As I wrote in my last post, I decided to take some time away from facebook and my blog. And I have to say that it was really good for me and my family… but I’m back now! :) I feel that I have learned some balance, and I’m excited about what that does for our family. It’s been good.
The best thing that has happened these past few weeks is going to Colorado with junior high kids at the church where Robert works (Stonebriar Community Church). It was an amazing experience, and I’m not finished processing through it, so I’ll probably have several posts about it over the next few weeks.
We stayed at an outfitter called Noah’s Ark… a Christian outfitter located between two amazing mountains towns, Salida and Buena Vista. In fact, Salida has an awesome coffee shop for sale, and Robert and I joked about buying the business (not that we could, but it was fun to dream). That town was so us. We felt like we fit right in. It actually reminded us a lot of the area that we live in, but even cooler, and in the mountains :). We camped in some “perma-tents” (basically a LARGE tent with a wooden floor), and we had a fairly true camping experience (complete with out houses and nasty showers, minus regular tents). In fact, the boys camped down the road and their bathrooms were fancy… so I say we had more of a camping experience than they did! For most of the girls that I was with, this was their first camping experience. The girls did rock climbing, horse back riding, and white water rafting. I didn’t end up rock climbing (I wasn’t feeling well), and I stayed back during horse back riding (because I was still not feeling well). BUT, I did the white water rafting. It was one of those things that I wasn’t really excited about, but now I could do it once a week and be happy. It was amazing. The Arkansas River was the highest (this time of year) than it has been since the ‘60s. It was at about 3700 cubic meters per second, and typically this time of year it’s at about 800 cubic meters per second. So, we moved very quickly, and we went through some amazing rapids. If you know anything about rapids, we went through a few class 4 rapids and a LOT of class 3 rapids. I honestly put white water rafting just under my wedding and the birth of my children as far as amazingness :). Robert and I loved it so much that we are going to possibly invest in a raft for our family and start rafting on a regular basis. We’ll see. I do know that this trip to Colorado changed my view of the outdoors and I am passionate about “outdoor adventures” now! This is what Robert has been hoping for! :) Next on my list of things to try is kayaking and canoeing, as well as rock climbing (since I wasn’t able to do it on this trip). I also want to do more hiking. Robert and I are now in search of places to camp, hike, and kayak with-in a good range of the area that we live in so we can do it more often. With the anxiety that I have, I’ve realized that the best thing I can do is be outside more (which, if you know me, that is a HUGE realization).
On the spiritual side, I got to spend more time with Jesus on this trip than I have in a long time and it was so needed. I spent a lot of time talking to Him, reflecting on these past few years, and I listened a lot. I am at peace with some things that I have been fighting for a long time. The whole working versus staying home thing has still been “haunting me” through the summer. I have been listening to Satan scream lies in my ear (that my kids would be better off if I stayed home, that I am a bad mom for working and wanting to work, that all moms should stay home, etc), and I’ve been taking those lies and thinking that they were truth. I was trying so hard to control it on my own instead of allowing Jesus to take over in that area, and I was so torn (so much that I couldn’t think of anything else). I have been allowing lies to rule my life for too long… it’s time to live in the truth of knowing that Jesus has our family right where we’re supposed to be, doing right what we’re supposed to be doing, and I am called to teach right where I’m teaching. The more my calling is refined, the more passionate I become about it, and the more clearly I think about it. I have spent my summer almost scared of the fall because of starting a new position, etc, but now I’m more excited than anything.
I also spent quite a bit of time processing some of the difficulty of the past 18-19 months. Every-time I have some quiet time, I begin thinking about my brother. The reality of his death, the way he died, and the fact that I will never see him again hits me like a ton of bricks. I have to always process through it again, realize that there’s nothing that can be done, be thankful that I have amazing memories of our childhood, and decide to make those memories with my family. The reality of the fact that life is just hard hit too, and I’m thankful for my relationship with Jesus and that He has a plan, because I’m not sure if I could go on without that. I’m thankful that He knows me better than I know myself, He knows what I need, and He has the power (that raised Him from the dead) to get me through whatever difficult situation I am going through.
I can’t say that I am thankful for the difficult 18 months (because I will never be glad that my brother isn’t here), but I am thankful that God used a difficult time to teach me about Himself, myself, and His plan for our family. I have a long way to go, but I trust that He will continue teaching and growing me, and that He will continue using us for His glory. I’m so thankful to be a part of His plan.