Monday, July 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I have been going through some old photos and memorabilia and enjoying the journey along with shedding a few tears and enjoying some laughs over the memories and how fast our kids and grandblessings have grown and changed. On my photography blog, I shared this post for a Throwback Thursday and I decided to share it here too.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

God's Grace Through Grief

The Keen family came into our lives a few, short years ago and yet it feels like we have known them a lot longer. They quickly made their way into our hearts with their fun personalities, deep love for God and truth, their humble hearts, sincere honesty and the way they have loved us and our children so openly and unconditionally. They are a precious family.  This past several weeks have been very hard for our friends as they have said good-bye to their beautiful little girl and are preparing to say good-bye to their Dad/Grandpa as well, in the very near future. Under these circumstances it was especially refreshing for all of us to enjoy a day together last week-end.

They arrived in the morning and stayed until late in the evening. We made and enjoyed some delicious food, had some great conversations, watched the kids and the dads get  a rousing game of soccer going in the back yard and the men took all the kids strawberry picking while Tracy and I did some shopping. We started a bonfire around dinner time and we all had a great time chatting, telling stories and laughing around the fire pit. Later on while the kids all snuggled up together in the living room to watch a movie, Tracy, Carlton, Rich and I sat around the campfire until late and talked.

In the midst of grief, we see this family pressing into God. They haven't turned all of the focus inward, but are looking upward and reaching out. In the midst of the pain and sadness, they have on many occasions, turned the conversation to us and asked us with genuine interest how we are doing. They have listened, asked questions and shown serious care about what is going on in our lives and some of the issues we have been faced with that have caused us concern. In the thick of their great loss, they continue to exude peace. They are honest about the pain and the grief, but there is a peace that many do not experience under such painful circumstances and that peace comes from their deep trust in God and willingness to accept both the good and the "bad" in life without blaming him for the bad and thanking him only for the good. They are able to see the beauty that is rising up out of the ashes of grief, and this helps with the healing process.

Matthew 5:4 — Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.


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Psalm 30:5 — Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.


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Philippians 4:7 — And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


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Matthew 11:28 — Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.


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Ecclesiastes 3:4 — a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.


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Proverbs 17:22 -A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Tracy has such a great sense of humor and it's contagious, isn't it?

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Proverbs 17:17- "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."


These two are the best of friends. Noah has cried many tears for Colton as he has been so deeply effected by the pain he knows his friend has been feeling and he misses Kya too. He's already grieving over the fact that Colton will be moving away soon. They had such a good time together. It was good medicine for both of them, to have a fun day together again.


 

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Psalm 34:18  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

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Isaiah 43:2  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

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Please continue to pray for our friends as they continue to walk this journey. Your prayers are so appreciated.

Blessings to you,

Jana

 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Photography Website

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As my readers have probably figured out by now, I love photography. I am by no means a professional. I don't have special equipment, just a simple little point and shoot camera and a decent editor, but I can't get enough of the art of photography. It's one of my creative outlets that I am passionate about because it allows me to capture the beauty of the many precious moments of life. As a result, I have opened a site specifically to host this passion and if you would like to hop on over and check it out and/or follow it, there is a button at the top of this blog you can click on: Nurturing the Heart Photography or you can just click here.

I hope you enjoy my photos and yet I'm sure nobody will enjoy them as much as I do because I lived in that moment and saw something through the lens of my camera that caused me to worship God and give him thanks by documenting that instant through photography.