Tuesday, December 29
Keep on singing those beautiful songs
They will keep you company when the ride gets long.
things here are about to change. prayers have been answered. i am moving to new york! life is in transition. more to come, but for now i must wrap up life in new jersey!
Monday, December 21
the irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. the act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. to commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.
Thursday, December 17
first, watch this:
the simple power of a hug.
i wholeheartedly agree with those who say that physical touch can be healing. there are times where words seem to hold no meaning, where actions are pointless, but the simple presence and embrace of another person can be everything. a hug, in all its simplicity, can say so much.
all you need is love...
Wednesday, December 16
Monday, December 14
Thursday, December 10
so i was both surprised and elated this week to see her name in my inbox yesterday right next to the words YOU WON! as a person who doesn't win anything... scratch-off lottery tickets, raffle nights, you name it... i had to thank God because being the recipient of these gifts was simply, to me, His way of saying 'I am still here. I haven't forgotten about you. I love you and care for you.' and i'm now anticipating some mail in the next few days holding Chris Tomlin's new Christmas cd and this necklace:
these lovely ladies and i can't wait to see it in person!
also unexpected was a phone call i received to set up an interview for a job i'd very much like to have. i'm trying to stay pretty calm and collected about it, but even getting an interview simply restores so much of my self esteem, confidence and drive to continue looking and pursuing this move to western new york! another way i feel God is just reassuring me to hold on.
Tuesday, December 8
this understanding is only the beginning. i don't want to continue living my life simply with the knowledge that i am living under lies. i want to walk in the truths that God has given to me.
i spent some time praying that God would show me the lies and then fill my heart and mind with His truth...
i am not beautiful, nor will i ever be. i am fearfully and wonderfully made. (ps139:14)
my life isn't really amounting to anything. in other words, what the heck am i doing with my life? i am God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do. (eph2:10)
i will never be as good at/attractive/caring/witty/etc as so-and-so. each man has his own gift from God. . . God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. (1cor7:7 and 12:18)
i will never get over my niece's death. it is simply a loss. death has been swallowed up in victory. where, O death, is your victory? where, O death is your sting?. . . thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1cor54-55,57)
i am living my life in fear of the next 'bad thing'... the next bombshell... the next bad news... the next circumstance that brings pain. peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. . . do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. (john14:27)
i don't want this to be about feeling better because Scripture says some pretty good things about me or my life. my desire is that these truths will soak through to the core of my being, and that my thoughts, words and actions would be a direct result of truth not lies.
i am sick and tired of bearing the burden of lies.
i desire His yoke and His burden (matt11:30).
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thursday, December 3
for $15 i said hello to a warmer winter:
a simple sherpa lined hoodie that not only looks good but feels good and will keep me good and warm all winter long. oh happy day!
Thursday, November 26
this thanksgiving, i wanted to share something i heard this week regarding this verse and one small word... in. throughout my life, i think i've interpreted this instruction to read - give thanks for all circumstances. i think sometimes as Christians, we may be encouraged to give thanks for our circumstances, no matter what they may be. which is real easy to do when things are "going your way". but what about when they aren't? when you lose your job? when you can't afford your mortgage and your house is foreclosed? when yet another person you know is diagnosed with cancer? when your 9 day old niece dies unexpectedly? when you've been praying about something for weeks or months or years and God seems silent? when you feel like you just can't take any more bad news?
when my mindset is that i should be giving thanks for my circumstances, i start questioning God. i question His love, His goodness, His kindness. i ask why? i get angry, my attitude turns bitter, and i start to doubt Him.
but that is not at all what God is asking of me. He wants me to give thanks in all circumstances. this one little word makes a world of difference in my heart. our circumstances are going to be trying and at times, unbearable. but our hearts can give thanks. we can choose a posture of gratitude. today, i'm giving thanks for my salvation, for a family and friends who stand by one another in the face of tragedy, and for a God who loves me, just as i am.
my circumstances are out of my control. the beat of my heart is up to me.
today, i'm giving thanks in my circumstances.
Monday, November 23
but i can't wait to eat my first candy cane of the season! or decorate the christmas tree... or consume egg nog on a daily basis... or watch my niece's face when she comes downstairs christmas day and finds presents under the tree... or watch 'the muppet christmas carol', 'a charlie brown christmas' and 'the grinch who stole christmas' (the old cartoon version of course!) with family and friends.
i can wait, however, to shop in an overly crowded mall as each and every store seeks to entice me with their best deals,bargains and things i just 'have to have'. i can wait to watch my own self-centered and materialistic mind begin a wish list of a few items i'd like this holiday season, which will then snowball into a list of
the end of the year has the potential to be stressful, exhausting and lacking meaning. but this video gives me hope that it can be different - christmas can be captivating, refreshing and meaningful. it can reflect Jesus.
i don't know about you...
but watching that video felt like breathing fresh air. i can't wait to conspire.
(and a thank you to northgate and some friends there who are leading a study on this and introduced the organization to me!)
Thursday, November 19
Thursday, November 12
coming up with today's blog was simple. (oh dear... one day, when i'm all out of ideas, i will write about my corny sense of humor) but really, this pretty much says it all...
it doesn't take much to make me happy... a good book, a slice of fresh banana nut bread, a vanilla rooibos tea latte and a little corner of a starbucks to tuck myself away in for a few hours. feed my stomach, feed my introversion, feed my mind and feed my spirit.
it's the simple things, really (:
Tuesday, November 10
so on sunday john quixote (his cleverness) and i set off in search of these humongous giants. or as i like to call them... wind turbine thingys.
it was a grand time! i did not get car sick. (take that finger lake exploration sunday!) we did not get lost. (ok, with john's sense of direction we never get lost. *knock on wood*) and we did indeed find the wind turbine thingys!
then yesterday i saw this video:
i had no idea we were in such danger.
john quixote and his lady fair: 1. wind turbine thingys: 0.
Thursday, October 29
Wednesday, October 28
Thursday, October 22
Monday, October 19
we are still here. we are moving. but we are different. we'll never be the same. and so right now we're trying to establish a new normal. we're grasping for how we are supposed to remember tori mae yet live our lives without her.
we're thankful for the nine days we got with her, to shower her with love, care and affection. we envy and grieve every day since then we haven't been able to see and touch her.
we get angry... at the 'why' and the 'what if', but we try to unclench our fists and let it go, knowing that dwelling on those things will never change the past. we have only the present.
we cry. some days we cry a lot. some not at all. but it's part of grieving, so we're learning to let the tears come when they come and not hold back.
we're clinging to hope that she is in a place far better than we can imagine and that she knows no more pain, sadness, hurt, suffering, tears or sorrow. we hope that one day there will be more infants to hold and love. and on another day, we will hold and love tori again.
we hold on to faith. faith that God can turn this something bad into something good. faith that He comforts us now so we may comfort others likewise. faith that He Himself is good, even though this whole thing seems so bad.
so, how are we doing? we are here and we are living.
and even though the answer that comes out of my mouth may not sound like much, i am thankful for all the people in our lives who care enough to ask.
Thursday, October 15
13 days ago, we stood at the hospital as the doctor turned around to tell us that there was nothing more he could do; my sister's baby was dead. It was a night of shock, despair and sorrow.
These last 2 weeks, I haven't had much to say. We're all just trying to figure things out. Trying to survive, trying to keep moving, trying to come to terms with any of it in our minds and hearts, trying to find our new "normal". We're struggling to simply live life in the face of loss.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Today, with grieving hearts, we will lift up one another in prayer. We will remember Tori Mae and the joy she brought us in 9 days. We will think of and pray for others around the world who have experienced the loss of a child. At 7pm we will light candles and join people across the country in remembering the little ones we have lost.
If you read this, I ask that you say a prayer for anyone who has lost - a prayer for comfort, for peace and for hope. love you always tori mae.
Friday, September 25
Wednesday, September 23
Monday, September 21
Saturday, September 19
Friday, September 11
this meant i made a banner for the blog and rewrote a little ditty. cue strings!
Thursday, September 10
Wednesday, September 9
-sleeping in til 10:00am
-watching some gilmore girls
otherwise known as not one of the things i'd planned to get done today. but that's just how days off go, no? the things i really hope to get done today:
-get my resume revamped and a cover letter created and apply for an HR job
-read at least another chapter in acedia and me
-complete another day's homework for the book study i'm attending
-spend time with the fam this evening (ch-ch-ch-changes: i am moving 5 hours away and my youngest sister is leaving for marine boot camp in 12 days. my middle sister is due to have her second baby in 14 days and my 2 year old niece is growing up fast! and i don't wanna miss a thiiiing!)
Tuesday, September 8
Thursday, September 3
Monday, August 31
After the study on Thursday night, some of the ladies and I were discussing the story we’d heard of the Shepherd and the wayward lamb. At this point, one of the lovely girls there recalled that Jesus’ bones were never broken. And there the story took on additional meaning and significance.
Jesus is referred to as both the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God. As the Good Shepherd, He cares for us, His sheep. As our Shepherd, He breaks us to bring us back to Him. But when we look at Jesus as the Lamb of God, the perfect Lamb, we find He never strayed from the voice of His Father. A Lamb who walked with His Shepherd all of His days here on earth. Jesus had to live a perfect life in order for Him to be the perfect sacrifice. He had to live a blameless and pure life if He were to take the sins of the entire world onto Himself, and if we were to then be pardoned from them through His sacrifice. This was God’s plan from the beginning. Jesus died for our sins and yet, as John states, as a perfect Lamb, “not one of his bones will be broken” (19:36).
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Cor5:21). The Good Shepherd became the perfect Lamb so that we might be made righteous. The sacrifice of His life justifies us before our Creator and Father. He healed the broken relationship between God and the human race, saving us from death. The Healer, never broken, restored us to our Father and gave us new life. And if that isn't enough to make me say "thank you", i don't know what is.