Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Some seasons are filled with unspeakable joy and fulfillment. Other seasons are for trials that bring growth and build character. Both are equally necessary to become the vessels that God is fashioning us to be, so we can be used by Him. This season of my life has been much different than the last season-not necessarily bad-just different. God is teaching me that I am nothing without Him and I can do nothing without Him. He is everything. Even if I lost everything, He would be all I need. I believe it with my head, but it's a lot harder to convince my heart.
I recently came across this song by Audrey Assad and it's been on repeat for the last two days as I let the words sink into my soul.
"You could plant me like a tree beside a river.
you could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild.
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert.
But for now just let me cry.
You could raise me like a banner in battle.
put victory like a fire behind my shining eyes.
I would drift like falling snow over the embers.
But for now just show me how to lie.
Bind up these broken bones.
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life.
But not before you show me how to die.
Set me like a star before the morning.
Like a song that steals the darkness from a world asleep.
And I'll illuminate the path you've laid before me.
But for now just let me be.
Bind up these broken bones.
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life.
But not until you show me how to die.
Let me go like a leaf upon the water.
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea.
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty.
But for now just stay with me.
God for now just stay with me."
Friday, September 24, 2010
One of my favorite things about fall is Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks...
But at $4 bucks a pop one can hardly afford to make them a habit...
Two a week equals $32 a month. That is the same amount of money it costs to sponsor a child so they can go to school and have adequate meals for a month. The good steward in me has a hard time justifying that.
So...I found a way to make my own Pumpkin Spice Lattes and they are quite easy!!!
Here is the recipe:
2 cups milk
2 Tbs. canned pumpkin
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup hot brewed coffee
Cook milk, pumpkin, and sugar in saucepan on med. until steaming. Remove from heat and add vanilla and pumpkin spice. Whisk until foamy. Fill mugs halfway and top off with coffee. Add whip cream and pumpkin spice or cinnamon on top. Enjoy!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sisters are blessings. They make you laugh. They cry with you. They tell you when you are making a very bad fashion statement. They lend you their cute accessories. They let you hang out with their friends when you don't have anyone else to hang out with. They listen. They understand. They are cut from the same mold. They are honest. They stick up for you. Sisters are pretty much great.
My sister is in Albania.
I miss her already.
It's her turn to spread her wings and fly.
She is attending Bible School for 7 months.
She is off to make many new and interesting friends.
She will make memories that last a lifetime.
I am so proud of her.
I love you Jackie!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Last week I celebrated my 26th birthday. I don't know where I thought I would be at 26 years old-probably married with kids and working in an office somewhere-but I'm glad to be standing where I am looking back at the last 26 years. Before I was created in my mother's womb God knew my name. He knew what I would look like. He knew what would make me smile. He knew what my heart would beat for. He knew how many hairs would be on my head. He knew me. I'm thankful that He knew me/knows me better than I know myself. He's taken me places that I never dreamed and opened my eyes and heart to a world of beauty.
Right now I sit at a desk for most of the day and I don't always feel like I am spending my time
in the most meaningful way possible. I'd rather be sitting in the dirt in Africa with a bunch of children, or in a classroom teaching a bunch of eager students about life. But, the truth is that right now God has me here and he is preparing me for what is ahead. Even here, I have many opportunities to show God's love and to serve. So I strive to be faithful, even in the non-glamorous things of life.
A friend shared a quote with me recently that was shared with her by a wise professor. He said
"maybe you need to stop trying to save the world for awhile."
The words keep running across my mind. Too often I find myself trying to save the world or wishing I could save the world and instead becoming frustrating. It's not my job. I know that.
The problem is that I tend to take the burdens of the world on my shoulders instead of leaving them up to Christ, who already has it all under control. He only calls me to be faithful in the small things and to plant seeds. I can't control anything and I need to stop trying.
I went to the Oregon Coast to celebrate my birthday with my family. As I dug my feet in the warm sand and watched the waves crashing one after the other the phrase God kept giving me was
"Live and Let Go."
It sounds cliche, but it was what I needed to here.
I asked God to take all the things that cause me to worry and to help me let go...
I wrote it in the sand for all to see...
And then as a symbol I plunged into the cold ocean fully clothed, jeans and all to jump the waves (and be attacked by giant tangles of seaweed that wanted to drag me out to sea)...
After a discouraging couple of weeks my spirits were lifted this week and I was overwhelmed by the birthday love I received from friends and family. I am truly blessed. May year 27 be filled with new adventures, sweet moments, lessons learned, and a life well lived...
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Today I read one of the most beautifully and clearly described presentations of the Gospel that I have every heard. It is from Donald Miller, one of my favorite authors. He writes..
"The Trinity existed forever in a completely loving community. They were and are other focussed, without what we think of as ego (though I believe they have something like ego, we would not recognize it in comparison to our own) and they created an existence, including you and I, to enjoy their company. That is the most loving thing a perfectly loving being could do. But love cannot be controlling, it has to set it’s muse free, so they gave humanity an option out. And humanity took it, thus, by necessity, there was a separation between pure good and anything other than pure good. So now, we who have been designed to be complete in God, seek affirmation and validation from each other as though our lives depend on it. But it doesn’t work. Nobody has agency but God. So God sends his son to earth and his son essentially says this:
Monday, September 6, 2010
Today is the last day of summer vacation here in these parts. Tomorrow school starts, and I must admit I am a little sad that I won't have a classroom of children to teach. I keep looking through the ads in the newspaper and drooling over school supplies. This time of year causes me to dream about bouquets of newly sharpened pencils, fresh notebooks waiting to be filled, and minds ready to be written on with new information. I am definitely wired to be a teacher, but I am taking this year off, as God seems to be leading a different way this year. Despite not being in the classroom, I am looking forward to the Autumn season here in Medford. As I thought about it this week, I realized that I have not been here in autumn since 2004- 6 years ago! There are so many things to look forward to....raking leaves, husking corn, high school football games, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin EVERYTHING, hot tea every morning, sweaters and comfy jeans, dancing in the rain, and day after Thanksgiving shopping with Mom!!! I plan to make the most of this season :)
This week is the kickoff-the first football game happened on Friday (and South won!), Saturday I had my first pumpkin spice latte, and yesterday I husked corn :)
I think one of the reasons that autumn/fall is such a great season is because it signals a fresh start of sorts. The beginning of the school year offers a new hope and eagerness for learning, making new friends, buying new clothes, and creating new memories. Even though I am not in a classroom this season I am looking forward to learning many things this year and creating some great memories. Learning doesn't just take place in the classroom (in fact most learning takes place outside the classroom) and as a lifelong learner I find joy in discovering the creativity and goodness of my God as I learn more about this world He created. I hope all you out there in bloggerland will join me in learning and making some great new memories this season. Let the autumn festivities begin!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Sometimes I wish that the whole world could hear the conversations that happen at my house. We would make a great reality TV show, I'm telling you. For your enjoyment.....a few quotes from the last 24 hours:
"Get out of my way or I'll run you over with my walker!" (a disgruntled 83 yr. old man said this to my mom at the nursing home she works at, because she wouldn't let him go outside!)
"You could go to Afghanistan." -Papa
"You could raise goats." -Andy
"You could wear a turbin." -?
"You could bring goats home for mom to milk." -Andy
(this was part of a conversation we had while discussing my sisters travel plans when she goes to school in Europe this fall. The goats is only funny because my parents have been drinking goat milk but none of us kids like it :(
"It would be more fun to throw up in the ocean than in the toilet." -My dad (trying to convince me that it would be fun to go to beach for my birthday next weekend even if I still don't feel well).
Hope this made you smile :)