Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Forgiveness and Tiny Arrows

I've been thinking about something...

Everyone has opinions.  Everyone has different perspectives and ideas based on their experiences and world views.  When you develop your own opinions, or decide to put your faith in something, there will always be someone out there to contradict you, or even potentially discourage you.

I ran into this a little bit while I was pregnant with Courage and planning my home birth.  I set a standard of faith and expectancy for myself and set out to build myself in faith by focusing on promising testimonies and positive reading that encouraged me in my goal.  Now, I know most people have good intentions when they share their opinions (or "cautions"), which are usually based on their own experiences or observations.  And even though I knew not to let someone else's unbelief cloud my vision and standard, it still served as a tiny arrow in my heart that I still cannot seem to shake.  Perhaps I need to just forgive this "tiny" offense that has left a rather heavy mark, most unexpectedly.  Maybe in truly consciously forgiving this or that person, it will unpluck this tiny arrow that I didn't expect to affect me so much.

I like to think I can be that super strong warrior that lets all offenses roll off her back, because I know who I am and Who's I am...and because I know the Truth.  But of course I am faced with challenges, and challenging people, that help sharpen me in basically raising in me the questions, "Do you really believe that?" and "What really is the Truth?"  It's not that I am driven to doubt what I believe, but rather driven to see how deep my faith regarding a particular matter really goes, and if it isn't really rooted, how to become rooted.  You know...to go deeper.

So I guess I can choose to become thankful for the ones who, well unbeknownst to them, ironically help build my faith in something I believe that they don't necessarily believe themselves.  But part of me wants to just ask them "Why?" ... "Why did you have to say that?" ... "Why did you try to discourage me from believing in something that I know in my heart of hearts IS God's will?"
But, then again, it doesn't really matter why, because their reasoning is just coming from their own opinion, perspective, world view...and experience.  And people want to validate their experiences...too often by compromising the standard of Jesus.  And the HOPE that Jesus brought.
And I vow to never lower that standard, no matter what my experience.  His standard, His Word far outweighs and is far more superior than my shortcomings or experiences, whether faith-filled or not.

Let us all go from glory to glory, and seek the standard of Heaven... because everything else is just...well, not worth settling for.

Blessings and Love.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Little Prince!

I am SO IN LOVE with this crocheted Prince Charming crown!!!
I stumbled upon --> THIS <-- blog and found how easy it is to crochet this crown.  So with the help of my aunt in California, we made Courage a handsome Prince Charming crown!  I can't wait to make more in different colors and sizes!

These green booties and rainbow blanket were crocheted and knitted by my fabulous aunt!

Love! <3

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our Favorite Waterfall

One of the things I miss the most about Redding is being able to "escape" to a waterfall, lake, river, mountain, or some other secluded nature place.  If ever I needed a refresher, I could hop in the car and make the 5 mile drive to beautiful Whiskeytown Lake and beyond and venture out into the beauty of God's creation, away from "civilization."  Often I would jump on my bike and ride around the peaceful river trail where sometimes I would come across a deer and have a sweet encounter with her.  I LOVED these precious times with God and to myself!

The bummer about Fargo is that there is nowhere to escape like this.  I've tried.  I've tried driving away from civilization...and ended up in farmland.  And honestly, I just want my waterfall.  Or my bridge by my river...not someone's open farm.  There aren't even any trees!

So here's a snapshot into our recent journey to our favorite waterfall, this time with Courage!

Photos by my sister, Hillary Dodson

Monday, January 9, 2012

Meeting Great Grandma

My grandmother is like the matriarch of our family.  She is so precious and strong and wonderful.  
We got to take some family photos this Christmas, which we rarely get to do.  She is so beautiful holding Courage with her kids and grandkids surrounding her.  I love these photos...

4 generation photo

My mom and her mom

My family

Uncle Kev, that picture he is holding is of him holding me when i was a baby
Uncle Greg
My grandma sporting the scarf I made her
Courage holding Jared's finger

(Photos taken by Hillary Dodson)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Merry Christmas

Here is a snapshot of my Merry Christmas with my fam in California...
(photos taken by my sister Hillary Dodson)

My brother Jared with Courage

The first of his many Christmas outfits...

My dad with Courage on Christmas morning


My beautiful mom with Courage

My favorite