la vida es bella

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me...I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 3:12-14

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Location: Twin Cities Metro, Minnesota, United States

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


So as to hopefully stop receiving 50 million observations on how I was off on the title given the style of my house, I am posting it once and for all. It was "lavish lodge" vs. the "luxury lodge" that I had named it in a previous post. Believe me, I would have nothing to do with the word lodge when talking about my styles or pastimes had it not been for the show in the first place. Mil disculpas. There. It is done.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

i am thankful

and I pray there is not a day that goes by that I have not shown Him just how much...

Monday, November 21, 2005

here it is, folks

On HGTV, Joan Steffend, host of Decorating Cents: 100 Holiday Ideas Under $100 (Episode HDEC4-100H)

Decorating Cents: 100 Holiday Ideas Under $100, Host Joan Steffend and a team of talented designers present 100 holiday ideas for decorating your home—all under $100 each!

•November 27, 2005 9:00 PM ET/PT
•November 28, 2005 1:00 AM ET/PT
•November 29, 2005 9:00 PM ET/PT
•November 30, 2005 1:00 AM ET/PT

Sunday, November 20, 2005

the second is this

The last week or so has been a particularly rough one for a number of different reasons. Amidst the chaos of happenings, I have struggled with questions I have been continuously searching for the answers to. There are truly no words that I have wanted to share for fear that they would be anything but transparent; merely a facade of convincing both myself and others of my clean composure. As this is something that I abhor, I have attempted to refrain from both writing and speaking words that are not heartfelt. In turn, this has constituted much more silence than usual.

Though there is a time and season in life for many things, this - a day, a week, a month in mine - smalls in comparison to the millions of lives that I share this time with. We are creatures in desperate need of love. I long for a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude. At the end of the day, though, there is a truth that remains in me: I am sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see. If tomorrow never comes, I am confident that He who began a good work in me will complete it. Yet there are countless others languished away in lies who cannot say the same.

I received words from an old friend who is near and dear to my heart. They were words filled with sadness and despair; words coming from a heart that is lost and badly bruised, and that has not acknowledged His love in far too long. I continue to learn how to worship through the struggles, but this reminded me how important it is to continue to learn to love others through the struggle, as well. I will find resolve in some way or another; meanwhile, the mission is still at hand.

And so, in the words of a great teacher, I must continue to live outside of myself and be willing to be interrupted to love with the same love that has been freely given me regardless of my imperfection.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

luxury lodge

Winter has come; a thin layer of snow coats all that it touched in the first storm of the season, & it is colder than I would ever wish for in sanity (or insanity - however you wish to look at it). Our thermostat is jacked up to something unheard of, yet being bundled in a sweatshirt and blanket seem insufficient. The positive to all of this: I am sitting my very own "luxury lodge"...

As promised, I will give a brief update of the happenings surrounding the grand HGTV production that has taken place in the Corniea household for the last two days. "Decorating Cents" is a decorating show that usually entails a room makeover, but this was a special Christmas edition of "100 Christmas ideas for under $100". Basically, the crew came in and added Christmas spunk to our preexisting decor. And to say the least, I am quite pleased.

It has been a whirlwind since Saturday night, and I am exhausted (I realize that I say that a lot, but no worries on my end, so there need not be on yours). Granted, I only saw the crew yesterday morning and again tonight, but all of the thought and prep in between was exhausting.

My neighbor works for the production company, and called me up last minute on Saturday night to see if we would be willing to be involved...Interested in being involved in a show that is done on my favorite TV station in the whole world, you say? Absolutely! And so, it began. I readied my home as much as possible for something I knew very little about. I slept not a wink on Monday night, only to be bombarded by a crew of production people on Tuesday morning. They invaded army-style to the point of having to do a sideways shuffle to move around the mass conglomeration. We then prepped to do our first filming of "family time" out in the cold rain for the next hour. Funny enough, I would never be out with my kids in the rain in freezing weather acting "natural". So, it was as natural as could be. After that was done, we handed them the keys, said our farewells, and agreed to come back the next evening for the big reveal. From this point to the last was the most difficult as I began to think of some of the monstrosities I have seen on reality television, and trying to coach myself as to how I would handle a situation like this if it were to arise. Thankfully, I needed no such planned reaction, and should not have thought twice as the designer is great!

Walking into my house tonight was a scene out of TV, literally. Something about being blindly led into a room of your own house while Joan Steffend tells you to open your eyes whilst envisioning a "luxury lodge" is incredibly surreal. Honestly. I felt as though I was downstairs watching from the comfort of my own family room, and for some reason forcing myself to act out an appropriate reaction in my head. Acting was not very necessary, though, as the surrealness of it all hit us as I'm sure it hits every other homeowner. And they didn't even remodel-they just added to it! I don't think I could handle such a big ordeal as that. Christmas specialty was a perfect fit for my first time. What a fun story to add to our life happenings book...

And so, again, at the end of the affair, this is some of what I have to look at:

The show will air on HGTV on November 27th, sometime in the evening (not specified yet). I am unashamedly plugging this, because when does this stuff ever happen again? This also entails that a viewing party is in order. That being said, come one, come all. Be there or be square. If you're not, watch it wherever you are!

Monday, November 14, 2005


I have been trying harder than usual to make something of my artistic expressionism as of late, but it has proven to be unusually difficult. I could blame it on lack of sleep, too much house work, too much practice of non original work, prepping for HGTV to come and shoot at my house tomorrow and Wednesday (oh man - I had to plug it! I will explain after the fact...), & la di dah. Mainly, I am trying to force something that isn't there at the moment. BUT, then I have a delectable evening & am thoroughly refreshed by those who have made art of their appreciation.

We just returned from another great concert, this time featuring David Crowder, Shane & Shane, and the Robbie Seay Band from a Collision Tour. Praise God for the words and music that have come from the overflow of these hearts. It rocked. Three hours flew by too quickly.

God has created us each with such extreme uniqueness. My time for expression will come, but for now I remain speechless & in awe...and it's not such a bad place to be.

"Here, surrounded by the products of Nature, often I sit for hours, while my senses feast upon the spectacle of Nature. Here the majestic sun is not concealed by any dirty roof made by human hands, here the blue sky is my sublime roof. When in the evening I contemplate the sky in wonder and the host of luminous bodies continually revolving within their orbits, suns or earths by name, then my spirit rises beyond these constellations so many millions of miles away to the primeval source from which all creation flows and from which new creations shall flow eternally. When, now and again, I endeavor to formulate my seething emotions in music - oh, then I find that I am terribly deceived; I throw my scrawled paper upon the ground and feel firmly convinced that never shall anyone born on this earth be able to express in sounds, words, colors or stone those heavenly images that hover before his excited imagination in his happiest hours... Yes, it must come from above, that which strikes the heart; otherwise it's nothing but notes, body without spirit, isn't that so? What is body without spirit? Earth or muck, isn't it? The spirit must rise from the earth, in which for a time the divine spark is confined, and much like the field to which the ploughman entrusts precious seed, it must flower and bear many fruits, and, thus multiplied, rise again towards the source from which it has flown. For only by persistent toil of the faculties granted to them do created things revere the creator of infinite Nature."
- Beethoven (1770-1827) conversation with Johann Stumpff

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

random thought

We often times express ourselves by encapsulating thousands of words strung into various thoughts into a single statement or line of text. It is no wonder that we are misunderstood.

ah, to be famous...

...or not.

Props to Brenton and Chris for keeping me laughing throughout the course of this crazy day. Though I consider myself undeserving of the attention, I will gladly welcome competition head on any day.

And please, next time give me a fair share of warning so I can at least prepare myself...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

pressing on toward the goal

I am exhausted. That being said, I will also say that I am satisfied, fulfilled, and peacefully pensive at the end of yet another day. It is so good to be held.

Our service today was great; I truly felt that the passions of His people were authentically portrayed by means of individuality flowing out of a same purpose. We had a good time relaxing with some of the team of people we do ministry with at a gathering we had after church, as well. I am incredibly grateful for an amazing group of people I am blessed to know and serve alongside. What a ride.

His Word is alive. I can read one of my favorite passages over and over again, and it is as though I am being enveloped with the words for the very first time...And so, for a select few this may seem redundant, but may actually prove to be useful as you should be able to get through it without any choked up pauses. Without further adieu, this is a great passage in which Paul paints another picture of why we do what we do. And we press on...

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

Friday, November 04, 2005

simple: simply simplify

I was able to talk on the phone with my mom tonight for a nice long time; so refreshing! It is incredibly hard to be without the physical presence of those you love so much, but it makes it that much better when there is any form of contact that takes place.

One of our topics of conversation had to do with everything revolving around simplifying life. Some advice she gave me tonight was something like this: "Simplify whenever you can. Always reevaluate the things you feel you need as well as the things you feel you should be living without." This was good for me to hear, as well as encouraging, as we are in the process of figuring some of this out as it pertains to our lives in our current situation. At the same time, though, as these thoughts have been processing throughout the course of the night, I still find it so incredibly difficult to discern and differentiate the importance of some of the 'stuff'.

Something I must be very careful with is an easy assumption in my own head that because I live in the U.S. now, I am automatically entitled to more 'things'. Granted, it may seem to be true due to miles of highway, the ease of a home purchase, a plethora of grocery options, a need for a seasonal wardrobe, and the list goes on. It gets imprinted fairly easily as I am surrounded by much more materialism that I have been accustomed to. Yet, I find myself questioning the relativity of it all when I break it down to the basics.

My family has been living in an actual house for the first time in many, many, many years. Actually, I think for the first time ever. It is beautiful and was a perfect solution a short while ago. They are now simplifying and moving back into an apartment close by, as location was a key to their previous move. There is no apprehension at all, but rather excitement for what lies ahead (except for the packing, of course. Wish I could be there to help, mom!) This is great for me to live though, even though I am not very involved in the process.

I am thankful to be on a continual learning curve as change surrounds my life; I pray I am open to it as seasons come and go. I am grateful for the challenges that I have been through already, as well as those that are to come. Also, I am blessed to continue to have examples set for me by my parents. Thanks, guys!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

burn baby burn

"Mission is to the church as fire is to burning." -Emil Brunner

I ask myself these questions: Is my mission at the forefront of every thought, word, and action? What is there in my life that extinguishes advancement? What are tangible things our individual communities can do to further the Kingdom?

We must not believe the mission to be impossible. We must realize that our goal is completely obtainable, and therefore live it out passionately. We, the Church, must be a fire that is crazy unmanageable.

What are we going to do to fan the flames?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

no worries...

...if only it were that simple.

There is so much in me tonight that would be classified as being preoccupied with getting vs. responding to God's giving. I am being stretched tremendously in many ways right now, and know that it is because I have made some important decisions as of late. I turned to Matthew 6:19-34 to read what I have heard over and over, but taking a look at The Message version did me some good.

I must meticulously remind myself to look to nothing & no one else but the One who is love, or I will surely find myself scaling the same walls I had already managed to find my way over.