Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Annual Family Camp at Heppner

 I can't tell you how much I look forward to going up to the cabin in Heppner to spend some quality time with my family. My sis and her fam, my parents (Dad and Diana), Uncle Kenny and Aunt Terri, and my brother and SIL, Jerry and Sonya with their two kiddos. It is so fun! We just relaxed, visited and watched the kids play and get absolutely filthy!
 I was hoping to get a picture of how dirty Lily's face was. She had never been camping before. She had marshmallow and dirt from head to toe!
 Jacob's feet in the morning.
 Andrew's feet in the morning. Yes they slept in their sleeping bags like that, and guess what? I didn't care!!! I really tried to relax about the dirt this time. Children really do clean, and so do sleeping bags.
 The men in the family help me set up my monstrous tent. (Hubby doesn't like to come because there is no running water).
Pick your four-wheeler (this is just a few of them). This time we even had a go-cart. It was a blast!!! There are so many amazingly beautiful places to ride on this 5,000 acre ranch.
Andrew and Hank are hanging out on the porch, avoiding the storm. It was great weather until Saturday. We  had a storm blow in. But when you are four-wheeling, it helps keep the dust down. We actually didn't get much riding in this time, instead the men were busy putting up a propane shower. AWESOME!!! Thanks guys!!!

As I was driving home, the Lord reminded me how incredibly blessed I am. I have a family who can spend three days together and there are no fights, back-biting, or hard feelings. God is truly the center of our family. I am so grateful because I know that is not a common thing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We Fall Apart Just to Come Alive





Today is not a good day,
stranded in the heartache,
watching all the world race
and pass me by.

Like the wave on the ocean
comes a flood of emotion.
And it can't go unspoken.
No it can't go unspoken,
one more time.

We fall apart just to come alive.
A broken heart can shatter all the lies.
A brand new start and a goodbye.
We fall apart just to come alive.

But this is still a good life,
standing in the sunlight,
scattering a long line of fear and shame.
'Cause underneath the surface,
there's a heart and a purpose,
and I swear that it's worth it.
I swear that it's worth it.
It's not in vain

We fall apart just to come alive.
A broken heart can shatter all the lies.
A brand new start and a goodbye.
We fall apart just to come alive.


Yesterday the enemy had a little fun with me. I went to church and there sat my dream. The father of a large family came to speak. His 11 children were gorgeous. His wife beautiful. As they sang us a song you could see that the children truly loved Jesus. They were homeschooled, they looked obedient, and I started to compare.

How many times have I told all of you not to compare? I fell into it, not for long, but enough to derail me for awhile. As I drove out of the church parking lot, I started to count off all the things we had lost instead of what we had gained through this trial. I cried all the way home and couldn't stop crying. It was grief. So many dreams have been shattered into dust. Giving up raising Josh for this time. Six months and our children still haven't seen each other (except Marcus). Not being able to even worship as a family. Even having to give up homeschooling five of the children so that I can help my step mom continue to homeschool Josh. I cried and cried over this one. I couldn't believe that God was asking me to put my children in public school. It is everything I was against. The more I prayed, the more clear it became to me. He is testing me. He wants to know if I trust Him with my children. I have homeschooled partly out of fear and He is calling me out on this. It hurts. Another dream lost. I will be obedient though. I feel that He is telling me to take this one year at a time. I am thankful that I still get to homeschool Josh. 

I know God is doing a new thing, the lies have been exposed, the sin revealed. He can start over again. I am in the construction zone and it feels like an excavator has been allowed to rip parts of my heart out. It will be worth it in the end. My prodigal son, has returned, repented and is walking with God. He is getting the help he needs to live a victorious life in Jesus. My family is coming alive as we start to make a brand new start and we say good bye to a different life.

We are not that "perfect" family (I know every family has their issues, it is an illusion). We are our family. We have certain land that we are called to conquer. Our enemy is standing on it. But I am going after it. I will continue to believe God for it even when it feels very far away at the moment. God has surrounded me with an amazing support system. Family and friends who keep cheering me on even during these dark days. They let me grieve, but they won't let me stay there. I so appreciate it. They keep showing me what God is doing through this pain. How people are being changed, how Josh is being renewed even as I type this. He will be given back to me as a new creation. Almost every day I get the opportunity to minister to a family affected by pornography. This is an epidemic. The more I educate myself on this topic, the more angry I get. The enemy is having a field day with God's people. So many are in bondage to this sin. How can we be effective in God's Kingdom if we can't even face the chains that bind our family members? God has enlarged my territory as He is pinpointing this new direction of ministry. I thought I was going to have a cushy ministry like being a Titus 2 woman, encouraging young women to love their husbands and be faithful keepers of their home. Little did I know that I would be handed something that was so much bigger than that. He has more faith in me than I have in myself. That is probably a good thing.

For the first time in my life, I have made an effort to memorize scripture. One of the first couple verses I memorized was Psalm 16:6-8

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
You have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places (I have faith that this is true),
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me:
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me, 
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken."


Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Visit to the Zoo

 We were blessed to be able to visit the zoo in Portland, Oregon. The weather was absolutely perfect!
Jacob is comparing himself to a bear. So cute!
 Steve spoiled the kids and let them go on a train ride. At the last minute I asked my in-laws if they wanted to meet us. They brought my niece, Calia. The girls were such a big help as they helped Lily see everything. Lily and Jacob had never been to a zoo before. They were precious to watch!
 My sweet in-laws, Vern and Ethel.
Since we have so many kids, we decided to become member. It was only $18 more. We hope to be able to go several more times this year.
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