Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A song I like

Lord you are more precious than silver
Lord you are more costly than gold
Lord you are more beautiful than diamonds
And nothing I desire compares with you

I grew up singing this song.
Do I really mean it?
My prayer is that I do; one day at a time.

What is precious about God to you?
What is costly about God?
What is beautiful?
What do you desire?
Can your desires compare?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Love is a Verb

These are just a few recent expressions of love I have seen...

How have you experienced love recently?

A funny interaction

Saturday morning Matt and I walked along the boardwalk at VA Beach. It was beautiful morning and we were able to make it out before it got too crowded. 

At the turning point of our stroll we found Neptune's statue. It's a large sculpture with starfish and other creatures attached too it. It looks like a perfect climbing wall to me. So, I started climbing on it. 

After I got a few feet up  (you can kind of see me in the picture) an young boy said, "Hey, you aren't supposed to climb on that!"... he was with his parents... 

My inner child wanted to say, "so what? I'm having fun and Matt is trying to take a picture of me on here, so just shut up!"

But, my mature adult voice said, "Really? Are you sure?"

The boy proceeded to show me two signs that read Do not climb on the artwork. He explained to me that Neptune's statue was art and that it was dangerous for me to climb on it. 

I got down. 

Say what??

So, I am in the middle of my morning reflection/reading time, but can't get past something so I decided to blog about it. Please give me feedback!!! 

I am reading in Acts and this is how my thoughts were going.

Acts 11: The disciples are first called Christians at Antioch... they then send aid to their friends facing a famine.

Acts 12: Herod has James executed and Peter thrown in prison with 16 guards to watch over him.
He was next to be executed. (They were thrown in prison for preaching about Jesus).

continue Acts 12: Peter gets set free from jail by an angel and led to safety outside the city. Herod gets pissed, searches for him, can't find him, but has to continue business as usual.

Acts 13: Herod goes to settle a dispute and the crowds call him "god". He doesn't stop them, God (the one I believe in) strikes him dead, he gets eaten by worms. 

This is where I need to pause... 
My first thought, "what if a child were reading this?"
My second thought, "he deserved it."
Third, "did the writers have to put this part in here?"
Forth, "is this consistent with God's character?" (the character that I believe to be true)

I am settling on this take away for now... God, why is it so important for us to know and acknowledge you? 

Friday, May 23, 2008

My quote for the day

In the words of Thoreau, "For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking the root." We can only achieve quantum improvements in our lives as we quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior and get to work on the root, the paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviors flow.

*From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey, p. 31*

Bike Commuting

So today I did my first 'distance' commute with belongings in hand. For me the distance was only over 3 miles, but it was challenging to figure out how to carry my bag, wear my bike shoes, and the timing of my various meetings. 

I biked to the Dentist, then to Starbucks, to my friend's house and back home. I felt very accomplished and like I could do this on a regular basis. It started with going to NoFo (a little over a mile) and I'm working my way up. 

I got a few funny stares at Starbucks because I was clicking around the store in my bike shoes (is this improper etiquette?) and I almost slipped when throwing my trash away. Only one person caught it, but it was funny. 

I wonder where I'll try to go next...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge...

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. 
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. 
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes...

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Its another glorious day! 

Notice the trees, the sky, the birds chirping, the clouds, the power of the storms, the dawn of a new day...

I wish to have this awe and wonder for God's word and his truths. Sometimes this is hard, but if its true... (the bible) then I must approach it with this way.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oaks at Fallon Park

I realize that after I post something that is somewhat vulnerable I have to follow it up with something else. So here I go...

There is a development going on at the end of our street called the Oaks at Fallon Park. It includes 82 single family homes starting at the $800,000. I think some of the houses are actually quite amazing and admit to fanticizing about living in them or building something like that for Matt and I.

But, then when I was walking home the other day I saw this beautiful tree getting knocked down.

I was sad.

There are some amazing trees in this development that I fear will get taken down. I'm not sure if I can do anything about it.

I wonder why they call it the Oaks at Fallon Park if they are going to cut down the Oak trees.

Inside Voices (not in volume)

Recently, I discovered that my inside voices might not be too unique. Let me explain...

Big Secret!!! I have inner struggles and life experiences that I sometimes think no one would relate to or at least want to admit that they relate to.

In the past, when I have chosen not to let them out or failed to confront the emotions that come along with them I have not enjoyed the outcomes (actually for a time I enjoyed the outcome until I realized that there might be more that I was missing out on).

Here are some of things that you might not be alone on...

Boyfriends/Girlfriends that threatened or attempted suicide
Desire to have a family or not
Getting lots of enjoyment out of what we see in the mirror
Feeling depressed by what we see in the mirror
Feeling guilty for relaxing
Wanting others to recognize us
Parents who we thought had it all together and don't
Family turmoils that we don't want to face
The reality of death and what the heck that means for our lives
Desire for balance in our lives and having no clue how to set priorities
wondering about our identity: relationships, appearance, jobs, sexuality, etc.
Wishing we could run away from ourselves
Intentionally hurting ourselves physically so we don't feel emotional pain
Keeping ourselves so busy that we don't have to deal with our inner voices
Feeiing Alone
Feeling not good enough
Thinking that we can ever be good enough

*Disclaimer for parents* These are not all things that I struggle with but are things that I realize go on. When we get them out in the open the inside voices lose some of their volume.

This maybe one of the reasons why post secret has been such an amazing phenomenon.

Life Alignment

As you can see from my previous post, I enjoyed a time of belly dancing while in Atlanta last week. I also recently attended a conference to combat sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Part of that conference was a belly dancing performance. These two experiences with the same thing along with my work with Jubilee and conversations around what I deem as valid ways to treat women has caused me to start thinking.

My thoughts:

At the conference I was struck by the beauty, talent, and expression of the human body. I was inspired that as we were discussing ways to combat exploitations we could still celebrate the bodies that God designed for expression, enjoyment, sexuality, etc.

In Atlanta, I got a similar feeling at first, then I looked around at the others in the place; only us (4 women), a pair of gentleman, and a single man. Now, granted it was a Thursday night and it was a pricey place so maybe its typical to be that private of a show. But, something struck me as odd. I got a feeling that these men might be acting differently if there wasn't a table of women sitting there, I was concerned about the amount of trafficking that goes on in Atlanta. I was wondering if I was being too judgmental.

I have had other conversations with my husband, neighbors, family, friends, etc. that challenge my thinking on what is being extreme in my distaste towards what I deem as exploitation and objectification and what might actually be concerning.

I could go on, but will limit for the sake of this post.

Conclusions (sort of)---

As I'm becoming more aware of the need for freedom in extreme cases, I am challenged to think of the need for freedom in other areas (not just belly dancing). This makes me think more deeply about how I align my life, actions, conversations, and make choices. I am choosing to look at life more complexly. This is challenging.

Have you ever faced a similar question?

Monday, May 12, 2008


Charlotte's birthday was on Thursday and I got to go celebrate it with her. The weekend was more unbelievable than I could have dreamt for myself. We discussed it and decided that we would have had just as much fun without all of the festivities, but we were so glad that we got to experience them all together.

Thursday night we went to a Moroccan restaurant where we sat on the floor and ate with our fingers. It was delicious. My favorite was the cornish hen with figs, apples, cinnamon, honey and almonds. We were some of the only people in the whole place and we got to participate in some belly dancing. We are naturals!!!

Unfortunately, Rob was unable to make it because we popped two of his tiers on the way to dinner. He patiently waited for the tow truck and got to chow down on some McDonalds while we indulged in deliciousness. Sorry Rob!

Friday morning Charlotte and I had our much needed heart to heart. Its hard to go through difficult times without your Ya Ya. But, we are figuring out ways to make it work. Thank you Char for your listening ear and you ability to understand my inner turmoil!

For lunch I got to reconnect with Joseph and meet his wife and youngest son, J.C. It was a blessing. We even discussed figuring out a way to get a medical team to go to Kenya. I hope it works out!

Friday night then commenced with low country boil, true Italian Bellini's and a round of guitar hero. I am terrible at it, but its fun to watch for sure.

If you know me very well, you know that I LOVE massages. Charlotte treated us to an in home hour plus massage. Diane was AMAZING!!! I got to enjoy the rest of the day in a relaxed state.

The festivities did continue though. From 2-5 was "A taste of the Highlands" where we got to sample everything from Jalepeno Margaritas to Beet Salad and Lamb Burgers. My favorite was this Orzo pasta primavera with crisped pork. Delish!

Then a phone call from Quan (a friend I loved meeting) invited us to Shake at the Lake where we enjoyed an outdoor comedic rendition.

All in all, a fabulous weekend. But, in all of it the best part was being with my friend and enjoying life with someone who lives to the full.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

MDA Stride & Ride

Several weeks ago I got to be a part of something fun and meaningful. These pictures are from the MDA Stride & Ride. One of my friends has muscular dystrophy and it is hard to comprehend the hardships that are part of her life and the challenges her family faces, but at the same time her faith, hope, and attitude are an example of what it means to follow Jesus. Its really amazing.

This is the second year that our community has been involved in the Stride & Ride. We have won the team spirit award both times. I wasn't there last year, but I hear that Jeramie lead the group and he was deeply missed this year. Since I am a former cheerleader the crowd looked to me to fill those shoes...

I have to admit that I had to get over a bit of embarrassment and realize that it didn't matter how well I did at leading cheers.

*It still surprises me sometimes how self-conscious I get without much reason*

Thankfully my husband was there to yell at the top of his lungs along side of me. We had a blast once I got over myself.

Then we got to have a delicious breakfast at the Pease's house. Thank you so much for cooking for us! I'm thankful to be a part of a community who has so much fun participating in the kingdom of God.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Saturday was a big day for me, among the many activities I participated in, I decided to vote early. I waited for two hours to cast my ballot. It was hard being patient, but the fatigue from riding helped to ease the anxiety I usually feel when waiting in long lines.

I was actually pretty excited to the amount of people who were out there. I have no idea what is going to happen in the end of all of this, but am excited to be a part of history.

If you haven't voted in the Primary yet and want to, Voting Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, May 3 from 6:30AM-7PM in North Carolina. In case you don't know where you are supposed to vote, click here.

A New Favorite Wine

After riding 30+ miles and walking 3+ more on Saturday a couple of us walked down to Moore Squre to the Capital Crush wine event. We were fortunate to be handed 5 free tickets by a man who said, "I just couldn't drink any more," on his way out. Jenny and I then tasted a couple different varieties and ended up going back to this 14 Hands Merlot, 2004 from Washington. Its in the $10+ price range and worth it.

Recently I have tasted several Merlot wines that were fabulous. I am always surprised when I enjoy a merlot wine. Someone recently said that was because of the movie Sideways. (If you haven't seen it, the main character is a merlot snob and spends his time seeking after the perfect Pino Noir) . I have to agree that might have something to do with it, isn't it weird how easy it is to be swayed by the media???

Anyways, its worth a try. Anyone care to share a favorite wine?