I was reading Nehemiah 8-10 this morning during my quiet time. (Thanks to TamInAZ for encouraging me to get up really early to get that precious time in!) That is an action-packed section of the Bible. There were so many things in it that really struck me, but the main one was from Neh 8:17, "And their joy was very great." The Israealites had been doing their own thing for so long that they had forgotten what the Law actually said. They were under Persian rule, had suffered & we're few in number because of their sin. And yet, when they rediscovered the Law and began to obey it, their joy was very great! Their circumstances hadn't changed in the slightest. But, they had changed.
It's amazing what a heart change can do for you. When I realized that my own attitude about certain things was grieving the Lord, I determined to change my attitude. I began to really dig for guidance on a better attitude. When I started making statements & suggestions to my Don that would have been so out-of-character for me just a while ago, he started to notice! One day, he turned to me and said, "What's changed?" What had changed was me. My circumstances hadn't changed at all. And the things that I blamed my attitude on were still there. But, I had changed, by the grace and love of God. And my joy was very great.
My dad is visiting us right now and tonight we will celebrate an early Christmas with him. Yesterday, he drove us down to Organ Pipe Natl Park and across the border into Mexico. Caleb was amazed almost immediately after crossing the border. He kept asking about all the dogs that weren't on leashes...his heart is so tender. He was truly worried about their safety. I was amazed at how much Spanish I could read. The organ pipe cacti were very pretty...I love the scenery of AZ. I believe that my dad is taking the kids & I to see Narnia again this afternoon, at Caleb's request.
Here's the last picture from the past year that I'll post. From now on, they'll be current pics. Anyway, it's the kids in front of a Saguaro on a little hike in the White Tank Mtns. They have their bug-catching equipment in their hands, but we didn't catch anything on our walk. The thing we really worked at catching was a lizard (catch & release, of course!) but those guys are just too fast!