Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's feeling Like Christmas.

So I'm in the process of putting together my "Thanksgiving Post". It's been a process and then Blogger was down for awhile last night. So it is coming. Be patient! It will be a good one!
Today it is FREEZING in TX. Those of you up north are probably laughing because I know it's colder there.
It's 37 degrees!!! That's COLD for TX! It feels like Iowa here and it's making me a little homesick. Even though I was just home and I'm coming back home in 23 days.
It now officially feels like Christmas season...although, no snow. Hopefully it will snow when I am home!!People around here are starting to put up lights, but it seems they don't get into it as much as my neighborhood in Coralville. Maybe it's still too early for them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Here With Us

Tonight as I was pulling out my Christmas music I came across a CD with a song on it that I sang last Christmas at Parkview's Christmas Program. It's a song called "Here With Us" by Joy Williams. I quickly put it into my CD player and as soon as I started listening to it I started crying. I was overwhelmed with the memories of singing this song with the orchestra and choir. The memories of singing out Hallelujah and feeling the Spirit overtake me, making my legs weak. It was an amazing experience. I miss that feeling...of being on stage...worshiping Jesus...being overwhelmed by the Spirit...singing out. This is such an amazing song....check it out and listen to it completely and listen to the words and feel yourself be overwhelmed by the Spirit. (Click on the link and then on the right hand side you will see a list of a few songs and click "Here With Us") I sometimes wish that I could go back and do it again.
All of those feelings came back as I listened to this song...I miss singing so much. I'm praying that God will give me opportunities to sing here in Austin. I'm waiting...and praying that my eyes would see where He is leading.
Here are the lyrics to this song...be blessed.

"It's still a mystery to me
That the hands of God could be so small
How tiny fingers reaching in the night
Were the very hands that measured the sky

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Heaven's Love reaching down to save the world.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Son of God, Servant King
Here with us, You're here with us

Still a mystery to me
How His infant eyes had seen the dawn of time
How His ears had heard an angel symphony
But still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Heaven's Love reaching down to save the world.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Son of God, Servant King
Here with us, You're here with us

Jesus the Christ
Born in Bethlehem
A baby born to save,
to save the souls of man

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Heaven's Love reaching down to save the world.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Son of God, Servant King
Here with us, You're here with us

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Goodbye Iowa :(

Well, My mom and Don just dropped me off at the airport and I'm headed back to Austin. I'm waiting for my plane and just thought I would do a quick post to say that my time in Iowa was GREAT! I loved every minute of it! I have taken 233 pictures!
I will post some soon, maybe not all of the...but a lot of them because they are so fun! I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving as well. It will soon be Christmas and I will be going through all of this again. I already can't wait until I get to come back to Iowa and I'm not even out of Iowa yet!
So...more to come on my Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tomorrow

I just got a voice mail from my mom and she was singing..."Tomorrow...tomorrow...I'll see you tomorrow...it's only a day away!"
I was crying I was laughing so hard...and I'm at work...great! It was AWESOME!
Can you tell that she is excited to see me!?!? I'm excited to see her too...and everyone else! I can't believe that it's tomorrow!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Waiting...

As you can tell with all of my posts today, work is extremely slow and it seems that the minutes are getting slower and slower as it gets closer and closer to the time I get to come back to Iowa.

I just started writing and this is what came out...

Sitting and wondering, is this it? Is this what You have for me? Could it be that I missed it somewhere? Can I miss it? Or am I in it?
Conforming to this, my mind has expanded, but not for You. Can't I just wear what I want and have pink hair? Be who I am, instead of who they want me to be? Professional.
There is something more in me, something that is wanting to scream, to yell, to dance, to shout. It's like a wave welling up but not yet crashing. Its mist is just a taste of what's to come. What is to come is something with force, something greater, something more powerful.
I wait.
I have been waiting.
I'm just still sitting, wating.
I have grown tired of sitting. Can I wait standing up? Can I wait walking a bit? How about running? Or maybe just exploring?
I wait for You to open my eyes, to open the doors, to realize and recognize the work that You have been doing all along.
I wonder what it will be, what it will look like, how I will be used...my dreams.
I wonder who he is, I wonder what he looks like, his character...my love.
I wonder who I will see there, I wonder how it will feel to breathe in perfect air, I wonder what I will do when I see You...my home.
I will continue to wait.

Chemo stinks, but there will be joy...someday

I shared these quotes with Melody yesterday to encourage her through her chemo. Thought they were fitting and was encouraged myself...hopefully they will encourage you too...

"Joy comes in the morning. Joanna discovered this in a miraculous way on Jesus' resurrection day. She went to his tomb expecting to minister to his dead body and to grieve. Instead, her sorrow turned to tremendous joy. Our joy may not come this morning or tomorrow morning or even the morning after that. We face too many hardships, too many difficult situations, too much sorrow here on earth to think joy will arrive with each morning. But it will come. God has promised: there will be a joyful morning for all who trust in him." --Jean Syswerda and Ann Spangler

"God loves us so lavishly and outlandishly that our blessings in life are too numerous to count--if we have eyes to see. But no human being, be she eight or eighty, has only good days. The good news is that the most incredible best that is yet to come is beyond even our incredible imagination!"--Marilyn Meberg

"For every single thing that has happened in our lives, we can learn to say with confidence, even with joy, 'Not my will, but yours be done.' This means saying yes to the happy and beautiful gifts, but also to the child you lost, the husband who never showed up, the breast cancer, the lost opportunities, the broken dreams, the endless list of human suffering. I do embrace the mystery that, in the darkest valleys the Light of the world is with us, and we will come to know him, to love and trust him, in ways we never have before."--Sheila Walsh

Spurgeon Devo

Here is a cool little devo from Spurgeon...good stuff...read it a couple of times.

"Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him."-John 12:2

"He is to be envied. It was well to be Martha and serve, but better to be Lazarus and commune. There are times for each purpose, and each is comely in its season, but none of the trees of the garden yield such clusters as the vine of fellowship. To sit with Jesus, to hear His words, to mark His acts, and receive His smiles, was such a favour as must have made Lazarus as happy as the angels. When it has been our happy lot to feast with our Beloved in His banqueting-hall, we would not have given half a sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could have bought them.
He is to be imitated. It would have been a strange thing if Lazarus had not been at the table where Jesus was, for he had been dead, and Jesus had raised him. For the risen one to be absent when the Lord who gave him life was at his house, would have been ungrateful indeed. We too were once dead, yea, and like Lazarus stinking in the grave of sin; Jesus raised us, and by His life we live-can we be content to live at a distance from Him? Do we omit to remember Him at His table, where He deigns to feast with His brethren? Oh, this is cruel! It behoves us to repent, and do as He has bidden us, for His least wish should be law to us. To have lived without constant intercourse with one of whom the Jews said, "Behold how He loved him," would have been disgraceful to Lazarus, is it excusable in us whom Jesus has loved with an everlasting love? To have been cold to Him who wept over his lifeless corpse, would have argued great brutishness in Lazarus. What does it argue in us over whom the Saviour has not only wept, but bled?
Come, brethren, who read this portion, let us return unto our heavenly Bridegroom, and ask for His Spirit that we may be on terms of closer intimacy with Him, and henceforth sit at the table with Him."---C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, November 20, 2006

"A Place in this World"--El Arroyo

My new favorite thing in Austin...
This morning I went to the downtown post office for work and my co-workers wanted me to stop by El Arroyo and get some breakfast tacos. This would be my second experience with breakfast tacos. The first was also at my work, someon brought in a huge box of them. TASTY!
Anyway, El Arroyo is this little shack that sells $1 breakfast tacos! They were amazing! I think it's my new favorite thing that I am going to try and not get addicted to. I think the best part was walking up to the "shack" and hearing Michael W. Smith's "A Place in this World" blasting through the speakers! It was AWESOME! Kinda weird.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Slim Jim Part 2

Sorry Gret, you knew this was coming!
So...my mom, my sisters and I usually get together with my aunt and my two cousins every year, usually more than that, for a girl weekend, otherwise known as our "Ya Ya Weekend".
This last October they all went to a Women of Faith conference. I wasn't able to go with them this year, which made me very sad, but like always they had a GREAT time! I was sent this picture of my cousin Gretchen, in support of my Slim Jim love. (See previous post and comments)
That is seriously the coolest thing I've ever seen! You Rock Sister!!!!

IKEA

I have let y'all down.
I have not yet been to IKEA. I hope to get there soon though!

I'm So Excited...and I just Can't Hide It!

5 days until I get to see my family and friends in Iowa! I can't wait. I get so excited!
Things that I am excited about:
-- Getting off the plane in Moline and walking out to see my mom and my two sisters! (I will cry!)
--The girly car ride home!
-- Staying at Laura and Joe's house in my old room.
-- Waking up Thursday morning and seeing Jack, Noah and LILY!! (I will cry!)
-- Seeing Will and Sam!! ( I will cry!)
-- Thanksgiving dinner with my family! Lots of food and craziness!
-- Buns and pickles
-- Spending some time at the Lobb's House!
-- Seeing baby Guillermo?!?!
-- Getting picked on by Damon and Joe.
-- Seeing Lily shake her booty to music.
-- Taking lots of pictures.
-- Lots of hugs and kisses from little people!
-- Going to Parkview Church
-- Visiting Peds Assoc. and seeing Em!
-- 30-40 degree weather...oh wait...no...not really excited about that!
-- Don's jokes and magic tricks...there better be some!
-- Snuggling with Mom.

Those are just a few things...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quote

"If you are not feeling close to God, guess who moved?"

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sweet Sam

This morning my nephew Sam had surgery :(
He had to get tubes put in his ears, AND tonsils and adenoids out.
He was a trooper. This picture was taken before the surgery. How cute does this little man look in a hospital gown!!?! Seriously. I love his red socks. That's my favorite part!
You can read more about the day on my sister's blog.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Smile

Some things that have made me smile lately:

1. I love that it was 90 degree weather today and that I was using my air conditioning in my truck and it's November 10.

2. It makes me happy when I call to place an office supply order and Steve answers the phone in his Australian accent. He is so nice and always so cheerful and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Australian accents! To my new Australian blog friends: if only we could talk on the phone!!!

3. Raul is the guy that delivers the office supplies at work. He is an older guy and is SO sweet! He makes my day when he comes in and says, "Hello Emily! It's good to see you today!" In his little accent.

4. Our apartment is close to a high school football field and on Friday nights they have games. So Thursday night we can hear the marching band practicing and then on Friday night we can hear them again and also the crowd cheering.

5. IKEA is opening up in less than a week.

6. I have started babysitting for my boss and their kids are PRECIOUS! They call me "Miss Emily". Today the 4 year old was in the office with her dad and every once in awhile I could hear her say, "I love you daddy", and he would say, "I love you too sweetie". It was SO cute.

7. I saw an old couple, I mean OLD, walking down the street holding hands. I can't wait to be OLD with my husband, Lord willing, and go for walks holding hands.

8. Hearing stories about my nephews and niece. For instance...Lily shaking her booty to music.

9. The thought of being home for Thanksgiving and being able to hug my family and spoil the kids!!

10. I have officially started up my budget today and I am going to start doing the "Envelope" system. I did that system about a year or so ago so I still had my envelopes from back then that I dug out of my truck. As I was looking through them I found $25!!!!!

11. Getting the mail. Even though I don't get a lot of mail...I enjoy getting the mail and hoping to find a letter or magazine or something addressed to me. Even if it's just my insurance cards, or coupons, or an IKEA CATALOG!! YEAH!

Well, that's what I can think of right now...I'll add more later. I have found that it helps to make these kinds of lists. I had a really bad last couple of days and I had to think about the good stuff instead of letting my mind consume itself with the bad. It really does help!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

IKEA!

It was a good day today when I got the mail. We received a 2007 IKEA catalog! Thanks to the previous renter before us! It got even better...Austin's IKEA is opening up on November 15th!! Now that should make some people want to road trip! I will actually be living in the same city as IKEA. This could be dangerous. Hilary has never been before so we are making it a date next Wednesday night.
If you aren't familiar with IKEA...check it out. It's like a toy store for adults. You know you are getting old when the best part of your day is getting the IKEA catalog in the mail! Furniture, decorations, kitchen utensils, bathroom stuff, bedroom stuff, organizing stuff, AND it's affordable. AND they have a cool escalator for your cart. It's FUN!! I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight, I'm so excited!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Race For the Cure

The Race for the cure was on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful morning to spend with 22,000 people!
I couldn't believe how many people there were! It was awesome!
They also raised over 1.4 million dollars!
This was my first race...and I walked!
It actually motivated me a little bit and I think I want to really start training to actually run in one.
The timed runners started first and were actually finishing before we had even started the race! That's how many people were there!!

There were about 10 people on the team for Melody.








The other "walkers" I had not met before. We had a great time, walking and sharing our life stories with each other. It was a lot of fun and I have new friends now!! YEAH! We wore these signs on our backs. (and shoulder!!)


There were pink things every - where ... including these guys...





I did not use them, but I heard they were really nice inside...mirrors and everything!




The location of the race was GREAT! They blocked off several streets downtown and so we got to walk the streets. This picture is walking down Congress towards the Capital...you can see it between the buildings. (click the pic for a better view)
It was lots of fun!
You can see more pictures here.

Thank you to all of you who supported this race!
You are great! I'll let you know when I run my first marathon!

Update on Melody: She had her surgery last Wednesday for a double mastectomy. Everything went well. They found no cancer in the left breast, but found more in the right. They were able to clean everything out and they believe that it was successful. She will still start chemo on the 15th. So continue to pray for her. She is feeling great and was at church last night and looks great!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Roller Racer (mine was red)

The other night I had the wildest dream.
I had a dream that I had my roller racer from when I was little here in Austin and I was driving it on the interstate! Seriously! I was pumping away on my roller racer down the interstate. It was scary because I obviously couldn't get enough speed up to reach 65 miles per hour. Then I got lost and found myself in a really bad neighborhood with homeless guys walking around and people beating each other up. And here I come through the neighborhood on my roller racer. I was trying so hard to get out as fast as I could but...I was on a roller racer, with no coverage and no speed. Not a good combination in the neighborhood I was in. I finally made my way back to the interstate and was thankful until I realized again...I was on a roller racer! I woke up from my dream, laughing out loud! It was great! I told myself that I had to remember that one in the morning!
They are actually really cool. I remember playing on mine all the time. The kids I babysit for have a plasma car. Sort of the same type of thing, but it's a 2006 model!
Here is a demonstration of the roller racer.
Here is a demonstration of the plasma car. This is HILARIOUS! My favorite part is the old lady!

Friday, November 03, 2006

This is my first time doing one of these...

Okay, I saw this on Ange's blog and decided to do it because I can't sleep and I'm bored.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30am EARLY!
2. Diamonds or Pearls? diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? World Trade Center
4. What is your favorite TV show? The Office
5. What did you have for breakfast? Frozen Waffles w/ syrup and Milk
6. What is your middle name? Frances
7. What is your favorite Cuisine? Lean...
8. What foods do you dislike? brats, carrots
9. What is your favorite potato chip? Sterzings
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Chris Tomlin's See the Morning
11. What kind of car do you drive? TRUCK
12. Favorite Sandwich? #12 at Big Mikes ( I refuse to call it Milios!)
13. What characteristics do you despise? Selfishness, Arrogance, Always having to be right
14. What are your favorite clothes? Jeans
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation? Right now...Iowa
16. What color are your eyes? Green
17. Favorite brand of clothing? Gap, AE or anything that fits
18. Where would you want to retire? Austin, TX
19. Favorite time of day? Noon
20. Where were you born? Burlington, Iowa (technically)
21. What is your favorite sport to watch? T-Ball
24. Pepsi or Coke? COKE-diet
25. Cats or Dogs? DOGS! no cats. NO WAY
26. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night Owl
27. Pedicure or manicure? Manicure
28. Do you prefer funny or mushy cards? Funny
29. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? My sister started a blog about her kids! YEAH! Check it out! Will & Sam
30. What did you want to be when you were little? Teacher, Singer
31. What do you have in your trunk right now? Junk!
32. What is your best childhood memory? Playing with the Butler girls until dark every night in the summer time. Putting on gymnastics shows in the yard and making our moms do cartwheels.
33. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? Lemstone Books, UofI Clerk, Peds Receptionist, Preschool Assistant, Nanny, Receptionist
34. Favorite Holiday? Christmas
35. What is your favorite dessert? Strawberries and Cream Cheese Frosting
36. Favorite Summer getaway? Lobb's boat!
37. Ever been to Africa? No, but I would love to go to Zambia to the orphanages
38. Glasses or Contacts? neither
39. Ever been toilet papering? yes!
40. Been in a car accident? no
41. Favorite day of the week? Saturday morning, when I can sleep in.
42. Favorite restaurant? Austin--County Line BBQ or Chuys/Hula Hut or Shady Grove; IC--Old Chicago or Wig & Pen or The Vine
43. Favorite flower? Gerber Daisies
44. Favorite movies? Simon Birch, Walk the Line, Elf
45. Favorite Pastime? Blogging!
46. Favorite ice cream? Amy's Ice Cream, here in Austin--Chocolate chip cookie dough with M&M's
47. Favorite fast food restaurant? Chick-fil-A
48. How many times did you fail your drivers test? I can't remember that far back.
49. From whom did you get your last email? Melody
50. Sandals or tennis shoes? Sandals
51. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Buffalo Exchange
52. If the speed limit is 60 what is the fastest you will drive? 66
53. Bedtime? Weekdays-10:30-11:00 Weekends-12:30-1:00am
55. Last person you went to dinner with? Besides having dinner with Hilary in our apartment, I had lunch with Denise.
56. What are you listening to right now? Imogen Heap
57. What is your favorite color? Purple
58. How may tattoos do you have? none
60. What time did you finish this email?12:15am

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Some thoughts...

A question someone commented to me regarding being content..."Should we be content where we are - if we are experiencing a stirring, a knowledge that there's something "more" to life?
Or have we, as christians, convinced ourselves that "this is where God has me" and that it must be okay. I can three-hole-punch for the Lord, or i can work on spreadsheets for the Lord, or I can be a CEO for the Lord..."
I think that if we become completely content we may find ourselves settling into this world that is not our home. I don't think it's wrong to be a CEO for the Lord, or a three hole puncher for the Lord, or spreadsheeter for the Lord...God has us where He wants us right now, but if there is a stirring in us, ultimately there should be a stirring in all of us, a yearning to go Home, a yearning to see Him come back, wanting something more. More should be Jesus. More of Him. When we get more of Him, we can't help but be stirred up! I think God puts us in places sometimes where we could settle in and be content. But have we settled in to the world? Or settled into God's plan for our lives? Are our hearts open to be used by Him and be challenged to grow and be willing to let Him do what He wants through us? God's plan for our lives...as complicated as we make it out to be...isn't really that complicated.

1 Chronicles 16:9-11 "Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all his wondrous works and devoutly praise them! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually!"
Psalm 19:1-4 "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge."
Psalm 29:1-2 "Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."
Psalm 96:3 "Tell of his glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples."

Live for HIS glory. Make Him famous. Give Him glory, make Him BIG, make yourselves small. He is a BIG God and that is what He wants from us...to make that known!

GECKO TIME!

We had a visitor last night. Some may say a friendly visitor. I do believe people when they say they are friendly and they won't hurt you. But really...look at it. CREEPY! Click on the picture and look at it closely. It seriously gives me the heeby jeebies. It all started when I was in my room and I heard Hilary screaming from the bathroom, "What do I do?!? What do I do?!?! What do I do?!?!"
I knew it couldn't be good. We have had discussions about what we would do if we were faced to deal with one on our own. We never came up with a solution. You can't really step on it, it would be too squishy. EWWW!!!! I really don't know what I would do if I was by myself.


Hilary is the brave one...

Just before I took this picture I was on the sink.
It was crawling around the bathroom floor and before Hilary jumped on the toilet it almost crawled up her pants...no joke. There was a brief second that Hilary actually thought it had crawled up her pants and she did a funny dance that almost made me pee my pants.
There were lots of screaming, squealing, screeching...and of course laughing. We finally pulled it together to grab a cup and she got enough courage to capture it, unfortunately as she put the cup down on it she cut it's tail off !



You can see it to the left of the cup...the tail kept moving and going back and forth wildly. It was SO GROSS!
Okay... so this guy was not very big. Very little in fact. But it was still creepy and it was still in our apartment. And we still had to get it out...okay...Hilary had to get it out! I'm so glad she is my roommate and she is brave!





Because if this were me, I would be FREAKING out because the little guy is right by my hand, even though he's on the other side of the cup. There is no way that I could do it!
Way to go Hilary!! She took it outside and let it go out in the courtyard...a ways down from our apartment!
Good thing I really like it here in Austin!
I don't ever remember reading about geckos on the "Things to know when moving to Texas" list. Cockroaches...yes...but not geckos. Fortunately I have not come across many cockroaches...BIG ones. Just geckos.

Three Hole Puncher. Pow Pow.

It's funny that just last night I posted about being a three hole puncher for the Lord...Because today one of my duties was three hole punching for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Yes it's true...I three hole punched for 1 hour and 45 minutes. It gave me some time to pray and think...I kept asking...Lord make me more like You as I three hole punch these papers!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I'm a Three Hole Puncher for the Lord

I get the sense sometimes that I am not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Does God want me to do office work the rest of my life? Does He want me to three hole punch papers, make copies, make file labels, make coffee, open mail, deliver FedEx's the rest of my life? The same thing over and over again, day after day? Is that really why He has me at my job? I don't think so.
I have to remind myself that my job is not a "Receptionist" to Him. Jesus is in me. I work for Him. He has me there for a reason. It may not be to three hole punch and make copies, but it's probably for something greater than that! I'm trusting in Him for that.
There are things that I think about that I would love to do. But not really sure how to make it happen. Do I wait for the Lord? But how long do I wait? Am I waiting for the wrong thing? Is He giving me something and I just don't see it because I don't want to see it? I've been in this position before. With moving. I needed to just do it, and I am SO glad that I did. Is this another situation that I just need to make a move? I feel as though God is wanting to do something with me that I am not letting Him fully do. But I'm not really sure what that is. Am I not surrendering everything to Him? Am I not close enough to Him to hear Him whisper? Am I not being obedient when I feel Him nudging me?
So I'm feeling a little restless lately. I've been feeling sick the last couple of days too, really run down and yucky.
The last couple of nights I have been falling asleep to bible verses running through my head. It's been great! I haven't been able to sleep well, and have struggled with laying in bed trying to go to sleep but stuff just keeps running through my head. So now when that starts to happen I just start thinking about bible verses that I have memorized and then I quickly fall asleep! I think about God singing over me when I sleep! **Beautiful Feet song--"You are my strength, You are my peace, You're singing over me when I sleep, You are my hope, You are my dreams, You're everything I'll ever need!"