Summer pool days have officially begun....time to break out the sCunscreen (I love how Emma says it)! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Super Will???? I really have no idea.... They love wearing goggles. Can you tell?!
Last week we had some guests from sunny California come visit. Billy's cousin, Gabe, and his family made the long drive North. When I say cousin what I really mean is brother, because that's what these 2 are. And Gabe's wife is my sister, a kindred spirit. We love this family so much and so enjoyed our time with them. We were NOT ready for our visit to end....
I can't let too much time pass without posting in honor of Dad. Not only my Dad, but Daddy to my children as well. Unfortunately, I did not get to spend Father's Day with my Dad, but the next time we are able to get together we will have a late celebration which most assuredly will involve bbq:) But father's day was spent in such a way that brought back fond memories of my dad and summers of camping, hiking and just enjoying the outdoors of beautiful central Oregon. Billy, the kids, and I left straight from church and drove out to Suttle Lake, just outside of Sisters, OR. Before we even sat down at the lakes edge to eat our picnic lunch, Will was already covered in dirt and sand! (this will come as no surprise to those of you who are blessed with boys or know Will:)) Then we headed out on the trail that takes you completely around the lake. A good 3 1/2 mile hike. (I think we need to teach Emma how to pace herself...the girl doesn't know how NOT to skip and hop her way along!)
It is so beautiful there! And the day was perfect! At the half way mark, we let the kids "cool off". (Only problem there was the chaffing Will experienced the second leg of our journey)
My turn with Lincoln...it was just too much for him to take. Almost there... a little pit stop to admire the creek! Will saying, "YES, I did it! I worked it out and built stronger muscles!" Hey. He worked hard too, you know:) It was a great time and we topped off the day with a little stop at Papandrea's in Sisters for some yummy pizza!
Billy, I love you, thank God for you, and can't stop watching you with our children...reading them their Bibles, teaching, sharing, loving, hugging, comforting, and playing. Their favorite time of day is when you walk in that door...
So, just a little note about the name of my blog... A worried friend asked me recently if everything was ok, she had been feeling burdened to pray for us, due partially to the name of my blog. To this friend: Again, thank you so much for your concern and care! That was VERY sweet and VERY appreciated! (by the way, she also knew of some heavy decisions to be made in our lives, which also was part of this concern) But this questioning did lead me to wonder if others were having similar concerns, and so I feel the need to clarify a little. Dancing In The Rain's name did come about coincidentally during a storm in our lives. Please know that our life is not ALL storms and I don't view it as such. We, like all others, have our share of not only storms, but showers, drizzle, AND an abundance of sunshine!! I have chosen not to change the name of my blog simply because I do feel this is a huge part of what navigating this life is all about. It's sometimes so easy to be content and joyful when things are going "good"(by the worlds standards) or experiencing peace (by God's). It's often very difficult to keep that attitude when the storms do come. I want to learn to be content in ALL circumstances in life. AND I never want to forget the storms and the times we needed to "dance in the rain" because truthfully that's when I've grown the most, come to know my Jesus better, and learned to say, "Jesus, you're all I want. You're all I need". So, let the storms come or the sun shine. Me, I'll be learnin' to dance!
A fellow blogging buddy guided me to this inspired blog of Angie Smith, wife to Todd of Selah (the christian musical group). She begins her blog after learning some devastating news of her unborn child and we're taken through their journey and then onto another tragedy of Todd's sister (she used to sing in Selah).
Short of ORDERING you to read it, I am STRONGLY URGING you to. And this applies to anyone who has hurt, whether it be physically, spiritually, or emotionally. hmmmm...I think this means all of us.
I've provided the link to one specific post, her latest, within the blog, because I feel like it can speak to ALL of us. But I also highly recommend taking the time (even if it's a little each day) to read her entire story. There's a link to the beginning of the story. ...and have some Kleenex ready.
So, even though Amanda beat me to this:) I simply could not just sit by and not post about it myself. No, such fun could not be ignored by my blog. While these nights are too few and far between for my taste, when they do happen (no matter how last minute they are:)) they refresh me. As I'm sure you women out there can testify to, when a mom, wife, or even someone with just a busy life gets to go out for some girl time it is just good. Period. Even if it's as simply as going to Goodwill together (without children!) and finding some bargains (I spent $6.35) and then talking and laughing for hours upon hours at the restaurant (until it closes!) and then in the car outside our friends house. It's just good to be together. As I was importing these pictures to my computer my daughter, Emma, comes up and says, "Who are they, Mama?". I turned the question around to her, because I knew she knew and she says, "Those are your girls". Exactly. These are my girls, my friends, who have become dear to my heart. Friends who I have had fun with, who have been my support and prayer warriors in times of struggle, who show me God's love, and show joy amidst their own hardships and battles. I have already learned so much from these girls of mine and I'm so thankful that God has blessed my life with them. Thank you for your friendship, Josh's Mama (Kristin), Mrs. Torko (Amanda), and Karyn (Emma, of course, has been saying this name the longest). Oh, definitely, NOT to be forgotten Mrs. Norris (Jenny) who as of right now refuses to blog, but falls into "my girls" and is one I cherish as well. Love you all!
Just a song that has meant a lot to me over the last couple of years and continues to.
Praise You In This Storm I was sure by now That You would have reached down And wiped our tears away Stepped in and saved the day But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining
As the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain “I’m with you” And as You mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will life my hands For You are who You are No matter where I am Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand You never left my side And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm
I remember when I stumbled in the wind You heard my cry You raised me up again My strength is almost gone How can I carry on If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain “I’m with you” And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I also love the Psalms. Their vulnerability and honesty often speak my exact feelings and my heart's song. David and the other authors were not afraid to say it how it was, showing that they have doubts, fears, worry, anxiety just like us. But then they point us back to the One who can take it all away if we'll just let Him. He IS mighty to save. And not just saving us from hell(which is totally undeserved) but also from ourselves, our thoughts, our lack of trust. Thank you, God.
This Psalm reflects me in those days when my head knows one thing and my heart knows another... As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God, When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will praise him, my Savior and my God. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me- a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?" My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:1-3,5,7-11
Ultimately, though, I'm reminded that ALL of me can be satisfied with Him.
O God, you are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirst for You, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy, My soul clings to You Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8
We discovered this wonderful surprise several weeks ago. Mama Robin had made her nest low in one of our front yard trees. God's creation is so amazing! It was one of the most beautiful nests I had ever seen, with bits of "ribbon" woven through it, and sitting in plain site her pretty blue eggs. Billy's comment: it looks like she bought her nest at Michael's! Incredible what they can do! We observed her keeping her eggs warm and watching out for them when we would get near, by perching on our roof and staring us down. The new little arrivals! You can't even tell how many, they're snuggled in so tight, except for that little one's beak! Mama in the tree next door keeping a VERY close eye out for her babies! I don't blame her! She had every right to dive-bomb us(and almost did)!