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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Of Squirrels, Graduations, Dear Friends, and Sweet Memories

This is the chorus from one of my favorite worship songs EVER. I have so much to be grateful for!

"Bless the Lord oh my soul,
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before,
Oh my soul
I worship Your holy name."

And this is a hymn that has blessed me tremendously in recent months:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”

My grandpa has been clearing off our wooded property for the past month or so.  Just last week, he cut down a tree and four baby red squirrels came tumbling out.  He had Elijah and Jeremiah grab them and take them to the house, while mama ran to the pet store and bought some milk formula and a cage.  What cute little bundles of adorableness and sharp (really sharp!) claws.  Love those little guys!  We still can't agree on names for them... :)

Psalm 51:10-13
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You."

What a good, glorious, and gracious God we serve!  He has placed so many wonderful people in my life.  Mama and I had the sweet opportunity to visit some of our dearest friends, the Nobles, for Brookie's high school graduation.  I'm so proud of you, Brookie, and so grateful for you! 

I can not express how blessed and refreshed I was by the time we spent together.  We had so many sweet and encouraging conversations, lots and lots of laughter, I met several new friends while we were there, and we made new and beautiful memories.  I will always treasure this time.

Thank you, Noble family, for your sweet hospitality, your encouragement, your love for Jesus and for us, preparing amazing meals, for making me laugh until I nearly cried, and for always, always helping to create incredible, lasting memories.  Y'all are so special to me and I am grateful for each one of you.  Brookie, your friendship is a priceless  treasure, and I am so privileged to call you my sister.   I love all y'all.  :)

I recently purchased a new lens for my camera (!!!!!), an AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8.  I am LOVING it!  I can get great close-up shots as well as beautiful portraits with a shallow depth of field.
Chopping green onions for stuffed mushrooms. Yummy! I used the new lens and my camera's self timer for this one. 
Christian, holding one of the squirrels.
Feeding time!
What an adorable little guy!
Mama and I had a fun date last week and stopped by some antique shops.  My eyes were glued to this teacup when I first saw it and Mama very sweetly bought it for me.  Holland!  It makes me think of the pilgrims, John Howland (who we are actually descended from!) and God's amazing providence through generations.
We went to a nearby nature preserve after dinner on a cool Spring evening and had a lovely time enjoying each other's company and God's beautiful creation.
The guys climbed a huge stump and found this hollow log.  I think Jonnie could have made a home in there!  :)
On Thursday last week, Mama and I drove to Missouri and arrived safely at the Noble's home.  It was so, so good to see them again!  We had a delightful walk through their woods, and played Frisbee until it was too dark to see.  The moon rose in the sky looking like a ball of fire.  It was absolutely incredible!  I wish I could have captured its beauty.  This photo does not even come close.
Oh my!  She's so gorgeous! 
I got to meet Anna, one of the Noble's cousins. She is such a sweet young lady and I look forward to getting to know her better.
Shame on whoever typed this up!  :)  They misspelled her name - oh dear!  :)
She's got her diploma!  Congratulations, sweet Brookie! 
Mmmm!  Look at all of that good food!  :)
A delicious mocha, made by Brookie. 
Coffee, blueberry muffins, and homemade granola for breakfast...perfection!  :) 
Jonathan, playing with his remote-controlled truck. :)
These photos were taken on Sunday afternoon, and I think that this time was definitely one of my favorite memories from the trip.  Wesley, thank you for the great photos of Brookie and me.
The weather was perfect, and the lighting was just gorgeous!
Of the photos I took, this is by far my favorite from the whole trip.
 We got to wear our "joyful" outfits!  Brookie gave me the idea when she bought the yellow top and called it her "joyful shirt".  I found my "joyful skirt" at a thrift store last fall, so, of course, we had to get a picture!  :) Yellow is such a bright, happy color!
Wesley found a tadpole.  :)
Group shot!  Love and miss y'all so much.  May the Lord bless and keep you.  Can't wait until next time!