We find ourselves in a day and age in which our minds and eyes are bombarded with information. It’s easy to sit back and just take it all in as the God-honest truth and allow it to shape and form our emotions and thinking, especially things from our ‘trusted sources’, but I truly believe doing that is much to our detriment.

There are always two sides to every story; Multiple angles history was seen and recorded from, and so many behind the scenes happenings in news reports that would ‘soften the blow’ if they were reported on in a different manner. Unless I am the eyewitness, on scene, lived live with for a time, observer, I must be vigilantly careful in how I process any information.

The Human Race is selfish. Kindness does not come naturally. Power is sometimes abused, not always. Not all Christians are Christ-like. Moral people don’t always act morally. The Bible is often quoted out of context. Not all light skinned people are privileged or treat those different than them badly. Not all marginalized people think they are treated unfairly. Not all people in Colorado like to hike or ski. Most families have members who are choosing to see sexuality as something definable. Not all republicans voted for our current president or agree with things the government does. Not all suicides or mass shootings stem from ‘mental illness’. There are some people in places of authority who are power-fed, mean individuals! Police officers are people with really hard jobs; we have to cut them some slack! Not all social workers are working with correct motives, many of them are. Not all situations are good all the time – nor are they inherently bad!! I find myself sitting back and getting apathetic and doing/saying nothing or veering the other direction and letting my emotions scream of the injustices! My mind's life gropes fervently for balance.

How do we navigate it? How do we move forward, how do we keep reading, keep empathizing, keep doing our best to hold the good lines and speak out to change the bad ones? How do we determine if a good, well-intentioned individual, who usually acts with a level head, is now making bad decisions and choices? How about a law that is meant for protection and safety but is now working for harm?! And Maybe toughest of all….how do we not lump ‘all’ into the group that only belongs to the ‘extremists’! How do we truly open our eyes and see truth?

I venture to say, we can’t….. unless we have personally observed it, or have complete trust in one who has.

I have to quit. I have to let some ‘stories’ be just that; part truth, part exaggerated propaganda. I can’t allow emotional responses based on other human opinions, or even video or photos.

I will keep walking with JESUS. The One who “before Abraham was, I AM”. I’ll keep reading the truth from the only Book that is active and lives, that was Divinely inspired, words from my Maker. I’ll choose to open my eyes and ears to see and hear. To help by loving, by daily choosing to act and speak when I’m around circumstances I can change for the better. I’ll choose to think of every person I meet as one made in the image of God, a divine appointment for me to point to HIM.

Changes...

Change is inevitable. I know that. It's happened many times before...but that doesn't mean I like it, or that it's easy. In fact, it's often sad, and down-right hard. But we can be assured that our Eternal home is permanent.

How blessed we are to be Jesus family with the Lemmes, it's been some time now that Tia and I have done 'this JESUS mom life' together, and now it's time for them to move on, to another chapter in their journey....I'm sad, but so grateful for the years we had, and that 'it's only temporary'. Eternity is just around the corner.

 Yep...10 between the two of us! Thanks, God, for kids. Help us raise them right!

Yep...10 between the two of us! Thanks, God, for kids. Help us raise them right!

Pray!

I've been challenged recently to pray more.

To focus, and truly give time, energy and effort to the one thing that changes us. The thing that connects and strengthens our relationship with God.

We so often find ourselves praying to change other people or circumstances, or we go the other direction and only pray for ourselves and our wants.

I find it interesting that in Scripture where we read prayers, they are so eternally focused. Am I living in the 'here and now'? Yes, but with eyes fixed on JESUS, I am challenged to pray for things that matter for eternity.

Colossians 1:9-12

"...We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might,

for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience with joy. Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."

Praying God's words...yes please.

Mother's Day Moose

A mama moose and her twins took a nice long rest across the street from our house on Mother's Day. How cool...We enjoyed watching them - and I go a kick out of 'blowing their minds' , the next day, when I showed them just how big they actually were!

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 This is an 8ft. level....and you can see 'Mama Moose' was comfortably eating around 9ft. high!! Amazing God-created creatures.

This is an 8ft. level....and you can see 'Mama Moose' was comfortably eating around 9ft. high!! Amazing God-created creatures.

 These 'love blossoms' were lovingly and thoughtfully prepared...and then happily devoured!

These 'love blossoms' were lovingly and thoughtfully prepared...and then happily devoured!

 Pretty great Mother's Day...all around. Blessed indeed.

Pretty great Mother's Day...all around. Blessed indeed.

Life. Ups and Downs

It's a bit cliche' but 'life is full of ups and downs'. If you've lived any length of time, you know it to be true. One beautiful mountain evening, your kids are playing in the yard, while your husband and you, are swinging peacefully on the porch swing....the conversation actually included 'joking' about how 'rough' a life we had...and just like that, in mid swing the hook securing the swing to the roof snaps off and you find yourself on the ground, with your husband crushing you and your calf muscle under the swings seat! Yes. True story folks. My lower right leg bears the bruised proof. But by the grace and mercy of God, that is the extent of the damage. Crazy down of life. Hits you out of nowhere, makes sure to keep you humble, and in right standing before God!

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Mother's day love. Aunt Suzy makes beautiful things...and I'm LOVING mine!!

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Sisters

My Becky and I are 11 years apart. When I pause to praise God for my sister, He inevitably brings to mind many great memories. Sharing a room and bed, me purposefully laying down to sleep across the pillows so she would have to wake me up when she came in, and crying when the time came for her to move out....

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I'm so grateful for the relationship we've cultivated over the years! I pray that for my girls...just 6 years apart, but it's fun to note similarities between us...

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The little one may always look to her big sister as the 'pretty', more talented one, but boy does she exhibit spunk and fortitude! and the older one may unintentionally belittle the younger one with the sign she places on their room door:

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But that's o.k. ! At least here name is there. Sisters are Super. Especially when they are JESUS sisters as well. I praise God for mine.

Isaac is 7!

What an amazing week we had with Virginia family visiting, with Pa and Grandma visiting, and a Birthday to top it all off! Praise God for His gift of family life!

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  Isaac Lee Barrientez, I praise God for you! You are so precious to me. I pray you keep your eyes, heart, and mind focused on our JESUS all your life.

Isaac Lee Barrientez, I praise God for you! You are so precious to me. I pray you keep your eyes, heart, and mind focused on our JESUS all your life.

  We had great fun adventuring around with our guests!

We had great fun adventuring around with our guests!

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I'm SO thankful for friends, and JESUS sisters who I've been blessed to 'do life with' for some time now! Blessed indeed.