Thursday, December 20, 2012

Marry Me

Well, as this year comes to a close, I will celebrate by saying...I'm engaged!! My boyfriend, ahem, fiance, popped the question last night!! I was SO surprised. I hardly saw it coming! I did have two somewhat hints over the past couple weeks, but they were such small hints that I quickly brushed the thought away. But yes, it is true!!

He propsed by stringing up "Will u marry me" in Christmas lights (one of my favorite things about Christmas is the lights).  :)  I remember turning around and him being on one knee, asking, "Michelle, will you marry me?"  I said, "What?" then "YES!!" then "Is this really happening?!" :) He went on to tell me how I am his best friend, how I always listen to him, how he truly believes God brought me into his life for a reason, and him into my life for a reason.  God brought us together.  And that he loves me so much!  I'm so excited!

Currently all this is too surreal and hasn't quite soaked-in yet, but it will in time. This is just a small step to the rest of my life, and this is a life I'm really looking forward too!  Thank you Lord for bringing him into my life.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Strange moment and Gatlinburg

I had one of those moments tonight, the kind that is hard to put into words.  I can't describe it, but it felt real. I was driving home, was alone in the car, and this sadness set in slowly.  My body felt like a cage, like my soul was trapped here, in this little body, stuck in this thing called time, where all these emotions are present, and there are so many unexplained circumstances, and love is so crazy and anyone who tries to understand love, well, can't. It's not something that can be understood, just something that can be accepted.

I know none of the above makes any sense, but I needed to get it out.

On a second note, Daniel and I went on a trip recently with 3 other of our couple friends. It was a LOT of fun! Spent two days in Gatlinburg and did everything we could think of! Ate at good restaurants, road the sky-lift, got our old timey photos taken, bought a $20 all-day go-cart pass and raced go-carts, shopped at all the candy stores you can think of, watched Duck Dynasty marathons, played board games, stayed up late and slept in, putt-putt golfed, and pretty much anything else you can think of. :) Was a GREAT trip. Hope next year's trip is just as much fun, or more!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Home

My sis and her fiance found a house! Doesn't it just look like this house and these two people go together? :) I must say, I believe so. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Carving Time!

Got together with friends this weekend and carved pumpkins! I love fall--the leaves, the orange, yellow, and red colors, pumpkins, Thanksgiving, and cooler weather. It's such a lovely season. Of all the seasons, fall makes me think most about change. Reminds me that change isn't always bad, change is actually a way of life, and there is good in every change.



Friday, October 12, 2012

A promise that won't be broken

"Don't be afraid; you WILL NOT be put to shame.
Don't fear disgrace; you WILL NOT be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth, and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
For your Maker is your husband--
the Lord Almighty is his name--
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.
The Lord WILL call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit--
a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God.
"For a brief moment I abandoned you,
BUT WITH deep compassion I WILL bring you back.
In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, 
BUT WITH everlasting kindness I WILL HAVE compassion on you,"
says the Lord your Redeemer.











How many times in our lives do we experience the pain of empty promises? The hurt of a promise broken? How many times have we ourselves broken a promise to someone else? Countless times, because we are human.

This promise is everlasting. This promise is sure. Unshakable. Undeniable. This promise is certain. We can put faith in this promise, because it is a promise from God. It is a covenant from him, to every single one of us. God loves us so fully. God IS love. What a feeling of hope!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Everything is possible with God

Is it possible that one can be so happy, so joyful,
and yet so terribly sad at the same time? yes.

Is it possible that the worst news in the world
can also be the best news ever received? yes.

Is it possible that at the moment you question everything
is also the moment you get the answer? yes.

Is is possible that while we are so broken in our sin
we are at the same moment closest to God our Savior? yes.

Is it possible that when nothing at all makes sense,
is when everything makes sense? yes.

Is it possible that when we are weakest
is when we allow God to be strongest? yes.

Does anything about God ever make sense? no. :) His ways are higher than our ways, his thoughts higher than our thoughts. God is such a fabulous mystery, and we will never understand his strength and wisdom, but that is okay. It is okay. I trust Him.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Actions speak

I am reminded today of a very important principle:  Everywhere we go, everything we do, someone is watching us.  Watching us, observing us, seeing our reaction, what we are doing, etc.  What I mean is like what Hebrews 13 says, "Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."  We never know who our actions are speaking to.

One of the things that really is the worst, is hearing a friend who is not a believer say to me, "Do you know what so-and-so did? I can't believe they did this or that, especially since they are supposed to be Christian and all." Or, "They are such a hypocrite. I bet they don't act like this when they are at church on Sunday morning."  Hearing that gives me a sinking feeling.  Things like that make Christianity seem pointless to the people who aren't sure about it.

I know I can be that person sometimes.  It's hard to remember that my actions are speaking to someone.  It is so easy to become self-absorbed.  A friend recently told me she is praying a prayer that she can have God's eyes to see people the way he sees them.  What a good prayer to pray.  Maybe seeing people through God's eyes rather than our own human eyes helps us keep the focus and remember that our actions really do speak loudly.

Just some ramblings on some thoughts that have been going through my mind lately.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Little Things

Stumbled upon a photo that took me back in time, and it made me smile. A while back Daniel & I decided to give each other fake tattoos, and I drew a meaningless "I love sushi" drawing on his arm. He wouldn't let me see what he was drawing for my tattoo until he was done. And when I looked at what it was, it just melted my heart. His tattoo for me simply stated that I was the queen of his heart. :) (I know, silly silly, but it's the little things that mean the most).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kodak Moment

My sister is getting married! (I know, old news now...)
Mom and I went to go see the venue and Mom put down a deposit for it, and I captured this photo of them signing the papers to book the place. Thought this was funny! Love my sis's sunglasses too!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

By Grace and Grace Alone

This morning I visited a church I hadn't been to before, and this was one of the songs that was sung during worship. I completely fell in love with these lyrics, so I had to look it up when I got home. Here are the lyrics:

“Grace Alone”
I was an orphan lost at the fall
Running away when I’d hear you call
But Father, you worked your will
I had no righteousness of my own
I had no right to draw near your throne
But Father, you loved me still

And in love before you laid the world’s foundation
You predestined to adopt me as your own
You have raised me up so high above my station
I’m a child of God by grace and grace alone

You left your home to seek out the lost
You knew the great and terrible cost
But Jesus, your face was set
I worked my fingers down to the bone
Nothing I did could ever atone
But Jesus, you paid my debt

By your blood I have redemption and salvation
Lord, you died that I might reap what you have sown
And you rose that I might be a new creation
I am born again by grace and grace alone

I was in darkness all of my life
I never knew the day from the night
But Spirit, you made me see
I swore I knew the way on my own
Head full of rocks, a heart made of stone
But Spirit, you moved in me

At your touch my sleeping spirit was awakened
On my darkened heart, the light of Christ has shone
Called into a kingdom that cannot be shaken
Heaven’s citizen by grace and grace alone

So I stand in faith by grace and grace alone
I will run the race by grace and grace alone
I will slay my sin by grace and grace alone

I will reach the end by grace and grace alone

I was an orphan lost at the fall
Running away when I’d hear you call
But Father, you worked your will

Friday, August 10, 2012

Remind me

You know, I watched "The Vow" tonight. It's about a girl who lost her memory, and is trying to reclaim who she was, because she can't remember.

A coincidence that I see this movie tonight? I think not.

Today a co-worker came up to me and said something along the lines of, "How are you doing?" Me, "I'm just working." Co-worker, "Oh ok. You've been quiet lately." Pause. "Where's the old you? The happy you? I don't know if I like the new you. I want the old happy you." Then two other co-workers who overheard both turned around and agreed.

Two nights ago, one of my best friends called me while he was on his family's vacation. We chatted on the phone. Then pause. Without hesitation I said, "I miss you." Pause. "Now I know what it was like for you while I was on my family's vacation and you missed me." It felt good to say those 'I miss you' words. I've been feeling them for so long and haven't voiced them because of fear and uncertainty.

Also two nights ago, while sitting in the living room with my parents, they desperately searched to find a solution to their unhappy daughter's recent delima. At one point they both sat up, paused the T.V. (during the most important aired show--Olympics!) turned to me, and just talked about everything and anything to try to do or say anything that could help. They searched all possibilities to find the key to happiness for their daughter once again.

And just now, stumbling upon the song "Remind me who I am" by Jason Gray...stumbling upon. I think not. It must have been meant to be.

Tell me once again who I am to You. Tell me, lest I forget, who I am to You. That I belong to You.

No matter what happens tomorrow, in a month, in the whole future, remind me who I am, Father. Remind me I am Yours. Remind me who I am.



Friday, August 3, 2012

Road Trip!

Road trip to the small town of Bryan, Ohio, with a friend who has played a big part in my life. :) Yay for friends and small towns!



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Games

A friend sent this article to me called "Now come the Olympic Games." It is by Rubel Shelly, and it is a great read. Here's a clip at the end that I really really enjoyed:

Life is a mysterious mix that refuses to yield to bumper-sticker solutions. Your situation today neither tells God’s opinion of you nor reveals your worth as a man or woman in his image. It is simply what it is. How you choose to deal with it translates your faith into deeds and defines your relationship with God.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 NIV).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Finally...

As you know from my previous post, I've been really wanting to see Blue Like Jazz.

TONIGHT...I am getting that chance to go see it with some friends. So super excited!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grace

"Grace, she comes with a heavy load
Memories, they can't be erased
Like a pill I swallow, that makes me well
And leaves an awful taste."
-Needtobreathe

I feel like this is something that I didn't understand at first, but after hearing someone else tell me how this impacts their life, I understand it a bit more. Grace frees us from so much sin, so much pain, when we don't deserve it at all. And sometimes thinking about all that Grace wipes away in our lives, how Grace makes us well and gives us second chances, but it leaves an awful taste, because we don't deserve Grace at all. But that's the love of God. Unconditional love. To give us Grace everyday when we do not deserve it at all. God is true Love because of the gift of Grace he gives so freely.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Changes

Grew up in a small town.  And when the rain would fall down I'd just stare out my window.  Dreaming of what could be and if I'd end up happy...I would pray.

Trying hard to reach out, but when I tried to speak out felt like no one could hear me.  Wanted to belong here, but something felt so wrong here.  So I prayed I could break away...

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly.  I'll do what it takes til' I touch the sky.  And I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway.  Out of the darkness and into the sun,
but I won't forget all the ones that I love.  I'll take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway.

Wanna feel the warm breeze.  Sleep under a palm tree.  Feel the rush of the ocean.  Get onboard a fast train.  Travel on a jet plane, far away...and breakaway

Buildings with a hundred floors.  Swinging around revolving doors.  
Maybe I don't know where they'll take me, but gotta keep moving on, moving on, fly away, breakaway...

I'll spread my wings, and I'll learn how to fly,
though it's not easy to tell you goodbye, I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway.  Out of the darkness and into the sun, but I won't forget the place I come from.  I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway, breakaway, breakaway.

-Kelly Clarkson

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I am doing a great work...

And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”   Nehemiah 6:3

I am convinced, after last week, that I do not give the way I should to God. Give meaning everything--
Money.
Thoughts.
Attitude.
Time.
Trust.
Faith.

Those to just name a few. Sometime even I don't allow myself to give God a chance.

This isn't a post to tell you how to live your life. Just a personal realization I came to this past week that I want to change in my life. And it came about through a lot of different resources. I've been listening to Andy Stanley's sermons called "Guardrails" (which have been awesome!). And listened to some David Platt sermons, as well as reading the Psalms, and doing and completing all my Kelly Minter "Ruth" Bible study. God has been using all these resources to reach out to me and draw me close. I've learned so much so far, and it's been so good. I haven't had a week like last week in a long time, where I spent time every day with God and his word. It was about time.

So back to giving...I am sort of realizing that the more I give to God, the more He can use me, the more I am making myself available for His use and will. I asked myself, "What made last week so awesome?" Well, it was good because I felt like I was surrendering my all to Him. I want to do that everyday. Give him faith, trust, attitude, thoughts, money, time--I want to depend fully on God, everyday.  Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." God knows what we need.

The Nehemiah verse at the top is a verse that Andy Stanley was talking about in one of his sermons. It's about Nehemiah, who was re-building the wall, and not everyone was for the re-building of the wall, so some people sent word to Nehemiah for them to meet up together someplace, and Nehemiah replies, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down." Andy told us that sometimes in our lives, we are doing a great thing--something God is calling us to do--and we get distracted. And the distractions aren't always bad things. I get distracted all the time by friends, to-do lists, Bible studies, church-related activities, family get-togethers, birthday presents, shopping, and all that. None of those things are bad things, but they can easily consume my life, to where I have nothing left to give to God. After talking to my roomie last night, she said something along the line of how she can't do things/activities every week night. Amen to that! Sometimes it's good to plan to stay in, plan to read the word, soak up time in prayer, and to just be. To be available for God. I want to learn to give to God first, then I can plan Bible studies, have friend time, shop for clothes, and all that.

I want to learn to give to God first when I start planning things for my week. I want to learn how to say "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down" because my great work is what God calls me to do (like God calling Nehemiah to re-build the wall). I don't want to let other good things distract me from this great thing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Believer's Freedom

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1 Cor. 10:23, 24

This is my memory verse this month. Found in 1 Corinthians - a book written to a rather new church/new Christians, who were learning how to be a body of believers in a city filled with commerce, immorality, and idols. These Christians had many questions, and thus Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, to instruct them and answer their questions about how to be a body of believers.

Now, this verse is found in chapter 10, and is sandwiched between instructions on what to eat, what not to eat, should you eat food sacrificed to idols, etc. Appropriate food/sacrificing animals and all that was a big deal back then. So I try to take this verse and put it into today's standards - what is a big deal now? What could this verse apply to? Well, it could apply to a ton of things.

The point is (just like the verse says) nobody should see his own good, because when you seek your own good, that's exactly what you are - a nobody. I'm not saying don't take care of yourself, that's not what I'm talking about. When it comes to controversial subjects, or grey areas of the Bible, or points in our lives where we disagree with others, or face conflict, THEN is when it's best to seek out what is for the good of others, not ourselves. We are called to not be selfish.

Paul ends this chapter with this statement:  "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31.  I think that sums it up pretty well, because when we seek out what is best for others, we are glorifying God.

And I picked this verse, because I'm too comfortable and need to be challenged to seek out the good of others. I've become silently selfish, and want to focus on what in my life has been permissible, but not necessarily constructive or beneficial to me, and especially to others. Something to work on...


Friday, May 11, 2012

Homesick

Do you ever just feel homesick for Heaven?

I haven't felt homesick in a long while, but these past few days, I've just really been feelin' it. Homesick for Heaven.

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
'Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

-MercyMe

Monday, April 30, 2012

Memory Verse

Sometimes life can be tough. Decisions need to be made, but it's not clear which one is the better. Relationship-needs need to be met, but they aren't being met the way we think they should be. Communication needs to happen, but the time and opportunities don't arise. Our minds need rest and time to think things through, but the world doesn't stop for us to sit and think about things, it just keeps on going without you. You sit down to pray, but you can't think of the right words. Work is stressful, and the problem doesn't seem to have a solution. BUT, it's okay. It is o.k.a.y. BECAUSE...

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -Jesus. (John 16:33)

And that is going to be my memory verse right now.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I am thankful for...

by Nancie J. Carmody

...the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
...the taxes I pay because it means I'm employed.
...the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.
...a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
...my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.
...the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.
...all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.
...my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.
...the alarm that goes off in the early morning because it means I am alive.
...the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means I can hear.
...the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.
...weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter eggs

Dying Easter eggs, naturally! With blueberries, raspberries, and coffee,
then spread a little vegetable oil on the finished product to make them shine. 


Friday, April 6, 2012

Color Combo

I love the color combo here, the orange with the purple, and the sunlight shining in. It's just lovely. Looking forward to the day when I can decorate my own little home! :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Gratitude

It's good to remember the things and people you are thankful for, and why you are thankful for them.

My parents. They love me tremendously, and are constantly proud of me, even because of little things I've done. They raised me with gentle and patient love, self-less love, showing me the true love of Christ. To this day, my mother and father are still deeply in love with each other. That is so rare and such a gift to get to see every time I go up to their house.

Sis. I'd be lonely growing up without her! So thankful to have her in my life. Life would be boring and incomplete without her.

Shelter. I love my apartment and roomie. So blessed to have such a great place to come home to every night, and a great roomie to share it with.

Boyfriend. The way he tells me things shows me he is genuine and real. His confidence is attractive and I love how he is constantly growing and striving to be a man of God. Regardless of how things unfold in the future, I'm thankful for him. I've learned so much from him already, and I'm thankful how he challenges me.

Grandparents. Thankful to have 3 still living, somewhat healthy grandparents. It's a gift to hear them share stories of their past. After talking with them, I always am reminded that no matter how old you are, you never completely have things figured out. We will always be growing and learning.

Friends. So many! Friends in different states. Friends from college. Friends at church. Friends of friends. Friends everywhere! I've always been blessed with friends. The only time in my entire life I felt friendless was in 8th grade, and I don't want to experience that again, except that during that time I truly learned how great of a friend God is. Thankful for that. Thankful for friends.

Bad relationship. Yes, even this. Through a good relationship gone bad, I learned what I wanted in a dating relationship, and what I didn't want. I learned wounds do heal, and that time is my friend. Thankful I experienced this year or so of my life, so that I can appreciate and love the relationships that are meant to be.

Rain. Love the rain and how it helps things grow and produce, especially during spring. Thankful for all the different types of weather, and how it proves God is Creator and He is in control.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Growing


~Sunflowers, daisies, and forget-me-nots~
Spring is here! Keep growing little plants!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Growing

My Forget-me-not plants are growing!!
Fun fact:  In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, "Forget-me-not, O Lord!" God replied, "That shall be your name."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Moses

Relationships are fun when they are easy. But they aren't always easy.
This weekend I had somewhat of a disagreement with someone I really care about. It's been a disagreement between us for a while, but we can't seem to meet in the middle somewhere. It gets frustrating when we try to talk about things, and I can't seem to form words and sentences to explain my thoughts. I feel like Moses.
But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” I don't know why sometimes I can't seem to express my thoughts clearly.

This is what God tells Moses after he gives the "tongue-tied" explanation:  Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”


So Lord, I pray my words and thoughts can be expressed more clearly in spoken words, and that those words will come from you, and that I will not be stubborn or closed-minded when there are disagreements, but open to all sides and all perspectives, and respectful of others' opinions. Amen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Politics in Romans 13

I overheard two people today having a conversation about politics, upcoming electionspresidential candidates, etc. Politics is not something I understand fully. It's something I tend to stay away from. Now, upon hearing this convo, I thought, "Isn't there a verse or something in the Bible about respecting and obeying the government?" So I sought this verse out. Upon finding it (Romans 13:1) I read the next verse. Then the next, then the whole paragraph of verses, then the whole chapter of Romans 13. Whew. Does that ever happen to you? You seek out one particular verse to prove your point, then you find a whole bunch of other stuff sandwiched in there that you didn't really expect to be there? But it is there. It is God's word. It is God's truth.

I not only learned that we must submit to governing authorities, but that God also says to pay our taxes. That anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted. That authorities have the power to punish us, and they are God's servants sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do wrong.  That we must give respect and honor to authority figures. That we should owe nothing to anyone, except for our obligation to love one another. And that love fulfills the requirements of God's law. 

Um...anyone else finding all this hard to take in? 

I owe money for college and a car. I pay taxes, but begrudgingly. I don't like when I receive my paycheck and I don't have my full amount because of $$ being subtracted for taxes and what not. I'm not sure that I believe that certain political figures are really God's servants appointed by him in governing roles. 

But it's all there in Romans 13. All that is written in that chapter is truth because it is God's word. God's truth is so difficult and hard to understand sometimes...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prayer and a broken spirit

"Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.  Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.  Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.  Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.  Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." Colossians 4:1-5

How could any of God's plans be accomplished in our lives without prayer? (Well, I'm sure God can do all without our small prayers). But I'm saying that any prayer, no matter how small or big, or how much faith or doubt is present, or how often or once-in-your-lifetime you pray, a prayer is a prayer, and prayers are sweet aromas to our Father.

"You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God."
Psalm 51:16, 17

God wants us. He desires us to be with him. He loves to hear us speak to Him. And when we do, he will not forsake us. He will take our broken spirit and prayers and mold them with care into a great masterpiece. 

"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."  Ephesians 2:10

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love

Valentine's Day.

A day when love is emphasized.

I came home during lunch break and checked the mail. The moment I saw the two envelopes in there (one addressed to my roomie, the other to me) I just had to smile. Valentine's cards from our parents. :) At that moment I just felt so grateful for my parents. My Dad has ALWAYS bought me a card on Valentine's day. He ALWAYS has been so good at making me feel special on this day. That's a good Father right there.

After work, Daniel came over and he also surprised me with a box of Junior mints (our favorite candy!!) and some red Twizzlers (one of my favorites!). :) :) :) Then we made some pancakes, bacon, eggs and had breakfast for dinner. Nothing fancy, nothing elaborate. Then we watched some Arrested Development (one of our favorite shows right now), and Daniel feel asleep. I felt special being able to spend this Feb. 14 with him and to just be close to him, even though he was sleeping. :) Then I felt bad having to wake him up so he could go home and go to bed, haha.

But the best part of all? Knowing that no matter who I spend Valentine's day with, or what I spend it doing, I am still loved. By Jesus Christ. Yes. Amen. And that is enough for me.

Lord, I pray you are enough for me every day and that my passion for you grows fuller and fuller. Thank you for Jesus Christ who has set me free from sin and death, and who has brought me into an abundant life with you, Father. You are holy and glorious, and I want to be holy for your glory. Amen!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Views

Views from the new office...I'm very excited about this!! :)
There aren't many places here where you can get a view up this high.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mini-Vaca & baby steps


Last weekend I had an opportunity
to go on a mini-vacation with a friend, for a very good price. Had a GREAT time. Got an atrium view room at the Opry Land Hotel, tickets to the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night, visited an awesome church on Sunday morning, lunch at Chuy's, then a visit to the Bass Pro Shop--which I found an awesome, Columbia, might-I-add, waterproof (not water-resistent, but waterproof!) jacket ON SALE!!! I've been wanting a good waterproof jacket for several years now, so I finally found the one, and at a good price too. :)


Loved this girl, Holly Williams, at the Grand Ole Opry. I had never heard of her before, but both her songs she sang gave me chills. Am I the only one who hasn't heard of her before?!?


Anyway, on another hand, been thinking about fear lately. Thoughts about it keep creeping up in my mind, and people keep bringing it up in conversations around me, and I keep reading posts, articles, etc. about fear. I took a look at some things in my life that I have not done yet, and decided which were because of fear, and which were because of other various reasons. One thing kept sticking out so obvious in my life, something I keep putting on hold because of fear. There is no other reason for me to put this on hold any longer, and the only thing keeping me back is fear...fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of lost time and effort that isn't going to pay off. SO, I decided in order to conquer this, I just need to take one baby step at a time.

Today I am proud to say I took the first baby step and am on my way to conquering this big scary task in my life. Yes, it may take a while, and yes, I might have stumbling blocks along the way, and yes, I might have to re-do some things, but hey, everything is easier the second time around, right? Either way, whatever the outcome, I decided to not let fear keep me back any longer. One baby step at a time...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spiritual Gifts

I took this test that a friend sent me. It is a test to learn what your strongest spiritual gifts are. It was well worth 10-15 minutes of my time. So I'm going to post it here, and I think you should print it out and take it too. Then post what your spiritual gifts are and what you learned because I would love to know!!

I scored highest in Encouragement, Helping, Mercy, and Service. I wasn't much surprised at those results. Out of those four, I would have guessed my highest would be Encouragement, but it's actually the lowest. My highest of those four is Mercy. That somewhat surprised me.

My lowest scoring gifts were Administration, Evangelism, Knowledge, Leadership, Prophecy, and Wisdom. Now, I will say, I was a bit surprised that Wisdom was in this category...What? Am I not wise? :) It was interesting that leadership was in this category at well. Leadership is something I have a hard time with, because I know I don't like it, and I know I'm not super great at it. And that scares me because of the career I've chosen. One day, and possibly in the next few years, I'm going to have to step up and take leadership of projects and people, and schedules and deadlines, and tests and studying, etc. etc. etc. It's going to be tough. Am I ready for this?

Something I wonder about...and have wondered about in the past...Just because one isn't strong in an area, does not mean one can't master it, right? Meaning, just because I scored lowest in Leadership as a gift, doesn't mean that I can't train myself to be good at it. I mean, one can do anything if he/she puts his/her mind to it. Anything is possible! BUT, just because it's possible...is it worth it? Is it worth the time and effort and money and sacrifices to master something you really aren't gifted at to begin with? Or maybe I'm just trying to make an excuse to not master Leadership. Or maybe I'm worrying too much about this. :) Or maybe I'm just trying to make a point to know what your strongest gifts are, so you can serve and work in those areas.

P.S. I'm really good at worrying. (This is something I'm working on...)

Anyway, moving on...the gifts that I scored average on were Discernment, Faith, Giving, Shepherding, and Teaching.

So, what were yours??


Won, this is for you (I hope it translated correctly!):
안녕! 당신은 정말 아름다웠습니다. 나는 보고 싶습니다.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why would a King do such a thing?

I Love these words:

I'm searching for a king and kingdom here among the beggars and the weak, the broken and redeemed.  I'm finding grace beyond all measure; in flesh and blood He hides His majesty inside of you and me.
Why would a king do such a thing?
Isn't it beautiful?  Isn't it marvelous?  The God of the universe, He became one of us.  We cry out and then Love comes down again.  Faith, Hope, and Love are found in Him, Hallelujah!!
Glorious beyond all measure.  Bending low to wash His traitor's feet--people just like me.
Why would a king do such a thing?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Truths

Pain in the teacher.
Love is the lesson.
Life is the result.
Sharing it is the practice.


Simple truths taken from Chip Dodd.




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Depth

I LOVE this photo from my friend, Carrie's, blog
I just LOVE it! Just like Carrie said, I LOVE the depth to this photo! 
So magical!!!!!!





Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Thoughts: Weeping vs. Whining

Currently reading this book with two friends -- Who Has Your Heart by Emily Ryan.

This week's chapter really got to me--the difference between weeping and whining. Just like the difference between happiness and joy. Here are some thoughts from the chapter:

Whining tends to point fingers, while weeping does not. Just like the Israelites in search of the promised land, they tended to blame Moses when things weren't going as they had hoped. They whined to him and said it was his fault time after time. When we whine, we are no different from the Israelites.

Whining also leaks out with envy. So many times we're not grieving our situation. Instead, we're grieving that our situation is not the same as someone else's.

On the other hand, grief turns into joy. Grief is for a period of time. Whining can go on forever and just turns into more whining. Look at these verses, "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy" Psalm 126:5. "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" Psalm 30:5. "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy...Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy" John 16:20, 22.

In this book, Emily Ryan is focusing on the story of Jephthah's daughter in Judges 11, and how she was sacrificed by her dad and was to never be married. So in response, Jephthah's daughter says, "Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry." She weeped, for a period of time, and spent that time in the hills with her friends and Father.

Check this out--In the book of Deuteronomy, there is a law that says that a new husband should not be sent off to war during the first year of his marriage. Instead, he should be "free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married" (24:5). Notice the husband can bring happiness to his wife. It doesn't say joy. Happiness focuses on self while joy focuses on Christ. In fact, Emily Ryan ventures to say that one cannont experience joy at all apart from Jesus Christ. So if what we are weeping over really is weeping and not whining, and if we want our grief to turn to joy, we need to shift our attention away from us, and focus on God.

Good thoughts, I'd say.

Fortune

Fortune from today's lunch (and the food was actually better than I was expecting!) - 
YOU ARE GUIDED BY SILENT LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP AROUND YOU


Hmm...what does this mean?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Family

I love my family. 
YES, everything looks perfect and grand in a photo,
but every family has quirks and issues and dilemmas and what not. 
But getting through all that together is what makes family so great. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Music: Needtobreathe



Got this CD for Christmas. Really enjoying these songs:



Days they force you
Back under of those covers
Lazy mornings they multiply
Glory's waiting outside your window
Wake on up from your slumber
Baby open up your eyes

Tongues are violent
Personal and focused
Tough to beat with your steady mind
Hearts are stronger after broken
So wake on up from your slumber
Baby open up your eyes.

-needtobreathe

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Travels: Blue Ridge Mountain



Speaking of mountains, I got to see the great blue ridge mountains this past weekend in Gatlinburg, TN. They were gorgeous! Sitting out on the rocking chair porch (with this view) was amazing! Then at night, seeing the stars crystal clear, and being able to identify the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, Orion's belt, and Cassiopeia was super cool in and of itself! I so love just looking up into the gigantic night sky seeing stars upon stars. It is very humbling sitting there below the huge expanse of a sky, thinking about how huge the universe is, and how small I am, and simultaneously having the feeling of overwhelming, unconditional love from God--how he loves me, small me, and is yet so big and vast and powerful that he created all the stars, and so much more I can't even begin to see.