Sunday, December 27, 2009


In honor of my hubby's golden birthday I have been noting lots of little and big things I love and appreciate about him. Here's my list in random order...


27 things I love that are distinctly YOU:

1. You shrug your shoulder slightly when playing the guitar
2. Your eyes are a deep sea of blue I can get lost in
3. You talk nerdy to me
4. You make THE best breakfasts and sandwich concoctions
5. You show your emotions
6. Your hugs make me feel loved and secure
7. You know where to draw the line when I don't
8. You've figured out how to lighten my mood with a whiff of your cologne
9. You set a great example for those around you
10. You put your heart and soul into whatever you're called to...especially chiropractic
11. You dream about having an impact on people
12. You look great in Express pants
13. You offer wisdom not of yourself
14. You're a great teacher
15. You use your talents for God's glory
16. You do great impressions (just not on command)
17. You're a good steward of the finances and body you've been given.
18. You're a healer
19. You love outdoor adventures
20. You make people laugh. alot.
21. You know bones, x-rays, and anatomy better than I ever could
22. You align your priorities with the Bible.
23. Your hands are the right amount of strong and gentle
24. You love God's Word
25. You pray me through the hard times
26. Your dictionary is among your favorite books
27. You're mine!

I love you, Sam! I'm blessed to have a man like you in my life.

Friday, December 11, 2009

feathers and fabric

Here are some examples of my feather hairclips and fabric button earrings! I added the buttons to the hairclips too, but I think I need to go with the larger size in the future. I'm trying to make some handmade things for Christmas...maybe by next year I can go for the handmade challenge and either make or buy all handmade gifts! Oh, and my new sewing machine freaked out the first time I used it (grinding noises? not good), but Sears gave me a fresh one in the box so I can get on with some sewing projects. New years resolution? I'd love to hear if you've thought of any resolutions of your own:)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

art of a different kind

Sam and I spent the afternoon mapping out a floor plan for the clinic. I like shapes and numbers, but mostly I enjoyed getting to make each room a different color :) Tomorrow morning we get to meet with our realtor to walk through the building and map it out with masking tape. I plan to head to the store now to grab the tape, maybe even in various colors:)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stop tinkering with your soul...

and look away to the Perfect One.

When Sinner's Say "I do" is the book that has challenged my marriage more than any other. Our official study with Troy and Ruth is over, but I'm drawn time and time again to the truth God spoke to me these past several months through this book. This week I've been reading through the first chapter again, and I'm amazed at paradigm shift that is happening in my heart and mind. Reading it for a second time has been powerful and full of new and deeper insights, all which build off the previous ground work-and I find myself unable to get enough. The gospel in all its glory doesn't get old.

I've been wrestling with my own prideful heart more than ever lately, realizing my tendencies these past 25 years have been to hide away from my sin and strive to cover my brokenness. Why do I do that? I've wondered and even speculated, but never have I seen so clearly the alternative. A lack of understanding and acceptance of the gospel has kept me enslaved to shame and addicted to pride...precisely the things that God longs to free me from. My unspoken motto, "it's not okay not to be okay" directly opposes the gospel truth. I think it's time for a new motto.

So what is the gospel truth that I need to continually "preach to my heart" as Ruth puts it? Well, I'm still piecing it all together, but a big part of it is an extension of what I already know. "The gospel explains our most obvious and basic problem-sin has separated us from God and from each other. Thus we are objects of God's wrath."
A Christian understands the necessity of the cross; our sin was so bad that it required blood, the blood of God, to take it away! But we can't let it stop there. I don't think I've let the gospel seep into my daily life nor my deepest parts. At times, yes, but not as a way of life. Dave Harvey says, "Never make the mistake of thinking that the gospel is only good for evangelism and conversion. By the gospel we understand that, although saved, we remain sinners. Through the gospel we receive power to resist sin. Accurately understanding and continually applying the gospel is the Christian life." Wow. That last line hits me so hard. Have a really been missing the fullness of the gospel all this time? It's not too late to grab hold of it thank goodness.

My marraige has been most affected by my wrong ways of thinking. Just being brutally honest, I've fought so hard to be "okay" that I've fallen into all kinds of sin, including self-reliance, pride and rebellion just to name a few. And the more I sinned, the more shame I felt, thus the cycle of trying to cover and fix, deny and make excuses continued. The love of God expressed through the cross addresses those cycles in a way that my striving never could. Again, I can't say it as well as this author but this is HUGE..

."God is changing us sinners. That process of change points toward a glorious goal-to become more like his Son, our Savior. But for us to become more like Christ, we must reckon with the fact that we are sinners; forgiven, yes, but still battling the inward drive to turn away from God to ourselves. Without such biblical clarity, we have no context for the cross and no ongoing awareness of our need for grace and mercy. Without a robust perspective on sin, the very notion of what it means to know God is profoundly weakened. Cornelius Platinga noted, "The sober truth is that without full disclosure on sin, the gospel of grace becomes impertinent, unnecessary, and finally uninterestingWithout a "full disclosure on sin," blind self-confidence will compel us to try to make our marraiges work on our own strength"'

I desire to have that "full disclosure on sin" be what my marraige rests on. How did I somehow think I shouldn't sin when I became saved?! It's so freeing to realize that it is God who is sanctifying me and I can rejoice and even boast in the fact that the gospel addresses the war within my own heart, and that God is fully aware of my sin and loves me still. The Lord wants us to fasten our eyes on him and not all the sinful toxins in our heart (Isaiah 45:22, Mic 7:7)

Please know that I'm attempting to write concretely about something that is on-going and always evolving. I by no means have it figured out! But I am processing it by God's grace and from my desire for you to be encouraged as you see Him at work in and all around you.

I'll leave you this one last quote from Elyse Fitzpatrick that I intend to keep meditating on as I seek to live out of the gospel daily.

"The problem of our ongoing fallibility and failure has been answered in the gospel. We are, each one, more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe, but more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope. The love of God for us in the gospel assures our hearts and brings us peace, especially when we see our sins and failures."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

celebrate good times, come on!

Dr. Samuel Oertel!
My parents show me some love at Sam's fiesta:)
Like father like son
Sam's patients should NEVER see this picture!

As many of you know, Sam recently graduated at the top of his class as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Our trip to Illinois was such a joyful time spent celebrating his accomplishments with our friends and family. Perhaps the most exciting part of graduation week was the realization that we were about to embark on a new season, one that we've sacrificed for, one that God has clearly called us to. After a trip to St. Louis last weekend we have decided to partner with a company called AMC that is dedicated to helping chiropractors succeed. This week we have started the process of opening our own practice, which begins with choosing our market and location. I will continue to update you as we go along!

Friday, November 6, 2009

rainbow lunch

I'm loving this colorful wrap! It's simply an organic corn tortilla stuffed with turkey, red and yellow peppers, red onion, feta cheese and a chipotle hummus.

Yummy fruit salad with strawberries, kiwi, dried cranberries, almonds, walnuts, red onion and a raspberry vinaigrette. The only color missing from this rainbow lunch is blue! Dang, I should have added blueberries:)
I'm so happy to be eating fresh, even in November! What are your latest lunch ideas?

Friday, October 30, 2009


In recent days my heart has been aching...aching over the here and now-suffering, pain, hardship, and aching for the heavens and earth to come. My precious grandmother is somewhere in between. After over a year of strange sickness she thought was related to food allergies and a loss of over 30 pounds (she is at around 85 pounds), we found out her once cured hormone cancer has come back with a vengeance. It has metastasized into her lungs, and abdomen, causing her to fight for her every breath. I could go into a great deal of detail, but the bottom line is she is hurting, and that makes my heart hurt. Hence the bitter part.

The sweet part is that she is the biggest fighter I know. The sweet part is that she holds onto the Savior and always has. And when he calls her home there will be an overwhelming joy and ache inside for her eternal destiny and the other for mine. I long to be home too. But, of course, the timing of that is not for me to decide. For now I pray for her to be out of pain as quickly as possible, be it a comeback from this sickness or a passing on to a place where there is none.

She is my mother, she has been there for me more than my own... nurturing me, fighting for me, and exercising the power of prayer over my life. I'm so thankful we're not only blood relatives; we're heirs of Christ and adopted into the family of God. We'll never be separated for long.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

creative birthday girl

Me and Steph (above) Baby Will (below)

I've been meaning to share pictures of these fun earrings for a while now. What a perfect day for it.....the creator's birthday! Stephanie has an art degree with a concentration in painting. Nowadays she spends her time raising little Will (age 1) and creating lots of fun things in her home (lots of fabric work, modern quilting, felt, etc.). I admire my dear friends' commitment to buying handmade things as well. I'm considering taking the handmade challenge myself! Here are some pics of the cute earrings I've fallen in love with:) Watch might find yourself craving a pair, too! You can shop at her Etsy store.

Happy happy birthday Steph-my wonderfully creative friend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

psalms to silence the heart

trust (trst)n.
1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
2. Custody; care.
3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.
4. Reliance on something in the future; hope.

I'm encouraged to fully trust my heavenly Father with our future when I read these poetic and heart-felt Psalms...

16:7-11 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

61:8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before himl
God is a refuge for us.

145:15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.

103: 1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all this is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sam Bear-Hugs a Cholla

Here is my studly husband after a fight with a cholla (type of cactus). I don't know who won. Although Sam's body looked like acupuncture gone wrong, the cactus was definitely demolished so.... maybe they both got the crap kicked out of them. Oh the joys of living in the desert.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dear Ruth

I don't know why I should feel a tad bashful about sharing this. There's no shame in loving people and being loved in return. And I know you're not one to hide your heart for others either...oh how I admire that about you :) On your special day I think you must know how much your one life has touched mine; how much I look to you as a source of godly wisdom and example. No, I don't put you on a pedestal, but I celebrate the work of Christ IN you. Just as you create things as an artist and look upon them with great joy, so your Father looks upon you as his masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." You are loved dear friend.

Happy Day of your Birth!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The countdown begins....all are welcome!
Now we wait and pray and believe that by the time this party comes we will know what exactly that "new door of opportunity" will look like.

party hardy!

Ok, this 25th birthday party like totally speaks to me! The 80's were some good times! And is it just me or is it freaking out the rest of you children of the 80's to see some of the trends coming back! I think the prom photo backdrop is genius and I'm in LOVE with the pac-man cake! I also think it's like totally awesome how we included Pop Rocks and Slinkies for the kids- totally 80's touches! This party was psychedelic! Like, FOR SURE!

And to top it all off I opened like, the most RADICAL sewing machine ever. Now I can like, make my own totally tubular costume for next time!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Clothes Swap

In an effort to simplify and share the love (of clothes), my lovely lady friends came over for an all out clothes swap. My hope was to take less than what I brought to share...otherwise, I would have been shifting, not simplifying! We chose a few things from the piles and took the rest to the nearest Goodwill. Ahh, sweet relief!
It brought me such joy to bless friends with clothes and accessories that have long sat in my closet. Going though my bins and drawers really opened my eyes to just how much I own... and how little I need. I want to be better at living simply.

So, what's in your closet?