Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the county fair

Our county fair has been the high point of my summer for nearly a decade.

It smells of dust and dry heat and leather, tastes of greasy curly fries and Pepsi, and sounds of creaking saddles and laughter and animal calls. We get up at 4:30 AM to clean stalls, sweep alleys, and wash lambs for the first two days; after that, we get to “sleep in” until 6 or 7.

It’s hard to describe if you haven’t been there and done it. It’s definitely the type of thing that anyone who doesn’t love it will hate. Even those of us who love it have our not-so-thrilled moments (like when the neighboring campers’ generator runs all night, or it happens to be the hottest day of the summer so far), but all in all, it’s a pretty awesome place to be.

One of my favorite things is watching the grand entry of the rodeo. I get chills watching the flag carried around the arena on horseback during the National Anthem. And I love, love, love roping. Breakaway, tie-down, team roping—in any form, it’s one of those things that I’ve always wanted to be able to do.

Bull dogging is pretty cool, too, but it’s not something I have any desire to do.

I just love it there. A lot of days, I could do without the sheep showing part, but it would be hard to miss the rodeo events and the cattle work. I love that stuff. Someday, I want to be in it.

In addition to my lambs, I entered 30 photos and received four awards:
top of show – youth open class
I did these photos as a series.

 top of show – 4-H

lot champions – youth open class

So another county fair has passed. They all go with a tinge of melancholy, but this one more than the others because there is a definite possibility that I won’t be participating in next year’s. As my grandma often says, “This getting old is for the birds!” :)

PS: My Windows Live Writer, which I usually use to construct and publish blog posts, isn't working... so posting could be a little erratic for awhile. :(

Sunday, August 28, 2011



Isn’t it pretty awesome when you ask God for something, and He answers with a decided “Yes”?


This week I learned something about when God says yes.

His yes doesn’t always sound like yes. Sometimes it sounds more like si or ja or oui, or even oo. It’s still an affirmative, but it doesn’t sound the way we expected it to—it’s not quite our native language.

You see, I spent most of the past week at the county fair, where I show lambs. I asked God from the bottom of my heart to give me opportunities to share Him with others. When I asked, I was thinking along the lines of giving someone a tract, or feeling God put a complete stranger on my heart. That was my version of “Yes.”

God’s was different. I didn’t understand it at first; it was like another language. I didn’t get any out-of-the-blue tug toward a stranger. I didn’t randomly give out tracts. But I did find a million opportunities to be joyful when I would rather have been crabby. I did get the “What are you doing after you graduate?” question a lot, and found it an amazing chance to explain that I’d like to go to Bible school to learn about my Lord. And I got a completely unexpected chance to explain the Wordless Book to someone.

It reminded me of something I learned in church about this verse:


According to my pastor, this command in the original language doesn’t just mean go; it means while you’re going. So even though walking out of the house with the sole purpose of sharing the Gospel can be an amazing way to do it, there are also countless opportunities to share the Gospel when you’re heading out into day to day life. The keys for me were 1) to pay attention when the opportunities arose and 2) not to downplay my opportunities as “lesser” just because they weren’t sudden and unmistakable.

So that’s my latest lesson in foreign language. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

glory in this

This is a passage that has had a ton of impact on me this week.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Thus says the LORD: 
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
 Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
 Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness,
judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the LORD.

I’m going to be a high school senior and college freshman this year. This is the time when I’m supposed to be figuring out where my life should go. This is the time when the first question on everyone’s tongue is “What are you going to do after you graduate?”

I used to think I knew. Back when I was a high school freshman, I thought I had it all figured out. But ironically, now that it’s time to know, I don’t.

I could go to college to attain and glory in knowledge, power, or wealth. (Although, with tuition prices soaring, the latter is pretty unlikely.) There isn't anything wrong with those things themselves, but as a life purpose and direction--the profound emptiness of it is horrifying!

What I want to do after I graduate is simple. I want to attain a knowledge and understanding of my Lord, and glory in Him. When, where, and how I will learn this is a much more complex question, but one thing I’ve already learned about my God is this: He knows, and He’ll lead.

Friday, August 19, 2011

us {enough said}


I drove to my best friend Amanda’s house yesterday.

I’ve never done that before, even though I’ve had my driver’s license for over a year.


She lives around fifty miles away… down a long, curvy, steep, narrow grade. I think I had too much fun driving down that thing. Back up again wasn’t quite as thrilling, though.

We keep in contact by email and get together every couple of months for our “portrait fixes.” These generally consist of a lot of pictures… a lot of posing… a lot of insanity… and a lot of food.


Current picture total for yesterday only: 754.


Amanda is one of those people with natural class. She always looks stylish. She can do the coolest poses. She is so much fun to take pictures of.

Have you ever met someone like that before? I find them amazing.


The two of us are notorious for getting a little, um, cranky when we aren’t sufficiently fed. So a portrait session must include food (including sugary food) to keep us from going crazy.

Well, maybe it doesn’t quite keep us from going crazy… but it helps.


We had grand and glamorous plans for getting dressed up in long, flowy dresses and then taking portraits of each other wading through the sand and water at the riverside. We did get in the dresses, but promptly decided not to put ourselves through the emotional trauma of looking quite that ridiculous on a populous beach.

That is not a decision I regret.

Amanda18linking the above to:
and then, she {snapped}


You can check out Amanda’s photography here. And since the portraits she took will be (some of) my senior pictures, I guess I’ll show you guys a couple…


[editing by me]

So yeah. Another awesome day of portraits (and food!!) goes down in the history of Us. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

in the mountains

By now you’ve probably noticed that I love mountains. The one that faithfully satisfies my beauty-thirsty eyes every day, Mt. Adams, makes frequent appearances on this blog. You’d recognize it looking something like this:

Paper Heart Photo

Well, this past weekend, we got a closer look… from a different side.

I couldn’t help feeling that my mountain had turned his back on me while taking these pictures. But the beauty is definitely not lacking!

Climbing this mountain is definitely one of the things on my bucket list. All my life, I’ve looked at it from a distance and admired its beauty, watched it change with the weather and seasons, and stood in awe at God’s creation. (He even tells us that with absolute faith, we—through Him—could move something that massive. Oh, to have faith that big!) Someday soon, I want to experience this mountain anew: from on top.

I’ve always kinda been that way—I like to experience things in all sorts of ways. Just looking at beauty is enough for awhile, but then I want to taste it, smell it, breathe it, and touch it. I want to be in it and on it and around it and part of it. That’s why I don’t like to just look at the ocean or look at the rain or look at the mountain… I want to be swimming in it, dancing in it, climbing on it.

Anyway. That’s just the way I am.

Mountain water is so wonderful. It smells so beautifully clean, it looks so pure, it runs so cheerfully, and it’s so glacier-cold. And unlike saltwater or tap water (at least mine!), it’s velvety soft.
These next pictures were taken from up above the waterfall—only a few yards outside the frame the water roared down a steep rock cliff. The sun made it sparkle purple, for some reason. I slowed my shutter way down for the second shot, but I should have compensated better by closing the aperture down a little.

And this lovely body of water is Mosquito Lake. (It’s much more inviting than the name suggests!)

It was such a beautiful day. I couldn’t get enough. We stopped and picked huckleberries in the forest. We saw so many gorgeous landscapes. We investigated creekside campgrounds. I already want to go back.

One last vista to leave you with, this time of my second favorite mountain: Mt. Hood.


Have a happy day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...