Summer is Officially O-V-E-R…Over

School started two weeks ago. That means summer is officially O-V-E-R…over. Bring on fall?!

I thought I would dump a bunch of random photos here that have nothing to do with anything except…this was our life this summer.

Reflecting on #Summer2015

Estes Park

This is the view from our cabin outside of Estes Park, CO. I could not get tired of this view. Ever. We were here for a family reunion with family from Mississippi and California. It was truly an amazing week of getting updated on each others lives. My ‘lil bro is so cool!

estes park

The river made for a great place to take portraits. Parker is still happy to strike a pose for me.

Estes Park

Unlike this teenager who almost never lets me take her beautiful picture these days.

LongsPeak

There was one day when Alex and I ran out to the grocery store 20 minutes away. We also had a little girl bonding time with a Starbucks and we stopped to take in the beauty of Longs Peak. The storm was rolling in over the mountains. I want to move here.

Alberta Falls

We hiked to Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park. Everyone (including the kids) were troopers. The hike was a little longer than we all anticipated. So gorgeous!

Estes Park

Parker riding her bike at the cabin and keeping a look out for bears, which we never saw.

Kitchen

The kitchen got a face lift from cream to white…and this is the cleanest it’s been all summer!

HelicopterBlackHills

In June we headed to the Black Hills with my mom. Along with checking out all the National sites like Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Needles Hwy and Wall Drugs, we treated hubby to a helicopter ride for Father’s Day. He was like a kid with candy in a helicopter. ;-)

DowntownDenver

Girls night (meaning one 8-yr-old and two 13-yr-olds) in Downtown Denver and the Cheesecake Factory.

We may or may not have ate our weight in S’mores. And set a few marshmallows on fire for fun.

BedroomChaulkboard

One bedroom wall painted with chalkboard paint. Alex practiced her freehand mandala. I wish we had chalkboard paint when I was a teenager…

ColoradoMug

Was gifted my new favorite mug. Thanks Kathleen <3

And, finally, goodbye Summer 2015. It’s time for schedules and homework and sport events and after school activities and looking forward to Parker turning 9.

FirstDay

These two are looking too cool for school in their Converse. I tell my teen that she is way cooler than I ever was (or will be). I wonder out load if I was her age would be my friend? She said, “Yes”. Aaahhh, she is such a liar! ;-)

 

Wednesday’s Word

At my kid’s school there is a custodian. He knows every student by name, he is silly, doesn’t hesitate to dress up in goofy costumes for fundraisers, and the kids love him. In the mornings he greets the kids in the drop off lane.

And, when I drop my girls off on Wednesdays, he is kind of infamous for shouting out the question, “What day is it?!”

He will ask this until someone answers, “It’s hump day!” Trust me. It’s a silly. It makes the girls blush. And that’s always a bonus.

Wednesday signals the halfway point in the work week. We climbed the proverbial hill to get through a rough week. Give yourself a pat on the back…you are almost there. Two more days till the weekend.

It’s hump day. Whoo-hoo!

I don’t know about you, but this week I need to be pushed, pulled and dragged over that hump. And coffee never hurts. Lots of it.

For Wednesday’s Word, here’s a little reminder that we should help each other over the humps of life:

Be kind to someone on this hump day. You never know what hard battle they are fighting. Who knows, maybe your kind words will be the best part of that person’s day. That would be sweet.

Wednesday's Word: Be Kind. You never know the battle someone maybe fighting. Proverbs 6:8 | Have Faith Everyday

Proverbs 16:24 in my art journal

We Should Stop Putting Celebrity Christians on Pedestals

Here we go again.

Another celebrity Christian has fallen (or was pushed) off his pedestal.

If you live under a rock, let me get you caught up, because it’s a doozy!

The story broke last week that Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the Duggar clan and stars of the reality show “19 Kids and Counting”, got himself in a bit of hot water, again. He was outed by online hackers as a member of Ashley Madison, a website that markets to married people who want to have an affair.

He has also admitted to a [online] pornography addiction and to committing adultery. While condemning the sexual sin of others, he let his own sexual sin destroy him, and the ones closest to him. He made that choice.

…and here we go again.

When will we learn? The Duggars were billed as the “perfect” devout Christian family by TLC, magazines and book publishers. We took the bait. We shouldn’t put anyone, let alone Christians on a pedestal. Ever. Especially those on a reality TV show. There is nothing real about reality TV.

We never know what is going on inside another person’s home, life, or heart. No matter how “perfect” their life looks on the outside, or edited for TV. No matter how easy they seem to have it. No matter how “Christian” they market themselves, we just don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.

When they fall it reminds us of our own failures.

No one said being a Christian is easy. Following Christ in this world is freakin’ difficult. Those who try to portray being a perfect Christian will fail. We live in a fallen world with fallen people. Christians are not immune to falling. Good people do bad things everyday.

When high profile Christians fall from their pedestal, we feel deceived and betrayed. And we are partly to blame because we put them high up, as if they are perfect and righteous and have all the answers. They don’t have the answers, no more than we do.

So we should stop putting celebrity Christians on pedestals.

 

It’s Not the Change I Dread, it’s the Transition.

I was talking with a long time friend about my recent upheaval at work. The small printing company I work for,  along with another small company, was bought so that the two will combine to make a bigger small company.

There is a lot of uncertainty there. Will we all have jobs after this merger? What will our role be in this new-and-improved company? Where will we fit everyone in this office? Will our five new co-workers play nice, or will they be jerks?

Then my friend said to me, “You just don’t like change.”

I wanted to slap her. Okay, maybe not really.

It’s not the change I dread, it’s the transition.

Change is exciting. Change should be fun and fulfilling. But the transition on the road to change? Yeah, I hate that part.

It's not the change I dread, it's the transition. Have Faith Everyday.

Background photo source: Pexels.com

In the middle of change there will be fear of the unknown. All those questions I asked earlier are questions that haven’t been answered yet, and that is what keeps me up at night.

The road to change is paved with mourning the loss of what once was (our old company), denial, shock, anger, stress, ambivalence, skepticism, acceptance, hope, enthusiasm, until we arrive to our destination…a new beginning.

“Life is always at some turning point.” -Irwin Edman

So. There’s that.

Life itself is about always moving forward to a new (unforeseen) beginning.

Here are 5 practical tips I wrote for myself to help me deal with this transition season. If you find yourself in the transition season, they can help you keep it together.

  1. Accept it and move on. The change is happening with or without you, and fighting it will only make it harder to let go.
  2. Reflect on the past. In my case this reflection came in the form of a trip down memory lane. For several years my co-workers and I put together a framed picture collage of events that happened at our company, because we are more than employees, we are friends. We documented new printing presses being installed, new babies being born, big industry achievements, even a concert or football game we attended together. Take time to remember the “good ‘ol days”.
  3. One.Day.At.A.Time.Sister. If I think about everything that might or might not happen I get overwhelmed with anxiety. Maybe today there is nothing to do in preparation, but tomorrow there might be something. I only deal with what needs to get done on that day.
  4. Talk it out. Talk to someone who has made a similar transition. My sister recently picked up her family and moved to a new state. This has meant new jobs (and co-workers), new house, new school, and new friends. Yeah, she can relate and she’s been a supportive.
  5. Don’t be pessimistic. Stop the negative thoughts (like the new co-workers will be jerks). Look at this change as an opportunity for growth. As my pastor says, “Find the silver lining.” I’ll add, “…no matter how hard you have to look.”

I can’t control the transitions in life, but I can control my reaction to them.

Feeling Weary

I just got back from a 4 day vacation in which we stayed in a very quiet log cabin in the Rocky Mountains. You would think I would be renewed and rested. So why am I feeling so weary?

Matthew 11:28-30 For the days when you feel weary

I should feel rejuvenated. But I am not.

I feel tired. The anxiety monster is showing his face again. I am feeling weary.

Big changes at work. Our company has a new owner, we will merge with another, then become a whole new company. Unsure what my role is, what any of our roles will be. Good or bad, that remains to be seen.

School is starting up again. Back to the grind. Back to days of homework, drama, and juggling schedules…schedules I am not even sure of yet. The planner in me is about to freak out.

How do any of us get out of that weary funk?

  • Start by taking it one day at a time. Tomorrow is a new day.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat, “This is just a moment. It won’t last forever.”
  • Pray. Prayer never hurts. Matthew 11:28-30
  • Find the silver lining of the situation. Dig deep if you have too.
  • Look around. Find others that also need encouragement in their weariness. Lift them up.

Small Seeds LOGO

While focusing on others problems, I see my own aren’t as bad as I think or feel they are. I recently discovered a battle of one of Alex’s friends, Isabella. This young woman is fighting back against a severe peanut allergy. We are talking about life and death tree nut allergies here. Her mom, Erin, is writing about the journey her family is on to break Isabella from the deadly peanut prison. If you or someone you love has a severe tree nut allergy I urge you to read more at Isabella’s Prison Break. She is a Small Seed, making change right where she is in life.

Journaling Your Travel Memories

We’re fresh off our trip up to the Black Hills is South Dakota just a few weeks ago. It feels like longer. The girls and I have been busy working on our summer art journals, already starting a second journal! This week we are taking a break and working on journaling our travel memories of South Dakota.

Journaling your travel memories this summer | Have Faith Everyday

(more…)

The Rainbow Promise

The Rainbow Promise: God's beautiful promise to us is seen in the rainbow. | Have Faith Everyday

Edited with Canva

Through the Bible, God makes a lot of promises to us. One such promise is a beautiful one. It’s the rainbow promise. In Genesis, after the great flood, we are reminded of His promise to never again flood the earth and destroy everything. 

GENESIS 9:11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have establishment d between me and all life on the earth.”

Just like the rainbow itself, the symbolism is truly amazing. There are seven colors in a rainbow, (ROYGBIV) red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Seven is a sign in the Bible of completeness.

Together, these colors make white light, or the color of the sun. Christ is the Light of the World (the 8th color). The rainbow, together with Christ, is God’s “solemn pledge which I have established between Me and all flesh upon this earth.”

It’s no mistake or coincidence that God created a rainbow as the symbol of His promise.

Next time you witness a rainbow, stop and remember His promises to us, no matter what is happening in our life, the Lord is with us.

Some days it can be hard to follow Christ instead of the world

Some days it can be hard to follow Christ instead of the world.
And for that, I think God maybe disappointed and a little ashamed of me.
Some days it’s hard to display grace to others.
Some days I try hard to be a ‘good Christian’ but know, deep down I am failing.
And that makes me feel ashamed of myself.
Some days I am guilty of spending more time online, reading blogs, than reading the only Word that matters.
Some days I am scared when I see what is happening in this world.
Some days I am sick when I read the hate that comes out of a fellow Christian’s mouth, or from behind a computer screen. That also scares me.
Some days I don’t love thy neighbor.
Some days I wonder if I am doing this for His glory, or for mine.
Some days I see the evil in this world and I cry real, full-on tears.
Some days speaking the Truth is scary when the world demands you to be tolerant of every other belief, even when they are not tolerant of yours.
Some days I forget that I am a sinner too.
Some days I forget Christ died for my sins, all our sins.
Some days I forget that the laws made here on earth are not the laws made in heaven.
Some days I can’t find the words that I am feeling in my heart.
Some day I hope to get it right, but I won’t hold my breath.

Lately it feels like Christians have struggled with a lot of some days. Last week’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states has caught many Christians off guard about how to respond.

Some days the world feels crushing and confusing and out of its mind, but Christians have a choice to make. How will we respond? Some days we will respond with love, other days not so much. Because we are human. Christian does not equal perfect.

Some days speaking the Truth gets you yelled at IN ALL CAPS, especially when it is not among popular opinion of this world. Thankfully, the opinion of this world is not the one I worry most about.

I wanted to share four posts that have made me stop and think this week in some way. This ruling has made me think deeper about my faith than ever before. Being Christian is not about being perfect, or having all the answers. It’s a journey.

We Are That Family | “This is What I am going to do today (in response of the Supreme Court Ruling)”
Into The Wild | “Dear Homosexual America: I am Sorry. An Open Letter From a Christian”
The Blaze, Matt Walsh | “Yes, Gay Marriage Hurts Me Personally”
Grace to You | “Why Biblical Christianity Is Intolerable in an Age of “Tolerance”

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15

* * * * * *

LINKING UP with these amazing bloggers who continue to speak truth: Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your Heart and Bonnie’s Spiritual Whitespace. l visit other bloggers writing from the heart.

1 2 3 77