Saturday, March 31, 2012

someone pinch me, please.

A little over a month ago, P. Sawyer informed me that she and Teesh would be stealing me away the Friday night after my birthday for a special surprise. I had no idea what it could be, and I tried my very best (very often, might I add) to get Teesh to crack and tell me. Now, don't get me wrong, because I love surprises. I really, really do. But a month is a looooooong time though! Wouldn't you agree? Okay, back to the they told me they had something planned, but wouldn't tell me what. That Friday night finally arrived, and Teesh got me all fancied up to  meet P. Sawyer at her house. We jumped in the car with her (after David greeted us in true David fashion, of course) and made the short trek from her house to downtown Greer. Let me assure you before you continue: the month of waiting was totally worth it!

We'd been wanting to try a local restaurant called Bin 112 for several months now, so it didn't surprise me that we walked up to their front door to have a nice dinner. What did surprise me, however, was the table in the back filled with seven of my best friends (minus Teesh and P. Sawyer, who were responsible for all this extra spoiling I received) waiting for my arrival. Can you say FREAK OUT!? Because that's exactly what I did. I'm even a little giddy thinking about it even now, to be honest! Courtney, Melanie, Katie, Ellen, Caitlin, Emilie, and Whitney drove in from all over just to be with me as I celebrated another year of this beautiful life. Can you believe how blessed I am to have friends who care so much about me? And as if them simply being there wasn't already enough, they all pitched in and bought me a gift certificate to Urban Nirvana for a little royal treatment at the spa. Seriously? Every time I try to become a better friend, they do something like this and blow all my efforts out of the water. Jesus spoils me every single day just by allowing me to be surrounded by these precious people, and I am constantly being given more reasons to thank him for each of them. Those eight girls and that one boy are all one-of-a-kind, and I honestly have no idea what they see in me that's worth so many miles and so much sincerity.

Dinner was perfect, but lucky for me, it didn't end there. Everyone who was able came back to our house and finished the night off with a slumber party in true girl style. EEEEEK! It. Was. Perfect. Perfectly perfect doesn't even begin to describe it, really. We stayed up late talking and laughing and just being together, which is something we don't get to do as often now that we're growing up. I think my favorite thing about this group of girls is how we all come from so many different places, but everyone just kind of fits. Not one of them are exactly like another, and we all bring so many unique elements to this special friendship that we get to call ours. I never thought in a million years that I would be growing older with the best people the Lord ever created, but I promise you that it is the biggest blessing and honor to be the common thread between all of these gals. I think that the bond we've all formed is such an overwhelming portrayal of the Lord's faithfulness and compassion. Only he could bring us all together, and I know there will never be a day when I don't thank him for doing just that.

My friends make me want to give more and love harder and forgive before hearing an apology and smile bigger and hug tighter and speak gracefully and believe in good and hope for better tomorrows than todays and really live in every moment. That's what friends do, though. They help you become more like the person you were created to be. At least mine do. May I never forget to remember what a precious gift they are, and may I do more than remember--may I tell them and show them and never make them wonder how much more love I have in my heart simply because they love me.

"Say what you want about aging, it's still the only way to have old friends."
-Robert Brault

Thursday, March 29, 2012

princess for a day.

Yesterday was, hands down, without a doubt, my best birthday ever. If it was any indication of how the remainder of my twenty-third year is going to go, I'm going to be the most spoiled person on the planet. I can promise you that out of all the people who celebrated something yesterday, I was the one smiling the biggest. All. Day. Long.

My day started before the sun came up when Teesh woke me up extra early to treat the birthday girl to birthday breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Lucky for us, we dined our entire meal with the whole restaurant to ourselves (that's how early it was). I went to school and was greeted with a "Happy birthday, Ms. Anna!" every five minutes for the rest of the day. They told me more and more frequently the closer we got to two o'clock, because they knew a party was brewing. Teesh surprised my class by coming to the party, and I'm pretty positive that they enjoyed his presence more than the cookie cake that came with him! After school, I came home to find that Teesh brought dinner to me. And it wasn't just any dinner, it was a salad, sirloin, and mashed potatoes from Arizona Steakhouse, complete with my favorite soda: Cheerwine in a bottle. I cleaned my plate and immediately opened my present to find my very own Osprey backpack: the first item needed for our trip to Europe planned for next year, not to mention how it will be perfect for overnight camping trips this summer! Did I mention how wonderful he is? Because he blows me away every day, but yesterday took it to a whole new level. Shorty after we finished dinner and presents, P. Sawyer, Krispy, and Brittany arrived for our traditional Wednesday evening date, but they didn't come empty-handed; they surprised me with a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. See? I was SPOILED! And THANKFUL!

Doesn't all of that sounds perfect? Well, it was. The best part, though, was hearing from all the people that mean the most to me all on the same day. That's really the reason why birthdays have always been my favorite. The element of togetherness it has always brought has never failed to make me feel like the most special person ever created, even if just for the day. Birthdays have never been just another day to me, and I was overwhelmed by the response of all the people I love most to remind me why.

I got so caught up in enjoying every waking moment of the day that I didn't take many pictures. The ones I did take though, give a pretty perfect description of why I loved it so much Take a look for yourself! :)

Thank you to everyone who shared words that were far too kind, gave hugs and kisses, said prayers, and simply took the time to assure me that you were thinking of me. I have the best family and friends, and I can promise you that the last thing I ever want to do is take any of them for granted. I want to love them as hard and relentlessly as they love me. May I spend every single day of my twenty-third year doing just that, plus some.

I've got big plans for these next three hundred and sixty-four days, and I'm ready to get busy checking things off the Bargeron Bucket List. Here we go!

"As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by him."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Meet my not-so-little brother.

I can remember being an excited four year-old whose mommy dressed her in a blue "I'm a big sister!" t-shirt so she could meet a little guy named Dustin Michael. It's hard to believe that it's almost been two decades since my first memory of him, but I'm so thankful that it wasn't my last. I hope ten more decades pass before I have my last memory of him, and then some.

Dusty, my prayer for you this year is that you keep learning how beautiful life can be if you simply choose to see it as so. Don't let all the bad things that may come your way steal your laughter and rob you of the incredible man you have become over the past several years. Even when you make mistakes, I'm still proud of you, because I believe with all my heart that one day you'll be thankful they no longer rule your life. My love and prayers go with you wherever you go, and I hope with all my might that you feel every bit of it with each rising of the sun. There will never be a day when I'm not on your side, baby brother. I love you more than you could ever, ever, ever imagine.

happy nineteenth, handsome!

"After a girl is grown, her little brothers - now her protectors - seem like big brothers."
-Astrid Alauda

Sunday, March 25, 2012

girls weekend.

This weekend I got to hang out with four girls who I haven't seen since Teesh and I got married in July. It's crazy to think that just two short years ago, I went from seeing them every single day to only seeing them every few months. My college roommates were crazy gals, but they were my crazy gals and I loved (and still do, even more now) the mess out of them. We laughed together and cried together and shared some of the best times of our college years together. It's amazing how the Lord orchestrated us meeting and living with each other for both years I was at Clemson. I'm thankful for them every day, and this weekend was just something extra to add to my list of reasons I think they're awesome. Queen City wasn't ready for the five of us, I can you promise you that!

"Friends are relatives you make for yourself."
-Eustache Deschamps

And relatives they are, indeed. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

saint patrick.

May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore.
-Saint Patrick, (389-460 AD)

That's what St. Patrick's Day should be about. Praising Jesus for raising up a man who was held captive for many years and spent the rest of his life helping people and loving people and discipling people for forty years in Ireland. He devoted his life to trying to make the name of Jesus famous. What a shame it is that we've turned his name into a reason to drink green beer and pinch people who aren't wearing the correct color. Most people probably don't even realize he was a real person, but I praise Jesus that a man as God-fearing as him walked the same earth then we do today.

What legacy will we leave behind for the next generations? What will they remember about you? What will they remember about me? May we all live a life that points to Jesus and shines bright for Him, no matter how people choose to tell the story after we leave this place.

"If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me."
-Saint Patrick

Thursday, March 15, 2012

never stop celebrating.

Two more ladies turned a year older today, blessing the world with more opportunities to love them and be loved by them. My mother-in-law (who I just call mom) and a third of my life-long trio are two of the most important people I've ever had the privilege of doing life with, and I've shared some of my most favorite memories with each of them by my side. My heart is constantly overflowing with thankfulness and joy, and a lot of the time it's got something to with something either of these two did to create the need for it. I love to love these lady friends of mine, and I am beyond grateful that I get to be a small part of two incredibly wonderful lives.

That being said, let me introduce you to the ladies of honor.

Happy birthday, Angie!

Happy birthday, B. Davis!

"But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This was our Saturday afternoon spent celebrating the life of Aeydin Moss, one of our most favorite little fellas on the face of the planet. There was football, face painting, a magic show, balloon animals, cake, presents, new friends, old friends, laughter, smiles, and even a dash of bravery. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, this girl got within feet of a clown. A real life clown. I did it for the children, that's it and that's all. Will it ever happen again? Proooobably not. But I'll never forget the time it actually did. Daddy, I hope you're proud!

I love birthdays, they're actually my favorite thing in the whole world. An entire day devoted to your growth and progress. It was also fantastic to have the two most handsome guys as my very own dates. I've got such a happy life, and I hope I never get tired of loving every second of it. :)

"Memory is way of holding onto things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."
-The Wonder years

Sunday, March 11, 2012

cannie ree.

A couple days before Teesh and I started dating in ninth grade, his big sister smiled at me as she passed me in the stairwell, grabbed my hand, and bluntly said "Has my brother asked you out yet? He's been chickening out for days, and I'm about to ask you for him!" That's when I fell in love with her, and since then, she's been one of the absolute most important people in my life. I mean, how can you not love someone who likes you enough to let you date her brother?

I had no idea that when I snagged Teesh as a boyfriend I would get a package deal and snag two more sisters along with him. She's always been on my side, through rough patch and every sunny day, and I don't think she has any idea just how much she means to me. That's okay, though, because I don't mind reminding her every day. :)

Happy birthday to my big sister, Candice Marie!

Cannie Ree, you've been my big sister for eight years, and I've thanked the Lord for that incredible blessing every day since I met you. You and that cute little squirt of yours mean the world to Teesh and me, and we both are  praying that this next year is filled with more laughter and smiles and good things falling into place than any other year has. Believe that your life is wonderful, and it will be so. Never, ever forget that. I love you, sis!

"The best thing about having a sister [is] that I always [have] a friend."
-Cali Rae Turner

Friday, March 9, 2012

two fellas.

Today marks another day that I get to be thankful for two more people in my life. March 9th is special for these two reasons: Meeeman and Aeydin. That's right, my not-so-little brother is officially nineteen and my adopted son (yes, in my own little world) is officially four. These guys make me laugh and smile and thank Jesus multiple times a day and even help me perfect my disciplining skills (also multiple times a day).

Meet Meeeman (known to the rest of the world as Freeman), my oldest wittle brudder:

And meet Mossy (known to the rest of the world as Aeydin), a little boy who started out as my student and quickly became the kid I constantly want to take home with me and make my own:

I love that I have so many people in my life that the Lord gives me opportunities to pour into. I hope they feel and see my love for them every single day, but especially on days like today. If I fail at everything else I do during my lifetime, I hope the one thing I do right is always be someone they look up to. I also hope and pray that they are always overwhelmed by the amount of love I give them.

So, happy birthday, boys! There is no way that I would ever want to walk through this life without either one of you. I'm thankful for ya'll and love you beyond comprehension!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Task #1:
Stop whatever it is you're doing right now, take thirty minutes out of your seemingly busy day, and watch every second of thisCry, get angry, scream, sit in silence, drop your jaw as far as it will go, do whatever you need to do to make it through the next half hour.

Did you watch? Now move on to the next task.

Task #2:
Let go of your selfish desires to simply jump back into your list of things that need to get done and your everyday routine. Donate. Pray. Tell someone (lots of someones) to watch this. Ask them to spread the word to more someones. GET INVOLVED. There is no action too small, just as long as you do something. ANYTHING. Let this break your heart into billions of pieces, but move past a tear shed for injustice and embrace compassion. Because compassion is different than most things we feel. In fact, it's not a feeling at all. It's what comes after the feelings. Compassion is an action. It's what you do after your heart is broken.

So what will you do? What will I do? Imagine what we could accomplish if we all did a little. A lot of a little is a lot. So do a little.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."
-Proverbs 31:8

Sunday, March 4, 2012

john dukes.

These guys (and gal) have my heart. Seriously, they do. We lead worship together at Capstone Church, and we've grown to be more like a family than band members. Now, see the dashing (young) man with the red shirt standing to my right? Well, this is John Dukes. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, THE John Dukes. Not only is he gracious with us crazy nuts, but he's also madly in love with Jesus Christ and acts like he is daily. It has been one of my biggest honors to get to serve with him on Sunday mornings, but to also develop a friendship that I'm certain, without a doubt, will last a lifetime. He and his cute-as-a-button family have impacted Teesh and I in ways they'll never even know of, and we love them so very much.

John Dukes is the man every day, but he's even more the man when it's his birthday. And since he has officially entered into his third decade as of today, that makes him three times as much the man.

Happy birthday, Mr. Dukes.
May this day, and every day, be as much a blessing to you as your life is to me. I love you a whole lot!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

call to ministry.

I posted this two summers ago. And if you know me on a personal level, then you know that it's something I'm burdened about every day of my life. But when? Where? Why not now? Those are a few of the questions I ask Jesus every day as I beg for him to consume every part of me. I don't think it's possible to put into words just how ready I am for this vision I've had in the back of my mind for nearly six years finally come to life before my eyes. I get chills and butterflies every time I think about it, and I am certain, without a doubt, that I'll be seeing Creation like I've never seen it before and loving on people that have never known much, if anything, about real, true love. That's my vision. That's our vision, and I have wrestled over why neither Teesh nor I have felt a deep burden for a specific place and why we haven't been sent out yet.

This weekend, I had the privilege of attending a seminar at Anderson University called Called2Ministry. Melanie told us about it several weeks ago, and we had no problem committing to a sleepover in Anderson and the potential of more knowledge than our tiny selves could digest. It was such a blessing to be mentored by so many men of God who are out in the world trying to make the name of Jesus more and more famous with each passing day. They poured into us and loved on us and very much empowered us, all in less than twenty-four hours. There were several things that really hit home with me, and this was one of them. When he said it, I'm pretty sure a light bulb physically turned on in my teeny tiny brain. It was a simple statement, but it was so profound:

Ezra 7:10 says, "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." Ezra studied the Law, practiced the Law, and then taught the Law. He was prepared, and, therefore, his ministry was effective. With that in mind, which of these would be more effective in winning lives for Christ: fifty-five years of so-so ministry or five years of studying and practicing, followed by fifty years of life-changing ministry?

That's why it's not time for us yet. We need to study more and practice more and seek our Savior more and pray more for trust that we do clarity and prepare ourselves for His perfect timing to come to life in us and beg for a deeper taste of Him. I'm overwhelmed by the opportunity to get to do those things, much less by the thought of doing something I call "big" for him. I just have to keep saying Hineni. Over and over. Hineni. Hineni. Hineni. Translation: Here I am. No matter what is asked, here I am. I surrender everything, Lord, here I am. Take my fear, Lord, here I am. Here I am. He wants a reckless abandonment of myself, and that's what I must give. That's what my heart longs to give.

I know my calling, and I know I'll get there as long as I keep chasing hard after his heart. Apparently, I even have a sign above my head that flashes "Missionary," according to Mr. Foster Christy, one of our speakers this weekend. He stopped mid-sermon, looked me dead in the eye, and asked, "Have you ever thought about missions specifically?" I'm pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head, but I quickly responded that I had. He immediately, and confidently, said "You've got a sign on your head." As if I hadn't had more than ample confirmation over the past several years, Jesus thought I needed to be called out in front of a crowd by a complete stranger. What an indescribable blessing for the Holy Spirit to speak to you through an incredible man of God. My Jesus continually sweeps me off my feet and makes me fall more and more in love with Him. May I never grow weary in my pursuit of this Jesus who died so I could live.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing, and perfect will."
-Romans 12:1-2
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