Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013; Hello 2014!!

2013 is coming to an end and I am sitting here thinking, "How in the world did 2013 go by so fast?"  I really think this is the quickest time has ever flown for me...As I'm sitting here reading everyone's posts and watching their video montages I find myself reflecting on my year as well.  As a recap, here is my year in review:

Our niece, Samantha Grace, entered our world on the 6th and everyone's lives changed forever!  Babies and children are such a wonderful blessing!

I joined my first Life Group at Freedom House Church, God Chicks, and it not only strengthened my relationship with Christ but it gave me beautiful new friendships with some amazing women!

Not only did I reach my goal weight this month, but I surpassed it!  I got on the scale this month and weighed LESS than I did in high school, but still had lots of muscle tone!  I am extremely proud of that accomplishment.

Barrett and I took our annual Spring Break trip to a land far, far away.  This year we visited the Riviera Maya.  Unfortunately, we both spent a day and a half in the room recovering from either food poisoning or Montezuma's Revenge.  We're still not sure on that one!

Picked beautiful carnations out of my front flower bed and gave them to my mom and grandmother's as part of their Mother's Day presents!  This month I also attended the May races, as usual, and got to cheer for my favorite driver Kasey Kahne!

I wrapped up another school year and then bolted out the doors and headed to the beach!  My home away from home!

Spent a week in an ocean front home on Oak Island.  This is my only negative post:  The locals are HORRIBLY RUDE, and we will never visit that beach again.  Seriously, if you want to relax go to the Outer Banks, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, or Holden Beach. 

Barrett and I found out that we were expecting!  After years of infertility treatment it was the best surprise that we were pregnant without any fertility help!  God is SO good!

I joined Jamberry Nails.  Wow!  I not only love the nail wraps, but the pay isn't too shabby either.  I LOVE this part-time "job".  By far this is the easiest direct sales job I've ever had.  Everyone loves these nails wraps!

Celebrated 6 years of marriage to my best friend, Barrett Dabbs!  I fall more in love with him every day!  This month we also watched 2 dear friends get married in Shelby, NC.  Congrats Casey and Nancy Keith!

Found out that our little bundle of joy is a boy.  We had a huge party and are thankful for all of the friends and family who came to support us!  What a wonderful surprise!  Can't wait to meet John Davis Dabbs in April!

Was asked to lead a Life Group at our church along with Kendra Glover!  WOW!  I was completely caught off guard and enthusiastically accepted the challenge.  I can't wait to share the Word and fellowship with some wonderful women next semester! 

So there you have it: My 2013 in Review!  I cannot wait for 2014 for so many reasons, but most of all I am ready to welcome our sweet little boy in April.  I'm sure I'll be posting lots more in the next few months as we prepare for his arrival!

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Weekly Verse: 12/29

As 2013 comes to a close and this is the last Sunday of the year, I post my last verse(s). 

But before I do, let me take you through this 52 week journey. I started this journey with the idea of simply memorizing a verse and sharing it weekly. I quickly realized that an anecdote, along with the verse helped me with memorization. 

After a few weeks, I realized that I didn't just want to memorize verses but use each "weekly scripture" as a message. I would spend so much time reading His word and searching for the perfect verse or verses to go along with what I was going through that past or upcoming week.  As a result my relationship with Christ has become stronger than ever!

If you need a New Year's resolution may I suggest this: Dig deeper into the Word! Read a few verses each week, memorize a verse each month, read the entire Bible! But dig into your faith, you'll be amazed at how much it changes your life! 

My verses for this week are part of my prayers for each of you as you enter into the new year.  God bless you and Happy New Year. 

Paul's Prayers for Spiritual Wisdom:

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength (Ephesians 1:15-19 NIV)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Weekly Verse: 12/19

So, I just realized today is Thursday and I never posted my weekly verse.  Pregnancy Brain must be getting to me.  However, this slip couldn't have come at a better time.  I'm sure you've all heard about the A&E/Phil Robertson controversy and I think that could stand to be addressed.

I want you to think about this for just moment:
Phil Robertson voiced an opinion, a belief, and in a country where we have Freedom of Speech he is being punished for his "politically incorrect" views.  Wait!  Before you bite my head off, let me state that I do firmly believe that his comments were crude; however, that is my opinion and I am entitled to it.  It is also my opinion that he has every right to stand by his faith and speak up for things he doesn't believe in.  He quotes the word of God, and while his beliefs may not be popular or accepted by society he is entitled to them.

I spent years in the high school English classroom teaching my students about debating topics.  We debated some very touchy subjects (war, religion, politics, etc).  However in my classroom students were taught that they were to respect everyone's opinion.  That doesn't mean they had to agree with it, but they had to respect it and accept it as an opinion or belief.  I had 11th grade students, 16 year olds, who understood this better than our media-driven society.  People think that just because something offends them (especially if it is related to the Bible and Christianity) that they should condemn others and punish them for exercising a right that was bestowed on our country (which was founded on Christian beliefs).

I applaud Phil Robertson for standing up for his beliefs.  I don't agree with his choice of words, but I don't have to.  He stood on the word of God and supported his statements with Biblical facts.

This week's verse focuses on just that:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness. (Ephesians 6:10-17, ESV)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekly Verse 12/9

I don't know about you, but I love giving gifts! I mean, I get so excited I want you to open your present BEFORE your birthday, or Christmas Day! I don't enjoy giving gifts for the "thank you" in return; I enjoy giving gifts because it brings joy to someone else. 

I don't know when, or how, my parents instilled this joy of giving in me, but I thank them for it!  

Tonight, I sat in the living room wrapping gifts and thought about each person I was wrapping for. I then started praying for each person as I finished wrapping the gift. I don't know why I did this,  I haven't done it before but I started with one and then it just continued. 

Gifts don't have to be big, or even monetary; gifts can be a simple note, some quality time spent with a loved one, or a baked good. Imagine how much happier our world would be if people were in the giving spirit more often!

This week's verse is simple but true:

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. (Proverbs 11:24 MSG)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weekly Verse 12/1

Tis' the season - my favorite season that is.  I absolutely love the Christmas season.  The music, the traditions, the movies, hot chocolate, celebrating the TRUE meaning of Christmas, and giving gifts.  Summer may be my favorite "weather season" but Christmas by far is my favorite season to celebrate!

I'm sure your Facebook feed was overloaded this weekend with folks heading out for Black Friday shopping and talking about the deals they had gotten.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good deal.  However, sometimes the focus of Christmas gets turned to materialistic worship.  Too much focus is put on the purchasing and deal-getting.  I hear so many people say they are broke during this season, or they can't do as much this year as they did last year.  Is that the purpose of the Christmas season?  To spend, spend, spend?  Believe me, I LOVE giving gifts; seeing the look on someone's face when they unwrap a great, heart-felt gift fills me with joy, but let's remember that Christmas isn't about how much money we spend.

We've turned into a greedy society.  We want so much and expect to get it on Christmas morning.  So let me ask you this:  Have you thought about those families that won't have Christmas this year?  The ones who don't have a home to decorate?  The ones who don't have family to celebrate with?  Let's make it a goal to be GENEROUS this year. 
Think about this:
1.  Can you give some money to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers?
2.  Can you buy the person in line behind you their Starbucks drink?
3.  Can you give just 3 hours to help at a homeless shelter or Operation Christmas Child?
4.  Do you know a family who needs a Christmas tree?  You can find some great deals around the area and purchase a live tree for 1 family.  I bet it would make their year!

This week's verse is about generosity:
"But a generous man devises generous things, And by generosity he shall stand" (Isaiah 32:8, NKJV)