Family

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I’m so grateful for all the pictures we have of our family.  Like this one. 😉 I remember the evening vividly.   My niece had just taken a shower (that’s why she’s glistening!) and the two of us were whipping up strawberry shortcake for the family.  She was just a little peanut then — maybe 5 or 6 — and now she’s all grown up!  Hannah graduated from high school this year and we could not be more proud of our girl.  My sister-in-law and brother did a fine job in raising this beauty.  We are over the top excited to have her stay with us next week!!  We can hardly wait to hug her, eat every meal with her, and take lots of pics with her. 😉 When was the last time you invited your niece or nephew to stay with you?

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Stink No More

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Hope you had a great 4th of July too!  I love this land. 🙂 We got home late that night (about 11:30p) and were greeted with the worst odor imaginable.  Many thoughts ran through our minds as we carefully walked through the house.  Refrigerator stopped working?  What crawled in our house and died?  Plumbing issues?  Fortunately, it was far less dramatic — a healthy bowl of broccoli in the microwave was causing all the stink.  Someone (me) forgot to serve it with our dinner the night before. 😉 This small incident caused me to think about my spiritual life.   Little pride, little lies, little bitterness, little manipulation, little unforgiveness, or little jealousy can very quickly stink up my whole life.   My sin effects me, my relationship with Jesus, and others.  Ignoring problems never make them go away, but only creates bigger messes.  How good it is to know that Jesus forgives us the minute we confess our sins!  He tells us to go and stink no more (loose paraphrase of John 8:11). 🙂

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Happy Father’s Day

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I am thanking God for my dear dad today. 🙂 My dad has been one of the pillars in my life and I’m greatful for his influence over me.  Just like my Heavenly Father, he chose to adopt me into his family.  (I was adopted when I was 9 years old.)  Maybe today is a bitter/sweet day for you because your dad didn’t love you like he was supposed to.  You have a Heavenly Father who wants you, cares for you, and loves you!

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Choose Well

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Life is full of choices.  I’m constantly learning from my mistakes and thankful for the few things I’ve done right. 😉 I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately in regards to friendships – people who are the closest to me.  My husband is one of those people in my life.  We are coming up on 5 year anniversary this year!  It’s still few months away, but I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting already.  We dated for over 2 years and during those (loooooooong) months, we became best friends.  I watched him make decisions that were godly.  Over and over again.  Not much has changed in the last 5 years.  Surround yourself with people who you respect.  Healthy relationships are the best gifts. 🙂

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Salvation Mountain

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Have you been there?  The husband and I took a trip to this amazing location recently and I was not disappointed.  It was everything I had expected and more!  This colorful oasis in the desert spoke so much happiness, hope, and love to me. 🙂  Here’s more info from the official website — “Salvation Mountain is Leonard’s tribute to God and his gift to the world with its simple yet powerful message: “God Is Love.” Leonard’s passion has lovingly created this brilliant “outsider art ” masterpiece resplendent with not only biblical and religious scripture such as the Lord’s Prayer, John 3:16, and the Sinner’s Prayer, but also including flowers, trees, waterfalls, suns, bluebirds, and many other fascinating and colorful objects. Salvation Mountain must be seen to be fully appreciated as those who have made the journey will attest. Its 50 foot height and 150 foot breadth is made totally of local adobe clay and donated paint and is truly unique in the United States and probably the world. From its Sea of Galilee at the bottom, to the big red heart in the middle, to the cross at the very top, the reoccurring theme of “Love” is everywhere at Salvation Mountain.”

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God’s Always in Control

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What a week it’s been so far.   My mom and dad are visiting from Colorado and it’s been a huge blessing.  Love having them staying with us!!  Everything was going perfectly until my dad got sick — so sick that he was hospitalized for 3 days.  He was discharged yesterday.  We are so grateful that he is going to be okay.  As I write my post this morning, I can see my dad in the recliner snoring away. 🙂 What a sweet sound.  When life doesn’t go exactly as planned, I want to encourage you to embrace it for what it is.  Let go of old expectations and look for new blessings.  And remember, God is in charge.  I don’t know about you, but knowing that brings me peace, joy, and so much comfort!

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Basket of Happiness

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The room was quiet.  Everyone was typing away on their cell phones.  In anticipation of a long wait at the doctor’s office,  I brought my basket of happiness.  This consists of colorful yarn and my crochet hook. 😉 It was no more then 5 minutes when a sweet girl asked me what I was making.  I told her “hats…lots of hats for the orphans!” 🙂  All of sudden, everyone else started asking questions and it was so much fun to get to know these strangers.  We were laughing and having great conversations!  One of the guys had played the piano for 65 years.   Another guy was a jazz musician.  One of the girls just started a new job as a business analyst.  Everyone seemed eager to connect.  There are benefits to social media, but there is no substitute for the real deal.  When was the last time you had a great conversation (face-to-face) with your mom, friend, neighbor, or a stranger? 🙂

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