Friday, August 12, 2011

A God-Thing

Sometimes I question God (okay, so maybe not just "sometimes", maybe it's a little more than that)...  Anyway, I ask, or beg, Him to show me that He's really there, that He sees and that He cares.  Well, He does.  Here's the story:

This morning we were all set to go to Bearizona, I thought, with some school friends and then from there go down to Phoenix to hang out with my parents. Tom is going scouting for elk tomorrow and I thought it would be more fun to go swim with the parentals than devise something fun to do with the kids by myself.

When I called my friend this morning to clarify plans I learned that they decided to go later on in the day when the animals are more active instead of the morning - makes sense, but it totally threw off my plans for the day.  After some saddness from the kiddos when they learned that we wouldn't/couldn't go to Bearizona with friends, and that it actually made more sense if we just went another day, we decided it would really fun to drive down to Phoenix early and surprise my mom.  So off we went.

And we went until we were about 20 minutes away from my parents' house when the van decided it doesn't want to "went" anymore..."died in flight" is what they apparently call it.

"Surprise, Mom! We're stuck on the side of I-17 in 97 degree heat with a dead van.  Can you borrow somebody's van to come and rescue us?"

Right after getting everything squared away with the towing company and my mom, my cell phone rang.  It was Celeste, a friend from church.

Get ready, here come the "God-thing":
She asks me if I'm stuck on the side of the road in Phoenix.  Now, remember she's a church friend from Flagstaff, 2 hours north of our current stuck position.

Me:  "Why, yes, we are stuck.  Why do you ask?"
Celeste:  "We just passed you.  Do you need some help?"

She turned around and came back.  Because she had a mini-van packed with her four kids, it's not like she could offer to take us anywhere.  But what she did offer was priceless: a nice cool place to sit and wait until the other help arrived. 

Pretty amazing.

God could have let us sit there in the sweltering heat until my mom got there.  We would have been fine.  But He didn't.  He provided...  He provided beyond our "needs", beyond what we asked for.

He showed me He's there/here.
He showed me that He sees.
He showed me He cares.
He showed up.
Thank you Jesus.
Thank you.

I hope I can remember this for awhile.  I'll add it to God's trophy case in my head and heart.



Honey,
Sorry for whatever costs we might incur to fix the van.  I guess in some small way it's my fault.  I needed a "sign" and I got one.  I love you!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jonathan - 4 Months

Another month has come and gone.  Jon continues to be a happy, easy-going baby - I feel so blessed!  While in OH he learned how to roll completely from his back to belly.  He also loves to talk, spit, and be tickled.  The big kids love him and usually fight over who gets to hold him.  The boys are usually good with once a day.  Livvy wants him first thing after he wakes up and finishes nursing.  She's a very good little mommy.


A lot of people ask me if I feel differently about Jonathan because of Noah.  My first answer is, "No", but...  I find myself holding him a little longer, stroking his soft skin, and just being aware that he...well he moves.  I rarely felt Noah move while I was pregnant, and then we only got to hold his lifeless little body for a few short hours. 

I try not to let my mind wander into what Noah would have looked like, how big he would have been, etc.  I don't think letting my mind go there is a healthy, godly thing to do.  For whatever reason, Noah was exactly as God intended him to be.  He looked like God designed him to look like, and he was with us for the exact amount of time that God meant for him to be with us.  God is sovereign and nothing/no one can thwart His will - there are no accidents or mistakes with God.  I do not claim to fully understand it all or like it for that matter, but I believe it's true.  Believing anything else minimizes God, His will and His power.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.  Phil 4:8

Friday, August 5, 2011

OH

About two years ago we started making plans to go to Ohio this summer.   More specifically for July 21, 2011 - Tom's parent's 50th wedding anniversary (which just also happened to be Ben's 3rd birthday).  We flew out of Phoenix on July Saturday 15th and came back Sunday July 24th.  It's hard to believe that the time has already come and gone.  Crazy.

The kids did very well on the plane.  I was a little nervous about flying with four kids, but everything went very smoothly.  I loaded the kids up with their own back-packs full of snacks and wrapped presents.  I sat next to Livvy and Sammy with Jon on my lap; and Tom sat with Ben. On the flight back, it was said, "Next time you get Ben."  So, apparently Ben was a little bit of a handful.



Sunday July 16th we had an open house at Tom's parent's church.  We had a wonderful time celebrating Mom and Dad C's 50 years of marriage!  Lots of people came to celebrate with us/them.

I put together a slide-show of their life and Tom gave a short little talk on commitment. Commitment.  Fifty years of commitment. It's a rare thing these days. Our family, Tom, me and the kids, are a rarity because both of our parents are still married. And not only are they still married, but they love each other (sure they have their problems, but...). And to top it off, they encourage and respect us in our parenting attempts. In the past I have taken that for granted. But, as time goes on, I'm learning to see how truly blessed we are. I hope we can leave our kids with the same legacy our parents have left, and are leaving/living for us.  Thank you God, and thank you Mom and Dad - both sets of you!

                                              Johnny Cash and his bride!  Love you Dad and Mom!


The rest of the week Mom and Dad C, Grammie and Pop-Pop, had all sorts of fun things planned for us.  We went to a splash park, we went fishing on a pontoon boat, we went blueberry picking, we had a birthday party for Ben at a carousel, we caught lightning bugs, we hung out with old friends...we had a great time!!!

Kroc Center Spray Park


 Charles Mill Lake


 The Blueberry Patch
Tom showing off his two handed blueberry-picking rig.  It was very serious business.


The Carousel at Mansfield - Ben's 3rd Birthday!
Thank you Keener's and Rowe's for coming and making Ben's birthday extra special!


It truly was a wonderful trip!  We can't wait to go again.