Sunday, June 25, 2006

recent vacation photos -- girls

Auntie Becky's backyard fountain in San Francisco after 12 hours of driving:

Then they got redressed and went to the park, and Auntie Becky in the background

These crazy technology thingies these days! Puppy-of-love had the whole third row to her spoiled self.

That blue glow behind the trees is the drop-off of the Grand Canyon. The girls briefly pose before resuming play with their "magic sticks."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

more pics

This is a few pictures of Elizabeth (who is now 2+3/4) when she was about four months old.

For a long, long time I watched her grow in comparison to one of her older sister's dolls. Then I got the idea to do the "ET in the closet" thing.

Here is Liz eating bananas for the very first time.

To this day she is my little monkey, hanging and flipping and literally eating little variating from bananas at every meal.


Here are some fun pictures taken either by me or for me:

This one is me probably just a month or two before I got pregnant with Liz. Grace is 1+1/2. I guess that means I was still nursing her! Hey -- nursing at least one child for a minimum of two years cuts the risk of developing breast cancer by 40%. Don't flip out -- it is a good thing. Did I just ruin your mental association with beach sunsets forever?? Ha ha ha.

This is one of those blessed moments in my mind when I gathered up the chillens last summer and read them a bible story.

An awesome picture poorly aligned of Liz less than a month ago. Right before church. One minute later the boots and hat were off.

No more than a week before I gave birth to Liz.

Mommy's photoshoot was just exhausting.


See how at peace I am reading my stuff in a messy house?


Happens everyday. Except this week. My house is clean! No really; it is. Don't ask me how I'm doing it because I'm trying to keep the zen sticking around. Course I am reading a lot less.... mystery solved.

Monday, June 12, 2006

These Mountains

When I was five I started a rock collection. I lived in Pleasant Grove, Utah, on the foothills of the "G" mountain. In the morning the sun did not "come up" till late in the morning because my mountain towered to the east, up to heaven, over my home. To me there is only one thing more gratifying to my sense of natural beauty than mountains or rocks; those positioned near water.

Thank heaven for the techtonics of the Rocky Mountain range, for making those sedimentary and metamorphic rocks unlike the almost invariant igneous rocks in the mountains where I live now. They flavored my imagination. The first rock that started my collection was an 8-inch by 4-inch slab of white mica, layers flaking off endlessly. Beautiful.

"In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills. and people will stream to it.
Many nations will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we might walk in his paths.'"
Micah 4:1-2

"But each one should be careful how he builds. For we are God's building...." 1 cor 3:10, 9

Our plans to explore the rocks and mountains near the Colorado River and Arches National Park in Utah, ended up being foiled. The place we had chosen to spend the night, Moab, had not a single vacancy because of the holiday. We had to push on.

The sun began to set, so I was reduced to seeing in dim light the most important place in my heart, to stop for. Now, I couldn't even see it from my car. The magnificent outlines faded away, and I was disappointed.

In Genesis 37 Joseph left home and traveled far north to the place where he was betrayed and sold as a slave by his brothers. His new owners possibly walked that same established route back south again on their destination to Egypt. Maybe they went right past Josephs' own home, or at least Joseph could guess where he was most close to home, his family's promised land. But he couldn't go in. Even for the rest of his life it was God's plan that he not ever call it home again.

I was walking back from the motel office by myself, in the dark, and after I asked God why we couldn't have found a way to see it, He made me think of Joseph, the man who waited on God for his dreams' fulfillment. I remembered how we had made tentative plans to meet Frodo the next day and considered how maybe God intervened to cover over a miscalculation on my part for how to make it there at the right time. What about God's glory? Not every mountain, a.k.a. every effort, will endure God's judgment:

"They said to each other, 'Let us build... a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we can make a name for ourselves...." Gen 11:4

"A voice of one calling, 'In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.'" Is 40:3-5

Was my agenda God's agenda? Okay, I said, and surrendered my disappointment to lose that opportunity to see those rocks by the river. As soon as I made that choice, the wind which had been indiscriminate, became strong and blew constant into my face as I finished the walk in the dark. I had the answer.

"Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell." Ps 43:3

How will the one and only mountain of His glory be adorned? With stones that gratify the sense of beauty far greater than these.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Migrating Lilacs

While I was away from home something very interesting happened.

I found three baby lilac trees growing of their own accord. Two in the dirt by the struggling mama tree, and a third, several feet away in a planter, on my patio!

Remember how I had mentioned in a recent blog how I was so covetous of those three starts I had barely made grow after waiting for almost a year? How I planted them, and they soon perished by undeveloped root? All that effort on my part, and it came to nothing.

Now just a few weeks later God goes and makes some Himself, fully functional with working roots and beautiful, healthy leaves.

Duh; I’m dumbfounded. What are you trying to say to me God?

James is a good book for the double-minded. I have been one as you know, lately. It says “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” 4:2-10

There is a good part of who I am that doesn’t need God right here, right now, in order to do what is right. But the only way I can see my own desires fulfilled, or another words, see those whom I care for around me take deep root in God to see His goodness, is if I submit my desires to His own pre-accomplishment. I will never make anything enduring unless I decide to walk straight ahead through this fire of being made humble, and clean, with a sole traveling companion of my faith in who He is.

It was the right decision back then a few weeks ago to choose to let my gardening laurels rest on His mercy, as a sign to me for my overall effort as His child. I now see these babies and I remember that He can do anything He wishes to, and so much more effortlessly than I ever dreamed. People say that faith without works is dead. But I find the work of “end-of-my-rope -- faith” the most difficult effort God has set out for me. What did James say above? He said ‘you do not have because you do not ask God. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.’

Blooming season for lilac trees has now come and gone even before I left on vacation. There were no blooms on my struggling little mama tree, and I know this because I trimmed it back during the times when the blooms usually come out. And that is the most wonderful part of all, because I wonder, how did “coincidence” make three babies with neither a flower’s, nor an adjacent root’s mode, of reproduction??

Three to replace the three I failed to make by myself, these superior ones coming according to my submitted desires in Him: “Every good and perfect gift comes from above ....”

And I am encouraged for my future. Thank you, Lord.


I've been offline for three weeks, and in the meanstead I wrote a few things down in my notebooks which I'd like to put up.... So here are a few things I have written while I've been away.

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