January 31, 2011

dance in the rain.

The day after a good rain is my favorite.  The smell left behind, the crisp clean air, the way you can still feel the moisture...I just love it!  This evening I convinced the boys to take a walk in the hills around our house to practice with my camera.  Today was a beautiful day-after-rain-day, and I wanted to be outside and feel it in my bones.  Pax had a great time.  He was definitely too distracted to be interested in taking any pictures!  So today I tried to capture the little things instead, the moments, rather than a smile into the camera.  I love my boys <3

Dad showing him how to brush his hands off
after he fell.

We LOVE those big, gross, open mouth kisses!

I think this one is my favorite...

Dad understands that Pax will need pictures of him and Mama too, 
so he stepped behind the camera for a few minutes too...

OK, I will admit it - before I use any picture of myself, I usually do a 
little retouching.  Smoother skin, fewer under eye circles, overall more 
youthful look.  Ridiculous, I know.

There was a dog barking off in the distance and it was all
he wanted to think about this whole time.  He's saying "da" 
over and over and over....

I snapped a few pictures of the freshly watered beauty along the trail too...

I am thankful today for California in the winter...

I wish I could record the sound of the frogs in this creek.  It 
sounds like there must be hundreds of them, but we look 
and look and can never actually see any.

Prior to our spontaneous trail walk, today was a rough day.  No one warned me those dreaded "terrible twos" would start WAY before two.  I think Pax has the curse of his parents - fierce independence.  He does not want help with anything.  He gets very angry when any assistance is offered.  We don't watch alot of tv in our house, and the only show Pax likes is Yo Gabba Gabba.  He asks to watch it often, and we usually allow one or two a day.  Today he saw the tv remote, and when I said no, he promptly screamed at the top of his lungs about five times in a row and began throwing a fit.  Tonight I told Mike I know the reason our evenings are so much more pleasant than our mornings and afternoons.  In the morning, I am ready for another day, I've got my firm discipline face on, and Pax is not getting away with anything.  This means constant fits, screaming, yelling, throwing, etc.  As the day progressing, poor Mama is so tired of saying no, she ignores the things she'd been saying no to earlier in the day, such as grabbing the remote, stealing a cell phone, eating dog food.  She pretends she doesn't see them, and that results in less of the aforementioned screaming, yelling, throwing, etc.   I know this is not the best idea, but poor Mama is so tired of it all by mid-afternoon she can barely help it.  This is going to be a long couple of years.  

Since today's post was about rain, sort of, I'll leave you with a favorite quote of mine.  "Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."  I only have to repeat this to myself, and instead of focusing on the bad things in life and hoping they'll be over soon (such as those fits!), it refocuses my thoughts to the good things that definitely outweigh the bad.  If we are always waiting for the storms to pass, we'll wait ourselves right into old age.  Dancing in the rain is so much more fun. If the storms of trouble are brewing in your life today, make sure you remember to dance in the rain.

January 23, 2011

jehovah jireh.

Francis Chan

Mike and I have always done really well financially.  When we first got married, we both worked at Costco, lived in an apartment and had relatively few expenses.  After one year, I started nursing school, which is a two year program.  The first year, I went to school Monday through Friday and worked at Costco on the weekends.  It was really difficult, and I remember being incredibly overwhelmed.  I remember one night I was making dinner and I accidentally spilled rice all over the floor.  My plate was so full (so to speak) that I just couldn't handle this minor everyday occurrence and I started screaming about the spilled rice.  Not any words...just screaming.  Luckily I have an understanding hubby who knew how stressed I was and was able to overlook my seemingly crazy behavior.  My second year of school was even more intense, so I had to quit working weekends.  We had about $10,000 saved, and we knew we'd be living off Mike's salary and this savings for the next year, until I got hired as a nurse.  I'm not sure how I had this all planned, since I made much more than that at Costco, but for some reason I thought it would work.  So school started and we went along, transferring money over as needed and living normally.  We purposed that we would continue to tithe 10%, no matter how tight the money ran.  I know 10% is the "Old Testament" mandate, and not the necessity of those who live in freedom, but it's still what we felt comfortable with.  This is where the miracle begins...I transferred money over from that savings account constantly, anytime we needed it to pay bills and such.  And....the balance never went down!  For one year the balance hovered right around $10,000.  We would occasionally put money in the account from Mike's bonus or a gift, but for the most part we used it, not paid into it.  And IT DID NOT DEPLETE!  Around April, right before I was set to graduate, the balance started going down, and it literally ran out days before I got hired at Loma Linda in June!  So essentially we used $10,000 in two months.  I absolutely know this was a miracle that God provided for us.

Fast forward two years to last summer, and I've been on disability, Mike's still working at Costco, and he's also been compensated for his work at 777.  I am told to watch this video above. Powerful, someone says.  We should have that faith, someone says.  After watching it, I almost got scared.  It was like I had a premonition or something.  I told God, "That's a nice thought, but I am NOT READY to pray that prayer of Proverbs 30.  NOT READY, UNDERSTAND?"   Within a few months, 777 ended and so did Mike's income (from 777 - he still works for Costco), and my disability ran out and continually has to be renewed, which means I go without pay for awhile while the powers that be figure out how much they will still pay me.  Not that I have any desire to go back to work, but I don't even have that option until the doctor releases me!  So our savings has been depleted,  and we are living...paycheck to paycheck (dun dun dun).  I have never known this feeling in my adult life.  Never looked in my accounts and not seen enough.  God said to me, "You ARE ready to pray that prayer, I will make you ready.  I will show you what it looks like to rely on me and have me provide."

I recently put together the story about Jacob and Isaac for our Sunday school kids.  God told Jacob to sacrifice his only son. As Jacob and  Isaac arrived at the mountaintop, Isaac asked about a lamb.  Jacob replied "God himself will provide."   He trusted.  It's as if he said to himself, "My God is a God who sees my needs, so I'm not worried about it."  Just as he's raising the knife to plunge into his only son's heart (the Bible is exciting, I don't care what people say!), God stops him and provides a ram.  Jacob called that place Jehovah Jireh, which means the Lord will provide.  Genesis 22:14 says, "And to this day it is said, 'On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided.'  The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time and said, 'I swear by Myself,' declares the Lord, 'that because you have done this and not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make all your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.'"  God is not asking me to sacrifice anything as big as he was asking Jacob (thank God, I don't even want to think about that), but He is asking me to trust that He will provide, the same as He asked that of Jacob.  He's asking me to fall back on the miracles I have seen Him perform before, and know he is fully capable of performing them again.  I didn't ask for this lesson, but He chose to give it anyway.  So rather than fight it and doubt and worry, I am choosing to believe in Jehovah Jireh - MY God will provide.  Be careful if you watch that video above - God likes to deepen our faith and challenge us to trust in Him alone.

"My grace is sufficient for you, Becca, my strength is made perfect in your weakness." <3 Jehova Jireh

January 21, 2011


Ever since Pax was born, I've been taking monthly notes about his current progress, what he's doing, what's too cute, etc.  I've also stored all of his pictures by month.  My plan was to make a one year photo book at one of the various sites available for this.  I've made several photo books before from vacations we've been on.   So I set out to make this one year book about a week ago, (he's 15 months, so I'm not too behind!), but I discovered that these books weren't right for what I wanted to do.  The pre-made layout didn't give me enough freedom to write what I wanted and use as the amount of pictures I wanted.  Sooo...I decided to make my own using photoshop.  I LOVE photoshop and editing!  Everything I know is self-taught, and I am finally going to take a class on photoshop starting in a couple weeks!  I'm really excited to see how much more I can do with formal teaching.  But I am happy with the progress of my book so far.  I just finished month one, and it's eleven pages =O  If this keeps up, it will be one expensive book!  But luckily I just have a ton of pictures for month one, and not every month is like that.  As I am making the book, I am getting so nostalgic (for last year lol), and I am missing those warm, cuddly moments of a newborn that I don't think I appreciated as much at the time.  I was too tired and sleep deprived and post-partum-ish that I don't know if I really savored that first month.  There were just so many things I didn't know - I didn't know he'd only be small for a couple weeks, I didn't know he'd stop that adorable sucking in his sleep, I didn't know he wouldn't want to sleep with me forever...as a first time mama, I just didn't know. I can't imagine not loving every moment of this kid's life though, so maybe I did savor it and it's just lost in the confusion of the crazy first month.