Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Needing Connection

It's interesting when certain words/themes start to repeat themselves in our lives. I've seen this happen from time to time... maybe I've even blogged about it before. The word connection has become more and more significant recently.

Several months ago when we were re-forming our small group of friends from church to organize for our next round of life and Bible Studies... we came up with the name "Connection." We needed a name for our group for the purposes of getting the word out at church, etc and rather than being the... "older than young adults group"... this is what we came up with. For us, our "small group" is all about connecting... coming together as friends, sharing food, ideas, dreams, prayers, life, and reading scripture together and discussing it.

Have I mentioned before that I love to dance?? Oh yeah, it's all I've been talking about lately. Well, in partner dancing... connection is key. You have to physically connect. This is how the lead communicates to the follow and the follow responds. There should be a degree of emotional/soul connection so eye contact helps too. When you have connection, you can move across the dance floor together with ease. When you are not connected... it is obvious... you both feel it and anyone watching can tell. Connection is key. This connection involves a physical tension and giving and receiving.

Connection is also a necessity spiritually.

John 15: 5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

We need to be connected to our source... to God, to His Word, to His Spirit. It's crucial to our survival, productivity and happiness.

I am made to be connected. It requires tension, time, contact, giving, receiving, togetherness... but it is good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


As it's getting closer to the holidays... Thanksgiving, Christmas, the beginning of a new year, and as I'm at the end of a very intense and heart changing conference at my church... I find myself thinking about a lot of things a lot differently.

One phrase that's been going through my head is Presence Not Presents. This year, not just because of the economy (though I admit, financially I can't afford much) I want to focus on Presence not presents. I know you are thinking, yes... Keep Christ in Christmas... it's not about the gift, but the giver... and yes that is true... but I'm thinking on a couple of other wavelengths here, too.

  • I want to be really emotionally/mentally present no matter where I am... at work, at fun gatherings, at church, in prayer, at the grocery store, in the shower... I don't want to be thinking ahead to the next event, the next to do list, the next song or dance or the next vacation.
  • I want to truly abide in the presence of God... as His. I want His presence to fill me and to be the driving force in my life. I don't like that song Jesus Take the Wheel very much, but that's what I want. For me to take the backseat and for Him to drive as I yield to His Presence.
  • I want to literally be present with the people I love. I can't wait to go home and see my mom and dad and relatives and give them a big hug at Christmas. I'm excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with my friend Wendy and with my small group. I have gained a whole new circle of friends through swing dancing and I look so forward to all the fun things planned for the next several weeks as we dance the nights away into the New Year!!! I love the way our office really can enjoy each other all the time, but especially during this season with the special events we do. We make a point of being with each other.
Sure, I have some shopping and gift giving planned. But I truly hope that I will be more conscious of my presence, your presence and His presence as I go through this season of celebration!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Blog is Pink

The girls in my small group got together this past weekend for a tea... tea and testimonies. It was a great day to enjoy each others company, great food... and girly things. I like being a woman. There was a time that I think I tried to downplay it because of my insecurities... not that I was a tom-boy or anything but I think because I felt unattractive I just didn't "go there" so I said I hated pink and girly things... but I really don't know that that was ever true... I guess we all went through the grunge phase... or many of us did... wearing flannels, and just being fairly blah... but I think this was deeper rooted for me.

So now my blog is pink and I like it...and I am happy with who I am.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I've come a long way

So, I'm feeling pretty encouraged these days. It started with falling in love with dancing and is gaining momentum as I've also fallen in love with going to the gym. I found these old IDs from when i was at my heaviest... now this was before my surgeries back in 04 and 05... and I was on steroids... but I was also frequenting Friendly's and pretty much living my life sitting on the couch or in bed watching t.v.

I'll be 35 in December and I can safely say I'm probably at my healthiest ever... (I've weighed less, but I'm talking overall"... hoping and praying to keep heading in this direction!!! Thank you God for your mercy and grace!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

i can have a blog, i have thoughts!

I saw Julie and Julia last night with some friends and loved it. I hadn't been to the movies in a while until last Friday when I saw 500 Days of Summer and then Julie and Julia last night. Loved both. I want the soundtrack from 500 Days for sure.

I loved Julie's line that I titled my blog with. It was so sweet. I do have to laugh at my blogging sometimes. We are a funny culture... wanting so badly to share our thoughts with others in outlets like blogs, facebook, twitter... either fantasizing that someone is going to read our writing and find us to be genius or be on the other extreme thinking surely I can write my deepest darkest secrets and surely noone will ever see them...

But back to the movies... I haven't had time to see too many lately... but it sure is fun to just sit back and be transported somewhere else for a couple of hours. 500 Days of Summer was great because I laughed and cried... it was fantastical in some ways yet more realistic than most "love stories" which this movie adamantly reminds you it is NOT a love story. (but it is, sorta). And like I mentioned before... GRRRREAT soundtrack.

I was warned to be sure and eat before watching Julie and Julia and it's true. (though eating pizza wasn't the best choice knowing my intestinal fortitude is not up to par these days). But I digress... seriously... (although what does that phrase really mean)... Anyway... lots of eating and cooking and butter being slathered willy nilly. mmm. I feel like cooking. But it was more than cooking, of course. Real human struggles with finding self, relationships,balance.... I loved Amy Adams and Meryl Streep... and Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina... Big crush on Chris, for sure. :) and Jane Lynch totally cracked me up as Julias sister.

And now... blogging about a movie about blogging about food has made me hungry. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

So Much To Learn

The other night at swing dancing... my recent addiction and passion, I was dancing with a fairly seasoned dancer and got out of step. I told him, "sorry, still learning" and his response to me was "i'm still learning, too".

I've been thinking about that a lot today. It was comforting then and it's comforting now. It's ok to get out of step once in a while.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Finding Rest

Today it broke. The stiff upper lip, the "I'm ok facade", the guard I put up. God took it. I sooo needed that. Not that anything is necessarily, literally, wrong... I just realized how tired I am... physically, emotionally, spiritually... definitely spiritually... because I have not rested in Him in so long. Sure I've rested... I slept for a ridiculous number of hourse when I got home from Purple Door and the nights following... but I haven't gotten rest that you get from drinking from a cool perfect life giving spring... until today.

I"m thankful that no matter how many times i cycle through and remember what I keep forgetting that God brings me back where I need to be.

He is satisfied with me. My weak and screwed up body that I don't understand how to take care of. My stubborn, lazy, selfish self. He gets me. He made me. He leads me to become better. I can rest in that. I MUST rest in that.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It's In My Blood

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to dance. I took tap and ballet for a few years and even did a tap solo to the song "Birth of the Blues" complete with cartwheels and kicks. Yes, I was the shiz (only in my mind and my parents). (Thank you Jesus I don't have to don a tutu for swing dancing.)

Dancing is in my blood... on my dad's side of the family every family wedding and many of the larger family reunions included a band or dj getting us all out on the dance floor... jive, two step, polka, whatev... My parents went out dancing when I was a kid...and they grew up going to "dances" as teenagers... I loved dancing with my father and uncles and cousins and still do. I hope someday to have a wedding like the ones I grew up with... One big celebration with LOTS of dancing.

Between college and "life" there had been several years where there wasn't as much dancing in my life, besides going out with my cousin when I visited home, for no other reason than it didn't come up. Lately, though, my love for dancing has returned and I'm finding tons of opportunities between the swing dancing community (I've been going a couple times a week), line dancing, and the promise of heading somewhere local to "just dance" (just have to find the "right" place.

I'm having a blast. I'm thankful to be at a place in my life where I can enjoy this... and thinking back to where I was at in life last year realizing I could have missed this... and so it's another reason to be thankful for God's timing.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

VT/PA and the things I love

Home in Vermont. It's sooo nice. So peaceful. I wish I could live in two places at once.

Things I love about my home in Vermont:

family and friends
peace and quiet
slower pace
wild animals (since I've been home I've seen many deer, 2 turkeys, a hummingbird, the swallow and it's babies in their nest on the porch, kittens that showed up in my parents barn)
the lilacs and honeysuckle growing in the woods
4 wheeler rides
Lake Champlain
various small bodies of water (rivers, lakes, ponds)
sitting out on the porch
driving around looking for deer
being taken care of
walking out the door and into the woods if I want to
how around every corner memories are triggered
the patio
being able to help mom and dad

Things I love about my home in PA
family and friends
accesibility of fun things to do (music events, coffee shops, local pubs, swing dancing, line dancing, etc)
the Church at large
my church family
my apartment/space
my roommate
walking Lancaster City
accesibility to things I need (can walk somewhere to get milk, market, bandaids, etc)
proximity to other places to visit (Philly, DC (though I've never explored there), NYC, etc.

Friday, April 17, 2009

joyful, hopeful, patient faith


Man, oh man, do I need to keep reciting this!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ebenezer Not Scrooge

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the Lord has helped us..." 1 Sam. 7:12

At our staff retreat, we had a very inspiring message given by a local pastor. He talked to us about being made in God's image and the power of names. Did I mention it was inspiring. (at least for me). He talked to us about the things we carry and how we see ourselves and then talked about what our names are. How we often live based on the things we carry (our issues) rather than the truth of our name. For example "Ebenezer" means help stone" NOT scrooge.

At the end of the message he gave each of us a flat stone to write our name on and decorate as we desired. He suggested that if one of us in the office was going through something we could make a statement of support by stacking our stones on their desks to let them know we are there for them and that God is our helper, etc.

So, we come back from the retreat and the next day (it was the week before the surgery) I come into my office to find that several of my friends in the office had started a little "ebenezer" pile for me. It was truly encouraging. Of course I should expect nothing less than encouragement from my friends considering their track record of being ridiculously amazing.

By the way, I learned that Stacey comes from the name of a 4th Century Dalmatian saint (not the dog, however I did have a dalmation named Sheba growing up). Stacey (or Anastasius) was martyred. As an English name it has been used since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer of the name was the youngest daughter of the last Russian Tsr nicholas II who was rumored to have escaped the execution of her amily in 1918. If you google it, the name Stacey means resurrection, or bountiful grapes. Interesting, eh.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Process of Healing

So that's what my scar looks like so far. Not bad, right. Today I tried on one of my necklaces and it practically covered it... but was too uncomfortable to have something touching it so we'll wait to go the necklace route...

I have been thinking about the healing process today. Not just in the light of this surgery, but in life in general.

I was talking to Fred about how impatient I am about singing. I know I can... my voice is ok... but the muscles are very weak and it hurts when I try. A part of me wants to exercise the muscles to make them stronger, but we both agreed this is not the time... I need to be patient and let it heal. Also, I was dizzy the other day and called the Dr and was reminded that even though I am able to be up and around and doing things, I need to realize my body will be healing for at least a few months and I need to listen to it!

All that to be said... sometimes I get frustrated with myself for thoughts I have about relationships, hurts, struggles that I am still healing from. Sometimes I don't get why I am still dealing with it... I mean it's been X amount of time... shouldn't I be fine, shouldn't we just be able to heal and get over it? But healing is a process. God doesn't require us to withstand more than we can bear, but he does require us to go through a process of healing and promises not to leave us while we go through it.

So patience. Patience. Just like the little turtle. Don't be in such a hurry. I'll try not to.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Reset Button

As I've been recovering from surgery I've had a lot of time to think. Admittedly, most of the time, rather than thinking of anything valuable, I was either watching tv or reading... but one thing did come to mind. I think that part of this whole surgery/being out of commission for a while scenario for me was used to slow me down.

You know... "he makes me lie down in green pastures"... I think God needed to make me lay down. Now of course, there is the medical side... I needed to have that inflamed, noduled up lobe of my thyroid removed for health reasons, but I think i also needed to shut down. It's like God decided it was time to press my reset button.

By the way... healing is going really well. I feel like the scar is going to fade nicely (and am using some special ointment to try and help along that process). At this point I'm still a bit weak and light headed with some achiness but doing really well... and thankful for the overwhelming love and affection I've received.

Friday, January 23, 2009

all the kings horses come running?

Wednesday night on my drive home from "Lost" night at the Placencia's. (GOOD TIMES) I let myself get self absorbed. (I know, what else is knew these days). I was thinking through my myriad of health stuff and was mentally comparing myself to Humpty Dumpty... and praying that God would put me back together again soon. (it's amazing how deep in thought I can get driving only a few blocks).

So, I got home, was carrying my crock pot with leftover buffalo chicken dip, a bag with some celery in it and my purse. I get inside, unlock my door, and begin to ascend the stairs... and fall. Hard. Landing with my kneee in the step resulting in big bruised egg, and hit my chest on the crock pot (nice bruise there, too). I thought for sure Shauna (my roommate) or my scary (but thoughtful) neighbor Dan would hear me moaning. I limped up the stairs and got ready for bed.

But isn't that funny. I have to wonder if God was using his sense of humor there, if it was a coincidence or what. Or... of course there's the fact that I'm a ridiculous clutz. There's always that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Candy, Candy, Candy

So, I really love starbursts. (and skittles, and swedish fish and other chewy candy) From time to time I'll have a candy dish out on my desk filled to the brim to share with my co-workers. (and of course gorge myself with throughout the day) Of course the pinks and reds are usually the first to go. WELL... I was at our local Giant Foodstore and found some individual packets of "Favor-reds"... a variety pack of all the yummy pink and red flavors. Weeeee. It doesn't take much to thrill me, now does it?


After yesterday's post about Faith, I headed to my Tuesday night worship set at the House of Prayer. Many of the songs that our worship leader had chosen revolved around letting go, God moving in power, etc... so I was definitely engaged in crying out to God through the songs. After our time was through and I debriefed and prayed with my team, I went to the Healing Rooms next door. (Place to receive individual prayers for specific personal needs). I prayed with a few people and it did help. I realized that I still have some disappointment I'm dealing with from my past health issues. I also realized I needed to ask for forgiveness for certain unbelief, but also forgive myself.

I am so thankful for encouraging friends who have been through it and allow me to think/deal out loud.

I also got a pamphlet with a bunch of scriptures about faith, promises, healing, etc.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I think I emailed most of you who read this about my consultation with the surgeon today. If not, let me know and I"ll fill you in. So in a month from now I will be back in the hospital to have part or all of my thyroid removed because of precancerous stuff. However, I believe that God heals. So I am believing that God is going to heal me and I'll get in there and the Dr will open me up to find nothing, no nodules, no Cancer. Praise Jesus. Except this is a tricky thing, to be honest about. I know that God loves me and can heal and does heal. I trust that. However, when it comes right down to it I don't expect Him to. Mostly because of my previous surgery. I know there are times and reasons etc for everything, but I guess I just have this feeling that God has this as part of my life. I know I can deal with it gracefully and maybe somehow affect others in the midst of it... but what I WANT to believe with all my heart is that He WILL HEAL ME!!! I will keep receiving prayer at every turn and will keep leaning on Him. I just soooo want to have the confidence to believe for a miracle... not just in word, but in my heart. I can believe it for everyone else... no problem. Why not me?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

In 5 Years

Remember in the high school yearbook, at least in ours, there was a "in 5 years" section? Mine said that I'd be singing in an Italian Opera. (due to my ridiculously high soprano voice at the time... I think my range has changed a little with age.

We also get asked this questions from time to time at our staff evaluations. Since ours our next week, I was thinking this morning... and realized that in 5 years I'm going to be 39. Almost 40. WHAT! This is the first time I think that when asked the question, I'll care more. My answer in the past has always been, "ah whatever" "go with the flow" that kind of thing. Thinking in terms of my age causes me to want to take that question a little more seriously. Where DO I want to be in 5 years?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Is it me or is it dryer than normal this Winter? I feel like I am constantly slathering some kind of lotion or chapstick on. Or maybe it's just me?


On Saturday during the worship/prayer set that I'm on at Gateway House of Prayer we were focusing partly on Psalm 31... which talks about taking refuge in the Lord, Him being our Rock, etc. I came to a realization or had a deeper revelation of what that means. I think I've had a fairly narrow view of what this means. When I have pictured being hidden in the "cleft of the Rock", I picture myself hiding in one of the big cracks in the boulders surrounding the house where I grew up, or on the hike to the pinnacle... you know what I mean, where you pretend you're in a cave when you are a kid... anyway, I saw it as a hiding place. Which is true...

Taking this fact to a deeper dimension, though, I realized that being hidden in Him involves being enfolded by God Himself. It involves a leaning in on our part, a running to Him, a trusting. Taking refuge in Him is not only hiding from the bad guys, so to speak, but also an allowing of Him to be all that we need.

Also, it's more than Him being bigger and stronger than us. (though I'm so thankful He is) It's the fact that when we are encompassed by Him, the enemy cannot touch us because of His holiness. We in our sin cannot be seen when He is completely covering us.

Don't you love when scripture comes to light in a new way? The whole picture of Him enfolding us was really mind blowing. I kind of pictured a mix between a dad with a huge blanket covering me and a being with these huge soft wings wrapping me up where I cannot be seen and am completely safe.