Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Favorite Place...

I was looking at the weather report on Friday and just happened to look at the beach weather report...ahhh, 60 degrees, no wind, blue skies.


And so, in true last-minute, go-for-it, "if I don't do it now, I may not be back for a long time" style, I decided to make the 2 hour trip.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves...

A special thank you to Mom & Dad McPherson for their sweet sacrifice to drive 20 or so hours just to see their grandkids and enjoy a little time on the Oregon coast...it made the trip. Thank you.

And thank you to our friends at the beach who so graciously offered their home in Rockaway to stay in. It was adorable, cozy and a blessing to all of us...

And today, we prayed during family worship and Levi whispered to daddy "and tank you for beach...me miss it".

So do I Levi...so do I.

"But the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hands are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!" Psalm 95:5&6

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lessons from my Kids...

Not only are these pictures adorable...they capture the faces of the 2 little daily "reminders" that God has placed in my life to have faith...even like that of a child.

Ultimate trust...unwavering confidence in their father...absolute joy as they follow along the path their parents are walking.

These kids have moved around some in the last year or so (not as much as some, I know) and been through some changes...and yet, every step of the way, they follow their dad & mom in ultimate trust.

Their joyous spirits and optomistic observations have lifted me on more than one occasion. Their attitudes have been challenging for my own heart...for I would not be eager to show you my picture sometimes when my heavenly Father chooses a path for us that I may not have chosen.

And how much more does our Heavenly Father care for us and our families as we follow His sovereign plan?

You know the answer.

And I'm gonna take a cue from my kids...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The goal of a new year...

Happy 2009!

A new year begins and in honor of the joy of a fresh start...I have renamed my blog.

It may go through some name changes, so please bear with me. For now, it derives its new name from an excerpt of the most recent book I have been reading. "Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman" by Anne Ortlund. Wife of author Ray Ortlund, Anne wrote this book way back in 1984. (whoa, I was in the 1st grade)

I found it in the bulging bookshelves of my in-laws home, over the holidays. My mother-in-law told me it was one of the first books she read after she became a married woman. She remembered it fondly and I decided to start it (because if she says it's worth it, then I want to read it).

It is an easy read and has been a wonderful beginning to the new year. You know...resolutions, optimism, goals, a clean slate. The book is full of practical ideas on ordering your home, life, closet, schedule.

In one chapter, she is speaking of the order of your invisible life, as she calls it. You know, the part that not many people see...your quiet times with the Lord, the thoughts or worries that fill your mind, tender moments while reading the Word, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit as a mother plans her day to bless her husband & children.

She explains "our invisible times of quiet determine the stability of our lives...the quality of your life will be determined by the amount of time you spend alone with God in reading, praying and planning." Needless to say, it has proved to be very motivating as I have been seeking the Lord for the goals He would have for me in 2009.

I am a very goal-oriented person. Ask my volleyball team at GFU...they heard the 20 minute speech I so passionately exclaimed about the benefits, joy and productivity goals can bring.

I blame my love for goals on my high school track coach. He made us have goals for everything...not just track. And it stuck...really well.

I like short-term goals, long-term goals, spiritual goals, physical goals, emotional goals, service-oriented goals, personal goals, educational goals, goals for my children...the list goes on and on.

You get the picture.

And so I have been writing down my goals for 2009...books to read, relationships to nurture, principles to practice. And I love it. It infuses me with motivation, excitement and anticipation to see how the Lord will work in, around and over the top of any expectation or goal I could ever set.

And one thing I have learned in my years of goal-setting...my ultimate goal must be Christ alone.

For without Him, I can accomplish nothing.

So I encourage you to join me in setting goals for the new year. It is a great way to stay steady on the course...and watch the evidence of growth in one’s life.

But remember...

“...Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death...

...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:8-10, 13 & 14