Tuesday, March 29, 2011

God Bless Texas

Contrary to popular belief, there are a ton of Texans who don't live in the Great State!  In fact, one of the first things that made me feel so at home in D.C. was meeting all the displaced Lonestars at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.  My first Sunday, Greg Gilbert preached on Psalm 20.  I met him afterward and learned that he was a Texan.  One of many sweet connections that God had in store for me in this place. 

A couple weeks ago I went to a friend's party celebrating Texas's 175th year of independence!
Absolutely hilarious.  Here are a few highlights:


Trevor and I tending to the homemade chili.

Table decor courtesy of friend Abigail.

A slice of the group, right before heading out.

Pioneer Woman's blackberry cobbler.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sure and unchanging acceptance!

"Mark, believer, how sure and unchanging must be our acceptance, since it is in him! Take care that you never doubt your acceptance in Jesus. You cannot be accepted without Christ; but, when you have received his merit, you cannot be unaccepted. Notwithstanding all your doubts, and fears, and sins, Jehovah's gracious eye never looks upon you in anger; though he sees sin in you, in yourself, yet when he looks at you through Christ, he sees no sin. You are always accepted in Christ, are always blessed and dear to the Father's heart. Therefore lift up a song, and as you see the smoking incense of the merit of the Saviour coming up, this evening, before the sapphire throne, let the incense of your praise go up also."

Spurgeon, Evening selection for March 28

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reminder

A timely word from a friend:

Rest in the finished work of Christ on your behalf.  Your position before God, His love for you, cannot and will not change. You did not do anything to earn His affection; you cannot do anything to lose it.

Reminds me of a section in Paul's letter to the Philippians:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
Grateful. I need these reminders, constantly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winter re-cap

A quick catch up of some winter happenings...

My friend Staci came in town from Indiana.  We met four years prior at a summer study program in Colorado Springs, CO.  We literally talked, cried, and laughed for hours.  What a sweet time reflecting on God's kindness in both of our lives!  One theme that continued to come up in conversation is wrapped up in Elisabeth Elliot's quote,

"God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God's refusals are always merciful -- "severe mercies" at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better." 


Just a quick review of things that changed in both of our lives: 


A native Kansas-ian, Staci loved teaching and after earning her masters degree, she hoped to continue practicing her passion in the classroom for years to come. Shortly after that summer, she began running, met her husband, got engaged and moved super far from her family.  She is now a stay-at-home wife and lives on a farm in Indiana, far away from familiarity, and learning to rely on God to meet all her needs in Christ.  


For me, these four years brought change in just about every way.  I was headed into student development, aiming my gaze at earning a masters in higher education, crossing my fingers that my college boyfriend wanted to join that bandwagon.  So grateful that things did not turn out the way I had planned (understatement).  So grateful that God knew me better than I knew myself, and he softened my hardened heart over these years to trust Him and listen to His voice.  Staci's friendship is a reminder to me of God's grace. 

Sweet Staci. We showed up matching, which is hilarious. The irony was, these were her wedding colors!

Her sweet husband, Kevin.  Grateful for friends marrying godly men.
 Then a quick February trip up to York, PA to see my sweet Kimmie...

Before church


Lunch at a cute riverside cafe...aww Bryan College mems.

We laughed about this picture for a while. Noteworthy.

Thankful. And really love when bridges are in the background of pictures :) 

Um. I came in the room and found Kim hanging out of the window, removing the Christmas wreath from its place.
Dream couch at the restaurant. It matches my luggage perfectly! Coincidence? I think not.

Claire, Amber, and Larry (Lauren) at a friend's wedding

I love this one because of the laughs :)

Love my girls

Sweet Amber, my Zumba buddy

Amy & Lauren

Paul & Kim

Matt Martel's FIRST surprise birthday party!


 This time last year, I didn't know ANY of these people. 
God has faithfully answered my prayers for friendship! 

Loving DC.  Hope you enjoyed seeing a slice of my life here. 






Conversation

This was a conversation between me and a certain favorite Business Barbie of mine. Too good not to share:

Me: Do you love that song Hark! I hear the harps eternal?

Lindsey: ummm. yes

Me: ME TOO

Lindsey: it makes me think of Pocahontas

me: HAHAHA

Lindsey:  but it definitely makes me think of native americans, hahahaha


So grateful for conversations like these. But even more grateful for this sweet treasure of a friend. God has been kind to me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Approach the Father

"You have no rights as a subject, you have forfeited them by your treason [sin]; but nothing can forfeit a child's right to a father's protection. Be not afraid to say, "My Father, hear my cry."

Charles Spurgeon
Morning & Evening, March 22

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pray for Japan

Courtesy of drudgereport.com
My heart is breaking for the people of Japan. Every time I view new footage, I have to constantly remind myself that this is not a movie-- these are real people, real swells of water flooding the land, real cars and houses being tossed about and destroyed.  These people must be overwhelmed with fear.  My heart sees the face of this sweet baby and aches to go and rescue, hold and comfort, and share with them that this world is not all there is.

Pray for Japan.
Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy by John Piper
Give to relief work in Japan.

Song on my heart this morning:  All I have is Yours by Sojourn Music. Humbled by another reminder that this world is not all there is. Grateful for the great hope that is ours in Jesus Christ.

Grateful.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Skype, swords, and coupons

Highlights from the week:

I skyped with my nephews Noah & Ethan the other day.  We played 'catch' before dinner; sang silly songs during bath time (while Ethan, 2, showered the bathroom floor with blessings); played sword fight in pajamas, and I watched as they danced to a One Republic song (Ethan knows the words by heart) before bedtime.

I asked Noah (3 1/2) what his favorite color is.  He thought for a minute and then answered, "Green, Purple, Red, and CHOCOLATE."  Awesome.

When we were playing "sword fight," Noah got a sad look on his face after a little while.  My sweet sister asked him if he was sad Aunt Bek-Bek was far away.  I knew that dude was not sad-- he wanted my sword!  Sure enough, he responded, "I want that sword."  Cracks me up!

My heart was warmed, however, when Kel told me that before the Skype camera came on, he said, "Aunt Bek? I love her!"  I love my nephews and my heart aches to be near them. And when I miss my sister like crazy, I just put on one of our favorite little Dister songs.

Did some laundry last night and ran across a new (to me) show on TLC, Extreme Couponing.  While I watched and folded towels I sat there with my mouth open in utter shock from how these people not only stock pile massive amounts of groceries (usually in their garage/storehouse) and how their grocery bill can go from $600 to $6!  I honestly am still forming opinions about all this. Stay tuned. Where there's a Tooley, there's an opinion. Oh dear.


I'm praying for my friend Eric, who is in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.  I think he's about 300 miles from where the epicenter of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake (and 25 foot tsunami that followed).  He and others need our prayers.  My heart aches for the hundreds of families who've been devastated by this disaster. Grateful for a God who hears their prayers, and who is not surprised by this.  Hope to have more thoughts to share soon.

Heading out to a women's retreat with my church, Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Thankful for Fridays that end at 2pm, and fun retreats with the amazing women in my life.

RT

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is, is actual

Metal bar stools painted to appear like wood (very funny, Five Guys)
My fellow business barbie, Lindsey Lou
and taking a break from the paperclips and phone calls to enjoy a friend's company for an hour

Priceless.

She shared a great quote with me (we love quotes). In a letter Jim Elliot wrote to Elisabeth:
  
"Besides this, there is the somewhat philosophical realization that actually I have lost nothing. We may imagine what it would be like to share a given event and feel loss at having to experience it alone. But let us not forget-- that loss is imagined , not real. I imagine peaks of enjoyment when I think of doing things together, but let not the hoping for it dull the doing of it alone. What is, is actual - what might be simply is not, and I must not therefore query God as though He robbed me-- of things that are not. [...] Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Totally Fort Worth-It

YEEHAW!

OPI is ushering in spring and summer with their Texas collection of nail polishes from the Lone Star State.



www.opi.com

The names are hilarious. A sneak preview:

    * I Vant to Be A-Lone Star
    * It's Totally Fort Worth It
    * Austin-tatious Turquoise
    * Don't Mess with OPI
    * San Tan-tonio
    * Suzi Loves Cowboys
    * Y'all Come Back Ya Hear?
    * Big Hair...Big Nails
    * Guy Meets Gal-veston
    * Too Hot Pink to Hold 'Em
    * Do You Think I'm Tex-y
    * Houston We Have a Purple

Monday, March 7, 2011

Song

I’ve been feeling kind of restless
I’ve been feeling out of place
I can hear a distant singing
A song that I can’t write
And it echoes of what I’m always trying to say

There’s a feeling I can’t capture
It’s always just a prayer away
I want to know the ending
Things hoped for but not seen
But I guess that’s the point of hoping anyway

Of going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be home

I’m confined by my senses
To really know what you are like
You are more than I can fathom
And more than I can guess
And more than I can see with you in sight

But I have felt you with my spirit
I have felt you fill this room
And this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home

Going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be going, to be going home

Face to face, how can it be
Face to face, how can it be
Face to face, how can it be

Cuz this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home

Listen to Going Home by Sara Groves
 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DC likes...

 The first ten in a series...
  • Groupons
  • Gourmet cupcakes
  • Snow delays
  • Quiet morning commutes
  • Freaking out when it rains
  • And thus dodging pedestrians during rush hour
  • Stylish trenchcoats and umbrellas
  • Dogs, dogs, and more dogs
  • Furnishing an entire apartment via Craigslist
  • Running alongside the Potomac