Thursday, May 30, 2013

moving mountains...

"Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, "Be taken up and thrown into the sea, it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." 
Matthew 21:21-22

This time in my life has had me thinking deeply about the Lord's upcoming plan for my life. Where will He send me? What will I do? But the Lord, in is everlasting grace, has whispered "Be still." I have been pondering all day this very thought. My future, His will, etc. I came home and stumbled upon this verse in Matthew and immediately knew that the Lord was in control. Because I am a daughter of the King, He has every step planned and has my very best interest in mind. He doesn't want me to compromise the world's plan for His because He cares for me. 

Let it be just like my Savior to not only send me one amazing truth, but two. My door is open and He has paved the way. So I must take a deep breath and allow my God to lead me and direct me into His plan. 

"I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut."
Revelation 3:8

My God and My Redeemer, 
The path before me is one I've never crossed before. My bags will be packed the same way, and the journey there will feel familiar and it probably won't hit me the same. It will be me. Me and You. Guide me into Your comfort and Your peace. Help me see that this is Your good and perfect will for my life. Give me faith to trust what you say and to know that Your will is good, and that Your love is great. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ABC's of thankfulness....

Linking up with Marquis from Simply Clarke for this great post and reminder! It's so easy for us to sit back and complain about every detail in life. It's great that we can look at all the little things He has given us. 

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." 
Psalm 100:4

Afternoon coffee dates
Upcoming Birthdays(6 days!)
AND my blog?! Who could forget you guys?!
Wait for it...wait for
Drives to the beach
Exciting seasons in life
My family-the best anyone could ask for
His everlasting grace
My Health
iPhone-oh so very thankful
Jesus, my savior and my everything
Electric Tea Kettle-every morning, it never fails
Lemon Water-a summer must-have
Mondays-yes, sometimes it's nice to have a fresh start
The Ocean
Pajama Pants 
Unanswered Questions-sometimes He tells us to wait for a reason 
Raspberry Green Tea from Starbucks
Unexpected coffee deliveries at work 
Volcano sushi rolls....yummm suuuushi 
The Window seat at Starbucks
EXtra hours of sleep-I cheated, I'm aware
fro-yo-it has been too long dear friend
Anything zig-zag or chevron-I'm a little obsessed! 

I'd love to read all the things you guys are thankful for! It is harder than it looks! So give it a try and start writing! 


Love trips to Barnes and Noble with the best friend! 
reading: Nehemiah 9:17b- Such a good one! 
writing: this very post- *gasp*
listening: You're Beautiful- Phil Wickham 
thinking: I should have used sunscreen today-ouch
smelling: aloe vera gel ^^see above
considering: my weekly to-do list
hoping: to get some class work done tonight
loving: trips to Barnes and Noble with the bestie!
wondering: if the weather will be nice for a beach trip this week! 
wanting: chips and quac-again! 
needing: this sunburn to be gone
feeling: lightly toasted, us pale people don't handle sunburn very well

Sunday, May 26, 2013

mourning into dancing...

"You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. That my glory may sing Your praises and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever." 
Psalm 30:12

We all go through rough times. Some of us have gone through experiences that have challenged our walks with Christ. They have made us who we are, and we wear our scars proudly. But there was a moment, in the middle of our trial and suffering, where we were in mourning. Every day was a struggle, every day we fought for the strength to keep moving forward. We are brought to the Lord on our knees and He never fails to pick us up and carry us through the battle. 

It is in that moment where we feel the strength of His love and compassion and we began to dance. Our mourning becomes dancing. Have you ever been there? So full of His love and mercy you feel like dancing? It is a truly amazing feeling. He covers me in gladness and removes my fitly, sinful rags.

So I challenge you, through good times and bad to worship Him. Worship Him with all that you have and all that you are. Dance with joy and do not be silent. 

the happiest place on Earth!

I'm so happy I got to go to Disneyland a few days ago! I had a blast and definitely have Disney fever! Here's a warning: Lauren is just a tad bit obsessed with Cars....enough said....
I got the best character on my ticket!

Loved wearing this all day! 

While I didn't come for Grad Night, it was still cool to see Seniors being honored for the day! 

Officially the best ride ever!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

senior pictures....

A friend of ours offered to take my very extremely late senior pictures! (That's what last minute Costco printing is for right?) I'm so thankful, they turned out amazing! Thought I would share them with you guys! Ready....set....go! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

here am I...

via tumblr

I have been talking to a few of bloggers lately who say that they are struggling with something. Because this blogging world is so big, I can't sit and have coffee with all of you and help you through these tough times. I don't know what you are all going through but I can stand here and say with all confidence, you are not alone. The Lord is with you. 
Call out to Him: With everything you have, call out to Him. Ask Him to provide you with peace and understanding. His path is straight and leads you straight into His arms. 
He will answer: He will answer. It may not be now and it may be the answer you are looking for, but be still, He will answer. 
Here am I: He is with you. You may feel very much alone right now. You may be surrounded by friends and family, but inside you feel alone. Dear sister, He is with you. He is ready to carry you and take away all your fret and worrying.
"All of our fret and worrying is caused by calculating without God."
-Oswald Chambers
Don't try to solve your problem anymore. Give it all to Him. Say, "Speak Lord" and begin to see God's hand work in your life. Breathe and be at peace, because He is here for you. 

still, small voice...

Thank you Lord for this time of peace, for this time of quiet. You are always there. Every hour of every day. Thank you for speaking so loudly through the book of Nehemiah. I pray for strength Lord. So that in times of opposition, I may stand firm in You and in Your truths. When walls come crashing down, remind me of Your unfailing love and that You will help me rebuild. Thank you for new beginnings, fresh starts, and Your renewed mercies that will awaken me tomorrow. Thank you for Your still, small voice that is only loud enough for me to hear. You are my strength, my stronghold, and my forever.

Monday, May 20, 2013

my strength and my portion...

There are times in life where I feel like I have failed. I will be the first one in the world to admit that I'm not perfect-at all. My flesh and my heart fail And yes, sometimes that's a hard thing to swallow. We must wake up everyday and realize that we will fail. If you are anything like me, a perfectionist an insane control freak who must have everything perfect and planned to a T, then this is a hard one for you. Not only will I not always meet my expectations, but I will always fail to meet the Lord's. 

But sweet soldier of the Lord, have hope. For the Lord is you strength. He gives you strength when you are searching for your next breath. He greets you at the end of the long race with a loving embrace and open arms. He is walking with you every step of the way and will never leave you.

Follower of the most high, take rest and know that He is your portion forever and ever. He never changes and His love is unconditional. He loves you even in your darkest of days and finds joy in your brightest moment. When you feel like you have nothing you can take rest in Him, He will carry you, He will provide for you. Because He has called you His...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

my heart will trust in You...

via tumblr

my heart will trust in You...
when i feel like i don't have the strength to trust
when i'm feeling happy 
when i'm feeling sad 
when life is hard 
when i'm reaping Your blessings
when i'm in the middle of the trials of life
when i feel like i'm going down the right path
when i'm unsure of Your will for my life 
when people doubt me 
when people are supporting me 
my heart will trust in You because You are my strength, my everything, my Savior, and my deliverer.
my heart will trust in You...

Friday, May 17, 2013

the one and only liebster award...

Well hello there guys! I'm extremely excited to be writing this post! I WAS NOMINATED FOR A LIEBSTER AWARD!!! By the lovely Jessica at Forever Convinced! I've been loving her blog so it's crazy to think she nominated me! I'm so thankful! (was that enough exclamation points for you?) 

So the Liebster Award comes with a few rules:
1. Thank you nominator with a link back on your Liebster post.
2. Answer the 11 question given to you by your nominator, give 11 random facts about yourself, and come up with 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Nominate 5-11 other bloggers and contact them letting know they have been nominated.

Jessica's Questions for Me:

1. When did you first start blogging and why did you decide to become a blogger?
I first started blogging just about three months ago and it has been the best 3 months ever! I decided to become a blogger because I needed an outlet to write. It has become way more than that and I'm so thankful.
2. What is something awesome Jesus has done in your life lately?
God was so gracious to allow me to go to bible college in a few short months. I can't wait for you guys to come on this journey with me. I know God has some amazing things in store.
3. How you describe yourself in 6 words or less?
Silly. Coffee Drinking. God Lover 
4. What is something you have never done that you always have wanted to do?
Visit the bridge in Paris with all the locks. Yes, I'm lame and I don't know what it is called. (dear future hubby, look no further for honeymoon options) 
5. If you could go to any concert you wanted for free, which one would you go to and why?
Michael Buble', no doubt in my mind. 
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
Living in a cute apartment decorated by Pinterest, with a job I love and some sort of furry friend:)
7. What is your favorite place to shop and why?
Target. Need I say more. The place has everything and the atmosphere is strangely therapeutic for me.
8. If you could eat one specific type of food (Mexican, Chinese, American, etc.) for the rest of your life, what would you eat?
Sushi and Starbucks-the only s's you need in life
9. If you could hold just one memory from you life forever, what would that be?
This is such a good question-and a hard one! This may be cheating but I would have to say this last year. The Lord has literally blown my mind and has blessed me in ways I can't imagine.
10. Which TV show's world would you want to live?
Another easy one: Everybody Loves Raymond. I have grown up watching that show and still love the nights my fam gathers round to watch episode after episode and crack up laughing at the same parts each time. 
11. What are three things you look for in a future spouse?
1-Man of God who loves the Lord way more than he could ever love me 
2-A Man who can make me laugh 
3-A hopeless romantic just like me:)

11 Facts About Me:
1. I can speak Japanese. (Nihongo-wa wakrimasuka?)
2. I'm dying to visit England one day.
3. I was born with jet black hair, lost it all until I was 2, then started to grow red peach fuzz.
4. I have music playing 90% of the day.
5. I don't really have a regular at Starbucks-it changes all the time.
6. I always have a list going-for something
7. Insomniac 
8. Future bible college student in less than 3 months-yay! 
9. Love a good trip to Barnes and Noble
10. ** Target too! 
11. Daughter of the Most High 

11 Questions for My Nominees:
1. Favorite Bible Verse?
2. If you aren't blogging what are you doing with your free time?
3. How much time do you spend blogging?
4. One piece of advice you would give your younger self?
5. "Your Drink" at Starbucks?
6. Your favorite-home-alone-in-sweatpants food?
7. Favorite worship song?
8. What inspired you to start blogging?
9. Half full-or-half empty?
10. Favorite Weekend Activity?
11. I can't leave the house without......

**and the part you have been waiting for the nominees!**
1.Shelby from Stay Crafty My Friends
Stay Crafty My Friends
2. Olivia from Liv.Life.

Liv Life
3. Sarah from A Girl Smitten

4. Bailey Jean from Anchored in Love
5. Gennean from Loved, Not Lost

Can't wait to read all of your responses ladies! I'm extremely thankful to be apart of an amazing community of amazing bloggers! I truly am one blessed blogger...

Simply With A Smile-Marked By Grace (a name change)

I had been praying about this one for quite a while. The Lord has done some amazing things on this blog that even I can't explain. He is constantly giving me the words to speak-or type what have you. I awake up in awe every day of what this blog has become and is growing to be. With all that being said, I felt like my name needed to reflect who I am and what I've become in Christ. Over the past year, God has been so gracious to me, guiding every step I take, and opening doors I never knew existed. Thanks for being apart of my journey through this blog, I can't wait to see what God will do next. 

"So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace." 
Romans 11:5

**i am going through some technical difficulties. Thanks for your patience**

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

walk by faith...

Life can bring us waves of fear. Times where we can't see the path in front of us clearly. We take every step with haste, wondering if the ground beneath us is safe and firm. It is in these steps we must offer every single part of ourselves to Him. All of our faith must be placed on Him, all of our fears, burdens, and anxiety. 

Over the past few days, I myself have been shaken by this feeling. In a few months, I will say goodbye to those who have changed my life. I will leave all that behind to go chase after what God has called me to. While the thought is exciting and I'm looking forward to a new experience, I can't help but be frightened by the unknown. Everything that has become so comfortable will become merely memories and I don't want to forget. 

I feel like I'm stepping onto uncharted territory and feel as though I'm not ready for the change. I feel like I'm taking a deep breath before plunging myself into ice cold water. I know what is coming, I know what it will feel like and that is the hardest part. 

But, I must have faith. I must stand firm in the promise and dreams that the Lord has already prepared me for. I need not fear because I am safe. The Lord is my strong tower.

In times like these, when fear has come over me, I must choose to believe that the Lord is with me, and will be at my side every step of the way.

Terrific Tuesday! (Devotions and Blogger Crushes)

The Austin Family Diary

Curious about what 4 sites I check on the regular? Wait no they are!

Looking for a good devotion sent straight to your email? Here it is! I love these devotions. They challenge me to think about God's word in a totally different way and offer encouragement for the day ahead. I recommend ladies of any age to check this great site out!

I will admit. I have a total blogger crush. Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth is just perfect. Her cats are adorable, her decor is amazing, her posts are cunning and always make me laugh. Can I be her? Just for a second? No? Okay....

3.Sweetness Itself Blog
Another blogger crus. Erin is such a sweetheart! When I read her posts, it is like she is sitting right there talking to me over coffee. Her posts are always on point and so very encouraging. Definitely go check out Erin at Sweetness Itself if you haven't. 
4. I'm totally obsessed with Instagram! Go follow me! @simplywithasmile

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

*she makes the best ramen noodles when you are sick (yes, it is possible to mess them up) 
*she does the best chipmunk voice
*she makes me laugh every single day
*she is so supportive and is my biggest cheerleader
*she gives herself up for me every single day 
*she has the best one liners
*she goes from 0-60 in seconds
*she will yell any word you tell her to in a public place (even if ladies in target stare at her)
*she makes the best meatballs in the entire world
*she loves me unconditionally 

I love you Mom! Thanks for supporting me 100% this past year. I have had to make some big decisions but you've always been there with our inside jokes to make me laugh. I love you so much. Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

far better than our dreams....

We serve an incredible God. Each day, He literally paints us a picture of His love for us. He allows the sun to rise and set and shows us how far He has cast our sins, as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) Every day, He stretches out His arms and says "Come, all that you are and all that you have. I love you and I want to fill you with my embrace." 

Things may look rough now. It may seem as though you have nothing left and that God isn't even listening. But just wait, good soldier of the Lord. He has wonderful things planned for you, things you would never be able to dream up yourself. I don't know about you but, I have some pretty big dreams. To think that He has plans even greater than those dreams is absolutely amazing. It definitely makes waiting on the Lord much easier. 

I love the word explosive. Many times, I feel like this is exactly what God's love and blessing is like. The oceans of life may be pounding you, pushing you to the shore, but all of a sudden you feel the breath of air from the Holy Sprit and you feel the power to stand. 

So this is my declaration. That whether I know it or not, the Lord is working in my life. His face is shining upon me and He is calling me blessed. I declare that I make mistakes, but I am still loved. I declare that I may not look like that model on the cover of that magazine, but I am a daughter of the Most High. I declare that every one of you is special in the sight of God. You are loved, cherished, and cared for. This is my declaration, that I will ever sing for joy even in my darkest of days, because He is planning something for me far better than my dreams.....

Friday, May 10, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Hooray! You made it to Friday! *happy dance* Congrats to you! Here's five things to sum up my week! Linking up with Lauren

I used to grumble on a daily basis about the G-Mail app. If you like it, great. But the rest of you out there know what I'm talking about. It was I finally discovered the legendary Mailbox app that is a-maz-ing! Give it a try! 

Call me crazy but I LOVED our weather this week. This is my kind of spring right here!

via Tumblr
I finally saw Pride and Prejudice for the first time this week. Oh, how amazing it was. I plan on watching it 60 more times and reading the novel. 

Who doesn't love this guy!? This song has been in my head all week! Check it out!

You know what's awesome? Peach shakes. From Chick-Fil-A specifically. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!