Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Highlights

This was a great weekend. 

We enjoyed dinner with our dear friends Mark and Katie to celebrate Mark's birthday.
[please excuse the zoomed in 'me' - i was obviously taking the picture and a bit too eager, so J got a bit hidden...]

 Saturday morning RAINY :) coffee date with my mom - it had been FOREVER!!!

Some laundry, organizing, cleaning, relaxing, napping, walking, and blog-reading.

A sunshiney day on Sunday - which was beautiful... although I was promised rain all weekend... 

An awesome Sunday morning of church - I love church on Sundays!

Grocery shopping with my hubby

Beautiful flowers - thank you Bun!

A bit of "Trauma" watching - love that show!

Lots of good chats

The Brig's happy hour - and my first bowl of clam chowder... love it!!

And the beginning of a BIG adventure with my mom...
more on that coming soon :)

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Braving the journey

Sometimes I am encouraged by the testimony of another.
Sometimes I am convicted by the testimony of another.
Sometimes I am motivated by the testimony of another.

And sometimes, I am a combination of these, when hearing the testimony of another.

A few weeks ago, our church held what was called a ministry fair, where all of the different ministries of the church got to share what they offer and how God is working in their individual ministries. 

While walking through, I had the opportunity to meet Brooks, a missionary in Papua New Guinea.
His story is incredible. 

He and his beautiful wife, Nina, grew up in America and Brooks worked in Corporate America for years. 
They lived with their son, Beau, and were content with life 
until they began to feel that God had bigger plans for them. 

A few months later, they found themselves on a tiny plane headed to Papua New Guinea where they would live as missionaries and members of a tribe of people, learning their language and loving the people as Jesus loves them. 

Brooks shared the story of their very first journey into the tribe at church a few weeks ago. 
It was a journey of complete and total trust in the Lord.

Their plane landed in the middle of a forest-y area, 
and they canoed and hiked for the next few days to get to the tribe. 
Through swamps and brush, encountering all types of creatures.
And then they arrived.
They didn't know if the tribe would welcome them or try to kill them.
They were prepared to lose their lives for the sake of the gospel.

That was in 2004. 

I met them last month, after they had been a part of this culture for over 6 years.
They have 'family' there, and they are a part of the Yembi Yembi tribe.
They have killed crocodiles and 17 foot boa constrictors.
They have survived malaria.
They have underwent all types of criticism, hardship, grief, and physical challenges.
Through it all, they have lived in the name of Jesus Christ.

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:20-21

The faith of Brooks and Nina encourages me.
It convicts me.
It motivates me.

It is real. Truly genuine. Raw. And beautiful.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—
may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:6-9

God, I desire to have faith that is proved genuine 
and brings praise, glory and honor to you.
Give me boldness with every step I take.
And may every step and every thought be according to your will.
I praise you for your strength, your love, and your promises.
Help me to find joy in braving the journey.

This is my friend, Brooks.
(see that amazingly constructed table with a covering behind us? yah... he built that)
Please keep he and Nina and Beau in your prayers as they love these people and live amongst them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February love: I love Sunsets in the Sky

I am daily awed by the beauty of the sky.
Most frequently and obviously, I see it in the sunsets.
Mostly because that's when I'm outside looking at the sky.
I know sunrise is beautiful too, and the daytime and the nighttime. 
But the relaxing feeling of a new sunset every night is just perfect.

It's like there's a master artist painting the sky...
oh wait... there IS.

I love:
Sunsets and Skies

These are a few over the last week and a half from my iphone, so they aren't perfect, but you get the idea...


"Have you not known? Have you not heard? 
The Lord is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
  his understanding is unsearchable."
Isaiah 40:28

Monday, February 21, 2011

February love: I love my sister

Hands down, best sister in the world. in my humble opinion... :)

Today, I received a message from her that read:

"so im sitting here, celebrating presidents day with classes and oreos dunked in milk.... frustrated that i dont have today off - frustrated that YOU dont have today off. cuz then we could be home, eating oreos dunked in milk and watching movies. 

....and i just finished the oreos..."

And all I could do was laugh. 

Because J and I have been in the hugest oreo phase over the past few weeks. (mind you, we both haven't had oreos in years... well, at least I haven't).

Like, we have oreos and milk almost every night... double stuff... straight out of the frig.

My sister and I are as different as night and day... yet similar as the day is long (btw, I never understood that phrase).

I got to spend Saturday night with her when she came down from school for the weekend. And it was awesome. She's smart, pretty, funny, and wise. 

And she's my sister.
I'm so lucky.

Today and everyday,
I love 
my sister
She wrote this cute blog post that I dedicated to myself... :) ... so in honor of that, I made her a Valentine's card.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

So ... yeah

So many thoughts. And yet I can't articulate them. I keep starting these 'semi-creative' blogs, but nothing is working. So maybe if I just write it will be easier.

Thus, another edition of So....... Yeah, and other random thoughts.

My pastor started a teaching series on the book of Hebrews last week. translation: He's preaching about Jesus for the next few months. Which is pretty much the best topic ever, so I'm super excited. I'm learning a lot, and loving it. And it reminded me of a song I know... wanna learn Hebrews 1:1-4?

My blogging skills have been sub-sub-sub-sub-par this month. Shame on me. I won't give much more attention because it's kinda annoying for you when I just say how I haven't blogged much. Oh well. Each day is a fresh start.

Bummer thing about nursing is I don't get holidays off work. Like the rest of the world will tomorrow. Except my sister. Poor girl goes to a school who doesn't take President's Day. Really? ;)

My desk has papers and bills stacked on it. Yeah, three stacks. Pretty much my worst organizational nightmare. Wanna know what else is on my desk? Alcohol swabs, lotion, a picture frame, CD, water bottle, gum, stapler, business cards, recipes, cards, giftcard, and a printer. Too many things on top. On a good note, I made two homemade cards this weekend. Ignoring the piles made my heart skip a beat, but crafting made my heart smile.

J went grocery shopping with me again tonight. He's so good at doing that with me. I love it. It makes it so much better. And we went to the Brig for happy hour beforehand. Which makes a Sunday night a million times better. I'm thankful that he convinced me to go out with him. Thanks babe :).

I am loving this rainy weather. Although, I took a face dive on Friday night on our asphalt with my pups in the pouring rain. That was a bummer. I just did that a couple months ago, too. I am so my mother's daughter. She fell at work this week and broke a bone in her wrist. Yeah, I know. Awful. I told her it was a sympathy fall.

Luigi's whistling, which means he's tired at this hour. J took the pups outside for their last bathroom run. Which means it's time for me to get ready for bed. Ready or not...

here comes the week!

What about you? Are you off for President's Day? Any fun plans? :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Feelings of late

Exhausted from staying up too late every night and waking up so early
 Thankful for a job as an RN
  Proud of my husband and his passionate heart
   Relieved Michelle got kicked off the Bachelor
    Sad my parents are sickies
     Blessed to have such great friends
      Reminiscent of life in Point Loma
       Accomplished that I payed bills
        Relaxed after a Saturday of crafting, rain, and family
       Filled after spending time with my mom, sis and stepdad tonight
      Discouraged that I'm basically a non-blogger and have missed out on reading some of my favorites
     Frustrated at not being able to do things right the first time
    Excited for my new PC pizza stone to come
   Bummed that I never feel caught up and always feel behind at almost everything
  Loved by my family, friends, husband, puppies, and heavenly father
 Humbled by the love, peace, grace, and joy of Christ
Content cuddling with my family listening to the rain

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pray for Kate

I've been following Kate's story and praying for her and her sweet family for over a year now
I love this family. Aaron and Holly love their three kids so very much, and they treasure their little girl, Kate. 

In summary, Kate was diagnosed with brain cancer June 29, 2009 at the age of five. 
A year later, after multiple surgeries, chemo treatments, and radiation, her brain scans came back clean. 
She continued to have scans every three months to check for any new growth. 
She's a little miracle.

Last week, she had another MRI.
This one came back with two new spots.
This week, Kate's neurologist and medical team shared with the family that the spots are cancer.

This seven year old little girl needs our prayers more than ever.

Please pray for her parents, Aaron and Holly.
Pray for her little brother Will, and her big sister Olivia.

Isaiah 43:1-2
"But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.""

Monday, February 7, 2011

February love: I love weekends

Working full time has given me a whole new appreciation for two small days called weekends.

Weekends bring: 
rest, rejuvenation, busyness, family and friends, socialization, catch-up, cleaning, cooking, and sleeping... 
to name a few things.

I love

This weekend in particular,
J and I spent the entire time together. 
We went to Starbucks, Michaels, Target, Costco, and Vons.
We celebrated Steve and visited with family, including Carly, at his birthday dinner at Grandma's house.
We [attempted to] sleep in.
We went to church.
We cleaned and did laundry.
We watched the Super Bowl. [yay Packers!!]
We revisited our goals and talked about life, today, tomorrow, and the future.
We cooked, we laughed, and we rested.

It was the best.
If only every day was the weekend...

Friday, February 4, 2011

My friend and fellow J-Mc is 24 today

It's Jessi's birthday!!!!

Hooray for a little Jack Bauer celebration.

I love this girl more than I can express.

And I'm so thankful for another year of friendship that just gets better and more genuine.

Love you Jess.

You're 24... it's your birthday... and it's Friday! How much better could it be? :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February love: I love Photography

Since I've struggled at blogging over the last month, I gave myself a project for this next month.
It's February 3rd. Guess what - I already missed a day.
As Ali would say, ce la ville.
Thank goodness for second chances and new starts :)

What else do I love?


The best part about photography is that every image captures a moment. A second. 
Every image is a glimpse into someone's thoughts,
and the world through someone else's eyes.
[that is, when other people besides me take the pictures]

If I was going to change my career again, I think I would be a photographer
[or a coffee shop owner...
but I'm not changing my career, at least not now, and this is off topic...]

I love looking back through old pictures and reliving memories time and time again.
I love saying, "we have to take a picture so we don't forget!"

I'm thankful for a family who also loves to take pictures,
or at least humors me over and over again :)

I'm thankful for the minds that came up with the idea of a camera, and film.

I'm thankful for the finances that made it possible to buy a camera
so I could document my life and the lives of those around me.
[even though I haven't taken many pictures recently... let this be a challenge to me]

I love the simplicity and yet complexity of a photo.

I love photography.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February love: I love mornings

Since February is known as "the love month" in some circles :) 
I thought I would share something I love each day of this month. 

I love:

As tired as I often am, I love getting up while it is still dark [most of the time].
I love morning showers
and putting on clean clothes.
I love the beginning of a brand new day.
I love breakfast.
I love reading my Bible while enjoying a cup of coffee,
like I did this morning.
I love praying for the day on my way to work,
knowing what to expect,
and yet,
really not knowing at all what to expect.
I love the newness of the morning.
Some mornings are better than others. [like Saturdays :)]
But every morning is new.

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
      His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
      his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
      therefore, I will hope in him!”
Lamentations 3:22-24 [NLT]

His mercies are new each morning.
That is reason enough to love the morning.

Desiring clean hands

My hands have been so dry lately. 
And that drives. me. crazy. 
(the period. thing. also drives me crazy, but for lack of a better way to emphasize, there. ya. go.)
I feel like I always need to wash them and put lotion on... to make them clean and soft and fresh again.

I've always loved to wash my hands.
[I'm also addicted to lotion... 
my sweet husband who doesn't like smelly things tolerates my addiction so well...
but this is a side note].

I love how, in just a minute or less, my hands go from feeling warm and not-so-clean to cool, soft, and fresh.

It's amazing that the simple process of washing my hands makes me feel totally clean.
And yet, it makes sense.
Because my hands are so representative of me.
Where are my hands all day? What do they do? And what does that say about me?

One of my favorite passages and worship songs talks about clean hands.

"Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
   And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
   who does not lift up his soul to what is false
   and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD
   and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
   who seek the face of the God of Jacob."
[Psalm 24:3-6]

I don't always have clean hands. Or a pure heart. 
In fact, I often don't have either.

But I have these verses posted on my bathroom mirrors.
And every time I wash my hands, I pray this.

God, my desire is to have clean hands and a pure heart, 
to be a girl that lifts her soul to what is true, 
and to be one who is true.

Lord, continue to cleanse me, little by little, into who You have made me to be.
I give you my hands.
And my heart.