Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's been too long / goodbye to Upstream

It has seriously been forever since I've written here. Life has been sweet, but I indeed have not felt inspired to write here. (Also haven't been in a banner-making mood... sorry!)

More explanation, photos, and "writing-it-out" here - http://everygoodandperfect.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/set-your-mind-on-things-above/

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Last Thursday was the last Upstream (EVER) and I'm so glad that I went. Also glad I got a sweet Polaroid shot of All Faith's.

The night was sad and refreshing at the same time.

While we were singing during worship, a lot of things were going on in my head and heart.

Enjoying: singing those songs, in that place, feeling the Spirit bring comfort and reassurance, it was sweet.

Contemplating: praying through how the Lord uses change in our lives - mainly the concept of refinement. I think that he always brings change for a purpose.

Remembering: thinking through all the hard/good/messy times that the Lord wrought in my life through Upstream, and often in All Faith's -- dear sisters fighting to help me believe Truth amidst struggle, prayer team fighting to pray over another Thursday even when the words were hard to gather, me sitting against those wood paneled walls praying for worship "in Spirit and in Truth" and for protection against the Enemy, me praying on that blue-carpeted prayer room alone on many non-Thursdays.

I think it's wrong to give places or ministries or people credit for the Lord's work, but I do think it's valuable to look at those spaces and remember those tangible moments and evidences of God's artful, intricate faithfulness to His children.

I'm thankful for Upstream: for the real-deal friends I grew with there, the Truth that I learned there, and the lessons in prayer that I experienced there. I am thankful that whenever I see All Faith's - whether in person or in my mind or via photo - what I will truly remember is the Lord's utter faithfulness and care during my college years.

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Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow'r and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots,
And melt the heart of stone.

’Cause Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Oh, praise the One who paid my debt,
And raised this life up from the dead.

Oh, praise the One who paid my debt,
And raised this life up from the dead.

Friday, March 12, 2010

light and love

found this on flickr... made me sigh. sweet blue skies of hope. rare and wonderful.

Monday, March 8, 2010

gentle part of town

This is a gentle part of town
- run down.
Papers blow about the street,
people walk on tired feet,
discount stores, a place to eat,
hardware, garden stuff and such:
shabby. No, there isn't much
to see. And yet,
here's a part I can't forget.
It isn't something
I just feel:
but folks are folks here,
folks are real,
folks are simple,
folks are kind,
if you don't buy much,
they don't mind.
It's just a gentle part of town
- run down.

- By Ruth Bell Graham,
in Sitting by My Laughing Fire, a collection of her poems

(I got that book for free from the BGEA several years ago,
and I am SO glad I did. Her writing is vulnerable and strong,
and the accompanying photographs and images are beautiful.
This photo, however is mine - taken near Independence, TX.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

i won!

Today turned out to be a good day. I rested, and recovered from a super busy weekend, and ignored the blog world all day, and then tonight I discovered that I had won a beautiful prize from an adorable blog! See here. So fun!!

Monday, March 1, 2010


explored., originally uploaded by lullabysounds.

Everyone has a story. The Lord values each and every person's stories, and therefore I should as well. Sometimes it's hard: I decide for myself that I'm tired of that person's story, or I don't think they're doing it right, and I stop listening to or participating in their story. That's not the way I should walk in.

I think these were 2 of the biggest themes I learned in college:

1. Trust. Trust. Hey guess what, TRUST. Oh, and do some resting and waiting as well. Because, the Lord is the only secure home for your trust and hope and rest. Place your trust in Him - roll your cares and worries and tears into His arms and sit and breathe: it's safe. The waiting will be valuable and He will redeem whatever you think has been lost.

2. Even the people that I may think must have it all together, actually have a story. They have hurts and pasts and struggles just like me. Whether I'm a huge fan of the person or not is irrelevant: God is the one writing their story and so guess what it's quality material. Duh. Everyone has layers upon layers of complex and delicate life. But, when I write them off as unlovable, I miss out on how the Lord is working and I ignore His grace (towards me and my negativity) and His power to redeem each of us and write beautiful life/love stories for our whole selves.

Monday, February 22, 2010

House dreaming: stripes

So, now that Garret and I have found our rent house (that cute lil gal above), I am SO excited about planning the decor for it and picking out DIY projects for us to tackle. My creativity and "take on way too much at one time"-ness + Garret's mechanical ingenuity and determination could equal either homey awesomeness or (really fun) trouble. (I'm voting for the former, mostly.)

Consequently, I have a new found addiction to HGTV and Apartment Therapy. I can't tell you how many AT posts I have starred in my reader. Because it would be outrageous.

Anyways, today I was enchanted by this gallery of rooms with painted stripes. So dang fun! Can I paint some stripes? Please, Garret!? I mean, no I can't necessarily think of a room in our will-be home where stripes could work, but they're just so pretty to look at! (Ooh! Maybe the office/craft room!?!)

My favorites are the really wide horizontal stripes across just one wall of a room. I think it adds nice visual interest and movement to a space. (And yes, that's me pretending like I know what I'm talking about.)

And, who wouldn't want a circus tent-esque bathroom!?! I'm on board with it. Too bad the bathroom in our quirky lil house has piiink tile. (I'm going to try to play up other, more neutral colors in there so that Garret doesn't throw up every morning.) Anyways... striped bathroom dream officially shot down... for now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The latest

baylor upsidedown, originally uploaded by leli jo.

Garret and I spent some of Valentines Day in Independence, taking photos. i was happy with how they turned out. This double exposure above turned out really trippy! And this cutie is one of my new favorite photos ever.

I've started a new adventure: writing a faith-inspired wedding planning blog. So, one reason I've written a lot less here lately (and haven't made a new header - so sad!) is because I've been writing a lot on this new blog and trying to gather readers. It's called Every Good and Perfect, and you can read my explanation of why I'm writing it in this post.

Learning a lot of new things at work: budgets, proposals, reallocations, federal initiatives - all things that I was previously totally unfamiliar with! This has been challenging sometimes, but I'm still very grateful for my job. I can walk around outside at lunch, I work with wonderful people who treat each other like family, it has great benefits and holidays, and I'm learning lots of new and valuable skills!

And, drumroll.... Today was an extra excellent day for two reasons:
1. Garret got a job! He was hired at a reputable local cabinet manufacturer and he is SO excited. Praise the Lord! God is so faithful to provide, right when we reach our breaking point...

2. We're getting married in 99 days!!! To celebrate, I made Garret a list of 99 reasons why I can't wait to marry him, and he liked that a lot. It was really fun to write :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

can't wait

I can't wait to buy some film and enjoy having some photography adventures real soon. I'd taken about a two week break from spending money on it, but I'm feeling the itch again... It's almost pay day. I'm so glad I picked up this new film hobby - it's been really fun and life-giving for me. And I need to continually work on doing purposefully life-giving things.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photography inspiration

The Shorpy blog posts very old black and white images several times a day, and often they are really fascinating. I'm not always a huge b&w fan, but this photo of the mountains is magnificent.

Colorado circa 1901. "Ouray from Blow-out Canyon." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. (I also find this photo from that site really poignant and sad - sorry if that's weird. I feel like it's this really feeling picture of life when everything has fallen apart and your very last hope seems gone.)

One Love Photo is stinkin' cool. Why? Well, there's this...

And because, like me, they love film! Ok, and they're uber talented. Seriously. They are legit. They're a husband and wife wedding photography team, and in addition to using high quality digital cameras, they also capture funky/nostalgic/dreamy wedding images by using medium format cameras, and some cheap toy cams, too. You can read more about their style and gear here and see their flickr, where I especially love their film weddings set. (Can I have their job? Please? Maybe one day?)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Last name: ever, First name: cutest

白木屋文化館, originally uploaded by Joseph1204.

Omygoodness this photo is so precious! I've become slightly addicted to browsing flickr for inspiring film photography, and this one really caught my eye today. I looove the deep green, and that chair, and this kid - what a cutie!

(And come on Julie, doen't this make you want to have little bitty kiddos?)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reading right now...

I'm trying to use my free time to read a little more often, and I got a gift card to Half Price, so I'm reading a few new and old things. Here are some, in no particular order...

A Prayer for Owen Meany (Modern Library)

A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
Bought this a couple of months ago, in an effort to read some quality contemporary fiction. It's definitively thought-provoking so far. I've only got 250 pages to go...

A Perfect Wedding: Inviting the Author of Romance to Make Your Day Beautiful

A Perfect Wedding: Inviting the Author of Romance to Make Your Day Beautiful
by Eric and Leslie Ludy
Out of all the wedding books I've read, this is definitely the best, because it looks at the heart of what a wedding is about, and it's super short and easy to read! I love it because it expresses the Biblical big picture of marriage, and focuses less on details and planning. I've already read through it once, and now I'm going back through to review the highlights.

The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective - Study Guide

The Excellent Wife
by Martha Peace
This book used to intimidate me. Ok... still does. A lot. I learned about it in one of Christine's Sunday School classes, and I've watched several engaged friends read it. Now I'm just getting started in it, but I know it's going to be really refining and challenging.

Rhythm Vision: A Guide to Visual Awareness
Rhythm Vision: A guide to Visual Awareness
by Dennis Roth
Randomly found this in Half Price, so I have no idea what it'll be like. I really hope it's good, it sounds really interesting, seeing the world around you with different eyes.

Feminine Appeal
Feminine Appeal
By Caralyn Mohaney
Love the heart of this book: pointing others to the Gospel by the way you live as a woman.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


So, tonight I read a post about making fun New Years resolutions that you can keep on ohbrooke, and I thought that she made a good point. Although I probably won't do the example of buying one pair of shoes a month, I think it is a good idea to make some light-hearted goals right along with the more discipline-minded goals.

You know I've got my list of new goals going - spiritual, relational, physical... everything. Tried to keep it short-ish. I posted them in my room last night - wrote them on a normal sheet of paper, with a favorite verse from Isaiah on top, and then stuck it on the shinyshiny gold back of my last year's jumbo calender from China. Tonight when I got the idea to add fun resolutions, I added a smaller sheet of paper at the bottom, and then starting doodling all around on the gold. I think it will be a fun way to leave myself notes and pictures.

So, my additional, "fun" resolutions are:
- Weekly dance parties. Alone or with friends, watevs, no excuses! :)
- Find good clean fun ways to smile and have fun more often at work.
- Write for myself and for fun more often.

P.S. Made the new banner tonight. The photo reminded me of Nikki's post. I took it with my new Slim camera that my cousin got me for Christmas - yay!