30 December 2010

You Are Everything

Last year on this very day, I wrote a post called, Everything. In it, was my personal prayer for the New Year.
I prayed that God would indeed be my everything. As I reflect on 2010,
I can only Praise Him for the many opportunities He gave me to embrace and experience this heartfelt prayer of mine.

Psalm 91:1-2 states, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Likewise, John 15:5 also states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.”

2011 marks the 10 year anniversary of my spiritual birthday; the year that I became a renewed and intentional believer. At the time, I remember admitting that I was spiritually lost and yearning for answers in a broken world. I was full of "worldly" success yet at the same time, I was achingly empty inside. With the love and guidance of my new husband and a simple prayer, I invited Christ into my life for the first time. I slowly began to surrender my own will and became more and more open to God's will instead. Little did I know, my own journey of faith and grace was just about to begin.

Looking back, God has been so faithful. He has provided wisdom and clarity; provision and strength; comfort, peace, and true contentment. He has proven Himself sovereign and worthy and has poured immeasurable amounts of grace into my life. Over the years, I've learned that try as I may, apart from Him, I can truly do nothing of worth without Him.

Thankful doesn't even begin to describe my heart and the depth of gratitude I feel towards my Lord and Heavenly Father. He is my everything and my prayer this coming year is for you... for all my loved ones, my family, friends, readers, and people that I've yet to meet, this side of heaven. My prayer is that you too, would experience the fullness of joy, the grace and redemption, the rich and abundant life that can only come from surrendering our hearts to the One who sacrificed it all; for us. Hallelujah that we are reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ. My prayer for those of you who are perhaps seeking and do not already have a personal relationship with the Lord is that you would humble yourselves before Him and ask Him to come into your heart and make it new. It's really that simple. God hears every sincere prayer and if we will only knock, He is faithful to answer. ~Matthew 7:7

Lord, we know there are no coincidences in life so I pray specifically for anyone who is reading this right now and has even the slightest desire to know you more. You alone, have placed that hole in all of us. A hole that we so often try to fill with other people or worldly and temporal things. Forgive us, Lord. And thank you that even though
I am small, you are Great and Mighty and You know exactly who to touch through this prayer.

For my fellow believers, as we approach the New Year, may we keep the fire burning bright within us. May God lovingly disciple us in holiness, may His strength and His wisdom cover us, and may His Goodness and Faithfulness be proclaimed to the ends of the earth.
In Your Son's Great and Glorious name, Amen.

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping

God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting

God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything
You are everything.

26 December 2010

the Chen's







The girls and Emma exchanging silly bands.

Ready for the night time boat ride.

Me & Mel.

So fun!

Cuties.

Our friends, Peter & Melinda were in town over Christmas. They stayed at Desert Springs with their 3 kids, as well as Pete's whole family. On Christmas evening, we got a chance to stop by the hotel and visit for a bit. The girls loved playing with Emma, their 4 year-old. It was non-stop chatter and giggles from the moment they saw each other. And everyone, including the adults had a blast on the resort's boat ride. What a treat it was to see my friend Mel, twice in 2 weeks. Merry Christmas, Chen Family!

25 December 2010

Christmas 2010

We baked birthday cupcakes in the morning.

Morgan and the girls decorated them. So festive!









Halmoni with all her grandkids.









Rich's plate of open-faced turkey sammy.
Yes, he had another plate after this, too. :) Yum!

A beautiful day in the desert!

















Las Casuelas for dinner. Yum, again!

Last advent reading.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!





A lovely Christmas morning fire.

We enjoyed a wonderful time, celebrating with family.
Hope you did, too.

Merry Christmas!

24 December 2010

Happy Birthday, Ivan!


Ivan Abbott White born December 23rd at 3:45 pm.
8 lbs. 4 oz. and 19.5 in.
Congratulations to the entire White Family on your newest addition!
We love you.

23 December 2010

Thankful Thursday

Once again, so much to be thankful for...

I am thankful for every circumstance and situation that God gives us. I believe they are simply opportunities where we can learn to rely on and trust Him even more.

I am thankful for a fridge full of food, waiting to be enjoyed by my family, who are all arriving tomorrow morning to celebrate Christmas with us.

I am thankful for lunch with my girlfriend, Courtney. We meet at Sammy's every couple of months to catch up on life and enjoy their Chicken Caesar Salad- so yummy! Her friendship is precious to me and I am so happy that she will soon be a first-time mommy.

I am thankful that I got all my Christmas shopping done early. Man, it's a mad house out there!

I am thankful that our garage is now cleaned out and left with only the things we'll be packing for our move. :)

I am thankful for those pre-cut, store bought Christmas cookies. Not very traditional I know, but it made last minute baking a breeze and it served its purpose. The girls had fun decorating and eating them. Joyful Christmas memories were made.

I am thankful for Costco's $5 rotisserie chicken. My family would probably starve or eat very poorly without them.

I am thankful for all the American soldiers who man their posts in far away lands, while you and I get to sit in our cozy homes and celebrate Christmas with our families.

Last but not least, I am thankful for the BEST gift of all, the miracle birth of our Lord, King and Savior, Jesus Christ.

"...and He shall be called, WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE of PEACE." ~Isaiah 9:6

‎"The greatest man in history, named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet he conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today."

May you take a moment in your busy day to reflect on all that you are thankful for this Christmas season.

21 December 2010

Garage Sale

This past weekend, we had our first ever garage sale. We spent the weekend before, cleaning out closets and cupboards and organizing what we wanted to sell. In light of our move next month, our goal was not only to purge ourselves from all the stuff but also to help pay for our upcoming moving costs. It's amazing how much "stuff" you collect when you have more space to fill it! In our new home, we will only have a two car garage so we needed to purge anyway. Our garage has been an overcrowded eyesore ever since we closed our Tutoring Club business a couple of years ago. In addition to all the household items we were planning to sell, we had 5 large tables, 20 chairs, loads of shelving, 100 binders, a large desk, and lots of office supplies.

Saturday, 7AM-noon. We sold many items and made well over what we thought we would. Nice!!! We were content but still had so much left over. Rather than pack it all away or take it to Goodwill, we decided to leave it on the tables and try again on Sunday.

Sunday, 8AM-noon {Day of the miracle}. Very few people came compared to Saturday. By 11 AM we had made about $175. We were done. It had threatened to rain all morning so by this time, the clouds were rolling in and we decided to close up. We cleaned off all the tables and packed the leftover items for donation. We loaded the minivan and the tables were now cleared and ready to be broken down. Just then, a couple drove up and asked if the sale was over. We said yes but we still have some clothes and office furniture. The woman immediately asked about the tables. We gave her our "discounted Sunday price" and she said she wanted them all. As we slowly got to know this couple, it turns out they're our neighbors and live around the corner.
What do they do? They work with social workers and help place children with foster families. We talk about adoption. We talk about their new office location. They decide to take all 5 tables, the shelving that we thought we would have to throw away, the 100 binders, the desk, the last of the 3 wastebaskets, the pack and play AND the car seat. They take EVERYTHING.

Seriously, God?? YOU ARE SO GOOD. In the 11th hour, when all the stuff was cleaned up and only the office furniture was left, You brought the PERFECT buyers. There is no such thing as coincidence. Everyday miracles still do exist. We just stood there... in awe, praising our Awesome God.

After the couple left, we made the short drive to Goodwill to donate the left over bags of clothes. Wouldn't you know it? It started to sprinkle. :)

19 December 2010

an old friend

This week, I got to see one of my dear friends, Melinda. Isn't she cute? Mel and I met years ago when Morgan and I started dating. At the time, Mel was dating Morgan's good friend, Peter. Both Mel and Peter were also in our wedding and a couple of years later, they too got married. When I lived in LA, it was much easier to see each other and get together for lunch or dinner but here we are, years later, living 2 hours away from each other, with 5 kids between us.

Thankfully, at least once a year I get to see her and it's something we both look forward to as Christmas draws near. Morgan and Pete are not only good friends but they are also colleagues and business partners. They've worked together for years now and they've been through a lot in their professional careers. On Thursday night, we met in Pasadena for the guys' annual company dinner.

We indulged ourselves at Ruth's Chris and spared no expense. It was, of course... fabulous. Morgan and I also got the treat of spending the night in a hotel that evening. Since the girls were staying over at Grandma and Grandpa's, it was the perfect little excuse to enjoy some quiet time together.

Throughout dinner though, it was all about catching up with Mel. We were like two giddy school girls. We laughed, we cried, we whispered and giggled. Mel is hands-down one of the sweetest people I'm blessed to know. She is not only fun and kind, she is gracious and extremely patient. I loved talking to her about what God is doing in both of our lives. I also enjoyed sharing about our children and what we're learning in each of our bible studies. Aren't easy friendships wonderful? I couldn't help but thank God for ours and the gift of a godly girlfriend who loves you, prays for you through life's challenges, encourages you and inspires you to be God's best. What a sweet sweet gift.
It was a great night catching up with an even greater friend.

Merry Christmas to me.

16 December 2010

Family Photos


























Once again, my friend and talented photographer, Katie took our family photos this year. Up until about a month ago, I was simply planning to use one of our existing family photos as our Christmas card but with everything that went on last month (me being cancer free and our home selling), it became another opportunity to CHERISH EVERY MOMENT and CELEBRATE LIFE. It also helped that she had a rare opening last week in her busy schedule and could squeeze us in, just in time for Christmas card delivery. Thank goodness for one hour photo, right? :)

The photo shoot took place at the Rose Garden located at the Empire Polo Club, across the street from our community. Although the roses weren't in their full and glorious bloom, the pictures turned out quite lovely. I love the ones of me and Morgan. They'll make the perfect bedroom accent piece.
I also adore the very last picture of the girls. Such sweet innocence.

Katie, you're the best!

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