And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, May 29, 2017

Loss

When I was 16 years old, a beautiful friend died in a car accident on the way to our workplace. We were suppose to have that shift together. She was a tiny little thing with a HUGE smile. She always had such a joy about her. She had given her life to the Lord and been baptized only a few weeks before her death. I was just devastated over the loss. It seemed like a Missy sized hole was left for those of us that knew her.

Her death prompted me to be baptized. I'd been in church for some time and was positive that I wanted to know where my eternity would be spent. I will never forget Missy or the impact she had on my life.

While I've lost many loved ones over the years, it is so easy to take life for granted. We forget. We get so caught up in the little mundane petty things throughout the day. We lose sight of our purpose. We get wrapped up in our own lives and forget to cherish those we love. We forget to spread the love of the Lord to everyone we meet.

Recently I've been pretty torn up over a situation where an individual has treated my family poorly. I've given way to much energy to my anger over the past week. I've let one bad situation take precedence over all the really important things in my life.

Then yesterday...last night...I learned that a sweet friend passed away. A friend with a megawatt smile. A friend I'd known since Kindergarten. Another friend with a sweet soul and an indescribable joy about her. She's gone. Her children are left without their mother. Her husband has lost his bride. Her family and friends have lost a great treasure.

An unexpected accident has once again reminded me that our days are numbered. It has reminded me that our greatest treasures are those around us. It has reminded me that we shouldn't take our time on Earth for granted. It has reminded me that I shouldn't dwell on the things that don't have any lasting effect on our lives.

My friend left a legacy. A legacy of loving her family. A legacy of loving her friends. Everyone will remember her by her humor and the sweet spirit she had. She was wise beyond her years and every encounter with her felt like an important moment. I'm so thankful I was able to spend a little time with her a few weeks ago. There was no way to know that sitting by that pool at a birthday party watching all our kiddos would be our last time together.

Please pray for her dear family. Please pray for her friends.

I posted about Philippians 4 a few weeks ago, and it seems appropriate here as well.

Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Finding Peace

We went tent camping for a few days. If I talk about tent camping again, remind me it's crazy! Back in the day, we went camping with a group every year. Then when the kids were really young, we went on a really epic trip with a different group. One other time we took a short trip. We decided this year we would go for a few days with my parents.






I forgot how much work camping is. It rained the first 2 days. It was really cold the other 2 nights. It was a LOT of work. I remembered all the planning and shopping. I remembered setting up the tent. I did not remember some of the other aspects. Like all the stuff we had to take for 4 people. Like all the work to dig everything out of the cooler. Like someone complaining we forgot something every few minutes. Like never getting a minute to sit down because I had to trek to the bathrooms or fix food or get more ice or clean up the tent or dry everything from the rain. Dude.

So not the most fun we've ever had. We did have really great weather 1 day. That day the campground was FULL of campers and pop ups. There were only about 4 tents in the whole place. The campers were impressive too. Decks, full kitchens, bathrooms, big TVs....they had it all. And most of the families seemed just as cranky as we were! They were all constantly working too. Working to drain their plumbing (I thought of Robin Williams and RV several times). Working on decks and grills and fire pits. Parenting. It's work whether you are in a 15 year old tent or a recreational "home" that costs more than most yearly salaries.

Why do we do these things? Why work all week or all year to go on a vacation that's even more work?

I think we are usually seeking a break. As a mom of two, few things are actually ever a break. By the time I make plans, feed everyone, pack, do laundry, etc, there is never much rest involved. I do get to perform my daily duties in a different environment though.

We want to have fun. It's hard to make fun happen sometimes though. We always get in a few laughs but sometimes the stress of weathering a thunderstorm in a tent takes away one's sense of humor. While this trip didn't involve a lot of laughter, I'm sure we will laugh at the memories in the future. In many, many, many years.

Aren't we really just seeking peace? A little slice of calm away from all the daily responsibilities? As I looked around at the high end campers and shiny trucks to tow them, I realized once again that we'd pay almost anything for some peace. I wondered how many people in that campground knew where to find the real peace. We are in the Bible belt so most have probably heard of the Prince of Peace, but I don't know how many are actively seeking Him.

We had a little devotional time there at the lake yesterday morning since we were missing church. It was a bit strained (everything was during that trip!), but we ended up dwelling on Philippians 4:6-8 for awhile. It seemed appropriate.

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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.