Thursday, February 26, 2009
To say I am loving this Biblestudy would be the understatement of the year.
I agree fully with Mimi's plea, if you ever have the chance to do this study, run, don't walk to sign up.
I am only in the 4th week, and it has no doubt been a life-changing study for me.
As we watched last week's video, I bit back tears the entire time. On the way home, I let the tears fall as I reflected on Beth's words and thanked my Jesus for where He has me.
In our study we just finished up where Mordecai is pleading with Esther to go before King Xerxes and beg him to spare the lives of the Jews. He says to Esther: "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
In a few short weeks, I am turning 28 years old. Am I where I thought I would be at age 28? No. I had different plans for sure. I was supposed to be happily married (Check!) living in a cute little home that we owned and were settled in for years to come (no check) and working on our 3rd child (BIG FAT no check here).
You see, my tears fell the other night because I feel I am beginning to get it. I am finally realizing that although I am not at all where I thought I would be at this point in my life, I am exactly where God wants me. For such a time as this.
The tears fell in remorse for not seeing God's handiwork fully (or as close to fully as our human eyes can see) until now.
For the last two and a half years, I have felt the reoccurring theme in my mind is "this is not how things are supposed to be..." I have told God a hundred times over "DON'T YOU KNOW!?! THIS IS NOT HOW THINGS WERE SUPPOSED TO GO!!!"
The last two and a half years have involved me becoming familiar with terms and phrases such as "blighted ovum", "viability", "second trimester miscarriage", "infertility", and they have also included my becoming even more familiar with words such as "depression", "fear", and "hopelessness".
Let me be clear, this is not a post to announce a pregnancy (please keep praying!!!!), this is a post written as a love song to my Savior, announcing that I can finally and proudly proclaim... I GET IT. I am right where I am supposed to be.
It was not my plan, but I am so grateful it was His.
Because of what He has allowed in my life, I have been stretched and pulled far from my comfort zone. I have been broken down to a point where I had nothing left but transparency...which is what God had required all along. I am learning that transparency in your own life is one of the most effective ways to make a difference in someone else's.
Through the trials God has allowed in my life, He watched patiently as I fought with all my might and exhausted all my possibilities on my own....and came to the end of myself. THAT is what drove me to the foot of the cross.
A place I don't think I had ever really been before.
You see, I was so blessed to have been raised in a Christian home. We attended the same loving, family oriented church my entire life, until David and I moved to Portland. I went to a Christian summer camp pretty much every summer I can remember, and asked Jesus to come into my heart at that very summer camp when I was 7 or 8. I was baptized young, and I to this day my dad still sends me a card on the anniversary of my "rebirth" (the day of my baptism). I spent my teenage years attending youth groups and youth Bible studies, and my young adult years volunteering at youth groups and attending Women's Bible studies. My point to all this is I cannot remember a time in my life where I didn't know about God.
I am so blessed in that way.
But something has been greatly transformed in my life over the last two + years... or really, in the last 6-12 months. God has begun a sanctification process in me that has blown my mind. As I mentioned above, I have always known about God, but now I feel like I know God. I know His voice. I know His presence. I know Him. And had we been given the gift of a successful pregnancy resulting in a precious child 2 and a half years ago, we would have been blessed for sure. BUT, because He has orchestrated things differently, I have been blessed beyond measure.
I get it now. I understand what people are talking about when they say Christ has absolutely changed their life. I have always known about Him, and always loved Him, but it seems my faith and understanding of Him has changed from that of a child, to that of an adult...and adult who is still trying to have child-like faith. My faith has matured, and I am forever grateful.
My tears fell as I experienced both sorrow for my inability - or more accurately, my unwillingness- to trust His hand, and with gratitude for His patience with me as I tried to fight the process with everything in me. I cried with remorse for the countless times I have been angry at God and told Him that this wasn't how things were supposed to be. I cried for allowing myself to feel gypped and slighted for years as I pitied my circumstances. And I cried tears of thankfulness....of sheer joy and gratitude that He never gives up on me, and that He always wants so much more for me than I do.
I would be a fool to think that He is anywhere near done with me. I realize there is so much more work in my heart and my life to be done. But I sit here today, grateful for the realization that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, and eternally grateful for a Father who wants me to know just that.
For such a time as this.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I didn't win Jen's give-away ( =-( )
But I DID win Kelly's ( =-)!!!!!)
David got home before me tonight and called my cell phone to say "You got a BIG box in the mail today!" Ohhhhh I was SO excited!! I never win ANYTHING! I think this is seriously the first thing I have won since I won a hula-hooping contest in Sunriver when I was like 8. (That's right. I knew how to rock a hula-hoop back in the day)
I wasn't the only one curious to explore this new package...
Lucy did a little bomb-sniffing for me. She's such a good kitty that way.
Yup. Lucy approved.
I think the fact that she vomited shortly after this experience is only to be chalked up to her reflux, and not her distaste for my prize.
Thanks Kelly!!!! I am REALLY looking forward to reading these! I have heard a lot about this author, but I have yet to read any of her books. Can't wait to snuggle up with one soon!!!!!
Happy Monday all!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
She was a fan, to say the least...
We started with the cheese appetizers, which were delicious, of course, and then moved on to cooking our entrees.
David was in charge of all Search and Rescue missions for missing potatoes, broccoli, or mushrooms...
He served us well. He made us proud.
Emily eagerly anticipating the next cooked item...
And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, they brought out the dessert...
My oh my.
After we had each had our fill of delicious fruit, graham crackers, oreo covered marshmallows, pound cake, cheese cake, and brownies in chocolate, marshmallow cream, and crushed graham crackers, we headed home. Happier than we had ever been.
This picture is all blurry and I look like a 90 year old with a blanket over me like a shall, but it pretty much sums up the rest of our evening. Once we had changed into comfy, stretchy clothes that fit our newly expanded waist lines more appropriately, we each played with out respective blogs. (and since I finally figured out the whole dark-brown-background-dilemma, I was able to change back to the background I had prior. Hooray!!)
We all slept in, had some homemade biscuits and gravy (good thing we still had our comfy, stretchy clothes on!) and then watched the movie The Holiday. LOVE that movie!!
After Emily left this afternoon, I headed to meet two friends for pedicures. I know, decadent. I just had one like 2 months ago before we left for Hawaii. But ohhhh it was so nice!
Think I'm done?!? Nope,
Now I am off to go see "He's Just Not That Into You" with some girls from work. Seriously, I ask you, could it get any better?
'Cauz I'm thinkin' no.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Any blog/internet aficionado's out there???? For some reason when I pull up my blog at work, or when my grandmother pulls it up at the computer her retirement community has, it just shows a really dark brown background.
I have tried multiple backgrounds, and they all have the same result.
I am speculating it has something to do with the web browser or something at my work (and Gma's computer)???? I have Firefox at home, and I have tried loading a new background under both Firefox and Internet Explorer...again, same result.
The weird thing is, when I pull up other people's blogs from work, even if it doesn't display their background properly (which it rarely does), it goes white instead of dark brown.
Does anyone know what I am doing differently? Does anyone know how to make my background color appear light instead of dark brown if the cute background isn't going to show up?????
If anyone out there knows how to fix this, or has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
It is soooooo good.
Most of you all have probably already read it, but as I have mentioned before, I was a little late in jumping on the Beth Moore bandwagon.
I am on it now and it's my favorite bandwagon yet. (With my stint on the NKOTB bandwagon coming in a close second).
Anyways, I wanted to post a part of the book I read this weekend. It was so well written I just feel like I have to share!
"...thankfully, many churches and Christian institutes of higher learning teach the God of Scripture, but why do so many others default to a lesser-God theology?...
"I believe one reason is our arrogant determination to define God differently that He defines Himself. All human attempts to define God cannot help but minimize Him. We somehow want to neatly package God and make everything about Him explainable. We decide that what's not explainable is not plausible. We try to make God behave and fit into our textbooks. We want Him to calm down and not be so...God-ish.We decide we will only believe what we can humanly reconcile. Our pride and desperation to feel smart has made us unwilling to give the only human answer that exists to some theological questions 'I do not know. But I know that what He says is true even when I can't explain it or reconcile it with what has happened'.
All attempts to take away the mystery and wonder that surround God leave Him something He is not. We cannot tame the lion of Judah. There is a mystery, a wonder, and, yes, even a wildness about God we cannot take from Him. Nor would we want to if we could grasp the adventure of Him. If we can come up with a God we can fully explain, we have come up with a different God from the Bible's. We must beware of recreating an image of God that makes us feel better. Of this I am certain: If in our pursuit of greater knowledge God seems to have gotten smaller, we have been deceived."
I got chills when I read "you cannot tame the lion of Judah".
I bought a used copy of this book on Amazon.com for like $5- SO worth it!
Seriously. If you are not on board this Beth Moore train, get yourself a ticket. You will not regret it!!
I am trying new backgrounds in a so-far-vain-attempt to find one that shows up lighter on her computer.
Ok, back to regularly scheduled programming.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
My guess is there has to be drama of some sort...maybe Holly will be married or something? Maybe she will totally reject Michael when she sees him? Maybe she will be pregnant like Karen was???? Probably not that last one...but you get where I am going with this. I just don't think their reuniting will be simple.
We presented our cases to each other, but neither side would bend. I am quite sure I will be proven the victor tonight, and Tony and David were standing firm that they will be. I can't remember which side Risa was on... but she's one smart cookie so I'm pretty sure she agreed with me =)
Dave and I bet each other $5, which is quite ridiculous when you think about, because we share a bank account. It's mainly betting bragging rights.
Anyone else have any other possible scenarios?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Mine started off by sleeping in (one of my all-time favorite things to do, I am quite good at it too, if I do say so myself...I would medal in it if there were such a thing...) and waking up to find this furry baby of ours decided to spend the late morning hours chillin' right next to my pillow...
A cat after my own heart.
After some late morning coffee and homework for my Biblestudy, I started in on my current project : The Closet Cleanout.
If it hasn't been worn in a year, it's getting the boot.
Or at least, in theory.
I started this project Thursday evening, and then intentionally wore a shirt I haven't worn in years to work on Friday just so it could then qualify to "make the cut".
After a little while of closet purging, I met a friend at the movies.
We saw "New In Town". I know it has received mixed reviews, but I thought it was adorable!! If you are looking for a feel good romantic comedy, with no huge plot twists that make it difficult to follow, or none of that edge-of-your-seat suspense, (which we were) then this is the perfect movie.
Plus, staring at this guy for two hours wasn't exactly the hardest thing I had to do today...
Now it's off to either continue to tackle the closet, or make some chocolate chip cookies and read the new People magazine...
... decisions, decisions...
Friday, February 6, 2009
First, I went to my weekly Women's Bible study on Wednesday night, and I am just LOVING it!!
The study is Beth Moore's Esther: It's tough being a woman. Beth was talking about one of the many reasons its tough being a woman...other women. She was talking about how hard we can be on each other, how insecure other women can make us feel, etc. She suggested that women notice more about each other than any man ever could, and I would tend to agree. Why do we constantly size ourselves up to other women? Beth posed this theory "Every rivalry stems from an insecurity". Ohhhh...true.
As she was listing off things that make the relationships with other women in our lives difficult, a smile crept across my face as I thought of blogging. It has become such a blessing to me. Who would have thought that something so simple as online journaling could effect my life so deeply...I can come here and get out my thoughts on anything ranging from my salvation to my cellulite, and I receive nothing but love and support from so many people. Through blogging I have met some of the neatest, most faithful, loving, friendly, welcoming, God fearing women, and I am so blessed to have met you all. I can be my most vulnerable self here, and I have never felt judged or looked down upon. I have felt loved, supported, lifted up when I felt down, and rejoiced with when I am rejoicing.
My second thought on Friends has to do with a different set of Friends altogether...although these people are also very dear to my heart...
Pretty much anytime me and my dear bloggy friend Heather have any form of communication, whether it be a blog comment or an email, it is ended with some quote from a "Friends" episode. It cracks me up EVERY TIME.
So it's got me thinking about my two all time most favorite episodes...
The first is in Season 3. The One Were No One Is Ready.
Joey: "I'm Chander, could I be wearing any more clothes??"
Monica: "I'm Breezy!!"
The second is in Season 4: The One With Phoebe's Uterus... although it is affectionately known in my house as "The Game One"
Rachel: "Space Cowboy!!"
Ross: "Ew! No her ear!!"
Chandler: "Actually, it's Miss Chanandler Bong"
So now I am curious, what's your favorite Friends episode??
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Wednesday night Daveyboy and I went to a Blazer game:Our boys are doing good this year so far...they are a young team and it's been a "rebuilding" season for the last couple, but things are lookin' good. We've come along way from the days of good old "Gentle Giant" Sabonis, who used to be my Grandma and I's favorite player.
Side note - speaking of my Grandma, she wrote me a letter this week, and she made me crack up so hard I just have to share...she lives in a retirement community and goes to the community computer for her Internet use. She was writing about how she enjoys reading all our blogs and then says "I am in the process of harassing one of the managers to get the speakers put back so I can hear the video's while watching them. He keeps promising me he'll get to it. I don't know how long he can take my harassing. We'll find out."
Seriously, how funny is she?!? If you have ever wondered where all us Brown girls got our gumption from, there's your answer.
On Thursday we had our weekly dinner/The Office date with Dave's brother Tony and sister in law Risa. This week we had fondue!! Tony & Risa got us a fondue pot for Christmas, and we got to test it out for the first time this week....good stuff!!We had pork, steak, broccoli and potatoes along with several different dipping sauces. I also made this dip to eat while we were waiting for our food to cook. Even though The Office was a repeat, a good time was had by all.
Then Saturday I headed down to Salem to watch my little sister Emily in her school's production of Godspell.Isn't she so adorable?!?
After the play I excitedly asked my sister Vanessa and her boyfriend Shane if they wanted to go get ice cream. They were willing, but neither one seemed particularly enthused. I assured them I did not need a pity date and sent them on their merry way. I found Em and asked her if she wanted to go get ice cream, and was informed that the cast was going out to celebrate. She offered to bail on them, but once again, I was not looking for a pity-ice-cream-buddy.
But, my taste buds had been perked and ice cream was on the brain. So I drove thru Dairy Queen and got a medium peanut butter cup blizzard, and headed back to my mom's to eat it...all by my lonesome...
Don't cry for me Argentina, Emily walked in the door shortly after I got there stating she had ditched her super cool friends to hang out with her lame older sister instead. Isn't she the best??
We had a pajama party and then this morning four out of the five Brown girls met for breakfast.
Vanessa and Natalie.
Emily and I.
Three of my favorite ladies...my very favorite sweatshirt (it's two mushrooms carrying a beet and it says "we got the beet" on it. I have had it for years and it still cracks me up. Yes, I am approaching 30) ... a great cup of coffee...and yummy breakfast food... who could ask for anything more??
To top things off, on my way home to P-town, I stopped off and bought the CD that carries my new favoritest song on it...it makes me so happy! Here, have a listen:
Doesn't that just make you so happy?! I put it in the stereo in our living room when I got home and I may have made David dance with me... =)
Now back to the Superbowl. I am cheering for the Steelers. Dave played ball against Troy Polamalu in High School...granted, that was over 10 years ago and Troy probably wouldn't recognize Dave if they passed on the street today, but I like to pretend they are BFF.