a letter of love

Sweet Girl,

Do you know how much you are loved? Do you know there is  a love greater than anything you’ve ever experienced or could experience in another human being looking just for you? Did you know the Giver of this love knows you inside and out and loves you for all of you. Did you know the Giver IS Love?

When I saw you walking home in the early morning with disheveled hair and black eyeliner smudged around your barely-opened eyes in your white coat that was just long enough to cover your mini skirt and leave your panty-hose covered legs exposed to the below freezing temps, my thoughts went right to my college days. And maybe I’m projecting my poor choices on you, but somehow I think you made a poor choice the night before. Was it the good looking guy you’ve had your eye on since last semester that finally showed interest? Or did you drink enough the night before that you passed out? Cold. Perhaps you just crashed at a friend’s house and no one was able to drive you home at 8:00 in the morning. I hope it was a harmless sleepover. But I remember college. I remember.

Sweet girl, do you know how much you are loved? Do you know how beautiful you are? You, yes you were made in the image of the Creator. The God who made this entire universe, majestic mountains and rolling seas. He. Made. You. AND. He. Loves. You.  He loves everything about you and it breaks His heart when you give yourself to another. He is jealous for you. And not in an abusive boyfriend way, but in the way a parent is jealous for his child to experience all she can.

Maybe one day I will be able to tell you about the Lover that waits for you. Until then Sweet Girl, my prayers are with you.

Advertisements

answered prayer

“Praying/leading worship at Lindsey and Peter’s wedding—It was SUCH a beautiful experience!!!! I’ve been in a lot of weddings, but theirs was just phenomenal, the presence of God filled that place…” facebook photo caption

there was nothing we wanted more for our wedding than for the very real presence of God to be there. when i saw this on my friend’s facebook page today i felt such joy deep in my heart. and sensed the nearness of the Lord, gently reminding me how He answered our prayers for our wedding and He is faithful to do even more as we wait upon Him now. how quickly i can lose sight of what He has done in the past. i have such a grateful but flaw-filled human heart :-)


here we go

getting inspired and geared up for a season of races




a gift

Today truly felt like a gift from the Lord. Mr. Z is in the middle of tax season so life often seems like we are two ships passing in the night, but bring on a blizzard and bang, we get an entire day together! Granted I still worked from home, but in between answering emails and posting content on the web we shoveled out our cars, walked to the lake and to the grocery store. It was a wonderful and blessed day. Lots of laughter and love–grateful for both my earthly husband and my heavenly Husband. Here are some shots from our day.

the view out the balcony door from our living room

standing in the snow drift in the back alley of our home.

there was a fuzzy line between land and lake

people standing on the lake amidst the frozen waves

the path to home on our way back from the store


the end

It finally happened. I saw my name. At the end of the list. Yesterday marks the first time I saw my ‘Z’ at the end of a long list of people. It really was a little odd. It was just about 31 years that my eye had been trained to find my name at the top. I had to remind myself, I’m now at the end.

Sure, this might seem trivial but frankly, trying to find my name on the list is a simple but accurate illustration of where I find myself these days. Searching through this new routine and life finding myself in new and different places. It’s exciting, comforting and overwhelming all at once. But I’ve also come to find that the Lord often operates that way. Once I find myself in a place where I foolishly think I’ve mastered something, He moves me on. Keeping me dependant on Him. It’s not always an easy place to be, but it certainly is beautiful.  His ways and plans ALWAYS trump mine in creativity and adventure even if it means being last on the list :-)


a little note from God

this was in my devotions today. guess what stood out the most… yep, confess: your tendency to try to fight your own battles in your own strength.

in this devotion the author, ann spangler, touches on the fact that God wants to fight our external battles but also our internal battles. i find myself often wondering what i’m supposed to do with this life. and it turns into a battle of unsettledness (i’m sure that’s not a word, but whatever, i’m not really concerned right now).i feel like i’m fighting with myself, battling through anxiousness instead of trusting in YAHWEH Nissi (the LORD is my banner). in His timing all things are made beautiful, especially the desires of our heart.

i’m so thankful for a peaceful and loving God who can settle this restless heart.


remember

i was driving to wok listening to accounts of the challenger shuttle explosion. i was a little girl, in kindergarten i think, but i remember it vividly. i thought i’d post president reagan’s speech from that night.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we’ve never lost an astronaut in flight; we’ve never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we’ve forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.” They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We’ve grown used to wonders in this century. It’s hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We’ve grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we’ve only just begun. We’re still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.

I’ve always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don’t hide our space program. We don’t keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That’s the way freedom is, and we wouldn’t change it for a minute. We’ll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: “Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it.”

There’s a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and an historian later said, “He lived by the sea, died on it and was buried in it.” Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake’s, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”


preparation

It’s been an interesting week or so and I apologize for my inconsistent posting. Life has been BUSY. I wanted to drop by for a moment though as something interesting is going on around me. I find myself in a new place right now and what’s fascinating is that the Lord has been preparing me for it and I didn’t even know it.  Oh how I wish I had go-go-gadget eyes for how the Lord works. If only I could maintain focus upward on a consistent basis times like this might not come as such a surprise but rather remain a consistent undertone in my life. There are some things that just need to stay private but I wanted to share something really encouraging to me about this moment of time in my life. I wouldn’t have seen that the Lord has been preparing me for this time if I didn’t journal. In my time praying and reading this morning I went back through the past week or so of my journal and saw all my prayers, the scriptures that stuck out to me and my observations—I reread what I sensed the Lord was speaking to me through my prayers and His Word. And as I look up at this small world around me, I know my BIG God is carrying me through it all. If you’re reading this and you are a journal-er, right on! if you aren’t, try it out and see what God does with it. I’m confident He’ll blow your mind with His presence.


treat

went to treat restaurant this weekend. highly reccomend it. good food and reasonable prices. didn’t hurt that i was in good company.


photo sharing

i’m running late this morning (not surprising, being late is my signature) but i didn’t want to neglect you. so i thought i’d share two photos i’ll be sending to my compassion chid today. i’m a HORRIBLE compassion sponsor and told myself i would be better this year. i have a sweet girl in honduras who has been asking for photos of me and my family for a loooong time and i’ve never sent her any. but that’s about to change. i’m picking up prints of these two photos for her to see who i am, who mr. z is as well as our sisters (one of his five and the four of mine). i hope she likes them :-)

i love my sisters

mr. z and i with one of my sisters-in-law