Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November (aka the whirlwind month)

This past month and a half has been a sprint. My pace is about as fast as I care to run and I am looking forward to the day when I can slow down...just a tad. Wait, will that ever happen?
Here's a brief recap of what's happened in the past month.


Marrying the most wonderful man...November 5th was truly one of the best days of life.  It was a beautiful celebration of what God has done and has yet to do with us together and we shared it with our most favorite friends and family.


MEXICO!

Chase and I spent a week being waited on hand and foot at Royal Hideaway Playcar in Riveria Maya Mexico! Didn't hate it....

We came back to our lovely home that we are enjoying fixing up. I will put some before/after pics up soon!

Thanksgiving down at the farm my uncle lives on...this makes Thanksgiving #23 that has been spent at 7C's!

crazy times with a crazy family. love them.


Making our casa merry and bright! Mom, I used colored lights. You like them...I know you do.

All in all, it's been the best time. We love our new neighborhood and our great friends we have the pleasure of living life with here in Montgomery! Jesus is leading us into some great things.  We are looking forward to what 2012 has in store!





Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY Surveyor's Tripod Lamp

We have seen them at Restoration Hardware, Potterybarn and on Pinterest.  They are striking accent pieces that demand attention in any space. They are innovative... and expensive.  They are (drum roll please...)
the much-desired Surveyor Tripod Lamps.

Chase and I decided we wanted to get our hands on one for our "new" living room.  The only part was we were not about to fork out a couple hundred (or more) for one. Naturally, we did the next best thing.  Chase went Craigslisting and found an old surveyor tripod (complete with the surveyor might I add) for sale in Atlanta for under $50.  Done and done.

Chase did a little investigating and found it would be fairly easy to get the tripod fitted out for a light bulb and other necessary gadgets to make it glow.  He took it to Stonehenge in Old Cloverdale and they did it for $30. Cha-ching!

A trip to World Market for a lamp shade and there you have it...
Who needs a reproduction when you can have the real thing?!  

P.S. See that room that light there is in? Yea, that room used to be pink, organgey-yellow and had black base boards.  I am happy to say it is now white and gray and delightful.  Can't wait to post the before and afters of our little Fixer-Upper soon...

P.P.S. T-minus 30 days until I am Mrs. Fisher and a permanent resident of said Fixer-Upper...whoop!



Sunday, September 25, 2011

invites.



For those of you who are wondering...
Our beautiful wedding invitations were created by my friend Courtnie  over at PoppyPedals!
The fonts we used are "Linden Hill" and "Bellucia".
The envelopes were printed at Kwik Kopy (they are the BEST!)
 I ordered my envelopes from EnvelopperInc in "Crest Natural White" for the outside envelope and "Peace" for the inside...they are fabulous! I will use them for all of my envelope needs in the future!  We used A7.5 and A7 size envelopes.


Our Save the Dates were designed by our good buddies Scott and Casey aka Scasey.  They are architects who have a knack for this kinda thing.  We loved what they created and lots of other people did too!











Monday, September 5, 2011

3 strikes and you're still not out

Angela is a woman my friend Kellie and I have gotten to know recently at Friendship Mission.  I work for a company called Re-Invention (you can read all about it here) and we are working with women at this mission that serves the homeless and poor in Montgomery, Alabama.  Anyway, on Saturday morning Angela asked us,

"Does "3 strikes and your out" apply to God?  Will he send the hounds of heaven to punish me 'cause I'm pretty sure I have at least 3 strikes."  

Her question told me about the way many people feel about themselves. They feel like failures and agree with the lie that they aren't good enough and never will be for anyone.  They have messed up too many times to count and are certain no one will have them back.  Especially God.  Not to mention they also feel like he is after them.

Kellie and I told Angela that's not how Jesus works.  We looked her in the eyes and told her Jesus has and will keep coming back for her.  We told her that he is more committed to her than she is to him. We explained what unconditional love is and told her that applies to her too.

I don't think she had ever heard that before.

She smiled and said, "Hallelujah!"


It's a simple truth, but we need to be reminded that many people feel this way and have believed it for a long time.

I also need to be reminded.

People need to know the game is not over.  Grace is a bottomless well that we can keep drawing from and it never runs dry. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Happy Song


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Incomplete People

The following came from a wonderful site that Chase introduced me to a few years back...this particular "thought" has challenged me and is something that has completely altered the way I relate to people and myself. Realizing I (and everyone else) am incomplete this side of heaven and that I will never "Arrive" at a specific place in my journey has allowed me to experience freedom like never before. Maybe this is something I just missed, but if you're like me I hope this rocks your world too...



Incomplete People Print
Philippians 3:7-14
Hebrews 12:1-2

Colossians 3:1-4


"When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer."    – Brennan Manning


One man loves well but he cannot manage money. She manages money but struggles to care for her husband. He cares for his family and serves in his community but is addicted to work. She loves the Lord but drinks herself to sleep at night. She swears and smokes and has a short temper, but a soft and generous heart. He’s defensive and fearful but passionate about justice and mercy. He gives to the poor, cares for orphans and widows, but struggles with pornography.


This is who we are. We are a people in process. We are all incomplete.


Yet why then do we fight to disbelieve that we should be complete? Why do we hate ourselves for unachieved completion? Have we ever looked critically at the people that God loved, chose, honored, befriended?


Elijah complained about the situations he endured as God’s prophet.


Noah, God’s choice for saving mankind during the flood, once drank himself unconscious.


Jacob, the father of Israel, lied and cheated.


Moses killed a man, fled justice and failed to believe God's promise about bringing water from a rock. But he did lead God’s people out of slavery in Egypt.
 
Jonah, whom God used to speak to a city of 500,000, attempted to escape because he was afraid and ran from God

David took a man’s wife, and when she became pregnant, then killed her husband, one of his most loyal soldiers. Yet the Bible still regards David as a "man after God’s own heart."


Solomon, full of wisdom, followed his wives to other gods. God chose him to build his temple.


Samson, on whom the Spirit of God rested, wrought destruction everywhere he went.
 
Abraham, always terrified and lying to save himself, heard God call him to be father of the nations.

Peter betrayed Jesus three times. Jesus named him the Rock.


Paul persecuted the early followers of Jesus, overseeing their executions. He then wrote the majority of the New Testament.


Zaccheus, who had cheated so many of so much, hosted the Lord at his home.


Some lived badly and transformed into good. Some lived well and behaved badly at times. The Lord has a history of claims on both types of people. But these people God loved. These people God continued to shape, to embrace, to teach.


We know these people because we are these people. We cheat, steal, lie, fornicate, gamble, lust, kill, betray, persecute, complain, run, seek false gods, destroy, hate. The list goes on. But so do his love and his careful attention to our process of growth and maturation.


We’re incomplete. But only for now. The God who chose us has not done so simply because he needed work done in the world. He chose us because he wants work done in us. And he’s still busy doing it, preparing us to live as we engage in the process.

       
To whom do you not show love and mercy because the process they are in frustrates you?
How are you in process?
Can you offer yourself forgiveness in this? Can you offer the same to others in process?


Monday, August 15, 2011

perspectives.

I like this guy. His name is Carl Medearis and I first became acquainted with him when he wrote a provocative article on CNN belief blog  He challenges people like me who have always thought things were black and white when it comes to faith and while I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, I think he is a voice worth listening to.

He posted the video below today on his twitter account and I watched it on my bike at spin class because I was so intrigued by a tweet that said, "Why I don't like the word 'Christian'"

Watch it for yourself...







Wednesday, August 10, 2011

drive the dark of doubt away

Doubt is a devious thing.
It creeps in seeking destruction and the complete overhaul of our minds and emotions through well delivered one liners that have the power to bruise our souls and haunt our hearts. Doubt is the "voice" in our ear that mocks,

You are not needed
                   wanted
                   desired
                   known
                   loved
                   accepted

You cannot change.

Things will always be this way.

Yes, doubt starts with these lies (among many others).
It's effects are ruthless.  We can begin to not believe we are lovable, even to ourselves.  We begin to overcompensate for our doubts in various ways.  One is in attempting to prove  (to ourselves and others) we are not what we think and so on.

In the end, no one wins and we are desperate for a rebuttle to these doubts that bind us against the pit of our own selves and let no one inside...even God himself.
Doubt has become a fixture in my life that I want Jesus to unscrew.  I often doubt that I am accepted and secure. That's not something I tell a lot of people, but for the sake of being transparent I think it's something I need to acknowledge more often to myself.  I too overcompensate for my doubt and have not found that helpful...at all.

Today, I was reading about how Jesus told his disciples they could move mountains from "here" to there" if they had faith as small as a mustard seed. I am beginning to see that my doubts will not simply go away if I base my security on a set of circumstances or people to affirm me in my "security-ness", but on Jesus himself.

I do believe people in my life who love me well can be vessels of healing my doubt, but they will never suffice. I am convinced that I need to acknowledge  Jesus as the one who can transform my mind and lift the veil of doubt that have hung over my heart for so long.  My prayer is that my Mountain of Doubt will be moved from "here to there" through faith ("calling forth things that are not as if they are."Romans)...even if it is as small as a seed.  I believe, help my unbelief, Jesus.

Friday, July 22, 2011

our new house and me

I find that I relate to this quote by a favorite writer as Chase and I revamp a home of our own. A beautiful reality that I hope I can embrace.

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."


— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

i'll ask anyway.

broken people and places being made new is one of the things i live to see most. reconciliation and redemption are the themes of life and as i spend more time in my city i've been inspired to dare to hope for a better day for desolate places among us.  i long to see these places filled with people of all races and and socio-economic statuses working and living together making this city a better place.  perhaps it is too much to ask and maybe i sound like a beauty queen...but i'll ask anyway.


what possibility lingers here!
what scenes are yet to be seen!
sidewalks eagerly await a step
that's not dragging
a trot instead to take its place
it takes an eye that once was blind
to see the better day
to believe in beautiful things for
a place
5 Points in downtown montgomery
where beauty has lost its crown

Thursday, May 26, 2011

until full day...

"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter until full day."
Proverbs 4:18 

Just as when the sun is high and its light envelops all around...
when Jesus reigns and His light is all that shines and illuminates the truest of true...that will be "full day"

Until then...
we wait.
we long.
we cry.
we fight.
we live.
we love.
we struggle.
we conquer.
we laugh.
we dance.
we break down.
we get up.
we shake our fist.
we lift our hands.
we hang our heads.
we look up.
we don't know,
yet
we know.
he is here.
he is coming.
we will be with him.
he will reign.
and we will live in the light
of full day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2 year rewind.

The following is an excerpt from my journal last year :
May 17th, 2010

Today, I am celebrating...yes, I said celebrating, being in Montgomery for one year. I am rejoicing and radiant over the goodness of the Lord in my life. I came here a year ago crying bitter tears and asking for a way out.  Today, I find myself crying tears of joy.  Tears that leaves tracks of thankfulness on my smiling face.  His love and grace are relentless and have expressed itself in new and furious ways to my soul.  I've learned to hear your voice. To not only to hear, but heed, your "No's". To wait. Patiently. To be joyful...really truly deeply joyful. There is still so much to learn...this is only the beginning.
 "You satisfy the longing soul and fill the hungry with good things."


"For the Lord of hosts has purposed and who can annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?" Isaiah 14

This week marks year 2 of being here.  And I can still say that I am thankful and joyful and even more assured that this is the place he longs to meet me and use me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

anyway.

"People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.Love them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.Be good anyway.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.Build anyway.
People need help, but may attack you if you try to help them.Help them anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.It was never between you and them anyway."
-Mother Theresa

Thanks to my friend Taylor for sharing the above quote on her blog.
I need this reminder tonight.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finally!!!!



Read the book first, y'all.  It is darn funny.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passover.

Shalom!

This week Jews will celebrate Passover. It's a big day in Jewish history and a foreshadowing of what happend on what we know as Good Friday.  I am amazed at how the Old Testament tells the same story in "shadows" that the New Testament reveals in Jesus. Way cool.
This song tells the story...take a listen.


Friday, April 15, 2011

shocked and in awe!

It seemed that what I thought was a weekend trip to a concert in Birmingham and a vist to Greenville, SC to see friends, visit Chase's alma-mater and enjoy the city was somthing more...

much, much more.

He proposed!

And (after many "what is happening"'s and "I'm so confused!")...

I said YES!

Where it all went down: Sunrise at "Pretty Place" in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains


Sidenote: I have been under the impression that we were going to be engaged in the summer...Chase had told me a series of (convincing!) lies that included multiple factors. I believed him, told him he could always get "help" (I know, I know). The best part of all is that I was surprised and totally caught off guard. I can't wait to marry my best friend on November 5th!!

Some girls happened to come down after and snagged a few shots!
Perfection.

You don't get much better than this, folks.

So excited!

I realize i have yet to tell our story of how we got together (we've known each other our entire lives). It's a good one. Hope to share that soon!



Saturday, April 2, 2011

the joys of oral surgery.

I had the pleasure of having my wisdom teeth extracted on Thursday, which has meant lots of drugs,down time and pain. While I've been obeying the doctor's orders of not operating heavy machinery, driving or eating anything but milkshakes (with a spoon) I've experienced the good life of not being able to do much of anything. I'm happy to say these past few days have been made possible by the following:

Awkward Family Photos: all I can say is, "ARE YOU REAL?" Apparently everyone but me already knew about this site. Let's just say it has definitely provided some laughs. You'll just have to see it for yourself.



Clips of Modern Family such as this gem:


I spied this on the shelves of Books-A-Million a while back. It was finally available in paperback and on sale, so I bought it and I'm loving it. Give it a read...it's the good stuff books are made of.

Websites like design sponge, the gosepel coaliton and revolworks

The best magazine of all: Garden & Gun

And last but not least...

Flowers from a pretty spectacular boyfriend :)




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet Sarah!


Meet Sarah.
She is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
She speaks French, English and 3 other African languages.
And she is an amazing woman!
Chase and I, his family and our friends were incredibly blessed to have her spend 2 weeks with us in Montgomery! If you know Chase well you probably aren't surprised he knows someone from a world away...but if you don't here's the story: Sarah met Chase when he was living in the Congo a few years ago working with Hope International. At the time, Sarah spoke no english and Chase struggled with his french, but the two forged a friendship that would transcend continents and time. When Chase discovered Sarah would be visiting the States to be a part of the U.N. Conference for Women in Africa he jumped at the chance to bring her down to experience the South and another part of "good ol' Amer-a-cuh."

We tried our best to give her the best experience we could...and I'm certain we were successful! We took her to a baseball game, celebrated St. Patricks Day, went to the beach, introduced her to Chick fil A (as well as many other "american" foods") and spent time talking and learning about each other. I also spent a lot of time listening to Chase and Sarah talk in French...and even though I took 3 years I couldn't understand that much!

I learned a few important things from Sarah. I learned that simplicity is a joy to live in and Jesus is our treasure. She talked about Jesus in a way that made you see and feel his light, love and peace. Her stories of answered prayer and ruthless trust in God encouraged me in ways she does not even know.

We shared some special moments with her praying, listening and talking. Unlike so many others, Sarah wishes to stay in the Congo for now. She is educated, considered wealthy among her friends (the Congo has a 99 percent poverty rate which means almost everyone lives on less than $2 a day) and is blessed with brains as well. With these things in mind, it would make perfect sense for her to come to America, but for now she wishes to stay and make a difference among her own people. In the trenches. Being light. Being a part of the restoration of a broken, broken place. It's amazing to think that when the Kingdom Come comes, we will see the things done with eternity and Jesus in mind by people like Sarah not be shaken...but shine.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

a new perspective.

"I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity."
-John Wesley

I don't have this mindset.
But I want to.


But if I did...


What things would I say "No" to spending my mindless time doing or investing in? Regardless of what recognition or (temporary) satisfaction it may bring?
What things would I say "Yes" to...despite there appearance or there desirability compared to "other things"?

I think we MUST consider these things.
Because in the end...
it's all that matters.

Why do you do what you do?

"The sole purpose of life is to invest in something that will outlast it."
-Someone Wise
(i saw this on a card and can't remember who said it!)


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the fundamental question.

I am reading through the Bible for the first time this year. As I've read I've come to a startling realization:

I've made the Bible about me.

I realize...even in the Old Testament that the Bible is about Jesus. It's about him reconciling us to himself and inviting us to share in his life. It's not about how to make my life less stressful in 5 easy steps or how to slay my giants. It's about Jesus. I must ask...

How have we missed it?

I saw the video below a few weeks ago and it confirmed my realization. Since I've realized that everything in prophets and even in good ol' Leviticus is pointing to Jesus it makes it easier to read and I've been getting excited about the "hero" that gonna have to come...because these people (including myself) are in trouble!

Watch it for yourself here

Monday, February 28, 2011

the royal wedding and the kingdom of God.

Just in case you didn't know-Prince William is getting married. Which means a royal wedding (of the century) is in the works, which also means there's an invite list. This 1,900 person invite list was a mystery until recently. Some names on the list are well known, some are not. I'm sure there are a few people who thought they were surely invited, but are still waiting on the invite. Most, I'm sure, were not surprised to receive an invite, but some were.

Enter: John Haley of the Old Boot Inn.

This is the guy who pours pints at Kate Middleton's fam's favorite pub. That's all he's done for the future princess and in his interview he says in he was "quite surprised" to get an invite. "I'm over the moon," he said.

After all, who would have thought a pub owner would be invited?

For me, this scenario has given me an idea of what the Greatest Royal Wedding Banquet will be like. The one with Jesus as the guest of honor and His people as the bride. I am positive the no brainer's will be there: i.e.Paul, Peter, John and David, the martyrs of old (and present), C.S. Lewis, and so on. On a more sobering note, I am also sure people who themselves thought they would be in attendance will not. (Jesus himself alludes to this in Matthew 25) Best of all, I do believe we will see the "pub owners". The ones we least expected. The ones who themselves may not have counted themselves worthy. And there is great joy in that.

Watch John Haley's interview here

Thursday, February 10, 2011

what does it mean...really?

There are lots of phrases people throw around these days in Christian circles. One such phrase is "loving the city".

But what does this (along with so many others) mean? Really?

My friend Biscuet posted the following article on his blog recently. It has a tad of sass and a bit of sarcasm, but after reading it I think it is a powerful commentary on what it means to
love a city to life.

I was challenged,convicted of the way I have misconstrued this idea, and inspired to ask more questions about my own city and what's really important here.

My takeaway was this: brining change to the places we call home requires long term commitment that's messy and unsexy, but no doubt beautiful all at the same time.

Articles like this one are part of a conversation we all need to be having with ourselves and one another. Let's face it...I don't really know what's best. But I want to. I have no idea what the answer is for my own city besides asking questions and proceeding. We have an obligation to the poor, the forgotten and to the racial issues that still linger. I don't believe that obligation can be ignored or met for ourselves or in ourselves.

Read the article: On "loving the city" long-term (in contrast to well-intentioned hipster, neo-paternalistic versions)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

let's go.

photo props to sunday in bed

Oh, what if we could!
Or can we?
Where to go? What to see?
Crossing lines and drawing X's
Seeing places where beauty lives.
Oceans of plenty, lands of rolling greens
The honk of a taxi and a city scape scene
Oh, the spaces that make up the places
That God has indeed shed his graces!


























Monday, January 17, 2011

Soundtrack for a Revolution.

It's MLK day and you NEED to watch this film. It's on Netflix Streaming...so get on it. I took a Civil Rights history class at Auburn and ever since, I've had a renewed understanding and a love for what this movement did for our country and the challenges it still presents today. Not to mention the music birthed out of those years,the heart and soul of the movement, is proof of what music can do.

"Keep your eyes on the prize..."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

be sticky.

"You catch more flies with honey, honey."
(based on the sayin', "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.")

These words, confusing at first, were spoken to me a few weeks ago in the midst of a conversation in which I was learning that though I want/need to be more direct and less of a pleaser (especially in my responses/advice to people, I've had a few "fails") I need to retain virtues of kindness and gentleness. As I've rolled these words around in my mind, and experimented with them in the realities of life, they've taught me a few things:

Speak gently.

Respond graciously, calmly, confidently, humbly

Be willing to be wrong (it's not my way, always.)

*Be teachable

"Consider others better than yourself." -Paul, Philippians 2 (think about that one for awhile..whew!)

Listen intently...with your ears and your heart.

Try giving advice only when asked...and if you do give it, give it sincerely, lovingly and humbly.

So, in a sense, what I've learned is to "be sticky". This isn't about pleasing people or telling them only what they want to hear, but what they need to hear....love.

May love be the undertones of our conversations, our actions and ultimately our life.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

you're a wise one, jane.


"To be fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love."
Jane Austen :: Pride & Prejudice



note to reader: i may catch a lot of heat (cheese?) for this post, but I can't help myself.

Monday, January 3, 2011

11 for 11.

Here are 11 questions for '11...

Chase (boyfriend) sent these my way. They came to him via another friend and I'm grateful these found a way to him because I think they provide a motivating segway into the new year that is sprawled out before us. I hope to go back to these throughout the year and let them serve as a guide and hone me in as I journey throughout the year ahead...hope you will too.

  1. 2010 was _____
  2. I experienced Jesus/the Gospel through...
  3. I was surprised by....
  4. I learned...
  5. Two blessings from this year I'm thankful for are...
  6. If I could do 2010 over again I would...
  7. In 2011 I hope to see the Lord...
  8. Next year I want to show the love of Christ/serve through...
  9. In pursuit of Jesus I hope to cast aside...
  10. In 2011 I want to work on myself in these ways...
  11. Three things I hope to pursue next year are...
let us begin.