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Saturday, May 20, 2017

May photo challenge (2)

14. Drama: I had never thought that blowing bubbles could include so much drama.  I was wrong.  Selah's bubble blowing was so intense that her whole body was shaking in anticipation.
15. This motivates me: my motivation is not limited to a specific flavor.  It's ice cream, and that's what really matters.
16. Favorite time of day: This actually does not accurately describe my favorite time of day, even though I do like snack/milkshake time.  (which is not even a daily occurrence.)  After giving it some thought, I concluded that my favorite time of day is around sunset.  Another day is over and the sun sets in silent brilliance.  I love sunsets.  The bad news is that I can't get a picture of that when the sun fades behind the mountain in the middle of the afternoon and leaves me with a gradual coming on of darkness.  A milkshake will have to do this time.
17. Lines: I'm finally getting my summer flip-flops back in shape!  :)  Love those satisfying lines.
 18. Macro
 19. From where I stand: I spend a good deal of time with this view.  And I don't mind at all.  It feels good to have the dishes caught up.
 20. Delicious

Thursday, May 18, 2017

And we meet again

"Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest.  It's about who walked into your life and said 'I'm here for you' and proved it."

Less than a year ago, on June 23, I went to Alaska to surprise Hannah at her graduation.  It was scary because we'd known each other only through the mail, and I had no idea what being in person would be like.   
Since that time, Hannah and Christian have been to Washington 3 times--the first time for fun, the second for my graduation, and again this month for another no-reason visit!  (Does that give you a hint about how our first meeting went?)  Although we haven't known each other very well for very long, they've proven that they're friends to stay.  :)  I have been beyond blessed to have them as close friends in the past year.  Here's a sneak-peak into our latest Fabulous Four reunion.
(Don't you love that after they arrived our first stop was Costco?  That's doing things the Small way!)

Hannah and Christian have really mastered the trampoline flip.  They have pretty flawless form..

(Photo credit for the following 2 pictures goes to Christian.)
I love how it looks like we're all suspended in air.  It reminds me of the laughing scene in "Mary Poppins" were everyone floats by the ceiling.

A common theme with almost anyone who comes to visit is game time.  We love games of almost any kind, which we often subject our friends to.  Between the photo/video shoots, outdoor work, movies, talks, and laughs, we also played many games at various hours.
The pickles are a good sign we're playing this game late at night.
Jenga turned out to be a favorite.  It's shocking how intense and addicting this "simple" game can be.

Of course, all good games must be accompanied by good food, too.  Among other snacks and meals, we made a killer pizza.  I think this meal will be recurring throughout the summer.
After all the food and games, it's probably a good idea to get some exercise...
We always save our traditional photo shoot for the last day or 2 of our time together.  I'm not really sure why, but it reminds us that we'd better make the most of our final days (or hours) together!

Turns out we don't exactly know what a bar fight should look like.  Did we get close, though?
Pen-pals and friends for the keeping!
(Thanks for the "girl" picture, Christian!)
With big changes ahead for our four-some, we decided to make a time capsule!  Although we hope to see each other many times between now and our time capsule opening in 5 years, we found ourselves a little depressed at the thought of all the changes that would take place by that time.  This picture is representing us looking into the future.  :)
Of course, in 5 years we'll all be quite old, and we'll probably look back on all these pictures like this:
Editing credit to Hannah!  I'm beginning to wonder if this picture is really as old as it looks...
As a parting "huzzah," we stopped for Blizzards on the way to the airport.  That's when we knew our time together was really getting short and we would soon separated by many miles and state lines.

I am so grateful to be blessed with friends who seek the Lord and do more than their part to make sure we get time together, despite the distance.  The past year of knowing my pen-pal of ~12 years more deeply has been a real gift, too.  Here's for the longest lasting pen-pal I have!  (And we're still writing!!)
I'm not sure why this final picture of us is one of my favorites.  Maybe because we all look happily satisfied after the ice cream?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Only hope

I recently found Only Hope and really wanted to share it here.  Not only does it have a great message, but Steven Sharp Nelson (of The Piano Guys) and his daughter are included in the video performance!  *wink, wink*  

There's a song inside of my soul--
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again.
I'm awake in the infinite cold,
But you sing to me over and over and over again.

So I lay my head back down,
And I lift my hands 
And pray to be only Yours--
I pray to be only Yours:
I know You're my only hope.

Sing to me the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
And laughing again.
When it feels that my dreams are so far,
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again.

So I lay my head back down,
And I lift my hands 
And pray to be only Yours--
I pray to be only Yours:
I know You're my only hope.

I give You my destiny,
I'm giving You all of me.
I want Your symphony
Singing in all that I am.
At the top of my lungs I'm giving it back.

So I lay my head back down,
And I lift my hands 
And pray to be only Yours--
I pray to be only Yours:
I know You're my only hope.

I think my favorite line is "When it feels that my dreams are so far, sing to me of the plans that YOU have for me."  It reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11 where God states that His desire is to only make us prosper.  His ways far exceed our own plans.  That is abundantly comforting, especially when our plans seem to be falling apart all around.  His ways are wonderful.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Return of the photo challenge

I'm back with a new photo challenge!  I took April off to work on some other things and found that I entirely neglected the camera.  In April I took no more than 15 pictures, so I'm looking forward to the pressure and motivation of a challenge again this month.  Has May in fact begun already?!

1. Something you love: I do love the fresh newness of spring and its colorful presence.  Spring is a yearly reminder of life and how lovely it is.
 2. Something you fear: I hate admitting that I have irrational fears.  But here we are; I despise bats.  I'm not sure anything else makes me quite as panicky as a bat.  I used to be able to handle them, but I've gotten worse with each one that we find in the house.
 3. A guilty pleasure: I shouldn't be admitting this either, but I do have a weakness for junk particularly.
 4. Movement: This girl (whom I will blog more on later) is a master of flips.
 5. Night: Our game night tradition always includes dill pickles.  Staying up late playing games without pickles just isn't right any more.
 6. Emotion
 7. Texture
 8. My happy place: Although I'm less "addicted" to driving than I was in the beginning of my career, I do enjoy being behind the wheel.  (especially the one in my own car.)  Rain or shine, it's a good place to be.
 9. Favorite color: Following the trend of the majority of today's population, my favorite color is blue.  The shade of these colorful Jenga blocks was a good choice.
 10. Beautiful light: I have always envied people with antler light fixtures.  Something about them is so rustic and cozy.  Four years ago we moved into a house with a small antler light fixture; to this day, it is one of my favorite things about the house.
 11. No place like home
 12. In the moment
 13. Comfort: I always find myself comforted the most when I turn to my Bible.  It doesn't get much better than 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, Romans 8:31-39, or Job 23:10.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Make my life a prayer

"Make My Life a Prayer to You"another of my favorite Keith Green songs, matches my own prayer for my life.  Psalm 141:2 describes our prayers as sweet aromas to God.  Imagine how you feel when you smell coffee or your favorite candle--that's a picture of how God feels when He hears our prayer.  In 2 Corinthians 2:15, Paul says we--Christians--are also this pleasant smell to God.  And this is what I want my life to be like to Him.  I so want to do what He wants me to.
Make my life a prayer to You;
I wanna do what You want me to--
No empty words and no white lies,
No token prayers, no compromise.

I wanna shine the light You gave
Through Your Son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair.
It comforts me to know You're really there.

Well, I wanna thank You now 
For being patient with me.
Oh, it's so hard to see
When my eyes are on me.
I guess I'll have to trust 
And just believe what You say--
Oh, You're coming again,
Coming to take me away.

I wanna die and let You give
Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope You gave me:
The love that set me free.

I wanna tell the world out there
That You're not some fable or fairy-tale
That I've made up inside my head.
You're God the Son, and You've risen from the dead.

I think I always connect the most with the lines in the chorus: "it's so hard to see when my eyes are on me."  When we focus on ourselves, we can't be seeing Christ...and no one else can see Him through us either.  The reminder that He is, in fact, coming to take me away motivates me to not keep living for myself, but to make my life full of Him.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Moss, new sprouts, and the color green

"Enjoy the little things in life...for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."

I love spring for its bright colors and new life.  It is a refreshing season.

Having grown up in Washington, I know moss as merely normal and common place.  But as I prepare to temporarily relocate to somewhere entirely different, I realize that moss is unique to my area and I must not take for granted its strange wonder.