Monday, May 23, 2011

An Ode to Anya & Friends

Last weekend I flew to Colorado Springs to watch one of my very best friends get married! It was a whirl-wind of a trip . . . I was in the state of Colorado for only 51 hours but had the best time catching up with good friends and being by Anya's side (as her personal attendant) as she became Mrs. Inman.

Anya and I met in 2007 just once before becoming house-mates. We lived together for almost a year doing almost everything together; Anya is a fast-talking Russian who loves life and adventure.  Her passion for life rubbed off on me and we quickly became friends and hung out every chance we had. We were each other's sounding board when it came to dealing with relationships (i.e: when I started dating Chris and she with her male friends that always wanted more . . . but were never good enough in my opinion). We hiked, camped, and shopped together.  It was a very fun year.

A year later she was in my wedding and we have kept in touch fairly well throughout my recent life transitions. I was not going to miss this event in her life for anything!

The beautiful bride just hanging out before the ceremony
She's so excited!
It was such a beautiful day—we couldn't have asked for better weather
(we did ask for it . . . all day Friday while it rained)
Beautiful bridesmaids

Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Inman
Getting ready for the party!

Swing dancing . . . this started with Anya and I deciding
to take lessons on Sundays while we lived together
(Note: Both of our husband's began dating us after becoming our dance partners!)

Love that smile! 
Off they go!
He's such a lucky guy

The day was wonderful! The ceremony was beautiful and the reception and dance were a blast. During the reception I was able to spend some time with my other very good friends and dancing like no one was watching (and then someone showed me photos! yikes!)

Josh -- oh Josh how we have missed you!

Liz & Ben -- two of the most wonderful people I know!

I have been blessed to have so many fantastic friends (all over the country). There is something so special and sweet about seeing such good friends after a long time apart. And being present for such a monumental occasion! I can only describe it as being good for my soul. I needed this. 

Friends, I love you all! Thanks for being in my life!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sitting at His feet

I love the image I get when I think of Mary sitting at Jesus' feet in Luke 10. Can you see her . . . focusing so intently on the man before her, the words he speaks, the wisdom he shares, even just hearing his voice. Can you see her eyes filled with wonder and awe? 

Just picturing myself sitting at His feet calms my anxiousness and brings me peace. I can breathe again . . . relax. 

If you're not familiar with the story the passage is below:

    As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

My favorite line is, "She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said." Don't you ever just crave that kind of time with your Savior? 

But I find myself acting more like Martha. I'm worried and upset about many things. Most of the time I can't even define what it is I'm so worried about. 

Yesterday we had a unique day at work. The whole day was set aside for us to be in prayer together for the ministry. We had one session that was a contemplative/reflective time; a time of silence. It was during that time that I realized just how thirsty I was for Jesus; I needed to sit at his feet, be in awe of his words and worship Him. So I did. And then our time was up . . . but I wanted more. 

You know, when I go just a few days without getting quality time with my husband, I can tell. I'm a little sad, maybe even a little empty feeling, like I'm missing something very important to me. And then when I do get to spend that time with him, its like all I want to do is BE with him; I just want to hear his voice, connect emotionally and be near him.  I realized yesterday that I rarely feel that way about spending quality time with Jesus, my Lord! What a hard thing to realize! It hit me that I don't even think twice about going two or more days without spending time in His word or "sitting at His feet."

I want to be like Mary and choose the better thing. I want to choose to put down my chore list, my anxiousness and my worry and sit down with Jesus. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Arts, Crafts, and my Mom

Over the past several weeks I've been working on my gift for my Mom for Mother's Day. From the photos below you can probably guess that it was something I made.

My mom was and still is a very crafty woman. Any creativity I have in me probably came from her. I was reflecting on her gift of creativity while I worked on this project. She grew up sewing her own clothes and later even made my childhood Christmas and Easter dresses. There were many projects I watched her make as I sat at her feet or played in the other room. 

Soon enough I was allowed to participate in the crafts. We would make necklaces and Christmas ornaments with beads or make sun-catchers with plastic canvas and ribbon, or use rubber stamps to make cards. My mom painted, did counted-cross stitch or quilted. In my mind, everything she did was perfect; she was so careful and patient as she worked.

Then, one day, when I was probably 10-years-old, it was my turn to sit down in front of the sewing machine. I was in 4-H and had signed up to enter a pair of shorts in the county fair. My mom was so patient with me as she taught me how to use the sewing machine for the first time along with the iron. She helped me correct my mistakes (of which there were tons) and got me through that first project. 

I hated it. I cried. I wasn't good at it at all. I have to admit that this first pair of shorts was meant to be a "practice round" rather than the finished product. But I couldn't get myself to do another pair and ended up entering these in the fair instead. I did get a blue ribbon; but that was most likely to encourage me to continue learning.

At the Fair, I watched as the girls in high school modeled their prom dresses and pant-suits in the fair. I was in absolute awe that they could make such beautiful clothes (that fit!). After that I was determined to enter something again the following year and get better. I wanted to be just like them. 

I kept at it for four more years and made several outfits including a Christmas dress and matching jacket. After that I found that I really didn't like wearing the things I made; they never fit just right. So, I started making doll clothes.  And that brings me to today . . . I doubt I will ever make my own clothes; I'm still not that patient, but I do enjoy sewing now. And I like making things. I'm so glad my mom took those summers to teach me how to use a sewing machine. She taught me so much more during that time in front of the presser foot . . . she taught me to finish what I start and not give up.