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Braylon and Angel – Track Season 2019

A random track meet at the George Fox University field. I brought Angel with me this time, Papa Bear and Gigi came and Pilands came later and took us out to Jem 100 for a burger and fries and to catch up.  Ricky wasn’t feeling great so he stayed home this time.

Bray is doing one event mainly, this year, the Jav. Below are photos of him with fellow thrower & friend, Trevor Ambrose.  B threw a 122, a 110 and a 121 this time around. He keeps improving! His PR to date is 131. The last photo I took was of friend, Jacob McClatchey mastering the hurdles.

Angel is also doing great so far in her 1st year of any organized sport – her competition of choice – track. She chose 3 events – the 100m, the 4 x 100 (she’s the 4th one in the relay) & the long jump. Competing against other 6th grade girls Thursday, she came in 1st place in the 100! Boy is she fast, but that does not surprise us one bit! I knew she would be a track star years ago when I’d watch & cheer for her at the annual Joan Austin Elementary Jaguar Jogs.

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As awkward as track meets can be for supporters – trying to figure out when to arrive and when to leave and when/where your athlete’s events are to take place, we love seeing our kiddos out there giving it their all and supporting their teammates.

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Pedro – Almost 1 Year Old!

Happy Spring, Pedro! We love you and the funny little things you do. Here’s a list of some of them!

  • Chase the laser light up and down the hall even when we stop shining it, adding in a little squeal-bark now & then
  • Jump up on the couch and nose your way under our blanket so you can get warm
  • Nose a phone or laptop away from our hands so we can pet & make room for you
  • Give us your cute slow & low bark when we make our hand into a threatening “mouth” that opens and closes
  • Chase your tail when you get really tired
  • Destroy anything made of plastic or paper or anything that squeaks, when left out within reach
  • Snuggle as close to Angel’s face as possible
  • Take advantage of every time the dining room bench isn’t pushed in so you can use it to jump onto the dining table
  • Hop up high like a basketball star
  • Go to your crate, sit, stay, roll over, “go pee”, shake paws, & “leave it”
  • Devour anything carrot, meat or bacony-treat

These are some photos taken on a walk across from 800 w. 1st street yesterday…

I love coming home every day to see your waggy butt and hear your little claws clinking on the floor so fast.  Pedro – our low, long and loyal boo-dee-boo-boo-butt. Happy 1 year birthday, come Cinco de Mayo 2019!

The Night We Bought the Red Scion

The drive to Vancouver took two hours on the nose. Ricky had to get creative with where and how to relieve himself on the way there, and we got a good deal on this little 2006 Toaster ~ I’ll be the one driving it. ☺️ We could’ve looked longer for a “better” deal, but didn’t want to make Braylon have to share his navy blue Toaster with me, another day. Now he really does have his own car AND a license to drive it. At the same time.

I am reminding myself tonight ~ every good and perfect thing comes from above. And I am really really thankful. Mostly for the living, breathing good and perfect things in the photos below. Taken at The Cracker Barrel in Jantzen Beach.

Did Jesus Ever Feel Obligated to Do Anything?

How do you feel when there is a sense of obligation tied to plans you have? Rarely is the word obligation associated with a positive sense of responsibility, although that is clearly one of its definitions. But I’d guess 96% of the time, when you feel obligated to make or keep plans, go somewhere or do something, instead of a right sense of duty and just weight you are honored to carry, there is a sense of… “I wish there was a way to get out of this.”  When telling others about these plans, you use words like “have to” “need to” or “should”.

I was processing this while on a walk a few days ago, and I began to compare this way of thinking to how Jesus would have thought.

I find myself doing that the more I study Him.

So the resounding question in my mind became, “would Jesus have ever felt obligated to do anything?” And I may be wrong, but I can’t see it happening his whole life long, according to the accounts of Mark, Luke, Matthew and His closest friend, John. Well, up until the night before He was crucified when he said “O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”  But in many accounts, He didn’t even finish his sentence before adding:  yet not my will, but Yours be done.

In adding that last part, he was essentially saying He had a will to survive (like every human being innately has), but He had another will – one greater: He wanted the Father’s will – even if that meant suffering. Even torture on a cross.

Because Jesus declared his own will to match his Father’s, the only sense of obligation I see in his life – even in the angst-filled hours in the garden, was in a just and right and responsible sense – a heavy weight He was honored to carry and carry through to completion. This obligation – in the right, just, responsible sense, actually refers to Him being bound.

Bound?! Jesus? The very embodiment of freedom?

Yes. Because He is Truth. You’ve heard the saying “My word is my bond” – well, the only human being who can say that and mean it is Jesus. He is bound by His own word. But His word is the only thing that could or did ever bind him.

He may be persuaded to change the course of a circumstance because of faith put on display, but He is not a man that He should lie.  He speaks peace or order over a thing, and it follows His command – from eyes to wind. Light to death. His words are power. He fulfilled every single prophecy spoken about Him from the beginning of creation.  Like it states in the first definition above, He is “legally bound” – or obligated – to complete, fulfill, follow through on his own word.

This should make us, his followers, sigh the biggest sigh of relief and rest peacefully every night, knowing and believing His promises will come to pass for us as a people – and as His individual friends.

In pretty much every other sense of the word, I think it is safe to say He never felt obligated to do anything.  We can also sigh in relief knowing we never have to feel obligated to do anything either! No wonder the feeling we get when we cancel plans we’ve been dreading is the feeling of freedom! Here’s why:

Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing.  The time He’d spend with the Father created a bond between them that afforded Him security, power, authority, and reassurance of His identity. If you continually walked in these things, would you ever feel obligated to do anything? Not in the negative sense. That kind infers bondage.

For if there is something we ought to do, the Holy Spirit will speak to us saying so, and cause a stirring in our heart to desire it because He desires it.  Now, the enemy may attempt to make us believe a lie and feel terrible or feel responsible for things we ought not. But let’s train our spiritual ears to hear our Shepherd’s voice. Let’s reject the imposter’s voice that would have us take on more than we should, resulting in heaviness, stress, co-dependency and more. That is not part of the abundant life He has. We are safe when we can pinpoint and embrace with confidence the things the Lord is telling us to commit to (and to let go of those things he is saying to let go of – to free yourself of the responsibility of – without feeling guilt or shame).

Our response of YES to his invitation, because of the bond we’ve created with Him over time, means, I WANT to do it – because YOU want me to, Abba Father.  Hmm… Sounds familiar. Kinda like, “…not my will, but YOURS be done.” This matching of the mortal will to the Father’s can only happen safe inside a deep-rooted, trust-filled relationship. Oh that we could all experience that!

One of my favorite lyrics by Hillsong United is, “Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Everything I am, for your Kingdom’s cause.” It shares this same sentiment.

This is my prayer – that my heart would break with His, and rejoice along with His. So that every action I take – every reaction I make throughout my days would come from a place of total trust and resulting obedience. And like Jesus, may my only sense of obligation – the only way I am bound – be to my word.

Heaven has Style

The melody used to annoy me. I don’t know why. But since Corey Asbury’s Reckless Love album was released in January of 2018, the more I would listen to it for its lyrical content and not just the melody, the song, Garments has slowly become one of my favorites.

Picture this: your first day of first grade is tomorrow. Your nerves are running wild, and your mind is racing as you get into bed, but your outfit is carefully chosen for you before you rise. As you dream, your thoughtful, intentional dad is setting out his 1st grader’s clothes, and they are perfectly you. Sure to secure.

This song, Garments, speaks that our Father in heaven does the same – but what He offers are the garments he paid for – not made of cotton, but of praise. Garments to cover ourselves with joy and mercy. Let’s take a look at them: unique identity, divine dreams, light so we may gloriously glow in darkness. Victory in adversity, confidence amidst criticism, reprieve from a chaotic mind. Freedom from shame or resentment. Belonging and acceptance as a crucial part of the family. Wholeness, power so strong it resurrects dead things, and the greatest garment of all, love.

When I walked through my door today, I took off my shoes and my sunglasses. Then put ON music and wrapped myself in the biggest, softest blanket in the house. Have you ever thought of this: that it is a spiritual right and privilege to be able to choose which virtues we put on and take off throughout the day? What if we chose to wear only that which He has laid out for us?

Heads will turn. Hearts will lighten. Heaven has remarkable style.