Friday, May 28, 2010

Wishing He'd be Here

John is at a camping bachelor party this weekend and as happy as I am for the groom and everyone else who is enjoying the manly weekend, I miss him.

Tomorrow is Saturday and he will not be waking up next to me.
I will eat our traditional 'Saturday Morning' breakfast and he won't be here.

I will teach Sunday school by myself and I will wish he could be there with me.

Is this selfish?
Am I needy?
Maybe I am jealous.

Jealous that other people get to be with him when I don't. Jealous that memories are being created and I am not a part of them.

How do people do it? I mean, how do people stay apart from each other?
Does it get easier over time?

I am not sure I want to get used to being apart from John.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Love is in the Air

Matthew and Andra are getting married in August and I had the pleasure of taking their engagement pictures.
They are in love and it is contagious!

I am excited to see these two grow even more in love as they become husband and wife.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wait! Before You Write Off the Marriage

I started reading the book The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. My friend Krista gave me this book almost two years ago – I was not even married then. I admit that is has been sitting on my bookcase this whole time, but I am so glad I started reading it!

Krista, thank you!

I just finished the first chapter and I loved reading the introduction. I didn’t love it because the message was easy to take in, I loved it because I know I have a lot to grow in the ‘prayer area of life’ and I am excited to start praying more specifically for my husband.

I will probably post multiple times as I read this book and I’ll try to share the parts that touch me the most.

After reading the introduction, I can’t stop thinking about this part:

I confess right now that there was a time when I considered separation or divorce. This is an embarrassing disclosure because I don’t believe either of those options is the best answer to a troubled marriage. I believe in God’s position on divorce. He says it’s not right and it grieves Him. The last thing I want to do is grieve God. But I know what it’s like to feel the kind of despair that paralyzes good decision making. I’ve experience the degree of hopelessness that causes a person to give up on trying to do what’s right. I understand the torture of loneliness that leaves you longing for anyone who will look into your soul and see you. I’ve felt pain so bad that the fear of dying from it propelled me to seek out the only immediately foreseeable means of survival: escape from the source of agony. I know what it’s like to contemplate acts of desperation because you see no future. I’ve experienced such a building of negative emotions day after day that separation and divorce seemed like nothing more than the promise of pleasant relief.

God impressed upon my heart that if I would deliberately lay down my life before His throne, die to the desire to leave, and give my needs to Him, He would teach me how to lay down my life in prayer for Michael. He would show me how to really intercede for him as a son of God, and in the process he would revive my marriage and pour His blessings out on both of us. We would be better together, if we could get past this, than we could ever be separated and alone. He showed me that Michael was caught in a web from his past that rendered him incapable of being different from what he was at that moment, but God would use me as an instrument of His deliverance if I would consent to it. It hurt to say yes to this and I cried a lot. But when I did, I felt hopeful for the first time in years.

I began to pray every day for Michael, like I had never prayed before. Each time, though, I had to confess my own hardness of heart. I saw how deeply hurt and unforgiving of him I was. ‘I don’t want to pray for him. I don’t want to ask God to bless him. I only want God to strike his heart with lightening and convict him of how cruel he has been,’ I thought. I had to say over and over, “God, I confess my forgiveness toward my husband. Deliver me from all of it.”

Don’t write off the marriage. Ask God to give you a new husband. He is able to take the one you have and make him a new creation in Christ. Husbands and wives are not destined to fight, emotionally disconnect, live in marital deadness, be miserable, or divorce. We have God’s power on our side. We don’t have to leave our marriages to chance. We can fight for them in prayer and not give up, because as long as we are praying, there is hope. With God, nothing is ever as dead as it seems. Not even your own feelings.

What an amazing message!

Nothing is too hard for God and if we are willing to humble ourselves in His presence He will be faithful.

Are you ready to start praying?

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. Joel 2:25

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Scary Step

I meet with a group of young ladies on Sundays and we are currently reading the book Do Hard Things: ATeenage Rebellion Against Low Expectation by Alex and Brett Harris.

Although this book is targeted to teenagers, I find myself feeling like the authors are describing me in their book.

The current chapter is about getting out of our comfort zones and doing the hard, scary things. I wish you all would read this chapter.

I was first convicted when the authors explained that we stay away from hard things because they are scary - and we allow fear to control us.

"What we're saying is that we don't want to do things that don't come easily or naturally. We don't want to break through our fears. And by our actions, we're also saying that God isn't good and powerful enough to help us do what we can't comfortably do on our own."

How many times have I behaved this way?

Believe me, it happens all the time.

I am afraid of not being good at something, so I don't do it. I am afraid I will fail and look foolish. I am afraid of what others will think of me.

And so I wait for the fear to go away - knowing that it won't.

"The truth, though, is that it's going to be a long wait. If we're waiting until the fear and feelings of inadequacy go away, we'll never venture outside our comfort zones. Until we take a step in spite our fears, none of us will ever truly be able to do hard things. If we continue to grow and learn for the rest of our lives, we must beat these fears - not by making them go away, but by recognizing that there is something worse than discomfort, worse than the unknown, worse than failure. The worse thing is to never try at all."

Does this inspire you to try?

It sure inspires me!

I want to act in spite of my fears. I want to trust God.

I want to live according to Corrie ten Boom's motto: "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

Isn't that a great reminder? I can trust God with the big unknowns of life. I can rely on him to guide me through anything - even my fears.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Blog

A year ago I created this blog!

Here is my very first post.

To tell you the truth, I can hardly believe that a whole year has gone by. Where was I when that happened?
A year ago I had no idea where life was going to take me – and I still have no clue.

But as clueless as I may be, I am thankful that I made the decision to put into writing and photographs some of my best and worst moments.

It is fun to go back and read some of my thoughts and lessons learned. It is a blessing to read comments from others that are encouraged by what I write.

I am looking forward to the year to come!

P.S. Have a great weekend…wherever you are!

Monday, May 17, 2010

So Happy Together!

My friend Erin is in town!!!

I can hardly explain how excited I am to be with her this week. We have not seen each other since last summer - and it was time for a reunion.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Last night was date night!

John and I had a picnic dinner at the park and we thoroughly enjoyed the glorious weather. We ate a little and read a little.

John took me to the movies to see Babies.

We had the WHOLE theater to ourselves - and we enjoyed that too!!

If you have not seen this movie, you should. But be prepared to see lots of ... well, breasts. That is what happens when one is watching babies 'eating.' These babies are adorable and it was very interesting to compare the cultural differences and similarities when it comes to raising children. It made me think of the kind of life I want to give my children (when they are born).

Overall, it was a wonderful date and I can't wait to spend more time with John this coming weekend!

Sunny Days

When the sun comes out, one has to celebrate by going outside!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I am almost done reading through the book Lord Teach me to Pray by Kay Arthur. Today's topic of forgiveness could have been broken up into a 12 week study and I would still need more time to digest it.

Forgiveness to me does not always come easy. To tell you the truth, I think it is easier for me to forgive others than it is for me to ask for forgiveness. There is something in me (maybe pride) that makes it very hard for me to admit that what I did or said was wrong and I need to confess and ask for forgiveness.

In other situations, I feel like what was done to me was unfair and the ofender does not deserve to be forgiven. I act as if forgiveness was a privilege that the other person has lost.

Both these mindsets (the prideful and the undeserving) are not aligned with God's teachings, and this is something that I struggle with.

Here is what I have been reading:

"Although sin was paid for in full at Calvary, sin unconfessed and unforsaken before the throne of God puts a barrier between God and His child. When Jesus said, Forgive us our debtors, He was talking about our moral debts, our sins. We owe God absolute righteousness. To sin is to be in debt!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:19

The word translated "confess" is homologeo and means "to say the same thing." In other words, you name sin for what it is; you call it what God calls sin.
Forgiveness is not a matter of feeling, or emotion: rather it is an act of your will. Forgiveness is your response to God, not your fellow man. Your transgressors may not deserve it, desire it, or require it; yet you forgive because God says to forgive. Not to forgive is to disobey God and thus to sin.

To not forgive is not only to sin but it is also self- destructive. It will cannibalize your soul, eat you up from the inside out. An unwillingness to forgive leads to a root of bitterness that causes trouble and defiles many.

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
Matthew 18:21-35

This is a hard reality for many, including myself - but our willingness to forgive is directly correlated to God's ability to forgive us. To make the choice to forgive is to make the choice to be obedient to God.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Today I feel slow, tired, unmotivated...and I miss the sun.
After taking a 6.2 mile walk this weekend, my knee is a pain (literally) and I have three blisters.

BUT, I must tell you that I have been very good about doing my bible study first thing in the morning and it feels wonderful to have a little bit of discipline in my life!

Friday, May 7, 2010

This Might be Me Someday

I heard John watching this yesterday and I gave in and watched it today.

When ever John and I talk about having kids, I say that we should only have the number of kids that would fit in a compact car - because I don't want to drive a van.

But I must admit, this is pretty funny!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Total Dependence on God

Are you someone who likes to take care of yourself and not need to depend on others? Do you have the 'I can do it myself attitude'?

I am like that.

My parents tell me that I was very independent as a small child. I liked to figure things out on my own.

Although there are positive aspects to being an independent person, most of the time that kind of independence has caused me to turn my back to God. I start behaving like I can do 'life' on my own and I will call on God only if I need it REALLY bad.

Oh, but I am learning that is not the way things aught to be. I am learning that God's desire is for me to humble myself and admit that without him I can do nothing.


... "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

I was talking about this topic with John last night. I admitted that maybe it is a good thing I don't have a job right now - because I think I would be very tempted to act as if I no longer needed John. After all, I would have my own money. At this point in life, I am starting to see the many different ways that I depend on John. While a part of me enjoys this reliance, another part is terrified. There is a part of me that fears not having John anymore (for one reason or another). When I think about that I come to the conclusion that I would be very much alone!

I went to sleep last night thinking about that. Realizing that my hope should come from the Lord and the Lord only. No job, house, car, vacation, health insurance, retirement plan can take the place of God in my life.

This morning I opened my bible study and today's title was written in big letters: Total Dependence on God.

Coincidence? I think not!

The study stated:

"To go to others for help instead of your Father is to live a life of woe.

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!
Isaiah 31:1

To rely on yourself is to live in a stony wilderness.

This is what the LORD says:

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Jeremiah 17:5-6

But to live in total dependence on God is to be blessed.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8"

The book of Matthew tells us to seek God first, and this is something I need to work on. This is something I always have to work on, because it is so easy to get distracted.

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:42-34

We are to do our job and let God do His! I will mess up every time I try to do His job.

New Look

I felt inspired to change the blog a little here it is!

If you don't like the new look, don't worry. It will probably change again by the end of the year.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This One is for Jae

My friend Krista is visiting this week and I got to have some fun adventures with her. She is missing her dear husband, but I am glad she is here.

We started by heading to a grass field so I could take some photographs of her...but it started pouring. We headed the opposite way of the rain and found gorgeous sunshine! We walked a little and climbed a little. We reached the train tracks and we lost her sunglasses...down the river they went.

We spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find a way to the river bank. Above all, we had fun!

***Jae, I thought you would appreciate these!

Krista, you are stunningly beautiful!


Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 11:1-3

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

I am thinking of the unbelievable flooding in Nashville. My heart is full of prayer requests: some of them for me, some for my family and friends, some for people I don't know. Praise God for his mercy and grace. I have been doing a lot of procrastinating - and I have confessed that to God. I want to change.

My joints are hurting for two days straight now. I get to see a friend today! I need to go grocery shopping. The house is clean, and that feels good. I love John and I am so thankful for him. I can't wait for summer. I am intimidated by job hunting. Lightroom is my friend. I am learning more and more about prayer.

Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove

John and I recently rented The Soloist at one of those redbox machines. The movie was incredible in many ways and it left me with many thoughts and questions.

However, before the movie even started, I was disturbed after watching a preview for a new Free Willy movie.

They are still making those!?!


I remember loving those movies as a kid. I especially liked Free Willy 2 because I thought the boy was cute.

But I grew up and I watched the news. I learned that Keiko was the whale's real name. I learned that his life story was far from pretty and happy. I learned that he wasn't free after all.

Keiko lived most of his life in captivity and when he was finally released, he didn't know how to be an orca anymore. He needed to be fed by humans and his favorite activity was playing with people - even letting fans crawl over his back. No orca pod 'adopted' him.

Keiko died after beaching himself in Taknes Bay, Norway while under the care of personnel from Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society on December 12, 2003, at 27 years of age. Pneumonia was later determined as his probable cause of death.

I think that living in captivity for so long was his only problem.

Knowing this makes me sad that there is another Free Willy movie coming out. It makes me sad that there is another "Keiko" in captivity.

P.S. John thought this post does not fit this blog. But seriously, I was sad to know they made a new Free Willy movie :(
I am not as environmental as I should be, but I enjoy seeing whales free, in the ocean...

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Favorite

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