Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Decade and a Foot

I wrote this a while ago, but it came back to mind again just the other day as I was picking up. I put one of Grant's new sandals of my foot and it FIT ME! How did that happen? Time moves too fast and it's just another reminder to treasure what God has given me and these years with my kids. I guess God is trying to pound this stuff into my head!

Where does time go? This past winter we celebrated 10 years of ministry at our church and the church's 10th birthday. We had a great weekend of special events to commemorate all that God has done here. Our ministry has changed a lot. I hope we are improving each year as we bring Christ to those around us.

I've changed a lot too. Mike pointed out in his sermon that being here has made him a better man, husband and father. I feel the same way about myself. God has allowed us to grow and mature here. It hasn't all been easy either. There have been a lot of tough times along with the good times. We've had housing issues, marriage issues, depressing and discouraging times. The lessons I've learned have changed me and I wouldn't want to go back to the person I was.

Thinking about it all made me realize that it's too easy to focus on the negatives. And now in retrospect there were so many good times. We've developed friendships with unbelievable families. We've watched their kids grow up, get married, have babies! We've seen people come to our church bruised and broken and watched as God began to heal them. We've seen people turn their lives over to Christ. We've learned to call this little town home.

Throughout the service on Sunday, I missed a lot. Annie had to go potty, there were issues in the nursery, Maren's diaper leaked all over her clothes and so I missed a lot. But I guess that's part of the change, God's given me a more important ministry! I've got my own little congregation of 5 and they are needy like most congregations are. It may not feel as important as the things I used to do like helping on the worship team, setting up or doing the bulletin, but it's the greatest job God has given me to do in my life and I'm going to try to enjoy every minute - even with all the ups and downs!

1 Thessalonians 3:12
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Camping is Fun?

We just got back from 4 days of Church Family Camp. I'm not sure what I expected going to camp with 5 kids under the age of 9 but it wasn't this. When we left Grant was throwing up, Maren screamed the whole first night and had a fever, Abby got bit by a dog, Mike left early to take Grant to the doctor because he wasn't getting better leaving me alone with the 4 girls. After Mike and Grant had left, everyone was going to go on a pontoon ride (a very old pontoon!). I continued to decline because Maren doesn't like to sit still for more than 3 seconds. They finally talked me into going and we ran out of gas in the middle of the lake. We tried to paddling back but the wind was too strong. So we sat out there for 2 hours and sang songs. Maren cried a little until we found some lifesavers in the first aid kit. Finally, we heard the camp dinner bell ring and we knew they would miss us. A few minutes later the camp staff came and rescued us in their speed boat. So, it sounds like it was a miserable week right?

The funny thing is that it wasn't. Either I've finally gone crazy or I'm maturing just a little bit! We still had a great time with our church family and our own little family. We canoed (or as Annie would say we went on a 'noe ride), played on the beach for hours, tie dyed shirts, played games, sang songs and had campfires. There was coffee and hot chocolate in the morning while sitting by the lake. No laundry or cooking! It was a restful change of pace.

It's so easy for me to focus on the problems and negatives! As if it's going to make me feel better to complain about how bad things are. I was tempted to pack up and go home at 3 a.m. or sit and pout but I'm glad we were still able to enjoy what we could.

I hope you can enjoy a change of pace adventure in the last few weeks of summer. It will probably have kinks and craziness in it, but I'm trying to remember not to let those things ruin the whole experience.

Psalm 62: 1-2
My soul find rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.