Friday, January 29, 2010

Catch Up Time

Do you have friends that are far away for a really long time…and you miss them…and then they come back and it feels like you can pick up a conversation as if you had just seen them yesterday?

Well, I have friends like that!

Yesterday I got to see Melanie for the first time since summer of 2006. Melanie has been abroad (for a really long time) and it was great to reconnect.

Since we last saw each other:
-I got married
-She got to live in Belize
-I got a BA
-She got a Masters
-She traveled to many countries
-I got to turn a house into a home

And now we are both unemployed.

Melanie was my first bible study leader in college and I am thankful for her devotion to our Core Group! This bible study was one of the best things that happened to me during my college years.

So, yesterday, we got to have a little bit of fun and do some updating at Red Hook Brewery.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best Quote of the Week

From the book The Noticer:

“Life is like a game of Monopoly. You may own hotels on Boardwalk or you may be renting on Baltic Avenue. But in the end, it all goes back in the box. The next generation will be getting out all your stuff and playing with it or fighting over it.”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Plans

My weekends are not usually full of exciting activities, and I like it that way. After being away from John during the week (since I can’t go to work with him), the weekend is a great time to reconnect, relax, sleep and be at home.

But tonight, we have plans!

We will be heading to the Paramount theatre to see Xanadu.

Honestly, I have no idea what Xanadu is about and the previews make no sense to me. However, that does not matter because we are going to dress up and go to the theatre!!!

Hopefully the show will be at least ok.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A New Perspective

I started reading a new book today! So far, I am taking in every word as if the author was talking to me and me alone.

In The Noticer, by Andy Andrews (his parents were not very creative with is name), a character named Jones gives some pretty simple and yet meaningful advice to someone who is feeling like life just sucks.

These words stood out to me:

“Remember, whatever you focus upon, increases.

When you focus on the things you need, you’ll find those needs increasing. If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don’t have, you will soon be concentrating on other things that you had forgotten you don’t have – and feel worse! If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose…But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.”

I remembered these words today while looking at some wedding photos on a photographer’s website. I started admiring the pretty pictures and the beautiful weddings - wishing I had had this kind of bouquet and that kind of veil...

I think it is time to get a ‘grateful perspective.’

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Putting the American Dream to Death

While on my way home this week, I realized that I am slowly learning some pretty big life lessons.

Lesson #1: I am not in control – but I try to be

I have always struggled trusting God with every area of my life. More often than not, I think I give God the areas of my life that I don’t care that much about while I hold on to the areas that are a big deal. This is a thorn on my side that continues to bring me to a humbling state.

Lesson #2: God is in control

I am a dreamer and a planner. I think long term and I pray that my plans will be God’s plans as well. However, rarely do my plans come true – and that is usually a very good thing, but not easy. When I was a junior at UW, I had some BIG plans. I was going to get married that summer. I planned on graduating, finding an awesome job (with a generous salary). John and I were going to pay our loans and become debt free. We were going to save money to make a down payment on a house and within 5 years of marriage we were going to start having kids. And we were going to be happily ever after. This was the plan. This was my American Dream.

So far, I am married and graduated. Some of our debts are paid off. And the rest did not go as planned.

The rest is still a big unknown. And I dislike unknowns.

But I am making baby steps and moving toward finding joy where I am. I am realizing that God’s plan might be different than mine and I need to trust him.

I am realizing that maybe I need to focus on Jesus and not on my version of the American Dream. Perhaps a life of personal happiness and material comfort should not be part of my life plan.

I am currently reading the book The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns. Every chapter so far has brought some challenging questions that I continue to wrestle with. Chapter 18 is all about how people tend to view money in the United States – and the American Dream is what most people are trying to get.

Unfortunately, I too have been trying to get to my definition of the American Dream.

Lesson #3: Trust God

This is what I need to work on. This is a hard task at times and I know I will be challenged. But this is where I want to be – and in order for this to happen, I need to put the American Dream to death.

Monday, January 18, 2010


My heart feels quite heavy today.

Today I am missing friends who are far away.
Today I am wishing I was taking a walk with my husband, enjoying the sunny sky.
Today I am dreaming of sitting on a mountain top, praising God for all the beautiful things he has created.

Today is just one of those days…

Friday, January 15, 2010

Please Flush Nicely!

Over the years I have learned the importance of having a sense of humor. But some things are just not funny.

For example: Overflowing toilets.

Who wants to clean up the aftermath?

Not me.

Oh, but wait. I have to clean it up because it does not go away by itself.

It turns out that our master bathroom overflows frequently and I want it to stop. I want it to flush like all the other toilets. I want to not have to get nervous whenever I flush.

There. I just had to vent a little bit about the not so pretty events that went on this week in the Nobile household.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Image Bearer of God

After being gone a lot for the holidays, I am so excited to be back to our regular weekly schedule!

Yesterday was a regular Sunday – church, bible study meetings and a relaxing evening.

My thirsty spirit was overjoyed to be sitting among our church family, singing praise songs to God and learning from His word. The focus of the message came from the book of Genesis.

“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” V26

Two main points stood out from that passage.

1. Notice that God said “Let us make man in our image.” I had never noticed the presence of the Trinity in this verse.
2. We are not made like the other creatures in the earth – which were made “according to their kinds.” Instead, we are made to bear the image of God.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” V. 27

For some reason, the fact that we are created to be image bearers of God touched my heart in a special way yesterday. This fact alone gave me an identity. It gave me purpose.

Again and again I struggle to focus on Jesus and his plans for my life. I often feel like I am not good enough and as a result I feel somewhat lost in this world. However, God’s words clearly state that I was created to represent God.

Can you feel the weight of responsibly while thinking about being the image of God to others?

How often have I misrepresented the Lord? How many times have I acted in the way contrary to His nature?

Praise God for his patience, mercy and grace! The more I learn about his purpose for my life, the more I understand that I am nothing without Him. I know that throughout life I will fail at being holy, but I am in awe that God would give me the opportunity to bear his image despite my failures.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ready or Not, It's 2010

I haven’t blogged in a while, and that is because I was having too much fun with lovely family and friends.

However, the fun seems to be over, or that is how I feel.

On January 2nd I came back home from a great New Year party – and I got sick with a cold, soar throat, runny nose, fever and headache. On January 3rd I celebrated the morning of my birthday in bed, while having a really hard time breathing. I am VERY thankful for my family and wonderful husband for attempting to make that day a special one anyways. I managed to have lunch with my family and opened great presents!!!


This week has been somewhat of a rollercoaster and I have been very discouraged at times (especially last night). I had applied to this wonderful job that I was super excited about, only to receive an email from the organization letting me know that they are pursuing other candidates.

Boo to them.

That kind of rejection has brought me many tears in the past couple of months and I am getting tired of it all. I find myself praying and asking God for direction and although I know He is listening I don’t always hear His voice.

These waves of emotions have been overwhelming, but I read some words from Pastor James MacDonald that really helped me this morning.

He wrote:

“Strength in Weakness

"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:5-7

How do people do it? How do they withstand the Katrina-like blows that pummel their lives? The wind, the waves, the surges of heartbreak one after another. How do they survive... and still lift their faces to the Lord? How can they be so strong at their extreme weakest?

Today was an awful day. Some very heavy things hit me off guard. But somewhere in the middle of that storm, God's voice was telling me that He provides sufficient grace for this trial, and when I am weak He is always and still very strong. So I want to say to the glory of God that if there is anything in this ministry that is powerful, it is from weakness. Trust me on that.

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me... For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Well, here I am - present and accounted for. It's the hard times and the unhealthy times and the hurting times that reveal my weaknesses. And it's also during those times that God shows up strong.

We often treat suffering like a dodgeball game. Anytime anything painful comes at us, we jump out of the way. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid anything that will hurt or be hard. But there's a better kind of life - a deeper, more fulfilling kind of life - that isn't about avoiding every pain. It's about finding God faithful and powerful in the midst of whatever thorns He allows.

There's something about our weakness that opens the flow of God's strength.

When you are in the midst of a trial, there's a power coming into your life that you've never experienced before. When you see a hard thing coming, try saying, "I may not want this, but I know I'm going to see Christ working in my life in an incredible way."

God never allows a thorn but that He provides sufficient grace and strength in our weaknesses. Sufficient grace is not just enough to survive, but enough to have supernatural joy in the midst of anything He allows us to go through.”

As hard as it might be, I want to have that supernatural joy. I want to be faithful when the circumstances are not optimal. I want to praise God and remember the ways He continues to bless me. I want to be near Him.
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