Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If You Have A Bad Day...

All of us have bad days.

*Note, before you think that I am having a bad day and chose to sit down at the computer and gripe about it via blog-world, rest assured, I am having a perfectly fine day. I just have a point to make. So read further. :)*

There are a whole lot of things that can make you have a bad day. In case you didn't know this... there is actually an enemy out there who is trying his best to make you have a horrible day every single day of your life. He has several names, some of which are Satan, the devil, and the Accuser. He loves it when you have a bad day! He hates you as much as God loves you.

I won't go into detail about specific causes for bad days... I am sure you can think of your own examples.

The big question is... can I avoid having a bad day?

Well, yes. To some extent, anyway. :)

When you wake up in the morning, an excellent idea is to pray over your day. Out loud. Before anything unpleasant happens. (This is an especially good idea if you know you may have a lot of things to get done that day, or you know your schedule could be rather hectic.)

If you're in the middle of a bad day, it can be reversed. Really! Something I do when I'm having a bad day - or, really, just when I'm upset about something - is to go off by myself somewhere and pray.
Sometimes I lie down in my peaceful bedroom, sometimes I go for a walk outside and listen to the birds sing. It is such a comfort to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit wash over me and calm me.
I have had times where I'm sobbing, completely upset, and I manage to get out the words "Please, Lord, calm me! Give me peace!" And instantly, the inner turmoil vanishes. No, the problem or reason I was upset doesn't go away, but still I have peace in my heart. It's indescribable how wonderful this is.

John 14:27 ~ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

On 'bad days', searching the Bible for verses that contain the word 'peace' is also something that will calm your heart. Psalms is where I read when I need reassurance of the Lord's care for me. reading the words of King David when he was struggling with something in his life and then when his troubles are dealt with is quite uplifting.

I pray that you are all having a wonderful week!

Right now I feel... Peaceful. :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Chirps From The Barnyard #1

(Be sure to read my post on the Father-Daughter retreat below this one!)

Our baby chicks are here!!! They are adorable, sweet, fluffy, chirpy, tiny, soft, wonderful, enchanting, cute little things!
They're nice and warm in their little brooder box. We have some heat lamps on them to keep them nice and toasty... baby chicks thrive in warm temperatures. The green stuff you might spot in their food is called "Grow-gel", and it's some special vitamins to help them get some extra nutrients.
We have a variety of mixed breeds, but they're all brown egg layers and they're all hens. (How you can tell, when they're that little, is beyond me... but this company is great, we've ordered from them before, so I'm sure they'll be what we need... hens!) :)
And they just love being held in warm, caring hands.
Can everybody say "Awwwwww...."?


Home from the Vision Forum 2009 Father Daughter Retreat!

***Note: This post has a vast quantity of pictures***

The first thing I want to say is I had such an inspiring weekend at the Father/Daughter retreat! If you have never been to one of these lovely events, I recommend that you sign up for next year's retreat as soon as possible.

My father and I had the privilege of hearing encouraging, convicting, dynamic and instructive messages from Mr. Doug Phillips, Mr. Scott Brown, Mr. Geoff Botkin, and Mr. Voddie Baucham. Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin also gave a wonderful talk on what their father taught them about boys, which was something I enjoyed listening to very much.

Now, for the pictures that some of my dear friends have been clamoring for. :)

An artistic shot that I somhow managed to take in the hotel room mirror...

The Lobby of the Mountain Creek Inn, where the conference was hosted and all the guests stayed. Our room was on the third floor of the back building, seperate from the rest of the hotel, and to get to it my father and I had to climb up no less than 72 stairs. (Yes, I counted them) :P Perhaps next year I will not plan on wearing shoes with high heels.

Unfortunately, due to the rain, the Father-Daughter Unity Games on the grand lawn were canceled, but my father and I took the opportunity of the extra free time to visit the Overlook Garden, which to our delight was nearly at peak bloom.
It was raining just a little bit, but with our warm jackets and umbrellas that my very wise mother suggested we bring with us, my father and I spent a very enjoyable hour and a half walking through the garden, taking pictures.
There's me!
I particularly like this shot of Daddy.
Me and my umbrella, by the gorgeous native azaleas. My favorites are the pink ones. :)
Well, we returned to the hotel with plenty of time to attend the picnic dinner, which was inside this year. :)
I met some dear blogger friends and a few new ones as well! Here I am with Hannah from Waiting-Rose, Breezy and Emily Rose, and Cassie! :)
We were served delicious coleslaw, potato salad, hamburgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, pulled pork, and all the fixins. :) I decided on the Fried Chicken.
Here's the main conference room, all spread with checkered tablecloths. This is where we heard the messages and teachings from the speakers. I took this shot from the front of the room, close to where our table was located. Some dear friends of ours saved us some excellent seats in the front row.
The next day we got up early, had a delicious breakfast at the plantation room restaurant, listened to some very good messages by Mr. Voddie Baucham and Mr. Scott Brown.
Then it was time for the Victorian High Tea! Here's our table:
Here are Daddy and I at the table... I'm taking this one with my left hand...
The food was delicious and much more plentiful than last year - something I was grateful for, as it meant Daddy and I didn't have to go get lunch somewhere afterwards! - When I got to the rainbow petit four I decided to take a picture. :D
Left to Right, a Raspberry tart, a lemon square, a strawberry/vanilla petit four, and a chocolate/rainbow petit four. As well as these we were also served several varieties of sandwiches, fruit, scones, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and of course, jellies and cream to spread on our scones and biscuits. It was very good. :)

After the tea, I had such a wonderful time talking to the Botkin sisters and their mother in the hallway. My Dad also enjoyed speaking with some other fathers while I and several of my friends had some good conversations with the Botkin ladies. :)

Here are some of the delightful young ladies I was fellowshipping with... Breezy, Rebekah, and Emily Rose.

Then, as we were heading out the door to go spend our free time, we ran into Jasmine Baucham and she very graciously signed our copy of "What He Must Be", and even let me get my picture taken with her! :) It was awesome to finally meet you in person, Jasmine! :)
Daddy and I visited the Azalea Bowl, and unfortunately all the rain had muddied up the lake and the Azaleas weren't quite all blooming yet, but nonetheless, we found things to photograph. :)
Ferns ~
Cherry blossoms ~
And oh, was I thrilled with this Lady Banks Rose! It was beautiful....
...And tiny!
Here are some of the azaleas that were blooming.
Daddy purchased some stunning flies for his fly-rod down at the fishing center by the lake...
Then it was back to the Plantation Restaurant for a mouth-watering Italian Buffet. Mmm!
I was very impressed with the Dessert Buffet... especially the chocolate eclairs.
After a very encouraging and interesting talk by the Botkin sisters about how to behave around young men and a convicting, inspiring message from their father, Mr. Geoff Botkin, about how Hollywood is infiltrating our 'christian' society, we had some fun and games. :)

First 8 fathers serenaded their daughters a cappella, then there was a contest of how daughters could help their fathers 'get ready for work', by combing his hair, tying his tie, putting on his shoes, and the best part... 'shaving' him with shaving cream and a plastic knife.
Daddy and I got to bed late but stayed up talking about things like marriage, children, and... fishing. :)

And breakfast the next day only raised my opinion of the food they serve there at Callaway.
After church, A large group of young ladies and I had our picture taken in the patio... I'm the one in the back wearing blue. I'm actually right next to Mckenzie, (She's also in the back, on the left) a dear girl I met last year at the 2008 Father/Daughter retreat!
Sorry about the delay in posting, it took me a bit to adjust back into normal life! Thank you all for the encouraging and sweet comments you've left me! :)

Love and Blessings,

In case some of you are wondering how well I'm doing on my diet, ;) I only gained 2 pounds over the weekend and I'm going to work that back off during the next couple of days. :) In my opinion, it was well worth it! :)

Chocolate Box and Peach Rose (A Crochet Post)

I am really loving my new crochet block patterns book. :) I'm trying some new, beautiful granny square patterns that I've never even heard of before!

This one, the "Peach Rose", I crocheted on the way to the Father/Daughter retreat... I actually have a little table in my room painted with matching flowers, so that's where I photographed it...

And I just finished this crochet block this morning. This pattern is named "The Chocolate Box". Doesn't it just look yummy?

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Blog Post Series... and I'm going away...

Well, I will be gone for the weekend at the Father/Daughter retreat... my dear Dad and I are leaving right after an early lunch, and I'll be back sometime around noon on Sunday. :) I'm very excited about it! :)

To give you all something to do while I'm away - so you won't miss me too much, lol - I would like your opinion on something.

I'm doing a new series on my blog called "Chirps from the Barnyard", as we have baby chicks arriving early sometime next week. I will be following their progress and growth on this blog with pictures and even videos of the cute little chickies! :)

I designed two "Post Headers", which is a picture that appears at the top of every "Chirps from the Barnyard" post, and for the life of me I can't decide which I like better! I'm sort of leaning towards the pink one, but I love the other one too. What do you think? Should I alternate between the two, or just do one of them?

Option 1.
Option 2.

I'll be designing a button soon that you can put on your sidebar to go with the post series!
Goodbye for now... see you when I get back! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Open Book

My brother Steven has started a blog called "The Open Book". I love his blog title! He came up with that himself. :) I helped him design a header and he chose a background and it looks great! :D Please please please consider stopping by and leaving him a comment! :) I know he would be so thrilled. :)

Blogging is like a plague... it spreads from person to person. I got hooked, then roped my mom into blogging... and now Steven is continuing the trend! :D Wonder if I could convince my dad and my other brother mark to start blogs??? Hmmm.... *Wanders away, thinking deeply*

Currently I'm: Chipper!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Against The Flow - and What's On Julia's Desktop!

I have been awarded by Marissa and Madison! Thank you SO much, girls! :)
"This award goes to all of the people who are living a life for God and
going against the flow of what the world might tell them to do."

This award really meant a lot to me, because I so desire to be living for the Lord and going about my life the way he wants me to, not the way the world dictates us to.
Some bloggers I consider as fellow "Against The Flow" people are (in no certain order)

And most especially my dear mother, Gloria, who has raised me to care about what God thinks more than what the world around me thinks. Not an easy task, for sure!
These bloggers are thus awarded. :)
Unfortunately, while writing this post, I ran out of time! So if you are seeing this and your name is up there and you haven't gotten a comment from me, rest assured, I will comment as soon as possible letting you know! :D

And, for the next part of the post... Behold, the picture currently on our computer desktop!
I love this! I made it today on Scrapblog.com and thought it was just TOO CUTE! :D I love pink, I love flowers, I love flourishes, and I love to laugh. :) So this is perfect. :D It will definitely be on there for a while. :D (usually I change the computer desktop picture nearly every week!)

♥Love & Hugs!

Currently I feel: Grateful and Content.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fun In The Sun

Today we went to a home-church group that we've been attending for a good while now, and I am so enjoying it!
After the service and a picnic lunch, my two brothers and I went and played "Mush Ball" (Softball except with very large ball) and then a rousing, energetic game of Ultimate Frisbee. We had such a great time! I really enjoyed being on the same team as my brothers. Unfortunately I left my camera at home so I don't have any pictures. If I did, you could see my blossoming sunburn. On the way home Steven - my youngest brother - asked me "Julia, why do you get so pink?" (lol - I wish I knew!) The boys don't burn as much as I do. :)

I also have a funny quote from the day... my dad caught a gigantic, enormous large-mouth bass (I wish I had a picture!!!!) at the lake near the host family's house, and it got held in the air for a while when it was shown to a large group of people down at the dock. Well, when it was gently swished in the water a bit and then let go, it suddenly flicked its tail and swam away.
An amazed youngster, who hadn't ever seen a fish released before, piped up and said "So what do they do, like ... die and come back to life???" (hee-hee!) I thought that was cute. :)

♥Love♥ and lots of ♥Hugs!♥

Right now I feel Amused by the Fish Quote, and slightly Tired from the events of the day! ;)