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8.23.2016

Dreaming

Hey guys!  It's been a really long time since I last shared... so, I'm really excited for this post! :)  As usual, life has been busy and I've slacked a little on my personal writing.  BUT, I wanted to share some thoughts on this beautiful Tuesday evening.

A few years ago, I was able to listen to a lady speak on a ministry that God had laid on her heart.  It really appealed to me because I had been interested in a similar ministry.  I remember being so envious of her position at the time... but eventually God began to speak to me about being involved with something similar myself.

As I'm a pretty non-independent person, I just didn't know how I would ever begin such a lofty goal by myself and on my own.  I can be pretty self-critical and knew that I would need someone else to share this ministry with to make it happen.  So, I just set it on the back burner.

BUT, God answered this dream/prayer for me tonight in a very real way!  I'm not sure how it's all going to work out but I know that God has awesome things in store for this ministry.

While I wish I could share details, I just want to keep it for a little while as it's still in the baby stages. I just wanted to share this situation with you to PRAY and to be encouraged!  If God has laid a special dream on your heart, He will provide for you in time!  It may be in a totally different way than what you had planned... but God will provide nonetheless.

It's so exciting to see God move in your life and give you the desires of your heart.  He is so amazing, good, and kind! :)


5.18.2016

This Rainy Day

I began blogging when I was in high school.  I journaled prior to that.  Most of my blog posts are never publicly posted and I'm okay with that.  I don't blog to make money, promote products, or to even state my opinion on various topics.  I blog because I love to write and I love to encourage.  I never expect to have a huge following and could care less, to be honest.  I just love to write and gather thoughts.  :) With that said, I was reading a friend's blog a few days ago and she shared something similar as what I'm sharing today.  I enjoyed reading her "daybook" so much - so, here's mine.  Enjoy!

I'm listening to:
 The rain falling quietly outside and my refrigerator humming.  It's a very quiet evening here.

I'm thankful for:
Health.  I woke up this morning with a stomach bug.  Thankfully, it has passed and I couldn't be happier about that. :)

I'm loving:
My semi-new Vera Bradley houndstooth school bag.  My sweet husband purchased it for my birthday and I've been using/loving it non-stop! So cute and functional.

I'm dreaming:
Of the future.  I know God has a plan for our little family.  Sometimes, the mundane can be discouraging... but I know that He creates beautiful out of the ordinary.

I am reading:
Student's research papers - can't. wait. to. be. finished.
In book format:
Bonhoffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
It's been a challenging read for me (mainly due to the length of the book)... highly recommend it.

I am thinking:
Of so much!  Ha!  Generic, I know.  However, I'm wrapping up grades for this semester, planning multiple Vacation Bible Schools, figuring out curriculum changes for next year, etc.  It takes a lot of brain power.

I am praying:
For family members who are hurting.  Our world is full of pain and struggle.  May I demonstrate Christ-like love and care to them.

I am creating:
An on-going wall gallery.  I would include photos of the progress.... but I'm not satisfied yet. :) (Hello, my name is Christianna Perfectionist Clark)

Verse:
Galatians 6:9
"And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."


3.28.2016

Resurrection Hope

This time of year is by FAR my favorite.  Springtime speaks of freshness, new birth, and new beginnings.  This is the time of year where I begin thinking of new ways to organize or new ways to freshen my home, classroom, etc.

For teachers, it's time to recharge and relax.  The transition from those long winter months to the action-packed spring months are a challenge... and Spring Break adds fuel to our weary brains.

As Christians, it's easy to find ourselves slide into comfortable routines.  On occasion, these routines can lead to dryness in our spirit.  The story of the cross and Christ's resurrection brings about the glaring reminder that Christ is for us and has offered the glorious hope of salvation.  What a beautiful reminder this time of year!

Last weekend, I was out with the hubs and we stopped at a local bookstore.  I was perusing through the biographical section when I overheard a conversation between a pre-teen boy and his father.  The boy was inquiring about a book concerning a noted atheist and was overjoyed to discover that this particular bookstore had quite a wealth of books pertaining to this man and his beliefs.  The father strongly encouraged the boy to purchase a number of the books and they left with an armful.

My heart broke for the boy and his quest for knowledge and hope.  Obviously, I don't know the back story of their situation... but I was reminded of the insatiable need for humanity (in general) to know and understand their purpose of existence.  We all go through periods of time where we fight to know why we're here and what our main purpose is on earth.

Flash forward to a few days ago.  I was standing in front of a rack of lettuce and cabbage at Publix.  I was picking out salad supplies for Sunday dinner when I overheard a little boy singing (at the top of his little lungs), "God's not dead/ He's surely alive..."  His father, who was pushing the little guy in a cart, laughed and tried to shush him.

Immediately, tears leaped into my eyes.  What a blessing and encouragement!  In a world that's full of sin, sorrow, and hopelessness.... there is Christ!  God is living and working even now.

There is a contrast.  The pre-teen in the bookstore was searching for hope in hopeless arenas.  The little boy in Publix has been introduced to the One who embodies hope.  If you're feeling discouraged, hopeless, or defeated, look to the Lord.  This time of year is a stark reminder that God is alive and He makes all things new.  I'm so thankful for my Savior that lives and works right now, right here.

3.14.2016

More than Gold

I'm home sick today and feeling pretty crummy.  I feel like this is a pattern lately.  With all the weather changes, allergies, asthmatic issues, and just dealing with a busy schedule.... life feels crazy!

  This past Saturday, I was feeling gloomy and trying to figure out a big decision...(which is never a good mixture - Life tip: Don't make big decisions when you're moody.  It doesn't bode well.)  Anyway, I was trying to lighten my schedule and in the process.... I was trying to eliminate an area that was specifically a command of God for my life.  God has called me to this particular thing and it has been such a source of joy and hope for me.  Why would I ever want to destroy something so wonderful??  

Then, on this super crummy morning, I came across this gem:

"Because  I love Your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I HATE every wrong path."
Psalms 119:127-128

This verse sucker punched me in the gut.

This is where it's at, people.

May I love God and ALL His commands SO much that every single wrong path isn't even an option for me.   

This could be as big as a life decision that will affect you permanently or it could be as simple as choosing Godly words and thoughts.  Whatever it is.... I want to love God and His will for my life above all else.  Things and situations get tedious and mundane - but God has such an awesome and amazing path for us.  His way is the only way.

What has God been teaching you lately?  I want to know!  Feel free to reply to this post or email me at christianna.baker@gbs.edu. :)

Blessings!

3.06.2016

Sunday Staples: Florals

Hey friends!  It's FINALLY warming up here in central Alabama and I'm so excited.  Winter in Alabama can be pretty bleak and boring for this northern gal! 

So, with that said, floral print is a great way to cheer things up during those dreary days when the temperature is not what you want.  I've always been a floral gal and my sweet friends often tell me I have an old soul.  Eh... I'll take it.  :)

Here are a few things that I've fallen in love with and currently have on my "want" list:


What a fun way to cheer up a quick updo!  I love knit headbands - especially on a day off where I'm not giving too much attention to hair.
DownEast Basics | Everyday Knit Headband


Maxi skirts are my go-to kind of skirt.  Especially while teaching.  And who doesn't love a cheery, bold floral pattern??
DownEast Basics | Spring Bouquet Printed Maxi




Okay.... so, this dress.  I'm thinking Easter.
Florence Adams | Navy Floral Wrap Maxi Dress









 I've been dreaming of a floral handbag for the longest and I've had my eye on this one from Kohl's.  Next month's budget may include this beauty.
Dana Buchman | Sonia Convertible Shopper

Well, that's it for now.  While I'm definitely not a major fashion person, I'm still a girl and love pretty things! :) Hope it's defrosting wherever you are and just enjoy these days!  Summer will be here before you  know it!

-Christianna Joy

2.18.2016

Trusting the Who

I read this quote today:

"Sometimes God's power is shown as much in preventing things as it is in making them happen.  We may never know why.  But we can always know and trust the Who." - Lysa TerKeurst

What a powerful and encouraging thought!  As finite humans, we can become so "down-in-the-dumps" about what we don't have or what we wish we could change or where we're at..... that we forget that we have an awesome God who is trustworthy!

Recently, I've been fighting some real, raw discouragement.  I find myself thinking so negatively and have to force myself back to the promises of God.  As women and adults, life can become a mad house at times and decisions/situations can cloud our judgement.  While I don't know the why right now.... I want to focus on the many, many beautiful and bountiful blessings God has given to me.  I can trust Him because He has saved me, kept me, and will keep me in the days ahead.  What an honor to love and serve Jesus!

1.29.2016

Wintery Excursions

Hey friends! :)  My handsome hubby and I celebrated ONE whole year of marriage!  To celebrate, we hung out in the Smokies for a few days!  If I had the choice between going to the beach or the mountains.... I would have to say MOUNTAINS hands down.  There is just something so breathtaking and awesome about them!  Anyway, here are a few pics of our trip!  (Excuse the poor quality - I left my camera at home and had to resort to my phone.  Bummer.)

Our adorable cabin we were privileged to stay in! :) 

While he would probably fry me for posting this photo... I thought it was sweet. ;)  Love my boys!

This was looking out off our front porch.  So serene!

There is truly NOTHING like cuddling next to a cozy fire.

Coffee with a view?!  Yes, please!

So, I'm pretty 100% sure that Buddy could've stayed curled up on that quilt the entire trip!

This guy, though.... <3  He's a gem.

On our way back home, we did some light hiking and drove found some beautiful places!

Boys will be boys.... ;) 

Not totally sure if Buddy appreciated being drug through the snow and cold....

His first experience in the snow!  He barked at the snowflakes. :)



<3
All in all, it was a special trip and I'm so happy to be married to the man of my dreams.  Hope you all are enjoying a safe and fabulous winter season!