My friend Kate set up a workshop with Kim Bredberg of Blackbird and Company, a language arts curriculum company. I came away with so many great things! She had us do a few exercises, one of which was to write a poem inspired by a photo. Just thought I would share mine here:
"While I intended to sleep on my flights, God wanted me to worship Him. Through that adoration of my Maker He brought life to my soul. He gave me pleasure in the beauty of creation. And He renewed my passion for the journey we are on and the story we are writing every day."
We haven't been sleeping much around here. Kids getting up for all kinds of reasons. But this was a great reminder to me, that although I may intend to sleep, and get my rest and renewal that way.... God may intend for me to worship Him, by getting cups of water, and heating up rice packs, and soothing fussy babies. And if I will choose to worship Him in that, then He will give me pleasure in the beauty of His creation of these little ones, and He will restore my soul and renew my passion.
This phrase is painted on the wall in our home. This is the best summary I can offer of our trip to Colorado and the Mom Heart Intensive. The Lord clearly showed Himself at every turn. He lovingly cared for us in specific ways. There is so much to share, but for now I will share a story, and 3 lessons that won't be quickly forgotten:
Our friends graciously offered their cabin in Mancos, Colorado for our family to enjoy. We stayed four nights, and then headed towards the Denver area. On the last day of our time at the cabin, a gravel truck drove past us and a rock hit the windshield. Hard. As we pulled over to assess the damage, we noticed pieces of glass inside the car from where the rock had hit. Then I looked down and noticed one small piece of glass on me. I felt an overwhelming sense of God's protection-as if an angel had just stretched out over me. We praised God together for His protection!! (But, we still had a broken windshield and about 2000 more miles to drive!!!!) Now, this is a tiny, little town. I called a place in town called "Integrity Glass." Not only did they have a 1997 Suburban windshield in stock, but they had a mobile unit that would come out to the cabin, replace the windshield, and it had time to sit overnight before heading towards Denver. God's provision is amazing, abundant, and breathtaking. It was as awesome as the beauty around us. My husband and I marveled at God's goodness. And we remembered(this time) that when we encounter difficulties, the way we respond to them can greatly effect our experience of Him within the trial. By the Holy Spirit, we were able to worship Him with a broken windshield. And when we did, we saw God show up in an amazing way.
1. "The heavens declare the glory of God..." Psalm 19:1a
(Deb's beautiful backyard!!!)
When we disconnect from the beauty of God's creation, we miss out on a part of who our God is. His creation declares His glory!!
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Rom. 1:20
(Just outside the hotel, as we were driving over to Sally's house)
2. We burden ourselves and our families unnecessarily when we try to drink a "cup" that is not what the Lord has given to us. We must accept our God-given personalities, and accept what He has made us stewards over, rather than always trying to accept a portion the Lord has not given us. I have to prayerfully consider what is my portion, and not add anything (even something good!!) or neglect something (especially little somethings). And when we return to Jesus' summary of the law, my main "portion" is to know Him and love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Out of that love, I can then extend His love to others.
"We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him." -Oswald Chambers
3. God has entrusted us with the ability to redeem!!
There is the ideal, what God intended.
There is our reality, which is broken and tainted.
And then, through Christ, there is the ability to redeem situations for His glory. This is part of bearing God's image.
So, it is wonderful when our kids encounter broken situations, to walk them through, "How can we redeem this situation in a way that shows God's love and goodness?"
I am so thankful for the relationships that were created, and I am excited to see what fruit the Lord brings out of our amazing time together in Colorado. (More stories to come!!)
Clay and Sally Clarkson have an amazing ministry called Whole Hearted Ministries. Much of their resources are devoted to encouraging homeschooling moms, moms in general, and families in general.
When we lived in the mountains, it was a rough time for most of us, I am not going to lie!! A sweet friend that I met shortly before we left gave me a book and encouraged me to read it. Now, I am a reader!!! But for some reason, I just didn't pick the book up. But I randomly packed it with me when we moved and unpacked it and knew where it was, still not reading it.
A dear friend of mine came back from a conference that Sally Clarkson had done, and she purchased a book for me called "The Mom Walk." She shared with me about the conference, and as I heard that name, Sally Clarkson, it dawned on me that the book I had been given, that was on a shelf nearby at that very moment, was also written by Sally Clarkson. Hmmmmm??? Think the Lord is trying to tell me anything???? So, I read both of the books, and needless to say, both have been a huge encouragement in my mothering journey.
I was able to attend Sally's conference two years in a row, and was so encouraged and blessed. Well, last year, Sally offered a Mom Heart Leadership Intensive to train moms to begin their own groups of ministering to moms. The Intensive was in her home in Colorado, and she only accepted 24 women from around the nation. Last year, we were growing so much in our love for the Lord, and having really been built up by our church, I thought it would be an amazing opportunity, so I applied. It was a pretty intense application, to tell you the truth, I can't even remember what I wrote!!! But, they were full, and I didn't give it another thought. In fact, I wasn't even able to attend the normal mom's conference this year, because I was pregnant with Judah and close to delivering, and just had a lot going on in general.
So.... I was pretty surprised last month when I received an email saying that because I had applied last year, they were giving me a first shot at this year. I thought, "Last year made sense!! This year does not!!!"
I thought for sure they wouldn't take me anyway since I would have to have Judah with me. But, they said it was no problem!! Oh man. Then, for some reason, the thought of flying with Judah and all the stuff we would need (car seat, stroller, etc.) plus a bad back made me kind of nervous. So, Ben suggested us all driving out as a family.
This just keeps getting better!! Then, our friends offered their cabin in Colorado for us to use. Then, because I have a nursing infant, I was going to have to pay a little extra for the hotel room because I would have my own room instead of sharing.... But, since they found out my family was coming, they upgraded us to a suite that would fit us all for the same price!!!
And so, Saturday, we leave on a family adventure. We shall see what God has for us. I am so excited, as are the kids, and Ben!!!! =)