Sunday, April 22, 2012

Him hath God exalted

I read the excerpt below from Spurgeon's Morning by Morning and halfway through I started thinking about my dad and missing him. Just how I love my family still...but. It is not wholly complete without him. I just miss how we all interacted as a family. How we all joked around or had some our deeper meaningful conversations at the dinner table. I miss his counsel. But then I finished the Spurgeon devotional and I couldn't be sad anymore. He is in Heaven with Jesus and pretty soon we will be too. I can't wait!


"Him hath God exalted."

-Acts 5:31

Jesus, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried, now sits upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords is his by undisputed right. It is sweet to remember that the exaltation of Christ in heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father's right hand, and though as Jehovah he has eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share, yet as the Mediator, the honors which Jesus wears in heaven are the heritage of all the saints. It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ's union with his people. We are actually one with him; we are. Members of his body; and his exaltation is our exaltation. He will give us to sit upon his throne, even as he has overcome, and is set down with his Father on his throne; he has a crown, and he gives us crowns too; he has a throne, but he is not content with having a throne to himself, on his right hand there must be his queen, arrayed in "gold of Ophir". He cannot be glorified without his bride. Look up, believer, to Jesus now; let the eye of your faith behold him with many crowns upon his head; and remember that you will one day be like him, when you shall see him as he is; you shall not be so great as he is, you shall not be so divine, but still you shall, in a measure, share the same honors, and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity which he possesses. Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for he has "made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign forever and ever." Oh! Wonderful thought for the children of God! W have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven's courts now, and soon he will come and receive us to himself, to be with him there, to behold his glory, and to share his joy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mini Journals


So I saw this idea on one of my favorite blogs these days, A Beautiful Mess, and I thought it could be a nice little gift for those wonderful girls you read about last week.
They are super easy to put together and you can put them in your purse as little "to-do" jourals.  You could also use one for prayer requests, or short lists.  Jenn, the girl that lives with us, writes down quotes people say or other things she wants to remember.
Instead of using magazines for these, I used pictures from a vintage looking California book that I picked up at a garage sale.  It is full of old pictures of Cali.  Then I added stickers for their initials. The spines are covered with washi tape.
Makes for a fun quick project.  ;)
(I'll get these to you soon, Kristin and Amber!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Friend Files

Kristen Smith


Kristen Smith.  Oh Kristen, you are so funny.  Seriously people, if you want to laugh, hang around Kristen.  I think she is one of the funniest females I know.  She's very quick and witty.  She once told me she had a lot of practice thinking up comebacks to her two older brothers.
Kristen is also very thoughtful.  When I first discovered that I had colitis, I found a basket of foods I could eat outside my front door.  It had lots of fun little notes.  It was so kind!
Kristen used to meet Megan and me for Peet's also before church on Sunday's. 
I first knew Kristen when she was a freshman and I was a senior in high school.  We were in the same Bible study.  She actually came to my birthday party on her birthday! (It's the day before mine.)
See?  So kind.

Anyway...learn more about her here!

What is your full name?  Is there any significance behind it?  Any funny stories in connection with it?
My name is Kristen Michelle Smith but my parents will NOT stop calling me "Chris".

What is your favorite book?  Why?
Favorite book? Other than the bible I would have to say anything by CS Lewis. I love how that man's brain worked.

Where is your favorite place to eat in the greater L.A. area?  Why?
This is like picking your favorite child. I like hole-in the wall places by where I live. There is a place by my home called Crave that has good crepes, a place called the Pita Kitchen that is fresh and tasty, and a place that will get me FAT on their lattes alone - Aroma Cafe. I could practically go on forever...

Have you ever left the country?  Where did you go?  What did you do?
I have been to Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Germany, Monaco and France. Adventures! I love traveling but I LOVE coming back home! Next trip: somewhere that English is the 1st language. 

What is your dream job?  Are you doing your dream job right now?  If so, what do you do?
I go back and forth on my dream job. On one hand I would love to teach students but on the other hand I would love to do some sort of experiential marketing job. Or just owning my own business where I can do something artsy/creative or sell food I make. So many choices. But I am content at where I am now.

Who do you look up to?  Why?
I look up to Jesus Christ first and foremost. What an ultimate example of humility, love, contentment, submission... I look up to my mom and dad for their faithfulness, patience with me, service to Christ and His church, and for how they are willing to continue to grow and change (rollin' with the punches). And so many more.
I never look up to celebrities. Those crazies always let you down.

What is the first concert you ever went to?
I can't remember what my first concert was but it was in high school. I would so much rather go to a concert than see a movie. 

What are you thankful for?
I'm thankful for.. Everything. I'm so thankful for friendship, family, the body of Christ, s'mores, high school small groups, fresh cut flowers, SoCal weather, that I have a job, technology, and for a High Priest who can sympathize with my weakness. 
 
If you had a baby elephant, what would you name it?
Todd. First thing that came to my mind. Tiny Todd on special occasions.

'Teensy' because I am so original.

 Kristen made this little facebook collage.  The top two are from our trip to Minnesota.  We helped move Megan there.  We drove there in two days, stayed for two days, and drove home in two days.  It was a crazy whirlwind trip, but so much fun!  And there were a few crazy things that happened, like an encounter with a possible dead man?!  More on that later...

Oh and the pic on the bottom left was from an Audio Adrenaline concert at Magic Mountain!  ;)

Love you, Kristen!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Friend Files

Emily Taylor


Yes, I know she's my sister, but we also like to say we are best friends.  What can I say about Emily?  There is too much, let me sum up.
Emily is funny, godly, sassy, colorful, caring, cool girl.  ;)  Those are the adjectives that came to mind first.  She is also daring.  Yeah, I'll throw that in there.
She is a good one to have around.  ;)

So learn a bit more about her!

(We both love the picture above because I told her that her eyes look like Curtis Stone's, the Take Home Chef, in that pic.)



  What is your full name?  Is there any significance behind it?  Any funny stories in connection with it?
Emily Lee Taylor – It took awhile for my dad to accept the name, Emily. He didn’t want me to be called Auntie Em as an aunt. But he met a cute little baby girl named Emily and he changed his mind J My middle name is the same as my uncle’s middle name and my mom thinks that “Emily Lee” sounds lyrical. So now people call me “Lee Lee” or “Emileeleelee” and some people… want me to wind up with the last name “lee” which isn’t very nice.
What is your favorite book?  Why?
I think based on simply the amount of times I’ve read it, The Lord of the Rings would have to be my favorite. What’s not to like, it’s epic, fantasy, good vs. evil, action, tragedy, comical, fantastic characters. I will admit, I’m an LOTR nerd.
Where is your favorite place to eat in the greater L.A. area?  Why?
Well, I’ve only been here once, but the place where I can remember my mouth being its happiest was at The Melting Pot. It’s really, really mouthwateringly good.
Have you ever left the country?  Where did you go?  What did you do?
Yes. I’ve been to Mexico City, Spain, France, Switzerland, and South Africa all for mission trips.
What is your dream job?  Are you doing your dream job right now?  If so, what do you do?
Becoming a vet tech. Right now I’m working at GCC for student ministries and it’s really amazing also. If I was allowed to have my dog at work it would probably be my dream job J
Who do you look up to?  Why?
Lots of people. My mom, my sister, Erin, my bosses (also pastors) Andrew Gutierrez, Kelly Wright, Austin Duncan. Lauren Brown, Brenda Frields, Lisa Martin. I look up to them because they are examples of Christ and they excel in how they serve others. There are way more than these too…
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?  Details!
Performed a very embarrassing song and dance at a high school talent show at church during my senior year.
What is the first concert you ever went to?
The Eagles with my parents. I drove all the way from Palm Springs to see it and then back again to go back to Bible study retreat. It was so worth it.
What are you thankful for?
God’s grace – guess everything else I’m thankful for flows from that.
If you had a baby elephant, what would you name it?
Bob if it was a boy and Ellie if it was a girl. Not too unique I know…


Love you, Em!

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Friend Files

Crystal Sanford


Crystal sent me a pic from one of our high school staff retreats.  She is the blonde on the right with the super chic orange shoes.  ;)
I used to say that Crystal is full of surprises.  She still is, but now I'm used to being surprised!  ;)  She really is one of the most fascinating people I know.  You'd just have to meet her to know what I mean.  She lives in a really cool house somewhere in Hollywood and she is great at decorating, flower arranging, cooking, basically anything creative.
She's also a really sweet and really funny girl.  And she owns a cute dog named Sailor.

Learn a little more about her.  I'm sure if you asked her to expound on any of these answers, you'd get a really interesting story.  ;)

Love you, Crystal!
What is your full name? 
Crystal Joleen Sanford
What is your favorite book?  Why?
The Bible, because it is the Living Word of God.  I also like obscure old books with fun titles like 'Try and Stop Me' by Bennett Cerf
Where is your favorite place to eat in the greater L.A. area? 
Tough question... right now i would say Forage in Silverlake and red Hill in Echo Park
Have you ever left the country?  Where did you go?  What did you do?
Mexico, family trip; Germany, business; Italy, business; France, business; Uganda, missions; England, fun.
What is your dream job?  Are you doing your dream job right now? 
To be a Wife, Mother, and Homemaker.  Not yet  ;)
Who do you look up to?  Why?
My mom, for her courage; my California mom, for her wisdom; and so many more...
What is the craziest thing you have ever done? 
Start my own business.  I guess sky diving too, I didnt really think that was crazy but my mom did.
What is the first concert you ever went to?
Cant remember, either LeAnn Rimes or The Dixie Chicks
What are you thankful for?
Salvation, Hope and Eternal Life found only in Christ, wonderful friends and my little spotted pup, Sailor
If you had a baby elephant, what would you name it?
Peanut

 

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Friend Files

Amber Murphy


Sooo...I asked each of these friends o' mine to send in a picture of themselves.  I feel like it says a little bit about each of them depending on which one they pick.  So I was not responsible for these....ahem...chunky white arms.  But I love you Amber!  And it was so fun being in her wedding.  ;)

Onto Amber!  Amber is such a dear friend.  We met our freshmen year of college when we lived on the same wing.  We realized recently that that means we have known each other for 10 years in August!  That's just crazy to me.  Time flies I'm telling ya! 

Amber is a talented artsy girl.  We have so much fun talking about that stuff.  She is also a very talented photographer.  Check her out!  She's also a very faithful friend.

So now you can learn some more about her.  ;)  She wins the award for long answers, which are my favorite. 


My full name is Amber Christine Murphy (maiden name Frendt). I wish I could say that I was named after some famous relative or something, but my parents found the name in a baby book, and liked it.  Sorry that's kind of a boring answer =/ As for funny stories... it's funny now I suppose, but you know how people try to shorten names for a nickname? Well, Amber can't really be shortened into anything... and when I was a kid, my classmates somehow came up with the nickname "Ambie-Bambie," which would sometimes be shortened into just "Bambi." Ugh! Needless to say, I hated it.
Also, my maiden last name is very rare, so chances are if you meet a Frendt here in the U.S. we are related!

Oh man. Favorite book? Just one??? I love to read, so I have a lot of "favorites."  If I had to pick just one though, it would be Summers at Castle Auburn, by Sharon Shinn.  It's about a girl named Coriel, who is the half-sister to the next queen.  All of the queens in this kingdom come from the line of Halsing.  So when Coriel is young, she is found by her uncle and brought to the Castle Auburn every summer.  I love it because Corie is a very witty and strong character, who (as she grows older) begins to see life in the castle with clarity.  There is also a love story, which is awesome! I'm a hopeless romantic, so this book rates very highly with me! 
Aside from that book, I really love the Harry Potter books, I'd rate those as second favorite... I just couldn't leave them off the list because they're wonderful!

My favorite place to eat in L.A. is Aroma Cafe.  I love it because the food is excellent, they make a really good cup of coffee, and the place is just so darn cute I wish I could live there!  I really like places with good ambience and decor... and the back patio area of Aroma is just so lovely!  They have all these potted plants and a large table in the back with vintage mirrors and a chandelier... and they have this huge green hutch where all the sugar and creamer and other accouterments are kept that I want to steal someday.  Or buy. whichever. :D Either way, I want one in my future house.  I also really like their pastry display... it's beautiful!  I want to open my own coffee shop someday, so Aroma Cafe is really inspiring to me.

Oh yes. I've definitely left the country... in fact, I lived in another country for 5 years!  When I was in high school my dad accepted a temporary position with his company over in Singapore.  When they told me we were moving and where... I freaked out just a little bit.  Singapore??? Where the heck is that? I immediately pictured living in grass huts or something.  We moved over there the summer I turned 15, right before my Sophomore year in school.  I had a super bad attitude about moving, but it ended up being the greatest thing for me.  Singapore is quite advanced as a country... in fact the entire country/city (it's a tiny island) is a thriving metropolis.  I went to an amazing school, made life-long friends, and grew spiritually as I learned to trust God no matter where I lived.  Now, I actually miss that place!  When we lived there, I had the opportunity to travel to other countries quite a bit as well.  I went to Australia twice, Malaysia a handful of times, and my mom and I went to Italy when I was in college to make up for a trip I missed in high school thanks to 911.  I love traveling, and hope to go many more places in my lifetime!

Haha ok my dream job... I'll give you my DREAM dream job, and then a realistic dream job.  All my life I've wanted to either be a singer or an actress, or maybe both.  I think acting in movies would be just amazing, and it's something I've always wanted to do. Since that isn't something that's very likely to happen, my realistic dream job is being a photographer.  And yes! It's something that I'm doing, and I LOOOOVE it!  I find a lot of joy in creating beautiful images with my camera.  I especially love taking pictures of people, which is why I've put my business emphasis on portraits and weddings =)  I get really excited when I catch a real laugh between a newly married couple, or the sparkle of mischief in a toddler's eyes.

I really look up to my parents.  I think they're awesome!  They have an amazing marriage, and are more in love today then when they got married.  They have always been a great example to me of what a marriage should look like... and what parenting should look like!  They did a great job raising us, and I think I'll look back on my childhood as a guide quite often when I'm raising my own kids. 

Craziest thing I've ever done huh? Hmm. Andrew says to put down "I married Andrew" haha.  But I don't think that was crazy at all :D  I guess the craziest thing I've ever done was that I repelled down into a cave/sinkhole in Australia!  It was kind of scary, because as I went over the ledge, I could only put my feet on the wall for about 10 feet.  At that point the cave wall went too far back to put my feet on. So while the person at the bottom held the rope tight, I let go of the rope and leaned back and yelled "ready" to the person down below.  They loosened up on the rope and I went on a free fall all the way to the bottom of the cave.  It was exciting and my adrenaline was pumping after that!  I don't know if that counts as crazy, but it's the only thing I could think of :D

Oh my gosh haha... the first concert I ever went to was a Steve Green concert when I was like 7. Lol!  Do you remember him? In fact, I even got to go on stage at that concert because he had that song about "keeping your tongue from evil"... or something like that... so he had all these  kids come up on stage and sing with him on one part of the song, and hold our tongues while we sang! Ah Steve Green... good times.

I have SO much to be thankful for.  Above all, I'm thankful that Jesus saved me from my sins.  It's easy for me to look on the world and it's wickedness with frustration, and in those times I always have to remember that were it not for His grace and mercy, I would have been right alongside those who hate Him.  Second, I'm really thankful for my husband, Andrew.  He is perfect for me in so many ways, and I can't imagine my life without him.  Third, my family.  I love them all so much! Fourth, my friends. God has blessed me with a few kindred spirits who are a joy to spend time with, and who are always the most encouraging and just plain fun to be around. Fifth, all the little things... like being healthy, my sweet pet rats, my new camera, sunny days, rainy days, coffee, good food, books that sweep me away, and the rest of life's small blessings.

If I had a baby elephant, I would name it Ellie.  When I was little and learning to read, there was a poem that I really liked. It went like this: 

Elephant elephant elephant Ellie
Eats and eats and eats grape jelly
The more she eats, the more she grows
The more she grows, the slower she goes
But elephant elephant elephant Ellie,
Still eats and eats and eats Grape Jelly

And yes, I just recite that from memory, and I think the last time I read that was when I was like 8! It's funny the things that stick in your head. Anyway, all that to say... I think Ellie would make an excellent name for a baby elephant!

Thanks Amber!  Love you!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Sweet Maggie Moo

Tacy just gets all the attention these days.  She younger, more hyper and seemingly more affectionate.  But I still love my Mags.  She gives great big lopping kisses.  With much prodding and begging she will still come when she's called.  And I'll just never forget the day I met my parents at a home in Glendale to pick her up.  She was so precious and she sat on my lap on the drive home.  I fell in love at first sight.  ;)

I took these pics the day that Maggie's baby, Sasha Sugarlips (formerly Fattie or June Summer Rose) came to visit.  I'm actually not 100% sure that that's Maggie in the pic below.  It looks like her, but I remember thinking it was Tacy at the time.  I"ll post some pics of Sasha later.  ;)  She's a cutie.



I have some more fun friend interviews lined up.  And I'll show you the little prizes I'm giving them for their participation.  Have a fun Thursday!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Friend Files

Ashley Wauhop


Next up is my wondeful friend, Ashley!
I first met her at a staff meeting when she and her hubby, Robert, joined high school staff at church.  But we really became friends when I went to work at Grace to You.  Ashley had been working there for almost a year.
Ashley is really funny, really down to earth and "real" and just plain fun to be around.  I loved our walks we took together on our morning breaks.  I was so encouraged by her and her desire to be more like Christ.  I still am!  You should check out her blog sometime.

Here are her answers:

What is your full name?
Ashley Joelle Wauhop (technically Smith)
Is there any significance behind it?
No, my mom, along with half of the other moms in 1987, thought that she was an innovator with this new, cool name - she was wrong  
Any funny stories in connection with it?
Not except for the fact that after almost three years i STILL have my maiden name!  (I'm not a feminist, just a little lazy and cheap.)

What is your favorite book?
Let the Nations Be Glad: the Supremacy of God in Missions  by John Piper and Feminine Appeal by Caroline Mahaney
Why?
I read it when i was first "becoming a Calvinist" and it really explained a lot of things and revolutionized the way i thought! and, I just read this and it was SO practical!

Where is your favorite place to eat in the greater L.A. area?
Probably Poquito Mas  
Why?
Because it's amazing!

Have you ever left the country?
YES!  
Where did you go?
Costa Rica, Germany, Kenya, Dominican Republic, Mexico (and the Bahamas, but that is part of the US, technically, right? i didn't need a passport!)  
What did you do?
All were missions trips except Mexico - honeymoon in Playa Mujeres and the Bahamas was my senior trip in high school.  

What is your dream job?
Stay at home wife and mom!  
Are you doing your dream job right now?
YES!
What do you do?
I stay at home with my baby girl and take care of our home!!

Who do you look up to?
Wendy Kane, Caroline Mahaney, Melissa Norton, Carly Brannon  
Why?
They are great, super godly, fun, amazing moms!

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Go to Africa...basically by myself!
Details!
Basically, I almost died!  Long story short, someone broke into the house I was staying in and we had to flee for lives in the middle of the night. My parents even called the Embassy, haha.  It all worked out, though :)
What is the first concert you ever went to?
KingsFest, I think.  It's like all of these Christian bands at King's Dominion amusement park in VA - there was Superchick, Relient K, Third Day, etc...
What are you thankful for?
My salvation, my husband, Maggie, my friends, and my church!

If you had a baby elephant, what would you name it?
The first thing that came to mind was "Trunks" but, I'd eventually think of something better.

Thank you much, Ashley!  Love ya!

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Friend Files

Cheesy title for a series of posts, I know, but at least I didn't name them "Wind Beneath My Wings."
I decided to interview some of my friends.  Why? Because they're wonderful and you should know them.  I have learned a lot from each of them, and they make me laugh, and they are just cool.  I am thankful for each of them!
First up is the fabulous

Megan Fremont

She was also the first one to answer the questions so she is going to win some kinda prize.  (I'm serious Megan.)
She crazy.  Well, she can be, but I mostly put that because I feel like that's something she would say.
Megan and I became friends...mm...6ish years ago?  We first met at SCV Bible Study in Crossroads and eventually we were roommates along with our friends Melissa and Jen.
Megan is one of the most faithful friends I have.  She moved back to MN right before she got engaged to Jason but we still email every day. (And I got to be in her wedding this past June!)
This was at Peet's, where we used to go hang out every Sunday before night church, when we were no longer roommates.
And here are her answers to some questions I asked her.  ;)

What is your full name? 
Megan Christine Fremont
Is there any significance behind it?
 Not that I know of!
Any funny stories in connection with it?
 I tried to have people pronounce my name Meegan for a while. It didn’t catch on.  :) Also, mom wanted twins really bad named Matt and Megan. She didn’t get twins so she still kept the names!

What is your favorite book?  Why?
Hmm.. Besides the Bible I take it? It changes so very often…. At the moment I think It’s Unbroken. Mostly because it’s a true story/biography. It’s so well written and such an incredible story of a POW in WW2. But a classic that never changes would be the Anne of Green Gables books because I can (as most females do I think) relate to Ann so well in her awkwardness or her honesty  gets her in trouble. It’s just a must read!

Where is your favorite place to eat in the greater L.A. area?  Why?
I’m forgetting after 2 years away! But Egg Plantation (why? Because of their strawberry stuffed French toast!), Stone Fire, and Pink Berry! Not sure if Pink Berry counts.. but in LA there are frozen yogurt places every two feet and in MN they aren’t to be found. I really miss it!

Have you ever left the country?
Yes 
Where did you go?
New Zealand, Caribbean, Dominican Republic 
What did you do?
I did a semester of school in New Zealand, went on a cruise with my mom and sister in the Caribbean, and went to Punta Cana on my honeymoon!

What is your dream job? 
Oh man I wish I knew!  
Are you doing your dream job right now?
No 
What do you do?
 I work in purchasing for a medical research and development company

Who do you look up to?
Stephanie Niednagel and Emarie Britton and my mom 
Why?
Stephanie always has so much on her plate but isn’t overwhelmed or doesn’t show it at least. She always had answers or advice and time for me. Emarie Britton because of her love for [her husband] Sam and she always talks him up. My mom because the older I get the more I appreciate what she has gone through in life (lost her mother when she was very young, lost her first husband when she was young and had an 18 month old, married my dad and moved away from her family to be near his family) and her crafty/cooking skills I have come to depend on and wish to have.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?  Details!
I think either moving to New Zealand for 6 months, or moving to LA for 5 years right after coming back from New Zealand. I was very very shy and grew up in a very rural farm area in Eastern Montana. No one could believe that I went to New Zealand and they really couldn’t believe I moved to LA!

    What is the first concert you ever went to?
Rebecca St James :)

         What are you thankful for?
Besides the Lord, salvation, etc? I’m thankful for my husband Jason!

      If you had a baby elephant, what would you name it?
When I was little I had two stuffed elephants named Elly and Nelly… I might stick with those names ;)

I love ya Meegan.  Thanks!

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