joy costs pain

I should be studying for a midterm I have tomorrow, but I couldn't pass up sharing this with you...
If you have time... please read this whole post here, or start following this blog (link "the Journey" at the right of this page.) it will change you... I promise.
I NEED this perspective in my life, this constant reminder of things happening in the nations, around the globe, down the street... outside of my own little world.

from Katie:
        "I would like to tell you that as I become more and more surrounded with sorrow and squalor, it gets easier or less painful. But it doesn’t. The brokenness of this world does not become any less sad. Each and every time, it is overwhelmingly devastating that people have to live, and die, like this. While it does not get easier, I have found that I am able to face each one with a little more hope. I always hope that my friends will live here on earth with me, but I tell them all with a new sense of urgency about Jesus because mostly, I want them to live with HIM, whether here or in heaven. I see the sadness, but I also see the redemption.
         If we are really following Jesus, we will go to the hard places. Being a Christ follower means being acquainted with sorrow. Because we must know sorrow to be able to fully appreciate Joy. Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it.
        So we go. This is where our family is today and where I hope to stay – loving, because He first loved us. Going into the pit, entering into the sorrow because He entered for us first and because by His grace, redemption is on the other side - again, and again, and again."



no this is not a post about condiments.

this was my attempt to play off the fact that I haven't posted in a while. So heres some quick ketchup for you.

Will's brother, Ben and his wife, Jordan came into town 2 weekends ago to hang out with the family. It was a really great time to spend with them before Ben deployed for Iraq and Jordan headed back to New York.

It was also Will's dad's birthday. So of course, we had to celebrate with a family golf outing!
happy birthday!

the cute couple

my golf-pro husband (he really is getting good!)
I was probably teasing Ben

isn't he cute?

speaking of birthdays...

I feel as thought I need to do another huge b-day shout out!! (told you this was catch up!)

such an old picture! back in the day!
The Peters & Agnors at Christmas

sweet friend!!

beautiful bridesmaids: jenn, ash, april, megan, michelle

at Jada's 1st dance recital in May

jada the butterfly- at her 4th birthday party

Chester & his hot wife at the wedding... sweet dance moves!

Happy Belated Birthday friends!

Biggest loser started on Tuesday.

so great. so excited. tuesday nights. watch it.

onto other news....

I went garage sale shopping with my wonderful Grandma Smith. she is garage sale queen. I have so much to learn from her. She walked away from the morning with a stash of wonderful treasures. The first sale of the morning, I picked out 2 good books I found and walked to the check out to pay for them. The sweet lady told me they were free because they were "jesus books." saweet.

Later, I found this classic:

do you remember reading this? anyone? I picked it up and laughed out loud. How could I forget about "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo"??? When my teacher read this to us, I would say the name aloud as fast as I could with her. So I bought it, (actually dad gave me the quarter) and proceeded to take it home to read to Will.

We laughed at how racist this book is. really. it's a folklore tale about why the Chinese name their kids with short names. how did I miss that as a kid?

and it's got some weird stuff in it that I'm not sure I will ever want me kids to read... like the idea that the mom values the firstborn way more than the second child, and references to evil spirits bewitching tongues and an old man "finding his youth again" in a dream. weird.

anyways, it was worth a good laugh and a glance down memory lane.

at the last stop I found this:

yummy! I've been debating on getting a tea maker or not. you can make tea without one... but its easy with this contraption. its about $20 at target and I bought it for $5, brand new, in the box, complete with card from the wedding! can't beat that!

ok, I've officially made the most random blog post...

tonight: date night with my wonderful husband. we are going to a dinner that my sweet friend, April, is hosting to raise money for her journey on the world race. The food is going to be AWESOME and the fellowship: even better. To find out more about her story and how to support her, here. and for your viewing pleasure:

Pictures from tonight to come...

hope everyone is having a great weekend!



"Be ready. The time's coming"—God's Decree—"when I will plant people and animals in Israel and Judah, just as a farmer plants seed. And in the same way that earlier I relentlessly pulled up and tore down, took apart and demolished, so now I am sticking with them as they start over, building and planting."
Jeremiah 31:27-28 (The Message)

This is what the Lord is doing all around me. He's ripping up deep deep roots that don't belong. Roots that grew too quickly, in the wrong place, or even roots that have gone bad and decayed. He's taking apart lives, demolishing plans and preconceived ideas. He's tearing down walls, ripping open hearts, exposing the broken places.

It's hard. It's messy. It's uncomfortable and even hurts. The soil is all over the place. At times the garden appears to be in chaos.

but He's at work. active. moving.

tilling. breaking down. preparing a plot for fresh vision, new life, faith sprouting up, room for growth.

Only after this happens, is He able to "start over, build and plant."
Only after He exposes the broken, can he heal.
Only after shaking things up, can he truly establish his unshakable foundation.

Redemption is near. I can feel it in the shaking soil.

Let the harvest begin.


Music for the Soul

how about some music for the soul on this loverly saturday? here are some songs that I'm loving these days.

the first two are by this guy: will matthews. he leads at bethel and is currently recording his album. CAN'T. WAIT. you tube videos with bad quality with have to do for now. (and sometimes I make Will lead "Hope's Anthem" just so I can hear it.)

and a fun one:

and if you need one more. check out this budding gem, jada. she's pretty sweet.

What music have you been listening to? Comment with your favorite music! I love new stuff!