Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just another autumn day in Virginia

overcast morning
yearning for inspiration
peppermint latte
missing home
shoe shopping
fabric shopping
husband home

just another autumn day in Virginia

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simple Bites - Yes!

Two of my guilty pleasure blogs are combining forces and are putting out Simple Bites. Tsh of Simple Mom has done an amazing job of branching out her passion of simple living and created Simple Living Media, an organization of four blog sites, each lead by an amazing blog writer passionate about the expertise for that blog. These gals are great. Aimee of Under The Highchair is taking on Simple Bites and I must confess that I did a happy dance in my office at work when I heard about this partnership. I felt like it was my birthday. No, it was better than that. I know, I am so silly, but Aimee is a great writer and I love her blog. Any who, let's get to the good stuff. As Simple Living Media is launching the four websites, they are having four massive giveaways with great prizes. You need to go check them out. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and stick around, I am sure you'll learn something new and be inspired.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Weighed down

This morning I am sitting at my kitchen table next to a window. It is one of my favorite spots in the apartment. I love natural light and in my cave of an apartment this is one of the few places that I feel showered in nature's light. Although not much light is coming in right now, it is snowing.  It started at 7:00 am yesterday morning and is going strong, big fluffy flakes gracefully falling. It is so beautiful. The branches outside are weighed down, heavy by the extra burden. It made me think of the burdens we carry that we are not meant to. God wants to lift our burdens. Funny how we hold on to the burdens, they are almost a comfort blanket, something we think we can control. We like to think we can control it.But we can't, we weren't meant to be burdened. God offers to give us rest (Matthew 11:28-30). What freedom we have in Christ! To be relieved of the burdens, to realize that no matter what happens, He's got this. I don't have to worry about it because God knows exactly where I am and where I am going. I just have to be diligent with my part, looking to be faithful and obedient to Him. It's not always easy, but God makes His will so clear for me. His word leaves no shadows of doubt, how I praise Him for His word!

You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. ~Deuteronomy 30:20

Monday, February 1, 2010

Zucchini Bread

Yesterday I awoke to the stillness that only comes on a morning covered in fresh snow. I knew it from the first moment my eyes opened that it was a winter wonderland outside. You know how the morning lighting that creeps into the bedroom is just different on snowy days? It is bluer, cooler than other sunny mornings. I love it. The hubby and I both had early morning plans that got canceled so we got to enjoy the day together. And there is just something about being snowed in with loved ones, a sweetness. I love snowy mornings.

To kick off the morning, I made a batch of zucchini bread and I must say, it is amazing! The spiciness of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice filled the apartment. A fresh brew of coffee was in order and we set about enjoying our snowy breakfast. Toasted with butter was our favorite.  We’ve already gone through one loaf (the recipe made two).

I hope you and yours have a restful weekend.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans  15:13

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pride & Photography

Today was a good day. It was a good day for many reasons. The most recent is that I just made a very big purchase. It is something that I have wanted for a very long time and we have saved up enough money for a very long time to invest in a totally awesome Nikon DSL-R camera!!! I can't wait for it to arrive in 7-10 days, hopefully 7 (fingers crossed). I just told Phil he better get used to a photo snapping wife. He told me I better get used to taking pictures of dogs. I guess I'll just have to get sneaky. ;) Photography has been something I have always enjoyed, an art form that inspires me. It captures God's beauty in a way that allows me to slow down and enjoy a moment a little longer, to study the details like how the sun comes through leaves, or the wisps of hair that surrounds a friend's face, or the details in a flower. For so long I have admired others' work, and I am ready to step behind the camera and take a shot at it! (yes, the pun is indeed intended - how could I resist?)

This purchase was a timely coincidence to the message given this morning at church. Our pastor spoke about the ownership of this church to be every members' responsibility. Our church has a very specific vision, to be an exciting and relevant church for the unchurched people. To live this vision it takes us inviting people to our church, to spread the news of a church that would love to pour into them. The "us" that our pastor was referring to is not just the leadership of the church or the long time attenders. It includes you, and me, and all of us! Our nature is to take the path of least resistance and do what is easiest. Often that is not taking the risk to invite someone who may say no.

The path of least resistance is also not getting off the sideline and into the game God has for you. This is something that I have thought about a lot since we moved to Virginia. I have had a lot of time on my hands. I discovered that I did not really have any hobbies. My life back home was a busy one of work, school, soccer, family, and friends. There wasn't much time for a hobby. I also have a sickly amount of pride that pretty much holds me back from trying anything that I might not be good at. I know, its horrible. But that is my nature. It prevents me from singing, dancing, taking pictures, cooking for others... you get the idea. Even in the small things that don't really matter, I question whether or not I will succeed. And let me tell you, living that way is pretty dang boring. I have missed out on all God has to offer me. He has made me with certain gifts and certain limitations. But me delighting in His creation, whether I think I am good or not, brings delight to my King and that is what should matter most. Taking risks for the kingdom is the best risk to take, like inviting someone to church.

At this point you may be asking how buying a camera is taking risk. Well, my dear reader, for me it is a risk because I have always felt a passion for photography but never ventured to develop it past admiration. I believe that I will see God in a new way by looking through a lens, to focus in on His creation. I also believe that God can use photography to capture our attention to see His glory. I pray that through this endeavor I will not only yearn for God, but that others will too. And for me, being bold in sharing Christ is a scary thing. But hopefully, this weak vessel can be used to highlight God and His creation for eyes that have yet to see Him. May their eyes be opened and their hearts filled with His love and peace. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Married Life

One of my favorite topics is my sweet and handsome hubby. I feel so blessed to be married to Phil. He is kind, intelligent, funny, can carry a tune, genuine, hard working, and good looking. His joy is contagious. I knew the first night I hung out with him that I was going to marry him, though I wouldn't dare admit it then.

One of the magazines that I enjoy browsing is Real Simple. For the February issue, they published an article about happily married couples that have been together for over 50(!) years. I have to say it is refreshing to see media out there promoting marriage. Reading these couples' stories and seeing their pictures brought such joy to my heart. One of the wives reflected on her marriage and said, "If anything, the time went too fast." I hope that I can say that in 50 years of my marriage. Already in the six months of wedded bliss I feel like time has flown by.

As I look back on the past six months of married life, I think one of the things that stand out most is the attitude of service. Phillip continually reminds me what it is to serve as Christ. He gives and gives and gives and does so joyfully. It is so easy for me to give into my selfish temptations and desire my needs and wants above all else. I see Phil put me first. Its in the little things, like helping put my coat on, or opening my car door, or getting up to greet me when  I walk in the door. I also see it in the big things, like spending quality time with me before he plays video games, telling me daily that  he loves me and thinks I am beautiful (and I believe him every time), and cooking me dinner and doing the dishes. I am a lucky gal.

I love married life and look forward to the life ahead of us. I hope that we leave a legacy in our kids' lives of a happy, godly marriage.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blue Sweater and Hot Coco

 Today I wore a blue wool sweater that was my mom's. She wore it when she skied the mountains in Northern California. She was quite the athlete. As I type this, I am enjoying a hot chocolate with a mound of glorious whipped cream. It just seems to fit, this sweater and hot coco. It has been bitter cold here the past few days and this sweater is keeping me nice and warm. Except for when I vacuumed, it was a little too warm. Today we cleaned house and it feels good. What is it about seeing that freshly dusted sheen on my wood coffee table that makes me giddy?

One of our 2010 goals as a couple is to do a Bible study together. It was something that we started off doing when we first got married but it somehow drifted out of our days. I notice the difference in both of us when we are consistently in the word and it is so wonderful to share it together. Today was our first day getting back into it and I think we can do this. We have a plan. Our goal is to read the Bible in a year. A pastor from our home church created a schedule to read the Bible in 365 days and this is going to be our reading schedule. We also have a designated time that we will read. It is scheduled into our day and we both know when to expect it. We settled on reading after dinner every evening. This was decided for a few reasons. The first is that we are already together and have both had time to settle down from the busyness of the day. Also, we won't have to rush off to do anything so we can take our time reading, discussing and praying. I am so excited. How do you do your Bible study?

Lord, I desire that we would grow closer to You and to each other through the study of Your word. Create in us a thirst to dive into Your word daily. Open our eyes, minds, and hearts and soften our spirits to be lead by Yours. Bless us in these efforts. Amen.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The First Brave Step

For some time now one of my guilty pleasures has been reading blogs, particularly mommy blogs and foodie blogs. Through these blogs, I see women striving to glorify God in the every day things of being mothers, home managers, cooks, etc. Though I am not a mother, I some day hope to be one. I am a newly wed who is first a daughter of God. I have yearned to write a blog for months now. I've hesitated, feared, and avoided it. Here is a journaled prayer that I wrote some time ago that can explain my heart for this little endeavor.

Oh Lord, I want to write! To express my heart, the good and the bad, to flush it out and explore the depths that feel untouched but present. How to do that? It is scary - what if it is a cliché, been there done that, repetitive attempt that is lack luster and lacks adventure, wit, and joy? So concerned with what others will think… I hate that. Scared to put myself out there. 
I am a dreamer, afraid to get in the game, I don’t want to fail. Pride, oh sickly pride, has infested me and conquered. God, I cry out for freedom, the freedom that You offer. To be humble and to live life knowing that You’ve got my back, that no step that I take goes unnoticed and unprotected by You. That knowledge provides so much comfort.
Provide a way to glorify You in it. I pray that it would be a blog, an opportunity, for me to draw closer to You, to discover myself and to enjoy this life You have for me. I pray that it points to You in a way that opens the eyes of the hearts of readers, that it would encourage them to seize the life You’ve given them. That seems kinda lofty, I am not sure if I can do this. Help me, God, and may it all go to You.

This is the first brave step. There will be more to come.