Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Break 2013--Houston and a BIG Anniversary

My hubby took the girls and I to Houston for spring break, while our boys and the dog went to the grandparents in Missouri. We all met up in Missouri on Monday for a few days before coming back home to Iowa. It has been nice to have a casual schedule and spend more time together this week.
We went to Houston to visit Byron's wonderful aunt. She opens her home to us and treats us like royalty. It is so fun to spend time with the Texas relatives that we barely ever see.
(Byron also has three first cousins and their families in Houston.)

The girls had a lot of opportunities to wear their gorgeous boots:

 Beach day in Galveston:

toes in the water:
(the gulf water was cold)

I loved wearing flip flops every day!


Besides enjoying spring break, this week marked one year of this little family living in Iowa.
We are so proud of this young mama and her hard work and dedication. She has completely changed their lives! They moved into our home last year in March and had never lived off of the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Now she has a CNA certificate, a full-time job with benefits, her own apartment, a vehicle, and daycare for her kids. I love seeing the smiles on their faces and knowing that the "fresh start" they were seeking has been a success! Praise God for answered prayers. I am so grateful for all He has taught me about Himself through Rosebud kids. :)

 play-do fun:

As we say goodbye to March in the next week, let's hope the snow and wind and cloudy days are behind us!  I am ready for spring!  (Ironic that it is snowing as I am typing.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Our Birthright--some thoughts

I am in my second year of Bible Study Fellowship. We studied Acts last year and are going through Genesis this year. Digging into God's Holy Word feeds my soul like nothing else is able. I am so grateful for the many who study the Bible and put together the lessons we go through each week.

As much as I love learning more about the Bible, I still spend more hours a week on Facebook, reading blogs, books, or magazines, Pinterest, etc. than opening my Bible.

The past few weeks have included the stories of Isaac and Rebekah and their twin sons Jacob and Esau--beginning with Genesis 25:19. The story of the birthright being given to Jacob, rather than firstborn Esau, is a tangled web of lies, trickery and deceit. All four of them chose to move along with their own plans rather than allow God to carry out his plan--and they sure paid the price later!

While still pregnant, the Lord told Rebekah that the birthright would go to Jacob, the younger of the twins, rather than to Esau, which was the traditional practice of giving it to the firstborn. Esau showed his indifference to God and the family birthright when he sold the birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of lentil soup. Genesis 25:34 says "Esau despised his birthright."  He deliberately rejected God and His promises for something as temporary as a bowl of soup.

What is my birthright? 
Do I despise it, along with God's promises?  
Am I like Esau? 

Some thoughts from my BSF notes:
We do have a spiritual birthright and a choice about what to do with God's generous gifts. 
Contemplate some of the things you may have "inherited"...
  • knowledge of the way to God
  • a Christian home
  • opportunity to worship and hear Christian teaching
  • knowledge of God Himself
  • the written Word of God
As believers, many of us (in the U.S.) have as our "birthright" an open Bible, freedom to read it, and no political persecution for believing it, yet we still choose not to make time to receive and apply every word of this precious revelation of God's character, God's will, and God's enabling. Instead, we choose to "sell our birthright" by cluttering up the hours of our days with our own brand of chosen emptiness.

I am going to spend some time thanking God for my inheritance.  An inheritance that I take for granted and often dismiss. Yes, I am like Esau.  I fill my belly with lentil soup, rather than the richness God has gifted me with. I am grateful that His mercies are new every morning, and that TODAY I have a chance to respond correctly. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

This week...

It has been a long week and I'm glad its the weekend. 
My hubby was gone to Asia all week, but he's home now. So glad.

Early in the week, a friend lost her battle with cancer.  The end came so fast; she was diagnosed in late October. She helped us remember that her end on Earth really isn't the end, since she knows Jesus. You can read about her amazing journey on her blog Always on the Sunny Side. I am so glad to have known her and to learn what it looks like to follow Christ even during hard times.  This is one of her replies to a text I sent her:

Some instagrams from this week:

Old picture, new to me. Why don't they show me these gems sooner?

We had perfect snow for a snowman, which doesn't always happen.

Meg getting in a winter workout:

Meg and I went to the last home game for the Iowa State women's basketball team. It was a crazy game with coaches getting 3 technical fouls and a fan getting ejected from the game. By the way, Iowa State won the game. :)