To Trust Him (And A Good Cry)

Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel like crying all day long?

Usually it's about stupid little things or irrational worries. But it doesn't matter that they're stupid and little, because they seem like they are such a big deal. It doesn't matter that your fears are irrational, because all you can see is the worse thing that could happen.

Then when any little thing goes wrong it just sets you off, and you just go throw yourself on the bed and cry your eyes out?

Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry. After you have a good cry everything seems better.

On the other hand, I'm not sure a good cry really accomplishes anything. It's ridiculous to let yourself get so worked up over little things, when you could turn everything over to the Lord, and He would handle it just fine.

Do we not believe that He can handle it just fine? For me, I don't think that's the case - I know He can handle all my problems, I just worry that He won't choose to handle them in the way I want Him to handle them.

For me, it's more about wanting my own way. Do I not believe that the Lord knows what I need and will work it out in a way that will be for my own good? No, I know that as well. I know it with my rational head, but my irrational heart is sometimes full of disbelief and "what ifs".

What a girl really needs more than a good cry is to hand her problems over to her Jesus, and trust Him to work out the details.

I love this quote by J. I. Packer in his book Knowing God:

"Such trust is vital; it is in truth the mainspring of the life of faith, which without it becomes a life of at least partial unbelief."

The Bible is very clear that the man who trusts in the Lord is blessed (Psalm 40:4, 84:12). Does this mean blessed with the answers to all our problems? I don't think so - I think it means that man will be blessed with a peace and joy that surpasses understanding.

And that's worth more than the answers to all our problems, because through the process we grow. One would never learn the joy of trusting God if all the answers to his problems were given to him immediately.

Why is it that with each new problem I must re-learn to trust the Lord? It shouldn't be so hard. But I suspect that it will get easier with each subsequent trial. At least I hope so.

But maybe trusting isn't something you achieve permanently, maybe it's more of a continual process - and you grow more and more through each different situation by applying the same lesson that you've learned a hundred times before.

I think we must consciously choose to believe Him and choose to trust Him for all that we need before any real trustful feelings even appear. It's a choice to believe his Word, and believe that all things work out for the good of those the love Him (Romans 8:28).

Is He worthy of my trust? Yes. He's shown me that many times before, and He's always taken care of me. Maybe not in the exact way I wanted, but He's never let me down. I have no reason to believe He'll start now. He'll give me courage and strength to face each new situation in life with my heart resting in Him.

Am I most happy when He gives me an answer? No. I'm most happy when I've reached the place where I will trust Him regardless of what happens.

He knows my needs (Matthew 6:32). He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).

I am His beloved child.

He proved that to me in a very practical way last night.

The Bible says that He grants sleep to those He loves (Psalm 127:2).

After my good cry last night I've had the best sleep that I've had all week.


Baby Shoes

Time for another Baby Fever post!

Yes, I've still got the fever. And I will look at baby stuff any time I please, thank you very much.

I love baby shoes. Whenever someone is having a baby shower, I always want to buy them shoes. Or baby booties. Baby booties are good too.

There's just something sweet about cute shoes for those tiny little feet. I have a feeling this will be my weakness when it's time for me to start buying baby stuff. I just love tiny shoes.

Here are some cute ones I found on Etsy.





From Tiny Toes and Bows, Blue Paisley Baby Shoes:






From Jolie Berry, Sweet Baby Audry Pink Soft Sole Shoes:






From Cath94170, Baby Booties Mary Janes:






And Baby Booties Little Loafers:






From Coffeelady, Blue Baby Boy Shoes:






From In With The Old, Vintage Baby Beaded Moccasin Shoes:






There. If you don't want a baby after this post, you are beyond hope.

I'm just kidding.

Kind of.


Hike To The Spring

On Saturday, Derek and I took a lovely hike up to a spring behind my parent's house.

Even though we got a little lost, we eventually found it, nestled away in a little grove of aspen trees in the mountains.

The spring was always a place we loved to hike or horse-back ride to when I was growing up. Not too many people know about it, besides my family, and I think we may be some of the only people who ever go there anymore.

The spring consists of a pipe stuck into the side of the hill with fresh mountain water trickling out into a horse tank. There are also the ruins of a couple cabins, and some sort of pen for animals.

It's shady, it's quiet, it's secluded, it's relaxing. Derek and I had a wonderful time.

Here are a few pictures:
















I have to run back to work (my lunch break is almost over).

I hope you all had as lovely a weekend as I did!

Lost And Found Comments And New Blog Address

You may or may not have noticed, but the blog address has changed.
Instead of www.throughcloudedglass.blogspot.com, the address to my blog is now www.throughcloudedglass.com.

Yes, I bought a custom domain name.

I had this fear that perhaps someday, when I'm a "serious" blogger and want a custom domain name, the one I wanted might be claimed, and then I'd have to come up with something else. And that would just stink.

So, I decided to fork out the ten dollars a year and just get the address I wanted now, before some other person thinks of it and snaps it up. There already is a throughcloudedglass.org, you know.

So I bought the custom domain through Blogger, and I switched over to it, only to get a little panicky. Why, do you ask? All of your lovely comments on all my posts since 2008 were just gone.

When I switched back to the blogspot.com domain, they were back. When I switched back to the custom domain they were gone again.

I tell you, I was about ready to throttle Blogger. But, being the logical, reasonable person that I am, I decided to just back up all my blog posts and comments on my computer and embrace the new custom domain address.

I also went to Blogger Help and commented on a thread to let them know I was having a problem. Apparhently other people have the same issues when switching to custom domains as well.

But thankfully, as I was sitting down this morning getting ready to write a scathing post, I checked my comments one more time, and they were all back.

I was quite relieved. So what was meant to be a humorous, fuming post has actually turned out to be rather boring.

However, I must suggest that you all change the blog address in your readers and blogrolls to www.throughcloudedglass.com. I just don't know how long Blogger will keep redirecting you from the old address to the new one, and I would hate to lose any of you forever, or for you to lose me!

Don't worry, a more interesting post should be coming soon.


Christmas Tip

I have crossed over to the dark side.

I usually do my Christmas shopping in November or December. When all the normal people do Christmas shopping.

However, yesterday my sister and I went shopping with my sister-in-law and her sisters. We had a really fun time. Unfortunately my sister and I just weren't finding anything to strike our fancy in the second store, so we snuck off to Bath and Body Works to check out their stuff while we were waiting for everyone else.

Bath and Body Works is having an amazing sale right now, in case you didn't know. And what does my sister do? She starts her Christmas shopping.

My sister always starts Christmas stuff early. She usually has her Christmas shopping done before the leaves start to change colors, and she starts listening to Christmas music in July.

I used to think she was crazy. But as I looked around at all of the great prices, and saw how many presents she was getting for everyone, I realized how smart she was.

If you just buy Christmas presents whenever there's a sale, you can get alot more, for alot less. You can get some really nice presents for people that way.

So what did I do? I grabbed a shopping bag and joined in.

And I got a ton of good stuff for Christmas presents.

My sister is a genius. I guess I can't give her such a rough time for her Christmas-mania anymore, because she just saved me about sixty bucks on Christmas presents!

So there's my tip for Christmas this year. Shop the sales now.

You are smart, Sis, in case I didn't say that already.



Ironically . . .


It's interesting what you learn when you choose to add a difficult book to your reading list. A friend and I are reading David McCullough's John Adams, a biography.

Do you all remember reading about the Boston Massacre? On March 5, 1770, a troup of British soldiers who were being harrassed by a mob of angry colonists fired on the colonists, and five men were killed.

It was one of the major events leading up to the Revolutionary War. The soldiers and their captain were tried later that year, and the captain was acquitted since it could never be prven that he gave the order to fire. Many of the soldiers were acquitted as well, and two were found guilty of manslaughter and got branded as such.

Something that I didn't know about the Boston Massacre was that John Adams was one of the defense lawyers for the British captain and his soldiers. I thought that was ironic, considering he was to become one of the leaders in the American Revolution, and later the President of the United States.

You want to know something even more ironic? One of the opposing lawyers, working on behalf of the men who were killed and their families, was Samuel Quincy. He fled Boston with the British troops on March 17, 1776, after Washington struck an agreement with the British general allowing them to leave in peace. Samuel Quincy was a loyalist to Great Britain.

One of the lawyers defending the British in the Boston Massacre trials was John Adams, member of the Continental Congresses, and later Presdient of the United States. One of the prosecuting lawyers was Samuel Quincy, a Loyalist.

Funny, isn't it?

I just thought that was rather interesting. Good book so far - I'd recommend it if you're up for a challenge.


Getting Fatter

I have gained eight pounds since the beginning of the year.

Remember how I used to skip meals? And the fertility specialist told me I was underweight, and if I wanted to have children, gaining about 5% of my body weight (6 lbs.) would be a good thing?

Success! I knew I could do it if I put my mind to it.

I had an appointment about a month and a half ago with the same guy. Derek came with me, and he asked Derek if I had been eating, because overachievers sometimes exercise too much and skip meals.

He had me pegged.

But I was happy to report that I had not skipped a meal in a long time, and I had gained weight since my last visit. When I told him how much he looked quite pleased, and kept saying "Good, good," as he made a notation in my chart.

I am approaching a normal BMI! Hooray for me.

I can tell that I've gained weight. My jeans fit a little tighter than they used to, and I feel curvier. I'm not sure I'm entirely happy about that aspect of it. Derek likes it.

So what do you think - can you tell a difference?

Last year:


This year:


I think you can tell I've filled out some.

But it's not enough that people will start to think I'm pregnant when I'm not, right? Because I get a little worried that they look at me sideways sometimes, wondering.

As long as I can still fit into all my same clothes, I think I'll be okay.




P.S. Thank you for all the birthday wishes, everyone! They made me smile. I feel loved.

Happy Birthday To Me . . .

This week was my birthday! I'll refrain from bursting out into a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday To Me" . . .

I woke up to get ready for work at 5:00 AM on my birthday. I know, not the most exciting way to start my birthday. Until I came around the corner and saw this:



My wonderful hubby decorated the dining room for my birthday, and he had a bagel with cream cheese and a raspberry latte waiting for me! The day just got better from there.

I had a lovely day at work - nice patients, no complications, and birthday wishes from all my coworkers. Then my boss gave me a birthday gift, which I wasn't expecting at all.

She gave me this cute little purse-size mirror. I was trying to get it open, because I wasn't sure what it was at first, and inside there was a fifty dollar gift card to Sephora, which is a beauty supply store! Yep, my boss treats her employees pretty well. Now I just have to figure out what I want to buy.

Unfortunately, my family wasn't able to do anything with me on my actual birthday, so Derek made birthday plans for just the two of us. We started out with opening my present.



Derek got me Photoshop Elements 8! I was so excited - I've been wanting this program for a while now, because I've been wanting to play with editing pictures more. But it's not cheap, and I haven't been able to save up to buy it for myself, so it was the perfect birthday present. Now I just have to rent one of those Photoshop manuals from the library and figure out how to do everything with it. Be looking out for a blog make-over soon.

I didn't end up taking any more pictures that evening, but we proceeded out to the Olive Garden for a lovely birthday dinner. I got this really good chocolate cake as well, with a candle, and Derek sang "Happy Birthday" to me, along with our waitress and a couple strangers from a neighboring table.

I wore my red high heels and one of the "Happy Birthday" strangers exclaimed that those were birthday shoes if she ever saw some. I always get comments on those shoes - I guess they're winners.

After dinner, Derek took me to Barnes and Noble and told me to pick out any book I wanted! It was heavenly. I ended up wanting two books, and Derek bought them both for me.

I got The Dangerous Book For Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden. I've been wanting this book for a while, so that I'll have it for when I have boys.



And Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which everyone has been recommending to me.



It was a beautiful birthday - my husband is so sweet.

The next evening we went out to dinner with my parents, my siblings, and my grandma. We went to Three Margaritas, because it's become a tradition for our family's birthdays this year.

Yes, they made me wear the sombrero and sang their funny Spanish birthday song to me.



But I think I pulled off that hat rather well.




My Grandma and me.



My parents with Derek and me.



I got cash from my parents and my grandma, and also from my grandpa (who wasn't able to come for dinner), which is always good!

After Three Margaritas we went to our house for cake (or in this case, Key Lime Pie) and presents.



My sister and me. She gave me a really cute top.






My brother and sister-in-law and me. They gave me a pretty bracelet and an iTunes gift card.




It was a lovely birthday, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I also got alot of good stuff!



Here's to another great year!



Berry Good Deals

I never buy blackberries, or raspberries, or blueberries.

Why? Because they're expensive.

Unless you get them at King Soopers when they're on sale. Then you get three containers of blackberries, three containers of raspberries, and one large container of blueberries for a total of $9.99.



Pretty good when you consider that normally those same items would cost a total of $43.93.

Maybe I should check out the produce at King Soopers a little more often!


My Horrible Grammar Book And Why It Was Good For Me


My least favorite subject growing up was grammar. As many of you know, I was homeschooled, and I learned grammar through an A Beka Grammar and Composition book.

Gracious, it was like torture, especially for a high-schooler that appreciated the sciences much more than English Literature or any of the arts. And every year it was a new book. I can't tell you how many times I learned the proper use of capitalization and punctuation, and all those rules that go with it.

Why was I made to suffer through that every year? These days people use text language, which follows none of the rules of grammar.

I must admit, I have a problem with text language. I understand why people use it. It's quicker and easier to type out "TTYL", than to spell out "talk to you later." It takes too much time to go back and capitalize and punctuate properly when typing a text message.

Texting is all about space and speed - how many "words" can I fit into a message, how quickly can I get the message composed and sent. They should have formal competitions.

I don't text very often. If any of you were to receive a text from me, you could see why. Yes, I do punctuate and capitalize, and I feel mighty guilty if I don't. Yes, I do spell out "talk to you later" the long way. Sometimes I even give a salutation and sign my name.

It rather irks me when people use text language outside of a text message. I've come across blogs written completely in text language. I have heard horror stories of college papers or resumes being written in text language.

How can a kid get into college and think it's okay to turn in a formal paper written in text language? How does a person graduate college and think it's okay to write a resume in text language?

Did they forget how to use proper grammar? Were they even taught proper grammar in school?

Maybe these text language papers and resumes are due to the way those students were graded. Maybe they weren't challenged to excel in English Composition. Perhaps their teachers graded a paper on content and ignored proper grammar to avoid giving a poor grade. They may have graded on a curve. They may have given those students a "C" on a paper when grammatically they deserve an "F", to avoid hurting their self-esteem or holding them back a year.

What those teachers may not realize is that they really did those students no favors. Our society may have come a long way, but it still is not okay to write a paper or resume in text language in the real world. Better to hurt their feelings by giving them a bad grade, in order to push them to improve, then to let them sneak by in school and never make it anywhere in the real world because of their poor grammatical and written communication skills.

If ever there was a child who hated learning grammar, it was me. I hated every minute of it. Who really cared if I knew how to diagram sentence properly, memorized a list of prepositions, or knew the correct use of a colon?

My mom could have easily removed that book from my curriculum, and I would have thanked her profusely. She could have easily overlooked grammatical errors, if there were any, to save my self esteem. Instead, she made me labor through that book, year after year, and my papers were always written properly because I knew they had to be written by the despised book.

I tell you, it was tortuous.

But now that I'm an adult, I know how to form a complete sentence. I know how to write a formal paper, and I know how to format it properly. I know what a good resume looks like.

Those are skills that I never would have known if I had not been tortured with the grammar book in high school.

The things kids really need are real-life knowledge and skills; they will not have those if grammar is overlooked, or if they are only graded on content. They will go much further in life with a little constructive criticism than they will with a false sense of adequacy, which is all that some graduates are being offered these days. Kids need to be challenged.

Someday, when I homeschool my children, they will be using the same grammar book that I had to suffer through. And they'll hate every minute of it too.

But you know what? They'll know how to write. And that skill will serve them well wherever they go in life.

Then someday, as I do now, they'll look back with gratitude on that horrible grammar book.




Image from ABeka.com.

High-Five Failure

I am terrible at high-fiving.

You know, when something great happens, and someone holds up their hand and says "High Five!"

I am that person that tries to hit the person's hand and ends up half-missing it. Then it's really awkward because you have to try again, and it usually ends up being weak, and it's just embarrassing.

I think it may be due to my lack of hand-eye coordination. I've never been a very sporty person. I'm like Mia on the "Princess Diaries". I prefer sports that do not require hand-eye coordination or a great deal of balance. Like Rock Climbing, or hiking, or swimming. Those are my type of sports.

My husband happens to be a high-fiving person. He's come to understand that my return high-fives are never going to be that great. When I try to do it fast and miss the person's hand it's just too embarrassing, so I usually do soft high-fiving.

I'm reminded of Teddy Roosevelt's famous words:

"The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly."

I know he wasn't talking about the celebratory action of sharing a high-five, but I think it still applies.

It's like when you meet someone new and shake hands, but they offer you this soft, limp hand. Here you are giving a strong, confident handshake, and their hand resembles a dead fish.

I hate that.

Maybe I just need to go about high-fiving in a more confident, strong way. Because I hate dead fish syndrome when it comes to shaking hands. Other people probably hate dead fish syndrome when it comes to high-fives.

And I don't want to be one of those annoying, weak, dead-fish people.

It's probably better to just put yourself out there with all you have, without worrying about whether you fail or not, than to give a half-hearted pathetic effort. Better to try your best and fail than to give a weak effort and come across as mediocre or indifferent.

Wow, that was deep. I just stumbled across that one.

I do know one thing - I've never gotten any better at high-fives by hitting softly.

Maybe I just need to learn to be the first one to hold up my hand. Then I don't have to have good aim, because the other person will have to be the one to aim at my hand.

Yep. That might just work.


Free Activities? Yes Please. Cruise Recap Part Five

Stuff we did on the ship:

1. Merengue Dance Class. We weren't that great at merengue, unfortunately.

2. Two Formal Nights. It was so much fun to get all dressed up!





3. Basic Spanish Class. We took this as a review in preparation for Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, but it was mostly for Derek to review, because I know very little Spanish in the first place.

4. Dollar Origami. We now know how to make a little t-shirt out of a dollar. They are really cute.

5. Jewels and Gemstones Seminar. We went to this one because we were supposed to get a free one carat sapphire for attending. But instead we got a coupon for a free sapphire which we had to pick up at Puerto Rico or St. Thomas. And we never got around to finding the shop. Tricky . . .

6. San Juan and St. Thomas port tips lecture. Pretty self-explanatory.

7. Swing Dance Class. Which Derek is very good at! I'm still learning, but I guess I'm decent at it too. It has inspired us to go swing dancing more often.

8. Big Band Dancing. With a virgin Pina Colada in hand. It was lovely. We're just sitting and listening in thee pictures, but we danced several dances as well. This actually fulfills an item on the bucket list.





9. Afternoon movie. We watched Avatar. There went two hours of our lives that we'll never get back. Dumb movie - way too political, and hokey spiritual stuff too.

10. Climbing Wall. There was a climbing wall at the back of the ship, and Derek and I climbed it. It was fun!





11. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Seattle's Best Coffee. They had a little ice cream and coffee shops on board, and it was a treat to get our iced coffees or ice cream cones. We did have to pay for this though, but it was worth it.

12. Salad Bar for lunch. I have to at least mention this - you were able to go through the line and bud your own salad, then they chopped it all up with a pizza cutter and mixed it together. It was the best salad I've ever had - we loved the salad bar.

13. Relaxing by the pool. Reading. Studying Chess. This was just lovely. I had alot of reading time, which was relaxing for me, and Derek rented a chess board from the library and studied with that (he's really good at chess, and he's going to win our family's chess tournament this year, by George!).

14. Sitting in the Centrum and listening to the musicians who played there in the evening.



15. Going to the shows in the evening. We didn't end up going every night, but we saw a singing group, watched the Royal Caribbean dancers perform, saw a comedian/magician, and an impersonator, and another comedian. It was fun to have something to go to in the evenings, and we just loved that everything was free.


And that wraps up my vacation recap posts! We had a lovely time. Cruising really is a totally stress-free vacation, because you don't have to worry about anything, not even budgeting money for food. It was refreshing to have a break from all forms of stress, and we came home ready to tackle anything life was about to through at us.

I'd definitely go on a cruise again.


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