Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Throwing Stones and Our Yard

Jesus is so dang legit.  When is he ever not??  He doesn't judge but just loves the heck out of the unlovable.  I'm REALLY liking this verse today...

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. 

John 8:3-7
(emphasis mine)

Isn't that so good?  It reminds me of my own absolutely undeniable sin; all the times I've messed up myself.  The truth is I am not one nanometer better than any person, even a very literal whore.  

If you were this prostitute, wouldn't you want the grace and love Jesus demands here?  I know I  don't want to get stoned!!  I mess up enough everyday to probably deserve several good stone-ings though. *cringe*

My own short-comings means I have no right to throw any judgements.  Jesus makes that much clear here in John 8.  That is seriously amazing.  Food for thought:  Do you have any "stones" you need to set down today instead of hurling out?  Most likely.  Let's show some love instead, yes?

  You know you would rather be loved than judged.

We're so like this prostitute being slammed by the religious folks.  If I'm in her situation I would want a Jesus-rescue  You too?  I "whore" it up too much in my life  (another of those great viral quotes when I run for president) and am only grateful when I don't get what I deserve: condemnation and damnation.

These verse reminds me to revel in the grace I'm lavished with every single day and extend it out too.

In other news...

Here are a few pictures from the Decker weekend:

This is the full chicken coop and run.  My last post didn't show the run at all.  There is a little ladder they walk down to enjoy that space.  Do you like Casey?

The ladies!  They are so hilarious.  They are getting along with Harpo famously and we should be getting eggs in about 4 weeks now!

The garden is blooming!  We have used our basil in bruschetta, our zucchini and squash plants are just sprouting, the blackberry and raspberry bushes are getting heftier, and everything else is thriving too.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 2012 to May 2013

Every once in awhile Ryan and I will go back into the blog archives and shudder at where we were one year ago.  I thought we would never make it out of 2012 alive.

May 9 2012 post-op in the recovery room

This time last year, May 2012, Ryan had just undergone his first surgery to deal with anal fissures, fistulas, sphincter spasms, fevers, weight loss, and unexplained pain.  I posted often asking for prayers of healing and relief.  There were up and down days but mostly when I look back at those pictures our eyes our tired and Ryan's body was slowly giving out.

Ryan was barely working, sleeping up to 20 hours a day, losing startling amounts of weight, and adding new alarming symptoms every week.  We were so scared.  I never would believe that our lives and his health would be restored to where they are now.  It seemed impossible last year that our nightmare would ever end.

But by God's grace and medical intervention, it did end.  Ryan has relief and restored health.  We're grateful for health so that we pour into our marriage.  Be in community.  Love the people in our lives.  Enjoy this life.  Be outside.  Live!

As painful as last year was, this spring and summer overflows with gifts of health and renewed strength.  Right at this moment my husband is out sledge hammering a concrete slab in our yard.  DANG!  This time last year I was posting about he was stuck on the couch in unending pain. 

I am so grateful for progress and recovery.  Until you've lost your health, it's hard to fully appreciate it.  We look at our health now and Ryan's remission with absolute awe and thankfulness.

Thank you Jesus for good gifts of relief and freedom from terrible, hell-ish symptoms.

Thank you for this life we get to live.

May 26, 2013 sledge hammering like a beast!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Campfires and Smores

FINALLY the weather is getting warm here.  Nice to finally meet you spring.

It's almost June but some trees look just as bare as they did in February.  It's been such a wonky spring so far.

But tonight was gorgeous weather for a fire pit and smores cookout.   Our favorite smores recipe is a golden brown marshmallow, one reese's cup and two graham crackers.  DANG delicious!

Before that we went to a beautiful wedding in Denver (our first of three in the next few weeks) and we took some out of country staff from Healing Waters to the airport at 4:00 am.  

Anyway, it felt so restful to be outside this evening when it's nice, enjoy time with family, and get a taste of summer.  Love it all!

The loot!  Can you imagine a more beautiful picture?  Chocolate + 75 degree night + a fire = perfect

Me, my hunky husband, Mom, and bro-in-law Justin

The Thunells looking so good!

Did you notice Harpo eyeing our marshmallow?  Sneaky sneaky...

One of most flattering shots of life!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bragging on a Sister-in-Law

I just needed to brag on Anna Decker today.  I'll get to that in just a second...

Do you sometimes feel pulled in too many different directions?  

 Like the busyness of your life season is necessary but sweet Jesus have mercy, you can't believe all you have to do??  

That is how I feel sometimes when I am right in the middle of a busy semester.  And I can only expect my life to increase in demands when Nursing School starts!

Well today I was texting my legit sister-in-law, Anna, and we were chatting about what we were doing that day.  She shared that during her two kid's naptime (a 2.5 year old and 9 month old) her time was being spent in the Word.  Reading the Bible.  Getting her soul filled up and meeting for personal relationship with Jesus.

Isn't that the best?!  I just think she is the greatest inspiration of a mama and woman of how to love Jesus, prioritize needed time with God, and still balance many other aspects of life.  I'm sure she could have done a number of other things like clean, or Pinterest (guilty!), or just sleep too.  But she chose to spend her time in such a meaningful way.

Love it!!

I now have NO excuse when I feel busy ;)  Because what chaos and demand compares to that of raising two little ones, managing a home, working, being a wife, and all other life responsibilities. 

Not many.

Anyway just wanted to let you also be encouraged by Anna the way I was.  A few minutes (or few hours!) with Jesus is time well spent and we're told a meaningful investment of reward (Matt 6:6).

Do you need ideas about getting into the Bible and spending alone time with God?

Here is a free Bible Study through Judges that my good friend Laura wrote.

Both here and here will give you ideas from blog posts past.

Enjoy friends!



But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Few Good Things To Share

Some recent favorites that are just too good to not share...

This quote:

"I told Satan 'I will NOT quit.  I will always run to God.  I will NOT quit!'  Now normally I don't give the devil much of my conversation, but I had to take a stance and tell him I meant business about doing marriage God's way."

Have you ever heard such a legit quote?  This was from the wise and godly Jeanine Weber who disciples me every other week.  We were talking about some struggles marriage can bring and she imparted this wisdom to me.  To never, ever quit.  Ever.  God is always willing to restore and rescue us when the devil wants to mangle and destroy us.

Well screw you, devil.  I will NEVER quit either.  

Is there something you need to remind the enemy of, that you won't back down or quit because you know God's called you to it?  Do it in Jesus' name.  

Amen.

This recipe:



Bruschetta!! Chop 1.5 (or so) cups of heirloom tomatoes, a lot of basil leaves (maybe 7 big ones) and mix with splash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Toast several pieces of french bread in a skillet with generous amount of butter until golden.  Top bread with tomato mixture and put a chunky slice of fresh mozzarella on top.  

Enjoy with wine on the back porch!


This article:


This post is full of surprising wisdom and tangible advice to really knowing God's will.  And who can't use some help like that?

This book:


This is the most proactive, encouraging, life altering book I've read in awhile.  The Power of a Praying Wife is indescribably beautiful and really ministered to my heart.  At the heart of the book lies a nudge to release control of our husbands, pray the humble phrase "Lord, change me" and allow God to work in our men's lives by storming heaven for them.

SO good.  I highly recommend it!

This swoony 9 month old:


This...uh,whatever is even happening here:


Bahaha!  Sorry Linny, but this makes me laugh out loud and had to be shared to bless the world.  

Ok, everyone that should do it!  Stay cool homies!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Chickens and Their Coop

You guys. You guys.

My husband is the studliest stud of all time!!  He rocked this chicken coop business like nothing I've ever seen.  We bought the basic structure from a friend and Ryan decided to add insulation, siding, trim, a new roof, more structural enforcements, and construct an entire run for them.

It looks so cute (that red and white!) and the chickens love it.  We brought home 12 week old chicken on May 4th.  We named them Huevos, Ham, Bacon, Sausage, and Chorizo.  YUM! ;)

They will lay eggs around the age of 20 weeks so we have a bit until we get in on that action.  Until then it's fun to spy on them through the coop windows, let them run around the coop, and tame Harpo's undying desire to eat play with them.

Good job husband!  You rocked it.

The outside of the coop and the inside.  Nesting boxes to the left, roost in the center and feeder hanging up.  


Their water isn't pictured here but that's the only thing missing.  This is where the magic happens!

The ladies.  From back going clockwise:  Huevos, Chorizo, Bacon, Sausage, and Ham.

They were poking around and loving their simple chicken life.  Chickens are cray cray!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back!

I'm baaaccckkk!

The blogging break was much needed.  It was a very refreshing sabbatical from having my eyes glued to a screen.  I soaked up time outside, enjoyed the amazing Ryan Decker, time with friends, family events, and all activities that are life giving.

The entire month of May feels a bit like a sabbatical of sorts.  School doesn't restart until early June and until then I am working while still soaking up more rest than anything else.  I am grateful to have the time and resources for such a slow, meaningful season.  It is a gift.  But I'm also excited to be back blogging now and filling you in on our lives.

So this is a peek into our life the past few weeks...

We got chickens and prepared their beautiful coop (posts coming on that tomorrow!)


We kept our niece, Rilyn 2, and nephew, Ryder 9 months, for a weekend.  We are obsessed with them!  They kept us busy and cracked us up the entire time.  We learned that we COULD be parents now if God so chose, but don't truly have the heart for that calling yet ;)  Though we pray our kids are half as cool as these two.


It was Mother's Day last Sunday and we celebrated!  Our moms are incredible gifts and we spent the entire day with them.  We had breakfast and played putt-putt gold with my mom and then had the Deckers over for a late lunch on the back porch.


Family picture with all the ladies and Georgie! 

I planted a garden--we have blackberry and raspberry bushes, peppermint, lavender, sage, basil, tulips, (my most favorite flowers!) and lots of vegetables like kale, tomato, lettuce, zucchini, onions, beets, and more.


Ry got a colonoscopy earlier this month.  It was encouraged by his surgeon and GI doctor to see his progression and get an internal update.  Although Ryan was apprehensive, he was brave and went through with it.  Any type of medical procedure flooded him with negative memories from 2012 but he seriously was so persevering and didn't let that hold him back.  I'm encouraged to give very positive reports!  The Remicade is rocking it for him and his intestines look so healthy and clear right now.  Praise the Lord!!

When he got out of his colonoscopy he was so out of it because of the anesthetic.  I asked him where he wanted to go to lunch and he said so groggily, "I just don't want to go to the Chick-fil-a play place!"  Ha ha ha!  So silly husband.  I didn't force him to go to the play place but we did get him some delicious food from there instead.

Last but not least, I coffee-ed it up on this break!  Is that even a word?  In my blogging break I enjoyed cups of coffee on the back porch, in our local library, and in my favorite coffee shop.  Nothing is more restoring and life giving than to sneak away with my Bible, my journal, my latest Bible study and a big latte for a morning of refreshment.  

We are so much enjoying that spring FINALLY arrived in Colorado.  We spend evenings on the back porch, weekends bike riding or spending time with friends, and loving every minute of health.  This summer is looking to be MUCH better than the last.

Praise Jesus for that!

This is a verse my mother-in-law gave to us and it's something we're mulling over and processing lately.  I'll leave you with it for now...

Come back to the place of safety, all your prisoners who still have hope!  I promise this very day that I will repay you two blessings for each of your troubles.

Zechariah 9:12


Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Blogging Sabbatical


I had big, fat, juicy plans to make up for my last few weeks of blog neglect.  I had every intent to fill you in on our lives and what's swirling around in our hearts and minds.  There were drafted posts about Burmese baby showers, how to seek justice, my increasing love of wearing old clothes, chickens, healthy recipes, and weekly happenings.

And then just a few hours after my last final on Friday...I felt an unmistakable tug to take an Internet break

 Just a wee one.

My eyes have been glued to a screen 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 15 weeks for on-line classes.  Although I love the flexibility and independence of that type of classroom setting it feels equally draining and physically tiring. 

And so I am declaring a blogging sabbatical to refresh and live up real life outside of cyber space. 

But I'll be back around mid-May.  Until then you can find me...

 gardening
 painting
enjoying my husband
 reading
chicken raising
neighboring
 coffee-drinking
 park walking
pondering
healthy cooking
 library-ing
friend-ing
 hanging with family
coffee shop basking
church-ing
enjoying quiet times
back porch lounging
and
 soaking up spring

Basically anything to get away from a screen.


P.S. Reaching For Fringe will have posts as those are scheduled way in advance and self-publish so check that out if you are interested!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Done with Finals!

You guys.

I. am. done.

Hallelujah!

I feel kind of like this...does he look high?  Ha!  He isn't.

Well I am done with finals for this semester and will have 1 summer class, but for 31 glorious days I am study/test/quiz/homework free.

Was there ever a more beautiful sentence written?  I thinketh not.

Praise the Lord on high I was able to get A's in both Micro and A & P I.  Good night these classes were challenging and it is only by the grace of Jesus I could see that result.  Seriously.  

My brain is naturally hardwired for arts, writing, language and psychology (hence my degree).  This science stuff takes me a lot of extra work to comprehend and excel at.  But I love it!

Some random chocolate pecan pie I ate this week from my FAVORITE coffee shop

So anywho!  A very successful semester overall.  

I should also hear back from the first nursing school I applied to by mid-May. So in about 2-ish weeks or so I suppose.  Updates to come on that.

Studying stole my life and soul this week.  So now I have errands to run, laundry to do, a house to clean, and chickens to prepare for.  Oh and we have the adorable Rilyn and her chunky accomplice Ryder staying with us this weekend.  Pictures to come for SURE!

The quickest thing you can make when you have a busy week is veggie stir fry.  Yum.

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