Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Journey to Biblical Beauty

As I have mentioned before, I'm doing this "Beauty by the Book" Bible study.  My mom gave me her DVDs so that I could have something to do for the last 7 weeks of my stay in OKC.  She just asked me if I wanted to do a study on Proverbs.  I said sure, not really thinking anything about it.  Well, I got the book and I started the series.  

The women that Proverbs describes are:
1.  The Immoral Woman
2.  The Indiscreet Woman
3.  The Irritating Woman
4.  The Captivating Woman
5.  The Ideal Woman

Did you know that Proverbs talks about all those women?  Neither did I.  I did, however, know about the Ideal Woman, hence the name of my blog.  It has really opened my eyes to the different types of women that Proverbs describes.  I'm only on week 3 and have finished studying the Indiscreet Woman.  The first three women are considered "Beauty Don'ts" and the last two are considered "Beauty Do's."

I would love to share a little bit about what I've learned and how I've been challenged.

The Immoral Woman is given the most text in Proverbs.  This is because God is warning us about her.  He's warning women not to become her and he's warning men about staying away from her.  Everywhere we look these days, we see this Immoral Woman.  She's on college campuses, in Hollywood, in our neighborhood, at church.  Yes, she is at church.

  • This woman plans what she is going to do (Proverbs 7:14-20).  Her sin is premeditated.  
  • She does not dress modestly (Proverbs 7:10).  
  • She uses her speech to lure men in (Proverbs 5:3).
  • She makes the first move (Proverbs 7:10).
  • She goes out looking for love (Proverbs 7:12).
  • She acts out in sexual sin and doesn't believe she's done anything wrong (Proverbs 30:20).
So, I definitely do not consider myself this woman.  But I have definitely learned some things by studying this woman.  There are things in my life that can be definitely be considered immoral, and I've been challenged to flee from any immorality.
  • I need to turn off the television when something immoral comes on.  A lot of shows these days are all about sex (outside of marriage), and that isn't something that is admirable or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
  • There are also lots of magazines that are awful!  Instead of reading those, I can choose to read something that's uplifting.
  • Lastly, movies these days are seriously becoming trash.  Tyler and I now check Plugged In (thanks to my cousin, Cara) before we go see or rent movies.  I had a relative say that "Contraband" was a fantastic movie and that everyone should go see it.  I decided to look it up on Plugged In to find out that it's rated R.  I also found out that the F-word is used over 135 times in that movie.  I do not want to fill my head with that trash.  Needless to say, Tyler and I did not go see that movie.
These are just a couple of ways that I can keep immorality from my home.  This study has challenged me to think about what is going in my head.  What goes in, must come out.  Immorality begins in the heart and I don't want it to be rooted in my heart.

The Indiscreet Woman is the second woman that I've studied.  I could, unfortunately, relate to this woman.  She is only given one verse in Proverbs, but she is definitely worthy studying.  This week has been focused on being discreet, prudent, and wise (these are synonyms).

I have learned:
  • Discretion will protect and guard you.  It will save you from the ways of wicked men and the adulteress (Proverbs 2:11-17).
  • Discretion will be life for you.  It will be safety (Proverbs 3:21-26).
  • Discretion will give you patience.  It will overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11).
Well, I need work.  I'm very opinionated.  I could possibly have an opinion about everything.  I also let my opinions be known a lot (not all, believe it or not) of the time.  I would definitely have to say this is a "Bunton trait."  We all like to talk, and sometimes don't know when to shut up. :]

Through this study, I've been challenged to:
  • discern when to hold my tongue and when to speak up.
  • overlook insults.  This is a tough one for me, because my love language is Words of Affirmation. When someone insults me, it cuts deep to my core. But I've been challenged.
  • act out of knowledge, rather than just giving my opinion because I can.
Abigail, Joseph, David, and Daniel are all great examples to learn from.  They each possessed the attributes of discretion, prudence, discernment, and wisdom.  As I'm on my journey, I will keep them in mind.

I want to leave you with a couple of verses that have been stuck in my mind:

"Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Colossians 4:5-6

Monday, February 27, 2012

Goals, Goals, Goals

I am a very goal oriented person.  I love setting goals, but what I love even more is meeting those goals.  I'm subscribed to Money Saving Mom on facebook and read a lot from what this woman writes.  I originally subscribed because she posts a lot about coupons and certain deals that are going on.  But she also blogs.  This woman is a Christian with a family.  She believes in being a good steward of their money.  She buys in bulk, freezes a lot of meals, and writes about her journey.  Today I read here about her weekly goals.  She has hers divided into sections, and I loved her idea.  She comes up with a goal list each week, and as the new week starts, she reflects on last week's goals.

I thought this was a great idea, and I have a few goals for myself this week.  I thought I would share:

1.  Continue with Week 4 of "Beauty by the Book" Bible Study.
2.  Work out Monday-Friday for at least an hour.
3.  Continue planning Mackenzie's Bridal Shower.
4.  Continue reading "The Help."
5.  Try new recipes in my Crockpot!

Being in Oklahoma City without a job leaves me with time to focus on myself.  That sounds really conceited, but I don't mean it like that.  I've been working out and I've been doing this amazing Bible study.  God has given me things to do to keep me busy (like planning this shower for Mackenzie).  I hadn't thought about it until I was here in OKC.  Now, I'm really excited about doing this for her.  I just love weddings! :]  I really haven't been bored since I've been here.  I just have to keep a positive attitude for the next 5 weeks, and we'll be in STL before we know it!  

Hopefully each week I can come up with different goals that I can work on.  It might be a stretch...they might be the same each week!  :]  But as long as I'm working towards the long-term goal, it will all be okay. :]

Friday, February 24, 2012

Big Announcement!

I am SOOO incredibly happy to announce that we have a home in St. Louis!

Sorry for those of who you thought the announcement was something of a future baby! Ha!  Gotcha, didn't I? ;)

Last Monday, I made the trek back to Missouri so that my mom and I could go to St. Louis to go apartment shopping.  It was a tiring 24 hours in the area, but successful!

Many of you know the struggle we've had to find a place to live in St. Louis that met our needs/wants and was in our budget.  We think that it would be a bad financial decision on our part to pay a ton of money on rent, when in reality, it could be going towards a house purchase.  However, we didn't want to purchase a house right away, because we still want to make sure Tyler is going to love his job.  Oh, and also because if we win the lottery, we're moving back to Springfield. :]

So our first stop when we got up there on Tuesday was to, of course, White Castle!!  They had the coolest pop machine!!  It was all digital!

Afterwards, we went to four different apartment complexes, and only got to see an apartment in two of them.  I had been in contact with most of them through e-mail and had seen floor plans online.  Tyler and I had a favorite floor plan, which I saved for Wednesday.  

I was hopeful on Wednesday.  I was feeling lucky.  And lucky I was!  When we got to Willowbend, I met with the lady I had been e-mailing.  She was so nice, and I was thankful for that.  She handed me a handout and pointed out that select units (of the floor plan we liked) were $100 off each month's rent if we signed a 12 month lease.  I told my mom, done deal.  Haha.  She took us to see a regular unit (just meaning it hadn't been renovated).  I loved the openness of the floor plan and the HUGE closet.  After we saw the regular one, she took us to see the Deluxe unit.  I wasn't quite sure if it was on the special or not, so I took a chance at looking at it.  

I walked in and instantly had a huge smile on my face.  It was absolutely beautiful. As soon as we walked in the door, we were in the living room.  It has a gorgeous fireplace and hardwood floors.  

There is a sunroom, with beautiful windows!  This space would make a fantastic dining room, but I haven't decided if I want to make it that. I'm still thinking about a craft room.

There is a den, which would make a great office.  This is the only room in the apartment that doesn't have an overhead ceiling light.  I think I'll be okay with that.

The bathroom is perfect.  It has a large vanity, and Tyler will love it because it has a higher countertop than normal.

On the other side of the bathroom, there is a door that leads into the HUGE closet!  It is a walk through to the bedroom.

I absolutely LOVE the bay window in the bedroom!!  Actually, this apartment has lots of windows, and I'm ecstatic about them!  I love natural light, and I love leaving the blinds open.  We are on the backside of the building and it looks into some trees, so that will make Tyler more comfortable about leaving them open. :]  Oh, and the best part?  This is the only area that I have to vacuum!  

And for the most favoritest (no, it's not a word, but I'm still going to use it) part of the entire place....the kitchen!  Tyler said that when I sent the picture of the kitchen that there wasn't any talking me out of it. :]  It's gorgeous, and I still can't believe that I'm going to get to cook in it!  I'm going to get to invite our new friends over, and it's going to be a fantastic time!

The blue lights will go fantastically with the blue of my towels and canisters.  The stainless and black appliances will go great with my all black small appliances.  The cabinets are beautiful!  I'm just in love.

I am so excited to move in.  I am so excited to live there.  I'm getting more excited everyday to move to St. Louis.  I know that God has had His hand in this all along.  He definitely was teaching me patience through all of this, and He always has the best plan.  I hope that Tyler will love the apartment as much as I already do.  

And if you're reading this, you're all invited to stop by sometime!  :]

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Attitude Struggles

I'm so over this 3 month "temporary residency."  We have almost completed 7 weeks here (5 more to go!), and I'm so ready to get back to Missouri.  Last weekend, we road tripped to Lamar, which is about 3.5 hours from OKC.  Yes, it's a shorter drive than STL will be, but at least I won't feel like I'm in some foreign land.

Tyler and I have a running list of the things we hate about Oklahoma.  It keeps getting longer and longer, but I do have a much shorter list of things I like.  I absolutely HATE the fact that they have tollroads!  They are SOOOOOOOOOO annoying!!! I don't want to have to pay $8.60 ever time I go to Missouri, and I definitely don't want to stop to pay the dang thing. UGH!  However, I do like the fact that the speed limit is 75 mph on the tollways.

I thought I would never say that I enjoy paying taxes, but Oklahoma has made me grateful for them.  I will gladly pay Missouri State taxes just so I don't have to stop and pay to drive on the stinking highway!  

But I can't complain!  We are not paying for rent, utilities, or Tyler's rental car.  His company has completely paid those expenses, and honestly, it couldn't be more of a blessing for us.  We've gotten a head start on paying off Tyler's school bills, and by the time he's done here, we'll hopefully have more than half of them paid off!

I've also been given a fantastic opportunity to plan one of my best friend's bridal shower!  I'm completely excited and the time off from school and a job has allowed me to focus on making her feel so special.  I was so blessed by my cousins who planned my bridal showers.  It was such a special time to have with friends and family, and I'm so thankful that they did so much just for me! I want to make my friend feel that way.  Getting married is a BIG deal.  It's the absolute best time of your life, and she deserves to be pampered and cared for!

This time has also given me several more weeks of looking for the perfect place to live in STL.  My mom and I are going up to look at a couple complexes next week that have the amenities that we want!  I'm excited to hopefully pick a place to live and have it nailed down.  I just hope they won't be a disappointment.  I'm excited to spend some mom-daughter time together.  I miss hanging out with her...she's one of my best friends and we have SO much fun together.  

Another thing I've been grateful for more recently is that my mom gave me her DVD series, "Beauty By the Book" Bible study.  It's a study that focuses on Proverbs, and it has been very eye opening so far.  I'm only finishing up week 2, but it's been really good!  It teaches what the Bible says about beauty.  It gives examples of Beauty Do's and Beauty Don'ts using the 5 women from Proverbs.  Very good!

I know that we're here for a reason, and Tyler is enjoying his job (most of the time!). :]  I'm just ready to be in STL where I know people and can make some new friends (actually, I can't wait to make new friends!).  I know that the next 5 weeks will fly by and we'll be wondering where the time went!  Positive attitude! :]

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is somewhat of a silly holiday.  I hated the day in high school.  I remember my freshman year, a guy in my youth group bought all of the girls a single red rose and stuck it in their locker...except for me.  Now, I look back and it's not a big deal.  But when you're in the moment and it's Valentine's sucked.  Every girl wants to feel cared about, and I didn't feel that way.  My mom would always buy us something small to make it special.  It was always fun to look forward to those gifts.

When Tyler and I were dating, he always had the attitude, "Been there, done that.  Stupid holiday." But now we're married...time for a new attitude! :]  This year, I even gave him subtle reminders that V-day was coming up by asking him what we were doing.  

So he took me to the Cheesecake Factory last night for supper (it was as surprise).  He also bought me a ticket to the Extraordinary Women conference in Tulsa in March.  I am excited to go, because my momma is going with me! :]  Jeremy Camp, my all-time favorite singer is going to be there, along with Francesca Battistelli. YAY!  

We came home and I gave him my gift.  I was totally excited about giving it to him.  I had worked really hard on it, and I was hoping that he would like it as much as I was excited to give it to him.  And now, I finally get to share my excitement here!!

I got the idea from this blog.  I thought it was really neat, so I thought I could do it for my husband.  I call it the Date of the Month Club.  I started out just writing a list of things we could do.  It was hard to really plan, because at the time we had no idea where we would be for the month of March. (For those of you who don't know, March 29th is Tyler's last day in OKC.)  Planning was actually harder than it sounds because we haven't actually lived in STL yet either!  With help from my friend, Kelsey, (by the way, if I forgot to send you a thank you, THANK YOU!!!), she gave me some ideas of things to do in the area.

Then I cut up little cards with the month on them.  These are for clues.

I wrote each clue on the card and bought the needed accessories to go with each date to put in the envelope.  These are pre-planned, and mostly pre-paid.  I also planned some weekend getaways to use throughout the year.

I wrote a card introducing him to is gift.  I told him what he got and how to use each thing.  Then, I wrote a Date Agreement Card.  He had to agree to those things, sign the card, and return to to me in exchange for some Romance Reward Tickets.  He also got a special bag of chocolate caramel (because that's what I like) in exchange for real kisses.

I searched high and low for a box to put it all in, but I finally found one at Hobby Lobby (my most favorite craft store)!  AND it was half off!!! 

I jazzed up the envelopes a little bit as well.  I didn't like the boring yellow, but I didn't want to decorate them a whole lot since they would most likely just be thrown away.

I was really pleased with how it turned out, and I really hope that Tyler likes it as much as I do.  I am super excited about our date nights for the next year!!  The best part is that each one isn't super expensive.  They are interesting and cheap!  I'll give you all a monthly update after we go on our date! :]

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

I had such a good weekend with my family.  My parents came down on Friday afternoon.  We hung out and went a little car shopping before Tyler got off work.  We had a nice supper together (made in my crockpot), and just hung out together and talked.

On Saturday morning (Mom and Dad's 28th Anniversary), we headed to the National Memorial Museum.  I didn't really to know what to expect, because when the Oklahoma City Bombing happened, I was in kindergarten.

They have an outside memorial that includes a reflecting pool (like the one in DC, although that one is way more impressive).

There are chair beside the pool that signifies each person that died in the bombing.  168 people died=168 chairs.  There are small ones for the kids and bigger ones for the adults.

Like I said, I don't remember much about the bombing, however I do remember seeing pictures like this on the tv.  I also remember talking to my mom about the guy who bombed the building, while we were in the kitchen cooking or baking something.

There were many similarities to the tornado in Joplin.  I guess tragedies have common characteristics.  The museum itself was an actual building that was a little ways from the Federal building that got blown up.  It was sad, and I fully support capital punishment after visiting the museum.

There was a "memorial room" with pictures of all the people that died.

The coolest part, I thought, was the pictures of the implosion of the building.  In the events of the tornado, we learned that St. Johns couldn't be imploded because of the mining underground.  So I was curious about how they took the Federal building down.  It was pretty cool.

They showed the first year with a calendar of everyone's birthdays who had passed away, and major events that had happened.

They also showed part of the destruction that happened to the building.  It's surreal to see what a bomb can do.

I also remember the chain-linked fence with all the notes, teddy bears, shirts, and just about anything that people wanted to put there.  They incorporated part of the fence into the memorial, which I thought was neat.

That afternoon, we met up with my brothers.  They drove down after the Guy's Retreat with CCH.  We hung out for a little while and celebrated with Mom and Dad's Anniversary cake!

For celebratory dinner, we went out to the Outback! 

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend!  It made me realize how much I miss them, and I was sad to see them leave.  This next weekend, we are road-tripping to Lamar.  It will be so good to see something familiar!