Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Journal & Paperback Spruce Up

Since I have an upcoming adventure, I wanted to have a great journal for the occasion. But the plain ones I had left over didn't inspire me. So I decided to spruce them up along with a paperback book of Romeo & Juliet that I had recently purchased.

It was simple to cut out fabric, hot glue it on and embellish! :)


Romeo & Juliet in paperback

Journal for upcoming Adventure!

close-up of glass beads butterfly

Monday, February 25, 2013

Refreshment...on the Cactus Trails

I have found a terrific park for hiking and praying. There is a short and safe looped path that I can hike to get my training in each week. Pea gravel and dirt trails are already cut into the forest. These wide trails are lined with tons of cactus and trees. It's so peaceful and to join me? :) Select the photos to make them larger.

lazy buzzard looping the sky

Someone carved into a picnic bench:
"Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away - love was such an easy game to play - I believe in yesterday"

ahhh, resting after my two mile prayer hike...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Beautiful Cloudy Morning

I like how interesting God makes my mornings! The pictures below of are clouds...these are not typical clouds that I see often, so when I pulled out of my garage I was so amazed by the textures and movement. It reminded me of cake batter being swirled in a mixing bowl. I just thought I'd share its beauty with you today.

"The Lord Speaks: 'Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind? Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens" ~Job 38: 34-37

"[The Lord Will Care for Judah] Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone." ~Zechariah 10:1

"The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet." ~ Nahum 1:3

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Warm Blanket

A Psalm (inspired by psalm 5)

May your ear turn to me and hear my small voice among the many, O Lord... all this stuff going on makes me sigh. My spirit, heart, mind and voice cry to you, Lord, for help. Because you are my steady companion, my prayers are to you alone.

This morning, as you do each daybreak my Elohim, you turn in such compassion to me; it's during these special times that I lay my requests at your feet and look up waiting in expectation. You are not a God who finds happiness in evil. The wicked can't even dwell with you. Only the humble, resting in Christ, can stand in your presence. Never the arrogant - you hate all who do wrong. You tear down those who tell lies, men and women who are greedy to hurt, greedy for riches and power, the deceitful God regards with disgust.

But me! By your wonderful and beautiful mercy alone, I get to dwell in you and in your house. In honor and in reverence I get down on my knees before you. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness - see my enemies - make your way straight before my path, lay out the way and pave it for me. Not a word from my enemy's mouth; not an action or gesture can be trusted; their hearts are filled with things that lead to destruction. You are Judge...let their intrigues, their secret planning, fail if their hopes are to hurt your faithful ones.

But let everyone who takes refuge in you be confident; let us always sing for joy about you. Spread like a blanket warmed from the dryer, your protection over us so that those who love you may be warm and secure. Because God, I know you bless the righteous and surround us with your favor and you walk before me as a King with a fortified shield.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Silent Worship

"You awaken us to delight in your praise, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." ~ St. Augustine

"I think that sometimes it can be tempting to be afraid of nothingness and God. You know, and resting in Him...I think I have a tendency to compartmentalize prayer and work; or labor and rest." ~Erin Gauvin

I was watching a conversation between singer Audrey Assad and worship leaders Erin Gauvin and Tam Le as they talked about silence, worship, labor, and rest. It's comforting to hear others discussing and seeking to understand the peace that comes from a deep relationship with God (especially when I see too many Christians worn out and suffering).

Sometimes it seems that many pull back from having quality, consistant alone time with God in study and worship because they are scared of being revealed to themselves in the silence. Yet even as I was researching the word joy over the past few days, I see that joy, rest and silence can become a natural response of fellowship with God. :) That slips my heart into a great place!

 Psalm 149:2
Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Habakkuk 3:18
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Romans 5:11
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom we have now received the atonement.

So today, I'm focusing on letting my joy in God lead me into a silent worship where I put my "ear to the ground and listen for the footsteps of God walking past." Here is the video of their short discussion and them singing the beautiful song, "Restless."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lunch with Strangers

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave,
find your eternity in each moment." ~Thoreau

I had a lunch recently that was especially refreshing and proved that you need not travel far for adventure! A sudden change in my original lunch plans, and the beauty of the day, made me venture out of the office a bit into the unknown. I drove to a museum in my area with the mindset to eat a healthy lunch, do some writing in my journal, and visit the permanent collection.

After finding a terrific parking spot, I strolled in. The entry exhibits looked exciting as I passed on my way to the restaurant. "I'll have to stop by these again and really take a look at them," I said to myself while climbing the stairs. But as the Spirit would have it...I never stopped back by.

"How many in your party?" the hostess asked. "Just one," I happily replied. She walked away with a crease in her brow.

"Ummm...all we have are large tables. Would you be willing to share?"  
"If they don't mind, I don't mind." I responded.

Looking past me toward two women talking behind me, she asked, "Would you mind sharing a table?" A slender woman replied in an English accent, "I guess not." I smiled at them and shared, "It would be with me..." and she returned my smile.

Unlike the 'norm' in Texas, suddenly I was having lunch with women I'd never met. It felt very...European! ha. As we sat and paraded past some small talk, we then leaped into the thrilling topic of ADVENTURE! (One of my favorites) We swapped stories, shared dreams and inspired each other to continue to be intrepid and daring. Michelle and Kara. God, thank you that I met them!

As our table was cleared of dishes, I said, "Well, I won't keep you from your next adventure...thank you so much for letting me join you." I must admit that their responses of " away and join us" were tempting but I did decline.

As I left, I just had to thank God for vulnerability and connection. All three of us being vulnerable lead to an amazing connection that warmed my whole day. I hope these two aspects of life will continue, all the more, to flow through my days and nights.

If you ever have the chance, my with strangers!

(a quick search the iternet on this topic brings up some interesting websites & events for 'eating with strangers' - very interesting research)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ocean Sunrise

Picture this: Your blanket spread out underneath you along the cool morning sand of the beach. As you look toward the ocean, light pinks mixed with dark clouds are brightening along the horizon and you see the dawn waking up the day. Sounds of birds begin singing praises in the distance and you feel the wind begin to move in its a.m. stretching routine across the earth.

Ahhh...I wish I could write that I'm on the beach right now, listening to the waves crash and the gulls call but I'm actually just sitting on my couch listening to a health & fitness music channel through my TV. Yet a section of songs has come on called "Ocean Sunrise" and I'm inspired.

The mix of new age sounds with ocean waves and birds chirping is so perfect that my creativity to write a psalm is sparked.

Posted by Vinda Ho t

Psalm of the Ocean Sunrise 

My Lord, you are vast and great. You wear the morning like a King and the dawn is a fitting procession to your majesty each day. My soul is stirred. You have created thousands of sunrises, each unique. At the edge of the land, looking across the mirrors infinity. The moon is escaping behind me with the night and makes way for your brilliant sun. The birds of the air are praising you...I will join them.

This vast water is crowded with creatures of the deep. A whole world of its own! May everything praise you. You are fully here! I am only like a speck of sand on this beach in the drawing out of earth's days but you love me! I believe you and take you at your word. Your dreams for us are grander than we can ever imagine for ourselves. As the wind rushes across my skin, I feel the Spirit move and I'm chilled with excitement.

You are God! Elohim. Thank you for our life together! Thank you for this sunrise today - even just in my heart. I love you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Silver Trumpets ~ Inspiration

"The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed."
Proverbs 11:25

This verse inspires me. The words about refreshing others always moves my heart. I think it's because over my lifetime so many people have believed in me and refreshed my spirit when it was low or life was hard.

This is one of the reasons why I sponsor children through Compassion International. I want to refresh them with some of the refreshment I have received. I know it makes a difference because I've seen the difference it's made in me. :)

And refreshing others is refreshing! When my work day is tough, like today, I can simply look over to see the four gold frames showcasing their beautiful faces and I remember that life is good, God's given me purpose, and I have people I can love up on who are excited to have me in their life.

Focusing on them, their needs, and thinking of ways to make them smile or their burden lighter, always lightens my load somehow. It's hard to explain...but I find this scripture totally rings true!

Please click here & check it out: Compassion International
Wanna be inspired?! Check out other Compassion Bloggers' insight below :]

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Special Valentine - Meet Abigail

This is seven year old Abigail Assuman and she lives in Ghana. My friend Angie just began sponsoring her! Angie came over a week or so ago and we had dinner then began writing our sponsored kids. It can be so challenging to draft your first letter to a young child but I know even if the first thing we sent was a big heart with an "I love you. I'm praying for you" that it would be special to them.

Which gets me to thinking. Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I'm going to create Valentine cards for them! I know it won't reach them "in time" but I think what matters most is making them.

Just for fun, here are some Valentine Day post from the past:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bye Hypersomnia!

I've got some great news. I think my hypersomnia is gone! Bye-bye. :)

I've been progressivly sleeping less and, though I'm still not back to 100%, I'm thrilled! Since I've stopped taking the Seasonique my health has greatly improved. I'm sooooo excited to be getting my life back and not needing to sleep so much. Now... one obstacle down - two to go.

Obstacle one - Pain: As you might have read on other posts here, I was taking Seasonique to limit the pain of my endometriosis. (And it had been working great for that!) Unfortunately now that I'm off the medicine, the pain has returned and is getting more and more intense. I will say that my GYN still doesn't believe this was the cause of my hypersomnia. But I don't care if it doesn't make sense to him because the FACT is my hypersomnia is going away and the only factor that had changed was that I stopped taking the Seasonique. He told me I only had three options:

  1. Take Seasonique (or another medicine like it) to ease the pain but sleep all the time
  2. Not take Seasonique (or other meds) and be in pain but not sleep so much
  3. Have a hysterectomy and begin estrogen treatments.
Really? I have no other choices but this? Whatever.

So besides finding a new GYN (which is really too bad because I liked him), I'm going to look into some traditional Chinese Medicine treatments like acupuncture to see if I can help ease the pain and look into some alternative options to improve my diet in ways that might help.

Obstacle two - Weight: Being hypersomnic for two years has really caused my weight to hit a high point. I've probably gained about 30lbs since becoming sick which is normal with sleep disorders. I'm hopeful that since I'm sleeping less that I'll have much more energy and time to exercise and fix wonderful health meals. :) Prayerfully a lighter me will help adjust my hormones and also take some pressure off to ease my endo pain too.

Exercise goals are much more motivating for me than weight goals so I've set some goals to work out 3 times per week at first. This should also help me as a train for these hikes I posted about: Guadalupe Peak & Camino de Santiago

Generally, I hope to increase my exercise like this:
Jan - walk 1 mile straight 3 times per week (include some 2 mile walks too when possible) - Success! (lost 6 lbs so far...which is the first bit of weight I've been able to lose since I became sick. woo-hoo!!

Feb - 2 miles straight, 3 times per week
Mar - 3 miles straight, 3 times per week plus some weight training once per week
April - 4 miles straight, 3 times per week & weight training once per week
May - 4 miles straight, 3 times per week & weight training 2 times per week
June - 4 miles straight, 3 times per week with pack; & weight training 2 times per week
July - 4 miles straight, 3 times per week with pack; & weight training 2 times per week
Aug - 4 miles straight, 3 times per week with pack; & weight training 2 times per week
Sept - Hike Guadalupe Peak with Dad! (6-8 hr hike)

That's pretty aggressive but they are simply goals - I'll adjust them if needed :) I know so many of you are rejoicing with me on the news. Thanks so much for your understanding and love. I'm excited!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our Compassion & an update on Purity!

I went to the "Our Compassion" forum website to catch up with people the other day. It's nice because the website has your children's pictures pop up when you log on and you can connect easily with other sponsors. That afternoon, though, a face I didn't recognize came up with my kid'os. I thought, "Did I get another correspondent child?" But was Purity! I called Compassion and they let me know they'd send me a new booklet with her updated pictures and that they update children's profiles every two years. They will get new photos, find out how your child is doing in school, and ask the children about their hobbies again. I was so excited because I'm a very visual person so pictures are great. :)

Purity turns 9 years old this April :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Valentine Wreath

Just some quick shots of my new wreath. I took some fabric that I had left over from decorating a coworker's birthday party (she loves pink) and some hearts then *bam*... all kinds of prettiness! I thought about looking for words or something else to embellish it more but I tend to forget sometimes that simple is perfect.

Supplies: foam circle, strips of fabric, hot glue, hearts & sparkle. Just tie each piece of fabric one after the other around the tube and tie in a bow then embellish however looks best to you.