Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Snapshot and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.
To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.

Also, SDG retreat registration is still open!!  Click here to find out more information and learn how to register.  Hotel reservations must be made by September 7th.  Registration for conference closes on September 23rd.

We have a little theme going on the next few weeks that I would love for you to be a part of with us.  There is no pressure, but I thought it would be fun if we did a "summer snapshot" since many of our kids have started school again.  The summer snapshot would give us a glimpse into your summer -- would you share with us a few pictures?  What you learned?  What you saw?  How God moved in your life?  I can't wait to read!
This summer I was actually accused of acting like a little kid.

Riding in the car from San Jose to Monterey in California, I kept a running commentary as we made our way to see the Pacific Ocean for the very first time.

"Look at how the dark green of the trees contrasts with the yellow hillside!"

"Horses!  Garlic!  An artichoke farm!"

"Fog covering the mountain!"

"Look!  A rock formation!"
My daughters in the backseat were not as impressed as I was, but I was giddy and couldn't help it.  I was in new land and simply amazed by what I saw (and the fact that it was 60 degrees outside).  Eyes wide open, taking everything in, undistracted by anything that was not part of the natural world.  Pointing out what could have been mundane to some, but to me was fresh and awe-inspiring.

Guilty as charged, I was bubbling over and fascinated like a little child with a new toy.  I was expectant and eager to see how God had created this side of the country and I was so enthralled, not wanting to miss any bit of strange land where people wear jackets in August.
Even though we are back in Texas now, I've stored up a bit of this giddiness in my heart.  The truth is that there is an abundance of amazing things happening around me.  It is my mindset, though, that enables me to see them.

Am I expectant?
Do I trust that God is good and that therefore, He will give me good things?
Am I opened to being amazed or do I only accept things that happen within my timetable or parameters?
Do I have faith like a child or do I get muddled down in logic and logistics?

I want to be giddy with excitement at every point along the adventure and not just when I reach the final destination.  What about you?  Ready for your adventure and the wonders that God will show you on each leg of the journey?
I am so happy to see your face here at Soli Deo Gloria.  Did you know we have small groups?  As SDG has grown, it started to lose a bit of the small community feel.  As such, we have groups that visit each other and leave comments for each other on SDG days so that you don't feel lost in this big blog world.  Would you like to be a part?  If so, please email me at  Also, if you are new here, please put "I am new" as your caption so that we might give you a proper welcome.


  1. excitement along every point. . . yes! that's how i want to live, rather than feeling worn out all the time. loved your sharing, and i love those moments when my kids accuse me of acting like one of them :-)
    our group is sharing our summer snapshots next week. it's been fun to start contemplating it. . .
    have a great week, jen!

  2. "Am I expectant?"

    What a great question for us to ask ourselves. I love that you were giddy this summer. It's how I want to live too. Thanks, Jen.

  3. I am glad you were giddy like a child! When I take my boys on adventures - they aren't as giddy about the surroundings as I am either - so I enjoy it enough for all of us! Counting the gifts and love letters He sends me in my day - oh, that has taught me to be expectant in a deeper more savory way!

    So glad you had an adventurous blessing of a summer!

  4. Oh, Jen, this sure made me smile, being a former Californian. Yes, it's an amazing state and even more so when you're used to Texas (where I have also spent some time.)

    If you're impressed by a place where people where jackets in August and it's only 60 degrees, you'd LOVE Seattle. :-) I know we do.

  5. Love these pictures! You have a beautiful family. We are on the same page today. :) My post is a pictorial summary of my summer! Great to be here again. :)

  6. Jen, your girls are beautiful! Cherish these times, and don't be afraid to be giddy and joyful! My kids are in college now, but they still email me when there's a glorious sunrise or the fog hangs over the mountains. It's a good thing to pass along to your children :)

    Hugs from VA,

  7. This looks like SO much fun! No summer snapshots in my post, sadly -- I already had it written. But your post made me stop and think that maybe I should be considering this an adventure...rather than Thanks, Jen.

  8. Oh Jen, where did you go to see the Pacific Beach? You were getting aweful close to me!!! It looks like you had a great day. You know, I was watching my little guys ride horses today as they were bouncing along and I know what you mean when you felt that child like giddiness. It is a laugh that comes from the gut and a smile you can't help. Glad you had that experience. Love to you!

  9. What a fun post, and I'm right there with you - wanting to soak in all that God has given us to enjoy about his creation!

  10. I loved reading about your summer fun in my home state...I also agree with you about wanting to be expectant for the whole journey...I think it is more fun & faith-filled that way...Sorry, I already wrote my post and I don't have any summer pics...blessings, Jen :)

  11. amen...I want to be filled with joy as i travel on this journey...the joy of the Lord is our strength...and aren’t we supposed to become like a child...I love the joy in this post~

  12. I LOVE being accused of acting like a child! I have a feeling that Jesus was accused of that often :) Love your thoughts on expectancy. And your vacation photos are gorgeous! Thanks, as always, for gathering us here.

  13. Good questions. This will stay with me for a while. Thank you!

  14. This is the question I'm wrestling with now. Thanks for sharing your giddy enthusiasm!

  15. Ha ha! It's a good thing we're weren't in the car together. Probably our families would have deposited us on the side of the road!

    Years ago, we visited Saratoga Springs, NY, when we checked out a college for our daughter. Going down the main street, I just couldn't stop gushing: Look at that architecture! Isn't that building beautiful! Oh, look at that horse-wow! The craftsmanship is amazing! My family finally said that while they appreciated my enthusiasm, to please keep it to myself...

    I do think there is a lot to be said for a child-like perspective (not to be confused with childish)! :-)

  16. What a great perspective, Jen, to constantly look at things with God's joy! And, by the way, the SDG small groups are a great thing in my opinion! I used to feel alone in bloggy land, but not any more. Thanks for responding to God's call on that one, girl!
    Give yourself a hug,

  17. What a refreshing post! I loved reading it because it was so vivid that I could imagine riding in the car and being just like you described...overtaken by the scenery and in awe by God's great and amazing creation. My kids would have been just like yours too :) I do want to be "giddy with excitement at every point along the adventure and not just when I reach the final destination." thank you so much again and have a blessed rest of the year!

  18. Love the photo! What a great adventure! Yes, sometimes we get so caught up in the destination, don't we! I want to be like that too..."Giddy at every point along the adventure." So sweet! ~ jen

  19. What a beautiful trip! I get like this on trips too. Life is such a beautiful adventure ad staying wide-eyed in wonder at God's creation is a great place to be! Loved this! Keep sharing. :)

  20. Sweet, wonderful picture Jen...your contagious bubbling exuberance. I am sorry I have been so out of touch, I know you forgive me...I'm sending you much love across the time zones and prayers for the SDG retreat and all good things from friend to friend, sister to sister...xoxoxoxo

  21. Thanks for the great post & for hosting the linkup, & God bless!

  22. I'm very partial as I love the Pacific Coast, especially up in northwest washington! Store up those moments and ponder them when the days are dry and dusty.

  23. I love summer snapshots. It will force me to share some pics. I have an idea for the next group thingy.

    I don't know if people will like it, but being as you are the leader, I think you should swing that power of yours around, and suggest it anyway...are you ready? Do you want to know? I feel as if you aren't excited enough...

    Ok, here it is. My big idea. Get ready:

    A VLOG.

    Oh, yeah.

    And the crowd cheers.

  24. What a great perspective to be taking away from your summer. Love it. I also gawked like a kid at many new sites this summer - but I need to keep that open awareness with me here, in my "regular" life. It is a good thing. Thank you! And love your girls in the trunk - so cute!

  25. Great photos of your summer, great idea for all of us to share a snapshot. I love your joy about seeing new things and I would expect the same reaction from my kids.:)

  26. It is great to do something as a family before school begins again. Nice photos too!

  27. Looks like everyone had fun! I too, want to enjoy the journey and to stop rushing to get to the destination. The journey is half the fun and where you learn so much about yourself.
    You've made special memories with your little ones they will always remember, isn't that what life is really about? Enjoying your time with those around you before time slips away.
    Blessings to you!

  28. Wonderful pictures - thank you for sharing a bit of it with us!


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