Monday, November 29, 2010


A few days ago, I was in a bit of a funk, and it was hard to put into words all that I was feeling. It was my mom's birthday, and I have been sorting through other emotions...I think it's best I didn't write for a bit. This time of year can be kinda rough on my emotions, and I think my biggest realization in it so far is that when someone you love dies, you don't just suffer the loss of their presence in your life. You also grieve over the loss of the dreams you had with that person. In my case, I had dreams that my mom would not miss out on everything important in my life. She missed out on so adolescence, my prom, my graduations (both high school and college) and all the in-between...I knew that she wouldn't miss out on my wedding. She wouldn't miss out on seeing my children. She would have something to share and say in those times. She would be there.

But she didn't make it to those things. She won't know my husband or my kids. She won't be there for those milestones...just like she wasn't there for the others. It's not that she didn't want to be. I think deep down she wanted to more than she could express. But she wasn't. And then her death meant death over those dreams as well. It hurts. When we don't see the dreams we long for find fulfillment, it breaks something inside us just a bit. It's why it says in Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

I am learning to trust in God when faced with heartache such as this. I am learning that even when things seem devastating, God has a plan...and that it is for the good. I am learning that I can still hope and dream...that loss doesn't have to be a setback, but simply a stepping stone. Grief and goodbye is a process that no one ever wishes to face. And I know that my mom will not be the only person I'll have to go through that process with nor have I seen all of its facets. It's a journey, sometimes painful, but thankfully one that I don't have to walk alone.

mish mash

It's been a few days...or a week or so since I last updated my blog...haha, oops. I am pretty excited to share with my awesome readers that yours truly was featured on someone else's blog today! You should follow her if you like cool things like music, movies, art...So, to start my mish mash of a blog post tonight, here's the link to it:

And since I have been a little more bold in sharing my songs with you lately, I thought I'd share my favorite one. It captures what I believe God wants me to live out. I have written about this song before, but only shared the lyrics. I apologize in advance...there is a slight editing hiccup in one of the choruses. I did my best to make it smooth.

In other news, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and got to spend a few days with them, which I always treasure. I love that I can just relax, enjoy and laugh with them. I am looking forward to Christmas with them, and am actively on the hunt for the best gifts possible for them. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! There is much to be thankful for, yes?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

lunchtime thoughts

There has been a lot going on in my life lately...some of it really deep, and some of it just fun. I realize that this time of year always comes with mixed is my favorite and well, not-so-favorite. It's hard to put it all in words. So this post is going to be a bit of a random assortment :)

Things accomplished lately:
- From my list of 29 things: went to Disneyland, went wine tasting for the first time, saw one out of at least two NEEDTOBREATHE shows, wrote a new song, walked through the Bob Jones trail, had a tea party
-Started to accomplish and attack paying off all of my credit card debt: I hope to pay the rest off by the end of December. (only $700 left! and I should be able to pay at least half of that this week.)
-Got a new car!
-I might have found a green dress that meets the standard of what I wanted on the list of 29 things :) It's in the mail. Let's hope I figured the measurements right...
-Started my Christmas shopping! Usually I start sometime after Thanksgiving...but I am on it!

Things I am looking forward to:
- Visiting my brother and high school bff in December, and seeing NEEDTOBREATHE two more times!
- Thanksgiving and seeing my family...and then Christmas to follow!
- Seeing God transform the way I think and dream
- All things Christmas. I love Christmas.

Other things I've been up to:
- Went to a church conference and despite being sick the whole time, had a great time. God spoke to me through several of the speakers, and I look forward to going back through my notes. I also spent the weekend with 4 amazing women with a great sense of humor. The 215 freeway kept giving us much so that on our way home, we ended up in Barstow! Haha...and ironically our hotel room was #215....bahaha
-Been doing some extra work for NEEDTOBREATHE, heading up the shows in Minneapolis, Seattle and Las Vegas, and even helping gather data for the Europe shows. I love this little "side job". And I love all the people I meet through it.

Things God has been speaking to me about:
- Fear paralyzes. Too often I live in the "what if" and the crazy part about that is...most of the time, that "what if" never comes to be, and all of that worry is wasted time. It's why Jesus points out so clearly that we are not to worry. Plus, we are doubting when we do.
- My view of myself is clearly warped. Haha, and there is nothing I can do about it. BUT God can. And He is. I am learning to receive, and to dream.
- The difference between bringing truth in love, and being judgmental. This theme has been coming to the surface in so many ways my devotional time, in situations, in my memories. The bible verse "judge not, that you not be judged" is often misused and abused in my opinion. It's often thrown up as a defense that says don't you dare say anything about the way I choose to live my have no right...see? But the truth is that as Christians, we are called to speak truth in love, to bring correction when necessary... Where we sometimes go wrong is when we come at it from wrong motives, thinking we are better than someone or from a heart to condemn. When we come from a place that is trying to save others from making choices that can hurt them, where is the judgment? If someone you love was walking toward a cliff that they couldn't see, wouldn't you intervene? How is this any different when we bring correction to each other? We have gone to the extreme of pleasing people to the point that we simply say "who are we to judge? It's their personal choice/belief. It's fine for them." I had someone very close to me use this verse to accuse me of judging them years ago, when my intent was to find out where they stood with the Lord. I did not want to get to Heaven and not have her there. And I have let her response mold how I approach people ever since. Don't let fear of rejection and judgment stop you from bringing truth to those who need to hear it. Ever. It's not a regret that you want to live with.

Music that has caught my ear lately:
- Chris August

- Dave Barnes

- NEEDTOBREATHE's live EP :) and new songs on tour! Here is one:

Anyway, that's all for today's lunchtime thoughts. Maybe this will become a new thing. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

challenge: cook and shoot

It's a photograph-kind-of-day! I love photography...and follow several amazing photographers' blogs, including this lovely lady, Susan Lloyd. I got to meet her in person on my trip to the Carolinas, and she takes wayyyyy better shots of our favorite band than I do. Well, she tweeted about this challenge tonight, and I decided to join her! Now, I wasn't cooking anything fancy but I have to say it was yummy! So, here is me cooking, and well, shooting!

A few things to note:
-The picture of "Need to breathe: Always" started out as our "Need to buy" list. A clever friend who knows of my love changed it, and I had to add always...and it's stayed since.
-And yes, in the background of that same picture, there is a bottle of Cheerwine in my fridge. :)

favorite far

So I get challenged by a good friend all the time to take pictures, and her latest challenge is to post the best/favorite picture you've ever taken. Instantly my mind went to this shot. I love everything about's of my favorite band, the lighting, the focus, the detail...for my little camera, I felt like a semi-legit photographer in capturing this shot. I am pretty sure I've shared this photo before, but I don't care! :)

NEEDTOBREATHE April 17, 2010- Music Farm, Charleston SC

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I was typing up my last post and this song came though it were a reminder of the promise God has long put on my heart. Thank you, Dave Barnes for this sweet little song.

pushed beyond comfort.

I find it a bit ironic that I have written about my car issues and how I had hoped my Maxima would last for quite a bit longer than, well, it did. A couple of weeks ago, the poor thing began to show signs of pre-transmission death. Given the amount of money I already spent on it, I made the executive decision to replace it. At first, I wasn't sure I had the means to afford a nicer, newer car like I wanted. But God showed me how I could rearrange some finances and end up with a down payment, and pay off my credit cards!!! This, of course, made room for the car payment needed for a better car. And here it is...
(new car is dubbed "hi-ho silver")

One thing I saw in this situation is that sometimes (and for me, a lot of the time) we talk ourselves into accepting the average, the comfortable things in life because it's all we think we deserve or can afford or whatever the logic. I thought I was too far in debt and planned on driving the Maxima for as many years as it would give me. It was a good car, I am not complaining. But God had more. I would not have ended up with the car I have above unless God pushed me into it. He did just that, and gave me the plan. God's teaching me to dream bigger than my mediocrity. We should be thankful for what we have...but God also doesn't want us walking around with our heads down. He loves to bless us.

And when things go wrong or disappoint us (I certainly wasn't stoked about losing the Maxima), we need to let God work the situation for the good. We will have hard things happen. We will feel overwhelmed or grieve or face tough circumstances. But if we put it in God's hands, He can and will bring something good. He'll help us through.

In this case, I now have a low mileage, high mpg car that is stylin'! And I had peace though the process, as I knew God would help me figure it all out.

that's right...42.4 it!