Monday, January 31, 2011

Project 52: Week 4: Motion

It's Monday and you know what that means right?
Another Project 52 post! 
This week's assignment was MOTION.
Capture any kind of motion! 

I had two ideas for this and had a hard time choosing because the outcomes were on opposite ends of the spectrum! 
One of my concepts was laundry. 
I mean, my life is consumed with laundry so that just makes sense doesn't it? Lol.
And We just had lots of fun playing in the 6 loads of clean laundry that were piled onto my bed. 

This would have been my choice had I gone with that concept:

Things that I love about this:
- All 4 kids are piled onto the bed which is not uncommon.
- They love throwing the clothes around. I mean, what kid wouldn't? 
- Emma and George are caught mid action. 
- Wyatt and Clara were both frozen and I like that too. 
- It's real. 

But I went a different direction. A little more figurative with this one. 
I titled it (E)motion. 
There's still the capture of motion because I caught the trail of tears, but it's more about the emotion of the image. 
This girl. She's got me. 

Black and white version:

Actual submission - in color:

It's everything I was hoping for. 

As I Grumble

As I grumble, the Lord tills...

As I grumble about vacuuming the whole house with the hose because the belt is broken and I don't know how to fix it, 
He says:
Be thankful you have carpet; you have floors; you have a vacuum.

As I grumble about washing dishes for the 84356th time that day,
He says:
Be thankful you have a dishwasher, a sink, running water, and dishes.

As I grumble about picking up dirty socks and throwing in yet another load of wash, probably the 10th in the last 2 days, 
He says:
Be thankful you have a washing machine, you have socks, you have a man who dirties those socks, and children who make laundry more fun.

As I grumble about children who have not napped,
He says:
Be thankful you have children.

As I grumble about missing the garbage man this week and now having an overflowing garbage can,
He says:
Be thankful you have a place to put that garbage and that someone else takes it away for you.

As I grumble about children who have thrown up (eww) or are sick, 
He says:
Be thankful you have children. Be thankful you have a carpet cleaner and a washing machine.

As I grumble about harsh words and hurt feelings,
He says:
Be thankful that things will be reconciled, that you have a love that will not diminish or falter. Be thankful you have the hunk you do.

As I grumble about wiping snotty noses, and messy faces and dirty bottoms,
He says:
Be thankful that you have little noses, little cheeks, and little bottoms in your home and in your heart.

As I grumble about the cold and bundling up 6 people, 
He says:
Be thankful you have a refuge from the cold.

As I grumble about missing worship
He says:
Be thankful you still have Me and I do not dwell in one building. 

As I grumble, the Lord tills my heart. 
1 Timothy 6:8:
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Five on Friday: Life With Super Wy

The Wyatt Saga: Part I
Oh, today. 
I failed you. 
Today was messy. Literally. 

So, we're going to go through today with five images ... Wyatt style. 

1. I opened Wyatt's door this morning and was blasted with a very pungent smell. And then, then I saw his bare butt run across the room to his bed. 
His BARE butt. 
He decided this morning he wanted to finger paint. With poop. 
Poo on the blinds. Poo on the dollhouse. Poo on the carpet. Poooooo.
Bath #1.
And I found this on the floor:

2. Unfortunately I didn't get to cleaning the spots right away (oh darn), because children were hungry and thirsty and needed clean diapers and clothes that aren't PJ's.
Eventually I did get around to spraying the spot down with carpet cleaner because I got a fabulous new carpet cleaner for Christmas! Absentmindedly, I left the spray bottle of cleaner on the floor in Wy's room next to the actual carpet cleaner itself.
I went downstairs to attend to the other children and forgot about the cleaner.
We all ventured upstairs later and there was much carousing and playing and a wee bit later Emma came to me and asked, "Mom, why is Clara's hair all wet?" 
Because her brother sprayed her head with carpet cleaner. And then proceeded to spray a bunch on his own head! No eyes were injured in the process but their hair had a nice fragrance to it. 
Bath #2. (#1 for Clara)
Before it was over the 2 oz line, now it's below the 1.5 line:

3. Take a break for nap time. Whew. (Where I sandwiched in an engagement session and dropping off a meal to a mama who just had a babe.)
Well afterward, I guess the boy was extremely thirsty because while I was upstairs getting Clara and attending to the laundry Wyatt decided to help himself to something to drink. 
Some red Kool-aid. 
Yes, RED. 
He retrieved it himself from the fridge and proceeded to take off the lid. 
I think it was about 1/2 full in the fridge. 
 He was left with some nice red hands, red feet, and red streaks down his chest.
And he left me a really nice pool on the kitchen floor - one that also splashed onto the stove and the cupboards and the fridge ... and under the fridge (which I could not move as hard as I tried).  
We cleaned up the kool-aid and made our way upstairs to throw the towels (2 full size bath towels) and his soaked clothes into the washing machine. 
While I did that he decided he was still thirsty. Of course that's because all the kool-aid ended up on the floor and not in his mouth! His aim was a little off. 
He found my Caribou cup on the bathroom counter, I found it on the floor. 
The red streaks were now mixed with brown ones. 
Bath #3. 

4. The crazy man who is on bath #3 of the day:

5. And because of the events of the day ... and evening ... it was bed time at 7:45 and I decided I was going to end my night with a drink. :) 
I do not condone drunkenness or excessive drinking (obviously) but every once in a while, it's goooooood to have a drink. 
And this, this is my FAV for liquor. Kilo Kai: Spiced Rum. 
What? You've never heard of Kilo Kai? 
Neither had I a few months ago. But it is a wonderful, fabulously tasty drink. Perfect with coke or Dr. Pepper! 
Go on, try it. 
You know you want to! 

Days like today remind me why it's good to laugh - even when I don't want to, even when I feel like crying. Just laugh. 
God wants me to laugh. 
He gave me Wyatt (I truly believe) to keep me on my toes, to keep me laughing, and to remind me that I need HIM. 
Every single day. 
So, I praise God for red streaked bellies, matted hair, washing machines, carpet cleaners, bath tubs, and rum. And for coffee tomorrow morning. 

That was my Friday. 
What was your Friday like?! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Life as I Know it

A typical day in the life of ... well, me ... 

There are typically many loads of laundry I am surrounded by. Currently I have 6 loads that are clean but sitting in piles in my bedroom. 
I have another load that is clean sitting in the hallway waiting to be put in the kids' rooms. 
I have a dirty load sitting next to the washing machine. 
And I have a load in the dryer, running right now. 

So ... what happens when you have 6 loads worth of clothes sitting in your room? 
This of course:
There is no need for folding ... 

because this, this is ... 

 SO much more fun than folding! 

And I am left with carnage and wreckage. This is my life! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Shape of a Mother

I saw this today on Facebook by a group/blog I follow: 

Can I just say ... wow. 
Just wow. 

And then she talks about it here:

She says:
"i sent those pictures to a friend first- she asked 'how do these pictures make you feel?'
oh so proud. i love that body that's cradling that sweet babe. i love that body so much- because i remember a similar picture i took of myself- but i could only see it through a blur of tears. hatred, and ugly words.
oh how it's changed." 
Proud! She said they made her proud. I have birthed 4 children in 4 years and I have yet to be proud of what I see in the mirror ... at least, what I see in the mirror today. 

And then:
"i'm a mama…
my body is so imperfect and soft and sexy in a different way. in a real way… in a way that my husband grabs me and wants me. in a powerful way that- i carried life, i gave birth, and i nourish this babe.  in a way that- i know i look more like you and less like airbrushed images. genuine and honest and imperfectly perfect."

I cried. 
Yep, tears baby. 
I know that my Creator sees me this way. 
I know that He designed my body to stretch and grow and expand as He gently knits a little human being, another new creation, in my womb. 
I know that in His eyes I am perfectly beautiful. Stunning even. 
So why, oh why, can I not see myself that way? 
Because Satan's remarks are louder than God's whispers?
Because our culture has turned the tables upside down and now worships the impeccable, toned, thin body? 
Because my insecurities are more pronounced to me than to anyone else? 

Oh Lord that I would cling to Your truths, not the enemy's lies. 
That I would see my body as You see it - a beautiful, fragrant offering to You and Your will. 
Oh that I would be able to have just a glimpse of myself through Your eyes. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I don't know if I've ever actually done one of these ... five on Friday, ten on Tuesday, etc. Once I did do "not me" Monday. So, as I was having numerous emotions this afternoon and going through all the things in my head, I thought it be good to just blog it all and get the thoughts out this way. 

1. I've been fighting frustration all day today. Frustration related to my work as a photographer. I have a hard time fighting that frustration when I feel like I can't get what I see across to others. I just have to remember that while I want others to see what I see in my images, that's not always the case and art is usually subjective. 

2. I have been so off my routine for the last year. Yes, the last YEAR. And it drives me insane! But I suffer from life's chaos mixed with my own laziness and therefore, have not gotten back into a solid routine. 

3. I have not seen the scale move in almost 7 months. I have plateaued for a really, really, really long time and I don't know how to get out of it. At least, not right now when we can't afford the changes I want to make in our eating and I can't run to the gym whenever the heck I want to. 
When you've lost over 50 pounds TWICE in your life and maintained after losing it ... it's REALLY annoyingly frustrating to not be able to lose 25 pounds. It's also deeply disheartening and discouraging. 

4. Emma starts kindergarten in 7 months. Yep, 7 months. And it freaks me the heck out! 

5. I am deeply thankful for God's provision and His incredible timing. Just when I was doubting how we were going to make it until Mike got his first pay-check (because there's always that weird transition time), He pulled out all the stops and rocked my socks off! 

6. Wyatt has been sleeping laaaaaaate lately and I'm lovin' it! He has, in the past, been the one waking up and running around at 6:15 in the morning. Every.stinkin'.morning. 
Since we moved and settled in and separated him and George, it's been 8, 8:30, 8:45, and one day 9:35! 
And I mean, he's so stinkin' cute when he sleeps! :) 

7. I'm really thankful for the small group we joined this year. We've gotten to know some people that we "knew" before but didn't really know. And we've met some new people too that I'm excited to, hopefully, get to know even better! We weren't in a small group at church last year and I really missed it. 

8. Sometimes I cry about the babies I may not have. And that's not a "poor me" statement OR a slight against my husband! It's just this reality that will hit me at random moments that I can't really fight against. I trust God and I trust my man, so in the end, it's all good - but that doesn't always stop the tears! Lol. 

9. Shutter Island is a CRAZY movie. 

10. I am covered by grace and amazed by it. 
I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet SO valued by God that Jesus was glad to die for me. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Project 52: Week 3: Stranger Danger

Time for another Project 52 post! 
This week's assignment: 
Photograph a complete stranger. 

Really? Um ... I'm a complete introvert ... I don't want to approach a complete stranger! Let alone ask to take their picture. And did we forget? I have 4 children 4 years old and under and it's January in MN and it's been below zero almost the entire week and all weekend! Plus, my husband just started a new job where he works until 7pm every night. 
Yep ... excuses, excuses.
I was FULL of them. 
And I almost didn't get my shot because it was Sunday night and I still hadn't been able to get out or bring my camera anywhere or I had forgotten because I was distracted by the numerous things above. Lol. 
But we made it out and I got my shot! Annnnd I was quite pleased with it. 

Here's my actual submission:

And here it is in color because I had a REALLY hard time choosing between the two:

Random Ramblings on a Monotonous Monday

- Ever wonder about how interesting it is that while most men are chastised for cheating on their wives, seldom is the wife chastised for cheating on her husband, even though the percentages are pretty close?
It's still adultery no matter which spouse it is ... and God's grace covers both. 

- I believe in absolute truths and I believe in a righteous God. 

- I love, adore, cherish, relish, and delight in the snuggles I get from my babies. Especially this morning - Clara sat in my lap for a good twenty minutes and just snuggled me. It is rare that I have that many moments to stroke her cheek, play with her tiny ears, and pray over her every limb. 

- I fail every single day as a mom and it stinks. 

- I have a God that bridges the gap between my failings and His perfection and I will never fully understand the grace He gives. 

- Coffee is the only reason I open my eyes some days. 

- I find it very interesting that some people don't believe being "just a mother" is a worthy use of my life. Whose life will you ever shape more than your child's? 
Whose life do you have more impact over than your child's? 
I believe there are many other callings besides being a mother, but if you ARE a mother you are called to raise your children. 
What does it do for you to disparage motherhood?

- I love polka dots. 

Annnd a random image from our day last week (inspired by my good friend Jenna)
This is my life:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Monday-Tuesday

Huh? What's that, you say?
Oh, it's a case of the Mondays on Tuesday, that's what it is! 

That's what yesterday was for me. Monday, Monday was good! Tuesday? Tuesday was like what you expect Monday to be. Crabbilicious, unproductive, tiring, irritating, you name it. 

And it wasn't even "big" things that brought it down. It was just the everyday, mundane, little things that got under my skin and made me itch. They brought with them the attitude of ungratefulness and discontent. 

My hunk started his new job yesterday (huzzah!) but starting a new job brings with it stress and anticipation and anxiousness. Not to mention, returning to single parent mothering for 8 hours of the day. ::sigh:: 
But I'm supposed to be praising God for this job aren't I? 
Ok, ok. 
I praise You Lord that he has work. 
I praise You Lord that You gave him this job.
I praise You Lord that You're choosing to refine me through these working hours and this schedule. 

I missed my quiet time. 
Is it no wonder I'm having a case of the Mondays? 
I have been sick for almost 2 weeks now and it seems like about every other day I wake up feeling horrid - wheezing, coughing, running nose, etc. 
Yesterday was one of those mornings. And because of that, I shut my alarm off and said, "I'm just going to sleep!" 
Plus, Cbellebaby had woken up from 1:30-2:30 and was making LOTS of noise. 

But when I miss that time in the morning - that time where the house is quiet and it's just me and Him - my whole day is off. And I missed it and my whole day was off. 

But we did blanket time and EVERYONE napped! Praise the Lord! 
I was productive, contentment was restored, and I spent some time with the Lord, just me and Him. 

What a day. Lol. I guess it's pretty typical 'round here. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 52: Week 2: Defined

This Project 52 with Sandi Bradshaw is going to be killer. Seriously, killer. I'm going to pushed beyond myself in my creativity, my insight, my eye, and my skill. I'm already having doubts about whether or not I can do this and do it well. 
But why do I have to do it well? I mean, I WANT to do my best but I never live up to my own standards so why do I keep those standards? 
I think they need to be pitched, preferably out the window. 
I do not have to have profound images every single time. 
I do not have to have perfect lighting.
I do not have to have the perfect set up.
I just neeeeeed to let myself be creative. To let myself stretch. Grow. Be pushed. 
And forget about it being perfect. 

So, this week was good for me. 
Our assignment was:
"Black and White Images that show something that 'defines' you in some way...but does NOT include any people. So...something that shows a part of who you are or that is very personally important to you."

An image flew into my mind immediately after reading that. I knew what I wanted. But I had a problem - the shot that I was imagining in my head would be the most amazing if I had a macro lens. I do not. 
::sad face:: 
So, I kept thinking because I wasn't sure how to achieve that original idea without a macro. 
I came up with another and this is the result:

If you know me, this says "Diana" to a T. I mean, LIFE NEEDS COFFEE. 
And this image did push me - I researched and read about capturing steam in a picture and what is the best way to do so. 
I don't have a studio with multiple lights I can have go off to create the best backlight, but I worked with what I have and got that image. 
I was pretty pleased with it. 
But it wasn't exactly what I wanted. 

So, last night at 9pm (15 hours left until submission was due) I tried for my original idea. 
I whipped out my flash (which I am not skilled at using yet) and configured my set up and just did it. 

This is my actual submission:

I'm pretty pleased with this as well. 
Not what I wanted entirely. Not what I would have gotten with a macro but it's what first popped into my head when this assignment was given and so I feel it's the "right" choice. 
And hopefully, if you know me, you understand why this image defines me. 

Maybe I'll write more on my "definition" later. :) 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Moodiest of Moods

It's amazing how quickly the change comes. Almost like it blew in with the frigid air when the front door was thrust open. And my heart turns frigid. 

A peaceful moment. A contented conversation. Children laughing, playing, running. 

All too quickly the peace has passed, the contentment has been banished, and I'm growing seeds of bitterness and resentment. I'm caught off-guard by the change in climate. But am I, really? 

I take a moment to sit; to ponder; to wonder; to discuss. 
I realize I have a confession to make. {gulp} 

I like to play the martyr. 
I like to weigh my sacrifices against yours. 
I like to look for those little ways that I may be the one who is sacrificing more, doing more, putting in more effort, scrubbing harder, etc. 
Especially against those in my own house. 

I often welcome pity parties as old friends, here to help me lick my perceived wounds. 

I find myself making lists in my head and counting checks. 
And the seeds are watered.

I dwell on my hurts and nurse them a little too long.
And the seeds sprout.

I speak harshly against the accused. I mutter under my breath, words of ugliness. Or better yet, I withhold all words. 
And the sprouts grow. 

"God, what am I doing?" 
The list pounds in my head, reminding me of my "sacrifices". 

"Lord, do you see? Do you feel the weight I'm carrying?" 
Child of mine. Listen. 

I stop. I breathe. 
And He gently reminds me ... 
How do I look at this child of mine that you are taking up arms against?

"Really? Oh ... Lord ..."
With love. 
With patience.
With grace.
With forgiveness.

Yes, child.

And He uses His vessels to push me even further.
"So, how do we rid ourselves of this attitude?"
By thanking Him
By turning these pity parties into praise. 
By turning these mis-truths into His truth. 
By not allowing the Evil One in to whisper lies in our ears. 
By believing in pure and honest motives. 


I am reminded that my pity parties wreak of selfishness. 
My sin is just as bad as another's sin because it's all sin in His eyes. He sees it all as missteps and does not weigh one against the other. 
I do; not Him. 

Turn these seeds of discord into seeds of praise. 
And I am pruned by the Master Gardener. 
He pulls out the weeds of resentment and bitterness that have sprouted in my heart. 

Pour out your heart, child.
Exhale the seeds of sin.  
Breathe in the seeds of praise. 

Praise Him for friends who can slap me out of my selfish thoughts and turn me back to the Lord. 
Praise Him for this life I have and the ones I share it with. 
Praise Him. 

Praise Him for children, even if they don't nap.
Praise Him for this home, even if it's a blessed mess.
Praise Him. 

Praise Him when my heart hurts.
Praise Him when I feel like I carry a heavy load, because I can know He carries it too.
Praise Him.

Praise Him.
Praise Him. 
Praise Him.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Mounting Pile of Dishes in my Head

I feel like my brain is overwhelmed by thoughts. Thoughts, ideas, convictions, frustrations, prayers, lists, and on and on and on. They have become big piles of dishes in my head. My head is the kitchen and this kitchen is being overtaken by all sorts of piles of dishes.

Some of those piles are dirty. Some are clean. Some are dusty from lack of use. But there they sit, covering all the counters and slowly creeping their way onto every surface imaginable until it seems that there is no room to move or breathe. 

The dirty ones, well there's a few categories within "dirty" itself. 
There are the ones that were just used this morning and only have a few crumbs or a smudge of jelly. They just need a quick wash and they're set. These are the everyday thoughts, the ones that are always present, the ones that get used everyday. 
Did I put the wash in? Did I sweep today? Does Wy have socks on? Did I already change Clara? Etc, etc. 

There are the ones that have some remnant of food crusted on and need to be scrubbed a bit before they're clean. These are the ones that are fairly present as well but that the Lord needs to scrub just a bit every couple days. 
Have I thanked God today? Do I have joy? Am I disciplining consistently without anger? Have I exercised yet this week? Have I told my hunk how much I appreciate him?

Then there are the ones that are really caked with food. The ones that you have to let soak for a good while before even attempting to scrub them clean. 
These are the ones that the Lord really has to work out in me. The ones that need His hand because I can't get them clean on my own. 
These are usually convictions that I haven't ironed out yet - the heavy stuff. Or, more often, they are my struggles - my pride, my laziness, my selfishness. ::Gasp:: Yes, of course I struggle with selfishness. 

There are clean dishes. 
They've been scrubbed by the Lord and I just need to put them in the cupboard. Filed away, into everyday life. 

And there are dusty dishes. Dishes that have been laid aside or forgotten about or that are only taken out for special occasions. 
The thoughts, ideas, convictions that I have and use but haven't been discussed or brought up for a while. They're there and I love them, I just don't use them every single day. They're special. 

I look at this "kitchen" and feel overwhelmed. Where do I start? How do I even begin to sort through all the dishes that are covering my counters? Can I sort through them all? Oh boy, oh boy. My head. I'm definitely going to need a cup of coffee. 
I guess the answer is: slowly. I can only wash one or two dishes at a time. Dry them and put them away. Then I can move on to a couple more. 

::Deep breath::
I can do this. With the Lord's help. It may take years and I may never be rid of the dishes. They may always linger on my counters, but I think that's how God wants it. He wants me to continue to grow. To wash, dry, and put away. And He wants me to allow Him to scrub the ones that need scrubbing. 

Guess I better start washing!

Words of Wyatt

This is really just for my future reference - when I'm far older and cannot remember the cute things he said when he was 2 ... or 3 ... or 4! 
Alright, who are we kidding? I'll probably forget tomorrow. 

Currently, at 2.5 he uses f's a lot:
"fank you"
"Fuffins" (muffins)
"feekadoo" (peekaboo)
It cracks me up every.single.time. 

If I tell him "no" his response right now, "okaaaaaay"
but it's not sassy, it's just held onto and he drops his pitch. It makes me smile.

I will add more as I hear and remember. :) 

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Heart Faces: Smiles

I Heart Face's contest this week is: smiles. 
With 4 children that are so very young and so very spirited it's hard not to smile! 
But this image, this shows joy; and joy is priceless.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Project 52: Week 1: I Cling

I've taken the plunge. The plunge into a Project 52 organized by Sandi Bradshaw of Sandi Bradshaw Photography. Every week for 52 weeks, you take a picture and then submit them to her. She posts them in a special album on Facebook and each week chooses her favorite. I have low aims for being among the really gifted, talented photographers and being chosen as a favorite but I have high hopes and aims for growing! Sandi started this project to help stretch other photographers and I want to stretch. 
Stretching is uncomfortable, sometimes even painful. But necessary. Necessary if you want to grow! Sandi is going to be doing assignments that are often self-portraits, at least one each month and that scares me. 

This week the first assignment was a self-portrait. The theme that kept popping up for me was "I Cling." 
I cling to my God.
I cling to His words.
I cling to Him alone. 
And He brings joys... 

(actual submission)

If I don't have His truth, His words, I have nothing. Nothing of importance. So I cling to Him and He sustains me. 

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Stuck in "I Want"s

I find myself dwelling in a black hole of a land called, "I want." I continue to look at life through these tainted spectacles and find it harder and harder to pull myself out. 
Here is the list that I find running through my mind very often lately:
- I want to not turn the TV on, even just for one day.
- I want to bake, cook, and eat whole foods without being overwhelmed and under encouraged. 
- I want to speak to my children in an ever gentle voice that does not use tones of harshness.
- I want validation in this life, from my peers. 
- I want to knit. Cute, adorable, beautiful - hats, scarves, pants. 
- I want to sew. Dresses, stockings, fabric decorations, aprons. The list is endless. 
- I want to love abundantly without frustration.
- I want a house full to the brim of children, living blissfully in the moment of messy-ness and fun. 
- I want to cherish the little moments. 
- I want to live IN grace. IN peace. IN rest. IN joy. 
- I want to grow. Spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and in my photography. 
- I want to write. There was a time where I could do this for pleasure. Those days have passed and I miss them. 
- I want to see things around me. I have friends - real and never-met-before "friends" who seem to grasp the little things in each day. Maybe even in just one day a week. But they catch something. They see something and it brings them into a string of insight and they see God; in the details, in the big picture, in the moment. I want to catch those things. I want to see my Creator in everything - tie it all together as He intended. But I can't. 

I feel stuck. Stuck in a never-ending cycle of "I want"'s. So, how do I get out? How do I get back into habits and routines and practices that HELP me achieve these very attainable wants? I don't know, really. But I plan to continue to try to figure it out. I will share something I read last night from "Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches" by Rachel Jankovic.

"Are you holding yourself back on things, afraid that the end result will not be worthy of your labor? Are you afraid to fail? Is there some domestic activity that you would love to know how to do, but don't want to try in case it doesn't turn out? Are you afraid to try new recipes? Are you afraid to put energy or money into something that might turn into nothing? Do you think fondly of some day when you might bear fruit, but resist getting right down to business this year? Do you evaluate the necessity of everything, passing it by if it doesn't add up to be practical? Are you limiting the branches upon which you are willing to bear fruit?
"You cannot know the depth of His plan for your fruit. SO throw it out there on the ground when you have no plan for its future. Waste it. Waste homemade pasta (and the mess it makes) on your family. Don't save cloth napkins for company only - sew a dress your daughter doesn't really need. Be bountiful with your fruit and free with it. The only thing that you can know for certain is that God will use it." 

The analogy here is of an apple tree. Apple trees take no stock in their apples. Their apples fall to the ground all the time and get wasted often. The branches are what we need to be concerned about because without well cared for and tended branches there would be no apples at all. Our children are our branches. 

This one struck me today:
"There are abundant things to be thankful for that are not on our radar at the current moment. So you have a headache. So the kids are fussing. Well, are you looking at what you don't have (energy and quiet) or what you do have (a head and kids). 
So make sure before you start rebuking them, your own heart is in order. Thank God for the headache. Thank Him for these prime opportunities to teach. Thank Him for the scuffle that your children are currently having over who unbuckled whom and why. And then, after your own heart has been sorted out, move on to theirs." 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I Heart Faces: Best Face Photo of 2010

I've never entered in I Heart Faces's contests before but I've always looked at them and thought "I should really try that." So, here I am, trying! This is my entry for their contest this week (and I'm cutting the deadline reeeeeaaaal close) for their Best Face Photo 2010. And it was really hard to choose. (Click on the image to see it enlarged.) 
Oh, and this week's challenge is a voting challenge! So, anyone who feels that my picture is worth winning, you can vote for it HERE! #838