Life by Grace

JOIN ME IN MY JOURNEY PERMEATED BY THE GRACE OF GOD. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." I Corinthians 15:10

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Bring the Rain

I have heard this song quite often on the radio. It really makes me think everytime I hear it. Today I was thinking about the specific line that says "Bring me anything that brings you glory." I have always really liked that line, but today I realized I really haven't been living with that unselfish and God-focused attitude. The one thing that I have been fighting in my thinking alot lately has been loneliness and being bored. That change of job and schedule right now has really thrown me off more than I have ever been before. I don't ever remember being so bored and lonely for a long time. It has been about a month now that I have really been struggling with this. Last night, I was just saying, "Lord, I hate being lonely." But that attitude doesn't line up with the heart that says that life is about God, not me. God suffered loneliness. He is giving me an opportunity to join in understanding another side of his suffering for me. Even in this song, it mentions that idea. It talks about His suffering, "So what's a little rain." In turn, I may be able to help others when they are in a similar situation. I want to live and think like I am wiling to live with anything God has for me that will bring Him glory. I am fighting to think on God and find hope in him, just as the Psalmist says in Psalm 42. "Why is my soul disquieted in me? Hope in the Lord." Pray that God will change my thinking so that I can learn what He wants me to learn about Him through this time.

"Bring The Rain"
by Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Eunice Blaha (no network) wrote
at 2:14pm
As I am thinking about that song, it's the submissive spirit to anything, even hard times, that resonates through this song...but isn't resonating through my heart. I want that submissive spirit to whatever God has for me and a deliberate forethought of planning to focus my heart on glorifying God when those times come. Praise has not been in my heart. I have been fumbling around with how to properly focus my thinking at times when I have nothing to do. Usually I end up getting on facebook so I feel some connection with people. I have been working on plans to occupy my thinking and time. It just is all in the works right now. God is still growing me through all of this. I am so thankful that "circumstances don't change who I forever am in Him." I want that spirit of praise in me again.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Facebook has taken over

I highly suspect that just as Facebook has become where I frequently give updates on how I am doing, many of my past viewers ( if I ever had any) are now trafficking Facebook to find out how I am doing. I may give a better update in the near future. I was wondering if anyone who does check out my blog at all could leave me a comment on this post just to let me know that you do check it periodically and will be looking for updates. Thanks for your input and care to find out how I am doing.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

my summer vacation

I left a week ago today for my two weeks summer vacation. School ended Friday, June1st. I flew out of Charlotte 8am Saturday, June 2nd. I flew into Chicago. Aunt Karla picked me up at the airport and drove me to the Chicago Metra station. I love the Metra. I took a 1 1/2 hr ride to Kenosha, WI for $5. During the week it’s $7. Sarah Perhsall picked me up in Kenosha and drove me back to her house in Waukesha, WI. I spent he last week in WI visiting with Brian, Jen, and Zoey (and one of the way) Neuenschwander in Oregon, WI…oh, and Brian’s brother Scott was visiting, too. We all had a great time together. I also stayed half the time with Gabe, Sarah, and Ethan Pershall. I got to be Auntie Eunice with Ethan and Zoey…which I absolutely love. All of us went to the free zoo in Madison on Sunday and the rest of the time we just hung out together and enjoyed being together. Thursday, June 7th (Gabe and Sarah’s 4th anniversary), I was picked up by 3 crazy girls who I rode with down to Bolingbrook, IL for my former-roommate, Emily Brown’s wedding. The three crazy girls were Sheryl (Em’s roommate for the last two years in Green Bay) and 2 friends from her church there. They were so much fun. We laughed so hard. Yes, I have been glavanting around the world making people laugh, Scott. We laughed so hard. I spent yesterday, before the evening wedding, just lying around the hotel: sleeping in, reading, watching some TV, lounging in the hot tub. I had a very relaxing day. Last night, Emily got married to Caleb MacGill. It was a beautiful, simple wedding. She looked wonderful. God worked it out for me to get a ride with Emily’s aunt, uncle, and grandma to MI just outside of where my dad’s family lives in MI. I arrived at about 1am today at my Aunt Karla’s house. This week I just plan to hang out with family. I would love to get to go to Lake Michigan one day. Maybe one my cousin will go in with me on it. We always get ice cream at Sherman’s after we go to the beach in South Haven. I'll probably go out to Camp Beechpoint a few times where Karla is the camp nurse most of the summer. I am looking forward to a great week here. I fly out of Chicago Saturday morning at 7:30am. God has been so good in working all the details out in me getting around to so many places in 2 weeks. I am loving my time off before I start babysitting the Monday after I get back.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gardening and Ricky's graduation

I haven't posted since Spring Break, but of course, I have been busy with all kinds of things (part of why I haven't posted). One of the most exciting things that has happened recently is that Ricky has finally graduated from college with his bachelor's degree. He graduated last Saturday, May 5th. I am so proud of him. He has worked so hard, and God's grace has enabled him to complete what he started 11 years ago.One major thing that has occupied a lot of my time lately is gardening and landscaping around the house. These first two pictures are from last fall.

This is the tree in the front of our house. When we first moved in almost 4 years ago, it was all grown up with juniper bushes. We dug those out and then just let the weeds take over. This last year, I decided to start a project of landscaping this area. The rocks that are there I put there since that area was just dirt anyways (all the rocks that now border this bed, we dug out of our front and back yard).

Here are Brooke and Cherith who helped me dig up sod and weeds last fall.

This is what it looks like now. I found a rose bush among all of the weeds and vines. I took all of the iris bulbs last fall and placed them in a circle around the tree. I also planted a few salvia plants, daisies, and 4 rose bushes. They all are just starting out so they haven't gotten very full yet. I did have a big blessing a couple weeks ago. A lady down the street stopped by while I was working in the yard. She said she has been watching all the work I have been doing. She asked me if I was going to plant any daylilies in this flower bed. I told her I had thought about it but didn't have any yet. She said she had extras and would bring me some. I don't have a picture with them planted yet, but I put some in the flower bed in front of the house and some in this front flower bed. She said she has some if I need more. I think I am going to stop by there sometime and get some more.
Besides just digging up the area around the tree, I also extended the flower bed area around the next tree. You can see it better in the picture above. Jesse has been a great help and has even voluntarily helped dig up sod so I could widen this bed. I planted two of the rose bushes in the area between the trees. The one rose bush has had two yellow roses bloom already.

This area above is where we use to have azalea bushes. But the bushes were all different sizes. They were short, big, full, and scrawny. I decided to have them dug up and have a vegetable garden planted there instead. We had tomatoes planted on the side of the house last year. They grew thin and as tall as trees, but they only put out a couple tomatoes in October. I figured they didn't get enough sunlight. So we put them in the front this year. They are growing so well. We also have lettuce, pepers, cucumbers, and beans planted. This is the flower bed in front of our house. Most of the hostas that is growing here was transplanted from a friend's house. But I have some daylilies planted in the back now and some bulbs that have yet to sprout. I also have some plants in pots on the front porch/steps area. I want to slowly keep adding to it all. I want to be able to leave perennials behind that will keep growing every year when I finally move out of the house. I do it slowly and buy a plant here and there. I have been able to mulch it and make it look more clean and manicured. It is a fun hobby though.

I had to post this last picture. This is my patio tomato plant that I planted in March and it froze in one of our last frosts. You can see the yellowed, dried stem and the center stem area. That was all that was left after the leaves wilted and died. I wanted to see if it would come back though. I took it in when it was cold and have kept it watered and in the sun. As you can see, it has come back so well. I have been so excited about it.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring Break 07, Part 2

I feel like I left some things out of my first post, so I decided to cover them on a second post. First off, I wanted to mention that I was able to spend a good deal of time with my amazing sister, Andrea. It was so neat to be able to be a part of her ministry in Plainfield and at Northland. We had just all kinds of fun together.

Here are some fun pictures from the weekend in Plainfield. I had such a great time there. Above, Cameron and Timmy are posing after tilling up a neighbor ladies yard where she is going to plant a garden this spring (whenever spring arrives up there).

Saturday night we did some domestic and old-fashioned stuff. It was just too fun. Above is the flour that Andrea grounded in the kitchen mill at the pastor's house (the Gaudets). This flour was ground from whole grains of wheat. By the way, I had heard so many great things about the Gaudets. I am please to report that it's all true. God truly has blessed them, and they were a great blessing to me.

Timmy is demonstrating how we were able to make butter by shaking cold cream that they had taken off of the fresh cows milk they get for free.

I was so elated when I looked down after about 10 to 15 minutes of shaking this cream and saw a huge chunk of butter. IT WAS SO COOL!!

Then they had to seperate the buttermilk from the butter. I learned all kinds of new stuff that weekend. One things was that buttermilk is the milk that is left over from making butter from the cream. They salted the butter before putting it back in the refrigerator. We used it the next morning for breakfast.

Monday night, at Nland, I was able to see most of the dress rehearsal for "Charley's Aunt" which is being performed at Nland this week. Sarah (Cunningham) Cushman is the director. She is also is one of my good friends from my time at Nland. We were roommates our Sophomore year and in Grad school. The fun things is that Sarah was in "Charley's Aunt" in college and now she gets to direct it.

Sarah's husband, Ryan, is "Charley's Aunt" in the play. He is the one in Peter's arms. The casting was very well done. They sure must have a lot of fun.

Ellen and I posed for a remake of a picture she has on her apartment door of us doing the same thing back in 1998.

Cheese and I had to do a crazy picture since we are so crazy together.

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Spring Break 07

March 30th I fly from Charlotte, NC to Green Bay, WI to spend my spring break visiting my wonderful alma mater, Northland Baptist Bible College. When I fly into Green Bay, I was able to spend some time with my cousin, Tim. Andrea's extension group drove through Gbay on their way to Plainfield, WI. Andrea and I enjoyed getting to see Tim and spend a little bit of time with him.Every weekend, a group of about 6 people drive about 3 hrs. from college to Plainfield, WI to be part of the First Baptist Church of Plainfield. I had heard so many exciting things about the people at the church and what God is doing there. I decided to take off school on Friday so I could get to WI in order to be picked up by her team and spend the weekend with them. The couple above with Andrea were just saved about a month ago. I could tell by their conversation and fruit that they truly were changed.

Here is Cameron, the pastor's son, standing next to his house and in front of the church.
Besides seeing old friends and being at Nortland for Missions Conference, it was so cool to see all the changes that they have been able to make around campus. Over Nland's spring break, they were able to have The Commons read decorated. It's so neat.

Wednesday night I was able to visit Norway Baptist Church were I was a charter member before I moved home from Nland in 2005. It was so much fun to see people in the church who were there from the beginning. It was especially exciting to see the community people who have been faithful and growing.

My wonderful cousin, Genny, started attending Nland just this semester. She has loved it and is growing so much. It was fun to be able to hang out with her and meet her friend, Jacob.

There were so many people I got to see. Some of them I was able to get a picture of or with. Cheese (Brent Tipton) was one of them who I really wanted to get a picture with. I thought I had missed my chance. Then we saw him in a gas station this last weekend as his extension team stopped there, and Andrea's extension team was on their way to take me to Green Bay. Cheese was one of my favorite workers when I was the supervisor of the Nland Dish Pit during Grad School. There were so many other people I would love to mention and display pictures of. I loved my time there and God did amazing things in my life. I was hoping that spring break would be a refreshing time for me. I stayed with my friend, Ellen (who is the Dorm Supervisor), and we were able to pray every night for God to really do a work in our hearts and give us wisdom about what He has for us in the future. He answered our prayers. More to come on that later. We are still in prayer about that, but God is definitely at work.

Here are Sarah and John Fieck, the team leaders for the Plainfield Extension Team. They were able to drive me back down to Gbay on Friday evening. I stayed with my senior year roommate, Emily Brown. It was great to see her again. It was also fun to talk about wedding stuff since she is getting married June 7th.

We did have a little bit of snow and lots of wind while I was up there. At my layover in Detroit, they had to de-ice the plane before we took off since it had been snowing when we came in. I thank God that He blessed me with such a wonderful time away.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Heart Walk

Cherith and I had a great time on Saturday being part of Lindsey Boehm's Team at the AHA Heart Walk.

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Lindsey's Team- AHA Walk

Saturday, March 17th, Cherith and I were part of "Lindsey Boehm's Team" in the American Heart Association Walk in downtown Greenville. It was about 3 miles. It started at the Falls Park on Reedy River. The trail went all the way down by Cleveland Park and the zoo and then looped back around the same way we came. We had an awesome team out for the Walk. Her team was able to raise over $7,000. The team was started by Tire Center where Jason works. They had T-shirts made up with Lindsey's picture on it. Under her picture it said "Our Hearts Walk for Lindsey" with the dates April 4, 2001 - November 7, 2006 below it. It was awesome to see so many people come out to support the Boehms. I know they seemed very encouraged. If you want to know anymore details about the Walk, you can click on the link to the Boehm's blog on the right side of my blog.

God has been upholding Jason and Laura through His grace.
There were these tags we could put on our back and write down our relationship to Lindsey on them. The top read "I'm walking in tribute to Lindsey Boehm."

Here is Cadence eating her Nerds before the Walk. Lindsey and Cadence loved eating Nerds together.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Charleston Special Olympics 07, Part 2

The Citadel hosts the Mid-Winter Special Olympics State Games each March.

The kids did great in their basketball skill competitions. I think it's neat how they have a platform set up for the presentation of the medals for the athletes.

Amy and I had a great time playing up the "single girl" response to all the "men in uniform." Miss Perry, the LD special education teacher, asked these cadets to the left if they would take a picture with Amy. I jumped in and said, "Amy, you know I have to be in this picture."

Immediately following our basketball competitions, we headed over to North Charleston to watch the Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championship game. Tennessee (UTC) beat Western Carolina.

We try to do as many Charlestonian activities as we can while we're down there. Last year we went to Bubba Gumps. This year we tried out Hyman's Seafood Restaurant on Meeting Street. We met the owner and his son. They treated us so well and the food was amazing. We were all so stuffed when we left.

I think the highlight of my weekend was our spontanious adventure on Saturday night. The SO has closing events at the Citadel at about 7pm on Saturday. We stayed later at Hyman's and we were going to try to head down the the beach to watch some kind of eclipse that took place at about 7:30. We missed that. As we were heading down to the Citadel, we decided to go to Folly Beach instead.

It was so windy and chilly, but it was so much fun. I loved it. Nicholas and I, as well as, Amy and I had a great time taking pics of ourselves out there.

After hitting a public access beach, we decided to drive down about a mile to the pier. We took a bunch more fun pictures there.

The coaches had as much fun if not more fun than the students at the beach.


Charleston Special Olympics 07

As we started out our weekend for the Mid-Winter Games in Charleston on March 2-5, we visited Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. We took the garden tour. The trees and flowers were just starting to bloom. It was beautiful. We also visited the petting zoo. We were going to take the swamp tour but we ran out of time. We had to quickly head off to see Sharks 3D at the IMAX theater.

I always love standing the view of the Charleston Harbor. We saw a few barges go through pulled by tug boats. I don't know much about ships or ports, but it's all very fascinating to me.

Posing for quick pic before everyone marched out in our groups for the opening ceremony.

The guys are goofing off in practicing their basketball skills which we competed in for these SO Games.