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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Encourage and Strengthen

I recently saw something that helped me to see another aspect as to why we are put in situations even if they are not of our doings, but of others. This is for me to help me to remember to encourage and strengthen those around me.

Romans 15

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Philippians 2: 1-11
1  So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Colossians 2:1-5

Monday, June 26, 2017

Pain, Suffering and Loss

Our church is going through the book of Job and this past Sunday was very poignant for me personally. We are still in the first parts of the book, but we got to chapter 3 where Job laments his birth and the first round of "advice/ wisdom" given by Job's friends. The pastor and praise team both read Psalm 88 which is also a lament. I have to admit that when he asked if we had ever lamented our birth (and he stated that most of us probably haven't but that was because we might never had been in a place like Job was in at the time) I had to admit that personally I have had a couple of those moments. Sometimes the painfulness of a situation is so overwhelming that you rue the day that you entered this world. We look at the pain, sorrow and suffering we are experiencing and wish we had been taken before we were ever a part of this world. Then on top of this Job's friends all look at the things that have happened to him and tell him it is because his sins must have been great indeed! There was no way that God would allow so much pain, loss and suffering if he was righteous in God's sight. Job knows this is not true and counters their "wisdom" to him. Quite honestly when things happen it is easy to think that this is happening to me because of my own faults. If that pain, loss and suffering affects ME so much it must be some thing of my own doing. How can you believe someone who is part of the cause when they say that this is their sin and has nothing to do with you and you are in no way contributing to the situation, but are an innocent bystander...collateral damage. When a relationship is so affected how can it be the problem of only one person? We think about cause and effect. If I was better would that not mean that this effect would not have been possible? How can one NOT be related to the other? We specifically believe our own wrongs must have lead to this if we have had such "wisdom" share with us by others. If you were good enough..., if you were really wanted than..., if you were truly needed..., yes, that has been said and more. Job questions and pleads his case to God. He knows that God is the true wisdom and that his hope is still in the Lord. I pray that I will also continue to question. That He will provide the true wisdom for me and that I will continue to hold on to Him as my only true hope and my true wisdom.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Seasons of Change

So many things have been happening in our household it is hard to keep up with it all. Little Bear started Kindergarten this fall. Butch started his senior year of high school. We also just recently made the decision to move. This was not our typical move around town. No, this was a big move that takes us far, far away from our family and friends. Sadly this move also took us away for the two eldest boys. We are now living in the state of Vermont. Thankfully we have found a wonderful church here and we are meeting lots of great people there. Being homesick is never fun, but sometimes change will be good. I am praying that despite missing family that our move will prove to be beneficial to our family!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Snow Days

We did have a few snow days this year. It was late Jan before we had the first one. Here are a few shots:

Jan 20,2016

Jan 20,2016

Jan 20,2016

Feb 12, 2016

Saturday, April 02, 2016

After Thanksgiving Day Hike

So we did an after Thanksgiving day hike on Saturday with the Grands. We went on the Old Sugarlands Trail up to the Stone House and then we ate lunch by the stream.

Thanksgiving Hike

So we did Thanksgiving a little differently in 2015. We decided to gather on Friday for our Francis Thanksgiving meal. So that meant no pre-Thanksgiving soup night and our after Thanksgiving hike was on Saturday. Since we were not gathering on Thanksgiving day we decided to go hiking as a family (turns out the Grands went hiking, too). Joe to us to the Devils Racetrack. Unfortunately we did not have the backpack carrier for Fox and this was not as easy of a hike as we were lead to believe, but it was still a good time. So first I will share our Thanksgiving day hike.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Zoo field trip

So in October 2015 we went on a field trip for Otter's school. It was a trip to the Chattanooga Zoo. I first have to say that despite the small size of the zoo it is a cramp-packed and well-maintained zoo! I was very impressed! 

We got to meet one of Otter's new teachers, Mrs Bible

Bear, Grandmama, Fox and Otter

Fox looking at the jaguars

Otter was so excited to see one of her favorite animals (Fennec Fox)

Snakes and frogs together

Grandmama took Otter and Bear to the petting area

A little snack

A first camel ride for Otter and Bear

Fox decided he wanted to ride, too, so he 
and I also had our first camel ride

Waynesville Trip Part 2

I have been remiss in posting the flora, fauna and fungus from our Waynesville trip. So without further ado here they are:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Family in Waynesville, NC

Our family recently took a trip to Wanyesville, NC. It was the whole family! Joe's parents, siblings and their families and our "young" family. Our older two boys had college/school and a football game so they could not join us.

We all stayed in this large house together and we shared the cooking. The kids all loved spending time together, too. We went hiking at Cataloochee two days.

The first day we were on the Rough Fork Trail to the Woody house. The little ones enjoyed seeing and exploring around the house.

When we came back to the parking area the group saw and heard the elk! We also saw lots of turkeys.  I will share some floral, fauna and fungi pictures in a later post.

We stopped at a two-room school house (Beech Grove School) where Aunt Em gave a little class for the family. We had planned to stop at Palmer Chapel to have a little service, but there were signs asking to stay out of the fields because of the elk. Instead we went down to a little area where there was a creek the kids could play in. The second hiking trip was the Flat Creek Trail.

There were several creek crossings and it was a little longer than the first hike. Uncle Wesley got some of the boys to go hide and jump out to "shoot people" along part of the way. His oldest son was determined that he could hike all by himself and did not need to be carried.

Luckily he let us carry him so he could "fly" over creek crossings. Little C kind of started lagging behind and at one point Grandmomma and I stopped with her so she could rest.

After we finished the hike we went to Mile High Overlook to eat some food.

Then we all headed back home. It was an enjoyable trip and the kids were exhausted when we got home!