Friday, March 16, 2012

One of Many Reasons that I LOVE the Topeka Zoo

There really are a TON of things that I LOVE about the Topeka Zoo! I love that it is small enough that my little ones can walk all the way through in less than 2 hours. Today we did it in less than 1 hour as Daddy was with us and was hungry, but we still got to see everything and didn't even fell rushed (well I didn't, anyway).  The animals are CLOSE, so 9 times out of 10 you get to see ALL of the animals.  Today we could even see the claws on the black bear.  This is not something that we can often say.  All four of them were out and roaming.  My favorite memory from the day, though was watching my super brave 4 year old FEED THE GIRAFFE!  It was awesome! Sarah fed them as well, and I really tried to encourage Jake to feed them, but "I don't wanna feed the giraffe." was all he could say. Now he is telling me he wasn't scared, and in all fairness, he didn't cling to me and cry.  I so wish I had a picture of his face looking ALL of the way up at the tallest giraffe.  The memory is priceless!

Another great thing about the Topeka Zoo is it's close proximity to Gage Park (it's actually located inside of Gage Park) which might be one of the best parks in Kansas!  There are "statues" of animals that the kids can climb in, on and through.  The kids had a lot of fun getting eaten by the crocodile and climbing on the whale...The whale was my favorite, since I can remember playing on it as a kid!

The back of the whale

The head of the whale 

And the necessary swing picture from each trip to the zoo!

Monday, March 12, 2012

4th Birthday Party

On Saturday, March 10th, we held a birthday party for our 4 year old at our house. For the first time, EVER, I wasn't worried about the amount of kids in the house or the number of people brought together. All of my favorite people (that were in town at the time) were at our house, and it was WONDERFUL! I can only praise God for the sense of peace that I had leading up to and during the party. It was an extremely casual affair, 'cuz that's how we roll, but I thought that it was great! There was a pinata... 

There were presents. There was food. There was CAKE!!!

I only wish that I had gone around and taken pictures of my people! You know the ones...the friends that get you through all of the ups and downs in life. It was wonderful to have them all together and all of the kids together and just have some fun celebrating an awesome, amazing little girl that is almost 4!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Submitting to the enemy

Yes, you read that correctly!! Submitting to the enemy is something that I am becoming increasingly aware that I do on a regular (if not daily) basis. On Wednesday night, during bible study, Beth Moore talked about when we listen to the enemy. As she spoke, I heard her say that at first the enemy speaks softly to us, filling us with doubts, perhaps something more. For me, I think that he is even more subtle. The enemy repeatedly tells me that I am too busy, that there are things more important than that. And almost every day, I listen to him and submit to him. How else would you explain why we are 3/4 of the way through the best bible study that I have participated in, to date, and I have not even completed 1/3 of my homework?!? God must have something really important in this study for me to learn, something that the enemy wants to hide from me...

It hit hard when I realized what I am doing. I have been going in the wrong direction for awhile. Sure, I have had moments where I was so close to God that I could immediately discern the presence of the enemy (he spends a lot of time in the hospital), but lately, as the seeming urgency of prayer has waned, as life has started to return to "normal", as we are getting back into our day to day lives, it has become muddled. I ever so slowly started to listen to the enemy about more and more things. God wants me to have victory!! He wants me to have victory in all of the aspects of my life. This includes my prayer life, especially, but doesn't exclude my health or my home.

Beth also said that while the enemy is more gentle in his attacks at first, as we resist, he gets more and more forceful and more and more beligerant, turning to full-on attacks to our character, our hearts and our very being. I  have noticed that. Perhaps, that is why I have started to give in and listen and submit the first time, before he gets mean, before he gets outwardly confrontational... I do hate conflict, you know.  I typically throw in the proverbial towel the minute something gets hard of uncomfortable. I have played into the idea that life in Christ should be easy, after all, God is on my side. The problem is, God doesn't promise it will be easy. We will have hardships (Acts 14:22). We will have trouble (John 16:33.

I shouldn't take the "easy for now" path, I need to take the "path less travled"'s less traveled for a's hard!!! But as Beth said during the study, there are promises at the end of the path. Not just any promise, mind you...God's promises!  Just take a look at Jeremiah 29:11... "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. "  Tell me again, why I've been submitting to the enemy, when I could be submitting to THAT!!!