Friday, November 9, 2012

A Thankful Heart: Grace

[grace: the active communication of divine blessings by the inworking of the Holy Spirit, out of the fullness of Jesus]

Most days, I remember to see glimpses of God's grace.
Some days, I forget. Or I choose to not remember those moments.
But there are those few days when the entire day is filled with an abundance of moments of grace.
Like today.

Today was my "weekend" {in the life of a nurse}.
I woke up to a wet ground and cloudy skies... remnants of rain.
My sister and I went for a pleasant walk around the lake with our puppies.
Then we picked up Christmas drinks.
I came home to a cozy and clean home, and my husband working happily from home.
I bundled up for a lunch date with our good friend at a yummy hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop.
I spent the afternoon sipping coffee and crafting to music.
Jesus and I had a sweet worship session and I read about David's heart in 1 Chronicles.
I listened to a happy husband's voice chat with his friend and watched our puppies play.

And I recognize that these are glimpses of the Lord's grace in my life.
I'm thankful for small pieces of Kingdom vision that allow me to identify grace.
I'm humbled by a God who cares so deeply for His people that he would bless us so abundantly.
Ultimately, I'm forever saved by the God who died for me and is alive today.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Thankful Heart: Community

I have been a part of many different bible studies growing up. 
Each of which helped form and shape me into the woman I am today.
Each brought {primarily} women who loved Jesus and loved each other 
to teach me love and joy and grace.

The most recent bible study I have the privilege of being a part of 
is made up of J and me, and just a few special friends.
I must say, it has been such a blessing to do community with others in a raw way.
I love growing with others in the Lord and in friendship.

Tonight was another night of fellowship with friends.
And I'm reminded how thankful I am for community.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Thankful Heart: Conversations of Hope

I spent much of the morning today talking to J about life.
We discussed finances, the future of our family, and our vision for life.
We shared dreams and together created goals and ideas.

I love heartfelt conversations in which dreaming can happen, the future becomes almost attainable, and the present becomes more amazing than I realized.

Today, I am thankful for the ability to hope,
parameters within which to hope and freedom to then jump outside those limits,
and a husband to jump with.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Thankful Heart: New Life & Coffee Dates in Red Cups

Today, I had the blessing of making house visits and visiting special people in my life.

First, I spent the morning with my special friend at home on bedrest.
We celebrated her birthday with peppermint lattes and lots of girl talk on her comfy couches.
Sipping coffee, doing her dishes, sharing in her nursery room joy,
and talking about the future of children and the treasure of new life.
Laughing thinking back over the journey of life we have walked through together 
and how we ended up where we are now.
I loved every minute of our time together.
The Lord is molding her heart for the little one still growing inside her 
and I am so excited for her to get to experience being a mom. 
She's going to be amazing at it.
 [from her baby shower last week]

Then I visited my little buddy Adrian and his mommy Nicole.
I used to have the privilege of watching him grow up every day.
Now I get to jump in for snippets every once in awhile.
It was so fun to watch this little 2 1/2 year old jump around, dance, laugh, ask for tickles, and tell me all the words he knows. And it was so special to catch up with his mommy and hear about the family and wedding plans and silly kid stories and yummy dinner ideas.
All over white peppermint mocha frappuccinos.

There's something about sharing coffee with friends that creates a bond.
Especially on day one of red cups.

It is so exciting to think about the future, to share dreams with each other, to laugh,
to plan and then say - Lord take my plan.

Today, I am thankful for new life. 
And getting to see and share in it over red coffee cups.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Thankful Heart: November

November 1st brings with it many warm feelings... and most of them involve thankfulness.

Thankful for fall.
Thankful for family.
Thankful for weather changes.
Thankful for the near completion of another year.
Thankful for the upcoming holiday season.
Thankful for joy.

And so, this November, like last November, I come to this place with a thankful heart.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Friday, October 19, 2012

NANN 2012

This week, I attended my first {partial} professional conference!

I am so blessed to work in a hospital, in a specialty unit, doing what I love.

I love being an RN. I love being a NICU nurse. I love where I work.

I am so so thankful!

I got to go to the conference with my amazing friend, preceptor, and coworker. 
I seriously adore Lindsey.

She teaches me, laughs with me, shares with me, encourages me, and supports me.
I love love love Lindsey, and I am so very thankful that I get to work alongside her.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just me

Coffee shakes... ice cream... frozen yogurt... frappuccinos... these things make me smile in a huge way.
I talk about being organized. I have a degree in organization. But I'm actually not that organized. But maybe I'm more organized than I think I am. [I have a dilemma with organization.]
I want to like to read so much. But I've only made it through one whole book in the last year.
Listening to music soothes my soul. Especially music with lyrics that speak Truth.
I love adventures. New cities, new songs, new routes, new friends, new ideas. Every change and piece of newness becomes a story to tell later. 
I wish I was a snuggler. But I'm really not. But I do like hugs. A lot.
I have a dream of a perfectly crafted home filled with peace and love and beauty. 
I can't wait to be a mom. Well, maybe I can. But I am sure excited for it. 
I'm terrified of what to do if I have a boy. I love baby boys. But once they turn 3 or 4... what do I do? Thankfully, they grow just one day at a time.
Coffee dates and tea parties make my heart full. 
One on one time is my very favorite. 
I never get tired of hanging out with my sister. She is just the funnest ever.
I didn't know I was such a dog person until I got Emma. That little black canine won my heart so fast. And her little counterpart won my heart too.
There is a constant battle in my head to paint every wall a different color and unique theme, and to have a uniformly themed "adult" home.
I wish I could craft all day long. And come up with crafts on my own instead of pinterest. But I sure love pinterest for ideas. :)
I love how much my husband loves our family. He's gonna be a great dad.
I really love kraft macaroni and cheese. And bean and cheese burritos. I'm a kid at heart stomach.
I've always had categorized friends. Church friends, nursing friends, work friends, nurse friends, college friends, married friends. I rarely mix them for fear of anyone feeling left out or uncomfortable.
I really like calendars. And lists. But half the time, I forget to put things on the calendar. And I lose my list.
Sharpies are the cats pajamas.
I make up phrases/words a lot. Not on purpose. I say it how I think it is supposed to be said, but it usually turns out to be a little off. 
The word "condone" makes me cringe. It sounds so angry. But it's a compliment? Too confusing for me. I've'd that bad boy more times than I can count.
J describes me as the most dependently independent person he's ever known. I tend to agree.
Wintergreen tictacs make me feel like I'm 10 all over again. Those little light green friends are sure hard to find these days.
Target? Every single item in every single aisle? Be still my beating heart. I swear they market RIGHT TO ME.
I love fall. I love changing colors and falling leaves and cool weather and clouds and rain. Mostly rain. :)
I'm constantly learning. Always trying to grow. Frequently humbled. And awed by my Savior's grace He bestows on me daily.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Falling into Thankfulness

Right about this time of the year is when I begin wishing the view out my balcony was more like this.

Alas, I suppose I should be satisfied in beautiful San Diego.
The weather is finally cooling off to the mid-70s this week, which is a fun change.
Still sunshiney as ever, but I hear the clouds may be rolling in soon for a brief sprinkle. 

And I remember,
I am thankful.

For our peaceful home.
For colors and how they change with the seasons.
For my city I get to live in.
For my husband. How sweet he is to me.
For a job I love and an incredible friend to mentor me as a nurse.
For the two cutest pups I've ever seen - Baker's spunk and Emma's sensitivity.
For the seasons and the anticipation and joy each season brings of its own.
For my little bird who cracks me up with his songs he sings.
For laughter and joy and love.
For my sister. Oh how I adore my sister. She makes me l.a.u.g.h.!
For fresh new fall bedding and new fluffy pillows.
For my mom. How much she loves me. No matter what.
For special friends... sharing joys and trials with them.
For my family. How much I enjoy spending time with each of them.
For the sunshine. Because without light, I would live in darkness.
For my Savior. My true source of Light.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Snapshots: Cousin Walks

Cousin walk #1

Cousin walk #2

Cousin walk #4
{when Carly takes up a dog-walking business, this is gonna be her cover photo... if only Ava wasn't blinking... hehe}

Cousin walk #5 
{God is good, we had time, and the sky rocked, so we did a little photo-capturing}

she loves her mommy :)
 {our best attempt at a family photo}
I love these guys. Seriously adore each of these furry pups and think the world of my sister.
So thankful for these simple moments.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Divine cups of coffee

A few weeks ago, my sister and I decided to take our pups on a cousin walk. This is a newer thing we've been doing to try to warm Baker up to the thought of having to share his auntie with a cute little rambunctious Ava. ;) So far... well, each day is another step.


We decided to walk so we would pass Starbucks close to the end of our walk. We decided we would pick up a few drinks to go.

But once we got there, we said to each other, "should we stay or go? ehh... let's just sit for a few minutes."

As we discussed something related to the amount of cream vs sweetener vs extra pumps required to make our iced coffees just right, a young woman walked up to us from her car. She said, "can I pet your dogs?" "Of course!" we said. She sat down at our table with us and we introduced the animals.

As I said "and this is Emma... she's really shy..." I watched my sensitive intuitive puppy walk right up to this girl and sit quietly in front of her. And she just stayed and let this girl pet her.

After a few minutes of petting her and talking about how much she loves animals, she told us she lost her kitty the week prior. Then she told us she was on her way to spread her dad's ashes. He had died in the hospital about a month prior. She talked about how she had to speak and was having a hard time, and about her kids and how they were coping with the loss of grandpa. And she said how much she has missed having a pet since her kitty ran away. She said, "I pulled up and saw your dogs and I said to my husband, 'I have to pet those dogs.' And he said, 'I know.'"

We spent about 10 minutes listening to her share her story. We shed tears together and we talked about life. And the whole time, my skiddish Emma sat faithfully and let this woman pet her. Finally, she said she should probably go get her coffee and head to the ceremony. As she got up, I caught a glimpse of the tattoo on her arm with scripture on it.

After she walked inside, Carly and I looked at each other in amazement. I said we should have prayed for her. Carly said she was thinking the same exact thing. We decided we still needed to. I told her about the verse on her arm.

A few moments later, the woman walked out with her husband and we stopped her. "Are you a Christian?" "yes" she said. "We are too. Can we pray for you?" "YES! please! oh you want to?! thank you!" and she sat down so quickly. Emma quickly walked back to her and sat down. And we prayed for this young girl. For her heart. For her words. For wisdom and comfort and peace. For healing. For protection. For her children. For her family.

At the end, we looked up with tears in our eyes and all gave each other hugs. "I'm Jamie" she said. "I feel connected now!" she said. We said goodbye.

As we watched Jamie and her husband drive off to her dad's service, we again looked at each other amazingly.

1. we were not even going to sit. we sat for a few minutes just on a whim.
2. emma never sits that still with strangers. she's always so skiddish. but she's also the most perceptive animal i've ever known and she knew something was going on and Jamie needed her.
3. we both knew we needed to pray. and Jamie knew she needed to be prayed for.
4. we all took leaps of faith. and God made Himself SO real, so present, so loving, so true.

We slowly made the walk back home. But we were different. We watched a little miracle happen. In all of our hearts.

This is the evidence of God at work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Power in Love

God is faithful to daily remind me of His multidimensional character.

Today, I am reminded of His power.
God fights for His people.
Because He loves His people.
He works daily unique miracles for His people.
God is For His people.

{At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, 
and he said in the sight of Israel,

"Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon."
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped.
until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.

Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? 
The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 
There has been no day like it before or sincewhen the Lord heeded the voice of a man, 
for the Lord fought for Israel.}

Joshua 10:12-14

As I read this, a familiar Kari Jobe song came on that has become an anthem for my life.

And I prayed this prayer to the God of Heaven and Earth:

Lord, you are so faithful, so constant, so loving and so true.
You are so powerful in all you do.
You are so patient, so gracious, so merciful and true.
You are wonderful in all you do.
You fill me, you see me, you know my every move.
And you love for me to sing to you.
I know that you are FOR me,
and I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness.
I know that you have come now, even if to write upon my heart to remind me who you are.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mini Moments

hot dogs and ice cream cones at the ballpark
heartfelt conversation with a good friend
blackout curtains installed {hello sleep-by-day-work-by-night lifestyle!}
spontaneous email from my Greek bestie
looking through old pictures
freshly painted nails
laying my eyes on my coffee bean giftcard
baker's facial expressions after puppy summer cuts part two
air conditioning in 95 degree weather
cheery yellow flowers in a vase on my counter
Luigi's sweet little chirp
a glimpse of Ali's baby bump
full glass of iced mango lemonade
running through sprinklers with J, em and bakes
my toes in our soft new carpet
J's kiss and "you're beautiful" before leaving for work
Ava's excited love-my-auntie licks
$54 shoes on sale for $11 + 15% off + $10 coupon = free shoes
spontaneous evening dinner and hangout with my family
remembering fall is coming soon {cool mornings, pumpkin cupcakes, and color changes}
family time on the bed

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Life as I've Known It: the Recap {Jan-July}

Well hello, July. It's nice to see you... 
except you mean we are already 9 months into 2012. 
that means I have not even posted one blog per month average.
i.     a. m.     l. a. m. e.

-- so a quick life update with the basics of what has happened since 2012 --

John and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.
We also launched a season of home improvement projects 
{read: we tore the house apart... and then had to figure out how to put it back together :)}

We shared many meals with many friends and I celebrated pregnancies of friends.
We continued our home remodeling.

My dear college roomie married her new bestie.
We continued remodeling.
J and I traded in our vehicles for a gorgeous F150 and cute green focus.
J flew to Oregon for a job interview and to visit our best friends.
I got a promotion at work and said goodbye to the family I've grown to love {at least goodbye to daily hellos}

I began working full time as RN Case Manager.
J got a job offer for his previous position at Point Loma... and took it
{read: we decided to stay in San Diego!}
We attempted to close out our remodeling project... minus a few loose ends.
J's brother and sister in law moved from San Jose back to West Virginia where she is from.

We had a bible study reunion when Katie and baby Elle came to town from Oregon.
My beautiful sister grew up and graduated college and we celebrated quite a bit.
We went to our friend's wedding and I finally met his beautiful bride {aka: my twin}.
My sister got a puppy... which means we gained a niece!! 

I interviewed for and received an offer for my dream job... a NICU nurse.
The puppies got summer cuts.
Sam and Valinda visited and we had a lot of fun hanging with them.
We celebrated J's 26th birthday.
Steve won 2 grammys for the amazingly awesomely creative commercial he crafted.
I finished out my time at Western Health HomeCare {love those girls}.

I had a bit of downtime between jobs in which I obtained a gym membership, went shopping, saw the Padres play, and hung out with my sister a lot. Thank you God for vacation :)
I discovered Wicked, the musical. I am in love. Go see it... you must. It is anything but wicked.
I started my new job as a NICU nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

It has been a crazy few seasons of change, challenge, blessing, and joy.
I have been reminded time and time again that God is so SO faithful!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Capture the Moments: Ava

Meet my sister's precious puppy {and my favorite niece of all time}.
Meet Ava.