as of this afternoon, we will have internet at our house!!
most of you have surely heard me whine about not having internet, so you must know how excited i am about this! my co-workers think i'm crazy for being so excited. but i don't care.. i enjoy the simple things in life. like a walk in the park. :)

it's been a long slow day at the bank, but still fun. my co-workers have seemed to be a little less miserable lately, which helps the atmosphere of the place. although one of them needs lots of prayer.. her marriage is starting to unravel. if you think of it, send up a prayer for her and her husband, and their little girl. they're younger than me...

life is good. our every need is provided, even silly little things like 2x4's to fix our bed (two words: tickle wars).
God is good.. and He's been speaking so clearly to both of us lately!
the internship has been going so well.
my job is infinitely better than it was.
i have the most amazing friends of anyone on the planet, i'm sure of it! (you all know who you are).
i'm in love with a man who's crazy about me.
i can't ask for any more. :)


what a man

i am so much in love!!!!

i feel like i'm bursting out of my skin this morning. nothing "special" happened this morning.. i just love that man more than life itself. he treats me so well... he is most definitely not a morning person, but still takes every ounce of morning energy he has to hug me a lot and tell me i'm beautiful. what a wonderful husband. the love of my life. :)


mission: not yet accomplished

last night was quite the girls night.
every wednesday night, a bunch of us girls end up either at Sandy's or Jane's for a night of food, laughter, and and episode of Lost (which i highly reccommend). these nights rarely disappoint, and last night was no exception.

first was a conversation with Ranae about forgiveness, and how to tell if you've actually forgiven someone, or if you'd just said the words. and when it come to ex-boyfriends, it can get kind of sticky..
then came papa murphy's, thanks to Jane! oh, the joys of chicken garlic pizza...
then more frustrations with boys... a boy who is far far away and a girl who misses him dearly.

then came Lost. always intense, always suspensful, and this time seemed to be more directed to the females in the audience. it threatened to bring a tear to my eye more than once.

one of my favorite lines (NOT one of the tear-jerkers) was when Kate (on the show) apologized, saying "i'm sorry i kissed you". after a slight pause, Jack looks over at Kate, and as cheesily as possible, says "i'm not". you should've been there to hear the reaction in the room! and if you were.. wasn't it a great moment? until Michael came tumbling out of the woods and ruined the moment....

the TV went off, and conversation soared. Kate got a phone call from one of her e-harmony guys, and jetted out of the house faster than i've ever seen her move. and i used to run with her! boy, was she red.... and not only did she leave her stack of papers behind, but also her computer, still turned on. she isn't going to live that one down very quickly.
then came the interesting conversation......
i won't enlighten you on the content.. i don't know how appropriate it would be for a public post. but let's just say that there was much laughing, and opinions asked of me, the only married girl in the room. 'nough said!
(for those of you who were present, the mission has not yet been accomplished; however, please take notice of my use of the word "yet")

after getting home, i sat on the deck on our new deck chairs to enjoy the beautiful evening. Matt joined me when he got home, and the deeper conversation started. he had spent the evening at church, talking with and praying for people. my thought: he's doing all these significant things, and i go to girls night, watch Lost, and laugh with my friends. am i having any impact on anyone???
his response: "you help me!"
and my following thought was, i am doing exactly as i know the Lord has told me to, and hopefully am having more impact on those around me than is readily visible. my job is to remain obedient, not make self-assessments!

and good time with my girls is always a necessity. :)


i started a new book yesterday. it's by Donald Miller, the author of blue like jazz. it's title is through painted deserts. it's all about him leaving home to "search for himself", and about what he learns along the way.
there was a paragraph or two that i wanted to share with you:

"it wasn't just my faith that was being shaken. i began to wonder what personal ideas i believed that weren't true. i believed i was not athletic enough; too stupid, i believed i had to go to college; i believed the Astros were a more important team than the Mets; i believed jeans that cost fifty dollars were better than jeans that cost thirty; i believed living in a certain part of town made you more important then living in another. i looked up at the cosmos and it had no scientific proof that any of this was true. the cosmos wasn't telling me i was stupid; it wasn't telling me one pair of jeans was better than another. the cosmos was just spinning around up there, as if to create beauty for beauty's sake, paying no attention to the frivolity of mankind. and i liked the cosmos. i liked the cosmos very much. it seemed that it understood something, perhaps, humanity did not understand...
all of these ideas seemed subjective, and once they seemed subjective, they began to feel subjective. far from depressing, this led to something quite beautiful. girls who i once ignored as not pretty enough became, to me, quite lovely, their gentle way and deep humility and tenderness and femininity, their true images no longer being compared to the lies of commercial propaganda. if i couldn't grasp an idea, i didn't fault myself as dense; the cosmos didn't seem to be suggesting there was any more value to a dumb person than an intellectual. and jeans got a lot cheaper too."


last words

from the end of Hadassah...

"of course, there is another character in this drama, the One who, despite our limited view of circumstances, watched and cared for His people through every twist and turn. He is the One who oversaw its whole outcome--and with whom i still revel in a rich and amazing relationship. He is YHWH, the G-d of my fathers. i cannot pretend that i feel Him every day as strongly as i did during some of those times of agonizing crisis. yet i do feel His Spirit with me, i speak to Him constantly, and someteims at the oddest of moments--watching a sunset over the palace mount, holding a small child, walking with Mordecai or Jesse--i feel His presnce as vividly as ever.

during such occasions i am given to laughing out loud, shouting out a word or two in His praise, raising my hands to the heavens and even weeping uncontrollably. i wish more than anything that i could see Him with my earthy eyes at those times--so i could run to Him like that tiny child seeing his returning father and jump blissfully into His arms. instead, i content myself with a few feeble old lady's leaps or two. and then i bask inwardly in the embrace of His presence, exulting in His love and praising Him for all that He is--to me, to my people and now to you.

they say i am turning into an old woman and that old women are given to this kind of eccentric behavior.

i only hope they--and you--will someday share my lunacy."



the Hebrew name for Esther. a story that inspires and challenges. and when written in a new form (namely, historical fiction), brings an ancient story to life with all its heartaches and joys.

i'm nearly finished with just such a book. its title is Hadassah, written by Tommy Tenney. i've found myself near tears on many occasions, realizing more than ever before what it must have felt like to be taken away from home and family, and a "normal" future, into the life of a queen who never sees the husband who she loves. everything is taken away, yet everything is offered. i've enjoyed this book more than most i've read; i would highly reccommend it.

i think what's impacted me most (as far as feeling Esther's loss, and that of her family) was Jesse... the annoying grandson of Esther's housekeeper who always seemed to be around. upon reaching "that age", she realized she loved him. only for him to be taken to the palace and forced to become a eunuch, and her taken as a candidate for queen. she had no assurance of any future; only that she would have at least one night with the king, and hopefully he would see in her what he wanted in a future queen.

a lost love, no hope of ever being together. they are still able to be friends once inside the castle, seeing as Jesse now poses no "threat". she confides in him of her growing desire for the king, which she doesn't fully understand. Jesse gets upset, and what he says broke my heart, and has stayed with me:
"how do you think i feel, hearing you talk about feeling desire for this man? knowing your innocence is about to be taken by the same man who stole my life, stole my chance at every enjoying something i had dreamed of one day sharing with you?"

i'm not sure why it's impacted me so much. maybe it's imagining the pain he went through in the whole situation (and who knows if someone like this really existed in Esther's past?). maybe it's thinking of some of my own lost dreams, or those of friends, or family. or maybe it's something deeper...
an assurance that, no matter what happens, God has our best in mind. He allows everything for a reason. was this the only way to save His people from destruction? because of her position as queen, Esther was able to save the Jews from being annhilated. even though it meant great loss and heartache, a greater purpose was at work. it seems to make the loss worth it in the end... when looking at a greater reality.

yet still, my heart breaks for those who have lost so much. even though Jesse is a fictional character, and we have no specifics on what Esther gave up, it still symbolizes much to me. summed up in two simple words:
loss, and redemption.

the mundane

He can meet you in the mundane. of this i am sure.
because i've experienced it.
coming to work, though it's the last and most boring thing on my wish list, can be a time to meet with Him. it's one of the things i love so much about being in relationship with Him. you never know when it's going to happen.

this morning wasn't anything significant really. nothing happened. it was a normal morning, if not a little busier than normal. but His presence was here, in a way that brought me more joy than i thought possible after how i felt when waking up today.
because of that, i can say that it has been a good day. and i hope it will only get better!


more quotes

"Life is a Story. This is true for every soul.

It is a love story, we assure you. But it is set in the midst of a life and death battle. That is why it seems so hard.

The story of your life is the story of the journey of your heart through a dangerous and beautiful world. It is the story of the long and sustained assault on your heart by the Enemy who knows who you could be and fears you. But it is also the story of the long and mysterious pursuit of your heart by the God who knows you truly and loves you deeply."

-John Elderedge (www.ransomedheart.com)


"When you are in the presence of the King of Kings, destiny--not just your own, but the world's--can change in the twinkling of an eye."

-the prophet Jacob in Hadassah by Tommy Tenney

words to live by.


learn from, not dwell on

pastor Matthew gave a message Sunday night that encouraged me more than i expected. he talked a lot about where we've been as TN, where we are now, and where we're headed in the future. it's always good to be reminded of what's in the past - not to dwell on it, but to learn from it, and to see how far you've come since then.

i think that's a good principle for life as well, beyond just TN. maybe that's why it was so encouraging to me. it seems to be way too easy to dwell on the past and all the things that we've done wrong, or could've been done better. but that's not God's heart for us. yes, he wants us to learn from the past, but he doesn't want us to punish ourselves over anything done less than perfect.

pastor Matthew had written a paragraph on the subject that he shared with TN that said it well in few words:

"not letting the past define us, nor the future scare us, but embracing the present and all that God has taught us and all that God is going to do in us, let us live now with passion for our king. let us not wait to have impact, but let us throw off all that hinders and live for him now!!! today is the day. now is the time. it is our turn now. it's time to give our lives away!"
Matt got a job!!!!!

to make it really short, they really wanted him. really, really wanted him.

they hired him for one shift a week, which happens to be on mondays, the slowest day at church. and they said if another shift opens up, which it probably will, he could pretty much pick his days that he wants to work. they wanted him to work saturdays and sundays, but when he said no, they offered him mondays. crazy stuff. and it's in the mental health field!! so even if this particular job isn't exactly what he wants to do, it will still give him experience in the field he wants to work in. so exciting!


eye of the tiger

i'm not quite sure what to write today.. there are so many things going through my head at any given time - it's hard to focus in on one thing and get my thoughts across on it.

okay, i just thought of today's topic: the eye of the tiger.
i'm going to try not to be cheesy, but considering the subject matter, it may prove difficult. you'll understand what i mean when i start my next sentence...
starting a couple weeks ago, i've been watching the Rocky movies with Matt. he's wanted me to see them for SO long.. i thought it was time. the surprise? i'm loving them! we started Rocky IV last night, which reminded me of something i learned from watching Rocky III (i told you, it's going to be hard not to be cheesy).

as those of you who have seen it know, Rocky III starts off with the song "Eye of the Tiger" playing, and showing Rocky fighting all these guys to retain his title as world champion. but then comes Mr. T......

you remember, the A Team, mohawk, crazy earrings. gotta love the guy. except in this movie, he's impossible to like!

anyway, along comes Mr. T, challenging the world champ to a match. Rocky excepts, but only after a hard insult given in the direction of his wife.
he starts to train... well, sort of. but not really. he doesn't think the guy has a chance. he's proven painfully wrong in the ring, where Mr. T pummels him worse than he's ever been pummeled. he's down in the third round, where he usually lasts all 15 without a problem.

okay, here comes the point to the story.
Rocky can't figure out what happened. his previous competitor, Apollo Creed, offers to train him for a re-match against Mr. T. when questioning his ability, and wondering what happened, Apollo says this to Rocky: that in order to win, you have to be hungry. that's he'd lost his hunger a long time ago. that he wouldn't be able to win against Mr. T unless he was hungry again. in Apollo's words: "you haven't been hungry since you won that belt!!"

and he was right. he regained his hunger, and he won in the second round, no questions asked.

how does this apply to me, you may ask?

hunger. life lately has seemed a little dull, a little routine. not life in general.. being married is still new and exciting.. just everything else. my job. my social life. even church.
i wasn't hungry.
one thursday night at church, about three weeks ago, the hunger returned. and ever since, things have been anything but dull. as Rocky won his match once his hunger returned, i feel i'm winning in the battle of life for the first time in a long time.

what am i hungry for?
change. the kind that can only come from God. He's doing it, and it's exciting. more exciting than anything the world has to offer me.

better is one day in Your courts.... than thousands elsewhere.
or in my version, better is one hour with You... than getting enough sleep every night! :)