Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
“Faith for Jesus is the opposite of anxiety. If you are anxious, if you are trying to control everything, if you are worried about many things, you don’t have faith, according to Jesus. You do not trust that God is good and on your side. You’re trying to do it all yourself, lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.
The giveaway is control. That’s a good litmus test of the quality of your faith. People of faith don’t have to control everything, nor do they have to change people.” ~Richard Rohr
This quote hits a little too close to home for me. I struggle with control and worry. I try to turn it over to God, but I forget to leave it with Him, and I take it back. I don't want to struggle with anxiety but I want to rely on Jesus. My type A personality has a hard time letting go of control. But, this quote, and God's word, tells me I have to or my faith is weak. I don't want a weak faith. I want a strong, unshakable faith. A faith that goes through the fire and comes out refined. A faith that relies on God to get me through this life, and a faith that is grounded in Him.
My prayer today: Lord, create in me that faith. The faith that does not have to control or worry but a faith that can leave all that at the foot of the cross, allowing you to be in control.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I was blessed to meet an old friend today. We have been online friends for a year and a half, but have never met in person. Our mutual friend, Jenny, 'introduced' us over email, and we have been emailing and sharing our blog world ever since. We shared tears and heavy emotions when our friend lost her battle with cancer a little over a year ago. We continue to share our struggles and victories, as well as pray for one another through emails. I felt like I already knew her, and I would say from our meeting, I was amazingly close. I was even real close on how I imagined her voice would sound. I must admit, I was nervous on the way to meet her and her family. I don't know why, but I was. I knew our hearts already knew each other, so didn't know what the butterflies were all about but those butterflies were calmed down quickly when we shared warm smiles and hugs. We enjoyed a beautiful evening on her mom's porch, chatting and introducing our husbands to each other as well. We also had the privilege of meeting their son, as well as her mom. Thanks friend, and family, for the hospitality and warmth we felt from you. I am thankful for finally getting to meet in person. It was wonderful to finally put a person to the words of encouragement, support, and caring that have come across my screen for the past 18 months! I am thankful and feel blessed that God, and Jenny, brought our lives to a place where we crossed paths. See, we grew up in the same town, but didn't know each other. We even found out tonight that we lived in the same neighborhood as kids, just at opposite ends of the road. Yes, indeed, it is a small world, and God works in funny ways that brought us to a place to meet some 20 plus years later.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Today is my parent's 44th Anniversary. I wish them many more years of happiness and love.
The world is full of divorce, and people living together not making a commitment to be one, to be married, to be there through good times and bad times. I'm sure in 44 years, there have been a lot of times when things haven't always been the easiest for mom and dad, but they made a commitment to be married and to stay married until death. They made a vow before God and they have kept that vow. God is the center of their marriage, so they follow Biblical principles to love each other and to keep their marriage together all these years.
My parents didn't tell my sister and I how to love, they showed it. They have shown us how they stuck it out in the tough times. They have shown us that a husband and wife should be each others best friends and the one that you share your life with. They have shown us how to laugh and to love, and to put God at the center of our lives.
I am grateful for my parents and their example, their love, and their marriage. Happy anniversary, mom and dad. We love you!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
We ended the day with a very good seafood dinner with my hubby, and a trip back up north. We watched an amazing sunset all the way from Coeur d'Alene to the Long Bridge. The sky was filled with smoke last night, and although it made it difficult to breathe, it made for a beautiful sunset! The sun started out as a giant red ball, and by the time we hit the long bridge, it was streaks of pink and red across a dark blue sky. I had the sun roof open on the way home, while my husband drove, and enjoyed the bright stars that twinkled in the darkness. I also got to see several shooting stars go by, which made arriving home at 11 pm, worth the late night.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
On Sunday we went for a drive to Heyburn State Park. I had never been there, at least not in the park. Two years ago for my birthday, we took a cruise down Lake Coeur d'Alene to the mouth of the St. Joe, and we went along the park before turning around and heading back. My hubby went through the area a few days ago when he had to go to a job site in St. Maries, and said it was pretty and we should go check it out for the afternoon. We loaded up the truck and the dog, and off we went. The park is part of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes bike trail, so next time we go we will definitely take our bikes and enjoy some of the 72 mile trail that goes along Lake Coeur d'Alene. We did get a few geocaches while there, and enjoyed the scenery, the water lilies, and the time together. We made the loop back through St. Maries, Harrison, and along the lake. There were a lot of people out, so we didn't really see any wildlife except a few osprey and ducks. It was a beautiful day for a drive and as usual, we enjoyed the adventures of discovering new places together.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Have you been outside at night lately? Have you looked up? The stars are amazing! I was outside with my dog the other night and between rain storms, we had some clear sky. I looked up and was overwhelmed by the number of stars over my head. As I watched, shooting stars, or meteors, dashed across the sky. I remembered that this is the time of year for the meteor showers.
I remember as a young girl, I was probably six, my grandma was visiting and she told me to wish on the first star I saw..star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. So, I wished for a horse. I was six afterall, what else would I want??? The next morning I got up, and looked out the window, and couldn't believe my eyes. There were two horsed in our yard! I had only asked for one!!! I don't remember exactly how the story went, but someone's horses got lose who lived a ways from us, and they ended up at our house. Do I believe in wishing on a star? No, I believe in prayer, not wishes. Do I believe God heard that fun wish and brought some horses to a yard to brighten one little girl's day? Yes. After getting to ride one of the horses, I had to give them back, but to this day I very much remember that time.
I think of a time about ten years ago when my husband had a kidney stone. I know it was this time of year because The Festival was going on. Our old house was a block from the field so whether we liked it or not, we got to listen to every musical group, every night. I remember that night went particularly long, but I don't remember who it was that was singing. We would often go sit in our backyard on the deck and enjoy the music, looking up at the stars while listening. This particular night was full of shooting stars. Later that night, I remember it was about 3 am, my husband was in some pretty intense pain. One other time, we had gone for a drive and knocked the stones lose, so we decided to give it a try on this night as well. If you live in Bonner County, you understand how the bumpy roads could dislodge a kidney stone! I knew the sky was zipping with beautiful stars so we headed out by my parents place in the country where it was darker. I watched beautiful displays of shooting stars as we drove out of town. We got about a mile from my parents home, and were struck with awe and amazement. The sky above us was dancing. We stopped the car and got out, and a canopy of white cascaded down from the sky to nearly the ground. Not only were there shooting stars everywhere, but the northern lights were phenomenal. I remember just standing there, speechless, in the middle of this canopy. To this day, words cannot capture that amazing moment, but I remember how beautiful it was, and knowing that God had provided us with an extreme gift. We stood there under the canopy of white until it dissipated. We drove to the end of the road, and enjoyed more beautiful northern lights as they danced across the sky, this time in color. It was an evening that neither one of us will ever forget. Yes, the stone passed after we got home, as well.
Take some time to enjoy God's beauty in the night sky. If you live in town, take a drive to the country and look up!! It's well worth it!
He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! Psalm 147:4-5
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I called my hubby and we decided to meet at Manito Park and go for a walk through the flowers. The rain kept coming and going all day, and the dark clouds loomed while we were there, but we stayed dry as we enjoyed the beauty. I was sad because my camera was at home. There were some beautiful flowers, too. So, I grabbed my hubby's point and shoot camera, that I do not know how to operate, or make focus for that matter, and took a few pictures. Some were not so good, some are ok. They definitely are not the quality I am used to uploading but they are still pretty.
Dahlias always make me think of my great aunt Ethel, who passed away a few years ago at the age of 93. She grew gorgeous dahlias!! Well, all of her flowers were gorgeous. She grew a lot of the dinner plate dahlias and they always were the size of a dinner plate or larger! I have been thinking a lot of my aunt Ethel, as her 14 year old great grandson is in a fight for his life. He was diagnosed last week with stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatment. So, if you think of them, please pray for healing for him and for comfort for his family.
Our walk ended just in time to head downtown and grab some dinner. I enjoyed the flowers, but mostly I enjoyed the time with my hubby. I am glad that spontaneity won out this time because it was a very enjoyable evening.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
How true is that quote. If you have a facebook account, think of how many friends you have on that account. Now, think of how many of them are actually your friends, someone you can confide in who will be there for you no matter what. Someone you feel safe with, and someone you know would give up something in their life to help you out. Who on that page would you feel safe to call in the middle of the night because something in your life went wrong, and you know not only would they not be angry with you waking them up, but they would rush to be by your side? Who on that page would you do all the above for and consider a true friend? I doubt there are many in a long list of friends, yet we spend more time on facebook or myspace or twitter, than we do in growing and building true relationships. How many sit within their own homes and text each other instead of talking to each other? Technology has replaced REAL relationships in our society and it's sad to think about.
People do use words to excess...think of politicians. They make promise after promise after promise, and they don't follow through. I believe most of the tv media do the same. I think of the teens I work with, and when you can get them to actually talk, not text, many go on and on and on, yet actually SAY very little. We have lost the ability to communicate effectively. I remember in our speech classes in high school, the least you said in a concise, factual manner is what got you the better grade, not just babbling on for ten minutes.
Fear of God...I don't think that many believers even do that much anymore. Somehow, God has become a big soft, cushy God. God is to be worshipped with all that is within us, He is to be put at the highest place of honor, and we are to have NOTHING else come before Him in our lives. Fear of God doesn't mean fear like fear of men. It means we are humbled, He is at the greatest honor, to know He is the Creator and to bow before Him in awe of His creation. It's extreme respect! It recognizes that He is in charge of everything, including my life. He gave me life, and at any moment He can take my last breath from me. He is in charge of the world, despite what politicians believe, and all authority belongs to Him.
I challenge you to build real friendships/relationships, not just see how many 'friends' you can get on facebook. Actual friends and true relationships are so much more important! Choose your words wisely. Go outside and get to know your neighbors! Talk to those in your home and make them words that mean something, not just idle chatter. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Put God first and foremost in your life and seek a REAL relationship with Him. Religion doesn't cut it!! A relationship with our Creator is what we all need.
What changes will you make this week? Will you value actual, true friendships over 'friends' that you don't even know on your technology accounts? Will you spend time really talking to your family? Will you pick up the Bible and read about the love that God has for you?
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry James 1:19
Monday, August 10, 2009
We had an appointment to see a brand new, not even finished yet, retirement apartment for my mother-in-law. They are going to be beautiful places when they are finished! They even have an indoor pool and jacuzzi to enjoy, along with many other ammenities to keep the residents as busy as they want to be. They have taken a lot of thought and pride into making these places very nice for those in their retirement years. We reserved her an apartment with a balcony that overlooks the inner courtyard, that features a gazebo and water feature that runs along the perimeter of the courtyard. I am sure it will have a lot of beautiful flowers as well, because the rest of the grounds are loaded with beautiful plants. It will be nice change for her from where she is currently living, and it will be nice because she will be closer to us and we can drop by in the evenings or at lunch.
After that, we headed to Sandpoint. I took in the Arts and Crafts Festival at the beach while my hubby went to set up his new bow out at Arrow Works. My hubby made a deal with a friend who needed some work on his truck done, and traded a brand new bow for the parts and work. Of course, now he needs new arrows because the other ones won't work with that powerful of a bow, at least that's the story I am being told!! I did have a good time catching up with people I hadn't seen in awhile while at the beach for six hours...yes, six hours! I am glad my parents had a booth at the show or I would have had to walk to their place or my sister's house, both a few miles away.
The weekend included time with family, as well. We unwound a little last night by taking a drive down to the wheat fields and checking out some old barns. I love to photograph old barns...they have so much character.
Today, I get to work on putting beans and peaches in the freezer, if the peaches make it that far! They are just so good! I definitely see a homemade sorbet out of them tonight.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Yesterday for my dad's birthday, I had a great time with my mom and dad, sister, and nieces. We enjoyed some special times together and enjoyed the bond of family.
"Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that." ~Michael LeunigSonia Tautz
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Happy birthday, dad. Thank you for all the encouragement, love, and support you have given to us over the years. Thank you for your example in faith that you passed down to us. Thank you for being a dad who was present in our lives and who made family an important part of his life. We love you!!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Make Friends With Whatever’s Next
by Max Lucado
Embrace it. Accept it. Don’t resist it. Change is not only a part of life; change is a necessary part of God’s strategy. To use us to change the world, he alters our assignments. Gideon: from farmer to general; Mary: from peasant girl to the mother of Christ; Paul: from local rabbi to world evangelist. God transitioned Joseph from a baby brother to an Egyptian prince. He changed David from a a shepherd to a king. Peter wanted to fish the Sea of Galilee. God called him to lead the first church. God makes reassignments.
But, someone might ask, what about the tragic changes God permits? Some seasons make no sense…do such moments serve a purpose? They do if we see them from an eternal perspective. What makes no sense in this life will make perfect sense in the next. I have proof: you in the womb.
I know you don’t remember this prenatal season, so let me remind you what happened during it. Every gestation day equipped you for your earthly life. Your bones solidified, your eyes developed, the umbilical cord transported nutrients into your growing frame…for what reason? So you might remain enwombed? Quite the contrary. Womb time equipped you for earth time, suited you up for your postpartum existence.
Some prenatal features went unused before birth. You grew a nose but didn’t breathe. Eyes developed, but could you see? Your tongue, toenails, and crop of hair served no function in your mother’s belly. But aren’t you glad you have them now?
Certain chapters in this life seem so unnecessary, like nostrils on the preborn. Suffering. Loneliness. Disease. Holocausts. Martyrdom. Monsoons. If we assume this world exists just for pregrave happiness, these atrocities disqualify it from doing so. But what if this earth is the womb? Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come? As Paul wrote, “These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing” (2 Cor. 4:17 CEV).
Monday, August 3, 2009
Last night, we were unwinding, getting ready for bed, when there was a knock on the door. It was after 10, so it was late for visitors. Our neighbor and her very large dog were standing at the door. She came over to tell us that there had been several break ins along our street the night before, both in cars and garages. Again, my security felt shaken and I felt uneasy and unsafe. We live in a fairly quiet neighborhood, where most of us feel, or should I say felt, pretty safe. We talked with our neighbor about how we really don't even know each other on our block. We all wave and say hi, but we don't know each other. We have no community, no relationships. We talked about how things have changed so much since we were kids because you used to know your neighbors. People used to watch out for each other and help out when needed. Now, people work long hours, come home and many have replaced relationships with others for a relationship with the tv or computer. We talked of organizing a block party so we can get to know one another, because we all need to be watching out for the others, not to mention we could all use some true community in our neighborhood.
My security is shaken. It has been shaken a lot lately, between world and national events, break ins, and our rapidly changing world. I am glad to know that my security is in Christ and that in Him I can find safety. In Him there is hope no matter how crazy this world gets, because He understands and cares for us. We will still go through things that make us feel unsafe because we live in an unsafe world, but the hope that lies in living beyond this world with Christ is true security, and nothing can shake that if we remain strong in Him, in His word, and we TRUST that He will take care of us.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:2-3