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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Birthday Getaway (War Room Giveaway!)

Sometimes God speaks to us in a whisper, where it's almost hard to hear Him and where if you aren't paying attention you may not ever realize He's speaking to you. But then sometimes He speaks loud and clear! I LOVE the loud and clear times, don't you? I like when He makes it suppppper obvious for me so I don't have to think about it, I just trust Him and go for it :)

I had multiple people come up to me and specifically tell me they thought of me when they saw the movie War Room . I had a sweet friend from church actually buy a devotional book for me and said she also thought of me when reading it (One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land ....AMAZING book!) and she also mentioned War Room to me on more than one occasion.

I really felt like the Lord was wanting me to see this movie! Zach and I planned a date night to go see it but then changed our minds about what we wanted to see. And looking back I even think that decision was Lord-based. I think He knew that I needed to see it with someone else. Zach's Aunt Karen was someone who mentioned the movie to me multiple times and when her birthday came around I thought it'd be fun for the two of us to go see it together after church one night. I'm SO thankful we decided to see it together.

I think it was a great movie to see with someone like Aunt Karen. It was her THIRD time seeing it in theaters and she still cried multiple times while watching it. It was the real deal for her and it made it more serious for me too. I think if Zach and I had watched it together that we would have been more likely to point out the cheesier aspects of it rather than catch the deeper message within it.

Needless to say, it's one POWERFUL movie. Yes, there are some silly scenes. And no, it's probably not winning any oscars or anything. But the message is awesome. It's something we ALL need to see. After the movie ended Aunt Karen and I sat in the parking lot talking for a good two hours. Whew, I did some crying for sure then! She has been an "Ms Clara" to me. She purchased my very first prayer journal for me and has been a huge encourager to me since that night.

Y'all. I know it's "just a movie" but it was a game changer for me. I think the combination of the timing, the movie, Aunt Karen's support, and just my point in life all came together to really push me to make a big life change for the Lord. I've spent more time in the Word and more time in prayer since that night and it's been so awesome to see His hand more at work in all aspects of my daily life. It's incredible the true difference in myself on the days that I put that prayer time first and on the days where I miss it!


With New Year's right around the corner and with the movie just being released this week, I thought it'd make the perfect giveaway! A little "Merry Christmas" gift from me as well as an encouragement to being the New Year with daily devotion to your relationship with God! 

This giveaway is for the DVD of War Room as well as a prayer journal! Both have impacted my life so much and I pray they do the same for you! Giveaway ends on Dec 31st so be sure to enter to win! (This is not a sponsored post in any way!)

You can also see (or purchase) War Room on DVD here and the journal I'm giving away here :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I wanted to first discuss my experience with seeing War Room prior to discussing my big birthday present from Zach this year because the two go hand in hand. On the Sunday prior to my birthday I saw War Room...that Thursday Zach surprised me with an early birthday gift. It was a one night stay by myself at a hotel in Jekyll Island (Jekyll Island Club). 

It was a SUPER thoughtful, sweet gift. But I will be honest: I was really surprised. I think my first words when I read it were "by myself? Wait, you aren't coming?" Aunt Karen is really awesome and one of her great traits is that she calls it like she sees it. When we were talking after the movie she straight up called me out. She said she sees how busy I keep myself and that it's obvious I do that to avoid feeling the pain I have inside. She said "there aren't enough Disney trips in the world to take away that pain." BOOM. Nail on head. I hadn't ever thought about it before but I do keep myself busy. I'm the type of person who doesn't cry a lot with others but will break down in bed at night when it's quite and I'm alone with my thoughts. I like to stay busy so I don't have to think through things that might be difficult for me to deal with. She def called me out and it was true!

I REALLY realized how right she was when Zach gave me that gift. I was truly afraid of being alone. I didn't want to drive that 2 ½ hour drive. I didn't want to be in a hotel room by myself. I was nervous about it. I was scared. But I also realized that maybe God knew that's exactly what I needed and maybe He also knew that I'd never voluntarily take time to be alone and just BE with HIM. I needed a push and Zach gave me that push. Aunt Karen got the ball rolling and Zach, without even knowing it, kept it going!


I felt very, very badly for my initial reaction to the gift. Zach was SO thoughtful in planning it and I know it broke his heart that I wasn't excited. I was truly caught off guard (you know how when you have a  heads up about something you can respond better!) and surprised and my initial reaction was just that concern about being by myself. Zach did call and see if we could reschedule it so he could come with me, but I knew the point of the gift was for me to be alone and the more I thought about it (and prayed about it!) I truly felt like it was a GOD thing and a GOOD thing!

My trip was on Oct 30th and I picked up some Chicken Salad Chick for the drive!


I also made a stop for an McD coffee ;)


Zach and I hadn't really talked a lot about my prayer life with the Lord and how things had changed since seeing that movie. He legit had NO CLUE about some of the heavy things on my heart at the time and that really made me even more sure that the timing of his gift was a God thing. I think God wanted that alone time with me and I'm so thankful for it. I knew the tougher stuff would make me upset so I decided to "work it out" on the drive. It took me about 2 hours and 40 min so I talked out loud with God. I worked through some things that I'd been avoiding. I cried it out a bit. And by the time I got there I felt so much lighter. It's crazy how easy it is to push the harder stuff down and think you have it "handled" when really it's just waiting, needing to be sorted through and it's weighing you down until you face it. 

Zach not only scheduled the trip for me, but he planned activities for me too! Seriously this was THE most thought out gift EVER and was beyond sweet of him. While I did wish he was there with me, I understood that he was wanting me to truly relax and just do my own thing on my own!

He booked me a mani pedi and I finally found where it was located (negative of not having my direction savvy hubby along!)



I LOVED the way the salon was decorated! This bathroom was so me!


The girl who did my nails got to know my entire life story haha and I miiiight have asked her if she wanted to come hang out in my room with me. That's not weird, right? Bahaha!

The nail place was located at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel but it was not actually attached to the hotel. Y'all. I'm dumb. I drove around forever trying to figure out where to park. I ended up parking super far away and carrying my bags up to the hotel. Um. They are so fancy that they park your car for you, for free. Ugh. I'm just not high class enough haha! I assumed valet cost money so I didn't even attempt it! 



Letting Z know I was safe and sound in the room!


Not only did he book me a hotel room...he booked me a dang suite! I about died!





Jekyll Island Club is Zach's fav restaurant. I looked over the menu to choose my dinner and saw my fav item: shrimp and grits! I also saw the price and let Z know I wouldn't be ordering it ;)


Zach planned everything so perfectly. I had enough time to get myself settled and then a masseuse arrived at my room to give me an in-room 90 minute massage. It was THE BEST massage OF MY LIFE. No joke. Turns out her favorite personal area of massage is the scalp...hello that's my fav too! She did an AWESOME job. And I'm hardcore anti-talking during massage and she was perfect about that too. It was just legit amazing. So relaxing and I was SUPER thankful Zach had it scheduled in my room. I didn't have to go anywhere and could just jump right in the shower after it was over (I hate the oily feeling after massages!)



It was important to me to give God my time above everything else on this trip. I wanted to focus on Him and talk with Him and make it about my spiritual growth. Having three kids keeps me BUSY and I knew this was the ideal time to really relax and focus on my spiritual walk. I spent the drive there talking with God and spent the first part of the evening digging into His Word. It's just so awesome to me how He will speak to me if I just listen!!! It was so awesome to have such a big chunk of quiet time and I really took full advantage of it!


As most people know, I'm a hardcore anxious person when it comes to being alone. I think a lot of it goes back to living in my apartment at a young age, but whatever the reason I do not like being places solo. I don't even like being at home by myself. Yes, this was a super fancy hotel but I was still a tad nervous. I brought along my mace and kept one by my bed and one by the door ;) When the room service guy brought up my dinner (more thoughtful planning thanks to my husband!) I told him "you can set the food down on that table by my mace" just to let him know that I was prepared if he tried to rape me hahaha. 


I LOVE crab cakes and these were phenomenal!



I knew exactly how the night would go when I saw that Zach bought me a new book to read. I knew I'd start reading it, fall in love with it, and not be able to put it down. I know it's healthy to read at night before bed but y'all I have NO self control when it comes to books. I just can't make myself stop! 

I sent this to Zach b/c we had just started watching Walking Dead and it was mentioned in the book :)


Brand new book...chapter 24 by midnight ;)


The next morning I slept in as long as possible and then called down and asked for later check out so I could just take my time and not rush. While I was hesitant about the trip at first, I was in nooooo hurry to leave by the time it was over. I felt a TON of guilt for how badly I knew Zach's heart was hurt when he thought I didn't like the gift. I spent a good chunk of my time that morning writing him a good old fashioned love letter ;) I am so thankful for my AMAZING husband who goes above and beyond to show his love for me in all that he does. And this gift proved to me that he knows me better than I even know myself and knows my needs on a deeper level than I even do at times. I'm SO thankful for this time away. I felt so refreshed and relaxed and it really helped kickstart my deeper bond with God which has been SO awesome these past few months! I am forever grateful to Zach for this gift (even if he still doesn't believe me that I really did like it!!!)

My new jam is omelets with spinach, feta, and artichoke!


Having fun without me :)


Since I got the late check out I couldn't resist making some coffee (which I NEVER drink) and reading some more of my book!


Since I had parked myself at check in I also had to carry my luggage back out to my car myself haha. I was a little embarrassed leaving this fancy place with all these rich people roaming around while lugging my bag and wearing my oversized Gap sweatshirt ;) 

Zach and I both LOVE Jekyll Island Club! It's a top restaurant for us for sure and we've talked about staying at the hotel sometime. While the location is beautiful, I'm not too sure if the hotel lives up to the hype? Truth be told, I didn't take the time to look around at all. I stuck solely in my room so if Zach and I did go together we may appreciate it more if we really checked it all out. But we just recently stayed in a bed and breakfast in Savannah that blew my room at Jekyll Island Club out of the water. So I don't know if I can say that I highly recommend staying there? The staff was AMAZING though and truly went overboard making sure I didn't know how much things cost, making sure I was truly relaxed, and making sure all of the arrangements Zach made went smoothly. I had an AWESOME time and def wouldn't mind this gift again in the future :) 





I'm so thankful for my sweet, thoughtful husband for this wonderful getaway. And I am truly SO sorry again for my initial reaction. I regret that so much and wish I would have been able to see the awesomeness in the gift right away! While I would have never thought to ask for 24 hours completely alone, I really truly enjoyed it and am so thankful for it!

Can't wait to see who wins the giveaway and I really hope everyone will take the time to watch War Room and focus on a personal relationship with God in the coming new year. A Bible Study teacher once said to me that Jesus is always sitting in our living room just waiting for us to sit and join Him! 

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