Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Deeper Still

This past weekend all the Family Group girls took a road trip down to Orlando for the Deeper Still Conference. What a wonderful and Godly adventure it was! The conference was at the Amway Arena with thousands of women filling the seats. It was so incredible to see literally thousands of women together in the same place worshiping God. In this world that can seem so crazy at times, it was calming and reassuring to see so many women there and to hear 3 great teachers of the word. We heard from Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shrirer, and my all-time FAVORITE women's speaker, Beth Moore! The theme, "Deeper Still" was an illustration all 3 speakers used to challenge us not to be surface Christians, but to desire God on a deeper level and to continue to go deeper with him on a daily basis - something in which we all could benefit from!

Kay Arthur was the first woman we heard from at the conference. She is such a true woman of God and boy does she know her scripture! I bet that lady could recite the whole bible to you if you asked her to! :) While she really spent a lot of time going through the book of Hebrews, the main message I got from Kay was this... In all things, are you going for the approval of others or the approval of God? When it comes down to it, God is truly all that matters. We are here to live our life for him and only him. We are not here to be accepted by others, after all God the Father was certainly not accepted by most. He sacrificed his life for us, why can't we do the same for him? We must "Rest in Faith" as Kay said over and over again with the bible against her head because without faith, it is impossible for us to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

Priscilla Shrirer was the second woman we heard from at the conference. I had actually never heard of her before this past weekend, and I have been missing out! Her message hit home to me more than any other (Sorry Beth! I still love you!) She spent time taking apart 2 verses - Ephesians 3:20 and 21 which say, "Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we could ever think or imagine, according to HIS power that is at work within us, to HIM be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen." I can just see Priscilla now as she took this verse and acted it out on stage (which I did later in the weekend back in the hotel room, but that's another story!) What hit home the most about this message was that God is capable! Of course I know that God is capable, but sometimes you need someone else to remind you of this every now and then. Not only is God capable, but he is capable NOW. Right NOW he can do amazing things in our life - in the here and now, which I need to remember on a day to day basis! Being at home and not at work full time makes me feel like I don't have a purpose at the moment. But, I have to remember that God can use this time that I am at home without a baby to do MORE than I could ever think or imagine. I just have to spend time resting in him and let him lead & teach me. ... I think this is such an important message in the state that our country is in as well. There are so many people without jobs right now and so many uncertainties, but we have to remember Ephesians 3:20-21. HE is ABLE to do immeasurable MORE than whatever we could ever think or imagine. How reassuring is that?!? Just knowing this is the foundation of our faith. One other thing she said is that when she prays for something she says, "God, you are able and I pray for you to do this in my life, but if not, then do something BETTER!" Just because God doesn't do what we have asked doesn't mean he doesn't care or doesn't love us. Gods thoughts are greater than our thoughts and his ways are greater than our ways - he can see the BIG picture when we can't. Trust in the Lord your God for he will not forsake you. Our God is so great. Don't forget that!

And finally, Beth Moore, who is so near and dear to my heart. If you have ever done a Beth Moore bible study you know what I'm talking about. She is a woman on FIRE for Jesus and it is so evident in all she does. God is using her to reach women around the world and she is so obedient to him. I just LOVE her! Her message this past weekend was on how to become spiritually discerned - listening to our spiritual gut! Have you ever just had "that feeling" deep inside where you knew something was right or wrong? Well, if we are in the word daily, that's our spiritual gut. But, the key point here is being in the word. You cannot walk in the spirit without walking intimately with him; in a RELATIONSHIP with him. This was such a reminder to me about how our Christian faith is NOT a religion. It has nothing to do with religion at all - just go ahead and take it out of the equation. Our Christian faith is about a relationship with our maker. Thank goodness for that!

I want to end with a quote from Beth. She said, "The sense of God's presence in my life is EVERYTHING I live for!" What an encouragement. God created us to live for him and nothing more. Our soul purpose on this earth is to love him and love others. I pray for God's presence in my life so that I can be an example to others; so that they might see Him through me.

Thank you Lord for an amazing weekend! Until next time...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Heeeeeeeeeeere Come the GATORS!

Gator football is truly one of the reasons we love living in Gainesville. Saturday was the first official College Game Day of the season. I woke up to ESPN blaring throughout our house. Good thing we bought a TV 2 weeks ago (with CASH - Oh yeah, Dave Ramsey would be so proud!) otherwise David would have been out of his element this past Saturday. I have to admit, I actually like ESPN on College Game Day. What memories it brings to mind! Saturdays from September through November just wouldn't be the same without it.

Before the game we tailgated with Davids sister, Jamie and her friend, Chris in the O'Connell Center parking lot. We had such a good time eating and enjoying the pre-game festivities with everyone!
Here are Jamie and I - don't worry, I'm drinking Sprite! :)

We even ran into Lauren and Adam at the tailgate! It was so fun to see them since I am used to seeing Lauren everyday at school!

Although, this past Saturday was a different kind of Saturday than we have had in years. For the past 8 years we have gotten Gator student football tickets - 4 years of Undergraduate School and 4 years of Medical School. Unfortunately, residents don't get football tickets. :( Luckily Jamie came up to visit a friend this weekend who just happened to have 2 extra football tickets. Whew! For the first time ever, we sat on the Gator Alumni side, which actually was quite nice. There were no drunk people around toppling over one another and I even got to sit for most of the game, which I know the baby appreciated! We had great seats on the 40-yard line. Check out the view!

Oh, how I love the Gator band!

Here we are enjoying the first game of the season together.

Well, it was another Gator victory in the Swamp! It is expected to be a great season with Tebow kicking butt while he trains Brantley to take over his job next season. Can't wait for next weeks game! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy David!

This past weekend sure was an eventful one! First, we found out we were having a baby GIRL and then we celebrated David's 27th birthday! August is FULL of birthdays in our family. I have a birthday, our sister-in-law has a birthday, David's sister has a birthday, and David has a birthday. Not to mention a few of our closest friends have birthdays in August as well.

Every year David and his sister, Jamie, celebrate their birthdays together since they are only 4 days apart (well, really 6 years and 4 days apart, but whose counting?!) Since everyone was in town for the baby shower, David and Jamie got to celebrate together once again. Here they are in the birthday hats they wear together every year!

The tradition - a nice picture together....

and a silly picture together!

His birthday was actually on Monday and being the newly "domesticated" wife I am learning how to be I decided to bake! I went to Publix early Monday morning and bought all the necessary things to bake a double layer Funfetti birthday cake with orange and blue colored frosting. Once I was all finished, here is what it looked like...

It may not be a masterpiece, but I tried! I even took a picture of the cake with his presents on the table. By this time in the day I was feeling like such a good wife/new mom - I baked, wrapped presents, took pictures, and I even had the idea of surprising him at Family Group that night with the cake, which I did! I got to family group a little late, lit the candles, and had everyone singing to him before he even knew I was there! My downfall came when I forgot to take a picture of DAVID on his birthday. I had all intentions of taking a picture of him with his cake and our friends... but my baby brain got the best of me. Luckily I have some time to get some more practice in before our little girl gets here. I can't forget to take pictures of her on her birthday!!

Until next time... dani

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's a GIRL!

The wait is over! Most of you know that David and I have been waiting and waiting to find out the sex of our baby. We went to the doctor a month ago and had him write down the sex of our baby in an envelope to give to 3 of our special friends who then threw us a surprise "sex" shower this past Saturday. Finding out what we were having in front of all our family and friends was so special and fun! I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

Here are some pictures from the party!

They had everyone write us a special note on a diaper so when we are changing our little one, we have something funny to read!

David made a "Fantasy Baby Ball" board where people could place a bet for $1.00 on the day and time of the baby's birth.

The way we found out was the most fun of all! Our wonderful shower hostesses had 10 guys stand up in front of everyone and put balloons underneath their shirts. David and I then went around popping all of their "pregnant bellies," tallying up how many pink pieces of tissue paper verses blue pieces of tissue paper fell out each balloon. Well, by balloon number 9 we had 5 blue pieces and 4 pink pieces. Obviously my husband, who was CERTAIN we were having a boy, thinks to himself, "We have 5 blue pieces and 4 pink pieces so far and there can't be a tie so..." I pop the last balloon and confetti falls out so David shouts, "It's a BOY!" Then someone told us to actually look at the confetti on the ground, which when we looked closely read "it's a girl" on each piece of confetti. So, David turns around to the crowd and shouts once again, "Never mind! It's a GIRL!" ... It was one of the funniest and most precious moments of my life. We are so excited to be having a baby girl!

Here are all the guys lined up with their "pregnant bellies!"

Here we are on the left when David shouted, "It's a boy!" and then here we are on the right once it was clarified that actually, "It's a GIRL!" It was a whirlwind of emotions and so much fun!

Clearly, it is a girl! :)

Here we are with our diaper cake SO EXCITED about our little baby girl!

So now, we are working on the room and getting it ready for our precious little one. David is practicing how to be a protective father for his little girl. He says this is just God's way of making him more sensitive. There are so many boys on David's side of the family, I think adding a little girl will be a nice addition. Right now, the topic of conversation is how much of a tom-boy the family can make her, but she will be whoever God created her to be and I can't wait to see what the future holds in store. I feel her flipping around constantly so maybe we have a little gymnast on our hands. :)

This weekend was such an exciting time for us. Thank you to my incredible friends who threw the shower - Rose, Lauren & Kristy! I love you guys! Thank you to everyone who was there! It meant so much to us. Four more months and we can welcome home our little baby girl! :)