7.25.2011

Satisfied

Usually, right about now, I'm half asleep-half awake. My long arms reach for my phone as alarm number two goes off. I hit snooze. My eyes fight to stay closed, my body does not seem to move from the all-wrapped-up position it's in, but my mind knows it's time to get up and get ready to start my day. A day filled with two children, two cats, killing spiders, driving to and from dance class and swimming, and laying my head down on the kitchen counter for at least thirty minutes of some shut eye at the opportune moment.

But today is different. Today I don't have to work. Today I am wide awake, laying in my bed with the air conditioner blasting, watching the sunrise from my bedroom window. The oranges, the pinks, against the backdrop of bright blue leave me awestruck. Psalm 90:14 says, "O, satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." As I sit here and read this verse over and over again, I turn it into my prayer. To have a heart that is satisfied in the Lord and His lovingkindness, His mercies, His grace...than I have nothing else to do but to sing for joy and be glad. Yes! This is what I want.

My heart has been heavy for my Mom the past few days. A conversation with a dear friend opened my eyes again to see how important prayer is and praying, continually and steadfastly for the lost, is not something for the faint at heart. It takes dedication, it takes courage, it takes real faith, it takes dying to your flesh. Somewhere in the midst of life, I lost that drive. My heart went from , "My God, you can do anything and I believe it will happen!" to "I prayed everyday for a year, not giving up hope, and my eyes saw nothing but more pain...is this how it will be the rest of my life?" Oh, Autumn. Oh, Autumn, where is your faith? Do you not see what the Lord has done in every other area in your life? Do you not remember the grace, mercy, and lovingkindness He has extended towards you in the midst of the pain? How are you not satisfied? Why have you stopped praying? Questions I'm still figuring out the answers to. Questions I don't necessarily like to ask myself.

So, this morning, with my glass of milk in hand, I will stop, pray...not only for my Mom, but for my whole family, for my friends, for those I love, for my heart to not grow faint and weary and allow the enemy to speak lies to me...and I will be satisfied with His lovingkindess and turn that satisfaction into songs of joy and gladness in my heart...for all my days. 


7.24.2011

"Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life." 
John Updike

7.23.2011

Contagious

like a raging epidemic. like a field on fire.
passion.
love for the broken.
desire to see the lost, found.
music. sweet music.
reaching to the soul.
prayer. in the still of the darkness.
cries of the heart. she and the prayers of David.
spirits. watching. weeping. hurting. loved.
darkness. fear. consumed by the Light.
driven by the words of those who don't understand.
faithful. so faithful.
willing to die.
tears. deep love...
all for someone she has never met.

This is passion. This is love.
Contagious.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Ephesians 6:12

7.22.2011

Six Days and Counting

In exactly one week, my favorite boy and I will be basking in the heat of Southern California. We'll be burying our toes in the warm, soft sand and dipping our Colorado bodies in the freezing cold West Coast water. No matter how hot the sand is or how cold the water is, or even how cloudy it may be while we're there...there is nothing that could get me to change my mind about going to the beach and spending a whole afternoon and evening there!

It's been a crazy past couple months with James' job and me becoming a nanny. We've both had long days, frustrating days, days where we just want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over our heads, and not come out. So, this vacation is MUCH needed :) And the best part about it is getting to spend time with my Dad and Grandma. We'll also be visiting a couple good friends, and (the main reason why we're going) seeing one of my dearest, closest friends get married. Oh my goodness, this is one wedding that I have been so very excited for!

Every time I go to California, there are always specific things I have to do and people I have to see. Such as:

1) Hug, squeeze, talk to, and spend a lot of time with my Dad (duh!)
2) Eat In 'n Out at least three times (#2 with animal style fries, and a sprite...every time.)
3) Spend time talking with my grandma and loving every minute of it (priceless)
4) See Lauren, Marc, and David (Best friends all through junior high and high school...Lauren since we were 4 years old!)
5) Going to the church I grew up in (doesn't happen every time, but maybe this time)
6) Enjoy the beach! (hasn't happened once in the few trips I've taken...but this time it WILL!)
7) Visit Barnes & Noble, my first place of employment and my favorite place to work

I'm so excited to go with James again! To be able to take a vacation with my Best Friend is always the best vacation ever! The day we go to the beach, he promised to take me out to a nice dinner (actually I convinced him to take me out after I bought a new summer dress, haha!). Fresh fish will be AMAZING!

Oh July 28th...please get here quickly....

The Beach in California Pictures, Images and Photos

7.14.2011

On Being A Nanny

I'm on week three of being a nanny and I have to say...it's a lot more...um...challenging and rewarding then I thought it would be. The family I am currently working for only needs me for the summer....so, July 27th will be my last day with these two girls and then I get to go on vacation (which I am so excited for)!

I met this family through an online nanny website, interviewed with them, and a few days later, got an email saying that they chose someone else, but would keep my information if things didn't work out. Little did I know that my friend, Ashley, was the nanny they had picked. After a few weeks of Ashley working for them, she ended up getting a job at Compassion International and needed someone to step in and take the new nanny role. She saw that I had posted on Facebook that I was looking for a nanny job and thought of me :) So she gave my information to the family, and after figuring out that it was the same family I had already interviewed for, I accepted the job! The Lord has a funny way of working things out!

The first week was so very challenging. The girls had to adjust to having another new nanny...and well, I had to adjust to actually being a nanny. Thankfully we got through it, by the grace of God! Spending 11 hours together makes for a long day, and trying to navigate through all 11 hours with an 8 and 5 year old (with the 8 year old having ADHD and being off her medication), it was quite the adventure. Now, being on week three, we're all in a much better place :) Natalie, who is 5, last week said to me, "Miss Autumn, I'm getting used to you now and I really like you!" It made my heart smile!

One of the days we were together during week two, I took the girls to the library and actually ended up finding a book for myself called "Naked Fruit." It's all about cultivating a life that is full of the Fruits of the Spirit. Funny how I picked this book during a season of being with children all day and getting the perfect opportunity to put the Fruits of the Spirit into action. I decided that every couple days I would take two fruits at a time, read the chapter specifically written for that fruit, journal about it, and pray for the Lord to cultivate in me the fruits that are lacking and for a willing heart to allow Him to do His work in me. It's been such a great challenge walking through the fruits, learning how to be vulnerable (or naked...like the book title) in the areas that I need much growth, and putting them into practice with two sweet girls. 

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-Control. 

Words that I memorized when I was young, but was never taught what it truly meant to live a life that is fruit filled. After reading this book (which was written by Elisa Morgan, founder of the MOPS [Mothers of Preschoolers] program) has opened my eyes and heart to what it truly means to live out the Fruits of the Spirit. I have a long way to go, but coming to a place of being open to Him working on me and being in this season of practicing all of them with children has turned out to be such a huge blessing! And will be beneficial for the future when I am blessed with my own children.

I'll be sad to say "bye" to these two lovely little girls that I get to invest my time (and Fruits of the Spirit) in. There have been days of being completely frustrated with learning what battles to fight, finding a balance and what works with ADHD, and dealing with an emotional 5 year old girl. But it's been truly rewarding to hear little girl giggles throughout the day, playing with makeup, watching them in their swim and dance lessons, reading to them, teaching them notes on the piano and hearing them sing worship songs, painting pictures with them, and answering their plethora of questions. 

The Lord wanted me to be with this family and at the same time, wanted me to study the Fruit of the Spirit that He knows (and I know) I am lacking. I couldn't be more grateful for how it all worked out and also having a steady income so I can pay for rent :)