Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thoughts on the Road

Have you ever taken the time to notice the changing of the day? Like actually watching the transition of the sun going down and the moon taking its spot? I don't think you ever really take the time to notice simple things like this, until that's your view for, let's say, 6 hours. 

Yes, I am referring now to my little road-trip I took this past weekend down to visit my great aunt and uncle in Bend, OR. When I say little, it was indeed, as I left Friday early afternoon and got back not even an hour ago. Besides having a fun day with them, I learned/noticed a lot during both of my drives. Like I said, I watched the sun set/moon rise. It just was absolutely, positively breath-taking! God's handiwork in our earth, just makes me marvel. The setting of the sun is just so beautiful. I know some people try to take the beauty of God out of the equation and just say, "Sun sets are no big deal, scientifically, it's just the sun reflecting off the water and making colors appear." These people just irritate me. How can you NOT see the beauty in a sun set? It just makes me stop and ponder, "The sun is setting now, but where Adam is now, which is in Malaysia {which I can say, since it's been revealed}, the sun is rising." Isn't that just crazy? I don't think it's just me {hopefully not} but that is just crazy. The moon is up in my state, but in other countries/states, it's been up for awhile now. THIS IS CRAZY! God is so intricate, with every detail, it just blows my mind away. There is beauty throughout our day, we just need to make the time to see it. Or rather, see Him in these things, throughout our day.

Other thoughts I pondered on on my drive home today, related to a few songs I heard on the radio.

Mark Shultz, All Things Possible

I will call on Your name
For there's always a way
When you lead me
And when life knocks me down
I am not counted out
For you're with me
And you're with me

Even when it feels like the light is fading
And I've lost my way
Still I'm holding on to the One who's making
All things possible

Even when it feels like my heart is breaking
Hold on, there is strength
Knowing I belong to the One who's making
All things possible

I know mountains can move
I've seen what You can do
In my weakness
So my heart will believe
If I wait I will see
My God doing, what only He can do


My God is strong and mighty
My God is faithful
My hope is in the Lord
For He is able
**From: onlylyrics.com**

Wow, what hope there is in knowing that God uses us in our weakness, if only we hold on and keep our faith. Sometimes, it's that moment when we are most vulnerable, that moment when we are about to give up and lose our faith, that God can use us the most. Why do we not keep the faith, when if you look back into your life, there is no reason to doubt Him. I do not know. But God is so merciful, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Chris Tomlin, I Will Follow

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you

In you there's life everlasting
In you there's freedom for my soul
In you there joy, unending joy
and I will follow
**from: onlylyrics.com**

I just love these lyrics from the song. How my heart yearns for this, yet my actions fail to do it. This is the cry of my heart: to be like Him. 

Here are a few photos of our day trip yesterday. Enjoy!

 **My navigator fell asleep on the ride there**

**Our day trip destination**

 
**There were chipmunks everywhere, which Baxter enjoyed. So cute!**

 
**Just a girl and her dog**

 
**And just like that I was leaving...on a good note of course ;D**
 **The home stretch of the trip**

Happy new week all. Hope your weekend was just as fine and dandy as mine!

 

Monday, September 24, 2012

One Month Down

One month down and X more to go. Really folks, I don't know what the X entails myself. All I know is we have one month in the bag. Score!!

The highlights of Month Numero Uno:

  • My first season of canning Blackberry Jam--yummy!
  • Sent out Adam's first care package: I'm Blue Without You theme
  • Started back at the good ol' gym, alongside running every other day
  • Went to the Puyallup Fair and saw Jamie Grace AND Toby Mac!!
  • Bax started his training classes! On the road to being well-behaved.
  • Went to my Alum's football game against CWU. Go Cougars!!
Over the course of this last month, I've been really diggin' The Band Perry. If you haven't heard of them, heard any of their music- shame on you! They have slowly become one of my favorite bands. You might of heard some of their more popular songs on the radio, like If I Die Young or You Lie, but this one doesn't always get played, and it's my FAV!! It's called Hip to my Heart. Love everything about it. Enjoy it! :D



Looking forward to an exciting month #2, 
filled with fun, adventure, good times, and crafts. 
Can't wait!


 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Go Cougars!!!

This past weekend I finally got to hangout with my old college roommate, Joanna. After 2 weeks of rescheduling our visit {the first time there was a schedule mishap, the second time I missed the ferry {typical me}} we finally got to see each other--WOW, what a thought! haha It worked out perfectly, because the weekend that finally worked out, our Alum APU, was playing Central Washington University in Football. So we went to check out the game. Fortunately, there were fires where it was orginally supposed to be held in Ellensburg, so the game got moved an 1 1/2 hours closer in Bothel, just a ways from her apartment. SCORE! {I mean this jokingly, but it did work out that we didn't have to drive a ways}. So, we put on our gear, got our cheering voices ready {thinking that we would be the only fans here in WA}, and to our amazing surprise, we weren't! There were a bunch of folks reppin' the good ol' Cougars! Double Score! It would have been a tripple score if they would have won, but they were missing some of their best players, so they lost. Oh well. It felt so fun to go to a game, since I never made it to a game during the 2.5 years I went to APU {I guess I'm making up for lost time}. I can't wait to go to a game next season with Adam!! 

**Go COUGARS!!!**

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Keepin' it Fresh

Haven't done one of these posts in awhile now, but here's a good one for you!

How to use your Mason Jars #6: Keepin' it Fresh, Lettuce.

I heard from this site on Pinterest, {of course} that you can keep your lettuce fresh in a mason jar AND also have it ready for a salad! Double score!! {I did not use a vacuum saver machine to seal the lid, so I'm going to see how well it works. But I have heard that it does without using it, so there's some info for you}. So, this week I'm tryin' it out!



 **Mason Jar = lettuce storage!!**


I'm also using this same sort of theme, but as a "lunch box." I'm gonna start making my lunches ahead of time, and placing them in my lunch box, ie. my Mason Jar! How fun, or am I the only one who thinks this is?

**My lunch in a jar: Oriental Chicken Salad**

 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Speedy Week 3

Week 3 is over. Man, I really don't mean to sound like a broken record here, but how can it already be 3 weeks? I mean, where has the time gone? Well, I'll tell you.

  • To completing one full week of gym & running workouts 
  • Going to the Puyallup Fair with fabulous girl friends
  • Going to our favorite auction here in town, Stokes Auction (post on that to come later this week)
  • And every little thing in-between that keeps me busy on an hourly basis after work. 
I can't believe that I've been away from Adam for 3 whole weeks already. What scares me {not in a bad way} is that it's almost been a month. I mean, we almost have one month in the bag. Dang folks. This month has sped by for me. Let's keep it coming this way!

As we approach the one month marker, I don't want to sway away from the one true dynamic to why this separation has been easy for me so far: God. With His power and strength, I receive mine.

"So do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not be dismayed for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
~Isaiah 41:10

What hope lies within His promise here in Isaiah! I know that I/we can conquer this deployment, with only the help of the strength He says we will provide to us. Beautiful.

Here's to a happy, healthy, fun week 4!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Off Days

Some days aren't your day. I mean, they may start off wonderful, but how do they spiral down so quickly? Who knows. All I know is that my friends over at DQ really know what it takes to get me some-what back to my happy place. 

 
 **Nothing like a blizzard to turn your day around!**

That and watching the movie Killers, with Kathrine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher; always makes me laugh! But between the ucky moments in my day, there was a little moment worth sharing. 


 
I caught a glimpse of this photo earlier. I was packing up some of our stuff yesterday morning before I went to the auction and left some of the picture frames on the couch to pack up later. Well it was sitting out this morning and I saw it. The picture made me think. Looking at this picture, you can really tell that these two people, which happen to be us, are so in love. I'm 100% in love with his expression to me, and my sense of pure happiness is so evident {I don't mean this to come across as cocky, it's just that some pictures really can capture it}.

This picture reminded me that we were so in love and happy with each other, that we married and vowed to each other that we would always love each other--no matter what. And you know, we have reached a few whats with the navy, but that vow and promise will always remain! We were in love and STILL are in love, probably more so than at this moment. He is such a huge blessing to me. He really is. And some days when I don't think I deserve him, I know that God absolutely blessed me with him. I just thank him for choosing me. {tear tear from writing this}.

 Can you find the little "happy" moment in your day?
 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thursday Fun

Sorry that I am two days late posting about my excitement on Thursday. I know you all were probably just waiting anxiously for my post {haha} but I didn't want to post it early, giving it away. So on the contrary, I gave you all suspense. With that said, this is why I was SO excited for Thursday to finally get here: 


Toby Mac ft. Jamie Grace @ the Puyallup Fair!!!!!!!!

I love going to fairs. The food, the atmosphere, everything. I grew up right down the street from the LA County Fair and we would go every year. As I got older, I wouldn't be as excited to go because the fair committee was all about lessening the fair and gaining profits my building more parking--dumb.  But here in WA, it's been fun exploring different fairs. Last year I did the one hear in our county, and this year it was Puyallup's turn!

Let me tell you, the concert was AWESOME!!! I haven't been to a Christian concert in awhile. The last one I went to was Jeremy Camp last year with my bro {so I guess not that long ago, but not one like this}. It was so rejuvenating to see that music that Toby Mac writes, which is a combination of rock, hip hop, Jamaican, and Christian music altogether, can still be considered worship. I mean you can be jumping up and down to the music {which is what we did} and it still be pleasing to God. So cool! I hadn't actually listened to Toby Mac in awhile, but I recognized a few of songs from the album I do have of him, from songs I listen to on our Christian radio station up here in WA, and then some he did with DC Talk {one of my all time favorite Christian bands}, the others I just enjoyed just as well, despite being able to completely sing along. 

Get Back Up has to be my favorite song he performed. Listen to it. There is so much truth and encouragement in this song. I needed to be reminded of the lyrics to this song.


You turned away when I looked you in the eye,
And hesitated when I asked if you were alright,
Seems like you're fighting for your life,
But why? oh why?
Wide awake in the middle of your nightmare,
You saw it comin' but it hit you outta no where,
And there's always scars
When you fall that far

We lose our way,
We get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again,
One day you gonna shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever
[May be knocked down but not out forever]


You rolled out at the dawning of the day
Heart racin' as you made you little get away,
It feels like you've been runnin' all your life
But, why? Oh why?

So you've pulled away from the love that would've been there,
You start believin' that your situation's unfair


But there's always scars,
When you fall that far
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/tobymac/get_back_up.html ]
We lose our way,
We get back up again
Never too late to get back up again,
One day, you gonna shine again,
You may be knocked down but not out forever,
Lose our way, we get back up again,
So get up, get up
You gonna shine again
It's never too late, to get back up again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever,
May be knocked down, but not out forever!

This is love callin', love callin', out to the brokenness,
This is love callin'.
This is love callin', love callin', out to the brokenness
This is love callin'.
This is love callin', love callin',
I am so brokenness
This is love callin' love callin

Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up get up
You gonna shine again
Never too late to get back up again
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever.

The main reason I wanted to go to see Toby Mac, was because of Jamie Grace. I've spoken of Jamie Grace before on a Music Monday. Her dedication and love to the Lord is so amazing. You just feel her passion for the Lord through every song; her love songs to Him. Fun fact, Toby Mac actually discovered Jamie on Youtube 2 years ago. Crazy! She didn't sing this song, although I really wish she had, but I'm gonna share it with you anyways. I just recently discovered it, or shall I say I just recently realized she sang it.  haha. Anyways, it has been SO encouraging to me this past week. It's called, Come To Me. The words to the chorus remind me that God wants me to come to Him. To lay all my burdens, lift them off my weight, and lie them on his shoulders. His strength is enough to get me through, anything. Such a beautiful reminder!

Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden
Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden

You just have to hear her perform the song. Reading the lyrics are one thing, but hearing her sing it, pieces it all together beautifully!


Here are some pictures of my day. I should say our, because my two fabulous friends from church came with me.


 **They're such a blessing to me**
**I was super excited to splurge and eat fair food. So excited for my roasted corn {I also shared an onion burger and curly fries-super yummy}**
**On the ferris wheel**

Hope you look forward to doing some fun, adventurous things with friends.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Tuesday Night Excitement

Ok, so for the BIG REVEAL of why I was so excited for Tuesday night this week: 


Yes friends, it's all about a show: Parenthood. It is my FAVORITE show right now. It's so good, so real, all while being comical and down to earth. It's everything that I would be in a tv show, except more comedy....but we can't have it all. 

I took a nap today to prepare for the late night. I mean, for "normal" people, it wouldn't be considered a late night, but for me and my household, Baxter is mad when he is not in his kennel by 10pm latest. So staying up real late to watch a show from 10-11pm, that's commitment!!! ;D

But come on, give me a break, I've only watched, commutative, 2 hours of tv since Adam has been gone, and this would make my grand total 3 hours in over 2 weeks. That's pretty good if you ask me, considering that last deployment, by now I would have watched over 100 (honestly) in tv and more so in movies. FOR.REAL. I wasn't working and wasn't as prepared with distractions. So ya, I'm staying up late tonight, and you can laugh if you want. But me, I'm gonna go tune in...........now!! :D

Sweet Dreams all!!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 3, Thanks for the Awesome Start!!!

I've already had the best end to my second week away from Adam, and the best beginning to week 3. Why? Oh, because I got to talk to Adam on the phone! Although we were chatting most of it away like we were standing right next to each other, it was so nice to just hear his voice! I didn't even feel like I needed that extra little boost today, but I guess I did. I guess God had that in mind for my day, and I am SO glad that He did. I mean, I'll take any opportunity I can get, but sometimes I just hate using telephones as our means of communication when he's away. Why you ask? For many reasons, but let me share a few reasons with you:
  1. IT'S SO EXPENSIVE!!!!! I mean it really is. It is so unfair, unjust, and makes me angry. Phone companies NEED to make an end to this. For all their service to our country, and they make a 10-15 minute call cost as much as my phone bill for one month!!!! ugh!
  2. I'll be right in the middle of telling him something funny in my day, and BAM! that stupid lady has to come on and cut me off, and say "You have 60 seconds left of your phone call", thus, I'm cut off and have to immediately use that last minute for I love you and good bye. UGH!!!! I seriously hate that automated lady. Like seriously. 
  3. You never know when that call may come. Seriously this is annoying. I mean it's not that annoying, but you always have to have your phone on you. Because let me tell you how many times I have brought my phone every where with me, AND THAT ONE TIME I don't bring it. BAM! there's a miss call from "Unknown." And yes, that does make the angry water works come out. 
So next time you are feeling frustrated about not getting to talk to your Significant Other, think about having to deal with these things each time you get a call, which for me is about every 2 weeks give or take. 
 
Ok, enough of that rant and back to how killer this week was.

Seriously, I don't know what it is, but time is just flying by for me {and I really don't know if it's just me}. The past two weeks, have just zoomed on by. I have been gifted with blessed distractions, that are consuming my time just enough for me to not have felt any bit of lasting loneliness; God is so good!! I know I have a bunch of prayer warriors out there praying for Adam and I, but I'm really feeling your prayers-Thanks!!! He really is so good. I mean, there have been brief moments of me feeling lonely, but what is so awesome, is that I HAVE THE POWER to stay busy. The moment I feel that way, I just say ok, on to my next thing, and I stay distracted for the rest of the night and then look back and say "um. Where did my day just go. Thank you God for getting me through this day!"

A couple of highlights in week 2:
  1. Week 2 began the first week back to the gym since Adam has been back. Although a couple things came up in the week, I went twice and it definitely welcomed me back, ie. I felt the burn!! So now I run a 5k every other day and on that other day I go to the gym, taking one {or two days off, depending on my schedule}. 
  2. I sent out Adam's first care package of the deployment. See more on that here.  
  3. Baxter started training classes!! More on that here
  4. I brought my first meal as a SBC Kitchen Angel {the meals group at my church}, to a family that just had their second child. It was fun to bless a family with a home-cooked meal.
I am REALLY looking forward to week 3. I have some fun things planned {in my planner of course} and I can't WAIT for those days! Specifically Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Won't be saying just yet what those things are, you'll just have to tune in here to find out. :D

Also, today was our first day of rain in 48 days. Why do I know this? Because apparently when you state goes without rain, it's A BIG DEAL and you just know about it. haha. I guess Fall is in our midst? SO with that said, I'm gonna start putting more soups on my menus, especially since Adam is gone and soup doesn't really fill him up. Excited about that {but not that he's gone}. 

I hope you are relying on God to get you through your good and bad days. Believe me when I say, He can get you through anything. And I mean anything! I'm learning to rely on Him more and more, and you can too. Give it to Him, and you'll be amazed and how strong he'll show you, you really are!
 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

First Day of School

Today was Baxter's first day at school. Well, obviously not school, school for kids, but at school for dogs! It was his first day of dog training!! We got there early and everything, because I was expecting there to be other dogs there. Nope. We were/are the only ones in this class. Hey, I don't mind at all, more one on one time or more bang for your buck if you want to look at it in those terms. Surprisingly, but not really suprsingly because I knew he had it in him all along, he did so well!! He caught on quickly, very quickly to everything. 
This is what we learned today:
  1. To sit
  2. To come
However, we didn't just learn those. We learn to put it all together, too. So I'll call him, and when he comes and sits, I say "Yes. Good boy Baxter," and give him a cookie. And then I say ok and point away to release him. 

We pieced this together and then practiced it. Boy, oh boy,  he is smarter than we thought. He caught on so well! I mean, he already knew how to sit really well, but coming. Ya, that's another story. He'll come when he wants to, but not when he doesn't. Forget about it. But I am so happy that he is catching on so quickly. YEAH!! There is light at the end of the tunnel! We practiced it tonight and he is doing so well with this! So that's what we are going to do: practice, practice, practice!

So proud of our little guy!

**So excited for his first day of school.
He was tuggin' real hard!**

Happy week all!

 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cork Magnets

Here's a five minute craft for you to fill in with what you have left of your weekend. 

Have any corks lying around? 

Here's a perfect project for you to decorate your fridge with! 

Cork Magnets!!

You'll need:
  • Corks
  • Magnets
  • Something sharp to cut the corks in half {sharp scissors, a sharp knife, an exacto knife. You'll just need something sharp. If you can't tell, that's the key!}
Yes, that is all you'll need folks!


To Do:
  1. Cut each cork in half with your sharp tool. 
  2. Place a magnet on the back (you may have to cut your magnet a little so it won't show)
BAM! You're done!

Note: The magnets I used, I already had on hand. And apparently, they aren't actually strong enough to hold something to the fridge.....BUT I'm ok with that. They are just cute to be on my fridge! You can make your choice to get stronger magnets.

**My cork magnets**

 I love the rustic vibe they portray!

Hope your weekend is going smooth!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ship's Ahoy: My Sailor's First Care Package

Last deployment I kind of slacked on sending good care packages. I mean, I sent him stuff regularly, but I didn't make them cute, or put much effort into them. Now before you count me as a bad wife, Adam doesn't care about those things. I mean it may be cute to send him a party hat for his birthday, poppers for New Years, but if I know he will just throw it away, then I'm not going to waste my money or my efforts. But with that said, this deployment I still wanted to make more of an effort, but on things I know he will utilize. So, I've decided to send one package a month, because let's be honest, it adds up! I mean what you put in the box may not cost that much, but by the time you pay for shipping, dang it's crazy! So one package a month, with a theme for each month. Cute, eh? 

Today I sent out my Sailor's first care package!!! The theme: I'm blue without you. Before you think that I sent a sappy care package, let me explain my reasoning for this theme, just like I did for Adam in his letter. I wanted this to be his first theme for a couple of different reasons. Mainly, I just wanted to remind him that he is missed. I am blue without him, and will always be when he's not around. With that said, however, that doesn't mean that I am sitting on the couch each night, eating cookie dough from a tube, watching sappy romance movies, in my yoga pants, balling my eyes out because I miss him too much. No. I just wanted to get the point across, that he's missed. I care so much for him, that I would have reason to be blue without his presence. So I gave him reasons to feel joy when he's feeling blue. That right there was my point, which is why I wanted to start it off that way.

Here were some of my cutsie decorations for this care package:

 **Came up with this idea all on my own: Ships Ahoy cookies. 
Perfect snack for a Sailor**
**Other sneak peaks of my decorations on the box**

I also gave him words that stand for J:

J is for Joy
J is for Jolly
J is for Jehovah
J is for re"joice"
J is for Jasmine (of course)

Just thought I'd share a tad of my theme package for September.
Happy weekend to you all!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Online Book Club: A Lineage of Grace

I've joined an online book club with my fellow blogger friend/military wife, Marie. I've mentioned her before. It was all her idea, so I can't take credit on that, I just really wanted to be involved in something that pushed me to read Christian literature, and be that much more of an encouraging thing in my life. Has it worked so far? YES! Let me share with you the book we read during the month of August. 

A Lineage of Grace, by Francine Rivers. 

My mom and both of my grandmas have read Francine Rivers for years. As I got older, my mom was always saying I should get into her books. She writes a lot of Christian based fictional books. I always just pushed Francine aside and simply just said, "no thanks." I wasn't hesitant, however, when Marie suggested we read this book first. Reading the bio intrigued me, and I was excited to give it a whirl. 

The book is about five characters in the bible, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary, who were all unlikely women who changed eternity. Let me tell you, this book has brought tears to my eyes! Each woman I was familiar with their story in the bible, but never thought of their story in their point of view, in their time period, from their heart. Francine does an amazing job at giving the reader a detailed description, or "story" {based on the bible} of the characters perspective and how God did not turn a blind eye towards their faith, even during times when you and I would be scared to. Let me briefly give a description of each character, telling you what I learned from their perspective.

Tamar

Tamar was one of the stories that I didn't remember right away, until I got more in-depth in her story. Tamar is actually one of the main ones I related to the most. Her faithfulness to the Lord, brought tears to my eyes, as I was literally crying at the end. Tamar was arranged to marry one of Judah's sons, Er {Judah is one of Joseph's brothers, that sold him into slavery}. Er was wicked, and God took his life, so the custom of the time said she married the next of kin, Onan. But Onan refused to have a child who would not be his own heir. The Lord saw that to be wicked, and took his life, too. Tamar was then sent back to her family {which brought shame on them AND for her}. Her family didn't even treat her the same. Judah made a promise with her {which she believed he would keep}, but when he did not follow through with it, she acted as a prostitute to sleep with Judah {custom said if a heir would not produce an heir with you, then the father was the last choice} and kept his staff and necklace {basically how society would recognize you in those times} so that when he lost them and returned them to him, he would know that it was her who had them from that night {kind of confusing, but bear with}. When her family eventually found out she was pregnant {it shows, duh} they reported her to Judah, who they knew would have her stoned {since the custom for adultery was being stoned or just death in general}, he told her father to burn her. She had her maid literally run to Judah's house with his necklace and staff, telling him "the one who has these is pregnant, and that woman is Tamar." Judah eventually ran to her house, just in time to save Tamar, who was beaten up BY HER OWN BLOOD! What I haven't mentioned, is that throughout her whole life, having husbands who mistreated her with no one putting an end to it, she believed in God, never giving up hope. They married, and eventually their blood line would bear the Messiah! All because of their faith!

WOW. I was blown away, tears and all, when I read the epilogue to Tamar. God was so faithful, with her through every beating her first husband would give to her, through every wicked sexual act her second husband would do to her, through the rejection and shame her family bestowed upon her, and all the while waiting on an empty promise by her father in law. God.was.there. AND He blessed her for staying true to Him. Powerful stuff right there. Read Genesis 38 for more on Tamar. 

Rahab

Rahab was born a peasant, sought out by the time she was a young child to be a prostitute to the kings court. I cannot imagine having no say in the choice of who to marry, yet alone your calling! {Thanks mom and dad!!!} She was a beautiful woman and had a life full of luxuries, but did not care for any of what the world had to offer. She believed there was more out there, a God who would save her and her people from the evil the country was causing them. Basically, she helped two spies of the Lord, and God eventually repayed her for believing in Him, when no one, I repeat no one else around her believed. It's almost like one of those thoughts you think about today "How can God reveal himself to a tribe in Papa New Guinea {just thought of a random place} when there is no text, they speak a different language, and they don't take outsiders. But you know what? God instilled in Rahab faith in Him, when no one else did in her land. And God saved only her and her family when the army came and took down the walls of Jerricho. She married one of the spies, Salmon, even though the tribe was freightful because she was from Jerricho, a foreign, AND a prostitute. But none of that mattered to Salmon, because he saw her devought faithfulness to the Lord, and so did the Lord. You know those genealogy chapters in Genesis and even some in the new testament, where you get so bored reading them, that you just don't even read them. READ THIS ONE!:

Rahab and Salmon had a son, Boaz.
Boaz was the father of Obed;
Obed, the father of Jesse;
Jesse, the father of Kind David.
And from the line of Kind David ofthe tribe of Judah came the promised Messiah,
Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

WOW!!!!!!!

Ruth

I really love Ruth as well. She was born with some statue, yet married a man with less. He died young from a disease, and decided to follow her mother in law back to her home land. When they reached the home land, she was an outcast {since she was a foreigner and not of their blood}. Although she came from wealth, she worked in the fields all day, laboring for wheat just so that they could get by. Boaz {recognize his name from above...} did not overlook her hard work {and her beauty} and decided to make her work come a little easy for her {also because he was kin to her mother in law Naomi}. Ruth choose, key word choose, to follow her mother in law, who was a devout follower, choose to believe in the Lord, and choose to work in the fields like a slave. God did not overlook that. He brought Ruth and Boaz together, blessed them, and did not forget about Ruth's unshaken faith in Him. 

Perez {mother was Tamar}, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David, who became kind of Israel. And from the line of Kind David came the Christ, the anointed One of God, Jesus, our Savior and Lord. 

These don't make me want to skip over them or make me bored anymore! They make me cry! How awesome is this!

Bathsheba

This was one character that I was hesitant about reading, before I read. I didn't know what direction she would take it in, because we all know the story of Bathsheba, but do we really? I mean, from Bathsheba's perspective, it really humbled me. We all sin. ALL OF US. We can't deny it. But when we ask for forgiveness, aren't we truly forgiven if our hearts are in the right? Yes, absolutely! So why are we so quick to pass shame on this story, as soon as we read through this story of anger, wrath, revenge, evil, adultery, and ultimately, sin. It all comes down to the point of sin. Bathsheba and David sinned, but with repentence comes grace. However, with David and Bathsheba's sin, they truly had to bear the consequences of their actions, as we all do with our sin. For example, because David noticed Bathsheba lustfully {and bathsheba not hiding when she could have}, it caused for them to have an affair. Then we they could have ended it there, he wanted her as his own wife, and he had her husband killed. But it didn't just end there. Because of this sin, thousands of their people died in a battle that could have been prevented, and so on and so on. But Bathsheba turned herself to the Lord and truly did repent, and she bore sons that were faithful to the Lord, that followed after him {from her example}.  I love this excerpt, Bathsheba praying to the Lord before she passed,

"I know they will remember my sins, Lord, but when they look upon my life, let them see what You did for an unworthy woman. Let them see the hope born from despair. If they must recount my sins, let them count Your blessings more so. You protected me. You raised me up. You gave me sons. Let my name be unspoken, Lord, for what am I that anyone should remember me? But, oh, Lord God of Israel, if they do remember me, let them open their mouths and sing praises for Your great mercy towards me. Let them see Your infinite grace and your boundless love."

This just sounds like a prayer that anyone of us would have; any one of us sinners. I am glad that I turned my mind more softly towards her story, as I read along from her perspective. Her perspective of grace and deliverance, from a sin she was attached to with shame and regret. 

Mary

We all know the story of Mary. The Mary that was the "mother" of the Christ. I really didn't expect to learn much knew from her story, but I did. She was brave to accept God's calling, although she felt unworthy of such. She was unafraid to stand up against her son, the chosen deliverer. She was full of faith that her son was truly THE deliverer, and not just one of the many who claimed he was the one. It was also great to read how Jesus himself humbled her, when feelings of "this is MY son" came into her mind all the time. She continually had to be reminded that this was not her son. This was God's son, who He choose to use her for his enter into earth. I would have to be reminded of that too! I mean, who wouldn't get confused, especially during the whole pregnancy part. She was also humbled, because she had to listen to shame and gossip, as she became with child before Joseph agreed to marry her. I mean, I would be feeling like this "God, why did you have me of all people do this work, and then have to go through all this shame just for you? Why?" Yes, I would bring out that stupid why. I hate why questions. But honestly, I would be feeling that way. But want to know the beauty of her situation. All her shame would be forgotten about, when Jesus would raise from the dead and bring his followers home to heaven. All of her feelings of worthlessness, shame, doubt, oh the doubt!, would totally be forgotten! Oh how powerful and unafraid this woman was! Do we really see that when we read the Christmas story? Sometimes, I truly don't. But now, I won't miss that important part of the story: her faith. 

God showed me through this book, how He can use anyone. ANYONE. A prostitute, a peasant, a carpenter's wife, anyone! How beautiful is that?!? God is so good. To even think He can use someone as wretched as me, blows me away. And I hope He does use me. Although, I know you have to be careful what you ask for and pray for with God. 

God, use me how you want!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Every Heartache Makes You Stronger

Folks, it's been one week since I said "See you soon" to my dear hubby. ONE WEEK!! I don't know where the week went, but if you find it could you please let me know? I am kidding when I say where the week went, but it just went by so fast. Really, truly, and honestly it did! It wouldn't have been of course without a couple of reasons 1) my trusty little, NEW planner and 2) GOD!!! Let me explain them both. 

1) God. I don't want to sound so cliche, but God totally has guided both Adam and I through this first week of separation. Seriously, honestly, and truthfully He has. I can't deny it or give any other thing or person the claim; it's been Him, utterly and completely. As I look back over this past week I see God there, getting me through each and every day, even during the moments when I thought I would lose it, there He came to my rescue and kept me distracted, busy, and with fellowship at most times. Let me kind of walk you briefly through my week.

Monday: It was the hardest, hands down. I didn't know how I was going to get through the day, constantly throughout the day. Work wasn't that good of a distraction, and after work, I really felt like I needed some companion to help get me through, but I am glad that all of my friends were busy. Why? Because it forced me to face the day on my own, and make me that much more stronger, and rely on Him more. 

Tuesday: After work I went to Collision at church, which was game night. Perfect! Somehow a group of fun people, along with Scattergories and Bananagrams just compliment each other well! Loved that night. 

Wednesday: Both Baxter and I got some fellowship! We hung out with my friend Kylie and her Dachsund, Dash. We were going to go to the movies, but decided on just hanging out instead. It really was what I needed, and Bax, too. Sometimes I tend to forget that he misses Adam, too, and needs some doggy dates. So glad he has a friend in Dash (sometimes Dash needs a break from Bax, but you know... ;) It was so cute, because Bax was SO sad to see them leave. He kept looking out the door and back at me like, "Where'd they go mom? Are they coming back? Why'd they leave us?" Broke my little fur-parent heart. This was his expression:

**Sad to see his friend go home for the night**

Thursday: Got to talk to the hubs on the phone! Plus, I was busy preparing Cinnamon rolls for work the following morning. Great Thursday night distraction in the midst: baking for coworkers!

Friday: Got to talk to Adam on the phone and via Skype most of the day, with one session with his parents, my parents, my grandparents, and brother! AWESOME! Also, my first day back at running!! Felt good to feel the burn!

Saturday: I read my book in the field while Baxter explored, went Blackberry pickng, and made 3 batches of jam...all...night...long. Didn't eat dinner until 945pm because I was jammin' so much haha. BUT, it was a great distraction! 

**Our supply of Blackberry Jam**

**Baxter went pickin' too!**

Sunday: Went to church with Kylie (great to have someone to sit with when he's gone!), first morning helping out with junior high group (and realized: boys will be boys haha), and had some AMAZING fellowship with Kylie and our friend Meaghan. We talked the night away...seriously! It was my latest night up in a long while, and my bed time is early!!

Monday: I had a relaxing day. Did stuff around the house, finished my book for my book club, went for a run, and made a bomb dinner!

God just filled my week up, perfectly to say so, with just the right distractions that He knew would get my through. Love him and LOVE his promises that He won't ever give us more than what we can handle. I am bare testament to that folks. I've seen it, and it's so true. There's hope for the rest of XX amount of weeks ahead {seriously, I don't even know what those X's are covering up- no official return date yet}.

One area that of the week that I really want to point out is on Thursday-Friday. I was praying that Adam would be able to get overnight leave while they were in San Diego, so that he would have one last visit with his family. God willing, he was able to. I was and still am, SO happy for his sake that he got this opportunity! And guess what?!? Not only did he get to see his family, this is who all he got to see:

His mom, dad, my mom, my dad, my brother, one of his grandma's, his parent's neighbor, and also his aunt, uncle and cousin in Oceanside, who he has not seen since Christmas of '10!! 

I pointed out to him when we talked that night before his liberty expired, how truly blessed he was to see that many people, all on a whim's notice {because he literally found out he got that time off on Wednesday}. My prayers were heard, really they were. I wanted him to have that last bit of encouragement before the deployment became "real" and they were in the middle east, and God just poured his blessings down, so graciously. I am so thankful that Adam got this opportunity, because he truly was encouraged! God does hear our prayers. I am continually reminded of this, and continually have to keep reminding myself of this, so I don't stop the prayers! And on that note, THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS!!!! We truly are thankful for all of you who are praying us through this deployment. We are thankful, thankful, thankful for you and your prayers! Keep 'em coming!

2) My planner: I bought this planner the night before Adam left for deployment. We are at Target buying the last bit of goods he would need for his journey (see how I'm making this separation sound fun), and I wandered over to the office section, hoping I'd find one that would call out my name. This one totally did. And with the price, $3.99, it was calling me even more!! ;D Let me just make one disclaimer before I go on much further. I am not. I repeat, am NOT a planner-type girl. I don't have to look in my planner to see if I can pencil you in (and I'm not degrading those that do), I've just never been able to keep up with using a planner. I'll use it consistently for about a week, if that, and all goes down hill pretty quickly. So with that said, I'm a changed woman. This planner has gotten me through this week, and will continue to get me through. Here is my plan: I have planned out my vacations home for the holidays, my workouts, hangouts with friends (that were already mentioned), all the way to planning out when I will do crafts that are on my to-do list. Yes folks, you DID read that right. I have planned out things from crafts, to painting my toe nails each week, to Baxter's training classes (more on that next weekend), to skype dates. Before you think I have taken this too far, let me explain my reasoning. I'm planning out everything, literally everything, so that I can have things to physically see (since I'm a visual learner) and also have something to look back on when I'm feeling a tad bit low and below. See, isn't this awesome. Adam just makes fun of me, but I'm happy about it! It also has a map of the world in the back of it, so I can track where they go! It fits in my purse and we go everywhere together. Plus I LOVE the design of it. Love.at.first.sight!! 

 
**My new BFF during this deployment** 

On my run tonight, the song by Lady Antebellum, One Day You Will popped up on Pandora, and the lyrics were encouraging to me. The chorus in particular:

"But down the road the sun is shining
In every cloud there's a silver lining
Just keep holding on (just keep holding on).
And every heartache makes you stronger
But it won't be much longer
You'll find love, you'll find peace
And the you you're meant to be
I know right now that's not the way you feel
But one day you will."
**Courtesy of: www.lyricsmode.com**

Oh, and here's the song for you to listen to:


So with the help of God, and my handy-dandy planner, I've made it through week 1. Here's to making it through week 2!!