Saturday, June 30, 2012

Victoria's Visit!

My little sister, Victoria, came for a visit last weekend!  It was so fun to see her and just hang out for a few days.  We are both nurses--it's nice to be able to have a 4 day weekend and still get your hours in :)
Even though it has been well over 100 degrees here everyday, she still survived.
Here are some pictures from her time here...
Outside in the blazing sun about to see a movie

with Kristen... out to eat at Tempe's brewery

with Andy downtown Phoenix at a friend's rock band concert

driving up to Sedona

Tlaquepaque, Sedona

taking pictures at Bell Rock


Make sure to NEVER refrigerate your fudge--the Sedona Fudge lady told us that more than once...

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Source: via Danna on Pinterest

"This is what the Lord says:

"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, 
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands; 
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, 
whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

Jeremiah 17:5-8

God has a funny way of teaching us something once and then doing it again but taking the lesson learned to a deeper level.  I feel like I'm in Trust 201.  Or maybe 301.  This verse first became a major life verse to me back in 2008 when I had a very major crush on Andy.  There was nothing I could do about my feelings (because I believed and desired to be pursued by a man, not the other way around), so I really had to lay my desires down before God ALL the time.  I had to learn to TRUST God to meet all my needs and to fulfill the desires of my heart.  He did--and I don't mean by allowing Andy and me to get together.  He met me in major ways before that even happened.  I got to a place in my walk with God where Jesus was my everything in a new way.  The morning Andy called me to meet up and ask me out pretty much, I was having time with God and remember writing something like this in my journal: "There is a void in my heart, Jesus, that only You can fill. As long as you're with Me, I will be ok.  You are all that I want and all that I need."  God doesn't withhold things from us just for fun...  He does nothing without a purpose.  So often He wants us to learn something about His character or receive a new tool in our faith toolbox before we move on from a season.  In that season of major longing for nine months, I learned how to trust God that His presence, His friendship, His love would fill that void in my heart.  And He did.  

In this season, which is coming up on 9 months soon, I am learning this trust thing all over again.  I am learning what it looks like to have hope and faith in God like never before.  This section in Jeremiah has since become my self-professed "life verse"--my go to in time of trouble or in times of rejoicing.  Oh, that I would be like this man, this tree.  May I never fail to bear fruit because my roots go deep and send out to the stream.  Even when drought and heat come, may I prosper because my source is the River of Life, not my circumstances or surroundings.  This is my prayer.  So now as it has been 8 months of trying and hoping for a baby, I am praying this verse A LOT.  Getting pregnant and becoming a mommy CANNOT be my source.  It has to be Him, the River.  If my roots don't go deep--and they go deep by trusting in the Lord, by putting my hope and confidence in Him--then my leaves will dry up, turn brown, and fall off.  I won't produce fruit in my life.  I will live in fear.  I won't even see prosperity when it comes my way--i.e. I will be too bitter to enjoy God's blessing.  I don't want to be that person.  Oh, that I wouldn't dwell in the parched places of the desert!  And the comforting reality of this verse is that THERE IS A DESERT.  That's true.  I am in a desert (literally and figuratively!), but that doesn't mean I have to experience life as dry, hot, and lifeless.  

I feel like I can honestly say that though this season has been and is hard and trying, I am thankful for it.  I am thankful that God is bringing me to a deeper place of trusting Him.  I do not want this season to be wasted by worry, complaint, bitterness, fear, or hopelessness.  I want to experience life in God and life in the desert.  I want to bear fruit so that my life can be refreshing to others.  When I come out of this season--and I truly believe I will--I want to have a testimony that God is FAITHFUL!  God is the GIVER OF LIFE!  God is Sovereign, Good, and His timing is PERFECT.  I don't know why I'm having to learn this all over again, but it must mean that there is more of His character that I needed to learn.  I am learning patience, trust, faith, hope, and peace.  I have good days, and I have bad days.  But I can feel my roots going deeper, drinking up the water from the River.  I have to or else I will die.  I won't make it.  

This may seem dramatic... but I'm kind of dramatic, so that makes sense :)  The point is, I really want a baby.  I really want Andy to become a daddy, and I want to become a mommy.  But this hasn't happened yet.  But God is good and I'm learning how to trust Him when my longings are going unfulfilled.  He is meeting my needs with His presence and His love.  I am trusting Him to fulfill the desires of my heart.  I pray that my testimony (still being written) brings refreshment to others' lives.