Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Latest Shoot - DiBernardo Family

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of shooting portraits for the DiBernardo Family!  Their three kids are nothings short of adorable and it was such a gorgeous day outside that it was really more fun than work! I hope you enjoy this little snapshot (forgive the pun) of their photoshoot at Madard Park!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How Do You Feel Today?

Haven't blogged in a while, so I thought I'd share a little tidbit with you about what's been happening with me.  Lately I have been praying for something in particular: that my decisions would not be based on how my heart is feeling.  I know - odd but it is something that I need to work on.  Being so right brained (subjective, random, artistic, emotional) I often find myself basing things off of emotion - ranging from whether or not to buy something & how to act at work to what to color I should paint a wall or where the Lord is taking us next.  However, often times what I "feel" is not accurate and is even more often times misleading to what the truth actually is.  Recently, there have been situations where I have let the enemy gain ground where there was no evidence for it, other than my thoughts and "feelings." That is the last thing that I want to be "dooped" of. A lot of times the enemy likes to use our hearts to deceive us, and I am trying to learn to decipher between being judgmental and discerning, a fine line.  Ya following?  So what I have learned so far is to NOT act, NOT speak, and NOT respond.  The times that I just don't are often the times I feel I have made my Savior smile, made Him want to show my picture around and say "that's my kid."  The times I hold my tongue, just smile, and keep on keepin' on are the times I have no regret or conviction.  But the times that I revert back are when I remember the phrase grieving the spirit and I picture Him hanging his head, which only urge me to repent & revise.  Anyways, all this to say, boy am I glad there is grace.  Without grace I would be in a world of hurt, forgive the cliche - but it's true.  Thank the Lord that He loves me unconditionally and without circumstance.  Praising Jesus today for his unmerited favor in my life and for how he is pouring out His spirit in my life even when I am undeserving.  Just wanted to share a little but of what been going on in my heart.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oh, How He loves us so.

Lately I have been completely in awe of the Lord's attention towards me.  The fact that He even thinks towards me is remarkable at all, but the fact that He views me as perfect through Jesus amazes me even more.  Last night at church, my pastor said that - that Jesus views me as a perfect work.  I thought, Lord - how can this be?  I am so imperfect, so sinful.  I am so messed up and dirty, there is no way that I could EVER be perfect.  I am so far from perfect its disgusting.  I judge, I sin, I hate, and I think things I shouldn't.  But in Jesus there is grace.  One pastor said this about grace and mercy:  

“Grace is what God gives us when we don't deserve and mercy is when God doesn't give us what we do deserve.”  But it's true.  Jesus does view His children, his disciples as a perfect work.  Through the penalty that was paid on the cross, we have been saved.  To see others as a finished work is a hard thing to do with the barriers and confines of sin, but try it.  To see people as God sees His people.  But being saved is only the first step, and the easiest.  Many think that it is the most difficult step: entrusting your life with Jesus.  But the second step is lifelong, and much more difficult: sanctification- a life long process that involves stretching, thinning, molding, cutting away, shaping, strengthening, and perfecting.   The word perfecting in the bible, doesn't often mean perfect as in without fault or failure, but it means maturity.  That we would constantly be striving for perfection, so not as to be above one another, but above reproach; to be more and more like Jesus.  As I ponder these things, I am reminded of this verse, Philippians 3:12-14:

" 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. "
Also, I share with you this song has spoken to me recently.  The depth and width and vastness that is God's love for us and just how He loves us.  How big it is, the mulitude of sin that it covers, and how intimate it is for those who embrace it and long after it. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A New Set O' Wheels

Let me just start this off with reminding you of the Lord's faithfulness.  He is so good to His people; He knows our needs, our desires and even the details of our desires.  He wants to bless His children, and so delights in doing so!  All this to say, we are back to having two vehicles!  Yesterday we bought a car!  Praise the Lord!  I can now look back on this time of stretching and thank God for HIS timing and not my own.

The day started off pretty rough.  Friday night was a youth-all-nighter and for those of you who don't know what that is, you have the better end of the stick i.e. no sleep, complete chaos, and too much sugar/red bull induced teens menacing their youth leaders all night long.  Lucky for me, most the girls in the youth group are still pretty young and weren't ready to stay the night but my dear husband wasn't so lucky.  He got a whopping 4 hours of sleep from 8a to 12p when he arrived home Saturday morning.  For some odd reason I thought I should stay up on my own at home watching a depressing chick flick with a friend til about 4a.  Not sure what my thought process was but you get the point - sleep deprivation is a nasty trick.  It pretty much makes you sick to your stomach like other morning ailments.  Oh and coffee doesn't help because you already have a headache and are so green faced that it just makes those feelings more vivid and intense - unfortunately we found that out the hard way.

So it's noon and we have been looking for a car for over two months.  Today is the day and we both know it.  We have found the perfect car, the perfect price, even the perfect color.  From what the seller said, people had come to look at it on Friday and being that it is a very popular car, we had slim to none chance it would be there Saturday for us to see.  But boy is the Lord faithful.  In the words of my husband, if its still there when our schedule allows, then we know that the Lord has it for us.  If not, He has something better.  I know he was right, but at this point I was so ready to buy the next clunker that was parked on the side of road with any ole for sale sign slapped on the front. 

But the Lord knows us, knows our desires and has all things planned for good!  Praise Jesus.
So we get to the bank, get all the necessary paperwork/supplies and are on our way when 30 minutes into our drive Pete's car begins to make a strange squeeking noise and we smell smoke.  Now to be completely honest, the first thought that crossed my mind was, "Really Lord?  You have been here the whole time, in this whole decision.  I have waited for two months - " and then I stopped.  Why am I complaining?  The Lord is STILL in this.  This is a test.  And I had already begin to fail, but thank the Lord for His grace and mercy.  I instantly remembered the study in church the past week, about the Lord testing Moses as he came down from the mountain and the people were worshipping the golden calf.  The Lord tested Moses' love for his people and Moses passed with flying colors.  At that moment the Lord quietly reminded me that He was with us and that we just needed to trust in Him.  I prayed Lord, I trust you with this.  I give it all to you, please just protect us.

No sooner had we pulled off the side of the road then a 'Road Ranger' pulled up behind us.  We were already on the phone with our trusty mechanic in which we were making strange impressions of the noises we were hearing and the site we were seeing.  All this to say, we were prepared to "cut a belt" in order for the smoking and squeeking to stop when at the very last minute the road ranger/guardian angel told us to stop because he thought that the belt was connected to the alternator, not the A/C compressor.  Little did we know it was connected to both, and had we cut the belt we would have been in a world of hurt, not to mention paying out the wazoo to have the car towed, the belt replaced and still without a car. Because we didn't cut the belt and because the Lord was in it, all we had to do was turn off the A/C and drive away.  PRAISE GOD!  (By the way, we will be getting that fixed this week)

Long story short, we made it to our destination, saw the car, test drove it around the block and happened up a street entitle "Randall Circle," (the Lord certainly is blatant sometimes huh?) returned to the owner's home, made an offer (in which he accepted the very lowest) and drove away with the sweet little ride.  We took pictures before even pulling away (a good sign from Pete, who was obviously just as thrilled as I was), and sent them off to various prayer warriors who have been praying for the months we were without that second set of wheels - a cute little green Honda Element (my fantasy car since 2003 when they were geniusly introduced).  Thank you all so much!  Praising Jesus for his faithfulness and the intimacy of my relationship with Him today!

Happy Trails,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

with each day a new adventure unfolds...

Hello All!
I know its been a while since my last post, but you should know things have been very busy and crazy, as usual.  Since my last post, I have finished my college education (I now have a BA in Communication Sciences & Disorders), thrown a bridal shower for my dear friend Lauren Higgins, taken a week long hiatus to the beautiful state of Washington, witnessed my brothers betrothal, attended Lauren Higgins' bachelorette party, completed 1/2 of my self-made Sign Language curriculum, and decided that since I wasn't busy enough, I should probably start my own business.  All of this to say, I have always dreamed of crafting as a business on the side.  Being told that I am creative and enjoying so many different mediums of creativity, I have decided to do something with it!  Drum roll....... I am re-opening my once barren Etsy account!  If you do not know what etsy is, allow me to enlighten you of its gloriousness according to ...
1) An online community of artist and crafters 
2) A online community where one can buy and sell handmade goods, vintage items, and related supplies 
3) An online collection of independent stores 
4) An alternative to auction websites such as eBay

SO! Come check out my store! I currently only have one 
item up for sale, but I intend to fill my online 
boutique with many more handmade jems, 
personal artwork, and unique vintage finds!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

but without Love, I am but a clanging symbol.

Last night Pete & I had to pleasure of going to a fantastic show put on by Calvary Chapel St. Pete.  The musicians were Phil Wickham & Leeland!  UNBELIEVABLE!!!! The concert was so anointed.  Not only because Phil Wickham is so completely and geniusly gifted, but because the Holy Spirt was there dwelling with us!  It was a couple of the kids' first concert, so we were pretty amped for what they were about to experience!  
Little did I know how much I was about to be blessed.  Come to find that these musicians, these guys, are just people, so warm, so genuine, and just shine with Jesus' love.  Phil's set was unbelievable filled with heavenly ballads sung directly to the skies!  What I didn't expect was Leeland's performance.  From their CD, I expected it to be just a really fun time, but I was so blessed by what he had to say.  His heart was overflowing with the love of Christ - something he said really resounded with my heart - 
"I grew up in church.  Both of my parents were worship pastors so I was the kid hanging out in all the choir practices and in all the Christmas plays.  It wasn't until the age of 11 that I felt and understood God's sacrificial love for me.  Now I'm going to be honest - being in such a great Christian culture and being in church my whole life is sometimes really hard; it's really easy to complicate our faith.  But listen, it's really simple.  True love is giving your life for someone else.  And that's what Jesus did for us on the cross, and that's what we need to do.  Give our lives for the Father.  If you're here tonight and you have yet to do that, I am going to invite you to do so in a minute, but maybe that's not you.  Maybe you have already given your life to the Lord.  Maybe you are here holding onto things in your life.  Maybe you are in church everyday of the week and are only giving him certain parts of your life, just the spiritual parts.  Christian - the only way to receive God's love and to show it is to give it ALL.  You can't go halfway.  It has to be everything."
I realized that was me.  Even though Pete & I are pretty active in our church, and there is nothing I love more than to serve my Heavenly Father, I haven't given it all.  I must confess, it's not always with a heavenly attitude that I sing or sweep or serve, and it's something I have been trying to work on, but my flesh is weak.  I prayed a prayer last night that Jesus would take my WHOLE LIFE.  That He would be in control of ALL things for His glory.  I pray that this fresh overflow will continue in my heart, as it is so honest and so neat to not have a care in the world except for my love for Jesus.  It may sound irresponsible, but it is the exact opposite.  Who better to take care of me than my heavenly father?  He knows what's best and I can entrust only Him with everything.
Like it says in I Corinthians 13:1, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."  Leeland also said this, 
"Worship is not about singing.  Don't you think if that were the case, everyone would have been gifted with a voice or the ability to play an instrument?  But one thing everyone in the world has is the ability to love.  Worship is a lifestyle.  It's what our hearts do.  It's about what happens outside of these doors.  If we can't worship God with our lives outside, then he doesn't want to hear what is happening in this room.  Like it says in Amos 5:21-32, 
“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments."
A strong word coming from God, but true.  He knows us so well and knows our pain, our sorrow, our affliction.  He endured them so that we wouldn't have to.  He wants all of us all the time.  And that's what I have decided to do!  Just give it ALL to Jesus!  I am so excited, encouraged, and refreshed.  I share this with you to encourage you as well.  It seems to hard to just let go and Let God (as cliche as that sounds) but there isn't a better decision you could EVER make. 

With Utmost Sincerity,

Friday, June 11, 2010

A God of Details

So I have to inform you all of the happens of my week, because yes, they are that exciting.  Sunday evening is when things started rolling.  It seems as though whenever we have plans to have a house guest the AC inevitably goes out.  Now let me back this with some facts:  We LOVE our home, LOVE our landlords, and are so so grateful for where we live.  All this to say, this was the second time our gracious landlords had to deal with such a wonderful problem in the heat of summer.  Monday night we headed to the in-laws to sleep in cool relief and came home to a fixed air conditioner the next morning - SO THANKFUL!  

Nothing worth mentioning occurred until Wednesday evening when a huge prayer request was answered, we sold my car!  We had been trying to sell it for about a month with no such luck, but were so happy to let it go even if it was for a little less than we expected.  Such a burden lifted!  As we were down to one car, Pete's family graciously (there's a lot of grace in this story....) lent us one of their cars.  Thankful as we were to have another set of wheels for the time being, we mostly used Pete's car for the week as it is the more reliable/much cooler and it's a honda - they run forever right?

Or so I thought.  (Bare with me, the details are worth it in the end).  Thursday I rushed home from a long day at work, drove Pete to work at five pm, drove home to be at school a six.  Busy busy busy is our life.  Everything was peachy keen.  Worshiping Jesus on my ride to school gave me relief and a chance to relax.  Class went well and we got out a little early as Thursday nights at school are shorter, as we go to mall for the rest of class for "Deaf Chats."  

Then, oh then, the magic started again.  The car died on my way to mall.  At first I thought I just stalled out, but boy was I wrong.  Luckily familiar faces stopped to help me (as class had just let out).  About six, yes SIX, caring people stopped to help, push, look-over, listen, and try to figure out what the deal was.  Now HCC isn't in the best of hoods, and although I'm usually an anxious person when it comes to that, I was never once nervous.   The Lord covered this whole situation let me tell you.  Husbandless and all - He got me through.

With all the chaos ensuing around me, one thought came to mind - our faithful mechanic.  Let me tell you a little bit about this guy.  Fixing cars is pretty much his ministry at our church, although he would never admit to his blessings of the body.  He knows everything about cars, it's crazy!  Thank the Lord for him, as we are not mechanically savvy in the least.  Pete and I seem to have numerous car problems (must be long on-going joke the Lord has for us) and as much as we try to send things through his shop as often as possible, that didn't seem to be an option at the time, being my husband was far far away at a distant Starbucks (WITHOUT A CAR!) and unable to save his damsel in distress!  Long run on, but you get the drift of the stress!

I did hesitate to call my mechanic as though it seems we are always asking him questions or favors, but I figured who else is there?  I don't know anyone which a truck to haul this, we don't have triple A, we can't afford to get it towed...  so I called.  And guess what?  He and his family were literally around the corner at a store (normally it would have been about a 20-25 minute trip from their home) and are the sweetest people the planet, i.e. they helped, fixed, and set me at ease.   From the noises Pete's poor accord were exclaiming it sounded like a dead end to me, but what do I know.  Of the six people that did stop were a married couple (it was show and tell for my sign language class - he and his wife are both deaf and his son brought them as his show and tell).  He seemed to know what the issue was, which totally made me stand in awe. Even though he couldn't hear what was happening, he knew exactly what the problem was.  It just struck me as awesome to witness his son interpreting what his Dad  thought the problem was and he hit the nail on the head once we figured out what the issue was later that night.

Getting to the end here, I promise.  So it took a little while, but the good "Doc" soon arrived, got the car started and drove it to the shop.  I following along with his lovely wife and kids to his shop while he drove the "hurby" as I was a little hesitant.  Come to find out it was overheating the whole time he drove it there. NUTS!

Here comes the good part.  Doc's nine year old son is WAY into the guitar.  I had actually talked with Doc earlier that day about trying to get him some lessons.  I "happened" to have my guitar in the back of Pete's car (which I never do) so while "Doc" worked on the car, his son and I got to spend some pretty sweet time together "talking music."  Then I knew what the purpose was for all this.  The whole time on the way to the shop all I could think (unfortunately so) was, "Lord why?  We just sold my car, we are having to borrow another, and now this?  I can't possibly comprehend why you would want us to be car-less.  I don't know why you are doing this but there must be a reason."  After lots of quirky conversations (Doc's son is a really neat, intelligent kid who knows his stuff) about the guitar and playing a few songs I heard the engine cut on.  I was actually kind of sad to hear the roar, as I was enjoying such a sweet time with his son, daughter, and wife just playing worship songs, singing to Jesus, and enjoying fellowship.  Then I knew - Lord we are so dependent on other things in this life.  Cell phones, cars, air conditioning, money, internet, EVERYTHING!  No wonder your people are so lost in themselves, no wonder I am so lost in myself!  WE NEED YOU!  You are all we need to be dependent on.  !!!!!

Now here's the really good part.  The issue could have been one of two things:  a blown gasket head (which I'm told is not good and very expensive) or a hole in the cooling hose that would cost about fifty cents.  I think you know which one it was and I squeel at the fact: the hose, i.e. the LORD!

Here's how the evening could have gone, I thought on my way back to pick Pete up from work.  It could have died on the freeway going 80 in the fast lane.  It could have happened to Pete or I alone on the highway, had I not "felt the need" to take him to work, even though I could have used the other car that evening.  It could have happened on the way to class, instead of on the way home in which case no one might have seen me, or maybe someone weird might have stopped to "help."  It could have happened on a Tuesday, not an early release Thursday.  In which case it would have been dark and much scarier, which would have probably meant our mechanic wouldn't have been close by.  Had Pete driven himself to work, it would have happened to him at around midnight on the freeway in which case we would have been in a world of hurt.  And lastly, but certainly not least, we could have blown a gasket head!  But no, it was a fitty-cent piece!  All these things the Lord knew.  It happened in HIS perfect timing and his HIS perfect will.  What a blessing it is the be a child of the living God!

ALL THIS TO SAY - the Lord is so so sweet.  He knows us so well and LOVES the inner workings of our soul.  He knows what we can handle and who/what we need to get through the trials.  That evening I read this passage in my devotional at Starbucks and thought it particularly applicable for the evening's occasions:

"Woe to you who are rich, who are well fed now, who laugh now, when all men speak well of you." Luke 6:24-26  These are indicting words.  We can whole-heartedly agree when Jesus pronounces woe upon the self-righteous Pharisees.  But the rich?  That describes almost all Americans, by worldwide standards.  The well fed? Ditto.  Those who laugh?  Anyone who is mentally sound does that.  Those of whom other speak well?  Most of us have a decent reputation.  What exactly is Jesus trying to say here?  And why do His descriptions sound an awful lot like us?  
We should not dismiss these woes too quickly.  We know from other Bible passages - which Jesus never contradicts - that there is nothing inherently wrong with wealth, food, laughing, and a good reputation.  But these are sobering warnings.  Those who take comfort in their wealth, food, pleasure, and reputation - and who ignore God because of them - will be tragically sorry.  There is something inherently ungodly and dangerous in complacency, and all of these characteristics cultivate complacency.  If you have them, handle them with care; they are gifts from God, blessings given entirely by the grace of His goodness and not on your merit.  They are no cause for pride, only for humble gratitude.  
Regardless of how much money you have, know that you stand before God with absolutely nothing to offer in exchange for His blessing.  You are entirely dependent on grace.  Regardless of how much food you eat, know that you stand before God wholly dependent on the bread of His word; it alone sustains your life.  Regardless of the quality of your positive outlook, let your rejoicing be primarily in the pleasure of His fellowship.  And regardless of your prestige, know that you stand completely dependent on the reputation of God's son for the Father's favor.  Never lose sight of your poverty, and you will never experience these judgements.

So for those of you who made it through this huge ramble, I hope that you are encouraged.  Whatever trial, whatever issue know that the Lord is there.  He's knows his people and He loves US!  Can you believe it?  He is a gracious master giving us not what we deserve.  So like the song says: 
"I'm living for the day, you wipe these tears away, and I am there with you my God.  In your glory, all adoring in all.  I will bow down in your presence my God.  I'm living for the heavenlies!  I'm living for the heavenlies!  Yeah, when all of you is all I see, I'm living for the heavenlies!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

five years and still head over heels.

Today marks a very special day and turning point for Pete & I.  Five years ago today my love & I said "I love you" for the very first time to one another, and the first time in each of our lives.  We are each other's first and last love.  Upon my 'bartering' with the Lord before I met my husband, I had one and only one requirement of my future bride-groom: that he be pure of heart and flesh.  Quite a tall order in this day and age, but boy was my God faithful.   He knew the desires of my heart and the needs of my spirit.

Fast forward to our two month anniversary - June 9 2005.  We had been dating for a mere amount of time in the grand scheme of relationships and were on a date celebrating our two months together down at St. John Pass in St. Petersburg.  I was seventeen, he was nineteen.  I was so nervous the whole evening, knowing what explosion would soon exit my mouth like a fourth of july fireworks display.  Although I knew it to be so true, all I could think was, "What happens if nothing comes of this?  What if my greatest confession is not returned??"  I had wanted to tell my prince earlier that week of how much I adored him and how strongly I had grown, so close and so in love, but choked at the chance.  Little did I know that he also wanted to tell me the same earlier that week.  It isn't often that I reminisce on these past emotions, but today seems quite appropriate.

Since that dusky evening by the sun-drenched sky, boardwalk and water much has ensued to our present life together.  After that wonderful evening when we declared our love for one another we dated for two and half more years and then my knight proposed on a chilly evening in December, a week before Christmas.  We were wed in the following year in the month of October on a crisp afternoon in 2007.  We have been growing deeper in love with one another since that day.  

So, my love.  You are my all, my everything on this earth.  The past five years have been the best of my life and I am so proud to call you my best friend and husband.  I can't wait to see where the Lord leads our lives as one.  He has already begun a work in us that is not yet complete.  I can't wait to rejoice in heaven with our souls side by side - I can't wait to have your children, raise your children and grow old and gray with you.  You are my all, my heart, and my love.

All of me,
Your Wife.

a picture taken while we were dating...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Waiting On The Lord

So far this year has been quite the whirlwind.  My last semester in college was definitely my most difficult as far as content and to boot, I found out I wouldn't be finished in time unless I took 6 classes all at once.  Needless to say, I took the more sane route and am finishing my degree this summer.  

All that to say, so far my life hasn't slowed down much.  Now, please don't think that I am complaining.  I am more than thankful that I can be married, finish my degree, have no debt and be fully supported by husband through all of this, but it is a VERY busy lifestyle.  So where is the light at the end of the tunnel?  Many people have been asking me what my plans are for a job.  Truthfully, I have no aspirations except for a piece of paper to frame and hang in my office.  To find a job would be such a blessing, but I am so burnt out and am just happy to serve the Lord wherever He puts me whether that be applicable to my degree or otherwise.  For my particular major, Communication Sciences & Disorders, you have to continue onto your Masters.  Right now, in my mind, that is not an option - financially or mentally, and really - I just don't have any desire whatsoever to do that right now.  

So what are my plans you ask?  Or rather, the Lords?  Many of you know that last year I began teaching American Sign Language for home-schoolers in the area.  Well last year, this idea or rather vision came to me a little late - mid August which was a bit too late as far as gaining "clientele" for the following school year.  Although it was discouraging at the time, it was perfect because that little extra really helped us out financially and a smaller class size gave me a good feel for how to better things, change things up, etc...  However this year, the Lord has blessed us out of the park, currently I have 16 students enrolled and I have only been "advertising" for two weeks!  All this to say, the Lord is so good to us.  He know what we can handle and when we can handle it - and let me just say I am SO excited for the next school year and can't wait to fine tune my curriculum, add more activities, etc etc.... 

Just wanted to give you all a little update in case you were wondering.  If not, disregard this long schpeel.  Either way, how good is our Savior?  He cares so infinitely for each one of us, knows our passions, our hearts, our desires.  If I could teach ASL for the rest of my life I would be more than thrilled.  Sign language is a passion of mine, and I feel the Lord has gifted me with it for a purpose.  I am so glad that my life has a purpose and that it is divinely inspired.  God is so good!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Short & Sweet

So Pete & I have been praying a lot about where the Lord would have us once my schooling is over.  We just want to be where the Lord would have us, so if you could, just lift a prayer up our way.  Not that anything huge is happening or that anything is happening, we just want the Lord's blessing in whatever His will is for our lives.  Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lyrics to Dwell Upon

I can't wait to get to heaven and hear Jesus sing this song to me.  As beautiful as Kari's vocals are, I can only imagine how much greater our Lord's will be.  This song is for all of His children - it's moving.  Most worship songs are all about our adoration to Jesus and how much we love Him, but I really love this song because it is Jesus singing to us.  We are His beloved & His bride!  What a joy!  Sit under His feet for just a few moments today and rest in Him.

Beloved - Kari Jobe

You're My Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me My love

Under My mercy
Come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you
My child

You're Beautiful to Me
So Beautiful to Me

I sing over you My song of peace
Cast all your cares down at My feet
Come and find your rest in Me

I'll breathe My life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of My strength
I'll take you to My quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in Me and be made whole

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Busy Busy Crazy Busy, Don't forget to breathe.

Lately Pete & I have been on the move constantly.  It seems as though we have time for nothing other than work, school, church, studying for school or church, driving, eating, sleeping (sometimes, not nearly enough) and the occasional, but brief nap.  This has taken a toll on us both mentally and physically.  We have both been sick numerous times this winter and seem to just pass it back and forth to one another.  Because of this additive, or rather negative, not only have I fallen behind in my duties of a clean house and yummy meals, but let me tell you - the laundry is sky high.  Although all of these activities (school, church, work) are rewarding in different aspects, it often feels opposingly so.  I often ponder, 'will this craziness will change once I graduate?'  I always assumed that the dust will settle eventually.  Pshh, who am I kidding?  With graduation comes a full time job of some sort that will take up just as much, if not more time than school.  And then babies might get added to the mix? Yikes.  All this to say, if you can identify with me, know that there is an outlet for this bombardment we all seem to get caught up in.  Jesus!  Some of you reading this may roll your eyes.  Some of you may agree whole heartedly.  Some of you have already closed this window.  But listen.  We as humans were created to rely, to need, to love and to be loved.  We wanted to be relied up, and need others whom we can rely upon.  Those that rely on us love us and we in turn love those whom we can rely upon.  Does that make sense?  Let me give an example before you stop reading.  Early on in our marriage, I relied upon my husband for all of my needs: emotional, spiritual, physical, mental - everything.  He was my hero and my problem solver and I loved him so much that I wanted to be everything for him, and have him be everything I need.  But we as humans are imperfect.  Now that's not to say my husband isn't awesome, he is, he is the love of my life and gets me like no one else.  However, no matter how great a person is, that person has needs too. It took me a while to realize that.  Pete can't be everything for me, because I can't be everything for him.  The reason that Christ can meet all of our needs is because He has no needs of His own.  He is completely selfless.  So selfless that He gave up His own life on the cross.  His own physical life.  How many of us would give up our lives?  Maybe for a loved one, or our own child, but for your adversary? Your greatest enemy?  Some people don't believe in Jesus, or that He was a real man who came to this earth, that's another discussion entirely.  But Jesus loves them still, regardless of their acceptance of Him.  Personally I find it hard enough to love people that I care for but disagree with, let alone people that hate me.  My point is, whether or not we choose to love God, He doesn't need our adoration, our love, or commitment to Him.  He desires those things from His children, but He doesn't need them from us.  We are unworthy of what our Heavenly Father provides to us.  He is the reason I live, and the reason I strive.  He is my solid rock my strength, the provider of my energy when I have nothing left to give, my Daddy who loves me unconditionally and the giver of hope when I can't seem to put one foot in front of the other.  If you don't know this Jesus that I speak of, the One who knows the number of hairs on your head, the number of days you will live, and the only One who will never leave you nor forsake you, please take the time to do so.  How?  Read the bible.  Pray.  Ask the Lord for enlightenment and movement in your life.  Find a church that teaches the bible, and a body of believers who seek the kingdom of God and genuinely love one another.  I challenge those of you, as I do myself to put Christ first.  To pursue our bride-groom as He pursues His bride.
With Love,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jesus, Jesus - Beautiful Savior, Faithful One.

Lately Pete and I have been praying a lot about the Lord's will for our life and what that may entail.  We both have a heart for sharing the word of God and taking it forth to wherever the Lord may call us.  I mention this because as my school career comes to a close this August, I am not quite sure where my life will be.  It will be the first time in a long time that I have not had concrete, absolute, root bearing plans for myself.  It's kind of liberating to think about.  So far in the past few years I have felt a peace about finishing school and I know that the Lord has this in His will.  But I can't help but ask, what's next Lord?  For my current career path, I don't have many options with just a bachelor's degree of science.  I can only practice for so long with that.  But to be honest, I don't even have a desire to practice with just a B.S. under my belt.  To compare what that would be like to something more understandable would be the Average Joe reading books about anatomy of humans, how to put on bandages, and learning to write up a prognosises for two years in a classroom with no other experiences, THEN being thrown in the E.R. with high expections to perform with experience and knowledge of any trained Docter.  Okay, maybe not that severe, but pretty close.  The other option is to attend Grad School, and pay lots of money to get that experience needed to provide ethical, experienced and educated theraphy.  My degree of Speech Pathology is a Humanistic Career, changing lives.  I don't feel quite apt for such a task, nor a desire at this moment in time.  Don't get me wrong, I have a desire to change lives, just in a different way - an eternal way.  I know for sure that I would regret not finishing my degree, but I also know in my heart I have no desire to continue on with my education at this point.  I want a break for goodness sake and from where I see it, it's been a long time coming.  So, all this word vomit to say, just pray.  Pray for direction in our life.  Pray that either the Lord will instill me with a desire to continue my education if that is His will, or that He will guide us to whatever else it is we are to do for Him.  I am willing to go wherever the Lord leads, be that easy to say, I know that Lord's will  is the will we want for our marriage and life.  Thank you to all of you who continually support us through prayer, Godly counsel, and friendship.  Love you all. 
                                        Looking to the future,