Monday, March 30, 2009

I love you, Odessa
This is your day

March 30, 1983 - December 23, 2005

We'll be together again

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy 23rd Birthday, Charisa! ! !
We LOVE You! ! !

~ El Cazador Restaurant ~ Family and Friends ~
~ Lots of Food ~ Gifts and Cards ~
~ Laughter and Tears of Joy~
~ Simply Wonderful Day! ~

Entrust It To God

Many years ago there was a monk who needed olive oil, so he planted an olive tree sapling. After he finished planting it, he prayed, "Lord, my tree needs rain so its tender roots may drink and grow. Send gentle showers." And the Lord sent gentle showers. Then the monk prayed, "Lord, my tree needs sun. Please send the sun." And the sun shone, gilding the once-dripping clouds. "Now send frost, dear Lord, to strengthen its branches," cried the monk. And soon the little tree was covered in sparkling frost, but by evening it had died.
Then the monk sought out a brother monk in his cell and told him of his strange experience. After hearing the story, the other monk said, "I also have planted a little tree. See how it is thriving! But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better than a man like me what it needs. I gave God no constraints or conditions, except to pray, 'Lord, send what it needs---whether that be a storm or sunshine, wind rain or frost. You made it, and You know best what it needs.' "

--a selection from 'Streams in the Desert'

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sometimes, because of all the things we do in a day, all the responsibilities that are ours to manage, all the people that draw on us for encouragement, help, comfort, direction - we will find that the 'vessels' of our souls become empty. We pour out, and pour out in many different ways, in many different quantities, in many different directions and before we know it - if we're not paying attention - we become empty ourselves. There's no more in us to give. There are no more resources within us that even we might draw on ourselves.

It is also possible, that if we continue to try and 'pour out' from an empty vessel, the stress and heat from that kind of 'giving' will, in all likelihood, damage, crack and even destroy the vessel.

The vessel is meant to be an instrument of continuous infilling and outpouring; but, if there is no infilling, the outpouring will only go on so long without the effects becoming visible for all to see.

I have been there a few times. I know what its like to come to the end and be running on fumes.
I know what its like to have a damaged vessel because of its continued use and lack of care to see that it is replenished regularly.

How, then, do we fill the vessels of our souls?

Jesus said that He is the Living Water. If we come to Him, He promised that we would never thirst. He was saying that the vessel of our souls need never be empty - He will fill it as long as we come to Him for refilling. Obviously, that means we need to come to Him and spend time with Him allowing Him to fill us up again with renewed love, strength, wisdom, grace, hope. The most important way we refill the vessel is time alone with Him.

Other ways we can refill the vessels of our souls is to take the time to enjoy whatever it is that we simply enjoy! What hobby gives you pleasure? Where do you like to spend time - a hike?sitting on a park bench? taking photographs? playing an instrument? playing sports? painting?having time with friends? Whatever it is, be sure to allow yourself the time and freedom to enjoy it because it fills your soul!

One other way that we can refill the vessel of our souls, is to take care of our bodies. Good nutrition and even enjoying special foods on occasion, regular sleep, exercise - all these contribute to full and vibrant souls.

Can I encourage you, challenge you, to be mindful of the condition of the vessel of your soul? Check in with yourself and see if you are running on empty or is there a continuous inflow and outflow of cool, fresh thirst quenching Living Water? If not, take the vessel and dip it into the depths of His life, and pull up a vessel filled to overflowing with His love!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sights at the Strait

Yesterday - what a beautiful day to be at the Dungeness Spit on the Strait of Juan de Fuca! Here are a few sights from there. If you'd like to see my practice shots of sea gulls in flight, you can go to my Bird Blog at
I thought these first two photos were funny - a big tree with roots that had washed ashore and the little 'seaweed' of some kind that resembled it so much!

A few different kinds of seaweeds - there was actually quite a variety on the shore yesterday!

The beautiful view - south toward the Olympic Mountains --
and north toward the San Juan Islands and British Columbia --

This is a little maintenance vehicle - I believe they can take this all the way out to the Lighthouse at the end of the Spit - 4 1/2 miles out! Lots of people come and walk all the way down to the Lighthouse and back again in one day! I've not ever gotten half way!Its a good 3/4 mile walk/hike to get from the parking lot to the water.
I was absolutely elated with the sunlight glowing through the new spring growth! WOW!
If you would like to see more about the Spit and the Lighthouse, here's a link you can visit - and then you can make plans to come visit it in person :) See you there!
ps. you can click the photos for enlarged images

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd
I have all that I need
He lets me rest in green meadows
He leads me beside peaceful streams
He renews my strength
He guides me along right paths
bringing honor to His name
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley
I will not be afraid
for You are close beside me
Your rod and Your staff
protect and comfort me
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies
You honor me by anointing my head with oil
My cup over flows with blessings
Surely Your goodness and unfailing love
will pursue me
all the days of my life
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Thank You ~
for the quiet place, for the place where all is still

Thank You~
for inviting me, welcoming me there

Thank You~
that no one, nothing in this world
Can deny or forbid
my access, my entrance
to Your heart, to Your throne

Thank You~
for loving me, renewing me
strengthening me, establishing me
for gracing my heart
with peace and hope

I praise You ~ I worship You

Thank You~
I can know and experience that
I am Yours and You are mine
Diane Nelson
March 17, 2009