Monday, January 28, 2008

The Tree

hi everybody!
as i dig myself out of the deepest of holes regarding photography, clients, bookings, editing.....i'll update you a little bit if i can! my computer is processing some images while i it gives me time to feel like i'm working, when really i'm not :)

i'm sorry for SUCH a lapse between posts!
january has been exciting, terrifying, relaxing, busy, and warp speed.

i dont really remember where i left off when i blogged last, but i'm sure it was coming up on my in-law's trip to DC! chad's parents came and spent almost a week with us and really assisted in our HOUSE SEARCH! we probably had appts with every home for sale in the DC/VA area!!! i slept for 24 hours after they left!! and fortunately, they helped us PICK ONE!

with that said, it's been crazy trying to figure out the market, the bank's mortgage rates, our timeline....and when we wanted to make an offer. essentially -- we're faxing in our offer THIS AFTERNOON!!! so it's been a little hectic and non-stop!!

it's also been HELL ON EARTH at the dentist.
and it's really far too long and in depth to discuss why...but just's left me pretty frustrated and pretty angry...and pretty READY FOR IT TO BE OVER!
today, my appt included "filing" my molars down to correct my imbalanced bite.
it took an hour and i was virtually in tears by the time he was done....
the dentist and i exchanged some headed words....
and then he charged me $800....even though i wish all my dental bills were only $800.
i just wasn't expecting it this morning.
i'd rather have ROOT CANALS with NOVACAINE than filing my teeth with NOTHING.....
holy CRAPPOLA.....
it's left me in a pretty foul mood today.

so that's the status of the PRACTICAL points of my life.
i HONESTLY feel like christmas was still only a few days ago....but no. it's about to february.

as for how i'm doing emotionally....this month has been a stretch for me.
i simply don't and never will know the future. stop laughing. this has been pretty deep for me.
WHY does that have to be so hard for me. you'd think by the time i'm 28, i'd have accepted it. even found a way to be thankful for it....but no....the unknown steals my joy and robs me completely of my faith....

last week at bible study....a friend mentioned that "our need for knowledge" is traced all the way back to Eve. the Tree of Knowledge. that blew me away.

she couldn't just be happy enough KNOWING and BELIEVING that God was her protector and provider, she needed to be MORE informed than God had allowed.
"there's stuff i still don't can i NOT know......KNOWING won't hurt will actually MAKE ME i will eat of the tree...."

i'm learning (what's new) that....persisting that i KNOW the outcome before celebrating in sin. the demand for knowledge is wrong...and the fact that i'll never attain it all is simply undeniable.

i don't know where my photography biz is going....and i don't know what's gonna happen with this house....there are no guarantees exactly on when my family will expand....i don't know ANYTHING about tomorrow. i can't. i never will. the "what ifs" are so consuming and debilitating at times.....the financial what if's.....the employment what if's.....the LIFE WHAT IF's.....

i got choked up last night in we sang this one specific song....and i can't even remember exactly why. but the gist was -- one day none of these things will matter.

none of them.
it seems at times, inconceivable, that...all the weight of this world that we take on....will be lifted. it just seemed so real last night...a reminder that our pain, be it: physical, emotional, spiritual...will all be done away with for eternity. i feel like last night, was the first time i really YEARNED for that divine relief.

we will no longer be weighed down by our prayers for saving grace.
we will no longer be distracted by our deep desires, perplexed by our earthly situations, tethered to our human need for more...

can you even imagine?
not only will there be complete ABSENCE of "what can i....i don't know....God help me...i can't do this...."
but there will be eternal abundance of all things FULFILLING and complete and perfect.

that's my inheritance.
that's my future.

Lord help me to RELEASE the habit of holding my breath UNTIL it's safe. help me release the need to understand the mysterious equations of life. help me KNOW that your ways are perfect and your grace is enough for the 'unknown' scenarios that haunt my mind. and remind me, if those haunting scenarios -- though many are figments of my fallen imagination -- ever do come to fruition, they'll do so, under your watch in the palm of your hand..... me to exhale.....


Hark, I hear the harps eternal,
ringing on the farther shore,
as I near those swollen waters,
with their deep and solemn roar.

And my soul, stained with sorrow,
fading as the light of day,
passes swiftly o'er those waters,
to that city far away.

Some have crossed before us safely,
to that land of perfect rest.
Can you hear them singing faintly
in the mansions of the blessed?

Mighty Jesus, bear us over,
there to kneel before Thy throne.
May we join Thy saints forever,
praising Thee, and Thee alone.

Hallelujah, Hallalujah
Hallelujah, Praise the Lamb.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Glory to the great I AM.

Monday, January 14, 2008

january HALF OVER??

that's SO WEIRD.....
it's january 14th, fyi.
just sayin'....

i'm going to try to keep my posts a little lighter for a while....i feel like i do my soul-searching through blogging and that's probably not alot of fun to read EVERY SINGLE DAY.
but before i move on -- i have to thank each of you who pray for me.
i've gotten response to some of my posts, and to have you praying is the best gift i could be given. your greatest efforts toward me are by way of prayer and it's invaluable to know that i'm being lifted up by those close by and those across the country!!!

for those of you who do not know this....
my in-laws are coming to VISIT US this wednesday through sunday!!! they're coming to meet with our agent and to see a bunch of houses we have lined up for them. we're definitely trying to make progress in this entire hunt and would ssssseriously like to settle into a home sooner rather than later. but hey....we've been saying that since LAST DECEMBER, so who knows.

this past weekend was really relaxing! i got NOTHING done i had planned, but sometimes, that's for the best! i went on saturday with lanier and parker to this photography safari which was REALLLLY impressive!!! i learned a bunch of crap i'm embarrassed to admit i never knew AND got to hang out with and have lunch with the girls! much needed and very relaxing!! that night puff and i went to borders and CPK for a cheap lil' date night.....
and of course sunday was jammed with seminars, church, and members meetings :)

but not it's time for me to crack a whip and CLEAN MY HOUSE, run to the grocery store....and finish up a few weddings!!! the good part is that when puff's away at meetings, and i'm home alone, i can blare my music and get rollin'....without any concerns of distracting him! and he won't be home till 5!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

i can't think of a title!
and truthfully, i've been so distracted lately, that i haven't been able to think of anything worthy of writing, as well.
ever have those moments?...
"...yeah...nothing worthy to say."

that's been me - to some extent.
i've really been dealing with new levels of anxiety and stress, and i'm working through it all.

i wasn't able to sleep last night.
well, i slept from 9-1am.
I KNOW -- i went to bed at 9pm.
i completely freak myself out sometimes!
i got a text from a dear friend at 1am that woke me up:
"i have been fasting and praying for you and chad..."
it almost brought tears to my sleepy eyes....

and then i couldn't go back to sleep because OF ALL THINGS...anxiety overcame me.
i tossed and turned, had one HORRIFIC nightmare, and proceeded to get up around 3am-ish.

i feel really frustrated with myself.
my doubt.
my anxiety.
my lack of reconciliation with a Gospel of Peace.

how is it that i have not been able to fully apply Truth in my life, enough so, that i can sleep peacefully through a night. i shackle myself, while holding the Key.
yet i keep locking myself back in the chains of fear.
rampant fear. unexplained fear.

Lord, FREE ME from this...
it's clearly my weakness of all weaknesses.

i'm also weirdly struggling with finding true joy in gifts vs. the Giver.
He is obviously the giver of all good things....
good things for us to enjoy.
good things worthy of our desperate prayer, at times....
He answers sometimes by giving us what we want, yet....i find often that the gift transcends the Giver, who is quickly discarded in light of what i would now have.
a replacement of sorts.

this is such a disjointed post.
maybe i should delete it.

i think i wake up (that is, when i actually sleep) to a reality that becomes clearer with each new dawn that -- nothing this world can give me and nothing i can create on my own is ever really mine.

it's simply a translation of His love for me.
if i receive good gifts....they've been injected in my life b/c of His great love.
if i lose good gifts....His love stands just as strong. regardless.

gifts don't REPLACE or WITHHOLD love.....
so my wanting, having, or lacking has no bearing on His everlasting love for me....

Ps 42:8
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love and at night a song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life....

so with ALL of that in mind....
how does the gift still seem exceptionally more desirable than the Giver.
the Giver of all.

it's humiliating how shallow my faith really is.
if i BELIEVED it...i would live by it.
and if i DO believe it in my deepest soul....
then why am i up writing this in the early morning.

where, LORD, where is the disconnect.
why does anxiety reign on the throne of my heart.

Romans 8:6
To set your mind on the Spirit is peace and life...

Can human trials and continual peace CO-exist?
if so - how.

to what end exactly is God glorified by watching me constantly die -- being crushed by desires or irrational fears and accepting submission simply by a mental process of elimination....or as though i've drawn the shortest straw.

conversely, would i have joy inside the safety of my own personal control?
i would feel better taking matters in life into my own hands - to face my own destiny?

obviously not.
so then, Father, what is wrong with me?
where is the Peace that flows forever like a river...

i think, or so i'm led in my thoughts to ask:
"ultimately -- how badly do i want Your good?"

if in fact all things work together for my good -- why is that not my highest aim? goal? aspiration?
how do i always find myself in a place where my desires, fears, anxieties even contend with His good?

they cannot.
yet, they do.
Lord, forgive me.

application is always a deliberate act of your will.
left to our fallen senses -- we'd never instinctively apply any of the Word.
He even tells us -- it's not hope, if we can see what we hope in.
it's hope because we cannot see.
it's faith because we do not know.
it's trust because He does not lie.

to pray for anything so fiercely, as though your life depended on the receiving of the gift, would mean you desire something as though your life depended on it...
...and what on earth can possibly hang our life in the balance?

Romans 8: 37, 38
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

maybe therein lies the fault in my thought process.
i read this morning that in the Baptist Catechism, it states:

Q: What things are chiefly contained in the holy scriptures?
A: The holy scriptures chiefly contain what man out to believe concerning God.....

how many OTHER things have i attributed to God that aren't found in the Bible.
that He owes me?
that I deserve anything?
that I am worthy?
that life is fair?
that if He loved me, He'd....

the ONLY things we should attribute to Christ are what we can find in black and white in the Scriptures.
it initially seems confining, but....glorious.
otherworldly glorious....not always "MYWORLD" glorious.

He gives...
He takes away...
and though we take great joy in all the great gifts He never defines His ultimate love for me.
nor should His withholding ever detract from His great love, either.

my prayer is that i would DAILY learn to delight in His VAST love for me characterized by His son on the cross.
i'm such a failure at it....
and it grows more irritating to me all the time....
i am so disappointed in myself.

it's all so easy to say...
but i am thankful i even so much as think it....or desire it....though i have not attained the extent of it.

that alone is such a good gift from Him, because on my own, it's clear where my devices would lead me....

Friday, January 4, 2008

happy new year!

i guess it's time to pick up where i left off!!
it's 2008 - insane.
more insane?
in some respects this past year other respects, it was never ending.
regardless, it's still weird to pay my bills (all of which were LATE this month) and put january AND '08 on my checks...

also weird?
it doesn't NOT feel like friday either.
what world am i living in?
ever since the holidays, my days have ALL been wacked out and my brain can't seem to get the calendar straight!

we don't have much on the docket for today, other than the fact that puff and i will be seeing a movie at 7pm. i've really been excited to see that movie, "atonement." mainly b/c it's been nominated for so much stuff. i'll keep you posted :)

in OTHER news, on new years eve, rudy-baby-bear, my pup, was mauled.
i feel like i'm still reeling from it all...
apparently my neighbor's dog took rudy's rawhide bone from him and rudy wasn't happy about it...and they got in a BRAWL right in front of me!!!
my neighbor pulled them apart, but not before getting her finger shredded (we wonder if it's broken now), with blood on the walls...on my hands...and pouring off my puppy's face.
neighbor's dog sliced rudy's eyelid, and punctured his face in 4 spots, ONE OF WHICH i couldn't even LOOK AT for fear of vomiting. deep wound. should have taken him for stitches BUT it was new years eve....and everybody told me to hold off.

it was pitiful.
NOT a good way for rucifer to ring in the new year...poor baby.

speaking of new years...puffy and i went to visit that friend on new years day, who had delivered her baby on Christmas morning.
i had been pretty bummed out all day about doing it...thinking it would be my day pretty destroyed. puff tried to hype me up all the way there...and we walked in...and the baby was precious. SO SMALL!!! they were so gracious and excited we were there and it was fun recounting the events leading up to delivery with her.
they all look amazing and are having alot of fun...
and i did leave slightly bummed out.
but really too tired to care all that much about my pity party, with me wondering how the holidays had kicked my rear so hard core....

it's just a relief that i did it....without crying. with a smile, even....

well, i have a wedding tomorrow and i need to send the details to my second shooter and gear up!!!
happy new year everybody!!!

Psalms 18:1, 19
I love you, Lord, my strength
...He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

Psalms 20:4, 5
May He grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill all your plans.
...may the Lord fulfill all of your petitions.