Sunday, August 5, 2012

Couldn't help it

Here is a fun pic of the Wilson kids I will be working with...
Gray is the great big sister, Mimi, Mac, Yates and Fitz. I can't wait to get to know them more...

A refresher

This past week I finished up my time with interning for Christ Community and had a few days off before starting my new job.

With my days off I decided to take the Megabus(a cheap and great way to travel) to Dallas/Denton/fort worth to visit college friends. It was nice to get away for a little bit and catch up with dear friends. We did what girls do best: laughed a lot, got dressed up for dinner, some fun thrift shopping, at yummy food, stayed up late, painted nails and had good conversations. I am so thankful for this time off and these women in my life!

Tomorrow I start a new chapter of working as a nanny for a new family,The Wilson's! I am really excited about this year and my time in their home.

Well just a few more hours left on the Megabus...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

being made Holy

Lately I've been thinking about a quote I hear many people say about marriage..."Marriage was not created to make you happy it is to make you holy".  I totally agree with that statement but for some reason because I'm not in that season of life right now I've thought that doesn't apply to me.  Until this week the Lord has been challenging me, pushing me to process through things and I realized that that quote is not just for those who are married.  I'm learning that "singleness was not created to make me happy it is to make me holy".  Whatever season of life you are in you can fill in the blank...  I believe this totally goes against everything the world is telling us.  We are told that if we are happy then life will be great, that if we are not happy then we are doing something wrong, our country is founded on the statement "with the pursuit(definition: an effort to secure or attain) of happiness".  So the world is saying that it is up to me to have a happy life, it is up to me to work hard enough in order to attain happiness.  God's word says in John 10 "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly".  So that tells me God sent Jesus so that we, everyone in the world, may have life and that we would live an abundant(full) life, not necessarily a happy one all the time.

I'm learning from a book, The Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd, this year what it means to live fully out of my heart, to understand the core of feelings. A sweet sweet gift the Lord has given me is four women that I get to meet with every week that we get to share in confidentiality our heart and the feelings we have been feeling the past week.  Now actually going through the steps with the group I am going back through the book and understanding more about what Dodd is saying on how the heart works.  I'm realizing that for so long my heart has been crying out but because I had fear of feeling a certain way because it would bring pain I avoided it not knowing that I'm actually robbing myself of my heart's true potential for joy.  Instead of facing the truth I sought after counterfeit solutions all to avoid the neediness and vulnerability so often found with the truth.  I'm learning that life is not simply about being happy.  It's about living fully in an intimate relationship with my self, others and with God, which is a joy unto itself.  
"We subordinate ourselves to the lie that our lives don't have great worth except through performance or merit.  We do things because we ought to instead of awakening to the desires within our hearts that hunger for truth and hunger to do things because we passionately desire to do them...We live far below the heights for which we were made."    

" By surrendering to your heart's true expression, you can live abundantly.  Your thirsts and hungers will be satisfied.  Your feelings, needs, desires, longings, and hope will lead you to full life.... Ultimately, living fully means more than happiness, comfort, or thrills.  You have the capacity to experience true joy, yet you are equally capable of grieving deeply while holding on to hope.  Full life means you can expect great things in the midst of great loss.  You can accomplish many good things while still needing to be forgiven for the harm you have caused."  

Through the whole book he explains the structure of the heart and how it works as a system of spiritual and emotional roots that need spiritual and emotional nourishment.  The system consists of feelings, needs, desires, longings, and hope. Through knowing the system we are able to pursue abundant living.

I had no idea how much I have stuffed down in my heart all because I don't want to feel the pain.  All because I don't want to deal with the ugliness of my sin.  All because of fear and shame that I don't want others to know my junk.  I don't want to rip off the bandages I have covered my heart with because I honestly don't want to see what the wound looks like underneath.  I don't want to see the ugliness of the deep rooted hole that is in my heart that is invested with dirt but I know that by cleaning it out healing will come but in the midst of the cleaning there is pain.  So here it is in the season of singleness the Lord is sanctifying me and I'm not happy about it but I can say that I am glad.  I am experiencing true gladness in knowing that my Father loves me so much that He doesn't want me to stay in the mess of sin I'm in.  That He wants me to deal with the wounds no matter how much it hurts He knows that this is what's best for me.  That He cares more about redeeming me and making me more like Him than He does about making me happy.     

By seeing the depths of my sin I am getting to see a clearer picture of who God is: gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love, faithful to his promises, loving toward all he has made, upholds all who fall, lifts up those bowed down, righteous, near to those who call, fulfills the desires of our hearts, watches over us, healer, restorer, creator, mighty, great, a fortress, a stronghold, a deliverer, a shield, a refuge and sustainer to the humble.   And to know that God delights in his people, those who fear Him(those who hate sin),who put their hope in his unfailing love... (psalm 144-147)

So single ladies as much as I know you want to be married, I'm in the same boat, but what would happen if we stopped looking at the season of singleness as merely a waiting room for our "Mr. Right" and began to look at it as what it truly is, a gift from God which He sees is the best for us right now.  That through our life He cares way more about our hearts and about restoring them so that we may become more like Him.  

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord."
Psalm 150 

1 Peter 1:13-16
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  but just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Adding a little color

So I saw this art project on pintrest(of course) and thought this would be a perfect way to add some color to the jewelry room....
So I headed to Lowes and had way to much fun. I just picked every color under the rainbow and felt a little guilty cause I was walking out of there with a stacks of swatches in hand and didn't have to pay! Thanks Lowes :)

When I got to work I laid out all my colors and all the different shapes of samples.

Then I just went for it. Cutting tape and began putting a massive puzzle together. But I was so excited at the end cause it actually turned out to be a nice touch of color to the room!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the fields

I have been struggling on figuring out how to process all that the Lord has been showing and teaching me this summer.  From 9-5, Monday through Friday, I walk into several different "worlds" and before starting this position I never knew some these even existed 5 miles from my house.  
         One place is filled with people who come from different countries around the world trying to figure out American Culture, learn english, try to find a job, get their kids in schools and have been labeled with the expectation that they should be self sustaining within three months.  I am amazed at these peoples lives and am captivated by their cultures.  We always hear it said "people in the south are so hospitable" if just smiling and saying hi to someone is considered hospitable or if we believe that hospitality is only a gift that God has given to some then I believe we have sadly mistaken the true definition.  My new friends have shown me what true hospitality is and I have quickly learned it is not just a smile and a quick hello, how are you.  They actually welcome you into their home, they don't mind that we see their dirty dishes in the sink, a floor that needs to be swept or that their home is not decorated to the finest.  As soon as we step foot in the door its oh please sit down let me make you some chi tea(its so yummy!) and we can talk(more like a game of charades) or please stay longer let me make you one of our favorite meals (homemade egg rolls with a side of lettuce is becoming one of my favorite meals).  Here are people who have very little, living off of food stamps, struggling to learn how to communicate with me but yet are so quick to give and welcome in.  

Then I step into another world, an inner city neighborhoods that truly does feel like I'm walking into a 3rd world country at times. One night a week Emily (the other intern I'm working with) and I get the opportunity to have dinner with a family who actually live in the different inner city neighborhoods around town.  Last week we got to learn more about a specific neighborhood we work with that is called Orange Mound.   As we were listening to stories I begin to feel like I've been living under rock cause I had no idea what peoples lives were really like this.  That it's not abnormal for people who live in a house in that area of town to not have electricity or running water.  That people actually do live life using buckets of water to wash their hands, flush the toilet and take some sort of bath.  That even though a house may look decent on the outside it wouldn't be a surprise if you walked into it and there not be one piece of furniture.  There are children(as young as four) in the neighborhood who don't have parental supervision and so they just roam the streets any time of day.  There are girls as young as 12 years old getting pregnant by grown men and who are able to make the decision to keep the baby.

Once a week we going into one of the clinics that is located in the same inner city area and get to talk with patients about their spiritual health.  We have a couple intro questions to ask which then helps us lead into sharing the gospel.  I remember the first day of doing this I was so nervous but now it is easily the highlight of my week and the hardest part of my week.  I have not had any patience tell me that they didn't want to talk about their spiritual health or reject being prayed for.  I'm not the best with estimations but I would confidently say at least 80%+ of the people that I have had the chance to talk with had never heard the gospel before.  They think just by going to church and doing good deeds is how we get to heaven.  They hadn't heard why Jesus had to die, that we are all guilty of sin and that Jesus truly is the only way and our only hope!  

The first morning of starting the internship I read John 4:27-42.  Jesus just finished talking with the samaritan woman and the disciples came back to meet up with Him but are so surprised to see Jesus talking with a woman, a samaritan woman at that.  She leaves and the disciples figured that Jesus had to be hungry at this point and are encouraging him to eat something.  Jesus responds "I have food to eat that you know nothing about" the disciples were confused by His statement.  So Jesus goes on to explain... My food, is to do the will of God and to finish his work.  vs35 "Do you not say, Four months more and then the harvest?  I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest."  

I remember praying that morning and asking God to open my eyes to see the harvest fields in Memphis and by God's grace He has been faithful to do just that.  They are ripe and there are a lot of acres to cover.... 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jewelry Making

Here is a little history and purpose behind the jewelry program that has been started for the women in the refugee community.

We are also excited to announce the opening of the Ekata Designs etsy shop!  Take a look around and keep a look out of up coming house shows and local stores that will be caring their jewelry!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A little get away

Today I am having to say good bye to the beach :(

I am so thankful for this weekend for many different reasons. It was a sweet gift from the Lord to be able to check out from "normal" life for a few days. I remember when I was growing up we would go visit my grandparents cabin every year during spring break and one year I some how got board in the mountains. I'll never forget my mom telling me "mijita(little girl in Spanish), sometimes it's just nice to do nothing " At that moment I thought she was crazy but now I totally agree. It felt so nice to have no schedule, no alarm clocks, sit out by the pool or beach and read for hours and dose off for a nap.

I am refreshed and ready for crazy normal life to begin again this week.

Friday, May 25, 2012

So much to take in

In my last up date I was concluding one season of my life and transitioning into a new. Knowing what I will be doing in summer but had no direction on what is to come after.

I am excited to announce that God has faithfully provided a full time position for me in the fall! It gets better...I will be able to continue to do what I love doing!! I get to be a full time nanny for a wonderful family here in Memphis!! I am so excited to get to learn from this great family and I am honored to have been chosen to be a women who gets to come along side to help raise these kids. They too have a blog and I will get to help keep that updated so you can check out their blog to get a sneak peak into my world as well.

I am finishing today my first week of internship. It has been a world wind of a week. A lot to take in and process. I can say though in these 5 days I am falling more in love with my Savior and can't even imagine all that He is going to teach me in these 10 weeks.

One thing I will get to do over the summer is hang out with 4 Nepali women every week while they make jewelry to sell. Here are a few pictures and this week the sweet women cooked a meal for us!! It was so good!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breakfast smoothie

I tried a yummy new breakfast smoothie this morning and thought I would share it. It came from the latest Whole Living magazine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An almond

I am thankful for an almond today.  

I was pouring a bag of almonds into a bowl and one popped out and fell into a drawer I had left open.  I began digging through all the tupperware to rescue this lost almond.  In my head I'm laughing at myself and thinking I am not going to waste one almond I paid good money for these.  Then I had to stop and praise the Lord.  Here I am digging for an almond because it had value to me, its worth to me was just as important as all the others I had poured in the bowl and I was not going to let it go to waste.  Then the spirit said "just like you are to Christ".... Christ paid the price of sin for us because I have value to him, he died for us because he saw worth in each of us and because of the price he paid.  Now if we obey his commands and keep his covenant(Ex.19) then there is no way He is going to allow our lives to go to waste.... May we seek him fully today and ask that we may see ourselves the way He sees us... adored, cherished and loved unconditionally

Also, I just bought these raw Kale chips from Whole Foods.  SO good!  try them with some salsa... yummy!

I had this yummy juice for breakfast this morning and was a fan of it!

5 Carrots
2 grapefruits
1 inch cut of ginger


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Santas Workshop

I just came across this little 30 minute documentary, Santa's Workshop, it takes behind the scenes of what the conditions of the toy factories are like in China.  The film is done by a european film company so most of the companies are Swedish or Danish but I believe these are the same conditions companies selling in the United States are dealing with.

Please take a moment to watch this, very eye opening, I will not be able to shop the same again.

I'll follow up with some great alternative ways to shop for toys

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yummy raw food dessert!

So I had mentioned earlier how I wanted to actually start eating simply, meaning eating foods as close to their raw state as possible. I started researching raw food diets for a while now and I'm amazed at what I've learned. Many people have been healed and cured (by eating raw) of so many diseases that majority of people either die from or spend their life on medication for.

So here is a fun dessert I just tried today, I found the recipe from Hallelujah Acres, a ministry that is all about teaching/training people about healthy eating.

"An avocado-based, dairyless yogurt with blueberries, but you can make it using strawberries, raspberries, or any other fruit, too!

1 cup blueberries
1 avocado (medium size)
2 Medjool dates
Set aside 1/8 cup of blueberries. Then place all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend, adding enough distilled water to obtain desired consistency. Remove from blender and stir in the “set aside” whole blueberries. ENJOY

*If you desire a sweeter tasting yogurt, you can add a teaspoon (or to taste) of agave nectar. A few drops of vanilla extract adds a lot of additional flavor."

Have fun experimenting!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First homemade clothing item!

I love my Tuesday nights that I have blocked off to use for doing something creative. I'm starting off simple and slow on making clothes and here is my first item! I'm super excited about it!  I need to fix up the arm holes but other than that its a super easy beginner sewing item.

I found this plaid fabric on sale at Joanne's and was plaining on making a scarf with it but then found a tutorial from "P.S. I made this"(an awesome DIY site to check out and they have books) and thought I would give it a try.

After I made it I needed some sort of pin to hold it together so I took apart a necklace that I love but haven't seemed to wear it much and made a fun broach.

Now I have a fun new outfit!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Kid clothing exchange

I just found out about this website, ThredUP, where moms can buy, sell and share clothes, toys and books!  A great way to save money and not have to buy something new.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Free2work app

This is an amazing app that everyone should have. It makes learning about the story line of products easy.

All you have to do is scan a barcode!!

what is looks like:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Challenge

Hard to believe 2011 has come to a close and 2012 has started!  2011 was a year to remember and worth celebrating!  I experienced some great things for the first time and was changed in ways I totally wasn't expecting...Thank you God for being in control of my heart!

I have several new challenges for myself in 2012 and one of them is to focus on the Spiritual Discipline of Simplicity.  This past year I went through the book, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and was challenged in many areas.  By Gods grace I am slowly learning that disciplines bring freedom and balance in life.  The chapter on Simplicity was one that tugged my heart and began realizing I want to live simply in all areas of my life not just how many pieces of clothing I own.  When I think of the meaning of simple I think of something that is streamlined.  When things are streamlined you are focusing on a few things.  I believe when we are only focusing on a few things we gain an appreciate for those few things than if we were to have many of the same things.  I want my diet to consist of simple foods- fruits,veggies and breads made from scratch, I want my schedule to be simple -open for the Lord not filled with my stuff and a simple daily routine that isn't this complicated mess of me running around all over the place.

Foster has a list of ten outward expressions of simplicity and how we can flesh out the meaning of simplicity.  All ten are really good and need to be focused on but there was one he brought up that I had never thought about or even considered would be under this discipline.  The ninth on the list is "to reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.... This is one of the most difficult and sensitive issues for us to face, but face it we must...In a world of limited resources, does our lust for wealth mean the poverty of others?"  After reading about this expression I started researching more about slave labor and it opened up a whole can of worms.  I was saddened to think about all the injustice going on so that I can have the latest fashionable clothes, have my choice of fruits and vegetables year around and any toy at the drop of a hat.  

So this is my challenge this year: to learn more about the products I use, support my local farmers regularly and buy nothing "new".  There are plenty of ways we can shop and support our local workers through thrift and consignment stores, Ebay, Etsy, garage and estate sales to find fun clothes,shoes, things for the house, gifts,etc.  I want to learn how to sew more things and spend time making gifts for friends.

I'll keep you posted on my fun finds, my revamps of olds things and any information I find on the topic of Slave Labor.

Happy New Year!!  May all areas of our lives be an outward expression of our grateful hearts for Jesus' unending grace.