Nature

Waiting…

I feel I am in a season of waiting. For a type A personality waiting is very, very hard. I like to “fix” things and make them happen. I even admit…dare I…that I like to control things. Now, I know that fixing and controlling do not fit into the character of a child of God so I am constantly a work in progress in these areas. There has been growth in both of these struggles and I am thankful that God doesn’t give up on me. But sometimes I just need a little encouragement to know that the waiting isn’t for nothing. And it seems that just when I feel I am too frustrated with the inability to fix or control the things for which I am waiting to happen, the Lord comes in with just what I need to sustain me. Isn’t He so good in that way? His mercies are truly new each morning and great is His faithfulness.

This season of waiting is pushing me closer and closer up against the Lord. And for this, I am truly thankful. He is the ONLY thing that sustains and lifts up and He is worthy to be praised.

In my devotion this morning there was a picture of us as a child learning to take our first steps. Even though we can’t run right away and we even may stumble and fall God isn’t angry with us and doesn’t yell at us or punish us because we can’t do it perfectly. No, He helps us, lifts us up and encourages us. So, when I struggle or fail or don’t do things perfectly the first time (type A rising up again) then I should give myself grace just like my heavenly Father does. In giving myself grace and learning to let myself fail and try again I will be better suited for seasons of waiting where things don’t feel they are going according to my plans. I can rest in the knowledge that God is still there right beside me and He sees the path out in front of me and has my future in His hands. It helps to sweeten the waiting.

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View from a garden in the area which my husband’s family is from. 

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Wherever He Leads….

This past week my husband had a couple of days off and one of the days we decided to go walking on a new trail in the mountains that we found a couple of months ago. It was a hot day and of course we happened to pick the hottest time of day to go. Oops! But thankfully there was a breeze and a little shade as we went along so it wasn’t unbearable. We enjoyed walking and talking and exploring. At one point we even found a little river and a shady place to sit and have a devotion together. It was a wonderful day!
After we finished our hike up the mountain it was time to go back down. I thought this would be so much easier than the steep hike up but as we started our descent I quickly realized that it wasn’t so easy as the trail was full of sand and rocks. Sometimes I felt myself slipping as I walked and could just imagine falling hard on my backside and ending the day in a not so lovely way. My husband and I had been walking side by side and talking but when I started having trouble keeping my balance he offered to walk a little in front of me and then later told me to give him my hand so he would make sure I wouldn’t fall. It was then that it hit me. This walk was a wonderful example and picture of our relationship with God. As we walk through life He loves for us to walk beside Him, talking and sharing our joys and our struggles. But when we start to go through a difficult time and are on a hard path He leads us and guides us so lovingly and even takes our hand to make sure we don’t fall and if we fall He is always there to pick us up and help us to keep going. I was so happy and thankful for this visual aid that helped to remind me of God’s loving care for us. Sometimes I need to see these lessons in a way that I can picture forever.

Thank you, Lord, that You are always near me and there to guide me as I walk through this life. I pray that you will keep me in your care and that I will always keep my hand in yours!

 

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Pressing On

Hi. It’s been a while. For quite some time I haven’t felt I had anything to share. It’s not really true because we are always learning and changing and therefore there’s always something to say. However, sometimes I feel that I have nothing of significance to say. But I realize that in reality that is pride because I am here to honor and glorify the Lord and when He is at work that is always something I should share. It’s not about me. It’s about Him. This past winter has been very hard. In Lebanon winters can be beautiful but also hard. Isn’t that a lot like life? People don’t go out as much because it’s SO cold! And we just moved in the past few months to a place that’s colder than where we were. I have to confess that this winter brought some pity parties and some meltdowns. Why am I so far away from my family? Why do I STILL not feel comfortable speaking the language here? Why is it so cold? Why can’t I just be more content? But I realized that though I am ever changing and struggling; God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He wants me to bring my mess to Him and leave. it. there. No ifs, ands or buts. He wants it all and He makes something beautiful out of my mess.I saw this the other day on my walk and took a photo because it immediately spoke to  me. So many times things in life: struggles, changes, difficulties, they seek to strangle  our joy and choke us so much that we can’t focus or grow. But out of the difficulties  and sometimes pain, life still blooms, joy still comes and God is still good. If we leave  our burdens at His feet, we have to leave them there. We can’t decide that later we  might need to come back and get them because He isn’t taking care of them the way  we think He should. No. We must leave them alone and TRUST.

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This picture was also on my walk the other day and it took my breath away to see this cross in the middle of these bushes on this mountain. What a poignant reminder of where I need to leave my burdens but also a reminder that I can rest in my Savior and know that He is pleased with me. photo 2

Winter is ebbing away and the sun is starting to come out more and more and I am soaking in the sunshine. I went for a walk today and was just amazed at the beauty around me. What a big God I serve. I have to press on towards the goal and on the journey rejoice in the ways He is molding me to be more and more like Him. I am grateful for this journey and I pray that I will move through it with grace and confidence knowing that He is by my side always.         photo

New Apartment Update!

Recently, I had several requests for pictures and an update about our new apartment. We were so excited to find out we should be able to move in early summer! Yay!! This experience has been so new for me; picking out tiles, appliances, cabinets, etc. But what a fun experience to share with my husband! We visit every so often to see the progress and sometimes I just stand in the rooms imagining what it will be like to be there in OUR home and being able to have people over and all the memories yet to be created. God is so good!
The home is beautiful, the workmanship and the design but the surrounding area is also beautiful for which I am so grateful. There are trees around us and nature and it makes me feel so at peace. I wanted to share some pictures so you can have a “tour” of sorts.  🙂

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This is looking into the kitchen from the dining room. We had a cutout made in the kitchen so we could have a bar for extra seating and to open up the kitchen so we can see the beautiful view. 🙂

Baabdat view balcony

This is the view we can see from the kitchen looking out through the dining room onto the balcony. I love that there are a few balconies at this apartment. Lots of outdoor living space which we will LOVE in the summer and fall especially.

 

Baabdat room

 

This is the kids’ room. I was really excited there is so much light in this apartment!

Baabdat bath 1

This is the kids’ bathroom. I am really happy with the pattern. We chose black and white for both bathrooms. I like the silver pattern in this one.

 

Baabdat room 2

 

This is our room. I love the window!

 

Baabdat balcony

This is our long balcony that we plan to close in and make additional living space. It is beautiful and has this gorgeous view….

Baabdat view

I might just sit all the time and look at this view. It’s breathtaking!

Baabdat - Noelle

We go pretty often to see the progress and I always like to take a photo op. 🙂

Baabdat - hubby

Even the husband has to stop for a photo. 😉 This is in our entryway. Isn’t he cute!

Baabdat entrance

This is the door that was put in recently. It’s still in plastic wrap but I love the color of the wood!

Baabdat - driveway

This is the back of the apartment where we will drive in to park under the building. The terraces will be planted and I think they will look lovely when they are finished.

There have been a lot of decisions so far about the apartment…what color should the tiles be, how to design the kitchen, what color cabinets, do we want gypsum board, etc. It has been fun though and I am excited to be there and make it our own.

We hope that our home will be filled with family and friends. My hope is that when people enter our home they feel the love of Christ and they feel at home. Relationships are the most important thing we have in this life and I want to make sure we welcome others and provide a respite from the busyness of life.

So, welcome to our home!