A New Season

I know it's been so long since I've posted on here...life has been a crazy roller coaster the past year and I have put my blog on the back burner.

Good news is....I'm blogging again! Not here though :) James and I started a blog called Courageous Love...all about the challenges and struggles we have faced through out our relationship and first year of marriage...as well as the Lord's redeeming power in both of our lives! Please take the time to go check it out and subscribe if you'd like ;) courageouslove.net is where you'll find me from now on!

Thank you all so much!

xoxo, Autumn


Waiting, Expecting, Longing

Advent - The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

I didn't grow up in a home that recognized Advent, so I never really understood what it was about. I didn't know it was a time of waiting...expecting...longing for our Savior. I didn't realize how significant it was. Until last year when I was sitting in dark room with hundreds of college-aged people, quietly, patiently, thinking about that moment, two thousand years ago, when a babe was being born. A babe that was born to redeem my life. I get chills just thinking about the moment  it hit me...I finally understood. Breathing deep. Reflecting. Longing for this Christ child.

I was introduced to a blog today: She Reads Truth. I have read the past couple days postings on Advent and made the decision to read daily through this Advent season. I will spend time reflecting on Him, transition my thoughts to long for His birth and His coming again.

This was a story they posted.

The following is an excerpt from “The Jesus Storybook Bible”, by Sally Lloyd-Jones. She uses prophecies from Isaiah 9, 11, 40, 50, 53, 55, and 60 to compose a beautifully-written message of hope from God to us, his people through the prophet Isaiah:
Dear Little Flock,
You’re all wandering away from me, like sheep in an open field. You have always been running away from me. And now you’re lost. You can’t find your way back.
But I can’t stop loving you. I will come to find you. So I am sending you a Shepherd to look after you and love you. To carry you home to me.
You’ve been stumbling around, like people in a dark room. But into the darkness, a bright Light will shine! It will chase away all the shadows, like sunshine.
A little baby will be born. A Royal Son. His mommy will be a young girl who doesn’t have a husband. His name will be Emmanuel, which means “God has come to live with us.” He is one of King David’s children’s children’s children.
The Prince of Peace.
Yes, Someone is going to come and rescue you! But he won’t be who anyone expects.
He will be a King! But he won’t live in a palace. And he won’t have lots of money. He will be poor. And he will be a Servant. But this King will heal the whole world.
He will be a Hero! He will fight for his people, and rescue them from their enemies. But he won’t have big armies, and he won’t fight with swords.
He will make the blind see, he will make the lame leap like a deer!
He will make everything the way it was always meant to be.
But people will hate him, and they won’t listen to him. He will be like a Lamb – he will suffer and die.
It’s the Secret Rescue Plan we made – from before the beginning of the world!
It’s the only way to get you back.
But he won’t stay dead – I will make him alive again!
And, one day, when he comes back to rule forever, the mountains and trees will dance and sing for joy! The earth will shout out loud! His fame will fill the whole earth – as the waters cover the sea! Everything sad will come untrue. Even death is going to die! And he will wipe away every tear from every eye.
Yes, the Rescuer will come. Look for him. Watch for him. Wait for him. He will come!
I promise.
Love, God

Advent is special. It's something husband and I want to incorporate in our family. We want to raise our children to long for the Lord. We want to help train their hearts (and ours) to be less focused on self, less focused on buying presents, and more focused on giving, loving, sharing His story...and most importantly celebrating our King.

"The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this."
Isaiah 9:2-7

Join me this Advent season in reading through the blog, the scriptures, reflecting, and waiting for our Savior! Amen.


Be thankful everyday!

Day 21: Thankful for time spent in the kitchen (and the money) to make sweet treats! Also thankful that the Tisthammer/Harrison/Catarisano families let us celebrate Thanksgiving and gather around the table with them to share memories and stories!

Day 22: Thankful for a day where we celebrate Thankfulness ;) A day where people all around the nation gather with friends and families to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole (yuck!), yams, rolls, and stuffing! It's a beautiful day, every year, no matter the circumstances!
Annnnnd, late night shopping adventures with great friends! Thanks Tisthammers for joining us and fighting the crowds :)

Happy Thanksgiving from the Carton Family!
Day 23: Black Friday. Loooooove this day! We live in a consumer's world, and I'm not going to lie...I love shopping for stuff! But just being in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is so heartwarming...and at times, frustrating ;)

Day 24: New hair. And new boots.

From red, to brown, to honey blonde! Change is so fun!

Day 25: Late nights playing games and eating pizza with friends who have become our extended family!

Day 26: Conversations with those I love over email who are thousands of miles away! Thankful for Rhonda Miller who pretty much adopted me as her 2nd daughter.

Day 27: Thankful to have met a wonderful couple from Germany and are geting to learn about their lives, their culture, their language, and how they cook amazing food!

Day 28: New recipes to cook for my husband that he loves. Give these delicious Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps from Mel's Kitchen Cafe a try! I would not steer you wrong ;)

Day 29: Hot tea, pumpkin cookies, and Settlers with the Menegocci's. Such a fun night with much laughter and getting to know each other better :) We are thankful to know you guys and call you friends!

Day 30: Thankful for the good and not-so-good seasons in life. Sometimes husband and I don't get along and argue over (what seems like) everything. But I'm reminded that we are both human, that we have our own opinions about situations and that we're still both learning how to communicate, how to love, and how to encourage each other! I'm thankful that we have the Lord, cause if we didn't...I don't know how we would make it!

November has been such a wonderful month of newness in my life! A new home, new puppy, new friendships. Although change is hard for me, I've enjoyed this season of growing (as well as growing up) and learning more about myself and those around me. As this month comes to a close, I'm reminded how wonderful it has been to say what I'm thankful for everyday for a month, but it also challenges me that this needs to be my mindset everyday of the year! There is always something to be thankful for :)
I can't wait to see what the Lord does throughout the month of December!

And....can I just take a moment to say how excited I am it's Christmas month!! Christmas music hasn't stopped in a week, the house is just about decorated, and I've watched Home Alone I & II at least 5 times already ;)

Have a lovely Friday friends!