Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mini Family Get-Together

I'm back!! I had the most amazing weekend full of family and fun!

Sometimes they drive me nuts, but I love my family to death. :)
We arrived Friday night and were able to see my aunt, uncle and cousin. I hadn't seen them in two years so it was great to catch up again!

Saturday afternoon we went and saw an old settlement.

Lady in an old costume talking on the phone. :)

The Baker

The Bakery

 Saturday evening we went to a park where we cooked-out and played frisbee-golf!

 Usually frisbee-golf is a pretty mild game...not this one! I got hit with a frisbee three times! Once in the wrist, once in the HEAD and once on my arm. 

Those frisbees hurt too! They're not those light ones you use for ultimate frisbee, these are heavy, compact ones made to go a long ways. 

And THIS is what they do to you.

Sunday morning was church. After church we had a big lunch in the activity building, hung around playing games and finally headed back to our hotel for a short swim before the evening service.

The evening service was completely dedicated to commissioning my brother and his wife. In a few weeks they will be headed to Africa. That night was really hard for me. I love my brother and his wife. They've been living with us for a few months now and I've really enjoyed having them around so much. It's going to be tough when they leave.

After church there was a big reception with food and soft drinks and cake. I sat around a table with my siblings, cousin and two of my brother's friends. We told stories and laughed the whole time. It was great! I love to laugh. :)

After the reception most of our little family group went back to our hotel and payed MadGab. More laughter. :)

Monday after lunch we came back home. It was sad to leave. Every time we go up to NC I leave a little more of my heart there. Still, it's good to be home again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm heading up to NC for my brother's commissioning! Sorry I haven't had time to make a "real" blog post lately. I promise you one when I get back. For now here's my latest and greatest pictures.

Be back soon!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Sorry about the smattering of posts lately...May has been the absolute busiest month of the year so far. In the last month or so we
1) painted our kitchen cabinets (I told you about that)
2) my oldest sister and her family came for a good, long visit 
3) we had the last AWANA night at our church for the year
4) we went camping with my whole family down near Savannah (that's      15 people in case you were wondering)
5) I took the SAT (finally)
6) we had three guests in the house (along with the 8 other people living in the house)
7) we packed my brother and SIL's container for their move to Africa, 
8) three of my friends graduated, 
9) one friend got married (Hurray!)
10) oh, and I had a birthday. :D 
(That's only the big stuff by the way!)

So, now maybe you understand why I haven't been around much lately! Life still is busy, (when is it not?), but it has slowed a bit, enough for us to catch our breath, take a small break and fold the laundry! (Just kidding.) Here are some picture-memories from this last month:

Feels like The Waltons!

My niece by the lake

The salt marsh by our campground. The vastness of it awed me, especially when I remembered that God's love for me is even bigger!!
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
Psalm 103:11-18

Friday, June 3, 2011

Judges 6:13

Last night I watched a documentary on the recent group of tornadoes that hit Alabama. Since I live in its neighbor state of Georgia I'm probably more aware of the impact the tornadoes have had down here, but still, I wasn't prepared for the extent of damage I witnessed on TV.

Tornadoes rip through my state almost every year but usually they pass above or below my home and usually they're small...but not this time. This time, instead of maybe just one house damaged on a given road there are whole rows of houses obliterated, demolished, gone. There are hundreds of people with no homes, but even worse, there are some families who lost more than just their home...hundreds of people were killed by the tornadoes.

What do we do in the face of such devastation? What can we say? We can go and help rebuild, we can hug and offer words of comfort, we can donate. And yet, somehow it's not enough. Those families can never be whole again. We can wipe tears away but we can't erase fear or pain. At the end of the day, when there is nothing left to silence our questions, our hearts scream, 'Why!? Why do such terrible things happen?'

We are not the first to ask this question. Probably every generation since Adam has pelted the skies with it. If God is good and He cares about us and He is able to do good, why does He send or even allow terrible things? We are told is our own fault; it is because of sin in the world. We believe it...but still our hearts are not satisfied. There is something missing...

In my Bible reading recently I came across a verse that made my jaw drop, literally. I've been taught all my life that the Bible is relevant to every part of our lives, but until now I didn't realize just how in touch the Bible is with people, what they think and what they feel. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, after all it was written for people, but it still awes me that God...well, you'll see.

Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
Judges 6:13 (emphasis mine)

Did your jaw drop? There it is, plain as day, the question that has plagued hearts for generations. But where is the answer? I'm getting to that, but first I want to give you some background information.

In this verse Gideon is speaking to the angel of the LORD. The angel came to him while he was threshing wheat in a wine press. Why was he in the wine press? He was hiding the wheat from the marauding Midianites who would regularly raid Israel and steal all their food, including their crops and their animals. So the angel of the LORD comes to Gideon in the wine press and greets him by saying “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.” 

Then we get to the verse I posted above where Gideon says something like "Ha! Good joke. If God were with us this wouldn't be happening, would it?" Now...for the good part. :)

The LORD looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
Judges 6:14 (emphasis mine)

It might take a little bit of explaining here from see, lately there seems to be a lot of tough stuff going on in my life; my emotions are all over the place. I've been crying out to God asking basically the same question, 'Why? Why can't my life be smooth? Why do I have to go through this stuff? If You're really here then this shouldn't be happening!' After a lot of tears and struggle I finally learned one of my most valued lessons. Pain is not always discipline for sin; it doesn't always mean something is wrong with us. Sometimes we go through things that seem wrong, that seem like they shouldn't be happening to us, to make us stronger. And not just stronger for the sake of being stronger, stronger so that we can "Go...and deliver..."

For example, my calling and dream is to minister to young girls, encourage and disciple them through the difficult teenage years. But there is no way I can do that unless I have walked where they walk, felt what they feel, and asked the questions they ask.

I'm not completely sure why the 2011 tornadoes came, but I do believe that somehow, something good will come out of it, someone will come out stronger for it and will be able to "Go...and deliver..."