Summer 'Bucket' List

So my friends and I have definitely been bitten by the 'sunny, warm, adventures' bug. We have already made a list, a summer 'bucket' list, and it is growing tremendously by the day... Some of the activities include
ice cream eating, movie watching, chick-fil-a eating

park enjoying, Greenway walking, kid watching

BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) cooking, fire burning,

trail hiking, lake/pool swimming, concert attending, wilderness camping, bike riding, bible studying, God serving, chick flick watching, book reading, wedding attending, flip flop wearing, watermelon eating, and that's just a few off the top of my head...

Sheesh, we better get busy!!


Christ's Passion

I went to Shenandoah Baptist Church's Passion Play Saturday night with our teens from church. I have been in it for years and have seen it probably just as much. Yet this year it challenged me more than probably all other years combined. Once I stopped quoting and singing every word in my head, I really started to dwell on what happened that last week of Christ's life.

Jesus' teachings
1000's of people were there, some curious, some soaking it all in, some questioning, some furious. Most responding in some way to what He was saying. I think I would have been quiet and staring at Jesus; amazed at the fact THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE is HERE, close to me!! teaching ME. I would hope I would be soaking it up... We have a close relationship with Christ to where I can sit at His feet anytime I want to. Have I become desensitized by Him?? Do I truly care and LONG for what I KNOW to be true about Him??

The song 'One Life at a Time'
As I was listening, I was again staring at 'Jesus'. Jesus touches the eyes of this person, He holds the dead boy. He looks at the untouched. Yes, He also fed thousands, but He cares for individuals. He truly touched one life, and then another. Jesus cares for me as Kari, not me as just another christian. THAT amazes me!!

Jesus praying at Gethsemane
He seemed so human. He wanted to save us a different way, but He knew God's will was best even though it was difficult. What was He praying that night? He knew what was going to happen 15 minutes from then. Yes, He showed the perfect example by going to His knees instead of freaking out. He knew God was the best and only way to turn.

Judas seeking His friend Jesus out and betrays Him
This time I found myself staring at Judas as he walked toward Jesus. His nervousness over the crowds of people. He was probably thinking of all the times he had with Jesus. We don't know why Judas did it other that it seemed like selfish greed. We do know that Jesus accepted it, and STILL LOVED JUDAS. He still died on that cross for him!

Jesus beaten
He took it. He watched the scorners, He saw the people that He is dying to save spitting and furious and calling Him names. He took it all in, and still went through with it. What was He thinking? His heart was broken I'm sure of it. How could it not have? He was betrayed. People that loved and following Him for years, betrayed Him. I HATE that we treat Him like that often. :(

Jesus in heaven
HE conquered the grave. My God is a living God. Jesus went through so much torture, so that sinful me could live with Him forever. Crazy.

I know there was more I was thinking about. Those were the highlights. Jesus is so good!! :) Thanks to all the people who were in the play. You truly to make a difference!


I love my job!

Introducing Mason and Kylee.... I get to spend a lot of time with these two kiddos every week and I love it!! :) They are wonderful kids and I can't believe that I get paid to spend time with these adorable little ones!

Christ Alone

If You wake me each morning with the sound of Your loving voice, I'll go to sleep each night trusting in You. Point out the road I must travel; I'm all ears, all eyes before You.
Teach me how to live to please You, because You're my God. Lead me by Your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.
Psalm 143:8 & 10 (The Message)

I was so encouraged when I read this verse today. First of all, Drew and I were talking last night about how much I long to wake up early to spend time with God. We can try to schedule it into our day but that becomes a routine, a routine that can get interrupted by visitors (Drew) or kids (me). There's something about acknowledging first thing in the morning that this day is God's and I am here to worship Him throughout it! When I wake up hearing God's voice, I can spend the whole day in His presence and then lie down at night knowing and feeling that He is there for me!

These verses also challenged me that my life is designed to please Christ alone. He will lead ME exactly where he wants me; and that place is NOT the same as other people in my life. Christ has an amazing and specific plan for me. I just need daily stay at His heels and walk in step with Him. This world will fall away but Christ will never leave me!


Congratulations Nate!

I have been friends with the Hayes' since I was in Kindergarten. They are dear friends of mine and I was so glad to be able to see them this past weekend. Why did I see them? Because Nate, who is my age, graduated from boot camp! He is now a marine and we are so proud of him!! The trip was a ton of fun. I mean, can it be anything less than fun when you ride to Baltimore with Warren and Donita King, my mom, and Janice Jackson... Oh yeah, we spent the whole time talking/laughing. It was so good seeing Willie, Tana, Nate and Zach and going to church with them on Sunday. (We definitely missed Bethany!) Please be in prayer for them as there are lots of exciting things coming up over the next few months!
Okay so this next picture needs an explaination. When the Hayes' moved to Baltimore they started a growth chart in their wall in the basement. Katie and I were often measured with them because we visited so often. This weekend we decided to do it one last time since they are moving to Houston soon. Ahh... what good memories. Nate and I pretty much stayed the same since '02 but Zach grew several inches! :)
Please keep our troops in your prayers!

Head Over Heels

So any of you that know me at all know that I take my job of being an aunt very seriously. For lack of a better word, I'm obsessed. I am head over heels in love with Audrey Faith Naff. I know I'm biased, but she's pretty much the cutest thing to ever walk the planet. :)

This past week/weekend Katie and Audrey stayed with us for several days! Jeremy came too but I had already gone to Baltimore so I never got to see him. :(

Audrey quite enjoyed:
-using my tooth brush
-smearing peanut butter crackers into my couch
-watching Elmo constantly
-sitting with our dog Hiro in his cage
-standing in the refrigerator
-spinning around and around with Drew
-watched the lights and fans with fascination (which she then opened her mouth as wide as possible in amazement...)
-being tickled

She was quite the busy bee! And Drew and I loved every minute of it! :)


How Many Kings?

So, I have had a crazy busy weekend/week and our Internet at home isn't working right now. I want to share pictures of my trip to Baltimore to see Nate Hayes (he just got home from boot camp) and pictures of my adorable niece as she invaded my house this past week. Until then, I want to share with you lyrics to a song I heard this weekend. It's called "How Many Kings" By Downhere. YouTube it... It's pretty amazing. And so true.

Follow a star to a place unexpected
Would you believe after all we've projected
A child in a manger

Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliness hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl
Just a child,
Is this who we've waited for?

Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts?
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have whether costly or meek
Because we believe
Gold for His honor and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross He'll suffer
Do you believe, is this who we've waited for?
It's who we've waited for.

How many kings do you know like that? I only know one. His name is Jesus. :)


"Contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God's hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good."

That pretty much sums up my life right now. Being content exactly where God wants me. I have always been someone who thought I needed lots of friends. I made sure I was always on the go, making plans with different people, longing to be the one that people confided in, and never wanting to be alone. The past year or so I've realized that isn't realistic. Whenever I was let down by someone I would be devastated because I was so invested. I was letting my emotions determine who I was. I was either very happy if I socialized a lot, or sad when earthly things disappointed me.

"Be still and know that I am God"

So this year God has been whispering my name, showing me that I can only hear Him when I slow down and focus on Him. My life doesn't have to be extravagant. I don't have to constantly be on the go or always be around people in order to be happy in life. My joy should come from being on the heels of Jesus. It should be from filling my calendar with moments with Him. God has been showing me that simply being where God wants me to be is enough. Simply Hearing His voice and staying on His heels is enough, simply taking one step into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with my Savior is enough. THAT's what I want my focus and energy to be towards.


And so it begins...

I'm doing it. I'm entering the blog world! I think I have 8 journals on my shelf dating back since I was 14. They vary on topics from boys, to God to school, friends, adventures, etc... I love reading other people's journals as well. I love getting a glimpse into how someone else is living, their laughs, struggles, what God is teaching them... I love it all!! That's one way we learn, from the experiences of others, right? Well, I am hoping that I can share what God teaches me. Whether it is about spiritual matters or just life in general, I want to proclaim what He has done for me! I'm not making any promises about grammar, spelling or deep, theological thoughts. But this is me, (with the experiences and thoughts from my man as well ;) ), The Drew Kari Blog.