Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oh what a beautiful morning!

The weather the last four days has been absolutely glorious! I have been able to plant my flowers and enjoy the outdoors of my home to the fullest - it's FABULOUS! I am currently sitting on my back deck, enjoying the sounds of birds chirping and reveling in all the green leaves that surround me - I love this country life I live!

This has been a really good week for me - productive and relaxing. I've actually been on call since Monday so it's always a little tense and you never know when your phone will ring. BUT, despite this, it's been great! And this weekend has just been pure joy. I've been up early which means I've accomplished the necessary tasks early enough to not impede on the rest of the day and as I said before, the weather has been fantastic so I've really been able to just enjoy being outside for a change.

I had dinner with my good friend twice this weekend, and might I also add that both Friday and Saturday nights we indulged in turtle sundaes...yes, we did! And they were mighty good, although I wouldn't have minded more caramel, fudge, and pecans...but I'm just sayin...LOL! I love this season and all the good food and desserts that come with it. I'm not overindulging either - I am still sticking to my guns with my diet and exercise routine while this foot heals - but I'm also trying to enjoy these things too. I'm a person who thrives on balance and I know well enough to not go too crazy, and fortunately I haven't backslided and have continued to maintain my healthy weight, so PRAISE GOD!

I started reading The Purpose Driven Life a little over a week ago. The last time I spoke to a trusted spiritual mentor at church, she had mentioned that I might consider reading this book as I continue to seek and grow in my relationship with the Lord. I've actually owned the book for quite some time, but never got past Day 8 for some reason...I just must not have been ready for the content or something. I'm happy to say that I'm currently on my twelfth day and I'm really enjoying it. I just read one chapter a day and by the end, will have done this for a full 40 days. I hope to come away with a deeper understanding of who I am in Christ and what His purpose is for me by the end of this 40 day journey.

Summer tends to be more relaxed for me. My activity with the church tends to slow down a bit, as I like to recuperate after two full sessions of study and leadership during the fall and spring seasons. But just because my activity slows, doesn't mean I want my relationship with God to grow stagnant. I'm really praying that my relationship and friendship with the Lord would grow tremendously over these summer months and that I would be drawn into deeper intimacy with the God of my life. I'm really craving God - I've even come to think of myself as a Jesus Girl - I just want ALL of Him to envelope ALL of me! My aunt and I are actually looking to do a book study together starting late June. We're going to read Margaret Feinberg's "The Organic God" and I'm super stoked about it. I've only read one of her books to date, so I'm looking forward to checking out more of her material. I'm prayerful that my aunt and I will learn a great deal, and not only grow closer to God, but to each other as well. It's such a blessing to have a spiritual friend in my family!

I've included some random pictures as part of this post. These are the little things in life that bring me joy. It's part of that process of me becoming more transparent and living my life out loud and in the open. I think to be genuine is to be open with ourselves, others, and God about the things we like, dislike, etc. It can be difficult at times, but I think it's also the best way to be.

That's all for now. Time to enjoy this exquisite sunshine and warmth! Happy Sunday!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse #10

Just a quick post to share my 10th Scripture Memory Verse...

John 15:5 (The Message)

"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing."

Made it through another week and ended it by going up north for the first time this weekend. Got everything opened up and cleaned. Looking forward to going up for the long Memorial Day weekend in two weeks and really having the time to enjoy it!

My husband took me to go see Soul Surfer last night, and wow! What a great movie that was! I was grocery shopping this afternoon and picked up the biography of Bethany Hamilton, under the same title, and am looking forward to learning more about her and her story. She is a true inspiration, especially for young women and really for all of us who have experienced hardship and asked, "Why me?" It really got me motivated for starting to run again after I heal from this foot injury and training for a half marathon. Bethany's hard work and determination, against all odds, really is testament that with God, nothing is impossible! (This actually applies to my memory verse too...gotta love it!)

Well, that's all for now. Making homemade tomato soup for dinner and trying to relax before the start of another week! Good evening!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Beauty in Bloom

Just checking's an absolutely beautiful sunny day! Aside from going to church this morning, I've just been relaxing - journaling, reading, and napping - taking the time to rest and be refreshed in the Lord's beauty. It has been wonderful - I definitely needed some time to just chill out for a change.

In the past two weeks, everything has just started to pop to life up here. These pictures are of just things in our yard to document our first spring at the new house. It's hard to believe it's almost been a year since we closed on this property and officially made it our home. It's such a sanctuary compared to where we were before - I'm so blessed for the beauty of not only our home, but the country life around us. There's nothing like waking up and being able to watch the sunrise over the field across the street like we did this morning - a stretch of pink and a bright orange fireball in the midst of it to give us an invigorating start to the day and a reminder of God's majestic nature. It's awesome!

I'm still in the healing process with my broken foot. It's been sore, but I think that's part of it getting back to where it needs to be. Wearing the boot makes it easier to get around, but can make it almost too easy to overdo it as well. After a few days of "go, go, go" it takes a toll and I get to the point where I know it's time to take a break and put the foot up. I continue to pray that it heals and gets stronger everyday so that I can get back to the activities I love and miss so much, especially with this lovely weather. I am definitely more appreciative of my ability to run and be active since having this injury. Being broken seems to put everything, even the tiniest details of our lives, in perspective. I'm learning that it is when we are broken (metaphorically or literally) that we are most open to God and the wholeness that only He can provide. It allows us to get to a point where all we can do is look up to Him and accept the invitation He offers and what a life changing invitation that is! The things I've been learning and receiving from Him the past few weeks have been transforming. I want to keep moving forward in this direction of constant communion and fellowship with Him even after my foot heals. I've realized that my priorities need to be Him in first place, my marriage in second, and everything else after that. As I do that, He puts me back together - whole and complete in Him!

That's really all I have for today. I just felt the need to post a little something. I'll be headed up north for the first time next weekend and am looking forward to the get-away. It's almost Memorial Day and I have much to do to get our place in order for the summer months ahead. I can't wait to be on the lake, enjoying the scenery and peace and ice cream...LOL! It's going to be wonderful - I can feel it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May!

A new month begins - oh, the endless opportunities and possibilities that await this month of May! I am in need of some newness, my friends! I've blogged about the rollercoaster I've been on, but I'm ready to steady myself and get back on the straight track with God! I love that the beginning of the month falls on today, Sunday. Being able to spend ample time with the Lord in His Word, having the extra time to blog, then going to church and enjoying a lunch of fellowship with dear Sisters in Him...yes, this is what my soul needs as this month begins, I can't think of a better way to kick this month off!

As today marks the first day of the month, it is time for me to reveal my next 9th Scripture Memory Verse for the year...

Luke 12:31-32, The Message

Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're My dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.

How I love the Word of God! God lead me to this as part of a passage my devotional had me read this morning. It totally encompasses the things God has been speaking to me in my time of fasting and prayer - the concept of fearing God (revering Him deeply in all things at all times) and the knowledge that my life is a story that is all about Him (His love, grace, and resurrection power in my life). As this new month begins, I want to steep (devote, commit, seek wholeheartedly) myself in Him and all that He is so that I may better know who I am and the abundant life He has called me to. Yes, I've had some set-back this past month, but as I wrote in my journal this morning, I am ready to get out of depression mode and get to a high place with God - a place where I can see Him clearly and experience all that He has for me! Bring it on, Lord, and please do not let the enemy get a foothold. Strengthen my mind, make my heart steadfast, and give my soul rest that I may have victory in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, the God and Savior of my life!

As for an update on my foot...I do have good news...Praise God! I saw the foot specialist on Thursday and I am thankfully now off the crutches and out of my cast. The foot is still broken and needs time to heal, however, so I am in a post-op shoe for the next 6-7 weeks. I still am not able to run, but the doctor said that for my cardio exercises, I should be able to bike using my heel to pedal, and of course I can continue with my upper body weight lifting and some of my core exercises as well, as long as no major pressure is put on the foot. I see the specialist again on June 9th and I'm hopeful that I'll be healed and ready to start running again after that. My goal is to start seriously training for a half-marathon that next week, so I've got to really take the time to get healed and prepare myself for that intense training in the meantime. I'm praying this time of no running will be used by God to go deeper in my communion with Him, that I may experience a higher and better emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual balance. This is sacred time I've been given - I'm choosing to see this obstacle of a broke foot as an opportunity to experience Him more fully and be transformed into His likeness! I'm so excited - I can't even explain the excitement and joy I feel of being chosen by God to go beyond with Him. I think it's going to be an amazing journey and that I will come out of this with a stronger testimony than ever before!

God is GOOD! God is FAITHFUL! God is LOVE! God is ALIVE! He makes all things NEW! I am ready to be made new in Him! Come, Lord Jesus, and have Your way with this girl's heart!

Happy May!