Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Year Ago

Our house

A year ago, I was taking a cold shower wondering if we would have to sell the house. I was wondering not because the hot water heater was broken but because my husband was unemployed. It just so happened that the water heater broke two days before he was notified of his lay-off.

A year ago, I was also wondering if we would go into full-time vocational ministry. We had talked on & off through the years about it, especially if something cataclysmic happened. This seemed cataclysmic to me.

A year ago, I was wondering if we would move to Minnesota where all of my family lives.

A year ago, I was wondering how long our savings would last. Would it be enough?

Now, I know the answers to those questions: no, we didn't go into full-time ministry, move to Minnesota, see a zero balance in our bank account, or even try to sell the house.

But last summer, no one could tell me what would happen to us. They could only tell me their stories. Alike but different. No one knew the answers to those questions except One. And He wasn't talking.

My head wanted answers. He knew what my heart needed: the day-by-day practice of trusting Him and of seeing Him work in the big and the little things.

the hydrangeas in our front yard

Eight boxes of food were given to us the same day we had three extra children at our house. They stayed for five days. God gave to us so that we could give to others. My husband and oldest son "just happened" to wait a long time and then be given free doughnuts the first Saturday after the lay-off.

God didn't work in mysterious ways. He worked through a friend showing up at my door with groceries for a nice dinner. She came on a day that I was particularly discouraged. Another friend gave us a gift certificate for a restaurant and an offer for free babysitting. God gave to us abundantly.

Others gave us money. At different times. In different amounts. Because "we love you." All those gifts of money were the reason we didn't see the zero balance in our bank account. We were humbly loved. How sweet it is.

We canceled two trips up north to see family. Through the contrast of ease of travel to then not being able to travel, I saw how sure it was that God swept me up to Minneapolis at just the right time to be there -- at my brother-in-law's side when he took his last breath. He battled cancer for three and a half years. I live nine hundred miles away. Yet, God took me there at that moment. I was able to be with my sister for a week and half just after he died. How thankful I am that I was able to do something and be there when I live 900 miles away. And just as sure as he swept me there and back to Tennessee, I was unable to travel at all for 13 months.

Two canceled trips. He showed me that He is in control when I'm not paying attention (such as the ease to get to Minnesota just six weeks before) and when I am disappointed about rearranged plans. We canceled the enrollment of my oldest two in a writing class. Instead, we hosted a sign language class at our house, which became a treasured memory from last school year. His plan is better than mine.

Peace came through trusting Him. It did not come through answers or even a job. Yes, I was happy and relieved when my husband was offered a job six months later. But relief is not the same as peace.

The tree house that we built last summer and fall.

Today, I am thankful for my husband's job. I am thankful we were able to get back to Minnesota to visit family after a 13 month hiatus. I am thankful for a tree house that we built because of a canceled trip. I am thankful for more ways that God provided than I can list here. I am even thankful for the disappointments and the loss for I have gained something greater than any loss I felt.

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord..." Philippians 3:8

I am thankful for the lessons learned while we were sailing on the Sea of Saturdays.

May I continue to walk in peace and not relief.

May I continue to know the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus,

Humbly yours,


Welcome Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood from Jen @ Finding Heaven. Link on over there to find more inspiration of God at work.

Do you have a story to tell about looking back and seeing the hand of God work in your life? I would love to hear how God works through you, too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

For those who were wondering...

...and for those who weren't... the picture in the post prior to this was located in Wisconsin. Congratulations go to the grandma in Vancouver who guessed correctly due to the mouse and cheese! For some reason the upper Midwest loves to make tall statues of various items. And for some reason we love to taking pictures by them.

One day if scan my old photos into the computer, I would have quite a number of photos in front of different statues. Whew! Aren't you glad I haven't put all my photos on the computer?!?

O, Happy Day!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Then & Now

A quick hello to blog land. We've continued to gallivant around. But in the process I have set my screen saver to be the pictures that I have loaded onto the computer. So we all find ourselves sitting down and looking at our most recent pictures. (I started loading in the middle of 2009.)

Here is a little observation about time flying.

Last summer

This summer

The picture is shot at the same location somewhere on our travels. Does anyone know where we are? Do you have a guess at the state? Do you have a tradition of taking photos at the same place or way each year?

Have a happy day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Home Again

Well, well, well. Last time I blogged, I hadn't blogged in three weeks. Now it has been longer than that. We have just arrived home from a 3,000 mile road trip! Whew!

My husband and I attended an Appleseed weekend while the kids visited cousins for a week in Chicago. Then, we all traveled onto Minneapolis where we celebrated a 6 year old birthday, reminisced with high school friends, hugged family, watched my nephew play baseball, rode a Ferris wheel, had a water fight, ate lots of food, enjoyed blue skies with puffy white clouds.

Then we traveled to Northern Minnesota where we camped on an island for three days, drank purple cows, took our picture with Paul Bunyan. For our next stop we drove a little further west to participate in a wedding: a matron of honor, two junior flowermaids, a singer/guitar player, a ring bearer and a reader. We all had a job. We tubed down a river, rehearsed, met some new friends and celebrated with dear friends and danced the night away.

We have managed to arrive home with less tears than expected and lots of sweat! It sure is hot out there (especially when the fan on the van stops blowing!) and we sure are glad to be home!

There were many more memories....hope to post some pictures soon and some new thoughts that are brewing.

Hope y'all are keeping cool in this heat!

With joy, Kathleen

p.s. Welcome Coffee Company sisters....if you're not one...check 'em out HERE.
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