Something That We Do

Love is something that we do!


Retreating In The Mountains

A couple weekends ago, we hightailed it over to Yosemite for a church-family retreat.  We left our troubles safely locked up in our homes, knowing they would be waiting for us upon our return.  This weekend was a get-a-way.  Troubles and stress were not invited on our trip.

Since I knew this weekend wouldn't be dirt free, I packed a bag I could carry that could easily be thrown into the wash.  When I took it out and laid it on the floor, Belle saw her opportunity.  And I saw a photo-op.  ;)

She cracks me up. She just hopped in there as if to say, "So where are we going?" In reality though, she could care less where we were going. As long as she gets to go, too. I snapped her photo and then laid her (within the bag) on the bed, next to my other bag that I was filling with clothes for the weekend. I stepped out to grab some towels out of the dryer, and when I came back into our room, this is what I found.
She upgraded. 
Apparently, she wanted a more roomier, and girlier ride for the weekend. I understand, little Belle, I understand. We made our trek over to Yosemite (yet again, haha! maybe I should rename the blog to "something about yosemite."  just kidding :)) and I think the ups and downs of the hills made Belle a little resentful toward the car. She started breathing heavily and I just KNEW she would lose her supper any moment! Thankfully, she made it to the camp with her supper still in her belly. We arrived and set up our bed for the night, inside the cabin with our friends. As you can see, Belle was happy to see our bedding.  She quickly rooted around and found her spot for the night.
The theme for the weekend was "Face Your Giants." We participated in classes revolving around the idea of over-coming your hurdles, and "leaving it on the field."
If you haven't had a chance, go read my thoughts on "leaving it on the field." facegiants 
We brought Austin's best buddy with us on this trip, which I truly believe, made the retreat about 1,000 times better for Austin.  He had a friend that he could explore and roam the hills with.  They had real "guy time".... no Playstations, no Wiis, no computers.  Just two young men out to explore the wilderness.  And his friend is such a great kid- we sometimes forget he is even around!  He's very well mannered and soft spoken.
We all hiked up to a creek in the hills of Yosemite. The water was ICE cold.... well maybe not ice cold, since then it would be actual ice, but you know what I mean! DSCN0792 
The kids really got into gold-searching. Hey, we are in California, you know...the golden state.. And there were sparkly flakes all throughout the creek.
 DSCN0811 creek3 creek2 creek 
I'm not sure why Belle looked sad in this picture, she was quite happy to be out in the woods. Even if one of our friends did have to pull a tick off her nose while I held her down. Small price to pay.

 Saturday night, my husband let out the card shark within himself. I was going to post some pictures of the card playing group- but I'm pretty sure the people in them would ask me to remove them from the blog.... in every shot, someone is making a dramatic and horrible face. The shots were all candid, so it was bound to happen at some point. 

So our weekend was spend truly retreating in the mountains. 

No work, just relaxation, connecting more with friends, and studying God's word.


Leave it on the field.

What does the saying, "Leave it on the field." mean to you?

[Let me start out by saying that this post is not about anyone in particular.  Unless your name is mentioned, don't assume it's about you!]

To me, "Leave it on the field" means leave your issue where it God's hands. I'm not saying you shouldn't talk to your trusted friend or family member about your issue (they can pray for and with you, and how valuable are prayers!), but don't bring the issue where it won't do any good. If it's not productive to talk about it, just leave it.  Unfortunately, that's easier said than done.

I do think that for females, it's harder to hand over your burden to God.  I think we are wired differently than males, and will want to hold on to our issue so that we can fix it ourselves.  But we can't.  Justin, a friend of ours back in Florida, once gave the illustration how he thinks women treat their problems like a fluffy bunny in a basket.  They show off their bunny (problem) to their friends and family, and their husband.  They want their loved ones to see their bunny and pet it.  Then when someone comes up with a solution to their problem, they take their bunny and hover over it, protecting it as if to say, "No, it's mine... you can't fix it.  I want to keep it!"  How right is he?!  Us women tend to want to talk about a problem until we are blue in the face and get utterly sick of it.  We hold on to our issues.  What an unhealthy habit! 

Now, I admit, for the longest time, I didn't understand why people would say to give God your burdens. I would think, "But I love and respect my God, why would I want to give him anything bad?? I don't want Him to have to carry my burden! He has enough to worry about!"  A few years ago, I finally understood what it meant.  Nothing is too big for God. Recently, I read an analogy to this very situation. I think it really helps bring the issue home.

 *I am so sorry, I can't remember where I read this analogy... I know it was on another blog, so if you happen to see it, please let me know so I can credit the source. This analogy is not my own.*
A father and a little girl are talking about an issue that she is struggling with. He can't give her all of her answers simply because of her age and lack of knowledge and understanding. She just isn't ready to hear, even though she desperately wants to understand. She even thinks that she is ready, but the father knows that she is not.

For him, the answers are clear and logical. As clear and logical as the answers may be, He still knows that his little girl can't possibly understand the answers at her age and in her position.

So, he compares the issue to a heavy suitcase. First, he asks her to pick it up. She manages to hoist it off the ground, but just barely. The father knows that his little girl can't lift this suitcase, but with his strong arms, he can lift it with gentle ease. "It's too heavy, daddy." she says. Her dad says, "That's right. It's too heavy for you to carry right now. Let me carry it for you. I hate to see you struggling to carry something that is simply too heavy; please, allow me." Matthew 11:28-30 tells us, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
I think we, as humans, often struggle just handing an issue over to God. It's hard to do! We want to make the issue better ourselves; we want the answers right now; we want to see how everything turns out.  But when I look at Matthew 6:25-27, I see that God didn't forget to feed the birds. He didn't forget to put seeds and worms out for them, why would he forget about me and my issue?

So. What should we do? I say- follow the instructions given to us in Philippians 4:6-7. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

And that, my friends, is one of the hardest things to do.


What a "Lousey" week this has been.

What a whirlwind of a week this has been.

I've been still fighting migraines, which most of you probably know.  I visit a chiropractor very frequently in order to adjust the alignment of my neck, which has been out of whack for quite some time.  So when I let my hair down on the his table earlier this week, and I saw the strange look on his face, I knew right then that I had to explain why I smelled horrid, like pesticide. 

Let's back up to Tuesday night when Austin came downstairs after his shower.  "I think I have lice."

Fun fact #1: Did you know that the singular for "lice" is "louse?"  (I felt the need to explain so you would for sure understand the pun in the title of this post.  But I guess if you have to explain it, it isn't that funny.  I digress....)

The boy has been known to come up with some crazy thoughts before, as all kids do, but this is not something I would mess around with.  "Carl, you have to check him.  I can't get near it.  They will get me."  I have extremely vivid memories of getting lice as a child.  My mom would sit on the blanket outside with me for hours on end, combing my hair strand by strand, just to get rid of those little bugs.  My hair was down to my waist, so this was no easy task.  But she did it.

"Yep, he has it." Carl declared.  I cautiously leaned over his shoulder, also checking but making sure to remain at a distance.

In my pajamas already, I kicked the blankets off of me and hopped off of the couch.  "I'm going to the drug store."

"Well we can wait till the morning...." Carl started.

Remembering my childhood days with lice, "No, we can't." I corrected him.  [Now is a good time to tell you that I didn't CONSTANTLY have lice as a child, it was only a two- or three time ordeal.  But those two or three times really made an impression on me.]

Carl and I got dressed in semi-presentable clothing and took off in the car after asking Austin to go completely strip his bed and put everything in the wash.  We arrived home about twenty minutes later with egg removal gel, mattress and bedding spray, shampoo and a preventative spray.  Carl and I grabbed handfuls of large garbage bags and headed straight up to Austin's room.  Austin, looking traumatized, was standing in the bathroom door.  I handed him his new shampoo and the fine tooth comb that came in the kit we bought.  I explained how to use it in the shower, and he hopped in.

Meanwhile, Carl and I gathered up every last stuffed animal, every last hat, pillow, blanket, and loose clothing near Austin's bed and bagged it up.  (Eight garbage bags later....) I sprayed his bed and floor very liberally with the lice spray.  Just when we thought we were finished, Austin opened the bathroom door, close to tears.  He was horrified at the site of all the lice and eggs on the little comb we gave him.  For the first time ever, he begged, "Please just shave my head?"

And that's how we wound up standing on our back patio at 10:30pm with one little light bulb shining on his head.  I shaved every bit I could, in the little light I had.  For doing it in the dark, it actually turned out okay. 

After being around his bedding and him, I was so sure I would get lice as well.  I soaked my hair in the preventative spray (pee-yew!), and then coated my hair in fine sections with hair spray (lice don't like having sticky feet).  I threw it all up in a bun and then leaned back on the couch, knowing I'd done all I possibly could to not catch the plague lice.  Side note: when I retreated to bed a little later that night, I removed my clip from my hair and my hair remained tight up in a bun from all the hairspray.  That was pretty impressive.  Anyway....

It was the next day that my hair was still coated with all the sprays; when I had to explain to my chiropractor why I smelled like the pesticide section in a home improvement store.

Today is Friday.  Austin appears to be lice free (finally) but we are still taking every precaution necessary.  He is still getting sprayed twice a day to make sure the lice stay away, and his bedding is still getting sprayed as well.  Those little buggers are not welcome in our house!

Fun fact #2: Belle is a maltipoo.... meaning she is part poodle.  Poodles have hair, not fur.  Ergo, the thought crossed my mind that Belle could get lice.  So, we googled "Can poodles...." and google auto-filled in "get lice?"  Go ahead, try it.  Type in "Can poodles" and google will finish your sentence.

Fun fact #3: The answer is no, poodles can't get lice.  At least not the same type that humans get.

To end, I'm sorry that this post is making you itch.  I have to assume that you are scratching your head because it's an automatic response every time anyone mentions lice.  Our home is lice free now, and we will do everything in our power to keep it that way!