Not of This World

Hi friends!

Last weekend, our students from Buckhead Church's high school ministry- InsideOut- took a trip up to Sharptop Cove in the mountains of Jasper, Georgia. My co-leader, Teahna, and I went, too, and we had a blast hanging out with our girls!

The theme for the weekend was "Not of This World: Live Like an Alien." The whole event was centered around the alien concept- which made for some fun and silly moments- and the messages were INCREDIBLE. All the speakers did an awesome job connecting with the students, and breaking down the more abstract directives in God's Word in a way they could grasp and execute in real life. The music was pretty spectacular, as well (thanks to Kristian Stanfill and his band...look them up here!).

Despite the fact that Teahna and I barely slept (thanks to the room next-door to ours being full of girls who talked and shrieked and giggled until the wee hours of Saturday morning, plus my stomach bug on Saturday night), the days were filled with good conversation, laughter, and LOTS of yummy food...

...and then there was THE BLOB.



Yes, that's me.

And, YES, it was EPIC.













Just in case I haven't said it enough...

Thanks to the whole Inside Out team (Shannon, Jamie, Ben, and all you guys!) for your hard work and preparation. This weekend was only possible with your dedication to both the students and this ministry. Kudos! You guys are amazing!

Thank you, Teahna, for being so sweet to me when I woke up scared Friday night after having a bad dream. And thank you for losing more sleep on Saturday when I got sick. But, most of all, thank you for being such an awesome co-leader and friend!

And girls...y'all are pretty much the most awesome people EVER. We love you!

Until next time,

Wendi

Rolling In the Deep

Hi friends!

There are lots of fun, exciting things going on around here this week.

First: Our Kenya fundraising deadline is FRIDAY. I still have $517 left to raise...but it's $400 less than what I had to raise this time yesterday! God is faithful.

Second: Our trip to Sharptop Cove with the high school students from Buckhead Church is THIS WEEKEND! Cue late nights with loud talking and little sleep, long, full days of fellowship, and (I'm sure) more than a fair share of boy/girl drama. CAN'T. WAIT (seriously!).

Third: I could share a few colorful sentences here in regards to an issue that came up yesterday...but I won't.

Fourth: My Victoria's Secret package should be coming in any day now! Long tunic sweaters and maxi skirts are just the thing I need to get ready for fall. And today is officially the first day of the season! Hooray!

So while I'm gearing up for all this awesome-ness, I'm also reading, cleaning, working, and learning how to cook. I should be writing, too. But since I do it all day at work now I find that I have little desire for it when I get home. Which sucks.

My sweet tea beckons...

Until next time!

Wendi

Making Home

Hi friends!

Last night, I got really creative (and Pinterest was actually not involved!) and cooked up home-made veggie beef stew and biscuits from scratch. My husband said I've been spoiling him with all my cooking, and I'm not going to lie...it pretty much made my day.

Like I used to do at Nannie's house.

YUM!

So good...

Pierce and I have working to create a budget that allows us to save and tithe more than ten percent each month, as well as pay off credit cards and work towards building up a down payment for a home. Since he was finally hired as a permanent employee of the Atlanta Falcons (thank you, lockout, for making us wait on pins and needles!) I will admit we've been experiencing some incredible financial blessings. But we both feel that the more we have, the more we should give. It's hard not to spend, spend, spend, and I'm thankful Pierce likes my food (!) because it's just one more attempt to conserve and be creative with our finances.

Until next time,

Wendi

Picnic in the Park (and other fun times!)

Hi friends!

The weather was absolutely stunning this weekend, so the hubs and I packed up a picnic lunch and hightailed it to Blackburn park- across the street from our apartment- to enjoy a lazy afternoon outdoors. LuLu came along to host the ride (wanna see LuLu? Scroll down to see my previous post.) and our husky, Bella, got to run around and play in the sunshine. The three of us might have even dozed off for a minute or two after we ate...it was just so relaxing! Now that the heat and humidity aren't smothering us anymore, we might just have to make this a weekly event.

Fall is here!

Me and Bella, our sweet girl. 

My favorites, minus Lady.


Another awesome thing that happened this weekend?

My brother-in-law, Jonathan, came home from Afghanistan!

None of us had any idea he was on leave, and he surprised my sister and their two girls while they were out eating lunch with my mom and little sister. It was an incredible way to commemorate this weekend and the tragedy we experienced ten years ago. I hope we can move forward and remember the good instead of drowning in the bad...and Jonathan's homecoming was the perfect way to begin a new decade of remembrance!

The first embrace, after 7 long months apart.

The Smith family, back together again!


Sunday was filled with all things Buckhead Church: morning service, Kenya team meeting, leader's meeting, Inside Out with my high school girls, and bible study with our small group. We love some Jesus, yes we do...but I am looking forward to the time when Sundays are not completely filled up with things to do. It's easy to let all the events become work, instead of opportunities for worship and praise.

I've started working on the first chapter of my third book (well,my third novel...fourth book). I feel very private about this story, mostly because I know that God is working through me to use my talents for His glory, and I can't wait to see what He does with it. This realization, along with my own dreams of becoming a novelist, has caused me to keep it quiet for some time. My husband knows I'm writing, but I feel particularly protective over this story, like it was given to me. I don't feel like I created it...I just feel like I'm transcribing what comes into my head. Does that make sense? Probably not. But it's the first time I've ever NOT though about publishing...and every writer I've ever known has said that is the key to writing well. If I think too much about who's going to read it- or what they're going to think- I might as well forget about my purpose, which is to do what I love. I'll never be free to write the way God has equipped me to if I'm too busy thinking about pleasing others. I only have to please Him.

Maybe this is why I still haven't found an agent for my last novel?

Until next time,

Wendi

P.S. My Georgia Southern Eagles are now 2-0! They beat Tusculum 62-21 this weekend! HAIL SOUTHERN! GATA! I miss my school...can't wait to be back at Paulson Stadium soon!

Happy Weekend!

Hi friends!

Gosh, it's just gorgeous around here lately. I love fall. It's my favorite (along with summer by the pool, and spring with those first days of warm weather...but not winter...winter sucks.)

Husband graciously gave in to my child-like fervor over the pink bicycle you see below (it's name is LuLu...it's even painted on the side! How fortuitous is that?) last weekend, and, after scouring four different Targets to find her, we finally made our purchase and, amazingly, wiggled her into the back seat/trunk of Pierce's 1997 Mustang. I was giddy with excitement, and then Pierce bought me a bell to go on the handlebars. He knows the way to my heart...

I'm in love.


She needs air in her tires (yes...my bike is a "she") but as soon as she's ready, I'm taking her for a spin around Blackburn Park tomorrow. We might even have a picnic! Makes me miss Sweetheart Circle back at GSU...

Cool weather, plaid shirts and boots, a picnic in the park with hubby, AND a pink bicycle? Could the possibilities for this weekend get any more perfect?

Enjoy it everyone!

Until next time,

Wendi

Happy Birthday Husband!


Gosh, I just love him.


Until next time,

Wendi

Making Life Pretty

Hi friends!

Happy Labor Day weekend! I'm pretty darn happy about having three days off (not that I can really complain...I did just get back from a Disney cruise), mostly because we finally got the extra couch out of our living room (thanks Seth!), and we now have enough space to finish up the decorating we started when we moved in almost three months ago (!!!). Having been obsessed with Pinterest for the last few weeks or so, I can't say that having little space to create new projects has been conducive to my surge of creative ideas (or should I say rip-offs?).

Here are a few of my most recent real-life Pins:

I'm going to make an "N" for our last name,
but I have to get more buttons. The original Pin is shown below.


$2 frames from Hobby Lobby + free printouts =
a happy Wendi.
Is it just me, or does being creative and giving your home a personal touch make you feel more at peace? As far back as middle school, I've always loved to decorate (interior design was even my major when I first started college...I got over that when I realized I had to, you know, actually design and not just decorate). No messy, unkempt, disorganized bedrooms for me; no sir! Mine were somewhat themed (in high school, you would have found a deep purple accent wall, with matching bedspread, in addition to distressed furniture, Target photo frames, and dried flowers) and usually very well put-together. No matter where I am, I want to feel comfortable, like I'm at home. And although my tastes have changed a bit, I still want to walk into my bedroom and experience the peace of knowing I belong there.

It's been particularly difficult to accomplish this recently because I know that God is really working on my heart. He's changing things about me I thought I'd always understood, and I'm learning so much about how selfish I can be in light of how I want to serve. There are too many things to share here, and maybe I will soon, but for now I just want to say I am excited to see how God is going to take our willingness to obey Him (when I say "we" I mean the Hubs and me, and when I say "obey" I mean "try to"), break down some major walls, and rebuild. I'm wondering what God is going to do with our money, our jobs, our marriage, our conflicting desire to buy a house and sell everything to be free to go where He wants us to...(that's a tough one!) and the overwhelming attachments we share for what we own and who we love. I'm still learning how I am being equipped to serve, and it's both exciting and unsettling. But it's also an awesome adventure!

In the meantime, I'm enjoying this new season, and by that I mean FOOTBALL season! Pierce and I visited my dad and step-mom, Celeste, earlier today and we spent the whole afternoon grilling out, watching games, and laughing together. Lots of Celeste's family was there, as well as my sister and her two daughters. It was nice to kick back and do a whole lot of nothing together.

Mary Grace and Laci, being awesome. As usual.

If I hadn't been wearing a dress, I would
have been right up there with her!
At the moment, I'm hanging out on the couch, watching the UGA/Boise State game (hoping UGA loses, in case you're wondering!) and loving the fact that my GSU eagles are up by 21 points. HAIL SOUTHERN! GATA!

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

Until next time,

Wendi