What's in a Name?

Ecstasy (n)- 2. Excessive joy; rapture; a degree of delight that arrests the whole mind; joy may rise to ecstasy. (Websters 1828 Dictionary)
Doldrums (n)- A sate of inactivity or stagnation.(Dictionary.com)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Movin' Along

Since this blog is telling me that I've exceeded my limit in photos, I've created a new blog here:
The Littlest Things
God bless you all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I don't know about you, but I have issues..... 

But seriously, all joking aside, there are many areas of life where I really struggle. One of these areas is time management or prioritizing. I'll have such great plans for a day and in one mere moment, my little brain takes and ADD side trail and all is lost! It has to do with procrastination, which has to do with laziness, which has to do with lack of self-control, which has to do with selfishness. Ahh.... the roots of things.

Anyway, this being said, I've decided to take a more formal sabbatical from blogging. It may have been obvious to you that I haven't been blogging much lately, so why bother to take a "sabbatical?" It just seems more organized and zipped up, I suppose. So, for the remainder of 2012, you should not expect to see any blog posts by moi. It is likely that I may have more to say by 2013 or that I may pursue a course of time management where I'm able to write and post photos.

However, I have a page attached to this blog that I will be updating weekly. It's a photo each day for the year 2012- a Project 365. I am certainly no pro-photographer, but I like taking pictures and I wanted to combine a year's worth of photos with an artistic outlet- both capturing what the year looked like as well as seeking to memorialize it in it's beauty. So, if you're interested in keeping up with that, just check out my page- it's at the top left under "Home."

May the Lord bless and prosper you!

PS- you should really check out the updates to Lori's blog, though. Go to http://tylosmith.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Check it out!!

I have a lovely new friend. She has gorgeous curly brown hair, an infectious smile, a cute voice and a love for Africa. It's been great getting to know her over the past year and especially over the beginning of the summer. Now, she's in Africa on an extended missions trip. If you ever meet her, you'll have to have her tell you her whole story, but suffice to say she has had a love for and desire to travel to Africa since she was a little girl. Now on her second trip there, she's started a blog. We're reading it together as a family so that we can be updated and know how specifically to pray for her. We are also very encouraged by it and motivated to pray more for this Continent and it's beautiful people. I'd strongly encourage you to check it out: http://myadventurez.blogspot.com/?spref=fb

Talking with my mom about God's callings on our lives got me thinking. It is so incredible how He has created each one of us for the same main purpose: to glorify Himself, but also with distinct giftings and desires that enable us to glorify Him in many different ways! With Elsie, He placed Africa on her heart at a young age and she's sharing His love with the people there. Who knows how God will continue to mold and shape this love and how He will direct her life in its regard.

It's the same with each of us. How is the Lord using your gifts and desires to bring Him glory and share the gospel of Christ with those around you? We aren't all called to foreign lands. Most of us will use our gifts, large or small, to reach those nearest to us and in seemingly little ways. But to God time spent with a lonely person, floors scrubbed to bless your mother, a story read to a rambunctious kiddo and kind words spoken to encourage your brother or father or sister are of as much pleasure to Him as feeding hungry children in foreign lands. Start using your gifts with your family members and neighbors and those you encounter weekly and let the Lord direct how HE would have you use them. You never know what great things the Lord will do with simple, willing hands.

And He said to him, "Well done good and faithful servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities!"
~ Luke 19:17

** Photo above taken by Elsie, from her blog.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Musings: Moderation to Excess

I don't know who said it, but it seems to be true: "What one generation does in moderation, the next does in excess." I was pondering this thought tonight, having spent most of my day at the largest Mall in our state. We are so excessive in almost every facet of life!

Take our clothing, for one. One hundred years ago a woman would have a few dresses for daily use and one good one for Sunday. When these would wear out, she would make more for herself. I look at my closet and I've got several sets of every kind of clothing you can think of and yet, I'm still saying, "Oh, I need more shirts." We have an abundance of cloths and oodles of stores to choose from which to buy them.

Take our food. One hundred years ago, they had the basic necessities and would eat their meat, vegetable and potato/bread for dinner. Now go to a grocery store. You have endless choices in cuisine and you can get it already made and pop it in the oven or purchase each individual ingredient and make it from scratch. If we have the same type of meal more than once a week we complain (unless, of course it's our favorite). We could, if we so desired, have a different meal each day for 365 days!

Take our activities. Many people start their day at 6am and don't stop until they hit the sack at 10pm, going from aerobics to daycare to work to the grocery store to Bible study to home for dinner or even out to dinner, perhaps dropping several offspring at individual activities between then! Phew! We have opportunity to get places more quickly and therefore end up filling our days with the multiple options we have in entertainment and past times. One hundred years ago it was work, eat with family, sleep and do it all again the next day with an occasional ball thrown in every once and awhile.

Think about the internet, entertainment, hobbies, material possessions, job options, travel, not to mention addictions and we see my generation- Generation ME- taking everything to the max. What's it all for?

This may seem like a negative approach. Trust me, I'm an avid optimist. But it's worthwhile to stand back and think about all of this every once and awhile. I'm not a minimalist and in no way do I think we should give up all of our possessions, spend all of our time eating rice and beans while clothed in one of our three outfits just sitting around at home. But I do think it's important to examine our motives and our life. After all, the Word does say, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt 6:21; Luke12:34)

So my questions for you to muse on today are: What observations have you made in your own life of excess? Which of these things are distracting your heart from your true heavenly treasure?

I'd enjoy hearing others' observations about excess that I haven't covered in our culture.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Good Ole Summertime Part 1

 Summer always goes by so quickly! Here we are, mid-July already. Here's just a few of the adventures we've had thus far!
 Sea Dogs with the family
 Tash with an EXTREMELY fashionable hat! (she looks great in anything, though! Even plaid pants and shirts! ; ))
 Gabe falling asleep at the dinner table.
 Ti the cowboy.
 Marshall sporting his new shoes and his "fish" he...shot for dinner?
 Titus- always the great middle brother!
 Mmmm....More strawberries in the tummy than in the flat- as usual!
 Grampa Chick?? 

 Ethan coralling Ginny
 "Look Bryce. I got a helmet. It's for safety!"
 Fun old Port trip with Jess.

 Lookin' good- even with whipped cream on her face! : D
 Auntie Hannah and Gabah
 Nabby-girl. She's taking steps now!!
 Yes...that's bird poo...and she wears it proudly.
 Fishing Bananagirl? I thought we were playing disc golf?

 Sweet Emmy
 Dapper Dude wearing a chapeau AND ice cream!

Looking forward to a great summer, whether it be filled with more adventures outside or in our home! God is so good. I'm hoping to post some more thoughtful things soon, when I get some time. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pilgrim's Rest 2012 Part 2

 Look at all of those arrows and blessings!!
 Gabe-ah! His first year at camp. And he's one happy camper! ; )
 Caleb and Sarah playing with the little ones. One of the best parts of family camp is seeing people of all ages enjoying one another as they interact with each other. Such a precious thing!
 During the fishing derby, Pat was the only one to catch anything! Later on in the day, though, Lance caught a bunch more. Too bad it was too late!
 It was hard not to laugh during the sessions as Ti was our entertainment! Above, he's doing a sword drill with his Bible and below, he's trying on Nanny's glasses. What a ham!

 Beautiful Dunn's!
 Tony's perfect marshmallow toasting! He should charge!
 The girls had a lot of fun with this wagon this year! They started by hauling water and other small things and ended by hauling people- Dad and Tony among them!
 That's homeschoolers for you! ; )
 We ate dinner outside with Lance, Hannah and Abbey while some went fishing! Ethan caught a couple of big ones!
 Below, two caring uncles look after their niece and nephews.
Thus says the Lord, "Stand in the ways and see and ask for the old paths, where the good way is and walk in it, then you will find rest for your souls."
But they said, "We will not walk in it."
~ Jeremiah 6:16

What a refreshing, edifying and strengthening week family camp was this year. The Lord used something that could have been chaotic to draw us closer to himself and closer to each other. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our brothers and sisters from Massachusetts better this year and also growing closer to our church family. God is good!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pilgrim's Rest 2012 Part 1

Our lovely Pilgrim's Rest family camp started out this year a bit wet. When we woke up Sunday morning, we looked out our cabin window to see that the little foot bridge between us and the Dennys' cabin had been washed out!
There were 9 amazing baptisms held on Sunday afternoon. It is such a pleasure to be able to see people commit to following Christ with all that they are. It was really neat to be able to spend the rest of the week with the majority of those who were baptized, because you could see the changes the Lord was working in them!
On Monday morning, I went to the window and had a vivid image of Noah's ark!
The waters went right up under our cabin- very rarely happens. See the tall bushes behind the trees? Well, that's were the water normally comes when the waters are high!!
Our meeting tent was submerged in water- so much for having meetings there. We ended up going to the church, which was actually a blessing in many ways.
The Dennys, Andersons/LeClercs, Knights and Mini-Dennys had to evacuate their cabins as there was water a foot above the first floor.
It was so unifiying to see everyone working together to get the things out of the cabins. Some would take row-boats and haul things back and forth, while others would load or unload from either end. Rhonda is the woman- if you look closely, you can see her rowing a grill! : )
Marshall attempts to break into the dum-dums. "It's not workin' Tasha!" he proclaims after much toil!
Amanda B taught Pip how to chew grass like the best and boldest of farmers!!
Relay races! Crab-walk- I think Caleb won this one!
Joshua, aka "Grampa," and Marshall.
Melanie gracefully making her way to the finish line during the jellybean relay!
Anna is an old pro at it!
This race entailed holding the balloon between two heads and crossing the finish line. Not as easy as it looks!
I had a little mini-date with Nabby. : )
Sweet Isabelle and her mommy, Aime!
Gabe's future buddy, David. What a smiley guy he was!

I'll be back with the conclusion soon!

The living, the living man, he shall praise You as I do this day;
The father shall make known Your truth to the children.
~ Isaiah 38:19