November 20, 2010

cloudy days

I've been going through photos I took during my trip
to Texas last month - and frankly,
there are just a few that have absolutely nothing to do
with anything that I might post about right now.

But they are burning a hole in my hard drive.

So I figured I might as well just share them...

I'm assuming that you all have figured out by now that
cold weather isn't exactly my cup of tea.

Actually, I don't care for it - even a little bit.
I dread it; a lot.

So, on a particularly cold and dreary November day
like this one...
I've cheered myself with these sunny photos.

And they got me thinking.

I can't tell you how many friends, (um, and family too....)
have made a bizarre statement to me lately.
Each living in an insanely unfair amount of gorgeous
never-ending sunshine...
has come to the conclusion, that after so many
days upon cloudless days,
they actually look forward to some rain every now and then.

How crazy is that?

But as a human, I know it's true.
If it's always sunny, we don't appreciate it -
(kind of like if it always rains - we don't appreciate it...)

Sometimes we just need those dark days,
to remind us how incredible sunshine truly is.

It's true for the rest of life too.
If it weren't for those awful bad days,
life would be as flat as a Midwestern corn field.
I need those valley days to appreciate the peaks.

And I might even need Winter
to rejoice when Spring comes again.

So, I'm learning to be thankful for life's cloudy days.
Sorrows in life only serve to make us deeper,
and our joys sweeter.
They make us stop and count our blessings.
They keep our hearts tender toward a hurting world.

Yes, God in His Wisdom made things that way.

Am I thankful for the Cold aspect?
Eh; still working on that.

November 18, 2010

pure religion

No, I'm not adopted, nor is anyone in my family,
we've never adopted - and no, we're not about to (bummer.)
But, adoption is a subject that God has laid heavy on my heart since -
well, for as long as I can remember -
and my memory can go a ways back...

There's always been an ache in me when I hear about
orphans - anywhere.
I think we all could say that, right?

But it's just getting stronger, deeper;
I'd be there to get them in five seconds if I could.
I haven't been able to forget about them anymore.
I just know orphans are a piece of my future; somehow.

But that's not exactly the topic of this post,
which is a little more urgent, pressing.

I'm keeping up-to-date with the story of a little girl named
a little girl who has waited in a crib for four years for a
family, and who finally has one coming.
They are fighting to get there as soon as possible to bring
Julia and her soon-to-be brother, Sergey, home.

But there's a problem.

I've been reading about this everywhere - and it's driving
me crazy to the point that I have to write something.
Their home country - Ukraine - is currently in the process
of passing legislation that would stop international adoptions.
It has already passed once, and only needs to pass again
when they vote on it sometime this month.

And just like that,
Julia, and Sergey, and many, many, other children who
are currently in process will be stuck there.
They might never get to their families.
Just like that.

This has already happened in so many countries,
Guatemala, Liberia, and others.
All we can do is pray, and I guess that's what I'm asking.
Pray that God would change the hearts of Ukranian officials,
and that those children will be able to come home.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

All images are of children I met during my Jan. 2010 journey to the Dominican Republic - you can read about the impact the Dominican children made on me in an old post of mine:

November 15, 2010

life in dog years

I just knew he was dead.
It was way back on the day they were putting the drywall up
in the new house,
the whole loud and busy crew was working away at it.

I happened to see a crumpled black heap in the corner of my room,
Buster, taking a peaceful nap - amidst the chaos.
I couldn't believe that he had the audacity to come in the house,
he never had before.

I laughed at him and said his name.
No sleepy wag, no raise of the ears, nothing.
I said it again; and then a third time -loud- ;


He was too quiet, too peaceful.
My heart shinnied up my throat.
Panicked, I ran to him and threw my arms around his neck,
already telling him I was sorry, for anything, everything.

With that, his sleepy brown eyes opened, and his tail thumped.
He smiled, and yawned, and blinked - his eyes laughed,
if he really were an eighty-five year old man, he would have
probably slapped his knee; he seemed to think it was all a good joke.

The rest of the family gathered around, equally relieved;
they said things to him, but he never looked their way.

It dawned on us;
Buster was not hearing a word we said.

He's deaf.

The white whiskers, the increasing feebleness,
there have been plenty of reminders that our Buster-boy
is getting old.

He may be deaf, and he may have lost most of his bark,
but he's still the same old Buster on the inside.
He still gets that puppy-like spark when Autumn rolls around;
he's obviously decided it's his favorite season.
You can see it in his eyes.

And, he still has a dreadful habit of trying to give
me a big slobbery impromptu kiss anytime I get too close.
Usually mid shutter click...
Like I've said before - photo shoots with Buster
are somewhat of a fiasco. Uncooperative is a good word.



He's getting to be pretty old... Just turned 13 to be exact; lots has changed - but we love him just as much as we ever did. He's so loyal, so faithful, so incredibly loving and forgiving. We would wish for many more years with Buster, but treasure every single day we get.

November 12, 2010

November redemption

After complaining so much about November,
and labeling it as my second least favorite month,
I've been pleasantly surprised by temps in the 70's...

Yay for cheerful, sunny, photographer-friendly days,
and a November that's redeeming itself.

Happy belated birthday to my Favorite cat...
(who will always be my favorite, 'cause that's his name...)
I can't believe that old guy's 10 now.

Would you believe this poor thing still doesn't have a name?
Probably kind on my end - since the last two were dubbed
Big Mac and Big Buford...
He said he'd rather not have a name.

And there's Huck, just for being such a ham.

Woolly... Yep, that's his name.
It probably is a little bit too cutsie for him now -
but he was cutsie once upon a time.
He's the reggae ram now...with some serious dreadlocks.

That's how many sheep we had on Monday,
and I doubt that's even all of them.

Twelve of them went to the sale yesterday,
we just had to downsize.
- And since I'm the one that knows who's who -
I was the official sentencer,
the one who decides who goes and who stays.
I really hate that job.

I know who they are, who their moms are, their names -
because I was the first one to touch them when they hit
the ground, the one who dried them off,
the one that helped them stand.
Parting with some isn't ever easy; but then again -
neither is having 30 sheep...

So, I'll hurry up and post this, before the cold and rain
returns tomorrow,
and I'm back to not liking November quite so much...

November 8, 2010

Back to the mayhem

Almost as if I needed cheering up in the midst of
November's rude arrival -
we had a visit from the sun today,
and a couple heart-warming newcomers.

It won't be long into this post that you start wondering
if I missed photographing sheep...
Well; maybe a little.

Bear with me...

My little once-upon-a-time teeny-tiny bottle lamb,
and dear sheep friend, Galey, surprised us again.

Typically, November is a little less than an ideal month
to be having lambs...

But Galey couldn't have picked a more gorgeous day.

Galey prepares to introduce the flock to its newest members.

And now, for the little munchkins themselves...

They look like little fuzzy mugs of cocoa...with marshmallows on top.

At least I thought so...

I suppose that's enough over-exposed photos of sheep for now.

Welcome back to the mayhem.

November 4, 2010

Back Home again...

For those who are wondering...
I made it home safe and sound yesterday afternoon.

It's a bit of a temperature drop; true -
I guess it is November; isn't it...
but it's so, so, very good to be back home again.
I brought home a long list of all the incredible places I got to visit,
all of the new friends I was blessed to meet,
and so many wonderful memories and lots of encouragement
from the weeks spent with such a dear friend.
I'm still overwhelmed at her and her family's generosity;
what a blessing this trip has been!

Better update coming soon.