sweet baby girl.

what a day it's been! first thing's first - niece number four has arrived! little miss ari jade made an early debut this morning at 9:16, weighing in at 5 pounds 12 ounces and measuring 19 inches. after waiting several long hours for the nicu to clear her respitory monitoring, the entire phillips clan gathered to bathe her, hold her, and ooh and ahh at her every breath. what a glorious, glorious day. :)
i completed my sophomore year of college yesterday and set out for my sister's home just in time to hear her say, "i think i'm in labor!" that's right, aunt peanut was the lucky one to chauffer her big sister to mercy. :D tiny job, yes i know, but it was also the one instant i sped and felt pleased with myself for it. be jealous.
after a grueling and extremely brave labor lasting well over 16 hours, my sweet sister gave us another gorgeous baby girl. i'm so so proud of them both. :)


wake up in a new hometown.

my dear friend lindsey is back from her mission trip to india! a little jet-lagged and joyful, lindz shared with me some of her experiences last night over the phone. two weeks of service has melted her heart. she walked through the taj mahal, prayed with people in slums, held babies painted to look like hindu gods, and did any task asked of her to aid the missionaries already there. one of the things she said that has stuck by me most since our conversation was, "i love oklahoma. before, i never thought i could live anywhere else. now, i know i can. God's all i need." how's that for authentic faith?


pricetags & provision.

twelve days into may and i haven't the least entertaining things to write! the approach of finals next week, beginning my summer job, and the birth of my fourth niece, ari jade, in a month or so are leaving me in a big ole state of anticipation - so much that has to get done in the here and now, and even more events are waiting around the corner. very exciting, to say the least. :)
i've been thinking a great deal about stewardship lately, with a discussion on economics in my biblical ethics course, writing a research paper for the class about megachurches, and thinking long and hard about the conscientiousness i want to embody in finances throughout my lifetime. during one such discussion in class, my professor announced several things which captured my attention. first, he quoted barbara brown taylor, an author: "the opposite of being rich isn't being poor. the opposite of being rich is being free." oh dannnng. a few minutes later, this came from his own repertoire: "stewardship carries the pricetag of viewing everything as a gift."
i think i pulled my toes back under my desk a bit after that one. :)
what am i doing to show Him that i am grateful for His provision and that i can be entrusted with more of it in the future? if you know me well at all, you know my coupon organizer and check register are two items i keep a close eye on. i'm working hard toward reaching my first $1,000 in savings by the end of the month, and i have always been surrounded by incredible examples of frugality and responsibility in my family. but isn't there more that i can do than just create a comfortable life for myself?

our textbook for biblical ethics, kingdom ethics, explores matthew 6:19 and states that the "treasure up treasures" imagery connotes hoarding of pride, greed, and stinginess. going on to verse 21, it becomes clear that, when we invest our possessions generously in God's reign of justice and mercy, we'll find that our hearts are invested there as well. and that, my friends, is where i want my heart to be found on the very last day.
"see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." // malachi 3:10