Thursday, April 19, 2012

Red Bull, Girlfriends and Misadventures

I spent the earlier part of last weekend on a road trip with some awesome women. I was asked to speak at a ladies retreat a couple of hours from here. I saw this as a great opportunity to spend some much needed girl time on the road and asked some friends to join me. I knew that the four of us would have a good time and that the ride would be less boring with others along. After that trip I have decided I must add more girls weekends to my bucket list. I somehow managed to make it through the weekend with only a few pictures. I can't believe I let that happen and I'm so mad at myself for it. Honestly I was nervous about speaking in front of a group of women because it was the first time I have really been a "speaker" for anything. I was so worried about it about I kept my camera in its bag most of the time or on a tripod and not around my neck where it should be. Once my "talk" was done I was so relieved for it to be over that I again just didn't think about taking pics. You can tell when I'm out of my element because that's when I'm not taking pictures. Luckily I will always have the memories to cherish. That is until my memory fails me and I forget we even went on a trip. Ok so Chemo brain isn't really that bad but it adds humor to my already flighty brain which may or may not be why we ended up in a very small and unique town named after me. St. Elizabeth. I should add that is also the nick name that my siblings have given me. I think its pretty obvious why. I honestly can't remember a time when I have laughed so hard I couldn't catch my breath. Luckily when we were laughing we were sitting down otherwise we would have had other misadventures lol. Oh dear, I believe that the fact that I even say such a thing means I'm officially old. We met many wonderful new friends that brought more joy and laughter to our weekend. They say that laughter burns a lot of calories and if that's true then I can't figure out how it is that my cloths are now more tight than they were before we went. Perhaps its because the weekend theme was chocolate and we consumed a tiny bit of it. By a tiny bit I of course mean that if it could be covered in chocolate we ate it thanks to Janis and her insanely awesome chocolate fountain. I'll never forgive you for that Janis. Or perhaps its from the snacks we had to buy when we stopped for directions from a lady who acted as if we must be insane to have ended up in her gas station when we told her where we were supposed to be going. To be honest that was probably one of my shortest detours and I'm quite proud that we figured it out as soon as we did. I know the weight gain it wasn't from the 80 ounces of red bull consumed by me alone because that was sugar free! For our evening entertainment we had the most ridiculous and embarrassing rendition of the "sisters" duo from my mom and Aunt of course thats almost to be expected from the two of them. Finally I got some much needed time with my BFF. Not only did we hang out but we got to talk coupons which is always a fun time for us. We even had a handful of men around who may now think twice about coming around a group of ladies after hearing all the TMIs about bras and boobs. And no I wasn't the only one who included such things in there lesson. lol All in all it was a fabulous weekend and I can't wait for the next. I can't think of a better crew that I would love to get lost with again and I'm sure the next time around we will find a way to do it. To all the ladies who both planned and attended the retreat thank you for having us. We enjoyed meeting you all and having an excuse for a road trip. To my bestie thanks for coming and presenting with me. I can't think of anyone I would rather have by my side. Thanks also to Breski for bringing her all that way. You are the only person I know who can find a NASCAR dude on back road in the middle of nowhere. Finally to Margaret, Lydia and Christine who likely will never read this blog thanks for a wonderful adventure. I hope there are many more to come. Beware though next time I'll have my camera out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today We Danced

Its no surprised by now if you follow my blog that I love rain. Most of the time when people think of rain they think of gloominess, sadness, maybe even struggles or darkness. When I think of rain I think of pure joy and happiness, a time of cleansing and rejuvenation. I think of running, splashing, dancing and most of all playing with my kids. The following are pictures from Sunday along with some of my favorite scriptures about rain (all of the scriptures come from the Message version). I spent most of the weekend away from Shawn and the girls at a ladies retreat. It was a great time with some pretty amazing women. It stormed the whole time I was gone so when I got back I made up for lost time with the girls. They should have been asleep for nap time but the best storm we have had in a long time was going on so I got Zoe and Chloe up. We grabbed out rain boots, our umbrella and our camera of course and we went out dancing in the streets. To Rafi music if you were wondering.

Joel 2
 21-24 Fear not, Earth! Be glad and celebrate!
   God has done great things.
Fear not, wild animals!
   The fields and meadows are greening up.
The trees are bearing fruit again:
   a bumper crop of fig trees and vines!
Children of Zion, celebrate!
   Be glad in your God.
He's giving you a teacher
   to train you how to live right—
Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words
   to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do.
And plenty of food for your body—silos full of grain,
   casks of wine and barrels of olive oil.

Psalm 84
5-7 And how blessed all those in whom you live,
      whose lives become roads you travel;
   They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
      discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
   God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
      at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!    msg


Ezekiel 34
 25-27 "'I'll make a covenant of peace with them. I'll banish fierce animals from the country so the sheep can live safely in the wilderness and sleep in the forest. I'll make them and everything around my hill a blessing. I'll send down plenty of rain in season—showers of blessing! The trees in the orchards will bear fruit, the ground will produce, they'll feel content and safe on their land, and they'll realize that I am God when I break them out of their slavery and rescue them from their slave masters. 

Genesis 9
8-11 Then God spoke to Noah and his sons: "I'm setting up my covenant with you including your children who will come after you, along with everything alive around you—birds, farm animals, wild animals—that came out of the ship with you. I'm setting up my covenant with you that never again will everything living be destroyed by floodwaters; no, never again will a flood destroy the Earth." 

Acts 3
 19-23"Now it's time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be. Moses, for instance, said, 'Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family. Listen to every word he speaks to you. Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet will be wiped out from the people.' 


Psalm 65
 9-13 Oh, visit the earth,
      ask her to join the dance!
   Deck her out in spring showers,
      fill the God-River with living water.
   Paint the wheat fields golden.
      Creation was made for this!
   Drench the plowed fields,
      soak the dirt clods
   With rainfall as harrow and rake
      bring her to blossom and fruit.
   Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,
      scatter rose petals down your paths,
   All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
      Set the hills to dancing,
   Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
      a drape of flax across the valleys.
   Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
      Oh, oh, let them sing! 

Psalm 46
 4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God's city,
      this sacred haunt of the Most High.
   God lives here, the streets are safe,
      God at your service from crack of dawn.
   Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
      but Earth does anything he says. 

1 Thessalonians
 11-13May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers. 
 It wasn't until I decided to do a word study on rain that I realized just how many positive scriptures there were about rain. We get so caught up in storms and bad associations with them and with rain in general. Even when we look at scriptures we get caught up in things like the flood but there is so much beyond the darkness of storms. Scripture after scripture talks about new life, about the blessing that come from rain, about the splashes of joy and love from our savior. My favorite time with God these days is my time with Him out in the rain...literately. If you haven't been out dancing with him lately you should go. You won't be disappointed.