December 30, 2014

goals, resolutions or....

I am a person who loves to write out goals. (notice I say "write") I love to accomplish goals to but often I get lofty headed while setting them and attempt far too many things I can't humanly do. It's can be my pride or my "go for it all" personality that causes me to do this but more often it is the stubborn streak of perfectionism that makes me feel that my only worth is equal to the things I accomplish. Wrong.

As 2015 comes in, I'm excited to dream big, make goals and see what God will do.  There are three main goals for this year - to love God and people more fiercely and deeply. Cause the things that really matter are God and people. And to give myself grace. Grace to be imperfect. Grace to do big things. Grace to be a human. That this life truly is a journey of grace - grace from God.

So what about you set goals? Do you set resolutions as a New Year comes in? I'd love to hear.

And just to be are some very random links for thoughts as you close 2014 and start 2015. Your welcome.

A Desire or A Dream over at one of my favorite blogs

How to Step Forward into a New Year when you want a Do-Over on the last year (another favorite blog)

Nine Questions I'm asking before 2015 at the Blue Dishes - great thoughts for thinking over the old

20 Questions for a New Year's Eve Reflection (this site is awesome!)

4 things you don't need to do in 2015

Making a New's Resolution that Sticks from Tim Challies

December 9, 2014

expectant longing {Advent}

O come, O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears

that longing...full of expectation yet waiting, wondering. A nation, a world waiting for the Redeemer.

Within the lines of this song on the longing for the Savior is the reminder that He is here. Emmanuel - God with us. And Emmanuel did come to us. The reason to celebrate Christmas. Emmanuel - God with us.

November 25, 2014

tis the season...

...for my favorite time of year.

Fall is leaving us while giving some glimpses of the winter ahead. A brief snow a few days back made me excited for a winter with my husband. Cold days made warm by heat and hot drinks. (I miss my family's fireplace these days.) And the joyful anticipation of the holidays.

Thanksgiving. Christmas.

Decorations, lights, laughter, and celebrations. Family, food, events. Celebrating our God and His goodness and grace. Remembering His gifts to us and the incarnation of His greatest gift: Jesus.

November 15, 2014

to thank

"Remembering is an act of thanksgiving, a way of thanksgiving, this turn of the heart over time's shoulder to see all the long way His arms have carried. Gratitude is not only the memories of our heart; gratitude is a memory of God's heart and to thank is to remember God." 
- Ann Voskamp

November 8, 2014

4 months ago...'s been 4 months since I became a Mrs.

...4 months ago I became His.

And a gift these last 4 months have been! Laughter, adventure, challenges, tears, joy and lots of love and grace have filled the days. I am grateful for this delightful and growing journey so far and can't wait for more days ahead with this man I love. God is good.

As I told my man the other day, "I love being your wife!"

yep, I like this life. :)

November 5, 2014

snippets of fall

snippets from fall through my ipod camera :)

it's been a beautiful fall...leaves and cool weather...

...pumpkins and adorable candles...

...the coolest coffee shops on rainy afternoons 

...wind blown faces while enjoying the weather - I love this man! 

October 28, 2014

...on fear

Fear. Fear of the future. Fear of others. Fear of not having enough money. Fear haunts us. It consumes us. It whispers, "you aren't in control and neither is anyone else." 

Fear makes us desperate. To be enough. To have enough. Fear makes us doubt God. It gives us a basis to believe that we aren't enough for God. Fear. It wraps itself around our thoughts and plunges straight to the darkest depths of our hearts. 

 All fear is the lie that God’s love ends. - Ann V.

Fear drives me to do, to say, to believe, to work against what I know is truth.
God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and self-control.
Fear lets other forces drive us. Trust lets God drive us. God longs for me to be at rest in Him. To release my fears. To believe what He says. Fear says, "do more, work harder for God to accept you." Trust says, "Rest. I have already done the work." 
"I had to choose fear - or completely trust Him. One cannot exist if the other is true."(from this article)
I was with dear people where the fear of doing enough good for God's favor is externally visible. Fear of what their destiny will be hurls them forward, pushing their actions, their thoughts. Fear blinds them. Doing, doing, doing but never knowing.

My heart cries for them. I want them to know Jesus, to see that He has done the work and God gives us favor: grace. Ashamed though, I realize how often fear drives me. It blinds me to see what Jesus has already done and is doing. Fear holds my heart in an immovable exhaustion. Surely I must do a bit more. Fear of being exposed. Fear of being rejected. Fear of what others may think. 

Then I see my Father's anguish face longing for me to trust and believe, "Child. Trust me. You are mine. The work has already been done. The gift has been given. Jesus paid your price. Rest in it. My love is received, not earned. I love you. Receive grace" 

October 6, 2014

monday musings

enjoying - fall weather, it's colors and everything pumpkin (seriously from cheesecake to muffins to soup, pumpkin is so yummy!) If you are looking for a delicious healthy pumpkin dessert check out this recipe. (I baked them and they were great.) I can't wait to try these muffins soon.

celebrating - so glad this weekend we could celebrate 3 months of marriage - random dates with my man just get better all the time. I am so grateful for my handsome guy!

excited - to be spending time abroad with my man this month #firstflightsasamarriedcouple

loving - that scarf weather is here! (one cannot have too many scarves.... :))

If we are children of God, we have tremendous treasure in nature and will realize that it is holy and sacred. We will see God reaching out to us in every wind that blows, every sunrise and sunset, every cloud in the sky, every flower that blooms 
and every leaf that fades.
~ Oswald Chambers

October 1, 2014

accepting the meaning

What is the meaning of grace?

Dictionary definition - 1. Favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another; as a grant made as an act of grace.  2. Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him. 3. Favorable influence of God; 4. Favor; mercy; pardon. 5. Beauty; embellishment; GRACE, v.t. To adorn; to decorate; to embellish and dignify. 1. To dignify or raise by act of favor 2. To favor; to honor.

To know the meaning is one thing. To accept it is another.

Phillip Yancy writes, "Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more. And grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. Grace means that God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love. Grace is unfair."

For years I have known the meaning of grace in my head but accepting it was a different story. I saw others living it out in front of me. I heard it again and again yet I disdained it. I fought for it.  I arrogantly thought and acted, "I am not worthy of grace so I must earn it."

Not worthy.

The very two words that enable us to receive grace. I twisted and blinded myself to be unable to accept grace.

Truth is I am not worthy. Truth is Christ is worthy and He makes me worthy.

Christ makes me worthy. Christ is all I need. To accept His grace means to look to Him. To look to Jesus. To rest in Him. Not working, not striving, not trying.

"In Him {Jesus} we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us..."

This journey to accepting grace has been long. It still lies ahead of me. I began this journey, stumbling not even sure what I was seeking for.

And God gave grace. His grace was faithful as I blindly walked for years. His grace was faithful as I stumbled onto this path. This adventure He longed for me to receive. He brought people around me and a man into my life who pointed me towards Him and the joy of the beautiful, freeing reality of grace.

Accepting is still a struggle. I know the meaning in my head but living the reality of it....that's a question.

But Jesus is gently drawing me to Him and as he does, He pours out His grace. He is opening my heart to see the glory, rest and redemption of his grace. The beauty of being worthy, of being filled, of being at rest. The beauty of Jesus and His gifts of grace.

September 20, 2014

"When you offer peace instead of division, when you offer faith instead of fear, 
when you offer someone a place at your table instead of keeping them out because they're different or messy or wrong somehow, you represent the heart of Christ." 
- shauna niequist

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