Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Testimony Tuesday on the Topic of Suffering

TESTIMONY TUESDAY!


“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39

I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion involving the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!

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If any of you are familiar with Paul's situation in 2 Corinthians 12, lately I've been feeling a lot like that; like I have a thorn in my side, or maybe picture a weighty burden slowing me down. Whatever it is, it's hampering my spirit. I guess if I am honest, I have circled back around to struggling with contentment again, like I do from time to time. My heart has been hurting and frustrated, maybe sometimes confused, longing and impatient. I feel like I have been throwing temper tantrums towards God in my prayers lately, expressing my dissatisfaction with where things are at in life for me right now. I could say it even feels like a form of suffering that I am experiencing, UNTIL I zoom out, stop focusing on myself, and stop having the woe-is-me attitude, but instead, count my blessings. But there is still something to be said about the very real emotions I am undergoing. I don't want to dismiss them entirely, but deal with them rightly.

In today's Testimony Tuesday we are going to consider the life of Joni Eareckson Tara. She is one that knows much of suffering and hearing her life story helps me to realize how all my troubles pail in comparison to what she and others like her have gone through. Watch below to hear her life-giving powerful testimony. She speaks with much authority and conviction. The Holy Spirit shining through her as she speaks is enough to convince me to take heart and have hope, aside from the fact that,
if she can- I can too.






BONUS CONTENT: (I am absolutely obsessed right now with this timely reminder and the nuggets of truth nestled within the following 10 min. snippet from John Piper's website DesiringGod.com, read and written by Scott Hubbard) Better to Have a Burden Give it a listen! And may your heart be lightened.


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Thanks for stopping by! Have a happy and blessed Tuesday!
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Sunday, September 18, 2022

End of Summer Photo Recap

Technically it is not officially Fall until September 22nd, this coming Thursday, so I will take advantage of these last couple of days of summer and do a photo dump post to give you a glimpse of what all I have been up to the past couple of months. These snapshot posts are never able to actually cover in full everything, nor do these pictures even encompass half the amount of the people that I have been blessed and graced by in life these past couple of months, but here are just a few of them; faces you may not know, BUT are so special to me!


 June -

My friends came out to support me in the audience at
Cavod Performing Arts' Spring Dance Concert! 





My church, Crossway of Lancaster has a "Community Day" once a year in the summer where they host a mile-long race.
 Though my legs felt like jelly by the end, I had a blast participating and won 2nd place in my age category! 



 August - 


I published that post in August about my wonderful trip to Colorado Springs, CO.
Wow, was that just last month!?


We wrapped up the Citylight Dance Theater season and said our goodbyes
to some of these precious dancers.

 
Participated in the 2nd Annual Kitchen Kettle Employee Olympic Event they started hosting just last year to help with the closing out of the summer season. Feeling like a winner wearing my medal alongside my teammates. How did I win it?
Hula-hooping. :)


My fellow coworkers and I from the Inn at Kitchen Kettle Village came together to host a shower for Victoria.
The gathering also seemed to serve as a little reunion too and was so fun!
It was a wonderful time getting together outside the workplace!


At the end of the month, my parents and I visited the Hershey Park Water Attractions.
It was such a special time. I just love them!


 September -


I visited Philadelphia for the first time! I experienced only the tip of the iceberg and really need to make a trip back there to experience the rest, but it was a good time!


A summer of firsts; I went apple picking for the first time at Cherry Hill Orchards.
It was more fun than I imagined it would be! Hah, I think I have enough apples to last me till Christmas!


Apples!


I went with these wonderful ladies from my church! They are very special to me!


The same day, after visiting the orchard, I then experienced my first time visiting Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA.
 It was a great experience but I kind of felt like they were in between seasons.
I would love to go in Spring when I'm sure all the plants are much more in their prime with flowers in bloom. 



The gang that joined me was top-notch; friends of the highest quality! ;)


We stayed till 8:30pm to watch the water fountain light show!
I really enjoyed it- ALMOST as much as fireworks!


Looking back and feeling grateful, 
looking forward and staying hopeful,
in my Savior.
💗
 
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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Weekend Whatevers | Fall's Around the Corner!

Hi everyone! School has started, the weather is getting cooler- sorta, and Starbucks is now officially serving their pumpkin spice lattes! I think I am allowed to get a little excited for fall now. It is sad to see summer go, but the new season brings some much-needed refreshment. I am striving to focus especially on embracing the peace, grace, and hope that God has for me this season. I've started a new 90-day devotional I am quickly falling in love with, and also started a new Instagram account to help distinguish the start of this new season and to serve sort of as milestones for it. Continue reading on to my "Weekend Whatevers" listed below for more details on these things and to discover what all else I have been up to!  This week's [WW] addition is a fun one including lots of good pictures!


Therefore,  since we have been justified through faith, we a have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame,  because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-4

 

Just drove by this hot air balloon looking like it's about to land,
on my early morning commute and wanted to share!
#livinginlancaster



1. Thee amazing Connie, my boss at Cavod Performing Arts blessed each of us instructors with a copy of THIS beautifully designed 90-Day devotional by Cleere Cherry. Though I originally underestimated it- not really a fan of small, pithy, daily devotionals by unknown authors I've never heard of before, I am falling in love with this devotional, and feel like it is speaking straight to my soul! Connie if you're out there reading this, "Thank you"!


2. The devotional prompted me to look into Cleere Cherry. Who knew she was so cool!?






3. People! I am pulling out my paints! The Lord has been doing something in me, stirring up and reawakening my love for colors, crafts, and creating through the means of materials I haven't used in a long while; watercolor, paper crafts, calligraphy, and collaging! It still might be a while before I get back into the sewing...the burnout from that is very real, but I do hope to get back into it sooner than later. I have even pulled out some of my adult coloring books for the evenings my brain is at lower capacity. I'm just getting started so I hope you'll stick around for when I am able to start getting some photos up of some of the things I have been working on! For now, I wanted to share with you two Instagram accounts that I have really been inspired by and that have helped to facilitate my falling back in love with watercolor again! If you like watercolor too, check out mamathingcrafts, and madelinekerrii.


4. I have been reading books like crazy lately! I think it is my newest outlet! This new hobby is what led me to create my latest Instagram account Dailylilreads, in hopes of documenting my journey reading literature, the Word of God, and hopefully also creating a bit of a community around it. Would you please check out the account and maybe even give it a follow if it is your thing? I'm really excited about it!



5. 
Okay, so speaking of crafting. It has been a long time since I have taken my hand to ceramic painting. I wouldn't say it was ever my favorite thing to do. I used to be a part of a ceramic painting club through 4H when I was young, but I'm not really sure why. Perhaps I enjoyed it more when I was younger, but at this point, I've definitely mostly grown out of the love for it - I suppose because I have simply found my crafting niche elsewhere, but recently I made a visit to The Pottery Works in downtown Lancaster with some friends, and even though it is not my forte, I totally enjoyed the experience. Give it a go if you are in downtown Lancaster! You don't have to be a Picasso in order to still have a good time! "The Pottery Works" is way better than the one found in Park City Mall. It is worth the trip and there is a parking garage conveniently placed right across the street from it so finding parking may even be easier than finding a lot at the mall on a busy day!


6. I have been living a "hop, skip, and a jump away" from Lancaster City for 3 years now and am ashamed to say that I still really haven't given it a decent exploration session, but lately I have been really getting out; seeing the sights and doing the things! Maybe this is the year I become better acquainted with our city. This past Friday was my grandma's birthday and to treat her we took her to "El Rincón Ponceño", a wonderful Puerto Rican restaurant on the corner of Queen and Walnut! The food was pretty good. Not sure it could live up to my grandma's own cooking but it was pretty close. What impressed me most were the charming personalities of the cooks who also doubled as waitresses and the friendly and efficient customer service they offered. They put a smile on my grandma's face so we tipped them well and were happy enough!





7. Sickman's Mill might be my new favorite summer spot. Too bad I discovered just how fun tubing there is on their last week of offering it until next summer. Oh well. If it is a long winter at least I will have tubing to look forward to! Thanks to my friend Marisa for convincing me to go!


8. I have been SO into Classical music lately! I always seem to get in this mood as it just seems right with the ushering in of Fall. I just feel like classical music goes so well with the transition from this particular season to the next. All the sounds of the instruments and musical notes just seem to mimic and correspond so well to the sight of the beautiful autumn leaves falling, graceful birds migrating, and soft flecks of sunshine gleaming through the tree branches. I find appreciation for most all composers, but some of my favorites are Mozart, Chopin, Vivaldi, and the contemporary, Max Richter


9. In a previous "Weekend Whatever" post, I mentioned about trying a new hair product, Loreal Ever Pure Bond Strengthening shampoo and conditioner for my curly hair. Now I am going to give you an update and share my experience and opinion on it. My friend who recommended it to me swore by it, claiming a noticeable difference of it taming her frizzys and strengthening her hair follicles (even though it is recommended for color-treated hair which none of ours are)

On the onset of using it on my hair, I first noticed the smell. Not a bad smell, but generally just very fragrant, but an interesting scent, like none other I can compare it to! Nither the shampoo or conditioner generated much sudsiness when lathered in, which I did not like, and actually kind of thought it left my hair feeling tangled and dry under water, neither was I a fan of what my curly hair looked like once it was dry. I mean, it wasn't any worse than it normally is, but for the price of the shampoo and conditioner I would have expected better results, also especially with how much my friend was talking it up. 

BUT, I will say, on my follow up wash, days later, my hair folicles surprisingly did feel much more silky, less tangled, and stronger, under water. I was so surprised. Not sure what to think of that. I really should give this product a second chance. BUT let me just wrap this up by sharing a product that I MYSELF recommend, and personally testify without a doubt, it to be a wonder-working, sure-to-please product you'll love. I know my curly hair does! Given to me by another friend (Thanks again Marisa 😄), THIS Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque has successfully been able to nourish my hair wonderfully, giving shape and definition to my every curl! I feel my previously abused and damaged hair has rediscovered and embraced it's natural curl pattern again all thanks to this magical hair masque! It's been making me feel so happy and beautiful! Give it a try and let me know what you think! I've seen it in Walmart and Target. 

 
10. I finally can say I've been to Philadelphia. I still experienced only the tip of the iceberg and really need to make a trip back there to experience the rest, but my friend and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to visit one of her favorite spots, Chinatown. I got to experience Dim Sum (like Chinese brunch!), and we also visited the Drexel University Campus. It was a good time!












Ocean-Harbor, Amazing Dim Sum Restuarant- 1023 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107











Thanks for following along with my adventure!
I hope you had a fantastic Labor Day Weekend!
Until next time,
Blessings in Christ!

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