Adventure

Adventure
Sunshine

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Run

           As a kid did you ever play on one of those giant bouncy things with the bungee cord? The one where you got strapped to a bungee cord harness and than ran as far as you could before getting snapped back and bounced? Well, this morning, I was thinking and I realized that in many ways we walk through life strapped into a mental version of one of these things.
          I was thinking and praying this morning about how I want to be able to grow in my relationship with the Creator. And I realized, that I often get discourage in this because so often, when I attempt to pour out my heart to the One who knows the deepest part of me, I feel as though worries and fears put a vice grip around my heart and tell me that I can't move forward. Time and again I have felt this way. I begin to let my spirit soften and my heart desires to seek His face, and then that fear snaps me back. Just like that bungee run, my mind has become harnessed to fears and doubts that prevent me from running forward. They have worked to cripple my faith, squelch my joy and stunt my growth. And sadly, I'm the one who has allowed myself to stay here, to be strapped to these fears that won't let me go. But you know what, The One who put that desire in your heart, The One who fills your heart with joy and makes you want to sing, He wants you to be free.
          So today, I challenge myself and you. Unhook the harness, let go of the fear, doubt or whatever it is that is holding you back, and run with the freedom of knowing that He is running right beside you.

Galatians 5:1
"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." 

“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” ~Votaire

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Moments

        Have you ever had one of those moments. A moment when everything seems so perfect and beautiful and comfortable. A time when love abounds, dreams seem possible and everything seems magical. I was driving home with the love of my life at my side and I was struck with the simple and graceful beauty of the town as millions of Christmas lights twinkled and sparkled against the fresh, white snow. A song played gently in the background and the world seemed at peace. Look for those moments in your life. You may think that you are too busy or life is too hard or that your dreams are impossible, but just look. The One loves you more than you could ever know has filled your life with these moments. Like a gently falling snowflake, these moments may seem small and unimportant, but if you allow yourself to look a little closer, you will see the beautiful lacy craftsmanship. So tonight, snuggle up with the one you love, enjoy a cup of cocoa, listen to the music and watch the snowflakes. Goodnight.


“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”
  ~Betty Smith 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving

      I'm sitting here on a cozy Friday morning thinking back to the many Thanksgivings that I have had. When I was 12 my family was involved with a ministry that reached out to the kids on the street. So that year we spent Thanksgiving at the Church with friends and a whole bunch of people that my parents had met through this ministry.
     Then there was the Thanksgiving I spent in Namibia Africa. This was my first Thanksgiving spent away from home and it was a wonderful time. We were a mix of British, Irish, Canadian and American's celebrating together.
      Then last year, was the first Holiday spent with the love of my life. We got to fly down to North Carolina and spend it with Luke's sister and her family. Looking back over these Thanksgivings, and the countless ones spent with Grandparents and family. I have much to be thankful for.
       Last night, as I was helping in the kitchen to get the feast ready, I was surrounded by feelings of wonder as we bustled around and gentle strains of music and conversation floated about. Life is good. I have been blessed. Memories are sweet and new adventures are waiting in the wings. Have a wonderful day.

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
~W.T Purkiser

“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”
~Oscar Wilde

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Blessing

        This past weekend was fun because my some of my family was able to come up for a visit. When it came time to say goodbye, I felt a heaviness of heart. It is always hard for me to say goodbye and I often wish that my family lived closer. But as I was thinking about all of this, something occurred to me. Though goodbyes are hard, I am blessed enough to have people to say goodbye to. This then got me thinking about all of the amazing people that God has blessed my life with.
         I have not one, but two sets of wise and godly grandparents who have always been a part of my life. I have a Daddy who reminds me of the love that my Heavenly Father has for me. A Mom who has been my mother, confidant and friend. I have a whole slew of brothers and sisters who are there for me. But it doesn't stop here. Not only have I been blessed with the family who raised me, but I have had the privilege of marrying into another amazing family. I have a Mom and Dad-in-law who treat me like a daughter, and a group of amazing brother and sister-in-laws. And the best part of that family is the amazing man that I am married to. The love of my life who is with me through the ups and downs of life and in it for the long-haul.
       But wait, there is more. I have been surrounded by friends both old and new. The one's I grew up with and the ones that I have met along the way. People who have made me laugh and listened when I cried. And so today, I realize that I am truly blessed. And to top it off, I am loved by the Creator of the Universe.
        So, my challenge for you today is to count your blessings. And most importantly, remember, regardless of what your going through right now, that you too are loved by the One who counted the stars. Happy Monday.

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
~Desmond Tutu

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
~Elbert Hubbard

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Car

       Today something exciting happened. My husband and I have spent the better part of the last 8 weeks working on re-painting our 1995 Honda Prelude. It used to be and old, man, gold color and has slowly been turning into a sporty shade of electric blue. The reason today was so big was because we were finally able to add the last swipe of polish and drive it home.
        Over these past weeks, both my husband and I have had moments of woebegone despair that we would never get done. Just when it seemed that the project was coming to a close, something would crop up and take time. So many times I just wanted to skim over things and call it good, but Luke would remind me that in order for it to turn out right, we needed to put the time in. And so, we plodded on.
       All of this has got me thinking about my own life. Over the past year or so, I have been in a rough spot. I've struggled with fear, doubts and anxiety about different things. So many times I would say, "God, can't you just make me feel better now?!" And yet, I realize that maybe, just maybe life is like that sporty, blue Honda. If I were to snap my fingers and rush through this growing process, things might not turn out as nice as they could if I sit back and allow myself to rest in the arm's of the One who showers me with His grace. He has plans for my life and yours. No matter what you may be going through right now, don't despair, you will come out on the other end. The one who painted the skies knows exactly what He is doing in the masterpiece that is your life.
     Then, one of these days that time will come. The last bit of polishing will be done and you will realize that you have made it through and you will be ready for the next adventure that God brings your way.
     So tonight, I encourage you to rest in the knowledge that you are in good hands. There are good things in store. And remember, no matter what, you are loved more than you will ever know. Sweet dreams.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9
"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress." ~Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life Lived

        This week my Church family lost a member. Ed was 81 years old and died on Monday afternoon. I never really got to know Ed, but he made me smile when I'd seem him motoring along on his scooter with his fedora perched jauntily on his head. From stories I've heard, he was a great man of God who loved to tell stories.
       There is always a weird feeling that comes over you when someone you know dies. That knowledge that you won't see them again.  But then, I was reminded by someone that I will see Ed again. And right now he gets to see Jesus, which is a truly awesome thought.
       So, wherever you are in life, I ask you, "do you know that saving love?" The One who created the stars created you and longs to know your heart. Will you allow yourself to know that love? My hope is that someday when I get to meet Jesus, that my life will be remember for my passion and heart. And for now, and as long as I breathe, I choose to live in the knowledge that I am the daughter of the King. Have a great day.

"The important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years." ~Edward J. Stieglitz

John 3:16 
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

Progress

       You know how at the end of a tale they say, "And the moral of the story is..." Well I've been thinking of life lately and what one such lesson might be. There are three stories I would like to share and they all share a common "moral of the story."
       First: My in-laws have a puppy named Miss Amos. According to my husband, one of her favorite things to do is sit by the wood pile and hope beyond all hope that the mysterious chipmunk living there will make an appearance. Once I asked my Husband if she has ever caught anything. He said that so far, she has caught nothing, but she's never stopped trying.
       Second: A month ago my husband took on the job of painting our car. That means taking it apart, fixing rust, filling dents, sanding it down and then primer and paint. At first we thought this would be a simple 1-2 week project and now, a month later we are still working. There have been days when my husband has been so discouraged because every where he turned there was something else he needed to fix before moving on. 
    Third: I am in my last year of school and there are days when all I want to do is throw my hands up and forget it all. Especially when the homework comes piling in. It feels like I have a to-do list that has no end and that can be so overwhelming.
     So you might ask, as what do these stories have in common? Well the other day the thought occurred to me that as long as you are not going backwards or standing still, you are making progress. Sometimes the forward movement seems ridiculously slow or even non existent. But, as long as you are trying, you are making progress. Sometimes progress can be hidden because at times you may have to take a step back in order to keep moving forward. But no matter how slow, impossible or hard something may seem, don't give up. Don't stand still and never stop trying.
       So, whether your feat is a car to paint, homework to do, an impossible circumstance or something as simple as making it through the day, don't stop moving. There will be times that you need to take a break, allow yourself to rest or get refocused and that is okay, just don't give up. Never stop chasing your dreams or believing in the impossible. Don't give up hope, because the One who gave you life is right there beside you and He desires that you accomplish your goals, achieve your dreams and live fully. So the moral of the story is, "As long as you are not standing still or moving backwards, you are making progress." Have a great day.

"I am a slow walker, but I never walk back." ~Abraham Lincoln.
       

Friday, October 5, 2012

First Snow

         Yesterday the snow came. There is something so very magical about the first snow. It makes me feel cozy and reminds me of happy times. I remember as a kid waiting with great anticipation for that morning when I would wake up and find the ground dusted in delicate white.
         Snow is a amazing thing, it takes the ordinary and paints it in wonder. It turns the world into a place where the imagination can go wild. As a kid the snow can transform your yard into a great battle field where snowy missiles fly. It provides endless opportunities for grand castles, mountain climbs and speed of lightning sled rides. Snow also reminds me of the snowy months when I was getting to know the love of my life. Those beautiful, happy, memories that always warm my heart.
         So on these snowy days, stay warm, snuggle up with someone you love, drink some cocoa and have a cookie. Most of all, remember that regardless of the weather outside, you are loved more then you will ever know by the One who sends the snow. Enjoy.


"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?" ~ J.B Priestely 
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Photographs

      I was at my in-laws the other evening and there were old photo albums laying about. Of course I love to look through pictures and so what could I do but pick them up. I couldn't help but smile as I flipped through old pictures of my husband as a little boy and his family and friends who I have come to know and love. Having not know my husband and his family for more than a couple years, it was fun to be able to step back in time and see a glimpse of who they used to be.
     I have always had this infatuation with old photos. I would look through old black and whites and imagine that person. Because they didn't just exist in that second in time, but they lived. What were they thinking, what did they do with their lives and who did they love?
     So often, we take life for granted, because it is so fleeting. It goes by fast and we don't take the time to truly appreciate the beauty of it. Photographs help us to remember. Your baby won't stay tiny for ever, your hair will turn gray, loved ones won't always be there.
     So today let the photographs, those snapshots in time, remind you of the beautiful and fleeting moments of life. Don't take them for granted. Live the moment and cherish time.

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”~Karl Lagerfeld 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Autumn Days

       I have begun to notice that Summer is slipping away and Fall is beginning to dance. On my way to school the other day, leaves were scurrying and crackling across my path as the wind swirled through them in a crunchy melody. And the woods are beginning to be painted with brilliant red and orange splashes amongst the green.
       Today is the perfect sort of Autumn day. I have my knitting out and the deep reds and browns of the yarn wrap themselves around me in a cozy cocoon. The wood stove is crackling and smells oh so wonderful. The music is gently playing in the background and the cup of coffee offers itself as a pleasant afternoon respite.
        Oh the simple beauties of a Fall day in Northern Minnesota. I hope you can see the beauty around you today. Stay cozy.

“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.”  ~Lee Maynard


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Moonlight

     The other night, my husband and I went for a drive. We weren't going any where in particular, we were simply enjoying a lovely evening. There is something so beautiful and peaceful about a warm late summer day as it winds to an end. One thing that I noticed on our little adventure was the lake. As the sun goes down in a splash of purple, pink and blue it spreads its colors across the water. And then, when the sun is gone and the moon rises to the sky it dances across the lake in a magical way that inspires your heart to rest.
     Do you ever have a moment like that. A moment when you just feel a sense of rest wash over you. The radio plays a gentle tune, the wind dances through your hair and the man in the moon smiles down at you. It's like a moment of tangible grace. The circumstances that were trying to drag you down start to melt away and just like that you are reminded what grace truly is. So today, as we end a lovely Sunday, I challenge you to look for it. Let the moonlight dance, the music play, and the wind blow and feel it. Feel the grace of the One who holds you in His hand and says hear it, feel it, know it...My grace is for you. Good night.

"When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator."  ~Mahatma Gandhi




 
“How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank. Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music. Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night. Become the touches of sweet harmony.” ~Shakespeare


      

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Control

        Have you ever felt in control or out of control or like you just can't quite figure out what's going on? I've been thinking about control lately because I realize that I am a control freak. This realization has been slowly settling in my mind, but truly hit home yesterday when I had to call into work sick. I agonized over the decision, thinking "But maybe I'm not really that sick? or what if I'm just being pathetic and don't want to go to work today?" Until my husband finally got through to me and told me to call my boss and go back to sleep. As I was laying there I began to realize that this early morning drama stemmed from my need to be in control. By calling in sick, I was, in a way, letting go of some of my control.
       As I have thought about this, I have come to understand that many of the things that I worry about stem from my deep seated need for control. I worry that I have to continually do things to "Make God happy with me." I often fear that if I make one wrong step God is going to remove His love and grace from me. I think to myself that I have to "cross my T's and dot my i's" I'll be doing okay.  I also see this need for control coming out in the form of OCD. For example,  I feel the pressing need to check and make sure I turned all the lights off not once but two or three times. I check and re-check things because in some way I think my mind believes that I am then in control.
        Someone once told me that by striving to take control and have the upper hand, I am ignoring God's gift of grace. And, it has occurred to me that that is what I'm trying to do. But, His grace came because we can't do it.  He so wants me and you to lay down our need for control, to simply hand it over and allow Him to have complete control. This seems kind of scary to a control freak like myself. But I don't think that I will be able to fully and completely walk in the joy of His grace until I've stopped trying to do it myself. So, my challenge to you today is to recognize that He came so we won't have to worry about the controls anymore and to lay back and enjoy the ride. Have a great Saturday.

"But You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one to lose control
You say you will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul
You say let it go."
~Tenth Avenue North  


"It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized."  ~Wayne Dyer

 
        
     

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Choice

        I have found that the early moments in the morning, right when I'm first waking up, are the ones that fears often like to invade. So often, I open my eyes and am suddenly hit with a deluge of worry, fear or anxiety. I have come to realize that this happens because if the fears can get me down at the very beginning of the day, I'm pretty much down for the whole day. This can be very annoying and frustrating.
         Then, the other day, I woke up and the words of Joshua 24: 15 floated through my head. They say, "Choose this day whom you will serve..." And it occurred to me. Every single morning I need to wake up and make a choice, I can either choose to serve the God who loves me by trusting in Him regardless of how I feel, or I can choose to allow fear to have a grip in my life and drag me down with every passing day.
        And so, I have been trying this over the past couple of days. Fear has still tried to find a footing, but I am trying harder to consistently make the choice. And you know what, as I have been making a more conscious effort, I have been able to step back a little and see things from a different angle. Also, I have found that when I make the choice I feel more peace and closer to Jesus. Because, when I stop trying to make things right by myself, I allow God to step in and do what He does best.
         So, my challenge to you is that you would wake up every morning and consciously make the choice. Choose to trust in the One who loves you more than you will ever know. Choose to rest in His grace. Choose to not allow fear and worry to be a part of your life. Choose to live.

Joshua 24:15
"Choose this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

“A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.” 
~Alexander Sozenitsyn





“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” ~Flora Whittemore 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Worship

        I'm in a rut. I've allowed myself to become entangled in fear and doubt and worry, and it feels as though there is no way out. Whenever I find myself in this place, I get even more frustrated because I begin to fear that God is mad at me and I can't seem to find a way to express myself and talk to Him. When I try to pray or spend time reading the Bible, I feel as though I am simply hitting a wall and I soon dissolve into more tears and fear. As I was sitting on the couch in this very predicament, I decided that since I couldn't seem to pray I would turn on some music and just spend some time in worship.
         This reminded me of King David. I love reading the Psalms because no matter what predicament David was in, He always praised God. I so desire to live my life as David did and walk through my days--both the good and the bad--in praise. And so, I began to simply worship. I didn't try to analyze what I was worrying about or try to figure it out, I simply sang. And soon the weight began to feel slightly less. Because when we allow ourselves to sit in our Father's presence the troubles of life begin to melt away.
           So, my challenge to you today is simply to be still and bring your praises to God. Believe me this may not be easy at first, thoughts and fears and the dilemmas of the day will swirl through your mind and attempt to drive you to distraction, but if you keep at it, the day will begin to fade into the background and you'll find a breathe of fresh air. He is waiting for you to simply step into His arms. So go ahead.

"Without worship, we go about miserable." ~ A.W Tozer


"The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in
God which made David dance." ~ C.S Lewis

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend Adventures

          I love weekends and summer makes them about a million times better. They offer up so many opportunities for adventure. This one was especially nice. The sun was shinning, friends were present and laughter was at hand. The delightfulness started on Friday when I dragged my keyboard outside and played in the sunshine, had coffee with a good friend and got the first sunburn of the summer. Friday night turned into a party when we had a spur of the moment supper for eleven people in our tiny little apartment. Saturday was spent with a couple hours on the lake with the same group of amazing friends and a cook off where my sister-in-law and I battled it out in the kitchen. And to pass the time on this lovely afternoon we rode 15 miles around the lake, got rained on and stopped for ice cream.
        And so you see, adventures abound. Their is so much life to be lived, laughs to be laughed and moments to be shared. Thanks to the One who gave us this life, we can have a smile in our hearts and truly enjoy the adventures that await us. Have a great summer.

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."  ~Henry James

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."  ~Celia Thaxter


"Each fairy breath of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires the blushing rose."
~Author Unknown

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Music

         I love music. It is like an invisible ribbon that dances around you and brings a little magic to the ordinary. Someone once told me that my husband and I were chronic music listeners. Meaning that we always have it playing. And I will admit, it's true. One of my favorite things is singing at Church. I love to open the song book and watch as the notes on the page come to life. There is something simply beautiful that happens when a multitude of voices come together and the parts blend to create a masterpiece of sound. Then, when the piano drops out and all that is heard is voices, I can't help but smile. It's beautiful, it's simple, it's a gift. So, no matter what you are dealing with today, crank up the music, close your eyes and sing out loud. Allow yourself to get lost in the sound, the dance, the wonder. And know that the One who gave us the music sings over you! Happy Saturday.

Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord your God is with you;
      his power gives you victory.
   The Lord will take delight in you,
      and in his love he will give you new life.
   He will sing and be joyful over you."

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." ~Victor Hugo

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Hand

       The girl was walking through the field and her heart was heavy. She felt so alone and the sun seemed to have disappeared behind a cloud with no intention of coming back. Her shoulders stooped because in her hands was the largest of rocks. It was bound in ropes of fear, anxiety and doubt. The girl's steps grew slow and soon she was simply standing there with tears running down her face. Suddenly He was standing next to her with a sad look in His eyes. She looked at Him and suddenly the weight in her hand seemed so much heavier, and she said, "Why aren't you helping me with this? You promised to hold my hand on this journey and yet, here I am with this giant rock."
        He smiled a sad smile and replied, "I promised to hold your hand and be with you through the thick and thin, but you can't hold my hand when you are holding onto that load. You have to give it to me so that your hands will be free to hold mine."
        The girl looked down at the boulder in her hands, it was garish and unsightly and oh so heavy. Could she do it? she wondered. Could she really simply just hand it over? He reached out his hands and waited. She pulled back slightly, suddenly feeling protective of the heavy mess in her hands.  He said, "Will you give it to me? Will you let me hold your hand?"
        Hesitantly the girl took a step forward and moved toward handing Him the rock. A though flashed across her mind, would she really be able to simply let go of this burden that had been weighing her down for so long? Then, she just let it go. And suddenly, she realized that the boulder was gone. She looked up and He smiled at her, in his hands was the tiniest of pebbles.  As she watched the pebble continued to shrink to nothing more than a speck of dust and then it was gone.
        The girl felt a smile form on her lips and a laugh began to bubble within her. He threw back his head and laughed with her. A joyous, full, laugh. He looked into her eyes and said, "When you give your giants to me, they becoming nothing. You see, I have it under control. What seems impossible to you is easily handled when you let Me have it."
      The girl looked down at her hands and relished the delicious freedom that was there. Then, she reached out and slipped her hand into His.
   
"Close your eyes, Clear your heart, Let it go." ~Uknown

Friday, May 25, 2012

Home

        I'm excited about this weekend because of many things. First of all, it's a four day weekend for me and the sun is shining, secondly my husband and I get to go home and spend some time with my family and the third thing that is making my heart smile today is that this weekend is the anniversary of when the love of my life asked me to be his forever. But, it's the second thing that I wanted to talk about...Home.
        I love it when we get the chance to go home. My parents have always told me that no matter what, I can always come home and that is something special. My Dad and Mom have a house that is a true home. It's a place where life happens and where you are loved. It's a place that smells like fresh baked bread and cookies. It's a noisy place because I still have little sisters running around and it's a treasure trove of memories.
        As I have been thinking about homes, I realized that since I've moved and gotten married my in-laws house has also become a home to me. Spending time with my husband and his family is one of my favorite things to do on a weekend. To know that I am welcome there to be just who I am puts a smile in my heart.
        I am so truly blessed to be surrounded by love and a place called home. And all of this has led me to have a desire in my heart. I want to create a home with my husband. A place where people feel free to just stop by and be themselves. A place where love happens and life happens. A place where friends gather and memories are made. I want my house to be a place where people know that they can come to when they need a fix of home. I have been blessed, let me share it with you.


"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." ~Maya Angelou

Joshua 24:15b
"But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Summer Love

      Today I woke up a little before the alarm clock and listened as a bird softly sang outside my window. School is done and Summer break is upon me. There are oh so many adventures just waiting to be had, Laughs to be shared, Memories to make and Dreams to dream. I have a whole list of things that I want to do this summer. I want to perfect my sewing skills and make myself a dress. I want to get back to playing the piano. I want to ride my bike and splash through a few puddles. I want to read a lot of books and I want to watch the fireflies dance with the love of my life by my side. But most importantly, this summer, I want to rediscover the love that God has for me. I realize that I have not always allowed myself to accept that unconditional love, to simply rest in His grace. And so, my goal is learn how to let go and simply be. To live and to laugh and love and to be loved. My prayer is that you too can learn to rest in His love today. Know that the Father's heart is for you and that He desires for you to be all that you can be. He won't let you go, sit back and allow yourself to be wrapped in the arms of the One who will never fail you. Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Prairie

       My Grandpa is a prairie man. What I mean by this is that he has literally planted several prairies around on his property. He spends hours out collecting wild seeds that he finds on his country drives. Now technically it takes about a 100 years for a prairie to truly be considered a prairie. But that is besides the point. I was thinking about these prairies the other day. They are so beautiful, offering up a blaze of colors every summer. They are wild and untamed and free.
        But sometimes, prairie fires happen. They rip their way through the tall grasses, bringing the once beautiful landscape to a chard mess. At first, this seems devastating, the beauty is gone and everything seems dead. But guess what, that fire is actually a good thing. It makes way for the prairie to grow back even stronger.
       It occurred to me that life is sometimes like this, we go along and everything seems beautiful and perfect and then suddenly, out of the blue, trouble strikes. These experiences often leave us feeling hopeless and abandoned. Why did it happen? why is the beauty gone? why am I left in a pile of burning ashes? And that is when the One who desires for use to be all that we can be gently whispers in our ear, "just wait, allow Me to grow you back, stronger than ever."
       Bad things do happen in life, but if we can't allow them to destroy us. Trust in the One who gave you life, lean on Him, and with His help, know that you will grow back. Be it depression, fear, financial troubles, lost loved ones etc. I encourage you to just hold on. There is beauty ahead. Even if it would seem as though all hope is lost, it's not. There is always hope for tomorrow. Allow yourself to come back stronger than ever and be ready for a new adventure.

"Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather allowing what is now to move us closer to God." ~Ram Dass

Friday, March 23, 2012

Silence

       I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep last night and I started to listen to the silence around me. And suddenly, I began to hear the gentle, sweet, song of nighttime. The clock beat out it's steady tick-tock, my husband's breathing turned to a slow, steady rhythm as he drifted off and the rain rapped a lazy pattern on the window. As I was laying there listening, I started to think about that verse in the Psalms that say, "Be still, and know that I am God." Can you imagine that, the God of the Universe is asking you to just slow down and take some time to be with Him. He's calling us into a deeper, closer walk with Him. To truly know His heart and who He is. So, slow down and listen. What is God whispering into your ear?

Psalm 46:10
"Be still and know that I am God."

"We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature-trees, flowers, grass-grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls" ~Mother Teresa


Monday, March 19, 2012

Smile

      The past few days have been simply delicious. There really is no other way to describe them. The sun has been shining and the breeze has been warm on my face and I've had a lot of reasons to smile. For example, I smiled when I walked on a frozen lake in 70 degree weather in March. I smiled, when a friend of mine and I tried our hand at metal working...We made more noise than anything, but it was fun. I smile when I hear the kids playing outside as the breeze floats in through my open windows. I smile when the love of my life gives me a hug and kisses my forehead. I smile because I get to walk home from school everyday in this beautiful sunshine. I smile because my life is full of people that are there for me. I smile because I can smell Spring in the air. I smile because it feels so much better than a frown. And I smile because, regardless of how I may feel at times and regardless of what fear may try to tell me, I am loved by the One who gave me this life. And you know what is really amazing, the One who has given us these days looks at us and smiles, because we are His. So today, look for something to smile about. You might just be surprised at what you find.

"A laugh is a smile that bursts."  ~Mary H. Waldrip


"I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful."  ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring

      The weather outside makes me want to jump up and down, wear lots of colors, dance through puddles and smile. Sunshine is definitely magic to the soul! It never ceases to amaze me how spring comes. Winter seems to drag on forever, and I always begin to wonder if the sun will ever come back to play. And year after year, right when I least expect it, the sunshine starts dancing, the temperature starts rising and you can just smell a change in the air. I love spring because it always feels like a promise. A promise of new things to come, adventures, and hope.
      Hope, where would we be without it? Sometimes in life, it feels as though all hope is gone. You come up against a problem and everything seems impossible. You wonder if you will ever get around, through or past the mountain in your way. And yet, just when you are about to give up to the impossible, the light shines and suddenly you have the strength to keep moving on.
      And that is what spring reminds me off. It reminds me that God is good and that He never leaves us without hope. We all go through seasons of winter in our lives, times that seem impossible. But it is these times, that allow us to better appreciate the spring. They remind us to keep moving on because God has good things ahead for us. And, if we can just hold on and trust in Him, the spring will come.
      So, if you are at a time of winter, don't give up. Do you feel alone? don't give up. Are you tired? Don't give up. Are you afraid? Don't give up--Seek His face no matter what you feel, and trust in Him. And soon, a warm spring breeze will begin to dance across your face. A promise... and hope begins to grow.

Matthew 19:26
 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, "I'm Possible."
~Audrey Hepburn

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Journey

     Have you ever read those verses in James that talk about being joyful in hard times because in the end they will make you stronger and build character. Well I have, and I always thought that if that was the case then I didn't really want any more character. But something has been stirring in my heart the past couple of weeks and I'm learning something.
    All of my life, I have been a worrier. From the little things to the life changing moments, I have allowed worry and fear to play a role in every aspect of my life. And sadly, I allowed fear to cloud my perception of God and how He sees me. The past months I have been going through some very hard times. Call it fear, call it depression, call it a lack of trust. Whatever you call it, it has been taking me apart and invading my life. And through it, there have been times when I have felt like God has deserted me. I've begged God to take it away and time and again He's asked me to trust Him. And I start to cry and say,"God I'll trust You, if You make me feel better. I'll trust You, if you make Yourself more clear to me. I'll trust You, if you come stand in front of me and talk to me in person." But I've been learning that that is not trust. Trusting means believing even if the lies and fear feel so very real. Trusting means knowing that God is right there beside me, even if it feels like He is miles away. Trusting means not always knowing it or feeling it, but believing regardless.
    God has asked me to trust Him on a couple of things and when I haven't, I've begun to spiral down into fear. Through these months, I've asked why this is happening to me. And finally, something has been occurring to me. I could have gone on the way I always have been. Allowing little fears and worries to have control. I could have gone on knowing God and loving Him but always having a slight fear that He was mad or that I just didn't measure up, and I would have survived. But you know what, God didn't create us--you and me--to just merely survive. He created us to thrive in Him. To know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves us and delights in us.
     And I truly believe, that If I can learn the lesson of trust and deeply root it in my heart, that I will get through this time and that things will be forever different. Maybe, just maybe God is using this time in my life to shake me up and teach me something beyond my wildest dreams. I'm tired of settling and I'm tired of fear. And as I've been going through these hard times the words of James are slowly becoming more clear to me. God is for me, and God is going to bring me through stronger than ever. And you know what, whatever your story is, He's got big plans for you too. Trust in Him.

James 1:2-4
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." ~Richard Bach

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fear

    Do you ever struggle with fear? Maybe you don't even always realize it but somehow a doubt, fear or worry works its way into your mind and before you know what happened you are sharing your life with a dark cloud that just won't seem to go away. I know that I personally have fought with fear all of my life. The worries have changed over the years, but the root of the problem has not. I was thinking about this the other day and it occurred to me that fear is like a cancer. When you least expect it it sneaks in and begins to sap your strength and take over your life. The sad thing is that we all to often except this as something that we just have to deal with. Thus, we end up giving it more control by thinking that the fear is true and right. And when we look at a fear and say that it must be true, we hand it the controls to our lives. The more power that we allow the fear to have in our lives the stronger it will become and the deeper its roots will grow. This is starting to sound hopeless and depressing, but it doesn't have to be. Jesus, the One who loves you more than you will ever know, is the Master Healer. If we will allow Him, He will begin to cut away the fear and bring restoration and healing. The key here is that we have to let Him. If we continue to believe that our fears are true and give them power over our lives, we are not fully trusting that the God of the universe loves us, wants the best for us, and will never leave us. And, when we don't trust Him, we shut the door to letting Him help us. Another thing that I've noticed in my struggle with fear is that I sadly don't always know what to do when the fear is gone. It's like I've lived with worry so long, that when I feel that reassuring peace of the Father seep into my heart I question if it's real. I'm so accustomed to doubt and fear that I've sent them up as the truth. But there is so much hope for you and for me. Because God says that there is no fear in Him. So my challenge to you today is to open your heart and let it go. Allow the healing hands of the Father to hold you close and touch your heart. There is so much more to life that is just waiting for us to trust in God with our whole hearts. Those fears, they are not from God. Let them go.

1 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beauty

Today is beautiful. If you can't see it yet, start looking. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, it's the start of a brand new week. Can you see it yet? You are surrounded by people, and everyone of them is different and unique. There is music in the air, open up your heart and let it in. Can you see it yet? You are blessed, you are loved, you are important? Can you see it yet? The beauty is there, you just have to look. And most importantly you are loved by the God who created all of this beauty. I woke up this morning and a verse ran through my head, "His mercies never end, they are new every morning." That means that today is brand new, yesterday's mistakes are in the past and the beauties of today are for today. So, stop living in yesterday and start living today. Open your eyes to what God has right in front of you. Can you see it yet? It's beautiful.

Lamentations 3:22-24
"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul. Therefore, I will hope in Him."


"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brokenness

        I was in the parking lot the other day and I saw a sight that made me laugh. There were two little old ladies. One was in a wheelchair and the other was pushing her. The thing that struck me about this situation was that the woman pushing the wheelchair was blind and carrying her white cane. At first this seemed comical and a little bit dangerous.
       But as I've been thinking about this, it's started to make sense. Some people might look at these two women and scoff at their brokenness and their seemingly pitiful situation; and yet, these two old ladies have something that so many people seek--a true friend.  We are all broken in one way or another. For some it is a physical brokenness and for others it's a break that cannot be seen. This fact is not something that is meant to discourage us or make us feel bad about our situation, it is only to remind us that we need each other. I can just imagine the conversation of these women. The one might say, "excuse me, would you guide me? I'm blind." Then the other would reply, "My eyes are yours, but you are going to have to give me a push."
       Yes, we are broken, yes we have difficulties and struggles. But that is why God gave us each other. So that when I can's see the way you can give me some guidance, and when you are tired and feel as though you can't make it another step, I'll give you a push. If we had life figured out we would never have a need for the people that are all around us, and we would be missing out on a truly beautiful gift. The gift of friendship. So today, stop trying to hide your brokenness and be okay with yourself just the way you are. You may need help but you also have something wonderful to offer.


"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. "
 ~Albert Schweitzer


Proverbs 17:17
"A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need."

The Ice Worker

Jack Frost,
He sneaks in late at night,
And works in silence by the pale moonlight.
He paints such beauty, so elegant and fine.
Masterpieces of swirling, frosty design.
He's a man of mystery, this worker of ice.
There for a moment, then gone when you look twice.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Snowflakes

Snowflakes,
They dance and flutter all around.
With gentle grace they cover the ground.
They're small and delicate, this Winter lace.
They land like crystal on an upturned face.
Like hand-blown glass, they're crafted with care.
And sent to remind us that, there is Beauty everywhere.








    

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Knitting

I love to make things. Be it painting my next masterpiece, gluing together some random objects that caught my eye, or baking something delicious, I simply love to create. These past months I have been knitting. Right now I'm working on making a huge and fuzzy red, pink and brown blanket. But just before Christmas I was working like crazy to get 7 pairs of mittens done. All of this knitting got me to thinking. It says in the Psalms that God knit me together in my mothers womb. This image resonates with me because I understand knitting. It takes time, thought and care to create something. I pour hours into the projects I work on and when I'm done I step back and smile with pride and what I've made. Sure, some of my mittens aren't exactly the same size and the thumbs don't quite match up, but I smile because they are mine and I'm proud of them. And if I can be so pleased with a pair of mittens, how much more pleased is the God of the universe who knit you together before you were even born. And the great thing is, God doesn't make mistakes. I sometimes look at myself and wonder why I am the way I am. But God never wonders that. He looks at me and you sees His masterpiece. He made me to be about 5'4" with blond hair and blues eyes. But beyond physical characteristics, He knit all sorts of quirks and traits into my being to make me the person that I am.  A person who loves to sing and dance. A heart that sighs at every beautiful story and dreams of the extraordinary. A girl who loves the color pink, can't stand mushrooms and occasionally enjoys peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. God knows all of this about me and He knows you too, because He made you and He loves you. You are priceless. Don't ever doubt it. Never look at your self and say, "I'm frayed at the edges, I'm stained, I'm broken, I'm no good." Because that is NOT what God sees. He sees you exactly the way He made you, Beautiful.

Psalm 139:13
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb."

Ephesians 2:10
"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."

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
~Judy Garland


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson