I thought I would start this post with the pictures, just to make you ask, why do I have pictures of half the Hillsboro PD!! Well I am glad you ask, When I came home on Christmas day from the Macy’s I heard noises that sounded a lot like someone was in the house. As far as I knew there wasn’t supposed to be anyone other than me there. So I picked up the phone and dialed 911. Yes I used to be a cop and yes I felt like a moron calling the cops as I stood there with my little fire poker!! But, the voice of reason took over when I went to go up the stairs and I waited not so patiently by the front door as the cops approached. Being a former police officer I was very impressed by the professionalism and the way they approached clearing the house. They fully believed someone may have been in there and approached it as such! After about 45 minutes standing in the freezing cold (of course I had to take my gloves off to dial the phone and had dropped them on the floor!), I was allowed back in the house. It was so fun seeing their enthusiasm for the house and what we did at Saint Child. As they were leaving they asked if they could come back on Saturday for their briefing and of course I said yes! That is how I got pictures of half the Hillsboro PD in the living room of Saint Child!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Well I have been taking pictures but havent had the time to post them. We have had some beautiful frosts lately and I was up early enough to be able to catch some pictures.
This one kind of shows the fog, one of the most beautiful things in Oregon is when the fog floats in and wraps everything in this cold blanket.
Then here are some picutres from Christmas. I had a great time with the Macy’s and then with the Hillsboro Police when I got back to the house. When I walked in the door, I swear I heard someone walking upstairs so I called in the police and they searched the house. It brought back the biggest thing I LOVED about police work…building searches. As I stood freezing in the cold, I kept thinking of all the places to hide in this big old house and was able to show them a couple they missed! The ladies and gentlemen that came out really did a good job and I was impressed by a smaller police force like Hillsboro PD. So needless to say I was a little wound up until about 2am!!
This is Addison our entertainment for Christmas! I really wish this would have been in focus all the way, but still a cute picture regardless!!
And here is the Macy Family and my home away from home!! And of course everyone wanted to play with my camera so even some pictures of me!!
My boyfriend for the day, Gizzard!
And me exclaiming my joy at the puzzle Mac got me!! Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Not much to write about today, there was a really cool fog tonight and I attempted to get some pictures! As you will see attempted is the right word. I have a lot of practice for night shooting. Lynn if your mom looks at this see if she knows why my camera didn’t want to actually take a picture for the driveway shots. Almost like it couldn’t figure out what to focus on so it just wouldn’t shoot! Very frustrating!!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
You could never believe how much joy I get from taking pictures. About 9:30 tonight I realized I hadn't has time to even pick it up. At first I didn't want to, what would I take pictures of. Then I remembered the picture a day thing so I took out my camera and about 20 minutes later realized I was still taking pictures. Such random stuff but so much fun.
Here is one of my favorite crosses, it was gift to me from a very dear friend. I just got it on the wall tonight so here it is!
Then I decided to play with my up close lens…and I caught George taking in some air!
Then I got tired and laid down and started taking pictures of the fan, and these turned out really cool!!
Those are my adventures in the photo world today! I hope you enjoy them!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
What an amazing day! We had our staff Christmas party this morning at Saint Child and it was so much fun to just hang and laugh with those ladies. Then I went to my other job and a much anticipated package had arrived. For Christmas this year a little elf sent me a Canon Rebel SLR digital camera! I was so excited I just stared at the box and attempted to work for an hour. Once my cohort Lynn arrived I dove in and out came the prettiest black box I had ever seen. I set it on the desk in front of me and proceeded to hug it as if it was my first born child! After about 5-10 minutes of that I finally opened the box. A REAL CAMERA!!! I can’t believe it I feel so grown up. When I got home I finally had time to take pictures and the auto focus wasn’t working, my heart sunk. So I jumped in my car and ran up to the Geek Squad and get a geek who knows nothing about cameras! After a few heart stopping moments he tells me that he will have to send it back. My heart plummets to the ground. Then a Christmas miracle he takes the lens off blows on it and I say a quick pleading prayer. THE CAMERA WORKS! Hallelujah Praise The Lord!! After a short trip to Fred Meyer to get a bag for it and a memory disk I get home and realize it didn't work cause I hadn’t put the lens on right….much blushing!! I then spent the rest of the reading up on it and taking pictures. I was like a kid in a candy store.
My friend Lynn had a great idea, stolen from her mother. I should do a picture a day. Not only will I have to take pictures every day, but I will also blog daily! Another great idea. So here is my first, literally!!
I was too lazy to get up so I took several pictures of my tea cup!! HAHAHAHA
Then I moved to the Christmas trees! How fun!!
Then I spent about 20 minutes trying to get this picture, I started on the floor moved up on the table and then the buffet, and I couldn’t get it clear. This is my picture of the day. I thought it quite fitting since it is my life verse ( even though it is missing the most important word “Lord”)!
I’m not happy with it but i know it is a start! Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Wow what a week and then a weekend. We had a new girl move in on Monday so I was tortured with dealing with morning people each morning, when all I wanted was to grab a cup o tea and skulk back to my bedroom until I could wake up! Not happening! Oh well, such is life when you live with other people huh! Then on Friday we ended up taking in a 19 year old girl whose parents were pushing her for an abortion. As always I struggled with the reality of What I thought would be and the reality I would now face. As I snuggled into bed on Friday night I reassured my wounded inner control freak with the fact that I would wake up to a low key peaceful Saturday morning and we had no where to be until 2pm. Then what to my wandering eyes did appear (not really more my ears since my eyes were still closed), but two young girls with eyes like dears! So off to the hospital we did dash, to sit in the waiting room and hope not to rash. As one young girl went through a round of tests, and the other tried really hard not to be a pest. As the time dragged on my head began to pound, I ran one girl home and lunch I did down. Then back to the hospital to check on the babe, and drive across town to pick up one of my faves. Then car rides with baby and screaming a plenty and laughs and a giggle that tickles my fancy. Then out the door with a dash, to rub elbows with heroes and oh my I forgot my sash. (all you wonderful women are my heroes.
Anyway I am running out of rhymes and the cuteness has worn off. As you can see my quiet Saturday was not what I had planned and neither was Sunday. What is that saying if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans. Well the good thing, compared to last year that is, is that I am sitting here laughing tonight and not even a tear! (teehee couldn't resist the last rhyme, I’ve got the night before Christmas stuck in my head can you tell!!)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In Matthew 6:9 is what many of us know as the Lords Prayer. About a month ago God brought a woman across my path who talked about how she would pray this prayer for those God would bring to her mind. For Example “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, give Cami today her daily bread and forgive her transgressions as she forgives the transgressions of others, lead her not into temptation Lord and protect her from the evil for thine is the kingdom and power and glory forever and ever amen.” I thought this was a great idea so I have been using this a lot. I have also been using this prayer just to center myself when I feel like I am stepping in front of God during the day and trying to take over!
One small problem when I get to “forgive our transgressions as we forgive those who transgress against us”. I can’t say it. How can I ask for forgiveness when there is someone I refuse to forgive. The closer I get to returning to Kansas the more apparent it becomes that I still harbor a lot of anger towards my dad. I could go on for days for all the things I blame him for. But it doesn't change the fact that when I made choices, I made them he didn’t. Yes there are valid reasons for me to be angry but I can not make him apologize or change. All I can do is change myself. A good friend reminded me last night that all we can do is make sure we are right with Him. There is nothing else we really have control over.
So what is God’s will for me in this situation. To let go of my anger and stop living in fear of a confrontation with my dad. To trust God that He will not lead me into temptation and He will protect me from the evil one. I must also remember that God wanted me to spend this time at my dad’s. The urge was very clear that this visit was to be to Wichita and not Kansas City. Therefore, I have to get on my knees at the cross and lay this grudge at His feet and trust that He will make good of the hell that WAS my life in Hillsboro. That He will show me good in my dad and use my life to bring my dad closer to my Father.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I am often baffled by God and the path He takes me on. Recently I felt Him leading in the direction of spending time with my Father. I was excited to get to see my brother and sister and their families and even see my dad for a little bit. After I booked the plane tickets the realization of what I had done sunk into my heart and the worry started. I have now planned a four day time frame where 3 of the four nights I will be sleeping under my father’s roof. That house brings back such horrible memories and awful times. Now tonight I have a friend counseling me not to stay there, but it feels wrong to not. Is that the Holy Spirit or my desire to make everyone happy. Could I really tell my Dad that I love him but I don't trust him, after I feel like I have come so far with him, finally told him that he cant drink around me. Could I really take it that far? What would that accomplish? Could that be the catalyst that sends him running to the cross, or that drives a wedge between him and Christ forever.
What if this is my chance to share the gospel with him but instead I allow my fear and mistrust to drive me from the circumstance? But what if this is a trap satan has laid for me and the Spirit is trying to lead me in the other direction? Why are these things never clear. All I can say is your will Lord not mine be done. Show me what you want me to do and open a path for me and close the doors for the other path.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
What do you think of when you think of Thanksgiving day? The turkey, the cranberries (yumminess), friends, family. Holidays for me are really nothing special. I always long for them to be something but they are never what I envision. However, This Thanksgiving was one of the best I have ever experienced. It was a very low key day spent with a family that I have grown to love as my own, and they love me in return. I believe what made this Thanksgiving so much better is the lesson God has recently taught me. The lesson of forgiving yourself and allowing yourself to feel loved.
Several months ago God revealed a truth to me that was life altering. My fear of rejection kept me from living my life but also kept me from allowing others to love me. In the Gospels Jesus says that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. I have no problem loving others and showing compassion to those who don't often deserve it. However, I do not give myself the same grace and compassion. Love is a two way street, you can only love as much as you feel loved. God shows me the beauty He has created in others but also the beauty He has created in side of me. But my fear of being hurt kept me from truly seeing all that God was showing me. Those who know me well know that I struggle with a low self esteem. 5 years ago when I came to Christ I couldn't even look myself in the eyes without complete disgust. Today is another story.
So this Thanksgiving I am thanking God for His grace and mercy. Without it yesterday would have just been another day. Instead I spent the day surrounded by those who love me and I could truly enjoy their love. What an amazing God HE truly is!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Days like today are the ones that make me want to stuff my head in the sand and pretend it will all go away. Unfortunately I have been to much of that lately and it all caught up to me. I have noticed in the past week that people ask me how I am doing and I say ok or fine…pause…then fine or ok again. Not wanting to admit that I am really freaking out. I feel like I am adrift at sea and I am surrounded by a hurricane. The blessing in all of this is I am wrapped in the arms of the Savior so I have an unreal peace through all of this. But it doesn't change the fact that I am adrift in the eye of a hurricane and only God knows where I will end up.
Times like this are very hard for me. I am such a control freak, if I could I would plan out every small detail of the next 10 years and a few details for the 10 after that. the funny thing about that statement is I hate to be too planned. I love being spontaneous and taking off on a new adventure with no idea of what is ahead. It is just scary. There it is, the unknown is frightening. Will I have be in the same house in 6 months or is God moving me some where else. Can I really settle in here and make friendships, what if I have to move again? Why does it always seem I am saying goodbye to someone. And after the goodbye I find myself alone on my couch crying to myself(sorry brief pity party there!) Why is it so hard to make friends after preschool? Why cant we all be like we are when we are four and be best friends with someone after having met them five minutes ago?
The only answer I hear is SIN. All of this is the result of sin in this world, in my life and in others lives. I long for the day when sin no longer affects my life. When I can meet face to face with my savior and spend lifetimes listening to him explain all the wonderful things He has done. It is truly amazing watching Him work in this world, shining His way through our thick clouds of sin to reach deep into our hearts and bless us in ways we didn’t even know was possible. but it doesn't change the fact that I long for this life to be no more and heaven to be our only reality. To longer read in the news that millions of babies were killed today either in battle or through abortion. I don’t know what God is doing in me but I feel a passion that grows stronger and stronger each day for the unborn child, for the innocent victim who has no voice in the crimes that are committed against them. For god’s children who are abused, neglected, murdered or forsaken every day.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wow I just walked out of this movie (A Fourth Kind) about 30 minutes ago and there is so much running through my mind. This movie is about possible alien abductions. However, as I sat through the movie I a was appalled how this ‘Christian” woman so quickly jumped to aliens. As I watched the film and the learned the fact she did, I saw demonic oppression. It amazes me that we as humans will make up anything we can just to keep from believing in God or a spiritual realm. I feel like I could vomit at the depravity of our culture that we are drawn to evil and our curiosity is wasted on searching out evil. When kids walk away from the church they dabble in the spiritual realm as if it is not real. Is this because we as Christians don't talk about it?
When I was in the 8th grade someone put a a Frank Peretti book in my hands. It was called “This Present Darkness”. To this day this book scares me cause of how real it makes the spiritual realm and how it interacts with out lives. But angels and demons are real. daily we are attacked by demons trying to distract us and draw us away from God. Just this past month I have allowed distraction to draw me away from God. A friend questioned why following God we have to give up things that give us ‘joy’, if God supposedly loves us and wants us to have joy. The things in question in my life are some of my favorite movies. Since I wasn't a believer all my life I have many movies that I probably shouldn't watch anymore. But i keep them, since I don't want to die to myself and give them up. However, God brought a wonderful angel along side me today who reminded me that we are called to die to ourselves. This dying of ourselves is a slow and continual process. When I came to Christ I had loads of movies that I have since parted with, but some of my favorite I still carry around( even though I don't watch them, cause I know I shouldn't). Most of these are action movies, with men who rescue a damsel in distress(and are usually shirtless a few times throughout the flick). On a routine basis I don’t allow myself to witch chick flicks. For me they just give me false hope and just lead to unhealthy daydreams. However, God has opened my eyes today to see that these action movies can do the same thing. It has to do with my heart of why I like the movie. DO I watch the movie because Will Smith looks amazing shirtless running down the street, or do I like it for the carnage and absolute disregard for human life? Or is there a good moral plot to the movie(most are a resounding NO on this one). Do we accept how much movies affect our thinking? Do we consider this when going to movies? I try to but chose to ignore the Holy Spirit telling me no…guess I should have listened.
I've had a lot on my mind lately. Its ranged from questions about God, to why this world is so screwed up. It seems like every where I go and the things I see are just out of control. Most days it is hard for me to remember that God is in control. Right now there are a lot of unknowns in my life lately and normally I don't handle it very well. However, I am managing to go about my days as if I was actually in control of something. God is amazing in the way he provides for every little thing I need. Whether it be rest, food, laughter, joy, sadness or just love.
Last week was really hard for me. Cami one of the girls in the house left to return to Colorado. It was a good move and time for her to go, but I didn't want to let her go. Not for her but for me. She is a lot like me and we enjoy a lot of the same things so it was fun to just hang out with her and be more of myself than I am normally. However, her influence in my life brought a lot of questions that I am still struggling with. Like where is the balance between in the world but not of. For example I LOVE rock and roll, and it is really hard to find good Christian bands that play the music I like. So is it wrong to listen to this music? I don't think so. Over the past few weeks I have allowed myself to listen to some of my old music and some of the radio stations in the Portland area that I like. The struggle for me has not been the actual music but the announcers and the commercials. One air show has three people on it that totally crack me up. But one of the guys is gay, so I really disagree with some of the topics that come of. Of course i just change the channel when they go that way (well sometimes, I have to admit that even though I don't agree sometimes I is really stinkin funny!). But even if I change the channel, or don't by even listening to that station at all, am I condoning that sort of behavior or am I just being judgmental.
Being a follower of God is so hard. He is a very black and white God when it comes to sin but we have to live in the gray areas of life. So how do we navigate this without blaspheming the Holy Spirit but still being true to who we are. I fully believe God allowed me to live the life I did previous to my conversion. And that life created the person I am today, so who does God want me to be. A lot of the time I feel like I am trying to fit into a circle mold but I'm not even a square, not sure what I am. I judge myself and others by this preconceived standard that I don't even know where it comes from.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wow I am angry and I have been for a while. Usually it takes a lot to set me off or even get me mad. But, for the past several days the littlest things have made me see red. I have tried the usual solution to solving my anger (talking to God). But I cant seem to quiet the rage long enough to hear Him answer. I go to my knees to talk to Him but it isn't out of a desire to hear Him but desperation for the anger to go away.
For weeks this fire has been smoldering but the incident at Ft. Hood last week has set the timber to blaze. Usually when I am upset I can cope by journaling, talking to a friend, or going for a run. Today I went for a walk and while I was ranting and raving about what I was mad about, I heard this tiny voice ask me “so what are you scared of?” This just made me more angry, ‘me scared you have got to be kidding me, I am one tough cookie what could I possibly be scared of’. But as I thought about this some more I reluctantly admitted, I am scared, actually I’m terrified. Each day, I read the news, or hear something on the radio about our country and the decisions our government is making on my behalf. I hate what I see going on around me. Young girls told its ok to use their bodies as sex objects and if you happen to create a life in the process just get rid of it. A generation that feels they are entitled to a life of luxury and shouldn't have to work for it (and yes I am included in that generation-just ask my parents). A couple weeks ago I was ready to charge into the world as if I was chasing a lion and had the power to take it. Today that lion stopped and turned and I forgot how big my God is. I feel like I am standing in a burning building screaming “fire, fire” and people look at me like I have lost my mind and continue running in.
So what my anger or my fear boils down to is I have asked God what He wants for my life and He is answering. I know that God has a plan for my life and that each day is another building block in what He is doing, but sometimes I want to be a spoiled child and give His gift back. Throw a tantrum and say this isn't what I asked for and kick and scream till He gives me that life I have always wished for. But that is not what being a lion chaser means. A lion chaser doesn't stop chasing the lion because it sees him coming. Just a a Christian doesn't stop doing what God has called them to because Satan finally took noticed. So what do I do when I want the best that God has for my life but I see the costs laid out before me.
PRAY…and picture His hands and the holes in them. He may ask of me, but it is nothing in comparison to what He did for me.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Why does life have to be so hard? Today was a horrible rotten no good day. As always I was cruising through life going through my daily routine when I heard the news that there had been a shooting at Ft. Hood in Texas. I fell apart and felt so helpless to do anything. One of my dearest cousins is stationed at Ft. Hood, and I was soon to find out he had been in the same building as the shooting. Thankfully as I write this he is home with his wife and children, safe and unharmed.
Then, as I made it to the safety of my home the world crumbled some more. I wont go into the details of this one but I ended the day crying uncontrollably on my knees before God. Angry at Him that bad things happen, that there is pain in this world and that I have to watch as those I love are harmed. Then as I talked to one of the girls, imparting my vast knowledge (can you hear the sarcasm…I hope so), that you can’t control other people’s decisions, a lead weight fell on my heart. The reality of my anger, my fear, my sadness and my anxiety, is that I have no control over the decisions others make. I cant make people choose the right decision, I cant force them to see what I see. In reality all I can do is pray, I say that like its my last option because most times it is my last option. But we are only as strong as our link to God. And mine lately hasn't been very strong. I have a tendency to rely on my own strength and knowledge to try and solve the problems. I don't draw into His strength and His power that He has available for me. Instead, I rely on my own strength until I am too tired to stand and I am forced to my knees in complete submission begging Him to help me. And I always hear Him whisper “I was here all along”.