Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you. - John Owen

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's the Cows :)

I like cows.  Actually, I really, really like cows. I wonder what God thought when He created them...amazing to think He knew I'd be taking pictures of them this afternoon.  They are truly beautiful animals.  :)  Aren't they also very adorable!?!
They were quite curious! :) 
Elijah got his permit just recently, so was able to get in some driving time today. 
This is my photo for the God's World Photography February contest. All y'all are more than welcome to enter!  You can find entry details here.
Have a blessed week, y'all!  :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

A dear friend of mine emailed me these sweet and encouraging verses as I was going through the process of mentally preparing for our move to Iowa.  They blessed me tremendously and reminded me that HE is in control and I am not.  His plans are far higher and more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine.  He has always been faithful and provided for me;  He always will.  He is so good!

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.
- William Cowper

Monday, February 11, 2013

2012 Favorites {Friends and Family}

Maybe I should have done this early on in January, but here I am doing it now. 

2012 was truly one of the best, sweetest, most memorable years of my life.  My family relationships were strengthened, we reunited with my Grandpa, I was blessed to make several trips to visit dear, dear friends, I got a new camera in early Spring of 2012, Elijah and Jeremiah both got taller than me (two down, two to go!), many of my friendships grew dramatically, and I learned to love people, my life here, and my gracious Lord more than ever.  I realize more every day how much I have to be grateful for.  My parents love the Lord so much, and they love me unconditionally; my brothers are the "bestest" (!!!) and my closest friends;  I have friends who love the Lord devotedly and serve Him; and I cannot believe that the Lord sees fit to bless me so abundantly every day.  What a glorious God we serve!

I also said goodbye to so many dear friends this year, not knowing when I would see them again.  Goodbyes always break me, Mama and I both, and we cry for days afterward.  "There are no goodbyes in heaven."  Oh, that has been such a precious encouragement to me! 
We said goodbye to Miss Dawn in May.  I miss her so much and love her dearly.  She is one of the sweetest ladies I know, and I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with her. 
We said goodbye to the Renfros after our delightful trip to Mount Vernon and D.C. with them.  That was so hard! 
I said goodbye to my dear friend and mentor, Miss Kerry Corbett during the summer of 2012.  She has been such a sweet encouragement and role model to me in my walk with the Lord, and life in general.
We said goodbye to the Nobles in October, when Mama so sweetly surprised me with a trip there for my birthday. I miss Brookie more than ever! 
We said goodbye to Daniel after his hunting trip here.  That visit was so, so blessed, and we are all looking forward to next time!
We said goodbye to the Nobles after they stayed with us for a short (and completely unexpected!) visit after Christmas.  I cried again then. 
It is truly a JOY and blessing to have friends, godly, Christ honoring friends, who are loved and missed so much.

So, yes, it has been a big year, a beautiful year, and one that I will always, always remember. 

And now to end my ramblings and get to the pictures...most of these pictures have sweet memories attached.  Some are merely because I like the photography aspect of them, but so many more are priceless for the memories that they have captured.  Please feel more than free to comment on or critique my work.  I could always use improvement!  :)

I had 150 pictures and narrowed it down to 67.  I just couldn't delete any more with a clear conscience!  :)

Please tell me we've all grown up a little bit since then! 
They are such a lovely couple! 
My guys - I love them!!!

Miss Dawn.  She is such a sweet friend and a beautiful person. I love her so much!
Me with my best friend. 
At Mount Vernon with the Renfros.  So many sweet memories there! 
Enjoying the gorgeous view of the Potomac. 
Lovely Jenna.  I miss her so much!
Ice cream...oh, yum!
At Arlington Cemetery.
Bri and Jenna with the delicious meal they prepared.
I hit nothing but dirt...
...Elijah, however, is an excellent marksman! 
Eagerly expecting little blessing #5...
...and he arrived July 4th!  Chase Matthew Phillipps.
My dear, sweet mentor and friend.  She is a beautiful person both inside and out.  She loves the Lord and strives to serve Him with a passion like few people I know. I miss her so very much! 
Smiley face.  :) 
Amanda.  So lovely and so photogenic! 
 I will miss her now that we have moved to Iowa.  :(
Cute little cowboy! 
Loveeee this photo! 
Mr. Blue Eyes 
"Big Red" (Elijah) and "Little Red" (Christian)
Elijah officially passed up both Mama and I in height this year.  I still try to stretch and reach as high as he does, but, unfortunately, it is of no use.  :( 
This picture makes me smile. :) 
Dear, sweet Brookie.  I realize more and more what a lovely, godly friend I have in her.
Aren't they good lookin'!?!
In the window of an old barn.  Is there anyone else out there who just loves the musty smell of an old barn? 
Amanda with her new puppy, Royal. 
I couldn't resist adding this picture, just because it's so stinkin' cute! 
One of my favorite B&W portraits from last year. 
One of my all-time favorite shots from last year. 
We are so grateful for God's kind provision this past hunting season.  Seven deer in one season is pretty amazing!
Jeremiah with his little buck on the last day of the season.
Oh dear!  I still laugh when I see this picture!  :)