August 28, 2012

Phoebe is celebrating a birthday this week -- She's 17 in fact.

She is creative and yet careful with her words

She is athletic and beautiful

She is determined and diligent

She has amazing talents -- dancing, baseball, music, graphic design, photography, videography, attention to details, patience with little ones, good listener, and so many others

She's quiet and loving

An amazing bowler, left handed

 She's also a wonderful friend and companion

She's one of my two sisters :)

She has a special relationship with this little man - Dean, whom she baby sat for about a year

She has a passion for Truth

She has a great sense of humor and loves to have fun

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Phoebe, you are an amazing gift to our family, and I am so grateful that 17 years ago, the Lord answered my 5-year-old prayers for a sister, with you!

You are my best friend, my confidante, my pilgrim through this world.

I love you!

Happy Birthday and many many more dear.

abby xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

August 26, 2012

Sunday Meditation

"If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.

In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul."
Psalm 94:18-19 

August 24, 2012

Time


August 23, 2012

1000 Gifts

742. French pressed coffee
743. Pecans
744. Organic dark chocolate
745. Duckies
746. "Just Another Birthday" by Casting Crowns
747. My job
748. Sunday afternoon bible study
749. Sian
750. Notebooks
751. My quilt
752. A new knee brace
753. Imgination

754. Waterfalls
755. Thrift store finds for back to school
756. Friday night with Caleb
757. Having a drivers license
758. Encouraging Christian music on my phone playlist
759. August rains
760. Grandma's house
761. Joel's grad school opportunity
762. Texting conversations with friends
763. Google Talk
764. 4 o'clock plants
765. Kitchen towels

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.

August 22, 2012

Deer Hunt

Because the warden is a cousin, my
mountain friends hunt in summer when the deer
cherish each rattler-ridden spring, and I
have waited hours by a pool in fear
that manhood would require I shoot or that
the steady drip of the hill would dull my ear
to a snake whispering near the log I sat
upon, and listened to the yelping cheer
of dogs and men resounding ridge to ridge.
I flinched at every lonely rifle crack,
my knuckles whitening where I gripped the edge
of age and clung, like retching, sinking back,
then gripping once again the monstrous gun -
since I, to be a man, had taken one.

Judson Jerome 

August 19, 2012

Sunday Meditation

And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

I John 5:11-12 

August 17, 2012

Love be the Proof


A new favorite song by a new favorite band -- check it out!

If I sing but don't have love
I waste my breathe with every song
I bring, an empty voice
A hollow noise

If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don't have love
I leave a bitter taste
With every word I say

(Chorus)
So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You
And what You're made of
How you lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love

If I give to a needy soul
But don't have love then who is poor
It seems all the poverty
Is found in me

Chorus

Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When it's all said and done
Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When we sing our final song

Only love remains
Only love remains

Thoughts gleaned from reading...

Remember a while back, I mentioned to you all that I had purchased this book for a ridiculous price?  Well, I didn't really start reading it until after the move was underway, and then I kept getting interrupted, blah, blah, blah.



I have made it to chapter three, and have been blessed blessed blessed by what I've read in those three chapters. 

Somethings I have gleaned from my reading thus far:

"A calling is simply God's shaping of your burden and beckoning you to your service to Him in the place and pursuit of His choosing."

"A call may not necessarily feel attractive to you, but it will tug on your soul in an inescapable way, no matter how high the cost of following it may be."

"Sometimes the melodrama of someone else's call colors our own expectations of a call."

"The Christian's walk involves all three areas of life - the spiritual, the practical and the logical - which are not mutually exclusive."

"Jesus demonstrated that the best way to reach God's desire end is always to obey the will of the Father, even when He seems distant."

"Our need for specific answers is dissolved in the greater issue of the lordship of Christ over all questions - those that have answers and those that don't."

"When people clutch their money, thinking they have concrete reality, they are, in fact, clutching to faith.  Money, in that sense, has no value without trust.  It is all worthless paper without the promises and pledges of other people and systems."

"The Bible is a book on life building, written for us as we sojourn on this planet.  Interestingly, it also tells us that the rudder and sail remain in God's control and that we enter the high seas with the understanding that we must trust Him."

"Making it to number one really means knowing where God wants you to be and serving Him there with your best efforts.  The goal, then, is to find the threads God has in place for you and to follow His plan for you with excellence."

"No, the goal is really not to be number one, nor is it to follow the dreams of others.  God, in His extraordinary way, can bring failure to you or cast you into prison in order to help you find your true calling."

"God can call us by slow, encouraging methods as well as by dramatic ones."

"Every calling that honors God's purpose for life in general is a sacred call.... It is often in this waiting that we get lost and our vision becomes blurred." 

"Because we are all priests before God, there is no such distinction as "secular or sacred."  In fact, the opposite of sacred is not secular; the opposite of sacred is profane.  In short, no follower of Christ does secular work.  We all have a sacred calling."

August 16, 2012

Summer Days

This has been one of the most memorable and fun-filled summers in my adulthood.  When I was a child, it was easy for me to have a fun time, and get caught up in the the summer vacation.  My imagination was much more active back then, and I didn't have a job, or adult responsibilities putting a damper on the fun side of life.

Taking walks with my younger siblings seems to be an almost daily occurrence since our move.  It helps that we are within easy walking distance of three really nice and beautiful parks.

This cute squirrel was hanging out on a really neat tree stump.  Phoebe was able to capture some up close pictures of him/her. :)

  The water works are a good reason to get wet on any outing, don't ya think?

Isn't it lovely?  Such a peaceful place to stroll on a hot summer's day.


Time for some energy-filled jumping pictures

Jaden's airwalkin' style

Phoebe's got the whole "Ninja" thing down to a tee.

Another picture of the squirrel


We even conquered a hill - haha




Then we enjoyed the lovely fragrances at the rose garden.  I especially enjoyed how the orange and pink roses smelled.  Heavenly, heavenly. :)

These have the most gorgeous smell... I could have a whole row of them in my yard!

There was a refreshing fountain that sprayed our sweaty faces.  Positive ions, positive ions.

We bumped into this gorgeous model on our meander... oh wait, it's Jo

Framed :)

I am really glad this one turned out.  We were in this "jungle" area of the park, and the lighting wasn't the best.  Love these kiddos!!!!!


What's this?  A wild man of the bush?  Nah, just Jaden being a goof ball.


We enjoyed our relaxing afternoon stroll beside the pretty streams.  Walks are so beneficial, and loads of fun when taken with loved ones.

I hope I can cram a few more fun days into my summer before I have to say "adieu."

What have you done this summer that has made it enjoyable and interesting?  Would love to hear from you, just leave a comment below.

abby xx

August 15, 2012

I'm Good - Trip Lee ft. Lecrae

I'm liking this Christian rap jive that's going around.  Especially what Lecrae produces.  It is deep, it is up lifting, it is challenging.  Trip Lee and Lecrae have a great song here, beware, the music video is graphic as it depicts Christian persecution.



Remember the Lord’s people who are in jail and be concerned for them. Don’t forget those who are suffering, but imagine that you are there with them.

Hebrews 13:3 

August 13, 2012

Ponder this




“And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back-if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that these are that day?” 
― C.S. LewisOut of the Silent Planet

August 12, 2012

Sunday Meditation


“Cry aloud; do not hold back;
     lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
    to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek me daily
    and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
    and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
    they delight to draw near to God.
‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
    Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
     and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
    and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
    will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
     a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
    and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
    and a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
     to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
     and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
     and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
     the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
     the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10  if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.
12  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to dwell in.
13  “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
    from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
    and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
     and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
     for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 58:1-14 

August 11, 2012

This strange life

 
It's a Saturday afternoon, and I'm sitting here in my brother's room, on his computer, looking out the half covered window, enjoying the stillness of the room, the house, the trees, the view. 

Music softly plays in my ears.  I love music.  

And I'm thinking.

Life has become so strange for me.

Even before the move, things in my own life were falling apart.  My soul was riddled with pain, and my mind with doubt, fear and failure.

I take things personally and store them up inside, sub-consciously a lot of times.  I don't even realize what I am doing, until its taken place, set in stone.

Change is always something I find hard to adjust to.  I do like change, especially good change, but at the same time find it hard to break into a "new normal" -- this is both good and bad.

Right now I am really dealing with missing my soul-brother, Caleb.  We've been close since we were young.  Since he's only 2.5 years younger then me, and we think a lot the same, it is especially hard for me to adjust to his not living with the rest of the family at this point.  I get to see him Sundays, and whenever he can spare a few hours during his busy work-week.  It's not the same as having him here all the time.

But it's not just Caleb, or the move; it's not having a place to call "my home" -- we are living with my Grandma and that doesn't afford much privacy or time for our family to be a family. And, the fact that pretty much all of my habits have been broken up.  Plus, all of the years I spent in a different town, the familiarity of all that, the friends I left behind, being in a different place spiritually.

So many emotions are churning within me.  I cry a lot inside.  And I pray. 

It's at times like these that I ask myself hard questions such as:

--- Am I really that selfish as to think I deserve ________
--- Hopefully I can be happy in this situation because ________
--- God, why?
--- Do I have to give up everything?

Reminds me of a note I wrote a while back, that hangs on my white board as reminder of the true Joy I can find and have in Jesus:

Circumstantial happiness says: "I will be defined by this situation or outcome."  Letting everything / everyone steal my happiness.  Whereas Abiding Joy says: "I will rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross."  I will let nothing steal my Joy!

There are so many things about this life I will never understand or accept. And I don't have to.

I choose Jesus, and because of that, life isn't as strange as it may seem on the surface.  He makes things simple and clear. Sometimes it just takes a little painful digging to remind myself of that.  

-----------------

And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58: 11


August 10, 2012

I heart summer

 Taking walks with my siblings

English Country Dancing with friends

Picking Blueberries with my siblings and dear friends

Ultimate Frisbee with friends

Volleyball with a good group of folks who really know how to make the ball fly

Flowers that brighten any field or yard


Children who giggle and enjoy life so much more than adults seem to

Friends who embrace life and each other when they are together

Gardening is such a reward

Cousins who are just too cute (and hug-able) This is Zak and Emma-Grace


These are just a few of the many reasons why I love summer!

I tag my sisters Phoebe and Jo to do a similar posts on their blogs, and also Johanna.

August 1, 2012

Thirty-one

Thirty-one years ago today, my parents David & Julia, said "I do" - I am so thankful for the legacy they have laid for their children, and hoped for grandchildren.

What a great joy it has been to see their love for each other, for Jesus and for people in general grow year by year.

I am blessed.  And I am thankful.

I love you both Dad and Mom!!