Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Look Who's Two!

I guess I should think about trying to blog a bit more often, not just after Benjamin has had another birthday. I miss writing and getting around to visit all of your blogs too. Here is a peek at my little man and a Happy Independence Day to all of you!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Valley Experience

There are days when I feel as though I have been in the valley for so long that I can barely remember how life looks from the mountaintop. Those days are long...full of self-pity, doubt, defeat, darkness. On those days, the valley looks dank and desolate. I feel trapped, suffocating in the narrow, air-tight valley. I feel bound by the steep hills and mountains, which close me in on every side. The valley seems to stretch on forever, offering no escape.  I long for the openness and the light that the mountaintop offers. I yearn to take deep, lasting breaths of the fresh, mountain air. Often, I have found that I feel closer to God on the mountaintop. It's easy to offer God praise, honor and glory when there is nothing to hinder my view. More often though, I find myself crying out to God, asking for help. Help to escape the darkness. Help to find brighter days in the comfort of the open air, in the warmth of the sun. There have been times when God has offered me just that kind of help, lifting me up and out of the valley, as only He can. There are also times, such as this, when God chooses to walk along with me. He lends me His eyes, helping me to find the beauty in the valley.

While the mountaintop offers beautiful, breathtaking, majestic views...the valley holds its own special kind of beauty. As we walk along the floor of the valley, He points out the fertile soil, ripe with beautiful flowers. Flowers that God has created for me to enjoy. Flowers that are much smaller, their beauty much less significant, when viewed from the mountaintop...if able to view them at all. As we walk along, I breathe in the fragrant air, which suddenly doesn't seem quite so suffocating. While looking around me, I notice how quiet and isolated the valley is, providing the perfect landscape for an intimate walk with God. It no longer seems inescapable, unending, all-consuming. He has chosen to meet me in this valley, not to carry me straight to the mountaintop, but to point out all of the gifts He has for me on the valley floor. As the riverbed recedes and the waters begin to evaporate, rather than finding myself parched and dry, I realize now, that God has met me here to quench my thirst, providing me with just enough strength to continue on. I begin to see just how much I would be missing out on, if I were still on top of the mountain. There is so much richness to be found here, if only I allow Him to take me by the hand, revealing His purpose for me in this valley experience. While it seems we can see forever on the mountaintop, from the valley floor I realize just how limited that view can be. I know there are things I am seeing here that would never come into focus from so far above, things that can only be seen through God's eyes. Every morning I ask God for more of Him and less of me. I don't want to miss anything He wants to show me on this guided tour of the valley.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hanging In...

My blogging skills have been even beyond lacking. It's been a bit of a rough go for me lately and I am working to start bouncing back. As always, the one bright light in my life is my Savior, Jesus Christ and, coming in a very close second is my precious Benjamin. Take a look at this picture and just TRY to wonder why!

Sorry about the red eye...I used to be able to edit these but for the life of me, can not get to wherever I was that let me do that! Here are the highlights of what we have been up to...

Benjamin took his first plane ride in mid-January to visit his grandma and grandpa. It was a really nice break for us, even though the weather wasn't ideal. We left Minnesota just at the right time too. We have been enjoying a very unseasonable winter, with mild temperatures and very little snow. While we were gone we missed cold temperatures and a huge snowstorm! Here are a few pictures from the trip.

We've been back for a few weeks now and are just settling in and looking forward to spring. We took advantage of a warmer than average Saturday this past weekend and took a trip to a favorite outlet mall. Benjamin fared much better than mommy when it came to our purchases...I had no luck, but it was worth it just to see the smiles on his face! Sunday we were able to get together with Benjamin's favorite uncle for lunch.

It was a nice weekend. I hope to be back with some more pictures and updates soon!

God bless you all!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Unseen Things

There is no question that 2011 was a tough year for me. While there were so many blessings (#1 blessing pictured below), it was heavily wrought with loss as well. Earlier today, I was having a very difficult time and found myself turning to all of the loss experienced, as opposed to focusing on all that God has for me to gain right here, right now. I was in the midst of my moment of grief and praying that God would take this cup from me, when He reminded me that this is temporary. I have heard this a lot from God in the past year, and found myself sighing and telling God that YES, I know this is temporary, but it happens to be my temporary REALITY right now and I think it sucks! And then...God broke through and said no THIS is temporary... ALL of this is temporary. Only I am eternal. God told me to stop looking at my circumstances as if THEY were eternal, meaning that when this particular set of 'temporary' circumstances falls away and I find myself back on the mountaintop, the things of this world will STILL be temporary. Then He gave me this verse from the Bible:
2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
I am so thankful to have a God who loves me so much, that He is willing to break through those moments I would rather spend wallowing in self pity, to bring me such a humbling, transforming and ETERNAL truth!
I am thankful to know that when my eyes, once again, become focused on my less than perfect circumstances...I am as close to the truth as closing them and remembering that which is unseen, unchanging and everlasting.

Hebrews 13: 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Happy New Year from our house to yours!