Happy New Year!

This year we went to Hondo to a place Jim’s family has and ‘camped’ in RVs, spending time with his parents and my brother and niece.  We sat around campfires each morning and each night, went on numerous rides in the Kawasaki Mule, wrapped the treehouse with lights that Jim built, rode the zip line and had a great time.  The picture above was taken after Libby created ‘art’ with fire and an old styrofoam cup.  As I walked up to her, my intent was to tell her not to do what she was about to do… sticking her sparkler into the cup.  But as I walked  over, I loved how the only light on her, her face and the cup was from the sparkler, and stopped to grab a shot first. Not my finest parenting moment, but I did kindly ask her to stop once I snapped a shot.   She and her sister continued making ‘sculptures’ all weekend with sticks in the campfire, melting plastic forks, cups, and styrofoam into shapes.

On actual NY Eve, my brother showed up with his daughter, and I was so excited they joined.  My brother below with Jim in the Mule, gearing up for zip lines.

As we sent each kid down the zip line, we laughed for over an hour.  Kelli fell out of the chair at least twice at the end of the ride, while Beck kept getting caught up in the chair trying to get out and Libby kept trying to go with her feet up and upside down.  I’m amazed at how different and unique each child is, and what a blessing they are.  This weekend represented to me the freedom they feel when they are there, and what I hope they learn to feel and live out even in the confines of school, and a ‘scheduled’ life.

Towards the end of the night but a little before Fireworks, Ella and Beck retreated to the Treehouse.  We LOVE treehouses, and I like the last shot here of Ella.  Doing the best I could with no tripod, I tried to capture a confident & victorious Ella at the top of the treehouse after a talk, hug and kiss from Mom.  I found her out there sad, crying over a disagreement with her sister, but left her like this.  I pray this the impact the body of believers will have this year on anyone they come near. The hands and feet of Christ just looks like real love, real compassion and truth.

Happy New Year to all!  Wherever we were in 2011, we’ll likely carry much of that with us into 2012.  I pray for a year of much intentional prayer, that our lives can be poured out for those around us, bringing more joy and blessing and that we may all live lives that bring glory to our Creator, Lord Jesus.  To live the freedom we capture in ‘moments’ from these shots into the moments of our lives, marriages, work and parenting.    That’s my New Year’s Resolution for 2012.  More of Jesus, daily surrender, more joy and moments like these, more redemption, renewing, growing into a story that’s not my own, but part of a bigger story that matters ultimately more.  The Freedom of  the Gospel here and now.  That the joy we carry inside will be shared with many.

“Each morning as you wake, there is a new opportunity to “go out” building your confidence in God.”    – Oswald Chambers

And this is where real Freedom is found.

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