Oct 27, 2012

Lake Day...

Yesterday was mine and Vormund's first outing just the two of us.. We met up with a couple friends and headed to Lake Huron... It was beautiful, and perfect, and he did amazing! Here are a few pictures and a video of his stair climbing and descending skills haha (sorry it's a bit shaky and spinny)

He was NOT sure how he felt about the sand at first...











 The three best friends... haha
Just exploring the beach and finding sticks!

SO MANY SHELLS!

Nothing is better than spaghetti sauce face! lol and she just let him lick her :)

He was NOT a fan of the military airplanes that flew over...

 I love that the great lakes look like oceans!

Then we put the kiddos down under the supervision of pappasan and explored the creek across the field.















video
One day he will conquer these steps no problem haha

What a fun day of new experiences for him, and a wonderful change of pace to feel like I was by the ocean! We had so much fun :)

Oct 24, 2012

Planning Change...

I have always tended towards liking change. I really enjoy surprises, but like most, I like change on my terms, and in ways I can grasp or get a handle on. However, minor changes do not typically phase me, I enjoy the challenge of seeing if I can pull an audible in the middle of something and go with it.. Other times I plan change, and that is my favorite, such as changing my hair color or buying a puppy (I am so tired haha)...

What is by far the most difficult change for me (and likely everyone else) is when I have to help someone else change or plan change. Partially because to some extent, even if you like change... you don't like change. And, let's call a spade a spade here, change is hard.

What I love about my new job is, I am totally in my sweet spot of helping others be better, more effective, more passionate, more excited, and more challenged to dive deeper into our Lord, sorta like swimming in the ocean. I love that whether for good, bad or exhausting, my job is to help others grow in Christ.

Couple reminders based on things I have noticed lately:

Change is difficult and stressful. 
            "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

Taking time to rest and recharge is difficult, but essential.
             "On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God." - Psalm 62:7

There is a time and a season for everything.
             "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace... He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end." - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11

At times we are supposed to support someone else's vision, even if it seems crazy.
              "Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, 'Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.' His armor bearer said to him, 'Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire.'” - 1 Samuel 14:6-7            
             "So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set." - Exodus 17:11-12

In all, above all, through all, and despite any emotion, love.
               "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13

Oct 19, 2012

Leisure...

I remember once a while ago that my pastor in DC, Mark Batterson said that it takes about a year in a half to two years to write a book.. So, as he saw it, he gains about two years of knowledge or wisdom every time he reads a book. I love that idea! It makes me feel a bit like the Matrix when they would download new programs almost instantaneously, and then they become experienced in things like Kung-Fu or flying a helicopter... Reading books can feel a little like that.

I am reading a book for work (I get paid for this?!), Finish the Mission, and it is full of wisdom from so many amazing men of God. One of the things it points out is that, whether we are being sent to the ends of the earth or next door, Christians are not at our leisure... We do not get to choose to stroll through or squander our blessings.

I like the idea that we are not afforded excuses for not getting involved and reaching others for Christ. We are not allowed to take our time, but instead we should feel a sense of urgency, I mean, after all, people die every single day without knowing Christ. One of the points that is made in the book is that the Bible is clear that everyone is not without blame, and that some people die knowing just enough about God to be rebellious. As Christians, sometimes we like to make up these obscure scenarios, what if an innocent guy in Africa or the Amazon die without ever having heard about Christ, would God still send them to hell?.. The author of one of the chapters points out that in the scenario we give, of course God would not send him to hell because he is innocent... The problem is no one is innocent, no one is without blame, everyone is rebellious. While I know the Truth in that statement, it definitely caused me to pause and really dwell on the idea once more that we are ALL broken, fallen, and rebellious. Not one is innocent. Ouch.

I love books that challenge me to think deeper, dive deeper, stretch, and grow in my understanding, compassion, and most of all my faith in the one God. I have a long road ahead of me, God has a lot of crazy things coming, most of which I have no concept of... But, what I am most excited about are all the people that God is going to reach, all the things He is going to teach me through them, and all the ways I am going to have my world rocked and my mind blown because of His favor and blessings... Yet, these things serve as a challenge and a reminder, I am not at my leisure, I do not get to stroll through this challenge or take my time.

People must encounter Christ.

Oct 16, 2012

I Have A Dream...

For whatever reason, my body has decided sleep is not important.. So much so that, I lay in bed for hours each night... literally until around 3am. I wake up exhausted after having woken up numerous times throughout the night, and each morning I am convinced I will be tired enough to actually sleep tonight... I douse my morning with caffeine, and then I am off to start my day.

I love my job, seriously. Tonight at a board meeting during prayer I kept thinking "I am so blessed, Lord, this is he coolest job ever." I mean really, I get paid to live my life and be passionate.. it is pretty amazing and despite the challenges I love it... But, I am constantly thinking about it, praying about it, jotting notes to remember, putting reminders in my phone, planning, reading books/blogs/twitter/facebook really any resource that might help me.. Including my double masters classes (whoa, that is when you know it is serious! haha). I know that I should take a break and allow myself the chance to mentally detox, but I have no idea how to get myself to do that at this point. Literally the only thing that I have been able to find that keeps my mind off work is watching a movie or online tv... But, as soon as it is over my mind is thinking again.

... I am also aware that for good or bad, my job is probably a huge factor in my lack of ability to sleep. Not because anything is wrong, but because I am constantly thinking about it. I have always been prone to allow my mind to process and think while I am laying in bed, and now is certainly no different.

Another factor aiding in my body's revolt of sleeping is, my big girl bed (a for really real bed) is very firm... The air mattress I have slept on for the last four years, well is not very firm... I think I am going to have to princess my bed and get a topper to make is softer :)

I have a dream... well no not really cause I am not dreaming, but one day I am confident I will again...

Oct 15, 2012

Heart Check...

A little over four years ago, just before I moved to VA, I started this blog with one basic purpose, to give a place where my family back home would get to read about what was going on in my head and connect with my heart. I wanted a place for them to be able to "hear" things differently.

A lot has happened in four years... and I am certainly not even close to the same person I was then, but almost 700 posts later, a significantly larger readership, and an amazing chronicling of the story, I believe there is still value in using this blog to share my heart with whoever stumbles upon my post or visits regularly.
I still firmly believe it does my heart good, and the heart of those reading to hear total and completely honest things that are simmering or exploding out of me.
I still think it is important for people to be able to read the progression as I process through things.
Above all, it is imperative for people to see how God works in my life.

So, what is my heart check lately?

Ugh, so many things...

Part of me is in pure function mode. I do not know what to do with all the emotions, so I have resorted to function mode to get me through the chaotic things that always seem to usher in crazy emotions.

I am more than a little frustrated at the fact that I am not sleeping well, and still waking up a dozen times a night for random sounds I am not used to...

Sometimes I am so beyond excited and overjoyed that I am doing what I love. How did I get so lucky?.. God has given me my sweet spot job, and I am blown away... And then that makes me realize that I love my job.. what if I mess up? what if I cannot do it? what if... (fill in the blank).. And then I remember that God has sent me because I said years ago "here I am send me."

I am so thankful for stupid little things.. Like Friday I saw a blue and gold license plate cover for U of M, the license plate said "Vktors", and it was a VA plate.. I couldn't help but smile at God's blending of the two... This week someone came into my office and talked to me about DC for almost an hour, I loved every minute of it. I have gotten hugs from people I have only known a couple weeks, and hugs always mean a lot to me..

I am frustrated and completely sick of having to be careful about my hip (which thankfully is mostly just sore now and less a constant severe pain).. I am really tired of needing to ask for help, not even for any other reason than practically speaking it takes more time to ask someone to help.. and asking for help for things I should be able to do on my own, but currently cannot is tiring when I am not close with the person... because it leaves me feeling helpless, needy, and as though I owe them (all of which I am fully aware are not reality, but regardless, it is how I feel).

I GET PAID TO LOVE PEOPLE.. Seriously, I keep mulling that over in my head and it feels like I am cheating the system.. I am literally getting paid to love people, teach them about Christ and then how to love others in His name.. It is flippin amazing!

I miss my church and friends in DC so very much. Basically all the time, but thankfully e-mails keep me laughing, Skype gives me much needed quality time, and facebook/twitter/texting keep me connected for all the mundane things...

I am hopeful of what is to come, and soaking up and trying to learn as much as I can...

I do not for a moment regret nor second guess my choice to move back to MI, but I have finally allowed myself to acknowledge it was one of the most difficult decisions I have made (which is interesting because I am pretty sure that means more difficult decisions are down the road).. But, really I do not regret it; I somewhat revel in the challenge of it all and bask in the knowledge that God is moving, He is leading, He is gearing up, and we are about to soar.

My heart feels a constant mix of so many things, so when asked how I am doing I have a litany of things flood my mind.. I am genuinely good, excited, stressed, overwhelmed, homesick, etc..etc..

Oct 11, 2012

Life Lately...

So, I figured I would take a post and updated on my life lately...

 And since pictures are worth 1,000 words, I thought I'd just update with some pictures...

This amazing person helped me move across the country, and think and remember things I just couldn't keep in my head!
 The "beauty and the beast rose" did not survive the trip back to MI.. But, 8 years, 14 moves, and three states I suppose is as long as any rose should be expected to live.
I love the people I work with, seriously they are awesome... They surprised me with a gift.. Pretty state of the art! haha
A few pictures of the new place, before I painted.

The wall on the left is now the color of the top flower on my shower curtain.. I completely accidentally picked the same colors.. Apparently subconsciously I am pretty matchy matchy.
 I love my kitchen!... Still trying to figure out if I need a microwave or not..
 I have painted a lot lately...
 This is the progression of my office...
 I am really excited about how it all turned out.. and I promise I cheated, and am not actually as good as this portrays.. I projected these onto the wall, then painted in the lines :)
This puppy will soon be in my arms!.. Just about a week in a half and he's mine! He is all paid off, and details are coming together to transport him... His name is Vormund (which means guardian in German).
 I love how God sends me rainbows every time a major thing in my life is going to happen or is happening... It makes me smile.
 These lovely... weird, but amazing people are directly related to me, and now they are close enough to meet for a couple hours on a Sunday night and laugh and talk and hang out. They are "special" haha, but they make life so much better!

So, hopefully that catches you up a smidge on life lately.

Oct 8, 2012

He Chose Me...

Over the last three weeks I have had this bubbling up from the deep thought that has crashed into my full consciousness this weekend...

God chose me.

He chose to save me in all my wretchedness.

He chose to rescue my heart.. over and over again through every heartache and turmoil I have put it through.

He chose to bless me in ways that no one could script better.

He chose to give me a passion and a genuine love for those around me.

He chose to send me all over the place to meet spectacular and inspiring people.

He chose me.

He chose to bring me to a church to make a difference and follow Him.

He. Chose. Me.

I am sure from an outside perspective it looks as though this is a slightly dramatic thought. But, I can assure you my very core has been ruminating over this thought for a few weeks now. I am so inadequate. I feel a bit like an imposter. I do not feel ready to take on the task that He is clearly putting before me. I am stoked about this new job... No seriously, I am getting paid to meet people for coffee and talk about Jesus.. And then, I get to inspire them and help them be better servants of our Lord. Best. Job. Ever. But, despite all of that, I look around me and know so many amazing, much more capable, much more educated, much more passionate, much more intuitive people that know what to do and how to lead better..

And yet, God chose me.

I am blown away, and ridiculously humbled by this revelation that has hit me full on over the weekend. I am unable to do this without Christ, yet He chose me. In a period where I finally felt as though He had healed past hurts, and as though He had finally made me new, and helped me step into the who I was created to be, not to mention in the midst of my full glory of brokenness, He decided this would be a good time to uproot me and transplant me somewhere too follow Him. I am stoked, and I am full of a bit of trepidation at realizing how much He has laid before me...

I am resonating with this verse currently: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14) .. This passage goes on to say she replied to Mordecai and told him and other Jews to fast for three days and pray, she would do the same, and then she would break the law and approach the king on behalf of the Jews. I resonate with this whole thing because I fasted for 40 days from sweets and desserts during the entire process of applying and interviewing for this job...

I also know that I will continue to need serious prayer and at times fasting to help me over the next.. well long time. But, I also know without any doubts that the Lord is here, and He is about to rock some worlds.. including, and probably especially mine.

On January 30th of this year, I posted that God Goes Before Me, and I have never been more aware of that then I am right now.
February 2nd of this year I posted that Prayer is a Game Changer; I still firmly believe that, but even more so now that I have experienced some pretty substantial prayer stories since then...

And, on February 8th of this year I said I felt like I was On the Cusp of something... Now I know.

These blog posts are three examples of why I absolutely love blogging. Because, now these three posts share a part of my journey this year with you, and now you can begin to see just how accurately God works in my heart, even when I do not know what He is doing.. He is there, working, and leading me. I love my Lord and King, my Savior, and my Christ more than words can truly express.

God is awesome, and so much more.

Oct 6, 2012

Cared For...

This morning as I sit here in my new apartment with a cup of coffee in hand, I realize yet again that I am so ridiculously blessed...

I am beginning to like my new apartment, and after finally locating and posting my 3x5 prayer cards on my bathroom mirror it has begun to feel like home... Slowly, but surely I am finding places for everything and establishing a routine here in MI.

I am beginning to get really excited to see what God does in my life and the lives of those around me. I started getting glimpses of what He is directing me towards this week, and I love that my life is now my job.. Meaning, I am actually getting paid to do what I love.. truly. I am enjoying watching and actively pursuing this new job as it begins to shape up. Although, I was called both a minister and a pastor this week.. which both feel totally inaccurate and really weird to hear myself described that way.. But regardless, I am pumped to watch God unveil His plan.

The number of people that have helped me in some form or fashion over the last couple months is truly humbling, and as I sit here, I am totally amazed at how many people have totally selflessly taken care of me.

This week I have been incredibly touched by the friends that have helped me or checked on me to make sure I was ok, safety checks that reminded me I am cared for (even from so far away), late night text conversations that reminded me that my perspective and friendship is sought after, a couple hour phone call with a friend reminding me how big and amazing our God is, and skyping dates set up... It has been a full week, and I love ever bit of it.

I do not think there is a way to adequately explain how much such little things have meant to me this week, but I can say without any exaggeration that my family and friends (new and old) are amazing people and I do not deserve them.. but am so thankful and love them so very much.

This morning as I sit here in my new apartment, coffee in hand, I am blessed and feel totally cared for by so many people. God is truly amazing how He works everything out.

Oct 5, 2012

The First Week...

So, the last week has been crazy.. truly.

A week ago today I went and got a tour of The Pentagon with a couple friends, which of course was lead by another friend. And although we had to get up crazy early to work with his schedule, it was totally worth it, and a really fun thing to do on my last day.

Then the craziness of actually packing my life up began. Still trying to be ever conscious of the torn ligament in my hip, did my best to pack and leave boxes.. but, I sort of accidentally threw a wrench in my own plans when I went to look up the truck rental information only to discover I had messed up and was supposed to pick it up a day prior... Thankfully God was on my side and even though it was the end of the month they had not given it to anyone else yet. However, I had to load my car myself, which means pulling huge ramps out and putting them back.. It was about then that my hip began to hurt... immensely.

Later in the day, a bunch of my friends came over to help me cook, load the truck, and paint my room.. I really wish I had enjoyed the entire thing more, but really I spent the first half ridiculously stressed out and trying to contain my emotions. Thankfully I had a referee helping me communicate.. However, once most everything was done, and we sat down for dinner, I finally started feeling my insides uncoil... Although, the stress and emotions might have been aided by the fact that I had not eaten all day either...

Saturday was the actual moving day, and surprisingly it went incredibly smoothly. The drive while long, was fairly easy, we had no traffic issues, no truck or car issues, and spent hours of the trip playing "would you rather..." Once we arrived at my new place in MI, there were people from my new church waiting to help unload everything.. And boy did they! They unloaded everything in under and hour, helped arrange the furniture, and even returned the truck for me!.. Seriously one of the best welcoming gifts I could have been given!.. Although, the beauty and the beast rose saw its last move..

Sunday and Monday were full of church and shopping for random things I needed for the new place, which was fun, but tiring...

Monday I had to put one of my best friends on a plane and send her back to DC.. and we cried and hugged and held each other several times.. and then, I cried most of the hour drive home. I am going to miss her like crazy, but I am so so thankful for being able to skype, text, e-mail, etc.. because it definitely makes everything so much easier!

Tuesday commenced my first actual day of work, and I spent the day in meetings for the most part just talking through where to get started and what to do. Then I spent that evening and most of the next two days painting my new office and e-mailing with and meeting up with various different people. It is such a weird feeling to have a job that does not feel like work.

Slowly I am getting things together. Last night I painted my bedroom, so it finally feels like mine. And, I found my 3x5 prayer cards for my bathroom mirror.. the amount of relief I had when I finally found them is fairly comical because now the bathroom feels like mine, complete with my normal routine of praying over specific things while I brush my teeth and wash my face. It is the little things...

Oh yeah, and somewhere in there I fit my homework.. Oye.