Friday, October 21, 2011

Wow. Just wow.

Literally feel like I took a dodge ball to the face today. But after watching this video, nothing hurts anymore! Thank you, God- for refocusing my attention on what matters. Only Jesus.

If you are breathing, you need to watch this! (Just click the link. The purple words. Go ahead. You can do it.)

Artist's name is David Garibaldi. Gonna have to research this talented guy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To be a Grown Up...

I'm a grown up. I have two teenage children, I have been married to the same great man for almost fifteen years, I have a career as a nurse. By all standards, I'm a grown up.

So why does it feel so surreal and GOOD to spend time with these folks?

(Scott doesn't always look like a mutant. He just has a fetish for amazingly goofy faces.)

I'll tell you why- because they are over the age of 30! Not only do I always feel like there is still so much to learn and so many things I should do "better", but lately Steve and I haven't had much "grown up fun" time. My life has revolved around people under the age of 18. Not to complain, I adore the teens in my life, more than you can imagine. And I love hearing their hearts, watching them grow in wisdom and understanding. But sometimes, you just need to hang with peeps your own age.

The hilarious part is- Steve and I went to a concert with these wonderful friends, and 2 rows in front of us were a dozen or so teenagers we all had brought! How pathetic that our "date night" was in conjunction with a youth event! Oh, Lord- you have a great sense of humor.

Truly, I have been so thankful for the way our fall season has begun. Schooling is going great, work is crazy, and God is on His throne. No matter with tears or laughter, life keeps rolling and we keep thanking God for the way He works.

So as I snuggle my kids, text my TAG girls, IM my boys, laugh at terrible jokes and listen to pop music that makes me gag- I will praise God for the opportunity to learn and love these teenage years for a second time around.

But Friday night, is going to be just for Steve and I!

Here's a cute poem I got in an email awhile back, my thoughts exactly:

When I grow up

What do I want to be like, when I grow up
I will try to be strong, and not give up
Be proud of myself, hold my head up
I want to be brave, and not throw up
Not lose my temper, never blow up
Do what I am told, always turn up
Help other people, cheer them up
But now I'm old, and still not grown up
By Dean Thorpe.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I love technology...

and C.S. Lewis. I read a quote of his today on someone's blog that shouldn't have surprised me in it's simple common sense.

"You don't have a soul. You ARE a soul. You HAVE a body." C.S. Lewis

Very true, yes? As I was trail riding with two of my girls today, I just was reminded of that quote again and the fact that who we are on the inside matters so much more than all the baggage on the outside. I mess up so much, every day- every hour some days- and it feels like the successes and failures define me.

But as I talked with these sweet ones tonight covered in horse hair and dust, and I looked at their young, darling faces- God reminded me that the outside is just icing...the soul that He died to save is who we are. It's what DEFINES us.

In Matthew 16 is says:
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?"

It sounds so nice- to follow Jesus. The sticky part is how we do it, by denying ourselves and "taking up" our "crosses". That is so hard, I so very much crave comfort and ease. But I am not going to stop trying. I want to deny the fleshy, "body" that I am currently residing in, and encourage and grow the "soul", the person I REALLY am. Because who I really am isn't defined by how successful or terrible I am at this life, but I am defined by WHO my Father is. I am defined by WHO died to save this soul of mine, and give me life eternal.

(Pictures were from a fun day when I had the chance to celebrate one of my girl's 18th birthday with a horse lesson. Such a great day!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sometimes "longing" can be bearable...

I am going to say it. I am actually excited for autumn. I know, miracles do happen. The clincher was last Sunday. I moved my horses from their summer paddocks into the big barn so they would nice and mud free, and it finally hit me. The leaves changing, the wooly coats and long manes to warm my hands in, the coziness of their stalls and winter blankets. There are some things about fall that can put a smile on my face. Even if the list is short.

I have been spending lots of time with my boy and the book of Philippians the last few days, not necessarily at the same time. The more time I spend with Jordan, the more I "long" for additional time and memories. He is such an amazing person, and so funny. I think about the fact that in two years so much will change, and I LONG to make it stay the same. I see his young man face and I long for the chubby cheeks and quick smile of elementary days.

The dictionary defines longing as : a strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant. I crave so many things, so many people that I love and can't see. In Philippians, Paul "longs" for his "family" too. To want to see someone's face so much, and be separated by distance, time, or sin is just terrible. Being the pessimist that I naturally am, I can hang out in that "longing" stage for far too long. But God is so faithful. He keeps trying to spank the snot out of my bad attitude, and remind me that in the midst of my "longing", I can rejoice and be glad. For He is always near.

Check it out, Pauly just gets done saying how he loves and longs for some peeps and pleading with them to love one another, he even calls them his "joy and crown". Then he states:
" Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your reasonableness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7

Would he say that if he didn't think we could do it? Is it possible to long for something and still "rejoice" in the Lord and be at peace? After reading that- I would have to say a resounding YES! And I am so glad God didn't end the instruction there.

Right after that passage, I think God tells us exactly how to cultivate an attitude of joy and peace, rather than one of anxiety and cravings:
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things... And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

Such a nice feeling. I was struggling with angst and discouragement this morning, and yet- the minute I opened up the Book, and saw those words again...peace came. Thank you, Papa. For always meeting us right where we need You. For giving us peace in the turmoil, and the ability to endure when we crave. And not only to endure, but to rejoice- knowing that someday every desire will be FULLY satisfied in You.

I am going to hug that man child of mine and relish every minute we have, reliving all the great memories of the time I have had with him. I will long for him with a joyful heart all my earthly days, because God blessed me like crazy when He made me Jordan's mother...and that's not a bad thing when I couple my desire with the peace of my Savior. No matter where God takes my boy, he will always have my heart so he won't really be very far away. And I am so glad.
(Totally random pictures. I don't get as many photo ops with Jordan- unless you want to see a hundred shots of him in front of the computer playing Starcraft. I have lots of those!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trail Rides are pretty awesome.

We have the best memories of Whipple Creek Trails. Our first adventures were out there, following our amazing trainer all around, Jasmine and Jordan barely school age. Then heading out on our own with the dogs and getting thoroughly lost time after time. Now we know the trails backward and forward, and have been able to share them with so many friends because we have the BEST horses.

Here's a little video of how Jasmine spent the last part of her summer. Soon the mud will be too deep and we will have to stay in the arena until May, but for now- the trails keep me sane and give my girl a reason to smile. The cute boyfriend who is a beast of a rider helps her smile too. ;)

And for my horsey friends, please don't fret. I will be working with them on their horsemanship skills! Hahahahaha! Thank God for tolerant, loving horses.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's official.

Fall is here. And I swear I'm not going to hate on it for the next 3 months. I am going to rejoice in the wet. The cold. The gray. The ugly. Really I am.

In my efforts, I shall share a GOOD memory of this lovely season called autumn. When we first started horseback riding, we took classes at Royal Ridges in Battleground. Needless to say, it was a blast. One of my favorites days was blustery and cold, and we had to wait for a long time because the other class ran late.

Can you tell we didn't mind a bit? We still love crunching through the leaves, feeling the cold, fresh air on our cheeks, and being together.

1 Chronicles has an awesome chapter that gives us some tips on how to praise God, and I am so going to use that this week as I try not to grumble. Fall might not be my favorite season, but there is so much that I can PRAISE Him for!

"Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always...
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and glory in your praise.” -1 Chronicles 16:10,11,31-35

So, gonna go for a trail ride tomorrow, crunch some leaves (if I can find non-soggy ones) and enjoy this time of year! Thank you Lord for life and breath and everything else.