On the willows is now located at:
On the willows is now located at:
On the Willows is going on 3 months already! Thank you for your wonderful posts, comments, facebook shares, tweets, etc! We have had thousands of hits, and many women have been encouraged by what they have read.
Thanks to a sponsorship from Affari Project, we have a new website! Be sure to bookmark: http://www.onthewillows.com. You will also a notice a new willow tree, which was hand drawn by fashion designer and artist, Sheila Lam. She is also on facebook and etsy!
What you should do now? Due to a system change, you will no longer receive these email updates from WordPress. Please go to www.onthewillows.com and re-subscribe through ChimpMail. It’s easy and very safe. Your email will not be sold or given away to spammers! Thank you for re-subscribing and being a faithful reader of On the Willows!
Valentine’s Day is coming in just a few days! Usually, my husband and I go out on a simple date. We tend to “splurge” a little more on our Wedding Anniversary in April (which is so much more meaningful to me, personally!). Of course, any day is a great day to show how much you love your mate!
Lately, I have been thinking about the importance of solitude and wanted to write about it. Then I thought how Valentine’s Day is coming, and that might not be the most popular topic. However, I’m convinced that they go hand in hand, in a very special and encouraging way.
As humans, we romanticize about how our lovers will fulfill our deepest needs for love, approval and wholeness. Then, when we fail each other, we are shocked, so disappointed, and we lose trust. However, it is important that we do not place such great expectations on our partners (and ourselves). As fallible and broken humans, we unreasonably expect each other to do something that only God can do for us. Only God can fulfill our deepest needs for love, approval and wholeness.
This is where solitude comes in. Personally, I avoid solitude because I know that there, I will find a pretty messy situation. In solitude, I see my sins, my fears, my insecurities and everything else that I would rather avoid. In a meditation on solitude, Henri Nouwen says that if we don’t run, we will also meet Him there.
Christ is there to carry the burdens we place on ourselves to be perfect lovers, wives, mothers, girlfriends, etc. He is there to drive our fears away. The cross is a constant reminder to us, that the ultimate validation is already ours. A loving King who took our sin upon Himself, gives us an approval that we could never gain from anyone.
This realization of Christ’s Love for us, should cause us to respond to each other in a way that Christ did… regardless of who “deserves” it or not, we can give and serve and love one another, from the ever-flowing well that Christ satisfies. Because our Savior did not calculate our “worthiness” of love, we, too, should give love without hesitation.
Let these truths warm you to love as you have never loved before. Happy Valentine’s Day to my single and married friends! What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
A few years ago, I signed up to received a “daily meditation” emailed to me from the Henri Nouwen Society. This Society takes excerpts from Nouwen’s old books, and forms these simple, sometimes deep, yet always profound meditations. From time to time, I will share these with you all. I believe that they will encourage you, whether it be a simple truth, or a challenge to us as women! With that said, enjoy this first devotional! It came yesterday on February 5, 2012.
Henri Nouwen Society, Daily Meditation from Sunday, February 5, 2012: “What can we say about God’s love? We can say that God’s love is unconditional. God does not say, “I love you, if…” There are no ifs in God’s heart. God’s love for us does not depend on what we do or say, on our looks or intelligence, on our success or popularity. God’s love for us existed before we were born and will exist after we have died. God’s love is from eternity to eternity and is not bound to any time-related events or circumstances. Does that mean that God does not care what we do or say? No, because God’s love wouldn’t be real if God didn’t care. To love without condition does not mean to love without concern. God desires to enter relationship with us and wants us to love God in return. Let’s dare to enter into an intimate relationship with God without fear, trusting that we will receive love and always more love.”
Personally, I always need a reminder that there is nothing I can do that will make God love me more. The mere fact that He came a couple thousand years ago to finish His work on the cross, tells us that there is nothing we did in the past to make Him perform that amazing act of Love for us and the entire world. Rather, He knew we were a helpless race, and that we needed to be rescued. Let us reflect today, and be grateful to the One who gives us love without condition.
Winter came late for Boston this year. I can’t complain! It’s been lovely. However, the past few days have been frigid! Living in the city means bundling up. Walking to the subway, walking around campus (which is situated on a windy peninsula), and walking my active Siberian Husky, in the coldest part of the winter, are a few of the reasons why I need to be warm! I have found that the best way to keep warm, besides having a warm coat, is by having a good scarf and hat.
Royal Windsor Knits (an Etsy Shop) has 100% positive feedback. I have the “Canterbury” chunky red cowl- and I love it! Everyday, someone asks me where they can get one. Most of these cowls are large enough to use as a hood.
Today, Royal Windsor Knits announced on Facebook that they will be releasing a new scarf called the Ascot (below)…
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Enjoy relaxing and online shopping!
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”. MLK, Jr.
Welcome to On the Willows! My friends and I are really excited to share this blog with you!
There have been many times in the past year when I have seriously considered starting a blog. But I was so busy with school, I felt like I couldn’t give as much as I would like to it.
One day, while walking my dog, Luther, I was thinking about how grateful I was for the amazing women that God has put into my life. I was wishing that more of my friends had blogs, so I could read more about their life experiences and what they are passionate about. Then it hit me… start a collaborative blog!
A couple of months ago, I made a private group on facebook and added many of my friends to it. I explained my idea and immediately, they were in! They started posting ideas and topics that they would like to write about and read about. It shouldn’t have surprised me that they were bursting with ideas and a desire to write! More recently, they have been submitting fantastic writings to me that will be posted this month!
I am a person who values and cherishes community. Of course, I would prefer to spend quality time with my friends in person, as opposed to scattered communication over social networking sites. I can do that with my Boston friends, but many of my friends are in California, where I grew up, and all over the U.S. and overseas! We believe there is potential for something very special for the online community of On the Willows. It’s a place where we can be honest and open about life and our faith. The “portrayal of the ideal self” is not welcomed here (I will blog about this soon)! We value the way that God thinks of us, and the way He values all women.
On the Willows is not my blog, it’s our blog!
Be sure to bookmark http://www.onthewillows.com and read often! Tomorrow, our first contributor, Stephanie VanTassell, will write about Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Please do not miss it!
*Visit the “About” page to read more about the purpose of On the Willows.