Sunday, January 30, 2011

You Picked Me

Ever have one of those weeks? The kind where your weaknesses seem to be in your face? The kind where some things that have happened in your life are hanging over your head accusing you? Just kind of feeling like maybe your an illegitimate child of His. Like some things in your past could disqualify you at any moment...sometimes I feel like that. But what I'm realizing is that all my disqualifications actually qualify me to receive God's love, and sometimes all our qualifications can actually disqualify us.

I love our Father's heart. Psalm 147:2 says that the Lord gathers the outcasts of Israel. In other words, He came for the messed up, the unliked, those ostracized by society, those who had never known love. He looked at the orphan and said "I pick you" He looked at the leper and said "I pick you" He looked at the drug addict and said "I pick you" He looked at the prostitute and said "I pick you" and He still says that today. He looked at me while we were still enemies before I even loved Him and He said "I pick you." He has come to redeem. He looks at every single one of us in our messiness and proudly proclaims "I pick you, you are my favorite one, you are the only one I see." We are all in great need of His love, the difference is that some acknowledge that need and some do not.

Our weaknesses do not offended God they attract Him. God doesn't want to help us because we are a project to make Him look good, He wants to help us because He is good. God is omniscient, which means He never has to learn anything. Therefore He is not surprised by our struggles, He already knew that we would struggle and yet He called us just the same. Revelation 3:20 says that He stands at the door and knocks and if anyone hears Him we should open the door and He will come in and dine with us and us with Him. I can hear Him knocking on my own heart whispering "your weaknesses do not offend me. Let me come in to be with you." He speaks that to all of us, but do we listen?

That's just kind of where I am this week. Realizing that His pursuit of our hearts is and will always be relentless. It brings me peace knowing that the good work He started in me He will finish. He sympathizes with me. When I was broken He was broken, when I was scared He was sacred, when I suffered loss, He suffered loss. He has chosen to identify with us. His kindness is great.

This prophetic  and spontaneous song by Misty Edwards has been MINISTERING to me this week unlike anything else lately. I hope it will grip you like it gripped me. Know that you are LOVED this week. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Photo

One of the things I love about photography is that it invokes emotion. When you see a photo you feel something. One of the reasons I was drawn to  this photo was because it reminds me of my love for South East Asia. This photo also makes me wonder. Wonder about where this is, who she is, and what's behind that door? Not only is the color amazing, but I love the door. I always try to give the photographers credit but unfortunately I'm not sure who took this photo. I came across it randomly on a website with other photos that were not claimed. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hitting the Slopes

 So we hit the slopes today! First run of the season. So Fun! I only face planted a few times ;) My muscles are burning but it's the good kind of pain. It feels good to be outside and active in the wintertime! My body needs the workout and my skin needs the Vitamin D.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Photo

I. love. this. The word vintage comes to mind. Not to mention I'm a big fan of how the piano was used in the shot. Creative, I like it. Clayton Austin  was the photographer who did this shoot. To view more photos from this shoot (trust me it's worth it) you can click on the link or check him out on facebook. Happy Friday! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Marriage is...


Marriage is a journey. Marriage is hard. Marriage is beautiful. Marriage is rewarding. Marriage is worth it.  Marriage is taking his normal and my normal and putting it together to make a brand new normal for both of us. Really, what is love without much risk? And marriage is just that, risk. Voluntarily making yourself vulnerable to another. And what is love when it is easy all the time? REAL love is when you can love someone who is completely different then you, who bothers you one day and make you laugh the next, who leaves the toothpaste cap off every time they brush their teeth when you really like it put back on. Love is hard but true love keeps loving even when it is difficult. Marriage is day in day out devotion to that one person. I call my husband "my person", not in the sense that I own him or anything like that, but in the sense that from now on I will look out for him, care for him, have his back, and be there for him until the day death takes one of us, he is my person...for life, and that does not scare me.
Marriage needs a makeover in this culture. Marriage does not have to be boring or stale but rather an experience and adventure, a discovery of what love really looks like. I LOVE BEING MARRIED. It's fun, and even though it's hard at times it is so worth it. My husband is my best friend. Marriage is a lot easier when you know you married the right person. Sometimes the way he looks at me with his pretty green eyes makes my heart melt, he has the best hands I have ever seen, and tonight he had me laughing so hard I was crumpled up on the kitchen floor with tears streaming down my face. Marriage is FUN, but not without effort. Marriage takes A LOT of effort from both people, so if you aren't into laying your time, money, or strength down for another person then don't get married. Marriage is about forgiveness over and over again, and if you don't think so then you are single. And in my opinion, marriage is not so much about being compatible as it is about always accepting that other person no matter what- then you will find that you are always matter how much you or that other person may change.

For date night ideas and marriage tips check out, and if you are single check it out anyways because there is stuff on there for you too! Nathan and Britt Fray are the founders of the "Love is" campaign. They are two normal twenty somethings trying to fight the fight and make love last. It's comforts me to know that my husband and I are not alone in this fight!

I chose to post this Andrew Peterson song at the top of my page because I think it conveys a message that there is always hope for a marriage even when things are not ideal. One of my favorite lyrics is"cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down, but I believe it's an easy price for the life that we have found". Bottom line: it will be hard, it will feel like you had to sacrifice things you didn't want to give up...but it's worth it. If you want to find your life and live it well then let it go and see if it doesn't come back to you ten fold.

"we're dancing in the minefields, we're sailing in the storms, it was harder than we dreamed but that's what the promise is for." I love this lyric because not only does it remind me of marriage but it also reminds me of my relationship with God. It takes a covenant, a vow, a promise made because it's hard, but if you don't quit you will win. He has been there for me through a lot of minefields in my life. Life has been painful at times but He has offered to take the broken things in my life and work them out for my good. The wastelands in my heart and make them rich valleys of depth. He is so beautiful. My relationship with Him is not beautiful because it's perfect, it's beautiful because it's real, real love.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Artist Recommendation: Brooke Fraser

 One of the albums that I have been playing over and over lately is Flags by Brooke Fraser. One of the things I love about Brooke, or Brookie as I fondly refer to her, is that her lyrics have substance to them. It's all about the lyrics for me folks! She always has thoughtful things to say. However, this album is different than her last records because it has plenty of raw folky sounds. Folk pop is what I would call it. I don't like overproduced music and this album is definitely not overproduced, which is one of the reasons it's been playing repeatedly in my car lately! It has more of a raw indie sound compared to her last records- which I love! Brooke usually writes all her own music and plays her own instruments which is admirable. She also produced this entire record herself which was a first for her. I think she did a great job and that further goes to show her ability as an artist.
  Brooke is an artist that I really respect for more reasons than just her music. She is an amazing singer/songwriter, she is beautiful, she has a great personality, but she also has a deep faith that she doesn't hide despite being in the mainstream music industry. I really respect the way she carries herself in the secular music industry as a music artist who is a Christian not a Christian music artist. Her songs are not as popular in the states as they are overseas. In New Zealand, where she is originally from, she has won and been nominated for numerous awards. Including, best female solo artist, and breakthrough artist of the year, which she both won in 2004. I have seen numerous interviews with her and she seems like so much fun! I'm looking forward to hearing many more good things come from her in the future.

                                            "Something in the Water" : single from album Flags

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Love me some Tea please!

Tea Tumbler
Anthropologie $12 each
Loose Leaf Tea

I LOVE TEA! I am quickly turning into a tea fanatic. Recently I went to Teavana and bought two canisters of loose leaf tea. If you are looking for some good tea Teavana's tea is all organic and good quality. You can buy a canister and fill it up with your choice of tea (they charge by the oz.) and bring the canister back into the store and refill it as many times as you would like. If you are going to use a tea tumbler to brew your tea you will want to use a glass one. There is a residue from some metal and plastic tumblers that can alter the taste of tea. I use a glass tumbler and would recommend that.

The temperatures and steeping time for white, green, and black tea
all vary. If white tea is steeped too long you will get an acidic or bitter taste, so timing is important!  I also just bought two adorable tea cups from Anthroplogie.

In my opinion the tea is just more enjoyable when you are drinking it out of an interesting tea cup. You can also find great tea cups at antique stores or thrift shops.  There are also plenty of health benefits to drinking tea. Tea is loaded with antioxidants and has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee typically has two to three times the amount of caffeine compared to tea, unless you take your tea with a lot of sugar and cream. I typically always drink straight tea and skip the sugar and cream. Tea also helps keep you hydrated, is calorie-free, and can increase metabolism. If you have never visited a tea room I highly recommend it! While in Albuquerque, NM I was able to visit a fantastic one.  Let's just say drinking tea is something I can feel good about, literally.