Saturday, October 30, 2010

Breakfast in Belgium.

When I went to Belgium we stayed in a place called Operation Mobilization, basically a hostel. Every morning I'd get up, grab a cup of strong coffee or tea and check email and visit with whoever else was up for a bit. Eventually we'd make our way into the dining room for some food before we got going for the day. Each morning the "inn-keeper" would set out a buffet of breakfast foods for the guests. It consisted of your choice of about 8 different cereals, 5 different breads, salami, turkey, ham, cheese, fresh fruit, yogurt, orange juice and apple juice and a variety of "spreads and pastes"...otherwise known as peanut butter and jelly! It was a nice way to get the days started!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Meet Pablo.

This is Pablo. He is the latest addition to our family...and he is so dang CUTE. Not to mention a LOVE. Well...when he's not running around toying with rodents or knocking things off of dressers or harassing Rosie, our 17 year old cat, or harassing Reggie, our 80 pound dog, or clawing furniture get the idea.

Pablo was born on April birthday. It was destiny.

Pablo left the house yesterday around 10am. At 6pm we were worried. At 8pm we were sad. At 10pm we went to bed. At 2am Pablo made his way through the cat door. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]

2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

I don't know about you...but I really needed this today. xo

Monday, October 25, 2010

home improvements.

This past weekend was productive. We finally painted Seth's bedroom! Oh my's been an awful "Big Bird" yellow (or so I called it) for THIRTEEN years...and I finally had enough!! So when I was at our local hardware store a few weeks ago and happened to check the Oops paint and found three gallons of Tobacco Leaf  I snatched them up! At $5 a can how could I not?

Knowing that we didn't have anything going last Saturday...and knowing that it was going to rain...and being on a home improvement roll that started with some projects for Ian's room...I asked Chris if he'd be willing to help me paint Seth's room over the weekend. He quickly agreed!! (Yes!) So Saturday morning we put on our grubbies, emptied the room and commenced painting. Less than 4 hours later Seth had a newly painted room...and it looks so good. I love how it turned out. What a relief to walk past his room and not have to see that hideous yellow anymore. You have no idea how sick of it I was! we'll finish up Ian's room as soon as Chris gets home with his refinished nightstand. We'll move some pictures around...rearrange book shelves. And then I think tomorrow I'm going to work on his duvet cover. I happened to have two flat sheets left from two separate sheet sets that will go perfectly as a duvet. I had originally set them aside for quilt backs...but a duvet is more likely to actually get done (ahem) so that's what I'll use them for. He needs one. His comforter, while still warm and cozy, has seen better days. So a duvet will be a nice change. Plus it'll add some needed color in his room. After that all we need to do is replace his blinds with woven blinds (that I'll watch to come on sale...or check Craigslist) and we'll be done with their rooms for a good while.

We've been in this house for 13 years...and have done a few things here and there to make improvements like updating the bathroom and the kitchen. But that's about it. So this has been a long time coming. Next on the list? Our room and a bid on new carpet and flooring. Talk about overdue...yikes!

(I haven't taken any photos yet...but I will! And I will share soon. I finally got a photo editing program on this pictures are soon to come. Finally!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Have you heard of Andy Goldsworthy?

leaves woven together with thorns.
 I learned about Andy Goldsworthy while taking my first online college course. He's an amazing artist. He creates every work out of all natural materials...leaves, sticks, rocks, snow, ice, sand, moss, trees, flowers...incredible sculptures. And for the most part, every one of them is temporary. He builds them in the elements...sometimes even racing tides to complete the work before the sea comes to wash it away.

Beautiful. Unbelievably beautiful.

There is an excellent documentary about him, Rivers and Tides, that I was able to borrow from my local library (so I imagine you can, too!). If you like art...and nature...and quiet ideas...and deep thoughts...then I think you'd like Goldsworthy and his art as much as I do.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

trying to figure things out...

Can I just say I'm not sure what the heck I'm doing? Can I just say that I'm totally unsure of my future right now? I feel like I'm spinning in that game where you put your head on the end of a baseball bat, spin around and around and then try to walk a straight line. That's me. I'm trying to walk a straight line right now but can't seem to get my focus.

All last year I had a goal: get to Belgium. In the meantime I was also taking college courses and working part-time at the book store. I was pretty busy last year. I had a goal. I was (pretty much) focused. (I'm never totally focused...I tend to be a bit flighty....distracted by shiny objects...but I try!)

So...lo and behold...I got to Belgium (thanks to many of you I might add). And God was good in all of it. And I fulfilled what God sent me to do. I was obedient. And I came home changed. But now what? All of that momentum and now I'm suddenly just sort of...coasting.'s OK, I guess. I know God is doing something...I know He's preparing me for the next phase of my walk with Him. And I know that I gathered up so many tools for future ministry while in Belgium . And I know that now I'm in the "wait" stage. But I am so bad at waiting.

Waiting is hard. But it's necessary. Waiting can also be referred to as "trusting". Trusting God is necessary because it builds relationship with Him. Trusting Him keeps me close to Him, tethered to Him, pressing into Him.

Do I trust God enough to wait on Him? Do I trust God enough to realize that His timing is perfect and mine is not...ever? Do I trust God enough to continue forward, even if I'm a bit dizzy and out of sorts, knowing that He is guiding my every step and that He is leading me to something good?

Yes. I do. I trust Him completely. Because He is trustworthy...period.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 
Isaiah 43:1b
* * * * * * * * * *
This last weekend was the First Annual Women of Victory Women's Retreat at my new church. Our theme was He Knows My Name and Isaiah 43:1b was our scripture. I have to be honest, when we first left our old church and moved to the new one I had every intention of sitting in the back row and resting for a while. I'd been very involved in the women's ministry at my old church and felt like I just needed some time to sit. And be. But, as is usually the case with God, He had another plan. And that plan was for me to coordinate the women's retreat.
When I first got to Victory Christian Life Center (the new church), I met a sweet young woman, Tiffany. She has a heart for God and a heart for women. We knew God wanted us to work as a team and He allowed us to form a special friendship. Over the course of time, our little retreat (we have a small church) became a reality and before we knew it we were headed to the mountaintop to meet with Him along with 15 of our sisters in Christ.
Our guest speaker, Deanna, was amazing. She put together her message based on our theme, He Knows My Name. She created work sheets for us to use in break-out sessions. She talked about our names...what they mean...what they mean to us. She made us bookmarks with our names on them and on the back she wrote down its meaning. She also talked about our names in Christ. Who we are in Him...and how it's His name we take when we accept Him as Savior. Not only did we learn what our names do mean, God also showed us throughout the weekend what our names do NOT mean.
My name is not: fear, depression, anxiety, worthless, fill in the blank.
My name is Michelle. And this is what it means in Hebrew, "Close to God. Feminine form of Michael: Who is like God? Gift from God."
* * * * * * * * *
What is your name? And what is it not? I want to encourage you to make a list. Go to this site and find the meaning of your name. Type in your name in the Search for faster results as the site is quite extensive. Find out what your name means...and write it down. Pray and think about what that means to you.

Then...write down what your name is not. What name, what "label" do you live under? What do you deal with? Eating disorders? That is not your name. Alcoholic? That is not your name. Addict? That is not your name. Abused? That is not your name. Victim? Fear? Low self-esteem? Depression? Anxiety? Bi-polar? Manic? No. None of them are your name. Why is it we grab a hold of these labels, these "names", as if they are truth? They are not truth. The truth is you are a child of God...fearfully and wonderfully made. He knit you together in your mother's womb. Your name is "perfect in His eyes".

God is calling us by name...we are His. Don't you think it's time to start living like it?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I want to...

Bake my own bread.
Plant a fall garden.
Learn how to make cheese.
Make my own beauty aides.
Learn to make yogurt.
Find something fabulous at the thrift shop.
Watch Anne of Green Gables.
Take a walk with my camera.
Can something delicious.
Learn to use my dehydrator.
Make money doing something creative.
Learn about natural healing.
Learn more about nutrition.
Learn to bake scones...blueberry/chocolate/lavender scones to be exact.
Get back into my bible.
Make a scrap quilt.
And a pathwork quilt.
And a rag rug.
And a penny rug.
Keep bees.
And maybe a few goats.
Live in the mountains.

There's more...but that's all I can think of at the moment.

What do you want to do? Do tell...I'll be reading your comments while in bed as I seem to have caught myself the flu!