Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finding Purpose in His Plan

A great article about Matt Chandler and his fight to honor and serve the Lord through his trials:

“I don’t think God gave me cancer … but He knew it was coming. He certainly didn’t stop it, and He’s certainly able to. The whole Scripture is: bad things happen in a fallen world, and God is enough in those things and uses those things to the Glory of His own name.”

I pray that I can cling to that truth as well, no matter what the trial: that God is enough in all things, and will use them to His glory.

Monday, January 10, 2011


"The letters of the name of God in Hebrew are infrequently prononced Yahweh.  But in truth they are inutterable...  This word {YHWY} is the sound of breathing.  The holiest name in the world, the name of the Creator, is the sound of your own breathing.  That these letters are unpronouncable is no accident.  Just as it is no accident that they are also the root letters of the Hebrew verb "to be".  God's name is the name of Being itself."
-Rabbi Lawrence Kushner


Today, I am focusing on breathing...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scars and Sad Words

An excerpt from the novel "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave:

"On the girl's brown legs there were many small white scars.  I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress?  I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly.  That is what the scar makers want us to think.  But you and I , we must make an agreement to defy them.  We must see all scars as beauty.  Okay?  This will be our secret.  Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying.  A scar means, I survived. 
In a few breaths' time I will speak some sad words to you.  But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now.  Sad words are just another beauty.  A sad story means, this storyteller is alive.  The next thing you know, something fine will happened to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile."

This passage tugged at my heart.  Think of how different our world would be if we all viewed scars as things of beauty, and sad words as stories of strength and resilience.  I know how hard it is to see God's goodness in the midst of pain and trials.  I know how easy it is to look at your scars and think of your challenging and difficult life stories and wonder where God was in the midst of it all.  Believe me, I am often filled with doubt.  But God's story for our lives is one of redemption.  As I continue to walk through life, growing older and wiser, I am learning to see the beauty in the pain.  Yes, it is still hard, and it still hurts.  But the more I let God in, the more I see the larger picture.  God's plan is so much larger and so much greater then we can understand.  Your scars and your sad stories can be made into something wonderful; I truly believe that.   

What I am loving right now..

Lululemon yoga pants

I have been lusting after Lululemon's yoga and running apparel forever.  Mike got me a pair of their crops for Christmas!  I can now say, after owning a pair, that they are worth the high price.  I could live in my pair.  They fit perfectly, and are incredibly flattering.

Jonsi's Animal Arithmetic

I have to give credit to my husband for 90% of my taste in music.  He is the true music lover and connoisseur in our family, and is really good at finding new music that fits my tastes.  I will admit, when Mike first introduced me to Jonsi, I wasn't a fan.  But, the more I listen to him, the more I want to listen to him.  Jonsi is the guitarist and vocalist for the Icelandic band Sigor Ros.  Take a listen to his song Animal Arithmetic.  You might just get hooked like I did.

Julia Child

How could you not love a large, boisterous, American woman swinging a mallet and cooking French food?  Last year over winter break I checked out a few of Julia's cookbooks from the library, and also watched the movie Julie and Julia.  My admiration was then sparked, and it was renewed this month now that I finally own my own copy of Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I love her story, her sense of humor, her wit, her simple style of cooking, and her passion for good food.

Spin Class

Biking is new to me.  When my brother Shawn kicked off the first annual Tour de' Bago, an 80 mile bike ride around Lake Winnebago, I opted out and served as the team nurse and water station.  Being on a bike for six hours did not sound fun at all.  I much preferred to pass out sandwhiches and water bottles.  But this fall, while cutting back on running and looking for other ways to get in some cardio, I hopped on my bike a few times, and I tried my first spin class.  It was SO HARD.  Ten minutes into the class I was ready for the cool down.  But I loved it.  It was challenging, and something new that I had to work at.  It is such a great workout, and I feel so hard core when I walk out of class!

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

My yellow Le Creuset dutch oven might be my favorite wedding gift that we received.  I wish I had an excuse to cook with it everyday.  Soup has now become my favorite food staple, mainly because it means I get to break out my most loved kitchen appliance.  Mike benefits as well, because when the dutch oven comes out, there is a good possibility his favorite chili is going to be made (which, by the way, I am starting to get embarrased by how much he talks up my chili!).  Enameled cast iron, lasts a life time, and is pretty to look at to boot!

The Middleton Public Library

Ok, so this is something I love all the time, since birth really.  And not just specifically the Middleton Library, but reading in general.  And books.  And free books from the library.  Whoever thought of the idea of a library, and a community sharing books, is a smart man.  I go through a lot of books.  I read two novels last week.  The library is awesome in that it feeds my need for books without having to run to Barnes and Noble and shell out 30 dollars.

Chobani Pineapple Greek Yogurt

I could eat it everyday.  Last week while traveling and staying in Minneapolis, I think I might have.  Real chunks of pineapple, 18 grams of protein, 200mg of calcium!