Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lavish

Matters of the heart turn me into a bit of a basket case… but, man do they make me feel ALIVE!  Whether I am shouldering someone else’s grief, worrying about things I have no control over (more on that later) or dealing with self doubt and disappointment – I read more scripture, pray until there is an indentation in my living room carpet, and have the inexhaustible urge to exercise (hello jeans I haven’t fit in for a while).  
My mantra right now is the first part of Ephesians 3:20~
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…”
When I am “down” and struggle with circumstances, I am holding fast to the promise that what God has planned for me is even better than my WILDEST dreams! – and believe you, me… some of my dreams are pretty extraordinary!  How wonderful to know that God knows the desires of my heart and can “one-up” me – If that is His plan.
Pastor Paul preached a sermon weeks ago and used the word : “lavish” –God is just waiting to LAVISH me with the good plans He has for my life!  Coincidence that my Dad would have a small stone on which he had written “lavish” – I think not… the stone has found a home on display in my living room.  It is my silent reminder to never give up hope… When I pray fervently, I am trusting that God’s will and what I desire are going to line up and the result will be: pure, lavished, awesomeness!!!

*

This does NOT mean that God’s divine plan for me (and specifically: my love story with My Charming) will fit into the cookie cutter ideals that I have.  I know this though: my resolve to stand, and if it has to be alone, FINE, steadfast and without compromise will mean that the things that really matter will all materialize according to God’s plan – even if it does so in an unexpected way.  Does this mean I won’t face difficult times? Goodness no!  But the point of JOY is to have it at all times, in the valleys and the mountain moments.  I don’t aspire to be “happy” at all times… those who have made the mistake of saying that happiness is what God wants for us, have experienced a severe tongue lashing for misquoting/interpreting scripture to their liking… but I do try to find the joy. 
  I know not how it will happen, or even what “it” will be… but I can be, or at least try, to be assured that my God has everything under control.  He may need me to shut up and listen a little more closely (ha!), but He most definitely does not need my help.  Read: if he doesn’t need my help, I don’t need to spend countless hours mulling circumstances over in my mind…   “See the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor spin…”  man. Have I been doing a lot of spinning lately. 
So, now what?  I pray, relax (maybe enjoy a great glass of wine), and rest in knowing that God knows my heart – and the ache –
“Far more abundantly, Elise… far more abundantly…”

*  Photo props go to my talented friend JR Knox!  Thank you for taking the time to capture my lavish stone in an artistic way...
Thanks Leah for all your help too!!!  <3

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy One Year Anniversary to the Houghs!

Leah – My dependable, reliable friend.  How different life is from when we were 20 and our biggest concern was what concert we would be attending on the weekend!  Life is different, you’re married and celebrating one whole year of marriage, yet our friendship and my love for you remains the same.  I still talk waayy too much (and usually before I properly process all my thoughts) and you are still the observant and patient one I so very much aspire to be one day.  I admire the way you absorb my wacky stories and are always a voice of sound spiritual advice.  I know when I ask you to pray over something in my life I can depend on you to actually pray.  You are always honest, but expertly tender, when dealing with my volatile personality.  I am so thankful for you, and the friend you are to me. 
Justin – A year ago you married one of my besties… thank you for allowing me to have visitation rights!  You have always so graciously allowed me to still “have” my friend; understanding how important it is to me, and how she needs to still have “girl time” too.  The greatest of men understand that love is not about control and possession; angels surely high-fived each other last weekend when you so sweetly kissed her goodbye and told her to have a fun girls day at the beach!  You probably razz me more than any other friend I have, but I know that when push comes to shove, you are always in my corner.  Lord help the man that God has set aside for me; he has many, many people to impress… and you’re one of them.
Houghs – May the love you have for each other only grow and be strengthened as time passes.  Your relationship is God-centered, and it is evident to those around you; I am sure it brings a smile to God’s face to see two of his lovelies living out what He intended for marriage to be.   I look forward to watching you celebrate many more years of marriage, and I am cooking up themes for your 50th wedding anniversary as we speak.
I love you both and I am so thankful to be a part of your lives!

I saved a momento from the wedding: Justin's boutonniere!  - I will spare you the pictures of it in my fridge for the last year... but thought a shadow box would be pretty!


Green and Brown - Their wedding colors

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pirate Cookie Bucket

So I baked some cookies for the firemen who showed up at my place to turn of the building alarm last week, read story {here} and also made a Pirate Cookie Bucket. 
The station is completely decorated in Pirate gear - I know this from the first time I dropped off cookies with Brittany and we received a tour and even got to climb up in the engines.  So I figured it would be cute to make a pirate cookie bucket.
$1 bin at Michaels is so good to me – got the bucket for 80 cents and I already had everything else!  I printed the skull and crossbones graphic on plain white paper and punched out the circle; adhered to the cello baggie with some scotch tape, twist tied it and called it a day. 
The die-cut pirate ship on the front of the bucket looked a little plain, so I slapped a punch on it too!


I couldn’t resist tying some ribbon on the side of the bucket – probably too girly for the boys, but I thought it looked better with it.



A thank you tag was the finishing touch, and off to the station I went…

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adventure - in the form of a fire alarm...

Last night was an adventure!!! 
I warned the world, via facebook – of course, that I would be grabbing adventure by the horns; well, last night “adventure” actually came and found me!
I was absolutely exhausted last night and decided that I wasn’t going to work out… my tummy was hungry and my hair needed to be washed.  So I dropped all my bags by the door, pulled the clean laundry out of the dryer and jumped into the shower.  I kid you not… I had been in the shower for thirty seconds (just enough to make my hair wet) when my fire-alarm started screaming.  It took a moment for my brain to process what was going on – like I said: exhausted.  Next thing I know, I am in a towel, grabbing my car keys and phone and headed out the door.  As I reached for the door handle my brain stopped me short and screamed:
“I CAN NOT BE THE NAKED GIRL OUTSIDE WHEN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT GETS HERE!!!” 
Thank heavens I had left my pj’s on my bed, so I leaped into them and headed out the door.  My neighbor - Wayne (we “met” out on the sidewalk) – opened his door at the same time I did; when I realized the alarm was not only going off in my apartment, but the whole building, I called 911.  When the dispatcher told me a unit was responding and it appeared to be a false alarm, I went back inside to put more clothes on, fix my dripping wet hair and tidy-up my living room and kitchen (I couldn’t have firemen in my apartment seeing my freshly washed under-roos) and then went back outside.
The engine showed up and the guys put on their full gear and examined a panel on the side of the building.  The alarms were off in a few minutes and the reason was: an exterior alarm was tampered with – so the alarm was really alerting the department.  The engine that responded was from the station that I frequently take cookies to during the holidays, the Southeast Scallywags!  The fireman I was talking to cracked up when I knew their nickname.


Up next: “thank you cookies!”  - I am thinking a bucket of cookies decorated with Pirate skulls and crossbones.