Thursday, April 30, 2009

Isaiah 30:18

This Esther Bible Study by Beth Moore is simply amazing. It has just reached into my heart and met me right where I am.

(Yes, I realize this is my second post in a row that quotes Beth Moore, I'm not obsessed, I promise! And I know I better write about something else, quickly, before
Living Proof Ministries flags my account for suspicion of stalker like behavior! HA!)

The other night at Bible Study Beth was reading Isaiah 30:18, and like she always does, she shed some light on it that allowed me to see it in a whole new a way I assume the Lord intended for it to be seen all along...

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him."

To be honest, I have always struggled with this verse. My instinct has always been to retort "Well, you ARE the God of the universe you know, so if you are longing then just go ahead and be gracious already!! Give me, give me, give me!"

I know. To quote the bumper sticker: I am not perfect, just forgiven.

Beth explained that in the original Hebrew, "longs" shares the same meaning as "waits".

The Lord is waiting to be gracious. And blessed are those who are waiting on Him to do so.

She then went on to paint the most beautiful picture of our Heavenly Father, who loves us so dearly, longing. Longing to be gracious to us. Longing to answer the requests we cry out to Him. Longing to give us the desires of our heart.

When we pray and do not get our answer, He is waiting on something. And while we wait, sometimes in agony, He is waiting too...perhaps in agony as well.

To recognize that the God of the universe could be in agony over my longing was sobering to say the least.

As I type this, I can't help but think about the people in my life who are so heavy on my heart right sister who is dealing with confusion regarding my niece's medical care, and is longing for answers... a dear friend whose marriage is ending, and is longing for comfort... and another sweet friend who is awaiting some very important test results tomorrow, and is longing for God's healing hand...

He is longing too.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beth Moore & blogging

What an amazing speaker that woman is!! I know, I know, she is just a woman. Just a human. Imperfect, just like me. But there is something about the way in which she communicates her passion for Jesus that just stirs my soul.

I wrote once before about how for a long time I was skeptical of the whole Beth Moore craze. I would her women rave about her and smugly think to myself "why do people worship her? People should worship Jesus, not Beth Moore."

Let me tell you, she feels that way too!!

She is always praying "Lord, help me not to get in the way!" and always commenting on how she is "the least of you". And the thing that impressed me most about her conference last weekend, was how much she did not want any glory. There was never any introduction "and here comes Beth Moore!!!!" or anything like that. We would be singing, and then just all of a sudden she would appear on stage and start talking, leaving no room for applause. And the same for when she and her team left the stage, even for the final time on Saturday afternoon, they just snuck off stage quietly while we were worshiping... gone.

That, to me, is a woman who does not want any glory.

The theme of the weekend was pretty much on crucifying our egos, and letting Christ be formed in us. To be honest, when she first started talking about our egos on Friday night I was a little disappointed...

My issues tend to be more low self-esteem than big ego.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, through the scenario's and examples that she gave, I realized my ego is pretty decent sized.

Ginormous, actually.

The things I feel I am due, or the ways in which I feel I am wronged, or the times in which I think I know what would be better and try to "advise" the Lord....oh yeah, big ol' ego!!

It was very humbling. But in a really good way.

I left with a sense of peace, humility, and a trust in His plan for me... and a desire to try to get in the way of that plan less =)

And now to the "blogging" part...

One of the things that I felt hit me square between the eyes was when she was talking about marriage, and how hard it can be sometimes. She was going on about relationships and nurturing them... when all of a sudden she says "...and sisters, I say this with love, put down your computers. I see so many women spending countless hours on their computers investing time in relationships with people they hardly know, while the person they should be nurturing a relationship with is right there next to them."

Ummm....who, me??

Like I said, square between the eyes. There are days when I can spend the entire evening -from after dinner until bedtime - online. You all are just so fun and interesting =)

Last term when David worked evenings, I was alone every evening and had plenty of time to read blogs and blog myself. But this Spring term, he is home, every evening, and he deserves my attention.

I felt a huge conviction about this last weekend. Not guilt, it was just an attention getter for me. My marriage isn't perfect, and what marriage couldn't use a little more dedication, really??? And other things...there really is no excuse for me to be behind on my Bible Study, or time with the Lord, and yet caught up on blogs.

I don't say that to instill guilt or convict ANYONE else, this is just what the Lord has asked of me.

I hope you hear my heart...I am not AT ALL trying to say blogging is a relationship-destroyer. In fact, it has helped me in SO many ways, in that it's been a wonderful outlet for me, and a great place for me to come and feel safe to express my emotions, record my days for preserving memories, etc. And most important, I have met some of the neatest friends here! And I say this with my whole heart, I really do love you ladies!!!

I just feel the Lord whispering on my soul to spend less time investing in it.

And I have been trying to obey His direction regarding this during the past week, and as a result am catching up on my blog friends previous weeks posts today...and it is striking to me how many of you have posted something similar to this...I wonder what God is up to!?! He sure seems to be beckoning so many of us to be a little more still.

Peace be with you!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Has it seriously been a week?!?!?

What a crazy-busy week!!

But a fun one.

My bestest friend Tara was in town from Tuesday to Sunday, and we had an absolute blast. We averaged about 5 1/2 hours of sleep every night, so when I dropped her off at the airport on Sunday I was exhausted, but it was totally worth it!!

Here are some highlights from our week...

Man I missed this woman!!!!!!

Like good Americans, we did our part to help the economy...
On the weekend we met up with some of the people we used to babysit for. It was so fun! But let me tell ya, few things make you feel OLD like having a beer with a now 23 year old you used to babysit...

Sam (the babysittee), Jeff (his dad), Tara and I...
Little David is in Japan and therefor wasn't able to meet with us, so we took this picture for him...

We met up with our friend Jenney...

And then I dropped her off in Salem for 2 nights to visit family, while I came back up to Portland, just in time to catch my sweet friend Julie...

And the three of us (Me, Jules, and Baby Nowacki) went to see Miss Beth Moore with some ladies from my Women's Bible study...Very, very inspiring.

More on that later.

Our time together was short-lived, but Julie and I always have a great time together. In fact, on Saturday morning I put breakfast in the oven and as I headed upstairs to go do my hair and makeup I hollered at Julie "Hey when the doorbell rings will you let Gina in?", to which she replied "of course", and then I chuckled to myself when I remembered that this was in fact only the third time Julie and I had ever even been in the same room!! Let alone the first time she had ever been at my house. HA! Some host I am!! It's just that we clicked so quickly and it's like we've always been friends...such a blessing!!

I went down to pick up Tara, and our shenanigans picked up right where they left off...
We went up to have dinner with Tara's grandparents and their neighbors. They were a HOOT!! Our abs literally hurt when we left there for all the laughter! Here's a shot of the ladies...
We just had so much fun together! Driving down the freeway, sun pouring through the moonroof, singing at the top of our lungs to CD's from the 90' was so good for my soul. I swear if someone would have asked me my age I probably would have honestly answered them "18"! We just laughed until we cried so many times that it felt like it took 10 years off my life... it was just what I needed.

And now... I must head to bed. Because I am not 18, I am much older and need my sleep!

I am behind on my blog-reading, but never fear, I intend to catch up this weekend.

I will however leave you with one last picture...Yup. Those are Best Friend key chains.

I know, we are awesome.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I feel pretty!

Oh so pretty!!!

How do you like my new look?

Thank you SO MUCH to my sweet friend Faith for doing such an amazing job and being so patient with me while I was so picky =)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know what you are thinking.

What an incredibly thought-provoking and original title for today's post.

Just call me Kendra the Creative.

But I figured it was better than "Ugh", which is my current mood, or "All Over the Place", which is what this post will most likely end of being!

This week is filled with incredibly fun things...and yet my mood is blah.

Anybody out there relating?

It's almost as if my body overheard my conversations with my doctors about a possible hormone imbalance, and in retaliation they said "Pshaw! I will show you imbalance!"

As far as the incredibly fun things...

Last night my very best friend flew into town. We haven't seen each other in 3 years, which is far too long. After work today I am picking her up from her grandparents house and we get to spend the next couple days together. We were like two peas in a pod in high school, and we have one of those great friendships where you can go weeks without talking, and yet pick up right where you left off the last time. It's such a blessing! Tomorrow will be filled with sleeping in, coffee, pedicures, shopping, and lots and lots of catching up.

There is just something about hanging out with someone who has known you since "way back when" that is both comforting, like an old shoe (I mean that in a good way Tara!) and also makes you strangely aware of how far you've different you are now...both in the good and the not so good.

And then Friday & Saturday, my sweet friend Julie and I are going with my Women's Biblestudy group to see this lady:

...and seeing as how pretty much anytime Beth Moore opens her mouth, she speaks to me in such a way that makes me just long to sit at His feet for awhile and marvel in His awesome wonder, I know it will just be an amazing 2 days.

And satan knows I will no doubt be blessed this weekend, so he is doing is darnedest to convince me that all I really want to do is stay in bed 24/7 with the covers pulled over my head.


Moving on...

My sweet bloggy friends Lori and Kelly both nominated me for this lovely award this week:

Rules of The Sisterhood Award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude.

3. Be sure to link to your nominees in your post.

4. Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

5. Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

Ah, Sisterhood. What a great word! Not to get all "It's-an-honor-just-to-be-nominated" on you here, but it really made me smile (and two times over! Thanks girls!!). What a blessing blogging has been to me! For so many reasons, but the biggest one at this time is the friends and support I have gathered while waging the uncertain waters of infertility.

Oh, what a dreadful word.

It has been the hardest, most defeating, self-esteem destructing thing I have ever dealt with in my life, and it probably would have eaten me alive at this point if it weren't for the amazing outlet that blogging is, and the friends I have made here. And so to know that in turn I can be or have been of ANY help to anyone else suffering this path as well -even if it just be to weather the journey along side them- well, it means a lot.

So without further ado, here are my 10:











And I am doing this on my lunch break and in a hurry so there is probably like 20 other names I could mention if I had the time...Every single blog on my sidebar brings me joy, peace, strength, inspiration, encouragement, a reality check or a good laugh in one way or another, and I am so grateful for it.

Happy Wednesday all.

Now how's that for All Over The Place??

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blazer Mania!!!

So much to blog about, so little time!

Last night we went to our final Blazer game of the season. The team made it to the playoffs this year (Hooray!!), but sadly, those tickets are wayyy out of our budget...even the nosebleed seats we always get!

This picture is for you Grandma Brown, it's me with Arvydas Sabonis' hand print. Yikes he has some big hands!!!!

Even though we were a little sad that this was the last game we would be seeing live in the stadium for awhile, a good time was had by all...and by "all" I mean me, David, and the guy to his right who appears to be having a good time- albeit a seemingly pensive one.

What can I say? Basketball just brings out the romance in me....

Oh, and in between all this picture taking, there was some actual basketball to be played...

Saying our final good-byes....(insert tear here) I know, we are cheesin' it up in our nearly matching Blazer shirts, but we are too cool to care!!!!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!!!
That's me in dress number two for the day. The first dress I tried on- the one I had planned on wearing today, did not look right this morning when I put it on....which created a mini-meltdown for Kendra.

And then, upon realizing we were going to be late for the early service time of hymns and praise our Church was having this morning, my mini-meltdown went on to become a full scale def-con-five meltdown.

Like Beth Moore says, sometimes when you are feeling overwhelmed in life, you need to schedule in some tantrum time. And this morning I became overly aware that I had neglected to do so.

Satan just swarmed my thoughts with feelings of unworthiness and inadequacies...and isn't that just like him? Trying to steal my joy on Easter Sunday, on the day we celebrate our Risen King.

He's got some nerve.

As I fixed my eye make up and put together outfit number two, I was reminded how often joy is a choice.

Sometimes, joy comes naturally.

Sometimes, it needs to be mustered up.

So, after throwing myself a little pity party (at which I not only hosted but was also the only attendee) I did my best to choose to be joyful.

Luckily I didn't have to work at it too long =). Our Easter service this morning was wonderful!! I just loved singing Praise songs and hearing the message today. It was thought provoking, and worshipful.

After Church we headed to Salem to continue to celebrate Easter with David's family, which involved a lot of this:...which of course always brings me joy!!!

I tried out two new recipes, one of which was SO easy and SOOO tasty, I thought I'd share it here:

Paula Deen's Toffee Brownies

  • -3 (6oz) candy bars with almonds and toffee chips (I took Paula's recommendation and used Hershey Symphony bars)
  • -Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • -1 (17.6 oz) package brownie mix
  • -Eggs, oil, and any other requirements listed on brownie mix box


Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

Line a 13 by 9-inch cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. This makes it easy to cut the brownies into squares.

I must say, that whole "line the pan with foil and then spray the foil" thing is GENIUS!! The foil just lifted right out and I was able to cut them into beautiful, perfect squares!!!!!

I did have to bake mine longer than the brownie box had said, as the middle wasn't fully cooked at that time (due to the candy bar I assume), and I also put mine in the fridge for a bit even after they had cooled down just to firm them up a bit. But even with those minor adjustments, they were soooo easy and quite tasty!!!!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday celebrating our Risen Lord!!!!!!

Oh, and seriously, have you EVER seen anything cuter than this???

Luke 24:1-7

"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them,

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here: he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again'"


Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Ya know, for hard times..."

Famous words from my mother in law. She always says that about an extra piece of chocolate, candy, or other treat.

Like if someone offers me a Hershey's Kiss or something, and I attempt to turn it down, she would say "oh, just take it and save it...ya know, for hard times".

She's wise, that woman.

I can not count the number of times I have appreciated her taking her advice when those hard times come and I reach in my purse and find a Dove chocolate waiting for me =).

Well, apparently I took her words to heart some time ago...

The other day I noticed myself feeling especially moody, bloated, and the like... and when I almost threw the remote across the room simply because it would not change channels fast enough, I knew it was time to reunite with My Friend Midol.

So I went to the medicine cabinet and grabbed the box...

And when I looked inside to see how many pills were left, my eyes took note of something strange inside the box...

...And what did I find when I pulled the something strange out??

Apparently, I had planned ahead for hard times.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Miracle of the Moment

I am doing it again.

Living for the future.

Living in the future.

And this morning the Lord gently pointed this out to me.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I found myself silently cursing the fact that even though we just went grocery shopping, we need some things from the store. And even though I just caught up on all our laundry, the hamper was full. And even though I just balanced the checkbook, the 1st has come and there are bills to be paid.

I am very Type A. I tend to live for the moments when the all the laundry is completed, the cupboards and fridge stocked, the bills all paid. And if I can throw vacuum lines in my carpet, clean toilets, and fresh sheets on top of that...well, consider me delighted.

But, while it is completely normal to find satisfaction in those moments, it is not the Lord's will for me to find such dissatisfaction in all the others. Because let's face it, those moments when it's all perfect are quite few and far between.

This week has been one I am not at all sad to see go. It has been one of those weeks. It has involved major work hours; last night when I logged my hours, I realized I had 39.75...on Thursday evening. It has involved lab draws, phone calls, results that make nurses say "well, that's just all kinds of wrong!" (great, thanks.), and more questions. And just for fun, it also included some good old fashion family drama.

It's been a busy week.

I found myself this morning so very grateful that the weekend was so near.

And again, while I don't think that it is outside the Lord's will in appreciating or looking forward to good things, I tend to let it consume me, and I forget about today.

Earlier this week I noticed I was thinking about our Anniversary next month, and how we are going to the beach for a few days. I am so looking forward to that - which is a good thing. I love to have something to look forward to, something on the books to be excited about.

But what about today?

Today may not be a great day, but it's a gift.

A long while back I found myself completely living in the future. Constantly allowing my thoughts to be filled with nothing but what the future held of me, for us. When would we move? Where would we move? When will our family begin? Where will we live? What will we do? What will those days look like? What will it take to get there?

I am a planner, those kinds of things come naturally to me.

But I realized the Lord was calling me to train my mind differently. He pointed out to me that in allowing those kinds of thoughts to be my daily focus, I had unknowingly trained my mind to see my current days, my current life, as just "in the way" of my future.

He really pressed upon my heart the need to appreciate the here and now. The life I have right now.

And I do.

I am so blessed. I really love my life, even in the long "transition and waiting" phase we seem to be in. It's a good life. A great one.

In looking back, I am able to see already a great work that God has done in me, helping me to refocus on today...on the blessing of the here and now, and recognizing that I find enjoyment in each day. Today however I found myself slipping. When I get into busier seasons where I can't tell if I am coming or going, it is so much harder for me to remember to think about today.

Those are the days I need to remind myself that there will always be laundry. There will always, always, be things needed from the store. This is my life.

And I do not mean that to sound as depressing or as much like I am "giving up" as it perhaps comes across. It is more of just an acceptance. And when I can accept it, I am able to release the burden of it, and just go on with my day.
Most of the time even with a smile.

There is nothing wrong with my looking forward to vacations or weekends, or the fact that I take such enjoyment in chores being completed all at the same time...because, let's face it; life can be rough. We can have flat-out bad days. And it's good to be able to have certain things -simple things, like an empty hamper- that you enjoy. It's a great, exciting thing to have fun vacations to look forward to.

But when I focus so much on those things that I find such unrest in all the other moments, I am neglecting what the Lord has called me to do.

David and I were talking once about a friend of ours whose husband is in school, with at that time 4 more years to go. This friend was talking about how she couldn't wait for the 4 years to fly by so that their "life could finally begin". David pointed out (to me, not to her) how much she was going to miss out on in the next 4 years if she continued with that mindset. As I agreed with him and thought about how sad I was for her the next 4 years were going to look like that to her, I felt the Lord turn that great big finger I was pointing at my friend right back around to point squarely at me.


And this morning He pointed at me again.

"You are doing it again, my child. Where are your thoughts focused?"

On the unknown. On the drudgery of the daily tasks in daily life.

Not on the blessing of today.

Not on Him.

So tonight, as David heads to men's basketball at Church, I will head to the gym, and as I run my legs off on the elliptical, instead of reading my People magazine, perhaps I will just close my eyes and focus on breathing in and breathing out, and listening to my heartbeat.

God is moving all the time.

And I don't want to miss the miracle of this moment.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It has sprung!

Spring that is.

Or at least Spring fever!!!

Check out a few of my latest Spring finds...

I got this one in black:

This one is my FAVORITE...
And this was a total impulse buy at Walmart for $14! It is soooo comfy!

A year or so ago my husband told me he liked me in dresses - to clarify, he likes me all the time (or at least most the time!), but he just mentioned he really thought dresses looked pretty on me. So, naturally, like a good little wifey I went out in search of some cute dresses, but do you think I could find any to save my life? Nope. Dresses were, apparently, soooo "out". It was all about the skirt. Well it appears things are changing because I have found dresses in abundance lately! YEA!!!

Anyone else have any great Spring finds out there?