Spring Break

My husband gets 2 weeks for his spring break and the children and I get 1 week. The weeks never overlap, so the kids and I usually just end up going to Memphis. This year, though, we had been to Memphis earlier in March for my cousin’s wedding, so we just stayed home this year for spring break.

Here are a few pictures from our time in Memphis. My beautiful cousin and her handsome husband:

My husband with some of my other cousins:

Our family:

The trees were in bloom in Memphis, so that was pretty to see signs of spring, this at the zoo:

We were about one of only 10 people at the zoo. The weather was in the 50s, and that kept people away, I guess. It seemed really warm to us after spending the winter in Chicago.

We’ve enjoyed this week of rest at home during spring break. Each child spent a day with Grammy. We went into the city one day to meet my husband, go the “The Bean,” and have dinner at Giordano’s. We’re thankful to have had a slow week to just spend time together!

Just Checking In

We spent a wonderful 10 days in Memphis over spring break and Easter. My sister was in town visiting with her children, as well, which made it fun for the cousins to be together. Here they are swinging in the back yard together in their Memphis Zoo shirts.

Here is my mom with my son on Easter in her backyard.

We were blessed by the Easter service at church, hearing the pastor speak on “Why the Cross?” We were also able to be there for Palm Sunday and hear the beautiful Easter music that the church there does each year at that time. That used to be my all time favorite Sunday growing up hearing the music, so it was nice to be there again with my family.

I’m so thankful to have a Risen Lord, full of power and strength, who has saved me from my sins!

My husband has a new book coming out on April 30th, and we have received the early copies. It’s been fun to read blogger reviews and see the website. It’s exciting to see the full project reach completion, though there are 2 books left to come in this trilogy.

I am looking forward now to a day to get organized from returning from our trip! Have a good weekend!

My Daughter’s Blog

My daughter started her own blog to share her poetry. She is quite funny and clever for 8 years old!

I had high hopes of keeping up better with my blog this month, but I have been remiss once again.

We had a fun family trip this week to Utica, Illinois. We spent the night at a resort with an indoor water park, an amusement park, and a miniature golf course. We had a good time being away as a family, and the children especially enjoyed themselves and bringing home souvenirs. Starved Rock State Park is also there with a neat little lodge where we had a country meal, buffet style. There are some great walking trails there, so it will be fun to go again in the future. It’s amazing how just 24 hours away can refresh you from the daily demands of life.

We had dinner with 4 other couples last night. I was thinking today about different conversations I had with those friends and others this week and a common thread that has been running through them — things that keep people awake at night. It might be politics, the economy, irritation with a friend or neighbor, jealousy, a health issue, or a work problem.

As I recounted each of my friends’ situations, and thought about the things that can keep me awake at night, there was another common thread — these thoughts that stir in our minds and control our emotions don’t seem to necessarily be based on truth, but are rather things that could almost be categorized as a person’s besetting sin. The things that keep me awake are not the things that keep other people awake; we all have our different issue that threatens to steal our joy and rob us of peace. I have been wrestling with mine for some time and so want to get to the point of just letting it go and not letting it matter to me.

What is the answer for them and for me? I think somehow, it must have to do with fixing our eyes on Jesus and speaking truth to the situation and not allowing ourselves to be controlled by anything other than His Spirit. Perhaps it means believing God that He can truly set us free from anxious thoughts and create in us a peace and confidence in Him.

I have a friend who is very sick with cancer. Her faith has amazed me. Her husband continually points to our extraordinary God who is helping her, noting that she is merely an ordinary woman. God has made her extraordinary though. She has sought Him for years, so that now, she is able to stand and believe in a time of such deep pain. She is ministering to so many through this. I have thought of her every day this week. When I am challenged by my besetting sin, I have remembered her example of faith and let it go.

This is truly a rambling post; perhaps I shouldn’t publish it. Just some random thoughts this week. I do praise the Lord for His sovereignty, His purposes for His people that are good even when we can’t understand. And I praise Him that we don’t have to fear things because we have hope in Him. And I praise Him that He can set us free from things that cause us to stumble and fall and that He is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before His throne.

To Him be all glory both now and forever!

Family Camp 2008

We are with my husband’s family in New York for a family camp this week. My father-in-law and our brother-in-law (both of whom are in ministry) are the speakers, and the entire family decided to come along. The children are having great fun with their cousins. We have had plenty of entertainment with miniature golf, arts & crafts, rock wall climbing, playing at the beach, going to the camp’s carnival, sending the children to their classes while we attend teaching sessions, enjoying the concerts put on by the camp, and eating much delicious food.
I never much cared for camp growing up. 2 weeks was a long time to be away, and I always missed my family. This, though, as a family, is actually a lot of fun! I don’t feel homesick having everyone together. This is an ideal arrangement, especially when the children are younger.

I’m enjoying some time, too, to reflect on being a wife and mom. I’ve not ever considered these roles in life as much of a “calling” as I necessarily have other things. For example, when we helped start a school, God gave us a clear “calling.” Many things in life leave me with a sense of calling. Funny how with perhaps the most important roles I have, I’ve never thought about them in this way. And maybe God hasn’t made a particular “call” regarding being a wife and mom simply because it’s so obvious: it’s what I am!

After spending the last 2 years helping get a school started and at times being all consumed by it, I feel God calling me back to these most important roles. Over the last month or so, I’ve realized it over and over again in very specific ways. With my children, I know these days are short, and I don’t have long to pour into these precious lives, these gifts from God. I will continue to work at the school in the job I love, but my prayer is this year will be marked by balance and that each role I have will be put in its proper place.

I praise the Lord today that He has given us the gift of family and that He has taught us in His Word how to act and live as a family in relationship to one another and in relationship to Him. I praise Him that He is able to make all grace abound toward us. I need His help. In nothing else do I see my inadequacies so greatly. In this, as in all things, I must exchange my weakness for His strength and yield to His Spirit’s leading. He will no doubt give me joy in this call as I trust and obey Him. May He renew and revive each of our hearts in this home so that we may all walk in the fullness of Him!