Beneath the Surface


What do you see when you look at this picture? A pile of books on a filing cabinet? An old lamp? A really old looking night stand? Let me tell you what I see.

I see an adventure. That filing cabinet turned nightstand was found on a networking venture with a coworker. We went to a Christian bookstore to tell them about our agency and found a thrift store connected to it. While explaining our services we saw an old filing cabinet for an incredibly cheap price that we both wanted. My coworker ended up letting me get it. Let me tell you what else I see.

I see family and friends.  Did you see the picture frame on the cabinet? While I was in Kentucky the guidance counselor I interned under taught me how to take a picture frame and turn it into a dry erase memo board. The scrapbook paper inside of it was given to me from the residential home I worked in. The Scripture on it is the one I wake up to every morning as I get started on my day.

Did you see the antique lamp on the filing cabinet? That lamp belonged to my grandmother and she gave it to me because she thought it would complete my apartment. She was right.

That pile of random books? Those books represent a number of emotions for me. That Tim Tebow book on top is not even released yet. I received an email asking if I would review the book from his publishing company. Imagine my excitement at thatJ (BTW it comes out October 25). The Melissa Jagears’ book on the nightstand represents the honor that Bethany House Publishers gives me of reviewing some of my favorite author’s books. Do you see the thin book in the middle? That is the book I can grab in the middle of the night when I think of a random prayer, person, or writing idea that hits me.

What is the point of me explaining all of this to you? It is a reminder. 1 Samuel 16:17 says, “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. How often do you look at someone and automatically form your judgement of that picture? Just like the picture above do you form a snap judgment on exactly who that person is?

God does not do that. He looks deeper. He listens. He learns that person’s heart. God does not give up on a person based on the appearance of their life at that moment. God keeps digging until He has reached that person and the depths of who they were created to be.

How often do you change friends? How often do you move on from someone you see at church or in the community because of their looks? In social worker I have instantly learned that it is better to dig deeper and discover who someone really is. It can be hard to stick with someone based on even their outward actions. When you dig deeper you find someone with so much potential and so much value. You find a new best friend when you reach out to that person you don’t know or that seems strange in the community or church. You find someone who could be a president, pastor, lawyer, banker, nurse, or teacher. You find potential. What would happen if you reached beyond the first appearance?

No Way Up – Mary Connealy

So I have been delaying writing this review.  Why?  Mary Connealy is one of my top ten favorite authors of all time.  I hate to ever give her anything but a perfect review.  However, I have promised Bethany House to be fair and unbiased in my review of all books I receive from them (this was one of them).

imageNo Way Up was a fun western book.  There was Mary’s hilarious comedy, life threatening situations, and romance.  The plot line was very familiar though.  Elements of the story were similar to other books she has written.  The story is also reminiscent of The Big Valley television show.

If you love westerns, Christian fiction and comedy you will love this book.  I love reading Mary’s westerns.  However, if you have read many of Mary Connealy’s books the plot may seem familiar.  I am still looking forward to her next book in the series!

Fast Facts About Me: Alycia Marie

I realized my introduction to me in my old blog was from several years ago.  I think it is important for someone to understand the lens a blogger is observing the world through. Mine is through a Jesus-loving, passionate, social worker perspective.  Here are 50 fast facts to assist you in understanding my perspective on life:

image1. My name is Alycia Marie.

2. I am 25 years old.

3. I am a proud owner of a 1 year old puppy named Wyatt Earp.

4. I have a soon to be 18 year old sister!

5. I have very young parents.

6. I have 4 grandmothers and 4 grandfathers (all living).

7. My favorite color is mint blue.

8. I have a CNA from Waukesha County Technical College.

9. I have lived in 5 states, 3 of them twice!

10. I have a BS in Psychology from Wisconsin Lutheran College.

11. The longest I have lived anywhere is 8 years in St. Louis.

12. I have a Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis in Child & Family.

13. I am a country, city girl. I prefer living in the country but being able to visit the city.

14. I have been to at least half of the states in the USA.

15. I love road trips.

16. I am an extroverted introvert.

17. I love people.

18. I have worked with people from the unborn to 90 years old.

19. I love kids.

20. I have a photographic memory that sometimes forgets.

21. I want to own a home one day and host people every Sunday dinner to build community.

22. I have worked with pregnant women and teens for going on 5 years.

23. I want to be involved in women’s ministries for my whole life.

24. I am a bookworm.

25. I have a chronic illness.

26. I write for Tirzah magazine.

27. My best friend lives 2 hours from me and we met when we became roommates.

28. I had two best friends in college and everyone called us The Three Musketeers.

29. I want to own a farm.

30. I enjoy painting buildings and have assisted in painting 2 of the offices at my work.

31. One of my hobbies is decorating.

32. I spend 2 hours a week on my planner.

33. I spend at least 5 hours a week of my work driving.

34. My favorite car feature is my sunroof.

35. I love country music and hip hop.

36. I love zip lining.

37. I am going skydiving with my Grandpa Pat and sister next summer.

38. I would rather camp than stay in a hotel.

39. I would love to do public speaking, have kids, and write a book one day.

40. I tried being a vegetarian but now eat meat almost every meal.

41. Kentucky is my favorite place on earth.

42. Wisconsin is becoming my home.

43. I love to volunteer with Compassion International in my spare time.

44. Mexico was my first time of the United States.

45. I love to create new food dishes.

46. I have 4 best friends.

47. My favorite tv show is BONES.

48. I did not have a tv growing up.

49. I love Superman.

50. Most importantly,  Jesus is the most important part of my life. He gave me my calling, my car,my family, my puppy, and everything I have.  He is my very best friend.