Friday, April 29, 2011

On a Roll!

image © Lauren Myers

2 am

This drawing started out as something completely different, but ended with this little girl dancing her way across the page. Obviously this isn't for Jack's room, but I like it all the same. And yes, it's almost two in the morning and I should be in bed but when I start these drawings, I can't stop until they're complete.

image © Lauren Myers

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Illustration.

I found myself suddenly saddled with the urge to draw this evening, and finally pegged down an illustration for Jack's room. I still need one more to fill the other empty frame I have floating around, but this was a good start!

image © Lauren Myers

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sweet Solitude.

Who knew that being given an hour at home by oneself (that is, completely alone) would become such a rarity. And such a coveted treat!

I feel like there is just so much possibility, so many options, when it comes to filling a free hour. I could do some laundry, or finish up the dishes, or put away those clean clothes I've been meaning to fold. But then the lazy half (or should I say, majority) of my brain wants to just sit and enjoy the quiet. That said, I really would love a sans-baby day to do some spring cleaning in the future. And that being said, I do love you Jack Elijah; if you were here we would be out for a walk together in the warm weather.

But for now, I'm enjoying my quiet moment by blogging and eating baked beans and in a moment, catching up on some reading.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday

Today is a beauty if you're living in Cleveland, Ohio. The sun is shining, the windows are wide open and the curtains are blowing softly in the breeze. A perfect day for this song :


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crawling?

video

This is Jack's take on crawling. He gets an A+ for effort.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Friends : Rethought

I wrote a post the other day about friendships - close friendships to be more specific. The kind that plant themselves deep in your heart. It's true that I've been in want of more of these as of late - not because they don't exist in my life, but because I often feel distant to the people who live closest to me.

Obviously I've removed that post and here's why: I don't want to disvalue the lovely people I call friends here in Cleveland; without them my life would truly be lacking. What I was really getting at - what Tim and I are both longing for - is community. This is not the same thing as having a collection of friendships. Community is close-knit. Community is about people being in each others lives on a daily or weekly basis. Community is, at its core, another word for family - and so much more because these are people brought together by choice, not by blood-lines.

Chances are, if you are my friend and you live in Cleveland - I'm wishing we had a closer relationship. I'm wishing we saw each other more - that we discussed life over coffee and laughed about the funny thing that happened today. That we shared meals and intimate thoughts, jokes and philosophies. I'm wishing we lived life side by side, and not just from time to time.

For those friends who live outside of Cleveland - we already share these things, just not frequently enough due to time and distance. I miss you often - with a sorrow that leaves a dull ache deep in my bones. I wish you were here, or I with you.

To all who consider themselves my friend - my life is made richer from knowing you. My one request: please stay. Even if its from a thousand miles away. And if possible, draw closer - I miss our time together.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Enjoy. Sunshine.

Turning the corner onto our street after a long day at work
to find my little family sunning themselves on the front stoop was the best part of today.
Sunshine is so much sweeter once you've had a chance to miss it.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

He Healed Me!

A miracle happened today. A small miracle, I suppose, in the grand scheme of miracles. But a precious and personal miracle nonetheless.

About a year ago, while I was pregnant with Jack, a test result revealed some abnormal cell growth in my body. These cells were diagnosed as pre-cancerous. Cancer is a word that packs a punch to the stomach no matter what the context. It's everywhere these days; it feels inescapable. It was hard news to receive, especially knowing that it was caused by an incurable cancer-causing virus in my body. I was told by my doctor that a biopsy would be taken again in six months and that the cells would either worsen, stay the same or revert back to normal. I prayed. I asked others to pray. Please God, not cancer.

Six months later, the condition had worsened. I was devastated. A follow up biopsy was scheduled another six months out, and I was given the same possible outcomes - it would either get worse, stay the same, or start to get better. Knowing the cancer-causing virus was still pulsing through my veins gave me reason enough to assume the worst. I asked God again to heal me. I asked and begged and pleaded. This time I asked that He'd not only heal the cells, but remove the virus from my body. It seemed like such an impossiblity, and yet I know that nothing is impossible with God - that he knitted me together in my mother's womb (Psalm 139) and commanded every cell into place, so nothing is incurable or unfixable or unhealable. On two separate occasions I had people from the prayer team at church lay hands on me and ask for healing. The second time, I was actually told by the man praying for me that I was healed. But because there were no outward signs of this, it was a hard promise to hold onto. I spent the next few months trying not to be anxious about it, but every now and then it would grab me by the throat and choke me with fear. Cancer felt inevitable.

Last week I had my follow-up biopsy. My doctor said the cells looked "ok" and there were only a few suspicious areas. I felt the best case scenario would be that the condition reverted back to "mild" but I braced myself for more bad news. Today was results day. I had to wait an hour and a half before I saw the doctor. That's when she told me the news:

"Well, the cells have gone back to normal. Even the biopsy was negative."

Wait..what?! Everything's normal?! Even she seemed surprised by the results, proposing that perhaps they missed something. But I knew that God had heard my prayers; that in some undeserved act of mercy He had worked a miracle in me again - as He had done on so many other occasions. My pancreas, my liver, my intestines, my pregnancy.... so many occasions where doctors began to prepare us for bad news and then would be puzzled when the next set of tests would reveal normalcy. He has spared me more times than I can count. And today was another day to count as His alone. Today I received some of the best news of my life. Today I was given the gift of God's never ceasing mercy. Today is a day I will never forget. May HIS name be praised and lifted up, for his goodness endures forever.

Monday, April 11, 2011

John Mark McMillan

Last night we went to a John Mark McMillan concert. His songs are unlike any other kind of mainstream worship music out there; you'll never hear his original songs on the radio (although you'll hear his song How He Loves covered a hundred different ways) and you'll definitely never hear his songs sung in church. He reminds me of a modern day Johnny Appleseed (maybe it's the beard and plaid shirts); a grassroots Jesus follower whose music is more powerful than it is popular. And that's saying something.

The crowd was young - late teens, early twenties - and a bunch of kids with sweet hair, cool glasses and super trendy thrift store clothes: the quintessential hipsters. These are the kind of kids that church leaders have conferences about - the kind they want in their churches, but can never quite get in the doors... the ones they are constantly in state of unrest about... "Why isn't the twenty-something generation in church on Sunday? Where are they?!"

Answer: They're probably at John Mark McMillan concerts. Already worshiping their hearts out. McMillan's lyrics aren't exactly for the luke-warm either. Chances are, if you're young and you can't get enough of JMM's lyrics, you can't get enough of Jesus. I say all this as an observer; as someone who stood in that crowd in awe of all these unlikely followers of Christ, challenged and humbled in my half-hearted tendencies by their whole hearted passion.

When he broke into How He Loves, you just know the crowd had been waiting for it. Waiting to sing one of the biggest worship songs of the year with its humble author who had penned it many years ago. The experience was too powerful for words. If you don't know the story behind How He Loves, you can hear about it in the video below.

At one point John Mark sang the line, "Glory to One, God's murdered Son, who paid for my resurrection." He sang it a couple of times and then left the stage with the band, leaving the crowd in darkness as they repeated the line over, and over, and over. Then people started to stomp in time with the beat. And clap. And raise their hands. And the voices swelled and grew louder and more filled with the power of the lyric. And for five minutes I experienced something that was more powerful than a whole month, nay... year of church Sundays.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Tree Tops

The perfect place for a tree house.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Life You Love.

I seem to be acutely aware these days of people who are doing what they love and making a living from it. Such a simple concept and yet I feel as though most of the world is never given the luxury of being paid to do something they don't really consider "work." I'm not sure if I can go so far as to say that's how life's supposed to be. But, I really believe that to be given such a gift is one of the most powerful opportunities for change.

When people are passionate about what they do for a living, things happen. They happen because someone has a heart to see the fruits of their labor not only survive but
thrive. Isn't that what we should all desire from our life's work? To see it positively effect the people around us and in the process, be changed by it ourselves?

I want to have the courage and determination to run after those desires God has placed on my heart to pursue. I don't want to let the fear of failure or mediocracy keep me from taking leaps of faith into achieving the dreams and ambitions He has set before me. So here's to finding a sense of passionate purpose; to loving what you do and doing it everyday.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bittersweet.

The last few days have been bittersweet; a mix of nice things and not-so-nice things.

{Nice things} Spending time with dear friends and mentors; Tim coming home early on a perfect rainy afternoon; a fairly successful start to a healthy new lifestyle.

{Not-so-nice things} Missing faraway friends; aching for change; complicated relationships; an unfortunate incident involving Jack and a shopping cart.

Such is life - you take the good with the bad. And thankfully, God always provides a silver lining in those not-so-nice clouds....a way to reconnect with faraway friends, the hope of changes to come, beautiful relationships pure and simple, and lots of kisses and cuddles with a snugly baby.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eating Fresh Again Blog.


I mentioned last week that some big changes would be taking place in our life. Today is Day 1 of our commitment to live a healthier lifestyle by eating a plant-based, organic diet.

Please visit the blog (see link on right sidebar) to learn a little bit more about why we decided to make this change. Visit daily to follow our journey as we adapt to this new lifestyle and to find out more on how you can do it too!!

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