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Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

sewn together.

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2009 at 11:00 pm

My sowing machine. This machine represents dreams that have existed since I was a child in the single digits. In third grade I began designing clothes. I had books filled with my drawings. Instead of cartoons I watched Fashion File on E! every Saturday morning. My mom knew how to sew. She used to make my sister and I matching outfits when we were kids. My sister hated it. I liked anything my sister hated. I never got the chance to learn from my mom, but still I kept on designing through my teens. Even in my twenties I have pulled out paper to design a wedding gown for a friend. I always dreamed of designing and making my own wedding gown.

Time has come and gone. I did not get to make my own wedding gown…I did not know how to sew and it would not have been good; perhaps a preview of the wedding night for everyone at the wedding. It is not that I couldn’t have learned before the wedding. I received the above sewing machine a good three years ago, if not four. I had it and I was intimidated by it. Eventually I took it over to Phillip’s parents house and for a couple of years I would remark to my now mother-in-law “Sometime over break, or next month, or whenever I am going to come over for a sewing lesson”. Jeanne would laugh and say that would be fine. I would smile and never follow through.

Flash forward to Christmas time this year. Phillip and I are still developing our own Christmas traditions. We are still seeking God about what this time of year is supposed to look like because much of what we see around us feels wrong. It is not that I do not agree with giving gifts. Generosity it wonderful…but I think it is clear that we have gone overboard as a society. In the midst of all the clamor there are so many people around the world barely surviving. Phillip and I are by no means rich, but we and our family have more than 90% of the world will ever know. With this in mind we felt compelled to halt the massive gift giving. We asked our parents to not give us anything or to donate to chosen charities (they did not exactly listen but that is another story), we wrote all our family members personal cards, and we gave money to people who have need of it. We did however give each other some gifts. One tradition that we started last year was to give each other an experience and something that we needed. So this year Phillip got some new underwear. I got socks. I have not figured out Phillip’s experience yet, plus I could not share it on here. Last year though it was the Monument Avenue 10k. I trained and ran with him.

This year my experience gift came early. A few days ago Phil kicked me out of the bedroom and told me he had to set up my experience. When it was all ready I walked in and saw my sewing machine on the desk. Phil shared that he knew making clothes was a dream I had always had but struggled to pursue so he was here to help me. Unbeknownst to me Phil had received sewing lessons from his mother so that he could teach me. Despite the bobbin clocking my life I have begun sewing. I am almost done with my first pair of pants. They will probably not be worn in public ever, but that is okay. If I ever dress up for Halloween as a character from Rocky and Bullwinkle then I am uber prepared though.

I have to say that this gift from Phil reminded me why I am so thankful to God. God knew that I would not pursue this dream on my own, so he/she gave me a partner. All of us need help in pursuing our dreams. Phil’s gift reminded me of the beautiful gift we have to walk alongside and encourage the persons in our lives in their dreams and the blessing of being the person encouraged. It is not just a gift it also a calling. It is community. I pray that we all will be sewn together into a beautiful, patchwork quilt.

A big thank you to Phil for teaching me these things through your actions. A bigger thank you to God for creating Phil and everything else.

to recap.

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm

So much has happened lately. I almost do not know where to begin. Much has been good and there has also been a good deal of the stressful and heartbreaking. I’m thankful for the good and am trying to do better about focusing on God and giving him/her all the things I could never control to begin with.

To focus on the good though, some pictures. Thanksgiving in NC with my grandma, uncle, and aunt. My birthday here in RVA. A wedding between two people who are beautifully following God’s plan for their lives. A celebration with friends that the semester has ended and we only have one left!

There are more words to come since much has changed in the past three weeks. Until then I pray that everyone would continue to be blessed during this holy season. I pray that this would be a time throughout the world where people show each other grace and love. A time when neither Jesus, nor his birthday, is forced upon anyone. May we Christians  share the miracle and meaning of Jesus’ birth through loving words and actions, so that a light is shown in the most hopeless places to reveal that truly the world’s hope has come.

I cannot wait to celebrate this with you my friends. I cannot wait.

-Joy

Goin blog wild

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm

So the last post was a deep thoughts post. Heres a more whats going on in my life post. I tend to include so many details in my stories that they in turn become mini-biographies, rather than quick updates. I’ll try to spare you an account of every second of my life.

I work at the Faison School for Autism as you prolly know. Its a great job, and very rewarding. It is God’s tool of discipline in my life. But discipline isnt always pleasant, and neither is my job. Generally, at 4:00 each Monday through Friday I feel like my brain has melted. Part of gets frustrated because I know the career I am called to(and very excited about) is farming. I want to be able to go to school to learn the science of it all, and I want to build a greenhouse and raise animals and put my hands in the dirt. But Its just not that season yet. But as spoken by a good friend at dinner tonight, I shouldnt despise my journey. In my heart of hearts, Im thankful for the people in my life right now and all the things im learning. Im thankful for my student who attacked me yesterday and scratched my neck. He doesnt do that sort of thing often. Hes usually a pretty fun guy to hang out with. Either way, he is God’s child, and I’m priveleged to get to know him. It did suck though.

We recently had Lets Go To Bethlehem at church. We built a little street of “Bethlehem” and had vendors and tax collectors and roman soldiers giving people a hard time. It was great. The point, obviously, was to reach people with the truth that Jesus came as a real human being, God in the flesh, to walk with us. I signed up to be a shepherd, and was so excited about it. And let me just say, the shepherd role really lived up to the hype for me. We had alpacas, and horses, sheep, and goats etc, which we led through the town and told people we were looking for the “Child”. (You know, Jesus) When we unloaded the animals I was given a tiny goat(the runt of the litter I later learned) to carry through town. Thats right, I carried it around all night. It really confirmed in my heart the things I feel called to. The idea of ‘taking dominion in the image of God’ The original command He/She gave us in the beginning. I want to learn what it means to care for creation the way He calls us to, and teach others how to do the same thing. I could go one for several more paragraphs. I guess I should blog more often.

Hey there. Thanks for caring about my life enough to read it.

-Phillip

I Watch It Float Away Gracefully

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2009 at 8:42 pm

     I havent really blogged too much, but here goes.

    He never fails.

     Some nights, I walk onto the porch lost. I walk with a heavy heart, and a body tired from the stresses of life.  So I go to think. To ponder. I flick a match, put it to my tobacco and take in the smoke.  And I feel the buzz go to my legs. In my heart, I know that to smoke would be enjoyable, but what I need desperately is time with my Creator. Time for Him to remind me why I’m alive. And I begin to regret my choice. I wonder to myself why I so often avoid the one who loves me, and I timidly whisper a prayer of ‘Im sorry, I know I should be sitting with you right now…’ As I look up at the smoke that just left my mouth, it spins and folds over itself and paints a temporary but beautiful picture in the cold air. In the same moment, I look past to the sky and search for the few stars one can see from a city home. I look up as if I’ll see Him there. As I search, my soul is stirred by the warmth of a companion. The warmth of someone who is faithful. The warmth of someone who is always there. Just like every night which I don’t notice, He is already there. Beside me. Around me. And He speaks. ‘Phillip. You dont have to go far to find Me. Ive never left you. I love you, and when I chose you, I knew you would let me down. But I’m still here, and I’ll always be. No need to worry about that.’

   Everytime. No matter where I am. When I stop to find Him, I realize He was close by all along. The Good Shepherd. He knows his stubborn sheep. And He never lets us go.

So I praise you God. You came from the glory of heaven, as a little baby. You grew and matured, You celebrated and suffered, you walked with us. Thank you for coming to be WITH us. Faithful and True to every promise.

-Phillip

fashion renaissance.

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Not that it is of any great importance, but I recently got rid of 1/4 of my clothing. Sometimes I am in need of change artistically and for me this month that has meant getting rid of clothes and beginning a thrift store hunt with the aid of birthday money. What does Joy look like at 25? A little bit of the old, with a touch of new (or slightly used).