Friday, October 13, 2017

The Mountains Surround...

Today was all about enjoying God's creation. We spent the morning driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway checking out all the fall colors.  There is just something about the mountains....they speak of God's awesomeness! It's impossible for me to look at the mountains and not be in awe of our amazing God! This afternoon we went to Max Patch. Its sort of in the middle of nowhere, 7 miles up a mountain on a gravel road, then a hike up a very steep path. Once you reach the top, you have a 360 degree view of pure beauty. I've heard that it's amazing up there but its something you really need to see for picture does it justice!

This picture was taken at the highest peak of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Steep climb....
this picture makes it look way easier than it was

My sweeties sitting on Max Patch=)

Do I really have 4 children? WOW! 

You can see mountains for miles.

So pretty. 

My love and me

It was a really long walk for this little guy

As I took in the beauty that surrounded me on Max Patch today, Psalm 125:2 kept coming to mind. It says, "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore." As you stand on the top of that mountain, you are completely surrounded by mountains. It is truly an amazing sight. Knowing that God surrounds His people in that same way, is incredible. Those mountains never move, no matter what happens the mountains will remain. They are strong. They never waver. They provide refuge and protection. They are awe-inspiring. Our God is all of those things too. Today I am grateful that God surrounds me the way the mountains surround Max Patch. I'm thankful for the beauty and the reminders that I encountered today. Its impossible not to see His creativity and power when you spend a day in nature.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Week To Breathe....

That sign just says it all.....take a deep breath, you're at the cabin now. This amazing place has become a bit of an oasis for our family. When our house rents for the Furniture Market, we often come here for a family vacation. The cabin is wonderful, the view is breath taking, and company is my favorite! Now that we're done cleaning and packing, and we've made it to the cabin, I feel like I can finally take a deep breath.

Isn't it gorgeous?

We ate dinner this evening at a nearby Mexican Restaurant

The boys had so much fun playing in the waterfall/wadding pool

They laughed and laughed!

Allison and I enjoyed swinging together on the porch

Look at that view!

So pretty!
Snack Time

All snuggled together watching a family movie!

Gorgeous Sunset to end the day.

Today I am grateful for a week away together in such a beautiful place. I love being in the mountains in the fall. I need these moments to enjoy God's creation, breathe in His goodness, and spend quality time with the special people He has placed in my life. I am thankful for this cabin, the family that allows us to stay here, and the memories we will make over the next few days!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

So long Max....

Today was a hard day. We had to say goodbye to our dog, Max. I'm not sure why, but he bit our 3 year old son. It was terrible. Our sweet boy was bleeding so much. He has three gashes on his face, one on his eye lid.  Just a few centimeters higher and he would have gotten Tyson's eye. It could have been so much worse.  Tyson was terrified and the rest of us were shocked. I'm not even sure what happened. It just all occurred so fast. 

Even though it was such a hard choice, we had to take Max to the pound. We all miss him so much already. The boys have loved Max and Max has loved them. He followed me around everywhere I went. He has been a part of our family for 3 years but we just can't let him hurt our babies. Please pray for us as we adjust to a life without our buddy, Max. 

Today as I held Tyson down trying to get the bleeding to stop while he screamed and cried, all I could do was say, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." As scary as the situation was, HIS presence filled the room. There was peace in the midst of chaos. Tyson calmed down and we were able to stop the bleeding. A little while later he was even playing with our puppy, Miles, so he isn't even afraid of dogs now. I'm so grateful for the Holy Spirit, for His presence in the middle of our crazy world. I'm grateful that the bite wasn't worse and that Tyson doesn't seem to be fearful now. My boy is so precious. It hurts my heart that Max did this to him. It's been such a hard decision but I know it was the right one. I'm so thankful that I can count on THE Comforter to help my fellas as they say goodbye to Max. We're really going to miss him.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Oh Vegas. I Can't Even Imagine.

Bryan and I were just in Las Vegas in July. Just three months ago. It feels like yesterday. We were there for a KEEP Collective conference. We took our 6 week old baby with us. We left our three little boys at home with the grandparents. We had so much fun. We walked around the city in complete freedom. We were never scared, not for a moment. The place was filled with sight-seers and tourists. The loud buzz of happy people was constant. Excitement and joy filled the air. The energy was electric.

I wonder what the atmosphere is like there today?

I can't even imagine. 
59 people killed. Over 500 people injured.
People just like Bryan and me.
Folks there for a conference or a vacation.
Mothers and Fathers who left their children with Grandma 
so they could have a week away.
Love birds that just got married by Elvis in a little chapel.
Gamblers and Bachelorette partiers.
People of all ages just enjoying a concert on a Sunday evening.
Even those who weren't at the concert will forever 
be changed because of what happened.
I can't even imagine.

Today I am thankful for the memories I have in Las Vegas....memories of Vegas before the largest mass shooting in US history occurred there. Vegas will never be the same now.  I am grateful for the safety that Bryan and I enjoyed while we vacationed there. I'm grateful that we made it back home to our babies. My heart breaks for those families who have lost those they love so much. 

More than anything, I am thankful for the hope we have in Jesus. John 16:33 says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Whether it looks like it right now or not, 

Jesus wins. Evil loses. 

The victory is won. Jesus has overcome the world. 
As we talked and prayed about the tragedy today, my 6 year old said, "I'm ready for the evil to be gone. I'm ready for Satan to be killed!" 

Oh honey, you aren't the only one! We're all ready for the sadness to end and the hatred to be no more. Thankfully, we have hope that one day, there will be no more pain or evil or fear or anger. One day, Jesus will rescue us from all that plagues us and evil will be no more. Until then, I pray these horrible tragedies our world has been enduring will help people to see their desperate need for Jesus. I pray these horrible situations will cause humankind to show love to one another and serve those around us. I pray that while we wait on Jesus to come back, we will make the most of our time here. We were chosen to be here, at this time, enduring these conditions. I pray that we will allow God to use us to point others to Him.