Monday, August 31, 2015

Speech, Conduct, Love, Faith, Purity

Girls I met my first year in college that changed my life.

Students poured onto campus and spilled through the streets of Norman last week. Norman seems to have come back to life and feels full once again. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy our summers of less cars and the grocery stores usually fully stocked, but when the students come back, Norman feels put back together again.

Between finishing my college freshmen scrapbook and the students coming back, I've been feeling reminiscent of those first days my feet walked on campus. I recall the feel anxiety but excitement. Wondering about every person I met, and bewildered by how many people I already felt so close to. There were classes to figure out, and Bible studies to try out. I remember grabbing every piece of paper that said anything about college student ministries. I'd get back to my too-quiet dorm room and look through them all, discarding some and staring at others. My schedule was filled with churches and organizations to attend.

With every new start to a college semester that I don't go back to school, I realize more fully what an opportunity it is to minister to the heart of college students. This time is the time of their lives! It's the first time, for most of them, to be a part from mom and dad and be making decisions on their own. It's all up to them to go to church or ministry related activities. They're vulnerable and impressionable but also know how to stand on their own two feet now. They're eager and hesitant. They're shaping who they are with every single day and every event they participate in.

Whether you live in a college town or not, would you pray for the heart of college students around our nation, and globe! Pray their hearts would wrestle them out of beds for Sunday mornings. Pray the people the come into contact with would spur them on towards Christ. Pray they choose for themselves to own their faith. Pray they would reach those around them who don't know God. Pray they would be leaders that lead out of their dependence on Jesus. Pray they would look different by their speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.

They've got four years to make a difference where they are.

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

Monday, August 24, 2015

Oh Baby, Baby

Oh my.
Yall I have found another new hobby, and I already have too many.
Photographing babies.
This little practice session stole my heart.
I adored every minute.

Our sweet friends brought their little child into this world just over two weeks ago now and we had the immense pleasure of spending a Sunday afternoon with them a week after his birth. Everyone says he looks like his dad but I see both of them in their little guy. What fun it has been to walk through so many season already with these sweet friends. From college, to proposal, to wedding shower, to wedding, to pregnancy announcement,to gender announcement, to baby shower and now their baby.

While Kevin and I still plan on waiting for a while to have our own little human, it sure was fun to talk about what the future would look like for this group. There's going to come a day that we no longer all fit in one of our,  at least currently, cars. There are so many seasons yet to go through, and I know we'll always have these two on our side and walking with us.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Escape OKC

Last Friday I pulled off a pretty epic surprise for one of my very best friends, and I have The Escape to thank for it, to be fair-also a number of other people! Now, as I mentioned last week, Kevin and I have had a lot of fun trying out new places in our city area lately. We've been to Top Golf, Elevation, and I listed a lot of my favorite see/do/eat too. Today, I've got The Escape OKC to share with yall!

So The Escape is a game in which you, and no more than five of your friends,  go into a room that takes you to another place/time with a mystery to solve. That mystery, once solved is your ticket out of the room. It helps you enter the right code to unlock yourself out of the room. This activity has been sprouting up all over the place. I remember I first saw a version of it on Ellen (oh the laughter, yall this is my favorite Andy video), and then The Bachelor made it one of the dates. It's been on my list of something to do for a long while.

I had to snap a portion of their world map showing california and oklahoma (and of course texas!)...they had pins ALL over the place of where people had come from, including Greenland!

A giant puzzle with lots of clues? Count me in! If you love mysteries, this is for you! My friend that we were surprising studied Criminology and I just knew this would be right up her alley. Many of the puzzles revolved around a criminal act or death. I felt like it was playing Clue in real life! 

The Escape costs $70 a game which is pricey but when split between 6 people really isn't that bad! You can choose your room and time online, which makes it super easy to plan out your evening (you should pop over to Cuppies and Joe after right across the street!)

Here are the room options you can choose between:
from their website

I think one of my favorite aspects of this activity was that it was more of a mental activity. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving all the new physical activities around OKC but I don't really know of many others that really get you thinking like this one!

Another reason I adore this place? Their willingness to work with you on making your experience the best it can possibly be! I emailed them several weeks ago to begin the discussion of my surprise. To fill you in, I had my friend's childhood best friend (and since college, one of my best friends) fly into Oklahoma (from California) to surprise our friend. I wanted her to be able to hide in the room, so that when we arrived with our friend, she was not only surprised by the activity but super surprised by her bestie being there! I had no idea how enthusiastic the staff of The Escape would be to help me make this surprise come into fruition. They were awesome! We got there and they helped me plant her in the room just in time. I also found out they've helped with many other surprised for people, including proposals! I mean, how fun is that?!

My only "negative" to The Escape would be the quality of the room set-up. This is probably the result of , what I like to call, the"design disease," the issue of me and other designers not being able to go anywhere without judging the interiors, but I still mention it because I think it just wasn't as dressed up as I imagined it would be. It was rather plain but it still got the job done. The theme was consistent in our room and the props they have are pretty awesome as they are on-point with the time period.

I can't share much more because of course, you'll have to check it out yourself and I'm definitely not going to be the one who spoils the game for you! So really, all I have left to say is: What are you waiting for?!???

Follow The Escape OKC on social media!

Anything in the OKC area that you've been wondering about? We love trying new things, and taking our small group to them as well! We're ALWAYS planning something!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I'm working...


I've been working on a lot of things lately. The last few weeks I was working on finishing my college scrapbook of freshmen year, yes that means I have 3 more to do. Kevin and I worked together to make a "coffee table book" out of the architectural pictures from our time in Copenhagen, shout out to Artifact Uprising for being the most awesome photo book out there (and no, I don't get discounts or anything for saying this, I love them that much). I put together the details of surprising a most special friend for her birthday. I've been adding miles to my weekly Saturday runs, so far I've got 7 total but 6 consecutive, to prep for the half marathon that I'm sure will be here before I know it in November. I've been working to do more things around the house to help my husband.

But most importantly, I've been working on listening to Holy Spirit within me. I have been stuck on a verse on fruits of the Spirit,  yes that one we've been memorizing since we were kids:

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23

Did you catch that last fruit? Self control. Wow, yall. That can pertain to a lot of things but for me it is pertaining to the way I eat, and most notably sweets. As you may remember, I've come a long way in my journey with foods and I understand a whole lot more than I ever have before but  I'm still working on changing my patterns. And the sweets still tempt me. So lately, or very recently, I've been working on really looking at what having the fruit of the spirit of self-control looks like in me. Am I choosing to yield to the Holy Spirit? Am I allowing myself to be led by the Holy Spirit?

Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it ALL to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

As I've considered those questions above, I've also considered this verse. Everything I do, and everything I eat matters to God! Is it all glorifying to Him? Do I honor Him with what I'm eating?

Walk by the Holy Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of our flesh.
Galatians 5:16

That verse is a pretty big deal to me. If I yield myself over to Holy Spirit and listen to him when he's knocking on my heart, because yes I can hear him telling me no- I just keep ignoring, I will walk away stronger. I won't have to gratify that desire because I'll have something better to gratify me- my sweet Savior! Everything matters to God. Every moment of our day. Every choice that we make. It all matters to Him. Because in everything we do, we are showing whether or not we choose Christ, whether or not we trust Him fully, and whether or not we're choosing to be His witnesses. People are always watching.

Not by my might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.
Zecharaiah 4:6

So lately, I'm learning to choose Holy Spirit within me. I'm working to listen to His voice inside of me. I'm working to be obedient to His instruction. I'm working to lend myself to His strength. I'm working to understand that the Lord has great things for my body if I simply and daily give it over to HIM!

God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Back to Paris

Kevin and I dream of going back to Paris often. Our 27 hour trip back in March was crazy fast. We look forward to going again one day and taking our time a little more. Until then, we just keep looking through our pictures and the ones the fabulous Katie Donnelly snapped of us in front of the Eiffel Tower. I will never forget that very cold, cloudy day...

All pictures were taken by Katie Donnelly of Katie Donnelly Photography

And don't forget, if you find yourself planning a trip to Paris contact Katie! She took some simply precious pictures of some friends of ours about a month back, check them out here.

New around here? Miss our fast and furious trip to Paris, check it out here, plus more picture Katie took of us here.
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