Tuesday, March 24, 2015

flying cats

Once upon a time, a pastor owned a cat. But one day the cat climbed up a tree, and couldn't climb back down. The pastor, feeling bad, did what any responsible cat owner would have done: he attempted to get the cat down from the tree. He pulled down the limb, and just then, a police car went racing by with sirens blaring. The pastor lost concentration, and let go of the limb.
Unfortunately, the cat was still on the limb, and the pastor had pulled the limb down far enough that when he let go, the cat went plummeting through space, screeching.

The pastor searched and searched, but could not find the cat.

A week later, the pastor was visiting one of the older women from his congregation and asked how she was doing. She replied "I'm doing wonderful! I was really struggling for a while. Last week I was standing on my porch praying, and I was asking God 'Why do you have me here? I feel so lonely and abandoned. Please just give me a sign that I'm where you want me to be.' And then out of the sky came this cat! It landed right in my lap, and it's the sweetest thing. Now I'm not so lonely!"

The pastor didn't have the heart to tell the woman that the cat was actually his, so he just said "Wow! God is good!" and finished his visit with the woman.

I heard this story a couple weeks ago and thought it was HILARIOUS, so I thought I'd share it. The point made was that while things might seem really bad or confusing or just plain weird, and we are wondering why things are going the way they are, God will work everything (even flying cats!) out for his glory, his purposes, and his good.

Monday, March 16, 2015

stop and look

I was thinking about how when my family is on vacation, or visiting friends that we don't see often, or doing something unusual, we tend to slow down. Little things are funnier, we do stupid stuff and get a kick out of it...we SLOW DOWN.

And then we get back from the vacation and everyone gets back into their bazillion-mile-an-hour routine.
We start creating invalid excuses, such as "I'm too busy", "I will finish this first", or "I'm too tired".

The thing is, we have to stop and look. If we don't we miss the little things.

For example: my older sister was 12 weeks pregnant with her second baby, had sever morning sickness, her 20-month-old baby girl loves to yank chains, and her lab-cross puppy loves to chew.

My older sister was craving bagels.

I had bagels.

I could have said "I need to go home and do homework, practice piano, do laundry, read the passage for Bible Study tonight, blah, blah, blah..." 
But when I texted her telling her of the bagels, and she got excited, which never happens when she isn't feeling good, what could I do?
So off to big sister's I went. Later, she told me that my niece was running around the house yelling "Nam! Nam!", which is little Jo's nickname for me.

I could have made excuses. I could have tried to get something done on my never-ending to-do list.
Instead, though, I did something for someone else. I slowed down, and breathed and enjoyed my sister and brother-in-law and niece for an hour and was completely blessed. Sometimes we have to stop and look.

Because if we don't, we miss out on the precious, priceless things that life hides from our overview glances. We miss the things that don't come into focus right away. We have to look for some things. And if we don't, we never see them.

So, these pictures - most of them, I took them thinking "These are going to be cow-pie pictures because of __________". (And the careless part of me took the picture anyway...) Fortunately, I was wrong! They turned out just fine... :D Enjoy!

Kona was on my lap when I took this...I didn't think it was going to turn out, because this lens doesn't zoom out AT ALL. But it worked! And turned out very nice, if I do say so myself... ;)

You know, for this picture being taken from the car, it turned out pretty good...

What can I say? I'm a messy cook ...I thought the spilled popcorn kernels looked pretty...

A glorious Montana view, just for you!

Friday, March 6, 2015

#profoundlyloved ... a blog party

It is pretty cool, you know. How much He loves us? Think about it:

  • all the sand on the sea shore
  • all the drops in the ocean
  • from the east to the west
  • to infinity...and beyond!

I don't think we can ever really see or hear or feel how much God loves us. 
I think we can get close to the edge of it. And then we scoot back really fast, because its actually almost scary how big that infinity of love is. That much. 
And when we are loved that much, nothing else really matters. School, work, the never-ending to-do list...it all just fades into the background and God's love fills us up and suddenly everything is okay. We are profoundly loved. And that love covers EVERYTHING.

Kate from the Goodness Revolt (a pretty cool blog, in my opinion) tagged Jana from Jana's Faith (another really cool blog) who tagged me. And I am the least techy person that ever hit the face of the planet (okay, actually, Mom is worse...) and I'm a new blogger to boot. Basically: this is my first blog party ever, so...bear with me in love... :D

First, seven (7) questions, then ten (10) tags (if you can! or maybe you're like me and don't have ten friends that blog...) and then it's your turn!

1. tell me about someone you love, and why.

Seriously? I have to pick only one?!?! My sister, parents, friends....You've heard all of these already, so let me tell you about my second family. Even though we only get to see them once a year, we get along marvelously and have always been able to pick right back up where we left off from the year before. When we vacation together, we do awesome stuff, like float the river, boat races (we build the boats!) or go stargazing or sailing, and eat weird food like fried pickles or pie dough and fresh blackberries. They are pretty much some of the most awesome people I have ever met!

2. what is one thing you do that makes you feel all like "man, I could do this forever" when you do it?

Probably...well, actually I don't know. I think mine probably changes day to day. It's more of a feeling for me...somewhere along the lines of "I know that I'm okay doing whatever I'm doing right now. This makes me feel content." Whether that action is traveling with loved ones (which is one of my most favorite things to do EVER), or playing a favorite song on my piano, or sledding or skiing or swimming or bowling with friends, or even just sitting in a coffee shop, writing, like I'm doing now...I could do these forever.

3. what do you love about yourself?

I have great legs.
(KIDDING! Although now that I think about it...I've seen worse... ;)

I like my logical viewpoint on situations and conflicts. I'm able to see things as they really are, without prejudices and favorites, and state my opinion in a clear and precise way. (point proven...)

4. what advice would you give to someone who doesn't believe she/he is beautiful?

It doesn't matter what we think or what anyone else thinks. In God's sight, we are beautiful, perfect, and loved. And his opinion is really the only one that matters. So, for the record: you are beautiful, perfect, and loved. :)

5. what is the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about confidence?

Thank you, Apostle Paul...

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2Timothy 1:7

6. If you were your own daughter, what advice would you give yourself?

"Samantha, You are gonna have to grow up sooner or later...You might as well do it with dignity...otherwise I'm going to have to drag you kicking and screaming from childhood..."

(Embarrassingly enough, I have had to tell myself this from time to time...*awkward silence*)

I would tell myself to not take anything (including myself) too seriously.

7. a verse, poem, sonnet, ancient-old proverb that inspires you to love yourself and others?

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. -Thomas Merton

Above all, love each other deeply. 1 Peter 4:8

And now I tag:





And I don't really know anyone else who blogs...but hey if you see this and want to do it...go right ahead!
Even if you don't have a blog, just use #profoundlyloved for the title! :D

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

it's a phase...

While I am really appreciative of you all for being incredibly patient with this amateur (VERY amateur) blogger who will just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about really NOTHING significant...I would like you to know that every once in a while I DO sit down and connect all the dots.

Here's what this blog is really about.

First of all, the blog address: the journey of here
Originally, this was going to be a blog just about journeys and where they take us and where mine was taking me. But...you can only talk so much about journeys and only make so many correlations between random things and journeys and life.
So, the address stayed the same but the title didn't. It changed promptly (or semi-promptly, since I have yet to do anything PROMPTLY) to "She Laughs".
Because 90% of the time (...okay, FINE. More than that...) I take me little self WAY to seriously. I think I'm in control (which is hilarious, by the way).
Proverbs 21:25 says that "...she can laugh at the days to come..." I really like that. Its an amazing reminder that we are not in control. God is. And if we have Him, then we don't need to worry about ANYTHING. Which is why we can laugh! Dude, I mean, those people that don't have Him...they have to worry about EVERYTHING. Our viewpoint (with Jesus) essentially is this: "I did the best I could. If that is not enough then I guess I'm not meant to go in that direction!"

This blog is about journeys (mine specifically, since most people wouldn't let me write about theirs...) not taking things to seriously, and, well...me.

I had this English professor that challenged his students to start and keep a blog. He described it as an online journal. A place to record thoughts in one easily-accessible place, and those thoughts were somewhat coherent and connected. That is basically what this blog is: this is my online journal.
People say not to be apologetic about what you do...BUT...

I am going to be completely and 100% apologetic about this blog. Because it's mostly going to be me ranting. (There will be bad days, I promise.) (And I'll try to give fair warning...Actually, this is your fair warning. So continue to read this blog at your own will and risk.)

This blog...it's me on a page. I will try to be as open as possible. I will try to not bore you with too many badly taken photographs. I will try to be uplifting. I will try to move forward; I will try not to beat the proverbial dead horse. I will try to post consistently and semi-frequently.
I'm trying, here. I am trying to live my life as one that is glorifying to God. And I'm gonna have to vent about it somewhere. (The internet sounded like the perfect place...) ;)
This blog is about me, and journeys, and laughing even on the days when you really just want to hit someone with a chair.
This is my blog. I hope you enjoy it!