"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

January 29, 2013

the sound of silence

Lately, I've been enjoying the sound of silence.

It doesn't all sound or feel the same.  There is the silence of sitting in a dimly lit room on a cold night watching cars drive past.  There is the silence of standing in the falling snow.  There's the silence of painting the walls of a room.  The silence of the sunrise and sunset.  The silence in the barn (when the fans aren't on).

Sometimes, I drown myself in noise.  With my iPod plugged into my ears as I work at the barn or the radio blasting in the car.  Or even just my thoughts running wildly around in my head.

Sometimes it's just nice to enjoy some silence, be able to hear when God is speaking...

January 24, 2013

snow dust

I was surprised by the snow that dusted the ground this morning when I got out of bed!  It was beautiful!

This little rascal never stands still long enough for me to get a good picture of him!

January 18, 2013

Our God Saves

A week ago I was reading from Psalm 25 when verses 4-5 caught my attention, so I wrote them down in my journal thinking they were good verses, but they weren't particularly meaningful at that moment.

Little did I know they were just what I needed to read this week!
"Show me the right path, O Lord;  point out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.  All day long I put my hope in you."
What does it mean to be saved by God?  Is it only something that happens when we're in distress or feeling blue?

Often, it seems, this is how we "use" God.  We go about life on our own, knowing that God is there, but things are good right now.  But when things change, when we run into an unexpected problem, we beg God to save us, take away all our troubles.  "Don't make me go through this!"

Even in our hard times, God is there.  He's growing us.  It's painful, but sometime we have to struggle through the wetlands or fall down and scratch up our knees.  If we don't, we won't grow.  We'll never know the greatness of God's love, the power that he has to save us every day.

I need to think of God saving me every day.  Even in the little things, the small miracles, that we can easily overlook or brush off as coincidence.  But I think I need to see those and recognize that it is God, to see that He saves me every day.  Then my hope will be in Him all day long, I will know God's love, His provision, His power, and His promises for my life.

We will struggle, but we can choose to struggle with God at our side, all around us, holding us together so that we will not fall to pieces of despair.

God is my hope, He is the Truth, He is the God who saves, every day.

His love is written in the sky!

January 14, 2013

winter wonderland

I've been meaning to put up some pictures that I took of that snow storm a couple days after Christmas.  So here they are.  It was such a pretty snow, not too much, and didn't hang around long afterwards.  I like snow while it's falling, but once it stops I don't want it to be on the ground.

The day before, a beautiful sunset.

Dutchess loved the snow!

So did this calf, she was just standing outside getting all white.

Her yellow ball is inside that snowball somewhere!

She was afraid of it.

Taking a walk in the snow, how romantic.

January 10, 2013

Just taking some pictures of my girls this morning, something I haven't done in a very long time.  Some cows do not know how to stand still, which makes photographing them difficult!

My buddy, she loves me.

January 9, 2013

Marriage challenge

Great challenge from another blogger that I follow:

3 Marriage Habits

Good reminder for myself.

January 8, 2013

lay me down

I love this song from Chris Tomlin's new CD Burning Lights!

Take my life and let it shine

January 2, 2013


I have been oddly silent this past year.  Not that it's odd for me to not talk around a lot of people.  I mean that my blog has been pretty silent in 2012, at least toward the end of the year.

I haven't written what has been on my heart.  I haven't known what emotions to allow others to see in my writing.  I feel so much older and worn down, and yet so young and unknowing.

I think that growing up, we assume that once you hit a certain age, life will instantly be better and easier, you'll know what you need to know to be a responsible adult.  That once you're over the age limit for that "young adult" group, you know what you're doing and don't need that support any more.  I still feel like a young adult, even if I may be almost 4 years out of college, and I don't know what I'm doing a lot of the time.

God has been pruning away the excessive things in my life.  Anything that isn't necessary, it seems He has been pulling off like a scab.  I thought I had gotten rid of my bitterness, but I come to realize that there is still way too much inside of me.  I've been angry about all of those people that I would have called friends who just walked away, who seemed like they wanted nothing more to do with me, who made excuses not to come to my wedding and then I never heard from them again (obviously that hurt is still there).

But I'm not innocent on those counts either.  I haven't kept in contact with old friends as much as I should.  I've been busy, I'm sure they have too.  It just feels like whenever I get close to someone, God takes them away.  Do I even want to try to be close to anyone when God might move them?  Stripping off that old scab.  I felt Him asking me, at one of those low times, "if all of your friends abandoned you, would I be enough, would I be worth that?"  I try to answer yes.  But God, do I really have to prove it?

"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”
Psalm 50: 14-15

Character.  Wouldn't it be nice to just have character, and not have to build it?  Sometimes I think that character could be put on the bad word list (at least a Hopstetter boy could probably put it there :)  sorry Melanie, had to put that in).  But seriously, I guess if we didn't have to build character we would never grow. I am trying to be thankful for all the things that I've had to sacrifice.  I know that I've grown and that it's been painful, but I want to focus on the growth not the pain.  I know that I don't want to stay unchanged, I don't want to be the same as what I was when I was younger.

I was selfish.  And still am.  It's a human condition, but all the same, it's nothing to make excuses about.  Most human conflicts can be boiled down to plain selfishness.  We love ourselves so much more than any one else, including our spouse or even God.  It is so easy to see the selfishness of others, but when it comes to examining yourself, you become blind to the faults.  I didn't see it for so many years, how many times did I unknowingly break someone's heart with my selfishness and pride?  I still am selfish, and I try to be aware of that.  What good is it to live our lives with selfish motives?  It might get you ahead in this life, but it's all so empty.  Where is the hope in that?

Sometimes I wonder why God created us at all.  We just mess up our relationships and are selfish.  We desire more to "live for the moment," to have fun here on this earth because we've bought into the lie that this is all there is.  What is a moment, what is eternity?

I want to glorify God with my life, but I know that I'm not good.  Not good at all.  In my mind I usually think that I'm doing okay, I pray, I read my Bible, I talk to Josiah about spiritual stuff.  But I'm not good, I'm selfish, I'm prideful, I'm simple, and I mess things up too many times to count.  I don't talk when I should, I stay silent too often when I should call out.

Maybe that's why I'm writing this, because I don't want to be the same this year.  I don't want to be silent.  It will be difficult, I will need to use my time more wisely.  But I hope to at least write once a week this year, or at least post photos that I've taken during that week (which means taking more photos too).

I guess this is one of my New Year's resolutions, to not be silent this year.  To speak about the hurt that I see and to show the healing that God offers.  To tell the Truth with love.  To bring glory back to the One who made me.