“Beauty for Ashes”

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart – Psalm 37:4

I’m happy to say that I’m starting to feel a sense of normalcy in my life again. I have learned so much about trusting in God’s word over the past ten months of my life. It has been quite a road to travel and I am putting a tremendous amount of faith into the hope that I will never have to travel down that road again. I began this blog in an effort to help myself, to be a little more positive and give myself a focus by posting my photos. It turned into so much more than I could have ever imagined! It really is true that God gives us beauty from ashes. Despite all that I went through, I was able to:

  • Start this blog. Put myself out there for everyone to see. The good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Turn my blog into a book, which is now available on Amazon. Who’d have thunk it?? ; ) Thanks to my awesome PR team (aka Mom and Dad), my book is making it’s way around the state and even to England! I don’t feel right promoting it myself so they just took it upon themselves to share it. I’m by no means trying to get rich from it…just want to help people, as God intended.
  • Start a photography business. This was a big one. I’m not the most courageous, outgoing type but it’s a dream that’s been in my heart for a long time so I took a (huge) leap of faith and so far things are going pretty good.
  • Get back to the things I love to do, like traveling. Even just the trips that only take us 6 or 7 hours away from home. In January of this year, I’d have never thought I would get back to that place again.

God has truly blessed me. I thank Him every single day…usually at least three or four times. I give Him praise, He gives me blessings. It’s that simple.

Life.Is.Good.

God.Is.Good.

So here are some photos, just for fun. Not particularly related to this post but it was from a trip we took a couple weeks ago. You may see a dilapidated old building full of junk. I see treasures from the past and things that remind us of a time gone by. I just had to snap some pics…mainly because it was the last day of the trip, I was out of money and it was easier to be distracted by taking pics than wanting to buy one of everything I saw…it was tempting! : )

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“One Nation, Under God”

“The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America….Our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal.”- Ronald Reagan, 40th President

I’m not sure when these words were spoken by President Reagan but I think they hold true for then and now, especially today. Obviously no one will ever forget what happened on this day, September 11, 2001. My daughter was four months old. Oddly I remember that during that week, she started eating baby food for the first time. It was a small milestone and I celebrated that little accomplishment despite the fact that the world I had known a few days before no longer felt safe and happy. I remember thinking, “How will we ever recover from this? How will we ever feel safe? What does this mean for my daughter’s future?” I was worried for her. I didn’t want her to grow up knowing what terrorism was. Living in fear. Things were definitely going to change in our country.

I was working at a sporting goods store at the time and like everyone else, we had various items representing the American flag as well as the flag itself. A couple months after the attacks, a mother and daughter stood at the front counter looking through an array of things, apparently searching for a gift for the little girl’s father. She picked up an item with the flag displayed on it and said “Hey Mom, let’s get this for Dad”. The mother’s response is something I will never forget. She replied “Oh I think Dad’s over the flag”. I was in utter shock. In that moment, I had to remember I was the manager of a store and keep my thoughts to myself. How could anyone be over the flag? After all that our country had endured at that time, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief.

“Let us never forget that in honoring our flag, we honor the American men and women who have courageously fought and died for it over the last 200 years – patriots who set an ideal above any consideration of self and who suffered for it the greatest hardships. Our flag flies free today because of their sacrifice.”

Our flag continues to represent all that has been sacrificed for our freedom. One flies from the corner of my house and always will. It also serves as a reminder of how our country was beaten and bruised on that horrible day eleven years ago and how we persevered. How our faith in God and our faith in our nation would pull us through.

Whether people want to admit it or not, this country was founded on God-loving, God-fearing, God-worshipping people. The “Puritans who made the deck of the Mayflower an altar of the living God, and whose first act on touching the soil of the new world was to offer on bended knees thanksgiving to Almighty God.” (Henry Wilson, 18th Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant).

Today I just want to remember that we in fact do live in a great nation, one nation, UNDER GOD and that we are so blessed. I wish that just for today, everyone could put aside their views, republican or democrat, stop the mud-slinging and bickering and just truly be one nation, honoring those who were lost today, affected by today and what this day symbolizes for our country.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…” Psalms 33:12