Even if it is only to take an hour drive to have a picnic at the lake!
Yep, it had been one of those weeks (or maybe one of those months) last week- as you already know, so Randy loaded us all into the car and drove up to Shaver for a few hours to get away. With a blanket and a picnic lunch, we just pulled over and found a shady spot to sit and relax and enjoy the view. The weather was perfect and Elliana did great on her first little car-trip. The boys had fun collecting rocks and climbing around. We didn't stay real long, but it was just enough to feel like we had gone away without the work of actually going away- know what I mean? It was Randy's cure for depression- sweet huh? We realized that we hadn't really even had a family outing that didn't include shopping since Elliana came home. Well it was about time and it was fun. And maybe the next trip will be to the beach in a month or two- for more than a few hours though!
A few pictures of our little outing... (Randy and I did a tag-team photography effort!)
Not always happy:
I just wanted to also say a big huge THANK YOU to those who have been reading our blog and been praying. As I have said before, your comments, messages, emails, phone calls, etc. have encouraged me greatly and I know that the Lord has put specific ones of you in my life at this time for a purpose. I sometimes struggle with how much to share on something as public as a blog, especially since I have no way of knowing who is reading it unless you comment (which I would love by the way!) but you have been so encouraging as I have shared my heart at times. It has also been wonderful to connect with those of you who have gone through or are going through the same things. What a blessing you are!
I do not want to sound like I am complaining, because obviously the things we are dealing with are so very trivial when compared to my fellow brothers and sisters who are being persectued every day for their faith, or those friends who have suffered the unimaginable of losing a child or loved one, or the many many faithful ones who are quietly and humbly and self-lessly serving the Lord in both far away places and close to home. The truth is, we have a very blessed life with 4 beautiful children and no real persecution to speak of. There are many days when I actually long for the hard things to come, because I know that my faith will be tested and maybe even shaken, but in the end it will hopefully be refined and strengthened and more dependent on Christ than ever. But seriously isn't it the daily things, the mundane and the "seemingly easy" things that can trip us up? For example when we have a big decision to make or a tragedy or a mission trip or something- that is when we are on our knees immediately and consistently because obviously we know God's grace is the only thing getting us through to the next moment. But it is the daily: the getting up early each and every day to meet with my Savior, the praising Him all the day long, the having God's word flowing through me and renewing my mind every moment- those are actually the things that truly strengthen my faith. And it is also the little daily actions that we do that we sometimes allow attitudes to creep into our life and rob us of our joy. Attitudes like bitterness, complaining, selfishness, envy, greed, and I could go on and on! I still want those hard trials and testings to come- but I am learning that the only way to be strengthened through those is to allow the Spirit to work in my life in the daily. And to be obedient and faithful in the small things. God is in the seemingly small stuff (like adoption blues, homeschooling frustrations and constipation) as well as the big huge stuff, and actually nothing is small to Him.
Nothing as far as circumsatnces have changed around here, but thanks to wonderful family and friends, God's word that is living and active, and a God who does not give up on His children- I am beginning to see the blessing that can come out of the daily struggles and challenges. He is faithful to meet me where I am- even if it is to reach down into the pit to pull me out.
To Him be the Glory forever and ever.