This past week we stayed at a house on Flathead Lake with my parents and brother, sister-in-law, and niece. This was the view at sunrise, looking off of the back deck. Not bad at all! Pictures can't do justice to how beautiful it was, sunrise especially. I don't know what it is about sunrises in general, but they are just my favorite. I feel like I get the closest glimpse of God's greatness through watching the sun come up. And the sun coming up over the mountains and it's rays settling on the lake was just amazing.
This, is the biggest, most grown up swing I've ever seen in my life! I thought for sure the little ones wouldn't be able to play on it, but they loved it! In fact, it took the cake for the week, as far as Addison was concerned. She figured out through trial and error how exactly she could make this thing work for her, and once she found a way she didn't stop all week! She got more and more brave, scaring me a couple of times with how far up the hill she would climb to get more 'air'.
We even got Lily on the swing once:)
There was lots of cousin time...
and grandparent time! Papa read books and Grammy played 'matching cards' (there was no matching going on whatsoever) with the hundreds upon hundreds of playing cards these girls discovered.
I took this picture because I wanted a picture to make me look cooler than I really am. I did go mountain biking for the first time, but I was not awesome like my brother. He was patient with me though, and even pretended that he needed to walk his bike down some steep hills with me so I wouldn't feel so lame. I'm on to him though. It was a blast and reminded me of my past athleticism that lies dormant at the moment. Perhaps some motivation...:)
Addison, thoroughly enjoying her first ever cup of hot chocolate. Her sweater enjoyed it too.
Only the hat was staged. The rest of this just happened...she was shirtless from spaghetti (because as everyone knows, the only way to eat spaghetti as a two-year-old is shirtless), and I found her struggling into my dad's cowboy boots. We added the hat for extra fun, but she wasn't too fond of that!
It was a lovely week, although I wouldn't call the first half (before hubby got to come join us) relaxing per say (I was welcomed into the life of a single mom of a toddler + a baby who's into EVERYTHING for a few days) Lily was up for almost the entire night the first night, and up waaaay before the crack of dawn the next few mornings. It was rough, but here's the positive side to that...
I'm always wishing I could get up like an hour before everyone else in the house. Something about it being dark still and totally quiet, and getting to watch it slowly get light, actually watching a new day begin; This, this is when I am focused and my mind is clear, free of the responsibilities that are to come that day, free of stresses and worries, free of excitement whether good or bad. Just a clean slate before my mind starts whirling with life as it does once the day begins. Early early in the morning is my best 'God time'. Prayers are focused. And it's in this state of mind that I can open my Bible and it's ALIVE. I know it's always alive, but sometimes it doesn't seem like it, ya know? With Lily waking up at five something in the morning for a bottle, there were a few times where she went right back to sleep after drinking it, and I decided to sneak upstairs and grab my coffee and pumpkin muffin, then sneak back to curl up in bed with my Bible. I also finally started a John Piper book that's been sitting next to my bed untouched for years. His writing intimidates me honestly. And I can't read him at night because it's too deep and puts me straight to sleep. But I got brave and cracked it open, and Chapter One was something I pondered all week. It's the highlighted section above, and so much more.
About making much of God and little of me. It's not about me. It's ALL about Him.
So that's what I've been thinking about...how do I live life day to day, minute to minute, doing the mundane or the fabulous, at home or out and about, how do I make much of Him while doing everything else? And my mind went to where it often does...I can't make much of Him because I mess up too much! I'm impatient sometimes. I lose my cool too often. I pass judgement on others, even if only for a fleeting second. I am flawed. Then the Lord showed me and as always, a weight that always seems to slowly creep back on my back dropped right off. He showed me that I can make much of Him by praying for Him to work THROUGH my imperfections. Not by being more perfect. But by allowing Him to use those flaws to bring glory to Him. I'm still thinking about this.
Last but not least, my favorite picture of a sunrise, and, this is crazy. I didn't get to read that morning, but as I was feeding Lily, I prayed for God to give me just one verse, and as the sun peaked over the mountain, I opened my Bible to a random spot and went to the top of the page, and here's the what the verse was:
"The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters."