Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My "Glass Half Full" Girl...

I love that my 13 year old can school me when it comes to attitude. Where I see weeds, she sees spontaneous blooms. Where I see struggles, she sees adventure. And when I feel shame for my past mistakes, she has forgotten them all and remembers only the "beauty in the ashes". Oh, how I adore this girl!

Where I Come From
I come from a little house surrounded by the forest and horses.
I come from the smell of fresh air and grass.
I come from two loving people, Steve and Renee.
I come from splashing in the creek and running through the woods.
I come from a 45 min drive to see my beloved Church Family.
I come from a giving Grandma who will always care.
I come from a Grandpa who calls me "sis" and loves me to the moon.
I come from a family who gives everything for me.
I come from a family who is in love with Jesus Christ.
I come from a little girl who loves her God.
This is where I come from.

By: Jasmine 7th Grade English

She makes me want to live better. <3 To laugh harder, forgive faster and love bigger.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing...Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. " 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 16-18

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gotta love mules!!!

What a crazy story I got today- but it just reminds me why I have never wanted a mule. They are just too stinkin' smart. :) Cougars are pretty, but after living in Yacolt and hearing the stories of them stalking animals and even small children, I am not a fan and so proud of this mule for not only protecting the dogs, but also protecting his rider who was on the ground.

"A couple in Montana were out riding their range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera.Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a Mountain Lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you'll see the dogs in the background watching).

Very, very bad decision.

The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs.

With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion.

That's when all hell broke loose for the lion.

As the lion approached the dogs, the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, then whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (who were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride as if nothing had just happened.

Fortunately, even though the hunter didn't get off a shot, his wife got the pictures.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Find the beauty of YOUR diamond.

"A few years ago my engagement ring cracked where I’d had it re-sized. I had it repaired but it was wearing very thin again. While we were in Missouri I took my engagement ring to the jeweler it was purchased from and had them make me a new white gold tiffany setting. I handed over my ring and watched the jeweler pry open the prongs and dump out the diamond. It had an unbelievable amount of gunk underneath it. If nothing else, it would look a hundred times better just from the stone being cleaned! They handed the old ring back to me empty. I waited in anticipation for five days and finally, on our way home from Silver Dollar City in Branson, I got to pick up my diamond in a brand new band. It was beautiful! My round solitaire looked so happy and shiny. It had been a long time since it looked like that. I sort of wished I’d made this investment sooner. If Curtis had given me a brand new diamond three times as big as that one it would not have thrilled me as much as seeing that same one looking just as pretty as the day he gave it to me. Prettier, really, since it represented everything that we have been through and done together.

Our marriages are somewhat like my engagement ring. The core – the diamond – holds a great love story with lots of passion and commitment. But everyday wear and tear and the occasional traumatic event can do a number on the metal that holds it together. Some of our rings could just use some polishing while others need some real restoration. God can do both! Remember that He loves marriage. He created it, after all. I’m praying that God will show each one of us a specific way we can invest in our marriage to strengthen it and bring out its beauty." - Amanda Jones http://blog.lproof.org/

Praying that you find a moment to remember how you fell in love today. Watching too many marriages self destruct, sometimes due to such tragedy and sometimes due to simple neglect, it breaks my heart. I can't imagine how much it grieves God's heart to see us throw away the most special earthly relationship He gave. Fight for it, love. And embrace that today is a new day, and God gives "do overs". Forgive and move forward. I know, easy to say, hard to do. But it is so worth it.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13

Sunday, June 6, 2010

No Kindle for me, I think...

Ahhh...delphiniums. So pretty, and I LOVE that you see them poking up on the sides of the road, with the foxgloves. Not weeds to me!

Thought about getting a Kindle, an iPad, or a nook over the last year. Debated back and forth many times about switching to the digital age with my reading fetish. I love my computer, I love the Internet, and I love technology. (Oh- Napoleon Dynamite. I can never say that sentence without grinning thanks to Kip.) But would I love holding a little "pad" instead of the glorious feel of paper and the sound of pages turning? Then again, wouldn't I love having a THOUSAND books at my fingertips, at any moment? Then I read the following excerpt and decided- for now- I'm sticking with my paper and ink books. How many books can I read at once anyways, right? :) All the reasons why a real book...will always be wonderful.

"...as a device for reading, the book retains some compelling advantages over the computer. You can take a book to the beach without worrying about sand getting in its works. You can take it to bed without being nervous about it falling to the floor should you nod off. You can spill coffee on it. You can sit on it. You can put it down on a table, open to the page you’re reading, and when you pick it up a few days later it will still be exactly as you left it. You never have to be concerned about plugging a book into an outlet or having its battery die.

The experience of reading tends to be better with a book too. Words stamped on a page in black ink are easier to read than words formed of pixels on a back lit screen. You can read a dozen or a hundred printed pages without suffering from the eye fatigue that often results from even a brief stretch of online reading. Navigating a book is simpler and, as software programmers say, more intuitive. You can flip through real pages much more quickly and flexibly than you can through virtual pages. And you can write notes in a book’s margins or highlight passages that move or inspire you. You can even get a book’s author to sign its title page. When you’re finished with a book, you can use it to fill an empty space on your bookshelf—or lend it to a friend." -Nicholas Carr from The Shallows

Saturday, June 5, 2010

So funny!

The Shoebox

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years.
They had shared everything. They had talked about everything.
They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little
Old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had
Cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but
One day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said
She would not recover.
In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took
Down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside.
She agreed that it was time that he should know what was
In the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls
And a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents.
'When we were to be married,' she said, ' my grandmother told me
The secret of a happy marriage was to never argue... She told me that
If I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.'

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two
Precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two
Times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with

'Honey,' he said, 'that explains the dolls but what about all of this money?
Where did it come from?'
'Oh,' she said, 'that's the money I made from selling the dolls.'

As I have been increasing the amount of time I pray for you husband, I find that God is increasing His work on my attitude. :) Too often I get frustrated, angry or annoyed about things that don't matter at all in the big picture. Oh, Lord- make me merciful, gracious and loving. And thanks for the grin this morning- I needed it. Off I go to crochet some dolls....hehehehe No, really off I go to work. May God be LARGE in your day!

Here is a fun calendar with scriptures to pray for your man if you would like. It gives me a starting point each day.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yakutsk, Siberia- 77 degrees. Seriously?!?

And here I sit- in a humid, balmy, 61 degree day. I allowed myself one sentence to whine, so there you have it.

On to better things- we have been crazy around here the last couple of weeks. My baby boy, my bambino, my con trai- is now officially a motor vehicle operator. Terrifying to the extreme. I can't decide if it is scarier to actually be in the car with him, or to simply be thinking about the fact that he is driving- and I have exactly a little less than 3 years left before he turns 18. He was such a good sport. I took him to get the permit on his birthday, had him drive around the parking lot a few times, and said "Homeward!" Little did I know at the time that I should have given him a few more test drives before sending him on the road, but he did it- and we didn't die. Nor did anyone else. Score Team Doan!

Lots of yard work, teen stuff happening at our house, and new jobs and schedules- but as June starts and summer is in the forecast (I HOPE!)- I can't wait to see what God will bring this season. I am so looking forward to summer days with my kiddos, a few vacations with my honey, and lots of God Stops. I read somewhere that we are always looking for the truly "brilliant" moments, but it is just as important that we shine in the mundane everyday stuff. That's where people see us, and God, best.

We finished up a Jonah study in the high school group last month, and though I don't know how much the girls got out of it- God just kept reminding me that second chances are what He is all about. His grace is free, and all we have to do is open our eyes and pay attention. I read this little blurp from Jonah's life, and realized that all we know about the dude is how unforgiving and dense he was- yet he had years of other days and experiences. Did he ever get it? Did he ever realize that he needed God's compassion and mercy just as much as the whole city of Nineveh did? I so hope so. And I don't ever want to miss that boat. I also don't want my epitaph to read- "Renee was a God lover. But she didn't know how to forgive or accept forgiveness." Jonah ends with the man sitting alone on a hillside, lamenting the death of a plant. Pathetic, and something I would totally do! :)
Veggietales sums Jonah up pretty well- and I hope that I always remember this story, because I want to GET IT.

" Jonah was a prophet-
ooo ooo!
But he never really got it!
sad but true!

Everyone should get a second chance from you!" Veggietales- The Jonah Movie

This is the side of Jonah that I want to be like- the one who in humility calls out to God for His forgiveness and His comfort:

"From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said:
"In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry. "
Jonah 2:1-2
These were some photos my girlie took. Very cool, yes?