Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Gift Of Summer - Dinner #76

     I headed back towards the tree line, in our yard, after I laid the girls down for their nap, this afternoon.  We had used their sand pails from the beach, to gather items from a little “nature walk”, and my oldest daughter, Brooklyn, had discovered a pretty wildflower, we wanted to identify. Of course, there were gnats, and bees, and other undesirable insects, but the sunshine felt wonderful.  Upon my “return journey” – flower photo now successfully on my phone, for future “Google research” – I thanked the Lord, once again, for this awesome summer. 

     Sometimes my heart still sinks at the realization that I have no newborn to care for, but the gift God has handed to me this summer is a “non-nursing” summer – a summer with four little toddlers, preschoolers, and school girls. This is the gift that God has chosen to give us this year, and I have opened it – embracing it to the fullest.  The Library’s Summer Reading Program . . . Every night of VBS . . .  “Summer Lessons” on flowers, water, baseball, and birds . . . Trips to the park . . . A children’s play. . . An afternoon picking wildflowers . . . Water balloons, birthday parties, river exploration, and even a day at the beach . . .

     With missionary candidate school now behind us, I realize, more than ever, that I will not always live in a house with a huge backyard at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains – but for now, we will ENJOY it!  We will love seeing the deer walking through the grass.  We will take our sand pails and fill them with items from our nature walks.  We will identify birds, and pick flowers to put in little cups of water on my kitchen counter. We will tend the little memorial garden for Joshua, and watch the seedlings burst into full bloom.  Later, we may be in a camper, or a trailer, or a hotel room, and, by God’s grace, I will ENJOY those days, too!  Determined to be thankful . . . Determined to embrace the gifts that God places in my hand . . . for He “daily loadeth us with benefits.” (Psalm 68:19).  Are we looking for them?  

     In Psalm 31, David writes “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!”  Being quite a petite woman, myself, I picture those blessings of goodness as wrapped presents on a top shelf.  God has “laid them up” for me, and I sometimes need to stand on a stool to reach them.  He has “laid up” so much goodness, and so many blessings for you, too, Dear Sister in Christ!  Are you reaching for them? Are you looking for them? Are you willing to see them, all around you, every day? When you open the “gift of summer”, in your own home, what do you find? Where has He intentionally placed YOU? May you thank Him for it, and embrace it with joy! 

     Is my life carefree? Absolutely not . . . There are more stresses and concerns now, than ever! More things to prepare, to plan, to ponder . . . I’m taking my children from a lovely little spot in the Shenandoah Valley, and headed towards 17,000 tropical islands on the other side of the world! We are changing the course of our lives forever, because GOD has changed it for us!  And there is JOY in serving Christ! There are blessings EVERY DAY! “For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.” (Psalm 26:3) What “lovingkindness” from the Lord, do you have the eyes to see, in your own home, today? What blessings lay all around you? Healthy little ones? Food in the pantry? Air conditioning? A library, just around the corner? “I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:6) My encouragement to you, this evening, is keep those blessings “before your eyes” – open those gifts – and ENJOY these blessed summer days!

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