Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Planting Trees.....

Recently, our family just returned from a family vacation in Northern Minnesota.  We do not take this blessing of a vacation for granted.  We realize it is a gift to take a family of 8 anywhere for a week.  God used our phone free, clock free, computer free, calendar free week to remind me of my calling to be a mom. This is my attempt to remember what God taught me last week.

Andrew Peterson wrote a song entitled: "Planting Trees".  The words resonated  with my heart as I was surrounded by the beauty of the Minnesota cedar and birch trees.  God has given Layne and I six beautiful young saplings to take care of.   Some of the lyrics of the song say, "So many years from now, long after we are gone these trees will spread their branches out and bless the dawn. These trees will spread their branches out and bless someone."  Our hope and prayer is that these "young trees" will ultimately have roots that grow deep into the soil of God's Word and a love for the Lord.

God in His perfect timing has also given me some practical application as to  "how"  to nourish and encourage my kids. The book: Everyday Talk by John Younts is a great read!  I had read it years ago and picked it up and flipped to the chapter 8 "Your Home is God's Greenhouse". I was reminded of the verse Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  If I am not encouraging and building up my children with my words, my words are considered to be corrupting.  

This was convicting........I am praying for God's grace to help me to look for opportunities to find ways to encourage them throughout the day. This becomes a challenge when they are fighting and whining and complaining.  My flesh wants to sometimes whine and yell back.  This is a serious battle.  I am trying to pretend that I put tape over my mouth and not respond until I pray.  My prayer may be short, " Lord set a guard over my mouth.....Lord help me.....Lord help me to LOVE...Lord remind me of my own sin......I am asking Jesus to help me see my calling as a mom, to care tenderly for my trees.  I long to use the short time they will be at home to nurture them in the ways of the Lord. 

Lord, thank you so much for my children.  Only by your grace can I love my children the way you love.  Help me to bear with them when some of the days seem challenging.  Thank you for gentle reminders of your love and goodness.  Thank you for the lives of my children.  I ask in your name, Jesus, that they would have strong roots that are clinging to YOU!

Tanya August 2011

Monday, August 08, 2011

Summer Days!

Oh my, my, my. There is so much to write I have no clue where to start. We have had such an eventful summer. Squeakers turned one July 1st, our family anniversary was July 7th. I can hardly believe it's been four years since we brought Dash and Bear home. They bless our family in soooo many ways and I can't imagine life without them. That really is hard to imagine. For our Famiversary we went to LeMars  and first went to the park and had a picnic and played for about an hour and a half. Then, we went to the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor and had a couple of yummy, yummy sundaes!!

God has definitely blessed our family greatly through adoption. And to think we even got surprise Squeakers on the end!
Since it has been a very hot summer we have been swimming at pools with friends, and a couple weeks ago we went to a water park! Unfortunately, because we were all busy swimming, there is not many pictures of that! On the 18th our friends who just recently adopted for Ethiopia came over for injera and wat. (Traditional Ethiopian food, similar to bread and stew.) We also invited an Ethiopian man over who we had just met at the Doctor's office. That was sooo much fun! Just this last week, we headed out to Minnesota for our family vacation!! This is something we look forward to all year long. All my mom's side of the family is there and we have so much fun. We can also get pretty crazy.....  One of my favorite things is church on Sunday morning at the beach. My aunt Shelly and several of my cousins led the worship. There is nothing like being with family, but even better is when all worship God together. It is a wonderful feeling and really it doesn't do justice to try to describe it. Just all of us sitting there talking about what an amazing God we have, we were all teary eyed, but in a good way. We can come together and talk about our trials and hardships, but I don't remember one person who ended on a sour note. You can see God working in so many different ways, giving and taking away. He is so wonderful and awe filling.

We did all sorts of fun stuff but it would take a million words to write it all so I will just post some pictures.

TUBING!! One of our Fav activities! Got to love it!

Then one night we went to a  resturant called The Logging Camp. It is very old fashioned, they serve all the meals family style and your plates and cups are tin. For desert they have fresh doughnuts! Very fun.

We had a great time!! Can't wait until next year. I could write about this 'til Christmas, but I won't! Thanks for reading my very, very long post! I hope you all have been having wonderful summers as well!