Monday, November 28, 2016

Today's feelings...

...just a few things on my mind this morning. Just by journaling this...I started unpacking my "bag".
My self talk sometimes sounds like, "if you were a real Jesus follower, you wouldn't be having these issues", "why can't you just give it to God?!", "If I were more like so-n-so, I'd have things figured out already."
A lot of it was because of the shaming words that were spoken to me and I in turn made them my own. Some of it is what I think others are expecting from me. 

By unpacking and identifying these things, they lose their power. 

I'm learning to just just come to God, a mess and with my mess. 

That I don't have to solve "ALL THE THINGS"...messes are ok! Someone recently told me that GRACE is for me too. In my head, I thought..of course I know that!.......but do I really? 

It's a word that I hear multiple times a day...and I know it'll be a daily process of understanding and applying it. Daily being ok with my mess. Finding the courage to be vulnerable to grasp the freedom that comes with it. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

T H A N K S G I V I N G • 2 0 1 6

Thanksgiving this year was met with a lot of mixed emotions...yes, there were many fun moments and memories made, but beyond that...there were feelings of emptiness. 

This was the first thanksgiving without my grandma. I'm always the one in charge of setting the table, and all night long I felt like I was forgetting something. It really wasn't that I was forgetting, but rather that something was missing. I miss her more than words. 

I then thought about the families who are also missing loved ones who were killed because of the color of their authority placed in the wrong hands or cowardly men with misplaced fear. 

My heart was also heavy with what this holiday means for the indigenous people...with everything that is going on in North Dakota it was hard for me to be truly present. I watched video after video, and felt nauseous with each one. I imagined what the people there were experiencing. 

I may not be able to go to Standing Rock, but I do plan on supporting them in other ways. My hope is that you would too. 

To my privileged brothers and sisters...Injustice should make you uncomfortable at the very least. Sit with it, hold it. Don't expect someone else to inform you...educate yourself. Your first response may be defensive...instead, listen to understand. 

#standagainstinjustice #useyourprivilege #beanadvocate

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Why I stopped going to church on Mother's Day...


           So I have decided to start blogging again. I found that this is been a very powerful outlet for me. 
My intention is to post here more than I do on Facebook...but we'll see how that goes. It's a 
better space where I can share my thoughts in more detail.
 If you do not like vulnerability and "all the feels"... turn back now!! Being vulnerable and 
walking out my shame has been a place of tremendous healing for me. Yes, it's uncomfortable, 
but my joy comes from the freedom it has given me and in others saying, me too!! A lot of us are thinking things that nobody is saying, 
but I feel called to say the things that get left in the dark places. 
So here goes... 

            Last week was "Infertility Awareness Week"...and thought that it was a bit ironic that Mother's 
Day is the week after. I chose to not post anything about it. To me, the word  
"infertility" holds the same value as a curse word. I never use it to describe what my husband 
and I have walked through for over 10 years. Doctors have described our condition as infertility, 
but I refuse to put my identity there. I've never had peace using that word. Some may call that 
denial, but I call it faith. Even though I have been diagnosed with a condition called PCOS 
(Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and autoimmune hypothyroidism disease, I believe in a God 
who is bigger than these things. 

           Some of you may be thinking "Wow, she is really believing God for this!"... And I am, now, but it 
hasn't always been that way. It is taken a very long road to get to the place that I am at. It 
has been years of ups and downs, feeling OK one minute and not OK the next. Feeling 
ashamed because I can't answer the questions of, "So when are you guys going to have a 
baby?!", "You guys have been married a long time, don't you want children?!". These questions 
leave me longing for a large rock to hide under. It's also one of the many reasons why I stopped
 going to church on Mother's Day. It's not that I don't celebrate other women who do have 
children because I absolutely do, it's just that over the years it's been really hard to not get to 
be a part of that celebration. 

            Most pastors' sermons on Mother's Day are about God's gift of 
children and what a joy it is to be a for the last few years, I've just stopped going on 
Mother's Day. 
Last year changed everything for me. We started going to a church called Quest. My "non Mother's 
Day church attendance" was still in full effect, but I decided to listen to the Mothers Day 
message online the next day...I wanted to again prove my point of Mother's Day sermons, 
except this one changed everything for me. The topic of the sermon was "Choose Joy", 
spoken by our Pastor, Eugene Cho. We were still pretty new at this point and I 
thought..."great, this dude is gonna go on and on about the joy of being a mother"...but, for 
whatever reason (I choose to think it was the Holy Spirit) I still listened to the message. In 
it, he talked about, yes, celebrating the mother's, but also how this day is hard for some...that it's
 a day of grieving and mourning for some, BUT that those things do not have the final say! Being
 present in the moment and enjoying the gifts that God has given us. James 1: 2-4. He expressed 
it in such a way, that you'll just have to listen for yourself 

Watch here: "Choose Joy" - Pastor Eugene Cho

In January of this year, we went to visit my husband's grandmother in North Carolina. The minute I stepped foot into her hospital room, she called me over and said "You are going to have a child, and I'm going to pray over you before you leave. As our trip was coming to a close and we were about to leave, she said, "Come here, I'm going to pray for you". I was completely shocked that she had remembered, becuase I had completely forgotten. She called the other family in the room around and put her hand on my stomach, and prayed a prayer that only a grandmother could pray. I felt God's presence like I had never before. 

I constantly replay her words over and over in my head. I choose to believe that whatever it may look like, I will be a mother. I am able to celebrate with others in their experience as a mother, but I also choose not to hide how I'm feeling. I have my 
days...but, it's a daily process of trusting His plan. 

There's a quote that I've seen going around that's based from Daniel 1:3...

"...and if not, He is still good"

I know this to be true, but it's one that I'm still processing. I've 
written it down, over and over and over again. Trying to be at peace with whatever that's going 
to look like in my life.

And yes, I will be at church on Mother's Day  :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

...remember shrinky dinks??

Since I was a kid, I've always had this little obsession with shrinky when I found that they actually still sold it..I was elated! I found all kinds, different colors, and different brands...I ordered mine online from Amazon. I prefer using the ones that are pre-sanded.

I got out my plethora of sharpies and went to town doodling. You can find images online to trace if you want..but I like using my own art. I doodled all over the 8.5x11 sheet of shrink plastic. Once I was done doodling in black, I started to fill in with color. 

Once I had ever ince covered..I then cut out different shapes...(remember that shrinky's shrink to about 30% of their original size) I trace various objects...plates, glasses..and even freehanded a few...after cutting them out..depending on what you plan to do with them, (I made earrings out of mine) you'll need to punch a hole in them with a hole puncher. 

I then lined a cookie sheet with vellum and laid each piece down, careful not to overlap them. (Shrinky's curl when you cook them and tend to move around) I bake mine @ 400 degrees for about 30 seconds...sometimes a little longer. 
You need to keep an eye on them as they cook..just so they don't overlap or stick to themselves. 

...and the finished product! There's alot of trial and error involved with Shrinky's, so be patient. It took me a bit to find a method that worked best for me.
I also like using Prisma Color Pencils to draw on the shrink plastic, but you'll definitely have to use the pre-sanded kind to make it stick. 

Have fun with whatever you create!

Ceydi's Senior Session

When this girl told me she was coming to Seattle to have me shoot her senior session...I was beyond elated! I'm sure you've seen the previous post from February (yes, it's been awhile since my last post) ...that she did a Refined Session with me. Like her last session, she rocked this one too. So proud of Ceydi and her accomplishments. Her heart for the Lord & for people at such a young age is just awesome. I can't wait to see her journey after high school begin and am excited to see where the Lord takes her. I love you Ceydi Marie!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ms.Ceydi - Refined Session

I have been so excited to post this Refined session. She is an amazing young lady that I had the pleasure of getting to know while we served as youth pastors in Bend, Oregon. Her passion for the Lord is evident the moment you come in contact with her. She is such an encouragement to anyone that crosses her path. I am so excited to see where the Lord takes this girl…she has overcome so many adversities at such a young age, I know that she will not let anything come in between the plans that the Lord has for her life. Ms.Ceydi Marie..I love you girl and I am so grateful that the Lord brought our lives together..I love and miss you so much and am so proud of the amazing woman that you are becoming.

So here is Ms.Ceydi’s her words…

Hello, my name is Ceydi. I am 17 years old, a junior in high school, a sister to two and daughter to two, but not how you think. I have a earthly mother and a heavenly father, and the difference between my earthy father and my heavenly father is I didn't come to know my heavenly father and acknowledge him as my father until I was 11! Are you wondering what happened to my earthly father? Well he’s in heaven now with my other father! (confused yet?) 
Coming into this world I had it pretty good. My mom and dad were married with a son and a daughter from my dad’s previous marriage, a home, a good family, it seemed good. Well it didn't exactly stay that way.

My dad made some pretty bad decisions when I was about 2, my mom was heartbroken and lost, so she left him and started seeing a man that filled that void only to find out he would hurt her even more.
Then lost, hopeless and alone my mom found a quick fix in drugs, all the while breaking her back to raise and care for her 2 young children.
At my moms rock bottom my brother and I found ourselves placed in a foster home. We were placed with a young couple who had never been foster parents before. In the midst of the chaos my brother and I happened to find hope…a glimmer of light through a group of kids who met every Wednesday night to learn about a God who is forgiving, loving, merciful, gracious, kind, joyful, caring and so much more; and right there, after every stubbornness and hard headed battle that was in me…after many Wednesdays, I gave my whole self to Jesus Christ my Savior, Redeemer and loving Father.
My mom decided that she wanted to make a change in her life and went to treatment. After that …and from there on things just fell into place.
I gave my heart to the Lord in fifth grade, now in 11th, my mom is and has been clean since she completed treatment. She has a great job, we live in a beautiful home and are being blessed everyday!
God works in amazing ways, and He molded me from all the broken pieces laying astray and He is still adding colors to this piece of art!
The future holds so many exciting things and I know that God will lead me in the path He has planned for me my life…I just have to listen and follow.