"Give Away Your Life"

(by Ross King)

Today's song is from Ross King's new record Unfettered that is coming out on May 6th! And because I'm not opposed to name-dropping, I just had to tell y'all that it was co-written by Jon Steingard of Hawk Nelson!! How cool is that?! ü

And now to catch y'all up on the last week and a half (or so)...

I went on a Women's Retreat with my church last weekend, and it was super great! Sara rode up with me, and we decided to be adventurous and try out a restaurant we'd never heard of for dinner on the way up. They had delicious salsa and fajitas, so it was totally worth the risk!

There was an optional Thursday night stay at the retreat center, and this was the first time I took advantage of it. I enjoyed having an extra night to stay up late playing games as well as a full day to relax, go into town and shop, and eat good food! It was also nice to have no agenda and simply enjoy the beautiful camp!

We played a little icebreaker on the first night of the official programming. We found people who were born during our same birthday month, asked some questions while passing a ball of yarn to those who had the same answer as we did, which resulted in seeing how interwoven we are. I'm sure I could stand to explain the rules of the game a little better, but y'all probably don't care about all of the details! Here I am with the other July birthday girls! :)

Our speaker spoke on Waiting: The pattern and purpose of waiting, God's pursuit in seasons of waiting, and the peace in waiting. I was really encouraged by the reminder of God's faithfulness during my seasons of waiting. We were all given a tag and asked to write down something that we're waiting for, and the retreat team hung our tags on a screen door. I didn't read all of them, but I read a few and was encouraged to see that I'm not alone. Not that I really thought I was, but sometimes it's comforting to really know it.

After each session we broke out into small groups. I was blessed to be a part of these ladies' group! ♥

I scrolled through the official retreat photos that were posted online. Besides one where I was flipping my hair, this one is all that I found...{of course I'm drinking coffee. I think I have a problem...}

Aside from staying up late playing games and/or talking to our friends, we also had a craft available for us to do! I've been wanting to paint a coffee mug, so I was excited to have the opportunity! We could do whatever we wanted, but they supplied stencils of our super cute retreat logo. I used too much paint, and some of it peeled off with the stencil, but it's cute if you don't look too close! :)

I went straight from the retreat to a birthday party for my friend Johnny from church. Chris was already there with a few other people from church. I failed to get a picture, but I didn't want to not mention it!

The following day after church, we had a luncheon for the families who sponsor our orphans in India. Though it wasn't my responsibility, I had envisioned some decorations for the tables. Without even discussing my thoughts with Sherri, our Hospitality Team coordinator, she made the tables look even better than I had imagined! Here are just a few of the centerpieces...

I don't suppose I've told you all about the workings of the orphanage because I really don't know what all I'm allowed to say, but there are 47 families or small groups who have "adopted" an orphan and support them on a monthly basis. We invited them all to lunch so we could thank them for their support and share a bit about our plans for the future. We also gave out magnets of each child to their families...

...and my talented photographer friend Maria took pictures of all of the families to send to the orphans!

Kristin and I had draped a couple of our saris on a room divider for a backdrop, and I was so happy with how it turned out! :)

In other news...Pepper is becoming friends with Laurien! I guess she has decided that if Laurien is going to be a part of our family, she should attempt to accept her! ü

Baby girl's half-birthday was on Saturday, so we celebrated by trying out a cupcakery nearby!

And that night Kristin got her first tattoo!!

Nicole and I also got the same tattoo, though all three of us got it in different places...

It says Mu tumaku bhala pai {which means I love you in Oriya, the language they speak at the orphanage} ♥

Nicole and I have been talking about getting an Oriya tattoo together since before our second trip, but we wanted our friend in India to write out the phrase for us to ensure that we didn't end up in a foreign language tattoo fail blog or something! ;) This tattoo is a reminder of the orphans and all that God has done and is doing for them. But not only that, it is a reminder of God's love for me. Matthew Henry's commentary on Isaiah 49:15-16 describes how God has set a mark on his hand, or a seal on his arm, to indicate His tender affection toward His people as well as the fact that He will never forget or forsake us. This new mark on my arm is a reminder of how God feels toward the orphans and toward me. ♥

After we got our tattoos, we spent some time at our favorite little coffee shop in Houston!

It was such a fun night!

I guess that's all for now. I hope y'all have a super great week!! ♥



Brooke said…
love the tag idea - definitely is hard waiting for something when it feels like you are the only one!! and maybe i don't know of anyone waiting for the same thing as me, but i'm certainly not alone.

also - the tattoo is super cool!!!
Zion said…
Oh wow, congrats on the new tattoo. That's a really big deal! That yarn game sounds interesting. I like the concept.

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