Spring Break 2019

Last week we went away to the mountains for a few days and it was lovely.  Kenny really wanted to leave town – it’s easier for him to relax and unwind when the constant stream of work emails and texts comes to a halt.  Where we stayed had spotty cell service and no Wi-Fi so in a way, it was a huge blessing.  

This sign hung in the mud room of the house we stayed in and I love it.  There definitely IS something to it.  I don’t always feel the mountains calling while I’m in town, busy with the day to day.  But the minute we pack up and start driving out of town, the mountains DO start to call.  They are beautiful and just beg you to come explore.  

And that’s what we did.  We stayed several days in Breckenridge.  The last time we were there was an anniversary trip years ago before the kids were born.  The weather was beautiful – in the 50’s – but still LOTS of snow on the ground.  A perfect combination.  

We were blessed with an incredible house to stay in.  A co-worker of Kenny’s owns this VRBO and gives Young Life staff a deal on staying there.  We couldn’t believe it – far cheaper than a hotel room, much more space, and just beautiful.  It truly was a gift for a few days.  The kids didn’t want to come home!  

Anna enjoyed her own room with a big bed and a leopard rug which she LOVED!

And James chose this cozy loft area over his own bedroom.

We saw herds of buffalo and deer on the way up…

Stopped at Wilkerson Pass on the way up…

And the Continental Divide on the way home.

We went tubing one morning which was lots of fun.  After a couple runs I was finished – the speed was incredible and my head didn’t love it.  We went down the run with all four of us hooked together which, of course, contributed to our speed.  It was fun, though, and wonderful to try something new.  

We visited some local restaurants…

walked around town visiting shops and finding ice cream…

the kids played in mountains of snow…

and we tried to play at the local train park but the snow was pretty deep.

We enjoyed time at the house relaxing and playing games…

And watched this icicle grow over a foot while we were there!

The house had an incredible view of Quandary Peak at 14,265 feet.  So beautiful.  The elevation of the house was 11,300 feet, so the summit seemed very close.  Breckenridge is at 9,600 feet and Colorado Springs 6,035 feet; just to give some perspective.  The day we left we saw hikers coming down from the summit of Quandary Peak – small little dots that moved very slowly.  We all decided that if we were going to summit a 14’er we’d prefer to start at the elevation of THIS house versus the foothills of Pikes Peak back home.  Much fewer steps!  

This was my view of the peak from bed in the morning.  LOVED that.  

We had a great time getting out of town and exploring for a few days and are so thankful for the opportunity!

From Repentance to Redemption

Quandary Peak from our Spring Break trip

Yesterday I acted terribly to my family – I was grumpy, irritable, desperately needing time alone, and everything they did or said annoyed me.  I argued with Kenny, in front of the kids, and had to apologize and repent.  Why do I feel the need to challenge him when I disagree?  A day later I remember Shelly’s wise words – “Before arguing with your husband, ask yourself, Is this a hill to die on?  Do I want to make this into something it’s not?”  Why couldn’t I remember her words in the moment yesterday?  And, of course, most of the ugly happened on our way home from church.  Lovely.  
Today, Kenny and the kids went back to work and school after Spring Break and I was desperate for time with the Lord this morning to regroup and recharge.  I asked Him to guide me – to hear what He wanted me to hear – and I felt I should pull out Slow Lane.  
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve read the book cover to cover when it first came out, but have taken much longer to work through the study.  I haven’t rushed it, in true SLOW fashion, and have trusted that the Lord will guide me to finish the study in His time.  And over and over and over again, the Lord brings me to this book just when I need it.  Isn’t God so good to do that?  
Today I studied Nehemiah 9, (p.204 for those who have the book) a recounting of the Israelite’s failures over and over again, and a recounting of the Lord’s faithfulness to them, over and over again.  My friend, Monica, also includes a personal story about honey that is a perfect illustration of this chapter.  I cannot tell you how much this passage of scripture encouraged my heart today.  Yesterday I was left feeling yucky and awful over my sin and today the Lord is redeeming it.  I am overwhelmed by the Lord’s great love for us.  

Nehemiah 9:17 (ESV)

17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.

If you are feeling like your sin is too great for God, I urge you to go to Him with it.  It’s not too big for Him!  Pour out your heart to Him, telling Him every deep and dark secret, and watch Him redeem every bit of it.  He is that good!  He loves you so much and is waiting with arms wide open.  

Nehemiah 9:6

 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

And, if you haven’t gotten a copy of Slow Lane yet, I highly recommend it!  God has used this book over and over again to encourage my heart and I know it will do the same for you.  

School Days

A few weeks ago the kids had 50’s day at school – a couple of stylin’ kids! 

Anna’s 1st grade spring music concert was really wonderful.  This was her first year to sing on the big stage in front of all the parents and she did a great job.  Can you spot her?  She’s to the left of the middle, just behind a microphone.  

Because of the blizzard, James’s class celebrated Pi Day a week late.  The 4th grade classes ordered t-shirts for the special day – very cool!  

And 1st grade had Colonial Day this past week.  I love helping with these curriculum days – they are so fun!  I really think more information would have stuck with me had I experienced it like these kids are getting to do.  Anna’s class learned about a one-room school house and practiced writing with a quill and ink.  In another room they learned a traditional colonial dance.  They performed a play together re-enacting the Boston Tea Party – Anna performed her line so well – clearly and nice and loud!  And in the final room, the kids played hopscotch, marbles, and jacks – games that early colonial children would have played.  

I’m thankful for the school the Lord brought us to and love watching the kids experience so many meaningful activities to enhance their learning.  I typically post about these special days at school never really mentioning the hard work the kids do day in and day out in between.  I’m so proud of their diligence not only at school but also at home – working on homework, practicing spelling words, and memorizing recitations every month. 

I love our school’s mission, A Titan’s Creed.  The kids recite it weekly every Friday morning at assembly with the entire school.  I love that.  These words are the foundation of everything the school does and I’m thankful that our kids are being nurtured in this way.  

We talk quite a bit at home about how God gives us each work to do on this earth and right now the kids’ work is to be faithful in their schoolwork – to do their best and work hard.  On their way out the door sometimes I’ll say, “Work hard, have fun, learn a lot, and be kind!”

Colossians 3:17

17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:23

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Matthew 25:23

23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

And I love the New Living Translation of this verse –

Matthew 25:23 (NLT)

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

The bible talks about this idea many times – being faithful to use our gifts and potential  for His glory.  One of the study notes I found said, “Faithful stewardship in this life will result in being given greater responsibility and stewardship in the life to come.”  I want Jesus to say to me one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  I don’t want to waste this life in laziness, missing out on the good the Lord had for me to do and learn.  And I desperately want this for my children too.  I long for them to “get” this lesson at an early age so they’ll be diligent in what the Lord gives them to do throughout their lives.  

We thank you, Lord, for the work you’ve given each of us today.  May we be faithful to complete it with joyful hearts!