Monday, November 22, 2010

Old things New

We've officially lived in the cute little city of Tualatin for a year now.  Over the course of this year, we have slowly started making this house into our sanctuary of order, peace and enjoyment.  It has truly become our home.  I no longer walk through the door and smell the old walls, I breathe in the scent of relaxation and peace.  I'm not naturally good with space, so it took me a good six months to really figure out where I wanted the furniture or how things should be placed.  We still have painting to do to give the walls some warmth and color and in time we'll do some remodelling, but for now I am just happy to be here in this house.  This old (well it's not that old but whatever!) house is turning into something new and is an adventure all in its own!  David and I installed the floors, ripped out carpet, painted brown things white...  It's so much fun finding the beauty in something old!  Take for instance my fireplace (ahem, wood stove) below...

I still have yet to learn how to use this thing. At first I thought it was ugly.  Now I kinda like it!  Tomorrow morning it's getting cleaned so we can actually use it.  Woo hoo for natural heat!

The room we cozy up in and have movie nights with friends!  It is the room we use the most.  It used to have verticle blinds and really old, berber carpet.  Actually the house had like 3 different kinds of carpet lol.  We changed that up!  This room still has me stumped though... It is an akward rectangle of a shape.  I must have rearranged things in here time after time.  And I'm still not sure I'm done! 

David got the chair from his dad. It was broken so his dad fixed it, and bam, it looks pretty dang good!  And the carpeted stairs in the picture, those are history.  Now if only we can figure out how to install laminate on them... 

This room is still missing base boards and has painters tape around the window.  Someday we'll get around to finishing this project.  Actually, David says I can't start any other project until the painting gets done first. :)

I think I enjoy wifing it and playing house.  It's so much more fun than the corporate world.  I love my job and am grateful for it, but it is so much fun being home!  I actually embrace the domestic part of my life (if my 20 year old self would have heard me say that, she would die).  Even though I may only be in this particular house for a questionable amount of time (oh you never know where the field traveller will ask you to go), I am enjoying every minute of making this ours.  What fun it is to create your very own dwelling. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reedeeming Love

Last week I travelled to Long Beach, California (my old stomping grounds!) for work.  Before I left, one of my friends Kylee let me borrow an incredible book: Reedeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  Maybe you've read it, or at least heard of it.  It's my mom's favorite book, but for some reason I had never even thought to pick up a copy.  I figured a work trip would be a good place to start since I had a couple hours to kill anyway while on the plane.

I started reading once I was on the plane, a quick ride down to LB from PDX.  The flight wasn't long enough.  The minute I started reading about Sarah/Angel/Tirzah/Amanda I was captivated by the story of this woman.  She was classy (can you even use that word to describe a prostitute?!) yet pathetic.  She was smart yet stupid.  She was being pursued by the most perfect man ever, and she rejected his love over and over again.  I kept thinking how lucky she was to be loved by this man; she didn't deserve him!  After thinking such a thought shame rushed over me.  I certainly don't deserver God's love and sacrafice-- how many times have I rejected his love, command or voice?  How lucky am I to have a God who loves me like Michael loves Sarah!  A Lord who pursues my heart and takes me back overlooking my filth and sin, who is waiting for my whole heart and craves all of me.  This love story is our love story with our Lord and savior Jesus.  The lover of my soul!  I am so undeserving!  And yet he pursues me still.

Going into it, I knew the storyline of Reedeeming Love was the story of Hosea-- his love for Gomer and God's love for us.  I couldn't read fast enough; I brought it with me to the conference and read on my lunch break and every chance I got when we weren't out with work engagements.  I finished it at 2 a.m. the night before I returned to Portland.  I read Hosea on the plane ride home.  I couldn't get enough of the love story; its story belongs to each of us: God's pain and remorse when we tear away from him, and his abundant grace, love, and mercy he washes over us when we return to him.  How gracious of a God we serve.

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us........

~David Crowder Band, "How He Loves" 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh James...

Tonight's dinner consisted of peanut butter and jelly and goldfish.  I am actually eating the peanut butter and jelly right now.  I guess this is one benefit of being a field traveler's wife...  No endless planning of meals.  Sometimes I wish I had to plan meals, that I had someone to cook for.  I'm sure one day when I have kiddos I'll look back at this time and crave for a night to myself just eating pb&j. :)

Isn't it funny how we always want what we don't have, or wish for something different than our current disposition?  I find myself looking at facebook and looking at pictures of my friends and their families and think, wow...  That is going to be me someday.  Not that I want kids right now, but I do want them one day.  And since I like to know where my life is going and have a general plan for what's ahead, I find myself thinking about this a LOT.  It is strangely enticing to think about being a mother.  What does it feel like?  How will I handle it?  Will I have morning sickness?  Oh I won't be able to handle that.  What will being pregnant be like?  Will my body bounce back?  What if there's something wrong...  I really want to be a stay-at-home mom, but will we be able to afford it?  But I love my job... What will life look like in a couple of years?  How is this going to work out?!

All these questions and doubt race through my mind as I try to figure out the best possible time and way for this all to occur.  And then there's David, my gorgeous husband who also is a huge part of this entire equation.  What does he want?  We always said we'd wait five years.  That's still in the plan.  What if he doesn't want me to stay home?  Where will we be in the next couple years?  I hope we're still here!  Of course we'll still be here, he's not transferring twice in less than 5 years-- that's just not even in the realm of possibility.  Oh all these things are preoccupying my mind.  What is it going to be like...

Then I remember where to seek wisdom from.  In our women's bible study we've been studying James, who speaks specifically of wisdom:

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." ~James 1:5-8

If that isn't plain enough for even me to understand!  How amazing is it that we have a God who loves his children so much and gives them generous gifts when they ask and believe they will receive!  Now I know this doesn't mean he will give me everything I ask for as long as I believe; but I do know that he works together for the good of those who love him, who he called according to his purpose.  He loves us, and he wants his best for us.  He wants us to seek him out and include him in every decision we make as it impacts our future.  As Joy said at bible study last week, "there are NO no-brainers."  God should be a part of every decision!  When we submit to God and come near to him, he will come near to us.  His word promises it. I don't have to worry or fret about how having kids is going to work out or what our life will look like at that time.  I need to ask that God would give both David and me Godly wisdom as we live out our adventure.  I seriously have no idea how God is going to bring motherhood and the workforce and all that comes with that, but I trust that in his perfect plan he will work it out-- if we seek his wisdom and ask him into our decisions.  It is unnatural for me not to want to plan it out.  But as James says, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  you are  a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" (James 4:14-15).  'Nough said!
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