Nov 29, 2013

journey of eucharisteo // week four

"Use me then, my Savior, for whatever purposes and in whatever way you may require.
Here is my poor heart, an empty vessel; fill it with your grace"
[ D.L. Moody ]

"I am blessed. I can bless . . . grace is alive, living waters. If I dam up the grace, hold the blessings tight, joy dies within . . . through me, grace could flow on. Like a cycle of water in continuous movement, grace is meat to fall, a rain. I could share the grace, multiply the joy, extend the table of the feast, enlarge the paradise of His presence. I am blessed. I can bless. A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ. "
[ One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voscamp, p 184 ] 
Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope your day was filled with joyful thanksgiving!

* * *

My week has been blessed with so many beautiful gifts from the best Gift Giver.
God has been so faithful and good to me in the last year, so my response should be to burst out with thanksgiving for His faithful love over me.  Here are a few of the gifts I chronicled in the last seven days:

Saturday: I am thankful for the opportunity to see life-long friends beaming and glowing over their darling angels . . . and getting to catch up with the gorgeous mamas.

Sunday: I am thankful for my sunday school kiddos. I have been teaching sunday school for more than half of my lifetime and I still get excited to see children discover the grace & love of Jesus.

Monday: I am thankful for 262 shoeboxes collected for Operation Christmas Child from the church I grew up in. My sister and I were so excited to hear the final count when she dropped them off.

 Tuesday: I am thankful for surprise snail mail gifts. I received a sweet letter
and fun holiday socks from  sweet sister friends from the east coast.

Wednesday: I am thankful for a day full of time with family and friends.
I had a mongolian lunch with my dad, brother, and sister, then at night,
I attending a Thanksgiving program and dinner.
 Thursday: Thanksgiving! I started the morning off by serving alongside three friends at the Union Gospel Mission. It was so great to bless others by providing a delicious meal to the homeless. And one of my friends and I ended up getting our 15 seconds of fame because several news station where filming us and we ended up on a local news station website and on the 6 o'clock news for a brief 2 seconds, haha!
I had a delicious dinner with my family. My oldest brother, his wife, and their two adorable kids couldn't join us for dinner, so I visited them later on. Just look at this cutie! 
Hope your day is wonderful!

Link- up with Angela from Harrells on the Hood:
30 Days of Thankfulness

Nov 26, 2013

travel tuesday//garden stroll

Welcome back to travel tuesday! Today I am sharing a few photos from my much-needed introvert time at Jardin des Plantes on my last full day in Paris this past August as well as a few shots of one of our adorable Parisian apartments we rented.

Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. In 1635, Louis XIII's physician created a medicinal garden here that was originally called the Jardin du Roi ("Garden of the King")

After several days surrounded by family, I needed some quiet time. Don't get me wrong. I loooved vacationing in Paris with family (several aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and sister) and will always treasure the time we had together, but I am a natural introvert and I was in need of some quiet time. Luckily, our adorable Parisian apartment was only a few blocks away from the jardin. It was so nice to walk around on this sunny day gazing at the beautiful blooms in the garden. People-watching was so fun. This is a much less populated garden compared to Luxembourg and Toulleries so the people-watching including French people in their element: Lazy Sundays. 

We ended up having some of our relatives over for dinner at our little apartment I found through AirBnB. We loved this little gem! It was furnished in such an adorable fashion and was directly in the center of Paris, so it was so convenient to get around. 

 Here was our neighborhood! We grabbed breakfast croissants and baguettes each morning prior to our adventures while we stayed here!
I am missing Paris so much. It was a beautiful trip and was filled with so many great experiences. I loved seeing my parents care-free and enjoying life. It was my second summer in a row in Paris and I think I could go to Paris 5 more summers in a row without getting tired of this romantic city.

Next week for Travel Tuesday: NICE!

Check out the link-up with Bonnie at A Compass Rose

Nov 23, 2013

fall fashion staples

i am aware that fall is half over but i thought 
it would be fun to share some of my fall staples!

 aztec cardigans

chunky infinity scarf (mine is mustard yellow)

thick, black tights/leggings + colorful skirts

button tops under cozy sweaters + skinny jeans

slouchy sweaters and leggings at home

black boots

What are your fall staples?

Nov 21, 2013

journey of eucharisteo // week three

"When I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, 
I make a place for God to grow within me. 
This makes me full, and I "magnify Him 
with Thanksgiving"(Psalm 69:30)".
[One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voscamp, p. 59]
* * *
This week has been really busy and it was a challenge to keep writing in my thanksgiving journal since it was a chore just to keep my eyes pried open at the end of the evening. But here are a few of the things I am thankful for this week:

87. Late dinner with one of my best friends. It was so fun to catch up.
89. My mom surprised me with a sweet Thanksgiving card
91. Books that teach me about Jesus and biographies about missionaries.
92. Goofy kids in clinic
94. Seeing kids and teens excited to participate in Operation Christmas Child.
96. Peace amidst the storm, which was a great reminder from She Reads Truth  
97. My monthly massage. My massage therapist is the sweetest & its always fun to catch up every month.
101. A clean apartment and the smell of clean laundry
* * * 
"I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because 
the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; 
it is its appointed consummation"
[C.S. Lewis]

Join me for the link-up with the sweet Angela from The Harrells on Hood:
30 Days of Thankfulness

Nov 19, 2013

paris la nuit // travel tuesday

Last week, I shared some of the photos from our family day floating along the Seine.
Today I want to share the continuation of that beautiful day as it flowed into . . . 

Paris la nuit

bonne nuit! au revoir!

Nov 16, 2013

random raves // operation christmas child

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.” 
(Bob Pierce, Samaritan's Purse founder)

Tonight's random rave is about one of my favorite ministries:
Operation Christmas Child!

100 million boys and girls have been blessed with a shoebox gifts since 1993 when Samaritan's Purse started this amazing program that sends gifts to children to more than 130 countries [check out more history!]. But the best part is that these children also get to hear about the best gift of all: Jesus. They get the chance to participate in The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson discipleship follow-up program.

I have been involved in OCC for about 5 or 6 years now and get excited every fall. It makes me so excited to tell kids, teens, and parents about Operation Christmas Child and seeing their excited faces as they plan what they'll place in their shoeboxes. It's always so heartwarming to hear my prayers lifted up for these children during children's worship time on Sundays. 

Here is the low-down for those who have not heard about OCC and would like to be involved!

How To Pack A Shoebox:
1) Grab a shoebox or a plastic shoebox storage box
2) Choose a gender and age for a gift
3) Fill box with gifts such as personal hygiene items, small toys, flashlight, etc. See here for more suggestions.
4) Add a $7 donation fee. Follow your shoebox by donating online!
5) Drop off shoebox at a location during collection week: NOV. 18-25
6) Pray for the child who will receive your shoebox.

[12, 3]

Check out awesome videos about OCC (I love the one with Si from Duck Dynasty as well as the true stories of kiddos whose lives were changed by receiving a gift from OCC).
+ + +
I have personally been so blessed by this ministry. I have written letters and placed them in my box and received letters from several of the children over the past years. I've also read so many beautiful stories of children receiving exactly what they needed or wanted in their boxes. There is something so unique and special about this ministry and a big part of this is due to prayer.

Have you been involved in Operation Christmas Child?

Nov 14, 2013

journey of eucharisteo // week two

I am linking up with Angela from Harerells on Hood and many other ladies in the 30 Days of Thanksgiving blogging challenge. Last Thursday, I shared the many things I was thankful for during my trip to my home-away-from-home, Seattle.

I mentioned in that post that while reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, I was challenged to start a journal of thanksgiving and it's been a great reminder to give thanks for big and little gifts.
i have been instagraming daily photos of these gifts and calling it my journey of eucharisteo.

Here are a few of this week's moments of eucharisteo, joyful thanksgiving.

[day 7]
the amazing sights i was blessed to see in the past six months.
i have always loved the idea of traveling + have but scratched 
the surface into the beauty of this world. 
[day 8]
living only thirty minutes from family.
it makes spontaneous sister lunches or surprising my mom 
with flowers fun (i did both yesterday)

[day 9]
my nephew and niece, who bring so much joy to our family.

[day 10]
being in a solid bible-believing community group that encourages 
transparency & honesty. read this post about this week's group. probably my 
most raw post yet. it lets you into my story a bit more than i have revealed on the blog.

[day 11]
my twinzie neighbor who looks like me (it's uncanny) & is so very
thoughtful & encouraging. she'll just randomly leave groceries at my door
because she found stuff on sale & thought i would enjoy extra fruit or yogurt.
my neighbor buddy and i at the Met in NYC last spring

[day 12]
tuesday nights & wednesday mornings. these are the times i can relax with a 
cup of tea, blog,read, catch up with friends, & just be instead of doing.

[day 13]
having a trail nearby that i can jog and enjoy the scenery, like last evening.

[day 14]
bible studies & devotionals that are encouraging as well as challenge 
my dailydecisions & views, such as she reads truth. i was blown away
by this reading last night on talitha.

*  *  * 

30 Days of Thankfulness