Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

big_maui_mapHeading here today with a brief stopover in San Diego, California. 

Glory.

It’s been on my list of places to see and well, now it’s happening. 

Still pinching myself. 

I’m officially excited.

Flabbergasted.

Over the moon. 

And I’ll see these places because these places are all pictures taken by the friends we will be visiting and staying with. 

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For real.

And this is my friend just sittin’ on a rock with waves crashing in the background. 

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Not even kidding. Could God be any more amazing? 

Oh, and I’m going with this guy. 

C&C

Have a great week!

Conditions Are Ripe

Fire 1.24.15We were pulling onto the turnpike to head west toward our home yesterday. As soon as we did, we saw the smoke. Billows of it rolling into the sky, trailing off towards the northeast. It looked like it was near the area where we lived, but probably not too close. As we exited the turnpike to drive north on the highway that would lead us home, we realized that it was farther away than we originally thought. My son, Seth, his friend, Micah, and I started placing our best guess as to where it was. I chose a cross street that was three miles south of our neighborhood and both boys chose streets farther north. They were right. As we got closer and closer to our turn toward the west, we realized that the smoke appeared awfully close to where we lay our heads at night. And being the adrenaline-type, always ready for an adventure boys that they are, they begged that we keep driving to get closer. So, I did. Because I hardly ever don the title “fun mom,” that day seemed like the perfect day to let her out. As we drove farther west, it became awfully clear that the fire was a little too close to our neighborhood for my comfort – about 1.5 miles away. Clearly we saw the smoke but with a quick lowering of the windows on my Toyota, we smelled it as well. Mem’ries. Like the corners of my mind. Anytime I smell smoke, I remember June 30, 2013. I have to battle the fear that wants to rise up in me that would make me act a fool and run outside in my underwear again. I find myself thinking “not again” thoughts and “God, I can’t rebuild again” and “please don’t let my sons be harmed this time.” So, I quickly begin taking thoughts captive and remember that no matter what I go through, God will be my constant companion. That He will never leave me, that He won’t ever forsake me. That I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. That He is my Shepherd. That He has good plans for me; plans to prosper me, not plans to harm me.  I remember that He loves me. And He loves you, too.  

Whatever You Do

Col. 3My eyes welled up with tears when I read Mike’s email. This friend of ours from church took the time to share a “win” with us about our teenage son, Noah. (And mercy, don’t we parents of teenagers need to hear these things? I see that hand.) He recounted his recent experience at Chick-Fil-A, the most blessed of chicken sandwich establishments. As he was waiting in line to place his order, a very old woman was placing hers in the line next to him but a few people up from him. By the time he made it to where he was able to place his order, the little, old lady was still there at the register placing hers. Mike wrote “the young man waiting on her was so compassionate and patient with her that I was amazed. As a pediatrician, I see kids this age all day long, and this is certainly not the usual. As she stepped away, I noticed his name tag said Noah.” Y’all, that was my Noah. I know, right? We shared Mike’s email with Noah. I told him that his choice to serve her graciously could have made her entire day because she could have gotten someone who was annoyed and impatient. It was a great teaching moment with him to illustrate the verses below:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
I told Noah how proud I was of him for doing something so small to make such a huge difference and that not for one moment was I patting myself on the back for his character development. I told him that I was just overjoyed that the Holy Spirit is working in him, leading him, guiding him to do the small things, which are often the hard things, to make a difference. I’m not entirely sure where you are in your life. Maybe you are at home with small children and you wonder if changing a dirty diaper for the third time since lunch even matters. Or perhaps you are working in a job that doesn’t affect people in a huge way but you show up anyway. It’s likely that you are just going about your life each day, doing the tasks and errands that just need to get done. Friend, He sees. I am confident that our Heavenly Father would rather see us joyfully doing our daily duties, however insignificant they may seem, than have us dread some activity that appears to be much more important. The word whatever in the verse above really does mean whatever. So, press on and know that the often unimportant can actually be the most far-reaching and influential.