These are some thoughts I wrote down last weekend at the Crafting Retreat that I'm finally getting around to sharing. Like I said last week, I've been trying to process everything that I learned. I think that sharing this is part of the process.
This weekend has been relaxing, refreshing and eye-opening,
as all visits to Camp
Perkins are. Time up here
cleanses my soul. It wipes everything away and allows me to begin again.
Days like this make me want to hide away up here forever
because nothing can touch me up here. While I know that God is always with me,
there is no doubt in my mind that He is present here. Maybe it’s more evident
because this place eliminates any distractions. As cliché and full of cheese as
it is, this place makes me feel like I’m somehow closer to heaven and to God. The
snow falls softer; it sparkles like glitter and shines brighter. In the evening
you tip your head backwards and look up at the stars; all the millions and
billions of stars in that dark sky and you wish you could fall into it. The
trees and mountains embrace you and you never want them to let you go. In one
word, this place is perfection, utter perfection. It takes your breath away.
Usually in the Bible studies up here we do Lectio Divina,
which is an ancient practice/way of studying Scripture. It literally means
Divine Word; you listen to what God has to say to you and see how His Word
intersects with your life. It seems like whenever I do Lectio Divina, I have to
laugh at how well God knows me. It shouldn’t surprise me, but it always does.
God always knows exactly what I need to hear.
Saturday’s study was on Psalms 90, which is a prayer of
Moses. It begins by saying that God has been our dwelling place and how He
created the world. Then it goes into this downward spiral of self-pity, but
around verse 12 Moses turns a corner and the passage ends in hope.
The first part of Lectio Divina is picking out a word or
phrase that speaks to you. The phrase that jumped out at me was in verse 14,
“that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” (Perhaps this is because
of my participation/leading of our church worship team or the fact I began
piano lessons this month.)
The second time you read through you identify how the
Scripture intersects with your life. That time verse 12 and 17 of the Message
struck me. “Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! ...And
let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that
we do. Oh yes. Affirm the work that we do!” I am certain that Moses’ life did
not go how he expected; otherwise he probably wouldn’t be ranting to God in the
I can totally identify with him in that respect. My life has
not gone how I planned and that has made me angry. I feel like I had every right
to be angry too. This wasn’t supposed to go this way. I wasn’t supposed to get
in debt. My internship wasn’t supposed to be so challenging. I wasn’t supposed
to be verbally attacked for my call to ministry. I wasn’t supposed to be
unemployed, especially for as long as I was. I was supposed to qualify for
unemployment benefits. I wasn’t ever supposed to go back to work at the fire
center. I was supposed to find a boyfriend and even a husband. I wasn’t
supposed to move back in with my parents, let alone stay for as long as I have.
God it’s not fair. Why me? (Quite the pity party. Right?)
Now I know my trials and struggles compared to others may
seem trivial, but they were mine. To me they were all consuming and it was the
end of the world. I can distinctly remember my rock bottom moment too; sitting
on my bedroom floor, sobbing uncontrollably, yelling at God in a very
Since my rock bottom moment I’ve come around, just like
Moses in those verses I previously mentioned. I want to live, not just survive;
I want to LIVE WELL! I want God to show me how to make the most of my life,
EVEN if it’s not the life I planned or imagined for myself. And I want God to
affirm my work. The work I’m doing now is miles from what I ever thought I’d be
doing and I want and NEED God to affirm what I’m doing. I NEED Him to tell me
that I’m where I’m supposed to be.
The third part of Lectio Divina is uncovering what our
response is to God’s Word. I heard God speak to me in verse 15, “Make us glad
for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen
trouble.” I need to be thankful and grateful for each of my days, both the good
and bad days. There is so much joy to find in every day that I’m given and God
is always faithful and blesses me more than I could ever deserve. Life is too
short and too fragile to live any other way.
I feel like I’ve been broken down so much over the past four
years. I’ve been fractured and reduced to a heap of splinters. While this has
been painful, I am grateful for what I’ve been through because I know that He
has been teaching me and rebuilding me through these years. I no longer ask,
“Why me?” when the unexpected happens, but rather, “What would You have me
learn?” I hope and pray that I grow in wisdom, love and strength and ultimately
that I can live well, in a way that glorifies God.
I saw this on Rebecca's blog and just had to share it. This is such a beautiful photography project. It makes me want to brainstorm concepts with Ashlee.
"Once upon a time there was a girl who had 7 invisible horses. People
thought she was crazy and that she in fact had 7 imaginary horses, but
this was not the case. When autumn came the girl spent a whole day
washing all her clothes. She hung them on a string in her garden to let
the gentle autumn sun dry them. Out of nowhere, a terrible storm came
and its fierce-full winds grabbed a hold of all her clothes and all seven
horses (authors note: since they are invisible they obviously didn't
weigh much). The girl was devastated and spent all autumn looking for
each horse spread around the country, wrapped in her clothes." by Ulrika Kestere
My blog has been more quiet this week than I expected. I figured that with having a four day weekend I'd be blogging up a storm. Instead my weekend was one of quiet, reflection and beauty. It was just what I needed. I embraced my time off, my getaway in the mountains and just disconnected from everything. There was much reflecting during my time in the mountains.
Coming back has been hard. There were times over the weekend that I tried to plot ways to stay forever. It didn't help that I returned to utter chaos at work. It's like I want to take what I've learned and thought about over the weekend and apply it to my life, but there has been a disconnect along the way. It's always a challenge to come back from mountain top experiences (or just the actual mountain) to real life and the mess that comes with it. I feel different and I'm working out the faith lessons and challenges that I learned and faced this weekend. I'm hoping I'll be able to verbalize and share those on my blog in the coming weeks.
God is showing me that redemption is a better story than perfection. If
man hadn't fallen, God's great gifts of mercy and grace would have no
canvas on which to be displayed. -Tara Leigh Cobble, Orange Jumpsuit
Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! ...And let
the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work
that we do. Oh yes. Affirm the work that we do! Psalm 90:12, 17 MSG
I will be leaving shortly for a weekend in the mountains. My mom, sister, aunt and I will be driving up to Camp Perkins with six of my mom's friends for a crafting retreat. I cannot wait to get away. Work this week was so busy. I had to leave work yesterday with a pile to come back to on Tuesday. At least for four days I can forget about work, relax and enjoy myself.
This weekend is for: scrapbooking, reading, Bible study, worship, snow shoeing, movies and wine.
I love this outfit. It came together effortlessly. I think those are the best kinds of outfits.
I've been dying for a floppy hat like Taylor'sso I was excited when Target had them on sale. Plus, I've been drooling over Stylemintshirts and finally broke down and got two, plus a pair of leggings. They are seriously the softest shirts ever. My parents got me the Jungle Boots by Seychelles for Christmas. They are some of my favorite shoes and I always feel very 90s when I wear them.
Basically this is my idea of a perfect outfit, comfortable and cute. Fabulous.
I don’t have beef with Valentine’s Day. I think it is a fine holiday.
My dislike doesn't come from being single either. What drives me
bonkers is singles that treat today like it’s the worst day in the world. Singles
Awareness Day. Really? And singles, have you ever gotten the look of pity from a couple. It's the worst! Today doesn't make me any more or less single
than I was yesterday and tomorrow I’m still going to be single.
Please don't tell me any of the following:
*I still have plenty of time to find the
*If I stop looking for love I’ll find it.
understand how someone as great as me isn't married yet.
Oh and please don’t tell me Jesus can be my boyfriend. Jesus
does not want to be my boyfriend. I’m done with trite and flippant statements. Being
single doesn't make me feel like crap, but things like that totally do. You
might as well tell me that I’m pathetic and who I am is not enough.
Being single does not define me. I’m a 26 year old woman. I
am a daughter, sister, friend, etc. I work hard in an
administrative position for a great company. I volunteer for my church’s
worship team. I travel. I set big goals. I live my life. And I happen to not
have a significant other. That doesn’t make me less of a person.
Being single doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me. I happen to think I’m a pretty neat lady.
Yeah, I’m a little awkward and goofy, but I’m confident and I like myself. I
don’t need anyone to save me, give me praise or tell me I’m worthy. I’m happy
with my life and who I am. No joke. I’m totally serious.
I guess my point is that I think we should to be content
WHATEVER our relationship status happens to be on facebook.
If you’re single,
GREAT! Enjoy this time! Find out who you are and what you’re passionate about. Challenge
yourself to become better. Live abundantly.
If you’re dating/engaged/married,
that’s great too! You have someone to make out with and cook you pancakes
whenever you want. Kidding! Kind of. ;) Challenge each other to become better.
Find joy where you are at in life. Single or not. Happy Valentine's Day!
This outfit is from over a week ago. I picked up this sweater and a couple other tops while thrifting a few weeks ago. I'm pretty sure my grandma has an identical sweater to this and that's what my mom said when I showed her my finds. I kind of love it. Just call me Rose Nyland.
So I'm finally getting around to posting these outfit pictures from last month. I'm just a little behind. It kind of blows me away that I actually posted outfit pictures for 30 consecutive days last year when I did the 30x30 challenge. I'm hoping that I'll be posting more outfit pictures this year and with the help of my sister, hopefully they'll be better quality too.
So here's my question for you? Have you done the whole shorts with tights trend? This was my first attempt and I think I did okay. I'd love to try it again. If you'd tried it please leave links for me to check out. Thanks friends!
So this weekend didn't go exactly as planned. Actually, this past week didn't go exactly as planned. Ashlee's car died this week. This was incredibly terrible because our family of four has been sharing two cars. Two cars for four people is a challenge, but one car for four people is a nightmare.
Saturday was spent car shopping. It was a long day, but after much negotiating and a free meal, I got a really good deal on a black 2002 Infiniti G20. We were able to get a ridiculously good trade-in deal on Ashlee's car which helped a lot on the price. While I wasn't expecting that I'd have to put a down payment on a car this week and sign up for more monthly bills, I think we made an excellent decision.
I'm very impressed with this car and excited about all the features it comes with. There are a few cosmetic issues, but over all it's an awesome car. I've never had a car with automatic locks and windows, cruise control or a sun roof. Plus, as Ashlee pointed out it has a rocking stereo system with a CD and cassette player. Which means we can jam to our Lion King tape. Heck yes.
Besides actually making the decision to purchase the car, the next difficult decision was naming it. On the drive home Ashlee and I talked over names and settled on Spike after the character in Buffy. I think it suits him, because it's dark and mysterious and has had an interesting life.
P.S. If you are in Idaho and looking for a car I highly recommend Team Mazda Subaru in Nampa. Ask for Chris. He was awesome!
As you might know my sister, Ashlee, and I are living with our parents right now. Instead of paying rent we clean the house and cook occasionally. A couple months ago we started getting Bountiful Baskets with fresh fruits and vegetables. Our goal was to use as many of the vegetables as possible. We did a search on Pinterest and went to work.
Our menu included the following:
Poppy Seed-Crusted Butternut Squash with Romaine and Pomegranate [Pinterest source]
Talk about using vegetables! My mom, Ashlee and I had never had brussel sprouts before and weren't sure what to expect, but these were heavenly! All of the recipes were rather easy to make, the difficult part was timing them all out, but it came together in the end.
We made a few changes from the original recipes, like substituting romaine lettuce for kale, since that's what we had on hand. For the eggplant recipe Ashlee created the egg mixture and dipped them straight into the panko crumbs mixture [to which she added parmesan cheese], rather than dipping them in flour. It was delicious and one of the best meals I think I've ever cooked!