Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bluebonnet season!

This is the Texas state flower, called a bluebonnet. Aren't they pretty! I just did a little research and learned that it is legal to pick our state flower but is not encouraged. It ruins their ability to reseed and keep growing wild if you pick them and they only last about an hour once picked if you do.

This is a field next to our church. The bluebonnets grow wild along freeways and in deserted fields. If you click on this picture to see Micah closer you'll see a big grin on his face. There is something about a field of bluebonnets that makes you want to run!

And not worry about your pants falling down! Not a care in the world!

Let's race! It was a contagious feeling of freedom to be among wildflowers!

Then, once you are out of breath, you just have to sit down in them!

Or lay down and dream!

I was so bummed that AJ wasn't with us this afternoon. He had been invited to a friends house to play after church. He reassured us that he had more fun than we did running around in bluebonnets.

Michael Frye stood in for AJ. He is our new adopted son. He just moved here from Florida to work at GFA with Rich. He hangs out with us quite often now and is fitting in with our family really well. As you can see, he is taking AJ's place in this photo!

This is a nice place to take a nap!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bad Habits

The weather in Texas has been absolutely fantastic the past few weeks. 70's and 80's is perfect weather for yard work. I had noticed some really ugly weeds in our front yard and finally got out my "weeder digger" and tackled them. I thought it would only take me a few minutes since I remembered only seeing a couple of them. Well, I must have been out there an hour or so finding dozens of weeds in our front lawn. This lent me lots of time for contemplation of weeds and their significance from a spiritual perspective.

The small weeds were not so hard to get up and really didn't take any effort to pull out by the roots but as they got bigger it took much more effort! This one in the picture above was the largest one I dug up and it was no easy task. This reminded me of a conversation that my brother and I had the night before. We were discussing bad habits that are so engrained in who we are that we sometimes don't even notice them until years and years have passed and God sends that trial or struggle to show us our sin. We all of sudden see this ugly habit or character flaw that has been a struggle our whole lives! It seems like such a daunting task to weed it out especially when the roots are big and deep. This is when we realize that God is so much bigger then we are and wants to change us to have His character. He says we are a new creation, created in His image.

I really want flowers in my life, not weeds. but in order to get flowers to emerge in my life I have to get those ugly weeds out. How? I believe it takes a willingness to see the weeds first of all and then a change of heart. . . a surrendered heart, one that doesn't fight the change. It's really not my job to dig up roots of ungodliness myself but God promises to do that part. It's only hard if we fight it.

God has been showing me that He wants to use our home to welcome others. It's His home anyway, isn't it? Everything we have is His. God's heart is loving people. Shouldn't it be mine too? Since I'm a homemaker, my home is my sanctuary, my resting place, my nest. Sharing it has been a struggle over the years. I don't like chaos and messes make me uneasy. It's just a natural thing that when you have more people in a home, the more chaos and mess is present.

So I can choose to close my doors and keep it quiet and tidy (restful for me) or let God open my doors and be a blessing to others. Once I understood the concept of giving my home to God and surrendering this area to him, my desires began to shift. I'm finding great joy in preparing a pleasant place for friends (or strangers) to hang out. I'm amazed at how God has opened our doors unexpectedly without me even trying to "have company". It is so obvious that He is doing all the work and bringing friends and neighbors who need fellowship and love.

I pray that whoever knocks on my door will know that they are always welcome and won't ever fear being turned away. It is never a bad time for Jesus when we want to come sit with him and talk or just rest in His presence with a cup of tea.

Above is a picture of Easter weekend. Michael, in the orange shirt, just moved down here from Florida to join GFA as staff. He is now rooming with Alex, on the left. They spent Easter weekend with us along with Michael's Dad who drove down with him. If you look closely you'll see chocolate on some faces from the dessert we were eating. AJ got a little carried away with the fun of smearing chocolate on his face.

Carly (ACU sweatshirt) and her friend (middle, back row) came over for dinner recently. These two were a joy to have over and our children love them. It looks cold in this picture because of the fire in the background but it really wasn't that long ago. Just a flukey snow day during March! Rich is laying down in the front because he was trying to get in the picture and there wasn't much room. You know, when you prop the camera up and you only have a little time to find a spot before it takes.

Recent picture of Julia. She is growing up right before our eyes these days!

I love this picture of Olivia in our tree out back!

Micah in the sun, eating dirt. What are little boys made of?