Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Have you heard Steven Curtis Chapman's song "The Glorious Unfolding"? I know it was released several months ago, but I heard it recently and it really spoke to my heart. So much so that I wanted to share it with you today. Even if you have heard it, maybe you should take a few minutes to listen to it again. Sometimes God reveals something new to us in a song we have heard many times, so I encourage you to give it a listen if you have a chance.

"Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart

There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold...
And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning..."

Friday, July 18, 2014

7 quick takes {no. 22} happiness edition

Happy Friday, friends! Today I am a very happy gal not only because it's Friday, but because on Sunday I will finally be back with Michael after several weeks apart. Woohoo!! I'm tellin' you what: long-distance is for the birds. So looking forward to being back with my man. So much happiness.

Speaking of my man, last week I got this text from him:
Love that guy so much. What a keeper.

Do you know what else makes me happy? The power of prayer. I was brought to tears by this instagram post from Mary earlier this week. I have been following Dwija & Beth's blogs for a while now, and to read this story of how their sweet babies in heaven have interceded as prayer warriors for people...it just makes my heart sing. I know our Thomas Gianna is up there praying for us, too. Thank you, Jesus.

I started praying this novena to St. Anne on Wednesday in preparation for the feast of Saints Anne and Joachim next Saturday, July 26. You can too, if you'd like! St. Anne, pray for us.

I was so excited today when I realized Bonnie of A Knotted Life (whom I adore) is going to be speaking near Houston on Sunday, July 27. Michael & I are going to try to attend - will you be there, too?

Are you following Blessed is She on instagram yet? As of right now, I design the instagrams on Saturdays. Here is one from last weekend:
Check our account tomorrow to see my instagram designs this week - but more importantly, to be enriched by God's word! So very good for the soul.

Well, I am fresh out of takes, which is probably for the best, as I need to get packing. Can't wait to be in Houston with my husband! Then only two weeks 'til we head to Michigan for my brother-in-law's wedding. {Would you keep Matthew & Jean in your prayers as they prepare for marriage?} Lots of joy in this season, for which I am very grateful.

Linking up these takes with many more! Thanks for hosting this weekly blog party, Jen!

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Answer Me This

Happy Sunday! 

I'm linking up with Kendra for this week's edition of Answer Me This. (side note: Kendra is a fellow writer for Blessed is She, which I shared about on Monday!)

1. How did you get your name?
You know me as Elise, as does pretty much everyone else I know. But! My full name is Elisebeth, which was my mother's confirmation name.

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?
At the moment, I do not really. I would love to get back into the habit of setting aside a special time; I think it helps to have a routine. So often my day-to-day schedule is not routine, so I struggle to keep the prayer routine going. I do try to pray the Morning Prayer from my Magnificat each morning or pray with the daily devotional in Jesus Calling
{an interesting thought on prayer from Mark Hart on twitter}
3. Did your mom work or stay home (or both)?
A little of both, I'd say. For the majority of my life my mom worked from home. She is a self-employed cross stitch designer, so she was able to work from home and spend special time with my sister and me. It probably had pros and cons for her, but I am thankful for the time we had to share!

While we are on the topic, please allow me to share that my mom creates beautiful art.
One example:
Proud daughter here!

4. Do you vote?
Yes - mainly for the presidential elections. I think I should vote more regularly, but it seems I never know enough about the candidates (yes, I know, I would just need to do my research!). I would not want to vote uninformed.

5. What's your favorite drink?
My favorite drink totally depends on my mood. On a daily basis I like water with lemon. I am drinking some right now, in fact. In the summertime it's a treat to have a fresh lemonade or an Arnold Palmer. In the winter I like to drink hot herbal teas. Regardless of the season, I like coffee. 

If we're talking drink-drinks, then I like mojitos and margaritas the best. Or wine. :)
{This delicious and strong margarita, courtesy of my grandpa.}

6. How are your photography skills?
My photography skills are decent, I think, but I don't have serious training. I do remember my dad teaching my sister and me how to take a good picture when we were kids. We each had these special kid cameras that made it easier for us to look through the lens. The photos we took are pretty funny. My sister and I often posed as each other's photography material. Sometimes our stuffed animals or American Girl dolls would stand in as models, too.

I think you can learn some (basic) things about photography from looking at great photography. Michael and I purchased a new camera in the fall, so I've enjoyed reading online articles and watching YouTube tutorials to learn how to take a better picture since then. Photography is fun!

Thanks for hosting, Kendra! Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

grandpa's 80th birthday surprise
{wordless wednesday}

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Blessed is She

Good morning, and happy Monday!

Today I am very excited to let you know about a new ministry: Blessed is She. Beginning September first, I am delighted to be joining some wonderful women to bring you daily devotions.
Not only am I looking forward to writing for this ministry, but I am excited to join this growing network of women - which hopefully will include you! Blessed is She invites us to spend time with the word of God on a daily basis and to grow in faith and relationship with Jesus. What could be better?

Please click over to visit us! Even though the devotionals don't start until September, you can read the daily readings and explore the website now. You can also follow Blessed is She on facebooktwitter,
instagram, and pinterest. Invite your friends to join us, too!

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."
{Luke 1:45}

Friday, July 4, 2014

7 Quick Takes {no. 21} catching up edition!

Helloooooo, my dear friends! It's been a while! So sorry to have gone quiet for a bit here. It wasn't my intention to be away, but sometimes life has a way of carrying me off to other things. Does that ever happen to you? Happy to be back today for a catch up session - 7 quick takes style!

I've been spending the majority of my time working on a series of three shows here in NYC that are taking place within the course of a month. The job has been rewarding and fun, but also time-consuming (which is okay while Michael is away in Houston, except for I miss this space!).
{what a day of tech at the theater looks like}

Last weekend I was able to get away to Wrightsville Beach for a family vacation. The whole family on my mom's side was there, which was quite a feat. There were eighteen of us hailing from Ohio, New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas and Thailand. We had an absolutely wonderful time. It was such a blessing for all of us to be together! I especially loved seeing my immediate family, including my sister who I don't get to see very often since we live on opposite ends of the country.
{the beautiful house where we stayed}

It was my late Grandmother's request that our family all go to Wrightsville Beach together. We had a memorial service to celebrate her life at the beach one morning. A memory to cherish, to be certain.

We also threw a surprise party to celebrate my Grandpa's 80th birthday.
{sorry for the blurry selfie, but wanted to share this picture of grandpa & me!}
{all set up for the surprise!}
More pictures from the party in an upcoming post...

Another blessing of the family beach trip: after three & a half weeks apart, I got to see Michael!
Our time together was short, but very sweet. At this point, only sixteen days to being reunited! But who's counting? :)

I have a prayer request.

Have I introduced you to my mother-in-law {Margie} and my sister-in-law {Malissa}? Here's a picture of the three of us from February 2009:
My sweet sister Malissa was adopted from China. Her "gotcha day" (the day when my in-laws finally got to meet their baby girl) and my birthday are the same day, which I love.
{Malissa & me, May 2014}
Malissa and Margie are currently on a trip to China. It is Malissa's first visit back to her home country. This week they will be visiting Malissa's orphanage and meeting some people who spent the first year of her life with her. Would you say a prayer for them as they make this special and emotional journey? Thanks so much in advance. Y'all are the best.

Well, friends, that's what I've been up to. Hopefully I'll be writing more regularly in the days to come!

Wishing you & yours a very blessed and...
Linking up at Conversion Diary! Click on over for more quick takes...

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