Friday, June 29, 2012

A Redeeming Love

I think that every story of romance is worth telling. As I recall my own, I myself am amazed at the woven tapestry of love, heartbreak, tough lessons learned and bliss.
I hope you’ll join me every Friday this Summer for my Summer Romance Series:
A Redeeming Love

Chapter 2
Time spent with Mr. M was lots of fun for me.  I’m not sure what I liked more – the fact that so many girls were interested in him and I was the one he chose to spend time with,  or the fact that he was a gentleman and really great company.

I confess that my heart didn’t really leap out of my chest when I was with him, but on paper he was so wonderful in many ways that I continued spending time with him to see if feelings would develop.  As my senior year was wrapping up I had plans to celebrate graduation with a European trip with some girl friends that would end with a cooking school in France with my mother.  Mr. M would be studying in Florence for the summer, so somewhere in the middle, I would meet up with him in Italy.

The trip was a wonderful adventure filled with hostels in Germany, The Sound of Music tour in Austria and then meeting my mother in Rome.  We toured the colossal city together for a few days before departing for Florence where Mr. M had left a lovely message welcoming us to Firenze.  We met him for dinner at a fabulous restaurant where the waiters brought us dish after dish, none of which we ordered!  It was a culinary journey I never wanted to end.  After some time in Florence, Mr. M, my mother and I left for Venice.  It was there that Mr. M shared his true feelings for me.

We were staying in a funky hotel right on the canal and what our room lacked in d├ęcor, it made up for in location and view.  It was a rather large room and yes, all three of us would be staying in there together!  Looking back on it now, I’m not sure why we didn’t book Mr. M his own room, it was a little awkward!  One night Mr. M grabbed some half burned candles from an open closet on our way to our room.  We stuck the candles in san pellegrino bottles and used them to light our card game while my mother slept.  I’m still not totally convinced that she was asleep, but it appeared that way.  As the card games finished and the candles burned even lower, Mr. M began sharing his feelings for me and his desire to further our relationship.  I felt very stuck because my heart just wasn’t feeling anything, but my mind was screaming “this guy is a catch!  Go for it!”.  Perhaps my conflicted thoughts had something to do with that Sunday morning 3 months prior.

It was February 1995 and I was 2 months away from graduating from Pepperdine University.  I had started going to Malibu Presbyterian Church that year and really grew to love that church family.  This particular Sunday morning seemed very normal – I went to church alone, preferred to sit in the back by myself, and leave shortly after it was over.  I wasn’t looking for a social event.  As I parked my car and walked up the steps to the sanctuary, I was slightly late and tip toed in the back.  Then I saw him.  Something came over me that I had never felt before.  He was standing on the stage in a navy blue suit sharing the morning’s announcements.  When I saw him I knew.  I said to myself, “I’m going to marry that man one day.”  I didn’t even know his name.  But I knew.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blueberries

Tis the Season!
We had a grand adventure to our local farm to pick blueberries.  This year we got a surprise – raspberries too!  We have more than we know what to do with, but have made all sorts of delicious treasures thus far!  My favorite was the blueberry coffeecake.  I don’t know if there is anything better than fresh summer fruit.






As we picked an abundance of berries I thought of God’s word to us that if we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit.  I love the earthy lessons our Lord gives.  It’s not too difficult to understand these words when walking through rows of beautiful fruit growing on the bushes they are connected to.  The closer we are to God, the deeper we are connected, the more fruitful our lives will be.


4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15:4-8
Some of our creations have been:
Blueberry Syrup over waffles
1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 heaping Tbsp. sugar
cook in sauce pan on low until berries start to pop open and it thickens

Blueberry Mint Lemonade


What are your favorite berry recipes?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Timing

One of our little ladies lost her first tooth!  It was the first in our family and the timing couldn't have been better... all the grandparents were in town!

It was so much fun to play the tooth fairy and thanks to Pintrist, I used the cute idea of writing a tiny note from the tooth fairy who we’ve named Miss Mollary Floss!  Miss Floss delivered and special book and 4 quarters in a pretty lace bag to the lucky lady.
I was marveling at how her permanent tooth starting popping up a few weeks ago and knocked the little one out.  How does the body know when to do this?  Our bodies are precisely programmed without any computer chips or codes!  It truly is miraculous.  God’s timing for everything is perfect.
I remember when that little baby girl was in the NICU with her sister.  They were born 6 weeks early and could not yet suck, swallow and breathe on their own.  That is a skill that develops at 36 weeks.  You know what?  Exactly 2 weeks after they were born, what would have been 36 weeks, they could suck, swallow and breathe!  It blew my mind.
Isn’t God’s master precision of His creation incredible?  He has everything timed perfectly. 
Even witnessing these perfectly timed miracles, I often question God’s timing with things in my life.  Certainly a God who has perfectly timed the development of the human body is trustworthy to perfectly time the events of my life.
Help me to be patient Lord and trust your timing in all things.
bits of splendor monday

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Redeeming Love

The Summer is here and the Romance Novels are filling the shelves at most book stores.  It’s the simple pleasure of loosing yourself in someone else’s life and dreams.  It’s the easy read while you’re at the beach.  It’s so much fun! 
I think that every story of romance is worth telling.  As I recall my own, I myself am amazed at the woven tapestry of love, heartbreak, tough lessons learned and bliss. 
I hope you’ll join me every Friday this Summer for my Summer Romance Series:
A Redeeming Love

Chapter 1
 It was a romance that was 9 years in the making.  9 years of surprises, falling in love, heartbreak, break-ups, pain, healing and redemption.  It was 9 years of butterflies, smiles, tears, questions, loneliness and discovery.  It was 9 years that taught me what love is and what it is not.  It was 9 years where God showed me His lavish love for me and taught me to settle for nothing less.  It was 9 years of waiting and trusting that God’s timing was perfect.  And indeed, it was.

 As a I child I dreamed of getting married.  I wanted to be married and have children more than anything.  I didn’t have any grand career aspirations because I thought I’d just get married and have babies.  I viewed college as a “time killer” until I met the one.  I never thought I’d be the girl who never dated anyone and wouldn’t get married until I was 31 years old.  But then again, I never dreamed that I’d live a life of adventure and travel the world as a single woman either!

 I never dated in high school and it wasn’t until college that a boy asked me out on a date.  I remember it clearly – he asked me to dinner and drove me to a small restaurant in Malibu.  I had no interest in this boy, but having no experience with boys asking me out, I didn’t know how to turn him down!  Dinner conversation was random and I was mostly dreading the bill… who would pay?  Clearly it was a date, but I didn’t want to presume that he would pay, so when the bill came I quickly grabbed my wallet and offered to pay.  He let me.  That was the last time we went out. 

 I had lots of guy friends and spent time alone with them here and there, but nothing ever serious and definitely nothing romantic.  And then everything changed my senior year at Pepperdine.  I was living with 2 juniors girls and together we had many mutual friends.  One evening a house of junior guys invited us over for dinner.  Their new roommate, a transfer student, would be joining us.  I already knew a lot about him, he had been the topic of most conversations amongst our friends.  He was tall, very handsome, kind, a Christian, and a gentleman.  All the girls had their eye on him!

 I wrapped up my lifeguard training class and headed over to the guys’ house with wet hair in a knot and no makeup.  At dinner I was seated next to the eligible bachelor but honestly didn’t think anything of it, after all, I was a year older than him and not nearly as interested as all the other girls.  So, no one was more surprised than me that he called me the next day for a date.

 For our first date he made dinner reservations (I was already impressed!) and picked me up right on time.  As we headed down PCH along the ocean, we hit some traffic and quickly realized that we would not make our reservation.  We got off the coast highway and headed into Westwood to find another place for dinner.  One thing he didn’t know about me is that I have low blood sugar and as we drove around looking for somewhere to eat, it got later and later.  I started feeling faint.  I began sweating and tried to roll down my window just to have him tell me that my window didn’t work!  We were stopped at an intersection in the little village and I kicked into fight or flight mode and unbuckled my seatbelt and jumped out of the car!  There was a bakery on the corner and I just needed a piece of bread.  As I ran inside, he parked illegally and came in to find me munching on a roll.  The joke became, “If you’re going to ask Jones out on a date, make sure you have some groceries in your trunk!”  The evening ended well and in spite of my dangerous attempt to save myself from passing out, he asked me out again.  He was the first boy that peaked my interest and I was excited at the prospects of more time with him.  Little did I know that more time with him would eventually mean an adventure to Venice Italy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jesus Calling


Happy Wednesday!
And Happy First Day of Summer!!
A quick word of encouragement today from my favorite - Jesus Calling
(if you don't have this little devotional, I HIGHLY recommend it!)

I am the firm foundation on which you can dance and sing and celebrate My Presence.  This is My high and holy calling for you; receive it as a precious gift.  Glorifying and enjoying Me is a higher priority than maintaining a tidy, structured life.  Give up your striving to keep everything under control - an imipossible task and a waste of precious energy.
AMEN!!

Friday I'm kicking off my new Summer series - A Summer Romance
I hope you'll join me!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Summer

It's Official!
The Little Ladies finished Kindergarten and...

It's Summer!
We decided to throw a little Welcome to Summer party, the new counterpart to my traditional End Of Summer Splash!  Our favorite little buddies who happen to live across the street joined us!
 
 Thanks Dollar Store for providing inexpensive fun!
 Oh, and those colorful beachball cookies... bought sugar cookies at the bakery and frosted them!  Semi-homemade, that's how we do Summer!




 This was a fun party game, Shoot The Color.  Remember the plastic table cloth backdrop from the Rainbow Tea Party?  I didn't throw those away and they came in handy!
Each child got a water shooter and we shouted out different colors that they raced to shoot. 
It was so much fun!


 Then a little swimming of course.

 And we wrapped up with super fun bubble time with those Dollar Store wands.

Goodbye school!
Hello Summer!!

*what are you doing to celebrate the start of Summer?


Friday, June 15, 2012

Fleeting

The other evening my daughter asked if I’d read her a story while she was in the tub.  I told her I needed to clean up the kitchen from dinner and said we’d read later.  A few moments later, I walked by the bathroom to see this
 It broke my heart.  Her sister stepped in and took the time to read her a story in the tub when I didn’t.
Today those little girls are in their last day of Kindergarten. 
It’s going by so quickly – just like everyone says.
In one little year they learned to read and if Mommy is too busy to read to them, it’s ok, they can read to themselves now.  Where once they needed me, now they don’t. 
How lame to be too busy to honor their requests.  These seasons are fleeting, we must embrace them and live into them fully, for in the blink of an eye they will be gone.

Happy Weekend All!
Next Friday I'm kicking off my Summer series... A Summer Romance!  I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Masterpiece


My little dolls will be in their first dance recital on Sunday.  I danced for over 13 years growing up and this is a dream for a dance mom!  We had a dress rehearsal last week and I put real makeup on them for the first time.  I wouldn’t let them look in the mirror until I was finished.  When they first saw themselves, their reaction was priceless.

A smile so huge enveloped their little faces.  They were beaming. 
They felt so beautiful, and in fact they are!
 But it really hit me and I started to well up with tears.  It wasn’t about this significant moment when they first got to put on mascara.  It wasn’t about them getting their first dance costume.  It was about them looking in the mirror at them selves and totally loving what they saw.  It was innocent.  It was pure.  It was beautiful.  They weren’t embarrassed at how they felt about their reflection.  They weren’t arrogant and snotty.  They were surprised at their own beauty.  They were happy. 
They were content.
I pray that the precious little loves of mine will always be confident in who God has uniquely made them to be.  I pray that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  I pray that no matter what insults the world hurls at them, they will always find their worth in the one that created them.  I pray that when they look in the mirror, makeup or not, they see the masterpiece of God.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Coming...

We're on the final countdown to Summer!
This is the last week of school and then look out!

 Last year I did a Summer series called Yummy Summer where I shared fun Summertime activity ideas.  You can check out the archives here
But now with Pintrist, I'm not sure I'd have any new ideas to share!!
But fear not!  I'll be kicking off a new series next Friday, June 22nd, that I'm really excited about!
Get ready,
It's coming!

10 on 10 June









1.  Some alone time with one of my favorite "devotionals"
2.  Morning devo with the children at breakfast
3.  Off to the gym
4.  Lemon harvest
5.  The sound I heard all morning - hedge clippers
6.  Lunch with the boys
7.  Picked up the little ladies from school
8.  Back to cleaning while they rested
9.  a treat for me - the not so pretty, delicious, German chocolate cake
10.  swimming at last!

*little disclaimer - just realized that today is the 11th!  So I guess I did 10 on 11!  ooops!

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