"I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed." Psalm 37:25,26
This verse has been sitting on my heart for the past two weeks, perhaps because in my own life I can say that I have not been forsaken. In my 30 small years God has been ever merciful. I've been in some strange predicaments but I am certain they have been purposed because a merciful God has pursued me, wooed me, and ultimately glorified Himself through my story.
Our little family spent 10 days on the road and experienced God's mercy every stop of the way. When we discovered Sean was officiating his cousin's wedding at Mt. Hood one weekend and then speaking at a retreat in Oregon the following weekend, we decided to fill the days between with some quick visits with family and a few friends instead of trekking back home. We were apprehensive of the long car rides, the money spent on trips like this, and of course the amount of sleep when we only sleep 2 nights in each place.
Oh, God's mercy! We were blessed materially by many costs covered, a check came that we didn't anticipate, friends and family making spectacular gluten free meals for us (a true sacrifice if you've ever seen the way my kids can eat!), and a bag of hand me down clothes for Hudson.
We were blessed by having some time with Sean's family at Leah's stunning wedding along with plenty of playtime in the resort pool and playground. We had much encouragement from dear family and friends throughout the week. The Lord prepared some amazing prayer and counsel for us to receive from my Uncle Cal and Aunt Julie. (If you want to read about their life changing prayer ministry check out www.mastersmindministry.com.)
Our kids got to play with my cousin Sommer's kids (while I "played" with Sommer, which translates into "coffee time" when you've outgrown barbies). We also spent time with our dear friends Shawn and Jill, which equally delighted our kids who have developed friendships with Charlie and Kate. We laughed hard and had much needed catch up time with Joel & Kate Robnett and S. managed to squeeze a few Big Oak meetings in with people in Portland.
By the time we arrived at middle school camp we were exhausted but encouraged and filled by our conversations and time with everyone throughout the week. Thankfully, the Lord showed mercy again by an adventure in a motorhome (much smoother than anticipated with 3 little ones and 100 loud middle schoolers across the campground!). 44 students committed their lives to Christ and S. was able to encourage their leadership. We arrived home dusty, smelling like campfire, deliriously tired, and yet with a cooler still full of food, a couple checks to help pay some bills, and words of conviction and challenge from the Lord.
Everett was a trooper in his car seat...yes, I let him dress himself again.Grandad brought suckers, coloring books, and a brand new tractor to the resort. This was as much a gift to S. and me as it was to our kids.
Hudson is our water lover.
Did I mention having some time with my amazing sister-in-law?
John & Leah
Everett is definitely Grandad's boy.
Quick! Family shot while everyone is clean and cheerful!
Taylor was my flower girl 10 yrs ago and was a stunning jr. bridesmaid for Leah... here with me, Darla and Megan.
My husband who looks go-ood in a suit.
Splash park with Silas, Jewel and Sommer. Silas generously sharing a tractor with Everett.
Darla loving Jewel and convincing me that a little sister is in her best interest.
Hang out time with Charlie and Kate at the Weidmann's house.
The boats on Triangle Lake in Oregon. 11 ski boats, 100 middle schoolers, and sunny skies!
Hanging in the motorhome while S. speaks to students.
Everett taking driving the boat very seriously.
A new hobby- all 3 kids fell in love with tubing.