Friday, April 23, 2010

April Showers...let's jump to flowers!

As is our normal Friday ritual--here are several photos for your enjoyment.

I particularly like the bee poised on this flower.
Even with the shadow and accent color in this, I had to include it because this weekend's Beth Moore simulcast on insecurity is featuring daisies at our host site.  Why?  Because God loves me, He loves me more, God loves me, He loves me more...
Reminders from childhood. :)
Lovely beach blossoms in Santa Barbara.
Isn't this flower amazing?
Even completely submerged, this flower is beautiful.

Spring is springing!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo Day--Grandpa Jacobson

This is a photo of Seth's grandfather.  I never had the chance to meet Grandpa Jacobson and I heartily wish that I had.  I love hearing Seth and his family members share stories about him.  I especially love seeing the twinkle in Grandma's eye as she speaks of her love.

I treasure this picture of him.  Isn't he handsome?  His features make me think of Bing Crosby and I can just picture him sweeping Grandma off her feet as a young lady.  I so look forward to meeting him someday in Heaven.  I'm sure he'll regale us with stories of the farm, of the war, and of California before it became so industrialized and urban (at least around here).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Photo Friday--Evan Vang, revisited

I finally got my chance to meet Baby Evan.  He is so incredibly precious and I have absolutely fallen in love with him.  I am such a proud auntie!
I mean, just look at the little guy.  He is just so cute and he has such a great little personality.  I just adore his dimples.  He tends to smile as he's falling asleep, which completely melts my heart.
And snuggling with him is the BEST.  It was so difficult for me to leave.  I cannot wait to see him again.  No doubt he will be bigger the next time I see him.  He was changing so much from day to day while I was there.  Oh I wish he'd stay this way much longer.  Time surely does fly, but I am so blessed to be a part of his life.  What a gift!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Some Perspective

I heard of this book from a friend.  The author's concept captures material wealth by taking pictures of families with all of their material possessions in their front yard.  The picture shows the exterior of their home, all the people living in that home, and all the possessions stored in that home.  I became super curious and spent about 30 minutes on the internet searching for this book to check it out.  I found it.

It's called Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel.  (I checked this copy out from the library.)

I was most struck by the poorest family represented in the book.  They are the Getu Family of Ethiopia.  The nation of Ethiopia is ranked 180 out of the 183 United Nations for per capita wealth and 183 out of 183 for number of physicians per person.  The average family in Ethiopia earns $123 per year, per capita.  That was in 1994, when the average U.S. family earned $22,356 per year, per capita and ranked 9th in U.N. affluence.  Ethiopians spend nearly 50% of their annual income on food alone...and still go hungry most days.  This is their "material" picture:

This family, despite all the harsh circumstances under which they live, are happy and loving.  The photographer recounted how they were the most generous people he'd met--sharing their food even when it meant they would go without themselves.  Seven people live in their household, protected from the elements by gathered animal dung that they hand form into a paste to stick against the straw walls of their home.  They have two tin cans that the family shares as drinking cups.  They use an empty, plastic motor oil can to store their water.  They work between 80-120 hours per week just trying to survive.  They don't have running water, plumbing, gas, or electric.  In fact, when the book showcases bathrooms from around the world, when they show a picture for Ethiopia, it's simply a cluster of trees in a field.  No joke.

When asked what the family would want if they could ask for anything they said:  more animals, a 2nd set of clothes, better seed stock, farm implements, and peace in area and in the world.

Wow.  They asked for a second set of clothes and world peace.  They asked for tools and work necessities just to survive.

I have it so easy in comparison to this family and many other people in the world.  When I get down because I don't have as much money as I would like, or the new outfit I would like because I "have nothing to wear" even though my closet and dresser are bursting at the seams, or I'm tired of the place I'm living or the job I do or don't have, I just need to look at pictures and stories like this to be completely humbled and reminded of how blessed I am.

Ponder this:  when the Getus were asked how they find solace amidst their circumstances and the political upheaval in their country, it was explained that their faith gave them comfort.  They are Orthodox Ethiopian Christians.  (See picture below.)

They live in such poverty and with such difficulty, yet they are probably happier than most of us here who have our needs met.  No, we may not have our WANTS met, but our NEEDS usually are.

Peter Menzel has several other books that I'm hoping to check out soon.  They have the same concept as this one but instead of material possessions focus on foods the family eats and the lives of mothers.  Very intriguing.

This inspires me to live so much more simply and to be thankful for everything I have--even things I don't.

Keeping all of this in mind, what is it you would want if you could ask for anything?

...You just might already have it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is risen indeed!

Happy Easter.  Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday (Photo)

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." ~ John 3:16-21

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

So on the heels of Shirliza's post, here's mine:

1. I had eye surgery when I was 3 years old due to a muscle defect in my eye.  I've worn glasses ever since.
2. I've never broken a bone in my body, despite numerous falls, crashes, and random clumsiness.  (that's me knocking on wood)
3. I love classical music.  Turn on the music close my eyes and I'm gone.
4. I've developed a bad fascination with neck ties.  Can't go in a department store without looking at them.  I usually don't buy, but love to look.
5. I eat baby carrots after most every meal, if they're available.  Yes, after breakfast and dessert too.  They seriously help clean your teeth.
6. I hold a BA degree in Organization Communications with a minor in Journalism from Cal State Stanislaus
7.  Had the following animals growing up........pigs, chickens, horses, cows, sheep, donkeys, and the occasional dog and cat too.
8. Favorite Cartoon of all time.......Ducktales!
9. Do not enjoy sleeping past 8AM.
10. Give me a cat, you can keep your dogs.