Saturday, January 29, 2011

Childhood Dreams

Do you remember what your childhood dreams were? I can only remember two well. I wanted to be a doctor, usually a vet, and I wanted to have a lot of kids. As I grew up I pursued hard after the first dream, because it was the one that everyone cheered on. I made straight A's, took hard classes, and did everything I could to build up a great background. In my attempt to fulfill Dream #1, I pushed Dream #2 to the side and said I would volunteer at a few orphanages or something (which I did).

When I started dating Bryan my senior year of high school, everything got confusing. I had always known what I wanted and how to get there. Now, I knew I wanted to get married and have kids one day, and I didn't want to spend so many years waiting to go through med school and beyond. I switched out the dream for a nursing career- feeling sure that such a deep desire was of God. I prayed about it constantly and asked to know His will. When I had flareups of unexplainable latex allergies and became depressed and constantly stressed, they were just obstacles- not answers that maybe I was going the wrong way. I trudged through nursing school and graduated in the top of my class. I planned to take a year off from school before heading back to become a nurse practitioner. I even talked about returning to med school.

I hated working as a nurse, but I loved mothering the kids I took care of. I remember standing on our front porch one day and realizing... I'd wasted 5 years of my life pursuing a career that I was miserable in and feeling stuck. I prayed for God to give me a way out. You know you have hit rock bottom when you become jealous of the cashiers at Walmart and wish you were one of them.

The way God delivered me wasn't in the way I would have chosen. We unexpectedly got pregnant, and I miscarried with complications shortly after. Bryan was called to be a pastor here on the Coast, and I looked for a job where I could use my nursing skills without going back into the stress of the hospital world. I became the nurse manager at a pregnancy crisis center and was pregnant again within a few months. When the stress of the job made my body start having the tell tale signs of miscarrying, I resigned and chose family over career.

I wish I could say that at that point I never had doubts or that God gave me a pat on the back in a dream. It's just not true. It has taken almost 3 years to look back and understand what God was doing. For most of my life I was so busy pursuing my "dream," "my calling", "my heart" that I missed it all. I was jealous of people who were living the kind of life God was ready to give me. I wish someone had told me to pursue joy in Christ over a dream. We are not living out our calling if we are always unhappy- we have probably missed it.

The funny thing is that Dream #1 never completely died. I still like medicine and think being a doctor would be cool. It just won't make me happy. I'm still praying about Dream #2, but it may never happen. We have had more miscarriages than successful pregnancies, and we don't have the funds to adopt at this point in our life.

In the end, following my dreams, even good ones, doesn't satisfy. Only Jesus does.

If you hear someone telling you to follow your heart, be careful. It doesn't always lead where it should. Follow Jesus. Only He knows what you really want in the end.

8:45:45 AM

- Posted by Anna using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Details Matter

It's late, and I do not have the time to search for the perfect photo to emphasize this blog post. Forgive me? Here's what is on my mind. I'm reading through Exodus right now, and these verses really struck me.

"When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea." Exodus 13:17-18 (ESV)

Considering all the people of Israel had been through to this point, you might overlook these verses, but I think they are very telling of the nature of God.

If you are suffering right now, grieving over a loss you can't heal, or just need to know that God is indeed loving, notice how gently God shepherded His people. He chose the route of their delivery with their well-being in mind. He didn't choose the easiest path- rather the way that would help them trust in Him more. If God seems distant or if His choice of delivery from your life's circumstances seems poor, know that He has your well-being in mind. He wants you to love Him more- He want you to be secure and safe in Him. Even the things we don't understand are for our good and His glory- so the nations will know Jesus. God does care about you... Deeply.

I'm reminding myself this today. Yes, God, You love me and have a plan for me in the midst of so much I don't understand. I trust in You.

- Posted by Anna using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 21, 2011

Anticipating a great weekend with quality family time, I was pretty bummed out today to feel Abby's head this morning and realize that she was sick... again!  Our little butterbean has ran a high fever all day- the peak being 103 F. Yuck!

So... we have had lots of cuddle time.  She has napped on my chest twice today for over an hour each time (a HUGE deal if you know our busy little bee).  We have pumped fluids into her little body as we gave her meds to knock down the fever.  We even made homemade apple juice popsicles tonight which were a huge hit and finished the night off with a classic kids movie, "The Land Before Time."  Overall, not too bad of a day with a sick kid, it could've been much worse.

I kept thinking about all of the moms out there that are nurturing their sick kids and who have no hope of their child getting better.  Without medicine, this would be a whole new ballgame.  Here's where you come in.  I'm linking to a site where you can give if you feel led.  No pressure or anything.  I'll never know either way.  I am just asking you to pray and ask whether or not you should give to this cause.  If God says no, you're scotch free. 

Consider giving whatever God leads and give a mom hope.  I will too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

They're Watching

I've been busy working on sermon uploading and catching up on various website tasks this morning.  Abby has happily played around me for most of the time.  When she left a little while ago and was quiet, I paused to go check on her and found her doing this.  She was sitting there smiling trying to read my Bible in my favorite quiet time chair.  Talk about a sobering good dose of humility.  I had no idea she even noticed when she first got up.  I try to do it before she wakes up every morning and sometimes it just doesn't work out.

Here's your reality check parents... even 2 year olds notice everything.

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

I just finished watching the 1996 version of Pride and Prejudice. It's one of my favorite stories of all time, and it was the perfect way to wind down from a busy day. I am completely enchanted.


There is something beautiful and captivating about a truly feminine woman. I think we lose so much in our culture by trying to mirror men. It was refreshing to watch a movie where actresses were not surgically altered models of perfection but were naturally breathtaking and unique in their own ways.

There is something terribly alluring and wonderful about a truly masculine man. A gentleman. A man who is handsome, considerate, charming, and always seeking the best interest of the ladies around him. The world could use more men like that.

What movies make you wish you lived in a different time?

- Posted by Anna using BlogPress from my iPad

Gloomy Day Craft

One of my New Year's resolutions is to do more fun art projects with Abby.  Here's one we did today.
Construction Paper Sun Catcher.
Simple and quick since most toddlers have the attention span of a gnat.

Craft Materials

Tearing up paper
Excited Lil' Crafter!
Torn Paper Waiting For Use
Working on her Sun Catcher
Checking It Out Before We Cut Out Hearts
Admiring Her First Heart
Collecting Her Hearts 
Pausing for a Delicious Toasted Peanut Butter, Marshmallow, Chocolate Sandwich 
Not Too Bad for a Toddler Sun Catcher 
Our Sun Catcher Menagerie

Here's the book if you are interested in trying it out yourself.
I hope to post more fun projects soon!  There are tons more to try.

Here's the Deal

So, I know I was going to release a completely redesigned blog a few months ago, but it's been busy.  Peripety has been going crazy in a very good way.  Family life has been hectic at times.  We've all been sick off and on since at least October.  For now, I think I will stick with blogspot.  They recently updated their user backend and fixed the things that drove me crazy, so I am giving them a 2nd chance.

Hope you enjoy the quick makeover and stop by a little more often.  We'd love to have you visit.  Grab a cup of coffee while you are here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Simple Request

So, I'm not one to ask for favors, but if by any chance you plan on buying something from, please visit my blog first and click on the "Amazon" button to link there.  We get a decent percentage of all of your sales, and it will help us put our princess in diapers and Bryan through seminary.

I'll go ahead and say it- if you do, you're awesome!

Shop amazon and support the Cirlot's.

Here's to a New Year

Above: Nosy Mr. Peeperz wanting to be photographed.

I'm fairly tardy posting a New Year's post, but hey, when you get the flu... timeliness goes out the window. For example, Sam's Club just called and said I could pick up my Christmas photo announcements. Uh-hum... guess so. Ordering them before I got the flu just wasn't practical.

I have a lot to say about 2010. I learned a whole lot, especially about myself. I am much more comfortable in my own skin. For most of my life, I have been a sort of chameleon. I have shifted and changed to please those around me, and depending on what stage of life I was in, my skin looked different. This year, God has really impressed upon me the importance of loving myself and His handiwork. Not in the arrogant sort of way that this may sound but simply learning to love myself first so that I could love others well too.
These are some of the things I have learned. The biggest lesson of the year for me was that I am an artist. Through and through. I am always looking at the world creatively. You may see a serving rack, and I may see an incredible piece of artwork for displaying photos in my home. I'm unconventional, sometimes a little odd, and am always in the elusive pursuit of being more organized. My head is often so far in the clouds that I miss the obvious. My taste in clothing and decor is a little quirky at times, and I delight in change of almost any sort. I am happiest when I am creating something, and I can get lost in projects for hours if I am not careful. I do not fit any certain mold, but I do not wish to anymore. I am me. God created me this way. If for nothing else than to show everyone that He has a quirky side too. I may not be athletic though I try to be fit. I may not be logical though I see its value. I'm not a cook- but I like to dabble in baking. I'm a work in progress, and I am learning to enjoy this journey.
One of my main goals for 2011 is to figure out how to leverage who I am in all of the areas of influence the Lord has given me. If I'm creative and artsy to the core, how can I leverage that for Jesus? How can that make me a better wife, mom, friend, church member, and etc? I've been praying about it and asking God to help me to find practical ways to step out and celebrate who God has made me to be. When I follow in the path that God has already laid out for me, I celebrate who He is and who He has crafted me to be.
This week I started in my home. Our living room consists of mostly hand-me-downs, wedding gifts, or craigslist items. While it was comfortable and nice, I could summarize the whole look in one word... safe. It lacked the color and personality that I wanted it to have, but I decorated it the way I thought a pastor's wife should. Traditional. In the end, I just didn't like it. It wasn't me.
Having a little extra Christmas cash left over, I spent $30 on art supplies, rearranged furniture, and decor from other areas in the house and ta-dah! Whole new room. Brighter, cheerier, and overall, much more fun. I created the artwork to make sure I could display the newest family photos and showcase Abby's art projects. Stay tuned in 2011 for more projects to come! I have tons of ideas!
I pray in 2011 you will learn to just be you. God created you the way you are for a reason! Celebrate Him by being you!

Living Room & Dining Room Before:

Living Room & Dining Room After:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Unlike a Fan Page

Just in case you're wondering... here's how to unlike a facebook fan page.

I whipped up this screenshot in about 2 seconds for a couple of questioning friends.

Lose the Shades

Gloomy. The weather that is. It's
cast this dull gray shadow across my living room the past couple of days, and I have stared and stared at it figuring how to brighten things up a bit. While I adore my chandelier, I was almost willing to move it into the foyer for the sake of a brighter one in our dining room area. Then it hit me. Take off the blasted shades!

So... like a reasonable gal, I did. You know what happened? The room lit up. The crystals that dangled caught the light and sent wild, dancing beams in every direction almost instantly. I was blown away. Seriously. It was breathtaking.

All of the sudden conversations about the Church started popping up in my head. Such as, why don't young people care anymore? Why don't we see the lost getting saved? Why is nothing working? Etc.

I think it's because we are hiding Jesus- our Light- with our own cheap shades. We thought we were dressing Him up... making the Gospel more presentable. Many different styles of shades but all with the same devastating result. The tragedy is we muffled His light to the point of becoming useless ourselves. God help us.

It's time to toss the shades. Dispel the darkness with His light. Dazzle the world with Jesus.

- Posted by Anna using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dark Night of the Soul

I've been thinking about death a lot lately. My grandmother's (Meme's)
health is rapidly declining. My only childhood friend that I still hang out with is losing her battle with cancer. It's so hard to see her body waste away. I still grieve over the baby we lost only months ago. Life is just so brief. So unpredictable. So many people suffer much. While I am really thankful for my life, being an adult hurts a lot more than I anticipated years ago. In college, the journey ahead looked more carefree and easy. In the past 5 years, I have lost much of my naiveté in the suffering that we have experienced as a couple. Having 2 miscarriages can either make me lock my heart away in fear or it can somehow purify me from it. If you can experience death with Christ as your guide, what else do you have to fear? Only more death for yourself or those you love? No, I am more than a conqueror in Christ. Even in death, Jesus is victorious. Even if God forbid, the Lord takes those closest to my heart, I would see them again in the next life... The one that will not end. So death, sting with all of your might now. Tears flow freely if you must. The day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. Death will be no more. Jesus, God in the flesh, will wipe every tear from my eye.

This is why I am free to love and live today. Soon, this night will be no more. Even in the darkness, God will be my light.

Micah 7:7-10
7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. 8 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.

Revelations 21
21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

- Posted by Anna using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Tradewinds Dr,Gautier,United States

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