Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at our house =)

Last night The Shire girls hosted our first party of the year! It was such a great time... well until the cops were called on us, more on that later...

I was a picnic this year, keeping with the outdoor theme I have had for the past few years. Other aspects of the party...

Katie got her lip pierced yesterday and then pieced the best outfit together to match...
 Aubrea and Carly made monster cupcakes!!! They were adorable =)
 We had so much good food and when people showed up it doubled.
 I finally got to use my vintage Pepsi crate for something... the cups and plates fit perfectly. I was pleased. =)
 We had a hang out area for people who didn't want to be a part of the dance party with play dough, glow stick bracelets, coloring books, and rings. =) We were proud of our hallway last night.
 Da Rings and tags for your food.
 Tourist at a Picnic =D
 Watching Young Frankenstein outside... the laughter caused by this movie resulted in a noise violation. Thanks neighbors.
 After moving the movie inside =)
 Our living room was a great space (once cleared of all furniture) for movie watching and dancing! This was before the movie but the pictures are out of order...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM THE SHIRE!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Where I've been...

First thing to tackle: my dry season.

This past summer and this quarter have been very different than anything I have experienced before and I have not known how to handle it. Take your worst case of senioritis, mix it with your most unmotivated day, and add some of the emotions you feel when you just want to spend time alone in bed (if you ever want that)... now you can now understand the past few months of my life.
The short expanation is this: apathy rules my life...
Apathy: - lack of feeling or emotion : impassiveness
- lack of interest or concern : indifference
Synonyms: affectlessness, emotionlessness, impassiveness, numbness
I won't even go into the "related words" category of this definition. It is a scary list. Especially since of most of them apply to me and they are not words you would ever want to use to describe yourself. If you are here, in a state of numbness with a lack of desire to invest in life and people, please know that this is not permanent. For me it has ruled my life for a while now but that is only because I didn't know how to identify it. I had no awareness of this apathy, I was just plugging along trying to ignore the fact that I felt stuck in my own life. The hardest part was not caring enough to do anything about feeling stuck. 
Well, God is taking me out of this slowly and the recovery process, as I like to call it, is what I really want to share with you. We have all been in low, dry, and tough places but it is the grace of God and His providence that makes the difference. It is his love that changes us and lifts us up

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Quote: The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde

"Better for him that each sin of his life had brought its sure, swift penalty along with it. There was purification in punishment. Not 'Forgive us our sins' but 'Smite us for our iniquities' should be the prayer of a man to a most just God" (226).
Good thing God has more than one quality. Because he is just and our sins do need to be punished. But God is amazingly gracious and loving. Like I so often have to remind myself, God gave me grace instead of death. Also, He does not punish unjustly or without cause. He disciplines those He loves. I am being refined by God's justice and cared for by His tenderness. It is such a comforting place to be.

 On a different note... I recommend this book with reservations. If you are anything like me I don't know if I would put it on my reading list. Here's why: I live and breath the books I read. Meaning, I become so engrossed in books that when the book is happy and light I feel more carefree. When the book is deep and theological I get very quiet and pensive on the days I read that book. When books are dark, heavy, and tenebrous I feel the weight of it on me. This was the case for Dorian Gray. It made me depressed when I was reading it (which is why I finished it so quickly) and I could barely handle the darkness and amount of evil in it. Granted, Wilde's wit was still very present and I  enjoyed reading between the lines in the book's dialogues but the wit was not light (I recommend his plays for that). It was instead a reflection of sin and lost innocence. The darkness of the humor made the weight of the book even heavier than it would have been should the sin of the characters not been joked about. The story is challenging, creative, and incredibly well written... it is just not the best for me. That being said, the last page of the book gave me chills and shocked me. It was that good of an ending. =)

Going to Work

This morning's sunrise at work:
(This good even when captured on a cell phone... imagine it in person =)

This is so relevant to my life right now. Night is chased away by brilliant colors and the promise of day. My hunger for the Lord is being reawakened and my time of dryness is ending. God is taking me into a new chapter rich with the promise of His presence. Which might be why I have fallen in love with San Luis Obispo skies lately. God has been painting glorious artwork in the sky every evening for about a month now and the three mornings a week that I am up before the sun have been incredible. =)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

God's Creation

I wanted to share a bit of God's wonderful creativity with you. I took these at Shell Beach and I didn't edit them. These are all God... =)
PS Click on the pictures... you can appreciate them more when they are full size =)

Finally... a post not about books!

Well if you know anything about me by reading my blog lately you know that I like to read and I have been doing a lot of it. =) Other than that however, I am an enigma. Unfortunately, I am not interesting enough for the lack of information about myself to be romantically mysterious like most enigmas are. I have so much I want to write about now though. I guess I will start with the reason I have not blogged about my life in so long...

It is usually very easy for me to be vulnerable. I write about my life on my blog and anyone that wants to can read it. I open up on coffee dates and at bible study with people I may not know very well. And I usually love sharing my testimony. But lately, I have avoided being open and honest with people like the plague. (Lately meaning, June till now.) No vulnerability = No blogs about my life = God showing me how prideful I have become about my vulnerability. I didn't even realize I was prideful about being "a good vulnerable Christian" until it became hard for me to talk to people about where I am really at.

So now is my chance to be vulnerable, to catch the blogging world up on my life, to share with you the crazy dry season I have been going through, and to show you how God is taking me out of that season. For now however... Sorry blog for neglecting you and only sharing with you my obsession for book quotes. Please be patient with me as I attempt to put my life into words.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Quote: Humility

Humility
C.J. Mahaney
"And in true humility, our own service to others is always both an effect of His unique sacrifice and the evidence of it. His sacrifice alone makes it possible for us to achieve and experience true greatness in God's eyes" (48).

Take this in conjunction with Hebrews 10:11-14:
"And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."

These two quotes have the power to knock me off my feet. Onto my knees to be exact... God's love for us does not stop with our salvation. Christ did not just die so that we may live eternally with God. He died so that while here on earth, we may live. He died to sanctify us now. To help us achieve greatness and to make us humble before others. Without Christ's sacrifice not only would we have no future but Hell, but we would also have no hope for today. God takes Christ's perfect sacrifice and enables us to live now as well as with Him in the future. He is perfecting us for His glory... how undeserving we are, how ungrateful I am. Christ's death on the cross is a gift that keeps giving.