Friday, February 22, 2013

I wrote this because sometimes it's easier for me to pray when I can type/write it out and stay focused.  Many times they just go unpublished but I decided I would share this one even though I feel a little vulnerable doing so!  But I encourage anyone reading this to also write a prayer of thanks and to make it a habit!  God is at work :)

I just praise you, Lord.  Sometimes I feel like all I do is ask you for stuff.  But right now I just want to praise you - something that I'm constantly feeling challenged to do.  It's more natural for me to list what I'm anxious about and to ask for your intervention instead of thanking you for the ways that you have already intervened!  I've been listening to podcasts about the book of Esther and I remember a study I did on her.  She says at one point, 'If I perish, I perish.'  I remember Beth Moore challenging us to view our lives like that and our circumstances.  'If {fill in the blank with your biggest concern}, then GOD'.  I was also challenged by Mark Driscoll to think about what/who my idols are.  What/who gets my attention?  What are my most of my emotions linked to.  What/who do I worry about?  Idols are usually good things turned into God things.  I think about my family... I try to keep it in check that I don't idolize them but I think they're my biggest potential idols.  But if they perish... then God will still be there.  No one can take you away from me or me away from you!  I praise you Lord for my amazing husband.  That you brought us together.  That we've persevered through rough times.  That the husband you chose for me is nothing like my earthly father that so many women use as an example when choosing a mate.  You have had a hand of protection over me and it is so evident to me now!!  I praise you that Jordan is devoted to us, that he truly loves us, that I can trust him, and I pray that his and my tust in you and devotion to you always grows.  I praise you for the health of each of our family members... that we haven't spent any time in the hospital feeling despair and hopelessness.  I praise you for our safety knowing that at any given time, something could happen to one of us.  I praise you for your beautiful creation!  The snow you've sent is gorgeous!  How can people not believe in you.  I praise you for our extended family.  Thank you for the love and connectedness.  Thank you for soldiers willing to risk their lives to protect our freedom.  Thank you for the country we live in.  That we feel safe and can freely worship.  Please bless this country and may your people come to you for wisdom and guidance.  Thank you for your protection of my family when it comes to dad.  Thank you for being my heavenly father who loves me unconditionally and is sovereign.  Thank you for carrying mom through her marriage and divorce.  Thank you for our grandparents both alive and deceased.  I praise you for the hope of eternal life and I yearn to meet my grandparents in heaven someday.  I cannot wait!  I cannot wait to hear what they have been up to, to see them and hug them, to tell them all the wonderful things you've been doing in my life.  I can almost imagine the looks on their faces when we meet again although I know that I can't even begin to imagine the radiance and beauty.  Thank you for Jordan's grandparents!  I have been blessed to have known them.  And to have grandparents once again is such a blessing!  Thank you for giving them long and happy lives and please continue to give them that life!  Thank you for sending your SON to die for us.  I think of my son.... could I have trusted you if you had tested me like you did with Abraham and Isaac?  Could I have ever sacrificed my son for dirty, rotten humans that would still reject him and didn't deserve him in the first place?  I cannot fathom your love for me.  So often I feel dirty, unworthy, I am a terrible person and I DO NOT deserve you!  Yet, you came for ME!  Thank you Jesus.  I will never be able to fully comprehend your love and sacrifice.  So I just praise you for it.  I want to be more bold for you, Jesus.  Why aren't I more bold?  I want to pray to you continually, to be joyful, to not worry but trust in you.  I pray that I become a godly woman who looks after your interests.  Thank you that I am your child and that that is my true and forever identity.  Thank you for being so close to me!  Even when I don't make time for you or seek your presence, still you show up!  Thank you, Jesus for not giving up on me!

Monday, February 18, 2013

grand caymen

ahhh....  I've got Grand Caymen Island on my mind tonight.  Jordan and I got home one week ago from a week-long vacation.  And it was amazing.  We hardly did anything more than walk the beach, swim, snorkel, and sunbathe.  The waters were crystal clear, the snorkeling was awesome, the nights were full of brillant stars... everything was absolutely beautiful. 

We enjoyed this vacation with our family: Jordan's parents, Joel and Robin, Spring (to whom we owe the gratitude for the invitation), Luke, and Michelle.We stayed at The Renaissance on Seven Mile Beach and we discovered on our walks that the condo sits on the nicest stretch of beach of those entire 7 miles!  It was the softest sand I've ever felt!  The water was always delightful and refreshing.  The sunshine was glorious!  We could not have asked for better weather.

Jordan snorkeled non-stop for the first half of the week... I mean hours out of the day in the water.  But after diving deep for a sand-dollar, his minor sinus infection got the best of him.  He went one whole day without snorkeling!  He took his ipod underwater everytime he went and got some great pictures.  He and Joel actually got to see a shark!!  We saw a lot of great fish, some sting-rays, and sea turtles... awesome!

silly goggles!

silly boy :)
 We were so blessed to even be able to go on this trip. A family that owns the condo just lends it out to others free of charge when they aren't going to be there. So we only had to pay for the flight down! How amazing are they?! We bought our tickets before Emmy was even born and she turned 3 months while we were gone. I can't believe I was able to leave my baby - my babies - but it was definately a good choice! Once again, I entrusted 4 of my 5 most precious gifts to Matt and Katie. Once again, I made out an unofficial will that Matt and Katie would get it all. And then I prayed about it... a lot! And it worked... I was at Peace! The condo was beautiful and we'll probably never be so lucky as to get such a great deal again! So we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! And the time we were able to be there just happened to be over Jordan and my 7th anniversary! How perfect!

I just felt like this trip was specifically for me! I had such a relaxing and rejuvenating time. Weeks before we went, I made a list of book possibilities that I wanted to pick up from the library. But I was never able to get there without the kids (when I'm looking for a book for me, I cannot bring my children!). So minutes before I left the house, I grabbed a book from the closet called 'The Shack'. I read it on the beach and it just spoke so deeply to me. It's a religious book and many things stood out to me and got me thinking. But I was especially drawn to the beautiful message of forgiveness. There have been many things in my past that I have had to make a conscious effort to forgive and forget. I feel like I'm generally a pretty forgiving person, but life throws it's curve-balls... and sometimes they're more like canons! This book was a God-send and delivered to me at precisely the right time and place. I was able to have some alone time immediately after finishing it and I am repeatedly awestruck at how God moves and works in my life. It made me feel that this trip was for me... or more accurately, for Him!
As with every trip, it was good to get home and to hold my little loves again! There were hardly any other vacationers at the condo (if any?) But some of the residents came down a couple of times to the beach with their children. And I would wish that our kids were with us. They were so great for Matt and Katie while we were gone. I had to relearn Emmy again. She got a little longer while we were gone and a lot louder. Probably since she had 7 other kids to compete with to be heard. I also chose to pump-n-dump so that I'd be able to nurse Emmy for some months yet. And like 'riding a bike', it came right back to her!

Everyday life is refreshing sometimes, but I have a feeling that Grand Caymen is refreshing all the time! So happy that we were able to enjoy it!