Monday, March 29, 2010

Coffee Chat: Pruning is Painful!

Well, I am up very early this morning as a friend and I have decided to text each other to get up and do devotions. By God's grace, it hasn't been hard in the past to get up and spend time in His Word but I just have been getting up so late that my day feels rushed. To many, getting up at 5:30 am would be torture. Believe is...for about 5 or 10 minutes. But, then, comes the sweetness of a quiet home, some quiet music, COFFEE (a must), a candle, and the blessing of approaching the throne of grace. It's just God and me...what a delight. So, after having a portion of my devotional/prayer time, I felt a blog coming on. So this is my early morning coffee chat. I'm so terrible about writing on my blog that I don't even know if anyone's reading it. But, I'm delighted to just journal for a moment :)

Back in February Dave and I were told that we had prune our bushes. A good friend from church showed me how to do it and I fear that once I had my own shears in my hands, I completely forgot everything she told me. I was slightly mortified to actually make the cut where she told me as it just seemed that I might kill the bushes. She assured me that it was necessary and that they would grow back. I wanted to believe her so badly but I'd never done this before. My bushes were about a foot above my head and she was telling me to cut them a foot above the ground. I was mortified. But, for new growth, she said I had to do it. Well, I made a few cuts and then handed over the shears to my hubby...good idea! He knew just what to do. Well, to my mortification, I walked into my beautiful front yard and what were once tall rose bushes now looked like sticks in the ground. This would all be fine and dandy if Dave and I actually owned the house we live in but all I could think was, "what will our landlord think?" Well, it couldn't have been a week later that I started seeing new growth. My friend was right, it was necessary! I wish I had a before and after because about one month later, there have got to be 30 or 40 buds on my bushes...some bushes that were so overgrown, they didn't even produce any roses. I don't know if you have any experience with rose bushes but they are truly miraculous! The leaves turn bright red as they muster up the courage and strength to produce a bud. It's really quite something.

Well, as I was walking around the garden just admiring the beauty and joy of these flowers, I got to thinking about pruning in my spiritual life. I have no control over it and only God knows when and where to prune. It's painful, it's ugly, it feels fruitless, it feels exposing. But in no time at all, what was once overgrown and dead in my heart, becomes something beautiful. What an encouragement this is to me, and I hope to you too, to realize that when God prunes, he does it because he has beautiful fruit in mind in your life. Allow the pruning process. I know it hurts, I know firsthand, and it's just not pretty. But the beauty that comes from it is unparalleled and better than what was there to begin with!

On a side note, and not a very spiritual one, while observing the new growth one morning, I saw aphids devouring my new plants. Looking up an "aphid" online, I saw that they are known for sucking all the moisture out of new plants. Oh what must have the neighbors thought, or people driving by, when I panicked and rushed outside with a bottle of insect killer and sprayed the heck out of those plants. I was furious...who do they think they are eating up my plants? Anyhow, those little pests are dead and gone and I'm over it...almost!

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am so sad that the last time I wrote on my blog was in September!!!! So much has happened since then and I'm still in awe that it's already February! Many of you know that I was in a terrible car accident with my two sisters-in-law (David's sisters) almost right after I wrote my last post. We were in Colorado for Alissa's wedding and the three of us girls were out running errands 3 days before the wedding when we were t-boned in an intersection. By any one else's view, it was a horrific scene. I wasn't able to get my seatbelt on in time and I hit the front seat pretty hard. This has created quite a long recovery period for my neck and back but there are no serious injuries to report. We were all released from the hospital that evening and the wedding went on as planned. It would be so easy to wonder why this happened or be angry about it but the Holy Spirit gave me a completely different perspective. For one, I should have had an anxeity attack right then and there but I truly experienced a peace that surpassed ALL understanding. Before my body went into complete shock, I was instantly able to grab the phone, dial 911, and even tell them where we were. Truly, without the Spirit, I don't know how this could have happened. I was also able to call Dave and tell him where we were. He made it to the scene with his parents before I was transported to the hospital. It was such a relief to know he was there with me! Jenny had been knocked unconscious and Alissa was able to hold her and care for her during that time. God was absolutely with us!

Well, I have been receiving treatment since then and it has been quite a journey. I have good days and bad days but I am so thankful that I came away with such minimal injuries in comparison to what could have taken place. It has been pretty difficult to keep up with all the drs appointments along with working full time. I'm sure the people at work think I'm a little nuts as I have my laptop propped up on several large books so I don't have to look down too much. The accident made me realize how far I had come. During my severe anxiety attacks, one of the things I was afraid of was getting in a car accident. Well, what I feared happened and I realized how strong the Lord has made me. Truly, I am NOTHING without Him but WITH Him I can stand!

David just ordered a few CD's from Sovereign Grace Ministries. I hadn't heard them before and I definitely want to look this ministry up! I listened to the Sons and Daughters CD on my way in to work this morning and was struck by these words and so thankful for the moments of worship this morning:

(Precious Children)
Broken and defiled
Clingling to our filth
Gloried in our shame
Running far from you
Still your mercy sought and saved us

Hallelujah. We belong to you
You have washed our stains
And have raised us up with Christ
Precious children in your eyes

Gave your only Son
Joy and your delight
Nailed him to the cross
You crushed Him for our sin
How could you love us like you love Him

Hallelujah. We belong to you
You have washed our stains
And have raised us up with Christ
Precious children in your eyes

(You Never Change)
Father of light
Giver of gifts
There is no shadow in you
Author of life
Fountain of grace
Each morning your mercies are new

And you never change
And you never lie
Age to age you are the same
I will trust in you, all your faithfulness
For I know you never change!

Father of love
Source of ALL good
Tower of strength and my shield
You gave your son for those who rebel
Your love for the world was revealed

And you never change
And y ou never lie
Age to age you are the same
I will trust in you, all your faithfulness
for i know you NEVER change!

Father of peace
Help of the weak
Though mountains fall into the sea
Though tempests may rage, the sun hide its face
Your favor will rest upon me

And you never change
And you never lie
Age to age you are the same
I will trust in you, all your faithfulness
For I know you never change!

Oh sweet Jesus, how can I ever thank you for what you have done for me? How is that I am counted as one of your precious children when I am so defiled and deprived? Thank you for saving me and calling me your own. I am amazed as I look at the beautiful day you have made and realize that all creation around me are crying out to you in worship because they are doing what they were created to do...even the rocks cry out to you! I am a sinner and I chose to do the opposite of what you created me to do. But you loved me enough to pay for that sin and I can't wait to be with you one day when I can truly live out what you created me to be and that is one who loves and glorifies you! Though I am ever-changing, ever-returning to my sin and selfishness, YOU remain the same. Where is my hope but in you?

Monday, September 7, 2009

My prayer today...

My heart melts at the love of Jesus,
my brother, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh,
married to me, dead for me, risen for me;
He is mine and I am his,
given to me as well as for me;
I am never so much mine as when I am his,
or so much lost to myself until lost in him;
then I find my true manhood.

But my love is frost and cold, ice and snow;
Let his love warm me,
lighten my burden,
be my heaven;
May it be more revealed to me in all its influences
that my love to him may be more fervent and glowing;
Let the mighty tide of his everlasting love cover the rocks of my sin and care;
Then let my spirit float above those things
which had else wrecked my life.

Make me fruitful by living to that love,
my character becoming more beautiful every day.
If traces of Christ's love-artistry be upon me,
may he work on with his divine brush
until the complete image be obtained
and I be made a perfect copy of him, my master.

The Valley of Vision

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Lord hears me when I call...

So, my sister-in-law told me I had to write a follow up post to yesterday and she's right, I do! God works in mysterious ways and I'm humbled and awed by His tenderness and presence in our lives. Right after I got to work yesterday, I got an email from Dave saying my parents had called on their way to the airport. They had read my email and felt it was totally the Lord speaking to them. Turns out, their time of waiting had finally come to an end and God had answered. They have been desperately trying to sell their house, as they felt God's leading, and it has been quite the rollercoaster. First, it was, "I can't believe you're selling the house." We were ALL so sad. But, we knew if God was leading, then it had to be so. Then, they were showing the house constantly, got an offer, and it totally fell through. Suddenly, it became, "Ugg...I wish you could sell the house." Amazing how God slowly transforms our hearts to His will, isn't it??? Well, my parents got an offer on their house a couple of days ago and were waiting to hear back on their counter offer. They were leaving for a big trip and just wanted the peace of mind that all was taken care of. My mom was so discouraged, knowing she had to leave for the airport and they hadn't heard anything yet. I reminded her that regardless of if God answers our prayers, we need to trust Him and be at peace. So, anyhoo, David emailed me right after I got to work and said my parents heard back on the house 5 minutes before they had to leave for the airport and were able to sign the offer. Soooooooooooo exciting! It was so humbling to realize that God had heard our prayers and was merciful and gracious in answering that prayer before they left. Pretty awesome. I can't believe my Bible study yesterday was on how God can orchestrate events and people to bring about His will and right in the midst of reading that, He was orchestrating events and people to bring about His will in my parents' lives. We have a God who hears, who answers when we call, who knows our deepest groans and desires, and who loves us enough to know what is best and right for us. I'm so grateful to Him and to Him be all the glory!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Inspired by the Holy Spirit...

So, after writing on my blog last night, I had the greatest morning! I got to bed later than I wanted to. I put out my workout clothes and just decided that if I was able to get up at 5:30 and go work out, I would. If I had trouble sleeping or couldn't get up, all well...things happen. So, last night I was able to sleep, but woke up several times in the night. It was an ok night of sleep. My alarm went off at 5:30 and out of habit, I pressed the snooze button. To my shock and utter amazement, I was wide awake! My immediate thought was, "Marci, surely you are not that awake. Go back to sleep." And then I realized, wait, this is what I've been wanting for weeks. Get up! Take advantage of this!!! So, I got up, made coffee, and decided to have my devotions outside. It's actually pretty light outside at that time! I had my workout clothes on so I could have my devotions, my first cup of coffee, and be at the gym by 6:30 or so. This was turning out to be a great morning.

...and then the Holy Spirit worked. I'm doing a Beth Moore study and also working my way through a book of Puritan prayers called "The Valley of Vision". If you don't have it, go get it! It's so rich and full of truth and wisdom!!!! Anyhow, it just so happened (not really, it was not a coincidence) that the puritan prayer I read this morning also connected with the day I was on in the Beth Moore study. It was all about waiting for God's timing and recognizing that He is at work in the "waiting" time. As many of you know, David and I would LOVE to be parents but for some reason feel that we just have to wait. Neither of us want to but are trusting that God has a reason for causing us to wait...even if that means just exercising faithfulness and trust in Him. It's NOT easy!!!! But, I was so encouraged and strengthened by what I was learning.

My parents are also going through a time of testing and waiting and I just felt the Holy Spirit telling me to write to them this morning as soon as I was done studying and encourage them with the Scriptures and notes I had read. It dawned on me that they were leaving for a trip today and might not get my email. So, I called my mom and told her to check her email before she left. When I asked when they were leaving she said, "Oh, we're rushing around, trying to get out the door." I could tell that she was down and discouraged and that the Holy Spirit had interceded in my life on her behalf to encourage them before I left.

Well, this all took so long...doing my devotions...writing an email to my parents...calling my mom...that before I knew it, there was no way I had time to go work out. Was I frustrated?...actually, no! I kind of chucked at the Lord when I realized that He was the one who sprung my eyes open this morning at 5:30. It was not me! And when I got my workout clothes on this morning?...little did I know that that was actually for some spiritual exercise, not physical. That's ok because I feel GREAT! This morning was definitely a workout...a workout of trust, faithfulness, love, admiration, wisdom, and truth in God's Word! And...the Lord worked all that together so that not only would I be edified, but I would have time to write my parents just in time for them to print out the email and take it with them to the airport. WOW!! God is AMAZING! It was so cool.

So, "my" plans didn't go accordingly. I didn't wake up at 5:30 to accomplish it all! But, God divinely used it to speak encouragement and strength to someone else who needed it as much as I did! If I have time, I'll try to post the puritan prayer and scriptures I sent to my mom! For, now, I have to go get ready for work but I just had to share how God already used my willingness to let go of "my schedule" to bring glory to Himself through my submission and trust in Him! Praise God!!!!!! To HIM and HIM ALONE be the glory for working all these things together for our good! Now, if I could only get to work on time. Yeah, I'm going to let that one go. I will just have to work a little late tonight. But, this morning was worth it!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Well, I wish I had something more interesting to write about right now but I just don't. Life feels like it's been so hectic...and yet so stagnant. I can hardly believe it's mid-July. I keep thinking to myself, "oh, yeah, I should get this or that done by 4th of July." And then I realize, "Marci, that was like 2 weeks ago!" I keep waiting for summer to come and then I realize summer is almost over! They are already putting out school supplies for crying out loud! But, I guess that's not saying much since stores are sporting Christmas decor by October!

I will say that life has been a rollercoaster. We got back from the Grand Canyon back in April and nothing was really on the horizon. I was a little down after having such an amazing vacation and then coming back with nothing to really look forward to. It's like I blinked and now I'm here. It's just been crazy.

Just a note about my anxiety...things have been going really well but there are always ups and downs. Lately, it's been down. I attribute a lot of that to moving...although's a big transition: new neighborhood, new drive, new noises, new routine. That kind of change is much harder on me than I like to admit and I'm also a perfectionist. I want to do it all and do it all right away. I want to wake up at 5:30 before the alarm even has a chance to go off, work out, have my time in the Word, eat breakfast, make a healthy lunch, and get to work just shy of 8:30. Sooooooooo....back to the real world! I've really had to learn to let go of all that.

My friend Julie and I just started setting up weekly goals for ourselves. This week, I wanted to be prepared with food everyday for work. I wanted a healthy lunch and a couple of healthy snacks. I was feeling so eager and so ready by Sunday evening. I thought, "heck! I can do more than just be prepared with lunches this week!" I crawled into bed at 8:45 after cleaning the house, grocery shopping, meal planning, unpacking boxes, laying out my workout clothes, and lunch already packed for the next day. insomnia. This has come out of nowhere for about a week and half now and I found myself so frustrated. Just a tip...the worst thing for insomnia is getting more and more definitely doesn't make you tired!!!

I had to email my friend Julie at our weekly appointed time to tell her about how I was doing with my goal this week. Did I get to bed early every night? No. Did I workout? Just once. Did I have everything in order? No. But I did make my lunch everyday. Life happens! And I need be ok with letting go of order. I picked something and I made that happen. If it turns out that I'm able to go workout a few times this week or wake up when my alarm goes off, great! But maybe that's something to tackle next week!

I feel so torn by this because I want to be someone who takes advantage of time, who captivates time, who doesn't let time just pass me by. But, I think in the midst of letting my schedule "rule" me, time is passing by regardless. I think I need to be ok with my calendar changing up a bit and being ok with things that just don't happen. Or, even letting go of things I have scheduled. David and I had to cancel our cable subscription when we moved. We debated what we would do for tv at our new box...satellite. And I have to tell you, 6 weeks has gone by and I don't miss it! I'm sure many of you think I'm crazy and I probably would have thought I was crazy too. But, it's allowed me to take a breather and just enjoy my surroundings. It's kind of a nice vacation. Maybe I need to just enjoy that and let life fall into place a little bit...let things settle. I even started reading Jane Austin fun.

Well, here I am, folding laundry, with "nothing" on my mind and out pops a blog post! I literally was planning on writing, "I have nothing to sorry." But maybe it was a good time to just journal a little! Or maybe you're someone like me who feels like time is passing you by and you feel overwhelmed. Well, I encourage you to pick one thing to focus your mind on and set a goal this week for that one thing. Maybe you're someone who doesn't feel motivated or overwhelmed to do anything. Make a plan, don't let time just pass by. Finally do that one thing you've been planning on doing for such a long time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our New Abode

No, we didn't buy it but it's the next best thing...we are renting! This was such an amazing answer to prayer! We were living in an apartment and weren't necessarily unhappy but were just wishing and hoping and praying for a house. With the housing market as it is, we know it's a great time to buy but we just aren't financially ready for that right now. Our apartment when we moved there was such a blessing and was more space than we'd ever had before. We enjoyed it but were constantly bombarded by loud neighbors, smoking neighbors, and lots of noise. We never felt truly settled there but always wanted to be thankful for God's provision. We had a message from our apartment manager letting us know our lease was coming up and she hoped we would renew. I sarcastically looked at David and said, "are we moving?" He grinned at me and said, "!". Seeing as we had just moved a year ago, neither of us were in the mood to pack up and shift our home again. The next day, my good friend, Beth, emailed me and said there was a house around the corner for rent in the historical district of Corona, one of our favorite parts of town. Dave was already asleep and I just laid awake and couldn't stop thinking about the possibility of a house. I told God that if he wanted us to move, I would entrust this whole situation into his hands. That was Tuesday...Wednesday morning at Bible study, Beth gave me the flier for the house. It was too good to be was about $75 more than we were paying for an apartment. The house has been converted into a duplex, so we are renting the bottom of the house. After Bible study, I ran over to Dave's work and said, "you have to look at this. I know we said we wouldn't move, but this is just crazy!" He picked up the phone, dialed the number, and the landlord said, "How did you hear about this? I just put the sign out yesterday." He told us to come and look that night. We instantly fell in love with the landlords and the house, and I think they were thrilled to put the house in our hands. By Friday we were signing papers and two weeks later, we moved in. It's been a whirlwind to say the least but we feel so undeservingly blessed by God's grace! Our constant prayer since stepping foot into the house is that it be used for ministry. David has gotten super involved in the college group at our church and is absolutely loving it...and begging me to get involved as well. We are just beside ourselves and have had so much fun already. I have rosebushes all along the front walkway and have been clipping them for vases around the house everyday. David is loving having a garage is is contanstly looking for reasons he needs a new tool for the house. We have been able to have family over (my brother Jim, sister-in-law, Carrie, and nieces) and my parents were in town this week. What a joy to share it with them. We even hosted a big birthday bash for Jim, Carrie, and Charlie, whose birthdays are all in a row. Such fun! My home is open to you so if you are in town or nearby, please come by! I can't post the address, as David will not allow me to for security purposes but I will send out an address change soon. If you do not hear from me, I may not have your email. So, let me know!