Thursday, September 30, 2010

Things I Love: Clocks

In the short time we have been living here in Switzerland I have noticed clocks everywhere! There are clock towers on every corner it seems! The Swiss are of course known for their watches and the infamous cuckoo clocks were first made in the Black Forest of Switzerland. I have always enjoyed and appreciated unique clocks but having seen so many displayed throughout this country, I've definitely grown to love them! :)

Here are others who are cuckoo for clocks!

1. collageOrama
2. gettyimages
3. terumahartistry
4. lolascraftshop
5. redprairiepress
6. antiquecuckooclocks
7. picasa
8. thecraftpantry
9. charmstar

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day One In Switzerland

Thank you to everyone who were thinking about and praying for us in past 24 hours. We made it to Zurich, Switzerland safely. My wonderful Mom and Dad took us to the Chicago airport, we said our tearful goodbyes and boarded our plane around 7:30pm. It was an 8 hour flight from Chicago to Zurich. Our cats did AWESOME! We did not even have to sedate them and they didn't make a peep. They were so calm and well-behaved! We are so proud of our babies!

Neither Jared nor I slept on the plane so when we arrived we were exhausted since we had been up starting at 6:30am. We took a shuttle bus to our hotel where we had to wait for close to an hour for our room to become available. As soon as we got to our room we made sure the cats were settled in with food, water, litter etc. and then we all PASSED OUT! We took about a 2 hour rest then went to an Italian restaurant within walking distance from our hotel and had our first challenge with communicating. Thankfully Jared speaks German and in Zurich they primarily speak German so he was able to talk to our waitress with no problem.

Day one of our new life here in Switzerland was a success. Tomorrow we take the two hour train ride to Lausanne where we will attempt to iron out the final details about our apartment and get settled in where we will be calling home for the next two years. All of your prayers have been such a blessing to us so please keep them coming! I'll update you more along the way in our journey!

Love you all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review Tuesday: SuperDawg Drive-In

On our way to the O'Hare international airport in Chicago, we stopped for lunch at the SuperDawg drive-in. For those who may not be familiar with SuperDawg it's a cute little joint with undeniably the best hot dogs I've ever had. I'm not a big fan of hot dogs, but whatever they do to these...they do it right! The poppy seed bun is so soft and delicious in and of itself, add the perfectly cooked hot dog and then pile on the toppings - Yum-O! Jared got his hot dog loaded and it was AWESOME! The combo comes with Superfries, a pickle and a green tomato wedge. All of which were yummy!

I got a cheeseburger and have to admit that I was not that impressed. Of course...they are known for their hot dogs, not their burgers. After tasting Jared's hot dog I had wished I had gotten one too.

They have a vintage diner atmosphere with a slightly modern twist but the best part about SuperDawgs (aside from their hot dogs) is their building topped with two 12 foot hot dog icons to beckon hungry passersby. Check out the SuperDawg website for their full history and for fun souvenirs! And if you're ever in the Chicago area be sure to stop by and enjoy a SuperDawg for yourself!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mental Vitamins: The Power Of Prayer

 I'm taking a short break from the Extraordinary Women Series that I've been blogging about weekly because today is our last day in the U.S. Tomorrow we move to Switzerland and will be there for the next TWO YEARS! I'm not anxious about the trip over there what I AM anxious about is the fact that we are STILL WAITING to get confirmation about our apartment. Last we heard from the landlord we had to submit a renter's application with our background information. We thought that would be enough to secure a contract. we are a day before our move and we still have not heard back from them. Not being able to speak French is certainly been a barrier for us already. Our friend, Yolene, who speaks fluent French, attempted to call today to get some firm answers but with the time difference - they had all gone home and there was no one in the office to speak to. So she is going to help us by calling again tomorrow during office hours to try and iron out the details about this apartment. Because as of right now....we have no place to live. We will be living in a hotel room until we get the apartment situation sorted out. Are we frustrated and feeling the stress? Yes! But God says: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philipians 4:6) I'm trying to not get anxious and to lean on His word and know that "The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me." (Psalm 138:8)
My Lord is working on me, is perfecting everything that concerns me; even when I cant see it, even when I don't feel it, He is causing all things to work together for my good, working to transform me into Leah- whole, perfect and complete...
He is stretching my faith. Teaching me patience and how to trust. I've always had an issue with trust because people consistently disappoint, but God has never failed or disappointed - and right now I am putting all the trust I have in Him. He will take care of us. Of that I am certain.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)  My hope and my future is in the Lord.

Right after I finished writing this blog, just before I hit "publish post" we got an email from the landlord and the apartment is OURS!!! Talk about PROOF of God's promises! We are so thankful for God's endless love and grace! He listens to our heart's desires and truly does perfect that which concerns us. Prayer works! All we have to do is trust.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Feature Friday: This Is It

Well, it's the weekend before our big move! All of our preparation has lead us to this point. And let me tell you, there is ALOT one must do in order to move to Switzerland from the U.S. But ready or we go!!

We have pretty much everything in order and are as ready as we'll ever be. I'll breathe a giant sigh of relief once we finally do arrive and get settled in. The trip over there is going to be interesting...we've never flown with our cats before and I have no idea what to expect as far as how they will do traveling and how difficult it will be managing them AND managing our luggage. We are only taking four bags between the two of us. Doesn't seem like much when you consider we will be living there for the next TWO YEARS! But that's all we can take because the cats will be like having 6 bags. That's a lot to manage for an overseas trip for two people. I'm sure I'll look like a crazy cat lady dragging our cats through the airport and the train station. It's an 8 1/2 our flight to Zurich where we will be staying overnight. Then we take the two hour train ride from Zurich to Lausanne where we will be living. I'm not sure how long it will take for us to get internet access over there so you may not hear from me for awhile....

In the days leading up to now we have enjoyed lots of you. Our days have been filled with so many wonderful people. We have been blessed with loving and supportive friends and family - all of whom we are going to miss like crazy!! We spent this past weekend with Jared's side of the family and when it was time for us to say goodbye, I started crying. I am a HUGE family person and Jared and I are both very close to our families so this is going to be hard in that respect. But I am just thankful to be surrounded by such kind souls that I love enough to miss when we're apart! And I'm also grateful for technology that can keep us connected no matter how far away we are. Many have promised to visit us during our time in Switzerland and all of you are more than welcome if you are able to make the journey! My Mom and Dad are planning to visit before the year ends so we're definitely excited about that!

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and Jared and I both know that we are blessed to be able to share this together. I have had a few anxious moments but overall I am just so excited to start the next chapter in our lives as husband and wife. I never imagined that the setting for our next chapter would be in Switzerland but God has a way of endlessly amazing me! He is so good.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things I Love: Lindt Swiss Chocolates

I am not a big choc-a-holic like some, but after tasting Lindt Swiss Chocolates I don't think any other chocolate will ever compare! It's so smooth and creamy and well....perfect! I love all the different kinds of chocolate that Lindt offers but I think my favourite would be the Lindor Truffles Stracciatella! It's a white chocolate shell with cocoa pieces. Wow! They are a sweet treat that I cannot say "No" to! :) It's going to be dangerous living in the country where these chocolates are created!

If you haven't experienced Lindt for need to!

Here are a few others with a sweet spot for Swiss Chocolate!

1. Swiss Lindt Dress
2. Present in a Basket
3. Food Trail
4. Phil Gift
5. Chocablog
6.  BzzAgent

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Visa Success!

OUR VISAS FINALLY ARRIVED!!! :) The long wait is over! We now have a departure date which is: September 28th, 2010. That's less than ONE WEEK away!! Jared's work start date is October 1st, so our visas couldn't have come any sooner! But it now seems like we've kicked everything into high gear since we have so little time before we leave. There were a lot of things we couldn't take care of without our visas renting an apartment over there. So we are scrambling to find a place at such short notice which is proving to be a bit of a challenge! We found several furnished apartments but after contacting many of them we discovered that they had already been rented out only a few days prior to our inquiries. Very frustrating! But we are currently waiting for confirmation on an apartment that seems to be in an ideal location in accordance to where Jared will be working. It is near the train station so that is a plus! From the pictures it looks very modern, clean and spacious (it's large in European terms). And it has a FANTASTIC view! Here are a few pics of the apartment we are currently looking to rent:

  living room




 upstairs space/second bedroom/office

 the view!

And the best news about this apartment is that our cats are welcome! We're waiting for our renter's application to be approved. Nothing final yet, but it is looking promising. We should know in the next couple days so please pray that if it is God's will He will make it happen. I think we've hit pro status when it comes to waiting. But I am certain that in the end the old saying will be true: "good things come to those who wait [on the Lord]."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review Tuesday: The Covered Bridge Festival

 The Covered Bridge Festival is Indiana's largest festival and always starts on the 2nd Friday in October. It is nationally known and attracts people from all over the country. You can enjoy visiting 9 communities throughout the county with a wide array of shopping and a variety of food that is sure to please everyone.

There are countless crafters and vendors that offer a variety of unique items as well as delicious food. They are open daily from 9am to 6pm. This year's Covered Bridge Festival is October 8th-17th. 2010 marks the 54th year of the festival.

Going to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge Festival has been a tradition for me and my family for years. I always go at least once with my Mom and we have to enjoy a funnel cake before we leave! It's a must! Some other things I look forward to each year at the festival are finding unique Christmas gifts, people watching, handmade quilts (they satisfy the old lady in me) and in recent years, Jared and I have discovered a vendor that makes the greatest pizza! There is so much to do and see there! It's something fun to look forward to each year. So if you haven't been to the festival before, then you should make an effort to check it out this year!

This will be the first year I will be unable to go because we will be living in Switzerland. But this year, we have been talking about possibly going to the world famous German Christmas Market known as the Christkindlesmarkt. The Nuremberg Christmas Market will be happening from Nov. 26th – Dec. 24th 2010. It sounds like a remarkable event that I definitely want to experience. I will be sure to share the details with you if we end up going!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mental Vitamins: Twelve Extraordinary Women Series - Ruth

Continuing with the Twelve Extraordinary Women Series - this week we will look at the life of Ruth.

Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, both of which were widows, had no children and were impoverished. They lived during the great famine where food and water were scarce, and a widow with no family in a time of famine had very little hope for survival. Naomi began to believe that she was being punished for living in a pagan culture and decided to re-kindle her faith and move back to her hometown of Bethlehem because she had heard the drought had ended there. Ruth and Naomi were very close and Ruth decided to go with Naomi and care for her.

Once there, Ruth had no choice but to work in the fields gathering whatever the harvesters had left behind which was usually a very meager amount. It was usually not much to live on, but it was something. There was no government aid or food stamps in those days. You had to work for your food, no matter what your circumstances. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) The field she was gathering from belonged to Boaz - a relative by marriage and he began to show her kindness and generosity by giving her water and extra grain and ultimately looking after her safety and well-being. Naomi realized the family relation and saw the hand of God in the blessing.

MacArthur brings our attention to the fact that Boaz was a living illustration of how God takes care of His people. He is our Redeemer, he rescues us from evil and death and gives us hope for our future. It wasn't happenstance that Ruth stumbled upon Boaz's was orchestrated by God Himself.

It becomes clear that Boaz has a romantic interest in Ruth and in the days of arranged marriages this would pose as a challenged relationship. Ruth had no male family member in her life to make any sort of marriage arrangement and it was forbidden for a woman to approach the man about marriage. However, with circumstances being how they were, Naomi encouraged Ruth to propose to Boaz. Very unconventional even in today's standards. Boaz and Ruth were married and eventually, Ruth would become David's great-grandmother - the nation's first great king.

Ruth is a symbol of every believer - redeemed, brought into a position of great favor, awarded with riches and privilege, loved and adored by the Redeemer with the profoundest affection. That is why the extraordinary story of her redemption ought to make every believer's heart swell with thankfulness and joy because the Lord has redeemed us from our sin and we will enjoy eternity by His side.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Feature: Adventures With Purpose: Switzerland

 While shopping at our local Sam's Club, I stumbled across a travel documentary that featured several different countries but the reason I purchased it was because it included Switzerland! With Jared and I moving there in just a few weeks I couldn't pass it up! It's called Richard Bang's Adventures With Purpose.

 I watched the special on Switzerland and could not get over the spectacular views and breathtaking landscape! I am so excited to enjoy the beauty of this country! They did not highlight the town where we will be living, but we will definitely be checking out the places they did mention. The town of Zermatt, is not only home to the well-known Matterhorn (one of the highest peaks in the Alps) but it is car-free, meaning there are absolutely no cars permitted, only pedestrians. It looked like a charming little town and encompasses the concept of "eco-friendly". I'm looking forward to visiting this quiet little town. There will be so much to see and do there. I simply cannot wait to share this adventure with my best friend!

If you are interested in checking out this documentary for yourself, it also features New Zealand, Egypt and Norway. I have not watched any of those yet but I have a huge interest in both New Zealand and Egypt. I have always had a fascination with Egyptian culture and history and both of these countries are on my list to visit in my lifetime!

Getting a glimpse of Switzerland from this DVD has definitely got me more excited. I'm already considering what kind of new camera gear I will need to invest in because I know I will be taking TONS of pictures! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things I Love: Cocktail Rings!

I love unique jewelry. Lately I have been into fun and funky jewelry - more specifically, cocktail rings. These oversized and glamorous accessories are very trendy right now. I have seen more and more of them lately. This diamond bow ring is my current favourite cocktail ring that I own. I wear it almost daily.

My collection is continuously growing though! I have several! I just love how a simple accessory, like a cocktail ring, can add so much to your look. It's a fun way to dress up any outfit.

Here are a few cocktail rings that I have my eyes on! :)

1. amazon
2. juicy couture
3. brokenfingersart
4. cirkus-charm
5. chanel
6. chanel
7. ragtradervintage
8. katespade
9. chanel
10. brilliancefound
11. perfectdetails
12. macys

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Switzerland Here We Come!

Our visas have finally been approved! We got the news on Monday and with Jared's work start date being October 1st we have been non-stop trying to scramble to get everything in place for the big move. We were unable to get a lot taken care of without our visas so it feels like we're doing a lot of things last minute. We have secured our departure date. Our plane leaves September 28th. Yes....that's less than two weeks away! We have been waiting for our visas for so long and now have such a short window of time before we need to be there, that it feels like everything is happening so fast! Just a few days ago we had pretty much surrendered and expected not to leave until next month because our visas had not yet arrived. Funny how a few days can change everything.

We have to secure an apartment still. We have a few leads but are still working on signing a lease. I think that will be taken care of very soon though. We ship are car first thing next week. We decided to ship our little Toyota Yaris because it's cheaper to do that than it would be to buy or lease a car over there and we'll love having the car for trips. We plan on seeing as much as possible during our stay and there are so many countries with in driving distance.

We also need to pack. Trouble is, we are not packing for a vacation, we are MOVING to a foreign country so I want to make sure we take everything we need so that our time there is as enjoyable as possible. We are not sure when we will be able to re-visit the states in the next 2 years so I want to take with us everything we will need.

Jared has even more work-related things he has to do as well and we are also trying to fit in as many visits with family as possible in the short time we have left here. It's exciting but a little stressful. God has taken care of us up to this point so I know He'll see us through it all! I just need to trust and relax.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and showing us all kinds of love and support! I can't tell you enough how much we appreciate it! We love you all and we'll continue to keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review Tuesday: One Of A Kind Show and Sale

The One of a Kind Show and Sale takes place in several different cities including New York, Chicago, Vancouver and Toronto. Each One of a Kind Show and Sale features an endless selection of handcrafted
items created by talented artists and craftspeople. It is an extraordinary holiday shopping show featuring the best in fine art and fine craft from hundreds of unique artists, artisans and designers from across North America. Each item for sale at the show is made by hand and every artist represented is in attendance—offering shoppers the wonderful opportunity to buy pieces directly from the artist who created it and to support the independent artist community.

The show is a refreshing alternative to traditional retail and the ideal place to find unique gifts in a wide range of media and categories including:

Fiber Art
Mixed Media

Along with the opportunity of one-of-a-kind shopping, visitors are treated to an enjoyable and entertaining experience with live music, fashion shows, gourmet cafes, bars and special events.

Go to the One Of A Kind Show website to find the dates and times for each city's show. You can also check out a list of the artists who will be in attendance.

Mental Vitamins: Twelve Extraordinary Women Series - Rahab

 This week in the Twelve Extraordinary Women Series we will be looking at the life of Rahab.

Rahab is actually introduced in the Bible as "a harlot named Rahab". Not a flattering introduction AT ALL. Although initially identified as a prostitute she is an excellent testament of what faith can do.

Rahab lived in Jericho in the time of Joshua. Her house was not in a back alley or hidden in a bad part of town, it was actually right on top of the famous wall of Jericho. In that day this was considered prime real estate, which means that she was very successful in her trade. Unfortunately her "trade" was selling herself to men for money. She was contributing to the wickedness that already filled the land of Jericho. This evil nation had reached God's maximum level of tolerance and the time had come where the entire city would be destroyed. Despite Rahab's entire career being devoted to sadistic self-gratification, she would be extended grace by God and spared from God's sentence of condemnation. Rahab's whole life would be changed by her unexpected encounter with two spies.

Joshua sent spies to gather military and strategic information about Jericho. (Joshua 2:1-7 tells what happens.)
The spies entered Jericho and once inside the city, they stayed with Rahab - her residence was the perfect location for assessing the city's defenses, it overlooked the entire city. This was essential because they were there to scout the place out to secure victory - they were spies. In her "business" confidentiality was paramount and she would have welcomed these two strangers in quickly, without question - just as she would all her clients.

But the spies did not take advantage of her like virtually every other man she encountered and this is probably what won them her trust. They no doubt explained who they were and told her something about their God. Perhaps they shared how the Lord had delivered them from the desert or how He parted the Red Sea. It is clear that something the spies told Rahab redeemed her faith in God.

The king sent messenger's to Rahab's house because he apparently had heard that she was harboring spies. But despite Rahab making a living of selling herself for evil purposes she totally surprises us in this situation. She probably would have received a great reward for turning in the spies, but she didn't. She actually misdirects the messengers and saves the lives of the two spies. She took a dangerous risk - if the king discovered she was lying it could have resulted in serious punishment - possibly death. She put her own life in jeopardy by protecting these strangers. Her sudden expression of faith is not only unexpected but it goes against every instinct that would normally motivate a woman like Rahab.

Rahab's actions in protecting the spies involved telling a lie. MacArthur discusses the argument of whether or not commending Rahab's faith is Scripture also condoning her method. Some argue that lying is acceptable if the motive is for the greater good. But God Himself cannot lie and therefore cannot condone a lie. Such a situational approach to ethics is laden with serious problems. There is no need to justify Rahab's lie. Was it necessary for a greater good? Absolutely not. God could easily have saved Rahab and the spies without a lie. This isn't the point of Rahab's story. The point is that Rahab is a positive example of her faith. She turned down an easy reward, put her own life at risk and put her trust in God. Nothing but faith could have made such a dramatic change in the character of a woman like Rahab.

The spies then swore that they would not harm Rahab or her family because of the kindness she showed to them and her help with their mission. She would display a red cord from her window so that her house would stand out from the others and they would know to leave her and her house unharmed.

Scriptures tell us that God Himself demolished the walls of Jericho without the aid of the Israel military. To prove it, God had the Israelites march around the city with the ark of the covenant for 7 consecutive days, on the seventh day they marched around the city 7 times, blew a ram's horn and shouted. The walls instantly collapsed. All except where Rahab's house stood. Her home and her family were spared.

Rahab is a beautiful example of the transforming power of faith. From that day on she lived a completely different kind of life. Rahab started out with a bad reputation because of her personal choices, but her life story is proof that no matter what lies in our past, we can be redeemed through faith in Christ. What she once was simply magnifies the divine grace, which makes her the extraordinary woman she became.

Some of us may feel like there is no way we can be extended grace based on what we have done in our past but I think Rahab's story emphasizes the very opposite. She is a reminder that by God's grace, He can redeem even the most horrible life. No matter what we have done in our lives, God loves us and if we are sincere in our faith, He is willing to forgive us and embrace us. I think the possible take-away message is: Don't write yourself off - God hasn't. With faith, you can have a new beginning.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Wild Card: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts

Today, our pastor shared that each of us have different spiritual gifts. We all have at least one, maybe more and once we discover our spiritual gift we can start to use it for God's glory. He shared this link where you can take a free test to discover what your spiritual gifts are. I took the test and wanted to share with you my results to inspire you to find out what YOUR spiritual gifts are so you can start using them for good! :)

For a more detailed explanation and FREE spiritual gift test go to:

I am a perfect blend of both of my parents. My dad has the gift of Prophet and my mom has the gift of Mercy and my results were Primary gift: Mercy and Secondary gift: Prophecy. Here are the actual results from my test:

Spiritual Gifts


Evangelism 14
Prophecy 16
Teaching 13
Exhortation 15
Pastor/Shepherd 16
Showing Mercy 16
Serving 13
Giving 9
Administration 12

About Your Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts are tools God gives Christians to do the work of the ministry -- to fulfill the Great Commission to reach, baptize, and teach and to minister to one another. Every Christian receives at least one gift at the moment of salvation. Spiritual gifts are not rewards, are not natural talents, are not a place of service, are not an age-group ministry, and are not a specialty ministry. They express themselves through various ministries which, in turn, accomplish a variety of results. A spiritual gift is the primary channel by which the Holy Spirit ministers through the believer. It is a supernatural capacity for service to God -- and He gives you a supernatural desire to perform the duties of that gift. Spiritual gifts are tools for building the church. They are a source of joy in your Christian life and influence your motives. A spiritual gift is a divine calling with a divine responsibility, because what God has gifted you to do, He has called you to do, and what He has called you to do, He has gifted you to do.
There are three categories of gifts: The Miraculous Gifts, generally known today as Charismatic Gifts; the Enabling Gifts which all Christians have the ability to develop (faith, discernment, wisdom, and knowledge -- qualities possessed rather than activities performed); and Team Gifts which are activity, service, or task-oriented. The Team Gifts are functional and involve speaking or ministering. Chances are, you have several of these gifts that vary in different degrees and intensity. In many cases, spiritual gifts even complement your secular employment. The Spiritual Gifts Analysis you took identified your dominant TEAM GIFTS which will help you find your place on the team in your church. Prayer and serving God will also help you see where God wants you. This profile gives you a simple bar graph showing how all the gifts relate to you and to each other, but analyzes indepth only your dominant and secondary gifts which are the ones that will have greater influence in your life.

Your dominant gifts are Showing Mercy, Prophecy

The results of your Spiritual Gifts Inventory indicate that your number one dominant gift is MERCY SHOWING! The Greek word "ellco" means to feel sympathy with or for others. As a mercy-shower you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by identifying with and comforting those who are in distress. You understand and comfort your fellow Christian. You enter into the grief or happiness of others and have the ability to show empathy which is to feel WITH others, not just for others.
As a mercy-shower you are willing to deal with and minister to people who have needs that most people feel very uncomfortable working with. You seem to say the right thing at the right time. Your personality is likely one of soft-spoken love. It hurts you to scold someone; you are very non-condemning. People love you because of all the love you give them. You find it easy to express yourself and are outgoing with a low-key, inoffensive personality. You are easy to talk to, responsive to people, a good listener, peaceable, and agreeable. You tend to make decisions based on feelings more than fact and like to think about things for a while before making a decision.
In your burden to comfort others, your heart goes out to the poor, the aged, the ill, the underprivileged, and so on. You tend to attract people who are hurting or rejoicing because you identify with them. Be careful not to let others use you. Try not to resent others who are not as understanding as you. Refrain from becoming a gossiper when you are around other mercy-showers. Do not let your circumstances control you. Because of your supernatural ability to show mercy, others accuse you of taking up for people, being a softy and a compromiser. They may think you are too emotional.
Mercy-showers make excellent counselors. However, left untrained, you may destroy yourself by your tendency to take people's problems home with you. Your empathy can become detrimental without personal training on how to deal with it.
Beware of Satan's attack on your gift. He can cause pride because of your ability to relate to others. He may influence you to disregard rules and authority. You may experience a lack of discipline because of strong feeling for those who hurt due to disobedience and sin. Don't fall into Satan's trap of complaining and griping.
HOW CAN YOU USE YOUR GIFT? Your gift is used best in times of sorrow and in times of great joy. It fits well with another gift of service such as deacon, youth worker or hospital visitation. With a counseling course, you could become a good counselor. You may serve as a hospital, nursing home, or shut-in worker; a funeral coordinator and provider of sympathy and support; or a poverty center worker. You would do well as an usher or greeter and welcome center worker or hospitality person. You may want to work in a telephone ministry. You would make people feel welcome on a newcomer visitation team. Other appropriate ministry areas include missions, committee member, furlough assistance, and correspondence helper. You would work well with the elderly and with people who have mental and physical disabilities, in nursing, and with special ministries to migrants, released offenders or abused children and women.

The results of your Spiritual Gifts Inventory indicate that your second dominant gift is PROPHECY! That does not mean you are supposed to have visions of the future. It means you are a "forthteller," telling or "speaking forth" the mind of God: preaching, speaking, and teaching God's Word. You are very discerning; one who points out sin with the goal of making Christians aware of sin in their lives so they will repent. A prophet in full-time Christian service is usually a "hell-fire, brimstone preacher." You have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by proclaiming His truth.
As a prophet you have an ability to see that which is wrong. In fact, you tend to easily spot what is wrong and have to look to find something right. You probably spend much time praying and even weeping over the sins of the church and for lost sinners. You have a great burden over the sinful condition of the world around you. Because of this, you take every opportunity to proclaim that everyone must repent or perish.
You have a strong sense of duty and are very opinionated, impatient, and likely more depressed or serious than lighthearted about life. You enjoy being alone, but would rather be in a group than relate to people one-on-one. You desire to speak publicly. You are able to make quick decisions and want things done right. You do not like in-depth study.
Other people may think you are demanding, that you enjoy hurting people's feelings, and that you have no understanding. One of your greatest challenges is to keep a spirit of love. Remember to "speak the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15) and not to be judgmental. If you keep a tender, loving heart, you will be a blessing in your home, church, and to individuals. You can make a real impact on their spirituality. Be careful to let the Holy Spirit convict people, rather than trying to convict them yourself. Work on being a little more positive, patient, and tactful.
Beware of Satan's attack on your gift. He may try to cause a lack of compassion and forgiveness, bring discouragement because of unrepentant attitudes by others, entice you to fall into the very sins you speak against or cause pride and self-righteousness over lack of certain sins.
HOW CAN YOU USE YOUR DOMINANT GIFT? There are several avenues in which to carry out the gift of prophecy. Revival speaking is certainly a fitting ministry. You can pastor well IF you have a secondary gift of pastor/shepherd. You are a great help in problem-solving for a church with a sin problem. You could also serve in teaching on Gospel teams, in prison ministry, in migrant ministry, and in counseling to help bring awareness of sin in a person's life. You could speak at conferences and retreats.

I think  the results were accurate. I LOVE people. I love helping people, comforting people and sharing God's love with people. My spiritual gifts definitely go hand in hand with this. I love all ages but primarily use my gifts by working more with both the elderly and youth/teenagers. This is where I find the most joy.

What are YOUR spiritual gifts? How can you use those gifts for good? Are you already using your gifts? Get your test results here:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feature: Epic Alliance

A few months back, Sharon Carey, the Director of the Terre Haute Crisis Pregnancy Center, contacted me about building a website that was geared toward young adults that would encourage them to make healthy life choices. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a big advocate for Life and in the last year or so I started an organization called Life Inspired Love as an attempt to reach all generations about the value of life. I was initially driven by the injustice of abortion but the more it has developed the more I have grown to see that to really see a change is to reach the next generation....they are after all the future of tomorrow. If there is a change of hearts - in how young people view themselves and each other - if they start to value authentic love and healthy relationships then we will see the effects of that in a positive way throughout our society. So my focus has become more and more on young adults. I've actually spoken at several high schools about the importance of self-value and authentic love and have even had the opportunity to share my own personal story. I feel that God has put a passion in my heart for all the young men and women out there who simply need to know they are EPIC and deserve EPIC love! Which is how the idea for Epic Alliance came about.

Epic Alliance is an online resource for young people to hear and understand the truth about dating, relationships, sex as well as the consequences of poor choices and rewards of healthy ones. It's a way for them to connect with others who share the same values so they have support in their convictions. It is meant to provide them with confidence in choosing a better life for themselves, a life they deserve.

My hope is that it reaches just one person. My heart's desire is that this helps just one young man or young woman to do the right thing, in a world where the message is "do whatever feels good".

Epic Alliance is sponsored by the Terre Haute Crisis Pregnancy Center and is connected to their Creating Positive Relationships program. I am honored to be a part of something this big! Helping people live better lives is Epic and I'm always thankful when I can do even a small part in something like that! But I can't take credit for any of this...God is definitely behind the scenes and the true coordinator of it all.

So check us out online:
or become a fan on Facebook
I'll be managing their blog as well so be sure to check there for updates:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things I Love: AUTUMN!

Fall is by far my favourite season! There is little that tops an autumn afternoon wearing a warm sweater, enjoying the cooler temperatures and colorful trees all while sipping a pumpkin spiced latte, or hot cocoa! At the first sign of fall I start breaking out my hoodies, scarves, boots and beanies. With the season comes festivals, bonfires, orchards, homemade pies, falling leaves, and for me - our wedding anniversary! It's such a beautiful time of year! I'm happiest in autumn! :)

Here are a few fall favourites.

1. unknown
2. SFOQuilter
3. threadbearfiberarts
4. Tolani
5. culinate
6. unknown
7. theposhreview

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Peace, Love and Twitter

No updates about Switzerland. Still waiting on our visas. (the Swiss are in no hurry to welcome us into their country apparently!) HA! :) But if we don't receive them in the next week then we are indefinitely delaying our departure. I have a sneaking suspicion that we will not be leaving on time. I've come to peace with that. We're enjoying our time with family and friends so a few more weeks with them certainly will not be a bad thing! We're feeling pretty lucky right now. There is so much love around us...and with all this love I know we will be able to feel it no matter how far away we are! Such a blessing to be surrounded by so many amazing people! Yea, I'm talking about you....and you....and YOU! :) Thanks for all the love, thoughts and prayers! We love each and every one of you!

In other news - I have been putting together a website specifically for young adults sponsored by the Terre Haute Crisis Pregnancy Center and I'm almost finished. I hope to be able to share it with you in the next couple of days! I'm really excited about it! I'm hoping it will be a successful tool for young people to see and know how truly EPIC they are! :) That's the message anyway! So check back for that link in the upcoming week!

I've also given in and joined the Twitter community. Jared says I've gone over to the dark side! HAHA! But if you're on the dark side can now follow me there! ;)


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review Tuesday: 2010 August Favourites

There are a ton of haul videos out there and I personally enjoy this type of all-in-one review. It's good for gift ideas or for great finds for yourself! This is my first haul video but I think I might make it a once-a-month kind of thing. It's more or less a product review of some various items that I have purchased throughout the previous month. I've included the product details of the items I have reviewed here in my blog. I hope you enjoy my August Favourites! :)

Items Reviewed:
Pet Carrier: Louis Vuitton look-a-like  - Ebay
Glasses: DKNY, style: Havana  - Lens Crafters
Zipper Earings:  Claires
Rose Hair Accessories:  Claires
OPI Nail Polish: Jade is the new black AND Ski teal we trop  - Trade Secret
Skirt Purse: Mod Dot print, Rose print  - Thirty One Gifts
Book: Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur  - The Open Door Christian Bookstore

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mental Vitamins: Twelve Extraordinary Women Series - Sarah

For those who may have just stumbled upon my blog, in the last week or so, I have been reading and reviewing a book called Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur. The book highlights the lives of 12 women from the bible and I have gotten so much out of it already that I felt I should share how the book has influenced me personally. I encourage others to read this book along with me and share thoughts and comments below or via email.

Last week the focus was on Eve, this week I'll be going into chapter 2 of the book which shares about the life of Sarah.

photo credit: Elspeth Young

Sarah was the wife of Abraham whose name means "father of many nations". He was given this name by God Himself and was promised that his lineage would be like the stars of the sky in number. Being Abraham's wife, Sarah was to be a large role in this prophecy. Sarah was past the age of childbearing years, in fact, she was well past eighty before she would ever conceive. So the more time that passed and she did not become pregnant the more impatience and doubt began to consume her. Instead of waiting on the Lord to fulfill His promise, she devised a man-made solution to her dilemma. She took it upon herself to produce a scheme that was so ill-advised and incorrigible that she would not only regret it for the rest of her days, but the consequences of her choice had far-reaching implications.

In her haste, she concluded that a kind of surrogate parenting was the only possible solution to her predicament and convinced her husband to have a child with their maid servant, Hagar. In other words, she engineered her own  plan to fulfill the divine promise to Abraham. She unwittingly stepped in the role of God. We as humans, (myself included) can let ourselves get anxious about the future and question God's faithfulness to His word and sometimes we even try to "take over". When we do this, we in essence try to "play God". That is a dangerous thing to do, my friends. Scripture shows us time and time again how doing things our own way instead of God's way only leads to destruction and heartache. God's plan is PERFECT. We are the one's who botch things up! God in the driver seat is always the best way to travel through life!

MacArthur points out that this was the first case of recorded polygamy in Scripture involving a righteous man. God's design for marriage was monogamy from the beginning. (Matt.19:4-5) Disobedience to that standard has always resulted in negative consequences. There are several examples in the Bible of how polygamy divided hearts and nations. No good  has ever come from dishonoring God's will for the sanctity of marriage. Abraham's union with Hagar is certainly no exception.

Take note that  up to this point, God had never explicitly said that Sarah would be the mother of the nation in question. That was merely her hope. But the incident with Hagar shows that Sarah's hope was weakening. Hagar gave birth to a son named Ishmael and 13 years after that Sarah still was unable to have children. Despite the despair she must have felt, her faith shines through. Scripture says she "judged Him faithful who had promised". (Heb. 11:11) The Lord came to Abraham, to renew His promise for Sarah's sake so that she could hear it with her own ears. By this time Sarah was in her nineties and when she heard this she "laughed within herself". (Gen. 18:12) Sarah would indeed have a son and she named him Isaac which means: "laughter".

You see, God's timing was perfectly planned. There was no denying that He had a part in this conception. It's an impossibility that a woman in her nineties could give birth.....without God. Imagine your ninety-year-old grandmother giving birth. Sounds impossible right? And that was His plan all along, He would set the plan in motion at such a time that it would force others to see God's involvement - a sort of fact check if you will.  Nothing is impossible to God.

God still presently works in this way. Sometimes making us wait and hope in the Lord is so that others will find their faith through our experiences and also so that our own faith might be strengthened. Sarah's faith was tested. She initially failed because she did not put all of her hope and trust in God, but in the end, her faith was restored and her life became a lesson to all that through Christ ALL things are possible according to His plan.

A few things that I personally took away from this look into Sarah's life is:
1. Don't try to play God. - No matter how bad we want things to go a certain way or how much we think we need things to happen within our projected time frame, we shouldn't try to override God. Would you try to go somewhere you have never been without a map or directions? No! So why would we try to go through life without God as our guide? For me, my sense of direction is so bad, I need a GPS to get me where I'm going. God doesn't need GPS...He IS the GPS. He knows exactly where we need to go and wants to take us on the BEST route to get there! And the good news is, that when we get off-route (which we inevitably will)...He will be right there to get us back on track!
2. I AM IMPATIENT! Patience is not a virtue for's something I lack and therefor is a weakness. Waiting on our Visas to arrive has really gotten me worked up lately. I'm a planner and we have had a projected date to leave for Switzerland, so the more days that pass without those visas, the less likely we are going to be "on [my] schedule". Reading about how Sarah allowed her anxiousness to control her enough that she made a really poor decision and ultimately caused the plan to go off course, has made me step back and realize I haven't been applying my faith lately. I've been very hopeless and doubtful....anything but trusting in His promise to "perfect that which concerns [me]." He has the perfect date set (for everything in life), I just need to trust in that.
3.God knows best. Our greatest plans and our grandest dreams cannot compare to what God has organized for our life. He is a God of order and purpose. We can get caught up in the unknown and uttering "I wish" all the time - as in "I wish God would hurry up and give me what I wish for!" when what we wish for may not always be what is best for us. So much of our relationship with Christ is faith and although faith is hard to hold onto, it is also something that is honored. God wants us to be successful, but we must rely on Him to help us succeed.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Feature: Sketches Of Heaven

When I learned that Jared and I would be moving to Switzerland I had several family members and friends who said "You need to journal your experiences!" So with that, I started writing down my thoughts and experiences here. I don't blog simply to hear myself talk. When I first started blogging I never expected anyone other than my family and a few friends to actually read my blog but over the past months I have been overwhelmed with the response of people who have left me comments and emails with such encouragement about my writings. I have had people share that my blogs "can brighten someone's day" or "turn someone's day around"! And hearing this instantly brightens MY day and can turn MY day around. So thank you, to my readers! I appreciate your wonderful support! But you must know that any little bit of success I may find in life is not my own and all the glory belongs to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is my inspiration, my compass and the One I strive to be more like. My life is simply a reflection of God's grace.

For those who are not familiar with blogging you may not know that you can follow my blog in several ways. One way is to subscribe via email and have updates sent to your email whenever I write a new post. The subscribe button is located in the right hand column of my blog. Another way is to click on the follow button which can also be found in the right hand column. And I've recently discovered that you can follow my blog through facebook. Simply go to my facebook profile, click the blog tab, then click follow using the networked blogs app. Or if you have a good memory you can just type in my blog address each time which is:

Again, I don't expect followers, but for those who do enjoy reading my posts I wanted to try and make it easier for you to stay updated. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your kind responses and loving support of my often spontaneous ramblings.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things I Love: Nail Polish

Like most girls, I enjoy getting pampered every once in awhile. My mom and I like to get our nails done together sometimes and I like to try different colors and designs. I tend to get a little more bold and creative on my toe nails as far as designs go and stick to more simple solid colors for my finger nails. I definitely love to try different colors. Many nail polish brands have fun and cute names which is not only creative but great for remembering which polish you like for in the future.

Some of my favourites are:
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Steel Grey and Violet Metal
Steel Grey is a very sophisticated taupe shade that I love to wear on my finger nails.
Violet Metal is a fun purple metallic shade that is great for toes

  • Essie in Lovie Dovie and Mesmerize
Lovie Dovie is not only an adorable name for this nail polish but it is the perfect shade of girly pink.
Blue is my favourite color and I LOVE this dark blue shade from Essie. I really like how smooth this brand goes on with one coat and it has a great shine!

  • Chanel in Nouvelle Vague and Riviera
Nouvelle Vague is a GORGEOUS shade. It is a classic Tiffany Blue.
Every girl needs a good hot pink nail polish. Riviera is my favourite.

  • OPI in Jade is the New Black and Banana Bandanna
This is a great Jade shade but it comes off much richer and more gorgeous in person. This photo doesn't do it justice.
I love this bright yellow polish. It's so bright and cheerful. Definitely a fun color for summer!

  •  China Glaze in Short & Sassy and Ruby Pumps
Short & Sassy is a very rich deep maroon shade with a hint of sparkle.
Ruby Pumps is obviously inspired by Dorthy's red slippers from the Wizard of Oz and is fun to wear on your toes!

Here are a few fun nail art designs from other nail polish fans. (the pandas are my favourite...go figure!)

1. polishondigitalpaper
2. cnd
3. chibiaiboutique
4. thevine
5. lelalobo
6. nitrolicious
7. tartofraises

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Tot Is Ready To Travel!

    It's September and Jared and I are supposed to leave for Switzerland at the end of this month...we're starting to wonder if that will actually happen because we still have not received our visas! Our departure date may have to be moved back if they don't arrive soon. But it's in God's hands so we're trusting in that. Something that did arrive was our pet carriers. So our kitties are definitely set to go. Tot LOVES his new faux Louis Vuitton travel bag! He jumps into it on his own and looks out at me like "I'm ready to travel, when do we leave Mama?" :) He looked so cute that I had to take pictures!