Thursday, September 23, 2010

running towards, embracing, enjoying... change.

It's a new season.  My favorite season.  Autumn.  Fall.  Cinnamon candles. Crunchy leaves.  Falling waterglobe-like leaves.  Acorns and pecans scattered across the ground.  Hot tea.  Windows open.  A blessed change in temperature from our very long humid and hot summers.  Long cool walks.  Sweaters and scarves.  Thanksgiving.

It's a new season.  I don't know all what it will hold.  I know some of what it will hold.  A new house out on blessed acreage with huge gorgeous rambling oak trees.  Quiet private morning walks. Longer drives "into town" which will provide good thinking time.  Stars not dimmed by city lights.  New opportunities.  New ideas.  New discoveries.  New needs, which are marvelous opportunities to see God act. 

Spring and summer of this year found me for the most part in an exhausted state of mind, resisting change, desperately clinging on to what was familiar and the plans I'd had.  Emotionally drained from too many rugs slipped out from under me.  But, I prayed.  I stood on promises from God's word.

"If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.  He that believes on Me as the scripture has said, out of  his heart shall flow rivers of living water."  ~Jn. 7:37-38

"Have you not known?  Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth,
neither faints, nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
He give power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
(~Is. 40:28-31, italics mine)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters,
He restores me soul;
He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name's sake.
(~Ps. 23:1-4, italics mine)

My soul was restored.  My joy was returned.  My hope for the future firmly based on the track record of the past:  God's faithfulness.

Now, I am choosing to embrace change.  New seasons.  New places.  New joys and new sorrows.  New delights and new inconveniences.

And, I'm cutting my hair.  Yes, not just a trim, but a totally new cut.  Not to over-spiritualize a haircut, but there is something to be said for taking physical steps to symbolize some deeper matter of the heart- something invisible, yet more real than what we can see.   We see examples of that in the Bible so many times- God asking His people to do something symbolic to represent the spiritual.  This is my step towards embracing change and the new adventures on the horizon.

I don't want to make familiarity an idol.  Ever.  I don't want to be bound by fear.  Ever.  And I don't have to be. Because He can be trusted to provide for and complete what He calls us to do. 

Faithful is He who calls me, who also will do it.  (~ 1 Thes. 5:24)

Here's to embracing new seasons, new places, new adventures, new levels with the Jesus. 

...and just maybe.... even a new hairstyle.  :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

'when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I'

what to say to a group of mothers & daughters, a small flock of chinese girls, a big flock of young ladies, a room full of homeschool parents, and how to answer the questions that might be asked? 
when you're emotionally panting and you just want to stop and let your heart and mind catch their breath, but you know that time waits for no one... when you have far more questions than you do answers and the upcoming life chapter looks overwhelmingly blank, but yet confusing at the same time... when your heart feels unsteady... when you feel too tired to limp to the Throne of Grace and your arms feel too weary to open up the Book of Promises to receive the nourishment you know you need... when you've been stripped bare of all that you were working towards... when the tears come easily 'cause your heart is bruised and tender... when you feel gun-shy and the enemy's web of fear is trying to bind up your soul... when you keep waiting for Sonshine to burst through but fog continues to hang heavy over your soul and cloudy in your eyes... when you wonder if the waiting ever ends...

when you get alone and quiet to gather your thoughts... to write out the feelings that have been pushed under the surface... when you force yourself to eat of the Bread of Life... to not close your heart in fear... to not hide in the shadows of distrust and panic... to choose to wait and choose to be thankful for the many good things that fill your life... to remember that He always proves faithful in the end...

then, you can rest in your heart. your questions are not answered. your future is still a question mark. you still wish for a whole day to just be somewhere where you can hear nothing but sounds He created. but your heart is at rest. it is sustained and nourished by promises.

True promises.
That He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.That He will hold my right hand, and He tells me to "fear not."
That the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Helper, the Comforter is with me and for me. That His ways are far far above mine. And that much better.
That His grace is sufficient.
That even the youths shall faint and grow weary, the young shall fall. But He gives power to the weak. He renews the strength of those who wait on Him. They will run, and not be weary. Walk, and not faint. To them that have no might, He increases their strength.

He increases my strength. He is sufficient. I do not understand His ways in my life always, but knowing in my heart of hearts that He is faithful... that is enough.

Strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow...

Great is Thy faithfulness,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

of rubber boots, polka dot dresses, and answered prayer.

Last night after Lea and I dropped Becs off at her ballet lessons, we hit the road, determined to fulfill the five store goal we had made for ourselves to complete in the 2 hour time limit we had.  But... we only hit TWO of those stores, because we got kinda "caught" at one of them for longer than we expected.  (girls, you know exactly what I'm talking about, right?!) Lea and I found some decidedly fun and feminine rubber boots at one of the stores, 'cause when we go to our country property in rainy season, rubber boots are a must.  I was practically raised in them.  Rubber boots, that is.  We just had normal boy-boots back then, not cute colorful feminine ones, but my creative and artistic mom painted a different color of daisy on each sister's boots, so we had fun boots even back then.  ANYway, back to the point.  After the boots, we rummaged through the clothing section, and as I browsed, I found the most adorable (in my humble opinion) black-with-white-polka-dots dress.  I have always wanted a vintage-styled polka dot dress.  And this was it.  The one I had been waiting for.  Except... it was a size or two too small.  And it was the only one left.  Maybe I can squeeze into it.  I tried it on, but then I couldn't really move my arms, if I wanted to reach for something.  Definitely a no-go.  Lord, if you want me to have this dress, help me to find one at the other store location, I silently prayed from my dressing room stall.

Today, I kept debating whether to try the other local store to see if they had my size in The Dress.  No, I don't think I'll go... it was too expensive anyway.  Yeah, maybe I should run over and just check.  Nah, they may not have it anyway.   In the end, I decided to make a dash to the store, and there I began my hunt for the black and white polka dot dresses.  After prayerfully weaving my way through the racks of clothing, I spotted a flash of crisp black and white material.  It was them
And at this store location they had been marked down 30% There were just a few left, so I whisked the remaining sizes to the dressing room.  One of them fit perfectly.   Thank you Lord, you are such a generous Father to me!  You even care about the small things, you know when we need a little 'perk'!  There has been a lot of "life limbo" going on lately, a lot of discombobulation and discouragement, so it was a precious reminder that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and cares about the little things.  Cares about the desires of our hearts. No matter or desire is too small to bring before the Lord... if it's big enough to concern you, than it's big enough to be brought to the Lord in prayer.   Even in the matter of polka dot dresses.

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 
~Luke 12:7

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I am entryatizing again, Rebecca.

I was determined to update my blog at some point this week, and although I'm cutting it close to the wire here (as usual, deadlines and I tend to get very cozy with one another.), I do believe I'm going to make my goal!  ('cause, as you all know, writing about practically nothing is such an important goal. ha!)

I'm still working on my new gardening hobby. I am asking the Lord for a green thumb, to replace my reputation as the well-meaning-plant-killer. I know that He can do that, if I am diligent on my part- nothing is impossible (even helping me not kill plants!) with Him. ;) Last Sunday I spent all afternoon puttering in the yard, planting my new herbs, etc. I've got quite a few going, y'all, and after a week, they're all still alive! So far so good! :D I blasted Pandora classical and some Fernando Ortega music to "bless" all the neighbors with (haha), and to have a soundtrack to dig dirt by. I am a big fan of soundtracks for life... makes everything nicer when you have the right mood music, I am of the opinion. Snapped some photos and put them together on Picasa. I am also a recent fan of Picasa.

On Monday I really enjoyed having coffee with my dear friend Anna. (hello Anna! since I now know you read this)  :)    She and I are "Nutty Buddies".  We're both as nutty as the day is long, so we enjoy fellowshipping.  I've known her since she was a tot going to the nursing home with us, and now she's a beautiful member of VoH- I never knew that hiding behind that beautiful shy little girl was a fun and crazy friend!  :)  Work, nursing home, dinner with friends, another trip to Lowe's (to buy more plants. :D), an office meeting, working with real estate clients, and a menagerie of other projects and chores have been occupying my time this week. 
Today was a busy one!  Lea, Michelle and I attended our Senatorial Convention this morning, which is always fun.  I've been going to it ever since I was 16 and served as a page, and now as a delegate.   We weren't sure if we wanted to be delegates to State Convention or not, but we got bit by the bug once we were there. (there's something so amazingly patriotic about standing there with all the other grass-root Republicans, determined to stay vigilant against the assaults against our freedom.  And when the National Anthem is sung, oh friends!  I always get goosebumps.  How can you turn down an opportunity to go to State after that?  State Convention is BIGGER and BETTER.)   Anyway, then we dashed waaaay across town to a dear friend, Tara R.'s wedding shower.  I'm so delighted for her, and it's so neat to see how God was faithful to write her love story, as she totally had given the pen to Him!  Truly the Lord withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly!   (If you'd like to see a visual of God's faithfulness see here!)  He did it for her, He can do it for you!  (assuming you're a single who is reading this blog! :)  Hold out for God's best, don't lower your standards, and He will bless.  "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him."  (2 Chron. 16:9) 

I'm enjoying a few quiet moments, curled up on the couch right now though; sipping coffee, keeping warm on this very cold and wet first day of spring.  I'm settling in for a nice cozy evening at home with my precious family.  Yay for family movie nights!  

Okay, I think that's enough rambling for one entry.  I am very fond of writing rambles, if you haven't noticed, but I'll stop now.  :)  I'm really not sure if this entry makes sense, 'cause I'm tired, but I am going to post it anyway.  I'm brave like that.  ;)   (waits for Becs to snicker.) Have a great rest of the weekend, all!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How does your garden grow... or does it?

"Human beings were made to interact with growing things, not to be born, live, and die in the midst of concrete set in the middle of polluted air!  Growing plants are supposed to be doing something to the air human beings are breathing, and human beings are supposed to be doing something to the plants.  It seems to me that to remove all direct contact with soil, seeds, plants, trees, flowers, fruit and grain is as devastating to normal, balanced, fulfilled human growth as removing all direct contact with a home with its natural interaction among human beings of different ages.  People throw away natural fulfillments which would give them necessary outlets as well as development as personalities, and then rush to psychiatrists.  Far better to spend some time in developing a variety of the hidden arts for which you have some talent, including some which take you 'back to the soil'.  There is something tremendously fresh and healthy in having one's mind filled with thoughts of whether the lettuce is up yet, whether the pea pods have begun to form, whether the tomato flowers are being pushed off by the tine green fruit yet, and whether that Crimson Glory rose has any rival in fragrance in anyone else's garden."
(Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, pgs 86,87)

In the lovely book "The Hidden Art of Homemaking" by Edith Schaeffer, is a lovely chapter on the art of gardening.  On our drive out to our country property the other day, I read the "Gardens and Gardening" chapter.  And I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit saying that I needed some of that interaction with plants and growing things.  Sometimes... I get so busy working, that I forget to live or to just be... I forget sometimes that it's okay to do something for no other reason than the simple fact that I may enjoy it.  I think He knows that maybe I need a reason to step away from computer time productivity to let my mind relax and wander through the mental abyss of rest and creativity while my hands are kept busy with something that will beautify and benefit. 

So, today, I left the office a little early and went on a mission to the great monument to home improvement: LOWE'S.  There I joined my place with all the other older ladies in roaming the garden center.   (all of you who are subject to my running "O.M. commentary" will smile with me over the thought)  ;)  I walked among the beautiful all compassing GREENNESS and FRESHNESS of everything... oh, it smells wonderful there.  Even the dirt aisle.

I roamed.  I inhaled.  I studied the seeds.  I looked for a garden cart for my grandma, who's been wanting one.  I walked around the about three times just looking for the right kind of soil to plant seeds in.  I looked at the pots.  I saw a daisy tree (yes, they really have such a thing). I tried to exercise great restraint.  That was difficult.  And even though I tried, and put back so much more than I bought, I startled myself with my grand total.   It didn't look like that much in my cart...  

I came home with a 6-pack of dark purple Petunias (how can you resist after you smell them?); a 6-pack of salmon pink Impatiens; herb seeds: sage, cilantro, oregano, and parsley; organic vegetable seeds: eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and  zucchini (I bought the more expensive kinds of seeds to help the odds of my actually growing something worth eating to be in my favor); three 5-gallon buckets (I read that it's a good way to plant such things, and then hang them from your fence); 10 pounds of birdseed (it was buy one get one free.. how could I resist such a deal?); a blueberry bush; and a lone dandelion that was too perfect to leave sitting in the parking lot median (that was free though). 

With my finds safe in my trunk, my windows down and sun roof open, the drive home on this Texas spring-eveish afternoon was accompanied by a feeling of accomplishment, the excitement of getting my hands dirty, and the prospect of making things grow.  (if I can remember to keep them watered, that is)  Accompanied by beautiful worship music, I passed through the part of the road where the smell of fresh cut grass and wild onions fills the air... then the woodsmoke of small barbeque
stand that bespeaks of all things Texan and mouthwatering... and then the fertilizer place that smelled like... well, you know, fertilizer.  ;)  And then soon I was home, ready to unload and share my treasures with my mom, who has a proper appreciation for such things green and artistic.  ;)  Now, soon ready to don my floppy garden hat and get to work am I.  First though, it's back to working on Bellissima's newsletter.  But I'd say I have some good incentive to hurry and finish now, wouldn't you say?  ;) 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

share-a-sermon time!

Yesterday I was cleaning my room.  *insert applause here*  (yes, my room is no longer an obstacle  course. :-D) And while I was cleaning my room, I was listening to a sermon by one of my favorite preachers, Pastor Al Cortez (of Family Life Assembly of God) in preparation for some Bible study lessons I've been working on.   It's an excellent sermon and takes II Cor 6:14  beyond the often heard application of choosing a marriage partner, to the far reaching decisions of who we yoke with in our everyday adult life.   Give it a listen, I think you'll like it.  Pastor Cortez tells it like it is, but with lots of humor.  ;)

"Do Not Be Unequally Yoked Together!"

For more sermons by Al Cortez, check out:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So... my baby sister, Becs, asked me this morning "what is going on with your blog", and was I ever going to "entryatize" it again.  So, I figured I had better "entryatize" my little corner of cyberspace, that I'm not sure if anyone reads... and if they don't, I wouldn't blame them, because of my lack of informative and witty things to say.  I told you, I've had a bad case of the blog-blues for the past year and a half.  I need to shake myself out of it, with a rigorous disciplined schedule of making myself sit down and blog (not sayin' I will... just sayin' I should).  It's just that usually when I'm sitting down at my computer, it's because I'm doing some form of work, or correspondence, or preparation.  I'm doing one of the three things so often (mainly the first), that I get tired of being at my computer, and the luxury of sitting down to do something other than obligatory computer work (not that writing back friends is obligatory, that's the fun stuff) seems unattainable.  Or even undesirable, at times.  Especially when I can sit down and say quite a lot, and not really say anything at all.  I want to say something if I'm going to say anything.  Like this paragraph, for example.  ahem.  What's the point of this entry anyway?  I don't even know myself yet.  But, be of good cheer, it will come.  The point that is.  It always does. 

Anyway, I'm learning to keep my eyes on Jesus.  No matter what.  To trust Him.  No matter what.  To remember that He is the Worker.  Not me.  That when I get my eyes on the work that's to be done, rather than the Worker Who accomplishes it, I get burnt out, tired out, and frustrated.  I'm not responsible in a sense, for what happens when I do my part in furthering the Kingdom.  I'm like a pipe.  A pipe just does what it's supposed to do; it delivers the water.  It doesn't make the water, it doesn't worry about the water, it just delivers it.  Today, I want the Lord to deliver through me.  Not because of me, but despite me and my weaknesses.  That's another thing, I'm learning to glory and rejoice in my weaknesses.  Blessed are the poor, but the rich He sends away empty handed, is what the Bible says.   If I were rich in my own ability, I wouldn't need Him.  But I'm not rich in my own ability.  Most of the things I do in my every day life, I feel very unqualified to be doing.  But He calls my poorness blessedness, and I'm learning to be thankful for that.   He must increase, and I must decrease.

These days I'm like a tightrope walker, placing one foot in front of the other, not looking to the right or to the left, keeping my gaze steady on the One who is worthy to be trusted.  And if I do fall, underneath are the Everlasting Arms.  With that knowledge, I can walk steady on, rejoicing with each step.  He is worthy to be trusted.  I can bank on that.

See?  I knew the point of this entry would come, if I kept rambling long enough.  :)

And now, Becs, I am officially "entryatized."  :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

update schnupdate.

Oh dear... I'm afraid getting a new blog hasn't helped me to be a better blogger y'all.  :P  In my defense, life has been downright busy lately with the holiday season.   But still, I really am trying to get back into the swing of blogging.

So, let's see... where are we?  Ah yes... 2010.  It sounds so spaceageish... but it's not as weird as it sounds... at least not yet anyway.  We'll see what the rest of the year holds. :P

New Years Resolutions, anyone?  Every year I make  a nice list of things I need to work on or do... this year was no different, although the list was quite long.  Unfortunately, when I was writing my list this year, I was in a very rested and energetic mood (unlike last year, where I penned down about four things and gave up in weary exhaustion at the thought of having to work on one. more. thing.) and made my list quite long.. but as I wrote, and the list got longer, I started freaking myself out- "oh dear, Self, how are we going to get all this stuff done?  Time is never enough as it is..."  But then... it was brought to mind, the words of Jesus to Martha... "one thing you have need of."   There is only one thing I really need to concentrate on accomplishing: sitting at His feet daily and hearing His words.   Aaah yes.  Suddenly, doing the whole grown up life thing seemed so much more doable.  :)

My mom gave me a devotional book for Christmas that I am really enjoying; it's called "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young  I highly recommend it!  Also, from my mom, a beautiful journal that I've dedicated soley to using during my morning devotion time to record whispers of the Still Small Voice.  Friends, it's been such a refreshing thing, lately, to quiet my heart and mind before Him and just receive His love, instruction, and encouragement.  Relationship is a two way street, and it's so important that we slow down our inner pace and hear what He has to say to us... I've shared with many of you how I've struggled recently with slowing down my inner pace- even when my body is still and quiet, my mind is often still going sixty miles a minute... Sitting expectantly before the Lord with a pen and journal in my hand has really helped me with that.  My time with Him is the very best part of every day.  :)

Okay, I was going to write more here, but I think I've said enough for today.  I need to get some reading, sewing, and letting writing done this afternoon yet... yup- those are some of my resolutions of things I need to work on, and I think I would do well if I could keep up some acceleration till at least January 3rd, don't you think?  ;)

a few Christmas pics below~ 

Christmast Eve...

Mom and us... 

Mom and Dad~

 From Lea, to me... it's kinda one of those presents that you just had to be there... ;)

 My two grandmas~ Mom's mom on the left, Dad's mom on the right.  :)

I.. uh... kinda helped my grandma become the Christmas Queen with the help of her new Snuggie.  ;)

Dad got jealous and wanted to try it on too...

Every year, it is traditional that my Aunt Olivia and I pass out the presents.. It's an honored job (in my mind) and it's the closest I ever get to being an elf...  haha

Dad and his gals...

Wishing you all a happy and blessed new year.  :)