2011: year of awakening

see ya, wouldn’t want to repeat ya!

that is my sincere, deepest sentiment to the year 2010. at risk of being negative nelly, last year was about all i could handle. it was full of hurt and heartache and loss. but more present than any pain was a peace. a peace that really does pass all understanding. i experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit like i never have before.  and His grace……it really is amazing grace.

the beauty of it all is that it’s these moments i talk about where God moved the most. and He’s just getting started.

“you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…” genesis 50:20

to make a long story short (you are welcome), the Lord has shown me in more ways than one that this next year will be a year of transition, a year of awakening. an awakening of dreams that i had forgotten were even there. i still don’t know what it all looks like, which is probably a good thing. but what i do know is that i’m ready. i’ve been asleep for way too long.

“so then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” 1 thessalonians 5:6

there is a chris tomlin song, fittingly titled “awakening”, that has owned me ever since we started singing it at church:

like the rising sun that shines
from the darkness comes a light
i hear Your voice and this is my
awakening

i came across a blog post by ann voskamp where she talked about how she names each year. she says, “i name years like i’ve named babies because each one births a different life that needs to be raised up and remembered.” that post was one of the most beautiful things i’ve read in a long time. so, i decided to start naming my years. hence the title of this post. 2011 is the year of awakening for me. i am uber excited about what the Lord has in store for not only me but for you as well.

so i’m curious, what are you naming 2011?

want to go to africa?

this video will take you there. when i watched this video it immediately took me there again. my own memories of visiting the churches and listening to the children sing came flooding back when i watched this video. i came across this video over at compassion. i thought it was a great  look in to what our experience was like when we would visit the different churches. at every church we went to the children had planned a song and dance for us. it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. i don’t have my own video footage of our trip but i thought this would give you a good idea of what we were able to experience. at least a little bit of what we experienced. the video was done by bigstuf camps.

i heart etsy

thanks to ohamanda i am now officially addicted to etsy. have you heard of it? have you been to it? girls, trust me. you will love this website. it is all things cute and handmade. it’s kind of like ebay but you don’t bid on items, you just buy them. and there is something of everything. there are 30 main categories to choose from but then each main category has many sub-categories under them. i’ve already begun making a wish list. i also have my eye on a few things that i’d like to buy as gifts. i would absolutely love this dress but it’s sold out. i for sure have fallen in love with this necklace. i mean, come one….that’s cute. if i had this apron i just might cook more. and for all of my many travels this passport wallet could come in handy. i know you all are itchin’ to get on over to the website and do some of your own browsing. what am i saying? you probably never came back after the first click. enjoy!!

from the sidelines

i just finised reading a post titled from the outside looking in over at compassion’s blog. it doesn’t talk about the children who are sponsored through the program. chris talks about the children who aren’t sponsored and what they must be thinking watching the children who are in the program, singing, playing, learning, etc. he has a picture up that shows compassion sponsored children on one side of the fence and unsponsored children on the other. when i read his post i immediately was taken back to my trip to tanzania. one of the images that i can’t get out of my mind is one of about four children standing behind some bushes watching me and my friends play and interact with the children part of compassions program. my heart broke. i wondered what was going through their minds. do they wonder why they can’t wear the same uniforms? do they wonder everyday as they walk past why they can’t go to school and be a part of the child development program? do they wonder when their day will come to be sponsored? this isn’t the best picture but it gives you an idea of what i’m talking about. it’s a picture of one of the boys looking through the bushes.
Tanzania 2009 189

even when we tried to get the children to come play with us, they were very slow to warm up. almost as if they felt that they didn’t belong. by the end of the week, we had connected just as much with them as we did with the children in the program. here is a shot of the same little boy that i took on our last day. he is the second one from the left.
Tanzania 2009 212

i love his smile. doesn’t it just warm your heart?

there are thousands upon thousands of children who are sponsored through compassion. but there are thousands upon thousands of children who are still waiting to be sponsored. one of the things i was told from someone on staff with compassion is that as children are sponsored it allows room for other children to be put on the list to be sponsored. i was already sponsoring a girl from the dominican republic when i went on this trip. i decided to sponsor a boy from tanzania. i wish you all could have been there with me to see first hand why child sponsorship is so important and what it does for these beautiful children. how it gives them a hope that they didn’t have before being sponsored. i just ask you to prayerfully consider becoming a sponsor. if you have questions, i’d be more than happy to talk to you in more detail. and i can promise you that not only will you change a child’s life but your life will also never be the same.

compassion as i know it

compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. this is websters definition of the word. i witnessed this word lived out in a time span of two weeks with 40 something other people in tanzania, africa. i can’t think of a better fitting name for the organization that we traveled with: compassion international. i learned the meaning of compassion through the compassion staff that we met. i miss them as much as i miss the children. i take comfort in knowing that the children we met are in good hands. i can only hope to love my job as much as they clearly love theirs. there are so many thoughts pressed upon my heart and i’m still sorting through them all. as i figure them out i will no doubt write more. one thing is for sure: compassion will forever be a part of my life in some form or fashion. i thought i’d share some photos that give a glimpse into the compassion we now have for africa. enjoy.

Tanzania 2009 224

Tanzania 2009 069

Tanzania 2009 214

Tanzania 2009 212

terrific t.v.

can “lost” get any better yet more confusing at the same time? i love it. i just wish it was a book that i could read. this way i could go back and read past pages to try and figure out what the crap is going on. but i love it. when the show is over i plan on renting it from the beginning and watching them straight through. but will the appeal still be there? i don’t know. let’s talk a little about this past week’s episode, “he’s our you”. i thought this episode would be about sawyer. i felt that thet title illuded to the fact that sawyer is to dharma what jack was to the losties. but whatev. i still don’t really get the title but i love the sayid story. how sad did sayid look when ben told him that it was over? “you’re a free man”. it was like sayid was lost (pun intended). he didn’t know anything else but to kill. ben tells sayid that he can go live his life. and then we find him working for an organization called “build your world”.  i loved the drug induced sayid. i want to see more of that sayid. he was funny. so how about the ending? SPOILER ALERT…….i just wasn’t expecting sayid to shoot little ben. do you think little ben is really dead? i don’t. i think the others will find him and nurse him back to health and then the rest is history. ben knew he had to create this “killer sayid” for him to get shot as a boy so that things would unfold. AHHH. it’s all crazy. there are so many theories and thoughts out there. my favortie to read is doc jensen’s over at ew.com. he has some out there ideas and i love every one of them. i could never think of these theories on my own. which is why he has his blog on entertainment weekly and mine is a free one over here at wordpress. if you get a chance go and take a gander at his thoughts. very interesting. well, i already can’t wait until next week. when are they going to tell us about what happened to aaron?? and is penny dead? where is desmond? so many questions……

my Jesus year

i am bound and determined that 2009 is going to be the best year of my life. i am going to wake up everyday with the expectation that the Lord is going to do amazing things. i am so excited to discover the dreams and visions that God put in my heart so long ago. i really think i have allowed time to go by and that i have forgotten about specific desires and dreams that He gave me. i’ve made a promise to Him to rediscover those dreams and to rediscover why created me in the first place. but i do know that none of this will happen by me just sitting on my rear, waiting on Him to show up. i know that i need to be intentional with my relationship with Jesus and that is what i plan on doing.

one of the ways i plan to do this is really digging deep into the Word. there is nothing more comforting to me than scripture but i just don’t know enough of it. i want to be able to think of specific scripture when facing a certain situation. my plan is to not only read my bible more but to really memorize and meditate on it. i was over at beth moore’s blog, living proof ministries, and she is facilitating a group of women who are committed to the Word this year. i am so excited. really all her blog will do is hold us accountable. and there is no condemnation but she is committed to holding us to really spending time in the bible. you can read about the “idea” at this post and to sign up you will have to hop on over to this post. and don’t worry, it’s not too late. definitely go to her blog and check it out. what it boils down to is that you commit to memorize two scriptures a month. and you go to beth’s blog twice a month and comment on which verses you are memorizing. you choose your own scripture. but what i think is cool is that you get to see what everyone else is memorizing. i’m super stoked about it. i’d love for some of you to join me. the verse that i’ve chosen for the first part of january is isaiah 33:6….

“this day, He will be your sure foundation. providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. the fear of the Lord will be your treasure.”

i just thought that would be a great one to start the year out with. if you decide to do this with me, i’d love to hear what your verses are. either way, take the time to search His Word. i think you will be amazed at what God wants to show you……

food, fun and more food

kesha came to visit lori and i this past saturday. you just don’t realize how much you miss someone and the fun that you have with them until you see them again. kesha left the life of a single girl a year ago and then moved to huntsville with her husband, shawn. sniff, sniff. i sniff at the moving part not the getting married part. anywho, she came to visit and we ended up spending our day the same way we always did: with food and card playing. after lori FINALLY arrived at my apartment 🙂 we made our way over to lakeshore to one of our favorites places to eat together: taco casa. we were really sad to see the one on 280 shut down. taco casa is a staple in tuscaloosa. that is where we each discovered our love for their beefy nachos! here is a pic of our full and happy faces after lunch:

tacocasa

we scooted over to old  navy to make a few purchases and then we headed back to my apartment to play some cards. kesha is the only other girl i know that is as competitive (probably even more competitive) as me when it comes to games. we ended up playing this game called “11 on the corner”. it requires 4 decks of cards. it’s similar to “canasta” if you’ve ever played that. it took us all day to play:

elevenonthecorner

shhh….don’t tell anyne what i have.

lolo1

  you got to know when to hold ’em, lori, know when to fold ’em   

keke1

  ke ke on the phone trying to cheat and get tips from shawn. face it kesha, i’m going to beat you

about mid-way thru the game we decided on a starbucks run. we talked kesha into getting a salted, caramel hot chocolate and she hated it. she doesn’t like chocolate. did you even hear what i just said? SHE DOESN’T LIKE CHOCOLATE!!!!! who is this girl? what girl doesn’t like chocolate? it’s beyond my abilities to understand. so, she went back and got her chai, vanilla latte or something crazy like that.

starbucks

check out the shadow of the cross above lori’s head. this starbucks trip was divinely appointed, we just know it.

passion-tea

i would like a tall, hot, passion tea please. thank you. too bad i’m like two and kept spilling it on my hand. too bad they have that warning on the cup, b/c i would be so much richer right now 🙂

we went back to the apt and finished off our game. i swept the floor with lori and kesha. i’m not even sure why they even attempt to play me in cards……..ok, so out of the fear of getting struck by lightening right now, i must tell the truth. kesha won. just like always. when we lived together we kept a record on a dry erase board of the games the two of us would play. it was ridiculous how many games she beat me in. luckily, i own that board and the tally has been erased for eternity. after our all day game of “11 on the corner” we decided on dinner:

tazikis

taziki’s chicken feast……it doesn’t get much better than that, does it kesha?

i really had a good time hanging out with two of the most awesomest women i know. i love you two more than my luggage. can’t wait to do it again.

and the winner is….

ok, so the wait is over. all TWO of you can wait no more. i have picked a winner for the next generation audio of the gospel of john. i posted a few days ago about my first giveaway. i was so excited to being doing my first giveaway. and i still am excited but i was hoping for a few more entries. but that’s okay. it just gives the TWO people who did enter a better chance. maybe if i updated my blog more i would have more readers and thus more entries into my giveaways. but whatev. ok, so i thought instead of just saying who won, i would lead you through the process of me picking the winner. so, here it goes.
here are the numbers, #1 & #2

numbers

here are the numbers again, folded up:

folded-numbers1

here are the numbers being dropped into the cup (childcare resources, represent):

drop-in

here are both the numbers inside the cup:

in-cup

here is me shaking up the cup. must make sure the numbers are REALLY mixed up:

shake1

and here is me drawing from the cup to pick the winner:

draw

and……..THE WINNER IS:

2

CONGRATS TO JOHANNAH!!!!! sorry to the other entries entry, sweet laurie. johannah if you will email me your mailing address, i’ll send it to you ASAP. once again, congrats. email me at tpsnipes@yahoo.com

MY FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!!!!!

i am so super duper excited about this post. i’m always coming across other blogs who give away great, fun stuff. and i always wish that i had something to give away. another thought that i have is that i don’t have enough readers to really do a good giveaway. it would end up being between the five people who actually read my blog. i was out Christmas shopping the other day and i purchased something at lifeway. well, i actually received a free gift for something that i bought. and this morning i was trying to think of who i can give it to and then it hit me…….this is your chance to finally do a GIVEAWAY. woo hoo!!!!!!! so……..i hope that someone reads this and really wants this product:

next-generation2

it is an audio of the gospel of john. but it’s not just an ordinary audio bible. this is “the word of promise next generation” dramatic audio bible read by an all-star cast. some of the people lending their voices to this project is jordin sparks, cody linley, corbin bleu, andrew lawrence and alyson stoner. this would be great for a young teen. i do wish that it was the entire new testament but the book of john is all i have for you. if you wish to purchase the whole thing you can go to lifeway’s site to purchase it. there is also an adult version that you can purchase here.

ok. so here is what you need to do. go to lifeway’s website, browse around and then come back to this post to leave me a comment about what you would order from their store. you will have until dec. 29 at noon to leave a comment. i would end it sooner but i’ll be out of town until then and not sure of my internet access. so, get to it. leave me a comment. and i’ll pick some fun and creative way to pick the winner. i promise it will be random and non-biased. ooh, and if you write a post about it on your own blog, let me know and i’ll give you an extra entry into the contest. YAY!!!!