Wednesday, August 26, 2009

six months checkup

As of yesterday...
Elijah weighs 14 lbs 9 oz
and is 25" tall

Monday, August 24, 2009

musical monday

Our pastor has been preaching a sermon series on John 15. I have truly enjoyed this series and have been so blessed by everything Johnny has passionately shared with us. He's been giving us the "5 Keys to Successful Living" from John 15. They are:
  1. The key to life is bearing fruit.
  2. The key to bearing fruit is abiding in Christ.
  3. The key to abiding in Christ is obeying Christ.
  4. The key to obeying Christ is loving Christ.
  5. The key to loving Christ is knowing Christ.

I just love the way he has unpacked this section of Scripture for us. I think it took me until the 3rd week (yes, I'm slow) to realize that he was going to give us a "key" and then tell us how to actually obtain that key. I've gotta admit, from week one, I've just walked away each Sunday saying..."Man, I want more of that in my life." that he has revealed the fifth key, I am seeking today to know Christ much more intimately, SO THAT I can love Him, obey Him, abide in Him, and bear fruit for Him. ALL things that I have honestly been so slack in lately.

So, my slackness in each area just shows how slack I have been in getting to know Christ. Help me by praying that I will continually dive in to God's Word and get to know Him more and more each day. None of the "Check. I've read my bible today" nonsense, but a hunger like no other to get into God's Word. (Much like I completely dig into McDonald's fries like I'm starving and have completely devoured them before I even know what has happened!) Oh, that my hunger for God's Word would be like my hunger for other things.

If you want to check out Johnny's sermons, you can check here for sermon downloads and sermon notes.

Justin used a great song yesterday to help instill in us the need to know God more. Here's what I'll leave you with today, in hopes that you, too, will have an increased hunger for God's Word that just can't quite be quenched.

Knowing You

All I once held dear built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus knowing you
There is no greater thing
You're my all you're the best
You're my joy, my righteousness
And I love you , Lord

Now my heart's desire is to know you more
To be found in you, and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh to know the power of your risen life
And to know you in your suffering
To become like you in your death my Lord
So with You to live
And never die

(Check out Philippians 3)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

death is not dying

I have been meaning to post a link for forever.

So, here:

If you haven't seen this video by now, it is well worth your time. We watched it as a Sunday School Class a while back and it is one of the most eloquent testimonies to the Lord's goodness that I have ever heard. It's about 55 minutes long, but please take time to watch. It's a testimony by Rachel Barkey who faced a tough battle with breast cancer, then terminal cancer.

Here's a quote from her:

"Cancer does not define me. Neither does being a wife or a mother. All these things are part of who I am but they do not define me. What defines me is my relationship with Jesus."

I encourage you - if you are going through a difficult season right now, or have gone through a troubling experience and don't understand where God fits into such a struggle - please watch this video with a heart longing to comprehend how God is still a good God in the midst of trials. I pray that you will be blessed by Rachel's story and drawn closer to God by her encouraging life and words.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

seriously?! six months old??

I really can't believe that it's possible, but yes, Elijah is 6 months old today. I'm just in shock that he's now sitting in his high chair like such a big boy, trying out new foods. And he loves to get on his tummy and swing his arms and legs like crazy. Who knows how soon until he will be crawling around here. What a great 6 months this has been! Every day just gets more and more fun. Here are some things Elijah is into these days...
  • He loves his Daddy and is continually saying "dadada" ...and more recently "mamama" so I've been showing him the signs for mom and dad in hopes that he'll pick up on some sign language
  • He's been eating rice cereal for 3 weeks now and he just tried some avocado yesterday (see picture below). Poor thing...the avocado was a shock for him, so I think I'll take it easy on him and introduce bananas next.
  • We just switched to a four hour feeding schedule, so Elijah is still nursing four times a day.
  • He still sleeps through the night - from 8:30 to about 7:00 and takes two 2-hour naps and an hour nap every day.
  • He's sitting up really well if he can balance on his arms. He still LOVES to jump, and once you let him start, he doesn't want to stop.
  • Elijah is "talking" all the time now and always squeals with delight when I come to get him up from a nap. Priceless!
  • He knows who Jazz is and will watch her every move. He will reach out and "pet" her now.
  • We sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Litte Star" to put Elijah down for his naps or bedtime. Usually, if anyone else is putting him down, he just starts crying when they sing this song because he knows what comes next! I think I've ruined that song for him.
  • I'm not exactly sure what he weighs...we go to the dr. next week, but it looks like he's around 14-15 pounds, based on our scale. He's not a chubby baby, that's for sure.
  • We're still using cloth diapers, which I love! Elijah's in 3-6 months clothes.
  • He's a great shopper. He just hangs out in the car seat while I push the cart around. This has been a major blessing so far.
  • He loves going to church because everyone in the nursery takes such good care of him. On Wednesdays, he's usually the only baby, so he gets to hang out with the older kids.
  • I've had him drinking some water out of a cup and he's been checking out the sippy cup, but thinks it's just something to teeth on.
  • Everything goes right to his mouth! Elijah's bottom two teeth came in about 3 weeks ago, thankfully without much fuss.
  • He loves to hear people talk to him on the phone. His eyes just light up and he starts looking all around (and trying to eat the phone!)
  • He likes to sit at the piano and bang the keys while I play...I love it!!
  • And...I could go on forever, but you've probably stopped reading by now and are already looking at the pictures!
not so sure about avocado - how did I get so much on his cheek??

Big boy sitting up

Hanging out with mommy

Loving Aunt Jeni's monkey he found

Isn't this what this duck is for??

Hanging out with daddy

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

i need your help! *update*

I've been teaching a few piano students over the summer, but now that fall is fast approaching, I'm ready to get back in the full swing of teaching. I got all motivated last week about advertising. I decided to test out some different advertising than just the local paper. Since a lot of people don't subscribe to papers anymore, I'm hoping this will be a good idea. This means that I am now proudly driving around with a magnet on my car advertising myself as a piano teacher and wedding pianist! Also, I've got a few signs to put up around town and my very own website. Surprisingly, was up for grabs, so now it's mine!

*Here's a fun activity if you're bored: (if you haven't already) try searching for a website with your namesake. Who knows if its already taken or could be yours someday! :)

This is why I need your help. If anyone in my area is looking for a piano teacher or wedding pianist and decides to Google to find one, my website probably won't come up in the first 10 pages. (I don't really know, but I got bored of looking for it myself when it didn't come up right away). So, I need you to stop reading this and click here to go to my website. Maybe if we all check it out, my website will move up a little on the search engines.

Thanks! (if you are already back from visiting As you can see, it is a work in progress. But hopefully it will keep me motivated and on top of things, especially if someone is in need of a wedding pianist.

Thanks to Vistaprint for all these great marketing tools. If you haven't checked them out, you should!

And, by all means...if you're in the Elkin/Jonesville area and need a pianist...give me a call!

*Thanks so much, everyone! I'm now on the first Google page when you search for a piano teacher in our area!

Monday, August 17, 2009

musical monday

Yesterday, Justin chose to end the service with one of my favorite songs. My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness was the first song we sang when we came to Elkin Valley because we just love it and love to introduce the Getty's songs to others. No matter what you are going through today, if you are a child of God, your heart should be filled with thankfulness for what God has done for you. Yes, what God did FOR YOU. It continually amazes me that God not only sent His only son to die for me, but He worked in my life to draw me toward Him, now helping me to even be able to have thankfulness in my heart for what He has done. I can do nothing apart from Christ! Allow these words to penetrate your heart and remind you of what God has done for you. ...and thank Him!

My heart is filled with thankfulness to him who bore my pain
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace and gave me life again
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness and clothed me in his light
And wrote his law of righteousness with power upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness to him who walks beside
Who floods my weaknesses and strengths and causes fear to fly
Whose every promise is enough for every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love and crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness to him who reigns above
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace, whose every thought is love
For every day I have on earth is given by the King
So I will give my life, my all, to love and follow him.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

where have i been?

Well...I'm not sure! Days are just flying by around the Blakley household. Elijah is getting so big and he'll be 6 months old next week, so I'll catch you up on what he's doing then. Justin will be 27 ( I won't feel so old!) on Saturday, so I'm excited about that!

These last few weeks have been different. My mom was in a wreck on July 30th and, in reality, God totally spared her life. It was quite a reminder for me of God's sovereignty and His grace in allowing us to live another day for His glory. I'm so thankful for my mom's extra days God has given her. I've never personally seen so many bruises! She fell asleep at the wheel (she thinks) and actually hit a Hummer (!) - not quite head on, but on her side. It's amazing to think that she had to be cut out of her car and the only thing she broke was a bone in her wrist. She was less than a 1/4 of a mile from returning home. She's been getting around good and I'm so thankful for God's grace in her safety and recovery.

My sister just moved to Wake Forest, NC where she will attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I'm so excited because this is where Justin and I met and graduated from and I know what a great experience and education she is going to receive. We went Monday to help her move in and I wish we could have spent some more time around town. I love that place! If anyone in the WF area knows of available jobs, let me know because she is looking.

Well, that's a quick recap of my life recently, but definitely not an excuse for my lack of blogging. I guess I'm in a slump...I'll try to do better!