Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another Semester, oh joy! :D

Ooh, it's the start of a new semester...

People ask me if I'm enjoying it, and I'll say, "well.. seriously... ummm...."

"not really?"

It's not that I don't like learning. It's not that I don't want a degree, it's not that I'm lazy. Well, not often lazy. :) It's not that I don't like balancing a job and school and homework and studying and church music ministry and and still trying to stay connected with my family.

No, no, not that I don't like it... ;)

I have to say though, I don't understand how working mothers do it! I don't! The most I try to manage my balancing act the more I am impressed with how working mothers keep their sanity. Like Sarah Palin, for instance. Now how can a woman have five kids and run for Vice President? I like her views, I appreciate her stances, I am very glad for a prolife candidate, but at the back of it all I wonder, how does she do it?

Gotta wonder.

Yeah, I like being back in school, I like staying busy. But you'd better believe that by the time I've started a family, I will be more than ready to let go of it all.

Yes. :)

Well, I'm off to finish my income tax and marketing study assignments. Not sure when I will post again but I will do my best to be more regular than I have been. Oh, and that last sentence was for you, Ginger. And for you, Aunt Laurie. ;)



(that's it, but I'll be back... :) )

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Miracle of the Sunrise

Today I got up early, and sat before my open bedroom window and watched the sun rise up above the hills and trees. Its light was softly glowing, long before it actually could be seen, and then suddenly, it burst forth upon the mountain tops, down into the valleys and into my window to shine across the room in such a radiant way that one could not help but feel the warmth shine right into the deepest parts of the heart.

It reminded me of another kind of sunrise: the sunrise that broke through one of the darkest and deepest of moments of my life. The sunrise that came slowly at first, so much slow that I could hardly dare to hope it would ever really come, and then, as if in time with a great unknown orchestra, it broke forth, sending it's bright and warming rays to the farthest corners of my heart. It did not take all the pain away, no, for pain is not a part of darkness, but the darkness, the deep black that blinded my eyes from seeing beyond the moment, was gone, and as I sat, quietly thinking of the road that I had travelled in the dark, I realized that it is true. Had it not been for the darkness, I could never have rejoiced as I do now in the breaking forth of the sunrise. Had there not been moments when by faith, I held on to what I knew was there but could not see, the sunrise would be but common place and ordinary. It was then that I realized that “We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness” (Unknown)

God has promised that every dark night has an end. There will be a sunrise, a glorious, beautiful sunrise someday. It might seem like the night will never end. Perhaps you'll only see the glorious dawning in the place where He makes all things beautiful, all wrongs right, but the morning will come. The darkest is before the dawn. Just hold on a little longer, because the morning is coming, and the sunrise will be worth it all.
- by Chantel Harding

(From the ylcf blog)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

His House

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to?

The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come in and live in it Himself."

-C. S. Lewis

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Refuge in the Heat

"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings."
-Psalm 36:7
"O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"
-Psalm 34:8
"How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!"
-Psalm 31:19
"But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may exult in You."
-Psalm 5:11
"Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us."
-Psalm 62:8

Saturday, June 14, 2008

All Day, Every Day

"Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long."
-Psalm 25:5

"About Benjamin he said:
'Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.'"
-Deuteronomy 33:12

"All day long there is the pressure of life, and perhaps some inner strain to the spirit known only to God. But all the day long, too, there is the lovingkindness of God. And so all the day long there the peace that passes all understanding."
-Amy Carmichael

We often speak of how quickly time goes by. Yet there are many days and seasons that just seem to drag slowly. It sounds ironic, but the years that seem to pass in the blink of an eye are comprised of many long, long days.

Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, and realize that it's only one day at a time. And throughout each day we are sustained by His lovingkindness and shielded by His hand.

And one day we will look back and marvel, both at how His hand helped us...

and by how quickly the time flew by! ;)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Further Adventures of Gideon: In Which Gideon Attacks the Bumblebee

When I got home from work today I was greeted by Gideon and Lucky, our two dogs. Gideon enthusiastically greeted me and then started jumping all over the front step while whining continuously. I noticed a dead bumblebee on the step. Gideon pounced on it, then whined, then jumped back as with a reflex, then pounced again. I tried to calm him down by bringing him in the house, but I could not drag his attention away from the dead bee. Finally, I scuffed it into the flower bed with my foot, and pushed some dirt over it. Still Gideon crazily tried to paw at the ground to get that bee.

Later I told my sister Megan about his strange behavior. "He was probably stung by the bee and wanted to protect you from it." she explained. "You think so?" I asked. "Because it was... already dead."

Awww. The gallantry of the timid dog attacking his greatest fear for the sake of another person. Only he was wasting his energy. The bee was already dead.

Sound typical?

Food for thought: I wonder how many of my battles I fight fiercely and fearfully -- over a "dead bumblebee." How much energy do I waste wrestling over things that my Lord already has competely under His control? How much time do I waste digging up the dead bee to fight with again? How often has my Lord resolved my battles for me when yet I consider them unfinished, then drag them out to use up my energy all over again?

I'm not sure that Gideon learned a lesson from this ;), but I think I did.

Lord, grant me the wisdom to know which battles You would have me spend my energy on, and help me to leave the "dead bumblebees" alone!

Monday, June 2, 2008

See the Horse, See the Dog, See the Vet Bill

See the horse. The horse's name is Trigger. Trigger likes to eat grass. Trigger likes to trample the garden. Trigger broke through his gate so he could trample the garden.

See the dog. The dog's name is Lucky. Lucky likes to bark. Lucky likes to run. Lucky likes to
attack anything that moves. Porcupines move. Lucky got a mouthful of porcupines quills for the fifth time in his *known* career. Lucky had to go to the ER vet clinic to be sedated and have his quills removed.
See this dog. The dog's name is Gideon. Gideon also likes to bark and run. But Gideon likes to jump THROUGH glass windows. Gideon wanted to go outside. Gideon was impatient. SO GIDEON CHEWED, CLAWED, AND SPLINTERED THE WOOD SURROUNDING THE GLASS WINDOW UNTIL HE COULD BREAK THROUGH. Gideon now had a cut paw. Gideon is wearing a pretty yellow bandage.

*And all in the same day.* My. Oh. My.
P.S. And the addendum to that story would be "See Jen. See Jen try to handle these animals alone while her family is in Virginia. See Jen slowly lose her mind. Poor Jen."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Post instead of a Post

Well I attempted to write a post tonight... ;) The result thus far is an unfinished rambling post about work and the frustrations thereof . It just doesn't seem to get anywhere... although I did have a clear idea in my head of where I wanted to go with it! And it's still there, in my head, needing to be translated to my fingers and the keyboard.

So -- you may be seeing it (it meaning the aforesaid post about work and frustrations thereof - ;) ) , once my brain is somewhat less fried, and my thoughts are clearer. Hopefully it won't ramble... too much. :)

I will share the verse that has been in my head this week:

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
-Romans 8:37 (love this whole chapter, and book, actually!)

I love the word imagery. More than conquerors. The battle is won. Through Him who loved us. Now this is a comfort - considering life and its constant and numerous frustrations!

And so we wait in anticipation, fight our battles with confidence, and live our daily lives in obedience to Him.

One day at a time.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just for Laughs...

P. G. Wodehouse makes me laugh so hard! Gotta love that Brit humor... and I generally do! :)

I finished Money in the Bank recently and had to keep jotting down favorites. Rest assured, this odd assortment does all fit together in the book! ;) And only Wodehouse could tie together a lovestruck young man posing as a detective, a forgetful uncle and his missing diamonds, a retired big-game hunter turned vegetarian and her vegetarian community, and a determined girl who is engaged to the wrong man.

Not convinced? Well, read the book, and if you still don't get it just blame my quirky sense of humor. Along with Wodehouse's. ;)

"He was still quite at a loss to understand how the ghastly things had happened. The facts seemed to suggest that he must have let fall some passing remark which had given the girl the impression that he was proposing to her, but he had no recollection of having done anything so cloth-headed."

"[She] turned her natural energies, until then expended in keeping a husband in order, in the direction of roaming, rifle at the ready, the wilder portions of Africa."

"Love, he felt, and he was a man who had thought about these things, should not manifest itself in such a strongly-marked inclination, when in the presence of the adored object, to stand on one leg and twiddle the fingers."

"It always interests a girl to re-examine a man, who, so she has been assured since her last meeting with him, has fallen in love with her at first sight. She found herself feeling kindly and well-disposed towards him. She liked people to like her - or, if they preferred it, to love her."

"It is always disconcerting for a young man to learn that he is enjoying the hospitality of a woman who is anxious to strangle him with her bare hands."

"You are being cheated out of what should be one of your most beautiful memories. Seeing me for the first time marks an epoch in most people's lives. They live over the moment again, to cheer themselves up in moods of depression."

"That, he concluded, becoming profound, 'is the whole trouble with fellers like Lionel Green. If you see one without actually wanting to kick him, you think, "This must be love."'

"I don't know how well you understand Rugby football, but I was what is known as a scrum-half. It fell to me to fling myself on the ball when the blighters wheeled and came away with it at their toes. In future, I shall collect old china."

"'And by the way, did I ever tell you how I became the hero of the school?'
'No. And I don't want you to.'
'It was during the great football match of the season against St. Ethelberta's, a girl's was nearly at the end of the game and we were leading by the narrowest of margins. Then all of a sudden their captain broke loose with the ball under her arm, a large, spectacled girl called Flossie, and no one between her and the goal line but me. The question naturally arose "Will J. G. Miller prove equal to this emergency?" and all through the crowd it was recognized as a very moot point. Well, to cut a long story short I didn't. I let her through, and she crossed the line and we lost. I shall never forget that day.'
'And that made you the hero of the school?'
'Of the other school. Of St. Ethelberta's.'"

"For if we look askance at the wretch who sells himself for gold, how much more do we recoil from him who allows himself to be bought with pork pies."
"The man who refuses to go into his aunt's study and delve into stuffed antelopes is a man who, if he declines to apprehend burglars in a wardrobe, does so from dastardly motives."
"[Mrs. Molloy] told me he was going to search my room, of all dashed impertinence, so I lay in wait for him, pounced on him, and he told me all about his mustache. He's a spy in the pay of Trumper."

"You say Anne won't speak to you. I don't suppose you give her a chance."

"It is much simpler if, when you are playing the piano, and a man you dislike extremely asks you if you are playing the piano, to go on playing the piano, so that he can see for himself."

"Few things are more difficult than to pour out your heart to a girl who is racing along a corridor ahead of you."

"A woman who wishes to settle in Kent is faced with two alternatives. Either she must refrain from strangling people, or she must go somewhere else."

"It's pretty tough for girls, isn't it? They start out dreaming that some day they will marry a Prince Charming, and they wind up with fellows like me."

"'I love you' said Jeff
'That's the way to talk,' said Anne.
'I shall never love anyone but you.'
'Better and better.'
'Did you know that ants run faster in warm weather?'
'No, really? Faster than what?'
'Faster than other ants in cold weather.'"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You Shall Have a Song...

"You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept,
and gladness of heart,
as when one sets out to the sound of the flute
to go to the mountain of the LORD,
to the Rock of Israel." -Isaiah 30:29

I first stumbled across this verse something over a year ago. I was in the middle of a very difficult semester, and as per doctor's orders had to cut classes (including a midterm!) for a week because of illness.

My "night" seemed dark in many different ways.

When I came across this verse in Isaiah (one of my favorite books!) the imagery captured my imagination. I thought of a tossing, turning, sleepless, pain-filled, seemingly endless night. The desparate tears begin to spill, and it feels, so, alone.

Then -- just when all seems so hopeless; a beautiful soft strain of music is heard. Gently it steals in, then gradually becomes clearer and increases in beauty. Soon the darkness is hardly noticed anymore. As for the loneliness, well, it's gone.

Because He is present with His song. And His presence in the night makes all the difference.
Like a child fearful of the dark runs to her mother's bed, we can find security in Him. Even when our night seems to never end.

I think everyone has a "night." It could be painful circumstances, it could be illness, it could be long, lonely waiting, it could be, well, almost anything that seems "dark" in our lives.

But the darkness allows us to focus on the beautiful harmony of His song. And He does promise us a song.

If we only listen.

Monday, May 19, 2008


And I wanted to leave you with a verse:

"By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life."
-Psalm 4:8
I'll be sharing more on the significance of His song in the night in my own journey, but I'll save it for another day. :)
So, I will be back, and may He bless you and allow you to hear songs in the night!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't Let Me Miss It...

I love this song:

I've been so very tired lately. Every day I look for signs of spring; I'm longing for it. At the end of a long difficult winter the hope of spring is so refreshing... especially since it usually comes at the end of a stressful semester! I am looking ahead, wistfully, but right now the season (and the weather!) is still winter. And I am living in the present. I don't want my exhaustion and down moods and wishes and burnout to cause me to miss out on savoring life now. I want to live life to the hilt... even in a long cold winter. I want to seize opportunities, and I want to enjoy the ones that may not be there later on. I'm in a season that is fleeting, and I refuse to allow myself to slowly drag through what is left of it. There's more to life than that.

No, I don't want to miss the glory. I'm tired, yes. I'm ready for spring, yes. But this cannot keep me from adding my voice to that of all creation praising to the honor of His name. With His strength, I won't miss it.

"Don't Let Me Miss the Glory"
-Carl Cartee

"In the view from the mountains
There's a story to be told
In the crashing of the ocean
There's a power that no man will ever hold.
All the stars in the heavens
Decorate your handiwork
And like a mighty choir
They come to celebrate Your work

Don't let me miss the glory
Don't let me miss the praise
That all creation is singing
To the honor of your name

Don't let me miss the wonder
Don't let me miss the grand design
In the lightning and the thunder
Lord, open up my eyes
Don't let me miss the glory

The cry of a baby
The laughter of love
In the dance of the faithful
You will find the greatness of our God above
In the prayer of the righteous
In the beauty of your grace
In a brand new morning's mercy
All your memories of my sin have been erased

Don't let me miss the glory
Don't let me miss the praise
That all creation is singing
To the honor of your name

Don't let me miss the wonder
Don't let me miss the grand design
In the lightning and the thunder
Lord, open up my eyes
Don't let me miss the glory"

Thursday, February 21, 2008


"We know that we have today to move with resolute energy toward maturity and Christlikeness."

-Josh Harris

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"I have loved you with an everlasting love,
Therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."
-Jeremiah 31:3

"Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored,
And I love you."
-Isaiah 43:4a

"A new commandment I give to you,
That you love one another:
Just as I have loved you,
You also are to love one another.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples
If you have love for one another."
-John 12:34-35

Friday, February 8, 2008

Peace, My Child

I truly believe there are times when His words to the sea "Peace, be still!" echoe again in our hearts, but we fail to recognize it. Agonizing and worrying over burdens hide the "stillness" that is His gentle promise to us.

I know, personally, I become so caught up in daily life that I forget how all of life should be centered around Him, and I lose the peace and tranquility I could have been blessed with. That is when He gets my attention in a way that I can't miss. Usually a painful way. Usually a way that brings me to my knees in an earnest helpless seeking that I have neglected for far too long. Usually tears are involved, usually pleas. Yet through it all He gently reminds me; "Daughter, you needed this. You were forgetting about Me." And even if His answer is not the one I wanted, His peace that passes all understanding does eventually come to guard my heart and mind.

I do tend to worry far too much, and especially for a daughter who has everything in the hands of a great and loving Father. Often I need to read over the words; "In returning and rest shall you be saved, in quietness and confidence will be your strength." (Isaiah 30:15)

Rest, and quiet. Returning, and confidence. Rest of a burdened, fretting, over-analyzing mind. Quietness softly creeping back into a troubled heart. A return; to the One who in fact blessed us with this trial that we might return in the first place. Confidence. A peaceful and quiet confidence, yet still certain and boldly non-hesitant. All gifts from the Father - Who holds the answer in His hands.

Don't misunderstand; I am not saying His gift to a troubled heart is always necessarily passive. Peace is often present in activity, yet it is a serene presence. And he gives ability to remain serene through heart-wrenching pain.

But first, we need to be still...

At His feet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Darkness - His Covering

"11He made darkness His covering,
His canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.

12Out of the brightness before Him hailstones
and coals of fire broke through His clouds.
13The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered His voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.

14And He sent out his arrows and scattered them;
He flashed forth lightnings and routed them.

15Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at Your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
16He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.

17He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
18They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the LORD was my support.
19He brought me out into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me."
-Psalm 18: 11 - 19

"28For it is You who light my lamp;
the LORD my God lightens my darkness.

29For by You I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.

30This God—His way is perfect;
the word of the LORD proves true;
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."
-Psalm 18:28-30

There are times when all seems so very dark. The black clouds are so thick light cannot penetrate, until the hailstones come pelting down and the furious lightning cracks. All feels, so alone, and fearful, and the voice of God isn't audible.

Yet He makes the darkness His covering; concealed in this darkness is God Himself...

Those dark times, those lost, alone times are often those we look back on as times of our greatest spiritual growth. The dark not only makes us aware of how much we need the light, but also, perhaps, allows Him to creep in, subtley - at times when we need Him the most.

Then He draws us out of the many waters, and lightens our darkness. We are rescued, invigorated, and strengthened - and by our God we can leap over a wall.

The darkness causes fear and helplessness, yet it allows our God to creep in and rescue us - right at the perfect time when we need Him the most.

And then finally, His light breaks through the clouds.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Embrace the Joy, Embrace the Pain

"If we do not embrace the path of joy-laden, painful love, we will waste our lives."
-John Piper

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Garden of My Soul

"Fill the garden of my soul
with the winds of love,
that the scents of the Christian life may be
wafted to others;
then come and gather fruits to Thy glory.
So shall I fulfill the great end of my being -
To glorify Thee and be a blessing to men."

-compiled by Arthur Bennet in The Valley of Vision