Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Loving....

....lots of things right now.

But here are a few biggies.

I'm loving...The Weather.

Thank you, So Cal, for actually giving us some weather that makes it feel like autumn this October! So deliciously cozy!

I'm loving...Quiet Evenings with Candles.

I have not been that busy running to and fro; however, my time has been well occupied.
I have been spending a few evenings a week at home. I have been opening a window to hear the rain and make the house cool enough for slippers. I have been doing lots of cooking and watching Redbox or Netflix-delivered movies. I've even been practicing my voice and piano music again. I've been doing all these things to the quiet yet enlivening glow of candles all throughout my house. I am LOVING my home evenings.

I'm loving...My Sisters.

Talking on the phone. Hearing details no one else is privy too. Laughing at things that only make us laugh. Getting together to work on piano music. Having comment conversations on facebook. Watching all three of them grow into beautiful (young) women. Nothing replaces a sister (or three)!

I'm loving...My Husband.

He is quite the guy; I love him SO much! He works so hard in every area of his life. He has so many big responsibilities pulling at him in this busy season of his life, and yet he still takes the time to share himself with me. He reserves our date night for just us. He sneaks in an extra date when he can. He calls me on his lunch. He shares his heart even when he is tired and also listens to mine. His positive attitude continues to uplift our household and bring me peace.

Thank you, Lord, for these - and so many other - blessings. You have withheld no good thing from me.

What about YOU? What are you loving these days?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Used To.... Now I....

I recently found an awesome blogger, Mary Kathryn Tyson. I love the authenticity with which she writes and the humorous way she often approaches truth.

I loved this idea that she did on her blog and I thought I would do it here too!

I Used To.... . Now I....

I used to allow my fear of people's opinion to govern my actions. Now I choose to do what I want or what is best for me, despite my still-present fear of what people might think.

I used to trust anyone. Now I am more careful with who I believe.

I used to never question God's love for me. Now I struggle with understanding God's love.

I used to not be okay with not having the right answers. Now I realize that it's okay to not know everything and it's good to embrace the process of God maturing me.

I used to be a vocal performance, then music education, then music therapy major. Now I have one more class before I graduate with my B.S. in Education.

I used to not understand what it meant to lose someone. Now I do.

I used to not be able to relate to the depth of people's pain. Now I have more experiential grounds on which to relate.

I used to read blogs. Now I read AND write blogs.

I used to not be very good at saying "no". Now I am much better at setting good boundaries for myself.

I used to think God's rules were very black-and-white. Now I think there is a bit more color and mystery to His ways.

I used to strive to be perfect. Now I strive to be closer to the heart of God.

I used to rarely go to the movies. Now I often go to the movies. (Thank you, $2 and $3 theaters!)

I used to be legalistic. Now I am beginning to understand grace.

I used to think that my opinion was the correct opinion. Now I realize that I am often wrong.

I used to love ice cream. Now I STILL love ice cream!

What about YOU? Fill in the Blanks: I used to_____. Now I _____.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jesus Loves Me.

I am learning that Jesus loves me.

(you would think I already know...since the Bible tells me so...)

I used to know He loved me.

And I am beginning to know again.

Not just hope. Not just wish. Not just pretend.

But KNOW. that Jesus. Loves. Me.

My heart and my mind are beginning to come together on this subject. My heart has known the truth all along. I couldn't give up the belief that God loved me and really desired good things for me as His child.

But my mind wandered. My mind doubted. My mind started trying to piece together all the hard things that started happening over and over and over and it eventually came to a belief that maybe Jesus didn't love me that much after all.

And, without realizing that my mind was believing that, I began to approach my life as if that was true. It was when I began to evaluate my actions and the way I thought about myself that I began to realize what I believed about Jesus' love (or lack thereof) for me.

After much wrestling in my own strength, after some honest conversations with close friends and family, and after walking in obedience to truth even when I am unsure, I am beginning to feel God renewing my mind.

He is opening my eyes to His love. He lavishly poured love on me this weekend. And He is giving me the ability to see things through the filter of His love.

This is the love that I used to walk in. But as I rediscover it, it feels so NEW.

Perhaps it is because I had never known what it was like to live without His love before.

Now, after experiencing what it feels like to walk in a way that doesn't accept His abundant love for me, I am more grateful and more thirsty for His love than ever before.

What about YOU? Are you experiencing God's Love? Or do you struggle with believing He loves you?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Relational Conflict.

Hmmm, that is going to be uncomfortable.

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

Hmmm, that looks like it might hurt.

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

Hmmm, that’s hard.

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.



Living in False Reality.

That is how I usually choose to deal with conflict.

I do NOT like dealing with conflict. I don’t want to hurt anyone's feelings. But I do want to take care of myself and do what is healthy for me. But I can’t be honest with the other party because it will hurt their feelings.




That’s me right now. (At least, that’s me in the area of relational conflict. Other areas are doing much better :-)

But this area: Relational Conflict. It can take me for quite a spin.

I do not know how to do what is healthy for me because I am so concerned about hurting other people’s feelings.

I recently started focusing much more directly on learning about some of my issues in codependency and lack of healthy boundaries. And then wouldn’t you know it? THE situation of all situations has arisen in the midst of my focus on healing in this area.

Do I want to deal with it?

Not a bit.

Am I going to deal with it? In a HEALTHY way?

Well, I sure hope so. I’m not giving any promises but I know I really need to heal and start making the right choices in this area of my life. So, I sure hope I deal with this correctly.

When I look at why it is so hard to stand up for what is healthy for me I have to force myself to ask these two questions:

1 – What is motivating your actions right now? The answer is usually fear. Fear of hurting others, fear of not being liked, fear of being misunderstood.
2 – What is God’s desire for you in this situation? Usually – though not always – I seem to find that the answer is what I fear doing the most. Awesome.

So, this weekend, amidst some really fun plans like:

~pumpkin patching and movie going with my husband,
~wedding flower designing with my lovely florist friend,
~ and birthday celebrating for my Dad and sister's boyfriend with my family,

I will also be doing some healing, decision making, and listening from the Lord in this struggling area in my life.

And hopefully in that process, I will also do some receiving of courage.

Because truth be known,

I’m afraid.

How do YOU deal with conflict? How do you decide to make the decisions that are healthy for you when you feel unhealthy pressure and guilt from the other side?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Disneyland-Day Recap

It was seriously one of the greatest days I've had all year. So.Much.Fun.

I loved getting to wake up and make breakfast for my husband and me before he left for work. I loved taking my time to get dressed. I had a blast listening to "The Best of Weird Al" in the car (further evidence of my nerd-like tendancies) and was excited by the bolts of lightening I kept seeing on my drive to the Magical Kingdom. Before I entered the park, I stopped at the nearest Starbucks and saw an old choir friend from Chapman now working as the store manager. (Too bad it didn't result in a free latte...)

I started my morning off at the beautiful fireplace in the California Grand Hotel. Fireplace, live piano music, vanilla latte, and journal....what could be better? I spent some time in the book of Philippians, specifially in Chapter 3 verse 14,
"Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us..."

In the moment I read that verse, it was an incredible reminder to me to continue to release the good memories of the past and live for what God has for me in today. In that moment, I felt a nudge to NOT go around Disneyland reminiscing about all the memories I have experienced there, but rather to go explore new things and to live moment by moment and embrace new experiences.

It was SO freeing and SO fun!

I didn't take pictures of everything I did; but here's a few of the pics that I did take:

Me, after devotions, and off to start the day:

The band on Main Street; I listened to the whole concert and it was SO good!

I chose the hand-dipped corn dog as my splurge for the day and it was delicious! I enjoyed some shade and some people watching while I ate.

The Halloween Decorations are so fun around the park! Not gruesome or scary, but totally whimsical and family-friendly.

I watched a musical comedy show at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Hilarious!!! I cannot believe I have never seen this before and I can't wait to show my family!

I went to the Tiki Room for the first time in about 10 years and had a blast. Then, I went on over to watch Caption EO. Here's me in my 3-D glasses waiting for the show.

So, there's my little tour of what parts of my day were like! Besides being a super-fun time, God also spoke some wonderful things to my heart and allowed me to have the ability to fully embrace what He was leading me in that day.

Perhaps, in the near future, I will share....