Monday, August 29, 2016

2016 can die.

And don't tell me about the law of attraction, because this year was a disaster right out of the gate.  I gave it plenty of chances to reform itself, but it continues to break my heart.  Every couple of weeks brings a new crisis, and I've pretty much stopped fighting it.  2016 is a black-hearted villain.  This year our extended family has dealt with serious illness, abuse, loss of faith, addiction, betrayal and divorce, and depression.

Lately more than ever I have felt that my "adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."  And I have had the deep grief of seeing him rip and tear at my family.  He is the master of chaos, filth, and despair, and he has surrounded me in a whirlwind of his finest work.  I have seen so much evil this year that I never wanted to know about, and sometimes it has threatened to extinguish my hope.

But you know what?  Bring it.

I am not afraid of the darkness anymore, because the darker it gets, the more Christ shines by contrast. All the ugliness and pain of this year have given me a clearer view of the One who has already conquered it all.

"The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known.  There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard.  The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team's jersey we want to wear!"  -Jeffrey R. Holland

I don't know Him as well as I someday will.  I have been showered with evidences of His love for me all my life.  But this year, when other helpers fail and comforts flee, I am amazed to find I believe in Him even more.  I don't see Him in the light, I see Him in the dark, fighting my battles and vanquishing my foes.  And the darker it gets, the more I marvel at his might.

Evil as the world is, He is that good.
Disloyal as the world is, He is that faithful.
Brutal as the world is, He is that tender.
Selfish as the world is, He is that generous.
Hurtful as the world is, He is that healing.

The louder the lion roars, and the more power he displays, the more I glory that my Lord has already defeated him.  Christ must be pretty amazing if he has already conquered 2016 for me.  I praise Him.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Monnett Family Reunion

This poor fam has been through a lot together this year, but we're hanging on to each other and to the Lord.  And a few days in the mountains together was just wonderful.  These are my favorite people!
As has become tradition, Tana spent hours braiding the nieces' hair into gorgeous pinworthy confections that only the squirrels would get to see.  

Our favorite camping activity.

Definitely one of the highlights of the reunion.  The adults liked the hammocks for relaxing, and the kids used them for everything but!

Isaiah chose to celebrate his 5th birthday at the reunion!  Easiest party ever.  We ate cake, we opened gifts, we played with streamers, and we didn't have to sweep the floor.

 Selfie!  Actually, I snapped this one when he was trying to get the camera from me, but Tana tells me that Des is actually very good at taking pictures with her phone!

I don't know, folks.  I just don't know.

I kinda forgot to tell everyone we were having the birthday party, and my mom mounted a heroic, last-minute effort to make sure Isaiah had a few gifts besides her own.  She scrounged around and came up with at least three, including the headlamp Isaiah's wearing, which he loooooooved.  Nana is the best!