love doubts…

It’s hard to believe Valentine’s day is tomorrow.  In the past 12 months, my vision of “Love” has changed so much, it is difficult to express in words!  The overwhelming love I feel for Em each and every day is amazing, and because I love her more and more, it feels like I love Robbie more and more and when it feels like I love them more it feels like I love EVERYBODY more!  It seems like with this overflowing fountain of love abundance I would be bouncing like Tigger all the time!

But, alas, that is not how the world works, not how life works. In the past 2 months, I have watched 2 people who are dear to me suffer loss. One the loss of a child, one the loss of a husband.  I have tried to intercede for them in prayer. I have tried to encourage and support them.  Have I done a good job? God only knows. I hope so. Has any of it been helpful? God only knows. But hopefully they know I am here if they ever needed anything at all.

It’s easy to see God’s love in the good times, isn’t it? To see his joy, like he’s smiling down on you. But what about the bad times?  What does God’s love look like then?  The mother who has lost her child feels cheated, purposeless.  The God who “loves” her has taken her child from her at age 6.  The widow feels abandoned, betrayed, her self-worth is in question, she is persecuted and some nosy people are judging her.  The God who “loves” her has “let this happen” (as people say).  The lies have run so deep.  How can these two strong women of faith move forward?  It’s enough to make even this love-high person start to doubt love… what it looks like, what it is, that I have it in my life, that I even begin to grasp it.

Then God reminded me that I can believe in love; I can believe in him and that he has it all under control. Because “Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not boast or envy.  It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”   (1 Cor 13: 4-8)

These friends are making it, even with the struggles facing them, because they believe in the Love of God more than the love of man. Praise God for his many blessings in my own life and for the strength he has given my friends. Lord, please continue to hold them in your arms and give them peace. Please pray for my friends and for those around you who are struggling with Love.

I know this has not been the happiest, post, so here are a few pics to brighten it up.


and Happy New Year!

I’ve been debating what to post for our New Year post this year and I’ve found it pretty difficult. I wanted to write about change, resolutions, a multitude of things. Instead, I’m writing about Jehovah. At church this morning we were singing the song, “Days of Elijah” and the line repeats, over and over, “There’s no God like Jehovah” and that part of the song is always where my mind wanders. Not to bad things, but to more focused things, like the names of God. When I was younger, a young man in my church converted to become a Jehovah’s witness. At a Wednesday night Bible study, it’s all he could talk about, that Jehovah was the ONLY name of God. It is true that Jehovah is a name of God, but not the only name given of God in the Bible. I’m personally partial to “I AM.” But, today, I do want to mention some of these Jehovah “compound names” seen in the old Testament. This is just a sampling: Jehovah – Jireh: The Lord Who Provides (Gen 22), Jehovah – Rapha: The Lord Who Heals (Exodus 15:22-26), Jehovah –Nissi: The Lord Our Banner (Exodus 17:8-15).

When my mind wandered this morning, it was to, “There’s no god like Jehovah, There’s no god like Jehovah–my Healer, There’s no god like Jehovah–my Provider, There’s no God like Jehovah–my Victor!” and each line just filled my heart with so much more joy. In the last week, I’ve rejoiced in the holidays with my family over their health and being together. I’ve felt some heartache as I left my mountain home to come back to my east coast home. I’ve been excited for 2 friends who have gotten engaged and for the new life being born in my family. And I’ve wept for a new dear friend who lost her son in a tragic accident the day after Christmas. My prayers for 2011 include that everyone in my circle and family would know there’s no god like Jehovah. There is none like Him. Behold He comes!


Merry Christmas!! (2010)

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

So, we made it through another holiday season!! I love Christmas and I love all that surrounds the holidays from friends to family to all sorts of home baked goodies. There is always plenty of peace when we’re with our families and friends, but getting there, that can be another story. Like this year, fighting my full work day until we could leave, packing EVERYTHING the night before and having to trust Robbie to get it all into the car (and he passed with flying colors), getting upset when Emme got a fever and fell asleep during her first present opening time at Grandpa’s, the mad dashes in and out of stores, across town, and even across the state in snow. Sounds hectic and believe you me, it was!! But, we got to enjoy time with our families and THAT is priceless!

Here are a few pictures from our completely enjoyable weekend!


Jingle all the Way! (Challenge #3)

For my 3rd challenge, I completed a real CHALLENGE! I decided to head to Raleigh for the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk. It was a 5k event… my first feat attempting to walk so far. I had a partner in crime, too, my friend Erin! Here’s a pic of us before we got going:
Here’s what I learned from this event: 1. Raleigh has hills 2. When you reach your breaking point, just remind yourself it you can get through labor with no epidural, you can do this 3. If you wear jingle bells on your shoes, consider using safety pins or thick twine b/c small ties just get cut by the bells. 4. If you fall flat on your face in the middle of Hillsborough street you can resist the urge just to hobble back to your car instead of the finish line or you can push on through and finish with glory. Praise God, I finished!! Woo hoo!! It wasn’t pretty. I was super sweaty, legs were jello and my face was red as a beat (either from sweating or being so dang cold) but I was done and that’s what mattered.

Here’s some of the fun from my house this week:

Hope you’re having a great week!


Christmas time’s a comin’!

It’s a late start for me, but I’m actually finally in the full Christmas spirit! Sure, I’ve had my Christmas music going in the car for a good solid month now, but the time when things really gear up each year (like this past week) has just been amazingly busy and I have felt rushed, behind, unsettled all week. But, tonight, I got my tree decorated and my stockings hung by the fire and I’m just watching hallmark movies and having a great time!!

It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to celebrate Christmas and not get sentimental regarding my grandmothers, Ruth and Pauline.  Grandma Ruth left me a wonderful gift when she passed, the handmade ceramic nativity her mother made. I love these pieces and I always set each one with care.  Granny Pauline LOVED Christmas. I actually think that’s even an understatement! It was a time to gather her family together and to just love on everyone. There is a red bell on my tree this year that made me cry when I hung it, just remembering the red bells I used to help her hang in preparation for the holidays.

I don’t know what Grandma Ruth’s favorite Christmas song was, but I think one of Granny’s favorites is “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”….one not so many people know.  The lyrics are beautiful and the melody sticks with you. Granny, you had good tastes!  I can hear her now sitting beside me at church saying, “I wish they’d sing some Christmas songs today…. that’ll do (when we got to this one).”  And she would sing and sing and tap her foot and smile. Oh, how she loved Christmas.

Anyway, here are some lyrics for you (just one verse and one chorus) and a link for your listening pleasure.

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O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shining far through shadows dim
Giving the light for those who long have gone
Guiding the wise men on their way
Unto the place where Jesus lay
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine on

O beautiful star the hope of life
Guiding the pilgrims through the night
Over the mountains ’til the break of dawn
Into the land of perfect day
It will give out a lovely ray
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine on

O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us a lamp to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine on


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