Wait for it…

Living a simple sweet life, and learning to wait on the Lord

My Husband’s Birthday September 28, 2007

Filed under: Birthdays — Michelle @ 11:52 pm

Tomorrow is my sweet husband Ryan’s birthday…the big “3-0!!”  Since we are leaving in the morning to go to Julienne for breakfast (yes, we are going again…we use any excuse we can), I thought I would post this tonight (even though I only have 10 more minutes until tomorrow…)  If I had more money than I do, I would buy him an iPod. 

I am thankful to the Lord for creating Ryan on September 29, 1977, and for the way He allowed our paths to cross at The Master’s College and in Majesty in 1998 (ok…I’m feeling old…)

I’m thankful to Mom and Dad Anthony for raising such a wonderful son.

I’m thankful to Ryan for asking me to be his wife in 2001…I love sharing life with you!

I saw this idea on someone’s blog and I liked it…I’m going to come up with 30 clever things to say about why I love Ryan Dean Anthony, although of course there are really millions of reasons I love him… 🙂 These are in no particular order, by the way.

1. He is my best friend.  2. He loves God.  3. He is really smart, and cares about accuracy.  4. He isn’t fake.  5. He loves me all the time, even when I am really unloveable.  6. He works hard to take care of his family.  7. He loves Disneyland!  8. He lets me sleep in on Saturdays.  9. When I don’t feel good or have a bad day, he cooks dinner.  10. He is so unselfish…he’s constantly thinking of me before himself.  11. He can always make me laugh, even when I’m angry.  12.  He praises me and builds me up every day.  13. He thinks I look cute in my glasses.  14. He is an AWESOME dad.  15. He explains things really well.  16. He puts up with my silly little preferences.  17. He knows me better than anyone.  18. He dances really cute.  19. He is one of the most patient people I know.  20. He helps me love God more.  21. He’s a good friend.  22. He is SO different than me!!  23. He’s a really good Bible Study leader.  24. He has taken the time to get to know my Russian family and Russian food!!  25. He makes really good coffee and popcorn, and plus, he’s a grill master.  26. “We’ll be fine, as long as we have each other… and plenty of snacks.”  27. He makes Jack laugh harder than anyone else can.  28. He knows movie quotes and 80’s music so much better than me, but he doesn’t get mad that I really don’t…  29. He has really good taste in restaurants and shopping.  30. He is a humble servant-leader, and loves me like Christ does.  Did I mention that he’s my best friend?

                 

collage132.jpg

I Love You, Ryan! 

Advertisements
 

Psalm 27

Filed under: Bible — Michelle @ 10:54 am

pict6448.JPG 

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  

Psalm 27:14

I love this verse.  It has been a comfort and an encouragement to me many times.  But recently, my aunt Ellen shared a quote about it from Paul Tripp’s blog, and the way he defines waiting on the Lord really struck and challenged my heart.  I’m praising the Lord for His perfect timing in bringing encouragement to my soul and strength to my faith.  Thanks for sharing, Aunt Ellen!  To read the whole thing, click here.

“When your hope is in the Lord, when you’re getting your inner sense of well-being and security from him, when he’s the reason you continue even when things are hard, then you’re building your life on something that’s reliable and sure. When you’re waiting on the Lord, you’ve placed your hope in One who’s the ultimate source of everything that’s wise, good and true. When you wait for the Lord, you’re placing your safety in the hands of One whose power is unmeasurable. When you wait for the Lord, you’re getting your comfort from One whose love is boundless. When you wait for the Lord, you can be secure in the reality that he rules over all things. When you wait for the Lord, you can live with confidence because you know that every one of his promises is true. When you wait for the Lord, you can be hopeful even in weakness because you know that his grace is sufficient.

We lose heart because we tie our hope to the wrong things. What are you waiting for? To what have you tied your hope? ‘Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.'”

 

Trials, Affliction, and Learning to Wait September 22, 2007

Filed under: Bible,Learning — Michelle @ 1:16 pm

During the past year, I feel like the Lord has brought into my life (and into the lives of many close friends and family members) the opportunity to wait on Him.  The waiting looks different for each of us… waiting for a health issue to be healed, waiting for a relationship to be mended, waiting for marriage, waiting for a baby, waiting for financial security, just to name a few…but in each case, the time frame that we would choose is vastly different than the one the Lord seems to have. 

In my case, there are 2 specific things this year that I expected and really thought would be resolved in my life and the life of my family.  In God’s good plan, He has chosen differently, and neither one of those has come to pass.  Sometimes I have been patient, but most of the time, I regret to say that my first response when faced with an unexpected change of my plans (or the realization that what I wanted and prayed for isn’t happening) is, “Ummmm…hello, Lord…this is not in the plan…THE plan, remember?  MY plan?”

I would even go so far as to say that in my own life, waiting has become a trial…an affliction that threatens to send my soul into doubt and despair.  My faith feels weak and pride seeps into my mind until I feel overwhelmed at the enormity of it all.

Recently, there have been a few things that God has graciously put before me that have encouraged and challenged my heart, and humbled my proud spirit.  I’m so thankful that even though I struggle with the same things over and over and over and over, my Lord is loving and patient and kind and generous.  So unlike me. 

A few weeks ago, my aunt Lana called and shared a passage of scripture with me — Habakkuk 2:3 (we were especially excited that the name of my blog appears in the Bible!!)  Although I know that when you look at the verse in context, my little desires are really insignificant in comparison to Habakkuk’s vision,  I was so encouraged by the good reminder that God’s sovereign plan is over all things, and His purposes will not be thwarted.

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time;

It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.

Though it tarries,

Wait for it;

For it will certainly come, it will not delay.” 

                                                      Habakkuk 2:3

Then, this past week, after a deep conversation with a dear friend, she forwarded an excerpt by Thomas Watson (a Puritan author) that was challenging to me…if I really desire to be like Christ, and to be who he wants me to be, then I will look at afflictions and trials not as terrible and overwhelming things, but as refining and purifying opportunities for God’s glory to be better seen through me!  I’m including the whole thing, although it is long, because it was a wonderful encouragement to me, and I hope it will be to you, too.  I put the thoughts that especially challenged me in bold.

God’s Flail

(Thomas Watson, 1620-1686)

God’s children may sometimes be under sore afflictions.
They have no charter of exemption from trouble, in this
life. While the wicked are kept in sugar–the godly are
often kept in brine.

And, indeed, how could God’s power be seen in bringing
them out of trouble–if He did not sometimes bring them
into it? How could God wipe away the tears from their
eyes in heaven–if on earth they shed none?

Doubtless, God sees there is need that His children should
be sometimes in the house of bondage. “If need be, you
are in heaviness.” 1 Peter 1:6. The body sometimes needs
a bitter portion–more than a sweet one.

“You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison
 and laid burdens on our backs.” Psalm 66:10, 11

Why does God bring His people into an afflicted state?

God gives affliction–to purge our corruption. The eye,
though a tender part–yet when infected, we put sharp
medicines into it, to purge out the disease. Just so,
though the people of God are dear to Him as the apple
of His eye–yet, when corruption begins to grow in them,
He will apply the sharp medicine of affliction
to purge
out the disease.

Affliction is God’s flail to beat off our husks.

Affliction is a means God uses to purge out
sloth, luxury, pride, and love of the world.

God’s furnace is not to consume–but to refine.

God gives us more affliction–that we may have less sin!

God also gives affliction to increase our graces.
Grace
thrives most in the iron furnace.
Grace in the saints is
often as fire hidden in the embers; affliction is the
bellows to blow it up into a flame!

God sanctifies all our afflictions. They shall not be
destructive punishments–but medicines! They shall
corrode and eat out the venom of sin! They shall polish
and refine our grace! The more the diamond is cut–the
more it sparkles.
The more God afflicts us–the more
our graces cast a sparkling luster!

The stones which are cut out for a building, are first
hewn and squared. The godly are called “living stones.”
1 Peter 2:5. God hews and polishes them by affliction,
that they may be fit for the heavenly building.

 

Oh, that I may have the grace to accept affliction as God’s sanctifiying work in my life, and to praise Him for purging out the disease that sin brings.

 

It’s my Birthday! September 16, 2007

Filed under: Birthdays — Michelle @ 9:38 am

Today is my birthday, and I am thankful to the Lord for the years of life He has given me, here on earth, and as His child forever.  The grace He shows to me is more than I deserve, and His patience endures even when my faith is small.  He is teaching me to “Wait for it…” to wait on Him and to trust that His ways are perfect.  He has shown His love to me by the people He has placed in my life, and I am thanking Him for those beautiful people…so I’m thanking Him for you today, too! 

scan-2-hotel239.jpg

MySpace Tracker
MySpace Tracker

 

Family September 15, 2007

Filed under: Birthdays,Family and Friends — Michelle @ 10:05 pm

Happy families…own a similarity of good cheer.  For one thing, they like each other, which is quite a different thing from loving.  For another, they have, almost always, one entirely personal treasure – a sort of purseful of domestic humor which they have accumulated against rainy days.  This humor is not necessarily witty.  The jokes may be incomprehensible to outsiders, and the laughter spring from the most trivial of sources. But the jokes and the laughter belong entirely to the family.

-Phyllis McGinley

This is a quote I came across somewhere, and it seemed perfect for the  morning I spent with some of my wonderful family members…my mom, sister, Ryan and Jack, my Aunt Lana and Uncle Steve, Aunt Ellen and Uncle Greg, Aunt Kelly, and cousin Debbee.

We went to one of my favorite restaurants in the whole world, Julienne , for breakfast (someday when I start to post my own restaurant reviews, this will be first on the list), sort of to celebrate my upcoming birthday, partly because 2 of my aunts had never been there before, and mostly because we just love being together.  We came from as far as Camarillo, Huntington Beach,  Santa Clarita, Orange, Whittier and Nuevo all the way to San Marino to eat delectable food, catch up on news and happenings, laugh at “punny” jokes, and just relax.

There is something sweet and comforting about family, and today I am thanking the Lord for mine.

 pict6529.jpgpict6530.jpg

pict6544.jpg

Above left: Uncle G and Aunt E, Above right: Sis M and Cousin D, Bottom: Aunt E, Aunt K, and Cousin D

 

pict6531.jpg

 

 pict6532.jpg

We got to sit in the library, where the ceiling was so pretty…

pict6533.jpgpict6538.jpg

More shots of the library…for some reason, the picture on the top right won’t stay where I put it…

pict6534.jpgpict6542.jpg

Bday presents!  🙂  And  Creme Brulee French Toast…it was a popular order today…DELICIOUS!! 

 pict6540.jpgpict6543.jpg

Berries…and the pic on the right is for Holly.

pict6545.jpg            pict6546.jpg

 R and M outside the restaurant, and J, who wouldn’t look at me for a picture.

(I wasn’t overjoyed about the pics I got today…lots of blurry ones, and I didn’t get everyone who was there.  I’m trying to perfect the no-flash thing, and let’s just say I’m CLEARLY not proficient at it yet…  I may send you over to my aunts’ blogs later for more views of our lovely morning.)

 

JackTalk – September Edition September 14, 2007

Filed under: Jack Quotes — Michelle @ 11:52 pm

Welcome to another edition of JackTalk.  Today we will be uncovering some recently redefined definitions of otherwise familiar words and phrases.  Thank you for joining us. “positive it”  — What you do to a video or DVD when you want to leave the room for a second, as in “Mommy, can we positive it while we go play in my room?”“Pocka puwee pozee” — The phrase which follows “Ring around the rosie”“The Gee” — pronounced with a hard “g”; an imaginary friend who is small enough to fit in one’s hand, and often appears on the ceiling or under a table.  Recently was spotted swimming in our pool.“Ohhh bohvah…” — A quote taken from Winnie the Pooh; meant to be said when one is slightly annoyed, like when you drop your snack on the floor.  Alternate pronunciation: “Oh bother.”“octopus…wif a suitcase!!” — a completely random and senseless phrase used in a Veggie Tales movie; useful for making your parents laugh, especially when they are trying to be serious with you. collage11.jpgPlease stay tuned for further installments of JackTalk…  🙂

 

64 Years September 13, 2007

Filed under: Family and Friends — Michelle @ 9:48 am

Today is my grandparents’ 64th anniversary…64 YEARS!!  That’s a long time.  My Baba and Deda are an amazing example of what it means to love God wholeheartedly, love each other faithfully, and love their family (8 children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren (almost 18…one’s in the oven due in January), 3 of their spouses, and 2 great-grandchildren) generously and often even sacrificially.  Rather than sit back and relax when they retired, they traveled to Russia to live in a rural village and start a church.  It was as un-relaxing as retirement life could be, yet they served willingly and cheerfully.  Now that they are back in the U.S., they serve the Lord tirelessly and faithfully in their church, following Christ’s command to care for orphans and widows. They are unselfish and humble, showing true Christian love even when it is not returned or appreciated, even by some of their own family members.  Once or twice a month, Baba and Deda have quite a few of us (my mom, aunts, sister, cousin, and Jack and me) over to their tiny apartment for dinner, where Baba “whips up” something new and DULICIOUS, and Deda is always willing to help in any way.  When Ryan and I got married, Baba and Deda’s advice for us was  “Don’t shove anything under the rug…talk about it and always ask each other for forgiveness.  Do everything together.”  Simple, but so true.  They have practiced this advice in their own marriage, and have taught their children to do the same.  Because of their example, our family is uniquely close, and we truly enjoy spending time together.  We know what is going on with each other and we care and we pray for one another.  I truly believe this is largely because of the way that the two of them have lived their lives. 

I feel so honored that God chose to bless me with Moisi and Nadia Bagdanov as my grandparents.  I pray that my life exemplifies the qualities that they have lived out so faithfully. 

 

Happy Anniversary, Baba and Deda!

collage10.jpg

 

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;

Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,

That those who love Your name may exult in You.

For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD,

You surround him with favor as with a shield.

Psalm 5:11-12

 

For you have heard my vows, O God;

You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Psalm 61:5