Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday December 27, 2010
The day started with sleeping in and yummy breakfast....
Wait, back up a minute... Dean and i had been planning for weeks that Monday would be the day we went out on our "hot" date! For weeks I had been going back and forth in my head answering the looming question "when is he going to ask me?". By the time Monday arrived I had pretty much convinced myself that he did not have the ring and that he was not planning a Colorado proposal.
We ate breakfast and headed out on our adventure; I was excited to experience Colorado Springs from his perspective and see all the sights that i had heard so much about. We started the day by stopping at a frozen lake and walked out on the ice to a gazebo...i was freaking out because it was 45* outside and we were walking on ice!!!! After i had freaked out and we had explored the park near the frozen lake we headed down the mountain. Next stop was a trip to the Focus on the Family head-quarters; I have been looking forward to visiting "Whit's End" for as long as i can remember and i was like a little kid anticipating Christmas. We mosied around Focus on the Family for a while and once my childhood dream seem fulfilled we headed out for lunch and the next stop.
I have seen pictures of Garden of the Gods for many years and with my love and longing for Smith Rocks fresh in my head i was delighted to see all the sights and take a million pictures of the big red rock formations. Dean grew up visiting the Garden of the Gods all the time and shared so many memories with me :) We had so much fun! As we left the thought crossed my mind, "goodness we have been to a million beautiful places today... you would think..." I decided not to get my hopes up and enjoy my date with my man!
As we continued to drive around my heart was so happy listening to my man tell so many stories about the city he grew up in! The sun was setting and the stars started popping out as we drove up a hill to the middle of the city. Dean had played pranks with friends at the park on the hill and i was cracking up listening to him relive his teenage days. Again the thought crossed my mind, "this is so beautiful..." Just as before i shook the thought out of my head and focused on my man!
After star-gazing and admiring all the lights of Colorado Springs Dean said he wanted to take me one more place before dinner. After a bit of a drive we headed up into the mountains and into an incredible canyon filled with Christmas lights on display and elves taking donations to view the sights. As we parked the car i casually asked Dean if he thought i would need my camera he replied with "you might regret it if you don't bring it." i was CLUELESS to the hidden meaning of the statement! As we walked up the hill full of beautiful lights i was aw struck by the cliff face and magic of the season. We headed up an elevator to an observation deck overlooking 7 amazing waterfalls! Not only do i LOVE waterfalls, but i also LOVE Christmas lights, so the combination was incredible! I was taking pictures of everything i saw and was totally ooblivious to my increasingly nervous boyfriend! After we had frozen our noses sufficiently we walked into the gift shop to look at the cheesy overpriced things gift shops sell. I found a fake diamond the size of my fist and proceeded to joke around about it being my engagement ring. Dean took pictures of this silly girl being a dork with a fake diamond, totally oblivious to what was about to happen. When nothing else looked interesting enough to ponder, Dean insisted that we go back out and find someone to take some pictures of us with the waterfalls in the background. Amazingly, we found a real photographer who actually knew how to use my camera. He was more than happy to snap a few photos of us and when i switched some settings he asked if we wanted a few more and Dean replied "will you take a couple more?". Evidently that is man code for "i'm going to propose" because the guy figure out what was about to happen and happy took pictures of what unfolded next.... Dean stepped back into frame and instead of smiling at the camera he looked at me and said, "Girlfriend. Remember the day you asked me out? That was the day i realized i never wanted to live another day without you." With my mind whirling and my hands shaking Dean got down on one knee and asked the question every little girl dreams of hearing, "Will you marry me?" He proceeded to pull a ring from his pocket and slip it onto my freezing finger. I was in complete shock. It felt totally surreal and magical. I said a very quick and excited "yes!" and with that Dean stood up and planted a very romantic smooch on my quivering lips. I didn't know what to say or do, so i looked at him and said "Thank You?". We laughed and the 25 people standing around to witness our happiness proceeded into a resounding "Congratulations!". Our new photographer friend handed the camera back to me and with a congrats. He proceeded to tell Dean that he figured out what was up and was ready for it! :) After i put my camera away i realized it was dark and i couldn't see my ring... I grabbed Dean's hand and rushed for the elevator platform to i could check out the bling. Needless to say, i was IMPRESSED! The ring is EXACTLY what i wanted... stunning and shiny!
The next two hours were spent in total bliss. We went out to dinner but were both so excited it was hard to eat! After dinner we called family and friends to tell the great news; WE'RE ENGAGED!
(pictures coming soon!)
Friday, November 19, 2010
I've heard these 8 little words a lot recently. Seven's vocabulary is growing like crazy and i'm impressed with his thoughts and questions every day.
I would like to say today was no different, but it was. You see, today is the day of "lasts". It's the last time i get to walk into a dark room in the morning and say "good morning bugga-boo! it's cassie!". It was the last time i get to take off his jammies and help pic out clothes. It was the last time we get to argue about what's for breakfast. It was the last time we get to dance around the kitchen to The Ping Pong song by Enrique Iglesias (not the best song ever, but SO FUN to dance to with a 2 year old!). It was the last time we got to go visit Great Grandma together. It was the last date to Looney Bean together. It was the last tickle fight on the fuzzy rug before nap time. It was the last snuggles in the rocking chair before nap time when he said those words... "One more? One more Jesus Loves Me song?"
and then the tears came. and have not actually stopped in 30 minutes.
You see today, i sneezed and for the first time Seven said "bess you! bess you! bess you!".
We went to Safeway and chocolate chips were on sale i said "oh my goodness! this is GREAT", Seven said "oh my doodness, SO GREAT!"
Someone told me today he is apart of my legacy. i drove away and cried.
You see, today is the last day i get to spend with the little red-haired boy who has stolen my heart. We got home from town today and i took his little black car-seat out of my car. I removed the garage door opener from my visor. I changed a diaper and cleaned a room. I put his precious little shoes in their place and rocked him with a song.
At my house I am in the midst of packing my bags, boxes, and tubs. Minnesota is waiting. My heart is torn in two. Hope, future and love beckons me forward. Safety, promises fulfilled and love hold me back.
You see, i am so excited for what's ahead, but right now i just want one more "little baby kiss". I want one more Jesus Loves me song with my little man. I want to hear him call my name when he wakes up from his nap. just one more...
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Coming SOON to a city near YOU!
- Oct 26 El Paso, Texas -Open Gate Community Church
- Oct 28 Albuquerque, New Mexico -El Rey Theatre
- Oct 29 Las Vegas, Nevada -Valley Bible Fellowship
- Oct 30 Phoenix, Arizona -Southwestern College
- Oct 31 Indio, California -Destiny Special Events Center
- Nov 4 Yorba Linda, California -Yorba Linda Friends Church
- Nov 5 Redlands, California -Packing House
- Nov 6 Bakersfield, California -Valley Bible Fellowship
- Nov 7 Peteluma, California -Phoenix Theatre
- Nov 10 Medford, Oregon -Main 1 Arts Center
- Nov 11 Eugene, Oregon -McDonald Theatre
- Nov 12 Portland, Oregon -Rolling Hills Community Church
- Nov 13 Tacoma, Washington -Temple Theater
- Nov 15 Spokane, Washington -The Service Station
- Nov 16 Tri Cities (Kennewick), Washington -Toyota Center
- Nov 18 Salt Lake City, Utah -Avalon Theater
- Nov 19 Denver, Colorado -Marque Theatre
- Dec 5 Bourbonnais, Illinois -College Church of the Nazarene
Go to www.silverlinemusic.com for more information ...
but mostly, GO TO A SHOW!
Friday, October 22, 2010
M is for Minnesota.
Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields --- 9.5 million square feet.
The stapler was invented in Spring Valley, Minnesota
Rollerblades were the first commercially successful in-line Roller Skates. Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson invented them in 1980, when they were looking for a way to practice Hockey during the off-season. Their design was an ice hockey boot with 3 inline wheels instead of a blade.
Minnesota Inventions: Masking and Scotch tape, Wheaties cereal, Bisquick, HMOs, the bundt pan, Aveda beauty products, and Green Giant vegetables
Minnesota has one recreational boat per every six people, more than any other state.
Minnesota's waters flow outward in three directions: north to Hudson Bay in Canada, east to the Atlantic Ocean, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.
Author Laura Ingalls Wilder lived on Plum Creek near Walnut Grove.
Minneapolis’ famed skyway system connecting 52 blocks (nearly five miles) of downtown makes it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside.
The climate-controlled Metrodome is the only facility in the country to host a Super Bowl, a World Series and a NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship.
The first practical water skis were invented in 1922 by Ralph W. Samuelson, who steam-bent 2 eight-foot-long pine boards into skies. He took his first ride behind a motorboat on a lake in Lake City.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
i'm moving. once again. this time not down the road and around the corner, i'm moving 1,607 miles. north east. Brainerd, Minnesota ready or not here i come!
today i sent out invitations to my going away party, i reserved a u-haul trailer, and made a countdown for all the important things happening between now and then. (18 days(approx) until my first "niece" is born, 21 days until i see my man, 30 days until my man is in Bend, 33 days until i get to see my family, 35 days until Thanksgiving, 39 days until i move!)
sometime i sit and say two words to God "Minnesota? Really?". Don't get me wrong, i am SO excited for all that is ahead and my heart is (beyond) peaceful that this is right where God is calling me and asking me to go, but never in a million years would i have guessed Minnesota would be my next landing spot! When i moved to Bend and fell in love with all it had to offer, i thought i had found a place i would call home for many, many years. I love my job(s), i love my church, i love the families who live here and have adopted me as their own, i love my friends, i love 180 and i love what God is doing here! There is only one thing missing... my man.
Right now Dean is called to be apart of an awesome Band (www.silverlinemusic.com) and God has opened a million doors for me to walk through towards Minnesota, so as crazy as it seems, i am ready to go. However...
i am not ready to be a Vikings fan... Go Seahawks!
the "Twins" are my sisters not a baseball team... Mariners, i will always believe in you!
Golden Gopher? are you serious? GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!
St*rbucks is not a coffee shop... how many pounds of Looney Bean Espresso will fit in my u-haul?!
Day trips to Lubbock Texas are fully acceptable and not insane.
Don't make fun of me if you catch me recording video on my new camera... it will be like comfort food someday.
i will always be from the Pacific Northwest and so proud of it.
Monday, October 18, 2010
it's amazing and i am so blessed to have it!
i keep telling people it's like going from
driving a automatic "slug-bug" to driving a 12 speed semi-truck!
it has so many things my old camera didn't have and so many things
i still have to figure out, but i'm LOVING it!
here are some "test shots" from today...
Seven and i testing out the self timer...
Friday, October 15, 2010
used to express pleasure at eating, or at the prospect of eating, a particular food.
(of food) delicious.
my sentiments are the same.
i'm feeling totally blessed and excited to have this NEW camera at my finger tips and can't wait to see what kind of art we create together.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes
—the Jew first and also the Gentile."
power. who doesn't like power? i for sure like it. i like the power to order my sandwich without olives or the power to pick my friends on Faceb**k. i would say that to some degree each individual likes power.
ashamed. i am ashamed with few things; in fact, i can't think of anything off the top of my head that i am ashamed of.
recently i have been pondering this verse in the context of those who have known the power and yet somehow find themselves ashamed of where it came from. i know a girl who once loved Jesus with the best of them. she loved the church and all it contained. she loved to worship with the best of 'em. she fell asleep to worship music and woke up to the Word. she preached. she prayed. she followed and proclaimed Christ. she, in my opinion was not ashamed.
more recently i have noticed not just her, but other like her shy away from what they have known. i found her struggling to tell me that she had spent time in prayer; "i sat alone and had some soul-searching moments and (long pause) talked to God about my life."
how can the power (among many things) that comes from Life in Christ not be enough to capture one's heart and attention?
how could anyone whose life has collided with the power be ashamed of it?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
tears, they speak things that words cannot express, let's start there.
when i was a little person i cried due to the physical need to eat, be held or because of pain.
when i was 12 years old i cried a lot. thank you puberty and an incredible influx of hormones.
since then i have cried many a tear. thank you boys, cramps, boys, hormones, emotions and boys.
on July 1st i stepped into the Summer season with more gusto than i ever have had. there was a purpose for this season and i was determined not to miss it. for the next 90 days i did a lot of things; i prayed more, read more, sang more, danced more and worked more.
i also cried more. i'm not sure if i found the tears or they found me but they showed up.
my heart went through a transformation in the last 3 months. i like to say it was tenderized. yes, tenderized like meat. i have always been someone who feels everything deeply. i also am someone who wears my heart on my sleeve, yet when it comes to crying it took a LOT of BIG emotions all packed together to induce the tears to flow.
this has been very different.
someone tells me about the deep things God is doing in their heart? tears.
someone tells me about the joy of a boyfriend doing something incredibly mature and wonderful? tears.
the lights go out during the altar call for 8,000 people? tears.
meeting people whose hearts burst with life and incredible purpose? tears.
praying for 180 girls late at night? tears.
listening to pod-casted messages i've heard a million times? tears.
knowing a little life is growing inside my best friend? tears.
alone reading a book in the sun, when suddenly the Love of God is so real and invades my tanning self? tears.
little person randomly asking for "one more hug?". tears.
my heart has been broken and put back together in a fresh and tender way and i am inclined to embrace it. Please do not be surprised if the next time we share a conversation my face crinkles up and my brow furrows. Do not be alarmed if there is a streak in my makeup or mascara seems misplaced, it's just the tears of a heart learning to feel deeper than the emotions of a heart break or the influx of hormones. i would like to say i now possess the incredible "talent" to cry pretty tears like Jenna Kay or Beth Fischer, but i'm still learning. bare with me while i find my voice and the tears find me.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
for now please enjoy this video from I Heart Central Oregon & Nick Vujicic
Monday, September 20, 2010
words and music by Meredith Andrews
For your nearness Lord I hunger
For your nearness Lord I wait
Hold me ever closer Father
Such a love I can't escape
For your nearness I am hoping
For your nearness Lord I long
Have no need of any other
I have found where I belong
Yes, I have found where I belong
So draw me nearer Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer Lord
Draw me nearer Lord
In your nearness there is healing
What was broken now made whole
Restoration in its fullness
Lasting hope for all who come
In your nearness I take shelter
Where you are is where I'm home
I have need of only one thing
To be here before your throne
To be here before you throne
And keep me here, keep me here
There's nowhere else I rather be
So keep me here, keep me here
There's nowhere else I rather be
There's nowhere else I rather be
So draw me nearer Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer Lord
Draw me nearer Lord
Draw me nearer my Lord
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
25 things that have brought me this far...
- my BIRTH mom i would like to say Thanks and Your Welcome. Thanks for bringing me into this world, and your welcome (not that i really had much choice in the matter) that i wanted to come early and be real little in comparison to my big brother :)
- growing up in an amazing family centered on Christ. "thankful" doesn't even come close to expressing how full my heart is when i think of how blessed i am to have grown up in the family i did.
- being home educated. once again THANKS MOM! for making a choice to keep us at home, not because you wanted to shelter us from the world, but so that you and Papa could give us a godly/biblical worldview, so that we might be empowered to change the world for Christ! AND, who doesn't love having lunch with their siblings every day, taking "field trips" to the Zoo, taking a break to play outside because weather is nice and being able to study missionaries as a history assignment!?!?!
- my brothers. you have all taught me so much! Gregg and Jeremiah. goodness, thinking about growing up with you 2 makes me laugh and want to cry! i'm so happy we got along and did the CRAZY things we did! Thanks for not letting me be a girly-girl. Thanks for teaching me how to play basketball, baseball, football and rollar-blade hockey! Thanks for including me in your laser tag games and capture the flag teams even when i was the only girl! Thanks for being friends with me in junior high and high school... you didn't have to. Thanks for making sure i knew what the mind of a guy is like and how to be a lady who wouldn't settle for a stupid boy.
- my sisters. what in the world would i have done if i were the only girl?!?! 6 brothers and me. that would have been insane! I'm SOOOO glad God gave me 5 little sisters to love and hang out with! I love "sissy-time" more than most things! I love that we are close and can stay up all night talking! I am so thankful for all the fun times we had playing house, barbies, dolls and making up dances! i'm proud of each of you!
- Billy Graham Crusade. Realizing my need for a savior and a life calling bigger than myself.
- running. i started running when i was in 4th grade. the smell of spring reminds me of track season. i have SO MANY great memories from my time on the track.
- BSF. Bible Study Fellowship was apart of my life for more years than not. My biblical knowledge and foundation has come from the weeks digging into the Word and learning what Hermeneutical studies are.
- Moving to Whatcom County. Scary, but the best thing my parents ever did for us!
- Haiti. My first look at world missions. i was 16 and had never been on a plane, much less experienced a 5th world country. My life will forever be changed by the stories i heard and the things i saw... for this i am thankful.
- High School relationships. Navigating HS is hard stuff. Trying to figure out friends, boy friends and dating is rough...doing this with crazy emotions and lack of life experience?! oh my goodness! how ever did i survive? I'm thankful for what i learned, but never want to do that again!
- Road Trip revelations. June 2004. North Dakota. Hosea 2. Mind blown.
- YWAM. Discipleship Training School. I'm not sure it should be called a school, although you learn a lot of stuff and hear a lot of good teaching i think the real growth comes from the relationships and everyday experience of living in community. Also, the World shrinks once you enter the YWAM world, it's a weird phenomenon.
- Africa. Oh Africa. I can't even describe what you did to my heart. Preaching to 600 middle school students and being reprimanded for assuming i could preach like i would in the states? Humbled much? Preaching at a Muslim school 2 weeks later and realizing that God does things so much better than you could have planned. Seeing tumors disappear because our God heals.
- March 2005 - April 2007 Last years living at home with my amazing family. Wouldn't trade them for a college diploma if my life depended on it!
- the Edge. My first "child". My first taste of church ministry and politics. You taught me more than i could have ever taught you. Releasing you to God was hard to do, but knowing i did what i was called to do gave me the courage to go on.
- India. I thought i had you figured out but upon arrival i learned i didn't. not one bit. The sorrow in the eyes i saw will never leave my mind. The smells and sounds will be forever heard in my dreams. Until we meet again, you hold my heart.
- Learning to pray. The biggest teacher for this was August 2005 and having my (at the time) 3 year old brother Elijah in the ICU at Children's hospital for 3 weeks.
- Moving to Bend. Faith in it's most raw form. Although the process of getting here was insane and complicated, i could not have stayed living the life i was. Change, it moves things forward.
-Falling off a cliff. Who knew that breaking your foot could be the biggest teacher of living a life of faith/risk?
- Working at Red Robin. Challenging beyond imagination. Rewarding beyond what i thought possible. "A Smiling Burger 'wows' our guests every time..."
- Learning to love people without selfish motivation. I'm no longer concerned with climbing the social ladder, all i want to do is love people well.
- Living with Married people (Thanks Mike & Allie and Jesse & Tay). I have been asked a lot what it's like to live with married people... it's awesome! If you want a glimpse of what marriage might look like, live with married people, they are the real deal! I'm SO THANKFUL for the opportunity to have watched 2 awesome couples walk through life!!
- Oneighty. I think i have been a student to this ministry as much as i have been a leader in it. I cannot imagine my life without you. Thanks for letting me cry, scream, spit, laugh and preach! My only hope is that you know my love for you and my desire to see you hit the mark that is the call of God on your life!
- Being submitted to the call of God regardless of the cost. Anything he has asked me to do outside of my understanding or desire has been worth it. Walking in surrender is the thing that over and over again has defined my life and brought me this far.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
25 things i like (in no particular order):
- i like my Papa and Mama
- i like my jobs
- i like my coffee
- i like my pajamas
- i like my brothers
- i like my sisters and future sister-in-laws
- i like my cameras
- i like my whole house, my whole house is great.
- i like my Seven
- i like my church
- i like my best friend
- i like my purple pillow
- i like my Beth Fischer
- i like my heroes
- i like my dance moves
- i like my 180
- i like my peanut butter creamy
- i like my man
- i like my music loud
- i like my toys with no noise
- i like my road trips
- i like my airplanes
- i like my hair
- i like my secrets
- i like my life, my whole life is great
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Friday, September 03, 2010
the last 5 weekends can be summed up in one word: weddings. 5 weddings!
some of my favorite photos from a wedding day are of the bride getting ready, i feel honored to watch the transformation from (tired) "un-done" girl to stunning princess bride! i love the smiles when they look in the mirror as each step of the getting ready process unfolds... the smiles, the gasps and the giggles!
also on my favorite photos list? the "first look" photos. the moment where the bride and groom see each other all decked out for the first time! It's usually been a few HOURS since the bride started getting ready and a few MINUTES for the groom! i've seen tears, i've seen sheepish smiles, i've seen blank expressions and jumping with delight!
recently i have been pondering what it means for the Church to be the bride of Christ, a phrase i am not particularly fond of... it's a hard phrase to understand and fully "get", especially in a culture and world where a wedding is a commercial event, not a sacred covenant.
as i sit for hours and edit wedding photos i have thought a lot about "getting ready"... we get ready for the day. we buy calendars so we can plan and get ready for the week, month or year. we take action to get ready for birthdays, parties, days at the beach, road trips and bed.
girls need time to "get ready" for most things...especially after the age of 13... getting ready is more than putting clothes on and brushing out last night's bed head, getting ready is a process. we shower and shave. we brush, comb, back-comb and blow dry. we curl and pin. we apply makeup, lotion and perfume. we (most likely) try on a couple outfits before we settle on the one we are actually going to wear; not to mention the shoe options for each outfit.
for a bride on her wedding day take that process and multiply it by 100. most likely there have been multiple dresses tried on, once "the one" is picked it has to be fitted and hemmed. sometimes there is a practice run through on the makeup and hair. a lot of times there is a change of shoe, from the ceremony "pretty" shoes to the comfortable reception shoes. not one detail is left out. not one blemish is left un-covered or smudge of makeup left un-fixed. Tide-To-Go pens are a must have on the wedding day, just in case something gets on the dress... no one wants a blotch of lip gloss from the flower girl's hug on the white fabric.
if the Church is the bride of Christ shouldn't we be doing a better job at getting ready for our "first look"? should any detail be left out? should spot or blemish remain? are we too concerned with being "seeker friendly" rather than a pure bride?
Thursday, September 02, 2010
i have been pondering this word for a couple weeks and have decided i really like it. it's a verb. a "do-ing" word. i want to empower people to accomplish the will of God for their life by whatever means is in my hands. i want to permit people to speak into my life when necessary. i want to see people lifted up and encouraged because of Jesus in me.
empower. it's a good word.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
3.5 years divided by
i moved to Bend. 3 roommates
6months later i moved again. 2 roommates
8months later moved again. 2 roommates
34 days later moved again. 0 roommates
8months later moved again. 4 roommate
13 months later moved again. 2 roommates
6months later moved again. 3 roommates
7 moves. 16 people lived with.
i am stoked to live with these 4 fine ladies! they are incredibly wonderful and funny.
i like living with funny people so i anticipate this working out just fine :)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
"This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls."
i have been "chewing" on this for a few days and really love it.
STOP. LOOK AROUND.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
i also LOVE countdowns...on August 15 i started the 25 days until my 25th countdown, and commited to writing a blog post everyday until then!!! the day after i am headed to Southern California to RELAX on the beach with my brother and his Fiance... so this countdown is really for a few things! :) :) :)
now for today's post... i cut about 6 inches off my hair and added some FUN and FUNKY color...
Thursday, August 26, 2010
"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
i have been thinking a lot about the last 4 years of my life this week... looking back at all the things i have or haven't done. remembering the struggles, the joys, the pain, the fun and all the people i have met. this is the conclusion i have come to:
His plans are brilliant and His ways are amazing!
four years ago i was working a dream job, i was living with my awesome family, i had a "free" car, very little expenses and was super happy! i would like to say i was content, but that would only be half true. While i LOVED my life and LOVED everything i was doing, there was a longing inside of me for more than i knew. Somewhere deep inside of my heart i knew my life had only just begun and there was so much head of me.
in a matter of 8 months everything changed. i bought a car, moved, changed churches, rented my first place, left everything i knew(loved), my income was cut in half and my expenses doubled. My heart was full of dreams and desires, hopes and wishes, prayers and eagerness to accomplish all the Lord had for me! I had vision for where my life was and where it was going, i was certain of somethings and questioning others. I plans, dreams, goals and visions i was sure would happen.
looking back i would not change a thing! not many of the things i thought would be are, but i am so thankful they are not. i have experienced grace so amazing, love so deep, pain un-bearable, hope as high as the sky, loneliness like a dessert in a drought and faith that builds a foundation.
i have lived in 6 houses, with 13 different people, i have had 3 jobs, i have driven over 75,000 miles, i have jumped off a cliff and broken my foot, i have had 1 broken heart, i have gained 2 sisters, i have lost a brother, i have loved and been rejected, i have loved and been loved, i have hiked a few mountains, i have learned to love running again, i have had 3 "favorite" coffee spots, i have swam in the Ocean and danced on a dock, i have floated a river, i have dated, i have taken thousands of photos, i have had 4 cell phones, i have lead and been lead, i have preached and been taught...and so much more.
looking at it all and remembering SO many moments of crying out to God, wondering what in the world he was doing, i can, with confidence say this:
His plans are brilliant and His ways are amazing!
i would not change how things have happened. i would not take back the tough decisions, i would not wish for less tears or more giggles... because in it all, my God had a plan and a purpose, a way that was more beautiful than i saw or could have grasped. for this i will always be thankful and celebrate.
brilliant i say, brilliant!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
meet Gary, Courtney & Joelle:
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
i also found myself reflecting on a conversation i had recently had with my "phone friend" Dean... He had told me that when i started dating someone he was going to "phase out" of my life so that he wasn't the "awkward guy friend who talks to a girl all the time while she is dating someone else". We (more so, I) had established early on in our friendship that i was not interested in dating long distance, and more so that i didn't want to lead him on... he had been so gracious and encouraging to me as i walked through one of the most heart-wrenching times of my life. Dean and i had met 2 months and 6 days previous to these reflections and i had unexpectedly found myself looking forward to our long phone conversations...He had somehow become my closest guy friend and one of the few people i really trusted.
as i sat on my bed in the middle of my pondering and reflecting, i realized i didn't really like the idea of Dean "phasing out" of my life when i started dating someone or ever...in fact i didn't really want to date anyone else. if you were in or around my life at the time, you would understand how CRAZY and world shaking this was for me... it was as if something hit me on the head and i woke up to see what had been right in front of me for 2 months and 6 days!!!
today i celebrate all the God has done since January 24th.
today i look forward to what is ahead with great anticipation!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
i love what waiting does.
it builds good things.
i waited 24years, 2 months and 8 days before i met this guy
and another 2 months 6 days before i started dating him.
it's been 2 months and 20 days since i have seen him
and since we started dating 6 months and 28 days ago, we have spent 22 days together....
it's all been so worth it.
beyond worth it.
waiting. it builds things.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
they have been married for 28 years today!
i love them SO much.
i wouldn't trade them for the world.
for as long as i've known them (24 years 11 months and 21 days) they have been incredible examples of self-less love!
they figured out how to multiply the love they have experienced from God, not only in their marriage, but 12 times over! (that's some awesome math skills)
i wouldn't be where i am today if it wasn't for them.
i am so thankful for how they raised me; from homeschooling to family meetings about modesty. from road trips to camping in the back yard. from laughing like crazy people because of a tickle fight to long stern talks about boys. they did an amazing job!
they always found ways to make life exciting and fun.
i am so thankful.
Friday, August 20, 2010
"Be just and fair to all," says the Lord, "Do what is right and good,
for i am coming soon to rescue you."
Thursday, August 19, 2010
my first flight wasn't until i was 16, two months after 9/11/01 and i got slightly sick upon landing...yet, i still LOVE flying and love to travel.
however my love for travel started long before that day.
Diacogiannis Family Road Trips are now a annual or bi-annual occurrence that is well documented on a blog and talked about for months after the fact. Not much has changed since i was a small child... we may have not driven 23 states in 21 days back then, but we had some AWESOME memory making road trips when i was little!
i loved it when we would go camping for a weekend an hour away from our house... it felt like we were REALLY FAR away. i remember waking up at 3 in the morning to start a leg of our trip up to British Columbia to visit my great-grandpa's cabin on a river... mom and dad let us sleep on the floor of the van! i remember so many trips to CRC and knowing we were getting really close when we pasted the pink "barn" (it's not a barn, but we thought it was). sometimes we would bring friends on our road trips... mostly they were high school girls who wanted to experience life with 6 or 7 little people, but to me they were my friends. We also never left home with out Adventures in Odessey. Mr. Whittaker, Eugene and Connie were pretty much apart of the family and i fully believe that on these road trips they fell in love with traveling as much as i did!!!
before i turned 18 i had been to 27 states.
before i turned 21 i had been to 9 countries and 3 continents.
i wish i could say that before i turn 25 i will have greatly added to those lists... i've been to 37 states now, but no new countries in a few years.
before i die my goal is to visit every continent and over 25 countries.
i love to travel. i especially love road trips.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
my parents were engaged at this cabin. most of us kids learned to swim at this cabin. our love (and competitive spirit) for card games was nurtured at this cabin. building sand castles and canals from the beach to the lake were a normal occurrence in my young summers. learning to dive, paddle surf boards, water ski and doing dishes all happened to some great extent at this cabin. the conversation of the last ten minutes of the 7 hour drive to the cabin always revolved around who would sleep in the "nook". figuring out traps for the yellow jackets was always a new and crazy experience. my secret love for furry dogs who howl at the boat is always alive at this cabin.
and then there was the summer with bats.
if my memory serves me well, i can only recall one summer that we had a bat issue. it may have actually only been the one night that i remember so vividly.
Gregg and Jeremiah were the "favored" children who got to sleep in the "nook" that summer. Josh was a baby and slept in the crib in mom & dad's room... which left the "middle room" for us 3 little girls. Carissa and Lindsey were fast asleep as i lay there wishing i was old enough to stay up late with mom and dad. It was a particularly warm August night and the sliding door to the deck was open a crack (screen closed). i could hear the waves lapping up onto the shore and the faint sound of mom and dad playing cards with George and Shirley(cabin owners) slipped through the open bedroom door.
I don't know the events that lead up to this moment, but i remember the moment so well... Dad had come downstairs for some reason and discovered a bat in the hallway... i'm sure he was trying to be a stealth super hero and get the bat out of the cabin before is sacred us kiddos half to death, but in his attempt to shoo it out, it flew into our bedroom... i sat up when the door flew open and in came dad holding a broom. i saw what looked like a large black bird land on the ceiling. i don't remember dad saying anything except "it's a bat." and with that he took a swing and the bat went flying out into the hallway dad followed in pursuit, by this time i heard my mom out in the hallway too, they didn't seem scared or worried, in fact i am pretty sure they might have been laughing! i sat in bed for a moment wondering what to do and if the bat would re-appear in my dark room. i could hear mom and dad doing what they had to in order to get the bat out... i am pretty sure the bat escaped the house un-harmed through an open door.
you may think this is an anti-climatic story with no point and it might be, however i have been reminded of this night twice in the recent months... my dear and amazing Rockstar has 2 sisters who live with him in Minnesota. Charissa has the unfortunate problem with bats showing up in her room and she makes valid attempts to scare them away... i am pretty sure both times Dean has had to rescue her and Giselle from the impending doom of the bat being on a bed or in their room... the stories always have me laughing up a storm and recalling my one close encounter with a bat...some 18 years ago!
22 days until my birthday and today i celebrate fantastic family memories and bats in the house.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
the Cold War was near its end.
the 1990 FIFA World Cup started.
the Portland Trailblazers were in the NBA finals (they lost).
Universal Studios in Florida opened to the public.
Home Alone was all the rage.
my 6th birthday was a few short months away and Billy Graham was holding a crusade at the Tacoma Dome.
i remember my mom was wearing the color peach and my dad was wearing a teal and black stripped polo shirt. Carissa and Lindsey were left at home with a babysitter and "the boys" and i got to go with mom and dad... i don't really remember knowing very much about what we were going to other than the fact that we were going to the Tacoma Dome and we had been there before for the circus.
i don't remember a lot of Mr. Graham's message. i do remember that there were a few ladies doing sing-language and i had to ask my mom why they were moving there hands so much. i remember there was a band of some kind and i remember Gregg and Jeremiah seemed antsy.
the crusade was about to come to an end and my dad wanted to beat the traffic out of Tacoma... right as we were getting ready to head for the exit what seemed to me like a million people stood from there seats and started walking towards the stage. i remember getting my mom's attention and asking why. she explained to me that it was an altar call and that the people were going forward to receive prayer and give their lives to Jesus. I asked a few more questions and my mind was made up. i wanted to go down there with all those people and give my life to Jesus too!!! My mom explained that i didn't have to go down near the stage to pray or ask Jesus to be the Lord of my life. i seemed satisfied with that answer and my mom stopped my dad, who was still heading for the stairs and exit with 2 boys. I don't remember where Gregg and Jeremiah were for a few minutes... it didn't really matter to me at the time... all i knew was there was a man named Billy Graham and what he said made sense to me and i wanted what all those other people wanted. I wanted Jesus.
mom and dad sat and made sure i understood what was going on and then prayed with me in our seats. i'm sure the moment lasted no longer than 5 minutes, but it will always be engraved in my head.
thanks mom and dad for taking that moment in 1990 that i will remember forever.... the list at the top of this post? well, let's just say the internet makes it easy to find information...i don't remember any of that :)
Monday, August 16, 2010
before last year i was not a person who either hated nor loved mondays. before last september i worked on mondays, so it was just the start of a work week, i didn't mind being that i LOVE my job. September 2009 rolled around and so did a schedule change. mondays became another day in the weekend. mondays were FREE! i enjoyed the sleeping in for a couple mondays and then something happened...
i have a friend. her name is Stephenie Jayne. She is tall and brunette. Her heart for Africa is awesome! Her willingness to serve is incredible and she listens really well. prior to last september and the love of mondays stephenie and i would have lunch on wednesdays... when the work schedule changed it required a change in our lunching together.
we had lunch a few times on monday and then one of us had the crazy idea to see if we could both wake up early and meet for coffee. amazingly: it worked. (we are not morning people, hence the amazingly) shortly after this switch in routine i realized that monday mornings were quickly becoming the highlight of my week! it isn't because i wake up early or because the coffee is so grand (tho it is) but there is something about sitting down with a friend and talking for an hour (or so) about things that matter; it fills and refreshes. sometimes we sit in the coffee shop, sometimes we sit outside, sometimes we laugh, sometimes there are tears, sometimes there is scones with our coffee, sometimes there is silence! Every time? Every time there is friendship that is real and lasts and sees beyond monday. Every time there is encouragement and joy. Every time i walk away from that coffee shop my heart is full and i am thankful.
i love mondays. today, i celebrate mondays.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
between now and then my goal is to write a post everyday celebrating
something(s) from my 25 years on God's green earth!!
We both consider our birthdays to be National holidays
We also believe birthday countdowns can start as soon as our hearts desire!
I may be 3 years 11 months and 5 days older than T, but it doesn't seem to matter.
She is brave and beautiful.
She is girly and amazing.
She makes normal days great and great days greater!
I am SO thankful for her in my life and am wowed by how God made our lives collide!
Taylor has made my life in Bend brighter, funner, sweeter & more wonderful!
Happy Birthday Taylor Cailee!
love you more than you know!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
last weekend i was so THRILLED to go to my dear friend Joann's wedding and thankful mr. pink puppet was there to keep all the guys away :) this photo is my turn in the "photo booth". :)
Saturday, July 31, 2010
It’s all about LOVE.
I don’t plan a message and hope the right words come out. I don’t txt a friend with no intention or knowledge of what I am going to say. I plan it out. I think about what i want to say and why. I’m willing to bet money on the fact that God had a plan for what he was saying to the guys writing the Bible and I also believe He said things in a certain order for specific reasons. Even though the letters from Paul were for specific churches at a specific time for a specific purpose they are just as applicable to us today.
* Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
A few months ago I was talking to Seven about this… Love is the first fruit listed and Self Control is the last. Why is that? What's that about? Did God do that on purpose, or is it just how Paul wrote it? Did God make sure they were in a certain order or was it just "random"?
I am going to go out on a limb and say because it’s important that we remember those 2 the most….Because if we are operating in Love and Self Control the other ones seem to fall right into place. If we are operating in those two fruits 100% of the time, spiritual growth is inevitable.
Check it out:
1 Corinthians 13
V1-3 “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
Corinth was the Bible version of a city like LasVegas. Think flashy. Think in your face. Think WAY out there. Even though this letter is to saved people, they still had a bent toward “flashy-in-your-face” kind of things. When the Holy Spirit came to the church in Corinth the Christians ate it up! They loved healing, miracles, signs, wonders, speaking in tongues and prophecy. To them, these things were EVIDENCE of their faith. To them prophecy(or other obvious gifts) made them "cool" and "important" in the church like fame and prostitution made them outside the church. Noticed and talked about. "Oh so and so got a word for me. they must be super tight with Jesus."
Speaking in tongues and prophesy was evidence in the church at Corinth that “you had arrived” spiritually. What Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 13 is; “News flash folks: not so much.” He was saying "The evidence of spiritual growth in your life is your ability to act in Love." The evidence of who you are in the Lord does not come by the resume you hold in the Holy Spirit.
Do you think of yourself as a “loving” person?
1 Cor. 13:4-7 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I have heard this about a million times. Not kidding. 99% of the weddings I have been to have this read or quoted to some extent. I DO NOT LIKE THIS!!!!! In fact i will throw my shoe at the Pastor if he thinks about mentioning this chapter at my wedding! These verses are NOT talking about marital love! Paul is not telling the church how to be a good husband or wife (that's in 1 Cor. 7)... YES, marital love needs all those things in it, but that is NOT what Paul is getting at here.
I like to say that if i can read that verse and replace the word "Love" with my name... i've got it down..."Cassie is patient, Cassie is Kind..." Yeah right?!
There have been times in my life I have hated this scripture. Kind. I don’t want to be kind. I have wanted to be in your face rude. I have wanted to give up. I have had times when i didn’t have any hope. I have about lost faith. I have not wanted to endure every circumstance. I wanted God to snap the magic button and fix it. I have wanted to erase 13 years of someone’s life, give them a “get out of jail free” card and the restart button. I have wanted to love who I wanted and how I wanted.
The thing is; we don't get to define love.
According to the Word, God is Love.
*1 John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
All of our love can only be an imitation of God’s love. We can only love to the extent that we have experienced God's love.
*Ephesians 3:18 “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”
*1 John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
Wow! How amazing is it that His love can be brought to full expression in us?! This can only happen if we know God. Know his character and have experienced his love in a way that touches deeper than the butterflies you got from your 6th grade crush. His love is outrageous for us! He has been pursuing us since the beginning of time! BEFORE we knew him he loved us. While we were running away from him He wanted us for himself!!! That love can be brought into full expression in us! In order for us to truly love those around us we have to have experienced it, lived out of it and been overwhelmed by it. I am not saying you have to spend 10 hours a day in a prayer closet or listening to Misty Edwards . I am not saying you have to go to a worship school or prayer conference to know his love. This is not knowing the love of God. You may experience it there, but this does not equal knowledge of his love.
What we believe about the Love of God and our experience with it will directly affect how we love others.
1 Cor. 13:8-12 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless. 11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Heaven is our goal… or at least it should be. It should be what our lives point to. It should be what fuels everything we do. When we get to heaven we will see clearly all that we have been living for! When we get there we will not need prophecy or words of knowledge. We won’t need to speak in tongues. These things will disappear. Love. Love will last forever. The Love of God will last forever. I would hope that with that knowledge we would have a deeper desire to learn to Love and learn what Love is (beyond weddings and endless quoting of v. 4-7.
How we choose to love people/or not love people will also last forever. How we choose to love our family lasts beyond this moment, this weekend or until we move out.
Grow up. If we only ate once a week we would die. We need to grow our faith. In Love. Grow our knowledge of the Word. In Love. Put away the things of this world that make us look like baby Christians. In Love. Be mature. In Love. Stop counting our "spiritual" acts as maturity. Stop focusing on how we are so gifted in the Spirit and learn to SIMPLY LOVE.
I am NOT saying to ignore spiritual gifts or discount the work of the Holy Spirit in the church or individually, but i am saying we need to desire to walk in love more than we desire to be "super spiritual".
When all is said and done love is what lasts. It's all about love. Your healing and prophesies won't go to heaven with you, the way you loved will.