Several people had recommended we get away, just us, in order to process the things that have taken place in our home and life since the beginning of the year. We were not able to do that, but we have had much time together as a family. We have needed it, and we have felt such enjoyment in it. We've needed time to talk, yes, but more so time to just exhale together. We are more attune to the simple, familiar aspects of our family of six, and we've found much relief in expressing our appreciation for all that God has given us and all that He has brought us through.
Jon and Olivia each had obligations on the first weekend of June, so I took the three boys out for a time of... um, messy memory-making! This may very well be our first annual MUD RUN!
Before the race:
I positioned myself on a stump with my zoom lens, ready for them to pass through this portion of the race. They were in heaven!
I saw him think about it, then take the plunge. Why not see what it's like?!
Andrew opted to just roll a bit. At this point I'd say most of the kids forgot it was a race!
Jack trying to find his brothers.
As they waited in the parent-pick-up section, they spotted me taking pictures from the top of the embankment with my zoom... Big, proud, happy smiles!
For a while I thought I could keep myself from getting muddy, but that was a pointless thought!
Some days the kids spend hours in the pool. Tonight Olivia has a friend over, and I called them in at 9:30-- they had been in there for nearly 5 hours, with the exception of dinner on the deck. This is quite normal with the boys, too.
Growing kiddos. Olivia will be a HS freshman, and Michael is starting Jr. High.
Once again, my camera has been instrumental in my discovery of "good things" in a way that is like therapy! Here I followed what is common-place with Jacob. Picking wild flowers to give to me is such a simple childhood act, but its beauty easily gets lost in the shuffle of life. Following the trail of his gift made me appreciate love and relationship within our family in a new way. All the simple little things add up to a life quite wonderful indeed!
Sweet boy. It's a good thing he's still so kissable!
Hiking. It's one of my favorite things. We figured we should get one last hike before the summer heat keeps of from voluntarily moving east of the coast. I would have liked to hike further, but it was hotter than expected and we were running low on water.
This boy only occasionally brings flowers now. At least he warned me not to freak out.
Psalm 40 has been particularly personal to me this month. A few of the verses...
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!
And also, Ps. 37:23-24
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.
The Lord's faithfulness to His children is sure, unfailing, and consistent. When I read this verse, I picture a small child holding onto his father's hand. When that child stumbles, the father keeps that child from falling to the ground and he swoops him right back onto his feet. The child does the walking and the stumbling, but the father does the swooping and stabilizing!
His faithfulness indeed never ceases-- toward me and all who call upon His name! This gives me great hope!