Saturday, April 30, 2011

beauty out of rain

You know, this day reminds me of what I believe my life will look like within the next few years. It started off really rainy and wet. I had even dried my hair before leaving to make sure I didn't freeze from wet hair... only to remember I had to still walk the dog in pouring rain! I'm thankful for umbrellas. :-) By the end of the day, the sun was shining and although it was super windy, it turned out to be nice outside. Tuck and I enjoyed a nice walk this afternoon.

I'm still grieving Brody a lot. I thought it would be a little easier after the "I was supposed to be pregnant right now" time period was over, but it's been a little harder because I see babies and think - even subconsciously it seems - that I should have my own right now. (I do--he's just in heaven.)

And I'm not saying all that to get sympathy or anything. Overall, I think I'm doing fine. I'm just going through the grieving process... and all that to say, there's been a lot of rain pouring in my life. And I've gotten wet (even with the Lord's umbrella of grace over my head - I'm getting wet from walking in the puddles!)... but the sun will--and is!--coming out to shine in my life.

I think that's the way it should happen. Grief is like the rain. You get messy when it rains. Rain leaves an impact. But the sun will come again and shine in your life making beauty out of the rain.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

in wonder

My God is an amazing God. Today I read Psalm 6:6 out of a devotional Bible:

      I am worn out from sobbing.
      All night I flood my bed with weeping,
      drenching it with my tears.

This reminded me, as some of the Psalms often do, that God can handle our anger. He can handle our frustration and He can handle our tears. I've been frustrated, worn out, and tired at various times throughout my life and God has never given up on me or stopped listening to me.

The key is that you have to bring it to Him. It doesn't help for you to be angry at God but never vent out your frustrations or just go along doing your own thing and ignoring Him. I've learned that I can bring my frustration to Him and He can handle it. In fact, He even helps you work through it.

I do love the fact that whenever David vents his frustration in the Psalms, a time of adoration and praise for God is always close by. He vents and then reminds Himself of who God is and that He will take care of things... somehow, someway.

Speaking of the person and character of God... I saw this today (and apparently over one million people have also seen it) and thought I'd share it. What a great reminder of what an awesome God we serve.

Friday, April 22, 2011

today's top 5 (4/22)

Five things I'm thankful for today...

1. Walks with my dog. It's nice to have a reason to have to walk outside... and it's a great way to enjoy the weather.
2. My best girlfriend, April. It's her birthday on Monday and I'm excited to celebrate her at her bday party tomorrow! She deserves that and a whole lot more. She's amazing.
3. Seasons. I love, love, love the states with continual warm weather, but I love the symbolism of seasons--especially the days of winter becoming spring. I believe the same thing happens in our lives - we go through seasons, and sometimes we're in that winter season. While we are there, it's so helpful to remember that one day--even though it sometimes feels very delayed--spring will come.
4. The Bible. What would I do without God's written Word to me? It encourages, strengthens, and helps. I want to rely on it much more than I do. It's a growing process.
5. Last--and most important--Jesus' death and resurrection. Without his selflessness, I would be nobody and go nowhere in life. His sacrifice is amazing... especially when you think about actually living in those moments of torture and pure agony... all for me. Absolutely crazy. I'm so thankful.

Have a wonderful Easter! Celebrate Him... He really does deserve all of our praise and worship! :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

today's top 5

Here are five things I'm thankful for today... (it can be about anything... my main top five that I'm always thankful for I posted yesterday.)

1. My mother who made dinner for the four of us night after night after night after night... After being married two years and doing my best to cook dinners for us as often as possible, I have a slightly better understanding of what that entails--a lot of work! So thankful she put that time into our family.
2. Birds. During the spring I hear birds chirping outside almost all day long. I love it!
3. Food Network. Okay this may sound funny, but I am grateful for people who take the time to test out awesome recipes and then make them available to us. 
4. Spring. Although the state I live in doesn't always include spring in its repertoire of weather, there's such a sense of hope and renewal in the air during spring. No hustling and bustling of the Christmas season. Making plans for summer, yet the quickness of summer (how fast it goes by) doesn't seem to be there.
5. Easter. Right in the middle of spring is Easter, the day we celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead. That's the reason that I will live forever with Jesus once I leave this earth. I'm definitely thankful for that.

Happy Thursday. What are you thankful for today? :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

5 things I'm thankful for

I gotta give credit to my second cousin for this one.... It stood out to me one time we were talking that she said she tries to end every night by journaling about five things that she's thankful for. I've tried to do that when I remember so I thought I'd share that today... although I'll do a double list to start off with.

Here are the top five things I'm thankful for every day:
1. God. Without Him, I am nothing. He is the reason behind life and the reason for my life.
2. My hubby, Erik. Life is super fun with him. He always makes me laugh and loves me so much.
3. My family. I have an absolutely amazing set of parents, immediate family, and extended family. They've grounded me in confidence, are super fun to be with, and trained me in the Lord. Love them so much.
4. Erik's family. I married into a stellar family as well. They are super fun to be around.... I'm a very blessed girl.
5. My friends. I have amazing people surrounding me--from close, close friends to not as close acquaintances, I'm really surrounded by solid people.

Goodness.... I could continue that list...
6. Tucker. The two years that Erik and I have had a lot of tough times. Tuck has always made us laugh right when we needed a smile. He loves unconditionally and has no idea that bad things are going on... unless the bad thing is that his ball is stuck under the table or he has to go into his cage when we leave him.
7. My job. I'm blessed with amazing coworkers and a great job that I can do from home. Love writing and love my job.


Here's today's 5 things I'm thankful for...
1. Clean sheets... absolutely love getting into bed when I've just washed the sheets!
2. Comfy pants and hooded sweatshirts... enough said. :-)
3. Music... love, love, love good worship songs and piano music
4. Good food and good recipes
5. My house... Erik and I have a great place to live. Thankful for a roof over our heads and wonderful neighbors.


What five things are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

in Christ alone

So many words, thoughts, and blog ideas have been running through my head over the past few days... yet getting them down is sometimes a challenge. So today, I thought I'd post lyrics to the song I walked down the aisle to. (I think I posted a video of it recently, but I don't remember... either way, here it is again!) Possibly one of my favorites. The words mean much to me. 


In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I've been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I overcome
Oh I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hands
But those trophies could not equal
To the grace by which I stand

Chorus:
In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone

In Christ alone will I glory
For only by His grace I am redeemed
And only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
And now I seek no greater honor
Than just to know Him more
And to count my gains
But losses to the glory of my Lord

Thursday, April 14, 2011

smiles.

So I've just been living life lately. I'm taking time to enjoy these moments I have cooking for Erik, working full-time from home, etc.... in a year or two I'll be at a different place in life (and I don't know exactly what that means! I just know things will look different in some way!) I'm enjoying my time being married and hanging out with Erik and Tucker. :-) There's always something to smile about... sometimes it takes a while to find it and sometimes it's just something small. Sometimes it's big. Either way, smiling makes everything better.

Lately, some of Erik and my smiles have come from some new toys I bought for Tucker. He's very funny about his squeaky toys. And since this one is kinda funny looking, I thought it might bring you a smile.

Here it is before squeezing.


Here it is after squeezing.... 



Tuck loves his little squeaky toy. :-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

loving this Scripture right now

So last night I had a "the-Bible-falls-open-to-an-awesome-Scripture" moment. It opened to Lamentations chapter 3. Now I don't remember all the details about this book, except that it is about Jeremiah and he's lamenting stuff that's happened.

Read through the beginning of chapter 3 and you'll see this is some serious lamenting! He feels like the Lord has "buried me in a dark place, like those long dead..." (verse 6).

But despite feeling like the Lord has done all this to Him, all of that leads to this:

  20 I will never forget this awful time,
      as I grieve over my loss.
 21 Yet I still dare to hope
      when I remember this:
 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
      His mercies never cease.
 23 Great is his faithfulness;
      his mercies begin afresh each morning.
 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
      therefore, I will hope in him!”
 25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
      to those who search for him.
 26 So it is good to wait quietly
      for salvation from the Lord.

Good stuff. I see this same thing throughout the Psalms... major venting about the Lord and then: "But, I will praise Him anyway--no matter what I feel--because He is good, and really does love me. He will answer His children."

It is nice to see those emotions in godly people in the Word. It shows me how to handle frustration and similar feelings if/when they come.

That's what I'm thinking about today. :-) Happy Friday to you all!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"famous" sayings

Okay, so these are necessarily "famous" but they are quotes that have had a big impact on my life.

"God's still on the throne." -April Lindahl

"Life's not a sprint; it's a marathon." -my dad

"Keep writing." -Pastor Nate Ruch (during and after complications with my pregnancy)

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." -James 1:2-4

"If you don't quit, you will win." -Pastor Mac Hammond




Saturday, April 2, 2011

brody's due date

Today was Brody's due date. April 2, 2011.

I woke up this morning and didn't know what to feel. Kinda that overwhelmed, zombie feeling I had right after Brody passed away and even after Brian passed away. The feeling where you just want to keep moving and make it through today. You just don't know what to think or do or say. And that's okay. (Today hasn't been half as intense in the "zombie feeling" as this past fall, so I appreciate that.)

A lot has been running through my head as I process today. I'm doing relatively well thinking about Brody. A little sad, but okay. I have had a little over four months to get used to this new future of him being in heaven so that does help. I do miss him a lot though.

I think that's all I'll write for now. Just wanted to give Brody a shout-out. Oh and my parents and Erik and I are celebrating him with a night out on the town tonight. I've been really looking forward to it, which helps.

By the way, I am happy and maybe even a little relieved to be through the "I should be pregnant right now" stage.

Hugs and love. I'm sure I"ll write plenty more later to make up for the short entry today. :-)