Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy ME! ;)

So on the actual day of my blogoversary, April 16th, I forgot! #EpicFail

However, since it is still April....I know, it's the last day....I thought I would honor that "momentous" occasion by sharing some of my favorite posts AND some of YOUR favorite posts.
{May 2010}

My blogging got a slow start as I was figuring out what I wanted to write about and what message I wanted to "get out there", so I didn't have a lot of post those first two months, but then in June...

Here is one that I feel really got me started in sharing my heart for people....

and how much I love working with kids and how they put life in perspective....

Last year, due to health issues and dealing with the underlying emotions that the Haiti earthquake had left in my heart as well as the whole "trying to conceive" deal, I really felt like the Lord was prompting me to write a 30 day series on hope.

Here is the first day....

....and this one about a great love story....

....and this one is about courage....

....on growing up....

Finally, by August, near the end of my 30 days, I was finally able to share a bit about the impact that the earthquake had on me and my family....

and finally, I shared some of my own dreams.....

And then for better or worse, I shared a few of my obsessions

In September, I shared about how we had to make the difficult decision of taking some time off from full time ministry and leave South Africa.

It took a few months to figure things out and to get A LOT of needed rest, so my little blog here was quite neglected during that time, but the new year brought new promise and renewed vision.

These are just a few of my favorites over the past couple of months

I also joined up with some amazing bloggers & women this year. This is a sample of some of my link-ups with them....

The Day A Letter Set Me Free - Faith Barista & Mama's Losin' It
Multitude Monday: Going Home - A Holy Experience

Okay, so that is kind of a lot! I would love for you to check a few out and let me know what you think. Maybe you have had a favorite that I didn't include....won't you let me know?

I have SO enjoyed all of the new friends that I have made in this blog world and I look forward to many more posts and connections to come!!

{April 2011}

Friday, April 29, 2011

Five Minute Friday: I Would BE

I love linking up with The Gypsy Mama on Fridays to share my 5 minutes. Here is what she challenges us to do...

"On Fridays around these parts we have a little tradition. We throw caution (editing, revising, and worrying) to the winds and just write. Without wondering if it’s just right or not."

So here goes....

Today's prompt - If I Knew I Could, I Would....


If I knew I could, I would change the world.
Right all wrongs.
Find a cure for all diseases.
No one would be poor.
Comfort all the broken people.

If I knew I could, I would be brave.
Climb Pike's Peak, Table Mountain, and maybe even Everest.
Stand before kings & queens and share the love that I know changes all loves.
Write a book that would change people, touch their hearts, challenge their mindsets.
Study all the time because I just love learning in a classroom.

If I knew I could, I would....
Worry less.
Love more.
Be more impulsive.
Embrace the challenges of life.
See through hurts to the other side.
Daydream a lot.
Give my heart completely.

If I knew I could, I would. I just would. With no reservations or analysis.

I would just BE fully, completely, wholly.


Won't you join me? Click the button below to link up with Lisa-Jo, me, and some other awesome writers!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April's Everyday Joys

Uncovering Everyday Joys
A Spring Photo Story

The end of March brought the last snow of the season. Winter fought valiantly against spring for her last HURRAH. Her victory was short-lived as this beautiful scene was melted by the afternoon.

And of course, how could I share my joys without including the MOST amazing gift that my Father has given me!

My joy continued as I shared in the bridal shower of Maribeth, one of my Timothys. She and I have a special bond that is hard to put qualifications on. I can't believe that she is getting marred in less than 3 weeks.

Oh! And how much fun to share the joy of babysitting our goddaughter. She is growing so fast and is just SUCH a sweetheart!

What a joy to share in the wedding of my adoptive-like brother in New York!

And Mom and I took advantage of the weekend in New York to hit Manhattan.
I LOVE NYC! {More detailed posts to come on that trip}

The beauty of spring has been especially poignant for me
this year after a year of winter.

And then Easter weekend with my family....I just love these people!!

{Mom & her sisters enjoying a crazy moment together}

{2nd cousin, Haylee, eating on her yummy bone}

{Mom, Sis, and I stop for a quick pose. This pic was Take 3 :) }

{Love my cuzzy, Michaela! I was 17 when she was born and she is well into her teenage years now. So crazy!}

And my two "kitties/kiddies" keep me filled with joy
with their quirks and antics
They have enjoyed spring as much as me this year!

{Morris the hunter}

{Patches the watcher}

And, well, I just can't leave off of my current joys {tongue in cheek}, William & Kate and their impending wedding day tomorrow has me thrilled.
Arno thinks I am slightly crazy!! Haha!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finding Jesus When I Travel

I walked into the restroom at a Taco Bell on my way to Washington -- Washington D.C., that is -- and I saw the tile on the floor. Suddenly, I was 14 years old, walking through the Sunday School hallways at my childhood church, and I couldn't help but smile. I glided back to our table in this mysteriously, strange, small town, and I pondered the amazing ability for random smells, sights, tastes, etc, to take you to a place and time so far removed from the present moment.

Traveling is like that too. There is an "other-worldly" feeling that you get when you are neither HERE nor THERE. My mom says that when she is flying between Haiti and the U.S., she takes advantage of that time where she feels no pressure or stress or responsibilities in that moment and she can just be or even read, which she rarely has time to do.

The feeling for me is slightly different. I like feeling that I can be WHOMEVER I want to be in that moment. I feel the release of expectations of being what I need to be or others need me to be. There is such a freedom in feeling "lost on purpose." I think I actually like being "just a face in the crowd".....for JUST a little while.

I think that is why I love airports, subways, train stations, etc. It's funny how much I enjoy being in airports, especially now as an adult, since they have held equal amounts of sadness as they have happiness for me since I have flown anywhere from twice to eight times a year since I was 3 months old, usually always leaving someone that I love behind. But now, I love being in these places, where human emotion is so raw and real, and while we are all strangers passing by on our way to our "lives", we are also connected by these organic, common feelings. Although we are interlopers in each others' worlds, I am reminded every time I am in an airport/crowded city street/train station/public transportation vehicle that we are not SO different. We are just people who feel, who love, who care, who worry, who stress, who dream, who matter where we come from, what our background is, or what our stories are.

Ultimately, I think I see a little more of Jesus in these moments in the faces, the heart aches, the loves of each person.

He LOVES them.


And I think that is pretty cool. ;)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Friend Makin' Mondays: Today I....

Today I felt...renewed HOPE for the future.

Today I saw....many friends at church and MOST of my family for our Easter meal.

Today I ate...yummy salad with feta and walnuts AND gooey deep dish chocolate chip cookie with Ice cream.

Today I kissed...the love of my life.

Today I bought...steak for my husband who was home sick and missed the Easter meal.

Today I heard...a new favorite song - "Come Away With Me."

Today I lost...track of time reading so many fun blogs.

Today I change the way I view my life and my future.

Today I organize my thoughts in reference to making some decisions for my future.

Today I best friend in Tulsa could have hung out with me in the beautiful sunshine!

Linked up with All The Weigh

***Won't you share ALL or SOME of your "Today I..." with me in the comments?? Would love to hear from you!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Year of Winter

It has been one year since I have seen spring.

One year of fall, winter, and then, fall and winter again {due to our hemispheric move at the time when spring would have begun in South Africa}.

While autumn is my favorite season, it IS a season of dying, albeit brilliant, yet it still leads to death.

So to go through back-to-back "dying & death" seasons physically and metaphorically, spring, this year, holds more excitement, meaning, and purpose than ever before.

But maybe not for the reasons that I hoped it would be....announcing an addition to our family. While that isn't the promise of THIS spring, IT DOES hold lots of promise.

How do I know this?

As we commemorate Jesus being risen from the grave almost 2,000 years ago today, I was reminded of how through His death, LIFE came -- physically in His body, but in an even greater way, spiritually in US!

My cats lived in Africa with us and so were also a part of this seasonal anomaly that was our reality, and today they lavished in the warmth and sunshine.

Morris didn't even want to come in all day...literally!

As I sat outside with them, I pondered the "season" we have been through, the miles we have traveled, the stresses we have weathered....And while I certainly don't have all the answers for this current season or the ones to come......I thanked God for spring, for resurrection, for new life, for redemption {my OneWord for this year, by the way}.

Billy Graham once said, "I don't know what the future holds, but I know WHO holds the future."

And really with the future in HIS hands, what more can I ask for, right? Hahaha!

Oh, Lord, I trust in you. I know that my future is in Your hands. I know that You have THE ABSOLUTE BEST for me. I know that Your love for me knows no bounds. And yet, I know that my will falters, my heart fails, and my worries of the future get the best of me sometimes, so TODAY....AGAIN....I accept, I receive, I embrace Your AWESOME grace. And I commit to put my trust in You daily as you pour out your new mercies each morning. Thanks! You're the Best!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

That Beautiful, Scandalous Night

I found this song on my friend and missionary to Haiti, Tara LIvesay's blog, and I wanted to share it with you....

It paints the picture of this weekend's events almost 2,000 years in such a vivid, thought-provoking way....

How He loves us.....

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that pours
From our blessed Savior's side


Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

If you have stumbled across this blog and have questions about what this means or what Jesus can mean to you personally, contact me at lindseyfoj {at} gmail {dot} com.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Teach Me To Love

Joining with Lisa-Jo @ The Gypsy Mama today to share just 5 minutes.....

This week's prompt.....The Hard Love....


When I saw the Five Minute Friday prompt for today, I took pause. Yesterday, I just wrote about how HARD it is to talk about what Jesus suffered and went through in the face of our own trials and heartaches.


Well, I don't know about you, but I think sometimes, I just want to wallow for a bit. I want to feel sorry for myself. I don't want to think that anyone understands. I want to be sad.

Did I really just write that?
Did I say that aloud?

And yet...there is always that nudging that brings me back to Him....back to the place of redemption and grace, in spite of my OVERWHELMING weaknesses, in spite of my OVERWHELMING shame.

Do you, like me, often feel like Peter or maybe even, Heaven forbid, Judas? When I turn my face away or pretend to not know Him or choose another way.....

And then, the cross makes sense all over again...not just for the masses....but for me.




I couldn't do this life without the great cost that was paid on my behalf.

That HARD LOVE.....Jesus taught, I pray that He will strengthen me to walk it out too.


Listen to Paul's words....YOWZA! Can I say this!?!?

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
Philippians 3:10-11

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Reminder of His Grace

The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. My mom is visiting from Haiti. We took a trip to NYC for a wedding. I brought back a yucky cold as a souvenir...ugh! I started doing admin part time for a friend's Mary Kay business. I am blogging for another friend's jewelry business. And, I have a few other ideas/prospects for the upcoming months that I am praying about.

Sometimes, there is so much LIFE happening that it is hard to decide which direction to go here with my posts. I like to write REAL life stuff but with a purpose and a meaning.

In the midst of everything, I have also found that making that real connection with the Father like I want to seems more of a challenge than it should be. Of course, this brings to mind, "How do I write REAL without Him?" Because nothing is really and truly REAL without Him.

And then....

Bonnie Gray's prompt @ Faith Barista about what Easter means to us this year challenged me....

On Sunday, as we were preparing to check out of our hotel in New York, and the television spouted off "news" {it never REALLY is new, right?}, I was reminded that it was Palm Sunday. I couldn't believe that I had forgotten. It has long been one of my favorite Sundays since childhood.

I love the image of Jesus riding in humble glory on a donkey being honored for WHO He is although the people didn't really understand that at the time. I have loved how the crowd cried, "Hosanna!" using palm branches, cloaks, and coats to pave the pathway that the King of Kings would ride through.

I guess I love this image so much because I know that the way the rest of the week unfolded for Jesus was hard. And really, it is never easy to think of the hard stuff, is it? The Last Supper, The Travail in the Garden, The Betrayal, The Accusations, The Denial, The Beating, The Thorns, The Nails, The Cross, The Spear.....those images are seared in my mind from images of Passion of the Christ as well as personal & church study.

And yet....

I know....

Because I am reminded....


Without the cross, there is no substance for hope

Without the cross, there is no foundation of grace

Without the cross, there is no depth in love

And in the midst of the HARD things that I face, I don't always want to remember what and how Jesus suffered, not only physically, but emotionally, mentally, & especially spiritually in the excruciating separation from the Father. In essence, He truly experienced Hell, which is why he did it, so that we would never have to know that feeling of isolation from our Creator.

But today I was reminded again to face it....the HARD stuff....of what Jesus did for me, for us.

Measuring my life, my heart, myself in comparison to the cross causes me to feel -- UTTER FAIL!! Oh, how I fall so short!

So what does Easter mean to me?

His grace.
His redemption.
His love.
Even. when. I. fail. Him. and. fall. short. of. His. glory.

So I just wanted to say.....

Thank You!

{I received this picture below in an e-mail for Easter and I thought it said it well.....}

Monday, April 18, 2011

Whirlwind Weekend in NYC

My blog has been kind of quiet since Mom and I went to the wedding of my adoptive brother in New York this weekend....

....and then spent a whirlwind few days in NYC!

Oh how I love Manhattan!

More details on my trip to the Big Apple coming soon......!

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