Monday, March 31, 2014

birthdays at the bungalow.

Last Thursday was my little brother, Dustin's twenty-first birthday, and we celebrated his + the other two March birthdays (Freeman + me) with the whole family. It's a rare treat to get us all together, and I eagerly waited for this night to come for weeks. It was, also, a treat for it to be a warm, sunny day in the midst of all the cold rain that had consumed the weather for the past few days before.

We ate dinner + opened presents + dug into some cake + enjoyed the company of family for several hours. At the end of the night, we even enjoyed a fire out back. It was so much fun to chat + laugh + hang out together, something that I regularly pray would happen more often. The times when all of us get to together make my heart so, so thankful, and I'm already looking forward to the next gathering, hoping that it's sooner rather than later. Self-timer, also, makes me thankful, because it enables us to capture the whole crew on film. :)

The end of March may be upon us, but that just means we've got another whole month ahead of us to try to love each other more these next thirty days than we did during the previous thirty-one.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


It was the biggest blessing to spend a large portion the week of my twenty-fifth birthday learning more about Jesus.  Going to back to school was one of the best decisions I have ever been led to make, and I've been trying my hardest to soak in every single thing I can during my first two months as a Bruin.  This week, in particular, was the annual Bible Conference at Bob Jones University, and although it was my first time attending, it certainly won't be my last. I was challenged more than ever before to simply live for Christ, no matter how non-simplistic it may be doing it.

During the numerous sessions I attended, my ears never tuned out + my heart never stopped beating fast + my hand never stopped writing. The last session of the week, the evening of my birthday, I sat with Teesh to my left + my sweet friend, Melissa, to my right + one of my professors in front of me + hundreds of people sitting all around me, and all I could think is that though most people wouldn't call my life a dream by any means, I am living my dream. Seeking His kingdom first while being in the midst of so many others who are desperately doing the same thing may not be your dream, but it's mine. Though I still fail more times than not, His grace is sufficient (Romans 5:20). Our lives are being lived out with every decision we make, and though most would agree that not every decision is beneficial for us, often times we still choose those paths that take us down the wide road, the road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

The challenge that was issued to us on Friday night was to live a life of faith. When we live a life of faith in Jesus Christ, we are moved with fear to worship Him + devoted to put our faith into action through our works, just as Noah demonstrated during his building of the ark (Hebrews 11:7). People will mock + ridicule you for the things that you do, but it's simply because they don't understand. Noah surely faced the same as he built an enormous boat, but he kept building. Our faith is evidenced by our actions, by what we do. If we are convinced of Jesus being the Way + the Truth + the Life, then we must proclaim it. Just as Noah obeyed the Word of God, so, too, must we obey. The Word of God was the basis of Noah's faith.

Is it the basis of mine? Am I willing to do what He says regardless of what people will say about me as I do it? Am I prepared to defend my faith in Christ? Do I know what His Word says well enough to defend my faith? Am I willing to put the world in the wrong by giving it the Gospel of Christ? Am I striving to serve the One who has called me?

This question was presented to us as Dr. Les Ollila closed out his message, and it's one that I am convinced needs to be asked of everyone:
If people to read my journal after my life was through, what would be revealed about my life?
What is my target? What is my goal?
Who is my heart focused on: myself or Christ?

For those of us who proclaim faith in Jesus Christ, we must have a life defined by service to He who has saved us + called us + robed us in His righteousness. We must love Him supremely, seeking His kingdom first above all else (Matthew 6:33). May we not be partially surrendered, but rather wholly yielded to His perfect will, He who has defeated sin + death for us.

"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
-1 Corinthians 5:15

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

a celebration for Lacy Claire.

On Saturday, we all gathered to celebrate Lacy Claire turning one! We had the best time just simply watching her, and I don't think any of us can believe that she's already a year old. It seems like yesterday we were visiting her for the first time in the hospital, and now she's smiling + crawling + almost talking + almost walking. Speaking of her smile, it's the cutest thing I've ever seen. I'm looking forward to continuing to watch her grow up, and I will be praying over her every single day of her life; that the Lord would use her to draw people to His name, bring His peace + love everywhere she goes, and that she would grow up to love Him more with every day that comes + goes. I pray that her life would be one that others admire, one that inspires others to seek after our Father, the Maker of life, the Lover of our souls.

Lacy Claire, I've got high hopes for your precious life, and I'll be beside you as you develop + chase after your dreams. As much as we all hate that one day you'll face hardship on this earth, you've got plenty of us that will fight against it with you. May you know how much you are loved + cherished by so many of us, sweet girl.

Friday, March 21, 2014


On this day, exactly one year ago, these two parents eagerly awaited the arrival of their baby girl. Family filled the waiting room on the night before she was born, and we all wondered with excitement what she would look like + how much she would weigh + contemplated all the ways she would change our lives.

Then, after nine months of patience, Lacy Claire was here! 3:16 PM became her mommy + daddy's favorite time of the day, and she immediately became the center of attention at all family gatherings.

Happy first birthday to our precious Lacy Claire Hargett, named after an angel + loved by more people than she could possibly know. It's all about this once-baby-now-big girl today, folks!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

carrick creek trail.

On Saturday, the long-awaited girls' weekend was finally upon us, and we hit the trails to commemorate the occasion. Courtney (better known as Court Bourt, of course) and I had one of our first few outings together on the trails of western North Carolina, and another day out in creation was the perfect getaway to celebrate nearly six years of adventuring alongside each other. There are few people I treasure like this lady, and it was an incredible blessing to discover new-to-us paths in an old-to-me park while simply talking about life. So much has changed since we first met, and it's so refreshing to find rest and peace in this lifelong friend the Lord has graciously granted me.

Carrick Creek Trail did not disappoint, and I was given strength to fight through oncoming sickness to enjoy a lovely day out in God's handiwork with one of His best works of art. Everything about this day was so, so perfect. Our next girls' weekend better get written into the calendar soon, because I'm already looking forward to all the fun we'll add to our track record of shenanigans!

"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks."
-John Muir

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


How breath-taking is downtown Greenville when the streets are lined with lights so that the dark doesn't seem so dark? I love calling this city mine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

birthday treat.

This past Friday, we went downtown for dinner + wandering + ice cream in honor of Angie's birthday the following day. I'm so blessed to live in a beautiful city + be a member of a beautiful family, and to enjoy both beauties together on the same night was a beautiful treat, indeed.  Angie is another year older + wiser + loving + precious to us, and I pray that this will be the year that all her dreams come true. I've got the best mother-in-law, and not a day goes by that I don't thank my Father for blessing me so tremendously.

Monday, March 10, 2014


I have lots of memories from being a little girl. Some good, some not-so good, and others still that really don't seem worth remembering to anyone besides me. Memories are good for many reasons, and I've learned to cherish every one of them, for they all remind us of where we've been while pushing us on to pursue our dreams. I realize that not everyone shares that same perspective when it comes to memories, but it's one I am confident that I will never waver from. There is, for me, one consistent component to each memory that has affected me more deeply than the others: prayer.

Prayer has always been something I have clung to, the place that has been my safe haven when all the world around me seems to be spinning out of control. Even when I was just a wee little girl, I would spend hours praying, sometimes for the simple fact that no one else, it seemed, was listening to me. God knew my secrets + my fears + my doubts + my confusion + the things that made me the happiest . He knew everything about me. He, also, heard names from my lips often, and even when I wasn't really sure what was going on, I was confident that He was taking care of it all. Turns out, I'm not so different from that little girl I once was; in fact, He has become my confidant a little more with every new day. I still run to Him with all the things I've always run to Him with, and He still saves the day on a regular basis.

This past week, I was blessed with hearing three different sermons preached on prayer, and the challenge that has come with each of them has left me wanting to be in communication with my King of kings + Lord of lords + Savior + Father + Friend + Confidant even more. I can still recall the very first sermon I heard on the topic + importance of prayer. I was in sixth grade, my great uncle, Dennis, was preaching, and he simply said, "Our prayers must mean something to us if we expect them to mean something to God." Before that moment, I had prayed because I knew He was listening, because I needed Him. It was in that moment that God showed me that He had placed the cares + concerns + fears in my life so that I would cast them upon Him. Even before I knew that 1 Peter 5:7 existed, I knew He cared for me, that He wanted to bear my burdens for me. If the things I go to the Lord about in prayer break my heart, I know they break His more. If I care deeply about the things I pray about, I can't imagine how much the Creator of all things cares about them.

Today, I offer you three challenges, the same three that my gracious God has been working in and through me. First, keep praying even when it seems that everyone else has stopped. Pray generously. Pray for the triumph of God's people. Pray for the salvation of those who are not yet His through Christ Jesus. Pray earnestly. Pray without fail. Pray expectantly. Ask. Seek. Knock. My pastor, Walt, compared knocking to having perseverance yesterday morning in his teaching, and James 1:4 immediately came to mind: "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Verse 5 continues that statement by telling us to ask for wisdom if we don't have it. Pray. Pray continually. Even when you feel as if you're the only one doing it. My second challenge is simple yet so convicting: when Jesus comes again, will He find you praying? Jesus, Himself, asks a form of this question in Luke 18:8 when He asks if He will find faith when He returns. Prayer is a symptom of our faith. It is my prayer that that previous statement of truth convicts hearts and prompts us to do what we are commanded to do: pray. Third, I invite you to consider this, a truth that has been messing me up in the best way for the past year: we must never stop praying, not to get what we want, but to acknowledge Who we are praying to. May we pray, as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, continually, without fail, always.

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, and intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings, and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives with all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men...I want men everywhere to lift up holy hand in prayer..."
-1 Timothy 2:1-6,8

Monday, March 3, 2014


On Saturday, most of Whitney's closest friends all came together to celebrate her quickly-approaching wedding day. We stuffed our faces with brunch chit-chatted for a couple of hours, all while being surrounded by laughter joy. It was so much fun to catch up with ladies I hadn't seen in a while, but the best part of that morning was watching my best friend since good ol' pre-calculus class be pampered as the center of attention. The Lord provided big time for us on this beautiful March morning, and I am still thanking Him for all the favor He showed us throughout the whole planning process + actual day of. We serve a great God who cares deeply about even the small things in our lives, and this morning was more proof of that beautiful truth. I pray that His favor would continue to be upon Whitney David as they prepare to become husband wife next month. Yes, you read that right--they're getting married NEXT month! This is such an exciting time in their lives, and I am super-dee-duper thankful to be a part of this season that will never come again.

Countdown to Mrs. Whitney Llaneza: fifty-four days!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...