Thursday, December 30, 2010

A most wonderful time

I took a long break for the holidays (obviously).  It was a hectic month but a great one as well.  Work was ever-stressful, but I found peace and rest with my family and friends.  I ate a lot, laughed a lot, reflected on Christ's love a lot.

I can't believe another year is drawing to a close.  As I head into the new year, I'm praying for renewed passion, renewed joy, renewed vision for His plan for my life.  I'm asking for more of Him and less of me. 

I love that a new year is dawning.  With it, so much hope and so much expectation comes.  I am excited about things that will be new, things that will change and the things that are steadfast.

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Laudable Links: 3rd Edition

Can you believe it's December? So, in honor of "the most wonderful time of year," this Laudable Links is Christmas-themed!


(photo from How to Be Domestic)

(photo from The Pleated Poppy)

FLUFFINATION (this phrase was coined by my friend Wanda and means "the art of fluffing the home")

(photo from PeasandCarrotsToo on


  • Advent season is upon us.  I posted earlier in the week the link to the outline that I follow. Here it is again.
  • Another book that is an excellent resource is by Nancy Guthrie. Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus can be found HERE.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Christmas is officially here! I love this time of year.  It's full of fun and meaningful traditions and the opportunity to love on your family and friends a little more!  Over the past few weeks I've been taking part in some "traditions." Some are silly and fun while some are serious reminders about the true meaning of this time of year, but all remind me how blessed I am.

An annual shopping trip with friends around Thanksgiving...12 years running.

Celebrating Thanksgiving and taking family pictures.

Decorating the tree while watching a favorite Christmas movie.

Reading Scripture for Advent. I follow this outline.

Drinking Peppermint Mocha creamer in my coffee out of my Christmas mugs.

What traditions do you and your family have around this time of year?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HELP! Has anyone seen this table?

Hey, all! I need help finding a match for this end table. I got this one at TJ Maxx and cannot find for the life of me where it's originally from. Have you seen it?

(Please forgive the doggies toys...they are everywhere!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time (for a) Change

Since daylights savings time ended and time changed a little while ago, I have been thinking about how quickly life changes with its ebbs and flows.  More than a year ago, I moved into this apartment and, for the first time, had a place of my own.  In the past year, many things have happened.  Some friends got married, some friends had babies, I adopted a dog, I became a member of a great church, there have been changes within my workplace, etc.

But, honestly,  I feel as if I have not changed and not grown like I really want to, especially in my relationship with the Lord.  I want my relationship with him to be ever-growing and ever-changing.  I want to learn new things from Him everyday, and I want to find new-to-me gems from His Word.  But, this year, I have felt stagnated.  Like I'm treading the same water over and over again.  Learning the same lessons again because I apparently didn't learn them well enough the first couple of times.  When something happens again and again after I think I've let it go, I begin to wonder what God is doing. Is this a test or is it something new that He is orchestrating in my life? I want answers.

It's not that I need change in my personal or professional life (though I wouldn't argue if that were to happen), but I need movement in my walk with Him.  I need a revelation of Jesus.  A revival.  A renewal. A deeper understanding of my identity in Christ.

While I was in college, the mother of one of my "favorite families" told me about a prayer guide book that she had used for several years.  I immediately went online and ordered it.  I have used it for several years.  It's called For the Family by Sylvia Gunter.  You can find it here.

In the little booklet are amazing prayer starters and resources, but there is also a "Renewing Your Mind in the Word" section.  With this tool, you read five Psalms and one chapter of Proverbs each day.  It's so cool because daily you are provided with promises from Him, praises to Him, wisdom from Him and a sound reminder of Who He is and who you are in Him.  What a blessing God's Word is!

So as I am trying to weed through what God is doing in my life right now and what He is trying to teach me, these Psalms and Proverbs continuously remind me that His plan is higher and His Word is continually alive and active, speaking to all circumstances and life situations.  In Him are all the answers.  He is the answer.

Dig in.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Laudable Links: 2nd Edition


  • This recipe for No Bake Cookies was a standard of ours in India because it's egg-free (for our vegetarian friends and neighbors).  I think Skip to My Lou has a good version of the recipe.
(photo from Skip to My Lou)


(photo from Tatertots and Jello)

  • This post over at Tip Junkie has dozens of tutorials and patterns for tote bags. I love a good tote bag!

FLUFFINATION (this phrase was coined by my friend Wanda and means "the art of fluffing the home")

(photo from


Friday, October 29, 2010

Glorious Staycation

Today, I took the day off.  Just to be.  To rest.  To spend time in the Word.  To get organized.  To love on my pup.  He enjoyed napping in the sun.

I have been on the road so much this year that I can't even tell you how many miles I've put on my car.  Every weekend it's something.  A friend's wedding, an engagement party, a family gathering, a visit to a friend that I haven't seen in a while.  All wonderful, blessed events. 

But, I'm tired.  Exhausted, really.  My car is falling a part.  It needs to rest, too. :-)

So, today I stayed home, and I have had the most excellent day so far.  I have been organizing my guest bedroom closet that houses all my crafty things, and I even pulled out some things so that I could be creative today. 

This morning, I was praying and just asking God for answers about some decisions I need to make in the near future.  And, over and over, He spoke to my heart and said, "Seek!" I read Jeremiah 29:13 several times and let it sink into my heart.  "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart."

I wanted to create myself a little reminder of what God spoke to me this morning to take and put on my desk at work.  I got out the paints and canvases and paint pens.  Here is the final product: 

The rest of the day promises more productivity, rest, chips and salsa for dinner and the What Not to Wear season premier.  I love the occasional day off!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A heart for orphans

Since I can remember, I have known that I will one day be an adoptive parent.  I can remember the very day when I knew without a doubt that the Lord had called me to adopt and be a part of orphan care as my life's work.  It was the summer after my freshman year of college .  I was driving to my 8 a.m. statistics class (what was I thinking?), and I was listening to Atlanta's 104.7 The Fish.  The morning show had Steven Curtis Chapman as a guest, and he was telling his family's adoption story. 

I was so enthralled by his family's story, and I could sense his heart for orphans just by the tone in his voice.  The love in his voice.  He talked about the organization that he and his family had started called Shaohannah's Hope (now Show Hope) and their mission to provide adoption grants for families waiting to bring their children home.  I ended up sitting in my car through the first hour of my class, knowing that I, too, felt that same sense of calling to care for orphans, to adopt and to share Christ's love with orphans.

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer for Show Hope at the "A Night with the Chapmans" concert in Thomasville, Georgia.  It was a joy.   Their heart, their honesty, their passion for the Lord and for adoption was made so clear.  I met a few families who had received adoption grants from Show Hope as well.  It was an excellent experience. 

During the concert, Steven Curtis and his wife Mary Beth shared their story of adopting their three Chinese daughters and the loss they experienced two years ago when the youngest was tragically killed in an accident. God is doing amazing things through this family.

Mary Beth talked about the day they adopted their first Chinese daughter, Shaohannah.  Her words resonated so clearly to me and should be the reason that we, as believers, should care about the world's orphans.  She said that, as she was standing in a hallway, about to received Shaohannah into her arms, the Lord clearly spoke to her and confirmed that she and her family were called to adopt.

She thought to herself, "This little girl had no name, no inheritance, no future.  And, now she is our daughter, and our family is giving her that."  Then she heard God say to her, "Don't you see, Mary Beth? That was you.  You were an orphan.  You had no name, and I gave you a name.  You had no inheritance, and I gave you an inheritance.  No future, no hope, no love.  Now you are a daughter of the King!"

Such a sweet family, whose story is amazingly beautiful, tragic and full of grace.  You can read more about their story in Mary Beth's new book Choosing to SEE.

There are more than 140 million orphans in the world.  I encourage you to visit, read Mary Beth's book, find out more about how you can make an impact on the world's orphans.  Consider adoption.  Become a partner in orphan care.  Align your heart with God's.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after their distress..." (James 1:27a).

Friday, October 22, 2010

A week & a half of Mondays...

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  I feel like everyday has been Monday for about a week and a half.  I have some posts in the works.  So, I promise to return this weekend!

Much love and HAPPY FRIDAY!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The story of the 26-year "manfast"

Today, October 13th, I am another year older. The big 2-6.  As my brother put it, "in your 2nd quarter of a century."  Thanks, Blake.

As a little girl, I thought that, by now, I would be married or at least about to be.  I often thought, "26 would be a good age to get married," and it still could happen.  But, alas, I have been unintentionally fasting from men for 26 years.

Yes.  I am that girl.  The one who has never had a boyfriend or really even been on a date.  I am not a freak.  Nor am I weird or socially awkward.  I'm pretty darn cute, too.  But, no guy has ever asked.  Therefore, I've never dated.  Not that I haven't wanted to.  Oh, there have been times throughout my life that there was this "one guy" who fascinated me.  I would hope upon hope that he could be interested in me.  But, apparently not.  Not that I ever knew, at least.

I thought for years that there must be something wrong with me.  That it wasn't fair.  That I was missing out in some way.  That God didn't care.  But, now that I am older, I know myself a little better.  I know now that He was protecting me all along.  He knew my heart better than I did.  If one of those guys along the years had actually reciprocated interest, I would not have been able to experience some of the amazing things that God has allowed me to experience.  Like going to The University of Georgia, perhaps.  Like living in South Asia for two years.

You see.  I am that girl.  The hopeless romantic.  If just one of those guys had expressed interest, I would have been head over heels, done for and so attached to a man that I probably would have neglected my relationship with my Savior.  I, honestly, would have chosen that man over the Lord. And, God knew that.  And I am so thankful for that.  I look back and see that my life has been filled with love and joy, acceptance and encouragement, fun and adventure.  It has been fulfilling and satifying.

No man will ever be able to provide that security and fulfillment.

Yes.  I long to be married.  And, one day I am sure I will be.  But, for now, the Lord is molding and shaping me into the kind of woman He wants me to be. The kind of woman that will prioritize her relationships, putting Jesus first.  

I pray often for my future husband.  There are really only three qualities that I ask God to give me in my future husband.  1.  He must never love me more than he loves Jesus.  2.  He must know God's Word in order to lead, teach and correct me and our future family from it.  3.  He must have a desire to adopt.  I believe that Lord will honor these prayers.

There are times I struggle with patience, with contentment and, honestly, with jealousy.  I, in my flesh, am ready for that season of my life to begin.  But, I know He has His best for me.  And until then I'll " joyful always; pray continually give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will {for me} in Christ Jesus (1Thessalonians 5:18-18, emphasis mine)."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Great Grapevine

Grapevine wreaths are so versatile, and craft stores like Michael's sell them for fairly cheap.  Late in the summer, I bought two with plans to make a fall wreath and, perhaps, a Halloween wreath.

My fall wreath turned out great! I got the metal insert that says "Autumn Blessings" from Hobby Lobby as well as the garland of acorns and pine cones that I wrapped around the wreath.  I found the garland of fall leaves at the dollar store.  I love it!

For Halloween, I really like what I came up with.  I just thought of the idea to do a wreath this way randomly one day, and I am so proud of it.  I took a black feather boa that has silver "tinsel" in it and wrapped it around the grapevine.  I secured it with black pipe cleaners.  Then in the dollar section at Target, I found the glittery spiders and the glittery wooden word "Boo!"  I used fishing wire to secure them into the wreath, allowing one to dangle.  The final touch (that I hadn't done yet when I took this photo) was to put store-bought spider web on across the wreath.  It turned out super cute!

What do your fall and Halloween wreaths look like? Post your link in the comments section, if you like!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Laudable Links- 1st Edition

I am going to try to do a "Laudable Links" post at least once a month.  We'll see how that goes!  This month is fall-themed!


  • has a great slow-cooker recipe for Three-Bean Turkey Chili that I made this week. It was super tasty! I put it in the crockpot during my lunch break, and it was ready to eat when I got home from work.
(photo from Design Mom)


  • I love this idea for fall tea towels from Uncommon.  It would be an easy applique project.  So cute!
(photo from Uncommon)

FLUFFINATION (this phrase was coined by my friend Wanda and means "the art of fluffing the home")

(photo by Domestic Princess in Training)


That's all! I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Laudable Links.  Have a great fall evening!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Foodie Friday: Great Northern Bean Soup

I'm linking up with Eliz's Foodie Friday today!

Here in South Alabama, we've had our first tease of truly fall weather.  It's cold enough in the morning to wear a light sweater or jacket when I walk the pup, and it's chilly at night, too.  I leave the door to my screened porch open while I am at home because it's just so fabulous and beautiful.  The weekend promises more of this, in my opinion, perfect weather! I love it.

With all this fall weather comes the desire to make soup, of course.  And, boy have a made a good bit of soup over the last few days.  The recipe I want to share today is from my dear friend Jamie. It's easy, can be made in the crockpot if you want to and is perfect for the cooler weather.  It sticks to your bones, if you know what I mean.

(Sorry, I don't have pictures.)

Great Northern Bean Soup

1 lb ground beef or turkey

1/4 c dried minced onion

1 tsp paprika

3 cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1 can Rotel tomatoes

Brown ground meat.  Combine all the other ingredients. Allow to heat through and simmer.  Eat and enjoy!

You can make ahead in the crockpot by putting the setting on low and allowing to cook throughout the day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The man in my life

Besides the two handsome men in this picture,

there's only one man in my life. 

He's unbelievably handsome.

He waits by the window for my return.

He knows which team to root for.

He doesn't hog the whole couch.

He has a personality to die for.

And he makes my day every day.

Meet Bailey, the 4-year-old Yorkie that I adopted in April.  
Ain't he just as cute as can be?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Your hand upholds the world

I have been longing to put some pictures and such up on my walls for some time now, but I haven't had the time.  But, yesterday, I had a glorious day at home and used the opportunity to do a little "fluffination" (also known as home decorating).

One of the items that I have wanted to hang is a drawing that my sweet friend and college roommate Daira drew for me.  It's God's hands holding the world.  I found the perfect spot for it between two sconces in my dining area.

This morning at Watermark Church in Ashford, Alabama, we sang a beautiful song called "Stronghold" written by my beautiful and talented friend Cassidy Robinson.  It made me smile that we sang this song about His hands upholding the world the day after I put this picture on my wall.  Do you think He's trying to tell me something?

Here is the You Tube video of Cassidy performing her song.  The lyrics are so powerful, reminding us that He is our refuge and stronghold.  And He holds everything in His hands.

You can find Cassidy's album entitled New Day on iTunes.

The Aroma

My blog has been named "The Aroma" from its inception in 2007 when I began chronicling my time as a Journeyman in South Asia.  When I came home, I felt as if I was starting over, and I didn't really have a focus for the blog anymore.  I posted occasionally about the transition back to life in America, but I couldn't seem to find my niche in the blogging world.  I knew I wanted to continue to be a blogger, but I had to re-focus my blog to fit my life now.

There are daily joys and challenges to being a twenty-something single woman, and I am continually praying for ways to be that aroma of Christ in this season of life-  now that I am not overseas.  What a better way to chronicle this than by blogging it? And, hopefully, in the process, I can be an encouragement to other single ladies.

I am single.  I want to one day be married.  I believe that I will be.  In His time.  But, I am not going to wait for that season of my life to arrive to do the things I enjoy: cook for others, be "domestic," offer hospitality, make my home beautiful and inviting,  "mother" children, etc.  And, gosh darn it! I'm going to use my pretty dishes that, for some reason, I thought I should store away until I got married!

John Piper says it nicely in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:

"The point is this: singleness has been a noble and courageous path for ministry ever since Jesus and the Apostle Paul chose it 'because of the kingdom of heaven.' It is no sign of weakness to want to be married. It is normal, and it is good. The courage comes when you sense God calling you to singleness (for this chapter of your life) and you accept the call with zeal and creative planning for His glory. "

So, welcome to the new and re-focused The Aroma blog! Join me as I try to joyfully live out the single life as His aroma "with zeal and creative planning."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010


After a very long and unintentional blogging break, it's my intention to begin again.  But, with more focus.  Things will be a little different than how I used to simply chronicle my daily life and adventures.  Expect changes soon.  Love you, bloggy friends!

Monday, January 4, 2010