Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Time to be Thankful

The past couple of days have been a roller coaster for my family. However, through it all, God was ever present, and I learned so much more about myself as I learned so much more about God. I wanted to get it down somewhere before it left my mind- and also so that I could revisit it all one day and be reminded of what He was saying.

Things I learned about myself:

1. When I need to be strong, there is an endless supply of strength in the Lord.
2. I know now the peace that surpasses all understanding. So many people on the phone commented about how calm I sounded- some even thought I was in shock. But all I knew was that I had a peace that I couldn't explain. I knew how bad things looked and sounded even as I explained them. But God gave me His peace, and I was really never able to accept things the way they had been presented. All I could see and know was His outlook on things... and His outlook was far better than ours.
3. No matter how often or little I talk to my brother, we have a bond that cannot be broken. And I love that- and I love him.
4. I can pretty much take any situation and find something humorous to lighten the mood. However, I wouldn't recommend causing a patient who just had brain surgery to laugh. I got in trouble more than once. But Hurt Head Ted is now taking over for me.
5. I like Facebook and texting, and it truly is the easiest way to keep people informed, but there's nothing like a good old fashioned phone call.
6. I can survive solely on Starbucks and Diet Coke.
7. I am back in the business of reading my brother's mind. And it only took a 7 hour surgery to get that back up and running.

Things I learned (or was reminded) about God:

1. He is Good.
2. He only calls us to have faith the size of a mustard seed in order to move mountains.
3. He doesn't do things the same way I do (and thank goodness for that).
4. He hears our prayers, and works on our behalf long before we realize it.
5. He has an appointed time for all of us to leave this earth. We won't leave a minute before or after our appointed time.
6. Life's too short to waste it on things that keep us from carrying out His will, and He used a short five days to show me some things that I've been praying about for years. It was there all along, but sometimes you have to step back to see it clearly.
7. He secured even deeper in me that I am not afraid of death. In fact, I rejoice in it- because death has no hold over us. Life doesn't end with death. It begins. And that's not just the natural version of death- that's the death of things in our lives that we've been holding onto, but we need to let go of.
7. Lastly, we're not here for ourselves, or our selfish desires, or even to make a name for ourselves. We're here to point back to Him, to show others the Way, to bring Life into dark places. And it can be as small and as simple as one conversation. But people need to know that we care- so if we ask Him for His heart in all situations and for all people, we can't really go wrong.

There's still a road of recovery ahead, but I feel a new clarity that I didn't have before. I pray that we all move forward changed, and that we were able to bless others through it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Time for Easter Pictures

It has been quite a while since I last posted over here (and I said I wasn't going to do that). But, work has been insanely busy... to the point where I've been struggling alot just to get dinner on the table at night without having a meltdown. I've also been traveling quite a bit since this year began, and I have to go back to Dallas this week. Since I won't be back until Saturday (riiiiiiiiiiiight before Easter), I thought I'd go ahead and take some Easter pictures of JM today.

I kept trying to get all creative about where I was going to take his pictures, but then basically came to a "do or die" moment and just loaded him up in the car to go exploring. I spotted a little woodsy area at the front of a nearby neighborhood, and decided I'd go for the whimsical look today. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go! So, JM and bunny went exploring, and I documented it.

We headed back home, and I spotted another field, so I asked John Michael if he'd be willing to do just one more...

He tried to warn me. He cried the entire time.

And what's a photoshoot without one of these (hehe)...

What a sweet angel. I love this little guy to pieces! I hope you all have an amazing week, and enjoy Easter with the ones you love. May we all be reminded of what He spoke so clearly to me about today... and that is HE IS GOOD! There is nothing that you are going through that He isn't working out for some purpose... and you don't have to worry about what that purpose is, because you can rest in the fact that HE IS GOOD. Love you guys!