Thursday, January 30, 2014

snowpocalypse 2014 [Wednesday]

snowpocalypse 2014 [Tuesday]

Sometimes the quietness of snow is exactly what one needs...
To embrace life as it happens.
To find joy.
To release negative energy.
To laugh so hard after getting thrown from a sled and face-planting in the snow that it is impossible to get up for a few minutes.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

a beautiful day

Last night as I laid my head on my pillow, I smiled at the beautiful day with which I had been blessed. Slightly annoyed at myself for not taking pictures, I quickly let that go so it would not spoil the memories of time with my friends on a sunshine-filled, warm winter day.
Having no new pictures to share, I have gone to the archives to retrieve photos from the times and experiences in which our friendships were first being formed.  There is really nothing like those moments anyway...the good, the bad, and the ugly moments as you learn how to work with one another and to pray for one another.  At the end of the day, one sees how God has once again orchestrated a beautiful thing in allowing your paths to cross.
The laughter and the tears make the trip down memory lane one to cherish for a lifetime.

thinking warm thoughts...enjoying the memories

Arizona sunset
summer moonrise over Tybee Island, GA
Dante's View over Badwater Basin, Death Valley
4th of July in Michigan 
Arches National Park: Moab, UT

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

life in a snow globe

Sometimes I wished I lived in a snow globe
Where the wind blows
It's wonderful
And every single time that You shake it
You'll make it
So beautiful
~Matt Wertz lyrics, "Snow Globe"

I heard this song over the holidays and it resonated with my soul.  Today, as I watched the snow swirling around me, this song came to mind again.  Along with it, came a message to my heart.
A snow globe is at its most beautiful moment when it has been shaken.  
The snow falling, settling down again in a new design, is the result of the shaker's dutiful act.
Similarly, I find beauty in my life when God shakes things up a bit, or a little more than a bit, in order to make a new pattern emerge as a result.
It is not always easy to have things rearranged in my life, however.  I like the way things are at times.  A nice, neat pattern...a logical way of doing things...simplicity at its best.  For His glory and my own good, however, God rearranges my life for me.  I am reminded that I am at the mercy of The Shaker's hand.  Shaken a little or a lot, the beauty is seen as the new pattern is displayed as the snow settles down again.
Feeling as if I am in a snow globe right now, with things in chaos, I wait.  With anticipation, I see and feel the swirling snow, knowing the beauty of the moment is coming.  The snow settling down reminds me that God has a perfect design for my life.  In order for it to be displayed, things must change from what they are currently.
I must trust His hand.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Pslam 139:1-5

In order to trust His hand, I must first know His heart.

“As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, 
and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind, 
for the Lord searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought. 
If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 
Realize now that the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong, and do it.” 
1 Chronicles 28:9-10

To fully know His heart, I must seek after Him.

Sow righteousness for yourselves
and reap faithful love;
break up your unplowed ground.
It is time to seek the Lord
until He comes and sends righteousness
on you like the rain.
Hosea 10:12

Uncertainty is all around me.  The unknowns want to weigh heavily on me.  I must choose to see the beauty of the chaos.  I must wait on God to settle things down in His design.  God is in the details.  He has me in the middle of all of this for a reason.  People are viewing in on my life and watching to see how things fall into place.  I want them to see God's hand at work, not me trying to fix things the way I think they should go. 
This is why in Matthew 6:25-34 it is written...
“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?
Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith?
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’
For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If God has shaken things up a bit in your life right now, I get where you are.
I truly do.
Circumstances, relationships, lifestyles, routines being rearranged hurts, disorients.
Sit tight until the swirling stops.
It's going to be beautiful.

Matt Wertz - Snow Globe (Official Video) from matt-wertz on GodTube.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

weak but strong

But I will sing of Your strength
and will joyfully proclaim
Your faithful love in the morning.
For You have been a stronghold for me,
a refuge in my day of trouble.
Psalm 59:16
Early this morning, I read the above verse.  It spoke volumes to me.  I should know by now in this journey called life, that when one specific verse leaps off the page at me and is heard as if being spoken by God's own voice into my heart, there is a reason.  A specific reason.
I had an appointment with my radiologist this morning for my CT Simulation.  I had my first consult with my radiologist back before Christmas and had an interesting reaction to the appointment.  The words are hard to come by for an explanation.  The first word that comes to mind is overwhelmed.  My nurse and doctor both kept repeating phrases that set me apart from most of their patients.  Phrases such as, "Most of my patients are post-menopausal."  "I'm not used to seeing someone so young."  "You sure you aren't pregnant or won't become so in the next few months?" "You're at an early stage cancer, which is unusual..."
Two forms of overwhelmedness (Yes, remember, a few posts back we agreed this was a word now even though auto-correct does not agree.) settled upon me.  
Overwhelmed with the reality that I had cancer at age 41.  
Overwhelmed with thanksgiving and gratefulness to God that I had stage 0 cancer at age 41.  
With a 99% survival rate.  
No chemo.  
No total mastectomy.  
This alone brings tears to my eyes every time I think of the awesomeness of this major detail of my cancer story.
I have to be honest, here.  Not that I haven't been before now, but since that day in December, I have been a mess internally.  
My focus is non-existent.  
My motivation is borrowed.  
My prayer life is strained.  
I am weakened by the process, the probings, and the procedures.
As I was walking through the door again to the radiology building a second time, I felt the weight of the past 90 days. 
Heavy, it settled upon my spirit.  
It spilled out, for the first time in 90 days, in the form of tears.  
While on the CT scanning table.  
Slowing the process while my Dr. had to wipe my tears for me because I was not to move while in my positioning stage.  
How do you spell vulnerable?  (I just gave you a mental picture to help you out with that.  You are welcome.)
Being marked up, scanned, soon to be permanently tatted with a dot of all became too much to contain any longer.
Too much for me.  NOT too much for my God.
I do sing of His strength.  I praise Him for His goodness.  He is my Rock.
I hide in Him daily...I have no other option.  
If you see anything other than a vulnerable, falling apart at the seams woman, it is because of my awesome God whom I love and try to serve wholeheartedly.  Because of Him and His goodness alone.  And for no other reason at all.
A dear friend told me that in my sharing of my weakness, God's strength is truly shown and seen.  A walk with God that does not include vulnerable moments and times of weakness does not show the reality of a life with God.  
We all have hard times.  
Times of weakness.  
Times where vulnerability defines.  
That's when God shines.  He shines out of the darkness of doubt and concern.  He brightens the path ahead as it is needed.  He provides His strength when there is none.
So, my friends.  Here I am.  Weak, yet strong.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.   2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God prepared me ahead of time for the rough hour(s) without me even being aware.  I opened His Word and read as the Spirit led me this morning and was given the exact words that I needed to resonate with me in the difficult moments to soon follow.  How awesome is that!?!  
God is matter what!

Friday, January 10, 2014

And, so, I ran...again...

On vacation.
In the rain, even.
Every morning but two...and out of seven that is not too shabby for me, a non-runner.
Remember this run?  
These runs were not so much out of necessity to work off steam or steady my mind, but more to keep the calm, I have been experiencing as of late, going.  Spurring myself on, giving this New Year a great start while the going is good.
The tough days lay in wait.  I know they are coming.  Out of the blue they will hit.
Maybe these morning runs were my own preparation, of sorts, for those days coming where my energy is non-existent.  Or for the days of overwhelmedness (I consider that a word, thank you.) that will try to steal my joy about where I am today in comparison of where I was a year ago...7 months ago...3 weeks ago, even.  Perhaps, even, I ran for the days ahead when running is not an option.  Time, circumstance, health...they war against getting out and moving.    
I ran for those days.
It was awesome.
It made me smile.
It made me question why I do not like running...for a moment at least.
It gave me a greater appreciation of the "here and now".  Making something happen for myself takes courage. Determination to keep ahold of what I have now keeps me going, even if it means running through city streets on vacation because there is no gym available to me.  Preparation for the future begins with one simple step.  Try something new or different.  If not now, when?  Take a chance on yourself.  Push fear aside.  However, when a little voice inside your head tells you, "It can't be that deep." in reference to a flooded sidewalk in a city located at sea level or just below, don't believe it.  It can be "that" deep and most likely will cover your shoes.  Just saying.  
There is a message in this for everyone...find yours.

don't laugh (dpp [day 31])

Finally. My only photo from December 31st that I took personally. Don't least I found one when I uploaded photos from my camera...even if it is of a lamp.  I was playing around with some settings on my new camera while lying in bed.  So what else is there to take a photo of on the last day of the year?
I give you my knocked-over-one-so-many-times-that-it's-crooked, bedside table lamp:

So much for a grand finale for december photo project least I accomplished my goal of at least one photo a day for the entire month. That's something. :)