Friday, January 6, 2012

Take Heart

I've started writing this entry more times than I can count over the past few weeks.  I haven't blogged in so long that I feel like I have so much to say.  Then there's the fact that it's been such a life-changing year for me that I really don't know how to summarize all that's in my heart.  I've experienced so much.

  • I've experienced deep heartache beyond what I thought was humanly possible
  • I've found genuine and deep comfort in Jesus that I've never experienced before
  • I've had to make hard decisions
  • I've cried many, many tears
  • I've been loved unconditionally
  • I've had the unwavering support of my amazing husband 
  • I've had true joy and hope in the midst of great sadness
  • I've been encouraged by the faithful prayers of fellow believers in Christ
  • I've reaffirmed in my own heart that no matter what, I will choose to trust and follow Jesus
  • I've watched my family grieve deeply
2011 was probably the most difficult year of my life.  But, as I've listed above, some really wonderful things have been affirmed (or maybe reaffirmed) in my life, through the trials.  I'm not going to go into any great detail about any of the things I listed above, but I do want to stress one thing.  Probably the most important thing I've learned in 2011.

Without Jesus, there is no hope.  None.  Yes, there are fleeting things that can make you happy for a while.  Yes, there are people in our lives who, for a time, make us feel better about ourselves; about our lives.  We live in a beautiful world that offers us perfectly blue skies, breathtaking sunsets, majestic mountains and incredibly vast oceans.  But, apart from Jesus and the love and hope He offers, these things are just temporary "pick me ups."  The hope He gives is unending.  Even the worst of circumstances do not change His limitless grace, forgiveness and peace.  After being a follower of Jesus for almost 27 years, I still have a difficult time grasping this concept completely.  But I know it to be true.

Life is hard.  Sometimes it feels downright unbearable.  But friends, God is so very great.  I don't know how else to explain it other than He is breath and life for me.  I am a new creation in Christ and, in the end (whether that's when Jesus returns, or through death) we win!  Love wins!  I want my life in 2012 to reflect that.  I all too often lose sight of this in the midst of grocery shopping, paying bills, doing dishes and checking homework.  As amazing, crazy, beautiful, sometimes miserable, and wonderful as this world can be, it is not my home.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33 (ESV)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year, A New Look, And A New Post

This is just an official notice to all 3 of you who read my blog, that I will be writing a new post very soon.  It's been a long time since I've blogged (that's why there's  only 3 of you readers left!), but I'm looking forward to sharing about what's been happening in my little corner of the world throughout the last several months.  Hope you are all doing well and are making the most of this new year!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

I have the BEST family! I was reminded of this (again) on this past Mother's Day.

Upon arriving home from church, I was told to go upstairs and get comfy in bed. I was also told to put in ear plugs. That, I must say, was a weird request, but I did what I was told (until I tried watching TV without the ability to hear it, upon which I removed the ear plugs). Just a few minutes later I was joined by my 4 girls and my husband. Apparently they were downstairs letting their creative juices flow. I quickly realized why I needed the ear plugs. It was so I wouldn't hear them practicing :) Check it out.... (First go to the bottom of the page and pause the music player. Then press the play button below, please!)

Is that not the most awesome song ever? You mean you haven't seen that one on iTunes top 20 list? Seriously? 'Cause I think it's amazing!

Despite all of my failures and all of my imperfections, I have 4 beautiful daughters and one incredible husband who all love me. The role I have because of those 5 people is quite great. The only way this role can be played out, with any success at all, is really through Jesus, and what He is doing in me.

Philippians 1:8-11
For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I've Always Been a Daddy's Girl

This man has forever changed my life. He has taught, guided, encouraged, and loved me so amazingly well. He has always given credit to God for his achievements and successes. He has always sought forgiveness and is one of the most sacrificial men I've ever known. What else can I say? He has had me wrapped around his finger since I was a baby. That hasn't changed. It never will. He is a hero to me. He has run the race well and will soon be wrapped in the arms of our Savior. I am so very proud to be Dave Henry's daughter. I love you, Dad.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Memories....I Am Thankful

It happened almost 2 weeks ago. I pulled our minivan into the driveway, turned off the ignition, opened the door and stepped out. My feet hit the scattered, vibrant leaves with a crunch. As I made my way to the front porch, I started kicking the leaves around, almost in a child-like way. And just like that, I was taken back. The smells...the sounds...the memories.

There I was, a little girl living on 12th Street. It was an Autumn day in Ohio. My Dad would rake the leaves into a large pile and give me the go ahead to run and jump in that pile, to my heart's great delight! He didn't seem to mind that I had undone that perfect pile he had just spent time gathering. Again, he would rake them back into a pile and watch me giggle as I swam through the sea of leaves. I loved that! After a few more times of raking and jumping, it was time to transfer all the raked leaves into the wheelbarrow. Once the wheelbarrow was filled to the brim with those crisp colorful leaves, my Dad would hoist me up and set me right on top of that pile. He would then proceed to give me quite a thrilling ride through the yard, towards the final destination, where he would then dump the contents (including me!) into an even larger pile of leaves. It was awesome! I distinctly remember the smell of those fallen leaves, as I sat on top of them, holding on tight as my Dad whipped me around in that wheelbarrow. And that's the exact smell I experienced again, as a grown woman.

It really doesn't seem that long ago, in some ways. I remember those times so vividly. I really cannot think about those afternoons without smiling, almost feeling that same glee as I did when I was a child. I remember the crunch of the dried up leaves. I remember the smell of Fall. I remember the sound of the rake scraping along the ground. I remember feeling love. I remember my Dad's smile. I remember thinking how strong he was, pushing me effortlessly in that wheelbarrow. I'm not sure when I thought I had outgrown those days of running and jumping in the leaves, but it happened. I grew up, got married, and had a family of my own.

Dad, what I wouldn't do to have those moments with you again. Those times you spent with me, even though it was just simply doing yard work, are forever ingrained in my mind. I'm still that little girl who sat atop the leaves, thankful that her Dad had time for just her, even amidst the mundane chores in life... like raking leaves. And even though God has us living far away from each other right now, know that the memories we have are always close in my heart. And for that, I am thankful.
My Dad and I after I bought my first car

Friday, November 12, 2010

Seasonal Silliness

So, I've recently been having a lot of fun on the website Jib Jab. I don't endorse everything on the site itself, but there are some really funny videos that are just begging for your picture...or someone else's picture. Press play on the video below, and you'll see what I mean! (Before playing the video, you need to go to the bottom of the page and pause the music player)

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2010

We had fun, but it went so fast! It seems I wait all year anticipating our annual trip to the pumpkin farm, and then, once it has arrived, it just passes in the blink of an eye. Good thing we captured the moment on camera! Our day consisted of a 5 acre corn maze, tractor ride to pick out the family pumpkin, hot cider, playing on hay bales, and checking out some farm animals. And, this all took place on a gorgeous, blue sky, sunny Oregon Autumn afternoon. Bliss!