Monday, January 31, 2011

Be Present

I don't necessarily handle moving on from friendships well. I mean, it's easy to go about life as normal and be busy. It's easy to have a life apart from a person once they're gone, but the emotions and hurt feelings linger. Their absence leaves a hole that no one else can really fill. People are unique, and I don't think anyone is replaceable. Sure, new friends always come along, but it's not the same. That's not always bad, I guess. In my life I have most mourned the loss of probably two friendships. Our life paths diverged in more than just physical distance.

Now, another friendship as I have known it is over. I can see in a lot of ways where I have changed that causes my friend and me to not have much in common. Our attitudes, worldviews, and general perspective on life are completely different. I've realized that the foundation for a true friendship was never really built. It's a different kind of loss than a death or a breakup, but it's a loss none the less and one I will grieve.

I'm not sure the point of this post. Perhaps I'm just thinking about friendship. Perhaps I'm feeling the loss of many things in my life as so many things are changing. I think it's probably both. I still miss my friends. I wonder if in some way I will always miss them. Maybe I just need to focus more on the present and future and stop looking behind me so much. Yes, that's probably it. It's good to appreciate the people God has placed in our lives, but often times people are only there for a season. This is a very hard thing for me to accept, but unfortunately, it's life.

God is gently calling me to be present and live fully in the time and place he has put me. Breathe life in. Enjoy it. Feel, smell, taste, see, and hear it. Believe, trust, and hope. Love. See the opportunities all around to serve Him and show his love. Be present.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.- Psalm 34:8

Sweet Lorelai

I spent my afternoon and evening with my favorite little girl (and her mama, but I don't have a picture of her). She is so cute I can hardly stand it! Thank goodness I'm related to her!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just some thoughts

I love hymns. Love them. No "praise and worship" song speaks to me like a hymn. I love that hymns are old and have been sung my millions of people long before me. I feel connected not just to Whom I'm singing, but to other believers across miles and generations. I don't know how to explain it. I sing hymns a lot in my head or just going through my day. Sometimes I sing them in the shower, like I did tonight. Lately, I have felt the Spirit teaching me to have a quiet soul, one that is at peace regardless of circumstances and is slow to anger. I don't want to get flustered every time something doesn't go my way. I was reflecting on this tonight while taking a shower and "It is Well with My Soul" naturally came to mind. I began singing the lyrics and comparing them to one of my favorite songs, "All Will Be Well" by Gabe Dixon Band. It IS well versus it WILL BE well. And I realized, I have been living in the "it will be well" instead of "it is well" frame of mind. I think, someday things will work out. Someday, I'll be better at this and not struggle with that. Someday everything will be the way God intended. Someday. But as a Christian, my joy and my peace can come now. Certainly, my Peace and my Joy are present now. I simply must choose to abide in Him, trust in Him, and choose only Him- even when people are jerks, even when money is tight, even when Micah and I argue, even when I'm having a low self-esteem day. I want to be the kind of person who can honestly say, "It is well with my soul!"

I can easily list off my struggles and my personality flaws. I can tell you all the ways I disappoint people and how I sin. Often it's easy to get caught up in all of that. It's easy to wallow in my own disappointment, shame, and self-pity. And when I wallow, I ignore God. I ignore all the affirmation he gives me, the encouraging words he speaks to me, and sometimes the rebukes he gives me. Ignoring God makes it harder to hear his voice the next time. But I digress...

To be a person who can say "It is well!" no matter the circumstance, who can have complete faith and peace in her heart, I have to accept who I am in Christ. I have to accept that I am loved, chosen, protected, valued, bought at a very high price, capable, wanted, called, beautiful, intelligent, and the list goes on. When I know this, believe it, accept it...and live it, then it will be well with my soul. Things are not well with my soul because I have chosen to not trust God. Things aren't well with my soul because I have a long way to go in my journey with Christ. Things aren't well because I'm too spiritually immature. 

So here I am. I'm standing on the precipice of the next level in my knowing Christ. Getting ready to take the plunge (in a lot of different ways) and see where I land. There are so many unknowns in my immediate future. Add that to all the normal daily stuff like dealing with people and tackling school, and I just have a craving to know God more so that I can do things well in a way that glorifies Him. I want to please him. I want to be more mature. I want to be strong and steadfast, calm and at peace. I want to love passionately and selflessly. I want to know the Bible- not just memorize it but live it. I want to sing of love, brokenness, hope, and redemption. I want to not be afraid to sing. I want to be bold, confident, and secure in Him. I want to be radical as Jesus was radical, in love, grace, and mercy.

Lord, hear my prayer. Send your Spirit. Fill me with your love, fill me with your presence. Lord, I pray people would come to know you through your work in me. I pray that any attention or glory that comes from anything I do gets turned to you. I pray that I would be so consumed by your love, grace, and mercy that I can't help but pour it into other people. I pray that when people look at me that they don't see me, that they don't see clothes, or hair, or whatever else. I pray that they see you. I pray that they see joy and love. I pray that they feel safe and accepted around me. Lord, open my heart! Open my mind! Help me be a person who doesn't judge! Help me to see people as individuals created in YOUR image. Lord help me see You when I see them. Give me your heart for people. Guide my steps and show me what I need to know when I need to know it. Help me to trust in you always, even when I may not hear you or when I can't see the way. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to anger. Lord, open my ears! Help me to really hear people. Give me discernment, Lord.

Lord, I love you! Thank you for blessing me every single day. Thank you for the opportunity to spend years of my life studying about you and letting you form me. Thank you for Micah and for my family. Thank you for your patience and guidance, mercy and grace. Thank you for not giving up on me!! Thank you for seeing me as something worthy to be loved and used. Thank you for sending your Son to die so that I and all other people could live. Lord, show me how to take your Word to them. Let me hear, let me see, let me do. I trust you, Lord. I trust you! Move in me, God. Change me. Break me. I know you will never leave me. You won't forsake me. You are truth. You are love. I can do all things in Your strength. Lord, thank you for all the details you created just so that we could enjoy them and know you more- thank you for the beautiful weather, for a wonderful blue sky, and the chance to go outside without a jacket. Thank you for wonderful friends who love me and look after me. Thank you for parents who want me to be happy. Thank you for a home. You are my provider and Lord, you are faithful. I have never done without. Thank you, Lord. May I bring glory to you all my days and may my marriage with Micah be one that glorifies you! Bless our marriage, Lord. We love you, Lord. You are holy. You are worthy. You are mighty. I love you! In Jesus name...


So much for blogging every day...

Yesterday I went bridesmaids dress shopping for my wedding! All 4 girls went with my mom and me! The place we went was crazy, but we got what we wanted and then had a great lunch at Chef's Market. It was a great and productive day, and I crashed when I got home.

Today was church with the family. The Baroni's led a few songs and David preached. It was a really good service. I was able to quiet my mind and soul enough to hear God and not be distracted by things going on around me.

Tonight is church again for the fam, but I'm not sure I will go. Their service is different on Sunday nights and much further from my comfort zone. I do, however, plan to dye my hair tonight- a red color, as I usually do when I wanna mix things up, but this time more vibrant.

I need to get lots of wedding stuff done before I head back to school at the end of this week, and I want to find me a spring dress or two to have on hand for bridal showers and/or my engagement pictures. I got a really cute one yesterday at a store here in town, and I can't wait to wear it!

Well...I have no picture for today. I'm really bad at remembering to take pictures but maybe my hair will turn out nicely and I'll show it. We shall see.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 3!

Today I wrote a nine page paper (before noon!) and made some no-bake oatmeal cookies. I'm home alone tonight which means I'm eating way too many cookies and watching HGTV. I really need to read a book for school. We'll see.

Tomorrow we are going bridesmaid dress shopping. I can't wait!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I'm Doing (Picture Day 2!)

So this is what the bed around me looks like- 2 books for school, my devotional and Bible, my premarital counseling book, and my wedding planning book.

I need to write a paper, but I'm still so sleepy from the nausea med I took yesterday. Luckily, I am feeling great except for being tired.

Well, I'm off to watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion. Good times!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


So recovery for getting my wisdom tooth cut out hasn't been so bad. And, insurance paid for the procedure. What a blessing! I spent Monday and Tuesday mostly sleeping. My face was a little swollen, but it wasn't bad at all. I kept up on my pain meds so I didn't feel any horrible discomfort. I didn't sleep well last night so I look especially rough today. So I figured it's a great day to start posting a picture a day! Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

After the wisdom tooth is gone...

Everything went well, except that I threw up when I got home. I have slept most of the day, and now I'm eating a milkshake. I have no picture today because 1) I am tired and 2) I am not too least not yet. Maybe I will have a picture or 2 tomorrow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wedding Planning and 365

Wedding planning is in full swing! We have the photographer booked, and we know who we are using for the caterer. My wedding is going to be very "do it yourself," or as many people keep telling me "country chic." I am planning on hand-making all the center pieces for the reception (coffee filter flowers and button bouquets), yarn balls for people throw at us as we are leaving, and possibly mine and the bridesmaids bouquets (out of buttons!). We are using blue mason jars in the center pieces as well. aunt is making my wedding dress, my cousin is making my cake (we're only having a tier for Micah and me to cut in to) and some other stuff. I am at my parents' for the next couple weeks, so hopefully we can get a lot of stuff done! I also need to pick out the fabric for the tables. We're going to use white tablecloths but use patterned fabric on top of the tablecloths. Each table will be different but the colors in the patterns will coordinate. A little more than 4 months and the big day will be here. I am SO thrilled and cannot wait to be Micah's wife!

On to other things...I changed up the look of the blog again. And, I'm going to try to post every day. So, I'm stealing an idea I've seen on other blogs where you commit to post a picture a day for 365 days. I don't have much to share today, but stay tuned for tomorrow's picture. It will be me in the aftermath of having my sole wisdom tooth cut out. Until then...