snow + photos = snowy photos :)

sisters 🙂

purple scarf

It was so cold, but the snow was nice and fluffy!

throwing snow

My hands are still red and cold — I forget that I wasn’t wearing gloves.

i love the purple scarf and the green sweater

Oh, isn’t she cute?

in the snow

one more of annie…

i really love that belt...

it’s cold outside, but at least the snow is still pretty. in a few days it’ll be all dirty and gross.

More Snow

and we have more snow...

We finally got rid of the snow from December (except for the big piles) and now we are getting dumped on again. It’s supposed to snow until midnight…

the driveway

I can’t say I’m thrilled with MORE snow, but maybe it will get me out of school a couple of days this week…I think there’s supposed to be some ice too.

Reminders to Extend Grace

I was recently in a situation where I was frustrated with a person that I know, but not extremely well. I was frustrated and kind of angry about the way that the person was acting. I felt like the actions were a gross overreaction to the actual circumstance. Anyway, later on I found out that the person was going through a difficult time and that having some bystander like me reacting instead of responding with grace to his/her actions was the last thing that this person probably needed. I was reminded and convicted of the fact that I don’t know everything that is going on in other people’s lives and while I might think a person’s behavior or actions are an overreaction, I don’t know what else might have caused it. All that to say, I want to pray that God would give my humility to serve others by extending grace before I jump to conclusions.

The Striped Scarf

There are just some things that I won’t ever forget – it’s not that they are all special times or particularly wonderful moments, but for one reason or another they are imprinted on my mind and are here to stay. Smells, sounds, or things trigger these memories and take me back, just as if I were there reliving it. Today, as I was sitting in class trying hard to focus and  concentrate on the lecture I was taken back and transported to Greenwich Market in November of 2004.

It was a cold, wet November day with a dreamlike quality to it in London, England. I shopped inside the quaint covered Greenwich Market with a piping hot cup of coffee to keep me warm. I perused the stalls, stopping to admire the beautiful things; such as handmade leather journals, pretentious, antique costume jewelry and a beautiful selection of handmade pottery in a variety of colors. I wandered around enjoying the illusion of independence and adulthood, two weeks away from my 16th birthday, as my grandmother and mother allowed me to wander through the small market in England alone. I was in a particularly introspective mood that day – there was so much to think about and take in. I was wandering around wrapped up in my thoughts when I was brought back to the present with my mother standing in front of me saying, “Jamie! Aren’t these beautiful?” Oh and they were. I had wandered over to Row Pinto where my grandmother and mother were already admiring the gorgeous fine-gauge lambs wool products. I picked up a scarf called “Beach and immediately fell in love with the sot, neutral and pastel stripes of different sizes. I know I wanted the scarf, but as soon as I looked at the price tag I knew that it would never be mine. It was about £75 and I definitely couldn’t afford that – afterall I was a poor jobless fifteen year old. But then my grandmother intervened and the scarf was mine.

I am wearing the scarf today and it continues to be one of my favorite accessories of all time. Ever time I wear it I am reminded of that rainy, but somehow magical day in Greenwich.

Directions for Grief at the Death of Friends

Directions for Grief at the Death of Friends

By Richard Baxter

Direct. IX. Be neither unnaturally senseless at the death of friends, nor excessively dejected or afflicted. To make light of the death of relations and friends, be they good or bad, is a sign of a very vicious nature; that is so much selfish, as not much to regard the lives of others: and he that regards not the lives of his friends is little to be trusted in his lesser concernments. I speak not this of those persons whose temper allows them not to weep: for there may be as deep a regard and sorrow in some that have no tears, as in others that abound with them. But I speak of a mischievous, selfish nature, that is little affected with any one’s concernments but its own.

Yet your grief for the death of friends, must be very different both in degree and kind. 1. For ungodly friends you must grieve for their own sakes, because if they died such, they are lost for ever. 2. For your godly friends you must mourn for the sake of yourselves and others, because God has removed such as were blessings to those about them. 3. For choice magistrates, and ministers, and other instruments of public good, your sorrow must be greater, because of the common loss, and the judgment thereby inflicted on the world. 4. For old, tried Christians, that have overcome the world, and lived so long till age and weakness make them almost unserviceable to the church, and who groan to be unburdened and to be with Christ, your sorrow should be least, and your joy and thanks for their happiness should be greatest. But especially abhor that nature that secretly is glad of the death of parents, (or little sorrowful,) because that their estates are fallen to you, or you are enriched, or set at liberty by their death. God seldom leaves this sin unrevenged, by some heavy judgments even in this life.

Direct. X. To overcome your inordinate grief for the death of your relations, consider these things following. 1. That excess of sorrow is your sin: and sinning is an ill use to be made of your affliction. 2. That it tends to a great deal more: it unfits you for many duties which you are bound to, as to rejoice in God, and to be thankful for mercies, and cheerful in his love, and praise, and service: and is it a small sin to unfit yourselves for the greatest duties? If you are so troubled at God’s disposal of his own, what does your will but rise up against the will of God; as if you grudged at the exercise of his dominion and government, that is, that he is God! Who is wisest, and best, and fittest to dispose of all men’s lives? Is it God or you? Would you not have God to be the Lord of all, and to dispose of heaven and earth, and of the lives and crowns of the greatest princes? If you would not, you would not have him to be God. If you would, is it not unreasonable that you or your friends only should be excepted from his disposal? 4. If your friends are in heaven, how unsuitable is it, for you to be overmuch mourning for them, when they are rapt into the highest joys with Christ; and love should teach you to rejoice with them that rejoice, and not to mourn as those that have no hope. 5. You know not what mercy God showed to your friends, in taking them away from the evil to come, you know not what suffering the land or church is falling into; or at least might have fallen upon themselves; nor what sins they might have been tempted to. But you are sure that heaven is better than earth, and that it is far better for them to be with Christ. 6. You always knew that your friends must die; to grieve that they were mortal, is but to grieve that they were but men. 7. If their mortality or death be grievous to you, you should rejoice that they are arrived at the state of immortality, where they must live indeed and die no more. 8. Remember how quickly you must be with them again. The expectation of living on yourselves, is the cause of your excessive grief for the death of friends. If you looked yourselves to die to-morrow, or within a few weeks, you would less grieve that your friends are gone before you. 9. Remember that the world is not for one generation only; others must have our places when we are gone; God will be served by successive generations, and not only by one. 10. If you are Christians indeed, it is the highest of all your desires and hopes to be in heaven; and will you so grieve that your friends are gone thither, where you most desire and hope to be?

Object. All this is reasonable, if my friend were gone to heaven: but he died impenitently, and how should I be comforted for a soul that I have cause to think is damned?

Answ. Their misery must be your grief; but not such a grief as shall deprive you of your greater joys, or disable you for your greater duties. 1. God is fitter than you to judge of the measures of his mercy and his judgments, and you must neither pretend to be more merciful than he, nor to object to his justice. 2. All the works of God are good; and all that is good is amiable; though the misery of the creature be bad to it, yet the works of justice declare the wisdom and holiness of God; and the more perfect we are, the more they will be amiable to us. For, 3. God himself, and Christ, who is the merciful Saviour of the world, approve of the damnation of the finally ungodly. 4. And the saints and angels in heaven do know more of the misery of the souls in hell, than we do; and yet it abates not their joys. And the more perfect any is, the more he is like-minded unto God. 5. How glad and thankful should you be to think that God has delivered yourselves from those eternal flames! The misery of others should excite your thankfulness. 6. And should not the joys of all the saints and angels be your joy, as well as the sufferings of the wicked be your sorrows? But above all, the thoughts of the blessedness and glory of God himself, should overtop all the concernments of the creature with you. If you will mourn more for the thieves and murderers that are hanged, than you will rejoice in the justice, prosperity, and honour of the king, and the welfare of all his faithful subjects, you behave not yourselves as faithful subjects. 7. Shortly you hope to come to heaven: mourn now for the damned, as you shall do then; or at least, let not the difference be too great, when that, and not this, is your perfect state.

Sons & Daughters

I love and appreciate Sovereign Grace Music’s worship albums. I’ve been listening to Sons and Daughters almost nonstop since it came out a few months ago. I find that what I “digest” through music, movies, etc really does have an effect on my heart. I am encouraged and strengthened as the music draws my heart to the truth of the gospel and the glory of God. This is definitely one worth checking out! Here’s what they have to say about it….

Many Christians understand that Jesus died in our place to take our punishment, that our sins have been forgiven, and that one day Christ will return. But inwardly we can be tempted to wonder whether God truly loves us, cares about us, or even thinks about us.

The gospel has brought us amazing news, but sometimes we don’t live in the good of it.

These songs are meant to direct our attention to the unfathomable love God has shown us in adopting us through Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5). We are now part of God’s family—in Christ we will forever be the objects of God’s particular and passionate mercy and love. That biblical reality, rather than leaving us focused on ourselves, drives us once again to proclaim the greatness of the God whose grace turns hopeless rebels into precious children.

“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!” (Gal. 4:6)

You can download it from iTunes or order it here.

Haiti



**Images from http://www.samaritanspurse.org — visit their site for more pictures and to learn how you can help.

The magnitude of the situation in Haiti is mind-boggling. The suffering is heart breaking. There are so many stories of families losing their loved ones. Countless individuals have lost limbs and are in great pain due to injuries, that if sustained here, in the US, would have been easy to treat. Infection sets in, people are hungry, thirsty and desperate. It really is overwhelming to see and hear about the tremendous suffering that the nation is going through right now.

We know that tragedies and suffering and pain will occur. We also know that we are secure in Christ Jesus and that in everything He does is according to his good purpose. I am encouraged as I hear about the increasing faith of the  Christian Haitians during this dark time of intense pain. I keep thinking about this quote from John Piper, “I don’t think Christ is glorified anywhere more than when suffering people rejoice in him as their treasure.”

Café

Italian Coffee

Today has been a bad day, to say the least. Whenever I have  a really bad day I end up craving certain foods or drinks. Today I have been craving a good Italian cappuccino or shot of espresso. But it has to be in a little cup like that and I have to be at a cute little bar and there have to be lots of beautiful buildings surrounding me. I kept wishing I was back there instead of here. Oh well, you know tomorrow will be better. It will. I am here, not there, and I am confident that there is a reason and a purpose in my being here. One more semester. Four more months. Sixteen weeks. I think I can I think I can I think I can. Ahh, but I know he can.