God’s answer

image

image

image

image

Thursday was setup day for our church’s children’s camp.

I woke up that morning with a terrible headache.

Not long afterwards I began to be sick.

My husband was very concerned.

Our prayer team was texted with the request to pray and I went back to bed.

As I lay trying to rest, trying not to feel discouraged,  I remembered all the times God had taken care of me in the past.

I missed all of the setup.

Despite the days upon days of planning and work I had to simply rest and allow others to take over.

I knew God was in control.

By 6pm I was up, eating, and my headache was gone.

When I arrived at camp everyone was concerned about my health and well fair.

I kept telling them it was Jesus.

Camp began early the following day and was full of all kinds of things.

There were some bumps in the road but overall the children had fun, learned,  and ate.

As we loaded the vans their faces were full of smiles.

Saturday was also a blessing ending with skits and songs which were both sweet, funny, and taught a lesson.

Sunday afternoon saw two of the campers baptized.

It was a full weekend and blessed.

It was a testament to God and His power, mercy, love.

I am so thankful for all the Lord did.

Praise God!
For He answers the prayers of His people!

What is love?

image

I love these people!

How can I not?

They are my children.

(Okay,  God’s children He’s placed in my care.)

Yet from the moment I held each one I’ve had this deep emotion for each.

Yet I know love is so much more than an emotional feeling.

True love is deeper than anything made up in the movies.

Love is a choice.

A choice to do the hard things.

image

This is love.

Allowing our oldest girl to move on.

Now love is remembering we have not just an adult married daughter, but a son and daughter who are married and designed to make their own home, their own lives, their own choices before God.

Dear Father,

Please help us to learn how to love in a new way. Please help us to be constantly listening for Your voice and follow where You are leading. Teach us how to walk in this. Bless this marriage and let them stay centered on You all their days. Thank You. All of this from birth through the wedding has been You. May those around our family see and praise Your Name!
Amen.

(Dear reader, Please forgive me not posting this sooner. I thought I had!)

God answers His people

image

This is where we live.

Like other places it has a story.

One of my favorite stories is about a Circuit Riding Preacher who felt called to settle in this valley.

His name was John Standley.

My husband and I were asked to be the directors of our yearly children’s camp.

My husband prayed and felt led to theme it around the Circuit Riding Preachers.

We are using Elisha’s life to teach important points.

This being the weekend for camp I’ve been very busy with details.

At one point I found we were short two counselors.

Since I had only 3 days to fill the positions I was feeling anxious.

I prayed.

God reminded me of all the things He is able to do.

He reminded me of His recent help.

The week before our daughter’s wedding our main dish was suddenly unavailable.

I went to prayer because with 200 people invited I wasn’t sure what to do next.

God came through and we had delicious Tri-tip.

I knew He could fill the counselors.

After praying I made two calls and had both positions filled.

Tuesday I found our transportation to get the kids to camp had fallen through.

I spent most of the day praying.

I asked others to pray.

God answered.

By mid afternoon we had transportation.

Today is setup and tomorrow is camp.

I went to bed early last night with a headache.

This morning I feel worse.

I’m praying.

I know God has an answer.

It may not be the one I want to hear, but I know that God answers His people.

Count down

image

It will be here.

The ceremony.

You probably can’t tell, but this is a cow pasture.

However, this Saturday it will be a wedding.

Since we are working with our daughter and her to be hubby on the wedding I feel very much the count down.

What are the final details?

Whose driving the bride’s maids to the venue?

What was the price of…?

Yet when we were cleaning the cow manure from the area which will soon hold hay bales and guests, I kept thinking about all that still needed to be done.

I wish I hadn’t.

Throughout this process I have wanted to simply enjoy the pieces which will make the end result.

Since, I can’t go back to change yesterday or before, I am praying today.

I want to stay centered on the joys.

I want to focus on the blessings.

I want to honor God throughout the process.

After all none of this would be possible without Him.

He has been faithful daily in each step.

I keep being drawn back to Psalm 150.

“Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with the stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!”

This is my heart’s desire.

That in everything, every step, every piece, I can praise the Lord! 

Where’s the BANG?

image

The fireworks were lovely.

As I sat in my folding camp chair holding hands with my hubby,
I was thankful.

Living where we do is a blessing.

Literally the show was five minutes from our house and when it was over we said goodbye to some friends and neighbors.

As we drove home I thought about the year I was too sick to come and how much I’d missed it.

I thought about the way our lives are changing.

I thought about the year we lived overseas and how much our family missed the celebration.

And I nearly cried.

I realized last year was the last time all our children would celebrate 4th of July together.

I didn’t know it at the time.

None of us could have understood the changes which were a mere year away.

Our oldest girl wasn’t with us at the celebration, because she was enjoying a special seat with the young man she’s going to marry.

Next year they will more than likely be moving away before the 4th.

Where was the bang?

What happened to the change in music?

I don’t know why but I think I’ve been expecting something to “signal” me to the fact that my daughter is an adult.

Like the high pitched screech of a firework or the bright colorful lights bursting in the sky I thought raising our kids would end with a big finale.

It hasn’t.

Although as the wedding draws ever closer, it feels like a big thing, but it doesn’t feel like end as much as beginning.

I keep looking at our girl and to-be-son and think, “Wow!  A new family!” not “Wow! I finally got one raised.”.

Maybe I’ve watched too many movies and was waiting for the music change to let me know it had come.

The bang moment of being completed with child and the beginning of adult.

Funny, I didn’t hear any bang when I grew up.

Of course I’m not sure I’ve finished growing up either.

The longer I live the more I see how much I still have to learn.

So that must be why there’s nothing to tell me when I’m finished.

Even though she’s an adult doesn’t mean she finished growing.

Even though she’s no longer in my home doesn’t mean she won’t want to know her mom loves her.

If God is still working on me, He will work on her as well.

We can learn to walk a new path as sisters in Christ, while still understanding our history together.

So, on with a new way to stretch, to trust Jesus, and a new way to walk.

I might be finished with the everyday parenting task, but I don’t have to be finished with loving our girl.

In fact it’s the opposite.

Now I get a new son to love as well!

Dear Jesus,

Please bless our daughter and her husband as they seek You and begin a new family on their wedding day. Place Your hand upon them and give them an over flow of love for each other and a desire to center their lives and relationship upon You and Your word. Thank You for walking them this far. Thank you for walking me this far.
May our lives bring glory to Your name, Jesus.

Amen.

Just have fun

image

Sometimes I struggle.

My kids understand, even though it annoys them.

It annoys me too.

Sometimes it annoys my hubby.

Yet, sometimes I struggle just having fun.

I want to defend myself.

If others realize how busy I am.

If those around me could just see the tasks calling my name.

If they only knew.

Of course none of this cares any weight.

God never told me I was to work unceasingly.

Infact the Bible specifically mentions a day of rest.

It talks about joy and gladness.

And deep in my heart I know my time isn’t to be filled with stuff.

Actually God makes it clear that people are more important.

So I’m trying.

I’m looking for opportunities to just have fun, even when I have other things calling to me.

In this case it was ten minutes before the basketball game.

Our son asked if he could play on the playground.

I wanted to say no.

To explain that there was no one outside to watch.

That it was almost time for the game.

That…

However, I walked him outside.

I sat on a bench in the shade.

I was able to just enjoy watching him have fun.

These days are numbered.

I won’t always have children at home who beg to be allowed to “just have fun”.

I praise God for these days.

I’m so thankful I didn’t worry about the list.

What a blessing,

to just have fun.

God has a purpose

image

Yuk!

I wasn’t expecting to see this bug when my hubby and I went out to the garden.

I don’t know what it is, but it wasn’t chewing any of our veggies.

My husband took this picture of it and we left it alone.

A few years ago I would have squished it simply because it looked like a bug that deserved to be squished.

I’m not a big fan of bugs and when my kids were small I went out of my way to kill anything I thought would be a danger to them.

Yet a lesson with a snake taught me to not be quick to decide if something was dangerous.

Our oldest girl was about 8 and saw what she thought was a toy belonging to the neighbor boy.

It was a white and black ringed snake coiled up in the lawn.

She picked it up to avoid the mower.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a toy and didn’t appreciate being picked up by the tail.

Neither my husband nor myself had seen such a snake and we killed it on the spot.

We later learned it was a California King Snake, and a good kind to have since they eat Rattlesnakes.

We learned an important lesson and have always regretted killing the snake.

God has created many things for a purpose and He makes it clear in Genesis that man is to rule over that creation.

I try to take seriously that authority and I am certain God is continuing to teach me how to honor His creation even in the midst of the Fallen state.

If He has a purpose for a bug or a snake He certainly has a purpose for me and every person He creates.

That being said, I can’t always understand the purpose of the things in my life.

I can’t always see how each piece fits together.

I woke up feeling low today because I have a headache which started yesterday.

“How do I get my list done when I feel awful? “

I am in charge of your list.

“But Lord, I don’t want to be sick!”

I will lead you.

Ok. It is enough.

My day hasn’t begun the way I’d like and it probably won’t look like what I had planned, but it belongs to Him and in everything I can praise Him.

Because I don’t know the purpose doesn’t mean that it is lacking.