Good Things to Think about

I read this on our family friend Mary Ewing's blog this morning. It encouraged and challenged me very much. Thanks, Mary, for laying it out.

"I will leave you with two thoughts. One is something I heard yesterday. We all have pain in our lives and we all will seek comfort, but it is up to us what that comfort is. Some chose food, others sleep, others sports, others work, some chose God and His cleft. All the comforts involve lasting consequences, but those consequences not only effect us, but also our children and grandchildren. So next time you are looking for comfort, why not find it in the Rock that is Higher than Us.
And second Elisabeth Elliot said this and I was reading it today "If we really comprehended the measure of the grace of God toward us, surely it would be easy for us to forgive others for the relatively small sins they have committed against us." I should tattoo that on my hand, I need that reminder daily."


Camping Pics Part 2

My mom had some good ones of the rest of the family, so I'm putting those on here, too. Only ones I don't have pictures up of are the papa's, Dad and Micah.
Malachi loved the noise the tarp made when he sat on it

Pete brought all his gear, just in case Amber went into labor.

Baby likes hot dogs.

JP is getting bored because his remote control won't work on the fire.

He loves his uncle Joe!

Family Camping Trip Pics

Actualy, the term "family" is misleading as almost all of the pictures are of sweet Malachi. :)

The three of us went hiking while everyone else sat in the shade

Nathan just made a new best friend


Sure Beats a Minivan

JP and I ran into some car troubles yesterday. We were driving his van to do some errands and all of the sudden it just stopped running. We had to coast over to the side of the road. My brother came and towed us home. Hours later, JP took my van to go work out and what do you know, the very same thing happened with that van while he was on Highway 100. Turns out the fuel pump had gone out on both of them within just a few hours of each other.
We were obviously shocked, but especially concerned because we were supposed to be going on a family camping trip this weekend, and now we didn't seem to have a car to do that.
Praise the Lord, JP was able to get his van fixed today, though it cost us a bit more than we had anticipated. Plus we found out after the fact that his uncle could have gotten us the same part needed to fix it for about $400 cheaper than we had paid for it.
I, on the other hand, am the extremely blessed one because I got a new car out of the deal!!!!
We had already been planning to give my van away. It's a fine van, but it has issues and couldn't be relied upon. JP didn't feel right sending his pregnant wife out in it. I also have a little 1990 Mazda Protege that's a great little car, but it's a beater with no A/C or anything else for that matter. So we had been planning to get rid of both cars and get me a new one. Yesterday's occurrences seemed to be the opportune time to move on that inclination.
So today, I am the proud new owner of a BRAND NEW Toyota Scion Xb. You know, those boxy-looking cars you see every now and then. We decided to go with the Scion because it's very affordable, has the lowest cost-to-own in its class, gets great gas mileage, and has a really good resale value. It's also cool-looking and very roomy.
I'm blown away to be driving a new vehicle - I never imagined I would EVER drive a brand new car in my life, much less at 24 years old.
Praise God for providing what we needed to get JP's van fixed and the new car. We are blessed beyond what we can even understand.
Anybody want to go for a ride???


Before and After

After spending a few too many days at the lake, our precious and beautiful Caleb was a matted, tangled mess. We weren't able to get all of the snarls out of his fur, so today, we had to have him shaved. I started crying when I saw him for the first time because he looks so different!!! Anyhow - he's cooler and happier now. Here are some before and after pics.

Just yesterday, in all of his fuzzy spendor

Aaaaaaand, after.

And for no reason other than she's cute, here's Sadie

Words from a dear friend

My friend Patty and I have been reading the One Year Bible together, sort of as an accountability thing. She often sends me thoughts on what she is reading and learning, and today she sent me the following paragraphs. They were encouraging to me, so I'm sharing them with you. I respect and love Patty. She is a fighter, an all-or-nothing kind of girl. She is brave and beautiful. Thank you, Patty, for sharing these thoughts with me.

"Today I reflected on the extreme differences between David and Paul. Both mighty men of God, but so incredibly different.

David was ordained to be a mighty man of war. He struggled with his flesh a lot. Maybe it was partially because of the violence and bloodshed that came from his hands & the mindset that he had to have in order to live out his calling. Maybe it was just a personality thing. Maybe both? He went through so much agonizing as he struggled with his flesh. I wonder if a lot of it was self inflicted. Even though he cried out to God for help, he focused a lot on himself and his circumstances. He had many wives and still committed adultry. David was a hot mess; yet he was still greatly loved by the people because his heart desired love, peace, and good will even though he didn't always know how to maintain it. He loved his people & he would fight for them to the death. It's amazing to think about how many thousands men were loyal to him because of this... loyal to the death as well. They were not only selected to fight under him, they chose to willfully fight under him with honor and pride, and even though he was such a sinful man, God considered him to be a close friend. His sin was extreme; yet his praises were also extreme. Whether good or bad, he put his full heart into whatever he was doing & he went all out. I identify greatly with David.

Then there's Paul who had the type of charactor that we would hold as ideal for the Christian man. He suffered and I'm sure he went through many emotions as well... depression, sadness, fear, ect... He never stayed fixed on himself, but rather he was truely a man who was dead to his flesh. He was not a murderer (well, not anymore), but he suffered over and over again for the sake of Christ. He never complained and regardless of the circumstance, he carried God's peace with him. He was the perfect example of a man who was merely living on this earth as a foreigner, but he did not make this world his home. He went without; yet God always provided. He held nothing earthly dear to him except for the Gospel & the love of Christ... whether he was receiving it or giving it. Perhaps he was better able to uphold this demeanor because of the evil that had once existed in him... because of the suffering that he caused other... because of the innocent blood he had shed... to go another step, and to breathe one more breath alone displayed amazing grace and mercy from God & how dare he complain, right? I dunno know. Maybe it was because of his evil past that he could not help but remain completely humble at all times regardless of who or what he faced. Or maybe it was again due to his type of personality and perhaps even a greater maturity?

Maybe if David was like Paul, he would not have survived for a moment. And maybe if Paul was like David, the Lord would not have tolerated his behavior as much because of his evil past. One thing I know is that we always feel this pressure to live our Christian lives to resemble Pauls life more than we would David's, but is one better than the other!?! I know we hold both of them in high esteem, but you have to admitt that we have this ideal Christian living in mind that we are supposed to meet up to. Maybe it's okay that I'm not exactly like Paul, but more so like David. I have a fighting spirit. At times I think it comes from my flesh, but I also think it's been given to me for the purpose of Christ.

Then again, the only one we ought to compare ourselves to and try to immitate is Jesus Christ, right! He did not fight against flesh and blood. He brought peace and truth wherever he went. Other's may beg to differ because this peace & truth brought controversy. Still, if controversy surrounds us, we assume that God is not involved, and I'm learning that that is not true."


Hats off to Hiking Pregnant Women

Just want to give a shout out to my sister Amber who very courageously spent the past week hiking in Washington. You can see from the pics - she is seven months pregnant! Not an easy task!
Looks like they had a fun and beautiful time. You go, girl!

Snoquaime Falls

Glacier Stream



I have to say, I am deeply disappointed that the ABC series "Lost" has not been nominated for any noteable Emmys this year!!! JP and I started watching this show a few months ago and were so hooked we watched the first two seasons in no time at all. We are anxiously awaiting the start of the third season this fall.
I have never been one to watch much TV (other than the news, of course), but this show is awesome. You need to see it. I just can't believe it wasn't nominated for anything big, especially since it won best drama last year!!!!


I Love Your Law

And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all [their] heart and all [their] soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. II Kings 23:3

I haven't been reading my Bible as much as I should be lately. And I've felt the effects of it, too. I could blame mood swings on prego hormones, but I know better. I know when I haven't been with my Jesus.
But today, I did. And it was the sweetest time.
I didn't know where to start since I obviously haven't been following any sort of reading plan or anything. So I just picked up my One Year Bible and flipped to July 2nd. Yes, I know today is July 3rd. But I didn't realize that at 5:00 am, and I think the Holy Spirit planned it that way, because what I read today was exactly what I needed to read.
In 2 Kings chapter 22, King Josiah made orders for the high priest to gather the money collected at the temple and use it to pay the people who were repairing the temple and to buy supplies. While they were doing that, the high priest found the book of the law. I imagine it burried and dusty, not having been opened in years. Josiah had already been king for 30+ years and he had never seen it. Imagine finding a book in your grandma's attic...that's how I imagine it.
In verse 10, Josiah's scribe reads the book to him, and Josiah breaks down in tears, tearing his garments and weeping, weeping at how far the nation had strayed from its words. From there Josiah went around the nation tearing down idols and altars and anything else set up in place of the Holy God. He got rid of all of the idolatrous priests and cut down the idolatrous groves. He destroyed anything that was set up against the LORD.
Then he had the high priest read the words of the law to all the people and made a vow that from that day forward, they would serve and honor and follow God with all of their hearts, souls, minds, and strengths.

The two things that really struck me about this passage were first, that Josiah was a good king to start out with. The passages says that "he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." Besides that, he was rebuilding the temple. This was a good guy! Yet when he truly understood for the first time the HOLINESS of God and the DESTITUTION of man, he rent his clothes in agony.
How often are we going about our lives as good people doing good things, yet never really realizing our depravity without the Lord? He is HOLY. We have no idea what that means, or we'd be weeping, too.

The second thing that struck me was a section of the story where Josiah was going around taking all of the bones from the graves on the mountain and burning them on the pagan altars so as to defile them. He came across one grave, however, that belonged to a man who had come frome Judah to prophesy about the things Josiah was doing that very day. Those bones he left alone.
I'm willing to bet that when that prophet came to town talking about how all of the idolatrous things would be torn down, people just shrugged him off. I bet he struggled with discouragement that nobody listened to him and died never having seen these things come to pass. But God honored him for his faithfulness to deliver the message God had given him to give. And even though we don't know his name, his proclamation is forever recorded in the Book of Life.

That man loved God's Law. Josiah loved God's Law. Not because they gave us rules, but because they gave us life. The law shows us just how inadequate we are and just how much in need we are of a Savior.

Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

Week 9

Baby is nearly an inch long now - about the size of a grape. He (or she!)looks more like a baby than a tadpole now that his basic physical structure is in place.
He has eyelids and earlobes, and by the end of this week the inner workings of his ears will be complete. Does that mean he'll be able to hear daddy's voice???
His upper lip is fully formed, the touch pads on his fingers are developing, all major joints are working and he can move his arms and legs.
All of this has happened, and you can't even tell I'm pregnant by looking at me. How many women go this far along before they even know they're expecting? If they only knew how formed he is - how very human he is - would they still choose to hurt him?