Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Road to Mercy

I received this message via email from Walk in the Word with James MacDonald - and today I am very much aware that I need God's mercy.

Here is what James MacDonald had to say about God's mercy:

"Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old." - Psalm 25:6

There is always tension, difficulty, and suffering on the growing edge of our relationship with God. That's where the change is going on, where we are learning to trust God. Those difficulties start a series of steps on the road to mercy:

The bigger the trial gets, the more I know I need God.
The more I need God, the closer I am drawn to Him.
The closer I get to Him, the more I sense His holiness.
The more I sense His holiness, the more I realize my own sinfulness.

So the closer I get to God, I think, "Whoa! I really haven't been on the program. There are things in my life that are not pleasing to God." Could you think of some things in your life that are not pleasing to God? You're not better than anyone else. If by God's grace you have progressed through the years to a deeper level of holiness - even that's not because of you - it's only because of God's grace in your life. So the closer you and I get to God, the more we have a sense of our own sinfulness.

No wonder David says, "Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love." Actually in the Hebrew, the words for "mercy" and "love" are both plural. The verse means, "Remember Your merciful acts, God. Remember Your acts of chesed, of steadfast loving-kindness." David is not referring to the word "remember" as in, Did You forget? He's saying, "Remember the stuff that You always do, God. Do Your stuff! Do it for us! God, You were merciful and loving to Abraham and Moses. You were merciful and loving to Your people. This is who You are, God! Do it in our generation. Be to me as You have always been. Advance Your reputation, God. Be here today as You have been through thousands of years. Be merciful to me, God. Be loving." He goes on: "for they have been from of old." "Lord, You've always been like this. Be it again!"

If you know God's holiness, you also know how badly you need His mercy.

Like most people, I tend to dislike trials and difficulties. I need to learn to ask God for strength to go through the trial - and not ask Him to take the trial away from me. However, I have recently found myself wanting to be close and intimate with God. I want the kind of closeness that only certain trials and difficulties can create. I want to depend on Him and I want to be molded by Him. But to go through the hard times I desperately need His mercy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's a Beautiful Morning

I just set the table for breakfast and as I closed the fridge and looked at the table one more time I realized I had prepared a place for not only myself, but for John as well. The only problem...John is already at work.

I love it when I am reminded in one way or another that I am no longer a me, but a we. There is no I, but an us has taken over. So wonderful.

Also, just so you know, it is 7:30am and I just finished having some CHICKEN FETTUCCINE ALFREDO for breakfast.

Is that a weird thing to have for breakfast?

Really, I opened the fridge and that was exactly what I wanted to eat at this time in the morning. Yum!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Anniversary #2 - Day 4

Our last day away was wonderful in many ways. John and I headed out of the forest in order to walk five miles to get to a lighthouse. The sun was shining and out view was breathtaking. The five miles back was very tiring, but it every step was very much worth it!

A seagull had this crab still alive...until John chased the seagull to take a close look at the crab himself.

"Welcome to Serenity" and "5 Miles to Reality" signs.

Our destination!

The path we took to go back to reality.

Picture from a ferry - heading home.

Anniversary #2 - Day 3

Before John and I were married, we went on a camping trip with some friends and we drove by Lake Crescent. I was in awe of how beautiful this place is and I have been wanting to come back to it ever since - so we made it happen on our second anniversary. We actually camped at one of Lake Crescent's campgrounds.

We rented kayaks and paddled across the lake. Just so you know, I was terrified of flipping it since the water was a little rocky due to mild wind. John was very patient with me and we had lots of fun. We did not bring the camera with us because we didn't want to get it wet - so there are no pictures of us in it.

John skipped rocks for hours and I watched him in his sweet spot!

A very nice lady asked if we wanted some pictures of us together and we loved the ones she took.

Anniversary #2 - Day 2

Day two was filled with hiking. By that, I don't mean that we did multiple hikes, we actually just did one hike - but let me tell you, these were the hardest 10 miles of my life. I am not even sure if we went the whole ten miles, but it sure felt like it!

These little legs had no idea what was to come.

We saw some gorgeous wild flowers but not as many as Mount Rainier.

We ran into a couple of deer. Really, they ran into us because they were walking on the trail.

This view is worth every switchback on that trail.

Anniversary #2 - Day 1

Last year John and I celebrated our first anniversary at Mt. Rainier. This year, we spent a couple of days in the Olympic Peninsula, enjoying every beautiful thing we could possibly see, do or experience.

We knew we had to take a ferry to reach our destination - but we had no idea how unskilled we were at accomplishing that task. In case you are not experienced with the ferry system, here is a lesson we learned: one MUST follow the ferry signs to get to the LONG lines and wait before getting on a ferry. John and I ended up following whatever the GPS told us and we ended up cutting the line - which means that we never went thought the pay booth and our car was never inspected. While waiting around we noticed a very long line of cars on the other side of the ferry station and we asked a police officer what that line was for. He informed us that those people were waiting for the next ferry. Oops! Just so you all know, we still paid.

The best part of this story is that the officer was not bothered at all with our inability to read directions and he let us stay where we were.

Welcome to the Olympic Mountains! If only this picture could truly depict the real beauty of these mountains...

I was ready to take a picture of John with the mountains behind him when this deer appeared out of the woods...and decided to go pee pee right there.

Arrived at the camp site and set up our abode.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Special Dessert

This is what John and I enjoyed after a special anniversary dinner! I can hardly believe we can make something this yummy. The best part is that we still have some in the fridge waiting to be eaten later tonight :)

Here is the recipe - in case you want to have some as well.

Mt. Pilchuck

This past weekend was perfect in many different ways. I got to spend time with friends from a bible study group playing bocce ball and eating yummy shrimp. Saturday was a perfect day to go on a hike - and that is just what we did.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you use your little legs to get to a place like the one below! We were above the clouds - and the sun welcomed our presence with open arms. The view was unbelievable, the body was full of excitement and my skin was warm and toasty. (I forgot to bring sunscreen. Really, I just forgot we would be above the clouds.)

I hope these pictures inspire you go put on some sturdy shoes and go enjoy the outside!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Two years Ago...

...I said "I Do!" to the most wonderful man. Life has been an exciting adventure and I am more in love with him today than ever before.

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Friday, July 16, 2010

Coming Up...

Today has been an interesting day so far. I woke up feeling just as full as I was yesterday after dinner.

Since Thursdays are date night for the Nobiles, I made a yummy meal which consisted of black beans, long grain white rice, carne asada (Brazilian style), corn on the cob and salad with red wine. The flavors were superb!

I might have eaten a bit much because I immediately felt like I was going to explode. So, John and I went on a walk and had a great time together.

However, I am still full from yesterday's dinner...
But I did manage to eat breakfast at 11:30 am.

Since then, I have been filling my brain with information about different SLR cameras. There is soooo much to learn - but I think I am making some progress!?!?! Maybe.

On a different note, I am getting ready to go on a camping trip with my beloved! Just the two of us :) Our second anniversary is just around the corner and I can hardly believe it has already been two years. Where did time go?

Stay posted for some awesome hiking pictures!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Loving to be in Love

Chad and Anna could not be more adorable together. Chad is always ready to say something funny that makes everyone laugh and Anna always has a response to those comments. Together they make a beautiful couple who can hardly wait to spend the rest of their lives together!

These are the pictures I took while on a shoot with Hailey Rahm - go to her website to see more of her work.

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