Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The silence ends . . .

It has been quite a few months. I was following another gal's blog and felt like she said what I had been feeling very well. Life has been happening, however it is not much I can share.

So, I think that life is slowing down enough that I might be able to begin to blog.

We sold our house, moved, and now are settling in to a wonderful place. I sit in the living room and still after two months I can't believe we are here. We had thought that building was the way to go, but I am amazed at how God's hand was all over these last few months. We just found out that the lot we wanted to build on was $20 more a square foot that anticipated. Our house is $40 less a square foot and that just amazes me. God so far exceed my expectations in so many ways!

God is still just as faithful as He ever has been, because that is who He is. I am more in love with Him than I thought I could be and wondering still how He could feel about me like He does. That is where I am at . . . in a journey to know HIm more. In that journey I am learning so much about myself. I hope to share more now that I feel like I have the freedom to tell what my God is doing.

Now off to get ready for a Christmas party . . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday . . .

I seemed to have lost the pictures and now fill most entries with words. I kind of feel like that is all I have right now. Words to function from situation to situation, words to try to explain my failing mouth in expressing myself, only words to describe the way I feel right now.

How these words fail me now. It has been such a world wind for these last few months and I must confess to not being use to it. I had guarded my time so closely and I agreed to several things not knowing how it would all fall together. MAN! I hardly had time to breathe and it really took all of last weekend to get myself feeling a little more normal.

But then . . . that is where it started to go downhill. See when you are busy and needed it feels good and important to rush here and there, accomplish this and that. But when you stop, it is almost like going through a detox. No one around, no one to pat you on the back for all you have done, no one to notice that you are not sure what to do with yourself.

Today I behaved badly. I let my world seem dark and lonely and let my feelings tell me what my reality was. I was so deceived and duped, and it makes me angry! Why do I let the enemy tell me my reality? Why do I let him tell me the things that temporarialy scratch my itch?

Oh but God is faithful. I began to tell Him how bad it was and how I am just so misunderstood. Know what He did? Gently told me what the Truth was in my situation and how I had let myself return to the familar places where burdens were great and life seemed hopeless.

Thank you Lord for not condeming me but reminding me of You are good. Your heart towads me is good. I am not who I was, I am Yours! May that be what exudes from me each and every day. Not because I get it 100%, but because you are 100% what you say you are.

Found this video right after I posted this. Have been following this family for some time and was truly blessed by what they shared. May you be as well! Don't forget to mute the music at the bottom before you push play.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just some thoughts . . .

What a week it has been. I had some great things go on . . . the kids did great in a worship service at church and we survived all the rehersals. I got to go on a field trip with Sydney to the zoo. Unfortunately in the midst of these great and everyday events in our family, we are suffering through a loss. The hardest part is that as a family it is really taking a toll on us.

I have been blessed I guess not to have suffered losses on this level very frequently and I am honestly not sure what to do with how I feel. What to say, how to respond, taking in others' feelings into account as it is not just me who is grieving.

I'll have to admit I was really angry last night at the situation. I probably acted out in a selfish way, event though I tried not to. Angry that the enemy seeks to destroy us and will use whatever means necessary to take us out. I know what is like to not be sure what is the Truth and what are lies meant to take us out. I tried so hard to not respond in that anger and I feel like I failed. I just wanted to let the person who hurt us so to know I knew what had happened and the choices made affected so much more than could be known.

So as I tried to go to bed last night I just cried out to the Lord for grace. Grace to understand that bad things happen and I am not going to be able to always fix the problem. Grace for the one who caused this pain, as I can only imagine the pain they must feel to make said choices. Grace for myself to grieve through this in a healthy way and let it grow my famiy closer as we ralley around our loved ones.

They don't give manuals on how to handle situations like this and I just am so grateful that I have a loving Father who hurts with me, holds my hands and those who are hurting as we walk down this path of life together. My prayer is that this opportunity is not wasted and we all press into the One who know us best to receive all He has for us.

I hate that words really can't express what I feel or bring comfort as they come out. All I can do in these times is lay everything I am at the Father's feet and let Him comfort me. He was faithful to remind me that He is there through a few Psalms. Psalm 121 and 23 remind me that my help comes from Him alone and I can choose to let His comfort be enough or risk walking out of what will really be the balm that heals.

Life is hard. It is in these times that my prayer is for Him to come quickly so no more tears have to fall. May God bring comfort to my family. May they know that He is a breath away and ready to love them through this. May they see that He is more than a distant creator and may they see He loves them more than any of us could comprehend.

My prayer is that God would grant me wisdom to love those who have hurt me and not forget how many times I have hurt those who love me as well. May the grace I have received be freely given not because of what is deserved, but because my Savior did so much more on the cross to forgive me of what was not deserved. May I look back and see how this pain and grief was used to reveal the glory of God in a way I am too close to see right now. This was not His will or plan, but He will make all things work together for those who love Him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What a beautiful day!

I just got done walking outside to feel the sun on my face. What a wonderful feeling! It has been way too long since I have enjoyed that feeling. It seems to reflect how my heart feels right now.

I have been really having some serious heart to heart conversations with the Lord. I am so simple minded to think that I might actually be able to comprehend the workings of the mind of the creator of our universe, yet so thankful that he is not offended when I ask. I have had a couple senarios that have sent me down wondering if I would ever be able to get out of the cloud I feel like has been hanging over my head for so long. It kind of reminds me of that cartoon character that has the rain follow wherever he goes.

What I love about the Lord is that when I press into Him to ask Him why this or why that, I walk away forever changed. My situation doesn't change, in fact sometimes the external pressure gets even worse. What changes is my heart, my perspective, I am reminded of His Truth. So today I felt like I had the chance to lift up above my going ons and see what He sees. No answers were given, no remedies needed. I only know how to describe it as my heart lept within me and breathed deeply and went "Oh. I see now. Yes, You are enough."

But that was not all. My loneliness was destroyed, my heartache for what is not . . . gone. My foggy vision of what I thought I couldn't see is cleared . . . just like the clouds outside. We (the Lord and I) have been working on how it looks to really only need His approval. When I seek my worth and value in Him, what others say doesn't dampen my understanding of who I am. My heart may question if what He says is true but is always met with His opinion of me.

Recently I took a bold step for me, not so noticable for most, to begin using a name to remind me of what the Lord sees when He looks at me . . . Captivating21. (Captivating to One) If you are still reading at this poing, the only weight I use to measure me these days is Him slone. No matter how anyone sees me I will always know I am captivating to One!

We were to ask the Lord what He thought of us the other day and the first thing He told me (twice that night) was that He loved my smile. Guess what you might see me doing a lot these days . . . smiling. There is no greater feeling that to know the love of my King!

May the sun on your face turn your heart back to the one who thinks you are pretty darn special.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Israel Post #1

So after being dropped off at the church on Wednesday morning, all 44 of us got on the bus and headed for the airport. My stomach was in knots until I got through securtiy. I have a knack for doing the no no's on the list, but happily got through unscathed! Here is a pic of Renee with all of our 44 passports. There is a bunch in our group! We were seated alphabetically so I got to know the "F" folks really well!. We had an uneventful

Here is old city of Akko. We stayed here for three nights. The view was so neat of this old city on the Medditterranean Sea.

We got to visit Tents of Mercy. This is David and Avi enjoying a laugh.

One of the great things this congregation does is have supplies for the community. Things needed if a war were to break out of things for various celebrations that the community does like Matza bread during passover.

I love this picture of the "Tents" in the desert, the oasis for those in need.

Eitan showed us the Torah. This is wrapped in velvet kept in a special shelf and read every week at congregation. It could take up to a year to write this our by hand. I believe it is basically the Old Testament written in Hebrew . . . but my memory fails me right now.

They read it using this special pointer so as not to ruin or smudge the writing.

David Ray and Avi. River of Life has a speical relationship with Avi. I believe he has preached in Abilene there.

A kibbutz. This is a communtiy farm that many people work on. There were several outside Akko.

For the most part this was the way we read signs: Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Thank goodness!

This man was a leader in a congregation in Nazereth. His name is Vakiff and he also had made aliyah (returning to Israel) from Russia. I told him I spoke Russian and felt very dumb when I couldn't figure out that he was asking me how long did I study Russian. I kept saying 34 years! Oi vey!

I just love the way Hebrew looks. This is a sign for Nazereth.

This a shot of the Holy Ennuciation Church (sp?). It is the dome shaped building in the center. The Catholic Church believes this is where Mary met the angel that told her she would be pregnant with God's son.

This guy was actually from Belarus. His name is Leon. He helps a lot of Holocust victims and has just started a seminary. The Torah that is in the picture actually came from Germany and was found after the Holocaust. It amazingly made it through all that destruction!

Interesting warning sign! I would stay away from that!

We got to see where Jase and Melissa are working and living and the people who are helping them out. It was neat to see the projects that they are doing and to know how to pray for them back in the states.

Melissa showed us their bomb shelter and it was sobering knowing that they had just experienced the effects of war not too long ago. I had a hard time imagining what that must have been like. In America we really don't know what it is like to have a war going on in our homeland.
I had to show this photo. I have never had a problem swelling with any of my travels or pregnancy and it blew me away how much I did after we arrived in Israel. My sandels started to hurt my feet and I had no ankles! I made sure to drink lots of water and keep them up and thankfully it went away.

This painting was at Guy Cohen's congregation. I loved hearing the shofars blowing but unfortunately missed out on a lot because of my troubles with jet lag. I hope this gives a glimpse into the first day of what we did. I felt like we were all over Israel this day . . . at least the NW side.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am still reeling . . .

I will post pictures galore from my incredible trip that I just got home from later, but I wanted to share some thoughts I have been chewing on all week since I got home from Israel:

-I am sentimental. Never realized just how much until the simple thought of something could send me into an emotional breakdown. Granted it was probably a lot of tiredness thrown in, but it has really shocked me. For example, I was at a playdate and a buddy from the trip popped in to exchange something . . . and I almost had to leave the place because I was overcome with emotion! I was just heart sick the rest of the morning.

-I desire more than anything to be a part of what God is doing. The problem I have is sometimes I am so busy looking for where He might be that I miss Him altogether. I am struggling just being a wife and mom these days and I feel like I am in constant dialogue with God about His timing. He has been so sweet to encourage me an let me know I am doing what I should . . . but can I be honest? Sometime is is definitely lacking in the glamourous! But that is when the Lord gentley reminds me that I am in the planting part of the growing season and I will not see the fruit of my labor until a much later date . . if ever. I choose to be okay with that, but I must confess the struggle is still there at times.

-I realized on this trip I just took, that while I love to be the center of attention, the one who entertains . . . I desire that deep intimate conversation just as much as the laughter and lighter moments. That may be the way we all are, but I realized that sometimes making others laugh and have fun can be isolating because it is hard to take the jokester as serious. I am thankful that God place such a wonderful gal as my roomate on the trip so I could have both. She will never know how precious those nightly conversations were to me even if I tried to tell her.

-We may learn to loose the baggage in our life that robs us of the freedom Christ died for, but the enemy is smart to sit it in our path so we may be tempted to pick it up again. Darn that enemy! I get so frustrated when I seek the familar even if it leads me back into the bondage I have been set free from. I am so thankful that the Lord is so patient with me to show me where I seem to be lacking in faith and taking control of the things I just laid at His feet. Never chiding, but reminding me of what my heart truly desires. When He puts it back into perspective, life becomes so much simpler!

-I doubt my faith at times. But I have realized that this should not bring shame to my heart, but amazement. I am the one Lord showed me His truth, His grace, His salvation! Thanks to a wise man who pointed this out on my trip, that too would have brought me shame. Now I can't believe that my eyes have been opened, my heart freed, my life's purpose to love and know Him more an more . . . I'll never understand why me but it will not weigh me down again. My heart longs for those around me to know this love and let go of the religion, but once again it is like describing a sunset.

So I guess I end here. I am amazed. Amazed that I was beyond priviledged to be a part of something so much bigger than I could have even imagined. Now to live out what I have learned in my day to day life. God is so good, such a kind and gentle teacher that I have no fear He does give His children the very best gifts!

P.S. Not sure if a lick of what I wrote makes sense, but eh . . . know that the wheels are turnng up in my head. If nothing else you can be encouraged that the God of Abraham is just as amazing to me 4000 years later!

Happy Birthday to my favorite 3 year old!

One of the downfalls to going to Israel is missing Savannah's 3rd birthday. However I made up for it when I got home. We had a Dora cake, presents, and of course who could forget the singing. Simple, yet sweeet. Next year we will begin the parties so these small family affairs will not be for much longer. I love her so from her sweet smiles, to her terrible three tanrums. One of our fun things we got to do while I was gone was argue who loved who more. What a fun arguement!Just a quick shot of my BEAUTIFUL flowers waiting for me when I got home at 4:00am on Tuesday morning. More on that later . . .

Yes, this last photo is out of place. It is my sweet baby boy in a Dora towel. He was in heaven after bath time completely unaware of the pink towel covering him up! Isn't he the cutest?!?!?!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunsets and God

Whew! It seems that time to sit and reflect on life are far and few between. I have to remind myself that this is a season that passes way too quickly and I need to take it in before it is gone. But between dirty diapers, laundry, dishes, dirty faces, and any other task that makes up my day being a wife and mother to four . . . God has graced me with an ability to make the most of the moments that come my way to chew the fat with Him.

We have been studying the Holy Spirit at church these past few weeks and it has really got me to seeing life differently. I am so thankful that my life group allows me to be honest enough to pose the struggles I have in this area. How does one live a life completely consumed by the best thing . . .God . . . and not remove yourself from a world that hasn't tasted what that is like? It is funny to me because I know that someone who hasn't experience the awareness of who God really is might not see things as I do. How to bridge that gap baffles me. What frustrates me is that there is really no way to describe it either. Just like you can't tell a person what the sunset looked liked no matter how eloquent your description unless they were looking at it from your eyes.

So back to understanding how to live a life filled by this awesome and incredible Spirit of God on a daily basis. What God has been showing me is so simple I really can't believe I missed it in the first place. I ask Him. I ask Him what does He have in mind before any given situation and what role does He want me to play in it. It is not that I haven't sought out these answers, but sometimes I let pomp and circumstance get in the way of a gut level interaction with God. No flowery words needed, no special rituals . . . just ask and most importantly listen. Who do you want me to encourage, share you love, freedom with? That is how these ordinary tasks change into extraordinary Spirit filled moments. What better way to spend the day by encountering a Holy and mighty God by pointing people back to Him! I tried it today and nothing life shattering happened to anyone else, but to me it was incredible. He spoke and and I heard and now I am on a mission.

I am sure I might be out there for some, but one day I pray that when we see this same sunset together we will not words to explain it. BTW the picture is the closest thing I have to a recent sunset for me, kind of random I guess. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just wanted to share!

Lots going on and would love to tell but it is not the right time. So I thought I would share this awesome video! May it bless you like it did me! Be sure to pause the music at the bottom before you watch the video.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I am a little impressed, if I do say so myself!

I am not into do it yourself projects. When we painted our tiny bathroom in our old house (brush your teeth while your shower taking care of other business small) I realized that it just went too slow. With that being said, I never could find a light for our ktichen that made me want to buy it. So I thought I would try to repaint one on my on. I got it at the restore with globes for under $25. Can of spray paint and a little help from my husband to hang it and it is done. If only they were all this easy. So am now a happy camper not looking at the ugly brass one that has hung here since we moved on. Now I guess I need to get back to laundry and plain old house cleaning. The other things I don't find my passion in! :)

The light that has caused the source of many problems . . . okay maybe not all that but I really don't like it!The purchased light. Here is the point in which I wonder if I am crazy or will I really like it.The new globes I got for 50 cents each!Hanging in the garage waiting to dry. By the way, I also figured out how hard it is to take pictures of these kind of lights. The pictures don't make me feel as happy as I do when I acutally look at the light over the table.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What a start!

While working on setting up the kids's new awesome puppet theatre upstairs, I had the iphone shuffling my music library. I was so taken back by a song that came on I had to listen to it twice. It was by Wayne Watson. Wow, talk about a flash back. It took me back to those days in high school, when I was a little obnoxious (understatement) with my faith. I still remember borrowing a video tape from my youth minister David with some christian music videos on it that forever changed my genre of favorite music. We are talking early 90s. Micheal W. Smith . . . Amy Grant. . . Bruce Carrol . . . Al Denson . . . and of course Wayne Watson.

It is funny the things I remember, how crooked his teeth were in the Long Arm of the Lord video. That cool vest Micheal W Smith wore in Secret Ambition, but I digress! But above all those silly things, I remember how the music moved me then in my young walk as a believer. I remember wishing I had a singing voice so I could share some of these awesome songs that really spoke to my heart with those at chuch because those songs touched me so. But alas, my shower and car is where they were mostly shared.

Music and songs are to my journey with the Lord are like a photograph for me in a picture album. I will never forget one particular album of Micheal W. Smith's that I listened to on a mission trip with my choir from church. I guess you get the picture, no pun intended. I was really needing a sweet embrace if you will from God tonight and I got it, in the form of a song. So, to really mark this time that I felt as if God were sitting next to me in my car tonight, I will share the words of a song that really meant a lot in high school . . . and even tonight.

Every Now and Again (Wayne Watson)
It's good to be lonely every now and again
To be parted from the ones you adore
To sit at a table for two all alone
And take a look at the world around you
At people with no one to go home to
Some with a place to belong
Others consumed by their weakness
And another when weak seems so strong

Lord, let me be at peace wherever I am
Satisfied with all I have--A faithful friend
And know I am grateful
Cause if it makes me love you even more
I know--I'm sure
It's good to be lonely every now and again

It's good to go down to defeat now and then
To fail at some nobel pursuit
To fall short of the prize
And find in His eyes
There's nothing your victory can do
To secure higher favor
He cannot love you more than now
Winners and losers
All are the same somehow

And it's good to know sorrow
To be closely acquainted with grief
To be showered with tears
No reason to cheer
To find in Christ your only relief

I am finding in my life the removal of excess reveals the true acess I have with the one who loves me most. May I press into him and see all he has given instead of what I think I need.