Thursday, July 23, 2009

In Love With Fall

I love all of the seasons and usually I am relishing in the summer wonderfullness but this summer I find myself thinking ahead about 3 months. I LOVE fall. LOVE. I hope that if I blog about it and get it out of my system, I will be able to enjoy the rest of the summer and not pine away for everything fall. So I have been looking around for the best fall finds this year and just felt like sharing about the Autumn wonderfulls I can't wait for. Here they are in no particular order:

Pumpkin Candles - nothing really gets you in the mood for cool breezes and harvest time like the token pumpkin candle.


Sweaters- I love me a good sweater and I love to layer. I find reasons to wear sweaters in the summer. I have been stocking up this spring and summer and I am particularly ready to try out a belted sweater. I love leather so the thought of leather and sweaters together really make me excited.


Here's this leather jacket that I am sort of in love with...


Also, plaid. I love plaid. And these boots are almost mine.


Scarves: the wearable cocoon!


Baking! I find baking is a good stress reliever and creative outlet. Spicy breads, glazed cakes and orange and brown decor. Fall baking is a segway into the mother of all baking holidays, Christmas. However, fall baking is a bit less crazy. Not to mention pumpkin flavored things are my favorite!


COLORS! I don't know how you couldn't be in love with fall colors.


My 5 year anniversary. I think I am getting taken somewhere too. It's a secret but I have a feeling he won't be able to keep it hidden that long :)


Saturday, July 18, 2009


If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat, they, too, would purr. - Martin Buxbaum

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I love it when we're cruisin; together

vacation 079John and I went on a cruise! I had been on several when I was younger and they are still some of the best childhood memories I have. Now I have an incredible set of memories with my husband. There were a million things I loved about the cruise.


Relaxation. Being served. Not having to think about anything except which croissant I wanted that morning and how many ice cream cones I was going to have after lunch. Hearing the ocean 24/7. The boat lulling me to sleep. Being in the sun. Having my husband sing ( with a mic in hand for all to hear )"You're Just too Good to be True" on our tour bus on the way back from the beach. Meeting our Haitian waiters and being blessed by them (I cried on our last night with them). Eating fresh fruit. Seeing shows. Learning more about a different part of the world. Seeing a different part of the world. Naps. Holding hands with John on the Veranda deck at night. Hearing a real mariachi band. Buying Mexican pottery- I went overboard, pun totally intended. Getting a massage on the beach under a cabana. Going snorkeling. The list goes on...

I am so excited that we got to do it.

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I loved every minute of it.


It was a treat supreme!

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Choosing to Thrive

I was kept awake last night by my thoughts. As I lay praying myself to sleep I got this picture in my head. It wouldn't go away. Sometimes I have a hard time dipicting what is me and what is God. Thought-wise that is, not diety -wise:) I'm trying to venture out and stop overanalyzing ..trying to act more on what quickens my spirit rather than wasting time thinking about it and possibly missing an opportunity for something, to experience God. I have tried to start this practice of listening to God. It's hard. I don't mean just hoping he shouts my name amidst my busyness or does some miracle while I am focused on something else but rather, chosing to be quiet for a designated ammount of time and listen. Turning off my radio and listening. Going into my room by myself, sitting and just listening. It's a weird thing to get used to. And a sometimes I just sit and feel awkward. But MOST times I hear something. Not audibly but really knowing in my soul God is saying something. Trying to be sensitive to that voice is not easy for me by nature. It really is a simple thing to try and do but not so simple to get good at. Good thing it's God who shows up. Constant, consistent God. Why would I expect less?

So I get this thought last night..and this is going to sound weird unless you know me and understand I love nature and connect with all things outside...this is it: I am a tree. Not literally. I am not talking mother earth stuff here but this is it- trees are planted, yes? by God...the wind may carry the seed the squirrel may re-locate the acorn but it's God who causes the tree to be planted. This is something I learned in high school: if there isn't enough light for a tree where they have been rooted, they will grow towards the light even if they have to wrap themselves around another tree. It pushes its roots down as far as it can and takes off for the light. It's not a quick process. Trees grow slowly season by season. Trees are meant to grow. I think it is pretty rare for a tree not to "take" to where it's been planted. It just makes due with the conditions it is in, takes root, and grows for the sunshine. There are different types of trees in different environments. Like the pastor of our church said, trees are to branch out to provide a resting place to reach other places, provide shade etc..trees have purpose. I do too. I have been planted here. For what reason, I don't really know and I think I am coming to a close of trying to figure it out. Because in doing so, I waste time and my roots aren't getting enough water, my branches are weak and I'm not focusing on growing towards my life source, thus keeping me a little tree. It would be like a tree trying to figure out what type of tree it is and why it is planted in this field alone rather than that forest where there are a lot of other would be dumb (obviously, since trees are inanimate). Who cares..let the sun make you grow! Choose to thrive! It's a slow process. (I hate that word: process.) Growing usually is a s l o w process. Sometimes is comes in spurts but never does anything that is living start and stop the growing process in a short time.

I often find myself wondering why it is taking me so long to get to "that point"-whatever it is, the point of arrival...mature christian, good wife, mother, successful at what I do. When will I have what I've always desired? The truth is is that I should be better at whatever I am doing than when I started even if it's just a little bit. The time I spend wondering wastes time in growing. I am am convinced when I start growing then the things I have always desired start making their way to me. I have to make the first move. Overanalyzing is wasteful. What's the point? In the Bible it says that not even the Son knows when the Father will be returning. So he knows what it's like not to know every single detail of life (just one!) and there is so much we don't know..we couldn't handle it. I can't handle a lot of things I know even now. Even when he did know his fate (the cross) he chose to go about healing, ministering, building relationships, grow, experience life. That's something that's amazing to me...I would not have been that way.

I choose to be the middle man in my own relationships many times. nobody likes the middle man usually. Scrutinizing motives, not wanting to be judged, building this facade of what I think things should be when I know that God wants -vulnerability, realness, transparency, effecting, encouraging, becoming that tree that other trees can wrap themselves around if they are too weak to grow a lone. That's thriving....letting God do all of the work without me in the way. That's what makes me grow. Nothing I can do on my own makes me better or bigger.

Anyway, choosing to thrive at whatever it is = a hard task. I think you have to choose to let anything in your life thrive. Marriages, friendships, lifestyles,'s not just a magical thing that always feels good or even right. Purposing to make something work without forcing it of course, is the key to flourishing, in my opinion.

While I may be uprooted and replanted in the field or yard of my choice someday(please, Jesus!).. for now, I want to grow during this season. I have more access to the sunlight now than I have had in a while. There aren't a whole lot of other "trees" around crowding me out right now. More sunshine for me. More time to grow. Focusing on the lack of other trees in my life isn't going to help me take root or mature.

Thank God I don't have to do it alone. Stop waiting for the magic and choose to grow, thrive, love, laugh,frolic,impact,do,listen,develop,serve, rest,vacation,experience, confront, laugh,ignore, let go....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A good friend which I have not seen for over 4 years e mailed me today with this bundle of joy that is below. In making an effort to simplify I notice that it is a discipline. Something I have to develop which will one day become natural instinct..loving others as I am loved. So to make life and loving more uncomplicated I must first understand the complexity of it. WHOA! Complicated. And everything in me wants to buck it. However, this message trumps my nature.

While reading the following, disect the phrases. There are SO many things to consider here..most of which we are unabashedly loved undeservedly. Take a tidbit and savor it: (thank you E. Jean!)

"The Holy Spirit reveals that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now, He says to me, show the same love to others-- 'love as i have loved you.' 'I will bring any number of people about you whom you cannot respect, and you must exhibit My love to them as I have exhibited it to you.'"

"The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost will send me forth into the world to love in the same way. God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me...Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time? Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it is cultivated. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained by discipline."

-Oswald Chambers-

Thursday, July 2, 2009


4760_1101617578908_1180740089_30288067_7311651_nI returned from Haiti a week ago. It wasn't just a mission trip for me. I really had no idea why I was called to go beside the obvious- helping people. And I am still finding out the reasons why even after I have returned. There are several people within our church body that have gone on a mission trip recently or are just returning and the focus of each of them is caring for the fatherless, the orphan. This is something that is absolutely close to our God's heart. I don't think it is a coincidence that there are that many people from one place going and fulfilling God's will in caring for the fatherless and the poor. There is a bigger plan behind these mission trips, I know it. Some are already getting involved with adoption agencies and doing what they can to raise awarness and help where they can. I am excited to be a part of something like this. The heart of God: ''Pure and undefiled religion is this , that you look after the widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep yourself spotless to the world' (James 1:27). I venture to say that he said this because the orphans and the widows are a true example of raw religion and praise and if you have been in contact with them, you can't help but be changed as well and get perspective on true relationship with the Father. They understand more than anyone what it is like to truly need a father and can probably relish that relationship like most of us cannot.

I am definitely not the first person to ever go on a mission trip and will certainly not be the last to experience what I did while in Haiti. But this experience is unique because it's mine. From the day I knew I was supposed to go until a week after the trip even, I see God working in ways that to me, are miraculous. I knew of God's sovereignty but actually knowGod's sovereignty now. His mercy, his grace, his uspeakable joy and unfathomable peace. I am starting, just starting to really grasp these things he lavishes upon us. My heart started to break for these people months before I took the flight to Port au Prince but when I walked out of the airport into the sea of people inPort au Prince, that's when my heart really broke. It's unexplainable really, but at the same time my heart broke, it was restored and mended back together by the little hands that slipped into mine as we walked, by the smiles of the people, by their praises and adoration of our Savior, by those little bodies that grabbed so tightly to mine.

Haitians are a true demonstration of joy. They live out mercy. They have peace that passes all understanding. They have hope for their future even though their present is overwhelmingly bleak. While Haiti is a poor, malnourished, deprived country it is a beautiful place that has some of the most satisfied people in the world. I have stories galore from my time there. But the main point of all of is that they are content because of their Savior. Not because of things, Not because of good health. Not because of plentiful food. Not because of amazing living conditions. They have none of these basic necessities yet still praise their God and love him and his people with vigor and zest.

While I would love to say that hundreds of babies are now better off because I held them as they shivered with fever in my arms, or that the people are now going to be happier because of the loads of supplies we gave them and the money we gifted them, I can only say for sure that I am now better off because I held those babies, I am happier because I obeyed and I am blessed because I gave. They let the God in them radiate and I couldn't help but leave forever changed.

What will I do with this change? I don't want to hang on to it like a trophy. I don't want to let it wear off. I don't want it to be a short-lived spiritual high. I want it to stick. I guess it's only by living it out everyday that this will happen. Memories will fade and details will get lost eventually but I don't want to lose the perspective of the truth that I now have. I have to live out the change for it increase my faith and for the change in my heart to soak into every fiber of my being. My heart has never broken so completely and been so joyful at the same time. I cried a lot. Tears of joy, overhelmdness and repentance. The daily grind has already ensued and I find myself awash in routine and plans. Finding where my already established life fits into this new perspective is hard at times. I think that's the way it's supposed to be though. God is sovereign and I am leaving the details to him. I am so thankful to have experienced this. I am so thankful to have been called to experience it. I can't pinpoint when the change happened or how it happened but I am so glad that it did. My cup runneth over.