Monday, January 07, 2013

My birthday, surprises, & a Katygirl giveaway

 
Saturday was my birthday. I'm sorta big on birthdays, and that's totally to my parents' credit. I grew up in a family that loved celebrating one another. I have many, many fun memories from the parties we had together. I only remember one birthday party that I didn't love. I think it was my 10th or 11th. My parents packed my friends and I all up in a car and went for a drive; the destination was a surprise. Well, I don't do well with surprises, and now that I think about it, this incident may be why.

The anticipation killed me, not knowing where I was being taken. I grew from slightly anxious, to completely terrified that they were going to bring me somewhere where I would be embarrassed. I'm not sure why I thought this. It wasn't rational. That's just what I remember: I was so scared it would be something embarrassing. My parents were sorta over the top, so if they'd said, "Hey for your birthday, you're going to go up on stage in front of 5000 people and meet Madonna (it was the 80's, people)," I would have believed them. And I would've been terrified.

Well, guess what. We arrived at a big arena, and went to a Disney on Ice show. Zero percent embarrassing. 100% fun. Except all I remember was hating how I felt leading up to that party. The fear left a much more lasting impression on my memory than the actual party did. So yeah, don't throw me a surprise party, ever, kay?

This weekend, I turned 38. And in that span of time from age 11 till now, I've grown some, and I do a little better with surprises. Especially if they're God's. He is the one guy I really trust to surprise me with things that are exclusively for my good. Throughout my youth and my 20's, I claimed Jeremiah 29:11 as my life verse:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, and not to harm you; plans to give you a future and a hope."

I've learned He has good plans. And I've learned I don't have to know about them in advance.

This year, I'm sure, He will surprise me with His plans. And though it may be a new year, a new season, my God stays the same. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Knowing He may surprise me doesn't leave me feeling fearful or anxious. Well, sometimes it does, when I'm not in step with Him. When I've looked away from His face, and turned my attention to give ear to those fears. But when my eyes are fixed on Him, instead of anticipating the next step in fear or anxiety, I can look forward to my days with excitement and hope.

I bought this print from my beloved blog friend Katy for a friend for Christmas. When it arrived and I held it in my hands, I knew it was for me too. My heart resonated with this message deep down.



I love it so much.

And so to celebrate my birthday, Katy has offered to give away a copy to one of you. Isn't she the best?

{If you're the winner and you'd like one of her other prints instead, that's okay too.}

Here's another reason to jump for joy. Today, she's releasing a whole bunch of new designs in her shop. Some of them are killing me they're so great. They speak to my heart, and they speak truth so clearly, so beautifully. Please visit her shop and check them out. And here's fair warning that you may not be able to pass up the note cards.

If you want to be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment. You can get an extra entry for doing any of these things; just leave an additional comment for each:

I will be choosing a WINNER on Thursday night and announcing it on Friday.

And wait. Before you click away, just tuck this truth in your heart today:

All of your life, in every season, He is still God. He has good plans for you this year. You can trust Him.

Photobucket

78 comments:

  1. Your last sentence - and the print - are exactly, exactly what I needed today. Let's just say that the last week has been one of the toughest...

    Thankful for how God used your blog to emphasize that His plan for me is good, not disaster.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was just in her shop this morning looking at her prints! There are so many good ones! Great giveaway! And Happy Belated Birthday :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Birthday, Leslie!!! :) :) So many cute prints in Katy's shop...Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Also, I'm a follower of your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am also a follower of Katy's blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am now following your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am following Katy's blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I added Katy's etsy shopt to my favorites! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am a newish follower of your inspiring blog <3

    ReplyDelete
  10. I added Katy's etsy shop to my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy Birthday, Leslie! Praying that this coming year is full of a deeper understanding of His purposes and plans in and through you :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I already follow your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I follow Katy's blog as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am following this blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I subscribed to Katy's blog.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I added Katy to my circle on etsy! YAY!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy birthday!! This print spoke so loudly to me, as do most of her prints!!! Love them!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Following/ subscribing to your blog! I'm on my phone so I had to do the email subscription! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Subscribing to Katy's blog!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Added Katy's shop to my favorites in etsy!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy birthday, Leslie! Beautiful thoughts, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I follow your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. A beautiful reminder. I also added her shop to my favorites on Etsy.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for the sweet reminder. I have one of her designs and love it. I'm adding her to my Etsy circle too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. And a very happy birthday to you! :) I, too, am not a fan of surprises (control freaks, unite!) but God has blessed me with many over the years. Funny how His surprises, while not always the easiest, are often the sweetest and most meaningful.

    ReplyDelete
  26. i totally LOVE her designs!
    i would LOVE to win! :)
    xo

    and i love this post...i don't like surprises either(like...at all!)...and my honey had a surprise party for me last year. i can't say i liked it. isn't that terrible? it totally freaked.me.out.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Happy Birthday!! :) I love her designs! They are fab!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Katy is already a favorite of mine on Etsy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. i love that song by Hillsong - Desert song that talks about that. that exact line is in the lyrics and it's my favorite one. what a wonderful truth it is to know He was, He is and He will always be.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Katy is one of my favorites on Etsy! Man, this one was easy! I already had all these things done!! HAHA!! Love you both!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am already following you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am now following Katy's blog.

    ReplyDelete
  33. katygirldesigns is now a favorite on Etsy as well.

    ReplyDelete
  34. happiest birthday wishes leslie.
    after 5 "surprise parties" in a row i have surprise party PTSD. i had to tell my sister to PLEASE DO NOT LET ANYONE ELSE throw me one. :) FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. as much as i wanted one as a kid, i did not enjoy them.
    i don't like the not knowing. i have a feeling we are very similar in that.

    also. katy's shop. YES.
    pick me. :)

    just ordered her cards. because. i cannot resist. :)

    happy birthday friend!

    ReplyDelete
  35. That's a beautiful print my friend, and happy birthday! Praying many abundant blessing on your 38th year-may God delight you and surprise you and meet you in incredible ways!

    ReplyDelete
  36. happy birthday, leslie! hope it was everything you expected it to be. ; )

    ReplyDelete
  37. .......of course, already following your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  38. just started following katy's.......

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have added her to my Etsy favorites! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  40. So I'm closing out the day. The quote was, "All of your life, in every season, He is still God. He has good plans for you this year. You can trust Him." The person who has been giving me the hardest time lately (a very hard to please person) actually gave me a compliment and a good assignment today at work.

    I'm learning to just let God handle things - although sometimes I still cry! :-) He has good plans, even when it's hard.

    ReplyDelete
  41. You're right, her notecards are awesome. Love the feather and arrow ones!

    ReplyDelete
  42. oh my word I love this print!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Of course I follow your lovely blog

    ReplyDelete
  44. favorited her Etsy shop too!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I found you via Katy's blog :)
    I was just listening to this song tonight to send the link as encouragement to my sister. I think it's going to be my anthem for the next few months :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm your newest follower :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I already follow Katy's blog!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Katygirldesigns is now in my favorites on etsy!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Happy Birthday!!! & accept this as my entry! =)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Love this print and her shop!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm following her now as well!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'm following her now as well!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Love this print and her shop!

    ReplyDelete
  54. i. am. following. you.


    in the non creepiest non stalker way.

    so pick me.
    or i will make it creepy. ;) jk.

    ReplyDelete
  55. and i sub. scribe.
    to katy too.
    because i adore her.

    ReplyDelete
  56. AND i heart her shop. and basically everything she makes. :) hahah.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Did all 3 ;) love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Subscribed to Katy's blog ;)

    ReplyDelete
  59. AND fave'd her shop on Etsy!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I would love to win this print!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I visited (and favorited) her shop on etsy. (I'm sort of an etsy addict!) love the notecards! Her designs are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I love the "you have been given today" print oh so very much. they're all great, but that one is such a subtle, yet smack-you-in-the-face reminder. i favorited her shop (i think i just made up that word). thanks for the opportunity! happy new year, leslie!

    ReplyDelete