Monday, December 1, 2014

Little Did She Know...

Have you ever seen, "Stranger Than Fiction"?  If not, why?  It's a little gem, which will have you analyzing every day occurrences and quoting fun lines to your friends.  Jason and I love this movie, if for no other reason than the line, "...little did he know...".

Often, we become so wrapped up with every day life, that we forget to look around and see the pockets of grace which God provides.  I suddenly realized today, while reading D$'s blog that it's been more than a year since I've updated my own blog.  What's absolutely crazy is that A LOT of life has happened!  I'm now a wife - married to my bestest friend in all the world!  I'm truly blessed!  More on that another time.

I don't know about you, but I tend to stress over things which are out of my control.  I don't tend to worry so much about the big world events, as I know God is Sovereign and absolutely in control. Frankly, I don't watch the news, just so I keep my eyes focused on Him, rather than worrying.  I know, I know.  Worrying is a sin and not watching the news, probably makes me a really stupid American.  Case in point, I didn't even know anything about Ferguson until it was already over.  But anyway, I digress.  My point is... what is my point?  I completely lost my train of thought.  Could it be that I'm writing at work when I should be working?  Yes, I believe that's why. :)

Little did I know, just how MUCH my life would change since I last posted about being on the verge!  #alltheawesome life events: Engaged: March 19th & soon there after, had the most fun photo shoot ever by Je Vois Photography and were later married: October 19th.  (Pictures to come #soon.)

OK, so much for my random little update.  I need to get back to work.

Happy trails.

Monday, November 18, 2013

On The Verge

I wrote this a long, long time ago.  Really, God wrote it through me.  I feel like it's time to revisit the message of the poem.  I am once again, on the verge of something great.  I feel God leading me towards new adventures.  I wanted to share it again in the hopes that someone will be encouraged by it as well.

Do you ever feel as though you’re on the verge of something great?
It’s a restless anxiety
A feeling of impending excitement
Thoughts and ideas run through my brain a million miles a minute
I step out in faith
Is this what I’m supposed to do God?
Is this all right?
I continue walking along the path
Slowly putting one foot in front of the other
Just hoping that greatness is over the next ridge
Off in the distance I see the future
It’s big and grand
Is that my destiny?
Only God knows
Only He knows what my future is.
Only He knows the greatness that I could become
But really, as long as I’m in His will, I’m great
As long as I’m walking in faith, shouldn’t that be all that matters?
Not by the worlds standards_
We’ve come so accustomed to living in this world
That we now think like the world
If just for one day, we could see what He sees
Hear what He hears

How often do we stop focusing on ourselves long enough to realize the needs in this world?
People are hurting, blindly roaming around
Seeking hope in a hopeless world
With needs no one sees but Him
Who really cares about me?
Would anyone notice if I were gone?
Where will the hurt end?
When will we realize that we aren’t here to live our lives?
We are here to tell others about Him.
Tell them about His unconditional love
How many people have you told about Him lately?
Have you stopped living selfishly long enough to live selflessly?
What if the next person you met, you told them about your Savior?
What if He blessed you with the ability to listen to peoples spiritual needs?
Would your life be any different?
Would it freak you out enough to think you were going crazy?
Or would you realize what a blessing and a gift He granted you?

What if you woke up tomorrow morning and you had this gift?
How would your life change?
All around you, voices of hopelessness and agony would fill the air
Just looking around at someone, you’d hear their real pains
The things no knows but God_ and now you
Would you address their hurt?
Tell them that there really is Someone who loves them unconditionally
Just as they are, no matter their past
Would you seize the Divine appointment He’s brought across your path?
Or would you just go about your daily life, as if nothing was different?
Would you ignore that still soft voice?

"Speak to that man over there. He needs My help."
"But Father", I quietly whisper into the quiet void. "What am I going to say?"
Through the gentle breeze, I hear Him, "With Me all things are possible."

My brain connects the right synapses, which in turn tells my right foot to take a step forward
...then the left...
...and the right...
The next thing I know, I’m standing before this man.

"Excuse me, sir", I say, with shaky confidence. "I know you don’t know who I am but it was impressed upon my heart to share something with you. There’s Someone who loves you unconditionally. No matter what has happened in the past_ what you’re doing currently, or what the future holds. I know Someone who will love and care for you regardless."

The man looks at me, and incredulously states, "Looks, I don’t know what your deal is, but I’m not interested." The man abruptly turns around and starts to walk away. Before he goes too far, I say, "You know, I know you feel as though there’s no hope, ho reason to go on, no purpose..."

As the words hang in the doubt-filled air, he slowly turns around. Looks at me, almost through me, and with tears brimming in the corner of His eyes, He says in a shaky voice, "That’s exactly what I was just thinking."

"I know", I quietly say.
"But how?" he asks amazed.
"Like I said, Someone impressed upon my heart to come talk to you."
"I sure would like to meet this ‘Someone’"
I point to a bench near by, "Well, I’d love to tell you about Him."

As we sit on the bench and I tell him about this ‘Someone’. The glassy hopelessness begins to recede from his eyes and is replaced with tears of amazement and unworthiness. As his tears continue to stream down his face, he asks, "But why would this man die for me?"

With my own tears filling my eyes, I say, "Because... He loves you that much. If you had been the only one on this whole earth, He still would have suffered and died for your sins, past, present and future."

The man, now openly weeping, "What do I have to do to get what you have?"

"Just ask... ask forgiveness for all that you’ve done, turn your back on your old ways of living, and tell others the things that I’ve told you. Tell them how He has changed your life. You know something, right now in Heaven, the angels are rejoicing over one more lost lamb has come to the Father and entered into His kingdom. From this day on, you are a new creature. Your old ways have passed away. You are changed!"

As I bask in the afterglow from this Divine appointment, I thank Him for using me_ providing me with the words to say... and most of all, for dying for me as well. I am abundantly aware that He didn’t have to die on that cross, but He did. And I am eternally grateful.

So, as I look around me, on the road they call life. I realize it doesn’t matter what the world thinks about me or the things I do. All that matter is that I’m winning souls for Him.

So, what’s this verge of greatness?
It’s when I hear that still soft voice and decide to obey or not
No matter what occurs, He’ll receive all the honor and glory
But it’s in that moment... that people hang on the verge.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Little Details

"The Lord brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold; and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled." Psalm 105:37 NLT

Hey, have you ever noticed this verse before? Did you see it?!  Read it again...

Not only did God make good on His promise to deliver His people from Egypt but also, "not one" stumbled! I mean, think about it.... they are FREAKING OUT right about now! The Egyptian's are hot on their tail, they're walking THROUGH the Red Sea, carrying all the Earthly possessions and yet.... "...not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled"! How amazing is that?!

It shows me that God cares about the little details of our lives.  :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Making Christmas Ornaments 101

I had this idea in mind all year long, to create ornaments for Christmas.  I quickly realized it was going to be more trouble than I expected.  But that's OK, usually means the end result it going to be pretty special. 

I looked on Pinterest for "How To", went to Michael's to get supplies (acrylic paint), then just did a bit of "winging it".  I've never been very good at following instructions anyway.  I figured it couldn't go too wrong.  :)


I added a good bit of water to the paint bottles, but when I dripped it into the ornament, I realized this wasn't going to work.  The consistency just wasn't watery enough.

Surprisingly, more paint is needed than you think.  Even though the bottles are small and you think you need to conserve, the fact is, I used a TON of paint and I still have quite a bit left over.

I dripped a few drops of water in by straw, then put my thumb over the hole and SHOOK and WIGGLED it and did some creative moves in order to get the paint to completely cover all the surface.
Once finished, I transferred the excess water into a new one.  I originally wanted only one or two colors to mix within, but obviously, when they all share the same water, that's just not possible. :)
By the end, I mixed most of the colors together: Rose, Purple, Turquoise, Silver and Confetti.  I was hoping the colors would stay lined up, but water changes everything.  :)

Yay, all finished, yet still needs to dry at least a day, but mine dried about two days. 

First, upside down in the packaging it came in (so the excess paint could drip out).  Second, (day 2) on its side to allow airflow into the orb.

I used something that Michael's called twine.  It's not what I had envisioned, but luckily it turned out better than expected.  On some of them, I used white puff paint and wrote, "2012."  I hung one of the "duds" on my tree.  The light sparkling through looks really good.  Yay me!  I'm quite pleased with the finished product.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012 Year in Review

Dear Friends and Family,

God continues to answer prayers! It’s only now, as I’m reflecting over the past year, do I really see all that He’s done! I’m amazed and humbled by His continual blessing in my life; what favor! Jason and I have been dating nearly three years now. Every day, we fall more in love with King Jesus and each other. :) I wanted to honor Him by sharing a huge answer to prayer! Earlier this year, He completely healed me of Sciatic nerve pain! My life has dramatically changed as a result!

Jason and I had a whirlwind of adventures this year and countless memories to boot. Here are a few examples: a surprise Ricky Skaggs Concert; “Experienced” the COLOR RUN; Played in the ocean under absolutely perfect conditions—crystal clear and calm waters; 4-hour trek through an underground cave; Camping in all climates and our biggest trip was to Michigan to visit friends. It was a 19-hour journey one-way! Admittedly, we did make a few stops along the way: Cincinnati for a self-guided tour around the city and Kalamazoo, just to say that we had been. :) (Coming home was a mere 15-hour.) If you’re in our radius, we would love to visit you!

God likes to give me themes to work on throughout the year. In 2011, my goal was to be the “Active Ingredient”. In 2012, my mission has been to “Create Something Beautiful”! This theme presented itself in so many ways and gave me the freedom to stretch my artistic muscles. I’ve dabbled in different art mediums before, but never really considered myself an artist… until this year. :)

As many of you know, I’ve always loved taking pictures, but never dreamed God would use it for anything more than a hobby. After MUCH prayer and patience, God finally revealed the name of what’s to be my next adventure, a photography business called: Pockets of Grace*.

It’s quite a leap of faith though, as I definitely don’t feel ready for something of this magnitude. A good friend reminded me recently, “If God has confidence in you, don’t you think you should feel a little more capable”? Well said.

I don’t share this bit of news with you to elicit business; rather I covet your prayers. I feel quite confident in my ability to capture God’s glorious creations: flowers, sunsets and the like. But people are another thing all together. Which is the point, I suppose. The end result will be completely all God! I feel that He’s been pushing me this way for a while now though, so we’ll see what He has in store for me next! I’m sure, like most things in my life, I’ll be able to look back and see His fingerprints all over everything. He’s pretty cool like that!

I pray you and your family have a blessed Christmas season! This sounds like a cliché, but remember the real reason we celebrate the season: King Jesus! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!

*Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Roots Before Branches

I need to take my photography "business" to the next level.  As you know, I've always had a passion for capturing God's beauty through pictures, but it would be ideal if I could also make a little extra money on the side.  Thoughts have been brewing how I might best make that happen: name the business (been working on that forever), create business cards (need a name first), create a website (need name and business cards)... you can see how it all semi-hinges on a name.

I want it to be memorable... easy to spell... creative... and yet, when people read/hear/see it, they'll know it describes me and my art work.  It would be fun to have "Quintana" in the title, so that a part of our family history will always be with me.  But... that seems like the easy way out: Quintana Photography.  There's nothing wrong with that, per se, but I need more.  I need something, perhaps catchy.  Though, not like a friend suggested, "Meredith's Photography and Chainsaw Repair".  That's just silly and inaccurate.  

I'm thinking about Chazown Photograpy.  Crazy name, I know.  Right off the bat, I know it already doesn't meet one of my criteria (easy to spell), but oh, when you learn what Chazown (khaw-ZONE) means, you'll understand why it's in the running.   

"Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision, and it's what God had in mind for you when you were created. Each of us is a masterpiece, placed on earth for a unique purpose that's solely ours to fulfill. Chazown helps you discover and pursue your purpose—the reason God placed you on earth." []

William Shakespeare once wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
"  Apparently Mr. Shakespeare didn't understand the inherent value a name has to a person or thing.  (Though I do understand I'm taking a quote out of context.)

There's a school of thought that believes you'll grow into your name.  Or your name becomes you.  That is, if your name is Jason, the Greek definition of your name is "to heal".  Perhaps God's blessed you with certain talents that lead people to Jesus.  I know my Jason has an INCREDIBLE talent for musical instruments.  I always say, anything with a string, he can play it.  :)  Perhaps when others hear him play, they are soothed, become peaceful, relaxed, not stressed out (healed)?

All this to say, names are extremely important.  But not only that, I've always felt like I'm uniquely qualified to fulfill a specific, God-ordained moment in history.  I'll never discover what that is though just working through the daily grind, earning a paycheck.  I need to switch my focus Heavenward... focus on what really matters in this world.  I get distracted by the world sometimes.

I feel like God's leading me in a new direction with photography.  I don't exactly know what it looks like yet, but there's an expectancy.  Most moms have nine months to prepare to give birth to their baby, but since I don't know when my "baby" is coming, I'd better be prepared. 

"There's always a seed
Before there's a rose
The more that it rains
The more I will grow

I gotta have

Roots before branches
To know who I am
Before I know
Who I wanna be
And faith
To take chances
To live like I see
A place in this world
For me"

-by Room For Two

I do know of one opportunity that's fallen into my lap.  I'll tell you more about it when the time is right.

So.... do you have any ideas what I should name my business?  If so, please share.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When Only a Miracle Will Do

Back to the grind, fat burning grind that is.  We did Bob's Pure Burn Super Strength workout today.  I thought it might be a nice change of pace... less painful... umm, yeah, so anything with Bob Harper's name on it is actually going to be quite painful.  Silly me.  As he said today, 'You don't get fit by doing ten minute workouts, you get fit by working out hard every day.' 

Today was all about muscle strength.  I used one pound weights and Jason used two.  Now, don't be nay-saying those small weights.  Go pick up a bag of flour, hold it over your head, do some deep runner's stretches, do all kinds of crazy lifts and stretches and then let me know how light one-two pounds are.  It's funny, but they quickly become very heavy. ("Heaby" as my nephew used to say.)  We did an amazing job though!  It's encouraging to me that even the workout helpers are sweating like crazy and grunting and wanting to quit when Bob's not watching.  They must forget they are being filmed.  It's quite funny, really. 

I can barely keep my eyes open.... oh wait.... I'm typing with my eyes closed.  It's kinda nice really.  Hope I don't make any mistakes.  If I do, I won't correct them, just to see how funny it looks.  Waking up at five after sleeping until nearly eight every day last week is a SHOCK to my system.  I'd like to go back to bed now.  Who knows?  Maybe there's time for a quick cat nap after blogging.  OK, My eyes are open again.  How'd I do?  Make any mistakes?

Weekend Roundup:
Saturday, I spent the day at my parent's house for an early Easter celebration.  My Sister and Nephew came over and eventually Jason did too.  We spent a good portion of the day outside, taking pictures, wandering around with G trying to find the eggs Mom had hidden (missing two still).  I hope those aren't the ones with chocolate inside, but pennies instead. 

Around 3, I went in to escape the heat and mosquitoes and had a tiny cat nap.  It was one of those sleeps, where you can still hear things going on around you, so I wasn't totally out.  I heard Mom and G coming back inside saying, "We need a girl, a rope and a ladder."  What in the world? I thought.  Turns out, Mom needed my help to take down a tree in the backyard.  Why take down a perfectly good tree, you ask?  Well, Mom said it was shading her garden too much.  Why not move the garden?  She already had twice, so the tree moved this time.  It took a bit of elbow grease but we finally got the tree sawed enough that we could pull it down (tied a rope to a top section earlier). 

[.....14 hours later....]  I was so exhausted this morning, I went back to bed for an hour before going to work.  :)

It's easier to show pictures than to explain:

Steph and Mom sawing down the tree

Yay! Girl power took down the tree!

Easter Sunday, we went to 8am church.  It was an amazing service!  Pastor Chris sermon was entitled, "When Only a Miracle Will Do".  I knew from the very moment he mentioned that we were going to do things a little different, I would be going forward to receive the miracle of healing in my body.  I was both excited and nervous at the same time, but I knew God was leading me to take this step.  This wasn't the first time I've been prayed over for this ailment (sciatica), but this time was different.  I don't know how to explain it, I just knew.

By the time the moment to go forward came about, I nearly pushed Jason out of the way to get out of my seat.  I knew if I didn't obey in the moment, I would talk myself out of the blessing.  I've asked Jesus to heal me over the past three years or so, but He's chosen not to.  Who knows why.  Maybe it required me to sacrifice something of myself?  Maybe I had to take the actual step of faith and trust that a stranger praying for me and ushering in His spirit of healing would be enough. 

I had to wait my turn in line... I couldn't sing the praise song... all I could hear was my beating heart pumping blood into my ears.  When I stepped forward, the sweet lady asked me what was going on with me.  I said, "I've been suffering with sciatica for years and I just need the pain to stop."  She said, "Oh, girl, we're going to get you healed in the blood of the Lamb."  She then began to pray and say things that ONLY King Jesus would know about me.  Things I've only said to Him, things no knows, yet she was praying them over me.  That's the second time that's happened to me in my lifetime.

My human side (head) wants to err on the side of caution and say, let's wait and see if I'm truly healed.  But my heart tells me, I was healed the moment I asked Him to bless me with a miracle.  I've prayed He would heal me many times before, but all I can say is it was different this time.  I hope and pray I truly am healed.  What a glorious experience I will have for my life to remember Easter 2012... the day I was healed.

Any other Highlanders out there?  Or has anyone else received a miracle in their life?  I'd love to hear about it!  Please leave me a comment!

Sunday afternoon, Jason and I decided to create something beautiful by doing an art project I had seen on Pinterest.  You glue crayons to a canvas and then melt them using a hair drying.  The finished product looked amazing and so I thought we could figure it out and give it a try.  The whole project was less than $20 for us both!  It took muuuuuuuuuuuch longer than either of us thought it would, but the finished product was completely worth it!  I'll save you all the numerous behind the scenes details (unless you just really want to know) and show off our finished art project! 

My art

Jason's Art

Finished Products!

Today was the first of many two-a-day workouts.  It actually was pretty OK.  I probably could have done more cardio, but my right side extremities fall asleep within 10 minutes of starting.  By 40, I just have to quit.  Pins n needles are no fun.  Does anyone have any idea why only my right hand and foot go to sleep?  I would love for that to stop!

Friday, April 6, 2012

What a Week!

You probably think because I haven't written in a week means that I haven't worked out either.......

And you'd be correct.  *hangs her head in shame* 

I survived my 'hell' week, but with not much extra energy to do much of anything else.  Being all things to all people all week long is utterly exhausting.  Plus, I was super duper busy all week long.  It takes me a little bit to get focused on something so when I was CONSTANTLY interrupted with phone calls and questions and whatever else, it drained me.  So, my theory, albeit rationalization at best, was that I did a great job keep everything afloat, it was OK to take a break this week.  The funny things is, I had lofty goals for myself.  If I wasn't going to wake up early, I was at the very least going to to go the gym every afternoon after work.  I packed my clothes on Sunday night to go on Monday, but that same bag is still in my car with completely clean clothes in it.  Oh well.  No biggie.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it or anything.  Such is life.  I'll hit it hard this coming week.  In fact, I think Jason mentioned two-a-days.  5am and after work workout.  If that's true, boy will I be going to bed early and get the best sleep ever.

Not blogging for a week leads me to think that a lot more life happened that I remember to share.  Sometimes I think I ramble too much.  OK, who am I kidding?  I know I ramble, but I generally have a point.  I should have started this post earlier tonight.  I'm suddenly very tired and must sleep.  More to come.

Happy Trails all.


Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hello Again, World!

Hi, my name is Meredith and I'm a slacker.  Hi, Meredith!  No, really.  Work was crazy slow on Monday and Tuesday, then Wednesday and today have been insanely busy.  Yesterday I wasn't even able to leave and get lunch.  Yes, I could have left, but by the time I came up for air, it was 3:30.  It just seemed silly to get lunch that late.  However, today was much like yesterday, but today I left at 3:30 to get lunch and brought it back to my desk as I continued to work. 

Let's rewind a few hours.  For whatever reason, I just couldn't fall asleep last night.  I was playing Draw Something until well after midnight.  Ugh.  I hate when I can't sleep.  So, subsequently, when 5am came around, I wasn't feeling my best.  I actually popped right out of bed and turned on the hallway light to prepare for Jason's arrival.  But I then got back in bed.  :)  I texted Jason to see where he was and to let him know I might need to cancel for the day.  Ugh, twice in one week.  I'm such a slacker.

I went back to sleep and accidentally forgot to set an alarm to wake up.  So, at 8:15 when I gingerly rolled over, I freaked out when I saw what time it was!!  Granted, I have a pretty open schedule.  I can arrive to work any time between 8:30-9:30, so I had some leeway.  But I enjoy getting off at 5pm instead of anything later.  I felt late though and rushed and my whole morning was thrown off.  Plus, I knew I would get ribbing from my boss about it. 

Anyway, crazy day. 

My new modem came in the mail today.  I always have a bit of foreboding when it comes to the installation process of new networking issues, especially when dealing with AT&T.  I hooked everything up... and one green light.... two green light..... and.... fail, internet was a red light.  I did all that I knew to do, then gave up and contacted AT&T.  Arg.  I actually contacted them through their chat thingamabob and that worked well... until I got lost connection TWICE!  Each time I would have to retell my issues, and go through all the steps.  Even though I told them, I've already talked with your coworkers, I'm on this step.  But no, they had me run through all the steps again.  Grr.  By the third time when I lost connection, I figured I could figure it out on my own.  Eureka!  It finally found whatever magical connection it needed to get me back on the WWW.  I was never more happy to see Google!

Now, I should be asleep.  I shouldn't be blogging.  I should be getting restorative healing while I sleep... but, I'm writing.  Writing about nothing in particular.  If you're reading today's post, then I know you just love me.  As there's no real value here today, folks.  Nothing insightful.  Nothing witty.  Although, I did watch a good movie tonight, "In Time" with Justin Timberlake.  Pretty good movie, kinda long, only one bad word that I remember.

I just got majorly distracted playing DrawSomething, so I'd better close for today and get in bed!  5am comes early and Bob and Jason need me to be up and at 'em!  Yay, TGIF!!