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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Blessings of Thanksgiving

Dear Readers,

What an awesome week!

I went to my grandparents' a day early and helped them set up their new house. I got to hang out a ton with my Sissy, Leah Gunter <3. Saw the rest of my awesome family at Thanksgiving. :D I also talked to those dear ones in TN. <3 Daddy I then continued our 11 year old tradition of joining the ranks of lunatics looking for great deals on Black Friday (and all night Thursday night). We had a blast eating ice cream, drinking coffee, shopping, and talking to literally EVERYONE we could! As usual, we saw old friends and those we've met and only see on Black Friday. Also, after being ragged to DEATH about going shopping on Black Friday, by someone who claims to be my best friend,  ::mumbles:: Luke Clark,  much to my delight, I was informed that he was also out fighting the crowds..... }:) To top it all it off!? While out shopping at Barnes and Noble I heard someone shout my name and turned around to see Flynn Lancaster walking toward me with open arms. Considering I haven't seen him for almost 6 months- that was awesome! And then surprise, surprise.....who do you think walked up behind him? Yep, Liam Lancaster!! I hadn't seen him  in a year and a half! It was great to catch him on leave! Then on the way home from it all I got a call from John Christian Kuehnert just to catch up. :D  

Took some fun pics with Leah, got the sweetest texts from my best friend- Joanna Paul, was thoroughly (and sometimes a bit messily ;) ) loved on by my little cousins, (Marissa, Emma, Travis, and Elizabeth) talked over college plans with the whole family, and had many theological and relationship conversations with Daddy. (And a whole lot of cutting up....) ;)

All this to say- all of these little things reminded of just how blessed I am, and how much I truly do have to be thankful for. :D Thank you all for being the most wonderful friends anyone could ask for. :)

A special shout out to: Joanna Paul, Luke Clark, Caleb Paul, Lenzi Jo Winslow, Leah Gunter, Sarah Johannes, John Christian Kuehnert, Emma Lancaster, Abigail Cotton, Sierra Patterson, Savannah Patterson, Emily Arensman, Ryan Black, Flynn Lancaster,  Liam Lancaster, Daniel Cotton, Preston Black, Caroline Byrd, Razi Lane, Riaz Lane,  Abbey Sweetman, Josh Arnold, Bryan Stokke, and Daniel Grubbs for being there for me in different (or sometimes ALL) of the hard times, and helping me get through things I never thought I would. I have a different story with each of you....but they all end with me thanking God and wondering what I did to be blessed with such AMAZING friends.  

Love y'all!!! :D 

(Oh, and one more thing to be very thankful for- IT ALL HAPPENED IN THE SOUTH.....whew......) 

American by birth, Southern by the grace of God! :D

Always in His Arms,


Friday, September 27, 2013

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. . . ."

Dear Readers,

I know what you're thinking.... "CHRISTMAS?!" But, yes, that's what I said- CHRISTMAS!! :D I absolutely adore Christmas!! In our family- it's the biggest, most special time of the year. (Followed by the Fourth of July for a close second; but that's another post.) Anyway, our family always goes all out at Christmas. (Not in money and gifts, necessarily, but in traditions, decorations, food, activities, ect.) And I love it so much that I always get this "Christmas itch" right about the end of September/beginning of October. (For instance, right now I'm listening to Bing Crosby's dreamy voice sing White Christmas. [Which, by the way, was totally coincidence.])

Now that it's the end of September- I'm working on making Christmas presents. Whew...I got a bit of a late start to be making presents. Yarn, material, crochet hooks, knitting needles, and all sorts of items of that nature are scattered across my room. Not to mention, I'm about to start my senior Home-Ec project. (My mother said she'd give me a Home-Ec credit if I did a senior project.) So I'm also getting "geared up" to make a 50's style dress. Lots of work there....

But back to the topic- Christmas presents. (Forgive the ADD rabbit trail there.) I certainly hope I haven't
bitten off more than I can chew- I have a way of doing that. Hahaha. I'm making afghans and dish cloths and scarves and toboggans and other things that I can't put on here due to the eyes that read this blog. I'm also writing some Christmas presents. But I can't go anymore into that either. ;) The bottom line is, creativity takes a long time! ...And I really hope I have enough. Then again, time seems to be something that I have less and less of lately. :P But! I shall persevere and try to get it all done!

I'm also trying to revive the Miller Homestead tradition of sending a picture and letter from the family to our friends and family. But I'm beginning to see why it got to be too much for my mother to do when I was little. We know entirely too many people....I'm totally serious here! When you're parents have been married for 28 years, moved over 25 times, in 5 different states, and it's all been ministry related (plus the fact that my parents are extremely outgoing and have always been super popular)- that adds up to a lot of people! Not to mention all the close ministry friends we have overseas, whether they be missionaries or actually from that country, are causing me a lot of troubles with international mail. I haven't done it one time, and I'm already considering giving up. :P But whether I do that all depends on postage prices. (They're ridiculous these days!)

Also, for the first time....EVER.....I don't know what I'm going to do for my parents for Christmas. I usually have it all planned back in June/July...but this year I'm just stumped! I must think harder about this. ::makes note to self::

As Christmas approaches I'll share some of our family traditions and recipes. Perhaps, you will like some of them and adopt them for your very own. :)

The Holiday season is quickly drawing near. My mind dwells on the Christmas memories of my childhood, when the entire family lived close to my grandparents and everyone was coming and going constantly. Though I love where we live now, my heart is slightly saddened by the thought of the difference in this year- the distance and the fact that this will, most likely, be my last Christmas- full time living at home. For that reason, it is my goal to make this the most memorable Christmas of my life!

Once again as in olden days/ Happy golden days of yore/ Faithful friends who are dear to us. Will be near to us once more/ Someday soon, we all will be together/ If the Fates allow/ Until then, we'll just have to muddle through somehow/ So have yourself a merry little Christmas now. 

Always in His Arms,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thoughts on the End of the Beginning. . . .

Dear Readers,

Two days ago I started my first day of my senior year. It's incredibly hard to believe. It's completely surreal. Where did the time go? As cliche as it sounds- time has flown. Though it's something one hears all the time, as a child you think you're never going to "grow up" and that you will be attending school for the rest. of. your. life. Your parents always tell you to just trust them but time will fly by faster than you want it to fly. Yet we all have internally "rolled our eyes" and thought yeah right. Despite the fact that I was one of those "internal-eye-rollers," they were absolutely right...

I can't believe that this is the beginning of the end. My best friend and I were discussing it, last week. She reminded me of one very important fact that I keep trying to remind myself. She said: "Cayla remember that it isn't the end of everything good. It's just the beginning of something greater." I keep reminding myself of that, this week. And I have to say, it's made me feel so much better! I've been so much more peaceful. I have decided that I'm going to try to resist the urge of saying "I wish I could just hurry up and get to college" OR "Man, I wish I could go back and do it all over again."

God has placed me in the season I'm in, and when I'm in it, for a reason. I need to learn to enjoy the time I'm in and use it to the best of my ability to glorify Him. So this week my challenge has been resisting impatience to speed into the future and/or being melancholy about "old times." In summary- I'm trying to be less melodramatic. ;)

I know what you're thinking.... How have you succeeded? Wellllll.....good intentions do not necessarily mean effective actions. :P But the will power is there. I'm trying with all my might to be content and work hard.

The bane in my good intentions has been stress and fear of the future. Fear is a direct lack of faith. I have to say, I've been greatly convicted over it the past few weeks. I seem to be constantly worrying about what college I'm supposed to attend, where I'm supposed to go, and how I'm going to pay for my education. It is ever present in my mind. Yet, this week I was told by another best friend to take a step back and examine the eternal consequences of the decisions I'm faced with. He said: "Lately however, I've gained some fortitude by realizing the bigger picture. All of our choices for our education are important to our futures, but what does it really mean in light of the eternal? For example, if you spend this year studying as hard as you can, yet still don't get your school finished, will God no longer use you? I can tell you for sure, that He still can and will. All this to say, results aren't always going to go the way we want. It's just a fact of life. Still, God will always use outcomes for His plan. Work as hard and as diligently as you can on your school and finding a college, and God picks out what happens." (I have great, solid best friends, huh?) :D

So this evening as I sit drinking my hot tea, listening to the rain patter against the window pane, and pouring my hear out in writing.... I am reminded of the words of the song that just came on- "I Look to You" by Selah:

"'Bout to lose my breath, there's no more fighting left. Sinking to rise no more, searching for that open door. And every road I'm taking, led to my regret. I don't know if I'm gonna make it. Nothing to do but lift my head. I look to You, I look to You. After all my strength is gone, in You I can be strong. I look to You, I look to You. And when melodies are gone- in You I hear a song. I look to You."

Let's finish this!

Go Class of 2014!!

Always in His Arms,


Friday, February 15, 2013

The Roller Coaster Never Ends....

Dear Readers,

Due to some recent developments at the Miller Homestead, I am discontinuing my Tournament Series until a later time. I will still post, but I don't have time to write about the tournaments, for the time being.

I told a friend the other day that whatever lesson God is trying to teach me- I just wish I would hurry and learn it. Then I started thinking about all of the lessons I've learned and how they lasted for exactly the right amount of time. I must admit, I felt guilty. I realized that Life, itself, is a lesson, and if I wish that the lesson was over then- I wish my life was at an end. In that moment I came to appreciate the lessons learned much more.

As I enter into this next season of my life- I know that there will be many changes in the next few months...but that's okay.  In the midst of the chaos is a Peace, Strength, and Rock that I know, I can always depend on.

May the Lord bless and keep you!

Always in His Arms,


Friday, January 11, 2013


Dear Readers (if I have any left after all this time),

I am dreadfully sorry I haven't written in ages. Life has been....well...life...

I was talking to a friend not too long ago, and I said: "S___, you really should start a blog!" He said: "I would love to, but I have no time to blog......like someone else we all know...." I thought, "Okay! That does it! Where's my blog?!" 

I pulled the internet up on my computer, and sat staring at the cursor...blinking... It had been so long, I had forgotten my web address....

I do plan on continuing my tournament series. I am currently working on my NC Qually post. I thought, though, that perhaps I should reaffirm the fact that I am still taking in oxygen. 

The past 3 1/2 years really haven't been easy on my family or me. I find that writing really helps me. I have been stressed more than usual, lately. Ironically enough- I haven't been doing much writing lately, either. (No journaling [which technically isn't even a word], blogging, or creative writing.) I have been so busy with school, classes, working, debate, and speech (in and outside of NCFCA) that I really have neglected my music, writing, and helping with animals. Due to the fact that I can see a direct link in the drop of those activities and the rise of my stress I have determined to do something about it! So, be expecting more posts from me.... ;)

This past year has been full of ups and downs, it really has been a roller coaster ride. Looking back, I really don't see how anything else could have fit into our 2012. The trials we went through were many, but the great things that happened were even more. :) I feel so blessed, this year. Don't get me wrong, I always feel blessed...but this year was different. I, personally, learned so many lessons and grew spiritually as a result. I am so thankful to have met specific people this year that I know God put in my life to show me His Grace and Goodness. Remarkably, they all have been other teenagers with a Faith that I truly envy. 

On a lighter note, I am considering changing the "look" of my blog. It's a new year- time for a change...

I hope that each one of you have had a wonderful year with blessings abounding. But....of course you have...I am reminded of the song by Laura Story that says:

What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near? And what if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise?

Always in His Arms,