adventuring

I love adventuring.  Almost every day I get to adventure around my town.  I get out for a walk and discover new awesome roads and houses, blossoming trees and flowers, people, pets.  I usually get to stop by my family’s office on Main St. to say hello in the middle of the work day.  I like to think I’m a bright spot in their day. 😉

My favorite Spring tree - pink dogwood!

My favorite Spring tree – pink dogwood!

I’ve also taken some recent adventures around my great state – most of which happened to have been in the beautiful Appalachian mountains.

My sister and I have hiked a couple of the South Mountain State Park trails.  The last time we hiked loads of wooden stairs to the top of a waterfall.  It was so beautiful – and peaceful at the top!

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A month ago, my sister and I went to Atlanta for the Braves opening weekend!  They lost, but I still love them.

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The next week, my mom, sister, and I went to a women’s retreat held by my church, Freedom.  We went to Ridgecrest in Black Mountain, NC, where we studied the book of Titus, got to know and encourage and love on each other, explored the small town of Black Mountain with new friends, and enjoyed the beauty that surrounds that area.

If you're ever in Black Mountain, stop by here for a cuppa!

If you’re ever in Black Mountain, stop by here for a cuppa!

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in downtown Black Mountain with sweet friends

And a couple weeks ago we did a pre-Mother’s Day outing with my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and cousin to the Biltmore Estate!  I love that place so much.  If I lived closer I would totally buy an annual pass, if only to explore the vast grounds – almost 3 million species of plant life!!  Also this time they had a Downton Abby display – several of the costumes worn by the characters, information on how they made those costumes, and details about their life during that time period.  And the rooms!  Every time I go they have different rooms open for viewing.  The whole place is stunning.  The gardens, the conservatory (with so many different orchid species), the forests, the views, the winery – all so lovely.  When I go, I like to get unique shots of the house.  Here’s my shot from this trip!

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the ingle girls!

the Ingle girls!

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favorite flower shot of the day

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conservatory and rose garden

Last weekend I got to visit some friends who live in Papua New Guinea with me.  They’re on home assignment, too!  They live in Boone – I hadn’t been there in years and years!  It was so great to share a meal with them, play a game (a favorite pastime in PNG), and explore downtown Boone and some hiking trails.  I even did some yoga at the summit!

dancers pose is my favorite.   i'm getting better!

dancers pose is my favorite. i’m getting better!

Laura and me

Laura and me

My next adventure: move to Atlanta and connect with my friends and ministry partners who are there, while being a dancer in a production of Annie Get Your Gun and taking a couple online classes!  I’ll be there mid-May through the end of July.  Can’t wait to hang out with all you Atlantans. 😉

❤ brandy

healthy living

I love having a healthy lifestyle!

I used to hate running. I hated hiking. Pretty much hated anything that made me sweat. I also hated worrying about what I ate. The fact that I remained relatively thin didn’t help the matter any. Sometimes I’d gain a few pounds and decide that I needed to workout and count my calories. The running might last a couple months. The counting calories would only last a couple days.

But I realized in the last several months that it’s not about how I view my body, or wanting others to view me as having a super awesome bod, or even about preventing future health issues (hello, diabetes in 3 of my grandparents!)  It’s not about cutting out certain things because the world tells you that you should.

My body is the earthly home for my eternal soul. My body is a vessel God uses to carry out his Great Commission. My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. My life as a follower of Christ means that I should be actively preparing (physically, mentally, spiritually, etc) to jump into whatever he calls me. And I think by being sedentary all day and eating junk without thought, we are basically throwing those facts to the wind. (Also maybe having that lazy [physical] lifestyle as a Christian is just like a [spiritual] lifestyle of not ever picking up the Bible to study the very words given to us by our God?)

So those facts have made me not only see how necessary a healthy lifestyle is, but I’ve also grown to really love it – I enjoy running. I enjoy hiking. I really enjoy yoga (so relaxing and stretchy!). I love adventures! I love the taste of healthy food. Don’t get me wrong… it’s not like I don’t have Cadberry Mini Eggs sitting on the table in front of me right now!

(And have you noticed how super awesome and comfy exercise clothes are?? I could live in yoga pants… I digress ;))

It also helps that I have my healthy-eating workout-buddy sister for a roommate and a super-amazing town for the running!

Our favorite meal - maybe I'll do a recipe post for it!  So delicious.

My new favorite meal – maybe I’ll do a recipe post for it! So yummy and healthy.

The running trail through downtown Lincolnton - looking forward to the blooming flowers and trees!

The running trail through downtown Lincolnton – looking forward to the blooming flowers and trees!

❤ brandy

life, etc.

I’m sorry for the little blog hiatus. I’ve also had little bits of life hiatus lately. It’s been good.  It’s been restful.

For the first time in three years, I got to spend Christmas, New Year’s Eve, all the family’s January birthdays, and my birthday with my family (and some Atlanta friends, too). I also moved in to a cute apartment in downtown Lincolnton, NC, with my sister. We love our new little place. And now I get to do life with my whole family within 30 minutes of me.

Jessica and me in our new apartment

Jessica and me in our new apartment

My second month home mostly consisted, shamelessly, of watching Netflix, another thing that I haven’t been able to do in 3 years. It was cold that month, so I spent a lot of time inside. My sister also calls me her wifey, since she has a full time job and I get to stay home and keep the house clean. 🙂

God’s been teaching me a lot, too, during this time.  Mainly about his love.  His love is so great, so vast, unending, unfathomable.  I love all this extra time to spend with him and in his word every day.  Sometimes I wish that could just be my profession!

Lincolnton, NC

Lincolnton, NC

I haven’t lived full-time in Lincoln County for almost 15 years (4 years in VA, 7 years Atlanta, 3 years PNG). I am now part of a church in Lincolnton where I am meeting so many new people. I love these new relationships. I’m super excited that I get to spend a weekend with the women of the church on their annual retreat next month. I love hearing how God has worked and is working in this body of believers. And I love that I’m now in that story, if only for a season.

One thing I greatly miss, though, is having daily conversations with people who know my life in Papua New Guinea (PNG). They’re part of my daily life. They get what I’ve experienced and what I’m going through. They get why I miss the things I miss about PNG. I’m so fortunate to have a very close friend from PNG living less than a couple hours away, and we have been able to get together a few times.

In February, I got to be a part of a week-long course called “Connection” at my organization’s headquarters in Orlando. The staff were there for us, to love on us, speak truth into our lives, give us little hints about how to deal with home assignment… but the best part for me was getting to spend that whole week with other people who have lived overseas, who understood what that life looks like, even some of them from PNG as well! It’s like we speak a common language. So refreshing.

PNG group in Orlando

PNG group in Orlando

I want to be better at blogging going forward. I want to communicate with you, since many of you pray for me on a regular basis. I usually just feel like my life is boring. 🙂 So if you have any questions about me, about PNG, about small-town life… or if you want to just give me a topic and see what I come up with… let me know!! Maybe that will give me more ideas for writing.

❤ brandy