Saturday, November 2, 2013

What matters.

I always start new blog entries.

But, I never finish them. I did that again tonight.  Started writing some thoughts of my own--then highlighted. And pressed delete.

It's an odd and reoccurring theme.  It's more difficult to finish a thought than it used to be.  I'm always asking more questions than I am giving thoughts.

Here's the basic gist:

It's November.  2013.   I'm 26 years old.  I wonder if I'm supposed to be more of a person at 26 years old than I am.  Should I be more mature?  Have kids?  Publish something?  Cut my hair?  How am I different than I was ten years ago?  Ten years ago I had long hair, no kids, I thought I was mature but I wasn't.  Am I still like that?

I looked through a blog of someone who died of cancer.  What did she care about on her death bed?  She didn't have hair.  Or kids.  I don't know if she was published or had a stellar job.  What mattered to her moments before her death?

What matters to me?

There.  I finished a blog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Good Snacks and Birthday Parties

So, a couple of back stories (don't worry, it'll all make sense in the end):

-The months prior to my birthday (March 2nd) were a bit hell-ish.  Spencer and I were really looking forward to a break from life, and we created a lot of hype and excitement revolving around this little celebration.  I won't get into all of the details of when March 2nd rolled around, but every single thing that could of gone right, did!  We had an amazing couple of days over the weekend.  Plus, I got some stellar Chicago clothes and drinks, and Spencer kept lavishing gifts on me!

-This part isn't a story, but more so a fact: My favorite, FAVORITE, favorite naughty snack in the world is frozen cream cheese wontons.  You pop them in the oven, and mean while, make a little mixture of garlic sriracha sauce and soy sauce.  It is SO, SO good.

Okay, so the other day, Spence and I were talking and I jokingly said, "I want it to be my birthday again, so I can have anything I want. HA!"  Spencer replies, "Birthday-you is my favorite you there is."  I was a bit surprised, because I was having a spoiled moment, and not really that serious.  So, of course, I ask for an explanation; he explains:
"I love it when you're that excited about anything.  It's just like how much I love coming home, and seeing the soy sauce and sriracha left out on the kitchen counter.  You always put things away, so I know it wasn't left out because you didn't want to put in the frig; it was left out because of how excited you were to eat your wontons!  I love seeing you that happy."

Okay, maybe this is a coupley thing that someone else would look in on, and think is totally silly.  I mean, we are talking about wontons, and my childish desires for good snacks and birthday parties.  But, for me, I was blown away.

1. My husband is the most incredible man.
2. Spencer loves me the way Jesus loves me.
3. Therefore, if Spencer's mortal-man-sin-stricken heart loves seeing me excited and enjoying life that much, how much  more is God pleased to see me joyously laughing and truly embracing every thrilling moment of life!

Yes, trials and seasons can be difficult.  And yeah, there are times and circumstances that it is okay, and just plain honest to admit "this sucks".  However, at the same time, there a CREAM CHEESE WONTONS in the world!  And today, a sweet Summer air was rolling over Wisconsin.  There are the best friends in the world waiting to share good stories over drinks, and there are profoundly moving books that will touch and change your SOUL!  I go through these revelations all of the time, yes, but I am just a person who has to grip so tightly in my fist the mindset that no matter what, life is fantastic!  And, even if tomorrow will be a "this sucks" day, or maybe yesterday was, all the more reason to be completely given to an overwhelming since of gratitude and joy for the precious gifts of life!

We have taste buds for a reason, so enjoy those wontons, folks!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thank You for my Socks, and for Salvation.

One day, when I was attending Living Light School of Worship, we spent the morning praying and thanking God for things in our life instead of our normal musical worship time. Many words and breaths were dedicated to the gratitude of salvation, the Holy Spirit, being saved, etc -- and rightly so! Thank You, GOD, that You saved us from an eternity without You.

...But I remember really just wanting to thank God for my socks. I love socks, especially Christmas socks! I don't remember which ones I was wearing that day, but it always made me sad looking back on that morning, and wishing I'd just thanked God for what I wanted to thank Him for instead of thinking, at age 18, I needed some profound prayer.

Spencer always tells me one of his favorite things about me is how excited I get about small things in life. Though, its something I think I've subconsciously learned to suppress in myself, because a part of maturing meant I had to offer smiles instead of squeals -- as if signs of overcoming delight was childish and should be outgrown. However, the other day, I listened to a teaching about the pleasures God gives us ( We weren't designed to eat only to gain energy, but we were given taste buds so we could go crazy with joy over our sushi and burgers (and to protect us from harmful things, of course)! God called for festivals and celebrations! He gave us oceans so we can swim around like mermaids, and stars to have picnics under!

I don't think God just wants us to live our days, He wants us to love them! That morning 6 years ago, I think God would have been just as touched with my thankfulness for my socks, as he was for my friends' thankfulness for new life. What if we lived everyday like a child soaking up each gift given to us!

My prayer today:
Thank you God for my sushi my husband blessed me with. Thank you for a stellar grande-caramel-mocha-add-a-shot frappacino! Thank you for the SNOW! Thank you for good music! Thank you that you made me with the ability to smell, and I LOVE the way the candles in my house smell! Thank you for joy and for cozy blankets and silent nights.

Thank you I was made to love, and not just to live!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fools Who Speak, Facebook Style

Facebook, smacebook. It drives me crazy, and yet I continuously give my eyes and attention to the ever changing billboards aired by my 700 and some friends. You know, because I really DO have over 700 friends, right?

One day I typed on my status "your soap boxes are going to burn in hell!!!" I meant it! My husband advised I delete it, and of course this was wisdom, so I did. But really, those soapboxes will burn in hell. I'm guilty of standing on my own box as well, but when we stand before God, I guarantee we will be no taller because of them. And often, I believe the boldness in our speech arises from the lifeless screen we stare at which has no capability to harm us, not from righteous courage. 1%, 99%. Scott Walker, no Scott Walker. Religion, Jesus.

Facebook isn't a conversation. It's a person holding a poster on the side of the road where people honk in approval, or yell obscenities out of their window in rage. What's the point? Out of the umpteen statuses and videos we've posted, how many minds have we changed or hearts have we softened? Who's been touched by God because now we know who is for or against Scott Walker, or Obama, or natural medicine? Look, I post more facebook statuses than most, but tonight I read this:

Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Am I that fool? Am I sitting down to coffee for a conversation with a Christ-like heart, or am I posting an obnoxious bumper sticker? Let our hearts not be mistaken in our motives, and our speech reflect the bold, but humble mindset of God.

I ain't no fool...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's that Time, Again!

Well, school is back in session. So, of course I'll be dilly-dallying on my laptop avoiding my true writing assignments. Though to ease myself back into the the blogosphere, I'll start off with a poem I'm turning in tomorrow for my poetry 406 class.

James, brother of Jesus

I could build you.
Build you high in the sky
Like a reaching tower,
Or hope gripped in a child’s strong hand.
I could help you plant roots
So that you went deep in the earth
And found your ground,
And when rain falls it’d seep into your pores
And you’d grow, never drown.

But, no.
I did not build.
I did not plant.

I threw fire from my tongue.
It singed your cheek,
And burned your eyes.
Its flame created a chill,
And froze your exposed mind.
I engraved your tombstone
Poured death where you once possessed life,
My small arrows overtook you
One flame at a time.

I praise God
And I curse you.
Bitter tastes
in sweet waters
How can it be?
What a small tongue,
What a great wrath.

I could build you.
I threw fire instead.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What the Bridal Mags don't tell you:

There sure are a lot of things people did not warn me of when getting engaged. Instead, most comments are regarding colors, past weddings, "just enjoy the day" advice, etc. But there are quite a few tid-bits no one mentions, and I think people should be forewarned of what's really to come. I need to take a break from own wedding details, so here are my new incites into the world of engagement:

1. "Don't ask, don't tell" should be applied to conversations concerning any of the following areas: attire choices, ceremony decisions, bridal party, etc. The less people know, the better. Once someone knows something, watch out. Build your ark, because opinions sure will be flooding in.

2. Carry a tissue at all times. Every hint of love, be it a movie, song, McDonald's commercial or what-have-you, WILL make you cry. Hey, be green and carry a handkerchief to catch that bridal snot.

3. Prepare yourself for awkward silences. Dare you stray away from unity candles or tux-ed men, you will encounter a short silence from unsuspecting audiences. Learn to smile, and carry on with conversation.

4. Showers: Amazing, full of love and kind women, and of course, presents! Yet, here's the thing, it's a bit awkward, and no one told me. Former brides agreed after I shared my own experience with them, but there was no forewarning. Say you have 30 women there to celebrate with you - yes, that is 30 hearts FULL of excitement for your new season of life, but that's also 60 eyes that will not stray from you. 6-0. On you. If you're not dying for the spotlight, you need to practice your pageant face and smiles, ladies.

5. Build your writing-hand stamina. Thank you cards are a must to show appreciation to the owners of those eyes previously mentioned, and if you're not one for "fill in the blank" type notes, you need strong fingers to set that pen to motion!

6. You're supposed to care about your napkins. Yes, its true - napkins are BIG DEAL in bridal world. In case your guests become unaware of the purpose of your day's gathering, your napkins are a kind reminder of your names, and the date, and sometimes even the rings you've just exchanged.

7. It's okay to not love the wedding planning process, and it's okay to love it too!! But DO Love the engagement process - DO PRE-MARITAL counseling, and take time for dates with your beau. Your love is changing and evolving into something it's been never before, it needs time and attention, even in the middle of chaos. So whether you're a Type A, Type B, or Type I-Shoulda-Just-Eloped, try to soak in every moment of your pre-wedding bliss, even when it's less than blissful, because in the end is MARRRRRIAGE!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Here is Love...

I am overcome with tiredness, and yet my eyes refuse to embrace sleep. Therefore, I decided I will type the thoughts flooding my mind.

I am getting married to the most precious gift of God I've ever tangibly held in my hands: Spencer Towle. As most people in my life know (especially if you've read my blog, ha) - these past couple of years have been a journey of me leaving relationships aside to allow God to strip me bare of strange mindsets I'd created, and proceed to build strong foundations founded in the truth and goodness of God. Spencer came into my life at the beginning of my quest to cast everything aside (apart from Christ), and I held the hopes of a future with him loosely in order to remain dedicated to the task at hand. However, while I "soul searched" and God repaired and restored my depths, Spencer sought God and remained faithful in his resolve I was to be his wife. I constantly wavered in my ability to correctly choose/hear God concerning Spencer, yet I always came back to the thought of knowing there was no one better than him - no man would ever match up to his worth. It's quite a long story as to how we finally ended up dating, but Spencer's incredible patience and perseverance proved to be of worth once we confidently embarked upon the road towards marriage.

Before dating, God spoke clearly to me concerning the 3 most important men in my life: My father, Spencer, and John Lalgee (church leader). God reminded me these men were made in HIS image,and not the other way around. Of course, this seems an elementary idea, but I needed reminded of their significance being valuable, but as a picture of God's character, not a confinement of who He is. I was unaware of the grand importance and revelation to later come with this reminder from God prior to my relationship with Spencer.

Spencer, a pure and righteous man, waited for me - even when he was unsure (as I was unsure) if I wanted to be with him. He chose me, not because of my feelings for him or what he received from me, but because he was dedicated to loving me knowing a rightness in it before God, regardless of my emotion towards him. He loved me before he ever received anything in return. What a picture of Jesus Christ to me! God who called me out and chose me, even when my back was turned to Him. Jesus died for a world who did not yet know Him; His love was sufficient without receiving anything in return, and worth death on the cross that He might one day know us.

Spencer continues to love me with a strong and unconditional love in our relationship. I am constantly overwhelmed at his desire to care for me, pray for me, and help me in every way! When I wrong him, his love remains and he still believes the best in me. This does not mean correction doesn't come, or he refrains from saying what needs to be said - but Spencer is never swayed in his decision to love me. Even after I wrongly chose harsh words or a bad attitude, he tells me I am the most gentle and soft woman he's known. Now, Spencer is an incredibly intelligent man, and its not that he's foolishly blinded by love and unable to see/hear/comprehend my flaws - it's that he's chosen to see me as Christ has proclaimed me to be. I am often moved to tears at his faithfulness to seeing godliness in me, because its what's been spoken over my life a child of God, even if its not evident in the moment. And when I remember what God spoke to me, of Spencer being a mere picture of God's love, I am in awe of the truth of God's unconditional love and dedication to me, His church, and the world.

What a kind, kind God - who has continuously reminded me of His GREAT love, and has now given me a picture of His goodness to enjoy daily! I am in no way deserving of such a godly man (and not to mention a relationship which so naturally clicks and brings SUCH joy and fruit!). I didn't earn this relationship, just as I did not earn my salvation. Both are simply my heavenly Father wishing to lavish His good gifts in my life because of His sweet, strong and faithful love.

Thank You, thank You, thank You God for the most amazing man I've ever known. I've never had a relationship push me so powerfully into the arms of God - I could not be more grateful.

Shew, maybe I can sleep now...