Saturday, December 24, 2011

The birth of Jesus

  This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
   But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him...

  (A few months later) 

   ...Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
  On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

~Compiled from Matthew 1 and Luke 2.    


As we celebrate this Christmas, may we remember the reason we celebrate. 
We celebrate the birth of Jesus, and this part of His plan for salvation! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Random Photo, Take 79

Pic 78 was March 2008, the week that Laura adopted Keto.  She had come to visit us for her Spring Break, met Keto at the dog park and adopted him the next day.  He stayed with us for a week and became BFF with Nala until we flew him home with us for Dad & Gail's wedding.  He was SO cute!

Here's 79... Who? Where? When?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Random Photo, Take 78

Photo 77 was Prom 2001.  Matt's date was Ara (friend from church) and Steven's date was Jenny (graduated from CA the year before us.)  Weren't they lookin' nice?

Here's 78: 

Random Photo, Take 77

Pic 76 was at Cristen & Trey's wedding, March 2010.  These were a few of our VZW work friends.  

Here's 77:   (Stephani, I'm counting on you for this one.)

Still Thankful

I didn't do a Thanksgiving post last week, AND my Thankful Thursday theme has gotten slack... BUT I'm still thankful.  Exceptionally thankful.  

Here are a few things I'm thankful for: 
  • That God is Faithful, Abundant and True.  (And for the study I've been doing with a couple of ladies from church by that name.) 
  • My husband--who has been surprising me with a written love note every single day this month. (Stud!)
  • My job.  I started a new job in July, and it's definitely much more "me".  It's project-oriented, let's me be creative as well as administrative!  It is also meaningful--and the best part is that it's normal hours! Even better, starting in January, it will be full-time with benefits!  I'm extra thankful for the latest news. 
  • Hailey.  She is 7 months now and is SO much fun.  I wish I could see her more, but I'm thankful for each time I do get to see her. 
  • Other babies & kiddos in my life.  Thankful for my friends & family who let me snuggle their babes and take care of them every once in awhile. 
  • Family & friends who have been encouraging us through the process of adoption--especially those who have helped with yard sales and/or given donations. 
  • Nala.  Honestly, I love this dog so much!  
  • Our finances.  We've seen a lot of progress lately in our financial management, and this has been HUGE in helping with my frame of mind. Prayerfully, next time we touch base with the adoption social worker, we'll be approved thanks to these changes!
Well, that's all I got for now, but I'm hoping to do a better job with "Thankful Thursdays".  It's good for my heart to be "publicly" thankful.  AND by the way, I love reading thankful posts from other friends. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random Photo, Take 76

Pic 75 was Laura & Valerie at my Bachelorette Party, outside of Kaminsky's downtown.  Can't believe that was 4.5 years ago... my beautiful sisters look the same (pretty much)!

Here's 76. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Valerie & Zebediah

This past Friday, I finally got the phone call I had been waiting on for quite awhile... Valerie & Zeb are engaged!  

We're very happy for them and know God will be glorified in their life together.  

We like Zeb for Valerie because:
1) He loves Jesus.
2) He loves Valerie.
3) He is confident in who he is. 
4) He's a good guy. 
We look forward to getting to know him even more now that he'll be officially part of the family!

Congratulations & Best Wishes!

Random Photo, Take 75

Pic 74 was Christmas Eve 2004 with Laura and Grandma Jones.  I miss her! 

Here's 75:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Random Photo, Take 74

Photo 73 was from August 2009 at James & Bailey's wedding reception.  This was Aunt Kim & Brittany, mother and sister of the groom.  Love you ladies!

Here's 74:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Random Photo, Take 73

Pic 72 was of my friend Zack and me in Spring 2006.  We were invited to some friends' house for dinner and ended up playing dress up in wedding attire.  It was a fun night. :)

Here's picture 73:


This is post 400.  Lots has happened in 400 posts, hasn't it?  

We moved from Texas to Thailand and back to South Carolina.  Collectively, we've worked on 3 different Master's degrees.  Made lots of new friends.  Had 9 different jobs... 

I could go on, but that's the beauty of this blog.  It's already a gathering place of memories.   

Thanks to those of you who stop by.  We appreciate you staying in touch! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Random Photo, Take 72

Yes, Pic 71 was taken in a Red Ford Thunderbird, my first car.  On my 15th birthday.  So 14 years ago this week.  Craziness.  Grandpa Tyndall bought me that car, and I made monthly payments to him.  Good times. 

Here's Photo 72: Who, Where, When? 

P.S. Based on this picture, I just decided what I'm going to be for Halloween. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Random Photo, Take 71

Pic 70 was my family at my cousin's graduation from Berry College in 2010.  Jeannene's graduation day with her sister (also my cousin) Julianne, mom and dad (my aunt & uncle) and her grandmother (not my grandmother).  Bonus points if you got that one right.  I'm not even sure how I have that picture on my computer. :)

Here's 71: 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adoption and Cattle

The latest theme in my spiritual life?  Cattle.  

I've recently been overwhelmed, even frustrated, with the cost of adoption.  In my day-to-day life, I get annoyed when I realize that finances are all that stands in the way of us becoming parents.  (Well, that and God's Sovereignty, but from a practical point, ya know...)

This week, all over the place, I have felt God whispering to me "I own the cattle on a thousand hills... you think the cost of your adoption is too much for me?".  Yesterday, when meeting with a good friend, I was telling her that God keeps reminding me of the verse, but I couldn't remember where it was.  Here it is:  Psalm 50:10.  Read the context too.  God's reminder to me that He holds all of this in His hands--financially, timing, and otherwise. 

I KNOW that God isn't disturbed by the cost of adoption, as reminded by a friend on Facebook.  I KNOW that the frustration of finances (to me) isn't frustrating for God.  He knows the beginning, middle and end of this story, and all I can see is the right now.  I KNOW all these things in my head, but my heart is having a hard time recently.  

Seeing this post tonight from our friends helped: 
We are $6,549 away from reaching our adoption fundraising goal of $32,000! Amazed at God's provision with 3 months (hopefully) to go. We have raised $25,451 in less than 10 months. I just read through all the donors names in my little adoption book. What a joy it will be to one day show our son everyone involved in helping get him home. Amazing. Simply amazing. Please never let finances interfere with giving a child a family.

Did you catch that last sentence?  Good reminder for me today.  God's perfect timing.

Photo Source
Tomorrow, I will talk with our social worker and revisit our home study--mostly about finances.  Would love for you to pray with us. 

Random Photo, Take 70

Remember this game? Well, it's been over 2 months, I think, but I'm resurrecting it. My goal is to do 100 random photos, then make a hardcover book of them. After that, we'll see. Maybe I will have a baby to post pictures of at that point. :) 

Pic 69 was on our April 2011 trip to Cypress Gardens.  It was the only alligator we saw that day, which was a huge disappointment.  
Here's 70: 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ginger!

Happy 30th Birthday!
Words can truly not describe how much Ginger Henry means to me.  We met in June of 2002 and shared a couch bed for 5 weeks and then graduated up to sharing a king bed for 5 weeks on a Summer Project with Cru.  I don't think either of us knew at that point how much our friendship would mean. 

There have been adventures: road-tripping to Colorado, road-trips between WV&SC, Bahamas, Tanzania, London, Disney, para sailing, and mountain-hiking.  

There have been inside jokes: Boobmonster, Puddles, SIR, pirates

There have been practical jokes played, crafts made, games played, and walks taken.  

There have been boyfriends, fiances, broken hearts and weddings.  

There have been LOTS of goodbyes and moving to & from Charleston, SC especially. 

There have been encouraging talks, challenging talks, awkward talks, and silly talks.  

We have joked for years that if one of us had been a boy, I would not be married to Matt Flagler.  She is THAT special of a friend.  

The last 4 years have been harder being apart way more than we are together... and not having as many adventures to strengthen our bond.  But God has truly given us a special friendship, and we know it is one that will always bring us closer to Him.  

If you don't have the pleasure of knowing Ginger, then I hope you will get to at least meet her someday.  Even just a few minutes around this girl will allow you to see the treasure that she is.  If you want to get a better idea of the lives she has impacted and continues to impact, you can visit her blog or the special blog that I created for her birthday.  This is one LOVED lady.  

Honestly, GR, thank you for being YOU.  You are being celebrated today all around the world!  

Love you and miss you so much, 

P.S.  If anyone else would like to add to her birthday blog, please let me know!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Truly RaNdOm Photo

A couple of weeks ago, I got a text from my Mom that said, "Are these your feet?"  

The picture that came through, indeed, showed my feet, on a beach somewhere, with some guy's feet next to mine.  

The very random part?  

My mom found the picture, framed, at a Salvation Army store in Spartanburg, SC.  I can't for the life of me remember where or when (or with whom!) this picture was taken.  

So I either have a feet twin (with the very same freckles and scars) or I need help figuring this out... 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene off the Coast

We went out to Folly Beach last night to see what Irene looked like off the coast.  It was powerful.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seaman Visit

Jack, Dan, Kylie, Megan, and Kristen!
We had some very special visitors a couple weeks ago:  the Seaman family who we know from Thailand.  During our time there, we became very close with this family: we loved playing games, going on adventures, being in LifeGroup, babysitting, having dinner, and generally just hanging out.  It was very sad to leave them (and several other people) when we left Thailand.  

Thankfully, this family is in the States this summer as they are transitioning to a new home next month.  They stayed with a us for a couple of days on their US summer tour. :) 

They got here Thursday night, right when I was getting off from my job. We met up at our apartment and hung around for a bit.  They got to meet Nala (who they had heard a lot about), my mom's dog, Tori, and Valerie's dog, Daisey.  The kids and I took the dogs on a short walk, which turned out to be their favorite thing to do in Charleston.  :)  We ate dinner that night at the Bear E Patch, which is one of my favorite local places.  Then we went to visit Matt at work.  
Kiddos at Bear E Patch
We didn't do anything too exciting that night but went back to our apartment where they got to meet my Mom, then later went over to Dad & Gail's house where we spent the night.  (Mom and Valerie were at our place already so adding the Seamans too would have been a little too crowded.) 
On an evening dog walk.

Matt and I both took Friday off so we could hang out.  We went to our place in the morning and got ready for the day, took Mom to the airport for her mission trip to Guatemala, then we all met up downtown at Fleet Landing for lunch.  I really like this place, and I wanted them to be able to eat some good Charleston food.  We usually sit outside and can see dolphins playing, but we sat inside this time which was still enjoyable.  

Guys at Fleet Landing
View of Fleet Landing from Waterfront Park

After lunch, we walked around Waterfront Park for a bit.  We were heading to the Market when Jack started having problems with his shoe.  So we piled into their van and did a driving tour of Charleston: the Battery, the houses, Rainbow Row, etc.  I learned from Matt that the Market was actually never a "slave market" but actually just where most of the slaves would go and do their shopping.  
With the bridges in the background

On the swing at Waterfront Park

We also drove over the Cooper River Bridges then drove by the USS Yorktown then went to Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park for the kids to play at their cool playground.  While they walked out to the fishing pier, I went to the store to get ready for our Cares event that night.  We met up back at the apartment and made tacos for dinner then took the dogs on another walk (seriously: their favorite part about Charleston).  After dinner, we headed over to the Bolton's Landing movie theater for the Cares Family Movie Night and got all setup for snacks and Finding Nemo.  No one else ended up coming to that event (our first event with truly 0 other residents), but it ended up being pretty nice to just be us.  

After the movie, we headed back to Dad & Gail's where the kids went to bed and the grownups played Settlers of Cataan.  :)  Brought back lots of fun memories of playing at their place in Thailand, and it was nice to play with such good friends.  Flaglers won one, and Seamans won one, so that was fitting.  

The next day, we came back over to the apartment and just hung around (and took the dogs for walks) and were also joined by Valerie's boyfriend, Zebediah, then went to Costco to stock up on some things for their next stop on the East Coast and ate lunch while we were there.  It was my first time having lunch at Costco, and I gotta say that the $1.50 hot dog combo is a pretty good way to spend $1.50 for lunch.  Matt met us there on his lunch break, which was nice but kinda sad to say goodbye in the Costco parking lot.  After Costco, we came back to the apartment for one more dog walk and for them to load up their van and get re-organized for their next stop, then for them to get on the road.  
Each of the kiddos had his/her own dog, which was maybe why they loved it so much!
Certainly was nice having some extra helpers too! :)

I totally played it cool while saying goodbye but cried as soon as they drove off.  

 Seaman fam, you guys are so special to us for the unique season of life we shared with y'all and for the many ways y'all showed love to us while we were there.  It was wonderful to reconnect for a few days while y'all were here, so thank you so much for coming and for being such gracious guests.  We love you guys and look forward to seeing you next time! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Night and Day

Lots of people have been asking about my new job, so I thought I would go into some detail here. 

You may or may not know that I had been having some major problems with anxiety/depression for the past 9 months.  Unfortunately, most of it was directly related to my job.  I had great benefits with Verizon, and they were very good about letting me take some time off here and there to try to pull it together.  But I ended up having to take a lot of time off, which was wearing on me.  I didn't like feeling that I wasn't being a great employee.  

I've seen a few doctors over the past couple months, and they all seem in agreement that my job (the hours and the stress) was probably attributing to a lot of my anxiety/depression and everything that comes along with that.  I have been in counseling and been on medications.  These things help, but I'm wanting to really get better.  After several months of thinking through and weighing pros and cons, we decided it was best for me to change jobs.  My quality of life is more important than some of the great things that I was trying to hang on at Verizon for.     

So... I quit Verizon!  Whoo-hoo!  We decided we can sacrifice some things financially in order for me to have better well-being overall.  The last two doctors' visits I had confirmed it--since they both said (without my asking) that my job was probably a large contributor to my health stuff.  That combined with the adoption on hold made me realize that it was time for some changes.  I don't want to be working at Verizon next year: I want to be raising our child.  :)  
Box of stuff from my cubicle at Verizon.
So... I am working now at a church office doing media and publications, which is WAY more me. :)  It's 8:30-4:30 4 days a week.   It's only been three weeks since being at the new job, but it feels like night and day.  I LOVE having 'normal' work hours and being off in the evenings.  And I love being at a job that has eternal impact. 

So it's still early, but I'm doing MUCH better. It sorta makes me wish I had quit Verizon months ago. :)  I do have a huge amount of respect for Verizon Wireless as an organization though.  And I'm thankful for the 2 years that I was able to work there.  However, I'm VERY excited about this next stage! 

Anniversary Fun

Matt and I had an all-day celebration for our anniversary this year.   We enjoyed getting to hang out all day and celebrate our 4 Year Anniversary! 
 We slept in, got ready, then we went out to breakfast.  I LOVE going out for breakfast, and Matt hates breakfast so it was a special gift to me that he went and even enjoyed it with me. :)  (It's the little things, ya know.) ;)

Then we got on the road and drove up to Myrtle Beach to go to the aquarium.  We enjoy doing things like that, so we had fun.  At first, it was crazy crowded, but it faded out a little and we enjoyed it a lot more. 

After the aquarium, we drove over to a nearby mall to go see a movie.  We had about 45 minutes before it started, so we walked around the mall and got some cookie cake. :)  
We saw Transformers 3 in 3-D.  It was fun, and we enjoyed it!  We hadn't seen a movie at a theater in a really long time.  (Since then, we've also seen Harry Potter, so we must be on some kind of streak.) 
After the movie, we ate dinner at Red Robin in Myrtle Beach then drove back later that night.  
It was a nice day to be together celebrating our marriage.  

I'm so thankful to have Matthew as my husband.  On July 7th and every day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

American Girl Doll Giveaway

Our friend, the Hyatts, are in the process of adopting a little girl from China.  They're doing an American Girl Doll Giveaway to help raise money.  Head over to their blog for details and to enter! 


Monday, July 11, 2011

Random Photo, Take 69

Photo 68 was of Mark and Steph, from last summer in California, on the day we went Whitewater Rafting. 

Here's 69:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Random Photo, Take 68

Pic 67 was Matt and Steven playing when they were younger, but I don't know when.  (Still need some help with that.) 

Here's 68:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Four Years

It seems like we've been married much longer than four years. In a good way.  I think it's because we had known each other for so long and have been in so many seasons/locations in our four years of marriage.  
That being said:  I can't believe it was FOUR years ago that we got to gather with so many family and friends and celebrate the joining of our lives together.  

The theme of our wedding was Psalm 34:3:  "Glorify the Lord with me.  Let us exalt His name together."  I pray that our first four years of marriage have been glorifying to the Lord.  

We haven't always been perfect.  We are sinful people.  But God has given us grace and forgiveness that we extend to each other pretty easily.  I pray God continues to use our marriage to bring us closer to Him and to bring others closer to Him.

Dear Matthew, 
Thank you for being my husband and for loving me so well.  I feel safe and secure in your arms and by your side.  Thank you for being so full of faith and for helping me to remember the big picture.  You amaze me!  I'm so blessed for getting to spend my life with you.  I love learning with you and from you.  
You are absolutely hilarious, and I hope that I will never grow tired of your silliness and your wittiness.  I love that you love to make me laugh.  
You are also incredibly caring.  You don't want everyone to know, but you really are a very sweet husband.  
Thank you for choosing me as your bride and for believing in me.  I have so much respect for you and the man you are allowing God to make you.  I very much look forward to seeing where the next four years, fourteen years, and forty years have taken us.  

Yours Forever, 


Bridal Brunch Memories

4 years ago today was one of the funnest days of my life.  It started off with the Bridal Brunch that was thrown by all of my aunts... thank you Aunt Ann, Aunt Betsy, Aunt Karen and Aunt Kim!
Laura, Valerie, Lauryn, SaraBeth, Julianne, Jeannene
I loved the Bridal Brunch because it officially meant the start of the Tyndall/Flagler Wedding Extravaganza, but it also was a sweet time for me to honor a lot of special women in my life.  I have truly been blessed to have so many close friends, and the Bridal Brunch was a wonderful time to be able to share with so many women exactly what they meant to me. 
Lisa, Emily, Gail, Aunt Karen, Megan, (back of Debbie's head)
 The location was perfect: the Old Village Post House in Mt. Pleasant.
We had the upstairs room which felt just right for our group. 
Gifts for my bridesmaids were very fun: necklaces and earrings made by myself and my mom's friend Mrs. Judy. 
My friend Kristin helped me pick out the beads and make the prototypes. 
They also got nice flip flops and some body lotions and scents from Victoria's Secret.

After the brunch, most of us went to a nail salon for manicures and pedicures.  I love being pampered, so that was a really nice treat after the brunch, especially since I got to go with so many women I love! 

Valerie, Laura, Ginger, Stephani, Debbie, Emily, Megan, and Lisa: thank you again so much for being such a huge part of our wedding.  It still means so much that you would stand with us and support us on that day and in our marriage ever since.  Some of you I am much closer to now than I was then; others have drifted further away.  But you are and will always be so special to me!