About Me

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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eden's Ear Piercing

Sunday afternoon Eden got her ears pierced. She has been saying for several months now that she wished her ears were pierced. After mentioning that again to us Sunday morning, we went to the mall and when we saw the sign for Ear Piecing at the jewelry store, Russ said, 'Okay." and he took her in and she was so brave. The girl who did it was very good with her and Eden really surprised me. She made a shocked look when the first earring went in but she never freaked out and never cried. She spent the rest of the afternoon strutting around the mall like hot stuff. Pretty proud of her new accessories. I had my ears pierced at the mall in Rapid City, SD when I was four. I am still amazed that my parents agreed to it but I remember that day quite clearly and was always very pleased with that memory. Mom says that she felt a sense of regret as soon as my ears were done that day. I must say I had a similar feeling as we drove home from the mall on Sunday. It wasn't regret, exactly, just a sense of the irreversibility of the situation and a hope that we made the right decision letting her take this step at such a young age.

She looks so grown up.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blessings 'revealed by fire'

Last Sunday, Russ & I skipped church to rake & burn our yard. As I watched the pile burn I was reminded of the passage in 1 Corinthians 3 where it speaks of our works being judged by fire.

"If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NIV)

As I watched how quickly the tumble weeds burned, how the grass clippings smoldered & how the rocks just turned black, I reflected on this passage and prayed that my spiritual works & life will be shown to be built with gold (which only becomes more brilliant when put through fire) and not straw (which quickly & completely disappears when exposed to flame.)

Well, yesterday in church I received additional blessing when I realized that our church had been studying that very passage last Sunday while I was home working in our yard analyzing whether I will receive a reward or suffer loss. How Divine that God would see fit to reach me with the lesson he wanted me to have whether I had chosen to go to church that morning or (as it turned out) not.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blog Changes

So I changed the look of my blog a little...using a fabulous background from Scrappinblogs. I decided that my blog was a little too dark considering Spring is well on its way. I'll probably give my blog a more extensive make-over in the future (change can be nice) but for now I feel happy just to have tweaked it in this small way. BTW...I have been very sad by the blogging dry spell I've encountered among those whose blogs I love to follow. It seems every one has been neglecting their blogs. I hope I can expect this to change soon. I need something to read, friends! I love keeping up with your lives and hearing your thoughts.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It is good to give thanks to the Lord...

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And your faithfulness every night," Psalm 92:1-2 (NKJV)
As a personal challenge to myself I have decided to be more forthright in recognizing & giving thanks for the many blessings in my life. I feel that too often I focus on negatives and thus lose the battle in my mind to triumph in my Christian walk. Therefore I am going to strive to list periodically, things that I praise God for in my life. Today...let the praises begin to flow!

1) I am grateful that I have a marriage that I feel secure in, as so many couples struggle with insecurities.
2) I am grateful to have parents & grandparents who have set a strong example of love & commitment in marriage and have continued to be a source of security in my life.

3) I am grateful for the opportunity to stay at home with my children and watch them blossom every day.
4) I am grateful for Christian friends who love & inspire & challenge me even when we don't get to see each other.

5) I am grateful for finding good books that uplift rather than drag down.

6) I am grateful for the hope that keeps life worth living & the Word that reminds me of that hope even in a world of doubt.

7) I am grateful for sunshine-filled days...and for the cold days that help me appreciate the sunshine days even more.

8) I am grateful for memories. Nothing brings us joy and/or keeps us humble more than our memories.

9) I am grateful for music and how it can express emotions more clearly than anything else I can think of.

10) I am grateful that I am forgiven & loved even in my more ungrateful & unflattering moments.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yard Work

So yesterday we skipped church to spend the day working in our yard. We knew this horrible winter storm was coming & decided that we'd take advantage of our beautiful 80 degree day to rake up our front yard & burn the debris in preparation for 'Growing a Lawn-attempt 2.' It was a job! Our neighbor came over & helped us watch the fire for awhile. The girls enjoyed being outside. I got a fair amount of sun & finished the day with really sore hands but hopefully it will be worth it. We're hoping this moisture helps mix the ashes into the ground to make it more fertile for growing our grass. Our lawn is really sad. Can't really call it a lawn, I guess--our 'yard' is really sad. Our neighbors all have immaculately kept lawns & ours is a mess of dirt & weeds.. with a lone little patch of grass under the tree where it is shaded. Last year we planted grass seed but I don't think we planted quite enough & we also didn't keep it watered so it was unsuccessful. This summer we plan to get our sprinkler system fixed up & in working order so we don't have that same problem again. Also this year, with the realization that I can plant a seed & water it but only God can make it grow, I am going to rely more on His help in having a successful lawn growing experience. Dear Lord, please choke out the weeds & let the grass seed flourish! Amen.

By the Way: Eden took these two photos of us working. Good job little girl!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Roaring Lion

A year ago (almost exactly, interestingly enough) I wrote the following blog using the 'Slates' application on Facebook.
March 10, 2008
In the past few years, there is a recurring theme in many of my nightmares...a lion. And more specifically...a lion who is trying to get me. I wondered at this...lions had never really been a problem in my thoughts as a child or a teenager but the last several years they seem to haunt my dreams...they are always loose and hungry for me and my family. Last year I had several lion dreams within a short period of time and one day while discussing this and some spiritual difficulties I was having my father reminded me of the verse in 1 Peter which reads, "
Be sober,
be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Ah-ha...could there be some connection between the lions in my nightmares and my spiritual struggles? Could the lions in my dreams somehow represent my adversary, the devil? It was an intriguing thought but the validity of it was quite suspect. The thought was set aside...that is, until today.
I have gone quite some time without the presence of a single lion crossing my late-night apparitions. But this past evening...there he was. A large male lion jumping the fence of his cage at the zoo to come after me. I ran, I dodged, I hid...I spent much of the dream seeking zoo authority to rescue me from the lion's freedom and to see that they amended his insufficient cage. It interests me to observe that this "lion" saw fit to burst in upon my dreams last night after I admittedly entered into a spiritual cocoon in which I am struggling with my H. Father over how I perceive myself and my usefulness to Him.
Is it merely a coincidence that my lion dream coincided exactly with the start of my spiritual struggle? Or has this lion seen that I am in a vulnerable position and come to try to "seek whom he may devour", even if just symbolically?
Last night I had another lion dream with a interesting twist that I felt worth writing about, especially in light of my surmises on the subject last year. In my dream last night...( a dream that had at first a 'Jumanji' type quality to it. Me & several others were trying to eliminate odd monkeys & mosquitoes with success, I might add) But when the lion showed up and was after me (as in so many dreams before) I immediately panicked. Partially because I knew of no way to eliminate the lion like we had been doing with the other odd creatures but also because there was no place to hide or escape this lion. The structure on which we were existing in this dream was totally open. It was a maze of stairs & ledges but with no interiors or rooms that were secluded in any way from the outdoors. All levels & areas were open leaving no places of safety from the danger of a man eating lion! But after my initial panic & attempt to run away..I remembered some things that we talked about in our Tuesday night Bible study--that fear gives the enemy power and demonstrates a lack of faith. At this point in my dream, I stopped and turned to the lion and told him that he had no power over me in the name of Jesus. Then I kept repeating Jesus' name over & over. I'd say, "Jesus the Mashiah" or "Jesus the Messiah" or "Jesus Christ my Savior" over & over. I believe the lion actually talked to me at this point although I don't actually remember but I do know that whether the lion actually spoke or not I distinctly recall the lion threatening me & indicating that he was still going to come after me. I then kept moving but I wasn't really scared. The lion was now quite focused on me & was pretty much ignoring everyone else who was there and at one point I realized that I had put myself in a corner where I would be more vulnerable to a lion attack & I could see the lion above me coming to where I was and I thought, "Why am I even bothering to run? Cause he can't hurt me." So I stopped & the lion jumped down in front of me & I started again repeating the name of Jesus over & over. Nothing happened to the lion and he continued to threaten me but he never got me even though he was right there.

I feel as though, this dream was a spiritual breakthrough for me, in some way, but I still haven't yet fully realized what all to take from it. It seems appropriate though that so many of my spiritual battles happen in my dreams because so much of my spiritual struggles & lessons are happening just below the surface where it seems I don't have full access to them. This has bothered me but perhaps this is the best way for God to reach me without my trying to exert control. Anyway...the lion is apparently losing his stronghold in my life. Whatever/whoever the lion happens to represent.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The 'Same Cafe' in Denver

I happened upon this video and thought that it was quite inspiring & wanted to share.