Tuesday, January 26, 2010

For Tasha

Living Room from the view of coming out of the bedrooms with a quick running Isaiah and Bella right behind him.

Our Room with a very messy closet but note the red painted wall and vw coming out of it. All the vw's cars are hung up around our room like that.

Another one of our room, see if you can find a gift you gave us long ago. I love my new quilt got it at a yard sale $10 and it's VELVET!!

Living room looking into the two bedroom doors which are over by the green hutch.

Another view of the living room.

Living Room playing guitar hero with friend John.

Above the kitchen sink

Living room again we change the couches around all the time. They were both Ikea purchases and the brown one is a queen size mattress just right for some visitors, hint hint...

Girls room with pretty Miss Lo-sters showing off

Hope it gives a better idea of the inside and now back to the outside which is really why we are here :)

2nd Stop on the Max Marathon

Just Like Jesus, is the second book I read through on my Max Marathon. It was jammed packed with good reminders about what it looks like to be Just Like Jesus( go figure).

I have to say, as I read each chapter I was again reminded of how much I am NOT Just Like Jesus.! Truly by the end of this book I felt like having a lil pitty party because of how far from the reminders in this book I really am.
The past month has been one challenge after another. Maybe that is why I have felt so much like a schmuck because all my schmuckiness has been brought to the surface by these events. I could go into great lengths to tell you all the gorey details but despite the fact that I have been brought to a place of total exhaustion with these trials I am not giving up. I can't give up. I want to see the end of this movie that is my life and I want it to be a happy ending.

So, just about the time I was going to self this one again for it's ability to make me feel like a total schmuck I came to the end. The final chapter is called, Finishing Strong An Enduring Heart.
Max has such a great way of explaining the human plight. He opens the final chapter talking about unfinished projects and how we all fall prey to them from time to time. We set out to do something with the best intentions and somewhere along the way we lose the motivation to stick with it.
Just when I thought I was in for the final blow to my character, being that I just walked away from one of the biggest financial responsibilities in my adult life, he says it's probably good that we don't finish everything we set out to do. Wait, what? Yep, he says, " My desire is to encourage you to finish the right thing. Certain races are optional - like washboard abs and speed reading. Other races are essential- like the race of faith."

He then goes on to say, "How can our hearts have the endurance Jesus had? By focusing where Jesus focused: the joy set before him." Heb 12:2

This made me think of joy and what really brings me joy. What is the joy set before me? I have been thinking a lot about joy lately because it seems I have had many, many things that have tried to rob me of my joy but I am not going down that easy.
I thought instantly of my family. My husband. My children. My friends. But even more than all of them Jesus brings me joy. Knowing him not for what he gives or what he has done but just for him. Who HE is right now to me, is pure joy . Then I thought if I could have all the time in the world with all of them it would be so nice. Then it brought me back around to the joy that was set before Jesus. What got him through all the times when he sat across from Judas knowing full well what he was going to do? What got him through the time when he was spit on and beaten and he could have said one word to stop it all but he didn't?

In all my trials I am reminded I have not been tried as much as Jesus was, not even close. What got him through all of those trials? I think He knew there would be a day when he would have all the time(eternity to be exact) with the ones he loved and he wanted everyone to make it to that place. It reminded me of what is ahead of me as well as what is really important right now. Jesus had more than just the hope of what was ahead, he KNEW what was ahead having been there already and he not only wanted to get back there but to have everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE there with him to enjoy it even more!! It is a good reason not to give up, don't ya think?

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Fantastic 4

For some reason after Christmas and when our kids return back to school in the new year I start thinking of what lies ahead in the new school year. This year we will have two kids in double digits. This year we will have all of our 4 kids in full time school. This year we will have a Jr. Higher. This year the numbers go back to even 12,10,8,6. I like even better than odd. The odd years have been odd. For some strange reason my fantastic 4 have been extra bickery (not a real word, but one that should describe that constant sound that siblings make when they don't stop bickering with each other). Still, despite all the bickering I am grateful for these fantastic 4 because my life would be boring without them. Not entirely boring because I did marry an over the top entertainer in My Giant, but still life would be less full.
I am thankful for Emma's ability to write songs.
I am thankful for Chloe's ability to pay attention to details and organize any area she comes across.
I am thankful for Solomon's ability to make something out of nothing.
I am thankful for Isaiah's ability to make me smile no matter what the situation.

I will spend the rest of my life in awe and study of these 4 and I am grateful for who they are, who they will be, and what a joy they have been.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Best Times

The Best time to clean out your fridge is when you are bare bonesin it waiting for the next payday and your fridge is looking pretty slim. Time to clean.

The Best time to say I love you to the ones you love is all the time, everyday, every moment without ceasing. Time to say I love you.

The Best time to eat popcorn is at home when the latest netflix movie has come in and you have plenty of real butter to drown it in. Time to Eat.

The Best time to call a friend or family member is when your heart hurts when you think of how much you miss them, love them, and are grateful that they are in your life. Time to call.

The Best time to read a good book is when it's raining outside and you don't dare step foot anywhere else but inside curled up on the couch with a great book. Time to Read.

The Best time to hug is when you can't remember the last time you got one and you need that reaffirming touch to know you are loved as well as giving it to someone else. TIme to hug.

The Best time to floss your teeth is after eating a wonderfully marinated steak that not only filled your belly but your heart and soul with the company you ate it with. Time to floss.

The Best time to sing loudly is when you are walking in the woods and no one can hear you and you feel so close to creation as well as the Creator. Time to sing.

The Best time to move on is when you feel you have nothing left to loose by doing so. Time to move on.

The Best time to ....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Great White Ninja

He's Fast
He's Furious
He's hardly ever seen with human eye.
He's The Great White Ninja- aka Isaiah

Me " Isaiah what are you doing with your mask there buddy?"
Isaiah " Don't talk to the great White Ninja" he says with a monotone voice, sounding almost like Napoleon Dynamite is finally rubbing off (Yes!!)
Me "What did you say?"
Isaiah " Don't mess with the Great White Ninja" still with the mask covering up his whole face.
Me " Oh okay"

Maybe it was a moment only funny to me cause I am his mom or one of those you just had to be there moments, but hopefully you get the idea and get to LOL as well.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

First Stop on the Max Marathon

Next Door Savior

I think this book stood out to me to read first in the Max Marathon because I don't know who lives next door anymore. It's a daunting realization that I had recently knowing that, "Toto we are not in Kansas anymore" or "Bella we are not in Sparks anymore". I chose the top picture to go with this blog because somewhere in the last few weeks it hit me, I live in a BIG city now. Not just a little city but a very BIG city with many people, places, and new things to behold and somewhere in reading this book I took great comfort in knowing that one thing in this BIG move that I made did not change, Christ came with me.

First, I have to admit that although my intentions were to go through three Max Lucado books over winter break I only made it through one. The reason for this is not so much that I didn't have plenty of time to read, I did. It has more to do with the fact that this book, Next Door Savior had many important reminders and I wanted to dig a little deeper into instead of skimming through the pages just to get to the other side. I also didn't realize the first time I read this book that in the back there is a study guide to help with said,"digging deeper" which I utilized fully this time.

I will start by saying that this quote sums it all up, " Nothing compares to " the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" Phil 3:8 The reward of Christianity is Christ. Fellowship with him. Walking with him. Pondering him. Exploring him. The heart-stopping realization that in him you are part of something ancient, endless, unstoppable, and unfathomable. And that he, who can dig the Grand Canyon with his pinkie, thinks you're worth his death on Roman timber. Christ is the reward of Christianity."
For me that above quote is what this book is all about. The fact that many things in this life can distract us of simple truths. Many things even in Christianity can distract you from Christ and this book reminded me, (as well as many, many nature walks while singing in the woods to my Creator) that I have been given my reward in this life. It's not who I am married to, or how many children I have(although I do consider those to be very BIG BONUSES) It's not success at my job or material possessions. It's not what kind of car I drive (let me tell you I have seen some spendy cars here in Redmond) or where I drive that car to every day. It's not how many people I know or accomplishing any earthly dream (of which I have many) but it is to know Christ and to be known by Him.

I think the older I am getting I am realizing this more and more that I will never fully know and understand him, but He knows and fully understands me and I take great comfort in that. He is the one person I don't have to explain myself to. I don't even make sense to myself sometimes but to Him that doesn't matter. There is a portion of this book that talks about Joni Eareckson Tada wedding day experience. For those of you who don't know who Joni is she is a girl who became paralyzed from a diving accident at the age of 17 but she didn't let her handicaps, handicap her. The portion Max shares about her life though, found in chapter 6, is on her wedding day. It tells of how she felt like the less than picture perfect bride all up until she saw the smile on her grooms face and forgot that she was going down the aisle in a wheelchair. This is truly such a good picture of what it is like to be known by Christ. You look to other faces and see disappointment, jealousy, doubt, but when you look to his face you see nothing but love baby! You listen to other voices telling you to do more, be more, have more, but you listen to his voice and you hear You are enough! Nothing but love baby!! " You can't just say I love you, You have to live I love you," sang Ben Harper. Indeed Jesus lived and died I love you.

There is a freedom that words cannot express when you realize the Savior you are looking for is not so far off , not so hard to get to know, not so hard to receive love from, and not so easily offended. "There is nothing that can separate me from the love of Christ " this is in fact my reward. I give my life again to honor Him, My Savior King.
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