Tag Archives: Bible

Weekend Happenings

It’s been a full and fun weekend so far!

Friday evening, I went out to dinner with my friend Megan who was in town for the weekend. She was craving Chili’s, so that’s where we went! I chose the grilled salmon and it was surprisingly delicious! Often when I order fish at restaurants, they cook it too well-done for my taste…and I always forget to order it medium-rare. This salmon was cooked perfectly, though – win, win! After dinner with Megan, I drove about 40 minutes to a completely different area of town to attend an event for International Crisis Aid. I’ve volunteered with ICA in the past and I really love the work they are doing.

Here’s a blurb about ICA, from their website:

“International Crisis Aid’s mission is to assist in sustaining life, bring encouragement to those suffering and collaborate with other relief organizations in bringing necessary foods, materials and medicines to people in times of crisis, particularly where life and death situations exist. Additionally, we attempt to bring public awareness to these situations and to solicit citizen involvement whenever and wherever possible. All assistance and resources are traditionally secured in the country of need when possible, so as to develop relations with the local business people and foster a true spirit of cooperation.”  (source)

Specifically, ICA is doing a lot to stop human trafficking – both overseas and here in the States. Human trafficking is a huge – and sickening – problem. It’s basically a form of slavery and it’s still going on in our world today.

The stats on human trafficking even here in the U.S. are unbelievable; here are some links I found online:

Human Trafficking: The Facts

The FBI on Human Trafficking: “It’s Sad but True”

Sex Trafficking in the United States

On Friday night, Pat and Sue Bradly, the founders and directors of ICA, spoke briefly about the work they are doing and the new safe home they are opening here in St Louis for victims of sex trafficking. A couple months ago, I visited the safe house with a group from my church and helped paint and clean the house in preparation for its opening. Pat and Sue stopped by while we working and my friends and I got to meet them and hear more about the work ICA is doing.

With the founders of International Crisis Aid, Pat and Sue Bradley

Saturday

On Friday afternoon, I sent a quick text to my mom, asking if she was interested in a Saturday morning hike together. She responded with an enthusiastic “YES!” so Saturday morning we hit the trails at Queeny Park, with Cocoa in tow.  🙂  The temps were brisk but not miserably cold by any means…my favorite kind of weather! We had a great 4 mile hike and fun conversation on the trails as we walked. Love my mom!

Enjoying the fall weather!

And of course, no post would be complete without a picture of my Beagle love…  😉

Saturday afternoon, my sis and I went shopping for dresses for her wedding rehearsal and dinner! I came home with two amazing dresses but I’m not sure if I’m going to keep either one because I just don’t feel like spending the $$$ right now. I did get them both on sale (at Dress Barn) but still…I keep asking myself how much I’ll really wear them or if I truly need another dress.  Will probably end up taking them back, haha.    😛    The sister and I had a great time together, though. After our shopping expeditions were completed, she took me out for a late birthday dinner at a new-to-me restaurant: Big Sky!
Can’t rave enough about Big Sky! It’s an amazing place and I will definitely be recommending it to everyone I know. haha. The food is from local farms, the meat is grass-fed, free-range, etc etc. Everything tasted so fresh and healthy – the health coach in me was in heaven! 😉  I was in the mood for fish (again) so I went with the pan-roasted trout and my sis got the swordfish. Both of them were delicious and mine came on a bed of fresh spinach with goat cheese sprinkled on top. Goat cheese is one of my absolute favorite foods, which I largely why I chose the trout! And it did not disappoint.

I didn’t get to take any pictures inside the restaurant, but I did snap one of this cute wood plaque that came with the check:

Good rule of thumb! 😉

Not only is the food delicious at Big Sky, but the decor and ambiance is delightful as well! They also have great service and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. I would definitely give this place 5 stars! I wish I could eat there more often, but because of my current budget, it’ll probably just be a special treat, reserved for celebrating birthdays and such. Oh well. I can still dream about relish the memory of the amazing goat cheese and delicious trout…  And if you’re ever in the St Louis area, I definitely recommend you take me there you stop by Big Sky!

This morning, I completed my “Burnin’ Leg Workout” in the comfort of my basement…and it definitely did the trick! My legs are still feeling wobbly and weak after all the lunges and squats. Love that!

Went to the late service at church today with my siblings and a few friends. It was good; the main thing that stood out to me was what the pastor was saying about being a leader. He said that we can each be a leader in some capacity – whether it’s at school, at work, in our families, among our friends. We always have opportunities to be a good example to others; to lead in a godly, humble way. This was really thought-provoking for me because I can easily grow lazy about this kind of thing and just go through the days without much thought of how my life can be a blessing and example to others. Good stuff to think about!

Off to watch some Sunday afternoon football and hang out with my fam!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!  🙂

Advertisements

Flying By!

Whew, this week has been crazy!

Saturday was the boyfriend’s birthday, but since we had another friend’s birthday party that night, we celebrated C’s birthday on Sunday. So, it was one, big birthday weekend! Loved it! Saturday morning I went out for Starbucks and a walk with my sis. Her wedding is only about 6 weeks away so we had lots of wedding details to discuss! It was a blast and such a beautiful fall morning to be sipping coffee and having girl talk.   🙂

Saturday night, C and I went to Dave and Buster’s for a friend’s birthday party! It was so much fun! I’d only eaten at D&B’s one other time; this time I got the Lawnmower Salad, which was filled with tomatoes, peppers, avocado, radishes, and hard boiled egg. I loved it. After lots of eating and general party banter, we moved into the arcade room for some games!  C and I did some Mario Kart races, skee ball, and several rounds of the claw game! He always wants to win stuffed animals for me, haha. Usually we play the small claw game, but this time we also tried the huge one. The huge claw game is much more difficult, but the prizes are…well, huge. This time we really hit it big and I walked out carrying this baby:

I have since moved the whale to the top shelf in my closet, and every time I look in there, that big whale eye creeps me out just a little.  😛

Sunday morning after church, C and I enjoyed an amazing lunch at one of my favorite lunch spots – Jason’s Deli. I never get anything but the salad bar there, because the salad bar is just too great for me to pass up! Such a good variety of toppings and some extra-special touches like Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, and whole, hardboiled eggs! What’s not to love?

After lunch, we drove out to C’s house, where his relatives had gathered for a birthday party! There was a lot of delicious-looking food, but I was still full from lunch so I just had some of the fruit.  After our early dinner, C opened his presents and we sat around the living room, talking for awhile. It was so good to see his family again; I hadn’t been out to his house in awhile.

This week has been really busy with the final preparations for my sis’s bridal shower on Saturday! Lots of emails flying back and forth among the bridesmaids, lots of grocery shopping and errands. I’m really excited for tomorrow! We’ll have lots of delicious food, a fun “how well do you know your groom” game for the bride, gifts, cake, and lots of good girl time. 🙂

The other highlights of my week included a great coffee date with the sweetest friend on Tuesday evening, followed by a nighttime run when I got home! It was such a beautiful night and I was itching to be outside. I had a great 5 mile run with no ipod, just the nighttime sounds and my own huffing and puffing.  😉

Wednesday night, I went to A’s church with her. It was great service and an awesome time of worship. We sung one of my current favorite songs, Forever Reign, by Hillsong. It’s such a good song that it’s impossible to excerpt, but you can read the full lyrics here: Forever Reign

On that note, I wanted to share something neat that happened on Tuesday! I had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, and without going into a bunch of details, there was something a little concerning that needed further testing. Everything turned out to be ok, (thankfully) but the bill was $150, all of which I have to pay out of pocket. (That’s a whole other complicated story) Combined with the $200 I had to pay a couple weeks ago for the x-rays of my wisdom tooth, that adds up to a good amount of unplanned expenses in a short amount of time. Needless to say, I was stressing a little  a lot about money on Tuesday afternoon! I hate spending money in big chunks, especially on medical things. (Somehow it’s not as painful when I’m spending it on clothes?!)  I kept trying to just calm down and stop freaking out about it, but it was not going so well. I left my house to meet my friend at Starbucks, and as I was pulling out of the driveway, I noticed it was sprinkling. The sun was still shining, though, and you can probably imagine what happened next…  I looked up  to see a rainbow stretching across the sky, poking out of the clouds with gorgeous rays of color! It took my breath away.

This blurry phone pic doesn’t do it justice!

Seeing that rainbow reminded me to focus on the positive things in my life, of which there are many! I am incredibly blessed in so many ways. Yes, the $$$ stuff is stressful, but it helps me calm down when I focus on all that I have to be thankful for. As cheesy as it sounds, the vivid image of color coming out of the clouds reminded me of all the beautiful color in my own life, despite the clouds that may be there too. Even in the midst of my stressful expenses, my personal struggles, my failures and shortcomings, I still have so much to be happy about!  And that rainbow was just the reminder I needed on Tuesday afternoon. 🙂

 

Spiritual vs Bodily Training

I’ve been reading a lot in 1 Timothy lately and this passage has been especially interesting to me:

“…train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8

I spend a good amount of time training my physical body. I enjoy working out, I love to reach new levels in fitness, and I am pretty devoted to keeping my physical body in shape. When I read this passage, the question that hit me was “how much time and effort do I put into training myself for godliness and spiritual growth?” As these verses say, physical training DOES have some value, but spiritual training and growth is even more important. Physical training will benefit us in this life – we’ll feel more energetic, have better health, more focus, etc. – but once this life is over, how much will all that stress over fat, calories, exercise and working out really matter? Whereas, with spiritual training, we are setting ourselves up for more joy and fulfillment not only in this life, but in the life to come.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think physical training (i.e., working out) is of great value! But I don’t want to focus so much on my physical body that I neglect my spiritual life and growth. In fact, I want spiritual growth to be my primary focus and the center of my life.