Luger

This boy has my heart.

He is a strong being...physically and in will but on the other hand can be the sweetest boy. Wanting to be in the same chair as you on your lap. Let me remind you he is at least 75lbs but I don't care! 😘

I have to admit that I could have given up on him many times in the being training phase of life because he tests my patience to the very limit. I can't compare him to Osa. They are on complete opposites of the spectrum.

After being gone for 13 or so days we have a new bond. Maybe he's just growing up and moving out of puppy stage but I'll take it!

📸 : lauradake

📸 : lauradake

The Journey

We just spent 10 days at the beautiful Salvation Army's Camp Hoblitzelle in Texas.

📸: laurajdake

📸: laurajdake

The Bible leaders for the week were Captains Andy & Abby Miller. Our theme was, The Journey. 

We have to own that the journey is not your own.
Captain Andy Miller III

God has a marvelous path or journey for our lives. Life happens and sometimes we get detoured from the path He has planned for us but He is with us guiding us. We have to listen to His voice. Many times we listen to our heart because it makes us feel good at the time. Captains Miller said this, Our hearts lean toward sin. Following your heart has lead couples to adultery and has led people right out of the church. We need to have a pure heart. 

The theme verse was found in Philippians. I love the translation they used. The Voice. The creator of the universe, the God who knew me at the very existence of my being, the God who created me, created a journey for me. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. I love capturing images with my camera. I think telling a story with images comes so much easier to me than writing words on a page but I love how this translation paints this image. God, the creator, will not stop in mid-design but He is constantly perfecting me. 

I thank God for the opportunities he has provided for me. I'm grateful for the friends and family I have that keep me accountable.

I am confident that the Creator, who has begun such a great work among you,
will not stop in mid-design but will keep perfecting you...
Philippians 1:6 The Voice

 

 

The Gunshow Experience

I love when we get to spend time with our friends Jeff and Sheena. Besides having a great time together we love "good" food and the dining experience. We went to a restaurant that has been on my list for some time now called Gunshow

Chef Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant, Gunshow, offers a bold, new take on the traditional dining experience. Inspired by Brazilian churrascaria-style dining and Chinese dim sum, Kevin combined the two for a decidedly fun and delicious result. Dishes are presented on rolling carts and trays to diners at their tables where they can then choose what to order. Pricing is a la carte.

The menu changes constantly and the kitchen is highly visible. You can watch the chefs at work creating art on a plate.

Here are photos of some of the food we had. We had our favorites! the Crispy Beef Short Rib, Onion & Cheese Tart, Handmade Tortellini and the Roaster Diver Scallops. Of course we had to try dessert, so we had Banana Pudding. My least favorite and it confirmed that I don't really like them were the Oysters.

📸  Laura Dake (photos 1-4)
📸  Sheena Marquis (photos 5-7)

Hosanna

I see the king of glory

Coming on the clouds with fire

The whole earth shakes

 

I see his love and mercy

Washing over all our sin

The people sing

 

Hosanna

Hosanna

Hosanna in the highest 

I see a generation

Rising up to take their place

With selfless faith

With selfless faith

I see a near revival

Stirring as we pray and seek

We're on our knees

 

Heal my heart and make it clean

Open up my eyes to the things unseen

Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart for what breaks yours

Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause

As I walk from earth into eternity

 

Hosanna in the highest

Hillsong United Lyrics

tsamtk.org

tsamtk.org

Three Year Anniversary

As I lay my head down tonight (Friday night), my mind is consumed with thoughts and memories of three years ago. We laughed. We cried. He struggled. It is almost paralyzingly. I went to bed hoping that he would make it through the night and a few hours later Doug entered heaven. I miss him so much! But I am confident that he lives in heaven with God The Father. I can't even imagine. 

I am reminded of these beautiful words:

 

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,

He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;

To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,

To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

 

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources

Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

 

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,

His power no boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

 

I looked up into the sky through the trees while I was walking around the dog park this morning. I want to believe that the clear skies and sunshine are sign from heaven that all is well.  

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Birthdays and Time

This is my last year in this decade. How did it come so fast? Three years ago...THREE, I spent the week with my brother and sister-in-law. My brother's health had deteriorated quite rapidly since I had seen him the Christmas before. My parents had been staying for weeks at a time but the week of my birthday it was me that was going to help him while Melissa went to work. 

We spent precious moments in that little apartment. Quite moments. I watched him constantly. Staring at his chest while he slept. I was afraid that I might not see his chest going up and down. I watched him struggle to do easy tasks. Things that you don't even think about. Do you think about moving your leg before you start walking? I don't. I just start walking. He couldn't do any of it. He would get frustrated and I tried to be the voice of patience. Which quite frankly is hilarious. I am the least patient person. 

Because he would get frustrated, we had a pact. We would be patient with each other. Beautiful moments spent together! Being there with him was the greatest gift. 

Time though...it doesn't stand still. It is always in a constant forward motion.

There is a song from the musical Wicked that when I here it, tears usually well up in my eyes. It's called For Good. Because I knew Doug and was fortunate enough to love him and be loved by him, I have been changed for the better. The struggle was real and painful but anyone who knew him was changed for the better. He lived out his testimony and because he had a relationship with Jesus, he lives in Heaven today and for always!

It's weird to think I am almost in the next decade. I don't feel old. I guess it's just a number. I cherish my friendship and relationships of those people I get to do life with.

The note Melissa left for me on the bathroom mirror on my birthday.

The note Melissa left for me on the bathroom mirror on my birthday.

For Good
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...

Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good...

Clean

We are in the Lenten season. This season is a very emotional time for me. Easter has been that way for me for a long time. It's emotional because of the sacrifice of God's own Son...for me! Me, who has not fully trusted Him enough or loved Him enough or lived a life worthy of His love...He still did it for me. I fail Him constantly and He loves and he pursues me.

This time of year is a difficult time for me personally when it comes to loss. Three years ago this week our dog, Osa died. Our "fur baby" that we loved for almost 16 years who loved us unconditionally. Three years ago this April my brother went to be with the Lord. Time goes on but the places that Doug filled in my life are still empty. One year ago my beloved grandmother met Jesus. A God she served for almost 99 years.That is a lot of loss but there is a hope! God prepared a place for us. That is the comforting part of the loss. I know they are in heaven. 

A few weeks ago my friends daughter (who I love very much) sang a solo in church. I wasn't there that weekend and as my husband and I were driving home, we replayed the FaceBook video. I couldn't see the video through the tears. First, because this young lady was singing out. Not holding back. Her voice was clear and beautiful. Second was because of the lyric. 

There's nothing too dirty
that You can't make worthy
You wash me in mercy
I am clean.
Clean, Natalie Grant

These are powerful words. I am valued by God. He washes me in mercy and gives me the gift of grace. The God of the universe who created me, loves me more than I can comprehend. 

Page 20-36 of 365

I have posted a photo every day for the last 36 days. I haven't always been good about putting them up on my blog. Sometimes there isn't really a story to write about. Sometimes I take a certain photo because I'm participating in a photo challenge, sometimes it's something I have seen or experienced.

Here is a collection of photos from the last week or so.

Page 19 of 365

Today is your birthday. Your earthly birthday. The day God chose for you to be gifted to us. We had 43 years celebrating you! Loving you in a very tangible way. With a hug. A kiss. Laughter that was so contagious! A passionate, opinionated, caring individual. God chose 43 years was all that we would have. He didn't want to wait any longer. He wanted you home and so now you celebrate your second birthday in heaven with Him and the people who we love that have also gone on to heaven.

There are days that seem still so unreal that you aren't here. I can't call you to hear your voice. To tell you how much I love you! To tell you that you are the best baby brother a sister could ever have. You are missed more than I have words to express but I have memories that will never be taken away from me. Even near the end, I can recall things that you said and did that make me laugh out loud. I love Doug! Forever in my heart!