Friday, April 8, 2011


"[We are] mutually encouraged by each other’s faith." - Romans 1:12

I am a Christian. I have been for as long as I can remember. I have re-affirmed my full faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior many times throughout my 23 years, and though I have had some challenges and times where I did not understand His plan, I have never turned my back on God or doubted his love and perfect plan for me. I have never had a time when I doubted my faith or my purpose in life. In this, I feel incredibly blessed. I grew up going to church, went to a private Christian school where I studied the Bible, memorized scripture, and learned what it means to live a Christian lifestyle. My parents raised my sister and I with good morals and as strong believers. My faith has been woven throughout my life, and it's never truly been put to the test.

Christianity inolves belief, but it is a way of life, and therefore action-oriented. My very wise religion professor pointed out that many of the Ten Commandments are concerned not with belief, but action. This has stuck with me for several years now and made me really think about what it means to be a Christian.

Recently, I've been questioned about my faith and my fire for the spirit, and it's made me realize something.

I have become too complacent with my faith and my spiritual life.

I don't go to church every week. While I do not believe that this makes you a "good" or "bad" Christian, it has been brought to my attention that this is something I should want to do, and I do. I think my difficulty has been in finding my place in a church right's not something I want to experience alone. I think I need to step out of my comfort zone and try going every week, get involved with a church. Although I count on my boyfriend and many great Christian friends to keep me accountable and show me the way God is working in their lives, I need to be involved in the faith community that a church provides.

In addition to going to church and finding my place within it, I want to read the Bible more. I turn to it when I need something or am not sure what I am looking for, but I want to try to devote some time daily to it, or at least much more often. There are many things I can learn from it, and it will remind me of what's important and what I am supposed to be doing here on Earth. I want to continue to remember the fruits of the spirit, and make them part of my daily interactions with others. I want to show those around me what it means to lead a Christian lifestyle, and while I won't impose my beliefs on them, I want them to feel my passion and know that His way is the only way. I try to be open-minded, but I am going to do my best to not judge others. We are all sinners, everyone is faced with different struggles, and it is not my place to judge where someone else is in their walk with God. Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

I pray almost daily now, but I want to increase my prayer time and really want to be mindful that everything I do is for the Lord and reflects His love. Without Him, we are nothing.

God has a different plan for every one of his children, and I have no doubts about His great plans for me. However, I have decided that I can make these changes in my life to grow in my faith. I hope that my friends and loved ones can keep me accountable and help me with this. One of the most basic things God asks of us is to love one another, and I know that through this love, I can share the gospel with others and also continue to grow in my faith.

"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." -1 Corinthians 10:31

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Julie + Alex's Summer 2011 Bucket List

In just over a month when he finishes finals (and is halfway done with his master's degree-- crazy!), Alex will come home to Texas for three whole months for the summer. Needless to say, I am ecstatic. I miss him a lot. It's hard to just see each other for long weekends every six weeks, so having three whole months together is going to be amazing.

Since we have the whole summer, we have created a "bucket list" of things we want to do together. Typically a bucket list is a list of things you want to do in life before you "kick the bucket." This is just a list of things we want to do this summer, so if you have a better name, I'm open to suggestions!

Check out what we have so far, and let us know if you have ideas! I will blog and share our adventures. : )

Julie + Alex's Summer 2011 Bucket List
1. Watch I Love You, Man (our tradition)
2. Have a pool party
3. Lay out by the pool and relax
4. Eat Thai food
5. Eat sushi
6. Cook a new dinner recipe together
7. Make a new dessert
8. Go to the zoo
9. Go hiking
10. Take a roadtrip
11. Go to the Arboretum
12. Go shopping and each buy something fun
13. Go dancing
14. Go running (Alex will make me a better runner!)
15. Watch fireworks
16. Go out in Uptown Dallas
17. Go out in Sundance Square in Fort Worth
18. Go to Cars and Coffee
19. Test drive a car.
20. Go rock climbing.
21. Volunteer for a service project.
22. Have a picnic.
23. Buy a lottery ticket. (Neither of us ever have!)
24. Go sky diving. (This one is a BIG maybe.)