Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Young Woman's Daybook~ Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Since I've been away from blogging for a while now, I find it hard to get back in a groove, so to speak.  :)  These daybook entries are fun (so I've been told) and easy to write.  I always like reading other folks' because it asks about things that don't normally get relayed in a blog.   So here goes.  :)

Outside My Window...  There's a big blue Texas autumn sky with oodles of sunbeams and golden leaves raining down.  :)

I am thinking...  So many things.  :)  To name a few: I am thinking about how excited I am that tomorrow is Thanksgiving... about how to get rid of this cough/sore throat before tomorrow... about how I need to clean my room... about what I need to finish on the new website layout... about prophetic dreams.... about how thankful I am for good friends and a great family... etc. 

I am thankful for...  Namely, at the moment, such gorgeous weather, and for a smooth closing this morning, for His provision.  Beautiful music.  Precious family members.  Godly friends.

From the kitchen...  I hear snippets of conversation topics that change from moment to moment... from comments about ministries who waste money by mailing gimmicks, to reprimands for a certain youngest sister for leaving her sticky gum around,  to ballet, to meal plans.  :)

I am wearing...  Black slacks, heels, and a black tank with a beige vintage top, both from Bellissima.  Am still in my work clothes. :)

I am creating... a new design for our Bellissima website with the help of my friend over at great Christian web designer!

I am going...  I've already been out to a closing and an errand this morning, but I might need to head out again to pick up a check and go to the bank.  And mop the floor.  And then tonight I will be going to the house across the street to house sit, as well as sharing a visit with a old time friends.

I am reading...  The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit, by Matthew Henry; Liberty and Tyranny, by Mark Levin, and an audio book on marketing for the home based business by Seth Godin and another man whose name quite escapes me. 

I am hoping...  That I'm all well by tomorrow... that I can improve in the many areas of my life that I am striving for faithfulness in, without growing weary or overwhelmed.

I am hearing...
the lawn men mowing a neighbors yard.  Beautiful classical music from  The gentle swish of the broom as Muppet sweeps.  My cell phone ringing... it's such a silly sounding ring, but I've not changed it to anything more pleasant, just because it makes me laugh inside when I hear it.  :)

Around the house...  Lots of activity.  We are getting ready for an out of town guest who will spend Thanksgiving and a couple of days after with us.  So we're getting the house all spiffed up.  :)

One of my favorite things...  Enjoying a cup of coffee first thing in the morning with the Lord, while overhearing the peaceful cds my mom plays, taking deep breaths to smell the cinnamon or pine scent of the candle that she lights.  It says cozy and peaceful like few other things. 

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...   Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning (it was recently brought to my attention that not all youngsters grew up watching the Macy's TG Day Parade.  so. SAD.), preparing a feast (TG dinner is one of the best meals ever), welcoming and spending time with our guest, meeting sweet friends tonight for coffee, picking out a tree, putting out Christmas yard decor, celebrating Rebecca's birthday. 

The Lord is teaching me... So many things, as always.  ;)   When it's important to speak, when it's important to be silent.  To examine all areas of my life and make sure I am intentionally seeking to glorify Him there.  He's also seen fit to revisit the lesson that faith requires risk. 

Here is a picture I thought to share:  This lovely piece of art was hanging in my friend Ms. Yolanda's house.  I immediately was drawn to it.  I am so blessed to know that comfort, security, and peace that you see on that lambs sweet face, when I lay my head down on His shoulder, and I hear Him whisper, "It's will all be all right in the end, my daughter."

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 
~Psalm 103:13-14~

Thursday, November 19, 2009

~This Is My Classroom~

 A devotional I recently read from Elisabeth Elliot's The Music of His Promises that blessed me.  I hope it will you too.  :)

This Is My Classroom

There is only one classroom in which to learn:

1. The work of God
2. The will of God
3. The trustworthiness of God
4. The presence of God

The classroom is where I am now.  This is the place appointed by God for my instruction and sanctification-- even here:

1. where is seems God is doing nothing (He is, in fact, at work in unseen ways);
2.  where His will seems obscure or frightening (He will surely give me peace at last);
3.  where He isn't doing what I want Him to (He is doing something better- preparing bread for me when what I asked was in actual fact a stone; or perhaps He is doing the very thing I prayed for, but in a way incomprehensible to me);
4. where He is most absent (yes, even there His promise holds: I will never leave you or forsake you.  My faith must seize that written Word regardless of the enemy's taunt, "You've been abandoned..".

Happy Thursday,
~Marianna  :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The VA/DC Visit!!

Part of the reason I started this blog was so I could give it out to "my girls" (attendees of my Vessels of Honor group) as a means to stay connected and for a place to share what the Lord has been showing me.  So to all of you who knew about my recent trip, I want to put up an update!

First of all, it was so special being there, knowing that you all had in a sense "sent me."  It was a precious and memorable time full of encouragement, laugher, and good conversations.  There were 12 other young ladies there, three moms, and one speaker, and each one of them were SUCH a joy.  Y'all would have just loved them- all daughters of the King walking this same pilgrim path.  We laughed together, ate chocolate (I even ate it for breakfast one morning!) and caught marshallows on fire together; there was princess hat making (girls, we should SO make them one day together- they are the BOMB) and newspaper dresses (inspired by OURS!); beautiful autumn leaves and a pond; silly songs and even sillier "inside jokes."  ;)  The Lord was so good to me.

Of course I had my favorite traveling buddy with me, Lea.  :)  It was only our second time to fly, so on our first flight I do believe we provided some free enteretainment to the man sitting next to us.  (apparently most people don't read over the safety instructions and flip out over the clouds. why, I don't know.) ;)  The flight was wonderful, and the very biggest hiccup we had was simply Lea spilling water all over herself at lunch during our layover in Atlanta.  ;) 

We got to the lodge late Tuesday evening, and the first thing we did was get busy docorating notebooks!

The next morning, when the sun came up, I saw what autumn is "supposed" to look like!  ;)  We just don't get the vibrant colors like this in Houston... and these pictures really don't do it justice- look at these and think 10x more vibrant! 

Yours truly, walking to chapel the first morning. :)  When the leaves blew down, it was just like you were in a golden snow globe, girls! 

We enjoyed some wonderful devotionals and speakers.   On the couch (L to R) Noel, Laura, Christine, Betsy, and Alina was sharing the devotional.  Y'all would have just loved all of the girls there- each one was so precious and loved the Lord with all their hearts.

During some free time we took a walk through the wood- and of course I got to spend time with famous and widely acclaimed KoolKat/BusiBeth/fellow nutsie/Elizabeth!!!   She is such a jewel, and she worked so hard on the retreat; it was really neat to see how the Lord blessed her obedience.

One evening we did newspaper dresses!  (inspired by us!!)  :D  Elizabeth put me in charge of this activity because she said needed someone who " really believed in the activity."  And of course, I did.   ;) 

Girls, these dresses were AMAZING!  They all did such intricate details, I was so impressed!   From L to R (and according to the timeline of our outfits), a Renaissance Princess, a pilgrim, a Martha Washingtonish dress, a Japanese dress, 1940's era dress, a 50's homemaker, 50's jumper, 50's poodle skirt (well, some of the girls referred to it as a "rottweiler skirt" because it looked more like a rottweiler than a poodle :P),  a 50's dress, and "Super Girl" (her helmet and sword were really impressive!).  So much fun.  :)

Ms. Yolanda (on couch) gave a moving testimony of what God has done in her life, and then we split up into small groups for prayer.

That night we made PRINCESS HATS!!! 

One day Elizabeth planned an outing for us in a historical downtown area.  We had High Tea at a lovely English tea house.

That night we enjoyed one of my favorite things- a bonfire with s'mores!!
L to R: Noelle, Alina, Effie, Betsy, Meridith, Elizabeth J., Elizabeth M., Christine, and Lea.

I never can seem to go through a bonfire without catching my marshmallow on fire at least once!  :P

Fireside Singing:

The next morning, we got ready to leave the retreat center.  The hat made it a more pleasant occasion.  :)

The outside of the lodge we stayed in.  Saying goodbye to some of the girls the last day of the retreat:

We stayed one last night at BusiBeth's house, and on our way to her house we stopped and had lunch with some of her friends at Patrick Henry.

Sweet new friends:

One Lea and I and a few of the girls from the retreat got to BusiBeth's house, we got to meet her whole family!  Her younger brother (in the blue shirt at right) cooked us a wonderful dinner!

After dinner, Alina, Betsy, Laura, Lea and I went into DC and toured some monuments!  Girls, it was just so surreal- I didn't think I'd ever get to see them in person!

The Washington Monument was SO TALL!  Taller than it looks in pictures.   It's two different colors, because they stopped building it during the Civil War and when they resumed afterwards they had to get the stone from a different location (hence the different color).

View of the Capitol from there:

I really enjoyed the WWII Memorial- it was so beautiful.


Representing all the Texas WWII veterans and fallen heroes. 

The Lincoln was also very amazing!  Again, much bigger than I expected!

The columns were also huge.  And no, it wasn't snowing; just a light rain.  :)

The next morning, Lea and I found that sitting on our suitcases was the best way to get them zipped. ;)

BusiBeth/KoolKat/Elizabeth showing me her tap shoes!!!  :D

On our last day, Ms. Yolanda had us all over for a wonderful brunch!  Her hospitality and love for the Lord was such a blessing and inspiration.

Ms. Yolanda is in the lavender shirt:

And lastly, on our way from Ms. Yolanda's and to the airport, we managed to squeeze in a visit to Arlington National Cemetery.  It was such a sobering, yet beautiful, place to visit...

Every 30 minutes 24/7 they change soldiers to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.  The inscription reads, "Here rests in honored glory an American solder Known but to God"

And finally we made it to the airport to go home.  :)  On the concourse at our layover in GA where Lea and I had a little "Lucy and Ethel moment."  ;)T

Enjoying the puppet display during our layover.  :)

My favorite part of flying is looking at the sky... looking DOWN at a sea of clouds is such a novelty.  :)  I just kept thinking about how great his mercy and goodness is...

"I will praise You, oh Lord, among the people.  And I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For Your mercy is great above the heavens.  And Your truth reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, oh God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earch."  ~Ps. 108:3-5

Thank all of y'all so much again for your support and prayers- what an encouragement.  It was such a special, refreshing, and memorable time that I will treasure in my heart and memory forever.  I can't wait to see all of you soon.  So sorry this update is so late in coming; I haven't had time to catch my breath since we got back, it seems.   I'm so thankful the Lord has given me the privilege of  knowing each one of you "VoH girls" (and families!)- I love and pray for each one of you.   <3

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Be still, and know that I am God."

It was one of those days where I kept having to remind myself to take deep breaths.  Hurry scurry, stress from work and my never ending to-do list made my brain feel tight and unable to concentrate on any one thing. 

Between website editing and taking Becs (youngest sister) to ballet, I made a quick run to the resale shop in search of a particular item.  As I dashed in and scanned the racks, my search came up empty.   Quickly walking towards the exit in a hurry to get to my next stop, I saw something that made me pause.  Among the helter skelter of the bargain hunters and the disheveled shelves was an older lady wearing a beige trench coat. 

She was standing still amidst the disorder just gazing at a water globe she had just wound up.  The melody of "Oh Holy Night" rang clearly and sweetly among the busyness.  Not wanting to appear gawkily rude, I pretended to be interested in some contraption of a handle attached to a wire basket that was laying close by.  I mindlessly picked it up and examined it, but my ears were strained to the melody behind me. 

I've always been captivated by music boxes, but this time particularly, my scattered soul clung to every note.

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining.  Till He appeared, and the soul felt it's worth.  A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.

The simplicity, the beauty, the truth of that simple song flooded my heart with peace.  It was all going to be okay.  He was (is!) in control.

My prayer is that this blog will be a music box of sorts.  A quiet pause amongst the busyness of life.    A reason for me to pause from the race of life, and just acknowledge that He is Lord and in control.  A place to share memories, joys, and discovered truths.  That like the music box, this blog will exude sweet strains of joy and peace to the busy world around me.

Welcome to my blog. :)
~Marianna Rose