All the leaves are brown…

Except for a few red leaves clinging to their chilly branches, most of the leaves are brown now, and most are on the ground.  This year, however, the fall seemed to last, and we were blessed with the sight of the brilliant leaves for longer than usual.  It made me think about how the leaves are most beautiful before they fall off the trees, at least to me.  I love the green of spring…it is my favorite season, but the fall colors are simply unrivaled.  Its the same with people.  The sweet babies are loved and adored…and miraculous, but the older person who has lived their life, shared their experiences, and is leaving a legacy is unrivaled in beauty.  Of course their are the people who don’t learn from life, and can be represented by the eaten away leaf on the tree.  But, for those that let God beautify them each day, through storms and sunny days, their life grows more beautiful until the end when they are swept up to Heaven with Him.

 

Albert Einstein said, ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.’”

Election

This election has touched many a nerve…including some of mine :).

At the end of the day, we have to get down  to the basics…

  1. We have to pray.  If we pray earnestly, God will lead us in our voting.
  2. We have to remember that He is in charge, no matter who is elected.
  3. We  have to remember:
  • There is not a perfect candidate…there’s just not.
  • There is not one perfect human being…and one human being will lead our country…it’s just so
  • There is one candidate who has more of what you value than the rest…there just is.

For me, I have 3 big reasons in wanting the world to change…and they ride in my car with me everyday.  I want the world better for them, starting with this country.

For me, I also have 3 important values that I display on my car that ride “with me” everyday.  Pro-God, Pro-Gun, Pro-Life.  There is only one candidate that meets all of those criteria.  Not a perfect candidate by any means…but one who wants things to change.

You may have different criteria.  That doesn’t bother me as much as it might bother others.  But I will plead with you, as I have on here before.  Please pray before you vote!  And listen to what God tells you…even if it goes against what you “think”…do what He knows.

 

 

VOTING

I am sure many, if not most, of you who read this will not be voting the same way I am.  Surprisingly to you, I’m okay with that.  🙂

I do have two small little requests for you:

  1. VOTE: So many people complain about who gets into office and they don’t get out and vote.  Please vote.
  2. PRAY: and listen to the response.  If everyone actually took a little time to pray (myself included) before voting, I have a feeling no matter what the outcome, we’d all feel a lot better about it.

There are so many issues to consider when voting, so many important issues.  When I look at the issues, my values need to line up with them.  God will let rise and fall who He will.  He is the author of this life.  If I try to go against His will where will I be?  (Not that I am anywhere perfect in that area…I am human too…and very thankful He has patience with me!)

One of the issues that is closest to my heart is that of abortion.  A lot of people write me off as having a biased opinion since we lost a child before birth.  They think it helps me legitimize Joshua’s life as a real life.  I call that a pretty bogus thought for two reasons.  One is that I have been prolife passionate since I was in middle school…not brainwashed by anyone, just a passion God put in my heart.  Two, Joshua’s life is legitimate and I don’t need anyone who doesn’t want to believe that to change their mind for me.  I pray that their hearts may someday change, but it doesn’t make or break my life.

Children, sadly, have never been seen as holding great value.  In the time when Jesus was on earth He made a point to tell people that they need to care for children, to accept them and that they are to be valued.

Mark 9:35-37

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

If it is important enough to be in the Bible, important enough for Jesus to speak of, then it probably is pretty important as a voting issue.  Just something to consider on the way to the polls…

 

 

 

music

So, its about time that I blog about JJ Heller.  We discovered her music on our trip out west this past August.  Listening to her music combined with Adventures in Odyssey comprised most of the time we spent in the car.  When putting a couple thousand miles on a vehicle, finding something of quality to fill the non conversational times is quite key.  🙂

We had, of course, heard a couple of JJ’s songs before, but I didn’t make the connection until our trip.  JJ sings what I would call folk music.  Most of her songs are family oriented or Christ centered…or both.  They are just beautiful pictures of life…whether joy or pain.  My ultimate favorite of hers is “The Boat Song,” but so many are just to listen to without tiring of them.  Often her songs will be found playing in the background of our daily activities whether at home or in the car.

Speaking of music not growing tiring…my children play their favorite song 24/7 on their IPods lately.  Whether the volume is quiet or loud, the song inevitably ingrains itself into our heads.  My daughter’s current song is Shakira’s “Try Everything” from the movie Zootopia.  It is a fun song with a good message, so of all the ones that have played non-stop in our home, this is one of the family favorites.

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music with all my soul.  PSALM 108:1

 

Martyrs

As we approach Easter weekend…Good Friday, remembering our Savior being beaten and killed for our sins, Resurrection Sunday…knowing He still lives and He has overcome, I thought reviewing this strong courage and faith seemed appropriate.

The strength, courage and faith of these 21 men could only be given by Christ.  They encompass what we all hope we would do in that situation.  They faced the fear, the pain, the anguish not with timidity, but with singing and praising the Lord.  And moments after, they joined their Savior in eternal perfection of Heaven.

Maybe the most amazing part of this story is that there was one man taken with the group of Christians who was not a Christian.  He, however, chose their same fate after seeing their faith.  He saw their faith and knew their God (our God, the only God) is real.  He gave his life to Christ moments before joining Christ in His Kingdom.

When we go into this weekend, we praise the Lord for giving us earthly examples of incredible faith.  We also praise Him for being the only One through Whom we can be saved.  He paid the ultimate price…pain, suffering, death on the cross, taking every sin of all of ours onto Himself.  There has never been greater pain, and He took it for us to offer us a way to Heaven.  He is the ONLY way.  Not anything good we do, but knowing we are not good enough and giving our lives, ourselves, to Him.

Remember His sacrifice this weekend, remember His love, remember His daily grace and mercy.  And talk to Him…thank Him…give yourself up to Him.

Its about time

Since it has been around a year since I have been on here, I thought it was well past time to get back in the game.  🙂

What a way to start than with this:

The word you are looking for is…”ahhh…maaaaa…zing!”

This awesome creation by McCormick and Schmick’s graced my plate yesterday in all its splendor.  It is huge!  At least to me.  The size of the picture doesn’t do it justice.  It is truly a delicious piece of art filled with mousse and the raspberry sauce on the bottom is delicious!  I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

We then made our way to see Allegiant…which sadly I would not recommend to anyone and everyone.  My husband enjoyed it, but has not read the book.  Very futuristic…almost to the sci-fy realm.  I, being a HARD CORE Divergent fan, am not enjoying all the artistic liberties being put into the films.  This last one is completely different than the book, changed, not just missing parts.  However, it is entertaining.

That’s it for now!  Figured I would start with a nice light, yummy post before delving into politics and such on my first blog back in action.

😉

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except the puking youngest child… *sigh*

And so came crashing down the plans for our yearly Christmas brunch…*sigh*

We had great plans, which we hope to piece together throughout the week once all are strong and healthy again.  🙂  The kids had a skit about The Legend of the Candy Cane, we had brunch planned including such yummy things as quiche, she crab soup, crab cakes monkey bread, meatballs, champagne, desserts and other delectibles.  We had a new fireplace to share the “warmth” of Christmas.  😉  Not to mention gifts galore.

You know what though?… my kids (and myself, as well) were most disappointed about not getting together with the people!  We love being with our extended family!  We have been talking all month about how Christmas isn’t about all the frills and gifts, but solely the rejoicing of Christ’s birth.  The birth of our Savior!  Without this glorious day we would have no hope and no future.  And so, tomorrow, we will focus on that even more with our quiet and subdued day warding off illness.  I will miss seeing my family and serving them brunch and giving them gifts…but that will come soon enough.  Tomorrow we will just huddle together as a family and rejoice our king!  And if the kids are well enough, we will spoil them a bit with all the feast foods that are left to be eaten by someone…  😉  Oh yes and there will be presents of course.

Speaking of glorious, we just had an amazing Christmas Eve service at our church that was truly glorious.  Seriously, I would have paid money to see the worship team…their performance was amazing!  And the hope of Christ was clearly stated throughout the evening.

The hope of Christ gives such peace and joy!  I see it in my kids constantly.  They have such a wonderful perspective on things.  When we go to visit Joshua, it is a place of good memories for them.  The cemetery is just another playground where they are able to visit Joshua’s place, decorate it and throw in a game of tag.

I am going to repeat the quote I posted last time, because it is just meaningful to me.  Life changes, love remains…No matter what life throws at us…from a sick kid to a horrible loss…love remains.  Love is the most important thing we can give and receive.  Love from one another is an amazing thing.  Love from Christ, our King and Savior, trumps everything.

snowflakes and time

Can I just say that the snowflakes on the page are kinda cool on the woods picture?  haha!

So, its been 10 years since we said goodbye to our little guy.  Crazy how the memories are still as fresh as yesterday.  My amazing hubby gave me a card today that said life changes, love stays…so fitting.  So sweet that he still takes extra care of me on this day…probably because he is the only one who truly knows how this day feels.  Many relate, sympathize and empathize and have always been great support, but he was there for all of it.  It is also crazy how you can miss someone so much for so long that was here so briefly.  Just goes to show how special each life is, no matter how short.

On a happier note…I am so blessed to have known my little guy, to hold him, to have his wonderful siblings here safe and healthy, to have my family (immediate and extended), friends, and great anticipation for Christmas to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas a little early in case time flies too quickly before I get back on here.

Forgiveness

I am not an expert on things of the Bible.  I don’t think I pretend to be.  I am not afraid to admit that there are some things that are tough to swallow when following the ways of Christ.  However, despite all of that, I am eager to learn more about Him and I trust Him to know better than me.  His ways are higher than mine.  My lack of understanding is because of my imperfections, not because of His.

One of the things many Christians struggle with is forgiveness.  It is pretty easy to forgive someone for an accident, but I am talking true ‘lay down the sword’ forgiveness.  My biggest struggle isn’t forgiving people who hurt me, but rather people who hurt those I love, or people who hurt children.  But we must forgive.  And we must pray that they change.  We are called to minister to them just as much as we are called to minister to the little old lady next door who always bakes us apple pies.

Whenever I think about murderers, abusers, etc, I think of a few things.  First of all, it is not my place to judge where they will spend eternity.  While we are not called to condone, accept, or agree with their choices…in fact we are called to speak truth against their choices and hold them accountable…we are not the judges of their forever fate.  Second of all, I am far from perfect, and the deepest sins that Jesus knows about me are no better than the ones that we all know about public sinners.  Third, while some people are completely aware of the evil they do, others are not completely…some were raised from birth to think it okay to hurt those who don’t agree with them.  Some have not found Jesus yet and do not realize how wrong they are.  This doesn’t make them innocent.  No…none of us our innocent, but prayers and forgiveness are for everyone.  I also thank God that by His grace alone, I am not under the mindset that murder and abuse is the right path to take.  Finally I think about the length of eternity.  We cannot even comprehend the length of time eternity is.  And for someone to suffer for that long helps me pray for everyone.

Again, please know I am not condoning these people or their actions.  I have not been in the position to have to forgive someone who hurt my family in a severe way.  I have had to forgive people who have hurt my family in a less severe way though.  I don’t know how I would respond in the situation, but I pray that I would be able to forgive and love as Jesus would call me to do.  I am not at all claiming it would be easy.

When I think about people around the world hurting others, especially children, the only way I can make it make sense is if I relate it to “Divergent.”  Yes, my favorite movie!  There is a part of the movie where people are put under a trance and in this trance are programmed to do things that they normally would be against.  When they come out of the trance they are appalled at what they have done.  I think of the unsaved as being in the trance and if we can reach them, maybe they can come out of the trance, stop hurting people, and help save others.

In a world of Sauls, let’s pray for some conversions to Pauls.