Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday...blues

I had a great weekend.
Like, the best we've probably had in a long time.
just the two of us, lots of family time, and lots of time outside

we stayed home, slept in and relaxed.
I got in a long run and Saturday afternoon was spent at the batting cages.
My husband is a great hitter.
and I didn't even know

today just feels like I'm still trying to live in Saturday.
and for today, that's alright.


how was your weekend?

Friday, January 27, 2012

falling in love again: Heart of Thankfulness Chapter 11

I can’t believe it’s the last chapter of 1,000 Gifts. I hope you have enjoyed going through the book with us. It’s been a blessing for me to share a book that has had such an impact on my life.

This last week, in the comments, just share some of your gifts you have listed through our series. 
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The gifts, the ones we’ve been counting for weeks now are a song
A love song, at no less.
In Eucharisteo I count, count, count, keeping the beat of His song, this love song He won’t stop singing.
A love song sung by a Savior over me.
Over me?
 

He is singing

“You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you” Isaiah 43:4
 He is singing and giving.

Sunrises, lemons, soapy water. Giving cuddles, baked bread, and fresh blooming flowers.
And to think I could have missed it all. He’s singing and giving all for us.
We see into His heart and it is so personal, so intimate, and so utterly fulfilling.



Giving thanks and counting gifts awakens me to a God that is giving Himself with naked,
Unashamed passion. A God giving Himself to me for a surrender of love.


“In a thousand ways He woos.

In a thousand ways I fall in love

Isn’t falling in love always the fullest life?”



But falling in love is terrifying. And who wouldn’t be afraid at intimacy with a Holy God?

God, the trinity is relationship and He woos us to relationship.

There is nothing with God if there is no relationship.



So I allow my heart to fall in love.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

deleting it all

some days I just want to delete it all.
the blog, facebook, twitter
it can feel so heavy, it can leave so much pressure



the past few days I've really been thinking about why I blog and what I blog about
when I'm posting regulary I can spend hours writing/editing pictures for the week's posts

and there is a fine line between blogging about life
and living life for the blog

i've looked back at old posts, and out of the 200 or so I have
I only really like about 30.
30?

what I have missed about being "gone" is the community.
this online community of women is a powerful thing.

so this little hiatus has me seeing a new vision for the blog.
the blog as more of a storybook of our life.
it's not what grows blogs, and that's okay.
but I want the blog to be a place where my voice tells the story of my family.
so it's all staying--not really deleting anything.
but it's changing.

it's a change that needed to come
and a change I am excited about.

ps: for those of you who have been following our heart of thankfulness series, that post will go up tomorrow.



Friday, January 20, 2012

why I love(d) the truck.

I drove my husband's 1995 Chevy 1500.
for a year and a month.
Samuel drives an hour(ish) to work each way, so he takes our little Civic.
it was old, and had character.
like a big ol' dent in the side character.



We kept it--no payments, just expensive gas.
think 10 mpg.
and I'll be honest. most days I hated it.
sometimes I complained about it.
and then I'd feel so convicted and guilty about my ungrateful heart.

But really, it was wonderful.
it ran, it rarely had issues, and it got me my 3.4 miles to work each day.

The time came for the truck to go.
And Tuesday evening we bought our new cute Versa.
but the Versa is really only here because of the truck.
The truck gave us a year to save, a year to prepare.



the versa is cute and small and wonderful
but the truck was such a picture of provision

that's my story, and it's true.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Give it to receive it: Heart of Thankfulness

Throughout the posts that Nicole and I have written about One Thousand Gifts, we’ve talked a lot about opening ourselves up to seeing the gifts that the Lord has given us.  We’ve opened our hands to have them filled by the Father.  He’s filled our hands with joy, with blessings. 
“If eucharisteo had led us to let go and open the hand to receive all His shimmering river of gifts, how can we now close the hand?  If I close those fingers, try to hold, hoard the river- dam up the grace- won’t the water grow stagnant?”
He has filled my life so much.  The blessings and the gifts have been given to me in abundance, but can I keep it all for myself?  Will the gifts keep their meaning all shut up in my clinched fists?
“Eucharisteo is giving thanks for grace.  But in the breaking and giving of bread, in the washing of feet, Jesus makes it clear that eucharisteo is, yes, more:  it is giving grace awayEucharisteo is the hand that opens to receive grace, then, with thanks, breaks the bread; that moves out into the larger circle of life and washes the feet of the world with that grace.”
If I shut my hands, the grace stops flowing.  But, when I open my hands wide, grace flows… and it flows on.  I have been blessed so that I can go on to bless others.
Our mission here to to serve, to love, and to live like Jesus. 
We’ve learned so much about seeing joy these last few weeks of these series. 
Don’t you want to share what you see?
Don’t you want others to feel that joy, too?
"God can enter into me, even me, and use these hands, these feet, to be His love, a love that goes on and on and on forever, endless cycle of grace.”
Will you be an endless cycle of grace?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

quiet

It's been quiet on the blog, I know.
and it wasn't really on purpose.
but lately I've been feeling different.
just content to sit. to be.
my soul has felt quiet.

away from the noise,
away from the distraction.

January feels new and quiet to me.
does it to you?

a time to refresh, replenish, and renew.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Heart of Thankfulness Chapter 9

This week might just be one of my favorite chapters of the book. I hope you'll join us again! We're digging deeper and becoming smaller and receiving the best gift of all: Joy.

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Have you ever spent much time with kids?
Little kids can be entertained for hours by the simplist things--boxes, spoons, paper.
anything new to them is filled with wonder.
it's a new experience to explore.  They giggle, laugh, and squeal.
pure joy. unhindered, unabashed.
joy. 
but adults, it takes a lot to see joy in an adult.
why? what happened?


what if the heights of our joy is measured by the depths of our gratitude?
how "small" can we make ourselves? small enough to see the joy in the seemingly small gift?
can we make ourselves as small as a child?  

"God created the world out of nothing,
and as long as we are nothing,
He can make something out of us"
Martin Luther

When I list my gifts, I can see the "bigness" of God, and the small-ness of me.
I can feel myself decreasing--sliding into the background, and the focus is
the love and passion from a God who gives good gifts.

Expectations kill relationships--human ones and the one with the Father too.
when we life life without the burden of expectation, what can top the surprising wonder of the moment? When I'm not expecting God to give--how much greater does the gift become?

Is it only when our lives are emptied that we're suprised by how truley full our lives were?
Instead of filling with expectations, the joy-filled expect nothing, and are filled. 
CS Lewis said he was "surprised by joy". Perhaps there is not way to discover joy but as surprise?

To receive the gifts--we have to live low. Life small.
and He has promised to fill those small empty moments with joy.
Receiving the gifts is not a strain, a burden. But a simple letting go and letting God fill.

The world doesn't live small. It lives large, extravagant.
and it hungers.
maybe this is why.

Joy comes from a place far deeper than feelings
Joy comes from the presence of God. 
Joy is God and God is Joy and joy doesn't negate other emotions
Joy transcends all other emotions.
Even when marriages are struggling,
when children stray,
when there is no money in the bank
and no dream in the heart. 
"I will take joy" Habakkuk 3:18

I hope this week you will become small and "take" joy with us.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

consumed

Life can get all consuming really fast.
It's January 1 and we take a step back, make great resolutions,
and are determined to be different.
and by Jan 11, those days seem ages ago

we get back in the swing of life.
of school, of work, of early mornings
and yet again we're caught up, consumed with life.
with just the daily grind.

I won't lie to you, I've had a hard time this January getting back "into it"
whatever "it" is. 
just life.
just work.
i feel my heart consumed with the daily struggle,
and yet my soul is reaching for more.

so, it may be a bit late, but I've got a word for 2012.
consumed


life is crazy.
and I'm guilty of shifting my focus when the crazy happens.
I start looking at the "things"
and stressing
worrying
trying to handle it.

so for this year, I want to keep my eyes on the Creator
and be all consumed with Him.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Disney and a whilwind weekend

Hi friends! I'm so glad to be back!  It was a crazy weekend and I took yesterday off to recover.
I left early Friday morning to head to Disney world to run the Disney marathon!  

 It was an awesome time with my family, and I can't believe it's over.
We left Friday, went to Harry Potter world Friday afternoon.
Our race was Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon we spent as much time at Magic Kingdom as our legs would allow.
Sunday we rested a bit and flew home!

Like I said, it was a whirlwind, but it was awesome!
and now for picture overload!







Friday, January 6, 2012

a cup of jo

If you were to come over and have a cup of coffee,
we'd be in the airport waiting on my flight.


and I could tell you how exited I am to be headed to Disney World.
and I might be just a teensy bit nervous about the race.
but mostly so excited.

I would tell you how expectant I am for 2012.
for the ways the Lord will move and provide for our little family.
I know he will provide a path for schooling for me, and I can't wait to be a part of that story.

I would spill praise for the Lord for our jobs.
our house, our health. We are richly blessed.

I would tell you that I'm praying for change in myself.
a content heart, a patient spirit.  I'm weak and incapable of change
but trusting in the One who can change any heart.


If you were to come over and share a cup of coffee,
what would you share from your heart?

 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heart of Thankfulness Chapter 8

God and I, we've long had trust issues
Those are the very words that begin chapter 8 in One Thousand Gifts.  From that moment on, I knew that this was a chapter that was really going to speak to me through current struggles I’m having with the Lord.  (FYI:  I’m writing this before Passion.  Hopefully some of these struggles are being worked on. :))

Worry, anxiety, fear, the unknown.  All these things have the ability to throw me into a state of panic.  To cause my patience to run thin, my words to become negative, and my heart to become joyless. 

“Worry is the fa├žade of taking action when prayer really is.”
Do I really choose worry over prayer?

Yes, I do.  The night before I read this chapter I cried myself to sleep.  The thought of going back to my college town after Passion without Tyler scares me. 
I’m afraid of being alone.  I’m afraid of having no friends.  I’m afraid of being invisible.
I’m afraid of being unhappy.

“Stress isn’t only a joy stealer.  The way we respond to it can be a sin.”

My response to stress can be a sin?  How?
The Lord has commanded me to trust in him (John 14:1). And stress is the opposite of trust.
“I can’t fill with joy until I learn how to trust:  ‘May the God of hope fill you will all JOY and peace as you TRUST in him, so that you may overflow.’”

Wait.  I won’t know joy until I know how to trust, and I can’t trust while having stress?
How in the world do I change this lifestyle of stress I’ve created?

Count blessings and discover who can be counted on.”

So eucharisteo is my ticket out of stress and into trust?

Yes, I think that’s the thing.  Remembering the past.  Remembering his faithfulness.  Remembering his love.  Remembering his perfect plan.

Those stones of thankfulness, of rememberance for what the Lord did pave a way for my trust in the future.
The Lord came through for me.  The Lord LOVES me. 

Can I not trust him now to do that same?
Can I not choose to have a thankful heart that trusts so I can have a life full of joy?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

two things, as a list

first:

the shop is back open! after a VERY long break and some great rest, I'm so happy to be back in business.
and new things are being made and coming soon! 


second:

I leave for Disney World in 2 days! 2 days! I'm running the Disney marathon, and I'm so pumped.
and I need help.
My running playlist kind of sucks.
and I'm going to want some good stuff.
and I'm in desperate need of some new music.

So,

What do you run to? 
(and yes, I know that I wrote this post a long time ago about not running with music. things change).

and, while I'm away running till my toes bleed, use the coupon code RUNDISNEY for 20% off! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

dreaming big for 2012

So I was sort of back last week.
but not really.
the vacation continued.

now, it's 2012.
I'm a big goal setter.
and for most of my life, I have dreamed, set goals, and accomplished them.
and foolishly believed I was doing it on my own.

my prayer for this year is that I would grow in obedience to Christ.
that these goals would only be met if they are in the will of the Almighty.

that my goals are set because of the Creator I know.
and my eyes are to praise and thank Him.
not for comparing.
not for jealously.
but for looking at the good He has given and to praise.

so, with allllll of that. I've set goals. and these are just a few:
  • Increase our tithe amount. We know He is faithful to provide, and we want to give beyond what we are now. 
  • For me, a hard area can be easy Starbucks/Target trips. It's not much. Just picking up a few things we "need." Can we do without? Do we need them?  Don't hear me wrong, this isn't necessary food for our family. It's nailpolish, tights, $4 coffee. They aren't needs. So we don't need to buy them. 

  • In school, I am continuing pre recs for nursing school. Praying the Lord would provide acceptance somewhere when we start applying.  
  • When we do start applying, we're looking into a few different options (Nursing, Phd, etc) and praying the Lord would provide acceptance where He knows best. My goal is to be diligent in my classes and applications. 
  •  In the middle of 2011, I started a Bible in a year plan. And somewhere around Thanksgiving I completely got off track. I am clinging to grace and getting back on it. I want to be faithful to finish and complete reading the Bible in 2012.
  • You're all aware of the book 1000 Gifts and the many times I've blogged about it. I want to continue to let the Lord work that book in me. I am going to count and see the gifts to 1,000, and then after that, until the end of my days. 

  •  I've been heavily convicted recently to be KIND. Sounds so easy and simple. and maybe even silly. But a big goal for 2012 is to be genuinely kind. 
  • I'd like to run a Marathon in the fall of this year. (and speaking of, my half marathon is this SATURDAY.) I want to continue running, becoming healthier, eating better. I work better with a race to look forward to. and why not push the distance to twice what it is now?

  • For our marriage, I desire our hearts to be so united, so connected, that I am able to share each of Sam's burdens fully. That his concerns and needs would truley become greater than mine.   I want to delve deeper into the mystery of Oneness that God has promised.

Do I still have anyone's attention? Anyone make it this far. Congrats.
Those are not all of the goals, but a good bit.
In all of the goals, there is grace. Grace for the hard days, grace for changed goals. 
but we're trusting and praying through these and expecting big things in 2012
Do you set goals? What is one of your goals for this year?