12.30.2010

From Heart to Heart with Holley on New Years

The New Year arrives soon.

My mind races ahead and tries to peer into days, weeks, months.

The questions quickly follow.

What if...?

How will I...?

I want to begin the year with a heart lifted up in HOPE. Yet worry threatens to pull me down.

And in all of this I wonder, "What does God really want from me this year?" I find out on a chilly morning at a wooden table in my kitchen, coffee cup in my hand--

 

{God} takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the Lord's delight is in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love. Psalm 147:10-11

 

I ponder those first phrases--the strength of a horse, human might. What does that mean? Oh, the striving, the endless effort, the independence.

Then the others--those who fear Him, those who put their HOPE in His unfailing love. And what does that mean? Yes, the abiding, the relationship, the trusting.

I catch a glimpse of freedom then. Because it's the second that brings not just a smile, not just a bit of joy, but DELIGHT to God's heart. Delight!

Yes, you and I can chase the fear of failure out the door because it's trust God wants--not results. And we can welcome unfailing love with these words instead: 

 

Even  if ______________________________________________

    God's love will not fail me.

No matter how ________________________________________

    God's love will not fail me.

 

I write out my worries in a list just like the one above. Then I lean back from the kitchen table, smile, and set down my cup.

I feel warmer already.

We may not know what the New Year holds...

but we can be certain of Love that will not let us go.

 

written with love for you by holley

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12.22.2010

31 Reasons to Rejoice After Turning 31 (part 2)

16. Confidence. Before dropping us off at school, my dad would say, "Remember who you are and Whose you are". I have repeated that to myself many times over the years. I feel more confident, now, in who I am, what I'm about and in following Him to wherever He leads.

17. Allison & Dawn. Rejoicing in the Lord for you precious ladies. Forever knit to us in such a special way. We are thankful for you and your sweet spirits.

18. The Christmas holiday season. Truly a joyous time. Candy making, gift wrapping, card envelope addressing, ornament placing, sweet fellowshipping. Just a wonderful month of joyous festivities.

19. Cordova, TN. I have lived in this little suburb most of my life. It has been so neat to watch it grow and develop. When we moved, I felt like we loved so far from civilization. Kroger seemed so far away, as did Germantown Parkway. My sis and I were thrilled as we drove by the building of the Wolfchase Galleria. I think we went there for a solid week when it opened it's doors!
As our area has grown and we now live in our house, we have enjoyed patronizing local establishments and building relationships with folks. We feel the Lord has placed us in our home, on our street strategically, for such a time as this.

20. (so funny to mention and doing so partly as a joke) my iPhone. I use this thing to capacity. Not only is it a telephone, it is my way on to the information super highway (Google, my preferred search engine), ESV Bible app, my Notes app, calculator app, and many more. Yes, I am rejoicing the Lord formy iPhone!

21. Washer & Dryer. Following an unfortunate malfunction, we made the decision to invest in high efficiency w/d. They have revolutionized my domestic life. Not only is it energy/water efficient, but it's a time saver. They gitterdone! :)

Memo: I know this was going to be 31 but, well, it's 21.

Merry Christma to all!

31 Reasons to Rejoice after Turnong 31 (part 1)

1. Amelia Rebecca Rose Cline...Nuff said.

2. My faithful, trustworthy, patient & loving husband, Bear.

3. Our growing church, Crossroads. Such a kindred fellowship of believers that are working toward the same purpose of doing church simply, while running to the heart of Jesus.

4. My sweet chocolate lab, Colby and faithful companion through the years, black lab, Charlotte. Always loving.

5. Super sweet friends who, I can say with tears, have literally held me up in prayer and encouragement over the years. You are loved and appreciated.

6. My family. You are the crackers, funniest people ever. As much as I have tried to convince myself that I was adopted, I can't deny that I am the spitting image of my Mama Bell!

7. My job. Being a stay-at-home Mom...finally! Though Bear insists I have to be at home more
than not to qualify. :)


8. Sweet former co-worker/friend and other sweet friends who have graciously donated milk to our Amelia, so she can drink some "real" milk every now and then.

9. Our lovely neighbors on our street. You make our neighborhood such a pleasant place to live.

10. The blessing of our home. Such a refuge for us to return to and a great place to invite guests. Thankful the Lord has strategically placed us on this corner for such a time as this.

11. The ability to run. It has been such a release for me overcthe years. I may not be Speedy Gonzales but I often feel like the Energizer Bunny...ticking off the miles one by one. I have met some awesome people through our local track club this year.

12. Starbucks on Houston Levee. It really is my "third place." I really enjoy the expience of being a customer at that store. They always make a perfect cup of warm yummy goodness for me. :)

13. Willow House (formerly known as Southern Living at HOME). I really enjoy being a Design Consultant for them. I look forward to growing my business on 2011. amandacline.willowhouse.com

14. All of my local friends who handcraft amazing products. From my hairdresser to my tie onsie maker to my buddy who make the yummiest cakes to the best invitation designer. You are appreciated. Look for a website launch entitled, Local Flair coming early 2011.

15. My old, trusty Honda Accord. Manufactured the year I graduated high school and still going strong with almost 200,000 miles on it.

11.25.2010

I am thankful for...

Thoughtful friendships.  I am so thankful for the friends the Lord has provided me with over these past few years. Some I have known since high school and before and others just for a year. These people have been so encouraging and have truly spoken life to me in some of my darkest moments. God's word says to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. They have definitely been there for me. You know who you are! I am thankful for you!

Home.  I love our home! I am so thankful that the Lord provided it for us two years ago. It is in such a great location for us and we have the sweetest neighbors.

Amazing husband. Not your average Bear, I have to say! He is so living and gracious towards me each and every day. Watching him be the best daddy to Amelia truly melts my heart. I am thankful and blessed to be living life with you!

Nifty running buddies. I am so thankful for all of my running buddies. They are all so encouraging. Even though I am the slowpoke, they pull me along. I really am encouraged to go faster. I look forward to breaking some personal records in 2011.
 
Sleep.  I have always loved it but now that every moment if it is precious, I am thankful.

Godly church. Crossroads is such a blessing to our lives. We are truly thankful to be on this journey with these people. It has been such an amazing blessing to be in the midst of a new thing the Lord is doing. We look forward to getting back involved and being there more consistently in the coming months.

In-laws- I am very thankful for my in-laws. They are some of the sweetest people I know. I always say that going down to their house in AL is like going on a retreat. It's just more quiet and peaceful. 

Victorious warrior- God. He is my strength daily. He is my protector and shield. He is my Heavenly Father and provider. He is truly the lover of my soul. I am thankful he is my reason for living. I seek to proclaim my thankfulness for Him!

Itty bitty baby girl, Amelia. She is truly the light of our life.  She has brought us so much joy in the past three months. We look forward to all the growth and fun that the coming year brings with her. Our Heavenly Father is, indeed, faithful.

(I was going to try and do an acrostic with THANKSGIVING but just couldn't make it work. That's why I have some interesting adjectives in there. :)

11.22.2010

Day 1

Today was officially the first full day of cloth diapering in the Cline household. 

It has been so easy! Seriously! The most annoying part was washing them 5 times in hot water and air drying, for the prep. You do the same thing as far as changing with them as with disposables. 

I think I am sort of weird in that I enjoy washing her bottles, her clothes and now her diapers. I don't know if it's just the excitement that I finally get to do it or what! It just doesn't get old.

I am drying the diapers on a line outside because they dry quicker that way as well as it being best for them. I love putting them out on the line too!

 Another totally weird thing is that I can't wait for her to have a poopy cloth diaper because we got a sprayer that attaches to the toilet. I want to use it! I know this will get old because changing disposable poopies got old fast. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to conical our first official cloth diaper day! I will keep you updated! 

11.10.2010

Rocktober

(disclaimer-we cut our Internet off at home for now so my posts may not have a's many pics for a bit. The following post has some pics and also has spits that say pic. I haven't figured out how to scroll down to edit post from my iPhone. Feel free to divulge.)

Lots has happened this past month...

I participated in the Tour de'sprit, which was a 24 hour run benefitting a ministry to Haiti. (don't worry I just ran 7 miles, while others ran 100!)

It was so fun! I hope to be a bigger part of it next year!


http://www.cbu.edu/~aross/biology/Haiti/Help-HMM.htm#race



We finished up showering for sweet Amelia with a fabulous co-ed shower hosted by 7 of our best friends!





I was informed at the customer service desk at Walmart that I am banned from returning/exchanging anymore items for the next 6 months. I exceeded my returns if 4. (learn something new everyday).



Little miss had a great weight check up where she weighed in at 6.10! We were so excited.
Then she went in for her first round of shots and she weighed 8.6 and is 21 inches long! Growing girl!







Bear's birthday was the 15th. We celebrated with family at a local restaurant, Skimo's. For all those in the Memphis area, we highly recommend it!




I ran the two 10 milers in the MRTC Road Race Series at Shelby Forest. If any of you have ran that course...ouch! So so hilly! Probably the hilliest course in this area. But I survived.

Meeman-Shelby State Park

Some sweet friends from high school met up one Saturday for an afternoon reunion. It was so much fun! So great to see each other and catch up!







My grandmother, Mem, celebrated her 89th birthday. We all gathered at Logan's for dinner.







Annie Tucker made this spectacular cake.






We ended the month with a blowout weekend of the Harvest Joy festival at Crossroads...



Pic



A birthday party for sweet Cameron Schaeffer, who turned 2.



Pic



A fun surprise birthday celebration for Brandon Smith...




And lastly, on Sunday night we had much fun with a Halloween party at our house.






A full month, indeed. Just the beginning of the busy season. I pray we don't loose perspective during these sacred holidays that are about to be upon us.

10.03.2010

When your heart just needs to say thanks

(I am passing this on from "Heart to Heart with Holley" www.holley.dayspring.com)


God,                                                                                            



Today I'm especially thankful for...



the one reading these words,



the first feel of autumn in the wind,



the hand of my husband in mine,



the laughter of friends,



the grace that keeps me going,



the whispered prayers you've heard,



the feeling of waking up from a nap,



the smell of coffee,



the goodness of home here...



and the hope of Home forever with you there.



Amen.



What's one little thing you're grateful for right now?

9.20.2010

Before and After

~Before baby: on Sun nights,  I would dread the new week, dread work, dread getting up early.

~After baby: on Sun nights,  I look forward to the new week! Getting up early to feed baby, getting to know
  her more and introducing her to the world!



~Before baby: I came straight home from work to make dinner. Everything was rushed.

~After baby: I don't even have to make dinner! I just wait for a phone call, answer the door and a sweet lady from my church has made us dinner! j/k, that's the way it is now. Soon I will begin dinner in a more enjoyable and leisurely fashion.



~Before baby: I squeezed my quiet time in before running out the door or during my lunch break.

~After baby: (I know this will change too) I make my coffee and sit in the recliner and take my time
doing my quiet time.



~Before baby: I would frequent Babies R Us and Target, print another person's registry and buy for them.

~After baby: I get to go to Target and Babies R Us for OUR BABY! (I still love shopping for shower gifts, but I have waited for this time:)



~Before baby: we routinely watched the 10pm news, went to bed and bear would fall asleep to the tv in our room.

~After baby: we plop down on the couch full of the casserole we enjoyed by some sweet Sunday school class member, begin watching tv and by probably 9:30 we are all 3 layed out asleep! (then wake up when little missy needs to eat, about 11.



~Before baby: I ate a good breakfast, on the go, ate two snacks a day and a good lunch (on an hour lunch break) then a good dinner at home.

~After baby: grab a banana or bowl of cereal between feedings, grab a spoonful of peanut butter and breathe a sigh of relief when that lovely casserole arrives.



~Before baby: I would squeeze household chores in to a few nights a week, usually washing clothes when Bear says, "dear, I don't have any clean underwear."

~After baby: I gladly wash clothes almost daily because baby goes thru a lot of outfits, burp cloths and bibs. I just love washing those sweet little clothes!



~Before baby: we prayed often that the Lord would answer our pleas to expand our family. We praised him for our situation despite our pain. We waited...

~After baby: we praise our Heavenly Father for answered prayer. Thanking him that he knows the perfect time to bring blessings to pass. Praying for his will as we raise our sweet daughter to love and fear him.

9.15.2010

Oh Baby!!!

Here are pics of our new addition~Amelia Rebecca Rose. Enjoy!

first family photo
first time we met Amelia
all decked out and ready to go home
snoozing with my daddy
with my "Mem", who I am named after "Rose"
first trip to Jerry's

9.11.2010

September Blessings

A close friend and our pastor, Rob Mullins, has said many times, "Obedience begins in pain and ends in blessing."  Bear and I have found that to be true.

I would like to take some time to fill you in on the journey we have been on in seeking to become parents.  It began almost four years ago in November of 2006.  We began trying to concieve at that time.  Like most people, we were nervous at the thought of getting pregnant right away.  We naturally thought it would happen fast.  For the first few months, I spent countless dollars on pregnancy tests.  To no avail, all were negative.  We have it more time, trying to be optimistic.  We knew that the Lord's timing was perfect.  We felt from the beginning of our marriage that the Lord wanted us to be parents one day.  I ALWAYS wanted to be a mom.  I never aspired to have a sucessful career outside of the home.  Any job, regardless of the rewards, always became mundane, because I ultimately wasn't satisfied with the "9-5".  I have longed to nurture and be a mom.

As the months passed, my annual check-up approached.  I shared with my doctor our struggles.  He went ahead and prescribed Clomid for me because I have a thyroid condition that sometimes can cause it hard to concieve.  I felt that I had a second wind.  I read the entire pamphlet that went with the meds.  I especially freaked Bear out when I read the part that said we could have multiples, while being excited about that inside. :)

The months passed, we increased the strenghth of the Clomid to the highest dose.  I was going nuts emotionally.  After six months of the meds, we decided to stop taking them.  I felt that much more of that and I would be in the looney bin!

In the summer of 2008 we went to a fertility specialist.  They are the best in our area.  We went through a series of tests and were going to try and do IUI.  I got really excited, but was terribly disappointed to find out that because of complications with both Bear and I, this procedure would not work.  In September of 2008, the doctor sat down with us and explained that we would most likely not concieve.  Because we both wanted to adopt one day, we left the office with hope.  It was still an emotional day that I will never forget.  The gravity of the news still hit me like a ton of bricks.

We decided to take some time and get through the holidays before taking the first steps toward adoption.  In January of 2009, we met with a couple of agencies in Memphis.  We felt led to go with Life Choices of Memphis.  This is an agency that I have known about my whole life.  My church has always sponsored it too.  We began the paperwork with them in the winter and turned it in June of 2009.  We felt like we had written and illustrated out life stories. 

So the easy part started...NOPE!  We waited....and waited...and waited.

The Lord constantly reminded us that His timing was perfect.  He had a plan.  He was working on us and preparing us for the baby that HE had for us.

Several situations came up and quickly dissolved.  Many leaving us emotionally drained.  The Lord stayed the same.  Constantly reminding us that He is our strength.  He would see us through.  We must cling to Him, even when we don't know what is going on.

In June of this year, my sweet friend (and practically a sister) Leah Budinsky, told me about a young friend who was due in September.  We began praying about this situation, sent her a profile of our family and...waited.

Things didn't really pan out.  We decided that this, too, was going to dissappait like the others.

Off and on, the Lord would bring that particular situation to mind over this summer. I would pray for the birth mother and that baby.

So skip to present time...

Through a not coincidental meeting, Leah talked with the birthmother Friday, August 27th, she decided to meet with us Saturday the 28th, baby girl~Amelia~ was born Sunday, August 29th and then...guess what??...we waited...and waited...Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then Friday came.  We were at Chic-fil-a with the Dawkins and we got THE PHONE CALL. (Laura has a pic on her blog).  I screamed! We found out that we would be meeting and taking our sweet girl home that very night!

We spent the rest of the afternoon in hasty but excited preparation! After a wonderful time at the cradle care family's home, we walked into our door with our sweet Amelia Rebecca Rose! There was a house full of family and friends aka Prayer Warriors waiting to catch a glimpse of this little lady.  It was truly a sweet time! My sis, Michelle, had surprised us with pink "it's a girl" balloons and banner in our den! There were gifts of clothes, diapers and wipes on our table.  We were so excited!  Basically we have been rejoicing and, literally, partying ever since! I don't think the partying will subside until October is over, we will have a break and then it will be baby girl's first Christmas!!!

Very soon, most likely, Tuesday night, I will be able to post pics of this precious blessing.

I just want to publically thank YOU for praying for us through these years and though this past year.  You have been a blessing to us! We are so excited to see what all the Lord does in and through this baby girl's life. 

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."  Ephesians 3:20, 21

8.08.2010

August Thankfulness

A few weeks back I was complaining and bemoaning my current situation in life to my running buddy. She gave me a good idea, to write down things I am thankful for. It seems like an elementary thing to do, but after taking time to think about all the Lord has blessed me with, I am overwhelmed. After looking at things from a "glass half full" standpoint, I really have a new perspective about things. Just because my life isn't exactly as I would have it, doesn't mean the Lord doesn't have things for me to do/enjoy right now. So I decided to record some of the things I am thankful for...

~A Community of Believers...
 who are truly compassionate toward each other. I am so blessed to be surrounded locally and across the miles with believing friends/family who pray for each other in times of need, check up on each other, and come to the aid of others when needed. What a blessing to know I can call sweet friends to encourage me in rough times.  The people at my church have also displayed that in the past year and a half as we have come together as a body of believers. People actually joyfully help each other in times of need. It is such a breath of fresh air!

~Our House...
we love it! We still comment to each other that we love our house and where we live! The newness hasn't worn off yet. We are so thankful the Lord provided it for us. We love our neighbors, too! We look forward to making many memories here.



~A Running Buddy...
My friend, Missy, and I have been running together for two years now! What a blessing it is to have a consistent friend who wants to keep going...literally! Over the past two years, we have ran numerous 5k's, half marathons and ran our first marathon last December. We plan to run the St. Jude Marathon again this December. We have met up almost every Saturday morning for two years for long runs. We have ran all over the Memphis area. It has been so fun! She has kept me accountable for fitness and nutrition all this time. She is truly a treasure!


~A Job...
Though I loathe it some...well, most of the time, I am thankful for it. I have been able to meet/get reaquainted with so many people over the past two and a half years at the dental office. It has caused me to grow in ways I wouldn't have imagined. I am also blessed to work alongside some wonderful people. One in particular is a dear friend, Meredith, who followed me from Starbucks. Daily, we seek to encourage others just as we did at the coffee shop.

~My Puppy Dogs...
I just love these dogs! It is amazing how you can love animals so much! They are so loving and loyal. They are always so excited to see us when we come home from work. Charlotte has been around since I was in high school and Colby came around Christmas of 2006. They are such a joy to have in our lives.




~Health...
It hasn't been a perfect year, so far, in this area, but among the obstacles that we have faced, we are immensely blessed that the Lord has spared us from anything more serious. These "glitches" have caused us to desire to live a healthier lifestyle by choosing natural foods and exercising often.

~Bear...
I can't leave off the most important person in my life. He is such a blessing in my life. I am so thankful the Lord brought us together over ten years ago. He has constantly spurred me on to be a better person and seek the Lord more. He is so considerate, patient and gracious towards me. He is truly my best friend. In this day and time, we are well aware that Satan desired to break marriages apart. We are determined to defeat the Enemy. Through the trials of infertility and now being on the adoption road, we have come together in prayer and faithfulness to seek the Lord is what He desires to do in our lives. We are so excited about what He has for us!

I am truly thankful!

7.05.2010

I have to share...JULY SALE!!!!





I try not to do this often, but I just had to share the JULY SALE at Southern Living AT HOME!


We are making space for our new products that will debut in our Fall catalog (coming in August). Also, beginning August 1st, Southern Living At HOME will become Willow House! It is a really exciting time for our company!


You may go to my website www.southernlivingathome.com/amandacline to view our sales flyer and the Spring catalog or you can view the sales flyer by following the link below.....

https://www.southernlivingathome.com/pne/pdf/announcements/201007_SaleFlier.pdf


If you would like to order an item, just shoot me an email with the item number, quantity and your credit card number with expiration date. If you would prefer to pay me with a check, we can arrange to meet. I will get the items to you when the arrive. (usually 2-3 weeks).

If you collect $125 in orders, you can get an item at 50% off and have the items delivered to your home! You may forward this email to your friends.

One more thing...

If you book a party for the fall (August/September/October), I will pay for your shipping for this order! Pretty sweet deal!

Items will sell out fast so let me hear from you soon if you would like to order anything. There is no minimum purchase!

My contact info...
arcline2003@comcast.net
www.southernlivingathome.com/amandacline

7.01.2010

10 Things Thursday

1. It has been a long time since I have blogged. I am not completely sure why. I haven't felt like I have had tons to say in the past month or so. I have sort of felt "blah" and that's nothing to blog about! Bear has had some health issues where he had to be in the hospital the week before Memorial Day and then had hernia surgery a couple weeks ago. So we have been struggling a bit. Keeping our chins up though. :)

2. My sister, Michelle, and I got some good quality time in while we painted our future nursery a yellow called "golden slumber". My mom has been insisting that I go shopping with her and pick out a crib because in her words, "I need to be preparin' ". So we have two huge things done. Here is a pic of the room (though it doesn't show the true hue of the yellow and the amazing bed. I love it!


3. Bear and I continue to wait upon the Lord for who he has to bring into our family. It does feel good to feel sort of "prepared" especially because we most likely won't have months and months to get ready. We will probably slowly start finding things to fill the room.

4. In the meantime, I have been loving hanging with my beautiful niece, Garner. She is such a sweetie pie! She just turned 10 months! It is so hard to believe!





5. I am continuing to love running. My friend, Missy, and I did the Harbortown 5k for the first time at the beginning of June. It was really a nice race. I did pretty well for a night race. Usually I don't do so well because it is at the end of the day. For me, any time under 30 mins. for a 5k is just fine! :)

6. We are planning to do the Road Race Series beginning this month with the Memphis Runners Track Club. It is a series that does two 5k's in July, two 5milers in August, two 10k's in Sept., two 10milers in October and two 1/2 Marathons in Nov.  This will be a good lead in for our training because we hope to do the St. Jude Marathon again in December.

7. Running is basically cheap therapy for me. Aside from the physical benefits, which I wonder sometimes if my body has become used to running, it causes me to release tension in a positive way. If I don't go for a couple of days, I just crave it, like chocolate! :) (That's probably a good thing because I love chocolate too!)

8. So I have been in short hair world for quite a while now. Like an old lady, I make my hair appointments ahead of time. Like at my appointment, I make my next appointment. Well, since my hair is short, I usually get it cut about every 6 weeks. My hairdresser went on maternity leave from the end of April to the second week of June so I had to go about 8 weeks. I know that seems like not much extra time, but in short hair world, it's a loooooooooong time. I really wanted to wait until she came back because she is the only person I trust and I have gone to her for over 7 years now.

My friend and co-worker, Meredith, and I frequently discuss our hair woes. She wound up betting me a Muddy's cupcake that I couldn't hold out for the 8 weeks without getting a trim. I came so close so many times! But I tell you, that bet really kept me going! I made it!
The funny thing is, I went at the beginning of June and then three weeks later decided it wasn't short enough and just went back again! (I know, I am driving Bear crazy!) So here is the most recent cut.


9. I am extremely excited and anxiously awaiting the Dawkins move back to Memphis! July 15th is the day! I am especially excited to meet one that I have prayed for and loved for so long......

Jude Ream
I know we will have many fun days ahead as they will be in Memphis for a season!

10. Though Bear and I eagerly and a lot of times, to our fault, anxiously await the sweet one the Lord has for us, I am reminded to....

"Be still and know that He is God..."           "He is faithful and He will bring it to pass"

He is holding us up with his righteous right hand and will not let us go. He has a mighty plan for our lives, for our good and His glory. I pray that I stay alert and look for ways He is seeking to use me in this present time.

5.26.2010

Perfect Peace

I am reading through Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotionals.  Because of the particulars of my life at this present time and the providence of our Lord, today's Morning really spoke to me. Here it is...

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you."  Psalm 55:22

Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin.  The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Savior, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for Him that which He has undertaken to do for us.  We attempt to think that which we fancy He will forget; we work to take upon ourselves our weary burden, as if He were unable or unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to His plain precept, this unbelief in His Word, this presumption in intruding upon His providence, is all sinful.  Yet more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin.  He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God's hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong meants to help himself.  This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our advisor, and resorting instead to human wisdom.  This is going to the "broken cistern" instead of to the "fountain;" a sin which was laid against Israel of old.  Anxiety makes us doubt God's loving-kindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grive the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from Him; but if through simple faith in His promise, we cast each care as it comes upon Him, and are "not anxious about anything" because He undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to Him, and strengthen us against much temptation. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You."

After reading over this a few times, I was struck with the fact that we are pretty much instructed by the Lord to "keep in perfect peace" as believers, because He has given us peace as a Fruit of the Spirit and He wants us to cast all of our cares on Him.  

I know this is a basic precept-to trust in Him, but sometimes we need a reminder, a "light bulb" moment, to step back and look at how we are dealing with situations in our lives. 


5.16.2010

He Is Able

I am not sure who wrote this chorus, but it really encouraged me today at church....


"He Is Able"

He is able, more than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able, more than able
To handle anything that comes my way

He is able, more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream
He is able, more than able
To make me what He wants me to be

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

Ephesians 3:20, 21

4.17.2010

Human Race 5k/Walk for Life



I know I have been plugging things lately, but this is what has been on my mind. Not the 5k, but the adoption journey we are on and all that goes with it.  Soon I will get back to writing what's going on in our lives and other fun stuff.

Right now, I want to get the word out to all might be interested in this fun and meaningful event. The Human Race is a 5k Run and 1.6 mile Fun Walk that will be held at Shelby Farms on Saturday, May 1st at 9:15am.  This event is designed to raise money for Life Choices of Memphis. If you are not familiar with it, you may go to the website I listed above.  This happens to be a special place for Bear and I because we are seeking to adopt with the assistance of this organization. You may register through the website listed on this post.

I encourage you and your family to come and support Life Choices and have a fun morning at Shelby Farms-one of the best parks in America!

3.23.2010

Fun Times with Sweet Friends

We had such a fun weekend with our friends in Louisville.  We began the weekend staying with Brandon and Ashley (we didn't take a single picture with them--poo!).  We went to their church, Fellowship Louisville and had a great time catching up and hanging out with their sweet daughter and weimereiner, Cooper.

We had dinner at Laura and David's house and spent and spent a couple of nights with Laurin, Aaron and their girls!

Our last night in town was our 7th wedding anniversary.  Bear and I went to dinner, just over the bridge, in Sheperdsville, IN at Rocky's.  It is a good Italian restaurant.

We truly enjoyed a restful time just hanging out with friends.  Below are a few photos from the weekend....










3.17.2010

St. Patrick's Day

My sweet friend, Beth, (whose birthday happens to be today), gave me a beautifully framed poem, words written in green and a clover enclosed at the bottom.  It's always on my bathroom counter and I overlook it many days.  Today, however, being St. Patrick's Day, I stopped to read it and wanted to share it with you.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left.

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

~The Shield of St. Patrick

After some research, I found that this is an exerpt from the Shield of St. Patrick.  Read it in it's entirety, sometime when you get a chance.  I find when I read this exerpt that it is conviction because I have to ask myself, "Do people see Christ when they see me?"

3.07.2010

Things I Love About Spring

I know it isn't really Spring yet, but it is March and that makes me think....SPRING!
This is my most favorite time of the year! Here are some things I love about this season...

  • sitting on a lawn chair in the backyard sunning and reading a good book. i am so motivated, for some reason, by the sunny skies and warmer air to get out, kick my shoes off and read or study outside.

that is, if Charlotte doesn't steal my chair first! :)

  • fresh spring air that is usually condusive to a nice jog.  i break the shorts out, to the dismay of neighbors and other patrons at Shelby Farms. i must begin to get those "sidewalk chalk sticks" some color!


  • blooming flowers.  they are so pretty! this year i have even more of a reason to adore those lovely Hibiscus trees we have at our home. i can't wait to admire them this spring...from the front porch.  all winter they have been safe in the warm haven of our humble abode, one in the den and one in the dining room.  not only have they been able to thrive and occassionally flower in mid-winter but our lovely pups have also enjoyed eating the soil from the pots! thus, we have to vaccum our carpets almost daily to keep our house from looking like a nursery.


  • i love the sound of birds in the air and children at play. it represents new life to me. i also no longer feel so bad for those children as they wait on the corner for the bus so early each morning.

  • i enjoy getting to wear clothes i have stored away during the winter. flip flops, peep toe pumps, fun toenail polish, springy skirts.

  • it really brightens my day, in the spring, to drive with the windows down, the sunroof open and sip on iced cofee after a long winter.  even on the way to work, it helps to breathe life into what would usually be an ordinary commute.
I am assured that whatever season I am in, whether it be the coziness of Winter or the pleasantries of Spring...
The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness,
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."
Lamentations 3:22-24

2.28.2010

Southern Living At HOME

My name is Amanda Cline and I am a Consultant with Southern Living At HOME. 

Our mission is: To create a feeling of welcome, comfort and beauty in homes all across America, while fostering the Spirit of Generosity in the lives of our Consultants and their families.

My Website:  www.southernlivingathome.com/amandacline

I invite you to view my site and consider Hosting a Southern Living At HOME party!  We offer parties in homes where you can have a great excuse for having friends over for some fun, food and fellowship.  You may also host a catalog party where you may distribute catalogs to friends and family and also direct them to the website.

There are awesome rewards for Hosting a Party! You may qualify to recieve items at Half Price and FREE items!  Each month we feature Specials for Customers and Hostesses.  There are great opportunities for you to decorate your home while staying on a budget.

Hosting a Southern Living At HOME Party allows you to:

~ Reconnect with friends, reinvent your style, and refresh your spirit!


I am having a DRAWING for a PRIZE that will be randomly selected on Sunday, MARCH 7th. 
The way to enter into the DRAWING....

~Post the above on your blog one day this week
~Comment on this post that you did so and include your email address or the best way for me to contact you
~You may also email me at arcline2003@comcast.net if you feel more comfortable doing so.

The PRIZE in question is the beautiful Cottage Garden Collection Platter shown below.  I will ship it to the WINNER on March 8th, following the DRAWING.



Thanks so much for your participation!

2.21.2010

He has been More Faithful

I just wanted to take the time to publically praise the Lord for his great faithfulness in our lives. He has always proven faithful to us, but recently we have noticed it more.  It seems when you are yearning for something, yet trusting in Him, He graciously reminds you of His faithfulness despite what you think you need/want.  He has protected our hearts in these months as we have been waiting on Him for what lies ahead.  He has promised us that He will continue to be faithful and bring to pass blessings.  We can rest in the fact that though we don't know when, we know who to look to through it all.

I am reminded of a song from a band we followed in high school and college...Skillet. Below are the lyrics to a song one of my best buds, Laura, and I would sing to the top of our lungs while driving around Memphis.  It has come to mind so many times!

"More Faithful"



All the things my feet thought to be firm

Are falling with urgency

Tearing back my false sense of security



Some say things change, nothing stays the same

But the sweetness in my ears

Safe in your arms speak the words I love to hear



You have been more faithful than the morning sun

You have been more faithful than knowing the night will come

You have been more faithful than the changing of seasons



All things I thought that I used to know

Are falling down again



Our disillusionment is how we grow

Some say things change, nothing stays the same

In a world of inconsistency

When everything's a lie,



What can cause my heart to believe

You have been more faithful than the morning sun

You have been more faithful than knowing the night will come

You have been more faithful than the changing of seasons



You have been more faithful than the morning sun

You have been more faithful than knowing the night will come

You have been more faithful than the morning sun

You have been more faithful than knowing the night will come

You have been more faithful than the changing of seasons
 
I want to leave you with a passage that has comforted me so much in the past few months. I have a portion of it taped to my mirror in my bathroom....
 
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:14-16
 
 

2.14.2010

The Vest

The other night I was perusing my sister's closet in search of a dress for a particular event and happened upon an interesting vest.  I asked her why she hadn't been wearing it and she just said, "ah, I don't know".  I asked if I could borrow it.  It was not something I would buy and, if you know me very well, not an item you would think I would pick out.  I guess because it was something different I decided to take it and wear it one day.  As soon as I got home (wearing it, of course), I asked Bear what he thought of it and he immediately says, with disgust, "that is ugly!".  I thought that was funny.  I decided to wear it the next day to work.  Below you can see the picture I had him take of me that day.


The morning I put it on to go to work, Bear says, "You are really going to wear that to work?" I said, "Yes!".  So on my way to work, I get almost there and a couple of thoughts pop into my head...one, "Oh my! I can't believe I really wore this thing!"  Then the second, "You know, this is really a test of self confidence for a girl." I am not one to every really want to "stand out" or whatever.  I know some of you may think, "what is the big deal with the vest?"  Well, I wanted to share with you some of the funny comments/looks I got throughout the day....

~"Oh, don't you look fancy today."
~strange looks from patients
~"Let me see your vest"
~"That looks warm!"
~Two sales reps enter the office, one says, "That looks stylish." The other (a gentleman) says, "Looks kind of like the neighborhood cat." "Meow!" (really, he made the sound!) And I don't know these people personally!. :)
~"Amanda, look at your pants!!" (The "fur" had shed on my brown pants and they were partially white. :)
~Finally towards the end of the day, the Fedex girl comes to pick up packages and says, "I like your vest!" and my office manager and I just crack up laughing.

Needless to say, it was quite the conversation piece for a usual hum-drum work day.  I told Michelle about all the "compliments" I got from it and she said, "You keep the vest." :)

1.29.2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

I thought I would share a few fun, favorites in my life of late.  Some are serious, others superfluous....

1. I get so excited about getting a new 'do! I just love the "new" feeling of having a haircut or new color. 
    Here are just a few of the cuts/colors I have worn over the past few years...
2. Coffee.  I have tried to switch to tea many times because of the health benefits, etc. but there is nothing
    like a good cup of coffee!  I am trying to limit myself these days. Down to two cups most mornings!

3. Crossroads Baptist Church and especially those super sweet Sr. High girls!  Bear and I are thoroughly
    enjoying getting to know the students at Crossroads.  We have been amazed at how the Lord has grown
    our new church over this past year and look forward to many more glorious things the Lord is going to do
    in and through the lives of the members of Crossroads.
  
4. Gi Gi's Cupcakes  http://www.gigiscupcakesusa.com/

They are now open in Memphis! The most yummy cupcakes I have ever had! (Aside from Annie Tucker's).

5. Colby and Charlotte 
Charlotte has been my girl since the summer after my Sr. year in high school. I have known her longer than I have know Bear! She has been a "shoulder" to cry on many times. She knows all my secrets! :)
Colby is our crazy, lively, forever puppy of a dog! He is a "stand by your man" kind of dog. He waits for me to sit down every night and then plops down on my lap. He truly a dear. We have had him since the winter of '06.  Our lives have never been the same since!

6.  Chocolate!!! I just have to add this one! I really try to limit myself in this area, but I go a day or two and I
     am just dying for one little piece.  I am partial to dark, but am not picky when in need!
Here is a pic of my all time favorite! 
    
7. Running. (fitting follow up to chocolate, eh?)  A friend gave me a ear warmer for Christmas that says "Will
    Run For Chocolate".  That is me! If I didn't...well....that would be another post!
    This sport is just something that has always been there for me.  I don't need anyone to do it, though I do
    thoroughly enjoy having a running buddy, especially on those long runs.  I have recently began running with
    with music this past year.  It has really helped with motivation.  I do, however, enjoy just listening to
    nature.  I have contemplated taking a little notebook along in my back pocket.  I have come up with some
    great ideas while on runs lately!  So with this, I enjoy running races.  For me, not a race against other
    entrants but against myself.  I most recently ran my first marathon-The St. Jude Memphis Marathon.  It
    was truly a rewarding experience.  I would recommend it to anyone!
This is my running buddy, Missy, and I after the race.
8. Garner Rose.

She is my newest niece and the daughter of Michelle & Sammy.  This baby is truly my heart. I never knew that I could love a baby so much that is not my flesh and blood.  I am thankful that I am in the situation I am in, having a niece before having a child of my own, because I have learned so much from watching Michelle and my heart is truly bulging with love for this beautiful baby girl!  She is truly a blessing to our family and we are enjoying every minute of watching her learn and grow.  She is 5 months old today.

9.
This business has been amazing for me! I have had tons of jobs and worked for some great companies but I have honestly never fell in love with a company like this.  I really enjoy having parties, meeting new people and decorating my home with lovely products!  I would like to continue to work my business in order to supplement our income after we have children.  I can work it around other activities and do it as little or as much as I want from month to month.  (By the way, if you would like to have a party, contact me! There are some lovely things in our new Spring catalog!)

10. Bear.
      Words cannot express why he is my favorite thing here on earth.  I would not be who I am today without
      this man.  The Lord has truly blessed me with Bear.  He reveals Himself to me daily thru my husband.  I
      look forward to many upcoming posts, sharing about the joys, trials and triumphs the Lord brings us
      through together.  I would not want to share it with anyone else!

1.20.2010

What's Really Going On?!

This week I have been thinking of writing a post about what is going on in our lives and how Bear and I are doing right now.  I know many of you that read this already know us well and I talk to most of you on a regular basis.  However, I wanted to write to bless the Lord for His faithfulness in our marriage, in our lives individually and, basically, just because I can.

Bear and I have been married for over 6 and a half years.  We have always wanted to have children and decided in 2006 to begin seeking the Lord to make that happen.  We went through many steps in the process.  Went to different doctors, etc to figure out why it wasn't happening after some time.  In the fall of 2008, our fertility specialist basically told us that it was very unlikely that we would be able to have a biological child.  We truly felt like the Lord had prepared us for that meeting. 

We have talked about children and adoption from the time we got married in 2003.  Adoption has never been a "plan b" for us.  We always knew that sometime in the future we would pursue it.  Bear always said that we would try and have children on our on first.  So it made sense to go that route after meeting with the doctor.  We decided, at that point, that it would be best if we waited until the beginning of 2009 to explore our options in the adoption realm.

At the beginning of last year, we met with different agencies and decided upon a local crisis pregnancy/adoption agency in our hometown.  At first we thought we would jump right in and begin the process.  After beginning the paperwork and background checks, we both grew emotional and really decided that we needed more time to deal with the fact that we most likely weren't going to have a biological child.  We realized that we really needed to go through somewhat of a grieving time about our situation.

After about six months, we began the process again.  So now we are in the "wait-and-see" stage.  Through the agency we have chosen, the process is to wait until our profile (pictures/letter/biography of our lives) is viewed by a prospective birth mother.  She actually chooses who adoption the baby.  We aren't on a list, but are among a group of people waiting.

I guess it is hard in a different way that it was a couple of years ago when I went through a monthly roller coaster of being anxious, getting excited, to being dissapointed.  Most of all we have truly grown through this process together.  From the first month that we began the journey of wanting to become parents, we never imagined it would take us to where we are now.  We never thought it would happen this way.  Nontheless, we are thankful.  We have come to the true realization that our Heavenly Father is soverign.  It is one thing to know it in your head, but to see it in your life with open eyes every day is completely amazing! 

Though we have tough days/weeks.  We know without a shadow of a doubt that He is truly working everything out for His glory and our good.  Just as in all of our lives, we see that He orders our steps.  We must choose daily to follow Him in submission and have the humility to go in His grace and realize He is faithful and He will bring it to pass.

Bear and I truly believe that He has children for us.  As someone said in an article I read the other day, these children will have always been ours, the Lord is just going to allow us to meet them in His timing one day. 

We don't know where the coming months/year(s) will take us.  We hope to parenthood SOON. But, regardless, we will cling to Him.  The One who is the giver of life. 

Today I read a passage that was so encouraging to me....

"Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name. 
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you."
Psalm 33:20-22

I look forward to posting more of what the Lord is teaching us and the many lessons He is teaching us in our lives.  Thanks for taking the time to read.  We cherish your prayers!






1.14.2010

Yum, Yum, Yummy Chocolate Cake

I wanted to share with you this amazing cake that I put together.  This is the second time I have used cake mix from Aldi and people have really liked it.  I think it tastes different than your regular Betty Crocker.  It is called Bakers Secret and is distributed by Aldi.

I made the Chocolate Frosting.  It was really simple. Here is the recipe below...

Milk Chocolate Frosting
(courtesy of: Family Circle dec.09)
  • 4 bars milk chocolate, broken up (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 box (1 pound) confectioners' sugar
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2) stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place chocolate in a small saucepan.  Melt over medium-low heat, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly.
2. Combine 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, the milk, the butter and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Add melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
3. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until good spreading consistency.

I used an idea from Fine Cooking (i believe) to top the cake with marshmallows and sprinkle with a bit of chocolate powder (used Hersheys Cocoa Powder). I slightly modified the Fine Cooking recipe...didn't make the marshmallows, bought the at the grocery! :) I think I will try that one day but decided against it this time.
Voila!!!


I made it for a co-worker's birthday today and it slid a bit in the car, but was still delicious! :)

1.06.2010

Resolutions

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Do you think they work or not? Did you keep the one's you made last year?

I made some last year, wrote them down and managed to keep up with the slip of paper all year in my Bible.  I actually did keep some of them.  It was sad that I didn't keep others.  I decided to do it again this year.

This year, I put things like.....
~run enough miles by June to make 1000 (from last June to this June)
~do crunches 5x a week (already slipping on that one)
~read my Bible every day
~be more encouraging to others and don't have such a bad attitude towards patients that come in my office at work. It is so easy to do that because I don't know them personally and they just leave and we won't see them for a long time. I have realized, though, that even though they may never know it, it is still wrong of me and it is discouraging to those I work with.  I have recently been convicted AGAIN about this (letting unwholesome talk come from my mouth).
~spend more time at home, being still. Those that know me well, know that this will really be a challenge for me. I am one who loves to be on the go and with people all the time. I do not sit still well. I can't sit and watch t.v. for more than thirty minutes at a time.  I get bored easily.  I would rather be out doing something. So I decided I need to try and be home more with Bear at night.  Besides, we are suppose to be saving money and I don't need to be getting coffee every other night!
~try not to eat so much dessert! This is probably going to be the most difficult one! I have to have a little piece of dark chocolate every day. I know, you say, "every day??" Yes, I have to! My head hurts if I don't! And I have read a lot about how dark chocolate is good for you. My problem is that one little piece is not where I stop! I was reading in a magazine the other day that was talking about how to control yourself at a party or a social gathering where there was a lot of yummy food. One of the things it said was to just skip dessert entirely because there is no nutritional value in it anyway. I thought, WHATEVER!!! I live for dessert! If I had to choose, I would have dessert over the main dish.  So anyway, that is why I run! :) My friend actually gave me a headband to cover my ears that says, "Will Run for Chocolate". That is so true of me!

So what is your take on resolutions? Do they help you? Do you have any tips for how I can keep mine?