Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Photos

I have never been so sad to see a track-out come to an end,
but SO thankful for the memories we have made over the past few weeks!

Lounging in the kiddie pool on the front porch...fully clothed of course

Zeke has been working on a new movie and I must say,
he does a REALLY great job directing this crew!
I love little barefeet

Admiring herself after a few hours at the Colony Salon


Peeking

I love how Josh enters into THEIR world with them



Always. Chasing. The. Chickens.




I love her silhouette

RIP Bubbles. Just days after this was taken Bubbles the Beta Fish escaped out of this world.

Josh introducing his boys to The Lord of the Rings

My view for longer than I can remember.
But the project is complete and turned in.  Defense is on April 4th!

Sunsets that appear to be painted in the sky

Blueberry blossoms

Lazy spring afternoons
They are always so resourceful, ha!

If I could sum up the past 3 weeks in one photo

Monday, March 20, 2017

When Worship Isn't What It Ought To Be

"Do you get a better worship experience up there 
(pointing to the stage) or out here?"

This is the question a friend of mine asked me while I sat on the back row of "the space" at Journey church during a service with my kids, Zeke and Rainy.  I only play 2 times a month (sometimes 3) so the other weekends are spent on the back row sitting with my two oldest kids, where Josh can easily slip in and out between sets.  I didn't even hesitate when I answered him, but the question keeps circulating around in my mind.

"Its really the same" I replied,  
"I just get to worship with my instrument up there and out here I get to use my voice."

I wouldn't change my answer a bit, but I might have expounded on it if I had had the time.

The worship doesn't change depending on HOW I worship, or WHERE I worship.  The thing that DOES change worship is my heart.

Anybody can go through the motions of worship, even the people under the illuminating lights on the stage.  That is why Josh preaches to the team so earnestly about the importance of our own personal heart preparation before standing on the platform every week.

If we look back at the original plan God had set up for Israel's people, we see that he gave them tangible action, through sacrifices, to accompany a repentant heart.  But after years and years of performing these sacrifices, they became just that...a performance.  Their hearts were no longer engaged with their actions of worship. 

Isaiah 1 is a very sobering account of the LORD's reaction to this shift from the heart worship He longed to receive.

"The multitude of your sacrifices-
what are they to me? says the LORD...
Stop bringing meaningless offerings!...
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them."

Then, in Matthew 23, Jesus is found warning those who had fallen prey to DOING all the right things without changing the course of the heart in the process.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded,
you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are."
"You give a tenth of your spices...but neglected the more important matters of the law-
justice, mercy and faithfulness."
"You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed
and self-indulgence.  
Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean."

The worship experience can be the same on a bathroom floor where I lock myself in for a moment of peace with God (hypothetically speaking, of course;), under a tree out in a distant village with a small group (church) of people, in the woods far away, in the seat of an auditorium with thousands of other likeminded believers, sitting in the back row of a service with my kids or up on stage under the bright lights...but ONLY if the heart is in it.

A worship experience will only bring to it what you put into it.
God wants all of you.
And all of you begins in your heart.
The other "actions" of worship simply follow from that overflow.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Photos

Because I'm working on simplifying,

because I'm working on less voices in my life
in order to hear more clearly HIS voice,

because putting down my phone 
and picking up my REAL camera tends to slow me down,

I have been simply enjoying my life
through the lens of my camera.

I am so very far from being a "photographer"
(besides, I don't ever really want the pressure of that title anyway)
and I don't really know how to capture what is in my head 
during the editing process with my limited resources and lack of knowledge,

but I LOVE photos, and color, and capturing sweet moments of my life.
And so often I miss those moments,
or on the other hand, want to bottle them up to keep forever.

So I will probably be posting more photos for a while.

Not because I need affirmation as a photographer,
not because I'm trying to have award winning shots,
but simply to help me count the blessings,
even the everyday little things,
that so often go unnoticed.


Josh's Bible. The worn out pages. The words that have spoken to his heart.

Library day. Zeke and Jude reading so sweetly together on the hammock on a beautiful day.

Rainy and her beloved Daisy.  She bought her hamster with her own money.  She has brought so much joy to the Colony.

Jude busy at work on a project after watching the workers demo our bathroom.

Daddy's day off means undivided attention from the man who we all miss so much during the week.

My handsome Cai-bo with the most gorgeous hair!

Planting a garden together in the ghetto tire that is in our backyard, ha!

Jude and Cai worked together on this contraption.
The connected the hose to the bottom of this swimming noodle and it would shoot the marbles out.
Over.And.Over.Again.

I love pictures of splashing water. I don't know why.
Maybe it is action being held still that makes it so intriguing to me.



Chicken watching and book reading

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Another Transformation ~ of the bathtub variety

Our Master Bathroom has been out of commission for about 9 months in our home,
so all 7 of us have been sharing our guest hallway bathroom.
(Don't worry, I'll share this story as soon as our bathroom is DONE!!! It is looking AMAZING!)

I have tried to keep this bathroom clean but there have been certain elements that I simply have NEVER been able to make clean.

Check out these before and after pictures!

For example:
This silicone glue that has been stuck onto the tile since before we moved into this home.


So has this grout and mortar


Then there is this paint that I, ahem, I mean, SOMEBODY carelessly didn't see to clean up.


The bathtub has been full of splattered paint, caulk, and who knows what else, just STUCK to the bottom.  No matter how hard I scrubbed I just couldn't get it clean.


Until last night when I got out my Norwex cleaning paste, the Norwex Spirinett and then wiped it down with my Norwex Bathroom Scrub Mitt! I mean, I know I sell this stuff and I know it works, but I literally could NOT believe the difference!

We still have to strip the old caulk from around the tub and replace it, but man what a difference!