Tuesday, March 22, 2011

let's take another stab at this whole blogging thing...

Since the dawn of blogging, I have been the on again, off again blogger. LiveJournal, Myspace, zanga...you name it and I've probably had a blog there at some point in time. It's just what this external processor does, I guess. Lately, I have found myself in need of this time and space once again...time to reflect and get my thoughts on life out here if for no other reason than for me to just get it out on paper (or screen in this case). I find that I often think about writing a blog, never to just sit down and make it happen. So here I am. We'll see how this works out. =)

Looking at the previous blogs, I see that I have not written since shortly after the passing of my Grandpa, back in 2009. Well, it is now 2011, I am married (and loving it!), have had 2 different jobs, have a new niece and nephew and I am sure plenty more has happened. Time really flies. There really isn't any succinct way of summing up what has all happened in the gap of time, except to say: progression. I definitely don't always feel like my life is a progression, in fact in times of failure or trial I feel quite the opposite. But I trust that the Lord who has my life in His hands is moving me, constantly, steadily and through the bumps and bruises, highs of life and triumphs, He is bringing me towards His end goal for me: growth. I regularly must remind myself that God's goals and measures of success are so different from the other standards that surround me. In this moment of retrospection, I am reminded of how He works; sometimes writing my story in all-caps bold, but most often, in everyday Times New Roman size 10. In the everyday routine there is so much to learn, and that's what I hope to share here. Here's to the process of progress.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sometime's life's best lessons are learned through pain...

Over the past few weeks as I've been processing through the loss of my grandpa, the Lord has been impressing on me the need abide in Him and allow His character and His ways to become my own. I keep thinking through all of the wonderful qualities that my family members shared about my grandpa at his memorial; his selflessness, his humility, his faith in the Lord. He was not one to complain, he was the first to volunteer to come to the aid of someone in need, he was generous in his love, time and support. The things we loved about grandpa were Christ in him. He loved the Lord and it radiated through is actions. My grandpa lived for 82 years and it's remarkable to see the marks of sanctification on his life, to imagine the highs and lows that carved out his incredible character, to ponder the depth of the knowledge of God you would have after so many years of life. There is no doubt in my mind that we were all loved well by Jesus through my grandpa. I am so thankful for his example.

I find myself thinking a lot lately about the testimony that would be shared about me if were to die. Would people remember Christ in me the way the we rembered Christ in my grandpa? More importantly, would I be greeted by the Lord with the sweet words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant"? I hope so with all my heart. I can hardly imagine that moment and the indescribable sense of rest and acceptance one would experience from such an accalade coming from their Savior. It's what I'm striving for and longing for- a life lived out for the Lord, loving Him, serving Him, becoming more like Him with every passing year.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Missing a truly great man

My grandpa, Lewis Reams, went home to be with Jesus on Monday evening. It is such a tough loss for everyone that knew him because he was such an incredible and exemplary husband, father, grandpa and friend.

There are hundreds of little things I love and cherish about my time with my grandpa. I loved playing cards with him, taking family vacations, going out to breakfast, enjoying a cup of coffee. I loved hearing him tell stories about my mom and my aunt and uncle as kids. I loved hearing about how he served in his church. I consider myself so so lucky to have had him around for my 25 years of life. He attended all of my graduations from Kindergarten to Cal Poly, came to countless performances and sporting events and was a part of every family holiday. He was faithful man and everyone who knew him could rely on him for just about anything.

The thing about my grandpa that I am most impacted by is his selflessness. My grandparents were married for 61 years and throughout their marriage my grandpa served my grandma sacrificially. He is a true example of the call in Philippians 2, to consider others better than yourself and look to the interests of others. When I first heard the news that he had passed away I immediately began to think about the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 that describes love and at the end of his life I see how my grandpa has given me such a full example of how to love others in marriage, in family and in friendships. Grandpa was patient and kind, forgiving and courteous, gracious and sacrificial. Over the past few years as both of my grandparents health has declined he has vigilantly looked after my grandma, making sure he did everything to help keep her healthy and happy. To his last day he fulfilled his marriage vows sought to take care of my grandma.

His own health situation was really rough this past year with many trips to the doctor and stays at the hospital but I never heard him complain. Even on the day he passed away and was in so much discomfort, he was more concerned with his wife and his family and how we were doing. He was an eternal optimist, he could always find the silver lining in even the worst of situations. There are not enough words to describe the impact my grandpa has made on me. I love him so much and I am going to miss him terribly. Even now, though I am so heartbroken by this loss, I know that I am so blessed and lucky to have had such an amazing grandpa. He leaves behind an incredible legacy of faith and love for the Lord. I hope that I can live my life like grandpa's: with the strength of character, devotion to my faith and my family and overflowing joy in all circumstances.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On turning 25...

For a good couple of months I had been dreading turning 25.  16 was cool because you could get your license, 18 was cool because you could vote and and go to Indian casinos, and 21 was novel because you could purchase alcohol.  25 seemed to me to be a big deal in that same sense as the afore mentioned ages,  but the big deal about 25 was that it seemed old.  Not old like being in your 70's is old, but old as in I finally had to come to terms with the fact that I'm an adult.  I am no longer a kid and I'm no longer even college age.  I am grown up.  Maybe finally realizing this now at 25 makes me a late bloomer, but I'm okay with that.  

So my birthday was totally wonderful.  Waking up to a house filled with balloons and decorations reminded me of how blessed I am by my caring, thoughtful housemates.  I felt so loved!  Then it was off for a fun day at the coast with Greg.  We went to Cannon Beach for lunch and adventuring around Ecola State Park.  It was such a beautiful, sunny day, which is sort of rare on the coast!  We also drove up to Astoria which just so happens to be the oldest seaport in the Northwest and also is where the movie "The Goonies" takes place.  We visited the Astoria Column which is this crazy tower at the top of the city that is fully painted in a mural of the city's history.  We climbed the 163-step spiral staircase for an incredible 360 view.  We then drove across the four mile long Astoria-Megler bridge into Washington where we visited Cape Disappointment.  It was true to it's name, so we turned and headed home for Tigard where we enjoyed some tasty Chinese food!  Once home we played darts where I secured a birthday win! Yes!  I did however lose the timed 24-piece puzzle challenge.  You win some, you lose some.  It was a truly amazing day and I am so thankful for my awesome boyfriend who made it happen!  

I have quickly realized how silly it was to be concerned about this birthday.  Life is so good and it could not be this good without 25 years of life behind me.  So bring on the next quarter of a century, life!  

Monday, June 1, 2009

it's been awhile...

I just realized how negligent I've been in my blogging as of late, but the pace of life just keeps picking up more and more!  I have now completed my training and worked a full week at the restaurant and things seem to be going pretty well...of course I've had the occasional mistakes but I figure it's par for the course at a brand new job.  Serving is a pretty fun gig and I enjoy my co-workers and customers quite a bit.  It's been cool to be working with so many people close to my age and I've been able to establish some fun new friendships.  I've also had the opportunity to share about my faith and life and my reason for my move to Oregon a lot during this "getting to know each other" phase we're all in, so that has been a huge blessing.  So far, I have been scheduled only nights, which has been an adjustment for me coming from a 8-5 schedule but most nights I've been home before midnight, so that's good.  It's physically demanding work, and the schedule can be tough, but I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am to have gotten a job up here so quickly!  

Another sweet blessing in my life has been the start of a relationship with Greg!  We have known each other for several years since we went to college together, but over the last several months things have developed and now we're dating, which is awesome and I'm so excited.  I really see how the Lord has orchestrated this relationship and it's exciting to see how Christ is the foundation of it all. We have a lot of fun together, like a ton of the same things and share the same sense of humor, which lends towards lots of laughs. I'm sure I'll have more to say about all of this in the future, but for now I just wanted to share my exciting news!

The community here through the church continues to be such an encouragement.  There seems to be a constant flow of people through my house, which is so much fun.  Someone is always coming over to watch a game on tv, have dinner, use the internet, do laundry, etc.  I really enjoy the opportunities for conversation that this has allowed and I've seen again and again the Lord's purpose in placing me in this living situation.  I am super blessed by what the Lord is teaching me through my roommates and my friends at the church.  

It's crazy to think how much a part of things I feel and I've only been here a little over a month and a half.  I am so humbled by the Lord's goodness to me and the ways that He has provided for me above and beyond my expectations.  In no way do I deserve all the blessings I have, but the Lord, in His goodness, has seen it fit to pour them out on me and for that I am so, so thankful.  The other day during my quiet time I flipped through some journal entries from earlier in the year and I was reminded of how incredibly scared and conflicted I was about making the move up north.  As the entries went on, it was amazing to see just how much the Lord has done in my heart in terms of bringing me healing, giving me clear direction and increasing my faith in Him.  The Lord has offered me so much confirmation in being here in Portland and everyday I am thankful that He has brought me to this place.  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Kelly Hogan!

Kelly has been one of my dearest friends over the past several years.  Also, she reads my blog, so I decided to give her a shout out!  I wish that I could be with her today to celebrate the awesome girl she is (I would have said woman, but I know she doesn't care too much for that word, and neither do I). Today is her  24th Birthday, so Happy Birthday Kel!  Love ya!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hello Job!

That's right, I got a job!  So today I decided that I would stop in to Famous Dave's and fill out an application because I knew they were hiring.  I have never worked in the restaurant business before, so it was a bit of a gamble but I decided to go for it.  I talked to the managers a bit, told them that I have no experience, but told them I was confident that I had the right personality for the job and that I could learn to serve.  Well, the took me at my word and I am pretty excited to share that today I got a serving job at Famous Dave's BBQ!  I am pretty blown away by it considering I have never worked in a restaurant, but I am definitely looking forward to learning the business and think this is going to be a great fit for me.   Also, I can't lie, I really love BBQ, so this is exciting! 

Over the past few weeks that I've been in Oregon, I have been evaluating my hopes and expectations regarding my employment and what I was realizing was that I held some pretty off ideas.  I had begun to see how much of the reason I was chasing after office jobs was because I wanted a higher pay, just so I could afford to move out on my own, have nice things, maybe buy a new car... and I realized that I was pursuing things that were not going to fulfill me or satisfy me...it was all just stuff.  I also realized that I was trying to get an office admin job not so much because I love that type of work as much as I thought it was the most responsible thing to do.  After realizing these things, I decided to expand my search horizons and that's kind of what led me to apply for a serving position.  I see great potential for meeting some more people near my age and really being able to have an impact and ministry at work and I'm excited by that!