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Friday, November 11, 2011

right now...

...my heart is too full for words. Aslan is on the move, as Annie firmly stated to me this morning...and He is. Though there have been many hard things the past few weeks, the beautiful moments out weigh the bad.

Some of the beautiful moments that are outweighing the bad? Well....:

  • Cooking a huge vat of chili for a beautiful little boy's birthday party.
  • Cornbread....Well, what else do you expect a southern woman to cook for a lot of people, but chili and loads of cornbread? Unless, of course, I was home in South Carolina, then it would be chicken bog all the way. Not sure that my wonderful Colorado family would quite appreciate this low country fare...
  • Chocolate cupcakes. The party's kinda taking over my week:-) It's splendiferous! 
  • Having a beautiful little curly headed girl gaze up at me and say, "Pops is bringing me popcorn on Saturday. Are youuuuu excited???!!!" Yes, sweet girl, how could I be otherwise when you look at me that way? 
  • Charlie. That's it. Just Charlie. 
  • Canadian geese who glide through an achingly beautiful sunset.
  • The fact that I'm getting on a horse tomorrow. Yes. 
  • My Jesus and how, no matter what's happening, there is no possible way that I cannot see the beauty all around me when I'm looking through His eyes. I'm quite smitten with Him:-) 


And He alone is the good in every day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I...

...love this picture!!!

Imagine what life would be like if we could see each other's souls instead of what's on the outside?


P.S. I get my amazing little brother for the whole entire weekend! Words cannot capture how utterly excited I am about this! And on top of that, my darling kindred friend (Lou) is riding with me to get him. I am so blessed:-) *happy sigh...*

P.S.S I am now the very delighted owner of a pair of new "Robin Hood boots" or "Maid Marion" may be more appropriate seeing how I'm a she and all. I also now own a beautiful pair of ballet flats that look like they should be for a princess...*happy sigh again*

P.S.S.S How about our Jesus, isn't He amazing?! I couldn't agree more...:-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Narnia, ordinary, small things, flannel shirts, and purple.

Sitting here in my little room, knowing that outside the world is once again being transformed into Narnia, having "Your Heart" pumping through my earphones, and thinking about what the future holds....life is good:-) Does it get better than this? I'm sure it must, for each year becomes sweeter and sweeter with Him, but when you're not to the next year yet, it's hard to imagine it becoming more wonderful than what I have in this moment. There are so many amazing and wonderful things in my life! Many of them are simple, ordinary, everyday sorts of things, but that's what I find the most beauty and comfort in anyway, so I love how beautifully ordinary they are. After all, the wardrobe looked quite ordinary to Lucy, yet within it she found all that was extraordinary...and come to think of it, isn't that just like this life we're living? If I can't see or find all the beauty that He means for me to see in the small, ordinary things He gives, how can I expect to find and appreciate any otherworldly adventure in the great things that come along? I don't suppose those great and mighty things will come along at all until I cherish all the small things I have now.

Tell me, how do you feel about snow laden rambles late at night? The only thing stopping me from such a lovely ramble right this very moment, is the fact that though I've now resided in this snowy state for three years, I do not own a pair of snow boots suitable for such rambling about. This is the sad, sad truth. However, I plan on being the proud owner of said snow rambling boots very, very soon. I hope. Perhaps some lovely purple snow boots? I love purple, in case you didn't know by now. Still want those ballet flats in purple...

Speaking of purple, I am seriously lacking in the flannel shirt department. Which doesn't really have anything to do with purple, but since I was speaking of it I thought I'd just throw that out there too! Unless I can find a purple flannel shirt, then it would have everything to do with it. Ha! But, seriously, don't you think flannel shirts (when they're cute and tasteful) are the coziest choice for snowy days? I do! Which is why I need to go find some...like tomorrow. And those snow boots too...

I hope you have a beautiful night with Him, even if your world is not being transformed into Narnia;-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

remind me what it's about.

"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life that I may burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life but a full one like You, Lord Jesus."  -Jim Elliot

The Lord placed this quote in the center of my journey to Windsor a couple years ago. It continues to amaze me how He consistently brings it back time and time again when I'm least expecting it. Tonight, I was not expecting it. Walking into our beautiful little chapel this evening, where He has changed me so much over the last two years, I came face to face with the words again and was once again broken. I need to be reminded every single day that I draw in breath of the reason He brought me on such a journey and placed me where He did. It was not so I could work for an amazing ministry and one of the most incredible couples I know (thought what an amazing bonus that's been!) it was so He could truly get a hold of my life, throw out the old me, break me, and hold me close all in preparation for...well, whatever it is that's coming in the future. It doesn't really matter what the future holds as long as I'm walking it with Him, as long as He's receiving the glory due His name, that's all that matters. I say, "Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee!" If this means I'm called to be a Gladys Aylward, called to live the rest of my days rescuing beautiful children alone, if this means I'm to live a short life, but one that blazes out with the glory of God, if this means I'm to marry a man I'll have to let go for the glory of His Kingdom like Elisabeth Elliot, whatever it may be, all I want, all I desire is that He would "light these idle sticks of my life that I may burn for Thee."

Yet, I look at who I am, what my life has been in the past and the mistakes I've made and I tend to lose sight of how there's any possible way He can use me. How can He possibly light the sticks of a life that is soaked in water that would prevent any spark from catching ablaze at all? Then, I hear songs like this one http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KWDDL7NX which I've been listening to non-stop the last two days, and I remember that one, very important fact: "This is not about me and who I hope to be. At the end of the day I want to hear people say that my heart looks like Your heart. When the world looks at me, I pray all they see is my heart looks like Your heart." This song is suppose to be the voice of David. I've been thinking about him a lot lately, about his story and how he crashed and burned in some of the worst ways, yet the Lord still called him a man after His own heart. This gives me a lot of hope for my life. That though I've crashed and burned too, if I follow David's example and walk in another way, constantly seeking the face of my God even when I fall, He'll be able to light a fire to this water logged life and make it blaze for His glory.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

longer post...

...coming after this day is over and many adventures are had with two precious kiddos whom I love more than life and two beautiful women who are dearer than I can express. Be expectant for very, very grand adventures. For now, I'll leave you with this:

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”        - Jim Elliot 

This is just what I plan on doing this beautiful winter day....Have a beautiful day with Him, my friend!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

one.

“To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect—to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but not to fret at the delay; to watch for, but not restlessly; to feel that if He does not come we will acquiesce, and yet to refuse to let the mind acquiesce in the feeling that He will not come.”  -Andrew Davidson

I came across this quote today and it definitely knocked the breath out of me, for it captured all that's in my heart within this one paragraph. There are so many things I feel like I'm waiting on in this season. Some things I'm longing to begin and others I'm longing would end. Yet, I've learned that waiting is such a gift from Him, no matter what it is I'm waiting for. I've gone through too many waiting seasons to not recognize when I'm in the midst of another one...though, at times the recognizing does not make it any easier. Tonight, it does not make it any easier, but despite it all, He is so good to make me wait. Even though there are times when I want to scream, "Why must I wait so long?! Why can't my prayers be answered now?!" Yes, even in those times, when I've gotten over my moment of dramatics, I can feel Him firmly wrap His arms around me and whisper, " Am I not enough? Is there anyone else that can comfort you like I can? Will you not give me all of your heart and hold nothing back so that I may give you all that I desire for your life?" My answer is yes. It's always yes, but I need Him to ask me over and over so that my heart is reminded of what I'm waiting for and I can answer over and over and over, "Yes. Yes. Yes." And He is so good. I cannot express how wonderful He is and when we're alone, my soul truly knows that for the rest of my life, I want nothing but to pursue Him with all the strength I have.

It's a fight, this pursuit of my God. There are many enemies who would stop me, knock me down, and ultimately kill me...but, you know what? Every single step I take, every inch I gain, every mile I run towards Him is worth it. I can think of nothing else in this life worth pursuing with all that I have in me, for I get only one chance at this. I'm allowed one shot to make this life count, because I'm definitely not planning on walking this way again, and I must know that it made a difference even in the smallest of ways. If I try and try to rescue many children and succeed in rescuing only one child, if I try and try to tell many people about this God who loved them so much He died for them and only one person hears me, if I try and try to share the joy of Jesus with all those around me and only one soul discovers it, if I try and try and try for all that I can accomplish for the Kingdom of Heaven and because of this I am poured out, used up, spent, and broken, then it will all have been worth it. Each one. Each one. For it does not have to be many...I am not many, yet my God would have died to save me if I had been the only one on this earth.

This is what I'm clinging to with all my heart. Though I may wait on many things, to end or begin it doesn't really matter, I will do it with longing and joy in my soul. For if I pray and pray and pray and if none of these things is accomplished in my life time for His Kingdom and the glory of His name, it will have been worth it. Yes, though even one is worth it, the spending of our lives if we never see the fruit is worth it all. For God never wastes anything, and every second spent pursuing Him, no matter what I see accomplished, is worth it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

hmmm....




Fog. That's what I walked out to this beautiful, late winter night, for it seems I'm going to never get a normal night's sleep again:-) Which is fine with me as long as He sustains me through it all. I mean, how could I possibly waste time sleeping when there are so many delightful things to see as winter dances her way in? For example, have you ever noticed how clear and bright the stars are after it's snowed? It's as if the snow has washed away any haze from the air. Though, tonight the stars are hidden behind this deep layer of clouds that are hovering low enough to reach out and grab my hand. What would it be like, do you suppose, to have your hand held by a cloud? Perhaps it would be all cottan-y and soft...or maybe it would send a chill through you that would make you draw back. That's what these clouds would feel like, I'm quite sure. They are not friendly clouds. Friendly clouds smile and hover about in all their puffy whiteness on summer days, when the sky is so blue it hurts. These clouds are beginning to menace somewhat...as if they are smiling, but not the kind of smile one wants from clouds. Alright, I'm being a bit dramatic, because the truth is that I love these misty sort or nights, but if I didn't have such a love for precipitation in every form, I could imagine myself quite frightened of said clouds and fog. But, I'm not. No, not even a little bit...although, I really would rather not run into these clouds in a dark ally way...who knows what might happen! Hmmm.....what are your feelings on such things? Whatever it is, I hope you sleep wonderfully.

It crept in tonight. And the world was changed. And now I can't sleep because it's here and I'm so very glad! The words come easier, for I'm once again in my little English hide away of a room, staring out at a Narnian landscape and my soul is still. I feel like this when I'm on the sea, as if I can truly breath, as if my spirit just pauses, takes a deep breath and continues on once again refreshed. It wasn't until last year that the snow brought peace with it into my life. I used to hate even the thought of snow and swore I'd never live anywhere that snowed every year...my God has a wonderful sense of humor! For not only did He place me far from the ocean, but He made sure that this place was laden in snow every single winter. And do you know what I discovered? That in the end, He knows me far better than I know myself, that He knew one day (though it took a few years) I would come to look on the mountains that now fill my days and the snow that comes with every winter, and I would smile and relish every moment I have here. He knew that Narnia would become far dearer to me in my mid twenties than it ever was in my childhood and He made sure I'd be somewhere that transformed itself into just that so that I could hide away and fall more and more in love with Him. This is truly what the snow and cold now represent for me, a season of cozying up with Him and going deeper and deeper still.

Yes, winter crept in tonight. Ah, what wonderful days are ahead of me! Days filled with Earl Grey tea, coffee, dark early morning breakfasts at Egg&I, Aslan, reading, designing, waiting, dark chocolate with sea salt and hot tea, peppermint!, anticipation, hot chocolate, warm soup, journaling, new coffee shops (that come highly recommended), friends that love Narnia and snow just as much as I do, kiddo laughter, snow ball fights, ice-skating, mittens, layers, a lovely green winter jacket ( I'm a bit obsessed with kelly green and purple), warm hats, Little Women, and oh, so much more! Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus! For He is the delight of my days and it is only because of Him that I get to look forward to all of this. I am far more blessed than I have any right to be.

This is what I'm pondering in the dark of this first winter night. I wonder though, what it is about the first snow of the winter? There's definitely something about it. This snow is not like any other...as if the very flakes dancing from the sky were enchanted. Perhaps it really is because it transforms all that there is into something straight from fairy land:-) Alright, I'm off to bed because my brain is becoming a bit foggy and pretty soon I'll be talking of cabbages and kings...sleep well friend!

Friday, October 21, 2011

in which i discuss random things.

Loving my life right now...even if I am really tired. Here are a few random happenings and things I'm loving at the moment:

  •  molasses bread and pesto anyone? not together, just saying they're both amazing;-)
  • a little girl that wakes up with the wildest hair I've ever seen. Seriously.
  • friends that trip over pumpkins (you know what they say about tripping over pumpkins...http://acrossfields.com/2011/10/20/tripping-over-pumpkins/)
  • His amazing joy.
  • chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon frosting...not together...well, you know that actually might be rather good together...
  • a kindred friend that is matching me (clothes wise) lately more than is normal.
  • I've officially decided that I miss my Dad and Beth and home more than should be possible. Christmas, why are you so far away???
  • golden leaves.
  • early morning send off.'s. not that I actually loved this, but I do love the thought of seeing them again...even if it is far away.
  • have I mentioned that I hate my cell phone? cause I do. a lot. I was not meant to own a cell phone.
  • Emily of New Moon.
  • sleeping with the window open whilst snuggled under my down comforter...or I would if I were actually sleeping...ha!
  • coffee.
  • music with a decidedly appalachian mountain flare. 
  • pouring every emotion I have inside me, into that violin that is a part of me.
  • the color gray.
  • bright sunshine and golden leaves
  • prayer, prayer, and more prayer.
  • Jesus...
  • thinking about Jamie's wedding in November...thinking about returning to an old life, yet still loving the current one. and wondering if Robin Hood's somewhere in my old life, or in the new...
  • honey crisp apples. best apples ever. 
  • ballet flats. I would very much like to own a pair of purple ones.
  • realizing just how much I love time alone. really, really. I'm a forced extrovert who's secretly an introvert just wishing to steal away and take a nice long walk alone...or go read in some corner of the wood. 
  • thinking about my grandpa every time I look at the beautiful ring he gave my mom on her 16th birthday that I now wear. I miss him more than I can put into words, for he really was my knight in shining armor.
Hmmm, that's quite a few things, but so many deep things have been going on the last few days, it's good to just see the simple ones written out. Maybe I'll write about those deep things sometime, maybe I won't. Some things are just too deep and some too sacred to capture, no matter how hard one might try. What are some wonderfully simple things happening in your life right now?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

charlie.

Beautiful boy, you were the first thought I had this morning. I think about you all the time. Since the day you were born, not a single day goes by that I don't think of you. That wonderful day that you came into my life changed me forever. You were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen and from that day forward, my heart was never my own again because I willingly let you have it and I don't ever want it back. I don't ever want to live another day of my life without knowing that you are under the same moon as me. That's the joy of being the oldest, Lord willing, I'll never have to live without you:-) God knew I needed to be the oldest in our family, because once you came along, the thought of living a day without you just does not compute with my soul.

There will never be words enough for me to let you know the vast amount that I love you. I love you so much it hurts. I'm so proud of who you are and who you'll become, for I know that our wonderful God has mighty plans for your life! I know that He has a life of adventure waiting for you just around the corner. A life that puts the Lord of the Rings and Narnia to shame it will be so filled with wonder and adventure. Do you know that I pray for you every single day? I pray that He will make you into a mighty man for His Kingdom, a man who stands for justice, who rescues the least, who never drops his sword, but who is willing to hold that sword to the side in order to scoop up a little child. This is what I pray for you in the night, that is what I dream for you. And I know, my wonderful, incredible little brother, that your life can be the most amazing testimony of a life completely poured out and spent for your King, and you will have the most incredible joy and a life overflowing with the beauty of a God who loves you far more than you can ever imagine. Get to know Him, sweet brother, and you'll discover someone who is Aslan brought to life. And oh, what an amazing life you'll have if you let Him write your story for you.

I love you so much, so very, very much, Charlie. Tonight, as the hours pass and I wait for the dawn to arrive, I'm thinking about you and praying for you and I'm missing you.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

dreams.

So, I love to be classy and all "breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Jackie O" put together...but, let's face it, I'm a little too "beachy" and "whimsical" to totally pull this off...it has something to do with having all that sand and salt water in my blood I think. Sometimes I can pull off the whole classically put together thing, but not on a normal, day to day basis. I mean, if you could see my room, you'd really see what I mean. I can't seem to go rambling about the woods without finding some little treasure (aka birds' nests, funky branches, dried flowers/weeds, little pebbles...) I can't live without that I'm sure were just lying there waiting for me to find and take home:-)

With all that said, it would then stand to reason that my dream car would not fall into the exactly...normal...girly sort of car. Nope. I've got a little hippy left over from being raised by a mother who was quite that in her day. So, if I could drive any vehicle I wanted and didn't have to worry about money, this is what I'd take far above anything else. I used to have one and not a single day goes by that I don't get into my very normal car and pretend that I had again what I now only dream of...















Yep, did you picture me in that? Cause these are so totally me:-)

 It's so beautiful here this evening. The clouds above the mountains look like they've caught fire and are burning with the last light of the sinking sun. Twilight and the first light of a coming dawn are my favorite times of day. I think I could forever live in either one...But, you know what the best thing to do in the twilight is? To rock a very sleepy little boy who is hot and sticky (why are children perpetually sticky, no matter how many times you wipe them down?) from playing very hard. Nothing can melt my heart faster than the sound of a little voice asking to be held or, as this little boy says, "Will you cuddle wis me?" Little man, I'll just sit here and "cuddle wis you" until the end of forever. Yes, my heart has been officially removed from my chest and is now running around with four little kiddos who fill my days and several more that are now on our campus. One of our precious little Ethiopian boys ran up to me today, jumped in my arms for a hug, then pulled my face down between his little hands and kissed my cheek. Oh, that did it. I'm officially twitter pated! And sitting in that chair tonight, rocking that beautiful little boy whom I get to spend every day with, all I could think was, "Please let this be my future one day!" But, until I hold my own little boy or girl, I'm completely content to sit here for as many twilights as He sees fit and rock this little boy and his precious little curly headed spit-fire of a sister, who looks up at me, pats my face with her soft little hand and croons, " I wuuuuvvv youuuu!" Yes, I would have every single day that I live this life overflowing with children of every color. That's what I dream about for a future...and maybe a VW van thrown in there somewhere too;-)

I hope you have a beautiful night overflowing with His sweet love and dreams for your future as well, my friend...

Friday, October 14, 2011

he and I.



You know what? I'm so in love with Jesus, I can't find the words to describe it! I'm learning not to begrudge the terrible hits the enemy can send but, to sharpen my sword, not spend a moment letting the hit send me to the ground and to jump back into the battle with a cry of joy! Doesn't mean I won't shed some tears and need to rebalance that sword I'm holding, but I'm holding it still and that's the point. When it gets hard, when I'm not sure where to turn, I'm truly learning that I don't need to talk to anyone about the details, I don't need to be held in anyone's arms, but simply to fall into His, to cry out to Him, to tell Him all the details, though He knows them already, and to let my soul find the rest it needs there. For there is no one on this earth that will ever be able to fulfill me like He can and it's times like these that prove to me just how true this is. There have been such sweet walks alone with my Savior, such wonderful conversation, such beautiful moments of simply being alone with Him...how could I ever be lonely with such a God there every moment?! It's becoming my favorite thing to do in my day, rambling about in my little wood with Him and if I can't for whatever reason, I sorely miss those walks. An ideal day would be to begin and end the day with such walks, for I cannot seem to ever get enough of Him! In fact, the more I'm with Him the more I long to be with Him even more still.

There is a quote by Jonathan Edwards, written of his future wife Sarah (though he did not know at the time she would be his) that sums up exactly what I would strive for each day:


“They say there is a young lady in (New Haven) who is loved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him… she has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in their affection… you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful…. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind…. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what.  She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.” 
I am sure it would take a life time for me to attain anything close to such a life and I certainly am far from it now, but I would hope that one day someone could write or simply know that my greatest desire, my one true pleasure, delight, and joy come from Him and Him alone. May all things that have been set up as idols in my life be torn down so that this relationship with Him is unhindered! For there is nothing, nothing this world holds, nothing I would hold onto that is worth the cost of even the smallest rift between He and I. And as much as I ache to be His alone, to have my focus completely on Him, how much more He longs for these things!

Do you know, you who are reading this here in this moment, that He longs for the same things with you as well? That your relationship would be daily and intimate with Him and that you would discover His joy and peace like you've never known them before. These are only a small statement of the vast aspects of who He is that He wants you to have and know. Begin today! Do not let another moment pass with anything in your life that is hindering you from knowing the fulness of who He is. For He loves you more than you could ever imagine. And that love is far too great to leave you where you are if you'll reach out and accept it...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

faces.

It's happened again. Our campus has been transformed by the lives of the most precious kiddos around. The orphan choir is back and we now boast having the sweetest faces of Ethiopia and Honduras running here and there. My heart has officially been removed from my chest (not that I ever got it back from our Haitian kids but...) and is now in the hands of these adorable little ones. Have I mentioned that I have the best job in the whole world?! Cause I so do. Who can say that, right smack dab in the middle of a work day, they got to stop and play duck duck goose with three beautiful little girls from Ethiopia (who didn't quite understand our "american" way of running around the circle, but darted in and out of it trying to catch us and each other...I liked their version better anyway) and didn't feel guilty about it at all...actually quite the opposite? Oh, that's right! I can!! And my heart just melted as I ran about with them. 


Gazing into their beautiful faces is just like staring straight into the eyes of my God. It's powerful, let me tell you. Being around them, loving on them, and trying to understand their very broken english, makes my heart deeply ache for the children out there that I pray will be in my life one day. The children He will call me to rescue. To me, in this moment, that's exactly what these kids are...and I can't get enough of them. I look at them, and I just love them so very much. It's a strange thing, to have little people walk into my life that I didn't know anything about just a few months ago and, wham, instant love! There will never be any words I'll ever be able to write or say to describe it. 


I think the same thing every time I gaze into the face of little Harper Grace. Her sweet little Korean face is a daily reminder of all that I left behind in that land that stole a part of my heart. The people, the sounds,the smells, the cold winters, and springs that boasted air drenched in the sweetest cherry blossoms...all of it somehow squirmed its way into my soul and not a single day goes by that I don't think about it. Or them. All those faces, some that I can't even remember, some running together, but all those dear, beautiful faces that looked up at me every day from their desks...yes, my heart aches for them. I wonder where they are and what they're doing...did anything He said through me carry into their teenage years? This is what I think about in the night, this is what I wonder...did it make a difference? I long to know that it did, that He received the reward of the time I spent there. I could have done so much more. But, I was so young, almost too young to fully comprehend what had been placed in my hands and oh, how differently I would do things now. Yet, that time was more for Him to work in me then for me to do anything grand. For I absolutely know that I would not be the same person I am today if I had not gone. All the heartaches that happened, all the joys, tears, and laughter, all of it made me who I am. And I trust that not a single word from Him went out without accomplishing what He wanted it to. For He never wastes anything.


So, today and tomorrow and the next day and the day after that I'll look into the little faces surrounding me in my mid twenties, I'll dream of the ones that will come in the future, and I'll think of all the ones that filled the days before my twenties had even begun. And I'll smile and know that He used every moment to the glory of His name...and I'll dream of Heaven, when I'll know all that I'll never know on this earth about so many little faces that have passed out of my life...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Expiration dates are just a suggestion....so are schedules!"

-Author shall remain anonymous per request...;-)
However, this is now one of my favorite quotes
of all time! You know who you are...thank you!!!
This made my entire year so much happier!!!


P.S. I think I'll fly to Neverland tonight...wanna come?

Monday, October 3, 2011

ramblings.



This morning was an English morning. This morning begged for a nice long ramble. It was the kind of morning that gently crept over the horizon in soft blues and pinks, and whispered in one's ear, "Come walk with me. For I have secrets to tell you..."This morning beckoned and I was helpless against its call. This is one of my favorite ways to begin the day, for there is something about getting out into the world at the start of a new day, while everything is still clean and fresh and bathed in the retreating night.


"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow."  ~HenryDavid Thoreau

"Walks.  The body advances, while the mind flutters around it like a bird."  ~Jules Renard


Yes, I couldn't agree more, Mr. Thoreau and Mr. Renard. For you see, one of my favorite things is to ramble about, either in the silent dawning of an early morning or in the gentle rain of any time of day. Nice long rambles, with nowhere particular to go, dreaming of Winnie the Pooh, fairies, and Narnia around every corner, and listening to nothing but the place I happen to be rambling through. Often, I find that the songs that are quietly sung when I'm alone and quietly tip-toeing through some wood, are the most beautifully simple melodies one can hear. Birds perform gentle solos intertwined with harmonies of those who might be flying by. Rivers rush or creeks slowly hum along, knowing all there is to know about everything. Winds blow or breezes saunter through rustling leaves, creating a myriad texture of sounds. Perhaps, the gentle tap-tap of rain touches upturned branches and tiny creatures scurry here and there through tall, stately grasses back to their little homes and burrows. Yes, in such a state, I could be the greatest writer ever (haha, not by far)...except, I can never seem to hold the wonderful thoughts I've come up with on said rambles captive long enough to get them down on paper. Oh well, I suppose you'll have to trust that I do indeed have incredible things to write when I'm rambling about over field and glen. Perhaps, one day I'll actually accomplish the impossible and get some of my grand ideas and adventures from mind, to ink, to pen, to paper. Perhaps:-)

This morning's ramble was quite enchanting, I must say. The sun was peeping over the horizon and everything was drenched in that wonderful pink that only comes about with the rising of the sun. It's entirely different from the mysterious pink that creeps in with the evenings. I'm not sure which is my favorite....The place I saunter through truly could be in England...or Narnia:-) I almost imagined myself there this morning, for everything seemed to have that "otherworldly" quality that comes only so often. The golden sun was just breaking over the river and through the trees, when there, bathed in that golden light, was a beautiful doe. She was standing right in the middle of the gently flowing river and seemed to be golden herself. Such a sight rendered me totally transfixed and that familiar ache grabbed my heart...do you know the ache I'm talking about? Not the kind that hurts in a bad way, but the kind that comes when something is so beautiful all it can do is hurt.

I stood watching her, until finally she sauntered up the opposite bank and bounded through the trees out of sight. It's at moments like this one, when I am so overwhelmed with something so incredibly beautiful, that I think of Heaven and I wonder how anything can be even more beautiful then what I may be seeing at the time....but, I know it must be because I long for so much more. And I can just imagine Him slowly smiling and saying, "Oh, your soul can  not even comprehend what I have prepared for you. That which your eyes have never seen even a shadow of..." That thought makes me long for my home more than I can find words to express. Not only the home coming, but more than all of that, to just gaze upon His face. This is what I long for more than anything else, with every fiber of my being. And I think, "Come, Lord Jesus, come!" Yet, at the same time, I do not want to wish away the here and now that He has me in. Though it may be filled with pain and suffering, there are still just as many times of beauty and joy. For He is good to wait. Good because there are so many in my life (and yours perhaps?) who would not be going home if He came today. And this thought makes me cry out for the boldness to tell them of who He is and what He has done for them.

And so, I'm so very thankful for these aching beautiful moments that make me long for more...for they are a gentle reminder of what is to come and what truly matters while I'm still in this moment here on earth.


How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky?  Anyone knows they are.  How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute?  No, you cannot explain.  So you walk.  ~Author unknown, from New York Times editorial, "The Walk," 25 October 1967




Friday, September 30, 2011

days like today.


Today is a jump on a train, eat extra dark chocolate, sun slanting through my window, where in the world are my keys, can one overdose on tea, why can't I find anything to wear, ok, now where's my phone...oh, it's dead (ha!) I'll just curl my hair instead, and despite it all isn't Jesus amazing, kind of day:-) Ever had one of those? Mmhmm, I am. I don't mind. They keep life interesting...like, the spice in a soup that you can't exactly place, but you know you like it anyway. I like these kinds of days. Do you know why? Because, they are a true test to prove what I have going on inside of me, for whatever it might be is what's going to come out full force! And praise His name, all I've done is giggle;-) There have been times in the past that this was definitely not true, times when the ridiculous circumstances around me taught me that I needed to go throw myself at His feet, because I was as far from having anything good come out of me as I'd ever been. I still don't naturally have anything good in me and even still, I at times have to take a moment to be still and quiet and let it sink in that this stuff is very little compared to what I could be dealing with. I've learned that if I take that moment to be still and let His sense of humor fill me, the little ridiculous things become just that, little and ridiculous and very amusing!

So, I've lost my keys...again....what am I going to do about it? Become frustrated and vent about all the things going wrong in my life and how this is the last straw? Nope! I'm going to smile, calm down, stand still, and ask Him to help me find them, because He cares about everything going on in our lives...even lost keys. Isn't that amazing?! I think it is...and how can I possibly have a bad day when I remember that He's right there with me through it all, just waiting to help me find what I've lost, or just hold me in His arms and let me cry just a very little;-)  Because I'm a girl and sometimes a good cry just helps clean my whole world and put things back into prospective...though, I tend to only cry while I'm alone with Him. No need to be dramatic and do it around others, because you know what? No one else is going to be able to hold you or comfort you or understand you like He can. True story. Trust me, I completely get it if you need a good cry for no particular reason, but doing it to draw attention to yourself and your problems is not the right way to go about it. Have a good cry with Him, then allow Him to help you back on your feet, and go face the world with His radiance shining through you!

I always feel so much better when I handle it like this:-) Knowing that He is eager to sit and hold me while I have a bit of a melt down is so incredible! To know that I can be myself, I don't have to pretend with Him because He knows me better than I know myself is the most wonderful thought!!! And to know He loves me too much to just allow me to stay the way I am is even better. That He constantly wants to gently (and sometimes not so gently...because at times I need a good kick to the backside to snap me out of whatever I've fallen into) teach me that I can go ever deeper, ever farther with Him, well, it all just makes me fall more and more and more in love with Him every day! Because, though He allows me to "melt" sometimes, He's teaching me that to know more and more of Him is to become stronger and stronger through Him....so, all the falling apart happens less and less...thank goodness!!

But, just to clarify, I'm not falling apart by any means...far from it! Today is beautiful and wonderful and days like today make me love being alive. Don't you want to just go somewhere with me, friend? We could just hop in the car and drive...to wherever! Or we could go eat ice-cream spontaneously before noon...;-) Or you could come with me to a little coffee shop and sit across from me while I design and you can read...or write, or whatever! Or we could just sit somewhere and just be together, because isn't it a sign of true friendship when you can be together doing nothing in particular?


Have a beautiful day with Him! And laugh at the little things...


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

this girl I know...

...is quite wonderful! She is truly a kindred spirit and the honest truth is that I adore her. You would love her if you knew her. Here are a few of the things that I love about her:

  • She totally understands when I have the wild desire to bake apples in the fall.
  • She's spontaneous like I am...this is quite fun and I'm sure will yield some very hilarious situations over the course of our friendship. (Remember Mad Greens, Grace?)
  • I never run out of things to talk to her about.
  • She makes me laugh.  Like really, genuinely laugh.
  • She understands my deep love for the middle books in the Anne of Green Gables series.
  • She is an amazing writer, though she needs to do more of it. I could read and read and read her blog...you know what I think? You need to go over there right now and check her blog out! You're gonna LOVE it!! It's the kind of blog that one checks several times a day to see if anything new has been posted.  http://acrossfields.com/
  • She sends me random skype messages and emails. 
  • Her friendship has pushed me to press ever deeper into my God.
  • She has the most awesome laugh ever! Sometimes when I'm with her, I try to think of funny things to say just so I can hear her laugh! True story.
  • She will throw together the most random outfit and it looks incredible on her! Like she just stepped off the pages of a quirky, whimsical magazine add.
  • She is one of the bravest girls I know. She has battled against some of the most discouraging attacks on her health and the whole time, she's done it with a smile so radiant and a joy so evident, you'd never know there was anything wrong with her. 
  • She genuinely loves when I do crazy, weird, random...ok, sometimes scary, but not on purpose...things. (Remember the cop and the round about, Grace?)
  • I could go on and on and on, but do you want to know the thing I love about her the most? Her genuine, deep, evident love for her Savior. Her life is a testament to the world of what it looks like to live completely poured out and used up for the glory of Jesus. She is beautiful, not because of how she looks on the outside (though that is quite stunning) but, because He radiates out of her! Lou, I love you. Thank you for being one of the greatest examples in my life of a young woman pursuing her King.
P.S. Seriously, you need to go read her blog: http://acrossfields.com/

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

surrender and adventures.



Ah, night has finally crept in and this day is finished. Though it was a perfectly wonderful day, there isn't much that can compare to coming home to my lovely english desk (it begs to be sat at), a delicious cup of hot tea, a cozy hoody, a little room lit by soft warm lights, a blog I love to write on, and a God who I've longed to spend time with all day. The delightful thing about this evening, is that it's completely free to spend with Him.

I love looking forward and seeing hours of free time to dive ever deeper into He whom my soul loves....but, I find so often that I do not want this enough. Oh, that I would ache and long to be with Him more than anyone else in my life! I do not want this relationship with Him to be the kind that I can come and go in as I please. For the utter truth is, as one of my dearest friends has said, He is not a "place holder" until that place is filled by a Godly man. He is the place. Period. And I desire to not be found looking for a husband, but gazing into His face always. The beautiful thing I've discovered is, when you're gazing into His eyes, you do not become restless with being single, but long for more time with Him! It's wonderful!

Yet, all of this takes constant surrender...of everything! This is what I'm learning ever so slowly that I must do each and every day. And the more I surrender every area of my life to Him, the more I see how wretched I am! But, praise His beautiful name, He loves me too much to leave me the way I am! Thankfully:-) For the way I am is disgusting. However, do you ever feel as I do, that the surrender seems to go at a snails pace?? So often I seem to be off to a wonderful start....like a herd of turtles! This is one of those things that I've mentioned before when I cry out, "Why can't it happen today, Father?!" And then I read things like this:

"One does not surrender a life in an instant--that which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime...Maturity is the accomplishment of years, and I can only surrender to the will of God as I know what that will is. This may take years to know, hence the fullness of the Spirit is not instantaneous but progressive as I attain fullness of the Word which reveals the will."      -Jim Elliot
Oh....Jim Elliot said this. Hmmm...well....yes. Of course I know this....but, I still want it to happen now:-) And if it happened now, I would miss out on all that He has to teach me through this endless pursuit of surrender and all that He is! I know I've said this before, but I need to keep repeating it for myself, the waiting on the surrender, or whatever it may be that we're waiting on, is a gift! I never want to wish away a time of learning and waiting, for I know too well the benefits of times such as these. After all, its an endless frontier of going further and further with Him, right? So, let it take my whole life! Pursuing Him, learning to surrender all that I am to all that He is, giving Him the pen of my life and allowing Him to script it, all this is worthy of taking my entire life and all the years that He blesses me with! And can you imagine a more grand adventure?! Ah, there is never a dull moment when I'm living it with Him:-) Remember the adventure that Frodo and Sam went on...oh yeah, this definitely has that beat to pieces;-)

Have you found this to be true in your life yet? If not, I pray that you do! For He is longing more than anything else to take your hand, and with the most beautiful smile on His face and sparkle in His eyes, to lead you on adventures so incredible, you never even thought them possible! Yep, He's that kind of God.

Monday, September 26, 2011

this morning.



It's a beautiful morning and this is ringing like a sweet song through my heart:

Light is sown like seed for the righteous
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.

-Psalm 97:11,12

I have so many wonderful things to be glad about this morning, here are just a few: 
  • the Word of God that cuts like a sword through the darkness.
  • waking up before my alarm...yep, that's right! 
  • nibbling dark chocolate whilst drinking freshly roasted and ground coffee....thank you Lauren!!!
  • eating dark chocolate before 10 in the morning...is that allowed? hmmm, maybe not for a normal person, but I love eating chocolate in the morning...and drinking coffee at night...or in the morning...or any other time....:-D
  • listening to the "becoming jane" soundtrack. it's beautiful and it's been floating in and out of my days since I bought it last week.
  • designing an article for the magazine. So, excited about this one! i so have the best job in the world...no, you don't want to argue this point with me...I'll win;-)
  • so I must now insert a tiny little something to someone: Nanu, I know you read my blog all the time and I just want you to know (and for those of you reading who are wondering which grandma I'm talking about, it's my grandma Irene) that I'm thinking about you this morning and I love you so much! Just thought you should know that I think you're the best grandma in the whole world, hands down;-) 
  • most of all, i'm glad..joyful....don't you think joyful is a much nicer word? I always have....anyway, I'm joyful that I'm alive, living where I am, doing what I'm doing, and that I have this amazing man named Jesus in my life who's completely stolen my heart.
What are you joyful about this beautiful morning? 

P.S. Did you know that Jesus is completely taken with you too? 
He is and if you've somewhat forgotten, go check out Song of Solomon.
"Like a lily coming thorns, so is my darling...."

Friday, September 23, 2011

3 things.



I only have three things to say:

  1. Delicious coffee at wonderful coffee shop.
  2. Working with delightful girl at said coffee shop.
  3. Eating scrumptious apple cake while drinking delicious coffee with delightful girl at wonderful coffee shop....perfect!
P.S. You should listen to this song by Warren Barfield:

-Love Is Not a Fight-

Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We'll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they're falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for

Thursday, September 22, 2011

things about autumn.

Doesn't the thought of a God so wonderful, who loves us with such an incomprehensible love, make each day worth living? It does mine, anyway! :-) I was thinking of all the wonderful things that are coming in the next few months with the ushering in of Autumn! Yes, I know I keep talking about it, but you see my friend, I am dreadfully excited about this upcoming season!!! True story. So, here are a few things I'm excited about:

  • Am I the only one that's noticed how how much better coffee tastes in the fall? I'm excited about cinnamon coffee this fall!
  • Golden aspen leaves...I grew up going to the Blue Ridge Parkway every fall, which is hard to beat when it comes to amazing fall colors...however, Colorado's aspens are quite enchanting with their bright golden leaves in the fall. I don't mind them at all;-)
  • Riding my apple red townie bike (aka "Lucy") while bundled up in warm peacoat, soft scarf, and cute hat with braided hair. Yep.
  • Oh, I'm excited that I am no longer blonde! Ha! Officially brunette now:-) Gettin' back to my natural look...first time in five years. Feels good;-)
  • Ok, I know I'm now officially skipping fall to winter with this one, but I just have to tell you how excited I am to go home for Christmas and be with one whole side of my family that I've never actually been with for Christmas...at least not all of them. Did I mention they're greek?! Oh yes, that's right, can you say "My Big Fat Greek Christmas" here I come!!!! I can't even express how much I love being around them and how much fun they are! *Sighs* Christmas feels a long way off....
  • How about being excited for new boots? Well, I haven't gotten them yet...can't really afford them right now...but, I'm trusting that He'll provide them:-) Anyone remember the whole blue dress story?? Yeah, He's good like that when a want suddenly becomes a need...my other pair have a hole, but hey, they did last me for three years...
  • Oh, oh, I know! Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, or any other spicy scent that Bath&Bodyworks invents for their plug-ins!! I'm using Apple Crumb right now and let me tell you, it's autumn in a wall plug! Seriously, you should think about trying this scent out.
  • Ginger bread and molassas cookies.
  • Thanksgiving!!!
  • Being in Jamie's wedding the day after Thanksgiving!!!!!! YAY!
  • Baking with the windows cracked and the crisp autumn air mixing with the scent of whatever happens to be baking....could someone out there please bottle this scent?! I would be indebted to you forever!
  • Apples! Wish I was close to an orchard...
  • Writing to you, whomever you are! I have a feeling this fall is going to produce some very fun blog posts:-) 
What are you excited about this Autumn?? Now, go enjoy some hot coffee (or tea) and anticipate
this delightful season that is almost upon us! Talk to you soon...

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

longing.

Back at "my" little coffee shop this morning, in my small corner of the world. Fall is floating about our mornings now, promising that it's well on its way, but not quite wanting to leave wherever it has to come from. I'm longing for autumn to come...funny thing, I'm kind of longing for winter too. I know, I know, when you live somewhere that boasts nine months of winter, it seems to be a stupid thing to wish for. Thing is though, I enjoyed last winter so much, I really am wanting it to come. I think it's because we have more overcast days in the winter....I know I'm strange, but I really do love these days. Take today, for example. It's a perfectly beautiful, sunny day in the 60's...who wouldn't love such a day? Me. Not that I don't throughly enjoy it, because I certainly do, I'd just prefer clouds soaked in gray and heavy with rain....or a great thunder storm. I think it's a quirk that I have...

So, instead I'll sit here not wishing for what I cannot have, but enjoying what He has given instead:-) Even non-rainy days. This is a lesson He's definitely been gently teaching me lately. To be content today, not wishing for tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year. Not that it's wrong to long for something to happen, but to not let the longing overtake what might be happening in the now. There are many things I long for and I pray I never lose that longing, for that would be a tragedy. I long for silly things that really don't matter in the long run, but I mostly long to be with Him. Each day that passes, it is made ever clearer that truly, this is not my home. And there is such a deep longing in me that nothing in this world can fill, it only strengthens the knowledge that this really is not where I was made or meant to be. With such knowledge, it strengthens my resolve to not walk down the path of what "I want" because if He made me to ultimately be with Him and He knows me far better than I know myself, it would stand to reason that He knows far better what I desire and need than I do.

Yes, there are many things in my life that I tend to greatly long for. There are many times that I tend to cry out to Him, "Why is it taking so long?! Why must it take this long?? Why can't it just happen now?!" Are you getting the picture of a three year old little girl, stamping her foot, and demanding her questions be answered? :-) So often that is the image I see when I realize this is exactly what I'm doing. What a patient God we serve, who gently smiles at our tantrums and then picks us up, hugs us tight and whispers, "Allow Me to write your story, allow Me to lead you where you need to walk, and allow Me to give you My best in My time, and watch as Heaven is revealed to you on earth." Ah, the waiting is hard, so very hard, and many times painful, but I have learned that delayed gratification yields the greatest reward. And oh, how much more I treasure that which I've had to wait upon.

 There is something so beautiful about loving where I am in this moment. Of looking around and saying, "Yes, there are things I long for and want. However, I am so happy and content in Him, that if nothing ever changes in this life, I will be perfectly happy. For it is not the coming of said events that fulfills me, but Him. And because I'm living life with Him in this moment, I am truly fulfilled beyond all I've ever imagined."

Sitting here at this little table. listening to beautiful music, designing things I only ever dreamed of, sipping hot coffee and enjoying the sunshine, I can think of nothing else I would rather be doing in this moment.

Are you content today?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

of a coffee shop and tree climbing.

This is a very good day indeed. Why, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you why. I have found the most adorable coffee shop that I plan on spending every afternoon at for the next...well...at least week:-) It's tiny and in a town I didn't even know existed, but the coffee is wonderful, the environment is perfect to spend hours designing in, and over all, I can picture myself cozied up in this little place with snowflakes falling down all winter...Plus, there's the friendliest little tree that sits right outside the front door and with such a beautiful little tree beckoning one in, I really never stood a chance in not loving it anyway...well, that and the fact that it's a little red stone building with large black carriage lanterns hanging on each side of the brick red door. I'm enchanted really.

So, here I am, thinking of how I can think of nowhere else I'd rather be on this lovely English sort of afternoon. Do you know the kind of afternoon I'm talking about? The kind where the clouds hang heavy in the sky, not allowing even the tiniest ray of light to escape straight through, but filtering every last drop of sunshine until that which does fight it's way through is reduced to a soft gray glow. The kind of afternoon that holds a wonderful mist and would almost enchant you into thinking that you truly are in England...Yes, it's that sort of afternoon. Coffee tastes so much better on such an afternoon and I truly do come alive in this kind of weather. It makes one want to ramble about and discover all kinds of amazing things around each corner...oh, I was not meant to live in this country! Come, let's steal away, shall we? Let's steal away and ramble over moors and through tree laden forests, discovering Robin and his merry men or Peter and his Tink. Let's wade through shining streams and climb as many trees as we can. I love to climb a good tree whenever the occasion arises...personally, I think it's a wonderful way to spend a significant amount of time. When I was a little girl, I spent a good portion of each afternoon perched on the upmost branches of a stately magnolia tree. That tree became so many things to my little girl's imagination. At times it was a tower where I was locked away, waiting for Prince Charming to come and rescue me...though, I never actually imagined a "Prince" but just some brave hero who would brave the moat around said tower, which was filled with loads of alligators of course:-) Other days, that tall tree with its large waxy leaves became a haven for hundreds of sick and hurt "animals" that I would rescue and bring back to my castle or a large orphanage where hundreds (yes, I took care of them all by myself) of children found a home. Other days, it was just what it was, a large and tall tree who's high branches could evoke the most amazing day dreams. To this day, if I can find a tree that offers the sort of branches that beg to be climbed, they really need not beg, for I'm quite addicted to tree climbing...or birch swinging....


So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. 
                                                  -Robert Frost





                                           

Sunday, September 11, 2011

for beth.

I am blessed for many, many reasons. I have so many people in my life that have shaped me and molded me into who I am and whom I love dearly. However, there is one lady in particular who I'm thinking of this evening. You see, I came to the realization this past year that I definitely do not express to those around me just how much they really mean to me. I feel it so deeply and just assumed that of course they knew...but, how can they when I don't actually say it. Duh. So, I'd like to make sure that this wonderful woman knows exactly how I feel and that there is never any doubt...ever.


Dearest Beth,
     As I sit here this evening, you have really been on my heart and I realized that I truly have not told you just how much you mean to me. I've never told you how what you've done, what you've not done, and what you've been has truly shaped my life. In all the years I've known you, since you came into our family, you have never once gotten involved in the drama and ridiculousness of things that have happened. You've taught me that it really is ok to let the drama pass by and just smile. You have never questioned (at least, not out loud...and you'll never know just how much that's meant to me) the decisions that I've made, you've just quietly stood by and assured me that you supported me no matter what I chose to do. Through all the terrible things that come with a broken family, you came in and did not ebb and flow with the sea of emotions all around you, but were this amazing rock who was just still and solid through it all. At least, that's what I saw and I have not seen this very often in my life. I can't imagine how hard it's been for you, but I want you to know, now that I'm an adult (and because it's so much easier for me to write out what I feel) I truly, deeply, appreciate you more than you'll ever know and far more than I'll ever be able to capture with words. I absolutely love being around you, I love talking to you, mostly because you never demand anything of me. You never try to drag things out of me, or come up with reasons why I do what I do, or manipulate me into telling you things...You just let me be and because of my personality this makes me want to be around you all the more and actually share what's going on in my life. Thank you for that, for this also has been very rare. And, when I'm not around you, I really miss you...a lot. I really, really do. And, do you know how proud it makes me when you introduce me as your daughter? Maybe you've never thought about it, but it means SO much to me:-) I love the fact that I'm your daughter. Trust me when I say, if you had had children of your own, they could not love or admire you more than I do. So, thank you. Thank you for being you, for loving me and being my friend, and for being the most perfect example of a stepmom. Yeah, you rock the whole stepmom thing! I love you.


"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels...Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also,and he praises her, saying:"Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all."    -Proverbs 31:10, 28, 29
-Me

Friday, September 9, 2011

how in the world...


did someone find my blog by using the key words "foggy forest horse"...in that order...ummmm....hmmmm....I'm sorry, what?? I laughed at this...very hard:-) And of course, I had to share it with you! Hope you're having a beautiful day with Him!

Thursday, September 8, 2011



"Our only business is to LOVE and DELIGHT ourselves in God!"  
            -Brother Lawrence


Thank you Mandy for this wonderful quote!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

today.


Had a wonderfully beautiful rainy day here today. I love the rain...I feel like I come alive with every drop that falls from the ever changing sky. If I could live in a place that rained at some point in every day, I think I'd be really, truly content...well, I am really and truly content now, but there would definitely be a small corner of my soul that would smile with joy it only knows with the coming of rain. True story:-) There are times after long stretches of sun that I ache for the rain to come. I realize this is not normal, but there's just something about the rain...I feel as if the face of my God is that much closer in the rain.

So, feeling Him draw closer because of the rain...:-)....I was thinking about many things today. There was a constant dialogue going between He and I...me asking where, when, how, and He answering with a gentle smile, "I'll let you know, don't worry. Today you are right where you are suppose to be, doing exactly what I've called you to do. And every single thing you do, no matter how small, no matter who it's for, is all for the glory of My Name." Oh...that's right...I mean I know that, I just don't always think about it. There are so many times I get caught up in the grand picture that dances before my eyes. Perhaps it's the precious children I long to rescue, the weak and forgotten I want to give His voice to, the least and broken I want to be His hands for....perhaps it's all this and so much more. Yet, today He has called me to be right where I am, loving on four of the most precious kiddos I know, working for some of my best friends in the whole world, building relationships, cooking to make things easier, giving my time so others can have more of their own to do what He has called them to, looking for pictures, designing, coming to know seven of the most beautiful women who radiate Christ in every way and who I have the pleasure of working with as well, loving my family, loving those He's placed in my life, blogging...:-)....yes, all of this and more. This is what He's called me to today. Today, He has not called me to the mission field. Today, He has not called me to rescue an orphan. Today, He has not called me into the darkest corners of this world to shine His light. Today, He has not asked that I live in a hut in a country that is poor beyond comprehension. Today, He has not given me an orphanage or children to fill it. Today. Though He has not called me to any of this here in this moment today He is clearly showing me that, today, every single thing He has called me to do, no matter how small, is preparing me for all of these things He'll call me to do in the future. And though I may feel they are small and have no meaning today, He is teaching me that I need not have praise for any small thing, but simply learn the lesson they are to teach, so that tomorrow, when my days are filled with all the "big things" I will be wonderfully equipped to handle them...and discover that it was through the "little things" I learned to do today that He taught and made me ready for all that He has called me to tomorrow.

Monday, September 5, 2011

things we (...I) learned on our road trip.



DAY 1:

  •  Don’t drink a gallon of coffee before trying to drive 18 hours...really, it makes for a long trip. 
  • Aja can squeal at a pitch that should not be humanly possible to reach when she finally sees a Chick-fil-a sign after looking for one for hours.
  • Looking over, Aja says, “I have a confession to make.” Preparing for something very serious I turn to her, giving her my full, undivided attention and seriously reply, “Oh, ok. What is it?” Without cracking a smile she says, “ I like Justin Bieber. Like, I really like Justin Bieber.” Watch out world, Aja has Bieber fever!!!
  • When stopping at a Kentucky gas station, we learned that the people there are actually our long lost family that we never knew about! Seriously. One nice older gentleman wanted to know where we were coming from, assured me that that was a LONG way (yes, my back side agrees with you, dear Sir), that we needed to take our time and not drive too fast, and made me promise him that we would definitely stop and get a hotel room...twice. You would have loved him, Nanu!
  • We love to randomly shout out “Paducah!!” and “Buckboard!!!” while driving...randomly...
  • Don’t try to make Aja laugh while eating a cherry...it’s highly possible you could possibly inhale your own cherry pit...yep.
  • If you hit a “jail worker” in Illinois, you get fined $10,000...no, we did not put this to the test...however, Aja without any hesitation yells out, “LET’S DO IT!” .....if I was concerned about her before.....
  • Missouri boasts some of the most amazing lightning ever! It’s an amazing way to stay awake while driving at 2 in the morning....who needs coffee when one has a lightning show??
DAY 2:
  • Upon stopping for candy corn and a book on tape at Cracker Barrel, Aja seriously informs me, “Well, we need to go ahead and get gas, because Kansas is a PSYCHO state and we might run out before we get to another gas station!! ” 
  • While pumping gas at said station, hold on tight because there is a high possibility that Kansas could mistake you for Dorothy and blow you to Oz!
  • Aja and I both decided that, “Sushi is like fireworks in our mouths!” True story.