Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Thought Of A Stranger


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I woke up 2 days ago to a tragic blog post of a friend.  Ginny posted about Sarah Harkins.  This sweet mother of 4, pregnant with another baby in need of desperate prayers.  My heart sank, like many other's.

 Sometimes we know people through people and it feels as though we really and truly know them.  In Sarah's case I was lucky enough to meet her one hot summer night, in her home, with her people.


I had just moved to Virginia.  I was pregnant and pretty friendless, maybe even feeling a bit sorry for myself.  I had made friends with Ginny and met up with her family. She was so thoughtful, trying to get together whenever she could.  Then one night she invited me over to her neck of the woods for a dinner out with her friends and then over to another moms house who was having a bunch of their home school friends over. She said her friend Sarah had read my blog knew that I was new to the area and asked Ginny to invite me over.   I was in...I needed a night out and felt pretty special that this stranger cared enough about me being new to VA to invite me over to her house.

What a fun night.  I met Ginny's friends, ate out in her downtown area at a super cute yummy restaurant.  Then we all headed to Sarah's house.  What an amazingly inviting host.  She was a natural at making people feel like they absolutely belonged there.  She had us all make bracelets from her amazing beads and we ate the most delicious food.  And I do believe she was the cutest mom I had ever seen.

I was blessed briefly to have met her and I can only imagine the countless stories being shared about her and the way she touched peoples lives.  A woman like her makes a difference to everyone around her and it is very painful to know she is gone.

I can't get her or her family out of my mind.  I believe I will pray for them forever.  This is the closest to tragedy that I have ever been.  And it is sad.

They are raising money for her children and their future...which I can't imagine the heartache they all must feel.  Please visit the site and give what you can.

I'm so sorry to anyone that knew her and will miss her in their everyday life.  I'm so very sorry.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Family Camp

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I may have mentioned one or a thousand times that it is super expensive for all of us to travel from our 9 mile long island.  So this summer I planned a 2 day camp trip at the end of the road.  This would be our family vacation.  I have never really camped before...especially as the adult in charge of feeding and sleeping 6 of my own children.  Who, by the way, think camping is the best and most easy way to spend family time...because they basically arrive and enjoy all the fruits of our labor.

I would love camping if I could also just show up...grab a hot cooked meal, have some drinks by the fire and nestle in my camp bed after a fun night of camp stories and songs.  But, I'm the mom.  That is not the experience I am able to have at the moment.

So, I embraced our 2 day adventure, chopped it down to one day and went all out for 24 hours of fun, family and fires.  I think me stepping into the camp life for one day vs. two was a good decision.  I loved every minute of the camp.   I gave it my all and had a great time.  Waking up in the morning was my very favorite part.  Eating breakfast on my quilts by the fire was worth all the work we put into family camp.

Pete and I talk a lot about the charmed life these kids are living here in Alaska.  A dream life for a kid really.  We spend most days in nature.  Jack spends every waking moment fishing, thinking about fishing, and waiting for the tides to change.  Beauty is all around us.  Freedom is given at will.  And we have each other.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Wait on them Immediately"

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Luke 4:39

"He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.  She got up immediately and waited on them."

This little verse appears in Luke referring to Jesus curing Simon's mother-in-law.  Last night when I read this, after a long summer day of rain and 5 little girls spending the night, I could not help but snicker...

Of course she got up IMMEDIATELY and served...that's what we do right.  We get up and wait on "them" immediately.  We are in the middle of using the bathroom and we get called to "wait on them immediately".
We get woken up because a toe hurts and we jump up to  "wait on them immediately".

But then I realized before she waited on them..she was given a grace.  The grace of healing, not to mention the grace of being in God's presence.  And we get that too.  We get the grace to serve well before we are called to serve. In the moment it may not feel grace filled...but He is there standing over us, rebuking the things that feel to heavy to bare on our own.

The picture I have in my mind is of Jesus standing over a mother, she feels sick, tired, and hopeless.  Jesus is there with Simon, who will one day be the start of our holy church, and the 2 of them help this mom regain herself.  Christ and our church heal her.  And the first thing she does is  "wait on them immediately".  She can't wait to get back to being the woman He created her to be..a woman who serves and loves by doing.



Monday, June 30, 2014

How We Begin A Story

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It seems like a lot of stories I share start with just a handful of beginnings....Like, "When Pete and I lived here last time"....or "When I was growing up".........or... "When I used to homeschool"

We look back so much and are able to see how much we have learned or how things have changed.  But for some reason it is hard to see the learning and changing in the right now.  The right now sometimes is so charged with emotion and confusion it is hard to see the lessons going on.

I can see a pattern though.  When I do start off those stories of when I used to live here, or used to homeschool, or when I was growing up the same message is part of each of those stories.  I wasted a lot of time during those different times...time I can not get back.  I wasted my time worrying about where I was going, what I was doing, how would it feel once I got there.

 When I had 3 little kids really close together I wasted so much time trying to avoid another baby coming close to those 3....what a waste of time.  I wish I had that baby right now that I so foolishly wished away.  I wasted my time...I thought I would have plenty of it later on to have as many babies as I wanted.  But that is not how things go, right?

We don't how God is going to change or redirect your story.  I lived here in Alaska 7 years ago.  I left here never wanting to return.  The rain, the remoteness, all made me more than ready  to leave once our tour was up.  But the moment we arrived at our new duty station I knew I had wished away some place very special.  I never thought we would be back here.  I quickly forgot just how hard all the rain could be.

Here I am.  God gave me another chance.  I asked for this.  I wanted to be back here.  I did not want to waste this time...like I felt like I did last time.  How am I doing?

Not perfectly!  I love some things and I find myself wishing for other things.  Another chance living here is wonderful...but wonderful can still involve some hard.

But my daily prayer right now is to not waste time anymore.....not waste time staying mad at people (myself included), not waste my time wishing for more blue skies....there is beauty in the gray, I just have to work harder finding it.  Not waste time wishing Drew would be more still at mass...he will be bigger and quiet any minute now and needing me just a little bit less...and that will be awful...Not waste time thinking about anything but be happy right here, right now.


Because in a few years I will start off stories by saying, "When we used to live in Alaska...." and my heart will ache to have these moments back.
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