Archive | March, 2010

Contagious attitude.

29 Mar

One of the interesting qualities about God is who and how and when he will use someone or something to get his message across to you and me. In the bible, we read about Moses and the burning bush (Exodus Chapter 3), and we also read about the numerous times that Jesus taught people through parables/stories to help explain what he was trying to get across. As I have mentioned time and time before, God likes to teach me things through random thoughts or things I see that provoke thought and give me a visual of what he is trying to help me to learn.

In the bible (John chapter 6), God used a lil boy and his sack lunch to teach his 12 best friends (disciples) the importance of trusting in him not only to provide, but also to do the impossible. When Jesus was teaching to over 5000 and the sun began to set and dinner was on the disciples mind, they encouraged Jesus to send the crowd away to go get dinner. Jesus’ response was simply, “you feed them”. (my paraphrase) As the disciples first complained that they couldn’t because of what they didn’t have (enough food, money, etc.), they decided to humor Jesus by walking through the crowds to “attempt” to see if they could gather enough food to spread out amongst the people. When they became even more discouraged at what they believed in their hearts was “impossible”, they started walking back to Jesus empty-handed. But just then, a young boy (possibly around the age of 12) approached them and offered his sack lunch. While I’m sure the disciples gave the boy a look that probably implied, “how sweet, but this won’t help”, Jesus took the lunch (5 small loaves of bread and 2 fish), prayed over it and sent the disciples out to feed the crowds. As they broke off pieces to feed the people, they never ran out. In fact, after feeding the crowd, they had 12 baskets left of bread and fish. While there are many things we could draw out of this incredible story, what sticks out to me is that God used a young boy to accomplish his task and to also teach his disciples about his character.

I was reminded of this story last night at church, when a young boy stood up to the microphone and encouraged a crowd of adults to remember that our attitude is contagious. He said simply, “When were happy, others are happy.” What we reflect rubs off on others, good or bad. This is not a revelation to me, in fact, that little tidbit is a constant reminder that God likes to pop in my head about once a week. In fact, I have written a post about it here. It’s funny to me the ways God “helps” to remind me  of how I need to check my attitude because I realize how it affects others. Sometimes he “lets” me encounter a not too friendly, shall we say, human being…and I am abruptly reminded of the person I do not wish to be. Other times, I meet someone who is so kind and genuine and I realize how much of an impact their attitude makes on my day. And even sometimes, he uses the loving people in my life to tell me to my face! This time, however, he reminded me through a young boy who spoke with assurance and confidence that his words were not his own. As he clutched the mic nervously, he told us that God doesn’t speak to him often, but he felt he had to share this and I sat in my seat remembering that I once felt that way. The feeling that because I was young and hadn’t experienced much of life yet, God couldn’t possibly use me, but he did and he does. God will use whoever is willing to teach us about who he is and who he creating us to be. Even when those who appear closest to Jesus, like the disciples, bypass what God is trying to accomplish, he will use a young boy with a sack lunch or a young boy who is nervous yet willing to be Gods mouthpiece.

I’m not sure if I’m writing all this to remind myself of how my attitude affects others or to remind myself that God wants to continue to teach me things and will use all resources to do so. Either way…I hear you God and thank you for the many ways you get my attention!

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wholly yours.

29 Mar

The past is the past, it’s been washed away.

Such high demands, left dreaming of child’s play.

Grace and mercy, love undeserved

pain and sorrow, yet joy abounds.

Held tight to be comforted, let loose to be free

A new perspective, unaltered clarity.

All that I need to the very core,

my heart reacts to this faithful love.

More of you, less of me.

It’s a process and my reality.

Crossroads, different paths, unforseen opportunites,

the choice to choose with mercy to forgive.

Holy are you, wholly yours am I.

….

*If you claim to be a poet, I apologize for my version above. It’s not my style, but sometimes words fill the pages and instead of worrying about where and how to place them, you just write. So I did. 🙂

3 months.

29 Mar

Tomorrow marks 3 months since I’ve lived here. It’s crazy how time has flown by, but it’s understandable with the amount of things that have happened since I’ve been here. There are days where I really miss Lynden (never thought I’d say that and mean that ;)) and there are other days where I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without living this close to my other family. How did we ever get by, these past 15 years?!

Since I’ve been here, I’ve:

moved into a new office, met new friends, become addicted to spin class, celebrated Jameson, Erin, Uncle Jim & Jackson’s birthdays, gotten lost in DT Vancouver, spent many saturdays with my favorite lil’ cousins, offically turned monday nights into girls nights, walked around the portland waterfront, developed a better realtionship with my g-pa’s, helped throw Britt a baby shower, joined a bible study, explored every mall within a 30 mile radius, spent a weekend in Canon Beach with the girls, witnessed the birth of Bennett, reconnected with old friends and much, much more!

Next on the list is:

Find someone to teach me to play the guitar, start playing some more tennis, get someone to show me around Portland, go to a show(s), go find the house that i grew up in, celebrate more family birthdays, a huge family trip to San Diego and much much more!

3 months…crazy! Looking forward to the months to come 🙂

Bennett Graham :)

28 Mar

The boy finally has a name and it suits him well! Bennett Graham Bradford! I got to spend a lil’ time with him again today and got to see his big sister and big brother smother him with love!

March 26th, 2010

27 Mar

The world is blessed with another lil’ life…and we are all blessed to call him family. Thank you Jesus! Happy Birthday Lil’ Man!

God will never waste a hurt.

25 Mar

I recently read this statement in a book, “God will never waste a hurt”. The second I read it, it pierced my heart. It caused me to stop and really think and challenge that statement. As I hesitated to believe it, looking back, there isn’t one time where I can point to a “hurt” in my life and say it isn’t true. And although there are still “hurts” in my life that I am questioning the reason or the possibility of any good to come from them, I have an undeniable peace that statement in inevitably true. And not just for me, but for you, for everyone.

2ezjlw56.png low self esteem image by bgred85

In high school, I really struggled. I struggled to shut my mouth during class and do my work. I struggled to find balance between sports, school, work and relationships. I struggled to find value, confidence and worth in myself. I struggled with dealing with the hurt that I felt from mean girls, disappointing grades, bad decisions and rarely feeling good enough. I was hurt.

After high school, I did an internship in a youth ministry and I found myself constantly surround by middle school and high school girls who were feeling the same thing…hurt. Hurt by life, parents, boyfriends, friends and never feeling good enough. After my internship, I fell into coaching basketball and eventually cheerleading and again, I found myself in the same situation. I began to see how God was using my “hurt” to relate with some of their “hurt”. I was able to encourage, and at times, offer advice because I had been in their shoes and I had felt their hurt. Over the years, I have come to realize how God turned that past hurt into a new confidence, motivation and self-worth. I am not the girl who I was in high school, but it took that girl in high school to make me who I am becoming today. God will never waste a hurt.

….

I had a friend one time who constantly let me down. They never followed through with what they said they would do. They constantly changed their plans and took advantage of our friendship. They were undependable, unreliable and often times, not very loyal. I was hurt. That hurt that I so often felt, caused me to see how I had been the same to others in my own life. That hurt made me change. Being on the receiving end of a friendship like that made me want to be someone who others could depend on and rely on. I’m not saying I’m perfect in those areas, but I am better than I was. God will never waste a hurt.

Just like most girls, I’ve been hurt by a guy. And as much as I hate to give any man that credit, it’s true. As stubborn and somewhat prideful that I am in “the relationship category” of my life, I seldom talk about it because I honestly really hate that I have allowed a relationship with somebody to hurt me…as if I had control of it in the first place. In fact, I have erased this section several times because I hesitate even being this transparent now. I don’t know, maybe someone, somewhere can relate, and if so…than this is for you. I’m the type of girl who hates “games” in a relationship. I just want to lay everything out on the table and not waste each other’s time if we’re not good for each other then it’s not worth starting in the first place. My relationships seem to always start off the same; “this is who I am, what I believe, what I do, how I spend my time, my boundaries, values, etc.. ” After having this conversation with a guy and being on somewhat of the same page, sometimes this results in dating and other times has resulted in a “Wow, this isn’t going to work” moment. The ones that do result in dating a guy, also results in trusting a guy and sometimes it has involved trusting them with my heart. Anybody knows that when you put your heart out there, you also have the risk of being hurt. And on occasion, my heart has beat out my stubborn independence and pride and I have become vulnerable and at risk to be hurt. And I have. I’m realizing the older that I get, the more that I am shocked by how grown men can you treat you (yes, I realize women are not perfect either!). When expectations get trampled by reality, I have on occasion been left scratching my head on how I could have let that happen to me. How could I have misjudged a person so badly? How could I have let myself be treated like this, again? After spending years on figuring out who I truly was, valuable and worthy of love, loyalty and affection, how could I let someone compromise that truth? Months pass, and even years and I look back and am reminded that God never wastes a hurt. Not every man in my life resulted in hurt, some just resulted in a realization that we weren’t for each other and that we were better off friends. And the ones that caused hurt, also caused an undeniable realization of what I deserve and what is worth waiting for. I’m not sure if I would have truly grasped that knowledge without those “hurts” in my life. God will never waste a hurt. Phew…that was tough to write!

Last year was a hard year, as mentioned a billion times before. And as I continue to take another day to move past the “hurts”, I am more than thankful at what God is continuing to do inside of me. He has changed the core of who I am. Never in my life have I been this sure of his power and grace and unconditional love in my life. I know that I occasionally bring up the dreaded 2009, but I can’t help it because the “hurt” has changed me, molded me and radically made me into a better person. There are a lot of situations and circumstances, and ultimately “hurts”, that can cause your world to crumble and stop time as you know it. And you could possibly give that “hurt” authority of your life to label you the way you are they way that you are and they way you’ve become what you’ve become. You can even allow the “hurts” to justify why you refuse to move past it and you could probably get a crowd of people to nod in agreeance that they’d probably throw their hands up right along with you if they were in your shoes. But why would you want to? Why would you not want to turn that hurt into healing, learning, growth and the endless possibilities of what else could result in it if you decided that today was the day to move just one step out of the hurt and into the possibility (and I believe, promise) that God will never waste a hurt…my hurt, your hurt. Don’t put limits on what that could look like in your life. It may mean a new-found confidence, learning the importance of family, being a better friend, realizing your self-worth, or maybe even opening the door to someone or something that would have otherwise been closed. Whether you believe in God or not, if you find yourself in that isolated feeling of “hurt”, why not open yourself up to the possibility that something good can come out of something so painful and hurtful. What have you got to lose? You’re not alone. Everybody hurts. What will you chose to do with yours?

Another opportunity to make a difference!

22 Mar

Papa Murphy’s in vancouver is giving another opportunity for the community of Clark County to participate in something bigger than themselves! On Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24th both Mill Plain locations in Vancouver, WA will be donating 100% of both days profits to the SW WA Medical Center in support of their campaign to build the new Neonatal ICU. Come buy a pizza and impact the smallest and most fragile lives in our community! Mark your calendars and plan on pizza for tuesday or wednesday! I’m excited to see this community come together, once again, for such an incredible cause! For more information, go to www.facebook.com/takeandbake and get a preview of what will air tomorrow on “On The Go with Joe” on Fox channel 12!

Cooking adventures with kids!

21 Mar

Friday night, Erin and I watched her kids and Britt’s kids so Britt and Jeremy could have a date night! With baby number 3 due any day, they needed a much needed time out with each other! Erin and the kids and I made some delicious dinner and Jones wanted to make chocolate chicken…yeah…chocolate chicken! Made with chocolate cereal..wasn’t half bad, but defiently wouldn’t eat more than a bit of it! Here are some fun pics from last night!

Papa Murphy’s fundraiser for Trautman Family = Success!

19 Mar

I just wanted to send off a BIG THANK YOU for all of you that came out this past Tuesday night to our two Camas locations and bought pizza(s) to help support a family in our community! I feel so extremely blessed to have been able to help The Trautman Family and I know I speak for our entire company on that! Our company was extremely humbled by the amount of people who came in to buy pizza, as well as, give over and above in our donation baskets that we set-up. The Camas community really exceeded our expectations and proved to be such joyful givers. Becky Trautman came in on Tuesday and I could tell that she was truly grateful for all of you in our community that came out to support. With all the horrible stuff going on in the world, it seemed as if this fundraiser stopped time for a moment and all we could focus was the good in people and the good in the world around us. People hold the power to truly change the world and on Tuesday, March 16th, the people that came out to support this family in need, did!

At both of our Camas locations, we ended up doing 4x the amount of pizzas that we normally would do. Not to mention that, people also generously gave out of their pockets and filled our donation buckets with even more money to be fully donated to this family. As I wrapped pizzas and thanked as many people as I could that day, my heart was overwhelmed as I watched people simply buy a pizza and impact a life. It’s amazing how such a “little” thing like buying a pizza, can make such a “big” impact, like helping a family in need!

B is for Baby and Boy and Bradford!

19 Mar

Here are some pictures from my cousin Brittany’s Baby Shower that us girls threw for her! I told (enter name, which is undecided at the moment) Grahm Bradford that he couln’t come out til after the shower. So, _________ Grahm Bradford, you may come now…please!