Saturday, August 4, 2012

Myriad of May Happenings

This summer has just  held challenges for my family.  Some were small and easily resolved and others were not.  It has left my plans changed and discarded.  It has also left little time for blogging.  I'm going to try to play catch-up and then hopefully share more current happenings as well.

May was a month that I anticipated a flurry of activities as we finished our year and then rest, down time and peace.  It turned out to be much different.  I'm glad that I can't see ahead to the future.  God gives us grace and strength in the moments that we need it.  Not ahead of time.  And not in anticipation of our challenges.

The month started smoothly enough with lots of "end of the year" activities - the flurry of things I had expected.  Things that were planned.  Endings.  I'm thankful for time with friends.  Time that is sweet whether it is scheduled or not.
I'm thankful for our church.  We've been a part of Awana this year.  This is the second year for my boys and the first for Eliana.  (No, I didn't get pictures of all of their groups.)

I wasn't sure if this would work for Eliana, but she has loved earning the badges.  She was always quite delighted when her name was called and she was able to go stand on the  stage.

I appreciated the flexibility that we had to make this work for Eliana.  Many of the verses were too long for her to say on her own, so we shortened some of them and signed most of them.  (This was a great site for looking up words and seeing video clips of how to sign them. Signing Savvy  ) Eliana worked hard each week to memorize her verses using sign language and often saying them while signing.  :-)  At the end of the year, I was asked if I would mind if they gave Eliana a special award.  I thought she would love it - you know, one more time to get up on the stage.

I was surprised when she was a little embarrassed by this.  Can you see her hand covering her face?  LOL
Even as life gets busy, whether it is a good busy or a stressful busy, its good to take time to celebrate.  To let people know that they are special.  To encourage each other.

Its always good to remember God's blessings and His gifts.  When life is peaceful and sweet and then especially when times get hard.  Joe (Christopher's roommate) has been a blessing to our whole family. (As has his whole family!)  I still marvel at God's hand in bringing these two young men together as roommates and our families together as friends.  It was an expected gift and one for which I give thanks.  It reminds me of His hand in the details of my life.
Its good to take time to relax and play - even when life is swirling about you and the future looks uncertain.  Maybe its even more important then, I'm not sure.  I know that I'll never look back and regret the time that I've spent with my family.  I don't want to live with regrets, but with purpose and joy.  Making the most of the moments as that is what life is made of ... moments.

 Camping in the backyard.  I love that we can do this.
 We all started out during the evening enjoying hotdogs and s'mores.
 It does my mama's heart good to see my children enjoying each other.
 The span of years not causing a gap but still moments to treasure and enjoy.
 I think we need to do this more often.  Get away from electronics and other distractions and just spend time together.
 Isn't it these times that we remember fondly?  The time spent with those we love.
 This was a night with a big surprise in it too.  Not at all a fun one, but it was temporary and those are often easiest.  Eliana got VERY sick in the middle of the night.  It was a last minute decision for her not to be in the tent.  What a good one!  Did I mention very sick?  I was up for hours doing laundry, giving baths, etc.   I'm not sure if it was gluten or something else.  She was fine by the next day however.

Life is a race.  There are times when we run alone.

 And times when we walk with a friend.
 Even when it feels like I am alone, I'm thankful to know that God is there too.  Beside me.  With me.
 Sometimes the greatest lessons are those we learn through adversity.

 Trials can challenge us to focus on what is truly important and what is out of our control.  Worries don't change a thing - though it is not easy to let go of them.
 I have had to remind myself to live today - in this moment -  that is a gift that has been given to me.  My worries not only don't change the future, but can rob me of the present.
 I won't say its easy or that worries don't still crop up, but I'm getting time to practice and hopefully will continue to learn how to trust God when things aren't going as I might hope.  Changing my focus and putting it where it should be.
 Finding joy in the journey.  Enjoying the gifts that each day presents.  Being thankful for the many blessings in my life.
I'm not sure if I realized when I was younger, that I would continue to learn as much as I have.  Or that the lessons in my life would intensify.  I'm thankful that God guides me and teaches me as I walk this path.  Even carrying me at times when I can't do it myself.

So, while my May wasn't all that I expected, it still has many sweet moments.  Memories that make me smile - from Awana to camping to field events with our FIAR group.  All sweet times with people that I love.

And some of the people that I love most treated me like a queen on one fun day in May too.

Hoping your summer has been filled with times that are sweet.  Moments that delight.  And friends and family that love you deeply.

with a grateful heart,