Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Testimony Tuesday #1

Hey y'all! I'm really excited today because I'm re-sharing my testimony of faith with you. I posted this a few months ago but I'm hoping you will join me in this journey! I would really love to start a series on this blog with testimonies from any of my Christian friends who want to share how they started their walk with God (and how their walk is going of course.) You don't have to have a blog to be a part of Testimony Tuesday, just email me and I will post it. I'm really hoping that this will inspire people who are down and uplift people who are struggling. Everyone deserves to know their Saviour loves them!


On to my personal testimony....(Repost from August 5, 2012)

Weeeeell, I hope you have some coffee, a glass of wine, or my personal recommendation some sweet tea cause you're in for a long post.

I can remember when I was young going to church with my mama every so often. I never remember us having a set church or a real church family. We never went to church on Christmas, but usually went on Easter. Our family never had big dinners after church on Sunday. We never read the Bible together. I never knew what exactly God's love was. I had absolutely no idea what prayer was and why we used it.

When I got to high school I started partying, the usual. Then my junior year something terrible happened, to this day only a select few of my very closest friends know what happened. So I drank. Drank to forget, drank to have fun, drank to get through the day. I was 17 and drunk at school. My senior year came and I of course was still drinking. My best friend had moved in with me and found me at home in my bed after work, drinking tequila. This was a frequent happening. I would take alcohol to school in water bottles and drink during class. My parents never knew. I never got caught. Richard and I had just started talking and he was NOT havin' that habit. I remember we weren't even dating and he would yell at me to stop, tell me not to drive home. He wasn't being mean, even though I thought he was, he was just protecting me from myself. Then one day just after Christmas break had started a kid on the newspaper staff messaged me on facebook. I was the editor-in-chief of the yearbook my senior year so we had worked together a lot. He asked my why I was always drinking. He asked why I was in fact drinking that night. He asked how long of life I wanted to live. He asked where I thought I was going when I died. And then he told me something that shocked me, he said, "You drink so much you don't know if tomorrow will be here or not. You could kill someone driving. You could get alcohol poisoning. If you die, do you want to go to Hell?" Shoot, I didn't even believe in heaven and hell then. I thought that was a joke and that everyone went to Heaven. I was almost 18 years old and I didn't realize Heaven and Hell were real!

We continued this conversation well into the morning, probably until four or so. He told me at the end of the conversation that I should ask forgiveness for all my sins. I told him that would be impossible. How was I supposed to remember everything I supposedly did bad and ask God to forgive me? God didn't even want to forgive me. I was a drinking, slutty, 18-year-old, who didn't really care where life took me. Now why on earth would He want me to go to heaven when I died? Was this kid joking? I ended up telling him that I wasn't asking forgiveness, I wasn't wasting God's time when He should save room for people who really matter. Yeah, I was obviously not in a good place that year. Then he said, "Okay," and gave me a prayer to pray if I felt the need to change my mind. Yeah right, that wasn't going to happen in a million years. I was going to Hell.

Sure enough, I stayed sober the next couple days and really thought about what he said. Maybe there was enough room up there for one more sinner. Maybe I still had a shot. A couple days before Christmas I decided to tell him that I was ready. I wanted to ask for forgiveness.
So, I messaged my friend and told him I was ready. He told me the things I needed to say, guided me through the life changing prayer and I was re-born. I cannot explain exactly how I felt after I prayed. All I can tell you is that my life felt much less heavy. I didn't feel like I was a failure. I didn't feel so weighed down with emotions and pain. I felt new. Then he told me I needed to try out some churches and recommended the church that he (and many other friends I went to school with) went to. I freaked out. Oh no, I can't go to church. Everyone is going to think I'm worthless and dirty. Then I'm just going to end up back at square one. Here we go, I thought, I'm just a sinner again, waiting to go to Hell. The pastor from his church came to my house on Christmas Eve, introduced himself to my family, and gave me a Bible he wrote some advice in. It was the prettiest Bible I've ever seen. I thought all Bibles had to be brown and boring, but this one was so pretty and new.

At the time I was working at the hospital in the food service department delivering food to sick patients and new moms. A girl I worked with was the step-daughter of a pastor and had been a believer all her life. Her life was based around Christ. I told her what I had done and that I couldn't go to church. I was terrified to be judged. More terrified than dying and going to Hell. She convinced me after a very long talk that I should come to church with her the first Sunday after the new year. I told her I had nothing to wear but short dresses. So we took a trip to the mall so I'd feel more comfortable in a longer dress. I headed off to church that Sunday and then we had lunch at our favorite restaurant after. It wasn't so bad, there were a lot of older people instead of so many young kids. The next week I decided I would go to the other church.

So, that next Sunday I got up, got dressed, and headed to church. Let me tell you this church is GIGANTIC. Not an understatement. I was terrified. I had no idea where to go. Finally, the pastor asked me if I was coming to the youth room and told him yes. I found a seat and settled in. That day I felt like the message (it was about New Year's Revolutions instead of New Year's Resolutions,) really spoke to me. However, after church got out the drinking didn't stop. I still had the urge to drink.

For the next few months I continued going to church most Sundays. Then our pastor mentioned the bi-annual baptisms were coming up. Oh lanta, when was all this church stuff gonna stop. How much do I have to do here? Of course, they talked me into it. I went to a little meeting about what baptism means, blah blah blah. The morning of my baptism I was just different. I felt different. We had to write our testimony out for the assistant pastor to read before we got baptized and I remember all my family being there. Most of my friends came too. The pastor asked a couple questions and then dipped me underwater. I have never felt so clean and new in my life.

The guy that helped me come to see Jesus actually had his parents video tape us being baptized one after the other and they gave me a copy. I cry every time I watch it. I would never change anything I've gone through, although I know I've made plenty of mistakes, it all led me right here. Being able to share this all with you, in hopes I will inspire someone to take that leap of faith. I look back and see that my life is no where near perfect today but at least I don't have to be scared of where I'm going on judgement day. I love being in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you've made it through I really want to thank you for reading my whole testimony. I hope we can become siblings in Christ! If there is anything you need prayer for feel free to leave a comment or email me, I would absolutely love to have you as part of this amazing family! Literally, if you need ANYTHING please don't hesitate to email me at aimeeguise@gmail.com I want to hear from you, I want to pray for you, I want to talk to you about where God is leading you. It inspires me to continue pouring my life out to uplift others.

If you'd like your testimony posted (I would love to have you!) just email it to me at aimeeguise@gmail.com you can include a photo and any social media, your email address, blog, etc. where someone can find you and encourage you if you'd like, if not I can just post your name and keep it as simple as that. I really hope that I can have a continuous amount of testimonies to help people so spread the word!

Thank you again for reading!

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Memories Suite {Giveaway}

Hey lovelies, today I'm bringing you a pretty awesome review & giveaway. This is for all of you creative dolls out there, especially if you like to preserve your memories through scrapbooks and photo books!

Now, as a student who works full time there is no way I have the time to scrapbook. I LOVE scrapbooks because they are so personalized and it's such a nice way to preserve memories and milestones. I hope when I have my own babies I have the time because I just love them! My Memories Suite makes it SO easy to put scrapbooks and memory books together! Everything is digitalized which means it is literally so easy to make a gorgeous book! They have pre-designed templates and calendars or you can download individual papers, embellishments, frames, and word art to personalize your own pages. When you download the individualized files you can also print one photo with a pretty paper background and just frame it instead of a scrap booked page. This software is SO versatile.

Here is a page I created in under an hour, yes, under an hour! It's really plain and doesn't have too much detail but I really like the look of this page if you just wanted something to frame rather than create an entire book.
This is a senior picture of mine so I just added the Senior 2010 text with Prima Ballerina at the top. I could easily print this off for my family for a gift or for myself to put out as a decoration. 

My Memories has an amazing array of templates and packages to choose from. They have a TON of free sets and most of the other sets & embellishments are going to be between $0.75 and $4.99. Seriously amazing. 
In honor of Valentine's Day coming up here is an example of an entire set, including, paper and embellishments, for $2.99. As you can see there are words, hearts, bows, and papers (20 to be exact!)

This is honestly the best scrapbooking software I have ever come accross. I would gladly create my own photo books and layouts to have professionally printed. I'm actually really excited to be able to start creating layouts and actually doing something with my pictures from high school and some of my adventures! Especially when I start having my own babies!

I'm so excited to make some more layouts and share them with you. In the mean time you can enter the giveaway to win a full version of My Memories Suite software (a $39.97 value!) Please just follow the rafflecopter below for all the possible entries.

**If you would like to purchase the software you can use the code STMMMS30182 for $10 off the software and a $10 coupon to the MyMemories.com store. Go here to get your very own digital download. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Photobucket

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by MyMemories.com.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Literary Junkies #3

Hey darlins! This post is two days late, eeeek. But I have an excuse, my birthday was Tuesday so I didn't put a post together, oops. Annnnd the celebrations continued through, well, right now?...Ha!

Anywho, I'm linking up with Taylor and Lesley for our third Literary Junkies party. If you're into reading you should really check out the party and book club. Go to Taylor's blog for more information! it's super fun, we even have twitter parties!

Pink Heels Pink Truck

1. Which book could you read over and over? Why?
I adore all the Emily Griffin books. My favorite is probably Something Borrowed just because it's the first one and leads to so many other books. I love her style of writing and how everything is fiction but it could also happen in real life. I also love that almost all of her books are intertwined somehow. I don't like books that are fantasy and sci-fi. I actually think they are the most ridiculous things in the world, not to offend anyone who loves them! 

2. If you could be any character from any book you've read, who would you be?
I probably can't even answer this question but I'll try ha! I haven't read a whole lot of books just because I often don't get into them. I'm one of those people who if I'm not hooked by the tenth page you might as well forget it. If I had to choose though, I would probably be someone out of a Nicholas Sparks book. I'm a hopeless romantic and I adore all of his books! 

3. Do you ever put a book down because you just can't get into it? Or do you stick it out to the bitter end? Any examples?
As I just mentioned, I will put a book down ASAP if it doesn't appeal to me. Especially if I feel like I've read quite a bit and it's just dragging out. The one I have most recently put down was our Bookclub book for this month, The Casual Vacancy. I read the first 95 pages and it was draaaaaagging. I finally gave up and decided to put it down. J.K. Rowling has never appealed to me. I don't like Harry Potter but I figured I would like this book because it was a totally different direction. I'm just not a fan of her work unfortunately. 

4. Show us your book shelves! Do you have one designated spot in your house for all your books? Do you scatter them around?
I don't have my own house so I have limited space for books. I keep most of them in my small entertainment center with my DVDs and VHS tapes. All my other "to be read" books are in my closet and I swap them out as I wish. I really like Paperbackswap.com for swapping books because I usually don't hold on to a book that didn't really appeal to me or I don't think I will read again. It allows me to continue reading new books without having the old ones lay around! 
I also get some books on my kindle, this semester I actually bought a couple of textbooks on my Kindle so I didn't have to make space for the huge things! 

Thanks for stoppin' by y'all! Have an amazing day/weekend. Tomorrow is FRIDAY! 

P.S. Tomorrow is the last day to enter my CampusBookRentals giveaway! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Low Cost College Textbooks {Giveaway}

Hey y'all!

Today I have a really exciting post for all my fellow students out there. If you have gone to college lately or are currently enrolled we don't even need to talk about the cost of a textbook. It seems like each semester I'm in school and add up how much my books are going to be the cost just goes up and up. Sometimes I cringe thinking if I didn't have to pay for all those books I could probably put a down payment on a decent used car!

My other pet peeve with textbooks is the fact that if you buy your books (especially from the bookstore) you've got a good 600 page book at the end of the semester that is going to collect dust. I have never actually used a book after semester ended, but I'm a bad student and usually never use them during school anyways!

Well, lately a lot of rental sites have been popping up and I have been loving them. You get a book in really good condition for a term and then you can send it back for a fraction of the cost to buy it! We all know you aren't gonna get half of what you paid for that book back out of it, especially if you're a highlighter.

One of my personal favorite websites to rent from is CampusBookRentals. I rented my French textbook (click here for the link to the French textbook) from them last semester and it was so easy. SO. EASY. I literally ordered the book, had it shipped to my door, they give you a bubble mailer AND return label, and when you're done you ship it back. Along with being literally the easiest rental site I have ever used, they allow you to highlight the text. Now, I'm not a highlighter but some people are definitely visual!
This is the price I would have paid if I would have got the book from my bookstore.

This is what it costs to rent the book from Campus Book Rentals. Obviously it's over $100 cheaper to even rent it from the bookstore! 

What are some other perks you ask? Well, if at any point you need to extend your rental you can just log in to your account and voila, there is a little button and you type the due back date you'd like, pay for the extension, and you're done. If you honestly would like to buy the book because you think you'll use it in the future, you can pay them the difference and it's yours, free and clear! If for some reason you need to return your book they will let you return it for a full refund within 30 days. Like seriously, can it get any better?

Whenever you do rent a textbook from them, a portion of the sales gets donated to Operation Smile, which is an organization that does cleft reconstructive surgeries. I find this amazing considering my cousin has had 22 years of cleft lip and palate surgeries. That topic really hits home with me!

And guess what I have for y'all today?! A giveaway! CampusBookRentals so graciously offered to giveaway a $25 gift code to one of you lucky ducks to put towards your books! Follow the rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Photobucket

Thursday, January 3, 2013

MIA Much?

Hey y'all! I know, long time, no blog. I'm a loser. Anyways, I had a free moment to blog and I seriously did not notice how bad I missed blogging. I feel like y'all are my best of friends and I'm being reunited after six years or something. Wow.

I'm really hoping when school starts this semester I won't have such a hard time adjusting and I'll be able to blog way more often. It's a goal I have for the New Year: be able to blog regularly!

Speaking of goals for this year I have a few that I wanted to share with you. I asked on twitter the other day if anyone has everyone "monthly resolutions" as opposed to a New Year's resolution and if that was easier to accomplish than doing an entire year of a resolution. I think I'm going to try doing something along those lines. So for instance my "goal/resolution/no-buy" for the month is not eating any fast food! Yes, that will be tough, I always turn to McDonald's in a time of doubt, not any longer! Plus, think of how much money I'm saving.

At the beginning of the week I started TurboFire, which is a program similar to P90X, Insanity, ChaLean Extreme, etc. It's one of the Beachbody workouts and I've tried it before but I just wasn't into it and the DVD's have been sitting around for about two years now. I figured since I paid over $100 for them I should at least either use them or sell them and I decided I would try them again, I have to say in the week I've been doing it I'm actually having a lot of fun. The workouts are really intense because the workouts are mostly based around high intensity interval training. I'm tellin' you my booty, legs, abs, arms, ribcage, thighs, everything hurts. It hurts to hand people their clothes at work and even to sit down!

So, I have a few questions/requests for y'all!
1) Do you have any link-ups/accountability parties on your blogs (or do you know of any) relating to eating clean and getting fit? If you personally host one on your blog I would LOVE to check it out! Leave the link in the comment section or you can e-mail me if that's easier.
aimeeguise {at} gmail {dot} com
2) Do you have a board on Pinterest that is based on healthy recipes and getting fit. I think the exercises on Pinterest are some of the best and most effective for doing at home and I find new ones all the time!

If you have any other information to pass along I'd love to hear it. Also, if your goal for the year is to get fit let me know so I can come see your progress and encourage you! Thanks for stoppin' by and have a fabulous day :)