Thursday, July 22, 2010

Impossible Situation or Great Opportunity?

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." ~Chuck Swindoll

I have read this quote before but was reminded of it when it was a friend's facebook status this week. We are currently facing one of these situations that I don't want to go into details about yet. As we walk through this situation with God I wonder how people get through these "great opportunities" without Him. One thing that God has been teaching me through the current trial is that trials are going to come but I can not allow them to trip me up. I need to keep living life through the trial and not go into crisis/ survival mode every time. God has been teaching me that He is going to allow many trials in my life but that I can trust Him through them that His grace is sufficient and that He will provide exactly what I need exactly when I need it. He has also taught me that I need to simplify my life and create habits and routines that will help me when difficult times come. We were reminded at the MMI - 1. This world is not my home. 2. I am not my own. 3. Night is coming. I can't let impossible situations overwhelm me but I need to look at them as great opportunities for God to grow me and ultimately for Him to use them for His glory whether that be today or years down the road. He knows what is best and I want Him to make this difficult situation a great opportunity for His glory. How? I have some ideas but only He sees the big picture and knows why He is allowing it and how He is going to use it.

I trust You my Sovereign God, You know what is best. Please help me to keep living for You through this great opportunity. Use it for your glory to turn people's hearts to You in Your perfect way.

Monday, July 19, 2010


This summer has been full of dates and it has been wonderful. The first weekend in June Glenn and I went to the homeschool convention while my friend Bethany watched our kids. It was so nice to just hang out together and learn how to be more effective as parents. On the Friday night of the conference we even got to go out for dinner at Dinosaur BBQ because a friend had given us some date money for helping her out. That Sunday we went to Northridge Church and the message from the parenting series that week was on the priority of marriage in parenting. It was neat that God had already used our time over the weekend to prepare us for that message. We have never made dating a priority for various reasons but we have decided that we need to make it a priority.

The next weekend our kids spent the weekend at my brother and sister-in-law's house while we went to Harrisburg, PA for ABWE's Medical Missions Interface. It was our first weekend away since we've had kids and it was great to hear how God is working through their various ministries and to be challenged to live for Him.

Both of those conferences are worth a several blogs each from all that we learned from them but this is a date blog so I will go on.

We also were able to "get rid of" our kids for a night a couple of weekends ago on a Friday night when they all spent the night at a friend from church's house. It was so great to go out and then come home and watch a movie together without the kids peeking in on us wondering what we were watching. :)

Another kind of date happens around our place. We have each of our kids names on half of a 3x5 card that are put on a ring that is magneted to our fridge. Whenever Glenn or I have to run an errand and the other is staying with the kids we grab whoever is on top and take them with us to be able to spend one on one time with them. I noticed as we were packing that it hadn't flipped in a long time. Throughout the school year pretty much the kids went everywhere with me. Occasionally I would grocery shop after they went to bed but usually all 4 came with me everywhere. It has been fun to take the kids on "dates" more often this summer. Today Caleb went on a date with me to Ollie's, Wegmans and Home Depot. It was fun to chat with him in the car and as we shopped. Then later this afternoon Hannah got to go on a date with Glenn when he went to pick up a bike off Craigslist. Rarely are our "dates" more than a quick trip to P&C to get milk (what Lydia's and Abigail's dates the last week or so have been) but it is so great to just spend one on one time with them. I think that is one thing that I picked up at one of the sessions at the homeschool convention, it isn't about getting them things or spending money but more about spending time one on one with your kids that really matters.

It has been a great summer having dates, both with Glenn and with the kids. They are precious times that we need to schedule into our lives more regularly even when life is busier than it is this summer. How we are going to do that this year we haven't quite figured out yet but we know that it is important so we are going to make it happen.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

ABCs of our Michigan Trip

On our way home from Michigan we decided to come up with the ABCs of our trip to Michigan last week. We had a great time visiting the Lishawa's and exploring the Traverse City area of Michigan. Here is our ABCs, some of them are a bit of a stretch and if you may notice food is pretty important to my kids so many of them are foods we ate:

A - adventures, accidents (Lydia did come with us after all) and Allison (Brian's sister-in-law whom we met)

B - Brian, Barry (Brian's dad), boat rides, beaches, bonfire, Bananagrams, bike rides

C - corn on the cob, cherries (we went to an orchard owned by one of their co-workers and picked about 60 pounds of them for free - YUM!), chips, cat (Sampson - we love him!)

D - dahl, DH Day Campground

E - Eagles (the name of the speedboat and the bird that we saw one day on the lake)

F - food, fish, friends

G - Good Harbor Bay

H - houses, hot dogs and hamburgers, The Hobbit (we listened to it on CD on our car ride)

I - i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m - a must anytime you're with Kristina :)

J - Juliana and Jacob (kids our kids met at the campground), Jeff Myers (more CDs we listened to on our trip that we'd gotten at the homeschool convention), jumping in the lake

K - Kristina, kayak

L - Long Lake (lake Brian's parents' house, where we stayed for most of our visit, is on), Linda (Brian's mom), loons (there were loon families with babies on Long Lake), Lishawas, lightning storms, life jackets

M - Michigan (the state and the Lake - the Lake is so clean and beautiful!!)

N - night walks, Niagra Falls (we took the Canada route on the way there)

O - opportunities (it would be a beautiful place to do residency)

P - Peter (we got to meet him - he's so cute!!), Petosky stones, peas (fresh from the garden), packing

Q - quietness, quintessential vacation (it was the best vacation we've ever had)

R - Randolph - the moose half of us kissed at a restaurant, rocks - we found lots of cool ones, rest

S - sand, shish kabobs, Sleders (home of Randolph), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, swimsuits, Shane (Brian's brother)

T - Towanda (the Lishawa's pontoon boat), tent, tubing

U - Us!

V - Vacation!

W - water

X - eXciting, eXtraordinary

Y - yellow sit and ski

Z - Zed (the end, I don't know)