Sunday, September 26, 2010

Abounding Still More And More

Happy 15 day anniversary my husband. Love you.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Month of Sunflowers

So much running around these days! Mom and I spent six hours in town this afternoon running errands, chatting (about wedding plans, honeymoon plans, life plans) and enjoying lunch with a dear friend. When we finally got home, I ran back into town because I realized I needed to pick up a few items from Ricky's house in order to complete one of my wedding projects. He wasn't home from work yet, so I enjoyed tidying up the living room and emptying the sink of dishes. It's not much longer until it will be my official job to do those chores, so I enjoyed one of my last chances to do it solely to bless him and not just because I have to.

Driving home, the Lord blessed me with quiet. I noticed the light on the cornfields, the sunflowers lining the road, and the golden sheen of hay bales. I love August. Love, love, love it's beauty. It reminded me to thank the Lord for all He has done instead of worrying about all I need to do.

Two Augusts ago, my almost-Mother-in-law introduced me to my almost-husband while he was visiting. I laughing told my mother that afternoon that yet another person at church had tried to set me up with their son. He went back to California for school and I didn't think of him again for about six months. That was when dad mentioned that there was this guy who wanted to talk to me....

Last August found me delighting in two weeks of having him visiting in Idaho. By the end of them, I admitted to my sister that I loved this man.

And this August, I am weeks away from marrying him. Tasting and seeing the goodness of my King!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Goal Today

When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.

Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all.

When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased. 
~ C. S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis (8 November, 1952)

(Thank you to for this convicting quote.)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Mornin's are Bestest!

Especially when you wake up and realize you only have six weeks until your wedding. Which also means only six more Saturday mornings of waking up in this house.  I value the present moment more when I realize how fleeting it is.

Saturday mornings when we have nowhere we need to go are so deliciously restful. As the kiddos wake up, they sleepily migrate one by one into mom and dad's room and find a corner of the king sized bed to cuddle into. The sound of chattering, tickling, and playful pushes off the bed pulls the rest of us in to find out the plan for the day. Errands to run later, weeding the garden, more wedding planning.  

The smell of the baked oatmeal the little girls started last night is filling the house. Breakfast is eaten with Jars of Clay or Third Day providing the soundtrack to our life.

Kitchen is messy from breakfast dishes and the kiddos are making a pretence of cleaning it and acting busy so that they can avoid dad's reminders about weeding the garden. His bellowing of "Let's go!" finally convinces them to put on shoes and hats and head out before it gets too hot.

And the house quiets now as the chattering heads outdoors. The sounds of dishwasher and laundry getting started mix with the music on the radio to motivate us older peeps to tackle our to-do lists. 

Golden years are passing by....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Life As An Engaged Girl

I am giving in. Friday mornings are usually my get-stuff-done time since I don't have to work. The time usually gets filled with studying, errands, little to-do things Ricky may have asked me to work on, cleaning my messy room, or doing wedding stuff. This morning though, instead of focusing on the mile-long to-do list, I am taking the next fifteen minute slot in my schedule to type. There, now that the decision is made I can feel like I am accomplishing something instead of feeling guilty for ignoring ten other somethings. *Relaxing sigh*

Minutes, hours, days.  They are filled with trying to cram in much too much too much.

Trying to understand what is priority and what is not worth the stress.

Planning. Writing to-do lists.

Changing my mind. Writing new to-do lists
Filling up the remainder of my days as a Miss in preparation to be a Mrs.

Wondering how we are going to get it all done in time.

Studying our premarital counseling assignments. Discussing. Writing. Laughing.

Realizing nothing will be perfect. Not even my perfect man or the "perfect" girl he is marrying.

Striving for perfection anyway.

Praying. Lots of praying.

Making time for just the two of us. At least fifteen minutes of no stressful topics allowed!

Cherishing time with my family.

Laughing. Lots of laughing.

Holding on to the moments while counting down the days.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

22 Days Ago

The world became sparkly-er!

May 1st, 2010
Bless the Lord Oh my soul!
Psalm 103:1

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying "Thus far the Lord has helped us". 1st Samuel 7:12

This afternoon I began a study of the lives of Samuel and Saul with my church's women's Bible study. We are using this book:

And I am really excited! Mostly because I know it will provide me accountability for digging deeply into the Word.

One of the verses we went over today was 1st Samuel 7:12. The Lord had just won a great triumph for Israel; He had "thundered with a great thunder" and routed the Philistines before Israel. Samuel set up a stone and called it Ebenezer - "stone of help". It was erected as a memorial to Israel and to her enemies of what the Lord had done there.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I've come.

During our discussion time we discussed what some of our personal "ebenezers" are. What are the reminders of God's graciousness and accomplishments in our lives?

One of mine is my journals. Mom gave me my first journal as a birthday gift when I was nine. At the time, I *knew* I was going to be famous someday, so I began my journal for the purpose of providing my biographers with some record of my childhood. Hence, (I love that word!) the plethora (love that one too!) of flowery language and minute details contained in that journal.

Somewhere around my early-mid teens, I decided I was embarrassed by the *childishness* that my....ummm...*childhood* journal displayed (not to mention the bad grammar, horrors!) and proclaimed I wanted it to be buried with me, unread by any other eyes.

From that point, I journaled mainly to allow myself to think on paper. Writing is one of the ways I think through what I am learning. It is also an emotional outlet and I tend to write the most when I am very excited or very upset. I imagine if anyone were to read my journals (an event that I still want to avoid...biographers will just have to find other sources) they would think I am rather unstable! But because I do write mostly in the extremes of my emotions, my journals contain a lot of the major (major to me anyway) happenings of the last 12 years of my life. (Wow, am I really that old?) Even though I have never been very regular in my journaling, my little row of pretty notebooks chronicles many instances of God's grace and blessings to me. In this way, they are my ebenezers.

My other ebenezer is a little pearl necklace I received when I was about 16-ish. My grandpa always sends his grandaughters some money around Christmas and birthdays to buy themselves something pretty.

On this occasion, I had been wanting a pearl necklace. Pink, to be exact. And not any of those big huge ones that old ladies wear, I wanted young-looking pearls. I knew that I wasn't going to be getting it though since the price tag for pearls was more than what I had to spend. I didn't tell anyone what it was I really wanted and I didn't feel sorry for myself about not getting it either. It was just a fancy that had flown into my head and I pushed it out since it was impossible.

A week or so later, I was out and about with my mom and sisters at a craft exhibit. They had a door prize and I heard my number hollered over the loudspeaker. As I walked to the front table to get my prize, I started walking faster. "Maybe...."

The lady handed me a white, rectangle box and inside was a delicate pink pearl necklace.

I knew exactly who the Giver was because only one Person knew that I had wanted that necklace. It was a totally unnecessary blessing and I was humbled and amazed that my Lord chose to care about such a little thing. Each time I wear my pearls I am reminded that I serve a God who cares about little things and He blesses abundantly beyond what I can ask or think.

What are your ebenezers?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Been Spring Cleanin'

I have been trying to organize my bedroom the last couple evenings, a process similar to sticking an over-sized circle into a square and trying to push the edges of the circle out so that they fill all four corners of the square. In the midst of going through clothes (of which I have too many) and trying to figure out where to put all my books, (of which I never have enough) and wishing I had wall space for another bookshelf, I decided it was time to pack up some of the ballet stuff that is still all over my room. Since dance was my all-consuming passion for almost ten years straight, I collected quite a lot of paraphernalia and needed to begin the task of sorting through it all and figuring out what is sentimental enough to keep, what can be sold, and what needs to be tossed.

So, a pile of dance skirts is headed to an ebay sell, my old dance bag is headed to the trash can along with about six pairs of dance shoes, and my costumes are in my little sisters' dressup trunk. I also gathered up a small box of keepsakes to pack away. It included one of my skirts, a few little gifts from students, pictures, accessories, recital programs, and my favorite pair of pointe shoes.
My room feels so much less cluttered now. And it only took 11 months of being done teaching for me to get around to sorting it all. After years of having my bedroom decorated in dance things, I am welcoming the change and the additional storage space!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

You are a hiding place for me;
You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with shouts of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
Psalm 32:7-9

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I want to win!

There is a book give-away going on over at I found out about it via Matt ( and in a shameless effort to win, I am now posting about it here. Go take a look!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Grace to Glory

This week is the Shepherd's conference in Sun Valley, California. My dad and boyfriend are there participating in person and I have been listening to some of the sessions via live stream here: (All of the sessions will also be available for downloading after the conference.) Each general session has included a time of worship and this morning they sang this beautiful hymn. I wanted to share the words here since I couldn't find a decent arrangement on youtube. It is long but the words are so rich, especially in the last stanza.

"Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken"
by Henry Francis Lyte, 1793-1847

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my All shalt be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I've sought or hoped or known;
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
And while Thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate and friends may shun me;
Show Thy face, and all is bright.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure!
Come, disaster, scorn, and pain!
In Thy service, pain is pleasure;
With Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee Abba, Father!
I have stayed my heart on Thee.
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather,
All must work for good to me.

Man may trouble and distress me,
'Twill but drive me to Thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me,
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, 'tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me;
Oh, 'twere not in joy to charm me
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Take, my soul, thy full salvation;
Rise o'er sin and fear and care;
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
What a Father's smile is thine,
What a Savior died to win thee;
Child of heaven, shouldst thou repine?

Haste, then, on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith and winged by prayer;
Heaven's eternal day's before thee,
God's own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close the earthly mission,
Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope soon change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thought For Today

This morning's greeting with my pastor went like this:

Me: Good Morning
Him (with a teasing grin): Good Morning. Are you sinless today?
Me (a tad smugly, since I had the answer to that question): Ha! No. How about you?
Him: Only in Christ!

Ummm, yep. He had the better answer. And for some reason, his response continually popped into my head throughout the day. "Only in Christ."

I make an effort to remind myself of my sinful state. This is a safety measure; it removes my pride and prevents me from taking grace for granted. Each day that I live as a believer is a battle against my flesh and if I don't see myself as sinful, it will obviously be impossible for me to be effective in that fight. Acknowledging that I am still a sinner also helps me to extend that grace to others when they sin against me.

But I must balance that with the truth that I am justified in Christ. Without this, my fight against my flesh is fruitless because I cannot win it apart from Christ. In Him though, the victory has already been won!

"There is therefore now no comdemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." ~Romans 8:1

"Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romand 8:33-39

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ski Day!

Dad and I spent last Saturday skiing in gorgeous Sun Valley, Idaho. It was just the two of us and we were thoroughly spoiled with gondola rides, great snow, sunshine, and lunch in the restaurant at the top of the lift. My legs were exhausted from being pushed so hard during their first time on the slopes this year. Must get into better shape!

Which was better, the slopes or the scenery? Hard to say!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sooo, It is 2010! (This is a rambling post with very little be warned)

I am leaving in about half an hour for Awana, leaving me about twenty five minutes to type something interesting for the blog world to read. Seeing as I have enjoyed my holiday vacation by vacationing from blogging, I suppose I could ramble on about any number of recent happenings and goings on from my spot in the world. Let's see, what to type?

As I contemplate, there is a cute little three year old in a Cubbie vest who is hovering around my laptop asking me "What you doin'? You typin'? What's say?" He knows that we get to leave for Awana soon, so he is anxious for current activities to be completed so we can be on our way. He is displaying an enormous amount of patience for a three year old though. And it is oh so hard to type coherently when I am distracted by his pretending to sound out the letters and periodically hugging my arm and saying "I likes you!" Oh yes, I am in love.

He has currently wandered off. Now that I have the opportunity to type at the pace I desire, I am afraid that the ramble I had intended to record when first opening this blog has now left my head completely. Such is the tendency with rambles; if one does not snatch them up when they present themselves, they will soon disappear. Good thing a new ramble is usually following closely behind the disappearing one.

Soooo, I get to go spend an evening with my precious 2nd grade Sparkies tonight. We shall sing and pray and recite verses and run and play and listen and answer questions. Someone is going to mispronounce something in their verse (making for a very humorous translation usually), someone will have at least one story to tell me about a pet, someone is going to get corrected for not obeying the first time, and someone is probably going to define sin by telling a story about a sibling. There will be opportunities to explain words like grace and redemption, chances to explain how verses apply to us personally, and lots of joy is seeing how much the kids love to learn.

Just about time to load in the car, the resident Cubbie will be very thrilled with the announcement!