Psalm 45:10-11, 13-15

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. [...] The bride, a princess, waits within her chambers, dressed in a gown woven with gold. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

But is this all?

“No thoughtful person can question the fact that, for the most part, the Christian life, as it is generally lived, is not entirely a happy life. A keen observer once said to me,

“You Christians seem to have a religion that makes you miserable. You are like a man with a headache. He does not want to get rid of his head, but it hurts him to keep it. You cannot expect outsiders to seek very earnestly for anything so uncomfortable.”

All of God's children, I am convinced, feel instinctively, in their moments of divine illumination, that a life of inward rest and outward victory is their inalienable right. [...] And yet, to many of you, how different has been your real experience! [...]

  • You have not lived as you feel children of God ought to live.

  • You have had perhaps a clear understanding of doctrinal truths, but you have not come into possession of their life and power.

  • You have rejoiced in your knowledge of the things revealed in the Scriptures, but have not had a living realization of the things themselves, consciously felt in the soul.

  • Christ is believed in, talked about, and served, but He is not known as the soul's actual and very life, abiding there forever, and revealing Himself there continually in His beauty.

  • You have found Jesus as your Saviour from the penalty of sin, but you have not found Him as your Saviour from its power.

  • You have carefully studied the Holy Scriptures, and have gathered much precious truth therefrom, which you have trusted would feed and nourish your spiritual life, but in spite of it all, your souls are starving and dying within you, and you cry out in secret, again and again, for that bread and water of life which you see promised in the Scriptures to all believers.

In the very depths of your hearts, you know that your experience is not a Scriptural experience; that, as an old writer said, your religion is “but a talk to what the early Christians enjoyed, possessed, and lived in.” And your hearts have sunk within you, as, day after day, and year after year, your early visions of triumph have seemed to grow more and more dim, and you have been forced to settle down to the conviction, that the best you can expect from religion is a life of alternate failure and victory, one hour sinning, and the next repenting, and then beginning again, only to fail again, and again to repent.

But is this all?

from chapter 1 of The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith

Monday, March 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Sausage Lentil Casserole

Tuesday - Pizza (w/ the family)

Wednesday - Ten Bean Soup

Thursday - Yams, veggies, and TBD

Friday - Artichoke, hummus, flat bread, and veggies

This is today...

So...I haven't been in much of a blogging mood lately. I've been thinking about a few things I want to blog about...hypocrisy in the church (ie, being fake), natural childbirth, preparing for pregnancy, and there was something else I was thinking of this morning...but I don't remember now. I like writing about "stuff," because it helps me process why I'm thinking what I'm thinking and to see where my holes are.

Oh! I remember the other's the problem with "spiritual experience." And I've also been thinking about the use of spiritual gifts or the lack thereof. Mine in particular. The problem with thinking about these things is that they're not small topics, but I think on them in these little spurts of time and then they get intertwined with each other. I think that's why I want to blog about them. So that each one gets set straight (at least in my own head) by itself.

Then there's a little list of things to do. Some are wants, some are needs. But I'm tired today. I did spend some time updating my Good Reads account. I haven't done that in a while. And I even made a few years. Woohoo! And put in the cute little widget down on the sidebar. Oh,'s a pretty book list! That's least for today.

Oh...I also got my copy of Lies Young Women Believe (authors Nancy Leigh DeMoss & Dannah Gresh) that I've been looking forward to. I'm reading Lies Women Believe with my CPR group, but I'm excited to read this one and use it with the junior high girls at church. I've got to read it first...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Works-for-Me Wednesday

Because I have a track record of forgetting birthdays and other occasions not only did I get a calendar (and try to use it), but now I start make my own cards ahead of time. Back in November I bought a pack of plain white 25 cards/envelopes from Michaels on sale for $2.50 and then use the scraps from my scrapbooking stack to decorate.

So...back in December I made birthday cards although way through May. It's about time to start making cards for the months after May...time to get to work.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Our Anniversary!

It's been one year...

For our first anniversary, we ate breakfast at one of our favorite little places, Champagne Bakery, and then in the afternoon we went to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad. For dinner, we went to Carver's, a Mueller favorite. (I'm sure you want to know all of this.)

The Flower Fields were beautiful!

What was I thinking? White shoes!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Frugal Fridays: Inexpensive Cards

Recently, I started making my birthday cards in advance. Like months in advance, because birthdays have a tendency to creep up on me.

So, I purchased a pack of cards & envelopes $2.49 and a packet of birthday stickers for about $5. For a total of $7.49 for 25 birthday (or other occasion) cards. I just dip into my scrapbooking scraps and decorate away!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On Being a Princess

Since I've never really shared much of the reason behind Reflections of a Princess,
I thought I'd start here on what being a princess means. Enjoy!

A princess of grace is a woman who has accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and trusted him with her life. She is on a life-long journey of falling deeper in love with Jesus and binding her life in His. A princess of grace is concerned with God’s glory and renown. Her life purpose is to proclaim Christ in her life—through her thoughts, words, and actions. A princess of grace understands that she is not perfect and sin will still erupt in her life. Though she still struggles with the old self a princess of grace knows that its proper place is at the foot of the cross, and her hope lies in knowing that her position in Christ is eternally set and her condition is continually being sanctified.

A Princess Story [Note: A Princess Story is a novel/spiritual growth book I started and have yet to finish. It has evolved much over the years, since the idea began. I'll share more about it later.] is based on 1 John 3:1 and Psalms 45:10-11, 13. First John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Psalms 45:10-11, 13, “Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house. The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord...All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.”

A princess of grace realizes her position in the kingdom of God. She has been adopted as a daughter possessing the full rights of sonship (Ro. 8:15-17) becoming an heir with Christ. A princess of grace also knows that she is not simply the daughter of a King, but the betrothed of Prince Jesus, who gave up his life and arose from the dead to live with her in eternity forever. She knows that on the day of the Lord her True Love will come to carry her home as His bride, and she waits in patient joy for that day. Until then, a princess of grace spends her time following deeper in love with her Prince, delighting in him as he delights and takes pleasure in her.

When a woman begins the journey with Jesus she forgets and leaves behind her former way of life and is totally loyal to her adoring Prince. He is enthralled by her beauty. He finds no flaw in her (SS 4:7) and takes her unto the higher places to engage in deeper communion with him. The princess may be nervous and a bit scared by approaching the higher places, knowing that struggles and death will be present, but she knows in the end she will reflect more of her King. A princess of grace trusts the infinite knowledge of her Father and trusts the (confident) loving guidance her Prince’s hand holds. She knows neither will leave her and the high places will drive her closer still to each.

A princess of grace knows her journey is life-long and that joys and trials will come. However, she knows everything will be worth it; “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:7-8).

And so, she steps out confidently in faith to journey as a princess of grace. She is joyful and will willingly lose all she has to keep her love, the dream and desire that has so long been held in her heart, an authentic romance.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (on Tuesday)

I did it, finally...but I got a little lazy...I mean tired and posted my shopping list! I'm going to cook this week...I really am! Now, I'm going to go clean my kitchen, because it's crying for me.

Henry's Farmers Market

broccoli (x 2) - $ .77lb

cauliflower (x 2) - $ .77lb

oranges – 5lbs. for $1

cantaloupe (x 2) - $1 each

spinach (x 2) - $ .69 each

apples - $ .79lb.

Strawberries - $2.50 each

green cabbage – 3lbs. for $1

red potatoes - 3lbs. for $1

tangerines (?) - 5lb. bag for $4.99

I'm getting there...just not yet

I've finished all my it's time for menu planning.

(Someone just texted me.)

And, don't you know, dinner is still sitting on the counter?

Maybe it'll be a little longer night than I thought. Ouch!

24/7 Prayer Video

I just (started) was reading a GirlTalk post from yesterday, and the line, "You’ve probably never seen a trailer that made you worship, but this one will" reminded me of a video I've been wanting to post.

A friend of ours made it for our church as a promo for 24/7 prayer that's happening during Holy Week. (It's actually happening around the world, so check here to see what's going on in your next of the woods.)

Anyways, here's the video Brian did--all in one sitting! It's pretty awesome, although he did say editing took awhile.

Sleep is kicking in...

I thought I could stay up past nine o'clock just fine tonight. (It's about 10pm now.) But, I'm fading fast. I wanted to spend some time commenting on blogs that have visited me, but my eyes are getting droopy.

You see, last night I fell asleep somewhere between 8:30pm and 9pm (I was reading when it happened, so I can't say exactly...). And Sunday night, I was in bed by 9pm and if you count Saturday night (in Indiana) when we went to bed at 11:15pm east coast time, which is really 8:15pm on the west coast....then this is the latests I've stayed up in that last three days! Woo hoo!

I'm thinking I'll try to push through the tiredness. I mean, I do need to make a menu plan so I can make a grocery shopping list for my shopping day tomorrow. And it seems I can only really do that when I tell myself, "But...I need to post Menu Plan Monday!" (Even though I've already done two dinners this week!)

So...I'm off...

Our March for Babies Letter

Dear Friends & Family,

I'd like to share with you and event I am participating in this year. March for Babies (previously Walk America) is a walk designed to raise funds and awareness in improving the health of babies. Their goal is improve babies health by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality through research, community services, education and advocacy.

This walk is personal for me, since Joe and I lost our baby in the fall due to a miscarriage and dear women in my family have lost children in stillbirths, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and miscarriages. These are no longer things I hear about that happen to other people, but have become a part of my life and history. It is my desire to educate myself and others in helping to bring about healthy babies for all.

There are two ways you can help this cause:

Donate. You can join us by donating as a sponsor by logging onto (see the box on the side: Help Me Save Babies).

Join our team. You can join Joe & I as part of our walking team by logging onto and click on the “Join this team” button.

March for Babies in San Diego will be taking place:

When: 4/26/2008, 9:00 AM Where: Balboa Park, 2125 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA
How long: 5 miles

Thank you,
Joe & Jessica
Team Addison

The Wedding of Mr. & Mrs. W

It was a beautiful, although a bit cold, day in March at the quaintest little church with stained glass windows and a painted pipe organ. It was a small gathering, but full just the same. And a service that reflected the couple's desire for God's glory and His name to be made great among the nations.

I'll have to tell the camel story later. It's pretty good.

(Evidence that we were there and not just my camera!)

Friday, March 07, 2008

A person's a person no matter how small...

I'm so excited about this movie. I think it's going to be adorable. We took the school kids on a field trip in the fall to see Seussical the Musical and the parts from/about Horton Hears a Who were my favorite. The young man who played Horton was such a sympathetic elephant.

March for Babies

I was reading Beth's post on starting a team for March for Babies and it got me thinking on my way to work Thursday morning. I started off thinking if I could do it. Would family and friends walk along side me? How much money would I need to raise? Could I handle it emotionally?

But here's what got me: a team name. At that point, my eyes starting watering up a bit just thinking about what I'd name my team. I knew the name.

I talked with my husband about it in the evening and he said, "Go for it." So I am.

Our Indiana Adventure continues...

So last night I told you how our original flight was delayed, and it was. But we had more excitement in the airport at St. Louis. We didn't have assigned seats on our flight from St. Louis to Indianapolis, so we were supposed to go to the gate agent and get our sheets.

However, when we got there the gate agent said they weren't assigning seats yet, because they were going to be over their weight limit and some people weren't going to make it on the flight. Can we say a little stress? Ah! I called my grandmother who lives in Highland, IL (about an hour from the airport) and joked with her about how we were coming to visit her. We entertained the idea of just driving to Indianapolis...only about 4 hours, nothing right?

Well...after waiting a little while longer we got on the flight. We made it here. Martinsville, Indiana. It's dark and snowing...about 3 inches. Scary roads for a Southern Californian driver, although I do have a tiny bit of snow driving experience from a snowstorm in South Carolina.

But guess what? Our hotel is next to a Kroger! This is my first one! How exciting... ; )

The bottom line: I'm glad we're here.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's a party!

Put on your party dress
and break out your dancing shoes!

It's time for The Ultimate Blog Party!

Welcome to the party @ Reflections of a Princess! I'm your hostess, Jessica and resident princess. Why reflections of a princess? Well, a few years back God impressed the passage in Psalm 45 onto my heart that I was His daughter, betrothed to His Son, thus not only a heir to grace but also a princess, part of a royal priesthood. There's a lot that followed after that in what God revealed to me, which you'll find on here occasionally.

But here's a little introduction about myself. (If you care for a longer introduction, click here.)

I'm a 20-something living in Southern California married to a wonderful man. I grew up in the USMC, so I've moved 10 times and lived in 16 different houses! Whew!

As of now, I'm an assistant teacher at a Christian Montessori school. In February, I started working part-time as my husband and I are taking steps to building our family.
(We hit a rough spot in the fall after a miscarriage.)

My hobbies? I love to read, write, scrapbook, and sew (although I don't get to it too often). I'm also a junior high youth leader at my church (going on five years now!), and contrary to popular belief these are not horrible years.

Other random things about me? I like ellipses. Which are these little things...I like Law & Order:SVU is fascinating, even though it freaks me out sometimes. I'm a Biggest Loser fan (and secretly, America's Next Top Model). Oh, and I've been know to have a foot/shoe fetish.

I'd love to get know my fellow bloggers,

so leave a comment and a random fact about yourself! : )

Frugal Friday: Scrapbook Embellishments

Since one of my goals for this year (hopefully, the next 2 to 3 months) is to start a scrapbooking blog/Etsy store, I'm working to shift my focus on Frugal Fridays toward that purpose. And since scrapbooking is such a pricey industry this is one way I hope to inspire people to scrapbook and keep scrapbooking that benefits them financially as well as aesthetically (<-- Can I just say this was one of my favorite words to use in college papers. It's beautiful.).

Frugal Scrapbooking Tip of the Week

Make your own chipboard embellishments. When I first thought about doing this I thought it was too hard. Guess what? It's not. It's actually pretty simple. The hardest part comes with cutting the chipboard. (Not quite sure what chipboard is? Find out here.)

How to Make Chipboard Embellishments:

Supplies You'll Need:
  • chipboard
  • paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • a distressing tool (sandpaper or an emery board)
  • stencil or shape (to trace)
  • adhesive

  1. Trace your shape onto your chipboard. You can also do this freehand.
  2. Once you've traced your shapes cut it out.
  3. Using your adhesive, adhere your chipboard to your paper and then cut it again.
  4. If you prefer to keep the edges crisp looking skip the distressing step. (I do it because it makes the little mistakes in cutting go away.) Take your distressing tool and gently sand the edges. This is where making sure your object is soundly adhered is important, otherwise your paper may move during the distressing.
Voila! You're done!

The best thing about this method is that even if you aren't a big scrapbooker with lots of supplies on hand you can still make these. One thing I want to try: homemade chipboard alphabets. Now that will take some time and patience!

Have fun scrapping!

Unexplained Delayed Flights : (

My husband, father-in-law, and I are headed off tomorrow to Indianapolis to a friend's wedding. I booked us the perfect flight, we were going to leave early in the morning and arrive mid-afternoon with enough time to take a break at the hotel before heading out to the rehearsal dinner.

Except...except for at dinner I got a 1-800 number on my cellphone, which I didn't answer because it was dinner time. Then the 1-800 number left me a voice mail. So, then I listened. Our wonderful flight got canceled! And we are now rebooked on a flight that doesn't leave until almost 1pm! Which means we won't get there until 10pm--after the rehearsal dinner and hang out time! Oh, so sad.

I was bummed. Still am, but at least we won't have to wake up at 4am and I still don't have to work. That's the silver lining people. My husband lovingly reminded me that God's in control, which I wanted to respond with a "Grr..." But, yes, of course, God's in the small stuff too.

(I'm adjusting...)

Kudos to my Hubby

My husband started blogging, as an anonymous 20-something on personal finances, in December 2007 and gets pretty consist hits. A few times he's even been a featured blog on different carnivals, which bumps his hits up a bit.

This week, however, he submitted a post on a carnival, and then his hits starting going up like crazy! He was getting something like 100 hits an hour! Why such an increase in hits? His post got picked up by the Consumerist, which apparently is one of the wider read money blogs out there! The next day he found out that the MSN Money blog linked to him as well.

Pretty cool, hubby. Pretty cool.

Just to give you a taste of what this did to his stats here's a graph he made:

You know what the crazy thing about all this is? His post was about Pet Monkeys - The Financial Considerations! (I guess I'm giving a little bit of his anonymity away so...Ssh--don't tell!)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Works-for-Me Wednesday Backsward Day

Here's my thing...I've been married for almost a year now and have not yet had to clean our oven. But after my hubby made some ribs a while back and the juiciness spilled over, now we get a slightly burnt smell when we use our oven. So, I reckon it's time to clean it, but here's my problem...I don't know how!

Are there any products I shoudln't use? Is there a certain way to go about it?

Help, please!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It's a date!

Crystal over at Money Saving Mom asked the question what do you do for dining out. We've kind of have a cheat on the date market considering we have an overflow of restaurant giftcards and two giftcards for Regal Cinema. We use them pretty sparingly so they last a long time.

On Monday, we went on a date (dinner and a movie). We ate at Applebee's ) and then went to see a movie (which was also on a gift card). All in all our date total (out of pocket) came to $9.36, since we were finishing up the giftcard and then the tip. It was great. We also noticed that going out during the week the restaurant and movie theater were both considerably less crowded.

I have to say a bit about the movie we saw Vantage Point. It was good. Usually I'm not into action/suspense movies, but I think getting on the Law & Order: SUV bandwagon has definitely brought me along in that direction. Check out the trailer:

Keeping Dates Frugal
  • Stick with water
  • Split an entree and get a side dish as well.
  • We always fore go dessert.
  • Sign-up for different restaurant newsletters even places like Baskin Robbins will send you a coupon for free ice cream (or the like) on birthdays. My favorite is Golden Spoon which sends out free yogurt coupons every other month or so.

Have anything you want to add or see others ideas, check out here.

Making Your Home a Haven Monday

So, even though I'm posting this on Tuesday I did do the challenge on Monday. The challenge was to tackle a pile. I started off with one, but ended up doing three. Our mail basket & secret chair, pantry shelf, and the file cabinet.

Oh...and it's called the secret chair, because it's the place where I discreetly place the mail/junk/things to be filed that don't fit in the mail basket and remains unseen because the tablecloth covers it. (*so sneaky*)

Here are my before and after pictures:

Yay! It's all done.

Menu Plan Monday (on Tuesday)

It seems lately that my Monday's have become my Tuesday's.

Monday - Applebee's (We made it a date night. Weekday dates are so less crowded!)

Tuesday - Chicken, black-eyed peas w/ a Pasta Roni side

Wednesday - Spaghetti

Thursday - Ten Bean Soup

Friday - Dining Out (We'll be at a friend's wedding in Indiana.)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Time for Reflection

I was hopping across a few blogs and discovering new ones as I do from time to time and came across Pinks & Blues Girls. I have to admit I was reading their interview with Angela Kinsey (an actress from The Office) who is currently pregnant. I scrolled down to see what other things they were blogging about. Mostly baby and pregnancy stuff, which is not always my favorite thing to look at. You can read why here.

I can across a post about Beth who was pregnant with twins and recently miscarried. I know her pain and despair and the feeling that nothing with ever be the same or replace the child that she once was carrying, but is no longer. She wishes it was just a bad dream.

I know that. I went for weeks battling within myself...telling myself I, was still pregnant. Trying to convince myself that I was still having pregnancy symptoms--nausea, fatigue, hunger. Saying to myself, 'The doctor was just wrong.' I remember thinking, 'If only I had prayed more.' And questioned if I had done something wrong. I did go for a brisk walk the morning we started to miscarry, did that do it?

I know God purposed this. I know that there is a display of His glory in this beyond what I can see or understand. It just hurts. Five months (almost six) isn't that long of a time. It seems grieving is a slow process, and I don't think I'll ever get over losing my first baby.

So many thoughts go through my head (and a few awkward run-ins):
  • Next time we're pregnant, what if someone says, "Oh congratulations! Is this your first pregnancy?" "No, it's my second." "Oh, how old is your first?" "Oh, s/he'd be such-and-such an age if s/he was alive."
  • The next baby shower I go to how will I simply sit through all the oohing and aahing over adorable baby gifts--so pretty and petite. (I'm actually going to a shower next month. It'll be my third since my miscarriage. The first one was 2 weeks after I lost my baby, the second one a month and a half. I spent my time sitting quietly by myself or fixing the food trying to hide my own tears.) Oh the joys of baby showers, now!
  • Speaking of showers...this is about the time we'd be having a baby shower. (Due date May 6th)
  • What happens when we are expecting again, will it be a constant reminder of the baby we lost?
  • Two words. One holiday. Mother's Day. A week after my due date. I don't even know if would be able to make it through church. (I told my husband I don't want to go.)
  • Self-inflicted pain. Why? I still haven't unsubscribed to all those baby updates that get delivered into my inbox almost daily.
  • Standing around chatting with some ladies, when the conversation turns to who's sleeping through the night, how frequently (or infrequently) their baby is pooping, planning someone else's baby shower, washing multiple loads of laundry, changing diapers, etc. etc. etc. They say this and these are the things I wish for. (Side note to moms: Don't complain about your children, no matter what age they never know who's listening. Appreciate the sleepless nights and the terrible two's, it's much better to have them than dream about how they would have been.)
  • Will we ever be pregnant again? How long will it be? How many other people will I see get pregnant and have babies? It seems like I always here about one more person who's expecting...
This week would have been 31 weeks.
I've been thinking of changing my blog template lately. I've had this one for a few years now and I'm kinda getting bored with it. I found one I like here, but the only thing I have against that one is the same thing I have against this one...too much white.

If anyone knows of a place that has free blog templates let me know...please! My blog needs a makeover!