Friday, July 8, 2011

Sunset

When was the last time you watched the sunset? Oh, it's a beautiful sight!

A couple weeks ago there was a terrific sunset! While to the west it was beautiful, the real jewel lied in the east. Huge heaps of pink cotton candy clouds hung suspended in the sky. Delighted by the crisp outlines that gave the clouds true dimension, I couldn't remove my eyes. The enchantment only revealed more beauty. As I gazed at the lovely scene, I saw sparks fly through the clouds. As the lightning kicked her wild legs, I couldn't think of a better way to end the day. Breathtaking.

On the fourth of July, as the sun sunk to kiss the horizon, the fiery orb was as red as the stripes on our flag. The backlit clouds were gray, outlined in dazzling pink and golden hues. Straight above the sky was as blue as ever, to the east a majestic purple began to reveal a star or two, and to the west the blue melted into a yellow-orange. Magnificent.

I remember one that occurred this spring. It bathed the world in pink. My friend, Lizzy, and I dashed outside when we realized it. While neighboring houses blocked the view of the actual sun, the sky above us was beautiful. The clouds must have been made out of pure, solid (and yet soft at the same time) gold! The whole area was awash in a light blush. That sunset... phew... My one word for it is this: Delectable. Just as delectable as the hot, rose-bud tea we were drinking. :)

What a way to end the day. If you had a horrible day, week, month, year... sometimes all you have to do to forget is step outside at dusk, place yourself where you have a pretty clear view of the west, and wait. Just wait. The breathtaking views can only reflect the promise that tomorrow will bring. And as the moon slowly rises, you know that though the sorrow may last for the night, the joy will come in the morning. And to herald that joy, to let you know that it is coming, the sunset will sparkle. Sunrise, sunset. Constant. In this haywire world we inhabit, there is some things that will never change, at least not until the end of this earth. And when that end comes, as Christians, we have a new promise. Life everlasting. Eternity with our Lover. Our Creator. The one who paints the sunsets.

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth."
Psalm 19:1-6

School? What school?

Call me a geek, an infidel, a nerd, a homeschooler (which is accurate, but I'm not the stereotypical home educated gal.), or flat out crazy, but I am on the verge of being ready for school to start back up. I have been getting bored during the long days at home so what do I find myself doing? Designing inserts for my binders. Looking up the classes I'm taking next year at my co-op and plugging them into my phone. Thinking about what I will need. Putting together binders as I can. Wondering if the vocab will be tough, or the concepts difficult.

If you don't know, let me give you an image of how my school-for-homeschoolers works.

  1. We sign up for the classes we wish/need to take.
  2. We attend the classes. Each class is once, maybe twice a week.
  3. After hearing the lecture, taking the tests, doing the labs, whatever... we go home and do our homework for the week.
  4. Repeat 2 and 3.
I am so blessed to get to attend this place! None of us are pressured out of talking about God. In fact, it's not unusual to see people bring their guitar or ukulele to play worship music! It's certainly a little sanctuary! Starting to get a picture of why I can't wait for school to start?

As for the actual classes: The vast majority of the classes are taught by parents of the students or graduates. So they know how things work. And while the amount of homework typically reflects their high standards, they do realize that we have other classes to take. It's really not uncommon for the students to adopt their friends' parents (their teachers) as their own, which means we have decent relationships in and out of the classroom. :)

So, while I'm not exactly looking forward to the homework for certain classes...I am ready to get back into a rhythm again. To see my friends every day. ...I am really ready to have to know what day of the week it is. I'm starting to go crazy.

Plus, school starting means that we're getting close to winter! Yay! Even if the cold makes my fingers swell up, fall and winter are still my favorite seasons.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Bats of Congress Avenue

Well! I arrived home from Austin, TX, a few hours ago! The trip was pretty fun! I got to see family that I haven't seen in a while, I swam, had some delicious snow cones at Sno-Beach, babysat every family member who is younger than me (making for a grand total of 5: 2 toddlers, 2 tweens, 1 teen who helped me out) so my parents could attend a concert, and had the most delicious cake balls from Holy Cacao!


Another thing I did was see the Congress Avenue Bridge Bats!! What a sight!!! So many of the little creatures! They just kept pouring out of that single bridge! Some estimates say that there are over a million and a half bats underneath that bridge! What I want to know is... Who counted? They just kept coming...and coming...and coming! We stood there for a good 30 minutes and they came in a steady flow for the full time! I guess it would take some time for 1.5 million bats to escape the cave... But wow.

It was mind boggling.

To see so many of God's creations... For me it just reflects His almighty power. He spoke and these things came to life. He gave them the instinct to migrate to Austin and then back to Mexico. He tells them when to start hunting each day. By the looks of things, He told them where to go to eat, too! They all flew along the river in one direction! Apparently there was a lot of grub in that vicinity, because the entire lot of them flew there.

I'm so amazed. Even twenty-four hours later.

The bats were definitely the highlight of my trip!

My God is an awesome God indeed!
Isaiah 40:28
Revelation 4:11

Friday, July 1, 2011

He loves me...He loves me not...

He loves me...
He loves me not...

Do you ever find yourself saying this about God? When times are good, you're sure He loves you. But when times are rough... where do you think you stand? Oftentimes people think that God simply does not love them. When do you think this?

When a family member dies?
When your boyfriend dumps you?
When you are injured?
When someone close is injured?
When your heart is broken?
When your self-esteem is low?

God doesn't stop loving just because of our actions. He doesn't stop caring. Our God is a persistent God! "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." (John 3:16-17) Did you catch that? God did not send Jesus to condemn the world...but to rescue it. Not to kill, but to save. Trials may will come our way. And what can we do when those trials come our way?

We can:
A) Wallow in self pity, longing for the test to end.
B) Rejoice.

The Bible tells us to rejoice...yes, rejoice...in our struggles because those struggles test your faith which develops perseverance which must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, without need of anything. (James 1:2-4) It also states, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12) Notice that it says "when" not "if." God will help you through whatever storms you face.

Have you ever heard "Footprints"?
"One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow You, You'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed You most You would leave me." The Lord replied, "My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

It amazes me how true that is! Isn't it crazy amazing to think that whenever you are broken and beaten down that God is right there to be your crutch? God loves to help His children! If you were the only person...ever... Jesus still would have died to save you.

We don't have to play that silly guessing game because every petal declares:
He loves us.
He loves us.
He loves us.