Tuesday, November 5

Bon Courage, Take Heart

I love when God gives us simple reminders that He is present and involved in our daily lives. About a week ago I was having my personal devotion time in the morning and I felt impressed to pray for someone from work; she had been asking for prayers because one of her very young sons was recently diagnosed with a very rare syndrome that will affect his life and theirs forever. I had been praying for her on and off whenever I remembered, but that morning, not only did I feel impressed to pray for her, but I also felt like God put a verse in my mind for her and gave me specific things to pray for her. 

When I finished my prayer time the thought crossed my mind that I should share the verse with her. I went back and forth with myself in my mind as to whether or not I would actually share it with her. Eventually I caved to my initial thought and sent her a quick message letting her know that I was praying for her and that God would be with her every step of the unknown journey before her. I shared with her the promise and challenge of Joshua 1:9-- "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go" (ESV). 

I love that verse. God tells Joshua multiple times in the conversation surrounding that verse not to fear. And as I let the thought simmer in my mind that morning, I saw the beauty of the promise in the verse. 

Have I not commanded you?

"In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized" (Christ's Object Lessons, page 38).

"Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings" (Christ's Object Lessons, page 333).

God never gives to us a command that He does not also give to us the power to perform. 

It is such a refreshing thought to me that I can be strong, courageous, and unafraid of what the future might hold, not because I am a strong person, but because my God is a strong God, and He has promised to be with me wherever I go. In my weakness, God is my strength. In my fear, God is my courage.

Be of good courage, take heart; for God holds you in His hands, and He will never let you go no matter what the past, present, or future hold.

Tuesday, October 1

Catching Up

It's been a while. And that's an understatement. Let me catch you up on a few of the details I have not blogged about in the past year or so (although, many of you know about much of what I'm about to write).

Major Events:
December 24, 2011: Began dating Timothy (who had actually put on his Christmas wish list "A girlfriend")!

Christmas Eve, 2011
New Year's Eve Weekend 2011: Took a trip with two of my brothers and my sister-in-law to West Virginia for my first ever experience snowboarding! After several hours of much progress, I proceeded to take a nasty fall and seriously injured my right elbow. (Almost 2 years later, it's still not quite healed, although it's much better)

March 2012: Went backpacking for 5 days, 4 nights in the Grand Canyon! That was seriously one of the most intense, exhilarating, amazing, and wearisome things I have ever done in my life. Definitely an experience that brought me closer to God and made me realize just how small one can feel. In addition to the trip being amazing, it was done with people who are very dear to my heart- some of my favorites :)

Yuma Point

Grand Canyon View
Colorado River

April 2012: Went rock climbing for the first time ever. It was... alright. Ok, so it was better than I expected. I've never had any desire to rock climb, and quite honestly, it frightens me. A lot. But I almost even enjoyed myself when I was doing it.

August 2012: Vacationed with some of Timothy's family in the Outerbanks, NC. Super fun! We went to Jockey's Ridge State Park and played on the dunes, hung out at the beach, ate amazing food, and just enjoyed good times with wonderful people.

September 2012: Timothy's newest niece was born! Sweet little Meraiah Valerie :)

November 2012: Best birthday present ever-- Timothy proposed to me! We went hiking on Benton Mountain, had a picnic, watched the sunset, and he asked me to be his wife! After I said yes, we sat in a hammock under trees with Christmas lights in them on top of the mountain.

View from Benton Mountain
Sunset on a very happy Sabbath birthday
Engagement ring that Timothy made

March 2013: One of the sweetest and dearest people I've known was laid to rest. This world lost a ray of God's sunshine, but she is not lost forever. I can't wait to see her again when Jesus comes to wake her from her peaceful, pain-free rest.

May 2013: Timothy graduated with his BSN! And on May 26, 2013 I married my best friend! We also re-realized how incredibly blessed we are with our incredible families and friends. We couldn't have asked for better ones to celebrate our marriage with us.

Summer 2013: We attended what seemed like a myriad of weddings-- and each one was uniquely characteristic of the couples getting married. I love how weddings are a kind of snapshot of people's personalities and characters. Also, went to some states I'd never seen before! It was my first time visiting Washington state, Oregon, and Louisiana.

Allie & Jonathon's Wedding (July 2013)
First time on Mt. Rainier, WA

Multnomah Falls, OR
Multnomah Falls

Ricky & Larissa's Wedding (August 2013)
Kaeli & Nathan's Wedding (September 2013)

My favorite set of twins :)
August 2013: Timothy's family had a reunion and we went camping in Hungry Mother State Park! I've always wanted to go there, and I loved it! We also visited Mount Rogers and saw the wild horses (Adorable! And fat!), and we biked down the Virginia Creeper Trail with Timothy's entire immediate family! That was probably the highlight of the trip for me, and I hope to do it again sometime soon.

I wanted to take this one home!

So, those were the highlights. This morning as I was laying on the couch having my devotional time, I was thanking God for so many blessings and wondering how it is that I so often wish and dream of things past or future. I love reminiscing about the past, and I believe it is important for our growth to remember the blessings, and the hurts, of the past. I also believe that it is a good thing to plan and dream for the future. But right now, this day, I am asking God to help me learn to soak up all the goodness of the present moment because there is so much of it. I am incredibly blessed in so many ways, and once again I am praying for God to help me see and love and live in the present-- to appreciate and enjoy every bit of it to the fullest of my ability.

Thursday, April 4

Caitlin's Memorial Service

For those who weren't able to come, and for those who have not yet seen where to find this video, this is the complete video of Caitlin Meharry's Memorial Service that was held on March 30, 2013. I hope you are as blessed as I was to see and hear this.

Friday, March 22


SDA Hymnal #419

Soon shall the trump of God
Give out the welcome sound,
That shakes death's silent chamber walls,
And breaks the turf-sealed ground

You dwellers in the dust, 
Awake, come forth, and sing;
Sharp has your frost of winter been,
But bright shall be your spring.

'Twas sown in weakness here;
'Twill then be raised in power;
That which was sown an earthly seed
Shall rise a heav'nly flower.

Quilt square I made for Caitlin

I can hardly wait to hear the beautiful sound of Caitlin's voice singing God's praises when He comes to wake her from her peaceful rest.

At Emily's Wedding, July 2012
Ampersand Mountain, Summer 2008
I could share many memories of Caitlin, as could many of her friends. She was beautiful inside and out and exuded joy. She used to like to talk about "God colors," as she called them. I remember her talking about how we are like prisms, and when God's light shines in and through us, we reflect the "God color" that He wishes to show to the world through our unique beauty. If anyone knew about reflecting God's love and beauty, it was Caitlin.

Playing for worship at Camp Cherokee
Caitlin also loved music; she played her violin with so much emotion, and she had the most melodious alto voice. She loved to harmonize. And she loved to sing lullabies. She would sing them to Christy, Christen, and me when we were all suitemates in college. My favorite was, "If I could, I would give you wings..." She also sang them to her cabins full of girls when she worked as a counselor at Camp Cherokee.

But by far, my favorite memories of Caitlin were our heart-to-heart talks. She was famous for them. She always, always made time for people-- to listen to them pour out their woes, to comfort them with soft words, prayers, and love. The day she flew up to Maine, she made time for Timothy and me to come visit her for a while. She sat in her recliner while I stroked her hair, and she listened with grace. She listened and she also took time to share from her heart; despite the fact that her voice was gone, she whispered words of encouragement and shared her own thoughts and cares.

With Shaila at Christy's wedding
Last night as Timothy and I were having worship together, we decided to sing "I Wanna Go to Heaven." But when we got to the line, "And when I get to Heaven, I'll cast my crown at Jesus' feet," I couldn't sing for the tears that choked my voice.

Christy's bridal shower
When Caitlin and I were suitemates, there was one Friday night that she and I sat out in the lobby of the second floor in the Girls' Dorm and talked. I was going through a very rough time emotionally, and we were talking of Heaven. We talked about Revelation 4:10, 11 and how it says that the 24 elders cast their crowns at Jesus' feet and praised His name. Caitlin and I talked about how when we got to Heaven we were going to lay our crowns at Jesus' feet because He is the one who is deserving of honor and glory. Our part as heirs with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven will not be won by our efforts, but by the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and to Him belong each of the crowns that we will wear in Heaven.

I can hardly wait to stand side by side with Caitlin and lay our crowns at Jesus' feet. I only pray that that day will come soon that we may all be forever with our God.

At Christy's Wedding, June 2010

At Martina's Wedding, May 2012