)
  • Catch up on my favorite blogs and bloggers

|| Stewardship
  • Discern financial goals and budgeting priorities ----> particularly a car
  • Make student loan payments

|| Wellness
  • Come up with new workout regiment
  • Drink more water 
  • Establish morning routine 

|| Other
  • Try out two new recipes
  • Do 1 craft or sewing project

April 11, 2015

More Love Letters || Review

I find that the best mail is of the snail variety. Handwritten letters have always conveyed to me, the receiver, a deeper level of care and thought that's missing in the age of texts and e-mails. A handwritten note has the power to brighten anyone's day--a mission that Hannah Brencher championed in her recent book If You Find This Letter. Her story started out as a challenge: Write hundreds of letter and scatter them across the city to encourage others. Out of that challenge Hannah's organization, The World Needs More Love Letters, has been born--seeking to provide individuals facing difficult situations with bundles of love letters.

To get you started, Hannah has designed a booklet of all-in-one stationary. Each page tears out for you to write your message on, and then folds into a letter for the writer to address and then drop in the mail. There are five different designs, all in shades of green, gray, pink, and red--primarily in Aztec patterns. Inside the covers are 40 letter suggestions to spark ideas and three sheets of stickers to seal your note. This is a stationary lover's dream; you need only add your stamp and au revoir!

|| Visit The World Needs More Love Letters to join this snail mail revolution

|| Purchase the All-In-One Stationary and Envelope book here

Letter writing is the only device combining solitude with good company. ~Lord Byron

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging for Books, as part of Waterbrook Multnomah‘s Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

March 31, 2015

Passion Week || Extravagant Love

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. ~John 12:1-3
If there's a woman in scripture I'm jealous of it would be Mary, because she gets it. Like she genuinely, with her whole heart gets Jesus. Even more than Christ's band of brothers, the disciples, ironically enough.

At this time in history only four people were anointed: kings, prophets, priests, and the deceased. And how perfectly did Christ fit all of these? He is the King of Kings, our great High Priest, THE prophet, and with the shadow of the cross casting itself at this dinner party to honor Jesus--Mary prepares Him for death.

There's something about this moment though for our girl Mary. It's here that she is so overcome by her love for Christ--her Savior--that she takes the most extravagant, costly, valuable thing she owns, breaks it before Jesus feet, and pours it all out upon Him. A significant, tangible way to express this generous, precious kind of love for Him. This was the love He'd shown her, which beget the same love from her to Him. 

Love begets what it sows. 

None of that oil would be left when she was finished, because true love gives it all to the recipient.

To onlookers this would've been ridiculous display of oneself: impractical, illogical, and wasteful. But God's view of what is practical and logical is always seemingly different than our own. And nothing, nothing poured out for Christ goes to waste. It was ridiculous by all Jewish traditional accounts, for this was an act only servants preformed. And it most certainly would've been seen as inappropriate for Mary at this time, because only promiscuous women would've let their hair down. Honestly, the scene could've easily been interpreted as sensual to onlookers.

Two things: Jesus wasn't uncomfortable with this extravagant, truly female and emotional act of worship on Mary's part. In fact he says that it is wonderful. And Mary, so secure in her love and acceptance in Christ, no longer cares what the cost is or what others may think or say about her. She's totally free in her love for Jesus. 

During this passion week I want to reflect and think on how I can be more extravagant in my love for Christ, as he has been above and beyond extravagant in his love for me. And in turn how am I showcasing that to others? With fear with what onlookers may think? Or in abandoned freedom? Maybe you'll join me in asking the same questions.