Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy to be Published

If you enjoy photography at all, there is a fun little site called Capture Arkansas that anyone who resides in AR, amateur or professional, can be a part of.  You can vote for photos, submit photos, or simply look at all the fun images.  Capture Arkansas put together a nice book this year, including about 200 photos from the 186,934 that were submitted!  I was totally shocked and honored to have 5 photos make the book. I have been published, whoo hoo!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Remembering 2013

Every year I swear I am shutting this baby down.  And then every year I remember why I force myself to continue:  I must remember.  The small things and the big things point to God's faithfulness.  I know if I didn't write it down, I would forget and if I become forgetful, I would stray far from His heart, I am sure of it.  Here are a few of my favorite posts/ways of knowing God during the past year.

1. Cure for the Heavy Laden

2. God of Angel Armies

3.  The Stone

4.  Is God Really Enough?

5.  Psalm 23

6.  For Thou Art With Me

7.  Rod and Staff

8.  Steadfast and Mature

9.  Treasuring the Memories

10.  Darkness is as Light

11.  Baby Asher Day!

12.  Saying Goodbye to Home

13.  On Raising Young Men

14.  Looking Up

15.  His Face

Christmas Scenes

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.  Love and prayers for a beautiful and blessed 2014!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Silent Years

I have been thinking this season mostly about one thing:  the silent years.  400 years of silence that threatened to strip their souls bare.  No prophets. No indwelling Holy Spirit. God simply didn't speak.  Such Terrifying Silence.

Don't miss it...400 years.

Has He forgotten us?

His grace must have run out.

We have really done it now.

Where is He?

I simply can't see Him.

Can He even be found anymore?

I thought we were His people.

Is He going to leave us to ourselves forever?

His love has limits.


There is always a remnant that continues in belief.  But, what did that faith look like in those years? I see the advent candles quake in uncertainty and I remember "a smoldering wick he will not snuff out."  Even the smallest amount of faith in those quiet days must have pleased Him so.  Perhaps it still does.

There were still those among the remnant that looked in expectation for Him.  They knew one thing that would serve us well today:  Just because God is silent does not mean that He isn't true to His promises or that He is inactive. 

Simeon and Anna were ready. There hearts were prepared to receive the Messiah.  They were basing this hope on promises that had been made hundreds of years ago.  Hundreds of years ago.  They refused to believe that just because God couldn't be seen didn't mean that He couldn't break upon the scene any time He wanted.

Who would have thought that it would have looked like a wrinkled and vernix coated newborn hungry for milk and the warmth of his mother's arms?

He comes how He pleases.  But don't miss it.  He is coming.  He is coming right into your ache.  He is coming right into your unfulfilled promises.

It has been a year of silence for me.  God has not revealed Himself in profound ways.  It has been heart wrenching.  I have fought to stay out of thinking that would make me doubt His love towards me.

His grace must have run out.

Where is He?

I simply can't see Him.

One year of silence can't even compare to that of 400.  I wonder how they held on.  Such grace showered on that remnant, for them to hold on for 400 years, desperate to simply behold Him.

Gift of gifts in manger laid.  Hope of men no more delayed. {from Hallelujah!  What a Savior.}

And all the sudden, everything was different.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

His Face

I think of Him, the One who rescues and saves. I wonder what He looked like while walking on this earth as mere human and all-God, some strange miraculous concoction of Creator and created.  I think He must have been the most beautiful human, but I know I am biased; Isaiah proves me otherwise. What do you think Jesus looked like while on earth? 

Here is probably how I viewed him as a child
Here is how Eric sees him

Now that I am a mother, I probably see him like this

 Cade sees him as "Kili" in the Hobbit movie

When she was 8, prodigy painter Akiane saw him like this
 then she later painted him to look like this
But chances are, he might resemble this picture more than the rest...being Jewish and all. Have you ever thought of Jesus in this light?
I pray every year for something fresh to stand out at Christmas time.  This year, God wanted me to have a vision of Jesus walking on this earth before He took on my sin.  Perhaps he wasn't as attractive as we make him out to be.  Isaiah says he had no beauty in him that we should desire him.  But, I  know that once he took on my sin, he became an ugly creature. My sin made him that way.  It is humbling, that I marred him so. 

These facial progressions are from the movie "The Passion."  I thought it was so interesting to see the makeup that portrayed the progressional beating of Jesus.  But, I don't think that they even got it one hundred percent correct.  Isaiah tells us in 52:14 that "his face was so disfigured that he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man." 

I can't quite get over it.

My sin did this.

This is the baby that came for all the world.  He loves deeply and infinitely and completely.  Rest in that love.  See Him fresh.  He came to make you beautiful.  Breathe deeply and inhale Him.