Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nicaragua Bound Again!

Looking forward to all that God has in store for us this trip.  Tell ya all about it when I get back! (=

Monday, August 23, 2010


There is simply nothing more comforting than rain at night...and tea in hand.

Amen. Amen.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do we. Do I. Worship Myself?

My Insane Life

Sooo.  One week till Nicaragua.  One week till Kellie's wedding.  6 weddings inline to be edited.  Albums to be designed.  Pics to be mailed.  E mails to answer.  One friend had surgery last week.  One friend had a baby.  Meals had to be organized for both.  My house is a disaster.  I have to host Kellie's bridal shower on Sunday.  My baby sister is having a crisis.  I have to take my niece Cheyenne out to paint pottery for her bday.  Must tan, do nails, take dress to dry cleaner for pressing. 

Oh yes, and did I mention that there is a squirrel living in my chimney and we have one working toilet in the house?  Picture 30 ladies screaming and jumping on couches as a squirrel throws itself out of my fireplace Sunday afternoon, and you will be seeing my dreams for the last 3 days. 

Good golly. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dance with Me

Listening to Alejandro Sanz and sipping coke and rum.  Latin rhythms pulse in my blood and I wish I were dancing on a tile floor on a warm night, wrapped in the arms of my love.   Stars bright overhead.  Salsa and cumbia filling the air.  The rest of life faded into the background.  A flower in my hair and flirty dress floating out as we spin.

Solo se me ocurre amarte.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pouting and Laughing at the Same Time.

Every now and then I want to have a good old fashioned temper tantrum.  You know, the kind where you can scream and break crockery and close your eyes and hold your breath.  I know, mature right? 

It just would seem so satisfying.  However, I will settle for chocolate tonight. 

In other news, Ryan informs me that there is in fact a living human being with the name of Spanky Assiter.  This delights my soul to no end.  It's like a Christmas present with a big shiny bow on top. 

Also, I made the mistake on little sleep and no chocolate of organizing a little Carter/Crys friend time for Friday.  A period of time that I christened C(squared).  Yes, I don't know how to make the little 2 on the keyboard, don't judge me. 

And now, Carter is running with it and threatening me with Tshirts that say C squared on them.  Embrace the nerdiness, she says.  Live in it, she says.  Only if I can wear big BIG glasses and a scrunchie, say I.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I'm reading Soul Cravings, right now, as previously mentioned.  Ran across this quote from it.

So true that this aching is in each of us. 

Home is not ultimately about a place to live but about the people with which you are most fully alive. Home is about love, relationship, community, and belonging, and we are all searching for home." ~ Erwin McManus, Soul Cravings


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not my will but thine
Does not leave room for maybes
Or what ifs. 

A small consolation
God Himself asked if there were
Another way.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Playin' Hooky

Today I called my best friend.  It was a sunny day and my computer and I just weren't getting along.  So 4 pm found us cruising over to my favorite little park in the Burg. 

It's right on a tributary of the James.  The stream meanders.  It's quiet.  Not too many people hang out in it.  There are a lot of trees overhanging the water and the bank rises straight up on the opposite side. 

We talked about deep heart things.  We laughed a little.  And I started Soul Cravings, which I've been wanting to read for months now.  It's good.  Deliciously good.  Jen and I played hooky from work.  I could get used to this game. (=

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Reads: I Grew Spiritually

This was a hard one.  Again, I have more than one book and I can't really remember what came first.  CS Lewis is a HUGE influence.  I have to say that his writing shaped a good deal of my early theological philosophies.  The Great Divorce, Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, A Grief Observed....but it's hard to pick just

When I returned to the States, the summer before college, a friend of mine gave me a book written by Chuck Swindoll called the Grace Awakening.  He gave it to me with the advice that reading this before attending PCC was probably the best thing I could do to prep for school.  He was so right.  The Grace Awakening was profound, and it's a theme that has continued to invade my life.  Legalism vs grace. 

To go back EVEN further, I was discipled in high school by a precious woman, and we studied a little book by Roy Hession called The Calvary Road.  Foundational is the only word to describe the affect it had on my faith and my life's world view.  I use it now in my current small group as I am leading these young ladies.  SO GOOD.  I think it should be required reading for many churches and small groups.  If you like Andrew Murray, you will heart Roy Hession.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

day dreaming

good morning
I bite my lip and peek through the curtain of
my gold washed hair
to see if you caught my secret

walks by the water
and laughter that sparkles on the morning sunlight
I crave your chocolate smile
and the strength of your tequila touch

you are like a gourmet meal
to my hungry eyes

yes, with a side of you, please

Friday, August 6, 2010


I am so socially awkward sometimes.  For example, tonight I had the privilege of shooting my best friend Faith's family portraits.  Her brother was kind enough to tell me afterward that he looked up to me as a photographer and was just very kind in what he said.  So instead of being gracious and thanking him or returning the complement, I just stood there saying O stop, O stop....thank God Faith stepped in and cut that situation short or I might still be there muttering O stop to myself.  Good grief.  (= 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Reads: I Fell in Love

The stereotype of girls reading trashy romance novels is all too true.  I confess to having read a few in my time.  Especially on the beach.  A novel that doesn't cost too many brain cells to surf through is perfect for an afternoon in the sun.  But what I really crave for a good love story is what I like in any good novel: strong plot, creative and interesting writing, characters that live and breathe, and a point beyond the frivolous obvious.  There are actually 2 books in this category.  The first one is the Chataine's Guardian, by Robin Hardy and the second one is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

Both books are written by Christian authors, which is actually a little surprising for me.  Honestly I usually find Christian fiction authors insipid and bland. (although I love Christian non fiction.)  Both novels are stories of unconditional love.  Sacrificial love.

And of course both novels have a hero and a damsel in distress.  (;  Gotta have the basics covered, haha!

But these stories left footprints on my heart and are two of my favorites....

Mountain Girl

I was born in the Sierra Nevadas of California.  In a little mountain mining town called Sonora.  So there is really no hope.  My course was charted from birth. (;  I'm a mountain girl.

There is nothing more lovely to me than the sunset over hills.  Fall colors rioting over the rise and fall of the land.  Something about the towering presence of the peaks anchors my soul.  I feel rooted in a place that has had time and weather to soften the harsh points around me.  Maybe it's just the visual image of a place enduring all things thrown it's way, with just the rough edges worn off, that comforts me.

The first half of my life was spent in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  A large valley city nestled high in the Andes range of South America.  The Andes are breathtaking.  I am sitting here trying to describe them, and it's like trying describe a work of art that moves you.  Words are inadequate.  Condors fly in and out of the craigs and Native Quechua farmers toil the steep slopes trying to eek a living out of earth.  The breeze is cool up there and you can see for miles.  The first thing I would see in the morning and the last thing I would see at night as a child, were the mountain ranges that circled the city.  We camped in them, hiked them, grew up in and around them. 

Tunari, the highest peak in Cochabamba.
The Hill of San Pedro, with the statue of the Cristo.

The mountains surrounding Cocha.

I love this verse from Psalms.  The picture above is what I think about every time I read it.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. Psalm 125:2

Lynchburg, tiny little Virginian town of Lynchburg, I love.  Feels like home to me.  So in this second half of life, as an adult, I am grateful that God has settled me in mountains again.  Hiking up Sharp Top, or enjoying a gloriously hot pink sunset over the hills reminds me every moment, with every breath, that as the mountains surround me, so does my God.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Musik, Part 2

Well after a robust musical discussion this afternoon, I have to add what is a brand new favorite.  Dave Barnes?  Yes please.

Favorite Songs

Music is one of the great pleasures of life.  Right up there with chocolate and cheese and wine and Coke. Yes, I put Coca Cola on there.  Don't judge me. (;

It feeds my soul.  Also, as an incurable romantic, it feeds my heart.  Recently I am returning to two songs in particular, The Luckiest by Ben Folds and Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz.   They are going to join my top 15( I can't narrow it to 10) favorite songs about love and relationship.  Want to know the other 13?  (=  I don't have a top 1, I like these all equally, so in no particular order:

1.  Como Quisiera, Mana
2.  The Luckiest, Ben Folds
3.  Part of the List, NeYo
4.  Making Memories of Us, Keith Urban
5.  Beautiful Mess, Jason Mraz
6.  You and I Both, Jason Mraz
7.  The Thief, Brook Fraser
8.  Beauty for Ashes, Crystal Lewis
9.  Fields of Gold, Sting
10.  A Puro Dolor, Son by Four
11.  Antologia, Shakira
12.  The Sweetest Love, Robin Thicke
13.  Everything, Michael Buble
14.  Home, Michael Buble
15.  Y Solo se me Ocurre Amarte, Alejandro Sanz

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First Reads: It Made Me Think

One of the benefits of growing up internationally was the plethora of cultural influence.  Not just Bolivian/Latin influence, but our school was staffed by people from all over the world. My high school English teacher was Miss Norrish, and she was a blond New Zealander.  (Very pretty.  A little nugget from high school, the boys used to sit in front of her desk so they could see her legs.  That's right, Ardin, calling you out. (=  )

She approached teaching English from a literary, rather than a grammer, perspective.  We read The Great Gatsby, all kinds of Shakespeare, and Cry, the Beloved Country.  Cry, the Beloved Country resonated for a lot of reasons.  If you haven't read the book, here is the basic outline of the plot:  set in South Africa in apartheid, the story follows an African(black) pastor who goes to Johannasburg to find his son.  The son is arrested for murdering the son of the pastor's neighbor who is a white engineer.  The story follows what unfolds after the arrest and the path to redemption that the two fathers and neighbors find together. 

There are a lot of injustices in life that make me angry, but racism is one that I absolutely cannot stand.  Paton did a great job of humanizing the racial divides that can happen via ignorance and fear.   It caused me to stop and think about why racism happens, and what the consequences of it can be.  Growing up in a multicultural community with skin tones of all colors in my friends and neighbors racism was not a new concept, but it was one that I had never had experience with personally.   The ideas in the book contrasted with the daily experience of my life where the color of your skin just didn't matter.  It made me stop and think and consider what I believed and why and examine in my own heart the truth that God made us all equal and all the same in the human experience. 

First Reads: It Made Me Cry

I was thinking tonight about the important books in my life.  I'm a voracious reader, and a novel has always been my best escape to relaxation.  But there have been some really important books over the years that stand out and moved me beyond just a good story.  So this little entry is about the first read that brought me to tears.

I was 12 or 13.  It was summer in California.  We were living in my grandmother's tiny little 3 bed, one bath cabin.  (If you think that sharing one bath between 6 people is fun, well it's just barrels of good times.)  My parents were on furlough.  I was in the awkward stage between girl and woman and that summer was lonely in the foreign(to me) land of Cali.  

So, I curled up on my Gran's unfortunate yellow -with brown roses- couch and I read Where the Red Fern Grows.  I got lost in the world of Billy and Old Dan and Little Ann.  The themes in the book of enduring friendship and sacrifice touched a nerve. When I finished the last page, there were tears in my eyes.  I thought about it for several days afterward, and I think it might be one of the reasons why I still love dogs as much as I do.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Full Circle

Gosh, God is just so smart.  When I graduated high school, my little homesick self copied out my favorite praise and worship lyrics in a notebook in Spanish.  It's been kicking around my house for 15 years and survived all the moves. 

I was sitting here thinking about the upcoming trip to Nicaragua, and the two members of our praise and worship team going...and the notebook came to mind.  A whole plethora of already written lyrics and music easy to access and easy to learn.  Already prepared by God 15 years ago!!! to bless the ladies in the House of Hope this year.  Crazy. 

One of my favorite choruses.  The truth of it still blows me away.  Tu fidelidad ES grande, Senor.

Jesus Loves Me

Rain or shine.

This weekend I had the pleasure of shooting the wedding of a dear Christian couple.  They are young, fun and very much in love.  But more importantly, they love Jesus. 

So the whole wedding was outdoor.  Ceremony, reception, all of it.  And of course, it started to rain.  They had a long ceremony planned with several songs, praise and worship with the guests and a longish charge by the pastor.  Communion and a sand ceremony were also planned.  So...when it started to sprinkle pretty hard a quarter of the way through the ceremony, it wasn't good.

As I was kneeling in the grass, snapping away, I had a little prayer moment with Jesus.  It went something like this, Lord, please keep the rain away till the reception.

It continued to sprinkle.  Internally, I was resigning myself to getting up shortly and capturing all four hundred guests running for the tent.  And then the Holy Spirit asked me if I really believe God when he says to ask for things in his name.  So I asked again.  And made an attitude adjustment.  Now, it's really not that easy to sit in the damp grass, as the raindrops are falling and believe fervently that the rain is going to stop. 

But guess what, it did. 

And God reminded me.  I am a Christian.  That's not a lifestyle choice.  That's a relationship with the eternal and all powerful God of the universe.  If he cares about a wedding ceremony, then he definitely cares about the deep parts of my heart and He's kinda got that under control too.

To follow that up, God gave Jeremy exactly the right words for a powerful service this Sunday. 

Jesus loves me.  Kinda great.

I've Been Marked from Blue Ridge Community Church on Vimeo.

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