|| Surprise! ||

To Evan J. Cnossen. 
(pro. ke-NOSS-sin)

Instagram - Facebook

He proposed this past Thursday night, the day before our seven-month, dateship "anniversary." And with the ring we'd designed ourselves and had custom-made by an friend of his.


          And it was so perfect.  
          We took a picnic that evening and hiked to the woods behind my house.  BLT sandwiches, chips, and Swedish Fish for dessert, with carefree conversation and lots of laughter. 

          I remember laughing over something he said, though most everything that wonderful evening is simply a happy blur.  And the thought came to mind right then, so I voiced it: "I want to spend my life with you." We'd each shared this wish before, so it wasn't really new.
          He looked at me as we were reclining on the old quilt and I failed to realize his hand had disappeared into his pocket.  For a moment, he was silent.  But a smile graced his lips and my vision found his fingers as he held them before me.
          I admit, it took a moment to focus on what those fingers were holding.  I blinked upon recognition and my heart skipped as a simple dream came true.  
          "I want to spend life with you," he said. "You love me like Christ does, and I wish to do the same for you."
          Maybe something was in my eyes, I don't know, but a wee bit of moisture found its way in them, though I didn't cry.  My mind was still in slow-motion, but my tongue finally found words and I lamely blurted, "You have it!"  Then starting laughing into his shoulder.
          The ring was gorgeous.  Just what I had imagined it would be from those drawings I'd sketched all those months ago.  
          Meeting his blue-green eyes again, I matched my smile to his and he said those magical words:
          "Sarah Elizabeth Dake.  Will you marry me?"
          A dream come true! "Yes," I immediately replied, perhaps in a whisper at first. 
"Yes! A thousand times yes!"


And that's just a small part of my love story.  Perhaps someday I'll share more of it with you!

Currently, we do not have a date as there are many things that need to happen before we set one.  But you'll be one of the first to know!  In the meantime, your prayers are muchly appreciated and definitely needed. Thank you, my dear friends!

post signature

What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English, French, German, Biblical
Pronunciation:  JO-sǝf (English), zho-ZEF (French), YO-zef (German)

Meaning & History
From Ioseph, the Latin form of the Greek Ιωσηφ, which is derived from the Hebrew name Yosef, meaning "he will add."  In the Old Testament, Joseph was the given name of Jacob's eleventh son, and his obvious favorite.  Due to jealousy and anger, Joseph's older brothers sold him into slavery and sent him to Egypt, telling their father that he had been killed in a wild accident.  Many years later, Joseph became advisor to the pharaoh in Egypt and was eventually reconciled to his brothers when they came to the country during a great famine.  Joseph trusted God throughout his sufferings and God blessed him.  This name also occurs in the New Testament as the given name of Joseph the carpenter, husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
          In the Middle Ages, Joseph was a common Jewish name, less frequent among the Christians.  It later became popular in England after the Protestant Reformation.  

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  MIE-kah

Meaning & History
Variant of the biblical Micah, which comes from Micaiah, meaning "who is like YAHWEH?"

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Biblical
Pronunciation:  JER-i-ko (English)

Meaning & History
From the name of a city in Israel, which is mentioned many times in the Old Testament.  The meaning of this name is unknown for certain, but could possibly be related to the Hebrew word yareach meaning "moon," or to another Hebrew word reyach, meaning "fragrant."

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English, French
Pronunciation:  MAD-ǝ-lin (English), MAD-ǝ-lien (English), ma-de-LEEN (French),  mad-LEEN (French)

Meaning & History
English form of Magdalene, meaning "of Magdala."  This was the given name of the heroine in a series of children's books by Ludwig Bemelmans, first published in 1939.

Happy Monday, all!  Hope you had a great weekend.  
Drama update coming soon!

post signature
Names and meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

Sundee Proverb

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. . . 
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
-- Proverbs 31:25, 30, ESV --

post signature

My Prayer for the Week

Trust in You
Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I've tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You're by my side

When You don't move the mountains I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There's not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less


You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation 
The rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There's not a place where I'll go
You've not already stood


post signature

What's in a Name?

Welcome, welcome!  Here's a new Name post for you, dearies.  

I understand NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is quickly approaching.  And so, the majority of you lovely bloggie buddies are gathering your resources and preparing your plots.  Well, you need names, right?  While I do not participate in NaNo (although I'd love to, I simply cannot commit to it this year) I am happy to help and encourage those of you who are.  If you're in need of the perfect name for a character, let me know!  I can give you plenty of options to choose from.  Or if you simply need a resource to turn to, visit BehindtheName.com, where you can search names, their histories, and meanings all on one site.  Another website I find occasionally helpful is NameBerry.com.

Luck to you!

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Biblical
Pronunciation:  nee-KO-dǝ (English)

Meaning & History
Means "marked" in Hebrew.  In the Old Testament, this was the name of the head of a family of temple servants.  (Ezra chapter 2 & Nehemiah chapter 7)
Gender:  Masculine [& Feminine]
Usage:  English (modern)
Pronunciation:  RIV-ǝr

Meaning & History
From an English word that represents a flowing body of water.  The word is ultimately derived from the Latin (via Old French) ripa, meaning "riverbank."
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  KRIS-tǝ-fǝr

Meaning & History
From the Late Greek name Christophorus, meaning "bearing Christ."  It is derived from Christos and combined with pheros "to bear, to carry."  Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name saying that they carried Christ in their hearts.
As an English given name, Christopher has been in use since the 15th century.  In Denmark, it was borne by three kings, including the 15th-century Christopher of Bavaria who also ruled Norway and Sweden.  Other famous bearers include the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), English playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), and A.A. Milne's fictional character Christopher Robin in his 'Winnie the Pooh' books.
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  French
Pronunciation:  zhor-ZHETT (French), jor-JETT (English)

Meaning & History
French, feminine form of George, which is ultimately derived from the Greek georgos meaning "farmer, earthworker."

A pleasure, it is, my lovelies.  Thanks for stopping by!
post signature
Names and meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

3 Points of Encouragement

Well, I've missed another A+A post, but with good reason!  It is again postponed for another week--at least.  This past weekend was the start of the first two performances of Lucifer's Lies: Plenty of Time.  And it's been a great couple of days.  Aside from some mic issues, the performances went rather well, and we had a great turnout for the reservations.  If I had to guess, I would say approximately 1200 people have now seen our "world premier" of this drama.  :]

I wish to request your prayers for this ministry, dear friends!  The cast and crew of this production need strength, courage, and energy to pull this off.  Our hope is to plant the seeds of the gospel and allow God to work from there.  If you could pray that the cast will remember their lines, places, and props, and that the backstage/lighting/sound crew will have no difficulties whatsoever, I would be in your debt.  Thank you, dearies!

Well, moving on. . . Earlier this week I was asked to prepare a brief devotion for the cast and crew Friday evening, as is custom among us to uplift and encourage before our group prayer time.  And while I was typing it up, I decided it might be good to share with you all here.  A great deal of thanks goes to Evan for his encouragement as I tried to figure out what in the world I was going to talk about.  Needless to say, I was a little down and stressed because I didn't know what I had to offer.  But his prayers and encouragement helped more than he may ever know.  

And yes, it's a lousy title, but I didn't have time or brainpower to come up with something--er, creative, or catchy. . .



          There are three different points I wish to share with you today. And in them, I hope you find encouragement.

          First, in living each day for Christ, we need to look past the suffering.
          If you have kept up with the 40 Days of Prayer (a daily email sent to church members) as I have tried to do leading up to this drama, you will know that today marks Day 40. And of them all, today's devotion hit close to home for me. I don't have the time to read it all right now, but in it we were reminded of the many prayer requests affecting a good number of our cast and crew, which were closely followed by the amazing praises of answered prayer. However, all too often we dwell more on the suffering and sorrows of this life than on the blessings. In doing so, we give the Enemy far more credit than he deserves. Yes, he may have had a hand in our trials and troubles, but we know how this battle ultimately ends, and more importantly SO DOES HE. God is in control. And I believe it's time our focus was kept solely on Him.
          Scripture says to “Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet and all your ways will be established. Don't turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.” (Pro. 4:25-27) If we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, those blessings come to the forefront and we find the strength and courage to press on amidst the suffering.
          I love this Jewish proverb that says, “I ask not for a lighter burden, but broader shoulders.” Our prayers these days should be for strength to stand for our God in this fallen world.
          In 1 Peter 4:16 we are encouraged in that “If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” (NIV) When you accept Christ as your Savior, you gain a new name. Maybe not one that goes on your legal documents, but a new name nonetheless: Christian, which essentially means “little Christ.” This is probably our ultimate calling. You may serve as the only image of Christ that your friends, family, or co-workers will ever see in this lifetime.
          Here's something else to ponder: “What if you woke up tomorrow morning with only the things you thanked God for today?” That serves as a great reminder, at least for myself, to never take for granted the little things in this life that I have been given.

          My second point is this: Spend your days in ceaseless prayer.
          Now, this is not to say that we should be on our knees all day long, though there is absolutely no wrong in that. To me, ceaseless prayer is beginning the day with a brief word of thanks to my God, with perhaps a specific prayer request for how the day will go, and strength to live it for Him. But instead of closing with a typical “Amen,” I leave it open and add to that prayer as I go about my day.
          In Ephesians chapter 6, we find the challenge to put on the full armor of God. But those verses continue in saying “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (ESV) And Romans 12:12 puts it rather simply, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful (or persistent) in prayer.” (NIV) But I can't say it any better than Max Lucado, who writes “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”

          And finally, as Christians, I believe we are called to live fearless.
          Here's a little fact for you: The phrase “Do not be afraid,” is found in the Bible (respectively) 365 times. This is a daily reminder that God wishes us to live every day FEARLESS.
Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (ESV) And in chapter 56, verse 3, we find “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
          If we can learn to count our blessings more than our sufferings, clothe ourselves in prayer and, like the Proverbs 31 woman, in strength and dignity, then we can “laugh without fear of the future” and rest in the knowledge that this battle, both physical and spiritual, is already won.

Photos via Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!  Hope you have a delightful week.

Happy Monday!

post signature

Sundee Proverb

"If you can't say nuthin' nice, don't say anythin' at all."
- Thumper, on Disney's Bambi -

Let the songs I sing
Bring joy to You
Let the words I say
Confess my love
Let the notes I choose
Be Your favorite tune
Father, let my heart be after You.
- Garden, NeedtoBreathe -

post signature

An Almost Post. . .

Haha! ha! haha ha ha. . . 

So.  Upon arriving home from work today, I had planned to do a post with an update and maybe a couple names, seeing as how I've missed yesterday's Name post--no excuses, no excuses.  I ain't even gonna TRY.  And as a result you end up with this--er, almost a post.

Just a couple things. . . First, I've decided to try to publish an A+A post every other Friday.  Hopefully that will help me out a bit.

And second, I just wanted to make mention of an upcoming drama production that my church is putting on this weekend.  Attendance is completely free, but you are required to make reservations, and can certainly do so online here, or by phone.

Performances are:
Saturday, Oct. 10th @ 7pm
Sunday, Oct. 11th @ 3pm & 7pm
Friday, Oct. 16th @ 7pm
Saturday, Oct. 17th @ 7pm
Sunday, Oct. 18th @ 3pm

Lucifer's Lies: Plenty of Time is a spiritual warfare drama that follows the lives of a one family as
My sister Jen's design for the cast/crew t-shirts. Aren't they fabulous?
they face different issues and trials that effect both them and others.  

It is our hope that those who attend this production will learn to discern the difference between the shouts of Lucifer's lies and the soft whispers of our King.  Life is far too short to ignore the Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  


If interested, and if you are in the Athens, TN area, please make your reservations and come see it!!  If you cannot make it, for any reason, I would ask that you add this drama to your prayer list.  The cast and crew have worked so hard to make this ministry a reality and need the strength and courage to pull it off over the course of these two weekends.  Thank you! 

What are you up to this week, m'dears??

post signature

A Sundee Proverb

We can't walk through this life expecting everything to be done for us.  Our country was built on the foundation of Christianity--One God, One People.  If we wish to turn America's heart back toward the God who saved her, we must start small.  In prayer, we find power.

Oh God, in You we still trust.  Raise up strong, faithful leaders.  

Bring us back to You.
post signature

Book Review | Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows
Rising Shadows #2
Ashley Townsend

Publisher:  Ink Smith Publishing
Genre:  Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Medieval, Time-Travel, 
Released:  September 2014

Would you choose to entwine your fate with a hero of the past, even if it meant altering the future?
The murder of an ancient king spurs Sarah Matthews to travel back in time, putting her life in jeopardy as she races against the clock to solve a thousand-year-old mystery and pick up the pieces of her star-crossed romance. Her return to Serimone reveals that the kingdom is in upheaval and that the elusive Cadius has sinister plans for the throne. Unable to right the empire alone, Sarah reunites with Will, the love she left behind and the man beneath the Shadow’s hood. As they work together amidst lavish balls and explore the secret depths of the castle, they discover that the conspiracy runs deeper than they ever imagined. And when a counterfeit Shadow claims the life of someone close to her after a personal threat from Cadius himself, Sarah discovers that the price of questioning the new regime is a life.
Guilt-ridden and alone, she discovers comfort in her newfound friendship with Damien, a charming Spaniard who joins Sarah in her personal crusade for justice. But as she draws closer to his dark past and to the faceless killer in their midst, she realizes that the severed threads of time and the mystery surrounding Serimone Castle are unraveling rapidly, weaving new tapestries of devastation.
In this thrilling and deceptive sequel to "Rising Shadows," Sarah is forced into harm’s way countless times as she races to solve the puzzle before it is too late and Serimone becomes nothing more than a faded memory of the past. . . And before Sarah becomes a permanent fixture in history.

I received a free e-book copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
This is the sequel to Rising Shadows, the review of which you can read here.  :]  While Rising Shadows served to introduce you to the world and adventure that Sarah Matthews was thrown into--literally--Chasing Shadows delves deeper into the plot and story-world in this time-travel fantasy.  This tale was even more gripping than the first, in my opinion, and had me second-guessing myself quite often.  Plot twists, people.  They're AMAZING.  (Well, most of them. . . The ones in this story were good!)

As mentioned above, the story had more depth and mystery to it in this sequel and the characters were well fleshed out.  You learned more of their backstory and came to care for, love, hate, and/or pity them.

At the end of Rising Shadows, Sarah returns to her home and modern time-period, feeling like her adventures in Serimone was a one-time thing and her life could resume as normal. . . even though she feels like something is missing, maybe unresolved.  So, in the two weeks since her return, she devotes her time to preparing for her departure to college, trying to pretend that it was all a kind of dream.  While I kinda wanted to slap some sense into her that her work wasn't finished and how could she forget her time in Serimone and the friendships she forged? and all that good stuff, I admired how she tried to accept what lay immediately before her and to embrace her reality instead of chasing fantasies. . .er, shadows.

After returning home, Sarah convinces her little sister that everything was simply one fantastic dream.  (This backfires when Sarah's friend, Karen, shows up at her door.)

{Spiritual Content}
Sarah is a Christian and many times she calls upon her God for strength and protection.

A man is stabbed in the arm.  A woman is fatally shot in the abdomen with an arrow.  A dead doe is displayed as a threat of some sort.  A man's body is found stuffed in a chest. . . And two bodies are washed up in a river, both having gone over a waterfall.
There is a sword fight, including knives, and both opponent's are beaten and bruised--with one man receiving a nasty gash to the chest that requires stitches.

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
One "like h---." 

Drugs and medicine for medicinal purposes.  Possible mention of wine or other alcoholic beverages used by the nobles and such.

Some kisses. . . And a love triangle.  But I won't go into that, it's for you to discover.  :]

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this sequel of Ashley Townsend's debut novel.  The story was filled with adventure, a wee bit o' romance, and deception.  The plot was gripping and the characters' well-fleshed out.  And it involves TIME TRAVEL.  Aaaaaannnnd medieval-ness.  
This story.  I like it.  ANOTHER!!  xD

Recommended ages:  15+
My rating:

Thanks for reading, dearies!

post signature