Friday, April 23, 2010

The Secret Church

Yep! Two posts in one day! I wanted to devote this all to our bible study lesson we did last night at our weekly "Bible Study at the Butler's"! 

We are just starting a new series  from David Platt's work on "The Secret Church". From what I understand, David Platt starts out this conference at 6:00 p.m. one night and goes until midnight. We will be breaking this up a bit. 

Last night we had a preview night that ended up being chalked FULL with information. We watched the first session in a series of video clips. The section we are doing is on "Angels, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare" which I am really interested in learning about. All I know is what I have read from the fiction book "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti. I love the book, but at David points out, we need to be focused on understanding the Bible and not Frank Peretti. 

We started the night (and ended it, too) by going over the Foundational Truths before diving into the angels and demons part. David Platt said he wanted to equip the body of believers and not entertain and that's what he did...he presented straight facts from the Bible without a whole lot of stories to entertain. 

Here are a few key points that stuck out to me:

  • As a church, are we a truth carrier or are we a luxury liner? (Truth carrier)
  • Will we indulge ourselves in the peaceful comforts of this world or will we engage ourselves in battle for peoples around the world?
  • There IS a spiritual world. See 2 Kings 6:8-23 . The king of Aram is at war with Israel and Elisha keeps telling the king of Israel where the king of Aram is and his troops so they can avoid them...well, the king of Aram gets angry and sets out to find Elisha. Elisha's servant gets scared: "Elisha's servant got up early, and when he went out, he saw an army with horses and chariots all around the city. The servant said to Elisha, "Oh, my master, what can we do?" Elisha said, "Don't be afraid. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us." Then Elisha prayed, "Lord, open my servant's eyes, and let him see." The Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha". WOW! That was the spiritual world that Elisha's servant was able to see!
  • The basis for understanding this war is biblical.
We are in a war daily: 
"The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News-the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God. We do not preach about ourselves, but we preach that Jesus Christ is Lord and that we are your servants for Jesus. God once said: "Let the light shine out of the darkness!" This is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ". 
-2 Corinthians 4:4-6

One of the ways we can be blinded is by not realizing DAILY that we are in a full fledged war for souls. We need to fight the spiritual battle in spiritual ways...PRAY! Satan wants to destroy...he wants to DESTROY God's people and defame God's power. Everyone is affected and involvement is inevitable. The battle is continual and we can't ignore this war.

But, the casualties are that you lose everything. The good news is the outcome is irreversible. Satan has already been defeated

"God stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority. With the cross, he won the victory and showed the world that they are powerless".
-Colossians 2:15

We know the end of the story...we fight FROM victory, not FOR victory.
(I feel like there should be a battle scene here!)

*These are all my notes from David Platt...I didn't come up with this on my own :)

The Fabric is IN!

Maksim's fabric came in this week!!! I am going back and forth on the paint color for Maksim's room, but the fabric, bed set, and curtains are all picked out. Here are a few quick pictures!

Here's the fabric!!! AAHH! I love it! The animal fabric is for the bedspread, bumper, and window treatments! The polka dot fabric is for the bed skirt. The background color is black (if you can't tell).  

(Below): My WONDERFUL other preggo friend, Laura was shopping at Hobby Lobby the other day and saw these black hanger holder things (don't know correct term), but they are $40 so we will be waiting on mega sales before we buy these! But, HOW perfect! Giraffe and elephant are EXACTLY what are in the bedding! The last one is a lion, so that's a maybe, but perfect!

(Below): And, here is the crib from Target :) I love it!

Now, all we need is Maksim!!! (Not quite, but BOY are we getting excited!) Grant got excited looking at kid toys today...mostly because he can't wait to have an excuse to buy cool boy things. 

I am half way in my pregnancy today! The Lord is soooo good!

Monday, April 19, 2010

At a Loss for Words...

Started the weekend off with a wedding shower for Amanda!

Grant and I have always said once we had a baby (or baby on the way) that we would get a good camera and we finally did! We got a Digital Canon Rebel that does video as well. Here are a few pictures from it (including the one above):

This is a close up of Tony, our Great Dane! I thought it was so cute!

This one is of Maddie (Maddox) our stray cat

And, here's Tony with his eyes closed...I just wanted you to see how he sits on the couch. So cute!

This could be my first post that I actually have nothing to say! So, I will leave it at that! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ten Things Tuesday (ok, 11)

There are a few things that I thought were just too great to keep to I would be doing you a disservice :)

Jesus Culture

1. A band that is new to me, but I am sure has been around for a while named Jesus Culture. AMAZING! From what I understand, it's a band as well as a conference. 

2. Found a cheap, cute website for preggos: Kiki's Fashions! I would compare it to the equivalent of Forever clothes that will last you about a year and then just might fall apart, but to my knowledge, pregnancies don't last that long :)

3. Karen Kingsbury! She got me into reading...actually, the book "The Shack" got me into reading, but Karen got me into speed reading, ha! Here is a link to all her books: Karen Kingsbury's Complete Book List. I still have a few more to go, and I haven't been disappointed yet. I am currently on "Take Three" (a set of 4 total...I think the last one is coming out this summer). My all time favorite series is the Redemption Series. There are 14 books total that are about the Baxter Family. The Redemption Series consists of 5 books, then the Firstborn series (5 books) and then the Sunrise series (4 books)...I wish she would have kept going but the endings were perfect! I am always up for suggestions for new books! I just borrowed a few from a friend...some are secular books so we will see how I like those.

4. Polka Dot Design Invitations. You think you are done with showers, but I don't think you ever really are! I have two of my best friends (one is my sister-in-law) getting married this year and about a million friends are pregnant and I have opted to throw a few showers and I got a few of the invitations from this website. Wonderful! You can even check the clearance for cute cards, too!

5. My shameless plug for our Christ Church Saturday Night service! My husband, Grant, leads the service and we have an awesome band that plays every Saturday night. If you don't have a place to call home, check us out!

6. Camp Electric my job! If I was a 13 through 18 year old, I would LOVE to be at this camp! It's a worship camp for students...and no, I am not getting a bonus to endorse this...I honestly love it that much! 

7. Interior Design. I have my degree in Interior Design and love to do it! 

8. Pickles!!! My fav are Claussen pickles! YUMMM! And, this was BEFORE I was pregnant and it's just upped like a million times!

9. My planner! It's a Franklin Covey and it's giraffe print! If you know me, you know I love me some animal print!

10. My Blackberry. I used to be an iPhone person but now I am Blackberry all the way! Love it!

11. Yes, it's not a very even number, but oh well. My new TV obsession: "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution". I think he is up to episode 4 and you can watch them on

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Beginning Stages of Maksim's Room!!!

Some people might think I am jumping the gun working on my baby's room, but here's my reason's why I am starting so early:

#1: I am an interior designer, so besides the actual BIRTH of my baby and all that comes with it, this is pretty high on my priority list!

#2: If you guys know my job, Camp Electric, you know how I disappear off the face of the earth from pretty much June through beginning of August. Our camp is July 11-22nd (two camps in there) and we pack up and move our office to Nashville for about 3 1/2 weeks. So, I figured I would start now working on my ideas. 

There used to be a magazine named "Domino: The Guide to Living with Style", but it went out of print (devastating!). They still have a book for print that I have yet to get but have looked through and LOVE:
Anyways, so I was looking through their November 2008 edition (yes, I found this a while ago) and found this baby room that I fell for right then! It was in the home of Jenna Lyons, J.Crew creative director. Her whole house was this theme. Well, if I had a girl, I wasn't sooooo keen on this room idea because I thought it fit better with a boy's room. Well, whalla! I am having a boy! So, here we go! Here are two pretty bummy pics I took of the magazine that I still have tabbed from that day!

I even tried to get Grant to go for the name Beckett back when I found this article, but he x-nayed it (I googled that's real!) I am not sure if you can see the colors as well, but they are yellows, blacks, and whites. Some of you may not see this as a typical boys room but I will change your mind by the time the room is finished. Granted, I don't want the room exactly like this...I won't paint whole walls black and I definitely won't stripe the ceiling...only people who can pay to have that done do it, honestly. And, I have a feeling that Grant and I would paint one stripe and give up since we would be painting on our backs on ladders, ha! 

I am wanting to bring a blueish-grey color into the room some how, so my colors for Maks' room will be yellow, black, white, and blueish-grey with pops of fun stuffed animals in there!

I have a friend that Grant and I have known for years, Jenny Beth, who has her own company, The Preppie Peonie, and she will be working with me on our bedding for Maksim's room. 

Here is one picture that may be closer to the actual design I will do. I don't plan on doing the cow print below the chair rail, but I may do atleast one wall with black under the chair rail...or possibly black and white stripes. Grant doesn't want Maks to feel like he's in a prison though, so that one might be experimental. 

My goal is to find a fun black and white print for the bedding...I don't want all white bedding...that could be a disaster when accidents occur!

Hannah, one of my best friends from college, has a white tree decal in her baby, Ivy's, room and it got me thinking about decals for Maksim's room. Here are a few that Grant and I will narrow down...we are obviously not using them all! Ha! 

These decals are from Dali Decals and they are SOOOO cheaply priced (or I wouldn't be doing this...did I mention we will be doing this room on a strict budget???) You can get the decals in any color, so if we decide on any of the animals we will probably do them in black. I know a lot of people are scared of black, but I will break that fear...just wait! The decals are priced as shown, so with the two whales, the price is only $15 which is CRAZY good! The plane is the most expensive and the name is right up there for $40, but you get two names for that price, so we would do Maksim Samuel. We may decide on just the initials...we will see! 

So,the next step is to find the specific fabric we want and go from there. Til next time! 

P.S...if anyone needs design work done (I do more than baby rooms), my degree is in Interior Design, so just let me know!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Christ Church Saturday Nights!

Christ Church Saturday Nights started up this past Saturday, Easter weekend! Here is a picture of the early crowd!

I think it was a great turnout for the first Saturday! Grant and I disagree as to whether it was more packed because of Easter or less packed because of Easter...I think because it was Easter and several people were out of town, it was less. That's just my opinion though. 

The message was GREAT, in my opinion. I am trying to take good notes to relay to my blog. Grant gave us a sneak preview of what we are beginning this week. The series is called "Bizarro Jesus" where we will be removing our idea of Jesus and learning about who he really is from the scriptures. So, in his sneak preview he started out with the verses from Matthew 7:21-23:

"Not all those who say 'You are our Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.' Then I will tell them clearly, 'Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.'" 

In verse 22, it shows that they say to him "Lord, Lord" which is a sign of these people know of him and who he is but they don't really KNOW Jesus. Jesus is anti-religion and the series will touch on that. Many people in our day who may be teachers are sacrificing authority of the Bible for their feelings and opinions...that is dangerous as you can see in the verses above.

Many people know of what people are now calling the "Prosperity Doctrine" that is being taught by some churches today. 2 Timonthy 4:2-4 talks about these teachers: "Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching, because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear. They will stop listening to the truth and will begin to follow false stories." (Italics mine). Who doesn't want to hear things that make them feel good? But, when it comes to the Bible and the preachers that we listen to today, we need to be challenged in the word, not just taught things that they think we want to hear. 

But, we are accountable for our actions...we must explain how we have lived:
"God's word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. Everything is clear and lies open before him, and to him we must explain the way we have lived" Hebrews 4:12-13

How will we be able to detect false teachings and find out who Jesus really is and what he's about? Be like in His Word! 2 Corinthian 3:18. 

That was just a tid-bit of his sermon but it really spoke to me.

CC Saturday Night services are all about building community and working together to figure out how to live as Christians and learn about the character of God! I am excited to see where it goes from here! 

After the service, we invited the congregation to go out to eat at a Sports is a picture of a few of us afterwards.
Til next time :)

P.S. my Mom and I found the CUTEST little onesies for Maksim...just thought I would throw this one in there! I am trying to figure out the room design for Maksim...I thought I had it the other night and then figured out the bedding was WAY too expensive for our, back to square one :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's a BOY!!!

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother's body"
-Psalm 139:13

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord answered my (our) prayer and gave him to me. Now I give him back to the Lord. He will belong to the Lord all his life." 
-1 Samuel 1:27

Our baby boy sucking his thumb!

The coolest thing EVER was watching the ultrasound and seeing our baby move! Wow! It's moments like that where I find it hard to believe that atheists exist. This weekend I went with The Nixon's (minus Grant) to Jackson, Mississippi for a wedding shower for Amanda and Michael. The day we got there, her friend, Audrey (who is an ultrasound tech) gave me a free ultrasound! We got there and went to eat at a yummy sandwich place and while I had my belly full of tea, I was ready for the ultrasound! He was moving all over the place!!! It was sooo cool to see! She showed us several things and took many pics (some I will show on here) and we saw him put his feet over his head, burp, suck his thumb and Audrey also saw where it was a "he"! When that time came, she cleared everyone out of the room and I shut my eyes so I wouldn't see there what the baby was. 

After the ultrasound, Audrey called our cake lady who was making a cake for us to cut into the next day and see the sex! The outside of the cake was white and the inside was to be either blue for a boy or pink for a girl! So, the next day we had a few of our closest friends at Allison and Blake's house and they threw us a Baby Reveal Party! After playing some fun games and eating some of my cravings, Grant and I cut into the cake to see the blue!!! It's a BOY!!! We were over joyed! Grant jumped a few feet off the ground!!! 

Here are a few pictures:

(above): 4D ultrasound of his face
(above): a good body shot! Head on the left and feet on the right
(above): His feet were over his head! His bottom is on the right of the screen; 
head on left with feet above

We have chosen a name for him that means a lot to both Grant and I. 

When we were both at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi there was a tragic car wreck that ended up killing a few students on campus. Grant was close to one of the guys that died, Maksim Sisoev, who was a foreign exchange student from Uzbekistan. The death affected hundreds and Grant, along with many, many others, still miss him to this day, but they are confident that he is with our Lord.
Since his death, Grant and I have wanted to name a boy after Maksim and hopefully one day we will adopt from Uzbekistan (or atleast try). Here is a YouTube video that someone made and Grant posted after Maksim passed: Maksim Sisoev

As many of you close to me and my family know, my grandfather, Samuel Morella, passed away this past summer. It's been pretty tough for the whole family. We wanted to honor Grandpa's death in another way as well. Also, we like the name Samuel because of who Samuel was in the bible:
"Samuel was the son of Elkanah and Hannah who had long been barren. Hannah dedicated him to the Lord as a child and brought him to Eli the priest. When Samuel was a child, he heard the voice of the Lord speak to him at the shrine in Shiloh. As an adult, Samuel played an important part in uniting the tribes against the growing threat of the Philistines. Samuel anointed Saul as king of Israel, and later went to Bethlehem anoint David as Saul's successor."

This is a picture of Grandpa, Samuel, and Grandma at our wedding rehearsal dinner (BBQ/Cowboy themed!) 
It may seem dark to name our child after people who have passed, but this is our way of keeping their memories alive. 

Our baby's name is...

Maksim Samuel Nixon

Meaning of the name Maksim: The boy's name Maksim \m(a)-ksim,mak-sim\ is a variant of Maximilian(Latin), and the meaning of Maksim is "greatest".

Meaning of the name Samuel: It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "God heard". Also possibly as "requested of God", "God's heart" or "God's name".

I think both of those definitions are well suited! We couldn't be more excited and can't wait to meet Maksim or "Maks"!!!

Here's one last fun picture. 

Most everyone who has read my blog has heard of the crazy amount of friends of mine who are pregnant now! Here are a few of them! From the left to right:
Natalie: due in May...almost there!
Laura: due August 25th (our friend, Allison's birthday!)
Me: due September 8th (Allison's husband, Blake's birthday!) I am at 17 weeks now! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beyond Blessed!

I am a day short of 17 weeks....
and I am feeling more and more pregnant every day...and I love it! Before I was pregnant I SWORE I was going to love being pregnant...then I had a few friends who filled me in on the reality of it. Hannah, who has sweet Ivy who is over a year old, told me all about delivery and her pregnancy...I mean ALL, but I am very thankful for that. She had a pretty rough time. Speaking of rough times, my other friend, Allison, had an even worse pregnancy. But, if you ask both of them today if they would go back and want the outcome to be different, their answers would be 100% NO! I am biased because I love their chillins, but they are some of the cutest babies IN THE WORLD. So, back to my pregnancy...if you have read any of my other posts, I honestly have had an awesome pregnancy. The Lord knows I needed to work and not miss out because of morning sickness and I have been blessed!  My first "morning sickness" was at 16 weeks and after google-ing and getting some advice from other mothers I figured out it was because I took my prenatal vitamin at a different time and it messed up my system. I usually take it in the morning but that day, I didn't take it until 3 p.m.

I have had some "pains" but after talking to the doctor...they are pretty much all normal. I have felt a few cramps under my ribs (mostly on right side and sometimes on the left) but the doctor said that it was from the baby and placenta moving things up in my body. And, I have had some back pain, too. My Mom had back labor so I will pray that I don't inherit that! But, I have overall been blessed more than I could have asked for.

My Mom found this maternity website the other day and I wanted to share it! It's called Kiki's Fashions Maternity. It's my new favorite store! I broke down EARLY (12 weeks) and bought maternity pants (don't judge...I wanted to be comfortable, ha!) so I have been good in that aspect for a few weeks now but I have had trouble with my tops. I was running out of long enough tops to wear. Here's a few things I got from Kiki's:

I haven't worn any of them yet...the yellow dress may be a hit or miss...but, I am just happy to know that there are stores out there that I can buy from that aren't just the normal maternity stores and that are somewhat trendy. And, the most expensive option was $30 for the dress (which I think is VERY reasonable).

So, just a side note for anyone dealing with this same issue. I will update a new picture after this weekend. I am taking a one day road trip to attend a wedding shower for Amanda and Michael and, in the process, get a FREE ultrasound to find out the sex of our baby!!! YEA! I think I am also getting a 3D ultrasound (or 4D-whatever), but the ultrasound tech said that the babies look so odd at this stage when you see them through that type of ultrasound. Next post will be what the sex is!!!

This weekend is FULL of exciting things! We will find out the sex of our baby AND it is the first night of our Christ Church Saturday Night service at the Arlington campus and most importantly, this weekend represents the Resurrection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!!

The website is here: CC Saturday Nights if you are interested! Even if you haven't been to church in years, give us a chance. It's a contemporary service with solid biblical preaching by my husband, Grant.

There will be a whole bucket full of updates after this weekend!

Before I go, I wanted to share something from my devotional, "At His Feet" by Tiegreen. This is straight from the devo (which I highly recommend, btw!)

The Resurrection Promise: Mark 9: 30-32
"The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise."  Mark 9:31

Death surrounds us. It is on our TVs and in our newspapers. It has taken family members and friends. It will come to each of us. For all who are crushed by the reality of the Fall, Jesus gives this promise. There is a resurrection. 

Perhaps we have heard this from the pulpit so often that we have lost a sense of amazement over this impossible claim. But think about it. This just does not happen, at least not visibly. Most religions have some concept of an afterlife, but a man being physically raised from the dead? No one ever made such a claim. Except Jesus. Even His disciples, who had seen him raise Lazarus, a widow's son, and a little girl, were dumbfounded. (v.32) They didn't know what to make of this prediction, because it was beyond the realm of possibility. People die and they are buried. Period.

But Jesus erased the period. His resurrection, far from being an exclusive privilege of the Son of God, means everything for us. It reversed the curse of death that we bought upon ourselves at the Fall. It is the re-genesis-the beginning of a new creation. And we are invited to be a part of it. 

If you are reading this blog and don't really know about Jesus, who he REALLY is, and how he's affected my life, I would love to talk to you. Shoot me an email at