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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mountain Splendor

Some photos from my trip to Fraser, Colorado.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm Back from my Mountain Retreat...

...and it was AMAZING!  It was a wonderful way to spend my birthday.

"God does not want to overwhelm us with His power. 
He wants to overwhelm us with His love." 

I don't even know what to say or where to begin.  To be in the mountains with hundreds of woman from all over the world, allowing Jesus to speak to our souls...wow!   The mountains were gorgeous. The teaching was rich, palatable & heart changing.  There were times of quiet introspection & times of boisterous fun.  The meals were filled with good food,  female chit-chat, and heart-to-heart sharing.  The schedule was on a need to know basis and they deliberately did not give us a written agenda.  Because as woman we sometimes become a little too caught up in our lists & schedules and they wanted to free us from that a little bit.  We also had several hours of free time every afternoon so we could do whatever we wanted.
"We have been wounded into believing terrible things about ourselves."
Stasi Eldredge led most of the sessions.  She talked about the core desires of a woman's heart, about the Great Romance that is Christianity.  She talked about the importance of the father-child relationship & mother-child relationship and the wounds we suffer when those relationships are not ideal.  She talked about the agreement we make with the enemy by believing lies about ourselves and the importance of breaking those agreements in order to heal and find freedom.  We spent a lot of time between sessions, just being quiet so we could let God show us our wounds, reveal the lies we've believed, and let Him tell us how He sees us.  We spend time in prayer; we sang praises to Him; we took communion.  The Spirit was moving among us!
"Agreeing with a lie separates us from the Truth."

The free times were spent in so many ways.  There was snow shoeing, tubing, hot-tubbing, napping, reading, jewelry making, coffee drinking, etc.  I spent the first afternoon wandering the campus and then reading my book.  The second day I wanted to go snowshoeing but they sold out before I got there.  Instead I made myself a bracelet and then I decided to brave the trail without snowshoes.  I was so glad I did!  As long as I stayed on the trail I was fine. However if I stepped off...I sank into the snow up to my waist!  I enjoyed the beauty of nature with my camera.

"We get our identity from our fathers.  
We get our self-worth from our mothers."

For me the retreat revealed how I have let the enemy talk me into believing that I am a boring, uninteresting person who has nothing worth offering others.  I was surprised how much pain was associated with this idea.  I was also surprised to discover how much healing has already taken place in me over the past 10 years and how blessed I truly am to have the parents I have.  So many of the women at this retreat had such deep pain associated with their parents...it really amplified the blessing my parents are.  They certainly aren't perfect and they have hurt me but there is no lasting sting...because of how God has worked in their lives and how often they tell me they love me and how quick they are to say they're sorry.

"Loving Jesus is the natural response to knowing Him."

"Safety is not the absence of danger but the presence of Jesus."

One of the coolest things for me was the pictures Jesus showed me several times through out the weekend of He & I dancing together.  He is my father, my lover & my friend.  Experiencing Him is such a powerful, personal thing that is hard to explain to others later.  But there is no question that I did.  He spoke to me, He danced with me, He embraced me.  The praise & worship time of singing & communion was my favorite.  I felt so loved and so free!

I am so glad I went and I sincerely recommend this Captivating retreat to all the women reading this and I encourage the men to attend the Wild at Heart Boot Camp as well.  It is spiritually cleansing...so worth it! 

"The battle is fierce, the danger is real, and you are desperately needed."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Mountain Retreat

So, tomorrow I'm headed out of town for a retreat in the mountains of Colorado.  Many of you may have read, or at least heard of, the book "Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldredge.  Well, I'm attending a 'Captivating Retreat'.  And frankly I'm kinda nervous.  The details of what the retreat actually entails are absent from the "event details" page and everything has been left pretty vague.  For a person who appreciates detailed plans as much as I do...well this in itself leaves me a little apprehensive.  But I'm also concerned because it has the potential to be a high-emotion experience, I won't know anyone there, and there will be no contact between me and and my family for 4 days!  It's going to be hard to not be able to call Russ up and tell him about my day.  It's going to be hard not to know what my girls are doing in my absence.  And to top it all off...Friday is my birthday and I won't be able to spend a single moment of it with any person I know.

On the other hand...I am excited!  I get to step away from my ordinary life for a few days and enjoy just being me.  Not "the wife", not "the mom", just me.  And I get the opportunity to meet a variety of woman from all over the country and potentially make new friends.  And most importantly, this is a chance for me to just spend some time listening to and enjoying my friend & my savior, Jesus, while taking in the sights of the Colorado Rockies!

I leave tomorrow morning with no idea what to really expect to come of the next few days but I will anticipate beauty, laughter, tears, and irreplaceable God-moments.  And while I know I'm going to miss my babies, I must trust that this time away is for a higher purpose and will be worth the minutes I miss at home.

Pray for me this weekend.  I'll see you when I get back!