Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sparkly New Year


A sparkly new year is almost here!

Do you have your resolutions ready?

Doesn't it make you downright giddy to start over?!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do know: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Praise God for the hope we have in Him!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

One Year, Three Cities

One of the great parts of 2008 was getting to travel. I went to three cities I had never been to before. I traveled by planes, trains, and automobiles. Each trip was an exciting adventure.

First stop: New York. Energy, energy, and more energy. Wow what a city! Food was great too.





Second stop: Washington D.C. Awe inducing. Majestic. (Jimmy Buffet concert was also awe inducing for totally different reasons.)





Third stop: Seattle. Earthy, organic, artsy, and oh the coffee! A coffee shop on every block with several bookstores in between. Yum!






One year, three cities, a thousand memories.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Passions

Oh how I needed a fun time with friends!

I was reading something today about passions...meaning wounds in the depth of the soul, wounds that need the sure anointing of divine mercy and forgiveness. Wounds that pervert the vision of love, wounds that require humility to allow us to seek the help of another; however, we do not often encourage one another in being honest, vulnerable, and undefended. We cannot deal with passions in isolation...which is my default.

I think I can handle things on my own. I think it causes more pain to allow others inside the fortress I have built around my heart, but humility keeps me at the foot of the cross...it does not allow my pride to stand in the way. It allows me to admit that I need companions in this journey, regardless of the pain caused by tearing down my walls ... some experienced sister travelers.

Thank you my sister travelers. You who offer mercy and grace, not judgment. You who do not allow me to wallow in my pit of despair allowing my passions, my wounds, to hinder my walk thus keeping me distanced from God and others. You who keep me from isolating, you who keep me vulnerable so that I can be real...so I can be humble.

Oh how we need one another.

May I be for you what you are to me.

A Prayer


Found this prayer in a Kathleen Norris book that she had taken from the Book of Common Prayer, a prayer for the sick, but one she clung to as she mourned the death of her husband. It spoke to me as I have struggled through Christmas without my dad and wrestled with the heartbreaking situation in my family.

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

Peace to you,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Scripture Reading


The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light

on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders
the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior's boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning
will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:2-7


Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas All Year


OK...time for the lady with the big eye to move down a spot.

I have been thinking about my Christmas list and realized there is nothing more I need than what has already been given. How can I in good conscious ask for anything else?

The gifts I have been given throughout the year have astounded me! This has been the most emotionally difficult and heart breaking year I have had in many moons, yet with every heartbreaking memory there is a blessing. My dad taught me to look for the blessings in every situation because they outweigh the troubles every time. He was right.

My family is in absolute chaos, but we continue to stand in unity even through gut wrenching tumultuous times. My twin and I are not in the midst of it since we don't live in WV but we pray and hurt for them. I don't know how they are surviving except by the grace of God. My twin moved closer so we are getting to spend more time together again and that is a tremendous blessing. We have needed one another to get through the year.

My friends have celebrated with me, cried with me, laughed with me, prayed with me, and loved me. They started my January off with a surprise graduation party and the money for a class ring (my first ever!). Many drove to WV to support me at my dad's funeral. They even all chipped in to help pay for his funeral (the intertwining of grief and financial hardship is quite strangling and I don't wish this burden on anyone ever!). A few months later our home became a reality through the graciousness of friends. Of course my friends are all broke now after the expense of loving me. I am now gainfully employed with a steady income thankfully.

Yes, when I reflect on 2008 I realize the many, many gifts I have been given. Now it is time to enjoy the peace, hope, and expectation that is part of Advent. Now it is time to be thankful.

There is nothing more to add to my Christmas list...every gift has been given. I have had Christmas all year.

Peace to you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spied On




I have been spied on!

Sunday afternoon my internet wasn't working right. Monday morning it wouldn't work at all...and my desk top icons were rearranged.

My dear hubby took a look and found that several spies were watching me. So many in fact that my internet connection would not even open.

So many that my computer was completely locked up...grrr! I was surrounded.

Somehow my firewalls were down which allowed it all to happen. It took a bit but my favorite undercover agent got rid of the spies and reinstalled my firewalls.

I can just imagine the buzz..."Hey all you computer criminals in web world, there is an idiot Christmas shopping with no firewalls in place! Join us for a shopping spree on her!" (I wasn't really Christmas shopping so don't get excited, only a coffee order and a three books from Amazon)

Beware all...make sure your firewalls are intact.