Monday, September 15, 2014

Facing the Giants

When anxiety causes you to say no to an opportunity for work, to not try something new, to stay within the safe confines of your narrow life, you know it is limiting your potential to grow and the fullness of your life. When your stomach gets in knots just thinking about your next shift, when you lay awake considering various disasterous scenarios, when your mind races to think of an excuse for yourself not to pick up that challenging assignment, you know anxiety is robbing you of being the best nurse you can be. When you don't step forward to do what you sense God is asking you to do, when you focus on your limitations, when you picture yourself failing spectacularly, you know you are allowing your giants to keep you from the promised land.

I am trying to learn to follow Jesus' command not to worry about tomorrow. I am attempting to trust God to provide for my day to day needs and to focus on seeking his kingdom first. While I may be making some progress in these attempts, I still need to be reminded to "consider the lilies."

Yes life is more than food and the body more than clothes. Yes worrying accomplishes nothing of value and is borrowing trouble from the future and bringing it into the present. But how to face life with faith instead of fear? 

To move forward, I need to face these giants and know that with God's help I can conquer them. I can't be afraid of failing. I need to take that first step in trying something new. Before reaching for an excuse, I need to explore further and then decide if it is an opportunity I can seize, something that will help me to grow, a chance to put into practice what I have learned. I need to be wise and make the most of the opportunities that I have. I can rely on God's promise that if I trust in him with all of my heart, not relying solely on my own limited understanding, but acknowledging him in everything, then he will guide me in the right path.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


One of the special things about the wedding was having all of my siblings together again.
Here we are in order of age.

Storybook Love

Come my love I'll tell you a tale,
Of a boy and girl 
And their love story.
And how he loved her oh so much,
and all the charms she did possess

Now this did happen once upon a time,
When things were not so complex.
And how he worshiped the ground she walked,
And when he looked he became obsessed.

My love is like a storybook story,
But it's as real as the feelings I feel.
My love is like a storybook story,
But it's as real as the feelings I feel.
~ Willy DeVille

Photo by Karen Langelaar
On Sunday, August 31st my sister Rachel and her true love Joel married in a glorious garden setting just outside an old Baptist church. The weather held, despite a predicted probability of rain; it was slightly overcast at times, but when the sun shone down on the seated guests it was a little hot. The ceremony was lovely with talented musicians playing, meaningful vows, and even an offbeat poem chosen by the groom's sister-in-law celebrating abiding love and featuring zombie apocalypses. The bride was stunning and entered on the arm of her father through a long aisle guarded by tall, luxuriant shrubbery. The lovely bridesmaids and adorable flower girl preceded her. Storybook Love from the Princess Bride played on the clarinet and piano evoked a fairytale mood. The officiant delivered a short message before the exchange of vows and two brief passages of scripture were read by the bride's brother-in-law.

The short ceremony was followed by a receiving line and some light refreshments of lemonade and macarons. Pictures were taken in the beautiful gardens and the reception was located at a nearby golf course in a delightfully decorated pavilion with gorgeous flowers arranged in scientifically themed glassware celebrating the couple's backgrounds in the fields of science and engineering. A three course, delectable dinner was followed by speeches, the most hilarious by the groom's twin and best man. The emcees were the bride's brother and her cousin (and bridesmaid) and they kept the evening moving, providing some witty banter, and demanding of the guest's particular tasks they must perform before the bride and groom could kiss. The shoe game, long a staple of family weddings, revealed how much on the same page the bride and groom really were.

Dancing was exuberant at times, opened by the bride and groom's more sedate dance to Ben Harper's Forever, and drawing mainly young people to the floor. The play list was selected by the bride and groom. Meanwhile the guests mingled and watched a slide show with pictures of the bride and groom who had met as prepubescents, and had been a couple since 2011. When the bride and groom left for their honeymoon, the dancing continued for several songs, but the party wrapped up just after midnight, as many of the guests had a long drive ahead of them.

It was a beautiful wedding to celebrate a beautiful couple's true love.

His love was stronger than the power so dark,
A prince could have within his keeping.
His spells to weave and steal her heart,
Within her heart but only sleeping.

My love is like a storybook story,
But it's as real as the feelings I feel.
My love is like a storybook story,
But it's as real as the feelings I feel.

And he said:
"Don't you know I love you oh, so much,
and lay my heart at the foot of your dress."
And she said:
"Don't you know that storybook loves, 
Always have a happy ending."

Then he swooped her up just like in the books
And on his stallion they rode away.
~ Willy DeVille

Photo by Karen Langelaar