Monday, January 21, 2013

10,000 Things

A couple of weeks ago, news broke that John Piper is moving to East Tennessee. I went to Passion a couple of years ago, and I am still trying to unpack and interpret everything he said in his session. So while I was stalking the rumors, I stumbled across this post from John Piper's Desiring God blog have been hanging on to it.

"God is always doing 10,000 things in your life and you may be aware of three of them."

I love that I live blissfully unaware of all the ways God is moving in my life. I love that He is working and moving and aligning and creating divine appointments for me. He is planning my future and walking with me in my present. 
Whether I sit and wonder about what my life will be like in the tomorrows or sit and long for the yesterdays makes no difference. What does make a difference is what I do in the nows. And even in the present, I may only be able to see a tiny glimpse of what God is doing. I love all the examples Piper's article gives from the Bible. Like many of them, I may be confused. And I may not understand. And I may so long for clarity, vision, direction...

But God is always, always good. And He's is always sovereign. And He is always wise. And He is always love. 

I feel like I've said this a million times over the past few months, but I love that God's plan for my life is greater than the dreams I had. A greater plan. Sounds wonderful to me. I can't wait to finally see, in this life or the next, more than just the glimpse of all the things God is doing in this life of mine.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Dear Daddy,
I thought about blogging about you and letting my followers read about how wonderful you are. But then I decided why not write to you rather than just about you.
So first of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It is a huge understatement to say, "I am so glad you were born." Without you, there'd be no me. Weird.
You are hands down my favorite man. I know no one greater than you. For as long as I can remember I've been a Daddy's girl. Yes, I am following in mom's footsteps with my career choice, but you and I have always had a special bond. We connect in an unique way.  I don't know what it is, but I treasure it.
Thank you for taking me on dates. My unfairly high standards for how guys should treat me comes back to you. And I am thankful for it. It has saved me a lot of pain over the years.
Along the same lines, thank you for trusting me. Even when I end up being wrong. Thank you for letting me make mistakes but being there to catch me when I fall. Skinned knees turned into heartbreaks, yet time and time again you helped me find my feet. 
Every single day of my life you have been there for me. That phrase is overused but so unbelievably true. And I am unspeakably thankful that it is.
Thank you for making me play sports. So even now I can be athletic. I can play a pickup soccer game with guys and not be completely embarrassed. I can outrun most guys I know. And I am constantly impressing the opposite sex with my ability to throw a spiral. I owe all this to you. I'm not only thankful you made me play sports just so I can hang with the guys, but I also learned valuable lessons. That season when I was six and played softball and absolutely hated it, you taught me about commitment and not quitting on a team I had joined. I learned teamwork and how to make friends. I learned to fight through the pain. I learned that in sports, and in life, things will hurt. But I learned not to quit. To keep pushing through, to keep working hard. I will get through it, the pain will subside, and it will be worth it. I learned about never giving up (even when we're losing 78-4 :)). I learned that you will always be my fan. My biggest encourager. My best coach.   
I admire so much about you, and I am still learning from you every single day. I'm learning how to live in the present and not worry about the future. I'm learning how to love, really love, all people. And how to serve with a heart of joy. You serve people so well and so humbly. And you love Jesus. And every day you are modeling for me how to fall more and more in love with my Heavenly Father. Thank you for being an earthly model of Him for me.
One day I'll meet someone. Another guy I think is unspeakably wonderful. But know, I will always be your little girl. You are the first man I ever loved. You'll always be my number one. 

I know this is cliche, but I am so blessed to call you dad. Thank you for all you do.
I love you.

P.S. Thank you for my first and favorite nickname.

I wish I had a shirt like this to wear for you on your birthday like you do on mine. You are the coolest dad around.
I love you more than words can say.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Map, map, map!

Happy New Year, Folks!
I'll save the "new year, new me" post for another time ;)

For Christmas this year I had to get creative. Essentially working full time and being a full time grad student does not leave a lot of extra room for earning or having cash. So I handmade some gifts.

My dad likes maps. I think one of his goals is for his children to enjoy maps as much as he does.
So anyway, I saw this on Pinterest...
For a low, low price of $498 (plus $25 for shipping), it could be mine. Yeah right.
I also saw a woman who made one like it herself. I figured if she can do it, I can too. Well let me tell ya, this was an event. I think the correct phrase is "biting off more than you can chew."

I got a piece of wood I found under my parents' porch. With the help of my dad (sneaky, sneaky- he helped make his own present!), I cut it down to size. (I'm 23 years old and am still not allowed to use power tools, but I have no idea why. Surely it couldn't be the clumsiness and carelessness that seem to be traits I will never outgrow...) Then I painted it. I liked the distressed look so I only did one coat. After that I printed off a world map 9 separate pages to cover the board. Then came the loooooong process of tracing. Here's what it looked like...

 Let the tracing begin.
 So many tiny nooks and crannies. Goodness gracious.
 And this is the finished product traced.
 This girl helped paint some. Definitely appreciated the help!

Look at that smile. Totally worth it :)
I now know why the original had the pricey number on it. Sheesh. But overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out. Lots of hard work. I think I actually like it better though. It is by no means perfect, but it's the thought that counts right? :) This was definitely not a quick process, but the next time I have hours and hours to spare, I would love to make another one!
 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!