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pondering His life.

The past few days, I have been thinking about Jesus..about the price He paid for each of us.  It amazes me.

He chose to leave a beautiful place, that was so comfortable.  He came here.  He came here to bring love.

That thought changes everything.  He didn’t come to yell at us about all of the things that we do wrong.  He didn’t come to bring judgement.  He came here so that the judgement that was going to be upon us, would end up resting on HIM. Whoa.

My heart is changing, as I ponder this.  As i ponder this verse:  ”  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,  BUT to save the world through Him. ”  ( john 3:17)

This challenges me to not be so quick to judge.  This challenges me to choose love. to choose Him.

He chose us. He bore all of my wrongs.  That is the purest love I will ever know.

As Easter approaches, My prayer for everyone and for myself , is that we would embrace Him. Embrace His love.

I have also been thinking,  If He ( who is perfect) did not come to judge,  then I should not be so quick to judge as well.

”  Lord, let us choose love, even in the midst of a world filled with hatred.  ”

Another verse that comes to my mind is the one that says ”  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. ”

May we imitate Him in the way that He always chose love, not judgement.

A Little Poem

like a tree in winter, i am bending beneath the weight of the snow.

sometimes i stop growing and it’s all underneath, where no one, not even i can see.

the leaves have fallen, the color fades and still, Hope whispers my name.

underneath.  so much happens there.

the roots take up their daily bread and i am alive again.

the color’s come back and the weight is lifted.

” how do You do it?’ i always wonder.

It happens underneath.

it’s where You find me.

under the layers, where no human eye can see,

underneath.

you are always working underneath.

New Beginnings

I have not written here in a LONG time;)  I have recently been inspired to redo old furniture.  I stumbled across this beautiful blog, missmustardseed.com.  She is such an inspiration!  She redoes furniture and makes things look amazing!!!!

Jacob has always had a knack at finding pieces of furniture for great prices and we had some pieces just sitting in our attic.  I got a idea for one of the pieces and I set out to get some ‘ Miss Mustard Seed’  milk paint.  I bought the paint and one night while Jacob was recording some new music, I put some music on and sanded the piece of furniture and painted away.

I LOVED it!  It was so soothing to paint and so amazing to be making something old, new.  It did my heart good.

So here’s to a new year, filled with beautiful new things, stepping out and trying new things and not letting fear hold us back anymore!!!

Here’s a before and after of the piece;)

ImageImage

I read this beautiful writing and felt so compelled by by it.  A lot of times i feel certain ways in which i have no idea how to convey.  I think we are all deep wells and some of us can draw from those wells easily and bring out what we feel and allow others to understand us easily . Then there are people like me. People who may have a hard time finding the right words.  I find that sometimes i am just at a loss of what to say or how to articulate how i feel.   I stumbled upon this writing today and it was perfect for me.  

The whole time we were in the process of redoing our house..i felt this way and im so glad C.S Lewis wrote this..and so glad i found it today.  

” imagine yourself a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing.  He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.  What on earth is He up to?  The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a wing here, putting an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.  You thought you were being made into a decent cottage; but He is building a palace.  He intends to come and live in it Himself.” C.S Lewis ( Mere Christianity)

God always has a plan..really good plans..and i am learning to rest in that truth..

For as long as i can remember, i have been someone who is trying to change, become more and more who i am created to be.  The older i get, the more i realize that a lot of times, with a lot of things in this life, change is a slow process.  That is very hard for me..and very hard for most of us.  I like it if things can be changed easily.  

This past summer, we bought a butterfly habitat and got some caterpillars for Liam and Corin to get to watch the process of their growth and change.  It was a fascinating experience.  There were five caterpillars and each one took their own time changing.  Two caterpillars got to the top of the cup and hung upside down and proceeded the process of going into their cocoon’s.  Three others took more time.  The three were hanging out at the bottom of the cup for quite sometime, while the other two were already beginning their change.  One caterpillar actually got stuck in a web from one of the other caterpillars and it was wriggling to get free..it was actually pitiful to watch.  Liam and Cor and I shook the cup to help the poor guy out  and finally, he broke free and started his climb to the top of the cup..so there they were all at the top of the cup..in their cocoons.  

Days went by and we waited and watched to see if a butterfly was going to emerge.  One morning we looked and two had come out of their cocoons!! We then switched them to another ” home” with flowers in it and waited for the other ones to emerge.  Two more emerged and there was still the fifth one we were waited for.  Waiting and waiting.  I couldn’t help but think , the one we were waiting to see, was the one who took the longest to get to the top of the cup and make his cocoon..he was still in there, taking his time changing.  One day, we actually got to watch as it wriggled out of the cocoon and was a beautiful butterfly!!!   We waited a couple of days and then Liam and Corin and I took them outside to set them free.  We watched as each of them flew in different directions.  The last one we let go free, flew so high..higher than the others.  It was amazing to watch the whole process.  God reminded me of how we are all like that..growing and changing..we are all on our own paths and growth will look different for all of us.  Sometimes change is slow, sometimes it is painful…but it is worth it.  It reminds me of the verse that says God makes all things beautiful in it’s time..

Let it be..

Yesterday, Jacob and i decided to stay home from church with our boys and have a relaxing morning.  We had plans to go to a creek and go for ice cream.  

Our life is so busy right now..we are still working on our house ( Jacob is working soooo hard on it!!) and trying to be people who have balanced lives.  We are trying to make sure to spend quality time just the two of us and quality time as a family..mixed with Jacob working so hard at his job and on our house.  Sometimes, it feels very tricky.  Sometimes, we just decide to stay home from things and just be.  

Yesterday was one of those days and my heart is better because of it.  Jacob found a creek and a few parks in Lancaster county and we packed a lunch and set off for our special adventure.  We hiked on a path that was filled with rocks and went to an overlook that has an amazing view.  Our boys collected acorns and Liam walked with a walking stick ..( so adorable:) ..they LOVED it!!!  Corin does not want any help and is fearless..running all over the place and soaking it all in.  We hopped in the car and left and went to another park with a creek..one of our favorite things.  We just hang out and throw rocks in..Corin goes in and picks up the biggest rocks and throws them and Liam takes his shoes off and goes from rock to rock..it is just so sweet.  Being there..everything feels so still and peaceful.  The world just feels right.    

We walked back to the car and set off to have dinner and ice cream at one of our favorite places, called the Creamery.  Good food and amazing ice cream:)  Our boys were filled with contentment and pure joy during this whole outing..

Jacob and i have found , that sometimes, the most beautiful memories that we create with our boys, are ones that barely cost any money and are moments of us doing something that we all love together…no matter how simple.  I am learning that it is so important to work hard and work towards goals..but it is also so vital to pause and just be…

Consistency

I am learning more and more that consistency is the key to so many things in this life.  Consistency is so important to achieving goals..no matter what they are.

I have been thinking about this so much lately, because I love working out so much. I feel stronger and my mind feels clearer.  I feel like it contributes to me being healthy and  happy in a lot of ways.

 A few months ago, i was not able to work out as much, due to some pain i was having.  As a result, i felt sluggish and could tell that my mind didn’t feel as clear.  I could only work out when i was feeling okay and that was so discouraging to me.  My body felt so tired.  I just wanted to be back in the consistent way of working out daily ( most days).  Several months past with it being hard for me to do it and now i am back in the swing of things in that area.  I feel stronger just in the couple of weeks that i have been working really hard and making sure i am working out almost every day.  My mind feels clearer and my body feels stronger and through this, i have seen the power of being consistent.  It is then that we see true results in whatever we are trying to attain.

 This life is filled with so many variables..so much that is our of our control..but there are things that we can control, things that we can point our hearts towards and be pursuing.   Things that really can change as we keep working towards our goals.  I thought about how being consistent in who we are is also key to healthy relationships..( as long as our character is a good one:) So, all that to say..being consistent in healthy ways and working towards   achieving our goals is a really powerful thing..and we will see the fruit of our labors in that process.

You Give and Take Away

Today, i had a doctors appointment.  I had to fill out several pages of information when I first got there.  One of the first questions, after my name and some other things, surprised me and made my heart sink.  It said ” how many times have you been pregnant?” ” then, how many children do you have? ”   Wow.  

It was a little over four years ago, when jacob and i had decided that we were ready to start having children.  We were so excited.  I got pregnant for the first time at the end of March.  We were beyond excited.  We started telling our close friends and family right away.  I remember asking my really close friend if we could stop by her house because we wanted to tell her something..she of course said ” yeah!!!” We told her i was pregnant and she grabbed me and hugged me and then told us to wait a minute.  She ran upstairs and came back down with a stuffed animal she had and a book on pregnancy that she had been keeping for us and our baby for when we told her i was pregnant!!! We were just so excited and loved our baby so much..we loved how our close friends and family already loved our baby too.  It amazed me right away how we can love without even seeing that person yet..

Then, on the friday, before Easter, i was out and Jacob was home.  I felt a little funny.  I went to the bathroom and saw blood..i tried to hold it together, ran out to my car and started to sob.  How can this be? how can we lose our sweet baby, who we embraced and loved so much already..how can we get through this…? i raced home and told Jacob what was happening and he had me go and lie down in our bed..he kept telling me it was going to be okay.  As i lie there, i could hear our neighbors newborn crying and crying…i just remember thinking ” God, please stop this pain…”  I felt like He was not there…i had a miscarriage.  Our really good friends who had lost a baby several years before, were there..sent us flowers and told us that they were there for us..i will never forget that same friend , telling me that one day, i would look into the face of our next child and say in my heart ” you would not be here if i hadn’t lost our first”.  She told me that it is such a strange feeling, because you would never want to lose any of your kids..but you can see how God brings something good out of something so sad and tragic.  A couple of months later, i was pregnant with our son , Liam.  I look at him all of the time and think that same thing my friend said i would.  I do not understand it..but i know that God gives and takes away..there is pain in this life and there are blessings beyond anything i deserve.  I remember , after my miscarriage,  Jacob and i were just so sad..it felt like it was raining in our life..and as i look back on that time today, i see moments of pain, that actually defined us in some ways..they made us different..it was like we were being molded and shaped, even in a sad and horrible time.  I do not understand how God does it..bring joy from the pain, but He does.  I am reminded of that every time i look into the face of our kids..

The Process

You know, i never used to be a fan of ” the process”.   In my heart, i am not the most patient person in the world.  Sure i try really hard to be a patient mom, wife, friend, etc..but i have never been good at being patient for things that i am really wanting to see happen in my life.  That has always been hard for me.   It seemed when i was younger that maybe i would never  meet ” the one” ..and it did take quite awhile, but looking back, it was really worth all of the tears and all of the waiting…all of the things that i learned being in the process of waiting.  Sometimes, it is just so hard to WAIT.   For me, most of the time it is hard to wait:)  But when i look back over my life thus far, all of the things i have waited for, after they have come to pass, they have become sweeter than i could have ever imagined.  

I am learning to try to embrace the process.  I am learning to let go of my desire for control..and man it is hard to do..

When Jacob and i bought our first house ,  we never would have imagined that  it would be two years later and we would not be living in that house yet.  We have ripped out almost every wall, Jacob has poured sweat and hard work into everything he has done with that house.   Although many times, we have wondered why we went down this route, it has built a character in both of us that maybe wouldn’t be there without this specific process.  We joke about how when we are living there, we will be so grateful for all of these little details that maybe other people would just laugh at us about..like the fact that we’ll have a dishwasher:) But, you know, i think that when we surrender to ” the process” and we don’t kick and scream and drag our heels, we can actually have a special joy; even in the midst of longing for a specific dream to come true, even though it may be taking years for it to come to pass..if i can try to let go and enjoy the “getting there”, then i think once i do ” get there” , it will be sweeter because of all i have put into the process of getting there.

Last week, i had to go to a surgery center and have something looked at and have surgery.  Not anything major, but still..surgery. I was so terrified.  I hate the idea of ” going under” and not having any idea what is going on.  You are at the hands of another person..who you basically have to trust to do a good job.  I hated that i had to leave jacob in the waiting room and he couldn’t be with me the whole time, watching out for me and making sure everything was okay.  The surgery center felt so cold and bereft of any good feelings.  I had to wear an uncomfortable ” gown” ( why do they call them a gown???!!!!) and a weird bathrobe and horrible socks they gave me to put on and then the nurse tucked a surgical hat in my pocket for later:)  I just felt so strange..like i was being led into this thing that i did not want to do, but had to..i tried to just be still in my heart and try to not give way to anxious thoughts parading around in my mind..but it was hard not to.  I was proud of myself for not crying, cause i felt like a little kid who was scared of the doctors and who was so unsure of what was really going to happen.  I just kept reminding myself of my friends and family who were praying for me…and then i started to feel it..i felt like God was really with me.  He was the only one who could walk me into that room and He was the one who wasn’t going to be left in the waiting room..He was holding my hand..and i felt it.  It was such a comforting feeling..and it just hit me all over again..He is really always with us..He never leaves.  We may be so busy, that we forget to think of Him, but He is still there..wow.  He is there when we are scared, when we are hurt, confused..happy..you name it..i just feel so grateful to have Him and to know without a doubt that He is with me..now, i just need to keep reminding myself of that:) I hope that you guys can all feel that He is with you too:)