Saturday, January 31, 2015

Precious To The God of All Comfort

The Lord, at times, seems it best that His children walk through the valley of the shadow, and it is there that I have found myself the past many months.


Many times I have opened up a new, blank page for a blog post and yet, my thoughts & feelings were felt too deeply to be written into words... and I was petrified of those words being attacked. And so, I remained silent to the online world. (And that was okay, really.)


I confess that my personal, hand-written journal (that no one else sees) has been quite dark and full of doubtful wonderings at the goodness of God. I dare not let anyone read of my soul struggles, or else they may find themselves shocked as such low pits of discouragement I have been in.


I cannot tell you the story or how it all began, but one Sunday afternoon I received a phone call. "Let me just tell you, I think you're [...] crazy and you clearly have [...] issues."


Such comments couldn't have been more false, and yet, being a deep feeler & sensitive soul, I retreated in deep hurt, and as I hid in hurt, everyone who I loved & trusted seemed to walk away in silent indifference. Why were some of my best friends - those who I thought I could trust the most - walk away? All the while, the Deceiver whispered, "God took all your friends & all those you loved deeply away, because you are failure. You obviously have issues. No one likes you. You're a big fat failure who is only capable of messing things up."


To mask the deep pain and sorrow, when I bumped into people at church and my workplace, and they asked me how I was, I could only say with a half smile, "Oh, alright. I'm taking one day at a time." If I had been brutally honest, I would've said I was crumbling into a million pieces on the inside, everyone seemed to despise me and God seemed so very far away.


I could relate to Job by speaking of his so called 'friends,' "How long will you torment me and break me in pieces with your words?" (19:2) Or in Job 16:2, he says, "miserable comforters are you all."


During the last year, there have been moments when all I could do was fall to my knees in gushing tears, crying out to the Lord for His help & mercy and other times, when I felt as though I was in a fog and didn't feel anything at all.


I suppose all I'm saying tonight is that I am human... very human. I don't have it all together. Sometimes the pain in life is real, raw, and just THERE.


We don't have the promise that our pain & hardship will vanish tomorrow, but thank the Lord that we have His promise that we will pass through. In Isaiah 43, we read such comforting words, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."


It's okay to grieve. It is real, and God SEES. He knows. In Hebrews 4:15, he says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are." The Lord knows what it is to be forsaken in time of deep grief and sorrow. One verse that the Lord gave to me so many times over the course of the last year, and one that I held tightly was Psalms 23:4,

"Yea, though I walk through the valley... I will fear no evil: for thou art with me."














Saturday, January 3, 2015

Two Holidays, A Birthday & Saying Goodbye to 2014

The final, beautiful days of Autumn came… and went. Oh, I wish this season could be longer!





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Thanksgiving Day came, and I watched the Macy's Parade for the first time… since I can ever remember. Paddington Bear was my favorite!


Thanksgiving afternoon rolled around, and I was fighting discouragement… hard. I decided to grab my camera bag and head for the hills! ;-) I went for a hike on a nearby trail.






Sipping Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Juice on Thanksgiving evening!

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I spent the morning of my 26th birthday at the DMV to get driver's license renewed. Exciting, eh? 

Let's just be honest. The best thing about turning a year older is getting a free Venti sized coffee from Starbucks. :-) My newest favorite drink is the Chestnut Praline Latte.



Oooh, gotta love a free sample of Chanel perfume!


A friend from church invited me over, because she said she had a surprise for my birthday. I walked in her front door and she said, "Since you weren't able to make it to London this year, I thought I'd do a little afternoon tea for you." Her Afternoon Tea meant so much to me!! She had scones, cream, tea and everything all layed out so beautifully & tastefully.


On a December weekend, I decided to take a mini Day-cation to visit Colorado Springs. I drove through Garden of the gods, and enjoyed a delicious honey & vanilla Chai at one of my favorite coffee shops.


I made some DIY garland, using some of my parent's leftover Christmas tree branches. The miniature tree is from Trader Joes  love that store!


I drank Peppermint Mochas…




…and watched two of my favorite Christmas movies on big screen at the theater! (The Polar Express & White Christmas)



I attended my church's Christmas banquet with two of my siblings that regularly come to my church with me. 

I love shortbread & french truffles with my PG Tips tea! So perfect for winter.


My friend from church gave me some Downton Abbey scone mix & orange marmalade for Christmas! I made them for breakfast on Christmas Eve, and they were so delicious!



My bedroom on Christmas Eve

This 1930s antique copy of "A Christmas Carol" was a cheap find at the antique store  just $5!


 On New Years Eve, two of my sisters & I attended "A Night in Vienna"  a series of waltzes (by Bernstein, Copeland, Gershwin & several by Strauss) played by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Denver! It was SO much fun!



I just loved how (almost) everyone was dressed up in tuxes, gorgeous dresses & furs. I had fun dressing up for the evening!



Did I mention this was my FIRST symphony to ever attend?! I just loved it!


Downtown Denver all lit up on New Years Eve…




And with that, I say farewell to you, 2014I am glad to see you go. 

"…One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead." Philippians 3:13

What do you hold in store, 2015?