Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Photo Booth

I stumbled across old photo booth pictures!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"I'm Sorry."

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

That line comes from the 1970s movie Love Story.

And the line is false. Oh. So. False.

It sounds deceivingly great though. And the statement would be true if we were all perfect all the time. But, regardless of how hard I try, I’m not perfect. I often do and say things that hurt others. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes entirely unaware.

I learned from a young age that I needed to say “sorry” when I’ve done something wrong. But it’s been in the past 5 years that I’ve had a greater understanding of what that means. And the freedom it has the potential to bring.

When I was younger, generally speaking, the things I had to apologize for didn’t change the relationships I was in. My parents occasionally made new rules, but they were still my parents. They loved me the same. I wish all relationships could be like that... that the consequences weren’t so... messy.

Being sorry is great and all, but it’s not quite enough. There need to be words and actions that make the situation right again. “It’s the thought that counts” doesn't cut it.

When I’ve hurt the people I’m close to, I desire to make it right. I don’t like the distant feeling or the guilt I feel when the relationship isn’t right and it's my fault.

I know that perfect love kills all fear and that God’s love is perfect. And because of that, I don’t have to fear God’s love.

So, all that said, I’m learning to say “I’m sorry” and to love without fear.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

53rd Air and Water Show

This afternoon, Smith 5 and Culby 16 went to the beach to watch the Blue Angels perform over Lake Michigan!

Heidi and I - Roommates!

Andrea, Liz, Geo, Heidi

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Striving, Stillness, Adventures, and Me

Striving. Always striving for something more. Something bigger, something better, something more exciting, something more relaxing. Just something...more.

Striving. When I need to be still.

God works through stillness. I know that. It’s not wasted time but a time of desperately needed rest and crucial preparation. I know that. But knowing and doing are not one in the same. I need to rest when my first inclination is to keep running.

Adventure. Some were meant to go on big and glamorous adventures, while others were meant to thrive in a more average life. And some know there is an adventure waiting to be discovered, but have yet to unearth it. Or maybe the adventure has been presented but the participant is actively denying himself the richness of it’s beauty and lessons. At first glance, it’s appeal is unattractive, the terrain is rough, and the trail is lonely, but around the next curve could be what was meant to be discovered and cherished. Others dive in headfirst before confirming it is indeed the most beneficial course to pursue. The neglected time of reflection and planning permanently alters the path. For better or for worse? We’ll never know. And others are too fearful to take the first step and stand gazing at the sea, always curious and always wondering, yet remaining paralyzed in their doubts.

I want to know what my life will hold. I want a big glamourous adventure. I want to move forward joyfully and confidently to glean all I can from this next step I’m waiting to take. BUT...

Me? I'm where I'm supposed to be right now. I’m taking time to be still. I’m not letting fear dictate my life. I’m choosing to cling to my Savior rather than my shifty emotions. I’m waiting, even patiently at times, for the One I’m following to lead my next step in this adventure called life.

Because when He leads, I will follow.

I am not afraid. This is my adventure. I was born to do this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

This is not Eden

I'm reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and have loved it so far! I've been reading it slowly in order to let it sink in. I just finished reading chapter four, titled "Wounded". The quote below stuck out to me...

You cannot be alive very long without being wounded. The sun rises, the stars follow their courses, the waves roll in crashing against the rocks, and we are wounded. Broken hearts cannot be avoided in this beautiful yet dangerous world we live in. This is not Eden. Not even close. We are not living in the world our souls were made for. Something's rotten in the state of Denmark and in our own backyards as we journey through the unknown terrain of the moments and months that make up our lives.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

That's What the Promise is For.

Alicia and I sang Andrew Peterson's Dancing in the Minefields at Jon and Michelle's wedding this afternoon. The wedding was beautiful, and, as always, singing with Alicia was wonderful!

And I learned that I can successfully play guitar and sing in a strapless dress and high heels! :)

Dancing in the Minefields
by Andrew Peterson

(Verse 1)
I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway
We bought our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We made our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

(Verse 2)
"I do" are the two most famous words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin
'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

(Verse 3)
'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear
'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,I can dance with you

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Princess? Always. World Dictator? No.

As I was driving home from church one evening earlier this week, a thought just kind of hit me. It was a thought that had been forming for the previous week. It was a thought that I had half-heartedly shared with Robert and Alicia. It was a good and happy thought. It was encouraging and enlightening. It was different, a little scary, and wonderful all blended into one.

So I guess now would be the time to let you in on my thought...

I’m not in control. And I’m totally fine.

Can we just let that sink in for a few moments? (Or hours depending on how well you know me.)

I’m not in control of the world and I’m okay with that. It’s been in the past few weeks that I’ve actually been able to let go of that need to be in control. Up until this point, I've tried so hard to but couldn't. I was fighting to not be in control, which put me in control of not being in control. And I don’t think there was a specific moment when I let go. It just happened without me really noticing.

The battle of control has been something I’ve struggled with for, well, I’m assuming most of my life. But it had been especially present the past 3 years. The anxiety that came with trying to control the world has also diminished.

It’s a very freeing feeling. I feel like I’ve reached a goal that’s been dangling before me for quite some time.

It’s a thought that needs a little more processing, so I’m sure I’ll write more about this eventually. I just had to share a little now. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Think Happy Thoughts - Part 4

16. My Worship Team. Over the past four years I've had the beautiful opportunity to lead worship and to grow close to a talented and passionate group of musicians. And, don't tell the rest of the band, but Rusty just happens to be my favorite. :)

17. Guitars. I have two of them. One Takamine and one Ibanez.

18. Time. I was recently told that my love language was quality time. Hmmm...I don't believe it to be true all the time. But I do know that I've been craving time with people this summer. Last Sunday evening Robert spent time with Viola and I. He brought me dinner and fed Vi so I could eat. She eventually went back to sleep and Robert and I spent some much needed time together.

19. Photography. I'll post more about this photography project later. It was very sparkly, creative, and just girly. And I enjoyed it thoroughly!

20. Books. So many books to read, and a lifetime to do so. I like books. A lot. I like the way they look on my bookshelf. And the way they look while they're in a pile on the floor.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Being Still.

“I just want to be still this morning. I don’t want to be on a stage with microphones, instruments, and people watching.”

That was my Sunday morning pre-worship leading tweet.

I wonder if individuals from Hillsong United ever feel that way. It was a new and a very conflicted feeling for me. I love leading worship, but yesterday I just wanted it to be God and me. Without the stage, without the lights, and without the sound system. But mainly without the congregation. Just God and me.

I wanted stillness. I wanted to get through the brokenness I was feeling alone without a curious audience. I wanted the healing to come quietly and gently in solitude.

But it didn't. It started from leading a large and familiar group of people in worship. I wanted stillness and solitude. And that's what I got. Not how I thought I needed it, but in exactly how it needed to happen. I was where God wanted me to be. And I was eventually open to His tender healing through the words in the music, prayer, and Scripture in the service.

The sermon yesterday morning was from Psalm 46.

Psalm 46:1-11

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I don’t remember much of the sermon other than the phrase “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Be still. Know that I am God.

Be still.