Sibling Time

One of the biggest blessings in life is family, and I’ve been blessed to have three awesome sisters! I really can’t imagine life without them. Yes, of course we fight sometimes, but we always get over it and often are having a great time together again soon afterwards! When I think to myself that I should spend more time with a sibling I tend to try to think of somewhere we could go together, or something big like that. But really the small things can be just as good and just as fun!

Last night we were playing around with Betz’s new curling wand. It wasn’t at all a formal “sibling time” that we had set aside to do something together, but we had so much fun, and there was lots of laughter! These are always my favorite times, and often bring the best memories! 10847822_1389398681354425_8002304375864059025_n

Something we like to do occasionally in the spring and summer is to have impromptu picnics in the yard. Its fun to pack your lunch up in a basket together, even if you are only carrying it out the front door!

I was once doing a project with some friends called “30 Miles in 30 Days”, where the goal was to walk a mile everyday for a month. Most days I was able to grab a sister to go along with me. It was nice to just spend that 20 minutes or so with them with no distractions.

Cooking or baking projects can also be a great time to spend time together! Emily and I were trying out a new recipe, along with turning the whole project into a photoshoot — it made for a very fun, silly time together! :)

What’s your favorite way to spend time with siblings? Do you schedule time in regularly to do something together, or do you prefer the spur of the moment opportunities?

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A Sense of Wonder

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This aquariam tunnel was so cool to walk through and see all sorts of different sharks and creatures. It was so fun to hear the kids oohing and aahing at what we saw! :)

The magical sense of wonder that children have is one my favorite things about them. The littlest things can make them so excited, and a new experience may be talked about for weeks. I feel that as we get older, we lose this and start to see things as mundane. We lose our sense of wonder over the little things, and I really think that when you lose this excitement of life its all too easy to get bored with life in general, and wish for something else. (and discontentment is essentially unthankfulness, and all this leads to being unhappy, etc…)

One of the worst areas of life to lose your sense of wonder is spiritually. Sometimes I think back to when I first got saved and how the Bible became so much more alive. I felt like it was a completely new book to me, and I was always filled with wonder and excitement when I read it. It’s all too easy to drift away from that, but thankfully the Lord is never the one that leaves us. It is us who start to slip back, but we are promised that if we “ Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8)! So that doesn’t have to be a thing of the past, it can be like that all the time!

Or how about at church? Do you sit in rapt attention, waiting to hear what the Lord has for you in the sermon, like a child hearing from their favorite story book? Or is your mind wandering to think about the latest movie you watched, what you’ll have for dinner, your plans for the week, ect?

The words to the song “The Wonder of It All” say it all so well:

There’s the wonder of sunset at evening,
The wonder as sunrise I see;
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is the wonder that God loves me.

Refrain
O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.
O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.

Verse 2
There’s the wonder of springtime and harvest,
The sky, the stars, the sun;
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is a wonder that’s only begun.
— George Beverly Shea

Don’t ever let yourself lose that childlike sense of wonder!

Scared to Move Foward?

In the past I’ve had lots of business ideas. Most of them were photography ideas that probably would’ve been quite profitable if I would actually have taken them off the ground. So you may wonder what stopped me. I think it was doubt that I’d succeed. (though nothing would’ve happened if I had failed except I would hopefully learn from the experience!) I guess you could say it was just fear of the unknown — stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new!

With those ideas it doesn’t really matter that I never accomplished any of those short-lived ideas. Who knows where they might have taken me, but life has gone a different path. However, it got me to thinking about how when there is something we know the Lord wants us to do and we don’t do it for the same reasons. Fear of failure, having to go out of our comfort zone, doubt that we’re good enough, ect. But with the Lord we don’t have to worry about those things! If He calls you to do something then He’s going to help you succeed. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” — Phillipians 4:13.

Think back to Matthew 14 when the Lord bid Peter to come to him. Peter stepped right out of the boat and started walking on the water! (“…for with God all things are possible” – Mark 10:27) When was it that he started sinking? When he took his eyes off the Lord and looked at his surroundings. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:” – 2 Corinthians 5:7) But did the Lord just let him sink? Of course not! In verse 31 we read,  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”  The same still applies today — the Lord isn’t going to let you sink if you are taking a step of faith to do something He asked you to do!

What is the Lord asking you to do? “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”  – Isaiah 6:8

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” — Psalms 28:7

Lessons from children // forgiveness

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Forgive and forget!

As someone who spends a lot of time with children, I often think about how the children do whatever I do. It becomes very important to watch my tone of voice, and things I say to them, because they’ll pick up on it and soon they’ll sound just like me. Gotta be a good example to those little ones!!

But have you ever thought about how often little are a good example for the adults to follow? Take the area of forgiveness for example. A young child may be really mad at his sibling or friend for a little while but in few minutes they have both forgotten about the fight and are playing happily together again. But in contrast, how often do teens or adults hold grudges against someone that has wronged them? They may go days, or even weeks without speaking to each other!

When you don’t forgive people this is not only harming your relationship with that person, but also your relationship with your Heavenly Father! In Matthew 6:15 it says, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  And in Psalm 66:18 we read, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”. The good news though is in Numbers 14:18, “The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression…”  I am so thankful for the longsuffering of the Lord! We also see in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  If there is someone you’re upset with, or someone who has wronged you, let that go. Forgive them, just as the Lord has forgiven you!

Let’s learn from the children and forgive quickly and whole-heartedly like they do!

“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” — Psalm 32:5

Thanksgiving 2014

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. It’s been a wonderful day filled with family, food, laughter, sleep. :) Oh, and thankfulness, haha! We made a “thankful tree” this year to hang on the wall. It was a simple project, but so fun because it involved all of us girls working together. Lots of laughing while we worked. It definitely wasn’t a perfect tree, with the trunk being bright orange and the leaves constantly falling off of the wall, but it was a special project. The leaves had anything on them from “time with my sisters” to “sunshine”, with “caribou coffee”, “godly parents”, “Salvation”, and “whirled peas” thrown in between.

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I know we are supposed to be thankful for everything everyday, but I really love having a day set out each year to focus on being thankful because I feel like its a good time to refocus on what is important. One of the biggest blessings in my life is my wonderful family. Having parents that love the Lord and are raising us up in church and with the Bible is not something to take for granted. Also having parents that love each other and their children as much as mine do is amazing. And each of my sisters is so special in their own way as well, I couldn’t imagine having a better family!

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“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

1 Chronicles 16:34