Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Hymn

Upon hearing this song, my senses are brought back to a softened space. One of adoration and thanksgiving, admiration, declaration, celebration. In awe of the gift that is Emmanuel, God with us; in flesh, Christ the Lord, baby Jesus whose birth we celebrate in CHRISTmas.

Merry Christmas to all you readers. May the words of this hymn cause a kind of peace and joy that no other store bought gift can evoke.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Journey where? The life and times of my obscure journeys!

Yes, you have journeyed with me to Costa Rica, to Florida, across the country and back, to South America, Puerto Rico...we've gone to a few places. Yes, you've also journeyed with me emotionally through up and downs, new things and old, losses and gains. Sometimes you didn't know it, but you were there through boy stuff too!;) I may not have metioned it directly, but my emotions were there causing my thought process to wander where it might.

Let me take you with me on a journey through furnitutre shopping. Oh, the lessons learned walking past sofa after sofa, chair after chair. The questions of getting a sleeper or not- where does company stay in a one bedroom apt. with wood floors? Thanks to the insight of a dear friend, "I'd rather sleep on a blow-up bed than a sleeper-sofa!" Thank you, Shannon!!! You just made my life a little easier.

I actually bought a sofa and chair (side note...I'm not sure what the difference is, someone please inform me, between a sofa and a couch) but just today returned it. It wasn't the kind you could wrap up in a blanket and vege with a movie or a book. I felt like I was falling forward off of it. Good looking couch, totally not comfortable or functional for my needs! (I am talking about couches/sofas, not men!) I learned that you really need to take a blanket, throw pillow, and a book with you when you go shopping. Just tell the sales person you're looking for the right couch and you might be taking a nap on one or two of those on display. I have found that they are more than ok with that. In fact, they encourage the lounging! Honestly, that is the only way I think it's possible to know if it's a fit. The tension between quality, cost, and namebrand has also been an interesting process. Unfortunately, IKEA had a great couch, but upon inspection, the craftsmanship and detail was surprising and not what I expected for the price they ask.

So, as much as I'm "over it!" in regards to shopping for a cozy couch, I've learned a great deal about furniture!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Kansas without Toto!

Well, I have just returned from my last trip of the year! A trip to Kansas City to visit my dear friends (formerly from FL) Erin and Steve. Thanks to flight points which lead to free travel, I've made use of my "down time." I had a great time picking out Christmas trees, eating chili and watching college football, shopping for baby stuff with Erin, going to the Plaza for sushi and to see the lights; a very festive weekend. It's good to be back in PDX, ready for the Christmas season and settling into a rhythm.

Me, with Charlie Brown's Christmas tree!

Steph, Baby Payton, and Erin with their Christmas tree!

Of course we went to Starbucks for a hot beverage! It's was chilly!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Another Reflection

I'm looking at the title of this blog, ready to go home (I'm sitting here at the cafe listening to 3 gentlemen gabbing in another language, clearly it IS NOT Spanish!), but I need to get this out.

Journey Forth, travel forward, this blog has been about movement and experiencing life out there instead of just sitting in my cozy little compartment of life. And, as I sit here in Portland, for 2 weeks now, I find myself in the job hunt in what so many are calling a recession/depression. Yes, I could get worried and anxious, but I am making a daily choice not to. It has never changed my circumstances in the past and it's such a waste of good energy. So, as I hunt and wait and pray and hope and apply, I've caught myself forming the criticizing sentence, "Steph, you did this to yourself. Looking for another job because you keep moving and changing etc etc." And yet, this blog would not exist if I had not decided to change and take a chance, to venture out into the unknown. My looking for another job is the premium necessary to have had the amazing experiences that I've had!

I have a book I've been carrying with me to coffee the past week. I came across it unpacking my boxes and I don't remember who gave it to me, but it was a gift. The name, Simple Truths. It has several very short chapters and today I sat here and read the one entitled, "On Travel." You know what, I'm glad I'm looking for yet another job! I would have missed so much of what has caused so much growth in my life and in working out internally and externally who I am, who I was created to be...and doing that with vulnerability and authenticity.

Some quotes from that chapter:
  • If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder...
  • Travel, no matter how humble, will etch new elements in your character.
  • When I am old, and my body has begun to fail me, my memories will be waiting for me.

I'm not suggesting that life is all about travel and if you don't then you haven't lived. I AM suggesting that my state of affairs, the job hunt, is a necessary and welcome consequence to my need to travel and move in order to find that drum, that beat which I walk to. We all find it at different times in life and through our own journey. Changing jobs and looking for new ones has been my journey. I'm owning that! I've learned how satisfying it can be to simply work at a restaurant. I've found delight in learning about my coworkers, their stories, where they've been in pain and joy, sharing life...and I've been lucky as many of those relationships continue far beyond my employment.

I am blessed and hunting for another job!

About the new profile pic...

I don't actually know where the photo is, but one of my family members found the slide of this picture and gave it to me a while back. It makes me smile...I ADORED that swim suit. I don't know why, I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. Rogue River, where this was taken, I have so many memories of this place. Some include sunshine and playing in Foster Creek, others include lots of rain and melting the bottom of my brand new velcro school shoes trying to dry by the fire, and still others place me too close to big bears! No kidding and more than once!