Monday, February 25, 2013

Happiest Place on Earth.....

We escaped from rainy Oregon this week and headed to....well...rainy California! It wasn't too bad, really. It was a bit cold and dreary the first few days, but the week ended up sunny and warm. We weren't complaining -- we were able to leave work and school behind and have some fun at Disneyland. It was a lot of fun to be together as a family. An added bonus was having John and Sheila join us with their kids. It really made the week special to be with good friends! We got home Saturday and I have to say it is nice to be back in our own beds and hitting the familiar routine. Some highlights of our trip....

Our whole crew on Tower of Terror.  The kids rode this thing 9 times!  Sophia went the very last time...quite reluctantly...only after Martin convinced her that it was okay.  Martin is an expert.  He's 5.    He told Sophie he would protect her.  As you can see he is sitting front and center looking as cool as ice while everyone else is in terror!

Some pretty fun kids!

A little bit of sugar, some face paint, and a bit of sleep deprivation, makes for some pretty wound up kiddos!

Sophia tormenting Adam with her driving.  He's trying to "help."

Sophie thought being escorted alone around the park by Dad was great.  Only he had the patience to wait in line to meet Minnie!  She thought that was grand!

Can't pass up a hug from Pluto....

Waiting...and waiting...and waiting.....for the new Cars ride....

The kids' favorite part of the trip....swimming!

The last night in the park did us in!  Too much fun....all done!
Well, that's about it.  Nothing too deep or profound!  I just have to say it's great being home with friends and family.
With love and gratitude....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Most Amazing Update

Every morning the kids and I pile in the car and head to school.  We always spend the first part of our drive praying.  This was something we started doing when the boys started kindergarten and it has gotten us through many a tough day over the years.  We pray about the upcoming day, concerns we have, things we are thankful for, and for friends and family that are struggling.

This is going to sound terrible, but I'm tired of praying.  Perhaps it's the weather -- the rain has me worn out and tired.  Maybe I'm just exhausted or catching a bug.  Whatever the lame excuse is, I haven't wanted to pray.  I'm tired of praying for our hurting world, tired of praying for friendships and marriages that are crumbling before our eyes, tired to the point of exasperation of praying for those of our family and friends that are sick and dying.  Tired, tired, tired.  The list never seems to get shorter and nothing ever seems to get better.  From a person that has seen prayers answered in the most miraculous ways, you would think I could have a better attitude, right?  Not so much.

It was with this attitude that we started praying on Tuesday.  The kids took their turns and prayed about those things concerning them most and then it was my turn to close.  For the next few minutes I would typically pray the names and the situations -- there are so many, but if I miss one the kids are sure to chime in and remind me of any situation I overlooked.  On Tuesday, the words just stuck in my throat.  "Hopeless" was all that came to mind.  "Lord," I thought to myself. "We pray earnestly every single day and yet nothing happens.  It's like we are stuck in slackwater and can't move."  I had, in my own mind, given up.  As I sat there silent in the car the kids reminded me it was my turn to pray.  I waffled between my hopeless attitude and the keen sense that my kids are always watching my faith lived out.  Was today they would see their mom give up and tell them it was simply hopeless to pray one more time?  I took a deep breath and dug deep.  I prayed the names and I prayed the situations, and I closed in Jesus's name.  The whole wrestling match left me drained and numb. 

Wednesday morning I got up and checked my email.  There was a Caringbride update from our friends, The Fosters.  We pray for their family daily...sometimes many times daily.  As I read their update the first thing that came to mind was, "Lord, forgive me."  I had lost hope in God...or had been angry with Him....and right before me was proof of his love and faithfulness...and His ability to answer prayers.  I am not going to retell all that happened here.  Anna's version is perfect and miraculous.  You can read their story HERE.

Take time to soak in all she wrote -- read through it a couple of times.  And, if you haven't heard the story before, go back and read the earlier posts on Caringbridge.  The gravity of the situation makes this miracle worth shouting from the rooftops!  After you have processed it all, think about the things you pray about.  Don't give up hope.  There is no hopeless situation.  God is in control....always.....even when we are empty and hopeless ourselves.  

Keep praying!  With love and gratitude....