Wednesday, August 31, 2011

goodbye. I can't say I'll miss you.

I've done it. I've taken the plunge, stepped out of my comfort zone, left behind the norm (well, that's nothing new), walked away from the time eater, and have officially taken back a small slice of my privacy! What did I do, you may ask? For some time now, I've had a conviction...a heavy conviction and one that I was content to justify not obeying. How could I do that?! I know, but I did, I justified away the voice of He who loves me more than life itself for far too long. No more!

You see, He has been ever gently pleading for more time with me, pressing into my soul how much He longs for that extra time, be it five minutes or three hours. Now, if the Lord was pressing something on you, wouldn't you immediately do whatever it took to obey with all your heart?! Not me, I'm ashamed to say. And He specifically revealed something in my life that, if I just let go of, would free up said time. Not that I was spending hours upon hours upon the said culprit, but a time eater it was nevertheless. You know, the kind of sneaky time eater where you say to yourself, "Oh, I'll only spend five minutes on it" and look up what seems like a few minutes later to realize an hour has gone by. Yeah. That kind. So finally, I decided that this thing was definitely not worth the time it was stealing away, time I would never be able to redeem or get back. I'm just sorry it took me so long to figure out. And do you know what's happened in the last two days since I removed this from my life? It was like a huge weight was lifted off, like for the first time in five years I could walk and talk and just be, without thinking about what a whole connected community would think. How crazy is it to wonder such things anyway??

Maybe you've figured out what I got rid of by now, but if not, let me utter what it was and be prepared to get a bit defensive (for I did for far too long) but, just hear me out:-) Ok, here it is....are you ready?

Yes, it's gone:-) From my life at least. Now, let me be very clear on something before you want to come hunt me down and shoot me for attacking something that's such a big part of this modern society that we live in. I am not saying in the least that Facebook in and of itself is a bad thing. Many times, I know it can be used for an amazing witness through quotes posted and conversations had. It's an easy way to stay connected with those that you might never be connected with otherwise. However.....and this is a BIG HOWEVER, in my life, it was being used to eat my time far more than it was being used to "witness" to those I was connected with. Since having Facebook, I've been much more connected, almost too connected with those that I otherwise would probably not even allow in my life, but suddenly I was expected to open the door to . Language and conversation that I would never even want to know about, let alone read about in every detail, was suddenly the first thing that popped up on my wall, and never in my life has something been so efficient in forming preconceived ideas of what someone is like, long before I ever meet them. 

Maybe all of this seems foreign to you, maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about in the least and you're thinking right now, "Man, this girl really needed to get rid of FB if it was that distracting in her life." But, you see, here's the thing, I never thought about half this stuff until the last couple days when it was no longer available for me to just hop on and "check real quick" before doing whatever else I needed to do. I wasn't spending hours upon hours mindlessly playing games or reading status after status, but more often than not the "real quick" wasn't as quick as I should have made it. Oh sure, there have been times in the past when I've taken "a break" from Facebook and left for up to a month. Yet, there was always the assurance that I would get it back. And it's a little disturbing, now that I think about it, that I need to take a break from something in the first place! What?!?! Often I have learned if there is something so important in my life that the thought of living without it sends a little shoot of panic through me, which I can justify away, it is definitely an idol that needs to be removed. Anything justified is never good. 

So, here I sit officially Facebook to know that all those times I want to check it "real quick" I can open my Bible instead and read something "real quick" before doing whatever else I need to do. Free to write more blog posts "real quick" or actually read some books I've been meaning to "real quick." I heard an amazing quote some time ago that really convicted me and should have spurred me into doing what I knew was right then. 

"One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time."  John Piper

Ouch. How about dropping to my knees "real quick" and having my time not "eaten" but spent in raising the sword ever higher in my life and charging head long into the battle. Tell me these time eaters are not a ploy of the enemy to waste the time of the saints "real quick" and I'll have to say, you're being willingly deceived. For nothing we do is ever nothing....especially the mindless time eaters. 

"For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."   
-Ephesians 6:12

Friday, August 26, 2011

What makes one of the best nights?

  • Chicken bog for dinner (a low country dish that's amazingly delicious....and my favorite...well, next to shrimp and grits)
  • Home made chocolate pudding.
  • Emma....ah, Mr. Knightly....
  • Hot apple-maple cheese cake. Oh. My. Goodness.
  • Laughing with two of the best girls in the world!
  • Falling asleep on the couch under a snuggly blanket:-) 
Yep, that's a wonderful evening indeed!

Monday, August 22, 2011

just rest.

Flame Of God

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God
                                       -Amy Carmichael

And so, when the enemy overplays his hand, when he makes it seem that every person you know thinks you a fool, just rest. When he creeps in with smoke and mirrors times 100, when he whispers, "See what you've done, little fool? You've trusted in a God that cannot possibly handle all your problems, who does not hear or see you, who has left you. Now, what are you going to do?! You. Are. Alone." Just rest. When the voices of a dying world speak, cry, scream all around you, at times, as though they are in you, just rest. When they subtly whisper into your ear that you are totally crazy and nieve and have no clue what you're doing, because of what He has asked you to do, because of the path He has asked you to walk with Him, just rest. Rest and know that none of it matters. If you and I have given our lives to Him, if we have begged for His will not ours, then the only opinion that matters is His. 

Yet, the voices do come, at times drowning out anything else. And you know what I would cry out? Bring. It. ON! For here I stand and I will not be moved! May our feet be so firmly planted on the rock of Jesus Christ, may we be so deeply in love with our precious Savior that we will gladly give up reputation, family, friends, possessions, or our very lives, whatever it may be if any of these pull us away from Him. May we not falter when we should climb higher! Oh, let us not want soft things, things that weaken or dim our view of Him crucified! May our faith be stronger our love deeper that nothing can dismay it! Give us an all consuming passion for the things of God! And the cry of my heart echoes, "Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God!" 

Yes, this is all that matters. And my heart aches for those who taunt that living a life foolishly given to Him is a waste! Do you not see? Nothing else matters!!! Give it ALL to Him! For this is so much bigger than you and I, we are but a small piece of the puzzle, but oh, how He longs for our hearts and lives to be given to Him! How eagerly He waits to take the humble little stones we are in His mighty right hand, and with the most accurate precision, send us out to bring down the greatest of giants. For alone, we are only useless little stones, but in His hand we become a mighty weapon used for His glory! Isn't that a wonderful thought?! That if we are in His will, living for His glory, we are right where we need to be and nothing anyone says or thinks otherwise matters? How it gives me hope! How it makes my heart leap with adoration for my King, knowing that He walked this very same road long ago and yet He still walks it with me.

And He gently whispers, with the most beautiful smile on His precious face, "Beloved, you are mine! You are my heart's desire. Can you not feel my arms around you? Oh, they are! How I love you, you'll never be able to fathom. I died rather than live without you, will you not walk this life with me? Will you not ignore the voices, catch a glimpse of my face, take my hand, and come walk this endless adventure called life with me?!" And my heart cries....YES!!! I WILL GO AND DO AND LIVE WHERE YOU LEAD, FOR YOU ARE WORTH THE REWARD OF YOUR SUFFERING! And I simply, truly, deeply adore you Jesus! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

in which we have grand adventures.

Yesterday was quite the day! It was full to overflowing with kiddo laughs, questions, hugs, kisses, peanut butter & jelly, and even a few tears thrown in for good measure:-) Yesterday, life was beautiful and grand and simple and one of those days that transported me straight back to a much simpler time in my own life, when ordinary places became the most extraordinary . was full of the sweet love of a God who smiled and laughed and enjoyed every single moment of it with us. 

Look! Miss Annie found her most favorite creature that God ever made...a bat! 
Her love for them was born when one of those small innocent creatures made
the very large mistake of swooping into her house for a small chat...personally,
I think it probably heard of her great hospitality and stopped by for a nice cup of tea...
Annie did not feel the same way however...Let's just say there was much shrieking and 
ducking that ensued...

It's a squirrel! No, it's a possum! No, it's a Hudson!

This little duck was highly suspicious of the men next to her that
looked suspiciously like they might enjoy some duck hunting 
in their free time...

Another little duck we happened upon in our travels....would you 
just look at those eyes! Yep. Cutest. Girl. Ever.

Now, this little squirrel was very concerned that we might find where 
he'd hidden his nuts.... said nuts...."I shall bury them under this very inconspicuous 
neon yellow flower!"

Did I mention that we found one of Peter Pan's lost boys?

He was on the look out for Captain Hook....

After leaving the enchanted forest where children resemble animals,
we happened upon the laboratory of one of the most notorious mad 
scientists in the world...

He was in the midst of teaching his young apprentice his mad ways...

The great mad scientist's much older, wiser, and madder mentor.....

An innocent bystander that happened to be greatly influenced to 
follow the example of all the madness going on.

Can't you just see the madness eminating from that little mind?

Well, with all his mad ways, he sure is the cutest mad scientist
I've ever seen...

When leaving the aforementioned laboratory, I happened upon the young apprentice,
 who was waiting with eager mind to learn the mad ways
of this place...

She was most eager to show me her mad skills of conjuring smoke 
up with her bare hands. True story.

Moving on from the mad laboratory, we found ourselves at the most 
adventurous aquarium!

"Dude, that's a big, it's as big as me!"

"If I get real close, do you think I could become a mermaid
and go in their and cuddle 'wis them?"

He....she?....was trying to kiss Harper's cute face!

So, this particularly adventurous aquarium happens to be home
to three very large tigers. Yes, at the aquarium. Avy, was highly 
disappointed that they were napping whilst she was longing to see them...:-)

Harper's two beautiful hands.

No adventure would be complete without a 
happily-ever-after kiss!

After the many adventures we'd been on, Miss Annie and
Miss Jade highly considered taking up the nice offer of the
staff at the aquarium to leave these two little monkeys with them...

Baby Nemos!!!

Dory and Nemo(s)!!!

Precious curly top.

Avy wanted to know why she couldn't have a peanut butter
and jellyfish sandwich...

Miss Jade's favorite part of the aquarium! I could stare at them
for hours and hours...

Harper was trying to pet Ray...

She was highly suspicious of yet another picture being taken.
"Exactly what are you planning on doing with all these
Miss Jade?"
"Well Avy, funny you should wonder. You see there's this
thing called a blog...." ;-)

Dubby demonstrating the general attitude of everyone once the 
adventures were coming to a close.

Hope you all enjoyed a little glimpse into our day! Between the tea drinking bat, kiddo-animals, lost boy, mad scientist and all the overwhelming displays at the aquarium, I'm still quite amazed that we got out alive! But, we did it, because we are mighty grand adventurers:-D

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

for you.

Of course, I do have a much longer blog in the works, but for you this morning, here's a quick little something. Just to remind you that your God is a personal God who adores you this morning just as if you were the only one on this tiny planet of ours. And He rejoices over you with the greatest of joys! I pray for you reading this right now, that you will find His joy in an even deeper way on this day He has given us. See you later!

"The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."    -Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I was talking to someone the other day about quirks. You know, those funny little things we all have and do because....because....well, just because. So, I thought I'd share a few of mine;-) Enjoy!

  • I always put my left contact in first. I have no idea why, but I don't think it's physically possible for me to do it the other way around. Really.
  • I have a very scientific way of eating my salad. It goes something like this: pour on dressing, cut, cut, cut, fluff with fork, turn bowl, cut, cut, cut, fluff with fork, turn bowl, etc. until salad is as chopped and fluffy as possible. Yep.
  • I have a very irrational fear of sharks. I can't even stand to look at them when we go to the aquarium...I LOVE to watch Shark Week on Discovery Channel or any other documentary on sharks I happen to come across. I know, now you're sure there's something wrong with me;-)
  • -I have terrible short term memory loss. I cannot, for the life of me, remember to do the little things I need to do. Like, when A asks me to take a container back to L's, I will say, “Sure! Absolutely!” Then, I’ll forget to do it over and over and over....she’ll even sit it next to my door and it’s the strangest thing how it becomes invisible...:-)
  • -I am right handed, however, I can’t balance anything in my right hand or carry things on my right side. For example: If I put my purse on my right shoulder, it just slips off and I have no idea why! When I was waitressing in college, I could NEVER balance a plate of food in my right hand...very bad things happened when the cooks would try and hand something off to me on that side. Also, I can’t carry a child on my right hip, yep, they just slide right on down...
  • I do not like nuts in my chocolate...especially peanuts or almonds. However, I love chocolate covered almonds (or macadamia nuts). No, it does not have to make sense.
  • I pick out all the brown M&M's from the bag, because if they're brown it stands to reason that they are more chocolatey and healthier because they don't have food coloring!
  • If I squeeze the bridge of my nose, I can make myself sneeze! And I HATE losing a sneeze!
I'm sure I have many, many more, but the funny thing about quirks is, you don't always know what they are until someone brings them to your attention;-) 

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    joy today.

    Ordinary things that have brought me loads of joy today:

    • beautiful music...ah, food for my soul....
    • homemade banana bread...oh wait, the timer just went off for me to grab it out of the oven...hang on just a second, I'll be right back;-)
    • weather that, first thing this morning, held the promise of autumn just around the bend.
    • cinnamon-honey bread for a beautiful little curly headed girl...
    • having said curly head laughing and giggling over aforementioned bread...
    • pigtails on the top of a delicate asian head...
    • gazing into the face of this little asian girl and smiling as she laughs, making her stunning eyes almost disappear...
    • homemade bread....not banana bread...just homemade bread:-) I've got lots of bread going on around here!
    • watching the sun make said bread rise. Isn't that the homiest thing to watch? 
    • a beautiful soft pink and lavender sunset over mountains beyond mountains.
    • the thought of having coffee with one of the dearest friends I have first thing in the morning on her back porch....
    • the thought of coffee in the morning.
    • thinking of having tea tonight...
    • the cool evening air, for it's promising as the morning did, that autumn is coming.
    • excitement over going home for the first time since Christmas in just a couple weeks!!! Well, that and giving my Dad a huge hug!!! Now would be a good time to mention that I have the best dad in the entire world. And we couldn't be any more's kinda scary. I just simply adore him. One of my most favorite things to do is just hang out with him and not really do anything...or just sit there and talk about nothing really...or about everything that is huge and ginormous in my life. And he's the only person who gets me, even when I don't do things that make sense. True story. And since I've become an adult, things he's done in the past that never made sense to me are suddenly making so much sense. Doesn't mean I agree with everything, just means I get him:-) Because, apparently I'm becoming more and more like him...and you know what? I love who he is! So, if you're reading this Dad, I love you:-D Really, really!
    So, what brought you joy today? 

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    take something different.

    "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us...But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children, To those who keep His covenant, and remember His precepts to do them."
    -Psalm 103:10-12, 17,18

    Just opened my Bible and these verses were the first that I read. I was just hit again full force with the fact that all I've done, all the iniquities I have are nothing next to the lovingkindness of my God. It's an astounding and wonderful thought! He is so high above all that I've ever thought to be and He sees every small sin I have, yet still He looks at me and whispers, " Beloved, I see it all, even that which is hidden. And I love you anyway. I love you so much, too much to leave you this way. See, I have removed your sin from you as far as the east is from the west, but do not use this as an excuse to remain as you are! For when you gaze upon my face, you will desire to continually be all that I would have you be from everlasting to everlasting and not remain in a continual state of repeating the same sin over and over and over."

    This is truth. He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. So often, I hear songs sung, books written, teachers teaching, about how God loves us just the way we are, for who we were born as. I agree, He does love us even when we are in the midst of our sin, before we have ever realized our great need for Him. I do not agree, however, that it ends there! He does not discover us, reveal who He is to us, and then state that we're ok just the way we are, we never need truly change, because "He loves us just the way we are"!! No! When we gaze upon His sweet face, when we come to have a daily relationship with Him, there begins to burn in us the desire to not pitch our tent right at the beginning of the endless frontier, but to endlessly pursue that which He sets before us! And this does not encompass staying in the same old sin, constantly struggling with the exact same thing.

    Now, please do not misunderstand what I'm trying to say. I am not saying we will be perfect, that we will never sin again or fall into temptation, but there should constantly be a pursuit of heavenly honor and decorum, there should be a discontent with staying where we are, and a constant pursuit after all that He is. And what a glorious adventure such a life pursuit is! And not only that, but if this is the one pursuit of our soul, to know more and more and more of Jesus, His righteousness will not only be found by us, but also by our children and our children's children!

    As of yet, I do not have any children (though they may be alive somewhere and waiting for the Lord to bring me to them) but, this is a great desire of my heart. Though I do not know these precious little ones in this moment, I love them already and my greatest desire for them would be that they would discover His righteousness just a bit easier because their mother lived a life pursuing such a thing. It is a humbling thought that my life does not just affect me alone, that my relationship with my Jesus does not just change my life, but every single choice I make regarding how hard I follow after Him may alter the course of the lives of the children that will come in the future. And I would have them enter my life, knowing that their mother adores her Jesus with every beat of her heart! Ah, to discover the covenant that can be had with Him, to do His precepts and have it change not only my life, but all those around me and those who will come, this is worth it all!

    This is what I'm pondering on this beautiful, sunny morning:-) Isn't it wonderful to open the Word and have something practically jump off the page at you? Something that you may have read over and over again, but for whatever reason, the Lord whispers, " Look! Look and see what I have for you today!" It's such a beautiful testament to how personal His Word is to each of us...I love that we serve such a personal God. I think this is a truth He's really been pressing into me the past few days, because I keep writing about it, but it's just so true! I love the knowledge that my relationship with Him is nothing like yours, yet if we talk, if we share what He's doing in each of us, our individual relationships with Him encourage and uplift each of us. So, I pray today that you are encouraged and that you will read the above verse and take something totally different from it than I have. I pray for you today, that when you open His precious Word, things jump off those glorious pages like never before! :-) And may you have a beautiful, wonderful, ordinary day full of lots of ordinary little adventures with Him that make the days so interesting...

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    I can never just post one quote for a whole day, so I'm sure I'll be writing more this evening, but for now this is definitely one of the best quotes I've heard!! And it's so utterly true! I'm convinced I love tea too much to really have been meant to be born in America...England, Scotland, Ireland perhaps? I whole heartedly believe I will live in one of these places at some point in my future, for I long for them too much for the longing to be in vain...sigh.... I hope you enjoy a nice cup of tea this beautiful morning, for it's sure to make your day so much finer:-)

    ' There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much dimished by a cup of tea.' 
                                                                                              ~Bernard-Paul Heroux