Loving Lately [#9]

First things first: my brother got a puppy and look how adorable he is!!! His name is Ren. On a very much related note, I am unfortunately realizing that if we ever get a puppy of our own, I am probably going to be one of those annoying dog moms who is sure that their dog is the cutest and most intelligent and that everyone wants to know about it.

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Here are some other (less cute) things I’ve been enjoying these days:

1. The Kitchen House: A coworker recommended this book to me and I legitimately could not put it down. Josh and I took a 4 hour road trip a couple weekends ago and I think I read this book the entire way, stopping only to express my excitement/sadness/disbelief at how the story line was unfolding. I’m not going to spoil anything, but basically the premise is that an orphaned white girl becomes an indentured servant on a plantation and lives in the “kitchen house” with African American slaves, who become her family. It is a tearjerker, let me warn you, but also such a beautiful story of family and loyalty and all that good stuff. Talking about it makes me want to read it again!

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[Source]

2. Bruegger’s Bagels: Last weekend I drove my sister to the airport and she treated me to breakfast! We both got what we consider to be The Classic, because our mom used to order this sandwich there so often. It’s a toasted (crucial) rosemary and olive oil bagel with bacon, egg, and cheese. I also got their cold brew which was amaaazing.

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3. Blue Apron: A friend of Josh’s gave us a promo code and we ended up getting three free meals from here- pork burgers, an Asian chicken dish, and falafel pitas. They have all been so so tasty! They do take quite a bit of prep work in my opinion, but that could be because I’m used to throwing some ingredients into a crockpot and hoping for the best. I doubt we will order Blue Apron again in the future just because of the cost, but for now it’s been a fun way to mix things up!

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4. Financial Peace University: This is a financial planning class we’ve been taking through our church, and I think it’s safe to say that we are becoming total budgeting nerds. It’s to the point where last week we almost (ALMOST) walked up on stage during class to dramatically cut up our credit card. Say what you want about Dave Ramsey’s extremism, but his program gets people out of debt (hi, student loans), and we can’t argue with that. Plus, the program is based on Scripture and I love seeing how God’s truth is weaved into every aspect of our lives, including finances. If you need us, we’ll be off logging every penny spent into our Every Dollar app.

5. Bar Louie: There is nothing special about this restaurant in and of itself (in my humble opinion, anyway), but on Tuesday nights they do $5 burgers + fries/tots! I am all about a deal (see above) so I was pretty pumped when I found this out. I went last week with some friends and got the Philly burger + fries. Perfect for a girls’ night orrrr just when you don’t feel like cooking on a Tuesday. 😉

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Side note: After years of avoiding burgers because I thought they were “unhealthy,” we are happily reunited and I love them! (So excuse me while I include them in every Loving Lately post for the next year or so…)
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Love these friends 🙂

Have a great weekend/week and don’t forget to celebrate daylight savings aka that SPRING is coming!

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“I press on…”

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” –Philippians 3:12

Ooooh I love this verse! I love how Paul describes it as Christ taking hold of him, because I can relate to that so much. When I first became a believer, it felt like such a natural response. When I finally got a true glimpse of the love of Jesus, it just took hold of me… there is no other way to put it. It wasn’t a choice I felt forced into out of obligation or drudgery, but simply a joyful response.

In Romans 2:4, we are reminded that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Yes! It is that otherworldly kindness and love we find only in Jesus that takes hold of us, and that keeps pursuing us day after day.

Another reason I love this verse is because it doesn’t negate personal responsibility. “I press on….”

All throughout the bible we see this theme of endurance and perseverance. Yet, it is only because Jesus has us in the palm of His hand that we can persevere, and that we even want to in the first place.

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Hiking in Virginia last weekend! Getting to this view took quite a bit of “pressing on” 😉

In John 6:39, Jesus tells us that He will not lose a single one of His children. In some paradoxical way that I will never understand this side of heaven, we are completely secure as believers because of the work of Jesus, but we are also completely responsible to choose to follow Him and persevere through trials of our faith. While that may not make sense to our logical, black-and-white thinking minds, it is one of those mysteries that I have seen play out in my own life time again.

I could go on and on about what exactly it was that Jesus took hold of us for, but instead I want to end with this encouragement:

During times when it seems most difficult to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, we can press on with confidence, knowing that “He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6).

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