Friday, January 27, 2012

just as I am.

Some girlfriends and I were chatting the other night about insecurity. A friend asked how she could be praying for us and we all mentioned some aspect of insecurity. Each of us had many concerns about ourselves both consciously and, as we saw after talking further, unconsciously. I explored this word a bit on dictionary.com and just started clicking around to find different definitions and synonyms of the word.

insecurity: lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt; instability

which then led me to click on "insecure":
insecure: subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not assured; exposed or liable to risk, loss or danger; not firmly or reliably placed or fashioned

I receive an email daily called "Encouragement for Today". It is a short website entry that is designed to help women have a directed quiet time as well as to encourage them in their daily walk with the Lord. Today's Encouragement for Today was especially applicable to this concept of insecurity. The author described many of the thoughts that I have had about myself; the lies I have chosen to believe. I read this article (as I advise you to do because it is simply uplifting) and then looked up the antonym for insecure...

security:  free from or not exposed to danger or harm; dependable, firm, not liable to fail, yield or become displaced; in safe custody or keeping.

We should find that security in Christ. IN Christ is our SECURITY.

We are free from ultimate danger and harm. He is dependable, firm, and not liable to fail or yield. We are not liable to become displaced from Him. We are in safe custody and keeping. Secure in Christ. I suppose nothing else matters! As Beth Moore puts it, "We're going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us." I'll be working on those lies I'm believing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

retreat.

Harris and I got the opportunity to attend our church's marriage retreat as the "worship leaders". Funny, if you know me, because you know that I do NOT sing. I'll sing corporately, however I am well aware of my inability to reach many, if not all notes, thus I do not lead. Harris, on the other hand, is a wonderful singer! He was in AU Singers at Auburn and has many years of choir and choral experience. He played guitar and sang for all of the couples at the retreat and I assisted him with the slideshow of lyrics.

It's so funny because for so many years now, I have been in the Christian community where CCCs ("cute Christian couples") come to lead worship for different events. You know the type. They are young, married, fashionable, and they are both extremely musically talented - excuse my jealous reaction - but bleh! I will tell the truth, before and during the retreat I wished that I were that adorable vocally-blessed counterpart to my husband, but I am not. I have many other gifts - I'm not trying to be down, but singing is not one of them. I was the official "slideshow assistant" and loved every minute of allowing my husband to lead the couples in GOOD worship music. :)

You're never too early into your marriage to attend a marriage conference or retreat. We probably would not have gone if we had not have been asked to lead worship, but I am so glad that we went! We leared from Dr. Paul and Virginia Frieson about expectations in marriage, friendship in marriage, sexual love in marriage, and legacy through marriage. All of the sessions were informative and encouraging. They are such incredible speakers - a great balance of facts, statistics, guidance, and humor. Harris and I got a chance to sit with them at breakfast on Sunday morning and we enjoyed our time very much. What a great weekend!

We continue to learn more and more everyday about how to love each other well. It takes a special man who is patient enough with me and my ever-changing self to love me in all my seasons. Such a fun adventure!

Friday, January 13, 2012

marriage.

I'm just going to let someone else do the talking (writing, I suppose) for this post. My best friend sent me this article this morning and I could not agree with it more. The title is startling but the message is life-giving. Praise the Lord for the blessing that is marriage - the closest representation I've experienced of Christ's relationship with His people.

Thank you, Timothy Keller, for your words.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

jar of memories.

pinterest. pinterest. pinterest.

It has become my new addiction. I love getting ideas for recipes, fashion, creative crafts, and anything else you can think of from this website. Type in any word in the search box and you can find so many inspirational pictures/comments. Well, after I advertise for this website, I have to tell you why I mention it. (Side note: you have to be "invited" to join pinterest, but I'd hate for anyone to miss out on the fun, so ask me and I'll totally send you an invite!)

I found a "pin" that was called, "jar of memories". The concept is that you take a large mason jar and write down memories from the year (as they happen) on little slips of paper or notecards and place them in the jar. At the end of the year, you pull out the papers and read all of the sweet memories, funny memories, sad memories, and whatever else with your loved one(s). It is a chance to reflect, give thanks, laugh, cry, and share those memories all over again as you look back over the year. I'm SO bad about following through with things, but I really want to be good about following through with this! I've only missed 12 days of memories. I think I can catch up to the present.. You can too!

For those of us with bad memories, this can be a HUGE help! I think that both the process of writing down the memory together and then reliving it months later will be such a treat. It will help solidify that memory. It gives you a chance to share in each other's embarassments, successes, failures, and live life to the full. In the end, God gets all the glory because He is the one who has made all of the plans for these sweet memories to happen in the first place.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

new.

Happy New Year!

Harris and I have had a busy but very enjoyable winter and Christmas season together. We have traveled to visit family, shared some sweet memories of our own, skied the slopes of West Virginia with high schoolers, and brought in the new year with the Auburn tigers (who else?). No matter what we do, I'm loving this time of our life as we experience all the "firsts", even the busy or mundane ones.

Call me a dreamer, but for whatever reason, I feel like the year 2012 has a lot in store. Of course it does, it's a whole year! I just feel as though we have entered into a year of change, adaptation, hope and discovery. I have no idea what the Lord has in store for our life together but I know that we will be seeking His face as we pray about what He will have us do.

Each week at work I recieve a newsletter - this week's newsletter has the verse Jeremiah 29:11-13:

"For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

I know that the wise leaders of our ministry thought about the meaning of this verse as it relates to the new year, and I feel as though it could not have been more perfect for a time of new beginnings! God knows the plan and He has our best intentions in mind; when we feel afraid or unsure of that plan, He is ready to comfort.

I tend to avoid making new years resolutions for knowledge of the fact that I rarely keep them past the first week of the year. I tend to shoot for the moon and raise the bar beyond my reach. I tend to leave no room for grace. This year, I will choose to change my perspective on the whole concept of resolutions. This year, my "resolution" is as simple as the first few lines of a beautiful song we sing in church:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

That is my new perspective. Remind me of it when I reach a point of forgetting.