Sunday, September 30, 2012

Life is always up and down.  But one thing stays the same.  Thank you Lord that you never change.  You are always faithful and your love never fails.  Even in the midst of trials and tragedy you have the victory.

This past week brought bad news with the workplace shooting in Minneapolis.  It is always sad when someone dies so tragically like what happened on Thursday.  But when it is someone you know it can be hard to deal with.  Sadly, the UPS worker that was killed is Keith, the man that comes to the building I work at every day delivering or picking up packages.  I saw him on a daily bases and he was always so kind and friendly.  When I heard that he died I became so sad and prayed "Lord I hope he knows you".  I found out later from Vince, the security guard in my building, that he was a member at my church.  My sadness turned to joy knowing that the worst day of Keith's life turned into his best day when he stepped into eternity and saw the face of Jesus.  Knowing that he is walking with the Lord, no more fear, no more sadness, just fullness in Christ, makes me happy for Keith.  How sad for his family to go through this and be separated from their loved one.  I pray they would be comforted during this time and the Lord would provide for all of their needs.

I also received some bad news this past week.  For a week now I had a strange rash on my back that I mostly ignored.  Some people told me they thought it was a spider bite or poison ivy.  After a few days it still had not gone away so I did what any smart person would do... get answers from webmd.  Obviously, I am just kidding, that website is horrible.  Also, no one should ever search for images on google what they think they might have; gross!  So after coming to the conclusion from webmd that I had scarlet fever, I decided I should contact my doctor the next day.  Of course I forgot until my mysterious rash started itching.  The nurse I talked to told me to go into urgent care right away.  I quickly finished these arrangements I was working on at work:
Then I raced over to urgent care, saw the doctor and found out I have.... wait for it... wait for it... the suspense is killing you I know it... Shingles!!!  What the heck!  Everybody keeps saying, "I thought only old people get that", well obviously not.  And my reaction to finding this out? I laughed.  That is right, I thought it was funny.  And, it was even funnier when I had to pay $86 for a prescription.  I'm not kidding, when the pharmacist told me how much my pills cost I chuckled and said, "you're kidding right?".  No he was not.  But really, I do think this is all a little bit funny.  I really do believe that once in a while God likes to remind me who is lord of my life.  I get a little test like this every so often where for some reason or another I need to fork over a good chunk of my well saved up change.  It is a nice reminder that money is not my god and does not rule my life.  So thank you Lord, lesson learned :)  These sorts of "trials" are also a good reminder for me to be thankful.  So here it goes...
Lord I am thankful that I do not have scarlet fever, that my shingles has not spread to any other part of my body, that I do have the money to take care of this and even if I didn't you would provide, I thank you that there are doctors and medicine to help me with this, and I am thankful that you are still Lord of my life.

My friend Christine so kindly reminded me recently that she likes to look at blogs with pictures, so here ya go.

Christine with their new kitty, and the beautiful Marsha.  I can't believe how tall she is getting!

 Last weekend was Wisteria's largest wedding of the season.  We had to make all of these huge orchid arrangements at the Lafayette Club.  The result was amazing.

Yesterday, Snezhana and I spent the whole day enjoying the beautiful fall weather and colors at lake Como.

Trying to climb a tree, this is as far as I made it.

Taking a moment to rest

This is what I found when I drove down to Shakopee and found something special.  It is a spoon ring and I wear it as a reminder that the Lord is my husband, and eternity is my home.  I am my beloved's and he is mine.  His banner over me is love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I wish I could be honest

I wish I could be completely honest with what is going on in my heart and mind right now, but I'm sure I would regret it.  So instead...

This past Friday I drove all the way down to Shakopee and found something very special... maybe I will post a picture later on, but don't get your hopes up, it might not be that exciting.  It means a lot to me though!
Then I forced myself to go to the Holy Spirit conference at church and was totally touched by God's love for me.  Balled my eyes out... again!

                                                                                                                                                                        Saturday: Set up a beautiful wedding at Minikahda country club.  After work I headed over to the
Minneapolis Institute of Arts to soak in the Rembrandt exhibit.  It was awesome and I am so glad I got a ticket before it was sold out.  But... as cool as Rembrandt was, none of those amazing paintings held a candle to little Miss Lucy Jean!!!  My best friend had her baby last week and I was extremely privileged to hold her in my arms on Saturday.  To see Molly hold her little baby girl in her arms melted my heart.

Sunday:  Ukrainian Festival! Dinner with Snezhana and the best view in town.  Plus, we discovered something great... I may need a new pair of shoes!  More on that later.

Oh yea!... and last week I went to the Como Zoo with Priya and her cute kiddos.  We found a fish tank with sea horses. Sea Horses! I am now in love with Sea Horses! Where can I get myself a stinkin sea horse people?

 Side note: Elisabeth Elliot "Remember how the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt in order to bring them in to Canaan? He got me lost that He might get me found! Let's never forget that some of His greatest mercies are His refusals.  He says no in order that He may, in some way we cannot imagine, say yes.  All His ways with us are merciful.  His meaning is always love."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Catching up...

Last month was a whirlwind.  So here are some of the highlights...

The surprise I had mentioned before that Deb and Audra had planned was to take me to the Irish Fair.  We had such a great time.  My favorite part was the dog herding the goats, awesome!

 This was the beautiful wedding we set up in Eau Claire, WI.  Carmen and I had fun meeting new people ;)

More weddings by Wisteria...

Random pictures I love...

Soaking in all the cuddles I can get while I have the chance!
We had a white squirrel in our yard, so exciting.  Unfortunately for Lady, she has been crippled lately so she couldn't chase after it.  Lucky for the rest of us, the squirrel lives another day.

Renewing my mind.

My love!

On my bike ride tonight I found this cool spiderweb.  I love how this picture turned out with the sun shining through the web.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

O Lord bless me and keep me
cause Your face to shine on me
Lord be gracious
lift the light of Your countenance
 give me peace

I live only to see your face so shine on me

Let the light of Your face shine down on my heart and let me feel it
(Misty Edwards- Light of Your Face)

I know it's silly, but sometimes I think God paints beautiful pictures in the sky just for me.  I know other people can see the same amazing sunset that I can, and probably admire it as much as I do.  It is as if God is shining through the sky looking down on me and telling me He loves me in a special way.  He sees me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I am persuaded!

It seems like sometimes the hardest thing to do is believe God.  Of course I believe in God, but believing His Word, what He has spoken, and His promises is difficult sometimes.  Unfortunately, sometimes it is a whole lot easier to believe the lies of satan.  Maybe that is because when crazy emotions are involved it becomes a slippery slope downward.

Lately, the enemy has done a good job of making me believe I'm alone, abandoned, unloved, lost, stuck etc. etc.  I am so thankful for people in my life that continue to encourage me, pray for me, and continue to be at the other end of the phone when I'm falling apart.  One such person led me through a prayer Sunday night when I couldn't find the words to pray to the Lord anymore.  That was the turning point for me.  Monday morning... turn off the "sad, feel sorry for myself" music and put back on the worship music (even though I didn't want to).  Sometimes it really is a sacrifice of praise. 

This morning, the drive to work turned into one of the sweetest times with my Lord than I have ever experienced.  I was worshiping along with IHOP's Joy album (Laura Hackett's He's Alive in blue font) and shouting out Truth and telling satan to back off. 

"Now I believe, now I am persuaded
that no power, no principality
Not even death can keep me from Him
I am convinced, I am convinced of the power of His love"

I remember a similar time feeling this way after Jelani died.  I was sitting in the prayer room at IHOP.  I was having a difficult time entering into worship.  I felt like such an outsider.  That's when He spoke to me.  He simply said, "Let Me love you, receive My love."  Whoa! It hadn't occurred to me that I was resisting God.  He never stopped loving me, but I had pushed Him away.  Here I was again.  Not allowing God to fill the loss in my life, the hole in my heart.  But this morning I became persuaded, convinced of His love for me.

"There is no power in heaven or hell
That can keep me from the love of the Father on His throne
There is no power in heaven or hell
That can keep me from the love of the Father on His throne"

Satan is a good liar.  And I fell for it.  But his lies are nothing compared to my Father's love for me.  As I sat in my car driving to work this morning, like I do every morning, God joined me and filled up every inch of my car.  I got it! He gave me revelation of the love He has for me.  I'm sure I will never fully understand the depth of that love, but the glimpse I had this morning was amazing.  Tears of joy streamed down my face as I sat in His presence, in His overwhelming love.  It was a nice change from the tears of sadness lately.  I still ruined my makeup but I didn't care.

"My God's not dead, He's surely alive
He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion"

He is so crazy in love with me, like a roaring lion He ran after me, snatched me away from satan and brought me back under the shadow of His wings.  Protected by His love.  I have to do my part though.  Tomorrow I will wake up and have to fight satan away again.  Thursday too, and so on.  But, I know the end of the story.  I'm on the winning side.  I will laugh again and find joy in life.  And I am so thankful to all of my patient friends.  Please keep me in your prayers as I keep stepping forward. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Standing On The Promises Of God

"But there will come a time you'll see
With no more tears
And love will not break your heart
But dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see, what you
find there
With grace in your heart and flowers in
your hair"
-Mumford & Sons

You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.  In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?
Psalm 56:8-11

Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.  For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me.  Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me!
Psalm 40:11-13

Monday, August 6, 2012

Busy weekend

What a week!  Seven days, 80 some hours of work, little sleep, equals an amazing weekend of beautiful weddings.  Luckily, I was able to take Monday off to recuperate.  5am Saturday morning I was at Wisteria ready to set-up wedding number one in Lake Elmo.  By 7am we were at Starbucks charging up for the long day ahead for wedding number two.

The wedding was at the family home on lake Harriet in a white tent.  The wedding planner, Julia LaCroix, did an amazing job with every detail.  I'll let the pictures tell you the rest...


The reception was in the same tent which means we had an hour and a half to change over the ceremony area.  Each of the ten tables had a different style arrangement.

It was a beautiful wedding.  But we weren't finished yet.  Sunday morning back in the shop by 5 o'clock to set up another wedding at the airport Hilton Hotel.  Finally, by 7:30pm I was free to rest and relax.

Today I had plans to treat myself to a manicure and stroll along Centennial Lakes, both of which never happened.  Instead I stayed home to sleep most of the day away and watched a two part BBC movie on Queen Elizabeth.  I guess I was more tired than I had thought.

Random thought: some things just don't get easier with time.  I don't care what "they" say, it's just not true.

Cute picture of my dog from today:

I burnt the pizza I was making for dinner so when the smoke detector went off she freaked out and hid under the grape vine in the back yard.  I love how sweet and timid she is.

This made me really sad:

I saw this bird tonight.  I got so close to him and he wouldn't fly away.  He looked very skinny and sick, plus his eye was puffy and red.  Poor thing.  I wanted to grab him and pet him but probably not the smartest thing if he is sick.  Hopefully he will be okay.

That is it for now.  I'm excited for what Deb and Audra have up there sleeves for me this Saturday.  I love surprises!