Monday, August 29, 2016

Strength for the Moment

Alright, so on Saturday the 13'th, I woke up exhausted. Not an exciting start to my story, I know, but its true. I was tired and I had hurt my foot the day before. Yeah, that's not exciting either, but it made it so I couldn't wear the shoes I wanted to, which had heals. That may not sound important, but remember that, its more relevant then you would think.

So, my family went and volunteered at our local food pantry, like we do every Saturday. It was kind of frustrating, because it took us much longer to clean up then it usually does, so instead of getting out at 11:00 like we were supposed to, we got out at 11:30 and we had to stop by the store as well, making us get home even later.

I was very happy when we finally started driving up the road leading to our driveway. But off to our left there is a large field, and a hill with a house on top and we saw smoke coming from the direction of the house. We were in a burn ban, but we thought maybe our neighbors were burning illegally.

Now we live the country, you can only see the house from a couple spots, so it would have been easy to get away with burning without being caught. We were originally just going to go home and call the Sheriff, but there was enough smoke we decided to check it out.

We drove up and saw that nearly half and acre of land was on fire, clearly not contained. So my mom went and got the attention of the people in the house, and the rest of us went down and started dumping sand on the fire as quickly as we could.

My sister called the fire department, and my brother and some friends came over from our house to help. It quickly became evident that it was spreading much faster then we could fight it.

The charred grass.

But it was going towards the house, so we all focused our efforts there. The owner showed us where the spickets were, so we could finally get water, and wet down blankets to put on the flame.

By God's grace He let us get the fire so it was no longer burning towards the house, but then it was getting close to a row of hay bales.

Just in case you don't know, when a hay bale catches on fire, it is bad. The fire spreads in seconds, and is very bad.

This almost seemed to be a mocking part of the fire. It was burnt so badly you couldn't turn it off, and it was pouring out water, but we couldn't really use it because it was away from the flames. It was ironic to see so much water pouring out when we needed it in another place. But I know God had a reason for that.

While we were fighting the fire there, it had been nearly thirty minutes since we got there. It may not sound like long, but when you are running around it is a long time. I was filling buckets for them to take the flame and I thought I was going to drop down.

I had read so many books where people are stretched to their limits, and they pray and they suddenly have no pain and have tons of strength. While that might happen, I think God normally chooses to work in a way that keeps us coming back to him. I prayed, over and over, and I still felt like I was going to drop. My prayers quickly became "God please just let me do this one bucket" and "God please just help me to carry this over where it needs to go."
And he always gave me just enough strength to do it, reminding me much of this passage:

2 Corinthians 12: 8-9

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me

The Firemen got there just in time to save the whole line of trees from catching on fire.

Thirty minutes after we arrived the fire department came. Sirens have never sounded so beautiful in my whole life. 
We all had to get out of the way so that the three volunteer fire departments could do their job, so I got some photos. Then things started hitting me even more clearly. 

The fire did not burn the house, the hay bales, a row of storage sheds, or the line of trees. 
No one was hurt while fighting the flames. 
We all were given strength to persevere through the whole fire. 
Three all volunteer fire departments from three different counties came to help. 
God is amazing. 

Their dog, walking though the charred ground.

And guys, if I hadn't hurt my foot, I would have been in heels. If I had been in heels, I couldn't have fought the fire because you cannot run over sanding territories with heals. 
If we hadn't taken longer at the food pantry, there wouldn't have been enough smoke for us to notice and we would have gone home and that whole place might have burned down. 
If God hadn't given us grace for the moment, we would not have been able to push through until the fire department got there. 

A small blessing at the end of the fight when we found this dragonfly sitting on the ground.

God worked everything out so perfectly and I am so incredibly blessed to be able to be His child. 

And this is the verse took on a whole new meaning because none of us got any burns.
I was wearing sandals and walking through still burning embers, and it didn't burn me, or the shoes.

Isaiah 43:2
When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Never underestimate the grace and strength God will give you in the moment.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Its Not Okay

I can't tell how many times I've heard the phrase "Its okay." People say it all the time. But most of the time, its not okay at all.

We use it when talking about what we've done wrong "I broke a rule, but its okay." No, no its not.

We use it trying to get people to stop talking to us.

We use it try and make people think we're okay "I'm hurting, but its okay" No, no your not.

So why can't we just be honest? I'm guilty of this so much. Because its easier to say your okay then to actually be vulnerable and tell what's really happening. Its easier to think "I'm alive, that makes me okay." Then be honest with yourself and say "I'm hurting," or "I did something wrong," or "I just need some time to process this, so I don't want to talk about it."

But I think it sounds harder to tell someone the truth then it really is. Most people can handle the truth it, and will understand.

Try it. Be honest with people. Don't just say "Its okay." You don't have to go into every detail, because sometimes things should be just between you and God. But when your honest with people, it prompts them to be honest with you, building a deeper, stronger, and heathier relationship.

Try it. Please.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I'm lost in my own world

Sorry guys, I kind of got lost. Don't worry, its a happy type lost. Over the last couple of years I have been working on writing three different book series and now I'm getting towards the end of all three. But in order for me to write the ending I really want, I feel like I have to get lost in my book. That means my sister putting up with random pictures of characters pinned up around our room. And I'm listening to music they would listen to, and a lot of times when I'm doing ordinary stuff thinking "now what would my character do here?" All of which contributes to this crazy thing I call writing.
Lets not dwell to long on the fact that I haven't done any writing this month. I have no valid excuse. Lets just say me and my characters are having a adamant discussion on how my next story should start.
Overall, I kind of like being lost, its fun. What about you?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Destination: Dallas Texas

Okay, so I am still trying to catch my breath after this last month. My brain is still stuck in July. I’m behind on telling y’all a lot that happened. My highlight post gave you a pretty good idea, but I wanted to give you an in-depth about our trip to Dallas at the beginning of the month.

This was what I started my morning with:

One of our main reasons for going was to visit our grandparents. And as we drove up my brother and I watched Inside Out. 

This picture just makes me marvel at the fact that they had Joy be sad. 

Moving on. We went and spent the whole day at our grandparents house, then went to the house we rented for the weekend.

Photobomb provided by Sarah. ;)

The house had wifi so I had a lot of fun listening to music online and writing.  

Sunset at the house.

The next day we got up and met my aunt for lunch, then we went to the Biblical Art Museum. You weren’t allowed to take photos of anything except two pieces of art, but they happened to be the two I loved most. But unfortunately I missed uploading the photos of the other one, so you just get photos of this one.

This was the most amazing piece of art I have ever seen. When your standing in front of it, its even more incredible, belive me. David was the most moving part of it for me, though there are a lot of figures in the painting. If you ever go to Dallas Texas, you should check it out!  

Then we rode the trolley and saw some cool stuff. 

The next day we went to the Fort Worth Gardens, they are amazing. Now for a nice flood of photos, because I love it there!

I'm have a lot more flower photos to show y'all, but since they can't all fit in this post, they'll just have to wait for another time.

What have you been up to?

(A comment was accidentally deleted from this post without seeing who posted it. I'm really sorry. So if you commented earlier and don't see it up, please re-post your comment! Again, I am SUPER sorry!)

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Light You Have Inside

I've been curious lately on the passages that mention light in them, (Yes, I know, odd hobby) and I found this one I really liked.

Luke: 33-36

“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Last Three Weeks of My Life

Okay, so I feel like I've been a little unfair to y'all these past three weeks. I haven't really posted much about whats been going on in my life. So, I decided to give you highlights of the last three weeks in photos with small explanations. 

Hopefully this should be fun!

(Just so you know, these are not in order.)

My family stopping on the way home just so I could get photos of a rainbow.

Going on vacation and seeing the Fort Worth Gardens again.
(More on that later)

Seeing a beautiful painting on vacation.

Picking apples. 

Going on a long walk with my sister.

Putting a new shelf in my room because my books were overflowing. 

The books I choose to put on it.

My new cork board.

Redoing my bulletin board. 

The overview.

Having a mini can of crescent rolls for dinner one night. 

My mom stopping on the way to town just so I could hop out and get these flowers.

Taking a selfie with my sister, Rebekkah, because she is THE COOLEST PERSON EVER!!!

Listening to new music.

Buying three new CD's.

A look at what I'm listening to and reading. Also the photography challenge I'm doing, and my dream jar.

And most recently, helping put out a brush fire and thanking God continually that no one was hurt, and the house was saved!
(More on that later)

So there is a look at what you missed in the past three weeks of my life. It was crazy, and awesome, and scary sometimes, but I'm sitting here thanking God for all he's allowed me to be a part of. 

Whats been going on with you?