Sunday, October 12, 2008

Indulge Me Please

A few years ago, on my husband's birthday, he came home from a shopping trip (by himself) with a new Canon EOS Rebel Digital Camera-for ME! That's the kind of guy I'm married to - it's his birthday but he bought me a gift! I already had a Canon 35mm camera with a couple of lenses and some other gadgets and they all worked with my new digital camera so all I needed to do was charge the battery and start taking pictures. I have enjoyed photography and using both of these cameras (I kept the 35mm thinking I would still use it...) and the new camera paid for itself in one day because I was able, with the help of some computer software, to take my daughter's senior pictures. She was very happy with the outcome and so we were happy as well!

Mostly, I love scenic photography; and I LOVE this time of year! I also see beauty in barns with broken doors in need of a new coat of paint, in walls that are falling down, in rust and things that maybe aren't so appealing to the people who own these "broken" things. Another point of interest for me is our granddaughter, Chyanne! Indulge me please and let me share a few recent photos of her!

She looks very serious here - but she really is not very serious. The truth is, she may very well have been caught doing something that she shouldn't have been!

Morgan and Cole also decided it was time for her to take her first jump on the trampoline; after many warnings from me about not letting her fall off the edge, to the trampoline they went. She thoroughly loved it and showed absolutely no fear! I love that about small children; they don't know the danger that can happen and they trust completely in the person holding them or taking care of them. I wish that I could trust God like that - I'm learning but I don't know if I'll ever be able to be that "reckless" about it! Okay, just a few more - I just can't help myself!

On the left: Chyanne & Morgan;

On the right: Chyanne & Cole; and

Below: Chyanne spotted me with the camera and had to stop to say hello. Love you little princess! I was also able to get out on Friday and take some pictures of landscape and other scenery; the sky was just beautiful as you can see in this first photograph - perfect for photographing.

The picture above was taken along the side of the road; I just had to stop-the sky was so beautiful!

Both the picture above and directly to the left were taken at a place called Falls Park; very beautiful this time of year.

I really enjoyed my time out in nature with God and being able to take these pictures. I saw him all around!

Where does God show up in your daily life? Do you look for him? He's all around and just waiting to be "found!" I'd love to hear about what, or where, or whom you see God in your daily life!

They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Isaiah 6:3

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Challenge Goes On

I was checking in on a friend's blog and her most recent post was this:

"I took on an easy challenge from a blog I LOVE to follow, Owlhaven. The challenge is to go to the Picture files on your computer, find the 6th file folder, select the 6th picture and post it!"

So here's my 6th photo in my 6th file:

It's a picture of two of my kids (Cole with the red sweatshirt and Morgan on his right with the black cap and black jacket) serving cookies and donuts outside a shelter in downtown Omaha this past spring. This was taken on a mission trip called the Urban Plunge through Christ for the City International.

Great times!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Leaves of My Life

"...because of Christ we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago." Ephesians 1:11

October is one of my favorite months of the year. On my list of favorites for this month is being hit in the face by a leaf falling from a tree; we have several big trees around our house so it seems that I'm being "love tapped" by God almost every time I go outside. The leaves are beautiful as they fall and the gentle touch from God is a reminder that ... (I'll finish this thought later).

October is a favorite month for a few other pretty amazing reasons: our oldest and youngest children have birthdays and Clint and I celebrate our anniversary.

When Clint and I got married, I believed that he would make me happy and that my fulfillment would come from being involved in his life; however, God did not make us, or intend for any of us, to make others happy or to fulfill them; that whole "you complete me..." is a lie. Fortunately, about 5 years ago, I surrendered my life to the "One who knows me the best and loves me the most" (Pastor David Ring; God had been pursing me passionately and in one very short moment, I realized that my happiness wasn't going to be found in Clint but in my Savior, Jesus Christ. After I accepted this truth I let Clint off the hook and stopped expecting him to make me happy and focused on how I could make his life better; I also began a relationship with the One who can and will make me happy (and provide immeasurable peace). Just for kicks, I looked up the definition of happy and it says that it is an emotional state that feels good or is pleasing.

When I think about our upcoming anniversary, I am humbled that Clint is my husband and so grateful that God held us together until we were both able to learn how to love Him first so that we are capable of loving each other the way God intended.

Ashley will soon (very soon) be turning 22 years old; I haven't been a part of Ashley's life for all of her 22 years but I have been blessed with her in my life for the past 15 or so years. I am so grateful that God has given me the ability to love her like I do. One of the best things that Ashley has done "for" us to is to make us grandparents to Chyanne! (The picture is of Ashley and Chyanne, 1 day old, in the hospital.) But honestly, Ashley is a beautiful person on the inside and out.

Cole will turn 11 years old toward the end of the month and its hard for me to believe that he is this old and this big already. When he was born, I was working about 30 hours a week, and attending school part time; he was kind of a "sick" baby and from the time he was about 5 months old until he was probably 9 months old, we had to give him nebulizer treatments every four hours - regardless of whether he was awake or sleeping. On typical night, Cole would wake up to be fed and then go to sleep and an hour or two later, our alarm would go off reminding us he needed a neb treatment. Because of this schedule I was a bit sleep deprived and looking back, I feel like I missed out on his first year or two. Thankfully, God is a redeeming God and Cole and I have had many "special" and memorable moments together. He is my 2nd favorite "man" in the world and will always be "little Cole" to me.

(continued as promised) goes on and as seasons change so the seasons of my life change. The leaves fall but I know in a few months, after cold and snow, new leaves will replace the ones that fall today. As my children grow older my role in their lives and what they need from me continues to change. As a mom, a lot of my identity is wrapped up in my family and the changing of the seasons reminds me that my life is changing as well and while it feels like God may be "taking away" I know and believe that he will be generously replacing what is gone with beautiful fresh and new "leaves of my life."

"Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." Joshua 3:5