Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Covet

The tenth Commandment continues to challenge me beyond understanding. Today I am confessing that being jealous of others is the ‘thorn in my side.’ The sin that sneaks in and tries to take over my heart. The sin that humbles me and strengthens my prayer life. The sin that keeps me close to Jesus as I am constantly reminded that I need a Savior.

There are times in life that I feel completely satisfied and thankful for the life I have. However, there are times that I forget to count my blessings and start counting others people’s blessings instead. I notice the cool things going on in other people’s lives and I start comparing myself to them. Eventually, I start wanting to live their lives. I start wanting their house, their children, their vacations, their cameras, their jobs, their friends…the list goes on and on.

Lately, I have felt jealous of some people who are close to me. I wish I had their talent, I wish I had their opportunities…

While thinking about all the things I wish I had, I decided to write the post below – as a reminder of the things that I am thankful for. Not surprisingly, I have a lot to be thankful for! Still, the feelings of jealousy remain and once again I am reminded that I am in constant need of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Once again I am reminded that I need to trust God and seek first His kingdom. I am reminded that God has a plan and a purpose for my life – and that plan and purpose is unique. It will not look like the plan and purpose he has for everyone I know. I am reminded to ask, seek, knock.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow! Time is flying by and soon we will enter the year of 2011. Can you believe it? Doesn’t it feel like Y2K was just last year? Remember the chaos?
As I prepare to enter another year, I can’t help but think of the many things that happened in my life this past year. I have a lot to be thankful for.
-          I am thankful for another year of life – I will soon be 25, but I often talk about how I still feel like I am 17…but perhaps a bit more grown up.
-          I am thankful for the time to dive into photography and the many opportunities that challenged me in exciting ways.
-          I am thankful for my Dgroup girls (High school and Junior High bible study) and all the things we have learned together.
-          I am thankful for good friends that bring joy to my heart - I miss those of you who are far away.
-          I am thankful for God’s divine patience, love, grace and mercy.
-          I am thankful for tulip fields for they take my breath away.
-          I am thankful for John - God has blessed me with a wonderful husband.
-          I am thankful for friends who took the time (and money) to come visit from faraway places.
-          I am thankful for many fun date nights.
-          I am thankful for my family – I don’t know what I would do without such wonderful people in my life.
-          I am thankful for John’s fast recovery after intestine surgery – seeing him hurting was so hard.
-          I am thankful for legs that can hike and a body that allows me to do nearly anything I want.
-          I am thankful for one more year of marriage and the ways it has challenged me to grow closer to the Lord.
-          I am thankful for all the times I got to see God’s creation while hiking and camping.
-          I am thankful for vacation time with family.
-          I am thankful for the opportunity to see many friends get married this past summer. May the lord bless their marriage all the days of their lives!
-          I am thankful for the beautiful coffee table my sister made just for me!
-          I am thankful for my new camera.
-          I am thankful for a new job.
-          I am thankful for a safe drive home despite the snow.
-          I am thankful for the gift of Jesus.
-          I am thankful for the ways life’s circumstances has strengthened my faith.
-          I am thankful for a car that has not broken down!
-          I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my community.
I am thankful for a lot of things – and a list like this one helps me remember the many ways God has provided. I am thankful for a loving and compassionate God who calls me his own!
I hope you all take the time to write a list of things you are thankful for. Sometimes it is easy to see the not-so-good-things in life, but if we take the time to reflect a bit, we begin to see that great things have happened as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What is Your Personality Like?

A coworker asked me if I had ever taken the ‘Myers-Briggs/Jung Personality Type’ test and I told her that I haven’t. I have not taken those tests not because I have never heard of them (everyone has heard of them!), but because I was always skeptical. One of my Communication professors at the University of Washington always talked about how those tests were plain garbage…so I didn’t see the point in wasting my time to find out something that isn’t really valuable.

But that coworker sent me a link to the test…and I had some time in my hands…so I took the test.

The results?


Unsure of what that meant, I did a bit of research and here is what J. Butt and M.M. Heiss have to say about people like myself:

“ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear."

For those of you who know me well, what do you think? Does this sound like me?

Monday, November 22, 2010


The snow came back!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Simple Things in Life

Today was a really cold day! So cold that I never removed my wool jacket or my gloves at church. Oh, I should also mention that it snowed - although it didn't last for long.

Today I got to go to a retirement home with a couple of young man and women from church. We sang hymns, read from the bible and learned about having the heart of a servant. We sat in cushioned chairs and introduced ourselves to elderly man and women. I got to talk to Bert for a while and enjoyed every minute of it. He told me about his days in the army, his trips to the country side of France, his desire to learn more languages...We talked about volcanoes and astronomy. I told him a bit about my life and he wants me to come back and bring John with me. He told me he would like to meet my husband. (The fact that I have a husband still tickles me - even though we have been married for over two years!)

Today I went grocery shopping and for the first time ever, had a Costco hot dog for dinner with John. Despite our many trips to Costco during the past two years, we never had their hot dogs. Today was the perfect day for that because I didn't have anything ready for dinner at home.

Today I got to snuggle with John for a long time. There is no better way to keep warm these days.

Today was a good day! It was full of simple memories that brought joy to my heart.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Importance of Solitude

I recently spent some time reading about the spiritual discipline of solitude and I wanted to share with you all a little bit about what I am learning by reading the book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

To tell you the truth, when I think of the word ‘solitude’ my mind immediately travels to negative memories. I think of feeling lonely. Without friends.  Without family nearby.

Growing up in a Western society where we are all encouraged to become comfortable with noise and crowds, the thought of solitude and even silence can seem a bit daunting. However, I have been learning that my connotations of the word ‘solitude’ are very different from the kind of solitude God call us to.

As a matter of fact, Jesus himself practiced solitude!

Mark 1:35
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Matthew 14:23
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

Luke 4:42
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.

What is the point of solitude? A couple of things come to mind, the one that speaks loudest to me is: to pray and to hear the voice of God. People like Elijah, Habakkuk and Paul stepped away from their daily routines to be able to hear the voice of heaven better. While one does not need to be far away from their routines in order to hear God, I have found that many times life can get so loud (literally and figuratively) that I cannot focus on what really matters. As a matter of fact, life can be loud even when I am alone.

Donald S. Whitney writes:
“Many of us need to realize the addiction we have to noise. It’s one thing to listen to the television, tape player, or radio while ironing or doing other chores, but it’s another thing habitually to turn one of these on immediately upon entering a room just to have sound. Even worse is to feel that it’s necessary to have background noise during Bible intake or prayer. I believe that convenience of sound has contributed to the spiritual shallowness of contemporary western Christianity. The advent of affordable, portable sound systems, for instance, has been a mixed blessing. The negative side is that now we don’t have to go anywhere without human voices. As a result we are less frequently alone with our own thoughts and God’s voices…”

How convicting this is to me! As a person who does not like to be alone, I have used music to distract the brain – to fool myself into thinking that I am not alone. However, I have hardly ever taken my time alone to “gaze on Christ with the eyes of my soul” (Tozer). This intimate time with God is not only precious, but it is needed! Time alone with our creator tends to air out the mind and iron out the wrinkles of the soul. It brings us back to our purpose. It brings us back to focus. It brings us back to abundant life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In My Head

Well, yesterday's post was short, but I suppose it was full of things that have been in my thoughts. If you don't really care about what is going on in my head, stop reading immediately! If you have nothing better to do at the moment, keep reading.

I am really tired. I can hardly think about anything other than being tired. My days have been long and full of new information...and my poor brain is overwhelmed. Unfortunately, I also have a cold which does not help me feel better. So, I think today is going to be a day full of cough drops, vitamin C and lots of water.

While I try to adapt to a new routine and work life, I find myself REALLY missing photography. To clarify, I have not given up on photography, I just have not had a lot of time to think about it...but I miss it! So, if any of you are in need of holiday pictures, or if you know someone who is looking for a photographer please tell them about me. My little fingers are itching to take some photos and I miss spending time with Adobe Lightroom.

While there are many more thing going on in my head, I am afraid I will have to end it here because I need to get going. I will be posting a longer blog post on the topic of  solitude this weekend, when I have more time to write.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

My first work day turned out to be a great one! I was nervous...nervous that traffic would be horrible, nervous I might be late, nervous...but all is well and I survived.

However, I woke up with a really bad sore throat. Seriously, I can hardly talk. Also, I don't have to come in to the office until later today, so I am cooking dinner, washing the dishes, going through my inbox and such.

I miss working out. I know that does not sound possible and I am not sure how that is possible, but it is true. My body misses moving and I can feel the muscles deteriorating every day that goes by without any exercise. I hope John and I can get used to a new routine soon so we can go back to our exercise!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Work Out Update # 8

Well folks, I don't have much to say about our work out this past week...mainly because we never worked out. Yup. You read it right. It just didn't happen this week.

I was gone for a job training in another state and even managed to pack my running shoes and other exercise gear. However, after a day of meetings and more meetings I had no energy to get myself to the gym. To be completely honest, I even put on my running outfit...

John had planed on continuing the work out routine and even got ready to go without me before he realized I had taken our gym's key with me. Oops. So, we skipped this week and plan on getting back to our routine this coming Monday. We'll see how that goes. I already feel less fit. Is that even possible?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

"A compassionate monkey rescued a fish from drowning and placed it in a tree for safety."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Heart of a Wife

I am away from John tonight…and I will be away from him until the end of the week. I am out of town for a job training and I’m having a hard time being apart from him this long. Since we got married (more then two years ago) I have only been far from John for two nights, so this is a record.

I spent my last day at home getting the house ready for him: restocking the fridge, doing the laundry, preparing some meals…

And as I prepared to leave him for a little while, I realized how much I cherish being his helper on a day to day basis. I like how we work as a team. I enjoy the fact that we depend on each other and are able to count on each other. I know that John is a ‘big boy’ and can take care of himself, but knowing that I can love him by taking care of some of his needs is a great blessing.

P.S. If I could magically turn tomorrow into Friday, I would!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Work Out Upade # ... 7

So, I haven't written a work out update in a while. Don't worry, we are still working out and have not quit (but I want to quit every single day).

It has been REALLY hard to feel motivated lately. While my muscles are no longer sore and the work out is much easier that when we first began, it is also harder to see progress from day to day. Many times it feels like I am wasting time.

I think part of the reason it has been so hard for me to feel motivated is that John and I have not had much time to just enjoy life. It seems that every night is filled with: work out, shower, eat dinner and go to sleep. Some days I just want to do something that is fun - and not sweaty...

But I have promised John that I am not going to quit and leave him to do the exercises by himself. We have both relied on each other in order to 'keep going' and it would not be very nice of me to break that promise. 

So, I am working on keep going...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Dear Readers,
I miss writing to you. Also, I am sorry for not having cool posts filled with cool pictures of cool life adventures. In reality, my life is not looking too cool lately.

John and I have been busy. Too busy. Not because we have once again filled our calenders with activities, but because life is bringing some unexpected curve balls. While John is busy preparing for some interviews and looking for another job, I am busy worrying about what life will be like in just a couple of days when we are both working full time.

Really, I feel silly admitting that I have been freaking out about this. How many hundreds, thousands or even millions of couples work full time? Um.Ya...I know I am being silly about this. But I worry that our lives will become our work. I worry that we will not have time to connect. I worry that I won't have time to invest in photography. I worry that the house is going to become a mess and that the laundry won't get done. I worry that I will be too tired after work to come home and cook dinner...and I like home cooked dinners.

Believe me, the worries are many and I don't like them.

I know that I am worrying because I am not relying on God. I know that I am struggling to trust that all will be well. I know that I am lacking faith.

Here is what the Bible says about worrying:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 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 6:25-34

I want to be like the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. I want to trust that God will provide for all our needs and all we need to do is make Him a priority in our lives. But this is easy to say, not easy to do.

So, this is what has been going on lately.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Stomach

Something funny happened to me yesterday…but first let me give you some background.

When John and I got married and I moved to a new town, I had to find a new grocery store, drycleaner, gas station…

I needed to get my wedding dress cleaned and had no idea it was going to cost a fortune to clean the dress. Anyways, I called every single drycleaner in town and eventually found one very close to my home. Ever since then, I take my clothes to that same drycleaner and they do a great job altering pants as well.

By now, the drycleaner owners know me by name – well, they call me Mrs. Nobile…and for the sake of their privacy I will call them Tim and Jane.

So, yesterday I walked in the drycleaner with a few pair of pants that needed to be shortened (because I am a bit short and no pants ever fit me right out of the store). I put on the first pair and walked out so Jane could mark the right length. When that pair was done, I put on the second pair. This time, Jane looked at me and this conversation took place:

Jane: Have you been eating lately?
Danielly: Ya. Why?
Jane: You have no stomach. No stomach at all. You need to eat.
Danielly: Well, I am doing this workout routine and I guess it has taken some of my stomach away.
Jane: You need to eat more!
Danielly: But I do eat!
Jane: But you need to eat real food. Not a salad. You need beans and rice and some meat.
Danielly: That is pretty much my favorite meal ever…what can possibly be better than beans, rice and meat?
Jane: Well, you need to eat more…

So apparently I am thin and I need to eat more. In reality, I am thinner because of the Body for Life exercise…I wish I could stay thin and stop working out…I just don’t want to spend my evenings at the gym anymore…but being more fit (and thinner) is not a bad outcome.

The funniest part of the interaction between Jane and I is that she kept petting my stomach while telling me that I have no stomach at all. She must have done it at least ten times. No one has ever touched my stomach like that before. I started wondering if that is what I will have to deal with when I am pregnant one day…

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

Time is going by faster than I can handle. Somehow we are already in November and Christmas will be here before I know it. Since Christmas is my favorite time of the year, I am thrilled! However, Thanksgiving will come before Christmas and right before that I will be starting a new job. I wonder what my life will be like by the time Christmas is here…

I currently have very bright red nails and very smooth feet. No, I didn’t go get a mani and a pedi. I actually painted my own nails because that is much cheaper and John helped me get rid of the cracks on my feet by using the Ped Egg he gave me two years ago.

Speaking of John, I have to declare how much I love him! Really, I could not have asked for a better husband. He loves me with all his heart and he is willing to do nearly anything for me. Seriously, he got rid of the cracks on my feet! He also washed my hair yesterday because I didn’t want to mess up my bright red nails. I have the best husband ever!

I also have a really bad stomach ache that kept me awake at night. I might never drink beer again. Our refrigerator is nearly empty and it is time to go grocery shopping. The weather outside could not be more gloomy and I miss feeling the sun’s warmth.
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