Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feeling Thankful...

The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me

Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You

By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end

Lover of my soul
I want to live for You

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A blur of a week...

No, it's not just you - the picture is blurry, but I thought 'What an appropriate picture to illustrate the week - i.e. it was a blur'. And with much encouragement from my husband (he brought home Annie's Bunny Grahams and Dunkin' Donuts Coffee - what a wonderful man!), I turned in my first Seminary level to clean the house.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Too busy to blog...

... and yet, I'll find a few moments tonight to say hello to the blog world. Mainly to solicit your thoughts on balancing life. This has been a really busy semester for John and I. And though I have always considered myself very organized and on top of things, I'm hearing a few 'plates' hit the floor occasionally. Which is frustrating to me and my peculiarities. My situations and plans have yet again shown me my need for a Saviour. Someone to save me from obsessing over calendars and commitments. And also, in the midst of all the 'good' things - why am I doing it? Where is Christ? Let my eyes be lifted to Him in the midst of my small trial and find contentment in the place He has put me.

One of the things that has filled up my calendar this semester is my Intro to Biblical Counseling Class. This class has been so eye opening of the world views that find their way into our churches and counseling discussions. I think about the desperate situations that people find themselves in and my heart is warmed to know that the Gospel meets every need - we have a Messiah. And I have been convicted of all the ways we can fabricate our own messiah apart from Christ. Left to ourselves we can reason and diagnose, but there can be no permanent healing or joy and peace until Christ is enough. It has caused me to meditate on Isaiah 53 - one of my favorite passages. Take a moment to read it and meditate on our Messiah in the midst of our busy schedules.

Isaiah 53 Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My sister Steph lives in the cutest little vintage apartment. I visited her last month and just loved the pieces she had chosen to decorate with. Her motto - only decorate with the things you really love. Her little place is so reflective of her personality and taste. She's inspired me to think differently about the things I bring into our home.

So, this past weekend when we visited Kansas (more pictures to come on that) my sister-in-laws and I hit up the local thrift store and I was so pleased with the unique vase I found. So pleased, that I flew with it on my lap home to Virginia from Kansas - and it made it with no incidents! A few things I love about it - there's no seams in the texture, the bottom is imprinted (I'll have to do some research on that), and it has weight to it with a great shape and a fabulous price! Great finish to a memorable weekend with the family! (free flowers from the tree in the backyard topped off my deal!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Finally, a rainy Sunday night...

So, here we are with a Sunday night without something to do... finally a moment to sit down and post some pictures on the blog from Israel. I was just thinking about it yesterday. I find myself actually missing Israel and our trip we took. It was just that great. I told John last night that when we talk about Christ or the difference Jesus makes in our lives my heart emotionally warms to the thought of my Saviour (yes, I know that's the old English way to spell Saviour - but I love to spell it that way because of the 'our' at the end, He's our Saviour). I just sat down and looked through some of these and I thought it would be an appropro time to finally post some, considering we're finally settled at home and getting back into routine. These may be random, but they are some of my favorites - Enjoy!

John at the top of Bet She'an (sp?). It was a long hike!

Roadside stand in the Golan Heights - the man sold his own spices and dried fruit

Tour bus

Mosaic of shells on the Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee (my favorite)

The Synagogue in Nazerath

One of the nice crew from the boat we sailed on the Sea of Galilee

Mt. Carmel

An aqueduct along the Medditeranean Sea by Cesarea

Herod's Palace along the Medditeranean

Medditeranean Sea

Our flight on the way over (the pictures are a little out of order)

My new friend, Carolyn Hannah


Pincas (Phineas), our wonderful bus driver

John with our tour guide, Yuval

Bob and Louise :)

Dome of the Rock - we weren't allowed to touch or show any affection while we were visiting this holy site...

Loved this...

Farewell Dinner

Monday, June 8, 2009

Our First Grown Up Anniversary

Tomorrow is John and my 3rd Wedding Anniversary (!!!!) I think, Wow. I'm calling it our first grown up anniversary because it's our first anniversary since we have been married that we are both working and not taking the day off to leisurely hang out. With our new home on the horizon and new floors coming into play - it's off to work we go. (Thank the Lord for the good jobs He has given to us that He uses to continually provide for us).

Anyhow, I think of where we are right now in comparison to Day 1, Year 1, 2 and now 3. It has gone so fast so far. And I beg the Lord to give us many years more. Sometimes I think of what life would be like without John now that I have had him in my life. Morbid? - possibly. I tend to be morbid by nature, I suppose. However, it does make me hold him tighter and sit closer to him when I get the chance. I have such admiration for him for so many things. One thing primarily - he has taught me to not take myself so seriously. I never knew he was so silly and funny until after we were married - never knew I needed that in my life and I needed to change and laugh more and contemplate less. If I am amazed at how the Lord has changed us in three years, I can only imagine how He will continue to use our marriage to sanctify our lives for his honor. It's good to look back and remember. It's puts life into perspective.

I cherish what my husband has brought to my life. I can only hope I add as much to his life as he has added to mine.

On the Sea of Galilee in Israel a few weeks ago...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Moving On...

I'm sitting in the midst of our cluttered - from vacation - apartment wondering where to start with packing boxes. I have to admit that I didn't think this day would come for another 2 years until after John had finished School. This house has come as such a blessed surprise to us and the reality has not set in. So as I sit on my couch wondering where to begin, I think of what this apartment has held for us and our first three years of marriage. I'll never forget the first time John swung the door open to reveal our new home filled with our boxes unloaded by my brother and sister in law and their kind friends. White walls, white floors...breath held as I walked in a daze (we had driven through the night) through the apartment - not too long of a walk. It was close to church and school, but not in a kind of location that I had ever lived in before. With some time and a scrub brush though I think we made it our own 'ghetto apartment' as we some times affectionately would call it. But wow... think of how much of our life has been formed in these four walls...we grew from newlyweds to comfortable husband and wife and best friends. We shared our first Christmas and our first Anniversary and our first family visits. And I suppose many of you are thinking, 'Sheesh, if she's this nostalgic over their first place I can't imagine what it's going to be like in the future'. Well... boo. I love filling my heart with memories and the emotions of each part of my life. I want to sit here and remember everything just as it is in our first home before I put it in a box to move on. I want to remember it when I'm old or when our son or daughter gets married and we visit them in their first home. It's been part of us. I have learned myself and I have learned and loved my husband more in this place. I believe that is worthy of a few nostalgic moments.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I am amazed. I am amazed at God's hand in our lives and his direction. John and I just returned from our trip this morning and while I am brimming over with thoughts and stories, at the same time I find it hard to put the experience into words. So, it will have to wait. But not to fear, I do have another thing to share.

The Sunday night before we departed (we were departing Tuesday afternoon) I went for a walk with my friend who lives around the corner. John and I had been talking about looking for a home to purchase when we returned, but we held the idea pretty loosely considering everything we had looked at thus far was quite out of our price range. Sunday evening I walked past a little brick town home with a For Sale sign out front. I immediately loved the little rose bush that loomed out front and made a mental note to look it up online when I got home.

That evening at home I pulled up the realtor's site and was surprised to find this 'ready to move in' home right in our price range. John called a realtor and by Tuesday afernoon we had made an offer on the home, had it accepted, had an inspection, and signed loan papers and set up our closing date!!! This really is more than we could 'ask or think' from our Heavenly Father. The location and set up of the house is just what we were looking for. I feel so blessed. A trip to open our hearts to the Lord's goodness and blessing upon blessing. Every time I recount the story I am struck how His timing works.

I will say one thing about our trip - that after two weeks of walking where Jesus walked, following the Via Dolorosa, exploring the corridors of Jerusalem and standing where he was mocked and broken for me - I'm praying I never lose the wonder of it all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, John!!

Tomorrow is John's birthday. His birthday always comes as a capstone to our school year. One more year done and a few left to finish. Good job being so diligent, Sweetie! I'm so proud of you! Wishing you a special birthday!

I thought I'd include some recent pictures of us since I have just realized that for some reason since we got married, we haven't taken as many pictures! Easter, finishing the semester, DC and Klembash (we will dearly miss the Klems as they relocate this summer!)

Graduation was a different experience for me this year. This was the first year that we didn't have a family member graduating. This was the first year that I had close friends with husbands graduating. And that was sad. This was the first year that I have felt ownership of our seminary experience. That change started at the beginning of the year, but I really saw how deep it had taken hold of me at the completion of this semester. And... this is the first year we are past our mid point of our Seminary experience. This year's Graduation left me with much to think about.

Speaking of monumental experiences, we're preparing for our trip! I can't believe it's already just around the corner!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Training and lovin' it...

I love to workout. I like to run. And these ladies are a big part of my enjoyment when it comes to fitness. I participate in evening workouts on campus after a day in the office. We all come together from different offices, different backgrounds, but the same goal - to get through the next hour of workout. This group has allowed me to go further with fitness than I thought I could. We all work hard during workout, but a huge part of it is that we all really like one another and have a great time in workout and outside of it. We have Friday night dinners, encourage each other on with our families and husbands, laugh over happenings in the office... A few of them have husbands who are also students - so we share in the studies and discipline of student life. Their encouragement has enabled me in so many ways. They are a great part of my life - an amazing part of my life that I am thankful to the Lord for. And for real - we have so much fun!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Can I Just Be Real?

I have frustration with coupons. My sisters in law get all of these great deals by 'manipulating' the coupon system at different drug stores. I see posts on blogs about massive amounts (okay, maybe not massive - but a good amount) of money being saved by taking advantage of double coupons, triple coupons. This has not worked for me. I have had the Sunday paper delivered, clipped my coupons, and spent more money as a result of it. So, I confess. I don't use coupons. I don't like coupons. works for some of you. I stood in line behind a man in Farm Fresh tonight who cut his bill in half with coupons. I watched his total go from $38 to $17 and I had great respect for him and I didn't mind standing in line while the clerk punched each coupon in to the register... and now I want in on the secret. What is it - time? scanning the fliers? I'd be curious to hear about your experience with coupons or if you don't use coupons what you do to stretch your dollar at the Grocery store.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Day in Old Towne

I participated in my first 'yard sale' this past Saturday. What a great time with friends to spend the morning out in Old Towne with a cup of coffee and 70 degree weather! This whole idea started about 4 months ago. I am naturally a 'clutter free' person (I hate clutter). My husband accuses me of getting rid of perfectly good stuff just because I like space. Whether there's truth to that or not is not for me to say - but I will say, it felt great to unload a whole bunch of stuff in one day. It changed the way I arranged our house - I kid you not!

I know that yard sales are about making money and getting rid of your old stuff, but I really think I was the one to aquire the deals. I had extra time to spend with some friends from church as well as make some new friends and just mingle with my fellow mortals in the sun and the bliss of a Saturday morning. It was great - did I mention I enjoyed a large cup of coffee from the local coffee shop also - would have driven there just for that. Thanks to my sweet friend, Kerry, for the invite to join her neighbors in the sale!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sham Rock On...

So, I've been waiting for pictures of the race to come before I posted on my Shamrock experience... unfortunately, the picture they sent to me was for the person with bib number 2022...mine was 2072. That part aside... I completed my first race a few weeks ago. It was an amazing experience - it was an early experience. I cannot tell you the anticipation that was inside of me the night before. I was so nervous about what to expect and going it alone since Laura (who had planned to run with me) had gotten sick that week and wasn't going to be able to run. It was almost a dread in my stomach.

I left our house a little after 6:00 am to meet up with some friends and drive down to the oceanfront where the race was being held. Once we got there, it was so much chillier than I had anticipated - which turned out to be a good thing once the race began. After waiting for awhile, we gathered at the START. I felt calm and so excited waiting for them to shoot the gun off to get started. 8:00 am arrived and the gun went off and the sea of people began to disperse and spread out. It was incredible. On the second half of my first mile I was struck with the realization that I was doing this...I'm doing this!

Running along the boardwalk was incredible - smelling the salt of the water and the sand, watching the sun climb higher over the water. I relished every part of it and completed in a time I was pleased with. I'll never forget running towards the King Neptune statue hearing my friend yelling my name from the crowd and me hollering back at her (like you would only do in an athletic/competition setting or camp, I guess) and busting across the Finish Line. Great experience...awesome feeling...and that was only an 8k... what do you think a half marathon would feel like?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My husband and ...

The way I love to start out this story... Guess who John and I had breakfast with on Monday while in Alexandria? Well, technically he was eating two booths over. John and I had gone to DC for the weekend (a cloudy, rainy weekend - but still it was great to be in the city and together) and we decided to leave on Monday morning after having breakfast at an 'out of the way' corner diner. We walk in and take a seat. Our waitress greets us - rather distractedly - and tells us that Val Kilmer is sitting in the booth behind us. Which at first I didn't believe because there was an African American man sitting behind us and I knew that Val Kilmer was White... So... finally I see him - or rather hear his deep voice and I know it's him - two booths away. It was quiet enough that I think he enjoyed his breakfast, but there was enough commotion for the waitress and the owner to get their pictures with him, a local to have a full conversation with him (and get a phone number), for my eggs to be delivered to another table (and I got to watch them get eaten), and the customer service to be less than great. I think our waitress forgot about us in the midst of the excitement. John couldn't place who he was so he wanted to get a picture. I chickened out - my thoughts - he gets enough of that - let's just leave him alone...So, out to the car we go. John grabs the camera and I take a seat in the car and call my sister to tell her about our morning. I wait a couple of minutes before I see him coming out and looking a little smug - he met his movie star and took a picture to prove it...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Just a few things I've been thinking of lately that I really love and am so glad I have been introduced to... (it's the little things!)

- My Cuisinart Coffeemaker and Krups grinder - makes the BEST coffee ever. Especially when coupled with my next favorite thing...

- Trader Joe's coffee... or Trader Joe's anything for that matter - but especially the coffee. Currently, I'm loving their Breakfast Blend. Their Blends are decently priced and fabulous!

- Trips to Trader Joe's. I love it that Grocery Shopping has again become an adventure - browsing the aisles and finding some unique selections. Granted, it's not every week which makes it more special - Even better when you take a friend along!

- A good running route to prepare for the Shamrock.

- Don't hate me for this next one... my Melaleuca cleaning products.

- Monday nights with my husband.

- A free set of hi-lites from my Stylist on Saturday - did you hear me say FREE!

- Cereal...anytime.

- Moving furniture and rearraning the dishes in the cupboard

- Dinner with our friends, Wes and Katie (we had a great time Saturday night, guys!)

- Random emails from my sister, Debs, during the day while I'm at work.

- My husband John's laugh

In general, there are so many things in our every day life to enjoy - so blessed beyond thought.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today, I signed up for my first run. I'll be participating in the Shamrock this year in the 8K run. I am so excited about this. The training schedule is printed and hung on the refrigerator and I am avidly reading about training for a long run. I am also a little bit nervous about this. Once you pay your fee - you're committed. No second thought - just hitting submit on the Registration Form and focusing on the fact that if you train right - you're body is capable of more than you give it credit for. So, let the training begin...see you at the Finish Line Celebration!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Year - new goals...

I'm not one for New Years resolution. I do find that the beginning of the year lends itself to evaluation of one's life and activities. I'm also thankful that our Lord is the one who works in our hearts to bring us to desire change. I believe He has been doing so in my life lately. I'll be 27 at the end of this month...(if you are already over 27 - bear with me on this...) I'm not where I thought I'd be. And I guess we can each say that at every birthday, but the fact remains that life is passing - each year a little faster and fuller. Who am I becoming, what have I done, whose life have I touched, how much more do I love and know my Saviour this year? Seminary is half way over for us - are we ready for the ministry ahead - what have I done to prepare post college? All thoughts that have played through my mind last week.

On Thursday night our associate pastor spoke in Women of CBTS. What he shared with us continued my thinking with training and preparation. I decided to come home and make a list of books I'd tackle this year. Last year I wanted to do this also, but the difference this year is I've already stacked up my selections next to my bed. I also decided to read a few categories (thanks to Pastor Jim). History (David McCullough's John Adams - very excited for this), theology, Counseling (How People Change), Marriage (When Sinners Say I Do), Fiction, Bible Study. And I guess I'm posting for some accountablity. John challenged me to blog my 'book reviews' so we'll see what you all get. Maybe I can encourage my readers in this small way. If there's an aspect of personal growth you have endeavored to see in your life over the past years - let this be the year you see it take hold in your life. I hope to see this happen in my own life...I wish it for you also!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Have you tried Nutella?

So, my sister Debs received a multi pack of Nutella in her stocking for Christmas. My first thought... What is Nutella and what's the big deal about it? Tonight I was browsing through Farm Fresh (one of my favoirte things to do after a busy week is hit a 'nice' grocery store) and found some Nutella so I figured I'd give it a try. Wow! I see what the excitement is about! Fabulous. Chocolate in place of peanut butter (which I'm also a BIG fan of)!! Why didn't I think of that?