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Archive for February, 2007

Why I Believe

“If I’d abandon all that seeks to make my faith informed and chic, could You, would You, show Yourself to me? ~ Nichole Nordeman

When I first read this quote, I wasn’t sure what it meant. Even after reading the entire song, I still wasn’t sure if I had anything of value to add this week. After spending most of the evening and night last night feeling pretty sick, I decided I would just skip this week. Then this afternoon, I decided to look at it one more time and see if anything came to me. Call me crazy, attribute it to OCD, whatever… but I felt bad skipping a week, especially since I just joined in on this. *smile*

It finally dawned on me that this quote sort of represents the last several years of my life. I was raised a Christian, in a Christian home, with God fearing parents. We only missed church when we were sick. I even went to a Christian school for my high school years. So everywhere I turned, there was God. I grew up believing the same things my parents believed. I took everything our pastors would say as truth. I took my faith in God for granted. It was my life, of COURSE I believed it all. Right?

It wasn’t until a while after I married that I realized I knew what I believed, I just didn’t really know why I believed it. I mean, obviously, I believed it because it was how I was raised. But why? I was extremely close minded and approached the Word with preconceived ideas. It wasn’t until I sought to shed those ideas and approach His Word with an open mind and heart that He truly began to reveal Himself to me, precious facets of Himself that can just blow your mind. My beliefs didn’t change so much… at least not in the big things that matter. But rather I started to see why I believed what I did (other than just being taught that way my entire life), and why His Word is the only truth. It was at that point that I ceased to be a follower of man, making my faith be whatever information people gave me – whatever was “chic” and right to them, and instead became a real follower of Christ.

Don’t get me wrong. I was saved as a child, and I still believe to this day I was saved as a child. I understood what I was taught, I just didn’t understand all the whys. My knowledge of God was very surface level. My relationship with Him was there and real, but it wasn’t something extremely deep that I constantly pursued. I didn’t have the deep desire to grab on to His coattails and hang on for dear life. The switch was on, but the light was dimmed by the thickness of my selfishness, stubbornness, and preconceived ideas. It took growing up and getting out on my own, and being tested in my beliefs for me to see God revealing Himself as I firmly planted my feet on the ground of those beliefs for the right reasons.

I hope that makes sense. If not, blame my migraine and OCD. *smile*

Don’t forget to visit Fruit in Season, this week’s host, and read her thoughts on the quote. :o)

Photo Hunters – Soft

Soft

The best thing I could think of that falls under this week’s theme is the soft cuddly fur of my two fur babies! Trixie is the white and brown shih-tzu/spitz mix. When we first got her, we started calling her “Spitzu”. :o) She’s two years old and is my very very sweet girl. She’s our “good” dog and she’s a little lover. When my husband comes home from work every evening, she crawls up in his lap (as soon as she gets his permission) and starts to lick his arms and his neck! She LOVES everyone. Molly is our one year old black miniature schnauzer mix. We’re not sure what else is in her, but the vet suspects west highland terrier. She’s lucky she’s so cute… she’s our “bad” dog. *sigh* It has been a trial and a half to get her house broken. But she is super sweet and as you can see, too cute to not love. She has a little bit of an attitude on her, but she’s very submissive. They play very well together and wrestle and chase each other all over the house. Here are our two “children”… soft, furry, and cuddly all! I apologize, I couldn’t pick just one or three… or five!



Friday Feast #4

Appetizer
Where on your body do you have a scar, and what caused it?
Ewwe, I have a puffy scar right above my left shoulder blade. I also have a couple really small puffy ones on my chest. They were all caused by the horrible case of the chicken pox I caught when I was 14. I wish I had listened when my mom said, “STOP SCRATCHING”. Moms always know best. Duh. I also have a very thin only noticeable by me scar on the palm of my hand. That’s thanks to breaking a mirror (on accident) and splicing my hand open. Oh yeah, that was fun and not embarrassing at all.

Soup
What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?
I survived carbon monoxide poisoning when I should have died. That really is a miracle. I’ve had a couple other close calls. I guess God wants me here for some reason or other.

Salad
Name a television personality who really gets on your nerves.
Just one?? Hmm. Rosie O’Donnel. Shoot, pretty much all the people on The View. LOL I also can’t stand Emeril or Sandra Lee on the Food Network.

Main Course
What was a funny word you said as a child (such as “pasketti” for “spaghetti”)?
I think I used to say “flutterbye” instead of “butterfly” or maybe it was “eyeflash” instead of eyelash. Either way… awww, I know. I was so cute. These days though I say “basketti” instead of spaghetti and “evelator” instead of elevator and “cinnaninamon” instead of cinnamon. Aww, I know. I’m still cute!

Dessert
Fill in the blank: I have always thought ______ was ______.
I have always thought Molly dog was going to be on my poo list forever. (But she finally weaseled her way into my heart. Stupid cute little dog.)

Thursday Thirteen #10

Thirteen reactions I had about the Thursday Thirteen meme coming to an end
1. Aw, crap. I was really starting to like this.
2. Oh well. Now I don’t have to make my brain work so hard every Wednesday night through Thursday evening trying to come up with something semi interesting.
3. Hmm. Maybe I should make up my own lists every week anyway just to be weird.
4. Maybe not. I’d probably get sued or something.
5. Should I find another meme to join? Some of them are pretty lame, but there’s bound to be another good one, right?
6. Maybe I’ll just start my own… like Snarky Saturday. Anyone? Anyone?
7. I guess I can use all my new found free time pondering the great wonders of creation. Like chocolate. And duckbill platypuses.
8. My poor friends and family are going to be so bored and heartbroken in the absence of my weekly lists!
9. ROFL. Riiiiiiiight.
10. My husband will probably be quite thrilled that I will no longer be shrieking, “Help me come up with a Thursday Thirteen! HURRY! No, that’s not good enough. It needs to be clever, honey. CLEVER.” on a weekly basis.
11. Well, at least I’m ending on #10. Monk would be *very* pleased!
12. Ooh. Monkish Mondays. Now that one might take off…
13. So long, farewell, auf wiedershen, goodbye. Goooodbyyyyyeeeee!!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



In Other Words – Skimming is not my friend

Those who read fast reap no more advantage than a bee would by only skimming over the surface of the flower, instead of waiting to penetrate into it, and extract its sweets. ~ Madame Jeanne Guyon


Hi, I’m Crystal. I’m a skimmer. Not so much when I read the Word in study, but in everything else. See, I have a short attention span and even though I love to read, I have a hard time concentrating on something that doesn’t especially hold my interest. I have to consciously slow down and make myself focus, or else I’ll end up reading the same thing over and over and over again with no more knowledge of what I just read than I had before I started. The whole skimming thing has never worked for me. If I tried it in school, I wouldn’t be able to answer the questions. If I try to skim an article, I’ll never remember important information. If I skim a friend’s email or internet posts, I’ll miss the fine details of their lives. Skimming just does not work at all for someone like me, especially since I already have a horrible memory.

Obviously, I have already found the wisdom in this week’s quote to be true in many aspects of my life. However, the quote is pertaining specifically to skimming while reading the Bible. When I open up the Word to study, I read slowly and try to understand what I’m reading. But honestly, I don’t think even that is enough to truly extract all the sweetness of His Word. It wasn’t until I bought a good concordance that I realized how much goodness we miss out on when we read from our translation of choice. SO much is truly lost in translation. That is why I appreciate Bible studies that put a lot of emphasis into original language study of the passages or topics on which the study is based.

I admire people who really dig deep and embrace the full meaning of scripture instead of just what we have in our favorite translation. Following in those footsteps and learning to do that myself has opened up my eyes to several things in scripture that I would have missed had I not learned this valuable lesson. I think if more people would do this, then perhaps less scripture would be taken out of context and more growth would happen from the understanding gained in this practice.

If you don’t study the Word in this way, I urge you to give it a shot. I promise it is worthwhile. Don’t skim, but don’t stop there. Dive DEEP into the scriptures, plunging past the limits of our English language translations so you don’t miss some of the sweetest droplets of the nourishing nectar that is God’s Word.

(And remind me to do the same.) ;o)

Don’t forget to visit Laurel Wreath, this week’s host, and read her thoughts on the quote. :o)

Photo Hunters – Antique

Antique

The chair in this photo is the only thing I could come up with that is antique. I’m not quite sure of the story behind it. It is one of a pair of chairs that my grandparents gave to my parents. Whenever they buy a new house, they’ll reupholster the chairs and use them but until then, the chairs have a home with us. They did reside in our living room until we got our second dog, Molly, and Molly decided that the legs tasted pretty darn good. I was REALLY mad, but somehow, my mom was not! I guess that’s just the grandma thing going on, even if her only “granddaughters” are dogs. *sigh* Sooo, the chairs are now sleeping in our converted garage room for the time being. Boring photo, I know, but I hope you enjoy my “antique” anyway! (P.S. I DID want to take a picture of my husband’s boss and use that, but, well, you know how that goes.) ;o)


Friday Feast #3

Appetizer
What sound, other than the normal ringing, would you like your telephone to make?
Hmm. I heard a funny impersonation ring tone the other day that would be cool, but I think it would offend too many people. A lady I used to work with had a cellphone that meowed instead of ring. That would be cool, but I think my dogs would go nuts.

Soup
Describe your usual disposition in meteorological terms (partly cloudy, sunny, stormy, etc.).
Crystal is normally mostly cloudy with periodic spurts of sunshine. Watch out though, she can turn cold and stormy in the blink of an eye. Her hail is pretty harsh too.

Salad
What specific subject do you feel you know better than any other subjects?
I know some Bible subjects really well. Other than that, I guess things pertaining to jewelry making would be something I know best. I also know a lot about pregnancy and childbirth even though I’ve never experienced either one!

Main Course
Imagine you were given the ability to remember everything you read for one entire day. Which books/magazines/newspapers would you choose to read?
Well… I guess if speed reading was a part of the ability, I’d read the Bible, then lots of books about pregnancy, childbirth, and babies. Yeah, I’m a little hooked and I don’t think you can ever know too much.

Dessert
If a popular candy maker contacted you to create their next confection, what would it be like and what would you name it?
The Chocolate Dream Bar: A wonderful chocolate yummy that magically turns into whatever you’re in the mood for. Sound unlikely? Hey. With chocolate, anything can happen.

Thursday Thirteen #9

Thirteen acronyms that prove I spend waaaay too much time researching this whole baby thing! Are you a “want a baby NOW addict”? Do you know the baby bug lingo?
1. TTC
2. BD
3. CD
4. DPO
5. BFN
6. BFP
7. LP
8. POAS
9. AF
10. OPK
11. LH
12. HPT
13. FSH

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I’m Addicted

Photoshop is just too addicting. I think I could spend hours playing on it. Oh wait, I already do. New things I learned tonight:

The photo studio porcelain look:

The kind of looks like a drawing look:

And the I got mad and wanted to burn my photo look:

Ok, now I’m going to bed. Hopefully I won’t have visions of paintbrushes and magic lassos dancing in my head.

P.S. Yes, I’m aware that these photos are big enough to look horrible on smaller monitors with lower screen resolution settings, but blogger stinks and isn’t working right so I can’t fix it! :oP

In Other Words – Oh Me of Little Faith

“We are urgent about the body; He is about the soul. We call for present comforts; He considers our everlasting rest. And therefore when He sends not the very things we ask, He hears us by sending greater than we can ask or think.” ~ Richard Cecil


I can be quite short sighted. Often times, I can’t even see past my own nose. My rotten circumstances and the things I desperately want and feel I have a right to gain are surefire ways of clouding my vision. Lately though, I’ve been forced (quite against my own will, I might add) to gain some perspective. You see, I don’t really like gaining perspective all that much because it almost always means stepping out of my box, moving on, and putting up with pain. These are not things I relish doing! However, in dealing with deep unfulfilled desires for the past year and a half (which has undoubtedly pushed me out of my box, given me little to no choice but to move on, and dealt me lots of pain) I’ve come to realize that my faith isn’t what I thought it was. I’d love to be one of those women who say, “My faith is what gets me up every morning.” but if I said that, I think it would only be a half truth. My faith keeps me hoping for more faith and keeps that still, quiet knowledge in my soul that things will be okay, no matter what… but really, the only thing that gets me through each day is just the fact that I have no other choice.

A lot of people lose their faith over things like this. That thought both saddens me and terrifies me. Really, a situation such as I’m in can turn out to be such a defining moment for a human being. It not only brings to the surface who they really are (and are not), it’s also impossible to walk away from unchanged. I wonder very often why God has put me here and what I’m supposed to be doing with it. I don’t think that losing my faith is the right answer, *lol*, and I don’t think it’s the final answer I’ll find at the end of the road. At the moment, my faith isn’t what I thought it was, and it’s definitely not what I want it to be, and it has been damaged… but I don’t believe that is my endgame. God hasn’t given me 26 years of a life with Himself to let me fall off the wagon completely. He hasn’t brought me up from the lowest of lows only to see me be destroyed.

My faith in Him should be more desirable and precious than anything else. Nothing is worth losing that faith. A few years ago when I had no hope, He taught me that He’ll never give up on me. When I was sure He couldn’t love me, He showed me but a tiny glimpse of what His unconditional love really means. I wonder if now, through my lack of faith that has been made apparent as I wake up each day to unanswered prayers and shattered dreams, He is trying to teach me what faith is truly supposed to be. Or maybe I’m just over analyzing my short stick. ;o) Either way, let’s hope that this unanswered prayer does do some good someday, somehow.

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