Monday, December 31, 2012

Ending & Beginning

As the year of 2012 comes to a close, here are some of the verses that have spoken to me this year and ones that I will look to as the new year begins.  I'd love to hear some of the scripture that you will be looking back to as special to you from last year & ones that you want to live with this next year!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." (Ephesians 6:10-11)

"'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10)

"In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent....I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." (Psalm 4:4 & 8)

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." (Psalm 139:9-10)

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." (Romans 12:9-13)

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (Psalm 5:3)

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you." (Psalm 5:11)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peace in the Father

How many times will my spirit rumble, my soul shake, being unsettled by the tremors of the heart within the world’s control. It’s never enough, not what it seems.  I’ve settled in unsettling and it will rock me to sleep.  Tonight I feel as though I’m waking up, seeing that my peace has not been set on the Son. My satisfaction has been dependent on things outside of my relationship with the Father. My attitude swayed by the approval of people instead of the conviction of the Spirit. 

How can I expect to have solid peace if pieces of my heart are scattered amongst the ground and throughout the world? It says in Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

My prayer tonight, is that God would continue to capture my heart, to ground me in Him, to turn my thoughts towards His goodness and awesome character. My prayer is that I not be focused on what the world has to offer but what God promises....His grace, faithfulness, unconditional love and never ending desire to claim me as His child.  

Knowing that Christ is my center, this will bring me peace. I am not dependent on this thing or that, but I am dependent on the One who is the Jehova healer. He will heal the places that are unsettled and make me whole. Ephesians 2:14, “He Himself is our peace....” and always will be our Peace.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Giving Thanks #201

Bling---hoops earrings.

Giving Thanks #200


Giving Thanks #199

When you wake up and think you slept late, but realize you still have a few hours to sleep. YES!!!!!

Giving Thanks #198

Toilet paper.

Giving Thanks #197

Summer Bible camps.

Giving Thanks #196


Giving Thanks #195

New paint colors.

Giving Thanks #194

Black out shades.

Giving Thanks #193


Giving Thanks #192

Small town old-people bands in coffee shops.

Giving Thanks #191

Painted fingernails.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks #189

A well-packed overnight bag, so you're prepared for anything!

Giving Thanks #188

Coconut oil.....because it smells SO good....and much more too.

Giving Thanks #187

Painted toenails.

Giving Thanks #186

Not having to share the bathroom.

Giving Thanks #185

Finding a new musician that just sounds right for the moment you're sitting in.

Giving Thanks #184

Clean that you can dirty them up again.

Giving Thanks #183

Dirty dishes....they tell you that you had food to eat.

Giving Thanks #182

Fresh baked cookies.....enough to share.

Giving Thanks #181

Girls' movie and chat night.

Giving Thanks #180

An unexpected night free.

Giving Thanks #179

The fingered strum of a guitar.

Giving Thanks #178

A family to spend the day with.  No matter how quirky they might be, it's still good to have one.

Giving Thanks #177

Ability to speak thankfulness.

Giving Thanks #176

A surprise visit.

Giving Thanks #175


Giving Thanks #174


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Giving Thanks #173

A laugh out loud moment when it's completely inappropriate. But doing it anyway.

Giving Thanks #172

An open chair next to a fireplace on a chilly day. Perfect.

Giving Thanks #171

When a guy sits down next to you and he smells SO good. Yep. I'm thankful for THAT!

I remember a while ago, I had a guy friend who had the BEST cologne, whenever he'd leave, the girls in my apartment (including me) would quick try and grab the pillow he was holding so we could smell it a bit longer. Oh. My. That was ridiculous. But we did it. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giving Thanks #170

A strong cup of coffee that's ready when you wake up.

Giving Thanks #169

The quietness of the outside when the snow is falling softly.

Giving Thanks #168

Singing worship on a Sunday morning with the guy who wrote the music. Blessed. "Amen" by Chris August

Giving Thanks #167

Watching someone soar in what you've trained them in.

Giving Thanks #166

Bottled water. And plenty of it. I take this for granted way too often.

Giving Thanks #165

When a famous person introduces himself/herself to you because they want to know you. Humbling. :) Thanks to Sarah Groves and Jason Castro in particular.

Giving Thanks #164

Sharing funny stories after midnight....when things are just funny simply because its late.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Giving Thanks #163

Having someone who knows what they're doing help you with a sewing project you've gotten too far into to get out.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Giving Thanks #162

Giving Thanks #161

For a few years, the Monarch butterflies would migrate right through our backyard.  They would be so thick that they looked like leaves on the trees. It was only if you went up to them and blew a little air at them that they would open up and a whole tree would turn orange like this. AH-MAZING.

Giving Thanks #160

Giving Thanks #159

This is how you enter a cool coffee shop in Houston.  The whole place is setup like Clue, and they even have a photo booth with tons of costumes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Giving Thanks #156

Who says you can't hike 4 miles along the Napali coast in hours of constant rain?  
Dangerous? Yes. 
Maybe stupid? Yes. 
Worth every step? ABSOLUTELY!

Giving Thanks #155

Giving Thanks #154

Giving Thanks #153

Nothing like checking into your hotel room, then finding this out your french door "windows". 
What a WONDERFUL surprise!

Giving Thanks #152

After a morning waking up in a car at the foot of a mountain in a town in another country than I thought we were in, we passed this as we tried to find our way back to Switzerland. :)

Giving Thanks #151

You know how it life that feels so twisted and you never know what will be coming around the next corner. Then at some point, you're able to look back and see how all those twists and turns actually turned into something beautiful!

Giving Thanks #150

Giving Thanks #149

Giving Thanks #148

Giving Thanks #147

Oh my brothers. This captures them JUST right.

Giving Thanks #146

This temple is in Kauai, and the stone has been carved and shipped from India, then the stone carvers in Kauai chisel the pieces together so they all fit in place. It is amazing.

Giving Thanks #145

Giving Thanks #144

Giving Thanks #143

We wanted some adventure, so we started driving up a mountain, and when we decided that we really didn't know where we were going or where this road would take us, we found a huge field and decided to just have a picnic and enjoy the alps. It was great.

Giving Thanks #142

Giving Thanks #141

Giving Thanks #140

Giving Thanks #139

Giving Thanks #138

This sign was at the top of a mountain over 9k feet only question, is what dumb person wore heels up here, to warrant them putting up the sign? Dumb....and funny.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Cry

So nearing on one year ago, someone who had been very close to me decided to end their life.  Even now as I type this, the reality of this story ended is a hard one to swallow....and I don't think I've really shared or written about it much here, but tonight something changed in my perspective and so I thought I'd share.

After the message I received that he was forever gone, only to be seen once we're all joined in heaven, a song became the words that I heard him crying out in the last room he saw.  These are the words I could hear him crying out "Oh great God of power, I have lost my strength, this is my desperate hour, I'm calling out Your name. I cry are You out there tonight? Or am I all alone. This time it's the fight of my life so I cry I can't do this on my own...."

It made me sad to hear these words, to hear a cry like this and think of how he died without waiting to hear God's answer, or God's promise that indeed He was there, that He did hear, that He was fighting for his life.

Tonight as I listened to this song on my drive home, thinking of how I placed that into the unknown story of his last few hours, I realized that I sang that song, it really was MY cry at that time.  None of us were there to know what he cried out, but as I cried alone and cried out to the Lord in my grief, this was MY prayer....."Oh great God of power, I have lost my strength, this is my desperate hour, I'm calling out Your name. I cry are You out there tonight? Or am I all alone. This time it's the fight of my life so I cry I can't do this on my own....".

And thankfully that is not where the song ends. It goes on to say "I am giving you control....God, I'm holding on to You. Lord, I'm holding on." That night and the days & weeks to follow his death I was at a point of complete & utter brokenness.  It seemed that all around people were gripping to things that ultimately was leading to death, and even I myself didn't know where else to in the empty space of my questioning, this is what I cried out to God.

It's funny how God can work in these ways...speaking to you in the stillness, meeting you in the darkness, it constantly amazes me how He does that.  Here as I listened to this prayerful song and projected it into someone else's story, I realized how much it was MY story, thinking of how I needed the Lord then, and now and always, and how I cannot do this on my own.  As independent and stubborn as I can be sometimes, I'm constantly reminded of the fact that there really is nothing to do or anywhere to turn without the help and sustenance of God to bring me or us through.  And when we fail to see that....when we can only see ourselves and start to believe that life is dependent on us, that is when we truly feel alone and hopeless.

Cry out to God tonight. He hears you. He is with you. He loves you and yearns to be known by you.

**Song "I Cry" is by Leeland, on the Great Awakening album. CHECK IT OUT!!!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Giving Thanks #137

The moments when you get home just as one of your favorite tunes come on and you refuse to leave the car until its finished. :)

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Giving Thanks #136

"If you don't like the lighthouse, you suck!" :)

Giving Thanks #135

Giving Thanks #134

Giving Thanks #133

Giving Thanks #132

The moment when everyone in a room breaks out into unison rap when you see this picture....

Giving Thanks #131

Attending a concert & NOT working at it! ;)

Giving Thanks #130

A corn maze with lots of options. :)

Giving Thanks #129

Pumpkin picking! @WhitePineBerryFarm

Giving Thanks #128

A breakfast of specialty donuts!!!

Giving Thanks #127


Giving Thanks #126

The view from atop a ferris wheel!

Giving Thanks #125

A tight & strong cable that allows you to soar through the clouds into the mountains!

Giving Thanks #124

Going to a midnight showing!  (This was the Hunger Games.....and yes, I'm cool.) :)

Giving Thanks #123

Having "Breakfast at Tiffany's"......AT Tiffany's in NY. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Giving Thanks #121

Giving Thanks #20

Giving Thanks #119

This is definitely a favorite, especially in the fall. Cannot wait to make some!!!

Giving Thanks #118

Giving Thanks #117

Giving Thanks #116

You'll want to look close at this picture I got last night.  Do you remember learning about the stars? And about the colors that they have are affected by how hot they are?  Yep. I still do, and when I turned up the saturation on this shot, I was SO excited to see the colors so clearly.  There are only a few red, a lot of blue, a few yellow & some that look more greenish.  Question, do you know what color is the hottest?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giving Thanks #115

Waking up to a rainstorm falling on your rooftop. The sound is enchanting.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Giving Thanks #114

Popping of a fire. I love the sound that the wood makes when it's on fire.  It's so calming.