"This is the blessed life-- not anxious to see far down the road nor overly concerned about the next step, not eager to choose the path nor weighted down with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following the Shepherd one step at a time."
In September, I was blessed to move in with an amazing roommate & friend, Rebekah! We have been having so much fun together and I can't believe how perfectly the whole situation has worked out. I met Rebekah at church, but recognized her from UMC, where she is also a nurse. Thankfully, we are quite a bit alike and so moving in together was perfect! I wanted to show all of you who are not in town, a little virtual tour of my new house. It has been such a blessing to see how our little house just fell into place... all of our furniture and decor match each other's perfectly, all we had to buy was a few pillows and a rug!
We have named our little house "The B&B", mostly because we want people to feel welcome and comfortable here, and also because its like a quaint little cottage... hence "The B&B". With that said.....
Welcome to The B&B!
This picture is of our front door and a wreath we made for fall!
First stop is the entryway....
And then on to the living room/dining room, which looks out through a wall of windows to the arizona room (screened in porch) and patio.
The screened in porch is SO nice this time of year... we eat out there a lot, and its also a really nice place to read and journal. I love having outdoor space!!
The patio is also very nice and the best part is the spiral staircase on the left that leads up to the roof.... for a little rooftop terrace!
The view from the top!
Here is the dining room... where we have bible study every wednesday afternoon!
Next up is our kitchen, where Rebekah and I cook all the time! Rebekah is turning me into quite the little cook! We can't get enough olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, salt, and mozzarella (these are the habits I brought back from Italy :) !
Now on to Rebekah's room... so cute with all the ruffles and flowers! We really do have similar taste!
Finally, my room! I love it so much, it is such a relaxing little haven! I am so excited to have a queen bed after 5 years of a lil twin! As a side note, the two nightstands, my daddy and I refurnished together (ok...he did most of it). Also the hope chest at the foot of my bed is extra special because I bought it for $25 at a garage sale and my dad completely redid it and now its absolutely beautiful!
Well, thats about it! Of course I am so thankful for such a cute house, but the best part of this new living arrangement is Rebekah and the fellowship we have together as roommates! Please come by anytime, our door is always open!
A young woman came in great perplexity to a Scottish preacher, asking how she could resolve the question of her own desires when they seemed to be in such contradiction to the will of God. He took out a slip of paper, wrote two words on it, handed it to her with the request that she sit down for ten minutes, ponder the words, cross out one of them, and bring the slip back to him. She sat down and read: No Lord. Which to cross out? It did not take her long to see that if she was saying No she could not say Lord, and if she wanted to call Him Lord, she could not say No. No question comes up more often among Christian young people who face what seem to be limitless options than this one of how to discover what God wants them to do. What, exactly, is one's calling? There are two very simple conditions to discovering the will of God. Paul states them clearly in his letter to the Romans, chapter 12. The first is in verse 1 (Jerusalem Bible): "... offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God." The place to start is by putting yourself utterly and unconditionally at God's disposal. You say Yes Lord. You turn over all the rights at the very beginning. Once that's settled you can go on to the second, in verse 2: "Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change, modelled by your new mind." I said that the conditions were simple. I did not say they were easy. Exchanging a No Lord for a Yes Lord has often been painful for me. But I do want a "new mind"--one that takes its cues from the Word of God, not the mass media. I pray for a clear eye to see through the fog of popular opinion, and a will strong enough to withstand the currents--a will surrendered, laid alongside Christ's. He is my model. This means a different set of ambitions, a different definition of happiness, a different standard of judgment altogether. Behavior will change, and very likely it will change enough to make me appear rather odd--but then my Master was thought very odd. Paul goes on to say that these conditions are "the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do." No wonder we scratch our heads and ask, "What is the secret of knowing the will of God?" We haven't started at the right place--the offering of that all-inclusive sacrifice, our very bodies, and then the resolute refusal of the world's values. "Make Thy paths known to me, O Lord; teach me Thy ways. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me; Thou art God my Savior." Psalm 25:4, 5, NEB
"When we cannot see our way
Let us trust and still obey;
He who bids us forward go
Cannot fail the way to show.
Though the sea be deep and wide,
Though a passage seem denied,
Fearless let us still proceed,
Since the Lord vouchsafes to lead."
"If there is any man who fears the Lord, he shall be shown the path that he should choose." Psalm 25:12, NEB
"Teach me, O Lord, the way set out in thy statues, and in keeping them I shall find my reward." Teach me Your way Lord, because I know if I follow your instructions, I will receive the good things you have planned for me.
"Give me the insight to obey thy law and to keep it with all my heart." God give me wisdom as to how I can obey You and be faithful with all my heart in this obedience.
"Make me walk in thy path of thy commandments
for that is my desire."
I want to follow You, Lord.
"Dispose my heart toward thy instruction
and not toward ill-gotten gains;"
Protect my heart from the selfish motives and methods,
"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." Martin Luther
This is what I have been learning lately. It is my goal to take ownership over NOTHING. Everything is God's. My family, my house, my car, my money, my clothes, my relationships, my future... are all God's to do with as He pleases, not mine to control or possess. I am learning to hold on to nothing tightly except God. It is amazing what freedom this gives you. It gives me freedom because when I take a look at what God has done, I am continually reminded that God works everything together for good. His plans are far better than mine.
It's interesting because I can feel when I begin to hold on to something too tightly, trying to bring it out of God's control and into mine. I remind myself to release that idea, thought, or thing, and it's God's once again.
One thing I placed in God's hands last spring was my future. And what an adventure God has made for me this year! Highlight of my year so far would be my trip to Italy, with Kristin. It was such a great time for adventure, fun, exploration, and friendship. Here are a few pictures from our trip.
This here is Cinque Terre, Italy... in the town of Manarola. Such a beautiful area, and the small villages are so charming!!
Our next stop was Florence, Italy, including trips into the Tuscan countryside, & Siena. The city was amazing, so much history and incredible art! Our favorite part was probably our wine tour, though!
Last stop was Venice, Italy. A Disneyland for adults. Literally it is unlike any place in the world and you feel like you are in some sort of a dream/fantasyland... I mean a city with only boats and bridges?? I fell in love with the place.
Dinner at St. Mark's Square... dueling orchestra's, wine, gelato.... it's magic!
We were quite the adventurers and traveled around with just the bags on our backs, literally!
Proof in the puddin'... God does work things out for good. I am so thankful.