Holy giving up: A good type of Quitting

So I’m reading a book about how weary our hearts get in this constant onslaught of life.  It’s by Joyce Meyer and it’s called, Weary Warriors-Fainting Saints.

I won’t write tons about it, but I want to record for myself a couple of thoughts that have moved me and refocused me.

I love the prayer she herself prayed that she admits to in the beginning:

“I got really dramatic about it–down on the floor on my knees, like in one of those old movies, crying, “Help me, God…..I’m trying so hard.  I give up–I just quit.”  “ I can’t do anything without you, Lord.  I can’t change myself, my husband or my kids.  I can’t make prosperity come to me, or force healing on my body.  I can’t make my ministry grow. I can’t force myself to be nice.  I’ve tried to be quiet.  Every time instead I talk more than I ever have in my life.  I’ve tried to think positive thoughts, and I have two negative thoughts instead of one.”

Out of this “cry of her heart” arose several thing the Lord showed her that she shares.  I want to remember a couple of them:

  • Anointing increases from waiting, depending, and leaning on God like a helpless child, saying, “God help me.  I need You; I can’t do this without You.”
  • Many times He is the God of the midnight hour.
  • We must realize that God’s timing is more accurate than ours will ever be. 
  • A simple, childlike, believing stance:  “I don’t know what God will do, but I believe He will do something.” 
  • “We are not called to get involved in every good work that may come our way.  We don’t always need to go out and minister–often we should go home and minister.  We often create our own problems and produce bad fruit simply because we don’t know how to say no to anything.  We want to be in on everything that is going on.  But the Lord wants us to tend to our own affairs first.  If He wants us for a particular ministry, He will speak to us where we are about what He has in mind for us.  We should seek to be discerning so we can choose the best over the good.”
  •  God will not strengthen us to be out of His will.

God, 

thank you for Your sovereign, wise balance and timing in my life.

without You, 

I’d……. drive…… myself 

and what a sorry destination I’d end up in

give me courage Lord

to wait

courage to minster to You

before I seek to minister to others

courage to find out more

about what You hunger for from me

instead of what I hunger for from me


Family . . .

 

What a special day we had yesterday!  My dear sister-in-law, Claire, orchestrated the most amazing surprise party for my brother’s 50th birthday!  Happy Birthday Alan – there is no way to say how much we all love you!!  

Claire was nearly shaking with excitement all morning until Alan arrived….it was extraordinary to see!  She was overcome with love and emotion at getting to give her beloved husband this “gift of family” AND the big surprise present that awaited him! There were countless little fictitious stories that Claire and Shannon and Ian had to concoct and play out in the weeks leading up to the grand event, in order to pull this off. But they did it!  And they managed to fully surprise the man-of-the hour, our beloved Alan! 

One of the grandest joys of the day was the additional surprise for the whole family of Josh, Nicole, Isabella, and Shauna driving all the way in from PA in order to honor their Uncle Alan!  Such a blessed thing to do! 

How wonderfully relaxing it all was!  It’s so seldom to encounter languid, old fashioned days like this in today’s world, where Summer takes on the old meaning that we’ve read about in books from years ago, or seen in movies and longed to be a part of……..

But the precious prayer and planning that went into the whole day ushered in hours of fellowship and rejuvenation that are rare indeed to find.  It was the kind of day where you want to take mental snapshots of moment after moment and commit them to memory……

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza and sides were nibbled on throughout the day. Naps were had by those who were tired. Blankets were gratefully occupied on the lawn. Videos were watched.  Hot dogs were grilled. Precious walks were taken with dear little ones. And cars were examined as men are wont to do.

Fun visits and laughter snuggled themselves into every nook and cranny of the day…

 

 

Every moment was truly a testament to the planners….

AND to our great and precious God who is the Heart of our family.

 

Can I just say…I LOVE my extended family….

25th Anniversary Trip

This will be our final entry in our blog to you guys.  We’ve felt so undeserving to get to take this trip together.  As you kids know, Dad and I have had some real ups and downs throughout these 25 years…and God has so faithfully taken us through them. He’s given us strength when ours was gone.  Given us love when ours was gone. Given us perseverance when ours was gone.  Given us provision when ours was gone. Given us faith and peace when ours was running very low….

We’re so grateful to God for this chance to come away together and celebrate what He’s done in these 25 years!  And we’re so thankful for this opportunity to see more of what He’s created….beauty that’s amazed us, and familiar things that have helped us realized that this country, no matter where you go, has certain foundations that seem to be everywhere…nice people, people of faith, coffee shops, and chain stores and restaurants :-).

We can’t wait to get to see you after we arrive home tomorrow night!  We love you more than you could know…and though we’ve enjoyed being away….we’re even happier to come home!

As we stand beside the ocean tide,

may God help our love always be as constant

as these never-ending waves that pour beneath our feet.

 Your love flows softly upon my heart,

just as the foam comes softly upon the sand,

and just as there will never be a morning

without the ocean’s flow,

so there will never be a day

without my love for you.

 Our love will change

but it will be as dependable as the tide.

As these waters nourish the earth and sustain life, 

may my devotion and commitment

nourish and sustain you

as we continue through the ebb and flow of the journey ahead.

 And may our God’s mercy and grace be the deep mystery

from which every tomorrow comes to shore….

 

Above all, love each other deeply,

because love covers over a multitude of sin….

I Peter 4:8

San Francisco

We saved two days to visit the sites in San Francisco…and not being “city people” at heart, we compressed our visit into one day and enjoyed gliding over the surface of this city.

We started at the Ferry Building, which is a bright array of sites and smells for foodies from all over.  We shared tastes of this and that and realized for about the 100th time during this trip that we have very undeveloped palates…and are quite happy this way! 

We progressed to Chinatown, and after circling the area several times, decided to venture into the depths of this fascinating area on foot!  How fun to wander amongst the unusual sites and sounds…. and among these people who at first glance seem tiny and sweet, but also seem to store within them a mysterious and hard edge…

This was our favorite area of the day, and we purposely traveled away from the more touristy streets onto streets where we were the only caucasions within sight.  The shops were the most fun, and the meats, fruits and vegetables in bins along the sidewalk were often very interesting!

After soaking a bit in this other-worldly culture, we drove to Grace Cathedral. 

 Jim and I love to visit the old, great churches we find in other cities.  We found Grace Cathedral to be one of the least spiritually moving ones that we’ve seen, but were quite moved by the Interfaith AIDS Chapel.

This city is a city of clear diversity in beliefs…much different from traditional heartland values…but this chapel displays a portion of the handmade quilt that honors those who have lost love ones to this disease…and their thoughts were so heartfelt that tears came to our hearts and eyes…

Fisherman’s Wharf came next…and we wandered what essentially seemed like Cedar Point-without-the-numerous rides.  

We shared tastes of mini doughnuts that were hot and sugary, and ended by sharing a mini sourdough cheese pizza from Boudin’s, a well known sour dough bread factory.  Yum!  Ryan, you would have liked this one!

Off we drove as the air was chilling, the winds picking up, and the sun was setting.  We ended our visit to this famous city at its most famous site:  the Golden Gate Bridge.  Jim navigated us expertly to a little park that seemed known only to the locals.  Finally we were free from the pressing crowds of tourists and found ourselves at what seemed like the clearest view of the bridge that could exist!

Dad and I decided that our final picture of our San Francisco visit ought to be us together here!

Goodbye Monterey . . .

 

We checked out of our hotel this morning ….headed off to our big adventure!  Whale watching!

I was very thankful for meds from my dear doctor that stabilize my inner ear, for Dad and I love boats ( though we don’t have many chances to be on one!).  But with my occasional vertigo, I’d been leery of trying the lengthy whale tours available in Monterey.

Can I just say…God bless the trans-scop patch!  It helped me so much on the flight out and again made this fun morning with our giant aquatic friends possible!  Thanks SO MUCH for your prayers!

So off we went, bright and early, to board the Sea Wolf II  – a tour with a Marine biologist and naturalist onboard to fill us all in on what we would see.

We can show you more pics in person of the other creatures we saw, but we were excited that we DID get to see whales!  Humpbacks!  No breaching, but whales none-the-less, just meandering around the edge of the great underwater canyon that lies almost 2 miles below the surface of parts of Monterey Bay.

Dolphins, sunfish, seals and sea lions completed the day…..UNTIL…..yes!……the Oceanic Research team a bit farther out radioed the Sea Wolf to let us know that they had a Blue Whale in their vicinity.  So off we went in chase…

Our naturalist explained that the Blue whales would be much harder to see, for they’re more low key, don’t reveal much of their bodies, stay underwater much longer, and swim faster……so no one knew if we’d actually get to view the largest animal on the face of the earth….an endangered specie that few get to ever witness.

But there was the larger blow!  Yes!  He’d come up right next to our boat!!  Much longer and only showing a skinny portion of his back… but WITH us!!  What a behemoth!

All rushed to that side of the boat… and as we tipped precariously toward our giant friend, he slid silently by… and disappeared mysteriously again, just as he’d arrived.

After four hours of searching, we arrived back at port, ate a bit of fried calamari to celebrate our sea venture… and tired and humble, started off north to Half Moon Bay.

Thank you Father for creating this beautiful area….we’ve been beyond blessed to get to explore it and share it a bit…. a gift so undeserved….

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