Saturday, January 31, 2009

Love is Not a Fight

Love is not a place to come and go as we please. It's a house we enter in, then commit to never leave. So lock the door behind you. Throw away the key. Work it out together. Let it bring us to our knees. Love is a shelter in a raging storm. Love is peace in the middle of a war. And if we try to leave; May God send angels to guard the door. No, Love is not a fight but its something worth fighting for. To some love is a word that they can fall into. But when they're falling out keeping that word is hard to do. Love is a shelter in a raging storm. Love is peace in the middle of a war. And if we try to leave; May God send angels to guard the door. No, Love is not a fight but its something worth fighting for. Love will come to save us; If we'll only call. He will ask nothing from us but demand we give our all. Love is a shelter in a raging storm. Love is peace in the middle of a war. And if we try to leave; May God send angels to guard the door. No, Love is not a fight but its something worth fighting for. Cause I will fight for you. Would you fight for me? It's worth fighting for! - Love is not a Fight, written by Warren Barfield.

That is the theme song for the movie, Fireproof. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I highly recommend it. The message it presents is amazing! Watching that movie made me think of my own marriage and the vows we made to one another almost 3 years ago. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one," Genesis 2:24. Marriage is a huge commitment, but a wonderful one. In my opinion, I am married to the most incredible man ever! You might beg to differ with your hubby, but let's just agree to disagree. :) The movie was such a testament to how tough marriage can be at times, but it's through Christ's love for us, that we can truly know what it means to love another. We are incapable of doing it alone because to most, love is a feeling, but really, love is a choice. Romans 5:8 says, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. .. Christ chose to love us and he chooses to love us still even though we are sinners. He chooses us! We have chosen our spouses and no matter what we go through, we must continue to choose to love them each and every day we walk this Earth.

I don't know where you are in your relationships - married, engaged, dating, or single, but we can make the choice to choose to love everyone we come in contact with on a daily basis. God chose us and by choosing to love others, ultimately we are choosing to love him as well. Remember, love is worth fighting for!

Don't urge me to leave you or turn my back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God - Ruth 1:16

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Past Time

Many of you know that I coach cheerleading at P.K. Yonge High School and we are in the height of our competition season this year. For those of you who think cheerleading is a joke, do I have a video for you! This is just a glimpse of we have done over the last few years. It's pretty awesome!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Interestingly enough, Dave and I are in a music video! Dave's uncle, Richy, is an AMAZING guitarist and has begun playing with an up and coming musician, Mark Gaignard. Who is also AMAZING! They play an acoustic set almost every Friday at the Wine Bar. Dave and I have been going and supporting them for quite a while. One night, we got a call asking if we wanted to be in his newest video for his first single, Flawless. Of course we said yes! We began filming with Dave's cousin/Richy's son, Kalin, and some of our good friends. After the long, anticipated wait, the video is done! You can check it out on YouTube for now at the link below. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's Tough Being a Woman in a Mean World!

Last night I joined a woman's bible study on the book of Esther written by Beth Moore. There really are no other words to describe this study other than absolutely AMAZING! The entire study is geared towards women and how it's tough to be a woman. Here are just 2 of the most common toughest things about being a woman, as stated by various women around the world... (1) Being too much and not enough at the same time. We are always trying to be something instead of just being who we are. (2) Living among and comparing ourselves to other women. Trying to live up to someone else can create hostility and jealousy in a relationship. As women we should be working together and not fighting with each other. It is because of our own insecurity that we do this and we have to stop! ... It's a 9 week study and I thought I would turn it into a bit of a ministry by sharing my thoughts and what God is teaching me with you. Maybe it will transform your life. Beth Moore is a wonderful writer and an even more incredible speaker. I hope for you women out there it makes you think about your place in this world, just how valuable you really are, and how we can work together & stop being mean to one another!

So, the title, "It's Tough Being a Woman in a Mean World!" Beth Moore really challenged us to think about meanness and the things girls do to each other. She said that meanness perceives a threat - meaning that as girls, we measure ourselves up to someone who we perceive as a threat; someone messing with our territory. But God says in 2 Corinthians 10:12, "We do not dare classify or compare ourselves with some who comment themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise." Why then do we do this? God plainly states here to be confident in who you are in Christ. He made us just the way we are, why do we spend so much time comparing ourselves to one another?

Beth also states that meanness catches like a virus. It can be passed down from generation to generation or person to person. When someone is mean to us, that strikes up the meanness in our own hearts. No matter how pure of heart we think we may be, each and every one of us has a mean girl within us. I loved her quote, "Coming in contact with a mean girl will bring out your own mean girl." I don't know about you, but I think that is so true! Thankfully though, meanness is curable! Romans 12:17-21 states, "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If at all possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. On the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome with good." Basically, God is saying that he will take care of it all. We don't need to be mean back for we have the love of Christ within us. Just as the old saying goes, "Kill them with kindness!"

Beth ended with a few descriptions about mean girls that I thought were pretty funny and true. Let me know if you agree. Mean girls will let you hang out with them if it's about THEM! Mean girls never take responsibility for their own actions. And, the funniest one of all... Mean girls dress provocatively around other women's men! Beth says to cover up the places that are meant for YOUR husband. :) She is so straight forward and blunt, I love it! I am really excited about this study and I hope you enjoyed reading about it. So, if you've got a mean girl in you, find out why. Identify the threat and ask God to help you overcome it. Remember Ephesians 4:26, "In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

Until next time... Much love to you all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ped's Interviews - The Final Round

Well, the interview process is over and the waiting game begins. Dave had his final pediatric residency interview last week in Tampa. The program is actually a really good one. The residents float between All Children's Hospital in St. Pete and Tampa General Hospital in Tampa. This gives the residents the opportunity to see what happens in a children's hospital and a community hospital. I got the opportunity to go with Dave this time to the dinner the night before and meet some of the residents. They seem like a really great group of people, even though I only got to meet a few of them. They are happy and they like their job, but there is one major down fall. As a resident you work at two hospitals, which is a plus, but also a HUGE minus. The hospitals are 30 minutes apart without traffic. If you have ever been to Tampa, you know traffic is awful at rush hour. Dave started his interview at All Children's in St. Pete, which he enjoyed. Then, he got in the car with a resident to make the trip to Tampa General, which took ONE HOUR!! If you know Dave, you know he does not have patience when it comes to driving. I think he might drive himself absolutely in sane driving an hour in the car each day from one hospital to the next. And then, we would have to make the decision to live in St. Pete or South Tampa, which means depending on which hospital he starts his day at, he could have another drive ahead of him. For some of the residents, they enjoy the drive to take a break from the work, but Dave enjoys working with the people more than driving in his car. As it comes time to rank the programs, we are thinking we would like to stay in Gainesville. In comparison to all the programs, UF has more of what Dave is looking for and it provides a little bit of comfort knowing we already have a life here.

So now what? The waiting game begins! Dave ranks by February 25th and Match Day is March 19th. It will be exciting to walk across the stage, receive the envelope and announce where we will continue our life for the next 3 years. Yes, we are hoping to stay, but we are okay with wherever God wants to take us. After all, He can see the big picture when we cannot.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wedding Showers, Christmas & New Years - Oh My!

Whew... The holidays sure do fly by. As usual, Dave and I spent our holidays in Tampa where both our families live. It is always fun to get back together with both families during this season. The Smith family usually has an annual Christmas party at their house, but this year, with weddings in the air, we had a wedding shower for Casey and Rebecca. It was lots of fun and everyone looked beautiful. They got tons of gifts to stock their new house in Minnesota and they played the Newlywed game, in which they did surprisingly well. We tried to stump them, but I guess they really do know each other. :)

Here is a picture of the Smith Family, significant others and all.

Christmas Eve is always at my parents house. The Russell family tradition is to open presents on the eve of Jesus' birth. It's the way we have always done it. It works out pretty well since the Smith family tradition is to open presents on Christmas morning. Everyone from my side of the family this year just did gift cards and simple stuff. We had lots of fun!

Santa, a.k.a Mama Smith, surprised us on Christmas morning at the Smith house with stockings and lots of gifts. It was fun to open up all the gifts from the siblings as well. This year David and I did something a little different for everyone and made shoe boxes filled with gifts for orphan children in Africa. We sent a gift in honor of everyone in both families. Our hope was to give these children the joy of Christmas morning we were so fortunate to have when we were children ourselves. Unfortunately, the only picture we took on Christmas morning was blurry. :(

On New Years Eve we hung out with Ryan, Missy, Jamie and her friends on the Smith family back porch playing games and having a good time together. At 10:00 we drove down the street to a neighbors annual New Years Party where we enjoyed a magician and some live music put on by various musicians including Ryan & Dave Smith on the bongos, Joe Smith on the block, Missy Beish on the triangle, Danielle Smith on the shakers, and Jamie Smith & co. as back up dancers! There were also a few guitarists and singers that cannot be named at this time. We had so much fun! I wish I had a picture of the craziness that it was! Jamie and I made new years resolutions to get buff this year! We'll see how long that lasts. :) We at least have to make it last until the wedding in March so we can fit into our bridesmaid dresses. I think we can do it!

Dave and I headed back to Gainesville on New Years Day after the Outback Bowl. It was nice to be home in our own home again and relax from our adventurous vacation in Tampa. We took down all the Christmas decorations and got everything organized before it's back to the grind tomorrow morning. Oh, how I wish to be in college again when I could go to class 2 days a week instead of working 5. I guess it could be worse. I hope all of you had a restful holiday and that 2009 brings lots of health, peace, joy and love to you all. Merry Christmas and Happy 2009! Until next time...