Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Every Moment

I always think I know this until God gives me a wakeup call.

The other night, I chose to stay home from a fun night out in order to catch up. I needed to log some hours on my computer and get up to speed with all my projects.

Instead of having a productive evening in, I spent the greater part of it on the phone with IT support, figuring out why my computer crashed and finding out that I would need to erase the hard drive and start over in order to make it work correctly.

My first thought: It’s never convenient to have your computer crash, but especially now.

But then I looked heavenward, and even in my seething frustration, I smiled. God knows what He is doing. He knows exactly what He is doing, and He knows how to get my attention.

My problem is, I treat God like a genie in a bottle sometimes. I come running eagerly when I need a problem solved or want a wish to come true. I too easily forget about Him when things are going great, or even when things are going so-so, and especially when things are so busy I can’t keep up. That’s like a built-in excuse NOT to be in the Word or in prayer… the Devil loves when I use that one.

So it is as the quote says… I too easily forget that at EVERY MOMENT I am totally dependent on God. How does God remind me? He takes away temporary control of something I thought I had control over. And then I am oh-so-quickly reminded :)

I am ashamed to admit all of this, and I am ashamed to confess that I am struggling with keeping God #1 in my life right now in more ways than one. My life will not end because my computer broke down, and God knows that. But it does provide for me a lesson to put the brakes on, close my eyes, breathe deeply, and then look around at my life to see which areas need attention. And I believe it all starts with searching my heart.

Be back soon, hopefully smiling and with something fun.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

6 Years Old

Pictured is my precious niece, Tillie. She is 6 years old. You will soon read about the importance of her age :) She is spunky, spirited, smart, and savvy... she also has a loving, caring heart.

Do you want to know what amazes me most about God?

His patience.

He is so patient with me. I make the same mistakes over and over, yet He forgives me and welcomes me back with open, loving arms. He even gives me encouragement so I know He is there, and when I ignore the things that will so easily help me, He readily accepts me back when I come running.

I'm doing a bible study right now called, "Idol Lies," and one of the recent chapter discussed that as believers, often we still only "understand" God as a 6-year-old might. When life is tough and throws circumstances out of our comfort zone or suffering that we do not understand, our inclination is to throw a fit. We point fingers, we come up with excuses, we complain, we ask a thousand questions, and all the while ignore the source of comfort, healing, and peace. We doubt God's faithfulness and plan in all of the turmoil, and it is because quite simply, we are 6 years old (or at least acting like it:) When it comes to understanding why God does what He does, our little human minds cannot possibly fathom the why. And really, is it ours to know? We are not all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present, but God is. That is why we trust Him.

To give an example, it's like stopping your 6-year-old after his 3rd cookie. The cookie tastes good, and the cookie makes him happy, but if he eats too many, you know that a stomach ache is in store. He may not know or understand the ramifications, or even the future plans (i.e. a healthy dinner on the way!), but you do. So as a loving parent, you stop him after #2. He whines, he complains, he throws a little fit, but he eventually forgives you and comes running back to your arms in 5 minutes when he falls and scrapes his knee. Why? Because ultimately, he trusts you, even when he doesn't always understand why you do what you do. He knows you love him, and he knows that without a shadow of a doubt.

So, this picture has been floating around in my mind, mainly because I have felt like a 6-year-old lately. I have also been using "I'm so busy" and "I just feel apathetic" and "There are a few other things I need to get done first" as my excuses to avoid reading God's Word. I was talking to a friend tonight, and we asked ourselves the question, "Why? Why do we do this?" It doesn't make sense, but yet it does; it's one of Satan's best tricks. If he can nurse an apathetic attitude and present 1,000 distractions, he will, and guess what? Most of the time, we're more than willing to take the bait.

It's our loss, really. God misses us when we ignore Him, but most of all, we miss the blessing. We miss the opportunities, we miss the peace and joy that comes from feeding on His Word. Yet it's a viscous cycle. WHY?

Again, I tell you. We're 6 years old :) But fortunately, 6-year-olds are typically teachable and impressionable. They have the gift of "faith like a child." They listen to the one they love and trust, and the teacher has the power to shape their attitude.

I'm so thankful that my teacher is God, and that my Savior is Christ. I'm so thankful that even when I neglect my time with Him, He never stops calling my name. I'm blessed to be forgiven, and that because of the Cross I can stand before him blameless, and white as snow. And it's free, a gift. The best gift. The only gift in this life that delivers into the next.

The more I am in His Word, the more power I possess to say NO to the devil. The more I am in His Word, the more it sits on the tip of my tongue to speak love and truth. And the more I am in His Word, the more I realize just how thankful I am for His supernatural patience and love.

Love you all!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend Pleasures

This was the perfect Fall weekend.

I started it out by going to Spoon River Drive on Saturday morning with a friend. Skies threatened to rain on us, but we made it through dry. We enjoyed walking through the different booths, and I found one in particular that I loved. Everything was unique and one-of-a-kind, and I found out the sellers just opened up a store in the St. Charles area last August. I need to visit there soon!

Anyway, I bought a fun hat and a really eccentric purse :) I was wanting a new purse, though, so I felt this helped me accomplish a goal!

Also, I have to mention the food... delicious pork chops, these amazing potato chips that they made right there, and a funnel cake with cinnamon sugar. Not one of my healthier days, but I took it easy for dinner :)

I had never been, so this was a fun experience for me! I then had a photo shoot scheduled that afternoon. It was a rain date from the weekend before, and while the morning skies were not friendly, it cleared off in early afternoon and turned into a gorgeous Fall day! We were so thankful, and I was glad to be able to use sunlight and colorful trees for my pictures.

Another goal of mine lately has been to move my computer home. It has been in my office/studio since I moved into Jefferson St. Art Studio last winter, but now that I'm working full-time, I have been so busy. I have tried to alleviate my schedule by going down to only booking 4 photo shoots a month, which has somewhat worked ;) but then when I DO have a free evening, I would rather spend it at home than in my office editing pictures. So, thus, the computer move :) But I wanted to find a desk that would work in my space, which is quite small.

Today after church, I was in a "go-go-go" mood, partly because it was a gorgeous afternoon and sunny days make me smile and make me move :) But also, I felt oddly energetic, so I hopped in my car and drove over to Washington to A Step Back in Time. I felt a pull, like there was something there that needed me to purchase it. I looked around and found exactly what I was looking for: a black desk with a unique shape and measuring perfectly. 

As I type, I am doing so on my NEW desk. After recruiting my Mom to help move around my furniture, we ended up keeping everything and adding to it and STILL managing to make my space feel more open than it did before. Not sure how that happened, but I'm glad, because I thought we would have to get rid of my tall black hutch. Instead, we're using it near the kitchen, which I believe will be more useful, anyway.

So, I feel as if this weekend has been both fun and productive, two of my favorite things!

Enjoy the visuals...

The new setup. My kitchen table used to be where my new desk now is. This opens it up a bit more.

New work station! Cozy at home... now I can do loads of laundry or get a snack in between editing and answering e-mails :)

New purse from Spoon River Drive

 Lily Belle... trying it out!

Chair, coffee table and sign have all be relocated.

Couch and birdies, the same :)

Katie, if you're reading this, do you recognize the orange gnome? :)

The new "kitchen" hutch

The little kitchen table

Silly Lily

Love you all. Hopefully, be back just as soon!


Monday, October 07, 2013

4 Months Later...

Wow, 4 months?

That's pretty bad.

For those of you who actually still read my blog and may or may not check back... I'm sorry for my absence. Life has been so busy for me lately, and somehow the personal blog gets put on the backburner.

Anyway, in a nutshell, not a lot has changed since we last visited. The summer went by like a breeze, jump started by my Jamaica trip. At work, we opened the Marriott Pere Marquette at the end of June, and are currently working on the Courtyard, which is being built next door. I continue to stay busy on the weekends with photo shoots, and my evenings seem to fill up pretty quickly. When they don't, I'm thankful for a night here and there to relax at home (i.e. tonight!)

Pumpkin Festival came and went; I enjoyed way too many elephant ears and pieces of pumpkin pie. Lily is still crazy and sweet all at once. I did acquire a new room mate! So that is something fun-- Lynnae moved in with me about a month or so ago. It's been great having someone else around to talk to and live with :)

I won't keep you long tonight... but I will try to be back sooner next time. For now, a few favorite pictures from the past few months...

Lola Mae chalking up the sidewalk during our Labor Day cookout

Pretty of Sophie and Tonya

Christy & Jason

We walked to DQ :)

I love this kid!

I love this cat :)

Sophia and her cousin Abigail; fun to have Arizona family visit in July

The "first cousin" girl picture :)

Cousin love! Soph and Adelayde

Lola Mae and Naomi Tasha

The 3 sisters and their husbands :) Love.

WI Dells family vacation in June. Such fun!

More cousin love, and this is making me miss summer already :(

Our "family picture." This about sums it up!

Soph and me

Fun Night with Aunt T; MHS dance/cheer with the girls, then movie night :)

Liam & "Ten"

Grandma K. in the P Fest Parade!

My dear friend Terri :)

Sister love

More sister love

Kel and Elowen (this one is for you, A. Chris, since I know you watch my blog!)

Love you all. Be back soon :) T