Sunday, April 12, 2015

Broken Together...

Photo courtesy of Larry Massey

29 years ago today, we said "I do". We had no idea what that meant at the time.
We were two broken people. We still are.
We're starting to get one thing though,
we are realizing that through good times and bad,
this marriage is not about us.
It was never supposed to be.
We've been slow to get this, and though we fail every day,
God has still blessed us, in spite of ourselves.
We have no idea what tomorrow will bring,
because tomorrow is never guaranteed,
but today
we just want to wake up and be grateful for all that Christ has done.
Happy Anniversary RussMyHoney,
I love you, always and forever...
I am so thankful that we are broken together.

These are the words on the website that describe this song. I think it says it so well.

“Marriage is tough. We bring a lot of fairytales to the picture when it comes to marriage. We bring them to the altar with us [thinking]: ‘This is going to be perfect. We don’t have to be apart. We can just wake up together every morning and no one is going to have morning breath. We’re not going to have any problems.’ And then the problems hit and you don’t know where to file those into your picture. . . The idea I’m trying to say is: ‘Can you lay down who you thought I was and love the ‘me’ that is? Can we take this from where we are now and realize that I can’t be that person?’ Only God is going to be able to make this work and broken people can be broken together. To me, it’s probably the most important song on the record.”

"Broken Together"
What do you think about when you look at me
I know we're not the fairytale you dreamed we'd be
You wore the veil, you walked the aisle, you took my hand
And we dove into a mystery

How I wish we could go back to simpler times
Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light
Now on this hallowed ground, weve drawn the battle lines
Will we make it through the night

Its going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I'll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we'll last forever is broken together

How it must have been so lonely by my side
We were building kingdoms and chasing dreams and left love behind
Im praying God will help our broken hearts align
And we won't give up the fight

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and Ill bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we'll last forever is broken together

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Simple Bulletin Board Vintage Redo

This is a repost of a little Spring project :)
Some of the *little vintage items* I picked up at the Pasadena flea market 
have finally been used for a little bulletin board redo :-)
 First, paint while your kids are doing their schoolwork...
(then you're right there when they have questions)  ;-)
 and cut your fabric to fit....
Because I wasn't sure I'd want it to be permanent, ( I change things alot)
I used thumbtacks to attach fabric and lace..
You could use hot glue, but I used scrapbook dots to attach the buttons!
 Vintage millinery, buttons and crochet flowers...

The little ones are my friend Terri's sweet children, aren't they adorable?
 add photos or other inspirational items...
and hang it on the wall :-)
 *I ♥love♥ using things you already have on hand *

I hope you all find time to create a little something fun yourselves :-)

Have a glorious weekend my friends...


I am Judas' kiss, but You love me anyway.
~Sidewalk Prophets~

Coming to terms with the fact that you can't change 
what someone else has done to you...
Is a huge feat.

Living with that fact...
Is a giant challenge.

But dying for the one who has betrayed you...
Is a true MIRACLE!

Betrayal is one of the most painful things in life to endure.
It can seem worse than illness, worse even than death.
The betrayer may never express remorse, they may
never even acknowledge that the betrayal has taken place. 
I am guilty of this. We are all guilty of this.
"See, I am the one who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground,
Yes, then I turned away with a smile on my face,
with this sin in my heart, tried to bury your grace"
~Sidewalk Prophets~ "You Loved Me Anyway"

I'd like to think this wouldn't be me, that I wouldn't have betrayed Him, but I the truth is, I am not capable of His kind of love.
I am nothing more than one of His betrayers.  
Yet, Jesus took this betrayal of Him,
and gave His life for it. 
"And He loved me anyway."

I cannot comprehend His love.
Not at all. 
His Word tells us over and over of His love for us. 
Yet, understanding that kind of love, that kind of grace,
that kind of sacrifice, for my freedom, for your freedom,
to break my chains, to break your chains,
to right the wrongs of His enemies,
to right the wrongs of my enemies,
of those who betrayed him, of those who have betrayed me,
and of those who have betrayed you,
is more than I will ever be able to comprehend. 

So I'll just share the words and music to this beautiful song,
that say it better than I ever could :)

"How Can It Be"

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I've done, what I've become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

I've been hiding
Afraid I've let you down, inside I doubt
That You still love me
But in Your eyes there's only grace now

You plead my cause
Your right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be
How can it be

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5: 7-8

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Storm

During a walk in the woods, we came around a corner and saw this tree.
I was awestruck when I first saw it. Standing tall, 
with so many roots exposed. 
It had not died from the wind and the storms that had obviously ravaged it. 
Instead, it dug deeper, finding the life giving water that 
would continue to help it grow. 

I knew there were lessons in this tree.
One of those lessons is in the words I added below it.
Not my words, just a simple quote that seemed to fit.

So often, the storms of life toss us back and forth,
and they leave us uprooted, broken, damaged, defeated,
and sometimes we even feel dead inside. 

Christians aren't given a pass on this. We go through the storms too.
Sometimes we are stoic, while really thinking we should be stronger than we are.
Sometimes we break under the pain and pressure,
and forget that there is living water, that will never run dry.

And other times, we call out to the One who calms the storm.

Last week I heard a man by the name of Mark Hall speak about this.
He's the lead singer of a band called "Casting Crowns."

He's in a storm. 
He recently found out he has a cancerous tumor on his kidney. 
He's a husband, a father, a musician, and a minister.
He is also remembering WHO is in control of this. 
I was moved by his words.

You see, one of Casting Crowns biggest hits, cowritten by Mark Hall, is called:

"Praise You in This Storm"
"I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away"

There's a little more too.
Here's the link for this beautiful song, with Mark Hall singing the words.
I hope you have a few minutes to listen.

Maybe some of you have a friend or loved one 
going through a similar storm, like I do. 
Or maybe you're going through a storm yourself. 
I frequently fail during trials and storms. 
I forget WHO'S got this.
Or if I remember, I ask Him WHY He doesn't do it MY way.
He's all powerful, He can fix this. He can make it go away.
That's MY way.

And He just says
"Rest in Me. Can't you get that? I'm with you."

But all too often, I don't rest in Him. I forget to. I rest in fear.
I rest in self-pity. I rest in others. I rest in sadness. I rest in anger. I rest in shame. 
I rest in....(fill in the blank, there are so many others).

That's not rest. 
None of those things feel like rest. They feel like...What?

They feel like...I'm stuck in something I can't get myself out of,
and I'm spinning out of control.
Then He gently reminds me that HE has this,
Whatever "this" may be. 
And I can rest in Him.

The last words of the song are straight out of scripture:
"I lift my eyes up to the hills,
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Ps. 121: 1-2

Oh, that I could remember these words every time a storm comes!

A couple of days ago Mark Hall had surgery, and now he's recovering.
His family is praising God that they caught it early.
I believe they'd be praising Him if they didn't, too.
"For You are who You are, no matter where I am"
is a line from the song.

One of my favorite "storm" verses is Luke 22: 31-32, although it doesn't 
use the word "storm" at all.
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat,
but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you,
when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

That is Christ talking to Simon Peter. 
He's telling him that Satan is going to sift him like wheat.
(Think about the process of "sifting"'s "storm like" stuff!)
Then he's telling him that Satan had to ask His permission first.
(God is in control, remember that Satan
had to ask for permission to "sift" Job, too).
He's also telling him that He didn't tell Satan "No"
(that would be my choice!)
but instead, He (Christ) prayed for Peter.
He Intervened...
on Peter's behalf. 
(Just like He intervenes on our behalf).
And then He tells Peter that He prayed that his faith wouldn't fail,
and that when his (Peter's) faith is strong again,
he should use what he's learned to strengthen others.

I love that :) 
It's not always easy to share our storms,
they're painful, they show our vulnerability, they expose the real us,
but they can also help someone who is facing a similar storm.
I'm thankful that Mark Hall was willing to expose his.
He reminds us that storms hit everyone,
but we never have to be alone in the midst of one.
"and every tear I've cried,
You hold in your hand
You never left my side"

Btw, here's a photo of Casting Crowns newest album cover.

Thrive :)
and a tree showing it's deep roots.

 I hadn't seen this until after I started writing this post.
After, I'd chosen that old, deep rooted tree for the photo :)

Share the song with someone who's going through a storm,
because I'm pretty sure it will strengthen them too :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

To Russia With Love

I have a thing about pier shots. 
I guess it's because I spent many summers with this as my view. Sitting with my friends, next to the pier, bodysurfing, watching the boys surf, and laying out, working on our tans. 
It's still one of my favorite views. 

Which brings me to views. 
Blog views...
Oh wait, I'll backtrack a little first.
I'll start by saying that I'm not on here very often anymore. I know that's stating the obvious, lol. Like many other bloggers, I had moved on to other things and this blog seemed to take a backseat in my life. I've never been much of a writer anyway. I can remember sitting down to write a story for a school assignment, and thinking, "No, let me draw a picture instead." 
Art was my easy "A" class, not English. 

In fact, the only thing I remember writing that didn't stump me was poetry, which is kind of a written form of "Art" class. I guess that photography is now my "Art" of choice, hiding behind the lens of a camera instead of using pencils, pens or paint, sitting in the shadow of a pier, or waiting for the sun to pass just below the horizon to get the most vivid colors of a sunset. 

However, I come from a long line of storytellers. My mom's side of the family has always told stories. True stories. Oral history though, not the written word. My kids have heard my stories so many times they can tell them for me. I've written a few of them here on the blog, but my strength is not in the writing, it's in the telling. When I tell someone about the day I was held up, you will probably laugh about the ineptness of both myself and the robber. My next job was working for lie. I can tell you that one with a whole slew of websites to back me up :) I then worked for an actress, and I think a sitcom could be created from all of the stories I tell about that job. 

So what does pier views, storytelling and blog views have to do with one another? Well, the "pier views" comment was really just because I wanted to include a photo. I always want to include a photo. (Btw, that's my hubby on the surfboard. I'm still watching the boys surf, lol). The "storytelling" is because I haven't been telling any, and the "blog views" is because I'm always surprised when I check in here and see the stats on my blog.

First of all, I'm surprised that anyone is still checking. You are all wonderful to keep doing that. Secondly though, I'm surprised at the amount of visits coming from places like Russia...and Iran. Blogging has broadened my world, or shrunk it, depending on how you look at it. When I was blogging regularly, I "met" people from many countries who have come to be my friends.  So I started thinking, "If Russia is my second biggest viewing audience, what could I give them that would be meaningful?" 

I didn't know the answer. I wasn't even blogging anymore. The last post about my mom was going to be it. I'd lost the desire to share online. I'd lost my biggest cheerleader. I didn't know how much life could hurt without your mom in it. I didn't have any idea what this change was going to look like. My family has been very supportive, and I realize that people lose loved ones everyday. It just looks different when you're the one saying goodbye, doesn't it? 
So I've been learning to grieve. 
Hard stuff.

My mom was never one to let her kids wallow in their problems. Give them to God, she always said. Count your blessings. I can still hear her singing that song while she worked in the kitchen. I began to think about how I have it so easy. My goodness, I have it so easy! I have a roof over my head, food in my cupboards, and clothes on my back along with many more in my closet. My kids have never gone hungry, my husband has always had a job...
and I'm free to worship my God.

So I've decided that's what I'll share. I don't have the gift of writing, but oh, how I love the written word. My musical background is 'forced piano lessons for 5 years, and singing in a praise band."
I know enough to know how little I know. 

But I know what speaks to me. So I'm going to share that. The photos I hide behind. 
The stories that glorify Him. The songs and the lyrics that teach me, that inspire me, 
that remind me there is another view. 
An aerial view. 
His view.

"Lord I'm Ready Now
All the walls are down,
Time is running out
And I want to make this count."

Listen to the rest of this song if you have a couple of minutes. It's beautiful.