Thursday, July 31, 2014

For it was Joy

Who knows if it was the sand tickling her little toes
or the infinity before her eyes
Perhaps the crashing of the water
as it endlessly danced on the horizon, played its part as well
Or the fact that all who she loved was present
But all things made sense at that moment
And I marveled at her beauty, until I could barely breathe
And my eyes cried into the ocean once again
For it was Joy
Endless, appreciative joy
And it stood right before me looking off into the ocean, and smiled

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pictures of our Growing Girl (26 MONTHS!!!!!)

Thank you Jesus for our precious daughter. 
For all the JOY we have with her everyday!

This is what happens when you leave
a toddler alone for 2.5 seconds...
she finds your lipstick!!!!  LOL!

Ahava has had tooth after tooth come in
so fast.  She now has 8 and two more on the
way.  She was eating a yogurt pop to help
her poor swollen gums.  I think it helped, don't you?

Look at how big she is getting!!!  That's my sweet girl!
Last time we weighed her, so was a whopping 23 lbs!!!

This was her birthday present from Grammy!  A Strider bike!
They are so neat because they do not have peddles on them.
It is made for kids from 18 months on to help them learn
balance and steering!!!  She was so excited!!!!

She also got her cute helmet and knee, elbow and wrist pads!
Isn't she adorable? THANKS GRAMMY!!!
She looks so grown up here!
For father's day, we surprised Papa with a tour of the bay.  We had
a lot of fun and even saw several seals!!!  Ahava enjoyed it as well.

We went to Ocean World one day and Ahava had her first
taste of surfing!!!! 
My sunshine. 
Every Minnie needs a carrot to eat!  My creative little squirrel!

Having fun playing outside!
Can you spot the cutest little thing in the toy box?
Trying to do a hand stand!  She is almost there!
This is not a giant tupperware is a boat!!!!!

Grow Grow GROW!

Ahava with our Sequoia Tree in November 2013
Ahava with our Sequoia Tree in July 2014...she has GROWN!
I plan to take pictures with the tree often to see how big she is getting!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Just Close Your Eyes

"Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
Ponder the path of your feet,"
Proverbs 4:25, 26
These words are beautiful because there are 3 hidden treasures the Lord revealed to me that I know will bless you as well.
One is that we must observe where we are in the physical: "Let your eyes look straight ahead." When we take the presentation of a physical stance that looks straight ahead, we are not looking back, to the right or to the left.  It symbolizes trust to the future, and expectation and concentration on what is ahead of you.  God mentions our physical direction in other places of scripture and most refer to keeping focus on Him and His Truth.  HE IS STRAIGHT AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!! Some of these are Proverbs 4:27, Deuteronomy 28:14, Matthew 7:13,14.
The second thing this verse shows caught my attention.  It says : "And your eyelids right before you." How do we see our eyelids?  We close our eyes.  This is seeking God with all your heart, all your mind and with all of your soul.  Most of the time we have to shut off the outside world, all the noise, busyness, and drama to hear that "still small voice" nourishing, guiding and leading us to what He has for our future.  It is a stance of meditation and surrender, not being able to "see" physically, but allowing the Lord to lead spiritually. 
And lastly, we must "ponder the path of your (our) feet,".  We cannot just aimlessly wander.  Our lives our purposeful and with design.  God will show us His way for everything and anything life brings our way.  There is so much beauty that can happen when we actually DO ponder the path that God leads us on and not just feel like life is a meaningless mess.  We can relax knowing that He is our Father and will take care of our lives and hearts.
There are 3 things we must do as we journey through life with Jesus.  This passage shows us.  It gives us an example of a godly way to deal with life.  The world's words say "do what you want, don't think, do what feels good" and so on and on and on.  But God says "look straight ahead AT ME!"  I am with you, shut out the noise, shut out the *nemy, and listen carefully to My heart.  I love you.  I will guide you, now let's go together.  I will walk by your side."  This is what this verse said to my heart when I read it.

Friday, July 04, 2014

My Stumblings

We don't have cable or satellite.  The news we get from the world isn't made to encourage or strengthen our hearts, its agenda is clear...bad news sells faster.  Scandals and sex sell even better.  The news we allow our minds, eyes and hearts to receive must be through Jesus' eyes and heart, but to get news like this, we have to nearly seek it out.  It is definitely not the news that is more than freely offered at every corner we turn.  I listened to a sermon a little while back that mentioned that for every 1 person of negativity a group, it takes two more people to turn the attitude of the group around to a positive mindset.  In other words, for every 1 negative thing said, I believe it said that it takes 4 positive things being said to turn the attitude around.  I want to surround myself with positive, and with TRUE positive, with Truth Himself, with God.  So I am seeking the good news across the world and I am sharing what God is doing in my life and in my family's life.  We have to keep in mind that we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  Our testimony is literally the good news, and if we are ready and excited to tell what God is doing then it will affect others. We just have to take a chance and get out there and tell it.  It is our beautiful messy story that God can use to make a difference. 

All that to say that I rarely hear about what is going on in the world, unless I check out news sites and stuff like that.  I don't do it often.  But as I was looking at a story suggested by friends, two others jumped out to me and I felt the Lord asking me to watch them.  It is so funny because I didn't set out to read about these stories, God brought me there.

The first story I came upon was shocking to me.  I was looking up the headline story for the 3 boys in Israel who were murdered, as we have friends in Israel and have been told to pray for them.  I watched the news about it and on the side column, another story caught my attention.   I don't know how you will feel about this, but it nearly took all the blood out of my head and I felt as if I weighed as much as a Sequoia tree.  The article was about Baby Hatches in China.  I clicked on the news clip and couldn't believe what I was watching.  It talked about these little one room "hatches" that the communistic country arranged to have to perhaps help and alleviate with the abandoning and murders that were happening.  Parents were trying to get rid of their unwanted babies and the issue now arouse that they were finding bodies.  Babies and children's bodies being dumped.  They wanted a more "humane" way of allowing parents to get rid of their child, so the government introduced these one room pods that had an incubator in it and a button the person bringing in the child could push, to alarm the orphanage workers that another child had been dropped off.  No questions asked, the parents would slip away into the day or night.  They believed their child would be taken care of and that the government would supply the needs of the disability.  I watched one clip of a Mom and Dad who had dropped off their little baby who had down syndrome amongst other issues.  They were poor and had no money for her treatments.  It was so hard for them, they explained, but they couldn't afford the medical bills.  They brought their daughter there and then 12 hours later she died.  The hatch was closed, but no one told them, she died alone in a hutch that no one was checking on.  They also reported in the clip that someone drove by without even stopping and threw a child out of the car onto the side of the road.

My heart was devastated after I read this on so many levels.  Firstly, my heart hurt for the unwanted children.  Deeply deeply, and even deeper.  I throbbed when I saw some of their faces in the video.  Then my grief deepened into a urgency for Jesus to COME BACK.  How much more evil can man get?  But it is just the lack of respect, love and care that truly just boggles my mind.  Their government is therefore creating a problem even in itself with this.  It is like an alcoholic or a druggie that they are enabling the sin and the consequences.  They enable these parents to not take responsibility, they enable them to give up.  It just seems like a cycle of selfishness.  That one can decide another person isn't good and needs to be thrown out simply because she or he is differently abled?  I could vomit.  It is not true.  There is a Truth here, a standard and that is the Lord.  This situation is a deep spider web of mess.  That our world has come to something like this is not too surprising, but it still hurts, and as I watched I half way felt like I was watching a fiction movie.  It just seems so unreal.  I know people may be in a situation that they feel like it is the only way to get the child help, but it still doesn't align with how God originally made His world, and that is why my heart grieves so.  Because we are SOOOOOO incredibly far from where God had originally set us and I wonder.  I sit and wonder so much about just how far away we are.  I think of Sodom and Gomorrah and how not even one faithful person remained.  How are we doing in that?  Not even in our city.....but our world?  Oh God!  Give me the passion to fix my eyes on You completely.  Do not let me get caught up with the affairs of this world.

"No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer."

2 Timothy 2:4

My second stumbling story is not as intense, well not in that way.  It is intense because it is simply and utterly BEAUTIFUL.  I sat there and just soaked it all in.  This will not only impress you, but will bless your heart.  In college I was in the traveling singing group called "The Light."  We traveled from Texas all the way to California to spread the word of God, encourage High School kids and then also introduce them to ACU.  I enjoyed it as I was singing a lot in High School, lead worship and sang special music a lot in church.  It was something my heart knew how to do, and it brought me instantly to the Lord, His throne room and His Love.  Singing in worship, the notes are not really notes, they are stairs labeled with words, that lead you up and up and up into the throne room of Jesus Himself.  It is powerful.  That is another reason we have to decided to be very careful of what music is played in our house and cars.  Music can penetrate any shell, it goes for the heart, unwinds in the soul and shouts from our spirits.  What we allow in in that place filters within us like our blood does, it affects every part of us whether we realize it or not.  It is a very dangerous weapon, music is.  A very very dangerous weapon, and that is why the *nemy works really hard to pervert it.  Don't allow anything besides Christian music into your life, you wont regret it at all.  Anyway, the singing group I was in was an acapella group consisting of 4 girls and 4 boys.  We practiced 2 times a week, and mostly every weekend, we traveled together and worshipped.  I was the youngest auditioner ever to have been chosen for the group.  Being just a Freshmen, I felt so happy and knew the Lord had a plan for me in "the Light."  So the tones, notes, flow and pitches, dissonance, and worship of voices working together to honor God is so dear to my heart. 

So the other day the old hymn "I Need Thee every Hour" popped into my mind and I just had to listen to it right then.  It was going to be my weapon against the attacks I felt that day.  I simply plugged the words into "GOOGLE" hit the "search" button and up popped the video I included here below.  I was BLOWN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I couldn't even move.  I was frozen the entire time I listened, in complete awe of the beautiful voice of every single one of him (you will understand when you see it) and the way he was able to sing this.  It touched me as well that it must have taken a good part of an entire day to record something like that and how "literally" every hour he sang "I need Thee!"  You will be blessed.  Turn up your speakers!  You will want to hear this one loud!!!!

Be blessed!!!
Live for HIM