Monday, December 31, 2012

Remember

      Well friends, this is my last post in 2012.  It's been an interesting year, to say the least.  In church on Sunday, my pastor spoke about remembering - reflecting on the past year: on successes and failures, and on God's faithfulness.  As I look back on this year, I am humbled by God's love, by His answers to my many prayers, and by His never-ending grace.  Through all of the confusion and tears and uncertainty, God remained faithful, causing me to fall more in love with Him every day.  Praise the Lord for a new year in which His faithfulness will continue, for He is unchanging. Happy New Year, friends! May you be blessed. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

      December 29th! I can't believe it! Only two more days left in 2012. I have been thoroughly enjoying my time at home. Christmas felt really strange, since I only arrived on Christmas Eve and didn't do much in the way of Christmas preparation beforehand like most years. Nonetheless, I'm so glad to be home.
      Christmas Eve was so fun: my dad and brothers picked me up at the airport, the brothers and I surprised my mom at work to say an early hello, a guy outside my mom's work handed me a sprig of free mistletoe (which is now hung over a prominent doorway in our house), we ate a yummy dinner of roast beef and scrumptious sweet potatoes (that I made from a Pinterest recipe - delicious!), and finished the evening off with the traditional family viewing of A Christmas Story - I must say it gets funnier every year! Christmas Day was just as fun.  I always enjoy watching my family open their gifts, especially the ones from me that I've been waiting for them to open for weeks. I'm not the best secret-keeper in the world, which means that I almost spilled the beans about more than one present on more than one occasion.  I still feel like a small child when it comes to the excitement I experience when giving gifts!  
      The rest of the week has been filled with coffee, Gilmore Girls, and catching up with friends. I've felt very lazy, but it has been good to relax with my family.  The past few days, I've made a point to slow down and listen to God. When I get so stressed and busy, I tend to push Him aside, which of course makes life even more stressful. Four more days at home, during which I plan on practicing sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking in His presence and abiding in His peace. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve!

                So here I am, sitting in the Newark Airport at 4:58 am, waiting for my 6 o’clock flight to Chicago. From there I will get on a 3 hour flight that will take me to … wait for it … Oklahoma! I've never been so excited to go back to Oklahoma in my entire life.  When I lived there I would drag my feet on the way back, wishing I was flying anywhere more exciting than Tulsa.  This time, I’ve been practically jumping up and down for weeks in anticipation of my trip home.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen my family in 4 months, the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing them.  I am immensely grateful that God is preparing me for overseas missions one small step at a time – first two months away from home, now four.  I don’t know how I would have gone from living at home to four years (or however long it’s going to be) away across an ocean – I love that God knows what He’s doing!
                Yesterday was an interesting day.  I mostly just hung around my apartment by myself, since my roomie was at home in Queens.  It took me most of the afternoon to do my laundry, which I had obviously been putting off until the last minute.  After three months of living on my own and having to pay for laundry for the first time in my life, I have discovered that I only have to do laundry every two weeks.  How great is that?!  The problem is that I never like doing it, not even after two weeks.  Lugging it up and down three flights of stairs, hanging up the non-dryables, folding, putting it all away.  Every time I’m tempted to complain, I remember people who have to haul their laundry to a Laundromat and I feel thankful that I only have to go up and down a few stairs. 

      Yesterday was not a normal laundry-doing day.  I had forgotten to set my timer so that I remembered to switch my laundry, which meant that I ended up in the laundry room thirteen minutes before the washers were finished.  While I was waiting, I found a stash of porcelain dishes on top of a “free” sign.  Now, you have to understand that I’ve been eating off of red plastic plates and out of yellow plastic bowls all semester, so the prospect of eating off of a “real” plate is actually quite thrilling.  There were four bowls and two tea cups in the same china pattern that my grandmother used to have.  I remember eating out of those dishes from the time I was little and being so sad when I realized that my grandparents moved into a retirement apartment and probably got rid of their dishes that I loved so much.  I am now the proud owner of 6 pieces of dinnerware that will take me back to my childhood every time I eat, memories of red Jell-O with chunks of fruit mixed in swirling through my head. I definitely had a huge smile on my face as I carried the stack of dishes to my apartment, washed each piece carefully, dried them, and gave them a place of honor in the cabinet above the sink.  Oh the treasures that can be found when least expected! 
                I only slept two hours before my friend Koobie and I left for the airport.  Hopefully I will sleep on the plane, especially since I brought my new zebra pillow pet (thanks, Kristi!) along.  Otherwise, it will be pure adrenaline and lots of coffee that will keep me going through this lovely day of Christmas Eve!  Merry Christmas Eve, friends! Enjoy every moment with those you love!
*Written in a Word document while at the airport and posted from Oklahoma with love J

Friday, December 14, 2012

Do Something Christmasey!

      I've been such a slacker with blogging this month!  After I started orientation at the hospital, life got a little crazy and I no longer had time or energy to post Christmas photos.  Plus, it doesn't even feel like Christmastime. Mostly because I have zero Christmas decorations and I'm not at home. Which breaks my heart, really. Christmas has always been a big deal in my family. Not so much Christmas Day as everything leading up to it - decorating the tree the day after Thanksgiving, baking dozens and dozens of delicious sweets, watching Christmas movie after Christmas movie, wearing out the Kenny G and Amy Grant Christmas albums, and finding new uses for Santa hats. Unfortunately, my schedule changed and I won't be home until Christmas Eve, eliminating all of the pre-Christmas happiness with the fam. However, I am beyond thankful that I get to go home at all! 
      I am determined to get into NYC to see the Christmas tree and the city all lit up for Christmas.  My finals are on Monday and after that I'm a free woman! NYC, here I come! I'm going to attempt to take pictures with every Christmas tree I see.....not sure if it'll really work out, but I'm going to try! 
      Today is a lazy Friday. I'm still wearing my leopard-spotted pajamas while I update my blog and sip on coffee laced with cinnamon.  Definitely needed this chillaxin' time before I study my brains out. 11 days until Christmas - do something Christmasey with your Friday! Here are some suggestions:

- Take a picture with a random Santa Clause
- Drink a holiday-flavored beverage of your choice (I had a gingerbread latte last night - DELICIOUS!)
- Sing a Christmas carol at the top of your lungs
- Make paper snowflakes and hang them in random places around your house
- Burn a peppermint-scented candle
- Drive around looking at Christmas lights and huge inflatable snowmen

If you take any of my suggestions, comment on the blog so I can share in your fun! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Today's Temperature

      So, today's picture was supposed to be a picture of the temperature. But I remembered too late and then I couldn't get my phone to take a screenshot of my weather app. So, just imagine 35 degree weather, clear skies, almost half moon, lots of beautiful stars. I love it when I can see stars here! It only happens every once in a while, so when I look up and see stars, I beam from ear to ear! It definitely feels like December! I hope all of you are enjoying the crispness in the air! Happy Thursday! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Joyous

      
      Nothing brings me more joy at the end of a long, exhausting day than to sit in the presence of my Jesus and soak in His Word. He truly is my joy and my strength! What a joyous occasion it is to open the Word of God and receive peace. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Red

     
      Red is a popular color. When I think of red, many things come to mind: stop signs, little cartoon characters when they get mad, an album by a country singer whom I will not name, the current color on my fingers and toes.  But the most prominent thing that comes to mind when I think of red this time of year is Christmas (and Starbucks' Christmas cups)!  At Christmastime, red brings a smile to my face. It reminds me of presents and ho ho ho's and candy canes and Christmas ornaments. How happy is that?! But the color red goes deeper than all of these things.
      As I was thinking of all of these red things, the thought came to mind: the color red changed my life. Red is the color of the blood that was shed on the cross by my beautiful Savior so that I may be forever His. Red is the color of love. 


And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.” 
                                                             Revelation 5:9-10

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Favorite Christmas Movie!

      I decided to scrap day 1 because my view here is gray and cloudy and not very Christmasey. But here's my favorite Christmas movie! I fell in love with this movie a few years ago. Few things make me laugh as much as the kid in I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! I thoroughly enjoy it the entire way through, no matter how many times I watch it.  I even named my family's dachshund after the main character, Rerun. If you're looking for a good Christmas film to watch, make a cup of hot cocoa, settle in under a fuzzy blanket and prepare for lots of giggles! Happy 2nd Day of December! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Photo Challenge


      Hello and Happy December! I am taking a photo a day challenge for the month of December. I took a picture of my view for today, but it was gray and cloudy and the pic wouldn't email from my phone.  So, tomorrow I will have two pictures!  I'm so excited for Christmas!  Kind of bummed because starting my new job means I can't go home until Christmas Eve, but that means I get to spend more time in Christmasey New York City!  Get excited about my pictures - I intend to be amazingly creative!